Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Book News - A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick


The bit on the back…

There's an old Cornish saying: 'Save a stranger from the sea, he'll turn your enemy...'

When her reclusive grandmother becomes too frail to live alone, Gabriella Blythe moves into the remote waterside cabin on Frenchman's Creek which has been her grandmother's home for decades. Once a celebrated artist, Jaunty's days are coming to a close but she is still haunted by events in her past, particularly the sinking of Lancasteria during the war.

Everything is fine until a handsome stranger arrives in a storm, seeking help. Fin has been left a family legacy: a delicate watercolour of a cabin above the creek which leads him to this beautiful stretch of Cornish water. As Fin begins to pick at the clues of the painting, he is drawn into the lives of Gabe and Jaunty, unraveling a remarkable story of identity and betrayal...

Release Date: 22nd May 2014

Publisher: Orion


30 Day Book Challenge - Day 30

Day 30 – Your Favourite Book of All Time


My favourite Chick-Lit book of all time is…. Johnny Be Good by Paige Toon. I just love it, I always, always go back to it, a bit like Johnny and Meg going back to each other!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review of Down to You - M Leighton

The bit on the back…

When college student Olivia Townsend returned home to help her father run his business, she never imagined a complication like Cash and Nash Davenport - twin brothers different in so many ways but with one thing in common: an uncontrollable desire for Olivia.

Cash is dangerous, sexy, and bad to the bone - a man whose kisses make Olivia forget she is playing with fire. Nash is successful, reliable and intensely passionate - and already taken.

But Olivia is in for a surprise. These boys have a secret that should make her run away as far and as fast as she can. If only it wasn't too late. A sensual game between three players has begun, and it's about to spin deliriously out of control...


This is the second of Michelle’s books that I’ve read and it’s the first in her Bad Boys series. I downloaded this straight after reading “All the Pretty Lies” with absolutely no hesitation and it totally delivered.

Down to You is all about Olivia and the introduction Davenport Twins into her life. Nash is a good guy; steady, reliable, a lawyer. Cash is everything that Olivia is trying to stay away from – a bad boy. How easy is it for her to resist the attraction to either brother when they’re identical but opposite in so many ways?

I really liked Olivia’s character in this story. I loved her introduction to both brothers and how they both instantly wormed their way into her life. I was expecting to find Olivia a little like the heroine in Michelle’s book “All the Pretty Lies” but she’s actually quite the opposite. She’s independent where Sloane is told how to live her life by her father and brothers and I think she’s also hardened a little due to her relationship with her mother and her previous relationships with bad boys.

The story is told from the POV of the three characters and it’s mostly easy to keep track of who is who, sometimes I thought I had read the chapter from the wrong character but that all gets cleared up towards the end of the book. I liked that there was a triple POV at play here because I flew through the book and it gave you a really good idea of the feelings from all of the characters.

There are two seriously hot book boyfriends in this story – the twins. The Davenports are gorgeous and cocky without being arrogant and both of them have their own personalities, and traits that attract Olivia. For me it was always Cash, right from the start he won out over Nash – probably because he’s the bad boy.


The story takes a rather MASSIVE twist near the end which left me speechless and made me want to jump straight on to the next book – so I did! 

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 29

Day 29 – A Book Everyone Hated But You Liked


Hmm… I really can’t think of a book that everyone hated. A book I’ve read recently that got mixed reviews was Spare Brides by Adele Parks and there was a lot of criticism from some of her fans for the time jump. Here is my review.


Monday, 28 April 2014

Get To Know Me Blog Tag!

I was tagged in this post by Jenny from www.jennyinneverland.worpress.com and it started on our fellow friend and blogger Laura's page She Loves To Read.

1) Tell us 5 random facts about you

Thinking about 5 facts about you is quite hard! Here goes -

I love shoes! Love them, don’t wear a lot of the ones that I have but I like to buy them!
I buy magazines and only look at the pictures.
I can play the piano and the flute.
I have a hat that looks like a Highland Cow.
I love Me to You bears, and have quite a collection including the Blue Nose Friends.

2) When is your birthday?

My birthday is on 24th June, which is also my blog birthday! My birthday is very close to the summer holidays here in Scotland so I’ve been in a few different countries when it comes to celebrating my birthday!

3) What is your favourite colour?

