2019, july, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday – Books and the Seaside

It’s been forever since I’ve written a Six for Sunday especially since starting Self Care Sunday’s which I’m doing by chilling today. I’m not sure what my week will entail so I would like to rest, get a few things done and organised ahead of my impending holiday at the end of August and I would like to get a fair amount of reading in as I’m truly loving my current reads.

Miranda wrote the most beautiful book based at the seaside. Somewhere Beyond the Sea – is a love story that will stay with me and I shared the story of sea glass with my niece our favourite beach hasn’t had any but we always look now.

After devouring Hannah’s short story I was itching for this I read this whilst on holiday at the seaside last year and I loved every single second of it. I can’t wait to get stuck into another Hannah Pearl novel.

Evie’s Little Black Book

I read these in part and I love love loved devouring this cinema based story. It really did make me think of my Nan who I shared a love of film with.

The Picture House by the Sea

This week the fourth and final part of this novel will ping through to my kindle and I’m excited and sad. I won’t want to say goodbye to Charlie and the gang.

Part one In doing this meme I’ve realised how long this beauty has been on my TBR I really must change this. Although I did read another of Ali’s books whilst last on holiday at the caravan in Dymchurch.

This beauty by Isabelle Broom has me longing for Mojacar I will get there someday….

Then Now Always

Part two Cressida McLaughlin

Part three Cressida McLaughlin

As ever I’ve loved sitting down and penning my thoughts. I love being by the seaside and I still haven’t worked out what I hope to read this year on my travels. I’m loving having my mojo back right must eat breakfast have the soaps on and a book to get back to.

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2018, Me, Off Topic, Uncategorized, update

My Fitness Journey….

Hey welcome to Hayley Reviews, today I am going away from bookishness and talking about me.

In my younger years I was one of those girls who people said could eat anything and wouldn’t put on weight that soon changed. I’ve never minded fruit but I can honestly say I rarely smashed my five a day. As for vegetables – as a child I had a best mate whose mum would serve up all sorts of veg and expect you to eat it whether you liked it or not. To this day I blame her for Brussel Sprouts – I did try them again quite recently and I can honestly say I can live without them.

If at the beginning of this year you had said to me that I would one be trying to actually cook rather than throwing something in the oven and two that I would willingly want broccoli, spinach and cauliflower with my dinner I would have laughed in your face. Now I’m upset if I run out of spinach or Broccoli or if Sainsbury’s don’t have Butternut Squaffles in stock.

They do say your taste buds change every seven years and they really do. I have such a sweet tooth yet it’s been curbed quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong I still love a hot choc and I’m still impartial to chocolates just not to the excess I would have before. I have also learnt that a lot of the time it was merely through boredom or because it was there. In working in such a busy environment where there are often lots of people around it was often easier to just snack on crap. Fast forward to August 2018 and the thought of some of the things I would have gauged on makes me feel physically sick.

On 16th April 2018 I joined Slimming World – a number of people asked me why and a number of people also said I shouldn’t have. Having seen a number of friends do well from Slimming World I thought what the hell. What do I have to lose. In joining I took one look at the plan and was instantly thinking what am I going to eat. Natasha my consultant was super helpful- she told me not to focus on what I wouldn’t eat and to look at what I would. My first week was a little strange and I somehow managed to put together some odd meals. In that week I managed to lose 3lb but I hadn’t had much speed food.

What is speed food? I hear you say. These are fruit and vegetables that help speed up your metabolism – quite quickly I found a flow that I could enjoy. With my breakfast I often have Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries which are all speedy fruits and with meals it’s often Mushrooms, Carrots, Spinach, Butternut Squash and Broccoli to name a few. Before Slimming World I ate Carrots and Mushrooms but the other vegetables I hadn’t tried in a long time.

On 13th August 2018 I hit my target weight – this was a very good Monday for me, I had said to myself as I got closer that I wanted to be at target before my family holiday to the seaside and I made it. As you know I’m away as we speak and I’ve had a sketchy food week but I have had some fruit and Weetabix on a few mornings and some semi Slimming World friendly stuff. In town I found a gorgeous Mushroom Risotto which if possible I would love to sample again before we leave – it hasn’t happened so far.

I know there are Slimming World recipes for this so this will be happening when I return home.

Alongside my food and my walking I started attending a number of fitness classes. I have been doing Zumba on/off for years and I still really enjoy it. I managed to get a few free passes to some Boxfit classes. I did Boxfit on Blackheath common and then I found Fight Klub. That’s another thing I wouldn’t have thought a boxing based fitness class would be my thing but I love it and when I miss it, I’m seriously annoyed. Last week I managed to fit in two sessions which I was also meant to do the week before but due to trainer sickness that didn’t happen.

