2018, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: The Letter Kitty’s Story By Eliza J. Scott

Super sorry for the radio silence my hayfever has been awful it’s literally left me with pulsating headaches which haven’t been fun. I have well and truly missed my books. Hoping to get some reading in tomorrow but until then I have two amazing blog tours to share with you up first is The Letter – Kitty’s Story….so without further ado.

Hi there Hayleyreviews 10, thank you for taking part in the publication day blog tour for my new book.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 5 where Kitty is about to confide in her big brother, James (Jimby), about feeling unhappy with the state of her marriage. He’s called round to drop off her Labradors, Humphrey and Ethel, who he’s been looking after for the weekend while Kitty and her family have been away…

With a weary sigh, Kitty flopped into a dining chair. ‘I’d love to talk, but the last thing I want is to get you involved, and all wound up. I’ve been so stupid, and it’s taken me a long time to open my eyes properly and be honest with myself about the situation I’m in. I feel partly to blame because I’ve allowed myself to become a victim and that’s something I really don’t want to be.’

James let out a low whistle. ‘Wow. That sounds pretty serious. I think you don’t have any other choice but to tell me. I’m your brother, and we’re all we’ve got since Mum and Dad died. I know you’ve got the kids, but you know what I mean. You’ve only got me to look out for you and vice versa,’ he said.

She looked down at her hands, her thin fingers, with nails bitten right down to the quick, were busy twiddling and twisting the soggy tissues. She felt a desperate sadness deep in the pit of her stomach, but she knew she wasn’t going to cry anymore. Not today at least; her supply, for now, was depleted. ‘Have you got time for this? I know you’ve got a load of work on and I…’

James raised his hands, ‘Don’t you go worrying about me. I’ve got no one to answer to. Apart from Jerry Springer and Jarvis Cocker, of course,’ he said, referring to his spaniels. ‘That’s the beauty of being your own boss.’ James was the local blacksmith, like their father who’d trained him. He’d taken over the business after their parents died.

‘If you’re sure?’

‘Absolutely. I was only going to call in on Ollie, I’ve got a few things I’d like to run by him, but we can always do that later over a beer. And there’s nothing so urgent I can’t have a chat with my little sister.’ A low bark emanating from James’s Landie interrupted him. ‘Ahh, yes. My reason for calling round was to drop off those two wayward Labradors of yours.’

‘Wayward? That sounds ominous, what have they been up to?’ Kitty wiped her nose, feeling slightly awkward at the mention of Ollie’s name.

‘Well, Ethel’s been as good as gold, but Humphrey’s been an old tart again. Usual stuff, flirting outrageously with anything in a sequinned collar. And now he’s in the dog-house with his missus. Ethel’s giving him the silent treatment.’

‘Oh, poor old Humph. When’s he going to realise at twelve he’s too old to be a Casanova?’ Kitty giggled. ‘It’s very undignified behaviour for a gentleman of his advanced years. No wonder Eth isn’t speaking to him.’

‘Hey, it’s not his fault he’s irresistible to the ladies, it’s his animal magnetism. You should’ve seen the latest hot bitch who caught his eye; the one who’s caused all the trouble. A right little floozie she was. Honestly, Kitts, Humph’s got no taste. She was that fluffy the only way you could tell her head from her arse was because she was wearing a bright pink top covered in those sparkly diamond things. Very tight it was too — in all the wrong places.’

‘Oh, Humph.’

‘It gets worse. He made an arthritic attempt at humping the furball’s head and ended up falling on top of her. Blamed it on his cataracts. Her owner wasn’t impressed, but don’t worry, it wasn’t anyone we know.’

Humphrey gave another bark and James headed for the door. ‘Sounds like someone’s keen to see his mum — if you’re willing to take him back after hearing that, of course.’ He gave one of his trademark wide grins.

‘I’m always keen to have them back, the house isn’t the same without them.’

