Friday 31 January 2014

Cover Reveal: The Glow by Helen Whapshott

I'm very excited to bring you another cover reveal today, this time for The Glow by Helen Whapshott...Here's all the info you need on this gorgeous sounding book:





















SYNOPSIS: What would you do if you saw a ghost? Would you ignore it hoping it would fade away, or would you go up to it and see if it needed your help?


When Thirteen year old Megan Webb discovers she has been gifted with The Glow, so called because it gives off a light, like a candle in a dimly lit room attracting ghosts, spirits, and others who belong to the supernatural and paranormal world, she has to learn to come to terms with seeing the world in a whole new way.  

And if this wasn’t enough to deal with during the delicate years between childhood and adolescenceher parents makes the shocking decision to move her away from everything and everyone she knows to live in a creepy hotel inherited by a late aunt.

But it isn’t just the hotel that is creepy, the whole town seems a little odd until she makes friends with a strange boy, a Witch, and a chain-smoking spirit guide who help her adjust. Life couldn’t get any more complicated … could it?


AVAILABLE FORMATS: e-Book on and and Paperback available from and (It will be available for other retailers after October 2014)

BIOGRAPHY: Helen was born in Aldershot in the year of 1980. She survived the infant, junior and senior schools of Cove. Helen started her working life in a bakery before deciding catering wasn’t really for her that she wanted to work in the care industry.


After attending Farnborough College of Technology, where she did her diploma in nursery nursing she took on a variety of roles that included being a Nursery Nurse, a Special Needs Teaching assistant, a support worker for people with special need and a care assistant in a nursing home.


She’s worked as a Health Care Assistant at a local hospital for eight years and also works as a bank carer at a children’s hospice in surrey.


She has five wonderful nephews, a lovely niece, two very understanding parents and extremely patient brother and sister.


Helen has always loved stories, ever since her Mum used to read Hans Christian Anderson and Roald Dahl to her at bedtime.  When she learnt to read by herself she couldn’t get enough of books becoming a big fan of authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as Neil Gaiman and Ben Aaronovitch.


With a love of reading came a love of creative writing. She recalls how her first hit was, “How The Kangaroo Got It’s Hop, at infant school when I was six, but I missed out on seeing my classmate’s enjoyment because I was off several weeks with the mumps; when I got back the hype had died down. A disappointment I’ve never really gotten over! Being able to share my creations this time and is a dream come true.”

Thursday 30 January 2014

Review! The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address...

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...?

Review: I was so so looking forward to this book. I'd heard wonderful things about it before I started reading about it from readers and other authors, sometimes hype like that can lead to disappointment when you actually get to the first page, but not with this book-oh no! This is the kind of bos you will stay up late into the night reading, miss trains and appointments because it absorbs you that much. I knew Rowan Coleman was an awesome writer but this book is just on another level, her writing just gets better and better. If you read dearest rose, you will know that Rowan Coleman writes an amazing emotional journey but because this book deals with the confusing world of Alzheimer's too MUCH emotion would have been over the tops, this book has just the right level of drama and sentimental moments but not so much so as to over emphasise the point. 

Claire is a fabulous character. She is painted as an amazing independent woman, and because of this, the reader can really root for her. She decided to take on life as a young single mum, she has brought her children up with amazing values and she had a successful career and because of all these traits, you can really identify with her. This is why the emotion of the book works so well, you want to see that strong woman and not the woman she is turning into, someone who is watching things slip away before her eyes. Her husband, mother and daughter provide excellent sporting characters and each have their own voice in this story, Caitlin in particular has her own story going on throughout the novel and this dilutes the drama of the Alzheimer's just enough so that not every scene is spent worrying about Claire. Claire's husband is so patient and lovely and understanding and he plays his own special part in this book that will almost definitely leave you in tears. 

Because this novel is written from the points of view of all the main characters, it makes it a real page-turner. You want to find out what happens next and what the next character has to say about it. I really like that we get to hear about all Claire's memories as well as her present from all the different characters. I honestly can't gush about this book enough, it has all the right ingredients for the perfect novel. The ending is just so heartwarming and not the ending you would expect. I think this author could have gone in a completely different direction with the ending of the book and I'm so glad that it ended the way it did. Read this book with tissues and loved ones to hand, it will make you appreciate what you have and think about the future yourself. Even if you've read nothing by this author before, read this (and then her entire back catalogue) because this is truly a wonderful novel! 

