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Guest Post by Dylan Callens, Author of ‘Interpretation’ and #Giveaway

Guest Post by Dylan Callens, Author of ‘Interpretation’ and #Giveaway

This week marks the release date for Dylan Callens’ new book ‘Interpretation’. I did a spotlight on his book, which you can read HERE!

Today, I am welcoming Dylan back on ChocolatePages with a lovely guest post, where he tells us about the inkblots he has included in his book…….

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway at the end of this post, where you can win a paperback copy of this new brilliant book.

Inkblots, Page Formatting, and my Kids

When I sat down to start formatting the interior file for my new novel, Interpretation, I wanted to do something neat at the beginning of each chapter.  I perused through images of nicely formatted book interiors on Google as a first step. 

I like chapters that have fancy first letters and interesting fonts but these are pretty common and it didn’t really fit the theme of my book.  After the first few chapters, things get a little… harsh for my protagonist, Carl Winston.  I continued searching and found a few examples with pictures at the top of the chapter, which I really liked.  I thought about how I could adapt that to my novel and finally, it dawned on me:  I could use inkblots, since the book is based on a number of psychological experiments.  There is even a moment where Carl does an inkblot test. 

A quick sigh of relief escaped my lips because I am no artist.  I figured that I would be able to lift inkblots online and dump them at the top of each chapter.  But then I started to think about copyright laws.  Plus, each online image was a different size, some with ugly backgrounds, and most with a low resolution.  Plus I needed thirty-one of these things. 

I soon decided to abandon my search and just make the inkblots myself.  Well, sort of. 

What I did was dupe my children into making them for me.  I told them, “It’s a fun art project,” not leading on to the fact that I had secretly created a sweat shop to produce antiquated psychological pseudo-art.  We took out the cheap acrylic paint, some recycled paper, and randomly threw globs of paint across the page.  A quick paper-fold and a smash of the fist – voila!  Insta-art.

It’s quite amazing how effective inkblots are at inspiring the imagination.  As each one was created, their excitement grew.  “That one looks like a crab!”  “That one looks like fish!”  “That’s a heart!” 

Every time that they saw something interesting in an inkblot, it drove them to make a new one, in hopes of discovering new images.  Which is exactly what I want a reader to do when they come to a new chapter. 

There was a down side, though.  Once they knew that this was for my book, both my ten and eight year old agreed that they wanted a royalty deal for their art.  And they drove a hard bargain.  According to the contract that I was forced to sign, they now get 90% of my royalties. 

Ultimately, the joke’s on them, though.  They agreed to royalties on net income, not on gross revenue – and I dump most of my money back into books.  Let that be a lesson learned for them!

For me, interior design is typically a tedious job but having my kids help with it really brightened up the process.  I love the way that each chapter title looks.  More importantly, whenever I look at the book, I’ll be reminded of them and the fun that we had creating the images.  I’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that when someone looks at those inkblots and tries to decipher what the image is, I’ll know that my kids inspired the reader’s imagination.   

So, no matter how hard it was to format those pictures properly, and no matter how much effort went into the rest of the book, my favorite part of this novel are the thirty-one inkblots scattered throughout Interpretation.

Interpretation was released on August 1st 2017 by Cosmic Teapot Publishing. If you would like to win a paperback copy of this book, enter the rafflecopter competition at the end of this post.

interpretation

Book Description:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. 

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. 

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Links:

Twitter/@TheNitzsch

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Looking for #BookBloggers please!

Looking for #BookBloggers please!

As a bookblogger myself, I am frequently contacted by Authors, publishers and PR people. Every mail I get from book related people is a compliment to me and my little blog. When I started reviewing books here, I never expected it to last as long, be as enjoyable or to be so successful (success is subjective, to me my blog is successful for what I wanted). 

home-badge

Some of the people who write to me have read my review policy HERE! and know what kind of books I like to review and some just send blanket mails which are not specific to me or any other blogger or book lover! Regardless, I read all the mails and read the blurbs of the books I am being asked about. I then reply to the sender (not always the blanket senders!!) telling them whether I can or cannot read and review their book. Each time I write a mail declining, I feel a little bad that I am saying thanks but no thanks. It has to be done though, some of the books are just not to my taste and sometimes I just don’t have the time to take anymore books on. 

so many book

I have thought many times, especially when the mails are particularly nice, that it would be good if I could point the sender in the direction of bookblogger who would love to review that particular kind of book. 

