Good morning everyone this week on JoJo Recommends I’m featuring Peter Pan by Charlotte Campbell.
Charlotte is a singer songwriter and full time busker from London. She’s also a twitch streamer and I always enjoy her relaxing streams. Charlotte is always very welcoming on her stream and has a fabulous collection of cute headbands that she loves to wear.
If you’d like to follow Charlotte on twitch or social media please click the buttons below.
Peter Pan is a song Charlotte wrote about her big brother who has special needs and has stayed the childhood pal Charlotte knew as a little girl. Her brother is the boy who never grew up. The song has some beautiful, heartwarming lyrics to them and is quite an emotional song to listen to. Charlotte’s music is available on all the normal streaming platforms or you can buy it on Bandcamp.
Jo Jo Recommends is now on Island Vibing Presents twitch stream which is live every Thursday at 10pm EST, 7pm PST or Friday at 3am BST. There is a special EU friendly stream the first Saturday of each month at 8pm BST, 5pm EST or 2pm PST
If you missed the show and would like to watch it you can do so by clicking on the link below.
Remember Me? is a memoir about caring for a parent with dementia and the memories that resurface in the process.
In her first book, Shobna Gulati sets out to reclaim her mother’s past after her death, and in turn, discovers a huge amount about herself and their relationship.
Remember Me? captures the powerful emotions that these memories hold to both Shobna and her mother; secrets they had collectively buried and also the concealment of her mother’s condition. What ensues is a story of cultural assimilation, identity and familial shame.
This was a wonderfully written, powerful book that reads as beautiful love story to the author’s mother.
Firstly Dementia is something that I’m quite scared of developing when I get older so I always take the opportunity to learn more about it when I can. It was very emotional following Shobna as she deals with her mum’s gradual decline and the affects it has on the family. I did enjoy getting to know the author’s family throughout the book and learning more about her mother as she delves into her mother’s past and her memories. I think it’s so important to try and capture memories before they are lost for ever.
The book is written in a very engaging way that draws the reader into the book from the start. I liked how realistic it is and that the author didn’t over dramatise the story. The author is very frank with her experience too and I appreciated that as I thought it will be much more informative for people wanted to know more about Dementia.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Octopus books for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Shobna became a household name for her role as Anita in Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies and as Sunita, in Coronation Street. She also appeared as a presenter on Loose Women (ITV), and most starred in Series 1 of the BBC One television show River Walks. On radio, Shobna hosted her own late night show on BBC Radio Manchester, and has appeared in many plays for BBC Radio 4, most recently in the sitcom ‘The Break’.She trained at Manchester University, Trinity Laban Conservatorie of Music and Dance, Goldsmith’s College, London, Darpana Academy for Performing Arts, India, and has also completed a post graduate diploma in teaching dance from Middlesex University.Shobna has just finished filming the role of Ray in the upcoming feature film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie are all happily married to men they think they know inside out.
Then each woman receives a letter accusing her husband of involvement in a sexual assault that took place 20 years ago.
Who do they believe, what should they do and can they come together as their lives are upended?
A compelling, beautifully crafted thriller about consent, friendship and prejudice which asks – would you sacrifice your family life in support of another woman?
Good Husbands is a gripping, compelling and thought provoking read. The story follows three wives who get a letter from someone named Holly with some serious accusations about their husbands.
Firstly I thought it was interesting to see how differently the three reacted to the news. Jess, the self appointed leader of the group, automatically believed the letter whereas the other two were more reluctant to believe the letter despite all the evidence. It made me wonder how I do react if I received such a letter and what I’d do.
Following the dramatic opening the story flashes back letting the reader have a glimpse into each characters past and an insight into why the women’s reactions were so different to each other. The women each decide to get revenge on their husbands in different, eye-opening (and perhaps a little hypercritical) ways which was interesting to watch unfold.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author in future. The author has taken an difficult subject and handled it in a sensitive and thought provoking way. The plot was very gripping and I enjoyed watching everything unfold.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Octopus for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Cate Ray writes suspense novels with compelling moral dilemmas, shining a light on the issues affecting women today. Her stories are created for readers to treasure and share with booklovers everywhere. She is the author of four previous novels of suspense published under the name Cath Weeks. She was named an ‘Author to Watch’ by ELLE. Cate lives in Bath with her family.
