Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'From the author of the critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a breakout new novel about the secrets husbands and wives keep from each other.

My Darling Cecilia
If you're reading this, then I've died . . .

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all - she's an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia - or each other - but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's devastating secret.'

During the book we follow the lives of three different women, to begin with I found this a bit tricky to keep up with as there are many characters introduced within a short period of time. Make sure you don’t give up though as it quickly slips into place and once it does, you will not be able to put it down.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick and her husband have been married many years and she thinks she knows him inside and out. When she is in the loft one day looking for part of the Berlin wall (for her daughter) she discovers something she is not sure she was meant to find. It is a letter that is addressed to her in case of her husband’s death. Cecilia knows she shouldn’t open the letter as her husband is very much alive, but she just cannot keep it to herself. But what could it possibly say? Why is it only to be opened in the event of his death?

We are left with this to ponder over while we meet Tess, she has a son with her husband, he however has fallen in love with someone else. She cannot take it and flies to stay with her mum in Sydney, along with her son.

Finally we meet Rachel, she is a school secretary and is still grieving over the loss of her daughter many years before. She now puts all her energy into her grandson, her son and daughter in law have been offered a job in America and are planning on taking him with them. This is something that Rachel feels would kill her as she would have nothing left.

Liane Moriarty is an author who I had not come across before, however on the strength of this book I would read others. The story is written very well and during the novel we begin to find out about Janie Rachel’s daughter, this is the back story that is going on. I found I enjoyed this and found it necessary to understand some of the actions Rachel takes.

The Husband’s Secret is a story that takes you on a journey to question how well you know people that you care about and friends. You are also left with the realisation of the consequences keeping secrets can have. I would recommend this book to everyone I know, it took me on a journey with the characters and my feeling for them regularly changed. I found it a quick read but one that will last with you a long time. I loved the ‘who done it’ aspect of the book and the twists and turns in the plot.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy to review.

Monday, 28 October 2013

A Divided Inheritance - Deborah Swift

A Divided InheritanceA Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'~ London 1609 ~ Elspet Leviston’s greatest ambition is to continue the success of her father Nathaniel’s lace business. But her dreams are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of her mysterious cousin Zachary Deane – who has his own designs on Leviston’s Lace. Zachary is a dedicated swordsman with a secret past that seems to invite trouble. So Nathaniel sends him on a Grand Tour, away from the distractions of Jacobean London. Elspet believes herself to be free of her hot-headed relative but when Nathaniel dies her fortunes change dramatically. She is forced to leave her beloved home and go in search of Zachary - determined to claim back from him the inheritance that is rightfully hers. Under the searing Spanish sun, Elspet and Zachary become locked in a battle of wills. But these are dangerous times and they are soon embroiled in the roar and sweep of something far more threatening, sending them both on an unexpected journey of discovery which finally unlocks the true meaning of family . . .'

The novel is set in London in 1609 for the first part of the book; it opens with introducing us to Magdalena and her sons; she is dying and is concerned for her sons future in particular her son Zachary. The older two brothers are spiteful to Zachary and Magdalena is worried that when she dies he will not be able to care for himself like the others or worse end up in trouble. When Magdalena dies she instructs Zachary to seek out his real father to take care of him.

We then switch to the Leviston family who own a Lace business run by Nathaniel Leviston and assisted by his daughter Elspet. Nathaniel's wife is dead and Elspet is his only child who runs the home and helps with the business much like a son might have done had he had one.

The business occupies much of Elspet's time but she loves being involved and being close to her father. Quite out of the blue Zachary arrives who Nathaniel says is his sisters child, she has died and he is going to take him in. Elspet is suspicious of Zachary from the start and is concerned that her father has never mentioned him before, however she has no control over the situation and has to accept his presence. It's not long before Nathaniel is involving him more and more in the business but Elspet knows he has no real interest in it, he is always getting into fights and causing concern. Because of this she suggests he is educated more into the business and Nathaniel hits on the idea of sending him on a grand tour overseas away from the distractions of London.

Deborah Swift has great descriptive abilities, she is wonderful at creating the scene and the feel for Jacobean London and that of her characters. She expertly weaves the plot together introducing characters as she goes along that fall seamlessly into the story. Not to give too much away Elspet is forced to follow Zachary when her father dies and she realises he is her brother who has been given half her inheritance and she learns he wants to sell the business.

She takes her maid Martha and Wilmot her fathers business manager with her to Spain to track him down and make him change his mind about selling the business. She has her own private battle of wills with Zachary but that period of time in Spain was a dangerous place to be and quickly she realises that there are more important things happening around her than her own troubles which force her and Zachary closer together.

I will not spoil the story by revealing the end suffice it to say that it is rather more unexpected than the reader would have predicted.

A good read with good historical references, believable characters and the need to carry on to the end to find out what happens to them all.

