Thursday 24 March 2016

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event!

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Books and the City Spring Blogger Event. Books as the City always put on really fabulous events, as well as publishing amazing books!

The event included four authors, readings, goody bags and nibbles, a great event all in all then! It was lovely to catch up with some other bloggers and indulge in a bit of book gossip. 

The line up of authors included Juliet Ashton, who read from her book these days are ours. I'm currently reading this book so it was great to hear her reading it aloud! She said this was one of the easiest books to write because she based the main characters on those close to her...

She was also lovely enough to sign it for me. The e-book is out now so look out for my review very soon! The paperback is out on the 7th April.

Holly Hepburn was the next exciting author to take the stage. She read from the second part in her Star and Sixpence series, Summer at The Star and Sixpence. We were all lucky enough to have an actual paperback copy of this title, which would normally only be available in e-book form. This series features some very hot men and I can't wait to read this installment which follows on from Valentines at The Star and Sixpence (still free on Kindle!).

I got a signed copy of this lovely read which is out on 25th April, again keep an eye out for a review soon!

Excitingly, Paige Toon was up next to read from her 10th novel. Anyone who has read Paige's novels will know that she does escapism and truly believable story lines so well. This novel is about triplets. The proofs had literally just come in and I am so excited to read this one.

The One We Fell in Love With is out on 19th May, I can't wait to see the finished cover!

Last to give a reading was Penny Parkes. Her debut novel Out of Practice comes out on 28th July, another success for Books and the City Digital originals! The part we heard from the book left us on a total cliffhanger and I can't wait to read more. There seems to be a seriously hunky doctor in this novel which is a total bonus obviously. 

I was lucky enough to get my copy signed and Penny was so lovely to chat to!

At the end of the evening, we were joined by a special suprise guest in the form of Georgia Clarke, autho of The Regulars. She was literally just off the plane from new York so did very well to stay and chat to us! The Regulars is a brand new novel so I'll give you some more information about it as soon as I finish reading this sampler chapter.

I was also able to help myself to some fab books including this: The House on Bellvue Gardens by Rachel Hore. This is out now!

As well as all these fab books, we received goody bags containing to excellent Books and the City swag as well as goodies from Grosvenor House Hotel.

Thank you to Books and the City and all the lovely authors for a wonderful evening, I literally cannot wait to read the books!

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I really love but haven't talked about in a while 22.3.16

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!

Oh what a lovely top ten this week! Books I love but haven't talked about in a while, this just basically means an excuse to talk about my favourite books right? Well you know what that means.... No numbers this week, I don't want to be showing any favouritism! If you're going away over easter then you might find a few recommendations here for an easter read or two to brighten up your weekend...

The Yorkshire Pudding club by Milly Johnson, I saw a copy of this the other night and finally spoke about it again after ages. I'm hankering after a re-read of this one as it cheered me up so much when I read it, audible here I come!

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson (does anyone else sing as they read out that title?) I talk about Fairytale of New York and Meet me in Manhattan ALL the time, but I loved this read as well and this book meant that I met Miranda for the first time too!

Darcy Burdock series by Laura Dockrill. No I haven't read book four yet despite having purchased it as soon as it came out *searches Amazon to find the date* woops! Such a fun series and definitely something to keep you entertained as a whole family, my library has the audiobook, yours might too!

The Accident by CL Taylor. I think I read this around Easter time too as I remember my Dad's birthday (which is next week) I couldn't go out to dinner until this was finished as I had 17 pages left. If you haven't read this one yet-you must!

All the Single Ladies by Jane Costello. I pressed this one onto my Mum and it wasn't until then that I remembered what an awesome book this was, proper laugh-out-loud comedy as well!

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. I read the most recent instalment of this around my MUM's birthday (it's a good way of keeping track of where/when you read books) and I was reminded of how much I love Bridget. I must read this again soon!

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk. I love Angela and I really really want to read about her adventure to the Big Apple again soon especially since I've just booked a trip there!

The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman. This was one of the books I read the summer I was unemployed and literally down to my last few books, between Rowan, Lindsey Kelk, Miranda Dickinson, Milly Johnson and Sophie Kinsella, my summer was made. An awesome early novel!

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. I recently downloaded the latest novel from Moran 'Moranifesto' and was reminded how much I loved this book. I read it on a return journey to Glasgow on a very hot and sticky train one July (near my friend's birthday-see again!) and I remeber gushing about it to her as I got off the train. The reading reminds me of being slightly tipsy and sunburnt, classic combination, and made me feel empowered!

A special mention to all jenny Colgan novels. I feel like I haven't spoken about this author in a while and I love her funny books. Hers was also the very first novel I blogged about on here just over 3 years ago (yes I missed my Blogaversary I know!) and so I want to mention all of her books!

Ok I'm feeling the need to re-read all of these books now-good job it's the Easter holidays coming up, school won't mind if I don't do any work right?

