Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Blog Tour: Extract from Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

Today I am excited to be part of the blog tour for Perfect Silence by Helen Fields, 

A DI Callanach Crime Thriller, Book 4. This book was released on 23rd August and you can click here to order your copy now. I have an extract that Helen has been lovely enough to share with us today but first, here's what it's all about:

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?
The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.
After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

Eighteen silent months later her stepfather had arrived. A
year later her brother had celebrated his sixteenth birthday by
signing up to join the army with their mother’s consent. Zoey
had hated her for it. She wondered if she would be able to
find forgiveness with her last breath, but forgiveness required
effort and concentration. It needed to be nourished by hope.
There was none left where she was lying. Her brother’s escape
had been her entrapment. There was no barrier left between
Zoey and her mother’s new husband.
The fists her brother had tolerated until he could leave were
turned to her. Her mother, a shard of broken china, said and
did nothing. Perhaps she didn’t care. Perhaps she was only
grateful the blows did not touch her. The bruises were limited
in their geography. Zoey’s face remained untouched until the
school summer holidays came around and then it was a freefor-
all, the fear of prying teachers alleviated a while. Zoey had
cried her tears into Warrior’s warm fur, and shivered into his
skinny but comforting frame in her bedroom at night. Until
her stepfather had found the love she had for the hound too
much joy for Zoey’s life. He had declared himself allergic, and
the dog food too expensive, in spite of their large house and
his good income. Letting out the odd, badly faked sneeze, he
had said the dog must go.
That day had been etched in Zoey’s memory like the scene
from The Wizard of Oz, only Toto had not escaped from her
stepfather’s clutches to return to her. Warrior was pulled from
her arms as she huddled on her bed, declaring that she would
die if they took him.

Thank you so much to Helen for stopping by today, remember to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books by My Favourite Authors I Still Haven't Read 25/9/18

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This is such a good list, of course we always buy books by our favourite authors and we want to get round to reading them but sometimes things get in the way. Here is my list...

Monday, 24 September 2018

UK Giveaway & Event Vlog: Milly Johnson Penny Parkes & Veronica Henry

I've been hitting lots of milestones all over the place recently, I passed 400 subscribers over on my BookTube channel and hit 1000 followers over on Instagram as well as it being my 2nd anniversary on BookTube and just getting to hang out with some of my awesome UK blogger friends recently, can you tell I love talking books on the internet?

So I hosted a US only giveaway over on my BookTube channel and now its the turn on the UK only giveaway on here-yey!

I recently attended an event with wonderful authors Milly Johnson, Penny Parkes and Veronica Henry in Waterstones Cheltenham. I made a video about it over on my channel and decided to do a giveaway of books by these authors! So here are the books you can win...

(signed copy)

(signed copy)

To enter, go and leave me a comment on the video below! For extra entries you can tweet about the giveaway and/or leave me a comment on this blog post-simple!

This giveaway is UK only and closes on 1st October at Midnight.

Any other questions, just ask on here or on any of my social media platforms!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Movie Reviews: September 16th-22nd

Welcome to another movie reviews post, as always, I do go into a little bit more detail in the video on my YouTube channel so if you want to hear more in depth thoughts on any of these films, head over there, the video is linked at the bottom of this post and has time stamps for each movie. 

I've already shared my thoughts on this one, but it was lovely to re-watch this with my best friend rather than the first watch on my own!

I also made a book vs movie video about this one which I will leave at the bottom of this post. I really enjoyed this one, it seemed a lot more light hearted than the book and there were definitely some laugh out loud moments. Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick were great on screen together, I would LOVE them to do something else in the future because their chemistry was just brilliant! For a domestic thriller, it isn't the most violent of films but there are plenty of twists and turns which had the audience I saw it with gasping at points. I had read the book so I knew what was coming. Also shout out to Andrew Rannalls who is wonderful in everything that he does and was the great addition to this film too!

This was much more of a thriller than the film above. It was very violent and involved a very high death count, however this is a female lead and so somehow feels slightly less brutal-is that possible? Had this been a book (I don't know whether it is or not) it would be an amazing thriller with twists you don't see coming and a really satisfying ending. Jennifer Garner is so powerful in this film and manages to switch between playing a grieving widow and mother to playing someone who will stop at nothing to get her revenge. The vigilante aspect of this film reminds me of super hero movies but the message of the lengths that mothers will go to for their children is also very strong!

