Book Lovers, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

Book Review : Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour 

This book had my heart beating wildly in my chest as I read each real life account from survivors of domestic abuse.

Synopsis:

The silent chorus. Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be. But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy. But you are. A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society. The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

My review :

My heart ached for each person who told their story. Parts of me wished this book was a fiction novel because the pain you read is tremendous.

Each person’s story pulled at your heart strings making you not want to stop reading.
They each give you warning signs to look out for as well as strategies of how to leave if you are in an abusive relationship.

Hearing the stories written by survivors makes you understand why they stay, and makes you realise how desperately they need your help.

I would like to commend the Author for ensuring the stories were written by each survivor in their own distinctive voice. I want to commend her for writing a book that gives a voice to those suffering. I would also like to mention that even though the book speaks mainly of woman’s accounts, but there are countless men experiencing the same pain daily, and the shame they face to speak out is even harder.

To all men and woman who have survived abuse, make your story heard so that someone else who is suffering can find their voice and find their freedom.

I would highly recommend this gripping book to people experiencing abuse and also to family and friends who suspect their loved one is being abused. Let’s spread the word and put a stop to this inhumane act in society.

My Rating:

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 

This book deserves 5 Stars for its ability to tell these stories in the voices of the people who experienced the horror of them. It was brave of each person to tell their story and even more brave of Jennifer to openly share hers. Beautifully written. Gripping and honest. A must read. 

About the Author :
Born in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business. From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel Isolation Junction. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again. Since the publication of her debut novel, Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships. Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that Clipped Wings give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse

Clipped Wings is available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle, and where all good books are sold. 

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Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold. 

Book Lovers

Book Review : Delirium by Lauren Oliver 

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. 

Synopsis :

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

To start off I must say I absolutely love the cover! This revised cover edition is much better than the original and really caught my eye. 

Besides loving the cover, I absolutely fell in love with the book! Dystopia novels are not something I usually read, but the concept of Love being declared a dangerous disease, definitely made me explore further. 

Lauren Oliver has an amazing talent. She almost writes in a style devoid of love in this book, to emphasise the theme. I found myself so drawn to this world as I could feel it and imagine it in every word, every description and the lack of emotion in her way of writing. 

The idea that Lena was about to have her procedure made you start hoping for some way out for her from page one. Being a hopeless romantic myself I definitely was of the school of thought that, should I be in their position,  I would have definitely wanted to go to The Wilds instead. 

Discussion Points :

This book definitely raises some interesting points and I thought I would list some things I found myself discussing with others, that I would love to discuss with you too. 

1. If you had to choose between living a life incapable of feeling love, or living a life devoid of any luxuries in order to at least feel love. What would you choose? 

My view to this was that I would really struggle living in the Wilds without water and electricity etc, but if I was with someone I loved it would make it all worth it. 

2. Do you think that this Dystopian novel hints to the fact that we are currently being controlled by our governments to think or feel a certain way? 

My view is that mass media seems to lead our thinking on certain topics in particular directions. So to an extent I think how we view things is being influenced. 

3. Were there things about the novel that seemed far fetched or not believable? 

My View: Yes I felt that if a breakaway society existed, they didn’t necessarily have to be nomads or jungle dwellers. I’m sure they would have been intelligent enough to create a good comfortable society. I would have loved their world to sound better than the current controlled world, but in some aspects it sounded worse.


Overall I must say I loved this book and I went on to read the next one in the series. 

Although it’s classified as a Young Adults novel, I think it raises some real interesting concepts that we will all love to explore. 

My Rating 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Definitely a must read for me
This book is available on Amazon in both Paperback and Kindle Formats. 

There are also more books in the Series that you will love to explore. Each written in its own unique style and adds more pieces to the puzzle. 

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Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold. 

Book Lovers

The Power of Fiction

Fiction may be seen to some as a way of escaping reality. Journalists or Political Activists might feel that an Author writing fiction has no power to influence society, culture, and an individual.

