Monday, 30 March 2015

Vets on Call by Cathy Woodman

Today I am joined on the blog by one of my favourite authors, the wonderful Cathy Woodman who is going to be talking to us about writing her new book Vets on Call.

When I was writing Vets on Call, I really enjoyed my return visit to Otter House to catch up with some of my favourite characters there. I've always planned to write Shannon's story which is inspired in part by the wonderful and dedicated vet nurses I have met while working as a small animal vet. If you've read Must Be Love and It's a Vet's Life, you will have already met Shannon and some of the animals she cares for. 
 Planning Vets on Call took me back to when I was a newly-qualified vet starting out in practice. I'd been called out at night and at weekends when I was a student, so I thought I knew what being 'on call' meant, but I don't believe anything could have prepared me for the reality. The phone could ring at any time, usually just as I'd decided to go to bed or prepare a meal, not that it mattered when an animal needed urgent treatment, or a client needed reassurance.
 I never knew what was going to happen next, being woken in the small hours by clients whose dogs had swallowed a variety of objects from kite strings to needles, or whose cats had been run over. There were the happy occasions, such as the successful Caesareans, bringing tiny puppies and kittens safely into the world, and the sad ones, such as the sick elderly dogs who had deteriorated over the weekend to a point where they couldn't be saved. 
I couldn't have got through it without the support and good humour of the vet nurses who were on call with me. Shannon in Vets on Call is caring, compassionate and hard-working, just like them.

Thank you for stopping by and talking to us Cathy I think this is why I enjoy your books so much because you have lived the life that your characters are living so your experience and love for the job and animals shines through in your books. 

Motorbike-riding, leather-clad Ross looks like a bad boy, but underneath the leathers, he’s a good-looking charmer and he soon worms way into the hearts of everyone in Talyton St George. Even vet nurse Shannon warms to him. So when she needs a place to live, it makes sense to move in with Ross. Just as a friend, of course. As they grapple with escaped snakes and feral cats, their friendship deepens, until they can’t deny their feelings for each other any longer. But when a terrible accident leaves Shannon’s life in tatters, it changes their relationship forever. Because how will she ever know whether Ross is staying with her out of love or pity?

My Review

One of my favourite authors is Cathy Woodman, each year I eagerly await her new release hoping that it will still be set in the idyllic village of Talyton St George and so I was over the moon when the cover to Vets on Call was revealed and as I headed over to read the synopsis I found that once again we would be returning to village.

Otter House is getting busier by the day so a new vet is coming to the clinic in the form of a young, motorbike loving guy called Ross and it isn’t long before he has everyone warming to him especially our lovely vet nurse Shannon. Shannon is desperate to move out and Ross can’t bare it much longer living with Sophia so the pair decide to become housemates, but should they be mixing work with their personal lives?

Cathy Woodman has delivered another cosy, romantic read and I found myself slipping easily back into the village and vet life again thanks to this authors effortless writing style. Talyton St George seems like such a familiar place now and although we have returned to this village time and time again in Cathy’s books it never gets bored, I love coming back to this welcoming village where everyone knows everyone and there is a great community feel.

We have a new character this time, Ross, and he fits in so well at Otter House he sure is the eye candy for this book. Our main character is the lovely Shannon who we have met before and it is great to see how she is getting on at Otter House and she seems to be really embracing her role as vet nurse. We also so the return of some much loved characters, Maz, Emma, Penny, Frances and of course not forgetting Tripod our furry member of staff!

I loved the storyline and although the romance between Shannon and Ross was predictable I really didn’t mind I was enjoying watching the love between them blossom and just as I was getting caught up in their love life with my rose tinted glasses on there is a twist that made me gasp. Cathy Woodman writes about a horrendous event and she makes it feel realistic which is why it is so shocking to think that this happens in daily life and yet she dealt with this in such a delicate way, and explores the aftermath of the event too.

Cathy Woodman has never got the recognition she deserves and I will continue to promote her books in every way I can because her books are easy to follow, well researched, idyllic setting with lovable characters her books just wrap us up in her cosy literary world. I am not a big animal lover myself and yet these books just have me hooked from the first chapter. I sure hope we have more books from Cathy set in Taylton St George.

Paperback               Kindle

Vets on Call is released on the 9th April.

I am giving away a copy of this fantastic book enter below

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Celebration of Fiction with Ebury.

Last night I made my way to the Century Club at Shaftsbury Avenue where Ebury were hosting the Celebration of Fiction event. I met the lovely Amanda from One More Page before the event we then headed in for a night of bookish chat, talented authors and drinks and nibbles!

