2019, Blogtober, christmas, Publication Day, Uncategorized

The Christmas Wish List By Heidi Swain

Happiest of publication days to one of my most favourite authors. Heidi I hope today is everything you deserve and more and I hope there is cake and bubbles too. I cannot wait to go to Wynbridge this Christmas. You can purchase it Here also be sure to check your local independent book shops and supermarkets.

I’ve been so excited for this book since it was announced although that feels like forever ago.

If my excitement isn’t enough for you be sure to read the blurb….

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

I don’t usually read Christmas books this early but there really are a few good ones this year….plus each year I always get a few that I don’t get to and I promise to read it the following year. Let’s see how I fair this year.

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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, Publication Day, Uncategorized

As Luck Would Have It By Zoe May

Today is publication day for Zoe May’s latest offering – As Luck Would Have It. Ever since loving her debut novel – Perfect Match. You can read my review here

I’m pretty sure it was a Netgalley find and in doing so I read it really quickly and was eager to see what was next for Zoe. I must admit my ever expanding TBR pile still has a few of hers but I decided that I would make this one a priority this July. Tomorrow I will be flying to Dublin for the weekend and won’t have much in terms of luggage space so I’m hoping to get some reading in on my phone via my Kindle app.

Blurb: One holiday can change your life forever…Natalie Jackson might keep up appearances on Instagram, but in reality her fiancé has just jilted her after the birth of their baby and she’s moved back in with her mum. Life isn’t exactly going to plan!

So when she enters the village raffle for the holiday of a lifetime, she thinks she has no chance of winning. But her name is pulled out – and, as luck would have it, so is a ticket bought by her childhood nemesis: Will Brimble.

Surely a romantic holiday for two is the worst idea ever right?

Seeing as I’m off to Dublin tomorrow I didn’t stay up to see this ping through- good job really as I’m sure I couldn’t have resisted starting it. This morning I needed to get ready and pack a bag as after work I’m off to my friends ahead of Dublin early tomorrow. As I’m walking I’m listening to an audiobook but later on I will be starting this beauty. Have a fantastic day Zoe. You deserve it.

2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Forgive Me Not By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Review: Now I can’t say I have read all of Samantha Tonge’s back catalogue but what I have read I have really enjoyed.

Forgive Me Not is a brand new novel from Samantha with Canelo it’s a whole new direction for her and all I can say is wow.

I took part in a readathon at the weekend and for once I didn’t do too badly. (More on this later) but I knew I was due to review Forgive Me Not today so it was definitely on my TBR and it kept me transfixed. I was working over the weekend but every spare minute was spent truly devouring Emma’s story.

Emma is such an interesting character although at times I felt frustrated at her and on behalf of her. As the story unfolds you’re taken back and forth on her journey. There’s so much to Emma and her story isn’t as clear cut as it seems at times. I loved seeing the twists unfold and the terror and shock of what she discovered. It’s remarkable how secrets and lies can shape your whole existence – well this is definitely part of Emma’s story and I’m pretty sure there are many people out there that will agree if certain events in their lives had been different their journey would have been different. This sentiment made me question how we are towards others around us. It’s all well and good being sorry but actions do speak louder than words and Emma learns the hard way.

If you have read Samantha’s work wipe away any misconceptions as this novel is a one off a stand alone that will stay with you long after the final page.

This novel seemed to come to me at the right time. I’m penning a post that will link nicely to this book but I don’t want to give too much away the gist I will say is that every single person you meet is fighting their own personal battles and appearances can be deceptive. Sometimes we automatically judge people when we have no right. Anything can change our way of life, a difficult childhood doesn’t mean you’ll turn out a tearaway, and coming from money also doesn’t mean you’ll never experience hardship in some way shape or form.

I could share so many quotes from this epic tale but I really liked this “she’d concluded that all being normal meant was being happy with yourself.” This speaks volumes to me and right now in a good place on my Slimming World journey I finally feel happier in myself.

Forgiving comes easy to some but Emma’s sister isn’t ready to forget and on Emma’s journey as she starts to heal she realises where her family are coming from. I truly believe this sentiment will be an eye opener for most.

