Interview with Jennifer (The Healer’s Secret)

Thank you for this wonderful interview with Jennifer from The Healer’s Secret, Annette!

A Chat with Annette

The Healer's Secret_kindle coverI’m very happy to welcome a guest from Italy today to chat with me on my sofa. I met Jennifer in a book called “The Healer’s Secret” written by Helen Pryke and her story is filled with loss and heartache. Nevertheless, the lady sitting next to me is looking quite happy. Welcome Jennifer!

Hi Annette, thanks for having me.

Would you like some coffee?

She laughs.
Do you really need to ask that?

No, not really.
Jennifer, you have been incredibly honest when you told your story and I can only marvel at the things you have gone through. For those who know nothing about it, you were born in the UK and then moved over to Italy to spend some time with your mother’s relatives. Tell me, when you first met your Italian relations, were they family to you immediately or rather strangers who grew into family…

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Book review: The Healer’s Secret by Helen Pryke

It was lovely to find this review for The Healer’s Secret from Shuffle Bookbox!

Shuffle Bookbox

Published: 15/11/2017
Publisher: Pink Quill Books
207 pages
Format: Kindle

Jennifer’s life isn’t going as she planned. Fired from her job and on the brink of divorce at thirty-one, her only salvation lies at the bottom of a wine bottle. When her mother insists she get away from everything, she reluctantly agrees to explore her Italian roots in Tuscany.

Staying in her family’s centuries-old cottage, she becomes embroiled in a mysterious tragedy involving her great-grandmother no-one wants to talk about. As she delves further into her ancestors’ history, she discovers there is more to her heritage than meets the eye.

Ghosts from the past could give Jennifer something she thought she’d never have: a future. But that depends on whether she can resist temptation and avoid slipping back into her old ways.

Will she be able to conquer her inner demons and discover the healer’s secret?

51iR7em1KnL.jpg The Healer’s Secret, the book…

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7 Minutes in Heaven by Tracey Ward

Pink quill books pick_jpeg

My review for 7 Minutes in Heaven by Tracey Ward, 5/5 stars.

It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).


I’m falling.
I’ve done that a lot this year. I’ve fallen for lies. Fallen in love. Now I’m falling through the water in the lake like I’ve done so often before, but this time is different. This time is going to be my last time.
For everything.
My last breath is rising in a rush of bubbles that hurry to the surface like champagne escaping a bottle. My last sight is the sun watching watery overhead. My last touch is the liquid running through my fingers like silk. Like time. Like every ethereal and untouchable thing in the world. Like laughter. 
And my last thought… my last thought is of him. Of Kyle. I’ll miss him. I hope he’ll miss me. 
It’s a strange hope to have for the guy who just murdered me.
They say that when you die, your brain stays active for seven minutes.
Well, my name is Grace Murray, and these are my minutes…

I loved the idea of this book when I read the blurb, and bought it straight away. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed!

It starts with Grace Murray who is drowning, and has 7 minutes to relive her life. The story then goes back to the day she met Kyle, a new boy in town. There is an instant attraction and they are soon inseparable. This is not your usual YA, boy meets girl, unrequited love, however. The author has created great characters (I particularly loved Ashley, Grace’s autistic sister) and a great story line.

I did begin to wonder where the ‘7 minutes’ came in – when I found out, the book really took off for me. Grace relives the same moments with a strange feeling of déjà vu, until she works out what’s happening to her. The story could have become bogged down here, but instead the author cleverly twists each repeat so you find out something new every time. Even when Grace finally discovers what really happened to her, that’s not the end of the story.

This book is a real page-turner, and has a satisfying ending. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’ll definitely be looking out for more of her books!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Walls of Silence

I love this review for Walls of Silence, it’s lovely to hear when someone is pleasantly surprised by your book. If you’re interested in reading them, both Walls of Silence and The Healer’s Secret are on a Kindle Countdown deal this week!

Karen's Book Buzz Blog

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 15.10.18Genre: Women’s Fiction


Living in the mountains of Sicily, Maria has the perfect childhood until the tragic accident that changes her life forever. The events that follow will take her away from her home town to the streets of Milan, in an ever-increasing spiral of abuse and deception. Will she ever be able to trust anyone ever again? Set in turbulent 1960s Italy, Walls of Silence is the story of a girl who must find the courage and strength to survive her family’s betrayal and the prejudices of her country.

Karen’s Book Buzz Review

I was gifted this book by the author some time ago as part of a prize I won through the Readers Review Room.

