An Unpopular Opinion on…YALC

Posted on 27 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

An Unpopular Opinion on… YALC

So before I say anything in this post I want to make it absolutely clear that I think YALC is an incredible thing and I am incedibly glad that it exists. Everything works very hard to make it all come together and this post is not to diminish that. I am so stunned, amazed and proud of every single member of the publishing industry who have helped to make YALC happen year on year.

That being said, I have some THOUGHTS and OPINIONS that seem to be very UNPOPULAR.

(Also please note these are also personal thoughts and reflect only my opinion and experience!)


The Hype

Oh boy! What a hype! For the last few months all I’ve seen on twitter is HOW EXCITED everyone is for YALC and guys I am SO HAPPY for you. (No, really, I am!) I’m also so glad that you’re able to go and can share with the world how you’re going and how you’re going to have the best time. I think that is absolutely great.

But on the other side, from personal experience I have also never found YALC to be THAT exciting.

Mostly YALC is just busy, full of anxieties as you try to meet your favourite authors, and a little bit of exhaustion and fatigue thrown in. Of course there is excitement and happiness and fun but it’s not – for me at least – all sunshine and rainbows.

Now the real problem I have with the hype is that it mostly makes me feel so excluded. As a bookworm, a YA lover AND a book blogger, shouldn’t I be SUPER EXCITED too? And as I’m not, is there something wrong with me? Being excited for YALC seems to be expected and not being excited is making me feel like an alien and an outsider which in turn is making me not feel welcome on social media at the moment.


The Event Itself

I have been to YALC since it was first created and each year has been different and each year I get myself psyched up for it. I feel the excitement running through my veins and I am certain that I am going to have the best weekend of the year.

And without fail, every year I find that it is never as good as I think it’s going to be. Something always ends up going a little bit wrong.

The first year it was just TOO MUCH. Too busy, too hot, too loud, too anxiety-filled.

The second year was quieter but it was also filled me with anxiety. Plus exhaustion and I just found myself wandering from room to room at one point just needing some air and feeling far too overwhelmed.

Last year was the better year but it was also just not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. The most exciting part being the Harry Potter party but as it was at the end of the day and I was already spent by this point, it still wasn’t the most amazing thing.

Now I’m not saying that YALC is not exciting – it is! But mostly that FOR ME, YALC just isn’t quite right. I’m not a LOUD person, I’m not a CROWD person and I have anxieties and I’m an introvert. Meaning that YALC is essentially just TOO MUCH for me.

Every. Single. Time.

And I have come to terms with that this year and it is why I will not be going this year.


YALC is not for me

So to summarise, YALC just isn’t the right thing for me. In fact, I am not sure conventions will ever be for me. I feel the same about music festivals and sometimes even music gigs as well. Even if it’s just a one-time event, sometimes it’s just too much for me to handle – and that’s absolutely okay.

I just wish it was easier to “stand up” and say YALC is not for me or I am not excited about YALC but I feel like I will get a lot of hate for not liking the convention and that is incredibly sad.

So here’s hoping you’ll all still love me even though I don’t think I’ll ever go to YALC again – and hey, maybe it’s best to leave the event to the actual YA’s eh?

Will you be at YALC this year?

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Posted on 27 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


YA Contemporaries To Dive Into This Summer

Posted on 23 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

YA Contemporaries to Dive Into This Summer

One of the greatest things about summer is being able to sit outside in the sunshine and read a good heart-warming book. Thus I always find that contemporary books are best kept for the summer period. They’re usually quick to devour, quick to fall in love with and easy to just get that chilled out – bliss – feeling.

Thus, here’s just a few YA Contemporaries that I would highly recommend you dive into this summer!


Five YA Contemporaries Released Prior to 2017

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Or basically any book written by Sarah Dessen. I’ve actually only read three of her books myself – I plan to rectify this as soon as I can! – but I absolutely love every single book of hers I’ve read. There’s just this feeling I get when I read her books that I can not get enough of!

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Oh, I have SO MUCH love for Morgan Matson. Again, I’ve not read all of her books yet – what is wrong with me? – but I have loved every book of hers that I have read and this one is my absolute favourite of them all! It has a strong friendship element too it which I really admire.

Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne
Sadly this is the only Holly Bourne book that I’ve read but it is a fantastic one that I cannot recommend strongly enough. It covers some heavy topics but it’s also fun, interesting and heart-warming. Plus it deals with OCD SO WELL.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
If you have not read this book yet, I urge you to rectify this as soon as you can! Lisa Williamson is a very talented author who must not be missed and this book is revolutionary – seriously. This book has it’s emotions running through it but it is ultimately a very heart-warming and thought-provoking read that I guarantee you’ll love.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Oh my gosh! This is one of those super, super, super cute reads. It’s completely charming and incredibly irresistible (sorry for all the alterations) and I honestly think you should read it if you haven’t already! I also need to make sure I read more of Benjamin Alire Saenz‘s books!


Five YA Contemporaries Released This Year

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton
This is a book that kind of got me out of a reading funk but that isn’t the only reason I love it. I have loved Keris Stainton‘s books for a while and this one just kicks them all out of the park. It is emotional, heart-warming and just super cute. Honestly, make sure you read this one!

When Dimple met Rishi by Sandya Menon
Honestly there are not enough words to describe how much I absolutely love this book. I devoured it quickly and just gushed so much throughout it. I loved how geeky Dimple was, how charming and kind Rishi was, and artistic. How strong and powerful Dimple was. And basically how well they worked together. I loved the book so much and I urge you to the highest degree to read this book!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
I have been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer for many years now and while she normally writes paranormal books, this contemporary book is just as wonderful and powerful as all of her other books. Brigid has a way of writing characters that suckers you straight into their lives and makes you feel so much empathy for them. This is a very emotional read but it also incredible and cute too.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Last year I found myself blown away by Beautiful Broken Things and loved how Sara Barnard brought the whole book together. So I’m not surprised that I ended up loving this book too. A Quiet Kind of Thunder is really lovely and super cute. It’s strong and shows how amazing humans can be as well. Honestly, I cannot tell you enough how much I believe you should read this book!

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Leaving the best to last, maybe? Probably. This book stole my heart. Figuratively obviously but it really, truly did. Adam Silvera has created a very unique premise with this book but it was the characters that made this book for me. They’re both so different and incredible and together their story is just amazing. I loved, I laughed, I cried, I lived. And it was wonderful. Please make sure you do not miss this story.


What are some of your favourite YA contemporaries to read in the summer?

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Posted on 23 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


I Have Never by Camilla Isley

Posted on 21 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

I Have Never by Camilla Isley

I-have-never

Hello All!
Today is my spot on the I Have Never tour and I am here with my review of this glorious book!
Here’s more information on it first though.


About the Book

Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

Goodreads. Amazon. Google Play. Kobo. iBooks.


My Review

Every Now

So the very first thing I have to mention is that I have not read the first book in this series yet but I am definitely going to be making sure I do that very soon because I really loved this book! I Have Never hooked me within the first few pages and I absolutely loved it until the very last page. Okay, there were a few niggling issues for me personally because I sort of hate how people are described aesthetically BUT as this is a “me” issue and not a book issue, it was easy to move past. I mean, I know a fair few people who would be quite happy reading about the description of a male’s bottom! That being said, I read this book in two sittings (and only because I was too tired to continue in one sitting but I did get to 1am before stopping!) It was such a wonderfully cute and lovely romance with just a few obstacles in the way…

And Again

I Have Never is somewhat predictable but that was totally okay because one of the things that is really important in “chick lit” books is that the characters are appealing, and they are this indeed. I absolutely loved the way that Blair’s life changed so drastically in this book and how it made her realise that the way she was living life wasn’t living at all. I loved how she learned to go with the flow a little more and to be less rigid about things. It was such a fantastic transformation. Plus it meant that the book was full of interesting things. Specifically the thing that I loved the most about this book was Blair’s list and how each chapter was her chance to tick something off the list. It was really brilliant and helped to make the book that little bit more exciting.

We have

As mentioned above, characters are always incredibly important in romance books where by you know how essentially things are going to turn out. Thus I was very pleased by the very wonderful array of characters in I Have Never. I loved Blair and I loved everyone in the office she works at. I love how lively the whole office was and how it is exactly the kind of work place that I would love to work at – and hell, I do have some incredible team members in my job! But the best character by far was Chevron. She was the absolute cutest character ever. I loved how she played such an important role in the book and how she just seemed to bring everyone and everything together in the end. She would definitely be a very good reason to pick this book up again and again!

