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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart. A warm and uplifting rom com by Anna Bell (@AnnaBell_writes) If you need a gentle romantic comedy that will leave you with a smile, try this.

Hi all:

To prepare for the New Year (Happy New Year’s Eve, by the way) I thought you might want a fun comedy, light and fluffy, but also about change, that is something we often think about around this time of the year. So, if you like romantic comedies…

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell. Cover
The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart. A warm and uplifting rom com by Anna Bell

Description

A hilarious new romantic comedy for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Jane Costello from Anna Bell, the bestselling author of Don’t Tell the Groom.

Abi’s barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they’re a perfect match?

But there’s just one problem – or rather, ten. Abi’s not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she’s absolutely terrified of heights – not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town . . .

Completing the list is going to need all Abi’s courage – and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store . . .

My review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Bonnier Publishing for offering me a free ARC copy of this novel that I voluntarily have decided to review.

The plot of this novel fits perfectly in the category of chick lit or romantic comedy, and I could almost watch the movie in my mind’s eye as I read it. Abi , Bridget Jones’s spiritual sister, is suddenly dropped by her boyfriend of almost a year, Joseph (“the one”) and she’s desperate. She comes across his bucket list by pure chance and, clutching at straws, thinks that if she were to achieve all the items on the list (more or less) and share the pictures on Facebook, he would realise what a mistake he’d made and go back to her. Abi (and as we learn as we read, Joseph also) is not very adventurous. In fact, she’s worried about everything and scared of almost everything (especially heights). Her friend Sian, a fun character and a great contrast with Abi, doesn’t really like Joseph much, and her attitude to love is so different to Abi’s that she decides to lie to her and everybody else, and tells them that the list is her way to try and get over her break-up. On hearing that, everybody offers to help her. And, indeed, she needs all the help she can get.

The book becomes naturally organised around Abi’s adventures in trying to fulfil her bucket list, which go from pathetic to funny, passing from embarrassing. Apart from the events surrounding the ten items in the list, she’s also getting in trouble at work, at first through her own doing, and later bizarre things start to happen and she suspects that there might be foul play.

The novel is written in the first person from Abi’s point of view, and although she’s not the most insightful or reliable narrator, to begin with, and her weakness and her obsession with Joseph might make the reader cringe, eventually she does discover herself as a separate person and one capable of much more than she gives herself credit for. She is surrounded by a likeable supporting cast (and a few not so likeable when not openly bitchy) and through them, readers can appreciate that she is perhaps not the best at judging how she comes across to others. The author is also adept at giving us enough clues to allow us to make our own minds up rather than accept Abi’s biased conclusions, not an easy thing to do when the events are shown from a single perspective.

The writing is fluid and easy to read and although readers of the genre will probably guess what’s going to happen pretty much from the word go, the fine details are enjoyable, and there is a touch of intrigue to keep us interested beyond the pure romance. And for those who love romance, although we see Joseph mostly from Abi’s starry-eyed perspective and he is hardly a real person, Ben, who is almost too perfect to be true (other than by the tiny detail of having a girlfriend) is somebody easy to like and one to root for. And my bet is that you’ll like Aby by the end of the story and you’ll be wondering about the psychological benefits of bucket lists for yourself. I particularly appreciated the final words by the author who acknowledged there was a personal basis behind the seed of the novel.

In sum, a light and easy to read the novel, satisfying if you’re looking for an amusing and sweet read, with no erotica, and no shocking surprises. Great for those moments when you don’t want to test your brain and want a read that will leave you with a smile.

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1785760378/

https://www.amazon.com/Bucket-List-Mend-Broken-Heart-ebook/dp/B0196P0S5G/

https://www.amazon.com/Bucket-List-Mend-Broken-Heart/dp/B01IRUATFK/

Thanks to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for this fun book, thanks to you all for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy A somewhat idealised and nostalgic version of the life of wild horses that will enchant animal lovers.

Hi all:

This review is of a book whose author contacted me and although is not one of my usual reads (a children’s book about horses), it sounded like a special book. And here is my review.

Cover of Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy. Children's book
Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy

Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy

For hundreds of years, generations of wild mustangs have roamed large parts of the western United States. Many of these magnificent animals can live their entire lives without ever seeing a single human being. Being completely self-sufficient, they inhabit the wilderness in groups, living together peacefully and posing no threat to any of the other animals with which they share the land.

Through knowledge that has been passed down to them from their ancestors, these horses are masters of survival and know what things to fear and how to protect themselves from those dangers.

This is the story of a special horse. His life begins much the same as the other young horses in his group, but will turn out to be much different. Through no fault of his own, he is separated from everything he has come to know and thrown into an entirely different way of life. Although his world changes drastically, his adventures continue until he finds himself in the unexpected position to repay a kindness that was once shown to him.

