Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Guest Review: The Mill on Magnolia Lane by Tilly Tennant

The sky is cornflower blue, the air is scented with the smell of fresh apple blossom and Lizzie Lovell can’t wait to start her new life in the mill on Magnolia Lane. But is she just about to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t? 

When Lizzie loses her larger-than-life dad she doesn’t know how to move forward. Encouraged by a childhood dream she shared with her beloved father, she is determined to continue his legacy and moves to the old Mill on Magnolia lane, a place he had always longed to own.

Restoring the old windmill is a much bigger job than Lizzie bargained for, especially when she is distracted by her new next door neighbour Jude, who has temptingly twinkly eyes and a body to die for. But when Jude’s ex- girlfriend Harriet arrives back on the scene, Lizzie begins to wonder if life wasn’t far simpler before she moved to the mill. Especially when it emerges that Harriet knows something about Jude’s past, something that could shatter her new start and her heart into smithereens …

Review: I have been so looking forward to the new book by Tilly Tennant. She is one of my favourite authors; her books never fail to please. As I expected, as soon as I sat down to read this one, I was hooked and found it hard to put down. A lovely setting and marvellous characters - what more could you want?

The story has a cast of strong and interesting players, the central one being Lizzie Lovell. Her world is shattered when she loses her beloved dad, but she throws her energy as well as her savings into a project that she knows he would have loved - the restoration of an old windmill that sits on Magnolia Lane, near to the old fenland village of Piriwick. She soon realises that she has taken on a mammoth task, bigger and more expensive than she anticipated. However, it looks as though there may be some consolation in the shape of possible romance when she meets handsome neighbour Jude. Unfortunately, things are complicated there by the presence nearby of his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. Lizzie is living in a caravan while the renovations are taking place, and is unexpectedly joined by her sister and then her stepmother. Things are getting pretty cramped, but Lizzie is beginning to realise that having family around her is really rather nice, in fact preferable to her idea of a quiet and solitary existence in her mill. However, with funds running low and a sudden tragedy in the family, Lizzie wonders if her dream of a new life in a beautifully working windmill will ever be realised. 

I have really enjoyed this story and would wholeheartedly recommend it to others. I greatly admired the main character, Lizzie. Her determination to carry out her scheme to restore the old mill in spite of her family’s objections and the problems arising when the work begins is commendable to say the least. She also shows great strength in not allowing herself to fall right into Jude’s arms when she has doubts about where he stands with his ex; his attitude at times made me feel unsure of his motives. Lizzie‘ sister, Gracie, is also an interesting character. I thought she was going to be a hindrance to Lizzie, but she actually had hidden depths, and often added a touch of humour to the story. The whole situation of more and more women arriving in the caravan was quite comical and had me chuckling to myself. On the whole lighthearted, the story also had some tragic moments, as happens in any family. This book was another triumph for Tilly Tennant, and one which I’m sure her fans and new readers alike will enjoy.

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

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Review: William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls (Pop Shakespeare) by Ian Doescher

Power struggles. Bitter rivalries. Rampant jealousy. Betrayals. Star-crossed lovers. When you think about it, it s pretty surprising William Shakespeare DIDN T write Mean Girls. But at last, readers will be treated to the epic drama and epic hilarity of the classic teen comedy rendered with the wit, flair, and iambic pentameter of the Bard. The action unfolds as our heroine Cady disguises herself to infilitrate the conniving Plastics, falls for totally-off-limits Aaron, struggles with her allegiance to newfound friends Damian and Janis, and stirs up age-old vendettas between the factions of the high school. Bestselling author Ian Doescher brings his signature Shakespearean wordsmithing to one of the most revered stories of our time. Fourteen years after its release (feel old yet?) Mean Girls has become a cultural phenomenon and cult classic among generations of teen girls and other fans, and is more than apt for an Elizabethan makeover.

Review: I knew I was going to love this book going into it and I just had a really good time reading it. It is quite a quick read because it is written in script from but it can take a little while to get your head into the language form. Once I got my mind switched to Shakespearean language again, I was ready to go. 