This story has so much to deal with and it’s done so well. I don’t want to elaborate too much as it’s a special journey and each and every reader will see different signs and triggers. Sadly in the world we live in there’s still a stigma around mental health and depression. On the flip side they are just two aspects and thanks to authors like Samantha these everyday real life battles are being spoken about more.

If you want to read a book that’s going to entertain, intrigue and teach you something then go grab Forgive Me Not and join Emma on her rollercoaster ride. My final words are Never judge a book by its cover, appearances can be deceptive and think before you judge another.

2018, Author Love, Guest Post, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Guest Post: The Power Of Kindness By Victoria Walters

Today sees the publication of part four of Victoria Walters Random Acts Of Kindness and I truly cannot wait to devour it. Although I will miss Littlewood and it’s residents.

So in honour of publication day I have the lovely lady herself here at Hayley Reviews without further ado I give you Victoria…

The Power Of Kindness

When I started writing my four-part serial, Random Acts Of Kindness, I was sceptical at how much kindness there really was in every-day life. The story is set in a small surrey (fictional) town called Littlewood and follows three women over one summer who discover that kindness can change your life. There is an act of kindness in the very first chapter, which starts a butterfly effect of acts of kindness through the story, and inspires the three women to make a pact to be kinder to both other people, and to themselves.

After I had written the first part, I experienced an eerily similar act of kindness to one of main characters. I was in a shop and suddenly realised that my handbag was no longer hung on my shoulder. I immediately panicked and frantically tried to retrace my steps in the store. There was no sign of it so I assumed it had been taken by someone. It’s a shame that was my first feeling but I thought it had gone. Then I turned around and saw a woman coming up the escalator carrying my bag. She worked for the shop and had seen it fall off my shoulder (note to self-do not wear a leather jacket with a gold chain strap in future – it slips right off!) and had picked it up and tried to find me in the shop. I was so grateful, I gave her a big hug! I think she was surprised but no more than me that someone had found my bag, and reunited me with it.

What was so crazy about this act of kindness was the mirror to my book. In the first chapter, Abbie has arrived in Littlewood from London and she drops her bag at the train station. Later, she is stunned to have it handed back to her by a stranger who followed her to a local café called Brew. Brew has a kindness board where customers write up acts of kindness that others have done for them, and it inspires Abbie, the stranger Eszter, and Abbie’s sister Louise to do their own acts of kindness. I love the idea of kindness having a pay-it-forward effect on people.

As I wrote Random Acts Of Kindness, I have noticed kindness so much more than before. If you look for it you do see so much of it that my faith in human nature has been restored. Even if it’s just someone giving you a compliment or holding the door open for you, all these small things can really make someone feel special, and turn their day around. I really hope my story inspires readers to make kindness more of a priority in their lives, and I’m definitely trying to make it more of one myself.

Thank you Victoria for joining me here at Hayley Reviews. I also would like to make kindness more of a priority in my life too. Sometimes the smallest things can mean the most to others and we should also all be kinder to ourselves, I am getting better at that but I can be my own worst enemy.

If you haven’t devoured this gorgeous series then be sure to do so part one is free and the others are 99p each what a bargain.

Random Acts Of Kindness

Before I go here are my reviews from the first three parts.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts on finishing the series this week. I’m getting the bus into work instead of my usual walk so I can start devouring this beauty. Saying goodbye to Littlewood will be hard but being kind should be part of our everyday existence.

2018, Author Love, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Five Years From Now is out today…

Happiest of publication days to Paige Toon for the gorgeous Five Years From Now. A novel that sucked me in and spat me out in the greatest sense of the word. The characters are loveable and you will honestly be invested in them from the off. Nell and Vian/Van were my favourites from the off.

Here is my review for Five Years From Now one of my favourite reads this year.

I haven’t had Paige in my life for long but every one of the novels of hers that I have read have been outstanding. I started with Last Piece Of My Heart another novel that had me laughing and in tears. Which was then followed by The One We Fell in Love With and then Thirteen Weddings and the Christmas short A Christmas Wedding.

