Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Play Dead by Angela Marsons

The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess. 

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime. 

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover?

And who is next? 

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

Angela Marsons has taken the title for my favourite crime thriller author, with each book she releases the storyline just gets more twisted and sinister with each one and her latest release Play Dead is no exception.

Detective Kim Stone is back with another disturbing case to solve. Whilst Kim and her team are at Westerley where the study of the human body after death takes place they never expected to come across a fresh body of a woman whose face has been beaten in and her mouth full of soil. As Kim and her team begin to put the pieces together to work out the identity of the girl it isn’t long before another body is found in the same state as the first other than this one is still alive but can they find the answers they need before any more bodies turn up?

This was completely and utterly gripping and unpredictable. The detail and descriptions used makes this such a vivid and gritty read.

Kim Stone is such a marvellous character and although we see little kinks in her armour from time to time which show us that this flawed but loveable character is human after all she still keeps her strong, focused and passionate persona on show. We meet many new characters in this book all who are well developed and some who were suspicious too but we are also rejoined by some of my favourite characters who have been in the previous books too which I loved.

The amount of research that the author must do for each of her books shine through in her storylines in great detail. I cannot believe that this series of books have not been snapped up for a T.V series yet they are screaming out to grace our screens. The authors storylines are just perfection, everything you could want in a dark, twisted crime thriller. I am sure I sound like a broken record when reviewing Angela Marsons books but they are all flawless and not one have had anything about them that I haven’t enjoyed.

Kindle                     Paperback

Friday, 20 May 2016

What a Wrap Up!

A weekly wrap up is not something I do often ( especially on a Friday not a Sunday!)  but there is so much I want to share with you this week so I thought it would be best to pop it all in one post for you.

Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who has entered, shared and shouted about
all of the blogversary giveaways. The winners have been picked and prizes are
already winging their way to you!

The Butterfly Summer Bundle winner Sarah .L.
Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley winner Trish .T.
Sealed With a Kiss by Rachael Lucas winner Carly .M.
The Way we Were by Sinead Moriarty winner Amanda .N.
Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan winner Julie .W.
The Chocolate Lovers Wedding by Carole Matthews winner Ana
Kept by Elle Field winner Tanya .P.
Matilda e-reader bundle winner Laura .L.

There are still two giveaways running

Matilda Pillow Bundle
Books and the City Bundle

Head over quick as there is only a matter of hours remaining!

I just want to thank all the authors and Sara Jade again for donating some of the wonderful prizes that have been won.

I went Out yes Out Out!

This week I was invited to a fabulous party to celebrated the publication of Paige Toon's new release The One we Fell in Love With and also to raise a toast to 10 years in fiction which is such a wonderful achievement.
The party was held in Mabel's Bar and Kitchen, I had never been here before but it was a perfect intimate venue for the occasion.

It is always lovely to meet Paige, she always makes time to come over and talk, We had our books signed too, I love the cover of the finished copies. 

Annual Blogger Bash Awards

I received a surprising message from my friend and fellow book blogger Julie Boon informing me that I had been nominated for The Most Inspirational Blog Award! 
I am so thrilled to have been nominated especially to be up there alongside such wonderful inspirational blogs. 

The link to the website is above so head over and check out all of the nominees, there are 10 awards in all so be sure to check out all of the blogs and cast your vote.

Book Post!

I haven't had any book post for a few weeks and now this week some real gems have arrived through the post!

I received a signed copy of The Secret of Orchard Cottage by the lovely Alex Brown along with a jar of Fortnum and Mason Apple and Custard sweets! 
I am currently reading this on the kindle and thoroughly enjoying my return visit to Tindledale 
but I am NOT an e-book fan so I am thrilled to be able to put my kindle aside and carry on reading in paperback.

I also received a copy of Jenny Oliver's new release The Sunshine and Biscotti Club along with a recipe to attempt to make my own Lemon Biscotti so this could get messy! 
Thank you to Carina for sending this to me.

Corvus have kindly sent me a copy of How to Find your ( First ) Husband by Rosie Blake which I can not wait to get started on as I love this author's books. This book is due to be released on June 2nd but you can pre-order below.

Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of Fern Britton's The Postcard, I am not a reader who rushes to buy celebrity books but Fern's books are an exception as she writes such inviting reads set in idyllic locations and with each book of hers I read I loved her books even more. June 2nd is due to be a great day for releases and The Postcard will be up there with some great titles.

The cover to The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale instantly appealed to me when I opened the parcel, I love the colour used for the cover ( my favourite colour and the same colour as my new Kikki K organiser!) the delicate simplistic design is definitely one that would catch my eye in the shops and I am quite excited to start this one. Thank you to Karen at Hodder for sending this my way.

