Guest Post: The Aladdin Trial by Abi Silver.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Lightning Books for sending me this marvellous book to read and thank you so much to Abi Silver for writing me a guest post. I am half way through this book and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT, please go check it out. So, without further ado – welcome to my place on the blogging tour:

Haven_Page_Divider_2

Title: The Aladdin Trial
Author: Abi Silver
Pages: 368 pages
Blurb:

When an elderly artist plunges one hundred feet to her death at a London hospital, the police sense foul play.

The hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee, is arrested for her murder. He protests his innocence, but why has he given the woman the story of Aladdin to read and why does he shake uncontrollably in times of stress?

Judith Burton and Constance Lamb reunite to defend a man the media has already convicted. In a spellbinding courtroom confrontation in which they once more grapple with all-too-possible developments in artificial intelligence, they uncover not only the cleaner’s secrets, but also those of the artist’s family, her lawyer and the hospital.

A new Burton and Lamb legal thriller with an AI twist from the author of the acclaimed The Pinocchio Brief.

Haven_Page_Divider_2

Guest Post:

Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land…love them as you love yourselves’: Leviticus 19:33-34

#These are a few of my favourite things – part two

It always takes time for my ideas to bed down, sometimes months, sometimes years. That’s the nature of the beast called #amwriting, I suppose. Some days I overhear a snippet of conversation on the underground, I make a mental note and use it that very night. More often, I squirrel it away for a wintery day, when it suddenly and unexpectedly becomes relevant. Other times, ideas flood in at night and I thrash around, attempting to tame them, before scribbling them on a notepad I keep by my bed. Sadly, there have been occasions when I’ve been unable to decipher my scrawl in the morning – enough said!

But throughout 2015, the refugee crisis was featuring most nights on the News and it could not fail to stimulate my interest and evoke my sympathy. Overloaded boats of all shapes and sizes were taking to the water and promptly sinking, with tragic consequences. Our inspired response? To cease patrols of the Mediterranean, in the hope that would stem the flow.

Camps of destitute migrants were expanding at Calais; our answer was to tear them down. Young, desperate men were storming lorries bound for the Channel Tunnel in the hope of reaching England before arrest, so we increased security and threatened drivers with prosecution. Further East, Hungary closed its border with Serbia, ceased all railway crossings and mounted-police patrolled barbed-wire fences, forcing families to take long and often treacherous journeys on foot, to reach their desired Western European destinations. I watched and gawped and felt totally and utterly powerless.

Then I realised there was something I could do, something I often do when I am trying to make sense of what is going on around me; I could write about it. And as the focus slowly shifted from exclusion towards ‘integration’ and our then PM, David Cameron, committed the UK to accepting 20,000 migrants from Syria over the following five years, I began to reflect on my own immigrant past.

Just over a century ago, all four of my grandparents arrived in the UK, fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe. As with many of today’s refugees, we don’t know the route they took, how long they were travelling or how they managed to travel so far. They certainly didn’t talk about it to me; Kitty, Joe (my maternal grandparents), Bernard and Esther (on my father’s side), not their real names of course, but the closest approximations in English to their birth names. They didn’t get to keep their long, difficult-to-spell surnames either, being lumped in with the people in front in the queue, suddenly creating a whole new artificial, extended family.

There were not many clues for my younger self to my grandparents’ foreign past. They spoke English, apart from the odd Yiddish word, which tended to escape from their mouths in moments of tremendous angst, when there really was no English substitute (I challenge you to find an appropriate synonym for ‘Oy a Clog!’ – sort of OMG but imbued with centuries of bondage, woe and affliction).

Grandma Kitty loved the Queen (‘I think she’s marvellous’ she would say) as she munched on Ryvita with cottage cheese for breakfast, Grandpa Joe liked to write long, almost illegible letters to Margaret Thatcher (he had only spent three years at school) and never missed an episode of Hawaii Five O and Grandad Bernard, who had worked as a tailor, was ‘a frustrated artist and musician’ (apparently he had played the violin as a young man but I never saw any evidence of this; I do, however, have some of his paintings up in my house today, so that part of his history, at the very least, must be true).

But as I watched the modern-day refugees on TV, disembarking on our shores, I wondered what life had been like for my grandparents when they first arrived, clutching a few personal possessions, dispossessed even of their names, knowing no one and saturated, no doubt, with a wealth of traditions and culture which most English people would have found strange and frightening.

And so with the inspiration of my grandparents firmly in mind, I created Ahmad Qabbani; a recent arrival on English soil, considered fortunate to have found cleaning work at my fictional St Mark’s hospital, but ultimately unlucky to have chosen to befriend an elderly patient who ends up dead, eleven floors below. Ahmad becomes the prime suspect in her murder and Judith and Constance, our accomplished double act, have to work hard to craft him a defence, in circumstances where the media has already judged him to be guilty; nothing like real life then, I’m pleased to say.

Haven_Page_Divider_2

Thank you once again to Abi Silver for writing such a wonderful piece.

Go buy the book here : https://amzn.to/2xv8CZB and to find out more about Abi and her writing go check out her website: www.abisilver.co.uk

To see more about the influences for The Aladdin Trial check out Shaz’s Book Blog, @ShazsBookBlog on 21 June and The Book Bag, @TheBookBag on 26 June, both part of The Aladdin Trial blog tour.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Quotes.

If you know me personally or have been following this blog for a while, you will know I am a sucker for a good quote. I am that friend that has loads of motivational plaques in her bedroom! Oh huns, if you need some cheering up or some inspiration…just pop to my bedroom and read a few quotes. *Maybe I should create a motivation museum.* 

Anywho, back on track… it has been AGES since I did one of these posts but I love them so I am making an effort this week (and maybe, just slightly I am procrastinating from uni work but shhhh…)

Haven_Page_Divider_2

1.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

‘We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

2.

On the Road by Jack  Kerouac

‘The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

3.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 

‘How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

4.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr.Seuss 

‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where you go…’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

5.

Wide Awake by David Levithan

‘Do not just seek happiness for yourself. Seek happiness for all. Through kindness. Through mercy.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

6.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green 

‘I just want you to be happy. If that’s with me or with someone else or with nobody. I just want you to be happy.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

7.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

‘There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

8.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

‘Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.’

Haven_Page_Divider_2

9.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

‘I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.’

 

Haven_Page_Divider_2

10.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

‘I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.’

 

 

Prosecco and Promises by A.L.Michael Blog Tour.

Title: Prosecco and Promises

Author Name: A. L. Michael

Previous Books: Cocktails and Dreams

 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Release Date: 12th February 2018

 Publisher: Canelo

Cover Image:

Prosecco Wide.jpg

Book Blurb:

Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.

Mia’s dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia.

Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that’s been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?

If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia’s best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:
A.L. Michael
is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

Author Photo:

Picture1.png

 

 

Author Social Media Links

Twitter: @AlMichael_

Facebook: A.L. Michael 

Website: A. L. Michael

THESE BOOKS CHANGED MY LIFE

A not so secret fact about myself is that I am a sucker for emotional narratives. It feels like a good book when my heart is penetrated by emotion and I am left paralysed by long lasting thoughts. Anyone else feel this?

So I thought I would write a post today about the books that did just that and more… evidently I love a bit of sadness and romance.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. tumblr_nbqeo7YtmY1t0h4iro1_500.gif
  2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes tumblr_o2wzo4siN61tvwtbwo2_540.gif
  3. After You by Jojo Moyes 565460tumblrinlinen9lux5wo6V1si5usg.gif
  4. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult tumblr_munj4dk3xT1skktn6o1_500.gif
  5. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher 1.gif
  6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak tumblr_n3qqikAkad1s51xako3_500.gif
  7. The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood 997d2901a513e94d5e60cfcb0d2d6fc3.gif
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 2.gif
  9. Atonement by Ian Mcewan tumblr_lmv3l9v2NR1qzeiyio1_500.gif
  10. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 91220636d-cc0c-4f49-b8ba-bfaa5d71d317.gif

Lucky for me 9 out of 10 of these books are films (which also BROKE ME and my poor little heart). Come on After You I am here and waiting for a movie version. I need visual closure as well. Each one of these books absolutely ripped my heart out and made me cry pools and pools of tears. I probably could have filled a swimming pool of tear after these books.

  • Have you read these wonderful books or seen the films?
  • I live by the fact that you have to read the book first but it is okay if you have not…lets chat.
  • What books broke you?
  • Can you recommend any books for me based on these books?

Photowall product review –

The lovely Jennifer from Photowall recently contacted me and asked me to review one of the companies canvases in exchange for an honest review…and of course, I said helllllll yeah! I always get overly excited when companies/authors get in contact with me. 

qqq

 If you know me personally, you will know that my room is scattered with pictures which spill out memories with every glance and that my sentimental soul cherishes products like this forever. I can honestly say that this company did not disappoint!  If you are looking to buy a canvas, go to this website…you won’t regret it!

ALSO GREAT NEWS – if you type in ShannonWatersCampaign2018 in at the checkout – you will get 20% discount…you can thank me later ;). 

PHOTOWALL WEBSITE 

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 10.28.06.png

The screenshot above captures the beauty and professionalism of the company…come on, does this not make you want to buy everything and make your house unique and personal. As soon as I googled the company and looked on the website, I fell in love with loads of the products and wanted them all. 

blog-divider-arrows

WONDERFUL COMPANY WITH EXCELLENT PRODUCTS. 

5-stars

blog-divider-arrows

Reasons why I think this product deserves five stars:

  • Correspondence between myself and Jennifer was consistent and effortless. (Tick)
  • Unique prints.(Tick)
  • Options of wall murals and canvas prints. (Tick)
  • Beautiful designs available or the option to be personal. (Tick)
  • The delivery speed was superb! Even around the hectic Christmas period!  (Tick)
  • Free delivery. (Tick)
  • The product arrived safely. (Tick)
  • You build the product yourself – yasss I felt like a strong independent woman putting that canvas together. (Tick)
  • Amazing quality – I took a picture from my graduation and printed it off and it looks INCREDIBLE.  (Tick)
  • THEY MAKE PERFECT GIFTS. I gave the product to my mum because I knew she would absolutely love it (don’t worry, it wasn’t her only Christmas present, just an extra)…and she adored it! (Double Tick) 
    • Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and how amazing would one of these be as a romantic gift.  Quick – easy – effortless and yet so full of love and sentimental reasons. 

blog-divider-arrows

 My product:

*The product looks 1000x better in person, but, my mum is not great at photography and the iPhone camera does not do it justice.*

IMG_2447

I love it and cannot express my gratitude enough to Jennifer for the opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

So, if you want to be the best person ever and buy your loved one or friend a unique gift that they will hold on to forever – look no further! Go and useShannonWatersCampaign2018 at the checkout for 20% off. 

 

 

Those books that stay with you forever…

I’ve been thinking recently what books I use as a comfort blanket and what books have stayed with me since I read them.

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • Harry Potter and the Philospher Stone by J.K.Rowling
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien

What books comfort or stay with you?

Book Club Recommendations needed…

Hello lovelies,

I need some help. I need you to leave me some book recommendations in the comments below!!  Myself and my university friends are planing on starting a book club and I need some great book titles to suggest.

Animated-gif-dancing-in-the-room-full-of-books

What have you read recently?

Also don’t forget to go and check out my Instagram or ‘bookstagram’ over at book_captivation.