Friendship can sometimes be found in the least likely forms, in the most difficult times.

My review:

I was given an ARC copy of this book and I voluntarily choose to review it.

I don’t read children’s books often, but I’ve become quite interested in horses recently and was curious about this book, that is a short read.

The story is not a fairytale, but it follows the life of a mustang colt from a very young age.He loses his father from a young age, later gets separated from the band of horses he lives with (that includes his mother), lives a number of adventures, including some tragic ones, returns to the band and gets separated from them again. We read of his meetings with other animals, and also with human beings.

There’s no specific time reference, although it seems to take place in the recent past (there are phones but no mention of mobiles or high technology). The horse seems to be able to roam around freely through several states, only rarely coming into contact with human beings.

The story is told in the third person, but it changes point of view (it might not be that noticeable, although I wondered if it might result confusing). I thought at first that it was third person restricted, mostly from what appears to be the point of view of the horse, but at other times it seems to be their person omniscient (as the unknown narrator talks about humans, trucks, houses, that the horse couldn’t know, whilst at other times he doesn’t know what an apple is), and there are fragments from the points of view of some of the humans he comes across, from young children to adults (some with better intentions than others).

The mustang at the centre of the story is a free and wild animal that keeps running away from humans as if responding to a call. Although not as humanised as in some other stories for children, the author attributes some human qualities to the animal (who feels ashamed, grateful, lonely…) that will make it more interesting to children and might also help discuss important subjects with them.

The ending is not only positive but also provides a new beginning and promises more adventures for our friend.

The language is not overly complicated although will require good reading skills. It manages to paint a vivid picture of the landscape and the life of a horse that would make a great reading story for younger children too.

A somewhat idealised and nostalgic version of the life of wild horses that will enchant animal lovers.

https://www.amazon.com/Meeting-Mustangs-Cathy-Kennedy-ebook/dp/B00ZQ4PAAU/

Thanks so much to the author for sending me a copy of the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano. Memory, fiction, writing and we’ll always have Paris

Hi all:

Here I bring you another review, today one by a very well known author.

Review of the Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano
The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

A writer’s notebook becomes the key that unlocks memories of a love formed and lost in 1960s Paris.

In the aftermath of Algeria’s war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case–a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie’s darkest secret.  The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master’s unsettling and intensely atmospheric style, rendered in English by acclaimed translator Mark Polizzotti (Suspended Sentences). Once again, Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“1960s Paris, a mysterious girl, a group of shady characters, danger . . . Modiano’s folklore is set out from the beginning . . . and sheer magic follows once more.” — Vogue

“The prose — elliptical, muted, eloquent — falls on the reader like an enchantment . . . No one is currently writing such beautiful tales of loss, melancholy, and remembrance.” —Independent

“Sublime . . . [A] magnificent novel that reawakens days long past, illuminating them with a dazzling light.” — Elle (France)

In the aftermath of Algeria’s war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case — a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie’s darkest secret.

The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master’s unsettling and intensely atmospheric style. Once again, Patrick Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love.

“Never before has Modiano written a novel as lyrical as this . . . Both carefully wrought and superbly fluid, sustained by pure poetry.” — Le Monde

Patrick Modiano is the author of more than twenty novels, including several bestsellers. He has won the Prix Goncourt, the Grand Prix National des Lettres, and many other honors. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. He lives in Paris.

Mark Polizzotti has translated more than forty books from the French, including Modiano’s Suspended Sentences. He is director of the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
About the Author

PATRICK MODIANO was born in 1945 in a suburb of Paris and grew up in various locations throughout France. In 1967, he published his first novel, La Place de l’étoile, to great acclaim. Since then, he has published over twenty novels—including the Goncourt Prize−winning Rue des boutiques obscures (translated as Missing Person), Dora Bruder, and Les Boulevards des ceintures(translated as Ring Roads)—as well as the memoir Un Pedigree and a children’s book, Catherine Certitude. He collaborated with Louis Malle on the screenplay for the film Lacombe Lucien. In 2014, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy cited “the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation,” calling him “a Marcel Proust of our time.”

 

MARK POLIZZOTTI has translated more than forty books from the French, including Patrick Modiano’s Suspended Sentences, and is director of the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Cover of The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano
The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

My review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Mariner Books for providing me a free ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first of Patrick Modiano’s novels I read, so I can’t comment on its similarities or differences with the rest of his oeuvre or how well it fits in with his usual concerns.

