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.

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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?

2018, Uncategorized, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering to the 1930s

Wandering Wednesday is a meme I created after returning from a holiday and longing for another. Of late there have been a number of books that have made me long to book a flight and I am hoping on making some bookish trips when I can, so watch this space they will be documented.

Today I had it in my head that I would be posting a review of a book I have truly loved but for one reason or other my time with said book has seemed a lot longer than expected. Alas that review will done this week I hope, but today I’m going back to the 1930s and I will miss my Nan terribly as this era especially in film would have been something I would have loved to have shared with her. I have such fond memories of Nan over feeding me and then her getting out the Milk Tray alongside a film, quite recently I was given a thank you certificate and chocolates from work and they were Milk Tray it felt like a nod from Nan.

Back to the point in hand these old films remind me of that time I’m so grateful we shared and when reading Holly Hepburn’s Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea I was transported back to my Nan’s front room.

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen the film and if I have I don’t remember it but when I saw that this would be on the stage I knew I had to see it. The show has a limited run and will now close on Sunday 22nd so today I decided that if I could get a rush ticket for the matinee I would go.

I tried to post this before I went into the cinema to watch an extraordinary piece of theatre and film but the signal was so bad so here it is after the event. Although I feel I have to write my review of my thoughts separately to this post. What I will say is I most definitely need to see the film and I felt like I was back at Once the musical with the pre show entertainment. Thanks to the usher for telling me to stay in the foyer it really did add to my experience and what a gorgeous way to spend a day off immersed in theatre/film and now I’m about to delve back into a book.

I may have also purchased a book that’s not officially out in paperback just yet apart from train stations and airports. I wonder what that could be. I will be attending an event where this book is linked next week.

Are there any other iconic films that I should have already seen?

2018, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Novellas/Short Stories

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

I love reading memes from different bloggers and Fabulous Book Fiend aka Catriona regularly participates in Top Ten Tuesday. To start with I must admit I didn’t have a clue and I thought I just chose what to post, that is where I was wrong.

Recently I have either already had posts or had little to no motivation for the subject matter but Novellas/ short stories are definitely a subject matter I can get on board with.

Katey Lovell’s Meet Cute series are one of my favourite novellas. This is the last one I read and it was so different but extremely inspiring.

The latest Angela Britnell that I loved. This one brought characters from a previous novella The Reject Table – back and that warmed my heart.

This is a gorgeous start to a series and I hope to get back to these really soon.

I love Victoria Walters and I will share more of hers. I was in the middle of the Random Acts Of Kindness series when I discovered this short and oh my what a gorgeous gorgeous coffee break read go get it now.

Novellas are a favourite of mine and this weekend when the 24in48 readathon is on I’m hoping to dive into a few novellas maybe even finish the meet cute series.

I love novellas and if you know of one I may like feel free to leave a comment for me.

2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books that made you angry…

Since discovering Six For Sunday – I have well and truly loved these bookish challenges. I wasn’t sure if I would participate in today’s offering but after seeing a few people’s post I thought come on Hayley you need to get on this.

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme set up by alittlebutalot you can find the latest updates Here. I have to say I love these posts and will try to do more of them in the future. I’m already planning my answers to next weeks offering.

There were certain aspects about this book that truly angered me but I cannot share my anger without ruining the story.

The Breakdown

The Escape this book had me on the edge of my nerves and I constantly felt for Jo.

Tubing was an interesting debut I really got angry with Polly as a woman why the hell did she put herself in such a dangerous position. I felt like I kept getting annoyed with her. Tubing review

The Perfect Girlfriend is another debut that I truly enjoyed. What angered me about Juliette is how little she thought of herself. She was basing her whole existence on a man. I’m very much about independent women. The Perfect Girlfriend Review

I love this fella I went to the book signing in Milton Keynes for this and I must admit I haven’t finished reading it. As a huge Westlife fan who has had the pleasure of meeting them a number of times I was deeply saddened and angered by how Shane was made to feel for some of his time in Westlife. I have always loved this guy he’s been a star and an inspiration as well as a genuine guy towards me and as much as I loved some of the fab memories the sadness was upsetting me. I will make time to either start again or finish where I left it.

I love Ruth Ware – I still haven’t finished penning my thoughts on this one. I must admit though I didn’t love the lady reading this audio and because of that it took me longer to devour it. I started it then it was left aside and when I went on holiday I was in a gorgeous setting on a beach and restarted it. Lo is a character you can’t help but love and I truly adore Ruth’s way with words.

I hope you have enjoyed my offering I would love to see the books that have angered you. In some way.

2018, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized, update

Novella Review: The Boy with the Board By Katey Lovell

Blurb: A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

When her beloved mum dies suddenly, Helena escapes to sunny California. Determined to live for the moment, she puts aside her fears and signs up for the surfing lessons she’s always dreamed of – with the added distraction of hunky instructor Ashton.

