2019, Author Love, Blog Tour, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: A Year At Castle Court By Holly Hepburn – win a copy of this beauty.

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Her best friend from childhood, Cat, is burned out from working long hours as a chef in Paris. In need of a change, they decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.
 
They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cat have the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in Seb‘s cocktail bar on the third floor!

Review: Ever since I discovered Holly Hepburn I’ve been mesmerised by her writing. What I love about devouring one of Holly’s novels is that I’ve instantly escaped whatever mundane worries I have for a short time at least. Her novels feature kick ass women and men to die for as well as those we love to hate. I must admit her latest set of instalments I’m a tad behind on as I’ve been studying but I’m in the midst of getting my studies, reading and my life in general more organised.

Anyway today I’m pleased to be a part of the gorgeous blog tour for A Year At Castle Court. I’m one of these people who originally took forever to get to e books but then it seemed like the best of both worlds. I read this beauty when it was originally released in four parts and as with any Holly book I was eagerly left wanting more after each instalment, so much so I had pre-ordered each part and had kind of forgotten until they pinged though.

From the off I was taken with Sadie and Cat very different women but simultaneously very good friends. Their friendship and partnership was a joy to read. These girls sure did go on an emotional rollercoaster ride but what was always paramount was their bond – even when they didn’t really agree or like what the other was doing.

As I said I read this beauty in stages and I was hooked from the get go my thoughts are all here.

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/book-review-snowy-nights-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/book-review-frosty-mornings-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/book-review-part-three-stormy-weather-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/book-review-starry-skies-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

Be sure to check out all the other stops on this truly fabulous tour. I’m also giving one lucky UK person the chance of winning this treat.

Tell me why you would love to delve into Holly’s Castle Court? And what your hopes are for 2019.

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2019, Author Love, debut novel, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton By Anstey Harris

Blurb: Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

Review: Honestly I don’t know where to start. Before reading this truly gorgeous book I was struggling with my reading, nothing would hold my gaze even though I was reading good stuff it just wasn’t what I needed, and then I picked this up and everything changed.

On my train journey I quite easily had devoured three chapters and was already left with a few OMG moments. It’s safe to say The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton snapped me out of my reading slump and left me with the most unexpected book hangover. What Anstey Harris has created is a truly unique book that will stay with me forever, when I read that final line and closed the book I knew just how special this was.

I really liked Grace from the beginning even though at times she frustrated me a hell of a lot. I loved being on her journey and seeing her realise she deserved the best of life and she wasn’t getting it. I loved seeing that dramatic change in her it made me whoop for joy for Grace and for everyone woman with a dream.

I’m so sad to not be at the launch event of this beautiful book but I haven’t been well and I was in urgent care until late last night and had to work today so it was just unfortunate timing.

2019

2019

It’s day four of a brand spanking new year and this is my first post, and let’s be frank it’s not a bundle of joy. (Sorry for the spoiler and the negativity.) I started 2018 feeling sorry for myself as I felt disgusting and unhappy for a number of vain and in some ways selfish reasons.

I started 2019 feeling sorry for myself as I’ve been under the weather, but in true Hayley style I have tried my hardest to soldier on but in the last few days I’ve had to listen to my body and take some time out – as much as I have done that I’ve still been worrying and stressing over a number of things and that’s also not helping my recovery at all. I’ve just had a vapour bath and that’s helped me breathe again and now I’m vitamin C -ing, myself. I have a number of personal development things I should be doing ahead of an assessment on Tuesday. As it stands I’m trying my hardest to be fit to attend.

My reading has taken a nose dive from my studies and sickness etc and I have half started books on the go. I was thinking of reading You after watching the Netflix series but I decided I needed this lady back in my life. I know that it will make me think and old memories will come up but that’s all part and parcel of life.

So I’m off to devour this before bed as I need to rest and work on studies. I also hope to organise my bullet journal my word or words for this year is belief or believe in yourself. I need to do more of that…in 2019.

Uncategorized

Goodbye to 2018 and Hello to 2019

So we’ve reached the penultimate day of the year. I love that Facebook now has memories as you can see snapshots of what you’ve said and done previously. Seeing what’s changed and ultimately what hasn’t.

Last New Years Eve I was trying to embrace a lot of changes and the things that made me sad then don’t really bother me in the same way this year. I’m not perfect and 2018 hasn’t been wholly perfect but I have started a chain of events that I’m proud of. As the year has ended my blogging and reading has spiralled but that’s because of a number of other events that have been going on in my life.

