Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read in 2017 so Far! 27/6/17



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!


This is going to be such a hard list to complile! I am already at the number of books I was at at the end of 2016, possibly even further than that... So there are a LOT of great books to choose from. Some of these will obviosuly make it onto my top ten at the end of the year too but hopefully I will read even more great books by the end of the year nd we'll have a bit of variety! So here goes (and these are in no particular order as usual) click the picture to go to the buy page and I'll link reviews I've written too. 

(I wrote this post a few weeks ago and I went back and added some more so initially it was a top 10 but now its 10 and then some more!)




 

























And a special mention to a couple of serialised reads that I have LOVED!







Monday, 26 June 2017

Blog Tour: Q&A With Kat French Author of The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach


I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French because I got to do a Q & A with this awesome author! This fab book came out on 22nd June and is just perfect for summer. You can click here to order your copy. 

Before I get to my Q & A I'll share the blurb with you so you know what it's all about and remind you to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content!

From Kat French, the author of best-selling ‘My Perfect Stranger’ and ‘Love Your Neighbour’ comes a story that all women will be able to relate to – the perfect read for a beach holiday or to keep you company on a train journey this summer.

Three women throw caution to the wind and move from England to run a B&B on a Greek island…

They’ve all reached a point in their lives when they need a change – one divorced, one empty nester, one made redundant from the job she’s held since leaving school many moons ago. The move tests their friendship to the limits, brings errant husbands running, and offers new opportunities for love.

Each of the women go through their own metamorphosis, but will they choose to stay in Greece when the holiday season winds down?


Thank you so much to Kat for stopping by today and answering my questions!


First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I came second in the Mills & Boon annual competition in 2009 and got the bug!

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
I've worked full time as a writer since around 2012.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I'm a romance junkie, so you'll always find a good slice of sizzling romance in my stories!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I don't base them on real people, but I do draw bits of people from TV and movies or people I know in real life.

What was the inspiration behind The Bed and Breakfast on the beach?
I wanted to write a book that was really escapist and romantic, and specifically about three friends as it reminds me of my own best friends!

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
I'm not a big plotter. I tend to know how it will begin and end, but I'm open to surprises along the way as I write it.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?
Oh, that's tricky! I guess my writing is informed by my own life and experiences, it has to be to some extent.

What kind of research did you do before/during writing The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach?
Well, there's a secret gin distillery in the book - I def took my gin research very seriously indeed! I've been to Greece on holiday, and I knew I wanted to create a fictional little sister island to Skiathos and Skopelos, where Mama Mia was filmed.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
I try to read most of them, and I'm always grateful that people have taken the time to read my books and leave a comment.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
Absolutely! They're really supportive.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?
Nervous, usually! It's exciting, but always scary. 

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I'm a long-term Jilly Cooper and Marian Keyes fan, and more recently Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. I'm half way through the Stephanie Plum series and loving it!

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

I'm working on my next book for Avon right now. I can't tell you the details yet though, it's all a bit of a secret for now!

I don't know about you but I can't wait to hear more! 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway from Stewart Ross, Author of The Salvation Project


Another fabulous blog tour coming your way today. I have an insightful guest post from the author or The Salvation Project Stewart Ross for you today, as well as a giveaway!

Here's what the book is all about:

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…

Information about the Book

Title: The Salvation Project (The Soterion Mission #3)
Author: Stewart Ross
Release Date: 20th June 2017
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publisher: Blean Books
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35095911-the-salvation-project 
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Salvation-Project-Stewart-Ross/dp/0957101929 


Are you ready for the exclusiv extract? Scroll down for the giveaway and more information on this author and don't forget to visit the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and giveaways! Thanks so much for Stewart for dropping by today...

Top Five Things about Giv

Warning! This piece contains plot spoilers.

1. I loved creating Giv. He started out as a simple boy, full of hero-worship and desperately
eager to please. Partly through fear and partly through admiration, his Malik, Timur the
Terrible, was everything to him. Then, in Revenge of the Zeds, to my surprise I found another
side to him emerging. He moves from the edge of the trilogy to its centre; in fact, the entire
plot depends upon his collection of the Head and subsequent capture of Xsani.

2. I am often asked how carefully I plan my books. Someone once likened the writing process
to being swept along by a river flowing to the sea down a broad valley: we know about the
sea, but have little control over the twists and turns it takes before it gets there. I know
where and how a story will end (the sea) – that’s what gives it a satisfactory shape – but I
don’t know how it will reach that point.

