31 Mar 2015

The Calender Book Tag

Over on You Tube there are all sorts of 'book tag videos' that I have been tagged in for a while now.  I thought it would be fun to do a blog post response.  Let me know if you want to see more.....

Original Video can be found here:    

New Years - Name a new release coming out this year that you are greatly anticipating.

I loved the first two books in this series and have the third book on my TBR to read soon.  I might just hold on until I get this one and marathon the next to books in the series...

Leap Year - Name a book or series that you would like to skip, and refuse to read.
I've had the first book in this trilogy on my shelf for ages and I just haven't picked it up to read.  To me, this book/series sounds so similar to a lot of others that are out at the moment.

St Patricks Day - Favorite book set in the countryside or a rural area?
It would not be a favourites post without including at least one Nicholas Sparks story.  The Notebook is one of my favourites of his (although to be honest, all of his books are pretty fantastic!) which is set in North Carolina.

April Fool’s - Name a book that had a story that tricked you into thinking it was going in one direction, but ended up going in a completely different one.
This was definately a surprising read for me.  There really isn't much of a description for this duology so when I went into it I just thought it might be a bit paranormal.  Well, the plot twist in this duology had me nearly falling off my chair!!  Fantastic!

Mothers Day - Name a book that is always there for you, that you love and lightens the mood when you are feeling down.
Oh yes, another Nicholas Sparks!!  This one is my favourite book of all time.  It has such a great message and the plot twist makes me happy every time!

Summer Solstice - Name a book that felt like it took forever to read.
At 697 pages long, even though it is a bind up of three books, it felt that reading it would never end.  I enjoyed the story but there comes a certain point where I thought I would never get to the end!

Independence Day - Name a strong and independent character that inspired you.
One of my more recent reads is the Divergent trilogy and the main character Tris sprang to mind when trying to think of a strong independent character that is inspiring...

No holidays - If you could create a holiday that in some way concerned books, what would it be?  It would have to be an entire day/week/year/end of time period of time where people would gather in a picnic style situation and they would be free to read books, talk about books, shop for books etc all in the same place...  It would be so much fun!  

911 Remembrance Day - What is a book that had a huge impact on you, one that you will always remember?   The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is that book.  I had not realised when I started reading it just what impact the plot twist would have on me.

Halloween - What is your favourite mystery or horror book?
Not sure if this could be called mystey or horror but since I don't read too many of both I chose this book for a fantastic Halloween read.

Thanksgiving - What series are you most thankful exists?
It has to be done really..   I am most thankful for the Twilight series because that was the series that brought me right back into reading again after a very long period of not reading anything at all...

Christmas - If you could recommend your viewers a book as a gift, what would you recommend?  It would have to be this duology which is such a beautiful story it will warm the hearts of anyone who reads them!

Continue reading The Calender Book Tag

30 Mar 2015

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Author Interview / Nadine Matheson

I told you people only run away from bad relationships and debts and Lucinda’s running away from both." 

Richard always knew that there was something special about his four daughters, Lucinda, Jessica, Beatrice and Emma. He knew that his instincts had been right when Lucinda, Jessica and Beatrice LeSoeur formed the group ‘Euterpe’ and became one of the most successful British R’n’B girl groups of the 1990s. Whilst Euterpe are riding the waves of success Lucinda controversially and surprisingly leaves and moves to New York to seek her own fame and fortune. Now, nearly 20 years later, Lucinda is back for a not so happy family reunion. 

Career failure, divorce and financial ruin sends Lucinda and her two children packing and on the first plane back to London. 

Jessica couldn’t quite leave the showbiz life behind and now runs a successful PR agency. When her second husband surprises her with divorce papers and she finds herself fighting public humiliation for the second time in her life, what she doesn’t need is the arrival of her older sister who she hasn’t spoken to after an explosive argument five years ago. 

Beatrice ran away as far she could from the music business, fully embracing her new roles as mother, wife and career woman. Always the mediator and the sister who wants to please, she’s excited about the return of Lucinda but is also anxious about the drama that she knows Lucinda will inevitably bring. 

Emma was too young to be part of the group but she has always been part of her sister’s lives. Strong willed but with her own insecurities, her instincts tell her that there is more to Lucinda’s return and she is determined to find out the truth.



