Thursday, 30 April 2015

Review: The Love Shack by Jane Costello

Life's great when you're 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum . . . Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they'll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan's mum. It's a desperate solution, but it's only for six months. And Gemma's determined to make it work, no matter how bad things get. But between Dan's mum's kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and - worst of all - her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not. Then, as they're trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma's past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…



Review: another fab novel from Jane Costello. What I love about books by this author is that they are so true to real life, you could imagine all of the events in this book happening to you and you know you wouldn't find them funny but in these books they provide you with unlimited belly laughs. There was quite a few occasions when I was reading this book that I was asked why I was laughing and then I had to tell people about the book-so much fun! 

The characters in this book are relatable as well. I really felt for Dan and Gemma trying to find their perfect house and the endles searching and hoops they have to jump through, whether you've ever searched for a property to rent or to buy you will be able to relate to things they are going through at everything dates of this novel. I have to admit that the whole house buying scenario really did stress me out in parts but it provided hilarity as well! I have to say that I liked Dan a lot more than I liked Gemma, I know I shouldn't pick favourites but... I loved how optimistic dan was. Gemma had her sights set on her house and was willing to do anything to get it. She also didn't treat dan with enough love and respect as I thought she should because dan was lovely. 

Dans mum plays a massive comedy part in this novel and I really warmed to her even though she did stop dan and Gemma from living like a normal young couple, she really wanted what was best for her son and her duaghter in law. Dan is also very close to his grand more which I thought was a refreshing part of the plot and something a little different from a lot of novels in this genre. Dan and Gemma's friends also provide some comedy moments throughout the story and their little sub plots run alongside the main plot very happily but are still strong storylines themselves! 

Although I did find parts of the novel stressful I still really enjoyed this book. I thought the pace was a little slower than other Jane Costello novels I have read in the past but it is still of the same calibre that I expect from this fab novelist! Whether you've read anything by this author before or not The Love Shack would be a great place to startup, and if you're a veteran fan like myself, you won't be diaspointed! 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review: Letters to The Lost by Iona Grey

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…

Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.
… He promised to love her forever
Sixty years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan's words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?




Review: oh this book was just perfect. I have to admit that I was intimidated by the size of it so it has been sitting on my shelf for a lot longer than it should have done but if you're feeling the same way, please please pick this book up now, it is worth every page it is printed on and you won't want it to end! 

Now I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction, I like to be able to picture the scenes that I'm reading so something set in the modern day is an easier read for me, but this authors wonderful description mean that I genuinely felt like I was in in 1943 with Stella and Dan and the vicar as much as I could relate to the modern day section of this novel. Each scene made you feel as if you were right there with the characters shivering in the cold or enjoying the sunshine, being scared of the air raids or fearing for another reason altogether. This book also totally made me want to sit down and watch back to back episodes of Call the Midwife. 

I loved Jess and Stella right from the start, they were wonderful courageous women and the times their lives paralleled each other were just wonderful bits of story telling. I felt I could relate to both of them, even though Stella's story was set so many years ago. I have to admit to not liking Will quite as much In the beginning of the novel but I had fallen completely in love with him by the midpoint, wanting to swoop into the book and rescue him as much as a I wanted to do with all these other lovely new friends. And Dan, oh my goodness Dan, I fell in love with him from the moment we met him! He was so unbelievably kind and generous and handsome, I so would have wanted him bringing me chocolate during the war too. The point about Dan though was that he was generous right up until the last page of the novel! We all need a dan in our lives right now! 

The storyline varies between London in 2011 and war torn 1943/44 London. I love a dual narrative and this book told the story of Jess and will in present day, each from their own perspective and also Dan and Stella in 1943 from their own perspective so four points of view to keep up with. This might seem like a lot to follow but the writing slips between all four so seamlessly that you hardly even notice it and you can hear the characters voice so clearly in your head that it's always clear who you are with. Its always wonderful to get an event from another point of view as well and secrets are uncovered at every moment in the novel so in this case it is vital. 