I love how this book stuck to firmly to the film and it's script. It talks about when Cady first goes to the school and them getting her name wrong right down to the discussions the teachers have the asides that Cady does to camera. I think you do need to have seen the film to appreciate the pure genius of this one but then it is a great film and so it won't be too much of a hardship!

I also loved the illustrations in this book. Each scene has a printed page on one side and a beautiful header on the other and then there are other illustrations scattered throughout the play. The book tells you at the beginning as well where you can find each illustration which made it easy to go back and appreciate them once more. 

Some of the scenes from the film make for absolutely hilarious comparisons when translated into the language of Shakespeare and so this would make for an excellent gift for either a mean girls or a Shakespeare lover. It would also be an excellent gift to yourself to pick up when you fancy a chuckle!

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

Monday, 22 April 2019

Review: Too Much is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells

I was given a copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

From the star of Broadway's The Book of Mormon and HBO's Girls, the heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his dreams in New York City

When Andrew Rannells left Nebraska for New York City in 1997, he, like many young hopefuls, saw the city as a chance to break free. To start over. To transform the fiercely ambitious but sexually confused teenager he saw in the mirror into the Broadway leading man of his dreams.
In Too Much Is Not Enough, Rannells takes us on the journey of a twentysomething hungry to experience everything New York has to offer: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. At the heart of his hunger lies a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was when he left Omaha with the man he desperately wants to be.
As Rannells fumbles his way towards the Great White Way, he also shares the drama of failed auditions and behind-the-curtain romances, the heartbreak of losing his father at the height of his struggle, and the exhilaration of making his Broadway debut in Hairspray at the age of twenty-six. Along the way, he learns that you never really leave your past--or your family--behind; that the most painful, and perversely motivating, jobs are the ones you almost get; and that sometimes the most memorable nights with friends are marked not by the trendy club you danced at but by the recap over diner food afterward.
Honest and hilarious, Too Much Is Not Enough is an unforgettable look at love, loss, and the powerful forces that determine who we become.

Review: Oh my goodness I loved this audiobook so much. I am an absolute sucker for a memoir that is read by the author. I just love to hear people talking about things in their own way and using their own voice and Andrew Rannells tells his story with humour and with emotion. I loved that he could emphasise points he wanted to make and change his tone when things became serious or sad. 

This book is not a complete memoir by any means so if you're looking for stories from when this actor was in Book of Mormon or Girls then these aren't coming quite yet, I really hope to get another book covering these soon. This is what it says right there on the cover, a memoir of fumbling towards adulthood. It love the fact that this covers growing up and family life in Nebraska, what being gay meant to him then and there. I also loved the fact that he is open and honest about how scary it was moving to New York and how alone he felt. 

Andrew Rannells is also very open and candid about his relationships before and during his time in new york and I just love how honest he is about every aspect of that. He shares moments of joy and moments of regret and I really felt every moment with him as I was listening to the book. I don;t think you have to be a massive fan of this actor to enjoy his book, I think that you don't necessarily even have to have seen him in anything. This is a great memoir, so open and yet so hilariously funny at times. I loved listening to this one and definitely recommend it as a contender for your next audiobook listen!

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

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Movie Reviews: April 14th-20th 2019

Another Sunday, another lot of movie reviews. As always, I go into more detailed thoughts on my movie reviews video over on my BookTube channel which I will leave at the bottom of this post once it is live so if you want a little more detail, give that a watch please and thank you!

I really enjoyed this movie. I love the two lead actors and they did a great job of playing out this true story. It is tough to watch at times but definitely worthwhile, highly recommend. 

I liked this film soooo much more than I thought I would. There were lots of laugh out loud moments but also lots of scary things. I would have liked the transitions between the two to be slightly less stark but I definitely recommend this one too!

