You Can’t Drive Your Car to Your Own Funeral by Ann Marie Hancock

 

A real insight into caring for a loved one with compassion and the strength of God.

 

Ann Marie Hancock, the author of this book is a retired television personality, talk show host and model, but she is also a wife, mother, grandmother and daughter. In this, her third book she shares with her readers how she had a life changing experience in 1981, when she visited the Medjugorji in Yugoslavia.

Her experiences at Medjugorji led her to travelling the world, and carrying out healing services with a Benedictine Abbot.

Then in 2012 her strong, independent, and very private mother was diagnosed with cancer. Stoic and determined that it wouldn’t change her the ‘c’ word was not even spoken, let alone discussed. This was how she coped, if she didn’t say it, it didn’t exist. However, tragically not long after she started undergoing treatment, her husband died expectantly.

Everyone copes with grief in their own way, and now alone after many years of marriage, the author’s mother remained strong and controlling. In this honest and sometimes heart rending book the author, through her recollections of this terribly sad period of her life gives her reader a real insight into the strong character her mother was. Forthright, not suffering fools lightly, and certainly not being told what to do, or when to do it. I have a mother much of the same ilk and I am full of admiration for the way the author handled the multitude of events which occurred, and yet stayed loving and caring.

It was Ann Marie’s belief in God which was her strength, and this enabled this wound healer to face her greatest challenge yet. Because in caring for her mother and coming to terms with tragic events in her own life she embarked on a different journey, a journey of the spirit.

Through God and the teaching of the bible Ann Marie learnt to accept who she was, and come to the realisation that finding spiritual happiness is a life’s journey. That knowledge she imparts in this book, teaching the reader that the paths which they travel along in life are their own uniquely special journey. Along the route of life they will be tested, and will gain strength in accepting God’s will, even if they don’t understand it at the time. This epic spiritual journey is one which must be travelled alone. It is not about what others think you should do, or impressions you are given, your unique life events make you who you are, and the repercussions on your life evolve and change as you do. Depending on what life throws at you, these challenges empowers you to develop strengths, understanding, and happiness. It is easy in life to blame others when things don’t go as expected, get angry, put up a guard, however once you learn to listen to God, and take time to pray and talk to him, amazing things will be revealed, and you will realise that it is in your power to find true happiness, and inner peacefulness.

In conclusion, Ann Marie has in this beautiful story shared a hard, yet very special time of her life with her readers. Within its pages is a very clear insight into the strength needed emotionally to care for someone with a terminal illness.

About the Book:

You have reached a milestone in your life when the fire department is on standby as you blow out your birthday candles. If you have pondered going to heaven but without dying, this book is for you! As Father Ralph Pfau said, “You can’t be a good egg all your life. You either have to hatch or go bad.” Adventure into one courageous woman’s journey through later life as seen through her daughter’s eyes. Unique in every way, this woman operated completely without filter, remained in denial about her cancer diagnosis, and challenged the prognosis and thoughts of doctors, nurses, family, and friends. Written from the heart, Ann Marie Hancock shares her experiences in loving and caring for her mother through the heartaches and the joys and the times of laughter and sadness.

Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/You-Cant-Drive-Your-Funeral/dp/1641386436/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1553508004&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-cant-drive-your-car-to-your-own-funeral-ann-marie-hancock/1129135430?ean=9781641386432

and Books A Million https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Cant-Drive-Your-Car-Own/Ann-Marie-Hancock/9781641386432?id=7500558173697

 

One Mother’s Journey: Creating My Family through In Vitro Fertilization by Jennifer Prudenti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For most of us women having a baby is something we naturally want, and assume it will just happen, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

In this frank and detailed book the author, Jennifer Prudenti, with timely insertions from her husband Marty, take us on their quest to be parents. Throughout, they lay bare their thoughts and emotions for us to read, in the hope that it will give others guidance and that it will help to full in some of the questions which others are wondering about, or may have forgotten to ask.

Jennifer’s story starts very openly as she explains how, as the daughter of a loving mother, all she wanted was a daddy, and how, like many before and since, she turned to boys to get the attention she craved from males. This yearning, and the consequences of it took her health and body down a tragic route which eventually led her to need In Vitro Fertilization, or as it is commonly known IVF.

