Tag Archive | Joy Eileen

Surviving Faith by Joy Eileen

In August 2015, I embarked on my first blog tour for Breaking Faith, the debut novel by Joy Eileen. Whilst slow to get going, I found myself gripped and heavily invested in Faith’s rehabilitation following the end of an abusive relationship. She falls in love with the lead singer of the JackHoles, a band on the verge of the big time, and is on the precipice of a potential relationship with the enigmatic Killian. I loved this book and was really excited to read the next instalment of the JackHoles series, Surviving Faith.

I had the pleasure of reading this last week and Eileen does not disappoint. Much quicker paced than Breaking Faith, Surviving Faith shows Faith’s reticence in fully committing to Kill, scared to be broken hearted again when Kill inevitably hits the big time. As Faith’s concerns are mirrored through the relationships of her friends, the reader is left wondering if Faith is going to get her happy ending.

Eileen has certainly upped her game in this book. I couldn’t put it down. She takes the reader through a series of trials and tribulations that leaves them championing Faith to grasp her happy ending with both hands. Eileen builds the tension, sexual and otherwise, throughout, which invokes a variety of emotions for the reader, making this s thoroughly enjoyable read.

This novel is also a thriller of sorts and, while I did guess the plot twist fairly early on, it didn’t make me enjoy the book any less. In fact, it encouraged me to spot the clues leading up to the big reveal.

I loved the first book and I love the second book even more. Faith is a wonderfully rich character, as are the JackHoles, Kill, in particular. Eileen has done a brilliant job with this book and I have no doubt that the next instalment will be fantastic too.

Segnalibro Book of the Year 2015

In my first year of book reviewing, I have read some fantastic books. The ones that have stood out particularly have been made Book of the Month in the month that I read them. I’ve given myself the unenviable challenge of picking one of these books to be the Segnalibro Book of the Year for 2015. As I write this post, I have to admit, I think it is going to be a very difficult choice. However, to help me to decide, and to give you a chance to offer your opinion on what you think should be made Book of the Year 2015, here’s a recap of the books I’ve had as my Book of the Month throughout the Year.

March 2015 – Wicked Game by Matt Johnson

It was Matt Johnson who I have to thank for my decision to review books on a regular basis. When I set up www.segnalibro.co.uk back in March, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write about. However, having been approached by Rob Sinclair (author of the fabulous Dance with the Enemy and the equally fabulous Rise of the Enemy) to read their books, I found myself wanting to tell everyone who was interested what I thought of their books. After reading Matt and Rob’s great debut novels, I realised that I could enjoy books that were not in a genre that I’d necessarily choose, and with some fantastic support and advice from Matt, not to mention a great introduction to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, I decided to make the bulk of my posts book reviews. I have enjoyed every minute and that is in no small part to Matt Johnson. His debut novel, Wicked Game, is a brilliant crime mystery novel which has a multitude of twists and turns in the life of main protagonist, Robert Finlay. I was so enthused by his novel that it was made March Book of the Month, Segnalibro’s first. This book has recently had a rejuvenation following Matt’s signing to Orenda Books and I am really looking forward to seeing how this amazing book has been improved.

Twitter ID: @matt_johnson_uk

April 2015 – The Last Days of Disco by David F. Ross


As previously mentioned, I was introduced by Matt Johnson to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books, who has kindly sent me a number of novels for me to read and review since. One of those books was The Last Days of Disco by David F.Ross. This book is brilliant because it enticed me on so many different levels. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me nostalgic as I considered my own 80’s childhood.  I loved this book when I read it and have since recommended it as a must-read. The follow up, The Rise & Fall of The Miraculous Vespas, has just been released and I am very much looking forward to reading and reviewing it in the near future.

