Thursday 31 October 2013

Book Tour: It's Got to be Perfect by Haley Hill + Giveaway!

Author: Haley Hill
Publisher: Matador
Release Date: 16th September 2013
Pages: 264
Genre: Chick-Lit

When Ellie Rigby hurls her three-carat engagement ring into the gutter, she is certain of only one thing, that she has yet to know true love.

Following months of disastrous internet dates and conflicting advice from her dysfunctional friends, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Although now, instead of just looking for a man for herself, she's certain her life's purpose is to find deep and meaningful love for all the singles in the world.

Five years on, running the UK's biggest matchmaking agency, and with thousands of engagements to her name, she has all the answers she needs. She knows why eighty-five percent of relationships fail. She knows why twenty-eight is the most eligible age for a woman. She knows that by thirty-five she'll have only a thirty-percent chance of marriage.

Most of all, she knows that no matter what, it has to be perfect. Or does it?

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book! Knowing that Haley Hill was a matchmaker herself with a lot of experience under her belt I knew this book would be a realistic account of the matchmaking world.

Ellie Rigby thinks she has the perfect life until she finds herself single and back on the dating scene. After a series of disastrous dates which she'd rather forget and without an eligible bachelor in sight, Ellie decides it must be up to her to bring love to all the singletons in London. Five years later Ellie is running the UK's biggest matchmaking agency and has thousands of successful relationships to her name. She knows all the relationship statistics and can tell any man or woman why, how and when a relationship can fail. But how can she tell her clients about true love when she isn't even sure of what it is herself?

It's Got to be Perfect was a brilliant book to relax with when you need a lift-me-up and a giggle. The array of characters Haley Hill introduced me to had me laughing, scowling and crying with laughter. There was Mandi who was particularly passionate about love. She was always so happy and bouncy and always brought a smile to my face. Then there was Mia who was rather cynical about love but more realistic about the business and where it was going. Mandi and Mia were perfect sidekicks for Ellie who I really adored. Ellie really cared for the people she was matchmaking and put a lot of effort into making sure she matched couples who were likely to make a future together. Altogether, Ellie, Mandi and Mia made a fabulous matchmaking team who brought a lot of people together who otherwise may have not found their special someone.

I could feel that Haley Hill had put her heart and soul into this book. The whole story felt very real and I could imagine the characters and their personalities coming to life. I also enjoyed taking a trip around London hotspots. I could feel that each bar and club had it's own vibe which contributed to the atmosphere. I am so glad Haley took the time to write this book as it was highly enjoyable. It's Got to be Perfect gave me a real insight into the world of dating and how different people have different perceptions of love which I believe is an important message to remember.

4/5 Stars

About the Author
Haley was born in London in 1977, with a big heart, big feet and big ideals. In 2005, she set up what turned out to be the UK's biggest matchmaking agency. She has since sold it and drunk the proceeds. She lives in Battersea with her husband James, a wine merchant and consequent enabler of her habit, their twin girls and a scruffy hound called Rufus. She spends her days chasing her toddlers around the house, trying to write but mostly just messing about on Twitter.

The 3 lucky winners of the giveaway will win a signed paperback copy of It's Got to be Perfect!

Wednesday 23 October 2013

United Authors of Chick Lit

What is the United Authors of Chick Lit all about?
Fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some of your favourite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond.

The event kicks off on Monday, 21st October.

On Tuesday, 22nd October, read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

On Wednesday, 23rd October, it’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet.

On Thursday, 24th October, Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters.

And on Friday, 25th October, Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? 
Available on, Amazon UK and Kobo.

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? 
Available on Amazon.comAmazon UK and B&N.

Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? 
Available on, Amazon UK and B&N.
You can find my review here.

Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss... 
Available on and Amazon UK.

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland – Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? 
Available on and Amazon UK.

Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr – Kimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. 
Available on Amazon.comAmazon UK, B&N and Apple iTunes.