As much as I loved this book it did make me cry. I was surprised that I didn't cry until the last 10% at which point I continued to cry, so desperate was I to see everyone get the ending that they deserved and the last pieces of the puzzle be put together! and then I cried for about half an hour after it ended and mixture of happy and sad tears-be warned you will need tissues with this novel and it will leave you with a big ole' bo hangover (haven't picked up another book yet!) but it is so so worth it. Ignore any preconceptions you might have about this novel, it's a beautiful bo that will have you hooked right the way through and it is something to which, as I did, you should dedicate your weekend to! 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Cover reveal: Appleby Farm by Cathy Bramley

Very exciting cover for the complete Appebey Farm by Cathy Bramley which will be available in all it's complete glory in paperback or kindle.  This beauty is out on 13th August. Here's what it's all about...

Appleby Farm is a charming, funny and romantic story for anyone looking for a feel-good, light-hearted read, from the author of bestselling Ivy Lane

Freya Moorcroft has wild red hair, mischievous green eyes, a warm smile and a heart of gold. She’s been happy working at the café round the corner from Ivy Lane allotments and her romance with her new boyfriend is going well, she thinks, but a part of her still misses the beautiful rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm.

Then a phone call out of the blue and a desperate plea for help change everything…

The farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape.

Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?

This is what it looked like as four separate books:





And here's the lush new cover for the complete Appleby Farm collection...



Monday, 27 April 2015

Review, extract and giveaway: Single Woman seeks Revenge by Tracy Bloom

Now as well as my review today, I have a very exciting extract for you lovely readers. I have some of the letters that our heroine receives as part of her job in the book so scroll down past my review to read those. This beauty came out in paperback last week so I'm giving you the two alternative covers. The former ebook cover and the new paperback cover as well you lucky things! 

Luckier still, if you leave me a comment detailing the best piece of relationship advice you ever got you'll be in with a Chance of winning yourself a copy of this hilarious novel! 

Here's the blurb, remember to scroll to the end for the letters...



What do you do when you find your love-life in ruins? Get revenge on every man who ever broke your heart of course....

Suzie Miller, a disillusioned agony aunt, can't believe she's been dumped from a great height yet again (this time by text, straight after they've had sex... twice!). So she decides the time is right to make every one of her exes feel the pain she felt when they carelessly cast her aside. 

Her methods are unusual but humiliation on a grand scale is no less than they deserve.

Euphoric that she's finally stood up for herself she starts suggesting outrageous ways for her readers to deal with their relationship nightmares too. Suddenly everyone wants Suzie's advice. Finally content with being single and enjoying her blossoming career it seems as though happiness is within her grasp. That is until a man gets in the way.

SINGLE WOMAN SEEKS REVENGE is a romantic comedy with a kick: a kick up the backside to any man who believes he got away with treating a woman badly and to any woman who doesn't fight back.



  

Review: this book will have you laughing right from the word go! I loved Tracy's first book, no one ever has sex on a Tuesday and so I could pretty much guarantee I was going to like this book too. I was surprised by how different this book was from her other two novels. it was funny and light-hearted just like the others but this has a very real message about girl power and about feminism not just about women being man haters or feminists being bitter spinsters but about this main character standing up for herself and not being controlled by anyone except herself. 

Alongside this fabulous feminist vein runs a gorgeous little love story interspersed with some proper-laugh out loud hilarity! Suzie is an amazing character. She might not know everything about the world but she has just worked out how to get everything she wants. Some of her methods for getting revenge on the men who have wronged her are seriously wickedly evil but at the same time, she knows to be there for her friends and she still wants a man who will love her and respect her in the right way. I could really identify with Suzie as I'm sure a lot of readers will be able to. 

There are some very funny supporting characters in this novel. I love Suzie's best friend and Drew's dead pan humour is sure to make you fall in love with him just a little bit. The writing style and the style of humour in this novel reminds me in Milly Johnson's writing, I could almost hear her reading this out loud in her fab Yorkshire accent! I loved the fact that this wasn't set in London as well, its always refreshing to have a novel set elsewhere in the UK!

Overall this novel was a fairly quick read, I actually listened to it on audio book which was really superb. I'm sure if you're looking for a love story you'll find it here but if you're look for a book that is laugh a minute, you'll also find it here. This is full of girl power and interesting thoughts on life as well so definitely something for everyone here!


Dear Suzie,
I am sixteen years old and my boyfriend wants to have sex with me two weeks on Friday. We are going to a house party and there won’t be any parents there, so all the boys have shared out thirty-minute time slots for sole use of one of the bedrooms. My boyfriend wants to know if I’ll have sex with him, because if I won’t he says he’ll ask somebody else as he doesn’t want to waste his time slot. I want my first time to be perfect and I am worried that half an hour won’t be long enough. Should I ask him to book two time slots?
Please help me.