Twitter ID: @dfr10

May 2015 – One Man Crusade by Steven Suttie

One Man Crusade by Steven Suttie was the first book this year that floored me by how emotive the narrative was and how beautifully constructed it was by Steven Suttie to have the maximum emotional impact. I was a an emotional wreck when I finished this book, leaving my partner to wonder what the hell was going on to leave me so inconsolable! The combination of the subject matter i.e. a vigilante killing paedophiles and the journalistic style in which it is written leaves the reader to formulate their own opinions without the author pushing one opinion or another on you. I have since recommended this book to anyone who would listen and those who have read it have been just as floored as I was. It’s follow up, Neighbours from Hell, didn’t quite have the same impact, but I believe there may be a third novel in the making that may sort out some of the open ends in the second book. I’m very much looking forward to reading it!

Twitter ID: @stevensuttie

June 2015

Matt Johnson had a second month as Book of the Month in June with his follow up to Wicked Game, Deadly Game. I had eagerly anticipated the release of this novel, and there is always a sense of trepidation when you have enjoyed a novel so much and the sequel is released, as it has a lot to live up to. Deadly Game didn’t disappoint, as twists and turns ensued and Robert Finlay was a fascinating main protagonist. These two novels were so cleverly written and had a lot of political resonance too. What I loved most about this book, is Johnson’s portrayal of Finlay’s struggle with the symptoms of PTSD, something that Johnson has openly admitted to suffering with, his first book being written as a kind of therapy to combat his symptoms. The decision to use this approach with Finlay undoubtedly lessens the direct action so prominent in Wicked Game, somewhat of a risk on Johnson’s part, but one that certainly paid off. This was a brilliant sequel and again, I’m very much looking forward to Finlay’s future adventures.

July 2015 – Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

I got a little bit of stick from those who know me for making this book my July Book of the Month, as I am known to be a big Rob Lowe fan. Having made a massive deal out of getting a tweet from the man himself following my review of Love Life,  I can understand why this may have been an easy assumption to make! However, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that there was no favouritism involved in my decision to make this book my July Book of the Month. It is genuinely a fascinating, wonderfully written autobiography, that contains an intelligence not often found in celebrity autobiographies. There are plenty of celebrity tales, but it would have been impossible not to, mainly because Lowe has spent most of his life in and around celebrity circles (he used to play at Martin Sheen’s house with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez as a child!). However, what struck me about this book, and it’s sequel Love Life, is that Lowe is not a name dropper for the sake of it. Every tale he tells are about people who have influenced his life, good and bad, decisions he has made, for better or for worse, and most importantly, how he holds the same values dear to him as many other people who do not have his celebrity status. His family are his strength, in particular his wife, Sheryl, and he portrays that so beautifully in both his autobiographies. Stories I Only Tell My Friends is not a self-obsessed celebrity boast, it is a moving tale of a boy who worked hard to make his dreams come true and he has embraced every moment with enthusiasm and awe of how incredibly lucky he is to have achieved his dreams professionally and personally. Read it if you don’t believe me! smile,emoticon,face,fun,happy,smiley,emotion,funny

Twitter ID: @RobLowe

August 2015 – Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen

Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen was the first release blitz and blog tour I was involved in and it was great experience, as have all the blog tours I’ve been involved with since. Although it was a bit of a slow starter, this was a brilliant debut novel that had me gripped. Eileen treated her readers to a chapter of the next in the JackholeS series at the end of this book which was a good job too considering the cliffhanger that she leaves the first book on! Whilst there is still enough anticipation left for the reader what happens next, without that first chapter of the next novel, it would have been unbearable to wait, a true testament to Eileen’s abilities. This is another sequel that I’m really looking forward to reading.

Twitter ID: @heyitsmejoy

September 2015 – The Demon of Darkling Reach by PJ Fox

PJ Fox’s novels have been a prominent feature on Segnalibro since I read this book back in September, the first book in The Black Prince tetralogy. As someone who enjoys classic novels as much as I enjoy more modern books, this series was a revelation to me when I first read it. The Demon of Darkling Reach is not only a wonderful novel that takes the best features from classic and modern novels but it has some of the richest characterisation I’ve read in a novel in a long time. Also, to read a PJ Fox novel is to educate yourself as she uses her location and time period to give the reader an insight into life in that time/place, in this series, medieval England in beautifully explicit detail. The narrative is wonderfully intelligent and her characters engross you from the start. I read a lot of books in September but this book stood out a country mile ahead of the others.

