Sunday, 30 June 2013

Letterbox Love #3

Welcome to Letterbox Love, this is a UK meme, hosted by the lovely Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This post is a means by which to highlight the books we get in the post and beyond, and especially to bring attention to those books which may be sat on our shelves for a little while yet that we love all the same.

Another lovely lot of books this week so another Letterbox Love for Fabulous Book  Fiend!

I received Witchstruck and Witchfall by  Victoria Lamb from Random House this week. Witchstruck won the Romantic Novelists Association YA prize and so I am very much looking forward to reading both of these!

I was also lucky enough to get some fabulous new books on Netgalley this week. I was approved for The Silver Chain by Primula Bond, this looks interesting, definitely something to keep me entertained over the summer! I also downloaded The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler and Between You and Me by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I received an email recommending both of these to me and am quite excited about them, especially having loved the Nanny diaries! 

Finally, I downloaded the audiobook of After the Party by Lisa Jewell. I have the paperback of this but I decided to use an audiobook credit on it because I have a long car journey this week and have pledged to get through my Lisa Jewell novels this summer! 

Look out for my review of all of these soon! Thanks to publicists and authors for my books this week! 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

And the winner is... Cora Carmack Giveaway

This morning I drew my Faking It signed copy winner...

Names went into a bowl and I drew one out...

And the winner is....

Please email me your address details and I will post the copy out to you as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who entered and keep an eye out for future giveaways on the blog! 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Review! The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she's sure it'll be her breakout book...if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora's fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it's no deal.

Nora's gruelling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him...or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

Review: I downloaded this novel because I was reading it for a fabulous Twitter book group hosted by author Sophie Hart. I was expecting some full on erotica, maybe a little bit of bondage here and there but what I got was quite a serious story about self-discovery, personal relationship patterns, and also about writing a novel. Of course there was some sex and quite a few scenes set in a secret underground bondage club, but I found it to be more that what it says on the tin, so to speak!

The characters in the book were very interesting to me. We had our writer in residence, Nora, who turns out to be so much more than what she seems. She is a determined woman, and a woman who knows what she wants, but as the book develops, we find out that that there is definitely another side to her, and that side is what really inspires her writing. Her editor, Zach is the male lead in the book. He seems entirely bored with having to work with Nora and their interactions are really quite interesting. What I didn't like about Zach was that he seemed fairly weak-willed, and wasn't really sure what he wanted to be doing with his life. 

My favourite character was Wesley. He was Nora's assistant and also studying. He is such a sweet person and yet does everything in his power to look after Nora and serve her properly. I would LOVE to read a spin off about what Wesley does next because he is most definitely the character that sticks in my mind most of all. I found the storyline fairly easy to follow, although it was slightly redo table. It seems to have quite a slow pace, and I did find myself skimming at times in order to get ahead in the book.

There is an interesting balance of action and dialogue in the book, or perhaps lack of. There are long screeds of description, followed by long periods of conversation. This made it easy for me, when I was not interested in what the characters had to say, to switch off and skim through this section, I preferred the descriptions, I thought the way these sections were written were lovely, and there were some really interesting comparisons made by the author.

Overall I enjoyed the book, but i personally wouldn't be rushing out to download the sequels. I think that if you enjoyed fifty shades, you would probably enjoy this novel. It was a fairly easy read, and because of the predictable nature of the outcome, it went quite quickly. It did have a nice balance of sex scenes and straight things and I think that this is important when looking for erotic FICTION in today's bookshelves. 

Click here if you like what you have read and fancy grabbing yourself a copy now...

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review! Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job a million girls would die for working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a high end bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her hearts content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma's a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy cant shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realises that nothing not her husband, nor her beloved career is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago and directly into the path of the devil herself...

Review: can I just start by saying, this is book is totally not what I expected! Now this is neither a bad thing, nor necessarily a good thing, but I feel a bit unsettled that it wasn't anything like I thought it was going to be. It's always fabulous when you read a sequel because you are revisiting old characters and settings and it feels like you are returning home or meeting friends you haven't seen for a while. I was so excited for the release of this novel and when I got it in my hands, I just had to start reading it immediately. It as a fairly quick read (I read it over the release weekend) but the events that unfolded, weren't the ones that I expected...