Exciting news!

I love keeping a look out for exciting news on twitter and this week three things have stood out for me. 

Firstly the shocking news!
Fans of Lucy Robinson .......................... meet Rosie Walsh!
Yes Lucy has a new book coming out next May titled 
The Man Who Didn't Call 
This book will be released under Lucy's real name Rosie Walsh.

You can find out more on her website by clicking Here! I don't want to wish the year away but I can not wait to read this one.


Miranda Dickinson fans

Searching for a Silver Lining is the title of her 8th book!
We will be able to get our hands on a copy on the 20th October, I look forward to meeting Matilda and Reenie......

Paige Toon Fans
Any of you who live near Bluewater head on down on Saturday as Paige will be signing books from 1pm in Waterstones!

So that is all my blabbering all wrapped up in one post!
Don't forget to check out this weeks reviews too

Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley

Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he's the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro's army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?

England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother's untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulder to cry on - Grace's career is in flux, she isn't sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she's begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can't make Grace's problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family's happiness?

I have been looking forward to reading Last Dance in Havana firstly because I have never read any of Rosanna Ley’s books and I love discovering new authors but also because I have always longed to visit Cuba and although my purse won’t allow me to go I thought this would be a perfect little teaser trip.

The storyline moves between two time frames Cuba in 1958 and England in 2012. We meet Elisa in Cuba when she is only a teen, she meets the love of her life Duardo in Havana as they danced the rumba but with the odds stacked against them will their love last the test of time. We meet Grace in England and we see early on that she has a very strained relationship with her father. She  is in a very difficult time of her life where she has come to a cross roads should she just take the easy safe path or should she follow her heart and turn her whole life upside down?

Eliza was such an endearing character who put everyone’s happiness and needs before her own and I just longed for a happy ever after for her. Grace was a more complex character and I found my feelings towards her constantly changing throughout the book. At times I was shocked by her actions and wanted to throttle her, then at other points I sympathised with her and hoped that she would make the right decision in the end. I found Grace’s story unpredictable I was sitting on the fence not sure which path she would chose.

Rosanna Ley has brought Cuba to life with her vibrant details, showing not only the charm of the country that draws people back but also showing the darker struggles the country and the Cubans have had to face. The author has quite clearly spent some time in Cuba and has absorbed a lot of Havana’s history. I found this such an evocative and charming read, my longing to visit Cuba has just magnified thanks to this book and I can’t wait to discover more of this authors books.

Paperback                Kindle

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The One we Fell in Love With by Paige Toon

Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion? 

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes. 

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother… 

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

The One We Fell in Love With is Paige Toon’s 10th book and I have read and absolutely loved every single one of her books, if ever I am in a book slump she is my go to author whose books I can always rely on and this latest book pulled me up out of my slump and had me so engrossed and before I knew it, it was 3am and I had finished it in one swoop!

Identical triplets Phoebe, Rose and Eliza not only look the same but they have the same taste in men especially when the hot new neighbour Angus moves in next door and captures all the girls attention. But there is only one Angus and Phoebe is determined to make her claim, surely it won’t take long for Rose and Eliza to get over their crush once they know he is off limits.

This has been a difficult review to write as I want to be so careful and not let anything spoil your enjoyment of this book but there is something about this storyline that is different from Paige Toon’s previous books and I think this is what has given this book a slight edge and has now knocked my two favourites, Pictures of Lily and One Perfect Summer off of the top spot.

This is the first book that I have read which features triplets which was great to read something fresh and original. Each of the girls were so well developed and at no point did I mix any of them up as although they were identical their personalities were completely different and I loved all three of them although I had more of a soft spot for Eliza. We get a great insight of what it is like to be an identical sibling and especially one of three when there is a fight for attention and not to be the one left out but also trying to find something to give their own identity to set them apart from their sister.

I found this book a great uplifting read with comical parts too which I have come to love with this authors books. The storyline was unpredictable too which I think was another reason why I couldn’t put the book down as I just needed to uncover what happened next. We do have the heart strings pulled too so we do go on a rollercoaster of emotions. Paige Toon fans are going to love this book and anyone who has yet to dive into the world of Paige Toon’s books will quickly become a number one fan after reading this book.

Paperback               kindle

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Ask Rea

Thank you all for your questions that you have asked as part of the Matilda Pillow Giveaway.

That has got to be winning the blog of the year award, it was completely unexpected and actually had me in tears because it felt like such a great achievement and it is a great feeling to know that something I absolutely love doing is also noticed and enjoyed by other people too.

