2020, blog blitz, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Blitz: The Strange Book Of Jacob Boyce By Tom Gillespie @tom_gillespie @lovebooksgroup

Today I am pleased to be a part of the blog blitz introducing The Strange Book Of Jacob Boyce By Tom Gillespie. The book publishes on 21st July and you can pre order it Here.

Blurb: A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late?

When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.

About the author: Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press. Visit Tom at tom-gillespie.com

Thank you once again to Kelly @lovebooksgroup for organising this blog blitz and letting me be a part of it.

2020, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: Another Us By Kirsten Hesketh

Following a call out on Twitter I am pleased to share with you a simply gorgeous cover reveal for Kirsten Hesketh’s Another Us. When I received the email with the copy I was intrigued and my how pretty the cover is.

What if Emma isn’t the person she thought she was?
Her younger son has just been diagnosed with autism.

She’s accidentally quit her job.

The marriage she was dedicated to suddenly seems like a sham.

She’s pretty sure that she is going to have an affair with a hot new dad at the school.

The only thing that stays the same is everyone else. Emma realises it’s not them – it’s her. But if she’s not who she thought she was, can her old life fit in with the new Emma?

Compassionate, funny and poignant, Another Us is perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Fiona Gibson.Link to buy:
lrd.to/AdTnWyFBhp

What do you think??? I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you Canelo for letting me take part in this reveal.
2019, Shelf Control, Uncategorized

Shelf Control #2

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves.  Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

So I’ve gone for a Kobo/Kindle shelf read. Although my Kobo passed on last year some time but it was six years old so I got my money’s worth and some. I was thinking last now how bad I’ve been over the years for 99p and freebie reads and it brought me to this book.

I downloaded this what must have been Boxing Day 2012 or so. I’m not 100% but I remember being at my Nan & Grandads and downloading this from the Boxing Day sale….What I’ve read of Giovanna I have enjoyed and I feel awful to have had this on my digital library for so long.

As I haven’t read Billy and Me I still haven’t read the Christmas short either.

Have you read this or any of Giovanna’s books? I loved You’re the One that I Want.

2019, Author Love, Book Launch, event, Uncategorized

Those People By Louise Candlish Book Launch

It’s always an absolute pleasure to be invited to a Simon & Schuster event. As it happens this was a rather special one it was the launch for Louise Candlish’s Those People last night.

Now after the Spring blogger event I devoured the sampler and have been itching to read this book. I ignored Netgalley as was studying and knew I wouldn’t get any work done but then I instantly regretted it. The sampler had me wanting more – I too have questionable neighbours but I’m hoping it never gets to that point ha.

So when the invite came through it was a no brainer I wanted to be there.

Louise is lovely I’ve met her at a few events – The Swimming Pool was the first of hers I devoured it gripped me and I enjoyed it so much I had to share it so I gave it away now I wish I still had a copy. If you haven’t read it you really must.

Today is the official publication of Those People – I know I won’t get any reading time at work so tonight I will be re-reading what I’d already read and getting well and truly stuck into this beauty. You never know there could be a late night post if I’m really reading. Keep the tea coming it could be a long night. For the last three evenings I’ve been busy had two Fight Klub sessions and then the launch last night so will be nice to head home have dinner and curl up with a book and what a book to choose. Louise whatever you do today I hope it’s fabulous and thank you once again for being so welcoming and for writing books that have me screaming at them and wanting more.

I never take enough photos but last nights was quite a good effort from me. Rachel and Charlene as ever it’s always a pleasure to chat books, life and have drinks and cake with you ladies. Sharon I hope you got a fabulous amount of reading done on your journey home.

SJ as ever it’s always a pleasure, you are always welcoming and a complete superstar.

Harriet – Thank you for the massive ego boost it’s always lovely to spend time with you I hope you have a brilliant holiday although I will star spamming you re Heidi Swain in say September LOL!

