Friday, 31 October 2014

Cover reveal! Cathy Bramley's Appleby Farm Series!

Great news! Cathy Bramley is back with a brand new series! It's a spin off series from her fabulous Ivy Lane Series from 2014, so that should be exciting. And here, lovely readers, are the fab new covers....

Aren't they pretty and beautiful?! Anyways, I'm going to hand over to Cathy to tell you what they're all about because I'm far too shrouded in jet lag to tell you myself, don't forget to click the link at the bottom if you want to have a read! 

After I finished writing Ivy Lane earlier this year, my editor asked me if I’d consider a spin-off series, taking one character from Ivy Lane and plunging them into a new setting and a new story with perhaps a few surprise visits from some old friends from Ivy Lane. I thought this was a great idea and immediately set to work creating Appleby Farm, which I’m hoping readers of Ivy Lane will fall in love with.

It’s set in the glorious Lake District, an area I adore, and follows the story of a young woman and her fight to save the farm which has been in her family for generations. It features lots of wonderful people including a very attractive farmer on neighbouring Willow Farm, Vintage tearooms, a trip to Paris and a wedding. Appleby Farm will be published by Transworld in four monthly parts between February and May 2015 and they are all available to pre-order now!

The covers themselves have been designed by Kate Forrester, the same illustrator who drew my Ivy Lane covers and I think she has conjured up the warm and friendly farm set in the beautiful Lake District perfectly.

The link to part one on Amazon UK is

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Review: More Fool Me by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry invites readers to take a glimpse at his life story in the unputdownable More Fool Me.
'Oh dear I am an arse. I expect there'll be what I believe is called an "intervention" soon. I keep picturing it. All my friends bearing down on me and me denying everything until my pockets are emptied. Oh the shame'
In his early thirties, Stephen Fry - writer, comedian, star of stage and screen - had, as they say, 'made it'. Much loved in A Bit of Fry and LaurieBlackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel, The Liar, with a glamorous and glittering cast of friends, he had more work than was perhaps good for him.
What could possibly go wrong?
Then, as the 80s drew to a close, he discovered a most enjoyable way to burn the candle at both ends, and took to excess like a duck to breadcrumbs. Writing and recording by day, and haunting a never ending series of celebrity parties, drinking dens, and poker games by night, in a ludicrous and impressive act of bravado, he fooled all those except the very closest to him, some of whom were most enjoyably engaged in the same dance.
He was - to all intents and purposes - a high functioning addict. Blazing brightly and partying wildly as the 80s turned to the 90s, AIDS became an epidemic and politics turned really nasty, he was so busy, so distracted by the high life, that he could hardly see the inevitable, headlong tumble that must surely follow . . .
Containing raw, electric extracts from his diaries of the time, More Fool Me is a brilliant, eloquent account by a man driven to create and to entertain - revealing a side to him he has long kept hidden.

More Fool Me

Review: Having enjoyed previous autobiographical titles by Stephen Fry I was keen to give this new one a go. I enjoyed listening to Fry's last books as an audiobook and so i read this one as an audiobook too. I really enjoy listening to people telling me about their lives in their own words. Thi9s books doesn't necessarily pick up where the last left off but starts somewhere in the 90s and tends to flash backs and forth a little bit. Now whilst this might sound confusing, the structure of it really works, we don't have to be chronological all of the time, and it becomes more a series of anecdotes rather than the, then next year this happened, format-much more fun!

I do sometimes find myself losing track of who's who when it comes to Stephen Fry'[s books, but i just go along with it and eventually i realise who it is that's being talked about. This is possibly because he has a tendency to name drop ad lib, but i was in no confusing during the chapter where he talked about Prince Charles and Diana coming round on New Year's day! There were some moments where people made me laugh and because i knew so many of the people he was talking about I could picture so many of them doing the things he was describing. In a sense, a lot of this book isn't actually about him but stories in which he is involved in some way!

This book has had a lot of hype because of Fry's stories of taking cocaine and the trouble, or lack of trouble that that got him in,. This book is by no means completely about drug fuelled binges, neither does it condone drugs. I actually learnt stuff about cocaine that I didn't know and he talks a little about the dealers and the vicious circle that one gets into when one has a dealer and so on. I actually found this aspect really interesting and yet, still have no desire to have anything whatsoever to do with Cocaine.

I think my favourite part of the book was the chapter about the Groucho Club. It is mentioned on numerous other occasions but there is a whole chapter explaining how he became a member and what soprdid things happened to him there (I could totally picture him not knowing who Blur were in the bar!) The final section of the book is comprised of diary entries from him. I wasn't so keen on this structure because i felt it dragged a little. There were short diary entries that I didn't think necessarily needed to be there and so i felt like i was wasting my time somewhat after the gallant pace that had been upheld for the previous portions of the book. Overall I really enjoyed this read though and the anecdotes, I'm sure, will keep me amused again and again!

The book was also enhanced for me by going to the cinema to see the More Fool Me live from the Royal Festival Hall. There were parts where Fry simply read from the book but others where you got bonus material and little extra anecdotes and his bit about Australian accents was just fabulous. I like when I can have a little bit extra to a book, such an an author signing or an event with them and this, for me, was a really lovely extra and well-worth the trip to the cinema!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review: I Will Marry George Clooney (By Christmas) by Tracy Bloom

There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only answer is to marry George Clooney.

For Michelle, that time is now.

Slogging her guts out in a chicken factory, whilst single-handedly bringing up a teenager who hates her, is far from the life that 36-year-old Michelle had planned. 

But marrying the most eligible man on the planet by Christmas could change all that, couldn’t it?