So, I decided that I should do that! In order to do that, I will need a list of people who will want to be contacted for book reviews, and although I know a lot of bookbloggers, obviously I can’t just hand out details as I please.

So, if you would like to be on my list of bookbloggers that would like to be contacted for book reviews, please leave your details in my comments section, or if you would like them to be more private then you can email me or private message on twitter. (amandalerryn@yahoo.com    /   @chocolate_pages). 

To be clear:

I will send your details to Authors who contact me if I am not interested in their book, they may or may not then contact you asking if you would like to review their book.

Therefore, I will need:

  1. Your name (first only if you like).

  2. Your blog url.

  3. Your preferred genre.

  4. Your email address.

books-are-my-friends-christopher-paolini

The bookblogging community is a lovely community to be part of. We all love books and reading, so why not share the love even more. I hope that I get a lot of people who want to be on this list, and if you decide that you want to be, then I hope that you find some amazing books from it.

Happy reading 

 
25 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2017 in Books, events, Uncategorized

 

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My Favourite BookBloggers.

My Favourite BookBloggers.

Today I am going to share with you some of my favourite bookbloggers. I started ChocolatePages after reading many other bookblogs, until I decided that I could and wanted to write one too. I love sharing my thoughts about what I’ve read, what I’m going to read and many other bookish thoughts. But I also love reading other people’s thoughts too. So, here are ten of my favourite bookbloggers. Not in any particular order, they are all amazing. 

book friend

 

So, lets get started:  

*Each picture belongs to the blogger I speak about.

Irena from BookDustMagic.Wordpress.com is fantastic.

irena

Irena and I did a buddy read when we first ‘met’, and I have been a firm fan of hers ever since. Irena enjoys the same kind of books as me, and I find her reviews brilliant. Irena is a blogger that I will easily take book recommendations from. Plus she regularly has excellent giveaways on her site. 

 

Kat from perksofabooknerd.com is a really charismatic blogger.

kat

Kat tends to review more fantasy and YA books, but there is a variety of genres there too. Kat has a brilliant youtube channel, and I am subscribed so that I can watch all the vlogs that she makes. I love hearing about her travels to all the book conventions. Her youtube channel is kat TheBookNerd

 

 

Rayna from  ReaderRayna.com is so talented and imaginative.

rayna

Rayna has a fantastic blog, my favourite part of her blog is her many discussions. There is so much to read on Rayna’s blog, from her weekly meme’s to book hauls, to of course her fabulous reviews. Rayna has a wide variety of genres that she reviews, so there is always a good recommendation coming from her corner of the net.

 

 

Donna from Chocolatenwafflesblog.wordpress.com  is brilliant.

 

I immediately knew I would love Donna’s site, when I read her name. Chocolate and waffles! Now she and I have a lot in common, chocolate and books, and I can always go a waffle or two. Her blog is so beautiful, and I love that she does ‘This Week in Books’ nearly every week, so there are always great books to learn about, and what Donna thinks of them. 

 

 

Claire from ClaireHuston.Wordpress.com puts all my favourite things together, books, chocolate and cake!

CLAIRE

I love Claire’s blog. There is a always a delicious new recipe to try, and a brilliant book review to read. Claire has also written her own novel which sounds like a great read to me, so publishers – look out for this talented lady! Claire’s blog is a fabulous place to go to enjoy some indulgent ‘me time’.

 

Rachel from ConfessionsofaBookGeek.com is amazing.

Rachel’s site is brilliant. She has great bookish discussions always giving thoughtful points of view and welcoming conversational discussion points in her comment section. Rachel regularly gives us her ‘stacking the shelves’ round up of all her posts and reads, but she also tells us about lots of other blogger’s interesting posts she has read over the weeks. I always find new bloggers to follow and interesting posts through Rachel’s ‘Stacking the Shelves’ posts. And of course Rachel gives us great book reviews.

