Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cover Reveal! If Ever I fall by SD Robertson

Another Sunday, another fabulous new cover to bring you. Its been a while since I brought you a shiny new cover, and what a cover to return with! All the details are there for you.

Are you ready to see the cover for SD Robertson's latest novel If Ever I Fall?

Here it is......

Publishing in eBook and Paperback: 9th February 2017-Click here to pre-order now!

Is holding on harder than letting go?
Dan’s life has fallen apart at the seams. He’s lost his house, his job, and now he’s going to lose his family too. All he’s ever wanted is to keep them together, but is everything beyond repair?

Maria is drowning in grief. She spends her days writing letters that will never be answered. Nights are spent trying to hold terrible memories at bay, to escape the pain that threatens to engulf her.

Jack wakes up confused and alone. He doesn’t know who he is, how he got there, or why he finds himself on a deserted clifftop, but will piecing together the past leave him a broken man?

In the face of real tragedy, can these three people find a way to reconcile their past with a new future? And is love enough to carry them through?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Geeking out on studio tours

As I mentioned in my previous travel post, I went on a couple of studio tours whilst we were staying just outside LA. I knew that we were going to go on the universal studios tour, I've been on this before and really enjoyed it so I wanted to go again. Since I went last time, some of the tour was destroyed by fire and so I was intrigued to see how much it had changed. The day we went was a weekday so there was a lot of filming going on, limiting the amount that we could actually see and the places we could go and so I feel like I saw a little less than I had done on orevious occasions, but then how much you se will be completely determined by what day and time you go on the tour. 

The drawback of this tour is obviously the fact that you have to buy a ticket to get into the whole park, you can't just go on the tour itself. We enjoyed our day at the park, going on the Simpsons ride and enjoying a couple of showings of Shrek 4D, still one of my faves! We felt like the tour has now become just another ride though, some of the things I saw last time have now turned into 3D special effects type things rather than getting to see much of a set or a prop. 

The other tour we did was the Warner Bros tour. We decided to do this one because we had a little time to spare on our final day in LA. I also wanted to do this one because Warner is, of course, the home of Freinds and becaus our tour guide knew I love Freinds she made sure that we made a stop at the Friends stage! 

They also have a replica of Central Perk that you can go and have your picture taken in. This was really fun and I love the way the picture has turned out! 

Of course we had to go and have a drink inj not the central perk themed cafe too and this cupcake was actually yummy and not too over priced! 

There were lots of Harry Potter things to see as well which was cool and the tour featured a stop at a museum where they had lots of Marvel costumes, which didn't really interest me, but they also had Harry Potter  costumes and a sorting hat which sorted you into houses just like In the movies! 

Now previously I have been a Hufflepuff but this sorting hat decided I belonged in Gryffendor! Identity crisis?!

Seeing all of the costumes was cool but I loved seeing the sound stages and the sets. We were able to go onto the set of Pretty Little Liars and Fuller House and we saw the stages where Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls were rehearsing. It was also cool seeing the outdoor sets and see the building that was built to be used in the original film of Annie and have a look at the way it has been transformed for so many other films. 

Before we were dropped off at the gift shop, because all tours have to end there don't they?, our lovely tour stopped to show our group something that was just for me- Ellen Degeneres's parking spot-so cool! 

I feel you really got value for money from this tour because we were there's nearly 3 hours, got to see all sorts of props and sets, including all of the bat mobiles, and saw some of the special effects and sound effects and how they were done. Our tour guide was awesome and she really made the tour feel tailored to us. I would definitely go back and do this again next time I am in LA, although I'd really rather just get tickets to one of the recordings! 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Guest Review: Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts… 

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away. 

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face isGabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again. 

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace. 

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home? 

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas. 

Review: I really enjoy Holly Martin's books and was excited to see that there were not one but two Christmas stories from her this year. Once I got started on this one, I finished it in no time at all, as it was easy to read but not so easy to put down. Her previous books that I have read have all been set in the south of England, in the town of White Cliff Bay, but this is set in the Shetland Isles.

The main characters are Piper (Pip for short) Chesterfield and Gabe Whitaker, both of them lovely people. Piper has been working as a mystery guest, reviewing hotels for a magazine and moving from one job to the next for 10 years without a break. She decides to take a 6-month sabbatical, but her last job, at the brand new Stardust Lake Hotel on Juniper Island has her stepping right into a past that she has tried to forget. At the hotel, she becomes reacquainted with childhood friend Gabe, who is now a widower with a charming four-year-old daughter, Wren, and is the hotel owner. Gabe's brother and sister are also involved in the running of the hotel.

The island itself is basically a Christmas holiday resort that Gabe has spent a lot of time and money developing. It sounds absolutely idyllic; he has covered all angles to make sure that it will appeal to guests the whole year around. The entire population of the island is involved in the business in some way or another. The only negative influence is a small group of Shetland ponies, who are constantly up to mischief it seems.

I really enjoyed this story. The descriptions of the island Christmas resort had me longing to be able to go and spend the holidays there. I loved that the whole island was involved in the venture, with craft shops in addition to the main complex. Gabe has even built special units where guests have a clear view of the stars at night, and the Northern lights when they are visible. Holly has really used her imagination in building this resort to appeal to everyone. Even the mode of transport by which visitors reach the island is fantastic. The next book, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, to be published soon, takes up the story of Gabe's sister, Neve. I can't wait to read it!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

An evening with Gayle Forman in Denver

On Tuesday night I attended the Tattered Cover bookstore for an evening they were hosting with Gayle Forman. This was my first event since moving to the US and so I was a little nervous. I got there early, got my copy of the book and waited for Gayle to arrive.