Kitty followed her brother to the front door and watched as he opened the rear of the Landie. Ethel leapt out first but, due to his arthritic legs, Humph had to be lifted down, and judging by the expression on Jimby’s face, it wasn’t an easy task.

‘Christ Humph, you solid old bugger, I think you’ve got heavier since I lifted you in there.’ Humphrey responded by licking James’s face, covering it with slobber. ‘Mmm, just what I need. Come on, let’s go and see your mum.’ He set the elderly Labrador down, wiped his face with the sleeve of his jumper and rolled his eyes good-naturedly.

Ethel charged down the path, tail wagging at the sight of Kitty. ‘Hiya, Eth.’ The Labrador stopped for a quick ruffle of her ears before running into the house to check her bowl for biscuits. Humph tried a trot, which wasn’t much faster than his walk. He was in raptures, a wide smile on his grey muzzle, his otter-like tail wagging so hard it made the generous proportions of his rear wiggle. ‘Hiya, handsome. I hear you’ve been hell-raising with the ladies again.’

Back in the kitchen, she flopped into the rocking chair while Humph sat on the floor beside her, resting his head in her lap and enjoying her gentle, rhythmic pulling of his velvety ears. Soon sleep got the better of him and, with a harrumph, he eased himself down, laying his head on Kitty’s feet, and before long the kitchen was filled with the rumble of his snores.

James, who’d been sitting at the table opposite Kitty, jumped to his feet when the shrill whistle of the kettle sounded. ‘You look like you’re slightly indisposed, with Humph sleeping on your socks, so I’ll make the tea while you tell me what’s been happening. If you’re still up to it?’

I’m also here to say that Eliza has a fantastic international giveaway for a paperback copy of the letter which also includes these gorgeous treats.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949499/

If you’re not in it you can’t win it so get involved right now.

2018, Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Butterfly Ranch By RK Salters

On this fine Saturday I’m here to share an extract from Butterfly Ranch.

To anyone who follows my Twitter I put up a poll yesterday to aid what I posted today. However, I had forgotten that this little beauty would be today’s post. Without further ado I will let the extract do the talking.

Chapter 3 –  Tristan Griffin has been rescued from a suicide attempt and lies unconscious upstairs in Butterfly Ranch. Stuck at the lodge until Griffin comes to, Altamont Stanbury wonders where his mysterious partner is gone.)

Altamont saw himself as a painstaking investigator. Throughout his career, he had prided himself on thorough research and the punctilious collection of evidence and testimonies. Cases were so rare and petty, this had hardly ever been of any use. The other officers in his life poked fun and nicknamed him Stanbury of the Yard.

He secretly took this as a compliment and persisted. He could not help himself. Even now, close to the retirement age, with little work coming his way, he was still the only officer in the Toledo region to do overtime. Little did anyone know that his overtime was not spent solving crimes, of which there were not enough, but reading detective books.

Standard procedure in the Griffin case would be to inform the next of kin straight away. Indeed, Altamont had wondered about this the night before. Once the medical emergency was under control, he had carried out a thorough inspection of the rooms.

Two of the upstairs rooms contained clothes that belonged to Griffin’s absent partner, though most of those were too warm for Belize. The toiletries in the bathroom were inconclusive; there were items that would have belonged to a woman, but nothing with traces of use in the immediate past. He searched through a desk and found Griffin’s passport, full of stamps and visas from around the world, but no form of identity or passport for the woman.

None of this proved that she had left, for whatever reason, but it was consistent with such a working hypothesis. Altamont wondered if her departure might in fact have been the cause of Griffin’s attempted suicide.

He recalled the last time he had seen the woman in the village, in an effort to piece together an official description of her features. It had been a beautiful day. The sun beat strong, but a refreshing morning breeze swept across the steep valley where San Antonio nestled. He walked down the bumpy track from his weatherboard bungalow to the main road and stood at the junction, as he did every morning. He liked to survey the village before continuing on his way.

