Showing posts from June, 2014

Book A Day 30: The Book I'd Save From a Fire

When asked what I would save from a fire, family and pets excluded, my choices are always sentimental ones. The cardboard box in our spare room full of old photos would be my first port of call; taken in the pre-digital age each photograph is a memory from my childhood. It's things like that that are irreplaceable that I couldn't bear to lose. With this in mind this category was an easy one for me. The book that I would save from a fire is Hans Anderson's Fairy Stories - with Pictures that Spring to Life. I had no idea how old it was - I'd always assumed it was my mum's when she was little- but a quick Google search tells me it's at least seventy years old! Must've passed through a fair few generations! Complete with pop-up pages and illustrations that have been coloured in with wax crayons by one of its readers, it is a book that is incredibly special to me. Some of the pop-up pages are a little torn, but given how old the book is and how many times it has…

Book A Day 29: Re-read the Most Often

I'm not really one for re-reading books, not when there's so much else out in the world that I could be reading. That said, there are of course a few titles that I like to re-visit from time to time, usually the classics. I've probably re-readThe Great Gatsby the most, but seeing as I've already used that book for this challenge my choice today is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté. I haven't re-read it cover to cover - I tend to skip the young Jane part and go straight to when she arrives at Thornfield - but I do like to dip into it and re-read my favourite parts, especially the proposal scene which is beautifully written!

Which books do you like to re-read? Head over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday fun, and you can see my other choices this month here!

Book A Day 28: Bought at my Favourite Independent Bookshop.

I was actually close to skipping this category, but seeing as I've completed every other day of the book a day challenge I just couldn't do it. Living out in the sticks as I do, there aren't actually any independent bookshops anywhere near me. My closest one is in Guisborough, but even then I'm ashamed to say that I haven't visited it in years! I used to buy my Animal Ark books there when I was little so I guess that they are my choice today.

Are you lucky enough to have an independent bookshop near you? Join in the #bookaday conversation over on Twitter, and check out my other #bookaday choices here!

Book A Day 27: I Want to be One of the Characters.

This month over on Twitter, @BoroughPress are running the #bookaday challenge. I find it incredibly difficult to justify my choices in 140 characters so I'm expanding on them here. Gives me a chance to ramble on about how much I love them too!

Today's category is a book in which I want to be one of the characters, and this was an easy choice for me. I've been obsessed with all things Peter Pan and the idea of Neverland for as long as I can remember. I even have a t-shirt of the Disney film artwork with the words 'take me to
Neverland' emblazoned across the front. As to which character I'd be it would have to be Wendy. Getting to hang out with both Peter and Hook -whom I have grown to actually have sympathy for- in the most magical of fictional worlds, being able to fly, and never having to grow up... what's not to love?

You can check out my wish list of Peter Pan related things here (from jewellery and wall art to chandeliers, it's all so pretty!), and if…

Feature and Follow Friday: Featured Blogger!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
And guess what... I was lucky enough to be chosen to feature this week! So welcome one and welcome all, take a look around!
This week's question: post a photo of your favourite coffee mug.

I haven't really got many mugs that mean much to me, but my mum got me this one for my twenty first birthday. It sits by my bed so it's the one that I always use when I'm reading. The poem on the side reads "A mug to keep for years to come, to remind me of when I was Twenty One." So cute!

Interview Questions:
When did you start blogging? I started blogging last December. I graduated from university with an English Lit and History degree last summer, and after leaving I found it odd no longer writing about the books that I was reading. I found myself keeping notes, which gradually turned into reviews, and the idea of starting a book blog just popped into my head one day. Little did I know that the…

Book A Day 26: Should Have Sold More

I'm not really up on how well books do in sales, and having spent the last three years studying classics both old and modern my choice is kind of limited. With this is mind I'm simply going for a book that I loved that I haven't heard anyone else talk about:  War and Piste by Alex Thomas. Think Chalet Girl meets Bridget Jones. I picked this up as a freebie on Kindle and raced through it in a matter of days! If you want a holiday read with a difference then this is for you.

Any underrated books that you think deserve to have sold more copies? Join in the #bookaday conversation over on Twitter, and check out my other choices this month here!

