Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recently Added to my TBR Pile 31/3/15

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!

I've added a whole ton of books to my TBR pile recently and so this is going to be a pretty easy top ten Tuesday to write. 

1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Although this has been on my TBR for quite. While, it has recently been moved to the top because of the film coming out next week. I'm going to a special fan screening and I can't wait! 

2. Summer at The Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan. This has been added to my reading list for paperback April-looking forward to getting stuck into this one! 

3. The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore by Pippa Wright. I'm reading this one right now and really enjoying it! 

4. A War Of Flowers by Jane Thynne. I recently attended an event with this lovely author and so naturally, the book has been added to my TBR! 

5. The Lie by Cally Taylor. I got a fab copy of this last week and now I can't wait to get stuck in and read this before the launch next month. 

6. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. I was very lucky to receive a copy of this fab-looking book in the post last week and now I'm very much looking forward to reading it before it comes out in June. 

7. Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. This one is out in April and so, has been moved to the top of My TBR-it sounds fab! 

8. The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson. I'm going to be reading this one next week because it comes out on the 9th April. 

9. The Girl From Nowehre by Dorothy Koomson. This one was in my bok haul a couple of weeks ago and it is out this month so this one is hovering near the top of my TBR too! 

10. Completely Cassidy by Tamsyn Murray. Another one I recently shared in a book haul and another one I will definitely be reading for paperback April-it looks like a fun, quick read and something I will identify with teaching children who will soon be starting secondary school! 

Monday, 30 March 2015

April Paperback Month

This week I am joining up with paperback April, a fabulous idea from two fabulous bloggers to try and attempt to clear the backlog of paperbacks that we bloggers always seem to end up with. I know that I focus on Ebooks a lot of the time because the books that I get from NetGalley are often Ebooks and also I carry a lot around with me and so my reader is just slightly more probable. I keep my hardbacks and my paperbacks at home because they are pretty and beautiful, but this month, all the stops! It's paperback time! 

Some of the paperbacks I know I'm going to be reading this month include...

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Summer at The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

The Lie by CL Taylor

The Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

The Vintage Doris Day Film Club by Fiona Harper

The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond

Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

And these are just a few of those that I would like to read during April. I hope to keep you updated. Because it is a whole month, I will try and do a halfway point and there will definitely be a wrap up post at the end to summarise my achievements. (Last time I did a paperback month I failed miserably, only reading 2 paperbacks so let's hope that this goes a little better!)

Thanks to Sophie and Suze for hosting this great reading month! 


Friday, 27 March 2015

Literati with Jane Thynne

This Tuesday I got myself some tickets to the fabulous literati at the Grosvenor House Hotel. These events are always fabulous and definitely not something to be missed-for the cost of the ticket you get a copy of the book, which you can get signed afterwards, champagne and gorgeous canapés! The surroundings are also incredibly opulent so it feels like you are being quite wicked discussing books all event!

I hadn't actually read any of Jane Thynne's novels before, but I knew the evening would be wonderful anyway! This event was based on her new novel, a War Of Flowers which follows a spy employed to track Eva Braun in the Third Reich.

Jane began by giving us a little intro into the kind of atmosphere that was around in Germany during this time and the moved on to talk about how all of this affected the women of the Third Reich. This was really interesting and a proper history lesson for me.

Jane said that the best thing about writing historical fiction was the research that goes into it & how much she enjoyed sourcing stuff to do with these women. She found an original cigarette card album which was in pristine condition...

And also sourced the perfume that Cara, her spy character, would have worn! We got to smell it, it was pretty heavy going!

At the end of the evening I got to meet Jane, chat to her and she signed my book! After hearing all the work that went into it, I can't wait to read it...

Thanks to Jane for a great evening, Simon & Schuster for publishing the book & to Rosie & her team at Grosovner House for the impeccable organisation once again, roll on the next Literati event!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Review: Geek Girl All That Glitters by Holly Smale

"My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek." The fourth book in the award-winning GEEK GIRL series. Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she's a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that's not necessarily a good thing... 

