I actually read this book back in 2013 when it was published under its previous title How My Life Became Chaos and really loved it and the two other titles that came after it in the Chaos series. So I was absolutely thrilled when I learned that Bombshell Books had signed Victoria J Brown and were publishing her books. It means I can rave about this book once again and hopefully bring some new fans to this brilliant series!
The author gives us a glimpse of what normal life is and how quickly it can change. Paranoia, insecurities, love, forgiveness, grief – we get a taste of it all in this book.
Holding Myself is the first book in a series featuring Kat. To start with the book feels like it’s going to be some sort of light hearted chick lit read but it is actually much deeper than that.
A wonderfully captivating story of life and struggles, with some extremely heart rendering moments.
Having really enjoyed this book I find it hard to believe that this is Victoria J Brown’s first novel as the writing just flows and the style is very accomplished. It’s an easy to read novel and although I’ve seen it described as chick-lit, the topics it deals with are very serious and sympathetically treated.
Whilst reading Holding Myself, it was almost like Kat and I were best friends and we were sat,her relaying her tale to me.
Holding Myself deals with some harrowing and incredibly difficult issues- but far from being a difficult read, the tone and craft of the writing turns this into a gripping, unputdownable drama laced with moments of humour and warmth that seem to hug the reader to them.
I was surprised by how involved I became in both the story and the characters lives and it was a deeper read than I was expecting to find.
A well deserved five stars from me and I will be looking out for future books by Victoria Brown.A very 21st century book!
There are lots of twists and turns along the way and things don’t work out quite how you would expect, however it still leaves you with that satisfied, happy feeling when you come to the end. A great page turner that you can’t put down.
Thank you, Alison Daughtry Drew from The Dragon Slayer for your lovely review:
Victoria has a knack of writing in such a way that little by little the story unfolds and the reader finds themselves engrossed in amongst the characters and part of the ongoing situation.
Another fantastic review from Emma-Louise Smith from Read, Write, Inspire. Thank you lots Emma-Louise.
The book while touching on sensitive subjects such as pregnancy, abortion, death, miscarriage and physical/mental abuse managed to stay quite light and not too heavy.
Kate Olsen from The Loud Library Lady made my week when she likened me to Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Oliver. A massive thank you Kate, I’m so pleased you enjoyed Holding Myself:
I found myself falling into Kat’s story immediately upon beginning to read this book, and finished it in one evening. Brown writes in an intensely readable fashion, one that I liken to many of my very favourite chick lit writers such as Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Oliver – conversational and very relatable.
Posted on July 11, 2014
I listened to Hit Girls by Dreda Mitchell through my Audible which I have on my phone. You can read more here about audible on an earlier blog I did.
Anyway, I downloaded Hit Girls when it came within a ‘2 for 1’ offer, unsure whether it was my type of thing. But I’m so pleased I did. The dramatic start to the story sets the scene for the rest of the novel. When two innocent girls are run down outside school by a 4×4, and a young boy is left seriously ill in hospital, you can’t help but want to know more! As I listened to the heart-wrenching description, I realised I’d stopped breathing. This not-so accidental incident leads to individual characters seeking revenge and finding out the culprit of this horrific crime.
I was taken in straight away by Jackie and the other ladies. I loved Jackie and Schoolboy. In fact, I practically fell in love with Schoolboy. The Lewis family had me intrigued from the beginning, I was desperate to know what was going on behind that family, without giving away any spoilers, there were a few shockers! I’m not usually into ‘gangster’ type films or books, but I can honestly say I loved this. Every chapter had me hanging on for more information. The action was on-going.
In their attempt to find out the killer, they turnover a few stones that many wished were left. I think Dreda Mitchell has done a fantastic job of making all the characters interesting, a busy intertwining plot that is structured so you don’t lose who has done what, and a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you fancy delving into a story about loyalty, justice and trust this is a book I would definitely recommend.
Posted on June 16, 2014
I’ve just finished reading Wishes Fulfilled by Dr Wayne Dyer and absolutely loved it.
I couldn’t put this book down. I’ve read many Law of Attraction Books and I really enjoyed Dyer’s book, I can see clearly now, but this book delved deeper into the thinking behind manifestation.
Every chapter made sense, and I just wanted to keep reading. I have a need to read more about manifestation and meditation. Not because Dyer doesn’t express enough, but because Dyer has sparked something inside of me.
I do think you need to know the basics about the Law of Attraction to read this book, in that case personally I loved ‘The Secret’, however for those wanting to delve more into spirituality, I would most definitely read this book.
Posted on April 1, 2014
My Virtual Book Tour started yesterday, with Fiction Addiction Book Tours .
It’s got to be said I was quite nervous. There are many of my lovely friends who have encouraged my writing. They have loved How My Life Became Chaos (or so they told me 🙂 ) They have recommended my books to their friends, and I’ve had a steady amount of people reading the whole series.
