2019, july, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized

What did I read in July?

It’s been a while since I’ve done a round up of my reading. As I’ve usually done a bit so so or haven’t done any.

Having finally passed both my theory exams I wanted to try and push my reading again. I love it so I wanted to embrace it more. In doing so it’s really lifted my mood snatching a few pages or a short chapter during my lunch break and listening to audio on my travels to and from work. It’s really been a breathe of fresh air and a mood lifter.

Those who don’t read will never fully understand the joy of being swept away by a good book. So without further ado let’s look at how I done in July.

The second Zoe May book I have loved and this one has made me so reminiscent of my childhood and those boys that invaded my thoughts. Two in particular still do from time to time, which is where Will and Natalie come in. You can read my thoughts Here although I’m not sure if I’ve done this gorgeous treat justice. I still have two of Zoe’s to devour and I’m hoping to read at least one in August.

I read this in four parts and I loved reading it this way. Dipping in and out. If my head hadn’t been full of As Luck Would Have It part three would have been instantly read.

My thoughts on part two and three can be read Here

https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/book-review-the-cornish-cream-tea-bus-part-three-scones-away-by-cressida-mclaughlin/I wanted to blitz my jobs but I also wanted to be reading – look no further it was time for an audiobook although it wasn’t a one sitting listen it did accompany me through tasks and trains and a plane. I cannot and will not stop gushing over Paige Toon and her truly awesome writing. I loved delving into her YA series I have the physical copies of two and three and I’m hoping to bump them up my TBR list. I think at least book two will accompany me on holiday unless I can try and read it before then. Watch this space….

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson

This gorgeous debut really got under my skin – I loved everything about this novel and it really made me think of how we look at life via social media and how filtered it is.

Living My Best Life

I purchased this as an audible daily deal and had been wanting to listen in forever. George Orwell is a talented author and I’ve been itching to read his classics in forever I think audio is definitely the way to go and Jeremy Northam’s narration was exactly on point, for what I expected. I wasn’t disappointed and I will be reviewing this fully.

This one came through to me after reading the Cornish Cream Tea Bus and I had devoured a few chapters whilst waiting in a queue I was unaware that this was only part one. I look forward to heading back to the Glampers.

The Happy Glampers

So I didn’t do too badly. Those People was also on my list and I finished that just into August and I didn’t read the Lucy Vine novel but I shall be buddy reading that one soon.

There will be a second post from me later today after my Twitter poll had this and Stacking the Shelves so check back later to see my Shelves.

Happy Saturday, I’m already at work and I’ve also already done some reading.

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2019, july, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten books that lived up to the hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

So today’s prompt is a freebie so I spent some time deliberating over what I would do a list of and I’ve gone for the Top Ten Books that I believe lived up to the hype.

Starting with this beauty, I was intrigued by this cover and heard so many good things so had to find out for myself. I listened to this on audible and it was such a joy – I truly believe Tiffy and Leon’s story could continue.

I’m in the middle of listening to this one and it’s nothing short of amazing I’m well and truly hooked.

This book gave me all the feels and it will make you think about real life and social media in a totally different way.

Another audible listen that kept me on my toes.

Paige Toon always puts a smile on my face although there’s usually a tear or two also.

For some reason I don’t think my review of this is up but this book was heartbreaking yet thought provoking.

Darren O’Sullivan builds suspense in such a great way I couldn’t get enough of this.

2019, Author Love, july, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part four – The Icing on the cake By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Can Charlie pull off the perfect showstopper?
Charlie has fallen in love with Porthgolow village and they adore her vintage bus, now getting a new lease of life as the best place to have a Cornish Cream tea in the whole of Cornwall. Charlie and her bus have heralded a new start for Porthgolow too, but the one fly in the ointment is Daniel Harper who is still resisting the charms of Charlie and her bus. Can Charlie bake her way into his heart or is it time to admit that her Cornish dream has got a soggy bottom?

Review: Now from how part three concluded I always knew that part four would have a special place in my heart and would be the hardest to finish. I initially read the first chapter just after midnight on release day and had subsequently started reading on my walk into work, however, work, lack of sleep and the heat meant it took me a little longer to finish this beauty.

What I will say is Cressida played an absolute blinder as expected by a series part four had lots of moments that made you gasp. From the very beginning I was heavily invested in these characters and watching them experience full on life changing emotions really got me. I don’t know about those characters pulses racing at that point mine definitely were. I loved what that part of the story suggested and the messages underneath both incidents.