Happily married, all Jennifer and her husband Marty wanted was a family, however, this was not to be – well not easily, as you will read. The path they took was a hard one, IVF. Jennifer explains in detail the various procedure, and tests which she endured, and the life she led dancing to the rhythm of her body clock, and the routines which had to be followed. The unfortunate disappointments, the emotional rollercoasters, and everything being swept aside by Jennifer’s strong feelings that she would be incomplete as a woman, and a wife, without being a mother, despite Marty’s protestations of the opposite.

Along with following traditional guidelines, she found herself trying alternative medicines and remedies. They changed clinics and doctors, done whatever they could until, finally she was carrying her babies.

For many, from then onwards is a natural path, set in stone, but for others (myself included), this is just the beginning of months of fears and worries. Unless you have experienced it no-one can understand the feelings you go through just to get to the magical 28 weeks when baby is ‘viable’, however the author does a very good job, as it certainly brought back memories for me.

As the title suggests this story does have a happy ending, but then as they say in films, this is only the beginning of Jennifer and Marty’s life as parents. I am a true believer that no-one can prepare you for parenthood, of course, the love you feel when you see your baby or babies for the first time, but also the emotional toll, sleepless nights, worries when they don’t sleep, the list is endless. As parents all we can do is our best, and of course hindsight is a wonderful thing.

This story is one which needed telling, not only because Jennifer and her husband thought so, but also to give hope, information, courage and the strength not to give up to the thousands of couples out there who strive to have a family of their own, whatever it takes….

 

About the Author: Jennifer Prudenti is a mother of two beautiful kids, Sophia and Michael. She lives in Albertson, New York, with her husband, Marty, their children, and the family cats, Smudgie and Sabrina. She is a mother, daughter, wife, friend, coworker. She is just like you, and her story could be anyone’s. She is a marketing professional who has worked in the music business, publishing, and television, and writing is her passion..

 

About the Book:  What if you thought you had it all figured out, and then just like that, nothing was as it seems? This is a story of determination, perseverance, and faith. This is a story about making your dream come true, despite the odds. This is my story.

 

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/One-Mothers-Journey-Creating-Fertilization/dp/1490883975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490443834&sr=8-1&keywords=One+Mother%27s+Journey

Kindle https://www.amazon.com/One-Mothers-Journey-Creating-Fertilization-ebook/dp/B012CUOFEC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1490443834&sr=8-1

Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/One-Mothers-Journey-Creating-Fertilization/dp/1490883959/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1490443834&sr=8-1

and

Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-mothers-journey-jennifer-prudenti/1122330018?ean=9781490883977

NOOK Book  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-mothers-journey-jennifer-prudenti/1122330018?ean=9781490883960

Hardcover http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-mothers-journey-jennifer-prudenti/1122330018?ean=9781490883953

 

Christmas for Joshua by Avraham Azrieli

I loved the character of Rusty Dinwall from the very first page. He is a well-respected, compassionate man, a heart surgeon, and a loving husband and father.

Indeed, after falling in love with Rebecca, over twenty years before, he even renounced Christianity, embraced her Jewish faith, and is now president of his local Reform synagogue. A happy and contented man leading a devout life, and helping others.

This story begins on Thursday September 24th, it is Rosh Hashanah Eve (Jewish New Year). Rusty and his wife Rebecca are looking forward to a Skype call that evening from their daughter Deborah who is away at university, and cannot join them for the celebrations. However, Deborah is not alone when she makes the call, and introduces them to her future husband Mordechai, an Orthodox Jew.

Deborah and Mordechai announce that they will be marrying on 20th December in New York, and then coming back to her home in Arizona for their honeymoon.

Although initially surprised at the swiftness of the wedding, Rusty and Rebecca arrive in New York excited at the forthcoming celebrations.

With their daughter happy and radiant nothing, it would seem could possibly spoil such a perfect day, that is, until Rabbi Mintzberg arrives. When the elderly orthodox Rabbi announces Rusty is a shaygetz (not a full Jew), Rusty is shocked at his words, and dismayed at the ramifications they will have on such a special day.

