Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

"Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing." Ellen Degeneres' winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

Review: This one has been on my wishlist for quite some time. Sometimes when you wait and wait and wait for something, when it finally comes, it can be a little disappointing. Unfortunately that was the case with this read. I chose to listen to this one in audiobook. I was hoping for something insightful, something I hadn't heard before but this was broken down into short chapters, some of them just as short as a single joke and the others merely an extension of the monologue that she does at the start of each show. 

There were moments in the book when I laughed out loud, there is no question that this is a very funny woman and I do find her stories entertaining. So if you are looking for some entertainment during a holiday or a long car journey then this is definitely going to be the book for you. Because this was an audiobook and is read by the author, Ellen does sometimes address the audience. I liked this style and found it particularly spooky when she was picturing us reading  or listening to the book and 'maybe you're looking at a view of the mountains in Colorado' I was driving along a particularly picturesque road in Denver, looking at the snow on the mountains!

I did enjoy the way the book was structured and I did find it entertaining. I would definitely recommend listening to this on audiobook because it is read by Ellen and so you will have the jokes told with her timing and hear the way she talks about the language that she uses. I was hoping for a little more with this read though and I really hope that Ellen will bring out an updated version or another version of her memoirs for me to really get my teeth into!

To order your copy and see for yourself, click here!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Blog Tour! Review: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

You'll find a warm welcome in the latest novel from Ali McNamara, bestselling author of The Little Flower Shop by the Sea and From Notting Hill with Love, Actually
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there's a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.
'The Welcome House' is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there's always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she's remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.
But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious 'Welcome House'? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

Review: I was so excited to read Ali McNamara's latest novel. It has been a little while since I delved into her world and it was so great to be back. The stories that this author writes are feel-good reads with strong female leads with just a little hint of magic about them. This was no exception 

When I mention magic, this might be the fates aligning or might be something more but it really does give you, as a reader, a true sense of escapism. You have to put real life and any sort of cynicism or disbelief you have to one side for the duration of the book and let this author whisk you away into her world. I read this book in just 2 sittings and I'm sure I can say the same thing about her previous novels too because they really do just envelope you and allow you to hide away in whatever world lie within for 300 or so pages!

This is a little bit of a spin off from the last Ali McNamara that I read 'Breakfast at Darcy's' and it was great to be back in Ireland again and to revisit some of the characters from that novel. This is by no means a sequel though and you can definitely read this book despite not having read breakfast at Darcy's. For fans of that book though, it will be lovely to be back in that setting and surrounded by the same kind of Irish legends that we enjoyed in the first book. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Main character Ren over the course of this novel. She is incredibly easy to get along with and easy to relate to because she is her own person and has her own business but we know she has been hurt in some way in the past and therefore has her guard up. I loved reading about someone so really and yet someone I could so easily see myself being friends with. She and her partner Kiki are on this journey together and I loved meeting Kiki too, she is definitely the Ying to Ren's Yang and so the two of them really work well as a team. If anything I would love to read a spin off finding out what happens to Kiki now this novel is over-please?

There are of course a few male characters to get to know in this novel too, always a happy co-incidence. I loved hotel manager Finn and his fabulous dog Fergus. He is very like Ren and so I had high hopes for the tow of them from the start of the novel-not giving anything away though! There are also some real characters in the village and possibly some people to help Ren along her way. 

This is the perfect summer read because of the location and the little touch of magic that lies within the pages and so i highly recommend adding this to your summer TBRs. I am sure you will have just as much fun as I did hanging out with Kiki and Ren and helping them along on their quest to find the perfect house!

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

Winner of The Little Kiosk by The Sea Giveaway

Congratulations to Julie who won my Little Kiosk by The Sea Giveaway!

Please get in touch via email or DM me on Twitter and the publisher will send you your very own copy of this fabulously summer book!

Thank you so much for taking part and don't forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Guest Review: The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

The charming new bestseller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Canal Boat Cafe
Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.

Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.

As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?

Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Review: Another heart-warming story from Cressida McLaughlin, this time set in a little Dorset seaside town. Like her previous books, this one was originally published as an e-serial in 4 parts, but the whole story is now available in both ebook and paperback formats, giving the reader the choice. However, if you choose the ebook, you will miss out on the fabulous cover of the paperback, which feels nice as well as looking really attractive, and invites you inside to read about the marvellous seaside location it depicts. 

The lead female in the story is Robin Brennan, who has returned to Campion Bay to help her parents run their ailing guest house, having just folded her London-based events company. She realises that if it is to succeed, the guest house needs a complete makeover, and sets about making it into the most luxurious sounding destination, with some unique features. The seafront road where the guest house sits is also home to a few other businesses, the proprietors of which are all friendly and interesting characters. They include Robin's great friend, Molly and her daughter Paige, the father and son who run the Greek restaurant, and the couple who run the coffee shop. There is also a rather interesting crazy golf course on the doorstep. Of course, no romance would be complete without the addition of one or two eligible men around. Robin has the choice of her ex, Tim, and new neighbour, Will; they are very different, but I know who I would choose. 

This really is a lovely story. In fact, as it says on the cover in no less than three places, it could definitely be described as 'warm'. I found it easy to read, and the characters in the story were all believable and, almost without exception, extremely likeable. Unless Cressida actually found a hotel boasting rooms such as those Robin creates in the story, she has a great flair for design of which I am envious.  Of course, not everything is plain sailing for Robin and her friends, but the twists and turns are of the type that add interest to any narrative. 

To order your copy now, just click here!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Review: Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady

It is a truth universally acknowledged that working with an ex is a terrible idea…

Annie Elliot never expected her life to turn out this way: living with her dad, working as an accountant – surely the least glamorous job in Hollywood?! – and dodging her family’s constant bickering.
Landing a job as a producer on a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice seems like the piece of luck she’s been waiting for. Until the cast is announced, and Annie discovers that the actor playing Mr Darcy is Austen Wentworth: the man she’s spent nearly a decade trying to forget.
Not only is Austen her ex – but while Annie’s life has stalled, Austen is Hollywood’s hottest property…and has just been voted World’s Sexiest Man.
With nowhere to hide, there’s just one question. Now the one who got away has come back, should Annie stand by her pride? Or give into Austen’s powers of persuasion?

Review: This book was such a fun read. It was full of family drama, work drama, relationship drama and then some. I love a read that is action-packed and fast paced like this but I need to have a character I can get along with at the heart of it all, someone to keep things a little grounded, and someone to champion and this book had that too. 

I loved getting to know Annie and it really did feel like she was Cinderella at the start of this book so I had to champion her, I didn't have the choice. Her mum is out of the picture, her sisters and her father are making her life a living nightmare and she is trying so hard to be the strong woman that she knows she really can be and say no to them but there are all sorts of family ties holding her back, including that prince charming she lost, the one who got away. I really did feel like Annie was easy to identify with, She was put upon but she had big dreams and I loved that about her, I got to know her right away and we stayed friends throughout the book!

The other characters in the book provide the drama and the comedy value. I loved Annie's boss Cassie and thought she was very grounding for Annie. But her Dad, her two sisters, her sisters in law and her cousin. Wow! So much drama here. If you could imagine it, it would happen to them and Annie was the one who had to sort it out. This is a character packed book and I have to admit that I did struggle to keep track of who was who in the beginning a little, but basically, if it was Annie's family, they were going to cause some sort of issue and that's all I needed to know!

There's a love interest of course, 'The One Who Got Away' and he comes flying back into Annie's life and I loved the romantic tension that this created. There are some classic, 'does he like me does he not?' moments and these were almost too much to handle. There isn't a steamy element to the romance in this book but fear not, there are some sweet sweet moments. 

