Monday, 28 November 2016

Book Tour: 'Christmas at the Cornish Cafe' by Phillipa Ashley

It's that time of year... trees are starting to go up, lights are beginning to twinkle, and the cold dark nights have drawn in. That can only mean one thing... perfect reading conditions!!!! Okay, so really it of course means that Christmas is on its way and with only a few weeks to go we will all be starting to run around to get our shopping done so that once the holidays hit we can sit back, put our feet up and relax. What better way to relax this Christmas holiday (or any time of year for that matter) than with a beautifully festive read. 

Well... look no further and make sure to get your hands on this beautiful novel in the Cornish Cafe series from Phillipa Ashley.


Blurb:

Christmas will be slightly less turbulent than summer, won’t it? Demi certainly hopes so.

She and Cal are keeping their fledgling relationship under wraps for now. But then Kit Bannen, a hunky, blond – and somewhat mysterious – writer arrives at Kilhallon Resort, and not everyone is charmed. Cal is sure that Kit is hiding something. But is he the only one guarding a secret?

Demi is busy baking festive treats for the newly opened Demelza’s cafe, but when Cal’s ex Isla arrives to shoot scenes for her new drama, Demi can’t help but worry that things aren’t quite over between them. Kit flirts with both women, fuelling Cal’s suspicions that Kit has hidden motives for staying on at Kilhallon. Then Cal has to go to London, leaving Demi and Kit to decorate the cafe for Christmas . . . all by themselves.

A storm is brewing in more ways than one. As surprises unfold and truths are uncovered, can Demi and Cal finally open up to each other about their feelings?



I am very excited to be abled to share with you this extract from the Prologue of Phillipa Ashley's Christmas at the Cornish Cafe. I hope you enjoy!!

Extract:

Prologue

Tuesday October 1st
Demi


‘Good morning, friends! This is Greg Stennack, your favourite local DJ on your favourite local station, Radio St Trenyan. I’ll be bringing you all the latest tunes and news from our great little corner of Cornwall and cheering you up on this wet and windy October the first. Hey, did I just say it was October? Seems like only yesterday that we were slapping on the suncream and stretching out the beach towels to catch some rays. Oh, wait – that was only yesterday! Hey, never mind, people. Christmas is only eighty-five sleeps away. Now, let’s kick off this wild autumn day with ‘Here Comes the Rain Again’ by the Eurythmics …’

Hey, thanks, Greg, I’ve nothing against Annie Lennox, but I think I’ll pass.

With a groan, I bash the radio alarm ‘off’ button with my palm and pull the duvet over my head. That was a mistake. Now that Greg’s not blaring down my ear, I can hear the rain lashing against the windows and battering the roof of my tiny terraced cottage. A moment later, I throw the duvet off me, shivering in the cool October morning. I say ‘morning’, but it might as well be evening it’s so dark and gloomy in my bedroom. The late September heatwave we’d been enjoying at Kilhallon Park broke late last night when a massive storm blew in from the Atlantic and settled over our corner of far-west Cornwall.

The bedroom door bangs against the wall and four paws land squarely on my legs and a rough tongue licks my face.

‘Oof!’

My dog, Mitch, stands on my stomach, tongue lolling. ‘Thanks, boy, but I’d rather have a wash myself. In the bathroom, preferably.’

Mitch woofs and jumps onto the floor, wagging his feathery tail.

‘I know, I know. You want a walk, but have you heard that wet stuff falling from the sky outside?’
Mitch leaps off the bed, and stands by, tilting his head this way and that, as if to say: ‘Wuss’.

I give up all thought of staying in bed. ‘OK. You win.’

As I swing my legs off the bed, Mitch scampers to the doorway, hardly able to contain himself, excited at the prospect of a walk. After I’ve pulled on old jeans and a fleece, I trot downstairs, grab a quick glass of juice and pull open the curtains. It’s still bucketing down, and the rain is driven by strong winds off the sea, so it’s almost horizontal.