What has surprised me….I’m now a target member- I’ve missed a weigh in week as I’m away but I’m intrigued to see how I fair. As I have relaxed a little this week I have been shocked at the changes. Back in April/May time I purchased this…

On the Friday night before we left home I decided my working week was done and my me time had started so I would sample this. I had two quite small glasses and found it super super sweet. I also realised that I can’t drink normal coke – I asked for a vodka and Diet Coke and was given a normal coke and yet again it was too sweet. I’m pleased to report my love of an Irish coffee and of fudge still stands but once again my body will tell me when I have had too much. I’m also noticing a difference to how I feel when I’ve eaten fatty foods.

The picture on the left was taken at a book event with friends on 30th April so two weeks into my SW journey and the pic on the right was taken in July around the World Cup. I’ve also had a number of non scale victories in the fact I need pretty much a new wardrobe and the stuff that used to be tight now fits.

Thank you to those who took part in my poll yesterday, meaning I actually finished writing this piece.

What would you like to see tomorrow? Book Review, Author Guest Post, or something different. You guys get first refusal on what tomorrow holds.

2018, Author Love, Uncategorized

Book Review: Oh Crumbs By Kathryn Freeman

Blurb: Sometimes life just takes the biscuit …

Abby Spencer knows she can come across as an airhead – she talks too much and is a bit of a klutz – but there’s more to her than that. Though she sacrificed her career to help raise her sisters, a job interview at biscuit company Crumbs could finally be her chance to shine. That’s until she hurries in late wearing a shirt covered in rusk crumbs, courtesy of her baby nephew, and trips over her handbag.

Managing director Douglas Faulkner isn’t sure what to make of Abby Spencer with her Bambi eyes, tousled hair and ability to say more in the half-hour interview than he manages in a day. All he knows is she’s a breath of fresh air and could bring a new lease of life to the stale corporate world of Crumbs. To his life too, if he’d let her.

But Doug’s harbouring a secret. He’s not the man she thinks he is.

Review: First off I have to say Kathryn Freeman not only has a fantastic imagination with slightly brooding males heavily featuring in the novels of hers that I have already devoured and loved. She also said some of the kindest words to me as a blogger going through a testing time wondering whether this was still for me.

As many of you know I work full-time for Cancer Research and have been working on my own well being and fitness. Reading is one of my greatest passions and first loves and I’m glad that I get to read when I can. Anyway I’m going off topic so back to it. I met Kathryn at a Choc Lit event a while back and at the time I hadn’t read any of her work but I instantly warmed to her and recently when I was doubting myself and my blog she informed me that I was the first blogger to take an interest and to share my love of one of her books – Do Opposites Attract. This made me feel happy yet also sad, I was so excited to be a part of the Oh Crumbs blog tour but my work/life balance wasn’t really very balanced and I was exhausted which meant my review turned into a spotlight.

As soon as I started reading Oh Crumbs I knew it had been worth the wait. Abby and the Spencer clan had me hanging on each and every sentence. Quite quickly the Spencer families life changed dramatically. Everything about Abby Spencer I adored, she’s very much family focussed, a hardworking woman and I just loved her get up and go. In her interview with Doug Faulkner I really wasn’t sure on him. Although I did feel for Abby everything that could have gone wrong for her did, but she proved herself to be a worthy candidate all the same.

I loved seeing Abby and Doug blossom and the changes that came to their relationship. There’s so much more to Doug and I want to say more but I don’t want to ruin the story and the way his vulnerable side comes to light.

Oh Crumbs is such an apt name for a biscuit company – with a PA who doesn’t swear and aptly says oh Crumbs during many bumbling incidents. The fact Abby talks like this shows her vulnerable and naive side but just watch her slay a room of executives with her ideas for the future. There is so much to this novel it’s hard to say too much without spoiling things. What I will say is appearances can be deceptive and manners really do cost nothing. Kathryn has written a novel that will suck you in as the characters are so real it could be someone you know. There are so many aspects to everyday life situations and scenarios and there are so many OMG moments that will have you second guessing the characters and most of the time you won’t be right at all.

Oh Crumbs is so much more than a tale of romance – if you’re undecided pick it up and get reading I promise you you won’t be disappointed. Although having joined Slimming World reading a book about biscuits was a bit of a test although my sweet tooth has curbed a lot which is good in the grand scheme of things.

It looks at a number of issues including families, loyalty and lies to name a few. Kathryn as I said to you I wasn’t too sure on Doug until said “you know sometimes When I look at you, my heart stops.” This line melted me….beyond belief.