      The Sisters


1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

Marian Keyes. What I love about her books is that she’s not afraid to tackle challenging issues. She’s an honest writer and that is what really shines through in her writing. She’s also really approachable and always replies on twitter. I admire her because she’s continued to fight through her own personal struggles and still produce amazing books.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

As well as being a writer, I’m a criminal defence lawyer so a typical working day would usually begin with a trip to the Crown Court. Once I’m home (on a good day at 1pm) I’ll try and get the admin stuff out of the way first and then start writing. I will probably spend 4 to 5 hours writing. However, I’m not one of those writers who can write until the early hours of the morning. Even when I was at Uni, I think that I pulled an all-nighter once. My brain stops working at 10pm. I always write in the guest room/office in my house. It’s a lovely space to work in because it’s bright and the sunlight streams through but when the weather warms up I also work in my garden. I’ve always got the radio on when I work, mainly listening to BBC London or Itunes on shuffle mode.

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

The hardest part was fitting my writing around a full time job that took up not only my evenings but also my weekends. Now that I’m freelance, I’m able to organise my time more efficiently and not feel as though I’m trying to cram in writing time. Now, the hardest part of writing is trying to silence my inner critic. Honestly, this afternoon I could write an amazing chapter and the next day the inner critic will come out and tell me that it’s a load of rubbish. I’ve called my inner critic Deliliah and I’m learning to ignore her.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

I first committed myself to writing a book way back in 2002, when I worked at the BBC. I’d written stories but they were false starts and there’s a saying that ‘life got in the way’. I was working full time, attending law school and then training to be a lawyer so that first book took forever to finish. It’s actually still languishing in a draw in my writing room and someday I’ll return to it.

5.How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I came up with the character of Lucinda after watching an episode of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ There was one character that drove the flash cars and had the amazing bags but the reality was that she was skint but she still acted as though she had it all. It was all a façade. I thought it would be an interesting idea to see how someone would cope with the real world when they had given up their financial independence. Initially it was just going to be a story about a group of four friends but then I had the idea that these women were once in a girl band and then I thought that it would be even better if they were sisters. My mum likes to think that she and my aunts were the inspiration for the book but as I keep reminding her, the last time I checked, she was never in a girl band.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I love to read. My ‘To Read Pile’ is absolutely ridiculous. I think that including my kindle and my bookshelf that I probably have thirty books waiting to be read. At the moment I’m reading ‘Our Fair Eden’ by Harry Manners and ‘One Night in Italy’ by Lucy Diamond.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Have a plan. You don’t have to stick to the plan rigidly but you need to have some idea about the beginning, middle and end of your story. Also, just keep writing and ignore anyone who asks you ‘Have you finished yet?

Continue reading Author Interview / Nadine Matheson

27 Mar 2015

Book Review / City of Bones by Casssanda Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Published:    27th March 2007
Publisher:  Walker Books
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Mortal Instruments
Source:  Bought

My Review

What I loved about this story...
This is one of those series that I have collected over the years but have put off reading honestly mainly because of all of hype around the series.  When a book is all hyped up I find that if I read that book at that time I find myself influenced by the hype and usually get very disappointed because I have hyped it up so much.  The other reason why I had held off reading this series is because I like to collect a series before I start reading it, that way I can complete immerse myself in the world and the characters.

I definitely was not disappointed with this book.  What I loved the most was the sense of history and secrets.  You have the main character Clary who is thrust into a world that she didn't know exist and I really enjoyed following her journey into discovering new people and places.  I  felt that she dealt with it in a very mature way and adapted herself to any circumstance that she comes across with.  Along with discovering this new world, there are a few secrets that Clary discovers along her way.  There is an especially surprising twist at the end of this book that I really wasn't expecting.   I can't wait to pick up book 2!

What I was not fond of with this story...
Even though I really did enjoy this story, I did feel that the story didn't hold may surprised - that is until I got to the end of the book!!!  Apart from that very surprising twist at the end of the story, I found the start and middle of the book very predictable which made it very hard to keep reading at times but I am glad I persevered!

About the Author
From Goodreads

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. 

Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

Continue reading Book Review / City of Bones by Casssanda Clare

25 Mar 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 26th May 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / The Cage by Megan Shepherd

21 Mar 2015

Twisted, Ruthless, Stunning, Burned and Crushed by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars)

Below is a description of the first book in this series, Pretty Little Liars
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? A strong launch for a suspenseful series.

Goodreads Links
Twisted - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9893331-twisted 
Ruthless - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10429037-ruthless 
Stunning - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9893355-stunning
Burned - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9893358-burned
Crushed - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16065550-crushed
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Author Website:  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 9 to 13, Pretty Little Liars Series
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

What I loved about this book... 
Jumping right back into this series was so easy, the characters are memorable and likeable. What I liked the most about this series is the  'what happened next' plot line.  Just after you think that one thing is solved, another problem comes up.  Who is 'A'?  Of course that is the main theme of this stories and I really enjoyed following each of the characters and trying to see if they are 'A' or not.