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Review: The 5:2 Diet Book by Kate Harrison

Journalist and former yo-yo dieter Kate Harrison has finally won the battle with her weight – now she shares the secrets that are helping thousands of men and women transform their bodies. The 5:2 Diet Book is your comprehensive guide to the wonderful world of intermittent fasting.

This book claims: 

The 5:2 Diet will transform your body, your mind and your health. It’s the revolutionary part-time weight loss diet with lifelong health and anti-ageing results. This is the simplest, most flexible and most health enhancing weight loss programme you’ll ever follow – and with this book to guide you, you can start today. You’ll still get to eat all the foods you love but enjoy incredible health benefits, with positive effects on cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and more.

Intermittent fasting is revolutionising the weight loss world. Simply by eating significantly less for one or two days a week you can trigger incredible physical and mental changes that protect your body and brain from damage and help it repair itself.

And The 5:2 Diet Book – packed with tips, science, recipes, inspiration and case studies from over thirty dieters – will help you join the revolution to lose weight, boost your brain and transform your body.

And it’ll even save you money, with no specialist diet foods or supplements required. No wonder it’s as popular with men as it is with women – and with first-time dieters as with weight loss veterans.

Review: This is an unusual review for me as I've never read a 'diet book' before but I'm committed to supporting the authors that I enjoy reading, and having heard Kate Harrison talk about this book late last year, I thought I'd give it a go. I haven't enough of the diet to review that as yet but I will post an update on the blog when I can give that a proper review soon. It's a bit scary admitting that you're on a diet but in the interest of reviewing the book, it had to be done. 

First of all, I found this book incredibly easy reading. I really enjoyed the structure. There is a mix of Kate's personal experiences in the form of hints and tips from her as well as her own diary entries from her journey on this eating plan. There are also personal experiences from others who have tried this system and I found this really useful because there was a decent mix of ages and genders included. There are obviously facts and figures on how and why the diet works but these are laid out really clearly so that, even if you are new to dieting, they are easy to follow. The final section of the book has some ideas on what to eat on 'fast days' and lays out some recipes, some calorie lists and some ideas for structuring your day. (As I write this I'm actually on a fast day so I may be referring back to those in a moment or two).

I really like Kate Harrison as a writer and so obviously the bit I enjoyed the most was the personal experiences from here, the diaries and her little hints and tips! I also like the fact that the book is laid out so clearly, it makes it easy to flip to the section you want to look at, I've already found myself jumping back to a couple of bits for a spot of re-reading. Kate has also written a 5:2 recipe book and I'm definitely considering getting this but I want to establish how the eating plan works first. Like I say this was a quick read and so even if you're considering changing the way you eat and not sure if this is the plan for you, I'd recommend giving this a read! 

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I'd Never Want to Trade Places With28/1/14

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!

It's an interesting one this week. Obviously I'd never want to swap places with characters who die, or characters who end up in horrible situations but there are still many characters who i definitely wouldn't  want to swap places with for various other reasons. It's a real thinker this week... 

1. Becky Bloomwood. As much as I love her and all her antics, the kind of situations she gets herself into don't appeal to me at all! 

2. Harry Potter. Hogwarts sounds like an awesome place but dealing with dement ours just isn't for me! 

3. Any character in a Nicolas Sparks novel. They just seem to go through terribly dramatic things that leave everyone heaving with sobs, no more drama needed here thanks! 

4. Dex in One Day. Love the book, the ending killed me, definitely couldn't bear to be him! 

5. Harriet Manners. A geek girl I love but I wouldn't want to feel the pressure to conform to the world of modelling and still try and stay true to who I am, definite conflict hell! 

6. Todd in The Knife of Never Letting Go. I honestly couldn't cope with having a taking dog, being able to hear everyone's thoughts, have my mum vanish and be on the run! (Hence why I haven't read the rest of the trilogy!)

7. Any of the characters in This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty. There is so much drama and pain in the novel, it must have been hell to live through, definitely not something I could handle! 