To Change

All in all, I kinda likes this book. Okay, so I kinda loved this book. It was cute, a quick read and the story has stayed with me ever since I put the book down. It’s the kind of book that makes you think. It is also just so lovely and full of love and hope. I am very excited to go back and read the first book in this series now and to wait in anticipation for the next book in the series as well – and I am really hoping that Chevron might make an appearance! So if you’re looking for a heart-warming, addictive romance series, you should definitely get your hands on this book!


About the Author

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Website. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest.


Will you read this book?

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Posted on 21 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Five Favourite Villains

Posted on 20 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Hi All!
Today is my spot on the blog tour for The Lost Boy by Christina Henry and I have for you all a wonderful guest post from Christina about her five favourite villains!

Before we get to that though, here’s more information on the book!


About the Book

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan. Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. He wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever. Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend. Peter Lies.

Goodreads. Amazon UK. Waterstones.


Top Five Villains

by Christina Henry

There’s just something about a villain, isn’t there? They’re the bad guys but maybe they aren’t as bad as we think. Or maybe they are as bad as we think but they still get all the juiciest lines, the best costumes, the coolest gadgets or the most flair. Villains, even the most vile, are often the most magnetic and memorable characters in a story. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Bill Sikes from OLIVER TWIST by Charles Dickens
When I think of villains, I think of Bill Sikes. There’s nothing soft or sympathetic about him. He’s brutal and uncompromising and Dickens never tries to pretend Sikes is anything that he’s not. Bill Sikes doesn’t need or deserve your compassion. He’s a bad, bad man, and every time I read this book I want poor Nancy to somehow escape him but she never does.

2. Iago from OTHELLO by Shakespeare
OTHELLO is easily the most difficult to watch (for me, anyway) of Shakespeare’s works. Iago is so crafty, so cunning, so terribly convincing. He finds the tiny bruise of weakness inside each person and worries at it until it is a gaping wound. The claustrophobic tragedy of this play, wrought only by Iago’s words, is utterly heartbreaking.

3.Hannibal Lecter from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris
Our collective image of this character has been indelibly shaped by Anthony Hopkins’ superior performance in the film adaptation, but even without it this character is one of the most disturbing to ever appear in literature. The guy eats people. That’s pretty awful.

4. Count Dracula from DRACULA by Bram Stoker
Long before Anne Rice made vampires tragic and sexy there was Dracula. And the Dracula of Stoker’s original novel is not a misunderstood hero looking for your sympathy. He’s an unrelenting predator, a fiend, a creature of the night to be feared. He is the bad thing knocking at your door, and you definitely should not invite him in.

5. Cooger and Dark from SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury
What could be more wonderful than a traveling carnival? What could be more terrible than the men who run that carnival? Bradbury describes them thus, “The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by death-watch beetles, and thrive the centuries.” If Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show comes to your town, ignore the luring scent of cotton candy and wait until they pass on.


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Who is your favourite Villain?

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Posted on 20 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Second Chances by Minna Howard

Posted on 16 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Second Chances by Minna Howard

Hello All!
Today is my spot on the Second Chances blog tour and I am here to tell you all about this fantastic book!


About the Book

Second Chances - jacket Succumbing to a rather clichéd midlife crisis, Dan Haywood swaps his family for an expensive red sports car and a younger woman. After 24 years of marriage, his wife Sarah is left to pick up the pieces.
Trying her best to re-style her life, comfort hurt children, make time for ‘helpful’ friends and maintain her burgeoning career as a dress designer, Sarah feels pulled in a hundred directions. And it doesn’t help that obstacles – mostly in the form of other middle-aged men – seem to conspire against her.
Proud of herself for moving house and starting to build an independent life, she is shocked when Robert Maynard, her rather dashing new next-door neighbour, insists that the house was promised to him. Now she is destined to be pulled into his life by events beyond her control.
After one failed marriage, will she be able to find happiness again? And do second chances really come to those who wait?

Goodreads. Amazon. Kobo. iBooks. Google Books.


About the Author

Howard_Minna Minna has had an exciting career in fashion journalism and now writes full time, whilst enjoying time with her grandsons and working as an occasional film and TV extra. She lives in London.

Facebook. Twitter.


