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Book Review: Incognito by Khaled Talib

Book Review: Incognito by Khaled Talib

Thank you to Author Khaled Talib for my copy of this book. I was quite taken by the cover, with that ‘Anonymous’ mask, and also the quote on the front cover telling us that the book is filled with “intrigue, action and conspiracy”.

Description:

Specialist Ayden Tanner is dispatched by a covert division of the global hacker group, Anonymous, to find the pope who is missing.

A frantic search begins in Italy and beyond its borders amid speculation that the Holy See may know more than they are telling.

incognito khaled

Published May 15th 2017 by World Castle Publishing

My Thoughts:

The Author begins his book with an acknowledgements section, and this gave me a taster of what was to come as he mentions what we now know as ‘fake news’, and how we should question “what has been deemed to be the truth”.   Incognito is a very fast paced thriller, which begins with the Pope going missing, presumed kidnapped. An ex SAS solidier and 2 other agents are given the task of finding what has happened and returning the Pope safely. 

There is plenty of mention of religion, Muslims and Catholics and it all seemed very relevant to everything that has been going on in the world recently. For me, it seemed like the words were chosen very carefully, there is political correctness. I wonder if the agents would have been so ‘correct’ if this story was not fiction. 

The story is very fast paced and I would not be surprised, if this book reaches a wide audience that it would be suggested to be made into a film, it gives a real idea of a James Bond type theme and the Author actually mentions Bond in his words. There are a few parts of this book which made me smile, amongst the thrills and kills!

“Just because you’ve got a James Bond accent, doesn’t mean you’re more intelligent than me”

I think the lives of the agents were portrayed well. (I guess based on my knowledge of those Hollywood movies!). Moving fast and almost unseen, with a variety of passports and identities. They are loners who are given jobs and risk their lives doing them. However, when they have their ‘down time’….

“Yeah, I’ll stay here…..they’ve got Netflix”    😉    (like I said some bits of this made me smile at the normality, whereas other parts were full of action and suspicion.

My favourite parts of this book are the beginning where the Author adds in some thoughts which I found close to my heart:

“it is always advisable not to make permanent decisions based on temporary emotion”

I also liked the end where the action comes to a final conclusion. To be honest I found the middle part a little to fast paced in a James Bond kind of way for me. I am not a fan of these types of films, and the book gave me that impression a little to much. However, this is just my opinion and I’m sure that kind of book would appeal to many readers.

The book was well written, and the characters developed. I can actually quite imagine the main character Ayden to be waiting for his next mission to be given to him.  

 

Links:

Twitter/KhaledTalib

www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Books

 

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Happy Publication Day! The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics, by Laura Briggs.

Happy Publication Day! The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics, by Laura Briggs.

Well, Laura Briggs has done it again! Today is publication day for ‘The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics’, and what a book it is. I have read it already, lucky me! I was generously given a copy to read before publication day, so watch out for my review of it coming very soon. Today, I am doing a spotlight on the brilliant book just to let you all know, its PUBLISHED TODAY!

best book gif

Description:

Quaint Lewis Cove is home to the charming three-story Victorian manor known as the Alice Wilshire Lending Library and its plucky librarian Peg Turner:  the current hostess of the weekly Bronte Book Club, better known as the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ of all ages. Nurse Annette has been too busy working for love; mechanic Tim has missed the boat somewhere in his past; art student Sophie comes off as too unique, while tech geek C.J. has fallen—hopelessly—for the too-cool-to-care Llourdes.

With her vacation plans indefinitely on hold for the summer, Peg has decided to transform the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ into hopeful ones. But while she’s trying to help her fellow readers find romance, she’s avoiding her matchmaker friend Caroline’s latest blind date—only to see her best friend Cam, the ruggedly-cute-but-sometimes-curmudgeonly coffee shop owner fixed up instead. And that’s something Peg isn’t sure she likes.

Questions about love and last chances on her mind, and way too many books piled on her desk, will Peg succeed in finding romantic hope for anyone, including herself?

Bronte Book Club Cover Image (1)

Isn’t the cover just beautiful?! The book is as the cover and title suggests, based around books and romance. Its a lovely quick read that is perfect for summer afternoons.  

