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18 April 2015

Review: 'Solomon's Kitten' by Sheila Jeffries (2014)

"This is a special kitten. She has come to heal."

Soon after she is born, tiny kitten Tallulah, with her bright eyes and silver and white fur edged with gold, is whisked away from her father Solomon and dumped in a hedge like rubbish.

After a tough start in life, neglected and abandoned, Tallulah eventually finds a new home with the Lee family and forms a special bond with their daughter Tammy. But Tammy has a terrible secret and Tallulah must do all in her power to keep the family safe.

Sheila Jeffries' 'Solomon's Kitten', which was released in November 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK, is the sequel to 'Solomon's Tale'. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of 'Solomon's Tale' in 2013 and the book turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than I originally expected (click here to read my review). I'm not the biggest cat fan and the book seemed to be different from the genres I usually read. However, it definitely managed to surprise me and was certainly worth the read. So, when I also got the chance to read and review 'Solomon's Kitten', I was curious to discover whether I would enjoy this book as much as I did the first part!

Small kitten Tallulah is taken from her mother and father, Solomon, when she is young and abandoned in a hedge. She struggles and manages to survive, and after some difficult times she eventually ends up with a new family to love her and take care of her. However, Tallulah herself will also need to take care of her new owner, teenage girl Tammy Lee, who is hiding a dark secret and finds it difficult to keep it hidden from the people around her. Tallulah is determined to protect and help Tammy Lee, but will she really be able to protect both Tammy Lee and her family?

Just like its prequel 'Solomon's Tale', 'Solomon's Kitten' is quite a unique and heart-warming story told completely from the perspective of a cat. Spirituality plays an important role in the book and the idea of animals being assigned to people who need them, who need someone to love them and take care of them. This idea of pets really looking out for their owners really spoke to me, and results in quite a heart-warming story that shows the unique connection that can be formed between animals and people. 

Sheila Jeffries' writing is really easy to get into and comfortable to read. The book has about 250 pages and is quite a quick read; I finished it in a day and it held my attention throughout. The book deals with quite a few heavy topics, so if you plan to read this with children, make sure to keep that in mind. Even if you're not a cat lover, like me, Sheila Jeffries' stories are definitely worth picking up if you're looking for a warm story. Overall, 'Solomon's Kitten' is a heartfelt, good-paced, and captivating read; perfect for cat fans, but also for those readers who are looking for something different for a change!
Rating:8/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

16 April 2015

Review & Guest Post: 'Triple X' by Angelisa Stone and Christine Zolendz

Does size really matter? 

Two women spin a tale of comedy and new beginnings after they wake up and find themselves in a jail cell over 3000 miles away from home. Rehashing their adventure in front of a less-than-sympathetic judge, they give a laugh-out-loud and extremely detailed story of a road trip that finds them in a ton of trouble. 

Battling age, weight, and their own personal demons, not only do they discover the open road and a life they misplaced somewhere in their 20s, they also find themselves. From breakups and stealing cars to blurry memories of something that might have happened in New Mexico, these two women will take you on a real journey, full of fun and, well, situations that people only write about and never really do….or do they?

A few weeks ago I was contacted by authors Angelisa Stone and Christine Zolendz about their chick lit novel 'Triple X', which was released in January 2015. This is their first book as a duo, and their first venture into the world of chick lit. I had a quick look online to read a bit more about the book and found a ton of incredibly positive and enthusiastic reviews from all kinds of women, which definitely made me even more excited about checking out 'Triple X.' I'm also happy to have an exclusive guest post from Angelisa and Christine on the blog today, so be sure to check it out by scrolling down!

Angelisa and Christine are best friends, even though they've never actually met after they became friends online. The two women have a lot in common; they've both hit forty, are married, have kids, are slightly overweight and unhappy with their current lives. When Christine finds her husband cheating on her, she's had enough and decides to go away for a couple of weeks on a road trip to Las Vegas, and she's taking Angelisa, who desperately needs a break from everything as well, with her. It doesn't take long before the ladies find themselves in all kinds of weird and hilarious situations, while discovering the importance of friendship and finding yourself, no matter what age or size you are.

I can honestly say Angelisa Stone's and Christine Zolendz' chick lit debut 'Triple X' is unlike anything else I've ever read. The ladies definitely have their own distinctive writing style, which was fast-paced, easy to get into and simply hilarious. They aren't afraid to just throw everything out there, including the things we often think but don't dare to say out loud, which results in numerous laugh-out-loud moments. The main characters in the novel have the author's names, but I have no idea in how far the story is based on their own lives and personalities. The chemistry between the two of them is great, though, and this is visible throughout the entire novel.