I grab an old waxed jacket from a peg by the back door and pull the hood over my head. Not only does Mitch need a walk, I need to check that nothing’s blown away from our brand-new guest cottages. I also need to make sure that our new cafe, Demelza’s, is still in one piece ready for its opening day on Thursday.

Since I arrived at Easter, my boss, Cal Penwith, and I have been working hard to transform Kilhallon Park from a run-down caravan site into a boutique holiday resort. With the help of our friends – and despite the efforts of our foes – our cottages and glamping site officially open for business today.
Then there’s Demelza’s.

I persuaded Cal to convert the old storage barn by the coastal path into a cafe. He decided to name it after me, so I’m determined to make it a success – come hell or high water.

And on that note … Outside the front door, the drumming of the rain and the howls of the wind almost drown out Mitch’s woofs. He dashes outside and scampers through the puddles while I linger in the doorway watching raindrops bounce off the cobbles of the yard. But it’s not the downpour that’s stopping me from taking that step outside; it’s the realisation that today’s the day that Kilhallon – and Cal and I – take our leap into the unknown.

I step into an old pair of Hunters that used to belong to Cal’s cousin Robyn. I’m wearing her old coat too: everyone mucks in and shares what they have here. I’ve become part of the Kilhallon tribe since Cal invited me to work for him, even though my own family have become lost to me. I’ve also made some good friends who’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. One of them – Cal – is more than a friend, but we’ll see where that leads.

Mitch dances round my wellies and barks joyfully, as if to say: ‘Come on, what are we waiting for?’
After the tough times we’ve overcome, and the challenges that await us, there’s no going back now. I let out a deep breath and step into the deluge. If you want to see a rainbow, as my Nana Demelza would have said, you have to put up with the rain …

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So what are you waiting for! Whether you're a kindle lover or you love to feel the pages of a book between your fingers... go and get your copy now!

Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of the sneak peak at the Prologue and tell me about any of your favourite Christmas reads.

Chat soon beautifuls xx



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Friday, 11 November 2016

Blog Tour: It's a Wonderful Life by Julia Williams

Firstly a little added shout-out to Laura, from Laura's Little Book Blog... I'm more than happy to share the day with you! ;) xx

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I love this time of year - when all the shiny, new-book smelling, white sparkling pages of all the latest Christmas infused stories come out to play. I mean, who doesn't love a good Christmas read to snuggle up with whilst the weather is turning rather chilly.

'It's a wonderful life' by Julia Williams (her 10th novel might I add!!) was my first little dose of Christmas this year. Here's a little bit about the book and then, if you've been good this year, a little sneaky peak at an extract from the book! Only kidding! I will leave the naughty and nice list to Santa as I want to share this with all of you! ;) Can I just say how beautifully, wonderfully Christmassy this front cover is!! I mean... how could anyone not be completely drawn to picking this little gem up!



Paperback and e-book Publishing: 3rd November 2016


Blurb:

Christmas with the family. Cosy, relaxing…and a total nightmare?


Driving home for Christmas, Beth has everything she wants. The kids and the house, the career and the husband. So why is it that when the New Year comes, she can’t stop thinking about her old college boyfriend?

Her husband Daniel is tasked with bringing a struggling school up to scratch, but when family life catches up to him, can he be a good father and a good teacher at the same time?

Beth’s sister Lou has just been dumped…again. Single and childless, she can’t help but be jealous of her sibling’s success. But is the grass really always greener?

It’s a Wonderful Life is a heart-warming novel about the lives that could have been, and what happens when you start to question the choices you made…

Out Now!

Pick your copy up from:
Amazon UK £3.99 for paperback... only £1.99 for Kindle!
Amazon US $14.99


Review:

You already know that I absolutely adore the Christmassy cover of this little beauty!

This story is full of real life emotion. I think we often find ourselves looking at other people's lives and either envying what they have or believing that they are so lucky and have the best life. This story is a reminder that not everything is always as it seems... we should never judge a book by its cover!

It's really interesting reading about Beth and her family, seeing the dynamic between the different characters and how they respond to each other. Beth, her husband and her sister all have their own struggles in their lives, and the story follows how they each deal with their situations. The story is very authentic as I really felt that Julia Williams was drawing on the real battle people face in life and the struggles people go through trying to give 100% to every aspect of their life.