I loved the plot of this book. It is ten years on and Andy has grown up. We meet her as she is about to get married, and that, unfortunately is where things start to unravel for her... There is all the drama you would usually expect from a Lauren Weiberger novel, but the issues that the characters are having to face are things to do with mergers, and babies and schools, and divorces, and so I love the plot because of it. I don't want to give too much away as I could be in danger of letting a spoiler or too slip, but I really did enjoy the plot.

I knew I was going to love the characters because I have met most of them before, I like Andy as much as ever, although I feel that she has lost some of the backbone that she acquired during 'Devil Wears Prada'. The others characters in the novels that are returning characters seem to have been scaled down a little bit. Emily isn't quite the aggressive, controlling, bitchy girl that she seemed to be in the first novel, but I am sure that this was a deliberate choice to reflect the fact the she is now older, and more settled in lied. But Miranda Priestly is also not as vicious and snappy as she was in the previous novel. We see glimpses of her horrible side, but it's just not as full on as she has been previously.

I was left feeling lightly disappointed by the events that took place over the course of the book. The ending and the beginning were quite exciting, but I felt that the middle section of the story dragged a little bit. We got over quite a lot of time in quite a short space of pages and I think that this shows, nothing much really happened in that middle section. It was more Andy and her personality sharing, that took place in this part, rather than anything key to the storyline. 

Fans of Weisberger  will not be disappointed by her latest offering, it's great to catch up with the characters, and they have been written incredibly well, to reflect the changes that have gone on in their lives. I was left feeling slightly disappointed in the storyline, but I wouldn't have wanted any events in the book itself to be left out, and so if there had been more drama we would have been left with a novel which was too big to fit in our Prada bags, so there is definitely more than enough for Fans of the devil to be getting on with. This is a great one to pop in your suitcase over the summer and you definitely don't have to have read 'Devil Wears Prada' to understand what is going in in this novel, although I heartily recommend you do, as it is definitely one of my favourite novels! 

You can follow the author on Twitter here: @LWeisberger
And if you have liked what you heard, you can buy the book buy clicking here

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Dougal Trump Book Launch

On Tuesday 18th June I was lucky enough to be invited to the book launch for I'm Dougal Trump...Where's my Tarantula? This is the second book written by Author Jackie Marchant and follows the incomparable Dougal Trump and the rest of his family.
These books could be compared to the likes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Clarice Bean. I grabbed myself a copy of this new book and hope to get a review up on here soon.

The event itself was very popular, held in The Pheonix Club in central London, guests were treated to tarantula biscuits as well as alcoholic refreshments. Jackie's publicist introduced Jackie and her novel, before she told us that although Dougal wanted to come tonight, he was unable and had sent a noted and a present for us in his absence. The note told us that he had to stay in because his mum and dad were making him, and Jackie opened the box to reveal the very tarantula from the book waiting inside.

We were then lucky enough to hear some of the book, which was read by another author, Andrew Wheale. He really made the book come alive and made me even more excited about reading it!

Jackie was then lovely enough to sign copies of her book, and i left very happy and excited to read about Dougal Trump's adventures with my very own Dougal Trump bookmark nonetheless!

Keep checking back to the blog for a review of this book...

You can buy a copy of the book by clicking here.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

To Ten Tuesday: top ten books I've read so far in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This is such a hard list! To narrow it down to only 10 top books over the last 6 months, man! Ok here goes, I'll leave links to the reviews if I have them...

1. A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson
2. The Mummyfesto by Linda Green

3. Geek Girl by Holly Smale
4. Never Google Heartbreak by Emma Garcia
5. The Wish List by Jane Costello
6. Losing it and Faking It by Cora Carmack
7. The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart
8. The Secret Supper Club by Dana Bate
9. The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March

10. The Lovliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Have a look at the reviews of these and you will be able to see why these books made the list. I could probably go on and on, and can't wait to do the next installment of this list!

Leave me a link to let me know what made YOUR list!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Review! The Wish List by Jane Costello

There are six months left of Emma Reiss's twenties. . . and she has some unfinished business.

Emma and her friends are about to turn thirty, and for Emma it's a defining moment. Defined, that is, by her having achieved none of the things she'd imagined she would.