 

Author Bio:

Laura Briggs is the author of several women’s fiction and chick lit novels, with themes that range from wedding planning to modern Jane Austen. Even though she tends to write stories with a romance theme, as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).

Short Extract:

I watched the group file out the library’s front door, Annette adjusting her sweater around her shoulders as Sophy chatted to her about a television version of the book, Tim opening the door for both of them. Llourdes was on the phone with a friend, and C.J. was shuffling off in the dark towards the little place I knew he lived and worked from.  They all went their separate ways once they were beneath Gull Avenue’s streetlamps, most of them having no other plans except to go home to dark and quiet houses.

 Instead of following their example and climbing the stairs to my dark and quiet apartment, I locked the door behind me and walked down the street and across the sidewalk that divided Main Street. The neon lights of Hill o’ Beans window sign glowed brightly, animating a coffee bean tumbling above a sack full of them and the shop name. 

I pushed open the door. The rich smell of coffee and cacao beans warmed the air and tempted the taste buds all at once. Florence + the Machine’s “Third Eye” was playing over the shop’s stereo system, proving that Cam’s barista Mallory was working tonight. Behind the gleaming pastry case stocked with strawberry tarts, mango coconut lime bars, and lemon custard drops, Cam himself was wiping down the counter.

 “One half-fat mocha latte, please,” I said.

 “You sure you trust me to make one?” he asked. “No cutting back on the milk? No substituting inferior beans?”

“You should knock it off now. Mallory will think we’re really having a fight. And if I didn’t come in here, who would defend the music choices that serenade your customers?” 

“I’ve told him before, people love modern and upbeat,” said Mallory, appearing from the shop’s kitchen, her long dark ponytail swinging against her shoulders. “Just today, I had someone ask me to replay the Jack Johnson CD.” 

“Whatever. All I’m saying is, music clutters the atmosphere,” said Cam. “Unless it’s good rock and roll, in which case it fits in everywhere.” 

“Try making that case to the symphony crowd,” I said, accepting my coffee cup from him. “Besides, the friends I was hanging out with tonight would’ve liked this song.” Sophy and Annette would, probably. 

“Who were you hanging out with?” he asked.

 “You know. It’s Friday night. The book club.” I sat down at a table.

 “Oh, those guys.” He wiped an extra-sticky spot on the counter’s surface. “Any new members? Closer to your age, for instance?”

 “Same old crowd,” I answered, shaking my head. “I’m not that much younger than Annette and Tim. Or older than the rest.” Then again, maybe I wasn’t young enough for the college crowd anymore, I reflected. Wasn’t I too young for the forty-something scene, though?

 “I was just asking,” said Cam. “I wasn’t implying anything by it.”

 “I thought maybe you were thinking about joining us,” I said. “Checking out a copy of Jane Eyre or maybe Wuthering Heights.” I took a sip of coffee.

 “You know that’s not exactly my thing,” said Cam. “I’m more of a hands-on project person.”

“We could use some new blood,” I said. “It’s been the same five people forever. Well, six.” I included Llourdes, although she was only coming to the book club to fulfill a community college credit. “Nobody ever invites any friends, or — or anybody else to join.” No one had a ‘significant other’ to add to the mix on Friday nights — and nobody’s coworkers or friends seemed interested in discussing the glorious collective works of the Brontes.

 “If you’re planning to build a bookshelf next meeting, I’ll join you. Otherwise, I’ll be right here, steaming milk and listening to Mallory’s weird CD collection.”

 

five pink starsSo, if you are hooked already, then get downloading and read some more about these Hopeless Romantics. Grab your copy today. 

Amazon.com        AND     Amazon.co.uk

My review will be up next week, but just to give you the heads up….. I loved it! 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books

 

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Detox: with Green Diet and Kundalini Yoga: The 40 Day Program for Cleansing, Weight-loss and Radiance. By Mariya Gancheva.

Detox: with Green Diet and Kundalini Yoga: The 40 Day Program for Cleansing, Weight-loss and Radiance. By Mariya Gancheva.