For most of her life, Chrysta Bilton was one member of a small, if dysfunctional, family of four. There was her sister, Kaitlyn, her hedonistic, glamorous, gay mum Debra, and Jeffrey, who Debra hand-picked, in an LA hairdressers, to be the father of her children. During Chrysta’s unstable childhood, Debra struggled to keep the family afloat and Jeffrey wandered in and out of their lives.
Then, in her twenties, Chrysta discovered that her father had secretly donated his sperm over 500 times – and that she had at least 35 other siblings.
A Normal Family is a captivating coming-of-age memoir about Chrysta’s reckoning with the secrets both parents had carefully kept from her. Heartfelt, warm and funny, it’s a story of embracing the family we have, in all the forms we find it.
This was a well written, captivating memoir which is hard to believe is a true story.
Chrysta and her family are very intriguing characters who I enjoyed following throughout their story. They had more then their fair share of problems which was fascinating to read about and definitely helped keep my interest. We follow the family through a whole range of issues from substance abuse to eating disorders which were quite poignant to witness at times.
I found it very interesting to learn more about sperm donating in the states and found it hard to to believe that someone would donate without consulting their spouse or thinking of the consequences. I found myself wondering how I’d react if I found out I had loads of half siblings.
Overall I really enjoyed this book which took me through all the emotions as I read. There were times of laughter with the family but also some quite sad moments that made me tear up. The book is well written with lots of twists that helped ensure I kept reading until the end.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to the publisher for my copy of this book.
Expectation meets Julie and Julia, The Yellow Kitchen is a brilliant exploration of food, belonging and friendship.
London E17, 2019. A yellow kitchen stands as a metaphor for the lifelong friendship between three women: Claude, the baker, goal-orientated Sophie and political Giulia. They have the best kind of friendship, chasing life and careers; dating, dreaming and consuming but always returning to be reunited in the yellow kitchen.
That is, until a trip to Lisbon unravels unexplored desires between Claude and Sophie. Having sex is one thing, waking up the day after is the beginning of something new.
Exploring the complexities of female friendship, The Yellow Kitchen is a hymn to the last year of London as we knew it and a celebration of the culture, the food and the rhythms we live by.
The Yellow Kitchen is an interesting, thought provoking read about love, food and friendship.
Firstly I loved the three main characters in this book and enjoyed following their friendship. It’s the kind of friendship I think most people dream about and I liked the way the author writes the book so that the reader feels part of their group. It was interesting to follow the three of them as they try and navigate life whilst maintaining their friendship throughout whatever life throws at them. The reader sees them grow as the story progresses and I felt at times like I was reading a coming of age story as the characters learn more about themselves.
The plot was interesting and very character driven which I thought interesting. It seemed very real especially some of the conversations the three have when together as I’m sure I’ve had similar conversations myself. There are some thought provoking subjects that made me think and would make the book a great book club read as I feel there would be lots to discuss. There’s also some fantastic descriptions of food which has me reaching for the cookery books and planning my own meet up with friends.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Simon and Schuster for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Margaux Vialleron is a French-born, London-based writer, self-taught cook and co-host of the The Salmon Pink Kitchen book club, culinary community and podcast. The Yellow Kitchen is her first novel. Find out more at her website http://margauxvialleron.com/ or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @margauxvlln
Paris, 1878. Ballet dancer Marie van Goethem is chosen by the unknown artist Edgar Degas to model for his new sculpture: Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen Years.But Marie is much more than she seems. By day she’s a ‘little rat’ of the opera, contorting her starving body to entertain the bourgeoisie. By night, she’s plotting to overthrow the government and reinstate the Paris Commune, to keep a promise she made to her father, a leading communard who died in the street massacres of 1871.As Marie watches the troubling sculpture of herself come to life in Degas’ hands, she falls further into the intoxicating world of bohemian, Impressionist Paris, a world at odds with the socialist principles she has vowed to uphold.With the fifth Impressionist Exhibition looming, a devastating family secret is uncovered which changes everything for both Marie and Degas. As Degas struggles to finish his sculpture and the police close in on Marie, she must decide where her loyalties lie and act to save herself, her family and the Little Dancer.
