2019, Author Love, Blog Tour, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: A Year At Castle Court By Holly Hepburn – win a copy of this beauty.

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Her best friend from childhood, Cat, is burned out from working long hours as a chef in Paris. In need of a change, 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 Seb‘s cocktail bar on the third floor!

Review: Ever since I discovered Holly Hepburn I’ve been mesmerised by her writing. What I love about devouring one of Holly’s novels is that I’ve instantly escaped whatever mundane worries I have for a short time at least. Her novels feature kick ass women and men to die for as well as those we love to hate. I must admit her latest set of instalments I’m a tad behind on as I’ve been studying but I’m in the midst of getting my studies, reading and my life in general more organised.

Anyway today I’m pleased to be a part of the gorgeous blog tour for A Year At Castle Court. I’m one of these people who originally took forever to get to e books but then it seemed like the best of both worlds. I read this beauty when it was originally released in four parts and as with any Holly book I was eagerly left wanting more after each instalment, so much so I had pre-ordered each part and had kind of forgotten until they pinged though.

From the off I was taken with Sadie and Cat very different women but simultaneously very good friends. Their friendship and partnership was a joy to read. These girls sure did go on an emotional rollercoaster ride but what was always paramount was their bond – even when they didn’t really agree or like what the other was doing.

As I said I read this beauty in stages and I was hooked from the get go my thoughts are all here.

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/book-review-snowy-nights-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/book-review-frosty-mornings-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/book-review-part-three-stormy-weather-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/book-review-starry-skies-at-castle-court-by-holly-hepburn/

Be sure to check out all the other stops on this truly fabulous tour. I’m also giving one lucky UK person the chance of winning this treat.

Tell me why you would love to delve into Holly’s Castle Court? And what your hopes are for 2019.

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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.

Uncategorized

Goodbye to 2018 and Hello to 2019

So we’ve reached the penultimate day of the year. I love that Facebook now has memories as you can see snapshots of what you’ve said and done previously. Seeing what’s changed and ultimately what hasn’t.

Last New Years Eve I was trying to embrace a lot of changes and the things that made me sad then don’t really bother me in the same way this year. I’m not perfect and 2018 hasn’t been wholly perfect but I have started a chain of events that I’m proud of. As the year has ended my blogging and reading has spiralled but that’s because of a number of other events that have been going on in my life.

Today I have no plans bar going with my sister for my niece and nephews jabs and making a doctors appointment for myself which resulted in a call back and some antibiotics – I had a few medicinal Irish coffees yesterday so I’m all good to stick to hot orange.

Time to be productive so I can get back to the extremely good Netflix show YOU. Whatever you do today do it with a smile.

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Helpline By Katherine Collette

Today I’m back to my Exercise to Music course and there is a multitude of emotions for me. It will be great to be back with the girls but I don’t feel I’ve had enough time for my routine and I’m still lacking music argh.

That’s not the reason for this post….the lovely team at Simon & Schuster always have time for us lovely bloggers and I was chuffed to be included in some of the info on this book.

So without further ado and I’m super sorry for the delay I had started this post before I got to my classroom this morning but exam prep and stuff just got in the way….

Now I don’t know about you but I could murder tea and Jammy dodgers right now. This debut will be hitting the shelves in June 2019. If your not sold on the cover here’s a bit more to wet your appetite.

Blurb: NEVER PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD …

Germaine Johnson may not be all that good with people but she’s great with numbers. Unfortunately, as she discovers after ‘the incident’ at Wallace Insurance (and the subsequent disputed allegations), there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians. Then her cousin gets her a job at the council. On the Senior Citizens Helpline.

It’s not the resumé entry Germaine wanted – but it turns out Mayor Verity Bainbridge has something more interesting in mind for her. A secret project involving the troublemakers at the community centre and their feud with the golf club next door. Which is run by the strangely attractive Don Thomas.

Don and the mayor want the seniors closed down. Germaine wants what Don and the mayor want. But when she’s forced to get to know the ‘troublemakers’- things get more complicated.

Witty, big-hearted and hugely enjoyable, The Helpline is what you might get if you crossed The Rosie Project with The Office.  If you have ever wrestled with the world of office politics, this charming debut novel is for you.

So what are your thoughts?

2018, Author Love, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: A Little Christmas Charm By Kathryn Freeman

Now before I talk of anything to do with this blog tour I need to mention how fabulous Kathryn Freeman is. She’s been so supportive of me as a blogger especially of late when I’ve felt extremely belittled. As soon as this book was announced I knew I had to make sure it was in my festive reading. I’ve loved Kathryn’s brooding males although Owen is a totally different breed but I will get to that later.

I’m ashamed to say I still have a number of her books in my ever expanding TBR.

Blurb: Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

Review: Now I’m not sure how I can truly do this festive treat justice? I will also do my utmost to not ruin the story.

From the off I warmed to both Gabby and Owen the banter and camaraderie along the way had me smiling and laughing out loud a lot. I loved seeing these two blossom and the many hurdles that they had to overcome but did they? I hear you say. You will have to read it to find out. I adore Christmas especially as an auntie to five but I love how Kathryn has encompassed how Christmas should be with traditions etc etc and how that is not always the case for all families.