I also liked the fact that since it has been a number of years since I read the first 8 books in this series, I could immediately drop right back into the story and into the lives of the characters just as if I read the first part of the series yesterday.  I thought I would have forgotten bits but once I started reading I remembered mostly everything. 

What I was not fond of with these books...
I read the first 8 books a very long time ago (the last one read was Wanted) and for some reason I had stopped and I couldn't remember why.  After reading the first two books, I then remembered why.  The plot line in all of the above books are pretty similar, maybe with slight differences in places and who is probably 'A'.  By the time I got to starting to read Crushed, I felt the series was getting a bit repetitive.  The four girls are in trouble, someone who is calling themselves 'A' is after them, the girls have to either run from danger or face it head on.  Which one will they choose.  If I had a choice, I would have probably combined each of the books in this review and made them one or maybe two larger books.  That is the main reason why I have decided to combine all these books in one review, mainly because my view of each of these books is exactly the same...

I have to admit that I have stopped reading the books now.  I felt that Crushed was a great place to put this series aside as there is a good ending (which I won't spoil for you) but let's say that it was the perfect place to stop reading the series.  That said, I am now on the second series of the TV series for Pretty Little Liars and really enjoying it so far.  I might even go as far as to say that I am totally addicted to the TV show, I can't wait to start watching the third series....! 

About the Author
(From Author Website, link above)

For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.

She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.
Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.

Continue reading Twisted, Ruthless, Stunning, Burned and Crushed by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars)

18 Mar 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 21st April 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

16 Mar 2015


Blog Tour / The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers

Vinny Butler has used his time in prison well: to plan the downfall of all who’ve wronged him.

As always with the Butlers, family comes first: Vinny’s brother Michael may think he’s the top dog running the family business, but it won’t last when Vinny finds out how good his brother’s got it.

Meanwhile, Vinny is incensed when he finds out that Joanna had a baby in secret while he was in prison – but that’s nothing compared to his anger when he finds out who the father is.

In the background, Little Vinny thinks he’s one step ahead of his dad as always, and playing a dangerous game: he’s still keeping a secret he’ll take to his grave – even if that means that he sends more people to theirs first…

The Butlers are at war, and they’re taking everyone down with them – it’s all going to end in flames…


Published:     12th March 2015
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

In all honesty, I wished I had loved this book as much as I hoped I would but unfortunately this was one of those books that just wasn't for me.  I read the entire of this book to give it a chance but unfortunately I didn't warm to the characters and found that the large amount of swearing was not to my taste.

That being said, for those of you who like a good thriller/mafia style story then this is definitely one to try.  I did, however, like the ending and even though I will probably not pick up any more I wonder whether these books tie in with each other and that these are, in fact, part of a 'bigger picture'?  I am not sure and cannot find anything on Goodreads to tell me.  It may be that I have missed part of the picture and that is why I could not gel as much with the characters as I might have done.  

More books by this author
Picture taken from Goodreads

Continue reading Blog Tour / The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers

14 Mar 2015

Book Review / Four by Veronica Roth (4 novellas from the Divergent Trilogy)

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON, and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.

Published:     8th July 2014
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4, Divergent Series
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review

I do not normally read novellas but I made the exception with these four stories because I LOVED the Divergent series and really did not want it to end. I loved following Four and finding out a bit more from his perspective. 

When I do get to re-read this trilogy and novellas (which I will do most definitely many many times), I might try reading the novellas reading the trilogy to see what effect that would have. It might have made me see more out of the story than I did the first time around.

For those of you who loved the Divergent Trilogy, check out these novellas.  They are fantastic and add more to the story of Four that is not to be missed.  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). 

The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will came out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

Continue reading Book Review / Four by Veronica Roth (4 novellas from the Divergent Trilogy)

11 Mar 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / What Remains by Helene Dunbar

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 15th May 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

In less than a second...

...two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about--a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends--are gone forever.

In the hours that follow...

...Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same. Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on. But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just...won't...stop.

Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle.

But grief might be the one exception.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / What Remains by Helene Dunbar

Book Review / Hero by Samantha Young

The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

Published:     5th March 2015
Publisher:  Piatkus
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Poppy Sinclair
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I loved about this story...

