Advanced Review Copy · Books · Fiona Harper · Recommended Reads · Review Copy · Reviews

Review: The Memory Collector by Fiona Harper (@FiHarper_Author) @HQStories @HarperCollinsUK

I am delighted to share with you my review of The Memory Collector by Fiona Harper.

Thank you to Fiona Harper for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what The Memory Collector is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Heather Lucas lives her life through other people’s memories.

Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.

For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.

As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever thought possible?

~ My thoughts ~

Why am I only just discovering the delights of Fiona Harper’s writing? Fiona’s last book, The Other Us, has been sitting unread on my shelf for a year. Well that will shortly change because if it is anything like The Memory Collector, it will be brilliant!

The Memory Collector is a powerful and poignant story about mental illness, love, loss, hope and moving on.

The story starts with a young girl, her memory of a trip to the seaside and a red coat. It is a troubled memory rather than one of a nice day out and the reader instantly knows something isn’t quite right. The story then switches to the present day and we meet Heather Lucas in a situation that both Heather and the reader knows she shouldn’t be in. I just wanted to jump into the page and stop her. It’s not until we read further on, that we understand why Heather is in this situation to begin with.

In The Memory Collector, Fiona Harper explores the issue of extreme hoarding and the life-long impact that this can have not only on the hoarder themselves, but also on those around them. Fiona Harper cleverly tells Heather’s story and the impact of her mother’s hoarding over two time frames: ‘Then’ which is Heather’s childhood up until she was 16 and ‘Now’, the present day. The ‘Then’ chapters are based around a particular object which was significant in her mother’s hoarding and tells the memory which goes with it.  The ‘Now’ chapters belong to Heather and her journey of coming to terms with how her upbringing has shaped who she is today and the choices she makes. It is hard hitting at times but touching and uplifting too.

The Memory Collector is a beautiful story, sensitively told and I am so pleased I got the chance to read it. I cannot wait to explore more of Fiona Harper’s work.

~ Where to find The Memory Collector ~

The Memory Collector will be published by HQ, Harper Collins on 6th September 2018 and is available via the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Fiona Harper ~

As a child, Fiona was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven’t changed much since then, but at least she’s found a career that puts her runaway imagination to use!

Fiona HarperFiona’s first book was published in 2006 and she now has twenty-five published books under her belt. She started her career writing heartfelt but humorous romances for Mills & Boon, then went on to writing romantic comedies for Harlequin/Mira and now writes uplifting stories about love, life and relationships for HQ, part of Harper Collins. She is a previous winner of the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award, and her most recent book, The Other Us, won a Romantic Novel Award (RoNA) in 2018.

Fiona lives in London with her husband and two teenage daughters (oh, the drama in her house!), and she loves good books, good films and anything cinnamon flavoured. She also can’t help herself if a good tune comes on and she’s near a dance floor – you have been warned!

Find out more at https://fionaharper.com, follow Fiona on Twitter @FiHarper_Author  and visit her Facebook page @FionaHarperBooks

 

 

 

Books · Katherine Center · Recommended Reads · Reviews · The Riviera Woman

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @panmacmillan ~ Recommended Read ~ The Riviera Woman

I regularly share my top reads from this blog over at The Riviera Woman.The Riviera Woman

The Riviera Woman, run by Anna Fill, helps women living or working on the Riviera live life to the full with it’s inspirational people and interesting articles.

For September, I have chosen How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. You can read my review here.

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Books · Katherine Center · Recommended Reads · Review Copy · Reviews

Review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @panmacmillan

I am delighted to share with you my review of How to Walk Away by Katherine Center.

Thank you to Ellis Keene at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what How to Walk Away is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Maggie Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked so hard and so long for: her dream job, a fiancé she adores and the promise of a perfect life just around the corner. But on what should have been the happiest day of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a single catastrophic moment.

In hospital Maggie is forced to confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Charlie, wallowing in self-pity while demanding forgiveness. Then there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally there’s Iain, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Iain, who won’t let her give in to her despair, who makes her cry, but also manages to make her laugh . . .

Maggie’s new life is nothing like she expected. But could it be more than she had ever dared hope for?

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center is an uplifting story of learning to live – and love – again.

~ My thoughts ~

Wow!! What a book!! How to Walk Away is one of the best books I have read this year and it absolutely blew me away. I don’t think there is anything I can say in this review that will do it the justice it deserves but I will do my best.

Firstly, I must mention how simple yet powerful the cover is. It really does sum up how fragile life is and how it can be turned upside down in an instant. As the blurb says, Maggie has it all: a dream job, a great fiancé, the promise of the perfect future ahead. One moment completely changes the course of Maggie’s life and How to Walk Away is the story of the aftermath of this incident and how it affects Maggie, her family and her fiancé.

When starting a new book, I give it 50 pages to draw me in and make me want to keep reading. Well, How to Walk Away captivated me from the first page and I arrived so quickly at page 50 because I did not want to put it down. I could have easily read it in one sitting. Katherine Center has a style of writing which made me feel so comfortable and at ease that I was right there in the story, accompanying Maggie on her journey.

In her novel, Katherine Center explores numerous emotions including love, sadness, grief, resilience, resentment, learning to be someone new, seeing the world and those around you differently. She does this in such a way that we, as readers, do not have time to linger in the feeling of the emotion before moving onto the next one, mirroring how Maggie is feeling them.