Reeling from the repercussions, hurt, confused and surprised at the reactions of those around him, he suddenly discovers that religious intolerance is evident even within the same faith. Searching for answers, and pondering his past, Rusty decides that he is going to make the young couples celebration of their marriage in his local Reform synagogue, a night to remember, which it is, in more ways than one…

As a parent, it is easy to understand both Rusty and Rebecca’s reactions, and ways of coping to the news of Deborah’s rapid marriage, and her decision to become an Orthodox Jew. Their natural reaction is to protect her but as an adult does she need their protection?

This book highlights very clearly how hard things can be for mixed faith families at special occasions, specific times of the year, and at family celebrations, which should be happy. However it also celebrates the strength of marriage, and commitment couples should make to each other.

This book is very different to the other spy thrillers I have read by this talented author, however, I have to say it is simply a wonderful story which is uplifting, yet heart rendering at the same time, and I would highly recommend it, whatever religion you follow.

About the Author: 

Avraham Azrieli’s new novel, Deborah Rising (Harper Collins, 2016), portrays the dramatic (and unlikely) rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. A graduate of Columbia Law School in New York City, Azrieli tried many complex court cases before his first novel, The Masada Complex (a political thriller) was published in 2010. A full-time author since then, his other books include the Israeli spy novels The Jerusalem Inception and The Jerusalem Assassin, as well as Christmas for Joshua (a family drama dealing with interfaith conflicts), The Mormon Candidate (a political thriller), Thump (a courtroom drama featuring sexual harassment and racism) and The Bootstrap Ultimatum (a mystery involving the commercialization of Memorial Day). He also authored Your Lawyer on a Short Leash (a guide to dealing with lawyers) and One Step Ahead – A Mother of Seven Escaping Hitler’s Claws (a WWII biography, which inspired the musical By Wheel and by Wing). Azrieli grew up in Israel, where he received extensive Talmudic education, served as an intelligence officer and, after attending law school, clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Residing primarily in the United States since 1990, he currently lives near Washington DC with his wife and children. Like Ben Teller, the protagonist in The Mormon Candidate, Azrieli often rides his motorcycle in the mountainous forests of western Maryland. To learn more, visit http://azrielibooks.com/

About the Book:  Life couldn’t be better for Rusty Dinwall–a heart surgeon, amateur pianist, and volunteer synagogue president. But when his daughter’s wedding takes an unexpected turn, life spins out of control, shattering everything he believes in. A dramatic story with memorable characters, Christmas for Joshua tackles the conflicts inherent to interfaith marriage, modern parenting, and religious intolerance, taking the reader on an entertaining and thought-provoking journey through a uniquely American Christmas experience.

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Joshua-Avraham-Azrieli/dp/146360288X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483977915&sr=8-1&keywords=Christmas+for+Joshua

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Joshua-Interfaith-Marriage-Controversy-ebook/dp/B005V72LXG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1483977915&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-for-joshua-avraham-azrieli/1106754334?ean=9781463602888

and as a NOOK Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-for-joshua-avraham-azrieli/1106754334?ean=2940046562569

Kobo.com as an eBook https://www.kobo.com/fr/en/ebook/christmas-for-joshua-a-novel?open=true

iBookstore (Apple) https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-for-joshua/id965367156?mt=11

Books-A-Million http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Christmas-Joshua/Avraham-Azrieli/9781463602888?id=6743207748429

Walmart  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Christmas-for-Joshua/28718231

Indiebound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781463602888

Bogart Listens (Bogart Series Book 2) by Diane Rose Duffy

51oHlWt-WbL__AA160_

Who cannot love the amazing Bogart? The most adorable family pet, always trying to help his family, join in the fun, and make people happy.

The only problem is that Bogart is a Golden Retriever dog, and his schemes to cheer up his people can sometimes go horribly wrong, like the time when he thought Grandpa Mike would like some of Ginger’s toys to cheer him up…

In this the second Bogart book, Bogart and his family have to adjust to the arrival of their extended family when ‘Little Mike’ has to go abroad with the army and his heavily pregnant wife and their little girl Ashley come to stay.

It is an adjustment everyone has to make and Bogart in his own way tries to make it right for all, listening to their worries and selflessly offering kisses and tummy rubs for free at times of stress.

