2020, It’s Monday who am I?, Uncategorized

It’s Monday who am I? #1

Last night after the tears and letting the thoughts out as I laid my weary head and tried to calm my spinning mind I was inspired. I didn’t get up and put pen to paper as I’ve had these on/off headaches which I’m now believing is also a form of stress. But that inspiration was still with me this morning.

Yesterday I had a little cry I’m not ashamed to say that it makes me human and it’s who I am. I’ve always been an emotional person and the worries in the world right now are worldwide and we can’t see it coming. Not only am I feeling terrified I’m also a little lost. Having these on/off headaches has taken my reading from me for the short while sadly although I have managed some audio that I may or may not finish today.

A lot of bloggers partake in the It’s Monday what am I reading and my inspiration took a twist on that so today I am presenting you with the very first, it’s Monday who am I? In this post I’m hoping to harness some of the attributes of a character who has resonated with me. It could be past or present in terms of the fiction and the character in question.

Today I am Darrell Rivers

In watching this series I cannot believe that there are a few Enid Blyton books that I haven’t read. In embracing Malory Towers I’ve discovered the joyful Darrell Rivers – a hardworking girl who strives for what’s right. She has a temper which serves her well at times, her resilience is one of the traits I would like to imitate. During these troubling times I’m trying to do my best to keep my head above water, the headaches are easing and I’ve managed to do a few things today which is really helping my state of mind. There’s a lot more I hope to accomplish today and I’ll be back with another character next Monday….

2020, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books that have been on your TBR forever…

I love a Six for Sunday after a week long headache I’m back in the game as so to speak. I’m a lot better now although I feel my lack of usual routine isn’t helping so I’m embracing the sunshine with a coffee and a glass of water as I finalise my thoughts for this weeks prompt. I sadly haven’t read a physical or ebook since finishing the amazing The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish I have spent a little time listening to David Jason’s Only Fools and stories.

I’ve seen the film…I watched it on a plane ride and was a snotty mess

This is one that shocks people especially as I’ve had a physical copy for ages. My friends who I got a flight to America with were laughing at the state of me following watching this beauty.

I have the audio and a physical copy of this.

I truly loved To Kill A Mockingbird- I knew the story but couldn’t remember if I had read it at school or not. I purchased a vintage beauty from Waterstones and truly loved everything about it. I was working in the charity shop back then and I found a hardback copy which I grabbed I also have this as an audiobook so really I have zero excuses.

Le sigh…just after Christmas when I went back to work I immersed myself in the film of this beauty.

It was everything and more….A few years back I watched and loved the TV adaption of this and then I said I needed to rectify that and sadly I’ve still not read it.

The third in the Hunger Games series…

I got into the Hunger Games late and I truly loved it, so much so I didn’t want it to end. So I leant my copy of this to a friend so I couldn’t finish it and I still haven’t….

Daphne Du Maurier

Ever since I picked up Rebecca from the charity shop I was volunteering in I’ve been a massive fan of this lady and I have a physical copy of this that I’ve been saying I will read for a while now.

I’m such a massive fan of Vicky Walters…in reading her kindness cafe I found out about this I read the short connected to this and was instantly hooked but it’s another that’s sat on my shelf.

2020, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Dark Corners By Darren O’Sullivan

A thrilling fast paced read.

Blurb: It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place.

But secrets can come back to haunt you

When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forced to return. Jamie has vanished without a trace in a disappearance that echoes the events of all those years ago. Somebody is watching and will stop at nothing until the truth about what took place that night is revealed …

Review: Most of you who know me know that Darren O’Sullivan’s debut novel Our Little Secret pulled me out of some of my most darkest moments during ankle gate. I’m so pleased to have read and to now be reviewing his fourth book. Darren we are on book four and wow what a rollercoaster ride it’s been not only your latest novel but your journey. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

I had seen a few writers who had read early copies stating how this was Darren’s best and I was sat there thinking but I’ve loved all of his books in different ways. I knew I would love it but I didn’t know the emotional journey I would go on in reading it. It’s such a weird place in the world right now but being immersed in this fast paced thriller sure has helped me to say the least.

Dark Corners is so aptly named but you won’t even realise that until right near the end of the novel. It’s a story about a group of childhood friends who go through a lot together and when tragedy strikes they all cope in different ways.

Neve is our main character and the story revolves around her, we have parts of her story from now and parts from back in 1998 when Chloe went missing. I loved getting the back story although it didn’t always make sense and it’s safe to say it’s hard to review without explaining any of the plot.

