I have been fortunate to have received some great reviews for my books.
Book 1 – A Life Singular
So it was wonderful to see that Lorraine Pestell really embraced it
It’s certainly brave to write a novel that has the effects and challenges of mental health as one of its main themes. There is still a lot of stigma attached to such things and it probably is not a glamorous subject, often kept behind closed doors. So it was wonderful to see that Lorraine Pestell really embraced it – she didn’t shy away from the troubles it can cause, whilst also showing the power those with mental illness, have to overcome. Just like her brilliant protagonist Jeff Diamond. He had a tough start in life, but he turned things around and became an astronomical success. But, in a world obsessed with gossip, he often sees his current success in the celebrity world, taking backstage to his past. This goes up a notch when his other half is taking from him in the most meaningless of ways. How could anything with meaning come from a motiveless shooting of the woman her loved?
The first part of Jeff’s journey through loss was really emotional, so heart-felt and just beautifully told. Positivity and hope really shines through and that really made me smile, especially when the world can seem so bleak sometimes.
Bookish Kenz, Amazon, October 2016
After the worst happens
This is a most unusual book. The story of a famous couple and their family, two people from wildly divergent backgrounds who have formed what they both believe is the most perfect relationship possible between two people. Their marriage is perfect, their various careers are flourishing, their remarkable children are growing into their own almost better than any parent could hope. Sound like people you’d love to hate, for their luck, wealth, and fame, and yet part of their perfection is their down to earth likeability. When the worst happens, the family remaining is forced to see whether the magical quality of their lives can continue, minus one. I found the story to be difficult to put down, and am looking forward to the sequel. The characters are very real, despite their wealth and fame, and the writing style is engaging, though idiosyncratic, eg: seldom referring to the main character by his name or a simple pronoun, but by a descriptive term, such as “the brilliant composer” or “the renowned philanthropist.” I recommend the book highly, with the caveat that it’s a little slow paced in places.
Lynne, Amazon, September 2016
It is essentially the start of one man’s journey to love and loss
It is no surprise the ‘A Life Singular – Part One’ has won awards and been selected for others, as it is one of my most memorable reads. It is essentially the start of one man’s journey to love and loss, as told in his own words, as he writes it down. After triumphing over a difficult and harrowing life, Jeff Daniels has made a real success of his life, but more importantly to him, he has found the love of an amazing woman, and become a father.
But life is not fair, and it certainly is not fair to Jeff Diamond. The love of his life is killed and the loss almost seems to much to bear. Will a history with mental illness, cause him to crumble, or will he find the strength once again to carry on? So well written and so well informed, Lorraine Pestell is clearly an author to watch, and I personally wonder what further heights this series can reach.
Michelle Geist, Amazon, October 2016
A wonderful series begins here!
There’s a strong romantic element at the beginning of this story that really sets the stage nicely for the reader to understand the two characters ( Jeff and his wife Lynn).
When there is a tragic turn to their 20 year anniversary, the author smoothly takes us into the mystery of what happened and also the matter of how one person moves on after a tragic loss.
The characters are well created and there is plenty of details to give this story the layers needed to keep one reading.
The author has the ability to move the reader through the emotions being experienced – from love to anguish to feelings raked raw – the reader has his finger on the pulse of what is going on (said and unsaid) with each character.
Wilson R., Amazon, November 2014
A power couple as this would stand society relishing in their good fortunes, but always befriending anyone
Fame, fortune, luck, marital bliss, family perfection and even likability, are traits that few of the common folk endure. A power couple as this would stand above society relishing in their good fortunes, but always befriending anyone. Sounds like a pretty attractive power couple? But what if, these perfect little socialites, suffer’s the loss of one of their children. Can the pair’s fortunate luck transcend such an undesirable tragedy? A Life Singular Book One, by Lorraine Pestell, is a brilliant plot, well written with both tragedy’s and triumphs. Get this book!
J Thomas Munson, Amazon, October 2016
An epic and emotional tale
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
A Life Singular is part one of an emotional, and epic, story of love, pain and growth. At 722 pages for this part alone, the quadrilogy must be approaching 3000 pages, so this is going to be quite an investment for any reader who decides to stick with it. Thankfully, the quality is high enough to justify such an investment.
The protagonist, Jeff, suffers the pain of losing his wife in a shooting, causing his perfect world to fall apart. Jeff has to endure the pain of a murder trial; that combined with the fact he is convinced of his wife’s presence, makes closure difficult for him to achieve. As all of this is going on he must also be there to support his children, forcing him to maintain strength in his moment of weakness.
