31 Jan 2017

Blog Tour Author Giveaway / The Ceruleans Series by Charlotte Wilson


Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit: run away from school, join a surfing fraternity, drown in a tragic ‘accident’.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove to uncover the truth. And, as it turns out, to fall in love with the place and its people, especially a certain blue-eyed surfer with a serious case of the heroics.

But as Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery: of what it means to conquer fear, to fall in love, to choose life, to choose death.

To believe the impossible.

Purchase your copy here:


Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte is a professional writer. For authors and publishers, she writes and edits books as The Book Specialist. For herself, she writes soulful, coming-of-age romance for young adults.

Charlotte grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm, or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a library in her home to house her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

You can find Charlotte online at:


Please note that this giveaway is not being hosted on this blog

Continue reading Blog Tour Author Giveaway / The Ceruleans Series by Charlotte Wilson

29 Jan 2017

Blog Tour / Watch Me by Angela Clarke


The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.


A Definitive List of the Best Places to Read a Book
ny Angela Clarke

In Bed

Despite what my partner nags around 3am when the bedside light is on and I’ve been saying ‘just one more chapter’ for the last four hours, in bed is one of the most rewarding places to read. It’s comfortable, warm and atmospheric all at once. Plus, I’ve seen countless articles aimed at insomniacs, those who are stressed, and those who are close to burn out, all saying not to look at a screen for the few hours before bed. That’s basically telling you to read a book. Which is practically proof reading in bed is good for you.

In the Bath

One of the best things about being freelance and working from home? When I need to read for work I do it in the bath. Is there anything more guaranteed to make you feel indulgent and a touch like Cleopatra, than flicking through pages in a candlelit bath tub? Glass of wine optional. Just don’t dunk your tome, or worse: your e-reader.

On the Beach

Why do they sell so many books at airports? Because beaches and books go together like cocktails and tiny paper umbrellas. At university I had a week each term that had no classes or lectures, but was instead dedicated to reading. I think reading weeks should be mandatory four times a year for the health and happiness of the workforce. A holiday dedicated to reading. Add sunshine, the sound of the surf, and all-inclusive drinks and we’d be set. Bonus points if you take a photo of your book and your toes in front of the pool.

On a Train

There is something old school romantic about train journeys. Not the short squished commuter ones, where books act more as a shield against the horror of reality, but those delicious ones where you’ve settled in for the long haul. Where you have a table seat to yourself, a hot chocolate to warm you, and rolling countryside, err, rolling past outside. Looking from the pages and out the window and back again, while being gently rocked like a baby, is one of the purest forms of joy known to book lover. Want to spice it up? Add gin in a can. All aboard!

On the Loo

A controversial entry here, and one few are likely to admit to, but sometimes being on the loo is the only place you can get enough peace to read. I’ll confess, there have been times during my former office jobs, where I’ve been so desperate to continue the book I was reading I’ve booked an appointment in the one-woman library cubicle that is the toilet. Always wondered why women take their handbag to the bathroom with them? They’ve got a book in there.

In a Comfy Chair in Front of a Log Fire

It can be in a writers’ retreat, in a pub, a hotel, or at home (jammy), but there are few places as divine as reading in front of the fire. It is my ambition in life to have a real fire at home, just so I can build a library round it. Forget television, books are at the hearth of a home. It’s a base human instinct, passed down from cave dwellers, we’ve always told stories round the fire. Reading is just one way of doing that. Throw on another log and enjoy.

And there must be many more. Where’s your favourite place to read? Do you have a book nook? A secret hideaway? Or could you do it walking down the street? (I have). Let us know below!
Continue reading Blog Tour / Watch Me by Angela Clarke

23 Jan 2017

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Book Review / See Me by Nicholas Sparks

See me just as I see you . . .

Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.

Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.

A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface.

As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?

Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize. 

Published:     13th October 2015
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


There's a special place in my bookish heart for my favourite author and Nicholas Sparks certainly did not disappoint with this book.  Yes this book came out in 2015 and it is by my favourite author, so I asked myself why I waited so long to read this.  The only explanation I can give is purely for the fact that it was the last book written by Nicholas Sparks that had been published to date but now that he has released a new book, which I now own, I can read this one and know that I still have one more unread treasure to read.  This one I will certainly not wait as long to read!  

This book was everything I hoped for and more.  The one thing that Nicholas Sparks never disappoints is with true love and romance.  I have never found any instalove or stupid love triangles in one of his books. 

