2019, Author Love, ebook, New Author to me, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Part One – Don’t Go Baking My Heart By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Baking fanatic, Charlie Quilter, is surprised when her late uncle bequeaths his vintage bus to her in his will. Charlie thinks it will be the perfect mobile café for afternoon tea, and when her friend, Juliette, suggests Charlie comes to stay with her in the picturesque Cornish village of Porthgolow, she’s thrilled at the chance of a new start.
Charlie and her cute dog, Marmite, make new friends wherever their bus stops – except for the attractive but reclusive owner of the posh spa up on the hill, Daniel Harper, who isn’t very pleased that her bus is parked outside his lovely hotel.
Has Charlie’s Cornish dream developed a soggy bottom? Or can she convince Daniel that her bus could be the start of something wonderful for the little village – and for them?

Review: So I’m going to just say it. I have a few of Cressida’s novels on my Kindle but part one of the Cornish Cream Tea Bus – Don’t Go Baking My Heart is the first I have read, which makes me feel bad but wow what a treat and what a starting point.

I’ve on/off been reading but yesterday I managed to finish part one and I thought it was best to pen my thoughts before diving into part two. These shorts are aiding my reading alongside my hardback – which annoyingly isn’t on Audible yet as I found out yesterday to my dismay.

From the start I really warmed to Charlie and her story. Her connection to her late uncle really made me think of my grandparents – our stories weren’t nowhere near the same but I shared a love or reading with my grandad and a love of film with my Nan. My do I miss them and books like this are heartwarming and nostalgic.

I loved how she wanted to keep her uncles Gertie alive but did so in a way that was part of her. Old and new – keeping her uncles pride and joy and introducing her passion to reinvent the bus and for her to be able to make it work. I loved seeing how taken she was with the task and seeing if she could make it happen. The first event was an eye opener but I loved her can-do spirit when she stepped back from the situation – I honestly believe this is something we should all do from time to time – and this is definitely a lesson I should be listening to and taking note.

I haven’t been to Cornwall in a long time and I have never visited Porthgolow but wow I loved the way Cressida described the town and I think there are probably many seaside towns that need that revitalisation. I regularly visit Dymchurch in Kent with the family and that’s looked tired at times it’s always nice to see new businesses pop up and renovations to happen when we return most years. I also adore Salou in Spain I haven’t been for a few years and sadly it doesn’t look like I will get there this year. At times that’s also needed a boost and a refresh – although for me they are always places I feel at home and calm so I will always visit but there needs to be change to see tourism boom.

I don’t have enough me time but Charlie sure is something else. When she relented and took her best friends advice I was chuffed for her. Charlie getting to Cornwall sure was a journey and some feat. The characters she encounters in Porthgolow are something else although I can’t work out Daniel and I’m pretty sure most people will say the same thing – as I believe that is part of Cressida’s thought process too.

There have been some bumps along the way in inheriting Gertie but wow what a journey in part one. One event that was eventful and then the trip to Porthgolow where Gertie undertakes a major transformation I love all the little things that have been put into the bus really giving it a touristy and nostalgic feeling. It’s like she’s thought of absolutely every trick in the book even down to mementos.

Part one ended with Charlie feeling extremely positive and upbeat for her Summer and for her future with Gertie a major part of it. I finished this part giddy to know more as it was left making me wonder but I knew I had to get my thoughts in order before I continued on this seaside journey.

One thing I will say is in devouring part one I want all the cake and I could murder a hot scone and a good coffee. In reading this you will get hungry, you have been warned.

2018, Me, Off Topic, Uncategorized, update

My Fitness Journey….

Hey welcome to Hayley Reviews, today I am going away from bookishness and talking about me.

In my younger years I was one of those girls who people said could eat anything and wouldn’t put on weight that soon changed. I’ve never minded fruit but I can honestly say I rarely smashed my five a day. As for vegetables – as a child I had a best mate whose mum would serve up all sorts of veg and expect you to eat it whether you liked it or not. To this day I blame her for Brussel Sprouts – I did try them again quite recently and I can honestly say I can live without them.

If at the beginning of this year you had said to me that I would one be trying to actually cook rather than throwing something in the oven and two that I would willingly want broccoli, spinach and cauliflower with my dinner I would have laughed in your face. Now I’m upset if I run out of spinach or Broccoli or if Sainsbury’s don’t have Butternut Squaffles in stock.

They do say your taste buds change every seven years and they really do. I have such a sweet tooth yet it’s been curbed quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong I still love a hot choc and I’m still impartial to chocolates just not to the excess I would have before. I have also learnt that a lot of the time it was merely through boredom or because it was there. In working in such a busy environment where there are often lots of people around it was often easier to just snack on crap. Fast forward to August 2018 and the thought of some of the things I would have gauged on makes me feel physically sick.

