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.

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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, Author Love, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: A Little Christmas Charm By Kathryn Freeman

Now before I talk of anything to do with this blog tour I need to mention how fabulous Kathryn Freeman is. She’s been so supportive of me as a blogger especially of late when I’ve felt extremely belittled. As soon as this book was announced I knew I had to make sure it was in my festive reading. I’ve loved Kathryn’s brooding males although Owen is a totally different breed but I will get to that later.

I’m ashamed to say I still have a number of her books in my ever expanding TBR.

Blurb: Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

Review: Now I’m not sure how I can truly do this festive treat justice? I will also do my utmost to not ruin the story.

From the off I warmed to both Gabby and Owen the banter and camaraderie along the way had me smiling and laughing out loud a lot. I loved seeing these two blossom and the many hurdles that they had to overcome but did they? I hear you say. You will have to read it to find out. I adore Christmas especially as an auntie to five but I love how Kathryn has encompassed how Christmas should be with traditions etc etc and how that is not always the case for all families.

I cannot begin to understand Gabby’s childhood but I know it happens. The other aspect that Kathryn has done amazingly well is that of grief. We lost my Nan to Cancer which is partly my reasoning for working for Cancer Research.

Christmas is a time of reflection I always have Boxing Day as another family day as that was when we visited Nan & Grandad I miss them terribly especially then but just like Owen & Sidney life goes on and we would be doing a disservice to their memories.

Kathryn manages to write a love story amongst a Christmas tale that will have you swooning for your very own dreamboat. Owen is completely different to the men I have read of hers before and not only making Gabby laugh he had me on tender hooks. There were so many character duos that I loved in this book.

Kathryn please please take us back to these again.

A Little Christmas Charm is everything you want in a festive read and more so much so I went straight into Costa and got a Gingerbread latte….this has really got me in the mood for the festive season even though I’m as stressed as the next person in regards to spending – as ever we probably all spend too much but I love making people’s day.

Do make sure you check out the rest of this truly fabulous tour for one of my most favourite authors.

Purchase Link 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Christmas-Charm-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B07GNL7VN8

Author Bio – 

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero. 

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links – 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

For your chance to win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith which was Kathryn’s offering last year click the link below and GOOD LUCK!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494161/?

Massive thanks to Rachel for organising this festive tour of one of my favourites and what a gorgeous story it was.

2018, audible, Blogtober, event, Uncategorized

A Spark Of Light – Jodi Picoult event

On 27th June 2018 I didn’t hesitate I booked a ticket to a live podcast with Jodi Picoult in conversation with Emma Gannon. I hadn’t worried too much about whether I would get the day off work but thankfully I did. I haven’t heard of Jodi being in the UK since I had become a fan so I really didn’t want to miss this opportunity and thankfully I didn’t.

In discovering Jodi I have been blown away with Small Great Things and The Storyteller. Most people have watched My Sisters Keeper – which so I was told is totally different to the book and not really one of Jodi’s favourites. It’s one I’ve been meaning to read but cancer related stories are always a proper hard one for me to actually stomach. As I’ve seen the sadness first hand in my own experiences and in my work capacity.

Saturday 27th October I was lucky enough to be in the presence of Jodi. Listening to her speak was so inspiring- I didn’t ask a question but listening to the other participants was awe inspiring especially when Small Great Things was mentioned a lot. This is still one of my favourite and most thought provoking books I have ever read. I listened to that on many walks to and from work and I really did miss this tale. Jodi writes controversial stories so well, in listening to her speak she really does go all out to get each and every side of the story. I loved the question someone asked about how Jodi manages to make you feel empathy even with the bad guys and I totally also felt that with Turk.

A Spark Of Light – in hearing how much Jodi went through in regards to research and that her usually three paged outline was actually forty eight pages long just shows how in depth she went. This novel has been written and it will be read also in reverse I’ve read a little and I’m looking to get to it after finishing this post.

I may have to read this book part physical book and part audible as it’s a gorgeous hardback that I’m not going to want to carry around this could be a first for me.

I told Jodi that listening to her is inspiring although I did get a little tongue tied. I’m so grateful to have attended the event it was everything I could have wanted and more.

They say don’t meet your favourites I totally disagree. Thank you for your time Jodi I look forward to devouring more of your books and hope to chat to you again someday. A Spark Of Light is out now and I know it’s going to be a ground breaking book.

2018, A thought? A question, Author Love, Blog Tour, Blogtober, christmas, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

A sorry, a gorgeous cover and a little more….