Its always a nice surprise to receive a different kind of book review request from an Author. So when Mariya Gancheva asked me to read and review her book on yoga and detox, I was intrigued. And as I’m always open to any ‘life enhancement’, I was willing to give this a go.

yoga garden

 

Book Description:

Are you ready to Transform?
When I first started on my self-discovery journey, I was easily swayed in different directions. I was feeling helpless and confused. I knew I needed to change something, and quick, as my health was deteriorating, my body was growing weaker and heavier. I could not gain control over my emotions or eating habits. I needed an answer, a quick and definitive tool to restore my balance. And so I threw myself relentlessly into a search for one.

I wrote this book to share with you my journey. This is not a diet book but a real-life journey and a manual of how to transform based on practical and ancient wisdom of the yogis.

You will learn about the basics of nutrition, toxins, detox, lifestyle, and supplements. You will also learn exercises, meditations, and breathing to increase your awareness and control your mind and emotional states.

The 40 day program combines yogic lifestyle, nutrition and practice that will enable you to completely master your digestive system, remove toxins, and give a youthful appearance to your skin. It will reinvigorate and reboot your entire body. You will wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy, focused, driven and happy. Your body will be lean and light. In short, you will feel pretty amazing.

Challenge yourself to change your habits from self-destruction to self-love and happiness. Let’s begin transforming from within!

Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Learn…
Sustainable Yogic Diet Detox Basics The Miracle of Detoxing and Fasting Detox Enhancers The Science of Conscious Eating The Green Diet Kundalini Yoga For Detox The 40-Day Detox Program Breaking The Fast Resources Much, much more!

detox

Published April 25th 2017

My Thoughts:

40 days of yoga and detox diet! OK, truth be told, I didn’t follow the book word for word, but I did read it and take advice from it. 

The book has a great layout, I was slightly concerned when I downloaded it from Amazon that it would be text heavy and hard to follow because of this. But I was very pleasantly surprised that the e-version of this book includes pictures of the correct yoga positions and are easy to copy. I have heard of a lot of the yoga poses before, as I have attended classes in the past. The book was a good reminder of how helpful yoga can be for a calm mind and a more flexible body.

The detox part of the book wasn’t really for me, as the food you can and can’t eat is quite specific and you would need to be dedicated to following it. I think if you can give yourself the time and inclination to follow this detox and yoga programme properly, you will certainly feel the benefits after the 40 days and will feel healthier and more enthused to continue this healthy way of life. 

There is a lovely Chinese proverb quoted in the book. If you have read my previous posts, you might remember that I have already mentioned that I like this quote.

“The journey of a thousand steps starts with but a single step”

step

In fact, the Author slotted in a quite a few very appropriate quotes and it made the reading a little lighter and gave it a positive feeling.  

Within the book, the Author gives a website where you can either enrol and pay for videos, or you can join up and there are some free videos whereby you can copy their yoga moves. 

kundalinilounge.com/freevideos.

As yoga and healthy lifestyle books go, this is a really good one. If you are dedicated to it! As the Author says ‘you can change your habits from self-destruction to self-love and happiness’.

 

Yoga-Quotes

 

About the Author
Mariya Gancheva is a transformational leader, teacher, and full-time investment banker in London. She is the embodiment of a modern woman who has managed to integrate the wisdom of the East into the fast-pace lifestyle of the West, while also dedicating her free time to helping and elevating others.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Books

 

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#FREEBOOKS, Yes free for YOU, this weekend!

#FREEBOOKS, Yes free for YOU, this weekend!

We all love a freebie or two don’t we, so here are some amazing recommendations that you can download for free this weekend.

First, Nicola May has made ALL 8 of her books free on Amazon!! So prepare for your tbr’s to grow rapidly!

love-me-tinder

With her marriage in pieces, shy Cali Summers is faced with this decision and hits the world of fast love on an internet dating app.

Using room 102 in the hotel where she works as her dating ‘lair’, she opens herself up to a world of sex, lies, deception, as well as personal discovery and passionate love.

With a charming F1 engineer, a handsome army officer and her adulterous ex all on the scene, a predictable love match is far from on the cards.

My Review:

Love Me Tinder Book Review.

Link to buy FREE:

 AMAZON.CO.UK/LOVEMETINDER

AMAZON.COM/LOVE ME TINDER.