Have you read a Kathryn Freeman novel and if so what should I devour next?

2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books people always tell you to read.

Earlier today I promised you guys two blog posts and this is me delivering that promise. I’m a huge fan of Six for Sunday and where possible I try to participate, so without further ado.

I’m pleased to be back with a Six for Sunday – today’s offering is books people always tell you to read.

I have to say it again….I’m at the seaside having some me time with the family. Hoping to get a lot more reading and blogging done while I’m at Dymchurch, this morning I managed to finish Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman- which will be up on the blog on Tuesday.

This is one of those marmite books with mixed opinions. I had a good chat with a customer at work and she told me I had to read this. So I do own a copy of this but I haven’t read it as yet.

I know a little about this book and I feel like I’ve been gearing up to read it forever. I’m pretty sure I have a mates copy of it and it will happen soon but I know it will be an extremely emotional experience.

I have this as my next audible read and I’m hoping to get into this, this week. I know this will be devoured quickly and the second in this series is read by Anna Acton who I adore.

This Book is often on many lists of books you should read in your lifetime. It sounds intriguing and I definitely need more of these sorts of books in my life and in my reading.

The Alchemist is another of those life-affirming reads and I’ve actually had this sat at home for a while now.

This beauty needs to be devoured and I’m ashamed to say this has been on many of my lists for a while. I love the quotes and I purchased the hardback on an Amazon deal. After my holiday this book definitely needs some Hayley time.

Those are my selections for this Sunday? Have you read any of these books I’ve been told to read. What one should I start with. Bar the one I’m obviously going to start this week.

2018, Blog Tour, New Author to me, novella, Review, Short Story

Blog Tour: Tess and Tattoos By H.A. Leuschel

Blurb: A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.

In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.

Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.

‘Tess and Tattoos’ is one of five gripping stories in HA Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.

Review: Wow! What can I say. Thank you once again to Rachel for inviting me to read and review this novella. It’s quite funny I had totally forgotten what day I was due to review this and I was completely in a tizz thinking it was for the 1st March. When I hadn’t even started reading it, what with work being crazy and heading up to my friends before flying to Furteventura.

I managed to make some time in the morning and on a coach trip to read this novella and I must say I wasn’t expecting the outcome. I found myself shocked, part of me was like did I just read that. What I will say this is a tale of how our life choices can change our lives but we don’t need to hold onto what hurts us. From the off I really liked Tess – the loneliness and want for companionship really made me feel for her.

You could instantly tell she was a loveable and bubbly person whose resolve had been tarnished but it was like an unspoken subject. The friendship between Sandra and Tess was moving, they both truly needed each other and it was only in the passing of life that you truly understood why….I must admit I was like :0 in the final stages of this novella. I literally didn’t see it coming.

Thank you Rachel this is a short I may have missed. This novella should be an advert for never judge a book by it’s cover. A moving novella that will leave you thoughtful and grateful for all you have and long to have in life.

Author Bio – Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/HALeuschel/

https://twitter.com/HALeuschel

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15337013.H_A_Leuschel

http://www.heleneleuschel.com

There is also a competition to win another of Helene’s novels.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949468/?

If you’ve read this do let me know your thoughts. I also want to hear from you if my words have made you want to devour this.

Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Hygge Holiday By Rosie Blake

hygge hol

Blurb: The perfect recipe for hygge this autumn: make a hot chocolate, draw the curtains, snuggle under a blanket and read your way to happiness!

It’s autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother’s shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?
Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

Review: Firstly anyone who knows me knows I simply cannot resist anything written by Rosie Blake ever since I devoured How To Get A Love Life I have literally been blown away by every single novel. I must admit the day this pinged through to my Kindle I was reading a few other books. Both of which are excellent and will be read and reviewed but for some reason it just wasn’t flowing for me. I have been feeling so so in my own day to day and I haven’t had as much time to read – which sucks as I am always at my happiest whilst my head is stuck in a novel. I love escaping to a whole new world and as ever Rosie has managed to hook me in from the get go once again. Although in some ways I am pleased that I managed to long this book out as I was so sad to see it go but I do feel like this book not only let me escape it also made me think….in an extremely good way.

what is Hygge? It’s a Danish word for a quality of cosiness, feeling warm, comfortable and safe that comes from doing simple thins such as lighting candles, baking, or spending time at home with your family enjoying simple pleasures and indulgences. The high season of hygge is Christmas, when the Danes don’t hold back with the candles and mulled wine.