I loved the message of acceptance in this film. There are some big names voicing the characters and again some laugh out loud moments. I would recommend taking kids to this one because it is sweet and lovely but also full of adventure.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Guest Review: Last Words at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

The final part in the brand new series from Holly Hepburn

The village of Little Monkham is reeling from their loss but gathers together to celebrate a life well lived. Behind the scenes, Nessie is struggling with a distant Owen and confides inLaurie about her tempting job offer. He offers to step up his role at the Star and Sixpence so that she can leave.

Gabe and Sam grow closer, although she still refuses to be anything more than friends and colleagues. Laurie’s behaviour causes Gabe to become increasingly suspicious and what he discovers causes a scene that turns more than one world upside down. Can Sam and Nessie work through the fall-out or is it really last orders at the Star and Sixpence? 

Review: This is the final part of the new four-part ebook series from Holly Hepburn concerning the Star and Sixpence pub in the village of Little Monkham, its owners and customers. I have been following and enjoying this series and a previous series about the pub from the very beginning. I was waiting eagerly for this final part to be released, and read it immediately it popped up on my Kindle on publication day, but feel a little sad that the story is now at an end. I shall definitely miss hearing about the goings on in Little Monkham.

In this part of the story, sisters Nessie and Sam Chapman are once again working together to make the Star and Sixpence the successful venue it has become since they took it over following their father’s death. Nessie is happily settled with boyfriend Owen in the cottage next to the pub, while Sam is living on the premises, as is Gabe, the pub’s chef. Sam is trying very hard to hide her feelings from him, and when her former boyfriend Joss is called back to help with the pub during their cider festival, tension increases in the household. Meanwhile, the girls’ long lost brother, Laurie, is causing them increasing worry as his attitude towards them and his work is changing for the worse. When things start to go wrong in the pub, everyone tries to figure out what is going on.

As with all the other parts in this serialisation, I found this a quick and easy read, but by no means lacking in depth and entertainment. I feel that I have got to know the Chapman sisters quite well now, and I was hoping for a happy ending for them both after the trials and tribulations they have been through. Holly Hepburn has certainly created an interesting set of characters in these books and I would love to stroll around the village and meet them all. She has also described a really cosy atmosphere in the Star and Sixpence pub; I can imagine how welcoming it would be on a winter’s evening to sit there by the fire. I can definitely recommend this book to other readers; for those who don’t enjoy serials, it is good to know that a paperback bind-up of all four parts will be available later this year.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Friday, 19 April 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Sleep by CL Taylor

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Review: Another absolute thriller from CL Taylor. I so enjoyed this story and just kept turning those pages until I reached the final one. I wasn't sure what was going to happen next or who was going to turn out to have ulterior motives. I really don't think you'll see any of the events of the book coming, it will definitely keep you guessing. 

Anna is a wonderfully vulnerable character. We know she had respect in her job but wasn't happy in her relationship so when she tries to escape her past, it really is open game as to who or what is stopping her from sleeping. I totally love Anna's work ethic, she really want to do a good job and has ambition and that makes her really easy to like. We know about some of the events from her past but not all of them and so she has an element of mystery about her as well. 

One of the other things I really loved about this novel was the setting. I enjoy a novel set in Scotland so much and so the setting of a remote island was just wonderful. Not only did the remoteness of the island provide so much tension for the events of the book, but it also allowed me to escape from my plane seat and be right there in the hotel with Anna. 

This novel has such a claustrophobic atmosphere to it because of the setting and because of Anna's sleep problem. I too did not sleep whilst reading this novel. I began to feel as paranoid as Anna, and being trapped in a plane seat really made me feel the urgency of being in a remote location like her. CL Taylor does such a good job of letting her words and her world come off the page and engulf the reader. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it!

