The Cancer Ladies Running Club Josie Lloyd 





When Keira receives her breast cancer diagnosis she doesn’t want to have to tell her children or her husband Tom, and she doesn’t want to step back from work. She doesn’t want to sit in a hospital and stare mortality in the face, nor be part of a group of fellow cancer sufferers. Cancer is not her club.

But, as she is forced to accept everything must change and her health becomes something she can’t rely on, Keira finds herself embracing running. Hot, sweaty running in the company of a group of brilliant, funny women each going through treatment.

Because the C-word  is not going to define Keira’s identity and with the Cancer Ladies Running Club cheering her on, she is going to reclaim her life. One step at a time.


Impossible not to cry. My eyes filled eyes filled up, throughout reading this story. 

Although this story is a work of fiction featuring Keira’s breast cancer, author Josie Lloyd based this story through her own personal experiences with breast cancer. This novel takes readers through all the doctors and hospital appointments, with what the doctors and hospital say.  Keira tries very much to carry on working after her diagnosis. As Keria must keep fit she  joins a running club, that’s named The Cancer Ladies Running Club, it’s the kind of club everyone wants to join, where other women are going through treatment and understand each and can talk about treatments and even offer advice. The main characters in The Cancer Ladies Running Club is Keira, Sian, Amma and Tasmin. No doubt about The Cancer Ladies Running Club is extremely well written, that educated me through what happens during the diagnosis of breast cancer and all the treatments. Every know and then a fiction book comes along that tugs my heart, and makes me cry.  I urge every reader to read this fictional paperback. I have never highly recommend reading such an important fiction book enough. 


I would like to say a very special thank you to Joe at Harper Collins for sending me this very important early proof copy fiction book to read and review. 


When  author Josie Lloyd first discovered she had breast cancer a mum at the school gates suggested that she must keep fit. Personally Josie wanted to crawl under the duvet and stay there, but was cajoled out on the early front in Brighton where she lives and met the original running gang who inspired this story and to whom this book is dedicated. 

After some training and some serious bolstering from this amazing brave, diverse group of women, they all took part in the Brighton Matathon 10k. It was just before Josie ‘s third session of chemotherapy and she was running bald, but just as it happens in the book, Josie was soon overwhelmed with messages of love and support from other runners.  

Josie Lloyd mentions a thank you to all the wonderful staff at the Montifiore hospital who restored her health especially her oncologist David Bloomfield and Josie thanks her acupuncturist. 

And lastly Josie thanks a very kind lady who gave her a butterfly necklace and the random act of kindness that this book, wherever the lady is, Josie salutes her. 

Josie Llyod is the bestselling author of 15 novels, including the No.1 hit Come Together.

Wine Girl Victoria James


Wine Girl Memoir By Victoria James

Published by Little Brown in hardback 16th April 2020

At just twenty-one, the age when most people are starting to drink (well, legally at least), Victoria James became the country’s youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Even as Victoria was selling bottles worth hundreds and thousands of dollars during the day, passing sommelier certification exams with flying colors, and receiving distinction from all kinds of press, there were still groping patrons, bosses who abused their role and status, and a trip to the hospital emergency room.

It would take hitting bottom at a new restaurant and restorative trips to the vineyards where she could feel closest to the wine she loved for Victoria to re-emerge, clear-eyed and passionate, and a proud leader of her own Michelin-starred restaurant.
Exhilarating and inspiring, Wine Girl is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality. 

 Wine Girl is a memoir from America’s youngest sommelier, tracing her path through the glamourous, but famously toxic restaurant world. I found it so compelling – some of Victoria’s stories are shocking, but there’s also so much hope, resilience, and of course, wine! Victoria has worked in restaurants since she was thirteen and was certified as a sommelier when she was twenty-one. She has appeared on both Forbes and Zagat’s ‘30 Under 30’ lists. She has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City, including Marea and Aureole. Currently, she is the Beverage Director and partner at Cote, a Michelin-starred hot spot in the Flatiron district of New York. 

My review 

Wine Girl is a memoir from America’s youngest sommelier, taking readers through the necessary accounts of the best and darkest moments throughout her work in the restaurant world. And d throughout her childhood age 7 to 14. When Victoria worked in the restaurants she take us all through what it was like working in the restaurant trade. Some of the wines were a staggering six-hundred-fifty dollars. And before serving wine, a sommelier must taste every single bottle. There are many more real life stories throughout this book, and stories about her family. I always like reading a memoir, with information of certain things people go through in their life. 