I was never sure I wanted to read a story of abuse, so it was put to the back of the shelf, so to speak. I kept seeing the cover each time…

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Sicily in the Sixties – Helen Pryke

Comment on the original post for a chance to win an ebook copy of Walls of Silence!

Katy's Writing Coffee Shop



I’m so pleased to be joined by Helen Pryke this evening to talk about Sicily. As I’m reading her other book The Healer’s Secret at the moment I know I’ll love this one too.

There’s a chance to win a copy of this book so read on!

IMG_6748Living in the mountains of Sicily, Maria has the perfect childhood until the tragic accident that changes her life forever. The events that follow will take her away from her home town to the streets of Milan, in an ever-increasing spiral of abuse and deception. Will she ever be able to trust anyone ever again? Set in turbulent 1960s Italy, Walls of Silence is the story of a girl who must find the courage and strength to survive her family’s betrayal and the prejudices of her country.

You can buy the book here:

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North Sea Shells by C J Richardson

My review for North Sea Shells by C J Richardson, 5/5 stars.

This is a beautifully written book set in the First World War. It is a story of lost love and tragedy, but also of personal growth and emancipation – not only for women, but also for the protagonist, Martha.

The book draws you in from the beginning, as the story gently unfolds and the characters are introduced. It’s interesting to see how they deal with their new way of life, as men go off to war and women take over their jobs in the factories – something unheard of before this time.

The author has created a story that takes you back to a period of history that isn’t covered enough, and has done an excellent job in bringing it to life and making you feel as though you’re living through it. Highly recommend.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Virtual Italy Book Festival – Day 1

This is a week-long event featuring great books set all around Italy! I look forward to reading Katy’s articles and finding new books to add to my tbr list!

Katy's Writing Coffee Shop




Welcome to the online festival! This is going to be a week of posts about Italy and books. Please feel free to share your hints and tips on what to read, what to eat, travel stories and places to go.


I’m really excited about the authors who’ll be coming along today to talk about Venice and their books which are set there.

Like many people I fell in love with Venice when I was a student, backpacking around Europe.

In 1996 I spent a few weeks from Feb-April in a little house behind the Fenice opera house.

To be fair it wasn’t quite as picturesque as it sounds – it was the year the opera house burned down and the canal that ran behind our house had been drained (as they are every ten years or so) for restoration.

But we’d…

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Broken and Damaged Love by T L Clark

My review for Broken and Damaged Love by T L Clark, 4/5 stars

I love the informal writing style in this book, and the way the author directly addresses the reader occasionally. There is a trigger warning at the beginning, and again the author tells you can skip the chapter where she goes into detail about the abuse. I would suggest you read it, though, to have a clearer idea about abuse and how it affects the victim.

The author also cleverly misleads you into believing that Dean is the victim at the beginning, having married Deborah, who apparently turns into the wife from hell shortly after the wedding – which relects how abusers like to portray themselves to the outside world, blaming everyone else for their actions.

Poor Tina, Deborah and Dean’s daughter, is the victim, and even when the abuse is discovered, life doesn’t get any better for her. I felt so sorry for her, and wanted to slap her ignorant mother. Unfortunately, I’m sure that this happens far too often in real life.
Frank is another outsider like Tina, and the two are destined to meet and become friends. Frank’s story is just as interesting as Tina’s, and highlights another type of abuse.

This is a thought-provoking story that shows that life can go on after abuse and become better than it was before. At the end, the author also includes links to organisations you can turn to for help if you need it.

I highly recommend that people read this book, and others like it, in order to better understand what it’s like to be abused, and how difficult it is to come out the other side. Overcoming abuse takes an inner strength that someone who has never been in an abusive situation would find hard to appreciate.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

‘Meet Your Next Favorite Author’ – Helen Pryke

I enjoyed doing this interview with Lieve Snellings…

FotoBoek Lieve Snellings

I have not enough words to describe how happy I am that I discovered Indie writers and so found my first, and second, and third… book of Helen Pryke. She really became one of my top favorite writers. Helen Pryke has a terrific pen, her words are so beautiful. The topics of her books are on domestic and child abuse. Helen’s approach is giving an intense insight into what victims of abuse emotional experience. Her women characters are real survivors and so give hope in darker days.  And that makes it a joy to open her book and in no way feeling part of it. I so much look forward to her next book.

Helen has also written a children’s book under her pen name Julia E. Clements. It is an amazing book full of dreams of Danny’s dream adventures with unicorns, a dragon and giant, with witch Stregona and…

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