An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together? For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone. After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother's intent, he discovers Kathleen. Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?
June happily resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Sodapop. They have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic exerciser and an accomplished cook. She and her husband enjoy hiking with Sodapop, traveling, scuba diving, trying new restaurants, concerts, and whatever other adventures they can find. Reading and a constant desire to learn keeps her busy too.
A trauma survivor who struggles with mental illness, June is continuously reaching for hope like the characters in her books. She openly discusses her personal struggles on her blog, JuneConverse.com
Decide to Hope is her first novel and relies a great deal on her own experience with trauma, choices, recovery and hope. If you’d like to discuss trauma, coping and recovery,
contact her at JuneConverse.com or DecideToHope.com
~I was sent a copy in exchange for a review - all opinions are my own~
I give it - 4/5
My review - A story of about two people who aren't living their life to the fullest. Not letting go of your past and being too consumed with work.
I really enjoyed this story. It was full of love, heartache and so much more. It was a beautiful story that you could just curl up with one evening and not stop until you've finished.
Matt is an attorney, good at his job but he's a workaholic. Kathleen is reeling for some horrific events that happened to her. They have a connection that they don't know about and it's to do with Matt's mum and the letters she left him regarding him and Kathleen. She's seen something between them and hoping they will act on those feelings.
With Matt and Kathleen both being consumed by work and her past, can they move past this and finally live their life happily?
A story of two people who are dealing with different things and trying to deal with these to move on with their life and finally be happy!
A wonderful story that I think everyone will love.
Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend and William’s father, Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam connect with his own son. Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody - especially William - must discover.
By turns life-affirming, heart-wrenching and joyful, You Me Everything is a novel about one woman's fierce determination to grab hold of the family she has and never let go, and a romantic story as heady as a crisp Sancerre on a summer day.
~I was sent a copy from the publishers-all opinions are my own~
I give it - 5/5
My review - This was such a beautiful story. I told myself I wasn't going to read it till next year, since it's not out till April but, it kept calling to me and I knew I had to read it and I am so glad I did. It was such a beautiful story. I was instantly gripped from the beginning. I wanted to know what was going on with Jessica and Adam.
10 years have passed since Jessica was with Adam. Certain events brought their relationship to a stop and Adam now lives in France and runs a successful business. They also have a son together. Jess is fine with Adam and William only seeing each other now and again but, with Jess's mother telling her she wishes they would have a better relationship that a boy needs his father. So, Jess agrees to spend the summer at Adam's lodges with William so they can have the whole Summer together. Seeing Adam again brings up old feelings the good and also the bad, the hurt he caused and seeing the way he is as a father makes Jess question why she is there.
Jess has the whole summer to figure out how she's feeling and she is also hiding a big secret. There is another reason she agreed to this trip. Adam hasn't been around Jess and William for awhile. Seeing them again makes him wonder what happened between them both. He's also hiding a secret, something from their past that will change them forever.
I really enjoyed this story. I really loved the relationship between William and Jess. They had a great mother/son relationship. You can tell they adore each other so much and even though they argue, they are always there for each other. Adam doesn't have much of a relationship with William, he doesn't really know how to be a father sometime but, he's learning.
This book really gets you in the feels. It hits different topics that I'm not going to spoil obvs.
A beautiful, heartbreaking story about a family, a family who need this time together to heal old wounds and to finally come clean about their secrets. To do what's best for their family and also themselves.
Catherine has written a beautiful story that is centred around family. I really love that, that was one of the main focuses of this story. How you get to also read about their past and see what has happened and you just want to hug these characters.
Catherine Isaac was born in Liverpool, England. She studied History at the University of Liverpool, then Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University, before beginning her career as trainee reporter at the Liverpool Echo.
She rose to the position of Editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and wrote her first book, Bridesmaids, while on maternity leave, under the pseudonym Jane Costello. Her nine subsequent novels were all Sunday Times best-sellers in the UK.
You Me Everything is her first book writing as Catherine Isaac.
She lives in Liverpool with her husband Mark and three sons. In her spare time she likes to run, walk up mountains in the Lake District and win at pub quizzes, though the latter rarely happens.
You can visit Catherine’s website for more information and follow her on Twitter @CatherineIsaac_. You’ll also find Catherine on Facebook.
I am so excited to be part of the I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman blog tour!
The book is all about fandoms and music so, this blog tour each blogger will be sharing a song from IWBFT playlist and each blogger will be also picking a song that we love to add!
For Angel Rahimi life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything she loves – her friend Juliet, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band with his mates is all he ever dreamed of doing.