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? 
Available on Amazon.comAmazon UK, B&N and UK Nook.

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. 
Available on and Amazon UK.

Schedule of Events
Tuesday, 22nd October:
Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog.

Wednesday, 23 October:
Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog.

Thursday, 24th October:
Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog.

Friday, 25th October:
Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog.

I hope you enjoy travelling with these characters!

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Book Releases: 24th October

I think the 24th October is a fabulous day for book releases. There is such a beautiful range of books on offer that I don't know where to start! Click on the book covers to go to their Amazon pages.

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson
How far would you go to make a new start?

When Nell’s on-off boyfriend Aidan calls her into his office, losing her job is the last thing she expects.

Heartbroken and unemployed to boot, she makes a radical decision to blow her redundancy cheque and escape to the untested waters of San Francisco.

But is the glamour of the city too good to be true? And can Nell leave her past behind?

Christmas Carol by Michele Gorman
One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends. And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?

Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews
Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She's soon in huge demand and Cassie's business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born.

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children so he enlists Cassie's help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients.

When Carter asks Cassie to join them on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn't go. As much as tries, Cassie can't deny how drawn she is to Carter and everything he has to offer, but she still loves her warm-hearted Jim. Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life.

Secrets of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson
Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Secrets of a Chalet Girl is the second book in Lorraine Wilson’s fabulous Ski Season series.

A Vintage Christmas by Ali Harris
Evie has the perfect job and the perfect man, but keeping both in her life has become a serious balancing act...

With the sales coming to a close at Hardy's, Evie must source new stock for the season ahead. Her mind is constantly buzzing with ideas and layouts, so much so that she is forgetting all about Sam.
Can she learn to keep her work separate from her home life? Or will she lose everything...

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill
Discover the magic of Melissa Hill this Christmas... Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore on Manhattan's Upper West Side. A dreamer who secretly wishes for true love similar to that in her beloved novels, Darcy refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed man walking his dog. He is knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital, but his dog gets left behind. Wracked with guilt over the accident, Darcy resolves to care for the dog and reunite him with his owner. But the dog is not the only thing that's been left behind and when she finds a small beautifully wrapped package - suspiciously shaped like a book - she becomes curious. She decides to try and figure out all she can about this man, and make the delivery herself. Darcy gradually becomes drawn into his life; one that she soon discovers is filled with books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about. It doesn't take long before Darcy builds up a picture of this man's lovely life, and feeling an immediate kinship towards him, tries to make things right.

It might be a challenge but doesn't she owe it to him to try? But does fantasy match reality? And what happens when he finally wakes up?

Monday 21 October 2013

Review: Christmas Carol

Author: Michele Gorman
Notting Hill Press
Release Date: 15th September 2013
Pages: 101
Genre: Christmas
Source: From the publisher - Thank you!

One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends. And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?

It may only be October but this Christmas novella has really got me in the festive mood. I have never read a book by Michele Gorman before but I will definitely be adding her backlog to my TBR pile. I was engrossed in this story from the very beginning and I did not want to put it down!

Carol is not overly pleased when her sister Marley insists on having a Christmas wedding. She has never been a big fan of Christmas and having also being dumped recently, this wedding is bound to bring up bad feelings. Proceedings are not made any better when Carol finds out 3 of her ex-boyfriends have been invited to the wedding. This gives Carol a choice: should she embrace the Christmas celebrations and face up to her past or hide away and suppress all her feelings?

I loved the storyline in this book. It was pacey and interesting and I was always wanting to know what would happen next. The link with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens added an extra level to the story. I enjoyed the juxtaposition between Carol's story and Scrooge's story, they had a lot in common! Both hated Christmas time, both had pushed everyone away that they should have held close, they both needed to learn a lesson! The setting of snowy Scotland was magical! I felt like I was transported to a completely different world. I could imagine the snow falling and the coldness of the snowflakes melting on my skin.