My favourite colour is pink. When I was younger it was purple and I used to have these paint palettes and I would never have any purple left! I changed to liking pink when I grew up a bit and it’s still my favourite colour.

4) What is your favourite memory?

I have loads of favourite memories! I don’t know how to narrow it down to just the one! I lot of new memories were created the year after my gran died because we spent a lot of time getting to know my papa on his own instead of part of the Gran and Papa duo. We took him for his very first Indian meal where he wrapped up the rice in a naan bread like a pro, had us all in stitches too. What a guy!

5) Describe a day in your life

A day in my life usually starts off with not being able to get out of bed because generally I can’t be bothered! Then I head to work, early so I can get home early to beat traffic. I work as an accountant for our local NHS and I really do quite enjoy it. My parents both work in the NHS so it kind of makes sense that I ended up in the NHS too! Then I come home, help with dinner (sometimes) and then read/blog the night away!

6) Name 5 of your favourite songs

Dancing Through Life – The Wicked Soundtrack
The Blame Game – You Me At Six
Yeah – Usher
I Bless Your Name – Praise Gathering Glasgow feat. Elizabeth, Bethany and Brad Goodine
Walking in Memphis - Lonestar


7) If you could only eat 1 thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

I was tagged in this by Jenny (www.jennyinneverland.wordpress.com) who started her answer to this question with Dominos pizza and I really almost agree with this super answer, but just pipping it at the post, is probably my mum’s macaroni cheese. mmmmmmmmmmmm

8) What is something you really dislike?

I had to stop writing this to go to the dentist, so I suppose that is something I really dislike! When I was younger I had braces on my teeth and my gums have a total pain memory now! Every time I think about it they ache so I hate, HATE, going to the dentist.

9) Summer or Winter?

Probably summer! I love the sun, I love feeling warm, getting into the car at the end of the day and seeing how hot the temperature gauge thinks it is! I love going on holiday too and we take our main holidays in the summer so that’s another reason to like it! I love Christmastime, the family aspect and giving gifts! But I hate the thought of driving to work in the snow and where we live can sometimes be quite bad so I’m not too keen on winter for that reason!

10) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?

America. I’d be all over that. I’ve been to Florida 3 times, I’m going again in 5 weeks (AAAAAAH) and I love it there. The place we visit is called Marco Island and is like a home from home!

11) Name 5 of your favourite films

Crazy, Stupid, Love – my introduction to Ryan Gosling (hard to believe, I know)
All of the Fast and Furious films – which I think totally counts as one
Dirty Dancing
Grease
The Lion King

12) If you won the lottery what would you buy?

A house most likely, I’m saving for one just now. I’d probably buy a car too, a Range Rover and then I would start buying more paperbacks, or maybe I’d just buy a library?

13)  Favourite day of the week?

Friday! Love the anticipation of a weekend and a long lie on Saturday mornings!

14) What 3 things would you take to a desert island with you?

This is excluding people right? My iPad, so I can read/listen to music, look at my favourite pictures, my sunglasses because when I have my contacts in I find it hard to keep my eyes from blinking constantly in the bright light and my teddy (yes I am 23), who sits on my bed every night and is called Philipur.

15) Sweet or savoury?

It totally depends what kind of mood I’m in. Sometimes there is nothing better than some lovely biscuits and cheese but then on the other hand there is never a bad time for chocolate.

16) Early bird or night owl?

Neither really! I hate getting up early and I hate staying up late. Is there a middle ground somewhere?

17) Name 5 of your favourite books

On Dublin Street – Samantha young
Chasing Daisy – Paige Toon
Unsticky – Sarra Manning
Before Jamaica Lane – Samantha Young
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire – J K Rowling

18) Who do you tag next?


I think I’m late to the party so I will tag anyone who hasn’t taken part yet!

!!Blog Tour!! - Review of Late Call - Emma Hart

The bit on the back…

She’s a high class call girl. He’s taking over his father’s business.

Seven years ago, they fell in love in Paris.

They walked away at the end of the summer, never imagining they’d meet again.

Now he’s her client.