That however is vastly untrue.

For centuries books have been a source of knowledge, the gateway to understanding, and a platform for debate. Fiction novels, have been at the forefront of these in many instances.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence is a book about an aristocratic woman who commits adultery with a working-class man. This book was subsequently banned in the UK due to its sexual content and language. However, it brought to light the plight of censorship and helped to overthrow it.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe is given credit for transforming American views about slavery.

Animal Farm by George Orwell strongly affected readers’ views of government and politics.

The question stands that how could a story, primarily brought together by the Author, have such a profound effect on society, and how we view things?

The answer is found in how these stories have a way to cause the reader to:

  • Have empathy for the lead character
  • Feel the pain of what they may be going through
  • View painful circumstances through the eyes of someone else
  • Go through the suffering from a distant yet involved view
  • Share in the frustration of societal problems and dysfunctions, and explore possible solutions.

These stories have a way to connect the reader emotionally to a fictitious stranger. It causes people to empathise with a stranger, where they might not empathise with someone they know. It causes them to tap into their emotions and review their stance on real issues.

As an Author of Fiction myself, I have made it my mission to write books that can bring a change to someone else’s life. Whether it’s showing them the power of forgiveness or allowing them to have empathy for someone else who is going through the hardest moments in their life. For me, it’s important, to not just write beautiful stories, but to have a lasting impact on the very person whose hands grace the pages of my books.

Book Lovers

Book Secrets you didn’t know

We all love to read our favourite books. Yet there are those secrets we rarely hear about, and its those little things we love to know.

So here are a few just for you! …

 Secrets of Thirteen Reasons Why

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 Not every character in the series is in the book.

When the writers brought the 288-page book to life as a 13-hour series, they had to expand the world of the story with new characters.

“I think of the book as this outline of Hannah’s story, and then from that, the writers of the series — with Jay’s blessing — added so many details and plots that allow the viewer to unpack the story to a greater extent,” Hannah said. “The new characters help out flesh out this world.”

 

Her character Stephanie is among the new additions, which meant Hannah was acting from a clean slate. She’s one of Courtney’s best friends and “a ditzy take on the typical mean girl,” Hannah explained. “When I got the breakdown for this character, it was funny because the script just said, ‘Stephanie (pretty, dumb.)'”

Read more from the source here

 

Secrets of Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

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“Edward’s character in the book is actually inspired by my real life husband. Also the mention of Wuthering Heights in the book is a hint towards my husband, as Wuthering Heights is the very first book he gave me when we had just started dating.

One day we were walking in a flea market, and he picked up a used copy of Wuthering Heights sold by a book merchant, and bought it for me. He then took me to the park, and sat playing with my hair as I read the first few chapters. He won my heart that day!”

 Secrets of JK Rowling, Author of Harry Potter

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JK Rowling finds ways to bring elements of herself into her books.

She and Harry Potter share a birthday, July 31st. She is reported as saying that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger, and her favourite animal is an otter—which is, of course, Hermione’s patronus. Plus, both Dumbledore and Rowling like sherbet lemons (Rowling said that the wizard’s “got good taste”). 

Read more from the source here

 

Secrets of Karen Swan, Author of Christmas at Tiffany’s

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Karen Swans real name is Karen Anne Swan MacLeod

Much as she loves her very Scottish name, Swan had to drop the MacLeod when she started writing blockbuster fiction since the shorter name suited the flamboyantly embossed covers of her saucy books,

“I’d always written as a journalist as Karen Swan MacLeod. Dad’s family name is actually MacSwan MacLeod, so we’re very Scottish. I think Karen Swan sounds like a made-up name for someone who writes sexy, romantic novels”

Read more from the source here

 

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Taryn Leigh

 

Book Lovers

Guest Post: Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh review

Perfect Imperfections

TARYN LEIGH

Originally Posted in Book Reviews

Published: Olympia publishers

Release date: 30/03/17

Format: Paperback

RRP: £8.99

ISBN: 978-1-84897-845-4


*Personal rating:
5 stars*

Available to purchase from:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com


WOW! That is the first thing I have to say about this book, I was kindly sent this book for review purchases and I have to admit, it’s not the normal book I would reach for but I’m so glad I did. 