I would not have picked a historical novel to read but this has made me want to read more of Deborah Swifts work, so enjoyable. I would rate this book as a 5 star definitely one of the best in this genre that I have read.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this review copy.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Superworm - Julia Donaldson

SuperwormSuperworm by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'A wacky and fun new adventure from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, starring a truly unforgettable hero!

Toad in trouble? Beetle in a jam? Never fear -- Superworm is here! And he's wiggling to the rescue!

But when Superworm is captured by a wicked Wizard Lizard, will his friends find a way to help their favorite superhero escape?

From the creators of THE GRUFFALO and ROOM ON THE BROOM, a super new adventure with a wriggly, squiggly hero you'll never forget.'

This is a story that I regularly read to my class and they absolutely love it every time.

Julia Donaldson has an unique way of engaging the children and sparking imagination. All of her books are popular favourites in our class, that we regularly use to prepare work for them.

The book has wonderful rhyme in it, which the children pick up and join in with. It introduces vocabulary for the children to use when to describe something, such as wiggle/squirm.

Being an insect this book can be related to topics on minibeasts for reception/year 1 children.

When the children were asked what they loved about this book, they all mentioned the illustrations. They are clear, colourful and exciting.

Personally I don't think this is as good as other Julia Donaldson books, however the children do and it's them that count!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Borrowing my Mother's Saints - Olga Soaje

Borrowing My Mother's SaintsBorrowing My Mother's Saints by Olga Soaje
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'What can you possibly do when your dazzling life starts unraveling before your eyes? For Julianna Di Santis, a thirty-three-year-old ad executive whose dream life in New York City is crumbling before her very eyes, it might just mean calling in a few good souls to save her. Borrowing My Mother’s Saints is the heartwarming, humor-filled book by Olga G. Soaje that charts one young woman as her life suddenly hits the skids, and only a much higher order can help to set it right. With a plum job at Nelson and Nelson ad agency, a Manhattan apartment, and a boyfriend named Michael who looks good enough on paper, Julianna is at the peak of her game. That’s when everything starts going south fast. Nancy, her nemesis at work with a fake smile (and other body parts!), has somehow stolen her account. Her boss, Peter, deems her burned out and sends her out the door with her cardboard box. And that’s just the beginning of the rapid-fire onslaught of serious woes. 

After Michael dumps her squarely, her mom is diagnosed with breast cancer. Julianna is officially at her wit’s end. However, just as she’s in the deepest despair, enter a cast of characters that Julianna hasn’t seen since her childhood days at home and in her Catholic grade school. Tucked away in her mother’s recipe box is a bounty of saints cards, and soon, those the saints come marching in to represent a source of strength her mother had found in them and a way to develop other career paths she had not considered on her road to happiness. Julianna slowly learns to looks at life, work, and relationships in an entirely new light. '

I was approached by the author, who offered me her book to review. I agreed as I love 'chick lit' and I was looking forward to reading it.

As I began to read the book, I found it a little heavy with saints and faith etc, I am not particularly that religious and I was worried that the whole book would go down the same path. I am glad I stayed with the book as it got a lot better.

The story is one of a 30 something woman and the ups and downs of her life and decisions she has to make along the way. I found it very easy to read, past the beginning and didn't want the story to end. When it did end I found it a bit abrupt. It would have been nice for the ending to have been developed a bit more.

I found this a very quick read and completed in a weekend. This would appeal to many women as they can relate to the story and is quite light hearted. This is a book that is written very well, unfortunately I felt the book wasn't for me.

I would like to thank Olga again for sending me this copy to read.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Welcome to Emma Louise and thank you for participating at The Book Corner

My Guest Blogger on The Book Corner today is Emma Louise, thank you for taking the time out to post on my blog!

Welcome to Emma Louise

Before I introduce myself, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Sam for kindly allowing me to guest post on her beautiful blog today. It’s an absolute honour.

My name is Emma Louise, or Emma, or Em. Whichever you prefer! I’m currently twenty-two years old and I live in the United Kingdom. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and in particular, Daniel Radcliffe. I can’t survive the day without several cups of tea. I love owls, elephants, giraffes and penguins. I am a proud book blogger and I love being part of the book community. Being a book blogger allows me to meet so many different people from all over the world.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve interviewed quite a lot of authors – ones which I own novels of and some which I am just happy to promote. I had the opportunity to meet my favourite British romance author, Paige Toon, back in June. Hey, that rhymes! She was an absolute delight. Being a book blogger isn’t about the free review books that I receive in the post, it’s about helping the authors. When I met Paige, she knew exactly who I was because I had talked to her on Twitter and reviewed her books on my blog. That is the best part. Some call it a job, I call it my life.

As well as being a book blogger, I’m a writer. I attended Edge Hill University for four years where I completed a Bachelor Honours Degree in Creative Writing & Film Studies and then a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. I would love to be an author one day, well I already am, as I self-published my first book back in July. I am currently working on a novel which is titled Business Love and I absolutely love the writing process. That’s another great side to knowing authors, they give you great tips!