The narrow tarmac road snaked through the settlement, espousing the crests and troughs of its hills. It was the pride of the locals. Not all villages in Toledo could boast of tarmac. Those who had houses on the road treated the segment in front of their home as their responsibility. If the front yard was cleaned, a bucket would also be thrown to sweep the adjoining tarmac.

The locals had also taken to filling potholes themselves, knowing that it would take years before the road was resurfaced. At first, it was left to private initiative. Some used pebbles or rocks. Others liked to compact mud into the hole, first by hand, then jumping on. One man, Gonzalo Tzac, developed a reputation for the best-filled holes. He used a secret mix of mud, grit and rocks of different sizes. His repairs took longest to undo, and soon upkeeping the road was acknowledged as his prerogative.

Pothole Gonzalo was at work that morning, on the uphill stretch of the road to the left of where Altamont was standing. That was near the bus stop, and so the area most prone to damage. He stood to stretch his back after some digging. He shielded his eyes from the sun and raised his other hand to Altamont. Altamont waved to the gaunt figure and took the road to the right towards the shop to buy himself a bun, followed by his own shadow.

The fridges droned at the back of the shop. He bumped into his boss Ignacio Cus by the bread shelf. Ignacio was obese. His wife had put him on a diet and he secretly bought himself supplements. His penultimate shirt-button was perennially undone, and his uniform was never well turned out. When Altamont had first arrived in San Antonio, he had felt he would never bridge the gulf with this man. But with time they had become friends. Altamont had discovered that your friend did not need to be your equal. He had developed a form of affection for the clumsy Mayan corporal who called himself his boss.

“Good day compañero,” Ignacio said.

“And to you, officer.”

“When I first born, things were simpler, eh? But now madre de Dios, you need a university education to choose a snack.”

“Primary school will do.”

Altamont threw three fresh cinnamon buns into a paper bag and twisted it closed.

Ignacio reached for a bottle of Belikin in the fridge, then dug deep to the back of the deli shelf and pulled out a johnnycake. With his goods in his plump hands, he looked Altamont in the eyes and smiled a kind smile, his wispy moustache hanging over his crooked white teeth. But there was a commotion in front of the shop and he dropped his goods to check what was happening. Altamont followed.

A large four-wheel drive had pulled up on the grassy verge on the other side of the narrow road, surrounded by a group of about ten children in school uniform, and four or five village idlers who had stirred from the sunshade next to the shop to watch the event. The vehicle rumbled on as Griffin talked to the woman in the passenger seat, who was covering her face with a pair of enormous sunglasses. Then the engine shuddered to a violent halt and they stepped out.

“The Britisher come out to buy the shop again,” Ignacio said as he rushed back to secure his beer and johnnycake.

Altamont watched as Griffin ruffled the hair of several of the children with a smile. Griffin and the woman entered the shop, greeting the owner with a nod. The children stayed behind the threshold and watched from outside, knowing they would get a scolding if they came in.

The woman was tall, of sombre face, with a slight stoop to her shoulders. Altamont could just make out the glint of her large restless eyes, dimmed by shaded glass. Everything about her spoke of effort: sharp, strong features, calloused palms on slender hands, a body nipped and trained like a plant.

Ignacio was right. The Britisher rarely came down to San Antonio, but when he did he loaded the boot and roof of his truck with fantastic quantities of supplies. Cans and preserves, flour, cereals and pulses, powdered milk, long-life drinks and alcohol, great sacks of rice, hardware goods. Then he would hire a boy or two to help carry the stuff into the forest. They would climb on the roof or hang on to the ladder on the back of the truck. And Mr. And Mrs. Britisher would cruise back through the village and out into the wilderness.I would like to take this time to thank Anne for organising this tour and for once again being professional and extremely helpful. I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s extract if that has piqued your interest you can purchase Butterfly Ranch Here

2018, snapshot, TeamSparkly, update

A snapshot of my Thursday….

