We are very lucky to be able to bring to you today the brand new and extremely beautiful covers for the new book by Holly Martin. The Little Village of Happiness which is out this Friday bis available for pre-order now (find links below). Which cover do you prefer, the UK version or the US? Reply with where you’re from……
10 Things To Do Before You Leave School follows Ruby, a teenage girl about to embark on her A levels. Ruby has had a difficult year, and has had an ongoing battle with mental health issues. On her return to school, Ruby comes across a list left by her late father of 10 things he hoped she would do before leaving school. Ruby makes it her aim to complete the list before the end of sixth form, despite her ongoing battle with mental health issues and the dramas of being a teenager.
10 Things To Do Before You Leave School is a brilliantly written piece of fiction, which highlights the issues of mental health and the impact that it can have on a young person’s life. I felt O Keeffe tackled the issues with sensitivity and compassion, whilst also bringing mental health awareness to the forefront.
Ruby as a character is a beautifully described and whole person who we follow on her ongoing battle with depression and mental illness. Her views and feelings at times are thought provoking and heartbreaking all at one, and as a reader really pulled at the heart strings. I was whisked away in her world, following her on her journey of discovery. I enjoyed learning more about her and having a real insight in to her thoughts and feelings. Ruby was an engaging and strong character, who I wholeheartedly got behind from page one.
It was interesting to learn about her relationships and see the impact her mental well being had on these and the effect on her friends and family. Her emotions and feelings were raw and the emotions and interactions with others were beautifully encapsulated in words.
This is one hell of a book and I have struggled to find the words to give this incredible book the justice it deserves. Overall I felt it approached mental health in a way which was both raw and enlightening, showing the reader the real impact grief and mental health has on a person and their loved ones.
This is a must have read. But make sure you have the tissues at the ready!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After graduating from Oxford, Bernard O’Keeffe worked in advertising before training as a teacher. He taught for many years, first in a North London comprehensive, then at Radley College, where he was Head of English, and most recently at St Paul’s School in London, where he was Head of Sixth Form.
He has reviewed fiction for Literary Review and The Oxford Times and, as an editor of The English Review, has written over a hundred articles for A Level students on subjects ranging from Nick Hornby and Roddy Doyle to Jane Austen and Shakespeare. In 2013 he published his first novel, ‘No Regrets’.
Twitter : @BernardOKeeffe1
Amazing Grace is the debut novel from Kim Nash and follows single mum Grace and her young son Archie. Grace works part time in the local estate agents following the separation from her husband Mark, and whilst she enjoys the challenges of her new role, Grace still fills something is missing in her life.
Archie her son is her whole world, but Grace dreams of one day opening a book store. Her friend Monica however feels that a man is needed and throws Grace in to the world of internet dating with some disastrous dates. However, a chance meeting with gardener Vinnie, who comes to quote for some work, adds a whole other dimension to this story.
From the word go it is clear there is chemistry between Grace and Vinnie, and both are clearly interested in the other. Is this just business or is there something more developing? However, Mark the ex husband keeps popping up at the most inopportune moments, is it jealousy or is he just being controlling?
Amazing Grace was a delightful read, it was funny, it was emotional and had a real good feel good vibe. Grace was instantly likeable from page one, her love and devotion to her son was heart warming. I felt Kim really captured the essence and love of a parent and child and I really love how she explored and developed the relationship between them. Including the endless hours of football practice, let’s face it any parent to a young boy has been there.
I also loved the character of Vinnie, from the moment he appeared in the book I had a good feeling about him. He felt a genuine guy and someone I desperately wanted to love Grace after all she had been through. I felt invested in their relationship and really enjoyed discovering how their relationship developed.
I love the village of Little Ollington, it had a quaintness about it that was charming. I loved the sound of Grace’s new home, it was beautifully described and I some had a lovely image within my mind of how it would look.
Amazing Grace is a brilliant debut novel from an already amazing woman. It was charming and had me giggling away, the dates had me in tears. I don’t think Kim could have portrayed them any better. There were plenty of unexpected moments that kept the story exciting and had me wondering where we would go next.