Over on my blog, I do reviews of the books which I am currently reading. I read the review books on a first come, first serve rule. I also have other book bloggers who guest post, exactly what I’m doing on Sam’s blog now. I also have Author Week, in which I interview an author for each day of the week – this has been done for Guest Week as well. I promote authors as much as I can. Whether they are just starting out or they’re well known, I help them all. I am also happy to help new book bloggers as well. One big family!

If you are interested in guest posting on my blog, or whether you’re an author looking to be interviewed, please do not hestitate to contact me. Or whether you’d just like a nosy...  My details are below.

Lots of love,

Emma Louise

Twitter: EmmaIsWriting

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Cheesecake Queen - Miranda P. Koerner Cover Reveal

The Cheesecake Queen cover reveal!

When I was asked if I would like to be part of the cover reveal for 'The Cheesecake Queen' I jumped at the chance, it sounds such a fab read and I cannot wait to read it. 

Release date 21st November

Sugar Rule 1: Christmas is the perfect time for cheesecake.
Sugar Rule 2: Men are as useful as burnt cookies.

After losing her reporting job to layoffs at the local paper, Caeleah Turner’s pity party at the airport is interrupted by a woman claiming to know the location of the world’s best cheesecake. Intrigued, Caeleah trades plane tickets with the woman and finds herself in Chestnut, Colorado, a tiny town hiding a woman known as the Cheesecake Queen. The Cheesecake Queen not only bakes the best cheesecakes in the country, but her cheesecake is known to cure everything from infertility to baldness—one woman even loses 100 pounds on it! There is a thick batter of secrets behind The Cheesecake Queen and her two sisters, who operate all the bakeries in town.

But as the mayor’s efforts to shut down the Sugar sisters before Christmas gear up, Caeleah finds herself wanting to sample his own treats.

There’s a bigger secret than love to Cinnamon’s cheesecakes. And Caeleah is determined to find out what it is.


Miranda Koerner is a writer living in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and two Chihuahuas. A former children’s magazine editor and reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the Express-News, Miranda has written for The Current, Taste, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Her YA novel The Butterfly Dress was published by Girl E books and is available through and Smashwords. She is anticipating her next novel, Blue Mermaid, with Turquoise Morning Press in April 2013. For more information, visit or her blog at

Find her on Facebook at or twitter @BlondeDuckie.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Undeniable - Liz Bankes

UndeniableUndeniable by Liz Bankes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Gabi is so excited – she's spending the summer working as a runner on her favourite TV show. It's a dream come true! Plus it's perfect for for distracting her from The Break-Up – especially with all those gorgeous actors around.

And then there's Spencer Black: student, extra, expert flirt. Everything with him is fun, intoxicating – and uncertain. Things between them are hotting up when he lands a minor role on the show. So is it make or break for them? Is Spencer undeniably the one for Gabi?'

I had never read any of Liz Bankes books before, but when I was sent it to read from the publisher I looked forward to it.

From looking at the front cover I didn't actually know it was in the YA category, I thought this looks very adult and could perhaps dip into the Erotic area. I was very wrong. From reading the back cover I thought it would instantly be a hit with teens and those in their early 20's.

This book seems to have everything, the reality T.V, 'The Hills' type show being shot and obviously the attractive actors and actresses; this twinned with romance was always going to be a hit.

Gabi moves to London for the summer on work experience, her Granny is an actress and managed to get her a job as a runner on the hottest T.V series to be filmed for a while. This turns out to be Gabi's favourite series and she can not wait. However she is also recovering from a broken heart, this being one of the reasons she decided to move to London for the summer.

Very quickly Gabi meets Spencer, who has a small part in the series, they click right to begin with, but Gabi knows she is not there to develop relationships but to hopefully enhance her career.

The book is split into present and flash backs that Gabi has with her ex, Max. Max is a character we only really see from Gabi's point of view, she paints him to be caring and loving. We learn a lot about Max and Gabi's relationship through these flash backs and it is written very well.

There are many characters in the book that arrive at different times, this was done well as I didn't become lost with the characters, but felt it needed them. You develop feelings through the book for the characters and I must say I loved Gabi, she was funny, down to earth and an average teenager. My feelings for Spencer changed as I got further into the book and by the end my thoughts had changed again. The main person I felt sorry for was Max, I don't want to give too much away, but he is a genuine nice guy.

Undeniable is a very quick read, I read in less than 24 hours, it was easy to slip in and out of and would appeal to the younger audience. Some of the scenes in the book are a bit steamy though I think for younger teens and there is a guidance on the back to be read by over 15's. I also enjoyed this book as I found it rather funny, this was something else I did not expect from the book. This made me want to continue to read it, this is not a long novel and could easily be read in a few days. I did find that I preferred the first half of the book and I found I read this quicker, this I feel was because it had funnier parts to it, however I did enjoy the rest of the book too.