The listening Bogart however uncovers many insecurities suffered by young and old alike and also highlights the worries of those who serve, or are the relatives of those serving in the armed forces.

Blame Bogart, the first book in the series had become such a favourite story for my grandchildren, that when I realised Bogart Listens had been released I downloaded it straight away on my Kindle Unlimited subscription. The children and I loved the story, and I must admit it made my husband chuckle too when I continually read excerpt out to him.

About the Author: Diane Rose Duffy is a California native who has a passion for books, a whopping coffee addiction and a perpetual craving for chocolate. After recently retiring from a lengthy accounting career in Silicon Valley, Diane presently enjoys the peaceful serenity of daily life in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California. Diane Rose Duffy has completed two humorous romance novels and a funny children’s chapter book with the support of her husband whom she proclaims to be her ‘happily ever after’.

About the Book: Imagine being a dog and living in a family with a mom, dad, three little girls, a grandpa, a bird and a cat.

That’s my life!

Hi, I’m Bogart and I am a Golden Retriever. My family calls me their dog but I prefer to think of myself as a member of the Clark family.

Last year, we adopted Ginger, a very pampered and spoiled cat from the same big place I came from. My family says it’s an animal shelter. At first, Ginger and I had some major issues. However, we’ve finally reached a truce – sort of – to get along and let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak. Just a little doggie humor, folks.

Just when I think it’s safe to kick back and enjoy life, I discover our little clan will soon be growing again – with more people! Oh dear! Our house is getting pretty crowded. More importantly, I wonder who will steal all the attention away from me this time?

If only I could do more than just listen. How I long to speak in a human voice so I could talk to my beloved family and let them know how much they are loved.

Available in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Bogart-Listens-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01D3WP31W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

and Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Bogart-Listens-Diane-Rose-Duffy/dp/1530517524/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1458911864&sr=8-1

 

 

An Apartment in Paris by Caroline Blane

51-6h+rW9hL__AA160_What a gem!

 

Whether you have ever dreamed of owning a little pied-a-terre, are actually seriously considering it, or just love books about France and being the fly on the wall of other peoples adventures, this book cannot fail to entertain and inform you!

When college professors Caroline and her husband Andrew decide to take a six month sabbatical from their work at a university in America and buy an apartment in Paris, not only do they have themselves to think about, but also settling their five year old son Adrian into school.

Renting an apartment they settle their young son in, and with the resilience of youth, he embraces his new life and settles into his school well, and then the hunt for the perfect apartment begins.

I am an English expat living in France, and have been to Paris quite a few times, however, living within commuting distance of the capital, whilst reading this, I just wanted to get into the car and explore the famous, and more hidden treasures this beautiful city has to offer some more. Engrossed in the book I can imagine sitting in the little café’s dotted throughout the city, and find myself practically smelling the delicious coffee served within. The wonderful food and culture of France is so well described that I found myself dying to try the delicious dishes, gateaux and cheeses which are so beautifully described by the author.  

However, whilst soaking in the atmosphere and discovering, or in the case of myself rekindling my love of this wonderful city, I found myself absorbing the enormous amount of practical information and phrases which have been included in this book. For those who need it, there is also a very useful guide to the procedures and terms used everywhere in France when buying a house, and information essential for a prospective buyer.

Throughout the book, the author keeps the reader enthralled by their family’s adventures, whether they are just carrying out everyday tasks, or seeing the city’s sights and districts. This entertaining book is also contains many interesting historical facts about the places they visit, both in Paris and on their breaks to other parts of France.

This is a wonderful mixture of travelogue and ‘how to’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and would not hesitate to recommend.

 

An Apartment in Paris is available in Kindle format from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Apartment-Paris-Adventures-Locating-Furnishing-ebook/dp/B00O9X4AG4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416505014&sr=1-1

and Amazon.co.uk also in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apartment-Paris-Adventures-Locating-Furnishing-ebook/dp/B00O9X4AG4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1416505124&sr=8-3&keywords=an+apartment+in+paris

 

 

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James

51pSVeq-yAL__AA160_This is the story of Harley, bought up in a dysfunctional home, with an alcoholic and abusive father, who sends the family on an emotional rollercoasters, a weak mother, and her sister Kat with whom she has a very strong bond.

