During lockdown I read a lot which is great for a bookworm like me. Although I also wanted to support more independent bookshops too. Following reading and loving Dash & Lily paperback – I wanted to get books two and three from an independent. So following some Twitter chat Bert was able to put the books I wanted on the site and an order was made. I even have a pre-order that hasn’t been released yet with Bert.
In March I undertook a Mike Gayle readalong with Catriona where we read 5 of his back list. Although the final book was actually finished in April. In doing so I’ve come to love Mike’s writing style and I’ve been eager for more and more. So far I have read.
So how does the Berts Books Backlist subscription work I hear you say…you can read all about it here.
Since I’ve started to compile the remainder of the Mike Gayle books I don’t already have or haven’t read Bert has added a number of other authors including Jodi Picoult who is also a fave of mine, Jenny Colgan, C L Taylor, Lisa Jewell and Marian Keyes to name a few. I can see me getting another backlist once mine is finished.
So my first book is actual Mike Gayle’s Debut…
I started it last night and I’m a chapter or so in and I can tell you it’s full of Mike Gayle’s trademark wit. I haven’t got round to opening it as yet today as wanted to get in a run this morning. I loved the surprise of wondering what book I would receive and so far I’m really enjoying it.
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Firstly, I would like to apologise for the shuffling of this post from Saturday to Sunday. Following a few days with multiple posts I wanted to limit that and to also give this update the full attention it deserves.
These weeks sure are flying, blink and we’ll almost be at the end of the month. It’s been a mostly productive week.
Last weekend I had a bit of a clear out and my did it feel therapeutic. I’m not a hoarder but I did have a number of clothes that I haven’t worn in forever or that are miles too big or just old that I finally put in a charity bag. It will probably need another sort at some point but it meant I found clothes I haven’t worn for a while that I could give some life back to.
I wasn’t in any real rush for Primark but ended up at one on Tuesday afternoon it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Although in saying that I couldn’t get all I wanted but did get some gorgeous vest tops – most of my old ones are fit for the bin.
On Wednesday I had a really good chat with my physio and she’s now given me some progression strengthening exercises and to continue with a few. She also recommended I restart couch to 5k. So on Thursday I did just that.
On Saturday morning I got out for the second run.
Small bursts of running has given me such a lift. I won’t be overdoing it and I will be discussing everything again on Wednesday with my physio. I hope to have completed week one and ran run one of week two and then have something to go on. It’s a slow process but my aim is to be able to run regularly again and to get that distance up with the aim of half marathon before I set my sights any further.
This week I have read:
Following finishing my audiobook as yet I haven’t started another so I have been completely immersed in Heidi Swain’s it’s almost finished now, I thought I would have finished yesterday.
What’s been on the blog?
Last Sunday I shared my thoughts on the sampler chapters of Paige Toon’s up and coming Someone I Used To Know and you can read that post here.
On Monday I shared my audiobook review of Mike Gayle’s The To-Do List and you can read that here.
On Tuesday I was part of a Love Books Tours Blog Blitz for Ravenous Snakes and you can read that post here.
On Wednesday I shared my thoughts on Cressida McLaughlin’s Cornish Cream Tea Christmas and you can read that post here.
Thursday saw a bumper two post day with a Blog Blitz for Aspen that you can read here and a review of Cesca Major’s The Thin Place a novel that had me from the off you can read that here.
Friday was another bumper edition with two of my absolute faves Cover Reveals up first is The Wishing Tree By Jaimie Admans and you can see that here followed by The Idea Of You By Robinne Lee and you can see that here.
If you’re a regular viewer of Hayley Reviews you will be well aware that Saturday’s are almost always Weekly Updates, but I wanted to take part in a cover reveal so instead of having another bumper post this post was saved for today. You can see yesterday’s post here.
If there is something you would love to see me feature here on Hayley Reviews then do leave me a comment. There’s a few posts I started doing that I hope to bring back and I aim to get my reading on a better footing. Felt like a bit of a slacker this week in terms of what I had been able to read.
As always I will tell you a bit about the book before sharing the cover with you.
Blurb: There are four breeds of Clairvoyants: Kinetics who can move objects with their minds, Prophets who have involuntary visions of the future, Readers who can explore the deepest thoughts of others in an instant and Aural who can transfer their consciousness to control the bodies of others.