Sometimes your only option is to dream the impossible - because you never know where it might take you…

Review: I absolutely flew through this book-Tracy Bloom certainly knows how to write a page turner that rolls along nicely. The storyline itself was slightly too fanciful for me but was definitely a lot of fun to read. The characters were all very believable, I just couldn't imagine someone who works in a chicken factory embarking upon this mission to track down George Clooney, going to such extreme lengths as heading to Italy just to seek him out.

I really liked the realer aspects of this storyline though, the relationships between mother and daughter, the reality of sticking around in your home town and what the means. A bit of unrequited love and bit of bit of guilt from grief thrown in there and it was a really good plot! There is also an incredibly satisfying twist fairly close tot he beginning of the novel that had me gasping into my Starbucks!

I loved the characters in this novel because they all seemed so real to me. I could imagine them in the chicken factory and the dynamics between them! I really liked Michelle because she clearly wanted to better herself and, like a real person, she was at times a little frustrating, which made me urge her on and root for her happiness. I also loved Daz. I could totally imagine him and he can be seen in thousands of our Friends from school up and down the country. I would love to know what is happening with him and what he is doing now-spin off maybe?

The Christmasey aspect of the book wasn't really a massive presence. It is suggested and it is cold and there are fairy lights but don't be expecting a festive fairytale or carols round the tree because you won't find it here. Some  would say that this is the prefect antidote when you've read enough of the extra christmasey novels and you want to take it down a level for a book-this is the one to read. Overall I enjoyed the book and I will always be a fan of Tracy's writing style-plus that twist was completely fab and i totally didn't see it coming!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review: Darcy Burdock Hi So Much by Laura Dockrill

Ten-year-old Darcy sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her. This second book sees Darcy move-up to Big School - and all of a sudden EVERYTHING changes. Her best friend Will isn't sure he should talk to girls anymore, her new teacher may in actual fact be a cauldron-bubbling witch and, horror of horrors, her precious pet Lamb-Beth goes missing. Can Darcy face these challenges head-on, armed only with her curious, whip-smart mind and eye for a story?

Joyous drawings, colourful characters and a high-energy voice - the Darcy Burdock books are packed with personality from start to finish.

Review: another gorgeous gorgeous book from Laura Dockrill. Her books are just filled with so much energy and enthusiasm, you can see her personality leaping off the page and it is wonderful. This book has so much value as well. Poor Darcy has just started big school and it's not all it's crack up to be. As we met Darcy in the first book just thinking about big school and moving on, it is wonderful to see how she is getting on now! This book would be wonderful to read with children who are transitioning from primary to secondary, or those who are finding secondary school a little trickier than they thought! It teaches them so many lessons about wanting to fit in and standing by your own values and opinions as well as not giving up and letting your personality shine through. 

This books had me laughing just as much as the first book. Although this wasn't as fast paced as the first, there are still tons of laughs to be had, not as much rudeness as book one though. Interestingly, I was reading this with some year 6 children and they weren't sure about how naughty Darcy was, they thought perhaps some of the stuff she was doing was wrong, they still really warmed to her and wanted to see her having her writing published in the school paper. 

This book has some wonderful strong themes of friendship and family too and was brilliantly realistic when it came to relationships between 11 year olds and relationships at home. The school setting was brilliantly written and I loved the recurring characters. There is a point where you are genuinely worried that something terrible is about to happen, but it is so well written it doesn't cause you too much anguish and safe to say, everything is alright now. I am so excited that this is going to be a 5 book series and I am just about to begin book 3-I can't wait! 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Guest Review: Waterfall by Lauren Kate

Today you guys are very lucky because I have a fabulous guest review on the blog today. One of my students recently read the first 2 books in the Teardrop series by Lauren Kate and loved them so much, she wanted to review them for the blog. Its always lovely to have a young adult book reviewed by a young adult reader and I think you'll agree, her review puts mine to shame!

“Wisdom holds a candle to experience, but you’ve got to take the candle and walk alone.”            
Written by Lauren Kate, this book is a sequel to Teardrop. Just  as the previous book, Waterfall is about Eureka but the difference from the last book is this one is about Eureka’s consequences for raising Atlantis.

Waterfall is about how Eureka faces her challenges, it’s about how  Eureka gets whisked off to the returned land, it’s about how Eureka decides to walk her path (by choosing whether to follow Atlas or to follow her heart) and it’s about how eureka decides to live her life.

Noah’s - AKA Brooks’s - life may be released from Atlas’s control but to him alive is something only Eureka and Ander know how to do. It is a question of life and death in which Eureka has to give up Ander or Brooks.

In the book, Eureka’s relationship with Ander suddenly goes off in another direction because of a hidden reason, which can only be possessed by reading the book.

Cat , Eureka’s friend, plays an important part in the book especially after she finds out her quirk as does Trenton and Eureka’s step-siblings.

The characters from the Teardrop are continued in the book: Eureka, Ander, Brooks, Diana, Trenton, Atlas and Eureka’s siblings but a few more are added on, such as: Solon, Delphine, Gossipwitches and many more.

Unlike Teardrop, Waterfall is mostly set in one or two places: Solon’s cave or Atlantis. Like Teardrop, the book is captivating and is hard to predict the next chapter even if it’s set in mostly one place.

The book is very captivating. It is immensely tense and has a raw energy. The pros for the book, for me, was that it had action and fun but unfortunately it had too much action and was way too tense. The only con about the book is that it’s too intense but hopefully the book will be just right for you with only pros and no cons.

This book is amazingly awesome but I would recommend this book to young adults and teenagers; this book has romance for older people. If you want to read the book, go ahead; my opinion isn’t necessarily required for you but it suit my recommended readers.

