Wednesday, 28 September 2016

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER By Jenny Colgan blog tour and giveaway

Image result for the bookshop on the corner jenny colgan

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER

By Jenny Colgan

William Morrow Paperbacks

September 20, 2016

ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99

E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99



About the Book:

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.



Purchase Here: THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER – https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062467263/the-bookshop-on-the-corner



About the Author:

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.



Connect with Jenny Colgan Website - http://www.jennycolgan.com/ 





Praise for Jenny Colgan and THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:

“Losing myself in Jenny Colgan’s beautiful pages is the most delicious, comforting, satisfying treat I have had in ages.”

— Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Secrets



“With a keen eye for the cinematic, Colgan (Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, 2016, etc.) is a deft mistress of romantic comedy; Nina's story is laced with clever dialogue and scenes set like jewels, just begging to be filmed. A charming, bracingly fresh happily-ever-after tale…”

— Kirkus


“This is a lovely novel with amazing characters who are hooked on books… at least some of them. The plot is believable and is a joy to read. The main female character, Nina, is the librarian who always figures out the best choice for a patron without fail. Jenny Colgan thinks outside the box and creates a memorable book.”

— RT Book Reviews

“This charming tale celebrates the many ways books bring people together”

— Booklist

“This light, fresh romantic comedy is the perfect escape for bibliophiles. Enjoy it with a cup of tea on a crisp day.”

— Real Simple

“[A] love story about reading and the joys books can bring to people’s lives.”

— All About Romance



Excerpt from THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:

The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you

could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”

That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.

A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.

She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.

Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.

(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.

Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)

It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat . . . it was just that they had been such a little library.

Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.

Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.

Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.

“So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”

She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.







Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.

“You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”

“They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”

“That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”



With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.

Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.

“They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”

Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.

Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”

“They won’t!”

“They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing

the planet.”

“You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”

“Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble.

“Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”

But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.

Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.



Enter the giveaway below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 26 September 2016

I'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjørk

I'm Travelling AloneI'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjørk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the body of a young girl is found hanging from a tree, the only clue the police have is an airline tag around her neck. It reads ‘I’m travelling alone’.

In response, police investigator Holger Munch is immediately charged with assembling a special homicide unit. But to complete the team, he must track down his former partner, Mia Krüger – a brilliant but troubled detective – who has retreated to a solitary island with plans to kill herself.

Reviewing the file, Mia finds something new – a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. She knows that this is only the beginning. To save other children from the same fate, she must find a way to cast aside her own demons and stop this murderer from becoming a serial killer.



The story opens up when a 6 year old girl is found hanging from a tree with a label round her neck that says 'I'm travelling alone', she is wearing strange dolls clothes and has a school satchel on her back.


This murder results in a special murder unit in Oslo to reopen with Holger Munch leading the investigation. In charge of putting his team together which had previously been disbanded Holger has to find Mia Kruger and persuade her to come back to the squad.


Mia, has retreated to a remote island with the intention of committing suicide so that she can be reunited with her dead beloved sister. She has been living on a cocktail of prescription pills and alcohol and when Holger tracks her down she just wants to be left alone to die but she agrees to look at what Holger has and discovers the number 1 on the childs' fingernail, she then knows there will be more children killed and decides to come back just for this case.


The chapters are short and easy to read although there is a fair bit of 'fleshing' out characters it was necessary to the storyline. Good secondary characters, the squad are all believable and 'real' which makes this an easy read.


We learn that Holger has his demons as well as Mia which become more evident as the plot unfolds.


There's a lot going on in this novel but it all comes together in quite a clever and acceptable way. I don't give spoilers and there are a lot of twists and turns in this book so when I thought I'd guessed who was the murderer I was left questioning this right up to the end.


A really clever interwoven plot makes sure that although the ending might have been predictable how we get there is not. A good crime thriller and considering it was a translation I felt it did a good job language wise. I hope Mia and Holger get together again with the team, an enjoyable read and worth a 4 star rating.