Sophie

Dear Sophie,
If it takes longer than half an hour please send me your boyfriend’s number! I’m just joking. Seriously, I have some very important advice for you.
DON’T HAVE SEX, YOU WON’T ENJOY IT.
Having sex with a sixteen-year-old boy can never be good. Remember, he won’t have done it very often, if at all. Consider this. Would you get in a car with him the first time he has to drive? No. He’ d be all fingers and thumbs, stops and starts, no idea what knobs and buttons to press, all of which would add up to an extremely uncomfortable ride. And an extremely uncomfortable ride is all you can expect if you have sex with him.
Now let’s get to the real problem – the sharing of time slots and his threat of asking someone else. Wake up, Sophie. This is unacceptable behaviour and you are letting these boys take advantage of you. Tell him you will have sex with him and he should book two time slots because you are convinced he is going to be mind-blowing in the sack. When you get him in the room, tell him you have been lusting after his body for ages and you want to see him naked immediately. When he has stripped off, laugh hysterically and run out of the room to the kitchen where you will have a pre-prepared chart at the ready for all of you girls to mark just how small your boyfriends’ penises are.
Good luck.

Suzie


Dear Suzie,
I met my soulmate in a bar a few weeks ago. It felt like we were made for each other. We liked all the same things, even rum and raisin ice cream – and I’ve never met anyone who likes rum and raisin ice cream. We talked all night, until eventually my mates got fed up of me looking googly-eyed at Peter (he has the same name as my first pet rabbit!) so they left me to it. I ended up going home with him and he was the perfect gentleman, even offering to make up the spare bed. But it felt so right that I ended up sleeping with him. Afterwards we both said that we had never felt like this before about anyone. The next day he had to work so I left early. He took my number and promised to call but that was three weeks ago. I’ve been to the bar that we met in nine times but he’s never there. I’ve driven past his house every night on my way home from work but he’s never in. I have even been to his local supermarket and loitered in the ice-cream section, but still no sign. Now I think something bad must have happened to him. Do you think I should call the police?

Desperately Worried of Didsbury

Dear Dim of Didsbury,
To coin a phrase, ‘He’s just not that into you.’ Nothing bad has happened to him, he just never wants to see you again.
Now the crucial thing here is how you deal with this. No tears and no feeling sorry for yourself. Most importantly what you must NOT do is walk away quietly. An entire book was devoted to giving this advice, and guess what? It was written by a man. How convenient and how devious to make women think that this route would actually give them the upper hand. What rubbish. The thing to do is make the biggest fuss possible to ensure he thinks twice before he does it again to another woman.
You are going to post a note through Peter’s letter box telling him you need to meet him secretly later that night because your boyfriend has found out that you slept together and you are very concerned for his safety.
When you meet you should tell him your boyfriend is a bouncer and you are engaged to be married. One of his bouncer mates saw you leaving the bar together and snitched on you. He has pulled a photo off the closed-circuit television which has been circulated to all the bouncers in Manchester, and there’s a reward on Peter’s – preferably very bruised – head. Suggest he doesn’t go out at all for at least three months, when maybe it will have died down. Finally, apologise for using him just for sex and wish him luck in finding a nice girl.
Let me know how you get on.

Suzie


Dear Suzie,
I am twenty-eight years old and I recently got in touch with my first ever boyfriend Michael, via Facebook. After emailing each other a few times we got together and it was just like old times. We got on so well and this time I even got to have sex with him. He said he didn’t want to be in a relationship because he’d just had his fingers burnt by his ex-girlfriend, but he thought he could manage on a ‘friends with benefits’ basis. This has been going fine for the last few months, but now he’s started asking me if I’m still in touch with any of the really pretty girls from school and if I’ ll bring them along next time we meet. I don’t want to because then we won’t be able to have sex. I don’t think he realises this. Do you think I should point it out to him or would that be too forward?
Yours sincerely,