The reason for this uncertainty is that we can’t be sure how people will react to what’s going
on around them: once a character is created, he or she takes on a life of their own. This is
precisely what happened with Giv.

In The Soterion Mission, Timur is the only Zed with any brain, wit or imagination. But I found
the succession of dim-witted Zeds, men like Jamshid and Sheza, lacked variety. There was a
limit to laughing at their stupidity and being horrified by their cruelty. I also wanted to
explore the idea that people from similar backgrounds develop differently.

While in Revenge of the Zeds Jumshid remains 100% Zed-like until his grizzly end, Giv comes
alive. His nature triumphs over his nurture. He develops from a caricature into a character, a
young man with a desperate need to love and be loved.

3. Therein lies poor Giv’s ruin. He loves the Head (I don’t want to give away too much plot in
case you haven’t read the books yet) and at the same time he loves Malika Xsani. When the
two are in harmony, he can manage. But when they drift apart, he is torn in half and goes
mad.

That’s the tragedy of Giv, what makes him more than a common Zed, and what makes him


   

    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

   
        The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross    
   
     

          The Salvation Project      

     

          by Stewart Ross      

     
         
            Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.          
         
            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          
     
   
   
    Enter Giveaway


Author Information

Stewart was born in Buckinghamshire and educated in Oxford, Berkhamsted, Exeter, Bristol, and Orlando, Florida. He taught at a variety of institutions in Sri Lanka, the Middle East, the USA, and Britain before becoming a full-time writer in 1989.

With over 300 published titles to his credit, he is now one of Britain’s most popular and versatile authors. His output includes prize-winning books for younger readers, novels, plays, three librettos, a musical, and many widely acclaimed works on history and sport. Several of his books are illustrated with his own photographs.

Stewart also lectures in France and the UK, gives talks, runs workshops, and visits schools. He is an occasional journalist and broadcaster. His brother, Charlie Ross, is the celebrated auctioneer.

In his spare time Stewart enjoys travel, restaurants, sport, theatre, photography, art and music. He lives near Canterbury with his wife Lucy, and - occasionally - his four children and two grandchildren. Each morning he commutes 10 metres to work in a large hut in the garden.

Website: http://www.stewartross.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Booksmyth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Soterion-Mission-194311443946577/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jstewartross


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Author events I've attended recently.

I've been lucky enough to have had some wonderful authors come to town recently and so I have attended some great events held by bookshops and libraries in my area. 

The first event I attended was held by my library but took place in the conference room of a hotel was an event with Laini Taylor to promote her novel Strange the Dreamer. 

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Now I'm not big into fantasy and I read a sample of this and knew that it wasn't my thing straight away. However, I know that she is a hugely popular writer and so I really wanted to go to the event to get to meet her and to hear what she had to say. She confessed that she isn't a natural writer, she finds it hard and every book is painful. She also said that she didn't really decide to do the whole writing thing until just a few years ago. All of this was massively helpful to me and my writing process and I really enjoyed hearing her answer others questions about various fantasylands and fandoms and the event was really enjoyable!


The next event I attended was held at The Bookbar bookshop in Denver. First of all, this bookshop was fabulous and I will DEFINITELY be going back! Secondly, this was such a lovely intimate event and I enjoyed it so much. Colleen Oakes was there promoting her Alice in Wonderland spin off series, with books 1 and 2 (Queen of Hearts and Blood of Wonderland)...

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And Brianna Shrum was there talking about her Peter Pan spin off Never Never. She also let us into a secret about the title of her new YA romance novel which is similar in kind to How to Make out. 


They also talked about their writing process and how they like to write as well as what they like to write. They then went on to talk about fandoms and we discussed what books we are all reading and loving right now. It was a really great crowd and just a fabulous Sunday afternoon!



The most recent event I attended was with one of my favourite authors Graeme Simsion. He was here at Tattered cover in Denver talking about his latest book The Best of Adam Sharp. 

He also talked a lot about the Rosie Project and answered my question about The Rosie Effect! He talked about his new project as well, which is a collaboration with his wife, who is also a writer. It sounds really exciting and definitely whet my appetite for what is to come!


Graeme read a little from his latest novel, chatted to members of the audience and talked about the music he has included in the book and why. He also talked all things film, how the Rosie Project was originally a screenplay and how the development of the film has been one massive roller coaster. He dropped several hints as to who might be involved with the film and also possible films coming out of The Best of Adam Sharp and also his upcoming project. He was such a great host and I felt like he was genuinely happy to meet us all despite the crazy schedule that a book tour provides!


