WWW Wednesday (11 May)

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

What I’m reading now:

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

I logged into NetGalley this week to leave feedback for another book and this was on the front page so I couldn’t resist requesting it. I’ve only read the first three chapters so far but it feels like it’s going to be a great read.

Synopsis:

Anna has had a miserable year. Everything feels wrong with her life. And rather than stay and face the mess, she steals a credit card and books herself a seat on the first flight out of town to Los Angeles, to crash with her sister. But soon after she lands, cold reality soon dawns on her: Hollywood isn’t the escape she needs. She is trapped in a town full of lost souls and wannabes, with no friends, no cash and no return ticket.

When she’s offered a job researching the murderous Manson girls for a dubious film, she reluctantly accepts – she needs the money. But soon enough, among the fake smiles and glitter-fuelled parties, things turn from strange, to dark, to dangerous . . .

This is not going to be the summer Anna had in mind.

My Favourite Manson Girl is a chilling story about being young, lost and female. This is a story about how girls disappear.

 

SockPuppet by Matthew Blakstad

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blakstad

This is another NetGalley book but one I requested a while ago and just got approved for the other day. I started reading it immediately because I’ve been so keen to read it. It’s brilliant so far!

Synopsis:

Twitter. Facebook. Whatsapp. Google Maps. Every day you share everything about yourself – where you go, what you eat, what you buy, what you think – online. Sometimes you do it on purpose. Usually you do it without even realizing it. At the end of the day, everything from your shoe-size to your credit limit is out there. Your greatest joys, your darkest moments. Your deepest secrets.

If someone wants to know everything about you, all they have to do is look.

But what happens when someone starts spilling state secrets? For politician Bethany Leherer and programmer Danielle Farr, that’s not just an interesting thought-experiment. An online celebrity called sic_girl has started telling the world too much about Bethany and Dani, from their jobs and lives to their most intimate secrets. There’s just one problem: sic_girl doesn’t exist. She’s an construct, a program used to test code. Now Dani and Bethany must race against the clock to find out who’s controlling sic_girl and why… before she destroys the privacy of everyone in the UK.

 

 

 

This Secret We're Keeping by Rebecca Done

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

I’ve been reading this one on and off for the last week or so but it’s not really grabbing me. I feel like it’s going to be a good read but it’s perhaps the fact that I’m not in the right mood to read it at the moment. I’m going to try picking it up again in a few days time.

Synopsis:

A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules?
Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley.
After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment.
Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter, who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together.
With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present?
From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We’re Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together – or tear us apart.

 

Where Did I Go by Polly Williamson

Where Did I go? by Polly Williamson

I bought this book on a whim the other day as it sounded like it could be a fascinating read. I’m really interested in reading about any kind of brain or spinal injury at the moment and I think this one is going to be quite an inspiring read. 

Synopsis:

“8 December 2011: I went to a small horse competition in the morning. That much I do remember. After that absolutely nothing …”

Polly Williamson’s life changed the day a dramatic incident with a young horse left her with a horrific head injury. She was a horse trainer and former Junior European Champion eventer. She was a wife and mother to two young boys. The accident severed her connection to this former life. It stole away her ability to care for her children and left her struggling to rediscover who she was.

Surviving a near fatal brain injury brings a person face to face with the very basis of their identity. Some will be lucky and pick up their former lives with barely a missed step. Others will have everything that holds them to who they were stripped away by brain damage.

Polly has had her world shattered and seen the fragments of her identity laid bare. Where did I go? is her powerful record of her efforts to pick up the pieces and put her life back together again.

 

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

This book is so good! I want to devour it but I’m still struggling with it being a hardback book. I’m actually debating buying the kindle version so that I can read it quicker. I’m enjoying it so much but can only manage to read a few pages and then either can’t hold it or can’t turn the pages.

Synopsis:

When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.

Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.

Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary.

And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.

In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War – daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most.


What I recently finished reading:

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell

This book was incredible- it was everyone I was hoping it would be and more! This Must Be The Place is published on 17th May and I urge you all to go pre-order it now. I’ve already reviewed it and you can read that here.

Synopsis:

Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.

He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago, and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?

Maggie O’Farrell’s seventh novel is a dazzling, intimate epic about who we leave behind and who we become as we search for our place in the world.

 

Tapestry

Tapestry by Elle Turner

I started reading this short story collection a couple of nights ago and finished it yesterday. It was such a great collection and I very much enjoyed it. I plan to review it very soon but I definitely recommend it.

Synopsis:

In hope, in pain,
we lose, we gain,
but always and forever
the human heart braves life
in light and in shade

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

 

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

This was a great read. It’s a short read but a very dense one so it takes time to read but it was very good. It leaves you with a lot to think about. I read my own copy but I still plan to review it when I get a chance.

Synopsis:

Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.

She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

The Wacky Man by Lynn G. Farrell

The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Farrell

This book is a brilliant debut and another book that I absolutely recommend. It’s not the easiest read in terms of the subject matter but the writing is so good that you just want to keep reading. I’ve already reviewed this book and you can read my review here.

Synopsis:

My new shrink asks me, ‘What things do you remember about being very young?’
It’s like looking into a murky river, I say. Memories flash near the surface like fish coming up for flies. The past peeps out, startles me, and then is gone…
Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.
As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?


What I plan on reading next:

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

I pre-ordered this book and was very happy to discover it on my Kindle on Thursday morning. I’ve been trying to resist reading it as I have review books I should be reading first but I’ve decided to let myself read it this week as it’s a rough week and I figure I deserve a treat! I can’t wait to start it!

Synopsis:

Did she leave, or was she taken?

