Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Invitation by Tyfany Janee + Giveaway



The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind by Tyfany Janee
​Category: Adult Fiction; 40 pages
​Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Tyfany Williams
Release date: March 31, 2017
Tour dates: Aug 21 to Sept 1, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (​for mature content of love and relationships etc. 1-2 word usage of bad language. No sex scenes or erotica language.)

Book Description:

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind, is a showcase in talent from author and poet Tyfany Janee. She's eloquently produced the anthology through plaintive artistic angst. Injecting the essence of her soul into her prose. The diverse collection of poetry which lies between the covers is the result of an entire life's work experimenting within her vocation.

Her work is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a succinct hint of humor as she tears away the facade from humanity. The works shed light on relative issues that we're all faced with in our easily waywardly led astray lives, and the monotony that makes up our existence.

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind is an ode to the beat generation of poets that carved their names in literary history. Any creative mind will revel in the inspiration that lies between these pages; it's full of daring attitude, and celebration for the authentic. A unique look on love, that you have to dare to delve within. It harnesses true devotion, with a stark, hair raising element of modern reality.


Buy the Book:

​Book Trailer:






About the Author:

Tyfany Janee is a mother and an upcoming graduate with a BS in Business Administration in a concentration of Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Marketing. She is a prolific writer, author and poet and she has an upcoming plan of releasing a short story collection in 2018 that she titles; The Road Sometimes Traveled; and a poetry collection book titled "RSVP: To Be You Unapologetically.” Additionally, a release of a debut novel, the first of a series in 2019 she titles; To Love Him..I.

Her recent book is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a much-needed element of humor when it comes to exposing the true nature of humankind. Tyfany devours inspiration wherever she can get it, from cult classics, to just about anything she can see.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 9
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Books by Tyfany Janee / Poetry / Books from America

Monday, 21 August 2017

Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba


Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba
First published as The Stone Hills Of Maragoli by Kwani in Kenya in 2002. Republished in America as Forbidden Fruit by Mantle in June 2017.

Winner of the 2003 Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature.

296 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 1767 pages.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Desperate to make ends meet, Ombima commits a "harmless" crime. When he tries to conceal his misdeed, the simple farm laborer becomes a reluctant participant in a sinister affair. If discovered, the consequences could be disastrous for Ombima's family, friends, and a spate of unwitting, gossipy villagers. A delicious tale of greed, lust, and betrayal, Stanley Gazemba's FORBIDDEN FRUIT is more than a dramatic tale of rural life in western Kenya. The moral slips and desperate cover-ups — sometimes sad, sometimes farcical — are the stories of time and place beyond the village of Maragoli.

I hoped to have enjoyed reading Forbidden Fruit more than I actually did and it took a while for me to actually put my finger on what I think lets the novel down. On a positive note, Gazemba provides us with a striking portrait of Kenyan village life. Following his supporting cast of landowners and villagers through their days allowed me to understand and empathise with them - as well as reinforcing my desire to only ever buy FairTrade tea. Witnessing, albeit fictiously, so many people living in absolute poverty despite their hard work on tea plantations really gave me a good insight into relative Western affluence. Despite their eye-opening aspect, these scenes of gossip and bickering aren't depressingly serious. Instead they are alive with energy and great fun to read.

Unfortunately I was less enamoured of the central storyline which follows plantation worker Ombima as he gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble as the result of one desperate act. I struggled to empathise with Ombima or to understand his actions because I felt his motivations weren't adequately explained. The narrative seemed disjointed to me, Ombima stumbling from one event to another without strong enough reasons for doing so. This was a shame as I happily got caught up in the surrounding circumstances and appreciated Gazemba's detailed evocation of the village and landscape around Maragoli. I would still recommend Forbidden Fruit for this portrayal of rural Kenya.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Stanley Gazemba / Contemporary fiction / Books from Kenya

Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Book Of Abisan by C H Clepitt


The Book of Abisan by C.H. Clepitt

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Do you believe in destiny?
When two worlds collide a new hope is born.

Yfrey is lost, alone in a world where her kind is persecuted. She has one hope, to find The Roghnaithe, one who is destined to help save her world from destruction by a tyrannical ruler. The Book of Abisan crosses multiple realities to follow the lives of two very different women, as they come together to battle armies, as well as their own personal demons.

Step into an exciting world of adventure, magic and alternate realities in this fast paced, action packed fantasy.

I discovered The Book Of Abisan back in 2015 after having been pointed towards it on Twitter. A feminist fantasy novel of witches, magic and multiple realities, it wasn't my preferred genre, but I enjoyed the read. C H Clepitt has a new novel, Everything Is Better With A Cape, launching at the beginning of September and I am looking forward to reading and reviewing it soon.

