#Author Spotlight Gloria Antypowich & #BookReview of her Novel ‘Full Circle’

This week’s Author Spotlight features  Gloria Antypowich and her novel Full Circle.

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My Review

One of the reasons I read is to travel, and another is to encounter events beyond my daily routine. In Full Circle, I was alternately shocked, surprised, upset, and cheerful. I also travelled to Canada and found out what life on a ranch is like! So it was a satisfying read. I especially enjoyed the dialogues and the descriptive scenes which transported me to another continent.

The four main characters are very well-developed, which made me care about what would happen to them, and plenty of things happen! I read about many life changing and dramatic events in their lives, such as loss of parents and children, neglect, fear of commitment, divorce, betrayal, marriage, pregnancy, falling in and out of love, depression, as well as disturbing events such as child murder.

It is a romance, so it is not a spoiler to say that there is an optimistic ending. However, it is not an ordinary or simple romance, the story gradually unwinds and becomes more complex as the plot grows and the characters develop.
At the start of the novel Shauna Lee Holt is a successful accountant with her own business in a Canadian town, who promiscuously enjoys the company of men. We will learn that there is more to Shauna Lee than lust when Brad appears in her life, like a catalyst, and turns her world upside down, as he discovers (with the reader) the traumatic secrets of her past.

Brad is generous and supportive and helps her discover the healing power of love, instead of (or as well as) lust, and helps her face the truth and discover who she is and what she wants to make of her life.

Although Full Circle is part of a series, this can be read as a stand-alone novel. I have not read book one, The Second Time Around, but now I’m curious to find out more of the back story of the lives of Colt and Frank Thompson, the happy couple who seem to have everything, but are also struck by dramatic events in Full Circle.

There are two more novels in the series, The Hand of Fate and Second Chance, which I look forward to reading.

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I read and reviewed this enjoyable novel last summer and asked Gloria to answer some questions to get to know more about her work and her writing routine.

1- What would you say to readers to convince them to buy Full Circle?

If you are looking for something more than a traditional romance, you will enjoy Full Circle. Your first impression of Shauna Lee Holt could easily be disdain because, while she is a successful business woman, in her personal life she is promiscuous, sleeping with different men on a regular basis. When Brad Thompson arrives on the scene she hits on him immediately, but he is different from the other men she knows. He is attracted to her, but he is not willing to play her game. He makes it clear to her that he will not have sex with her until they have gotten to know each other and established the beginning of a truly monogamous relationship. He’s determined not to be another one in a string of guys in her bed, but she certainly does test his resolve.

Behind the façade she has created, Shauna Lee is a tormented person who feels unworthy of love and she doesn’t know how to be with a man like Brad. As he gets glimpses of her tragic past he begins to realise that she may never be able to give him what he wants. When they begin to make headway, shadows from her past come forward, like ghosts slipping through the cracks that Brad has pried opened in her armor. Will Shauna Lee let Brad stand by her side and help her like he wants too, or will fear overrule and cause her to slam all her emotional portals shut again?

This story is filled with drama. It revolves around betrayals, hatred, infanticide, regret, revenge, strong friendships and unconditional love. Bring your box of Kleenex when you sit down to read. There will be times when you may laugh, but I’m certain there will be more times when you will feel like crying.

2.What inspired you to write the Belanger Creek Ranch Books?

The Belanger Creek Ranch Series has been a long journey for me. Over 30 years ago I was fortunate to be able to attend RWA conferences in the USA for a few years in succession. Then one year I decided to go to a writer’s workshop in Regina Saskatchewan. That would have been a long two day drive for me, and my husband didn’t want me to go by myself, so he went with me. I had romanticised about the Cypress Hills. They are a high point of land that straddles the SE corner of the province of Alberta and the adjoining SW corner of the province of Saskatchewan: an anomaly in the otherwise flat land of the prairies. Exploring them was on my agenda for that trip. On our way back home to B.C., we detoured off Highway 1 and visited Loch Levan, then drove through the Center Block of the Interprovincial Cypress Hills Park, and across the Gap Road to historic Fort Walsh in the West Block. Among other things, I saw the biggest grasshoppers I have ever seen in my life on the Gap Road! I made notes and took pictures—we talked to a couple of ranchers and that was research for my first book. I wrote the book, had an agent who presented it to Harlequin, who in turn gave me a polite not-now letter, so I went on to other things. I published that original book as “Hearts at Risk” in 2011, and after a few people said they wanted to know more about the characters I decided to write a second book, “You Can Run,” in 2012.