When we entered the room we were greeted by the stunning Amelia who was so welcoming and put me at ease again she is a little angel! It was great to chat with her and she made sure we were loaded up with our mojito ready for our evening of mingling and she then introduced us to Amanda from Novelicious , we were also joined by Laura from Laura's Little Bookblog before long we were chatting away about the books we love and about the books that were on display in the room, Amanda highly recommended The Martian by Andy Weir which is not a book I had heard about and not my typical kind of read either but she couldn't praise it highly enough so I am looking forward to delving into that one.
Laura, Rea, Amanda

Amanda, Rea, Amanda

We were then joined by my favourite author the one and only Rowan Coleman who as ever was looking very glam and took the time to come over for a squeeze and a chat about her new book We are all Made of Stars, I managed to keep my fan girling under control until she had walked away! I was ecstatic to get my hands on a copy of her new book, what do you all think of the cover?

There was a lovely welcoming and relaxed atmosphere and it was a great chance to meet new reviewers, authors and all the wonderful publicity team at Ebury it was just a shame we want joined by Ian ..........

Ian, who is Ian?
He is a goldfish of course!
Ian is from a new book called Fish Bowl which is by Bradley Somer and although he couldn't be with us we did have a picture of him so his presence was felt in the room!
You can follow Ian on twitter @goldfish_ian

As the evening come to an end I was hovering over the cupcakes when the stunning Tess Henderson who I have spoken to for years on twitter came over and said hello and it was so great to finally meet her in person after all this time.

We were treated to a goody bag to take away with us which held some exciting new releases as well as some other treats which you can see in the picture below as well a delicious cupcake I had to be loyal and opt for a We are all Made of Stars one! 

I just want to say a BIG thank you to everyone at Ebury for a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening and for our goody bags.
Keep your eyes peeled for reviews for these fabulous books .....

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

The Martian by Andy Weir

Shoes for Anthony by Emma Kennedy

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Two of Us by Andy Jones

Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next... Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.

I have heard so many great things about The Two of Us by Andy Jones and I was excited to delve into his book because I love my romance books which more often than not are written by women so I was looking forward to seeing how Mr Jones compares.

Our main characters are Fisher and Ivy and the book starts off after the pair only having known each other less than 3 weeks, they seem to have had a heady whirlwind romance up until this point but suddenly Ivy has changed, something is a little off but little does Fisher know his relationship with Ivy and his life altogether is about to dramatically change.

This book is told from completely from Fishers point of view which I loved, it is great to read from a male perspective and in particular it was nice to have a down to earth male character who wasn’t trying to play the hard man but actually expressed his thoughts and feelings. Fisher was a character who made me laugh and by the end of the book he really felt like a friend. Whereas Ivy on the other hand I really could not take to and I wondered if as the book progressed if she would slowly grow on
me but she didn’t if anything I disliked her more which only made me love and feel sorry for Fisher all the more.

I loved how because both Ivy and Fisher have only just met we get to know the characters at the same speed as they find out details about each other and by doing this we uncover small parts of each of the characters pasts.

There is a smaller storyline that is weaved in between the main plot and this is the friendship between Fisher and his friend El who is dying of Huntington’s disease and for me I enjoyed reading about this friendship rather than the relationship between Ivy and Fisher. El provided a gentle humour to the book and it is obvious what is going to happen later in the book to El but although I expected it I still found it brought a lump to my throat.

I thought Andy Jones delivered a great storyline at a great pace with a couple of twists which kept my interest piqued. The storyline was realistic and heartfelt it sure brought out a lump in my throat but I didn’t find this to be a weepy read and I think that is thanks to the touches of humour and the loveable characters that keep it more upbeat.  Without giving too much away there is a part of this book that Andy managed to write about so tenderly and with such raw feeling but I can't say any more as I don't want to spoil anything! I read this book within a day and it is definitely one I would recommend, I look forward to this author next release.

Kindle                     Paperback

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Books and the City Evening

On Tuesday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Books and the City event. I was so excited about this event but again the nerves kicked in but as I stepped out of the lift there was a gorgeous friendly face waiting to great me, the lovely Sara Jade it was great to finally meet her in person.

We were welcomed by Clare Hey who introduced us to the wonderful line up of authors who were going to be joining us for the evening. I am a big Jane Costello fan, I love her humour in her books and when Jane done a reading of a section of her new book The Love Shack she had the room laughing away so I can not wait for the release date which is 23rd April.