Book A Day 25: Never Finished It

It's rare for me to not finish books. Really rare. I have books that I keep renewing from the library because I have lost interest in them but can't bear to take them back unfinished! That said, of course there are a few that I just can't persevere with, but even in these cases I have to read the last few chapters so I know how they end! The latest instance of this for me was From London With Love. The blurb made it sound so promising: the privileged daughter of an ex-James Bond actor moving to England in the hope of living an ordinary life and finding a non-Hollywood boyfriend. Standard chick-lit really, only it was at least 100 pages too long. Don't get me wrong I love a good rom-com novel, but there is such a thing as going on for too long and I lost interest in it pretty quickly. As a Bond fan I was even more disappointed that I wasn't able to persevere with it!

What's the latest book that you've had to give up on? Join in the #bookaday conversation over…

Book A Day 24: Hooked Me Into Reading

The books that first got me into reading were the ones that my parents chose for me: Enid Blyton from my mum, Beatrix Potter from my dad. I've already used The Famous Five for my favourite book from childhood (book a day 1) so instead I'm opting for another of Blyton's crime-fighting crews: The Five Find Outers. I haven't met many people who got beyond The Famous Five/Secret Seven Blyton books, but truth be told The Five Find Outers were my favourites. Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip and Bets, and of course Buster the dog, played a big part in getting me into reading, and I'm pretty sure Fatty's love for disguises is what made me love dressing up so much when I was little! Mr Goon the policeman was a great character too! Just writing about these books is making me want to re-read them, I might have to revisit them over the summer!

Which book, or series of books, hooked you into reading? Check out my other book a day choices here, and head over to Twitter to join in the…

Blog Tour: Mad Love by Colet Abedi

Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Mad Love, a contemporary romance novel by Colet Abedi. Read on for a synopsis and my review, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives Islands to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair. Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie.  Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton's seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgement and actions...

Purchase Links:     Barnes and NobleAmazon

I returned from my vacation last week, and …

Book A Day 23: Made to Read at School

There are obviously a ton of choices for this category, from the classics like Romeo and Juliet and Persuasion, to the dreaded Lord of the Flies. On reflection I've decided to go for something that if it weren't for school I would probably have never discovered. Othello by William Shakespeare is a play that I would never have chosen to read for myself, but I absolutely loved it, and four years on I can still remember the odd quotation! I read it at A-Level alongside The Great Gatsby, another book I'm ashamed to admit that I wouldn't have looked at a few years ago- and my outlook on reading changed forever.

Which books were you made to read at school? Did you enjoy any of them? Join in the #bookaday fun on Twitter, and check out my other choices here!

Book A Day 22: Out of Print

I wasn't sure which, if any of the novels on my shelves are out of print, so instead I've gone for a childhood favourite. New copies of this go on Amazon for £75 so I'm guessing it's pretty rare these days! I used to love the Richard Scarry TV show as a kid, so my parents got me this book to go with it. No one seems to remember any of it but me though!

Which books do you own that are now out of print? Are they any that you think deserve to be brought back? Head on over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday conversation, and check out my other choices this month here!

Cover Reveal: The Lost Love of a Soldier by Jane Lark

Today I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal for The Lost Love of a Soldier. All of the covers that I have seen for Jane Lark's books have been gorgeous, and this is no exception!

Title:The Lost Love of a Soldier (Marlow Intrigues #4)
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Historical Romance 18+
Publication Date: July 10, 2014
Publisher: HarperImpulse an imprint of HarperCollins
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Synopsis Young, naïve and innocent, Lady Ellen Pembroke falls for a young army officer. Paul has such an easy enchanting smile and his blue eyes glow, vibrancy and warmth emanating from him. She is in love. Captain Paul Harding, finds his attention captured by the beautiful young daughter of the Duke of Pembroke at a house party in the summer. Finding Ellen is like finding treasure on a battle torn field. His sanity clings to her; something beautiful to remind him that all in the world is not ugly. She’s someone to fight for and someone to survive for when he is ca…

Book A Day 21: Summer Read

This book has been on my tbr list ever since I found out about it, and I was lucky enough to find a copy of it in my local library during my last visit. Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid is a modern day retelling of Jane Austen's Gothic novel of the same name. It may not sound like your average summer read, but as it's set in Edinburgh, one of my favourite cities in the world, it's perfect to get me in the mood for Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August which I am determined to attend!

What are your summer reads this year? Head on over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday conversation, and check out my other book a day choices here!

Book A Day 20: Favourite Cover

For today's #bookaday I've chosen a series of covers. One of my favourite authors is Elizabeth Chadwick, and the 2006 editions of her books are just gorgeous. I'm aiming to collect them all one day! I'm such a sucker for period costume!

