2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday: Favourite blog posts

Happy Sunday, another week has passed and this is our first Sunday of September. How has another month passed by already….

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme set up by alittlebutalot you can find the latest updates Here.

Today’s offering is favourite blog posts that I have written….so some of you won’t realise that when I started this blog after all my ups and downs with blogging it was under a different name and predominantly aimed at the volunteering I did back then for Cancer Research….

Nashville

Remembering Nan June

I haven’t done this in forever Vlog

Discovering Audible

Miss you Review

An update inc YALC 2017

Wow it was really hard to pick six as you can see I haven’t picked any of my latest posts even though I believe my newer ones in some parts are better but I wanted to delve back.

I hope you enjoy reading through my old links it’s funny as from time to time old stuff is viewed and I’m like how. I have been blogging on this particular site for over 3 years now, what started off as an outlet to write without hassle and trolls about my volunteering journey changed into my other passions which today has also featured many a personal post and my fitness journey.

If there is anything you would like to see me do more of or go back to please get in touch. I promised those author guest posts last week but life has been kind of mental since returning to work. I plan to get more organised this week although there’s lots of reading I hope to do plus it’s a Monday to Friday week for me with a few things planned so we shall see how I fair.

Advertisements
2018, audible, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: Make Or Break By Catherine Bennetto

Blurb: Jess, a 29-year-old Londoner with a Kate Beckett fringe and a tendency for dramatics, gets taken on a surprise trip by her long-term boyfriend, Pete, to attend her best friend’s last-minute wedding in South Africa. Jess imagines sun, sand, wine and safaris. And returning to London with an ethically mined diamond on her left hand…

But this holiday isn’t set to be quite the fairy tale Jess has planned… Suddenly she finds her world tilting on its axis, and things are only set to get worse when Jess returns home…

When the truth comes out, will it be… Make or Break?

Review: Firstly, before I say my thoughts on this masterpiece I must say sorry to Catherine for never having written a review for her outstanding debut ‘How Not to Fall in Love, Actually’. It was one of the first audio recommendations that Catriona gave me and I still laugh at the memories of it. I listened on my walk to and from work pottering around and sunning myself. I was lucky enough to meet Catherine at a Simon & Schuster event in the midst of listening to it. I did however speak about it loads and I have recommended it to many friends.

Make or Break– In reading the blurb I knew that I would yet again fall in love with Catherine’s work. I wasn’t sure whether to read or listen once again and I must say I think Catherine’s stories should be listened to. This brings me onto the narrator. Anna Acton does a sterling job and in listening I realised this wasn’t my first audiobook that she’s read. I’m already looking at what else she reads and I have said to Catherine that she’s definitely the way forward for her books.

Jess is such a loveable character I instantly found her hilarious. She’s very family focused which made me smile. As much as I like to do my own thing I love spending time with my crazy family. Jess’s family are out of this world but that’s all I’m saying as I won’t be spoiling any of the finer details as I want you to experience all the OMG moments that I did.

I absolutely loved the description of Cape Town it sounded out of this world. I loved seeing Jess find herself without realising. In her journey I found myself thinking of what I want in my life. From the outset I wasn’t that taken with Pete and I loved how making new friends made Jess realise she was worth so much more.

An outstanding story of love, hope, happiness, secrets, lies and soo much more. Catherine Bennetto has a way with words and I’m a huge fan. I loved all the 90s and theatre references – a book after my own heart. I honestly cannot get enough of her writing…I must admit I will be devouring her next novel the day it’s released no questions asked.

Have you listened to this audiobook? Or is there one I should devour. My next listen will be Wilde Like Me. I’m also loving the West Cork series I will do an update on that later…I’m off to the seaside today for a week of relaxation I hope to get more reading and blogging done.

Uncategorized

Book Lovers Day

So it appears to be #BookLoversDay today.

It’s got me thinking what do you love about books?

I love that a book can transport me to any place or time in the world. Past or present. I also love the elements of escape and of learning something and being inspired. I have been extremely lucky this year in the number of good, positive, motivating and inspiring reads that have left a lasting impression on me.

Here are a few of the books that have left a lasting impact on me this year so far.

I know I still haven’t written a review for the amazing Miranda but I am trying to make time to do so ASAP.

Here are my thoughts on most of them…

Summer at the Kindness Cafe

Forgive Me Not

Five Years From Now

Sunshine & Sweetpeas at Nightingale Square

You, Me, Everything

Appetite

I had high hopes that my lunch break would be spent reading I have eaten and managed to draft this. I will be devouring the Heat Seeker winner Hannah Pearl’s novella later this evening and the review will be up ASAP.

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, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Novellas/Short Stories

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.

