2020, 2021, Fitness, Me, Monday motivation and smiles, personal, Reading and blogging intentions, running

Monday Motivation and smiles. #1

It’s been a while since I’ve been compelled to pen one of these posts. The last one I done was back in November and you can read it here. I was intent on posting a novella review today you never know I may post a double post or it may come tomorrow.

It’s funny in having a brief look at that previous post a few things are still the same. Today just like that Monday I had stepped on the scales and not been too happy with the answer. In saying that when I looked at the numbers this morning I was like ok you got this…I haven’t properly been on the scales since Christmas and New Year and obviously during that time I wasn’t exactly caring what I ate. The past week was a right off for a number of reasons and best part of that was just being a bit lazy. As it stands I’ve got up had a decent breakfast and been on a cheeky 10k run – following a week away I will wholeheartedly take that.

It means back to the drawing board where I write down all my food I mean with a pandemic still very much around sometimes it’s hard to obtain certain things but I’m ready to make better choices.

Last night I started reading

I didn’t get as far along as I would like but today I plan to make a decent progress with this beauty. What I’ve read has had me on the edge of my seat and I’m not that far along.

What are you doing for you today? Well I got the run in and I never expected to pull out a cheeky 10k. I’ve just had a much needed bath. As mentioned I hope to get a decent chunk of The Island read it’s out on 21st and I plan to post my review on publication day. I’m also hoping to paint my nails even if I just get my toe nails done it will give me a bit of a boost after last weeks anxiousness.

I would love to know how your Monday is going and what your blogging intentions are for the week. I’m also hoping to make time to finish my audiobook before delving into another blog tour read. Get ready for a lot of Thrillers coming up on Hayley Reviews.

2020, 2021, audible, audiobook, Author Love, Me, Review, Six for Sunday, TBR, Uncategorized, update

Six for Sunday: Books you wish you read in 2020.

It’s Sunday again and today I’m back this is three in three so far this year for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by https://alittlebutalot.com each week a prompt is given and then you choose books accordingly.

Today’s prompt is Books you wish you read in 2020. As a bookworm and blogger it’s an occupational hazard that the pile of books only ever gets longer, no matter how many books you read. I mean I was impressed with my totals in 2020 and I very much used my spare time wisely – I’m also thinking of how much more I could have achieved if I hadn’t lost a week or two from headaches. Another bookish hazard right there.

I pre-ordered a gorgeous edition of this alongside Ruth Ware’s One By One but somehow I didn’t read this. I think it came just before a few commitments plus then Christmas. I’m a massive Jodi Picoult fan so I will be rectifying this soon.
I heard so many good things about this and ordered a special edition from Waterstones. It just seems to have passed me by.
Following reading On The Come Up i ordered a copy of this. Somehow it remains unread but in some ways this is good as Concrete Rose is the prequel to this so I can now read in order. That’s been ordered now 🙂
Following absolutely adoring You, Me Everything I was sent a copy of this and so far it remains on that ever expanding pile of books. Hoping to get more organised as so far January has been pretty productive.
I can’t even remember when I received this beauty of a book. I must have read a page or two but I can’t pinpoint why I didn’t continue then. I’m going to blame commitments. I saw so many gorgeous things about this book.
I was so excited for this and Midnight Sun I read Midnight Sun and I was deliberating as to whether I read or listened to this one and I’m still undecided.

I have a few blog commitments in my next two reads but where should I go with these?.

Obviously I will read Concrete Rose before The Hate You Give and I’ve just ordered that from the gorgeous Berts Books last night.

2021, audible, audiobook, Author Love, Blog Tour, Buddy Read, Cover Reveal, ebook, Libby, love books group, Me, Netgalley, New Author to me, Review, TBR, Uncategorized, update, Weekly Update

Weekly Update #29

Here we are again…Saturday has rolled round. Although this week has felt longer than most. I’m not going into too much as I haven’t the information or the time to do so but I will admit it’s been a somewhat anxious and agonising week, with still no answers.

This means there are no sweaty selfies this week. My last run was exactly a week today. My only saving grace is the weather has been pretty pants. As a good friend told me this week muscle memory is paramount and she always feels good after a break. So I’m trying to embrace those good vibes whilst I’m not pounding the pavement.