@Twitter ID: @pjfoxwrites

October 2015 – The Prince’s Slave Trilogy by PJ Fox

While I was waiting for the release of the final two parts of The Black Prince tetralogy, I wanted to read another PJ Fox novel to see if I’d enjoy her other books as much as I enjoyed The Demon of Darkling Reach and The White Queen (the second book in The Black Prince series). I downloaded The Prince’s Slave trilogy in it’s entirety and I was once again enamoured by Fox’s characters and her writing style. A modern re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, The Prince’s Slave is completely engrossing and I could have read about Belle and Ash for more books than the three in this series. I have still to make my way through Fox’s back catalogue but I am sure it will be an amazing journey. I have also had the great pleasure of chatting with Fox on a regular basis and I am extremely pleased to have made her acquaintance.

Twitter ID: :@pjfoxwrites

November 2015 – Dear Mr You by Mary-Louise Parker

Dear Mr You fascinated me when I read it as an ARC copy via NetGalley. This uniquely written autobiography is one of the best autobiographies that I have ever read. It could actually read as a work of fiction due it’s style – a series of letters written to the men in Parker’s life who have knowingly or unknowingly had an effect on her life and her decision making over the years. Men who were close to her heart, men who she met only once in passing and imaginary men who she may meet or could have met. No name dropping, no big celebrity scoops, just a beautifully written series of letters that illuminate the highs and lows of Parker’s life.

 

December 2015 – The Black Prince Part One and Part Two by PJ Fox

These two books were so eagerly anticipated by me, there was a very real chance that I’d built them up in my mind to be better than they’d turn out to be. Not so in the slightest! The final parts of PJ Fox’s The Black Prince tetralogy were a very fitting ending to Isla and Tristan’s tale, as well as the other wonderful characters that the reader is introduced to over the course of the four novels. Fox manages to give plenty of page space to other characters, whilst still maintaining Isla and Tristan as the main protagonists and the focus of the novels. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing these two books, as much as I have with Fox’s other novels.

Twitter ID: @pjfoxwrites

So there you have it, the contenders for Segnalibro Book of the Year 2015. All of these books have connected with me one way or another and it will be a very difficult choice to pick one out of these ten books. Have you read any of these books? If so, let me know what you think of them in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll announce my Book of the Year on 31st December 2015.

Transparent by Joy Eileen

In August, the Segnalibro Book of the Month was Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen. Whilst it had a bit of a slow start, I was gripped and I’m very much looking forward to the release of it’s sequel, Surviving Faith, which is being finished at the moment. I was asked by the author if I would read and review Transparent, her latest novella, with a caveat that I should bear in mind that it was different from Breaking Faith.

Transparent is about Morley, a former art history student who works in local art gallery, Art. After taking home a painting of a 19th Century lord, Alexander Bryne. Morley is woken up in the night by a noise downstairs, and when she hears voices, she thinks she is being robbed. However, it is the voice of Alexander, who has been trapped in the painting by a gypsy curse and he needs help to escape so he can return to his own time, to clear his name after he was accused of theft of a valuable painting. Alexander is convinced that Morley can help him escape. Both Morley and Alexander have to adapt to each others presence and Alexander has to adapt to a modern way of life.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I really enjoyed this book. It was a bizarre plot line and I enjoyed, for the most part, Eileen’s execution of this strange love story. It’s well written, engaging and the characters are really likeable. However, when I put my textual analysis head on, there were things that irked me a little. It didn’t leave me feeling like the book was lacking, just that there were things that could have been unpacked a little more to enhance an already innovative novel.

