Blog Tour, New Author to me

Blog Tour: Appetite By Anita Cassidy….

Blurb: Because everyone hungers for something…

Food and Sex: two appetites the modern world stimulates, but also the ones we are expected to keep under control. But what happens when we don’t?

Embarking on an affair, lonely wife and mother Naomi blossoms sexually in a false spring while David, the fattest boy at the local comprehensive and best friend of her son, struggles to overcome bullying and the apathy of his divorced mother.

David finally starts to learn about the mechanisms of appetite through a science project set by his intelligent but jaded teacher, Matthew. David’s brave efforts to change himself open Matthew’s eyes to his activist girlfriend’s dangerous plans to blow up VitSip, a local energy-drink company where Naomi works.

At the mercy of their appetites, this exciting debut novel shows that some hungers can never be satisfied…

Today I should be sharing my review but I haven’t finished this tasty treat as life has got in the way. I must say I am wholeheartedly loving it and when I have time and my eyes aren’t closing I’m devouring every second of it. So today I still wanted to honour my time on the tour for Anita and for RedDoor publishing so I have decided alongside the lovely Anna at RedDoor to share an extract and my thoughts. I’m sure in doing so you will also be itching to pick up this treat of a book….

David is the character I feel for most so far so I want to share an extract of his. As this book is split into three people David, Naomi and Matthew – the other two are great but without further ado I pass you over to David.

‘David!’ Kerri’s voice carried up the stairs. ‘Dinner, David!’ He got up slowly and went downstairs.

The word dinner had always been used loosely, and this

was especially the case since his dad had left. Walking into the living room, David smelt the meal before he saw it. The spicy aroma of fried chicken hung on the air, a calorific cloud. It smelt like Friday but it was still only Thursday. His mouth watered and he wondered why they were having this tonight. But, seeing the red and white boxes of crunchy chicken pieces, spiced burgers and onion rings, he suddenly didn’t care. The chips were pale and limp as always but the onion rings and popcorn bites…well, they were worth fighting his sisters for.

Staring hard at Kerri’s back as she walked into the kitchen, he felt the blackness from the day roil inside him. It was his favourite meal. Why had she bought his favourite? What was going on?

He sat down heavily on the sofa, waiting for her to come back in. The room was warm. It was dark outside but the curtains were still open.

‘I’ll shut these,’ said Kerri, moving to the window. ‘And then we can watch something… Shall we let David pick tonight, girls?’

‘Sure thing!’ said Emily brightly.

‘Awwww,’ moaned Jess.

Lying on the floor, mere inches away from the screen, she

was watching it with wide eyes, little pointed chin perched on laced-together fingers. She passed David the remote and stuck her tongue out at him. He scowled back. He wasn’t in the mood for her and her tween posturing tonight.

David continued to watch Kerri out of the corner of narrowed eyes. Having shut the curtains, she was now passing round drinks.

‘So, David can choose and then we can eat! I thought you might enjoy this tonight. And I got your favourite for dessert. A Viennetta! I thought: let’s go retro!’

David’s scowl hardened. Kerri only chattered like this when she was nervous. He looked again at the table. All the extra food. His own choice of movie. His preferred pudding. Why would she be trying so hard to make him happy?

He felt a pulse of anxiety beat through him. Despite the heat in the room, his whole body went cold.

‘He can’t make it, can he?’

The beat of silence was audible even over the noise of the television.

‘No,’ Kerri replied, unable to meet his eyes. ‘I’m so sorry, David. He texted this morning. Said he has to go away for work.’

There was another pause.

‘I’m really sorry. I know how much you were looking forward to it.’

‘That’s the second time he’s done that to David,’ piped up Jess. ‘Spanner!’

‘Jess!’ Kerri said sharply. ‘You know I won’t have you talk about your dad like that. Enough!’

David stared at the floor, face burning with a sharp mixture of shame, anxiety and disappointment, as well as that deep misery that only comes when someone confirms something that you suspected would happen all along. Not that suspecting it made it any easier to bear when it did eventually come to pass.

