Sunday, 22 February 2015
Friday, 20 February 2015
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Saturday, 14 February 2015
For Georgiana Dunn, life changed forever in the devastating moment that the lorry hit her car.
Scarred and scared, she's not left the house properly in months. Then her mum buys her a puppy, forcing her to face the world again, walking on London's beautiful Primrose Hill. But that doesn't mean she's looking forward to Valentine's Day.
Leo devotes himself to working with children with special educational needs. In fact, he does very little else, and his friends are always telling him to get a (love) life. So when they challenge him to find a date for Valentine's Day, and he meets a lovely but lost girl who looks like she could use a friend, he thinks he's found the perfect solution.
But life has a way of being less than perfect … Will he be left standing on his own on the most romantic day of the year?
Be My Valentine, a collection of poignant short stories by Nikki and other Harper Impulse authors was published on 13 February 2014 and has received four and five star reviews. Her debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was published by Harper Impulse on 24th April 2014 and will be available in paperback on 25th September but can be pre-ordered via Amazon now.
On 21 February 2014 her short story 'A Night to Remember' was published in digital and print editions of the Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply, edited by author Sue Moorcroft. Best-selling authors including Carole Matthews, Katie Fforde and Adele Parks feature. Nikki's short story in that anthology has been bundled with stories by Katie Fforde and Heidi Rice in a shortened ebook available from 1st April.
Nikki's was a finalist in several writing competitions from 2010 onwards, including Novelicious Undiscovered 2012. A member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, she has contributed to their magazine 'Romance Matters,' has far too much fun attending the annual conferences and has also chaired a panel and taken part in a workshop at the Festival of Romance.
She posts about three of her favourite things - Writing, Work and Wine - on her blog and believes in supporting other writers as part of a friendly, talented and diverse community so she often features other authors and new releases on her blog.
Valentine's on Primrose Hill is the third book in the #LoveLondon series by Nikki Moore, having read the previous two stories I couldn't wait to read this one.
Georgina and Leo, the two main characters in this book are easy to like, Georgina has turned into a recluse, hiding behind the curtains watching life pass her by having been involved in a horrific accident, leaving her with life changing injuries. Despite being at a really low ebb, there are hints of her true character underneath and I fully invested in her story, willing her from almost the first page to get up, raise her chin and start to live again. Leo, is the floppy haired hero of the book - almost too good to be true working as a teacher with special needs children and then through a chance meeting with Georgina sets out to prove that Georgina could and should start living a full life again. He comes across as a laid back, easy going guy, with his kind and gentle nature easy to see.
The pair are brought together by Button's a puppy bought by Georgina's well intentioned mother as a way to lure her out of the house. Because of him Georgina nearly breaks her neck and is saved by Leo. A situation causing her more stress than she ever thought possible.
This was such a beautiful read, a book that has friendship and trust way up in the pecking order, the foundations that give love the best chance. Georgina, sapped of all confidence, is terrified of her own shadow and can't envisage ever leading a normal life because of her physical injuries. Nikki took us on a journey demonstrating through Leo that it is the inner person that is beautiful and not the outer packaging. Leo is used to dealing with the problems and torments of children with special needs on a daily basis and genuinely seems to see straight into Georgina's soul. A tentative friendship begins and confidences are shared on both parts.
Nikki prods beneath the surface demonstrating time and time again that what you see isn't always what you get, Relationships built on friendship first are usually the strongest. But, just when I was headed to the shops for a hat a secret is cruelly revealed and life comes crumbling back down for the pair of them.
This book was uplifting and at the same time thought provoking too. Was the bond and friendship Georgina and Leo forged be strong enough to lift Georgina out of the hole into which she's fallen or was Leo really shallow and the lies told actually true? You'll have to read and work it out for yourselves, remember - this is Valentine's Day and we all love a happy ending :) I guarantee you'll be hitting that button on Amazon to order the fourth book in the #LoveLondon series as soon as you've finished this one.
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Alison Barrow at Transworld in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.
There was a quite a buzz going on in anticipation of this book, the proof copies had brilliant covers, a true marketing genius - I just knew I had to get my hands on one and read it before its launch on January 15th 2015. Although, I usually find that a book doesn't entirely live up to all the hype, falling short in some small way - too long, too short, not liking the characters or the plot too easy to unravel - not in this case! The Girl On The Train has to be one of the most brilliant books I've read in a long time - I started it one evening, had visitors and was just willing them to go so I could carry on reading - eventually finishing it at gone half past two in the morning. I literally could not put it down. Then I couldn't go to sleep, my mind was buzzing, going back over the plot, trying to pick out the clues I'd missed - one small problem, I was on a days first aid course at 9.30 the next day and after very little sleep turned up five minutes late and knackered
The story is told from three peoples perspectives, Rachel, Megan and Anna. Each chapter told by one of the women, some chapters written in the present others going back in time. Rachel is the lead character, who commutes to London on the same train, day and night, with the train always stopping for signals at the same place each day - allowing her to glimpse into the houses that back onto the train line. Each chapter is like a series of polaroid pictures that have been jumbled up, some don't even belong in the pack.
Paula uses the voices of the women to narrate a story that is packed so full of twists and turns it is unclear what is fact or fiction or what really is meant to throw us off the scent until the final few pages. Reading this book was like trying to look through the clouds, every time they appeared to be clearing and I thought I had a handle on the plot another storm brewed and it was like a hurricane had landed. Time to sift through the debris again.
Nothing, including the three women is what it seems, their lives are intrinsically woven together by a common denominator - but how? Dreams, perceptions, reality and memories are melded together with everyday issues such as infidelity, marriage, death, divorce, infertility, alcoholism and ultimately murder. Add to that the neurosis and trauma that comes with each of them - yet these sub stories aren't what the story is about, but they do impact upon and influence the story. It really is no wonder my mind wouldn't switch off! The same story told by different people also adds to the cauldron of life as Rachel knows it.
The pacing of the book for me was just perfect, a bit like a train, slowing to allow the clues to be given and speeding back up so as not to give me quite long enough time to decipher them, Paula created characters that evoked many emotions and feelings, that changed throughout the book - nobody and nothing was what they seemed, three perfect examples of putting a face on for the world - once the guards went down the true characters emerging. I went full circle with the lead character Rachel many times, from ambivalent, to strong dislike then pity and round we went again and again until I understood her and her story. I didn't really feel anything for Megan for most of the book and initially strongly disliked Anna, thinking her as arrogant and manipulative. Behind every one of the women, there are other characters that impact upon their behaviour and characteristics - nurture or nature is a question I've asked myself many times as over a week after reading this book I am still trying to make peace with the story.
This book is quite simply a work of art, the longer you study it, the more emerges from the story - it's impossible to believe this is a debut novel and I cannot wait for book 2. Paula Hawkins I'm sure will be an author I'm reading for many years to come. I highly recommend you order this book now - don't be the one person amongst your friends who hasn't read.