Today I have no plans bar going with my sister for my niece and nephews jabs and making a doctors appointment for myself which resulted in a call back and some antibiotics – I had a few medicinal Irish coffees yesterday so I’m all good to stick to hot orange.

Time to be productive so I can get back to the extremely good Netflix show YOU. Whatever you do today do it with a smile.

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Helpline By Katherine Collette

Today I’m back to my Exercise to Music course and there is a multitude of emotions for me. It will be great to be back with the girls but I don’t feel I’ve had enough time for my routine and I’m still lacking music argh.

That’s not the reason for this post….the lovely team at Simon & Schuster always have time for us lovely bloggers and I was chuffed to be included in some of the info on this book.

So without further ado and I’m super sorry for the delay I had started this post before I got to my classroom this morning but exam prep and stuff just got in the way….

Now I don’t know about you but I could murder tea and Jammy dodgers right now. This debut will be hitting the shelves in June 2019. If your not sold on the cover here’s a bit more to wet your appetite.

Blurb: NEVER PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD …

Germaine Johnson may not be all that good with people but she’s great with numbers. Unfortunately, as she discovers after ‘the incident’ at Wallace Insurance (and the subsequent disputed allegations), there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians. Then her cousin gets her a job at the council. On the Senior Citizens Helpline.

It’s not the resumé entry Germaine wanted – but it turns out Mayor Verity Bainbridge has something more interesting in mind for her. A secret project involving the troublemakers at the community centre and their feud with the golf club next door. Which is run by the strangely attractive Don Thomas.

Don and the mayor want the seniors closed down. Germaine wants what Don and the mayor want. But when she’s forced to get to know the ‘troublemakers’- things get more complicated.

Witty, big-hearted and hugely enjoyable, The Helpline is what you might get if you crossed The Rosie Project with The Office.  If you have ever wrestled with the world of office politics, this charming debut novel is for you.

So what are your thoughts?

2018, Author Love, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: A Little Christmas Charm By Kathryn Freeman

Now before I talk of anything to do with this blog tour I need to mention how fabulous Kathryn Freeman is. She’s been so supportive of me as a blogger especially of late when I’ve felt extremely belittled. As soon as this book was announced I knew I had to make sure it was in my festive reading. I’ve loved Kathryn’s brooding males although Owen is a totally different breed but I will get to that later.

I’m ashamed to say I still have a number of her books in my ever expanding TBR.

Blurb: Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

Review: Now I’m not sure how I can truly do this festive treat justice? I will also do my utmost to not ruin the story.

From the off I warmed to both Gabby and Owen the banter and camaraderie along the way had me smiling and laughing out loud a lot. I loved seeing these two blossom and the many hurdles that they had to overcome but did they? I hear you say. You will have to read it to find out. I adore Christmas especially as an auntie to five but I love how Kathryn has encompassed how Christmas should be with traditions etc etc and how that is not always the case for all families.

I cannot begin to understand Gabby’s childhood but I know it happens. The other aspect that Kathryn has done amazingly well is that of grief. We lost my Nan to Cancer which is partly my reasoning for working for Cancer Research.

Christmas is a time of reflection I always have Boxing Day as another family day as that was when we visited Nan & Grandad I miss them terribly especially then but just like Owen & Sidney life goes on and we would be doing a disservice to their memories.

Kathryn manages to write a love story amongst a Christmas tale that will have you swooning for your very own dreamboat. Owen is completely different to the men I have read of hers before and not only making Gabby laugh he had me on tender hooks. There were so many character duos that I loved in this book.

Kathryn please please take us back to these again.

A Little Christmas Charm is everything you want in a festive read and more so much so I went straight into Costa and got a Gingerbread latte….this has really got me in the mood for the festive season even though I’m as stressed as the next person in regards to spending – as ever we probably all spend too much but I love making people’s day.

Do make sure you check out the rest of this truly fabulous tour for one of my most favourite authors.

Purchase Link 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Christmas-Charm-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B07GNL7VN8

Author Bio – 

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero. 

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links – 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

For your chance to win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith which was Kathryn’s offering last year click the link below and GOOD LUCK!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494161/?

Massive thanks to Rachel for organising this festive tour of one of my favourites and what a gorgeous story it was.

2018, Blog Tour, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: What Are You Like By Shelley Day

Happy Monday I’m back to work, have my headphones in listening to my main man on Magic as I walk into work. It’s been an enlightening and crazy week away studying – don’t get me wrong I Have coursework to be doing this week and practice so it’s to be another crazy one. Plus I also have to factor in payday madness to get organised for Christmas as well as those boring bills.