There isn’t much else for me to say but buy this beauty. I originally wanted a spredges one but I settled for a book and spredged cake which I had too much of haha.

You can bag our copy here whatever your preference is. I’m not usually a hardback girlie as I hate carrying them but they do look so good on my ever expanding shelf. Now let’s get this work day over I want to settle down with Those People who you don’t want to live next to.

Spring Blogger event

I have another event to write up so watch this space features Paige Toon. Lots of blog posts to get finished and up can I make the rest of this week really blog productive.

2018, A thought? A question, Blogtober, Uncategorized

What do you class as Self Care?

These posts of mine seem to be getting later and later, would you believe I usually start drafting them between 6.30 and 7.30am whilst on my walk into work listening to Magic or an audiobook.

Seeing as I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment I thought I would channel that into something productive.

What do you class as self care?

So without any definitions I would say self care is taking care of yourself. That’s a pretty broad statement I know. It’s also taking steps to make your life and well being better.

On Monday at work I done something to my back. I’m not sure if I just over done it or whether I twisted it but since then I’ve been in a lot of pain. It’s also made me think what do I do for me??

Dictionary definitions of self care…

The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

‘autonomy in self-care and insulin administration’

1.1 The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. ‘expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care’ as modifier ‘self-care methods such as meditation’

I’ve had to change up my routine to include more me time – I am sad that I’ve missed my classes but I know it’s for my well being especially as I will be starting my Exercise to Music course next month and I want to be fully fit and raring to go for that.

I haven’t done too much this evening but it’s been chilled which is what you need sometimes.

My question for you. What’s your perfect evening?

Mine would be a comforting meal very much like what I had tonight jacket potatoes with baked beans and mushrooms a good bath with either Lush goodies or stress relief Radox – which was what I had tonight. A hot chocolate or an Irish coffee and a good book or some Netflix. I’m grateful to have another weekend off and I’m eager to take this time for me, I will be doing some of my course work and watching and reading a few things and I simply cannot wait.

I have a Christmas novella review for you tomorrow I just need to get it finished.

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 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.

Book challenge, book cover challenge, Uncategorized

Bringing back….

The book cover challenge….I have decided I will aim to post at least one a week.

It’s funny I hoped to have had a review ready for you today but after a crazy work day and a fantastic outdoorsy Box-fit class I needed to eat and bath and the evening ran away with me so there wasn’t as much reading done yesterday.

As I tried to sleep my mind drifted and I then ended up drafting this post. Looking back at the six day challenge I did back in November made me smile. My choices said a lot about me and I hope these weekly ones will continue to do so. I’m posting this on Wednesday this week but this will need to change as I hope to have a more regular Wandering Wednesday post.

I’m not sure how I first stumbled across Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. What I do know and wholeheartedly remember is how it truly captivated me from the very start. Instantly making me want to devour all of her back catalogue. At the time I believe I was volunteering with Cancer Research whilst working for O2 in Kensington and through volunteering and eBay I purchased a few of her other titles. Since then I was lucky enough to be sent one of the repackaged copies of Frenchman’s Creek which I also truly adored. She writes in a way that lets you escape and I’m so glad there is still so much for me to discover. Have you read a Daphne novel that I need to inhale almost instantly? Do feel free to let me know.

This is the cover of the copy that I actually read but I swear every time it’s repackaged it looks even more gorgeous. Here are just a few of the other covers…

As I have mentioned on more than one occasion I am now a fully fledged Assistant Manager for Cancer Research UK and my has that been an experience but for a bookworm like me it can also be a blessing and a curse and yesterday I stumbled across one of the repackaged copies of My Cousin Rachel. I toyed with the idea of listening to this before watching the film but when I saw this beauty I knew I had to read the paperback.

I hope you have enjoyed my latest book cover challenge. If there is a particular book feeling or genre you would like me to cover next week? Do leave a comment below.

Until next time….

