A brand new series from Booktuber Lucy Powrie - about what happens when you give up on trying to fit in in and let your weird out! It's time to join The Paper & Hearts Society ...
Tabby Brown is tired of trying to fit in. She doesn't want to go to parties - in fact, she would much rather snuggle up on the sofa with her favourite book.
It's like she hasn't found her people ...
Then Tabby joins a club that promises to celebrate books. What could go wrong? EVERYTHING - especially when making new friends brings out an AWKWARD BUZZING feeling all over her body.
But Olivia, Cassie, Henry and Ed have something that makes Tabby come back. Maybe it's the Austen-themed fancy-dress parties, or Ed's fluffy cat Mrs Simpkins, or could it be Henry himself ...
Can Tabby let her weird out AND live THE BEST BOOKISH LIFE POSSIBLE?
Review: I loved this book right from the first page because this is such a wonderful love letter to books. If you are a reader, you are definitely going to identify with the Paper and Hearts Society because they love books and book shelves and this whole thing kicks of with a visit to the library! How awesome is that? Classics are represented here as well as young adult contemporary and fantasy, graphic novels and even some childhood favourites. I want to be a member of this society and I defy you not to want to as well after you read this book.
Tabby is a book lover and so I could identify with her right away. But she is also a teenager having to deal with everything a teenager has to deal with and so teens picking up this book will definitely have something in common with her right away. Tabby is also a great character to read about because she has some anxiety issues and also some self-esteem issues which are also very easy to relate to. These do build over the course of the novel and we see her trying to hide these aspects of her life from those around her, and we all know how that is going to go!
The other members of the society are great and wonderful and diverse and I can't wait to spend more time with them. I love the fact that they are brought together through their love of reading but that they are all dealing with other issues in their lives that they can support each other with. Henry is a fun character in the group and I loved how thoughtful he was. It is not often you find someone who is as kind and caring as he was. Olivia is bright and bubbly but she is not as confident as she may seem and she is hiding something fairly major about herself that we do get to find out a way into the book. Cassie is guarded and finds trust difficult but we also get to find out the root of that issue and Ed is just the best. He is welcoming and kind and I really hope we get to dig a little deeper into this character in future books in the series.
This is a great debut novel. It really does have something for everyone. I flew through it in two sittings and it definitely motivated me to get on with the rest of my TBR because of all the books and authors these characters talked about. Lucy has explored so many issues that are prevalent for teens today and there is so much relevant technology in the book right down to them texting to let each other know they're outside rather than ringing the bell-I loved that. I highly recommend this book, pop it on your summer TBR now!
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US
Headstrong and organised, Mia is a single mum who wants to fix the world - but the one thing she can’t fix is her family. Responsible older brother Will has fled Primrose Bay, unable to forgive and forget after the ultimate betrayal. And Jasmine, no longer the wayward baby sister, is determined to prove to her brother and sister that she’s just as capable as they are.
Together in the bay after years apart and a separation spanning three continents, it doesn’t take long for the siblings to clash when Mia calls everyone together in a family crisis. And with jealousy and resentment simmering between them, as well as faces from the past and new loves, the family ties could end up being severed forever.
Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in order to find each other again…
Review: This is just my second book written by this author. I greatly enjoyed the first one that I read, and having been attracted by the alluring cover on this book and of course the synopsis, I chose it to be next. As with my previous experience, the story hooked me from the start, and had me coming back for more until the end.
The book is set in Primrose Bay, just outside Melbourne, where the Marcello family have run the Sun Coral Cafe for as long as anyone can remember. Two of the younger generation, Will and Jasmine, have left the family home and business and settled abroad, while the third, Mia, has stayed in the bay and set up a picnic company, offering the most amazing bespoke picnics. When a family crisis looms, Mia, always the one to try and fix everything, calls her siblings home, and that’s when the fun really starts. All manner of past grievances rear their ugly heads, but the three of them must pull together if they are going to save the family business and, indeed, the family itself.
I found this a really enjoyable story, with strong, believable characters and situations that might be familiar to any reader. I liked the way that the story is told, incidents being described from different perspectives by each sibling. A picture slowly emerges of childhoods that were at times painful for each of the three Marcello youngsters, in part due to parents working hard to ensure a successful business and not giving enough time to family life. This is definitely an emotional tale, that above all underlines the importance of communication within relationships. On the lighter side, I loved the idea of Mia’s picnic company; I will never again be able to have a picnic with sandwiches from a plastic box and no linen tablecloth! This is a book I would strongly recommend; a good summer read.