8. Bliss in Losing it. Going to college and feeling the pressure to get a boyfriend and get on with it. I definitely wouldn't want to go through that again! 

9. Raven in Storm and Stone. All the pressures of secondary school, worrying about your financial situation and then something far more sinister going on as well? No thank you! 

10. Jess in Better Together by Nicola May. She goes through so much drama in her relationship life I just wouldn't want any of that again right now, definitely wouldn't want to swap places with her! 

I've tried to include a mix of genres and ages of books, believe me there are many other characters I would NOT want to swap places with, this Si just a selections. Let me know what you think, or if you've produced a list of your own...

Monday 27 January 2014

Cover Reveal: The Guest Book by Holly Martin

I'm very pleased to be doing another cover reveal today. I love seeing new boo covers, they always make me impatient to get my hands on the book though. This book is released on Valentines day so here's an early valentines gift for you. Feast your eyes on this...

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require.  A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling! 

Forget sending postcards saying 'wish you were here' - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

1000 follower giveaway!

Well I finally got there. Late on Saturday evening I finally reached 1000 followers on twitter, that's including all of your lovely people that follow the blog. I said I would do a giveaway when I reached 100 followers and so here it is. I decided I would giveaway a few of the books that I loved last year. I think one of these books just missed making my top 10 books of 2013 but only by a mere whisker. I'm going to open this giveaway up internationally so anyone can enter.

The books I'm giving away are:

Three books that I loved last year, it's raining men by Milly Johnson, take a look at me now by Miranda Dickinson and This Child of Mine by Sinead Moriarty. I know I've done giveaways of a code of these books before but I know there were a few people who were disappointed not to win those giveaways and they really are all fab books so deserve to be in the celebratory giveaway. 

I'll pop a couple of other bits of bookish swag into the  parcel for you as well just for being such fab followers! 

To win, just leave me a comment below telling me why you follow the blog and/or my tweets and you'll be entered into the draw. The giveaway closes on Sunday so you have a week to enter and I'll announce the winner next week! 

Good luck! 

Sunday 26 January 2014

Guest Post: Jennifer Joyce with A Beginners Guide to Salad

I'm delighted to be part of a blog tour for this fab book which I gave a rave review to a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed the book and am so excited to have Jennifer Joyce here on the blog today giving us some more information about her novel, herself and the main character from the novel, Ruth who is a fellow 90s cheese fan (just like me!)

Ruth loves nothing more than curling up in front of the telly with a family-sized bar of chocolate. She doesn’t do diets and she certainly doesn’t do exercise. But all that changes when she’s invited to her school reunion.
Bullied at school for being overweight, Ruth’s first reaction is to rip the invitation into a million pieces. But then Ruth hatches a plan. She’ll lose the weight and arrive at the reunion looking gorgeous and glamorous, leaving her old classmates in awe. Especially her former crush, Zack O’Connell.
With the help of her friends and a new, unbelievably hot colleague, Ruth begins her transformation. With six months until the reunion, losing weight will be a piece of cake, right?

A Beginner’s Guide To Salad is a romantic comedy based around Ruth Lynch. Overweight Ruth was bullied as a child, so when she receives an invitation to her school reunion, she decides to shed the pounds and shock her former classmates.
Ruth is a big fan of cheesy pop. She likes music that is fun and cheerful and dance routines are an added bonus. Early, frizzy-haired Kylie, Steps, S Club 7 – they’re all on her ipod. I’ve compiled a top ten list of Ruth’s favourite songs.

1. Reach-S Club 7
2. Tragedy- Steps
3. Say You'll Be There-Spice Girls
4. Better The Devil You Know-Kylie Minogue
5. Like A Prayer-Madonna
6. C'est La Vie-B*Witched
7. Livin La Vida Loca-Ricky Martin
8. Ooh Aah (just a little bit)-Gina G
9. Love Shack-B52s
10. Girls Just Want To Have Fun-Cyndi Lauper

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. When she isn’t disappearing into her own fictional worlds, she can be found waffling on her blog and reviewing books forNovelicious’ Alternative Thursday.
You can find out more about Jennifer and her book at

Friday 24 January 2014

Cover Reveal: Hopelessly Devoted To Holden Finn by Tilly Tennant

Excited to be taking part in this cover reveal today. It's always exciting seeing the covers of brand new books and I'm a total judges of a book cover. They make me excited and if I like the cover, I'm gonna buy the book! I like the twist to this one that there's a video that goes with it! So here's the fabulous cover and all the info you need about this book...

