Wednesday 30 April 2014

Book News: Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

Not long to wait till Ali Harris' newest book Written in the Stars is released! The synopsis of this book has piqued my interest already. This book is chick-lit with a definite twist.

Written in the Stars is due out on 5th June and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK now.

Bea Bishop is horrible at making decisions. Forget big life ones, even everyday choices seem to paralyse her. She's learned to live with this because experience has taught her that it doesn't matter what you do, no one has the power to control destiny. Anyone who believes they can is a fool. 

But as her wedding day approaches, her years of indecision are weighing heavily on her, and she can't help but wonder, 'What if, what if, what if….' 

What if she hadn't upped sticks and moved to London? What if she hadn't grabbed the first job that came along and settled down with the first guy who showed an interest? But all of her questions are silenced when she slips while walking down the aisle and is knocked unconscious. In this split second her life splits into two: in one existence, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other she glides blissfully towards her intended.

But which story will lead to her happily ever after?

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Review: Take A Look At Me Now

Author: Miranda Dickinson
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: 24th October 2013
Pages: 401
Genre: Chick-Lit

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?

This is my first Miranda Dickinson novel and it certainly will not be my last - what a fabulous read! I am ashamed that I haven't read her books before.

When Nell walks into her office she has no idea it will be for the last time. Nell is left shocked when her on-off boyfriend Aidan tells her she's being made redundant and sends her on her way. Nell takes her broken heart and redundancy pay straight to a travel agency and books herself an 8 week trip to San Francisco. Will living in a brand new city with her cousin Lizzie heal her scars and allow her to plan her future or will her past continue to haunt her?

To be honest I really just want to gush about how amazing this book is! Miranda drew me in from the very beginning and I could not put this book down. Miranda describes San Francisco with such realistic detail - I could see Nell's view of the Golden Gate Bridge, I was there as Nell and Lizzie wandered round the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. In fact, I am so enthralled by this book San Francisco has moved to the top of my bucket list!

Nell is such an amazing character. She is strong-willed and brave to visit San Francisco - a place she has never visited before. She meets some fabulous people on her journey, including the tough cookie Annie and the drop-dead gorgeous Max. I was left drooling when reading about the mouth-watering food Annie serves up in her diner. I loved learning about the mysterious Max who appeared to have many secrets - this added extra suspense to the book.

The kids at the school where Nell volunteers were complete sweethearts. Seeing San Francisco through a child's eyes is brilliant. I have a major soft spot for Eva, a little girl with a love of Mary Poppins and a humongous heart.

Miranda has written a heart-warming, romantic, emotionally driven book that will stay with me for a very long time. It is a book that has encouraged me to follow my dreams, to get out there and do something new and to most of all appreciate the help of people around me.

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Always Where I Need To Be by The Kooks

Sunday 27 April 2014

Showcase Sunday #21

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've got some absolutely amazing books to report this week. I have already started reading Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson which is a brilliant take on Pride and Prejudice. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the rest of these books.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (bought)
Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth (bought)
Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth (bought)
Unlucky 13 by James Patterson (bought)
Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore (for review)
How to Get a Love Life by Rosie Blake (bought)

Physical Books
If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty (for review)
Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson (for review)

What have you received this week?
Beckie xxx

Saturday 26 April 2014

Review: A Cinderella Christmas

Author: Holly Kingston
Publisher: Novelicious
Release Date: 15th November 2013
Pages: 100
Genre: Chick-Lit
Source: From the publisher - thank you!

Lucy Tilley dreams of a career in show business. But this isn't quite what she had in mind...

This year's Cinderella pantomime is the hottest production in town. What's more, Lucy is starring alongside Ryan Aspall: famous TV actor, sex symbol and potential love of her entire life. One teeny problem - Lucy is tripping the light fantastic as... the back end of the comedy cow. Surely nothing kills a flirty moment quite like wearing a massive set of udders?

At least she has the support of glamorous (if potentially flammable) Charmaine; a reality star diva of a Cinderella, who Lucy is completely fascinated by. But behind the fame and beauty, Charmaine is not all she seems.

With more drama off the stage than on it, and everyone wanting to be star of the show, will Lucy find the confidence to make it out of the cow suit and into the spotlight this Christmas?

Personally I love a good pantomime, the drama and laughter is so infectious! Pantomimes really brighten up the Christmas period so when the opportunity to read this novella came along I knew I would enjoy it - and I wasn't disappointed.

Lucy Tilley has always dreamt of treading the boards as the leading lady in a show... being the back end of a cow was not what she had in mind. When the opportunity to star in the Cinderella pantomime comes along, Lucy is ecstatic to be working with reality star Charmaine and heart throb Ryan Aspall. What Lucy soon realises is wearing a cow costume is not the best way to entice a gorgeous superstar. Will Lucy succeed at mixing with the celebrities and capturing the heart of Ryan or is she destined to babysit Charmaine's dog Lenin for the duration of the Christmas period?

There were so many laughs to be had whilst reading this novella, the comedic timing was brilliant! I got to spend some time with the lovely sweet Lucy, who wants to kick her stage fright into touch and become a big star whilst learning to fit in with the likes of Charmaine and Ryan. Lucy was down-to-earth and really loveable, she was working really hard to try and follow her dreams.

Charmaine was the diva of all divas! She has a very peculiar outlook on life and doesn't seem to have any real friends which made me feel sorry for her at first, but then I found out how devious she really was. She was your classic pantomime villain - not a fairytale princess!

Holly Kingston has wrote a really sweet novella that had me completely absorbed from start to end. I must admit I have a soft spot for Charmaine's dog Lenin who stole the show for me! I will be looking out for more books from Holly Kingston in the future.