In the run up to this book being published the big question has been whether Beth can prevent this Christmas from becoming her worst nightmare?! We all know how difficult families can be sometimes, and Beth's journey shows her dealing with a number of difficult situations which keeps a happy Christmas hung in the balance.

If you enjoy a heart-warming story, laced with struggles and uncertainties, and a little drop of Christmas sparkle, then be sure to read Julia's novel.

And now for a sneaky peak (squeal!):


Daniel went upstairs and poked his head round Megan’s door.
            She was sitting in her bed, wrapped up in a blanket, transfixed to a screen.
            ‘Good day?’ he asked.
            ‘It was OK,’ said Megan, barely looking up.
            ‘I hope that’s homework you’re doing,’ said Daniel.
            Megan blushed. ‘Not exactly. I’m just watching something on YouTube.’
            ‘Well, look at that after you’ve done your homework,’ said Daniel. ‘You know, you’ve got—’
            ‘I’ve got GSCEs next year and need to knuckle down,’ said Megan rolling her eyes. ‘I know, Dad, and I am working.’
            ‘Good,’ said Daniel, smiling. Megan always had an answer for everything, but at least she still talked to him.
            He paused outside Sam’s room, thinking about Jason Leigh. Maybe Sam needed a similar kick up the arse.
            Sam was also hunched over a computer, sitting at his desk with his back to Daniel.
            ‘How’s it going?’ said Daniel, trying to effect casual. He never quite knew what kind of response he would get from his son.
            ‘OK,’ said Sam.
            ‘What about your extra lessons? How were they today?’ Sam had done spectacularly badly in his mocks and been pulled in for extra help in Economics and Physics.
            ‘Didn’t go,’ said Sam.
            ‘Sam!’ Daniel was exasperated. ‘We’ve talked about this. If you don’t start working soon, it will be too late.’
            Sam shrugged.
            ‘It’s my life, Dad. And I’m nearly eighteen, so just butt out.’
            Daniel could feel a knot of tension building inside of him. Sam was frequently disrespectful, but Daniel didn’t like to come down too hard for fear of sounding like his own dad, Reggie. Daniel had spent a lot of his early childhood being subjected to vicious tongue-lashings when his dad had come home drunk, and had always sworn he would be a different kind of father. He could still remember the occasion when he’d failed badly in a spelling text and Reggie had shouted at him for being stupid. Daniel had tried so hard not to be negative to his own children, and it was frustrating to feel it all being kicked back in his face.
            ‘You might be nearly eighteen, but you’re still living under my roof,’ he said, trying to control his voice.
            ‘And?’ Sam swivelled around so that he was facing Daniel.
            ‘You could at least respect me and your mum,’ said Daniel, feeling his frustration brimming over into anger at his son’s disinterested expression.
            Sam said nothing and turned back to his screen. Daniel took a deep breath. He had a sudden image of being six years old and hiding under his bed because Reggie had erupted when Daniel had broken a cup. However angry Daniel was with Sam, he wouldn’t let it control him. He refused to.
            So instead, he went into his study to fire up his computer, silently fuming. What had gone wrong with his relationship with Sam? He’d always tried to be open and honest with both his children, but over the last year Sam had closed down on him.
            He opened his emails with a sigh, and then saw a name in his inbox that made him freeze.
            Reggie King. Dad?
            It had been a couple of years since Reggie had last been in contact, which suited Daniel just fine. His stomach turned in knots. Life was always much easier if he didn’t think about Reggie. He read the email with a growing sense of dread.
            Hi son, Long time no see, read the email. I’m going to be back in the UK in February. Maybe we could hook up for a drink? Reggie   
Daniel stared at the message, his thoughts racing. Maybe we could hook up after five years of very sporadic communication? Just like that? What the hell did he want?



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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Blog Tour: 'The Secret' by Katerina Diamond


The secret is out!!
Well, not the BIG secret... but I can finally reveal that I am lucky blogger number 7 on the #AVerySecretBlogTour. 