And another fab Tattered Cover event I attended recently was to celebrate the release of When Dimple Met Rishi which I reviewed here! This event was great! Sandhya Menon spoke about how this isn't her first novel but is the first YA and was very much a team effort with editor and publicist. She is a local author and so this really added to the meaningfulness of the event for me. I loved hearing her speak about her writing process and talk about the possibility of a spin off. She has just released the title of her next book and is a real presence of social media so you should definitely go and check her out!

  


Have you met any of these authors or know of any other events coming up soon in your area? Let me know in the comments and happy reading!


Friday, 23 June 2017

Review: Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.





Review: Why did I wait so long to read this book? I know I am always saying this but I bought this book when it first came out in the UK and so it has been sitting on my shelf that long waiting to entertain me. I loved this read right from the word go. It was entertaining, funny and relatable. I loved the fact that it is a YA novel but it is about grown up, British teenagers. Something which is often hard to find. This book is all about that summer between school and university when people are going off on group holidays, heading to festivals, travelling to their gap years, finding jobs and waiting for those exam results. Most people have gone through that time and so it is about time someone wrote a novel about how weird a time it is!

This is also a love story obviously. But, like all real relationships things aren't smooth and happy and jolly, there are some total cringe moments, as well as some hugely funny misunderstandings and I loved that about it. These characters of course, bring these situations to life and I loved spending time with Hannah and Sam and their groups of friends. Sam's group of friends felt just like watching an episode of the Inbetweeners and I think that's one of the reasons I found them so hilarious. Hannah's group is the usual frenemies situation and are always talking about sex and losing their virginity (remember when that's all you and your friends could talk about?). I really enjoyed the dynamic between them and any of them could have been the people I went to school with. 

I listened to this book on audiobook and because it is a dual narrative, this worked really well. The only aspect of the audiobook that let it down a little was the fact that the narrator gave Tilly a really squeaky voice so that she sounded 4 and not 18! The romantic aspect of the book isn't rammed down your throat, this is a funny story about growing up more than it is about relationships and so don;'t be put off by that. There are some very real relationship moments and I loved the bits that really were sweet in there, because that's real life isn't it? I just really loved this book, I loved what it stood for I loved the humour and I really want to know where these characters all are now!

To get your copy, just click the link UK or US


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Review: All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?





Review: Oh I so enjoyed reading this novel. This was one of those books that you read slowly because you want to savour it and take it all in. I haven't read a book like this in a while, i normally devour books so quickly but this one I kept having to put down to ponder and mull over in my mind. This book obviously had such a serious subject matter and is by no means light-hearted but I could see this happening in so many places I have known and in so many situations I have seen and so I could definitely relate, indirectly to parts of this book. 

I loved the premise behind this one. Someone in prison but being encouraged to note down the good things in her life. Beth is such an interesting character because she is most definitely old before her time and so some of the things she discusses with her counsellor and some of the things she has been through seem so much like things people would discuss who have lived a long life, or seen many things over their years on earth. Each chapter starts with one of the good things that Beth is discussing with her counsellor and they are written as if they are a letter to someone. We find out who that person is fairly early on but I won't spoil it for you!

Beth is such a complex character and definitely someone I can recognise. She has been through the foster system, she has been let down by the benefits system, she has fallen through the cracks and we are led to believe that this is why she did the bad thing. We don't find out until the end what that bad thing is, but i did begin to guess throughout the book. Part of me didn't want to find out because I had warmed to Beth so much, but I knew I needed to know and this aspect of the book is so beautifully woven into the story line and so well crafted. I think people will definitely have different opinions of Beth but I really warmed to her and I wish that I could have known her to support her in some way. 

Obviously this book deals with many many issues and many issues that people will not really have come across in their lives except for perhaps on the news. But these issues are woven into the story line amongst real things that we can all relate to. Our first job as a teenager, cinema outings and outings with friends when you don't really have enough money to afford them. Not living up to someones expectations and the fear you feel the first time you are truly on your won. For such  serious book though, this isn't a depressing or even a majorly heavy read. I really enjoyed it and thought that Claire Fisher dealt with these topics in such a sensitive way and just writes beautifully. I really enjoyed reading this novel and would encourage you to read it now. 

To order your copy, just click the link!  UK 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Guest Review: Ella's Ice Cream Summer by Sue Watson

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets. 

