2018, august, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized, update, wrap up

What did I read in August.

Now I was overly optimistic with my TBR for August with so much happening it was obvious to me that I wouldn’t have completed it.

However, I sure did read some beauties that have left their mark on me.

I loved each of these for different reasons and they are all authors I adore. I must admit I have a few more of Catherine’s on my Kindle but that’s the first of hers I’ve devoured and what a fantastic start….

My thoughts on these 📚

Rewind By Catherine Ryan Howard

One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

The Turn of the Key By Ruth Ware

I’m hoping to have my Miranda Dickinson review up for publication day tomorrow. I started September with a few short reads which were ace and I’m now in the midst of Zoe May’s When Polly Met Olly which I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I feel like my time away caught up with me and last night and this morning I’ve had a massive headache – so I’ve only managed a little reading. I have two very different audios on the go and one is for a blog tour.

I’m hoping that seeing as I’m on holiday until the end of Saturday and I have a little downtime in September that I can read a lot more than I managed in August. I like being optimistic but I also like getting more reading into my month.

Two of my August reads were buddy reads and I’m pleased to say that myself and Catriona have a few ideas up our sleeves and one includes one of my fave authors.

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2019, august, Author Love, Buddy Read, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

Blurb: Genie isn’t feeling very festive this December. 

The frosty mornings and twinkling fairy lights only remind her it’s been a whole year since she lost her adoptive mother, who took her in as a baby and raised her as her own. 

She’s never felt more alone – until she discovers her birth mother’s identity.

And where to find her: New Zealand, half the world away. 

Travelling there could be her one chance to meet the woman who gave her up. 

But will she find the answers she has been looking for? Or something she could never have expected?

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read an Isabelle Broom novel and I felt so privileged to have buddy read this with Catriona. I feel like I flew through this one, it’s one of those reads where you’re saying just one more chapter and at each turn there was more than enough to keep you wanting more.

This could have easily been read in one sitting but as I’m away with my family that was never going to happen but at each time I read a healthy amount, although at times I stopped myself because of my locations. I could feel my emotions brewing in public places. Not that that’s ever really bothered me but I did not want to feel uncomfortable when I have truly loved every single second with this book and these characters.

One Winter Morning is a story that will have you flying through the pages captivated by the words the imagery and most of all the people. Isabelle really does research her places well. I’ve never been to New Zealand but having read this novel I felt truly captivated by the surroundings and I feel like I’ve visited Lake Wakatipu. Her imagery is astounding I honestly feel like if I visited I would feel like I’d already been there, like retreating to a place you’ve been going to for years.

I really enjoy a buddy read especially with Catriona, it’s mad that now she’s in the States we talk more than we did when she was in the UK. She saw a few things coming in this, although I was pleased to see one of my wants come into fruition. Because of the location I didn’t feel like I was reading a winter book in the wrong timezone, although it was based around Christmas and New Years heavily focussing on love and loss and finding yourself.

There’s so much I want to say but you have to read to fully understand the true gorgeousness of this book. From the off I loved most of the characters Genie aka Evangeline is a great girl struggling with the loss of her adoptive mother and with the emotions over whether to search for her real mother or not. She goes through all the feels, wonder and most of all guilt. In searching for her real mother she feels like she’s cheating on the woman who raised her when in actual fact that’s not the case at all.

I have to mention Hayley, I rarely get to read a book with a Hayley and this one is ballsy and fun and has hollow legs from the amount of cake and physical activity she does. This made my little heart so happy and for her to be such an amazing friend too it really was the icing on the cake.

I feel like I wanted more of David’s thoughts as he played such a huge part in this story and I must say Isabelle wrote a fantastic kids story. I wholeheartedly believe my nieces and nephew would love the Evangeline series.

Tui was the most adorable little girl, a truly gifted child who defies all odds. I loved her story and part of me saw some of it coming but nowhere near to the extent of how her story ended.

