2020, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

Monday doesn’t have to be dull….

Afternoon all…so in light of just how hard life can be let’s all do all we can to be kind. In every single situation think before you act. Our actions speak far louder than our words ever will. Once upon a time here on Hayley Reviews I had a segment called Monday motivation and smiles and now I just want and need more Monday kindness. It’s half term this week so I know there are a number of frazzled Mums and Dads out there. Hang in there guys you’re doing a great job.

This morning I managed one item off my to do list and I was lucky enough to spend some time at our local coffee shop with my sis and my nieces and nephew. Although my oldest niece was off playing games in the other room it was nice to be able to help my sis even for a short while now I’m awaiting my transport to work.

It’s week three of mine and Catriona’s Paige Toon readathon and I’m loving every single second of this back catalog so far they have all been fresh reads for me as I didn’t get into Paige until The Last Piece of my Heart.

Whatever you do Be Kind…You never know may even post a review later too…

Uncategorized

Keyboard Warriors

I know in writing those two words I’ll be sent some sort of abuse. In light of the last 24 hours I’ve felt compelled to put pen to paper as so to speak. It’s not only celebrities that receive abuse and nastiness from trolls, over the years I’ve had messages on boyband message boards as well as on a few blogging platforms. At one instance I ended up doubting everyone around me and I was forced to stop writing. I did for a while before starting again on a different platform alongside a friend before that fizzled out.

Before Hayley Reviews there was Hayleyslilworld until I couldn’t take it anymore I made my page private it had consisted of book and film reviews, personal thoughts and links to various pieces I’d written on work placements for various publications. I then decided it was better for me to no longer participate in something that was making me cringe every time I had a notification. Not only slatting my words but me as a person. I deleted so many people off many social platforms and accused everyone of hounding me – whoever was sending me those nasty words got to me and had me doubting everyone. I didn’t want to share any of my thoughts as I wasn’t sure who I could trust. If you’re continually told you are a certain way you sadly start to believe it. I had got myself into such a state over it.

Even though I had suffered at the worst trolls I had started to miss the good sides of social media and blogging. I then became a volunteer and wanted to talk about my experiences as my life changed this blog then reverted to what I loved books. Even just last week I had a few not so nice messages telling me my reviews were rubbish but the plus I took was said troll had gone through a number of my posts skyrocketing my views for that day.

What happened to Caroline Flack shouldn’t have happened. None of us are perfect we all make mistakes in life. The sad reality with all things celebrity is everyone believes they have a right to their personal life and that is not the case. They are still human beings someone’s daughter, brother, sister, friend, mother, auntie.

No one should feel like they have no way out but to end it. In saying that check in on those friends who seemingly have it all and on those that always check in on you. Be kind and live in the now what’s gone we can’t change but what’s to come is on us.

2020, Author Love, Readathon, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Lucy in the Sky By Paige Toon

Blurb: Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone – not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke.

James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly’s brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world…

Lucy – a girl caught between two distant continents – and two very different men…

Review: Today sees the second book in mine and Catriona aka www.fabulousbookfiend.com Paige Toon read-along. For Catriona Lucy in the Sky was a re-listen for me it was a first read. I’m a huge Paige Toon fan but I first discovered her books when I read The Last Piece of my Heart – and from that moment I was hooked. This year I decided I will still be reviewing new books but I also want to read more for me this year and so far I’m having a good reading yeah. Saying that after finishing this beauty I was a little book hungover and reeling from Lucy’s story.

Lucy in the Sky is Paige’s debut novel and I’m so annoyed that it’s taken me this long to devour it. I have both a paperback and an ecopy of this book which was great for whilst I was eating and stuff as I could continue to read.

As ever Paige kept me on my toes and had me hooked from the off. From the beginning I adored Lucy yet I was sceptical over James and throughout I was left hooked but what way the story would change. I loved seeing Lucy reunited with her childhood friends and her going back to Australia.

Paige always manages to have very real situations and Lucy’s conundrum is something that can and does happen to many people. I hated how James always had a way of belittling her – when in reality Lucy is an awesome woman with lots ahead of her. The friendships, the love and the laughs really make this book. Nathan and Lucy are fantastic I really enjoyed the bad jokes which even had me thinking of some of my best male friends over the years new and old.

A tale of confusion, love, friendship and trust and lack of. I simply adore Paige Toon and going through her back catalogue is going to be an emotional rollercoaster I loved and loathed Lucy at times. There were times when I had to stop reading and I was simply so angry or overjoyed which meant reading this book was effortless yet it left me a little bereft at the end which is why I haven’t read anything else in between. Shortly I will be starting Johnny Be Good and I cannot wait.