Tell me in the comments below how impressive your detective skills are and whether you worked out that I was the next stop?!

I have to admit I was so excited when I got the e-mail about this blog tour - I mean who isn't intrigued with all the secrecy!! It has definitely been hard not to tell you all about it but you have to make sure that you #KeeptheSecret!

So... I have something very exciting to share with you today, but first a little reminder about the book that's causing all this excitement!


Blurb:

When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back – of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she’s never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets?

As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter.

And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most…

Now, I don't know about you, but reading that blurb excites all my literary senses and makes me desperately want to read the book to find out more - so many secrets to uncover! Be sure to get your hands on this excitingly dangerous new novel from Katerina Diamond and once you've read it let me know your thoughts! 

Amazon UK only £1.99 on Kindle now!!
Amazon US (paperback or audio)

To find out what others think of the book take a look here -----> Goodreads

But before you go, I have an awesome guest post from the very talented Katerina Diamond for you. It is definitely one that resonates with me as I often have, what seems to be, a never-ending to-do-list and it appears I have got very good a PROCRASTINATING! So Katerina is going to share her special techniques on how to effectively procrastinate by keeping your head in the story - enjoy!



Secret Procrastination Techniques

These are some things I do which help me to at least stay focussed on the task at hand even if I am not writing. If you can procrastinate while also helping yourself to stay in the story then that’s a bonus.

1. I look for actors, or at least faces. I look online and try to find faces that will fit the characters as I see them in my head – interestingly enough I have never been able to pin down a picture for either Miles or Grey. But this all helps me to keep the characters separate and build on their personalities in my mind.

2. I make a playlist online. Either iTunes or YouTube or whatever your preferred medium is, music can really help to put you in the mood. I’m not talking about the music I use to write to, I’m talking about the music that gets me into the story, or into a character’s head. I just add songs as and when I hear them, then if I have had a little break from writing I can listen to the playlist again to get me in the right frame of mind. Each character also has their own song.

3. I create a murder wall. Sounds worse than it is, but I put up a lot of visual cues, images of the characters, notecards with information, pictures of weapons, newspaper articles, anything that helps me with the story again. I also tend to keep some post-it notes nearby when I am watching TV – sometimes a bit of dialogue will grab me and I write it down and stick it to the wall. By the time I come round to using it I completely forget the context and where I saw it; sometimes I use the dialogue and sometimes I don’t.

The best thing about these techniques is that they all feel like a waste of time, but it’s keeping you engaged in the story so it still counts, anything that keeps you engaged and focussed. It’s when you step away from the story for a time and come back to it – these things will all help your brain to engage with it quicker and get back into it. You’re basically tricking yourself into thinking you’re not doing anything constructive – as someone who likes to rebel against personal progress I think this works a treat.

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So there you have it, some secret tips from Katerina on how to procrastinate effectively! I'd love to hear if you have any secret techniques you use or whether there are particular jobs you tend to do when you are procrastinating? Let me know in the comments below!

And can you guess who blogger number 8 is going to be? #KeeptheSecret #AVerySecretBlogTour



Chat soon beautifuls xx




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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Blog Tour: The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

Happy Publication Day Gill Paul!!!!

So not only have I been incredibly lucky to receive a copy of Gill Paul's latest novel, The Secret Wife, but I have the amazing honour of hosting this new little gem on my blog as part of the blog tour, and it's publication day!! 

Before I let you know my thoughts, here is a little bit about the book to wet the taste buds.



Publishes in eBook & Paperback: 25th August



Blurb:
1914

Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .


2016

Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.




Review:

I'm not even really sure I know where to begin this review - I feel like this book hangover is going to be one of those 'grown-up' hangovers, which take a number of days to overcome. Having not read any of Gill Paul's previous novels I felt excited when I received an email to ask if I wanted to be part of the blog tour. It's one of the things I really love about book blogging; the opportunity to discover new authors all the time, and boy am I excited to have come across Gill Paul.