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Posted on 16 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


The Essential Carl Mahogany; Interview & Giveaway

Posted on 12 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

The Essential Carl Mahogany; Interview & Giveaway

Hi All!
Today I am here to tell you all about The Essential Carl Mahogany and to interview the author. On top of that, I’m also hosting a giveaway over on my twitter! Details of that can be found below.


About the Book

Carl Mahogany Cover What can an award-winning Nashville singer-songwriter learn about himself by agreeing to a best-of tour in a beat up old van? If it means getting out from under the thumb of a label that considers him washed up, he’s willing to find out. At least until an ex-lover wants to come along for the ride.

Carl Mahogany’s not your average protagonist. In the practiced drawl of the aging country singer, and echoing Edward Abbey’s Henry Lightcap, Boddicker takes us across the country in an Americana-steeped journey through Mahogany’s roots. Encounters with old friends and lovers, including the Eisenhower Interstate System, a firecracker tenured professor, former bandmates, and a down-to-earth small town mechanic, shake the dust out of Mahogany’s creases to revision his life.

If a lifetime of travel, songwriting and performing equates to learning to work with the monsters inside us, The Essential Carl Mahogany is that journey. Grab a six pack, settle into the cushions, and come along for the ride.

Amazon


Interview with Zach Boddicker

What inspired The Essential Carl Mahogany?
The answer to this may be lost to history. I do remember having gotten to the point where I refused to watch any more musician/artist biopics and documentaries. So many of them follow the rise-fall-redemption paradigm, focused on industry pressure and substance abuse. There are so many other ways to depict the complex trials of a successful, working artist. Having written several short stories in college, and unaware of any novel written about a professional songwriter, I decided it was time to go for it.

Where did the moniker and personality of Carl Mahogany come from?
The name “Carl Mahogany” came from a quip made at a backyard 4th of July horseshoe tournament I attended in 2005, and it just stuck. When I started the book, I wanted an artist-protagonist who could feasibly reach the top of their game with no college degree, trust fund or traces of nepotism; someone who could still move about the general population without being noticed. If I were to run into a real version of a songwriter like Carl, I’m not sure I would recognize them – even with being familiar with their work.

The Essential Carl Mahogany is the first novel published by M12 / Last Chance Press. How did you two connect – and what made them decide to publish your book?
Richard Saxton (Creative Director of M12) happened to be at a 4H Royalty show at the Lion’s Lair several years ago. I didn’t meet or speak with him that particular night, but we eventually connected, and with their company focus on rural art and artists, I insisted that we collaborate. I contributed a short story to their first publication A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier. After Carl won an unpublished novel contest a few years ago and made the finals in another, Saxton said “why don’t we put out your book?”

Do you see yourself in any of your characters in the book?
Definitely – there’s some aspect of all of the main characters, except Lloyd. Bill, Carl and Rhonda are all pretty good improvisors when it comes to handling the disruptions and chaos of life. Their sense of humor enables this more than anything. Carl takes several more beatings than anyone else in this story, but he keeps grinding forward with his new project. Bill and Rhonda have gone through their own messes previously and have earned their ability to see the humor and absurdity of all of the knuckleballs that have come their way. I suppose this is why I identify with these characters the most. It’s an ongoing aspiration, at least.

Are any of those six a favorite of yours?
It depends on my mood. I’d probably choose Rhonda as my go-to character. She’s naturally non-judgemental, an improvisor, focused, highly-skilled and unapologetically passionate about what she does.

You’re a musician, as well as a writer. How long have you been a musician and what type of music do you play?
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10, and then picked up pedal steel at 19. I started playing bars at 18 with a “modern country” cover band, which led to me starting a “classic country” band with Ben O’Connor (Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, Matt Skinner Band). No one was doing that up in Fort Collins at the time, so people started coming to check it out.

One of these individuals was Karl Alvarez of Descendents / ALL fame. He brought me on board with Drag the River, which to that point was just an acoustic duo. We got the full-band version of DTR going, and I spent about five years recording and touring with them.

My main project since 2008 or so is a four-piece band called 4H Royalty. It’s been more of a long-term art project than a working band. People have described our sound as a combination of the Replacements, Billie Joe Shaver, Thin Lizzy, Meat Puppets and late-seventies Springsteen.

