Tuesday 31 March 2020

Review: Meet Me at Pebble Beach Part One Out of the Blue by Bella Osborne

This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.
When Regan’s lottery numbers unexpectedly come up on a rollover, she can’t believe her luck. Having spent the past few years coasting along in the slow lane of life, this is the break she’s been waiting for – and she wastes no time in making some big life decisions.
But Regan’s plans for a life of sipping cocktails on her own private island come crashing down when she discovers that the winning ticket was a bad prank – and she’s now jobless, boyfriendless, and homeless to boot.
When the going gets tough, can Regan stay afloat?

Review: Well this was an excellent way to kick off a series! This book wasn't what I was expecting but in a really good way... I mean everything that could go wrong for Regan really does and there are so many things hanging over her head it could make you weep, but it makes for excellent reading. 

Regan is quite an easy character to get to know and so sympathise with from the word go. I would HATE to have her as a co-worker or even a friends for that matter because I think all of her troubles would stress me out a bit and I know I wouldn't be able to tolerate her work ethic. But as someone to read about, she is perfect reading material and allowed me to escape all the chaos in the real world. 

I love the fact that this series looks like its going to be set in Brighton as well, it's been so long since I read a book set there and I can't wait to see what the town has in store for Regan and her friends. This opening installment of the series really does leave you wanting more and I can see that it is setting up for some trouble and hopefully some answers for Regan in the pages to come. I can't wait to read part 2!

Click here to order your copy now!

Don't forget to pre-order the rest of the series...

Monday 30 March 2020

Review: Strangers by CL Taylor

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.
Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.

Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.

And Alice is being stalked.
None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.
The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.

Review: The tagline of 'keep you guessing until the end' is exactly right, I gasped and exclaimed my way through the last 15% of this book and I had so many questions that I asked the air in my apartment for the rest of the book, this is the definition of a page turner. 

This book was so great, CL Taylor just keeps out-doing herself novel after novel. The fact that we have a stalker, some mysterious goings on and some very very dodgy strangers is the basis for this novel and the rest of the plot just can;t be talked about because-spoilers. 

These three characters are all incredibly intriguing. I could definitely sympathise with all of them even if I didn't necessarily like them. Alice gives us some lessons in what consent means, but also what it means to open up and trust people. I did actually rally like Ursula, perhaps because, like me, she is a former teacher and I was really championing her throughout the novel. On the outside she is a pretty strong person but on the inside she is oh so broken. And then Gareth is probably the person we find out least about until the very end of the novel. I really felt for him and he made me want to find out more every time I read his chapters. 

This story is told from all of these characters' points of view and so you get a little way into someone story and then you're thrown back to the story of another character and so you literally have to keep turning and turning and reading on and on searching for answers and only uncovering even more questions. This book will make your heart race, leave you holding your breath and ultimately turning the pages until you get some answers into the mysteries of the Strangers. This is a hard recommend from me!

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

Sunday 29 March 2020

Unboxing March Enchanted Fandom Crescent City Drinking Vessel Subscription Box


Guest Review: Around the World in 80 Pints by David 'Bumble' Lloyd

Bestselling author and hugely popular commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd takes the reader on an unmissable and hilarious tour of the cricketing world as he searches for the perfect pint.

After more than 50 years involved with cricket as a player, international, umpire, coach and now commentator, David Lloyd has travelled the world. It's all a long way from his childhood, growing up in a terraced house in post-war Accrington, Lancashire. But cricket has taken him all over the globe, and he has experienced everything from excruciating agony Down Under to the Bollywood glamour of the IPL - he's even risked it all to cross the Pennines into Yorkshire. 

In Around the World in 80 Pints, Bumble relives some of the most exciting and remarkable periods in his life, showing how his travels have opened up new and exciting avenues for him. The book is packed full of brilliant stories from famous Ashes matches and Roses clashes, sharing the commentary box with Ian Botham and Shane Warne, and much else besides - all told in his idiosyncratic style that has won him so many fans the world over. His previous autobiography, Last in the Tin Bath, was a huge bestseller, and this one is sure to appeal to anyone who shares Bumble's unquenchable love for cricket - and life!

Review: David Lloyd is a former cricketer who represented Lancashire and England, went on to coach the England cricket team and, currently, is a much respected commentator on the game. This book relates his journey as a cricketer, but also describes the important role played by the social side of the game. As the title of the book suggests, much of this socialising takes place over a pint in the club bar or a nearby hostelry once the day's play has finished.