Pestell writes with a slow-paced, but intense style. I was impressed by how she rarely laboured a point or overcooked a scene, despite the epic length – my initial fear of this lengthy book being all filler content was mostly unfounded. I do feel that a slight trimming here and there would help, but I have no major issues with the book as it currently stands. The focus of the narrative is all about the interactions between the characters and their emotional struggles. It would be so easy for this to descend into slushy melodrama, and yet it never does. I felt every ounce of Jeff’s struggle, and I wanted to be there for him as though by reading I was supporting a friend!
I have agreed with the author that I shall be reviewing all 4 parts of this book, and that is quite a commitment, but it is one I am looking forward to fulfilling, even if it takes me months. This is a great book.
Thor, Amazon, April 2014
Goodreads Win Copy (The win was actually for Part 3)
In Part One of this six part series, we watch as our celebrity writer learning to move on after the unexpected murder of his wife as he copes with his depression along the way as his teenager children try to be there for him.
What was supposed to be a normal getaway at a hotel turns out to be a trigger of unhappy events. While parking their car as his wife checks in, quickly turns into a nightmare when a jealous immigrant shoots his wife dead when his initial intent was him.
The life of the billionaire musician and his former tennis professional wife and their perfect world quickly changes. He keeps thinking he should be dead and that he somehow could have prevented it. At first, he has trouble coping with the memories and ends up living at their in town apartment.
We watch as he tries to move on and attends the trial of the murder and somehow manages to sympathize with the killer. Learning to find his place after his wife death and do things for the better of mankind. We watch his journey go forward.
A heart riveting part one as we are invested in his journey and that of his children.
Marissa, Amazon, May 2015
Lynn and Jeff Diamond are due to spend their wedding anniversary in their favourite hotel. However, while Jeff is parking the car, a man filled with jealousy and hate, shoots and kills his beloved wife, Lynn.
Nothing will ever be the same again for Jeff. How will he cope with the loss of his soul mate. His two children are also devastated, but Jeff knows they are young and will get over their loss.
I found the story to be very interesting. I did enjoy reading how Jeff learns to cope with his loss by writing his wife’s life story with the help of letters and other material he finds amongst her things. However there were times when I felt parts of the story were a little over-long. But that is just me. That said, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a novel where they can become so engrossed and captivated up with the characters’ emotions.
I was given a free copy in return for an unbiased review.
Eileen M Thornton, Amazon, April 2014
I truly loved this book
I truly loved this book. I received it from the author in a cross promotion contest, i was chosen as winner! In return for her sharing her book with no strings attached, I want to write a review and give my opinion of the book. This book was amazing, and I cannot wait to read the entire series! I hate to give away the plot or spoilers, and if you have read my other reviews you know I do not waste your time giving any opinion except waste of time or two thumbs up, this is a two thumbs up, and get your Kleenex ready, that is all I’m going to say!!!!
Aisha K S Hashmi, Amazon, November 2016
An engaging story of love and loss.
The basic plot revolves around celebrity Jeff Diamond, as he struggles to keep his family together, following the tragedy of losing his wife. The Diamonds have a beautiful love that is the admiration of many, and nothing could prepare them for the choices they would be forced to make.
As the story begins, Jeff and his wife Lynn are preparing to celebrate their anniversary of twenty years. They begin to reminisce about years spent apart and their life together, with family and friends. Prior to the celebration, they take a trip to Sydney for a charity luncheon. Jeff quickly gets caught in a tangle of events that threaten the harmony he has found, which brings back his past more intensely than expected. He captures the reader with his all encompassing devotion to his wife and children. The love of the characters is inspiring and even left me a bit love sick.
The author gives deep insight into the characters as she describes in detail their nuances and grieving processes. It is fascinating to travel with these wonderfully endearing characters, as we see the very real, raw vulnerability of each one.
Misha Almira, Goodreads, January 2014
The greatest of that everything, is a love as strong as steel.
The story begins with the tale of a family, pillars of their community, who seem to have everything. The greatest of that everything, is a love as strong as steel.
But life can turn as quickly as a snap of two fingers, as the famous Jeff Diamond sadly discovers. Jeff’s almost forgotten past, seems to surface, causing things to happen that could crush the happiness of the last twenty years.
He suddenly loses his whole world. The greatest wife a man could have. And in a way that is unforgiving, murder. Yes, one can heal from such a painful loss, but certainly not easily. As the children too, are of course heartbroken, Jeff finds himself fighting to keep things together, amidst the trial and his own pain.
Surviving, and one day at a time, Jeff slowly starts to soothe his pain and loss through the written word. His life begins again after he goes through her things, and he starts to write about his beloved wife’s life.
I found the characters more than creative and the descriptions and explanations of loss were so real, at times I think I felt Jeff’s pain as I followed his path of recovery.
The author obviously took time and gave a great deal of thought to this story. Though it was an extremely long book, I don’t think any part of it was unnecessary, or could be considered fillers.
I’m not overly fond of series. I much prefer a stand-alone book. But this was well done.
Sandi Whipple, Goodreads, September 2014