But dreams don’t always turn out the way you think and when Jimmy and Angel are unexpectedly thrust together, they find out how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.
A funny, wise, and heartbreakingly true coming of age novel. I Was Born for This is a stunning reflection of modern teenage life, and the power of believing in something – especially yourself.
Alice's Song -
This track is all about musical integrity, which is a big theme in I Was Born for This. Chance is lamenting the fact that the music industry is losing respect for mixtapes, and while this isn’t a specific thing that The Ark are concerned with, the boyband boys in IWBFT are absolutely concerned that they’re losing their integrity as music artists and being overtaken by corporate interests and companies just trying to make money off their worldwide fame. That’s just one of the things making Jimmy feel ill at ease in his band and his place in the world of fame…
My song -
For this I have chosen one of my all time favourite song. A Day To Remember is my favourite band. I didn't really listen to a lot of music when I was younger but, when I hit 14/15 I started listening to more rock bands and then started listening to ADTR. They are always the band I listen too for comfort, amazing band to see live and this is my favourite song from them. It is just amazing, lyrics are wonderful and I just love it!
Jay's creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with 'they lived happily ever after'. But the way her life is panning out she's not sure it will ever reach that stage.
A powerful moving gripping story which explores themes of family, loyalty and culture clash but is ultimately about hope and understanding.
I have the wonderful Savita Kalhan on my blog today talking about her favourite authors! Her book The Girl in the Broken Mirror came out this week and it is absolutely brilliant! A story that has some sensitive topics, will grip you from the beginning, fantastic, beautifully written and heart-breaking. A story that had me choking up and I can't wait for everyone to read this book.
Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today, Beth! It’s so exciting to be here – and to have a new book out there in the world. The Girl in the Broken Mirror came out on Tuesday and I’m still jumping up and down with excitement!
Writing a guest post on my favourite authors is such a tough one for me! I defy anyone to have a list of top ten YA authors. So I’m going to give you a list of authors whose work I really enjoy reading, and when they have a new book out, I know I’m going to want to get my hands on it as soon as I can!
But, as with all lists like this, there is the horrible feeling that you have missed some absolute favourites (I have that feeling now, and it’s not nice!) So forgive me please, amazing writers out there, if I have by some mental blip missed you off this list.
YA books isn’t really a genre because the range of books is so vast and the readership equally vast. They are books that are read by teenagers, young adults, and adults. What YA books do
is cover every genre of writing, from contemporary to historical, from fantasy to science fiction, from crime to ghost stories. And that’s what I love about YA, and that’s why I read and write YA.
Give me your recommendations in the comments below – I’d love to hear them! Please remind me of all the other great YA authors out there – and your personal favourites too.
If your readers want to know more about me or The Girl in the Broken Mirror they can head over to my website www.savitakalhan.com, or tweet me @savitakalhan
Thank you so much for having me here, Beth!
Rose has always played by the rules now it's time to break them.
Life's easier when you stay away from other people. Rose Valentine knows that. But some people are impossible to ignore. Take Theo Lockhart. He's handsome, funny and beyond intriguing. He's a mystery; one that Rose dreams of solving.
Then one night Theo turns up on Rose's doorstep, desperate to hide out at her house. He's keeping secrets, and Rose has a million questions. Not least why did he choose to run to her?
Letting him in is definitely not in the rulebook. But Theo makes Rose long to break the rules.
After a whirlwind week of brat-pack movies, midnight snacks and non-stop chat, where do Rose and Theo go from here?
~I was sent a copy from the publishers-all opinions are my own~
I give it - 4/5
My review - What a wonderful story.
This is a book you can just pick up and read in the evening and not put it down until you've finished. You will get swept up in the story.
Rose and Theo are two different people. Rose has parents who work long hours, left to her own devices, strong minded, smart, she doesn't like to go off track or do anything that might cause trouble. Theo is mystery. He disappears, the gossip of the girls at school, good looking, and there is missing flyers out for him and people are thinking the worst.
Until, he turns up at Rose's door one night.
Why her house? Why her? Rose has so many questions and wants to know what Theo is hiding. Why did he go missing and why did her choose her?
Rose breaks some her rules letting him stay. But, she wants to figure him out. Over a several days the two form a bond. They share secrets, their dreams, what they're really feeling, how they deal with certain things and so much more.
A story of feeling lost and finally being found. A story of the unexpected. With things starting to get serious and more coming out about finding Theo they must confront what is happening and Theo needs to talk about why he ran in the first place.
A wonderful novel that you will just love and make you root for these two!
Surely fairy tales don’t happen in real life?After being jilted at the altar, high-flying journalist Sam doesn’t believe in love any more – and she certainly doesn’t believe in fairy tales! So, when she’s asked to cover the Royal Wedding, it’s the lastthing she wants to do.
And when she crashes into a ridiculously handsome stranger, Anders, later that day, things are going from bad to worse. But as the big day draws closer, Sam finds herself being swept up in the excitement – as well as swept off her feet by Anders!
But there’s something that Anders is hiding from her – and when he finally reveals his secret, might Sam just have the happy-ever-after she never thought she wanted…?
Chapter One ‘What on earth is this?’ I thrust the news agenda onto my boss’ desk.
Phil reluctantly tears his gaze away from an article he’s reading and casts a withering glance at the agenda, which assigns reporters to the key news items of the day. Normally, I look forward to getting my hands on it, to see what I’m working on, but today, it’s a different story.
‘What about it?’ He shrugs, turning his attention back to his screen. He pushes his glasses up the ridge of his nose to continue reading the article, as if I’m not actually there.
I push the news agenda closer to him, dragging his attention back to it.
‘The royal wedding?’ I tap my fingernail against the part of the agenda which shows my name next to coverage of the latest royal engagement.
‘Is this a typo?’ I ask, even though I know it’s not. If there’s one thing Phil refuses to tolerate, it’s typos. ‘Yes, the royal wedding,’ Phil states simply. ‘Is there an issue?’
I narrow my eyes at him, trying to figure out what he’s playing at, but he looks back at me with bored disinterest. If it wasn’t for the fact that he’d been my boss for the past ten years, sometimes I’d genuinely think Phil hates me, but his off-hand manner is part of the package that comes with being a news editor at a national tabloid newspaper. The tougher you appear, the more revered you become. I used to live in fear of him as a junior reporter, until a few years passed and I began to realise that underneath Phil’s gruff no-nonsense exterior lurks a secret softy who’s more likely to be worrying about how much revision his 15-year-old daughter Abby’s been putting in for her GCSEs than about what’s happening in Westminster.
‘The royal wedding? Since when do I cover the royals?’ I scoff. ‘Let alone weddings!’
‘One second.’ Phil’s phone rings and he takes the call.
I sigh. You see, royal weddings are not my thing. I’m a politics reporter. I cover Westminster, not weddings! My last piece was an interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the latest budget reform. And before that, I was covering a vote on – in the House of Commons. I write about the kind of policies that shape the country. I don’t cover weddings! Weddings aren’t news. Weddings are just lace and flowers and cake and silliness. Even royal ones.
‘Sorry, not interested.’ Phil slams the phone down into its cradle. ‘Bloody freelancer with some batshit story. How do these people get my number?’
‘Dunno,’ I mutter. ‘Anyway…’ I tap my fingernail against the agenda.
‘Needs must, Sam. Ella’s on maternity leave, so I’m leaving it with you,’ Phil sighs.
Ella’s the Daily Post’s Royal Editor. Obsessed with marriage, family life and patriotism, she’s far better cut out for the gig than I am. When the shock engagement between reality TV star Holly Greene and Prince Isaac of Norway was announced, Ella squealed so loudly that she silenced the newsroom. This story was absolutely made for a romantic like her, but she left work last week at six months pregnant. If she wasn’t already ecstatic to be having a baby, she’d be kicking herself for missing out on covering Holly and Prince Isaac’s wedding. To be fair, it has everything. A rags-to-riches tale of sweet girl-next-door type from Leeds – Holly - who rose to fame on a cheesy island survival reality TV show, with the nation embracing her down-to-earth character and surprisingly quick one liners. She took on various presenting roles until she ended up fronting The Morning People – the nation’s most-watched breakfast show. Holly’s dated a couple of other celebrities, but she’s always been coy about her love life in the press and never seemed to have a long-term boyfriend. Them bam, it emerged that she’d been swept off her feet by Prince Isaac – a gorgeous strapping Norwegian prince first in line to the throne, who she’d interviewed on TV when he’d been visiting the UK to promote his charity work. According to reports, it was pretty much love at first sight. If Holly hadn’t already had the nation hooked with her dramatic rise to fame, her engagement to a dashing prince was the perfect fairy tale ending – giving hope to every normal girl in the country that she too could come from nothing and have a happy ever after. Even I can admit that it’s a sweet story, but it’s not exactly political by any stretch of the imagination and politics is what I do. It’s my job! Plus, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of weddings. Not after mine ended three years ago when my fiancé stood me up at the altar.
