2018, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized, update

Novella Review: The Boy with the Board By Katey Lovell

Blurb: A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

When her beloved mum dies suddenly, Helena escapes to sunny California. Determined to live for the moment, she puts aside her fears and signs up for the surfing lessons she’s always dreamed of – with the added distraction of hunky instructor Ashton.

Review: I have said it before and here I say it again these meet cute stories are perfect tea break escapism from day to day struggles.

For me The Boy with the Board has a totally different feel from the other meet cutes I have devoured. Helena’s Story is tinged with sadness but from a saying her mother used to say she decides to take caution to the wind and get out of her comfort zone. There is something awe inspiring in reading a story where a seemingly average young woman decides to make a life-changing decision. In that I am envious of Helena she saw a chance to change and grabbed it.

Although on a personal note I have made some life changes that have surprised and inspired me in my self and my own motivation. I’m proud of the woman I am becoming it’s like I have got back a little of the confidence I once had. Saying that I’ve never totally felt overly confident but I do feel like the changes I have made are adding to my day to day self confidence.

Reading has always been a passion of mine and following my studies I’m so glad I got back into reading for pleasure as it gives me so much joy. In escaping I’m discovering more about myself, who I want to be and where I want to go. I’m hoping to make some trips based on bookish love so watch this space…. I have two meet cutes left and I’m hoping to participate in the 24in48 readathon next weekend and o think finishing this beautiful series will be the icing on the cake.

Back to the Boy with the Board – there is just something about a guy with confidence and wet hair eh. This tasty treat should be snapped up whilst the weather is still smoking. Katey Lovell I’m saying it again I WANT more Meet Cutes please…

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: My Sweet Friend By H.A. Leuschel

Blurb: A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

Review: Back in March I was on the blog tour for Tess and Tattoos by Helene. Here is my review of that.

It was an intriguing and thought provoking read. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was left in awe of the strangest read that left me wanting more. Then Rachel posted about My Sweet Friend also one of Helene’s short novellas. I was an instant yes, reads like these are why I like blog tours. I do get bogged down from time to time but discovering new authors who I may have bypassed makes it worthwhile. I was also lucky enough to win this…

I still haven’t touched the chocolate as I’m very new to Slimming World but will be a good treat soon.

I really don’t know where to start My Sweet Friend is a short novella that will have you captivated from the off. Alexa looks the part and has a way of making people feel special if only for a short while. Rosie seems captivated by her confidence and stylish air but is her new friend what she seems. As the novella progresses Rosie starts to put two and two together although the damage is already done. Rosie confides in Alexa and she chooses to use her weakness to her advantage seeming like a good friend, willing to help and eager to calm Rosie’s stresses – that’s until she changes her mind.

This novella shows you what friends are and aren’t and how a person can use manipulation to make her craziness seem normal.

Alexa is a deeply troubled young woman who likes to believe she lives the high life when in reality, she’s troubled, lonely and depressed.

A thought provoking novella that will make you question your own actions and make you appreciate the people in your life who truly care for you. Helene has a way in intertwining a number of issues, friends, foes, work/ life balance, depression and manipulation. I cannot wait to devour my competition win – this author has one mental imagination.

2018, Author Love, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story

Book Review: Part Two Random Acts Of Kindness – Making Friends By Victoria Walters

Blurb: Escape to the beautiful town of Littlewood with Part 2 in an exciting new serial from Victoria Walters! Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Holly Hepburn and Jo Thomas.

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart. Abbie’s ex-boyfriend and colleague, Jack, has arrived back on the scene… Will she be lured back to London or has her heart taken root at Huntley Manor? Louise has promised to be kinder to herself, but after suffering one heartbreak too many, she isn’t keen to try her luck again…. Can the handsome local vet convince her otherwise? Eszter, who is over from Hungary with her daughter for the summer, has been met with nothing but kindness since she arrived in Littlewood, and now she and her daughter Zoe are all set to return the favour as Eszter’s mother-in-law Anne finds herself with nowhere to stay… Eszter is determined to help Anne get back involved in the community after being alone for so long, but do they belong in Littlewood or will the three of them remain outsiders?

