26 Feb 2021

ONE NIGHT IN BEAR TOWN.

 One of several bloggers to be participating in this Book Tour (for the full see the Blog Tour Schedule further down the post), today I'm pleased to be sharing my thoughts on ...

One Night In Beartown by Nick Jones.

Genre: Children Picture Book (ages 4-8)

Publication Date: 1st December 2020

Standalone Novel

Estimated Page Count - 32

Purchase Link - https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Night-Beartown-Nick-Jones-ebook/dp/B08NFH7H9X


From the award-winning duo that brought you Sarah’s Shadow comes another magical adventure...


When bear-mad schoolgirl Sandy Lane has her beloved teddy bear Berisford confiscated at school, she dreads the thought of going a whole night without his cuddles.


​Little does she know that a bear-rilliant night awaits her, involving Berisford, a bear statue and many other wonderful friends!


FIRST SENTENCE ... Sandy Lane LOVED bears.


MEMORABLE MOMENT ... And they had hours of fun in the playground - although the bears kept getting stuck on the slides! (Pg un-numbered)


MY THOUGHTS ... Inspired by the painted bears of Congleton's Bearmania event in 2011 which raised thousands for Animal's Asia Foundation. 


A must read story for anyone who has ever loved a teddy bear. The story of what happens one night in Bearstown when Sandy, her beloved bear, Berisford, and several other bears (amongst them the town's statue) gather for what else but of course a teddy bear's picnic, One Night In Bearstown is a charming tale that with its imaginative and eye catching illustrations by Si Clark make for a magical read that is sure to delight its reader ... no matter what their age.


ABOUT NICK JONES ... 
I’m Nick Jones, an award-winning author originally from Bristol but now living in Congleton, Cheshire. I write books for kids and I’ve also written several joke books for adults. My first book, Gagged and Bound – A Book of Puns, One-liners and Dad Jokes, was a best-seller under Puns and Wordplay on Amazon UK, and two sequels soon followed.


In December 2017, I tried something different: a children’s picture book about a girl who loses her shadow. Illustrated by the super-talented Si Clark, Sarah’s Shadow has proved popular with kids and parents alike. In 2018 it won Best Children’s Picture Book in the 2018 Book Awards on international book review site Readers’ Favorite. My claim to fame is that the same award was previously won by none other than Jim Carrey, the Hollywood actor-cum-children’s author! Sarah’s Shadow also won Runner-Up in the Book Excellence Awards and received a Purple Dragonfly Book Award as one of the best picture ebooks for children aged 6+.

In 2020 I ran a Kickstarter campaign during lockdown to fund my next book, One Night in Beartown. It was inspired by the Bearmania event that took place in 2011. Thanks to amazing support from businesses and individuals in Congleton and beyond, I raised £4,000 to illustrate and print the book. It was published on 1 December and you can buy it on my online shop, on my publisher’s website or as an ebook on Amazon. For updates, please follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter!


FOLLOW NICK JONES ... ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE ... ~ 24th February: David's Book Blurg ~ Emma's Things to Read ~ Mum_and_me_reads ~ Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews ~ Cat and Mouse Reading ~ 25th February: Dash Fan Book Reviews ~ Jane Hunt Writer ~ donnasbookblog Fallen Star Stories ~ Lisa's Reading ~ 26th February: Felicity Grace Terry ~ Ceri's Little Blog ~ Readingbooks itsafamilything ~ Love the Smell of a Book ~ Joanna Victoria 27th February: Morelli’s Reads ~ Mum’s Book Blast ~ Writing from the Heart ~ School_librarian_loves_books ~ Novel Kicks ~ 28th February: Splashes Into Books ~ books_on_a_hill ~ @asreadbydanielle ~ @mummy_life_and_books ~ Jazzy Book Reviews ~


23 Feb 2021

MELTING IN THE MIDDLE.

 I can't tell you how excited I am to be bringing you not only my first book review of 2021 but my first Blog Tour. Ably hosted by the wonderful Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources, the other participants of which can be found via the Blog Tour Schedule further down the post.


MELTING IN THE MIDDLE by ANDY HOWDEN.

Genre: Comic Fiction/ Uplit

Publication Date: 28th November 2020

Estimated Page Count: 425

Standalone Novel

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1800460643

A story of redemption, second chances - and chocolate – amid the madness of modern life.

For Stephen Carreras, life is in turmoil. His career with Britain’s worst chocolate company is heading for the rocks when it’s taken over by US confectionery giant Schmaltz. He’s just turned forty, he’s messed up on marriage and is struggling to keep a toehold in the lives of his monosyllabic teenage children.

Then he meets Rachel, who dances to a very different beat. She challenges him to do good among the carnage that surrounds him. But to do so, he must confront his past and work out all over again what really matters…

FIRST SENTENCE: Part One, Chapter One ... Stephen Carreras gazed into his screensaver.

MEMORABLE MOMENT ... The original Mr Hamish Grimley, his portrait staring down at them stern and moustachioed from the nicotine-stained walls, had no doubt sat here, plotting with his fellow dour Scottish Presbyterians to feed chocolate to the working class poor ( Pg 172)

MY THOUGHTS ... Forget a story of redemption and second chances, a self confessed chocoholic, I was hooked the minute I read the word chocolate. 

Seriously though ...

'A life in turmoil, monosyllabic teenage children' ... and a possible romance; one that by the sounds of it might have a bit of a difference to it or at the very least wouldn't be one of those 'Insta' love affairs, there were so many things about this book that led me to believe that I might enjoy it ... and enjoy it I most certainly did.

The company he works for, Britain’s worst chocolate company having been taken over by  American confectionery giant Schmaltz, his working life changed almost beyond recognition, things can go one of two ways for our protagonist Stephen Carreras ... but which?

Whilst there was a more than decent plot that took a look that was at once both humorous and yet decidedly disconcerting at the modern rat race, for me the pleasure in Melting in The Middle lay in the the fact that, character driven, I loved the exploration whether they be work colleagues, teenage children, ex-wife or new love interest between Stephen and the various other factions.

A humorous read with memorable characters, long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize, Melting in the Middle is a literary comedy about redemption and second chances, played out amid the madness of modern life; if you're in the market for just such a novel to pass away the hours, this is it.

ABOUT ANDY HOWDEN ... Born in Yorkshire, Andy Howden read English at Sheffield University before a career in marketing, including working for a multi-national company in London and Paris. This novel was long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize as ‘funny, poignant and uplifting’ and sprang out of a MA in Creative Writing at St.Mary’s University in Twickenham. Andy lives in South West London with is wife and has two grown up children who have left home but fortunately keep popping back to see him.

FOLLOW ANDY HOWDEN ... ~ www.andyhowden.com ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE ... ~ 20th February: Eatwell2015 ~ Insta - @duckfacekim09 ~ Jazzy Book Reviews ~ 21st February: Lilac Mills ~ @mummy_life_and_books ~ sharon beyond the books ~ 22nd February: PAJNewman ~ Northernreader ~ Rinc√≥n de Joss ~ 23rd February: Felicity Grace Terry ~ Storme Reads A Lot Ceri's Little Blog ~ 24th February: Damsel In The Bookland ~ Lisa's Reading everywhere and nowhere ~ 25th February: Books Are Cool ~ B for bookreview ~ Readingbooks_itsafamilything ~ 26th February: Mrs Brown’s Books ~ @wendyreadsbooks on Instagram ~ @rozierreadsandwine ~