My thanks to

I would like to thank Grace at Little Brown for sending me this hardback memoir to read and review.


Victoria James has worked in restaurants since she was 13 . She was certified as a sommelier when she was 21, making her the youngest sommelier in the USA and has appeared on both Forbes and Zagat’s under 30 lists. She has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City, including Marea and Aureole. Currently she is the Beverage Director and partner at Cote, a Michelin-starred hot spot in the Flatiron district of New York. 

You can find Victoria James on Twitter  on 




Paperback published by Hot Keys Books 5th March 2020

Ross just wants to be normal.

But when his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is no longer an option.

Filled with humour, heart and batpig, this is a story about surviving one wink at a time. 


The author Rob Harrell, in October 2005 was very sadly diagnosed with a cancer above his right eye. Brave Rob took his eye cancer ordeal and made It into a page turning fiction book, for young people to read and adults. Much of the character Ross cancer treatments are based on Rob’s experience with cancer. 

In Wink a character Ross suffers from eye cancer. The story is very educational as it takes readers through the steps of radioactive, where Ross has to wear a mesh mask with an eye hole and has to keep his eye on a Red Cross. I loved the little illustrations showing what the mesh mask looked like and the red cross. 

Children can be quite inquisitive. We are taken through the question what school friends ask Ross and the ones that really care about Ross. 

Wink is quite a heartbreaking read as Ross suffers from a puffy eye and surgery with a slot scar and hair loss. Just like the author went through, with his eye cancer. 

By Doctors orders hats are an important part of life for Ross to keep the sun off his face which he has to wear inside and outside. Once again this fact why Ross had to wear hats became educational. The drawings of all types of hats were amazing. 

I highly recommend Wink as it’s a page turner fiction novel being, very educational. Everyone is talking about Wink. It’s the perfect type of book you can sit and read your self what ever your age or read to your child. This is a perfect choice for schools and book club to talk about. 

If there is a caregiver in your life, drop everything and go give them a huge bear hug. Seriously. Go do it now before you forget.


I would like to say a huge thank you to Hot Keys Books for sending me a uncorrected proof copy of WINK to read and review. 


Rob Harrell is a syndicated cartoonist and his illustration clients include Mad Magazine, Time Inc and Volkswagen. He lives in Austin Texas, with his wife and dogs. 

In October 2005 Ross was diagnosed with a cancer right above his right eye, in the gland that provides tears. It was rare, aggressive and nearly unpronounceable a muscoepidermoid carcinoma of the lacrimal gland. A good deal of what happens to Ross in WINK came from his own experience. The biopsies, the surgeries, the initial  plan to take Rob’s eye and blind him. The last minute reprieve by way of proton radiation. The hat . Fortunately he was 37, old enough that he could handle it. Kind of. He was living in Austin at the time, so goofy straw  Cowboy hat didn’t stick out that much. And he had his wife, Amber to help him through it. But it was an incredible hard time. 




Hardback published by Atlantic Books

In an apartment block in the city of Houston, the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family restaurant, trying to dodge his brother’s fists and resenting his older sister’s absence. He also discovering he likes boys.

All around him his friends and neighbours experience the tumult of living in the margins, the heartbreak of ghosts and the braveries of the human heart. The stories of others living, thriving and dying across the city’s myriad neighbourhoods are switched throughout the boy’s life to reveal a young woman caught out in an affair, the fortunes of a rag-tag baseball team and a group of young hustlers, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, and the fate of a camera-shy mythical beast.

Bryan Washington’s brilliant, viscerally drawn world leaps off the page with engery, wit and the infinite longing of people searching for home. With soulful insight into what makes a community, a family and a life, Lot is about love in all it’s unsparing and insteady forms.

My review 

Lot by Bryan Washington, is a short story collection that centres in the city of Huston. I found it very well written. It’s a raw read, with coming of age, drugs and race, and being unfaithful.  The scene is set well, in an apartment block in the city of Huston, the son of a black mother and a Latino father. 

The passage that I found raw and heartbreaking.

For a while our father kept this other woman in the Heights. It was tough luck seeing him most nights at best. He’d snatch at his keys from the kitchen counter, nod to all of us at once, spit something about how he had business to handle, and of course he never thought to tell us what it could be but we figured it out. 

About author Bryan Washington 

Bryan has written for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, GQ, FADER, The Awl and Catapult. He lives in Huston, Texas. 