 

 

STARFISH

Tired of looking for love Amy Anderson decides that an astrological dating agency is the only way she is going to meet the man of her dreams. Star Fish follows Amy’s hysterical search for her ‘sole mate’ as she dates her way through the twelve signs of the zodiac. So who will finally woo Amy? Will it be Ted the Arian photographer with a passion for ice skating, or maybe Laurence, the Libran IT whiz kid who likes to get behind the wheel of a fast car? Or, how about Capricorn Christopher, the owner of Starr & Son, the dating agency? You’ll be kept guessing until the very last page!

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/StarFish

Amazon.com/StarFish

 

schoolgates

At 3.10 pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary to collect their children. For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows.

When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. Ex Czech au pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret side-line, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Brenda’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Super Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow. And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/TheSchoolGates

Amazon.com/TheSchoolGates

 

 

better together

 

A page-turner… a terrific read’ Susan Sallis “A powerful tale of survival and hardship, very well crafted and with strong characters” – Publishing News Past Remembering – Book Six of the Hearts of Gold series by Catrin Collier 1941. In Pontypridd, Ronnie Ronconi has returned home from war-torn Italy. The family are certain he will once again take charge of the family in his own forceful way, but Ronnie’s escape from Italy has left him a much changed man. He accepts the rights and freedoms of his younger siblings as he never has before, and even finds time to help others, particularly Alma, whose husband has been sent on a most dangerous mission. After the loss of his beloved wife, Ronnie is certain he will never look at a woman again; he certainly doesn’t expect to fall in love – particularly with the wife of a friend… Diana is locked in an unhappy marriage – but can Ronnie and Diana put their own personal happiness ahead of that of an entire family?

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/BetterTogether

Amazon.com/BetterTogether

 

letlovewin

Ruby IS BACK and never expected to be starting over…but after a shocking bereavement, she begins to question whether or not she will ever be happy again.
A chance encounter with handsome author Michael Bell throws her fragile heart into turmoil. Plus, a dark family secret and completely unexpected love interest add to her confusion.
Encouraged to face her demons, she volunteers at The Bow Wow Club – (Boyfriends of Widows, Wives of Widowers).
In this charming sequel to Working it Out you will laugh and cry along with a myriad of eccentric characters as Ruby searches for her inner peace. But will she let love win? Or allow her past to continue to haunt her

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/LetLoveWin

Amazon.com/LetLoveWin

 

sw19 club

‘This book will twang your funny bone – and your heartstrings. I totally loved it. Nicola May is a talent to watch!’ Milly Johnson

‘A funny and fast-paced romp … thoroughly enjoyable’ Deborah Hughes, Woman

‘The kind of special book that only comes along once in a while’ Miranda Dickinson

What would you do if you were told you could never have children?

Faced with this news, Gracie Davies is at an all-time low. But with the support of some new Wimbledon friends, an unorthodox therapist, her hippy-chick sister Naomi and Czech call-girl Maya, she sets up The SW19 Club and begins her rocky journey to inner peace and happiness. Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, a fairytale encounter with a Hollywood filmstar and the persistence of her adulterous ex, life is anything but predictable…

My ReviewThe SW19 Club

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/TheSW19Club

Amazon.com/TheSW19Club

 

woking it out

It is January 1957 and Helen’s husband Jack returns from National Service. Happy to be reunited, they resume their life together. Their friends, Lily, pregnant and married to Jack’s brother Martin, Katie, pregnant and married to Helen’s father John, and Judy, engaged to policeman Sam, form part of their everyday life. Then Helen is utterly shattered when Jack tells her that a brief fling with a sergeant’s widow has left the woman pregnant. Helen can’t have children so handling her friends’ pregnancies has been difficult enough; this is more than she can bear. She starts divorce proceedings but their fierce love for each other cannot be extinguished. Finally she has to make a decision which requires courage but could be the answer to their differences.

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/WorkingItOut

Amazon.com/WorkingItOut

 

christmas-evie

It’s two days before Christmas and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.

Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London.

A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way … but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

My Review: Christmas Evie Book Review

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/ChristmasEvie

Amazon.com/ChristmasEvie

 

revelation

 

Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.

As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.

Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.

Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?