The book is divided into three sections. In the first section, the author describes how he first started playing for Accrington Cricket Club in the Lancashire League, and the experiences of club cricket, before progressing to playing for his native county of Lancashire. He goes on to describe the various Test Match venues in England and Wales and the nearby cafes and pubs that he favours. The second section of the book describes his travels around the major cricket-playing nations of the world and the attributes that the various countries have brought to the game. In the third section, David Lloyd discusses being part of a broadcasting team, what improvements in the game he would like to see and where he thinks cricket's future lies.

As in his previous book that I read, this volume is full of the author's trademark impish sense of humour, with plenty of anecdotes and descriptions of many of the characters that inhabit the world of cricket. For an insight into the world of club, county and international cricket, the social side of cricket clubs and the life of a cricket broadcaster, I would recommend this book as a very interesting and amusing read.

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

Social Distance Book Festival

I have some very exciting news for you today... On 25th April I will be taking part in the Social Distance Book Festival!

So many of our favorite book and author events have been canceled due to COVID-19. To combat this while sticking to Social Distancing, and hopefully giving readers a reason to smile, we’re putting together an online book event. Seriously this team is working so hard and it just the BEST group of people!

The Social Distance Book Festival is an all-online event that will be taking place on April 25th, 2020. We will be running panels for different genres/areas of interest across several booktube channels throughout the day. We’re hoping to do a few fan events as well, though nothing has been finalized.

Here's a video announcement from Bethany...

Please share with #SocialDistanceBookFest

If you want to stay up to date on all the latest details, you can follow us at the links below!
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/socdistbookfest
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/socialdistancebookfest

I'm excited and I'm so excited to see all of YOU there too!

Friday 27 March 2020

Review: The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

A family reunited on a holiday of a lifetime...what could possibly go wrong?
When 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits an essay to the 'Become a Jetsetter' contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist; and Regan, a harried mother who has never forgiven Charlotte for buying her a Weight Watchers gift certificate for her birthday.
But when she wins the cruise, the reality is not quite as she expected. As they sail from sun-drenched Athens, to glorious Rome, to tapas-laden Barcelona, lovers old and new join the adventure, and long-buried secrets are revealed.
Can four lost adults find their way back to themselves, and to each other? And more importantly, can they do it without killing each other?

Review: I don't usually get on well with books that are part of celebrity book club picks but I liked the premise of this one and I enjoy books set around cruises so I thought why not? I think perhaps I should have trusted my judgement on this one and just given it a miss. 

Its not that there is anything particularly bad about this book it just didn't live up to my expectations and it wasn't that memorable for me. I really like the fact that the main character, the matriarch of the family in this one is older and I think that more books are pushing the boundaries with the ages of their protagonists but more could definitely have been done with this and I didn't really find myself sympathizing with the character. 

I found myself liking Cord as a character and I would have loved to have seen more of him in the book. I really found it hard the way they had the characters interacting, or not interacting as the case may be and I could think of a few ways that Cord could have been added to storylines involving Charlotte, Regan or Lee that would have added a bit more tension or even comedy. 

Some of the descriptions of places the ship docks in this book really were beautiful, right down to the table cloths the food and drink is laid out on. So if you're used to cruising and can't right now, this might be a bit of an adventure for you! I did  this one on audiobook and I have to say the narration was very good and it was clear which character we were dealing with at each moment. 

This one wasn't for me and so I think I'll stay away from book club picks in the future!

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

Thursday 26 March 2020

Reading Vlog: 24 in 48 Readathon. Did I Make it?


Guest Review: The Little bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels.
So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the unwelcome attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.
Posy has a cunning plan and six months to transform Bookends into the bookshop of her dreams – if only Sebastian would leave her alone to get on with it. As Posy and her friends fight to save their beloved bookshop, Posy’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…
Like her favourite romantic heroines, will she get her happy ever after too?

Review:This is book 1 in the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series from Annie Darling, an author who is new to me. Although it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I found myself quickly immersed in the tale, lost in the characters’ world as the plot unravelled.