The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ‘I’m sorry – S’ sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate – and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground…

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

I was pleased to be approved for this on NetGalley and I can’t wait to start reading it. I loved the two Christmas books Holly set in the same location so I can’t wait to go there in the summer! I think this will be a perfect pick-me-up book and it’s another one I can’t wait to start!

Synopsis:

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance.

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down.


What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

Stacking the Shelves (16 April 2016)

stacking-the-shelves

(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)

This week I’ve bought a few new books:

Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

I’ve seen this book reviewed on quite a few blogs recently and it sounded so good that I couldn’t resist buying a copy. Hasn’t it got a gorgeous cover?

1971 – Never A Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year by David Hepworth

I’m such a big music fan, and my husband collects records so we always have great music on in our house. This book showed up in an Amazon Recommends emails and it just sounds so good that I had to get a copy. I’m still enjoying a lot of non-fiction at the moment so I will definitely be starting this one soon.

Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages as it sounds like such a fascinating novel. I was thrilled to see my pre-order appear on my Kindle on Thursday. I really hope to read this soon but want to be sure to start it on a day when I have lots of time to read so I can just let myself be engrossed in it.

The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent

I loved Christobel Kent’s previous novel The Crooked House so this new novel was a must buy for me.

Outstanding by Kathryn Flett

I’ve seen this book talked about a lot recently and it sounds like a good read so I’m keen to read it. 

Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott

This book has been on my wishlist since before it was released but somehow I hadn’t got around to buying a copy. I spotted it again recently and decided to treat myself. I think this will be a book where I can identify with it to a degree so it’s another one that I want to save for when I’m able to concentrate better and can read in big chunks.

The Mother by Yvette Edwards

This was an impulse buy as I liked the sound of the synopsis, hopefully I was right to take a chance on it.

The Last Day I Saw Her by Lucy Lawrie

I completely forgot that I’d had this on pre-order so it was like past me had send present me a gift when it appeared on my Kindle as if from nowhere. I can’t wait to read it.

The Assistants by Camille Perri

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while so when I spotted it for £2.99 I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy. It sounds like a fun read with a bit of depth to it so I’m keen to read it soon.

The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen

This was another impulse buy when I read the synopsis as it just sounds so good. I definitely want to read this book before too long.

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

I’ve found Lisa Scottoline’s novels to be a bit hit and miss – some of her books are really good but others have fallen flat for me. I decided to give this one a go based purely on the synopsis as it sounds brilliant. I’ve since seen other reviewers rate it highly so I’m excited to read it.

Scarred by Joanne Macgregor

I’d never heard of this book before but I entered a giveaway to win a copy as it sounded good. I didn’t win the giveaway but when I saw the kindle version of the book on offer for £1.99 I treated myself.

I Blame Morrissey by Jamie Jones

This book is 99p on Kindle so I bought it after the title made me smile. I’m expecting this to be a quite light-hearted look at the way music has affected this man’s life, I’ll probably read this quite soon.


 

Books I received for review:

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

I was super excited to be approved for a copy of this on Net Galley this week! I love Sharon Bolton’s novels, they’ve all been such brilliant reads and I’ve been keenly awaiting this new one. I’ll definitely be reading this one very soon!

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

I happened to see this on Net Galley, the cover really caught my eye. I read the synopsis and it sounds like such a fascinating read so I was thrilled when I got approved. The book’s not out until September so I need to try and resist reading this for a little while but I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold out for long!

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

I love Marcie Steele’s novels so there was no way I could resist requesting a copy of her latest!

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

I completely and utterly adored Holly Martin’s two Christmas books last year so was very excited when I heard there was to be a summer book based in the same location. I’ll definitely be reading this book very, very soon!

Bloq by Alan Jones

I’ve read a lot of great reviews of Bloq recently so when Alan Jones contacted me to offer me a review copy I was thrilled. 

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I was also thrilled to be offered a finished copy of Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave last week. My copy arrived last weekend and it’s gorgeous, look at the red sprayed page edges! I really hope to feel well enough to be able to read again soon so that I can start this.


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too. 🙂

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.

Christmas novel recommendations!

merry christmas

Today I’m posting a round-up of Christmas books that I’ve read and reviewed this festive period in case you’re looking for a last minute Christmas read or Christmas book gift!

merry mistletoe

I’ve read some wonderful and magical Christmas books this year so it’s near impossible to pick my favourites. I do have a real soft spot for Emma Davies’ Merry Mistletoe as it was different to any Christmas book I’ve read in a long time, not just this year, and I loved all the comforting imagery around feathers and robins. This is a short novel and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone looking for a comforting read this Christmas.

The Boy Under the Mistletoe by Katey Lovell

I also adored Katey Lovell’s latest Meet Cute short story The Boy Under the Mistletoe. It’s a delicious five-minute read that will warm your heart and will instantly having you feeling more festive!

One Wish in Manhattan

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot became an instant favourite of mine and I know it’s a novel that I will come back to for many Christmases to come. It’s a gorgeous novel set entirely in the build up to Christmas, it has elements of A Christmas Carol running through it and won’t fail to make anyone feel festive.

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce was brilliant! It’s perfect for anyone who loves films like Freaky Friday – I love body-swap books where characters become someone else and literally have to walk in their shoes for a period of time and setting this over the festive period just made it even better. It’s a fab read!

The Winter Wedding

Abby Clements’ latest novel The Winter Wedding is more of a winter themed book than a Christmas one and yet it made me feel so festive. I think it’s the build up to a winter wedding – snow combined with romance is such a magical mix!

