Showing posts from May, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: How important is good writing to you?

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This weeks question is: How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer: (1) Great characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?

Being an English graduate I've had the importance of good spelling and grammar drilled into me for as long as I can remember! For this reason I'm inclined to choose the second option. As much as I try to enjoy books that have a good plot but are badly written I just can't, and many a potentially great story has been ruined for me through lack of editing/proofreading. That said, I can overlook the odd error if I really like the characters or if the plot is really exciting. I've also been known to put down books that were beautifully written because I simply couldn…

Blog Tour / Guest Post: Shot Through the Heart by Matt Cain

'Need a companion for your beach holiday? Look no further than this fun, glitzy tale.' - Heat

Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Shot Through the Heart by Matt Cain, a perfect read for the summer. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book via NetGalley and I really enjoyed it! Read on for a plot synopsis and a guest post by the author on his favourite romantic comedies!

Publication Date: 24th April 2014
Shot Through the Heart is Matt Cain's debut novel, a Hollywood tale of romance, heartbreak and the lengths some will go to maintain that unblemished movie star image...

The Silver Screen had never shone as bright . . .
Mia Sinclair is the first lady of love, a beautiful goddess known for her romantic roles on the silver screen.
But in reality life does not imitate art and love is not as easily found in the real world as it is in the movies.
Leo Henderson is the Brit living in L.A, enjoying the lifestyle and photographing the stars when they leas…

Release Day Blitz / Giveaway: An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie Dionne

Today I'm excited to be part of the release day party for An American Girl in Italy. I'm actually going to Italy myself in a couple of weeks, so this book couldn't come at a better time for me! Read on to find out more about the novel, and to enter the giveaway to win a booklet about Italy. I'll definitely be entering this one!

An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants... but the one thing she needs!
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caff├ęs and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself... Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum. Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part …

Blog Tour: The Scandalous Love of a Duke by Jane Lark

Today I'm excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Scandalous Love of a Duke. Read on to find out more, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Title: The Scandalous Love of a Duke (Marlow Intrigues #3)
Author: Jane Lark Genre: Regency Romance (Historical) Publish
Date: April 3, 2014 Publisher: HarperImpulse
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Synopsis Book three in Jane Lark's Kindle best-selling Regency romance series! Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach. The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he'd like to kiss. She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him. A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine's heart into her limbs. It was so long since she'd seen John but…

Review: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

Twenty year old Camryn Bennett needs to get away, to take a break and re-evaluate her life. On impulse she boards a bus out of town, destination chosen entirely at random, and sets off for the adventure of a lifetime. Andrew Parrish is also on a journey cross-country, only his trip is born out of necessity. As the paths of these two strangers cross and become irrevocably intertwined, their lives will never be the same again.

This book had me hooked from the very start, and I raced through it in a couple of days. With alternating narratives from both Camryn and Andrew's perspective, we get an insight into their true feelings for each other as they get to know one another, and will them to get together. Although the subject matter isn't exactly ground-breaking, this book packs a punch through its emotional intensity, and believe me it really is intense in places. Other reviewers have said how they were in tears by the end, and although I didn't get that bad - it takes a lot f…

Book Blitz / Giveaway: A Sweet Life

It's been a busy few days here on my blog... this is the third book blitz that I've taken part in this week! I couldn't resist promoting this boxed set as all of the proceeds from A Sweet Life will be donated to charity! I am also giving away one e-book copy of the set, so comment below if you want a chance to win and I'll pick someone at random!

A Sweet Life Boxed Set (Fourteen Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research)
Publication date: May 1st 2014

Have your cake and eat it too–your purchase of A Sweet Life helps fight against diabetes!
Priced at only 2.99 (regular price 7.99), indulge in this stunning limited edition collection of fourteen contemporary romances by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors…
You can make a difference while you read! All proceeds from the sale of A Sweet Life will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.
Featuring a foreword by #1 N…

Book Blast / Giveaway: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Today I'm taking part in the Book Blast for The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes. Read on for a synopsis and a giveaway!
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work!  But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figu…

Book Blitz / Giveaway: Tryst by Cambria Herbert

Today I'm taking part in the book blitz for Tryst by Cambria Herbert. Read on for a synopsis and a giveaway!
Tryst (Take It Off #8) by Cambria Hebert
Publication date: May 16th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Sometimes all a girl needs is a little fling…
Talie Ronson needs a vacation.
From life.
Since she caught her cheating, loser husband in bed with his assistant, her life has been on a steady spiral—right into hell. Her car’s a junker, her job sucks, and her perfect, gorgeous sister likes to brag about her wonderful life every time they “do” lunch.
In an effort to salvage what’s left of her life and her sanity, she takes the advice of her kooky best friend and takes off to Topsail Island. A week at the beach, alone, is exactly what she needs to recharge, regroup, and relax.

Only, her alone time is about to get derailed.

Gavin Palmer’s favorite activity is walking around in his boxers and eating junk food. He and his neighbors have an understanding. They stay out of…

Review: The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas

Every once in a while you find a book that hooks you from the very first page, and doesn't let go until long after you've finished it. The Illusionists is one of those books.

Usually I like to write my own plot synopsis, but the blurb encapsulates the story so well that I can't help but share it:

"London 1885. A shadowy and threatening place for a beautiful young woman of limited means. Eliza's choices lie between marriage and stifling domesticity or a downwards spiral to the streets. But Eliza is modern before her time and she won't compromise. One night at a run-down theatre she meets the charismatic Devil Wix - a born showman who is set on running his own company. His right-hand man is Carlo Boldoni, a irascible dwarf whose dazzling talent eclipses everything Devil tries to do. Forever linked to Devil by a boyhood tragedy is his friend Jasper Button, a gifted artist, and the fourth member of this strange crew is Heinrich, an enigmatic engineer. As the seducti…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Almost Put Down But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
 This weeks theme is books that I almost put down but didn't. Whenever I start a book I always feel duty bound to finish it - many books sit half read for months until I decide that they have to be finished and I dedicate an afternoon to read them. A fair few of the books on this list are ones that I had to read for school/college/university - there's nothing like being forced to read a book to put you off it.