Review: Firstly, I have to have a little rant at myself. I pre-ordered this and it pinged through to my Kindle which I have on my phone and my tablet and it’s taken me so long to get around to it. I won’t mention my other post where this rant was heavily documented. Victoria Walters 110% has a way with words that hooks me in and has me up until the small hours. In reading part one I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re needing a boost, a release or just to escape these instalments of this book about random acts of kindness is exactly what you need.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here but I know I tweeted Victoria about it. After the Books and the City spring blogger evening (still haven’t documented – post will happen) on my way home after meeting Victoria and hearing her read an extract from the book, I was awaiting a train and ended up befriending a lady who was trying to get rid of unwanted attention from a man on the platform. As you do looking out for another woman – we were chitchatting and then an older woman who had got on shortly after I believe was crying on the phone we then took her under our wing. None of us had ever met and the lady I originally spoke to was nearer the older lady in terms of stops and she vowed to make sure she got to her granddaughter safely. That experience made me feel all warm inside and instantly took me back to Littlewood. Not enough kindness happens in London and I would love to see more of it. (Maybe another blog post on this)

Anyway back to Littlewood part one left me wanting more and part two sure was a rollercoaster of emotions. I want Louise to take more control of her life and to feel the fear and do it anyway. (In that closed off respect she reminds me of me a little) I loved how Abbie engineered the meet for Louise and Alex although I felt like I was silently screaming at them both a lot in this part. Victoria does something that also Holly Hepburn does too she writes a male love interest or partner that you should fall for but you’re like no you’re a creep. I have loved having Abbie and Louise together and I’m kind of scared to start part three because I’m like no no no.

Anne, Eszter and Zoe warmed my hearts wholeheartedly in this section. I just love the relationship forming and a bond being made – I don’t want to say too much there are twists and turns that will have you feeling a multitude of emotions.

In finishing part two I want answers – which I can have as part three is sat awaiting me on my Kindle but the other part of me isn’t ready to find out. I love the characters although a number of them are annoying me with there stubborn attitudes.

I want a coffee shop like Brew I’m sure Harry and Joy could give me the additional kicks I need and boost my confidence regularly. Although I’m currently trying to change my eating habits I don’t think Brew would help with that.

If you have read any of the instalments of Random Acts Of Kindness be sure to get in touch with your thoughts I’m torn in whether I carry on or read something else. So tell me what you think I should do and why? I’m intrigued to see what you say…

2018, Author Love, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: Part Three Stormy Weather at Castle Court By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Cat is burned out from working long hours as a chef. They decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.

They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cat have the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in the cocktail bar that overlooks the court.

Review: Now where do I begin….I had pre-ordered this baby knowing it would ping through to my Kindle/tablet/phone whilst I was in sunnier climes. Due to a weird account error/possible fraud it wasn’t that seamless although I did download whilst away. I can’t remember exactly when I started this beauty and I don’t want to moan too much on this post as there will be a separate post for that. Due to blog tours and other circumstances it seemed to take me ages to get to this.

I can now say I have completed part three and what a rollercoaster ride it’s been for Sadie and Cat. I don’t want to spoil the finer details in case you haven’t got to this instalment yet but Cat really goes through the mill once again in this instalment. Not only is she injured she also endures some emotional turmoil making me want to reach into my book and give her a hug. I was surprised by the circumstances but I’m now sitting here writing this thinking are you really surprised you should have seen that coming.

I am still not Daniels biggest fan he’s nicer in this part but I must say I was over the moon to have Adam back and I hope he features heavily in part four. I will be eagerly reading when it pings through I literally cannot wait. For Holly to have ended part three teasingly by stating “I have a really good feeling about what’s coming next.” Left me wanting more more more.