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

Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more reviews and exclusive content!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Blog Tour: Extract From My Sister's Lies by SD Robertson

Today is my stop on the blog tour for My Sister's Lies by SD Robertson. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the sound of this one, you can click here to order yourself a copy. Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about:

For a decade, Hannah’s life has been pretty close to perfect – she has a great job, she’s married to Mark, and her child-free existence means she’s free as a bird. The only sadness in her life is a fall-out with her sister Diane, who hasn’t spoken to her in over ten years. But now Diane is on her doorstep – and this time, she’s got her teenage daughter Mia in tow.
When Diane asks if Mia can stay with Hannah and Mark for a few days, Hannah is glad of the chance to get to know her niece. But as the days turn into weeks and Diane doesn’t return, Hannah begins to worry. Why hasn’t her sister been in touch?
Diane is carrying a devastating secret that will destroy Hannah’s carefully constructed life. But how much is she willing to reveal – and when will she pick her moment?
An emotional story that delves into the true meaning of family, sisterhood and secrets. Perfect for fans of Kerry Fisher and Adele Parks.

And here's that extract for you!

Except suddenly here she was again . . . dining and soon to be sleeping in her home.
How was Hannah supposed to deal with that? No wonder she felt so confused and conflicted.
‘Well, who wants some coffee?’ Mark asked, clapping his hands together as he stood up from the table.
‘Good idea,’ Hannah added, also getting to her feet and starting to clear the plates. ‘I’ll give you a hand.’ She looked at her sister as she added: ‘Then we can all sit down and have a good chat, right?’
Diane nodded, her face looking very pale all of a sudden. ‘Of course. But could I be awkward and ask for tea instead of coffee?’
‘No problem,’ Mark replied.
She also made a move to get up and help clear the dishes, but Hannah told her it wasn’t necessary. ‘You go and grab a seat in the lounge,’ she said, keen to have a few moments alone with her husband before the big discus­sion.
‘So what do you think she’s going to say?’ Hannah asked Mark a few minutes later. She spoke in a low voice but was glad of the noise of the kettle and coffee maker to ensure they weren’t overheard.
He shook his head. ‘I really have no idea. She’s played her cards very close to her chest so far. It could well be money she’s after, I suppose. What kind of car has she got?’
‘I’ve not got a clue. I didn’t ask. Why would I? And I didn’t see them arrive in it. I don’t even know where she’s left it. A nearby car park, I suppose, although that won’t be cheap.’

Thanks so much to SD Robertson for stopping by today and sharing that with us!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Guest Review: Swallowtail Summer by Erica James

They thought they were friends for life - until one summer, everything changed . . . 

Linston End on the Norfolk Broads has been the holiday home to three families for many years. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together.

But widower Alastair has been faced with a few of life's surprises recently. Now, he is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made - and the changes it will mean for them all. For some, it feels like the end. For others, it might just be the beginning . . .

Review: I always look forward to a book by Erica James; her stories always have substance - the sort that you can really get your teeth into. This, her latest story, set in the picturesque Norfolk Broads, sounded right up my street. I settled down to read it with great anticipation. I have to admit that, unusually, I found the book a little heavy going at the beginning, where so many characters were introduced at once; I kept losing track of their relationships. However, I eventually became immersed in their world. 

This is a story of friendships and loyalties, centred on three men who have been the very best of friends from schooldays and their families. One of the trio, Alastair, owns a rather marvellous sounding house right by the water, where the families gather together every summer to enjoy a holiday of fun and relaxation on and off the water, sometimes searching for the elusive swallowtail butterfly. Since Alastair was widowed the previous year, this summer promises to be somewhat different. However, none of the others could have guessed exactly how different. Alastair has some shocking news for them all, which promises that things will never be the same again. This news triggers a reaction that reverberates through the group, affecting them all in turn.

I have to admit that this is not my favourite Erica James novel; it has the usual depth that I associate with her writing, but it did not fire my imagination to the usual extent. There was certainly never a dull moment, however. Alastair’s shock announcement had everyone considering what it meant for them and whether they should try to change his mind. All sorts of emotions were released, often leading to conflict within the group and testing the strong ties that existed between the friends. Quite a few skeletons came out of the cupboards as well. I certainly never knew where the story would lead next, and definitely could not have predicted how it would all end. I would still recommend this as an interesting book to read, but, to my mind, there are better Erica James books out there.

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

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Review: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat

Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met...