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US
What a joy to be back in Glasgow, and even more so when in the company of Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon and Mhairi McFarlane. On June 4, Waterstones Glasgow (Sauchiehall Street branch) very kindly hosted this event where these three lovely ladies entertained us with talk of their recent exploits, their newly released books and what was in the pipeline.
I’m sure that everyone there would agree that it was well worth braving the dreich weather to listen to these talented authors, who not only had us all in stitches with their stories, but kindly answered our questions. Thanks to them all and also to Waterstones for such a well organised event.
So I know we are now well into June but I am currently still travelling back from Bookcon and Book Expo and that whole experience has given me a massive book hangover. I feel a little overwhelmed by what I have to read and all the new things I have to read so this TBR is going to consist of June releases, a May release I didn't get to. Buddy read commitments and audiobooks I know I have/am going to listen to on the road trip back.
I am going to leave the rest of the month open to reading books that I got at Book expo as well as other books that are on my shelf! I'm not going to add any July or August releases that I know I'm going to have to get to at some point because I don't want that pressure!
Do let me know in comments what you're planning on/have already started reading this month!
Other Books I Want to Read
A book I didn't finish in May...
An audiobook I want to read for certain...
A buddy read...
And that's all folks. I'll have my book expo/bookcon vlog and wrap ups and book hauls up on here and my channel very soon, I just need to get home and organise it all first!
Do let me know what's on your June TBR and I hope you're having a great reading month so far!
So as you know if you've seen my May TBR-it was a busy month for me. That's also the reason that this post (an accompanying video) is going up so late. I have a moment in a random hotel room on my journey back to Denver to actually sit down and post this so you have it before we;re actually into July.
On of the things that really helped me this month was the Bout of Books readathon. You can read my wrap up post for that one here. I also did a mid-month wrap up video because I knew that I would mainly be reading in the first 3 weeks of May sue to my travelling to Book Expo and then being in Book Expo and Book con and the hangover that follows that.
So here are the books I read in May. I will break them down into ebooks, physical books and audiobooks and I will also leave links to any reviews I may have already posted.
Escape to a hotel by the beach with Melissa Hill, the internationally bestselling author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY'S and A GIFT TO REMEMBER.
Mulberry Hotel, perched on a clifftop above a sweeping bay, was once the heart and soul of pretty seaside town Mulberry Bay. Run by the Harte family for years, the place itself is almost as beloved as cheery landlady Anna.
The hotel was also once home to thirty-something sisters Eleanor and Penny, and while youngest sister Penny still lives close by, it's been some time since Elle has visited. But following a family tragedy, Elle is forced to return from her busy London life and reassess her past.
When it becomes apparent that the hotel is in dire straits, Elle and Penny are unprepared for the reaction of their father, Ned, He steadfastly refuses to give up the family legacy, revealing that he's given up something equally precious once before. Startled by their father's surprising revelation, the sisters unite, with the local community behind them, in their efforts to save the hotel - and, in the process, heal the fractures in the Harte family.
Review: This is my first novel by Melissa Hill. I managed to source the audiobook from my local library and listened to it while on holiday. I quickly found myself lost in the story and finished the whole book in no time. I shall definitely be on the lookout for more of this author’s novels.
The story is set in the small Irish coastal town of Mulberry Bay, where the hotel has been run for many years by the Harte family, its success due primarily to the welcome and care provided by the family’s matriarch, Anna. The Harte’s daughters, Elle and Penny, have been brought up there and are now in their mid thirties. Although Penny still lives in the town, Elle has moved away to follow her career as a successful architect and lives in London. When Anna dies suddenly, Elle returns home for the funeral to find the hotel in financial trouble and more than a little run down. Her father, Ned, is determined that the family should not give up the business, so the family, with help from locals, set about returning the building to its former glory. In the process, the girls discover things they had not known about their family’s past as well as learning more about themselves.