Holly Martin released two Christmas novels this year, both set in White Cliff Bay (Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes on Silver Cove) but featuring different characters (although if you read both you may spot some familiar characters popping up). I adored both of these novels – Holly just writes with a perfect mix of humour, romance, and festivity!

winter's fairytale (1)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey is such a perfect Christmas romance. The whole novel is set in the couple of weeks before Christmas so it’s as festive as can be!

What Happens at Christmas_FINAL

T. A. Williams Christmas novel What Happens at Christmas is a lovely Christmas novel. It’s set in a beautiful village, with Chocolate box cottages and friendly locals. I loved it.

how to stuff up christmas

I adored How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake. It’s a perfect mix of being hilariously funny and incredibly heart-warming!

Christmas wishes and mistletoe kisses

I read Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale as part of Bookouture Christmas and am so glad I got the chance to read this novel. It’s a really sweet story about what is really important at Christmas and how spending time with other people can really help us be better versions of ourselves.

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I just read The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson this week and I loved it. It’s all how opening yourself up to new experiences can lead to unexpected and wonderful things happening.

Snowed in for her Wedding

Snowed in the for her Wedding by Emma Bennet is a short novella, but it’s a lovely story. I loved how a whole community pulled together at Christmas to help their local girl Gwen have her Christmas Eve wedding despite the heavy snow.

christmas at cranberry cottage

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland is a lovely novella. I most enjoyed the nostalgia in this story, as the main character tries to save her Gran’s cottage and reminisces about growing up there and all the Christmases spent in that lovely home.


 

**Amendment 23 December 2015**

every time a bell rings

Last night I finished reading Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington and it simply has to be added to this list, it’s such a gorgeous and utterly perfect Christmas read! It’s inspired by It’s A Wonderful Life and is just magical, go read it! It’s up there with my all-time favourite Christmas reads!


 

I hope this helps you find the perfect Christmas read for over the next week or so. You really can’t go wrong with any of the above books, they’re all wonderful.

Wishing you all a very happy and book-filled Christmas!

 

Weekly Wrap Up and Stacking the Shelves (14 November)

It’s Saturday again so it’s time for my weekly wrap up post!

This week I was chosen to be an official Harper Impulse supporter, which was a lovely surprise. I filled in the form but didn’t expect to be picked so It made my day when I got the email through.

On my blog this week:

I picked a winner for my Out of the Darkness giveaway. The winner was announced here, just in case you missed my blog post on Wednesday.

I joined in the TBR (To Be Read) Book Tag and confessed to exactly how big my TBR is! You can read all my TBR confessions here.

I did a cover reveal for the lovely Holly Martin’s new novel, The Revenge. You can find that post here.

And finally, my regular WWW Wednesday and Book Beginnings posts in case you missed them.

I chose to rate books that I’ve read from 1-10 but have now decided I prefer a 1-5 rating system. I’m not going to go back and change the ratings on previous reviews but starting from today all the books that I read will be rated under my new system.


I’ve read four books and two short stories this week, and have reviewed all of them. (Click on the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews)

The Boy in the Bookshop the boy at the beach What Rosie Found Next Lost Girls by Angela Marsonswendy darling What Happens at Christmas_FINAL

The Boy in the Bookshop by Katey Lovell (short story)

The Boy at the Beach by Katey Lovell (short story)

What Rosie Found Next by Helen J. Rolfe

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes

What Happens at Christmas by T A Wiliams


stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week: 

year of yes  all the major constellations  Paint My Body Red The Sunlit Night  183 Times a Year  The Christmas Getaway

The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

All The Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse

Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein

183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan

The Christmas Getaway by Jill Barry

ARCS I’ve received this week:

The One in a Million Boy  The Darkest Secret The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette    Did You Ever Have A Family? by Bill Clegg    Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer  Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons The Children's Home by Charles Lambert How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens (1) Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin (1)

The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

Did You Ever Have A Family? by Bill Clegg

Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin

How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens

Cover reveal: The Revenge by Holly Martin

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00069]

Here is the gorgeous cover for The Revenge, the new book by Holly Martin. This is the third book in The Sentinel Series and here’s the blurb so you can see what happens next for Eve and her friends.

He was created to be her back up and now he’s out to take her place
After the Oraculum orders Eve’s execution, she has to flee her home in the fort as those that have been guarding over her are forced to turn against her. Amongst the chaos, a new Sentinel is named. Adam, Eve’s half-brother.

Adam has spent his life incarcerated by the Oraculum while Eve was allowed to grow up with a family and friends. Now he is hell bent on revenge. He rules over his Guardians and his new kingdom with arrogance and a cold heart, but his one ambition is to make Eve’s life a living hell. Nowhere is safe from him, not even her dreams.

With the threat from the Putarians moving closer, her own Guardians betraying her, the survival of the world hinges in the balance.

Above all else, Adam must be stopped. But when Eve has a prophecy of her and Adam saving the world together, she quickly realizes she needs to work with him not against him.

But can Eve get through to Adam before it’s too late? Or will Adam’s evil heart result in the destruction of all?

Praise for The Sentinel (Book 1 in The Sentinel Series)

It’s a book you HAVE to read, because it’s incredible. An outstanding book that has left me bereft its finished. I wished I’d savoured it for longer. This book was one of those that once you started it was impossible to come away from. It was fast paced, exciting, full of suspense and action that had me gasping in shock at twists I never imagined could happen. It’s a story of courage and adventure. And no matter how dark it gets, there’s always love and hope. – Victoria Loves Books Blog

It’s really hard to find the words to describe how amazing this book is.
This is definitely the best debut I’ve read this year! I just love this book, I want you all to read this book, in fact you all need to read this book! – Love of a Good Book Blog

If you want to pre-order this book so it pops straight onto your kindle on December 1st then pop over here. Its only 99p/99c

UK http://amzn.to/1GQcNOt

US http://amzn.to/1S7aAOX

And if you haven’t read the first two books in the series yet, then pop over here and get your copy, all three books are 99p/99c at the moment

The Sentinel

UK http://amzn.to/1giKNVp

US http://amzn.to/IKSOUk

The Prophecies

UK http://amzn.to/1DZ8ECN

US http://amzn.to/1khpDuY

My October Wrap-Up Post!

