2019, audible, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: On My Life By Angela Clarke

Blurb: Jenna knows she didn’t do it. But she is running out of time to prove it. A heartbreaking, compulsive thriller with a killer twist. Framed. Imprisoned. Pregnant.

Jenna thought she had the perfect life: a loving fiancé, a great job, a beautiful home. Then she finds her stepdaughter murdered; her partner missing.

And the police think she did it….

Locked up to await trial surrounded by prisoners who’d hurt her if they knew what she was accused of, certain someone close to her has framed her, Jenna knows what she needs to do:

Clear her name

Save her baby

Find the killer

But can she do it in time?

Review: Wow! Where do I begin. Firstly, the amazing reviews and hype for this book are all warranted. I’d like to thank Emma Mitchell via Twitter for making me want to read this. I have been doing exam revision so decided this would be my audible treat and what a treat it was. Jenna’s story has accompanied me on many walks to work and to fitness classes and the odd train journey. I believe this book could be read in a quicker time frame but I’m so glad I got to spend a number of days listening to this.

How I have not read an Angela Clarke novel before now I really don’t know. In looking at her collection I know a few of them have popped up in the past and I had been meaning to read. In now appreciating her fast paced style I’m eager for more. I believe the others are linked and if I’m right Follow Me comes first.

In On My Life there’s a similar setting to that of Darren O’Sullivan’s latest novel in the fact there are Then and Now chapters which show you Jenna now in prison to the life before and the lead up to the injustice that she’s suffered.

From the beginning I liked Jenna she’s a working class girl who has worked hard and fort the odds and managed to luck in by falling in love with the wealthy Robert. When they meet she has no idea who he is or who his parents are but they instantly hit it off, they then end up spending more and more time together as their whirlwind continues. Quite early on we are told how Jenna’s older sister Ness pretty much raised her following their mums addiction to drugs – throughout the novel more becomes apparent about her family back ground this is real and heartbreaking in so many ways. A love shared between siblings and parents can be so precious but life can also be so hard and unpleasant.

Over the years I’ve loved Bad Girls and more recently Wentworth – although back in the day I thought Bad Girls was hardcore TV until the ladies from Wentworth took over talk about graphic. Angela Clarke has delved deep into the prison system and looked at a number of factors where the inmates and the guards are both left in situations they shouldn’t be in. It happens that pregnant women end up inside but how hard that life is, is well explained by Angela.

I reeled for Jenna as from the off I knew she was innocent, no one would leave themselves in that situation if they wasn’t. When she was roomed with Kelly I felt happier for her and their blossoming friendship was heartwarming although I didn’t see the outcome in the way it happened at all. To be honest I had my suspicions along the way to the killer but I wasn’t prepared for either of the twists.

What was really amazing about this story was the strength and determination of Jenna and how she conducted herself. Just showing that all of us have a strength inside of us that with the right trigger we can do anything and everything needed for ourselves and the ones we love.

I can’t say much more than that without spoiling the story and the intrigue, suspense and general fast pace are what make this story. Even the bitches add to the colour and reality of prison life that and the guards who are at times full of themselves.

If you have read any of Angela’s other novels I would love to hear from you. Am I right in thinking Follow Me is first. I was thinking of a girlie or Non Fiction audio this month but I may have to add more Angela Clarke to my day.

Advertisements
2019, Self Care Sunday, Uncategorized

Self Care Sunday….

What are you doing for you?

Self Care is something I’m still not that good at but we all have to make small steps to change that.

Today I managed a lie in and I wasn’t feeling like crap when I woke. Half the time these days I either wake when I would normally get up for work or I lie in and have a banging headache thankfully there was no headache this morning.

A gorgeous cooked breakfast- I can do them during the working week but it takes preparation and having time to tidy and still leave the house on time. I made a sausage and egg muffin with an additional egg, hash browns and mushrooms. It really did set me up for the day.

I spent a chunk of today reading through my syllabus on the Principles of Exercise in lieu of my exam.

Today was most definitely a pj day with a bath whilst listening to On My Life Which I’m hooked on By Angela Clarke before getting into fresh pjs. I have been saying for weeks I want to paint my nails and today I finally did a gorgeous nude colour and it really was a perfect treat. I feel like I’ve been writing lists for a while and this has constantly been on it. Today I literally made time to paint the nails and continue with the audiobook – I have four and a half hours left so hopefully it will be devoured alongside what life throws at me – Wednesday is exam day and I’m hoping to have some cram time and some chill time hopefully with coffee and cake…

2019, audible, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: Closer Than You Think By Darren O’Sullivan

Blurb: He’s watching. She’s waiting.

The unmissable new thriller from Darren O’Sullivan, author of Our Little Secret and Close Your Eyes.