A few more of my blog posts on Paige Sampler Five Years From Now

A Christmas Wedding

The last piece of my heart

So from my links there are two I shamefully haven’t reviewed wow this won’t happen again lol.

Last July I was lucky enough to meet Paige for the first time at YALC, and since then we have met a few times. Not only is Paige an awesome writer she’s a lovely and humble human being and every-time I speak to her I’m inspired and grateful.

So to everyone who has devoured all of Paige’s glorious collection what should I read next?

So what are you waiting for get ordering this beauty. Five years from now link I will be on the hunt for the pink one from Asda I’m not sure my local Asda does books but that will be my mission. As I say I’m all ears to what Paige novel I should devour next I also love Audible so let me know if I should listen.

2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day

Publication day blog tour: The Things We Need To Say By Rachel Burton

Blurb: Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

Happiest of publication days to Rachel Burton with The Things We Need To Say….I managed to double book myself today so I haven’t read it as yet but I will be reading shortly. I’m so sorry that I haven’t got to it yet….you can purchase it Here

2018, Blog Tour, Netgalley, Publication Day, Review, TBR, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Summer in Rome By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: 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.

Purchase from Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rrwXfT

Review: Firstly, happiest of publication days to Samantha. What a gorgeous treat One Summer in Rome is. Now I really do want a holiday….even more than I usually do. In reading this I have been longing for pizza (something I’m not eating at the moment – unless I make a clean eating version) and to wander around by the Trevi Fountain amongst the street entertainers.

I adored The New Beginnings Coffee Club so when Rachel emailed regarding this blog blitz I was instantly intrigued. To be honest I don’t really know where to begin with talking about this book without spoiling anything but I shall do my best. Just like The New Beginnings Coffee Club Samantha has tackled a number of real-life issues in this feel good read. It’s been pretty hard going on me reading about cake and pizza but my willpower has changed a lot since starting my Slimming World journey.

From the off I liked Mary/Maria. I applauded her for taking a risk in leaving everything she knew. It was obviously terrifying for her but after everything that has been thrown at her in her life it’s exactly what she needed. The life she was given wasn’t her making but as she set foot on that plane her mindset changed. It was heartwarming to see her tackle each and every obstacle she was given in her new country of residence. I have heard many bloggers swooning over Dante from the off but for me it wasn’t that simple. He was quite obviously attractive but at the beginning I thought he was stuck up and rude. Dante wasn’t the only character I thought badly of. I also wasn’t a huge fan of Rocco either. This novel has so much back story and history it makes it addictive. I found myself very much invested in these characters and there were a number of oh my moments that had me turning the pages quicker and quicker.

It’s surprising as the secrets about each character you couldn’t have pinpointed bar one with Rocco. The penny dropped on one point but not on the more devastating reality. By the end of the book I saw the romance in Dante and my heart warmed to Rocco.

In a world full of madness One Summer in Rome manages to take you away from whatever crazy you’re experiencing at this point in life. It also makes you realise that everyone you come across is silently fighting their own battles and worries so be kinder. A number of the books I have read lately have had an underlying message of being grateful and living for now. Not what’s gone or what might be but right now.

2018, Author Love, Netgalley, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Close Your Eyes By Darren O’Sullivan

Happiest of publication days to this little beauty. It has pinged through to my Kindle even though I couldn’t wait and devoured via Netgalley. Have a truly awesome day Darren and I look forward to the paperback party. It will happen…

Blurb: He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review: Last July Darren O’Sullivan’s Our Little Secret saved me when I was feeling super low. Over doing it I completely bust my ankle it wasn’t broken it just made a number of daily tasks hard. I was signed off work and I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself so I threw myself into Netflix and books. I had seen Our Little Secret advertised via Twitter and I was hooked from the get go. As I have stated before I’m an avid tweeter when I’m reading and OMG did I spam Darren. If you haven’t read Our Little Secret I urge you to now. Our Little Secret Review

Close Your Eyes has a totally different feel once the story gets into swing it’s extremely fast paced I could easily see this as a film or a TV series. Darren gives Liam Neeson a fun for his money. Daniel is a character you feel for. Having been in a coma and lost a whole chunk of his life – sometimes even basic tasks are hard to fathom. When he receives the call asking to return what he took he’s completely dumbstruck and when his son and ex wife disappear he knows he needs to act fast.