The day after she graduates from high school she packs her bags into her 1970 Chevelle, Charlene, and takes off, knowing only that she must go.

This is a coming of age novel, and we, the listener follow the strong, independent Harley, as she grows from girl into womanhood. As normal, through rite of passage, the woman she becomes is shaped by the people she meets and jobs she does as she moves around the country. However, Harley finds herself, despite her escape, being drawn back home to help her family with each emergency which arises.

And, waiting in the background is Jeremiah Jones, her childhood neighbour and sweetheart, best friend and lover, who joined the Marines the day she took off. Although they don’t see each other for years, the chemistry between them when they do, is so strong. He loves her unconditionally, and understands, and knows the fears she battles with after growing up in such a dysfunctional family, but will she ever commit?

This was a compelling story packed with brutal truths about such subjects as growing up in an abusive home and alcoholism, yet a fascinating story which I could not fail to recommend.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave/dp/1461054397/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1413383281&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+boots+my+mother+gave+me

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-ebook/dp/B00457XGNM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1-catcorr&qid=1413383281

and from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Boots-My-Mother-Gave-Me-Audiobook/B00MV0LQN2

 

The One of Us by John Needham

The_One_Of_Us_cover_latest_001NEW RELEASE:  The One of Us by John Needham

A compelling and fascinating story.

 

About the book: Jim and Maureen Harrison ache to have a child. Glyn and Sioned Rees want a brother or sister for their daughter Lowri. But for both couples, further pregnancy is impossible. So what to do?

The answers to both their dreams are sucking their thumbs in the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool: foundlings, twin baby boys. Glyn and Sioned adopt one, whom they bring up in Wales. Jim and Maureen adopt the other, rearing him in north Yorkshire.

And so the boys are brought up in very different social and family environments, developing markedly different personalities and aspirations. But are they entirely different? After all, they are monozygotic: identical. Does their genetic commonality confer similar character traits deep down? John Needham’s third novel explores nature/nurture theory, weaving it into an absorbing, at times exquisitely moving tale of brothers.

Readers of his previous book, Forebears, will be re-acquainted with warm-hearted, buff, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Yorkshire lass Helen, now taking a larger role, telling her story from an earlier time.

This gentle, compelling, sometimes poignant novel tells the boys’ stories in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to a dramatic, heart-wrenching reunion that will wring your emotions dry. 

A heart-warming tale of identical, foundling twin brothers separated as babies and adopted to be brought up in very different environments. The boy’s stories are told in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to an unusual, emotionally-searing reunion.

***

My first impression of this book was, what a strange title, however, having read it, there could be no more perfect one.

How could Julie have known, way back in 1984 when she left her native Ireland to live in Liverpool that her fancying Paul, at a nightclub, the consequences of that night, and the relationship which followed would change so many people’s lives, including her own?

Glyn and Sioned love their daughter Lowri, yet they yearn for another child. Jim and Maureen are trying to come to terms with Maureen’s inability to carry a baby to term. Two couples who, for two very different reasons, decide to adopt a baby, but each of their choices leave them inextricably tied in a way they could never imagine.

Life has a way of changing just when we think we are settled, and as a result, Glyn, Sioned, Lowri and little adopted Tomos find themselves moving back to their native Wales. Whilst Jim, Maureen and their little adopted son Wayne relocate to Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

This is the story of these two boys, each having very different childhoods, achievements, plans and dreams. As they grow into men, however, it is discovered that they have one thing in common, and in the end, does anything else matter?

I found this story un-put-down-able, it has a very unusual storyline, plenty of twists and turns, and a real surprise ending.

Those of us who love this author’s very humane way of writing are, yet again, treated to another beautifully written story. At the end of the book, as an added bonus, the author has included a couple of chapters of ‘Forebears’ one of his previously published novels, which also features one of the characters in this story.

 

***

About the Author: I have had a love affair with the written word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print moved up a gear when I was apprenticed into the compositor’s art in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued in a parallel vein, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books: issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and an autobiography, Wishing for the Better, is being published free-to-read on my website, wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

My third novel, The One of Us, about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-as-babies, adopted identical twins, will be followed by a fourth that tells the story of another character in that novel.

