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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

#BlogTour THE GLITTERING HOUR by IONA GREY #BookReview #RandomThingsTours #TheGlitteringHour @Iona_Grey @simonschusterUK


A huge delight to be the stop today on the Blog Tour for the beautiful THE GLITTERING HOUR by IONA GREY. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and for putting the tour together, and letting me be part of it all!


17th October 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99

 ‘An epic story of joyous hedonism and desperate heartache. Just beautiful’ CATHERINE ISAAC 

'Stunning' VERONICA HENRY 
'Gorgeously written ... I loved it' JILL MANSELL
 'An enchanting, evocative read  'THE SUN 


1925. The war is over and a new generation is coming of age, keen to put the trauma of the previous one behind them. Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing whose life is dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure; to parties and drinking and staying just the right side of scandal. Lawrence Weston is a struggling artist, desperate to escape the poverty of his upbringing and make something of himself. 

When their worlds collide one summer night, neither can resist the thrill of the forbidden, the lure of a love affair that they know cannot possibly last. But there is a dark side to pleasure and a price to be paid for breaking the rules. By the end of that summer everything has changed. A decade later, nine year old Alice is staying at Blackwood Hall with her distant grandparents, piecing together clues from her mother’s letters to discover the secrets of the past, the truth about the present, and hope for the future.

PRE-ORDER LINKS





ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters. She tweets @iona_grey.


MY REVIEW

A book that made time reading it fly by  and totally transported me back in time and into the lives of Selina and Lawrence, who were from totally diffeent backgrounds but for one summer circumstances brought them together.  And that Summer has big consequences for little Alice 10 years later, and it was mesmerizing to see what transpired through her eyes and the letters she uncovered.

In 1925 the war is over and Selina is living a footloose and fancy free life! She is on the 'bright young things' and her biggest struggles in life are deciding what to wear to the numerous parties she frequents!  One of the parties she's at is a treasure hunt party and while she's out with her friends deciphering the clues, she finds herself taking care of an animal and gets help from Lawrence. He's a struggling artist who is aware of who she is, but goes out of his way to help her that night and that kindness really strikes a chord with her and she can't stop thinking about him.  She finds herself spotting him at various exhibitions and parties and the more time they spend together, the more they find they can't live without one another - despite it not being the done thing considering their backgrounds.  Selina has never been one to follow the rules anyway so any chance she gets to spend time with him, she grabs it!

Fast forward 10 years and we follow the story of Alice, who is 10 and living with her grandparents at Blackwood Hall. Her life is one of being left alone, aloof grandparents and governesses, and she  clings to the letters that her mother sends her while she's away on business with her father. Her mother sets her a treasure hunt through the letters in the form of riddles to help her understand who she is and where she comes from as she gets to see the events of 1925 played out through memories of her mother.

The switching of timelines is perfectly played out throughout this story.  And it really adds to the emotional aspect that runs from the first page to last.  You can't help but feel sad for Alice who is seemingly so alone and just wants the comfort of her family.  The riddles she is set are wonderful for her inquisitive mind though and gives her hope that she'll be back with her family soon.

Events of 1925 aren't all fun and games though and it was so fascinating to see the light and dark aspects of what appeared to have been so glamorous and carefree.  As more revelations of what happened over that summer and the years after come to light, I was enthralled to see just how the stories would resolve and didn't realise just how emotionally I had become attached to Alice in her journey of discovery.  Captivating!

★★★★★




















#CoverReveal IZZY'S CHRISTMAS STAR by BERNI STEVENS @ChocLituk

COVER REVEAL



Hello !!! Hope you're happy it's Tuesday as that means another cover reveal to share with you all! And it's another beauty to get you in the festive mood!

Here's a little more about the book to set the scene!!


ABOUT THE BOOK


You don’t only find stars on top of the Christmas tree …

Student and Zumba instructor Izzy Grant leads a pretty normal life, but in the run-up to Christmas an unusual encounter with a friendly Santa paves the way for the most wonderful and star-studded Christmas she’s ever experienced.

Because at almost exactly the same time, Izzy also meets Seth Roberts – as in the Seth Roberts, bona fide rock star and lead singer of Scarlet Gryphon. As their connection grows, Izzy’s Christmas countdown becomes a glittering whirlwind of after-show parties and classy restaurants – and does she have her mystery Santa to thank?


Izzy’s Christmas Star will be published by Choc Lit on 2nd December and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms and also in audio.