The novel, translated into English by Mark Polizzotti, is a wander through his memories and the city of Paris by Jean, a writer who fifty years ago, when he was very young, kept a black notebook where he wrote all kinds of things: streets and people’s names, references to writers he admired and events he experienced, sentences people said, rumours, he recorded information about buildings that were about to disappear, dates, visits to places, locations…

The story can be read as a mystery novel, as there are clues referring to false identities, strange men who meet in underground hotels, breaking and entering, robberies and even a serious crime is hinted at. There’s a police interrogation and suggestions of political conspiracy/terrorism, as the original events take place shortly after Algeria’s War of Independence, and a few of the characters are Moroccan and have a reputation for being secretive and dangerous. There is also Dannie, a woman a few years older than Jean, who has a central role in all the intrigues, or at least that’s how it seemed to him at the time. What did he really feel for her? Is he revisiting a love story? Although it is possible to try a conventional reading of the novel, the joy of what French theorist Roland Barthes would call a readerly approach to it, is in making up your own meaning, in accompanying Jean in his walks not only around the real Paris, but also the Paris of his memory, those moments when he feels that he can almost recapture the past, through reading his notes, and relive the moment when he was knocking at a door, or observing outside of a café. Sometimes, more than recapturing the past he feels as if he could bridge the gap of time and go back: to recover a manuscript he forgot years ago, turn off a light that could give them away, or ask questions and clarifications about events he wasn’t aware of at the time.

The narration, in first person, puts the reader firmly inside of Jean’s head, observing and trying to make sense of the same clues he has access to, although in our case without the possible benefit of having lived the real events (if there is such a thing) at the time. But he insists he did not pay enough attention to things as they were happening, and acknowledges that often we can only evaluate the importance of events and people we come across in hindsight when we can revisit them with a different perspective.

The writing is beautiful, fluid, nostalgic, understated and intriguing at times. The book is also very short and it provides a good introduction to Modiano’s writing. But this is not a novel for readers who love the conventions and familiarity provided by specific genres and who want to know what to expect when they start reading, or those who like to have a clear plot and story, and need solid characters to connect with. Here, even the protagonist, Jean, remains a cypher or a stand-in for both, the reader and the writer.

I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, although as mentioned it is not a book for everyone. But, if you love Paris, enjoy a walk down memory lane, like books that make you work and think, have an open mind and are curious about Modiano’s work, I recommend it.

Thanks to NetGalley, to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Mariner Books and the author for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview In The Shadow of David (The Secret Rebellion Book 1) by Martin Baggen (@MartinBaggen) Some things never change #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. I’m sharing some reviews I realised I’d accumulated, as I want to take a bit of time to think about the blog, but wanted to have featured most of the reviews before that, although I’ll carry on with reviews for sure.

Today I come to share one of those books that are difficult to catalogue but once you’ve read is impossible not to think and talk about it.

Cover of In the Shadow of David by Martin Baggen
In the Shadow of David by Martin Baggen

In The Shadow of David (The Secret Rebellion Book 1) by Martin Baggen

A thoroughly innovative reworking of “the greatest story ever told.”
Readers have heard tales from the life of Jesus so many times, in the Bible and a bevvy of other ancient texts, it’s a wonder that anyone has anything left to say about it. Yet nothing can stop modern authors—from Norman Mailer to Anne Rice to José Saramago to Philip Pullman—from returning to this fertile story. In Baggen’s debut, readers get yet another take on Christ’s life, yet this one feels truly original. In brief, it reimagines the familiar New Testament narrative as a sort of political thriller in which Jesus—or Yeshua, as he’s called here—is less the Son of God than a charismatic insurgent. (Think Dan Brown with more than a hint of Vince Flynn.) Working by Yeshua’s side, or sometimes behind his back, are Yohannan (John the Baptist), Yehudah (Judah), Miriam, Nicodemus, and a handful of other disciples and allies. Baggen tells his story not only through Yeshua’s eyes but also from supporting characters’ perspectives—an excellent narrative decision that lends the novel complexity and depth. Furthermore, and much to his credit, the author offers historical details that make Jesus’ story both more and less unique, noting that Jesus was just one of many messianic figures wandering Palestine; that there were other new religious movements, such as the Essenes and Gnostics, competing with early Christianity; and that many other upstarts’ lives came to an end on a cross. Perhaps the story’s only real weakness is that it sometimes pales in comparison to the original, with which it tacitly competes. The Bible’s style is striking in its austerity, simplicity, and accessibility, and Baggen’s prose, by contrast, is occasionally wordier than it should be. That said, this rookie effort stands sturdily on its own.
A Gospel retread but one that’s provocative, tense, and exciting.
KIRKUS REVIEW

In his audacious debut novel, In The Shadow Of David; The Secret Rebellion, Martin Baggen offers a thoroughly original retelling of the story of Jesus, taking the biblical “Son of God” and shrinking him down to size – the size of a man. The story, told, like the Bible, through various points of view, sweeps readers along through the now familiar series of events of Jesus’ life, his miracles explained as clever tricks achieved by mortals. The plot thickens when Jesus is arrested, leading to an explosive climax. This well-researched and exciting book – part sweeping epic, part political thriller — gives readers a fresh and provocative take on the tale of Jesus.
-Greg Mandel, author of “High Hat,” and “The Palin Prophecies: Apocalypstick Now”.