Immediately I was drawn to the cover of the book; the imagery creating a real sense of mystery and secrecy. I couldn't wait to begin and it wasn't long at all before I was completely hooked!! The Secret Wife is one of those stories I just didn't want to put down... not even for a second - I even forced myself to put it down and turn my light off one night, only to find myself 5 minutes later flicking my bedside lamp back on and delving into the pages once more! 

Following the story across two different time periods, 1914 and 2016, Gill Paul brings the love story of Grand Duchess Tatiana and Dmitri Malama to life beautifully. Jumping between two periods can be a very challenging style to write in, however Gill Paul masters this, enabling the reader to follow the story with ease. It took me a few chapters to get familiar with some of the Russian names, but I quickly became comfortable with them.

When reading their story, you can really feel the heartache and pain the characters face throughout their difficult journeys. It is not long before you become completely engrossed in the story, feeling the love, the pain and the desperation of the characters as they face a life of turmoil. I became increasingly captivated by the story, feeling as though I was living the journey with them. I really loved how Gill Paul uses Dmitri and Tatiana's story to help Kitty reflect on her own life and help her find her 'purpose' she has begun to search for, and to help put her own love story with Tom in to perspective in order to make the right decision about their future. 

Gill Paul has truly brought her characters to life through her writing. One of the little habits that forms between Dmitri and Tatiana is when they lean their heads against one another so they can 'hear what the other is thinking' and I feel as though this connection is made between the reader and the characters when you open the pages. You can really feel the heart and soul of each of the characters flowing through the pages of the book.

Gill Paul has adapted the story of the Romanov family into a heart-wrenching and devastatingly beautiful account of the undying love and unbreakable bond between a man and a woman, destined to be together. 

I absolutely loved The Secret Wife and cannot wait to discover more of Gill Paul's books. I was already spreading the word to friends and family when I was only a few chapters in and I can't wait share it with everyone!

I give The Secret Wife;


Buy The Secret Wife on Amazon UK now: Click Here



Here's a tasty little treat for you, an extract from the prologue of The Secret Wife:


Kitty walked back to the car to retrieve her bags and drag them down the track, flattening the grass in her wake. She ate a salt beef and gherkin sandwich from the selection she had bought at the airport, drank a can of Seven-Up, then donned some sturdy gloves to start tearing at the creepers that smothered her cabin. Already it felt like hers, she noted. Already she was falling in love with it.

One of the plants was what she and her school friends called ‘sticky willy’. They used to try and stick it on each other’s backs without being noticed. Another type of creeper filled the air with spores that tickled the back of her throat. She was careful not to let any leaves touch her skin because she knew they had poison ivy in America but she wasn’t sure what it looked like. A swarm of tiny black flies rose into the air and floated away in the breeze. She worked with grim determination, hoping that by totally exhausting her muscles she could quell the panicky thoughts that clamoured in her brain. Don’t think about Tom. Stop thinking. She had brought her mobile phone and laptop through force of twenty-first-century habit, but both were switched off. She couldn’t bear to listen to his excuses and self-justifications, simply didn’t want to deal with any of it.

When she had yanked back most of the overgrowth, she saw that the weathered wooden slats made the cabin look like an organic part of the wooded landscape. Despite having just one room it was big, perhaps twenty feet long, with windows all around, and the sloping roof had a little chimney sticking out. She went inside again and loaded debris into some heavy-duty bin bags she’d brought along, stopping to read a few yellowed news headlines: the accident at the Chernobyl power plant in Russia; the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. The springs on the bed had long gone, so she hauled it outside to dispose of later then unrolled the sleeping bag she had brought and spread it in one corner.

By the time she finished, the sun was lowering over the lake and birds were squawking loudly, expending their final burst of energy for the day. She went to sit on the porch to listen. A whip-poor-will called, and it sounded for all the world like a wolf whistle. Shadowy bats zipped by, and frogs croaked in the distance.

