Friday, 30 December 2016

The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

Dear Readers
It's drizzling outside, which totally matches my #currentmood. Pigs in blankets, all the mince pies and a festive Baileys or five are distant memories. You know the drill - it's January. Everyone's banning booze (terrible idea) or cutting carbs (impossible). To add to the misery pile, my plans to seduce the man of my dreams at the stroke of midnight flopped spectacularly. 
I'm Izzy. I don't just need a New Year resolution, I need a whole new life. And I need YOU. My dreary life is about to get a total makeover - it's my 'Year of Saying Yes'. And this is where you come in. It's up to you to #DareIzzy. I'm saying yes to your challenges, no matter how nuts, adventurous or wild they are. The sky's the limit - I'm at your mercy, readers! 
Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm going to need it. 
Love
Izzy x  


I found myself only one book away from meeting my yearly goodreads target and I knew I wouldn't have time to finish a full length novel so on a whim I took to Amazon to see if I could find a short story and I came across Part 1 of The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle which sounded like the perfect read as we approach the New Year.

Like many of us Izzy finds herself each year writing down her New Years resolutions only to find that she has failed by the end of January, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? In a turn of events Izzy gets the opportunity of a life time to give her career the big boost it needs by having a feature piece once a month in Pulse Magazine but she has to complete a dare each month but this can only be a good thing right?

I haven't enjoyed a book like this in a long time and I was actually so bummed when I reached the end as I was desperate to see what Izzy had to do for her next months dare but I shall have to be patient as Part 2 is not due for release until 12th January. Author Hannah Doyle has such a wonderful flow to her writing that pulls you in and keeps you entertained the whole way through thanks to her witty writing style and a main character who you love from the opening chapter. Anyone who is a fan of Lindsey Kelk and Jane Costello's earlier books will love The Year of Saying Yes as it had the same witty adventurous and modern feel to it. All the supporting characters we have met so far have
all been great and the relationships between Izzy and her friends and co workers are all so believable and they bring support to Izzy as she begins to step out of her comfort zone and her routines. 

This is the perfect read for this time of year with the topic of New Years resolutions being thrown around and with the January blues about to creep up on us all I am looking forward to Part 2 to lift my spirits in January. I have never really enjoyed books that are released in parts but I am really excited by this book. Role on 2017!





Part 1 is currently FREE so enjoy this guilt free treat.

Friday, 23 December 2016

The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill

Hollywood movies are Beth's passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with 'movie moments', where things like serendipity and fate happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero - though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable. 

And then, one morning at work, Beth receives an anonymous delivery of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at Tiffany's. From there, she is given a series of clues directing her to some of NYC's most popular landmarks - a treasure hunt using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher. And Beth is forced to wonder: has Danny realised their relationship needs a boost - or could it be that charming new work colleague Ryan, with his intense gaze, flirtatious smile and almost encyclopaedic movie knowledge, wants to sweep her off her feet? And how would she feel about taking a chance on a new leading man in her life?



It has been a while since I have read a book by Melissa Hill so I was looking forward to delving in to her latest release The Love of a Lifetime. The storyline is an entertaining romance that has us running around on a treasure hunt with our main character Beth who is a self confessed classic movie addict and each clue she finds on her hunt is related to a classic movie set in New York but as exciting as this mysterious hunt is Beth doesn't know who it is who has gone to a lot of trouble to set up this fabulous adventure but one thing she is certain is that her life is about to change.

Beth was one of those characters who you instantly warm to, she was such a soft soul and so caring and I enjoyed watching her journey on her mysterious hunt you could feel her excitement through the pages. Personally I am not a film buff and shamefully have never watched any of the films that were mentioned so I couldn't "play" along in trying to solve the clues but I am sure many readers who have watched the films will find this book even more enjoyable than I did as they will be trying to solve the clues before Beth.

The supporting characters from Beth's partner Danny and her best friend Jodi, to their handsome work colleague Ryan all played great roles in this book. Although I did guess early on who put the treasure hunt in place this didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. I loved the setting in New York and also the unexpected little festive touch that was sprinkled in.