What I will say is Darren weaves a good tale and right up to 80% in I was still sitting there with not that many answers there were a number of OMG moments. I was shocked even if it made sense when you stepped away from the story. The perfect tale to read during these strange times we are living in- I was swept away on Neve’s rollercoaster ride where she wasn’t sleeping, heavily relying on booze and distancing herself from pretty much everything.

This is out today so go grab this beauty because this book really does deserve to fly….Here

2020, Paige Toon Read Along, Review, Uncategorized, wrap up

What I read in March…

Now March really did turn the tide in my life. It changed dramatically when work was shutdown until further notice. My happy place was taken from me. I mean for a book worm it did help my reading and I’ve been able to make more time for my blog and for a few things I’ve been saying I would do in a while. I had hoped to have included a few shorts to end my March reading but I’ve had a headache for the past few days, I’m getting there now but there’s still a niggle but seeing as this post was virtually done I decided I would post it. To those who voted for my post on Monday it will be here I promise I just have been feeling so rubbish the past few days….

March started with the newest Cornish story from Cressida McLaughlin and my heart bursted once again.

It was so good to have the gang back and to have the new additions.

You can read my thoughts here.

As you may remember both myself and Catriona are in the midst of a Paige Toon read along….I’m loving having mostly Paige in this write up.

As I said in my review I had met a few of these before but it was so nice to see their story play out. You can read my thoughts Here.

Now I cannot help gushing at these stories I really do think Joe and Alice could be my favourites. I’ve also realised there’s a few of my paperbacks that aren’t signed I will be digging out my favourites the next time I can see Paige. She kindly signed the first few of the read-along that weren’t signed.

You can read my thoughts on quite possibly one of my fave Paige Toon couples Here

Darren O’Sullivan is one of my most favourite authors and his fourth novel really does showcase how his writing has changed,this one is a lot more fast paced. Darren’s latest will be out tomorrow and my review will be up then 🙂 so you will need to wait another day to read my thoughts on this.

Part two of this Cornish gorgeousness was just what I needed in these strange times. I was left longing for a hug from Sam. You can read my thoughts Here

This was a very different feel for a Paige Toon novel but all the same I loved my trip to Key West.

This beauty is available in June and my god I want to talk about it but there’s so much I cannot say. My review

Re-listening to this beauty I bloody love Bronte and I also had trouble choosing between those boys…I also realised that I had never penned my thoughts on this beauty.

2020, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday – characters who I would like to be like…

I’m such a fan of the Six for Sunday prompt and seeing as I have so much time on my hands I should be more organised to participate more. You have to look at the positives during this strange time we are living in.

Today’s prompt is characters who I’d like to be like. Seeing as me and Catriona are almost halfway through our Paige Toon read-along I thought I would attempt to answer this prompt with her characters. From the books I’ve been reading so far…

Meg….

I had met Meg in the first Jessie Jefferson novel but in reading Johnny Be Good, Baby Be Mine and Johnny’s Girl I now feel like I know her a lot more. Meg is gutsy, fun and knows what she wants.

Lockie

In re-listening to Thirteen Weddings I was once again bowled over by Lockie’s confidence and zest for life. It’s inspiring especially during these crazy times we’re living in right now.

Alice

Alice’s love story is one that I long for, its full of passion and the intensity blew my mind. I also loved how she knew deep down that her love was real and that what is meant to be will be.

Bridget…

Bridget pops up in a number of books and was my first leading lady as the first Paige Toon book that I read was The Last Piece of my Heart. In this read-along I’ve read her in this and in Thirteen Weddings I’m looking forward to re-reading my first Paige novel as she seems like a different person to the confident and in some was brash good friend and party girl. I really want to be a lot more like Bridget.

Lily….
Her passion for photography and her love got him.

Lily might be young but she knows what she wants. Her passion for life, her eye for photography and her love for Ben had me from the off.

Bronte….

Bronte is adorable yet frustrating. I love how she’s real and how she likes to stick to her guns to a point. I also love how career driven she is even if her head is a jumble in the love triangle she has got herself into.

2020, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: If I Never Met You By Mhari McFarlane

Blurb: If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

The brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance

(They set the rules via email)

Everyone can see they’re head over heels

(They staged the photos)

This must be true love

(They’re faking it)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…

But this fauxmance is about to get complicated. You can’t break your heart in a fake relationship – can you?

Review: Mhari McFarlane literally had me at Hello….ever since devouring that novel I’ve been such a fan. Sometimes life and book blogger problems have got in the way but whenever I delve into a Mhari novel I know I will be sucked in from the off. I remember pre-ordering this as soon as I had read the blurb. It took me a little longer than expected to get to it and to devour it but it was everything I needed and more.

