Friday, 17 April 2015

The Little Things - Jane Costello

The Little ThingsThe Little Things by Jane Costello
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exclusive ebook novella from bestselling author Jane Costello to celebrate the publication of her new novel, The Love Shack.

At twenty-eight, Hannah MacFarlane's career is on course to smash the glass ceiling and beat it into submission.

Then a shock company reshuffle leaves her sacked and bewildered, while her fiancé is promoted into a job nearly 5,000 miles away in Dubai.

Five months later, she is jobless, broke and worryingly addicted to Loose Women. Then her older sister Suzy intervenes after her child minder left them in the lurch and offers Hannah the job of looking after her FOUR young children.

Hannah has no other option but to accept. But while she was great at playing 'Cool Auntie', she soon discovers - with riotous consequences - that she is no Mary Poppins . . .

By now you know I love a novella, they are great to break up larger books and allow you to slip into another world for a lunch hour or two.

Jane Costello is an author who has been popular lately and bas really taken off as a good chick lit writer and this novella is no exception to the standard of her books.

When I found 'The little things' on Amazon for free I had to make sure I snapped it up. I was not disappointed.

Hannah has a good job and is expecting a promotion at work. Her boyfriend also works for the company and as her promotion can leave to living over seas, they think this is going to be a brilliant new beginning for them. However th promotion meeting doesn't quite go to plan...

Hannah stays here while her boyfriend has been lucky enough to get a promotion and moves to Dubai, this is a stop gap, they both agree that Hannah will come and meet him out there once she has found a job. 5 months later Hannah is still jobless and her sister gives her the opportunity to be her children's nanny, until something better comes along.

This is a struggle for Hannah, she doesn't have children of her own and finds that it is more hard work than she imagined. This is extremely amusing and the way the humour has come across in this novella is brilliant. The school pick up night mares with 'yummy mummy' s' . Homework fiascos and other drama that comes along with looming after small children.

Although this is just over 120 pages, which is quite long for a novella, the story is told brilliantly and the characters are well developed. I didn't feel cheated by the length of the story as I found the characters were well created and believable .

I really loved this novella and it has really got me in the mood to read Jane's nee release. If the pace and structure is as good as this novella we are in for a treat! If you have not read this, what are you waiting for? Especially if it is still free on Amazon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Liar - Nora Roberts blog tour

The LiarThe Liar by Nora Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When her husband Richard dies in a freak accident, Shelby Pomeroy is devastated. But his death reveals a horrible truth - Richard was a liar and a cheat. Now Shelby is left with the consequences - huge, terrifying debts and mounting proof that her late husband betrayed her in every conceivable way.

Heart-broken but unbowed, Shelby is determined to fix her problems - if only for the sake of her gorgeous little daughter Callie. Returning home to Tennessee and the family she thought she'd lost for ever, she discovers a new sense of strength and freedom. And hope, too, in the handsome form of carpenter Griffin Lott - a straight-dealing man who couldn't lie to her if he tried.

But not everyone is thrilled to see Shelby Pomeroy back in town. And when a shocking act of violence is traced back to Richard's shady business, it becomes clear that she is not safe from him, even in death. With her life in danger, Shelby must face the lies of the past - or lose everything.

After the death of her husband Richard in a freak boating accident, Shelby Foxworth uncovers crippling debts that she is left to settle and the realisation that the man she loved and married was a liar, professional con-man and an adulterer. With a small daughter Callie to provide for Shelby finds herself having to move back home to her loving family who Richard had kept her from for 5 years of their marriage. Having to settle the estate she discovers Richard had over whelming debts and that her seemingly luxurious lifestyle was a sham, she is in fact penniless.

Moving back to Tennessee and Rendevous Ridge where she grew up as a child she desperately sets about making sense of all that has happened, paying off debts and making a new life for herself and Callie. She meets Griff Lott a local builder and predictably they are attracted to each other. I felt that Nora Roberts was confused about how Shelby would have or could have acted with Griff. At one point she was portrayed as being apprehensive about a relationship and the next she was portrayed as practically a man eater! It was all a bit contrived for me.

