January wrap up

Here’s all the  fantastic books I’ve read this month

  1. soulmates by Holly Bourne .this is Estelle’s book and I’ve reviewed it here https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/book-review-soulmates-by-holly-bourne
  2. SOULMATE

2.Labor day by Joyce Maynard ,a book I won last year

labour 2

3.Still waters by Linda Kavanagh a book I won last year

still

4.Her by Harriet Lane ,I brought this with my book token my sister got me  and reviewed here https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/book-review-her-by-harriet-lane/

HER

5.Letters to the lost by Iona Grey, sent to me by simon & Schuster review to follow ….loved loved this book !!!

lettrs

6.As good as it gets by Fiona Gibson sent to review by avon https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/book-review-as-good-as-it-gets-fiona-gibson/

gets

7.The lie by C.L.Taylor sent to review by avon review to follow

the lie

8.Three amazing things about you by Jill mansell sent to review by headline https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/book-review-three-amazing-things-about-you-by-jill-mansell/

THREE

9.A place for us by Harriet evans sent to review for headline https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-place-for-us-by-harriet-evans/

a place for us

10.Can anybody help me by sinead Crowley ,purchased and reviewed https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/book-review-can-anybody-help-me-by-sinead-crowley/

help

11.The book of you by clare Kendal purchased

book of u

12. The year of taking chances by lucy diamond purchased and reviewed https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/book-review-the-year-of-taking-chances-by-lucy-diamond/

YEAR

13.The art of being normal by lisa Williamson ,this is estelles book and she loved it too . reviewed https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/book-review-the-art-of-being-normal-by-lisa-williamson/

normal

14.The a-z of you and me by James Hannah reviewed for doubleday ,review to follow

A - Z

15.The seafront tea rooms by Vanessa greene ,libray book and reviewed https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/book-review-the-seafront-tea-rooms-by-vanessa-greene/

SEAFRONT

16.Dont tell the brides to be by Anna bell reviewed for Quercus .review to follow

BRIDE TO BE

17.The book of lost and found by Lucy foley ,won this

lost and

18.Thanks for the memories by Cecilia Ahern ,purchased

memo

19.Disclaimer by Renee knight reviewed for Doubleday .review to follow

DISCLAIMER

20.stonebird by mike revel reviewed for quercus children’s ,review to follow

stone

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January happy moments

I thought it would be nice for the end of every month to write about all the moments that have made me smile .Its so easy to focus on the stress and moan etc so this is a positive post .

So January saw Estelle turn 13 and with that comes pressies party and cake .She had a amazing cake made by my sister in law ,her party was all frozen and her cousins and other family were there ..

cake

Due to the bus strikes Estelle was off school for her birthday which was quite nice and we had quality time together at bluewater and watched The theory of everything which made me cry and was so inspiring and moving .Eddie deserves every award going for that role .

theorykids s

Earlier in the month befre the kids went back to school and the routine kicked in we went to Greenwich ,I love that place.We visisted the park the museums ,waterstoes where the kids spent their mney and vouchers .We then went to nandos which has great view of the cutty sark …does anyone else dance to nanados music/?? I amd full on embrassing mum in there !

greenwichgreenwich 2greenwich 3

With the kids back at school I started back at swimming and its feeling great ,I had months of not going regularly and I can see th impact regular exercise has .

I have also done dry January for cancer research and I must admit I do feel better for it .

dry

So amongst the cold weather and a few January blue days theres been so many good days 🙂

Book review as good as it gets Fiona gibson

A warm, funny read for fans of Outnumbered and the novels of Fern Britton, Fiona writes about life as it really is.

“Midlife crisis? WHAT midlife crisis?!”

Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. Their fourteen years of marriage have been rather lovely so far, but things have been a bit odd lately.

With their stunning 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency and Will recently out of a job, Charlotte can’t help but notice that things are changing in their household.

As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on.

So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, Charlotte starts to wonder what might have been…

Firstly a huge thank you to Olivia for sending me a copy to review .I love Fionas books ive read especially as a mum ,they are hilarious and you can really relate to them..