We fell in love the way you jump from a cliff. Hard and fast with a reckless sense of abandon. The six weeks we spent together changed my life, but at seventeen, I was naive. I was a dreamer. A believer.
Now I’m twenty-four and cynical. I don’t believe in love. There’s no place for such emotions as a high class escort. The only things I’m allowed to feel are physical – and that’s why it’s so damn hard when the client of a last minute job turns out to be the man I left in France seven years ago. When he buys me for six weeks at triple my rate, my agent makes it clear I have no choice but to take the job despite our previous relationship. And my heart makes it very clear I have to stay firmly on top of the cliff this time.

Because for six weeks, I once again belong to Aaron Stone.


Firstly, thank you to Emma for sending me an ARC of Late Call to review as part of her blog tour. I’ve read Emma’s “The Game” series and I really enjoy her writing and her characters. When I saw some teaser art for this book I was keen to read it so signed up for the tour. Emma is self-publishing this title and it is quite different to her other work

Warning! This book is about a call girl and contains strong language however it is in no way a detriment to the story!

The story is all about call girl Mia, less well known as Dayton. Dayton became a call girl to see her through college but after college she carried on with her job. She likes the frankness of her job, sex, money, end of. Until one of her clients happens to be a blast from her past who threatens to rock her present and jeopardise her “safe” outlook on life.

At first I couldn’t relate to Mia which is most likely due to her profession. But the more you get to know Dayton, the girl behind the sexy call girl persona, the more you can relate to her. She’s kind of been dealt a hard hand in life and Emma’s writing allows you to empathise with her. Dayton’s run in with her ex, and love of her life, Aaron has her thrown for six and really disrupts her whole life - especially when he “hires” her for a six week long stint.

At first I didn’t really like Aaron. He seemed to be quite selfish, hiring Dayton seemingly just to get into bed with her but actually when the story develops, a softer more emotional side of Aaron and the story come out. Their relationship is intense and a lot of that is due to the animosity that Dayton is harbouring about feeling “bought” by Aaron. There is a heat between them that exists from their first reunion and it sears through the rest of the book.

Emma has thrown in a massive twist at the end of the book which will shock you but will automatically make you want to read the next book in this series! As I’ve said this is different to Emma’s other books and it does contain strong language and mature themes so don’t expect anything else!

Emma is running this great giveaway with the blog tour for Late Call.


Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble: bit.ly/1qkZ6KP

About Emma


By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahart.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmaHartBooks
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 28

Day 28 – Favourite Title


Easy – any of the On Dublin Street series because they are all places in Edinburgh and I recognise them all!


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Review of Ivy Lane: Spring by Cathy Bramley

The bit on the back…

Friendship blossoms at Ivy Lane...

Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she settles in to a new town seeking peace and solitude, taking on her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution. But the vibrant, friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and endeavour to entice Tilly into seedling swaps and Easter egg hunts. 

Can Tilly let new friends into her life, or will she stay a wallflower for good?

Ivy Lane is a serialized novel told in four parts - taking you from spring to summer, autumn to winter - which tell a charming, light-hearted and moving story you won't want to put down.


Thank you to NetGalley and Harriet at Transworld for approving me for a copy of this great little story!

This is the second of Cathy’s books that I’ve read and it follows main character Tilly story as she embarks on a new adventure in life, as an allotment owner!

I really loved this straight from the start. It’s one of those stories where you can just immediately plant (pardon the pun) yourself into it and I think Cathy’s writing just facilitates that so well because it’s realistic and easy to relate to.

The story focuses on main character Tilly, who has obviously had her fair share of hardship, and although it’s alluded to it’s never actually spoken about so there is a hint of mystery throughout. You can tell that it has been hard for her, especially as the allotment is her decision to start living again.

The decision to take on the allotment, when she knows practically nothing about gardening might seem a bit whacky and a big task. But really, I love that you can just fall into step alongside Tilly and imagine yourself having your own allotment. There is a whole cast of characters in the Ivy Lane allotments and there is a real sense of community created which feels as if it’s just what Tilly needs, even if she can’t see it yet.


Just like the promise of spring itself this instalment of the story is a great start to what looks to be a promising series. I really can’t wait to see what happens in the summer, which is part two. 

Erin x

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 27

Day 27 – The Most Surprising Plot Twist or Ending


Ok this was easy. I read Danielle Bourdon’s Heir Untamed last year after being recommended it and there was such a MASSIVE twist in that, it came from so far out that I didn’t even see it coming! Read the review here, but I really recommend reading the book!


