2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Cover Reveal, debut novel, ebook, Fitness, New Author to me, novella, personal, Publication Day, Review, running, Uncategorized, update

Weekly Update #9

Well it feels like only yesterday I was penning last weeks update. In some ways the weeks are flying by in others they really aren’t. So Happy Saturday I hope you are well and safe wherever you are in the world right now.

I’m sorry that this update has come later in the day than usual. As I stated this morning in finishing Annette’s debut I was compelled to write and post that as I have commitments tomorrow and I didn’t want it to wait until Monday.

So it’s been another week of running I finished week 5 and started week 6. Wednesday saw my longest run to date with a 20 min run. It was tough going but I loved every single second of it.

Monday week 5 Run 2
Wednesday week 5 run 3 after my 20 min run
Week 6 run 1

So the last week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I ended up running into Lewisham and treating myself to a Starbucks I sure had missed them but I was also kind of on edge on the days when I was there later and more people were around.

What have I read this week???

I finished these beauties.

What’s been on the blog this week??

There wasn’t a post on Sunday I believe I was reading and time ran away with me, this sentiment baffles me in a way as at the moment it feels like we have so much time on our hands.

On Monday I posted my thoughts on Santa Montefiore’s Here and Now this was my first Santa read and what a book you can read my post Here.

On Tuesday I wrote my mid year update well it’s mostly my lockdown reading update it’s a long one with a whole host of links to the 47 lockdown reads at the time. You can read that Here.

On Wednesday I was sharing one of my most favourite posts it’s a gorgeous cover reveal and you can see it Here.

Thursday was dedicated to Holly Hepburn – I stopped what I was reading to devour this beauty and here are my thoughts.

On Friday I was swayed from writing a review to writing about a new found love you can read my piece on Running Here.

So as well as this post which I’ve come to really enjoy writing, although I wish I had prepped it more. As obviously I was finishing and reviewing Annette’s novel and I’m powering through a different read for a blog tour tomorrow so watch this space. Here is Annette’s gorgeous debut once again you can read my thoughts here.

It’s been an interesting week I could have juggled my reading and writing a little better but we live and learn.

I don’t believe I’ve purchased anything additional this week. I was asked to show my hauls or buys I mean I have overly clicked here and there on 99p reads. I haven’t finished my current audiobook from the library as I wanted to organise my blog tour and Netgalley commitments.

If there is anything else you would love to see on Hayley Reviews do get in touch? Also if you’re an author or blogger who would like to be featured I would love to host you.

2020, Author Love, debut novel, New Author to me, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe By Annette Hannah

Blurb: Lucy Woods has always dreamed of running her very own wedding venue. After moving her eight-year-old son to the countryside she’s surprised to find the perfect location and her best friend, Abbie, eager to help make that dream a reality! Too bad Abbie’s older brother Dominic isn’t keen on Lucy or their big idea!

As a divorce lawyer Dominic doesn’t believe in love at first sight or wedding vows, he’s seen them broken more times than he can count. But when Lucy arrives back in town, his hardened heart begins to crack. 

Making her dream come true is a huge undertaking, but Lucy knows that The Signal Box Café is her chance to finally make something of her life. If only the irritating (and oh-so-gorgeous) Dom didn’t make her imagine wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle…

Review: There will most definitely be two blog posts today. It’s not everyday that I’m able to read and review a book from a blogger. Now I don’t know Annette that well but I’ve met her at a number of book events and she has always been lovely, chatty and welcoming.

When I saw her gorgeous debuts cover advertised I was intrigued and my heart was warmed immensely. Book bloggers are the greatest bunch (well most of them are) so it’s heartwarming to see the transition from blogger to author.

As I said in seeing the cover – my first thoughts were gorgeous, summery and unique and my Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe sure is those things and some. Annette’s debut is beautifully atmospheric and unique. I loved the older generation link once again and I’m really loving seeing writers embrace this subject matter. It did wholeheartedly make me miss my grandparents but had me thinking of them fondly.