Then my husband decided to write and publish his hunting memoir and his personal memoir, so I put my writing aside and dedicated my time to editing and revising his manuscripts. As well, there were 350 pictures in his personal memoir and 150 in his hunting memoir. I had to prepare those pictures for the publisher by converting them to black and white, editing them with Photoshop Elements where necessary and resizing them. Then I had to number them according to where they would be placed in the individual manuscripts and create place holders in 3 separate files for each book. It was a major project!

In 2014 I settled into my own writing again. I still loved and believed in the characters and story of my first two books (even though they were total flops) so I did an extensive rewrite of “Hearts At Risk,” and it became The Second Time Around, Book One of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series. Then I tweaked the manuscript for “You Can Run” and it became Full Circle, Book Two of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series.

I like a series of books if they relate to each other, but can be read on their own, and by the time I started writing again I knew I wanted to do a book that included a surrogacy. That book went through 3 title changes—at first I was going to call it “The Bastard and The Barren”. My husband has no input in my books (in fact I don’t think he’s even read books three and four), but one day he when he came into my office and when he saw the file name on my computer he was disgusted!! Any way as the book evolved—(or possibly I was the one who evolved) I decided the title was going to be “The Gift” Then when I did the very final edit—I knew there was so much more to that book than just the gift of surrogacy, and after I changed the last paragraph, I decided to call it The Hand of Fate. Two new characters had been introduced into the “Belanger Creek Ranch family” and the idea for A Second Chance, Book Four was spawned.

I choose to call the series The Belanger Creek Ranch Series, because thirty years ago when we drove through that country I had made a note about a small creek named Belanger Creek. I have no idea what the area is like now, but there was not a ranch there then.

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3. What’s your writing routine?

Insane!! I’m a total “pantster.” I’ll have an idea and I’ll do thorough research as background material. Then I’ll just jump right in and start writing—for hours and days and weeks and months.

Since my husband also writes, that is OK when he is settled in front of his computer, but when he isn’t, I think not having “a wife” for weeks on end gets frustrating. He doesn’t say much…although sometimes actions speak louder than words! My kids rag on me for living an unbalanced life—no exercise and sitting at the computer non-stop. Our oldest daughter and her family live upstairs (we live on the ground floor of the same house) and if she looks out of her bathroom window at midnight and sees the glow of the light from my office, she will go into their spare bedroom just above where I am working and stomp on the floor to let me know that she doesn’t approve! Our children and grandchildren are proud of my accomplishments—I have to correct myself here-they are proud of both of our accomplishments—but they just don’t get what it’s like to be a writer!

4-What are you working on now?

I am not writing right now—I am marketing, marketing, marketing!

But I have many ideas simmering on the back burner. I have done research for a possible rodeo series—I know a stock contractor, a bull fighter, a chuckwagon owner, a chuckwagon outrider and a bull rider, as well as a tie down roper. I do much of my research on line, but I like to get a feel for what characters would think and do from real life people if possible. Most of what I learn never makes it into a book, but it makes me feel that I can write with authenticity.

I also have a “series” that’s been on my mind for a few years—one book would be titled Too Little Too Late, another Meant to Be and the third would be The Ties That Bind. They are all about married couples whose relationships face challenges. Too Little Too Late and The Ties That Bind are not actually “happy ever after” books. Meant To Be has heartache but ends happily. They all deal with harsh realities of things that do happen in life. I have thought about them for so long, but am not certain that I want to go down that road yet.

I have also thought about doing a series about girls who arrived on The Bride Ships in the 1800’s—that’s more historical—but there is such fascinating, and yes, horrible stories to be gleaned from that time in the US and when the gold rush was in full swing in the Cariboo area of British Columbia, where I live.

Also I wrote another book years ago that was about a surrogacy contract that fell apart when the intended mother died. More than once I have thought about bringing it to life. I loved that book and still remember it clearly—it had a paranormal element to it.

So as you see, I have plenty of ideas to work on—and in honesty, undoubtedly less than 20 years to write—if I’m very fortunate. Oh mortality!! And the hand of fate! One never knows what will come into your life in a given time. So I choose to live one day at a time!