The Book Of Abisan is a volume of prophecy, carried and studied by a witch, Yfrey, who is trying to rid her world of an oppressive dictator, Calim. Calim is a charismatic man, but one without any magic of his own and he is determined to rid that same world of all its magical beings, leaving himself all powerful. Clepitt's book is a fast action-packed ride - a complete contrast to my previous read! There is some attempt at rounding out the two main characters, Yfrey and a human woman named Jacques, but otherwise everyone is pretty two-dimensional with the novel's emphasis put on doing rather than being. I thought several scenes were too rushed and would have liked a lot more in the way of description to help me understand what was going on and why, especially once the reality hopping starts. I wanted to know more about the different realities! If that was done I would say that there could be enough plot here for two exciting novels. However, overall this is an easy escapist read and I liked the drawings at the start of each Part.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by C H Clepitt / Fantasy fiction / Books from England

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Story Of My Life by Helen Keller


The Story Of My Life by Helen Keller
First published in America by Doubleday in 1903.

59 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 1470 pages.

My 1900s read for this year's Goodreads / BookCrossing Decade Challenge - now completed!
1903 - The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
1914 - Rosshalde by Hermann Hesse
1929 - The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
1938 - The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham
1940 - The Rights of Man by H G Wells
1959 - Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
1963 - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
1974 - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K Dick
1987 - The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
1996 - Berta La Larga by Cuca Canals
2001 - There Were Many Horses by Luiz Ruffato
2015 - Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When she was 19 months old, Helen Keller (1880–1968) suffered a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. Not long after, she also became mute. Her tenacious struggle to overcome these handicaps - with the help of her inspired teacher, Anne Sullivan - is one of the great stories of human courage and dedication.
In this classic autobiography, first published in 1903, Miss Keller recounts the first 22 years of her life, including the magical moment at the water pump when, recognizing the connection between the word "water" and the cold liquid flowing over her hand, she realized that objects had names. Subsequent experiences were equally noteworthy: her joy at eventually learning to speak, her friendships with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edward Everett Hale and other notables, her education at Radcliffe (from which she graduated cum laude), and-underlying all-her extraordinary relationship with Miss Sullivan, who showed a remarkable genius for communicating with her eager and quick-to-learn pupil.
These and many other aspects of Helen Keller's life are presented here in clear, straightforward prose full of wonderful descriptions and imagery that would do credit to a sighted writer. Completely devoid of self-pity, yet full of love and compassion for others, this deeply moving memoir offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the outstanding women of the twentieth century.

For a woman to go to college at all in the early 1900s was achievement enough that a memoir of her struggle to get there would be of interest to me. When I think that Helen Keller was also deaf and blind, her determination becomes all the more incredible. I cannot remember a time when I didn't know of Keller's existence and I am sure my mother gave me a child's edition of her story (a Ladybird book?) as soon as I was old enough to read it! However I hadn't given this example of perseverance much thought since until I needed a 1900s-published book to complete the above Decade Challenge and decided to revisit Keller's story.

I like that this memoir is written in a straightforward style without the reliance on overly emotional scenes or appeals to readers for pity. Even in her early twenties, as she was on wroting this memoir, Keller is already well-read and erudite beyond her years. At one point she notes blind poet Homer's immortality through his writing and I thought that the same is now true of her. Helen Keller is a name I think many people would recognise. She frequently makes sure to give credit where it is due so I understood that her success was equally as a much a result of her family's support and Anne Sullivan's tireless dedication as it was to Helen own efforts. It was also interesting to see the facilities available to deaf and/or blind American children at this period - at least to those whose parents could afford it - and to see how those resources dwindled as Helen strode past the needs of a child's education, pioneering the right of disabled people to expect college educations and independent lives. An inspirational woman.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Helen Keller / Biography and memoir / Books from America

Friday, 18 August 2017

Amnesty by Cambria Hebert + Giveaway


Amnesty (Amnesia #2) by Cambria Hebert
Self published on August 15th 2017

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk

Add Amnesty to your Goodreads

*Please note Amnesty contains subjects and situations that some readers may find disturbing.

There’s freedom in remembering.

My past is a double-edged sword. Damned if I remember; damned if I don’t. Recollection beyond the horrors I already have will change me. Change us. But what if I’m living a lie? What if everything I believe is wrong? What if who I thought I was isn’t real? If not her, then…

Who am I? Eddie says it doesn’t matter, but deep down, I’m terrified it does. I’m trapped. Held prisoner by a past I can’t remember and a future that may not belong to me. There’s a light, though not at the end of the tunnel…

It’s wavering in the distance, calling to me from Rumor Island. That light, it scares me far more than darkness. Am I brave enough to confront it? So many questions, so few answers. I don’t have a choice; the truth always finds a way to the surface. Finally learning who I truly am will be a permanent life sentence. Total punishment or absolute amnesty.



