2019, july, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten books that lived up to the hype

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

So today’s prompt is a freebie so I spent some time deliberating over what I would do a list of and I’ve gone for the Top Ten Books that I believe lived up to the hype.

Starting with this beauty, I was intrigued by this cover and heard so many good things so had to find out for myself. I listened to this on audible and it was such a joy – I truly believe Tiffy and Leon’s story could continue.

I’m in the middle of listening to this one and it’s nothing short of amazing I’m well and truly hooked.

This book gave me all the feels and it will make you think about real life and social media in a totally different way.

Another audible listen that kept me on my toes.

Paige Toon always puts a smile on my face although there’s usually a tear or two also.

For some reason I don’t think my review of this is up but this book was heartbreaking yet thought provoking.

Darren O’Sullivan builds suspense in such a great way I couldn’t get enough of this.

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2019, july, Me, Monday motivation and smiles, Uncategorized

Monday in the sunshine…

There’s a few things that never fail to raise a smile and today it’s London in the sunshine. I’m from South East London and I work within the South East, my stroll to work sure does change a conversation, with many saying I’m mad. It’s a straight road and with music an audiobook or the radio it’s not bad.

When the sun is shining my mood shifts and today even though I’m absolutely exhausted after the last week and having worked all weekend I’m ready for what Monday has to offer. As I’m strolling to work embracing the blue skies I’m listening to The Man Who Didn’t Call By Rosie Walsh I only started listening to it on my way home last night but I’m well and truly hooked its definitely for every single girl who was convinced he would call and he didn’t.

On Friday I embraced another experience that never fails to make me smile. I had my haircut, I hadn’t had a trim since just before my birthday back in February and it had got a bit out of control and had lost its shape. There really is something about someone else washing your hair it’s so therapeutic and it was needed ahead of the twins first birthday and with my holiday looming at the end of August. I cannot wait for chill time, sunshine, family time and reading.

Today is a brand new start in my working life and for the first time in a while even though I’m exhausted I’m also kind of excited by what’s to come.

Before July wraps up I would like to get a few more reads finished although I am much happier with my reading and my blogging so that’s good. I need to spend at least one of my days off literally mooching around – after half watching Step up two yesterday my sister has ordered me to binge watch them so I hope to do that this week. Have Fight Klub and Fight Klub Stryke on Wednesday it will be hard going but I know it will be done with a smile on my face.

What does your week hold?

2019, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday – Ice Cream and book combinations

I love a Six for Sunday post and seeing as I’m working for part of today I’m not getting in a great deal of self care. Although I do hope to get a decent amount of reading in later I want to make the most of the last few days of July. I’m still a few short from my TBR post but I have added a few in so we shall see how I fair come Wednesday when I hope to have my wrap up post completed and up for your viewing.

So Ice Cream combinations….

I discovered Abby Clements a few Christmas’s ago when I devoured Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of these ice cream based treats. I sure do hope to soon.

This one has lots of ice cream based goodness it still makes me smile thinking about this story.

This weeks prompt has shown me there are a lot of good books that I’m still to read. I’m a huge fan of Jenny Colgan but I haven’t read anything from her in such a long time. I think my impending holiday at the end of August May may mean I can catch up on some tasty treats. From this weeks list the only book I’ve read is Holly Hepburn’s Picture House by the sea.

Have you read any of these? If so where should I start.

2019, july, Stacking the Shelves, Uncategorized

Stacking the Shelves

So as promised I said there would be a second post from me today and here it is.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme co hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can add any books that you add to your shelves, whether you’ve bought them been sent them or borrowed them from the library. And then be sure to post your links over on Tynga’s Reviews.

Last Saturday we looked at my Netgalley shelf which has risen a few since then now we are to look at my Kindle shelf. I will only be picking a handful otherwise this post could go on for eternity.

Have you read any of these? As ever this is just a snapshot of my Kindle library…

2019, Author Love, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part four – The Icing on the cake By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Can Charlie pull off the perfect showstopper?
Charlie has fallen in love with Porthgolow village and they adore her vintage bus, now getting a new lease of life as the best place to have a Cornish Cream tea in the whole of Cornwall. Charlie and her bus have heralded a new start for Porthgolow too, but the one fly in the ointment is Daniel Harper who is still resisting the charms of Charlie and her bus. Can Charlie bake her way into his heart or is it time to admit that her Cornish dream has got a soggy bottom?

Review: Now from how part three concluded I always knew that part four would have a special place in my heart and would be the hardest to finish. I initially read the first chapter just after midnight on release day and had subsequently started reading on my walk into work, however, work, lack of sleep and the heat meant it took me a little longer to finish this beauty.

What I will say is Cressida played an absolute blinder as expected by a series part four had lots of moments that made you gasp. From the very beginning I was heavily invested in these characters and watching them experience full on life changing emotions really got me. I don’t know about those characters pulses racing at that point mine definitely were. I loved what that part of the story suggested and the messages underneath both incidents.

