If you’re like me, you’ll remember Tina Baker for her regular slots on TV. One of those women you automatically like, as they come across as approachable and genuine. So when I saw on Twitter that she had written a book, I was interested to read it. And wow! What a book it is!
Without giving too much away, the story is mainly seen from the viewpoints of two women – Kim and a woman we only know as Mummy. Kim is one of those women we’ve all turned our noses up in the past – the sort that swears in front of her children and smokes even when pregnant. So when one of her children is abducted, the newspapers are full of ‘SCUMMY MUMMY’ headlines and the reader is there, nodding in agreement.
So ‘Mummy’ steals the young girl. She appears to be rescuing the fine-year-old from a home that looks to be poor, rough and probably abusive. Mummy has a lovely house, she’s well-spoken, bothered about tidiness, hygiene and good nutrition. She hasn’t been able to have any children of her own and wants to be the perfect mummy to this little girl.
But over the book, things change, more is revealed about both women and you will find your feelings altering too as you read more.
It is really an incredible book. I wanted to finish it as soon as possible, because I was desperate to know what happened, yet I also didn’t want it to end, because it’s so intense, absorbing and well – bloody brilliant! I had several late nights devouring it until my eyes were blurring too much to see the words, but it is truly a page turner.
It’s hard to write a unique book these days, but Tina Baker has done that. I’ve never read a book like this and it will stay with me for a long time. I am thrilled her second novel is coming out in 2022 and I’ll be pre-ordering that!
I gave this book a very rare 10 out of 10, I can’t fault it.
HOGLETS’ CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Lynette Creswell – out August 2021
Hoglets’ Christmas Magic by Lynette Creswell is a beautiful book in every way. It tells the story of Mr and Mrs Hedgehog, their son Prickles and their daughter Primrose. It’s Christmas Eve, they are decorating the tree when they discover the star has been broken, so they have nothing to put on the top. But what can they find to replace it, when they only have the woods to look in?
Every page of this book made me smile. The characters come to life through the lovely words, and the illustrations by Doriano Strologo are superb – realistic but brightly coloured and beautifully detailed. Children will love looking at them and seeing what they can spot in the pictures. The pages without illustrations on are nicely coloured too, with little hedgehog symbols in the background of many of them.
As well as the hedgehog family, we meet a few more characters during the story – again beautifully described by the words and illustrated by the drawings. There are a couple of other woodland creatures included and, being a Christmas book, a special guest star makes an appearance too.
The story is a really heart-warming one, suitable to be read to babies and younger children, then for school-aged child to read themselves or with help from their adults. I think this is suitable for birth to around ten-year-olds, but it’s such a gorgeous story, that it’s a book adults will enjoy reading, as much as the children will enjoy hearing it.
Beth hasn’t seen her friend Flora for twelve years, but one day, she decides to do a detour to see where Flora now lives. She spies on the woman, seeing her getting out of the family car. Her children, Thomas and Emily, get out, but instead of being twelve years older than when Beth last saw them, they seem not to have aged. Beth is intrigued and sets about trying to solve the mystery of what has happened to them.
This book finally got me out of my lockdown haze in 2020, where I couldn’t concentrate on reading for more than a few pages. And it’s a great book, really clever and twisty-turny, it certainly keeps you guessing. At one point, I felt the story was going one way and I realised I would feel cheated if that was the actual story – so already I was emotionally invested and wanted a certain direction or outcome. Then it set off again in a different way and wow, what a great book.
Every house has a story. That’s one of the reasons I like photographing abandoned houses so much. The broken windows, chipped paint, and overgrown yards always make me wonder what the house was like in its glory days. So, when author Karen Louise Hollis offered me the chance to read her new novella focused on an abandoned house, I could hardly wait to dive in.
In this novella, Rebecca visits an abandoned house with her photographer friend, Max. While Max is photographing artifacts, Rebecca begins exploring the place and unexpectedly uncovers a clue about the former owners. Her encounter puts her and Max on a path to learning more about how the house came to be abandoned. As she finds out more about the former occupants, she makes some discoveries about herself along the way.
I’m so looking forward to this book, out next year by the wonderful Anita Faulkner. It sounds such a fun read with lovely, relatable characters – and who can resist a book with an orange campervan on the front cover?
You can pre-order from Amazon now and check Anita out on social media too – @anita_faulkner_ on Twitter, @anita_faulkner_writer on Instagram and Anita Faulkner Author on Facebook.
This was the 26th book I have read so far in 2021.
I had seen this book mentioned on Twitter and I loved the bright colour of the cover as well as the storyline. I’m a single mum and I love books, so I thought it was definitely worth a try!
Well, I was really impressed. Chick lit can have an unfair reputation for being light, frothy and forgettable, but that really isn’t true of the best books of the genre – and this is one of the best I have read.
I really enjoyed it, it was easy to get into and I loved the characters, who are very believable, very relatable and I was soon rooting for them. Stephanie is the main character, who is having a hard time of things after the break up of her marriage. She soon encounters Janey and later Amanda, who are all struggling with their own problems and each need good female friends, which they find in each other. It is such a lovely read, it includes deep themes like loss and divorce, but the overall tone is heart-warming and beautiful.
This was the first of her books that I have read, but once I had finished reading it, I ordered another of hers – A Summer to Remember. She has a wonderful style to her writing too. I score my books out of a perfect ten and this one earned a very impressive 9 out of 10.
I’m delving into the world of book blogging! Well, it seemed appropriate. I love books – reading them, writing them, buying them, collecting them, smelling them. Oh OK, that sounds a bit weird. But if you know what I mean, you’ve found the right blog!
I have a TBR of over 100 on my bedside tables – and those are just my URGENT ones. Oops! I may have a problem or possibly an addiction. But there are worse ones to have, right?