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HO HO HO!!! Isn't it fabulous?! Watch out there's a Santa about!!! I can't wait for December now and hope you're as excited about this release as I am!!

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Monday, 14 October 2019

#MusicMonday Iris by Goo Goo Dolls




It's what makes a Monday a good thing! Time for MUSIC MONDAY once more - hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek - it is your chance to share a piece of music that means something to you!

And this week I've chosen a song I love by GOO GOO DOLLS called Iris!  Still have the feels for this song even after all these years!




LYRICS
And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now
And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later it's over
I just don't wanna miss you tonight
And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive
And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

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#BlogTour MAKE IT UP TO YOU by LUCY KEELING #bookreview @rararesources @Lucy_K_Author @ChocLituk


A huge delight to be taking part in this Blog Tour for MAKE IT UP TO YOU by LUCY KEELING. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!




Make It Up To You

What do mascara wands and gardening shears have in common? 

Absolutely nothing! At least that’s what wannabe beauty influencer Sophie Timney thinks when her friend Polly suggests involving her brother Marcus in Sophie’s make-up tutorials. She needs more views, Marcus needs promotion for his gardening business – in Polly’s mind joining forces will help them both. Sophie isn’t so sure. 

Because Marcus Bowman has a habit of getting under her skin in a way that no exfoliating face scrub ever could. But, as the views and comments on her videos begin creeping up, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sophie’s subscribers like Marcus, and what’s even worse is that Sophie might be starting to feel the same way …


Purchase Links 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she's arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking. Lucy is currently writing the third book in a Contemporary Romance series, the first of which has been Shortlisted by Choc-Lit 'Search for a Star' Competition. 

Facebook Page: @lucykeelingbooks 
Twitter: @Lucy_K_Author
Instagram: @lucy_k_author

MY REVIEW

Wow!!  This was one sizzling read and I'm still a little hot under the collar after the chemistry between Sophie and Marcus!!  Where do I go to find a gardener like Marcus!!?Serious book boyfriend crush!!

Sophie and Marcus have known each other for years. Marcus' sister Polly is her friend and he's always seen Sophie as high maintenance! With a blossoming career on YouTube as  a make- up vlogger, she is totally focussed on raising her profile and reaping the rewards.  You just wish sometimes she'd step away from the camera sometimes and have a bit of fun back in her life!

When the idea of using Marcus in the videos, it's hoped to raise the profile of his gardening business and when he appears on camera her numbers shoot up!! Could this be the start of big things ... for both of them!!
I just loved how much fun this story was! Using the vlogging aspect really made it feel up to date, and any mention of gardening gets a big tick from me so it was great to read things from such different business and career viewpoints. Marcus was kind of stuck in his ways on how to advertise his business, so having Sophie there to advise him on the benefits of using social media was an eye opener for him.

Sophie gets a little too obsessive at times over the numbers watching her channel, and even her parents want her to get a 'proper' job! But she's very determined to make things work - I just loved how Marcus makes her see that there's more to life than getting videos uploaded and watching subscriber numbers! The chemistry between them is there for all to see - even more so when there's a camera rolling and filming their time together!!

Loved every single page!!  Really excited to read more from this author in the future!! More hot gardeners please!!

★★★★★





Sunday, 13 October 2019

#BookReview THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH by PHILIP PULLMAN


ABOUT THE BOOK

It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.
It is almost ten years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford's Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, bestselling His Dark Materials sequence.
Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .

The second volume of Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.
Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost - a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times; a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £12.26

hive.co.uk  £13.59

whsmith  £12.50

foyles - with exclusive pin badge £20.00

MY REVIEW

Oh how wonderful it is to be reunited with Lyra! I really enjoyed La Belle Sauvage, but we're now back with Lyra as an adult! She's in her second year at Oxford and things aren't going well, especially between her and Pan! It was often so heartbreaking to read them squabbling and doing things on their own.

And when Pan is out one night alone, he sees someone being murdered and is asked by the victims' daemon to help and hide a wallet. The significance of what is inside this wallet leads Pan and Lyra to set off on different quests to figure out what dark forces are at work, and to work out what has happened to Lyra and Pan in their relationship.

There is tension between them from the start and it makes it difficult to understand what could have gone so wrong between them. Pan has his thoughts on the change in Lyra and won't settle until he tracks down who he thinks is responsible for making her think differently. Lyra does feel lost without him and when he disappears she has no doubt that she needs to find him. Her life at Oxford isn't being made to be a pleasant one either by those in charge and there is definitely a plot to uncover what she knows

Malcolm, who we were introduced to in La Belle Sauvage, also makes a welcome reappearance and I love how his role has evolved and the sense of duty he feels towards Lyra. His family are always there to help out along the way and the journey they all take was one that left me breathless! There's always danger close by and I loved the tension and different plot lines that all seemed to link effortlessly - why are so many so interested in seeing where Lyra ends up?

