#BOOKTOUR #EXTRACT – Cerebral Palsy A Story by Ilana Estelle – @ZooloosBT @RedDoorBooks @TheCPDiary #CerebralPalsy #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the book tour for Cerebral Palsy A Story and I have an extract for you, if you’ve been with me a while you’ll know that I read and reviewed this book a couple of years ago. Thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Before I post my extract.. let me tell you about the book and the author 🙂

Synopsis: Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it?

This is the incredible story of Ilana Estelle.

Born the second of premature twins, an hour apart, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was, at the time, so often brushed under the carpet, not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood. It took 46 years for her to find out why.

Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: My story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, not knowing what was wrong, what her disability was, or that there was a diagnosis – to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, resilience and change.

About the Author:

Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2. 

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change. 

Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and wellbeing. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. 

Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

And now for the extract.

Extract:

Cerebral Palsy: ‘A Story’

Conclusion to the book…

An Understanding

If I had known about my cerebral palsy when it was initially diagnosed at the age of two, I would never have gone down the diagnosis route at the age of forty-six and I would never have started The CP Diary and my personal cerebral palsy journey.

Although I wouldn’t want others to have gone through my experiences, I do recognise the positives in having them. I also know that had my parents acted on my disability, and found out about all my symptoms, I would have had very little to think or write about. My thoughts and feelings, everything I have had to work through, have come about because I was never told of my diagnosis and then finding out the initial diagnosis was wrong. The correct diagnosis is ‘mild hemiparesis cerebral palsy’. I could never have known without the further research into my symptoms. 

I know now that I also have autism. Although when I was born, there was little known about autism, it is clear my case had nothing to do with that. Due to family circumstances,I slipped through the net. Also, what happened to me, and the fact that I only got to find out about this as an adult, would be unlikely to happen again because children are now routinely diagnosed.

Although my parents have inadvertently paved the way for me to find out about my disability, there is no doubt that my journey down this path started the day I was born. 

Decisions were made around my disability that didn’t allow me to grow mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, for me to be comfortable in my own skin. Fundamentally, human beings get things wrong, but I believe we have the power in us to find understanding. 

Mistakes are made and the human condition is inevitably flawed, but it’s up to us as individuals to find ways to make things better. As ‘my story’ shows, it can be done. 

Working through my experiences has made for my deeper understanding and that allows for the jigsaw to be completed. I cannot change my experiences, what I went through, but I can continue to look for acceptance on the things I still struggle with. I’m not angry or bitter at what I’ve been through, that’s not my way and there would be no point. Instead, I draw strength from my writing and use my experiences to bring understanding to why my life had to be this way.

Without my experiences to draw upon for inspiration, I couldn’t have done and achieved what I have with my life, or with my blog. Trauma, or anything else you want to call it, is never okay: but I understand. I know that without my experiences, I would never have become an author, a writer and blogger. And whilst I cannot change my experiences, my blogs act as a reminder that there is always a message, a silver lining, and a way through our experiences.

Every child should know what they deal with, it is their entitlement. No child should have to live in the dark. Not knowing about my cerebral palsy or autism meant I needed to take the initiative, to learn about my diagnoses and to understand all of my symptoms. My symptoms needed to fit my experiences. 

Over the years although my brain had already compensated, I did have an inkling of how I presented. It was important to me that others understood ‘me’. I wanted to know: I needed to understand myself. 

I’m not sure how old I was when it began to dawn on me that I might never know about my disability, or what I was dealing with, and that I might have to go to the grave not knowing. I could never have foreseen then how my life was going to change, but I go back to hope. I also know that without writing this book, I could never have achieved this level of understanding. 

I find it difficult to comprehend that while others knew my symptoms would not improve, I continued to believe that tomorrow was another day and that eventually I would get better. I always believed that what I had was temporary because I didn’t know, and that gave me the hope. Then finding out at forty-six that I had cerebral palsy and knowing I would never get better, dashed the hopes I’d been living with as a child. Difficult to hear, and difficult to work through, I felt I had no choice but to pick myself back up. 

Now having overcome so many difficulties and having come through to tell ‘a tale’, I am proud of myself and my achievements, and the opportunities and the people I have come into contact with along the way. I am thankful.

If this book sounds like something you’ll enjoy it can be found here!

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#BLOGTOUR #SPOTLIGHT / The Feud on Dead Lane by Robert W Kirby – @ZooloosBT #RobertWKirby #TheFeudOnDeadLane #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m the book tour for The Feud on Dead Lane by Robert W Kirby, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 417

Synopsis: “Two tough families—Two mysterious deaths—One night of brutal violence.”