Thank You FreePiK

For my monthly wrap up this month I want start by taking the time to say a huge thank you to all of you who have ever read a post on my blog, or liked, or commented; to all of you who have share a post that I’ve written on social media; to all of you who have clicked to follow my blog. I have been blogging now since the end of August this year and never expected that anyone would read it. I started my blog because I needed a project, something fun to focus on, and a book blog seemed the perfect thing for a bookaholic like me.

I made it my aim to post something book-related every day and I think I’ve just about managed to keep to that. Mostly I write reviews but I also have my own bookish memories series, I join in with a couple of weekly memes, and I always do a weekly and monthly wrap up post as well. Since the end of August my blog has had almost 1200 visitors, over 2800 views and it has over 600 followers from various places. Last week I earned my Net Galley badge for Top Reviewer, which was a lovely surprise and a real confidence boost.

Through book blogging I have achieved something for me again, I have found something that I can do for myself and I don’t have the words to explain how big a deal that is for me right now (but trust me, it’s a huge deal!). To find that people are reading and sharing my blog posts has given me such a much-needed lift and I am so incredibly grateful.

Thank you so much!


Anyway, on with the books!

I read eighteen books in October and have reviewed seventeen of them (Please click the titles to read the reviews). The list is in the order I read them.

OCTOBER BOOKS 1 OF 3

Dying to be Slim by Abby Beverley

Six Poets: From Hardy to Larkin by Alan Bennett

The Lies We Tell by Meg Carter

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

24 Hours by Claire Seeber

The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James

OCTOBER BOOKS 2 OF 3

The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

The Girl with no Past by Kathryn Croft

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp

OCTOBER BOOKS 3 of 3

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

Merry Mistletoe by Emma Davies

Written in the Scars by Mel Sherratt

The Little Bookshop on on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin (my review will be on my blog tomorrow as it’s my stop on the blog tour!)


This month’s reading has reminded my of two of the best things about being a reader and a book blogger:

(1) Discovering authors you’ve not read before and enjoying their book so much you feel compelled to buy all of their previous work right away! This month this happened to me FIVE times!! I read Mandy Baggot, Claire Seeber, Lynsey James and Emma Davies for the first time and have now bought just about all of their previous books. I also read my second Holly Martin book, which just confirmed what a fabulous writer she is and now all of her books are on my Kindle waiting to be read soon too!

(2) When an author you are a massive fan of releases a new book! Mel Sherratt’s new book, which was just released on Friday, is the fourth in her Estate series and I loved it (review here). I have read all of her previous books and they’re all completely brilliant! I bought and read Taunting the Dead back when it was self-published, and have been a huge a fan from that point on!


Which books did you read in October? Have you found any new-to-you authors? Please share with me in the comments below (and feel free to leave a link back to your own blog).

WWW Wednesdays (28 October)

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

written in the scars

Written in the Scars by Mel Sherratt

I started reading this yesterday and am very much enjoying it. Mel Sherratt’s books never disappoint! Written in the Scars is out on Friday.

Blurb:

Scars. Sometimes they’re visible. Sometimes they’re hidden deep within.
After years of living as a single parent, all Donna Adams longs for is someone to make her smile, to share hopes and dreams with, to keep her warm at night. But when that certain someone gives her the attention she craves, true love doesn’t always follow the right path.
Home from the army, Lewis is a changed man. Angry and consumed by grief, troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, his mind is worse now than ever. Shutting out what he’s seen isn’t easy, but he risks losing everything he’s come back to if he doesn’t, including his sanity.
Megan Cooper hides her scars for fear of being rejected. Mary Marshall can’t always remember how she got hers.
If the past could be erased to make a better future, we’d all want that, wouldn’t we? But life is never that easy for the residents of The Mitchell Estate…
WRITTEN IN THE SCARS is the fourth book in The Estate Series but each one can be read as a standalone novel.

out of the darkness

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

I started reading this a couple of days ago and just want to savour it so I’m deliberately trying to read it slowly. I’m hoping to review this next week at some point so look out for my review.

Blurb:

DOES EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAPPEN PURELY BY CHANCE? OR ARE WE GUIDED TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP US IN OUR HOUR OF NEED?
Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson’s world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. What — or who — is causing the strange goings-on in Alex’s home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help? In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved — with life-changing consequences for all involved.
‘Out of the Darkness’ is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life…after death.

merry mistletoe

Merry Mistletoe by Emma Davies

I started reading this book late last night and plan on finishing it this morning, it’s such a lovely Christmas read.

Blurb:

Sherbourne Mistletoe has been prized and sold at the annual Mistletoe Fair for over a hundred years; but could this year possibly be the last? With her father’s sudden death and debts mounting up it looks as though Freya’s only hope for the future is to sell her beloved family home. And to make matters worse, the only contenders to buy Appleyard Farm, are the people she’d least like to sell it to – her rival growers, the Henderson brothers, who seem always to make life so difficult for her.
It’s magical stuff though, mistletoe, and the arrival of the mysterious Amos Fry, brings a glimmer of hope that might just mean Freya can fall in love with Christmas all over again.
As the snow begins to fall, cosy up and find your sparkle this Christmas with another big-hearted, and wonderfully warm read from the author of Letting in Light.

