#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Good Enough Mother by @AnoushkaBeazley | @NeverlandBT

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51ffcgsrlyl-_sx311_bo1204203200_Gatlin – a leafy affluent town; Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch.

However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman.

Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan…unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin.

Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.”

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley blog tour.  I have been wanting to read this book since I read the amazing reviews when it was first published back in the Summer.  For one thing, just look at that cover!  A number of the reviews I saw said that this book is so much more than you expect it to be.  So I had to take a peek, and I’m rather glad I did.

When I first started reading I’m afraid to say that I was a little disappointed.  I started to feel that fabulous cover with it’s blood splattered knife had conned me and the reviews I’d read must have been written by people who had never read a ‘dark’ novel before in their lives.  It seemed to be a story about the aftermath of a rocky relationship and how the injured party, in this case Drea, was dropped in it by her hopeless boyfriend as he cavorted off to France with a much younger model and WITHOUT his teenage daughter.  The teenage daughter being left in the somewhat unsure, unwilling and unprepared hands of Drea.  But oh, how wrong could I be!?

Drea, despite her numerous failings, decides to step up to the plate and do all she can to make her step-daughter happy.  After all, poor Ava has lost her Dad (albeit to the continent) and Drea is all she has.  After much consideration Drea decides that what makes Ava happy is her private school and her upper class friends (and who wants to subject their step-daughter to even more upheaval and turmoil by moving them to the local comprehensive – not Drea!).  So, with a loose, sketchy plan in mind Drea starts to plot.  And plot she must as school fees are due soon and come in at around £12,000…yikes!

Drea is something else altogether.  I have never met a character quite like her before.  If I could meet one fictional character in real life, I think I would want that character to be Drea.  She’s…..erm….a terrible mother in some respects but the best kind of mother in many others.  She has an ‘I don’t care what you think about me’ attitude, particularly when it comes to the snooty PTA mums.  And she’s prime suspect in a murder investigation!  There were so many things I really liked about Drea.  The way she tries to raise the money for Ava’s school fees was both shocking and funny.  Her relationship with Ava and then with Ava’s friends was heartwarming to read.  I’ve never met a bunch of teenagers in a book that I liked more than Ava, Amelia and Tabatha.  Drea’s new relationship mishaps made me chuckle (particularly the supermarket scene, which still makes me chuckle even now).  Among the laughs and the giggles there is a much darker theme running throughout the story and that is Drea’s obsession with her mum’s suicide and her plan to take her own life.  I found myself hoping that Drea wouldn’t take the 50 paracetamol squirreled away in her bag.

The plot drew me in after that initial shaky start and kept my attention throughout.  I just couldn’t wait to see what Drea was going to do next.  There are many surprises along the way, times when things will happen and you’ll say to yourself ‘well, I never saw THAT coming!’.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, Anoushka Beazley has managed to blend some quite dark themes with brilliant humour to create an edgy yet feel good, uplifting novel that will make all of us mothers feel just a little bit better about ourselves.

Four out of five stars.

If you would like the chance to win one of 10 signed copies of The Good Enough Mother then please click the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley was published in the UK on 3rd July 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook  formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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Anoushka Beazley has a film degree, an acting diploma and a masters in creative writing. She is a full time novelist, lives in North London with three little witches, a lawyer and a Maine Coon.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook |

damppebbles is 1 year old today! #blogiversary #amreading #amreviewing #bookblogger #giveaway

200Grab yourself a glass of fizz, stick a silly party hat on your head (you look great, honest!), gorge yourself on cake and boogie on down to the dance floor.  All in honour of my little blog.  Today, Saturday 14th January 2017 is damppebble’s first birthday.  Today I celebrate my first ever blogiversary, whoop whoop.  Did I think one year ago today that I would be celebrating this landmark occasion?  Well…no, I didn’t.  I had dabbled in book blogging before and hadn’t got very far.  (If you would like proof then please click here, you have been warned!)

To celebrate I have a fabulous booky prize bundle to giveaway to one lucky winner but more about that in a moment or two.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a book blogger over the last year.  I have read books that I wouldn’t have had the chance to read otherwise.  I have met the most amazing group of people, also known as the book blogging community and have made some true, lifelong friends.  I have met authors on and offline, OH MY GOSH…AUTHORS!  You wonderfully talented people are my rock stars and if I seemed like a gibbering wreck when  I met you then that’s the reason why.  Utterly starstruck.  I have participated in numerous brilliant blog tours (apologies to anyone I’ve missed)…

giphyI was voted Fahrenheit Press‘ Blogger of the Week (well, fortnight as it turned out but I wasn’t complaining!).  As well as appearing on a number of other fabulous blogs talking about my book obsession.  And I finally made it to a blogger/author meet-up in Birmingham (the first of many I hope, so I can continue to gibber at you lovely authors).  All in all I think my first year has gone rather well!

But enough of my wittering, where are the prizes you ask..?!  I have a rather lovely bunch of Orenda goodies on offer to one lucky winner.

First up I have my original copy of the phenomenal A Suitable Lie, my book of 2016.  If you missed my review then click here.  Oh, and don’t worry.  A very kind person sent me a signed copy of ASL so I do still have one on my bookshelf (phew!).  I also have a crimey magnetic bookmark with the 50 best crime novels.  I’m not sure who they asked as my list would be quite different but it’s an interesting discussion point.  And finally, being sent from damppebbles HQ, there is a pretty turquoise notebook with accompanying pink pencil and butterflies printed on the pages.  It’s lovely and one for the stationery addicts out there.  But wait, there’s more…

The incredibly lovely Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books has offered the winner a SIGNED copy of Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson (paperback published 15th January 2017) and a SIGNED copy of In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings (paperback published April 2016).  A special thank you to Karen for offering such fabulous prizes and wanting to be a part of my first blogiversary.