Nino and Elena dream of sharing a normal life together. They are desperate to escape the shadow of Nino’s domineering and dangerous family, the Bartells.

After a shocking revelation is made, and a family member dies in strange circumstances, Elena urges Nino to take drastic action.

But some outsiders are drawn into the mix. Two best friends who have made a grave mistake, a no-nonsense financial adviser searching for his missing son, and a proud new mum. Soon all of them will be caught up in a deadly world where betrayal, violence and even cold-blooded murder are acceptable methods of settling scores.

Will anybody walk away unscathed?

About The Author: Robert was born in 1979 and lives in Kent with his wife, children, and bonkers dalmatian, Dexter.

He ran a private investigation agency for over fifteen years, dealing in cases that involved breach of contract claims, commercial debt recovery, and process serving. Robert’s agency also specialised in people tracing; so much of his work revolved around tracking down debtors, dealing in adoption matters, and locating missing persons. At times, he worked on some pretty bizarre cases and dealt with plenty of interesting and sometimes colourful individuals. 

Since 2014, Robert has worked self-employed in the pet care industry, and is a keen trail runner, mountain biker and kayaker. Robert has a huge passion for screenwriting for many years and started writing novels during the first lockdown. 

His first novel, The Tests, published on Amazon in 2021, was based on a spec screenplay that he originally wrote back in 2009. The Tests was then republished with Inkubator Books in 2022 under the new title – The Wrong Girl. Robert’s second novel, The Feud on Dead Lane, a dark and gritty crime thriller, will also be out soon.

If you like the sound of this it can be bought here! And it’s also on Kindle Unlimited!

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#BOOKTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – Broken Screams by Sally Rigby – @ZooloosBT @SallyRigby4 #BrokenScreams #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the tour for Broken Screams by Sally Rigby and I have a spotlight for you, please accept my apologies this was supposed to be up yesterday but it wasn’t in my calendar. Thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Bare in mind that this is book 12 in the Cavendish and Walker series, although it can be read as a standalone.

Synopsis: Scream all you want, no one can hear you….

When an attempted murder is linked to a string of unsolved sexual attacks, Detective Chief Inspector Whitney Walker is incensed. All those women who still have sleepless nights because the man who terrorises their dreams is still on the loose.

Calling on forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish to help, they follow the clues and are alarmed to discover the victims all had one thing in common. Their birthdays were on the 29th February. The same date as a female officer on Whitney’s team.

As the clock ticks down and they’re no nearer to finding the truth, can they stop the villain before he makes sure his next victim will never scream again.

Broken Screams is the twelfth book in the acclaimed Cavendish & Walker series and is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H Durrant and Rachel McClean.

About The Author:

Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world.

After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish. Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programmes. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.

If you like the sound of this it is on Kindle Unlimited and and can be bought here!

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#BLOGTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – City of Sin by Sean O’Leary – @ZooloosBT @SeanOl777 @NextChapterPB #CityOfSin #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the tour for City of Sin by Sean O’Leary, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Synopsis: In the stifling heat of a Sydney summer, young Rhia is being hunted.

She was in the wrong place at the wrong time; now, both the police and a right-wing group of fanatics are after her. The only one on her side is Indigenous investigator Carter Thompson from the Prosecutors Office.

In Rhia’s possession is a stolen USB full of secrets that could destroy the New Light Church. After NLC sets their attack dog, P.I. Sally Bois on the case, Thompson and Bois clash and race against time to find Rhia.

With a dangerous plan in motion, can Rhia and Carter clear her name – or is it already too late?

City Of Sin is the first book in Sean O’Leary’s riveting crime series set in Sydney, Australia.

This book contains adult content and is not recommended for readers under the age of 18.

About The Author:

Sean O’Leary is a writer from Melbourne, Australia. He has published two literary short story collections, ‘My Town’ and ‘Walking’. His literary novella ‘Drifting’ was the winner of the ‘The Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in 2017. He self published ‘The Heat’ his crime novella set in Darwin and Bangkok in 2019. ‘Drifting’ and ‘The Heat’ will be re-published by Next Chapter in 2022/23. His second crime novella ‘Preston Noir’ was published in 2020 in ‘Crime Double Feature…Neo Noir’ from the indie press ‘Zombie Pirate Publishing.

’ His crime fiction collection ‘Wonderland‘ was recently published by the down and dirty folk at Close to the Bone Publishing in the United Kingdown. His new crime novel ‘Going All the Way’ and short story collection ‘Tokyo Jazz & Other Stories’ are both be published by Next Chapter and out now.

City of Sin is the first book in his new Sydney crime series featuring Indigenous investigator Carter Thompson. 