On 16th April 2018 I joined Slimming World – a number of people asked me why and a number of people also said I shouldn’t have. Having seen a number of friends do well from Slimming World I thought what the hell. What do I have to lose. In joining I took one look at the plan and was instantly thinking what am I going to eat. Natasha my consultant was super helpful- she told me not to focus on what I wouldn’t eat and to look at what I would. My first week was a little strange and I somehow managed to put together some odd meals. In that week I managed to lose 3lb but I hadn’t had much speed food.

What is speed food? I hear you say. These are fruit and vegetables that help speed up your metabolism – quite quickly I found a flow that I could enjoy. With my breakfast I often have Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries which are all speedy fruits and with meals it’s often Mushrooms, Carrots, Spinach, Butternut Squash and Broccoli to name a few. Before Slimming World I ate Carrots and Mushrooms but the other vegetables I hadn’t tried in a long time.

On 13th August 2018 I hit my target weight – this was a very good Monday for me, I had said to myself as I got closer that I wanted to be at target before my family holiday to the seaside and I made it. As you know I’m away as we speak and I’ve had a sketchy food week but I have had some fruit and Weetabix on a few mornings and some semi Slimming World friendly stuff. In town I found a gorgeous Mushroom Risotto which if possible I would love to sample again before we leave – it hasn’t happened so far.

I know there are Slimming World recipes for this so this will be happening when I return home.

Alongside my food and my walking I started attending a number of fitness classes. I have been doing Zumba on/off for years and I still really enjoy it. I managed to get a few free passes to some Boxfit classes. I did Boxfit on Blackheath common and then I found Fight Klub. That’s another thing I wouldn’t have thought a boxing based fitness class would be my thing but I love it and when I miss it, I’m seriously annoyed. Last week I managed to fit in two sessions which I was also meant to do the week before but due to trainer sickness that didn’t happen.

What has surprised me….I’m now a target member- I’ve missed a weigh in week as I’m away but I’m intrigued to see how I fair. As I have relaxed a little this week I have been shocked at the changes. Back in April/May time I purchased this…

On the Friday night before we left home I decided my working week was done and my me time had started so I would sample this. I had two quite small glasses and found it super super sweet. I also realised that I can’t drink normal coke – I asked for a vodka and Diet Coke and was given a normal coke and yet again it was too sweet. I’m pleased to report my love of an Irish coffee and of fudge still stands but once again my body will tell me when I have had too much. I’m also noticing a difference to how I feel when I’ve eaten fatty foods.

The picture on the left was taken at a book event with friends on 30th April so two weeks into my SW journey and the pic on the right was taken in July around the World Cup. I’ve also had a number of non scale victories in the fact I need pretty much a new wardrobe and the stuff that used to be tight now fits.

Thank you to those who took part in my poll yesterday, meaning I actually finished writing this piece.

What would you like to see tomorrow? Book Review, Author Guest Post, or something different. You guys get first refusal on what tomorrow holds.

2018, Uncategorized, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering to the 1930s

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

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

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

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea

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

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

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

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

2018, Uncategorized, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday: Wandering Alone…

Wandering Wednesday is my very own personal meme where I sometimes travel in reality the rest of the time it’s via a book. I had an idea in my head when I was contemplating posts for this week and I really wanted to bring Wandering Wednesday back, but because the past few days have featured travel type posts I wasn’t sure whether to add another.

As I said when I first mentioned wanting to daily post for the month of June, I also thought it’s a good way to clear my drafts and write those reviews that deserve to be written. I’m going to mention two drafts now just so I actually do them. I have a half written audio review for The Break from Marian Keyes this awesome book had me laughing out loud in the most strangest of places. With this one I listened whilst tidying my room, whilst in the bath and while walking to work and I truly fell in love with the story. The other post is a blogger nomination – I don’t get these very often so I was touched and it’s one of those posts that I have been meaning to give the attention it deserves.

Whenever I thought I wouldn’t wander I contemplated those posts but I just kept thinking about travel. So that brings us to today’s theme.

As I have mentioned a lot recently and after reading Then Now Always I have a deep longing to visit Mojacar. Which for those who don’t know it’s a part of Spain near Almeria. However, it’s not really somewhere anyone else is drawn to which brings me to solo travelling. Now I have a few friends that have embarked on this journey and some that are doing so as we speak. For me I have been on many planes alone and have visited Barcelona with others awaiting me and have visited Ireland alone but I have never been somewhere new alone.

In London if I choose to attend an event or a class or anything alone I’m not fazed. Sometimes if we don’t do things alone we never will. I also think if you keep coming back to something it’s meant to be.

I would love to hear your thoughts? Your own personal stories and generally any advice you can give me. I will be asking Isabelle Broom for lots more advice and tips on Mojacar as she’s the one who instilled this wanderlust in me.

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, Uncategorized, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday returns…

So Wandering Wednesday won my poll over on Twitter you can find me there as HayleyTOfficial.

It’s been a while since I posted one of these hmm let’s look at how long it’s been….November was the last time I posted a Wandering Wednesday.