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Review of All The Pretty Lies - Michelle Leighton

The bit on the back…

"Live, no regrets"

Her...

Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

Him...

In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It's never had to be. He's lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he's nothing but controlled. He's a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Them...

Nothing in their lives could've prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they'd find in each other--distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can't find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they'll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.

How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they've got?


This has been on my kindle for quite a while but every time I look through all of my books I always feel drawn to it and I think it’s because the cover is eye-catching, it’s also quite beautiful so suggests that the story might be too. It’s also the first of Michelle Leighton’s books that I’ve read. Michelle is another author that I’ve been introduced to via twitter and I’ve always seen good reviews of her books.

All The Pretty Lies is the first in Michelle’s Pretty series and is all about Sloane Locke and Hemi Spencer. Sloane and Hemi are strangers to each other until Sloane decides that she’s lived under her father and brother’s rules for too long.

I instantly liked Sloane, I loved that she was chasing after the independence that she craved and going at it with her whole heart. She has been living under what seems like house arrest since the death of her mother and she’s ready to set herself free. There was always a little bit of mystery around Sloane and her family which does get revealed later on in the story but it kept you hooked while reading.

Sloane decides to get tattooed and that is how we are introduced to Hemi. Can I just ask here, what is it with tattoo artists?! Hemi is no exception to the smoking hot stereotype depicted in many romance novels and the tension between the characters is instant and palpable. I loved that. Hemi is a few years older than Sloane which draws a nice parallel between them, their relationship never seemed to be forced at all and that instant connection threads through the entire story. Their story is told from both points of view which I love as it allows you a sneak peek into a guy’s mind but also lets their story develop nicely.


There are a couple of unexpected twists as secrets are revealed and the intensity of attraction between the characters and adrenaline coursing through their lives increases. I sped through this book and I definitely want to read more of Michelle’s books based on this one.

Erin x

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 26

Day 26 – A Book That Changed Your Opinion About Something


Fifty Shades of Grey changed my opinion of the erotica/romance genre. Before the whole thing kicked off I had read the books but no one else was talking about them so I kind of felt embarrassed that I had read them but now that there has been such a big boom in erotic novels my opinion has changed and it’s actually liberating for women! Remember that episode of Friends when Joey finds Rachel’s dirty book? That would be par for the course now-a-days!




Friday, 25 April 2014

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 25

Day 25 – A Character Who You Can Relate To


I read How To Get A (Love) Life by Rosie Blake recently and I really enjoyed reading Nicola’s character. She was easy to relate to because she’s just a normal girl trying to kick start her life after being almost OCD careful.

Read my review here.


Book Boyfriend of the Week #1

Due to popular demand (my own) I have decided to post some book boyfriends in the way of a "Book Boyfriend of the Week" feature. I know there are loads of similar features out there so I'm not sure who exactly started it but I can't take credit for thinking it all up on my own!

My first book boyfriend of the week is from a book I read recently. His name is Hemi (short for Hemsworth) Spencer and he's from Michelle Leighton's All the Pretty Lies, which is book one in her Pretty series. 

Happy Friday!


Thursday, 24 April 2014

!!Release Day!! Shot Through the Heart - Matt Cain

Matt Cain’s debut novel is released today! I saw the cover and I was instantly attracted to it! It really makes me feel like summer is just around the corner! Happy Publicatin Day Matt!


The bit on the back…

The Silver Screen had never shone as bright . . .

Mia Sinclair is the first lady of love, a beautiful goddess known for her romantic roles on the silver screen. But in reality life does not imitate art and love is not as easily found in the real world as it is in the movies.

Leo Henderson is the Brit living in L.A, enjoying the lifestyle and photographing the stars when they least expect it. He knows that being a paparazzi has its pitfalls, but he’s living the Hollywood dream and enjoying every minute of it.

Billy Spencer, the handsome screen idol of the moment, is sexy, tanned and hiding a secret that could easily end his career as a leading man.

When Mia meets Leo, the sparks fly. But is dating a paparazzi the biggest mistake of her life? And as Mia and Billy look to star in the biggest movie of their careers, will their smouldering on screen relationship destroy a chance of happiness before it begins?


Release Day: TODAY! (24th April 2014)

Publisher: Pan Mac


Review Coming Soon!

