29 Jul 2018

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Book Review / A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.

Published:     5th July 2018
Publisher:  Scholastic
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


This was such a beautiful novel I just did not want to put it down, even when I had finished the last page!  This story has the perfect mix of interesting character development, gently woven plot lines and some very interesting dramatic twists and turns along the way.

What I loved about this story was all of the above!  If I had to pick a certain part that I loved the most, I would have to choose the characters, their development and their relationships with each other.  You  have Lou who is the main character who has almost accepted that she would spend the rest of her life in the village she has always lived.  She would marry and have a family and follow in the footsteps of many women that have come before her.  Lou is different, she has dreams of more.  She is a writer and has so much more to give.  When she is able to, she steals away to an 'abandoned' mansion in the village where she sits and reads for most of the day until one day per peace is shattered as the family who owns the mansion comes back for the summer.  In particular, you have a  a brother and sister (the Cardews) who quite clearly are the opposite of each other but equally love each other dearly.  Lou befriends the family and the friends they bring along with them and we follow Lou as she has a somewhat blissful summer with these new friends of her.

A very relaxing story that is filled with interesting characters and wonderful romances.  Such a beautiful book that I would not hesitate to recommend and certainly read time and time again. 

Continue reading Book Review / A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

21 Jul 2018

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Series Review / Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Published:     First published in 2006
Publisher:  Hyperion
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1 to 6, Blue Bloods
Source:  Owned Copies


I first started reading this series many years ago but it was one of those series that, at the time, there were only three or four books out at the time and I had read those but waiting for the next one to be published.  However, I never continued to read the series not because I wasn't interested but because so much time had passed that I had simply forgotten what had happened before that meaning that I would have to re-read the entire series.  These days I tend to only pick up series if either I know the final book in the series has been published or it is a series that I know I will immediately be picking  up the next book in that series as and when it came out. 

This book series was just as fun as I had remembered it to be.  There's nothing complicated about this series and is simply a fun read that you can easily pick up and digest either over a period of time or in the summer when you might not want to pick and read any 'heavier' style novels.  What I loved the most about this series is the history.  The main story throughout this series is that you have an event that happens back in the days of the Mayflower and the actions that happened then might just be coming back around now many many years later.  You also have quite a number of characters in this book but because of the great writing it was very easily to keep on track with who was who and who was up to what (when you were told of course!).  By far my favourite character in this series was Mimi.  I won't go into too much detail about who she is because I don't want to spoil any part of the story for those who have not yet read it yet but she is most definitely the most interesting character I came across in this series.  She starts from being someone who I really dislike, almost with a passion, and the goes through quite a lot throughout the series which changed my mind about her. 

If I had to be picky, I would say that I would have loved there to have been a few more surprises along the way.  Most of the twists and the turns were although fun to follow was predictable for me.  Nevertheless, this was an eventful and enjoyable read that I would highly recommend. 

Continue reading Series Review / Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz

2 Jul 2018

Blog Tour / The Distance by Zoe Folbigg

From the author of the bestselling novel, The Note, comes this beautiful, romantic tale of finding love in the most unexpected places.

Under the midnight sun of Arctic Norway, Cecilie Wiig goes online and stumbles across Hector Herrera in a band fan forum. They start chatting and soon realise they might be more than kindred spirits. But there are two big problems: Hector lives 8,909km away in Mexico. And he's about to get married.

Can Cecilie, who's anchored to two jobs she loves in the library and a cafe full of colourful characters in the town in which she grew up, overcome the hurdles of having fallen for someone she's never met? Will Hector escape his turbulent past and the temptations of his hectic hedonistic life and make a leap of faith to change the path he's on?

Zoe Folbigg's latest novel is a story of two people, living two very different lives, and whether they can cross a gulf, ocean, sea and fjord to give their love a chance.

Check out this book in the following links:
Amazon: mybook.to/TheDistance  
Google play: http://bit.ly/2l7RakV


Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. She is the bestselling author of The Note


1.     If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Isabel Allende because she’s such an inspiration to me and I adore her writing style. Also, Emmy Abrahamson, author of the brilliant How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush, because she has a wicked sense of humour and I think we’d have great fun working together!

2.     What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I have two young children, so I have to fit writing into a school day. I drop my sons off at school, get home, wash up the breakfast bowls, and sit at the dining room table looking out onto the garden while I write. If that porridge pan isn’t washed up first, I can’t concentrate! I write through until 245pm when I close the lid on the laptop and head back to school for pickup and any sporting activities we have planned after school. I have to fit a lot into a short working day!

3.     What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Well the hardest thing is being disciplined enough to write in the few hours I have. It’s pretty prescriptive, so there’s no room for procrastination as time is so precious. I’m sometimes very tempted to put Love Island on the laptop while I do some tidying, or look at Instagram if I’m facing a bit of a block in a scene I’m writing – but I know I only have until 245pm, so every minute counts!

4.     When and why did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was a teen at school – I’d write short stories for my friends overnight and hand them scrunched-up pieces of A4 paper in registration the next morning, which they’d read and devour and ask for more. The stories were pretty formulaic – usually about them getting together with whichever boyband favourite they adored at the time! I loved that my friends were entertained by my stories. So after a career in magazines, and since becoming a mother, I thought I’d quite like to go back to scribbling stories down from home, and hopefully making people smile again.

5.     How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I really wanted to write a sweeping love story set in two very different locations, so I chose Mexico, where I lived briefly in my twenties, and Norway – which is a beautiful country, and couldn’t be more different from Mexico. And then I heard about a friend who had fallen in love across an ocean, so it got my mind thinking… and The Distance is the result of that.

6.     Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Unfortunately I’ve not read as much as I want to in the past eight years since having children, as I no longer commute and I’m so shattered when I go to bed, I fall asleep straight away! Next on my TBR list though is Emma Healey’s beautiful new book Whistle In The Dark. I met her at an event recently and she was so interesting and eloquent about the difficult subjects her books tackle – plus Elizabeth Is Missing was so brilliant – I can’t wait to dive into that.

7.     Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Yes – write! Find windows of time, sit down, and type. Get the words out and reassess them later because words breed words and once you have the time and headspace, it kind of snowballs from there. And try not to question everything or think what you write needs to be perfect straight away – just get the words down because that’s when other sparks fly and ideas tumble. You can always edit later!

Follow Zoe

Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

Follow Aria

Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Continue reading Blog Tour / The Distance by Zoe Folbigg