A Notable Woman

A Notable Woman by Jean Lucey Pratt

I’ve only read the very beginning of this book but I can tell it’s going to be a brilliant read. I can’t wait to read more!

Blurb:

In April 1925, Jean Lucey Pratt started a journal that she would keep for the rest of her life, producing over a million words in 45 exercise books. For sixty years, no one had an inkling of her diaries’ existence, and they have remained unpublished until now.
Jean wrote about anything that amused, inspired or troubled her, laying bare her life with aching honesty, infectious humour, indelicate gossip and heartrending hopefulness. She recorded her yearnings and disappointments in love. She documented the loss of a tennis match, her unpredictable driving, catty friends, devoted cats and difficult guests. With Jean we live through the tumult of the Second World War and the fears of a nation. We see Britain hurtling through a period of unbridled transformation and the shifting landscape for women in society. A unique slice of living, breathing British history, Jean’s diaries are a revealing chronicle of life in the twentieth century.


I recently finished reading…

record store of the mind

The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

This is a great celebration of music and was a chance for me to learn about some artists I’d not heard of before. I highly recommend it! Click the link above to read my review.

Blurb:

Grammy-nominated producer and Tompkins Square label founder Josh Rosenthal presents his first book, The Record Store of the Mind. Part memoir, part “music criticism”, the author ruminates over unsung musical heroes, reflects on thirty years of toil and fandom in the music business, and shamelessly lists some of the LPs in his record collection. Crackling with insightful untold stories, The Record Store of the Mind will surely delight and inspire passionate music lovers … especially those who have spent way too many hours in record stores.

Celebrating ten years in 2015, Rosenthal’s San Francisco-based independent record label Tompkins Square has received seven Grammy nominations and wide acclaim for its diverse catalog of new and archival recordings.

snowflakes at silver cove

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

I adored this book, it was wonderful to be back in White Cliff Bay. It’s a great story with a mix of Christmas romance and brilliant humour.

Blurb:
Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…
Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.
As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.
But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay. You won’t want to leave! Christmas at Lilac Cottage also out now.


What I’ll be reading next:

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The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

I’m lucky enough to be on the blog tour for this book so my review will be posted on the 2nd November so please keep an eye out for it.

Le Vie En Rose

Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris…for Christmas?

Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!

Imagining days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and watching the snow fall on the Champs-Élysées Sarah boards the plane.

But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream of a Christmas fairytale in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

A deliciously feel-good Christmas romance perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Julia Williams

how to be brave katherine

How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

Reeling from her mother’s death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave – all the things she’s wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she’s always been afraid to do – including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most – and you learn that you’re stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

meet me in manhattan

Meet Me in Manhattan by Claudia Carroll

I’ve been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it earlier this year. I actually pre-ordered it as soon as that was an option but when I was offered a review copy I couldn’t resist so I’ll be reading this very soon!

Blurb:

In a New York minute, everything can change …

You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …

But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.

What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy ending!

Christmas Q&A with Holly Martin

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Today on the blog I have a Q&A I did with the lovely Holly Martin about all things Christmas! I couldn’t resist asking her all about the festive season given that she has not one but TWO fabulous Christmas books (Christmas at Lilac Cottage, and Snowflakes on Silver Cove) out this year, both set in the wonderful White Cliff Bay. I love everything about Christmas so it was interesting to see what Holly had to say!

snowflakes at silver cove

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

I love everything about Christmas, the decorations, the music, films, the books. I love the smells and the hope of snow. I love buying presents and going to parties or dinner around a friend’s house. I love playing games and wearing Christmas jumpers. It really is my favourite time of year

What is a typical Christmas like at your house? 

Christmas Eve is round my friends, we play silly games and have a secret santa game, where we normally argue good naturedly over the rules, which we promise to write down every year and never do. Its also my goddaughters birthday so we try to keep that separate too. Its just me, Mom and Dad on Christmas Day. Dad normally cooks bacon sandwiches for breakfast then we open presents, have a full turkey lunch with all the trimmings and play games like Cluedo and Cranium and Jenga in the afternoon, whist gorging on after eights.  

Do you have Christmas traditions? 

We always play games on Christmas Day, never at any other time in the year so its nice that we do it then. We always give each other giant toblerones too and get crafty over how to disguise the distinctive triangular shaped box

What were the best and worst Christmas presents you ever got? Why were they the best and worst?

The best present was probably my nexus tablet, I do everything on it, my emails, facebook, twitter, searching the web, reading, listen to music. I take it everywhere with me as its small enough to fit in my handbag too. My worst present was probably a jigsaw puzzle, I’ve never been into them.

What are you asking Father Christmas for this year?

I am the worst person to buy presents for as I never know what i want and if I do want things during the year I just go and buy them myself. I guess that means I am happy with what I already have. New clothes are always great, i love sparkly shoes. 

Lilac Cottage

What is your favourite Christmas film, book and song?

I love The Holiday and Love Actually, My favourite Christmas book is probably 12 Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson, favourite Christmas song is anything by Michael Buble

How do you get in the Christmas spirit early in order to write your Christmas novels?

A huge love of the season helps, listening to music, looking at Christmas pictures

Is White Cliff Bay based on a real place? I ask as I really want to go there this Christmas!

Sadly not because I think I’d like to move there too.

Thanks so much Holly! 


Author Bio copy

Holly_Martin_author

Holly Martin

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.

Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now written three books with Bookouture: Fairytale Beginnings, Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes at Silver Cove.

www.hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com


Blurb copy

Lilac Cottage

Christmas at Lilac Cottage

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore …

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down.

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year.


snowflakes at silver cove

Snowflakes on Silver Cove

Come and spend a picture perfect romantic Christmas at White Cliff Bay

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay.


Don’t forget to check out all of my previous posts from Bookouture Christmas week and enter all the giveaways! Here’s a link where you can find them, prizes include an ebook copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage and of Snowflakes on Silver Cove!

Hope you’ve enjoyed what has been a really fabulous week!

BC BOOKS BANNER (MINE) copy

Review and INT Giveaway: Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

#BC banner

Today, as part of BookoutureChristmas, I have a review of Holly Martin‘s second Christmas book of the season Snowflakes on Silver Cove.  Keep reading to the end of this post as I have another giveaway running today, this time you have the chance to win an ecopy of Snowflakes on Silver Cove!

snowflakes at silver cove

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is the second novel in Holly’s White Cliff Bay series. I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Christmas at Lilac Cottage a while ago and completely fell in love with the setting and the characters so the chance to go back there was irresistible! Snowflakes on Silver Cove is set in the same town and along the same time frame as the first book but it focuses on different characters (although you may spot some characters you recognise popping up along the way!).

Libby is a romance writer who never lives anywhere for longer then six months, George is her unlucky-in-love neighbour and they are the best of friends. So, when Libby suffers from a major case of writer’s block and needs romance in her life in order to be able to get into her characters’ heads, and George needs to build the confidence to ask their gorgeous new neighbour, Giselle, out on a date they decide they will date each other… but only for research purposes!

What follows is a series of dates that are Christmassy and full of romance but which then lead to misunderstandings galore between these two people who can’t quite admit what they’re beginning to feel for each other.

The way George and Libby’s relationship builds is brilliant, I loved every minute of it. At times I wanted to somehow climb into the book so I could yell at them both for missing what was staring them in the face, I so badly wanted them to get together. Libby and George are made for each other! It may take a good while for George and Libby to admit how they truly feel, but throughout the novel the love and care and adoration they each feel for the other just radiates off the page; it’s so beautiful to read and leaves you with such a warm, fuzzy feeling!

I loved that Libby and George had such a strong connection and how they could eventually laugh at everything that befell them every time they almost got together. I firmly believe that being able to laugh with your partner at everything life throws at you is the key to a long and happy relationship so I have high hopes for George and Libby!

Alongside this storyline, there is another budding romance between Libby’s other best friend Amy, and Seb. Poor Seb lost his wife five years earlier and since then he has honoured a promise he made to his mother-in-law, just after his wife died, that he will never fall in love ever again. Seb is ready to move on now though and is struggling to fight his intense attraction to feisty barmaid, Amy. The attraction is mutual but Amy wants a relationship that they can tell people about so they have to somehow win over Seb’s mother-in-law!

Amy is one of my favourite characters in this book, the things that happened to her were some of the funniest situations I’ve read in a novel in a really long time. I thought the purple hair dye storyline was funny but then came the costume she had to wear to raise money for a testicular cancer charity. Every single thing that happened to her while she was in that costume was utterly hilarious! I know I’m being a bit vague here but I really don’t want to spoil it for readers. Trust me though, it’s hysterical! I’m currently recovering from major surgery and almost did myself an injury from laughing so hard!

This is a very funny and highly entertaining novel that will have you laughing out loud from the very first page! It’s also full of Christmas romance and just so gorgeous – you will not be able to put this book down! I rated it 9 out of 10 and highly recommend it.

I received this book from Bookouture via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is due to be published on 30th October and can be pre-ordered from Amazon now!


Blurb copy

Come and spend a picture perfect romantic Christmas at White Cliff Bay

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay.

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is out on 30th October and can be pre-ordered from Amazon now!


Author Bio copy

Holly_Martin_author

Holly Martin

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.

Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now written three books with Bookouture: Fairytale Beginnings, Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes at Silver Cove.

www.hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com


The Giveaway below is now over, please check this post to find out the winner:

Bookouture Christmas Winner Announcement!


XMAS BC GIVEAWAY copy

Bookouture have very kindly allowed me to run an international giveaway for one lucky winner to win an e-copy of this fabulous book. Please enter here and good luck! I am running giveaways for the four other books that I’ve featured on my blog over Bookouture Christmas week so please check those out as there is still time to enter!

Please click on this link to Rafflecopter to go enter my giveaway for Snowflakes on Silver Cove!

Over the course of Bookouture Christmas week I’ll be posting reviews, Q&As, guest posts, extracts and giveaways all to do with these fabulous books! Click here to find handy links to all my previous Bookouture Christmas posts and giveaways!

BC BOOKS BANNER (MINE) copy

My Weekly Wrap Up and Stacking the Shelves

This week has flown by, I can’t believe it’s Saturday already and time for my weekly wrap up!

#BC banner

Lots has been happening this week and my blog is probably the busiest it’s ever been to date! I’m part of the fabulous publisher Bookouture’s Christmas week over on twitter. Every day between the 22nd and 27th October fifteen bloggers, including me, are posting reviews, guest posts, Q&As and giveaways all to do with Bookouture’s Christmas books.

Here are the links to my posts so far. Please check them out and enter the great giveaways for a chance to win some ebooks.