The story is set in London, where a quaint old bookshop with a long history has been left to Posy Morland, who has lived in the flat above the shop most of her life with her younger brother, Sam. Posy, who works as a book seller in the shop, is a confirmed romantic; for as long as she can remember she has spent any spare time reading romance novels and her flat is filled with them. She is even writing a Regency-style love story. She plans to turn the bookshop, currently called Bookends, into a specialist outlet for romantic fiction to be named Happy Ever After. However, Sebastian Thorndyke, the grandson of the previous owner, has other ideas and is quite simply trying to edge Posy out. Posy has known Sebastian for a very long time and is well acquainted with his vanity, rudeness and lack of regard for anyone else’s feelings, but is determined not to give in to his bullying tactics. However, as time passes, Posy is becoming aware that she may be developing different feelings towards Sebastian.

I would describe this book as a lighthearted romance filled with interesting characters, from the sweet and gentle to the brash and domineering. I found it an easy read and didn’t mind at all that it was a little predictable. Posy comes across as a really sweet person, but I found her really quite annoying at times; I did find myself wanting to give her a shake on occasion, particularly when she was dealing with Sebastian. As well as trying to make a living out of selling books and doing her utmost to bring up her younger brother, Posy spends any spare time in the company of the characters in the novel she is writing and in which she herself is the heroine. The narrative includes regular extracts from this novel, which I did not much enjoy, but this did not spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. I am looking forward to catching up with events at the bookshop in the next part of the series.

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

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Blog Blitz: Feasible Planet by ken Kroes

Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes @ken_kroes #Lovebookstour @Lovebooksgoup 

Today on the blog I am happy to be sharing all the info with you for new release Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes. The book is out now and if you like the sound of it, you can click here to order your copy now.

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

Are we doing enough?

Are you concerned about the state of our planet and hope that governments and corporations will find a sustainable way for us to live? If you do not think about it too hard, that may work, but will it? Left on their own, with drivers of popularity and profits, I am not too convinced that it will.

The missing part of this equation is you and me. Individuals who believe that corporations and governments can do better. Individuals who believe that through action, we can buy a bit more time to develop and implement solutions to our critical issues.

Did I hear a groan out there when you read the word ‘actions’? Do not worry! Most of the actions that I am referring to will not only help save the planet, but will benefit you right away through saving money, time, better health, and having a happier life in general.

Sustainability goes beyond controlling our consumption and pollution. There are key social, political, and economic areas that need to be addressed as well, and there are several steps that individuals can take to help in these areas.

For those of you who feel we could do more, this book is for you and is loaded with actionable activities, the reasons for doing them, and explores why we are not doing them already.

Every journey starts with a first step. Hopefully, this book will lead to those first sustainable steps and that will change the world.

About the Author

Ken Kroes is the author of the Percipience Eco-Fiction Series and the non-fiction books, Feasible Planet and Feasible Living. He is passionate about our relationship with our planet and applies his diverse background which includes agriculture, mechanical engineering and information systems into his writing. Born in Calgary, Canada he has bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has had the pleasure of living in many locations in North America and has travelled extensively.
He can be reached at Ken@feasibleplanet.com


Tuesday 24 March 2020

Book Review: Again But Better by Christine Riccio-Was it Worth the Wait?


Audiobook Review: The Office (The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s) by Andy Greene

The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors

When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in a row. But either way, fifteen years after the show first aired, it's more popular than ever, and fans have only one problem--what to watch, or read, next.

Fortunately, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has that answer. In his brand-new oral history, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene will take readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. Greene gives us the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America, with in-depth research and exclusive interviews. Fans will get the inside scoop on key episodes from "The Dundies" to "Threat Level Midnight" and "Goodbye, Michael," including behind-the-scenes details like the battle to keep it on the air when NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left, spotlighting the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, who together took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance.

Review: I am a massive fan of The Office (both the UK and the US versions) and so when I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at it. It kind of ended up being a book of two halves for me though, not the first half and the second half, but the actual content of the book and the audio recording. 

Lets deal with the content of the book. I can safely say that this is a must have for every fan of the office, even the most casual fans. The information it contains is factual and anecdotal and comes from both the writer and interviews with the cast the crew, the writers, basically anyone connected to either the show or the setting. If you are a fan of The Office Ladies podcast, you will have heard some of these earlier facts and stories on their show but there are a lot of facts and figures in here about all of the series as well as information and jokes about how the show was conceived, especially concerning show creator and legend Greg Daniels. So the content in a definite recommend from me. 

