Review: The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond

Wednesday 31 December 2014 0 comments
Title: The Year of Taking Chances
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 1st January 2015
Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
The bestselling author of The Beach Cafe is back with another warm and witty novel, all about New Year's Eve and brand new starts...

Because love is always worth the risk...

It's New Year's Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There's music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It's going to be a night to remember.

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum's house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who's keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma's dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.

But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home - all the things they've taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

My Top Five Books of 2014

Wednesday 24 December 2014 2 comments
Happy Christmas Eve! I've been excited to share my Top Reads of 2014 and thought Christmas Eve would be the perfect time to do so. I've been Tweeting about it for a while, and may have mentioned in a couple of reviews that certain books might be in my Top Reads, well ignore everything I've said and anything you might have read as my opinion has changed numerous times.

The first thing I noticed is that it's very crime oriented! I have read books from so many different genres in 2014, but crime is my absolute favourite and it's always those books that tend to stick in my mind more than most and it's the genre I've read the most since I was a teenager. Anyway, here it is:

Guest Post: Christmas Gifts for Foodies by Stella Newman

Tuesday 16 December 2014 0 comments

To celebrate the release of Stella Newman's A Pear Shaped Christmas, I am kicking off the blog tour today with a seriously amazing guest post where Stella tells us her ideal Christmas gifts for foodies. You WILL salivate, and you will want to sample everything listed here. I did anyway! I'm usually in London on this very day every year, sadly this year I'm not. Online shopping it may have to be... Hope you enjoy!

A Pear Shaped Christmas is out now, published by Headline

Review: Fire Point by Sean Black (5/5)

The sixth novel in the Ryan Lock series. Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson are in Los Angeles and on the trail of an unlikely cult who are planning on taking their message to the world in the most devastating fashion imaginable.

Guest Review: The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths (3.5/5)

Thursday 11 December 2014 0 comments
Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another 'trick', the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger...

Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (3.5/5)

Tuesday 9 December 2014 0 comments
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

Review: Together for Christmas by Carol Rivers (5/5)

Monday 8 December 2014 2 comments
August 1914, London. Britain has just declared war on Germany, and the whole country seems to be in uproar. Flora, Hilda and Will, who grew up together in St Boniface orphanage sit in the sunshine in Hyde Park on a rare day off, discussing the impending war and the changes it will bring to their lives. Will means to go off to fight, Hilda hopes to better her current lot in life as a maid at the charitable institute, Hailing House, but Flora is content with her job as assistant to the Isle of Dogs' kindly Doctor Tapper. Taking a vow, they pledge to always be there for each other, come what may.

It soon becomes clear that the war will not be over by Christmas, as so many thought, and the first zeppelin raids bring casualties flooding into the surgery where Flora works. Tragedy strikes in the trenches, too, and Will returns home with physical and mental wounds too deep for Flora to be able to nurse back to health.

In the meantime, Hilda has taken herself away from London to work as a maid at the sumptuous house of Adelphi. But it is not long before she finds herself out of her depth. And the consequences of her choices will lead to a shocking discovery that will change the course of the three orphans lives forever.

Review: A-Z of Hell: Ross Kemp's How Not to Travel the World by Ross Kemp (4.5/5)

Friday 5 December 2014 0 comments
Ross Kemp's fascinating guide of the worst places in the world.

Want to know where to discover the perfect sunset in Fiji? How about a tropical paradise in St Lucia, or one of the world’s beautiful natural wonders in the Alps?
Well this is NOT the book for you.

But if you want to know about meeting transvestite prostitutes in a South African prison, or being attacked for a can of tuna in the Congo, buying crack cocaine in a Venezuelan prison or being chased by dogs in a haunted house in Belize, then look no further. Ross Kemp has visited the worst places in the world, and here they are in all their horror – in a handy A to Z format.
This is not one hell of a travel guide. This is a travel guide to hell.

Review: Mickey's War by Sandra Prior (4.5/5)

Thursday 4 December 2014 0 comments
It’s been fifteen years since Mickey Taylor – known as “Dangerous” in the seedy East End – was released from prison. Now, he and his brother, Martin, are living off the successes of one of the biggest underground criminal networks in all of London.

Since all of the crime is hidden behind legitimate businesses, Mickey should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. He should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. But as Mickey has learned over the years, once you start to get comfortable, your world turns upside down. It happened first when Mickey’s father was killed, and then again when Mickey’s mother died.

This time, it’s greed that sends Mickey’s life spiraling out of control.

As soon as London is awarded the 2012 Olympics, his mind flashes to a plot of land in Stratford that the Taylor family has owned for 40 years. Always looking for an earner, Mickey figures he can make a massive fortune by selling the land now. So, he decides to evict the man and his family living on it – none other than family friend Frankie, a man known on the streets as the King of the Gypsies. However, things get anything but friendly when Frankie refuses to find a new spot for his thriving scrap metal business. Instead of backing down, Frankie vows to destroy Mickey if he tries to move forward with his eviction plans.

Mickey can’t focus all of his attention on this latest feud, though. While he’d love nothing more than to bury Frankie and make his fortune, he gets pulled off course by a drug shipment that’s been hijacked. In the blink of an eye, Mickey is forced to fight two major foes at the same time. It’s the ultimate war on two fronts.

He’s well-versed in danger, but has he taken on too much this time? Will Mickey’s war drag him down for good?

Review: The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown (5/5)

Wednesday 3 December 2014 0 comments
Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…

Quercus #GreatestGift Christmas Campaign (5 Book Giveaway!)

Tuesday 2 December 2014 0 comments

I am thrilled and honoured to be part of Quercus' Christmas campaign! I have 5 books to giveaway, which I have chosen myself. You can find more about the campaign on the Quercus website here. I have been asked to write a short post about why I think books are the #GreatestGift.

Guest Post: The Inspiration for Doggo by Mark B. Mills

Monday 1 December 2014 1 comments
Today I'm excited to be kicking off the Waiting for Doggo blog tour with a short guest post from author Mark B. Mills about the inspiration for Doggo. Hope you enjoy and if you haven't read my review yet of this fantastic book you can do so here

One man. One dog. One big love. The perfect novel for anyone who loves MARLEY AND ME, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or ONE DAY.

No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.

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