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 24

Day 24 – A Book You Wish More People Would’ve Read


This is a difficult one. There are loads of books that I still wish I had read but I have so many on my TBR I will never get it down to 0! I guess I wish everyone would read On Dublin Street because it is just so good!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review of Always You - Erin Kaye

The bit on the back…

If only they could rewrite their past…

It’s 1992 and Sarah is in love with Cahal, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. As they plan to graduate from university, all seems set for their happily ever after.

Fast forward to 2012 and something’s gone wrong. Cahal is out of the picture and Sarah is divorced from Ian by whom she’s had two children. What happened? As Cahal walks back into Sarah’s life, can they do things differently this time?


Always You is the story of Sarah and Cahal, childhood sweethearts who were pushed apart by their families when Cahal left for Australia. Now, by circumstance, they have been reunited years later, all grown up with kids and emotional baggage. Each of them has their own version of the events that took place back when Cahal left. When Sarah is introduced to Cahal at a company event she is taken completely by surprise, and their old, buried but not forgotten feelings come to the surface all over again.

Sarah, divorced mum of Molly and Lewis, and also a successful career woman, has never been truly happy. Her one true love, Cahal, flew out of her life 20 years ago. Even though she married the father of her children she was never in love. With her ex-husband being re-married, and his mother health deteriorating by the day Sarah has a lot on her plate.

Cahal flew to Australia to escape from his rough background and had expected Sarah to follow him. Disappointed then he is now also a divorcee with three sons. He is less than keen on the man who has effectively taken his place, in his house, Brady his ex-wife Adele's new husband.

Ian, Sarah's ex-husband, is having marriage problems again. His new wife isn't interested in his kids, in his mother and family commitments, and barely seems interested in him. Ian is still in love with Sarah, and is on the verge of trying everything he can to get her back again.

The story is told in the third person and is mostly narrated by Sarah, Cahal and Ian. Third person really helped with the story as it saves the reader having to remind themselves who is telling the story. It starts in 1992, with a look at Sarah and Cahal's relationship before everything broke down, and them jumps to 2012, where it would seem, they are destined to meet again. Throughout the story there are flashbacks from both Cahal and Sarah which allow you to get glimpses at different parts of their past together. I think this really makes the book accessible to readers of any age as younger chic-lit/romance readers will be able to empathise with the younger characters as well as translating those feelings to the grown up version of the characters.

I liked Sarah and Cahal's characters; I thought they were both believable in their feelings towards each other but also in their actions. The story has some underlying themes, mainly an almost Romeo and Juliet-esque theme as Cahal and Sarah are from different sides of the track. Sarah's family are less than pleased when her young self announces her relationship with Cahal. And when the pair are reunited again it would seem that her family went to lengths she couldn't have imagined to keep her apart. So there is a bit of a mystery to be solved which is a bit of a page turner.

I wasn't keen on Ian's character, I always felt quite uneasy reading about him, because I wasn't sure of what he was capable of, what lengths he would go to, to reclaim his family. But, in the end, Ian is only a poor soul who has lost his way slightly and with some gentle guidance from his mother he gets himself back on track.


Overall, a really great read, touching and though provoking, plus I kind of imagined Cahal as Gerald Butler so that was a bonus too.

Erin x

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 23

Day 23 – A Book You Wanted To Read for a Long Time But Still Haven’t


Um….. ok I’ve wanted to read Jane Eyre for a while. I downloaded it to my kindle more or less as soon as I got it about 5 years ago!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Book News - Every Woman for Herself by Trisha Ashley



The bit on the back…

When Charlie’s husband Matt tells her that he wants a divorce she has to start from scratch. Suddenly single, broke and approaching 40 she is forced to return to her childhood home in the Yorkshire moors.

Living with her father and eccentric siblings could be considered a challenge but soon Charlie finds her new life somewhat refreshing. Now that she’s single she’s got no need to dye her roots nor to be the perfect wife and she can return to her first love- painting.

But just as she begins to feel settled, handsome, bad-tempered actor Mace North moves in down the road and starts mixing things up for Charlie in more ways than one …

Release Date: 8th May 2014

Publisher: Avon


30 Day Book Challenge - Day 22

Day 22 – Favourite Book You Own


So this is different to my favourite book right? Well I have two favourite books that I own and those are my signed copies of On Dublin Street and Down London Road by Samantha Young. I met her last year at a book festival in the Scottish town of Stirling.