I really don't recommend you do the audiobook of this one though. This is a full cast audiobook so they have different people voice the different interviewees when they are telling their stories, the main narrator is simply there to facilitate the segues between the various interviews and change chapter and topic. However these voice actors just play the part of the people being interviewed, Steve Carell isn't voiced by Steve Carell, Greg Daniels isn't voiced by Greg Daniels and so here is where my issue lies. These actors were kind of playing the part of the people they were voicing and some of the voices came off a seriously racist. Essentially if any of the people they were voicing were non-white, the voice used was a caricature of that person and their race as a whole and I found this very off putting. 

Speaking of racism, when this book is talking about the episode Diversity Day, they mention the character Michael Scott getting in trouble for doing a Chris Rock impersonation and using the N word. Only they don't say 'The N Word' they actually use the word, they use the word several times, many more times than I feel was necessary.  

So for me, I really enjoyed the content of this book but it was spoiled by the poor audio recording and the fact that parts of the books actually come off as really racist. Get an ebook or physical copy of this one and ignore the chapter where diversity day is explored, listen to The Office Ladies podcast episode of this one instead. 

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read so far this year 24/3/20

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 thought that since a lot of people have a little extra reading time in coming weeks sharing my favourite books of the year so far might be a useful post this week. I can highly recommend all of these books and I will share any reviews I have already posted in case you want to know more. 

Monday 23 March 2020

Blog Tour: Review of When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

I am very excited to be part of the blog tour today for When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson. I have a review to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy of the book! Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more reviews, giveaways and other exclusive content!

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

Sometimes life can be bittersweet . . .
Between tending to the whims of her seven-year-old and the demands of her boss, Viv barely gets a moment to herself. It’s not quite the life she wanted, but she hasn’t run screaming for the hills yet.
But then Viv’s husband Andy makes his mid-life crisis her problem. He’s having an affair with his (infuriatingly age-appropriate) colleague, a woman who – unlike Viv – doesn’t put on weight when she so much as glances at a cream cake.
Viv suddenly finds herself single, with zero desire to mingle. Should she be mourning the end of life as she knows it, or could this be the perfect chance to put herself first?
When life gives you lemons, lemonade just won’t cut it. Bring on the gin!

Review: Oh I so enjoyed this book. I don't often relate so well to characters with a big age difference to me but in this case I feel fro Viv hook line and sinker, I was on her side and rooting fro her right from the word go. I love that Fiona Gibson has written a book about a menopausal woman and shown what life is like just going through all those hormonal changes warts and all. I value the honesty and rawness of the writing and the humour of the situations that she managed to uncover. 

Yes Viv is a great character because she has come to a stage in life when she knows what she wants and she is fed up with having to wait for it. She doesn't take things too seriously and realises that she doesn't know it all but she really is fed up with her husband and rightly so and that is where I found her so relatable. I was with her in the middle of the night when the person next to her is just being so annoying and even though I listened to this book on audio, I laughed out loud a number of times, something i normally reserve for books I am holding in my hand. 

The other characters in this book are definitively all secondary characters Viv is the star here but they are all fully developed and have lives of their own and I loved their interactions with Viv and the way they moved the story forward and posed interesting problems for Viv to have to deal with. Some of the things that she does face in this book are very true to life and very relatable and as I've already mentioned Fiona Gibson is making headway in uncovering some fo the issues that face women of Viv's age in this lifetime and yet doing so with that wonderful Scottish sense of humour. I appreciated the west of Scotland setting here too. 

I did literally laugh my way through this book and I so enjoyed the time I spent with Viv and her life troubles. I really recommend this one and I can safely say that this is another hit for Fiona Gibson-bravo!

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

Thanks so much to Fiona for stopping by the blog today and do remember to check out the other stops on the tour!

Cover Reveal: Death in Smoke by Barbara Elle

Today I have another exciting cover reveal for you today. I am sharing the cover for Death in Smoke by Barbara Elle. It's out now and you can click here to order your copy.
Here's what it's all about:
She stumbled on a bloodied body buried in a snowbank. Will a cold case in Kansas lead her to the killer?
Against a canvas of crime and murder, artist and detective Leila Goodfriend investigates two brutal murders that happened a thousand miles—and decades apart. 
As she unravels the truth about these two violent killings, she tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a perilous past. From Cape Cod to a casino in Kansas, Leila has to trust her instincts. And her developing relationship with Detective John Grace is put to a new, dangerous test. 
Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder. 
She exposes new suspects and clues, and in the end, reveals a dark, deadly secret from her own past.
Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across time, challenging your assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery. 

Are you ready for the cover?

About the Author

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what's the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories. 

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, bass player and musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo. 

@LoveBooksGroup  #Lovebookstours