‘But I don’t cover weddings,’ I whine. ‘This is just-’
‘Look, Sam,’ Phil interrupts, fixing me with a pointed look. ‘I know you like your nitty gritty Westminster stories but why not lighten up for once? Do you realise how many reporters would kill for the chance to cover the royal wedding for a national newspaper? This is the biggest story of the year. You’re one in a million right now. You should be thanking me.’
Phil rolls his eyes, when the assistant news editor, Jeremy, who’s sitting next to him, butts in.
‘Earthquake in Mexico. Seven point two on the Richter scale. Five dead,’ he says, quoting a Reuters report open on his computer screen.
‘Get the TV on,’ Phil barks and before I know it, they’re turning up the volume on the enormous TV screens that dangle from the ceiling of the newsroom and tuning into the coverage.
‘Get on that, Matt,’ Phil orders one of the news reporters who begins scrolling through coverage on Twitter, one eye on the news broadcast.
I stand there for a minute, lingering by Phil’s desk, half-watching the crumbling wreckage on TV.
‘Still here?’ Phil asks, raising an eyebrow in my direction. ‘Go and do a feature on the happy couple. Where they met. How they fell in love. A real heart-warmer.’
‘A real heart-warmer?!’
Phil shoots me a look, before looking up at the live footage of a town being reduced to rubble.
‘How close are you from getting that online, Matt?’ He says over his shoulder. ‘We don’t need much. Just a couple of pars.’
Matt’s sweating at his desk as he bashes out a few sentences in a mad rush to get the story onto our website before our rivals publish it.
‘Five minutes,’ he mutters, over a flurry of typing.
Reluctantly, Phil turns his attention back to me. I’m well aware that I’ve outstayed my welcome. I’m old news, but I don’t care! Yes, journalism is fast-paced, but that doesn’t mean my boss can just change my role to Royal Reporter over night and inform me on a sheet of paper the next day.
‘Sam, just go and do it, okay?’ Phil groans.
‘I’m not happy about this. You know how I feel about weddings,’ I add in a lower voice, hoping none of our other colleagues catch my words.
Even saying them out loud gives me that shiver-down-the-spine sinking feeling of dread and it’s been years since my fiancé – my boyfriend of five whole years – ditched me on our wedding day to run off with a bouncy American girl with the name – I kid you not – Candy Moore. That’s her actual name, even though it sounds like the kind of thing a stupid spoilt baby would cry out to its parents. Candy! More! If Ajay had gone for someone slightly less annoying, I might have been able to forgive him, but Candy Moore? I mean, seriously? Actually, who am I trying to kid, there isn’t a woman in the world he could have wrecked our wedding day for that would have made me not hate his guts or, for that matter, anything and everything associated with weddings.
~I received a copy for part of the blog tour - all opinions are my own~
I give it - 5/5
My review - With the upcoming royal wedding I urge you to read this book. I adored this book and it got me in the wedding mood. It was full of laughter, love, drama and so much more! I was instantly gripped and wanted to know more about our main character and her thoughts on weddings, what happened to her in her past and where this story was going to take her.
Sam has to cover the royal wedding. She doesn't want too, somethings happened to her and she's not a fan of weddings but, she bumps into a handsome stranger and things are changing for her. She finds herself getting caught up in the big day, the way it's going and all the things happening and all so getting swept off her feet by Anders.
But, who is Anders? What is he hiding? And when Sam finds out will she run or will she want this? Finally a happily ever after?
A wonderful story that is light-hearted, full of amazing characters, a wonderful story line to get you in the royal wedding mood!
"When the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what's left scattered among other people's broken parts."
Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she's beautiful and makes her believe it.
Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she's not sure she likes him that much - his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is.
Ellie wasn't the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered.
Now, trapped, unable to move on, she witnesses him shatter the lives of other girls again and again. Powerless and alone, Ellie tries to keep hold of happier memories, always waiting - hoping - that someone will find her.
But no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.
Happy publication day to I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter! Today, I have the author on my blog who has put a playlist together for the book.
I Stop Somewhere Playlist
* “To All of You”- Syd Matters: I’ll go into this a bit more with “Obstacles,” but while I was writing the novel, I was also playing Life is Strange. It’s an amazing game, and I definitely found myself pulling inspiration from it in subtle ways.