Meet the author:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo. Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Author links:







And now for the giveaway!
Open to the US only (sorry) until August 24th, the winner will receive signed paperback copies of Amnesia and Amnesty + swag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Cambria / Romance fiction / Books from America

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Benediction by Kent Haruf


Benediction by Kent Haruf
First published by Alfred A Knopf in America in February 2013.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Borrowed from my partner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One long last summer for Dad Lewis in his beloved town, Holt, Colorado. As old friends pass in and out to voice their farewells and good wishes, Dad's wife and daughter work to make his final days as comfortable as possible, knowing all is tainted by the heart-break of an absent son. Next door, a little girl with a troubled past moves in with her grandmother, and down town another new arrival, the Reverend Rob Lyle, attempts to mend strained relationships of his own.
Utterly beautiful, and devastating yet affirming, Kent Haruf's Benediction explores the pain, the compassion and the humanity of ordinary people.

Benediction is the third volume in Kent Haruf's trilogy set in the rural American community of Holt. I loved reading the first two books, Plainsong and Eventide, so had high hopes for Benediction - hopes which were not disappointed.

Benediction is set some years later so characters that had previously taken centre stage have moved on or passed on. Instead we spend our time with an older man, hardware store owner Dad Lewis, who is dying from cancer, his family, neighbours and staff. I think that this was definitely the most melancholy of the trilogy and not just because of its cancer storyline, but also due to a very real sense of Holt changing as a town. References to America being at war again and the Reverend's disastrous 'turn the other cheek' sermon were particularly poignant and timely given the ISIS Paris attacks last week and many hate-filled reactions I have seen to it.

Haruf was one of the best observational writers I have read. His creation of ordinary people is superb and I love the way he makes the minutiae of their daily lives interesting and important. At one point, Reverend Lyle says that he just wanted to see 'the precious ordinary' and that quote completely sums up Benediction for me.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Axelle Chandler / Contemporary fiction / Books from America

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Guest review: Jade by Rose Montague


Jade by Rose Montague
First published in America by Caliburn Press in November 2013.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Guest review by C H Clepitt
C H Clepitt has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of the West of England. As her Bachelor’s Degree was in Drama, and her Master’s Dissertation focused on little known 18th Century playwright Susannah Centlivre, Clepitt’s novels are extremely dialogue driven, and it has often been observed that they would translate well to the screen.
Since graduating in 2007, she gained experience in community and music journalism, before establishing satirical news website, Newsnibbles in 2010. In 2011 she published her book, A Reason to Stay, which follows the adventures of disillusioned retail manager, Stephen, as he is thrust into village life and the world of AmDram. Clepitt’s feminist fantasy, The Book of Abisan not only crosses worlds, but confuses genres, and has been described as a crime drama with magic. She has often said that she doesn’t like the way that choosing a genre forces you to put your book into a specific little box, and instead she prefers to distort the readers’ expectations and keep them guessing. Her 2016 work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse does just that, as just like the characters, the readers won’t know what’s going on in this laugh out loud satirical scifi.

C H's rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground.
On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she be the next victim?
Magic, mayhem, and mystery abound, and the odds are stacked against them; it’s three against three hundred.

C H says: I bought this book because I saw it advertised on Twitter and thought it looked quite good, and it did not disappoint. If you like Lost Girl then you’ll like this. Jade mixes run of the mill US cop fiction with urban fantasy.

It is set in a world where “supes” are integrated with humans, but obviously face discrimination, as humans discriminate against anything that’s different, don’t they? Jade is living proof that you don’t need to conform to anyone’s expectations of what you should be, and with a kickass team by her side she battles to thwart a conspiracy and save her friends.

I could not put this book down, and read it in a day and a half. It is non-stop action, with just the right amount of comedy and romance to balance it out. The characters are deftly drawn and you feel by the end that you kinda want to be their friend, only the whole constantly running from danger would put me off, I’d probably need a nap or something.

So, to the scores. Out of 10, I’d give it 9. This is because there were a few typos, and whilst this did not affect my enjoyment, and we all have typos (I am certainly not immune), in my way of thinking, 10 means perfection, so I doubt any book will ever get a full 10 from me. That said, the Amazon score is 5/5, because it’s really good. Really!

This review was first published on Newsnibbles


Thank you C H!

Do you have a book review that you would like to share on Literary Flits? Details of how to do so are Here. I look forward to hearing from you!


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Rose Montague / Fantasy fiction / Books from America

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

City Folk and Country Folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya


City Folk and Country Folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya
First published in Russian in Russia in the 1860s. English language translation by Nora Seligman Favorov published today, the 15th August 2017, by Columbia University Press (5th September in the UK).