Monday, 21 April 2014

Review of Yesterday by Sheila Norton


The bit on the back…

During the riots between the Mods and Rockers in the early Sixties, teenager Cathy finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the events which follow will haunt her for the rest of her life. Forty years later as a middle-aged journalist, she’s forced to revisit her past, deal with her unhappy memories and try to find out exactly what did happen back in 1964.


Firstly, thank you to Jennifer Cooper, Sheila’s PR, for getting in touch with me to see if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing Sheila’s latest book Yesterday. Yesterday was released on the 17th of April and you can find it here.

I was intrigued by the 60s setting and I don’t really know very much about the Mods and Rockers so that intrigued me too. The story is set in the 60s right when all of the fighting between the two groups of music/fashion followers happened. The story follows Cathy as she relives her childhood in the 60s for an article that she’s writing 40 years later.

The story starts off with a little introduction to the 2004 life of Cathy and gives a little insight into her current life. Then you are transported back to 1963 where the story really started. Most of the story is told in the 60s with Cathy narrating as she relives her past. I really felt like I was truly living that period in her life with her.

"I pushed it all to the back of my mind. But now - now I've started thinking about it again, the memories are so vivid. It's like...yesterday"

I loved the difference between then and now and how Sheila’s writing facilitated that. Teenage Cathy is easy to relate to for everyone. We’ve all been a teenager at some point and the issues she’s facing in the 60s are the same as a modern day teenager would face only the “in thing” has changed! Cathy’s teenage relationship with Jimmy and all of the ups and downs that came with that allow you to empathise with her as well, really allowing you to invest yourself in the story.

I really didn’t feel like I could guess the ending of this story. The murder of a young Mod is pivotal to Cathy’s entire story. The impact that that had on her life and the fallout from it caused her quite a lot of hardship, which is sometimes quite sad to read about but there are elements of the story, her friendship with Linda and the turnaround in her mother’s attitude that make up for the sad parts.

The 60s are often referred to as the decade of change and that theme is present throughout the relived scenes as Cathy’s journey progresses. The characters and storyline have been well thought out to bring this decade back to life again.

I loved that even 40 years on the impact that that time in her life had on the path that her life took was as profound as it was. The murder becomes important again for Cathy later on in life as she starts to look into the mystery behind it which was a bit of a guessing game as a reader trying to figure out who was behind it.

I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely love to read more of Sheila’s work based on this.

Guest Post - The Sixties - A Decade of Change

Today I have a guest author Sheila Norton talking to us all about growing up in the 60’s, Sheila over to you!



The Sixties – a decade of change

My new book YESTERDAY is set in the 1960s – the era of Beatlemania, the Mods and Rockers, and the miniskirt.  Having had eleven previous novels published or self-published, all of which had contemporary settings, you might wonder why I chose this particular period to write about for my twelfth book. Well, I was a teenager myself during the sixties – and I’ve always thought it was an era rich with exciting social history. And although I still needed to do some research for the book, to back up my own memories, it was enormously helpful to have lived through the times I was writing about!

I suppose everyone looks back to their teenage years through rose-coloured lenses, and compared with our parents’ generation, we did have more fun and freedom – there wasn’t too much fun to be had, for them, during the years of the Depression and the Second World War. However, despite what my daughters might think about the Swinging Sixties, having grown up in an ordinary traditional family in suburbia, my teenage years were fairly tame compared with those of teenagers of more recent decades. I never saw a drug or got offered one, despite warnings about ‘Purple Hearts’. And the Pill had only just been marketed, and was still only available to married women, so there was no fun to be had in that direction either, unless you were willing to risk the consequences – being an unmarried mum was a whole different ball game then, and there was no legal abortion!

But on the other hand I do understand why the sixties are looked back at as the era of youth and rebellion and the casting off of stifling moral restrictions – because it was the beginning of all those things. The 1950s were tough times, with rationing still in place and bombed-out buildings just a couple of reminders of the recent war.. There was no indulging of children – we were expected to stay out of adults’ way and make our own entertainment unless we were helping with the housework. During the 1960s, the standard of living of most families began to improve – but for many of us, things like cars, television, foreign holidays, freezers, central heating and washing machines were still unimagined luxuries which came within our grasp only slowly during that decade and the next.