Having barely escaped the clutches of a serial killer, Claire Moore has struggled to rebuild her life. After her terrifying encounter with the man the media dubbed The Black-Out Killer, she became an overnight celebrity: a symbol of hope and survival in the face of pure evil. And then the killings stopped.

Now ten years have passed, and Claire remains traumatised by her brush with death. Though she has a loving and supportive family around her, what happened that night continues to haunt her still.

Just when things are starting to improve, there is a power cut; a house fire; another victim found killed in the same way as before.

The Black-Out Killer is back. And he’s coming for Claire…

Review: Now I will never tire of telling the story of discovering Darren O’Sullivan I was signed off work at the beginning of a truly awful time with my ankle. I was quite frankly at rock bottom – Our Little Secret was amazing and Close Your Eyes proved he wasn’t a one hit wonder and wow third times definitely a charm.

Although charming wouldn’t be how you would describe the leading man of Closer Than You Think – even though he was charming in some aspects strangely.

Anyway, I decided to listen to this. I read the first two books and then Our Little Secret was made into an audio so I relistened and seeing as Darren was also one of the narrators on this I was intrigued and OMG. If I had had more free time this could have been devoured in a day or so but I’m also glad it was spaced out even though I found myself holding my breath so much throughout. I can definitely see this story as a film or a TV adaptation as an audiobook I’ve held my breath often than not but I would love to see this on the screen.

This story has a female and a male character who both take it in terms to read and tell their tale.

Claire Moore is a frightened woman but who wouldn’t be having escaped a serial killer. I truly loved seeing her change, I don’t want to say too much on that without ruining the plot but her character goes through a whole host of emotions and her stepdad Jeff gives her the boost she needed to look deeper into her core and take charge of her life. Avena Wallace is the voice of Claire and I don’t think I could have picked anyone else to have read her part.

The black out killer read by the awesome Darren O’Sullivan is a complex case and I love how he has shown not only his truly vindictive side but underneath all of that there was once a good boy. His motivations and reasonings for his killings weren’t right but in finding out more about him and his life you can see why. For me there were moments where I sympathised with him like most of us did with Norman Bates in Psycho for me that shows a character well written with substance.

I must admit into the last two hours of listening time I thought I had worked it out but I was also hoping I would be completely wrong. Oh how wrong I was I truly didn’t see it coming but if you haven’t read this yet you won’t be disappointed.

Darren O’Sullivan’s best yet…a rollercoaster ride with many heart in mouth moments although some of the detailing of the kills were a little gruesome. When you think you have it sussed think again he is Closer Than You Think.

2019, Author Love, event, Uncategorized

Literati and a little update from me…

I have been a pretty awful blogger of late. As a good friend of mine said I’ve been a butterfly reader flitting from book to book. As it stands I’m trying to rectify that I have an audio thriller and a gorgeous fiction book on the go and I’m determined to get them finished and do them both justice as I am truly mesmerised by both.

I’ve also managed to miss a few blog tour posts they will go up I’m just unsure as to when. But watch this space.

On Monday I attended the Literati at the gorgeous Grosvenor Hotel a truly fabulous event alongside those faves of mine at Simon & Schuster. This event was a birthday gift from the money my brother gave to me and wow it did not disappoint.

What a night it was…I was lucky enough to catch up with the gorgeous Laura and Charlene two of my blogger friends. It’s always an absolute pleasure ladies, we share a love of books and also look out for each other as individuals – we don’t always get to catch up but we relish the chances when they arise.

The event was hosted by Fanny Blake – in conversation with Milly Johnson, Anstey Harris, Catherine Steadman and Susan Elliott Wright at the stunning Grosvenor House. The questioning and manner by Fanny was exquisite, I didn’t ask a question myself but I did enjoy listening to those who did and speaking to the ladies whilst getting my books signed.

I’ve read and totally adored The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton and The Flight Of Cornelia Blackwood. I had hoped to have finished Milly’s before this day….but I had started it and in talking to Milly I had reached the fun part and I can totally see that I’m loving her latest novel so much. Until now I’ve only read a few of her shorts even though I have a few others. I do love finding fabulous authors when they have a fantastic back catalogue waiting for me.

It was a truly gorgeous evening that started with Elderflower water and ended with Prosecco and nibbles listening to these fabulous ladies talk of their books. Catherine Steadman’s book definitely sounds like a book I need on my TBR pile I’m contemplating listening to this on audio after the thriller I’m in the middle of.

A great night a stunning location, fabulous books and chatter a Monday treat. I’m so glad I made this event and I finally got my books signed by 3 out of 4. I can’t wait to see what other events the Grosvenor hold in the future…Thank you to SJ for letting me steal her gorgeous picture of these fantastic ladies. What a way to spend a Monday evening.

I have lots I hope to share on here in the next coming days….watch this space.