So there we have it.  What a prize bundle, huh?  So now all you need to know is how to enter.  The giveaway is open to existing and new followers of damppebbles.com.  UK ONLY please (sorry but postage is a killer!).  The winner will need to provide me with their postal address which I will then share with Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, no one else.  The giveaway ends at midnight (GMT) on 18th January 2017.  Click on the link below to enter.  Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So here’s to my second year as a fully fledged book blogger.  I am honoured by the support I have received over the last year and by the way I have been welcomed into the booky community with open (warm and fuzzy) arms.  For each tweet, retweet, share or mention, each comment, like and follow…thank you!!  I am hugely grateful and still find it hard to believe that there is someone out there who is interested in what I have to say.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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One final thing before you go (if there is anyone still reading at this point!!) here are my most popular posts of the past 12 months.  I’m glad that my most viewed review is also one of my very favourite books, that makes it even more special.

Most visited post (My Husbands Son blog tour, guest post by Deborah O’Connor)
My most visited review (The Optician’s Wife by Betsy Reavley)

Thanks everyone, looking forward to the next year.

p.s. It’s ‘damppebbles’, not damp pebbles or Damp Pebbles or (OMG) DampPebbles.  It’s just like ‘Waterstones’, but better because I’d serve wine 😉

#Win 50+ eBooks in @fahrenheitpress 1st birthday #giveaway | @damppebbles

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********COMPETITION NOW CLOSED********

One year ago on 10th September 2015 a brand spanking new crime fiction publisher was born.  Now as a crime fiction fan you can imagine how happy a publisher dedicated to my genre makes me.  Fahrenheit Press are ‘Bad seeds.  Renegades.  Debasers.  Your mother was right about us’, well that’s what their Twitter profile says about them anyway and I LOVE it!

13438922_1456638627694875_2077840715170179855_nBack in June I was bowled over to be named Fahrenheit Press’s Book Blogger of the Week (or fortnight as it turned into, woohoo!).  Honoured was an understatement and what an amazing thing for a publisher to do, make a fuss of us bloggers.  This -> picture makes up my desktop background and it makes me smile every time I start up the laptop.  Thank you Fahrenheit.  You may be the ‘Hot Punk Publishers’ but I think you’re rather lovely.

Whilst researching Fahrenheit I found  this chris-mcveigh-225x300cracking interview with Head Honcho Chris McVeigh on Digital Book World.  For me, this tells you everything you need to know.  May Fahrenheit be producing brilliant crime fiction titles for many, many years to come.  Happy birthday Fahrenheit Press!

And to celebrate Fahrenheit’s first birthday, Chris is generously giving away a number of subscriptions to the Fahrenheit Press Book Club.  Here’s your chance to win EVERY book Fahrenheit Press publish in 2016 in eBook format!  Yup, you read that right – EVERY BOOK FAHRENHEIT PRESS PUBLISH IN 2016 in eBOOK FORMAT!!  That’s a massive saving of£48 or €66 or $75!  I know!  It’s such an amazing, generous prize.  Want to win it?  Of course you do!

To be in with a chance of winning EVERY book published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016 (expected to be 50+) all you have to do is follow me on Twitter (@damppebbles) and RT my pinned tweet about the competition.  There will only be one winner and that winner will need to provide me with their email address so Chris @ Fahrenheit can contact you about your prize.  There are no cash alternatives and please note, the prize is eBooks only.  The giveaway will close at midnight BST on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Good luck everyone!

 

#Giveaway: Paperback copy of Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

51WoqcT09UL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_“They said it was a tragic accident. She knows better…

When the brilliant young painter Marianne Glass falls to her death, everyone insists it was a tragic accident. But Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, knows it wasn’t. Marianne – and the whole Glass family – once meant everything to Rowan so though they haven’t spoken for ten years, she knows she has to find out what happened. The deeper into Marianne’s life she goes, however, the more convinced she is that something is terribly wrong.

Then she meets Michael Cory, an intense American who specialises in portraits of women on the edge… ”

I’m a little late in posting this giveaway so please accept my apologies!  A couple of weeks ago I reached 1,500 followers on Twitter and in a moment of (madness) unbridled generosity I promised a giveaway.  After searching for an appropriate prize, and after some brilliant suggestions from a blogger friend (thanks Jo @ mychestnutreadingtree), I have decided to go with the obvious and give away a book (is there anything better than a book? No, didn’t think so!).

I have a couple of other reasons to celebrate so the timing isn’t that ‘off’ after all.  It was my birthday on Wednesday (boo!) and my husband, as part of my birthday present, gave me damppebbles.com (I’ve lost my .wordpress).  It feels rather wonderful to know that the blog is mine now, all mine *evil laugh*.

So this is my 1,500 followers, damppebbles.com, birthday giveaway (which is a bit of a mouthful!) – taddah!  Just so you know, this is my review copy of Keep You Close and I try incredibly hard to keep my books in the very best condition, but it has been read.  Also, the closing date of the giveaway is 22nd August but I’m away then so the result may not be announced until I’m home again on 27th/28th August.  Everyone can enter, no matter where you live, just click the link below.  (Hope this works!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pop back tomorrow to read my review of Keep You Close.  Good luck everyone x