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...

Review: Oh I just loved this book, I am so in awe of how this author managed to cover so many sub plots as well as the wonderful main romantic plot in the pages of just one book. This novel is so inclusive and sends such a positive message whilst covering real life issues, some of them not always pleasant. I don't know why I waited so long to read!

I love Tiffy as a character, I could identify with her. I loved her outlook on life and her sense of personal style. I could also identify with her on the bad ex boyfriend/bad break up front. Not enough people talk about what she's been through and so it was great to see it in the pages of a novel. 

Leon is also a great character. Too often in this type of novel, the Male lead has money from somewhere and we don't know where. Leon is a nurse who is struggling with money a little bit. He is loyal to his family (his brother and his mum) and he knows where he has come from. I also really like that he needs some quiet time after everything has been a bit hectic or work has been full on. You don't often see men admitting to this and yes I did fall in love with them both over the course of the novel!

Then we have the various sub plots going on. The obsessive ex boyfriend. I loved the fact that this is woven into the main storyline so cleverly, it is Tiffy's issues, but becomes part of the whole story and I love that it doesn't become the be all and end all of the whole book, it is dealt with very well. I liked Robbie as a side character and really held my breath every time there was news from him in prison. I also loved the plot involving a book launch and what the run up to publication looks like, it was a great insight and something I really enjoyed. We also have a hunt for a former lover and of course the patients that Leon deals with on a daily basis-just all so heartwarming. 

This book also deals with society's perception of what is means to be a woman. How if your proportions are larger than average, in any direction, you get comments or are seen as less 'feminie' I like the fact that this was included and as I have already mentioned I could really identify with this as a reader. This book also covers the fact that women get paid less in the work place and includes a romance between a white woman and a black man without making it a book about that whole thing. It was just accepted and the romance was wonderful.

In case you can't already tell, I loved this book and everything about it. I read the whole thing over the weekend and I really want more from this author, it was just fabulous-highly recommend!

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

Monday, 15 April 2019

Blog Tour: Extract from Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer

It's my stop on the Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer Blog Tour today. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the look of it then you can click here to order the full book now! Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

When bestselling romance author Chloe Piper’s marriage implodes a week before Christmas, she flees her cheating ex and the village gossips for the solitude of the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm and the company of her hapless dog, Ronnie.
But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…
This enthralling romantic comedy of self-discovery and new beginnings is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