I've been to a Gayle Forman event before-see my previous post on this- and so I knew that she was an awesome speaker. She began by reading a little from her new adult novel, Leave Me, I've just started this and it seems like a really interesting story, it involves a 44 year old woman who has a heart attack and has to cope with how to run her family and take care of herself at the same time. It was interesting to hear that, although this isn't normally the type of novel that Gayle writes, she still had a lot of fun writing it and found it easy to take on the voice of an adult rather than a young person. It was also interesting that she chose to write this book in the third person rather than the first like she does with her YA novels. 

There were lots of interesting questions from the audience, including what her reaction was to the If I Stay movie. I didn't realise that If I stay was based on this authors personal experience and it was fascinating to hear how she reacted the second time she saw the movie because of that. She also told us that the guy playing Mia's dad in the movie, is wearing the leather jacket belonging to her freind who sadly dies in similar circumstances and you can actually see that jacket in all the movie posters and the movie edition of the book! 

Interestingly, this newest novel is also based on personal experience even though Gayle herself thinks that the character she is most like is Adam from where she went! It was funny for me because she was talking about how the year she spent studying abroad in England was the year that she felt she found herself and found her direction in life. She recounted anecdote about how she returned with an English accent and this was due to the fact that had to change the way she said certain things, including ordering a cheese and tomato sandwich just to get by! We had a whole conversation about this when she signed my book because I am finding a similar thing but the other way around! 

It was really great to hear her talking about the writing process and how she juggles work and family at home and lovely to chat to her when she singed my book. 

I think Tattered Cover hosted a great event and it seemed very fitting as my first event since moving here and I hope that there will be many more to come! 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: top ten audiobooks on my Wishlist 20/9/16

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I've always got a massive Wishlist on audible but here are the ones that I definitely want to get and definitely want to read on audiobook. This might be because I like listening to biographies on audiobook or it might be because I've read something else by this author on audiobook and so without further ado...

1. Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

2. Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

3. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

4. Is everyone Hanging out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling

5. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

6. Girl Walks into A Bar by Rachel Dratch

7. The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

8. 31 Dream Street By Lisa Jewell

9. Seeing Other People by Mike Gayle

10. All I know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: Geek Girl Sunny Side Up

A brand new summer story from the no. 1 bestselling and award-winning GEEK GIRL series!

Harriet Manners knows many facts.

And she knows everything there is to know about Paris… except what to do when you’re the hottest new model at Fashion Week.

Can Harriet find her je ne sais quoi or will it be sacré bleu! on the runway?

Review: you know I love geek Girl and these Geek Girl shorts are so fabulous because they whet my appetite just enough, ready for the next book in the series to come out. I was so excited when I found out that this book existed becaus I had read the previous novella (All Wrapped Up) with some children that I teach and I was looking forward to sharing this with them again. It turned out to be an education experience as well because of the setting of this book, it was interesting seeing Harriet travel to Paris for fashion week. Of course this setting means lots of humour involving pronunciation and the language barrier, but it's also the first time we see Harriet, a somewhat unconventional model, at an actual fashion week. I feel like our little girl is growing up! 

Of course our favourite characters are all here in this mini-book, fret not, there is a healthy dose of Wilbur and of course, a nod to Mr Manners, both hugely popular comedic characters in this series. There are also a few appearances from characters from previous novels you might have forgotten, which was really fun. As I said above, it does feel as though Harriet has grown up a little and that gives us scope for a whole lot of messes she can get herself into and out of, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens to her as she does grow up, I can't wait to see her leave hom and head to uni or where've she decides to go-Holly Smale will handle that amazingly, I know! 

The storyline is short and sweet but complete for the lenghr of book it is. Despite this shortness (224 pages) we have a very clear structure and you will not be left feeling short changed by this book. It's the perfect length to fill a few lunchtime reading sessions, I can vouch for that, and the storyline is original and just as funny as the full-length books! I have no idea how Holly Smale manages to get so many Geek Girl books out there is such a short space of time, but if applaud her and long may she continue to do so! 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Letterbox Love #2

Welcome to Letterbox Love, this is a UK meme, hosted by the lovely Lynsey at Narratively Speaking and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This post is a means by which to highlight the books we get in the post and beyond, and especially to bring attention to those books which may be sat on our shelves for a little while yet that we love all the same.

So my second book haul of the year! It's been a very different year for me reading wise and so it seems apt that I haven't really done any book hauls this year. I've been buying some audiobooks and I've had some lovely books from publishers but I haven't been buying many books because I haven't been reading many books-but that's all about to change! 

This haul is going to be broken into books I've bought and books I've borrowed because I joined the library this week! 

So I joined the library this week and I borrowed:
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Emmy and Oliver by
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub 
Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch

All of these books have been on my Wishlist for quite some time! 

They were also having a massive book sale at the library and so we could fill a bag with books for $6 can you believe it?

Amongst the books we got were:
Simply The best All American (cook book)
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Trading up by Candace Bushnell
Sisters by Danielle Steele
All the Stars in The Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

I also went to an event with Gayle Forman this week and got her new novel Leave Me. This is an adult novel soa little different from what she usually offers but I've already started it and it's really good! 

I also downloaded 2 audiobooks becaus I had a credit and there was also a sale on so I got both books for less than £6!

I got Ths Girl with The lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer and The Girls by Emma Cline-so looking forward to both these books! 

And finally I got 1 ebook this week and that was Green Tea Latte to Go by Aven Ellis

I'm really excited to get started with all of these books and really excited about the fact that I can borrow audiobooks and novels for free from the library! 

Happy reading!