Lisa

Dear Lisa,
Please don’t get me started on the whole ‘ friends with benefits’ thing. You may as well hang a sign around your neck saying ‘FREE SEX – NO QUESTIONS ASKED’. Also the fact that you assume he’s a friend just kills me. That’s not called a friend, it’s called a client. Get real, Lisa, he’s taking advantage of you and it’s time to turn the tables. Tell him that you are still in touch with the most gorgeous person from school and that they are absolutely dying to see him again. Say you should all meet at his house because this person likes your ‘ friends with benefits’ status and is interested in a threesome. Arrive early and tell him that you think you should turn the heating up and strip down to your underwear to set the right mood. When he has stripped down to his boxers and five minutes after your guest is due to arrive, get out your phone and check for messages. Tell Michael that Gary is two minutes away and he’s absolutely gagging for it. Tell him he’s a great friend of yours and has got one very, very big benefit.
Have fun.

Suzie

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dewey's 24hour readathon wrap-up

Ok so the readathon has finished, 24 hours gone and I completed the goals of the books that I wanted to read and finish! It was a shakes start when my kindle batter decided to go and I had to charge my iPad phone and kindle throughout the readathon! 

I read 159 pages to finish The Love Shack by Jane Costello-love Jane Costello's novels, just so funny! 


Then I started Letters to The Lost by Iona Grey. I finished this just after 1pm so I missed the dealine by a whisker but I'm still counting it because my alarm didn't go off properly so I definitely would've finished it with an hour or more to spare if I hadn't fallen back asleep again after I woke up at 7am to finish my audiobook! I loved this one-it was 560 pages total and I'm glad I read it all in one sitting like I did because of all the feels! 


And I completed The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews which I was listening to on audiobook. I listening to just over 4 hours which amounts to about a third of the book so 150 pages! 


So my page count grand total is 869! I had a look at last readathon a page count and that was slightly higher at 881 but I have found that my reading has slowed down recently so I'm pretty pleased with this. Although it would've been great to get ontot another book on my TBR pile, I'm happy that I finished these books and I'm going to go and review them all right now! 

I didn't drink as much coffee as the last readathon but I also had someone else in the house with me this time and I think having him sleeping next to me made me just a little bit more inclined to sleep, plus we went out to pick up Chinese food. Although I listened to my audiobook in the car, I still lost out on some reading time this way. I read for about 18 hours again, same as last time, the other 6 hours were about 5 hours sleep and then a 1 hour nap when my alarm was meant to wake me. 

There are now 4 days left of paperback month so I'm going to head up to my book shelves and see which paperback I fancy picking up now as only 1 of these books was a paperback! 

Happy reading! 





Friday, 24 April 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon


This Saturday at 1pm I will be participating in the Dewey's 24 hour readathon. I participated in this readathon in October and really enjoiyed giving my weekend over to nothing but reading. To be honest I really need to play catch up on some reading because it has been a really bad week for me so it couldn't have come at a better time!

I am planning on fninshing The Love Shack by Jane Costello. I am reading this book on ebook but I am planning on buying it in paperback because it is so lovely (don't worry I'm trying my best to stay true to paperback month!).



The book that I really want to read this weekend though is Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. When I knew the release date of this book, the length of the book and my desire to read it, the readathon seemed like the perfect opportunity to sit down and devour this gorgeous novel. I've heard wonderful things about it so look out for my review of that soon!


I am also currently listening to The Cake Shop in the Garden on Audiobook so if i get the chance, I'll have a listen to this as well as I plan on finishing this over the weekend at some point!


Finally, I have a couple of back-up books that I can throw in there for a bit of a change, or if I manage to stay up the whole 24 hours and need something else to read! I have The Year of Taking Chance by Lucy Diamond-this is a paperback.


One Small Act of Kindness by Lucy Dillon-this is an audiobook.


And Me, Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews


Well it pays to have options doesn't it? So there you have it, I'll post on Sunday to let you know how I got on. This is also my first readathon where there has been someone else around so that's going to be interesting-I'll keep you posted!


Winner of my CL Taylor Giveaway!

Its that exciting time- here to announce the winner of the signed copy of The Lie by CL Taylor as well as a copy of her fab first novel, The Accident. There can only be one lucky winner unfortunately...but if you didn't win, you should definitely grab yourself a copy of both these amazing novels!

So I put all the names into a random name generator and gave it a spin...



And the winner is....


Amanda Nason, drop me a tweet or an email with your name and address and I'll send you your parcel first thing tomorrow morning!