I loved Carol. I know she was having trouble facing up to her past but she made me laugh so much! She had such a sarcastic sense of humour which I could completely understand, being rather sarcastic myself. I was really rooting for her to face up to her past mistakes, she was so set on thinking her ex-boyfriends had made all the mistakes, she'd never taken the time to sit and look at herself and the problems she had created. I also loved all the secondary characters in this story. The ex-boyfriends were actually nice people who enjoyed reading about and Carol's sister Marley was so happy it was just infectious.

Michele Gorman created a story that looked at relationships in a new and refreshing way. I was able to objectively look at Carol's life and look at all the different reasons relationships can go wrong and learn some important lessons along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more books by Michele Gorman!

5/5 Stars 

My Song Choice: Let it Snow by Michael Bublé

Sunday 20 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #18

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky from Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Its' aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. To join Showcase Sunday or find out more click here.

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has had a good week. I've been busy, busy, busy! I'm really enjoying everything I'm doing at the moment; from university to all the books I'm reading, things are pretty great.

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson (for review)
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (for review)
Christmas at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown (for review)

I am sooo excited to read all of these books, they look so amazing! I can't wait to let you all know what I think :)

What have you received this week?
Beckie xxx

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Book Releases: 17th October

With The Trouble with Mojitos by Romy Sommer, United States of Love by Sue Fortin and Manhattan Millionaire's Cinderella by Sum Chara being published on Thursday 17th October, we are being spoilt by Harper Impulse this week! Click on the book covers to be taken to the Amazon page.

The Trouble with Mojitos by Romy Sommer
Turquoise blue waters. Sandy white beaches. Mojitos... Film location scout Kenzie Cole has found herself in paradise. Working in the Caribbean for a week is just what she needs to escape the long line of exes in her closet. Though the last thing she expects is to be picked up at the resort bar by a disgraced former Prince!

Luckily for Kenzie, exile is suiting the man formerly known as Prince Fredrik very well. And it’s not long before his rugged, pirate charm is proving hard to resist.

But Rik’s been spending his time in paradise exorcising demons of his own and he has danger written all over him. If Kenzie was sensible she’d run a mile instead of lose herself to lust - although, they do say sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found....

United States of Love by Sue Fortin
Since splitting from her husband, single mum Anna Barnes is enjoying her new found freedom and independence.

However, she didn't bank on working for Tex Garcia – or the sparks that fly between them. The gorgeous American chef is getting the locals hot under the collar and not just because of his culinary prowess!

One problem: Tex can't commit and women pass through his life like dishes going out to service! Will it be the same with Anna? One thing’s for sure, this All American man is determined to break her self-imposed rule of never mixing business with pleasure – and add some spice into the mix…

Manhattan Millionaire's Cinderella by Sun Chara
Will their wedding night be a one-night stand or a merger for keeps?
Global real estate mogul, Cade Sloan should've listened to his own advice: trust no one, and never a woman…especially not his 24 hour bride gone AWOL with his millions. Nina, mousy secretary turned sexy vixen, will repay every penny with interest…

When Cade gears up for a takeover, there's sweet hell to pay. Nina owes her husband a wedding night and he’s hell bent on collecting… his way, his time, his pleasure.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #17

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky from Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Its' aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. To join Showcase Sunday or find out more click here.

Hi everyone! I hope you've all had brilliant weeks. I have now finished my first full week of university and I am really enjoying being back. I think I'm going to have a lot more work to do this year though!

There's More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan (for review)

My New Kindle

There's More to Life Than Cupcakes looks like a fabulous read, I can't wait to get stuck in. I also couldn't resist buying the new Kindle Paperwhite. I have been relying on my tablet for reading eBooks for a while which hasn't been that great. I am now really happy to have a dedicated eReader!

What have you received this week?
Beckie xxx

Saturday 12 October 2013

Author Interview: Sophie King

Today I am happy to welcome Sophie King to the blog. She agreed to take part in an author interview which I hope you enjoy.

