Brechin & Angus Virtual Book Festival

I’m a little late in posting this but between moving house and an abscess on my tooth, the last couple of months haven’t quite gone to plan.

I was thrilled to be asked to take part in this year’s Brechin and Angus Book Festival which took place in November. Sarah Archibald has made an absolutely fantastic job of putting this event together in a virtual world that confuses me at the best of times. I’m ever impressed by those who can find their way in this ever-expanding technological world!

My recording was submitted at the eleventh hour as the swelling in my face finally receded between courses of antibiotics. Really, no one needed to see me with a face like a football. But, eventually, the timing was on my side, allowing me to read the first chapter from my novel, A life of Their Own.

To those who have not come across A Life of their Own, it was my first novel and piece of published adult fiction……a million miles away from my usual published writing, children’s picture books. But, it was a story that had been bubbling around in my head for many years and one I knew I would put to paper (or keyboard) one day.

As I ventured into adult fiction, I was determined that my first novel would tackle a difficult subject. That it would tell of a grim existence but also give hope of a brighter, happier future.

I chose to write about domestic abuse, but in a non-traumatic way. A Life of Their Own follows Kate, a young mother, both emotionally and physically, as she flees an abusive marriage with her two young children. Purposefully set in America, it is a journey that takes Kate and her young family from their small apartment in New York to the Colorado Mountains. The miles between Kate and her abusive husband only reiterate that no matter the miles put between the abuser and the abusee, the fear of the past catching up with them, the fear of safely putting down new roots, the fear of being found, never leaves.

The novel has had great reviews but it has also resulted in readers contacting me privately, telling of their experiences and how they have turned their lives around. It wasn’t an easy process for any of these people and, even although they didn’t feel it possible at the time, it was the start of a new existence, a new life, where they took control and regained their strength, independence, and self-worth. To each of these readers, I will be forever in awe at their strength and determination.

The rear pages of my novel contain the contact details of charities and organisations throughout the world, all ready and able to help at a moment’s notice. (All contact details correct at time of printing).

Below, you can find a small selection of the reviews A Life of Their Own has received.

Julia Shkolnik (Reviewer) UK

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
It was a beautifully written novel by an extremely talented writer. Excellent character depiction, plus an exciting storyline make for a roaring success. Highly recommended.


Sabrina USA rated it – it was amazing
5 Stars
Shelves: women-s-fiction

A mother’s love knows no bounds. Kate literally risks her life to save the lives of her two children, Jake and Lucy. Little does she know it at the time, but she will end up saving herself. This little book is big on love, trust and forgiveness. Great read. Thank you Netgalley for introducing me to my new favorite author!


Cristie Underwood (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.


Myreadbooks (Reviewer)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I especially want to thank SylverWood books and the Netgalley website for allowing me to read this book. 

I love the blurry cover of this book where I see the heroine almost in profile.

It features Kate running away from home with her two children. Will she be able to keep them safe and ensure that they are never found? She wants to start a new life away from New York, starting from scratch. What she didn’t know when she arrived in her new environment was that she would find herself in a life that she had abandoned long ago.

A book read in one go, so much so that I hung on to the story, so moving at certain passages, captivating, full of suspense and twists and turns with very endearing characters. I love the author’s writing so addictive. 


Annette Herbst (Librarian) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
I found this book to be a heartwarming story. I would absolutely recommend this book and look forward to the next book by this author


Additional Questions:

Is your library likely to purchase this title? Yes
Will you recommend this title through Readers’ Advisory, book clubs, events, etc? Yes
Do you nominate this title for the LibraryReads List? Yes


Amber Villanueva (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
This novel was hard-hitting and a great book if you want something that will hit you hard. We follow and mother and daughter trying to flee from domestic abuse. Very captivating.


A Books by Bindu review via a Random Things Blog Tour can be read in full here via Twitter. But here’s a little teaser…

“This book was exactly what I was needing to read at this moment in time.”


As part of a Random Things Blog Tour, Handwritten Girl has reviewed A Life of Their Own. 

“I loved this story, Kate’s a lovely character, a kind and warm person. It’s lovely to see her blossom and grow in confidence as the story progresses and she grows to find happiness. Her scenes with Matthew make for tender reading as the pair begin to get to know each other all over again.”


Shirley McAllister (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
Happiness at last

Kate and her two small children Jake and Lucy were living a very secluded and controlled life with her abusive husband Adam in New York.

Kate decides to leave Adam and takes her children with only a change of clothes in their school bag and instead of catching the school bus they catch the greyhound bus. Leaving letters with her friend Alice for Adam and the school she and the children slip away. She goes all the way to Colorado Springs where she heard so much about from her former boyfriend in collage Matthew.

This starts a new life for Kate and the children Matthew is still in Colorado Springs. It takes a long time for Kate to trust anyone again, however, when Matthew stands up for her to Adam she knows she is where she needs to be. Her little family have found a place to belong, a place they are loved, a life of their own.

I loved this heartwarming story of love and trust, kindness and patience. I would recommend this book.

D.H. (Reviewer) USA

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Full Text:
The most dangerous time in a domestic violence situation is upon leaving!
Kate wants out with her two children fleeing Adam and leaving everything she’s ever known in NYC for Colorado.
Her past soon collides with her present as she finds her former college boyfriend & the feelings that she long since thought she buried.
Now she must make a choice and quick!
Once a woman flees it’s often not the end!
The marriage was never dissolved nor was closure ever offered!
What she decides to do next is not A-Typical of what many in the same situation face.
It’s a process that takes time to heal old wounds as the wounds are not merely physical.
Abuse is so much more than mere words.
I absolutely enjoyed this on many aspects especially in regards to the ending and using those wings to fly.
As a survivor of abuse I’ve never felt comfortable with the term ‘victim’ because you can always seek hope, healing, and love.
Love always wins over hate!
Thank you to Pauline, the publisher, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.