If I had been off work the day after I had started reading at midnight I would have been hooked on this in one sitting. In a way I’m glad I got a little bit more time with Charlie and the gang.

There were a number of quotes from Charlie’s late uncle Hal that really made me stop and think….

There is nothing that can’t be overcome if you believe in yourself

this is definitely something that I should listen to. In my own worst critic.

Another that really made me smile was a description for Porthgolow

It’s a proper slice of magic

I could use that sentence about a few of my favourite places in the world and it’s a line and sentiment that proper made me smile.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus was an extraordinary treat that will make you salivate for afternoon tea and cake but it will also tug on your heart strings and stay there. A tasty treat with some truly powerful messages one that I won’t forget. I would love to see Cressida revisit these characters someday.

2019, Author Love, debut novel, july, New Author to me, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Blurb: Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes? 

Review: Now this is a debut that I couldn’t wait to get stuck into. Although saying that having listened to Claire read a section of Living My Best Life at the Spring blogger event, it’s remarkable that I had managed to wait until nearer to publication day to actually read this treat.

Living my best life is the book every social media addict needs to read. More often than not we all get bogged down by social media in some way and Claire manages to show both sizes of this double edged coin. Our lives on social media are a far cry from the strains of our real lives. I’m not saying it’s all faked but it sure is filtered. Just like Millie I’ve often taken pictures at various angles cropping out all the everyday crap that just isn’t insta worthy.

Where do I start – Living My Best Life focuses on two women Millie – an insta influencer with an adorable son and there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. And then we have Bell who is approaching her 40th birthday and has just been dumped by her long-standing boyfriend of ten years. Bell works in fashion but has never thought of herself as fashionable.

From the beginning I liked both of them but I instantly warmed to Bell more, don’t get me wrong as Millie’s chapters went on I couldn’t love them both more. I don’t want to say too much about the morals of the story but I loved the community element of this book and we don’t always see that gumption anymore. I love how it brought the two very different women together and it made me think of my various friendship groups. There’s always a link that brings you together but then it’s your actual friendship that stands the test of time.

There are a number of other characters that I could and probably should mention merely due to their humour but I’m going to only add Suze – who is the best mate we all need – she tells Bell exactly how it is and drags her out of her bout of sadness and Cosette – Bells funny and loveable sister who thoroughly thinks of family first.

I’m not 40 for another five years but wow Bell sure did celebrate in style and let’s face it she deserved every single second of it.

Claire’s debut is impressive, funny and plain addictive. I was so heartbroken when I forgot my copy yesterday especially as I was so close to the finish line.

What I also loved was how Claire managed to have humour alongside a number of serious real life issues which include bullying, postnatal depression and loneliness. There may also be a romance that warmed me, I can’t say too much but I was sooo sooo Happy it turned out the way it did and I literally had all the feels. That saying it happens when you least expect it sure did come to mind.

Living My Best Life is the book you need this Summer if you’re not left feeling reflective and ready for anything then did you even read it. It also shows the power of friends and friendship and that alone warms my heart. There’s a few friends who I know will totally lap up this read and I cannot wait to give them this chance.

2019, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

My Blogger Journey

So yesterday I asked what you would like to see on the blog today and a personal post won. I’ve been at work today and it’s been a hectic day to say the least, but I’ve been racking my brains with what to write and my blogger journey just kept coming to the forefront of my mind.

I’ve already mentioned my Fight Klub and my fitness stuff including the Exercise to Music qualification and everything that’s gone with that. Alongside my Slimming World journey and what that’s taught me in relation to my relationship with food so I thought let’s delve into being a blogger.

My blog originally started over on Blogger and it was called the Ramblings of a London Girl- I loved it but there was no real focus and I was often posting short posts just to post and quotes etc. Over on Blogger I had started writing book reviews as books and reading is a passion I’ve had since I was small. I have to mention my beloved Grandad Sam – my most favourite bookworm whose birthday it is today. I miss him dearly and this morning I finished listening to the audiobook of a George Orwell Classic and I instantly missed him once again.

I knew nothing about book blogging and then a friend of mine Casey was looking for reviewers to join her over on Dark-readers.com also a blogger site. I jumped at the chance, and just like that I was a book blogger being invited to events and meeting lots of other likeminded readers. It took me a while to realise that on Dark Readers I could review any books not just fantasy and paranormal although back then I was heavily invested in angels and vampires. So much so I had to take a break from those books. I then decided I wanted to talk about a number of subjects and I was interested to try a WordPress blog.

Hayleyslilworld was born – I used this platform for book, film and quite possibly theatre reviews. I undertook a number of writing prompts spoke of events I went to and used it as an outlet to share some of the articles I had via various work placements at publications and online.

