Wednesday 31 July 2019

Cover Reveal: The Seagull's Laughter by Holly Bidgood

I have a very exciting cover reveal for you today. The Seagull’s Laughter will be published in November 2019.

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

Born in 1973 to a Greenlandic mother and an English-Explorer father, Malik has always been something of a misfit. He has one black eye and one blue. As a child his mother’s people refused to touch him and now his own baby daughter’s family feel the same way.            
On his own now, Malik’s only companion is a guiding spirit no-one else can see, but one day a white man with a nose like a beak and a shadow like a seagull appears on his doorstep and invites him to England.

Martha has had enough of living with domestic abuse. She compares bruises with her friend Neil, who regularly suffers homophobic attacks. With Martha’s baby, they go on the run to Shetland, where Martha has happy childhood memories of summers spent with her aunt.

On their way up north in a camper van, they come across a dejected Malik, alone again after a brief reconciliation with his father’s family.
They arrive safely together in the Shetland Isles, but Malik still needs answers to the identity of the beak-nosed man who casts a shadow over his life, and must now embark on a further journey of his own.
The Seagull’s Laughter is an immersive read, intertwined with nature and the magic of Greenlandic folk tales.

Are you ready for that cover?

About the Author

Holly grew up in Derbyshire but has always been drawn to the sea. She has written from a young age. Her love affair with island landscapes was kick-started on a brief visit to the Faroe Islands at the age of eighteen, en route to Iceland. She was immediately captivated by the landscape, weather, and way of life and it was here that she conceived the idea for her first novel, The Eagle and The Oystercatcher.
Holly studied Icelandic, Norwegian and Old Norse at University College London. She also studied as an exchange student at The University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) and spent a memorable summer working in a museum in South Greenland.
She decided to start a family young, and now has three small children. Holly helps run Life & Loom, a social and therapeutic weaving studio in Hull.  She likes to escape from the busyness of her life by working on her novels and knitting Icelandic wool jumpers.

Twitter Handles 

The Reading Rush Wrap Up

So last week, if you follow me on Instagram or follow my BookTube channel you may have noticed that I was busily reading everything I could, all in the name of The Reading Rush. I posted my sign up and TBR here on the blog and The Reading Rush has an awesome website that can be found here.

I completed each of the instagram challenged and also all of the video challenges. My reading vlog from the week will be up soon and you can find my channel here to see all the videos! I took part in some Twitter sprints and also attended the live read in that happened on Saturday afternoon which you'll be able to see on my vlog!

I also completed all of the reading challenges and earned all of the badges on the reading rush site!

Here's how I did it...

1/ Read a book with purple on the cover

2/ Read a book in the same spot the entire time AND 5/ Read a book with a non-human main character

3/ Read a book you meant to read last year (re-read) AND 7/ Read and watch a book to movie adaptation

4/ Read an author’s first book ( I deviated from my TBR on this one)

6/ Pick a book that has five or more words in the title

Bonus/ Read 7 books! Here are the other books I read during the week...

I also had 1 book that I read 100 pages from and then decided not to finish it because I REALLY wasn't enjoying it!

Overall I'm also pleased that I read quite diversely. I read 4 adult novels, 2 of which were romcoms, 1 of which was a thriller and the other was nonfiction. I read 3 YA novels one of which was own voices and a middle grade novel. I read 2 library books, 1 ebook, 1 graphic novel. 3 of the books were audiobooks, 3 were paperback proofs. I just really love all my stats from the week!

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read so Far this Year 30/7/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I know this is kind of a month late but... This is in no particular order!

Monday 29 July 2019

Review: We Are Here Forever by Michelle Gish

It’s the most adorable apocalypse ever! The human race has vanished replaced by innocent, playful, creatures called the Puramus. In this hilarious and epic graphic novel, short interlocking stories follow the purple pals as they explore their new home, form a mini-monarchy, and develop a modern society on par with 21st-century humans. A final act pulls us across time and space in the search for clues to the origins of the Puramus. Along the way, humor and intrigue abound: Can King defend his village when nobody understands what war is? Will Jingle work up the nerve to read her poetry at open mic night? Will Puffpuff ever stop floating?

Based on the Tumblr comic, We Are Here Forever is for fans of post-apocalyptic sci fi blended with dry humor and undeniable adorableness. Colorful and cartoony art will have you rooting for these cute critters through their absurd adventures...but are they really as harmless as they seem?

Review: This was such a cute graphic novel and yet such a thinker in so many ways. I love love loved the characters in this book. I love the fact that they are so cute but they ask so many important questions and achieve so many big things. They may look sweet and innocent but they will take you down to get what they want. They also are just so clever and put me to shame. 

I like the setup of this graphic novel, it is so different from anything I've read before in that it is landscape rather than portrait and in fact this novel is broken down into several sections with three short stories in each section so you could go back and enjoy one of the stories again as a standalone piece or read a certain section again-so fun!

This graphic novel definitely does ask some big questions about material possessions, global warming and war and I really like the fact that even though it is humorous and cute it doesn't talk down to its audience. If you are looking for a graphic novel that is completely different and has some umph about it then this is the one for you!

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

Thursday 25 July 2019

Review: The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

The epic and long-awaited new romance from the author of Letters to the Lost, winner of the RNA Award.
Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying just the right side of scandal.
Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina's orbit one night and can never let her go.
Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, this is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.

Review: This book had so many layers to i I could never predict where it was going. It has a fairly slow pace and so the storylines are gently woven and slowly spun out in front of you but that makes for an absorbing read, or an absorbing listen in my case. I thought the audiobook was incredibly well done with the two main characters have very different voices and tones in keeping with the physical book. 

