Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review - The Magpies by Mark Edwards

Flipping heck! Talk about being a nervous wreck!

Jamie and Kirsty are madly in love and looking forward to moving in together into their dream home where their future looks so promising, and their hopes and dreams to marry and start a family can come to fruition.   

When they meet the other residents of the flats, they all seem really nice and they strike up a friendship with Lucy and Chris, the couple in the basement who they get on particularly well with.

But things are not always as they seem, and when they start to find bizarre and horrific things happening to them and their friends, they seem to be the target of a horrific campaign which frightens the living daylights out of them(and me too!) . 

Should they give in and move out to get away or stay and try to survive this nasty, viscious attack and not let their neighbours get the better of them? 

The book started off really nicely following the life of Jamie and Kirsty as they move into their new flat and start their exciting new life together.  The first few things that happened made me wonder who it actually was that was doing them and whether they were just coincidences even.  My blood pressure and heart rate started to increase as the incidents got worse.

I started the book on Monday night around 10pm when I went to bed and at 1am I was still saying to myself "just one more chapter".  At around 1.15am when I dropped my IPad onto my lap as I was starting to doze, I realised it was probably time that I stopped reading!  I realised I'd done the right thing when I had to get up at 6.30am!   The following night I read only a couple of chapters because I was so shattered, but last night I just couldn't keep away!

OMG! My heart was pounding! I was totally and utterly transfixed by the terrible things that were happening to this lovely couple that I felt I knew so well and I found myself wanting to shout out at them to warn them of danger!  I could not, at any stage of the book, predict what would happen next.  Even to the last few pages I still had no clue whatsoever how this book was going to end.  When I read the last few lines, I heard a huge sigh of relief and then realised that it was mine!

I never thought you could ever get the same effect in a book that you would get in a film, but this book made me feel as scared as I did when I originally watched the amazing films Fatal Attraction and Jagged Edge and found the writing at least in the same class as the writing of these films if not better.  If I could have hidden behind a cushion and read at the same time, I would!  The heart-stopping moments that Mark wrote were purely brilliant.  It has also made me never, ever, to want to live in a flat!  Not in this lifetime! No way! I think this book has affected me for life.

I think that if any TV producers get the chance to read this book, they'll be ringing Mark up to buy the TV rights at least if not film! It would transfer SO well, although I'm not sure if my heart is strong enough!   If it only gets to stay as a book, then readers will get the chance to read a spectacularly gripping novel, full of intrigue, mystery, fear and suspense.
Mark Edwards is the No.1 bestselling author of CATCH YOUR DEATH and KILLING CUPID, co-written with Louise Voss. He lives in Wolverhampton, UK, with his young family and works as a freelance copywriter and marketer.

Find out more about Mark at www.vossandedwards.com  

Follow Mark on Twitter

Like Mark on Facebook

You can buy this book on Amazon UK

Friday, 22 March 2013

Review - The Dream by Jill Rowan

Front cover of The DreamAnother incredibly pleasurable reading experience from Jill Rowan.

Ollie Kimpton had decided to take some time out from her job in a call centre in England and tour New Zealand, a place that for some reason she can't figure out, is close to her heart.  When she arrives, she finally realises that her boyfriend is not right for her so they part company and she goes off to explore the island alone.  Quite quickly she meets Mark, a man who she is not attracted to in a romantic way, but feels very familiar with and they both feel that they have known each other all their lives. 

That is until Mark seems to keep cropping up at times when she needs him most, and helping her, yet she has no way of getting in touch with him.  He's also really good at disappearing and saying that he'll see her soon.  That, along with her recurrent dream that she has had since she was a young girl, is concerning her greatly as she finds out more and more about why New Zealand is special to her and to her roots.  She eventually solves the problem and makes a number of friends along the way.

I was first introduced to Jill Rowan when I read and reviewed her brilliant book The Legacy which was absolutely fantastic. 

So, when Jill sent me a copy of The Dream, I couldn't wait to get started.  I really took to Ollie as a character, and had my suspicions about Mark right from the start as there was definitely something not quite right about him but I just couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.

In both of Jill's books, there is a love story as well as a connection to another life.  I can't say too much as I don't want to spoil the plot for you. 

This book taught me a lot about New Zealand and actually made me yearn to visit there.  The way that Jill described the landscapes and the beaches definitely turned my head and has left me curious about the country that the book is based in.  

Jill writes really interesting books that just entice you in and you can't put down.  She's a great writer and her books are so easy and an absolute pleasure to read. 

The way that Ollie unravels the mystery in the book is brilliant and it really was an incredible book which I loved.  I started it one night and finished it the next afternoon.  For me, that's how I can tell whether its a good book or not.  It definitely captured my imagination and I became deeply engrossed in this lovely story of great family and lovely friends.