Thanks to all of you that entered, its always lovely to see some nice comments on the blog!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Interview with Fiona Harper Author of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club

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You are in for a real treat today because Fiona Harper, author of the Doris Day Vintage Film Club is here on the blog to answer my burning questions about her books and her writing process, plus of course the all important 'what are you working on now?' question! Thanks so much top Fiona for answering my questions and the book is out today so go and get your hands on it now!




First question - bit of a cliché - how did you get into writing?
I was desperate for something creative to do when my kids were small, other than making smiley faces with their dinner ingredients – something that didn’t involve having to find babysitters or expensive equipment! And one day I had an idea for a story. I’d loved English and school and had always had one of those thoughts in the back of my head (as many people do) that I’d like to write a book one day, so I decided to dive in and give it a go.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
I’ve written full-time for the last three years, but my first book was published in 2006, so I spent a lot of years juggling family and part-time job alongside the writing too.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I’ve tried to write dark and edgy, but somehow I can’t stop myself injecting a bit of humour into everything I write! Quite a few of my friends say that they can hear my voice in their heads when the read my books, so I think a lot of my personality comes out in my writing, which means I must be friendly, optimistic and just a little bit daft. I have noticed a worrying desire to kill characters off recently, though, so maybe I need to write a thriller and get it all off my chest?

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I try and dig deep and find out what my characters’ emotional journeys are going to be before I write. I ask myself what their fears and flaws are, what they’ve got to learn, and then I try and create a plot that’s going to push them right out of their comfort zones so they learn those lessons. I don’t base my characters on real people, because then I’d run into the problem that they might not act in the way the story requires them to. I do borrow little traits or quirks from people occasionally, though, so watch out!

What was the inspiration behind The Doris Day Vintage Film Club?
I watched a documentary called ‘Sentimental Journey’ about Doris Day’s life and realised that there was a lot more than met the eye to America’s favourite sweetheart. She’d been through a lot of tragedy and hard times and yet had still come out the other side smiling, and I could see how a modern-day heroine might really want to emulate that.

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
Basically, I keep writing until I get stuck, then I do my accounts, then I clean the bathroom, then I go and watch lots of Judge Judy. Eventually, I panic that I’m not going to meet my deadline and I make myself get going again, usually by messing around with index cards on a corkboard and highlighting things on Post-it notes. Thank goodness for colourful stationary! I think it’s a vital part of my unblocking process.

How much of you is reflected in your novels?
(I think I accidentally answered this in question three!)

What kind of research did you do before/during writing The Doris Day Vintage film Club?
Oh, it was such a grind, I can tell you. I had to watch as many Doris films as I could get my hands on, especially Pillow Talk, as the plot of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club is very loosely based on that movie. I think I managed to watch about 30 of her 39 films. I also watched any documentaries I could find and read Doris’s autobiography and a couple of biographies. For a while there, I could regurgitate just about any Doris Day fact you could care to mention. I also spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at all the amazing clothes she wore. It was some of the most fun research I’ve ever done for a book.

Do you have any plans to develop your novel further, write sequels, turn it into a series?
I think sequels are really tricky to write, unless you have a killer idea for them. As much fun as it is revisiting the same characters, if you’ve said everything you needed to say about them the first time around, you can end up with a really flat second story. I’ve tried to link a couple of my recent books with the minor characters. Peggy appears in both The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams and The Doris Day Vintage Film Club, for example. Actually, I’ve emails from readers, asking if I’m going to give Peggy a book of her own. I’ve a soft spot for Peggy, so if the right idea lights up between my ears, I might just do it.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
More than I should! I know some people don’t read the reviews, especially the bad ones, but I actually think the not so great ones can help you learn about your writing. If the same comments keep turning up again and again, I’ll have a good hard think if there’s a good point there. Reading the nice reviews is lovely, but you definitely need a thick skin for the one-star variety!

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
Very, even though I kept it almost a complete secret until I got my first contract! The hard thing is training my family to understand that I do actually have a proper job, even if I’m at home all day. I must admit, this was especially difficult during the Doris Day research – I’m not even sure I was convinced I was hard at work when I was watching Rock Hudson sweep Doris off her feet again and again.

How did you feel leading up to your publication day?
Very excited! I think this is one of my favourite books to date, so I’m thrilled to see it going out into the world, but I’m always a little scared too. It’s a bit like sending your kids for their first day at Primary School (although with fewer tears on my part).