You can buy her book Second Time Lucky on Amazon UK now.

Tell me about your latest book, Second Time Lucky.
It’s about four people who start life again: a divorced mother of two; a widow who still ‘sees’ her husband; a home-sick American bride with difficult stepchildren; and a recovering (handsome) alcoholic. They all have apartments in a gorgeous stately home which used to belong to the alcoholic, until he had to sell it to a developer to pay family death duties. There’s lots of humour but also ‘meat’. One magazine described it as ‘a tonic which will also keep you on your toes’.

Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes. I wrote stories and poems from a very early age. But during my teens, a career counsellor told me that it was ‘very difficult’ to earn a living as an author so I ought to think of something more ‘realistic’. That made me cry. It also made me determined to do it. So I trained as a journalist and then began writing novels much later than I’d intended, after my third child was born.

Do you have a set writing routine? What is a typical day like for you when you are writing?
I like to write first thing in the morning. In the summer, this might be 7am but it tends to be more like 9am in the winter. Sometimes I write half a chapter before running my dog along the beach and then having breakfast. Sometimes, I start writing after breakfast. It rather depends on how eager our dog is to get out. He takes after my youngest son; neither are early risers....

If I’m in the middle of a novel, I will write about 3,000 words before lunch. Then I’ll print it out in the afternoon and read it through, making changes. Afterwards, I’ll check emails. I’m trying to do this just once a day so it doesn’t take over my writing life, but I often find myself still at my screen in the evening. I also play tennis twice a week; do a belly dancing class (great exercise!) and walk about four miles a day.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Getting into another world. Meeting people I’ve never thought of before but who must have been lurking. Not having to go into an office every day. (Although I’ve just started as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Exeter University, two days a week, which I love. My role is to help promote good writing practice which means giving people help with sentence structure etc). I also get a big thrill from seeing my books on a shelf although it always feels rather unreal.

How much research did you do for Second Time Lucky?
The idea came from someone I know who lived in a converted apartment in a stately home. It made me realise that you didn’t have to be fabulously wealthy to live somewhere like that. For research, I went back and also looked at other houses like it. I also spoke to an elderly friend of mine who’s a widow and I talked to someone who was a recovering alcoholic. I was a divorced mother of three at the time and although Louise’s character isn’t me, I do know how she feels!

Have you ever travelled to new places for book research?
All the time. There’s nothing like going somewhere to get inspiration for both setting and plot. Often, you’ll spot something that makes you add another strand to the story. For instance, I visited a village in Oxford to get some inspiration for one of my scenes in SECOND TIME LUCKY and had a picnic lunch by a stream. I used that in the novel. It works the other way too; you’ll go somewhere for fun and find it gives you an idea for another book...

What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Write about something that is niggling you; an idea that won’t go away. Get into your characters so the reader believes in them. Use magazine pictures to describe them visually and inject them with humour and warmth. Write every day and make sure there is a twist at the end of each chapter. Always revise at least twice after you’ve finished. Find an agent through networking : go to writing festivals and join organisations like the Romantic Novelists Association. I’ve written a book on this, called HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST NOVEL AND GET PUBLISHED by Sophie King. (How To Books.)

Tell me about your road to publication.
It was a long one! I was a journalist for years until I found time to write my first novel. It was taken on by an agent but didn’t sell. I then wrote ten more (one a year) and had two near misses. But they were both too similar to books which the publisher was about to publish. Then my youngest son went to a new school which gave me the idea for THE SCHOOL RUN. I’d just taken on a new agent and he sold it. As well as this, I’d started writing short stories a few years earlier – something I still do. They saved me because it got my fiction into print before my novels. They made me feel I could be a fiction writer after all.

What is your favourite book of all time?
Impossible question! Usually I say JANE EYRE because I identified with her as a teenager. But I also loved Arthur Ransome’s SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS and Noel Streatfeild’s WHITE BOOTS. If I ever got to Desert Island on Radio 4, I might say Palgrave’s Golden Treasury because it would keep me going – and because in poetry, every word has to count.