This was the perfect easy read full of romance for my commute in the mornings this week and I know that if you are a romance fan who is also a major film buff then this book will tick all the boxes for you.



Paperback               Kindle

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse


Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Food of Love which is Amanda Prowse new release that everyone is currently talking about, I am thrilled to be sharing my review with you all today.



 

Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter. But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love. In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.

Amanda Prowse is back with another poignant read that will pull at the heart strings and stay on your mind long after you finish reading it. The Food of Love is the first book I have read that explores Anorexia in such depth. 

The storyline follows the Braithwaite family as they are thrown into a worldthey know nothing about when Anorexia rears its ugly head. When mum Freya receives a phone call from her daughters school because they are worried about Lexi’s weight Freya just assumes it is a blip that most teenagers go through but this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Freya and husband Lockie are powerless to deal with Lexi’s illness and before long it starts to impact sister Charlotte too.

We get to see how Anorexia effects not only the sufferer but also the impact it has on those close to them, putting them in an impossible position and having to make such heart-breaking decisions as parents who want to do whatever they can to protect their children but also wanting to give the children what they want but this isn’t always for the best.

I thought I had quite a lot of knowledge on this condition but the way the author delivers in such detail how Lexi actually felt about food was an eye-opener for me and it is heart breaking to think there are so many people in real life who are going through this thought process daily.

I found myself riding a tide of emotions whilst reading this book sometimes feeling really sorry for certain characters other times just pure frustration and at one point disbelief at Freya who I understand wanted to do all she could to as a mum to protect her little girl but some of her actions I couldn’t understand.

Amanda Prowse has obviously done a lot of in-depth research on Anorexia this clearly shines through in this book and it is a great thing that this book will raise awareness for an illness that is quite often misunderstood.





Paperback             Kindle

Thursday, 1 December 2016

All I ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon


Caitlin's life is a mess. Her marriage to a man everyone else thinks is perfect has collapsed, along with her self-esteem, and breaking free seems the only option. 
Nancy, her four-year-old daughter, used to talk all the time; in the car, at nursery, to her brother Joel. Then her parents split up. Her daddy moves out. And Nancy stops speaking. 

Nancy's Auntie Eva, recently widowed and feeling alone, apart from the companionship of two bewildered pugs, is facing a future without her husband or the dreams she gave up for him. 
But when Eva agrees to host her niece and nephew once a fortnight, Caitlin and Eva are made to face the different truths about their marriages - and about what they both really want ...



I always look forward to a new book by Lucy Dillon and her covers are always so enticing and the cover of All I Ever Wanted is no exception, this will call out to you from the shelves.

When Patrick accepts a job transfer it sparks the end of his marriage to Caitlin. With two beautiful children at the heart of the separation cracks start to form. Nancy was once a chatty little girl who would sing and dance until her hearts content but now Nancy doesn’t speak and big brother Joel steps up to try and communicate for her but will Nancy ever find her voice?

This is one of those books that will tug at the heart strings and have you wanting to reach into the pages and pull Nancy out for a big hug. Both Nancy and Joel were adorable characters who I found extremely engaging. Joel provided a touch of humour and also was quite admirable in looking after his little sister, without her talking he knew her well enough to tell others what she wanted. My heart went out to Nancy and I longed for her to feel safe enough to talk again.

As well as getting to know the children we see Caitlin and Patrick attempt to deal with their separation as well as meeting Patrick’s sister Eva who has her own story weaved around the main plot that all ties in beautifully.

I was surprised how my opinion on both Caitlin and Patrick altered throughout the book at the start I felt for one and disliked the other and as the storyline moved along and certain events happened I found that I switched “sides” until at the end I just wanted to bang them both together and tell them to grow up!


This is a subject that many people will relate to from either the children’s or the parent’s perspective and this makes it feel all too real and that’s why I am sure Nancy will capture everyone’s hearts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading All I Ever Wanted and I found it hard to put down, this is another wonderfully written book that will tug at the heart strings.