A young, rightful queen returns from exile to her homeland. Her mission is to reclaim her country from the grip of an oppressive foreign occupation. To achieve her goal, she must find a king. Her quest leads to a charismatic and gifted man who possesses the ability to help her lead a nation to freedom. But the mission comes at a cost greater than anyone can predict, and the misunderstood legacy of their secret rebellion will endure for thousands of years. A failed political movement that gave birth to a new religion.

My review.

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for offering me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

This novel will polarise readers. Because of its rewriting (or perhaps reinterpreting) the facts of the life of Jesus (or Yeshua in the book) committed Christians might find it difficult to read (if not altogether offensive). Entire episodes of the life of Christ depicted as sleights-of-hand set in order to gather support and get all Jews together under a Leader will sound irreverent at the very least.

Those readers with no particular attachment to Christian beliefs might have other issues with the novel. The story is told from many different points of view, alternating but not always in the same order, by characters whose names are sometimes very similar. Especially at first, this might be confusing, as we are not sure where we are or who is talking to us. Readers who have at least a superficial working knowledge of the Bible will come to identify many of the historical figures/characters that appear in the novel, although I personally think a cast of characters with brief information and perhaps identifying them by the names they are best known would help.

All the characters are intriguing, especially to people who might have read very different versions of them. I particularly enjoyed Myriam (Mary Magdalen), who in this version is a shaker and mover, a thinking woman, and one determined to get her people out of the Roman clutches. She’s strong, independent, determined, and takes charge of her destiny without hesitation (although there are doubts, unavoidably so).  Yeshua is difficult to reconcile with the image I have of Jesus, but that doesn’t make him any less interesting (perhaps more interesting even). The book is quite short and although there is no time spent delving deeply into each character, there is enough to whet readers’ appetites and to make us hope for more development in future instalments.

The book doesn’t provide lots of detail about the places visited and is not heavy on descriptions. On the other hand, it does a good job at portraying the politics, the economic relationships and the power struggles between the different players. It manages to give an utterly modern spin to the conflicts of the time. This is not the history of dusty respectful tomes that only list “facts” but rather, a dynamic and familiar state of affairs that will make us think.

This reimagining of the story of Jesus as a conspiracy/ploy to conquer power and move people might not fit in easily in the category of historical fiction (not enough detail, too many liberties taken, not sure about how closely the language and customs have been adapted from the originals), but as a challenge to our preconceived notions and a new way of looking at a story that perhaps we’ve never dared to question, it succeeds. And it has some pretty amazing characters too. You might like it or not, but I can assure you that if you read it, you won’t forget it in a hurry.

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-David-Secret-Rebellion-Book-ebook/dp/B01EXIDVKA/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-David-Secret-Rebellion-Book-ebook/dp/B01EXIDVKA/

Thanks so much to NetGalley and to the author of the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and like, share, comment and CLICK!

Categories
Lanzamiento Lanzamiento 'Una vez psiquiatra...' Novedades literarias Uncategorized

#Nuevolibro Una vez psiquiatra…2. El caso de los cuerpos intercambiados. Publicado el 29 de Diciembre. Solo a $0.99. Oferta especial

Hola  a todos.

Como recordaréis los que me seguís, hace tiempo que os estoy hablando de la siguiente novela en mi serie Una vez psiquiatra… , protagonizada por Mary Miller, psiquiatra y escritora que se ve envuelta en una serie de casos criminales, a veces de forma más cercana de lo que ella quisiera.

He compartido algunos fragmentos aquí, pero como por fin tengo fecha de lanzamiento (y si todo va bien debería estar disponible en unos cuantos sitios el 29 de Diciembre, y está disponible ya en preorden) pensé que compartiría otro fragmento.

 

Una vez psiquiatra... 2. El caso de los cuerpos intercambiados
Una vez psiquiatra… 2. El caso de los cuerpos intercambiados

Una vez psiquiatra… 2. El caso de los cuerpos intercambiados

Una mujer muerta de un disparo. No hay enemigos, no hay motivos, solo una historia en su ordenador sobre como intercambió cuerpos con otra mujer. La otra mujer en la historia, la dueña del cuerpo intercambiado, se pone de parto y se niega a hablar.