272 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 1411 pages.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the hardback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An unsung gem of nineteenth-century Russian literature, City Folk and Country Folk is a seemingly gentle yet devastating satire of Russia's aristocratic and pseudo-intellectual elites in the 1860s. Translated into English for the first time, the novel weaves an engaging tale of manipulation, infatuation, and female assertiveness that takes place one year after the liberation of the empire's serfs.
Upending Russian literary cliches of female passivity and rural gentry benightedness, Sofia Khvoshchinskaya centers her story on a commonsense, hardworking noblewoman and her self-assured daughter living on their small rural estate. The antithesis of the thoughtful, intellectual, and self-denying young heroines created by Khvoshchinskaya's male peers, especially Ivan Turgenev, seventeen-year-old Olenka ultimately helps her mother overcome a sense of duty to her "betters" and leads the two to triumph over the urbanites' financial, amorous, and matrimonial machinations.
Sofia Khvoshchinskaya and her writer sisters closely mirror Britain's Brontes, yet Khvoshchinskaya's work contains more of Jane Austen's wit and social repartee, as well an intellectual engagement reminiscent of Elizabeth Gaskell's condition-of- England novels. Written by a woman under a male pseudonym, this brilliant and entertaining exploration of gender dynamics on a post-emancipation Russian estate offers a fresh and necessary point of comparison with the better-known classics of nineteenth-century world literature

A lovely comedy of class, manners and snobbery, I think City Folk And Country Folk should appeal to Jane Austen fans the world over. Khvoshchinskaya's writing, especially her dialogue, is wonderfully modern in style, sharp and vivacious, and her wickedly well observed characters are tremendous fun to spend time with. I liked that while the novel doesn't shy away from depicting social problems and the upheaval in Russia at the time, Khvoshchinskaya avoids getting bogged down in depressing detail. As Russian literature of the era goes, I think City Folk and Country Folk is refreshing breeze!

The characters particularly appealed to me because they are vivid and wonderfully alive, sometimes overstated but never grotesquely so, and women lead the narrative rather than simply being decorative adornments to men. The somewhat overwhelmed mother, Nastasya, and her irritatingly giggly but deceptively smart daughter, Olenka, stand up for themselves against repressive etiquette and a fabulously pompous reclusive aunt who frequently had me giggling almost as much as Olenka. The pair are precariously placed in the middle of several competing situations, each of which would see them at least lose face and I loved how Khvoshchinskaya had them navigate these tricky waters. Working-class serf peasants have just gained the right to land of their own which Nastasya must provide while at the same time an educated gentleman wishes to take up residence in her bath house and a neighbour wishes to marry Olenka off to her dolt of a protegee. The expectations of behaviour and mindless obedience based solely on perceived class and ancestry provide much of the humour, especially when these expectations are bluntly confounded.

I was surprised to discover that the new Columbia University Press edition of City Folk and Country Folk is its first publication in English. I am sure it should already have been a literary hit outside its native country! Strong heroines and the historical setting (albeit contemporary at its time of writing) are well suited to modern tastes and I believe Khvoshchinskaya's modern style should appeal to a wide readership.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya / Humorous fiction / Books from Russia

Monday, 14 August 2017

Child Of Tibet by Soname Yangchen


Child Of Tibet by Soname Yangchen with Vicki MacKenzie
Published in the UK by Piatkus Books in 2006.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing.

184 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 1139.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

How I got this book:
Bought from a Rowcroft charity shop in Torquay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book tells the remarkable story of Soname's triumph over adversity, told against the backdrop of a turbulent and dangerous Tibet. Soname was born in the harsh Tibetan countryside during the Chinese occupation. When she was just sixteen Soname risked death in a freedom trek across the Himalayas, finally arriving in Dharamsala, home in exile of the Dalai Lama. Even after managing to escape from Tibet, she faced further dangers and heartache in India, being forced by destitution to give her daughter away. Soname later managed to reach England, where she met and married an Englishman and came to live in Brighton. Her hidden talent was discovered when she sang a traditional Tibetan song at a wedding reception, unaware that a member of a famous band was a guest. Concerts followed. Tracing her long-lost daughter has long been Soname's preoccupation, and it is hoped that her daughter will finally join her in England later this year. Hers is a story of immense will, unbelievable courage and, above all, an indomitable soaring free spirit.


Child Of Tibet is an inspiring autobiography, an uplifting tale of one woman's unceasing attempts to make a better life for herself in the face of extreme circumstances. Prior to reading this book I was aware of the Tibetan struggle to shake off Chinese rule, but I had no idea of the realities of living under their ideology or how completely opposed many of their rules are to traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. For Soname, escaping the repressive regime regime was vital because she probably would never have been anything other than a house slave in her native land.