So there you have it, Waterfall’s review, I hope you will like the book and my review has given you a sense of direction. Remember, Eureka has been through a lot and will go through some more so read the sequel, if you want to. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Richard Madeley Event

Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous |Books and the City event at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. The event featured Richard Madeley, who was being interviewed about his books by fellow author Hannah Beckerman. This is always a wonderful venue for book events and they always look after use very well. We sipped champagne and nibbled on canapes as we were waiting for the event to start before being led into the room and introduced to the very charismatic Richard Madeley.  

Hannah was a wonderful compare, asking him questions about his writing process, his choice of subject matter and of course, what he will be writing next! The juicy gossip is that his next book will be set in 1976 and in the Lake District where Richard used to work as a radio journalist. It doesn't sound like there's any psychopaths in this novel but it does sound like it will have some dark subject matter and of course, like his other books, a beautiful protagonist who may, or may not, be as beautiful as she seems!

He revealed that when he is at home, he and Judy will bounce ideas off each other about their respective works in progress. The other interesting thing that he talked about was the Richard and Judy book club, they've JUST decided on the next round of books and so are beginning to read through those themselves. They have to whittle it down from hundreds of titles and they will only pick ones that they really really love and genuinely want to read themselves. They're had some excellent titles and apparently only disagreed over one title over the years!

The event was a wonderful night out with gorgeous canapes, excellent company and a wonderful author at the helm. At the end of the evening Richard was kind enough to sign our books for us and was genuinely kind and chatty and funny. 

The Books and the City team were fab and it was with regret that i left them sipping cocktails and discussing fabulous fiction in the wonderful Red Bar and headed off home!

Thanks to Richrad, the Grosvenor team and the Books and the City team for a wonderful event. The book was of course, a brilliant and read, i reviewed it back in August so now you've seen the author, you should definitely check out his material!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Guest Review Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Today you guys are very lucky because I have a fabulous guest review on the blog today. One of my students recently read the first 2 books in the Teardrop series by Lauren Kate and loved them so much, she wanted to review them for the blog. Its always lovely to have a young adult book reviewed by a young adult reader and I think you'll agree, her review puts mine to shame!

“Wisdom holds a candle to experience, but you’ve got to take the candle and walk alone.”

Written by Lauren Kate, this book is about a 17 year-old girl who, if cries, can drown the whole, wide world. Her name is Eureka Boudreaux’s  ; she’s Catholic. Her mum died, she committed suicide - but failed - and her dad married again (as if he never cared for Eureka’s real mom). Also, Eureka’s step-mother treated her like rubbish; in other words Eureka has been through a lot but Eureka’s step-sister and step-brother are awesome and kind towards her.

In the book, Eureka meets a stalker,who (claims he isn’t stalking but observing her - “I’m not stalking you , I'm observing. there’s a difference, you know.” - and) says if he ever left her alone, she would die. Eureka’s stalker ,Ander, tells her he has been watching her for a long time and at first he didn’t want to do it but his family, his cult, made him do it. When he describes his family, Eureka realises that they want her dead as she can drown the whole wide world and raise a continent.

Going through adventures, love and betrayal, Eureka has to face a lot (but I won’t spoil your fun by telling the whole story) just as she has done throughout her life. Reka - her nickname- doesn’t want to believe, that just like her mother who had drowned because of a freak, rogue wave, her best friend will betray her, make her cry, make a continent appear, kill her, then die himself. Reka thinks that she can’t trust anyone, because of his and a fortune teller’s prediction, she thinks that she can’t trust Ander, who for so long, has only tried to help.

Review: Cliff Hanger is the name for the book; it is one. In the end the book’s story and prediction didn’t exactly came true but one thing is for sure Ander’s cult, the Seedbearers, will stop at nothing to prevent Atlantis’s return so Eureka, Ander, Cat (eureka’s other best friend), Trenton(eureka’s dad), Eureka’s step-siblings and the body of eureka’s dead step-mother have to travel across several seas with a powerful shield to avoid their deaths, knowing that their best friend is out there waiting for the best moment.

This book is consisted of the following characters: Eureka, Ander, Brooks(AKA Noah), Cat, Trenton, Diana, Eureka’s step-siblings, Eureka’s stepmother and many more.

The setting of the book is ever-changing. It starts from in a psychiatry ward to a field outside. You can never guess where the next setting might be which proves it is a cliff hanger.

Teardrop is utterly wonderful. This book is captivating; it took all of my willpower to put it down. It has a raw energy that’s tense but calm. It was the first book I have ever read written by Lauren Kate and it was awesome, it was achingly romantic and unbelievably vulnerable but it was also at the same time heartbreaking and resilient. My view on the book would be really really good as it reaches my level of expectations. I have absolutely no dislikes for the book and I hope you won’t either.

The pace - the fastest timing you can read the book - of the book for me was fast: I completed the book within a day, but it was still a big book (consisting about 400 pages) and it had taken me the whole of the day.

This book is amazingly awesome but I would recommend this book to young adults and teenagers; this book has romance for older people. If you want to read the book, go ahead; my opinion isn’t necessarily required for you but it suit my recommended readers.

So there you have it, Teardrop’s review, I hope you will like it and my review has given you a sense of direction. Remember, Eureka has been through a lot and will go through some more so read the sequel (Waterfall), if you want to. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Guest Review: From Notting Hill With Four Weddings Actually by Ali

Movie addict Scarlett O'Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she's dreamed of - but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread.
Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiancé, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie - life couldn't be better.
But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous. As she begins to experience the other side to being rich and famous, it's not only Scarlett's perfect wedding that's put in jeopardy, but her whole world.