We then heard from Iona Grey, I have heard a lot of great comments about her upcoming release Letters to the Lost , but it didn't seem like my type of read but after hearing the author talk about her book and also reading a part of the book to us I am actually looking forward to picking this one up now.The release date for this book is also on the 23rd April.

Andy Jones then read a part of his book The Two of Us which I have to say I was worried about because I was actually half way through reading this book so I didn't want anything to be given away but luckily the part he chose to read allowed was from earlier on in the book. I have just finished reading The Two of Us now and the review will be on the blog tomorrow but don't wait for that head over to Amazon and click for your copy as it is amazingly on 99p at the moment!

I was eager to hear from Heidi Swain as I have been following her blog and twitter feed and I can not wait for her book The Cherry Tree Cafe  to come out, I was secretly hoping for a glimpse of the cover but that wasn't to be but even better was that Heidi read a part of the book to us and it has only made me more eager to get my hands on this book, the release date for this book is 16th July.

Last but by no means least was the wonderful Molly Johnson, this lovely lady is so confident and comical it was a joy to sit and listen to her she had us chuckling away and her new book Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café sounds like it is going to be another gem. This will be released on the 18th June.

There were so many books that we were allowed to chose from to take home it was like any book lovers dream. We were all given a Books and the City tote bag too which had some fabulous goodies inside....

I would like to say a big thank you to all the team at BATC you hosted a wonderful event and I am so excited about the release of these book babies!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

His Other Life by Beth Thomas

Today on the blog it is my stop on the 
His Other Life Blog Tour

Beth joins us today to answer some questions for us about her new book baby.

1)Tell us briefly what His Other Life is about.
 Briefly it’s about a young woman, Grace, who is recently married to her dream guy and discovers there’s a bit more to him than she thought when he goes out one night for take away food and doesn’t come back. From then on, it’s about Grace’s determination to find out what happened to him, while at the same dealing with devastating loss, betrayal, rage and intense curiosity. 

2) The cover for His Other Life is stunning and definitely one that will stand out on the shelf, what were your thoughts when you saw the cover and do you get much import in the design? Luckily I didn’t have any input into the design! It is absolutely gorgeous isn’t it? I couldn’t be happier with it. As soon as I saw it, I could see it was incredibly eye-catching and dramatic, as well as really beautiful. And somehow it seems to tell its own little story, doesn’t it? I think it’s absolutely perfect for this story, and beautiful covers like these conjure up a real desire of ownership. People will want to own this book (I hope!) In my opinion, gorgeous covers are the reason why e-readers will never completely replace paper books.

3) This is your second book, did you find this one harder to write especially having a deadline? Actually the deadline makes it slightly less difficult. There’s nothing more motivating than a deadline, so I knew I had to crack on with it and made myself do an hour after work every day. I don’t think I would have been as disciplined as that without the deadline! Please don’t misunderstand, it was still pretty stressful! And although the deadline helped, the story was much more difficult to write than Carry You, because I have no experience of anyone I love popping out for de-icer or something and never being seen again. To imagine what someone would feel like in those circumstances was pretty challenging. 

4) How do you plan on celebrating the release of your second book?
I will – I hope – be meeting my agent Laura and my editor Lydia for a slap up meal and some fizzy alcohol. I can’t wait! Also it’s my fhmnhth birthday two days after the paperback is released, so I’m having a Cake and Karaoke party that day to celebrate making it to this age and publishing His Other Life. 

5) Are you currently working on a book 3 for us and if so can you tell us anything about it?
Oh hell yes. Don’t really want to give too much away at this stage, except to say that it is part supernatural , part rom com, and part theoretical cosmological physics. ;)

Thank you for stopping by and chatting to us Beth, I hope you enjoy Cake and Karaoke party!


When I first see the cover for His Other Life by Beth Thomas I loved it and headed straight over to Amazon to find out what the book was about and my interest was piqued straight away so this was added straight to my wish list but I was lucky enough to be sent an advanced copy so as soon as it arrived I started on it straight away.

From the outside Grace and Adam look like they have a perfect marriage but not everything is as it seems, one day Adam heads out to go and get the take away for dinner only hours later he still hasn’t returned. Grace does everything with the help of her friend Ginger to try and track him down but it soon becomes apparent that there are hidden secrets that Adam has been hiding but can Grace get to the bottom of his disappearance?

This is the full package an enchanting cover an intriguing synopsis and a captivating storyline so you can see that this book doesn’t disappoint. The storyline flows at a perfect pace and as we slowly uncover snippets and clues about Adam I felt myself being drawn right into the heart of the storyline alongside Grace.