A gorgeous instalment full of biscuits, sweetness, friendship, love, betrayal and storms. Another quote I truly loved and have to mention is “You’ve had some seriously stormy weather lately and you’ve sailed through it brilliantly.” I have really loved these instalments by Holly and I look forward to what she writes next.

Blogmas, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: Snowy Nights at Castle Court By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Cat is burned out from working long hours as a chef. They decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.

They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cat have the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in the cocktail bar that overlooks the court.

Review: Holly Hepburn is another of those authors who just gets under my skin. When I read about this four part story I was excited and intrigued and I knew it would help me feel festive.

Especially when I saw the cover of the gorgeous first part – Snowy Nights at Castle Court.

I was spot on, on all counts. I instantly loved Sadie and Cat. Proper ying and yang best friends. I love their friendship and I love that they’ve made their dream come true in Smart Cookies. It sounds like the place I would end up in quite regularly.

What I must say before I go on is – this read will make you hungry. When I started this I was on a train with no access to anything and I almost instantly wanted a coffee and some biscuits.

Castle Court sounds like a gorgeous place although a few of the shop owners are a little bit frosty. I was saddened for Cat and Sadie when they received a less than impressive welcome by some of the owners. From Cat’s story I knew there was more to her time in France but I wasn’t prepared for her words, Sadie got to me as she was so hurt that Cat hadn’t reached out to her.

I just love the characters and I’m really enjoying the blossoming love interests but I will say No Sadie just NO! And now I have to wait 😦 it’s going to be agony – but what a treat it will be.

Another fantastic treat from the lovely Holly Hepburn I cannot wait for part two to ping through to my Kindle and I’m sorry that this review was half started and left for a while. It’s been such a crazy time for me of late, but sitting with a book and a brew and on the odd occasion something stronger has been the tonic I needed.

ebook, Quick Reads, Short Story

Ebook Review: The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club part two Undertow By Katie May

Blurb: It’s a brand new start all over again for Deb as she finds herself at the centre of attention after planning a protest to save West Beach. What lies in store for The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club?

THE WHITSTABLE HIGH TIDE SWIMMING CLUB is a serialized novel told in three parts – taking you through a year in the life of Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) and the other high tide swimmers. This is Part Two.
Deb has finally cut her feckless husband loose, but in many other ways her life is spiralling out of control. With no home, no money, and a chaotic love life, she finds an unusual way to keep both body and soul together.
She’s not even sure of her friendship with Maisie anymore. But there’s still something that bonds the two women together: their determination to stop anyone building on their beloved West Beach. And yet, as they begin to mount their protest, they find themselves threatened and ridiculed, and must fall back on every ounce of their resourcefulness to keep going.

What would they do without the High Tide Swimming Club, whose intrigues, dramas and escapades keep them afloat in troubled waters?
A heart-warming, funny and poignant story of romance, friendship, new beginnings and second chances.

Review: I adored part one and now I’m here to say I totally loved part two and just before writing this review I pre-ordered part three. Now I never like to include spoilers but I do like to give an explanation of the story as best I can. 

Now at the end of part one we were left wondering whether Deb, Maise and The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club would save West Beach – what I will say is that’s still an unanswered question, but my was it a treat to read. 

Deb is an impressive and real character and in part two you see her at her lowest plus seeing her grasp some confidence back. Maise sent me on an emotional rollercoaster in this part I won’t reveal what her doctors appointment told her as I believe every reader should experience it just as I did. But I felt myself screaming at her to talk to Deb – thankfully that happened before the end of part two.

There was a touching moment with Deb and Brian – it was nice to see his character come to life more. I also loved a moment between Maise and Edith that was so touching and really made me think of the thankful last moments and memories we made with my Nan right near the end. 

I really do love a good short story and this is another treat. I do love swimming too although I haven’t been recently as I’ve been rather under the weather. 