Suddenly she saw something glint under the fractured wood of the steps, nestled amongst the tree roots. She lay down full length stretching her arm to grasp it and was immediately surprised by the weight of the object. She pulled it out and saw it was a golden oval, less than an inch long, studded with tiny coloured jewels – blue, pink and amber – set within swirls of gold tendrils, like flowers on a vine. It looked expensive. On the back she could make out some scratched engraving but it had been rubbed away over the years. There was a hole in the top and she assumed it had been threaded on a chain. Someone must have been upset to lose such a stunning pendant. She’d never seen anything quite like it.

Kitty slipped it deep into the pocket of her jeans and opened another airport sandwich, turkey and salad this time. She ate it for supper, washed down with a miniature bottle of Chenin Blanc she’d brought from the plane, as she sat with her legs dangling off the edge of the porch. In front of her, the trees swayed in a slight breeze and the smooth surface of the lake reflected the dramatic colours of the sky, changing from pale pink to mauve to gold and then bronze, as vivid and surreal as the painted opening title shots of a Hollywood movie.








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Thursday, 18 February 2016

Guest Review by Polly: 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes

All great books should come with an advisory health warning;

May cause dizziness, lack of concentration and unexplained outbursts of tears




Phase 1: Cry
Phase 2: Lie silently, running through the story over and over in your mind to make sure you don't forget any part of it

And then comes Phase 3: TELL THE WORLD! 

One of the greatest gifts about being a book blogger is having the ability to share your experience and thoughts of a book with so many other book lovers across the world. It still amazes me how my little blog I write sitting in my flat reaches so many different countries. I don't think I'll ever get over that. 

The exciting thing for me is I actually read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because one of my friends had read it first and she hit Phase 3 of the hangover and shared her love for the book with me. I was then lucky enough to receive After You in exchange for an honest review. It was like fate!! So I thought, rather than reviewing both books myself, I was excited to get my friend involved, after all it was because of her that I read Me Before You!

So I am very excited to invite my friend, Polly Robinson-Gill, to my blog today to share her review of Jojo Moyes' Me Before You. Polly is such an amazing person - she is full of life, always bubbly and full of laughter and positivity. I can't help but smile when Polly's around; she is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I am so honoured and lucky to be able to call her my friend. Polly is one of those treasures you find and just know you have to hold on to! I can't thank Polly enough for having the courage to write a review for my blog as I know she was nervous... I hope you all love reading Polly's review as much as I did, and please leave comments or questions for Polly below and I'll be sure to pass them on. 


Blurb:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

So without further adieu, I give you, the beautiful, Polly!


Polly's thoughts: 

Reading Me Before You took me out of my comfort zone. I am a typical Erica James, Danielle Steel or Lucy Diamond reader. But after reading an article on the author Jojo Moyes in Woman & Home magazine I felt drawn in to the characters of her book which is being turned into a movie, out this year and wanted to read it. Whilst visiting my local car boot that same weekend, I saw this book for sale and I thought it was a must!

It sat on my shelf for a few weeks, thinking I must get round to reading this book. Then when a cold hit me I curled up under the covers and started. I did not put it down for 3 days (I do take along time to read). I didn’t want to stop reading about Will and Lou, or Clarke as he calls her, and their 6 months together. The way Jojo Moyes told the story was just wonderful. I felt I was in the room with them at times. It was great to read a different kind of story and it has made me want to venture into different kinds of worlds within literature and push myself more.

The empathy I felt for Will and what his family must have gone through, it has opened my eyes more to people with quadriplegia and people with mobility issues.

There is a second book out that continues the story, After You, which I have now purchased and am looking forward to reading. I know I will miss the presence of Will, but that makes this story more real; that, yes, life does change and it is not always a happy ending for everyone. The ending was sad and yes I cried for a few hours, but that was because of my understanding of how much pain a terrible accident had caused to so many people. They say some books can change your life a little... for me it made me grateful for what I have.



xxx

Thank you so much to Polly for her heart-felt review of Me Before You and for sharing the love of a good book on my blog to share with my readers. I look forward to sharing my review of After You next week... look out for it and let me know your thoughts! 