Dougie is a character that warms your heart right from the start a great grandad with a heart of cold who loves to do what’s right by those he holds dear. He really did have me laughing out loud I won’t be spoiling any of his antics. I truly loved the joint venture between Dougie and Lucy. The Signal Box Cafe is the quaint venue that I would love to visit. There were so many special touches to this venue where it felt picturesque.

Lucy is a firehouse of a leading lady she works hard, knows what she wants and she will fight to the death for her son. Jackson is her heart and soul and from the Minute we meet her that’s apparent.

The friendship between Abbie & Lucy is great – I love that no matter how much time as passed they slipped back into old ways almost instantly.

Now I have to mention Dom but I won’t be saying too much he’s a prickly character but I loved him from the off seeing his shell soften lightened my heart.

Don’t get me wrong there’s a few bumps along the way that I wasn’t expecting but this is wholeheartedly a gorgeous introduction to a new writer. Full of love, community spirit, family and friendship as well as a bunch of nostalgia and a whole dose of humour to boot.

Those kissing scenes were pretty something. I loved how in some aspects the end was like going full circle tying up the loose ends with a heartfelt smile.

Well done Annette on a gorgeous debut that will warm many a heart over a coffee or a glass of wine. I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you.

2020, audible, audiobook, Author Love, blog blitz, Blog Tour, Book challenge, Buddy Read, debut novel, ebook, Libby, Netgalley, New Author to me, Paige Toon Read Along, Uncategorized

Mid-Year roundup

Seeing as we are halfway through 2020 I’ve seen so many people taking part in mid year tags and talking of what they have read so far, and how they are fairing against Good Reads challenges.

Thank So it got me thinking about my reading journey in the craziest year of my life. So my target for the year is 100 books which for a book blogger should be easy but life often gets in the way. I’ve generally always got at least one book on the go – sometimes if I’m reading more than one it takes me longer sometimes it makes no difference.

During lockdown to date I’ve read 47 books and I’m currently at 62 out of my 100. So lockdown well and truly has helped my reading mojo. I’ve downloaded and took advantage of the Libby app supporting my library from afar, and I’ve got back into audiobooks. Following my issues with my left ear I had cancelled subscriptions and had mostly stopped listening to audiobooks I’m loving having them back.

Since lockdown….

My Review – this series le sigh.
My Review – I truly loved embracing the world of Paige Toon this was such a gorgeous read.
My Review – Wow Louise Candlish never lets me down.
My Review – This was such a tonic on a sunny day.
My Review
This was my second read of this and I somehow have never written my thoughts on this absolute beauty – I will say I had different thoughts on the second read.
My Review – Such a truly important read for any and every woman.
My Review – Following The Flatshare I was itching for this and I loved it.
My Review – the next instalment of this beauty will be on my Kindle later this week.
I still haven’t reviewed this. David is a family favourite and this was a gorgeous audiobook.
My Review
My Review
Somehow I always gush and then am lost for words. Haven’t written this review.
My Review
My Review Heidi never lets me down. Loved this trip to the beach.
My Review
My Review
My original review – this was a second time read.
My Review
My Review
My Review – this book will stay with me for a long time.
My Review – my first Patricia novel but definitely not my last.
My Review
My Review
My Review – I read this in a day on publication day.
My Review – a fantastic debut.
I loved this but haven’t reviewed as yet.
My Review – an audiobook I borrowed from the library.
My Review – a blog tour I loved
Audio Review I had heard such good stuff about this and I loved it.
My Review
My Review
My Review
My Review I loved listening to this but do I buy the hardback or the paperback
My Review – love love loves this. The hype is real.
My Review
My Review
My Review – An ace buddy read. Isabelle always has me lusting for travel.
I loved the Katey Lovell Meet Cutes.
My Review
My Review
My Review
My Review
My Review
My Review – Such a special read and I’m so glad this was my introduction to Santa.
My Review will come soon.

So 47 lockdown reads and 15 prior to that….I’m feeling pretty darn good about that. Woah it’s a long and a late one…can you imagine if I had the other 15.

2020, audiobook, Blog Tour, Buddy Read, debut novel, ebook, Uncategorized

July TBR

Sorry for the MIA yesterday it was a weird one and I had had an on/off headache but today I’m feeling a bit brighter so I’ve been thinking more and more about this post.