Enough about me today I am pleased to share a cover reveal thanks to the lovely Kelly at Love Books Group. Kelly is one of those bloggers who manages to empower others so when I can help her out I’m pleased to be on service.

Without further ado here is the cover.

For me this cover is simple and effective it would definitely make me reach to read the blurb so here it is.

Blurb: These stories ask us: what are you like? Watch the characters grapple with what life throws at them, never quite sinking under the weight of it all. Shelley Day’s stories explore what we can’t quite grasp. They celebrate the uncertainties of language. The settings here are exquisitely imagined no-man’s-lands- at once strange yet oddly familiar. Here are worlds where the improbable becomes possible: a mother finds herself living on a library shelf, a diner finds words sliding from his menu into nothingness, a psychiatrist cracks up in front of his patient, and there’s a stain on the wall that won’t stop spreading. These extraordinary stories take us to the psychological hinterlands that make us who we are. What are you like? Do you know the answer?

Bio: Shelley Day is an award-winning writer, a European totally opposed to Brexit, a Geordie lass, a lapsed lawyer and academic psychologist. She was named as an Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature ‘emerging writer’ in 2013 and has since appeared at numerous literary festivals. Her debut novel The Confession of Stella Moon (Saraband, 2016) won the Andrea Badenoch Prize and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. In 2015 she won a Northern Writer’s Award to support this debut short story collection. Represented by Jenny Brown.

Kelly thank you for including me in this cover reveal this sounds like a truly fantastic book.

 

2018, Author Love, Review

Book Review: One Perfect Christmas and other stories By Paige Toon

Blurb: One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?

Review: Paige Toon is one of my most favourite authors and I instantly want to read anything and everything she writes. I started this on publication day and due to a number of reasons I’ve been in and out with it but I’ve loved it all the same.

Of late I’ve been criticised as a blogger and as I stated last week was my initial week of my Exercise to Music course – this week I’m back to work but have a lot of revision and practice to do. I do hope to be on here more though as I still have a whole host of posts sitting in drafts. If anything I hope to have posted them this week.

I’ve not read One Perfect Summer but that didn’t hinder me devouring One Perfect Christmas. It feels strange to be reading Christmas books in October but I just cannot resist a Paige Toon novel.

How I still have unread books I don’t know but I’m also kind of glad as there’s always a new friend to give me a warm hug when I need it most. I love that Paige has added in little explanations before each story – makes me feel like Paige is telling me about them over a coffee all warm and cosy.

I warmed to Alice instantly and I can’t wait to go back and be fully immersed in Jesse and Emily too. I’m not really a fan of the cold but Paige describes the settings and the scenery of Cambridge in the snow so beautifully and the cottage omg I want one. I love that the story doesn’t really end which means Paige may return to Alice and Joe at a later date.

Johnny’s Girl – Johnny Be Good has been on my radar for a while esp as there are the YA books connected to that which I have a few of. Another I haven’t read but if anything it’s made me more excited to read them. I can see why everyone loves Johnny I’m a sucker for a singer. I’m also super excited to read more about Jessie. I must say I instantly adored Meg.

Daisy says Goodbye- This was truly gorgeous and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m going to have such a hard time working out what Paige book to devour next.

When Lily Met Alice – Now this short story had all the feels.

Rose’s Big Night Out- The one we fell in love with is a book that truly sucked me in and spat me out and I had such a book hangover that I never wrote a review on this because I just didn’t know how.

Bridget’s Beach Proposal – Bridget will always have a special place in my heart as The Last Piece of my Heart was my first Paige Toon read and what a way to start. I finished reading it late night/early hours of the morning and I sobbed my heart out. It’s been great to have Bridget back and I would love Paige to bring her back again.

A Christmas Wedding – When I first met Paige July 2017 we spoke about this as she was writing it and I was told but Paige and a few friends to read Thirteen Weddings first. I truly loved it and in this collection re-reading A Christmas Wedding gave me all the feels. I would love to read more of Bronte and Alex everyone needs that kind of love. Le sigh.

Laura’s Longest Day – now this was a beauty of a short and I look forward to spending more time with Laura and Leo.

I’ve loved The Hidden Page and I hope that Paige continues to extend her gorgeous stories. I always get so invested in her stories and characters so I’m glad I still have lots to read. This is a beautiful book to read at anytime but also around the Christmas period. The cover is gorgeous my one upset is the silver has started to fade on my book but I will end up re-reading this in later years.

What should I read next of Paige’s?

I’ve read The Last Piece Of My Heart, The One We Fell in Love With, Thirteen Weddings, and Five Years From Now.