If I had been off work the day after I had started reading at midnight I would have been hooked on this in one sitting. In a way I’m glad I got a little bit more time with Charlie and the gang.

There were a number of quotes from Charlie’s late uncle Hal that really made me stop and think….

There is nothing that can’t be overcome if you believe in yourself

this is definitely something that I should listen to. In my own worst critic.

Another that really made me smile was a description for Porthgolow

It’s a proper slice of magic

I could use that sentence about a few of my favourite places in the world and it’s a line and sentiment that proper made me smile.

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus was an extraordinary treat that will make you salivate for afternoon tea and cake but it will also tug on your heart strings and stay there. A tasty treat with some truly powerful messages one that I won’t forget. I would love to see Cressida revisit these characters someday.

2019, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

My Blogger Journey

So yesterday I asked what you would like to see on the blog today and a personal post won. I’ve been at work today and it’s been a hectic day to say the least, but I’ve been racking my brains with what to write and my blogger journey just kept coming to the forefront of my mind.

I’ve already mentioned my Fight Klub and my fitness stuff including the Exercise to Music qualification and everything that’s gone with that. Alongside my Slimming World journey and what that’s taught me in relation to my relationship with food so I thought let’s delve into being a blogger.

My blog originally started over on Blogger and it was called the Ramblings of a London Girl- I loved it but there was no real focus and I was often posting short posts just to post and quotes etc. Over on Blogger I had started writing book reviews as books and reading is a passion I’ve had since I was small. I have to mention my beloved Grandad Sam – my most favourite bookworm whose birthday it is today. I miss him dearly and this morning I finished listening to the audiobook of a George Orwell Classic and I instantly missed him once again.

I knew nothing about book blogging and then a friend of mine Casey was looking for reviewers to join her over on Dark-readers.com also a blogger site. I jumped at the chance, and just like that I was a book blogger being invited to events and meeting lots of other likeminded readers. It took me a while to realise that on Dark Readers I could review any books not just fantasy and paranormal although back then I was heavily invested in angels and vampires. So much so I had to take a break from those books. I then decided I wanted to talk about a number of subjects and I was interested to try a WordPress blog.

Hayleyslilworld was born – I used this platform for book, film and quite possibly theatre reviews. I undertook a number of writing prompts spoke of events I went to and used it as an outlet to share some of the articles I had via various work placements at publications and online.

Life was good I had two platforms to share content. Casey and I drifted apart and on Hayleyslilworld I started to receive a huge number of troll like messages getting to the point I didn’t want to blog anymore. Every time I received a notification I was scared to read it until I couldn’t take anymore and I made the page private and stopped altogether.

Hayley Reviews – which I write from now originally started as a blog about my volunteering with Cancer Research until I moved over to be a paid member of staff. I had got an ok following and thought it was a shame to get rid of it. So I changed the name and started talking about books. I had a few contacts from the Dark Readers days but some of the publishers moved on and my reading habits changed in some aspects.

Of late now the main hardcore studying has been done I’m now getting my reading mojo back and I’m loving it. It made my day last week to have been the first review for Daisy Tate that was a blogger highlight, and this month my reading has been great so much so I’ve started penning my what did I read in July and I’m so chuffed with the results already and there’s still a week or so to go. Although major fail I forgot my latest paperback read I’ve been missing it all day and I had hoped to finish it today.

Watch this space.

I’m looking at doing more questions and adding different additions to the blog. So give me a shout if you have a burning question or you would like to see me do something specific the meme’s have been working quite well of late.

Also if you’re an author or another blogger who would love to guest over at Hayley Reviews also give me a shout.

I look forward to hearing from you.

2019, Self Care Sunday, Uncategorized

Self Care Sunday #4

This will become a more regular feature, last Sunday I was traveling home from Dublin. I had hoped to have penned some thoughts last week. Having managed to squeeze in a Butlers Chocolate Cafe before boarding my flight and on my return to London I really didn’t feel well.

When in Dublin I do try and visit this beauty, so I had a Caramel macchiato with a chocolate chip cookie and a salted caramel truffle. As always it was a pleasure, and the perfect way to start a Sunday homeward.

This Sunday has been a chilled one where I’ve spent the day in two sets of pjs – with a bath in between obviously. I caught up on some TV, spent some time with two of my nieces and my nephew. I was also lucky enough to be able to watch the Wimbledon Tennis final although it was not the result I would have liked.