I live and produce my words in west Wales.

Author’s Website: http://wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nature-or-nurture/

The One of Us is available to purchase from:

Autharium  http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/the-one-of-us

and in Kindle format from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Us-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00OAAUOPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412837081&sr=8-1&keywords=the+one+of+us+by+john+needham

 

The Surrogates by Consuella Harris

51DXifNWx7L__AA160_A brilliantly intriguing story.

The subject of surrogacy raises various emotions and views in people, depending, I suspect, on such factors as, their sex, religious viewpoint and life experiences.

Many think what a wonderful, selfless thing it must be to carry a child for another woman and bring happiness to a couple who would never have been parents without help. They ask themselves, “Who are these generous women, and why do they do it?”

The more cynical wonder who finances the companies who set up the matches between the surrogates and the adopter’s, and what is in it for them?

However, it’s never as simple as that, there are no black and white answers to be found when dealing with human lives and emotions – we are complicated beings.

Truth be known, like most things, most people, most of the time don’t think about it, and neither did Keith Brown, ex-retired police officer, now successful investigative reporter until he received a phone call from Valerie Scovall, a Superior Court Judge for Cuyahoga County.

Valerie is sure there is a connection between the deaths by natural causes, i.e. heart attack, on the same day, of two prominent public figures.

Meeting her, the next day, in her chambers, Keith agrees to take on the case, and to her requirement that the source must remain confidential. Only one person is the exception to this rule Denise Jones, one of the surrogates.

For anyone interested in people this is a compelling read, as Keith reveals the stories behind Denise, Sharon and Carolyn, three women who decided to become surrogates. However, inextricably entwined are of course, the children they gave birth to, and the people who adopted them.

And, we mustn’t forget the men who were the founders of the Lake Shore Parenting Group, the adoption agency who put them together, and their motives, after all, without them, none of it would have happened.

Or of course, Valerie…

A really enjoyable and absorbing story which I would not hesitate to recommend. It is about a controversial subject, packed with human interest, mystery, intrigue and plenty of twists and turns.

The Surrogates is available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Surrogates-Consuella-Harris/dp/1625260849/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409046130&sr=8-5

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Surrogates-Consuella-Harris-ebook/dp/B00L4MAXYG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-5&qid=1409046130

and Barnes &Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=9781625260840

and as a Nook book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=2940149692927

Author’s Website:  http://consuellaharris.com/users/awp.php?ln=718894&p=intro

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/conniegh01

Twitter: https://twitter.com/conniegh01

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/conniegh01/consuella-harris/

 

Mother, was it worth it? by Tottie Limejuice

MWIWIReal life in France.

About the book: Tottie and her eccentric family moved to France in search of a better life for her nearly nonogenarian mother who suffered from dementia. As her full-time carer, Tottie listened to daily recitations of her favourite saying: ‘Mother, mother, it’s a bugger, sell the pig and buy me out.”
Catch up now with Tottie in the AM years – After Mother – as she starts her new life in the rural Livradois-Forez region of the Auvergne, living in Tottie’s Grottage. Meet the local inhabitants, from exotic birds to colourful characters like the Bin Pickers, Library Lady and the Bowing Farmer. All are described with Tottie’s familiar gently ironic humour. Discover the procedure behind the Frogification of Tottie, and if her bid for French nationality is successful.
‘Mother Was It Worth It?’ is the concluding part of the Sell the Pig series, which began with ‘Sell the Pig’ and ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’

About the author: Tottie Limejuice is the pen-name of freelance copywriter and copy editor Lesley Tither, who lives in the Auvergne region of central France.”Sell the Pig” is the first in a planned series of books describing how Lesley, a former journalist living in the UK, decided to make the move to France to start a new life, taking with her an 89-year-old mother suffering from vascular dementia.Lesley’s interests centre around nature and wildlife and encompass dogs, wild camping and organic gardening.