Life was good I had two platforms to share content. Casey and I drifted apart and on Hayleyslilworld I started to receive a huge number of troll like messages getting to the point I didn’t want to blog anymore. Every time I received a notification I was scared to read it until I couldn’t take anymore and I made the page private and stopped altogether.

Hayley Reviews – which I write from now originally started as a blog about my volunteering with Cancer Research until I moved over to be a paid member of staff. I had got an ok following and thought it was a shame to get rid of it. So I changed the name and started talking about books. I had a few contacts from the Dark Readers days but some of the publishers moved on and my reading habits changed in some aspects.

Of late now the main hardcore studying has been done I’m now getting my reading mojo back and I’m loving it. It made my day last week to have been the first review for Daisy Tate that was a blogger highlight, and this month my reading has been great so much so I’ve started penning my what did I read in July and I’m so chuffed with the results already and there’s still a week or so to go. Although major fail I forgot my latest paperback read I’ve been missing it all day and I had hoped to finish it today.

Watch this space.

I’m looking at doing more questions and adding different additions to the blog. So give me a shout if you have a burning question or you would like to see me do something specific the meme’s have been working quite well of late.

Also if you’re an author or another blogger who would love to guest over at Hayley Reviews also give me a shout.

I look forward to hearing from you.

2019, july, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday – Books and the Seaside

It’s been forever since I’ve written a Six for Sunday especially since starting Self Care Sunday’s which I’m doing by chilling today. I’m not sure what my week will entail so I would like to rest, get a few things done and organised ahead of my impending holiday at the end of August and I would like to get a fair amount of reading in as I’m truly loving my current reads.

Miranda wrote the most beautiful book based at the seaside. Somewhere Beyond the Sea – is a love story that will stay with me and I shared the story of sea glass with my niece our favourite beach hasn’t had any but we always look now.

After devouring Hannah’s short story I was itching for this I read this whilst on holiday at the seaside last year and I loved every single second of it. I can’t wait to get stuck into another Hannah Pearl novel.

Evie’s Little Black Book

I read these in part and I love love loved devouring this cinema based story. It really did make me think of my Nan who I shared a love of film with.

The Picture House by the Sea

This week the fourth and final part of this novel will ping through to my kindle and I’m excited and sad. I won’t want to say goodbye to Charlie and the gang.

Part one In doing this meme I’ve realised how long this beauty has been on my TBR I really must change this. Although I did read another of Ali’s books whilst last on holiday at the caravan in Dymchurch.

This beauty by Isabelle Broom has me longing for Mojacar I will get there someday….

Then Now Always

Part two Cressida McLaughlin

Part three Cressida McLaughlin

As ever I’ve loved sitting down and penning my thoughts. I love being by the seaside and I still haven’t worked out what I hope to read this year on my travels. I’m loving having my mojo back right must eat breakfast have the soaps on and a book to get back to.

2019, Stacking the Shelves, Uncategorized

Stacking the Shelves – my Netgalley shelf

I’ve been looking for other inspirations for the blog and I stumbled upon this.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme co hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can add any books that you add to your shelves, whether you’ve bought them been sent them or borrowed them from the library. And then be sure to post your links over on Tynga’s Reviews.

So for my first Stacking the Shelves post this week I am looking at what’s on my Netgalley shelf.

This gorgeous treat has been sat on my Netgalley shelf for a short while I’m itching to read it but I’m trying to time it right, if that makes sense. Not sure whether to save for my holiday at the end of August and first week of September- it’s out whilst I’m away so maybe at the beginning of my time off.

This one grabbed my attention via the Netgalley email although I should have read it already. Hoping to bump it up.

I’ve read a short from Veronica and have been meaning to read more from her. I’ve heard such good things about this one that I simply couldn’t resist hoping to read this after my current read and get it up for publication day if possible.

This is one of those reads that when you start looking at Netgalley you have to have.

Seeing the lovely Harriet from Simon & Schuster at Louise Candlish’s launch she spoke of this and my interest was piqued it maybe my next Thriller.

I love and hate Netgalley I am trying to get better but my willpower isn’t great. I have a few of Tammy Cohen’s on my ever expanding pile this will be the next I read.

I keep checking my shelf to see if I’ve been accepted for this one. I read the first chapter last Sunday and I need it in my life. If I’m not accepted I will be pre-ordering so it comes through on midnight of release day.

Another that I keep checking for on Netgalley – pretty annoyed on this one. I had requested before the email about the first 100 readers and still nothing. I’m a huge fan of Louise’s and I will download if I don’t hear anything.

I hope you have enjoyed my first Stacking the Shelves. I would love to hear what you think I should do next. I’m thinking possibly an audio Stacking the Shelves or a specific author maybe a Daphne Du Maurier….

I’m open to suggestions and cannot wait to hear from you.