17-year-old Rion Grean is a Kinetic, but he has no idea there are others like him. His protective mother kept them on the move, even refusing to tell him about the father he never knew. When an accident separates them, he finds himself on the run from a covert, militaristic force that sees his kind as wasps that have strayed into the homes of normal humanity. Suddenly engulfed within the different factions of the Clairvoyants, the boy who has never been good at making friends must determine who to follow.
This cover reminds me of when I first got into these sort of fantasy reads. When I was reading The Mortal Instruments which I’m behind at in both books and TV series. I loved discovering otherworldly beings and vampires but I read so much then that I had to mix up my reading for my own sanity and so I could appreciate this genre.
What are your thoughts?
So that’s decided the Weekly Update of minewill come tomorrow instead.
Blurb: EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS HIS NAME. BUT IT’S YOU HE WANTS.
At thirty-nine, Solène Marchand is a devoted mother, a dedicated colleague and a considerate ex-wife.
But it’s a long time since she’s felt like herself.
So when someone comes along who seems to see her – to want her – for who she really is, the attraction is instant. And so begins a jet-setting, earth-shattering secret love affair.
But what if that someone is world-famous sex symbol Hayes Campbell? Captivating frontman of boy band of the moment August Moon – whose face is everywhere. Including Solène’s teenage daughter’s bedroom wall.
Can Solène allow herself to fall for the boy the whole world wants?
OR WILL SHE HAVE TO MAKE A DEVASTATING CHOICE..?
So what do you think? Ithink it’s stunning and a few of these reviews have me intrigued….
Today I’m chuffed to be able to show you a stunning cover for a release due out in May…as always I will tell you about the book before showing the cover and linking pre-order links.
Blurb: What do you do when ‘the one that got away’ now won’t go away?
In fact, he’s so determined not to go away that he’s literally chained himself to a tree.
Fifteen years ago, Felicity Kerr threw caution to the wind and kissed her colleague Ryan Sullivan under the ancient wishing tree along the coast.
When Ryan failed to respond to her kiss, Felicity was mortified that she’d read his signals so horrendously wrong and left Lemmon Cove for good.
But now Felicity’s job brings her back to her hometown, and face to face with Ryan, who is leading a band of octogenarians rallying to save their beloved 300-year-old sycamore from being bulldozed by property developers.
The spark with Ryan is still there, but Felicity is guarding a secret and as much as she wants to join the protest by his side, she can’t help but hold back.
Will Felicity be able to mend her broken heart and find happiness with Ryan beside the sea?
If you are sold just like me you can find it here. Or alternatively contact your local independent sellers.
The Jaimie novels that I’ve read I’ve truly loved and this one looks like the perfect treat.
Blurb: She has to know the truth about Overtoun Estate, but there is a reason it has stayed buried for so long.
When journalist Ava Brent decides to investigate the dark mystery of Overtoun Estate—a ‘thin place’, steeped in myth—she has no idea how dangerous this story will be for her.
Overtoun looms over the town, watching, waiting: the locals fearful of the strange building and the secrets it keeps. When Ava starts to ask questions, the warm welcome she first receives turns to a cold shoulder. And before she knows it, Ava is caught in the house’s grasp too.
After she discovers the history of a sick young girl who lived there, she starts to understand the sadness that shrouds it. But when she finds an ominous old message etched into a windowsill, she is forced to wonder—what horrors is the house protecting? And what will it cost her to find out?
With her own first child on the way, Ava knows she should stay away. But even as her life starts to unravel, and she receives chilling threats, the house and the bridge keep pulling her back…
Review: Where do I begin? The Thin Place is a truly intoxicating read that had me transfixed from start to finish. I honestly don’t know how to do this justice as there is so much I cannot say without ruining the reveal. If I had been able to just read I could have devoured this in one sitting. Although in saying that I’m glad I got to spend a bit more time with Ava.
Ava Brent is a journalist after my own heart, she has an eye for a story and doesn’t give up. Even when she should, Ava keeps on. The mystery of Overtoun, had Ava hooked and had me just as intrigued. The creepy goings on had me turning the pages and just like Ava I was left wondering what had happened there.
As Ava is expecting her first child she should be slowing down but the mystery and intrigue won’t leave her, it’s as if she’s all encompassed by the house and the history of the Overtoun bridge. Even when the locals and the grounds man tell her to leave the past in the past she cannot shake it off. There were a number of moments where I had my heart in my mouth and I also found myself doubting certain characters although I was way off the mark.
