2019, august, ebook, extract, Uncategorized

First chapter first paragraph Tuesday intros

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros @ I’d Rather Be at the Beach. Weekly. Share the first paragraph (or a few) of a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

The morning began as so many do in winter, with lowhanging fog and a smattering of frost. For weeks the sky has been the muted silver of a much-thumbed coin, but today the sun has broken through, laundering my little Cambridgeshire village with light. As I walk the ten or so minutes to the pub, I relish this new brightness which has brought with it so much colour – red berries in a thicket of holly, a battalion of purple pansies in a window box, and perched on the wall outside the church, a blue tit, its head cocked inquisitively to one side. I see David as soon as I cross the threshold of the White Swan. He is easy to spot, with his round bald head and those John Lennon-style glasses, which he wears balanced precariously on the end of his nose.

I only started reading this beauty this morning and I’m hooked on this breathtaking story. So far Genie has been through so many emotions and my heart really does go out to her. Her best mate is called Hayley – which made me smile free-fold, I’m always looking for books with Hayley’s and she’s super fun. Although her eating lemon drizzle cake sure did make my sweet tooth twitch so I may have had some chocolate cake to accompany my reading. This is a buddy read that I’m reading with Catriona although for once I’m ahead I literally cannot get enough. I have extremely sore feet from a cut on the bottom and due to sunburn so I’ve enjoyed chilling with a book today. I’m in the midst of chapter 9 and I know I can get a few more chapters in before we go out this evening…..see there are major pluses to days staying on camp….what an absolute treat of a book. The descriptions of New Zealand sound amazing.

That’s me over and out for today…I have a few reviews to write but right now I need another coffee and to get back to One Winter Morning.

2018, Football’s Coming Home, Off Topic, update

Football’s Coming Home…

Between a crazy work day and a football match I literally forgot that I had half started a book cover challenge blog post for yesterday. It will be finished and will more than likely feature tomorrow but as for today I have to mention the England game. I’m sorry if you’re hoping that my bookish ramblings would mean no Football mentions.

As a child Euro 96 was my first real memory of England playing in a big competition.

For me Terry Venables and his mixed team of experience and youth were golden.

The country were invested in the lads and if there was a game on you could bet the shops and the streets were eerily quiet. Then those penalties happened with our lads wearing grey and us being defeated. It was my first real sense of anticipation and disappointment – I was hooked on the team and hated seeing how much stick Gareth Southgate and Stuart Pearce went through as a result. I absolutely hate how the media turn on those we invested in.

Last night Gareth Southgate’s extremely young England team made history and broke the curse that ridiculed Gareth for years. We won on penalties – my heart could not cope and I literally cried.

For me what he has achieved with these lads is a sense of belief that now is our time. Not just in the lads but we actually believe it. I was certain we would get through last night – I wasn’t prepared for the nerves to be shot like that but a number of players who I had little personal faith in came through and that experience will change them as players going forward.

It’s such an exciting time to be English and to be alive. That little bit of history we made last night was just the beginning the tip of the iceberg and yes we will be on tender hooks come Saturday but let’s do this.

Bookish ramblings will resume tomorrow 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday…

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.

Today’s subject is Books that awaken the travel bug in me.

Now I don’t want to come across as repetitive but there is a book that I have mentioned on more than one occasion, and I even featured it on Monday and I can safely say it will feature again and here it is.

This book let me escape to a part of Spain I have never been yet. Isabelle has a way of writing a book where the passion comes off the page. I feel like I have been to Mojacar – I definitely want to visit and if I can I would like to get there this year before the Summer fades. Whether it happens is yet to be discovered.

Right I have realised I waffle too much on these posts…

I read this when I was touring California and the West Coast but it made me long for New York – which didn’t disappoint when I finally made it there.

I loved the short time I spent in San Francisco and Miranda made me relive it and want to go back.

I haven’t visited Italy…but this book had all the feels.

As I have mentioned this is what I’m reading when I get a spare minute in between classes and work and I tell ya I’m longing for the beach right now.

I said I would stop rambling but this last one features so much traveling it makes you want to book a flight…

I hope you enjoyed my choices. I would love to see yours so link them below. Better late than never on my part…

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe By Rosie Green.

Yesterday I did say watch this space as there would be another cover reveal here at Hayley Reviews and here it is.

I’m pretty sure I was on the last Rosie Green cover reveal what a gorgeous one it is. I’m looking at delving into these at some point.