Firstly I’m sorry for another extremely late post. This was also not my original plan for today and any of you who follow my bookish and or personal Instagram I’m sorry that you have already seen what I’m about to share.

Sunny lazy days are a rarity for me so today I took some time for just that me time.

Here is a perfect picture you can clearly see the sun is out. I have a cup of tea in my mug from my bestie with my fave man on. Nail varnish I actually painted my toenails today although my feet need a proper good treatment so I’m not sharing. Miranda Dickinson – needs no explanation in my eyes she’s what I would depict as one of the greatest writers of magic.

My life has been chaotic at the moment and the sparkly magic is just what I needed today, I’m still not done with these beauties just yet. Finally the Hula Hoop puffs now I do love crisps but I’ve never really been one of those people who has them in excess. Since starting my Slimming World journey I kept seeing them being spoken about as they are low in syns but do you think I could find them – mum found them for me and today was my first opportunity to sample them and wow what a little treat.

The last part of my day was on this bad boy at Boogie Bounce – I had a week off last week and hadn’t realised just how much I missed it.

I hope you enjoyed my snapshot of my me time. This may well become a regular feature on random days. I haven’t been sleeping to well so I’m trying to embrace some of the read to sleep…so off I go.

audible, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: The Break By Marian Keyes

Blurb: Amy’s husband Hugh has run away to ‘find himself’. But will he ever come back?

‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’

‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’

If only.

Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her.

He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .

However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman?

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . .

The Break is a story about the choices we make and how those choices help to make us. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best.

Review: Now I’m sure I have read something from Marian Keyes before but this was my first audiobook and what a gorgeous treat. If I’m honest I think I will listen to more of Marian’s collection in future. If you have any suggestions please leave them below?

With 124 chapters it’s a no brainier on audio and I was lucky enough to bag this as an Audible daily deal. I have to mention the narration as I have had some awful audio books due to the narrator but this one was just as perfect as if Marian herself were reading it.

Marian has accompanied me on many walks, baths and whilst I was tidying my room. I feel like I too have been on Amy’s rollercoaster of a ride. Wow! What an amount of emotions she goes through. Throughout you see how strong and in some ways vulnerable she is.

How would you cope if the love of your life tells you he needs time out to find himself? It’s a hard one and it’s a feeling that most of us get in life. But it’s usually long before you’re happily married (or so Amy thought) with children.

Amy instantly worries of what people will think and to start with she’s skirting round the issue and is in denial but I truly loved the transformation in her. Inside each and every woman there is a strong warrior waiting to come out. Amy changes for the better and in her world shattering she discovers who she really is.

I imagine every Irish family to be a bit like Amy’s and I’m a sucker for the Irish so this really was the perfect story for me.

I loved how the story was told by dates and time frames. Most of the story is from Amy but there are some sections of Hugh. At times they both frustrated me but on the whole this was a fantastic read – well listen for me. The Break covers some serious real life topics with Marian’s witty nature added for good measure, meaning it’s more fun than mind-bending.

If you’re looking for an audio book this is definitely the best place to start its laugh out loud funny, it’s a long ole book but it’s truly brilliant.

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: One Summer Weekend By Juliet Archer

Blurb: One Summer Weekend can change everything…

Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again.

Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin …

Review: Today saw the publication of One Summer Weekend a novella full of innuendo, role play and so much more.

Alicia is a strong woman with a past that’s had a bigger effect on her than she would ever believe or say. It’s not until she meets Jack – the lad hot shot businessman who needs a coach and has women falling at his feet or does he. I loved the interaction between these two although it wasn’t plain sailing although I won’t be delving into any details on that – you will have to read for yourself.

This novella will take you on a rollercoaster ride through the lake distract and beyond. I must admit it took me a lot longer to read than I anticipated but only because I had personal and work distractions.