Don't stop dreaming beautifuls x



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Monday, 15 February 2016

Cover Reveal: Mean Sisters by Lindsay Emory

Another cover reveal for you lovely bookish bunch today... Lindsay Emory brings us an exciting story which is described as a cross between Mean Girls and Legally Blonde. Now how can we not be jumping with eager excitement to read this novel if it encompasses even some of the joy we found in those delightful films!

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for a pretty pink cover... so already I am excited...

Let there be pink!


Out 17th March 2016


A sassy, hilariously funny murder mystery where the closest bonds of friendship might just kill you…!

Margot Blythe is a twenty-something year old who can’t seem to let her college glory days go. After all, everyone deserves a family of ‘sisters’ like she had. When she’s invited to speak at her alma mater, her homecoming reception isn’t exactly what she expected. Tragedy strikes and Margot has to step up, especially when foul play is suspected.

She’s going to save her fifty frazzled ‘sisters’, keep the suspicious (but dangerously cute) police officer at bay and find out the truth – could a sister have committed such an unimaginable sin as murder?

Margot is going to learn the real bond of sisterhood and maybe, just maybe, discover where she truly belongs.



Mean Sisters is a murder mystery set in an American college. If you've seen the Scream Queens series then you will already have a taste for the thrill that will be encompassed in this exciting novel. This book is said to be "sassy, sharp, funny and has a killer edge to it".



I know I'm excited to get my hands on this exciting little number... be sure you don't miss out and don't forget to let me know what you thought of it and let me know your thoughts below on the cover!

Speak soon beautifuls!



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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Cover Reveal: The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows by Marnie Riches

I hope you have all been having a lovely Valentine's day, whether you've spent it with a loved one, family or some awesome friends. To end your day on an exciting note, I've got a wonderful cover reveal for you today! So here it is...

The third book in 'The Girl Who' series by the talented Marnie Riches... here's the cover for...

The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows


Out 31st March 2016

Europe is in the grip of an extreme Arctic blast and at the mercy of a killer, who leaves no trace. His weapons of choice are razor-sharp icicles. This is Jack Frost.

Now a fully qualified criminologist, Georgina McKenzie is called upon by the Dutch police to profile this cunning and brutal murderer. Are they looking for a hit man or a frenzied serial-killer? Could there be a link to a cold missing persons’ case that George had worked with Chief Inspector Paul van den Bergen – two abducted toddlers he could never quite give up on?

The hunt for Jack Frost sparks a dangerous, heart-rending journey through the toughest neighbourhoods in Europe, where refugees and Romani gypsies scratch a living on the edge of society. Walking into the dark, violent world of a trans-national trafficking ring, can George outrun death to shed light on two terrible mysteries?


Make sure to grab your copy when it's out and remember to let me know what you think of it!?

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Friday, 11 December 2015

Book Review: 'Plan Bea' by Hilary Grossman

Eeeek!!! I'm so excited about this one!!!!! I've been waiting what feels like forever for the chance to read Hilary's new novel and it finally arrived!


Published by Booktrope Editions, October 2015


Blurb:

How well do you really know the people in your life?

Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life.

Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision.

In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.

Review:

Ok... so I've been staring at this blank page for ages and the big question on my mind is...

How do I write a review that does justice to such an amazing book?

So I have to admit straight away that I already have a bit of a love affair with Hilary's first novel, Dangled Carat (read my review here). This was a beautiful memoir from Hilary which was very open, real and captivating. When I heard that Hilary was writing a second novel, this time a fictional story, I couldn't be more excited. And what made it even more exciting is that it arrive the day before my birthday! :)

Plan Bea is... wow. I feel speechless.

Plan Bea is a story that focuses on the relationship between a mother and daughter, Beatrice and Annabel, and the difficulties they have overcoming some tragic events from their passed. Hilary grabbed my attention right from the first page as you find yourself becoming completely captivated by the family dynamics within the story and how each character works together and responds to one another. Hilary creates such strong, diverse characters and you immediately are able to see each of their personalities and qualities, helping the story to feel more real and authentic. When you first encounter the characters the natural instinct is to dislike Bea and feel sorry for Anna, however as the story unfolds and the truths about the passed are revealed, you find yourself starting to understand Bea and the reasons behind the way she behaves.

