Mr Doubler Begins Again – Seni Glaister 

Mr Doubler Begins Again is a story around friendship, family and loneliness. I felt a real affection towards Mr Doubler, as I have myself experienced periods of loneliness whilst being a military wife. 

Mr Doubler has lived on his own for a long period of time and bought up his children as his wife was not around. He seemed to try and be both mother and father at times his children probably saw this as a detriment to their time with their father. However, upon reflection, when all the emotions are dissolved – Mr Doubler did an amazing job, despite being in a difficult situation. Mr Doubler is also a passionate potato farmer, however, he has many other talents that others may not realise that he is hiding and he is trying to make a difference. 

Mr Doubler has a housekeeper, Mrs Millwood, who helps him maintain the house and they often share lunchtimes together. Even from the beginning, I felt they both had so much in common and a mutual respect for on another that was simply infectious. Their relationship seem one of co-dependency and Mrs Millwood encouraged Mr Doubler to fulfil his dream but pushed him to do things that he would never had dreamed of such as volunteering at the local animal shelter. During this time, he did not realise that he would be spending time with like minded people and people that he may have more in common than he expected. 

Mr Doubler starts to open his eyes to his adult children and their own issues they have within their own lives, good, bad and ugly.  One of his children, Julian was particularly vile and full of greed and jealously. But, what he needed to do was to step back and really look at what is going on and to stop being self-centred. He has spent a long time protecting his children, but now he deems it to be the appropriate time to speak of what actually happened, the home truths. Does his children really want to hear this? 

I adored this book from start to finish and it filled my heart with warmth and joy. It showed to never underestimate people and to never judge people on inital impressions. Seni’s writing was simple, but yet beautiful and I just found the book to be one that made me smile at the end. You saw the incredible strength of friendship and at times unlikley ones – but, most of all you experienced a strong bond within the community and the strength and power that can bring. You experience the growth of confidence and well-being within the group of friends. You see the fog slowly lifting from Mr Doubler’s eyes and he can finally see a positive future. 

Even now, I continue to smile when I think of this novel. Bravo Seni!

About the Book 

Baked, mashed, boiled or fried, Mr Doubler knows his potatoes. But the same can’t be said for people. Because, since Doubler lost his wife, he’s been all on his own at Mirch Farm, perched high above a small town. 

And that suits Doubler just fine. Crowds are for other people. The only friends he needs are his potato plants and his housekeeper, Mrs Millwood who visits everyday. 

So when Mrs Millwood is taken ill, it ruins everything – and Mr Doubler begins to worry that he might have lost his way. 

But could the kindness of strangers be enough to bring him down from the hill?

Mr Doubler Begins Again is a celebration of food, friendship and kindness, and a reminder that it’s never too late for a new start. 

“True love doesn’t go away, but the pressures of life can do things to people. Who knows why some people react so differently? Sometimes it’s just an ageing thing like wine. Some wines are best drunk right away, as soon as the wine is made. And then no amount of keeping it and nurturing it will make it any better. Others aren’t that great first of all, but they get better and better.” 

Mr Doubler Begins Again is published by Harper Collins 

Louis & Louise – Julie Cohen 

When I first started reading this book, I was first not sure what was going on, but once I had completed a couple of chapters, I was hooked. We follow the story of Louis and Louise, one person, two genders and their lives. 

What fascinated me the most, and I have not really reflected on it was how different people react to genders. This is not just the wider community, but family and friends. I adored both characters, and I felt Julie wrote both characters equally and reflected simple day to day activities which at first you question the point, but when you finish the book you realise that in actual fact it has an impact and makes you question your own behaviour towards different genders, it also reflects the difference of behaviours in generations too which I found powerful. 

This book makes you question your own behaviour and the behaviour of others and the treatment of people depending on their gender. I adored this book, but I may be a little bias as I love anything Julie writes. This is a book to certainly watch out for in 2019.  

About the Book 

Louis David Alder was born on the 8 September 1978 to Peggy and Irving Alder of Casablanca, Maine

Louise Dawn Alder was born on the 8 September 1978 to Peggy and Irving Alder of Casablanca, Maine. 

In their moment of birth, Louis and Louise are the same person in two different lives. They are separated only the sex announced by the doctor, and a final ‘e’. 

Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dreams of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different which makes you question:

If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?
“But this is useless speculation, anyway, we can’t decide that one thing happening controls everything else in our life. Every choice is the result of other choices, which are a result of choices before that. We can’t control what bodies we’re born with or how people treat us because of them. Maybe the world is similarly out of control; small forces, large ones, one choice leading to another, a machine of causation beyond understanding.”

Louis and Louise is published by Orion Publishers 

Oh, I Do Like To Be……- Marie Philips 

This book was a great read over the Christmas period, I was ill for most of it and I wanted to read a fun / silly book, nothing serious and this ticked all of those boxes. 

Don’t be put off my words as this was an adorable book and one that is a great read when you need a bit of respite between reads. It was funny, entertaining and witty.

We follow a playwright Billy and Bill, together with their sisters Sally and Sal. Yes, I have got those names correct as they are clones. Their parents have a lot to answer for and has left Billy and Bill with a lot of questions when they find out the real truth, which not only confuses them but everyone who knows them. It seems, their parents may have forgotten to tell them one important point about their lives. Others around them, just find them a little crazy. Both Billy and Bill are confused themselves as one ends up with the others wife and a life they can only dream of, whilst the other is plainly just confused about what is going on. 

What I loved the most about this book, was that it didn’t leave you hanging, you got to a conclusion, which again just tickled me. 

If you need a book that will make you laugh and just simply want a book which will entertain you from start to finish this is the book for you. A must read!

About the Book 

To B & B or not to B & B?

That is the question. 

Shakespeare clone and would-be playwright Billy has just arrived in an English seaside town with his sister Sally, who was cloned from a hair found on the back of a bus seat. All Billy wants is a cheap B & B, an ice cream and a huge hit in the West End. Little does he know that their fellow clones Bill and Sal are also residents of this town. Things are about to get confusing – cue professional rivalry, marital discord and a family reunion like no other. 

“In the moment that he’d left the theatre bar, he’d felt a sense of triumph, of rejecting everything his mother stood for, of buying into her actions, so little that he wasn’t even going to show her that he care enough to want answers, real answers, not just her sarcastic dismissal.”



Oh, I Do Like To Be….. is published by Unbound 

This book blog tour was arranged by Anne from Random Things Through My Letterbox 

Royal Rebel – Carina Axelsson 

We follow Lily during the Royal Rebel, who is desperately trying to be a normal teenager. She loves social media, especially vlogging and wants to give it a go and she seems to be pretty good at it. The only one big problem is that she is a “trainee” princess and it certainly would not fit into any of the duties she is meant to fulfil in the future. 

Throughout the novel, you feel the dilemma Lily is in. She wants to fulfil the wishes from her family, but she wants to have a normal life and they both just do not match and she cannot have both. You may not be able to empathaise with lily, but what Carina understands is the difficult decisions that seem to be imposed on young people to make decisions about their future, so young and at times young people just simply don’t know and feel immense pressure put on them from parents and teachers. It is such a potentially life changing decision which may have an impact on their future and they do not want to live with decisions they may regret. 

This book is a great read for young people and may bring a source of comfort that your not alone and decisions can be changed and adapted. Its a great pick you up read and one that will make you smile. 

About The Book 

Lily Waldenburg is in many ways a normal teenager, she loves fashion, her dog Coco, her guinea pig Zoe and sleepovers with her best friend Leonie. She dreams of being a fashion vlogger, and when her videos on her style vlog ‘Tiara Girl’ began to take off, Lily knows this is her chance to succeed. 

But Lily is also a princess. First in line to the Queendom of Waldenbury – a matriarchal and matrilineal society – she has her royal responsibilities to think about – ‘Queen to be stuff’ that she must learn before she carries of age next year. Her Grandmaman and mother have high expectations of what a princess should be – and that does not include being a fashion vlogger……..

But as ‘Tiara Girl’s’ online star rises so Lily’s responsibilities as future Queen mount. Can she keep her identity secret, or will she be exposed for the Crown Princess and Royal Rebel she really is…..?

Royal Rebel is published by Usbourne Books

“If I were a fairy-tale princess, it would be about now that my fairy godmother would come to my rescue and smooth things out for me.”

Royal Rebel by Carina Axelsson is published by Usborne and is out now.