Grace is a vulnerable character who seems to have become a shadow of her former self and my heart really went out for her character she seems so numb and lifeless at the beginning of the book so I loved seeing her confidence begin to grow and her gradually find herself again along the way.

There was a great amount of suspense in this book and I had no idea until around three quarters of the way through as to what on earth was going on with Adam and even though by that point I had worked it out I loved seeing everything revealed. There was a nice little romance feel to this book too which felt believable and added a nice touch to the storyline.

What an enthralling read this was I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is currently unbelievably only 99p on Kindle so get in quick. ( at time of review)

Kindle                     Paperback

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Calling all Barbara Taylor Bradford Fans.

Are you a Barbara Taylor Bradford Fan?
Would you love to meet Barbara Taylor Bradford?
Are you looking forward to the release of The Cavendon Women?
Are you free on Wednesday 25th March?
Can you get to Harewood House?

Then this could be the best giveaway you have ever entered!

I have 5 pairs of tickets to giveaway for Barbara Taylor Bradford's event which is hosted by the Sunday Times editor Eleanor Mills, all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter giveaway below and a winner will be picked at random on Monday 16th March. Thank you to the lovely Amy and Debbie over at Harper Collins for supplying these tickets. Good Luck! xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers

When the going gets tough, the Butlers get even… ‘Murdered in 1980 she was, bless her. Now I’ll tell you the story of everything that’s happened since…’ No parent should ever have to bury their child, but God knows the Butlers have buried more than their fair share. Now, Vinny and Michael are planning the downfall of all who’ve wronged them. The Butlers don’t forgive or forget, and they take their secrets to the grave. As yet more tragic events rip the family apart, loyalties are on a knife edge. Times are changing in the East End, and the brothers who have always stuck together are at each other’s throats. As the old saying goes – you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer… But you keep your family right where you can see them.

I have read a lot of reviews from other book reviewers on Kimberley Chambers books and it has been a real marmite reaction. I have never picked one up as it is not my particular genre of choice but when I was sent an advanced copy of The Wronged for review I decided to give it a try.

The Butlers are a family not to be messed with, they never forgive or forget so cross any member of their family and you may as well book your funeral. The Butlers have also buried their fair share of family members but more recently Vinny has had to bury his little daughter Molly who was horrifically murdered and now Vinny is doing time for his payback. The family should all be coming together at a time like this but can they really trust everyone in their family and do they really know each other?

This was a gritty read full of many bold and fearless characters as well as the oldies Vivian and Queenie who is the mum of the Butler family, she is very proud and fiercely protective of their family name and yet both she and Vivian did bring some humour to this book. There were a lot of conflicts between various characters and it did take me a while to follow who had an issue with who but I soon got to grips with it all.

The book started off at the perfect pace and as we were being introduced to many characters and various problems my attention was held but after a little while the pace started to slow and it felt as though the storyline was being drawn out and I did wonder if I was going to carry on with the book but I am glad I did as it did pick back up again and soon grabbed my attention back.

There is a lot of swearing in this book but it suited this book it added to the vicious and brutal nature of this family and I even learned a new word a Fucktard! One thing I was surprised about was that we find out who Molly’s killer is and I just think this book although a great read, would have been an amazing read if there was an element of suspense to it and I think this could have been achieved by concealing the true identity from the reader.

I didn’t realise that this was book three of a series so I read this as a stand alone book which worked well for me although now I am looking forward to going back and reading the previous books. This book had a good twist in it later in the book which I didn’t see coming and the author also leaves us on a cliff hanger so I am sure we will be seeing another book in this series.

I enjoyed this book and I will pick up another book by this author now to see how her other books compare.

Hardback                 Kindle

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Two entwined families: the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. One stately home: Cavendon Hall, a grand imposing house nestled in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. And a society beauty: Lady Daphne Ingham is the most beautiful of the Earl’s daughters, a glittering marriage her destiny. But in the summer of 1913, a devastating event changes her future forever, and puts the House of Ingham at risk. Life as the families of Cavendon Hall know it – Royal Ascot, supper dances, grouse season feasts – is about to alter beyond recognition as the storm clouds of war gather.

On a couple of occasions now I have had people recommend the author Barbara Taylor Bradford to me and when I came across a copy of Cavendon Hall I decided to give it a try as I love finding new authors.