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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

How to find love in a bookshop by Veronica Henry blog tour

How to Find Love in a BookshopHow to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?

Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books she sells - Emilia's customers have their own tales to tell.

There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

And as for Emilia's story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?



An easy uncomplicated read, perfect for holiday or a winter read by the fire side.

Nestling in the town of Peasbrook in the countryside of the Cotswold's is Nightingale Bookshop and oldie worldie establishment which seems to have been caught up in time. From the minute the reader crosses the threashold it seems as if they are transported into a haven of charm and and endless possibilities. We start the book in a way at the end at least the end of a chapter of its' life when the owner has died and his daughter has inherited her 'home' in the bookshop. Julias having no other surviving family relative leaves his daughter the bookshop that she had grown up in and she travels back to the Cotswolds to take ownership. She is fiercely determined that she will keep it running which she knows would have been her fathers' intention but finds that its not as easy as she might have thought. With mountain debts and unpaid bills (her father really didn't have a business brain and so long as he could pay the staff and have a modest living he was happy to muddle along) Emilia is left with the heavy responsibility of paying off the debts if she is to keep the shop running.

The residents of Peasbrook and lots of regular customers to the shop have looked on Nightingale Books as a kind of therapy place, somewhere they could meet with Julias and tell their troubles to and Julias in turn would listen, provide countless cups of tea and was never short on good advice. The residents therefore were very fond of him and some miss him much more than others. They all want the book shop to remain open as much for his memory as for a place they can go to escape, in the pages of a book, from all their problems and troubles. As the story unfolds the lives of some of the residents seem to intertwine to bring this story to life.


You can really 'feel' the place, and picture as you are reading what it looks like, an enchanting place, safe, comforting and always there. I found the descriptive passages lovely and an extension to what I already imagined the shop looked like. I liked Emilia and all the characters in the book and although the story held no surprises for me it was well written, entertaining and believable.


Lovely indulgent read and worth investing the time - I would give this 4 stars, it would have got a 5 star rating but it was so predictable and there were no surprises or twists which would have made it just perfect. However still a 'feel good' factor book that gives a nice cosy glow when you're finished.

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

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

War Orphans by Lizzie Lane Blog tour with guest post



War Orphans by Lizzie Lane (Ebury Press, £5.99)


Blurb:


If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency. If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed."

Joanna Ryan’s father has gone off to war, leaving her in the care of her step-mother, a woman more concerned with having a good time than being any sort of parent to her.

But then she finds a puppy, left for dead, and Joanna’s becomes determined to save him, sharing her meagre rations with him. But, in a time of war, pets are only seen as an unnecesary burden and she is forced to hide her new friend, Harry from her step-mother and the authorities. With bombs falling over Bristol and with the prospect of evacuation on the horizon can they keep stay together and keep each other safe?


I have been very lucky to be apart of the blog tour, Lizzie has stopped by at The Book Corner with a guest post. She has shared with us her inspiration for the book. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did. 

Lizzie Lane - 

A GIRL WITH NO-ONE TO LOVE HER, AN ABANDONED PUPPY




WEBLEY BOLT GUN. Dispose of your pet quickly and humanely. Price 4/6d



This advertisement at the beginning of World War Two coincided with a Ministry of Security suggestion that if you couldn’t evacuate your pet to the country, it was an act of kindness to put it to sleep.



Their fear was that animals could be contaminated with mustard gas (as used in the First World War) or run amok when bombs began to fall. On top of that there was the food situation. Food for people had to come first and if the enemy blockaded the country (which had also happened during the First World War) there would be precious little left for dogs and cats.



As an alternative to this ‘do it yourself’ method, thousands flocked to vets and animal charities to dispose of their animals. Estimates vary and do not take into account those animals abandoned to starve, drowned or done to death by other means, but a figure of 350,000 during the first week of war is not unbelievable.



As a dog lover, I was appalled when I came across these figures. I hadn’t even realised such a thing had ever happened in a nation of animal lovers, but it most certainly did.



