Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story by Leah Hazard #hardpushed #leahhazard #midwife #NHS @hazard_leah

OMG what a superb and memorable book, I requested this on Netgalley as I loved This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay and after reading Hard Pushed it leaves you in no doubt just how hard the Midwife’s in hospitals work and the pressure that sits firmly on their shoulders when bringing new lives into the world.

I loved the honesty and compassion in this book, being a Midwife is a massively important role and those of us who have had children will know the true magnitude they play when you are in labour and how they work tirelessly to ensure the safe arrival of your baby with as little intervention and dramatics as possible.

I loved this book and will be recommending it to everyone as it left me in absolute awe of the brilliant work Midwife’s do and how Leah even when pushed to her upmost limits is still 100% dedicated to providing the best care and experience she possibly can for all mothers.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Leah and for continuing to help bring new lives into the world.

Book Blurb

No sleep for twenty hours. No food for ten. And a ward full of soon-to-be mothers… Welcome to the life of a midwife. 

Life on the NHS front line, working within a system at breaking point, is more extreme than you could ever imagine. From the bloody to the beautiful, from moments of utter vulnerability to remarkable displays of strength, from camaraderie to raw desperation, from heart-wrenching grief to the pure, perfect joy of a new-born baby, midwife Leah Hazard has seen it all.

Through her eyes, we meet Eleanor, whose wife is a walking miracle of modern medicine, their baby a feat of reproductive science; Crystal, pregnant at just fifteen, the precarious, flickering life within her threatening to come far too soon; Star, birthing in a room heady with essential oils and love until an enemy intrudes and Pei Hsuan, who has carried her tale of exploitation and endurance thousands of miles to somehow find herself at the open door of Leah’s ward.


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Available to pre order on Amazon


About the Author

Leah Hazard is a serving NHS midwife in Scotland. Having studied at Harvard, she left a career in television to pursue her lifelong interest in women’s health after the birth of her first daughter in 2003. She soon began working as a doula, supporting women in pregnancy and attending numerous births in homes and hospitals across the country. The birth of Leah’s second daughter in 2006 prompted Leah to make the leap into midwifery. Since qualifying, she has worked in a variety of clinical areas within the NHS maternity services, including antenatal clinics, triage units and labour wards.

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

If Only I Could Tell You is a beautiful story delivered through the voices of Audrey, Lily and Jess.

This story takes you on a heartbreaking journey of loss and anger that creates an uncrossable family rift, until Audrey finds out she has terminal cancer. This presents a final chance to heal the rift that has deepened over time and help her family find it’s way back to a happier place.

Throughout this book you are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions and the narrative makes you feel every word like it’s being written about people you know. Once I had started this book the world around me faded away and this brilliant book and it’s amazing characters captured me and took me on their journey.

A superb book that pulls on your heartstrings and leaves you grieving for everything the family have experienced.


Book Blurb

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?


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Available to purchase on Amazon


About the Author

Hannah Beckerman is an author, journalist and broadcaster. She is a regular contributor to The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, and The Sunday Express, and was the book critic on Sara Cox’s Radio 2 Show. She chairs literary events around the UK and has been a judge on numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Hannah was a TV Executive who spent fifteen years producing and commissioning documentaries about the Arts, History and Science for the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery USA before turning her hand to writing.

Hannah lives in London with her husband and their daughter.

Love the Smell of a Book’s – January Monthly Round Up

I have had a manic January, taking part in my first blog tours and cover reveals which has been really exciting and I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for offering me places to take part.

I have read and reviewed 10 brilliant books in January and been lucky enough to read some memorable books over a variety of genres, which have made me laugh, cry and read passages aloud as I have loved them so much. I have also had the privilege to speak to some lovely authors about their books.

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My 5* Read of the Month – Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews was my 5* read of the month which is due for release and the end of February, the eye catching cover won me over and I loved that it was based on a farm – click here for my full review

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Most Memorable Read of the Month – Something to Live For by Richard Roper – I love having the chance to read a book by a new author and was fascinated and intrigued by Andrew and was keen to keep reading and learn about his story – full review to follow later this week.

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Thanks to everyone for all your likes and shares, I am looking forward to reading and sharing more fantastic books throughout February.

Today I am sharing my review for Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews – @carolematthews

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I love Carole Matthews books and was really excited to receive an email about the upcoming release of this book.

The eye catching book cover won me over and I loved that it was based on a farm and I was excited to get stuck in. Happiness for Beginners is a light hearted and humorous read that took me on a journey away from the bleak winter weather. From the first page this book pulled me in and didn’t let go until the very last page.

A fantastic story about the lovely Hope Farm with some brilliantly quirky animals and the lovely Molly who wants to help children who don’t necessarily sit within the normal behavioural constraints and rules of school.