First off I’m sorry for being seriously quiet this week. It’s been a crazy working week and I’ve been recuperating re the back. It’s a lot better thankfully. The test will be on Wednesday when I plan to head back to my Fight Klub class. Even if I have to reign in my aggression slightly.

Thanks to all of that I’ve managed to neglect my lil space on the Internet. Not for the want of trying I’ve just been so exhausted by the time I’ve crawled into bed.

This cover is so apt for the time of year I’ve been meaning to read some fantasy but as I stated earlier life has been somewhat hectic. I purchased The Chalk Man the other weekend and I still haven’t managed to devour it.

Another Kind of Magic

“I am a cat. But I am no ordinary cat. I am a witch’s familiar. I am also a woman, with a woman’s heart and a woman’s frailty.”

Nearly two hundred years have passed since Caitlyn was trapped by supernatural forces and black magic, and she has known many mistresses. This time, the witch she is enthralled to is Joan, wife of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales.

At first, this mistress appears no different to any of the others Caitlyn has served – until Llewelyn captures William de Braose, and Joan falls in love, risking everything, including Caitlyn, to fulfil her desire.

Caitlyn, meanwhile, has her own cross to bear in the form of the gallant and reckless Hugh of Pembroke…

Pre-Order Link: https://www.books2read.com/AnotherKindOfMagic

Author Bio –

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Social Media Links –

Website – www.elizabethdaviesauthor.co.uk

Twitter  – @bethsbooks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethDaviesAuthor/

Instagram – @elizabethdavies.author

No One Cancels Christmas

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

Purchase Link

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-One-Cancels-Christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/no-one-cancels-christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD

Author Bio –

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, I wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when I grew up. After many years, and many different jobs, my dream of writing a bestseller came true.

I write about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hope that my tales make you cry a little, laugh a lot, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

I now live in a Cheshire village with my family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Where you can find her-

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley

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

I am so ashamed with myself that I haven’t finished this gorgeous Christmas treat although I do feel that it would be better to devour closer to the big day. I truly love Zara’s writing and this will be the second of hers I have read. An actual review will follow but if you are looking for a Christmas book that will transport you further afield then look no further.

I hope to spend my Sunday getting organised so hopefully I won’t be posting anymore posts like this and feeling like a truly rubbish blogger.

2018, Blogtober, Tag, Uncategorized

50 things that make me happy

I do love these tags and I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.

Thank you to the lovely Emma @ Sunshine and Rain for tagging me….

Yesterday I managed to somehow hurt my back at work so I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself so I thought today would be the best time to sit, think and write this post. In making myself think it came to me that sometimes we overlook the simplest of pleasures.

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. A good book
  4. Tea
  5. Coffee
  6. Fudge
  7. Cake
  8. Football
  9. Fight Klub
  10. Ireland
  11. Boybands
  12. Boyzone
  13. Ronan Keating
  14. Reading
  15. Theatre
  16. TV
  17. PJ days
  18. Writing
  19. Spending time with friends
  20. Spending time with family
  21. Fight Klub
  22. Zumba
  23. Hula hooping especially with Pippa she’s a pro thanks to her auntie.
  24. Being able to help those who mean a lot to me.
  25. Cinnamon
  26. Mars bars
  27. Baileys
  28. Tottenham Hotspur
  29. Listening to a good audiobook
  30. Lazy days
  31. Coffee chats with friends
  32. Blogging
  33. Tom Cruise
  34. Michael J Fox
  35. Caramel
  36. Sunshine
  37. Sun tan
  38. Dymchurch
  39. Salou
  40. Country music
  41. Mark Rylance
  42. Netflix
  43. Days off
  44. Pancakes esp with my bestie
  45. Irish coffee
  46. Baileys hot choc esp in the winter
  47. Chinese
  48. Films
  49. Cosy socks
  50. Disney – everything Disney the theme parks the films the lot.

I won’t be individually tagging anyone but this is open to anyone who wants time to sit, think and reflect.

I’m just out of a much needed bath and now I will sit with a cuppa and a book and possibly a treat. Have a good week all.

2018, A thought? A question, Blogtober, Uncategorized

Thoughtful Monday – hear me Roar!

Today I’m feeling thoughtful and there is a reason behind my madness. In being a bookworm I have acquired a number of go to favourites over the years – which seem to have expanded somewhat rapidly.

