Book Review: The Lie by C.L.Taylor

The Lie

I gave The Lie by C.L. Taylor : 5 of 5 stars





Book Description

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…
Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.
Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.
Jane has tried to put her past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves. 

My Review
Fantastic book! Well written, tense, chilling and unable to put down! Hence why it only took me a day to read! Perfect for a holiday read. 
Kindle Edition: 461 pages
Published 23rd April 2015 by Avon UK
Rachel xx

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Book Review: Don’t Call Me Ugly by Alicia Douvall

I haven’t read an autobiography in a while and I was lucky enough to to win this book from a competition by the publisher Austin Macauley on Twitter.

                      

Book Description

A cautionary tale from the woman who spent over a million pounds on surgical procedures…
In this remarkable book entrepreneur, former model and occasional reality TV star Alicia Douvall tells the story of a life with more than its fair share of ups and downs. She opens up about her traumatic experiences with plastic surgery throughout the years and the treacherous journey towards self-acceptance: from the turmoil of operations going wrong, her inappropriate relations with one of her surgeons, to how she’s now reached the point where she acknowledges the mistakes she made by trying to alter her body so frequently, as well as the consequences of undergoing such life-changing procedures. 
Alicia reflects on her strict upbringing, her disastrously rebellious teenage years – which included expulsion from school and spending her young pregnancy moving from hostel to hostel and her often bad choices in partners, which strangely mirrored the relationships with her plastic surgeons. Alicia’s story is certainly emotive, yet allows the readers to experience her positive humour throughout.

My Review

I only knew of Alicia Douvall from watching Celebrity Big Brother a while back and I found her to be actually very fascinating. Although others may disagree with me.

Her autobiography starts off from when she was a little girl living at home with her parents and two older half sisters and takes you right up to the present day in her life.

                       

I have found her life to be extremely hard and upsetting at times as a reader but Alicia shows tremendous strength from within and a refusal to give up. Alicia has worked hard in getting this book out to her readers and I think it’s a very brave thing to do in writing this book all by herself without a ghostwriter like many other celebrities out there.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her journey.

I have given Don’t Call Me Ugly by Alicia Douvall 5 out of 5 stars.

Hardback Edition 344 pages
Published 4th December 2015 by Austin Macauley

Rachel xx

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.

Book Review: Gone by Rebecca Muddiman

I have been browsing through the Bookbridgr website lately looking for some great books to read that were dark with lots of mystery and suspense, and this was the book I came across – Gone by Rebecca Muddiman. I have to say that the cover caught my eye to begin with. Then I read the description. I decided there and then that this was a book that I needed to read! So I applied to review it and luckily I was approved. The wait began then for it to arrive in the post!
            
Book Description

250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. 91% of those reported to police are found within 48 hours. 99% of cases are solved within a year. And 1% stay gone. 11 years ago, troubled teenager Emma Thorley went missing. The police assumed she was a runaway. But now a body has been found in woods near Blyth. DI Michael Gardner knows he didn’t take Emma’s disappearance seriously enough back then, and is determined to make up for it now. But when he and DS Nicola Freeman start to re investigate, they discover that nothing is as simple as it seems. 
My Review

The book starts off with a prologue set in December 2010 and tells us that a body has been found in Blyth. It introduces us to DI Gardner and his doubts about how he ran the case back in 1999, a girl called Louise who has just seen on the TV that a body has been found in a place she used to call home and Lucas Yates who shared a history with Emma. 
I love the way that the book then flips to a couple days later in 2010 and introduces us to DS Freeman who now has a body on her hands, but needs to confirm the exact identity and make sure it is Emma. She has to go back and speak to DI Gardner who is very reluctant at first to help her out. 
The chapters flip between 1999 and 2010 throughout the book giving us an insight into Emma’s life before she disappeared and the circumstances around her death. I found some of these parts quite disturbing. Emma was a lovely daddy’s girl who got caught up with the wrong crowd after her mother’s death and everything seems to be getting worse and worse for her. I felt that she was very lonely and felt quite upset with the situation she ends up in. 
It’s one of those brilliantly written books where you feel as if you have become the character as you are reading along. I can highly recommend this book if you are looking for lots of thrills, mysteries and suspense. I can’t wait to read more of Rebecca Muddiman’s novels if this is only her second novel. 
I am so glad to have found this amazing new British crime writer!
I have given Gone by Rebecca Muddiman 5 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 359 pages
Published 10th September 2015 by Mulholland Books
Disclaimer All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book received from Bookbridgr and Mulholland books free of charge for an honest review. Book description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.