Lucy, Thank you so much for featuring me in your Author Spotlight!

It was a pleasure having you on my blog, Gloria.

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If you’d like to contact Gloria, here are her social network links:

FaceBook: http://tinyurl.com/Gloria-Antypowich-Author-Page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/glantypowich
My webpage is http://gloriaantypowichauthor.com/home/
My Blog: http://gloriaantypowich.com/blog/
GoodReads: http://tinyurl.com/goodreads-Gloria-Antypowich
Linkedin: http://tinyurl.com/Linkedin-Gloria-Antypowich

Purchase link:

My books on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/Gloria-Antypowich-Amazon

Buy One Get One Half Price At Gatwick Airport

Or What Motivates Me To Buy A Paperback…

I rarely buy paperbacks anymore, as I mostly read on my kindle, but there’s one place I always buy tactile books (I refuse to say ‘real books’ all my ebooks are real!), and that’s at airports.

Yesterday I returned home from London after almost a week away from home with my children and grandchildren. Our short stay at Gatwick Airport wasn’t easy with three buggies, three grandchildren under four, six pieces of hand luggage three stressed parents, and two bewildered grandparents, but I managed to get away for ten minutes and run to the nearest bookshop.

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Three Generations in Rainy London Last Week

 

The dilemma, how to decide which of the hundreds, no thousands, of books available to choose? Buy one and get one half price, good idea, so I’ll get two, but which ones?

Half the fun is looking for them. I don’t know if everyone does it the way I did, but my process was the following. First the front cover: the title, the cover art, the author’s name, prizes, bestseller component, all counted. Secondly, the back cover for the gist of the story. Thirdly, the first few pages (I mean before the novel actually starts), and fourthly the first page for the feel of it. Amazingly, all this happens in a matter of minutes.

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I had various books in my hand and went through the above ritual, until I finally settled for two novels. The first was the latest by Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride. I’m an incurable romantic, I loved The Notebook, so after going through the four stages mentioned, I knew I’d love this book. I loved Mr. Sparks five pages of acknowledgements. He thanked almost seventy people, from his wife to his agent, editor, publicist, friends, family, accountant, readers, etc. for their support in writing this, his seventh novel. Everyone who has ever published a novel knows this is true, there are too many people to name, but he did so, and that says a great deal about the man who wrote the book.

I managed to read about a third of The Longest Ride on the plane, and I’m very glad I bought it, because I’m dreading putting it down, but I’m afraid I’ll have to put it on hold for a couple of days because tomorrow it’s back to work and back to A-Z Blogging Challenge!

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The other book I chose was Miss Carter’s War, by Sheila Hancock. I loved the cover, the red dress and those red peep-toes, so irresistibly vintage. When I realised that it was about a teacher in postwar Britain, and saw it compared to the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the decision was made. Muriel Spark was my literary idol for years, and the 1950s have always fascinated me. My parents arrived in London in the 1950s and used to tell me about life at the time. I was born in 1959, on Seven Sisters Road, in North East London, so I feel almost a postwar baby, and certainly a fifties baby! The swinging sixties, also bring a melancholic smile to my eyes: the Beatles, the mini, Twiggy, Mary Quant. I’ll never forget the shock of seeing my friends get short bobs a la twiggy. I was so proud of my long hair, I would never go that far, but I did wear mini skirts and hot pants in the seventies!

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British Model Twiggy 1966

 

If you know what you like and what you want to read, it’s easy to choose and hard to get it wrong. I was lucky enough to find two great books. There were several others, including crime novels, which caught my eye and were actually caressed by my longing fingers for a few minutes, but in the end I chose something less stressful and closer to my romantic and melancholic heart.

I’ll let you know how my reading progresses shortly.

What motivates you to buy a paperback?

Book Review: Death on a Dacron Sail by Noelle Granger

Death in a Dacron Sail (Rhe Brewster Mysteries Book 2)

Death in a Dacron sail is the type of book I love to read. It’s the second installment of the Rhe Brewster series. Read my review of Death in a Red Canvas Chair, the first in the series, posted a few months ago.