About the book:

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa. Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach. Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence. As Sarah’s story is slowly revealed, her intriguing tale will keep your interest every step of the way.

I’ll start by saying that this book definitely keeps your interest peeked the more you read. I didn’t think I could emotionally connect to a book as much as I did this one, it took me on such an unexpected emotional journey, there were times I had to put the book down and collect my thoughts to be able to continue.

Parts of the book hinted at similar events/emotions that I too was experiencing and dealing with in my personal life, reading about Sarah taking a break from her artwork (which she loves) left me screaming ME TOO!!!!!!!

Sometimes life just gets in the way of things and you fall into a dark place, even getting out of bed becomes a struggle never mind taking time to create something beautiful, so I truly understood how Sarah was feeling. When reading about the struggles in Sarah’s life I completely forgot she was a fictional character and viewed her more as an actual human being.

Let’s just talk about good old Edward for a moment! From the first interaction these characters shared in the book I just knew someone was bound to have feelings for the other or at least eventually develop feelings for each other! The way Taryn described the art class ‘date’ Edward had arranged just completely melted my heart, I was secretly wishing someone would spoil me like that! Haha.

Now, with Edward comes… Jasmine… cough this woman annoyed the hell out of me at times, she left me wanting to pull my hair out, the way she turned up to the cabin unannounced to ‘surprise’ Edward, or the way she got completely wasted at the cabin causing embarrassment to Edward as well as Sarah and Katy. I was just wishing she would disappear so Sarah and Edward could get it on.
I could physically feel myself cringing with embarrassment.
I have to give praise to Taryn Leigh, she wrote this book so beautifully and so captivating the reader will not be able to put the book down, the more you read the more you just have to find out with is going on and what tragedy/secrets Sarah is running away from. When the mystery reveals itself you will be truly shocked.

Taryn describes locations from South Africa in such great detail I actually googled all the places mentioned so I could visually put words into picture.

One of my favourite locations would be, Indigo Fields, the description of the spa and the scenic views were so vivid and detailed when I researched the spa for myself it was exactly as I imagined.

As this is my personal review/opinion I would like to mention a love/hate relationship I encountered with how much detail was used to describe certain scenes. The reason it was love/hate was simply because there were a few times I didn’t think so much detail was necessary but on the other hand I loved the amount of detail given to certain aspects of the story as it allowed me to envision what the characters must have been seeing as if I was personally there with them.
If I had to say something to a person that isn’t a fan of romance novels, I would explain that this isn’t just a romance novel it contains a whole array of emotions from love to heartache, including the hints of mystery thrown in.

I highly recommend Perfect Imperfections to readers of all genres.

To end this crazy long review I would like to conclude this by saying I truly hope Taryn Leigh releases more novels in the future so I can fall in love with them as much as I did Perfect Imperfections.

Taryn, thank you so much for allowing me the chance to experience a piece of your work, I enjoyed every second I got to read this amazing story of Sarah’s journey to self discovery and her journey to finding peace in her life.

Much love, Emily xx

*if you enjoyed this review and would like to consider me to review your book or book related items, please contact me at – emily.louise15@live.co.uk Thank you!*

Book Lovers

Amazing Reading Nooks

I am a self confessed book lover. Especially those old books, that smell stale and their pages are yellowed. For me they have character, and tell stories not just within the pages, but also of the people who’s hands have lovingly held them.

As sweet as books may be to a Book Lover like myself, it is sweeter still to have the dream space in which you can relax and read your favourite novel undisturbed.

