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Friday, 31 August 2018

#BookReview The Map of Us by Jules Preston

About the book

One of the most original and charming books you will ever read, this is perfect for all those who love Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things
Readers love The Map of Us:
A story that will melt even the most hardened soul … utterly charming’ Irish Times bestseller Carmel Harrington
‘Quirky, original and humorous’ USA Today bestselling author Sue Fortin
Totally addictive’ Joe Heap
‘Beautiful, funny, warm and clever’ Darcie Boleyn
‘An unexpected gem of a book’ Rachel Oakes, Litsy
‘A very fresh, imaginative approach to a love story’ Kraftireader
One to keep forever’ Celia J Anderson
‘The best book I have read in many years’ Martin 6654, Amazon reviewer
‘Without doubt one of the very best books I have ever read’ TAW, Amazon reviewer
‘Buy it because every page is a treasure. Buy it because you'll love it … over and over again!’ Mart, Amazon reviewer
So very worthy of five stars. Full of humour with touches of sadness. A true wordsmith’ Phil M, Amazon reviewer
‘I don't usually write book reviews at 2.30 in the morning but I loved this book so much that I HAD to write my review as soon as I finished it…The characters in this book will stay with me for a long time’ Annalisa999, Amazon reviewer
‘A beautiful sigh of a book’ Mees, Amazon reviewer
A story of love and lost directions

Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.
Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father's multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.
When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.
Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.
Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

Published by Harper Impulse
Publication Date - 6th September 2018

Pre-order Links


Charming, Quirky, Perceptive - loved it! 

I found this to be such a fun, emotional and original story , and the short, snappy chapters really gave this such a fresh feel compared to some other books! It does take a short while before you become used to the flitting between characters and timelines, but once you are in that zone the story just flows really nicely and you find yourself eagerly anticipating each new chapter to see whose story you'll be plunged back into next and where their journey will lead to!

It's the story of families, the journeys we all take through life, finding the meaning of happiness and all that entails! From Tilly who works in market research and analyzes every aspect of her life into charts and facts, to Violet who is housebound and extremely creative, to Jack who is a world expert on the colour blue, to Daniel the workaholic who is never out of a suit, and to Katherine who is slightly obsessed with buying handbags! All the characters share a link and it is fascinating to see how it all links together and how those personalities all affect one another.

There are so many things you'll find yourself thinking about when you read this book! There are many random observations that you often wonder why they're being mentioned, but it all begins to make sense by the end!

Each character has such a different way of having their story told and this was another clever aspect of the book. It helped sum up their personalities and their stories in different ways. If you loved the quirkiness of Eleanor Oliphant or The Keeper of Lost Things, then you'll love this too!!

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for my advance reading e-copy.


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

#BlogTour The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath #BookReview

A real pleasure to be involved in this mini anniversary blog tour today for THE WOMAN IN THE SHADOWS by CAROL McGRATH.  My thanks to the author and publishers for inviting me to be part of it all!

About the book

The powerful, evocative new novel by the critically acclaimed author of The Handfasted Wife, The Woman in the Shadows presents the rise of Thomas Cromwell, Tudor England's most powerful statesman, through the eyes of his wife Elizabeth. 

When beautiful cloth merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Williams is widowed at the age of twenty-two, she is determined to make herself a success in the business she has learned from her father. But there are those who oppose a woman making her own way in the world, and soon Elizabeth realises she may have some powerful enemies – enemies who also know the truth about her late husband…  

Security – and happiness – comes when Elizabeth is introduced to kindly, ambitious merchant turned lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. Their marriage is one based on mutual love and respect…but it isn’t always easy being the wife of an influential, headstrong man in Henry VIII’s London. The city is filled with ruthless people and strange delights – and Elizabeth realises she must adjust to the life she has chosen…or risk losing everything.

Published by Accent Press

Purchase Links


You know when you finish an historical book and your first thought is to research more of the characters and period of history, then it has completely enthralled you and the author has done a first rate job! That is exactly what happened when I finished the last page of The Woman in the Shadows as I was just itching to know more about the historical figures in this fascinating novel, and very clever too to put Cromwells' wife Elizabeth at the core of the story, as the story jumps from her past to her present alongside Cromwell, watching on as he becomes more involved in dealings with the court and the big players of the time.