It was my editor at Ebury who asked that pertinent question, ‘What do you know about dogs?’



The answer was, lots!



I was writing about what I knew, but had forgotten I knew it! Astounding!



A bit of thought and the characters began to form. Against a background of animal massacre on an incredible scale, I began to write WAR ORPHANS.



The doggy character is Harry, named by Joanna, an orphan neglected by her stepmother and determined to protect the cocker spaniel puppy where she’d failed to protect her cat who had already been slaughtered.



Seb Hadley aids Joanna in her endeavours. Seb spends most of his time on his allotment, still grieving over the loss of his wife some years before. His daughter Sally is Joanna’s teacher and lacks romance in her life. It’s through Harry that she finds somebody to care for. It’s also through Harry that Seb begins at last to live again.



When writing this I thought deeply about how much animals give us and how little they demand in return; food, a warm fireside, a walk in the park. In WAR

ORPHANS Harry is one of those dogs who lifts everyone’s spirits in a dark time, being there and giving nothing but love.



I wrote about what I knew. I know dogs and perhaps because of that I have expended more emotion in this book than I have in any other. I cried a bit and I laughed a bit, just as I would have done if I had been there and it was my dog in danger.



Thanks so much for stopping by, War Orphans is out now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on Lizzie's tour. 






Monday, 19 September 2016

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

Lie With MeLie With Me by Sabine Durrant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told - to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.

And the next thing you know, you're having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday - swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of...

Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you're trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you - by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it's the lies that cause the real damage...

... well, by then, it could just be too late.





I am finding this book quite difficult to review, I finished it a few days ago and I still feel I have issues with it.

Overall, it is very different. I usually read books narrated by women with them as the main protagonist, our protagonist in this book, however is a man - Paul. Paul isn't very likable, to be honest, I didn't really warm to any of the characters which made it hard for me to get into it.

Paul is an author, he has struggled to have success after writing his first book, he currently shares a flat with a friend but due to his financial situation is looking at moving back home with his mum. He is single and hasn't had much luck with the ladies and especially won't now he is moving back home! He bumps into an old friend from school and suddenly things don't seem as bad as he thought.

From the blurb this seemed just like my type of book, I love a thriller, especially one set abroad for the summer. I was disappointed with this, I found it dreadfully slow, it did pick up during the last 50 pages or so but it took me such a long time to read. I normally finish thrillers in around 2 days, this took me almost a week, it is not a thick book I just lacked interest in it and found it pretty dull in places.

What I really found annoying in this book was that all the characters seemed patronising to each other, this drove me mad! I lost count at the number of times 'poor Paul/Alice etc' was used, this I know is minor but really wound me up.

Like I said I was disappointed in this book, I think it could have been a lot better. I don't think this should be compared to Girl on a Train or Gone Girl, personally I think they are in a different league to this book. Unfortunately I didn't like this,, I thought it was O.K, I don't think I would recommend it as there are so many better thrillers out there. I would rate this 2.5*, rounded up for Goodreads and Amazon.

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

Friday, 16 September 2016

MelodySusie® Hanging Toiletry Bag / Travel Bag - A Great Choice of Big Size Waterproof Toiletry Bag for Outdoor Activities (Elegant Rosy)

MelodySusie® Hanging Toiletry Bag / Travel Bag - A Great Choice of Big Size Waterproof Toiletry Bag for Outdoor Activities (Elegant Rosy)

£18.99


Taken From Amazon:
  • New Arrival Discount ♥Save £3♥ Enter code MSTOIBAG at checkout. PERFECT TOILETRY BAG FOR TRIPS -- MelodySusie® Hanging Waterproof Toiletry Bag is a perfect choice to neatly organize your personal necessities for outdoor activities, such as travelling on holidays, business trips, camping and seashore activities etc.
  • LARGE CAPACITY FOR STORAGE -- Made with high quality durable 300D Polyester and provides 23 compartments in different sizes with smooth zippers.
  • WATER-RESISTENT FUNCTION --- Designed with internal waterproof function that you never have to worry about moisture penetration.
  • SPECIAL HANGING AND CARRYING DESIGN --- A handy top hook allows for securely hanging from a shower or towel rack. A reliable loop handle and an adjustable shoulder strap allow for comfortable carrying in different ways.
  • 12 MONTHS WARRANTY COVERAGE - All MelodySusie® Hanging Waterproof Toiletry Bags are covered by warranty for 12 MONTHS. We will work hard to put a SMILE back on your face whenever you have any inquiries.