The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers

Links to buy for FREE:

Amazon.co.uk/RevelationRoom

Amazon.com/RevelationRoom

 

 

So, there you go!! A lovely weekend treat for all who want to download some brilliant books for free. Let me know which ones you choose and what you think of them. 

home-badge

 

 

 

 

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 10, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books, Giveaways

 

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Book Review: One Dark Lie, by Clare Chase.

Book Review: One Dark Lie, by Clare Chase.

Clare Chase is one of those writers, that when she writes a new book, I know I’m going to love it, without even reading the blurb. So, when One Dark Lie came out, I wanted to grab a copy straight away. After getting my copy, (and reading the blurb), I was excited to see that it followed on from her previous book involving Ruby and Nate. I thought Ruby was a brilliantly inquisitive character in the last book ‘A Stranger’s House’, so was looking forward to seeing what she had gotten up to next.  (My review of ‘A Stranger’s House’ is HERE)

I was very honoured to have my quote published on a postcard for ‘A Stranger’s  House’

20170528_130346

Description:

The truth can hurt, and sometimes it leads to murder

After becoming embroiled in a murder investigation, Nate Bastable and Ruby Fawcett have decided to opt for the quiet life. But crime has a habit of following them around.
When her work dries up, Ruby finds herself accepting a job researching and writing about Diana Patrick-John, a colourful and enigmatic Cambridge academic. Simple enough. But then there’s the small fact that Diana was found dead in suspicious circumstances in her home – the very place where Ruby has now been invited to stay.
As she begins to uncover Diana’s secret life, Ruby’s sleuthing instinct kicks in, leaving her open to danger and retribution. But can she rely on Nate to support her? Especially when his behaviour has become increasingly distant and strange, almost as though he had something to hide

 

onedarklie

Published December 13th 2016 by Choc Lit

My Thoughts:

This book can be read as a standalone, although I recommend that you read A Stranger’s House first. 

One Dark Lie tells the story of the very inquisitive Ruby Fawcett, who is an Author. Ruby is asked to write a biography of a recently murdered woman Diana Patrick-John. However Diana’s brother doesn’t want Ruby to concentrate on the demise of Diana, he wants her to write about her brilliance as an academia and what a success she was. He also wants her to stay in Diana’s room in his house! As you can imagine, Nate (Ruby’s boyfriend) is not so keen on this idea.

Ruby is a brilliantly rounded character that I could see has developed since the first book, and continues to develop throughout this book. The chapters alternate between Ruby and Nate. I liked this touch as we could understand how each of them felt, and see the story from both sides. (I liked and agreed with Ruby!, although I did think her rather crazy at times!

“OK, so I know you think I work to the Famous Five school of detection..”

Ruby is inquisitively wonderful, but I often felt her too impulsive at times. I think the Author gave a good impression of the characters’ journalistic instincts and hotheadedness to get the scoop and find out what is going on, just as Ruby was in the other books. Although this makes her love-able, it also made me want to yell, ‘Ruby, use your sensible head!’ She does, however come up with some very clever thoughts, and this is one I will keep in mind:

“Recognising something as precious shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety; not unless you know it’s under threat”.

Ruby pulls out all the stops to find out as much as she can about the work she wants to write about. This involves meeting other people which are small characters in the book, but add a lot to the overall impression we get of Ruby. She is great at giving advice, and shows us the strong independent woman that she is:

“….you can make a great future, but because of who you are inside, not because of whether someone else believes in you”

I had mentioned in my review of the Author’s previous book that Ruby’s best friend could be better and more supportive,  and this time she was much better and I grew to like Steph much more than I did before.

Cambridge, where the book is based, seems like a lovely place with a lot of hidden secrets and gems. as the Author has mentioned in one of her interviews, Cambridge is a great setting for a murder mystery. I would very much like to visit one day, and on that day, I would be thinking about Clare Chase and her stories.

One Dark Lie is not a hard dark murder, it is more of a steadily paced sleuthing mystery, it kept me gripped, but wont give you nightmares – unless you decide to stay in a house which has had a murder in it!

I totally recommend One Dark Lie, and will again be reaching for Clare Chase’s next book, again without needing to read the blurb. I just know it will be brilliant!

line

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/ClareChase_

Clarechase.com

 

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Kim vs the Mean Girl, by Meredith Schorr. (Stand alone YA, prequel to Blogger Girl).