Bookouture Christmas Week

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

And here’s a page where you can go straight to the giveaways (I have more giveaways in the coming days so will keep updating this link so please check it out:

Giveaway Page (BookoutureXmas)

BC BOOKS BANNER (MINE) copy


This week I read four books (click the links to read my reviews):

One Wish in Manhattan  get yourself organized for christmas  Christmas wishes and mistletoe kisses  snowflakes at silver cove

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

Snowflakes in Silver Cove by Holly Martin (review will be on my blog on Monday 26th October)


I’m currently reading:

robin talley what we left behind

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

I’m still reading this one and very much enjoying it. I had to focus on other books for review this week to meet a deadline but now I’m planning on spending the weekend reading this.

Blurb:

From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love isn’t enough to conquer all.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They’ve been together forever. They never fight. They’re deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they’re sure they’ll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.
The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won’t understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni’s life. As distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

record store of the mind

The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

I started reading this yesterday and it’s very good. Anyone who loves, or has ever loved, listening to music on vinyl should go buy this book when it’s released soon.

Blurb:

“Josh Rosenthal is a record man’s record man. He is also a musician’s record man. He is in the line of Samuel Charters and Harry Smith. In this age where we have access to everything and know the value of nothing, musicians need people like Josh to hear them when no one else can.”
– T Bone Burnett
Grammy-nominated producer and Tompkins Square label founder Josh Rosenthal presents his first book, The Record Store of the Mind. Part memoir, part “music criticism,” the author ruminates over unsung musical heroes, reflects on thirty years of toil and fandom in the music business, and shamelessly lists some of the LPs in his record collection. Crackling with insightful untold stories, The Record Store of the Mind will surely delight and inspire passionate music lovers … especially those who have spent way too many hours in record stores.
Celebrating ten years in 2015, Rosenthal’s San Francisco-based independent record label Tompkins Square has received seven Grammy nominations and wide acclaim for its diverse catalog of new and archival recordings.

Books I plan on reading this week:

out of the darkness

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

I was offered the chance to review this book and I couldn’t resist, it sounds like an excellent read. I’ve been so looking forward to reading it and am really hoping I can start it early next week.

Blurb:

DOES EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAPPEN PURELY BY CHANCE? OR ARE WE GUIDED TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP US IN OUR HOUR OF NEED?
Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson’s world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. What — or who — is causing the strange goings-on in Alex’s home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help? In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved — with life-changing consequences for all involved.
‘Out of the Darkness’ is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life…after death.

A Notable Woman

A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt edited by Simon Garfield

This is a review copy that I was lucky enough to receive recently, it’s a long book so I expect to be reading it over the next few weeks but it sounds wonderful.

Blurb:

In April 1925, Jean Lucey Pratt began writing a journal. She continued to write until just a few days before her death in 1986, producing well over a million words in 45 exercise books over the course of her lifetime. For sixty years, no one had an inkling of her diaries’ existence, and they have remained unpublished until now.
Jean wrote about anything that amused, inspired or troubled her, laying bare every aspect of her life with aching honesty, infectious humour, indelicate gossip and heartrending hopefulness. She recorded her yearnings and her disappointments in love, from schoolgirl crushes to disastrous adult affairs. She documented the loss of a tennis match, her unpredictable driving, catty friends, devoted cats and difficult guests. With Jean we live through the tumult of the Second World War and the fears of a nation. We see Britain hurtling through a period of unbridled transformation, and we witness the shifting landscape for women in society.
As Jean’s words propel us back in time, A Notable Woman becomes a unique slice of living, breathing British history and a revealing private chronicle of life in the twentieth century.


stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week:

aristotle and dante  city on fire  one sarah crossan  a miracle at macys

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

One by Sarah Crossan

A Miracle at Macy’s by Lynn Marie Hulsman

ARCS I’ve received this week:

how to stuff up christmas  rest of your life   written in the scars   winters fairytale

How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne

Written in the Scars by Mel Sherratt

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Competition Prize:

Christmas Jumper

I was very excited to win a Harper Impulse ebook in a competition last week and even more excited when the book arrived on my Kindle and it was a book I’ve been dying to read. The book is Never Kiss A Man in a Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson. Isn’t that just the BEST title for a book? I’m sure it’s going it be a fab read!


So, that’s my week in books! What have you read this week? Have you bought any books that you can’t wait to read? Have you any other book-related news to share? Please tell me in the comments below! 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (21 October)

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading now:

snowflakes at silver cove

Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

I started reading this last night and read until my eyes just couldn’t stay open another second. I’m loving this book! I’ll definitely be making time today to finish reading it and my review will be up on 26th October as part of BookoutureChristmas week on my blog!

Blurb:

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…
Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.
As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.
But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?

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record store of the mind

The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

I’ve only read the introduction to this book so far but it seems like it’s going to be a really interesting read.

Blurb:

“Josh Rosenthal is a record man’s record man. He is also a musician’s record man. He is in the line of Samuel Charters and Harry Smith. In this age where we have access to everything and know the value of nothing, musicians need people like Josh to hear them when no one else can.” T Bone Burnett
Grammy-nominated producer and Tompkins Square label founder Josh Rosenthal presents his first book, The Record Store of the Mind. Part memoir, part “music criticism”, the author ruminates over unsung musical heroes, reflects on thirty years of toil and fandom in the music business, and shamelessly lists some of the LPs in his record collection. Crackling with insightful untold stories, The Record Store of the Mind will surely delight and inspire passionate music lovers … especially those who have spent way too many hours in record stores.
Celebrating ten years in 2015, Rosenthal’s San Francisco-based independent record label Tompkins Square has received seven Grammy nominations and wide acclaim for its diverse catalog of new and archival recordings.

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robin talley what we left behind

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

I’ve been reading this over the last few days and really enjoying it. It’s such a great book about people finding space to be who they are.

Blurb:

From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves comes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love isn’t enough to conquer all.
Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They’ve been together forever. They never fight. They’re deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they’re sure they’ll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.
The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.
While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won’t understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni’s life. As distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?