'There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.

The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.

Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …'

Please check out the cover reveal video...

About Tilly:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family.  Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). She likes nothing better than curling up in a quiet corner with a glass of wine watching the world go by, but can more usually be found taxiing her daughters to parties or taking them on emergency shopping trips. After a huge list of dismal and disastrous jobs over the years, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing, she began working as a temporary secretary in a hospital to boost her income whilst doing a degree in English and creative writing. This job lasted nine years. Not terribly temporary. But it does mean that she knows just what it’s like to make monumental admin cock-ups, spend the month’s wages in the hospital coffee shop and fall in love with all the doctors. As she’s a smug married, however, it’s fortunate that the doctors in question don’t usually feel the same way.

Get in touch with Tilly:


WIN a £10 amazon gift voucher by commenting on Tilly's blog with your funniest celebrity crush encounter. Good luck to all who enter! 

Thursday 23 January 2014

Review: Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling

Behind the ivy-clad walls of an exclusive boarding school, lurks a sinister web of corruption, scandal, and conspiracy. American student Raven Stone has noticed something is horribly wrong. First there were the unexplained disappearances. Then there were the teachers' lies. And now the death threats ...Also entangled in the disturbing turn of events is the enigmatic Kieran Storm - a fellow student with a killer intellect and a body to die for. He's heading for trouble and taking her with him. Raven can feel herself falling in love, but can she trust a boy she knows almost nothing about?

Review: this is a very different kind of book for me and so it did take me a while to get into this, if you are used to reading this kind of YA contemporary though you will have no trouble. And no trouble was exactly what I had when I eventually got into this little gem of a novel. I wasn't so hooked on the character of Raven and so it wasn't until the boys (Kieran and Joe) got involved that I felt the story gathered any pace for me. I felt there was someone about Raven, that she was wallowing in something but I wasn't sure what And I wished she would just shut up and get on with it. The boys were new to the the school and I felt like I was in the same boat as them starting out reading the books with them and so I think I identified with these characters more! 

I knew nothing about this storyline but I found it really interesting. It reminded me a little of the St Trinians stories, but most of all of the Demon Headmaster which was a major favourite of mine as a child and so I enjoyed the school setting and the idea of something not quite right going on inside a school. Being a teacher myself I did become worried about risk assessments and the children's progress over the course of the novel but I managed to squash this most of the time. This story had a lot more action than I normally like in a book but I found it quite exciting and wouldn't rule out reading another novel with this level of action if it was a well-written as this one! 

The love story that goes alongside the action in this novel is a classic protective male, slightly clueless female storyline initially, however, things do evolve and in the end, this female is anything it helpless! I really liked the friendship aspect of the story too and was a surprisingly pleasurable sub-plot! I think if you are a fan of Joss Stirling's other writing, you definitely won't be disappointed with her latest novel. If, like me, to are slightly newer to this genre I think this is an excellent way to ease yourself in and there is enough of a love story there for even the most die hard of romance fans! 

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Review: At Home by Bill Bryson

In AT HOME, Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live. Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote a lot more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping and merely endeavouring to get more comfortable. And that most of the key discoveries for humankind can be found in the very fabric of the houses in which we live. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he did a prodigious amount of research on the history of anything and everything, from architecture to electricity, from food preservation to epidemics, from the spice trade to the Eiffel Tower, from crinolines to toilets; and on the brilliant, creative and often eccentric minds behind them. And he discovered that, although there may seem to be nothing as unremarkable as our domestic lives, there is a huge amount of history, interest and excitement - and even a little danger - lurking in the corners of every home.

Review: having really enjoyed reading One Summer at the end of last year and then meeting Bill Bryson himself shortly after that's I thought I really must tackle the other massive hardback I have of his still sitting unread on my shelf. This was one of the books I was going to read last summer (and the one before that) but never did. Now I did cheat a little bit because I actually listened to this one on an audiobook which I got from the library because I'd enjoyed listening to this fabulous author reading from his own work so much the last time. I actually bought my dad one of his audiobooks for Christmas so I'm sharing the joy as well.