If you want a romantic, emotional and funny read, I can not recommend this book enough. I look forward to the next book….
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.
Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019
Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Holly Martin is back with another outstanding summer feel good read. This time we meet Eva and Thor, the man of any woman’s dreams. Following the death of her mum, Eva comes across a box in her mother’s loft, full of dreams. Eva decides to use the money left to her by her Mum, to fulfill the dreams her Mum never got to experience, taking Eva out of her comfort zone. In order to to make her Mother’s dreams come true, Eva enlists the help of a guide to help her plan and travel the world. But at the last minute her guide changes, leaving Eva with Thor as her guide.
Now I don’t want to give too much away, but Thor is the one person Eva definitely did not want to be stuck with on a round the world trip. But as they spend time together, Eva begins to see another side to Thor.
The Summer of Chasing Dreams is a real feel good read, I literally could not put it down. The words flowed and I was whisked away in to Eva’s world. Eva was an easy to love character, there was no part of her I didn’t like. She is kind, caring and brave and I loved joining her on this adventure of a lifetime, with all the ups and downs this involved. It was fascinating learning more about her back story and discovering with her secrets kept by her Mum.
Then there is Thor. There is so much to Thor than there first appears. Other than his Godly name and body, there is this fun loving and sensitive guy. I loved the dual narrative of the story, enabling me as a reader to learn things about Thor and his perspective of events and Eva. Thor is a strong and compelling character, whom I couldn’t help but fall in love with.
The whole story worked superbly, I loved the use of the postcards from Eva, this really added to the story for me and brought a new insight in to Eva’s thoughts and experiences.
As for the experiences and countries visited by Thor and Eva,WOW! Holly really managed to capture my imagination with these. The detailed descriptions and little facts, added a whole other dimension to an already awesome book. I could picture vividly the scenes as if I were experiencing them myself. I was literally blown away and really would like to visit some of these places.
So Holly, thank you for once again giving us a cracker of a book. This is an awesome feel good, romantic read. I loved every single second of this book, my only regret is that I devoured it so quickly. I would so love to meet these characters again. I think Eva and Thor may be my favourite book characters to date.
So for those looking for a book to lose yourself in that will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is the book for you. What are you waiting for?
As friends and relatives meddle, in order to try and bring Isla and Leo together, their lives become more complicated and tangled. Throw in the return of Leo’s birth mother and we know we are in for a cracking read.
It was great being back at Sandcastle Bay and meeting up with all the characters we had met over the previous books in the series. Isla and Leo’s story is one which I have been particularly looking forward to. We have had glimpses at their relationship throughout the previous books and know their relationship is complicated. I loved how Holly explore their relationship and the use of the dual narrative, allowing myself as the reader to hear the story from both Leo and Isla’s perspective. Both valued their friendship and both felt a great deal more than they led the other to believe in order to protect their own hearts, following their past relationships. Most of the story seems to stem from the night they spent together at Elliot’s christening.
Throw in Elliot, this gorgeous, happy little boy whom I wanted nothing more for than for him to be happy. He is desperate for Isla and Leo to be his parents, following the death of this father Matthew, and being abandoned at 1 years old by his mother Sadie. Isla is in the processing of trying to legally adopt Elliot, nut things aren’t always as easy and straightforward as one would hope. Throw Leo in to the mix and the untimely return of Sadie and we know we are in for some heart stopping roller coaster moments.
Coming Home to Maple Cottage is Holly back at her best, drawing us in to her world with her beautifully descriptive settings and relatable and likeable characters. I was quickly lost among the pages of this incredible story, laughing and crying as I followed the Leo and Isla through their story. I couldn’t get enough and before I knew it I had devoured the whole book. I certainly can not wait to see what comes next, but for now I will deal with the bittersweet feeling of being sad I’ve read and finished the book already but delighted to have experienced Sandcastle Bay and it all it has to offer.
Coming Home to Maple Cottage is a fabulous and heart warming book, which is there to be devoured. So make sure when you do pick it up, you have no plans that day….