Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Secret of Midwives – by Sally Hepworth

Original Cover
My own story

The blurb:

A novel about three generations of midwives (a woman, her mother, and her grandmother) and the secrets they keep that push them apart and ultimately bind them together

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Three generations of women, three midwives, three stories. I really liked the concept of this story from the start. The three women took turns telling the story, so the chapers were dedicated to one, moving on with the next chapter and the next woman.

Neva Bradley is the youngest. When the story starts she is already 30 weeks pregnant and finally has the courage telling her parents. Of course her mum Grace is curious about the father, but there is no father, at least that’s what Neva says. A mystery and one I was really curious about. I kept speculating throughout the whole story, I had my suspicions, but of course I got surprised with the actual “father”. Neva is much closer to her dad than to her mother Grace, which was shown pretty clearly in this story.

Grace, is of course also a midwife. She is dealing with her husband Robert, who might lose his job and their relationship seems tense. Then there are these allegations made against her, because of a risky home birth. She might lose her job, which would be really bad for her and Robert.

Floss is a retired midwife and also Floss carries around a secret. This secret is intense and will have a lot of impact on all their lives.

In Neva’s life there is Patrick. He went through a lot and always found help in Neva. He stays with her half the time and is very surprised when he hears about her pregnancy. His reaction is the best though and with his feelings for her, it really made me happy. They are made for each other and had shared some wonderful moments and scenes in this book. Patrick is such a gentleman and just so attentive, sweet and caring! I have to say I fell for him as well! It’s hard for him, the story with the unknown father comes between them of course and when someone he knows as well could be the father, he is so torn. I was just hoping for them and wanted them to find a way!

I really liked that all three women were taking turns in telling the story. The storyline flowed beautiful and the transitions from chapter to chapter ran smoothly. Sally’s writing is very gripping and engaging, the scenes felt so real and authentic and I loved how all three of them had their own story to tell and it still felt like one big piece. I enjoyed Neva the most and felt like her feelings came across beautifully.

A fantastic read, with great characters and riveting storyline! I’m really looking forward to reading more of Sally’s stories.

Rating:




My possible cast:

Neva: Rebecca Rittenhouse
















Grace: Julianne Moore


















Floss: Senta Berger














Patrick: Eric Dane 



Sally on Twitter: @SallyHepworth
Website: http://www.sallyhepworthauthor.com
Goodreads - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Books of my Childhood

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Next to the books I blogged about last week (…) the following ones, were a great part of my childhood.

Max and Moritz

Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks) is a German language illustrated story in verse. This highly inventive, blackly humorous tale, told entirely in rhymed couplets, was written and illustrated by Wilhelm Busch and published in 1865.
The pranks are just so funny and hilarious and I loved the illustartions.


Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking (Swedish Pippi Långstrump) is the protagonist in the Pippi Longstocking series of children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking lives with her horse and monkey (Mr. Nilsson) in Villa Villekula. She is strong and independent. With her friend Thomas and Annika she goes through many adeventures. I remember my mum telling me the stories, never read them myself, but then I saw all these TV adaptions, just loved it!


Fairytales – The Grimm Brothers

I was a big fairytale fan as a child, probably still am.
Cinderella, Snowwhite, The Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel etc. The Brothers Grimm (or Die Brüder Grimmor Die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together specialized in collecting and publishing folklore during the 19th century. They were among the best-known storytellers of folk tales,

Harry Potter

And last but not least Harry Potter of course. This is the reason I love reading so much! This magical world and the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione are just AWESOME!!! I don’t think I have to tell you about these books, so that’s it.


Friday, 28 August 2015

Terrific Two - Happy 2nd Birthday to Sky's Book Corner


Hey my lovelies!!!

I can't believe it's been two years since I started this blog!I started small with a few reviews, it has grown into a lot of reviews, guest posts, author interviews and also Lifestyle posts. I love books and reading, but I also wanted to share other things - traveling, music, my hobbies, interests etc. This past year I've started some new features like Bookish Discussions, inspirational posts and more... What I've also discovered this year are Twitter Chats, they are great to interact and meet new bloggers - there are the #bookbloggers #lbloggers or #ltbloggers chat, of course there are many more, but these are my faves, I was even able to host a #ltbloggers chat, which was fab!