I loved the fact that this book surrounded a film production and all the difficulties that come with that and it was a great setting for the book too, one that I haven't read enough of recently, so it felt new and fresh and posed problems of its own for poor Annie. Overall this was a really fun read. There are some great nods to Austen here, some funny moments and just the right amount of romance. It is fast-paced and definitely something to add to your beach reading this summer!

To order your copy now, just click here!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Review: Onward by Howard Schultz

n 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. InOnward, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company's ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity. 

Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fastpaced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz's psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman. 

Onward represents Schultz's central leadership philosophy: It's not just about winning, but the right way to win. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every day--a sense of hope that, no matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one defines success to be.’

Review: I really wanted to read this book because of my interest in Starbucks. I was aware of the day that all the Starbucks closed so that staff nationwide could have training and what a bold move this was for such a massive company with as big a following as it has. I have read other books about Starbucks before and so I was keen to hear from the man himself-Howard Schultz-about his take on Starbucks past, present and future. 

This book is not necessarily a history of Starbucks and is definitely more suited towards people who want to learn the business side of the company than someone like me who is just a fan of what they do. But it was definitely interesting from a customer point of view, the moves they made within the company and the effect it had on me as one of their customers. I could see the new things that had been brought in, I remembered them hitting the market and the reasoning and research behind them being brought in was interesting to read about. 

What I also found interesting was the fact that this book does focus on the Starbucks right now and the Starbucks of the future, having read in other books and researched on the history of Starbucks in general. It was quite eye-opening to see Howard Schultz's take on where he sees the company going. What really came across was just how passionate he is about his company and how he translates that in everyday business. I think that anyone who sees Starbucks as a faceless corporation would definitely question that view when they read this. Obviously this was a few years ago now and so I would love to see an updated version come out or another book from Schultz because I found this to be an absolutely fascinating read!

To order your copy now, click here!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Guest Review: The Secret Listeners by Sinclair McKay

Follow-up to the bestselling The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, the hitherto-untold story of how young men and women across the world listened in to and intercepted the enemy’s radio traffic so that Bletchley Park’s codebreakers could turn the course of the war. Before Bletchley Park could break the German war machine’s codes, its daily military communications had to be monitored and recorded by “the Listening Service” – the wartime department whose bases moved with every theatre of war: Cairo, Malta, Gibraltar, Iraq, Cyprus, as well as having listening stations along the eastern coast of Britain to intercept radio traffic in the European theatre. This is the story of the – usually very young – men and women sent out to far-flung outposts to listen in for Bletchley Park, an oral history of exotic locations and ordinary lives turned upside down by a sudden remote posting – the heady nightlife of Cairo, filing-cabinets full of snakes in North Africa, and flights out to Delhi by luxurious flying boat.

The Secret Listeners: How the Wartime Y Service Intercepted the Secret German Codes for Bletchley Park by [McKay, Sinclair] 

Review: This book describes the exploits of the Wireless Interception Service, or Y Service, during the Second World War. This was a highly secretive organisation comprising armed forces and civilian personnel whose task was to listen in to encrypted enemy wireless communications, usually transmitted in morse code, and transcribe the sequences of letters that were being sent. These wireless intercepts were then submitted to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Hence, Y Service was responsible for intercepting and supplying the raw material to be decoded. However, the young men and women of the Y Service were posted not just to various listening stations around the United Kingdom, but to locations abroad nearer the front line, or even to an isolated island in the Indian Ocean.

The author, Sinclair McKay, had written previously "The Secret Life of Bletchley Park", so "The Secret Listeners" complements this earlier publication. It is based on archival material and interviews with numerous surviving veterans of Y Service. The book gives a fascinating insight of the work of this little-known organisation and the dedication of the operators who worked round the clock in sometimes difficult conditions to intercept and transcribe enemy communications.