She relies on the hospitality of many good people along the way, despite the efforts of those wanting to stop her. You can just feel her desperation of trying to make sense of everything that is happening around her, alongside trying to work out what has gone wrong between her and Pan. And she's also there to help others as well. The further she travels the more troubling sights she sees.
At nearly 700 pages long, this never feels like a slog of a read. There's always a new piece of information to be devoured, an old friend to help her out and I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment!! Absolutely blooming brilliant!!

★★★★★










#BookReview CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC by SOPHIE KINSELLA


ABOUT THE BOOK

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (nÊe Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It's always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it's even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky's parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she'll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Publication Date - 17th October 2019


PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £14.00

hive.co.uk  £12.69

whsmith  - signed edition £12.00



MY REVIEW

Becky Bloomwood is back!! And this time Christmas is on her shopping list - surely a doddle for a shopping queen such as herself?! Wrong! The chaos, fun, disasters and dilemmas that Becky has faced so often in her life are present once more and it was an absolute blast to have these characters back in my life with the latest installment in the Shopaholic series!

Christmas has always been the same in the Bloomwood family - her mum and dad hosting the festivities, neighbours visiting and jolly japes all around! But this year it's all changing as her mum and dad are moving so they are passing on the festive duties to Becky! And there are many requests for Becky to have to accommodate - her sister is a vegan, her husband only wants his normal aftershave and their daughter Minnie has put in her present demands.... in the Becky bubble world this sounds like the perfect excuse to go shopping for new stationery to make notes! So she does!!

I loved how his story is told through different means - the day to day, the emails, the texts, even glimpses of search histories! - and this helps make it flow so well and adds to the hilarity! Not that Becky ever needs an excuse to go shopping, but even she's finding the quest for the perfect Christmas a challenge this year! She shares the stress of online shopping, the bargains you find but have sold out by the time you get to check out and I found myself nodding and chuckling along in agreement with her on so many occasions! She's at her crazy but lovable best throughout this story and never likes to do things the easy way! Who knew a llama bauble would make someone go so crazy!!!

With all the issues that Becky faces it wouldn't be fun if they all worked out swimmingly, so there's always a spanner in the works as she makes life more difficult for herself - her family and friends are seemingly oblivious to the stress she's putting herself under. She even decides to take on the local Billiards club just for a way to get her husband the most amazing present! The pressures of having a job and competing with the other school mums who try and outdo one another also adds to her stress - why is modern life so complicated?!

It was so lovely to be back in the world of Becky! Yes she's overboard, often tactless and slightly out of control but her heart is always in the right place and she means well so I'm just hoping that this won't be the last we see of this super shopaholic as I just had so much fun reading this book!


★★★★★


My thanks to Becky Short and Bantam Press for the advance reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.














Saturday, 12 October 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 12th October 2019


Hello!! Happy Weekend to you all!  I hope your week has been a good one - I had to turn to a cream scone or two to get me through this past week! Always helps lift my mood, despite the pounds it adds to my weight!!

And it's been a pretty good bookish week! Only finished 2 books this week as currently reading a chunkster of a book(!), added one newbie to my netgalley shelves and there may have been an ebook purchase and a few physical books too! Here's my look back...


BOOKS FINISHED

Fabulous fun! Full review to follow on the blog tour!


Loved this one too! Really engaging! review to follow on blog tour!


BOOKHAUL

Netgalley made me do it....

LOOK AT ME NOW by SIMONE GOODMAN
out November 2019

Gracie Porter’s life is in a tangle. Her television cookery show is flailing and her boyfriend’s affections are waning. It's time for a change…

Best friend Faith rescues her place on the small screen when she unwittingly lands them both starring roles in a steamy spin-off that becomes an instant hit. The new show is more about relationships, sex and stonking big vegetables than cooking.

Throw in a fluctuating crush on her surprisingly irresistible agent, Harry Hipgrave, an unlikely friendship with a pair of D-list models and a gossip journalist intent on making her life miserable, Grace wonders if becoming famous is all it’s cracked up to be?

Romantic, utterly uplifting and poignant, perfect for the fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lucy Diamond.