I love reading memes from different bloggers and Fabulous Book Fiend aka Catriona regularly participates in Top Ten Tuesday. To start with I must admit I didn’t have a clue and I thought I just chose what to post, that is where I was wrong.

Recently I have either already had posts or had little to no motivation for the subject matter but Novellas/ short stories are definitely a subject matter I can get on board with.

Katey Lovell’s Meet Cute series are one of my favourite novellas. This is the last one I read and it was so different but extremely inspiring.

The latest Angela Britnell that I loved. This one brought characters from a previous novella The Reject Table – back and that warmed my heart.

This is a gorgeous start to a series and I hope to get back to these really soon.

I love Victoria Walters and I will share more of hers. I was in the middle of the Random Acts Of Kindness series when I discovered this short and oh my what a gorgeous gorgeous coffee break read go get it now.

Novellas are a favourite of mine and this weekend when the 24in48 readathon is on I’m hoping to dive into a few novellas maybe even finish the meet cute series.

I love novellas and if you know of one I may like feel free to leave a comment for me.

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Here Comes The Best Man By Angela Britnell

Blurb: Perfect for fans of Nashville! Sadly no Avery, Gunnar or Deacon but you do get a new hunky hero – Josh! Sit back, grab a copy and take yourself off to Nashville, Tennessee!

Being the best man is a lot to live up to …

When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow.

But when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.

Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realise that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too?

Review: Firstly, I have to apologise to Angela and Rachel for the delay in this post it should have been yesterday. Thanks to life, work and a football game it sadly didn’t happen.

Now I’m a huge fan of Angela Britnell so when this novella pinged through onto my email I knew I wanted in on this tour. I’ve loved all of her Nashville inspired reads and it’s just heightened my want to get to this beauty of a place. Angela creates rugged heroes who I literally can’t help but love. I was also bowled over by the fact Maggie and Chad from the Reject Table were a huge part of this read. That was another novella that I truly fell in love with so thank you Angela for bringing these beautiful characters back.

Louise and Josh are truly adorable and I loved falling in love with them in this tasty treat, and as much as my review is delayed I’m glad I got to spend a little more time getting to know these two and watching them fall in love. These two lost souls are very similar with their worries and in how they have closed themselves off to avoid being hurt. I loved Louise and in some ways her cautiousness is very much how I have felt – we have similar connections on our sense of self-confidence or lack of especially when men are concerned.

As a huge Nashville fan I loved the connections to the show that has stolen my heart. I haven’t watched the latest season yet and I know I will be heartbroken when it ends.

If you’re looking for a short read that will enhance your want to visit another country, will have you emotionally on the edge of your seat, and will whisk you away from the daily struggles in life then look no further. As I say I’m a massive fan of Angela’s and I’m sure I still have some of her books on my TBR that I need to get back to so watch this space. My love for this author grows each and every time I settle down with one of her books.

2018, Blog Tour, Review, Uncategorized, update

Blog Tour: The Distance By Zoe Folbigg

Blurb: Under the midnight sun of Arctic Norway, Cecilie Wiig goes online and stumbles across Hector Herrera in a band fan forum. They start chatting and soon realise they might be more than kindred spirits. But there are two big problems: Hector lives 8,909km away in Mexico. And he’s about to get married.

Can Cecilie, who’s anchored to two jobs she loves in the library and a cafe full of colourful characters in the town in which she grew up, overcome the hurdles of having fallen for someone she’s never met? Will Hector escape his turbulent past and the temptations of his hectic hedonistic life and make a leap of faith to change the path he’s on?

Zoe Folbigg’s latest novel is a story of two people, living two very different lives, and whether they can cross a gulf, ocean, sea and fjord to give their love a chance.

Review: Firstly I have to say sorry to Aria Fiction and Zoe for the delay in this post. Due to crazy headaches, hayfever and a bit of a headcold I lost a solid week of reading which has meant I have been playing catch up but I still wanted to honour the tours I had said yes to. I really thought I would have got this up late last night but it just wasn’t meant to be. Reading alongside work and my day to day life and the heat just wore me out.

Many people will know Zoe Folbigg for her stunning debut The Note – which ashamedly it’s one of those books that I just haven’t given the time to but what I have read is truly adorable and I will be going back to it.

For me The Distance starts at a lot slower pace than The Note. As a reader you are getting the viewpoint of Cecilie, Hector and Kate. It’s told in a timeline which goes back and forth which as long as you are concentrating isn’t too bad. Each individual had their own drama, hope and experiences and in some ways they all link. There were many OMG moments especially for Kate and for Hector. Cecilie is an extremely laid back young woman who has a lot of love to give. And as a reader you’re hoping she gets her happy ending. There will be no spoilers from me. I devoured this read in a few days. If I hadn’t been exhausted and had more free time this could have been finished in a sitting.