Cuando el agente del FBI, Dave Dean, le pide a la psiquiatra/escritora Mary Miller que les asesore, ella no sabe que El caso de los cuerpos intercambiados no es el único misterio de Port Haven. Un atropello y fuga, un robo a mano armada que terminó muy mal y cuestiones sobre tradiciones familiares, prioridades y legados entran en juego y complican las cosas. La línea que separa la realidad de la ficción es más tenue de lo que se había imaginado y el suspense está servido.

Este es el tercer libro en la serie Una vez psiquiatra y el caso plantea nuevos retos para Mary Miller. Y no todos ellos son de tipo profesional. ¿Cómo sigues adelante cuando has sobrevivido lo impensable?

El fragmento es parte del capítulo 6 de la novela. Mary acaba de leer un fichero que le ha enviado Dave Dean, agente del FBI que la rescató en uno de los casos anteriores, después de lo cual a Mary le ofrecieron que trabajara como asesora con ellos en algunos casos. El fichero está relacionado con un caso un poco especial…

Mary se había quedado mirando la pantalla del ordenador. Si lo que le había enviado Dave era una historia, se terminaba en un punto con mucho suspense. Pero, ¿por qué le habría enviado Dave una historia? Había hablado de un caso y le había dicho que necesitaba su ayuda.

Sonó el teléfono. Era Dave Dean.

—Me imaginé que ya habrías acabado de leerlo.

—Sí, tienes razón. No hace mucho.

—Y, ¿qué te parece?

—¿Que qué me parece? Una historia interesante. ¿Pero qué tiene que ver con el caso del que me estabas hablando?

—No estamos seguros, pero quizás todo.

—¿Todo? Estás siendo de lo más críptico hoy.

—Ya sabes que me gusta mantener el misterio en mi vida.

A Mary le sorprendió el evidente cambio de humor de Dave, pero decidió no comentarlo. Lo que tuviera que ser, sería.

—Pues se te está dando bien lo del misterio.

—Vale. Te contaré los hechos, brevemente. Llaman a la policía a un barrio fino en una ciudad floreciente de la Costa Oeste, no demasiado lejos de Silicon Valley, Port Haven. Los residentes de un elegante edificio de apartamentos creen haber oído un disparo. Encuentran a la propietaria del apartamento, Charlie Salter, con un disparo en el pecho. Ella murmura algo sobre cuerpos intercambiados antes de perder el sentido. Muere de camino al hospital. La policía encuentra en su ordenador el documento que acabas de leer.

—¿Y? Ha escrito una historia con ella misma como personaje.

—Bueno, sí. Eso fue lo que pensaron. Hasta que al estudiar los detalles se dieron cuenta de que hay una Maggie Williams de verdad, que su marido se llama Todd, y tiene tres hijas…

—No me lo digas. Que se llaman Samantha, Terry y Lana.

—¡Bingo! Sí, y va a tener un bebé en cualquier momento, y como de la nada ha tenido un gran éxito creando una compañía en línea sin ninguna experiencia previa y sin haber demostrado ningún talento para ese tipo de cosas antes.

—Y…

—Fueron a interrogarla y se puso de parto. Tuvo un niño la mar de sano. Madre e hijo están bien. Y después de todo eso, no habló. Ni una palabra. Y no ha dicho nada desde entonces. Oh, y lo mejor de todo es que… Descubrieron que el documento, la historia en cuestión, había originado del ordenador de Maggie.

 —Oh…

—Así que, ¿te apetece ir a Port Haven? Barnes y yo llegaremos allí mañana por la noche a más tardar.

—No me parece demasiado claro que tenga que ver con la psiquiatría.

—Bueno, eso es cierto. Pero es posible que la tal Maggie no hable porque le pase algo. Y no tienes nada que perder. Como mínimo te dará material para una buena historia. Y podremos pasar algo de tiempo juntos.

Aprovechando el lanzamiento, decidí hacer una oferta especial, y hasta finales de la primera semana de enero estará disponible a tan solo $0.99. Si os apetece, aprovechad. Aquí os dejos los enlaces:
AMAZON (e-book)   KOBO     NOOK      APPLE     SCRIBD

Y si no os habéis leído los otros dos, los podéis encontrar aquí. Y no os olvidéis de que la prequela es gratis en casi todos los sitios.

Gracias a todos por leer, y no os olvidéis de darle al me gusta, comentar, compartir y hacer CLIC!

Categories
Book launch book promo

#Newbook Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies out on 29th Dec. Special price $0.99 #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember I’ve been talking about the next book in my series Escaping Psychiatry whose main character, Mary Miller, is a psychiatrist and a writer that somehow gets involved in a number of criminal cases (sometimes more closely than she’d like). Well, now it’s finally really close. Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies is out on the 29th of December. Yeah! (I’m punching the air!)

Here a reminder and a bit of a taster.

 

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies

A woman shot dead. No enemies, no motive, only a story about how she swapped bodies with another woman found on her computer. The other woman in the story, the owner of the swapped body, goes into labour and won’t talk.

When FBI Agent Dave Dean asks psychiatrist/writer Mary Miller for her assistance, she doesn’t know that The Case of the Swapped Bodies is not the only mystery in Port Haven. A hit and run, an armed robbery gone wrong and questions about family traditions, priorities and legacies come into play and complicate matters. The line between fact and fiction is more tenuous than anybody realised and suspense is on the menu.

This is the third book in the Escaping Psychiatry series and it poses new challenges for Mary Miller. And not all the challenges are professional ones. How do you carry on when you’ve survived the unthinkable?

I’ve shared bits of the book before, and as it’s just about to be published (everything going well), I thought I’d share another sample.

Here, Mary has just read a document that Dave Dean, an FBI agent who rescued her in a previous case that ended up with the agreement that she might work as a consultant with them, has sent her. It’s about a case. I think the sample is pretty self-explanatory.

Mary was still staring at the computer screen. If what Dave had sent her was a story, it ended with quite a good cliff-hanger. But why would Dave send her a story? He had mentioned a case and said they needed her help.

Her phone rang. It was the man himself. “I thought you might have finished reading it.”

“Yes, you’re right. Not long since.”

“And what do you think?”

“What do I think? Interesting story. But what does it have to do with the case you were talking about?”

“We’re not sure, but perhaps everything.”

“Everything? You’re being cryptic today.”

“You know I like to keep a sense of mystery in my life.”

Mary wondered about Dave’s evident change of mood but decided not to question it. Whatever would be, would be.

“You’re doing well on the mystery front.”

“OK. I’ll tell you the facts, in brief. The police are called to a posh neighbourhood in an up and coming town in the West Coast, at a commutable distance from Silicon Valley—Port Haven. The residents of an upmarket apartment building think they’ve heard a shot. They find the owner of the apartment, Charlie Salter, shot in the chest. She mumbles something about ‘swapped bodies’ before she loses consciousness. She dies on the way to the hospital. The police recover the file you’ve just read from her computer.”

“So…she’d written herself into a story.”

“Well, yes. That’s what they thought. Until they checked the details and discovered that there is a real Maggie Williams with a husband called Todd, three daughters—”

“Don’t tell me. Called Samantha, Kerry and Lana.”

“Bingo! Yes, and she’s due to have a baby any minute, and suddenly she’s become quite successful, setting up an online company with no evident experience or skills in that kind of thing before.”

“And…”

“They went to interrogate her and she went into labour. She had a healthy baby boy. Mother and baby are OK. After all that, she wouldn’t talk. Not a word. And she’s hasn’t said anything since. Oh, and the best thing about it… They discovered that the file had originally come from Maggie’s computer.”

“Oh…”

“So, do you fancy going to Port Haven? Barnes and I should be there tomorrow evening at the latest.”

“It’s not that clear that it might have anything to do with psychiatry.”

“Well, that’s true. But it’s possible that she isn’t talking because there’s something the matter with her. And what do you have to lose? It’ll sure be a good story… And we’ll get to spend some time together.”

As a special offer until the end of the last week of January, it’s only $0.99.
Here are the links:
AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO    NOOK    APPLE   SCRIBD

Just in case you haven’t caught up with the other two, you can check them here. And, remember that the prequel is FREE! Ah, and Colleen Chesebro (check here) has given the prequel an award. In case you don’t believe it, here it is! And don’t forget to check the rest of the winners!

Colleen Chesbro Best Mystery or Suspense 2016 Book Award badge
Colleen Chesbro Best Mystery or Suspense 2016 Book Award

Thanks to Colleen for her award, thanks to all of you for your patience, for reading, and like, share (if you know anybody who might be interested), comment and CLICK!

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview DARKNESSRISING by Brian Moreland (@BrianMoreland) Horror, poetry and redemption

Hi all:

I’ve read a few books by Brian Moreland and loved them all but realised I hadn’t shared the review of this one. And in case you need something different, I thought today was the day. I’ve also read recently that the author’s publisher is closing down, so you might want to grab his books whilst you can.

Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland. Book cover and review
Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland

Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland

It’s all fun and games until…

Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.

My review:

I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I have read several books by Brian Moreland and loved them all.