Review: I have to admit from the outset that I had no idea that this was, in fact, the third book in a series about Scarlett O'Brien, the heroine of the tale. I didn't find that out until after I had finished reading. Therefore, I can attest to the fact that story stands perfectly well on its own. However, I liked it so much that I wish I had read the others. This was a book that I literally couldn't put down. Luckily I was on holiday when I read it or I possibly wouldn't have got any work done for a few days!

In addition to Scarlett, the story includes a cast of really strong, interesting and colourful characters, all of whom are likeable and entertaining, with one notable exception. This last character introduces a dark note of danger into the story. Ali McNamara cleverly keeps us guessing all along if good is going to triumph over evil, but you really hope it will.

I found Scarlett to be an amazing person, with many strings to her bow. She is a successful business woman living a transatlantic existence that we can all envy, although where she gets the energy to keep up her pace of life is a mystery to me. Despite being so busy with work interests, poor Scarlett is trying really hard to find the perfect venue for her wedding to her fiancée, Sean, but is struggling due to lack of free time. Sean is also busy with work and travels a lot, so they don't have much opportunity to explore venues together. All very frustrating.

As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. I think it is story-telling at its best. It stands alone well, but it might be fun to read all three in the series.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sophie Kinsella & Adele Parks at The Guildford Literary Festival

Last Wednesday I had the very great privilege of attending the Guildford Literay Festival to see an event with the fabulous Sophie Kinsella. It was a double treat because I also got to see Adele Parks interviewing her, another fab author who I was very excited to meet! 

Adele was a wonderful host asking Sophie all sorts of interesting questions revealing the fact that there is definitely another Becky Bloomwood book in the pipeline, Sophie thinks of a Becky as a character that lives her own life, even when she isn't writing about her and that she did most of the research for the latest novel, shopaholic to the Stars whilst on the shopaholic movie set in Los Angeles. 

It was a great even and so brilliant to be able to hear two of my favourite authors have a chat. I was also rather star struck to be sitting next to the brilliant author Carole Matthews. I attended the event with Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa, her blog is definitely worth checking out! 

At the end of the event we both got our books signed and got to meet Sophie and Adele who were lovely and friendly. It was a great night and I will definitely be checking out Guildford Literary festival again next year! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series I want To Start 21/10/14

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!

There are series I actually have on my shelf that I haven't started yet, there are series that I know I'd like that I'd love to get into. A lot of these are actually young adult series but still things I'd like to read. I'll try to balance things I do own vs things I don't. Also just want to add that I've successfully read a couple of series I'd been meaning to for ages fairly recently so, YEY! 

1. The uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I own these, how have I not read them?

2. The Delirium series by Lauran Oliver. I own these too so now I must read them! 

3. The Vet series by Cathy Woodman. I loved the little novella that was out earlier this year and so now I need to catch up with the series! 

4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare everyon has been talking about it and I'm literally the only one who hasn't given it a go! 

5. The teardrop Series by Lauren Kate- I have the first two proofs and so I really ought to read them! 

6. Just one Day/Year duology by Gayle Forman-Loved If I Say/Where she went so this is next! 

7. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. This has been on my Wishlist for ages! 

8. The Lunar Chronicals by Marissa Meyerr. I have the first two out of the library and I've renewed the, so many times, I must read them! 

9. The a Shiver Series by Maggie Steivfater. I own these, enough said! 

10. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I still don't actually know if I want to read these or not-major dilemma, there's a possibility I may just watch the films-horrible I know! This actually also applies to The Hunger Games-Sinful! 

There you go-please don't judge me! Let me know of you've done this top ten below...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Cover Reveal: One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin

Exciting news! I can revealed for you lucky lot the fabulous, gorgeous, extra festive cover of Holly Matin's latest festive offering, One Hundred Christmas Proposals!

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals.
If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn't get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times - made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.

Introducing... Miranda Mondays!

I'm here to let you know that I am part of #TeamBea and therefore I am going to be featured on Miranda Mondays over the next few weeks in the run up to the release of Miranda Dickinson's fab new novel I'll Take New York!

Miranda will be appearing on the blog of all of us in #TeamBea bringing you exclusive content, perhaps a sneak preview, perhaps an interview or even a giveaway-how exciting! So kep your eyes peeled for my Miranda Monday very soon and also look out for me talking more about I'll Take New York in the run up to the release in December! Take a look below at what you can look forward to and keep an eye on twitter to see who is featuring Miranda Monday this week! 

Happy Miranda Monday! 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I had a really good reading week!

So this week has been a pretty good reading week for me. Lack of voice at the start of the week meant no phonecall distractions and I had a couple of days in bed too so I listened to an audiobook. 

The 24 hours readathon has just finished and I reached my goal of reading Fairytale Of New York and I'll Take New York both by Miranda Dickinson. I wanted to re-read Fairytale because I'll Take New York is a companion novel and I read Fairytale in 2009 so I needed to get back into that world again! 

I loved reading both of these and even finished with an hour to spare. I read 881 pages, listened to an hour of the Miniaturist on Audiobook, had 6 cups of tea, 3 cups of coffee, a beer, a diet coke and an iced tea (as well as meals and snacks!) and I really enjoyed being able to sit down and get back into Miranda Dickinson's world again. I'll take New York is released in December so look out for more news and my review of that soon! 

I also read some novellas this week. I read the August and Spetember episodes of The Arcade. These were really fun and I'm looking forward to the October episode coming out soon! 


I also read Real Elves by Helen Smith which is. Christmas short story with a bit of a twist. This was a really fun, short read! 

This leads nicely into the Sunday challenge which was to read a Chritmas book this week. Sunday Challenge is Arranged by This Chick Reads on Twitter and is a great way to get you motivated to get through your TBR each week! I read the short story mentioned above. The two books by Miranda Dickinson which born feature Christmas fairly heavily and I also read I Will Marry George Clooney (By Christmas) by Tracy Bloom-review coming soon! 