Nora Roberts sets the scene well with lovely descriptive passages of the mountainside and the little town nestled inside but for me she over eggs the pudding. I had already worked out the plot very early in the novel and the only reason I kept reading was to find out if I was right.

She split the novel in 3 parts and to be honest the most boring and unnecessary part was part two - it was so full of padding that at one point I almost lost the plot - really about 150 pages too long - the novel itself was 501 pages in total and it really did drag for me so much so that I 'skim read towards the end. I guessed the outcome before we even hit the 2nd part, in fact I had had a theory about where the jewels were hidden that I thought was better than the missing key that was being sought (don't want to give away any spoilers for those of you who want to read it so I won't say who was looking for the key) by other characters in the book.

Having worked out what was going to happen early on both with the romantic element and the plot line I really didn't have much to keep me going for best part of the book other than seeing if I was right or wrong. If it had been a much shorter novel I would be giving it 4 stars as a nice quick read, however the length and unnecessary laborious padding turned me off the novel and therefore I can only give it 3 stars which is a shame as it was well written and in some parts had beautifully descriptive passages of the countryside.

Overall not the block buster I was looking forward to and a bit disappointing.

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

About Nora:

Nora Roberts is the number one New York Times bestseller of more than 200 novels. With over 450 million copies of her books in print, she is indisputably one of the most celebrated and popular writers in the world. Her last three hardback novels were all top ten bestsellers in the UK and in 2013 alone Little, Brown Book Group sold over 1.2 million net copies of Nora Roberts’ books.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Weekly wrap up 12/4/15

Last week I missed my weekly wrap up, this is because I had forgotten that I would still be away and didn't manage to schedule anything! So this week I am doubling up on my wrap up. I also have a holiday post that has been live for a while, if you haven't already taken a look at it and would like to, check it out here. So back to this weekly wrap up... 

This week I have been sent:
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley - Doyle
The Memory Book - Rowan Coleman (won)
All this has nothing to do with me - Monica Sabolo
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance - Kirsty Greenwood
The Day We Disappeared - Lucy Robinson 

This week I have bought: 

Books I have read this week:
The Little Things - Jane Costello
Reading Saving Grace - Jane Green 

The books I have read all have reviews and they will be on the blog soon so look out for that!

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved  hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know

Friday, 10 April 2015

London Book and Screen Week info!

I have been lucky enough to share some book information with you all. This seems like it is going to be a great event if you are able to make it. 

I’m sure you’ve already heard about London Book and Screen Week (13-19 April), brought to you by The London Book Fair to celebrate London as being at the heart of the book and film worlds.

One of our biggest events of the week is author of Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Deborah Moggach in conversation with Louisa Young, author of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You.

Tuesday 14th April, 7-9pm at The October Gallery, London

You’re probably aware that The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has just been a smash at the cinemas and the film of Tulip Fever is due out in the summer starring Cara Delevingne, so Deborah is very much a woman of the moment!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Tell No One - Harlan Coben

Tell No OneTell No One by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eight years ago David Beck was knocked unconscious and left for dead, and his wife Elizabeth was kidnapped and murdered.

Dr Beck re-lived the horror of what happened that day every day of his life. Then one afternoon, he receives an anonymous email telling him to log on to a certain website. The screen opens on to a web cam - and it is Elizabeth's image he sees.

As Beck tries to find out if Elizabeth is truly alive, and what really happened the night she disappeared, the FBI are trying to pin Elizabeth's murder on him. And everyone he turns to seems to end up dead...

The second novel I have read by the brilliant Harlan Coben - I read Six Years and wanted to read another novel by this gifted writer and was asked to review Tell No One. I didn't think that this would be as good or a gripping as the first one I read by him but clearly I had mistook this prolific and talented writer.

Gripping the reader from the first paragraph again and drawing you in, Coben proceeded to take the reader on a journey that was both pacy and high octane. Loved every minute of reading this novel and yet again he managed to keep the suspense going throughout and slapping you in the face with 'I didn't see it coming' ending.

Supremely talented and I will continue to read his books in the sure knowledge that he will not disappoint and take me on a white knuckle ride that so far I have not experienced with another writer.