Darkness Rising is the story of Marty, a young man with a difficult past (his father is a serial killer who killed his mother and six young women and he had to grow up suffering bullying and abuse), who has found in poetry a way to communicate his feelings and to quieten down the darkness inside. He has big plans, goals, and is in love with a young girl, Jennifer, whom he’s been teaching about poetry. Unfortunately, a gang of two young men and a young woman have chosen his favourite spot next to a lake to make snuff movies and dispose of the bodies, and he’s spotted there with terrible consequences. What happens next is only the beginning of the horror for Marty and what he becomes.

The story, like the previous novels written by Moreland I had read, is written with a great sense of suspense, and very visually. One can imagine the movie that could be made from the book (although sometimes it’s best not too, like when describing the artwork Marty’s father creates). This novel is more than a horror story, and it includes beautiful passages about art, the effects of creativity, first love, and redemption. Despite the extreme violence (and even the descriptions of the evil beings are lyrical and vividly accomplished), this is a coming of age and a young adult story, and an inspirational one too. Perhaps the moral of the story would not be to everybody’s taste, but the message is ultimately positive. Marty talks about going through purgatory and… he might have a point.

I like my horror stories to end up in a horrifying manner but couldn’t help and root for Marty, who goes a long way and works hard to be the best he can and to prove that one can fight against fate and blood.

This is not a conventional horror story but I’d recommend it to people who like beautifully written dark fiction, stories about the nature of creativity and art, and do not fear treading where others wouldn’t dare.

https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Rising-Brian-Moreland-ebook/dp/B00Y05TVUG/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkness-Rising-Brian-Moreland-ebook/dp/B00Y05TVUG/

Thanks so much to Brian Moreland for another great novel, and I hope his books find a good new home, thanks to all of you for reading, and do like, share, comment, and CLICK! And Merry Xmas!

Categories
Miscellaneous

#MerryChristmas Thank you for reading and enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

Hi, all!

Incredibly, another year has gone by and it’s Christmas again.

Árbol de Navidad de luces, centro comercial las Arenas, Barcelona
A Christmas Tree, more or less

I don’t know how your year has been. Mine has been… trying, to say the least, but hey, there’s another one around the corner. And so I wish you a fabulous time if you celebrate it. Enjoy it, don’t get stressed (it’s not an exam), and live the moment.

Belén en Plaça Sant Jaume de Barcelona
The nativity in Plaça Sant Jaume (St James’s Square) in Barcelona is a bit special this year

If you don’t celebrate it, I hope you have a quiet time and survive the upheaval as best you can. Reading always helps.

I wanted to thank you for reading, for sharing and for being around all this time and for all your support. I have a new book coming out next week, and then I hope to take a bit of time to reevaluate the blog (yes, New Year calls for that kind of thing). In the meantime, do enjoy!

Un belén en Sants
In the neighbourhood of Sants, a bit more traditional

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

Categories
book promo Book review Interviews

#Bookreview and interview THE CHRISTMAS TOWN by Donna VanLiere (@donnavanliere) A delightful story about a place we’d all like to call home

Hi all:

I know I’ve been resisting talking about Christmas related subjects, but the truth is that I’d been hiding an ace up my sleeve. A few weeks ago (it was in October) I read a book with a Christmas theme, from an author, Donna VanLiere, who writes a lot of Christmas stories. And yes, I must admit I loved it. When I got an e-mail from Justine Shaw, her publicist, reminding me of the launch of the book and offering an interview with the author, I thought I’d reserve it for an appropriate time. As the author has also been very busy touring with the book I only just got the questions back, so, right in time, here I bring you…

Review and interview The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere  A delightful story about a place we’d all like to call home

Donna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope, is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places.

Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day.

When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

Just in time for this year’s holiday season, Donna VanLiere is back with a moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places, in THE CHRISTMAS TOWN (St. Martin’s Press, Oct. 18, 2016, $16.99)

My review:

My review is based on a free advance copy from St Martin’s Press via NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion or the review content.

OK, I’m not a big fan of Christmas. There, I’ve said it. The fuss, the mad rush to buy presents, the obligation to be happy… But there are certain things about Christmas I don’t mind, like the crafts fairs that pop up everywhere, some of the songs (although not when played continuously 24/7) or the books (and movies, but, especially the movies, I prefer them around the right time of the year. Watching a Christmas movie in August is a no-no).

Despite that, I could not resist requesting this book when I read the description, as I do like stories where a community gets together and people find a true home. And I’m happy I decided to read it.