You can find Bryan Washington on 


Paint The Sky A. R. Baldwin


Paint The Sky By A. R. Baldwin 

In truth there has always been some obstacle and maybe this time I should take the risk.


A five letter word

With different meanings for different people 

For those who know it

It is filled with meaning 

For those who are yet strangers

It is yet but a word 

A five letter word


Paint The Sky is a short book of prose of words of short poetry . Readers who don’t like reading long books will benefit from reading this little thin book of poetry. Also book clubs would have an adventure talking about the meaning of some of these little short poems.

Here one page of a short poem that I see a meaning to and I’m sure you will all agree it has a meaning.

Some people claim to be your friends 

They are the ones for life’s happy moments 

You can talk and laugh 

But don’t expect to ever really know them

And if you look for them when the way is steep

Why, they’re nowhere to be found 

Some people act like your friends

They are the ones you can trust

You can be yourself and show yourself 

And in the hard times

They are right beside you.


Abilene Baldwin is an aspiring author, who is 22 and a full time English Student. Paint The Sky is Abilene’s first poetry paperback. 


Ten Seconds Lucian Lupescu

Ten Seconds by Lucian Lupescu 

The ten loosely interconnected stories in this collection in flash fiction and one short story focus on small moments of everyday life. Overall, the book tries to present, metaphorically, a human life, from birth to death. 

In Ten Seconds are 10 short stories, with different topics like for example a Birthday short story and a Perfect Marriage short story plus a short story about Ten Seconds, with many other wonderful short stories. All though the outline of this book states 9 flash fiction short stories I found them not to be flash fiction but rather as short stories. However I for one was glued to the short stories. This book is absolutely ideal for anyone who can’t read long books and an interesting short book for many readers that just love reading all types of books. I think that this short book would be a good source to discuss at book clubs.

My thanks to Lucian Lupescu for sending me a copy of Ten Seconds to read and review. 

About Lucian Lupescu 

Lucian Lupescu is an English/French/Italian/Romanian freelance translator since 2008. He did some independent forensic linguistics research, after studying with Dr. John Olsson. Sometimes he writes fiction. Bylines in “Philosophy Now” and “Translation Journal.” Blog:

Gloves Off Louisa Reid


Gloves Off Louisa Reid

Paperback published by Guppy books


Lily is sixteen and feels utterly trapped.

Bullied at school, she doesmadeumade want to lay her unhappiness at her parent’s door they have problems of their own. When the kids at school finally go too far, Lily and her family must face reality and decide if she’s going to fight back or remain a victim. 

But is stepping up simply about getting revenge? Or about taking charge of her life once and for all? 

Pride in your body, courage and self-belief this is a knock out. 

My review 

I thought this book was actually a novel. But it is a kind of YA novel but told in verses. I didn’t realise that it was a book of verses, but as I love poetry, flash fiction, and books told in verses, I really enjoyed Gloves Off. I have also read and reviewed a crime book in verses. So in all Gloves Off was right up my street!

Everyone deserves a fighting chance.

Here’s a view of what the verses are like 


I turn my key in the door

and hear mikey’s voice

” she’s home, she’s home! Lily lil”

he runs towards me,

grabs my hand,

before I can escape upstairs,

and drags me into the sitting room 

where mum and aunty Clare are waiting 

with balloons,

and a fountain of silly string explodes.

“happy  birthday to you! “

they chorus 

in voices so loud 

the whole street will hear,

even the baby is bouncing

and cooing in time.

I crush the rest of the day inside my fist,

and smile. 

About Author Louisa Reid

Louisa Reid has spent most of her life reading. And when she’s not doing that she’s writing stories, or imagining writing them at least. An English teacher, her favourite part of the job is sharing her love of reading and writing with her pupils.

Louisa writes about things that she thinks is important to young people, and all people generally, really. Drawn to write about themes of female empowerment and personal freedom, GLOVES OFF is about bullying and body image, with some boxing thrown in too. Louisa hopes the novel will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had to fight for self confidence and self belief things which are, for many, very hard won.

Louisa lives with her family in the north west of England and is proud to calla place near Manchester home.



No Fixed Address Susin Nielsen


No Fixed Address By Susin Nielsen 

Paperback published by Andersen Press

Felix Knutsson and his mom Astrid have a secret, they are living in a van. Astrid promises it’s only till she finds a new job, and begs Felix not to breathe a word. So when Felix starts at a new school, he does his best to hide it from his friends, even though his home has some serious downsides, like no privacy, heating, space and worst of all no bathroom.