I recently finished reading…

the girl with no past

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft (Click here for my review)

I really enjoyed this book. It was one of those thrillers that I just couldn’t put down!

Blurb:

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.
Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.
But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?
Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

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13 minutes

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (Click here for my review)

This book is outstanding and will definitely be one of my top reads of this year, if not THE top read. I highly recommend pre-ordering it now!

Blurb:

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships – and what we really know about the people closest to us . . .

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Christmas wishes and mistletoe kisses

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale (My review for this book will be posted on Sunday 25th October as part of BookoutureChristmas on my blog! I can tell you now that I really enjoyed the book though!)

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas… and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.
Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?
Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.
When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…
With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

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Get Yourself Organized For Christmas

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp (Click here for my review)

This is a great little book for anyone who finds themselves getting increasingly stressed with all the Christmas planning, or for people who just take on too much over the holiday season. I found lots of useful ideas that I plan on using from now on.

Blurb:

Have you lost your Christmas joy? Does the thought of jam-packed malls, maxed-out credit cards, overcrowded supermarkets, and endless to-do lists give you the feeling that maybe Scrooge was on to something?

In Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp provides easy-to-follow steps to reduce the stress of the holiday season, including tactics for how to

  • put together a holiday binder you’ll use year after year
  • determine a budget that won’t break the bank
  • gather your elf supplies
  • get your gift list together (including ideas for various ages and relationships)
  • collect your recipes and prep your kitchen

By putting into practice Kathi’s tricks and tips, you’ll finally be able to fully enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.


What I’ll be reading next:

A Notable Woman

A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucy Pratt edited by Simon Garfield

In April 1925, Jean Lucey Pratt started a journal that she would keep for the rest of her life, producing over a million words in 45 exercise books. For sixty years, no one had an inkling of her diaries’ existence, and they have remained unpublished until now.
Jean wrote about anything that amused, inspired or troubled her, laying bare her life with aching honesty, infectious humour, indelicate gossip and heartrending hopefulness. She recorded her yearnings and disappointments in love. She documented the loss of a tennis match, her unpredictable driving, catty friends, devoted cats and difficult guests. With Jean we live through the tumult of the Second World War and the fears of a nation. We see Britain hurtling through a period of unbridled transformation and the shifting landscape for women in society. A unique slice of living, breathing British history, Jean’s diaries are a revealing chronicle of life in the twentieth century.

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bella's christmas bake off

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials.
But this year things are going to be different.
For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever.
Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off…
After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember…
A hilarious, heart-breaking and feel good read about best friends, baking and the magic of Christmas.

My September Reads

During September I read sixteen books and think I can safely say that I’ve got my reading mojo back! I read some absolutely brilliant books this month and honestly can’t pick a favourite. Here is a list of the books I read (in the order I read them), I’ve not reviewed all of these books but will link to the ones I have.

Blog September Reads

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

Fragile and Perfectly Cracked: A Memoir of Loss and Infertility by Sophie Wyndham

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Abroad by Katie Crouch

A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

Somewhere in Between by Katie Li

Chronic Pain: The Mananagement Plan by Robert Lewin

Never Too Late by Amber Portwood

Sept Reads blog#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony

Bulletproof by Maci Bookout

Carefully Everywhere Descending by L. B. Bedford

Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy

Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda

It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite book from this list, I was lucky enough to read so many amazing books. I think honourable mentions have to go to A Parcel for Anna Browne and Christmas at Lilac Cottage because of the wonderful, magical powers these two books have to just make your day so much brighter and sparklier! I also want to mention #PleaseRetweet because it was the first book I’ve read in a really long time that had me full on laughing out loud. And finally I have to recommend Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart because it is such a beautiful, moving look at grief and yet remains uplifting. It’s a MG/YA book but I’d recommend it to everyone, especially people who have lost a loved one.

Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay book 1) by Holly Martin

Lilac Cottage

I have to admit that it felt a little strange to be contemplating reading a Christmas book in September, but I opened up this book and started reading and within the first page I was lost in the story. I ended up reading the whole book in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down!

Penny is an ice-sculptor; she loves her job, her gorgeous cottage and her lovely dog Bernard but she is lonely. She’s been hurt before so looking for love is not high on her agenda yet it is obvious she would love nothing more than to find her Mr Right. Henry and Daisy rent Penny’s annexe and after an amusing misunderstanding before Daisy arrives, they all hit it off brilliantly. The course of true love never did run smooth though, and it is very difficult for these three to form different relationships with each other leading to misunderstandings galore.

The chemistry between Henry and Penny just radiates off the page from the word go; it seems very apparent that these two simply have to get together. I can’t think of many other couples in contemporary fiction who were more suited to each other than these two!

I love the many characters in this book, they all know about Penny’s past heartache and just want her to fall in love again. The way they help her at times leads to very embarrassing but hilariously funny situations, like the time Penny went to buy a toothbrush. I actually laughed out loud at that bit!

The setting of this novel, White Cliff Bay, is described in such vivid detail that I could completely picture it and I really want to go there for a holiday. I’m so happy to discover that Holly has written a second Christmas book set in the same location and that is out very soon (30th October, I believe). I already cannot wait to be back in White Cliff Bay!

I highly recommend this book, it’s wonderful. It’s one of those books that you can curl up with on a cold day and just escape, and when you’ve finished reading you feel all content and warm and smiley.

I rated this book 10 out of 10.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but I’m going to buy my own copy too as I want to be able to revisit White Cliff Bay again next Christmas!

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is out today and is available from Amazon