Review: I have said it before and here I say it again these meet cute stories are perfect tea break escapism from day to day struggles.

For me The Boy with the Board has a totally different feel from the other meet cutes I have devoured. Helena’s Story is tinged with sadness but from a saying her mother used to say she decides to take caution to the wind and get out of her comfort zone. There is something awe inspiring in reading a story where a seemingly average young woman decides to make a life-changing decision. In that I am envious of Helena she saw a chance to change and grabbed it.

Although on a personal note I have made some life changes that have surprised and inspired me in my self and my own motivation. I’m proud of the woman I am becoming it’s like I have got back a little of the confidence I once had. Saying that I’ve never totally felt overly confident but I do feel like the changes I have made are adding to my day to day self confidence.

Reading has always been a passion of mine and following my studies I’m so glad I got back into reading for pleasure as it gives me so much joy. In escaping I’m discovering more about myself, who I want to be and where I want to go. I’m hoping to make some trips based on bookish love so watch this space…. I have two meet cutes left and I’m hoping to participate in the 24in48 readathon next weekend and o think finishing this beautiful series will be the icing on the cake.

Back to the Boy with the Board – there is just something about a guy with confidence and wet hair eh. This tasty treat should be snapped up whilst the weather is still smoking. Katey Lovell I’m saying it again I WANT more Meet Cutes please…

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Here Comes The Best Man By Angela Britnell

Blurb: Perfect for fans of Nashville! Sadly no Avery, Gunnar or Deacon but you do get a new hunky hero – Josh! Sit back, grab a copy and take yourself off to Nashville, Tennessee!

Being the best man is a lot to live up to …

When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow.

But when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.

Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realise that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too?

Review: Firstly, I have to apologise to Angela and Rachel for the delay in this post it should have been yesterday. Thanks to life, work and a football game it sadly didn’t happen.

Now I’m a huge fan of Angela Britnell so when this novella pinged through onto my email I knew I wanted in on this tour. I’ve loved all of her Nashville inspired reads and it’s just heightened my want to get to this beauty of a place. Angela creates rugged heroes who I literally can’t help but love. I was also bowled over by the fact Maggie and Chad from the Reject Table were a huge part of this read. That was another novella that I truly fell in love with so thank you Angela for bringing these beautiful characters back.

Louise and Josh are truly adorable and I loved falling in love with them in this tasty treat, and as much as my review is delayed I’m glad I got to spend a little more time getting to know these two and watching them fall in love. These two lost souls are very similar with their worries and in how they have closed themselves off to avoid being hurt. I loved Louise and in some ways her cautiousness is very much how I have felt – we have similar connections on our sense of self-confidence or lack of especially when men are concerned.

As a huge Nashville fan I loved the connections to the show that has stolen my heart. I haven’t watched the latest season yet and I know I will be heartbroken when it ends.

If you’re looking for a short read that will enhance your want to visit another country, will have you emotionally on the edge of your seat, and will whisk you away from the daily struggles in life then look no further. As I say I’m a massive fan of Angela’s and I’m sure I still have some of her books on my TBR that I need to get back to so watch this space. My love for this author grows each and every time I settle down with one of her books.

2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday: Books that made you laugh….

So this is the second Six for Sunday that I have managed to get in on the latest list is great. I was a little upset that I only discovered the new lists after I had already posted last week but enough rambling and onwards with my books that made me laugh…

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme set up by alittlebutalot you can find the latest updates Here. I have to say I love these posts and will try to do more of them in the future. I’m already planning my answers to next weeks offering.

So four out of my six laugh out loud reads were audiobooks. Listening to Mad Girl and How To Be A Woman were even more fun being that the authors themselves were reading their words. The Break was one of my favourite audiobooks and the narrator was as if Marian was reading it herself even though she wasn’t.

How Not To Fall In Love Actually was a recommendation from the lovely Fabulous Book Fiend aka Catriona – and I had started listening to the audio just before meeting Catherine at a Simon & Schuster event. I believe I was one of the first people she had spoken to about the audiobook and for me that added to my experience.

Katey Lovell writes a novella that gives you just enough suspense but also leaves you wanting more. I’m pretty sure I read this earlier this year whilst on a plane heading back from my winter sunshine trip to Furteventura. If you’re wanting to read this one I would say New Years or just before would be a better time to devour it.

Zoe May’s debut Perfect Match is one of my fave feel good reads. It’s real and humorous and I’m definitely a fan. I have her latest book How Not to Date a Prince – I’m so annoyed that I still haven’t devoured this beauty but watch this space there will be more on my mood reading and actually getting round to some of these books that have been sat awaiting my attention very soon.

I’m ashamed to say one of these books I haven’t written a review for yet, but for most of them I have so here they are.

How To Be A Woman audio review

The Break by Marian Keyes Audio review

Mad Girl By Bryony Gordon Audio review

Perfect Match by Zoe May

Three men and a maybe By Katey Lovell