I rarely post a TBR (to be read) as more often than not it jinx’s me rather than spurs me on.

I started this audiobook a short while ago but I haven’t always had the time I’m 75% in so hoping to finish that ASAP.

Following my final June read I started this one and thought I would have been a little further along.

This is my first buddy read of the month and I’m enjoying it but the headaches hasn’t helped. This is also my first Santa read.

Blog tours

Netgalley and general wants to read…

Well I think that’s all my commitments there are also a few more library audio-reads that I hope to get to. I’ve also downloaded a fair few 99p reads that I hope to get too haha. Last month I managed a few shorts and I would like to do so again this month.

I hope I haven’t forgotten anything that I’ve promised to do. I’m loving reading more and keeping the blog more consistent. As ever I am always open to what else you would love to see from me.

2020, debut novel, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The High Moments By Sara-Ella Ozbek

Blurb: Scarlett makes mistakes – over and over again.
She’s not perfect, she has a tricky relationship with her mother and is desperate for people to like her.

She repeatedly goes back to the people that hurt her, no matter how badly.
She moves to London with no plan (of course), but manages to land a job at a modelling agency. Finally, she’s getting her life on track, but the fashion industry is a murkier place than she had imagined. 

She changes herself to please others.
Just as she starts to find her place, Scarlett’s life begins to spiral. But at least people know her, she is starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

Review: I was lucky enough to be at the Simon & Schuster Spring Blogger event that Sara attended. I remember being annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my proof. But I did get to have a chat with Sara and she signed one of my postcards that correspond with the cover of the book. Sara read a snippet of The High Moments and I knew there and then this witty debut needed to be moved higher up my list.

Another fabulous buddy read with my pal across the ocean both myself and Catriona read this during our Bout of Books week and I knew I wanted to post my thoughts on either publication day (which it is today for the ebook and audio) or during this week.

So here I am with my thoughts…The High Moments is a modern day take on The Devil Wears Prada – I loved that film I must admit I haven’t read the literary version. As I expected this book made me truly despise the fashion industry. I’ve never been one for models or being in the in crowd, BUT as a woman I have looked at myself and compared my life and my figure. As I’ve got older I’ve gained a better grasp on life and habits for better and worse.

Scarlett sure is a character, at times I really did feel for her and in other parts I was left feeling like wow you’re just a bitch. At her best I really did adore her enthusiasm and her work ethic. She knew she needed to make a change and she took a chance and made it happen.

Her rollercoaster ride along the way sure was entertaining but those good and bad choices sure did shape her, just like that of any of us in this crazy world we’re living in. The problem with Scarlett is she read so many people wrongly, ultimately she paid the price for that. In her own skin and with her own ambitions you admire her but she’s so desperate to be loved that she follows the crowd rather than stands tall on her own although in hindsight she really just wanted to be accepted flaws and all.

I really enjoyed that this read like a diary with Scarlett jotting down thoughts, hopes, dreams and inspirations. It made me smile to see the odd emoji it really did break up the text in reading and it made it feel like checking in on a friend or re-reading an old journal.

I’m not a fan of drugs but I can see this depicts the life and times of the fashion industry. Don’t get me wrong I’m not naive I’ve been to university and been amongst a number of media and theatrical circles to see this happens. As much as this at times left me feeling a little uncomfortable it made perfect sense in Scarlett’s story.

A heartwarming and in some parts heart wrenching story of loneliness, ambition, want, greed and ultimately realising what really matters on this rollercoaster that is life. A smashing debut by a fabulous woman I look forward to what comes next from this powerhouse of a woman. Well done Sara let’s hope we can all celebrate again once the paperback arrives.

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, Author Love, debut novel, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton By Anstey Harris

Blurb: Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

Review: Honestly I don’t know where to start. Before reading this truly gorgeous book I was struggling with my reading, nothing would hold my gaze even though I was reading good stuff it just wasn’t what I needed, and then I picked this up and everything changed.

On my train journey I quite easily had devoured three chapters and was already left with a few OMG moments. It’s safe to say The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton snapped me out of my reading slump and left me with the most unexpected book hangover. What Anstey Harris has created is a truly unique book that will stay with me forever, when I read that final line and closed the book I knew just how special this was.