Despite her isolation and poor treatment in Tibet, Soname's love for her country shines through every page. Her descriptions of her childhood farming community, the beauty and majesty of the mountainous landscape, and the everyday difficulties of living in such terrain and at such altitude - water can take two hours to boil! - opened my eyes to a previously hidden culture. I was saddened to learn how much has been destroyed during. the Chinese occupation.

Once Soname's escape begins I was in awe of her mental strength and the dedication of those people travelling with her. I am sure in the same situation I would have given up (and died), but Soname's faith and ability to be open to opportunity gives her the strength to persevere. I was amazed at the variety of people she encounters, a woman with basically nothing hob-nobbing with the super-rich, and I would have liked to learn more about aspects such as the exiled Tibetan community in India. Child Of Tibet is not a long enough book to encompass Soname's incredible life so it did at times feel superficial. Soname is an amazing woman and I am glad to have discovered her story and her music through reading Child Of Tibet.




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Soname Yangchen / Biography and memoir / Books from Tibet

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Mind Verses by Deena Mehjabeen + Giveaway


Mind Verses by Deena Mehjabeen
Self published in June 2017.

91 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 955.

Where to buy this book:
Download the free ebook from Smashwords
Download the free ebook from Kobo
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook from Smashwords

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind Verses is a collection of poetry and prose that is born from the author's experiences, musings and in moments of joy, insecurity, grief and the feelings that are sometimes hard to voice. The four parts in the collection - Life, Love, Loss and Lessons are written with the hope to resonate with you, the reader.


I downloaded Mind Verses when I spotted it included in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. That sale has now finished of course, but you can still get your free copy via either Smashwords or Kobo - links above.

Deena Mehjabeen writes intense personal poetry exploring her life, family and romantic relationships, yet manages to make her poems universal. Despite Bangladesh being five thousand miles from Britain, its culture very different, I could easily identify with Mehjabeen's grief and longing, anger and love. In several of her poems such as Evil and Who Gave You The Right? she speaks for women everywhere. In Missing You she portrays searing grief on the death of her grandfather. Paradox and Silence could have been written about me!

I frequently felt quite privileged to be allowed such emotional closeness through this poetry to a woman I will probably never meet. Not all the poems spoke to me as strongly and there is perhaps too much theme repetition at times, but I am certainly glad to have discovered Mehjabeen's writing in this strong collection.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Deena Mehjabeen / Poetry / Books from Bangladesh

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Body And Soul by Roddy Murray


Body And Soul by Roddy Murray
Self published in November 2013.

259 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 864.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Took advantage of a free Amazon download promotion

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two very different men are on a pathway to a meeting which will change both their lives for ever. One is a Scottish ex-soldier, ex-boxer, ex-husband, ex-father and ex-drunk struggling to turn his life around. The other, the CEO of an American multi-national, has both wealth and power. They do not know each other and only the American believes he knows the true purpose of their meeting. In fact both have been duped in different ways and as their lives begin to unravel they must try to deal with the truth if they can. Only one has the skills and determination to survive.

Despite its science fiction themes, Body And Soul reads more like a macho adventure novel. We are constantly reminded of our protagonist, Frank's, ex-army credentials, glamorising his violent tendencies. The story itself starts out well with Frank being rehabilitated from extreme alcoholism to become a successful personal trainer. He then receives an unusual commission from an American corporation, Nebus. At the same time we meet Blaine, a high level Nebus manager visiting the company's Scottish manufacturing facility. I enjoyed reading about the plant and its workers. Murray does a good job of introducing his lead characters and setting the stage so I was interested to see where the story would lead.

Unfortunately the middle of Body And Soul is slow going, bogged down in far too much repetition of the same routines and with very little direct action or even speech. We are told what characters do, eat and how they feel, but we aren't shown so I felt too removed from them to appreciate their situation. Murray's plot raises deep philosophical questions about body sovereignty and personal identity, but these are barely explored leaving us instead to be told again and again about Frank's incessant lechery. A major irritant in this book is that none of the women are remotely realistic. Instead they just exist to provide eye candy and easy sex.

The narrative does pick up energy again towards the close. I could appreciate Frank's physical struggles and the final wrap up is satisfying. However I was disappointed by the earlier squandered opportunities to engage me as a reader. I thought the real bones of the story needed stronger presentation because all the excess padding overly dilutes what should have been a much more exciting read.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Roddy Murray / Science fiction / Books from Scotland

Friday, 11 August 2017

Crescent Calling by Axelle Chandler + Giveaway


Crescent Calling by Axelle Chandler
Self published on August 9th 2017

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk

Add Crescent Calling to your Goodreads and enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win a copy (ends August 16th)

Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life. Or so she thought. When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle. Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.

Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox. More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland. Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot. She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil. Whether she likes it or not.

