2020, Author Love, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Secret Seaside Escape By Heidi Swain.

Now this lady was one of my favourites long before I had even read a single word from one of her books. As soon as I did though it’s safe to say I am well and truly hooked.

Although I must admit a number of her books have left me feeling somewhat hungry ready to devour the nearest bakery, but her stories and her characters have let me escape the many trials and tribulations of life.

Without further ado I give you The Secret Seaside Escape. I cannot wait for this as I’m a sucker for the seaside and as this is released in April it will be before any impending trips this year.

The cover is so vibrant yet homely I always feel at ease with sand between my toes. If that doesn’t appeal to your senses here’s the blurb…

Following a shocking revelation within her family, Tess Tyler is looking to escape her hectic city life – and where better to hide than Wynmouth, the seaside town she visited as a child, with its sandy beaches, stunning rock pools and welcoming community. But little does she realise, Wynmouth isn’t quite the haven she remembers it to be, and her real life is still threatening to catch up with her . . .

Also returning to Wynmouth is Joe. Having fled over a decade ago after an accident that changed his life forever, he’s back and is determined to face his demons. But, like Tess, Joe realises that the town is nothing like he remembers and quickly his arrival brings old tensions to the surface.

As the pair begin to familiarise themselves with the town they once knew, they each realise that the secrets they carry are becoming harder to conceal – but will revealing them bring the answers they’re looking for? Will Tess and her new friends finally get the second chance they’ve been hoping Wynmouth will give them?

What are your thoughts?

If that’s wet your appetite you can order it via The Secret Seaside Escape

2019, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

How are you spending the lull between Christmas and New Year?

As we enter this lull between Christmas and New Year it’s really got me thinking.

In this weird time space where those of us working are constantly not sure on what day it is let alone the time…I’m guessing that’s the same for you lucky ones with a long break enjoy it.

My reading hasn’t been as great as I would like and I’ve decided in this lull I would like to finish reading a few of my half started book before the New Year kicks in. I must be one of very few bookworms to not receive a single book for Christmas, my closest friends and family would say I don’t need anymore until I’ve finished the mountains that I have and in some ways they are right.

Today I did pre-order the next Mhari McFarlane which will be my first read of 2020 I should then be good and try and get through some of my ever toppling TBR pile.

In amongst spending time with two of my nieces and my nephew where I read a few of their books played mousetrap and generally had cuddles I also got back to Call Me Maybe a book that had intrigued me from the get go. One that I had instantly pre-ordered and one that is most definitely so me. It’s about a British girl called Cassie and it features a long forgotten fictional boyband. Also to anyone who knows me also extremely me, I’ve loved this book but blog tours and life have got in the way and now I’m fully focusing my spare time on this beauty.

In this kind of reflective mode of 2019 I can’t help but highlight truly loving my buddy reading with Catriona we have many plans for 2020 and I’m hoping we can get in loads more books in the new year.

So here is to a positive and productive 2020 with lots and lots of books.

2019, christmas, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: A Million Dreams By Dani Atkins

Blurb: Beth Brandon always dreamed of owning a florist, but today the bouquets of peonies and bright spring flowers are failing to calm her nerves. Because today, Beth has a life-changing decision to share with her husband. 

Izzy Vaughan thought she and her husband would stay together forever, but sometime last year, their love began to fade. They both find such joy in their young son Noah – but is he enough to keep them together? 

Eight years ago, something happened to these two women. Something that is about to bring them together in a way no-one thought possible…

Review: Wow!!! I didn’t want to start my review with just a simple word but wow this book was full of such raw emotion. I do have a few of Dani’s books but this is the first I’ve devoured and it sure as hell won’t be the last. If you have any recommendations send them my way.

A Million Dreams… is a story of two ladies Beth and Izzy who are strangers yet intertwined by an extreme circumstance, I feel like throughout reading this there were a number of gasps and ohs from me when I could see the drama unfolding. I’m not a mother myself but I can wholeheartedly sympathise with both ladies. The situation they found themselves in was beyond heartbreaking and I imagine this could happen in real life although you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.

I truly loved both Izzy and Beth deep down they are both strong independent women whose love for being a mother outweighs everything else in their lives. I was rooting for them both and found myself torn at multiple pages. Life really is a rollercoaster and seeing them both overcome so much had me tearful with a smile on my face.