From the off I loved Laurie and I really love the fact she’s a high flying woman of colour. I am not a woman of colour but there isn’t enough books like this. I also loved how Mhari has brought across how most of us ladies do not realise our own value in ourself. It took Laurie feeling downtrodden via her long-standing boyfriend in dumping her to realise her worth. She’s an intelligent woman who is highly thought of at her law firm but for so long she’s pushed Dan to be the one chasing promotions when realistically she should have been looking in the mirror.

I just adore Mhari’s way of writing her descriptions are witty and relatable there were so many moments that I could 100% relate or that had me simply laughing out loud. I won’t be delving into the main aspects of the story as that would simply take the joy away from reading another fantastic Mhari McFarlane novel.

As I stated I loved Laurie from the off and her office pals. Jamie had me on the edge of my seat I just didn’t know what to make of him. Although I did call a few of the outcomes before they happened.

I have to mention Laurie’s best friend Emily I always adore the friendships in these novels and these two are a team to contend with. They wholeheartedly have each other’s backs even if they don’t always agree with the other.

If you are looking to loose yourself in a book that will have you constantly turning the pages then look no further the queen of wit and relatable reading has done it again. If you have never read a Mhari novel this isn’t a bad place to start.

2020, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Longest Holiday By Paige Toon

Blurb: Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But, she now discovers, a week before the wedding Matthew made a terrible mistake …

Escaping the heartache and humiliation, Laura is whisked off to Florida’s Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn’t want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

Review: The Longest Holiday Really did have a totally different feel to that of most of Paiges reads. It just felt different somehow not in a bad way just a change of writing and tact in the way Laura spoke.

Laura has to be one of the most free spirited ladies who speaks exactly how she feels. What I did love about this story was seeing how different Laura, Marty and Bridget are. Now I had already met Laura and Bridget from different books but seeing what joined them together was a totally different feel. As the book begins Laura is feeling a multitude of emotions following Matthew’s heartbreaking mistake. You can see why Laura is feeling the way she is and I believe Paige showed the emotions that any woman would be going through. At the start of the holiday Laura is going through the motions but she’s not truly thinking about what she wants and deserves not really. She’s grateful to the girls for taking her away from it all but when push comes to shove she’s not ready to go back to her reality. Her reality is that of nightmares and her heart isn’t ready to face what awaits her in London or what she would leave in Key West. I don’t want to say too much but that scene at the airport I had my heart in my mouth….

When Laura returns to London her thoughts are a million miles away across the pond. Watching her agonise over her situation was heartbreaking and hard to read. Now I 100% can’t say much more but woah Paige I wasn’t expecting what happened that raw emotion of Laura, her friends, her parents, Matthew and Leo meant I lapped up the final pages full of eager and intensity.

Another gorgeous tale from Paige Toon which right now you can download for 99p. What are you waiting for?

2020, Author Love, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Perfect Summer By Paige Toon

Alice & Joe have well and truly stolen my heart.

Blurb: Do you still love him?’ Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Review: I’ve said it before and I will say it again I got into Paige Toon seriously late with The Last Piece of My Heart being the first of her books that I read. But I’m not saying that was a bad thing I loved the heart and soul of that read and I remember finishing it in the early hours of the morning with a tear stained face but with an extremely happy heart and from that moment on I was a fan and was eager to lap up anything and everything Paige had written.

So in doing this read along with Catriona I’ve loved delving into her back catalogue. I have met Joe and Alice before in previous books but I hadn’t read their own story. Oh my….how has this beauty been on my shelf and on my kindle for ages although I totally forgot I also had the digital version. That could have sped up my reading time…

This book is in a few sections with The Summer, six months later and then a few years on and on. The Summer in Dorset where Joe and Alice meet is intense and all consuming. The chapters are quite short so it’s easy to be like just one more just one more…It never felt false or rushed their love story blossomed quickly and intensely, it swept me along and consumed me, which was exactly what I needed with the world going crazy right now.

When it got to six months later I found myself frustrated not by Alice or her emotions but by the lack of Joe. It brought me back to reading Eclipse enjoying the pages but longing for Edward to return to Bella. I loved meeting Jessie and the punting gang I had forgotten that I had also met him before in the One Perfect Christmas collection – after this I did re-read that with such love and a new found understanding for all the characters, and for their individual stories.

Which then brings me onto Lukas – there were elements of Lukas that I found sweet but I never warmed to him. I found him controlling in the weirdest of ways… even though in some ways he was good for Alice at that part of her life but I like Alice was still longing for Joe.