But admittedly, I was a little unsure what the book reviewers and bloggers would say about my first novel; people who don’t me, so don’t have to be nice about my writing!! I know the Chaos Series is based on real-life issues, although I feel it definitely falls into the chick-lit genre, I know it isn’t one of those plain-sailing books where everyone lives happily ever after. I love to write like this because that’s what life is about. We’d all love a happily ever after, but wouldn’t life be boring without a bit of drama 🙂
So to start the tour yesterday, Dawn from Crooks on Books, gave me the most amazing 5/5 review. I still buzzing. She understood the emotional rollercoaster behind the story and how it does relate to real-life. I can’t thank Dawn enough for her review.
Have a look at her review here:- Crooks on Books Review.
I’m so excited to be taking part in this book tour. I can’t thank Shaz (from FABT) enough for organising the tour and Dawn for giving me such a boost at the beginning of the tour.
Sending everyone lots of love who takes part in the tour 🙂 Lots of luck on the giveaway 🙂
Posted on March 7, 2014
I love World Book Day! Hence the reason yesterday I told you about Audible.
I love looking at all the children dressed-up in their favourite outfits. I love the way it can help show them how stories can come to life.
Yesterday, to celebrate World Book Day, another parent and I went into the primary school where our children attend, and read some fairy tales to year 2.
The other parent, Debbie Fixter, was fantastic; she dressed up as Snow White and looked amazing (as you can see here). She really made the afternoon and the kids absolutely loved her.
Debbie, who is co-owner of Little Sprouts Catering, had such a fab way with the children, as she read the tale of Snow White. She was totally in character and the children really enjoyed it.
I, on the other hand, researched some Aesop’s fairy tales. I told the renowned story, ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, and a less known story called, ‘You Are Beautiful As You Are’. The children were mesmerised and enjoyed the meanings behind the stories.
It was such fun to join them. But I truly think Debbie made the afternoon, she was fantastic.
I’ve included the stories here that I read to the children. They were taken from http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/index.html, there are some fantastic stories on this site that all have different meanings.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!”
The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.
“Don’t cry ‘wolf’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “when there’s no wolf!” They went grumbling back down the hill.
Later, the boy sang out again, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!” To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.
When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, “Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there is NO wolf!”
But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.
Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, “Wolf! Wolf!”
But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn’t come.
At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn’t returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping.
“There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, “Wolf!” Why didn’t you come?”
An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.
“We’ll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the youth, “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!”
You Are Beautiful As You Are
There was once a crow who did not like his feathers.
“I wish I were a peacock!” he would say.
“You are beautiful as you are!” the other crows insisted.
“How plain and dull you seem to me!” he’d complain, and fly off to admire peacocks.
The peacocks strutted about with their colorful tail feathers outstretched. To the delight of the crow, some of the peacock feathers lay on the ground when the peacocks left.
Crow flew down to the ground and stuck the feathers into his wings and tail. He attached a few sticking up from his head.
“Now I am as beautiful as a peacock,” he said.
But, when he went to join them in their strutting, the peacocks poked him and pecked him. What a fuss!
“You are not a peacock,” they said, “Don’t imitate us!”
Bruised and still dragging some broken peacock feathers in his tail, he returned home.
After all his insults, no one wanted his company!
As he sat alone, the other crows said, “It’s foolish to try and be what you’re not. Learn to love the feathers you’ve got!”
Posted on March 6, 2014
photo credit: audiobookupdate.com
I absolutely love reading. But not only do I love reading, I feel it is a necessity as a writer to read. However, running a business, being a mum, running a house etc. etc. etc. often squeezing reading in is a luxury. Even before bed I generally work until quite late: until my head is dropping on the keyboard to be precise. Although this is definitely easing since my little ones have started full-time school.
In the last few years I’ve tried to find ways of fitting in more reading, especially when I was studying towards my MA, not only was there assignments galore but there was a huge reading list.
It was in this time I discovered Audible.
Audible is fantastic for anyone leading a busy life but would still love the pleasure of delving into a fictional world. Lots of people have said to me they’d rather pick up a book, and quite honestly so would I. But Audible allows you to listen to a story when you wouldn’t necessarily be able to read a book. For example: I listen in my car (instead of music), while walking the dog, while cleaning, ironing, dealing with tasks that don’t need a lot of concentration. Many people enjoy having the television on as background noise, but Audible allows you to get certain tasks done while enjoying characters and plots of a make-believe world (or a real world, as there are plenty of biographies to download). There is also plenty of non-fiction to choose from. My most recent non-fiction is ‘Hero’ by Rhonda Byrne. I love her work.
I’ve enjoyed so many novels through Audible. I have the app on my phone which means I can just click a few buttons and I’m back to the story where I left it. It’s so easy to flick back through the chapters, increase or decrease the narrator speed or even if you don’t like the novel you’ve chosen you can exchange it for another.
A cheap monthly fee allows you a credit a month, these build up to 6 credits, so there is no pressure to use them straight away.
I just had to rave about audible as I absolutely love it. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to pick up a book ever again. It just means you can have the best of both worlds. I generally have two books on the go now. A paperback and one through Audible. Well, at the moment I have three! I’m reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s, I Can See Clearly Now, Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley and I’m listening to Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson.
So, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you about audible, as many people I speak to have never heard of it. I just think for anyone who wishes they could fit more fiction into their lives, this is definitely the way forward 🙂 (And no I’m not part of their Affiliate Scheme, I genuinely believe this is one of Amazon’s best services!) Give it a try!