Alexander is a British Lord from the 1800’s who finds himself in an American home of a single young woman of independent means. Yet, it is very easy to forget the different heritage of the two characters. I’d have liked to have seen Alexander struggle more as he adapts to a highly technological world. Yet, he can text and Google very quickly after leaving the painting. Also, I would have expected a 19th Century Lord to have a little more sensibility when it comes to sleeping with a young woman who is not a prostitute, nor is she his wife. More could have been made of Alexander’s ability to fit in and Morley could have had a harder time getting him to accept modern sexual politics, as Alexander’s 19th Century aristocratic upbringing was ingrained into him. Alexander also finds that cooking comes naturally to him, yet I would imagine that a Lord would have little cooking experience. Little niggles, but niggles nonetheless.

There was one thing that really baffled me. At one point in the book, Alexander goes to a safety deposit box to retrieve his driving license and social security number. As these are both 20th Century items, I was thrown by how this could be possible and if there was an explanation for this, I struggled to grasp it. Perhaps it was a “blink and you’ll miss it” explanation but I  did read that particular section twice to try and find what I’d missed and couldn’t find anything.

Criticisms aside, Eileen captures the reader’s imagination with the unusual plot and manages to explain away most things in a feasible way. I liked Eileen’s writing style, just as I did when I read Breaking Faith. She has an intelligent turn of phrase and you do feel that she has put a lot of effort into selecting just the right expressions and words to use in her narrative. My only real criticism is that, in places, it lacked authenticity for me. Yet, if I put that textual analyst part of me to one side, it is a really nice love story that will entertain any reader who like a romantic tale. I really liked the idea of the plot and I bought into it right from the start, no slow build up like in Breaking Faith. What I’d say is, give this book a read, don’t think too hard about the why’s and wherefore’s, and enjoy it for the pleasant love story that it is.

 

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Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen

I’m still quite new to this book reviewing lark so when I was invited to review an ARC (Advanced Release Copy – I had to look it up!!) of Joy Eileen’s début novel, Breaking Faith, I was more than happy to oblige. Having recently posted the cover release for the release on 18th August (Breaking Faith Promo Cover Reveal), I was very pleased to receive my copy to read and review. This is the first time I’ve been involved in something like this and I hope it won’t be the last.

Breaking Faith is the first book in The JackholeS series and the novel’s main protagonist is Faith, a college student with a penchant for expensive shoes (my kind of girl!) who has just left her abusive ex-fiancé, Jason. With a restraining order in her hand,she is searching for someone to serve him with it to make it legal. She goes to Ray’s, a bar where one of her best friend’s, Jessie, works, to tell her and her two other friends, Amy, the sugar addict and Trent, the oddball, what she has been subjected to by Jason.

I’ll be honest, I found the first chapter and a half a bit slow-going while we were given Faith’s back story by way of a flashback, all necessary, I might add. This doesn’t last though and I was eventually gripped after the book picks up momentum half way through chapter two when we finally meet Faith’s new saviours, the JackholeS, who are the resident rock band at Ray’s. We are introduced to them through Faith’s eyes as she tries to glean their personalities through their appearance. However, it is lead singer Killian, or Kill to his friends, who has the most impact on Faith. Eileen does a really good job of building up the sexual tension between Faith and the enigmatic Kill. He exudes raw sexuality and it is not hard to believe that perhaps Faith is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. He has a bad boy image to protect but he fits very nicely into the role as Faith’s protector.  Whether Faith can handle him or not in her fragile state remains to be seen.

Eileen’s initial use of flashbacks provides the reader with Faith’s background fairly quickly so this allows the narrative to flow better once the history of what brought Faith to Ray’s is out of the way. Faith is strong-willed and independent, and having grown up without a mother , she is used to facing adversity. Yet she is unable to get a handle on her emotions and she is no longer able to trust her instincts, having been so physically and mentally damaged by Jason. When her friend Jessie is having troubles, she can advise her of what she should do but she continues to procrastinate with her own feelings for Kill. However, the band, alongside Jessie and Amy, become her new family (a tad too quickly, perhaps) and she is given space to figure out what she wants while avoiding Jason as best she can.

Faith has to face a number of threats throughout the book from sources not always obvious at first. Kill, or Killer as Faith calls him, has to come to Faith’s rescue, not just at times of danger, but as the friend that will be completely honest with her, no matter what. Eileen defies typical stereotypes and this works really well to add another layer of confusion for Faith, when things are not as they seem. There are threats where you least expect them and the reader is able to share Faith’s inner conflict of who will help repair her broken heart and who will damage it beyond repair.