Dani Atkins is quite simply a genius at weaving a heartbreaking tale, that keeps you guessing until the last page. I saw a few things coming but it was written well with lots of intrigue and hope. The way she writes about grief was spot on – I truly miss my grandparents to this day and both Liam and Beth really made me think. Dani has shown the true aspects of grief and the different stages of moving on.

Everything about this book gave me all the feels and reignited my hope in love and second chances…

2019, Self Care Sunday, Uncategorized

Self Care Sunday

Well it sure has been a while since I wrote one of these posts. Last Sunday I threw myself into work having said goodbye to my favourite Boyz on the Friday and having celebrated Halloween early on the Saturday by Sunday I was ready to work and not think about anything that might make me emotional.

I haven’t listened to anything remotely Boyzone since that Friday. Since starting in the cinema on the 1st October I’ve been well and truly loving life. Throwing myself into work being a team player and working lots of extra hours today I’m feeling kinda sleepy so it’s a coffee day, I came home and had a Baileys hot chocolate this morning I’ve been half catching up on the soaps alongside some family time coffee and Heidi Swain’s latest The Christmas Wish List which got me thinking of when we wrote lists to promote the novel.

I then explained what the lists were about to my 7 year-old niece and she’s started writing hers.

So far we have advent calendar chocolate, making gingerbread men and a good ole family roast. When my 4 year-old niece next comes over I will be getting her to do the same. It’s the start of November and this is my third Christmas book this year each of them have given me all the feels although this morning in my tired state I swear I could smell mulled wine in just reading it. My sister in law yesterday mentioned a plum & Cinnamon gin and that sounds like Christmas in a nutshell.

I’ve loved making a little time for me this morning- I’m honestly loving my job I do need to balance my sleep pattern ended up having the Baileys hot chocolate with an episode of 13 Reasons at the stupidest time this morning and I may have placed an order with Superdrug that I’m now on my way to collect before I get the bus into work. So very soon I will be back with Hattie and Dolly.

This is me trying to not look like a Halloween ghoul. If you love what you’re doing it will never be a chore.

How is your Sunday fairing? Tell me your plans are we reading, watching TV or films.

I also have one of these to enjoy later when on my break they are simply divine. Any of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know I love an Irish coffee or two.

2019, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: The Christmas Wish List By Heidi Swain

Today I am overjoyed to be on the blog tour for The Christmas Wish List.

It’s always a pleasure to be invited onto a Simon & Schuster blog tour, not only are they a pleasure to work with their authors are also amazing and Heidi is one of my absolute favourites.

Having just last month started a new job I’ve been somewhat juggling my reading alongside saying goodbye to my favourite Boyz I seem to have had everything come at once.

So today I should be sharing my review, instead I will be sharing my thoughts so far and telling you about Heidi’s latest festive offering.

Blurb: After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

My thoughts so far….I’m loving Hattie and Dolly’s relationship. It instantly made me miss my Nan. We had such a close relationship and right up to the end I was going round for tea and to watch films. I’m questionable about Johnathan but there have been so many little things that have made me smile.

I will be reviewing this properly as soon as. Make sure you check out the rest of the tour I would like to take the time to thank Simon & Schuster again for my gorgeous package which I forgot to take a picture of and I’m now at work…

2019, audible, Blogtober, New Author to me, Review, Uncategorized

Audible Review: What Happens Now By Sophia Money-Coutts

Blurb: After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.

Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…  

Review: I saw a tweet of a video of Sophia Money-Coutts reading the prologue of What Happens Now. I was instantly intrigued in looking into the audio and in reading that she’d read her book I instantly hit the pre-order button. I did manage to listen to a bit on publication day but as it was just before my holiday and crazy busy at work I didn’t devour it as quickly as I would have hoped. Although saying that, that wasn’t a bad thing at all as this book will keep you in good spirits whatever life’s throwing at you.

From the very start I adored Lil she’s a straight up talking gal with no airs and graces. Often thinking after she’s said the unthinkable, although saying that she’s a professional teacher who does her best for her pupils. I loved this story from start to finish it was hilarious at times but Sophia also manages to interlink amazing real life scenarios that have you thinking. I liked seeing both sides of her, at her funniest and at her lowest and the resounding message is that she’s a strong woman.