 

Suze and Anniek from WithLoveForBooks.com are lovely girls.

suze

WithLoveForBooks is an amazing site. Suze and Anniek can read so many books and write reviews at a fantastic speed. They have Author interviews and so many brilliant bookish giveaways. I was lucky enough to win a package of 8 amazing summer books a few months ago. They have new reviews and giveaways almost daily on their site. Plus the giveaways are usually international. 

 

 

Sharon from ShazsBookBlog.Blogspot.co.uk is inspiring.

shaz

Sharon has very similar taste in books to me. We both like chick lit and crime thrillers, so I am always keen to see what Sharon is reading and what she thinks of the books. Shaz reads way faster than me, so my ‘want to read’ pile grows ever bigger after reading her reviews. Shaz has just done a ‘food and drink in books’ month. I love foodie books, so I really enjoyed this theme.

 

Jo from MyChestnutReadingTree.wordpress.com always give a thrilling read.

jo chestnut

Jo’s blog is the blog that makes my ‘want to read’ pile grow daily! She mainly reviews psychological or crime thrillers, just the kind of books that I love. The way Jo writes her reviews is fantastic, she tells us how the books make her feel, along with all the other reviewing skills. She certainly knows how to make me want to read read read.

 

AJ from ajbookreviewclub.wordpress.com, I loved her from the very start.

aj

AJ started her blog the same time as me, and ever since we have become firm bookblogging buddies. We love all the same books, I can always take great recommendations from her. Plus AJ does her unique #AJsCoolCoverChallenge, whereby each week she chooses a different topic of book, and a group of bloggers use her # to reveal what we are reading and their covers. I love AJ’s blog.

 

books and tea

So, be sure to check out these lovely bloggers, all their sites are linked into their names, so you can easily find them. Of course there are many many more fantastic bloggers out there, and I always like to hear great recommendations of new ones to read. So, if you can recommend some to me, or you know and agree with the bloggers I love, let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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35 Comments

Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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Cover Reveal: A Tale of Two Sisters, by Gabrielle Mullarkey

Cover Reveal: A Tale of Two Sisters, by Gabrielle Mullarkey

nose in a book

Today, I am very happy to be taking part in a COVER REVEAL for A TALE OF TWO SISTERS BY GABRIELLE MULLARKEY.

What a cool cover it is, and doesn’t it make you want to pick up the book and start it right away? 

Well, you will have to wait a little while, as publication day is March 14th, but you can pre-order today! Links at the bottom of this post. 

A Tale of Two Sisters by Gabrielle Mullarkey cover


Description:

A TALE OF TWO SISTERS

Bottom line – you don’t steal your sister’s boyfriend

Katie’s sister Flick is a mean girl. Whatever Katie has, Flick wants for herself. And she’ll take it just to prove she can. That’s why she stole Katie’s boyfriend, Steve, then dumped him two weeks later.

Now Katie is with Jack, and Flick is with Dan, so there’s no need for more sibling rivalry … but love and life between sisters is never that simple. If Katie and Dan hadn’t drunk too much that night, and if Flick didn’t make Katie so mad, maybe it would never have happened … if only Katie could remember exactly what had happened …

A Tale of Two Sisters is a witty, heartwarming tale of romance, jealousy, the family we love, and the family we love to hate.

Praise for Gabrielle Mullarkey:

“Readers love Gabrielle’s fiction for its range – whether atmospheric mood pieces or contemporary slices of life, all revolve around imaginatively twisty plots packed with sassy dialogue, characters you feel you know and ‘I didn’t see that coming!’ moments.” best

About the Author: Gabrielle Mullarkey
Gabrielle Mullarkey is a novelist, short story writer and freelance journalist who’s never short of an opinion, especially if an editor requires it at short notice. Her stories regularly appear in women’s magazines, ranging in content from romance to supernatural thrillers, while her novels combine twisty plots with wry humour and a readiness to tackle big subjects.

Gabrielle Mullarkey

HERE ARE THE LINKS YOU WILL NEED TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND TO PRE ORDER THE BOOK:

www.gabriellemullarkey.co.uk

Twitter – @AuthorGabrielle

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

Book Review: Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me. By Caroline James

“The time to be happy is now..”