Blood & Sugar – Laura Shepherd-Robinson 

This is going to be on the best historical novels for 2019, and yes, I am saying that already in January. PS if you are going to start reading this book, make sure you have nothing else planned for the rest of the day or evening as you will not want to put this novel down. Laura managed to grab me and keep my attention to the full throughout to the extent I did not want to put the book down until the end as I was so worried I would miss out on a critical part of the story and just wanted to know what happens at the end of the book.

We follow the story of an unidentified body which is found on a book in Deptford Dock, which has been tortured and left with a slavers mark. Captain Harry Corsham realises it is his friend and wants to get to the bottom of who killed his friend. However, what we and Harry finds out is his investigation only causes more bloodshed and death. Harry also spends a lot of the book “stepping on peoples toes” and poking his nose into business that does not involve him, he does get warned. However, he is so determined to find a resolution, at times this advice he ignores which means there is a consequence to his actions. 

Not only is there a murder by discussions and debate about slavery and the treatment of people which at times makes Blood & Sugar an uncomfortable read about how people can be treated so badly and the fear people lived in to the extent they did not want to leave their owners, because the consequences are so severe. You find yourself, wanting to rescue some of the slaves, but realise there is a much bigger picture to look at which is out of your control. 

This book was simply amazing, Laura had you fully involved within the story and you were part of the investigation to the extent that you are attempting to guess who may have committed the murder. You are involved in the the discussions and to an extent poking around in business that does not involve us. You live and breath the story to the extent you could almost reach out and touch the characters. 

Blood & Sugar is a book I would highly recommend and is a great start to my reading for 2019. A must buy. 

About The Book 

June 1781.

An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortued and branded with a slaver’s mark. 

Some days later, war hero Captain Harry Corsham discovers that his friend, the passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, has mysteriously disappeared. On the verge of exposing a secret that could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry, has Tad made enemies with too much to lose?

As Harry traces his friend’s whereabouts, he will be drawn into Tad’s investigation, leading him into the seedy underbelly of Deptford, and towards a deadly conspiracy that will threaten his career, his family and the very core of British society………

Blood & Sugar is published by Mantle 

“So many of my memories of him are memories of you. The pair of you down from Oxford. Days on the river. Papa and his dogs. You were as much an Archer as any of us who bore the name Mama wept when you left. She loved you like a son. But then you would hardly be one of us would you, if you had not disappointed her.”

Blood & Sugar – Laura Shepherd-Robinson 

This is going to be on the best historical novels for 2019, and yes, I am saying that already in January. PS if you are going to start reading this book, make sure you have nothing else planned for the rest of the day or evening as you will not want to put this novel down. Laura managed to grab me and keep my attention to the full throughout to the extent I did not want to put the book down until the end as I was so worried I would miss out on a critical part of the story and just wanted to know what happens at the end of the book.

We follow the story of an unidentified body which is found on a book in Deptford Dock, which has been tortured and left with a slavers mark. Captain Harry Corsham realises it is his friend and wants to get to the bottom of who killed his friend. However, what we and Harry finds out is his investigation only causes more bloodshed and death. Harry also spends a lot of the book “stepping on peoples toes” and poking his nose into business that does not involve him, he does get warned. However, he is so determined to find a resolution, at times this advice he ignores which means there is a consequence to his actions. 

Not only is there a murder by discussions and debate about slavery and the treatment of people which at times makes Blood & Sugar an uncomfortable read about how people can be treated so badly and the fear people lived in to the extent they did not want to leave their owners, because the consequences are so severe. You find yourself, wanting to rescue some of the slaves, but realise there is a much bigger picture to look at which is out of your control. 

This book was simply amazing, Laura had you fully involved within the story and you were part of the investigation to the extent that you are attempting to guess who may have committed the murder. You are involved in the the discussions and to an extent poking around in business that does not involve us. You live and breath the story to the extent you could almost reach out and touch the characters. 

Blood & Sugar is a book I would highly recommend and is a great start to my reading for 2019. A must buy. 

About The Book 

June 1781.

An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortued and branded with a slaver’s mark. 

Some days later, war hero Captain Harry Corsham discovers that his friend, the passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, has mysteriously disappeared. On the verge of exposing a secret that could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry, has Tad made enemies with too much to lose?