Review: another winner for Geek Girl! This particular Geek Girl books was an interesting one because Harriet, amazing Harriet, is now without Nat and she is at sixth form, a major transition for her. With her tendencies, how will she handle it all? Obviously the answer is with a great deal of mishaps which provide endless humour for us the reader. The ups and downs of Harriet's life never end and so there are many laugh out loud moments in this book. Of course all is not looking well for Harriet Manners right up until the very last moment but she uses her winning personality and her fabulous friends to get her through it in the end! 

There are some interesting model shoots in this particular novel. We have flashbacks to previous shoots with nick aka Lion Boy but also an amazing shoot out in Mororco which involves step mummy Annabel representing Harriet and making sure everything runs smoothly. Despite these shoots we really don't see enough of Wilbur in this novel, Harriet gets various texts from him which remind us of just how funny he is as a character which almost makes it worse that he really isn't  in this novel-I miss him. Harriet's dad is just as funny as ever and you really do find yourself scratching your head as to how he manages to get on alone in the world. 

Nat really comes into her own in this novel and we also see another side to Alexa and her little gang which was really interesting! But again, nick is missing. If you've read the other Geek Girl books then you'll know why but I felt really sad that he wasn't in this novel. There are some really bittersweet flashbacks throughout the book to when he and Harriet had done photo shoots together in the past and the end of the novel leaves it very open ended as to what is goingtno happen with Nick but hurrah there MAY be another potential love interest on the scene and so I can't wait for the next installment in the series to find out how all that pans out! No spoilers here, I promise! 

Overall I loved this dose of Harriet Manners, it's another fab read and one I am sure you will absolutely storm through. There are laughs, there are some really aww moments and some moments where you think that Harriet might not actually manage to pull through this time but overall it is a real feel-good fun read. If you haven't read the other books in this fab series then go and do that now and then get your reading goggles around this one as soon as possible-you won't be disappointed! 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Exclusive extract: Indiscretion by Hannah Fielding

Today I am part of the Blog tour for Indiscretion by Hannah Fielding 

I am very very lucky to have an extract of this exciting new book for you-heres the info you need about this fabulous hardback...

Published by LWP April 2nd 2015

Hardback £15.99 


Indiscretion is the new novel from award winning romance novelist Hannah Fielding.

Written in Fielding’s signature style, infused with an old-school Hollywood glamour, Indiscretion evokes the drama and passion of 1950s post-war Spain.


1950’s London. Alexandra, a young writer is bored of her suffocating but privileged life amongst the gilded balls and parties of Chelsea. Keen for an adventure, Alexandra travels to Spain to be reunited with her estranged Spanish family on a huge estancia in Andalucía.  


Arriving in sun-drenched southern Spain for the first time, Alexandra is soon caught up in the wild customs of the region. From bull fighting matadors and the mysterious Gypsy encampments in the grounds of the family’s estate, to the passionate dances of the region and the incredible horsemanship of the local caballeros, Alexandra is instantly seduced by the drama and passion of her new home. 


When Alexandra inevitably falls for Salvador, the mercurial heir to her family’s estate and the region’s most eligible man, she finds herself entangled in a web of secrets, lies and indiscretion.  Alexandra soon falls prey to scheming members of her own family, the jealousy of a beautiful marquésa and the predatory charms of a toreador, all intent on keeping the two lovers apart. 


But nothing can prepare Alexandra for Salvador’s own dangerous liaisons with a dark-eyed Gypsy.


Can Alexandra trust that love will triumph, or will Salvador’s indiscretion be their undoing?

I'm excited! Scroll down to find out more about the author-thank you to Hannah for the opportunity to host this content today!

Turning into the Calle de la Iglesia, Alexandra was immediately struck by the contrast between the quarter she had just walked through and this one. Here, the street was immersed in the shade of giant flame trees and life suddenly slowed to a more leisurely pace. She passed white houses tucked away between clumps of pomegranate trees; orchards hemmed in by dry stone walls; hedges of aloe; secret, leafy patios, the domain of women and their families, where the warbling of birds and the smothered laughter of young girls mingled with the soft murmur of fountains.