Jill Rowan was born in Hertfordshire, England, but now lives in the Shropshire countryside. She gave up a career in accounts to pursue her passion for writing. She has both a BA and a BSc. from the Open University, is a keen photographer and also enjoys natural history, walking, cycling, travel, and endless amounts of reading.You can find out more about Jill at her website here

You can buy The Dream via Amazon UK or Amazon.com
 

 

Trailer reveal for the brilliant Stephanie Keyes' 2nd book The FallenStars

Hello everyone! I am very excited about hosting the Trailer Reveal today for author, Stephanie Keyes' second book, The Fallen Stars.

Read on for more information about the trailer and the book!


The Trailer



The Book


The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes
The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes
Release Date: April 12th, 2013 |


When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Giveaway


There is a great giveaway happening for this event! Check out what you can win.

Giveaway3



Get Hooked on The Star Child


Interested in The Fallen Stars? Why not check out the first book in the series, The Star Child?

The Star Child Cover


The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role. Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?


About Stephanie Keyes


DSC_0012-001
 

Author, Stephanie Keyes

Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she's still doing the same thing, except now she gets to share those ideas with readers!

When she's not writing, Stephanie is also a graphic designer, international speaker, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she's best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Mrs. Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University and a M.Ed. from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Society For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as a featured author in the global group of writers, Love a Happy Ending.com.

Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child (September 2012) and The Fallen Stars (April 2013), both released by Inkspell Publishing. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy, The Star Catcher.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Love A Happy Ending

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Review - A Cottage By The Sea by Carole Matthews

I just loved this book!

Flick, Ella and Grace met at University and stuck together as best friends through thick and thin. When they agree that they haven't seen as much of each other as they would like, Ella invites the girls to stay for a weeks holiday with her and her rockstar manager boyfriend of years Art at Ella's cottage by the sea in Wales.

Grace takes husband of 7 years Harry with her and Flick turns up with Noah, a man they had never heard of. This is not unusual for Flick as she has a track record of dating married men and keeping things under wraps. Grace wants this holiday to revive her's and Harry's dwindling relationship, while Ella has a secret of her own that she needs to sort out.

As we have come to expect from Carole Matthews, she has once again created characters that you want to be friends with, places you want to visit and situations that are interesting and realistic covering topics that we have to deal with in every day life.

There are always spectacular highs and tremendous lows in a Carole Matthews book and this one definitely has both of those although this book seemed a little deeper than normal although a great deal of humour is still thrown in.

I'm a huge fan of her books, and devoured this in a very short period of time desperate to see what happens in the end. I can honestly say that I didn't expect the ending to be how it was but I was not at all disappointed.  It was a surprising yet wonderful end. 


Carole, as one of my all time favourite authors, has once again exceeded my expectations with yet another book and plot that I found myself completely immersed. 

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty-two novels, is published in more than thirty countries and her books have been sold to Hollywood.   Carole lives just outside Milton Keynes with her other half Lovely Kev.

For all the latest news from Carole, visit www.carolematthews.com.
You can
follow Carole on Twitter
You can like Carole on Facebook too.

Review-a little bit of madness by Sheryl Browne.


Such a good fun read and fabulous entertainment!

The Harbour Rest Home is a place where folks of an older generation who don't want to live and grow old alone can be independent yet still cared for.

Celia is a fabulous main character. She is mother of two: one a teenager and the other a toddler, who lives with her partner Martin who makes no effort to hide that he disapproves of her job and is making plans to sell his mother's home for his own benefit.

All Celia wants to do in life is to care for and befriend the oldies and when she discovers that the rest home could be closed down, she is determined to help even if it means that she has to abseil from a steeple!  She gets rescued on more than one occasion by a handsome policeman Alex who on the surface appears to be a fabulously kind and generous person but also seems to a bit of a love-them-and-leave-them type of character.  Martin takes an immediate dislike to Celia's new friend.

I absolutely loved this book. I have now read all of Sheryl's books and this one is most definitely my favourite. The storyline was just so entertaining and with the normal Sheryl Browne hilarity thrown in to accompany a great story-line, Ill guarantee it'll put a great big smile on your face.

I tell you something! If this rest home had been available when I was looking for a care home for my dad, he would most certainly by now be living in the Harbour Rest Home.  The characters that live there are quirky, feisty, still full of life with plenty to say and who want to grow old while having as much fun as they possibly can.

I sincerely hope that Sheryl continues to churn out these funny,  romantic and hugely entertaining books for a long time to come.  I've loved each one just a little bit more than the last which just goes to show that her writing just keeps on getting better and better.