I cannot begin to understand Gabby’s childhood but I know it happens. The other aspect that Kathryn has done amazingly well is that of grief. We lost my Nan to Cancer which is partly my reasoning for working for Cancer Research.

Christmas is a time of reflection I always have Boxing Day as another family day as that was when we visited Nan & Grandad I miss them terribly especially then but just like Owen & Sidney life goes on and we would be doing a disservice to their memories.

Kathryn manages to write a love story amongst a Christmas tale that will have you swooning for your very own dreamboat. Owen is completely different to the men I have read of hers before and not only making Gabby laugh he had me on tender hooks. There were so many character duos that I loved in this book.

Kathryn please please take us back to these again.

A Little Christmas Charm is everything you want in a festive read and more so much so I went straight into Costa and got a Gingerbread latte….this has really got me in the mood for the festive season even though I’m as stressed as the next person in regards to spending – as ever we probably all spend too much but I love making people’s day.

Do make sure you check out the rest of this truly fabulous tour for one of my most favourite authors.

Purchase Link 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Christmas-Charm-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B07GNL7VN8

Author Bio – 

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero. 

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links – 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

For your chance to win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith which was Kathryn’s offering last year click the link below and GOOD LUCK!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494161/?

Massive thanks to Rachel for organising this festive tour of one of my favourites and what a gorgeous story it was.

2018, Fitness, personal, Uncategorized, update

A brand new journey – Exercise to Music

Today I’m embarking on a brand new journey and I’m scared and excited.

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Sporty Spice aka Melanie C. I adored everything she stood for, a kick ass female who proudly sported a football shirt in a society where girls are expected not to understand the beautiful game.

Ever since taking GCSE PE I always thought I would do more with it. I’d lived and breathed Netball, running and trampolining to name a few of my favourite sports. I don’t know what changed I guess I became overlooked and then my love of writing and of all things media overtook and as I got older I started going out and my exercise regime slowly diminished.

Earlier this year I learnt more about myself and how I treat my body. Not only have I started eating foods I would never have imagined and lessened foods that I’d ate in excess I also discovered fitness sessions that I adore and for me that’s what has changed. I’ve been doing Zumba on and off for years and I’m not saying I don’t love it but for me it wasn’t enough and now that my food is a lot better alongside that a stupid amount of walking and Fight Klub I now feel like I get proper decent workouts. I’ve also just recently started Piyo which I also love – it’s bloody hard work and takes it out of me but it’s so good for the strengthening of my body.

I’m now on my lunch break and I’ve learnt so much already.

Find what you love and run with it.

2018, Author Love, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland By Heidi Swain

Better late than never I’ve been sooo excited by this gorgeous book and my oh my it did not disappoint. So without further ado.

Blurb: After calling off her engagement, Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, wants nothing more than to return to her no-strings fun-loving self, avoiding any chance of future heartbreak. Little does she know, Wynbridge’s latest arrival is about to throw her plan entirely off course . . .

Moving into Wynthorpe Hall to escape the town’s gossip, Hayley finds herself immersed in the eccentric Connelly family’s festive activities as they plan to host their first ever Winter Wonderland. But Hayley isn’t the only new resident at the hall. Gabe, a friend of the Connelly’s son Jamie, has also taken up residence, moving into Gatekeeper’s Cottage, and he quickly makes an impression on Wynbridge’s reformed good-girl.

As preparations commence for the biggest event of the season, the pair find themselves drawn ever closer to one another, but unbeknownst to Hayley, Gabe, too, has a reason for turning his back on love, one that seems intent on keeping them apart.

Under the starry winter skies, will Gabe convince Hayley to open her heart again once more? And in doing so, will he convince himself? ~*~

Review: Long before I’d read a single word of any of Heidi’s books I was a fan of the lady herself. Heidi is a people person who instantly puts you at ease in her presence. Not only does she put you at ease she makes you feel like you’ve known her forever. So when her festive feel good treat came up I jumped at the chance of being on the tour. I had hoped to have read this with many a Cinnamon swirl but that didn’t happen. Just like her previous novel I ended up listening to it even though I have a paperback too which looks truly gorgeous on my shelf. It’s the second time I’ve listened to Karen Cass and I must admit I really am a fan of hers also, if you’ve read my blog before I have listened to some really good and really bad audiobooks but this sure was a hit. When a woman can have a variation of voices well that’s a win in my book.

So Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland takes readers back to Wynbridge I had hoped to have devoured last years festive treat before diving into this but in Hayley style that didn’t happen.

I am looking forward to going back to it as I was pretty taken with my namesake – Hayley is a loveable character who I was rooting for from the off. Without spoiling any finer details her life changes quite quickly and dramatically early on into this novel. I just loved how she picked herself up and realised a lot more about herself. Which is something I’ve done in my life this year also.

What I truly love about Heidi Swain’s writing is how she creates a community you wish you were a part of. The characters from Wynthorpe Hall are an eclectic mix who feel like family.