Book Review: Kim vs the Mean Girl, by Meredith Schorr. (Stand alone YA, prequel to Blogger Girl).

You know that feeling when you are super excited that a book has a sequel coming out, and you are hoping with everything crossed, that it will be as good as the first. Well, that happened after I read ‘Blogger Girl’, by Meredith Schorr. I read ‘Novelista Girl’, and ….. for the first time EVER! loved the sequel more than the first book. I did a little squeal when I heard that Meredith had written a prequel! This meant, more Kim Long, more great friendship chat with bestie Bridget, and typically more Mean Girl Hannah. My excitement was worthy of ‘Kim vs The Mean Girl’. It is typically Meredith Schorr brilliance. I loved it and read page after page finishing it in record time. 

In case you missed it, here is my review of Blogger Girl

And here is my review of  Novelista Girl

And to follow are my garbled thoughts of why I enjoyed ‘Kim vs The Mean Girl’ so much. 

tv in your head

Description:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

“In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages.” Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author

 

kimPublished April 20th 2017 by Meredith Schorr

 

My Thoughts:

Kim and Bridget made Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl for me, their friendship is amazing and makes for great reading, so I was intrigued to find out about them while they were in high school. Saying that, this book can definitely be read as a stand alone. But I think if you haven’t read the other 2, reading this will make you want to read them for sure! And personally I liked that I had read the adult version of them first. Its a very clever idea of the Author to write the character backwards. (Adults first, then teenagers). For many there would be too many ways to slip up, but Meredith managed this perfectly, allowing us to see how they became the adults that they did. 

The story is very ‘young adult’ and high school orientated. It would make a great film. ( Think Mean Girls, but better). 😆 

We get a good impression of how Kim and Hannah were brought up and this gives us a good insight of why they are as they are in Blogger Girl.  I loved the plans that the girls come up with, and how we feel their high school emotions, self awareness and teenage angst. I also thought it was brilliant how we see Kim’s love for reading (and writing) while she is still in school. Mean Girl Hannah gives Kim a ‘mean compliment’ where she says:

“Kim Long without a book to read is like a dog without its chew”.

There is the usual teenage crush talk between the friends. And we even get a very surprise peek at Nicholas. ( from Blogger Girl).  The Author has really got into the heads of these characters. I read an interview with Meredith where she said the girls almost felt like her daughters. So she really does cherish her characters and this shows in the deep care that Meredith gave to ensure that the characteristics given can be seen in their high school time and then how this has influenced them in their adulthood. 

The Author has not only given great thought to the plot and the characters, but she also made the timeline exactly right as there are mentions of Brad and Jennifer! And Kim speaks of reading ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’. Meredith has thought of everything.

This was a lovely, easy read. For me, the main reason I enjoyed it was because it was a prequel to two books that I loved so much, and I had already fallen hook, line and sinker for Kim and Bridget. I think this book would appeal to teenagers, adults who like YA and everyone who loved Blogger Girl. 

Meredith is a hugely talented writer, and I am eagerly awaiting her next book. 😍

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@MeredithSchorr

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Watch Me, by Angela Clarke. (Social Media Murders #2).

Book Review: Watch Me, by Angela Clarke. (Social Media Murders #2).

Thank you to Joanne at MyChestnutReadingTree and Avon Books for my copy of his book which I won in their competition. I really really wanted to read this book, as I had so enjoyed the prequel to it ‘Follow Me’ which I reviewed HERE! (Follow Me, Book Review)

I gave ‘Follow Me’ 5 stars on Goodreads, and I will be doing exactly the same for ‘Watch me’. As social media murder books they are brilliant. 

Although ‘Watch Me’ can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading ‘Follow Me’ first as its amazing. 

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Description:

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

watch mePublished November 3rd 2016 by Avon

 

My Thoughts:

My anticipation for ‘Watch Me’ was very high, as I had enjoyed ‘Follow Me’ so much. If you haven’t read ‘Follow Me’, it is the first social media murder book from the very talented Angela Clarke. The social media in the first book was Twitter, which I know and use regularly. The second book ‘Watch Me’, uses Snapchat, which I knew very little about. This didn’t matter as the police force trying to find the criminal didn’t know about snapchat either, so we learnt together, with lots of help from Freddie Venton.