He likes to walk all over the face of the earth, travel as often as he can, supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence) enjoys art but knows nothing about it, is a film buff and writes like a demon.

If you like the sound of this you can buy it here!

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#BOOKTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – From The Deep by Kateri Stanley – @ZooloosBT @Sal_writes @BurtonMayers #FromTheDeep #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the book tour for From The Deep by Kateri Stanley, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos book tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 294

Synopsis: Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.

The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.

Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.

As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.

About The Author:

Kateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child, Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and their two cats. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, Darkstroke Books, in 2021 and it reached #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts on Amazon. She is currently working on her third novel, Bittersweet Injuries.

If you like the sound of this it can be bought here!

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#BLOGTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards by Rosie Parker – @RosiePa49123542 @RandomTTours #OnlyHummingbirdsFlyBackwards #RandomThingsTours

Today I’m on the tour for Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards by Rosie Parker, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 312

Synopsis: Ronnie and Jake are twins – obviously not identical, but close as. They even have that twin intuition thing going on. Ronnie lives with her soon-to-be husband and new-born baby, and Jake is happily married with two daughters. One sunny April day, he hops onto somebody else’s motorbike to ride home when a horrific crash leaves him lying brain injured on the road. On hearing the news Ronnie rushes to Jake’s bedside. Having once been a physiotherapist, she knows it’s bad, and her life threatens to crack apart as she begs him to return to her. Fifteen months later, it’s suggested by Jake’s wife that the two families go away to Brittany, France, on holiday. But surely, it’s too soon, thinks Ronnie. The tensions and events which follow threaten to rock both Ronnie’s marriage and her relationship with her sister-in-law, as she tries to reach Jake. And when secrets from their past begin to surface, will Ronnie seek comfort from another man? At the heart of it all is Jake, who is more than her brother, he is her twin. Once they floated side by side in their mother’s womb. Can Ronnie somehow remind him of the person he once was, or is he changed forever? The world turns with or without them, a butterfly flaps its wings, and only hummingbirds fly backwards.

About the Author: Rosie Parker had a portfolio career including physiotherapy, medical rehabilitation and disability research, before returning to her first love, creative writing. She now has an MA in Creative Writing and is a tutor in Creative Writing at The Open University. A spoken word performer and novelist, Rosie writes in her blue shed on a hill overlooking the Bristol Channel. Rosie Parker identifies as a disabled author living with hypermobile-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and this is her debut novel.

If you like the sound of this book it can be bought here!

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#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – Death In Blitz City by David Young – @djy_writer @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #DeathInBlitzCity #CompulsiveReaders #prdgreads

Today km on the tour for Death In Blitz City by David Young, thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 372

Synopsis: 1942, Hull, East Yorkshire – It is the most heavily-bombed city outside of London – but for the sake of national morale the Hull Blitz is kept top secret. Only the politicians in Whitehall and Hull’s citizens themselves know of the true chaos.
Newly-posted Inspector Ambrose Swift cannot believe the devastation he finds. But for Swift and his two deputies – part-time bare-knuckle boxer Jim ‘Little’ Weighton and Dales farmer’s daughter Kathleen Carver – it’s murder, not the war, that’s at the forefront of their minds.
When a series of sadistic killings is wrongly blamed on locally-stationed black American GIs, Swift, a one-armed former WW1 cavalryman who tours the rubble-strewn city on a white horse, soon discovers these are no ordinary murders. The fetid stench of racism, corruption and perversion go to the very top. And for Swift, Weighton and Carver, finding the real killers means putting their own lives at risk – because powerful forces in the US and Britain cannot let the war effort be undermined. Not even by the truth.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: A well put together historical police procedural story.

We’re following Ambrose Swift and Jim Weighton as they’re thrown in to a case that on the surface looks simple, a dead body outside a shelter that was recently bombed by the Nazis, but on closer inspection it doesn’t look like she was killed in the blast at all.. her heart had been ripped out & it looks professional…

As they follow the leads they soon find that they need a female touch for the possible witnesses, enter Karen Carver, a woman who can really hold her own in any situation.

Bodies keep appearing and the US Military are willing to let an innocent man take the rap to keep the peace!

This is an adrenaline filled fast paced story that will really keep you on your toes. I loved all of the main characters individually but thought they worked incredibly as a team!

Here’s hoping this is the start of a new series for me to get lost in! I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to any of them and felt they had more to give.

Lots of secrecy and lots of mysteries to uncover, this one had me hooked from start to finish

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#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – The Accident by Daniel Hurst – @ZooloosBT @dhurstbooks @InkubatorBooks #TheAccident #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for The Accident by Daniel Hurst, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 248

Synopsis: One moment. Three lives changed forever.