I enjoyed the fact that this book jumps around in terms of what time we are in and whose storyline we are following, it definitely makes for a page turner because you want to hear from both sides and find out what is happening in each of the time frames. I would definitely recommend making sure you've got some time to dedicate to the beginning of the book as I ended up reading the first few chapters twice because my mind had drifted and I hadn't realised the shift in time or characters. I don't mind too much though because Iona Grey's writing is beautiful. 

Selina's story is really heartbreaking and so emotional. The fact that we get to see two major points in her life in a real treat because she is a complex character. I love the fact that she begins the book in one life and then we get to see her exciting world as a bright young thing in the glittering hour and see how she could have ended up. Lawrence is such a great character too and I couldn't help but feel for him at every turn of the page. I wish he had had an easier life but then it wouldn't have made for the romance that it did if he had. 

I enjoyed this book even though I am not normally a fan of books set in this time period. Iona Grey has a beautiful writing style and just such a way with weaving a story that will suck you in and have you turning the pages until the bitter end. 

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

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Guest Review: Finding Hope at Hillside Farm by Rachael Lucas

Hillside Farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside, is a safe haven for Ella. Living on the remote farm, with just horses and her aunt Bron for company, Ella thinks she has finally found a place where she can forget her past and find peace.
But the arrival of a small girl called Hope and her father Harry changes everything. As Ella helps the pair come to terms with their loss, she realizes that she too deserves happiness. But is it too late to find it?

Review: I very much enjoyed Wildflower Bay, the last Rachael Lucas novel I read, and was delighted to find this, her latest book, in a local shop. The synopsis sounded quite intriguing. Once started, I found myself engrossed and the chapters just flew by. I loved the sound of the village where the action takes place, even if I couldn’t pronounce its name! There is a fair amount of mention of equine matters in the story, but if, like me, you don’t know much about horses, that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book. 

The story is set in a small village in Wales, where Ella lives on Hillside Farm with her aunt Bron. Ella is a practicing equine therapist, who helps people deal with their problems through contact with her horses. She has always been careful to treat grown ups only, but makes an exception for a little girl, Hope, who has come to the village for a few months to live with her grandparents in a small cottage near to the farm. When Hope’s stepfather, Harry, appears on the scene, Ella’s past, which she thought she had escaped, comes flooding back. Will Ella be able to help herself while dealing with Hope’s and indeed Harry’s problems?

This was a really touching story which had me smiling a lot, but also tearful at times. Ella’s backstory was very sad, and I admired her courage in having turned things around - or had she? She was obviously very good at her job, but was she really happy hiding away in this lovely but very sheltered location? Another character I really respected was Hope’s grandmother, Jenny. She had taken bold action when faced with crisis in her family rather than sitting it out - very commendable in my opinion. I was not quite so convinced about Harry. He had been terribly wronged in his mind, but seemed too suddenly willing to forget all that. However, I can thoroughly recommend this book as an enjoyable read. As the cover suggests, it may be especially attractive to horse lovers, and the setting in the Welsh hills is very appealing.

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

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I Would Like to See More of 23/7/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I think that a lot of these lists will feature places people live that they don't see enough in books, or other worlds that they would like to see more of so I don't think mine will be very different...

1. Denver
2. Yorkshire (not rural Yorkshire, actual towns)
3. New Jersey (possible New York adventures)
4. Wales
5. Glasgow
6. Heathrow Airport
7. Canada
8. Schools (from the teachers points of view)
9. Minneapolis
10. Paddington Station

So if you're looking for a setting for your latest novel-here are some suggestions!

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Guest Review: A Home From Home by Veronica Henry

Sunshine, cider and family secrets...
Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors - arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live on the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.
For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved Great-Uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they've always belonged might now belong to them...
But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a Culbone. Gabriel has no idea why he's been included, or what his connection to the farm - or the Melchiors - can be.
As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?
A Home from Home is the very best of Veronica Henry's storytelling - gorgeous scenes you wish you could step into, a cast of characters who feel like friends, and an irresistibly feel-good family drama crossing three generations.

Review: Being a huge Veronica Henry fan, I was looking forward with great anticipation to her latest novel. This one turned out to be quite a family saga, with lots of back stories for the characters; definitely one of those books it is difficult to put down.

The main story concerns Dragonfly Farm, not a farm with animals or crops, but just the farmhouse, outbuildings and apple orchards. It is rather run down to look at, but there have obviously been many happy times for the Melchior family, who have lived there for generations, in recent times producing a very palatable cider. As we join the story, great uncle Matthew, the last of the older generation, has died, and his will has caused quite a stir amongst his surviving relatives. Tabitha, who has lived at the farm for years, and her cousin Georgia, who looks on the place as a second home, find that, as they hoped, Matthew has left them the farm, but has also left an equal share to someone they have never heard of, Gabriel Culbone. His very name is enough to raise hackles, as the Melchiors and the Culbones have long been at loggerheads following an incident a few generations ago. When all parties start digging into the past to find out Gabriel’s connection with the farm, there emerge all manner of revelations. 

As I expected, I really enjoyed this book. Events spanned long periods of time, although the main focus was on the present and what was going to happen to the farm. It certainly kept me guessing until the end. I liked the fact that there was an air of mystery mixed with romance; so many secrets binding together the two families. I can recommend this book, with its strong, mainly likeable, characters and a surprise round every corner to Veronica Henry fans and those new to her work alike. 

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

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto Buy Authors 16/7/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

If you've been following for a while then you will know there are quite a few auto buy authors on my shelves-certainly far too many to fit into a top ten so... let's just try and list some of them and see what number we get to...