1) North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
This had to be top of my list. I ADORE the BBC adaptation of it, and Mr Thornton easily rivals Mr Darcy for the title of my favourite fictional gentleman. But I just couldn't get into the book. I was going through my online library records yesterday (as you do...) and I realised that I had it out of the library for a year before I finally finished it. A YEAR. But I'm so glad I persevered. It was a long time ago but I remember around halfway through the story …

May Book Haul

Again I only allowed myself two books from the library today (I renewed five so I've plenty to get through!)

The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quicke

I saw the film adaptation of this last year and loved it, so I'm excited to read the book!
"Imagine that your life is a film directed by God. A romcom, obviously, complete with happy-ever-after ending. Before the credits roll, there will, of course, be tears, tantrums and misunderstandings, but you know you'll get there - and get your girl - in the end.
Welcome to Pat's world.
It's a world of silver linings and true love, but also a world where God makes movies and Kenny G lurks in your attic - and when Pat inadvertently befriends the tragic Tiffany, he begins to question whether or not he might just have got the genre wrong.
For anyone who loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time or Little Miss Sunshine, The Silver Linings Playbook is a novel about love, life and American football... and what happen…

Feature and Follow Friday: Which authors would you invite to dinner?

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read
Although I've been blogging for around six months now (blimey, that's gone fast!), this is my first ever Feature and Follow Friday post. The question this week is 'What living author or authors would you like to have dinner with?' I thought I'd have trouble choosing but two sprung to mind straight away. 
Anthony Horowitz: A favourite author of mine ever since I discovered the Alex Rider series of books as a teenager, Anthony is also a writer on some of my favourite crime dramas: Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War and Agatha Christie's Poirot to name but a few. He has also written a new Sherlock Holmes book, House of Silk which I reviewed here a few months back that I absolutely loved, and is currently working on another one, Moriarty, due out at the end of the year. Safe to say that we'd have plenty to talk about!

My second choice would have to be Elizabeth Chadwick. She write…

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Fever (A Songbird Novel) by Melissa Pearl

Today I'm excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Fever by Melissa Pearl. I really like the cover for this novel, it's simple and effective, and the plot sounds intriguing too. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card and/or a Fever e-book!
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Release date: June 15th
Ella Simmons does not want to move across the country. But she is, because her boyfriend has persuaded her to join him at UChicago to finish out her college education. Never able to tell him no, she hops on a plane and makes the trek from LA expecting to adjust to life like she's often forced to, but things are not that simple when she hears a luscious voice singing over her shower wall. His deep, sexy tenor makes her weak in the knees, spreading fire through her limbs and making her question everything about her life and relationship.

Can one voice really have that much of an impact?

Cole Reynolds is on his way out. In his final year…

FREE Online Course: Literature of the English Country House

For those of you who haven't heard of FutureLearn, it is essentially a free open university: universities from all over the UK run courses for learners all over the world, for free!

I've taken a few courses with FutureLearn over the past few months, and today came across another exciting one: Literature of the English Country House. This is how FutureLearn describe the course:

"A journey through the literature of English country houses from the time of Thomas More to Oscar Wilde.
On this course, we’ll be introducing you to literature from 450 years of English country-house history and we’ll be seeing together how that literature shapes our understanding of country houses. We’ll be joined on the way by guest experts from the University of Sheffield School of English and tapping into their specialist knowledge.
We’re going to travel on a historical journey through literature, visiting notable country houses around Yorkshire and Derbyshire. You’ll gain insight into life in these…

Review: How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley

Lucas Alexander, the ninth Duke of Arlington, is a man who is used to getting his own way. So when he decides he wants to marry Miss Pippa Welby, the beautiful and spirited daughter of a wealthy tradesman, he expects his proposal to be gratefully accepted. But Pippa, who has been subject to snobbery from the upper classes her whole life, has no intention of marrying into their society, least of all to the man she believes snubbed her at a ball last year. The final straw comes when Lucas smugly presents her with an invitation to her own engagement ball in ten days time, and the stage is set for a battle of wits and wills as Pippa tries to lose the duke, and not her heart.

I love to indulge in a good old historical romance from time to time, particularly when the other books I'm reading are heavy going, and this novel is perfect for a light read. I liked how independent and determined Pippa was; it's refreshing to see that in a heroine from this era. Lucas is everything you'd…

Top Ten Tuesday: Covers I'd Frame as Pieces of Art

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This weeks theme is really interesting: covers that I'd frame as pieces of art. I'm the first to admit that I'm guilty of judging a book by its cover, before even reading the blurb - I think sometimes a nice cover even makes me enjoy the book more somehow. For me to want to frame a book cover, it not only has to be gorgeous, but the book also has to mean something to me. From childhood favourites to classics and newly discovered gems, I found it difficult to choose, but without further ado here are my top ten:

1) Peter Pan - J.M Barrie. There's obviously been hundreds of different covers to this children's classic, but these are two of my favourites:

2) Lords of the White Castle/The Champion - Elizabeth Chadwick. I LOVE all of Chadwick's covers in this style, and I hope to collect them all one day, but these are my two favourites:

3) The Faraway Tree books - Enid Blyton. I already had a copy of T…