This steers away from her usual book format even with the design ,still fab though !!

I really enjoyed this book,tbh I didn’t think there was a chance I wouldn’t .

I loved everything about this book and the charactars were great .

The dynamics and events  between charlotte and rosie were fun to read and take notes as I have a upcoming teenage daughter.  Oliie was funny and a typical boy .

Some real issues were dealt with in this book ,unemployment ,relationship worries ,parenting ,and Fiona writes about them with wit but also with such warmth.

I can realte to charlotte in many ways having a baby young and feeling a bit lost and questioning who am I?? and whats happening ..

There were several parts that really made me laugh including the ‘crisp effect’  and the shed incident …

We all have those moments when we question our lives and ask what if? But what happens when you possibly get to answer them ? Is the grass always greener …

The ending was lovely and heartwarming and made me smile .

Published 26th februray 2015

BOOK REVIEW THE SEAFRONT TEA ROOMS BY VANESSA GREENE

 The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they’ve been searching for.

Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain’s best tea rooms. She knows she’s found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the ‘Seafront’, convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind . . .

Full of romance, tea and cake, The Seafront Tea Rooms is a heart-warming tale about the strength found in true friendship.

I picked this up at the library the other day ,again another stunning cover .Vanessas book covers set the scene of the story even before you start to read …just beautiful .

I read this in one day and it was just what I needed on a day that started off with me crying and feeling quite overwhelmed with life .This book was escapism and such a honour to read ,I was quite late to reading her books after hearing so much good about them . She has another book coming out this year and will be quick to read it.

Again the book hooked me straight away ,I loved the charactars . I could really relate to kat whos a single mum and was adopted like myself .

I love books and tea especially afternoon tea so this was a few of my favourite things in one .

Through Vanessas writing you can just imagne yourself drinking tea on the sea front .

I loved it and I recommend her books to anyone who just wants to forget their worries for a little while .

BOOK REVIEW THE ART OF BEING NORMAL BY LISA WILLIAMSON

Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long …

This is estelles book that she chose with Christmas vouchers and she whizzed through it loving it and was quite emotional when she finished .

By chance I was laying on her bed and it was there and I started reading .

I was annoyed I couldn’t just finish in one go as Thursdays are my busy day so was reading bits here and there but finally finished on way home .

This book is amazing and very powerful .Its funny and deals with so many sensitive and relative issues that I think everyone not just teenagers should read this as this will open your mind and warm your heart .

It is a beautiful friendship between David  and leo and through that they help each other grow and to self identify .

This really helped me to put myself in their shoes and to understand more of how they are feeling .

A fantastic read that helps to be avoid prejudices and grow on compassion.

I look forward to more from this author and estelles has already ranked it as one of her top reads of 2015!!

grey day

Well today has been a bit meh ,delayed reaction to the blue Monday ,general January blues I don’t know .But I do know that today marks 7 years ago I left my husband the kids dad and this kind of filled me with mixed emotion. Love is complex isn’t it ? No way would I ever go back or regret my decision but I would be lying if said I didn’t have moments of sadness at what has gone .He was the love of my life and amongst all the crap which was the majority there were still happy times and he showed me something I hadn’t had for many years …love and to belong .We met very young ,settled down very young but we had hopes and dreams to give our kids what we never had .

I never dreamt or planned on being a single mum and some days its bloody exhausting and you can miss having a team ,a partnership .

I do every bed time ,every meal time ,pay every bill ….everything and especially with a autistic child it can be draining .

Tonight for example I wanted a early night so of course lynx wouldn’t settle .They both stall their bedtimes so my ME time is vanishing in a evening which is why I have to have it when they at school .

I have just been grumpy ,lethargic and just a bit meh today .The winter does affect my depression and its kicked in quite late really! I am pushing myself to exercise weekly now kids back at school and doing dry January which has its harder days lol

I think hibernation sounds a good idea for winter ,il resurface in spring esp being a spring baby .

Few other things happened but that calls for another post regarding lynx .