When I read this book, I thought that there were some similarities to the 50 Shades trilogy. Breaking Faith isn’t nearly as overtly sexual or kinky as 50 Shades but there are similar tensions in that there is inherent danger in Faith and Kill’s relationship and they are both characters who intrigue the reader into wanting to know what happens next. Like when I read 50 Shades, I felt like I was championing them, wanting them to become unstoppable as a couple in any given situation. The intensity of feelings between them emulates that of Christian and Ana in that they are so good, yet so bad for each other. Also, who could forget the personified vagina, who instructs the reader of Faith’s sexual feelings in contrast to her emotions,  Eileen’s version of the “inner goddess”, but executed more seamlessly. To those who think 50 Shades is a load of rubbish, please don’t take this comparison as a reason not to read Breaking Faith. While there are a few similarities, this by no means defines this book and in my opinion, this book is better than the Fifty Shades trilogy, so perhaps I should explain a little further.  Firstly, as I have previously mentioned in other posts, 50 Shades is my guilty pleasure despite it’s flaws, as it is for many readers across the world. Secondly, Breaking Faith is written with much more skill and attention to detail than 50 Shades. There are none of the grandiose words to make the narrative sound cleverer than it is and no constant repetition. (The more times you read 50 Shades, the more this grates!)  At no point did I think, “I’ve read this before”, a feeling which is all too common in EL James’s books. Plus, the plot is completely different and a little more believable.

Once I had got past the necessary back story. I found myself unable to put Breaking Faith down. I loved the characters and I really wanted Faith and Kill to get together and for the JackholeS family to kick Jason and any other “doucheboxes” to the kerb. I loved the sneaky peak of Surviving Faith, the next in the series, at the end. I sincerely hope that this will be in the book that is released next Tuesday otherwise readers will be driven mad by the cliffhanger ending of Breaking Faith. I also hope we don’t have to wait too long for Surviving Faith to be released as I am dying to know what happens next. I will absolutely be first in line to promote and review it. That is, if I’m invited!

Pre-order now by clicking on the above link. Released on Tuesday 18th August, 2015

Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen – Cover Reveal – Available to Pre-order now

 

 

Breaking Faith

The JackholeS series part 1

by Joy Eileen

Cover Reveal

Synopsis

Faith made the mistake of giving her heart to someone who didn’t deserve her. After making the decision to leave, she sought refuge at a bar full of misfits. They accepted Faith without question, and now they protect her as if she’s family. While putting the pieces of her life back together, she fights to keep her broken heart from falling for the moody lead singer of the JackholeS. A man named Kill. Killian has his own demons to battle, yet Faith brings out his protective side: a side he thought he’d buried long ago. Can Faith and Kill trust each other long enough to leave their pasts behind and find love? Or is the past too overpowering to allow anyone a chance at happiness?
WARNING: This book contains explicit non-consensual sex scenes. It contains strong language and adult situations. This book is not intended for anyone under 18. This is a series so this book does not end with resolution. Don’t worry the second book is already done and the third is being created. 🙂
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About the author

Joy Eileen is a born bibliophile who becomes deeply engaged with her characters, and has devoured more books than she would like to admit. She becomes obsessed with happily-ever-afters, and will read any genre that fulfills that requirement. Evading the library is something she has been known to do, because after befriending the characters returning them would be a heartbreaking event. Books are held hostage on her bookshelf, and any author that makes her ugly cry becomes her sworn enemy. Nicholas Sparks is one of the many on the list of villains.
As a massage therapist, most of Joy’s stories come to her while working. With the sound of classical music, and snoring from a half covered hostage, characters are created. The victim (massage patient) has no idea that while their body is being manipulated, Joy has traveled into distant lands creating landscapes and inhabitants as she goes. Her patients should be wary as sometimes they are pulled into her stories and turned into characters. Hero or Foe? Well, that depends on how they tip.
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