On top of these lovely books I started and finished listening to Billy and Me On Audiobook and also read Where She Went by Gayle Forman, the sequel to If I Stay which I LOVED reading this summer! 


I also finished reading Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and started reading Special Delivery by Clare Dowling (which also takes place at Xmas!) both are awesome books too! 

Altogether in terms of complete books this week, I read 2055 pages which is immense, I don't think I've read that much when I've actually been doing a week long readathon. The 24 hours of reading did help (I did sleep about 6 of those hours!) but still, am really pleased so have enjoyed so many books this week (and cups of tea).

I enjoyed the Sunday challenge, I enjoyed the readathon and now it's onto a new week. It's a busy one so I'm not expecting much from this week and I'll never be able to compete with my reading of the last 7 days! Look out for the reviews soon! 

Happy reading x


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Beneath The Moon & Stars competition!!

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne is out now.  Here’s the blurb.
Home, sweet home…
Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.

That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even herneighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction.

But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

To celebrate the launch Amelia has a fab prize bundle to giveaway.  You could win these gorgeous hand carved wooden necklaces, a £15 iTunes voucher and a £50 theatre ticket voucher.

All you have to do is copy one of the pre-prepared tweets below, tweet it and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this prize bundle.  The more you tweet, the more times you’ll be entered.
You can even make up your own tweet about the book, just as long as it has the book link to amazon, ( the hashtag #BeneathTheMoon and Amelia’s Twitter name @Amelia_Writes in the tweet you’ll be entered into the draw.  
The competition will run until midnight (UK time) on Sunday 26th October and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 28th October so plenty of time for tweeting.  Every time you tweet, you’ll be entered into the draw.

Good luck!

Dewey's 24 hour Readathon!

lg new readathonbutton border

This is just a quick post to say that I will be participating in the Dewey's 24 hour readathon on Saturday 18th October at 1pm.

This will be my first 24 hour readathong so I'm not suire how it will go as I've only done weeklong or 5 day long readathons before but I'm going to give it a go!

I'm going to try and use this time to read a couple of books I've been wanting to read/re-read for ages by Miranda Dickinson. My favourite-Fairytale of New York and the sort of sequel (which actually has me in it) I'll Take New York.

I'm really excited to read both of these ready for the release of I'll Take New York in December. If I fancy a break from one author over the course of the 24 hours (as if I would!) then I have a couple of novella on my Kindle to Choose from and a few audio books I could possibly listen to as well (although that would definitely eat into my 24 hours big time!)

Wish me luck!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Beneath The Moon And Stars by Amelia Thorne Chapter 3!!!

Ok, I'm really spoiling you guys this week, well Amelia Thorne is because not only have you been able to read chapter one and chapter 2 or her fab new novel, I've not got the hat trick, I've got chapter 3 for you to read. If you need to read more after that, click the link at the bottom and order the whole novel to enjoy at your leisure!

