The Blurb

Vinnie is an ordinary man. Ellen is an ordinary woman.

Ellen is unable to move on after a terrible accident that left her mentally and physically scarred.

Taxi driver Vinnie is struggling to cope with bringing up two children on his own.

Everyone deserves to find that one person who’s meant for them, don’t they?

Fall in love with the story of Vinnie and Ellen. Because ordinary lives can be extraordinary.

The Review

Meet Vinnie – taxi driver and full time parent to troublesome teenager Kerry and youngster Finn. He is struggling along for the past fifteen months since his wife – Paula – up sticks and left. Paula is suffering with Bipolar disorder and has left a wake of fury in her absence – mainly with Kerry who does everything she possibly can to rebel against Vinnie’s parenting.

Meet Ellen – one of Vinnie’s regular pick up clients. He picks her up and drops her off every Friday at her physiotherapist’s office. He doesn’t ask her why she goes there, he doesn’t comment on the scar that runs along her face and he doesn’t ask questions about her accident. This is just how she likes things to be between them.

Until the day that they stop being customer and taxi driver; Vinnie and Ellen start to become friends.

Now That I Have Found You is a lovely story of two people who are both a little lost and a little lonely finding one another. It is about people letting their guard down and letting people in. Geraghty has created a very warm story one that pulls at your heartstrings. You empathise with Vinnie as he has his daily struggles as a single parent and you are intrigued by the mystery of Ellen’s accident and what has left her feeling so broken.

The narrative is told from Vinnie’s point of view but is regularly broken up with letters from Ellen which help give a much more rounded perspective.

Honestly, I normally find stories about parents and parental problems a little difficult to relate to. I’m not enough of an adult to be able to know the problems that parents go through but I didn’t feel alienated by the storyline. I felt completely included.

Ciara Geraghty’s Now That I’ve Found You is one of those stories that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. I found that the 400 pages went far too quickly. I had started Now That I’ve Found You and without me realising it the book was finished. For me, that is the sign of damn good story telling.

Now That I’ve Found You by Ciara Geraghty is available now.

The Blurb

What can you do to make the world a better place?

Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories – good and bad – that went with it.

The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn’t know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.

When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people’s lives . . .

The Review

For a long time I have enjoyed the books of Lucy Dillon so when I hear that her latest novel – One Small Act of Kindness – was going to be released this year I was truly excited. I was even happier when I was sent a copy of the book to review.

I have to say that Lucy Dillon has upped her game with One Small Act of Kindness. Don’t get me wrong, her other books have been fantastic but there s something remarkable about this story. In my opinion, the reason why it is such a good read – besides the interesting story of retrograde amnesia that I will talk about in a bit – is because of its two strong leading ladies.

Libby is a grafter. She works hard and she knows what she wants. She has made the best out of a bad situation and tries her hardest to please everyone yet she is constantly facing battles; her husband’s lack of help even though it is because of him that they had to leave their life back in London; the overbearing mother-in-law who can see no wrong in her precious son; her lack of familiarity or friendship. She knows no one and it is hard to make friends as you get older.

Then comes along a mysterious lady who is knocked over just outside the hotel; Libby visits her in hospital just to make sure she is ok and an unlikely friendship is formed. The mysterious lady begins to remember certain things such as her name, it sounds like small fish but when you are suffering with temporary retrograde amnesia these small memories are huge victories. Whilst Libby works on the hotel, the injured lady works on trying to remember who she is.

One Small Act of Kindness tackles an unusual subject and it does so with sensitivity and in my opinion (although I have never met anyone with amnesia) Dillon does this with honesty. The sufferer’s frustration is palpable as she searches the crevices of her mind for any clue – any hint at all – of who she is. Libby tries her hardest to help her with an upbeat attitude but even she says things or asks questions that someone with amnesia wouldn’t be able to answer. Put in that situation I think I would probably act the same way.

The truly great thing about One Small Act of Kindness is that it reminds us that whilst we think that we are doing something little and unimportant that one little act might just change someone’s life. We could all do with showing a bit more kindness to other people.

One Small Act of Kindness by Lucy Dillon is available from the 23rd April 2015.

Follow Lucy Dillon (@lucy_dillon) on Twitter.

One Small Act of Kindness

Title: Where There’s Smoke

Author: Jodi Picoult

Pages: 41 pages

The Blurb

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult is ‘a master of her craft’ (Daily Telegraph) who writes ‘elegant, spare prose with the punch of a populist thriller’ (Elle). In this original short story, available exclusively as an eBook, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have died. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts.

When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage – to both her reputation and her show – Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

The Review

As a huge fan of Jodi Picoult I was excited to start reading her short story Where There’s Smoke. Well, excited and a little apprehensive. You see, my favourite aspect of Pioult’s work is how she manages to change your mind throughout her stories. You go in with one solid unchangeable belief and before you know it you are siding with the antagonist. I worried how she would be able to portray this same quality in so few pages.

Fortunately, Where There’s Smoke is unlike other works by Picoult in that you do not come across this dilemma. Picoult gives you a brief insight into the world of television psychics and how their powers can be seen as both good and bad.

In her inimitable style, Picoult draws you in straight away and has you hooked and completely immersed in the world that she has created which is why she is one of the greatest writers of our time.

I cannot wait to read Leaving Time.

Where There’s Smoke by Jodi Picoult is available now.

Follow Jodi Picoult (@jodipicoult) on Twitter.