So, given your history in music, were any parts of your story inspired by real-life events?
From the start, I anticipated receiving accusations that this story is just a thinly-veiled autobiography, so I over-compensated by making sure nearly everything that happens in this book is made from scratch (to the best of my ability). None of the major plot points have happened to me, or to anyone I know personally, but several minor plot points, characters, details, and locations are based on, or influenced by, real-life experiences, hearsay, and unreliable memories. Several!

What do you think will surprise readers most about your book?
The depiction of small-town/rural humans as creative, dynamic individuals with complex lives and diverse opinions.

What fascinates you about writing?
I like the act of smashing conflicting or disparate ideas/philosophies/conventions together and seeing what happens.

What about music?
Same as above, though a three or four-minute song isn’t the ideal vehicle for a complex story. It’s more of a flash-fiction exercise, with some elements of poetry involved.

What authors do you like to read? Any that have been a particularly strong influence on your own writing?
Kent Haruf, Kurt Vonnegut and Larry McMurtry have been consistent favorites over the years. I’m currently working my way through the Goodreads Literary Westerns list, and researching the lesser-known pulp western writers of old.

Do you have any plans for more books in 2017 and beyond?
I have a handful of somewhat-developed ideas for future novels and short stories. One seems to be wanting more attention than the others, so I’m in the outline stage with that. It will involve a younger protagonist and his escape from a quasi-religious commune, and his adventures thereafter. I’m anticipating there’ll be truck drivers, journalists, motorcycle club folks and all sorts of local color scattered about.


About the Author

Zach Boddicker Zach Boddicker grew up living the country life north of Laporte, Colorado. Ever more interested in rock bands and art than hunting, sports and other traditional red-blooded American activities, it was when he finally got his hands on a guitar that his journey into a life of music was catapulted into action.

In his formative years, Boddicker listened to and learned from everything he could get his hands on, but found direction one Monday night at a poignant performance at The Continental Club in Austin, Tex. by country guitar legend Junior Brown. This steered the author and musician toward honky-tonk, country and western swing.

Boddicker holds a B.A. in English and a MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University, which have proven useful for his endeavors into publishing. In 2014, his short story “Equipment” was published in “A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier” (Jap Sam Books / M12 Studio). His first book “The Essential Carl Mahogany” (2017), which has been deemed evocative of Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson and Don DeLillo, is the first novel to be published by M12 Studio / Last Chance Press.

In addition to his work as an author, Boddicker has been a staple of the Roots Music scene along the Front Range for 20 years as a member of 4H Royalty, Cowboy Dave Band, Drag the River, and many others. He currently resides in Denver with his wife and two daughters.

Website. Facebook.


The Giveaway

For the chance to win an ebook copy of this book, all you need to do is follow me and RT the below tweet!

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(click the image to go to the tweet)


Will you be reading this book?

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Posted on 12 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock

Posted on 11 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock

Today is my spot on the blog tour for A House to Mend a Broken Heart and I am here today with a review of the book!


About the Book

A House to Mend a Broken Heart - jacketEveryone is hiding from something…

Willow Tree Hall has seen much better days and has been the proud ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Cranley for centuries.

With no qualifications and escaping her past Annie Rogers takes the job as housekeeper to widowed Arthur, the charming current Earl of Cranley. After a bad fall puts Arthur in hospital, it’s up to a reluctant heir apparent Sam Harris, to lend a helping hand and try to find a sustainable future for the Estate.

With the house requiring a full renovation Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth with a team of dodgy builders and Sam watching critically from the side-lines.

With Sam running from his past and Annie hiding from hers, just maybe together they can bring Willow Tree Hall back to life.

The start of a beautiful new series focusing on the lives and loves, trial and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

There’s No

I’ve been in a big cute romance mood lately and thus when I heard about this book, I instantly added it to my TBR and I am so utterly glad that I did. This book definitely earns the description of a cute romance. I was absolutely gushing by the end of it and pinning all of my hopes that everything would come together in the end. It is one of those books that is heart-warming and hopeful and just makes you feel all gooey inside. Which is such a lovely feeling. While there was an obvious plotline that you could see forming from the very beginning, I still truly loved this book because the characters floated off of the page so easily. I would certainly recommend this book and may even add it to my re-read pile for sure. I will absolutely be making sure to read further Alison Sherlock stories.