‘Triple X’ has a bit of a Thelma and Louise vibe with Angelisa and Christine leaving everything behind to go on a road trip to Las Vegas together in an expensive Jaguar. One of the absolute strengths of this story, besides the humour, is the fact that female readers will be able to relate to the characters and what they’re going through. There’s a reason why there are so many female readers who have given 5-star reviews for this book and it’s because the authors have managed to write a story that is recognisable and fun for readers of all ages. Overall, ‘Triple X’ is a light, funny and inspiring chick lit read about friendship, finding yourself and making the most of life. Really enjoyed it!
Rating:8/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads


Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.



Exclusive guest post by Angelisa Stone & Christine Zolendz!

I'm excited to have the authors of 'Triple X', Angelisa Stone and Christine Zolendz, on the blog today with a great and funny guest post you definitely don't want to miss!

**

Music Ramblings
 
Angelisa:        Christine and I would never--like ever--be able to agree on a playlist for #TripleX.  Music is probably the ONLY thing that she and I can’t agree on.  Mostly, we share a brain on all other things. However, our music interests vary greatly!
 
Christine:      That’s putting it mildly--like saying Hell is “kind of” warm.
 
Angelisa:        As I was saying...when I was driving and she wasn’t stuffing her face with cheese puffs or M&Ms, she was creating a makeshift noose out of the seatbelt, claiming it was the only thing that would give her reprieve from my “noise.”  In my defense, I have so many tastes in music that it’s often hard to keep up with me.  I listen to everything from the 1970s, 1980s, and some early 1990s--as long as the singers have hair shorter than mine. I’ve been known to “hang tough” with New Kids on the Block while “smacking it up, flipping it, and rubbing it down” with Bell Biv DeVoe. I’ve even felt the “good vibrations” with Marky-Mark and the Funky Bunch.  But when I’m driving, really focused on my driving and cruising at a good speed, I’m like Collin Raye’s “Little Red Rodeo.” You wouldn’t be able to catch me. On the open road, I like to feel the song, the words, and the way that Luke Bryan caresses and tongues my eardrums with his country-loving lyrics.
 
Christine:      Angelisa isn’t lying, I really did try to choke myself out with her seatbelt listening to her God awful taste in music, but then I realized her horrible driving skills would probably kill me a lot faster. She’s one of those drivers that posts on Facebook, applies lipstick, and then snaps selfies while driving.  
 
Angelisa:        Hey now, we BOTH looked good in those pictures--except that one of you reaching over into the back seat.  “Baby’s got back!”
 
Christine:      Do. Not. Go. There.
 
Angelisa:        Oh I went there!
 
Christine:      Anyway, I would have said our playlist consisted of songs like “Baby Got Back” or Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “I like Big Butts.”  However, those songs are not my sort of music. I don’t even recognize the names Angelisa mentions above. And I certainly don’t know about this Luke guy who tongues her eardrums.  
 
Angelisa:        He does tongue my ears.  Oh God, does he.
 
Christine:      *sigh* I’m more of a rock n’ roll kind of a girl. I was brought up on Ozzy and Metallica. I also like Pink’s music, because I think her songs really mean something. As for country music? I’d rather eat a dirt sandwich with a crap load of mayo than listen to those morons crone on and on about their broken mufflers and six packs.
 
Angelisa:        There is not one song about a broken muffler.  
 
Christine:      The truth is: if the real Christine and Angelisa were to go on a roadtrip, music would never need to be put on. When we talk on the phone (which is all the time) or are in the same room (which is rare), there is NEVER silence. We talk so much that we talk over each other and finish each other’s sentences. There is never silence. Mostly, we laugh and talk about how we have to stop laughing, because we’re going to pee our pants.
 
Angelisa:        That’s the truth!! I did pee my pants (a little) in Myrtle Beach, right after I drove over a curb going the wrong way down a one-way street.  #True Story
For more of our antics, try our chick-lit, laugh-out-loud book, #TripleX.

15 April 2015

Upcoming Release: 'The Love Shack' by Jane Costello


Life's great when you're 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum...

Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they'll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan's mum. 

It's a desperate solution, but it's only for six months. And Gemma's determined to make it work, no matter how bad things get. 

But between Dan's mum's kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and - worst of all - her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not. 

Then, as they're trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma's past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…

On the 23rd of April we are being treated to a fabulous new chick lit release by no one other than the amazing Jane Costello! I always enjoy Jane's books; her stories are perfect to escape from reality for a few hours and always make me smile. I can't wait to read 'The Love Shack' (which has a gorgeous book cover, by the way!) because it already sounds like a very promising read. I can't wait to pick this book up as soon as possible and will hopefully share a review of it with all of you soon! :)