This book was so much more interesting than I thought it was going to be. I love bill Bryson's writing style, it's so chatty and he adds in facts and anecdotes in a way that a good teacher would do when telling you about some new topic or other... I wasn't sure about the subject matter of this book, however, I thought it might be tough going. Bryson goes off on so many tangents about the history surrounding each room of the house, however that this book was actually incredibly consuming. We listened to it on a couple of long car journeys we've done recently and the time passed so quickly because we were being so entertained by the interesting facts and tit bits about various American presidents and the coining of the term eavesdropping. 

I really liked the structure of the book. Bill Bryson moves from room to room in the house introducing the way that room has developed though the ages in British, American and indeed various other cultures. He suggests interesting facts about things that have happened in that room and explores all the possible other areas of interest that are linked to that room, no matter how tenuous. The style of writing is the usual mix of fact, humour and sarcasm, the humour being so deadpan sometimes, you feel you want to give him a look of contempt, the author/reader relationship feels so real! 

There were definitely a few facts and figures that didn't interest me, and if I were reading the hardback copy that I have of this,in might flick over them, but that's just becaus of my personal interest and other readers may be strongly interested in those small paragraphs that don't really grab my attentions, this has nothing to do with the book itself or the writing within. I would definitely recommend a break from fiction with this super work of non-fiction. If you're a fan or Bill Bryson's travel writing, this will be a good transition to his more factual works for you and the audiobook is fabulous if you are wanting a change of media this Jaunary. This book was really very enjoyable although I expected nothing less from this wonderful author! 

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist 21/1/14

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!

I think this is a really interesting one this week. I know what I like to read about and there are definitely plenty of authors out there who like to write about general things I like and things I'm interested in but if I had to be very specific, here are the things on my reading Wishlist. 

1. Glasgow. I would like to read more chick lit novels which are set in Glasgow. There are plenty set in the Scottish countryside, in London, or Edinburgh but I love Glasgow so I want a heroine who lives in the west end and generally lives and shops in Glasgow. 

2. The London Underground. There are some books which feature this in passing or as a means to an end but there aren't enough books which feature the London Underground more heavily. I'm a massive fan of the tube map and have become much more familiar with using the underground regularly since I have moved closer to it so I would like to read more about it. 

3. Primary school teachers. I've read several books featuring some amazing primary school teachers and I'd love to read some more! 

4. Guinea pigs. I have two guinea pigs as a let even though I definitely fit into the age group of most of my favourite chick lit heroines. I would like to see more chick lit heriones with guinea pigs or hamsters as pets. 

5. Women who drink whisky. I'm a big whisky fan (single malt of course) and there aren't enough women in fiction who go to whisky tastings or receive a lovely single malt for valentines day, I think this should change! 

6. Books. I love reading books about books groups and people who read lots of books but I would like to see more of it, perhaps from an author's perspective or a blogger's...

7. Characters who move more than once. There are plenty of books which feature characters moving to a new home but the reality for most of us isn't that we move just once, it's that we move a handful of times, especially in those post uni years. In the past few years I have moved up and down the country, in and out of parents and boyfriends houses, in and out of flats of my own. I'd like to see more characters doing this. 

8. Shopping malls. The arcade now features a fabulous shopping mall and Milly Johnson often has her character go shopping in meadow hall but we don't really get to see white people do when they shop there. I'd love to see some characters in some of the malls of the world that I have shopped in, I think that would be really fun! 

9. Going to Disneyland. A random one but why not tell me about someone visiting Disney land, perhaps the character is Disney obsessed, maybe she is stalking prince Eric, who kings, could be fun! 

10. Books about people like me. I've stated before that I'm a lazy reader and as you can see from this list, most of my wished for items are things that I'm involved in on a daily basis, but overall that's what I want, to read books about people like me doing things I've done or always wanted to do.

So there you have it. Let me know if I think there are any books that fit the bill for me, or if you agree with any of my choices, and if there are any authors reading this, feel free to write any of these wishes into your novel (only kidding!)