At first I got a little confused until I’d realised that some chapters were from the meet between Max and Lil and then from when she found out she was pregnant. That scene alone was one of the funniest moments even though you’re like OMG what is she going to do now? Lil’s relationship with her family is a little strained but deep down the family unit is there and she has a fabulous set of friends who really make up a lot of this novel especially when Lil is seriously stressing out. She’s oblivious to who Max really is and that also adds to the humour.

Max is a great leading man he’s not so much brooding but he’s definitely got his own share of baggage. Although Lil being Lil puts two and two together and makes five. I loved how their story shaped and I had many hours of listening to them, and constantly wanting more. As I neared the end of the novel it was hard to put it down.

This was my first Sophia Money-Coutts novel and it definitely won’t be my last if you haven’t discovered the wit and flair of Sophia look no further. For me What Happens Now was a snapshot of what she can do combining real and at times hard issues with humour sure is a skill.

2019, Uncategorized

Book Review: Lake Child By Isabel Ashdown

Blurb: You trust your family. They love you. Don’t they?

When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

Review: I first discovered Isabel Ashdown via Netgalley where I read the first few chapters of Little Sister and I was hooked. Although I’m ashamed to say I haven’t yet read the full story, but following this beauty it will happen.

When Lake Child was advertised my interest was piqued on publication day I had to go to an ENT appointment and Isabels fantastic new novel had me hooked and kept me company on an awful day, I had quite quickly devoured six chapters. The appointment had me in tears so it was a welcome detraction. I couldn’t believe how much I’d read ok such a short time.

Now where do I start? I loved this book it kept me on my toes and had me constantly thinking. This is one of those books where you think you know the outcome but you’re so wrong. I know many people hate the words twists and you didn’t see it coming, but this is definitely one of those books.

I would describe Lake Child as a compelling read that will keep you guessing and will have you gasping from time to time. From the off I adored Eva – she’s feisty, independent and loyal. It’s extremely hard to say anything about this novel without ruining the story, but what I will say is you will love it. The aspects of pure family love and the lengths they will go to, to keep you safe.

I’ve never been to Norway but Isabel sure does describe a picturesque scene of the lakes, the forests and the mountains. Even during Eva’s darkest moments her description from her bedroom made me think of a gorgeous little cottage with log fires and cosy beds. Ideal for a bookworm like me.

I loved the set up of this book and looking back in hindsight I should have worked out a few things early on. As the chapters are split into Maxine and Eva. If you read this you will see what I mean once you complete it.

It’s definitely one of those reads that literally hooks you in and the chapters are quite short so it’s one of those just one more chapter reads where you’ve sat up until the early hours. If my ear hadn’t played up and left me plagued with a headache I would have finished this a lot sooner, but the fact it delayed me meant that when I got to the heart of the novel I had the time and the need to complete it in peace.

Isabel has covered a number of serious issues well and with grace. There’s so much I want to say but I won’t ruin any of the details.

Lake Child is compelling, heartbreaking and completely consuming. A novel that will leave you wanting to know the truth as Eva is trying to understand what’s happened to her. It will leave you second guessing yourself and thinking you knew the answers yet you were completely wrong.

2019, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: When Polly Met Olly By Zoe May

Blurb: Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

Review: I’ve been championing this lady since devouring Perfect Match – it was a Netgalley read that provided me a new author and friend. I’ve spoken to Zoe so much over Twitter and Instagram and as much as I have championed her she’s also been very complimentary of me and my blogging efforts.

When Zoe went to New York to research for this novel we had chatted loads and loads I felt like I wanted this book long before it had been written. In a way it’s bad form on me for only having just finished it. I’ve been away with my family and I knew it would be the perfect time to get some reading done although I haven’t read as much as I would like I’m so glad to have read ‘When Polly Met Olly’. It’s a perfect feel good read and the ultimate tonic when you need a pick me up or if you’re in a reading slump.

Zoe writes about dating so effortlessly, I’ve been a huge fan of Celebs Go Dating for yonks and if you have ever watched the series I’m sure Olly will remind you of a certain Eden Blackman. I could picture him from the off and for me it added to my enjoyment of the story. I didn’t always like Olly but deep down there was always another side to him and I’m glad that that came into fruition before the story ended.