Head over to Twitter now to join in the #bookaday fun, and check out my other choices here!

Feature and Follow Friday: My Top Reads of 2014 So Far!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
This week's topic is your favourite reads of 2014 so far. After some consideration, these are my top five. You can find reviews for most of them in my blog archive, and I've linked the covers to their Goodreads pages, just in case you want to find out more about them.

For more picks you can check out my Top Ten Tuesday list from a few weeks back of my favourite books that I've read this year! What are your top reads?
Have a great weekend everyone!

Book A Day 19: Still Can't Stop Talking About It

This was an easy decision for me: this book was number one of my Top Ten Reads of 2014 so far, and it is a book that I have been recommending to everyone who will listen. The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas is a book of magic and illusion, of friendship and fellowship, and of life and death. You can check out my review of it here. Seriously, read it now!

Review: Fever: A Songbird Novel by Melissa Pearl

"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 at UChicago, the only this he wants to do is finish school and get on with this life. But the sweet voice that interrupts his morning shower turns his world upside down. Compelled to find his shower songbird, he begins a search across campus. The only thing to distract him from this goal is his roommate's gorgeous girlfriend who'…

Book A Day 18: Read on Recommendation

I had heard a lot of hype about J. A Redmerski's The Edge of Never, so when I came across it in the library I just couldn't resist. Wow! I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, or to fall for Andrew as hard as I did, and the raw emotion pouring off the pages just blew me away. I'm now desperately trying to get my hands on a physical copy of the sequel, e-copies just aren't the same with books like this!
I read it on recommendation, and now I'm recommending it to you, check out my review here!

Any good books that you've read on recommendation?
Check out my other #bookaday choices here!

Book A Day 17: Future Classic

I want to use The Time Traveler's Wife again for this, but seeing as it's already been used, my choice today is Atonement by Ian McEwan. That's if it's not considered a classic already, I remember studying extracts from it in A-Level English lessons.

What books would you call future classics? What is it that even makes a 'classic' novel? Join in the #bookaday conversation over on Twitter!
You can have a look at my other choices here.

Book A Day 16: Can't Believe More People Haven't Read

This category was another tricky one, I took the approach of choosing a book that I hadn't heard of until I saw it on the library shelf: Season of Light by Katharine McMahon. Think The French Revolution meets Jane Austen. Unpredictable, unputdownable, Absolutely brilliant. Check out my review here!

Do you have any favourite books that more people should read? Join in the #bookaday fun over on Twitter, and check out my other choices here.

Book A Day 15: Favourite Fictional Father

This category had me stumped for a while. Unfortunately Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music isn't strictly fictional, so my choice today is Mr Banks from  Mary Poppins. I never liked him much in the film adaptation when I was younger, but watching Saving Mr Banks earlier this year completely changed my opinion of him, and gave me a new found respect for all that he represents.

Who's your favourite fictional father? Join in the #bookaday conversation over on Twitter!

Check out my film review of Saving Mr Banks here, and click here to have a look at my other #bookaday choices!

Book A Day 14: An Old Favourite

I was toying with choosing a classic novel for this category until I happened upon Lords of the White Castle by Elizabeth Chadwick. It has long been one of my all time favourite novels, and it was this book that really got me into historical fiction. I would highly recommend it! The version I originally read was a library copy, and a couple of months ago I snapped up a copy of it that I found in a charity shop determined as I was to read it again. Haven't got round to it yet but I will soon!

What's your go-to old favourite book?
Check out my other #bookaday choices here, and don't forget to join in the #bookaday conversation over on Twitter!

Book A Day 13: Makes Me Laugh

The book that makes me laugh is my Bridget Jones' Diary/Edge of Reason Omnibus edition. Although I admittedly prefer the film adaptations, there's something so quirky and endearing about these books. It's been a while since I've read them, but you can always rely on Bridget to cheer you up. No, I've not read the latest instalment Mad About the Boy, and I don't intend to. The original books are perfect just the way they are. Props to you if you picked up on the movie reference in that last sentence, I couldn't resist!

What book never fails to make you laugh? Join in the #bookaday fun on Twitter, and check out my other #bookaday choices here!

Book A Day 12: I Pretend to Have Read it.

There is one book that I vividly remember pretending to have read: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. One of my friends lent it to me while we were at Primary School and I kept it for a few weeks out of politeness. I think she twigged that I hadn't got past the first page though! It was the hype around the books that put me off - I even remember putting Harry Potter into "Room 101" during an English class! These days people just assume that I've read the entire Harry Potter series, and I don't bother to correct them!