I was really pleasantly surprised by this story.  I am not usually a big fan of erotic or new adult stories but this description sounded so good I thought I would push my reading limits and give it a go.  I am so glad that I did.  I really enjoyed following the story of the main character Alexa.  We first see her at a meeting with her boss (she is a personal assistant) and comes across Caine Carraway.  A secret is revealed and what happens next changes Alexa's life in many ways.  I loved following her story and seeing how she reacts to different surprises that come her way.  There are some sex scenes in this story but they were written so well that I didn't mind and didn't skip past the pages (normally I would as I don't usually like erotic stories so much).  This story was so good I didn't want to miss a single word or a single scene.  I really enjoyed the writing style which was really easy to follow.  I am definitely going to be checking out more from this author.  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)
Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET and Best Romance 2014 for BEFORE JAMAICA LANE. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in twenty-eight countries.

For more info on Samantha's adult fiction visit http://www.ondublinstreet.com

For info on her young adult fiction visit www.samanthayoungbooks.com


Continue reading Book Review / Hero by Samantha Young

9 Mar 2015

Book Review / Just One More Day by Jessica Blair

When Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, Carolyn Maddison is still a schoolgirl. Her elder brother Alastair wastes no time in joining the RAF as a flying officer, and Carolyn decides that when she is eighteen she will follow him into the service by joining the Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

While reporting to the Air Ministry in London she meets a good-looking, charismatic pilot, Charlie Wade, currently employed in propaganda work. He believes that with her calm demeanor and resilience, Carolyn should work as an Intelligence officer, and suggests she serve on an active bombing station. At her side throughout the courses and postings that follow is Lucy Gaston, naturally quick-witted and sparky, a perfect foil for her friend.

The young WAAFs both obtain prestigious postings in 5 Group Bomber Command, where they perform the vital tasks of briefing and debriefing aircrew returning from operations over Germany. Lucy, an incorrigible optimist, falls head over heels for a member of a Lancaster bomber crew while Carolyn resists her feelings for its dashing pilot. She decides it's not worth the risk of loving a man in wartime. . . only to wonder if she has done the right thing when a new WAAF on the station sets her cap at him.

For Lucy and Carolyn, life on a WWII bombing station brings drama, heartbreak and suspense in this touching love story.

Published:     1st April 2015
Publisher:  Piatkus
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review 

What I loved the most....

 It takes a good book to draw you in to the story and make you care about the characters in it.  It takes a fantastic book to do those first two things but also to hold you right there in the story and never let you go until the very last page, to make a reader who would not normally pick up this style of book and completely convert them to the point where she has to read more.   This is one of those books for me.  I don't normally pick up 'war stories', whether that is following the action or following the people who are living alongside the action.  I liked the sound of the description and thought I would give it a go.  Little did I know that I just did not want to put this down right until the very end.  

What I liked them most (apart from everything!) is following Carolyn from seeing her in her hometown with her family to where she ends up at a bommer command centre.  I loved the description of places, people and places etc.  For me it was the description that put me completely in the era of the story and into the minds of the characters.  

Absolutely loved this book.  Even if you haven't read something like this before but think the description sounds good, give it a try you might be very pleasantly surprised like I was!

About the Author
(from Author Website, link above)

My real name is Bill Spence. Jessica Blair came into being when my publisher, Piatkus, accepted my first historical saga and declared that, for various reasons, they would prefer to publish it under a female name and they suggested Jessica Blair.

I was born in Middlesbrough in 1923. I trained as a teacher but never followed the profession as war intervened. I served in the RAF as a bomb aimer doing thirty-six operational flights in Lancasters of 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron Bomber Command. After the war I was sent to Rhodesia by the RAF.
It was on the voyage to Durban that I wrote my first short story and was bitten by the writing bug. On return to England I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines and fulfilled my desire to write a novel by using some war time experiences as background.

My second book was a Western and 36 were published between 1960 and 1993. During that time two more war novels and a romance appeared in print. Along with my wife, Joan, I wrote three books dealing with aspects of Yorkshire. I started a review column in the Yorkshire Gazette and Herald and that is now in its fiftieth year.

Visits to Whitby, on the Yorkshire coast, sparked off an interest in whaling and ten years intermittent research into the subject resulted in the publication of an illustrated history. It was from this study that the Jessica Blair novels arose. The first of these appeared in 1992 and a new phase in my writing career began.

There have been twenty-five Jessica Blair novels published to date (February 2015) One more is with my publisher, Piatkus, an imprint of the Little Brown Book Group. All Jessica Blair novels are available in hardback, paperback, ebook, audio download, and Large Print.