If you want a short story that pulls at your heart strings, a protest for the people and just good characters then be sure to download this treat. You can get part two Here

ebook, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, TBR

Novella Review: Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn 

Blurb: Fall in love at the Star and Sixpence this Valentine’s Day….
Love is in the air as sisters Nessie and Sam prepare for Valentine’s Day at their newly renovated pub, The Star and Sixpence. They have a star chef winging her way from London to cook a very special Valentine’s Day dinner, for all the couples in the village. 

But as sparks fly in the kitchen, will love bloom in The Star and Sixpence? A romantic short story, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Scarlett Bailey. 

Sorry that this post has come super late in the day. I had partially sorted this but had literally no time today. Work was mental and during my break I managed to eat and just sit my ankle has been unbearable, but I’m starting to write in a pad again so hopefully I will stop complaining on here. 

Review: After finishing Holly Hepburn’s Picture House by the Sea series I really didn’t fancy heading straight into a full length novel. Even though I have a few Netgalley reads that I’m itching to get to. So I thought I would look to my Kindle and Valentine’s Day at the Star Sixpence caught my eye. I have only read the Picture House series of Holly’s but I have had them on my ever expanding TBR – so when I noticed this I thought it was perfect timing. 

From this instalment I can definitely say I’m going to enjoying visiting more of the Star and Sixpence, it sounds like one of those gorgeous quirky pubs that you will keep going back to. You could sit there alone and people watch or gossip it depends whose around or you could sit there and fall in love with a book with a tasty cocktail or two. I believe this is the second part although they can be read alone – although there’s a few things that may have made more sense to me if I had read Snowdrops first. 

Anyway it can’t be changed I have read the Valentines part. It really did make me smile yet again more loveable and relatable characters. I want to know what Sam is running from and what she’s scared of although I love her and Joss and it was cute that Nick Borrowdale features in this as he popped up in the Picture House.

Nessie – is an adorable character who has very little confidence in herself. I look forward to seeing how she changed throughout the series. Her and Owen are both shy and adorable it took them forever to work out a date. 

Holly you have sucked me in once again I cannot wait to see how this progresses. If you want a feel good read with a hint of love, friendship and family then check out the Star and Sixpence…..it’s gorgeous. 

Quick Reads, Quick Reads 2017, Review, Uncategorized

Quick Reads: Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. 

Firstly, I feel that I need to explain the Quick Reads initiative that was set up by the reading agency.

Each year Quick Reads commission big name authors to write short books that are designed to be easy to read. These are no different from normal books they are just shorter, and are aimed at adults who are a lot less confident with reading. This way a reader gets a snippet of an authors writing and then they can decide whether they would tackle anything else by said author.

C L Taylor was promoting Dead Simple just before Christmas I believe and that’s when I pre-ordered my copy, then I looked at the other options and decided on Feel the Fear. I have been told to read the longer version and I may well do someday but in all honesty I liked the fact that this self-help book was short and punchy it kept me interested and informed.

I pre ordered Feel the Fear and Dead Simple so I had them on the day of release. I started with Feel the Fear as well as reading more in general this year, I also hope to combat some of my downfalls and to concentrate on personal growth. I really enjoyed this as it was short and simple, I hope to continue with some of the exercises from time to time as I haven’t had time to do them fully. But this book did make me think and take note plus I have some quotes saved that I aim to write down and re-read when needed.

I really do enjoy short stories and I have been reading them on and off so far this year and I hope to continue doing so. In this Quick Reads selection there is also a Jenny Colgan and Rowan Coleman book that I may well devour….

Have you read any of this years short titles. If so tell me which and if I should stop and read something now do tell me.

Have a fantastic Monday whatever you do. I am hoping to snatch some time to finish my current book and to get some more blog posts prepped well I will have a work day to contend with first. But I can take whatever is thrown at me this week as it’s my birthday week.

Quick Reads Info: 

Quick Reads are making real, lasting difference to people’s lives. Since 2006, 4.8 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 4.6 million library loans have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. Quick Reads is a unique collaboration and we are very grateful for the support of everyone involved.

To find out more about Quick Reads Reading agency site and @Quick_Reads