This year has been a great blogging year! The friendships I've built have grown and I've met some more wonderful people. It's awesome to share things and talk online. I had also a lot of connections with publishers building up. A year ago I got sent a book once in a while, this year I'm on several lists and they are also sending books to Switzerland. I was never the ape who emailed every single publisher asking to be on their list, I just took opportunities when they came up. I've been able to host some fabulous blog tours and I'm really grateful for that. There are a lot of wonderful people I'd like to thank for their incredible friendship and support. I'd would take me too long to name everyone though and I'd be afraid to forget someone - you all know who you are! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

In March I finally went to my first book event in London. The UK is not around the corner, otherwise I'd would go to so many bookish events ;) Rebecca Raisin invited some bloggers for some drinks, fun and Afternoon Tea, I had such an amazing time. I was able to meet Rebbeca, also talk to Karen Aldous and talk to some wonderful bloggers, it was so great to meet in person. In October I'm going to another launch party, really excited already.
In July I finally met up with my bestie Maryline in Berlin. We were fellow bloggers at first, but developed a deep friendship and it was awesome to meet in person. 

There are some people who deserve a special thank you:

- Aven Ellis: Thank you for always being there for me, it's so much fun with you! Thanks for being an amazing friend!
- Maryline: You're the best! I'm so grateful for your friendship!
- Holly Martin and Rebecca Raisin: You ladies rock!!!
- Jenny, Alba, Becca, Isabell. 
- Pat Elliott, Ellen Faith, Hilary Grossman and Karen Aldous: Thanks for everything ladies!

Now, it's time for the giveaway - Thank you to all the bloggers and authors who offered a prize. The ebook giveaways are INT and most of the other giveaways are EU, unless it says otherwise. GOOD LUCK!!!!

***

PRIZE 1 - The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon - EU
Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors and her latest book The Sun in Her Eyes is fab! There is also a cute notepad with the Harrods dog for you and a bookish bookmark. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 2 - The Love Shack by Jane Costello - EU
The Love Shack by Jane Costello, her latest release. She's a great author! With the book comes a "Read Me" bookmark and a Harrods notepad. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 3 - The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood - EU
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood is one of the best books I've read this year! It's hilarious, gripping and just awesome!! With this book you can also win magnetic NY bookmarks and the classic Harrods notepad. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
PRIZE 4 - The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond- EU
Here is your chance to win a Lucy Diamond book, another fab author! I also have a "book" bookmark and a notepad from Harrods for you. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 5 - Choose between two fab Aven Ellis bundles - INT
One of my fave authors and dear friend Aven lets you choose. Do you the bundle around her Dallas Hockey Hotties or would you rather be in Chicago with William, Deke and Jack?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 6 - Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin - EU
Holly Martin has offered a paperback of her latest novel: Fairytale Beginnings, where fairytale meets chicklit. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 7 - Book sculpture made by Ann Troup - INT
Ann Troup made a wonderful Little Red Riding Hood book sculpture and also added a charm of her book The Lost Child, I think it's gorgeous!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 8 - How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie by Gina Henning - INT
Gina Henning kindly offered the audio book of her novel How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 9 - The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements - EU
Laura from Laura's Little Book Blog has offered this wonderful Abby Celements book. I've read it and The Heavenly Italian Book Shop is really heavenly, heavenly wonderful! ;)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 10 - Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon - EU
My bestie Maryline has kindly offred a copy of Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon. She really liked the story and so did I!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 11 - The Out of Office Girl by Nicola Doherty  - EU
Nicola Doherty offered a signed copy of her book The Out of Office Girl.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 12 - Love Like the Movies by Victoria VanTiem - EU
Another signed copy at grab! Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem is fab, so take your chance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 13 - Gut Feeling by Victoria Browne - INT
Victoria Browne has offered two prizes. The first one is a paperback of her first book Gut Feeling.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 14 - Third Time Lucky, The Honey Trap by Victoria Browne - INT
Victoria's second prize is her second book. Third Time Lucky - The Honey Trap. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 15 - True Colours and Best Friends...Forever? by Krysten Lindsay Hager - INT
Krysten Lindsay Hager offered her two books: True Colours and Best Friends...Forever?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRIZE 16 - The Language of Spells by Sarah Painter - EU
And last but not least there is a signed copy of Sarah Painter's The Language of Spells up for grab!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Q & A with Lynsey James

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Today I'm very happy to welcome the wonderful Lynsey James on Sky's Book Corner, she answered me some questions. 