The Crescent Witch Chronicles is a series stuffed full of Irish charm, myth and mayhem. Come on an adventure fraught with danger and forbidden romance…and the ultimate battle to save magic before it’s gone forever. 



Meet the author:
Axelle Chandler is an Australian Urban Fantasy author. She lives in the western suburbs of Melbourne dreaming up nail biting stories featuring bad-ass witches, hunky shape shifters and devious monsters. She likes chocolate, cat memes and video games. When she’s not writing, she likes to think of what she’s writing next.

Author links:




And now for the giveaway!
Open internationally untl August 17th, the winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Axelle Chandler / Fantasy fiction / Books from Australia

Thursday, 10 August 2017

31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge by Lindsay Miles


31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge by Lindsay Miles
Self-published in Australia in 2017.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook directly from the author's website
Receive a reward copy for supporting Lindsay on Patreon

How I got this book:
Bought from the author

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A mini guide with a mini price tag, the 31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge is designed to kickstart your plastic-free living journey!
The 31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge has 31 illustrated tips, challenges and insights for living with less plastic. Tackle one challenge per day, or go at your own pace.

Having already read Lindsay Miles' free eguide Enough Is Enough, I was aware of the overall ideas included in Miles' 31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge. The latter is a great little book for more specific inspiration although I think if I had tried to make each of the changes on successive days I would have been tearing my hair out - probably after just a fortnight! Instead I have it saved for reference, picking out a few ideas at a time to incorporate into my lifestyle and allowing those new habits to bed in before I add a few more.

I first read 31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge during the mania of Plastic Free July and liked that it contains easily understandable snippets of essential information and motivation to help readers towards their own plastic free lifestyles. If you missed the boat on last month's Plastic Free July Challenge or prefer to make your lifestyle changes without that type of pressure, this guide is the one for you! Re-reading it again a few weeks later fired up my enthusiasm again. I happily ticked off tips I have already started to follow and found myself eager to launch myself into other ideas! The book is written and illustrated in a light engaging style and I think I will continue to return to it for inspiration for several months to come.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Lindsay Miles / Lifestyle books / Books from England

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind by Anne Charnock

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind: A Novel

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind by Anne Charnock
Published in America by Amazon imprint 47North in December 2015.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from its publishers via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

History is storytelling. But some stories remain untold. In fifteenth-century Italy, Paolo Uccello recognizes the artistic talent of his young daughter, Antonia, and teaches her how to create a masterpiece. The girl composes a painting of her mother and inadvertently sparks an enduring mystery.
In the present day, a copyist painter receives a commission from a wealthy Chinese businessman to duplicate a Paolo Uccello painting. Together, the painter and his teenage daughter visit China, and in doing so they begin their escape from a tragic family past.
In the twenty-second century, a painting is discovered that’s rumored to be the work of Paolo Uccello’s daughter. This reawakens an art historian’s dream of elevating Antonia Uccello, an artist ignored by history because of her gender. Stories untold. Secrets uncovered. But maybe some mysteries should remain shrouded.

Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind caught my attention for its wonderful title which I learned is from a Laura Cereta quote. In the book, Charnock tells three stories side-by-side, each tenuously linked by the art of fifteenth century painter Paolo Uccelli and his daughter, thirteen year old Antonia. Antonia's is one of our three protagonists. Living as she really did in fifteenth century Italy, her short life -she died aged thirty-five - was spent primarily within the walls of a convent. Charnock imagines this as the only way her father could ensure her freedom to paint professionally. A husband of the time would surely not have allowed a career for his wife. This rang very true for me having not so long ago read Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel, a biography of a comparable woman's life.

Charnock's second thread is Toni, a teenager in 2015 who has travelled to China with with her art copyist father. He too encourages his daughter's artistic talents, but in this time period there isn't a question of art or marriage. Indeed, for Toni such decisions for her future aren't even on the cards yet even though she is the same age as our historical Antonia.

In the year 2113, Toniah is a single woman in her twenties living with her sister and niece in a wholly female household. Due to technological advances, husbands and fathers are no longer necessary for human reproduction and Charnock presents a vision of a Britain where male-excluded households are becoming commonplace and Toniah's work as an art historian is reinstating women who were 'inadvertently overlooked' by traditional patriarchal history.