For me, there are two aspects to this story that I loved the most.  The first is the most obvious being the romance between Colin and Maria.  Two every unexpected people who you would think would  come together.  You have Colin who is an amateur fighter and then you have Maria who is a lawyer.  The two could not be more different but together they just work.  The other aspect that I enjoyed is the thriller aspect.  Maria is being stalked but by whom?  There are several possible suspects and I do have to admit that I did guess who the stalker might be quite early on but I enjoyed the ride in getting to the end.

Another enthralling read by Nicholas Sparks.  Can't wait to read the next one!

Continue reading Book Review / See Me by Nicholas Sparks

20 Jan 2017


Book Review / The Memory Book by Lara Avery

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie's notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart--a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it's not the life she planned.

Published:     13th January 2015
Publisher:  Riverhead Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


What I liked about this book...  This was a very interesting book to read with the main character suffering from a disorder that is very similar to dementia, which is a condition you usually associate with the elderly but unfortunately Samantha is still in school and because the disorder is hereditary she can develop the systems at any age.  What I liked was the fact that you were not just reading a story with this novel, Samantha is actually writing a Memory Book to help her when the disease gets hold and that is what we are reading, along with text messages with her friends and family.  This book shows a very slow decline as Samantha gets worse.

What I didn't like about this book...   I have to be honest and say that if I had read this book ten years ago I would have loved this more.  I have the impression with this book that it was written more for a younger audience, it certainly tells as you read more and more of the story.  Being in my 30s I enjoyed the story but because most of the characters in this story are teenagers living in a teenager's world, at home and at school, I think I would have appreciated this story more if I was living that same life while reading it.  

Continue reading Book Review / The Memory Book by Lara Avery

18 Jan 2017

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Book Review / Bone Meal for Roses by Miranda Sherry

Her mother destroyed her. The garden saved her.

Poppy was six years old when she was rescued from her abusive mother and taken to her grandparents' farm to recover. There, under a wide South African sky, Poppy succumbs to the magic of their garden. Slowly, her memories fade and her wounds began to heal.

But as Poppy grows up into a strange, fierce and beautiful young woman, her childhood memories start to surface. And then a love affair with a troubled older man explodes her world...

Published:     8th September 2016
Publisher:  Head of Zeus
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


Now this was a very surprising read indeed!  Looking at the cover for this book alone I would assume that this would be a reasonably happy read and that would be a very wrong assumption.  Although there are some happy moments in this book it does concentrate on some very sensitive topics such as an very abusive druggy mother and dealing with the death of the people you love.

This book was such an emotional read for me.  From the very start of the story we see Poppy living with her mother who was so drugged up that she forgot to buy food leaving Poppy to beg, steal or look in rubbish bins.  When Poppy's grandfather arrives at the door after finding out that he has a granddaughter he takes Poppy with her to live with him and her grandmother.  Obviously over the years Poppy (who then changes her name once she is settled) still has her problems but learns slowly to live her life properly, choosing to spend a lot of time in the garden which is where she seems at her happiest.

Now, I will not go into too much detail about the meaning of the title but there is a certain part of the story that left me shocked and heartbroken at the same time.  It certainly gives the title to this novel a whole new meaning.  You need to pick up this book if you haven't....  

Continue reading Book Review / Bone Meal for Roses by Miranda Sherry

16 Jan 2017


Book Review / Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

“How do you like life in the fast lane?” Digby said. “Is it everything you thought it would be?”

Good question.

Achieving high school “normal” wasn’t as hard as Zoe Webster expected, but she’s beginning to think Hollywood oversold how much fun it all is. Isn’t dating a jock supposed to be one long Instagram dream? Shouldn’t she enjoy gossiping 24/7 with her two BFFs? And isn’t this, the last year before the finish line that is Princeton, meant to be one of her best? If “normal” is the high school goal, why can’t Zoe get Philip Digby—decidedly abnormal, completely chaotic, possibly unbalanced, undoubtedly rude, and somehow…entirely magnetic—out of her mind?

However normal Zoe’s life finally is, it’s about to get blown up (metaphorically. This time. She hopes, anyway.*) when Digby shows up on her doorstep. Again. Needing her help to find his kidnapped sister. Still. Full of over-the-top schemes and ready to send Zoe’s life into a higher gear. Again.

It’s time for Zoe Webster to choose between staying in the normal lane, or taking a major detour with Digby (and finally figuring out what that stolen kiss actually meant to him).

Guess which she chooses?