Little Dancer is an absorbing, atmospheric read which perfectly blends real historical events with fiction.
Firstly I absolutely loved the main character Marie and enjoyed following her throughout the book. She is a very determined, strong little girl who is frustrated with how things are for the poorer citizens of Paris and wants to make a difference. I really felt for her when she’s cowed by her position in life and forced to do things she knows is wrong to get by. The characters are all based on real historical figures and I loved learning more about them by researching on Google.
The author has clearly done her research and I could really envision Paris in my mind. This was a new era of history for me so I enjoyed learning more about the Paris Commune and the Communard’s battle to get better rights for the poor. The huge divide between rich and poor was quite striking and it was tough to see what they needed to do to raise money to live. It was the beginning of the revolutionary movement that sparked the fight for other causes including woman’s suffrage.
Overall, as you can probably tell, I loved this book and will definitely be recommending it to other historical fiction fans. The dramatic opening helped draw me into the book and set the scene for what Paris was like at the time. There was always something happening to keep my interest and I soon found myself wanting to learn more. The ending was brilliant and I didn’t see the twist coming at the end either.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Unbound for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Melanie Leschallas holds MAs in Creative Writing from Sussex and in Drama and Movement Therapy from Central School in London as well as a BA(Hons) in French and Italian from Bristol University. She was trained as a dancer and worked at the Moulin Rouge in Paris during her twenties. Mel is also a jazz singer and loves to sing Jacques Brel songs at the Savoy Hotel in London. She runs http://www.lunarlemonproductions.com with her husband, Craig, teaches yoga in Brighton and leads wellness and writing retreats at her home in the Malaga mountains.
Good afternoon everyone this week on JoJo Recommends I’m featuring Gemini which is the new album from Dead Shoto.
Dead Shoto (aka Henry) is from the Bronx in New York. He is a twitch streamer but streams mainly games at the moment although I believe he is looking at getting the equipment to stream music too. It’s worth following him as his streams are always hilarious and he often does listening parties for any new music he’s putting out.
If you would like to follow Dead Shoto on twitch or on social media you can do by following the links below.
Henry’s music is mainly rap or hip hop and he has a lot of originals available on all the streaming platforms. His lyrics can be quite adult at times and contain swearing so if you’re easily offended he might not be the artist for you. I’ve included the video for Cigarette Breath below as it’s my favourite in his album and has a bit of an old school hip hop vibe which I love.
Some people spend their whole lives trying to find the one. But Natalie had found him – and married him. And then Russ died.
Two years ago, her whole world was shattered. Still now, she feels like she’s trying to piece her broken heart back together, one day at a time.
But then she finds a sheet of music – one that only Russ would know – in the piano stool in St. Pancras station where she’s secretly been playing for the last few months.
For the first time, Natalie realizes that maybe life does still hold a little magic. And with every note she plays, she feels as if she’s unlocking another fragment of her heart…
But will she ever truly find love again after she’d already found forever?
I thought this was a charming, heartwarming and emotional read which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Firstly there the author has created some fantastic characters that I enjoyed getting to know throughout the book. I absolutely loved Natalie and instantly warmed to her, wanting her to work through everything and find happiness. The supporting characters were also brilliant and I liked how they fit into the story, each having their own role to play.
The gentle mystery about who’s leaving the piano music for Natalie was really cute and I liked following Natalie as she tried to find the answer. I found this part of the book quite emotional and it was wonderful watching Natalie work through her grief.
Overall I loved this book and can’t wait to read more from the author. There’s a perfect blend of emotions in this book and I found myself crying one moment and then laughing the next. The ending was particularly beautiful and I closed the book feeling satisfied but sad at having to leave behind Natalie and her friends.
Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orion for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Lia Louis lives in the United Kingdom with her partner and three young children. Before raising a family, she worked as a freelance copywriter and proofreader. She was the 2015 winner of Elle magazine’s annual writing competition and has been a contributor for Bloomsbury’s Writers and Artist’s blog for aspiring writers. She is the author of Somewhere Close to Happy and Dear Emmie Blue.
She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe.We never have to come back here.’
As the rest of the world lies sleeping, Eleanor straps her infant daughter, Amy, into the back of her car. This is the moment she knew must come, when they will walk out on her husband Leon and a marriage in ruins since his return from Vietnam. Together, she and Amy will journey to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood.