‘So, I got your favourite things in. And I thought, over the weekend, we could have a movie marathon… Hot dogs, wedges, popcorn, treats! We can snuggle up, watch DVDs, play games…’

‘Sure,’ David muttered and, reaching out for a burger, he popped open the box and began to eat.

They watched and ate in silence. David chewed his way mechanically through three burgers. He ate the onion rings and the little deep-fried balls of crispy chicken. He drank his way right through the two-litre bottle of Coke that Kerri had placed by his side. As the film progressed, and after the girls had been sent up to bed, David glanced up and noticed that Kerri hadn’t yet cleared the table of the things they had eaten. Despite feeling nauseous, he picked up the paper packet of chips and took a few out. They were stone-cold: granular and bland. The taste brought back what had happened the other lunchtime. He was used to the taunts but that had been something else. Feeling the knot of anger tighten beneath the sick feeling deep in the hard-soft folds of his belly, his fists and jaw involuntarily clenched. He sucked it up all day long at school and it was only at night or in the evenings, once the girls had gone to bed, that he could feel the anger heating up inside him, barely contained and waiting to explode like a chip pan about to catch alight.

Kerri came in with a mug of tea and a packet of biscuits. She sat down heavily in the armchair. David looked at the rolls of fat under her chin as she sat back and stared tiredly at the TV screen. Without even looking down, she peeled open the shiny dark-brown packet and took two chocolate digestives out of the top.

She’s the one who never cooked, thought David. She’s the one who was always busy, always working, always out doing something more important than preparing fresh food for us to eat. She’s the one who brought takeaways home. She’s the one who filled the fridge with fizzy drinks and sweets.

She’s the one who let Dad leave.

‘Do you want one?’ Kerri asked casually, placing the pack on the table. ‘I’ll take them back into the kitchen in a minute; don’t want to eat all of them…’ She trailed off and looked up, a rare moment of eye contact with her firstborn.

And, with that, David’s anger set alight.

‘No, I bet you don’t,’ he hissed back, voice hot and spitting. ‘Does it make you feel better to have someone even fatter than you to look at? Do you think I want to eat any more of the crap you buy? Do you think I want to look and feel like an enormous pile of shit every day? It’s your fault I’m like this – it’s your fault and I hate you. I hate you. I fucking hate you!’


Trying to ignore the dampening effect that his lack of speed was having on the impact of what he had just said, he lumbered up and off the sofa. Kerri was staring at him now, eyes wide and mouth open, stunned. And this – the fact that she looked so shocked, so fucking surprised – just made him angrier still. How could she not know? How could she not know how much it hurt?

He turned his back on her and stomped up the stairs. The fact that his knees ached, his back hurt and he felt sick just made him feel angrier. By the time he got to his room he could no longer contain it. Punching the pillows, he hit them over and over again, the feathers yielding, his stomach wobbling, his breathing shallow with the effort. He lay down heavily on the bed.

I’m even too fat to be angry, he thought.

The tears came next. As they ran down his face, hot and salty, he could feel them leaving sludgy tracks over his swollen cheeks.

There was a tapping on the door. He saw Kerri’s feet underneath it: patches of black against the strip of light coming through from the small hallway.

‘GO AWAY,’ he shouted.

The feet remained.

Minutes passed. There was another tap. ‘David… Please…’ David turned the volume on the television up.

There was another tap.

He turned the volume up even higher.

The feet moved on.

Suddenly feeling even sadder, David pulled open the

bedside drawer and grabbed a large, creamy-brown bag of Revels. Handful by handful, he ate them all, and then he stared at the television until he fell asleep.

Lying in bed the following morning, David still felt angry, but there was also a sense of embarrassment, of anxiety about having to go downstairs and see Kerri. His emotions had been served up scalding hot, and now, cold and congealed, it all seemed less important. He wondered why he had yelled. Well, he knew exactly why – he had been angry – but he was often angry and he usually managed to hide it. It was just that sometimes pretending not to care was too much. Sometimes it had to be released, squeezed out like the pus from a spot; and now he felt lighter – not really better, but a little lighter. He hoped that what would happen now was what always happened: she would act as if nothing had been said, and he would do the same. That pattern of behaviour was fairly reliable. Which was more than could be said for his dad.