I really liked Grace from the beginning even though at times she frustrated me a hell of a lot. I loved being on her journey and seeing her realise she deserved the best of life and she wasn’t getting it. I loved seeing that dramatic change in her it made me whoop for joy for Grace and for everyone woman with a dream.

I’m so sad to not be at the launch event of this beautiful book but I haven’t been well and I was in urgent care until late last night and had to work today so it was just unfortunate timing.

2018, Author Love, debut novel, Guest Post, New Author to me, Uncategorized

Author Guest Post: Eliza Scott speaks social media…

Today here at Hayley Reviews I’m pleased to have Eliza taking over for me. I was part of the blog tour for The Letter- Kitty’s story and was overjoyed when she agreed to guest for me. She’s talking about getting to grips with social media – something I love and also hate at times.

Cover Reveal

Blog Tour: The Letter – Kitty’s story

So without further ado….

When I first decided to take my writing seriously and to actually do something about it – i.e. think about getting published – I realised I was probably going to have to get my backside into gear as far as social media was concerned and build myself a platform. At that point, the only thing I knew about this on-line world was the snippets I’d overheard from my daughters’ conversations – I hadn’t been tempted by Facebook, which even my most technophobic friends had. You could say I was a little late to the party.

So, one afternoon, and with a determined look in her eyes, my eldest daughter sat me down and fired-up my laptop with threats to have me social-media savvy by the end of the day. I have to say I was a dreading it; I couldn’t imagine enjoying spending time tweeting about this, that and the other, or posting pictures on Instagram. And I was convinced I’d make a hash of everything! But, with assurances that I’d be absolutely fine, my daughter and I ploughed on and sure enough, by the end of the day I was signed up to more social media than you could shake a stick at! I even had my own blog – heaven only knew what I’d post on that!

I have to say that, being a bit of a chatter-box, I took to Twitter pretty quickly, and was happily tweeting away in no time.  And it was this platform that introduced me to friendliest, most supportive bunch of people I know: the book community. From book bloggers taking the time to post detailed reviews of books they’d read, authors promoting other authors’ work and readers tweeting about how much they loved a book, it was a real eye-opener. The kindness and generosity of spirit was heart-warming, especially after hearing so much about what my daughter referred to as ‘trolling’. This very definitely changed my opinion of Twitter.

For me, social media was a Narnia-like doorway to another world. One that introduced me to a whole host of fabulous new authors, such as Caroline Roberts, Jules Wake, Linn B Halton, Helen J Rolfe and Sam Tonge to name just a few (the full list is rather lengthy!). I had no idea that such great writers were either signed to digital first imprints of the big publishing houses or were successful indie authors. At the time I was a strictly physical-copy only reader and wouldn’t entertain a Kindle. I quickly changed my mind and bought one, and boy am I glad I did! Since getting my hands on one I’ve read some fantastic ebooks.

Twitter also introduced me to York’s Festival of Writing, run by the Writers’ Workshop. I booked myself a place on the course and came away inspired. Indeed, it was here that the first seeds of self-publishing were sown in my mind.

Once I’d got my manuscript finished – or once I’d convinced myself I had to stop tweaking it to within an inch of its life! – I submitted it to a couple of the imprint publishers (I decided on only two as I still felt compelled to self-publish) and received one rejection and no response from the other (a flicker of self-doubt made me wonder if my writing was so bad, it didn’t warrant a response!) This made me take a long, hard look at my manuscript, which at over 150,000 was a bit of a hefty brute, and I decided a serious pruning session was in order. This I did and managed to discard over 20,000 words. Phew! My next step – and here’s where the internet and good old Twitter come in again – was to find an editor and book cover designer. After a good sniff around, I decided I liked what freelance editor, Alison Williams, offered and sent my manuscript off to her.

As far as a book cover was concerned, I’d decided early on that it had to be professionally designed, and I had the very designer in mind: Berni Stevens, whose book covers are just delicious! I’m thrilled with the one she designed for my novel; it captures the essence of the story’s location perfectly – in fact, I think I fall a little bit more in love with it every time I look at it!