 

Having read, ‘Sell the Pig,’ and ‘Is that Billinge Lump?’ I couldn’t wait to read Tottie’s further adventures, and as soon as I started this new, and sadly, last book, in the series, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

It is not your normal, we bought a house in France and renovated it, story. Indeed, Tottie’s move was based on totally different reasons, which you will know if you have read the preceding two books, however, if not, then, this book can happily be read as a standalone. 

If you want to really know what it is like living in France, making your home in a small rural community, hiring workmen and dealing with French bureaucracy, then there is no better example. The ever resourceful Tottie seems to have the ability to handle any situation with true British fortitude and determination.

However, there is a real underlying ‘heartstrings’ element to this book, and indeed to the series, as, throughout all three books we are invited, very much into her life. The reader finds themselves laughing, and crying with her as she copes with all the events life throws at her, with the support of some very good friends, both English and French.

When not renovating ‘The Grottage,’ accompanied by her Border collies Ci and Fleur, she enjoys camping and breaks away, exploring her chosen area of France. These adventures are chronicled as part of this story, and through her marvellously descriptive writing, she gives, for those of us who have never visited this beautiful region, a wonderful insight into its wildlife, and people.

I just could not put this book down, I love the down to earth, totally unbiased, and no nonsense way the story is written.

Available in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Tottie-Limejuice/e/B00ADQX5KS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Forebears by John Needham

NEW RELEASE

A fascinating story of discovery spanning the 20th and 21st Centuries.

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About the book:  When Jay Harding is given his grandmother June’s diary after her death he discovers a vivid picture depicting one Englishwoman’s life from childhood during the dark times of wartime Britain up to the present day. But he’s already learned dark secrets. Prior to her passing his grandmother had told him the story of her forebears beginning in the early optimistic years of the twentieth century, before the world was torn apart by the cataclysm of the first terrible ‘war to end all wars.’ That account gave testimony to shocking abuse, institutional cruelty and tragedy. Now he reads on . . .

As Jay journeys through the rich tapestry of his family history we find that in many ways it’s the reader’s own. For every family has a story to be told. Intertwined threads of earlier lives influence who we become. Jay sees his ancestors’ histories in handwritten pages yellowed with age; in sepia and black-and-white pictures dulled by time; in a poignant remembrance of lost love in a silver frame; has heard it told in his grandmother’s voice, tremulous in her decline. In exploring his forebears’ histories, Jay finds the rich echoes of the past resonating with his love-blessed present, inspiring him to meet the future.

Several themes run in parallel through this rich novel: the repercussions of sexual abuse, the continuum of female sexual reproduction, the woman’s view of fighting wars and running the world and the changing social mores throughout the twentieth century. It is a compelling social and family history; that of so many families of the last one-hundred-and-five years.

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This story starts with Jay, standing in the church at the funeral of his Grandmother, June. After the wake, his Granddad offers him the opportunity to read his Grandmother’s diaries, which she has kept since she was a child.

That night, Jay and his partner Helen snuggle up together and open one of the journals….

As they begin turning the pages, they find themselves drawn back through the years to June’s childhood. But then another, parallel narrative appears: we are taken back two more generations to begin with June’s own grandmother. The story spans 105 years, and follows generations of the same family, down the female line, starting with Juniper, an attractive young woman who becomes a Governess in 1906. Her life, like so many others was moulded by circumstances beyond her control. When World War 1 started, everyone, including her boyfriend was sure it would be over by Christmas, but unfortunately, as we know it was not, and our glimpse into her life gives a wonderful insight into what living before, during and after the First World War was really like.

As the story progresses, I found it fascinating to read about the changes in attitudes, fashions and morals throughout the 20th and into the 21st Century.

At the end there is the opportunity to sample the authors debut novel ‘Convergence’, which is about Martin, one of the characters in this book.

This, in my opinion would make a good book for students of Modern History to read, or anyone interested in family life in the 20th and 21st Century. Within its pages you will find it all, love, life, birth death, the full gamut of emotions. At the very end there is a satisfying, surprise plot twist.

Available at Amazon.com in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Forebears-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00IAZX3Y2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392033154&sr=8-1&keywords=Forebears+by+john+needham

and Amazon.co.uk also in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forebears-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00IAZX3Y2/ref=cm_cr-mr-img