I loved this book and whilst reading it I became more and more emotionally invested in Molly, I love a book that triggers my emotions and makes me relate to the characters on an emotional level.


Book Blurb

Molly Baker is living her best life.

Thirty-eight years old, she lives on the twenty-five-acre Hope Farm in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by (mostly) four-legged friends and rolling hills. There’s Anthony the anti-social sheep, Tina Turner the alpaca with attitude, and the definitely-not-miniature pig, Teacup.

Molly runs the farm as an alternative school for kids who haven’t thrived in mainstream education. It’s full on, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. So when the well-groomed Shelby Dacre turns up at Hope Farm asking to enrol his son Lucas, Molly isn’t fazed.

But Lucas is distant and soon Molly realises he might be more of a handful than she anticipated. And then there’s the added problem that his dad is distractingly handsome. Molly has her beloved farm to think of – could letting Lucas and Shelby in be a terrible mistake, or the start of something wonderful?


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Available to preorder on Amazon


About the Author


Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of thirty-two novels, including the Top Ten bestsellers Let’s Meet on Platform 8, A Whiff of Scandal, For Better, For Worse, A Minor Indiscretion, With or Without You, The Cake Shop in the Garden, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses, A Cottage by the Sea, The Chocolate Lovers’ Club, The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas, The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding, Million Love Songs and her current novel, Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights. Carole has also been awarded the RNA Outstanding Achievement Award. Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world.

For all the latest news from Carole, visit www.carolematthews.com, follow Carole on Twitter and Instagram  or join the thousands of readers who have become Carole’s friend on Facebook .

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

What a treat this beautiful book was, I love bookpost and this book came with it’s own pack of tissues to see me through the highs and lows of the lives of Stephanie & Jamie.

The Day We Met is a brilliant story about Stephanie & Jamie who meet when Stephanie’s family arrange a getaway for her after a difficult few months.

I absolutely loved this book, it draws you in and you just want to keep reading and letting the world pass you by, whilst you see how fate keeps intervening to make sure Stephanie & Jamie keep being drawn back together.

This story is written over a ten year period and see’s both Stephanie & Jamie go through massive changes in their lives in the search of true happiness.

By the time I reached the end of this book, I had experienced every emotion that you feel in a relationship, the highs and the lows and everything inbetween. My heart was broken by the final page and I was left feeling physically bereft as I had become so emotionally invested in the characters.

A massive 5 stars and I look forward to the success of this book in 2019!


Book Blurb

Stephanie and Jamie are meant to be. The problem is they’re both with other people…

Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.

Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?

When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…

Ten years. Two people. One epic love story.


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Available to preorder on Amazon, due for release February 2019


About the Author

Roxie was born and raised in Middlesbrough.

After studying Classics at Newcastle University, she realised she needed a break from studying Latin, Ancient Greek and all that serious stuff, so naturally, she became a dancer in a nightclub (à la Coyote Ugly) for a few years before going to live in Australia. Upon returning to the UK she became a criminal barrister for 7 years.

It was after constantly being told “Oh! You don’t look like a barrister!” that the idea for her debut novel was born.

Roxie lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East. She’s a bit (lot) obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big as possible, and wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

You can follow her on Twitter/Instagram @toodletinkbaby She’s also on Facebook as Roxie Cooper.

Day 24 Christmas Eve! Today Daisy is reviewing The Polar Express by Chris Val Allsburg

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Christmas eve has always been one of my favourite days of the year as it has an air of magic about it and has always been a day to spend with my family and friends.

Today I will be watching Christmas films and baking with Daisy so we thought we would make our final review of a firm Christmas family favourite The Polar Express.

Yesterday I read The Polar Express I have loved reading this book since I was little. This is a fun read that is full of magic with a boy who goes on the train to visit Santa in the North Pole and receives the first Christmas present of the year. The boy then loses the present that he has been given but when he gets up the next morning it is waiting under the tree for him with a letter.

I love this book, it has really good illustrations and is written and drawn by the author. I recommend this book for all ages as is still just as much fun to read now I am older as when I used to read it with Mum or Dad when I was little.

Book Blurb

Late on Christmas Eve a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express, bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer’s harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.

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Available to purchase on Amazon

Finally we would like to thank everyone who has been reading and sharing our Festive Reads thread and wish them a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019, watch out for more reviews in the new year! Love Kel & Daisy x

Day 23 – It’s a Wonderful Night by Jaimie Admans

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I have seen this been recommended on twitter so I got myself a copy and snuggled down to have a read! This is my first book by Jaimie Admans and now I wonder what wonderful books I have been missing out on as this book was superb!

This is a fantastic story that makes you laugh, cry and reflect on how important those around you are and if you really do know how they are. A brilliant story that is really current covering mental health, whilst reiterating the importance of family and friends and having people you trust and can talk too.