I finished watching this film on netflix, jetlag meant I had to do this one in 2 parts. I loved it. The comedy was fab, the music was awesome, of course and the cast are just brilliant. I fell in love with baby Groot just the same as everyone else I know who has watched the film. Chris Pratt is just so funny and has a very Han Solo quality about hims o works perfectly in this role. One of the best things about this film aside from everything I've already mentioned is that message of family, not just the one you're born into but the friends you choose later in life and the people who actually raise you and influence you growing up-loved it!

Last week I said that I thought Black Panther was my least favourite Marvel film out of the franchise that I've watched so far, but I think that place has been taken by this film. I just didn't really connect with it at all. Obviously I loved the main character, who doesn't want to watch him on screen-although I think he would have been better just keeping his English accent. But I felt there was so much in this film that needed explaining when surely the storyline should have explained most of it as I was watching. I liked the variety of settings in this one and the supporting actors were also really strong, its seems Marvel has their pick of actors when it comes to their films. But I don't think I could explain to you now what happened in this film, and I don't really think I mind that!

I have 3 more marvel movies left to watch and then I will be all caught up! I am heading to the cinema today so you can expect more movie reviews next week on here and on my BookTube channel and I do have another book vs movie video coming up on there soon so make sure you head over and subscribe!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Blog Tour: Guest Post from Hollie Anne Marsh Author of Sweetbriars: Leaving the City

I am very excited to be part of the Sweetbriars blog tour today. Author Hollie Anne Marsh has stopped by the blog today to share her favourite character with us. here's what the book is all about:

A Tale of Sweetbriars
Welcome to the yard! Come and meet the girls… Cate, Tabby and Violet and their beautiful horses.

Leaving The City is the first book in the new Sweetbriars Equestrian book series, which is receiving wonderful reviews. It’s a great book for young readers and readers that love animals and horses.

About Leaving The City
Will Cate ever settle into living in the countryside?

Cate is uprooted from life as she has known it. Along with her family and her gorgeous palomino show horse Odette, she moves to a charming farm deep in the English countryside.

Cate is torn. Upon moving to horse heaven, she had to leave behind her best friend Beth and her beloved horse-riding instructor Bridget. On the other hand, she has fallen in love with Sweetbriars, the farm her family has bought to make their dreams come true.

Setting up an equestrian centre at Sweetbriars is fun to Cate, but settling into a new school and having a stern Pony Club riding instructor that teaches dressage is less so. At school, Cate makes friends with Violet, who is confident and wacky, and through Pony Club she gets to know Tabby, who is sweet and popular. The girls’ lives will be intertwined in ways they could never have imagined thanks to their shared passion for horses and Cate’s determination to make Sweetbriars a success.

You can order your copy by clicking here

My favourite character to write
It would be Violet. The first book has Cate as the main character. She is the daughter of the family who buy the Sweetbriars farm. She is quite sweet, sometimes lacks confidence after she is uprooted from everything familiar... but she finds strength and happiness through moving to Devon. Violet becomes Cate's friend, and helps her on her journey. She is sassy, confident, funny, and not ashamed to admit she is a bit of a novice ridier... she also has particular habits that the future books will reveal more about. She is the kind of friend we would all like to have. She has your back and isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks. I can't wait to write one of the next books with her as the main character. 

Author bio

Hollie is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona, Spain with her partner, baby boy, and Oldenburg mare, Frieda. After having a professional career, including creating the equestrian online shop Equiporium (since sold), working for many large multinational companies, and having a baby, Hollie reconnected with her passion of writing and finished the manuscript she wrote many years ago.

Hollie has been riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, showjumping, eventing, and trail-riding in the great Australian bush. Hollie lived in England for almost ten years where she had two horses and trained them for dressage. 

The Sweetbriars series is inspired by all the special moments Hollie spent with horses... good, funny, and challenging moments!

In creating the new Sweetbriars series, Hollie hopes that readers will not only find the books fun to read, but they will also inspire readers to learn more about horses.   