This week I’ve read:

Reading two ebooks one for Netgalley and a library read. I did also email a publisher about a book that I could not finish reading. It’s not something I relish doing especially when it felt so me on paper but I’m glad I’ve done so and I will still be taking part in the tour just not via review.

What’s been on the blog?

On Sunday I took part in the second Six for Sunday of 2021 – this weeks prompt was Bookish Wins of 2020 and you can read my post here.

For some reason the past two Monday’s I’ve not been prepared and there hasn’t been a blog post. I’m taking some time over this weekend to read as well as prep post too. Shout if there are any specifics you would love to see here.

On Tuesday I made my for Monday’s lack of post by sharing a cover reveal and a blog tour review of my first gorgeous read of 2021. Cover Reveal The List and Book Review : I Give it a Year.

On Wednesday I shared a truly gorgeous book review of a subject matter I never expected to want to read. Book Review: Love in Lockdown

On Thursday I shared a post I had been toying with as I was in the middle of Buddy Reading my first book of 2021. You can read Buddy Reading here. I apologise for the link heavy post and for possibly adding to your ever growing TBR piles.

On Friday I posted another late in the day blog post following finishing listening to Twice in a Blue Moon as I hadn’t felt great so did no physical reading yesterday. You can read my thoughts here.

In terms of my GoodReads target for 2021 adding 3 more books has taken my total to 5. Having managed 107 plus 7 to what I was aiming for I decided to aim higher this year setting my target at 120. I figured as I am aiming to read more daily, listen to more audiobooks and get my Netgalley shelf down I thought it was worth a try and whilst we’re still living these strange times I thought it couldn’t hurt.

Having taken part in both cover reveals for this gorgeous book I was sent a copy or two. May have to do a giveaway…I had hoped to have got stuck in yday but my sleeping pattern is rotten so my head felt like mush. Hoping to get stuck in today.

I’m proper on one today ha. Remembering things to share and say. Who is loving The Mask Singer – this is the first series I’ve been able to properly get involved and I’ve called them correct the last two weeks.

2021, audible, audiobook, Libby, Me, New Author to me, Review, TBR, Uncategorized, update

Audio Review: Twice in a Blue Moon By Christina Lauren

Blurb: Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate – the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars – ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

Review: This was my second Christina Lauren audiobook. It had a different feel to that of The UnHoneymooners but it still had some of the trademark Christina Lauren.

Twice in a Blue Moon focusses on an extremely intense first love, heartbreak and betrayal. Sam & Tate came together as the pair are both on mutual trips to London. It was only natural that the youngsters would pair up and before long their sharing a number of secrets long into the night under the stars. Tate isn’t your average teen and her story is worthy of front page spreads. This aspect of her story had me thinking of Paige Toon’s Johnny Jefferson and his relationship with his teenage daughter Jessie. In saying that Ian is a whole other type of celebrity – we don’t know much about him at the beginning but the later stages I must admit I found myself wanting to swear at him a lot.

The second half of the book is fourteen years later when everything is different for Sam & Tate. They are reunited by a film – that in hindsight Tate should have read more into. The underlying aspect of their issues is the lack of communication. I can see why Tate acted the way she did. She was hurt and betrayed and was not only wary but extremely cautious over who she trusted.

The closing stages of the book felt like a whirlwind on their own there was so much happening between Tate & Sam and Tate & Ian. This had me on the edge of my seat and I felt bad that another character almost took the blame for the betrayals nearer the end of the story.

Twice in a Blue Moon is a coming of age novel full of love, intensity and a serious amount of passion – there were a few steamy scenes nearer the beginning of the story and before it ends. There are also aspects of family and how secrets can change your world in a heartbeat. I must say the reveals were very well placed throughout this novel and there is almost always a reason for our actions.

Are you a Christina Lauren fan? What should I read next? I do have Roomies on hold with the library.

2020, 2021, A thought? A question, audible, audiobook, Author Love, Buddy Read, christmas, debut novel, ebook, Me, Uncategorized

Buddy Reading…

Buddy Reading is one of my most favourite things to do. During 2020 I had the time and the pleasure to read a lot more buddy reads with Catriona. With her being in Denver and me in London it meant we were both mostly reading when the other was asleep and catching up in the interim with questions and more often than not OMG have you got to.

We read a lot of gorgeous books last year and we are now reading Love at First Swipe as our first of 2021.