Happy Tuesday all I’ve had quite a day now for some Zumba…

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: An Artisan Lovestyle By Kiltie Jackson

If you follow me over on Twitter HayleyTOfficial you would have seen that I had said I would be sharing a gorgeous cover reveal today. Before I do share it with you I want to once again say thank you for all the likes, comments, shares and love on my blog. I appreciate every single one of you in each way you support me here at Hayley Reviews. My blogger journey hasn’t always been joyful but since I changed to Hayley Reviews you guys have truly overwhelmed me.

Now before I tell you anymore about it. Doesn’t the guy and girl in the picture remind you of Grease. As that’s exactly what I thought when I saw it and Grease is my favourite film.

An Artisan Lovestyle

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree

to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December

to fulfil their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of

finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…

Pre-order Link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D23TM38

I would like to take the time to say thank you to Rachel for including me in another gorgeous cover reveal. Keep your eyes peeled for more reveals.

2018, audible, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: The Accident By C L Taylor

Blurb: To the outside world Susan Jackson has it all – a loving family, a successful politician husband and a beautiful home – but when Charlotte, her fifteen year old daughter,  deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma Sue questions whether any of it was real.

Desperate to find out what caused Charlotte’s suicide attempt, she is horrified by an entry in her diary – ‘Keeping this secret is killing me’.  As Sue spins in desperate circles, she risks everything to discover the truth and finds herself immersed in a shady world she didn’t know existed. The deeper she delves the darker the world becomes and the more danger she puts herself in.

Can Sue wake up from the nightmares that haunt her and save her daughter, or will ‘the secret’ destroy them both?

Review: Having devoured The Escape quite quickly via Audible I was eager to listen to something else by Cally Taylor. On my Kindle I have The Treatment and The Missing so it made sense to devour her first novel – which a very good friend loved, I knew I had made the right choice.

From the off I liked Sue but I must say, I have said this to Cally via Twitter the lady reading this novel was extremely posh and bleep bleep bleeping of a monitor and tap tap tapping was extremely off putting at times. Although I carried on as I was intrigued and completely invested in the story. In downloading this I had another friend follow me in reading she managed to pip me to the post though and her thoughts differed to mine slightly.

I am always anxious not to spoil a book in reviewing and there’s certain aspects that I just can’t talk about without spoiling the outcome of this psychological thriller.

The book goes from the 90s to present day explaining segments of Sue Jackson’s life and more importantly her relationship with Steve – and how that changes her and her relationships with some of her closest friends. Then we go to the present day where Sue’s 15-year-old daughter Charlotte had recently stepped in front of a bus and is in a coma.

I really liked how Sue’s life came full circle and choices she made along the way had an impact in later life. I’m not a parent so I can’t begin to understand how Sue was feeling after the initial accident and in visiting Charlotte. What I do know is I too would have done anything to find out exactly what happened if it was any of my friends or loved ones. No matter how mad people thought Sue was becoming she stuck to her instincts in her daughter and her actions leading up to her accident – she became a woman determined to find out the truth of what really happened, and in what had scared Charlotte that much.

I also liked that Cally has explored how many emotions a mother and a family would go through in times of these hardships.

As I stated I’m not spoiling but I must say this thriller really does get under your skin. I have never been in a hideously toxic relationship but I do believe that Cally has written this well. In some ways I get some brashness from my Mum so I wouldn’t stand for that sort of behaviour and I value myself a lot. But it’s easy to get trapped and to listen to the words. As the saying goes if you are told something often enough you start to believe it. So with Sue being called a number of names and described in a certain way she started to believe it was her fault initially.

The later Sue who was a mother and a step mother was much stronger and more assured of herself and I believe her experiences aided that side of her. It’s nice to see a story where a victim becomes stronger and much more confident rather than letting these horrific experiences ruin her life.

I am literally in awe of Cally’s writing – I have The Missing on my Kindle and as I have mentioned on more than one occasion I work for Cancer Research and we actually had a copy of that come in. Yesterday I read the opening of The Missing and I can safely say she has a knack of exciting and intriguing me. I will be devouring that shortly.

I can see why people are disappointed by the ending of The Accident as there are certain unanswered questions but for me those wonders are what make you intrigued by a story after you’ve closed the book.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this psychological thriller and feel free to give me more recommendations. I feel like a woman obsessed right now.

Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: The Best Boomerville Hotel By Caroline James

Today at Hayley Reviews I am pleased to share Caroline James newest cover for The Best Boomerville Hotel – which is part of Choc Lit’s newest imprint Ruby Fiction.