* This is a mistake; Zoe should know better than to expect there not to be explosions when Digby is in town.

Published:     22nd November 2016
Publisher:  Kathy Dawson Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Trouble
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I liked about this book...   This was such a fun book to read.  Nothing complicated, just fun.  What I liked the most was the character Digby.  I had to remind myself quite a lot that he was probably just a teenager or a young adult because most of the things that he comes out with or does is just so 'grown up' and very 'detective like' it seems like he could pass for a middle age detective as well but that's what he's meant to sound like I believe.  That's what makes the character great.  

What I didn't like about this book...   Now, when picking up and reading this book I had not realised that this was book 2 in a series or duology.   There was nothing on the cover and nothing in the description.   It was only when reading the book I had a 'sixth sense' feeling that there was a lot of back story that I was not being told in this story and not in a good way.  It was more in a 'I am definitely missing part of the story' kind of way.  Had I known that there was a book before this one I would have read that one first.  Although you can read this book as a stand alone, I have to confess that I would have preferred to have read the first book to get the back story of the characters before digging into this one. 
Continue reading Book Review / Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

11 Jan 2017


Book Review / Talking As Fast as You Can by Lauren Graham

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Published:     29th November 2016
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I liked about this book...   Now I have to confess one thing, I have never watched Gilmore Girls from start to finish.  Yes I have watched quite a few episodes but never the whole lot (but is something I am going to be rectifying very soon!) but have seen and liked her in movies such as Because I Said So and Evan Almighty, just to name a couple.  I really enjoyed seeing a glimpse into her life.  I did wish that this book was longer and went into more.  What I enjoyed the most was her sense of humour all throughout the book.  Very funny!

What I didn't like about this book...  I think this is definitely a book to pick up if you are a big fan of the Gilmore Girls, as this book does concentrate a lot on that.  I think that because I have not watched a great deal of the TV show there were parts that I did not really understand.  I am going to reserve my thoughts on this further until I have had a chance to watch more episodes and then plan to read this again - I think by doing that I can full appreciate this book. 

Continue reading Book Review / Talking As Fast as You Can by Lauren Graham

9 Jan 2017


Book Review / The Alibi by Jaime Raven

A perfect crime needs a perfect alibi…

Crime reporter Beth Chambers is committed to uncovering the truth – and she’s not afraid of bending the rules to get there.

When troubled soap star Megan Fuller is found stabbed to death in her South London home, all eyes are on her ex-husband – the notorious gangster, Danny Shapiro.
Determined to expose Danny as a cold-blooded killer, Beth obsessively pursues him.

But in her hunt for the truth, her family are set to pay the ultimate price…
Secrets, lies and revenge brim to the top in this gritty thriller. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

Published:     29th December 2016
Publisher:  Avon
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

Oh this book was really good!  So good!  I have to confess that if this is not a book that I would normally have picked up.  I normally shy away from stories about gangsters as I have never been interested in reading about that type of thing but there was something about this story that intrigued me.

There are two aspects to this story that I enjoyed the most.  The first is the actual murder aspect to the story where you have a soap star having been murdered in her own home.  There are a few suspects, including a notorious gangster.  I enjoyed the 'who done it' and 'did he really do it' back and forth throughout the book and I have to admit that I never guessed how the story would end!

The second aspect that I enjoyed is two characters - Beth Chambers (the journalist) and Danny Shapiro (the gangster).   They obviously have a few interactions throughout the story and I enjoyed seeing what they were both going to do next.

Along with the above there are a few twists and turns throughout the story and most of them I was really surprised with.  I love it when that happens (which doesn't happen as often as I liked). 

Continue reading Book Review / The Alibi by Jaime Raven

8 Jan 2017

Blog Tour / Jaime Raven Author of The Alibi


Jamie Raven, author of The Alibi, shares some memorable moments from a colourful career in journalism – moments that inspired parts of the book.

The main character in The Alibi is Beth Chambers, a crime reporter on a London evening newspaper. She’s from a working class family in Peckham, a notorious part of London, and rises to the top of her profession despite the odds being stacked firmly against her.

I based Beth loosely on my own life. I spent most of my childhood in Peckham, where my family were street traders.

I then worked as a journalist, reporting for a local newspaper and a London-based news agency. I was also a regular freelance writer for several national newspapers, including The Sun and The Mail. Most of the stories I wrote involved a crime, partly because I often worked the night shift.