I thought this was a charming story of a family brought together by grief and adversity and finding themselves repairing rifts in their relationships as well as in the actual fabric of the hotel. I particularly enjoyed watching Elle change from almost a hard business woman into somebody much more like her mother had been, with determination to make the hotel the success it once was. At the same time, it was good to witness a transformation in her sister as well to someone with more confidence in her own value. Mulberry Bay seemed a really nice little town, with a strong sense of community, willing to pull together when needed. Too bad about the bank manager! Melissa described it all so well that I felt it would make a perfect holiday destination, especially if you could book into one of the rooms in the newly refurbished hotel. I would certainly recommend this book; it would make a great holiday companion, as I found myself.
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This is an interesting one because I really don't feel like I have a favourite genre. I love reading contemporary romantic comedy whether that's for an adult or a young adult audience but then I also love a thriller here & there and you know I have to have some non-fiction in the mix as well so... let's have a go at some of my favoruite contemporary romantic comedies that I didn't mention in last week's top ten tuesday which was top ten books of the last ten years!
I have an awesome author interview for you today. I was lucky enough to get to post my questions to Ann Morgan, author of Crossing over. Crossing Over is available now, exclsively from Audible, here's what it's all about...
Edie is struggling. She's increasingly confused, but she can't let the women in the village find that out - they'd only talk. But she's forgetting so much - forgetting to wear matching clothes, forgetting to bake one of her walnut cakes for the WI sale...and forgetting to lock the door...until one day she wakes to find Jonah in her house and herself in her past.
Jonah is struggling. The journey to England was illegal and dangerous, and he's the only one who survived - and he still hasn't made it to London. Everything will be fine if he can just get to London. But can he leave Edie to look after herself? And can he hide from the authorities? And from his past?
About the audiobook
Ann Morgan has written an affecting and absorbing tale of an elderly woman losing herself to dementia and an illegal immigrant suffering from PTSD who has found England is not the utopia he was promised. The relationship between the two is touching yet mutually suspicious and uneasy; both are scared, moreover, of the outside world - Edie is worried she'll be put in a home, and Jonah is worried he will be deported. Neither can cope on their own - but can they rely on each other when they can't trust anyone else?
Thanks to Ann for answering my burning questions...
First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I think it’s more that writing got into me. I’ve always wanted to do it. I tried to write my first novel when I was seven. It owed a lot to The Chronicles of Narnia! Since then, the desire to tell stories has never left me, although it took me many years to find a way to put them in a form that people might want to read.
Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
Yes. But writing involves many things other than typing words. It can be a very varied career, involving travel, events, odd research trips, hours and hours of reading, teaching and a whole host of other things beside. I suppose I formally became a full-time writer after my first novel Beside Myself was published (although I do still occasionally do some freelance editing and copywriting work from home). However, my life has been set up to support and enable my writing for many years, so it’s always been my main focus.
Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I love reading translated fiction from around the world. This has been transformative for me as a writer and made me much more adventurous. There are some amazing books written in languages other than English that do all kinds of mind-bending things that you never see in anglophone novels.
How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I try to set up an interesting enough premise and environment to tempt proper characters to show up. It doesn’t always work. I never base characters on real people, at least not consciously.
What was the inspiration behind Crossing Over?
For a long time, I’d wanted to write about the little ships manned by civilians that were sent to rescue soldiers from the beaches in Dunkirk early in the second world war. I knew this would probably involve an elderly character who had been involved in the evacuation effort. Then, when reports started to surface in the last few years of refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean and more recently the Channel in small boats, the parallels and contrasts between the two types of crossings seemed powerful. While the historic episode is often discussed with pride and awe, the contemporary situation evokes pity but also fear and suspicion – particularly among those keen to draw a distinction between refugees and economic migrants.
In addition, I’m fascinated by representing altered mental states in narrative and how mental illness affects storytelling (something I explored with bipolar disorder in my first novel, Beside Myself). Many therapies are built on the theory that telling a story can help a person move past a traumatic event – so what are the implications for people who are unable to articulate what has happened to them coherently? It struck me that bringing together two characters whose storytelling is compromised – one through linguistic limitations and PTSD and the other through dementia – might provide an interesting way to explore this.
What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?
I have a sense of where I want to end up, but usually little idea of the route I’ll take to get there. I find plans tend to suck the life out of things for me.
How much of you is reflected in your writing?
There’s a little bit of me in all my main characters. But very different bits!
What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing Crossing Over?
A huge amount of reading into Black British history, the Second World War, the migrant crisis and maize farming in Malawi! I also talked to some extremely helpful Malawian friends and friends of friends who helped me build on the knowledge I had gained about the country during a visit in 2008.