Right I won’t necessarily go in order but our first buddy read of 2020 was the gripping Mr Nobody by Catherine Steadman and you can read my thoughts here.

Our last read of 2020 was This Time Next Year and we actually went live on Catriona’s You Tube to live chat that one. My review is here. Here is the you tube Link.

The Switch By Beth O’Leary review.

The Secret Seaside Escape By Heidi Swain review – Heidi is definitely one of our mutual favourites. Neither of us can remember whether we actually read The Winter Garden together or if we just overlapped it Review.

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris Review – another author whose debut we both adored so it was a given we wanted to buddy read this one.

The Liberation of Brigid Dunne was both our first Patricia Scanlan read this is being repackaged this year as Family Reunion and you can read my review here.

The High Moments By Sara Ella Ozbek was a gorgeous debut from Simon & Schuster and you can read my thoughts here.

Mhari McFarlane is another author we both adore and we decided it was high time we read one neither of us had read. It’s Not Me, It’s You is one I’ve had on my shelf for ages. As I’ve mentioned before I love the look of hardbacks but hate carrying them around. You can read my review here.

The last two Isabelle Broom books we have buddy read I really enjoyed reading Hello Again with Catriona my review is here.

Here and Now was my first Santa Montefiore novel and Catriona hadn’t read one in a while and we were both intrigued by this one so….review.

Miranda Dickinson is a go to read for us both. We read The Day We Meet Again together so it was only natural we read Our Story together you can read my review here.

I’m not going to give every link as I could be here a while but we read through Paige Toon’s back catalogue Readathon until we got to The Minute I Saw you which you can read here. There were two or three that I still need to finish due to getting mad headaches so watch this space.

Pumpkin Everything was a book I came across on Facebook and in mentioning to Catriona. We were both eager to read it. We both have a soft spot for all things coffee with a syrup so this definitely fit the season. You can read my review here.

Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares had been on my book shelf for a while. We had wanted to watch some of the Netflix series together so naturally needed to read the first book first. You can read my review here.

I don’t know about you but I’m intrigued to see what we can accomplish this year. More often than not I’m usually behind Catriona but with our first of this year I’m a little ahead.

2020, 2021, New Author to me, Uncategorized

Book Review: Love in Lockdown By Chloe James @FionaWoodifield

Blurb: Do you believe in love before first sight?

Lockdown is putting Sophia’s life on pause – just as she planned to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.

Jack is used to living life to the fullest. He’s going stir-crazy after just days isolating. Until the night he hears a woman crying from the balcony under his. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile on her face.

Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart.

Can they fall in love during a lockdown?

Review: Having lived through lockdown and the extension of lockdown, I never imagined I would want to read a book about it. In saying that – when I first opened Love in Lockdown I needed a book that I could fall in love with. I started reading this following having to give up on a Thriller that on paper was perfect for me. This was just the tonic I needed.

In saying that Love in Lockdown is a hopeful story that shows during times of trouble there is still joy, kindness and compassion.

I had initially thought I would have finished this much sooner than I did. The chapters were in sections of Sophia and Jack and there were a fair few moments when I was frantically reading on to find out what happened. Although I’m glad I had this pair for a little longer – although some aspects had me wistful for the life we once knew there was lots of humour that too came of our real to life experiences.

I love how Chloe James has looked at how the lockdown has effected the young and the older generation. Also looking at those of us in between and those who have even more life threatening reasons to stay home. It’s real we didn’t see it coming and my has it changed us all in so many ways.

This is a truly gorgeous tale where a shared interaction via the balcony changed both Sophia and Jack’s day to day. I loved seeing this friendship change over the course of the book. Although I will add there sure were a few bumps in the road that had me frantically turning the pages.

A surprisingly gorgeous read that will leave you feeling hopeful and full of love and admiration.

2021, Author Love, Blog Tour, New Author to me, Review, running, TBR, Uncategorized, update

Blog Tour: I Give it a Year By Helen Whitaker @helbobwhitaker

Blurb: Her husband’s moved out – and her dad’s moved in…
Curl up with the page-turning story full of emotion about family, marriage and second chances

It’s New Year’s Eve, and Iris has just found out that her husband, Adam, is cheating on her. Furious, she kicks him out, and enlists her Dad to move in and help with the children whilst she tries to mend her broken heart.

But her Dad soon starts to display signs of Alzheimer’s, and Iris realises that if she loses her partner, she’ll be managing an awful lot on her own. Soon, she realises that Adam wasn’t the only one taking their marriage for granted, and for the sake of the children she decides to give him one more chance.

But is it braver to stay than to run? And can anyone fall in love with the same person twice?

Review: This is my first introduction to Helen Whitaker and what a treat it was. I Give it a Year – starting on New Years Eve – which was why I chose this as my first read of the New Year and it takes you through until the following New Years.

As we meet Iris – she’s home alone with her young children whilst her husband is visiting his family or so she believes. This is when the story unfolds as Iris is clearing up ahead of getting to bed to be up for the children – when she picks up Adams iPad and notices a message that makes her suspicious. The nervous twitch that she can’t shake means she logs on and reads through the messages to discover to her horror that Adam has been cheating on her.

What I loved about this novel is the way this is set out. We have bold font for texts and emails and then as the story transpires we also have transcripts too. I also liked the dates at the beginning of each chapter as it shows where in the year we are.

This breaks it up and with a number of the chapters being quite short you find yourself turning more and more pages. Wanting to know more and wanting to see what twists and turns will transpire.

I now have to mention Fran and Nat – Iris’s friends her confidants. It’s only natural when going through the best and worst times of your life you confide in your friends. They won’t always tell you what you want to hear but they’ll be there. Fran and Nat are so different and I loved getting to know them although we get more airtime of Fran as she’s her best mate and they go running together. That’s another plus for me I found Running during the pandemic and I find it’s given me such a boost so being able to read a story with the release of running is wholeheartedly relatable even though I cannot relate to the being a mother part.

This is a story of family, betrayal, illness, grief, loss, trust, love and ultimately second chances. Helen has written a very relatable novel that focuses on a number of real to life aspects with humour and grace. It also shows how life can get in the way – Adam & Iris are a hardworking couple both with charity based jobs that take up a lot of their time. As well as having two children and trying to juggle that and the complexities of their extended family on both sides.

This wasn’t a cut throat story and throughout I kept thinking different things. I loved watching the couple speak openly about what was troubling them. There were so many twists and turns. A gorgeous start to my reading year and this won’t be the last of Helen Whitaker’s that I read.

Be sure to check out the rest of this fabulous blog tour it’s been an honour to take part.

2021, Blog Tour, Cover Reveal, love books group

Cover Reveal: The List by Yvette Geer @Cayellepub @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a cover reveal. When this one came up before Christmas I knew I needed to be a part of this in 2021. As ever before I show you what you’ve came for they’ll be a bit about the book itself.

Blurb: During a celebratory outing in Las Vegas, high school teacher Shane Rawlings is involved in a tragic car accident that kills his best friend. He isolates himself on Bainbridge Island, buried in survivor’s guilt until he begins receiving several mailed index cards, each detailing challenges for him to venture out of his self-imposed exile.

Emma Jacobs is a famous actress embroiled in a scandal by her cheating ex-boyfriend who escapes to Bainbridge Island and meets Shane by chance at the local grocery store. Shane and Emma grow closer with each completed task until Emma’s agent arrives in town and pulls her back to Los Angeles. An upset Shane discovers her celebrity status when he’s suspended from his teaching position, causing Emma to end their relationship.

Realizing his mistake, Shane flies to Los Angeles, hoping to persuade Emma to take him back. Faced with disapproval from outsiders, Shane and Emma fight for their love and his healing.

About the Author: Yvette Geer is the author of the multicultural romance novel, The List. As an avid reader of romance and mystery books, Yvette enjoys creating worlds where opposites attract, set against the backdrop of some of the country’s most iconic cities. Currently based in Northern California with her husband and two girls, this “military brat” travelled often as a kid, from the Midwest to England. She continues to marry her two passions for travelling and writing through road trips and other adventures. She rounds out her artistic need by playing piano and dabbling in photography. She continues to highlight and celebrate the positive outcomes of different lives colliding in her blog, The Swirl Effect.

So what do you think???? It’s super cute and just the gorgeousness that I needed in my life right now.

2020, 2021, A thought? A question, Libby, Six for Sunday, TBR, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Bookish Wins of 2020

As I said last Sunday I absolutely love taking part in this prompt and I hope to be more of a regular in 2021. Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by https://alittlebutalot.com each week a prompt is given and then you choose books accordingly.