Since starting the blog I have my books in publication order so I try and stick to picking them in order, but when I lose my reading mojo I usually pick one of my books that I have purchased and it is usually from an author such as Carole Matthews or Jane Costello whose books I can always rely on to pick me up out of a slump with their light hearted and uplifting storylines. I am not one who follows books that have a big hype around them as I have found in the past that I haven’t enjoyed them and fail to see what they hype is about.

The Enchanted Wood ( first book in the Enid Blyton Faraway Tree books) I remember I was given 20p to go to the local car boot sale and that was what I brought and I was absolutely mesmerised by it and couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series and I think this was where my love of reading came from. I actually brought the complete book The Magic of the Faraway Tree only two years ago just because they remind me of good times.

Yes so many to mention, the blog has not only introduced me to new authors that I hadn’t discovered before but has also helped me widen my genre choice too. Dinah Jefferies one who sticks out to me because her books would not have been the kind of books that I would have picked up and it was only when I was lucky enough to meet Dinah at an event and she was talking about The Separation with such passion and what she was telling me really piqued my interest so I decided to give her books a try and they are now favourites of mine and I constantly find myself recommending them. Also Angela Marsons now this author I definitely wouldn’t have come across as not only did I not like crime thrillers but I also am not a fan of e-books but now I can’t get enough of her Kim Stone series.

This is such a hard question and one that I am often asked but I think I would have to pick Me Before You by Jojo Moyes as it was the first book that made me cry but also had me laughing away this is one of the few books I have kept so it has to be up there with my favourites.

At the age of 18 I became quite unwell which resulted in me being in and out of hospital for long periods of time up until I was finally in remission at the age of 24. It was during these long stays in hospital where I found my love of reading again. I was reading around 2 books a day at that point and on a number of occasions my family brought me books that I had already read but because the covers had changed we were unaware so I decided to keep a blog so we could see which books I had read as well as what authors I enjoyed so we knew what books to look out for. It was mad when people started to follow my reviews and it all grew from there.

I found my confidence! Sounds like a strange one right? I mentioned above that I was in and out of hospital for around 6 years I didn’t go out due to my condition and because there wasn’t a lot of awareness about my condition at that stage I lost contact with my friends as they didn’t understand the impact the condition had on my day to day life so I didn’t do the whole clubbing, shopping, girly holiday things that people my age were doing. Thanks to Rowan Coleman who I am a massive fan of, I was invited to her publication party for The Memory Book and it took a lot for me to go ( with my poor husband standing outside the venue waiting for me!) but this was where I finally got a piece of confidence back and began to meet new people too and now I have such a wonderful small group of friends who I have met through these events and that to me is priceless and this will always be the best thing that my blog has given me.

Wow Ana that’s like the angel and demon question!
Yes of course I would love to do your nails when you come to meet us all! 
The worse book I have ever read eeekkk people will hunt me down here so I am blaming you but I would have to say The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling I couldn’t even finish it which doesn’t happen often. I loved all of the Harry Potter books but this one was a big disappointment for me.

Blog for you and keep it fun! Blogging takes up a hell of a lot of time but it should never become a chore, you are not paid for it in anyway so it is not your job it is a hobby enjoy it! Think of the blogs you enjoy and what it is you love about them and then incorporate this in your blog . To reach out to more followers make sure you use social media to get your reviews out there and giveaways can help too! Don’t focus on free books, I have had so many emails over the years from newbie bloggers and this is the first question that is asked, blogging is not about free books they are a bonus if they come your way but we are not entitled to them and also the publishers only have a certain amount of review copies so be realistic you are not going to get a copy of every new release and at the end of the day you don’t want to miss browsing the bookshops and supporting the authors by buying their books. The book blogger community on Twitter are very supportive we are always there to help spread reviews and the joy of books.

This one is an easy one for me and shocks people but no! I love reading and supporting authors and publishers but I have no desire to release my own words into the world. My ultimate dream would be to move away from the beauty industry and into the publishing industry working behind the scenes but my book baby will always stay in my head!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Blogiversary Giveaway 11 - All the Stars in the Heavens

Giveaway number 11 is for a hardback copy of All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani thanks to the lovely Sara Jade Virtue. You will also win two vibrant orange Paper Library notebooks,

This is a Uk only giveaway.
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogiversary Giveaway 10- The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

Giveaway number 10 is for a paperback copy of The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans which is out on the 19th May. You will also receive a butterfly notebook, Little Miss Naughty Bookmark and a set of Humble Vintage Ballpoint pens.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

Good Luck!

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