I knew it had been a while but wow….I haven’t done a great deal of actual wandering although just after my birthday I did go to Furteventura for a week. I have friends about to embark on travels and friends who are currently travelling so this winning my poll seemed apt. I haven’t any plans to go anywhere as yet but one place I have wanted to go to for ages is…NASHVILLE

I wanted to go long before I started watching Nashville but sadly I still haven’t made the trip. Nashville is one of my favourite shows that is almost over it’s been such a beautiful journey and I cannot wait to discover the place behind it.

I’m hoping to start the New Orleans Noir book so hopefully next week I can be in New Orleans, another place I would love to go to. If you enjoyed Wandering with me this Wednesday then please leave a comment.

Also if you have any fabulous book recommendations where I can wander feel free to also leave those below.

Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: The Little Wedding Island By Jaimie Admans

When Jaimie Admans tweeted yesterday saying she would be revealing her latest cover I was intrigued the pink was a hint and I’m so chuffed with the cover. The strap-line on the cover says a gorgeously uplifting romantic comedy – and this cover screams uplifting whilst it’s getting colder in London town where I am, this screams sunshine and warmth which is what I want right now.

I have been out doing a spot of Christmas shopping and having a little me time today although I had an awful experience in Nero but the cake was good.

Anyway I wanted to tell you all about this gorgeous treat I wasn’t part of the cover reveal team but I literally couldn’t resist I have been thinking about this book since I saw the cover. I may have requested on Netgalley so fingers crossed.

Here is the blurb: ‘Will you… pretend to marry me?’

Bonnie Haskett loves everything about weddings. She loves her job at a national bridal magazine and even has a deposit down on her dream dress. The only problem? She doesn’t have a fiancé!

So when Bonnie is sent to Edelweiss Island, known as ‘The Little Wedding Island’, it’s a dream come true. She’s heard the rumours, every wedding that takes place in the tiny chapel ends in a happy-ever-after.

But there’s a catch! Investigating the story, Bonnie needs to pose as a blushing bride – and the only man up for posing as her groom is her arch rival (and far too handsome for his own good) journalist Rohan Carter…

This gorgeous treat is available to pre-order here Now and it’s out on 2nd March 2018 it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to. I loved The Chateau Of Happily Ever Afters and here is my review of that. https://hayleyreviews10.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/blog-tour-the-chateau-of-happily-ever-afters-by-jaimie-admans/

update, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday: It’s been a while. 

Good evening wherever you are in the world. I sure have missed my meme. Sadly I haven’t had time to delve into the New Orleans Noir but I promise I will have something to share with you next week. 

Of late my minds been wandering a lot I have been making some small changes to feel better about myself which started with some selfies and moved onto a haircut. I’m trying to make more time for me. 

Today I ended up staying in my pjs (I actually believe I did the same thing on Sunday) ssssh although I don’t get that many chances to do that. It gave me time to spend some time doing me stuff. It started with watching Friends my that show is timeless I still find myself laughing out loud- I obviously posted the cover reveal thanks to Rachel and then I spent some time looking into the future, before immersing myself in Man Up 

A film that I watched a while ago. It’s funny and heartwarming showing that as humans we should take more chances as the wrong turn could be the right turn. It’s a comedy romcom but essentially it’s just telling each and everyone of us exactly what we already know. Live in the moment. I’m now to repeat a line from the film “Fuck the past.”

Do you have a mantra? Does it help. 

Sorry for the lack of sunshine although I’m longing for it as London is pretty cold right now. 

Blog Tour, debut novel, New Author to me

Blog Tour: The Note by Zoe Folbigg

Blurb: The note changed everything. . . One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One. But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen? And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it. Based on the author’s true story, The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything. . .

Firstly I want to say I’m sorry I feel like a huge failure today. From the minute I heard about this book I wanted to devour it. I wanted to read it as close to my day and thanks to headaches and crazy work schedules I’m not finished. In between work I have been reading as much as I can but I’m still not finished what I can say is Zoe has written an amazing story that keeps you hooked. The perfect book to keep my reading up, The Note is inspiring and it’s real.

Seize the day….you never know it may work out for you. I’m hoping my next post will be my full review sorry Zoe. Right bath for me and then I’m back to my 📖. 

A side note a great friend in Catriona reached out to me today as I have been quiet, work is pretty crazy with Stand Up To Cancer but I am getting organised and hope to be back to my normal self. Ankle is in agony today. 

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday…short and sweet..

So sorry that I have been quiet my reading has hit a slump but I’m doing what I can to try and change that. 

So I wanted to talk to you briefly about something that will feature over the next coming Wednesday’s.

I found this treat when I was looking after the Blackheath store and I just had to buy it. It’s a series of classics that were written in and about New Orleans. A place that I still long to visit so come next Wednesday I hope to have read a few of these stories and I can share my thoughts then….

Until next time…