Cecelia Ahern is a personal favourite of mine ever since devouring the extremely moving PS I Love You. Although saying that of late there are shamefully a number of her books that I haven’t read yet. I know it’s awful. Considering I used to always be on tender-hooks for her one book a year. In gaining more book recommendations has meant some of my reading has slipped and as I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion I am in the process of changing this.

On Saturday I met friends in Walton on Thames where I spent the Waterstones gift card that I had acquired. In doing so I was given a freebie of a sampler of Roar by Cecelia. I’ve read two of the short stories so far and I must say it’s like nothing I have read of hers. In saying that it’s not bad it’s different – some of the stories are somewhat strange but they are interesting and I love the premise of the stories. Each story is a different type of woman and they challenge ideas and realities of everyday women.

I love that Cecelia has championed empowering women even if some of her following will be a little dubious of the stories the reasoning and message behind them is impressive and as hoped to be empowering. I will be purchasing the full collection when it is released 1st November and you can pre-order it Here so far I have read The woman who slowly disappeared and the woman who was kept on the shelf both stories were nothing like I imagined but the subliminal messages were enlightening.

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Magical Memories By L.S. Fellows

Blurb: Magical Memories

As Archie Royle takes his final breath, three sisters race to say their goodbyes.

Two don’t make it in time.

I do.

And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late.

Despite him having dementia.

Despite them not visiting in over a month.

But I won’t let anger win.

After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we?

Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.

It’s what Dad would want. Expect.

It’s what he deserves.

We have so much to be grateful for.

So many fond and magical memories to share.

Magical Memories is a fictional tale of loss, grief and moving on.

Purchase Link – http://getbook.at/MagicMem

Review: I’ve long been a fan of novellas but what can I say. Magical Memories hit me like a thunder bolt. For our family it wasn’t dementia it was cancer that took Nan from us but in seeing Archie slip away those memories of that room and those final moments with Nan sprang back to my mind. Nothing will ever prepare you for that moment and that feeling but wow L.S Fellows sure does write a raw and hard hitting account of how those final moments pan out.

There’s also those emotions that you go through and those are documented well a short and sharp novella that will suck you in and will have you taking a trip down your very own memory lane.

Grief is a strange emotion one that we will all go through from time to time. It never goes away but it does get easier. For me things like this take me right back there.

2018, Blogtober, Uncategorized

World Mental Health day and remembering a beautiful soul.

Today is World Mental Health day but for the Boyzone army it’s another year without the beautiful soul of Mr Stephen Gately.

I remember that middle of the night, early hours of the morning when my besties sister came in to break the earth shattering news to us. I was half asleep and in full on denial, we had both charged our phones and turned them off – yup they were off lol. In turning them on we both had millions of messages. I was hearing from school friends who I hadn’t spoken to in years. Emma went and put BBC on and the news we hoped was a terrible hoax was in fact a devastating reality. I was so glad I was with my friend so we could be there for each other, I don’t think my eyes have ever been that sore.

Now 9 years on and that pain is most definitely still there. I love my Boyzone girlies and I would like to say they are friends for life – well I hope so anyway. I truly love that the Boyz have continued to honour Stephen and saying goodbye to the band that’s truly had my heart since I was a child just after my 35th birthday will be hard, but I know they will give us the best memories to treasure.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

In regards to Mental Health I would like to say I always have an ear for anyone who needs it. Don’t suffer alone. I shared my personal story of how I’ve changed my life. There’s a number of things that effect our mental health and well being. I urge you to do at least one thing for you today….and then please let me know what you’ve chosen to do in the comments box.

I’m off to the theatre later this evening, I hope Stephen keeps the weather dry for me at the globe.

2018, Blogtober, Uncategorized

Bonfire Spice

I didn’t mean for today’s offering to be late again but it’s been a mixed bag of a day for me. So I thought I would do something a bit different for today’s Blogtober entry.

With Autumn comes the Autumnal drinks and this October Costa Coffee has brought out a Bonfire Spiced Latte – which can also be a hot choc also. I’m guessing in competition to Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte which is also a favourite of mine. Although I don’t drink half as much coffee since Slimming World and when I do it’s usually a skinny version these days.

Now I’m a huge lover of cinnamon and toffee and that’s what it has a hint of.

And if you prefer a cold coffee that options available also. I’m off to the theatre tomorrow evening so I may treat myself to a Bonfire Spiced Latte it’s definitely a winter warmer.

So have you enjoyed my ever so slightly short and sweet entry?