The story of Elizabeth is a fascinating woman and very interesting to hear of life in the Tudor period from a womans' perspective - especially one who has been widowed at 22, to a man she never really loved but who had a secret and how she dealt with keeping that to protect him. After this marriage she is determined to marry for love next time round, not the done thing at that time! She works for her father as a cloth merchant and is well educated and as time goes on she impresses the other traders with her knowledge and eye for a good fabric. 

On the day of her husbands funeral, Thomas Cromwell is introduced to her although it turns out they knew each other from childhood. She is smitten but rarely sees him and concentrates on the cloth business before he proposes. We then follow their lives together, the role women played in the lives of these powerful men, while raising a family and following through gossip the goings on between the King and the Queen at the time. It follows the family through different houses they lived in as their family grew - they had 3 children together - and people they came into contact withx

I ended up reading this in one afternoon as I was just intrigued by the story - I loved the way the storyline jumped backwards and forward so that many different elements of Elizabeth and her life could be witnessed. It also did a great job of humanizing a character I'd only read about in history books in Thomas Cromwell - it made you wonder what kind of man he really was and how those around him dealt with things he was involved in. Highly recommended!


Sunday, 26 August 2018

#20BooksOfSummer Challenge Update - Completed!!

As I look out the window on a very rainy Sunday, it's nice to be able to report that I have completed the 2018 20 Books of Summer Challenge - yay me!!!  

So thank you to Cathy of 746 Books for hosting yet another fabulous Summer event!  My target this year was to read 20 books from my NetGalley bookshelves and, for the most part!, that is exactly what I did!! I did change a few books along the way as I found myself adding some new NetGalley finds on to the list, alongside some books that I bought myself that I just couldn't resist reading for the challenge.  I found it to be a fabulous way of kicking my butt into gear and getting some books read that had been sitting around on the virtual shelves for quite a while!  Maybe there needs to be the 20 Books of Autumn & Winter challenges too to help me shift more off the ever expanding TBR piles!!

So here's a rundown of the books that kept me entertained - click on the title for a link to my GoodReads reviews!


Did you take part this year? I hope it has been successful for you as well! Roll on next Summer!!

Saturday, 25 August 2018

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - Week 33 2018

Hello all! Archie the bunny says hi too while he's chilling out in the garden - destroying my plants is a tiring business!

 Time to look back at the past week and see how my bookish week has gone! It's a little different to last week!!  Didn't make it to 7 books read this week as I really struggled to find time, or the inclination, some days to read! And it's not as if I wasn't enjoying what I was reading! It's just one of those slump things that we all go through - fingers crossed I'm over it now and this week I'll be racing through the books again!

So just the 2 books finished this week, and one of those was an audio book! Where things went mad was on the bookpost front - 11 new arrivals for my shelves eekkk!!! Some I bought, some were kindly sent by publishers! My postman is cursing me again I' sure!

So here's a look back at all those books, and what I'm currently reading! Click on the titles for links to the GoodReads pages!


Listened to the audio version of this and it kept me gripped throughout! Dark and unsettling! Really enjoyed it!

Read this ahead of a Blog Tour next month, and loved this history/mystery story!


Hope you're sitting comfortably...

Charlie & Rose Investigate series by Jo Perry

The lovely folk at Fahrenheit Press have been sharing a few deals recently and one to buy this set got my interest so I treated myself!

Published by Orion Press
Publication Date - February 2019

Extremely excited to receive this from the publishers! There is so much buzz about this book already so I can't wait to dive in and see what the fuss is about!

The Persephone bookshelf has been added too again!  

Having loved Old Baggage, I was glad to spot this from Lissa Evans in a charity shop!

Published by Elliott & Thompson
Publication Date - 1st November 2018
Received this ahead of a Blog Tour - very excited to read this one! And the cover is stunning!

I chose this as part of my Alma Classics monthly book subscription service! Anything Alice related is fine by me!

Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date - February 2019

Received this courtesy of The Words Podcast and another one that has got me all excited to start!

