Posted in 5*, Blog Tour, Memoir / True Story, Non Fiction

Today I am joining the blog tour for one of the most powerful books I have read this year – The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley

Every so often you find a book that is heartbreaking and compelling all at the same time. The Boy Between broke my heart yet carries such an important message, it is a story that needs to be shared far and wide to help our teenagers and young adults.

My Review

When I finished this wonderful book and had tears on my cheeks, the bravery on these pages is admirable. In a lot of scenarios depression is still being such a taboo subject, this book peels back those layers and gives you a frank insight from both perspectives.

Written with honesty you can feel the anguish Josh experienced whilst in his darkest moments and feel the frustration from Mandy that she couldn’t find a way to just make it better which as parents is always our natural instinct.

I am in awe of the journey they have taken and chosen to share, highlighting that depression can be diagnosed in anyone in a multitude of situations and that help is available if you know where to go. Josh is a superb example of someone who is learning to manage living with his mental health. I have worked with many people who have depression and have seen the impact first hand of people saying how they think they should feel compared to how they really feel. I cried throughout this book as some of the battles I recognised and know how slippery that slope can be when trying to overcome illness both physical and mental especially when your saying what you think others wish to hear.

This is a book that should be read far and wide to help highlight the statistics of depression and it’s affects. It is so worrying how many teens and especially young men go undiagnosed/ treated and fall through the cracks of our health care system and fail to get the help they need. I really hope this helps highlight they are not alone and enables them to feel they can reach out for help. A harrowing yet superb read that I hope will help overcome the stigma of mental health and help others get the help they need before it is too late.

Book Blurb

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

Available to purchase here

Meet Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty three novels and six novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine  

Meet Josiah Hartley

Josiah (Josh) Hartley is 22 and lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After two stints at The University of Southampton and The University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Who Nearly Jumped carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only 3 years ago was ready to jump from the face of the earth…  

Massive thanks to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side Publicity and Promo for the invitation to join the blog tour for one of my favourite contemporary authors. I highly recommend The Boy Between for all ages as it packs such a punch and makes you really stop, think and reflect.

Thanks for visiting Love the Smell of a Book today, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Kel x

Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.

Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!

Have a great day

Kel x

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Memoir / True Story

Today I am sharing my review for Unbroken By Madeleine Black

Today is my spot on the blog tour for Unbroken by the lovely Madeleine Black, I was delighted to be able to share my review and hope that it inspires more people to grab a copy and read her memoir.

My Review

I read this book a couple of years ago after seeing it recommended on TBC and wow what a book that has stuck with me ever since. I struggled to write my review when I initially read this book and even now revisiting it, it is so hard to put into words how this book left me feeling and how brave Madeleine was to write her story.

This book oozes courage and bravery, whilst heart wrenching and at times hard to read it is compelling as it lays bare events that have taken place. It leaves no stone unturned when retelling of the brutality that took place when Madeleine was gang raped in her teens.

Once I had read the 1st few pages I literally had to keep reading and although deeply moving and heart wrenchingly descriptive it was a book I found I couldn’t put down. The message of this book is that despite everything Madeleine is a person filled with positivity and forgiveness which she shares through many platforms. Helping others in similar situations to deal with their feelings and to realise that events that take place do not define who you are as a person.

A superb and harrowing memoir that isn’t for the light hearted by carries such an important message that you choose what defines you. A book I would highly recommend reading and passing what you learn from this book onto those around you.

Book Blurb

For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented… difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand.

Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.

Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage.

Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It is the ultimate act of courage.
In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her moving and empowering story, as she discovers that our lives are not defined by what knocks us down – they are defined by how we get back up.

Available to purchase here

About the Author

The sharing of her story on The Forgiveness Project’s website in September 2014, opened many doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in.

She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share her story at conferences, events and schools.

She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who can’t find theirs yet.

She is married and lives in Glasgow with her husband, three daughters, her cat, Suki, and dog, Alfie.

For more info please see her website madeleineblack.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @madblack65

Many thanks to Random Things Tours for the invitation to join this blog tour, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Posted in Blog Tour, Memoir / True Story, Non Fiction

#Review Today I am sharing my review for The Last Landlady by Laura Thompson #memoir #TheLastLandlady #backablogger #randomthingstours @unbounders @annecater

The Last Landlady BT Poster

Today I am helping to close the blog tour for the The Last Landlady a memoir written by the Granddaughter of one of the countries first Landladies. Vi was granted her licence back in the 1950’s as a divorcee who had grown up in pubs and lost her livelihood after her father died as she had never known anything other than publican life.

This is a fascinating collection of snippets consisting of memories, facts and reflections about the history of pubs through the years and the integral role the landlord/landlady plays in the atmosphere they create.

Laura Thompson recalls her earliest memories on the afternoons/evenings spent in her Grandmothers pub and the feelings connected with these and how certain songs even now can trigger her to be right there on her stool in the back of the pub listening to the chatter through the doors.

I really enjoyed reading this memoir it reflects the relationship between Landlady and her pub and the role that pubs used to play within society. This book envoked memories from when I was a child and the smell of beer that envelopes you as you enter a pub and playing in beer gardens in the summer sun.

A glimpse back into the history of a place that was once considered an integral role in the community that no longer exists in the way we once we remembered. Local pubs continue to close on a regular basis taking away the central hub villages and communities once enjoyed.

 

Book Blurb

Laura Thompson’s grandmother Violet was one of the great landladies. Born in a London pub, she became the first woman to be given a publican’s licence in her own name and, just as pubs defined her life, she seemed in many ways to embody their essence.

Laura spent part of her childhood in Violet’s Home Counties establishment, mesmerised by her gift for cultivating the mix of cosiness and glamour that defined the pub’s atmosphere, making it a unique reflection of the national character. Her memories of this time are just as intoxicating: beer and ash on the carpets in the morning, the deepening rhythms of mirth at night, the magical brightness of glass behind the bar…

Through them Laura traces the story of the English pub, asking why it has occupied such a treasured position in our culture. But even Violet, as she grew older, recognised that places like hers were a dying breed, and Laura also considers the precarious future they face.

Part memoir, part social history, part elegy, The Last Landlady pays tribute to an extraordinary woman and the world she epitomised.

 

The Last Landlady Cover

Available to purchase here

 

About the Author

Laura Thompson Author Pic

Laura Thompson won the Somerset Maugham award with her first book, The Dogs, and wrote two books about horse racing while living in Newmarket. Her biographical study of Nancy Mitford, Life in a Cold Climate, appeared in 2003 (re-issued 2015) and was followed by a major biography of Agatha Christie. A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan was published in 2014, and 2015’s Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters was recently sold to television. She lives in Richmond.

Many thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part, thank you for taking the time to read my review – please remember to like and share

Posted in 5*, Debut Book, Memoir / True Story

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.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 15.58.26

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.

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Childhood Classic, Debut Book, Historical Fiction, Memoir / True Story, Monthly Round Up, Seasonal, Young Adult

2018 – A Small Chink out of my TBR Pile!

I have had an absolutely amazing year for reading, I have smashed my target of 100 books which I thought was optimistic when I set it and have been lucky enough to read some truly amazing and memorable reads that have stayed with me.
I have been trying to think about my Top 5-10 books for the year and it is so hard to decide and so I am still debating if I can actually condense it down into a few books that are my absolute favourites.
So far as of mid December I have read 109 books which translates to a massive 31892 pages! This is a number that will continue to increase as I am planning on some major reading sessions over the Christmas holidays as that is my favourite way to relax.
Here is a visual summary of the books I have read so far in 2018, this is a mixture of authors I have read before and loved, some cherry pop reads and some debut releases!
If you are looking for a read over the festive season I can promise that all of the books featured above are all fantastic reads with a bit of something for everyone and I am really excited to see what new releases 2019 will have to offer!