Her career is all wrong, her love life is a desert and that penthouse apartment she pictured herself in simply never materialised. Moreover, she's never jumped out of a plane, hasn't met the man she's going to marry, has never slept under the stars, or snogged anyone famous - just some of the aspirations on a list she and her friends compiled fifteen years ago.

As an endless round of birthday parties sees Emma hurtle towards her own thirtieth, she sets about addressing these issues. But, as she discovers with hilarious consequences, some of them are trickier to tick off than she'd thought…

With only one novel to complete the set, this was a welcome addition to my highly-enjoyable Jane Costello Marathon. A big thanks to Amanda at Onemorepage for sending it to me!

Review: Another cracker of a novel by Jane Costello. I have been thoroughly enjoying working my way through her novels and have been desperate to read the latest addition to her collection. This one is just as witty, fun and entertaining as the rest, certainly up to her usual fabulous standards!

This wonderful author always lands the reader right in on the action and this is no exception, straight away we find out about what exactly 'The Wish List' is and the fact that Emma has a matter of months to tackle it before her thirtieth birthday. We are introduced to all the characters. Emma is wonderful as a Heroine. She is a successful twenty-something with her own flat and a group of fabulously funny friends, and yet she allows this list to take her to places (metaphorically speaking) that she never thought possible. That, to me, is incredibly brave and inspiring. Her friends are fully supportive of her in this quest.

They are all well-developed characters in their own rights. And in true Jane Costello fashion, they all have issues of their own to deal with. Emma's sister Marianne is living in Edinburgh with her boyfriend, but there is some sort of mystery surrounding why she chose to up and leave her fabulous life in London. Cally is a single mum, but her friends are worried that being a mother has taken away the feisty character they once knew! And Asha is in a relationship, the complexities of which unravel of the course of the novel.

Then of course we have the male lead, Matt. At first I thought Matt seemed like a bit of a sap when he sends Emma a message over Facebook, but he turns out to be a really genuine guy who has Emma's best interests at heart even though he also comes with some baggage of his own. The book has the added bonus of a storyline involving Emma's father and his dating life running parallel with the main storyline, this is definitely worth some laughs and rally adds some depth to Emma's own story!

There were countless times when this book made me laugh, also a couple of times when I shed a tear or two. There was one particular moment during a supermarket scene where my blood literally boiled with anger, such is the power of this authors writing! I love the fact that Jane Costello writes in short chapters BUT it does mean that you may find yourself uttering the 'one more chapter' plea and not actually putting the book down for another 150 pages! This is a great addition to Jane Costello's collection of novels. Something that would be enjoyable whether you have read her novels before or not. I think this would appeal to fans of any age and would make an absolutely FABULOUS summer read! 

You can follow Jane Costello on Twitter 
Or click here to buy this fabulous novel!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Letterbox Love #2

Welcome to Letterbox Love, this is a UK meme, hosted by the lovely Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This post is a means by which to highlight the books we get in the post and beyond, and especially to bring attention to those books which may be sat on our shelves for a little while yet that we love all the same.

I've had such a good book haul over the past code of the weeks, I thought I would save it all up for another Letterbox Love! 

I've been sent two books by some lovely publicists this week, these were Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman and The Shadow Year by  Hannah Richell. Am looking forward to reading both of these because I've heard great things about them!

I've been quite active on NetGalley this week too. I've downloaded some FAB books on there which I'm going to review very soon. I was intrigued to read Longbourn by Jo Baker, have heard fab things about Save the Date by Allie Spencer so I'm looking forward to reading both of these. I also downloaded The Humans by Matt Haig and The Desperate Wife's Survival Plan by Alison Sherlock which both looked like fun! 

I went to a book launch this week and got a signed copy of I'm Dougal Trump...Where's my Tarantula? By Jackie Marchant. I'm looking forward to having a nice break whilst I read this one. I may share it with some of the kids at school. Look out for the review of this soon, and pictures of the launch!

With my audiobook credit this month, I decided to download By My Side by Alice Peterson. I'm really looking forward to listening to this one as I have loved all of this authors other novels! 