Freddie is a brilliantly developed character, she isn’t part of the force but Nasreen wants her advice on this case, as Freddie is so good with technology and social media. We see the relationship progress between Nasreen and Freddie in the most natural, but complex way and we see the changes in both girls as they find themselves so engrossed in the case of  trying to save the life of the latest victim. 

The police and medical knowledge that Clarke has spoken about in the book has clearly been very researched to get it exactly right, and I have learnt things from this book, while also being taken on a thrilling ride full of twists and fast paced action.

I have to admit the last book ‘Follow Me’, made me suspicious of the wrong people, and I was grateful to be wrong in who I thought was the criminal. I think it shows the sign of a very talented writer in that I can suspect characters and when the true criminal comes to light, it totally makes sense.

The time line in this novel was amazing, it made me want to read faster and turn the pages to match their 24 hours. (Life gets in the way and I can’t read a book in a day, but I loved that the timing was realistic in the way they did things).

When I finished the book I visited Angela Clarke’s Twitter page and almost did a whoop outloud as I saw that there was a third social media murder on the way. My expections are sky high for the next dose of Freddie and Nasreen. Thank you Angela Clarke for sharing your incredibly imaginative mind with us. I loved ‘Watch Me’ and can’t wait for Trust Me. (released in June 2017).

 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@TheAngelaClarke

angelaclarke.co.uk

 

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo.

Book Review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo.

Description:

(TWO GRAVES is a short novella, about 70 pages. It is volume #1 in Zoe Kalo’s psychological suspense “Retribution” series.)

A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…

Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.

For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge.

two graves

 

Published August 31st 2016 by Createspace

My Thoughts:

This short novella was packed full with  emotion and intrigue. The main character Angelica is seeking revenge for something that happened to her seven years ago. We are not told what is it that happened, but we can tell from the intensity of dialogue and emotion that Angelica is very angry, bitter and in my opinion confused. At the same time she is so clear thoughted in her aims and what she has to do.

I like that this revenge was ready to play out in a masquerade ball, it gave the tale mystery and I could really picture the characters hidden behind the masks, the music and the anger. The Author writes with brilliant descriptive and emotive words which flowed across the pages. 

“..the flames licking my face as not one but two bow hairs snapped, unhinged, in the brutal, infernal storm that was my heart”

This book was hugely character driven, I could feel Angelica’s emotions and feelings, which the Author very cleverly described within her music. Angelica plays the violin and there is plenty of music descriptive talk, which lead us guessing what angelica has planned.

“Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ 3rd movement, spilled out of me like a torrent of vomit”

There was a certain sense of hopelessness within Angelica, but also a determination and strength in her plot for revenge.

“When there’s nothing to lose, there’s no fear”.

I enjoyed this novella, but not in the way I usually enjoy books. There wasn’t a huge plot or many twists within this tale, I enjoyed this for the brilliant descriptions and the strength of the Author’s writing to bring out the emotions of the main character. Zoe Kalo has the natural talent of a writer and I think I would enjoy her full length novels, where there will be more opportunity for plot aswell as her brilliant words.

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

zoekalo.com

Twitter/@zoekalowriter

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson.

Book Review: Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson.

When Author Dave Tomlinson asked me if I wanted to review his book based on travelling around the world, the travel bug in me raised its very interested head. I love the play on the title, and was very keen to get stuck in to his tales.

Description:

80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride!

Come with me on a journey of captivating true travel stories from around the world. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, history, food and culture will inspire, amuse and even amaze. Experience the challenges, rewards and fun of budget travel without leaving home!

80 tales

Published August 16th 2016 by Amazon Kindle

My Thoughts:

In this book Author Dave Tomlinson tells us tales of his travels around 5 continents, as the title suggests there are 80 mini stories here. Each tale is no longer than 500 words, so its the type of book that you can either read all in one go, or delve in and out whenever you feel the pull! 

Dave also has put a photograph after every tale, so even if his wonderfully descriptive words don’t evoke amazing pictures in your mind then you can see them in actual colours after you have read each story. One of my favourites was the picture of an early morning boat trip to the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. This is somewhere I haven’t been put it is on my bucket list of places to go. Very kindly, the Author has allowed me to share this photograph with you. Isn’t it amazing!? Now I really really want to go there.