As the car eats up the miles, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into her fractured relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty who asked for so much from life, from love, from family. Kitty who had battled so hard to prise her husband George out of the grip of war. Kitty, whose disapproving voice rings so loud in Eleanor’s head.
Tense, visceral, glittering, it is a masterful return to fiction from the author of the acclaimed See What I Have Done.
Blue Hour is an emotional, harrowing read which is very thought provoking. I was a big fan of this author’s first book and I liked that this book was so different but just as beautiful.
This story follows mother and daughter, Kitty and Eleanor, who are struggling with the choices they have made. I liked Eleanor and found her to be a sympathetic character who I felt I understood. I desperately wanted her to escape and find the safe place she wanted. I did struggle a bit with Kitty and found it hard to feel much empathy for her. The author does take time to explain her back story and why she acts like she does but her treatment of her daughter, despite all her own experiences, made her quite unlikeable. It was heartbreaking to see how she put her daughter down and seemed to blame her for everything that has gone wrong in her life.
Some difficult subjects are covered in this book which made the book quite harrowing to read at times. There are some very uncomfortably moments which were hard to read at times and I often found myself having to put the book down and go back to it. The tension in the book slowly increased as we follow Eleanor on her journey and I had to keep reading to find out what happens.
Overall I thought this was a fantastic book that was beautifully written. Despite breaking my heart frequently whilst reading I feel it’s a book that it’s important for everyone to read. It’s a book that has stayed with me and I’ve continued to think about long after reading.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Headline for my copy of this book. It would make a great book club read as I feel there would be lots to discuss.
About The Author:
Sarah Schmidt isd the acclaimed author of SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE, which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and won the AIBA Literary Fiction of the Year 2018. She lives in Melbourne where she works as a librarian. You can follow her at https://sarahschmidt.org/ and on Twitter @ikillnovel.
‘If you only read one crime novel this year, this should be it’ Guardian ‘A bloody good read’ Val McDermid
When a young woman is found brutally murdered in Kelvingrove Park, only one man stands a chance of finding her killer. Jack Laidlaw. He is a man of contrasts, ravaged by inner demons but driven by a deep compassion for the violent criminals in Glasgow’s underworld. But will Laidlaw’s unorthodox methods get him to the killer in time, when the victim’s father is baying for blood?
Acclaimed for its corrosive wit, dark themes and original maverick detective, the Laidlaw trilogy has earned the status of classic crime fiction.
The Dark Remains is a dark, gritty read that I thought was very well written.
Firstly I really liked the main character and enjoyed following him throughout the book. He is a bit of a world weary detective but one that is still keen to get justice and see the right thing done. He was quite a complex character, with many different skills and it was interesting to see how he used them in his work. He seemed to have a good working relationship with his colleagues and I enjoyed the banter between them that helped break up the story.
The descriptions of Glasgow were very vivid and I found it easy to imagine it in my mind. The book was written in 1977 so it was interesting to see what the city was like then and to see how it has changed. It seemed a much more gritty, scary place then I think it is now. I especially liked learning a bit more about the slums Huge before they were demolished.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book and would definitely like to go back and read more in the series. This is actually the fourth book in the series but I feel it reads well as a standalone as anything you need to know is explained. The plot was well paced, with the gradual increase in tension making the book quite hard to put down.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to the publisher for my copy of this book.
About The Authors:
Two crime-writing legends join forces for the first ever case of DI Laidlaw: the original gritty Glasgow detective who inspired an entire genreWilliam McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy changed the face of crime fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring an entire generation of crime writers including Mark Billiangham, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre – and Ian Rankin.When McIlvanney died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case – his first new novel in 25 years. Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and the relentless quest for truth.
William McIlvanney is widely credited as the founder of the Tartan Noir movement that includes authors such as Denise Mina, Ian Banks, and Val McDermid, all of whom cite him as an influence and inspiration. McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy “changed the face of Scottish fiction” (The Times of London), his Docherty won the Whitbread Award for Fiction, and his Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch both gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers’ Association. Strange Loyalties won the Glasgow Herald’s People’s Prize. William passed away in December 2015.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first novel The Flood was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. Ian has received an OBE for services to literature. He is also the winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.