What Clara teaches us in this story is that it doesn’t have to be the festive season to appreciate the simple pleasures and to take more time for us. I wouldn’t say I work as manic as Joe does in this story but I do wholeheartedly believe we should all make more time for ourselves. As I say I do read but do I always make time for me no? No I don’t.

If you are looking for the perfect Autumnal read then look no further it’s not quite Christmas but it has the gorgeous cosy aspect from the very beginning when Clara is sat in the cosy corner of the pub minding her own business with a drink and her head in the book and her life changes. Clara is a positively optimistic young woman with her own troubles but seeing a scene unfold in the pub between Louisa and Roz she realises she has her work cut out for her. Yulethorpe is a gorgeous little town with lots of potential but when Clara stumbles across it it’s at it’s lowest ebb with many shops closing and not a coffee shop in sight. When Louisa decides to leave it all and go to Spain she leaves Clara in charge of the Toy Shop her home and her pets – Lady Caca (the greatest parrot ever) the movie and show lines had me laughing and crying it seemed bittersweet to hear Brucie’s favourite catch phrases among others.

Clara is such a creative person that she soon changes the town and peoples perceptions. She transforms the Toy shop, the local pub and even manages to calm a workaholic in Joe. From the get go Joe is wary as he worries about his mother – but I loved the sudden shift in him and you could see the friendship between Clara and Joe was slowly blossoming. I love how Clara managed to show a number of people that not everyone is out for themselves – showing that there really are some good eggs in the world amongst the bad.

I loved Gavin, Louisa, Clara and Joe so much and turning the final page had me aching for more. I wanted to know more about all of them and how their happy ever afters unfolded. Another gorgeous book from Rosie and one that will stay with me forever more. I even managed to find a book on Hygge that I hope to devour and review at a later date. Watch this space…

I just wanted to add a side note here I have been reading as much as I can but I must admit my reviews haven’t been as prompt as I would like. I hope to be more back on track this week including a Wandering Wednesday and a Friend Friday piece. And if I get a chance another beauty post….do feel free to get in touch I love connecting with other bookish people…until next time…:)  

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #HolidayEdition

I have finally sent the email to who I have for #FriendFriday if I have missed you please give me a shout.

I have been coming to Dymchurch on and off for years with my family and it never fails me. We have been pretty lucky weather wise today was a beach day the sand was a tad wet but dipping your toes into the sea has to be one of the best feelings ever. This trip we have managed to go for a swim at our pool on camp, get on the steam train and climb to the top of the lighthouse the views were something else and it was worth a little ankle pain. My 2 and 4 year old nieces did amazingly. 


I have managed to get snippets of reading in and I have enjoyed what I have read. I’m reading The Missing Twin and One of us is Lying. I haven’t started a new audio read I did hope to do some blogging whilst by the seaside but that hasn’t happened just yet. 

Just a little update. If anyone would love to see something specific please get in touch I am especially eager to do more on my YouTube channel so any ideas are welcome.

Until next time….

Reading and blogging intentions, Sunday Sunday, update, Vlog, youtube

An update plus all things YALC

Happy Sunday all…the day of rest. Well since washing my hair I have felt much more human anyway. I managed a little Nashville catch up that show always makes me laugh and cry in pretty much equal measure and the music is on point, as ever.

This week has been a crazy one and even though I was optimistic and full of hope I finished my buddy read Chase the Rainbow which was beautiful, intoxicating and incredibly raw. Myself and Catriona aka Fabulous Book Fiend are making a YouTube video. I have filmed my segments although may need to redo as I’m seriously not as confident as Cat. However I did really enjoy it so. If anyone wants to suggest a video for me I will get it up on the Hayley Reviews YouTube page this week. 

I have a number of Netgalley reads to be reading one of which I started this morning other than Chase the Rainbow I have been listening to Katie Pipers Confidence the Secret so I’m feeling very empowered thanks to Poorna Bell and Katie. 

Recently I won a gorgeous book on Twitter and this week I received it.


How gorgeous is it and the lovely card thank you so much Holly. I will be taking it with me to the coast next week. 

YALC – Saturday.

For me my YALC experience revolved around Paige Toon having devoured The Last Piece Of My Heart and The One We Fell In Love With. I was eager to meet the author – having spoken to her from time to time on Twitter that’s a new joy being able to tell authors exactly what their books are doing to you every step of the way. I was eager to attend – luckily I was able to swap a shift at work so I booked. When I got there I had planned to see the new voices talk and as much as I heard they didn’t get to speak to much I was a little gutted. I wanted to hear Carlie Sorosiak and as I still haven’t a copy of her book I was too chicken to go say hi esp as I missed the talk whilst seeing all the fuss at one of the publishers tables.