I don’t feel like Griff stood a chance next to Kit but oh le sigh! all the feels and some. Isabelle looks at love, loss and healing in so many ways. I loved the sentiment of the future being the light in the sun and the past being the shadow and looking to the sun.

I also loved how there were parts for Genie and for Bonnie and how the letters were in italics. I’m all for a back story and it gave you the remaining pieces of the puzzle not that I saw some of it.

I’m a massive worrier and I often need to take a step back and breathe. I know that I personally need to live in the moment more, I’m often too worried about things and circumstances that I cannot change. Looking too far at what’s to come and what’s been rather than looking into the here and now, I hope to do more of being in the now.

A brilliantly written story of love, loss, friendship and finding yourself. If you are looking for the perfect book to give you all the feels or to get you out of a reading slump this is definitely it.

Now I’ve got those thoughts out I can start another book. Although I must say I really must tackle more of Isabelle Broom’s books, just like Miranda Dickinson’s books I’m left feeling hopeful and extremely positive as well as left with an extremely happy heart and a book hangover.

2019, august, ebook, extract, Uncategorized

First chapter first paragraph Tuesday intros

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros @ I’d Rather Be at the Beach. Weekly. Share the first paragraph (or a few) of a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

The morning began as so many do in winter, with lowhanging fog and a smattering of frost. For weeks the sky has been the muted silver of a much-thumbed coin, but today the sun has broken through, laundering my little Cambridgeshire village with light. As I walk the ten or so minutes to the pub, I relish this new brightness which has brought with it so much colour – red berries in a thicket of holly, a battalion of purple pansies in a window box, and perched on the wall outside the church, a blue tit, its head cocked inquisitively to one side. I see David as soon as I cross the threshold of the White Swan. He is easy to spot, with his round bald head and those John Lennon-style glasses, which he wears balanced precariously on the end of his nose.

I only started reading this beauty this morning and I’m hooked on this breathtaking story. So far Genie has been through so many emotions and my heart really does go out to her. Her best mate is called Hayley – which made me smile free-fold, I’m always looking for books with Hayley’s and she’s super fun. Although her eating lemon drizzle cake sure did make my sweet tooth twitch so I may have had some chocolate cake to accompany my reading. This is a buddy read that I’m reading with Catriona although for once I’m ahead I literally cannot get enough. I have extremely sore feet from a cut on the bottom and due to sunburn so I’ve enjoyed chilling with a book today. I’m in the midst of chapter 9 and I know I can get a few more chapters in before we go out this evening…..see there are major pluses to days staying on camp….what an absolute treat of a book. The descriptions of New Zealand sound amazing.

That’s me over and out for today…I have a few reviews to write but right now I need another coffee and to get back to One Winter Morning.

2019, august, Monday motivation and smiles, Uncategorized

Happy blog birthday to me….

Wow!!!! I was hoping to have got more blogger organised yesterday but having finished a truly gorgeous book that floored me. The Day We Meet Again by the truly outstanding Miranda Dickinson.

Following that gorgeous rollercoaster finish I was left with a book hangover and a massive headache. Seeing as I’m off to the seaside at the weekend I had lots to organise seeing as I’m now working until the off. I will be reviewing this beauty soon I may save my words for publication day.

This blog started as a place where I could talk about my volunteering following being seriously trolled over on www.hayleyslilworld.wordpress.com and following moving to Cancer Research full time I decided to change this to showcase my passion for books. I hadn’t realised when I started this little place of mine on the Internet but it’s made my Monday…..I am in the process of adding some new features to the blog and I have some news that I will share later this week.

I’ve asked before and it didn’t really work but I would like to answer some questions in a post in the future.

Fancy asking me anything?

Since being floored by romance I’m now turning to a thriller

I’ve managed the prologue so far and I’m already intrigued….back to it.

2019, august, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, TBR, Uncategorized, update

A Patchwork Family – Part One – Moving On By Cathy Bramley

Blurb: Gina Moss is proud of herself: she’s just had the most amicable divorce ever. No arguments, no fuss, no drama. It means she has plenty of time and energy for her thriving childminding business too.