David sighed and then got up. If he left it too late he would have to catch the bus, and that would definitely not make him feel better.

Washed and dressed, he went downstairs. As he approached the bottom of the stairs, he stopped, wobbling slightly but hesitating. ‘Jeez,’ he muttered. Even with the inches of MDF in between him and the shouting, it was ear-achingly loud.

‘It’s mine! You CAN’T have it!’ Emily was yelling.

‘It is NOT yours! I got it out of my drawer! It’s mine!’ Bracing himself, David went into the living room, wincing

at the noise as he opened the door.

Kerri came in from the kitchen. She looked tired; her face

was red and, with wet hair and her dressing gown still on, she was clearly also running late.

‘Are you still fighting over that hair clip?’ she cried out, exasperated. ‘I asked you to sort it out between yourselves!’

‘But it’s mine!’ said Emily.

I decided on this extract as I think this shows a lot of how David is feeling. He knows he needs to change his lifestyle but he’s the child he’s not the one making the dinner – he doesn’t call the shots. His outburst at Kerri for me was a turning point in understanding David’s struggles.

I love this book and I think Anita has a wonderful way with words and tells an intriguing yet very real and at times raw story. I’m bowled over by it and my review will come as soon as possible…

National Irish Coffee Day

National Irish Coffee Day….

Yup it’s true. Today is National Irish Coffee day, put it in your diary for next year.

I only found out about this day just before Christmas when I met the lovely Frankie at Waxy’s Little Sister – when she invited me to their event to celebrate it. I was over the moon and almost instantly booked the day off.

Fast forward to today and due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to work meaning I miss all the Irish coffee day fun. If you are in and around London do pop in today Waxy’s Little Sister you can find it behind the M&Ms store.

You will not be disappointed they have won awards for their Irish coffee and I can tell you they 100% deserve it. The creamiest sweetest Irish coffee I have ever tasted and I’m so so sad to have missed all the fun 😦 I was hoping this post would be full of gorgeous pics from said event.

This is from when I did sample this beauty. I hope to be heading in soon. I’m salivating just thinking about it I will have to settle for a Baileys coffee as that’s all I have at home.

Are you an Irish coffee fan? Show me your pics and let me know of your fave places to give it a go.

Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Springtime at the Cider Kitchen By Fay Keenan

Blurb: Caroline Hemingway can’t help but feel a little strange watching her ex sister-in-law marrying the owner of Carter’s Cider Farm, but she’s delighted Anna’s found happiness after the death of her late husband, and Caroline’s brother, James. If only Caroline could find her own love story…

Desperate to escape the rat race, Caroline decides to take the plunge and move to the idyllic village of Little Somerby, where she is given the task of opening and running a restaurant in one of the forgotten barns on the Cider Farm.

Opening and running The Cider Kitchen is no easy task, and there are many challenges on the way, but slowly Caroline feels she’s being accepted into the local community, and starts to believe she may have found her forever home. But secrets from her past seem destined to haunt her, and not even the attentions of the very dishy Jonathan Carter can distract her from all she’s left behind…

My thoughts: Sadly, I am only halfway through although on the plus side I’m well and truly loving it. Today has been a weird, busy and bittersweet day. It’s been three years since losing my Nan and it always gets me. I hoped to have had more time to have finished and I’m so annoyed to let Aria down so I wanted to make sure I posted something as it slipped me by recently.

I’m truly loving getting to know everyone at the Cider kitchen – Caroline and Johnathan are my faves. I’m admitting defeat on my reading for tonight as I’m shattered. This will come soon. I have another blog tour to sort but after that I’m back to this.

Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: One Summer in Rome By Samantha Tonge

Today on Hayley Reviews I’m pleased to share a gorgeous cover from the fabulous Samantha Tonge. I have read one of her books and I was completely mesmerised and I have a few of her books on my TBR pile and this one will be adding to it.

Blurb: To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.

Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!

Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…

A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK:

Publication date: 9th May 2018

Bio: Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.





As I said I read and loved this gorgeous treat from Sam you can read my thoughts here.

I was also lucky enough to get Sam to answer some questions for me you can read them here.

I look forward to devouring this treat.

2018, What’s On My Bookshelf

What’s on my bookshelf and what can you win…

I promised a new feature and here it is. Sorry it’s taken so long to get round to this, I was out fundraising for work and I tried to get a little reading in on the time I had spare.

So yesterday my bestie came over to help me sort my room out and I’m pleased to report will got loads done. I actually feel like I can spend lots more time in my room yay. In a short space of time we managed to move my bed and some of my other furniture round it’s still not perfect as I have to sort through a lot more stuff but it already feels more homely.

Anyway, the moral of this story is I have waaaay too many books. Don’t get me wrong there are some authors that I will never part with. I have already gave some to my shop at Cancer Research but I want to share my books with book lovers so here’s where you can bag some books.

Here’s a look at part of my shelf…

Today I am giving away…..


I have a paper version of part one of this and this gorgeous book deserves to be shared. We all should be kinder.

Let me know what book you would like to take off my hands and why. I will Be started a poll soon as to what I should read from my bookshelf to give away next.

Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: How (Not) to Date a Prince By Zoe May

So today after getting a well needed massage I came home to see this on instagram from Zoe May.

Now I devoured Zoe’s debut novel in two days and I’m so excited for her next offering, so I had to share this gorgeous cover ignore the black outline it’s the only pic I could get big enough. I’m so excited that I only need to wait until April for her next offering. I may even book the day off to immerse myself.

What do you think???

If somehow you didn’t see my review of Perfect Match then here it is

Review, Theatre, Uncategorized

Theatre Review: Six Musical -Divorced, Beheaded LIVE!

About: From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII sing their way out of the history books and into the spotlight.

With songs including Ex Wives, Haus of Holbein and Don’t Lose Ur Head, this pop concert remixes five hundred years of historical heartbreak into one hour of 21st century sass.

If you thought this show was all about one man – you thought wrong!

Review: I noticed this show just before Christmas and being a fan of Tudor England and Henry VIII it was right up my street. It took me a while to bag a ticket but like fate on December payday a ticket became available and I didn’t hesitate.

I bagged myself a ticket for the 10pm showing on Monday 15th January – my week off – the perfect start for my me time.

The show is 70 mins with no interval – I really like the Arts theatre as they always show a variation of shows and it’s big enough to get a decent audience but still has an intimate feel. Before I went to the show I saw it was described as Little Mix meets the six wives and I can see that wholeheartedly.

I had such a great time – learning about Tudor England it was one of my highlights at school and since then I have lapped up The Tudors and Wolf Hall. What I loved about Six is the spotlight is on the ladies in question. Anyone who has briefly heard of the history knows certain wives like Anne Boleyn – who changed history and was immensely controversial and in this all six get their chance to shine. It was fun how the ladies are telling their story to become the lead singer of the group or are they?

I had such a fantastic evening smiling from ear to ear throughout. It made me realise just how much I enjoy Tudor England and this revamped sassiness of girl power through songs was just what I needed.

There is one more day of shows on 22nd January and if you can bag a ticket do so it was such fun.

2018, novella, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: Frosty Mornings at Castle Court By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Cat is burned out from working long hours as a chef. 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 the cocktail bar that overlooks the court.

Review: As midnight hit and we left 2017 and came into 2018 this beauty pinged through onto my Kindle. I ended my year with getting my eyes tested which left me feeling distraught before meeting friends and heading to the fireworks in Central London – my what an experience that was. I believe I started this on January 1st but I was one of the unlucky souls who had to work. Part one of this gorgeous series by Holly Hepburn left me wanting more and feeling annoyed with Sadie and extremely saddened for Cat.