Chapter Three
Finn was standing at the bottom of his garden, staring at the heather covered hills that swept up from his back fence. It was early morning and the sun, if it had bothered to come out at all, was currently hiding behind heavy rain clouds. He had never minded the rain. In fact he loved it, it was always so peaceful. The only noise he could hear was the soft thud of raindrops hitting his hood. That was until he heard a wailing behind him.
He turned quickly, wondering if someone had been hurt, and immediately saw Joy dancing around in her bedroom window, seemingly singing or rather shrieking her version of ‘It’s Raining Men’. She was wrapped only in a towel, a tangle of red wet hair hanging down her back. She spun around and as she did the towel fell away. His eyes drank her in. In a flash, his hands were caressing her pale, milky skin, feeling the fire of her hair between his fingers, pulling her warm body against his.
Unashamed, she carried on dancing. If it could be called that. Every part of her seemed to be wiggling as if she was attached to strings and controlled by a very drunk puppeteer. Her arms were punching up and down, her hips going side to side and her knees knocking together. But none of this detracted from the incredibly beautiful body. The innocent enthusiasm was incredibly endearing. After the night before, he expected her to be moping around, but it seemed nothing could keep Joy in a bad mood. He couldn’t help but smile at her.
The music obviously changed, because the next thing she was screaming along to ‘Lady Marmalade’ by All Saints. He didn’t need to be fluent in French to know the lyrics meant ‘Do you want to sleep with me tonight.’ Every teenage boy on his university trip to France made sure they knew those words if nothing else. The terrible dancing had changed too. It was still terrible but was now what could only be classed as provocative, as she ground her hips round in slow circles.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her. What an absolute creep he was. But no matter how much he despised himself, he could do nothing to stop it.
Suddenly anger flooded through him. She knew he was out here, that’s why she was dancing like this. How could she not see him? He was wearing a bright yellow hoodie; it’d be pretty hard to miss. She was either trying to turn him on, or she was just teasing him to wind him up.
Either option was not pleasing in his book.
He stormed back into the house, out onto the street and hammered on her front door.
It took a few moments for her to answer, when she did she was thankfully wrapped in a white robe. Her face was flushed with happiness, which immediately vanished as soon as she saw him.
‘Let’s get one thing straight, I don’t like you, and I certainly don’t fancy you. That little show you’ve just put on for my benefit only made you look ridiculous.’
Her mouth fell open, her face going a bright shade of red. She’d clearly had no idea he was out there. But he’d started now, so he was damned sure he was going to finish.
‘I suggest if you want to dance, badly may I just point out, that you put some bloody clothes on or draw the curtains. That way I won’t see something I really don’t want to see.’
With that he marched back to his house.
But she was hot on his heels.
‘You arrogant, conceited, jumped up little shit. I was not dancing for you. I didn’t even know you were there. And you know what, if I want to dance naked in the privacy of my own home, I will. I suggest if you are offended by my nudity, you look away, instead of pervingon me like the disgusting creep that you are.’
She flounced away.
He caught her arm and span her round.
‘Hey!’ came Zach’s voice, protectively, though he was wise enough not to come any closer.
Finn stared down at Joy, his jaw clenched. Her eyes, currently filled with hatred, were an intense olive green, tiny freckles covered her nose and shoulders. Her lips…
He let her go, taking a step back before he closed the gap between them and kissed her. What was wrong with him? She infuriated him; he certainly didn’t like her in that way.
He flashed Zach an obligatory filthy look, looked back to Joy, at her wet hair dripping down her neck, at the swell of her breast that was peeping out the top of her robe, and then stormed back into his own house.
Joy watched him go, her heart pounding.
‘You ok?’ Zach stepped up to her a fraction too late.
She nodded, aware that her hands were shaking.
‘What was that about?’
Er…’ she tore her eyes away from Finn’s front door and looked at Zach instead. ‘Just Finn making it very clear he doesn’t like me.’
‘Oh that. Don’t take it personally, he doesn’t like anyone.’
She noticed Zach’s eyes travelling down her body, his pupils widening with lust. She looked down to see that her wet hair was making the robe damp and see-through. Folding her arms across her chest she moved back towards the house.
‘I’ll see you later.’
His face fell slightly as she closed the door.
How strange to be so desired and so hated within a matter of seconds. Her heart was still pounding furiously. In part it was down to anger at Finn’s arrogance and comments, but she knew mainly it was down to a wave of desire and need that had crashed over her when he had grabbed her and spun her around. If he had thrown her over his shoulder and carried her back to his cave right then, she would have only protested out of principle.
Suddenly a disgusting smell hit her nose. She looked around to find the source and saw a piece of paper, with what could only be dog poo on it. Scrawled across the paper in large angry capital letters was the word BITCH. It had clearly been posted through her letterbox that morning, but because she had opened the door, she had dislodged half the poo and it had mushed into the carpet and underneath the door.
Retribution for Mrs Kemblewick was swift indeed. She stomped into the kitchen to get a bowl of hot soapy water to clean up the mess and knew she would have to come up with a plan and quick.
Casey let himself through Finn’s back door and helped himself to a bottle of beer from the fridge before moving through to the front room. Finn was sprawled out on his sofa, reading a book and he looked at Casey over the top of it when he walked in.
‘Could have got one for me while you’re raiding my fridge,’ Finn said, marking his place in his book and throwing it onto the coffee table. He stood up and stretched, showing the toned muscles in his stomach for a brief second. If Casey didn’t know better, he’d think Finn was deliberately torturing him.
Casey sat down, picking up the book as Finn went to get a beer for himself.
‘Any good?’ he waved the book in the air as Finn returned.
‘I have no idea,’ Finn sighed.
Casey smiled. ‘Yeah, I thought you might say that. Are you doing ok?’
‘Not really.’
‘Joy’s incredibly beautiful.’
‘She’s not my type.’
‘Oh come on, are you saying that to convince me or yourself?
Finn sat down. ‘Me, obviously. If I say it enough, I might start to believe it.’
Casey stroked the head of Billy, Finn’s straggly dog. His heart went out to Finn. For him to have his heart broken twice by the same woman must have been horrendous. Finn’s child would have been a year old now and Casey wondered how often Finn must think about that.
‘Admittedly Joy has red hair like Pippa but that’s where the similarities end. She’s lovely. You’d really like her if you gave her a chance.’
Finn stared at Casey as if he’d just suggested he should chop off his own head.
‘I can’t do a relationship again, I just can’t. Pippa hurt me spectacularly and I never want to be hurt like that again.’