Like I said I had never read any previous books by Liz, however I notice that we meet some of the characters in the previous book. This does not matter and you do not have to of read it to understand this one. After reading this book, I would like to read the previous.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this to review.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A heart bent out of shape - Emylia Hall

A Heart Bent Out of ShapeA Heart Bent Out of Shape by Emylia Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful - no great loves, no searing losses. But that's before she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise. Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form the strongest of bonds. Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes. 

Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, beings to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson. But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory. And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course...'

I had never read any books by Emylia Hall, but when I was sent this to review from the publishers I thought it sounded a great read.

Hadley Dunn is at University in England and gets the opportunity to study abroad in a small town in Switzerland. Hadley is still living at home and figures this maybe her opportunity to ‘flee the nest’ and gain some freedom that she has been longing for. When she arrives she meets the others living in her halls, who also are from various parts of the world. Kristina arrives late one night from Denmark but quickly develops a good friendship with Hadley. From the first few days they are inseparable and do everything together. One night something horrible happens and Hadley turns to her professor for support and guidance.

Emylia Hall is very descriptive in her writing and you can almost feel the coldness of the air and taste the snowflakes that have been falling. She leaves you with a very clear image of the place and the people that Hadley meets. This is a story that is beautifully written, you develop feelings for the characters and you feel like you are part of the story on the journey they are taking.

I found that it took a long time for the story to get going, I also felt that from reading the blurb the story was going to be on the mystery and to solve it. The story did cover this; however I felt that, that was not the main story. But without the mystery to solve the book would not have taken this course.

I also feel that this book would be more suited to a younger audience, those who are experiencing similar things to Hadley, in respect of leaving home and coming of age. I can see many college and university girls deeply enjoying this book.

I found that the story was more enjoyable than I had originally thought and I did love that the book was not predictable, at times when I thought I could see what was coming I was wrong. This bought an element of excitement into the story. I had just wished it come a little earlier.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this review copy. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Elle Field has stopped by for an author interview!

Today I would like to thank Elle Field for stopping by at The Book Corner, Elle has very kindly given me an author interview. It is very exciting as we will be finding out about her new book - Geli Voyante's Hot or Not which is out this month!

1. How did you get into writing? 

I've always scribbled down stories ever since I was a child but I first started writing chick lit the summer I turned twenty-one. I'd had a bit of a rough time in the months leading up to that birthday and I found it to be quite cathartic making things turn out well for my characters. It was definitely much more fun than working on my dissertation which was what I was supposed to be writing that summer!

2. What do you think makes your book ‘Kept’ stand out in today’s market? 

Kept has a flawed main character - you're supposed to hate Arielle at the start and then slowly warm to her, though perhaps not love her by the end of the book. Often characters in chick lit books can be quite two dimensional and they don't really struggle to achieve their happy ending - Arielle's journey is hopefully more relatable to readers and that should make her story more unique and compelling. 

3. Do you have any ‘must haves’ while you are writing?

I'm relatively easy going when I'm writing - I don't have any special writing rituals or quirks, and I can work with background noise or in silence. Having a deadline is probably my most important 'must have' so I can have a target to focus on and work towards. 

4. If you couldn’t have been a writer what would you have liked to of been? 

I would love to have been a West End musical star as I'm a big musical fan. It would definitely have to have been something creative! 

5. What type of books do you read when you are not writing? 

All types! I obviously read a lot of chick lit/contemporary women's fiction as that's the genre I write, but you'll also find me reading crime fiction, thrillers, travel writing and dystopian YA books. I'm currently reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is fantasy and amazing - if someone recommends a book to me, I'll give it a go regardless of its genre. 

6. Where have you got the inspiration for your books? 

Like Arielle I’ve known what career I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a child (Arielle’s childhood dream was to be a fashion designer). Writing Kept made my dream happen, but I won’t spoil it by telling you how things work out for Arielle! I take inspiration from anywhere - it could be a friend's announcement I see on Facebook or something random that has happened to me - real life is definitely a great place for book inspiration but I always make sure to add a fictional twist.

7. Can you tell us what you are working on now and give us a sneak preview of your new book? 

I've just finished editing Geli Voyante's Hot or Not, which will be released on October 17th (in paperback and Kindle formats). It's about Geli Voyante who works in the Gherkin as a newspaper's Hot or Not columnist. Of late she's fed up of the fickleness of her job, even though it comes with the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper's very Hot political columnist. 
When Geli's arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it spurs Geli on to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. There are two sides to every story though, and that applies to people too... 

Sneak preview from Geli Voyante's Hot or Not:
Today is going to be another same old, same old day. I can feel it in my bones as I plonk myself down in my Todd chair, which immediately relieves my bones but does nothing to shake this feeling of repetition. Mitch Todd may be a fashion genius, but he’s not a miracle worker. 

The chair, if you’re interested, is the most succulent and soft black leather chair your derrière will ever enjoy. So Hot I’d wildly declared it to be when I spied and sat upon it in Harrods’ furniture department, much to the sales assistant’s disgust which only turned into delight when her colleague realised who I was... When the nation read my declaration – Not Hot that week included snooty sales staff – which included Mitch Todd’s PR team, the next thing I knew I had a Todd chair delivered to my office, plus one to my house, on the house.

