Thank you to HarperCollins HQ for sending me this INCREDIBLE BOOK!
They wrote it on the wall above my bed. Hello, it said, my name is May. Please talk to me.
May has been moved to a care home after her stroke. She can’t communicate, all her words are kept inside. If she tries to point, her arms swing in wild directions, if she tries to talk, strange noises come out of her mouth.
May is sharp, quick, and funny, but only her daughter Jenny sees this, and Jackie, a new friend at the home who cares enough to look and listen closely.
When May discovers that someone very familiar, from long ago, is living in the room opposite hers she is haunted by scenes from her earlier life, when she was a prisoner of her husband’s unpredictable rages. Bill, the man in the opposite room seems so much like her husband, though almost a lifetime has passed, and May’s eyesight isn’t what it was.
As Bill charms his way through the nursing home, he focuses his romantic attention on Jackie, while all May can do is watch. She is determined to protect Jackie and keep herself safe, but what can she do in her vulnerable, silent state?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! What a read – so many ups and downs and twists and turns!
The pace of the book was compelling and captivating which added to the heightened read and made me never want to put the book down.
Another factor which I absolutely loved was the sense of mystery, this was emphasised by the dual narrative within the novel which presented both the past and present. The reader is only given a glimpse into the characters lives which also weaved its way in to make the pace and mystery all encompassing.
If you’ve read my other reviews, you will know I am a sucker for an unreliable and unloveable character and that’s what this book has!
This book is beautifully writing, thought-provoking and marvellous! I highly recommend this book and would love to discuss it with you if you’ve read it.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
About the Author:
Rosalind Stoppshas always wanted to tell the stories of the less heard. For many years she worked with children with disabilities and their families.
She has five grown up children, three grandchildren and an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University. Rosalind’s short stories have been published in five anthologies and read at live literature events in London, Leeds, Hong Kong and New York. She lives in South East London with large numbers of humans and dogs.
When she is not writing fiction she is, mostly, reading it or working as a host at London’s South Bank Arts Centre. Hello, My Name is May is her debut novel.
In September 2017, I started an MA in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes and with graduation swiftly approaching, I have decided to reflect back on my experience and share it with you all.
Deciding to do an MA was not an easy one, for an array of different reasons — the worry of more debt, meeting new people, moving to a new city and ultimately taking on another major challenge in my life.
But, and this is a massive BUT…it was the BEST decision I have ever made because I met the loveliest people (some of who are now my best friends), I thoroughly enjoyed the course, loved living in Oxford and well – the debt – shh, we will address that at another time.
Honestly Oxford is one of my favourite places, just look at it!
Do work experience!!!
Be attentive and proactive
Ask for help when you need it
Manage your time
Here is the core structure to the MA Publishing course at Oxford Brookes:
Design and Production explores the digital aspects of design and production in the publishing process. It looks closely at current working practices in areas such as content design and typography, project management, the evaluation and selection of appropriate media platforms, the buying of raw materials and manufacturing processes, and the use of external resources.
Editorial Management and Content Development explores the strategic role of the editor within the publishing process and the knowledge and skills required for the development of new projects, whether in print or digital form.
Sales, Marketing and Consumer Insight provides a systematic examination of the key concepts and disciplines of marketing and their relationship and relevance to the products of publishing. It includes coverage of the marketing mix, consumer behaviour, segmentation, targeting and positioning, and elements of market research including SEO.
History and Culture of Publishing examines the culture and ideology of publishing in terms of its development throughout the 20th century, and its contemporary practice. Different theories of print culture and critiques of the role of the publisher in society are reviewed, and there is an examination of ideological challenges to the culture of publishing.
Magazine Publishing provides a comprehensive insight into and understanding of the international magazine industry and its place as both a print and electronic product. It covers a range of contemporary issues and business models, exploring the job roles involved in the production of magazines and addressing the issues of editorial content, marketing, branding, technology, law and design.
Children’s Publishing explores the development of the market sector and the current shape and business practices of publishing for children and young adults. Topics include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the sector’s links to other leisure industries, merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.
Dissertation or Major Project is the defining and essential component for the award of the MA degree. It is a major in-depth investigation of a subject, theme or issue significant to the study of publishing through research and extended written work (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).
I wrote my dissertation on the publication of Sylvia Plath’s work – the title was ‘I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.’1 The Exploitation of Sylvia Plath’s long- lasting Literary Legacy.’
If you have done the course, I would love to hear which modules you did and why and what you wrote the dissertation on!
I cannot stress enough how important work experience is! Although you don’t NEED it to get a job in publishing, it looks great on your CV and it makes the experience gives you a lot to talk about in your interview. It is also a good way to see which field you would like to go into once the course it done. For me, I realised I loved the publicity and marketing (more leaning towards publicity) side of publishing because it reminded me of my love for blogging, engaging people passionately about books and showing off the finished product!