Welcome Cottage is both home and workplace for Gina. It sits just on the edge of The Evergreens – a grand if slightly run-down Victorian residence to three octogenarians who have far too much fun for their age: Violet, Delphine and Bing.

But a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction – and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. It might be her first fight, but it’s one that Gina is determined not to lose…

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cathy Bramley novel and when this series was mentioned I instantly pre-ordered it, them good old 99p kindle purchases. I had hoped to have read and reviewed on publication day but that wasn’t to be. See I’m getting more organised but I’m also wanting to read more and more.

Part one is aptly named – Moving On as Gina has accomplished her amicable divorce and later on in the instalment there are more tragic circumstances. It starts with Bramley’s trademark wit, I’d heard of divorce parties via another book and the meal between Gina and Eric sure was full of laughs. It’s extremely rare that marriages can end well – but they are one of those rare breeds. The scene in the restaurant had me laughing out loud, but it also made me want to know more as they got on so well, I’m sat there wondering why they called time on their marriage.

It being part one it sets the scene and the groundwork for the story with the hint of what’s to come. What I’ve grown to love about these type of series’s is that you are left eager and wanting more and this did not disappoint. A Patchwork Family crosses over to The Lemon Tree Cafe as it’s based in the same town with some of the same characters. In realising that I realise I only read the first part of that story, so that will need to be rectified but August is proving to be a busy one.

Gina is a character that I instantly liked, she’s a go getter and wants the best out of life. A tragedy makes her realise she needs to live every day like it’s her last.

I loved the sentiments in this novel, friends and family come in all shapes and sizes and I loved the variation of age groups. You have the older generation who Gina is extremely fond of and then you have the children to whom she is also fond of. Being a childminder and an extremely good and experienced one at that. It also showed me that families can be a blessing and a curse. I don’t want to spoil the intrigue so I won’t say anymore than that. I want to see whether Dexter pulls through for the sake of his family.

2019, august, Author Love, july, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Those People By Louise Candlish

Blurb: Meet the neighbours you’ll love to hate. Until Darren and Jodie moved in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalates to threats of violence.

Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house to house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: they did it.

But there’s a problem the police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours.

Review: I’ve been excited for this novel since hearing a segment from Louise at Simon & Schuster’s Spring blogger event and then I inhaled the sampler. I decided against Netgalley as at the time I had exams although as it got nearer to publication day I regretted that thought process, even though I knew I needed to knuckle down.

My one downside with this read was that I was reading a hardback. Now a hardback looks gorgeous signed and on a shelf but carrying it around is a pain which is why it took me a while to finish. As it neared the final pages I did actually just carry it around. I thought I could have finished it on the stroke of July ending but it was not to be anyway enough rambling.

Louise really does have a way with words and the way each chapter was by a different person was genius. To start with all we know is something bad is happened but you have to keep turning those pages to find the missing pieces of the jigsaw and in this case there are many sides to this story. I wouldn’t say I liked any of the characters but at the beginning when Darren and Jodie arrive it’s easy to stereotype them as the bad trash who have gate crashed a nice neighbourhood but that isn’t the case at all.

It’s so hard to do books like this justice as there is so much to say but in saying so the intrigue and the mystery that I read would therefore be ruined for someone else.

As I turned those pages I kept coming up with my own theories but each and every time I was way off. Louise has engineered scenarios where you think you know where it’s leading but you are so very wrong.

As much as I didn’t really like the characters at times I warmed to many of them especially Jodie’s words nearer the end although she also made me laugh and made me think now could Lowland Way feature again.

I’ve read two of Louise’s books and I’ve been eager to shout her praise and recommend tenfold. I’m ashamed to say I have two copies of Our House but I’m yet to devour. I have it on audio now so I think when my current audio is done I shall dive in. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday companion look no further than Those People. I thought a few of my neighbours were questionable but they aren’t a patch on this bunch.