So all of these fabulous review copies and downloads has also led to be buying more books...there's no surprise there I'm sure! Revenge wears Prada was released this week, so I got myself a copy of that. I also picked up The Runaway Princes by Hester Browne because id heard good things about it on Twitter and Bared to You by Sylvia Day after having had lots of people tell me to read it. Another one I had heard a lot about on Twitter was Love from Both Sides by Nick Spalding. 

This might seem like a lot of books to be going on with, but I've got the summer holidays coming up soon, so I know I'm going to have plenty of time to get through them all. If you'd like to hear what I think about any of them, pop back to the blog soon to see the reviews, or if there's anything you have a burning desire to find out about, just let me know and I'll try and get to that one next! 

Thanks to everyone who has sent me books this week and also thanks for all the recommendations! 

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack Reveal

As an extra treat this week for all Cora Carmack fans, I've been chosen as one of the bloggers to host the KEEPING HER. Preview package! Yes, Cora's next novella is the continuation of Garrick and Bliss's story and you can find out all about it by clicking here:

You can see the gorgeous cover and you will also be able to read all four of the scenes from Garrick's point of view from Losing it, if you're after even more Cora Carmack action! 

You also have the opportunity to chat LIVE with Cora Carmack next week! Cora and Jay Crownover will be participating in a Goodreads chat on 26th june AND there will be a Faking It book club on Cora’s facebook page on 27th Juns from 8pm-9pm (UK time) where you can live chat with Cora about the book and ask her all your burning questions.

You can participate in these fabulous events by clicking here:

I've not included ANY pictures in my post because I want you all to be surprised when you click the link BUT please don't forget, if you're in the UK, you can enter my giveaway to win a signed copy of the fabulous Faking It (check back to Monday for my review).

Happy reading!

Giveaway! Faking It by Cora Carmack SIGNED! (UK only)

Ok so I've had a bit of a Cora Carmack theme to the blog this week and because I loved Faking It as much as I did I decided to do a giveaway.

I have a copy of the FABULOUS Faking It, which Cora personally signed-I handed her the book, she was lovely enough to sign it and I'm giving you the chance to win it!

All you have to do is comment on this post and I will draw the winner one week from today.

I will notify the winner as soon as I can get in touch with them. This giveaway is UK only I'm afriad, but i promise to have an international giveaway at some point over the summer!

Get commenting!

If you don't win a copy of the book, you can always grab yourself a copy here.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review! Gold Star by Josh Evans

Star leaves the city for nowhere, she just needed to get out. Along the way she found a new circus to join, a collective of rock n roll royalty, the coolest music scene in the world up there in the Joshua Tree....

Review: I was lucky enough to be sent this book as part of the blog tour! I thought a novella about Rock and Roll/coming of age sounded really interesting, you know I am always up for trying something new! The novella wasn't really to my taste, but I really enjoyed reading something different, from a different point of view.

Star leaves the big city and the novella is a series of events that she goes through and Pete that she meets. It seems quite daunting meeting all these new people, musicians and managers and the people associated with that whole world. She seems to take it all in her stride through and believes that her grandfather is there guiding her through the whole thing, I found the belief that he was there the whole way through quite admirable, and shows the faith that Star had in him, and herself.

Some of the musicians that she met seemed like typical musicians, and she feels Awfully young to be thrown into a world of drink and drugs, but she gets on with it. There are a few moments where I felt a little uncomfortable for her, and was tempted to step away from the story but she comes though it all. Things do eventually get on top of her, but she finds her own way of dealing with that.

As I said, the novella wasn't really my kind of thing, but I would imagine that if you are into the world of music and coming of age type things, this would be a quirky little read for you. My only really criticism was that it ended rather abruptly. I would have liked to have fond out how things panned out a bit more, it was as if the writer had run out of ink. Perhaps though, he is simply leaving the novella open to develop into something else. A very different read for me, but short and sweet!

Click here to buy the book.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Faking It Making it event with Cora Carmack

On Thursday 13th June I hot-footed it to Random House publishers to a fabulous event hosted by Ebury with Cora Carmack. She was there to talk about her latest book Faking It which was released the week before. The event was very popular and the room was filled with fans an bloggers as she spoke to us about her latest book Faking It as well as her first novel Losing it. It was a real treat to hear her talking about her writing process and the inspiration behin both novels.