Paperback              Kindle

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

It's All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

I had come across Ruby Elliot on Twitter (@Rubyetc ) with some of her drawings so when her publishers asked if I would like a copy of her new book called It’s all Absolutely Fine I jumped at the chance as it was something completely different to what I usually read and was rather intrigued.

It is no secret that I battle with anxiety and depression and sometimes it is so hard to put in to words how you are feeling to someone who has been lucky enough never to have suffered but what Ruby has managed to do is draw pictures that shout a thousand words making it understandable to those who don’t understand and also making them incredibly relatable to those who have found themselves going through the dark times.

Ruby has managed to take the topic of mental health and sprinkle some humour to make it a lighter read. There was one particular picture that showed how yes you can acknowledge all the things that you have achieved but instead lets focus on that tiny little thing that I messed up and this is something that I do constantly and when I looked at the picture I could whole heartedly relate to it but looking on the outside in it just seemed so stupid and funny but obviously when that is the mindset you are in it there is no humour there.


Some of the bits in the book was a little too far out there for me but all in all I enjoyed this book because it tackles mental health awareness in an original way. I have seen many people complain about the drawings but personally I didn’t read it for the quality of the artwork for me it was more about what the drawings were portraying and so this book gets a thumbs up from me.


Paperback

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market by Heidi Swain

Christmas has arrived in the town of Wynbridge and it promises mince pies, mistletoe and a whole host of seasonal joy. 

Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.

But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs. 

The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…


Heidi Swain takes us back to Wynbridge this Christmas with her new novel Mince Pies and Mistletoes at The Christmas Market. Ruby has returned home after finishing University and she wants to use the run up to Christmas too catch up with family and friends as well as take advantage of the festive season to be a able to earn money on The Cherry Tree Café market stall so she can use the money to travel.

Ruby’s father isn’t happy about her temporary career but Ruby is determined to run the stool and before long she is a welcome sight among the market traders. The market isn’t as successful as it used to be and is under threat of closure but Ruby has some ideas up her sleeve but not everyone is happy about her plans.

This book is wonderfully festive with the storyline set on the countdown to Christmas, Ruby soon had the villagers getting in the festive spirit and embracing her ideas to improve the trade for the market.

We are reunited with a number of much loved characters from  The Cherry Tree Café and Summer at Skylark Farm which gave such a familiar and welcoming feel to this book but if you haven’t read the previous two books don’t be put off as this can easily be read as a stand alone.

At the heart of this book is a lovely little romance that although was a little predictable it still had you routing for the pair to get together and have a happy ever after. We are kept in suspense about another detail in this book which I never saw coming until it was revealed.

Ruby really felt like a Christmas Angel being sent to Wynbridge to save the village at Christmas! If you are looking for a festive read full of crafty Christmas gifts, delicious bakes and a sweet romance then this book will tick all the boxes. 


Kindle                   Paperback

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Just because you can't remember, doesn't mean you can't love . . . 
 Anna Forster is thirty-eight years old and has started to suffer from the early stages of Alzheimer's. She knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to an assisted living facility. But best can still hurt. What she also knows is that there's just one other resident her age at the facility - Luke. 

As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to all that's left. What remains are her feelings for Luke. Before long the pair fall in love, despite the forces that are set against them. 

But when a tragic incident occurs, Luke and Anna's families decide to separate them. There is one person at the facility who can help the pair, but only if she's willing to risk everything for them . . .


The Thing we Keep is the first book I have read by Sally Hepworth and I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be my kind of book if I am completely honest and yet as soon as I started to read the first page I was totally hooked and couldn’t wait to read the rest of Anna’s story.

The storyline is told from three characters points of view all who are all going through a difficult time in their lives. Anna suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and she has made the decision to move into an assisted living facility but she isn’t the only young person living there ,Luke also suffers with a form of dementia and before long the pair form feelings for each other but not everyone is happy about it. Eve has recently started working at the assisted living facility and after the devastation she has just lived through she is routing for Anna and Luke and will do what she can to help them both. We also get to hear from Eve’s daughter Clementine who although is in a very vulnerable situation at the moment she brings light to the residents at the home.