The plot of Death in a Dacron Sail is again tightly woven with plenty of forensic information given by our nurse and amateur sleuth narrator. This time Rhe is helping with an unpleasant crime involving a missing child. There is plenty of fast-paced action and suspense, in spite of the idyllic small town location, and there are many surprises and twists, making it a gripping page turner.

It’s also very well written. The prose flows so smoothly that it is a pleasure to read.

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However, the very best part of this novel is the characterization. Readers won’t be interested in a good plot and wonderful writing if they can’t engage with the characters. Detective, crime thrillers, and mysteries often run the risk of being plot driven in detriment of character development, but that’s not the case here. On the contrary, the reader will love Rhe, because she is clever, and generous, and caring, but she’s also naïve, sometimes insecure, and others too patient with people who just don’t deserve it! I’ve wanted to tell her to be careful with someone who’s close to her since book one (no name so no spoilers!), and to stand up to her bullying boss! The other characters, both good and bad, are also so real they almost jump out of the page to watch you reading!

I know that now that she’s solved the present mystery, she’ll be involved with another riveting case shortly, but I’m just as interested in finding out how she sorts out her personal predicament, and the direction her personal life will take in book three.

By the way, just in case you were wondering, it can be read as a stand-alone novel, because the cases are independent, and although the main characters are the same, there is enough background information for readers to feel comfortable reading book two alone or first.

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Noelle Granger

 

Death in a Dacron Sail is N. A. Granger’s second novel.

I asked  Ms. Granger to tell us a little more about Rhe, my favourite police consultant.

My main character, Rhe Brewster, is an Emergency Room nurse, which allows me to bring in medical knowledge, along with a healthy dose of anatomy from her friend, Marsh Adams, the assistant Maine State ME. Rhe is smart, daring, and has what I have called a yen for adrenaline, a not always good mix when she’s in the middle of an investigation.  She tends to leap before looking, which is why she gets herself into challenging situations.  However, she’s intelligent enough to get herself out!  I also wanted to give her a family life, one that many women could relate to: an occasionally prickly relationship with her husband Will (a lot more of that in Death in a Dacron Sail) and a loving relationship with Jack, her son, who is ADHD. MY son is ADHD, and more of that will figure into later books.

I also asked her why she writes crime fiction, and this is what she told me.

I like to write crime fiction because the scientific nature of it fascinates me – brings my background in anatomy and medicine and research together in one package. I also love doing the research for my books. I meet all sorts of people, all of whom have been very open to helping me understand their areas of expertise. I am an extrovert by nature, so this is great for my psyche.

Watch out for N. A. Granger’s  great Blog SaylingAway. 

Check it out on Amazon US or Amazon UK

Book Launch! Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in another Book Launch. I’d like to introduce you to Cathrina Constantine’s new  novel Don’t Forget to Breathe.

Blurb for Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantin:

Sixteen-year-old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloody body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Will Leo let her memories threaten her into a relapse or, will she fight to find her mother’s killer – only to become his next victim?

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Author Bio:

Cathrina Constantine resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and two cats. Author @BlackOpalBooks & @CHBB_Vamptasy.

Her current books: WICKEDLY THEY COME, WICKEDLY THEY DREAM, TALLAS, And her newest novel from @CHHB_Vamptasy DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE.

When not with her family or stationed at the computer writing, you will find her walking in the backwoods with her dogs, conjuring up a new tale.

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Contact or find out more about Cathrina Constantine:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wickedly333
Blog: http://cathrinaconstantine.blogspot.com
Twitter: @cathconstantine

My Review of Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine (4 Stars)

Finding your mother’s dead body, and realizing you saw and heard her murderer, although you can’t remember anything, is enough to devastate anyone, but especially our young heroine, Leocadia, who has grown into a confused and traumatized adolescent.

In addition, her father’s neglectful attitude to parenting (he obviously has his own problems), and her lack of any supportive adults, leads her to make some questionable decisions which will put her in danger, and even face to face with her mother’s killer.

She learns the hard way that her parents were not the ideal people she had envisaged in her childhood, and also comes across some destructive characters at her school, although fortunately she has some caring friends, too.

I had a hard time understanding the things Leo did, and how she coped, wanting to shout at her too many times! On the other hand, I really cared and worried about her and wanted to know what would happen.

This novel is well-written, engaging and exciting, and there are some suspenseful moments when everyone seems guilty of her mother’s murder. There are also some spine-tingling scenes in the cemetery and a haunted house.