Hmmm I’m not sure that I have forgiven Sadie just yet – there will be no spoilers from me.

In part two as Cat was approaching her meeting I could feel the tension and I felt like I was on eggshells for her. She’s such a strong soul and a best friend you would be happy to have but she also has an extremely vulnerable side – yet she tries to hide it for the sake of those she cares about. I absolutely loved her lawyer a kick ass female who was confident and composed during Cat’s mini meltdown.

I love how Holly manages to keep me on the edge of my seat. I was not expecting half of what happened especially who had Cat’s back in the end. I’m a huge fan of Adam and I hope to see more of him in part three I won’t be saying anymore than that as I wouldn’t want to ruin how the story plays out.

Another gorgeous part of a tremendous story, the atmosphere of Castle Court is of somewhere you would want to visit. A right little family of businesses who will do anything to help each other bar a few residents. I just instantly fell in love with these characters.

Holly Hepburn’s writing is like having a catch up with a friend. I’m instantly transported to a world I feel happier and light. Escapism at it’s best, eagerly awaiting part three.

Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Best Boomerville Hotel By Caroline James

Today at Hayley Reviews I am pleased to share Caroline James newest cover for The Best Boomerville Hotel – which is part of Choc Lit’s newest imprint Ruby Fiction.

Now I don’t know about you but this cover screams family road trip and I love that idea. Most of my favourite childhood times have been on a beach with my crazy family. It’s the one place we are all relaxed and carefree and in some ways where we are our real selves.

Blurb: Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!

Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun.

So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

The Best Boomerville Hotel Links:





 Caroline James Links:


FaceBook:  Caroline James Author

Thank you once again to Rachel for including me in this fab reveal. I am a huge lover of Choc Lit books so I’m looking forward to seeing what Ruby Fiction has to offer.

2018, debut novel, New Author to me, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Perfect Match By Zoe May

Blurb: Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

Review: What a truly brilliant debut novel from the lovely Zoe May. I believe I first saw this advertised on Twitter and I was immediately intrigued and my interest was well and truly piqued.

Having struggled to read lately thanks to piercing headaches – this was the perfect anecdote to get me back into my reading mojo after finishing a short read on Saturday night I then dived into this – giving Zoe regular updates on Twitter. I love being able to connect with the author almost instantly. It often adds to the fun.

Sophia and Kate are such adorable characters that easily feel like friends from the off. From time to time I really did feel for Sophia – I often feel like that friend that everyone keeps asking about when I will find a man. Although unlike Sophia I haven’t trawled through online dating apps. I loved the scenes when Sophia jokingly said to Kate her ideal man for her new and improved online site – seeing as the other 71 hadn’t worked. It was humorous to see the results including what she least expected to find…

I loved the tales of her interesting dates like how do you do polite with a guy that’s waffling on about tube station geography and battle games. But what you learn from this gorgeously witty read is you never can judge someone by one date or even a first impression.

Every girl out there wants their perfect man to surface but Sophia’s Robert Pattinson lookalike seemed like the real deal. I won’t be spoiling it but there are some twists and turns that will really make you think completely differently about what you want and what’s important in life – as in, in a relationship and what you want for you too.

I loved that Sophia and Kate live in Lewisham – I haven’t lived far from there for my whole life and for the past few years I have worked there which made this book even more humorous. Lewisham sure is an experience and I think Zoe depicts it well and with humour.

I loved the friendships in this novel especially that of Sophia and Kate, Sophia and Tom, Sophia and Sandra – the most unlikely working friendship that just works, Sophia and Lyn – a 75 year old lady with sass rocking one of my old karaoke favourites in I Will Survive and of course the university crew.

I wasn’t sure what I would think the ideal outcome would be but I well and truly loved how this played out and Sophia’s man sure was a keeper in the end.

Sometimes the perfectly imperfect love of your life is there when you least expect it and if it’s meant to be it will be. No matter how long it takes for you both to realise.

I loved this gorgeous book and I look forward to what Zoe does next.