This is a book of hope, love, empowerment, wanderlust and loneliness. Sometimes you find love in the strangest of places even as far as the northern lights without even leaving the house. Social media has a lot to answer for. I loved how Cecilie and Kate both realised their worth and they both fort for what they wanted. Although I must admit Kate was empowered which was inspiring but I would have loved to have had more closure for her. I love how Hectors character evolved – he realised exactly what sort of man he wanted to be and he made sure he got that life.

A heartfelt novel that left me wanting to travel and to open my heart. If you’re looking to be swept away this summer ‘The Distance’ will not disappoint you.

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.

Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday – Reasons why I love books…

I love a good old lazy Sunday and I’ve found a new meme that I can well and truly get on board with.

Today I woke when my body clock woke I had a chilled morning reading the gorgeous Miranda Dickinson’s Somewhere Beyond The Sea which is so far a truly magical read that’s got all the feels of a heartwarming read. Before heading out for a picnic with my family which for me was a struggle but it worked out well in the end.

In scrolling through WordPress I came across Six for Sunday and in reading two gorgeous posts I thought I would get involved.

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme set up by alittlebutalot you can find the full list Here

Today the theme is six reasons why I love books.

Dreaming – I love that books can let me dream and discover new things about myself and the passions I have and would love to hone in on. They give me hope and inspire me on a day to day basis.

Escapism – In reading other six for six posts I believe escapism seems to be the theme. No matter what’s happening in my life or the world for that matter a book can well and truly let you escape. You can be in a different time or country. As it stands I’m reading a book that well and truly lets me escape to the seaside in the most magical of settings.

Travel – Through a book you can travel the world. Isabelle Broom’s took me to Mojacar and now I’m so eager to visit this beautiful part of Spain. Watch this space as I may well be talking about this a lot more.

Friends – My love of books has given me a number of amazing friends. Some of which I haven’t known for too long but they are always there for me and have my back. They are also the reason why my TBR pile is ever expanding but they have given me some wonderful books to devour and authors to love, which I am truly grateful for. I don’t always have time for reading but I’m loving reading more of what I actually want. Reading for pleasure gives me so much joy and it’s good for my soul for so many reasons.

Uplifting – Recently, I read Victoria Walters Random Acts Of Kindness and Heidi Swain’s Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square. Both books left me feeling positive and uplifted – like I could do anything. They have also inspired me to be kinder to myself and to keep my dreams in focus.

Self-Development – Whether it’s an actual self-help book like Katie Piper’s Confidence the Secret or You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. There are also other books that inspire and motivate me – I have mentioned a few above. Miranda Dickinson and Paige Toon also make me feel like I’m invincible and I love them both for it.

So that’s my #SixForSunday I would love to know what your reasons are?? I really enjoyed this meme so keep checking back as there will be more.

2018, audible, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square By Heidi Swain

Blurb: Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide…a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don’t take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy buy lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around.

Review: Right first off I have to mention I first met Heidi Swain last June and I am ashamed to say this is the first of her books that I have devoured. Although I did start Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, and then Christmas came and went so I sadly stopped.

I decided to download the audio version and I got some listening in on publication day. I had truly adored the first few chapters that Heidi had shared on her blog and I loved rehearing that before delving into the heart of the story in the gorgeously sounding Nightingale Square. From the off I warmed to Kate, her husband had betrayed her in the worst possible way but the way she handled changing her life was awe-inspiring.

So the setting sounded beautiful and it makes you long for a close knit community like Nightingale Square. Lisa was a hit for me from the off. First setting eyes on her as a nosey neighbour but there’s so much more to her. I don’t want to say too much as I want anyone who hasn’t inhaled this beauty to find out more about Lisa and her passions in the OMG that’s so beautiful kind of way that I did. I want to say more on this but if I do that will also ruin the surprise. I also have to mention Heather as the three musketeers bond was truly enlightening to see as it blossomed.

The characters all have their quirks just like real life communities and work places and I truly loved the eclectic bunch that Heidi created. I have to mention Mr Luke Lonsdale in his own right. Now I have fell in love with many bookish guys but Luke has that mix of sophistication and just damn right down to earth and I love that.

Like any story there are a number of bumps along the way that will have you reeling for the characters especially that of Kate. I’m glad the heroine I liked from the very starts life changed dramatically for the better. As mentioned earlier I haven’t read Heidi’s other books but I have them and in reading this you also hear about a few of the residents from Wynbridge and I honestly cannot wait to delve into The Cherry Tree Cafe – I know it would be a regular haunt for me.

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square is so much more than a feel good read. It’s inspiring and full of hope and beauty in a world that is often plagued with sadness. If like me you are new to Heidi Swain then fear not this is a beautiful way to start her collection. I promise you will also be excited to read more about the Wynbridge contingent as soon as you turn the final pages of this novel.