Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Bout of Books Day 2 Update & Day 3 Challenge

Day 2 was always going to be a busier day than day 1. I Volunteered at my library in the morning, worked in the afternoon and went to trivia in the evening so not a whole lot of time for reading! I did manage to fit in some time with my audiobook on a walk though and then also managed some breakfast and lunchtime reading. I am hoping to do more of the same today!


Today's challenge is to recreate a book cover so I will have a think about that one this evening and update this pos if I take photos, otherwise you'll find it in my readathon wrap up vlog over on my BookTube channel. 

Reading Update

I listened to 166 pages of What Red Was by Rosie Price. This isn't the most cheerful of books but I am liking the friendships and other relationships that it explores!

I read 108 pages of No Judgements by Meg Cabot. We're going to finish this one today!

Pages Read Today: 274

Pages Read This Week: 751

Complete Books Finished: 1

Blog Tour: Extarct from The Time of Our Lives by Abby Williams

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for The Time of Our Lives by Abby Williams. The book is out now and you can click here to order a copy. I have an extract to share with you today. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

Two women from two very different generations are brought together through dramatic circumstances and help each other to forge new paths.

Twenty-six-year-old Erin has everything she’s ever wanted – a good job, a gorgeous fiancĂ© and a best friend who’s always there for her. But suddenly her life comes crashing down around her. Unable to return home to her parents, she takes a room in a house nearby and her life starts over in the most unexpected of ways…

Seventy-six-year old Lydia, who, shocked by the sudden death of her husband, is devastated to discover that he has left her in crippling debt. With no choice but to take in a lodger, Erin comes into her life. When they find a letter hidden in the attic old secrets come to light and, with Erin by her side, Lydia finds herself going on a trip of a lifetime.

Perfect for fans of The Flatshare, 59 Memory Lane and If Only I Could Tell You

And now are you ready to read that extract?



I never thought I’d be one of those brides. You know, one that reads all those magazines with pictures of puffy white dresses and articles on how to achieve the wedding of your dreams on a shoestring budget. I mean I don’t want to sound like a stuck-up cow, but I had an architectural engineering degree, I spoke fluent French and if I’m honest I’d always imagined myself wearing a pair of jeans when I got married, with just my groom and a couple of strangers we’d dragged in off the street to witness the momentous occasion. I just wanted it to be about me and him, that was all that mattered. Yet something strange had happened since I got engaged six months ago to the love of my life, Brad Masters. I had started to linger longingly outside bridal shops, admiring white meringues, and deep down I had a feeling I wanted to wear something other than denim on the biggest day of our lives.
‘Don’t tell me,’ my best friend Cara giggled now down the other end of the phone. ‘You’re at work, sitting at your desk pretending to do some work when actually you’re admiring your engagement ring for the umpteenth time this morning and flicking through Brides magazine when you think the boss isn’t looking.’
Immediately I stopped twirling my one-carat diamond engagement ring around my finger and shoved the magazine hurriedly to the edge of my desk. That’s the trouble with best friends: they know you too well.
‘Luckily for me,’ I chuckled, ‘I’m on very good terms with my manager.’
‘Nothing like getting engaged to the boss to ensure you’re happy at home and work,’ Cara replied, a hint of steel to her voice.
I felt a pang of guilt. Cara had been dumped a year ago by her own fiancĂ©, Ian. He decided that he was too young at twenty-seven to get married. Why he hadn’t worked that out before he asked her was a mystery to me and everyone else. However, I’d held my tongue and offered her a shoulder to cry on instead.
I changed the subject. ‘So are you ready for tonight?’
‘Erm, about that, I really don’t think speed dating’s my thing,’ Cara whined.
I sighed and ran a hand through my long red hair. ‘Cara, it’s been a year. You’ve got to move on. Ian’s in Australia living on a surfboard, dating some bikini-clad surf-type girl, creating a new life for himself; you’ve got to do the same.’
‘I just don’t fancy sitting in a room full of strangers making polite chit chat, looking at the door ready to make my escape.’
‘It won’t be like that. It’ll be fun. We’ll go for an Indian after and you can give me all the goss. What do you say?’ I put on my best begging tone that never failed to win Cara round. ‘My treat.’
Cara paused for a moment as if thinking about my offer. ‘Will you throw in the lagers as well?’
‘Lagers and poppadoms,’ I chuckled. ‘Though don’t go getting any ideas about pudding! Brad might be my boss but he still pays me a pittance.’
I heard laughter down the other end of the phone. ‘I think it’s time you got creative and asked for a raise!’
I giggled. ‘I’m going now. I’ll meet you outside the King’s Arms at nine and don’t even think about getting out of it!’