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I like reading anything that has a great story that grips me and won’t let me go. I know I’m onto a good book when I can’t even put it down when I’m cooking. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed some of the young adult fiction out there, like The Hunger Games series and Divergent, but I also like emotional stories that make me think, snappy rom coms and twisty turny thrillers.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

I’m continuing the movie star theme and working on a story about a heroine who’s seeking to emulate another Hollywood leading lady – but this time she’s not sitting and watching her idol’s films; she’s getting on her dancing shoes! I’ll leave you to guess who the screen siren is – for now!

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And bonus time-the lovely publisher of this book are going to be running a (rather exciting!) Pinterest competition as part of the campaign for The Doris Day Vintage Film Club, giving one reader the chance to win a Vintage makeover with stylists Lipstick & Curls for themselves and a friend. Here's the link and the website-good luck!

 http://on.fb.me/1HnmAIL

www.lipstickandcurls.net

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review: The Doris Day Vintage Film Club by Fiona Harper

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Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films at her grandmother’s house and yearned to live in a world like the one on the screen – sunny, colourful and where happy endings with chiselled leading men were guaranteed. But recently Claire’s opportunities for a little ‘pillow talk’ have been thin on the ground.

Until she meets mysterious Dominic. Nic is full of secrets but their connection is instant. Could he help Claire finding the Hollywood ending she’s been searching for? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…
 




Review: aww I loved every moment of this book-what a sweet funny, cosy read! This book is not taxing in any way, it can be picked up and put down again at will but short chapters and an easy reading style will allow you to just carry on reading on and on once you have started! 

I really liked Claire as a character. She is a romantic but she is still a strong female and happy enough to be on her own and make her life good all by herself. She has a fabulous groups of friends all of whom are strong women too and they are all fun to read about. Nic is our love interest in this book and I found him to be a really interesting character, there are definitely more dimensions to him than meets the eye and I was totally rooting for him all the way through this book, it was a very much a will they won't they sort of situation and I think I'd have been happy whichever way Italy or May not have turned out! 

There is a lovely sub-plot to this book than involves a younger Doris Day fan or not as the case may be and her sort of transformation to becoming a little more girly and a lot less football chic. I think there could have been more done with this story and I would love to find out more about what happens with her in the future. This story delivered a good message of not having to look or act girly to be womanly though and I really liked that. There were a couple of other sub-plots going on as well, including one with Claire's father that I'm not sure added an awful lot to the storyline, I found myself flicking through those a little bit to try and get back to the love story at the heart of this novel, that's the thing that stopped this from being a five star read for me. 

Of course this book is all about Doris Day films and I now have to go away and watch as much about Doris Day as I can where's the E true Hollywood Story when you need it? I loved that Dorsi tied this whole book together and I love that it made me want to find out more about her as well as teaching me a lot about her. It must have been really good fun to research! 

I really enjoyed this book I would definitely recommend this as a novel whether you know anything about Doris Day or not. It's definitely a love story but was a very quick read for me and something which I found hard to put down. It's got girl power and a steamy will they won't they love story-what more could you ask for?

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Bonus time! The lovely publishers are going to be running a (rather exciting!) Pinterest competition as part of the campaign for The Doris Day Vintage Film Club, giving one reader the chance to win a Vintage makeover with stylists Lipstick & Curls for themselves and a friend. Here's the link as well as the Lipstick and Curl website-good luck!

http://on.fb.me/1HnmAIL

www.lipstickandcurls.net

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Authors 21/4/15

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!

Wow such an easy top ten this week the hard part is going to be narrowing it down to 10... Needless to say, these are all in JOINT order and not in top ten 1 to ten ok. (Actually I'll just number all these lovely authors 1.!)

1. Miranda Dickinson




1. Lindsey Kelk




1. Lucy Robinson




1. Rowan Coleman 




1. Sophie Kinsella




1. Marian Keyes



1. Milly Johnson




1. Jane Costello



1. Bill Bryson



1. Lisa Jewell


1. Ali Harris




1. Jenny Colgan




These are all completely 'will buy anything they have written' authors to me. I've not automatically chosen mainly women, they just happen to be my favourites and it doesn't mean I hate other authors, all authors are amazing for having the skill and the dedication to sitting down and writing novels-you inspire me all of you! 