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBR 15.3.16

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 so many books that I want to read and hopefully, with the easter holidays coming up, I'll actually get to some of these beauties because they all look amazing!

1. The Day of Second Chances by Julie Cohen

2. My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

3. Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

4. After the Lie by Kerry Fisher

5. After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning

after the last

6. All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

All the Stars in the Heavens

7. These Days are Ours by Juliet Ashton

These Days of Ours

8. Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jan Costello

9781471149115 (4)

9. Girl Up by Laura Bates

Girl Up

10. Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

TBRs are so easy to put together aren't they? When you have so many great books out there, you just want to read them all! I love all these authors so this should be some really great reading for me!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Guest Review: The Birthday That Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…
The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.
The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

This has to be one of the funniest books I have ever read.  It had its serious moments, but in the main had me laughing inside as well as out loud at times. There was, however, some strong language and hot sex, so some people might not find it quite so funny.

The lady with the birthday of the title is Sally Summers. We actually see her through 4 birthdays in all during the course of the novel. We first meet her as she wonders what her plastic surgeon husband, Simon, is going to give her for her 40th birthday. In fact what he gives her is a very unwelcome surprise as he announces that he is leaving her for a much younger woman, who is, in fact, a stripper. Once she has recovered slightly, Sally decides to pack her case and go off on a luxury holiday to Turkey courtesy of Simon's credit card. Accompanying her are her teenage children, Lucy and Ollie. While on holiday, Sally meets an interesting mix of people, a group of whom meet up there every year. They welcome her family into their group, and they party for the next fortnight. Each of this new group has their own tale to tell, which emerges as the story unfolds and they return to the hotel in Turkey on subsequent years.

I found the characters in the story strong and mostly, with the possible exception of Sally's husband, likeable. Sally's children are very different; while Ollie is no trouble at all, Lucy is most definitely the teenager from Hell and a source of great humour within the story. She treats her mother, brother and father outrageously. Sally, however, deals with her outbursts with great patience, despite the embarrassment they cause her. Although cringing at some of the things she comes out with, it was difficult not to warm to Lucy; you could see the decent person underneath waiting to emerge. The other main character out of the group of friends is James, practically a single dad, as his wife takes little interest in their young son who is on holiday with him.

I would highly recommend this story to anyone who fancies a bit of comedy and romance rolled into one. It had me laughing out loud several times, which probably got me a few funny looks if I happened to be reading in a coffee shop. There were also some serious and sad parts as well, as happens in real life, but overall this is a very, very funny story, extremely well told.

Thursday 3 March 2016

World Book Day 2016

It is World Book Day and that is just so exciting. The most exciting part of world book day for me isn't the dressing up but the celebration of books! Books are amazing and one of the things that happens on WBD is that these fab £1 books get released so that children all over the country can spend their £1 WBD token. I think it is such a good idea and I always end up buying all of the books for my class anyway! They're a fun quick read and this year's titles are listed below... 

  • Kipper’s Visitor
  • Supertato to the Rescue
  • Daisy and the Trouble With Jack
  • The Great Mouse Plot
  • Welcome to the World of Norm
  • Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space
  • Harper and the Sea of Secrets
  • The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked
  • Spot the Difference
  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Guest review: The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books...not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing...

I was very excited to learn that another novel from Jenny Colgan was on its way and could hardly wait to get my hands on it. In the end, I listened to it as an audio book and it kept me amused and chuckling on a return journey from Yorkshire to Berkshire. I loved every bit of it. It is a book about books, so it can hardly fail to appeal to a book lover. Jenny even begins with a list of places that she reads books, which I'm sure will strike a chord with others as well as myself. 

The main character in the tale is Nina, a dedicated librarian with a passion for books and an apparent insatiable appetite for them that has led her housemate to despair that they are taking over, and may even damage, the house. Unfortunately, economic cuts have meant that her library is to close down and she is left wondering what to do with her life. A course arranged to help those in her position leaves her believing that she might be able to fulfil her ambition of one day opening a bookshop, and so she does. But it is not just any ordinary bookshop.... Her dream takes her from her home in Birmingham to settle in the Scottish highlands. Along the way, Nina meets up with a number of book enthusiasts, some of them apparently unlikely readers. The main male characters include Lennox, a grumpy and moody Scottish farmer, and a Latvian train engineer by the name of Marek. Of course, as well as selling books, Nina is looking for, and finds, romance on her travels.

As with all the Jenny Colgan stories I have read, there is a great deal of humour in this one. It had me laughing out loud on quite a few few occasions. However, the plot was still strong and not at all predictable. Jenny's writing effectively brought alive the characters and locations in the tale. Much of the action took place in the north of Scotland, and I could easily envisage the villages and landscape in the area where Nina was living. 

I'm sure that fans of Jenny Colgan's books will pick this one up, but if you haven't read any of her novels before, this one would be a great introduction.