2018, Fitness, personal, Uncategorized, update

A brand new journey – Exercise to Music

Today I’m embarking on a brand new journey and I’m scared and excited.

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Sporty Spice aka Melanie C. I adored everything she stood for, a kick ass female who proudly sported a football shirt in a society where girls are expected not to understand the beautiful game.

Ever since taking GCSE PE I always thought I would do more with it. I’d lived and breathed Netball, running and trampolining to name a few of my favourite sports. I don’t know what changed I guess I became overlooked and then my love of writing and of all things media overtook and as I got older I started going out and my exercise regime slowly diminished.

Earlier this year I learnt more about myself and how I treat my body. Not only have I started eating foods I would never have imagined and lessened foods that I’d ate in excess I also discovered fitness sessions that I adore and for me that’s what has changed. I’ve been doing Zumba on and off for years and I’m not saying I don’t love it but for me it wasn’t enough and now that my food is a lot better alongside that a stupid amount of walking and Fight Klub I now feel like I get proper decent workouts. I’ve also just recently started Piyo which I also love – it’s bloody hard work and takes it out of me but it’s so good for the strengthening of my body.

I’m now on my lunch break and I’ve learnt so much already.

Find what you love and run with it.

2018, Author Love, Blog Tour

Guest Post: Finding Jess Blog Tour By Julia Ibbotson

Today I’m pleased to share with you a truly gorgeous guest post by Julia Ibbotson….so without further ado…..

Location Ghana, West Africa

My latest novel, published this summer, Finding Jess, http://mybook.to/FindingJess the third of the Drumbeats trilogy, is set in Ghana (West Africa) and starts with: “Outside, the sun is beating down pitilessly, that sweet-sour stink of rotten meat and putrefying vegetables in the open drains at the side of the road. Yes, she knows that intense heat, that smell, the sound of the kpanlogo djembe and the donde, those kente-clad mammies, from all those years before …”

Jess is haunted by her experiences in Ghana when she was an 18 year old on a gap year, the basis of the first of the trilogy, Drumbeats, http://myBook.to/Drumbeatstrilogy where she is fascinated as a girl in 1965, by the whole idea of Africa: she looks around her in wonderment: “The streets were incredibly noisy, smelly, and bustling with people calling out to each other across the streets, jostling Jess. Swarms of little boys were again surrounding her, pushing at her for attention. The hot thick air stank of rotting vegetables, spices, melting tarmac. Jess pressed herself against the safety of the wall as plump women swathed in bright Ghanaian cloth swept haughtily past her. Their babies swaddled on their backs blinked passively at her with glassy eyes and long black eyelashes. Shallow platters piled high with tomatoes and mangoes were balanced on turban-bound heads, as the women made their way gracefully up and down the dusty streets, taking no notice of the foul open drains and the begging children around their feet.”

Ever since I spent time working in Ghana, I’ve been driven by the desire to write about this fascinating country. As a writer, I like to create stories set in a particular time and location, as those are the books I love to read myself, such as Dinah Jefferies’s far eastern novels and Kate Mosse’s Languedoc series. Wonderfully evocative!

I try to use all the senses to make the reader feel as though they are actually there, to make it as vivid as possible. I was therefore thrilled to have reviews that said: “beautifully written, conjuring up the colour and culture of the country”, and “feel the searing heat of Ghana burning off the pages.” How lovely! Then I had: “It’s a brilliantly crafted book where sights, sounds and even smells of the Ghanaian way of life are conjured up quite vividly… details … woven so well into the fabric of the story it becomes an essential part of the read” and even “Julia Ibbotson’s descriptions of Ghana instantly transport the reader there… It is very clear that the author has spent some time in Ghana as her knowledge of the country and its political strife is extensive. I love the symbolism of the drums throughout the book, making it so atmospheric.”

Many thanks to those readers, whoever they are! If my readers can feel the location too, I’ve done my job OK.

Drumbeats: http://myBook.to/Drumbeatstrilogy

Walking in the Rain: http://myBook.to/WalkingintheRainDrumbeatstrilogy

Finding Jess: http://mybook.to/FindingJess

All my books are available on Amazon, in ebook and paperback editions:

http://Author.to/JuliaIbbotsonauthor

But do check out my other sites:

Author website: https://juliaibbotsonauthor.com/

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/JuliaIbbotsonauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JuliaIbbotson

Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book

http://pinterest.com/juliai1/

Goodreads author page:  https://www.goodreads.com/juliaibbotson

Thank you Kelly, what a gorgeous guest post that I’ve been able to read alongside my Beanies coffee.