She had almost reached the end of the street when bells began ringing the Angelus, calling worshippers to Evensong. To her right was a small chapel. It seemed so welcoming, the garden planted out with roses and mimosas, front doors open, inviting passersby to enter.

On impulse, she went in. Inside, it was dark, quiet and cool. The organ was playing softly and the scent of orange blossom and roses filled the place. Alexandra was overcome by a feeling of great serenity and slowly moved towards the altar.

Her eyes took a few minutes to grow accustomed to the relative gloom. On each side of the main aisle, ten or so rows of oak benches stood in perfect orderly fashion. There were flowers everywhere: in garlands, in dainty crystal vases on the altar, in bunches of various sizes, placed as offerings at the feet of the statues of saints that filled the church. Several candles burned in thanks for prayers that had been answered; all were witness to the faith and gratitude of the devout worshipers who had carefully placed them there.

At first, Alexandra thought she was alone but she soon noticed a man, a few paces away, kneeling on a prayer stool at the foot of Saint Mary of Mercy’s statue. His broad shoulders were hunched beneath a shock of jet-black hair, his face hidden in slender, suntanned hands. It was dark, so why she should think that this was the stranger she had already encountered on the seafront and why her heart was beating so hard against her ribs, she couldn’t say, but she had no doubt at all that it was the same man.

Footsteps and whispering made her turn around. A man began to speak in a nasal singsong voice that echoed strangely from the walls of the little church, disturbing the peace and tranquillity: ‘This is the Church of Santa María.  As in most of our Spanish towns, Our Lady of Mercy is its all-powerful and well-loved patron saint, a friend who protects all, be they lords or paupers.’ It was a tour guide who had appeared in the doorway, ushering his party of tourists into the church. 

‘Our land is rich in legends about the Virgin Mary. The most moving is the one about the young Jewish girl who fell in love with a Christian knight. Despairing of ever attracting his attention, the beautiful maiden turned to our Virgin here, on whom everyone called. Humbly, she gave all she possessed: a pin decorated with a tiny glass bead. The miracle happened: the knight passed by at that very moment, saw her, and his heart was forever linked to hers by the pin she had given as an offering.’

The group of sightseers passed Alexandra and disappeared through a low door at the back of the church leading to the crypt. Peace returned. 

All the while, the man on the prayer stool had not moved. Alexandra went up to the statue of Our Lady of Mercy to light a candle but a priest had just gone by to clear up the melted wax from the previous batch of devotees’ offerings, and she neither had matches nor a lighter handy. A faint tch of annoyance escaped her lips.

Permita me señorita.’

Alexandra had scarcely time to register the quiet words spoken unexpectedly, close to her ear, before the stranger’s brown hand had flicked a gold lighter in front of her, bringing to life a tiny blue flame and at the same time brushing against her arm.

The spark that went through her at the Spaniard’s touch made Alexandra shudder and, emitting a slight gasp, she instinctively drew back in the first instance. But then, as she realized he was only trying to be helpful, she raised her face, smiling as readily and uninhibitedly as she always did. 

Gracias, muchas gracias.’

There was utter silence in the church. The man did not smile but merely inclined his head, leaving Alexandra, as he had earlier on, with the impression that inbred courtesy had prompted him to lend his assistance, rather than the more usual reasons men found for helping her. Still, her green gaze met his. She was struck by the expression of sadness reflected in his arresting grey irises and the sternness of his hard, regular features. 

An almost visible current leapt between them. For a split second, the determined line of his jaw stiffened, his well-defined lips parted and she thought he might speak. Her heart missed a beat


An Award Winning Romance Novelist


In July 2014 Hannah’s Novel The Echoes of Love was awarded first place in the Romance category at the 18th Independent Publisher Book Awards held in New York.The award organisers credited the Hannah with the ability to “take chances and break new ground” in the Romance genre.   


Hannah Fielding 

Hannah Fielding was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. Her family home was a large rambling house overlooking the Mediterranean where she lived with her parents and her grandmother, Esther Fanous, who had been a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s. 


