Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Guest Review: The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane (complete series) by Emily Harvale

Escape to the seaside village of Little Pondale with Part One of this heart-warming and romantic, four-part serial and the additional books in this series. 

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning. 

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

Review: This story was published in 4 parts: New Beginnings; Summer Secrets; Autumn Leaves; and Trick or Treat. The author, Emily Harvale, is new to me, but this serialised story has been succeeded by 3 more books about Lily Pond Lane, which I’m sure I shall be seeking out after reading this. I found this first story a quick, easy and entertaining read from page one

As the story begins, we find Mia Ward, recently dumped by her boyfriend and sacked from her job, wondering where she can find the money to pay the rent. She is amazed when she is informed that she has been left a cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale by a relative that she never met. Her inheritance comes with a condition, however; she must live in the cottage for a year before she can call it her own and do with it as she wishes. Her best friend, Ella, and Ella’s twin brother Garrick help Mia to move from the city to the isolated village. As they explore the cottage and meet some of the locals, including several eligible bachelors, Mia begins to learn about her benefactor, great aunt Matilda, and ponders whether she can stay in this community for a year. Over the next few months, Mia learns more and more about the mysterious Matilda, but it seems that somebody in the village may just be trying to force her out. Can she solve the mystery before it’s too late?

I very much enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to other readers. Mia and her friends are likeable characters, although definitely city dwellers who are initially a little out of their comfort zone. Some of the villagers sound a little zany, especially the lady living a few doors down from Mia, who used to clean for Matilda and likes nothing more than a good gossip. The vicar is also a bit odd. Although small, the village has a great many traditions that are closely adhered to by the villagers; never a dull moment in fact. The author clearly has a good imagination to think them all up. I’m sure that having read this book, anyone would be compelled to read more of Emily Harvale’s stories and find out what else happens in this community.

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019 18/6/19

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.

There are so many books that I am excited for coming up in the second half of the year-so many but I will try and only include 10 here...











Monday, 17 June 2019

Blog Tour: Extract from Sinner by Jacqui Rose

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Sinner by Jacqui Rose. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the look of that, you can click here to order yourself a copy. Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 
Here's what it's all about...
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…

And here's that extract for you...

Who is this? Look, this isn’t funny anymore. You hear me? I don’t know what you’re trying to do but if you think you’re going to scare me by playing the old heavy breather game, think again, cos you’re wasting your time. You don’t scare me. You think a few phone calls and a few letters are going to get me going? Do me a favour. You seriously can’t know who I am. I’m Alfie Jennings. You hear that? I’m Alfie, and I never get frightened about anything, so why don’t you just do one and call someone else?’
Hurriedly, Alfie clicked off his phone, throwing it across the room as he took deep, long breaths, wiping the prickles of sweat off his face, trying to calm his trembling, trying to stop the wave of nausea overwhelming him as he swal­lowed the vomit back down along with his panic.
It was stupid. So stupid. How could a few letters and calls make him feel so jumpy? Maybe it was just the coke making him twitchy. Paranoid. Christ almighty.
But as Alfie stood – his handsome face pale and strained – in the large, newly decorated front room, still holding the letter in his hand, the second one he’d received that day and feeling like it was burning a hole in his palm, he knew the real problem wasn’t the substandard coke. The real problem was he was scared – really scared – and he hated himself for it. He was disgusted at his fear, and God knows he’d never admit it to anyone. The worst thing was, no matter how much he drank and snorted coke to take away the panic, the fear still sat there like a stone in his stomach.

Thanks so much to Jacqui for stopping by the blog today and sharing this extract with us. Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Movie Reviews: June 9th-15th 2019

Another Sunday, another lot of movie reviews. 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 documentary follows a couple who decide they want to set up a traditional farm in California and follows the triumphs and pitfalls of doing just that. If you liked Supersize me and Sicko, this style will work for you-recommend. 

I finally saw it! It felt like a traditional musical which I loved. It was pretty dark in parts but I want them to make part 2 already bringing us right up to date-hard recommend!

If you liked the first movie, you'll like this one. You kind of know what you're getting yourself into with a big animation like this. I laughed, the kids in the theatre laughed so there's something for everyone really-recommend!

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Review: The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

A brand new series from Booktuber Lucy Powrie - about what happens when you give up on trying to fit in in and let your weird out! It's time to join The Paper & Hearts Society ...
Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn't want to go to parties - in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.
It's like she hasn't found her people ...

Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING - especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.

But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it's the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed's fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself ...
Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?

Review: I loved this book right from the first page because this is such a wonderful love letter to books. If you are a reader, you are definitely going to identify with the Paper and Hearts Society because they love books and book shelves and this whole thing kicks of with a visit to the library! How awesome is that? Classics are represented here as well as young adult contemporary and fantasy, graphic novels and even some childhood favourites. I want to be a member of this society and I defy you not to want to as well after you read this book. 

Tabby is a book lover and so I could identify with her right away. But she is also a teenager having to deal with everything a teenager has to deal with and so teens picking up this book will definitely have something in common with her right away. Tabby is also a great character to read about because she has some anxiety issues and also some self-esteem issues which are also very easy to relate to. These do build over the course of the novel and we see her trying to hide these aspects of her life from those around her, and we all know how that is going to go!

The other members of the society are great and wonderful and diverse and I can't wait to spend more time with them. I love the fact that they are brought together through their love of reading but that they are all dealing with other issues in their lives that they can support each other with. Henry is a fun character in the group and I loved how thoughtful he was. It is not often you find someone who is as kind and caring as he was. Olivia is bright and bubbly but she is not as confident as she may seem and she is hiding something fairly major about herself that we do get to find out a way into the book. Cassie is guarded and finds trust difficult but we also get to find out the root of that issue and Ed is just the best. He is welcoming and kind and I really hope we get to dig a little deeper into this character in future books in the series. 

This is a great debut novel. It really does have something for everyone. I flew through it in two sittings and it definitely motivated me to get on with the rest of my TBR because of all the books and authors these characters talked about. Lucy has explored so many issues that are prevalent for teens today and there is so much relevant technology in the book right down to them texting to let each other know they're outside rather than ringing the bell-I loved that. I highly recommend this book, pop it on your summer TBR now!

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

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Guest Review: The Summer of New Beginnings by Helen J Rolfe

Headstrong and organised, Mia is a single mum who wants to fix the world - but the one thing she can’t fix is her family. Responsible older brother Will has fled Primrose Bay, unable to forgive and forget after the ultimate betrayal. And Jasmine, no longer the wayward baby sister, is determined to prove to her brother and sister that she’s just as capable as they are.

Together in the bay after years apart and a separation spanning three continents, it doesn’t take long for the siblings to clash when Mia calls everyone together in a family crisis. And with jealousy and resentment simmering between them, as well as faces from the past and new loves, the family ties could end up being severed forever.

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in order to find each other again…

Review: This is just my second book written by this author. I greatly enjoyed the first one that I read, and having been attracted by the alluring cover on this book and of course the synopsis, I chose it to be next. As with my previous experience, the story hooked me from the start, and had me coming back for more until the end.

The book is set in Primrose Bay, just outside Melbourne, where the Marcello family have run the Sun Coral Cafe for as long as anyone can remember. Two of the younger generation, Will and Jasmine, have left the family home and business and settled abroad, while the third, Mia, has stayed in the bay and set up a picnic company, offering the most amazing bespoke picnics. When a family crisis looms, Mia, always the one to try and fix everything, calls her siblings home, and that’s when the fun really starts. All manner of past grievances rear their ugly heads, but the three of them must pull together if they are going to save the family business and, indeed, the family itself.

I found this a really enjoyable story, with strong, believable characters and situations that might be familiar to any reader. I liked the way that the story is told, incidents being described from different perspectives by each sibling. A picture slowly emerges of childhoods that were at times painful for each of the three Marcello youngsters, in part due to parents working hard to ensure a successful business and not giving enough time to family life. This is definitely an emotional tale, that above all underlines the importance of communication within relationships. On the lighter side, I loved the idea of Mia’s picnic company; I will never again be able to have a picnic with sandwiches from a plastic box and no linen tablecloth! This is a book I would strongly recommend; a good summer read.

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

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Author Event with Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon and Mhairi McFarlane

What a joy to be back in Glasgow, and even more so when in the company of Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon and Mhairi McFarlane. On June 4, Waterstones Glasgow (Sauchiehall Street branch) very kindly hosted this event where these three lovely ladies entertained us with talk of their recent exploits, their newly released books and what was in the pipeline. 


I’m sure that everyone there would agree that it was well worth braving the dreich weather to listen to these talented authors, who not only had us all in stitches with their stories, but kindly answered our questions. Thanks to them all and also to Waterstones for such a well organised event.