How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
Not very much. I think reviews – good and bad – often say more about the person writing the comment than they do about the book.
Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
Yes. It makes a huge difference.
How do you feel leading up to your publication day?
Publication days are strange things – often very little happens and books are frequently available beforehand. The first one is exciting but these days I don’t really give it too much thought.
Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I think Reni Eddo-Lodge is fantastic. I’ve recently really enjoyed Leila Slimani’s Lullaby. And if you’re looking for a really unusual, inspiring read, I’d recommend Mozambican author Paulina Chiziane’s The First Wife.
Finally...what are you working on right now?
Another novel. But sssh. Don’t tell anyone…
Ann Morgan’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Financial Times and the New Internationalist. Her first book Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer (Harvill Secker / WW Norton) was published following the success of her Olympics-inspired project to read a book from every country throughout 2012. Her bestselling debut novel Beside Myself was released to great acclaim in 2016. Crossing Over marks the first time Ann Morgan has written for audio.
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US
Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the look of that you can click here to order yourself a copy! Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.
Here's what it's all about...
In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.
Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.
DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…
Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?
The number one bestselling author returns with a breath-taking police procedural thriller series that will have you on the edge of your seat.
And here's that extract for you...
Grace was startled by all the images on the walls when they were shown into the classroom. It seemed as if she had walked into a set from Game of Thrones. She assumed they were in a history room and, even though the novels were fantasy, Nathan Stiller was using the popular series to encourage the pupils to learn about darker times.
She tried not to stare at an almost life-size image of the actor Sean Bean at the back of the room, looking all caveman rough-and-ready. To her right, fictional character Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, was looking just as tempting. It was quite some show, as were the books themselves. Grace had been bereft when the seventh series had finished on a cliff-hanger after binge-watching all of them. Grace had been bereft when the seventh series had finished on a cliff-hanger after binge-watching all of them. She looked forward to watching the final season, if she ever had time.
Robert Carmichael was sitting at the desk at the front of the room. He was of average build with dark brown hair. His face was as white as chalk, the smell of vomit lingering around him. He wore grey tracksuit trousers and a black T-shirt that was in need of an iron, obviously a spare. Grace knew that he would have changed out of his clothes regardless. Forensics would have bagged them up after he left the crime scene.
After introductions, Grace asked him to run through what had happened that morning.
Thanks so much to Mel for sharing that extract with us today and don't forget to check out the rest of the blogs on the tour!
Do you know your trig points from your National Trails? Can you calculate using contours? And can you fathom exactly how far the footpath is from the free house?
Track down hidden treasures, decipher geographical details and discover amazing facts as you work through this unique puzzle book based on 40 of the Ordnance Survey's best British maps. Explore the first ever OS map made in 1801, unearth the history of curious place names, encounter abandoned Medieval villages and search the site of the first tarmac road in the world.
With hundreds of puzzles ranging from easy to mind-boggling, this mix of navigational tests, word games, code-crackers, anagrams and mathematical conundrums will put your friends and family through their paces on the path to becoming the ultimate map-master!
Review: This is a treat for all map addicts! It comprises a collection of forty maps produced by Ordnance Survey, Britain's mapping agency, selected for their historical, geographical or special cultural interest. Alongside each map are a series of puzzles, set by Dr Gareth Moore about features shown on the map.
The puzzles are graded under four headings: Easy; Medium; Tricky; and Challenging, although to be honest, I found them all equally difficult. They range from identifying certain features on the maps and navigational skills to word puzzles, anagrams and cryptic, crossword-style clues, so there is something for people with different aptitudes. An eye for detail is definitely an asset for solving the puzzles.
However, it is the maps themselves that are the book's crowning glory. These include a number of historical maps, some of which have been overlaid with their modern versions to show how the landscape has changed over time. One of my favourites is a 1965 map of Hounslow which has been overlaid with the line of Major General William Roy's original baseline. The baseline was measured in the 1780s across Hounslow Heath (chosen because it was a large expanse of flat land conveniently close to London) and formed the basis of the mapping of the entire country by triangulation, and the foundation of all Ordnance Survey maps since then. Nowadays, the baseline runs across Heathrow Airport, built as London's main airport after the Second World War (chosen because it was a large expanse of flat land conveniently close to London).
Hence, if you enjoy maps and solving clues, then get out your magnifying glass since this is the book for you.
To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US