Place Like

A House to Mend a Broken Heart follows a very traditional story line about a man and a woman falling in love. But it is also so much more than that. Alison Sherlock has created a story that you cannot help but fall in love with. With shining and vibrant characters and a plot that doesn’t stay still, this is a charming book. What’s more, the book starts out with everything in pieces until everything comes together – which was a perfect metaphor for the house in the book too. Everything fell together neatly and I truly loved that about this story. What’s more, this book literally feels you with warmth, even as you imagine snow falling down the windows of the house.

A Home Filled

I’ve mentioned this twice already but I cannot tell you how much I loved the characters in this book. Every single one of them. From flirty and fun Aunt Rose to gentle and kind Grandad Arthur, all the way to sweet, self-conscious but incredible Annie. Every character had a distinct and unique personality that made them shine. They all had emotions that they needed to sweat out and thoughts that needed laying on the table. But they were also just such an incredible bunch to read about. I truly loved the family in this book and how they all grew throughout the book. I felt so much for them all and felt such joy when everything went as they wanted it to. Let’s be honest, half the reason I cried and smiled during this book was because all of the characters were so magical.

With Love

A House to Mend a Broken Heart is a delightful, heart-warming, emotional read that I would urge you to read if you want a sweet and cute book to escape into. It’s not just a romance book either. Becuase part of the reason I really loved this book is that it is also about family and finding a place to belong and call home. It is about people coming together and caring for one another and just putting right all the wrongs from the past. This book was utterly lovely and I really don’t think that you will want to miss out on it. So, what are you waiting for? Go get reading!


About the Author

Sherlock_Alison Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and a daft golden retriever.

Twitter.


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Will you read this book?

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Posted on 11 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


Stunt Double by Tamsin Cooke

Posted on 7 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

Stunt Double by Tamsin Cooke

Stunt Double ad

Hello All!

Today is my stop on the Stunt Double blog tour and I am here kicking off the tour with a review of this fantastic and addictive read!


About the Book

9780192749826 Finn is a free-running black belt, with a talent for acting—but when his big break arrives, it’s not the role he was expecting at all.

Recruited as a stunt double, he’s pushed to his limits—scaling walls at high speed, jumping from dizzying heights, and diving into rocky waters—all without any safety gear. He’s determined to push himself, but as the stunts get more dangerous, the lines between movie and reality really start to blur, and it becomes clear that he’ll be luckily to escape this shoot with his life.

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


My Review

Are You

From the title of this book alone, I was intrigued and interested, positive that this was going to be a book that I’d enjoy. Add in that enticing synopsis and I’m sure you can see why I ended up adamant I was going to read this book. Fortunately the book did not disappoint. It was fast-paced, thrilling and intense. A book that I raced through as I found it very difficult to leave it as it stood – I had to know what was going to happen next!

Brave Enough

Tamsin Cooke has created a very addictive, page-turning read with this book that I can see many children really enjoying. What starts as a very safe story, ends up a lot darker and scarier as it goes along and Tamsin really managed to transition this throughout the story really well. It’s natural and really has the reader on the edge of their seat – exactly what you want from such a thrilling adventure book.

For The

There is a vast array of characters in this book but what I love is how Tamsin has made it quite difficult to know who to trust. You’re constantly second guessing things and more wonderful was that I ended up fooled by a few characters. I’d say who but I’m not spoiling anything! My favourite characters were the four teenagers; Finn, Anna, Blake and Mawi. They were all unique and fascinating characters to follow and definitely made this book more interesting.

Real Stunts

Stunt Double was a thrilling, heart-racing adventure book that I really enjoyed. It would suit a ten to fourteen year old well and reminded me of action thriller books like Robert Muchamore‘s Cherub series and Anthony Horrowitz‘s Alex Ryder series. It was fast-paced, action packed and intense in all the ways you could want it to be. Not to mention it was also kind of emotional too. Also the ending has also definitely got me very intrigued! I would absolutely recommend this book to others, especially if you like action adventure stories!


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Posted on 7 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment


Strong But Believable Heroines

Posted on 6 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments

Strong but Believable Heroines

Hello All!
Today is the release day of the fantastic second book in the Robyn Silver series by Paula Harrison and to celebrate I have a wonderful guest post from Paula about Strong but believable heroines!