What are you reading at the moment?
Sarah Harrisons’s FLOWERS OF THE FIELD. I love the main character; a feisty woman who is drawn to two men on opposing sides during the Second World War.

If Second Time Lucky was made into a film, who would you have play the main characters?
I’m afraid I’m a sucker for Hugh Grant so I’d like him to play the aristocratic alcoholic. I’d like Cameron Diaz to play the homesick American. Helen Mirren would be the widow who ‘sees’ her dead husband. And Rachel Weisz would play Louise. (She was at my old school but we never knew each other!).

Thanks Sophie!

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Book Releases: 10th October

So many amazing book releases so little time! From the new Bridget Jones book to the paperback release of Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe there is a lot to choose from! And if it's a short story you're looking for, Alexandra Brown has released Me and Mr Carrington as a prequel to Christmas at Carrington's. Personally, I'm looking forward to Novelicious' new novel There's More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan. It looks soooo yummy! Click on the book covers to be taken to their Amazon UK pages :)

Bridget Jones; Mad about The Boy by Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones' Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s was a huge international bestseller, published in 40 countries and selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, published soon after was also a major international bestseller. Both were made into films starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget's life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: "If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we'll all be very happy."

Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn't be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don't seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another...

Me and Mr Carrington by Alexandra Brown
A short story from the author of Cupcakes at Carrington’s – and a prequel to Christmas at Carrington’s!

Georgie Hart can’t believe her luck. It looks like Tom, the hunky boss of Carrington’s Department Store, in the picture-postcard town of Mulberry-on-Sea, is as hot for her as she is for him. After a romantic Italian get-together leaves her on Cloud Nine, Georgie is brought back down to earth with a bump when she has to get back behind the counter of the Luxury Handbags section.

But when Georgie is left open-mouthed by a revelation from one of her well-heeled customers, it seems like Tom hasn’t been entirely honest with her. Has Georgie done her usual trick of adding two and two together to make five?

Ever wondered what happened when Georgie first got together with Mr Carrington himself? This deliciously funny short story is perfect for anyone who loved Cupcakes at Carrington’s, and for those discovering the lovable Georgie Hart for the first time. The story also features an exclusive peek at the next book, Christmas at Carrington’s.

There's More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan
Ellie Redford has a husband, a job and a home. According to the rest of the world, it’s baby o’clock already. Shame life doesn’t come with a recipe…

Ellie knows that starting a family with lovely husband Pete would be an amazing adventure. Pete would make a brilliant dad and she’d have an excuse to eat shed loads of Cherry Bakewell. But Ellie’s bestie would rather she was up at 3am with a bottle of Malibu, not formula. And with redundancies looming, Ellie’s boss isn’t exactly going to throw her a shower if she disappears for a year, with pay.

While Ellie juggles her feelings (and everyone else’s) as competently as a drunken clown, she finds herself signing up for a baking class, alongside the young, free and sizzling hot Joe. As they work buns and shape tarts, is there more to their friendship than a shared appreciation of Paul Hollywood?

Ellie’s soufflés may be rising, but her personal life is one big soggy mess. If she doesn't make a decision soon, she may just lose everything that matters to her. Maybe it's time to take off the pinny and face up to the truth: there’s more to life than cupcakes...

Sunday 6 October 2013

Showcase Sunday #16

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky from Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Its' aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. To join Showcase Sunday or find out more click here.

Hi everyone! I hope you've all had wonderful weeks, I sure have. I've started back at university for my third and final year so I'm sorry if I've been a bit quiet. I cannot believe I am near the end of my university career, where have the last two years gone?!