So let me share a few of the most memorable moments with you, starting with:


This was not one of my finest hours. I was working at The Sun at the time and the news desk received a tip that terrorists had stormed an embassy in London. I was dispatched, but when I got there I couldn’t find anything untoward going on. So I phoned the desk and told them it was a non-story.

‘Funny that,’ said the news editor. ‘There’s an armed siege going on and we’re watching it unfold live on television.’

Turned out I’d gone to the wrong embassy! Oops!


One night The Sun sent me to the Courts of Justice in The Strand, just a short walk from their offices off Fleet Street. I was simply told to go there, stand outside and await further instructions. After 20 minutes I called the news desk to find out what was supposed to be happening.

‘Well we’ve had a tip that a bomb has been planted close to the building,’ said the duty news editor. ‘The police are on their way apparently so stay put and let us know what happens.’

Needless to say I didn’t hang around on the off chance that I might be blown up. As it happens there was a bomb, but it was safely deactivated and I’d been standing about fifty yards away from it!


One of my most upsetting experiences occurred in North London. A news agency photographer and I were on what we called ‘the night crawl.’ It meant we drove around London listening to the police radio and responding when a good story broke. That night we heard about a stabbing in a chip shop. So we drove straight there. A lone uniformed officer was standing outside the door, but the detectives hadn’t yet arrived. When I asked the officer what had happened his response was: ‘I’ll show you.’
At which point he threw open the door and allowed us to look inside. There was a man lying on his back with a huge knife sticking out of his chest and blood everywhere. It made me physically sick because I’d never seen a dead body before and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.


There’s a scene in The Alibi where Beth goes to a snooker hall to confront some villains and gets attacked. Well it was inspired by a real event. I had to go to a snooker hall in Stratford, east London while researching a story about a notorious villain who was on the run. I knew he was a frequent visitor there. However, when I started asking questions two men picked me up by the arms and carried me outside, where one of them slapped my face and warned me never to return. So I didn’t.
People often ask me why I only write crime novels like The Alibi and The Madam. Well it’s partly because of all the experiences I had as a reporter working in London. Every day was different, and invariably something would happen that would make me think about how it could be worked into a plot for a book.
Continue reading Blog Tour / Jaime Raven Author of The Alibi

6 Jan 2017

Author Interview / Dallas Coryell

“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”
Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DallasCoryell

About The Author

Dallas Coryell is a musician and author residing deep in the untamed wilds of Michigan, USA, where he desperately attempts to assign meaning to his world through bouts of maniacal creative catharsis and pitifully doomed hopeless romantic fantasies. All of the songs written by the characters in this novel are real and can be viewed on the author’s fledgling YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DallasCoryell1 Selfies and other assorted randomness can be found on the author’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dallascoryell

1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
He has long since passed, but I would definitely love to work with C.S. Lewis.  The Chronicles of Narnia captured my imagination and inspired me to begin writing, so in that respect it would be amazing to hear all the stories behind those books.  C.S. Lewis was also something of a genius and deep thinker; I would love to "pick his brain" on many different topics.

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I have a day job as an office business manager, so most of my writing happens at night and on the weekends.  It took a lot of tea and 3-hour-sleep-nights to get Melody's Key written within a year, but the process was so rewarding I hardly noticed the pain.  There is something magical about bringing your thoughts to life in the middle of the night when the world is sleeping.  My favorite writing space is in my bed with 100 pillows propped behind me and mood music in my headphones.  Oh...and gum....I must chew gum ;)

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
The most difficult part of the writing experience is reading a negative review from someone who hated the book and hates me for writing it :)  I think it's so challenging for me because my writing represents a piece of my heart, and a direct line into my soul.  As dramatic as it sounds, rejection of the writing feels like a rejection of the totality of my being.  I've had to learn to externalize these negative words unless the critique is constructive and includes legitimate examples.  I'm very interested in improving as a writer so hearing the negative things can sometimes be quite useful.

4.  When and why did you first start writing?
I have always enjoyed a story that can get me out of my current reality and transport me to another world.  The only thing more exhilarating is creating the story yourself, where you become the architect of your own plane of existence.  When I first started to write in 4th and 5th grade I was quickly addicted.  I wrote in private ever since then, and only recently decided to publish Melody's Key, which is my first attempt at a love story.  Typically I read and write sci-fi horror, so this is quite a switch for me!