Saw Simon Savidge discuss these on one of his BookTube videos and it sounded right up my street! ooh and another stunning cover!


It's another Big Book Weekender - Savidge Reads - so I love to take part in these as it forces me to pick those big scary 'chunksters' of books up that I keep putting off!  So with almost 1,000 pages between them, I'm going to try and read as much of these as I can!

Manja by Anna Gmeyner

This is my current bedtime read - do you have different books by your bedside?! - and I'm not really sure what I'm thinking about it at the moment! I should be loving it, but it's not clicked with me yet!


So how has your week been?! Better than mine on the reading front I hope!  

Happy Reading!!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

#CoverReveal Watch For Me at Christmas by Kirsty Ferry #ChocLit


I really am spoiling you this week! Another gorgeous cover to reveal, and another excuse to listen to Christmas songs as it's another Christmas story on the way for you all to enjoy.  This stunner of a cover is for the fabulous WATCH FOR ME AT CHRISTMAS by KIRSTY FERRY!

So time for a bit more information about the book before sharing the loveliness of the cover - prepare to swoon!

When midwinter magic brings you home for Christmas …

When Emmy Berry arrives at Hartsford Hall to work at the Frost Fayre she immediately feels at home. Which is odd because she’s never set foot in the place in her life.

Then a freak blizzard leaves her stranded and things get even weirder when she bumps into Tom Howard. Tom and Emmy have never met before but neither can ignore the sense that they know each other.
With Christmas fast approaching and the weather showing no sign of improving it soon becomes apparent that Hartsford Hall has a little bit of midwinter magic in store for them both …

Watch For Me at Christmas is published on 23rd October and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.

Ready to see??!😍


See I told you it was blooming gorgeous!  Hope you agree?!  Looking forward to the Christmas reads already and I hope you are too!!


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

#BookReview Evie's Little Black Book by Hannah Pearl #PublicationDay

About the book

Is hunting down every man you’ve kissed the answer to finding Mr Right?

When Evie is invited to the wedding of the guy she’d fancied throughout her teens, it’s the final straw. What’s wrong with her and why can’t she keep a man? 
In between consoling herself with ice cream and chocolate, and sobbing her heart out to her cousin Chamaine, Evie has a brainwave – and it all centres around her ‘little black book’ (well, more floral patterned notebook really) – which contains the details of every man she’s ever kissed or dated. Perhaps the cure for her disastrous love life has been nestled within its pages all along … 
Does Evie’s little black book really hold the answers, or will she learn that exes are exes for a reason?

Published by Ruby Fiction

Publication Date -  21st August 2018

About the Author

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.
She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.
In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.
Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.


I have had so much fun reading this book! In Evie, there's a character who we can all relate to!!  Looking back at the men in her life, and wondering why she's still single! Is it her? Has she been picking the wrong men?  Luckily for her she's kept notes over the years in her 'little black book' - more of a floral notebook! -  of all the crushes and kisses she's had!  

So now is the perfect time for her to go back and track down some of the exes, and to see if she made did make mistakes or if she had lucky escapes! Anything to help her try and get over the news of the forthcoming wedding she's been invited to of one of those crushes she spent her teenage years pining over!

I loved the fun side of this book and it just felt really sassy!!  Evie isn't afraid of confronting her past and looking back often ends up throwing you off track, and finding out some shocking secrets about those you thought you knew! Her cousin Charmaine was straight talking and helped set her on the right track and was always there with good advice!

She learns so much about herself by going back and it was so enjoyable to go on that journey with her in the hope that she'd find her Mr Right!  Loved it!


#CoverReveal A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman


Too early for a Christmas Cover Reveal?!!! NO!!!! NEVER!! So it's  my absolute pleasure to be able to share with you today another stunner of a cover to help get you in the festive mood nice and early!! So start playing those Xmas songs and let me tell you a little more about the book before the big reveal!


Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey? 
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes. 

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her? 

A Little Christmas Charm is published on 16th October and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.  


Jingle those bells..... it's time to see the cover!! 😍

Fabulous isn't it!! Hope you're as eager to read this one  as I am now!! Merry Christmas!! 😉