Two newbies from the fabulous GALLEY BEGGAR PRESS

PATIENCE by TOBY LITT
MEET ELLIOTT.

Elliott is something of a genius. He is hugely intelligent. He’s an incredible observer. He is able to memorise and categorise in astonishing detail. He has a beautiful and unusual imagination.

More than that, Elliott is an ideal friend. He is overflowing with compassion and warmth and fun. To know him is to adore him.

But few people do know Elliott, properly. Because Elliott is also stuck. He lives in a wheelchair in an orphanage. It’s 1979. Elliott is forced to spend his days in an empty corridor, either gazing out of the window at the birds in a tree or staring into a white wall – wherever the Catholic Sisters who run the ward have decided to park him.

So when Jim, blind and mute but also headstrong, arrives on the ward and begins to defy the Sisters’ restrictive rules, Elliott finally sees a chance for escape. Individually, the unloved, unvalued orphans will stay just where they are; together, they could achieve a magnificent freedom – if only for a few hours.

But how can Elliott, unable to move or speak clearly, communicate all this to Jim? How can he even get Jim to know he exists?

Patience is a remarkable story of love and friendship, courage and adventure – and finding joy in the most unlikely of settings. Elliott and Jim are going to have some fun


FEEDING TIME by ADAM BILES

Feeding Time, the debut novel by Paris-based writer Adam Biles, is a story about a rebellion in an old people’s home – or perhaps, more pertinently, about a rebellion of people who just happen to be old. The characters in Feeding Time are as funny, annoying, sharp, deranged, loving, and infinitely various as everyone else. They deserve dignity, and they know it – which makes it all the more imperative that something is done about the appalling conditions in Green Oaks. A story about the triumph of the human spirit told with verve and originality, to simply outline the plot of Feeding Time is to miss out on the strangeness, zest, and vigor of a deeply impressive debut. It is a triumph of the spirit – and a blast of rage against the dying of the light.

RING THE HILL by TOM COX
Got my pledge copy from Unbound so my name is in the back as a supporter!


Ring the Hill is a book written around, and about, hills: it includes a northern hill, a European hill, some hills from East Anglia that can barely be called hills at all. Each chapter takes a type of hill – whether it be knoll, cap, cliff, tor, bump or even mere hillock – as a starting point.

These hills can leads to an exploration of an intimate relationship with a beach, a journey into Cox's past or a lesson from an expert in what goes into the mapping of hills themselves. Because a good walk in the hills is never just about the hills; it will take your mind to many other places

THE GREAT LEVEL by STELLA TILLYARD
Nudge books October pick for my subscription!

‘I am an engineer and a measured man of the world. I prefer to weigh everything in the balance, to calculate and to plan. Yet my own heart is going faster than I can now count.’

In 1649, Jan Brunt, a Dutchman, arrives in England to work on draining and developing the Great Level, an expanse of marsh in the heart of the fen country. It is here he meets Eliza, whose love overturns his ordered vision and whose act of resistance forces him to see the world differently. Jan flees to the New World, where the spirit of avarice is raging and his skills as an engineer are prized. Then one spring morning a boy delivers a note that prompts him to remember the Fens, and confront all that was lost there.

The Great Level is a dramatic and elemental story about two people whose differences draw them together then drive them apart. Jan and Eliza’s journeys, like the century they inhabit, are filled with conflict, hard graft and adventure – and see them searching for their own piece of solid ground.

THE WHISPER MAN by ALEX NORTH - ebook borrowed from library

If you leave a door half-open, soon you'll hear the whispers spoken...
Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.
But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as 'The Whisper Man'.
Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.
He says he hears a whispering at his window...

THE BROKEN GIRLS by SIMONE ST JAMES - 99p Kindle purchase
October pick for the facebook Elsie's Attic Book Club!
1950 - At the crumbling Idlewild Hall school for unwanted girls, four room-mates begin to bond over dark secrets and whispered fears - until one of them mysteriously disappears . . .

2014 - Journalist Fiona Sheridan can't get over the murder of her sister twenty years ago, near the ruins of Idlewild. And when another body is found during renovations of the school, she begins to uncover horrors that were meant to remain hidden - and a voice that won't be silenced.

For fans of Lisa Jewell and S.K. Tremayne, The Broken Girls is a chilling story of murder, revenge, and secrets that refuse to stay buried . . .
CURRENTLY READING

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Happy with that little lot! And currently loving The Secret Commonwealth so hoping to finish that this weekend! Anyone else a fan of Philip Pullman?!

HAPPY READING!!