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The idea for Melody's Key came at a time when I was going through some very devastating events in my personal life.  I realized one day that I had lost my belief in love almost entirely.  This was greatly disturbing because the romantic part of me has always been connected to my inspiration, hope and enjoyment of life.  I realized that I should fight with every ounce of my being to hold on to this piece of me, because without it my life would cease to have any meaning that I found acceptable.  Melody's Key was my attempt to restore this part of my heart.  I also thought it would be wonderful if the story could provide comfort for others who were struggling in different areas of their lives.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I have enjoyed reading ever since my elementary school days when my father introduced me to the Chronicles of Narnia.  During middle school I spent my Christmas and and birthday money buying anything by Lloyd Alexander or Troy Denning that I could get my hands on.  The summer between 8th and 9th grade I was inadvertently introduced to adult books when I read Rising Sun by Michael Crichton and Cujo by Steven King.  Nowadays, I primarily read science fiction like the Hyperion series or the Expanse Series, although I have to admit I took a lot of pleasure in reading TFIOS and Twilight, which opened my eyes to the wonderful world of YA.  I will probably lose my man-card by saying this, but TFIOS is the first book to ever make me cry...which is weird because I rarely ever leak out of my eyes in such a manner :)

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Write what you are passionate about.  Write about what moves you to anger or tears or elation, not just what you think people want to read.  Don't be afraid to show your heart, because that is what readers will connect with.
Continue reading Author Interview / Dallas Coryell

4 Jan 2017


Reading Challenges 2016 and 2017

2016 for me as been a very interesting reading year for me.  Having moved house in the middle of the year, I took a lot of time doing that with packing etc before the move, moving and then settling in our new place.  For me, I can only read when I am relaxed.  I cannot read when I am stressed and moving house is one of the most stressful things you could ever do so there was certainly a period of time where my reading slowed way down.  That said, I have read some really great books this year and even read more than what I had expected!  So, let's first look at what I read in 2016 and then I'll move on to what I plan to read in 2017...

2016 Challenges

Goodreads 100 Book Challenge -  OK, so I didn't complete this one but I think I did pretty good to read as much as I did this year considering I moved house also.  For me, this year has been more about quality not quantity.  Usually when I get busy in life but still want to read, I tend to hurry along and force myself to read when I probably didn't want to.  This year I decided not to do that.  When I didn't want to read I wouldn't and it made a great deal of difference to my reading.  

Read Your Own Books Challenge -  For this challenge I didn't want to set a number of books to read to complete this but just wanted to add it to make sure that I didn't forget to read my own books.  Being a book blogger I am very fortunate to be able to read review copies of books before they come out, which is fantastic and I love it but sometimes I do forget to read the books that I buy.  I am really pleased with how many I read in this section.

Big Book Challenge -  This is a challenge that I host on Goodreads (Check it Out Here).  It is a challenge where you have to read books that are longer than 400 pages long.  I can easily get swept away with wanting to read so many books I only tend to read smaller ones and completely forget that I love to get lost in a big book.  This is a great challenge for me and I think I did really well with this one too...

Cecelia Ahern Challenge -   Ok, so this one I completely failed at but there's a good reason for that and that reason was that I changed my mind with the author I wanted to read.  I was really in the mood for reading Sophie Kinsella books so I decided to go with that author instead and read all of her books, some of which were good and some didn't like as much.  

2017 Challenges

Goodreads 100 Book Challenge - This is a challenge that I always subscribe to and always tend to pick 100 books only because it is a nice round number.  Like last year, this year I am going to be quite relaxed with this challenge and go for quality not quantity and if I don't manage to get to 100 books that's ok.  It's just a 'maybe' goal that would be nice if I achieve. 

Read Your Own Book Challenge -  Another challenge that I brought over from last year with the same rules as mentioned above. 

Big Book Challenge -  This is a challenge that I subscribe to every year and host the Goodreads group for it.  I am not planning on setting an amount of books to read on here but hope that I can get to at least 20 for the year.

Jodi Picoult Challenge - I have been wanting to re-read Jodi Picoult's books for a while now and have been slowly collecting them for my bookshelf ready for the day I re-read.  I have actually already started this challenge so this one is not 2017 specific but a goal that I want to get stuck into.

Read 5 Classics Challenge - Now this one is a very interesting challenge for me.  I don't tend to read classics and find the prospect of reading a classic quite daunting but having read The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence recently and loved it it has made me want to re-try this challenge.  I initially tried to do this challenge I think about a couple of years ago now but failed miserably at it so I am going to give it another go...  I have set the bar really low with only 5 books but let's see how that goes.....
Continue reading Reading Challenges 2016 and 2017

2 Jan 2017

Month in Review / December 2016

A very interesting reading month for the last month in the year that's for sure.  My favourite for this month would either have to be The Stone Angel or Christmas at Lilac Cottage.  Books that are completely opposite in every way but loved them both.