Although I enjoyed the book, I do have a major criticism of the standard of proof reading since there are several obvious typographical errors. In addition, there are a number of glaring geographical errors, such as Harwich transposed from Essex to Suffolk, and Skegness transposed from Lincolnshire to Yorkshire. In addition, a map at the front of the book shows Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo in Egypt, transposed to Algeria

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

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Blog Tour: Extract from The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

I have another very exciting extract for you from the new novel by Lisa Stone. This novel was released on July 13th, here's what it's all about!

From global bestseller Cathy Glass comes a gripping new crime novel under the name Lisa Stone.

You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

And are you ready for your extract? Don't forget to scroll down for more information about this fab author and buy links. And don't forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour for more exclusive content!

[Extract 3 from Chapter 2 pp.6-7]
Rosie’s car was parked by the kerb. It was their car now. He used it whenever he wished. She’d given him the keys to the car and her flat when he’d come out of prison and moved in. She was good like that, he had to admit. He really shouldn’t have hit her so hard, but he’d make it up to her. He’d buy her some of her favourite chocolate, he decided as he opened the car door and tucked himself in. That would please her and make it OK. Arguments upset him and reminded him of his childhood, so a few beers for him and some chocolate for her and their evening would be back on track. 

As he started the car and then switched on the windscreen wipers, he briefly wondered if he might be over the legal drink-drive limit. He’d had three premium-strength beers. Was that enough to do it? He doubted it. But just to be on the safe side he wouldn’t drive into town, he’d go to the hypermarket instead, which was along a less-used route. The police wouldn’t be patrolling out there, stopping and randomly breathalyzing motorists; they’d have more pressing matters to attend to in town on a Saturday night. It was a bit further to drive but better to be safe than sorry. He didn’t want another spell in prison. He’d already spent too much time inside and wasn’t going back there any time soon, not now his life was good and things were looking up. He liked living with Rosie in her nice flat and driving her car. It made him feel normal, someone, like others he knew. That was one of the reasons he hadn’t told her he’d already lost his licence for driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He wanted to be able to hold his head proud, and then perhaps his mother would be proud of him too.

About The Author

“As a writer of suspense thrillers I often ask myself what if? What if this happened instead of that? Or why a particular person reacted as they did. So often fact is stranger than fiction; these books start with a fact which I develop.”

Lisa Stone lives in England, has 3 children, and 27 books published under the pseudonym Cathy Glass, many of which have become bestsellers.

Buy Link: UK

Friday, 14 July 2017

Review: Together by Julie Cohen

This is not a great love story. 
This is a story about great love.
On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Review: Wow! I can tell that this is one of those books that is going to stay with me for a long time. This book is about Emily and Robbie and their story and its really hard to say anything else about the synopsis without giving any spoilers. Don't you just love books where you have to talk to someone else who has read the book in order to actually speak about it properly-so please let me know if you have read this book, I need to talk about it!

First of all the thing that I loved most about this book was the structure. This book is written backwards, yes backwards! Hats off to Julie Cohen for managing to write a book backwards and yet still filling it with so many details to keep even the most avid reader happy. This book begins in Maine in 2016 and then ends up all the way back in England in 1962 and follows Emily and Robbie over various points of time in between. 

Then we have the love. This novel is, as it says, about great love. We see Emily and Robbie's lives together and apart and how their love affects them when they are with each other and when they are not with each other. We also explore the love that they have in their own families and with their children and the lengths that they would both go to to protect their familial love. I love that these two characters are so passionate and such romantics and also so into the love for their children, it blew me away!

Emily and Robbie were really easy to like as characters even if they haven't always been open and honest with the rest of the world, they have always been open and honest with each other and once I saw that I could trust them as characters, I was ready to go on this journey with them! As I said, I loved that they were both such romantics, but Emily was much more practical than Robbie and their relationship needed that. Robbie is physically practical, a boat builder, but she kept their decisions practical and thought of the consequences of their actions and not just the here and now. They both have their faults but they have owned them and moved on from them and that's what makes them so real that they just jump off the page!