I now have to mention this book…

Blurb: When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare- one that will end up with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder. She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is….

You can pre-order it Here if my request is denied my pre-order will be going in instantly. This may well get started on the stroke of midnight.

I read the first chapter of this, this morning and it’s stayed with me all day. Although the Tennis did take up a chunk of my day. I’ve requested this on Netgalley but alternatively if I don’t hear this will be downloaded on release day. I’ve been a huge fan of Ruth’s since loving In a Dark Dark Wood and I honestly believe she may have surpassed herself once again. I apologise to whatever I’m reading when this one comes into my hands as I will be devouring this whole.

That’s my Sunday in a nutshell how was yours?

2019, Author Love, ebook, New Author to me, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part One – Don’t Go Baking My Heart By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, is surprised when her late uncle bequeaths his vintage bus to her in his will. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, and when her friend, Juliette, suggests Charlie comes to stay with her in the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, she’s thrilled at the chance of a new start.
Charlie and her cute dog, Marmite, make new friends wherever their bus stops – except for the attractive but reclusive owner of the posh spa up on the hill, Daniel Harper, who isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel.
Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village – and for them?

Review: So I’m going to just say it. I have a few of Cressida’s novels on my Kindle but part one of the Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Don’t Go Baking My Heart is the first I have read, which makes me feel bad but wow what a treat and what a starting point.

I’ve on/off been reading but yesterday I managed to finish part one and I thought it was best to pen my thoughts before diving into part two. These shorts are aiding my reading alongside my hardback – which annoyingly isn’t on Audible yet as I found out yesterday to my dismay.

From the start I really warmed to Charlie and her story. Her connection to her late uncle really made me think of my grandparents – our stories weren’t nowhere near the same but I shared a love or reading with my grandad and a love of film with my Nan. My do I miss them and books like this are heartwarming and nostalgic.

I loved how she wanted to keep her uncles Gertie alive but did so in a way that was part of her. Old and new – keeping her uncles pride and joy and introducing her passion to reinvent the bus and for her to be able to make it work. I loved seeing how taken she was with the task and seeing if she could make it happen. The first event was an eye opener but I loved her can-do spirit when she stepped back from the situation – I honestly believe this is something we should all do from time to time – and this is definitely a lesson I should be listening to and taking note.

I haven’t been to Cornwall in a long time and I have never visited Porthgolow but wow I loved the way Cressida described the town and I think there are probably many seaside towns that need that revitalisation. I regularly visit Dymchurch in Kent with the family and that’s looked tired at times it’s always nice to see new businesses pop up and renovations to happen when we return most years. I also adore Salou in Spain I haven’t been for a few years and sadly it doesn’t look like I will get there this year. At times that’s also needed a boost and a refresh – although for me they are always places I feel at home and calm so I will always visit but there needs to be change to see tourism boom.

I don’t have enough me time but Charlie sure is something else. When she relented and took her best friends advice I was chuffed for her. Charlie getting to Cornwall sure was a journey and some feat. The characters she encounters in Porthgolow are something else although I can’t work out Daniel and I’m pretty sure most people will say the same thing – as I believe that is part of Cressida’s thought process too.

There have been some bumps along the way in inheriting Gertie but wow what a journey in part one. One event that was eventful and then the trip to Porthgolow where Gertie undertakes a major transformation I love all the little things that have been put into the bus really giving it a touristy and nostalgic feeling. It’s like she’s thought of absolutely every trick in the book even down to mementos.

Part one ended with Charlie feeling extremely positive and upbeat for her Summer and for her future with Gertie a major part of it. I finished this part giddy to know more as it was left making me wonder but I knew I had to get my thoughts in order before I continued on this seaside journey.

One thing I will say is in devouring part one I want all the cake and I could murder a hot scone and a good coffee. In reading this you will get hungry, you have been warned.

2018, july, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized

What am I reading and what have I read…

Happy Saturday all, I hope wherever you are reading this you are happy and healthy and that you have sunshine. Sunshine always makes us feel good. Although I have noticed in this sticky London heat there are a lot of miserable people floating around.

Anyway, enough of that. On my Twitter account I asked if I should do a July wrap up. Since I first started actually posting these back in May I have had a really good response so thank you to everyone who has commented liked and shared via here or Twitter. It’s all very much appreciated and it’s made me realise sometimes I feel like I haven’t read much but in actual fact I have done pretty well.