How to Walk Away is a wonderful, life-affirming book. I finished it with a heart full of joy and hope and the biggest smile on my face.

This quote from Nina George, author of The Little Paris Bookshop, on the back cover sums it up perfectly: ‘If you read just one book this year, read How to Walk Away.

~ Where to find How to Walk Away ~

How to Walk Away was published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 9th August 2018 and is available at the following links:

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ About Katherine Center ~

New York Times best-selling writer Katherine Center writes bittersweet comic novels Katherine Centerabout how we get back up after life has knocked us down. She writes about hope, and love, and how we hold onto life’s joys, even in the midst of all its hardship.  Katherine is the author of six novels, with more on the way. Her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, was recently optioned for a movie.

Find out more at http://katherinecenter.com/, follow Katherine on Twitter @katherinecenter  and visit her Facebook page @katherinecenterfans

 

 

 

Blog Tours · Books · Linn B. Halton · Recommended Reads · Reviews · The Riviera Woman

The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton (@LinnBHalton) ~ Recommended Read ~ The Riviera Woman

I regularly share my top reads from this blog over at The Riviera Woman.The Riviera Woman

The Riviera Woman, run by Anna Fill, helps women living or working on the Riviera live life to the full with it’s inspirational people and interesting articles.

For August, I have chosen The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton. You can read my review here.

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Blog Tours · Books · Linn B. Halton · Reviews

Review & Giveaway: The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @rararesources

I am delighted to share with you my review of The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton.

Thank you to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of the tour and for arranging an e-copy of the book from Harper Impulse in return for an honest review.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what The Secrets of Villa Rosso is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

~ My thoughts ~

Have you ever been to a place where you feel so comfortable with the surroundings and the people but yet it’s the first time you’ve ever been there? This is what happens to Ellie Maddison when she visits Villa Rosso and feels a deep, familiar connection with Max. Ellie has found her soul mate in her husband Josh and so we follow Ellie on her journey as she tries to deal with the lasting effects from her trip.

This is the first book by Linn B Halton I have read and it certainly won’t be my last. Through writing which flows effortlessly, I was transported from the very first word, into Ellie’s world and the descriptions of Italy and the interior design world are devine!

I thought the structure of the story worked really well. It begins with a party for Ellie and Josh’s nineteenth wedding anniversary, where Ellie sees something unsettling. It then goes back in time and Ellie takes us on her journey from the trip to Italy, the mystery which surrounds Villa Rosso, meeting Max and to her life when she returns to England.

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is Ellie’s story so is told solely from her point of view. I connected with her in a way I have never connected with a character before. Every thought. Every feeling. I was living Ellie’s experiences with her. When I had to put the book down because real life had to happen, I was left wondering how she was. Hats off to Linn B. Halton for writing which touched me in this way. Ellie also deeply feels things and this is mirrored in the strength and depth of the writing. It oozes off of every page.

Beautifully written and with a clever storyline, The Secrets of Villa Rosso is a story which I know will stay with me for a very long time. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to escape in a page-turner this Summer.

~ Where to find The Secrets of Villa Rosso ~

Goodreads            Amazon UK          Amazon US

~ Giveaway ~

Win a signed copy of The Secrets of Villa Rosso (Open Internationally)

To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, click here.

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Please note that Sarah’s Vignettes is not responsible for this giveaway. 

~ About Linn B Halton ~

From interior designer to author, Linn – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

The Secrets of Villa Rosso - LinnLinn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Find out more and read chapter one from each of Linn & Lucy’s novels at http://linnbhalton.co.uk/, follow Linn on Twitter @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth , visit her Facebook page @LinnBHaltonAuthor and her Amazon author pages: Linn B. Halton and Lucy Coleman

~ Follow the Tour ~

The Secrets of Villa Rosso Full Tour Banner

 

Books · Liz Fenwick · Q&A · Recommended Reads

One Cornish Summer Publication Day Interview & Giveaway with Liz Fenwick (@liz_fenwick) @orionbooks

I am thrilled to welcome back Liz Fenwick and her sixth book One Cornish Summer to Sarah’s Vignettes today. I have another great interview with Liz to share with you and there are details of a fun giveaway Liz is running over on her social media pages.

I read One Cornish Summer back in March and found it beautiful and poignant (read my review here). I really hope it does well because it deserves to.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Against the beauty of Cornwall, a story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget…

When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful – Cornwall, and the house her family spent so many summers in.

Lucy is having her own crisis, and seizes the chance to follow her aunt to Cornwall. Curious about what has driven Hebe there after so many years, she also has to battle with the secret she has kept since her family’s last summer there more than ten years ago.

Both women will learn that memories live in our hearts and that sharing secrets can set you free… But can they find their way back to the things that are truly important to them?

~ Interview with Liz Fenwick ~

Welcome back to Sarah’s Vignettes, Liz!! I’m delighted to have you answering more questions about One Cornish Summer, your writing, and Cornwall. Continue reading “One Cornish Summer Publication Day Interview & Giveaway with Liz Fenwick (@liz_fenwick) @orionbooks”

Books · Cover Reveal · Rosie Green

Cover Reveal: Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café by Rosie Green (@Rosie_Green1988) @rararesources

I’m delighted to be helping Rosie Green reveal the cover for her second novella: Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café, which is due to be published on 18 June 2018.

Thank you to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to take part. Continue reading “Cover Reveal: Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café by Rosie Green (@Rosie_Green1988) @rararesources”