Next up was marketing! Again, I knew who I wanted for this: the fab Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources. First off, I enlisted her help with a cover reveal followed by a whirlwind of a blogtour – it took my feet a while to touch the ground after that, I can tell you! I’m eternally grateful to Rachel for her slick organisational skills and for helping to launch my novel into the marketplace and introducing my book to the generous book bloggers who offered an unknown author a spot on their blogs.

I owe Twitter a big ‘thank you’, for helping me find all of these awesome people!

So, you see, after being sniffy about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and co, I’m a fully-fledged convert, fan and user – though I’m still a little behind on some forums, but I’m doing my best to catch up!

My first novel, The Letter – Kitty’s Story, which wouldn’t have been published without my introduction to social media, is available on Amazon in digital form and pretty soon it will be available in paperback. If you fancy a read, the links are:

UK:  www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DMKKM89

US: www.amazon.com/dp/B07DMKKM89

You can also catch me on:

Twitter: @ElizaJScott1

Facebook: @elizajscottauthor

Instagram: @elizajscott

Blog: www.elizajscott.com

You can find me on Goodreads, too.

Please feel free to get in touch – I always love to hear from fellow readers, authors and bloggers. Oh, and before I go, if you read The Letter – Kitty’s Story and like it, I’d be so grateful if you could pop a little review on Amazon. Thank you so much.

Eliza xxx

Thank you Eliza for taking the time to talk to me. I am hoping to do a Q&A with Eliza soon so if you have any burning questions then please leave them below. I must admit I haven’t read this yet but it’s on that ever increasing pile.

2018, debut novel, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Perfect Girlfriend By Karen Hamilton

What a gloomy Monday we are having….so I was on a blog tour for this beauty and I couldn’t properly honour my spot due to illness. Yesterday I finally finished this tale and my oh my what a treat. I honestly cannot wait to read more from Karen Hamilton what an obsessive thriller. If you know a Juliette/Lily stay on her good side. This is also your last chance to enter the competition….what are you waiting for…Happy Monday all.

Blurb: Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight

attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing.

Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.

And she’ll make sure no one stops her from

getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Review: When a debut novel is that thrilling – I literally cannot wait to read more from Karen Hamilton. Juliette is a compelling character – let’s just say you wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. This woman knows no bounds – just when you think she couldn’t possibly get any worse she does.

Juliette/Elizabeth has had a hard life, her younger brother Will was often in her care as her Mum Amelia liked to drink. On her watch her brother Will had a tragic accident and I believe this was the stem of her madness. That and a case of mean girls at boarding school. All she ever wanted was to fit in and be accepted- because of that she managed to get herself into a number of comprising positions thinking it would aid her social status. Sadly, all it did was add to her turmoil.

This is where her revenge starts – Nate the love of her life..she believes they are truly destined to be with each other and that fate will get them back to where they should be. Although saying that she gives fate a huge helping hand by applying to work on the same airline as him. Give her her due she bides her time until she thinks Vegas could be their perfect reunion. I won’t ruin any of the finer details but I will say Juliette goes out to get what she wants. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and all that.

I’m saddened that due to tiredness and sickness it has truly taken me a while to devour this gorgeous debut but my it was worth the wait. My mum doesn’t read but I was updating her along the way. She had a theory that was wrong although in some ways her killer instincts were correct – just with the wrong victim.

As well as Nate there was Bella.

Bella is Nate’s sister who Juliette/Lily went to school with and the mean girl who she desperately wanted to befriend. It’s remarkable how small her world really is but strange that Nate and Bella were clueless to their mutual nemesis.

There’s not much else I can actually say without ruining the ins and outs of this obsessive tale. Juliette is an intriguing character with issues but her confidence and can do attitude is also kind of inspiring. A tale that will stay with you long after the final page, an obsession that knows no bounds and each setback is the opportunity for a new start….

I’m so excited to see what Karen does next…this thrilling, obsessive novel is exactly what you must read this year get it Here. As I hadn’t finished this on time my blog tour post was a giveaway this is the last call on that check it out Here