#BlogTour! #Review – Evie’s Year of Taking Chances by @ChristieJBarlow @Bookouture

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.
Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother. 

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past. 

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

A romantic, funny and poignant story of living life to the full and finding love in the most unlikely of places. Fans of Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley will adore this book!

What does TWG think?

Er, why is Mrs Barlow JUST popping her TWG cherry?! I am disgusted with myself for not having Mrs B on my blog before now! Forgive me? Good! Thrilled to be a stop on Christie’s blog tour today with a review of her new release, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances. Enjoy!

Have you ever fallen in love with a book very early on in the storyline? I don’t mean ‘fallen in love’ as in you love the book, giggle, close the book, giggle and put it away. No. I mean falling head over heels in love with the front cover, the characters, the setting; all before you’ve gotten to the nitty gritty moments? Yes? Well, I have, and thanks to Christie Barlow, it was her book that made it happen.

First of all the main character, Evie, is a librarian which means that most of the storyline is set surrounded by books. Er hello, heaven! Second of all, Evie has such a warm personality and a huge heart, it was a bit difficult to do anything except LOVE her. I just wanted to hug her as she came across as such a fragile soul, and with her past in mind it’s no wonder why she is fragile. Evie’s birth mother gave her up soon after she was born, meaning that Evie was taken in and loved by a second mother, with no idea who or where her biological mother was.

There was something incredibly special about this entire novel, it felt as though the storyline was a game of pass the parcel and underneath each layer sat something rather beautiful. For me, Evie was the star of the show with her adopted mum a close second. Everywhere either of them went, they were able to light up the area or someone’s face by doing very little. Their personalities just gave off that vibe; people like that are like gold dust.

I’m struggling with my words here, apologies. I can’t find the right words for how this book made me feel, but I really am trying my best.

Reading Christie’s novel had me laughing like a hyena one moment, and then ugly crying the next. The humour that oozed from this book was incredible, so natural, unforced and extremely on point. Don’t get me wrong there were a couple of moments where my laughter was due to proper cringy moments (yet oh so fabulous!).

I really felt as though I got to see various different sides to Christie in terms of her writing ability. Within the space of a chapter she had created an emotional moment which also had a smidge of humour attached to it, as well as keeping the flow of the storyline intact and perfect. How many authors could be so diverse in one chapter, yet still keep the momentum? Absolutely incredible.

Now, I tried to be a brave girly whilst reading this novel. I had told myself that I wouldn’t cry as I was aware it had already made several people rather teary, so I gave myself a kick up the bottom and told myself to be brave. Ha ha ha…yeah I can see that worked well! Christie Barlow!!!! What did you do to me woman! I was blubbering like a baby yet I wasn’t the one going through everything like Evie was! Absolutely beautifully written and such poignancy in regards to such a sensitive subject; I had even more respect for the author after that.

I am in awe of ‘Evie’s Year of Taking Chances’ and Christie Barlow’s outstanding delivery of an emotionally charged, humorous storyline which became the home to a family of such warmth and depth. Every small detail, every emotion, every action and  every description were written flawlessly. I wasn’t just reading about characters going through heart breaking moments and walking the path of love, no; I was feeling every single emotion alongside those characters.

Reading ‘Evie’s Year of Taking Chances’ felt like being on the receiving end of a warm, safe embrace from an extremely good friend. Full of heart ache, true friendships, love, respect and enough books to last you…..several months; Christie Barlow has written such a beautiful and poignant novel which will keep your heart full from the first page, until the last, whilst highlighting the importance of believing in yourself.

Utterly spellbinding (even if it did take me ages to stop ugly crying!), Evie and her friends are now included in my list of most favourite books, EVER.
Christie Barlow, you are a fantastic, fantastic author.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

Christie Barlow was born in Cheshire and had a successful career as a civil servant until she decided to trade it in for something more glamorous: ironing, mucking out chickens and horses and chasing a mad cocker spaniel while rearing four children. Christie wrote her debut novel, A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, as an example to her kids about realising their dreams.




#BlogTour! #Review – Two Voices, One Story by Elaine & Amy Masters @authoright @authorightukpr

Two Voices, One Story

This is the true story of a girl called Amy and the English “mother” who adopted her from an institute in China when she was just a baby.

It’s a story about love, family and identity; and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.

When Amy came to be adopted in 1999, China’s then notorious one-child policy had given rise to a generation of missing girls. Amy was one of them, destined to life in an orphanage if she was lucky enough to survive. That is, until she was adopted by a loving British couple who were desperate to give her the home she deserved; Elaine and Lee.

In this moving autobiography, Amy and Elaine chart their own personal experiences of their shared adoption story. Theirs is not a political account, but one which is open about the challenges of adopting a child from a foreign country and the long journey that follows; from China to the UK and from infancy through to adolescence, as Amy and her new family learn and grow together.

Now a bright and ambitious young woman on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Amy is braced for an exciting journey into adulthood, one which her proud mother is delighted to be able to share.

Two Voices, One Story is a frank but uplifting account of the complex adoption process and the profound relationship between a mother and her adopted child.

What does TWG think?

What intrigued me about this story at first, was the title and the blurb (believe it or not, yes, I actually read a blurb). The adoption process is something I don’t have much knowledge about, but then again, I haven’t needed to know anything as I have never gone through it myself. However, Amy and Elaine have. Amy was born in 1999, China. A time where the severity of the outcome due to having more than one child, was incredibly high. There were only a certain amount of options for baby Amy to choose from, except she wouldn’t have any choice in the matter, seeing as she was too little to decide anything apart from eating and sleeping. Orphanage? Death? Adoption? What a predicament to be in at the start of your life. The time where you should be surrounded by people who love you instead of being faced with 2/3 uncertainties (whether you’re aware of them or not). Very sad.

Amy and Elaine have shared their own personal story from adoption, to the present moment. Both women get to have their say and explain things from their own points of views, as the chapters switch between them both. It’s a very lovely account of a mothers love towards her daughter and the obvious joy of being able to adopt Amy, creating a safe haven for their new family.

But, despite the interesting facts behind adoption and how turbulent that time can be for everyone involved, the only other thing to keep my interest was where Amy was born and the history behind that at the time. I couldn’t quite see made this book stand out from the others in a similar genre. I do understand how the family must have been over the moon to adopt their long-awaited child, after losing their biological child, don’t get me wrong. But why a book? Is this going to encourage every single adoptee to write a book about the love their new parents gave them? Isn’t loving your child part and parcel of being a parent? I couldn’t fathom the constant justification of their mother/daughter relationship.

However, even though I had a few reservations, I did enjoy reading about the processes they went through, especially given how hard it must have been to relive their own heart breaking moment before they adopted Amy. Amy and Elaine’s story highlights how important it is to be one hundred percent sure about adopting. It is a life long commitment. The child(ren) are not an object you can return for a refund if they turn out differently to what you thought. Elaine, especially, reiterates how you need to fully committed to the process and the child, as well as being open-minded about the future and what questions your new addition to the family, may bring to the table. I admire Elaine’s strength. I admire Elaine for adopting Amy and pretty much saving her life.

‘Two Voices, One Story’ opened my eyes to the topic of adoption and exactly how much joy it can bring if it’s handled correctly, and lovingly.

Thank you Authoright.

Buy now from Amazon UK