Daniel was seeing a shrink to help him piece together the bad dreams and memories but he’s never needed to know in such a rush. Daniel’s story sure is a fast paced rollercoaster ride and sometimes not knowing really is best for your own piece of mind but when everything you hold dear is threatened you do things totally out of character on instinct.

The story is set over a few days with Friday being Daniel’s deadline to put the puzzle back together and save his loved ones. I really could see this as a Netflix mini series or a film. Once Daniel has a clue his gut instincts take over and we are taken on his journey. Where not only Daniel but us the reader are filled with a number of emotions.

The story has parts from Daniel, memories,dreams and letters. There are parts from Rachael and as the action hots up there are parts from Tom.

Knowing Darren is a father the love of a child is shown wholeheartedly and I honestly don’t know how he managed to write some of these truly gut wrenching scenes. I’m an auntie and I felt like my heart was in my mouth most of the time.

Rachael is the mother of his child who he still gets on with extremely well. It’s nice to see a story where this actually happens and co-parenting works seamlessly. The scenes where Rachael and Tom are taken are at times hard to read but heartwarming no matter what fear she was feeling she made sure her little boy used his imagination in the most beautiful of ways in a bad situation.

I can’t say too much else without giving spoilers and I’m not one for spoilers. What I will say is take some time away from real life and devour this action packed rollercoaster read. I did not see it coming although now I’m like were there clues. I’m not so sure. I truly loved Darren’s debut and it will always have a special place in my heart. The book that saved me, the book that brought this amazing author into my life. Ha we even had a coffee at the Kings Cross Pret which gets a mention in the book.

Darren you have lifted the bar whatever worries you had over book two forget them it’s a masterpiece and as I say could totally be a film or TV series. And now I can breathe…..now for the agonising wait of the next book. Which just means I have to go back to listening to Our Little Secret on Audible.

2018, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized, update

Publication Day of Our Little Secret By Darren O’Sullivan

Last July I came across this beauty of a book via Twitter along with the author Darren O’Sullivan. I have said this before and I will say it again I discovered this book at a time I really needed to chill and take my mind off the world and my poorly ankle.

Our Little Secret did that and so much more I was so invested in this story – the cover is gorgeous and Darren is such an appreciative author to readers and bloggers alike. We had a number of chats on Twitter and there had always been a conversation when it went to publication Darren would hand deliver me a signed copy. I always knew it would be published in paperback I never thought Darren would remember….

On 21st March, 2018 I met Darren for coffee and received my gorgeous paperback. We chatted for ages about his books and what we were both reading. What I loved was how easy the chat was and how humble Darren is. Thanks to Darren I also got to speak to Louise Jensen very briefly. I could have also continued my bookish day but my work life has been somewhat strained and I had a meeting and an event the following day. So miss sensible won out on that score but I was a happy bookish bunny.

I have today just started re-reading Our Little Secret well (listening) via Audible, and I must say I don’t know what Darren was worrying about – he is in fact reading his gorgeous story.

Been eager to do this for ages but thanks to being unwell my nose has been awful and my skin so dry. After a face-pack I felt like what the hell it is paperback publication day. I hope Darren has an amazing launch and I hope that everyone who attends realises how lucky and blessed they are and if they haven’t read this beauty then my what a treat they have in store. I’m enjoying having Chris back in my life once again….

My review from last year can be found Here and here is my cover reveal Here I’m so grateful to this book for giving me this wonderful author and I’m super excited for book two next month…Close your eyes look at that cover….May 5th can’t come soon enough…I am most definitely a fan of Darren O’Sullivan and I cannot wait to devour his next offering…I finished another Thriller today from another of my faves watch this space…