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.




Review: Although Sue Watson has written a good few books, this is the first that I have actually read. It is the first in a series about The Ice Cream Cafe that sound perfect for a summer read. The title describes this book as a laugh out loud romantic comedy, but in addition to that it is a story with many other facets. I will admit that it didn't have me hooked right from the start, but I soon got engrossed in the story and finished it in quick time. It is a really heart-warming tale. The book has a really enticing cover, that speaks of summer holidays and days out at the seaside. 

The main character is Ella, of course - a 44-year-old divorcee caring for two teenage children and an ageing and sometimes forgetful mother. She has reached that stage many women will recognise where her kids are about to fly the nest and she is thinking 'what next?'. When she is unexpectedly left a legacy by an aunt she hasn't seen in over 30 years, things begin to take a turn in an unforeseen direction. From an uncertain future in Manchester, she decides on a completely fresh start, and is suddenly selling ice cream from a van in the sleepy little Devon village of Appledore and dreaming up the most delicious ice cream flavours. 

There is a great deal of humour in this book, mostly emanating from Ella's mum and her forays into the world of the internet, egged on by her grandchildren. Another character that made me laugh out loud was a Pomeranian dog fostered by Ella; this little canine had an enormous wardrobe with outfits for every occasion, and Ella was obliged to dress her appropriately. Of course, there was a bit of romance as well, courtesy of gorgeous Ben, a local solicitor. On top of all that, there is a mystery running through the book that Ella must solve. It kept me guessing!

In summary, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone. The only thing I would say is that it will leave you wanting to go out and buy an ice cream, or even experiment with making some yourself; a recipe is included should you be tempted. 

To order your copy now, just click the link! UK or US 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Publication Day Spotlight: The Beta Mum Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

I haven't brought you a publication day spotlight for a while but this book sounded like something we would all like to read so I would like to share all the info with you and wish this author a very happy publication day!

Firstly how fabulous is this cover?


And here's what it's all about:

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet, sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep. 

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts The Beta Mum, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha mums?

About The Author

Isabella Davidson is the author of the popular blog, Notting Hill Yummy Mummy. Through the blog, she has written for The Times, The Saturday Times Magazine, Corner magazine and has also been interviewed by The Financial Times, The Spectator, The Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler and many more. 

Prior to her writing career, she worked for a humanitarian organisation in public education and awareness and as a doctor for the National Health Service. She loves to travel and has lived in seven countries on four different continents. She now lives in west London with her husband and their two children. The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is her first novel. 

And click here to buy your copy: UK or US

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start but Haven't 20/6/17



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!


This is an interesting one. I can't remeber if I've done this before but it would defintiely intrigue me to see the difference now. I don't think I'll be able to come up with 10 but let's star with one I had been meaning to read for ages and have just marathoned...




Here's one I want to read:

Lorali: A colourful mermaid novel that's not for the faint-hearted by [Dockrill, Laura]

Aurabel: The edgiest mermaid ever written about (Lorali) by [Dockrill, Laura]

And another:

Jessie Hearts NYC by [Stainton, Keris]

Emma hearts LA by [Stainton, Keris]

And another:

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson (Jessie Jefferson Novels) by [Toon, Paige]

I Knew You Were Trouble: A Jessie Jefferson Novel (Jessie Jefferson Novels) by [Toon, Paige]

All About the Hype (Jessie Jefferson Novels) by [Toon, Paige]

And another...

Johnny Be Good by [Toon, Paige]

Baby Be Mine by [Toon, Paige]

Johnny's Girl by [Toon, Paige]

And this one...

One Perfect Summer by [Toon, Paige]

One Perfect Christmas by [Toon, Paige]

And there's this one...

The Selection (The Selection, Book 1) (The Selection Series) by [Cass, Kiera]

The Elite (The Selection, Book 2) (The Selection Series) by [Cass, Kiera]

The One (The Selection, Book 3) (The Selection Series) by [Cass, Kiera]

The Heir (The Selection, Book 4) (The Selection Series) by [Cass, Kiera]

The Crown (The Selection, Book 5) by [Cass, Kiera]

And finally...

Dorothy Must Die by [Paige, Danielle]

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die Book 2) by [Paige, Danielle]

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die) by [Paige, Danielle]

The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die) by [Paige, Danielle]

Do you think I'll like these series? Is there anything else you think I should be getting stuck into? Let me know!