This happens a lot. And no, I’m not a clairvoyant. That would be my sister. I wish I was joking, but my parents really called her Claire and our surname is Voyante. I know. My mother thought Claire sounded pretty with the surname; forgivable – I suspect going through the rigours of labour can send a person a bit loopy in the mind – but my father? He should have known better, a sentiment still applicable to this day with his behaviour.

Claire can’t wait until marriage allows her to change this crime against an innocent babe-in-arms. Until then though she’ll pronounce “Claire” in the flattest English-tone she can muster up (hard with our embedded South African twang), then pronounce Voyante in an exaggerated Italian accent: “Voy-on-tayyyyyy” instead of “Voy–ont”.

She gets very vexed about these sorts of personal injustices, but she wasn’t the only one to suffer. I was named Angelica, Angelica Dawn Voyante to give you my full moniker, all because I looked like an angel at birth and was born at dawn. I kid you not. With parents like these and their naming skills, you must think that they too suffered... no. They have nice normal names: Rupert and Isabelle. Lucky them. Everyone calls me Geli though. As in “jelly”. Haven’t you read my column? Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not.

8. What has been your best moment so far since becoming an author? 

The feedback and reviews I have received have definitely been the best moment so far since becoming an author. It's obviously quite nerve-wracking putting yourself out there; people's reactions to your work can feel quite personal and cut deeply if it's a negative response. Thankfully I've mostly had a positive reaction and that's the best thing - knowing people are enjoying my fiction as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

9. What advice do you have for new authors starting out? 

Don't give up. You might not make it today, tomorrow, or for another ten years... if you give up though, you'll never make it.

10. Are any of your characters based on people you know? 

There might be a trait here and there derived from people I know but I don't intentionally base my characters on people I know. A few people have remarked on similarities I share with some of my characters  but, again, that's not intentional. However, I do think it is inevitable as a writer that a few of your own experiences or quirks might make their way into your books!

About the Author:

Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London with her boyfriend. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty's capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London's culinary delights. 

Kept is her first novel -Buy Kept here -  which will be followed by Geli Voyante's Hot or Not on October 17th. You can read her blog here, follow her on Twitter: @ellefie and find her on Facebook

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Bride Wore Size 12 - Meg Cabot

The Bride Wore Size 12  (Heather Wells #5)The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Heather Wells is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked. Her wedding cake, that is.

With her upcoming nuptials to PI Cooper Cartwright only weeks away, Heather's already stressed. And when a pretty junior turns up dead, Heather's sure things can't get worse—until every student in the dorm where she works is a possible suspect, and Heather's long-lost mother shows up.

Heather has no time for a tearful mother and bride reunion. She has a wedding to pull off and a murder to solve. Instead of wedding bells, she might be hearing wedding bullets, but she's determined to bring the bad guys to justice if it's the last thing she does . . . and this time, it just might be.'

This is the first novel that I have read by Meg Cabot therefore I had not pre-conceived ideas of whether or not I would like her style of writing or not. If had read the blurb on the back I probably wouldn’t have chosen the novel as it did not readily appeal to me. The front cover was also not something that would have drawn me to the book – neither really did the novel any favours.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was very well written and has all the elements that appeal to me as being a good read.

Written in the first person as the central character Heather, this book is from the outset witty and up to date. The storyline is believable and the reader can identify with the characters, they have a very ‘real’ quality about them and the author manages to turn what might have been a very predictable chic lit into a very enjoyable novel with elements of mystery, suspense and romance thrown in for good measure.

Heather is weeks away from her wedding to a Private Investigator Cooper and is already quite stressed out dealing with a very hard to get hold of wedding planner. When a pretty student is discovered dead in the dorm that Heather is in charge of surrounded in mystery this puts added pressure on her and turns her job in to a nightmare; when everyone becomes a suspect Heather is more stressed than the usual bride to be. Add to the mix the arrival of her estranged mother and an ever growing wedding guest list that she and Cooper are not adding to and the whole affair becomes a little like a circus ring.

Heather takes it upon herself to find out what has happened at the College and turns detective to uncover the murderer not without putting herself in danger in the process. Will she solve the mystery before she comes to harm herself, will she manage to ‘handle’ her wedding planner and pull off a great wedding, will she in fact manage to get married at all? All these things contribute to making this novel a good read and keeps the pace going through the novel.

Such a delight to read a chic lit novel that is not predictable or sloppy, one that does not insult the intelligence of the reader and one that has laugh out loud moments. The main character is a strong woman, sensible, vulnerable, normal, the other characters believable and occupy good supporting roles.

I had not read any other books of the Heather Wells series but felt that I didn’t need the background information of the previous novels in this series to enjoy this book. It is a good stand alone novel and having read this I would definitely give the others in the series a look.

