BOOKTASTIC is how the listeners are describing the brand new BOOK SHOW on Radio Northwich!
A HUGE THANK YOU to the legend that is KIM SMITH for inviting me along once a month to talk about my favourite topic – BOOKS on her Good Afternoon Show!
Kim asked me to talk about my favourite three books of the month and here they are!
Mike Gayle – All The Lonely People
A little bit about the book:
In phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun and friendship.
But Hubert Bird is lying.
Something has made him turn his back on people, and he hardly sees a soul.
So when his daughter announces she’s coming to visit, Hubert faces a race against time: to make his real life resemble his fake life before he’s found out.
Along the way Hubert renews a cherished friendship, is given a second chance at love and even joins an audacious community scheme. But with the secret of his earlier isolation lurking in the shadows, is he destines to always be one of the lonely people?
Mike is such an expert in penning stories that you simply can’t put down. He creates characters that you fall in love with, you root for, you cry for. This book beautifully penned must read for anyone wanting to feel hope & who have the desire to live in a better world.
An adorable book about loneliness, friendship, acceptance and how our life is in our control. Hubert, and 84 year old widower is sort of dragged out of loneliness by his new neighbour, Ashleigh, a 24 year old and her daughter, Layla. Through this newly formed friendship, Hubert meets new people, starts new projects and learns to let go of the past that has hurt him so much.
About the author – Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. After earning a Sociology degree, he moved to London to become a journalist and ended up as an advice columnist for a teenage girls’ magazine before becoming Features Editor for another teen magazine. He has written for a variety of publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and Cosmo. Mike became a full- time novelist in 1997 and has written thirteen novels, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. After stints in London and Manchester, Mike now resides in Birmingham with his wife, two kids, and a rabbit.
Download All the Lonely People here: https://tinyurl.com/53tfr6k6
Barbara Copperthwaite – The Girl in the Missing Poster
This week I caught up with Barbara and fired three questions at her!
1) Which author influenced your career? – Stuart Macbride – Barbara hadn’t read crime fiction until her mum recommended his first book, Cold Granite and then she was hooked and knew this was the genre she wanted to write in.
2) Kindle or Books – Both! Any form of reading is always a winner!
3) Biggest pinch me moment to date? – Hitting number 1 on Amazon in Italy – it was so completely unexpected and was blown away by it. I still can’t believe it happened!
A little bit about The Girl in the Missing Poster:
24 June, 1994 – Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins runs from her father’s birthday party into the stormy night wearing her sister Stella’s long red coat. Some say she was crying, others swear they saw her get into a passing car. Nobody ever saw her again.
Present – This time every year, on the anniversary of that fateful night, Stella decorates the small seaside town she grew up in with pictures of her beautiful missing sister. But after twenty-five years, is it even worth hoping someone will come forward? Perhaps the upcoming documentary will spark people’s memories by reuniting all the guests who were there the night Leila went missing.
As old friends gather and long-buried secrets begin to surface, the last thing Stella ever expects is a direct response from someone claiming they took Leila. They want private details of Stella’s life in return for answers. But as the true events of the night of the party play out once again, who is lying? And who is next?
What a brilliant read this is and it lived up to my expectations.
The pacing is perfect, with twists and turns all the way through. This is the perfectly written and combines brilliant plotting with complex, well-developed characters.
Stella is a wonderful protagonist, strong, determined, independent and yet vulnerable, you won’t want to leave her. I loved the way Stella used her work as a dog behaviourist (fascinating in itself) to analyse and handle people. The setting of the TV Documentary was so interesting and very well researched. The way excerpts from the TV Documentary are interspersed is very clever.
About Barbara – Her writing career started in journalism, writing for national newspapers and magazines. During a career spanning over twenty years Barbara interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.
Her first book, Invisible, was ‘totally gripping, and scarily believable’ according to Bella magazine. Its success was followed by Flowers for the Dead, which was the Sunday Mirror’s Choice Read, beating Lee Child’s latest offering. ‘Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,’ their review read.
The Darkest Lies came next, and became a USA Today bestseller. The follow-up, Her Last Secret, hit the Number 1 spot on Kobo. The Perfect Friend is a No 1 Kobo and Amazon best seller.
When not writing feverishly at her home in Birmingham, Barbara is often found walking her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy, or hiding behind a camera to take wildlife photographs.
Download The Girl in the Missing Poster here: https://tinyurl.com/9z4n5zrj
Deborah Carr – Mrs Boots Goes to War (Mrs Boots, Book 3)
I caught up with Deborah this week and asked her to give me three interesting facts about herself! Here’s what she said!
She can ride side-saddle! (I’m assuming on a horse!) Her dad survived a plane crash when she was ten years old and her mum danced with James Bond aka Sean Connery when he’d just filmed Thunderball! (I’ve actually seen a photograph of them both dancing and Deborah’s mum looks stunning – just like a movie star!)
A little bit about the book!
It’s book three in the series, but all of them can be read standalone. The stories about the main characters are all true but what happens between Florence and the secondary characters – e.g. the women who work for her is all fiction.
The story is inspired by Florence Boot’s incredible life and the story behind the Boots store we know today.
The world is at war and her country needs her.
When Florence’s son, John, announces that he has enlisted, she is horrified but determined to hold her family together during the oncoming hardships they are to face.
Men are returning to England wounded, with many more not returning at all, families are struggling, and Florence’s ‘Dear Girls’ are risking their lives in new and dangerous jobs. Florence might be older now, but she has no intention of sitting back on her laurels while others fight for King and Country. She knows what needs to be done…
If you like historical novels this book is for you. I’ve not read many books set at this time but thoroughly enjoyed it. The book covers the war from the perspective of the Boot Family in Nottingham and their employers and the impact it has on all their lives and of course the Boots business. The book is well written with attention to detail and historical accuracy. And there were parallels to the pandemic we are living through at the moment when certain scenes were described. Towards the end of the book the Spanish flu pandemic strikes in 1918 and it did feel comparable to the world we are living in today.
About the author:
Deborah Carr, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Poppy Field, lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband and three rescue dogs. Her Mrs Boots series is inspired by another Jersey woman, Florence Boot, the woman behind the Boots (Walgreens Boots Alliance) empire. Her debut First World War romance, Broken Faces was runner-up in the 2012 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition and Good Housekeeping magazine described her as ‘One to watch’.
Download Mrs Boots Goes To War here: https://tinyurl.com/dry6k7x8
Other books to look out for in March:
The Cosy Little Cupcake Van by Annette Hannah
The littlest library by Poppy Alexander
After the Crash by Emma Davies
A Mother Forever by Elaine Everest
Discarded by MA Hunter (the 4th book in ‘The Missing Children Case Files’ series
A Sprinkle of Sabotage by Fiona Leitch (the 3rd book in the Nosey Parker Cosy Mystery series)
Just Like in the Movies by Heidi Rice
The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker
Curse of the Celts by Clara O’Connor (the 2nd book in The Once and Future Queen series)
The Sister Surprise by Abigail Mann
The House of Killers by Samantha Lee Howe (first book in new series)
Total Fallout by Alex Shaw
Call me Mummy by Tina Baker
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Thank you for tuning in! Lots of Love, Christie & Kim xx