About the Author

Abby Williams is the pseudonym for Fiona Ford, writer of romantic up-lit and historical fiction. Fiona started out as a freelance journalist for titles such as Grazia, Sunday Mirror and Stylist before realising her passion lay in novels. Now she spends her days immersed in made-up worlds and reckons she has the very best job in the world. When she's not writing, Fiona is a gym nut, but only so it means she can eat lots of cake and drink lots of wine - not necessarily in that order. She lives in Berkshire with her husband and two cats who she sometimes thinks she might love just a little bit more than all the humans she knows. The Time of Our Lives is her first romantic novel and she is now busy scribbling away her second.

Follow Fiona:

Facebook: @Fionafordauthor
Twitter: @Fionajourno

Follow Aria:

Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Thanks so much to Abby/Fiona for stoppping by today and sharing that extract with us. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Bout of Books Day 1 Update & Day 2 Challenge

Well Day 1 of the readathon was excellent. I had some great opportunities to read both physical books and audiobooks and I ended up finishing a whole audiobook-score!

My TBR has changed quite considerably. Since I do use it to refer to, I think I will update it tomorrow since one of the books I started today isn't even on it...

I took part in the Twitter chat, hosted a reading sprint and also did the photo challenge over on my Bookstagram! I'll be back tomorrow with more reading sprints, just follow the bout of books hashtag-I'm an expert-see the badge?


Today's challenge is adaptations-a book you would like to see adapted into another format. I have 2 I absolutely have to share with you. 1 is my most recent read-it would make an AMAZING movie because it is just so moving and so romantic!

And then the next is obviously the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk. This would make an amazing TV series and I think Netflix should pay attention to both of my suggestions immediately!

Reading Update

I read all of Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum-it was excellent!

I read 106 pages of No Judgements by Meg Cabot. This is a buddy read so I'm hoping to get stuck into this even more tomorrow!

I read the first 16% of If You Were Here by Alice Peterson, it is stunning so far. I can't wait to read more! 16% equates to 64 pages. 

Pages Read Today: 477

Pages Read This Week: 477

Complete Books Finished: 1

Monday, 19 August 2019

Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella Re-read and Book Club

If you've been following my blog, my channel or any of my social media channels you will know that I am, and have always been a massive Sophie Kinsella fan. This year it was announced that there will be a Christmas Shopaholic book released, yes Becky is getting festive! The Book comes out on October 15th in the US and October 17th in the UK!

When I heard the release date for the new book, I knew I wanted to plan a re-read of the series in preparation for reading the new one! That time is now my friends, that time is now!

If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen that I am planning on reading one book a week from the series, starting today and the each Monday, over on my Bookstagram, I will be hosting a discussion of that book. 

Here are all the dates you need to know... (there are so many different covers for this series so I just did a mish mash of them all!)


Read w/b August 19th
Discuss August 26th


Read w/b August 26th
Discuss September 2nd

Read w/b September 2nd
Discuss September 9th

Read w/b September 9th
Discuss September 16th

Read w/b September 16th
Discuss September 23rd

Read w/b September 23rd
Discuss September 30th

Read w/b September 30th
Discuss October 7th

Read w/b October 7th
Discuss October 14th

Ready for Christmas Shopaholic landing October 15th (US) or 17th (UK)

I would love for you to join me in this reading and discussion and if you've never read the series, now would be a great time to start!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Movie Reviews: August 11th-17th

Another Sunday, another lot of movie reviews. I haven't updated my movie reviews for a little while now as this blog has been BUSY so here you go! As always, I go into more detailed thoughts on my movie reviews video over on my BookTube channel which I will leave at the bottom of this post once it is live so if you want a little more detail, give that a watch please and thank you!

This is a cult classic I had always wanted to watch so when it came to the big screen I jumped at the chance. It was a bit gruesome and quite weird, I loved it!

This one gave me all the feels, you don't have to be a Springsteen fan to enjoy it. I loved the British humour and the sense of hope. 

No I have never watched Dora The Explorer on Nickelodeon but I actually quite enjoyed this one. Its a kids film with a lot of humour for the adults taking the kids to go and see it which I appreciated. It also obviously had quite a big budget so the special effects are really quite good!

I missed out on seeing this one earlier in the year so again jumped at the chance to go and see it this week. It was bleak but very real. I liked the feeling of the film and Tessa Thomson and Lily James were great on screen together!