This time I have decided to kind of cheat I’m going to talk about what I read plus I want to mention a few titles that I hope to read in August.

My blog post hasn’t happened yet as I had that crazy week that was on the tail end of it but I participated in a readathon. I didn’t manage the 48 out of 24 but I did come in about half way and considering life had been crazy and I had worked all weekend I’m pretty chuffed with my efforts. I had hoped to have added a few novellas to that list but during the readathon I finished reading….

Never Greener was an audio read that I had been dipping in and out of on my way to and from work and at quiet moments. I haven’t reviewed that yet but it’s in the making. I’m a huge fan of Ruth Jones and what I will say is if you like her pick it up it’s funny, it’s heartbreaking and it’s real.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea – now I feel bad that it had taken me so long to finish this as I had agreed to many other things and life got in the way but Miranda said some lovely words to me about not rushing and taking my time with the characters and I’m truly glad that I did. I must admit once I closed the book I instantly missed Seren Jack and the gang. I have to mention Kieran as I feel in love with him back before Christmas when I read Christmas in St Ives. A Miranda Dickinson novel is always so much more than a book. You’re taken on a journey that has you thinking about your life, your choices and what you want. It’s always a treat and an eye opener and I truly loved this seaside based novel.

Forgive Me Not is Samantha Tonge’s Canelo effort and wow this is a novel and a half. It focuses on a number of real subjects in such a good way I was on the cover reveal and the blog tour for this one.

Forgive Me Not blog tour review

Forgive Me Not Cover reveal

Samantha was also good enough to do a guest post for me you can read that Here

I also read….

Here comes the best man by Angela Britnell

As states many times before I’m a huge fan of Katey Lovell and her meet cute series is almost over for me Boy with the Board

The Boy at the Bakery

I was on a fabulous blog tour for The Distance by Zoe Folbigg you can read my thoughts Here

Onto August I’m only going to highlight a few things I’m reading.

I’m currently listening to this. I’m thinking Giovanna Fletchers Some Kind Of Wonderful will be my next audiobook.

I’m hoping to get onto this bad boy. I love Kathryn and I’m so grateful for her kind words yesterday.

I have meant to be a book club captain for Poppy Loves Book club and I have failed consistently this month I’m determined to hold a meeting and to read the book suggested and today I joined the library again and picked this up.

I also found this…

There are many others I hope to get round to but seeing as this is not essentially a TBR post.

There will Be August releases that I hope to get to, let me know if there’s anything I should be reading.

2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Forgive Me Not By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Review: Now I can’t say I have read all of Samantha Tonge’s back catalogue but what I have read I have really enjoyed.

Forgive Me Not is a brand new novel from Samantha with Canelo it’s a whole new direction for her and all I can say is wow.

I took part in a readathon at the weekend and for once I didn’t do too badly. (More on this later) but I knew I was due to review Forgive Me Not today so it was definitely on my TBR and it kept me transfixed. I was working over the weekend but every spare minute was spent truly devouring Emma’s story.

Emma is such an interesting character although at times I felt frustrated at her and on behalf of her. As the story unfolds you’re taken back and forth on her journey. There’s so much to Emma and her story isn’t as clear cut as it seems at times. I loved seeing the twists unfold and the terror and shock of what she discovered. It’s remarkable how secrets and lies can shape your whole existence – well this is definitely part of Emma’s story and I’m pretty sure there are many people out there that will agree if certain events in their lives had been different their journey would have been different. This sentiment made me question how we are towards others around us. It’s all well and good being sorry but actions do speak louder than words and Emma learns the hard way.

If you have read Samantha’s work wipe away any misconceptions as this novel is a one off a stand alone that will stay with you long after the final page.

This novel seemed to come to me at the right time. I’m penning a post that will link nicely to this book but I don’t want to give too much away the gist I will say is that every single person you meet is fighting their own personal battles and appearances can be deceptive. Sometimes we automatically judge people when we have no right. Anything can change our way of life, a difficult childhood doesn’t mean you’ll turn out a tearaway, and coming from money also doesn’t mean you’ll never experience hardship in some way shape or form.

I could share so many quotes from this epic tale but I really liked this “she’d concluded that all being normal meant was being happy with yourself.” This speaks volumes to me and right now in a good place on my Slimming World journey I finally feel happier in myself.

Forgiving comes easy to some but Emma’s sister isn’t ready to forget and on Emma’s journey as she starts to heal she realises where her family are coming from. I truly believe this sentiment will be an eye opener for most.