It is so hard for me to write about this story without giving anything away, and I don't want to let any spoilers go!

Hilary's writing beautifully entwines the present day struggles between Anna and Bea with flashbacks from the past. Despite jumping between the past and present, it is never difficult to follow the story and keep up with the story. As you read the story the secrets from the past are slowly unveiled and the tension between Anna and Bea starts to increase before any sign of reconciliation as they start to deal with the reality of what has caused the tension between them. I found myself becoming completely drawn into Hilary's writing, feeling all the emotions of each character and anxious to see how the story was going to end.

There is a huge surprising twist towards the end of the story which I was not expecting at all but it was brilliant and beautiful... and I have to admit it made me burt into tears!! As the twist unravelled and Bea revealed some intense, exciting news to Anna, I found myself entirely welling up with tears running down my face.

And then, if that's not enough, Hilary cleverly throws a cliffhanger on to the end of the story!! Aaahhhh!!!! Now I have very split emotions about this cliffhanger... on the one hand I am so super excited because it can only mean one thing... ANOTHER HILARY GROSSMAN NOVEL!!!! But then on the other hand, I DON"T WANT TO HAVE TO WAIT FOR IT!!! The way Hilary wrote the cliffhanger into the story was so clever. It pulls you in and you become curious, just like Anna, and when the story ends I wanted to yell 'Noooooo!!!!!!!!'. All I can say is I can't wait for the next book!!

Plan Bea is a beautiful, heartbreaking, honest and authentic story. The characters are all beautiful and real in their own way and the story explores some very intense, strong emotions in a very sensitive but honest way.

If there is one book you must read this year, and next year, and the year after... it is Plan Bea!!! I have already recommend it to so many of my friends and am buying it for a few as Christmas presents. And now I am recommending it to YOU! All of you! Read it now!!!! Your life depends on it... ok, so maybe that's not true but that's how much I loved this book!!

I give this amazing book;



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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Blog Tour: 'Meet Me In Manhattan' by Claudia Carroll

Today, at A Novel Thought, we are celebrating Claudia Carroll's novel, Meet Me In Manhattan. Published by Avon Books, the e-book was released on 5th November and the paperback is due out on 3rd December!!

I am excited to share this piece with you from Claudia herself on her writing habits. Whenever we try to let our creative juices flow, we all have our own little tricks and habits, our ideal locations and little quirks. I always love to hear about other people's inspirational pick me-ups - it helps you feel like you're not the only crazy one out there! Haha.. I hope you enjoy finding out about Claudia's habits... and don't forget to check out her novel Meet Me In Manhattan!!


Do you have any writing habits/superstitions/traditions? Where do you like to write?

Well, my house is generally freezing, even with the heat on, so I tend to work in whatever room is warmest. Generally at the kitchen table, though I often take the laptop up to bed with a mug of tea and work there, electric blanket up full. Just like an old lady.

Every author is different, but my little habit is to keep the writing day as close to a nine to five job as possible. Easier said than done though…trouble is, when I’m writing from home, there can just be so many other distractions. Even as I’m typing this, I’m looking at a big mound of ironing, just winking at me to be done.

I constantly have to remind myself that when I’m writing I’m working, just as if I was based in an office or business setting, so I try my best not to take calls, answer emails from pals or surf the net. Believe me though, this took a long, long time to get used to! Soon enough though, my family and friends slowly copped on not to call during the day.

So I suppose here’s a little tip to would be authors who may be reading this; just ignore the door, put the phone on silent, don’t go online and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get done. Really. My mother is by a mile the worst ‘time bandit’ offender, but then she thinks I spend all day every day daydreaming out the window and that books appear on shelves by magic!

Having said all that though, being a full-time author really is the single best job in the world. I’m incredibly lucky and still pinching myself that I can do it full-time now. Imagine a job where you can haul yourself out of bed and bed ‘in work’ five minutes later? What’s not to love?



Blurb:

In a New York minute, everything can change …

You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …

But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.

What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy ending!

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