What a wonderful quote to start your book. Any avid followers of my blog and / or Twitter will know that Caroline James is one of my favourite Authors.

This book is a follow up to ‘Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me’. You can read my review for that book  HERE!

Author Caroline James sent me a wonderful package with this book, all beautifully wrapped with the signed paperback book and a slice of home baked Caribbean cake! Lucky me eh! The cake was delicious and the book great.

This book can absolutely be read as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading both as they are fantastic!

** All views are completely honest and my own, despite eating the Authors cake! 😉

book and pina colada

Description:

Flying solo again in their middle years, can life really begin again for Jo and Hattie? Is there hope for the newly single baby boomers and can romance happen?

Continuing the Coffee Tea… series, join Jo and Hattie as they romp into their future and prove that anything is possible!

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me is a stand-alone read but also the sequel to Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me which shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-Book of the week in The Sun Newspaper.

Set in Cumbria and the Caribbean.

“A story about friendship and loss…is there hope for those of a certain age?”

‘The time to be happy is now…’ Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. A heartbroken widow, Jo finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Her two sons have moved away, Jimmy to run a bar in Barbados, and Zach to London to pursue a career as a celebrity chef. Middle-age and widowhood loom frighteningly and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from colourful friend, Hattie and erstwhile admirer Pete Parks.

Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday but their holiday sets off a course of events that brings mayhem and madness to Jo and her family. Confused and anxious for her future, can life really begin again for Jo?

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a finalist at The Write Stuff – London Book Fair 2015. The judge’s comments included, “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.”

coffe tea carib

Kindle Edition, 334 pages

Expected publication: February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

 

My Thoughts:

This book starts off telling us about Jo and Hattie in Westmorland, unfortunately they are both single again in their later years. But they have a great friendship which we can see throughout the book. The story takes us from Westmorland to the Caribbean to London and back again. You can tell that the Author has a love for all of these places. The way Caroline describes Barbados made me want to go on holiday, and as I couldn’t just jump on a plane to the Caribbean, I made do with a rum punch.   😉

Caroline’s writing is smooth and easy reading with great descriptions. She totally puts the reader in the place, so you can just imagine yourself sitting on the white sands drinking cocktails. 

“..secluded beach-fronted gardens and palm trees swayed, as the turquoise waters lapped..”

I knew before I started this book that I was going to see characters that I had ‘met’ before, and was excited to see what Caroline had in store for them. We also got to meet new lovely characters. We meet Jo’s second son Zach, who is dubbed the ‘Gypsy Chef’. I was especially happy to read of this new character as I love Caroline’s foodie descriptions. There are the deliciously English cooked breakfasts, Caribbean food – mmm Caribbean cake, and of course Zach’s ‘Gypsy Chef’ cooking.

“..chop a bunch of nettles. He tossed them into a pan to saute, along side finely diced wild garlic..”

There are such a wide range of characters in this book. I love the positivity from Hattie, she is always there for her friend Jo with uplifting words, fun and laughter. One of the side characters was Lottie. I would like to hear more from her in Caroline’s future books. She reminds me of Bubble from Ab Fab. I love the way Caroline describes her dress sense, it gives such a sense of her character.

This is what Lottie wore to a birthday party – “..a tight green body stocking, that emphasized every bone and a bright red bob hat. The ensemble reminded Bob of a giant match”

This book is very cleverly written whereby, if like me you have read Caroline’s two previous books you can see how all the characters link up. And wow there are some surprises there with some of the characters. I wasn’t expecting that!! (No spoilers, so you will have to read and find out for yourself). 

I loved this book, it gave me an easy read with a great range of characters. There is love, comedy, emotion and food! What more can you ask for?! It was brilliant. ♥

I had a great interview with Author Caroline James. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE!

 

Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON.COM

Twitter CarolineJames

 

Author-Love-300x120AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

If you have read any of Caroline’s books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, what did you think of the sound of this one? Do you want to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I love to read what you think! ♥ 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
17 Comments

Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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#LoveAThon:

#LoveAThon:

 

loveathon

2016 Book Blogger Lovea-Thon

Dates: February 20, 12AM EST – February 22, 12AM EST

Hosted by: Alexa (@alexalovesbooks), Cee (@thenovelhermit), Hazel ( @staybookish& Mel (@Dailyprophecy)

Many thanks to Alexa, Cee, Hazel and Mel for hosting this years Love-a-Thon. I joined in last year and it was great fun to meet lots of other bookbloggers and readers. I’m sure this year will be just as much, if not more fun. To start off this event, the girls wanted everyone to answer a few questions. So here are mine, and I look forward to reading everyone else’s. Leave your links at the bottom, and I will visit your blogs too.

Happy Love-a-Thon Readers.

1. What’s your name?

I’m Amanda, welcome to my little space on the internet. It’s ChocolatePages.

me

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?

I’m blogging from just outside Glasgow, Scotland. I’m originally from Wales, but now living in not so sunny Scotland.

w v s

3. How did you come up with your blog name?

I chose my blog name ChocolatePages from my love of books and chocolate. I put it together and that’s when I came up with ChocolatePages.

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4. What genre do you read and review most?

My preferred genre of books always used to be chick lit, but since becoming a book blogger I have read lots of different genres and now my favourite is between chick lit and crime thriller. 

5. What other types of posts do you do on your blog apart from books?

Aside from blogging about books, I also like to tell you about my baking escapades. Some trials which are not so successful and some are very successful. 

6. Best blogging experience so far?

I love all aspects of blogging. I love the bookblogging community, as they is always someone around for a bookish chat. Probably the best part of blogging so far is the chatting with other booklovers and Authors.

7. Books you are most excited about for 2016?

I was most excited for the next book out by Caroline James, which is ‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’. I was very lucky to receive a pre publication copy of this book. I have read it and it was as good as I was hoping. My review of it will be out tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for it. Or better still follow my blog so you’ll get it straight to your email.

book and pina colada

8. What would your dream library look like?

I’m sure many of you book lovers will give the same answer here. But isn’t Belle’s library superb?! The ladders that take you along the shelves and all the lovely shelves. I would have a fridge and a kettle in there too, and of course a fabulous reading chair. 

belles library

9. What Author would you like to sit down and have tea with?

There are many Authors I would like to have tea with. All the happy chick lit Authors that I could laugh with, Caroline James and Sophie Kinsella. Also all the thrilling Authors like Clare Chase and Olly Jarvis.

10.What book boy or girl would be your BFF?

Probably my BFF would be Becky from Shopaholic or Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Both would make me laugh and give me lots of positivity.

 So that is my introductory post for #LoveAThon. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts and ‘meeting’ lots of lovely bookish people.

Leave me links and to your posts and comments below.

Have a lovely #LoveAThon time, and happy reading.

book friend
 
34 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Anne of Green Gables Haul!

Anne of Green Gables Haul!

I was very lucky this Christmas and received the BEST book EVER!! Look at this Anne of Green Gables book, apart from it being an amazing book, it is also the best cover ever.

Its is soft and covered in typically Anne quotes. I love it.

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Even the back is perfect. 

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On the inside cover, you can see the horse and cart that drove Anne to Green Gables. And each chapter tells us what will happen, so I can either read it all or just skip to a particular chapter.

I also got the four set book of Anne books. These are my comfort reads, I can turn to any page of any book and just love it. I know the story so well, and find Anne makes me smile even on the grey days as she is so optimistic and positive. I just love Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables.

Then to finish off my Anne haul so perfectly, I had this super cute and very bookishly cool necklace.

Are you with me for this great love of Anne of Green Gables? To finish off I will leave you with my favourite ‘Anne’ quote.

“tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it”

small_anne-of-green-gables

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
33 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2016 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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Guest Review: 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross.

Guest Review: 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross.

Today, I am really delighted to be able to host my very first Guest Reviewer. One of my lovely readers Florence has written her first review EVER! and I am the lucky blogger who gets to share it with you. So please welcome and show how friendly we all are to my guest reviewer Florence.

book friend

Description:

Henry Steadman is a successful Florida plastic surgeon on his way to deliver a keynote address at a conference when his world falls apart. Stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation, the situation escalates and he is pulled from his vehicle, handcuffed, and told he is under arrest. Several other police cars arrive and the questioning turns scary, but after it subsides, and Henry is about to move on, the officer is suddenly killed in his car and there is only one suspect: the very person he was about to arrest not ten minutes before. Henry! When a second friend turns up dead, Henry realizes he’s being elaborately framed. But in a chilling twist, the stakes grow even darker, and he is unable to go to the police to clear his name.

15 Seconds is a story of how even the best of lives can be destroyed in just an instant– and of an innocent man, framed for murder, who has to save the person he loves the most, and who cannot go the police to clear his name.

 

15 SECS


Florence’s Thoughts:

Dr Henry Steadman is a well regarded plastic surgeon living in Florida.   On his way to a conference to deliver a keynote speech he is pulled over by traffic police accused of speeding.  This minor violation escalates when the arresting officer is brutally killed causing Henry to run for his life.  His position grows increasingly worse and he realises he is being set up and has to figure out why. 

His only way out of this situation is to find someone who believes his story, someone he can trust –  his attempts keep backfiring putting him under more pressure and further developments make it impossible for him to contact the police.

His face is on every newspaper, he is top news and he becomes a fugitive unable to trust anyone.

A truly gripping read, I really enjoy a good mystery and that is exactly what ‘15 Seconds’ is.  With little twists throughout the book it is definitely one of those ‘cant put down’ books.

Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON USA


 

Thank you Florence, I must say the book sounds fantastic and I shall be putting it on my ‘to be read’ list. I hope to feature more of your reviews as you read more books and process your thoughts.

If any other of my readers would like to feature on ChocolatePages as guest reviewers, then please contact me via comments or TWITTER

Happy Reading.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
15 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2015 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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#apovgiftswap. Christmas Blogger Gift Swap.

#apovgiftswap. Christmas Blogger Gift Swap.

51345-Christmas-Gift-Ideas

My very first blogger gift swap, and it was lots of fun. I am very glad that I joined into this and will definitely do it again next year. Firstly thanks to Viola from apieceofviola.wordpress.com  who organised this gift swap.

What a great idea and so well organised. Viola set us all up with a paired blogger and then let us get on with it, communicating with each other and agreeing on how we should do our gift swap. My paired blogger is Shannon from  shannonagains.com .

Shannon and I swapped email addresses and spoke to each other quite a bit via Twitter and email. Shannon is really lovely and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer blogger pair. Through our conversations, we agreed that we would spend £7 on each other, (not including the postage). And as a twist for something different, we decided that we would only shop in charity shops. This we hoped would allow us to get extra bargainous gifts. Funnily enough, before we had agreed on the charity shop idea, we had both already bought something small from a normal shop.  😉

We both sent our parcels away and both received them in plenty of time. When I received mine from Shannon, it was so nicely wrapped. It was lovely to have it under the tree until Christmas day. box from shannon Shannon added a lovely little tag and a nice wooden heart tag. She really did put a lot of effort into the presentation. It made me look forward to opening it. I have to add at this point, when I was wrapping my gift to Shannon, my Husband was very sceptical that I was sending a parcel to a stranger and waiting for a parcel in return. I was very happy to show off my beautiful parcel to him!! ♥

open box from shannon

So, Christmas day arrived and I joyfully opened my gifts while Christmas music was playing in the background and my Husband was with me with the camera. I was very lucky with regards all my Christmas gifts. But that’s another story!

Shannon was so intuitive with my gifts, it really felt like she got to know me and the kind of things that I like. I loved all the gifts that she sent and am really thankful to her for all the thought and time that she put into my gift. Here is what she sent me:

contents shannon

I received:

Cinnamon and Spice fragranced candle.

Botanics Set including, body lotion, bath elixir and a mini buffer.

Chocolate Wishes book by Trisha Ashley.

A Christmas Mug with a sachet of Wispa hot chocolate and marshmallow. *

I am very much looking forward to reading the book. On the cover it says ‘full of down to earth humour’ Sophie Kinsella. Sophie Kinsella is my favourite author, so that and the title of this book says it all for me. I’m sure its going to be great.

* When I picked up one of the gifts to unwrap, I got another little surprise as Christmas music started to play! It was the mug, when you lift it up it plays Christmas music. What a great Christmas novelty mug, perfect!

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Thank you so much Shannon, great gifts. I will be burning my candle while reading my new book and enjoying a delicious hot chocolate in my fantastic musical Christmas mug. Perfect for my relaxing Christmas holidays.

Shannon will also be writing a post on what she received from me. Here is a sneak preview……. My wrapping was definitely not as creative as Shannon’s. But hopefully she liked what was inside. 😉

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Thanks for reading. If you have participated in Violas gift swap or any other gift swap, let me know your thoughts and how your gift swap went. chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Snuggly Fall Tag.

leaves

Thank you very much to Cara and Maddie from:

carawritesstuff.wordpress.com     @carawritesstuff

and

itsmaddiehbu.BlogSpot.com     @ItsMaddiehbu

I have been tagged in this Fall Tag by the lovely Cara and Maddie who made up this tag themselves. This is a great positive tag for me, as I really don’t like it when the dark nights come and it gets all cold. So, here I will write about all the good things about this season.

Anyone else who would like to join in, I would like to hear your answers too. Show me why this season is fab!

So, here goes:

Favourite thing about fall?   Well, before I start this tag, the only good thing I can think of is hot chocolate and my Ugg boots? Hopefully this tag will give me lots more things.

Favourite fall colours?   Well, this would have to be browns, reds, oranges and yellows. All the colours of the crispy leaves fallen from the trees.

Favourite fall songs?  I don’t have a particular song for this time of year, but I do like driving the car with the heating and radio on singing along loudly (badly?)

Candles or cuddles? Definitly cuddles, though the two together would be even better.

Favourite Netflix show for fall? At the moment I am watching The Hart of Dixie. Its fab.

Favourite fall snack?    Always, chocolate…… whatever the season   😉    I also like toasted fruit bread with a cinnamon spices and lots of salty butter.

Which youtuber’s vlogmas are you most excited about watching?   Well, I only started blogging this year, so I haven’t seen any vlogmas yet. But my favourite youtuber (and blogger) at the moment is Moa from Littlecoffeebreak.com  @littlecoffeb

Favourite piece of fall clothing?  I do like my nice cosy pink hooded jumper and my fluffy pink cosy dressing gown and slippers are lovely for nights in and cold mornings.

Fluffy socks or beanies?   Actually, I really like both! Can I say both???? Fluffy socks for inside and beanies for outside!

Favourite sweets for fall?  I don’t really like sweets. I’m just a chocolate girl!  🙂

 Favourite fall lip?   In the summer time, I tend to go for pale nude colour on my lips, as I usually am a bit tanned. By Autumn, my skin is a bit paler so I think I can brighten my face up with a brighter lip colour – perhaps orangey reds.

Best part about fall?   I get a week of work in October (school half term), where I can sleep late, bake, blog and read. Also The Good Food Show comes to Glasgow. Love it!

Ugg boots – yay or nay?    Definetly YAY! I love my Ugg boots, so comfy and cosy.

Favourite sweater you own? I got a lovely cosy sweater last Christmas, its cream with red hearts on it and a bit sparkly.

Tea, coffee or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate is my favourite, but I drink lots more of tea. If I could only have one, it would probably be tea. However, Autumn is the season for lots more hot chocolate. My favourite is the Turkish delight flavour from Options.

Favourite hairstyle for fall? Autumn time is when I bring out my hats, so I like to wear my hair loose under the hat so that it frames my face.
 

How does the perfect fall day look like to you?  I guess bright and sunny, with lots of brightly coloured leaves scattered around. Couples drinking hot chocolate together and children playing happily in the park. Sounds cliché, but lovely. 
 

My Favourite Fall Things:

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Well, after answering all the questions there are some good things about Autumn. So, these dark nights I will be having cuddles with my cosy dressing gown on. When I am out, I will have my hat and Ugg boots on stamping around in the colourful crunchy leaves…………..and looking forward to Spring when the sun and lighter nights come back!

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chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1        chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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