This film was 90 minutes of pure laughter. I was shocked at all the things they were getting these young actors to do and say but I can't say it wasn't funny. I just laughed a whole lot at the childish humour. This is superbad but with middle schoolers and I will be going to see it again when I need a pick me up!

I go into more details in this video-please consider subscribing to my channel if you're not already!

As always, if there are any particular films you want to hear my thoughts on, just let me know and I will bring you a review of that one next week!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Guest Review: Sinner By Jacqui Rose

Having been brought up amongst the hardest gangsters and faces of London, Franny Doyle learnt never to let love be her weakness. But she’ll do anything to protect those close to her, and at whatever cost.
Her partner Alfie Jennings is under pressure. The only person he ever sent down has recently been released from prison, and his Soho nightclub is under threat from his rival Charlie Eton – a man who doesn’t respond kindly to people taking away his business.
Charlie is playing dirty to come out on top, and when innocent children become involved in the feud, Franny and Alfie are dragged into a dark underworld where Alfie must face demons from his past, and Franny is in a dangerous race against time to ensure her own secrets aren’t exposed.

Betrayal and lies come with consequences, and old sins cast long shadows…

Review: This is the ninth book in a series of crime thrillers by the author. It follows on from the previous instalment, but can be read as a standalone book. It is a story about gangsters in Soho, London. In particular, it describes how Franny Doyle and Alfie Jennings, now back together and running a club in Soho, face up to demons from their past.

This book is definitely not one for the squeamish, since it describes scenes of graphic violence, other scenes which some people may find upsetting, and contains strong language. It deals with the world of violent criminals and the seedier side of life. As such, it is very difficult to feel any sympathy with the characters. However, I did find that I wanted to know how the main characters, Franny and Alfie, would find their way out of the difficult situations in which they found themselves. The story moves at a fast pace and the chapters are relatively short, so I found myself wanting to keep reading to find out the characters' fate. As in the one previous book in this series that I have read, the plot does seem to rely heavily on  coincidences.

Hence, if you are a fan of violent crime fiction, this will appeal to you, but if you are of a nervous disposition, I would suggest that you avoid this one.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 16 August 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Post from Kate Hunter Author of Common Cause

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Common Cause by Kate Hunter. The book is out now and you can click here to order a copy. I have a guest post from Kate for you today. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

It's 1915 and Britain is at war as Kate Hunter's sequel to The Caseroom - shortlisted for the 2017 Saltire First Book Award - opens on the next stage in the lives of Iza Orr, skilled compositor, and the workers in Edinburgh's print industry. At a time of momentous events, we step alongside Iza as she copes with unexpected complexities of patriotism, women's suffrage, worker victimisation and a historic wartime lockout. `It seems the country needs starched cloth-lappers and lunatic asylum attendants, but it does not need books, does not need learning and intellectual stimulation.' Printers are denied reserved occupation status but, with bankruptcies looming, the jobs of Edinburgh's dwindling number of female hand typesetters are on the line. Riven by challenges both political and personal, Iza must weather conflicting calls for loyalty to nation, to class, to gender, to family - her marriage to troubled John, her children, her estranged daughter Mary, now a grown woman - to discover her true common cause.  

And here's that guest post about Kate's favourite character to write from Common Cause. 

Choosing a favourite character to write is a bit like choosing a favourite colour. I can never do it. That’s partly because it depends on my mood, but it’s mostly because colours come to life in combinations – orange and purple, green and red, for instance. Same with characters. It’s the dynamic relationships between characters that fascinates me.

Common Cause uses a close third-person narrative style. This means its third person – she this, she that. But we’re bound by what Iza, the principal character, experiences internally and externally.

So it’s the dynamic between Iza and other characters that excites me – between her and her mum, her and her troubled husband, her friend Margaret, her work chums, especially tasty Geordie Joe (the love angle). Oh, and her daughter Mary, a fraught relationship that tests Iza. Now, Mary I did love creating. She’s a young woman who crackles with eager purpose. 

When it comes to minor characters, I loved creating the elderly Mr Scott, who in a sense voices my views. He says what I’d say, or what I’d like to be able to say, about what’s going on around him, about the state of the world.

My feelings towards posh Mrs Sinclair, active in the Women’s Freedom League, are less straightforward, less worthy. With her, there’s an extent to which I was taking revenge on well-meaning, snobby women I’ve come across.

Then there’s Irish home-rule-supporting mechanic Michael who befriends Iza’s son William. He’s great.

I loved writing the whole lot of them, having them develop in relation to each other.

Thanks to Kat for stopping by the blog today and sharing that post with us. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exlclusive content and reviews!