Rating this novel I believe I would give this a five star rating, for me it had all the elements that make for a good read; I felt that I knew Heather Wells and New York City through her eyes although I have never been there and I genuinely enjoyed the writing style of Meg Cabot.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this review copy. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Sense & Sensibility - Joanne Trollope. Guest Reviewer - Janet Emson

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Published by Harper Collins

Release date 24 October 2013

5 of 5 stars

Synopsis (from the back cover)

Two Sisters who could hardly be more different. 
Elinor Dashwood, an architecture student, values discretion above all. Her impulsive sister Marianne displays her creativity everywhere, as she dreams of going to art school. But when the family finds itself forced out of Norland Park, their beloved home for twenty years, their values are severely put to the test. 

Can Elinor remain stoic knowing that the man she likes has been ensnared by another girl? Will Marianne’s faith in love be shaken by meeting the hottest boy in the county? And when social media is the controlling force at play, can love ever triumph over conventions and disproval?

I was lucky to receive this copy from @writingatrosys via Twitter and am grateful to them and Harper Collins for allowing me an advanced copy.

I’ll start by saying I love Jane Austen. Hers are the books I turn to when I don’t know what to read next. They never fail to re-ignite my love of books and remind me of the joy of reading. I am always wary of Austen inspired work because as good as some of them are they don’t tend to live up to the original. However I was intrigued to hear about The Austen Project launched by Harper Collins. Each of the six completed published works of Austen is being re-written by six literary greats, bringing them squarely into the 21st Century. The first offering is Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. 

The story remains the same. The Dashwood girls, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret lose their father and due to antiquated inheritance terms Norland, their home for 20 years passes to their half – brother John and his scheming wife Fanny. She wastes no time in moving into Norland and persuading John that the help to his sisters and stepmother he promised to his dying father amounts to nothing more than allowing them to live at Norland rent free until they find somewhere else.  The Dashwoods are soon offered a cottage by Sir John Middleton, a distant relative and they soon move to Devon. Each are leaving behind something that they love, for Margaret it is her private school, Marianne, Norland and for Elinor it is Edward Ferrars, the younger brother of Fanny, who disapproves of the friendship between the two. 

Once ensconced in Barton Cottage the girls soon become involved in the comings and goings of the Middletons and Mrs Jennings, the mother-in-law of Sir John. Here they are introduced to Colonel Brandon who soon falls for Mariannne. She however believes him too old for her but soon falls for John ‘Wills’ Willoughby who rescues her when she suffers an asthma attack. A romance between the two quickly develops but just as quickly ends with Wills sudden departure, leaving Marianne heart broken. 

Meanwhile Elinor is befriended by Lucy Steele, a friend of Mrs Jennings, who confides that she is secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars, the man Elinor can scarcely admit to herself she loves and with whom she now barely sees. For those of you who have read the original you know how the rest of the story goes, for those of you who haven’t I don’t want to spoil it by saying any more.

The difficulty with re-writing such a book and making it fit with 21st Century lifestyles is that many of the social conventions are no longer an issue. Ms Trollope deals with them deftly, showing that for some the most important thing is still money and status and not love. The use of modern conveniences felt natural, cars replaced carriages, the modern cottage replaced the old idea of Barton cottage to show how keenly the Dashwoods felt the loss of their old home and Facebook and Twitter replaced the newspapers and gossip grapevines utilised by Jane Austen. Nothing jars when reading the modern version as I thought it may. 

I loved this book. There are few books which I can re-read on numerous occasions however this I feel will join those select few. It is just as good as the original for enjoyment and I am waiting impatiently for the next installment of the Austen Project, Northanger Abbey re-written by Val McDermid to be released early next year.

I would like to thank Janet for her guest review post on The Book Corner. - Great review thank you! You can contact Janet via Twitter: @JanetEmson

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp - Eva Rice

The Misinterpretation of Tara JuppThe Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Country girl Tara is whisked off to Sixties London to become a pop star; there she is dressed, she is shown off at Chelsea parties, photographed by the best. She meets songwriters, singers, designers, and records her song, and falls in love.

But behind the buzz and excitement of her success, concern about her beautiful, wild sister Lucy and the bitter relationship with their friend Matilda haunts Tara. Their past friendship is broken, and among the deceptions and the strangeness of both their marriages, the buried secrets keep on reappearing.

The brilliant new world of fashion and music, of mini skirts and rock ‘n’ roll, of the Marquee Club and The Palladium, is also one of love and heartache.'

I received this as part of Goodreads First Reads

The title itself was intriguing enough to make me want to read this book; was it that Tara Jupp was misinterpreted or was it that she misinterpreted situations? The truth is I felt that it was both.

With cleverly crafted stories within stories which Eva Rice managed to bring together seamlessly while keeping the reader wanting to read on throughout the novel it did make this a joy to read.