* “Disarm” – Smashing Pumpkins: Clearly, I am dating myself, but this song was really popular when I was in high school and I always associate it with bad things happening. Not necessarily bad things happening to me, but just a generally bad situation, and so the song felt fitting for the book, due to the sense of dread it creates for me.
* “How to Save a Life” – The Fray: While this song is about suicide, it also makes me think about how we affect people with the small things we do, and I felt like that was part of this story as well.
* “Blue” – Sarah McLachlan (covering Joni Mitchell): Again, I’m dating myself, but I loved Sarah McLachlan in high school and this song perfectly embodies that kind of bittersweet feeling I wanted to get with the novel. It’s both sad and endearing.
* “Carmen” – Paula Cole: If it’s not obvious, I was a big fan of Lilith Fair! Female singer-songwriters are really my favorites. Much of this playlist has that same vibe, and this song is one that always seems to speak to me of women overcoming tragedy and pain. I don’t even know if that’s what it’s about, but Cole’s voice is powerful and digs at you emotionally.
* “Luka” – Suzanne Vega – This was the original song about violence against women for me. I remember how much this affected me as a kid and the video was devastating. It felt necessary to include it with this novel.
* “Amber Waves” – Tori Amos – When it comes to singers who speak truth to power, you can’t look for someone better than Tori. This song is actually not about violence against women in the same way many of her songs are, but it’s about objectification. I felt strongly that Caleb and Noah were as much as a product of a culture that teaches boys girls are made to be used for their pleasure as they were inherently evil. This song gets to the heart of that culture.
* “Chandelier” – Sia: Some songs just hurt because they’re so good. This is one of them. I also love how it talks about what we hide, because I think there are elements of Gina Lynn here. She has it all, but even the perfect girl has secrets and can be broken slowly apart.
* “Doll Parts” – Hole: This one feels obvious. The entire novel is about the objectification of women and how women are violated in our culture, not just literally, but also slowly and in pieces until there’s so little left of their own identity. Sometimes it feels like women aren’t more than parts of a doll, hence the song.
* “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten: This was two-fold. As the anger builds in the playlist about how we treat women, I also wanted to hear the other side – the ways we fight back. In addition, this song kind of spoke to me personally because I felt I’d never write a book anyone wanted to read.
* “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Green Day: One of the themes that kind of falls to the side with the book, since it’s obviously about violence against women and that’s important, is the poverty of the town. I feel like much of the story is directly linked to the socioeconomic environment in which it happens.
* “Heart-Shaped Box” – Nirvana: Again, dating myself, but I loved this song as a teen and it always felt like it spoke to the things that made me angry. This was mostly a personal selection, because it just makes me mad (not in a bad way – I love this song!).
* “Name” – Goo Goo Dolls: For some reason, I always think of this song as hopeful even though it’s sad. I feel like it’s about finding a place and finding hope even in the hardest places and moments, and that’s exactly what this novel is about.
* “Dirty Old Town” – The Pogues: Along with Green Day, this was another that just got to the heart of the setting.
* “Here’s Where the Story Ends” – The Sundays: I don’t have a reason for this song. I just really like it.
* “The Trapeze Swinger” – Iron and Wine: The song is narrated by someone who’s died, looking at the people left behind and the memories they want the people to have of them, which was so closely aligned with this novel.
* “Mad World” – Gary Jules: Since this comes from Donnie Darko, I used this mostly to get myself into the right head space for the setting and tone.
* “Up the Wolves” – Mountain Goats: This song is about overcoming and fighting back, which I wanted to leave as the message in this novel. Even in the worst situations, I want to see us use our anger to bring about good, and this song riles me up and makes me want to do just that.
* “Obstacles”- Syd Matters: This song comes from Life is Strange. I wish I could write a book even 10% as good as that game. The character development, the story, the heart of it just hit me in a way that very little has in any medium. Maybe it’s this incredible song, because even if you don’t know the game, you have to admit this song does something to you! But combined with the game, it’s just hard not to feel like you need to scream your truth from the top of a mountain, and I Stop Somewhere was that truth I needed to scream.
We were so young when it all happened. Just 13-years-old, making the most of the long, hot, lazy days of summer, thinking we had the world at our feet. That was us – me, Fat Bobby, Jim and Tara – the four members of the Outsiders’ Club.
The day we found a burnt-out car in the woods was the day everything changed. Cold, hard cash in the front seat and a body in the trunk… it started out as a mystery we were desperate to solve.
Then, the Collector arrived. He knew we had found his secret. And suddenly, our summer of innocence turned into the stuff of nightmares.
Nothing would ever be the same again…