I was instantly swept along in this magical story and just kept reading as I was so lost in the story of Georgia and Leo I had no idea what was going on around me. This is easily in my top 5 festive reads that I have already read for this year and would highly recommend it as it is a story full of festive cheer and the sense of belonging.


Book Blurb

One night will change their lives forever…

Georgia Bailey is closing up her little charity shop in Oakbarrow when she gets a mysterious late night call from a stranger, threatening to jump off the town’s bridge.

Something about the man’s voice is faintly familiar but all she can do is stay on the line and after talking for hours, losing sense of time passing, coax him back from the edge.

The next morning, Georgia walks to work, buys a festive latte from Leo (who she’s had a crush on for months!) at the local coffee shop, and is shocked when she suddenly recognizes the voice from last night…

A heartwarming festive love story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, hope is always just around the corner!

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Available to purchase on Amazon


About the Author

JAIMIE ADMANS is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots. She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

Jaimie loves to hear from readers, you can visit her website at http://www.jaimieadmans.com or connect on Twitter @be_the_spark.

Children’s Festive Read – The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

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The review for Christmasaurus is bought to you today by Daisy, she read this book last year and loved it so much she has gifted this festive book to her cousins for Christmas this year.

I loved this book it was really fun to read but sad in places about a lonely dinosaur and a lonely disabled boy who met on Christmas eve. I didn’t like the bully Brenda in this story and she made me sad for William as she was so mean and I hate bullies.

I found this book magical and memorable it was a fun adventure with lots of silliness and fun words that made me feel really Christmassy.

I was lucky enough to have the musical edition and love the soundtrack that goes with the book, it is a book that will cheer you up as it is full of fun and music and Christmas with brilliant illustrations of William and the dinosaur that I loved. My friend is reading the book at the moment and she loves the illustrations and we have been talking about it at school.

I am really excited to hear that Tom Fletcher is writing another book and I will definitely read it next year when it comes out.

Book Blurb

The Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur, the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible . . .

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Available to purchase from Amazon


About the Author

Tom Fletcher is one of the UK’s bestselling authors for children. He is the creator of The Christmasaurus, which was the biggest debut middle-grade novel of 2016, as well as being one half of the duo behind the Dinosaur That Pooped picture book series, which has sold over a million copies. Tom is also a musician, Guinness World Record holder and vlogger. His YouTube channel has had almost 100 million video views and 630 thousand subscribers. Tom’s books have been translated into thirty-one languages and his most recent is called There’s A Dragon in Your Book.



Day 20 – Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn

What a beautiful story! I picked up this book as loved the sound of a Christmas theme and I love the northern lights and this book did not disappoint.

It was a beautiful story of the lovely Frankie, who the morning of her wedding decides she needs to take ownership of her life and do what she wants to do. A story about relationships, finding happiness and having the confidence to follow your heart.

I was enthralled once I picked it up and did not put it back down until I had finished the story of how Frankie embarks on a quest to find happiness and write her own destiny.

This wonderful story is firmly in my Top 5 festive reads that I have read in the lead up to Christmas this year!

Book Blurb

‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind – find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date – the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice…play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

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Available to purchase on Amazon

About the Author

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Day 18 – Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

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OMG I picked up this book and lost myself entirely into the world of Lizzy and did not want to stop reading. This is a story that will ring true with so many Mum’s who are trying to juggle everything, especially at this time of year when there are even more balls to keep in the air than normal.

I loved the descriptions in this book and instantly loved how cosy Pepperpot Cottage comes across and how this was then compared to the Beach Hut. I have always lived by the beach and can relate to the sea air clearing your head and emptying your thoughts. I loved curling up with this book and could feel myself feeling more festive as I kept reading.

A brilliant book that I highly recommend, it is full of festive cheer and is a heart warming feel good read that will leave you feeling all fuzzy and you may even shed a tear or two.

Book Blurb

Everyone adores Christmas . . .

Especially Lizzy Kingham. But this year, she is feeling unloved and under-appreciated by her family. The present-buying, decorating and food shopping have all been left to her. So she wonders … what would happen if she ran away and left them to it?

Lizzy heads to her favourite place: a beach hut on the golden sands of Everdene. There she meets an unlikely collection of new friends, all running away from something. But the spirit of Christmas gets under Lizzy’s skin: soon the fairy lights are twinkling and the scent of mulled wine mingles with the sea air.

Back at Pepperpot Cottage, her family are desperate to find her. For Christmas isn’t Christmas without Lizzy. Can they track her down in time and convince her she means the world to them, every day of the year?

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Available to purchase on Amazon


About the Author

Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for THE ARCHERS, HEARTBEAT and HOLBY CITY amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD for A NIGHT ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon.

Find out more at http://www.veronicahenry.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @veronica_henry