Having read this novella from Juliet Archer I would love to read more from her. If you’re looking to be whisked away look no further it’s one jam packed Summer Weekend with a breathtaking location.

2018, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday…books to read at the pool/by the beach…

Top Ten Tuesday was created in June 2010 by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Books to read by the pool/at the beach

Now this is a list I can wholeheartedly get on board with. I could always be by the beach and there are always books I could and should be reading so here it goes.

I should have devoured this already it needs a priority in my life.

The last two are a ditto to the first statement ha. Less rambling this week.

This one will warm your heart…

So that’s my Top Ten Tuesday a number of books I have either wanted to read for ages or new ones from authors who I haven’t read from in a while.

I am in the middle of a novella which I’m on the tour for this post will be up later tonight sorry for the delay.

Have you read any of my choices? I’m in the middle of Somewhere Beyond the Sea.

2018, A thought? A question, Uncategorized, update

Monday chat….

Now this wasn’t my original title but I thought a Monday moan or rant maybe a little too negative a start to the week.

Once again I’m feeling bogged down by blog tours – I mean this in no disrespect to the amazing organisers but sometimes life gets in the way and no matter how organised you are you still literally have no time. I’m not saying I don’t want to do blog tours as I have found some amazing authors and books from said tours, but what’s frustrating me is I’m not reading enough of what I want and I’m feeling like I need to put down the book I do want to read the book I agreed to read.

It’s a catch 22 situation and I honestly don’t know where my middle ground is right now.

I don’t want to keep complaining, I know what my good pal Catriona will say but I’m open to your thoughts. I do promise more actual reviews this week. Watch this space…I have to mention how bloody great was Harry Kane tonight. Happy Monday all.

2018, A thought? A question, Author Love, New Author to me, Uncategorized

Authors I just haven’t discovered yet….

In wanting to daily post I have also been trying to read more blogs and interact with more bloggers. In doing so I have found memes I can get on board with and topics that I hadn’t even thought of.

This subject that I am to talk about today is something I just hadn’t thought of. Even though these sort of conversations do happen between book bloggers on a regular basis without much thought.

Here are just a few of the authors that are widely adored yet I haven’t read a single thing from them.

  • Philippa Gregory
  • Lisa Jewell
  • John Green – I have been lent a book
  • Jay Asher – I have loved the Netflix show
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Penny Parkes – Although I have a few to start.

They are just a few that come to mind….if there is anything by any of these that’s a must feel free to get in touch. If you have a review of anything by any of these authors also feel free to link them below.

2018, Quote, Uncategorized

A bookish quote…

Happy Saturday all.

I hoped to have had a review up as I realised this past week I have had daily posts but no actual reviews. I’m still loving the magic of Somewhere Beyond the Sea and I’m glad I hadn’t rushed it.

Today was the start of my weekend off – I got up at 6am (yes I just said that) to attend a Metafit class which was hard going but was also good. In some ways I improved loads in others I still have lots to learn.

Before going on to help my sister out. This morning on the TV the film review was talking about the Happy Prince which is the latest film about the later part of Oscar Wilde’s life. It sounds intriguing, and I definitely want to watch it. I felt like this was on my mind all day – which got me thinking about quotes and then I found this from the man himself.

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

Oscar Wilde was an exceptional writer and now I want to know more about his life and this has empowered me to read more classics. If you’ve read any of his work do let me know where I should begin? I’m not sure if I have read anything which is disappointing.

First Line Friday

First Line Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book worms hosted by WanderingWords.

What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its hype, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page

Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!

It’s still dark as I carefully pick my way down the sandy steps to the beach, the narrow beam from my torch the only guide for my feet. The rush of waves against rocks is deafening, and it’s cold – the kind of cold that sneaks in between the layers of your clothing and seeps into your bones.

I’m still reading this gorgeous book. If you’re looking for magic in your life then look no further. You can purchase it here Somewhere Beyond The Sea