I could re-tell this story in precis but you don't want that; you want to experience this journey yourself unable to go to bed without reading 'just one more chapter' and realising that you simply have to stop otherwise you are in danger of not getting up for work in the morning!!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Spent in Las Vegas!

I wanted to do a quick holiday summery, I cannot believe that a week has already gone by and before I know it I will be back at school! So this was the first time I have ever been in Vegas and wow, what an experience it was! It certainly is a crazy place and it seems that the longer I spent there the more insane it became! 

I began by stepping off the Virgin Atlantic plane, which I had been on for the best of 12 hours into the hot sun of the desert. It was around 3pm which was a perfect time to arrive in order to find my feet and get some dinner. We all were extremely tired from getting off the flight, so it was a quiet and early night. Saying that though it is certainly a city that never sleeps so it was packed even at midnight. 

Our room was amazing, we were lucky enough to get an upgrade on arrival so we got to check out our terrace one bedroom room. It had sliding glass doors which opened to an oversized private terrace, this gave wonderful views from our balcony to Las Vegas. A decadent bathroom which featured a Japanese soaking tub. Not to mention the living room and kitchen, to be honest you could live in this room, there would be no need to leave!

View from our pool

The hotel has three pools, we only visited two of them, mainly because one of them was a day club which would have been awesome to visit but it cost mega bucks to get in, so we thought we would save our money for something else.

So Las Vegas strip is mental, it is huge! We decided that we would walk to the famous sign just along the strip. This although doesn't seem too far away it was, especially in the hot dry heat of the desert! When we finally got there it was great, from always seeing the sign in places and finally being able to stand underneath it.

We made it to the sign!

On Tuesday - wow that was a week ago! Where did the time fly?! We visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We got on a helicopter to go as it cut the travelling time and allowed us to experience it at sun set and flying back over the strip on the way back was amazing!

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam

Me at The Grand Canyon

Flying over the Strip at night. 

Me on the helicopter

I then spent the rest of the week relaxing, sunbathing and doing a little bit of gambling. I'm not a gambler, but you cannot got to Vegas and not have a little flutter. The week really whizzed by and I had a fabulous time. I'm just a little disappointed that it is all over, it seems to be that you pay so much for your holiday and wait so long for it to arrive, then when it does it's all over with a blink of an eye. 

I also managed to do some make up shopping while I was away, look out for some reviews for these on here once I have used them. 

I am now sitting at thinking about my next holiday, not that I have paid for it yet! But I will be off in December and that seems a life time away now! Unfortunately on the book front I read very little. I think that this was down to being somewhere new and exciting, there was so much to explore! I do have another week off work though so will be catching up with the reading now I am at home. 

Anyway I am sorry it's not a bookish post today but I wanted to share my adventure with you. If you are still reading this post, thanks and I hope you enjoyed it. 

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher

Dear Committee MembersDear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

This short novel is written entirely in a series of letters by Jason Fitger, a Professor of English and Creative writing at Payne University in America.

I really love books that have this format, either in letter or email form, they somehow seem more interesting to read, almost because you know you shouldn't be reading someone else's letters/emails. Through these letters the reader learns that the building is being redesigned, they have leaky windows, and dust is flying from the building works. A lot of the staff have already left and you are almost left to pity the staff that haven't left yet.

These letters really paint a picture of Jason, divorced, his own writing career has failed or well never really got off the ground, he is grumpy and doesn't like modern day technology. One he particularly hates is the online form of media and forums. He seems to be rarely talking to his friends and seems to have driven most of them away.

These are humors through the way they are told and sad at the same time, I love the fact that they are told through letters as this seems to be something that is dying out. I don't want to say too much about the book as it is quite short and you would be able to read this rather quickly.

Although I did really enjoy the book, it was at times hard to keep reading one letter after the other, it may have been better to read a few letters at a time and then come back to the book. This is just my own personal opinion on the book and the reason I only rate it 4 out of 5 *. At times I did find it a little bit heavy in this format all at once. Saying that if I had read a few letters at a time and returned to the book, I may have enjoyed it even more.

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