Cesca has written a thrilling and intoxicating read that will leave you informed, horrified and deeply saddened by the tale of Overtoun. The novel is separated into chapters of Marion, Ava and Constance and I honestly wasn’t expecting the twists and turns along the way, it made so much sense when it wrapped up but also made me feel deeply saddened.
Whenever I got to a chapter about Constance I truly had my heart in my mouth the unmistakable cruelty and neglect was quite simply heartbreaking. I wasn’t sure where this came from although as the novel wraps up a lot is explained although there is never a justifiable reason for this kind of abuse.
Marion is an interesting character who is swept off her feet by the devilishly handsome Hamish – she wholeheartedly believes getting married and moving to a big estate will solve all her problems. Ultimately this isn’t the case, a truly chilling story full of sadness, loneliness and a multitude of grief.
The Thin Place is an atmospheric, thrilling, thought provoking and intoxicating read. It is definitely a story that will stay with me with elements of truth in the location with the eerie goings on. I could well read more connected to this although I’m in no rush to visit such a place.
Today I am pleased to be taking part in a Love Books Tours blitz for Aspen.
Blurb: Marc and Susan are from different worlds, but have one commonality: emotional baggage.
Having lost his wife and business partner of twenty-plus years, Marc struggles to find purpose in life. Living on proceeds from selling his company, Marc has little financial sense for money’s value; however, soon after moving to Colorado, this reckless streak is destined to change when he meets Susan.
Educated and wise, Susan has always lived a comfortable yet ordinary existence. Upon meeting Marc their connection is strong, but Marc’s financial indifference proves a source of increasing conflict. Furthermore, Susan herself is haunted. The dark relationships left behind have found a way back into her world, as moving away doesn’t always equate to truly moving on.
When Susan’s daughter is made a pawn by her vengeful ex, Marc’s money may indeed make all the difference, . . . can newfound love withstand the emotional rollercoaster?
Warning: contains graphic steamy sex scenes
About the Author: A hopeless romantic since the teenage years T. K. embarked on several relationships only to find emptiness in the end. Finally, the last of those relationships bore the fruit of true love, and after many years they are still together more in love than ever before. These relationships, along with a diversified work background, have provided T. K. with vast knowledge from which to draw upon for character and story development. T. K. has a passion for good food and great wine while enjoying a really good love story. T. K. and family – which include two very spoiled cats – live in the Southwestern US.
Blurb: Hannah Swan is looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years. Her new job as an eco-consultant is taking her – and her geeky colleague, Noah – to the beautiful Cornish village of Porthgolow for the first time. They’re are helping the Crystal Waters Hotel to ramp up its green credentials, though after a bumpy journey, Hannah can’t shake off the feeling that Porthgolow is strangely familiar. Never able to resist a mystery, her interest is piqued when the hotel’s staff and customers report odd noises and sightings, believing the hotel to be haunted. When bad weather cuts off Porthgolow, Hannah and Noah are looking at a Cornish Christmas. It gives them plenty of time to work out what is really going on, but will their yuletide escape send shivers up their spines? Or will it be as warm and toasty as a glass of mulled wine?
Review: I’m not usually one to read Christmas books out of season but I have had this book since it was released in parts and somehow it slipped by me during the festive season. Seeing as the next Cornish instalment is a wedding I needed to read this to join up the dots before I can get onto the first part. So Christmas in April it has been and what a journey I have been on with them.
I’ve wholeheartedly loved each and every segment of the Cornish cream tea series. I would never have imagined that Charlie and Daniel’s story would be joined by a few other couples that have well and truly stole my heart. In the instalment before this one I fell for Lila and Sam and I didn’t think Cress could top them until I met Hannah and Noah.
Hannah & Noah brought me back to when I first met Daniel and Charlie and wow. It honestly felt like that first time in the Cornish seaside town and it was just the escapism I needed without realising I needed it. There story from colleagues to friends to more gave me all the feels and some. Noah is very much like Daniel in the sense he was stubborn and a little standoffish until he met Hannah. I loved seeing this tale through and they sure had some twists and turns along the way. I have to mention Noah’s mum she was adorable and I loved her Cupid’s effort it really did make me chuckle and gave me such love.
Not only has Cressida McLaughlin created a truly gorgeous Christmas story that encompasses everything you could wish for from the season. From the food to the mulled wine, mistletoe and the most perfect music alongside the stunning location of Porthgolow. This time around we’re also given a heartbreaking ghostly story and a love story to warm your heart forever more. The sense of community spirit and how each and every person who visits feels a sense of longing. It’s like Porthgolow sparks creativity and love.