The kitchen had French doors that looked out over woods and fields. She stared over the fields into the distance beyond and watched a small flock of sheep moving slowly up the slope, like small white clouds on legs. The past was the past. This was her future. A movement caught her eye. A blur of red, white and blue had scurried through the side entrance and instead of heading to the front door was making its way to the back. Chloe darted for cover behind the island and squatted there, out of sight. She wasn’t up to meeting strangers.
The tapping on the glass was light and persistent, like an inquisitive woodpecker. Chloe cursed. Maybe she’d been spotted before she’d hidden. It would look fairly obvious now if she revealed herself. She’d have to hope the stranger would leave. However, she hadn’t banked on Ronnie who suddenly rushed out of the living room to greet the intruder. He barked happily.
‘Ronnie, shush,’ whispered Chloe. It was a mistake to speak. Delighted at hearing his mistress’s voice, he hunted around until he found her on her knees and decided she wanted to play. He crouched on his front legs, nose almost touching her face then pulled away with a joyful bark. It was his version of the game hide-and-seek.
‘Go away,’ she hissed.
Ronnie pulled playfully at one of her trainer laces and backed away again.
‘Get off.’ She said. The tapping started again and a muffled shout. ‘Chloe!’
‘Bad dog,’ she grumbled, getting to her feet and feigning surprise.
Dressed in red boots, a white coat and resembling a human version of Sonic the Hedgehog with spiked cobalt blue hair, stood a woman in her early forties. She waved enthusiastically as Chloe emerged. Ronnie trotted beside his mistress and nosed at the door as she unlocked it.
‘You must be the wonderful Chloe Piper,’ gushed the woman. ‘I’m sorry I missed you yesterday, but your friend seemed very nice. I hope you enjoyed the mince pies. I’m not the best cook but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? And who is this?’ She bent down and fussed over Ronnie, ruffling the fur on his neck with both hands. His tail wagged faster and faster.
‘You must be Eleanor. Come in.’ The words almost stuck in her throat. She swallowed and drew a breath. She could do this.
Eleanor didn’t need to be asked a second time. Giving Ronnie one final rub, she stood up and pulled Chloe into a honeysuckle and lime scented embrace leaving her glued to the spot as she withdrew.
‘I’m so pleased we’re going to be neighbours. I hear you’ve moved from a village not too far away. We’re from just outside this area – Derby – but couldn’t stand city life any longer and were dying to move. Isn’t it perfect here?’ She turned sparkling green eyes onto Chloe and smiled. The corners of her eyes creased slightly and her perfectly groomed heavy eyebrows lifted slightly. ‘Sorry, I go on, don’t I? I’m just so excited to finally meet you.’
As much as Chloe didn’t want to chat, she couldn’t be rude, especially after such an effusive welcome. Eleanor seemed open and friendly and Ronnie had completely fallen for her. He sat on his haunches, eyes never leaving the woman’s face. If Ronnie liked her, she had to be okay. Her voice sounded distant to her ears as she managed to get out perfunctory sentences. ‘Nice to meet you. Thank you for the mince pies. They really were delicious. I’ve got some left. Would you like one and a coffee?’
‘That’s so sweet of you but I have to get off. I told Fairfax I’d only be a few minutes. We have to check out a new venue!’
‘We run an events company for singletons. We only started it recently and it’s taken off like you wouldn’t believe. We’re constantly on the lookout for more fun activities to offer our clients. Anyway, I wanted to welcome you to Sunny Meadow and say if you need anything at all, just come and bang on our door. We work from home so we’re often around when we’re not at an event.’ She gave Chloe a wide smile.
Chloe shifted from one foot to the other. She had no idea what to say next. She was saved from further conversation as Eleanor dropped down again to stroke Ronnie’s head and scratch behind his ear. Ronnie seemed to melt under her hand and threw her a look when she withdrew that made her guffaw. As she turned to leave, she spoke with sincerity.
‘I hope you find it.’
‘Whatever you were looking for on the floor. Was it an earring? I’m always losing mine. The wretched butterfly clips come off.’
Chloe flushed hotly and mumbled something unintelligible. Had she been found out? She hoped not. Eleanor seemed pleasant enough and she didn’t want to make a bad first impression.
As she bounded off, Eleanor halted briefly and faced her. ‘You must come around for drinks. How about tonight at six? I won’t take no for an answer,’ she added, wagging a finger.
Chloe nodded with an enthusiasm she didn’t feel, and thanked Eleanor who set off once more. She glanced at Ronnie whose nose was forced against the window watching the disappearing tricolour. ‘Traitor,’ she mumbled.

Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.
Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Twitter: @carolewyer

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Movie Reviews: April 6th-13th 2019

Another Sunday, another lot of movie reviews. As always, I go into more detailed thoughts on my movie reviews video over on my BookTube channel which I will leave at the bottom of this post once it is live so if you want a little more detail, give that a watch please and thank you!

I really liked the look of this one from the railer and it's not that I was disappointed, but this movie was just ok. Nothing really major happens, there's a bit of romance and a bit of family drama but I did find myself getting a bit bored. Wait for streaming for this one.

This one left me feeling similarly to the one above. I knew it was going to be a bit silly based on the previews but this was sex and drugs over and over again without the rock and roll. It was just ok and another one where I'd recommend waiting for streaming for this one. 

This one was good. It was suspenseful and the writing was incredibly clever. I liked the premise behind the story. It's more of a thriller than a horror but very clever once you reach the end. My only complaint? It could have been significantly shorter.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Review of The Spitfire Girl in The Skies By Fenella J Miller

It is my stop on the Spitfire Girl in the Skies blog tour today. The second in the series by Fenella J Miller, this book is out now and you can click here to order your cop. I have a review for you today but don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more reviews and well as exclusive content and interviews!