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham where she studied art and design. She wears a number of hats. She is a partner in her own business, and ma'am, the foster parents to disabled dogs and an all round lovely lady. Sheryl has always had a passion for writing and has previously been published in America.

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sheryl a couple of times last year. She is absolutely delightful and I can definitely see where the humour in her books comes from. She is like a breath of fresh air, whirling full on into your life and one of her mottos is "life is just too short to be miserable." What wise words!


Sheryl Browne is a mum, a business partner, a school critique partner, and a disabled dog fosterer as well as a lovely lady and fabulous author with a terrific sense of humour which comes through in her writing. She grew up in Birmingham and studied art and design and now lives in Droitwich in the Midlands.

Find out more about Sheryl and her writing at
www.sherylbrowne.com
Her blog can be read
http://sheryls-ramblings.blogspot.co.uk/
You can follow Sheryl on Twitter
You can like Sheryl on Facebook

You can buy this book via Amazon UK or via Amazon.com

Monday, 4 March 2013

What does Sophie keep in her kitchen cupboards?

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome back Nicky Wells 'On Tour' with the second book in her Rock Star Romance Trilogy, Sophie's Run! Read on for the blurb, my review, a peek into Sophie's kitchen and a fabulous double giveaway...


Sophie’s Run

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancĂ©, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.

Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and in Paperback edition from Amazon.comand Amazon.co.uk. You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).

My review....

I've always found it really interesting when a sequel is launched following a debut novel that you've really enjoyed. It makes me ask whether the book lived up to the first.

OMG - in this case it so did! And more!

I got so lost in this delightful, delicious story, that I had to keep telling myself that I wasn't Sophie! I love Nicky Wells' writing style, she is so natural, and so funny as well as warm, romantic and adorable and you are kept guessing about what is going to happen right until the very end.

If the third one in the series was ready, I would have picked it up straight away and devoured that one too! What will I do when this series finishes? I have no idea! But I hope that Mrs Wells has a number of novels up her sleeve to keep me entertained for years to come.
 
5 Stars!


And now it's over to Sophie, who says: "Come into mykitchen…."

Morning! (Or afternoon, or in fact, evening ~ depending onwhere you are!) I’m Sophie from the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You’ve probablymet me on this fabulous blog before, when Kim introduced Sophie’s Turn last year. I’m back! And in more ways than one…

My author, Nicky Wells, and I, we’re on tour at the momentlaunching book 2, Sophie’s Run. Kim has very kindly posted the cover (isn’t itgorgeous? Sapphire Star did a great job!) and blurb and her review above. So while we’re on this blog tour, I’m talkingquite a bit about food. Nicky’s made me cook nearly all the dishes featured inthe books. Man, I’m exhausted!

So today, I thought I’d show you where all this cookinghappens. What do you reckon ~ fancy a rummage round my kitchen? You must excusethe state of my cupboards though, I didn’t get a chance to tidy or stock up. LOL! Without further ado…won’t you come and join me in my kitchen?
 

Ta-da! This is it. Mylair, my sanctum, my kitchen.



I’m just going tostart at one end and open cupboards, ok. So here goes… spices first. I rememberbeing a student; I counted myself lucky to have salt and pepper. These days, Ihave pretty much everything my supermarket has to offer, by way of spices. I cancook Italian, Indian, Thai or Chinese at the drop of a hat, no problem. (Well,at least it’s not a problem on the spice front; the actual cooking might be adifferent matter!)

 

Moving round thekitchen, this is my ‘oils, stocks, flour and sugar’ cupboard. Riveting stuff,huh? Can I just say I’m very particular about my olive oil? It may be asupermarket own brand, but it has to be, always, Extra Virgin First Cold Pressing. Oh yeah.

 
 


My baking cupboard. Ireally ought to do something about spacing out those shelves better, right?

 

My stock cupboard.You know, pasta, rice, tins, that kind of thing. It’s not terribly well stockedbut I am waiting for a supermarketdelivery. Can you spot my favourite staple? (And no, it’s not pasta) :-)

 


What’s with all theplastic bags, you wonder? I know, it’s a bit weird, but these pasta packets(and rice, for that matter), they always split on me. So I put them into foodstorage bags. I should get plastic containers really. It’s on my to-do list,honest!

Moving on swiftly…where shall we go next? Oh yes. Pots and pans. *Belly laughs* What was Ithinking? You don’t want to see my pots and pans. Scroll down, quick!

 

Now this probablylooks weird but it’s my drinks fridge. It’s not very well stocked either asthere’s no party planned right at this point, and all the launch bubbly hasbeen consumed. A drinks fridge, Ihear you guffaw? I know, I know. It wasn’t my idea, Dan made me have one. Hecomes and stocks it periodically.