Essentially it is about Tara Jupp ‘finding’ herself and growing up in the 1950’s and the start of the 1960’s. At 17 she was entering the swinging sixties an era of awakening of both growing from a child to a woman for her and for a country finding itself entering a new and exciting time after war. Early sixties in England was a time of new sounds in music, daring fashions, bohemian lifestyles and a freedom that was both exciting and frightening in equal measure. Bands were springing up everywhere, the economy was booming and things would change forever. Eva rice captured the feel for the 1960’s well and she makes a nod to a band who later broke into the music scene (Rolling Stones) and famous photographer David Bailey (who is Digby in the book). For Tara it was about self discovery, living the dream becoming a recording artist at 17, taking risks, having fun, falling in love (more than once). For other characters it was also about discovery and Eva Rice expertly managed to bring these all together in the novel in such a charming way that it was a joy to read. I did not race through this book it wasn’t fast paced but rather it seemed to take on the pace of the characters, the early part setting the scene of a quiet slow almost magically idyllic life in Cornwall a world away from London, the second part of the book contrasted this with the fast, exciting pace of the awakening of a new era in London belonging to the young where all things were possible.

The author managed to capture the innocence of Tara Jupp and of the sixties and how she grew up with them becoming a product of such an iconic period of time; she was able to tell the story of innocence and naivety which developed her central character without making her transition into a young woman in racy London seem as if Tara sacrificed one for the other. I did find the novel a little clichéd and a little predictable in parts (young girl finding fame and fortune in London etc) but didn’t feel that this detracted from the story.

Overall although this book was I felt a bit longer that it needed to be it was nevertheless a good read and I would rate this 4 star. Worth reading to ‘experience’ the start of an exciting era of history and the good story telling style of Eva Rice of a sweet girl living though extraordinary times; very enjoyable.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Guest Post - Reading to Foster Children @bleachhouselibrary

I would like to thank Margaret for taking the time to participate for a piece for my blog. Margaret decided she would like to share something special with us, and I believe it's special too. 

Welcome Margaret.

As far back as I can remember I have read.  I have recollections of visiting our local Library one evening per week with my Father.  The children's section was up a windy staircase and was a little piece of heaven for me. I had my own library card and felt so important.

My Mother used to take me to an independent bookshop called Books Unlimited every few weeks and let me pick up whatever tickled my fancy at the time.

I had a standing order for Twinkle magazine which I then upgraded to Bunty and subsequently, Smash Hits and other teen magazines. I became addicted to Nancy Drew mysteries and from then on my love of books was ingrained in me.....

When I became a Mother I was completely sure that books would be a part of each of my children's lives.  They got their own library cards ( now electronic, unlike my old cardboard one ) from birth and were read to every day, regardless of age.  After child four, there was not a kids book that I had not read and I still have most of them. The kids say they remember most of the stories and they still get excited by a trip to the bookshop or library.

Now my eldest is 24 years old and my youngest is 10, the kids books have reappeared on our bookshelves as we now foster kids from all age brackets.  Again, I am back in storyland and getting to re read some amazing books from over the years. 

We have been fostering for almost three years and have had some long term and some short term placements.  I get so excited when I hear there is a toddler coming as they have rarely been read to and to see their little faces light up when you turn the page of a book that you are reading to them is just priceless!

The next age bracket is when they are just starting school.  This can be challenging, as a lot of the time, they have been stuck in front of tv or games consoles and have no idea about reading, writing or even their colours.  Days of the week is a common void in their vocabulary and even getting them to sit still on a chair is a battle.  I try to work with this age bracket on a back to basics level when it comes to reading and the attic is searched for ABC books,  jigsaws and posters to aid us along the way.  I have a stash of early readers that I work through with them and providing their main language is English, this can be taught in a reasonable time with some patience and perseverance.  Eastern European children take a bit longer as their alphabet is quiet different to ours.

Over time, these kids who may have never read before, or shown any interest in books, become little sponges:  eager to learn, eager to read and constantly asking for another story.  The ones who have left here and returned home, have all left with books and I would hope their love of books stays with them for the rest of their lives.  

If the only thing I can do for these children is teach them to read, I would be happy with that.  Anything more than that is an added bonus.

Thanks again Margaret, being a teacher myself I agree with the importance of reading and how it should be embedded from a young age, so they find and develop a love for a book. Your story is amazing and it takes a very special person to be a foster parent. Keep up the great work!

You can contact Margaret via twitter @bleachhouselibrary 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lying to Meet You - Anna Garner

Lying to Meet YouLying to Meet You by Anna Garner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?

Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.


Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan's theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she's lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?'

This is the debut novel from Anna Garner, she has previous written under a previous name. When she contacted me via Twitter to ask if I would like to receive a ARC copy of the book, I was only too happy to agree as it sounded right up my street.

This is a story of fun and chaos as Chloe gets selected to be a judge for a popular T.V show. The whole story is written brilliantly, the ups and downs of Chloe's life and her life as a T.V judge. I was a bit worried as I was reading it as I didn't want to read an 'X factor' type book, and I shouldn't have been worried, this was not the case at all.

This I felt was a very good debut novel for Anna as the story line is well thought out and flows particularly well. The characters are likable and you feel you are part of the story as you read it. Anna has created a humorous book and has taken a brilliant first step into creating chick lit. I was laughing out loud through out the book.