But Felix has a plan to turn his and Astrid’s lives around. All he needs is a little luck and a lot of brain power.

Susin Nielsen deftly combines humour, heartbreak and hope in this moving story about the people who slip through the cracks of our society.

My Review

No Fixed Address is about being homeless, people who don’t have a permanent home, but don’t sleep rough, but may find places to stay with friends or family, sleeping in a spare room, or basement or on a sofa. Some people maybe on a waiting list for social housing for a while, living in hostels or bed and breakfast that the local authorities provide. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of this fiction novel, No Fixed Address, I thought that the settings for this story was very different and fully stretched to the unusual.

In No Fixed Address 

I found it a a very tough, touching novel, feeling sorry for young Felix with no proper home to live in and keeping it a secret. 

Felix Fredrick Knutsson age 12 with no fixed address had lived in a few places. First of all he lived with his mother in his grandma’s bungalow, then with his mother in a six- hundred -square foot apartment and then a basement. 

By August they were living in a Volkswagen Westfalia van, with a two ring stove and a bar size fridge. It had little cubbyholes for storage tucked into every nook and cranny. But when Felix starts a new school he tries his best to keep it away from his friends, that he lives in a van. 

My Thanks To

I would like to thank walker books and Andersen Press so much for sending me the touching tale of No Fixed Address to read and review.

About Author Susin Nielsen

Susin got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for over 20 Canadian TV series. Her first young adult novel, Word Nerd, was published in 2008 to critical acclaim. It won multiple Young Readers’ Choice Awards, as did her second novel, Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom. Her third novel, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, was published in August 2012. It went on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year Award, and a number of Young Readers’ Choice Awards. Author Wally Lamb named it his top YA pick for 2012 in his “First Annual Wally Awards,” and recently Rolling Stone magazine put it at #27 in their list of “Top 40 Best YA Novels.” 

Her books have been translated into multiple languages. Susin’s new novel, We Are All Made of Molecules, will be published in Canada, the US and the UK in Spring of 2015. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two naughty cats. She is delighted to have finally figure out how to “claim” her author profile on Goodreads!




Published on the 13th August by W&N

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide.

Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life–her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West.
Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely–and unforgettably–her own. 

A short extract 


WHEN THOSE MEN RODE DOWN TO THE FORDING PLACE last night, I thought us done for. Even you must realize how close they came  their smell, the song of their bridles, the Whites of their horses eyes. True to form blind though you are, and with that shot still irretrievable in your thigh you made to stand and meet them. Perhaps I should have let you. It might have averted what happened tonight and the girl would have been unharmed. But how could I have known? I was unready, disbelieving of our fate, and in the end could only watch them cross and ride up the wash away from us in the moonlight. 


Tea Obreht is the author of The Tiger’s Wife, winner of the Orange Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award. She was born in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. She currently lives in New York City and teaches at Hunter College.




Paperback published by lion Hudson 

To Rachel Keyte death is the enemy. The early loss of her beloved father from heart failure ignited a single-minded determination in her: to save as many patients as she can, and to become a consultant before the age of forty. Everything else – friendship, love, empathy – is sacrificed to her obsession.

Now Rachel’s surgical skills are twelve-year-old Craig’s only hope for a normal life. His mother Eve holds a deep distrust of doctors, and her son is all she has. Reluctantly, she agrees for the operation to go ahead. But surgery is never predictable, nor is a devastated mother’s terrifying reaction. Eve, it seems, wants a life for a life.


The Healing Knife is an excellent nerve jangling medical drama. I loved every page. It made wonder how Sue Russell came up with this splendid idea, and all the medical operations.  I would most definitely highly recommended The Healing Knife to any reader.

Rachel Keyte is the best heart surgeon. She is called upon to do twelve-year-old Craig Rawlins awaited operation. But after his operation he delvopes complications and sadly dies. 

Rachel attends Craig’s funeral.  Eve Rawlins is blaming Rachel for her son’s death. Inside the church Eve shouts at Rachel. Murderer Bloody murderer I’ll hound you, butcher I’ll never let you rest! I’ll make you suffer. 

Rachel is hounded by Eva Rawlins doing some of the most horrible things, she obviously wants revenge to the point of a life for a life. 

An absolute crazy page turner. 


Sue Russell previously taught children with learning difficulties. Now retired. Sue has more time to give to writing though she has been making up stories since she was very small. The Healing knife is Sue’s seventh novel.

You can find Sue Russell

Twitter @SueLRussell