 4/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Cinderella Shoe by Alesha Dixon

Friday 25 April 2014

Review: Christmas at Carrington's

Author: Alexandra Brown
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: 5th December 2013
Pages: 365
Genre: Chick-Lit

Carrington’s Department store is thrown into a spin when the staff learn that a hot new reality TV show is to be filmed in-store, featuring the formidable retail guru, Kelly Cooper. Georgie Hart, in charge of Luxury Handbags, is reluctant, but quickly realises that the show could give Carrington’s a new lease of life. With Christmas around the corner, she’s also hoping that the season will deliver her the perfect Christmas present, in the form of Tom, the store’s dishy boss.

When the film crew arrive, things start to go wrong. One of Tom’s old flames, Zara, is working on the show and then, to top things off, Tom and Zara are sent off to Paris and New York for a spot of extra filming. When Georgie settles down in front of the box to watch the first show, worse it to come – Georgie is shown in a far from flattering light and she is horrified to learn what Tom has been up to.

Georgie fears this is turning out to be the worst Christmas ever, but Santa might have a got a little surprise in store for her stocking this year – but she’ll just have to wait until Christmas to find out!

Georgie loves her job at Carrington's department store and being in charge of the Luxury Handbags section. It's Christmas time and her and Carrington's boss Tom are continuing to hit it off, what could possibly go wrong? What she's not banking on is TV show ‘Kelly Cooper Comes Instore’ taking over Carrington's and giving it a makeover that Georgie is not comfortable with. To top it all off Tom is romantically linked with Zara, the daughter of Kelly Cooper. Will Georgie get the perfect Christmas she's dreamed of or will Santa have something else in store for her this year?

I am delighted to be back with Georgie Hart in the lovely town of Mulberry-on-Sea. Carrington's department store always sounds so amazing, I'd love to take a trip there myself. Georgie is back with her best friend Sam and the hilarious Eddie, both who fill this book with charm and lots of laughter. 

I love how Alexandra Brown has thrown a whole host of new characters into the mix. Kelly and Zara really ruffle some feathers in Carrington's and it's fab to see how everyone reacts. Christmas is such a magical time, especially in a department store, I think Alexandra captured the magic beautifully.

There is a big sense of community in Carrington's, the employees tend to stick together and support each other no matter what. It is interesting to see how attitudes change as the employees learn to except the TV show as part of their daily lives albeit dramas still ensue!

Alexandra has written an absolutely fabulous sequel to Cupcakes at Carrington's. I believe that Christmas at Carrington's is a book that can be enjoyed at any time of year. I am also excited for Ice Cream at Carrington's which is due out on 5th June. If you can't wait till then you can catch up with Georgie on twitter right now: @GeorgieHart.

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: My Favourite Things by Julie Andrews

Thursday 3 April 2014

Blog Tour: How My Life Became Chaos by Victoria J. Brown + Giveaway!

Author: Victoria J. Brown
Publisher: Faris Publishing
Release Date: 16th January 2014
Pages: 318
Genre: Chick-Lit

Kat is pregnant after only being with Max for 6 months. Running her own beauty salon, dealing with her depressed alcoholic father, fighting battles with Max’s mother and facing ex-girlfriends, Kat isn’t sure if having a baby is the right thing to do. Her life feels like one big mess, whatever decision she makes will change her life either way.

When I saw this book advertised, I knew I had to read it. This is a book about raw, unedited life, the kind of life that all of us have to live.

Kat has a lot on her plate in her day to day life without any unexpected surprises. Not only does she run her own beauty salon, which she has built from the ground up with a lot of care and attention, she has an alcoholic father, a sister who still acts like a small child and a new boyfriend complete with his interfering mother. And then she finds out she's pregnant...

I could not put this book down as I was genuinely interested in what Kat was going through. She is a very strong character, always trying to help others before she helps herself. I really empathised with how she was feeling, it didn't matter what was happening she always tried to stay positive. I also enjoyed reading about the other characters in Kat's life - her Dad, her Dad's partner Marianne, her sister Libby, her boyfriend Max and his mother Clare. They all had different influences over Kat's life which had me thinking about what is a 'normal' family dynamic these days. I am definitely led to think that as long as you're happy it doesn't matter!

I loved that this book was set in North Yorkshire! Living there myself lets me appreciate the scenery so much more. Victoria allowed me to see the flowing river, the country roads and the market towns with such clarity. It was beautiful and really added to the story.

I believe the overall message in this book is a message of hope and positive thinking. A lot of events, good and bad, happen to people in their lifetime but there is always a glimmer of hope, that silver lining. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Kat and her trials and tribulations, so much so that I'm already onto book number three in the Chaos series! 

5/5 Stars

My Song Choice: Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Victoria has kindly agreed to give 50% of the profits to Hope for Holly, a charity set up to help Holly and others fight Leukaemia. Also, if readers buy a copy of the book and send proof of purchase to the author, they will be sent an ecopy of Daily Inspirational Messages 2014.

About the Author
Victoria J.Brown is a chick-lit author. While studying for her MA in Creative Writing she won a short story competition judged by Adele Parks. Although, Victoria holds a MA, she sees herself as a storyteller not a literary writer.

She is passionate about people following their dreams. She has written Annual Inspirational Books which provide daily motivational messages. Also being a qualified wedding planner and Managing Director of Calm Weddings, she has written 3 weddings books.

The fantastic giveaway on this tour is 1, 2 and 3 of the Chaos series in one signed paperback copy!

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