The beginning of this book is set in Maine and then moves from Miami to Cambridge to Norfolk. I loved that I could identify these settings and particularly loved that Maine was featured, having visited there recently. I could picture it all so well and the sea scenes in particular were described incredibly well by this author. 

I would definitely advise you to pick this book up. It is romantic but also real; it is covers serious issues but these characters are so much fun; it is full of detail but in no way confusing; it will sweep you away! If you are a fan of Julie Cohen then you will know the heart and soul that goes into her novels, and if you are new to this author then this will be a great place to start.

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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Review: Hot Mess by Lucy Vine

Hot Mess [n.] - someone who is attractive, but often in a state of disarray, repeatedly finding themselves in uncomfortable predicaments.
Ellie Knight is just like you. Her life isn't turning out the way she thought it would. Some people might say she's a hot mess but then who really has their s**t together before they're thirty?
It's Valentine's Day and Ellie Knight finds herself eating Nutella in the bar stockroom after a no-show date.
But single doesn't have to be the loneliest number, does it?
She goes back home to her flatshare and weird flatmates.
It's ok there's black mould everywhere, right?
With a hangover from hell, she goes to the office job she thought she would have quit by now.
Doesn't everyone hate their job?
Maybe Ellie isn't following the *official life plan* but perfect is overrated. For fans of Fleabag and Girls, this is a fresh and funny coming-of-age story with a single-girl heroine that everyone will relate to - a modern Carrie Bradshaw meets Bridget Jones.

Review: The info about this book states that it features Bridget Jones meets Carrie Bradshaw and I really couldn't have put it better myself! Those are weighty words and hard to live up to especially when they are two of my favourite characters of all time, but Ellie really is a combo of the two. She is a character who is very easy to relate to. She won't be everyone's cup of tea, she's like that friend that you can see making some mistakes but you have tried and tried to keep them on the right path and you've just kind of given up and let them do their won thing now, a little on the annoying side! But actually she is a lot like us all!

I would say that this is a book of two halves. The first half of the book is very much pure comedy with Ellie getting herself into situations, quite a few of those involving her hilarious family mishaps or her disastrous tinder dates. The second half of the book takes a turn for the slightly more serious, but still with some serious laughs in there. It centres around Ellie sorting herself out and doing just a little bit of soul searching. The chapters of the book are also interwoven with emails from Ellie's Dad to Ellie and her sister with updates and the latest extract from the erotic novel he is writing. You know these sections are pure comedy gold, but I just love the way her Dad writes his emails, he is just such a typical Dad!

This books covers having a horrible flat with questionable flat mates, what happens when you feel like everyone around you is changing but you deny to believe that you are changing too. When you don't really know what you want to do with your life or who you want to do it with, and just how embarrassing family can be. If you've been in any of these situations and/or you've ever been a little bit drunk  or reckless with your credit card then you are going to love this book. It made me laugh out loud, I could see myself and my friends in the characters and it was fast-paced and very very relevant. Definitely another one to add to your TBR this summer!

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

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Guest Review: Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage by Heidi Swain

From the bestelling author of Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Fair and The Cherry Tree Cafe comes a glorious summer treat of glamping, vintage tearooms and love ...

When Lottie Foster’s grandmother’s best friend Gwen dies, she leaves Lottie her lovely home, Cuckoo Cottage.

Lottie loves the cottage but Matt, a charming local builder, points out that beneath its charm it is falling apart. Luckily he is always on hand to help with the problems that somehow seem to keep cropping up. But is he just a bit too good to be true? Certainly Will, Lottie’s closest neighbour, seems to think so.

Lottie plans to set up her own business renovating vintage caravans. She hasn’t told anyone about the project she has cooked up with Jemma from The Cherry Tree CafĂ© to repurpose Gwen’s old caravan and turn it into a gorgeous tearoom.