I have read a number of books this year that focus on the topic of early onset Alzheimer’s and they all do a wonderful job of raising awareness to what people assume is an old person’s disease but they all tackle this subject in a different way so the storyline of this book was very interesting.

Anna was a wonderful character whose humour shines through on her good days and you could see the frustration she feels when in a situation that makes her uncomfortable. Seeing things through her eyes was an eye opener from not being able to remember the words for things but also not knowing where she is such as when she was in her room and not knowing how to get out because there were three doors one of which was a cupboard.

I enjoyed having the background of Eve and Clementine weaved into the story, they have also been through a difficult time and are learning to adjust and I looked forward to hearing from them just a as much as Anna.

The issues surrounding the relationship in this book is one that may divide people at the beginning of this book but because we can read Anna’s thoughts as well as her and Luke’s family’s thoughts on the matter it soon makes you see things from both perspective.


I loved the flow of this authors writing style she manages to pull you in from the first chapter and keep you captivated right until the final page. There are emotional highs and lows and I found it to be a thought provoking read. I will be sure to pick up the authors previous book The Secrets of Midwives next.


Paperback              Kindle

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Not Just for Christmas Blog Tour


Today it is my stop on the Not Just for Christmas blog tour.
I'm joined by the lovely Alex who is talking to us about her love of Christmas.



Countdown to Christmas

I absolutely adore Christmas, from the tips of my fingers right down to my toes; snuggly encased in my Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer slippers! There’s no other part of the year like it and I throw myself into the whole affair with much enthusiasm! I try to get all of my shopping done in plenty of time, having learnt over the years that trudging through the hordes of other disorganised shoppers on Christmas Eve really isn’t the best start to the perfect festivities.   

On Christmas morning, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop! I LOVE giving presents to those special people in my life, even more than getting them myself and I spend ages picking the perfect gifts. Seeing the look on their faces when they rip open the paper is the best present I could have.

But the loveliest thing about Christmas is being together with family and friends. I love all of the Christmas traditions, dressing the tree together and cooking roast turkey with all of the trimmings, though one year it nearly ended in disaster when my naughty dog, Puppy Oscar, stole the turkey and we had to frantically drive around the town on Christmas Eve trying to find a replacement!

Whatever you end up doing at Christmas, I hope that, like the villagers of Tindledale, you are surrounded by people you love and who love you back.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, my dear friends.

Luck & love
Alex xxx


Not just for Christmas is out now and you can read my review by clicking HERE!
Be sure to head over to http://tishylou.blogspot.co.uk/ tomorrow where the blog tour continues.

Currently on kindle for only 99p!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Kindle Deal is a Kindle Steal


I have been longing to replace my poor broken kindle for over a year now. I made the mistake of
purchasing the Kindle Fire which is great to use as a tablet but personally I didn't like reading on it, I found I was getting headaches and just generally didn't enjoy reading on it. 
I really wanted the Paperwhite but it came with a hefty price tag.

BUT IT HAS FINALLY GONE ON SALE!



The Paperwhite is usually £109.99 but it has been reduced to 
£79.99
You need to get in quick though as this offer is only available until Tuesday 29th November.
So get your Christmas shopping started early and make someone's Christmas with a gift that just keeps giving.



Click on the link below to purchase.

Available in White and Black.


If the Paperwhite still has a hefty price tag for you then think about the Kindle Fire which is great for people looking for a lightweight device to read on as well as having the added use of using as a tablet.


The Kindle Fire is only £29.99! Making it an affordable present for most.





There are also currently some great books under £1 on Kindle check them out below ( price at time of post )


Saturday, 19 November 2016

While you were Sleeping Blog Tour


Today it is my stop on the While You Were Sleeping blog tour and I am able to share with you the Prologue to give you a little teaser of what this book has to offer.......