Writing was a part-time occupation until 1977 when, with the full support of my wife, Joan, it became full-time. Throughout my whole writing career I have had her, and my four children's, unstinting support, advice, and inspiration.

I moved into the computing age very early on when I purchased a word processor which had everyone amazed at the ability to manoeuvre words, sentences, paragraphs and whole pages at will. Since then I have updated the equipment three times in order to keep abreast of the wider facilities for authors offered in the modern world of computing. That equipment came with me when I moved to a family home in the village of Ampleforth on the death of my wife in 1999. The purchase of an iPad has added versatility to the use of my computer in furthering my writing career.

Though much of my writing life revolves around the computer I realise it is essential for a writer to keep personal contact with people. As part of this I attend the meetings of the Northern Branch of the Romantic Novelists' Association near Harrogate once a month when we catch up on what we are all doing, exchange ideas, meet new authors and share the exchanges over a pleasant meal.

I was nominated for the Romantic Novel of the Year 2014 and had to attend a prestigious ceremony in London. Even though I did not win the outright prize my publisher, Piatkus, did me proud and the nomination brought me lots of publicity. That made it a superb addition to the publicity I received in 2013 when the media took up the fact that a writer of Romantic novels, published by Piatkus, is a ninety year old man who served as a Bomb Aimer in Lancasters during the Second World War.
Publicity appeared all over the world and I was interviewed via Skype for American TV via Atlanta Georgia.

Continue reading Book Review / Just One More Day by Jessica Blair

5 Mar 2015


Blog Tour / Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

From the author of number one bestseller, Sleep Tight.

One Dark Secret. One act of revenge.

When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.

Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.
Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis.
Emma’s life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?

When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.

They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they’re right. 

Published:     2015
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Review Copy

My Review

What I loved about this book...
I loved this book!  Rachel Abbott is an new author to me and from reading the description (above) I was so excited to get reading it as soon as possible.  What I loved the most about this book was the plot.  There are a few 'curve balls' in this story which definitely kept me on my toes.  I really could not put this down, so much so that I starting reading one evening and eventually had to force myself to put it down needing sleep but picked it up as soon as woke up again in the morning because I could not wait to finish the story.    I really can't wait to pick up more books by this author.  I have Sleep Tight on my TBR and I can't wait to get to that sooner rather than later!

About the Author
From Goodreads

I lived most of life in the north of England, and worked for many years as the managing director of an interactive media company. I wrote every day - everything from creative proposals to user manuals - but most exciting of all was writing interactive dramas - including for the Cluedo (Clue in the US) interactive games. I was fortunate enough to sell my company in 2000 and we moved to Italy where we bought and restored an old country house.

My first novel Only the Innocent is about the cold-blooded execution of a well respected man, and as the story develops it becomes clear that sometimes murder can, perhaps, be justified. Only the Innocent was launched in November 2011 and reached the #1 spot on Amazon UK in mid February - and stayed there for four weeks.

I am now lucky enough to be able to write full time, and details of my books can be found at my website.

More books by this author
Picture taken from Goodreads

Continue reading Blog Tour / Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

4 Mar 2015

Waiting on Wednesday / Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 19th May 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

From the author of Entwined, a brilliantly conceived adventure through an alternate London. This sweeping, cinematic tale of an apprentice scientist desperate to save his family—and his world—is The Night Circus meets Pixar.

Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that is breathtaking and wholly original.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

2 Mar 2015


Author Interview / Carly Ellen Kramer

Forget what your English professor told you – life stories are not written in college.

Madeleine LaBlange, Annie Anderson, and Audrey Navarro shared formative years as roommates at Chicago’s Catholic haven for women, the historic Abbott College. If only they could have predicted the collisions between their carefully crafted life plans and the realities they discover beyond campus...

Madeleine harbors dreams of becoming a concert pianist while Dr. Reynold Fenwick, her mercurial graduate school mentor, harbors fantasies of Madeleine. Will pursuing her dreams be worth the cost? Will an evening in Budapest change her life forever?

Annie plans to build a perfect family with her perfect husband in the cutthroat news media industry, until an abrupt tragedy shakes the foundations of her marriage. What happens when she feels pulled between the two men she loves most, her husband and her father?

Audrey leaves her religious, restrictive parents behind and aims for Chicago’s downtown skyline, dating recklessly and staring down each grueling workday one Chicago Dog at a time. Will an island respite lure her away from her corporate future? When she finds herself in the arms of an unexpected lover, will she have the courage to stand up for her own evolving sense of self?