Single mum Anni would do anything for her little boy, Tobi, he is the center of her world. So she is utterly devastated when Tobi is run over and killed by drunk driver, Carl.

Anni hates Carl for what he’s done and takes some comfort from the lengthy prison sentence he is serving. But she can’t live on hate and after a time spent grieving for her son, Anni returns to work and tries to move on with her life. She is lonely without Tobi and glad to make a new friend, Jo.

But Jo has a secret. She is connected to the fatal accident in a way that Anni never suspects. And Jo is determined that Anni will never discover the awful truth about what really happened that day.

As the two women grow closer, Anni begins to feel that her new friend is keeping something from her.

A terrible suspicion begins to dawn and Anni starts to dig deeper into Jo’s past. Will she discover the horrifying truth? Or will she find out just how far some people go to cover up their mistakes…

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: Daniel has done it again and created a read that is horrifying and impossible to put down full of characters that seem unbelievably ordinary yet very relatable.

It really puts into perspective that life really can change in just a matter of seconds and one wrong decision can alter everything you’ve come to know.

Every single one of our characters makes more than one wrong decision which means that although we already know the ultimate consequences from the beginning that we are constantly left guessing.. right until the last chapter.

I wanted to hug Anni, whilst shaking Jo and spent a lot of the book angry at Carl 😂

Full of short snappy chapters that are regularly left on a cliffhanger and told from multiple perspectives which means it’s impossible to put down because the usual “just one more chapter” doesn’t work!

This book made me feel real emotions, had my heart beating fast, whilst also leaving it in my throat.. the writing is so immersive that it made me feel like I was in the book, yet I couldn’t stop the characters from making terrible decisions!

After reading multiple books from Daniel and loving every single one I think it’s fair to say that he is now a favourite author.

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#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – From Sorrows Hold by Johnathan Peace – @JPWritescrime @HobeckBooks #FromSorrowsHold #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for From Sorrows Hold by Jonathan Peace, thank you to Rebecca at Hobeck Books for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you for my copy.

Pages: 360

Synopsis: December, 1988

Christmas beckons
What should be a time of excitement and joy is forever tainted when a teenager’s body is found in the graveyard of Ossett’s Holy Trinity Church.

A suspected suicide
As they respond to the devastating event, WDCs Louise Miller and Elizabeth Hines, together with psychologist Karla Hayes, each use their own experiences of suicide to help the wider community as it struggles to understand the terrible choice that was made.

Another missing teenager
Louise starts to believe there is something even more sinister behind the events…

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Detective Louise Miller series and it reminded me why I loved the other one so much!

We’re following Louise Miller and Beth Hines as yet again they form a formidable team to get to the truth, they don’t always see eye to eye but they’re not afraid to have it out with each other and discuss things.

Louise is at church with her Aunt when a young girl walks in covered in blood, Louise jumps straight into work mode and it doesn’t take her long to discover the body of a young boy who it appears has taken his own life.. although for Louise things are never that simple so despite everyone around her telling her she’s wrong, she’s determined to dig a little deeper.

Throw in a protest group who feel that suicide is wrong and the families of those that commit such an act should be punished, a prostitute, and a whole host of characters who seem to know more than they are letting on and what you have is a book that is impossible to put down & the twists just keep coming right until the very end.

I can’t wait for book 3!

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#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – The Measure by Nikki Erlick – @nikkierlick @BoroughPress @RandomTTours #TheMeasure #RandomThingsTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for The Measure by Nikki Erlick, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 368

Synopsis: Eight Ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like just another morning.

You make a cup of tea. Check the news. Open the front door.

On your doorstep is a box.

Inside the box is the exact number of years you have left to live.

The same box appears on every doorstep across the world.

Do you open yours?

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My. Thoughts: thought provoking and heartbreaking, what a brilliant debut novel!

You wake up one morning with a box on your doorstep that says “the measure of your life lies within” would you open it?!

This is the dilemma that faces the entire world one morning in March & we’re following 8 people who make the decision that is right for them and then have to face the consequences!

Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the main characters I love a multi perspective book so once I realised this I was hooked, I did worry that it would get confusing with their being so many but Nikki’s writing is flawless, subtle differences in each of the characters made it easy to tell who was who.

You find yourself really getting lost in the story and wishing that you could change the fate of some of these characters. Some were easy to love and support, others were easy to hate. The clever part was the fact that she created characters who seem like they’re on the fence and you don’t know what side they will be on until the last minute.

I devoured this book. I couldn’t put it down!

This is one of the best dystopian novels I’ve ever read and cannot recommend it highly enough.

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