I shan’t be ruining the ins and outs of the story but I must say this read did give me a rollercoaster of emotions and left me with a bit of a book hangover and longing for a cuddle. I do love seeing how all these characters intertwine it’s like reuniting with old friends comfortable and like a warm hug.

If you want a Paige Toon to start with One Perfect Summer is a gorgeous introduction to an author who covers many real-life aspects in a way that keeps you informed and let’s you escape. I’m totally loving this read along with one of my closest friends even though she’s across the pond and one of my most favourite authors.

2020, Author Love, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part two- Beauty & the yeast By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie, Delilah and their adorable cream tea bus have found themselves caught up in the filming of a lavish period drama on the Cornish coast and it isn’t long before Lila finds herself drawn to the handsome male lead.
But Lila has made a habit of making rash decisions and it’s one of the reasons she’s hiding out in Cornwall. Could this be one impulsive step too far for her, or is there the promise of something wonderful on the sea air…?

Review: Part two pinged through to my kindle at the right time. A much needed and welcome distraction to the craziness that is the corona virus. None of us could have predicted how this would effect and change our lives. For me this came through on day two with no work schedule, I love reading and having time to dedicate to my blog and to sit with family but I’m desperately missing the routine and day to day that work brings to my life.

In part two Lila is flying solo with the Cornish Cream Tea bus and she’s doing a smashing job of looking after the bus and fulfilling the needs of the cast and crew of Estelle. In this latest instalment Lila’s friendship with Keeley starts to flourish with the pair of them opening up over their separate worries.

Now I have to mention Sam – that sandy haired blue eyed beauty really does need to be on my doorstep especially on days like today. I found myself wholeheartedly embracing the romance of it all. I love how he can seem like two different people the confident actor and the shy guy. I loved seeing him cosy up to a certain someone it seemed to develop slowing but I was embracing it and full of such love – fully immersed in the story.

I don’t want to say too much about the story there is very little of Charlie and Daniel as they are off exploring San Francisco whilst Lila is switching up the coffees and embracing new ideas on the bus. She does get to do some cool stuff with the loveable Sam and Toby and seeing her friendships blossom with the cast and crew.

As her relationships are changing Lila thinks more and more about her fraught friendship with best mate Clara and in a conversation with Keeley she starts doubting herself. I love that the catalyst of that conversation has Lila desperate to prove she’s changed and learnt from her impulsive mistakes can she Sam and Charlie help change the fate of Estelle and the Cornish Cream Tea Bus.

I wasn’t particularly happy with how it ended as I just want to continue reading about the Cornish coast and their gorgeous residents. Part two was a welcome distraction that should have been read quite quickly but it allowed me to delve in and out of real life – during a time when I wanted and needed to escape. I’ve made another book boyfriend giving me unrealistic ideals but I can’t wait for Sam to come back into my life in part three.

Thank you Cressida for being the light in such an unpredictable time for of uncertainty.

2020, A thought? A question, Uncategorized

Taking a moment…

To acknowledge that these uncertain times have left me feeling bereft and anxious. I’m not saying this for attention or sympathy I’m just now documenting my thoughts here on my blog.

I’ve made a start on some posts that will follow shortly. Although Darren O’Sullivan’s one will be posted on publication day of Dark Corners on 2nd April so watch this space.

I’m not hard faced but I have always had the mentality where I wouldn’t be scared to do my day to day things like when 9/11 and 7/7 happened I still went on trains and buses without a second thought. Maybe I looked around more but I wasn’t being scared away. During these uncertain times with the corona virus I’ve become more and more anxious. Simple things like getting on the bus to work and on a train to meet a friend it had my chest tightening – once I got there I was fine thanks to being submerged into good books and music.

Now my beloved cinema has been closed for all of our safety I’m left feeling so helpless, worrying like most of the country about bills and stuff as well as the fact I bloody love my job and I’ve finally felt content in myself.

The way I’ve been feeling is so alien to me it’s terrifying- I had a good cry last night and a few pink gins ha. Today I’m trying to embrace some me time, some family time and some self care. I’m hoping having some extra time means I can get this blog back to some momentum and I can blitz the TBR pile a bit. I finished Darren’s latest in the early hours. I haven’t started the next in our Paige Toon read-along yet I may get a short in first. As I type I’m sat warm and cosy watching the Boyzone – Thank You & Goodnight tour that my best mate filmed.

Thank god for music, books and film during such a scary time in life. In my 36 years on this planet I’ve never felt so anxious if only I could go back to much simpler worries like meeting my favourites.

Guess what lil Hayley you met them in threefold and the memories will last a lifetime. Seeing as I’m off work for now those nails are going to get a lick of paint….I would love to hear from any of you on your self care methods.