I enjoyed reading all three stories, especially the historical one, and liked how Charnock asks questions about gender and the importance of balance. Her protagonists' lives have factors in common as well as divergence and I was interested in her portrayal of the differences in female freedom as well as what I thought was a 'is this too far?' question in her futuristic scenario. Some of the dialogue doesn't quite sit right for its character, but overall I found the characters themselves to be well thought through and believable. What I didn't like about the book though, and what really ruined it for me, was the abruptness of the ending. It just stops with Antonia/Toni/Toniah each poised on the threshold of their futures and no sense of closure. I have since read elsewhere that this deliberate device on Charnock's part was inspired by other works she had read, leaving the story open to the reader's imagination, but I was left feeling rather that at least a quarter of the novel was simply missing.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Anne Charnock / Science fiction / Books from England

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan


Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
First published by John Murray in 1954. English language translation by Irene Ash published in 1955.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

108 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 605.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Bought from a book sale in Harlech, Wales

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The French Riviera: home to the Beautiful People. And none are more beautiful than Cécile, a precocious seventeen-year-old, and her father Raymond, a vivacious libertine. Charming, decadent and irresponsible, the golden-skinned duo are dedicated to a life of free love, fast cars and hedonistic pleasures. But then, one long, hot summer Raymond decides to marry, and Cécile and her lover Cyril feel compelled to take a hand in his amours, with tragic consequences.
Bonjour Tristesse scandalized 1950s France with its portrayal of teenager terrible Cécile, a heroine who rejects conventional notions of love, marriage and responsibility to choose her own sexual freedom.

I can imagine how shocking Bonjour Tristesse must have been to a 1950s audience, but I don't think that it has dated well. It is essentially a very early Young Adult novella. Its protagonist, our narrator Cecile, is such a spoilt hedonist that I couldn't empathise with her at all and the other characters are disappointingly shallowly portrayed. The storyline did hold my interest, but I couldn't help repeatedly wondering if this book was written now whether it would even get to publication, let alone become such a classic. Its reputation means I am glad to have finally read Bonjour Tristesse, but to the claims for its brilliance that usually centre around Sagan only having been seventeen when she wrote this I would reply that yes, that shows!


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Francoise Sagan / Novellas / Books from France

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Woodlands Series Box Set by Lauren Nicolle Taylor + Giveaway


The Woodlands Series Box Set by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by Clean Teen Publishing today, August 7th 2017

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook box set from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook boxset from Kobo
Buy the individual paperbacks from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the individual paperbacks from The Book Depository

Add The Woodlands Series to your Goodreads

Do you dare enter the Woodlands?

As the last livable spot on Earth, the Russian wilderness is the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known. But now they need to escape, or Rosa will be trapped forever in a horrific government program. A dystopian page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing. Readers can purchase this boxed set at a significant discount over the cost to purchase each novel individually. This is a complete series boxed set.

The Woodlands is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Young Adult” category of the USA Best Book Awards, as well as a Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Awards by the Kindle Book Review.



“Lauren Taylor’s writing is powerfully descriptive; she is a master of words and similes.” – Author Erica Kiefer

“It seems so rare these days to find a dystopian with an original vein in it. The Woodlands Succeeds.” -Author Pauline Creeden

“I went into this story with my own ideas, but they were obliterated by what I found instead. I was so happy to be wrong because this story touched my heart deeply in a way that I never expected.” –Reviewer Amber Douglas Mcallister

“This book was fantastic! Spectacular! It had everything I look for in a book: Action, Adventure, and even romance!” – Reviewer Jocelyn Sanchez


Meet the author:
Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Author links:


And now for the giveaway!
Open internationally, the winner will receive a Clean Teen Publishing mystery box. If the winner is non-US, this will be ebooks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Lauren Nicolle Taylor / Dystopian fiction / Books from Australia

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Three Hours Past Midnight by Tony Knighton


Three Hours Past Midnight by Tony Knighton
Published in Hong Kong by Crime Wave Press in July 2017.

162 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 497.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

His last job a disaster, a professional thief teams with an old partner eager for one last score – a safe in the home of a wealthy Philadelphia politician. But they are not the only ones set on the cash. His partner dead and the goods missing, he hunts for his money and the killer to find out that this may have been a job best left undone.

A breathtaking ride through the muggy streets of a Philadelphia night, Three Hours Past Midnight is an atmospheric and exciting thriller. Narrated by our anti-hero, a violent thief, the story follows his attempts to discover who set up him and his recently deceased partner before he too ceases breathing. This is classic crime writing with a powerful sense of its location. After hours Philadelphia is as much of a leading character as any of her gangsters, thieves or police, and this authenticity grounds the novel in a completely believable way. In fact I think the city might just be the only likeable character - or a neutral one at least. Knighton's convincing cast are self-serving and grasping, all out for themselves and utterly amoral. The plot snakes through clubs and alleyways, pursuits and tense standoffs, and I was gripped by every minute. A real page turner.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Tony Knighton / Crime fiction / Books from America

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Finding Thomas Dames by Lynne Morley