Hollie's website:  https://www.sweetbriarsfarm.com/

Twitter: @Hollieannem 

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Review: Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright

Carter is an insurance adjuster whose longing for creative expression spills over sometimes into his accident reports. Abby works for her adoptive father, Uncle Mannie, in the family bookstore, the ReadMore Café. Carter barely tolerates Christmas; Abby loves it. She can't wait past October to build her favorite display, the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises.

When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, Uncle Mannie, who is harboring secrets of his own, sees a chance for lasting happiness for his little girl. But there are so many hurdles, and not much time left. Will this Christmas deliver the miracle everyone is hoping for? Where love and Christmas are concerned, there are no accidents.

Review: Well this was just the kind of sweet and sugary story the likes of which you would find in movie form on the hallmark channel and it was just what I needed when I read it! This was definitely a quick read at just 240 pages but plenty of things happened in those 240 pages! The thing I loved most about this book is that one of the characters is a writer and one works in/runs a bookstore and so both the characters are my kind of people and I could get into their worlds and minds really quickly. 

Some of the events that happen throughout the novel are somewhat improbable if someone were to tell you they had happened to them in real life but in the context of a contemporary festive romance, you can definitely believe they happened. The characters, on the other hand, are definitely true to life. Abby is a very likable character, she is an optimist and obviously loves Christmas. She also believes that she can make a difference to people and their lives, which is such an endearing quality. Carter is the opposite of this, he really doesn't get on well with his job and is somewhat estranged from his family, he seems to like being alone but once you get him writing, its almost like he becomes somebody else-so fun to watch!

Uncle Mannie is a great secondary character and does have his own storyline. I didn't like him as much as the main characters just because he is a bit of a meddler and also someone who seems to want to bury his head in the sand. I would like to see what Abby would become if she didn't have him in her life, I really hope we get the chance to see more of that in a follow up novel. There are some pretty shocking events and accidents in this book so be prepared with some tissues but overall, the romance and the books and the Christmas spirit is lovely and this will make for a wonderful holiday read when things are getting hectic in the run up to Christmas. 

Thank you to my friend Bethany for my signed copy!

To pre-order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US (out September 25th)

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Guest Review: Summer at the Lake by Erica James

Lake Como - beautiful, enchanting, romantic...
For Floriana, it is the place where the love of her life is getting married to another woman. And she's been invited to the wedding.
For Esme, it is where, over sixty years ago, she fell in love for the first time. So often she's wondered what happened to the man who stole her heart - and changed the course of her life.
Adam is in danger of burying himself entirely in his work after his girlfriend left him. Could a trip to Lake Como be the distraction he needs?
Now it's time for each of them to understand that the past is not only another country, it can also cast haunting shadows over everyone's lives...

Summer at the Lake by [James, Erica]

Review: I have now read quite a few books by Erica James, and always find them most enjoyable. I saw this novel available as an audiobook, and, attracted by the synopsis as well as the author, decided to give it a listen. As with the rest of her books I have read so far, the story proved arresting right from the start, and I was soon pulled in. 

The narrative is split into two stories, one in the past and the other in the present, a format which I enjoy when well presented, as it is in this case. The main characters are: Floriana Day, a 31-year-old tour guide in Oxford; Adam Strong, a 37-year-old property developer and Oxford resident; and Esme Silcox, an elderly lady who has lived in Oxford for over 60 years. They are brought together by a nasty accident followed by a bit of a misunderstanding, but gradually become an unlikely group of friends. Floriana is invited to the wedding of the man she has always considered the love of her life. The wedding is at Lake Como, Italy, which is where, coincidentally, Esme spent some time in her youth and met a man she fell in love with, in fact her first love. It all seems like the perfect excuse for the trio to set off on an adventure and for Esme to relive her past. 

I would highly recommend this compelling story. There is a wonderful mix of romance, adventure, joy, disappointment and anticipation, all beautifully told by Erica James. I enjoyed finding out about all the characters as the story progressed.  Esme's tale from her early years was fascinating as I was transported around Italy. There was also a hint of danger there, which added an interesting different dimension. In the present day story, both Adam and Floriana were suffering from heartbreak, and I was willing them to get together. This is definitely a book you could read anywhere and any time and be transported into another world. 

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