With the gradual easing of poverty, and plenty of jobs available, a recognisable youth ‘scene’ and youth fashions began to emerge. You became a Mod or a Rocker depending on your taste in clothes, music and choice of motorbike or scooter, and when the fighting broke out between the two sides at seaside resorts in 1964, there was much speculation in the media that young people were dangerously out of control – but the level of violence was actually nothing compared with much of what happens today.




YESTERDAY is being published at Easter this year, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of those riots in 1964, and much of the action of the story takes place around that time.

But the sixties weren’t all about rebellion or fighting. The music and fashions were ‘fab’, and it was an exciting time to be a teenager – we felt like our generation was going to change the world. It wasn’t until a long time after the sixties, though, that women had any real equal opportunities; before ‘living in sin’ became respectable, casual sex the norm rather than a scandal, homosexuality legalised or ‘youth’ became the envied and extended phase of life it is today. We like to think these changes were instigated during the sixties, even if most of us didn’t get much benefit from them at the time!

Cathy, my heroine in YESTERDAY, was the same age as I was in 1964  – and although it’s her story, not mine, I enjoyed looking back to those times while writing it, and putting myself in Cathy’s shoes. I hope readers of every generation will enjoy the book!

Thanks Sheila! 

Links:

Amazon
Facebook

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 21

Day 21 – Favourite Book From Your Childhood


Ok this has got to be the first book I remember reading silently! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by the wonderfully talented Roald Dahl. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t love his work. Although I don’t like either of the films!


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Waiting for Prince Harry by Aven Ellis - Harrison Flynn Dream Cast!

Today I have quite the treat for you all! This week has been all about lovely author Aven Ellis and her new book Waiting for Prince Harry.



Aven has given us all a new book boyfriend to love in her leading man Harrison, and as Harrison was conjured up in Aven's mind with no particular person in mind I've listed some potentials for the gorgeous Harrison below. Maybe a mixture of them all would be the perfect Prince!

1. Jenson Button 



2. Chris Hoy


3. Martin Havlat


5. Greg Rutherford


6. Some hot hockey player dude


7. HRH himself 










30 Day Book Challenge - Day 20

Day 20 – Favourite Romance Book


Ok……so this is a difficult one! I really, really enjoyed Freefall by the lovely Tess Oliver. This is the first book I read where I had the pleasure of reading from the male characters POV! Nix and Scotlyn’s story is lovely, turbulent and totally unique. I loved it and it made me fall in love with Tess’s writing!


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Book News - The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin is back this month with new book “The Fortune Hunter”. Thank you to Georgina at Headline for sending me a copy!



The bit on the back…

In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies.

Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything - except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.

Release Date: 24th April 2014

Publisher: Headline


Review Coming Soon

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 – Favourite Book Turned Into A Movie

I would like to say Harry Potter, Twilight or The Hunger Games, but although I loved the films there was always something that had me thinking I wish they included this, or I wish they included that. So instead I am going to pick Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I loved this book and I absolutely loved the film and especially the casting.


One to read/watch.


Friday, 18 April 2014

Author Interview - Aven Ellis

Today I have the lovely Aven Ellis joining me for a Q&A all about her new novel “Waiting for Prince Harry”.



Welcome to the blog again Aven! This is your second whirl on Erin’s Choice, last time you stopped by you were telling us all about your hero from your debut novel” Connectivity”! (read article here)

Q1) Aven, tell us all about your latest book “Waiting for Prince Harry”

Waiting for Prince Harry is a romantic comedy about a young Dallas woman who jokingly thinks her odds are better of waiting for Prince Harry than to find her true soul mate. But she finds not only her very own Prince Harry (in the form of a ginger hockey superstar) but a man who believes in her and makes her believe in herself.

Q2) Kylie LOVES Prince Harry! Is that something that might have come from you when you were writing her character?

BAH HA HA yes. I adore Prince Harry! He seems like such a fun guy…and have you seen that shot of him lifting up his polo shirt to reveal those abs? Whew. (No I have not but I’m googling now!)



Q3) What is it about Prince Harry that attracts Kylie the most?

He’s fun. Spirited. Fearless (serving in a war when he didn’t have to). Active in his charity work. Those are all qualities she admires in him.