Follow the journeys of these remarkable women, and cheer them on as they navigate life, love, and chocolate soufflé.

Includes over a dozen decadent new recipes from Crowded Earth Kitchen!

Amazon: Click Here 

Crowded Earth Kitchen: http://crowdedearthkitchen.com/

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

That's easy - Barbara O'Neal! I'm a huge Barbara O'Neal fan. The Lost Recipe for Happiness was my introduction to O'Neal's books, and I was completely hooked. I have now read every book she's ever written! I love to read food fiction novels (and ALWAYS try at least one recipe from every book I read), and particularly love how Ms. O'Neal blends serious story lines and edgy prose with decadent recipes. Her recipes are fantastic (those tamales, Oh My!), and her plot lines are sometimes edgy. I think many cooks can relate to this. 

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
 Is there a typical working day? In all seriousness, I don't have a steadfast daily routine. I set monthly goals and deadlines for myself, and am pretty serious about meeting them. Some months I write for the same few hours every day, usually after dinner and late into the evenings. Other months I take more of a sprint-and-rest approach, writing practically around the clock for a few days until I crash and need a few days away.

Where I write depends upon what I'm writing. If I'm sketching, meaning I'm just setting scenes, working out mannerisms of characters, those sorts of things, I work in the quiet of my home office. If I'm writing dialogue, I like to be surrounded by dialogue, and prefer to work in public places such as coffee shops.    

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Honoring my characters is very important to me. If a character is flat or (worse) stereotyped, then I haven't done my duty as a fiction author. I am particularly careful when writing characters whose traits are very different from my own - characters with ethnic backgrounds different from my own, characters who serve in the military, characters who are gay... I need to conduct a lot of research to maintain authenticity.  For me, this is the hardest part of writing.

4. When and why did you first start writing?
When it comes to writing novels, I was a bit of a late bloomer!  I have an established career in another field, and sometimes that work gets a little intense (I'm really Batgirl, but don't tell anyone).  As much as I love, er, being Batgirl, I found that I needed a creative outlet to help take the edge off.  On a last minute whim, I participated in a NaNoWriMo challenge several years ago. I thought it would just be a fun, goofy way to try something a little different for a month. Instead, I was sucked into the vortex of novel writing. The rest is history!

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I help write and maintain a food blog, Crowded Earth Kitchen, which is a lot of fun - I love creating new recipes and networking with blog followers. I added a "freebies" feature to the blog, where I give away a different food fiction novel once per month.  Every time I reviewed and posted a new food fiction book on my "freebies" page, I considered what a fun challenge it might be to write and share my OWN food fiction novel.

Around the same time as I was contemplating this idea, I found myself reconnecting with girlfriends from my undergraduate college days.  It's been pretty fabulous, being able to pick up where we left off and rekindle old friendships.  It's also been a bit bittersweet, as reconnecting meant learning about tragic events that had struck a few classmates. At risk of sounding terribly cliché, those events brought many of us closer together.

The combination of these experiences, however unrelated they might seem at a glance, formed the inspiration behind How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé. 

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I was reading between 200 and 300 books per year before I started actively writing; now I aim for about 50 books per year. It's a bit ironic, how writing books cuts into the time I have for actually reading books!  Right now, I am quite infatuated with Paullina Simons. Oh my goodness, she is such a talented and inspiring author.  Her lengthy historical fiction novels are outside of the sorts of books I usually read, and yet I can't seem to set them down. On the recommendation of a Goodreads friend, I picked up a copy of The Bronze Horseman.  I don't say this lightly... The Bronze Horseman is the best book I've ever read.  I'm now reading the sequel, Tatiana and Alexander, and am finding this book equally captivating. 

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Yes. Write your first draft with reckless abandon! No matter how terrible you think parts of that first draft may be, just FINISH the draft.  You can't edit what you don't finish!  Once you have a complete first draft, put it away for a few weeks. When you return to your draft, your editing eye will be a bit more objective.  Read it and edit it yourself... but you're not finished!  Now is the time for beta readers, who may advise you to revisit entire sections.  The decision is all yours, of course, but if you trust your beta readers you should give their suggestions serious consideration.  Finally, when you think your editing is complete, hire a professional editor.  In my opinion, there's no getting around this - hiring a professional editor separates novice writing from professional writing.  Perhaps you can get creative - beg an English teacher to serve as your editor and "pay" them with homemade cookies - but you NEED an editor.
Continue reading Author Interview / Carly Ellen Kramer