But before she can finally enjoy living with her legacy she must uncover who she can trust, and who to avoid. And with two men vying for her attention, will she also find love?

Review: Hurrah! Heidi Swain has taken us back to Wynbridge for another absorbing tale involving characters who now feel like old friends as this is the fourth book revolving around goings on in this lovely village; if only it were real. I was delighted to have the chance to read and review this new one. 

Central to this story is Lottie, who has been left Cuckoo Cottage by an elderly friend she has known since childhood. She meets some resistance from a few of the suspicious locals, although she's not clear why, but finds instant friends in places such as Cherry Tree Cafe and Skylark Farm, both locations that will be familiar to Heidi Swain fans like me. There is a bit of a mystery regarding some of the other things bequeathed to Lottie in the will, and she tries to work out the message from her dear friend. The story features budding romance for Laura involving two equally handsome and rugged men - Will the vet and Matt the handyman. Which one will win her heart and what is the suspense going on in the background? All of this will keep you turning the pages. 

As you might gather, I really enjoyed this visit to Wynbridge. The story is filled with strong and engaging characters and a really good plot that keeps you guessing. It would be a really good book to slip into your case or add to your e-reader as you set off on holiday, or, alternatively, just to settle down with in a comfy chair. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 

To order your copy now, click here!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review: Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestsellerEight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie truly is living the dream. A lifestyle guru for the modern age, Sunshine is beloved by millions of people who tune into her YouTube cooking show, and millions more scour her website for recipes, wisdom, and her enticing suggestions for how to curate a perfect life. She boasts a series of #1 New York Times bestselling cookbooks, a devoted architect husband, and a reputation for sincerity and kindness—Sunshine seems to have it all. But she’s hiding who she really is. And when her secret is revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. What Sunshine does in the ashes of destruction will save her in more ways than she can imagine.

In our modern world, where celebrity is a careful construct, Laura Dave’s compelling, enticing novel explores the devastating effect of the secrets we keep in public…and in private. Hello, Sunshine is a fresh, provocative look at a woman teetering between a scrupulously assembled life and the redemptive power of revealing the truth.

Review: This was a great read really bringing home the point that we can't always get what we want but that's ok. Its also a very fitting storyline for the society that we live in today dealing with issues from social media and Internet celebrities to cost of living and the break up of families because of moving far away to advance our careers. This is essentially about someone who has made a name for themselves online and how quickly the bottom can fall out of it all because their online persona is not who they actually are. I loved the idea of this all breaking down over twitter and YouTube and could really relate to the idea of the numbers game across social media. I really enjoyed getting my teeth into this storyline. 

The character of Sunshine is also relatable. She has formed this career for herself and now she is facing a life without this celebrity she has built for herself. She really doesn't have anyone to turn to because everyone in her life was wrapped up in her former celebrityness and so she has to do some serious soul searching. She is open with the reader form the start that she isn't the best person, that she isn't an honest person and I admired that in her, it also meant that she's not necessarily a character you're going to like but she is someone you will find yourself rooting for. 

There are some other interesting characters in this novel too. I enjoyed meeting the various people involved in Sunshine's publicity team and the other people in her little online cooking show world but I also really enjoyed meeting her family and I defy anyone not to fall in love with her niece Sammy. This books obviously has a lot of talk of food in it but not a whole lot of food featured so it's not one of those books about cooking that is going to make you hungry all the time-something which I was grateful for! There are family issues, friendship issues and loyalty issues explored in this book which will definitely make you think, but there are also moments that will make you laugh and a few emotional moments too. This was a good read and I am glad to have discovered this new author, I hope to read more from her soon!

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

Monday, 10 July 2017

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Review: I don't know why it took em so long to get round to reading this book (do I start all my reviews like that) but having loved this author's previous two novels, and read them back to back, cover to cover, I really don't know why I bought this and then just left it sitting on the shelf! I really enjoyed this read although it was one of those that was actually really different from what I expected it to be.