Today’s prompt is Bookish wins of 2020. I mean 2020 sure was an extraordinary year for us all but it’s good to look back on the positives it brought us however small.

1. Buddy Reading – During 2020 myself and my stateside pal Catriona read a lot of Buddy reads. Reading around 15 books and re-read Paige Toon’s back catalogue.

2. Blogging – in being at home I’ve had more time to read and simultaneously more time to blog. In reading more I’ve had much more content to share on a regular basis.

3. Good Reads challenge –2020 was the first time I’ve hit my challenge and over exceeded my target. I read 107 books. It makes me wonder how many more I could have read if I hadn’t lost around 2 weeks to headaches.

4. Reviewing on publication day – Being at home and having a bit more time I was able to read more books ahead of the release dates. Simultaneously being able to post my review on publication day or as close to that.

5. Libby – supporting the library – During the original lockdown I discovered Libby and was able to borrow and listen to a few books that had been on my TBR a while. As well as being able to discover some new authors.

6. Blog Tours, prompts, blitz and cover reveals – During 2020 I’ve managed to take part in a number of these. I also have to give some credit to the fact I’ve written more lists in 2020 than ever before. In coming into 2021 I’ve already started with a pretty decent blog list of dates and what I’m posting.

I’ve loved taking part in this Six for Sunday I would love to know your answers. If all you did was read that’s still a massive win during the strangest time in our lives.

Happy Sunday allwhatever you do today take some time for you..

2021, A thought? A question, audiobook, Author Love, blog blitz, Blog Tour, books and the city, Me, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Weekly Update #28

Just like that another week has flown by, I’m not sure if they’re flying or whether I’m lacking routine. When life was normal I would almost always work on Saturdays – I’m the girl who would pick up that shift on the day most people would choose to have the day off. Whether that be to go out or just to go shopping.

In saying that I can 110% say when life resumes I will be saying yes to all sorts of catch ups and events. I mean I wouldn’t say I’m a social butterfly but man do I miss simple things like coffee shop catch ups – meals out etc.

Anyway…enough about that.

On Monday I got out for my first run of the year and my did it feel good. I had hoped to have run a few days earlier but that didn’t happen. I must say it was a soggy one.

It sure was a wet one…

But it was also my first 5k of the year 😉 not quite in average mileage but it was a damp one plus I’m not really a fan of wearing a hoodie as I get so hot when I run.

I had hoped to get back my Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine but I wasn’t feeling 100% on Wednesday and I hadn’t slept too well so my second run of 2021 came on Thursday.

Thursday saw my second run of the year and I smashed my 10k PB it’s safe to say I was over the moon.

Today I got out for my third run of the week – it sure was cold but today was a brand new personal best for the 5k which I haven’t done since August. I haven’t stopped smiling – part of me almost wanted to see how much further I could run at this faster speed but I decided to stop happily at 5 miles.

I may not have kept my original run days but I got out and ran 3 times this week smashing two personal bests. That is a massive win and I cannot wait to see where the next lot of runs take me. I’m currently at 24km for January I finished December on 76km. Today I needed that run so much I feel like the state of the world is constantly having me on edge.

This week I’ve read:

My review of Fanny Blake’s is up – I’m on the blog tour for I Give It a Year it will be up in the week.

What’s been on the blog this week?

On Sunday I took part in the Six for Sunday prompt and you can read my blog post here.

On Monday I ran and read and wasn’t organised so there wasn’t a blog post.

On Tuesday I looked back over what I read in December and you can read my blog post here.

On Wednesday I took part in a blog blitz for a book called Freak and you can read my blog post here.

On Thursday I had a pretty late in the day book review for Fanny Blake’s The Long Way Home on it’s publication day. You can read my post here.

On Friday I had started reading a new book as part of a blog tour and I wasn’t really feeling it. So I then started thinking and this post came to be – read my thoughts here.

After struggling to read my blog tour read I decided to start this one and I read a good 23% yesterday. I’ve read a chapter or so today and I’m eager to get back to it.

Is there anything you would love to see on my blog give me a shout?. I’m hoping to add some product reviews this coming week and it’s my turn on the I Give it a Year blog tour on Tuesday.