The storyline. Follows the aristocratic family the Inghams and the Swann family who have served them for many years now in Cavendon Hall. The Earls second daughter Lady Daphne is a vision of pure beauty and he has high hopes for her to marry well but a disturbing event takes place that threatens not only Lady Daphne's future but could also destroy the Ingham name.

I wasn't sure how i was going to get on with this book as historical romance is not a genre I have ever really felt comfortable with but I was surprised how quick I managed to fall into this storyline. The authors strength is clearly in creating well rounded characters who you warm to quickly and although there are many characters in this book there is no confusion as to who is who. 

Cavendon Hall was described beautifully and you could picture this Grand house easily in your mind as the characters moved around from the grand rooms and also down to the staff quarters. The loyalty between the Swanns and the Inghams was very strong and this came across right from the beginning of the book but for some reason it seemed as though the author needed to reiterate this and so it was constantly repeated throughout the book and between the characters about their bond and loyalty which became a rather tedious along with a few other points that were repetitive too.

I enjoyed the book up until Part 4, when the book reached this point it felt as though the book was steering down a different path and had begun to feel rather drawn out to me which is a shame after a strong start to the book.

I did enjoy this book even though there were a couple of negatives for me but I will definitely try another book by this author.  

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 6 March 2015

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Nine-year-old Milo Moon has retinitis pigmentosa: his eyes are slowly failing and he will eventually go blind. But for now he sees the world through a pin hole and notices things other people don't. When Milo's beloved gran succumbs to dementia and moves into a nursing home, Milo soon realises there's something very wrong at the home. The grown-ups won't listen to him so with just Tripi, the nursing home's cook, and Hamlet, his pet pig, to help, Milo sets out on a mission to expose the nursing home and the sinister Nurse Thornhill.

What Milo Saw is about a sensitive and perceptive little 9 year old boy who suffers with a condition called retinitis pigmentosa which basically means that his sight is lie looking through a small tunnel the size of a pin head and eventually he will lose his sight completely. This is a condition I have never heard of before and it is remarkable to see how our little character manages to get around and actually how he manages to see things that others with full sight miss.

Milo is eager to get his dear Gran Lou back home living with his mum, she had to be put in a care home when Mil’s mum started struggling to cope with bills and looking after Lou but Milo has seen is nan deteriorate since she has been in the home and he sees things happening at Forget Me Nots that adults have not picked up on and he is determined to help all the poor old ladies in the home alongside his gran.

I found the loving relationship between Milo and his Gran so endearing, they really had a special bond he really idolises her and it seemed as though Milo was his Gran’s voice whilst she was his eyes. I loved the addition of little Hamlet who was Milo’s pet pig and they make a great little duo and bring a touch of humor to this book.

I quickly fell into this storyline and it was an easy read that had a great pace to it until about three quarters of the way through when it did start to slow a little but I still managed to carry on reading and luckily the ending was tied up perfectly and made me forget about the little lull in the storyline.

This author has managed to create a storyline full of wonderful well rounded characters but both Milo and Hamlet make this book a truly enjoyable read.

Paperback              Kindle

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

Fall in back in love with life in this eagerly awaited new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author. Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden. She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions. When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

This is the first Trisha Ashley book that has taken me a while to settle into, I did wonder if I was going to be able to carry on with the book but gradually I found myself being pulled into the book and getting familiar with the characters. Our main character is Izzy, she has reached a point where she feels she needs to return to her childhood home of Halfhidden after realising that her and her fiancé want different things, but heading back home is going to be a hard as she needs to face her tragic past with the accident she was involved in but has no memory of the event. Izzy hopes being home will mean she can get some long awaited answers about the details of the accident and surely the meeting of a new tall dark handsome stranger will help to pass the time by!

I am pleased I carried on with this book because this was another great read by this author. Izzy is such a wonderful main character, she is strong, brave and believable which is rare to see and I loved her for this. She didn’t take the easy options and she didn’t rush things, she was also extremely caring and generous. I loved the friendship between Izzy, Cam and Lulu they had such a genuine bond and they were very welcoming to Rufus when he came on the scene. Rufus was a true gentleman although when I first met him I wasn’t sure of his motive. There are many other wonderful characters in the community and you can really feel the community spirit all coming together to try and improve their village with ghost trails for holiday makers which will improve their businesses.

I thought it was a great idea at the beginning of each chapter finding out a little piece of the event and although I had my suspicions as to what had happened I enjoyed the journey Izzy went on to put all the pieces together and find out what really happened.

This was an enjoyable read by Trisha Ashley that will not disappoint her loyal fans. 

Hardback                 Kindle