2018, Author Love, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story

Book Review: Part Two Random Acts Of Kindness – Making Friends By Victoria Walters

Blurb: Escape to the beautiful town of Littlewood with Part 2 in an exciting new serial from Victoria Walters! Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Holly Hepburn and Jo Thomas.

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart. Abbie’s ex-boyfriend and colleague, Jack, has arrived back on the scene… Will she be lured back to London or has her heart taken root at Huntley Manor? Louise has promised to be kinder to herself, but after suffering one heartbreak too many, she isn’t keen to try her luck again…. Can the handsome local vet convince her otherwise? Eszter, who is over from Hungary with her daughter for the summer, has been met with nothing but kindness since she arrived in Littlewood, and now she and her daughter Zoe are all set to return the favour as Eszter’s mother-in-law Anne finds herself with nowhere to stay… Eszter is determined to help Anne get back involved in the community after being alone for so long, but do they belong in Littlewood or will the three of them remain outsiders?

Review: Firstly, I have to have a little rant at myself. I pre-ordered this and it pinged through to my Kindle which I have on my phone and my tablet and it’s taken me so long to get around to it. I won’t mention my other post where this rant was heavily documented. Victoria Walters 110% has a way with words that hooks me in and has me up until the small hours. In reading part one I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re needing a boost, a release or just to escape these instalments of this book about random acts of kindness is exactly what you need.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here but I know I tweeted Victoria about it. After the Books and the City spring blogger evening (still haven’t documented – post will happen) on my way home after meeting Victoria and hearing her read an extract from the book, I was awaiting a train and ended up befriending a lady who was trying to get rid of unwanted attention from a man on the platform. As you do looking out for another woman – we were chitchatting and then an older woman who had got on shortly after I believe was crying on the phone we then took her under our wing. None of us had ever met and the lady I originally spoke to was nearer the older lady in terms of stops and she vowed to make sure she got to her granddaughter safely. That experience made me feel all warm inside and instantly took me back to Littlewood. Not enough kindness happens in London and I would love to see more of it. (Maybe another blog post on this)

Anyway back to Littlewood part one left me wanting more and part two sure was a rollercoaster of emotions. I want Louise to take more control of her life and to feel the fear and do it anyway. (In that closed off respect she reminds me of me a little) I loved how Abbie engineered the meet for Louise and Alex although I felt like I was silently screaming at them both a lot in this part. Victoria does something that also Holly Hepburn does too she writes a male love interest or partner that you should fall for but you’re like no you’re a creep. I have loved having Abbie and Louise together and I’m kind of scared to start part three because I’m like no no no.

Anne, Eszter and Zoe warmed my hearts wholeheartedly in this section. I just love the relationship forming and a bond being made – I don’t want to say too much there are twists and turns that will have you feeling a multitude of emotions.

In finishing part two I want answers – which I can have as part three is sat awaiting me on my Kindle but the other part of me isn’t ready to find out. I love the characters although a number of them are annoying me with there stubborn attitudes.

I want a coffee shop like Brew I’m sure Harry and Joy could give me the additional kicks I need and boost my confidence regularly. Although I’m currently trying to change my eating habits I don’t think Brew would help with that.

If you have read any of the instalments of Random Acts Of Kindness be sure to get in touch with your thoughts I’m torn in whether I carry on or read something else. So tell me what you think I should do and why? I’m intrigued to see what you say…

Cover Reveal

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

Firstly I’m so sorry in the delay of this post and the lack of posts this week. I had so many plans for this week but as it stands I’m struggling with my work/life balance. But I hope to get back focussed on here.

Today I am pleased to share with you a cover reveal via Rachel’s Random Resources. Thank you once again to Rachel for including me in this reveal.

So before I show you the gorgeous cover here is the blurb…

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating fiancé Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zak Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether.

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s little Duck Pond Café from closure?

This novella is part of a trilogy:

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café

Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café

Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café

Publication date: 22nd March 2018

Author Bio

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. The first, Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café, is out on March 22nd 2018.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988