#BookReview for My Africa my Home by Jennifer Peacock-Smith

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My review for My Africa my Home by Jennifer Peacock-Smith, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

As a proofreader/editor, I consider myself very lucky to read so many books by indie authors. My Africa my Home by Jennifer Peacock-Smith is another gem I’ve had the privilege to work on.

I met Jennifer and her husband last year, when they stopped at my house on their way through Italy, heading back to their home in Malta. We spent a pleasant afternoon eating, drinking and chatting, as you do, and got on brilliantly. Jennifer and I have a lot in common, not least a debilitating auto-immune disease.

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Apart from that one meeting, we only know each other through various Facebook groups. So when Jennifer asked me to edit her memoir, I knew it would be a good read. What I didn’t realise is that it would be a great read! From the first pages, Jennifer had me hooked – if I hadn’t had to read it slowly due to editing, I’d have devoured it in a day!

This book, the first in the series, takes us through Jennifer’s childhood in South Africa, and all the contradictions both in the country and her own family. The country was home to top doctors, surgeons, and state of the art hospitals, but there was no TV until the early seventies. Her parents, in particular her mother, championed women’s rights, but brought up their daughters in a rigid regime with little warmth and love.

But the way Jennifer describes her childhood – her loneliness, the way she felt an outsider in her own family, her very different relationships with her brother and sister – doesn’t really come across as negative. On the contrary, you feel that her dysfunctional childhood has given this woman an incredible strength and compassionate character that has helped her deal with many things through her life.

This memoir leaves you with a deep sense of sympathy (and empathy, in my case) for this young girl who only wanted to fit in, and to have a family where she could love and be loved. Interspersed with various incidents and childhood scrapes, there are also many humorous moments! And she describes her childhood home and country so perfectly that you can almost imagine you’re there with her.

The opening scene in the prologue is one that wouldn’t be out of place in a thriller, and leaves you wondering as you are taken back in time to the beginning of Jennifer’s story. The gradual build up through the years take you to this pivotal moment in Jennifer’s life, which will have implications in the distant future too, as we find out at the end of the book.

My Africa my Home is available to preorder now for only 99c until the 12th April, and I highly recommend you take advantage of this great price! I can’t wait for the other instalments to see where Jennifer’s life will take her next.

Preorder here:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for The Birdsong Promise by Kate Frost

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My review for The Birdsong Promise by Kate Frost, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I read The Butterfly Storm a few months ago and loved it, so couldn’t wait to read The Birdsong Promise. (You can read my review here on Goodreads.) What can I say? It was even better than the first book!

Sophie and Alekos have created a new life in Greece, far away from his interfering mother, with their adorable 3-year-old daughter, Thea. Then Sophie goes back to the UK for her mum’s hen do, and finds herself thrown back into her turbulent past.

The author draws you in with her descriptions of Greece, the food, the people, the culture, so that you feel as though you are there, alongside the characters. I live in Italy, and can certain similarities between the two cultures. When Sophie mentions the mother-in-law forcing them to eat enormous quantities of food, I burst out laughing. That happens here in Italy too!

I loved the laid-back atmosphere of their creative retreat far away from noisy towns, with only birds singing to wake them up in the morning. It’s the kind of lifestyle most of us dream of having, but at least we can get a taste of it through this story and the author’s wonderful writing.

All of the people from the first book are here, together with a couple of new characters -it’s like seeing old friends after a long absence. Ben is back, creating waves of unease throughout the story, and he…well, I’ll let you find out for yourselves!

I love the style of writing, the descriptions, and the easy-flowing narrative, and hope the author writes more of these stories so we can follow Sophie and Alekos’ life in Greece. And the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

I highly recommend both the books in this series.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview of A Time for New Beginnings by Mette Barfelt

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My review for A Time for New Beginnings by Mette Barfelt, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I’ve read the first 2 books in the series, and each one gets better and better. Each book is centered around 2 characters, who turn up again in the next books. It’s like meeting old friends! This time, we follow the antics of newcomers Bettina and Preben as they deal with opening a guest house, a grumpy aunt who refuses to get out of bed, and much more.

The author’s descriptions of the fictional town of Solvik make you wish it was real, and I’d love to taste some of those pastries. Luckily, she’s included several recipes at the end, which I think I’m going to have to try some time soon!

This book deals with some tougher topics than the others, but the author has written about them in a sensitive way that doesn’t detract from the story. Her characters are always true to life – some are blustering idiots, some are plain spiteful, while others could be your best friend.

These cozy romances are a delight to read, and I look forward to the next one.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Today I’m hosting a special post about a brand new forum that will help anyone who has been or is still in an abusive situation. Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings, has been working hard on setting this forum up, and today is launch day!

I’m also pleased to announce that I’m one of the sponsors for the forum. I believe in the work Jennifer is doing, and that it will help many people in abusive situations find a secure environment where they can talk, let off steam, and interact with others who know what it’s like. I wish this forum had been around when I was going through my separation – knowing you’re not alone is so important.

Abuse Talk Sponsor Website Badge

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Up to date information on the day on virtual opening event: https://www.facebook.com/events/227612351343912/

Jennifer Gilmour

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

A bit about my journey:

My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created an community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

FORUM final

Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. Thats when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

 Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

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Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? Thats not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

Jennifer Gilmour

 

Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater

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My review for Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater, 5/5 stars.

I finished this book a few days ago, and it’s taken me this long to write a review. It’s an unusual story, and I mean that in a good way. I’ve read other books by the author, mostly horror and also his latest sci-fi one, which I loved. This one, however, is completely different!

The protagonist, Alex Kavanagh, comes across at first as a slightly OCD geek with a large chip on his shoulder. He’s a teacher, but hates teaching. He has a girlfriend, but doesn’t really want her. He starts writing physics articles for magazines but never gets round to finishing them. You don’t know whether to feel sorry for him or slap him.

But the story draws you in. As frustrating as Alex is, Drinkwater’s writing makes you keep on wanting to read and find out what happens next. Alex’s sister, Natalie the live-in friend, the family dropping in whenever they feel like it, are all so realistic, it feels like you’re living in the book with the characters. Then Jane makes an appearance and turns their lives upside down.

Jane is the twin sister of Alex’s old flame, Lucy, the love he never got over. She’s in town for 72 hours, and when she bumps into Alex by chance, she decides to make up for her sister’s treatment of him 6 years before. From this point, it becomes a story of redemption, of realisation, of finally behaving like a grown-up, and you see Alex in a different light as he struggles to become the man he’s always wanted to be.

Set in 2000, obviously, it has lots of references to the period that will make you smile as you read them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will probably re-read it at least once more to pick up some of the more subtle clues and references I missed the first time around, as I was concentrating on the story! Well written and edited, it also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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