Now I don’t know about you but this cover screams family road trip and I love that idea. Most of my favourite childhood times have been on a beach with my crazy family. It’s the one place we are all relaxed and carefree and in some ways where we are our real selves.

Blurb: Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!

Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun.

So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

The Best Boomerville Hotel Links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/TBBH

Kobo:  https://goo.gl/VRh2XT

Ibooks/Google:  https://goo.gl/2aq7sz

Itunes:  https://apple.co/2lZrl6F

 Caroline James Links:

www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

http://www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Twitter:@CarolineJames12https://twitter.com/CarolineJames12

FaceBook:  Caroline James Author https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolineJames/

Thank you once again to Rachel for including me in this fab reveal. I am a huge lover of Choc Lit books so I’m looking forward to seeing what Ruby Fiction has to offer.

ebook, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

More Meet Cute gorgeousness from Katey Lovell – The Boy with the Boxes

Who can resist an Irishman as I most certainly cannot. Now this is the third of the Meet Cute stories that I have read and I have simply adored each of them so far for completely different reasons.

In downloading the boy on the bus Katey herself mentioned this one and I was intrigued, many that know me say I’m very predictable when it comes to the Irish and in some ways I guess they are right.

I love Katey’s writing this one was built up so much that it seemed so much longer than it was and when that spark between Connor and Rosie happened you were left wanting more. I felt so encompassed in the moment that for a split second I thought it was my moment. Sad but true. I love these shorts although I must admit after all three I have felt a pang of sadness in saying goodbye to these characters.

After my current read I may squeeze in the boy on the bus as I have been itching to read that one since I downloaded it. I must say the thought of this story makes me think of the beautiful Aussie who worked in HMV when I worked for O2 in Bromley – I cannot for the life of me remember his name though but it’s always lovely to reminisce and smile.

I now want to take a second to say Thank You. 

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting on my posts. Hello to all my gorgeous new followers and welcome to the mad house. I am still giving away Andrew Crofts gorgeous novella – it should be shared not shelved. Here’s how. Thanks to everyone who has got involved with my polls on Twitter it’s great interacting with you all. 

Tomorrow will be Wandering Wednesday’s it’s not written yet but I have an idea….

Review, TBR, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Lemon Tree Café Part One A Cup Of Ambition by Cathy Bramley

lemon tree part one

Blurb: This is Part One in a brand-new serial from bestselling author Cathy Bramley.

Rosie Featherstone loves her high-flying job at a social media firm. So what if she isn’t married and settled like her sister? A relationship would only get in the way of this workaholic’s hectic schedule!

So when she unexpectedly finds herself at a loose end for a month, Rosie keeps busy by helping her Italian nonna serve espressos and biscotti at the Lemon Tree Café, a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire.
Worryingly though, the café’s fortunes seem to have taken a turn for the worse since Rosie last went home. But with Nonna blind to the truth and angry at the idea of anyone interfering, the two are soon at loggerheads.
However, just when Rosie decides it’s time to head back to reality, an old acquaintance suddenly reappears, and the prospect of life at the Lemon Tree Café begins to seem more appetizing . . .
The Lemon Tree Cafe is an irresistibly charming novel told in four parts – following the adventures of Rosie Featherstone in friendship, family and second chances. This is the first part.
Read more at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1114776/the-lemon-tree-cafe-part-one/#sBqyPliq6Fzw8Ipc.99

Review: I remember when Cathy spoke about this four part series earlier in the year and I instantly pre-ordered it. Wickham Hall was the first of Cathy Bramley’s books that I devoured and completely fell in love with. This book has characters from the Plumberry School of Comfort Food so I’m thinking that will have to be my next Cathy read once this series is over. As I’m already intrigued by said characters.

Anyway Rosie is such an easy to read and likeable character and I warmed to her instantly, when she stuck up for her own beliefs in a board meeting. 

Having studied media and worked within those four walls I see how hard women work. I loved that Rosie wasn’t willing to settle so she walked out. Reinforcing the mantra of if you are unhappy with something in your life then change it. Saying that Rosie is lost without her busy schedule although that changes when she ends up working at her Nonnas Lemon Tree Cafe. 

Rosie is a family person at heart and she can’t bear to think of the cafe failing as her Nonna is too proud. Well what can I say part one has many twists and turns lots of little family moments and an interesting handsome stranger in Gabe.

Does Rosie really want the busy schedule or has the whirl of the Lemon Tree Cafe really got under her skin? 

I am looking forward to part two which as you have seen is on this weeks TBR pile. Rosie and her family are such a treat and their dynamic makes me laugh.