I loved Polly and everything about her story, seeing her progress in New York. I said to Zoe how real Polly was with her struggles to become a photographer, I’ve known that pain. Having studied New Media Journalism and spent so much of my spare time trying to make something of myself. In reading this book it’s shown me that we do have to go back to why we started and why we loved it. I may not be getting paid to write but I have a blog that I enjoy sharing my passion for books and the written word. I’ve also shared a few of my other passions and lifestyle changes, in starting my new job at the end of September I’m hoping to add some new additions to the blog and I cannot wait.

Zoe May writes a truly engaging novel that keeps you on your toes. I loved the different aspects with the emails and Tinder/Match messages alongside texts and dialogue. I also loved the stark contrast to people in New York with money and those trying to make their way. I also have to mention Gabe I truly loved the friendship between Gabe and Polly, everyone needs that friend who will tell you how it is rather than what you want to hear.

The other resounding message from this novel is looks can be deceiving. In this day and age with social media taking over we’re all obsessed with how we come across and insta and reality are two separate things and sometimes we all need to take a step back. I pride myself on taking people as I find them and Polly’s gut instincts helped her in the end.

A truly enjoyable read that could have been devoured in a solitary sitting if I had had that luxury. A fantastic final read before I head back to reality, back to work for me tomorrow and I still have an audiobook to finish…

2018, august, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized, update, wrap up

What did I read in August.

Now I was overly optimistic with my TBR for August with so much happening it was obvious to me that I wouldn’t have completed it.

However, I sure did read some beauties that have left their mark on me.

I loved each of these for different reasons and they are all authors I adore. I must admit I have a few more of Catherine’s on my Kindle but that’s the first of hers I’ve devoured and what a fantastic start….

My thoughts on these 📚

Rewind By Catherine Ryan Howard

One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

The Turn of the Key By Ruth Ware

I’m hoping to have my Miranda Dickinson review up for publication day tomorrow. I started September with a few short reads which were ace and I’m now in the midst of Zoe May’s When Polly Met Olly which I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I feel like my time away caught up with me and last night and this morning I’ve had a massive headache – so I’ve only managed a little reading. I have two very different audios on the go and one is for a blog tour.

I’m hoping that seeing as I’m on holiday until the end of Saturday and I have a little downtime in September that I can read a lot more than I managed in August. I like being optimistic but I also like getting more reading into my month.

Two of my August reads were buddy reads and I’m pleased to say that myself and Catriona have a few ideas up our sleeves and one includes one of my fave authors.

2019, Netgalley, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Rewind By Catherine Ryan Howard

Blurb:

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this where the story goes back and forth.

PLAY: Focuses on Andrew the manager of Shanamore Cottages. Andrew is an interesting case and for me he had a touch of Norman Bates about him. Which in turn left me intrigued for each of his instalments. Like Norman he was strange but at times I also felt extremely sorry for him, just like with Norman in Psycho- when realistically the logical part of your brain is saying don’t emphasise he’s a complete creep. For me that’s a fantastic creepy character where you have conflicting emotions. It also made for compelling reading as I wanted to know what he’d done and why he was going through the motions that he was.

Andrew is strange and even his back story shows how weird he is. His thought process isn’t normal and the way he treats girls is sickening but when he sees the murder play out on his hidden camera you can feel his terror.

PAUSE: Focuses on Natalie, from the off I feel for her. I can’t say too much on Natalie as if you read it you’ll soon know her fate or will you? I was conflicted on a number of things linked to Natalie but had somehow overlooked what actually was the case. Just like with Andrew’s instalments it made for compelling reading.

REWIND: Brings you back to the jigsaw of the murder. Who died and why? This kept me on my toes although I wasn’t sure at one point if there was more than one death but as I kept turning those pages I knew my original thoughts were right.

This was a Netgalley read for me and I’m so glad that I was approved to read this beauty. It was just the read I needed at the start of my holidays and just the tonic after a purely emotional read. It really did bring me back to my media studies classes when we were studying Psycho – all those thoughts and feelings came right to the forefront of my mind. A truly creative read that will shock you and keep you guessing in a world where Instagram posts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. There’s a fine line between online and in real life. It’s also strange to see how people cannot separate reality and fantasy, that aspect is terrifying but I’ll leave you to read and form your own opinions.

I still have Distress Signals on my Kindle and it will definitely be pushed up the list. Catherine writes a compelling story and I’m a definitely a fan.