‘Mate, I’m not suggesting you marry her or even jump into bed with her, I’m just saying be nice. Don’t treat her like scum just because she has the same hair colour as your ex-wife. She’s had a bit of a rough life…’ He hesitated in telling Finn about Joy’s parents, but there was a vulnerability in Joy that he wanted to protect. ‘Her parents were killed when she was a kid. I feel like she’s come here for a fresh start and now the villagers are all giving her grief over this stupid Mrs Kemblewick fiasco  which has nothing to do with her, by the way. Her landlord is Joe Carter, the man that kicked Mrs Kemblewick out, she just has a similar name.’
‘You’re kidding?’
‘No, she has no idea who Mrs Kemblewick is. Look, she needs a friend and if you can’t manage that, then at least be civil to her.’
Casey put the empty bottle of beer on the table. ‘I’m going next door to see if she’s ok after last night. Anything you want me to say to her?’
Finn shook his head as he stared at the floor. Casey smiled sympathetically at him. Finn had gone through a rough time too, but Casey was damned sure he wasn’t going to let Finn take his anger out on Joy just because he was still messed up over his own heartbreak.
Finn watched Casey go and groaned. Joy’s parents were dead. That made things so much worse. He had this innate need to protect, to comfort. That was how he had met Pippa. She had driven her car into a ditch at the side of the road and although she was unhurt, she was very shaken and tearful when he had pulled over to see if he could help. Her tears, her clinging to him as he held her, was what had done it. He had been lost, beyond redemption from that point on.
Now he wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms round Joy and hold her.
An orphan. She could only be about thirty and she had lost both parents. He would be distraught if he lost his, he couldn’t even begin to think what that would feel like. And she had moved here and the welcome party was well and truly out.
He would have to try to be civil to her from now on. He wouldn’t be friends with her, that would lead to trouble, but at least he could be polite.
There was a knock on her door as Joy was knee deep in tissue paper and pretty lilac notelets. The kitchen smelt delicious and Darcy had moved downstairs in the hope of scrounging some morsels. She should have taken poor Darcy for a walk ages ago, though she seemed happy to sleep on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor at the moment.
She hurried to the door; Casey was standing there, looking lovely and dishevelled.
‘Hi, how you feeling today?’
‘I’m good, come in, you can help me.’ She turned back down towards the kitchen and Casey followed her.
She watched him look at the chaos and mess across the breakfast table and then at her with amusement. She tried to look at it through his eyes; the desperation of a mad woman.
‘What are you doing?’
‘These are my friendship cakes. I’ve made one for each house in the village. I’m wrapping them in tissue paper and putting a note in with each one explaining who I am and inviting them all to a housewarming barbeque this Sunday. Here, read the note and tell me what you think.’
He picked up one of the lilac notelets and read it. It explained that she was Joy Cartier and was renting from Joe Carter, that though their names were similar she was not related to him or the previous owner. It said she was very sorry for what had happened to MrsKemblewick, but it really had nothing to do with her. It was brief, friendly but to the point,and had taken her hours to construct those few little lines.
It’s fine,’ Casey said. ‘But I don’t know if it will work. They seemed to be quite irate when I was in the village shop this morning. I tried to explain to them who you were, but they practically shooed me out of the shop, telling me it was village business and as such was none of mine.’
She stopped in the middle of wrapping up another cake in red tissue paper. ‘You don’t live here?’
‘No, I live in Ashton Woods, the next village.’
‘Oh.’ This bothered her more than it should. She thought that she had at least two friends in the village, now it was down to only one  and Zach was only friends with her because he wanted to sleep with her. ‘Well, it’s clear they’re never going to be my best friends but maybe I can persuade them not to push me in the pond again or post dog poo through my letterbox.’
‘What?’ Casey’s eyes widened as he picked up one of the cakes and artfully arranged the tissue paper around it in a way that she could never achieve.
‘Found it this morning, with a note telling me I’m a bitch.’
He shook his head. ‘Well then, you certainly can’t make it any worse. I’ll give you a hand.’
They worked diligently between them for a while until all the cakes were wrapped.
She sat down, her back aching a bit, and looked out the window at the rain that hadn’t stopped all morning. The hills looked dramatic, silhouetted against the grey sky.
‘It needs to stop raining by tonight, I really need to go out to work,’ she said, then wished she hadn’t as that was bound to lead to questions.
‘A lady of the night are you?’ Casey’s eyes gleamed with excitement. ‘A prostitute? A spy?’
‘Yes to both. Spying doesn’t pay well, so I supplement it with a bit of prostitution.’
‘I thought so. Oh that’s what I meant to ask you,’ she quickly changed the subject. ‘When Chloe was threatening me to keep away from Zach, she also said that I couldn’t have you because you were with one of her friends.’
Casey picked up a crumb of cake from the baking tray. ‘Umm yes, Arielle.’
She waited for more details but clearly none were forthcoming. ‘You’re dating a girl?’
‘Yeah, well not really dating, sort of…’
There was another knock on the door, interrupting what Casey was clearly finding embarrassing to tell her. She presumed it was Finn or Zach and found herself straightening her hair as she moved to answer it, then cursed herself for doing it.
Opening the door, Joy came face to face with a spaghetti thin blonde, her hair scraped back in a very severe looking French roll. She was dressed in a very expensive, very short dress with matching jacket and her face had that look of someone who had sucked a lemon. She was pretty, Joy supposed, and would be even prettier without the excessive makeup and angry pursed lips. She was holding an umbrella over her that matched the colour of her dress suit exactly.
‘Is my fiancé in there with you?’
Joy felt like she’d just received a smack to the face with that news, but quickly collected herself. Clearly this woman had come to the wrong house.
‘Arielle, hi,’ came Casey’s voice behind her.
There was a silence as Joy processed this information and Arielle cast her beady eye over her.
‘This is Joy, she’s just moved in next to Zach,’ Casey said.
‘Evidently,’ said Arielle, icily.
Er…’ Casey fumbled for something to say. Gone was the happy, relaxed Casey  he had rapidly been replaced by someone who was clumsy, awkward and clearly petrified of his fiancé. ‘Joy is my cousin. Remember me telling you about Uncle Raymond, well this is his daughter.’
Arielle stared at Joy vacantly for a moment as well she might. Joy was feeling equally confused. Finally Arielle nodded and stretched out her hand for a delicate and formal handshake. ‘Of course, Cousin Joy, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. You’ll be coming to the wedding next week?’
‘Yes, we invited her ages ago, she RSVP’d straightaway. We were quite close growing up.’ Casey squeezed past Joy who seemed to be frozen in the hallway.
Arielle cast her eyes over her again. ‘Of course, well if I don’t see you before, we’ll see you then. Casey do come along, we must meet with Jules to discuss the flowers. Apparently I can’t change the roses to daffodils as they aren’t in season. You need to talk to her.’