Q4) Kylie gets to meet her own version of Prince Harry in the book, in the form of gorgeous Harrison Flynn! Both characters are very fashion conscious and both have a knack for style. Is that a trait that you have yourself?

I was *this close* to majoring in fashion merchandising at Purdue University. I love fashion and how outfits can reflect personality. I live for fashion magazines, award shows, really anything to do with fashion I’m in. And I’m obsessed with Project Runway, the fashion design competition show here in the USA.

Q5) I loved that Kylie’s character was a bit different to the rest of her family, and that she kind of found a kindred spirit in Harrison. What inspired Kylie’s character?

I know a lot of young women who don’t believe in themselves. That don’t believe in their gifts, don’t believe in their strength to fight for what is right. I wanted to show a character who started out that way but grew stronger by the end of the book. One who would stand up for herself and believe in pursuing her dreams.

Q6) I loved the romance between the characters, as much as I loved the romance between MK and William in Connectivity! Is this something you enjoy reading in books, and did anything influence the way that you wrote their story?

I love romance. LOVE IT. I love reading about two characters finding each other and seeing that magical connection form on the pages. My golden rule for writing my romances: a good man, who respects women; and characters that have flaws but are not tortured souls. I like to have fun when I write, and that is fun for me.

Q7) There were some links to Connectivity in Waiting for Prince Harry. Does this mean we might get to catch up with the characters we already know in love in your other books further down the line?

Yes! I write bonus scenes on my blog for William & MK, Harrison and Kyle will get their own as well. I like to weave in references to other books because people who read my work get a kick out of it. And right now I’m sketching a Dallas Demons #2 book which would feature a teammate of Harrison’s, so Harrison and Kylie would show up in that book. Another idea I’m exploring is a book about Michelle, MK’s sister in Connectivity. It would be her growth and redemption story…told with humour and a hot hero, of course.

Q8) If Kylie ever met Prince Harry what do you think she would say? What would YOU say?!

Kylie would be too terrified to speak, LOL! Me? I would shake his hand and …pass out.

Now for some more fun questions!

Q9) What do you get up to when you’re not writing?

I love to workout, cook, and I’m a shameless magazine addict. I rarely go to the store without buying one.

Q10) Who is your favourite romantic hero?

Is it bad to say I really love William in Connectivity?

Q11) What inspired you to start writing?

I started scripting stories at a young age. I completed my first romance when I was 16!

Q12) What one tip would you give to aspiring authors?


Write what you want to write, not what the market dictates. Keep writing. Even if the book doesn’t sell now, it will lead you to the book that will.

Thanks a lot to lovely Aven for taking the time out to answer some questions! Check out the Amazon links below for her two novels!

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 18

Day 18 – A Book That Disappointed You


Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher – read my review here


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Book News - The High Street Brides Guide by Samantha Birch


The bit on the back…

Brides-to-be, this one’s for you!

You can say your vows in a catwalk gown so beautiful it reduces your mum to tears (and not because she paid for it).

You can style a reception so stunning your guests won’t believe you didn’t hire an A-list planner.

And you can sprinkle the day with personal touches that make everyone feel like you gave them special attention before they even got there. Without spending a house deposit on it. Honest.

Release Day: 24th April 2014 (ebook)

Publisher: Harper Impulse


Review Coming Soon

Competition Time! Win an iPad Mini with Carina UK and Holly Martin



To celebrate the launch of TheGuestbook Carina are giving away an iPad Mini! All you have to do is enter the competition here: http://bit.ly/1ghbojW

Simply enter your details for your chance to win an Apple iPad Mini pre-loaded with all the holiday reading you could possibly need!

Also, make sure you keep an eye out for author Holly Martin’s daily holiday tips and fun over the next month by following @UKCarina

Holly Martin's The Guestbook welcomes you to Willow cottage - throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.

You can buy The Guestbook here, available for 99p for a limited time http://amzn.to/1etluti

!!Release Day!! - Yesterday by Sheila Norton

Happy Publication day to Sheila Norton! Her book "Yesterday" is out! Find it on Amazon.

The bit on the back...
During the riots between the Mods and Rockers in the early Sixties, teenager Cathy finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the events which follow will haunt her for the rest of her life. Forty years later as a middle-aged journalist, she’s forced to revisit her past, deal with her unhappy memories and try to find out exactly what did happen back in 1964.