***

1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

I did, ever since I wrote my own versions of Friends episodes. I think I should have credit for putting Ross and Rachel together… I always wrote stories, but always thought it was crazy to think people beyond my family and close friends would ever get to read them. Now here I am!

2.    Your debut novel Just the Way You Are was published In May, what is it about?

It’s about a young woman named Ava Clements, who was the recipient of some very beautiful love letters from a secret admirer until they stopped. When he starts writing again, she decides she’s going to unmask him once and for all.

3.    What was your inspiration for the book?

I was working on another story with the same three characters- Max, Gwen and Ava- and was going to use letters in that too. That element caught my imagination and it just kind of snowballed from there!

4.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Sure! Ava is a magazine journalist who gets landed with her nightmare job- wedding columnist. Since she’s seen her mum get married seven times, she hates weddings. However, the letters from Mr Writer provide a pretty nice distraction! Max and Gwen are her two best friends. Max is a chef who thinks Ava should believe in herself more and Gwen is a ditzy fashion designer.

5.    Where and when do you write your stories?

I’m a night owl at heart, so I do most of my writing at night. I’ve seen me stay up till gone 6am working on an idea! My bedroom is my favourite place to write, it’s so cosy and relaxing. The perfect writer’s retreat, I’d say.

6.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I love reading, spending time with my family and friends and cuddling my amazing dog Dixie-Beyonce (yes that is her name!)

7.    Can you tell us a little about your road to being a published author?

I started seriously trying to get published a few years back. I could paper my house with the amount of rejection emails I have! I’d just been rejected by my favourite literary agent and decided to give Carina a try because I loved the books they published. Two weeks later, I got an email saying they wanted to sign me. It all happened really quickly; I think part of me expects it to all be a dream still!

8.    If you could switch places with a characters from a book, who would it be and why?

Ooh good question! Probably Rosie Duncan from Fairytale of New York by Miranda Dickinson. She lives in New York, has a flower shop and ED STEINMANN. Need I say more ;-)?

9.    What books have most influenced your life most?

All of Mirands Dickinson’s books made me see how beautiful words could be and how much they could pull you into a story. Harriet Evans is also another hero of mine. I Remember You is one of my favourite books of all time.

10.  Your second novel The Broken Hearts Book Club was just published, can you tell us more about it?

I can! It’s about Lucy, who comes back to her hometown of Luna Bay for her Nana Lily’s funeral and finds she’s inherited a book club of all things! There’s secrets, a hunky barman and lots more!

11. What are you working on at the moment?

I’m throwing ideas around for book 3. I have quite a lot to choose from, so just playing around and seeing what works.

12.  What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy getting under the skin of my characters and finding out what makes them tick. Also the fantasy casting of the romantic heroes is usually pretty fun. The fact I get to Google James Norton for research as part of my job is amazing!

13.  What does your perfect day look like?

It would involve eating lots of cake, cuddling my dog and watching my favourite movie, Must Love Dogs. And lots of time with my family; I love them. Oh and my best friend Jenny would be up for the day too.

14.  Imagine Just The Way You Are would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

For Ava, I’d love to have Olivia Cooke. She’s one of my favourite actresses. Max would be Rory Girvan, who played Sunny in Sky 1’s Stella. Nate would be someone like Christian Cooke, although someone the other day said Chase Crawford and I loved that too. Not too sure for Gwen, but I’m open to suggestions!

15.  Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

I’d have dinner with Graeme Simsion, Harriet Evans and Miranda Dickinson. Grame Simsion would be there so I could ask loads of questions about Don and Rosie and whether it’s true Jennifer Lawrence is playng Rosie in the movie crosses fingers. Harriet Evans, because I absolutely love her and her gorgeous stories and Miranda Dickinson for the same reasons. I also want to ask if Ed Steinmann is available at all. A girl can dream…

16.  Coffee or tea?

     Tea! And always with cake.

17.  Paperback or e-reader?

I can’t pick here, because I love them both. I’ll say e-reader because it’s like having a little library with you all the time.

18. Mountains or the sea?

The sea! I live near it and it’s beautiful.

19. Summer or winter?

Winter. I love being cosy when it’s snowing outside.

20. Sweet or salty?

Sweet. I have the hugest sweet tooth ever.


Just The Way You Are by Lynsey James

Blurb: Dear Ava,

How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two - she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met.
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer...and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

Book Links:


Author Bio:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

Author Links: