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

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!

Posted in Blog Tour, Non Fiction

If you fancy something to make you smile on this wet and miserable Thursday morning, pick up a copy of The Becket List by Henry Becket

In a year where we all need a bit of distraction, this is a book that will make you laugh and very accurately sum of some of the things in life that really get on your nerves!

My Review

A book full of Henry Becket’s first world problems in a handy A-Z layout. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up although the blurb sounded hilarious. What I found under the cover was a funny A-Z with a mix of one liners, short and sweet paragraphs and longer explanations.

I loved the short and sweet paragraphs the most and had many laugh out loud moments as I read and some that I shared with those around me as I knew they would tickle them as well. I flew through this book quickly and loved how easy it was to pick up and put down due to its layout and great entertainment factor. This is a book that you can just pick up and read a couple of entries and then put back down again.

A funny read that I enjoyed, a great purchase as a Christmas present for the slightly grumpier or difficult to buy for man in your life.

Book Blurb

What’s on your Becket List? What really grates on you? What gets you ranting at the television?

Henry Becket decided to compile a list of things that could be put right/restored/replaced to help rid the world of unrighteous anger. A list of things that make him (and he suspects many, many others) angry. Turns out there’s so much to be angry about!

This is a hilarious, witty guide that will find a good home in many a downstairs loo library. It’s the ultimate gift for the grumpy git in your life.

It’s also a wonderful form of escapism from what might be perceived as the REAL issues of the day. After all, there’s nothing like a pandemic to make you realise you miss not being able to complain about the price of a packet of crisps in a pub, or about the wobbly table leg in a restaurant… ah, those were the days!

An A to Z of First World Problems is… just that. The Becket List is a not entirely serious compendium of ‘First World Problems’ – the sort of stuff that drives us round the bend on a daily basis.

How is it that atonal music, bus stations, cling-film and coat-hangers can b*gger us up so comprehensively? Or passport control people, Chuggers, email strings, fake candles, loud eating, predictive text, or just about anything you’ll find in a typical hotel bedroom?

Embracing both the inanimate – from allen keys to rawlplugs – and the animated (well, in some cases) – from your fellow-travellers to every third-rate waiter who ever walked the earth – this book is essential for your sanity. As such, this comprehensive A to Z provides a signal service to humanity.

A collection of entries about many of the things in life that, whilst essentially trivial, day after day contrive to p*ss you off. In the greater scheme of things they don’t matter a damn, but in the context of advanced civilisation they take on a huge significance. The book is a both an important resource for future social historians and a call to action. It’s also, mostly, really rather silly.

Available to purchase on Kindle or Hardback

Meet Henry Becket

Henry Becket was one of that curious breed, a Choral Exhibitioner at Cambridge, where he read… books. And magazines. He then spent decades nurturing what a head hunter once described as an iffy CV – as a Westminster speechwriter, lobbyist, wine merchant, copywriter, ad agency supremo (industry-speak for MD), and writer/director of innumerable eminently forgettable TV commercials in an awful lot of languages. He is lucky enough to have an impressively large family, and is also pretty obsessed with sailing, skiing, claret, churches and hillwalking, among other things. Oh, and the foibles of the world around him. Obvs.

Many thanks to Helen @literallyPR for the invitation to join the blog tour and help spread the book love!

Please remember to like and share to help more people discover new authors.

Have a great day!

Kel x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!

Posted in Blog Tour, Non Fiction

Today I am joining the Bookstagram tour for Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes #feasibleplanet #lovebookstour @ken_kroes @lovebookstours

Today I am joining the bookstagram tour for Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes, a book highlighting concerns about the sustainability of our planet.

My Review

This is a book written around a number of talk points to help to make us more knowledgeable about sustainable living.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter about Getting Around as this covers the differences between Petrol v Hybrid v Electric cars. It discusses the the pros and cons of second hand cars compared to brand new cars and considerations to think about prior to purchase. It is informative and gives stats as well as explanations to help people grow in their understanding of how they can contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.

This is a book that educates people who have no idea what sustainable living involves whilst offering information to help increase knowledge to those who have an interest but are looking for further ideas through the subjects that it covers. I loved the style in which it was written as the format is clear and the language is designed to be understandable. I found the stays interesting as I was reading as it helped me with the perspective and turned it into just more than theory for some of the chapters.

A recommended read to help everyone acknowledge where they can make a difference and help create a more sustainable lifestyle.

Book Blurb

Are we doing enough?

Are you concerned about the state of our planet and hope that governments and corporations will find a sustainable way for us to live? If you do not think about it too hard, that may work, but will it? Left on their own, with drivers of popularity and profits, I am not too convinced that it will.

The missing part of this equation is you and me. Individuals who believe that corporations and governments can do better. Individuals who believe that through action, we can buy a bit more time to develop and implement solutions to our critical issues.

Did I hear a groan out there when you read the word ‘actions’? Do not worry! Most of the actions that I am referring to will not only help save the planet, but will benefit you right away through saving money, time, better health, and having a happier life in general.

Sustainability goes beyond controlling our consumption and pollution. There are key social, political, and economic areas that need to be addressed as well, and there are several steps that individuals can take to help in these areas.

For those of you who feel we could do more, this book is for you and is loaded with actionable activities, the reasons for doing them, and explores why we are not doing them already.

Every journey starts with a first step. Hopefully, this book will lead to those first sustainable steps and that will change the world.

Feasible Planet (2)

Available to purchase here

About the Author

ken_kroes (2)

Ken Kroes is the author of the Percipience Eco-Fiction Series and the non-fiction books, Feasible Planet and Feasible Living. He is passionate about our relationship with our planet and applies his diverse background which includes agriculture, mechanical engineering and information systems into his writing. Born in Calgary, Canada he has bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has had the pleasure of living in many locations in North America and has travelled extensively.

He can be reached at Ken@feasibleplanet.com

lbg book promo (1)2054964439191789902..jpg

Many thanks to Love Books Tours for the invitation to take part and read this book, please remember to like and share to spread the book love!

Posted in Blog Tour, Non Fiction, Younger Readers Age 9-12

#Review Today we are really excited to be joining the blog blitz for Creative Writing Skills by Lexi Rees #CreativeWritingSkills #BackaBlogger #BlogBlitz @rararesources @lexi_rees

Creative writing skills

Today I am teaming up with Daisy and we are joining the blog blitz to share our review for Creative Writing Skills by Lexi Rees.

I love the brightly coloured book cover and have had great fun completing some of the activities alongside Daisy, I found the tasks fun and interactive and we have completed different exercises and shared ideas with each other. The book has great images throughout to help make it fun for younger children whilst the exercises are also relevant for the older age range that this booked is aimed at. It is a really visual book with clear fonts and fab chapter banners, I also liked the space left for the activities to be completed to allow us to really get stuck in.

 

Daisy’s Review

 

Screenshot 2019-10-06 at 19.06.10

Last year I read Eternal Seas by this author and was really happy to help with looking at this book as I love to write stories. The book cover is really creative and cool, I found the book really interesting and it is easy to read with good illustrations.

My favourite sections were Character Profiles and Story Sparks. If you want to write a story you need a main character and this helped me create a character who can take the lead in my story, I enjoyed thinking about the likes, dislike and hobbies the characters might have.  The activities also helped my creative thinking, exploring ideas for different stories on paper.

I am looking forward to using this book when I write stories as it is full of great tips. I have found it really helpful, I particularly liked where we could write a story about my teacher being an alien, this helps you think more creatively whilst being fun.

A good author for both creating stories to read and sharing ideas to help her readers write their own stories.

Overall Thoughts

I think it is safe to say that both myself and Daisy have loved reading this book and working through some of the activities, we will definitely be keeping this one on the bookshelf so that we can work through the remaining activities and use it for inspiration and story building in the future.

 

Book Blurb

Discover the secrets to becoming an amazing author

  • Find your creative spark
  • Grow your skills and confidence
  • Have more fun with your writing

Packed with top tips, this awesome workbook has everything you need to know about creating colourful characters, perfect plots, dynamite dialogue, and lots more …

 

Creative Writing Front Cover

Available to purchase on Amazon UK / US

 

About the Author

Lorraine-16

Lexi Rees writes action packed adventures for children. As well as the Creative Writing Skills workbook, the first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award. The sequel, Wild Sky, will be published in November.

When not writing, she’s usually covered in straw or glitter, and frequently both.

She also runs a free club for kids designed to encourage a love of reading and writing which you can check out here https://lexirees.co.uk/kidsclub/

 

Social Media Links

Website https://lexirees.co.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LexiAuthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/lexi_rees

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lexi.rees/

 

Win 2 copies of Creative Writing Skills 

Choice of paperback or pdf for UK winners and pdf for international winners.

https://kingsumo.com/g/gw6isv/creative-writing-skills-workbook

 

Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite for Daisy and myself to take part in the blog tour, please remember to like and share! 

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*, Non Fiction

The Unmumsy Mum

The blurb….

The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing. The lessons she’s learnt while grappling with two small boys – from birth to teething, 3am night feeds to toddler tantrums, soft play to toilet training – will have you roaring with laughter and taking great comfort in the fact that it’s definitely not just you.

My 5* Review

I absolutely loved this book, I have been following her blog for a while and this has been in the pile to read for a long time and I decided it was time to actually sit down and read it.

I love the candid way in which this was written, there were no punches pulled and it was a very honest account of a life as a Mum of two young children. During this book she made me reflect to when my daughter was younger, laugh and I mean laugh out loud so people around you look up and also feel the judgement that we all feel we are facing as Mum’s even though this is probably not the case.

I would highly recommend this book to any Mum out there who thinks she just isn’t good enough as this will give you the uplift you need to fight another day. I would also recommend this to anyone who is looking to have children as this is the most honest reflection I have ever read on parenting.

Although this is not a handbook to parenting and never claims to be, it gives you an amazing and refreshingly honest insight into a day with tiny people both the highs and the lows and also demonstrates that no matter how bad the day has been the love for your children always wins through.