I don't want to say too much as to spoil the story for others as this is a perfect introduction to chick lit for Anna, and you will be laughing all the way through it. This is a perfect read for a Sunday rainy afternoon.

I would like to thank Anna for sending me this ARC.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Vengeance - Lee Child

VengeanceVengeance by Mystery Writers of America
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'When a different kind of justice is needed - swift, effective, and personal - a new type of avenger must take action.

Edited and with an introduction by Lee Child, a new collection of stories which reveals the shocking consequences when men and women take the law into their own hands.

Vengeance features new stories by bestselling crime writers including Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Karin Slaughter, as well as some of today's brightest rising talents.

The heroes in these stories include a cop who's seen too much, a woman who has been pushed too far, or just an ordinary person doing what the law will not. Some call them vigilantes, others claim they are just another brand of criminal..'

I requested a copy of this book from the publisher as normally I love short stories as it allows you to find authors that perhaps you would have not have found otherwise. They are also great as each evening, even if you have a busy job you feel like you can finish a story in a night.

This book is made up of a selection of stories from many different authors that I hear some were chosen by Lee Child and others were selected from a panel. This I felt made the book a bit hit and miss, there were some really good short stories and others I wish I had not read as the story line wasn't as good and I did not like the characters. Some of the stories were also way too horrible, and not having a character in the story you are routing for made it worse. These I felt were not up to the same standard we are used to from Child.

The best stories were those that Lee Child had selected and obviously his own story. Some of these stories I also felt ended very suddenly. Majority of the stories are based on revenge, however if you enjoy thrillers this is definitely one to keep in your bag to dip into while commuting or when you have a spare five minutes. That I feel is the attraction for me on the book containing short stories.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy to review. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Elaine Everest - Gracie's War Cover Reveal!!!

Publishing 15th October 2013

Pulse Romance

Do our actions and decisions mark us and stay with us for the rest of our lives? Gracie has her life before her as the dark clouds of the Second World War gather.

Though she and her family cope well with the stresses on the home front, Gracie's transformation to adulthood is swifter and more brutal than she could have ever imagined.

Gracie meets Tony, who arouses such feelings in her that she has never experienced before - not with Joe her regular beau who considers her his girl. Then, one night, one mistake, and she realises she is carrying Joe's child.

And now Tony has gone to war.

About the Author

Elaine Everest is a freelance writer and lives in Swanley, Kent with her husband Michael and Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry. She has written over sixty short stories for women’s magazines worldwide. Her features have appeared in publications ranging from The Guardian, The Daily Express and the Daily Mail to My Weekly and Your Dog. Her opinion pieces have led to many appearances on radio including chatting to Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour about having a husband under her feet all day long. Elaine has written numerous columns for canine publications centred around her expertise in the world of dogs. This has led to commissions to write three successful books for dog owners.

Elaine’s successful writing life led her to become a qualified teacher for adult education. Four years ago she founded The Write Place creative writing school and holds regular classes at The Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford Kent.

Elaine was BBC Radio Short Story Writer of the Year in 2003, short listed for The Harry Bowling Prize in 2012, Short listed for The Festival of Romance novel competition in 2012 and winner of the Myrmidon Books (Pulse Romance) Write for Us competition in 2013.

Gracie’s War is her first published novel and is set in North West Kent where she grew up. A member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Elaine is a graduate of the RNA New Writers Scheme. Gracie’s War is short listed for their Joan Hessayon Award in 2014.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Star Paws, Christmas Sticker Book - Macmillan Children's Books

Star Paws, Christmas Sticker Book

Macmillan Children's Books

5 of 5*

'Ding Dong Merrily 'tis the season of festive cheer! There are presents to wrap, feasts to prepare, snowballs to throw and some fabulously festive outfits to choose! Get sticking with bells, bows, snow white beards and jazzy winter knitwear!'

When Macmillan contacted me to ask if I would like to review their Star Paws series, I jumped at the chance. This was one of the fabulous books that arrived with the postman! 

As a class teacher I like to share my books with them, to help get a first hand review from them. However unlike the others in the Star Paws series, where I have shared them with the children; Star Paws Christmas I am saving for them, for a time in December. So this review I have completed without the children, however from their reaction of the other Star Paw books, I think I can have a guess what they will think about this one!

The contents page is set out as a letter to Santa, which is a really sweet addition to the book. Throughout the book, it is Christmas themed, Christmas trees to decorate, snowball fights, dressing up for the school play etc. The illustrations are really lovely and once again the text is really cute. 

The text is perfect for children to read independently and follow the instructions given on each page. In the center of the book are hundreds of stickers used to dress up the characters, decorate the tree etc. There are split into sections so it is clear to the children which stickers are used for which character. 

Once again this is a wonderful book from Macmillan and a perfect addition to the Star Paws series. Again it would have been nice if the stickers had been re-usable....

I would like to thank Macmillan for sending me this review copy.