Finding Thomas Dames by Lynne Morley
Published by Green Wizard Publishing in June 2015.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Finding Thomas Dames is the moving true life story of Lynne Morley's ancestor, who, as a child, turned to a life of petty crime in order to survive the grim streets of Georgian Nottingham, one of the most poverty stricken cities of that era. A city where life was cheap, disease was rife and the grim figure of death was an ever present companion.
Apprehended by the law on many, many occasions, and labelled an "Incorrigible Rogue", Thomas felt the full force of the law on frequent occasions before an irritated judiciary sentenced him to be transported to the new penal colonies in Western Australia. The incredible story reveals how this happens not once - but twice! Sent south on the convict ship, Lincelles, Thomas endures a three month journey of brutality and privation. This scarcely believable story is unearthed by Lynne and painstakingly recreated here. As the author says, Thomas' life was so tragic, it is stranger than fiction



Meet the author:
Lynne has been seriously researching her family history for 14 years although she has been interested in it since she was a teenager. She loves the thrill of finding out about her ancestors, going to visit where they lived and writing stories about them.

Connect with Lynne through her
Website ~ Twitter ~ Google + ~ Goodreads


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Lynne Morley / Biography and memoir / Books from England

Friday, 4 August 2017

Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden + Giveaway


Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden
Published by Cardboard Wall Empire in July 2017.

Enter the Goodreads giveaway to win a paperback copy of Rusticles (closes 12th August)

79 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 335.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Hilligoss, a tired man searches for a son, a flamingo enthrals the night, and fireworks light up the lost. In these stories and more, Rusticles offers a meandering tour through backroads bathed in half light, where shadows play along the verges and whispers of the past assault daydreams of the present. Walk the worn pathways of Hilligoss.

Rusticles is an eerie collection of eleven short stories all set in or around a town named Hilligoss. Through each of the tales we catch glimpses of its people and the darker side of life there. Gransden has a talent for evoking places, expertly presenting ordinary scenes, but then just twisting them enough to result in a recognisable yet unnerving situations. My favourite stories in Rusticles are great examples of this. In Dried Peas On A Wall, children loiter outside an old woman's home, daring each other to knock on her door and run away. A familiar scenario probably the world over, but here the children's chatter has a disturbing tone. Breakneck Hill is another creepily atmospheric piece. A bus traverses its last route of the day with its driver entering into an apparently recurring conversation with a young girl who I am not sure was really there. And what happens to the woman the bus passed by?

I loved Rebecca Gransden's first novel, anemogram, so had high hopes for this collection. Rusticles only failing for me is that I felt some of the tales needed stronger characters, but accept this is difficult to achieve within the confines of the short story format. Hilligoss is a remarkably chilling creation though, reminiscent of Royston Vasey in its weirdness, and I would be happy to read more Gransden stories set here. Having this town as a link provides a satisfying cohesion to the collection.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Rebecca Gransden / Short stories / Books from England

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty


Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
Published in the UK by Jonathan Cape today, the 3rd of August 2017.

256 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Kobo
Buy the hardback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sixteen years on from his last novel, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers. A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar – but over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties which exist between them.
Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle, worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories which have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are – and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.
Bernard MacLaverty is a master storyteller, and Midwinter Break is the essential MacLaverty novel: accurate, compassionate observation, effortlessly elegant writing and a tender, intimate, heart-rending story – but it is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together, a chamber piece of real resonance and power. Forty years on from his first book, Bernard MacLaverty has written his masterpiece.

I loved this novel! MacLaverty has written a sensitive, thoughtful portrayal of Stella and Gerry's relationship, the deep cracks in which are exposed during a long weekend holiday in Amsterdam. I visited the city at the same time of year, maybe a decade ago now, so enjoyed MacLaverty's evocative descriptions. I remember the bitter cold and cosy restaurants, the fearless cyclists and the strange mist of an evening that lingers over the canals.

In Midwinter Break, I could empathise with and understand both characters equally, and both are very real - people I could randomly meet on any day. There is no frantic action or superhuman stunts in this book. Instead we have an introspective examination of two lives at the point of divergence after many years together. One is driven to absolutely make the most of whatever years are left, the other is content to squander time in a blissfully unaware alcoholic haze while memories of a previous occasion when they were nearly separated linger ominously in the background.

MacLaverty perfectly captures conversational fragments and the mundane habits of people used to each other's presence for decades. Stella and Gerry struggle to genuinely communicate because they haven't needed to discuss Issues for years and watching them flounder is almost painful. They are intimately aware of each other's physical ailments, but have lost touch with their hopes and dreams. I felt that I got to know these people so well during reading that I felt a little bereft on finishing reading - a sure sign of a good book for me! I don't think Midwinter Break will have universal appeal. Its themes are Women's Fiction, but without the saccharine sweetness of so much of that genre, and its gentle pace encouraged me to reflect on my own sense of purpose as I read about Stella's.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Bernard MacLaverty / Contemporary fiction / Books from Northern Ireland