Fluent in French, English and Arabic, Hannah’s left school at 18 and travelled extensively all over the world. Hannah met her husband in England and they lived in Cairo for 10 years before returning to England in 1989.  They settled in Kent, bringing up two children in a Georgian rectory, surrounded by dogs, horses and the English countryside. During this time, Hannah established a very successful business as an interior designer renovating rundown cottages.


With her children now grown up, Hannah now has the time to indulge in her one true passion, which is writing. Hannah has so far published two novels Burning Embers set in 1970s Africa and The Echoes of Love set in 1980s Venice. Her romance novels are adored by readers all over the world. 



For press enquires contact Tory Lyne-Pirkis at Midas PR

on 020 7361 7879 / tory.lyne-pirkis@midaspr.co.uk


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood I would Love To Revisit 24/3/15

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!

I'm fairly lucky because I get to read children's books at work. Even though the children I work with are 11, there's still value in reading pictures books with them so nothing is off limits really! There are some books that I loved when I was growing up, many of which I listened to on tape that I would rewind and listen again and again, so here's my list...

1. The Ramona series by Beverley Cleary-love love loved this! Made me want a sister too..

2. The Chalet School series by Elinor Brent Dyer. Didn't manage to read them all as many were out of print and despite the library trying to get them for me, we were out of luck! 

3. All the Judy Blume Books. I recently re-read forever but I would love to re-read some of the others. These were some of the first books I devoured not on tape! 

4. The Scrambled Legs Books. I loved ballet, this series was great! My dad read them to me and I'm sure he enjoyed reading about this group as much as i did! 

5. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, another one my dad read to me although we stopped at Voyage of the Dawn Treader because we didn't enjoy that one as much! 

6. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr. I recently read this with a group at school as I have the pop up version of it as well-love this book so much, every time I went to the library we would re-read it! 

7. The Tales of Beatirx Potter-any of them! I love the lakes and I love Beatrix potter. I once had a friend who had never heard of her and so I would ring them up sometimes just before bedtime and read one as a bedtime story-technology at its best! 

8. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. This one was read to me when I was 7 by my class teacher at the time and it had a big effect on me. 

9. The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross. I loved this one and when the TV series came out-man! 

10. Carrie's War by Nina Bawden. Another one I used to get out on tape from the library quite a bit-it scared me but I liked it! 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Review: Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

Another compelling story by Trisha Ashley that, once started,is difficult to put down. It had me drawn in immediately to the life, past and present, of heroine Izzy, her family and friends. There is mystery, romance, a touch of the supernatural, and, of course, the creatures of the title. 

When we first meet Izzy, she is returning to England after spending some time in India working for a charity. She is looking forward to a life with fiancé Kieran, but soon realises that he is perhaps not the man of her dreams after all.  Izzy's real dreams are, in fact, a big part of the unfolding story as she tries to piece together an event that happened in her teenage years, and that changed her life completely.  Returning to her childhood home (the wonderfully named Halfhidden), where she lives with zany Aunt Demo and meets up again with friends Lulu and Cam, helps her eventually solve the mystery. As you might expect, romance blossoms along the way as well. 

For a sleepy little Lancashire village, there is a lot going on in Halfhidden. We meet a host of really strong characters, not all of whom are pleasant and friendly. People and locations from some of Trisha's previous books crop up as well, which is a nice touch.

This book is definitely one to add to any holiday suitcase. I would have dearly loved a couple of days to devote to reading this tale without distractions such as work. Well done Trisha!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Letterbox Love #5

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

I've been so lucky with books recently  publishers and authors have been very generous in sending me the most fabulous review books as well as some seriously spectacular proofs!

It's was my Blogaversary this week and my celebrations took the form of sitting with a room full of lovely bloggers listening to some amazing authors & being able to take home some glorious books at the end of the night. These festivities were hosted by books and the city at Simon and Schuster and here are the books I took home with me...

The Boy I Love by Lynda Bellinghan, Accidents of Marriage by RS Meyers, A Time For Friends by Patricia Scanlan & Tell The Girl by Sandra Howard. I also got this amazing chapter sampler of new books from Jane Costello, Milly Johnson, Andy Jones, Iona Grey & Heidi Swain.