About the Book

The boldest, brightest new heroine is back: and Robyn Silver’s life hasn’t got any quieter since defeating the evil vampire Pearl in The Midnight Chimes. She’s now a fully fledged Chime Child and monster-hunter-in-training alongside best friends Aiden and Nora. The three suddenly start seeing nightmares – in the form of black beetles – appear around town. Who wants the people of Grimdean to be losing sleep – and why?

Goodreads. Amazon. Waterstones.


Strong but believable heroines

by Paula Harrison

The strong heroine can be a bit of a trope and when a heroine is nothing but strong that doesn’t make for a well-rounded or believable character. In Robyn Silver, I wanted to create a girl who is often strong but has weaknesses too. She doubts herself, especially when challenged by her older siblings. Her efforts to be strong sometimes mask an impetuous side which lands her in hot water! Many stories and characters helped to inspire Robyn Silver but I have to mention:


Jo March in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If ever there was a strong-minded and impetuous character it’s Jo March. She frequently rushes in and regrets what she’s done afterwards. Jo also has a lot of friction with her siblings and Robyn experiences this too as she has four brothers and sisters.


Sophie in Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Sophie doesn’t realise the full extent of her own abilities. She accepts difficult situations and just gets on with things – even when a spell turns her from a girl into an old woman. It’s her stamina and her unwillingness to give up that really see her through.


Lyra in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
As soon as we meet Lyra in Northern Lights we realise that this is a girl with boundless curiosity and nerve. Lyra is also good at forging alliances with others from witches to Texan aeronauts to armoured bears and this gives her a great advantage.


About the Author

Paula Harrison is a best-selling children’s author who has sold more than a million books worldwide. Her books include the Robyn Silver series, the Red Moon Rising trilogy, The Secret Rescuers series, Tiara Friends mysteries and The Rescue Princesses. She wanted to be a writer from a young age but spent many happy years being a primary school teacher first.

Website. Twitter.


Who are your favourite strong believable heroines?

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Posted on 6 July, 2017 by Faye - No Comments


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Posted on 5 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Published: 1st June 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source:: Netgalley Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones

Summary:
he arranged marriage YA romcom you didn’t know you wanted or needed…

Meet Dimple.

Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination.

Meet Rishi.

He’s rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she’s got other plans…

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works even harder to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


When Life

There is always a fear when a book starts to receive a lot of hype that it will never live up to the expectations that have been placed upon it. I had these very concerns over When Dimple Met Rishi but after many of my blogging friends urged me to read it, I decided to push the concerns aside and just get on with reading it. And I cannot be more grateful that I did. In the end, I fell head over heels in love with this book. There is so much to love about it but I don’t want to spoil it too much for you – or over-hype it! But essentially this is a book that has gone instantly on to my favourites shelf and is one that I am certain I will be reading time and time again.

Gives You

When Dimple Met Rishi is the story of a girl who feels trapped in her circumstance and just wants some freedom from her parents and tradition. It’s a coming of age story both for her and the absolutely wonderful Rishi too. Sandhya Menon has done a truly marvelous job of creating characters that are believable, and easy to fall in love with. They’re three-dimensional and adorable. Strong but also weak. On top of all that, this is a character driven storyline and it as an exceptional one at that. It shows that we don’t always get the life we planned but that is okay. It has amazing themes of acceptance, feminism, family love, friendships and perseverance. Last, but certainly not least, Sandhya has created a story that is intensely cute.

Lemons, Just

With a diverse and fascinating cast of characters who are all well thought-out and realistic, Sandhya Menon makes it difficult to choose just one to love. Thus I want to tell you about the two main characters in this book. First, and definitely my absolute favourite, is Dimple. Dimple is strong-willed, passionate and fiery. I loved reading about her and I ultimately loved her journey in the book. Next up is the ever-wonderful Rishi. Rishi is artistic, funny, adorable and caring. The perfect balance for Dimple, of course.

Make Lemonade

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was incredibly cute, wonderfully addictive and filled me with lots of heart-warming feelings. It also had me quite emotional towards the ends – seems I was quite invested in the characters. The storyline may have been a little predictable but to me, that’s totally okay. This book is perfect just the way it is. It’s diverse and it celebrates that so well. It reads well and is just a wonderful story that I will definitely re-read at some point. It is a book that I would highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for something to fill your heart with hope and love.

five stars

** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

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Posted on 5 July, 2017 by Faye - 1 Comment