That’s my haul I won an arc and I got You Know Me Well from the Pan Macmillan lucky dip.

Paige’s talk was the romance one and I was itching to hear what the authors had to say.


Apart from Paige I haven’t read anything of any of these authors although I have been turned down on a few Jennifer E Smith books on Netgalley I hope to read Windfall very soon. I was also very intrigued by Ayisha Malik – I hope to read some of her books real soon too. The talk was funny and insightful and it was a really good mix of authors on stage and of people watching and asking questions.

So I finally met Paige.



She was lovely and 13 Weddings will be my next Paige read although after the talk I am eager to read her YA series and I believe that could be a buddy read with Catriona. 

I also met Jennifer E Smith – I felt a bit tight going up with no book but I got a book plate signed and spoke to her about the talk and that windfall would probably be my starting point.


I didn’t have pics with any of the other authors but I did meet


Karen McManus author of One Of Us is Lying – which I started reading that morning although it’s been left on the side at the moment eeeek but it has just got interesting.


Now this book was amazing I cannot wait for Genuine Fraud I have the sampler but that’s not enough argh. I told her how I wished I could have passed this onto my Grandad I finished it shortly after his funeral. 

I also met the lovely Holly Bourne – I’m so bad have her book Soulmates on my Kobo library but her newest book will more than likely be my first of hers.

Considering I went alone I bumped into bloggers I know and publishers was lovely to see Lauren and Beatrice again. I even ended up entering a comp on Lauren’s for the novel And Then We Ran which is so me she knows me so well.


There were books everywhere but I told myself I would only buy what I couldn’t get or really wanted so I only done the lucky dip.


This week is going to be a crazy one work wise for sure and then I’m off to the coast for a week of well needed me time and family time. I hope to finish The Missing Twin to review on publication day, my audiobook Confidence the Secret and get back stuck into One Of Us is Lying as I’m pretty sure things are just getting interesting.

For anyone who was sent me emails regarding FriendFriday you will be getting an email in the next day or so. I’m just about to meet a friend but it will be soon.

In review if anyone has any YouTube video suggestions although I may have just thought of one. Do get in touch plus if you want in on my new meme then it’s not too late.

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday 


Wednesday’s are still one of my favourites. I have had lots of inspiration on and off for my midweek meme. In thinking of what to say today I was drawn to my original WordPress blog www.hayleyslilworld.wordpress.com it’s still there but I don’t really use it anymore. In thinking of Wandering Wednesday’s it made me think I have been to various places over the years including Ireland, Spain, New York, Florida, California and the West Coast to name a few. A conversation last week with a friend over a place in France made me remember that I had documented it for my blog so here It is.

How beautiful is that castle???……tomorrow the blog is all planned I am hopefully featuring two lovely ladies for their publication days, keep a look out on Twitter as I may well run a poll for Friday.

20 Books of Summer, Uncategorized, update

20 Books Of Summer Update 

So I thought it was high time I started looking into how I’m actually doing on this challenge, and the fact that this post won on my poll means you guys thought the same. Great minds eh?

As you may remember I picked 15 actual books and had some leeway for the remaining five.

This challenge started in June seeing as we are now into July I thought I should see how I’m fairing. 

So the first book I completed for the 20 Books of Summer was…


This was my first full novel of Katey Lovell’s and wow what an awesome start. The cover is beautiful and the story is lovely. Here is my review of the beautiful The Cafe In Fir Tree Park.

My second book of the challenge…


This gorgeous gorgeous beauty that simply stole my heart this year. Part of my heart is in my fabulous Salou but there is a part in Mojacar and I haven’t even visited this gorgeous place yet but I will. Here is my review of Then Now Always

My audio read…


The review of this beauty hasn’t been finished but I loved this such a funny and lighthearted audio book and another of Catriona aka Fabbookfiend recommendations. 


I was on the blog tour for this beautiful novella and you can still win my copy and here is my review Secrets of The Italian Gardener.


Now this one I was on the cover reveal and the blog tour for this beauty. It’s a gorgeous story and it’s made me think about my life and what I want. My review and The cover reveal

So as it stands that’s five actual books and then these….



And part one and two of this little beauty….


As it stands I have reviewed part one…Brief Encounter at the picture house by the sea.

I was then begging for more so I devoured this.


I loved this but I haven’t had a chance to review this part. I decided to not read part three until nearer part four. As much as I liked part two there were bits that were frustrating my little brain.

Anyway that’s where I’m at….as it stands I’m adoring this

Keep an eye on my Twitter HayleyTOfficial for my polls where you can decide what I post.