I will warn you Hannah is a self obsessed foodie and my did I get hungry listening to her talk of food. I absolutely loved finding out more about Hannah and her own history with the town. I look forward to seeing how she’s doing in the next instalments.
A stunningly festive read, that is just as loveable out of season. I have until now read the segments of this tale but this one was a gorgeous audio read that gave me the added Cornish accents which really made the listening.
Just when you wonder where the story will go next there’s another couple to warm your heart. I already have part one of the Cornish Cream Tea Wedding on my kindle and I believe part two will be on its way tomorrow so will have to slot those into my reading.
Today I am pleased to be a part of this fabulous book blitz for Ravenous Snakes. I was part of the cover reveal for this one and I was itching to be a part of it again today. So sorry for the delay in the post I had messed up a few of the dates…eeek better late than never eh?
Blurb: In the sequel to Chameleons, a pregnant Zia is determined to excommunicate her best friend, Jazmine, from her life. After the fallout from Baxter’s death, Zia has secluded herself to avoid public harassment. However, a stranger is able to wiggle through the cyber blockade, and send her a series of eerie emails that elude to Baxter’s ominous plan. One she’d thought had died with him.
About the Author: Onyx Gold is a writer of all-things romantic suspense. The stories Onyx writes are primarily imitations of life with extreme twists. Onyx’s debut title, Chameleons, is the first in a tantalizing, unexpected trilogy.
As ever thank you to the fabulously efficient Love Books Tours for including me in this blitz.
Blurb: Would a proper adult ignore the spilt milk under the fridge for weeks?
Would a proper adult take three years to post a solitary Christmas card?
Would a proper adult have decades-old underwear in active service? Mike Gayle is nowhere near being a proper adult – even though his tenth wedding anniversary is looming; his second child is due any moment; and in less than twenty-four hours he is going to be officially closer to forty than he is to thirty.
Appalled by this lack of maturity, Mike draws up a To-Do list containing every single item he’s been meaning to do but just keeps putting off…
He’s got a lot of stuff that needs doing. But unlike previous To-Do lists, he promises himself that this one will actually get DONE. And along the way, Mike will learn stuff about life (323), love (999), friends (1004) and family (9) and finally work out what it means to be a grown up (846).
Review: The To-Do List is soo much more than just a list. Men are more often than not known for not completing average jobs around the house and then some, and in this book Mike Gayle takes it on a whole new level with a list spanning over 1,000 items. I loved the quote from I Capture The Castle at the beginning – I loved that book so much and I found it apt and heartwarming.
I absolutely loved every single second of listening to this book, the only thing that would have made it better would have been if Mike had read it himself. There were so many anecdotes to this one that may have been lost in just reading it, but in hearing certain scenarios there were a fair few chuckles from me.
I have to mention the AOL call omg! I was howling but there was part of me thinking, you can definitely see the time change. As much as I found this hilarious the political correct squad would have been up in arms at it. Even though every single one of us has been through one of these mind numbing calls before. It was completely real to life and the scriptness had me laughing and feeling the pain of that long winded call.
I loved at the heart of this list was many things that as adults we mean to do but life gets in the way. Like checking in with old friends and colleagues and simple things like spending more time with the ones we love. To self care aspects like to lose weight – I love how Mike has been brutally honest throughout.
It’s also made me want to know more about long suffering wife Claire. She’s a calming presence throughout and she’s supportive of her husband even on some of the most crazy aspects of the list. There were also some amusing tales that included Claire.
I’m also extremely interested in books and scenarios that I can relate to. Over the years I’ve attended many TV shows and from the mentioned ones I had been to The Wright Stuff and TOTPs. I’ve never watched Countdown but I have been a part of the TV audience when myself and my group of friends were the youngest in the audience it could have been The Alan Titchmarsh show. I found myself laughing so hard at this as I could see the scene as it played out from my own memories.
I love how The To-Do List came about a bit like keeping up with the Jones’s, and how it transpired into a book and most importantly how it made Mike look at things for the better and to acknowledge what either wasn’t working or wasn’t right for him.
The To-Do List is a funny, a motivating and real to life book that is thought provoking and amusing in equal measure. Another treat from Mike Gayle, I really do love his humour and getting into his writing late has been a blessing and an absolute pleasure.