2020, A thought? A question, Film, Uncategorized

Film Review: Bombshell

Synopsis: When Gretchen Carlson slaps Fox News founder Roger Ailes with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, not a soul could predict what would happen next. Her decision leads to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly coming forward with her own story, as well as multiple other women, inciting a movement that reverberates around the world.

My Thoughts: Wow! Firstly I was always going to publish a film review today but initially this was not the post I had in mind for today. Today I had hoped to share with you my thoughts on Lady Bird but seeing Bombshell made me desperate to share my thoughts on such a hard film.

I must admit when I first saw the trailer for Bombshell I was like this looks like trash, until I realised what it was about and then I was intrigued. If you’ve seen the trailer that’s not even the half of what you will experience.

Bombshell is an incredibly important story with such a hard hitting message for women. What saddens me is I don’t feel like it’s been marketed that well and it’s leaving a number of cinemas a lot sooner than I expected which is why I had to watch it this evening.

This film will should you the real importance of the me too movement and what those women went through.

Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron are all outstanding.

Over the years I’ve had a love hate relationship with Nicole Kidman come on I’m a massive Tom Cruise fan but I can say when I’ve seen a fantastic performance and she is incredibly fierce in her role as Gretchen she puts her career well and truly on the line for the sake of womankind and she holds no punches. There were a number of aspects to her story that I wasn’t expecting but truly empowering to say the least.

It’s an important message in showing the right and wrong in any aspect not just in the work place. There were a number of truly heart wrenching scenes where I was left overwhelmed and incredibly angry. There’s a particular scene with Margot Robbie where I was literally aching for her, you’re winded and truly heartbroken that someone so talented, beautiful and driven is broken down.

Charlize Theron is outstanding she’s fierce but also she knows her place. I loved seeing how her character unfolded.

Bombshell is a film I believe women should watch to be empowered and men should watch to know that that sort of behaviour is not ok and is not acceptable. I left that screening angry yet with a huge amount of gusto and girl power. It’s definitely a must see although I’m not sure it’s the sort of film I would watch again and again as it’s rather intense.

2020, Author Love, Book challenge, FabBookFiend Recommendation, Readathon, Uncategorized

Paige Toon Read-along Readathon

There are some books coming out this year that I am very excited about but probably one of my most anticipated 2020 releases is Paige Toon’s new novel The Minute I saw You. This one publishes on 14th May in the UK and I just can’t wait.

I was going through some of my top books of the decade at the end of last year and I noticed that I had a couple of Paige Toon novels sitting unread on my shelf so I thought what better way to get to them than host a readalong of all her back list titles in the run up to publication day of The Minute I Saw You? I spoke to my friend Catriona to see if she’d be on board and so we hashed out the details and here we are!

We’re going to be reading a book a week starting on February 1st and if there is a short story or sequel that goes with that book we’ll be reading that in the same week too. Catriona will be vlogging the whole process and we will both be hosting some discussions over on social media too. 

I’ve listed all the books and reading date below. If a short story/sequel has its own ebook version I’ve listed that, otherwise it can be found in the bind up of all the short stories/sequels One Perfect Christmas-so you have options of how you would like to read. 

We would also love to read the Jessie Jefferson novels as well but we know that young adult isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, just like adult fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so we’ll be doing those afterwards, at the end so you can choose to join in or not. 

I’m very excited about this readalong because some of these novels will be a first time read for me and others will be a much welcome re-read. I have some of these on audio, some on ebook and others in paperback form. Others I will be borrowing from my library so you have time to see if your library has them, or time to download or buy from your preferred outlet. I’ll leave links to each book if you still need to track them down. 

Here are the books and dates-any questions, just leave a comment on this post or get in touch with Catriona or I over on social media…

1/2/20 

Lucy in The Sky

8/2/20 

Johnny Be Good

15/2/20 

Baby Be Mine

Johnny’s Girl & extra scene

22/2/20 

Chasing Daisy

Daisy Says Goodbye

29/2/20 

Pictures of Lily

When Lily Met Alice

7/3/20 

One Perfect Summer

One Perfect Christmas

14/3/20

The Longest Holiday

Laura’s Longest Day

21/3/20 

Thirteen Weddings

A Christmas Wedding

28/3/20 

The Sun in Her Eyes

4/4/20 

The One We Fell in Love With

Rose’s Big Night Out

11/4/20 

The Last Piece of My Heart

Bridget’s Beach Proposal

18/4/20 

5 Years From Now

25/4/20 

If You Could Go Anywhere

2/5/20

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson

9/5/20

I knew You Were Trouble

16/5/20

All About The Hype

23/5/20

The Minute I Saw You

Any questions or comments, just leave them below or get in touch with Catriona or I over on social media. And remember this is just a fun readalong and a way to get hyped up for The Minute I Saw You. You don’t have to read all the books, feel free to jump in and out as you wish-happy reading!