This story has so much to deal with and it’s done so well. I don’t want to elaborate too much as it’s a special journey and each and every reader will see different signs and triggers. Sadly in the world we live in there’s still a stigma around mental health and depression. On the flip side they are just two aspects and thanks to authors like Samantha these everyday real life battles are being spoken about more.

If you want to read a book that’s going to entertain, intrigue and teach you something then go grab Forgive Me Not and join Emma on her rollercoaster ride. My final words are Never judge a book by its cover, appearances can be deceptive and think before you judge another.

2018, Blog Tour

Blog Blitz: The Second Cup By Sarah Marie Graye

Today here at Hayley Reviews I am apologising to Rachel as I completely forgot about my spot on this tour yesterday. So without further ado.

Blurb: Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

FAYE knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

ABBIE finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor OLIVIA is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit BETH the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Sarah Marie Graye joins me on Hayley Reviews to talk about multiple voices as part of her debut novel’s first anniversary blog blitz. And I’m so so sorry that my gorgeous post is a day late.

The book is told from the point of view of four different friends, interspersed with third-person flashbacks. Today, Sarah Marie is talking to us about why she took such an unusual narrative approach.

The Second Cup follows a group of friends – Faye, Beth, Abbie and Olivia – as they come to terms with the news of a suicide.

Around 15 years ago, the friend of a friend killed themselves. Even though I’d never met the person who took their own life, the event had a huge impact on my life for two reasons.

The first was that my friend chose me as the person to lean on. The second was because I’ve battled with mental health problems since childhood. As my friend started to process what had happened and move on from the event, I found myself lagging behind, unable to do the same.

It made me realise that something doesn’t have to be at the centre of your life to affect you: that you can be thrown of guard by something because you interpret it differently from everyone else.

I wondered if, as someone with mental health issues, I was more aware of my own fragility and therefore my own mortality – so someone choosing to end their own life is something I can relate to more closely than most people.

What I wanted to capture in my novel is the impact of that awareness.

So although it’s Faye’s ex-boyfriend who has ended his life, it’s actually Beth who struggles the hardest with the news. Why? Because his death mirrors a recurring nightmare she used to have.

On one level, she can’t help but feel that he’s “stolen” her suicide – and so feels bereft. And she’s also aware that it could have so easily have been her.

The only way to capture Beth’s inner turmoil was going to be to write from a first-person perspective. But to highlight how different her reaction was compared to her friends – including Faye whose ex-boyfriend it was who died – I realised I needed to write the other chapters from the perspectives of the other characters. So the need for multiple first-person voices was borne out of necessity, rather than trying to use a clever narrative trick.

The sections in third person were there to represent a level of “truthfulness” that’s not always present in first-person narration. I wanted to make sure I could offer a measured voice for characters that were going through emotional turmoil – something I couldn’t realistically do within their first-person narratives.

As well being told from the point of view of different characters, my novel also has different threads and ideas that weave in and out of the main plot. The idea behind this approach was to increase the feeling of being unsettled in the reader. A suicide is not an easy event to recover from and I wanted to make sure the book echoed some of that discomfort.

By my own admission, The Second Cup is not an easy read. But it’s not easy on purpose. And I also hope the multi-narrative approach I’ve taken helps those who have never suffered from any mental health issues understand what it’s like to not be able to trust your own mind.

Do make sure you check out the rest of the blog blitz and Rachel thank you once again for including me.

Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Both Amazon links are “universal” links, so you can use the same link for both UK and US links on your blog.

Social Media Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahmariegraye

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/sarahmariegraye

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Paige Toon Cover Reveal – One Perfect Christmas and other stories

It’s always a brighter day when there’s a Paige Toon email that features a gorgeously festive cover and news.

I have a ticket for Paige’s almost sold out London event next week and I cannot wait to see her again and to finally meet Lindsey Kelk and Giovanna Fletcher. I’m a tad excited to say the least. I managed to pick up a copy of Lindsey’s new novel One In A Million yesterday although I’m not sure if I will get to it in time we shall see how I get on with this weekends readathon.

One Perfect Christmas and other stories will be released on 4th October and it can be pre-ordered Here.

I’m loving the fact I have so many options for blog posts at the moment. It had completely slipped my mind that Paige said that she would be posting. I’m already excited about her next novel If you could go anywhere – I know from the brief description this will very much be a Hayley drop everything book.

What are your thoughts on this fab update from one of my most favourite authors?