So here are my favourite reading nooks. Some Classic, Some modern, and some even to encourage your kids to read

For the Classic Lover

This spot is old school classic, cosy and comfortable. Perfect for those winter days with a warm blanket thrown over your knees

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For the adventure seeker

This is perfect for kids, but also for Adults who want to feel like they are in their own unique space up away from it all

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For the Outdoor Lover

This is perfect for those who want to be inside, yet outside at the same time. Its serene and tranquil.

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For the Trend Setter

These are for those loving something new and trendy, yet still comfortable. Something for your friends to say WOW to when they walk into our homes

For the lover of a Secret Hide Away

These are great places of escape, where you not only escape into the pages of the book, but you also escape into your own secret hide away

For the Kids who are learning to love to read

This is for our next generation, who will cherish what we hold dear. A lovely way to encourage them to read

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So go out there and make your own haven where you can put your feet up and escape into the pages of another world for a few hours. You deserve it!

Enjoy!

 

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Taryn Leigh

 

Book Lovers

My all time FAVORITE ROMANCE NOVELS

For those who know me well, they will tell you I am a book worm of note. There is nothing better than sitting under a blanket in winter, with a warm drink in hand, next to a fireplace reading a good book. Especially a Romance Novel. In summer my favourite spot to read would be on a couch in an old style coffee shop, or on the beach while others surf.

In all my years of reading, there are two books that have struck me as my ALL TIME FAVORITES! They are fairly recent books, written by an Author who seems to have just taken the world by storm, by writing Romance novels that are both dramatic and mysterious.

So, to stop the suspense. … Here are my all time favourite romance books, and I should state, that next to these two, my next favourite is a golden oldie called Wuthering Heights. If you haven’t read that yet, please do!

 

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Christmas at Tiffany’s is by far my all time favourite of all Karen Swan’s books. You fall in love with the Characters, and she transports you through a world where the pages are lined with hints, that tie together perfectly in the end.

Here is what the book is about:

Cassie settled down too young, marrying her first serious boyfriend. Now, ten years later, she is betrayed and broken. With her marriage in tatters and no career or home of her own, she needs to work out where she belongs in the world and who she really is.

So begins a year-long trial as Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with each of her best friends in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris and London. Exchanging grouse moor and mousy hair for low-carb diets and high-end highlights, Cassie tries on each city for size as she attempts to track down the life she was supposed to have been leading, and with it, the man who was supposed to love her all along.

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My other favourite Karen Swan book is The Perfect Present. I couldn’t put the book down, as I tried to piece together the clues she leaves, creating a suspense, where you want to figure out the mystery embedded in the story line. Its an emotional roller coaster with so many interesting characters that keep you wanting to know more.

Here is what the book is about:

Haunted by a past she can’t escape, Laura Cunningham desires nothing more than to keep her world small and precise – her quiet relationship and growing jewellery business are all she needs to get by. Until the day when Rob Blake walks into her studio and commissions a necklace that will tell his enigmatic wife Cat’s life in charms.

As Laura interviews Cat’s family, friends and former lovers, she steps out of her world and into theirs – a charmed world where weekends are spent in Verbier and the air is lavender-scented, where friends are wild, extravagant and jealous, and a big love has to compete with grand passions.

Hearts are opened, secrets revealed and as the necklace begins to fill up with trinkets, Cat’s intoxicating life envelops Laura’s own. By the time she has to identify the final charm, Laura’s metamorphosis is almost complete. But the last story left to tell has the power to change all of their lives forever, and Laura is forced to choose between who she really is and who it is she wants to be.

A bit about the Author:

Karen-Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and an ADHD puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her first novel, Players, was published in 2010, followed by Prima Donna and Christmas at Tiffany’s in 2011.

So to my fellow book lovers keep reading, where you can escape into an alternate universe nestled in the pages of the books.

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Taryn Leigh Armstrong