I’m so so excited about this do get in touch if you are joining us even to just dip in and out.

2020, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Broken Hearts at Brightwater Bay By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?

Review: The minute a Holly Hepburn series is announced I normally at least order the first part and that is exactly what I did with this beauty. I was still awake around midnight on publication day, so I managed to read the prologue and the first chapter before my tired eyes started telling me to get back to this in the morning. If I hadn’t been captured by sleep this would have been an easy one sitting read, although I’m glad I got to discover this gorgeous setting and intriguing characters for a little longer.

From the moment I met Merry I liked her, she’s full of charm and character. Let’s face it she’s a writer so I was always going to adore her. During the prologue Holly set the scene in the most upsetting of ways for poor Merry she literally didn’t see it coming and my heart literally broke for her. Knowing Holly and her heroines though I knew early on that Merry is a tough cookie who deserves much better in life.

I’m such a fan of Holly’s writing and I love how there is differences for adverts, texts and emails it makes it feel more real if that makes any sense. I’ve never visited the Orkney Islands but I feel like Holly has painted an extremely atmospheric description of what the islands are like, they feel peaceful and full of life. Making me feel how I feel when I visit some of my most favourite holiday destinations that have me feeling happy and content.

As Merry discovers more and more about the locals and the history it’s as if you can feel the weight off her shoulders simply disappearing. Merry and Jess are the best of friends they are so different though and that works. Everyone needs a straight talking Jess who will tell you exactly what you need to hear even if you don’t really want to hear it.

I’m really enjoying everything about this novel and it’s shaping up to be another fantastic story from Holly. I’m intrigued by our Clark Kent in Niall and I’m hopeful that Magnus also makes a few more appearances. I cannot wait to see where the second part takes us in April.

2020, Author Love, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Secret Seaside Escape By Heidi Swain.

Now this lady was one of my favourites long before I had even read a single word from one of her books. As soon as I did though it’s safe to say I am well and truly hooked.

Although I must admit a number of her books have left me feeling somewhat hungry ready to devour the nearest bakery, but her stories and her characters have let me escape the many trials and tribulations of life.

Without further ado I give you The Secret Seaside Escape. I cannot wait for this as I’m a sucker for the seaside and as this is released in April it will be before any impending trips this year.

The cover is so vibrant yet homely I always feel at ease with sand between my toes. If that doesn’t appeal to your senses here’s the blurb…

Following a shocking revelation within her family, Tess Tyler is looking to escape her hectic city life – and where better to hide than Wynmouth, the seaside town she visited as a child, with its sandy beaches, stunning rock pools and welcoming community. But little does she realise, Wynmouth isn’t quite the haven she remembers it to be, and her real life is still threatening to catch up with her . . .

Also returning to Wynmouth is Joe. Having fled over a decade ago after an accident that changed his life forever, he’s back and is determined to face his demons. But, like Tess, Joe realises that the town is nothing like he remembers and quickly his arrival brings old tensions to the surface.

As the pair begin to familiarise themselves with the town they once knew, they each realise that the secrets they carry are becoming harder to conceal – but will revealing them bring the answers they’re looking for? Will Tess and her new friends finally get the second chance they’ve been hoping Wynmouth will give them?

What are your thoughts?

If that’s wet your appetite you can order it via The Secret Seaside Escape

2020, New Author to me, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Mr Nobody By Catherine Steadman

Blurb: Who is Mr. Nobody?

When a man is found on a British beach, drifting in and out of consciousness, with no identification and unable to speak, interest in him is sparked immediately. From the hospital staff who find themselves inexplicably drawn to him, to international medical experts who are baffled by him, to the national press who call him Mr. Nobody, everyone wants answers. Who is this man? And what happened to him?

Some memories are best forgotten.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient in a small town deep in the English countryside. This is her field of expertise, this is the chance she’s been waiting for, and this case could make her name known across the world. But therein lies the danger. Emma left this same town fourteen years ago and has taken great pains to cover all traces of her past since then.

Places aren’t haunted . . . people are.

But now something—or someone—is calling her back. And the more time she spends with her patient, the more alarmed she becomes that he knows the one thing about her that nobody is supposed to know.

