Blog Tour ~ The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech and I’ll be sharing her review with you all in just a little bit!

About the author:

thumbnail_Louise Beech.jpg

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be
Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in
My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in
the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has
won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the
Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport
Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of
Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre,
where her first play was performed in 2012

About the book:

thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover final.jpg

Be careful what you wish for…
Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he
wishes it hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve.
When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems
to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

Ellen’s Review:

Louise Beech has once more broken me with her beautiful writing, her intention must be to crush my usually stony reading heart to dust! The Lion Tamer Who Lost is primarily a love story about Ben and Andrew but their journey was never going to be an easy one. Ben is 23 years old and living at home with his brash and bigoted father. Ben is struggling with his sexuality and fears of rejection by his family. Andrew is an older man that enters Ben’s life and turns it upside down. Can they make their relationship work? I really enjoyed the coincidences that occurred in TLTWL, this is a subject that fascinates me in real life so I never struggled to believe it’s place in the book.

The story is told over different timelines; Ben/Andrew in the past and the present where we find Ben working in a Lion sanctuary obviously trying to get over something. This “something” is gradually revealed throughout the novel and there is not much more I can say without spoiling the reading experience for others.

I loved the Lion Sanctuary setting of The Lion Tamer Who Lost; Louise’s descriptions are so vivid that I was immediately transported to Africa. The relationship between Ben and his lion cub Lucy was a delight and really gave an insight into Ben’s determination and strength of character. He refused to give up on Lucy and was obviously so attached to her and her success in becoming part of the pack. I think Lucy was actually my third favourite character after Ben and Andrew!

Louise’s writing is so powerful that in my mind Ben and Andrew are real people. For days after I’d be thinking about them before catching myself and remembering it wasn’t a film I’d watched or anyone in my life that actually existed. To be able to create that depth of emotion and recognition in a character from a reader takes some doing.

A gorgeous book which deserves all the stars!

Check out the blog tour:

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final.jpg

~Blog Tour~ Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech and she has written a BRILLIANT review for me to share with you guys!

About the book:

Maria in the Moon cover.jpg

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

Published by Orenda Books and out NOW, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Louise Beech picture 1.jpeg

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.

Ellen’s review:

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of this blog tour as I have loved all Louise’s previous books and once again she refuses to conform to any genre which is part of my attraction to her work. That you can never quite put your finger on how her book will make you feel is part of the thrill of reading them.

 

Maria in the Moon is heart breaking, funny and heart lifting with an undercurrent of inky darkness. Where else would you findall the emotions in one place? I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll concentrate on how the book made me feel. Catherine (previously Catherine-Maria as a child and also Katerina in her role as flood crisis volunteer) Hope is such a divisive character but I loved her. Yes she is rude, sarcastic and downright difficult at times but that made me laugh especially the interactions between her and her step mother.

 

She made me curious, why was she like this? Why couldn’t she remember her ninth year? To have experienced such losses with the death of her mother, beloved father and precious Nanny Eve must have shaped her. Some things happen in life that break you and you are then left to build a wall to defend yourself from being hurt again, emotionally or physically. Catherine is a wall; her bricks are made of compassion, understanding, forgiveness and that wicked streak that runs through her. As the truth of her forgotten year begins to break through her mental defences we worry that she will never recover and heal.

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that Louise Beech is a kind of Voldemort of good, a Voldamour perhaps. She puts a piece of her soul into all she writes and breaks my heart each time. Her books are the Horcrux in which she will attain immortality as an amazing wordsmith!*

*My absolute favourite description I’ve seen in a review, ever!!!- Kate

Make sure to check out the other fab blogs on the tour:

Maria in the Moon - Blog Tour Poster.jpeg

*Blog Tour* The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

Hi everyone,

So today is the blog tour for the lovely Louise Beech and her new book, The Mountain In My Shoe and it’s the turn of my new guest reviewer Ellen to take the reigns for today’s stop on the tour! 🙂

About the book:

A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself. On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all. Exquisitely written and deeply touching, The Mountain in My Shoe is both a gripping psychological thriller and a powerful and emotive examination of the meaning of family … and just how far we’re willing to go for the people we love.

You can purchase your copy by clicking HERE.

lb1

About the author:

Louise Beech remembers sitting in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music. Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic.

She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. Her debut novel was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015.

She is inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head. Her debut novel, How to be Brave, came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story. Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, will be released in September 2016 and was inspired by her time working with children in the care system.

When she was fifteen Louise bet her mother ten pounds she’d be published by the time she was thirty. She missed this self-set deadline by two months. Her mother is still waiting for the money.

Link website – louisebeech.co.uk

lb2

Ellen’s Review:

I’ll admit to being nervous about this book as I loved How to be Brave. I needn’t have worried; it was fantastic and I raced through!

A story about two lost and damaged individuals. Bernadette; who is childless and subject to a controlling husband and Connor; a young boy who has been around the block in care homes and foster care. He has two “anchors” in his disruptive existence: art and Muhammed Ali. The name of the book was inspired by the quote: “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe”. Connor certainly has a lot of mountains to conquer! On the evening Bernadette decides to leave her husband, he doesn’t return home from work. Connor doesn’t arrive at his foster home after school. Where are they? Who would be interested in both these people linked to Bernadette?

The story is interspersed with chapters from Connor’s “lifebook” – a memory book specifically for children in the care system. This lifebook gives us clues along the way into Connor’s background and family history. I didn’t realise this happened so it was an eye opener for me and really made me think about what these kids go through every day.

Louise is such an emotive writer, you can’t help but get wrapped up in the characters and their lives. There is a certain beauty and magic to her words which resulted in me loving this psychological thriller as much as her contemporary fiction. I’m glad to have found a new favourite author in Louise.

Make sure to keep up with the blog tour:
 img_0784