As Harry traces his friend’s whereabouts, he will be drawn into Tad’s investigation, leading him into the seedy underbelly of Deptford, and towards a deadly conspiracy that will threaten his career, his family and the very core of British society………

Blood & Sugar is published by Mantle 

“So many of my memories of him are memories of you. The pair of you down from Oxford. Days on the river. Papa and his dogs. You were as much an Archer as any of us who bore the name Mama wept when you left. She loved you like a son. But then you would hardly be one of us would you, if you had not disappointed her.”

We Own The Sky – Luke Allnutt

Can I say from the start, this book made me sob and I mean properly big noisy sobbing – I do not really cry when it comes to books, but this was personal. 

As some of you may know, my son was born three months premature and thanks for the magic of modern medicine he survived and is now a thriving three year old, I am very fortunate and feel lucky. But, as a first time mother, I had to make some difficult life or death decisions about him and decisions that potentially may impact on his life in the future. This story really touched a nerve and by the end of the book, I was a big bag of mixed emotions. 

We follow the story of Rob and Anne, who have a little boy Jack. Anne starts to notice things changing with Jack and her gut instinct was that something was wrong, and unfortunately, she was not wrong. We embark on their journey of Jacks condition and the fight they both put up as well as reflecting the bravery and maturity of Jack and coming to terms with not being able to protect their child and the cruel reality of death. 

Luke reflects the feelings and behaviours of the wider family and community around Anne and Jack. Which again, from my own perspective, I found people frustrating and fed up with people’s advice and “nice words”. I just wanted to be left alone. I was able to empathise with both Anne and Jack and their own emotions and reactions to people just trying to do the right thing. 

Luke’s story telling from the perspective of Rob and Anne was phenominal, and their fight to try and get the best resolution and outcome from Jack and how both of their perspectives were very different and they looked at Jack’s illness from different sides. I remember the times when we were pushed into a room and you knew it was bad news and the different extremes of emotions, I felt them again with Rob and Anne which I found incredibly powerful and that is all down to Luke’s amazing writing and use of language which was simple but hits you where it hurts. 

I really admire Luke for writing about such a painful topic, but one that will tug at everyones emotions and it will leave you contemplating what would I do…….

About The Book 

Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and the most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life or rather – he did until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack and she’s right. 

Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the guilt that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened and find a way back to life, and forgiveness. 

“It wasn’t just the cottage’s solitude that attracted me, it was the way it was exposed, utterly at the mercy of the elements. Perched on an outcrop of rock, across the bay from St Ives, it is the only building in sight. There is no shelter, no valley to break the ferocious Atlantic wind when the rain lashes at the windows, when the sea winds ‘refuse’ to let up the house shudders and feels like it is crumbling into the sea.”



We Own The Sky blog tour was arranged by Compulsive Readers 

If you would like to purchase We Own The Sky or to find more about Trapeze Publishers, please click here.
 

              

Ghost – James Swallow 

This is the first novel I have read written by James Swallow and I was certainly not disappointed. This fast paced, take your breath away novel follows the story of an ex MI6 agent, Marc Dane who is tasked to track down a brutal and cruel hacker who is causing nothing but chaos. 

Throughout this novel, the story moves so quickly I was desperately trying to keep up. I could feel that this story could potentially be a reality. There are times when you judge very quickly throughout the story, but all I can say is expect the unexpected. You will find a lot of different characters have different snippets of information, and when joined up you start to build a picture, a picture that is not always what we want to see. 

James wonderfully wrapped you in the story, and did not let go into the conclusion. I was running with the story to try and ensure I kept paced with what was going on, but it just had to be the pace or it just would not have been the same story. And, in the real world hackers move quickly and do not hang around too much, due to the chance of being caught. There is always a continue evolution. 

About the Book 

A faceless criminal fuelled by revenge. 

A devastating betrayal at the heart of a covert strike force. 

A deadly pursuit across a digital battlefield. 

A world brought to the brink of war. 

As a series of catastrophic attacks unfold across the globe, ex-MI6 agent Marc Dane must call on all his skills and ingenuity to track down the mysterious figure behind them, a ruthless terrorist hacker known only as “Madrigal”…..

Ghost is published by Bonnier Zaffre

“There was a strange kind of non-awareness that came on when you were glued to a screen for too long, a narrowiing of the world that made everything fall away until the motions of your hands and the blink of the cursor seemed to happen of their own accord.”