Review:

This toiletry bag came very neatly packaged and folded well into a waterproof bag. I thought this is perfect for storing the bag when it is not it use. 

On opening the bag I was seriously impressed, I couldn't believe how much space there is in it. This is a travel bag after all and so I was expecting there to be enough room for small toiletry's. This could fit a lot more in than I originally expected. 

I have the pink and purple bag, it is mainly pink with purple piping round the edge of the bag, it has a lining, which is cream and waterproof. The bag also come with a hook attached to one end of it to hang up in a wardrobe, a strap and a blue plastic sucker. I guess this is so you could hang the bag from a window if you don't have a wardrobe. I liked these extras as it makes the bag more useful. 

I couldn't believe it but there are 23 different compartments in it. That is such a lot for a travel bag! These are in all different sizes and some are in the side pockets. What I loved about this bag is the amount you can fit in it, I can fit not only all my toiletries in but also my husbands so now we just put everything in one place. It makes it so much easier, as well as small holders for things like toothbrushes, the larger ones will hold full sized bottles of shampoo in or a hairbrush. 

I have also used this as a gym bag as it is perfect size for carrying a towel, bottle of water and anything else needed for the gym. This is really multi functional as the title suggests and I would recommend this to others as it is so versatile. 

This comes with a 12 month warranty so you can buy with confidence. 

I hope my review has been helpful to you.

I would like to thank the company for sending this in exchange for an honest review. I was provided with a sample product at a complimentary or discounted rate in exchange for a fair, unbiased, and honest review.





Wednesday, 14 September 2016

UnitedPlug 2 Hour Fast Wireless Charger for Samsung, IPhone, Sleek Design (Black)

UnitedPlug 2 Hour Fast Wireless Charger for Samsung, IPhone, Sleek Design (Black)

★1:FAST, full charged in 2 hours;
★2:COMPATIBLE, suit for all QI standard smart phones;
★3:CONVENIENT, soft light indicator, neat and easy using;
★4:SAFETY, Built in over-charging and over temperature circuit protection;
★5:HUMANIZED, sleek and stylish design ,anti-slip bottom base. (Taken from Amazon)





This is the first time I have ever had a wireless charger, I have been thinking about getting one for a while but never really got round to it.

When this product arrived I thought it looked very professional, it came in a relatively small box but was packed securely and came with a small booklet of instructions. This is where I have a slight issue, the instructions were in English one side, which was fine but they weren't very helpful. It was clear that these had been translated but the English was very poor and understanding these were tough to begin with. Never having a wireless charger before I was relying on these to tell me what to do.

After I had worked out what I needed to do I set the device up to charge. There are coloured lights that indicate when it is charging and when the device is fully charged, this is useful. I used the USB cable included to charge the device, I plugged it into a 3 point pin, however you could attach it to your computer to charge, I believe this would work just as well.

Once charged the device works well, I cannot compare the speed as I have never used one before but I would recommend a device like this, these days batteries on phones don't last long at all as we use them for everything from calling to using the internet, which drains the battery quick. I am going to be keeping this fully charged in my bag from now on so I never get stuck without any battery.

After reading other reviews for this product many people have mentioned about the design and this is a feature they don't like. Personally I do like it, it is sturdy and looks well built. I like the chrome edges and I don't mind the branding on the front of it. Yes there are probably better designed chargers out there but for this price I feel you can't go wrong.

I received this product at a discounted price for my honest review and I hold no bias in my opinion.