2019, Bookish Adventures, event

Simon & Schuster Spring Blogger evening.

On Wednesday 6th February I was lucky enough to be invited to Simon & Schuster’s Spring Blogger Event.

These guys are my favourite publishers not only do they host a gorgeous array of authors and thought provoking books they also have the best get togethers. I’m always heartbroken if I can’t attend but thankfully I made the day completely free to attend.

Not only is it fabulous to meet authors it’s also a great evening to catch up with likeminded bloggers of whom I’m very good friends with a number of them. And it’s always lovely to finally put faces to Twitter handles and to meet newbies and get recommended more books. There are never too many books. (She says, although I think I was good compared to a few others cough Laura cough Emma).

The cakes always need their very own introduction made by restoration cakes they always taste fabulous. Thanks to SJ I devoured two of these beauties yup I did just admit that. I had if you were here and the love child.

There were an array of authors some did readings and others were attendees like me yet we did get the chance to chat to them all.

Iona Grey giving is a fabulous reading from The Glittering Hour – it was lovely to meet her especially as she follows my Twitter. I look forward to reading this.

Next up was Alice Peterson – I have one of her books at home and ashamedly I haven’t read it but I’m going to devour my sampler after listening to her read.

Claire Frost’s gorgeous debut sounds fabulous I think this will be the next sampler I read.

Claire is so genuine and is just as excited as us bloggers I look forward to seeing her journey progress.

Rachel Hore gave a fabulous reading she has such a good reading voice.

Now how I’ve never properly spoke to Milly I don’t know. She has the best reading voice, she’s funny and real. I’ve read a few of her shorts but I must delve in I know I have some of her books on my ever expanding shelf but I’m hoping to attend another event after her latest is released so I’m hoping to have read that in time.

Ever since I inhaled the Swimming Pool Louise has been one of my favourite authors although I still have a number of her books waiting on my shelf. That must change. I devoured the sampler of Those People and I know this is a book I will be shouting about I want it NOW. The characters are real, likeable and unlikeable and I know it’s going to be one of those take a day off and sit in a coffee shop reads and I want to do that.

It’s always a pleasure to see these ladies. I had a lovely chat with Anstey Harris also but there is no photographic evidence. As I said to many on that evening I either take lots of photos or none.

So to the goody bag – my pictures could be better. I’m sooo excited by both these proofs I also met Catherine again but no pic again too many people not enough time. I’ve been good and haven’t started Paige’s yet as I’m currently engrossed in The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood which is another Simon & Schuster beauty.

The gorgeous samplers that the lovely ladies signed for me.

The rest of the goodies and the extras I swiped off the shelf we were told to raid…I do blame some of my bookish pals for a few of those. I’ve not read any Gayle Forman and now I have three to devour.

I’m sorry that the blog has been a bit hit and miss of late. Although I’m chuffed that my updates all seem to be Simon & Schuster based. Any of you I met at this event know I’m currently swooning over 90s boyband Boyzone back on the road again today but I would love to hear from you all.

2019, Author Love, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Poppy’s Recipe for Life By Heidi Swain.

It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of this cover reveal for the delightful Heidi Swain. I was lucky enough to be involved in a blogger day where we helped brainstorm ideas and I’m totally blown away by this gorgeous cover.

Better late than never but I’m currently still in Dublin after another fabulous two days seeing Boyzone in Belfast and Dublin.

So would you like to know more about Heidi’s next novel? Of course you do so here it is.

Treat yourself to a glorious novel full of food, sunshine, friendship and love

Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within her reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies. 

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

What do you think?

You can grab a copy Here and Here for the ebook

 

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.

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.

2019

2019

It’s day four of a brand spanking new year and this is my first post, and let’s be frank it’s not a bundle of joy. (Sorry for the spoiler and the negativity.) I started 2018 feeling sorry for myself as I felt disgusting and unhappy for a number of vain and in some ways selfish reasons.

I started 2019 feeling sorry for myself as I’ve been under the weather, but in true Hayley style I have tried my hardest to soldier on but in the last few days I’ve had to listen to my body and take some time out – as much as I have done that I’ve still been worrying and stressing over a number of things and that’s also not helping my recovery at all. I’ve just had a vapour bath and that’s helped me breathe again and now I’m vitamin C -ing, myself. I have a number of personal development things I should be doing ahead of an assessment on Tuesday. As it stands I’m trying my hardest to be fit to attend.

My reading has taken a nose dive from my studies and sickness etc and I have half started books on the go. I was thinking of reading You after watching the Netflix series but I decided I needed this lady back in my life. I know that it will make me think and old memories will come up but that’s all part and parcel of life.

So I’m off to devour this before bed as I need to rest and work on studies. I also hope to organise my bullet journal my word or words for this year is belief or believe in yourself. I need to do more of that…in 2019.

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?