In this gorgeous Christmas tale she has also touched on loss – the festivities often have us thinking of our loved ones who are no longer with us, and Gabes story really hit home for me. It’s hard to carry on and to smile when you’re grief stricken for a loved one and I totally understand that not in the same way he did though.

A sparkling tale that will leave you reminiscing of times gone by, looking forward to the future and reaching for a pastry. Heidi Swain has it all drama, blossoming romance, villains, you name it she’s got it.

This is the second story that I’ve read of late with a Hayley she’s also not really like me but she did make me smile from head to toe. If you’re looking for a book to get lost in this Christmas look no further.

2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday – Dream Panels/Events

I love me a Six for Sunday but wow how can I only pick six beauties for this one. So having attended two book events of two very empowering and inspirational women both of them have to feature so here it goes.

Cecelia Ahern

Jodi Picoult

Now this lady has to feature as every single one of her books gives me all the feels and there’s only one I haven’t read and I think that needs to change. Over to the queen of sparkly Miranda Dickinson

Omg that’s three down and there are soooo many I could add. I want to take this time to say I wish I could have all my ultimate favourites but there are so god damn many of you.

Ruth Ware

Daphne Du Maurier

Paige Toon

So that wraps up my Six for Sunday and what another treat it has been. Sorry for the delay had a mixed day a bit of coursework and some family time.

2018, First Impression Friday, Uncategorized

First Impression Friday #1

So I’d seen this meme last week I believe and thought oooh now that could be fun if you want to know more about it do follow the next link to see Joe from Storeys of Stories explanation post First impression Friday.

So what is involved in First Impression Friday?

Based on your current read, give a few impressions
and predict what you’ll think by the end.

• Did you think you’d love and ended up hating it? Or did you think you’d hate it and wound up loving it? Or were you exactly right?

Then link back to Storeys of Stories.

So this week I was approved on Netgalley Sleep by C L Taylor. Having been at an event back in April hearing her speak briefly about this I was extremely excited and knew I want want to devour it. When she posted that it was up on Netgalley off I went and thankfully I was approved. I have almost finished chapter 8 and there are so many jaw dropping moments where I feel like I barely breathe. Cally Taylor has the knack of describing scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat and awake at night.

I really like Anna I’m empathetic to her and hoping she turns a corner.

I haven’t been disappointed by Cally before and I know I haven’t read everything she’s written but what I have had been amazing. I honestly cannot recommend her enough. I will be purchasing Sleep for my colleague as soon as it’s available as I know she will devour it promptly.

I’m pretty certain I’m going to love this book and seeing as it’s not out until next year.

2018, Author Love, event, Uncategorized

Facebook Live – Cecelia Ahern Roar event pre publication

I had hoped to have this post up yesterday but my working day just took over and I didn’t want this rushed. Today is also publication day for Roar so happy publication day Cecelia I hope there are more bubbles.

So Blogtober may have bombed but on the positive side I have had more content on my site period. In doing this it has also made me more positive and organised to come up with more content and actually get it up as soon as it’s hit my train of thought rather than it sitting in drafts until the end of time.

My last post was a fabulous event write up about the awesome Jodi Picoult and now I’m here to share another truly inspirational write up about Cecelia Ahern.

Now firstly, I have been a fan of Cecelia’s from the very beginning- I must admit the last few books I have but I haven’t read them (I know that’s awful- it’s what happens when there are so many fantastic books and authors around).

When Roar was announced I was intrigued I’ve read short stories from Cecelia before and I’ve enjoyed them, the messages from Roar just scream EMPOWERING. I was having a so so day when the notification popped up on Facebook to say I had won the competition to a live interview screening with Cecelia. I was over the moon. I’d managed to pick up a sampler from Waterstones and in doing so before the event I had read 5 of the 7 in the sampler and each story left me with a different feeling. That is what I truly love about her writing and in finally meeting the lady herself again – the last time I had the pleasure was at the Selfridges signing for The Gift. We have both changed a lot since then.

So the Facebook live event took place in the library of the Soho Hotel which was amazing on its own. It was a very intimate setting where we were given bubbles and nibbles shortly after arriving. It was homely and just a truly lovely atmosphere, to be amongst some of Cecelia’s biggest fans with people travelling from as far away as Cardiff. I believe I was the Londoner who had the shortest journey.

We weren’t allowed to take pics during the interview which was fine as for me it meant I was just focused on taking in what was said. I love how passionate Cecelia is after all her success and as I’ve said I’ve really enjoyed the stories that I’ve already read from the collection, and I can’t wait to continue devouring them. I’m really looking forward to the namesake of the book. This collection has been five years in the making and what a treat it’s been so far.

I could say lots about the stories I’ve already read but I will leave that for when I review the full collection. What I will say is if you’re looking for a book to empower you then look no further the underlying messages in Roar are outstanding for any and every woman.

Thank you again to Harper Collins for the fabulous competition and to Cecelia herself for being outstanding once again. Let’s not leave it so long next time. I may have also mentioned Westlife. On that note I will stop typing. Go buy Roar…Roar link