Without waiting for an answer, Arielle marched down the path to a little red convertible that was gleaming on the street. Casey glanced at Joy as he followed.
‘I can explain, I promise,’ he said and hurried after Arielle.
‘I can’t wait,’ Joy shouted after him.
But whether he heard or not, she didn’t know because her voice was lost in the noise of the engine as the car roared up the road.
Joy delivered the cakes to each doorstep in the village, though she hadn’t quite been brave enough to knock on the doors. Then it was time to take Darcy for a walk.
She intended to trek along the hill range past Menton Hall. She had a job to do there that night, if the rain stopped, and she wanted to get an idea of the lay of the land.
That’s what she was telling herself, it wasn’t at all because the hills held sentimental attachment to her.
When one of Alex’s friends had mentioned that his cousin was doing up a place in the country with a view to renting, Joy had taken it as a sign that it was time to move on from the busy town of Milton Keynes. She had been a face in the crowd there and had no more than a nodding acquaintance with her neighbours of three months.
It was only as she had driven round to see the house that the village names started to sound familiar. She had rounded a corner and was suddenly met with the striking hills that bordered the cluster of villages, the same hills that she had trekked over every weekend with her dad, right up until the weekend before he died.
Even before she saw the house, she knew she was going to say yes. Maybe she could never go back home, but maybe walking these hills with Darcy, as she had done many years before with her dad, would be all she needed to feel at home.
Joy sighed as Darcy left her side and went galloping up to greet Finn’s straggly dog. Seemingly, in the dog world, you just had to shove your nose up the other dog’s bum and you were best friends for life. She wondered what Finn’s reaction to that would be if she tried it.She hung back a little, hoping Finn would try to avoid her, but he was obviously on his way home now, so their paths had to cross if she intended taking Darcy on the walk she had planned. Finn called his dog away from Darcy, but Billy, tongue hanging out, stupid grin in place, was very interested in her. He had that demented look about him when a dog smells a bitch in heat. Damn it. Darcy had been a bit listless the day before, but Joy had put it down to the move. Still they wouldn’t be here long enough for Billy to get lucky. Hopefully Finn would pass without a single word.
He drew closer. He always looked so cool, even today tramping over the rain sodden fields with his dog, he looked like he’d just stepped out of a clothes commercial. He was wearing a simple baseball cap and a waterproof hoodie, but he still looked sexy. And also, as he drew closer, she saw he was wearing a sneer just for her. Her heart sank. Well attack was sometimes the best form of defence.
She marched up to him. ‘Why is it you hate me so much? It can’t possibly be about the ice cream, that would be unbelievably petty. And as you don’t get involved with village matters it can’t be about Mrs Kemblewick either, which by the way had nothing to do with me. So it’s either like Casey said, you hate me because I have red hair, which would be very shallow and small minded or it’s just that you’re a bastard for no other reason than you like to make people’s lives a misery. So tell me, which is it?’
He glared at her but when there was clearly no answer forthcoming, she turned away from him. ‘I’ll take that as the latter then. Darcy, heel!’
She walked away from him, her hands clenched into fists in her pockets, and refused to look back.
Damn it. Finn watched her go, his hand on Billy’s collar, who seemed very keen to follow them. Just like his owner. She was right, he was a bastard. He felt beyond guilty for shouting at her that morning just for singing and dancing  and then as she walked towards him, he had been appalled by how turned on he was after seeing Joy dressed in her waxed jacket and cap. It was a waxed jacket and cap, how could it be sexy? The black dress she had worn the day before was sexy. Not a waxed jacket and a pair of battered walking boots. He was determined to be polite, regardless of these insane feelings for her slamming through him. He was going to say hello, that was as good a start as any but as his emotions clawed away inside him his face must have been a picture as he battled with a sudden fear of redheads, a fear of intimacy and a fear of what might happen if they got too close. And whatever she had seen in his face had not been good, going on the defence before he attacked her again.
So now not only did he have to be polite to a woman, a redhead none the less, but he was going to have to work on his facial expressions too. He practiced a smile, the feeling of his mouth turning upwards felt alien to him. He looked down at Billy with the rictus grin stuck on his face, Billy glanced up at him and whined with something akin to fear. Finn sighed and headed for home.
The sun finally decided to make an appearance late afternoon as Joy came back home from her walk.
Though would it ever be the place she could finally call home? She would give Bramble Hill a chance, just like all the other places she had tried over the years. Joe, her landlord, hadsaid if she wanted to stay, permanently, he would sell the place to her, but he was quite happy to rent in the meantime. She could easily afford the asking price if she decided to buy it; her job paid her ridiculously well. But as with the other places, she rented first, in a try before you buy type way. So far, she’d not found anywhere that she had wanted to buy.
As she drew close to her house, she noticed a collection of flies and wasps around her front door. More dog poo? But then the wasps wouldn’t be interested in that.
She moved closer and realised, with a crashing wave of disappointment, that many, if not all, of her lovingly made friendship cakes had been deposited on her doorstep. Some had seemingly been stamped on and some had even been forcibly shoved through her letterbox. They either hadn’t bothered to read the notes once they spotted it was from her, or hadn’t believed the declaration that she’d had nothing to do with the ousting of Mrs Kemblewick. It did seem slightly implausible that she was Joy Cartier and her landlord was Joe Carter; she and Joe had laughed about it when they had first met. It was much more believable that she was lying about who she was.
She couldn’t even get through the front door, there were so many wasps. She had legal access to her back garden through Finn’s garden. There was a side gate that allowed her to walk through his garden and into hers. She hadn’t used it yet, though she had every right to do so. She thought that it would be the polite thing to do to check with Finn before she strolled across his land. But since the man was an arse, she certainly wasn’t going to extend that courtesy to him.
She opened his back gate, which legally had to be kept unlocked, and walked purposefully towards her own gate, biting her lip as she hoped she could get past unnoticed. She would just walk across his garden as if she had every right to do so, which of course she did. Five metres away, four, three and if he had noticed her he hadn’t come out and yelled at her yet. Suddenly something in Finn’s downstairs window caught her eye, and despite her best intentions to be in and out in mere seconds, she couldn’t help but look.
There was Finn, stark naked, drying his wet hair with a towel.

If you enjoyed these chaptersyou can buy your copy of Beneath the Moon and the Stars here