Varanasi

I loved the mixture of different experiences, with food, culture and people that Dave met along the way. There are bits of history about some of the places he visited which was also very interesting. I think to be able to travel to all these wonderful places and then write about them would be an amazing experience, Dave has shared this with us in the best way available.

Some of the places written about, I have been to and gave me lovely memories and many more of the places are ones that I would love to visit, so reading about them made me want to go even more. 

I loved the dedication page in this book, as the Author acknowledges and thanks all the many kind people he met while travelling. I think the people you meet along the way will always make a big difference wherever you go, and I liked that Dave mentioned this.  

This book was a wonderful read, perfect for those with the travel bug and perfect for those who love to read about different places and cultures.  Thanks to Author Dave Tomlinson for allowing me to read and review and also sharing his wonderful experiences and photographs with us.

 

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Thank you to Becky Short at Transworld Books for my copy of My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Sophie Kinsella was the Author that got me into adult reading, she is my ‘go to’ Author that will be guaranteed to write a good book that will make me laugh. So, I was over the moon to receive this copy.

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Description:

Cat Brenner is living the dream – she has a flat in London, a job in creative branding, and her Instagram feed is full of all the amazing things London has to offer: delicious food and beautiful sights and lots of fun. Ok, so the crappy truth is that she rents a tiny room in Catford with no space for a wardrobe, spends most of her days engaged in tedious admin on the other side of the city, and posts photos of food she could never ever afford to eat. But it’s all just about worth it.

Until her bright and shiny life comes crashing down: her demanding boss Demeter gives her sack, and with no means to live in London any more, Cat has to move home to Somerset. Now she’s plain old Katie Brenner again, helping out her dad and her stepmum as they attempt to launch a glamping business on their farm. (They think she’s on sabbatical from her job, and she can’t quite bear to tell them the truth…)

With Katie’s creative branding experience, the glamping is soon a big success. So much so that Demeter and her family book in on holiday – and Katie sees her chance to get revenge on the woman who ruined her dream. So long as Demeter doesn’t see beyond her disguise and give the game away to her parents, of course.

It’s time to see who’s the boss…

not so perfect

Published February 9th 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

When I picked up the newest Sophie Kinsella book, I just knew it was going to be a  5 star read! Because Sophie’s books always are. I have read all of her Shopaholic ones, and all the other stand alone books. My Not So Perfect Life was no different, it is a 5 star read that made me laugh, gave me great escapism and truely got me involved in Cat’s life. I find that Sophie’s main characters become like friends when you read her books. You can understand them and their actions, and although they often make ‘oh no!’ mistakes and get themselves into sticky situations, but you can always rely on a Kinsella character to brighten your day.

I was laughing right from the start as we hear about Cat’s life in London, a tiny flat, a dreadful commute, and strange flatmates. Motivational Dave made me laugh straight away with all his whey powder!!! (If you read, look out for that bit, though you will be laughing anyway). As many people do these days, Cat displays her wonderful life on Instagram with sneaky photos of other people’s expensive coffees, and the “glamourous oh so fun London life” that she lives. I really enjoy books that talk about social media at the moment because it’s so current and relevant to today’s society. 

But Cat gets let go from her job and has to return to Somerset where she reverts to Katie, and agrees to help her Dad and Step Mum Biddy with their new Glamping business. But what happens when her old super successful, super brilliant boss Demeter arrives, the boss that is the last person Katie wants to see??

My Not So Perfect Life is easy reading, fun and of course has a book boyfriend added in for extra warmth. In my opinion, Alex is not on the same scale as Luke Brandon, but we have had a lot more Luke in the Shopaholic books, and only 1 of Alex, but he is still there, in Katie’s mind, making her do some laughable antics. 

I always knew before I even received this book that Sophie Kinsella’s book would be a 5 star, laugh out loud book, and it totally lived up to my expectations. If you haven’t read a Kinsella book! Where have you been???And if you have, then you will know what to do. Read ‘My Not So Perfect Life’, and cosy down with Cat and her ‘perfect London Instagram’ and Katie with her Somerset Glamping and ….. blue hair!! 😉 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/KinsellaSophie

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Books

 

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