I hope you all have had a fantastic 2016 and are looking forward to an even better 2017!



Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…

As this is book 2, here is the link to the Goodreads page - Click here

Paris, L.A., and the world of ready to wear fashion provide rich backdrops for Danielle Steel’s deeply involving story of a gifted designer whose talent and drive have brought her everything—except the ability to erase her past and trust relationships.

New York. London. Milan. Paris. Fashion Week in all four cities. A month of endless interviews, parties, and unflagging work and attention to detail at the semiannual ready to wear fashion shows—the famous prêt-à-porter. At the center of the storm and avalanche of work is American Timmie O’Neill, whose renowned line, Timmie O, is the embodiment of casual chic, in fashion and for the home. She has created a business that inspires, fills, and consumes her life.

With an unerring instinct for what the next trend will be, an innate genius for business, tireless labor, and sheer fearlessness, starting from nothing, over two decades Timmie has built an international empire that has brought her enormous satisfaction and success. In a world where humility and compassion are all too rare, her humor, kindness, integrity, and creativity are inspirational. Yet as blessed as she feels by her success, Timmie harbors the private wounds of a devastating childhood and past tragedy. She is too smart, too experienced, and too hurt to want much in her personal life beyond a succession of convenient, very limited relationships. Always willing to take risks in business, she never risks her heart.

But despite her well-ordered and highly controlled world, it turns out that Timmie O’Neill is not immune to magic when it strikes. And it strikes in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, when an intriguing Frenchman comes into her life when she gets sick. At first, Timmie and Jean-Charles Vernier are only patient and physician. They become confidants and friends, corresponding at a safe distance between Paris and Los Angeles once she goes home. There is every reason why they must remain apart. But neither can deny their growing friendship and the electricity that sparks whenever they meet.
First Sight is as complex and compelling as modern life itself. Careers, families, histories, losses, duty, obligation, and fear of losing control and getting hurt. It is a tale of daring to take risks, and losing control just enough to have a life, when the opportunity presents itself. When two very different worlds and strong-willed people collide, everything changes in an instant, as they confront the age-old question of whether to lay oneself bare and risk intimacy—or not. Are they brave enough to face what comes next? And will they do it together or apart?

Life for Stephanie Adams is all about being a devoted mother. For years, she has kept her unhappy marriage a secret, intent on protecting her children from seeing their family break up. Then Stephanie’s husband dies suddenly, and she sees a chance for everything to be different.

Stephanie strives to balance her children’s grief with her desire to move on from the past – but after years of giving up her life for everyone else, what should she do next? A spur-of-the-moment road trip leads her to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a chance meeting . . . and her whole life changes forever.

When Stephanie meets country music megastar Chase Taylor, he opens up his exciting world to her. In Nashville, the music is bittersweet and the lyrics true. Now, Stephanie is no longer the same woman. By seizing the day, she has found a way to be free and happy.

But can her family find it in their hearts to let her go?

Dancing between the past and present, Country is a moving story of one woman finding the power to seize the day, and finding herself along the way. Carpe diem.

The Divide was a place that seemed to want to keep itself secret. It perched concealed at the head of a split and tortuous valley that descended to another far grander. Montana had ritzier ranches, with finer cuisine and glitzier guests. But there were few, if any, so beautiful. Its guests came by word of mouth and returned again and again. ... more » And thus it was with the Cooper family. For the last two weeks in June, they always took cabins six and eight. This was their fourth visit and it would be their last, the vacation that would change their lives forever.

On a crystalline Montana morning, two backcountry skiers find the body of a young women embedded in the ice of a remote mountain creek. All through the night police work with floodlights and chainsaws to extract her. Identifying her, however, takes no time at all. Abbie Cooper is wanted for murder and acts of ecoterrorism, and her picture is on law enforcement computers all across the country. But how did she die? And what was the trail of events that led this golden child of a loving family so tragically astray?

A devastating journey of discovery that extends from the streets of New York to the daunting grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, The Divide tells the story of a family fractured by betrayal and struggling in search of lost happiness. It explores the pain we inflict on those we love the most, and charts the passions and needs, the dashed hopes and disillusionments that connect and divide all men and women.

The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is 'Fortune Favours the Brave'. It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon.

Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane. But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.

Continue reading Month in Review / December 2016