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Book Review: The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario

I love a good thriller, in fact it’s one of my favourite genres, and The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario mixes classical music, with mystery and intrigue. 
I am not a huge classical music fan but, I was willing to give this book a go as it looks like a great thrill. The jacket on the hardback version which I received to review from Oceanview Publishing, does not give much way picture wise. This makes it very visually appealing and wanting the reader to find out what it’s all about. 
                     

Book Description

A woman and her young son flee to a convent on a remote island off the Breton coast of France. Generations of seafarers have named the place Ile de la Brume, or Fog Island. In a chapel high on a cliff, a tragic death occurs and a terrified child vanishes into the mist.

The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist. But then a recording of unforgettable music and a grainy photograph surface, connecting her missing godson to a long-lost first love.

The photograph will draw Maggie inexorably into a collision course with criminal forces, decades-long secrets, stolen art and musical artifacts, and deadly terrorists. Her search will take her to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en-Provence, France, where she discovers answers to the mystery surrounding her husband’s death, an unexpected love—and a musical masterpiece lost for centuries.

             

My Review

It didn’t take me very long to read this book. The chapters are very short and well written. The author has written this book in a very beautiful way, describing the locations with an artistic feel. 
The main character Maggie, a concert pianist, is a strong female lead and has been through a great deal of heartache with the deaths of her husband and best friend, and now her godson missing. This has led her to give up on music and go in search of her missing godson Tommy. Maggie embarks on a journey that takes her into a world of stolen art, music and terrorism, and not all is what it seems. There is also a romantic element to the book in the form of Maggie’s ex-lover, and this gives us another dimension into her character.
There are many twists and turns along the way, that made it a bit hard to keep up. Especially as I was turning each page quickly to see what happens next! 
I would really recommend this book to thriller/mystery fans even if you are not fans of classical music/art. I know that I will re-read it one day so I have more time to take it all in and not speed through it at 100mph like I did this time. I think this book deserves it.
I have given The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario 5 out of 5 stars.
Hardback Edition 443 pages
Published 1st July 2015 by Oceanview Publishing
Rachel xx
Disclaimer I was given this hardback copy to read and review free of charge from Oceanview Publishing through Tomoson. All opinions and views expressed are my own. Book description taken from Tomoson.com for purpose for this review only.

Granola, Stretch Cream and a Picture….

As all compers know, there can be times when you go through a very quiet spell with no wins at all. This has happened to me through most of July. August started off better though with a couple of Twitter wins, a facebook win and a WEM (winning email – these are very rare and when you receive one you will be jumping up in the air!).
The picture below shows some lovely packs of granola that I won on Twitter with @lizisgranola The pink apple and cinnamon one is amazing! It’s very crunchy, with soft apple pieces and just enough cinnamon without it being overbearing. I have been taking it to work to have for breakfast with a pot of yogurt drizzled over the top. Perfect for that slow release energy needed during my pregnancy.

I won the Pregnacare vitamins and stretch cream with OK Magazine and they sent me a WEM to let me know I’d won. WEM’s are very exciting and this win has just come at the right time for me. The stretch cream is very useful at the moment as I feel myself growing!
I won the lovely book Snowflake Bay by Donna Kauffman on Facebook from the author herself. It was an international giveaway and arrived with some lovely cards from Virginia. I love looking at international stamps from packages abroad so was chuffed to bits to see this one arrive all the way from Virginia, USA. When I get through my back log of book wins I am sure you will see a review up of this on my blog and Goodreads. 
           
This beautiful framed artwork I won with @StudioCanalUK on Twitter is one of my most treasured competition wins. Every now and again I love to win things for my house and this is one of those special ones that will take pride of place on my wall.
           
I love to her about other people’s competition wins so feel free to share your stories. I think it gives everyone determination to keep on entering.
Rachel xx

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Win a copy of Atonement by Ian McEwan

It’s been a while since I ran a competition due to troublesome morning sickness and extreme tiredness! So now I am feeling much better since hitting the second trimester, I want to get back to some kind of normality which is blogging and comping.
I first read this exact book over 10 years ago, and is one of my favourites, now I would like to share this beautifully written book with you. Atonement by Ian McEwan was also made into a film starring Keira Knightley and  James McAvoy. 
The story is a gracefully written English drama about two young lovers, Cecilia Tallis and Robbie Turner. Their lives are torn apart one summer’s day in 1934 when Cecilia’s jealous younger sister Briony constructs a lie and accuses Robbie of a crime he didn’t commit. This results in Robbie being placed in prison. The consequences of that day are shown over the course of six decades where Briony spends the rest of her life trying to atone for what she did.
           
You cannot cosy up with a great book without some chocolate, so I am also giving away a few little chocolates to go with Atonement.
To enter this giveaway, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. Due to postage costs this will be a UK only competition. Good Luck.
Rachel xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

There is one prize of a paperback copy of Atonement and mini chocolates as shown in the image above – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 14 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 
Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

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