What books have you pretended to have read, and why? To impress people, to fit in, or for another reason entirely? Head over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday conversation, and have a gander at my other #bookaday choices here.

Book a Day 11: Second-hand Bookshop Gem

It is literally impossible for me to walk past a second hand/charity shop without a quick scan of the book section, just in case they have any hidden gems. I've obviously bought many second-hand books, but the one that sticks out in my mind is The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Servant by Kate Westbrook. I had found out about the Moneypenny Diaries series of books only the day before, so imagine my surprise at finding it sat there on the shelf waiting for me. Now that's fate! Gorgeous cover too!

What's the best second-hand book you've found? Head over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday fun, and have a nosey at my other choices here!

Book a Day 10: Reminds Me of Someone I Love

This was quite possibly the easiest #bookaday for me so far. I inherited my love for reading from my mum, so I think it's only right that I feature one of her favourite books today. She is a huge Agatha Christie fan, especially Poirot; she's even got a list of the Poirot books she hasn't got just in case we're stuck for present ideas at birthdays/Christmas! Of course, there are many tales starring the famous Belgian detective, but I'm going for what is perhaps the most famous of them all: Murder on the Orient Express. Clever and original, it is definitely one of the defining novels from the Queen of Crime. If ever I won the lottery the first thing I would do is buy my parents a trip on the Orient Express, my mum would love the spectacular scenery and the Art-Deco romanticism of it all, whilst my dad, well he likes trains so he'd be in his element! Wishful thinking huh?

Don't forget to head over to Twitter to join in the #bookaday fun, and click here to have …

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Read So Far This Year

Way back in January I set myself the target of reading thirty books this year, and I'm proud to say that I hit that target yesterday! Think I'm going to extend it to eighty, a hundred seems like a bit of a push even for me! Out of the thirty books I've read, I actually found it relatively easy to choose my top five - there were a few books that really blew me away- but the other five were a little trickier. So anyway, without further ado, here are my top ten books that I've read so far this year, with links to my glowing reviews of them!

1) The Illusionists - As soon as I read the blurb for this amazing novel I was hooked! All I can say is read it right now!

"5/5 stars: So much more than a love story, The Illusionists is a story of friendship and fellowship, of magic and illusion, of life and death. It is the most absorbing and atmospheric book that I have read this year by a mile! Read it and you won't be disappointed."
(see full review)

2) The Time Traveler…

Book Blitz: Weddings on Main Street

Weddings on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street - Eleven New Novellas
You are Cordially Invited: When: June 9th, 2014 Where: Main Street R.S.V.P. Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and iTunes
The Authors of Main Street; cordially invite you to attend more than eleven weddings this summer, in our anthology, Weddings on Main Street. When the Authors of Main Street get together, boxed sets and romance magic, happens. On the wave of our Amazon Best Seller, Christmas on Main Street - which was the #1 Best Seller in Romance - Holiday, Romance - Inspirational, and spent weeks in the top 50, on all of Amazon - we will release a collection of eleven new novellas, by eleven of our authors, all about weddings. We are honoring what readers told us, they loved most about our Christmas anthology, with a fresh mix of stories, characters, and mild to warm levels of romance. What a Cowgirl Wants by Tori Scott. Page-Turning Stories from the Heart of Texas. It's wedding bells for Blake and Mandy, but th…

Blog Tour / Review: Once Upon a Wager by Julie Lemense

Today I'm excited to be hosting the blog tour for Once Upon a Wager by Julie Lemense. Read on for a plot synopsis, an excerpt, and my review; I absolutely loved it!

Publishing date: 12th May by Crimson Romance
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

When Lord Alec Carstairs returns from war, hailed as a hero, only Annabelle Layton knows the sort of man he really is. They’d been friends before a passionate kiss changed everything, before a reckless wager left her broken and bloodied, and he abandoned her. Hardly the actions of a hero. But shocking lies have distorted the past. Can Alec uncover its painful truths, and still keep his distance? Can he deny his forbidden desire, even as it flares hotter than ever?

Just as evening fell, Alec walked up the crushed stone drive to Astley Castle. Despite its rather grandiose name, it was more accurately a fortified manor house, although it did have a moat. Briefly the home of Lady Jane Grey, England’s unfortunate…