Here's what it's all about:

The second Spitfire Girl novel from bestselling author Fenella J Miller. 

The ATA training base, Hampshire, 1940.
Ellie Simpson is attached to an Air Transport Auxiliary base in Hampshire. Life as an ATA pilot is tough, but despite the long hours and danger, Ellie can think of nowhere she'd rather be. Not only does she love flying, but doing important war work, alongside new-found friends, provides a welcome distraction from worrying about loved ones fighting on the front line.
Being an ATA girl is definitely exciting, but as Ellie soon finds out wearing the distinctive blue uniform also means putting her life on the line every time she takes to the skies. It will take friendship and a strength she didn't know she possessed to help her county – and those she loves – to survive. 

Review: This book is a romantic fiction set during the Second World War. The story commences in June 1940, when the main character, Ellie Simpson, is working as a radar operator in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). At this point in the war, Germany had invaded France, and Allied servicemen had just been evacuated from Dunkirk. Hence, Hitler's forces were present on the coast of France poised to launch an invasion of Britain. To accomplish this, they needed to achieve superiority in the air. Thus, the Battle of Britain, an attritional struggle between the German Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the skies above Britain, commenced. Due to the losses of men and aircraft during this struggle, it was vital that both were replaced. The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was a civilian organisation set up to ferry aeroplanes and supplies between factories, maintenance units and airfields. Since front line pilots were in short supply and could not be spared for such duties, the ATA's pilots were drawn from older men, or those who were not physically fit for front line service. They also accepted women pilots. Ellie had trained as a pilot and had run a flying school prior to the war. When she discovers that the ATA are recruiting women pilots, she applies and is accepted.

The story follows Ellie's adventures with the ATA over the remainder of 1940 up to the end of 1941. The romantic side of the story comes from her relationship with two men in her life, both fighter pilots in the RAF stationed at airfields in the front line of the Battle of Britain. One is her fiancé Greg, and the other is Jack who had run the flying school with her and who she looks on as a brother.

The book describes interesting details about life during the war, such as the fatigue suffered  by the pilots when they were flying numerous sorties daily during the Battle of Britain; wartime rationing; and the effect of bombing on the civilian population. Also covered are the efforts of Ellie's superior to get the powers that be to allow the women pilots to fly and deliver combat aircraft, including Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. At the outset, the women were allowed to deliver only training aircraft to RAF bases, although they were just as competent pilots as the men. There are many twists and turns to the romantic aspect of the story, but to say any more would be to give the plot away.

Although there are many interesting facts regarding the Second World War, there were at least two anachronisms. The first occurs shortly after Ellie reports to her ATA base at Hatfield in Hertfordshire in July 1940. The book describes a Mosquito bomber flying overhead. Although the de Havilland Mosquito was developed and built at the de Havilland factory in Hatfield, and at a nearby facility, the first flight of a Mosquito did not take place until November 1940. In the second anachronism, two characters are discussing the bombing of British cities during the winter of 1940-41 and saying that the Luftwaffe were carrying out the raids in retaliation for the RAF's bombing of the German city of Dresden. To the best of my knowledge, Dresden was not bombed by the Allies until early 1945.

However, overall I found the story to be exciting and easy to read, and could not wait to find out what was going to happen next. So, does Ellie get to fly a Spitfire, and will she find true romance? You'll have to read the book to find out.

About the author

Fenella J Miller was born in the Isle of Man. Her father was a Yorkshire man and her mother the daughter of a Rajah. She has worked as a nanny, cleaner, field worker, hotelier, chef, secondary and primary teacher and is now a full time writer. She has over thirty eight Regency romantic adventures published plus four Jane Austen variations, three Victorian sagas and seven WW2 family sagas. She lives in a pretty, riverside village in Essex with her husband and British Shorthair cat. She has two adult children and three grandchildren.

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