I don’t usually read YA novels, in fact, this is the first one I’ve read in a long time. I felt sorry for the young people for seemingly not having much support or understanding from their elders. As an adult, I would have liked to have been able to identify or sympathise with an adult character.

On the other hand, the characters and events are convincingly portrayed, it’s entertaining, exciting, and has some paranormal and gripping moments, and I’m sure young adults will identify with Leo’s issues and enjoy this novel.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

Book Review: Unequal Affections by Lara S. Ormiston

Unequal Affections is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It’s also one of the most beautiful, engrossing, and haunting books I’ve read. It’s clever, original, and enthralling.

You all know how much I love novels both set in and written in the 19th century, and you also know I’m especially fond of character-driven novels, well, this is the most obsessively perfect character-driven novel I’ve read in a long time!

Unequal Affections

Unequal Affections has very little by means of a plot, and there is very little action. On the other hand, the outcome is no surprise; we all know that Elizabeth married Darcy in the end! Yet, in spite of it all, this is a compelling, unputdownable read. I relished every chapter, every page, and every word, and I’ll no doubt be reading it again, because it’s a book to be savoured slowly and repeatedly.

I was never Jane Austen’s greatest fan, and one of the reasons why I prefer contemporary renderings of Jane Austen’s works, is because she never got inside her characters’ heads. It is true that she portrayed her characters through ample conversation and actions, but to my post-Freudian mind, I really miss getting inside the characters’ minds, and understanding why they say and behave the way they do. It’s probably my fault. I may lack imagination, or knowledge of the era, but I need the characters to tell me why.

Another fabulous aspect is how the author gets inside both their minds with equal balance. It would have been easy to give a one-sided account of how Elizabeth feels, with some hints at Darcy’s predicament. Some may argue that this is what Jane Austen did herself. However, the author gets into Darcy’s mind just as easily and convincingly as he gets into Anne’s, which is no easy feat, as his point of view is far more difficult to both ascertain and convey.

The best part is how both characters evolve in just a month their courting lasts, and even better is how the reader also evolves with them. I felt I saw all the characters in a new light, because although we are given Elizabeth and Darcy’s points of view, we are given insights to all the other characters, too, such as Elizabeth’s supposedly ‘awful’ mother, who finally seems far less awful to Darcy, and so to the reader.

When I finished, I felt as if I had been abducted. I felt I had been transported through a time-tunnel into Elizabeth and Darcy’s lives two hundred years ago. I was an invisible visitor, following them around, and impatient to know what would happen next. When I came back to January 2015, I wondered melancholically how marriage and relationships between men and women had changed so much. If romantic love and how it comes about and evolves can be explained, this novel comes very close to doing so.

By the way, there must be a sequel. I hope Lara S. Ormiston writes one, because I need to go back and see how they coped with the challenges their marriage would no doubt face.

If you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, you’ll love it. If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, you’ll love it, too. If you love historical romance, you’ll love it. If you love novels that deal with relationships between men and women, within and between families, you’ll love it. If you love psychological dramas, you’ll love it, too.

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, or if you like 19th century novels, or historical romance, see my review of Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion by Regina Jeffers, another fabulous retelling of a Jane Austen novel.

Book Review: The 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz, by June Kearns

I really loved this novel. It draws you in from page one with the setting, writing style, love story, and hint of humour.
It was easy for me to love it, because it has all the elements I enjoy as a reader.

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Firstly, I’m especially attracted to historical novels, and it is set in the past, specifically in the 1920s, as the title informs us, so we are able to glimpse at these challenging post-war years, during which the human loss of sons, brothers, husbands, and boyfriends, was enhanced by the drear financial situation.

Secondly, there are two spectacular and contrasting settings to experience, the fertile, green and rainy English countryside, with its polite and quaint inhabitants and lifestyle, and an isolated, hot and dry Texan ranch, with rough cowboys!

Thirdly, it is romantic, and I can’t resist a good, historical romance. However, this romance is not your typical instant love affair. It includes a long drawn-out courtship, with plenty of ups and downs and twists and turns between Gerry and Coop, and of course, the ghost!