Review: What a way to start 2020. Mr Nobody was my first Thriller and buddy read of the year and what a thrilling start. Just this morning on publication day here in the UK I finished reading this heart pounding tale. I have Catherine’s first novel awaiting me in my Audible library and it will definitely be pushed further up my list since finishing Mr Nobody.

When I first read the synopsis to this book I was intrigued and in the first few chapters my intrigue and my hunger to know more was apparent although the more I read the more answers I was hoping for. Catherine weaves a good story and I was left on the edge of my seat with many heart in mouth moments. The chapters are separated into Emma the Dr with a past that you are constantly wondering about until the later stages of the novel and that of Mr Nobody who also keeps throwing you off with your thoughts on who he is and what he wants. Each chapter leaves you with a sort of cliffhanger meaning you scramble to continue reading. It’s definitely one of those just one more chapter books for sure. I had mixed feelings about both narratives from time to time but I loved the omg ah-ha moments. This would make a fabulous book club pick I’m so glad this was a buddy read for me I loved sharing my thoughts and my intrigue with Catriona.

There are so many twists and turns and as the story progresses it gets harder and harder to put down. Catherine writes gorgeously descriptive where you can physically see what she’s describing and in doing so I saw both a truly gorgeous setting and a completely gory scene that has you reeling like it was your own personal nightmare.

If you’re looking for a truly thrilling read that will have your heart pounding and keep you awake until the small hours then look no further than Mr Nobody. There’s so much more I could say but I didn’t see any of what panned out oh actually that’s not strictly true one part I could totally see even if Emma couldn’t at the time.

2019, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

How are you spending the lull between Christmas and New Year?

As we enter this lull between Christmas and New Year it’s really got me thinking.

In this weird time space where those of us working are constantly not sure on what day it is let alone the time…I’m guessing that’s the same for you lucky ones with a long break enjoy it.

My reading hasn’t been as great as I would like and I’ve decided in this lull I would like to finish reading a few of my half started book before the New Year kicks in. I must be one of very few bookworms to not receive a single book for Christmas, my closest friends and family would say I don’t need anymore until I’ve finished the mountains that I have and in some ways they are right.

Today I did pre-order the next Mhari McFarlane which will be my first read of 2020 I should then be good and try and get through some of my ever toppling TBR pile.

In amongst spending time with two of my nieces and my nephew where I read a few of their books played mousetrap and generally had cuddles I also got back to Call Me Maybe a book that had intrigued me from the get go. One that I had instantly pre-ordered and one that is most definitely so me. It’s about a British girl called Cassie and it features a long forgotten fictional boyband. Also to anyone who knows me also extremely me, I’ve loved this book but blog tours and life have got in the way and now I’m fully focusing my spare time on this beauty.

In this kind of reflective mode of 2019 I can’t help but highlight truly loving my buddy reading with Catriona we have many plans for 2020 and I’m hoping we can get in loads more books in the new year.

So here is to a positive and productive 2020 with lots and lots of books.

2019, christmas, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: A Million Dreams By Dani Atkins

Blurb: Beth Brandon always dreamed of owning a florist, but today the bouquets of peonies and bright spring flowers are failing to calm her nerves. Because today, Beth has a life-changing decision to share with her husband. 

Izzy Vaughan thought she and her husband would stay together forever, but sometime last year, their love began to fade. They both find such joy in their young son Noah – but is he enough to keep them together? 

Eight years ago, something happened to these two women. Something that is about to bring them together in a way no-one thought possible…

Review: Wow!!! I didn’t want to start my review with just a simple word but wow this book was full of such raw emotion. I do have a few of Dani’s books but this is the first I’ve devoured and it sure as hell won’t be the last. If you have any recommendations send them my way.

A Million Dreams… is a story of two ladies Beth and Izzy who are strangers yet intertwined by an extreme circumstance, I feel like throughout reading this there were a number of gasps and ohs from me when I could see the drama unfolding. I’m not a mother myself but I can wholeheartedly sympathise with both ladies. The situation they found themselves in was beyond heartbreaking and I imagine this could happen in real life although you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.

I truly loved both Izzy and Beth deep down they are both strong independent women whose love for being a mother outweighs everything else in their lives. I was rooting for them both and found myself torn at multiple pages. Life really is a rollercoaster and seeing them both overcome so much had me tearful with a smile on my face.

Dani Atkins is quite simply a genius at weaving a heartbreaking tale, that keeps you guessing until the last page. I saw a few things coming but it was written well with lots of intrigue and hope. The way she writes about grief was spot on – I truly miss my grandparents to this day and both Liam and Beth really made me think. Dani has shown the true aspects of grief and the different stages of moving on.

Everything about this book gave me all the feels and reignited my hope in love and second chances…