This book deals with the issue of OCD because our main character suffers from OCD. She has various coping strategies including a new one which she discovers over the course of this book. I thought it was really good that we got to see what every day life was like for her because of her OCD and got to see her visiting her therapist and not being able to cope in certain situations. OCD is such a dismissive term these days, often used for people who like things clean or in order and so to see how it affects someone like this was really great to read. There is also a really good author's note at the end of the book which covers the OCD storyline so I definitely recommend reading that too!

There is also some lovely romance in this novel, as I would have expected from this author and I really enjoyed this aspect of it too. I like the fact that this follows a sort of enemies to friends to more kind of trope but with a little twist on the traditional. There is also an aspect of friends to enemies here and I enjoyed watching that develop too, perhaps I'm a little sadistic in that sense!

The main storyline concerns a group of people meeting up to perform their poetry and how that helps them deal with the other issues that are going on in their complicated teenage lives. This is all pointed out to Sam through her new friend Caroline, but like lots of others in the group, there is more to Caroline than meets the eye and this provides another branch of the storyline.

There are some very real issues covered in this book and also some magical elements, as this author does so well. The balance of real and fantastical/magical is just right for me because I am not usually a fan of things being not 100% real. Overall this was a really good read and I am sure that if you pick this one up, you will enjoy meeting Sam as I did. Obviously there is the OCD aspect of the storyline to be aware of and so you should definitely bear that in mind when choosing this lovely read.

To get your copy now, click here!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Blog Tour: Giveaway! The Little Kiosk By The Sea By Jennifer Bohnet

I have a very exciting blog tour stop for you today! The Little Kiosk by The Sea came out on the 6th July and you can click here to buy your copy. Here's what it is all about:

Harriet and Sabine were inseparable as girls growing up in seaside town of Dartmouth. But growing up, Sabine stayed to support her family and save her little kiosk from closure, while Harriet was driven away by scandal.

Thirty years later, Harriet and Sabine are together again. Their friendship has stood the test of time, and though everything else has changed, Dartmouth hasn’t.

Sabine must confront her future, and finally say yes to her secret dream of adventure.

Harriet must confront her past, and, let go of a secret that has kept her trapped for years. The only worry is how her journalist daughter will handle the news.

One thing’s for sure, as the autumn tides turn, there’ll be more than one secret laid bare…

And you could win yourselves a copy of this fabulous novel! Just head on over to my YouTube Channel HERE and then leave me a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know which of my videos is your favourite.

I'll pick the winners on Monday and announce it here on the blog so keep your eyes peeled!

(To gain an extra entry into the giveaway, subscribe to my channel and let me know you've subscribed in your comment and your name will go into the hat twice!)

All about the author:

Originally from the West Country, Jennifer Bohnet now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France. Always a writer,  Jennifer has contributed short to many of the UK women's magazines including, The People's Friend, Candis, My Weekly, Best and Yours, and has been published in The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Home and Country and Devon Life. For over three years she wrote a newspaper column in The South Hams Group of Newspapers where she took a wry look at family life. She is now also published in Australia, Sweden, South Africa and Ireland.

Don't forget to stop by the other blogs on the tour for exclusive content, giveaways and more and thanks to much to Jennifer for stopping by today!

Friday, 7 July 2017

July TBR

Well if you followed my June TBR and Wrap up, you'll have seen quite a few July releases that I wanted to get to and I didn't manage to get to all of them during June. So my TBR willl defintiely have some new relases in. There are alos a few library books I didn't manage to get to during June as well.

Now July has some seriously good readathons that I will be participating in. I would really like to start a new series during the 24 in 48 readathon and there is also the BookTubeathon which will see me making some fun videos too.

So here are the books I would like to read in the month of July!

July Releases:

Other Recent Releases :

New series I would like to start:

Other books I would like to get to: