Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Everything Changes But You - Jennifer Joyce Blog Tour



Everything Changes But You

By Jennifer Joyce

Available as an ebook 16th September 2014


Blurb:

Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic. Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds. When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted. But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.


Extract:

‘I made a wish?’

Clementine tilted her head to one side, causing her plait to swish to the front. ‘You don’t remember? It was in this house. Here, in this very room, in fact.’

The cake! Ally remembered now. She’d somehow made it to the birthday tea – head and body intact – and her mother had produced a cake. With candles.

‘That’s right.’ Clementine picked up on the not-so-subtle look of panic as Ally recalled the previous evening, her eyes stretching to giant orbs of horror.

‘Were they…’ Ally paused and lowered her voice, leaning in towards Clementine so she could be heard. ‘Magic candles?’

Clementine threw back her head and laughed. Gone was the demure tinkle and in its place was a booming belly laugh. ‘Magic candles?’ Clementine wiped tears of mirth from under her eyes. ‘Magic candles? Don’t be absurd.’

Ally was standing in front of some sort of angelic being who was telling her that her entire life had been turned on its head after a birthday wish. But yeah, the idea of magic candles was absurd.

‘Then what? Are you a guardian angel?’

‘Sort of.’

Ally narrowed her eyes. ‘You don’t have wings.’

‘What?’ Clementine turned to try and see behind her and ended up doing a pirouette on the sitting room rug. ‘Dammit, I’ve left them behind again.’

Ally’s eyes were now nothing more than slits on her face. ‘Are you toying with me?’ Clementine gave a shrug of her dainty shoulders. ‘Can I have my old life back now?’

‘No.’

‘No?’

Clementine gave a slow shake of her head. ‘All wishes are final. It’s in the contract.’

‘What contract? I didn’t sign any contract.’ There was hope! Clementine couldn’t force her to live this life without her consent! But wait, Clementine’s tinkle of a laugh was back.

‘I’m just messing with you, Petal. There is no contract.’

Oh. ‘So I’m stuck with this life then?’

‘I’m afraid so. But hey, look on the bright side.’ There was a bright side? ‘It’s what you wanted.’

‘Well, no. Not really. I wanted a bit of excitement in my life. I wanted to go out on adventures with my friends and tell amusing stories the next day in the office. I wanted to live a little before I was coerced into giving up my life and womb. I didn’t want to be hated by my friends and family. I didn’t want to lose my husband.’

‘Not even for Jason?’ Clementine’s slight body quivered. ‘He is delicious by the way. I can see why you were jealous of Kelly.’

‘I was not jealous.’

‘Really? You could have fooled me.’ Clementine muttered the words under her breath but Ally still caught them. ‘Anyway, there’s no need to be jealous now, is there?’

Ally allowed her body to drop onto the sofa, a huge sigh heaving out of her body as she slumped against the cushions. There had to be a way out of this mess. Her whole life couldn’t be eradicated and replaced with this nightmare after a silly little wish.

‘Are you sure I can’t go back?’

‘Absolutely certain, Petal.’ Clementine joined Ally on the sofa and gave her knee a pat, but it offered little comfort under the circumstances.

‘Never?’

Clementine gasped as she jumped back up to her feet, her cheeks burning bright on her porcelain skin. ‘Cripes! Mermaid Girl has fallen in the ruddy sea.’ Her long, slender fingers rested on her

bottom lip as she paced the sitting room. ‘This is not good. This is not good at all.’ She ceased pacing and turned to Ally. ‘I have to go. But don’t worry, I’ll be back.’

‘When?’ Ally asked but the sort-of guardian angel had vanished, leaving no trace that she’d ever been there at all.


Author Info:

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. When she isn’t disappearing into her own fictional worlds, she can be found waffling on her blog and reviewing books for Novelicious’ Alternative Thursday. Everything Changes But You is her second novel. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk
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Make sure you check out the other stops on this tour. 


Monday, 29 September 2014

Point us to Paris - Aimee Duffy

Point us to Paris (Summer Flings #3)Point us to Paris by Aimee Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part 3 of Summer Flings - a fun, flirty and laugh out loud rom com series of short stories.

Ciara would rather be anywhere else in the world than Paris. All the gooey eyed couples and handholding are making her miserable.

But Elle doesn't have time for moping - not when she's got the three of them on the guest list of an exclusive club. So Ciara tries her best to enjoy the free champagne, the loft party looking over the Seine and a little harmless sexting - until they realize they've stumbled into a nightmare none of them were prepared for.

The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun
.


This is the third book in the Summer Flings series. I have really enjoyed travelling a long with the girls on their holiday around the world.

Saying this, unfortunately this was not my favourite novella. Point us to Paris, like the others in the series starts where they left off. This really helps the stories flow and give it potential to create a large book, rather than novellas. Personally I love the novella as they are perfect for commuting or when you have a spare half an hour to really feel you have achieved something.

I have really enjoyed following Ciara, Elle and Gem on their adventure. Paris is.not one of my favourite places though and I was a little disappointed that this was going to be the setting for this episode in the series. I shouldn't have been worried though, we don't get to hear about Paris as in landmarks or life.

During this part of the adventure, k feel I am beginning to know Elle a little better and I am hoping she felt develops as a character as the series progresses.

I found Zack and Ciaras storyline to be a little predictable, but I didn't mind as I am enjoying it so much.

Next stop is Greece and I certainly expect more drama from the girls and can't wait to be whisked away with them again!

I would like to thank Aimee for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Weekly Wrap Up Week 19 28/9/14



Welcome to another wrap up! This week has been very stressful for me. I have had many meetings at work and I have felt I have not had a lot of 'me' time. I am hoping this changes soon! 


This week I have been sent: 

The Nantucker Christmas
Super- Cyborg Gadget Glove


This week I have bought: 
The Christmas Cookie Club


Books I have read this week:

Deliver to Dublin...With Care
LA Nights: A short story
The Dr Pepper Prophecies audio book 


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Misbehaving in Miami by Aimee Duffy

Misbehaving in Miami (Summer Flings #2)Misbehaving in Miami by Aimee Duffy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Part 2 of Summer Flings - a fun, flirty and laugh out loud rom com series of short stories.

The girls are off to a beach house to catch some rays - and if they play their cards right - super hot guys!

With drinking games in the name of Gucci, a surprise visit from a very pissed off Zack and hunks galore, Miami is turning into their best stop yet. Not to mention Ciara finally comes up with a way to have her cake and eat it too!

The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun.



This is the second in the 'Summer Flings' series and I must say my favourite so far. I felt in this instalment we get to know Ciara really well, and she is still the girl I feel I connect the most with.

This novella starts just as Trouble in Tinseltown finishes. We begin at chapter 4 and continue the journey the girls are on. I am really loving how this story has been broken down into chunks, this is something that I am not normally keen on, I feel though it really suits the story. I enjoy discovering a new place along with the girls in different novellas.

Ciara is a brilliant character, she is likable an d believable. I still feel that I don't kbow Gem and Elle as well as I should. I am hoping that as the series progresses their characters will be developed.

I feel that out of the three girls Ciara is most like me, she is on holiday and although short is enjoying the guys, weather and bars. She also wants to explore these beautiful places. She is also still thinking about Zack, Elle' s very handsome cousin. She cannot believe her luck when he shows up in Miami.

These novellas do have to be read in order, there are spoilers if you reaffirm out of order. It also cannot be read as a stand a lone.

I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I would like to thank Aimee for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Trouble in Tinseltown - Aimee Duffy

Trouble in Tinseltown (Summer Flings #1)Trouble in Tinseltown by Aimee Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


 
Part 1 of Summer Flings - a fun, flirty and laugh out loud rom com series of short stories.

Armed with a degree from Oxford that she doesn't have a clue what to do with, Ciara Bree convinces her two best friends, Elle and Gem to spend their first summer of freedom backpacking across the globe. Now it's time to shop, sunbathe, think about boys for a change, and party hard...

First stop: LA!

The girls hit Tinseltown for a few days of shopping, star spotting, and even a movie premiere!
But their plan to sneak into an exclusive celeb party in West Hollywood backfires. Elle's gorgeous older cousin, Zack, is called to the rescue and despite knowing she should stay away, Ciara just can't seem to resist him.

The ideal summer treat for those relaxing days soaking up the sun
!





Trouble in Tinseltown is the first in the Summer Flings series by Aimee Duffy. This is the first I have read by her and I enjoy her writing style.

This is a very short novella at around 40 pages and made this a perfect read for me travelling. I enjoy novellas that allow me to immerse myself in and I fell like the story has been concluded during a short period. Lately I have become quite busy and it is hard for me to find the time to read a book cover to cover. Novellas I find allow me to do this.

This story is about three girls who are off to travel the world and enjoy life while they are young. Elle has a rich grandfather who has many properties around the world and has allowed Elle and her friends to stay. Ciara is the more down to earth girl and comes from a different background to Gem and Elle.

I would say being so short we really get thrown into the action of the story, which I loved. The downside of this though I felt I didn't know the characters that well, however as the story developed I felt I got a better 'feel' for who the girls are.

This little novella packs a lot in. We have relationships, friendships, brushes with the law,and drama.

As the novella is so short I don't want to say too much about it, other than this is one to have on you for that commute or on holiday. I cannot wait to read the next instalment and follow the girls around the world. (Wishing I was with them!)

I would like to thank Aimee for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The weight of blood - Laura McHugh

The Weight of BloodThe Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A gripping debut psychological crime novel about family lies and dark secrets in an isolated community as a series of women go missing.


People still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother who vanished years ago from the town of Henbane, deep in the Ozark mountains.


When one of Lucy's friends is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost women: by the mother she never knew, and the friend she couldn't protect.


But her search for answers, in a place where secrets are easily concealed, leads her to a chilling discovery.


And with this revelation, she must grapple with the meaning of family, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.




This is a psychological thriller set in the town of Henbane in the Ozark Mountains Arkansas. It centers around the Dane family spanning two generations opening when Lucy's friend is found murdered. She is haunted by the loss and mystery surrounding the murder and is reminded of her own mothers' disappearance when she was just a child. Lucy feels bound to find out what happened to both her friend and her mother.

The story in the main is told by both Lucy and her mother Lila and the author jumps from past to present using this split narrative throughout the novel to bring the two halves together thus solving the mysteries and conclude the story.

There are some good sound characters in this story with detailed scene and mood setting, add this to the very closely tight knit community complete with mistrust of outsiders, secrets and superstitions and you have a recipe for a good psychological thriller. McHugh does not disappoint; this is a well written novel with just the right amount of pace and suspense to keep the reader going right to the end.

We open with Lucy the daughter of Lila who has grown up in Henbane; she is upset about the disappearance of a school friend Cheri whose dismembered body is eventually discovered a year later hanging in a tree. Lucy is haunted by having worried about Cheri but not having done anything to find her. What happened to her and where she was for a year was the topic of conversation all through the spring but once the shock and fear of a killer being on the loose subsides her death fades and she is all but forgotten.

We first meet Lila when she arrives in Henbane in answer to a job vacancy signing a two year contract to work on the Dane farm; an orphan after her parents died in a car crash, she has been through the foster care system and is desperate to belong somewhere with people she can trust. She was passed from foster home to foster home until she reaches an age where she is old enough to find her own way. She learnt at an early age not to trust men having had to fend off sexual advances from the many foster fathers and sons' she found herself placed with while going through the 'system' which resulted in her moving seven times in six years.

Lila's foster sister Crystal said they got moved around so much because they were pretty and had big boobs, foster moms didn't want them tempting their husbands and sons. McHugh tells us that Lila is a hypnotic mystical looking creature, dark black hair and piercing ice green eyes, someone that people feel drawn to. She arrives in Henbane and is taken to a remote farm miles from the nearest town and although apprehensive she knows that she has no where else to go and has to make this work. She works both on the farm and as a waitress in Crete Dane's restaurant/cafe where she befriends another waitress Gabby and they become good friends. Lila also meets Carl Dane, Crete's younger brother and in time they become close. Locals mistrust strangers and Lila is no exception, having no family and reluctant to talk about her past, the town believes she had been cast out of her own community, rumor spreads that she is a witch.

The story does alternate between the two main characters going back and forth in time but McHugh does this very well and is able to maintain continuity so that the reader does not feel lost or confused. I enjoyed the story and the secrets that come out over the course of the book, the tight knit community and strong bonds that bind family loyalties comes through well.

It would not be fair to reveal more of the story so I won't but I would encourage others to read it for themselves and enjoy the journey of loyalty, secrets, truth and consequences. I would give this an easy 4 stars for an enjoyable first novel, Laura McHugh looks like one to watch!


I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Fractured Man - Juliet Conlin

The Fractured ManThe Fractured Man by Juliet Conlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

London, 1920. Elliot Taverley is an ambitious young psychoanalyst specialising in the new and controversial field of handwriting analysis. When he receives a visit from a man who seems to change personality when he copies others handwriting, Elliot is intrigued and soon becomes obsessed with the man and his mysterious disorder. Spiralling into an increasingly bizarre cat-and-mouse chase and with with his mind collapsing, Elliot is forced to confront his difficult childhood and the horrors of war in Arctic Russia in a desperate search for the truth. The Fractured Man is one of the most explosive debuts of the year a psychological thriller that takes us through a war-ravaged Europe and the dark minds that inhabit it to a shocking conclusion.



When I was contacted a couple of months back with the opportunity to read 'The Fractured Man' I thought it was a book that I would enjoy and said yes. I love a good thriller and this book promised with would be that.

This is a story about a man who has been tormented by the guilt of his childhood and World War 1. Right from the beginning few pages, this novel captures you with how intriguing it is. The plot is one that keeps you engaged throughout and it keeps you guessing right until the end.

It is very clear that Conlin has spent a lot of time on research on this book, the descriptive text in the book is exceptional. The book is well written throughout and is smooth to read. One negative that I do have about the book is that the climax was a little of a let down and this is the reason I have only given the book 4*.

If you like psychological thrillers and puzzles this is certainly the book for you, as a debut novel I think this is a cracking read and would be interesting in reading more from Conlin; I think she is a writer to look out for in the future.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.