Fourthly, the ‘ghost’ is cleverly, and convincingly, wound into the story from the beginning. Gerry’s singular aunt, Leoni, is ever-present. She brings them together after her death by means of her will, and spurs them on through wafts of her perfume, and the help of a cat…

The fifth reason I loved this book was due to the well-drawn and loveable characters, especially Gerry. I was really worried about what would come of her with her ruined book shop and disastrous financial situation, in which she was almost compelled to marry the wrong person out of desperation.

Again we have a Byronic hero, but he is from Texas (that’s why I’ll call him a Byronic-Texan hero!), who is mysterious, moody, undecipherable, intense, rich, and magnanimous. I already told you in a previous post why I love Byronic heroes, who cares if they’re Texan!

It’s no spoiler to say that it is a happy ever after ending, because as we all know, in a character driven romance, such as this novel, we presume a happy ending, the thrill of reading is precisely how the characters deal with conflict, and how this ending is eventually reached.

Although it’s no easy ride, you will not be disappointed! It’s a delightful novel that will make you laugh, and bite your nails, and worry, and believe in mischievous ghosts and of course, love.

Five stars because the humour, romance, historical, and paranormal aspects are carefully wound into a riveting tale which is delightful and unputdownable.

The 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz on Amazon US

The 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz on Amazon UK

Check out June Kearns Amazon page and watch her video about how she writes.

Book Review: How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is the type of novel that makes you feel alternately sad and optimistic, as well as angry and hopeful. Overall it’s a celebration of life, of courage, and of second chances.

 

Eiffel Tower

 

At the beginning of the novel, Lara Blaine is an unlikeable loner. We soon learn that she is desperately trying to forget her traumatic childhood by hiding behind her perfectly organised and monotonous life, in which there is no room for close contact with anyone.

Lara is emotionally scarred, and seems to dislike or distrust everyone she interacts with. She has built an emotional wall which makes her appear to be the unfriendly, sneering colleague nobody likes to have.

As the novel progresses, her emotional scars start to heal as her physical illness gradually gives her a new perspective on life. The emotional bond she creates with Jane and her family is believably developed and truly touching.

It’s a character driven novel, in which we experience Lara’s personal conflicts and the relationships she has with other characters.

On the other hand, it is not a one-dimensional story about Lara. There is also a carefully spun plot which advances throughout the novel and revolves around her workplace, her routines, her illness, and the people she meets as a result of her treatment.

For me, How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is about empowerment. Lara needs to consciously own her own life, and open her eyes and her heart to the world. In her case, it happened through her experience as a cancer patient.

As a result, she’s finally able to face life with renewed confidence. It’s a new beginning for Lara because she’s on her way to finding inner peace, friendship, love, and professional satisfaction, too.

It’s also very well written, with a smooth prose which makes it a pleasure to read. Well worth Reading.

Five out if five stars.

Get it on Amazon.co.uk

Get in on Amazon.com

Elizabeth Hein

I met Elizabeth Hein a year ago on Goodreads, just after starting my own (belated) career as an author. She had already written and published her first novel, Overlook, so she was able to give me invaluable help and advice on my own writing. See my review of Overlook.

When she wrote her second novel, she was kind enough to send me an ARC to read and review. I must admit I’ve taken a long time to get around to reading it, although as soon as I started reading, it was so good that I finished it in a matter of days!

I’ll admit it. At first, I was afraid to read How to Climb the Eiffel Tower. I put it off because I was a coward for two reasons.

Firstly, I shamelessly admit that 80% of my reading is purely for pleasure. I love being transported to fictional worlds, where I’m absorbed by events taking place in other people’s lives. I don’t mind a bit of tension, but I’m not too keen on suffering while I read. I occasionally like to be shocked or shaken out of my complacency, but not too often. I know Elizabeth is a cancer survivor, and I knew this novel was about cancer patients, and I’m ashamed to admit that I was reluctant to face the pain of cancer. Also, I thought it might be a ‘tear jerker’. As I’ve explained in my review, I’m pleased to say I was completely wrong.

Secondly, I consider Elizabeth as a virtual/cyber friend, and as with any of my friends, I wouldn’t like to hurt her feelings by not liking her novel. Again, I was an idiot. I already knew she was a good writer, I should have trusted her. I should have known it would be a good novel. Well, it surpassed my expectations: It’s an amazing novel.

Read it!