 

Speaking of drinks…You know I run on tea and coffee, right? Well, here’s my eclectic collection ofmugs…

 


…and the mostimportant cupboard of all, the tea-and-coffee-cupboard. In fact, I must go andmake a cuppa now.

 

 
*waves* Ah, that’sbetter. Well, thank you for coming. Hope you enjoyed mooching round my littlekitchen, LOL. I would love to hear from you about your favourite cupboard andyour favourite staples… in your own kitchen!:-)

 

But wait, wait, wait,before you go! Don’t miss out on this fabulous give-away to celebrate thelaunch of Sophie’s Run!!

 

Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS

1) Standard Giveaway

Nicky Wells is giving awayone delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!
The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in yourcountry. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wellsreserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at herdiscretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shippingpurposes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

2. Bonus Giveaway

Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email yourcomment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.comand your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.

GOOD LUCK AND ROCK ON!And a huge Thank You to the fabulous Kim Nash for hosting me here today. Youare a star!!


About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

RockOn! Nicky Wells writes funand glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl nextdoor.  A signed author with U.S.publisher, SapphireStar Publishing,Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky lovesrock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teachingassistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved tothe United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband andtheir two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcherand project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based inLondon and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radiointerviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You canalso follow Nicky on Twitter andfind her on Facebook.Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing, Amazon and, of course, Goodreads.

 

Wow, awesome! Let's hear it for Sophie's Run and we want to know... what's in YOUR kitchen?
  

 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Review - Radio Gaga by Nell Dixon


A breath of fresh air with tons of humour.

Chloe Lark returns home from her job at Live It Up Radio to find that her boyfriend has moved out. It wasn't a massive surprise to her as they were having problems but this was somehow overshadowed by the fact that a really handsome young man had moved in in the flat above her.

Chloe is a radio researcher and part-time presenter for the station and when she is given an opportunity to do more on the radio she feels that her time has come and that life just keeps getting better. All she has to do is find out who her mystery stalker is!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and as I read the last word just had a great big smile on my face.  I was left with that warm fuzzy feeling when you read a great book.

Radio Gaga was fast-paced, hilarious in parts, extremely compelling and incredibly easy to read. It was fresh and exciting. This book had a great storyline and I can honestly say that I was completely flabbergasted at one particular point in the book that I certainly did not see coming. It was definitely an OMG moment.

I read this book over two nights staying up extremely late and not wanting to sleep because I had been drawn into the brilliant storyline so much right from the very first page.

Chloe reminded me a little of Bridget Jones but was actually more likeable. I felt as if I had become one of her friends as I learned more and more about her and her character developed. The places came alive for me too and I felt that there were places that I knew well. Of course I didn't, but Nell's fabulous writing skills made me feel like I did.

Radio Gaga was a fun to read and incredibly entertaining book. This was my first Nell Dixon book and I am absolutely sure will not be my last! I have looked at Nell's website and she has written an amazing huge list of books which are available to buy!

Nell Dixon and her hubby live in the Black Country.  She has three daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA's  prestigious romance prize in 2007 and 2010, she writes warm-hearted contemporary romance for publishers in the US and the UK.


Find out more about Nell at her website www.nelldixon.com
Follow Nell on Twitter
Like Nell on Facebook
You can buy this book via Amazon UK or Amazon.com
 

Review - Voodoo Wedding by Janice Horton


This was such a delightful novella, I actually wished it had gone on for longer.

In the sequel to How Do You Voodoo? model Nola and Dr-to-be Lewis plan their wedding. What starts out as a very small intimate wedding with no press coverage turns into something completely different!

Janice's other books include Bagpipes and Bullshot and Reach For The Stars both of which are funny, warm, and full of life.


I have always loved the way Janice writes about the Scottish highlands in a way which makes you feel that you can reach out and touch it.  She has such an easy-to-read writing style too. 

This was a wonderful story with a perfect ending, in fabulous locations and with such a beautifully picturesque setting that if I could have jumped in my car and gone there myself I absolutely would.

The only downside of this novella for me was the fact that it was a novella and not a full length book.


I do love to keep turning the pages of Janice's books, getting involved with her beautifully created characters, Picturing the scene and being able to smell touch and feel.
About the author: Janice lives in Scotland and writes romantic novels with humour which are, for the most part, inspired by the beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When Janice is not writing novels, she write lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers. She edits The Review Chair for the innovative reader/writer website loveahappyending.com and is also the bestselling author of the humorous romance ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot
 
Janice Blogs at: www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com



You can buy this book via Amazon UK