Second Time Lucky by Sophie King (for review)
Meet me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements (bought)
A Jersey Kiss by Georgina Troy (bought)

Physical Books
The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern (won)
River by Destiny  Barbara Erskine (won)
About a Girl by Lindsey Kelk (won)

I love the range of books I have received this week. I have a book for every occasion: holidays, christmas, plain chilling out and lots more. Thanks to Harper Impulse for the books they sent me for a competition I won :)

What have you received this week?
Beckie xxx

Thursday 3 October 2013

Book Releases: 1st-4th October

I cannot believe it's October already! It means it's time for the Christmas books to start hitting the shelves. I must admit I am excited for these festive books, I love the Christmas season. I love the glittery book covers, the snow, the families coming together! Just click on the book covers to be taken to the Amazon UK pages.

The Cheesemaker's House by Jane Cable
Inspired by a framed will found in her dream Yorkshire house, which had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726, Jane Cable discovered the historical aspect of her novel. Set near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, The Cheesemaker’s House is a page-turner that will have readers hooked instantly.

The novel follows the life of Alice Hart, who escapes to the North Yorkshire countryside to recover after her husband runs off with his secretary. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including handsome builder Richard Wainwright and kind café owner Owen Maltby. As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village ‘charmer’, what exactly does that mean?

Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale
Christmas is a time for family - isn't it?

Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out…

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at everybody from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen… even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own…

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Book News: Step Back In Time by Ali McNamara

A new cover has been released for the upcoming book Step Back In Time by Ali McNamara. The cover looks so pretty, it is like a snapshot of the moment. I am really looking forward to reading this!

Step Back In Time is out 7th November and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK now.

How many lifetimes would you travel to find a love that lasts for ever?

When single career girl Jo-Jo steps onto a zebra crossing and gets hit by a car, she awakes to find herself in 1964. The fashion, the music, her job, even her romantic life: everything is different. And then it happens three more times, and Jo-Jo finds herself living a completely new life in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The only people she can rely on are Harry and Ellie, two companions from 2013, and George, the owner of a second-hand record store.

If she's ever to return from her travels, Jo-Jo must work out why she's jumping through time like this. And if she does make it back, will her old life ever be the same again?

Tuesday 1 October 2013

A to Z Bookish Survey!

It has been YEARS since I've done a survey like this. Back in my MySpace days I used to do them regularly, usually with embarrassing consequences! But I think this one will be fun :)

Author You've Read the Most Books from:
James Patterson. I've read all of his Women's Murder Club books and plenty of the Alex Cross books too! I love the pace of these books, they always get the adrenaline pumping.

Best Sequel Ever:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. At the time I wondered how The Hunger Games story could continue, however Suzanne Collins wowed me from start to finish with this wonderful storyline.

Currently Reading:
Coco's Secret by Niamh Greene

Drink of Choice While Reading:
This is a really boring answer - I apologise! I generally drink water, it keeps me hydrated!

eReader or Physical Book:
At the moment I'd say e-reader as it's just so handy. Also, I have the new Kindle Paperwhite ordered, which should arrive next week!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Definitely Ron Weasley.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

Hidden Gem Book:
The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Reading Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher. It was following the blog tour of this book that led me to discover the book blogging world!

Just Finished:
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan. Amazing!

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Any religious books.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by JK Rowling. This one is a whopper but I absolutely adore it!

Major book hangover because of:

Wicked Wives by Anna-Lou Weatherley. I was devastated when I finished this book, I did NOT want it to end! It took me a few days to pick up another book.

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Only one at the moment but I'm looking to expand!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
I have lost count of the amount of times I've read the Harry Potter books. I love to take a few hours out immerse myself in magic!

Preferred Place To Read:
Curled up in my bed!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
“If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” - JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Reading Regret:
Two that stand out are wasting time on books I know I won't enjoy and judging books by their covers!

Series You Started And Need To Finish:
The Alex Cross series by James Patterson.

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Lindsey Kelk!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

Worst Bookish Habit:
Buying lots of new books when my TBR pile is already out of control!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk

Your Latest Book Purchase:
Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane. Too funny to put down!
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