I was also sent some fabulous surprise book post this week. I was sent The Girl From Nowehre by Dorothy Koomson which is out next month. This is a gorgeous gorgeous proof and a properly strokable book. I've not read any Dorothy Koomson before so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this one! 

I was also sent a gorgeous parcel from pan Macmillan which was very mysterious and beautifully packaged. 

It included a copy of Kirsty Greenwood's The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance and this lush red Lilly. I'm nearly finished the book (you'll have seen it was one of my weekend reads) and it's such a fabulous story, proper get your teeth into chick lit affair! 

I also treated myself to a little order this week from the website which shall not be named and one of my purchases was Summer at the Little a Beach a Street Bakery by JennyColgan. I decided to get the paperback because I know my mum wants to read this one and so we can now share the paperback as I am seeing her next week-winner. As you can see I also bought the complete Friends on Blu Ray. This nice thin Boxset means that I can free up a shelf above my TV which currently houses all my friends DVDs to make room for more books, I'm thinking this could be my new signed shelf!  

Last week i also bought a book over the phone. I bought myself a copy of Geek Girl: All That Glitters by Holly Smale. I needed to buy this over the phone because I was planning to attend a signing that the lovely Holly Smale was doing at the amazing Chorleywood Bookshop but I had a meeting after school so unfortunately I couldn't go. I phoned up the bookshop though and they had a copy signed for me which I paid for over the phone and then went to pick up last Sunday-how awesome is that? That's why I love this bookshop and also-how exciting to finally have a signed Geek Girl copy! 

Last couple of treats I was sent from publishers in the post now... The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett was sent to be by Orion. I LOVE the cover and the inside covers are just as lovely as the outside and the book sounds seriously good, I was to read it now. I'm going to sit and look at it for just a bit longer through...

And finally I was sent this hefty but beautiful hardback of Indiscretion by Hannah Fielding, author of The Echoes of Love. I'm going to be part of the blog tour for this book so look out for that at the end of the week! 

I think you'll agree I've had another very lucky week in terms of books through my door. I'm going to another bookish event on Wednesday of this week and then another the following week. Ther are so many fabulous events out there right now it would be silly to say no to any of them so expect more book hauls coming your way soon. 

I hope everybody is having a great weekend and enjoying some amazing books this Sunday-happy reading! 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Weekend Reads

Just a quick post today to update you on what I intend to read over the weekend. Now this weekend I have quite a bit to do around the house, I also have an essay to write so I expect that I shall be procrastinating quite a lot with some fabulous reading!

Right now I am loving The Vintage Girls Guide To Love And Romance by Kristy Greenwood. It is so much fun and making me laugh out loud quite a lot. I need to remember not to read this one on a an early morning commuter train, I would be lynched for breaking the silence with my laughter.

In a complete opposite direction, I am also listening to the last book in the Hunger Game Trilogy-Mockingjay. Catching fire ended on such a cliffhanger but I am finding this one a little more difficult to read than I thought I would. I am listening to it in the car on my way to and from work but not really much more than that.

As I am going to finish this one soon, I need to decide which audiobook to listen to next. The list on my Audible app includes Me and Mr Jones by Lucy Diamond, Single Woman Seeks Revenge by Tracy Bloom, Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty or Daughter by Jane Shemilt. I've been taking advantage of the Audible Daily Deal offer recently so I have quite a stockpile of audiobooks waiting for me!

In terms of which paperback to read next, as always there are many choices but I am actually halfway through exactly three books that I kind of abandoned to go and read Christmas books in December-woops! So I think I really should get round to finishing these off. These include Its Not Me Its You by Mhairi McFarlane, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison and Special Delivery by Clare Dowling. I was finding The Rosie Effect a little difficult to get into but I was loving the other 2 books and so I don't know why I abandoned them, perhaps this weekend I will manage to finish one of them. Its Not Me Its You is the Novelicious books club pick this month so that's my motivation for finishing that one!

So which audiobook do you think I should pick? Which book should I finish/ And what are you all reading this weekend? Let me know! Have a great weekend...