During my MA I was constantly applying for internships and work experience opportunities. But always remember that, even if you don’t secure the internship, you have still gained invaluable interview experience – so don’t be so hard on yourself if it takes time. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing great!
Due to my financial situation I had no choice but to work (basically) full time while studying and maintaining good grades BUT I made it work and squeezed in time to do work experience because I knew it was vital to my learning experience and future development. Thank goodness for coffee and all nighters because they helped me a lot with assignments – okay, okay I know I said a top tip was time management and this was not the best use of my time but it was the only way on a few occasions.
During the year of my MA I did the following work experience:
A Marketing and Publicity internship at Icon Books for two weeks
A Marketing and Publicity internship at Biteback Publishing
A Publishing internship at Pearson
Returned to Pearson for a three month work placement as an Inventory Administrator
Returned to Icon Books for a three months work placement as a Marketing and Publicity Assistant
I was really lucky that both Icon Books and Pearson invited me back and gave me another wonderful opportunity but just put yourself out there and try! Email publishing houses with your CV and be PROACTIVE! Don’t forget to proofread and work hard on each and every application.
After a sudden unexplained disappearance, Thomas Charles comes back into Cat Carlisle’s life with the suggestion she leave London – and the threat of bombs – to move to back her childhood village in Cumberland.
Back in her hometown Cat discovers her childhood friend, Beth Hargreaves, is suspected of murder. As Cat tries to prove Beth’s innocence, she discovers a scheme of deception that affects the whole village. Can she uncover the family truths behind the murder and expose the enemy hiding in plain sight?
Thank you to HaperCollins for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book depicts a compelling and complex narrative which is full of twists and turns. Mirroring the complexities of World War II, this book will leave you distorted and thinking.
Furthermore, the narratives point of views switches between characters adding to the unease feeling and not knowing who to fully rely on for answers. This also gives the reader wide-spread viewpoint on the story being told, but not a straightforward one at that.
It has been a while since I have read a Historical Mystery like this one and oh man, this makes me miss them so much. Compelling and thought-provoking, while covering an array of themes.
Thomas’s writing is captivating, relatable and mysterious.
Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches, windy dunes, and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.
Now Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. Neptune’ Daughter is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion.
She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II. The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, is slated to release in April 2018. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.
Something she never saw coming. A searing suspense thriller from bestselling author Nick Louth. In Manchester, two hardened gang members on the run take Catherine Blake and her one-year-old son hostage at gunpoint. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Held in a Transit van, Catherine needs a plan fast. But it means diving into her captors’ risk-drenched world, and playing them at their own game.
Catherine has been through cancer, miscarriages and five draining years of IVF in order to have her son Ethan. He is the most precious thing in the world. She may be terrified out of her wits, but she’d do anything to protect him. Anything, no matter the cost… Brace yourself.
A nerve-shredding suspense thriller you won’t believe until you have experienced it yourself, Trapped is perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, JP Delaney and Rachel Abbott.
Thank you so much to Canelo for sending me a digital version of this book in exchange for a review.
This fast paced narrative captivated my attention straight away and I completely lost myself within Louth’s words.
The tension continues to build and build AND build and narrative is laced with violence and mistrust. So, it is safe to say that this is a STRESSFUL read! But in the best way possible because you (the reader) is completely lured into the narrative.
The multi-narratives provide the reader with mass information as they try and piece together the mystery and figure out who and what is reliable. The twists and turns will grab and maintain your attention while also leaving you longing for more. The characters were also well developed and thought out.
Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.
The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror Mirror, subtitled ‘When evil and beauty collide’ was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, is being published by Canelo in September 2017. Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married
You did nothing. That doesn’t mean you’re innocent.
On a night out, four friends witness a stranger in trouble. They decide to do nothing to help.
Later, a body washes up on the banks of the Thames – and the group realises that ignoring the woman has left blood on their hands.
But why did each of them refuse to step in? Why did none of them want to be noticed that night? Who is really responsible?
And is it possible that the victim was not really a stranger at all?
Firstly, thank you so much to HQ for sending me this book! What an absolutely gorgeous book – the vibrant colours and mystery figured had me completely hooked straight away.
This Guilty Party is a psychological thriller fueled by unreliable narratives and characters. This book is a true test of friendship as they become bound by secrets and lies.
Think you know what is going on? Think again!
The complex narrative takes on many twists and turns throughout, leaving the reader longing for more information and ultimately THE TRUTH. The author cleverly interweaves the unreliability of memory throughout, which makes the reader question their own mind and reading experience.
What I loved about this book was its rawness – humans can be horrible – end of. The character’s flaws makes this narrative utterly addictive and captivating and their lies and deceit suck you in and make you (the reader) feel involved.
Like many ‘what if’ narratives, this one left me wanting more and NEEDING more. I thoroughly enjoyed Mel McGarth’s writing style and will be looking out for more of her books.
Mel McGrath is an Essex girl, co-founder of Killer Women, and an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction. As MJ McGrath she writes the acclaimed Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries, which were twice longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and Times and Financial Times thrillers of the year. As Melanie McGrath she wrote the critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir Silvertown. As Mel McGrath she is the author of the bestselling psychological thriller Give Me The Child.
Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet village of Ashdon. So when sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards is found murdered in Sorrow’s Meadow, Jane knows she must first protect her family.
Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…
I absolutely love love loved this book! I am always a sucker for a good psychological thriller!
I was literally hooked from the get go! Prologue – first sentence – ‘I’m not coming home tonight.’ – second sentence – ‘The thought hits me as soon as I wake up, fizzing excitedly inside my brain, like one of those sherbets Mum used to buy me from miserable Ruby’s corner shop.’
HOOKED! Instantly captivated with my detective head on and eager to unpack the mystery. Where is she going? Is she meeting someone? Why is she so excited? What is wrong with her home life?
I quickly devoured this novel and I am so happy with the narrative, tone, pace, writing and characters! URG I LOVE IT! I really love Phoebe’s writing style, so I am definitely going to pick up her debut novel The Doll House.
I do love a whodunit narrative? All the guessing, all twists and turns…love love love! This is an interesting and thought-provoking story about a teenage girl who is found dead in the local park and the narrative encourages the reader to look closely at the parents, neighbours and the people who live in the small Essex town of Ashdon as suspects.
Go and pick up / download/ order this book now because it is sooooo worth it! Fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins will love this book!
Phoebe Morgan is an author and senior commissioning editor. After growing up in the Suffolk countryside, she studied English at Leeds University. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings.
She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan, or find her blog about publishing and writing at phoebemorganauthor.com.
The Doll House was her debut novel. It became a #1 iBooks bestseller and spent over 8 weeks in the Kindle top 100. The Girl Next Door is her second book, and a third is on its way in 2020!
Fifteen years ago Ellen Smith vanished from the woods near her small Welsh village. Never to be seen again.
Eight people were in the woods that night: eight splintered lives, eight people hiding a terrible secret. But who can remember the truth?
Now, Ellen’s best friend, Detective Ava Cole is all grown up back in the village where it all began, and everyone is asking the same question.
What really happened to Ellen?
Filled with shocking discoveries and traumatic memories this fast paced thriller is perfect for fans of Friend Request and Close to Home.
*HarperCollins HQ sent me this book to review in exchange for an honest review*
As many of you will know, I am a sucker for a psychological thriller and as soon as I saw this thought provoking blurb, I knew I had to read it. I must also say that that cover is just STUNNING, the pop of yellow is really clever and instantly sucked me in.
The captivation didn’t stop at the front cover, the narrative also sucked me in with its unreliability, thrill factor and murder mystery. The main character Ava was very complex and like many psychology thrillers before, an unreliable voice that the reader does not know wether to trust or not.
The cat and mouse game/hunt between the characters made for an interesting read and kept my attention to the very end.
Considering the plethora of psychological thrillers I have read, I would give this one a 3/5 rating because it is not the worst I have read but it is also not the an ‘OMG I AM COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH YOU’ kind of read either. Haha you know the one, the kind of book that you cannot stop thinking about.
About the author:
D E White started writing fifteen years ago, scribbling ideas on napkins at work on the night shift. After various jobs, including working as cabin crew, in a hospital, a supermarket, and as a 999 call handler for the ambulance service, she began writing full time in 2018. She is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, and was part of a small business delegation speaking at Number 10, Downing Street in 2015. Having spent a lot of time travelling the world, she now lives with her husband and two sons on the south coast of the UK, with a growing assortment of animals and several stick insects.
Thank you to Prestige Flowers for sending me this gorgeous Valentines bouquet! There is something special about receiving flowers, the notion of thought and kindness associated with the gifting warms my heart.
I was lucky enough to be sent this wonderful bouquet from Prestige Flowers in exchange for an honest review. Lets get real now…the packaging is STUNNING, the massive delivery box got me soooo excited! The flowers themselves were absolutely GORGEOUS! My bouquet was made up of red roses and luxurious gold leaves that really made the flowers POP!
The bouquet was accompanied by the CUTEST teddy bear and a box of luxury chocolates!
Do you need Valentine’s or ‘GALENTINE’S’ day inspiration? Look no further, because they have you covered – just click on the link provided above and explore!
I cannot recommend this company enough! The flowers were in incredible condition and the accompanying gifts were the perfect addition and will make any one feel special this Valentine’s Day.
Of course, I had to get books involved! How beautiful is this picture!