She told us that she wrote Losing it in just three weeks, and that was after writing it by hand! She found that there was a gap in the market between YA and adult fiction, she wants dot write something about college age people because when she was in college, she really struggled to find anything out there for her as a reader. She then read from both books and much laughter and appreciation from the audience ensued...

Bloggers and fans were then able to ask questions. Cora was so detailed in her answers, it was lovely to see an author taking so much time out for her fans! She was asked about whether she found it harder to write as a male or as a female. She said that initially, Faking it was going to be written entirely from a male point of view, but that she felt too intimidated to do this and so that's how it ended up as a dual narrative. She was asked a very though question about whether she would go for Garrick or Cade and she very diplomatically decided that she would like a bit of both!

Cora then went on to talk about what she's working on at the moment. She told us about her novella which is written from Kelsey's point of view (Bliss's friend from Losing It) and that full novel number 3 will come out in October, with another novella out in January. Exciting times ahead for Cora Carmack Fans then!

We were then treated to some drinks and activities in the other room which included a Faking It booth, revealing things we had or hadn't faked. Decorating Faking it covers with famous faces as well as pretty shiny things. There were cupcakes and cava, and Cora mingled with her fans, signing books and talking about her plans for future novels! We were lucky enough to take home goody bags containing copies of the books, a condom in a Losing It cover, love hearts, and a fabulous Barry M nail varnish (Barry M sponsored the event).

It was a fabulous evening. Thank you to Ebury for hosting it, and that you very much to Cora for being lovely and singing my book!

You can follow her on Twitter @CoraCarmack and don't forget to check out both of her best selling novels. I have recently posted reviews of both!

Keep your eyes on the blog for a giveaway of Faking it coming soon!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: top ten books on my summer TBR pile

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

My TBR pile is seriously massive right now, so narrowing this down to just 10 books is going to be hard. i think I'll split my choices between books that are coming out and books that I am saving for my time off work in the summer holidays, there are sooooo many more I could talk about though!

1. About a Girl by Lindsey Kelk. I am really looking forward to this coming out in July, and looking forward even more to going and getting it signed. I will probably read this as soon as I get my hands on it, but it still counts as summer reading!

2. Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. This one comes out on Thursday, so again, it won't last until the summer holidays, but still definitely right up there on my TBR pile!

3. I'm a big Milly Johnson fan (as you may have noticed) so I'm really looking forward to this one coming out slap bang in the middle of my summer holidays...and its being released on Yorkshire day as well-how awesome is that? (Totally not biased)

4. This has been on my TBR pile for quite a while now, but because it's hardback, it literally does just sit there. I am looking forward to sitting down with Jennifer E. Smith's This is What Happy Looks Like in my Parents' garden and putting my feet up and just devouring it, cover to cover.

5.I've read a few books recently that have mentioned Jilly Cooper's Riders and also heard some people talking about it on Twitter so I felt that I had to read it, having never done so. my next audio book credit is going on this mammoth listen!

6. You may have noticed that my Paige Toon Marathon has been somewhat shoved aside by other novels in recent weeks, so pledge to finish my marathon over the summer holidays and so she is definitely way up
there on my TBR pile!

7. Another author featuring on my TBR pile is Lisa Jewell. I have a few of her novels languishing on my  bookshelves now and so she is another writer I would really like to catch up with over the summer.

8. I am really looking forward to the release of Finding Colin Firth by Mia March this summer. I loved the Meryl Streep Movie Club and so I'm sure that this will be just as good, if not better!

9. Katie FForde, A French Affair. I have had this sitting on my kindle for a while now, and i begin it but then have to abandon it in favour of something else i have to read for a certain time. I will definitely give it the full attention that it deserves this summer and so that is why it is at the top of my TBR pile!

10. As above, Leftovers  by Stella Newman has been sitting on my Kindle for some time now waiting to be read, and I'm sure I will managed to squeeze it in this summer some time!

There are so many more I could add onto here, some coming out and some which have been sitting on my shelf for ages. I know they're all there and you can keep an eye out for the reviews of these coming up soon on my blog as well as an exciting giveaway! Let me know what's at the top of your summer TBR pile, or indeed if you feel there is anything I am missing from mine! I always love to hear from you!