Monday, 20 April 2015

Review: Completely Cassidy: Accidental Genius by Tamsyn Murray

Meet Cassidy. With her embarrassing dad, pregnant mum, loser brother and knicker-chewing dog, she's almost invisible in her family. So she's hoping Year 7 is her time to shine, especially since a test proved she's Gifted & Talented. The only problem is she picked her answers at random. But surely the school wouldn't make a mistake about her genius?

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Review: I absolutely flew through this book, it is most definitely a must-read for anyone who has children starting secondary school in the next couple of years or any child who is in that position. This book is full of humour but also real messages about friendship, growing up and self confidence. I'm already looking forward to the next instalment!

I read this book with some children at school who are about to begin that journey to secondary school and they thought this book was hilarious as well as lots of good fun, It also provoked some interesting discussions about friendships and not giving in to what other people think are cool. For the adults out there, it also led to some interesting discussion about parents and their relationships with children surrounding mutual respect and responsibility.

I really loved Cassidy as a character. She reminded me of a cross between Harriet Manners (Geek Girl) and  Darcy Burdock and that was the kind of feel that this book had to it as well! She is a little bit overwhelmed by secondary school, the routines and the people and she's a little bit unsure of changes that are going on at home as well so she's really at a total crossroads in her life. She doesn't let that get her down though and attacks everything that she does completely head on-i loved her for this! her older brother and her parents provide comedy sidekicks to her sometimes as well.

Cassidy's friends are typical eleven year-old girls and |I can't wait to catch up with them in the new book as well. There are some real cringe-worthy moments in the book where you think to yourself, how did you actually get yourself into these scrapes? Some of these involve a very cute chocolate lab named Rolo of course! Overall this was just a really fun read and a real refreshing change from novels set in other countries with children starting out in the next stage of their education. In case I haven't said it enough already-this was great but now I can't wait for the next one book in this series!


(Here's the cover of the next book-can't wait!)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Letterbox Love #7



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 just got from the shops and I did actually end up buying some books (as you'll see below) and so I thought I would go ahead and post a book haul this week. I was going to save some of the books below for another haul but-bonus-more books! 

The first book I have to show you, you'll have seen in the last blog post about the lovely launch of CL Taylor's the lie. And remember, you can win a signed copy of this one by leaving me a comment under the post so definitely go back and check it out! 


Here's a sneak peak of what the signed copy looks like. I also got a signed copy but mine is personalised...


At the launch we also got a goody bag which contend Cally Taylor's other psychological thriller The Accident, on of my fabourite books of last year and and other thriller,  Tell Tale by Mark Sennen.



Then this afternoon I went for a spot of lunch and a wander round the shops, I happened to pop into waterstones and this is what I bought... I could've been a lot naughtier I can tell you! 

The Book is Gay by James Dawson, I'm really looking forward to reading this! 


I also bought I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, I've heard amazing things about this so I think I'm going to have to bump this up the TBR pile! 


And in the reduced section I found The To Do List by Mike Gayle. I love a to do list, I love a mike Gayle book-what's not to love?


I also have a few new ebook and a couple of new audiobooks but I don't tend to list these here-do you think I should? Is this something you want to see? Are you ready for the full amount of books that I get on a weekly basis? (My bank statement is fully book-related products and Starbucks!) let me know! 



Friday, 17 April 2015

Book launch: The Lie by C L Taylor plus giveaway!

On Monday I was invited to the launch of an exciting new novel by Cally Taylor-The Lie... 


This event was held at Harper Collins towers at London Bridge which was very exciting. We were whisked up to the 17th floor to enjoy spectacular views across London as well as wine, nibbles and great conversation! It's was such a beautiful space-very fitting for such a fabulous author!




We were then treated to an extract from the book read by the author herself which was wonderful and then a question & answer session. Cally revealed that the friendship group in the book, as well as the trip to Nepal, is based on her own experiences-even the particularly toxic friend in this thriller of a novel! 



We were then able to get our copies of #TheLie signed an have a lovely chat with Cally as well as all the other bloggers in attendance!



Thanks to Cally and the Avon team for a great evening and if you fancy getting yourself a signed copy of the book-I have one to giveaway! Just leave me a comment below & I'll announce the winner on release day (23rd April)!

I've decided to chuck in a copy of The Accident as well-you luck lucky people!