I felt it was important for my on thoughts and feelings to write this and acknowledge that 7 years has passed and to reflect . I will write a more positive one about whats happened in those years but today felt kind of sad and that’s ok .

Tom is a new day and Thursdays are good as im on a course so I interact with other adults!

Now off to escape in  a  book and sleep 🙂

BOOK REVIEW THE YEAR OF TAKING CHANCES BY LUCY DIAMOND

It’s New Year’s Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There’s music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It’s going to be a night to remember.

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum’s house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who’s keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma’s dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.

But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home – all the things they’ve taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

With  a Lucy diamond book its like knowing you have a yummy cake in the cupboard or that nice chilled glass of wine ….you just know you have a treat waiting .

I have read all of her books over the years and they always leave a warm feeling and remind me why I read 🙂

I couldn’t wait to read this especially with it being start of a new year.

I loved Gemma ,she was so likeable and and real especially being a mum myself .When she feels like shes ‘just a mum’ im sure many mum readers will nod in agreement!

Caitlin discovers a secret which I could relate to and saffron is about to have her world turned upside down

They each have their own stories to tell and each with their own hopes and dreams for the new year which we all do and its great how they all connect and help each other .

Beautifully written and I was reading it where and when I could today .

This book shows how things can change and nothing is certain but change can be good and positive especially when making new friends along the way .

I loved cheeky henry and imagined him  being incredibly handsome !!

A heart-warming tale of love ,loss, friendship and never giving up on your dreams 🙂

A place for us by Harriet Evans

The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.

So opens A Place for Us by Harriet Evans, a book you’ll dive into, featuring a family you’ll fall in love with … and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you’ll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors.

The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.

The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.

Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.

After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.

But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

Welcome to Winterfold.

Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home.

Thanks to Bookbridgr for sending me a copy to review .I got a copy of part one last year ,however I feel this affected my enjoyment of the book .The reason is because I read a lot and so didn’t remember who was who or what was each storlyline . I should of read the book from the start but I started on part 2 .

I do feel theres too many charctars and not all with that much to bring to the story ,I kept forgetting who was who .I struggled to connect with this book .When I read part 1 which I reviewed It had caught my attention and I was left wondering what was going to happen next so it clearly had potential .

Ive seen  a lot of raving reviews so im convinced its me not re reading part 1 .

Its a nice story which delves into a family full of scandal and history .Theres certainly aspects I didn’t see coming but just wasn’t gripping enough for me .

BOOK REVIEW CAN ANYBODY HELP ME? BY SINEAD CROWLEY

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.

Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.

When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?

But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

I picked this up in whsmiths as part of their deals .the cover and title really caught my eye .I love my psychological thrillers !!

This is so relatable and relevant to modern society and parenting and will make many mums think oo this could easily happen which gives it that extra scare factor!

This is the authors debut novel and she as cracked it .

I thought I had figured out  who the killer was but I was wrong so in no way is this predictable and you don’t see it coming .

This is a exciting chilling read which hooks you straight away .It asks the question can you really trust people online ??

I look forward to reading more from this author .

BOOK REVIEW ALICE AND THE FLY BY JAMES RICE

This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It’s about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it’s about love. Finding love – in any of its forms – and nurturing it.

Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition’s caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I’ll flood out all these tears and it’ll all be ok and I won’t be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can’t think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories – Herb’s death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah – but none of these are what caused the phobia. I’ve always had it. It’s Them. I’m just scared of Them. It’s that simple.

Thanks to bookbridgr for sending me this book to review ,the cover is stunning and certainly eye catching .

This is a debut novel so on that basis alone this book is amazing and very deeply emotive.

You really feel for Greg who we know isn’t the typical teenager and doesn’t quite fit in .

He is suffering with mental illness and I can hugely relate and I could physically feel his pain within james writing .

There was a good portrayal of how his family were avoiding the real matter of his wellbeing and also his peers would rather mock him than find out what his pain is .

James writing style and layout on page actually made my head hurt and at times was hard to concentrate but this gave the reader a greater sense of gregs discomfort .

This is a touching honest revealing account of love ,pain and coping or not coping .

Published on 15th January 2015