The Christmas Town is fairly short, full of surprises (well, some not so surprising, but pleasant nonetheless), and it has a big heart. You have memorable characters (some very recognisable, like the woman who insists on using British expressions nobody understands, or the tall, dark and handsome romantic hero), some unique, like Ben, the young man who works at a grocery store and wins everybody’s heart by offering them personalised messages with their shopping. You have a great setting, and a suitably seasonal story, with auctions, personal objects, songs, and social media confusing things.

The story is told from several characters’ points of view (in the third person), although the main character is Lauren Gabriel, a young woman with a difficult childhood but full of dreams and hopes, despite her disappointments. She ends up in Grandon, a charming small-town, and although there are heartaches on the way… Well, this is a Christmas story, but I won’t spoil it for you.

There is humour, characters you’d love to know in real life, complications, chance, music, miracles and family. And a great sense of community. The story also touches on some sad issues (Lauren’s difficult childhood and her relationship with her estranged parents, children’s illnesses and disabilities, financial worries) but all dealt with a light touch.

If you want a light and heart-warming read with endearing characters and a place you’d love to call home, and you don’t mind Christmas (or even if you do) I recommend it. Ah, and don’t miss Ben’s messages. Priceless!

Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Town-Donna-VanLiere-ebook/dp/B01DJ0XZ72/

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Town-Donna-VanLiere-ebook/dp/B01DJ0XZ72/

Here a bit of information about the author:

Author Donna VanLiere
Author Donna VanLiere

Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published fourteen titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Madeline Stowe) and premiered it December 2009 to stellar ratings as well. Donna’s non-seasonal novel, The Angels of Morgan Hill, has captured the same warmth as her Christmas books and continues to please loyal and new fans alike.

Donna is the recipient of a Retailer’s Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, an Audie Award for best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold Medallion Book of the Year and was recently inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence joining such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Senator John Glenn. Donna is an in-demand conference speaker having appeared at countless women’s and family events, including select Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women conferences.

Donna lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Troy, and their children, Grace, Kate and David.

Learn more at www.DonnaVanLiere.com

Interview: 

As I mentioned earlier, author Donna VanLiere agreed to answer some questions, and here they are.

Thanks very much for taking time from your busy schedule to answer a few questions. It’s an honour to have you as a guest on my blog.

You’ve written about other things too, but many of your books are seasonal, with a Christmas theme. What made you choose Christmas in particular?

Christmas is about hope and joy and the greatest story ever told. I feel like all of our stories are birthed out of the manger story. For me, it’s quite easy to develop a story around Christmas because for many people Christmas is difficult. I want each of my stories to be filled with characters who are like people you know, not cookie cutter characters. I want the reader to know that despite hard circumstances that hope is alive.

I love The Christmas Town. The setting (Grandon, a place where I’d love to live), the characters, the stories… Do you have a favourite?

I can’t choose a favorite among the Christmas stories because I love all of the characters!! My favorite book I’ve ever written is one called The Good Dream. It’s set in 1950 in East Tennessee and is about a single woman and a little boy and their journey together.

It’s difficult to choose, but Ben’s character is somebody we’d all love to meet. Can you tell us a bit more about his creation?

Ben bags groceries at the local supermarket. He is a pure, sweet soul who never meets a stranger. Several months before Christmas he decided he wanted to do something to make a difference as he bagged groceries. No one knew, not even Ben himself, how that one idea would inspire the townspeople.

Is there any specific message you’d like to send your readers?

We never really understand how important we are to someone else’s story. Our own story isn’t just about us. It’s about so many others around us. Just like in The Christmas Town you are not just a bag boy or a cashier or a waitress or a parks & recreation employee. You are an important character in someone else’s story.

Thanks so much to Donna VanLiere for answering my questions and for giving us this story that made even me (a bit of a grinch) feel more of the Christmas spirit. And thanks to you all for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

 

Categories
Miscelánea

#Feliz Navidad ¡Gracias por leer y que tengáis unas fiestas maravillosas!

Hola todos:

Pues sí, ya ha pasado otro año y aquí están las Navidades.

Árbol de Navidad de luces, centro comercial las Arenas, Barcelona
Árbol de Navidad (más o menos)

Espero que las paséis de lo mejor, en buena compañía, disfrutando y que hagáis lo que hagáis, no os estreséis. Si lo celebráis, pues muy bien, y si no, pues también.

Belén en Plaça Sant Jaume de Barcelona
El belén de la Plaça Sant Jaume en Barcelona este año es un pelín especial

Lanzo un libro la semana que viene y luego quiero tomarme un poco de tiempo para evaluar el blog, pero…

Un belén en Sants
En Sants, un poquito más tradicionales

Gracias por acompañarme, por leerme, por comentar, y por estar ahí. ¡Feliz Navidad!

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