While You Were Sleeping 
By Kathryn Croft 
PROLOGUE 
I open my eyes and know immediately something is wrong. Nothing is familiar. The dark blinds, shutting out all but a tiny sliver of sunlight, are not mine, and neither is the black silk sheet covering my body, nor the too-soft pillow beneath my head. 
This is not my bedroom. 
With eyes still groggy from sleep, I rely on all my other senses to comprehend where I am, but I have no idea. 
Something else is wrong. 
I should be warmer than this – it was over eighty degrees yesterday evening, yet now I feel cold. And as I become more alert, it only takes a few seconds to work out why this is. 
I am naked. 
Forcing my eyes to focus, I squint into the darkness, and try to take in the rest of the bedroom. Everything is white and neat, deliberately minimal. Furniture I would not have chosen. Furniture that is both strange and familiar. 
Someone is next to me. 
‘Noah?’ I whisper. But I already know it’s not him. The shape under the sheet is not my husband’s. 
Now I begin to panic because none of this makes sense. Slowly I lift the sheet, and take in the familiar dark hair and suntanned skin. 
I know this man. 
Gently I nudge him, wait for the awkward response, as I start to remember brief flashes of his face last night. The smile as he invited me inside. 
‘Lee?’ Another gentle nudge, but harder this time. 
Nothing. 
On rare occasions I have seen Noah like this. Too intoxicated from celebrating something or other to wake up, unless I shout directly in his ear. 
Flinging my legs over the side of the bed, I search for my clothes. My black skirt hangs over the radiator, my underwear scattered on the floor. I can’t remember what else I was wearing. I can’t remember anything other than turning up here. 
I retrieve what I can and hastily dress. I don’t want him to see me undressed. But he already has. He must have. And when I walk to his side of the bed I know immediately something is wrong. Something else. Something worse than waking up naked in my neighbour’s bed. 
He is dead. I know this already. No one with life in them can lie so motionless. 
With heavy robotic movements, I pull back the sheet, preparing myself to call an ambulance. He is young, but he could still have had a heart attack or something similar. I have heard of this happening when people exert themselves. But no, I cannot allow myself to believe I slept with him. I wouldn’t do that to Noah. To Rosie and Spencer. 
This I am prepared for. It is the river of blood which is the shock. The gaping slits across his body. The way his mouth forms an ‘o’ shape. The accusation in his wideopen eyes. 
I scream into the silence. 


You wake up to find the man beside you is dead. 
He is not your husband. 
This is not your bed.

 Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 
But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour, Lee Jacobs’ bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death. 

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood. But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her own life knows what really happened that night. And when the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out. 

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?


Kindle                     Paperback

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom.
This book is a perfect winter read to get you in the festive spirit on the run up to Christmas.


For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . . 
 For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . . 
 For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . .


I was won over earlier in the year by My Map of You by Isabelle Broom so when I saw that she was releasing a festive read with a breathtakingly gorgeous cover I couldn’t wait to start.

This book is set in Prague which is not somewhere that has ever really appealed to me but Isabelle Broom captures the true beauty of Prague and has brought the Old Town to life teasing me with all the deviously good food, plentiful wine and iconic historical sights. I don’t think I have ever googled the location of a book so much whilst reading a book and by a quart of the way through I was already pricing up a getaway to see the beauty that this author has dangled before me.

To add to an idyllic setting we are also introduced to a wonderful set of engaging characters Hope and Charlie are enjoying a romantic break, Sophie is returning to where she first met fiancé Robin who she is waiting to join her later in her trip, whilst friends Megan and Ollie are soaking in the sights for their jobs as a teacher and a photographer but can the magical and festive surroundings work its magic on the pair?

I am an avid reader but my favourite time of year to read is around Christmas wrapped up with a hot chocolate and a festive read but over the last few years I have struggled to find a book that really captures the festivity that ticks all the boxes and yet finally I have found it all in this book (other than poor Father Christmas he must have been busy!) This book has all the feels, the cosy festive setting, the romance, the delicious food and drink and the quaint little Christmas market stalls.

This storyline will pull you in from the first chapter and not let you go. The characters strike up a friendship which brings the storyline together as they reveal events from their past as well as the difficulty and apprehension in moving forward.


This is an utterly perfect wintry read that will leave a lasting impression on me and I wouldn’t be surprised if this hits the top spot on my Christmas 2016 book list this year.


Paperback               Kindle

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