Laura Bambrey Books

It's all about the books... News. Reviews. Interviews

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Got a Spare 2 Minutes?

Hi everyone!

So, this is a heads up- this is not a book post, it's a personal one - but I really need your support- and the good news, it'll only take you 2 minutes.

In my "real life" I'm a fundraiser for a local charity for learning disabled children and young adults, called Lifeworks. We provide all sorts of projects and services to these youngsters and their families, but the specific one I want to talk to you about is called Breaking the Barrier.

Image with permission of Lifeworks Charity
Breaking the Barrier consists of day-long surfing events for the young people and their families- introducing them to the joys of surfing (the video at the bottom of the page shows this in a couple of minutes far better than I could ever describe!). 2017 will be the project's 10th Anniversary, and we'd like to reach even more young people- as well as add new sports such as cycling and trampolining to the project.

Here's where I need your help. I'm not asking for money. I'm asking for 2 minutes of your time to add your votes to our project in the Aviva Community Fund - because if we get through to the finals, we could stand to win up to £25,000 for this vital project.

Voting is super easy...

Please vote for us! Each person has 10 votes – but you can cast them all at the same time, so it's nice and easy. Just follow this step-by-step…

  1. Click HERE to find out more about the project  
  2. Click the "Register and log in" link in the voting box to register
  3. Click "Register Now" (or "Login" if you already have an account)
  4. Fill in your name, email and choose a password
  5. Go to your emails and click on the confirmation email link
  6. Fill in the last few boxes and activate your account
  7. Now you have your account, simply search for "Breaking The Barrier" in the "search project titles and organisations" box
  8. Click "see more" on the project box to get back to the page- and cast your votes!
Thank you thank you thank you. If you need more convincing, please check out this video - and help me share far and wide! Laura xxx


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Review: Comfort & Joy by Cathy Bramley

It's that most magical time of the year... where I start reading Christmas books again! And this year's first Christmas read is an absolute gem. Cathy Bramley's Comfort & Joy is out today.

Christmas Eve has arrived at Plumberry, and everyone is looking forward to the big day. The whole village seems to have special plans this year- but nature is about to put a big, wet spanner in the works.

This short story is so full of festive cheer against all odds, that it'll give even the biggest Grinch a warm Christmas glow. I finished it with a big smile and a cuddle for my kindle. It's the sort of story that make you plan to be the very best version of yourself all the way through until the big day lands.

Although Comfort & Joy is a short story based around the characters and settings of Cathy's novel The Plumberry School of Comfort Food, it also reads perfectly as a stand-alone story, so you don't necessarily have to have read Plumberry first- though I'll be making sure I read it very soon, as I fell in love with all the characters in Comfort & Joy, and I'd really love to spend more time with them all.

I feel a new Christmas tradition coming on. Unwrap your favourite tree bauble, pour a glass of mulled wine and snuggle up with Comfort & Joy!


The Blurb:
It’s been a busy year for Verity Bloom at the Plumberry School of Comfort Food, but Christmas Eve is finally here. With delicious treats all wrapped up and the ingredients packed away, Verity is looking forward to a relaxing few days with her new boyfriend.

Good food, family and friends – it’s a simple recipe for true comfort and joy, and all Verity’s friends in the village are full of excitement about the holidays too.

But the weather has other plans in store… Relentless rain leads to a power cut that spells disaster for many of Plumberry’s residents. It’s starting to look like this year’s celebrations could be a total washout.

With dreams of a perfect Christmas dashed, will the last of the festive cheer be swept away in the downpour? Or can the cookery school create a Christmas miracle for everyone Verity holds dear?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Review: Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shepherd

Last spring I was blown away by a fantastic and unique book that was sent to me by a small imprint, Corazon books. It was unique, funny, and strangely dark too. That book was Doesn't Everyone Have a Secret? - a debut novel by Sue Shepherd. As you can imagine, when Corazon contacted me and offered a review copy of Sue's second novel, which has just been released, I jumped at the chance to get my grubby mitts on it!

Love Them and Leave Them examines the effect a split-second decision can have on the lives of everyone it touches. Following an incident in the first chapter, the POV splits - following two "what if" outcomes of that decision.

Both POVs follow Jessica's story, and with a clever device- a simple nickname of Jessie used in the second strand- we're never left in any confusion as to which version we're reading. This is some incredibly complex writing, handled with a sure and steady hand. The book is littered with the author's dry wit and unique take on the world. She delves into what can be pretty uncomfortable scenes with confidence and style- and as a reader, you have no choice but to follow.

There are some great characters- all of them flawed- all of them 100% believable. Yes there is romance- but it's so far from sickly-sweet, it kind of creeps up on you!

A truly brilliant read - unique, funny and thought provoking. It'll certainly get you asking "what if?"

The Blurb:

On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.