Friday, 28 February 2014

" How to get a (love) life " by Rosie Blake

Thanks so much to the girls at for the ARC of this book........

Nicola is a creature of habit. Her flat is immaculately clean, her office desk organised to within an inch of it's life and her menu planned weeks in advance.  She desperately needs to get a life. And soon, as her work colleague, Caroline dares her to get herself a date for Valentine's Day.  Nicola accepts the challenge and here is where the fun starts....
Nicola tries many means of finding a man. This leads to some laugh out loud encounters that I could imagine  must be based on real life. A carpentry class, a date with a famous actor who she hates, a freezing kayak in a borrowed wet suit and a chance meeting with a Ferret Breeding, lute playing guy, are just some of the moments the reader can cringe along with Nicola.

This is such a funny book.  I have read a lot of  Chick Lit recently, but this is by far my favourite . I'm not the age demographic for this novel (I'm 41) but I could still picture the dire dates that I would have to go on, had I not met my soulmate 20 years ago.  This book is a great bit of fun and thank God Novelicious gave Rosie the chance to get this published. Can't wait to read the next one, Rosie!

Rosie can be contacted via Twitter @RosieBBooks and is great for a bit of banter :)

How to get a (love) life is published by NovelicousBooks

" The Disciple " by Steven Dunne

Part 2 of The Reaper series, The Disciple sees the return of Detective Inspector Brook with all his quirkiness still intact.  Having witnessed the death of serial killer, The Reaper, he is then shocked to discover some cases which carry the signature of the dead killer. How can this be? Is it a copy cat or something more sinister? Why is DI Brook under suspicion in the drowning of a man who lives miles away? Why has an ex FBI agent moved next door? These are questions which the DI needs to find answers to quickly, before there are more murders.

I was a huge fan of the first Steven Dunne novel, The Reaper and still rave about it on Twitter and Facebook as well as to any crime fiction lovers I encounter.  This was obviously going to be a hard act to follow and I delayed reading the second installment for a while.  
This book has two stories; one is DI Brooks' workload and the other from the past, in USA. What is the link? You will have to read it to find out.......
I love Steven's writing, it's not too fast paced, has nicely structured chapters and great characters.  The only problem I had with this book was that there were so many characters that I was losing track and had to keep flicking back to see who was who.  The flashback sections were great and I loved the introduction of FBI agent Mike Drexler.  The gruesome stories from the past have a relevance to DI Brooks and his past dealings with The Reaper, which means you should really read The Reaper before this novel. As both books are great value on Amazon, this makes it like a 2 for 1 offer !

Steven Dunne is an author to be reckoned with in the world of Crime Fiction.  A refreshing change from all the Go-To authors who dominate bookshelves around the world.  Give this English author a chance. I think you will be glad you did. 

The Disciple is published by Avon, a division of Harper Collins

" The Amber Fury " by Natalie Haynes

Thanks to for the review copy of this book.......

Alex Morris has escaped to Edinburgh in order to forget her past.  She finds herself helping a group of troubled teens who, for varied reasons, have been kicked out of mainstream schools.  Through her teaching of Greek Tragedies and her interest in these forgotten children, she inspires them to look at life from a different perspective. When her past seeps into her present, things get out of control and Alex is oblivious to it all.  Has the madness of the Greek Plays, with all their murder, mayhem and bizzare twists, inspired the class to change for the better or worse? And why does she now need a lawyer?

This debut novel is a high grade, stunningly written drama that will have you turning pages at great speed.  Natalie has managed to link the infamous Greek Tragedies into everyday life, often without the reader being aware of it.  The characters are strong and the descriptions of Edinburgh are fantastic.  I could almost feel the dampness of the ground and feel the atmosphere as Alex walked familiar routes through the town.
The writing in this novel is beautiful. It almost glides off the page and reads like the work of an established author, with many awards under their belt.  Outstanding debut which would make a great movie!

The Amber Fury is published on 6th March by Corvus 
This title can be ordered via this link :

Monday, 24 February 2014

Zenith Hotel by Oscar Coop-Phane

I had heard rumour of this little book on the book blogger grapevine and was intrigued by the attention it was getting.  Knowing the author was of such a young age, and yet was winner of the Prix de Flore in 2012 it was definitely one that piqued my interest.

I started this at lunch time and, by the first page, I was completely immersed in the world of Nanou and her "customers".
Within an hour, I read some of the most amazing prose that I have ever encountered in modern literature. Each page contained sublime paragraphs, mostly short. There is something very special about this novel.  It is short, sharp, and strangely sweet despite the subject matter.  The author has found a way to bring the protagonist, and her 5 clients, to life on the page, without resorting to desperate measures to gain the reader's sympathy or approval.  The sentences are just perfect.  Each page contains so many perfect lines, that I couldn't begin to choose which ones to quote.  Quite simply, this character driven novel is writing at it's best.

Nanou is a prostitute, working out of the Zenith Hotel in Paris.  Seedy, and far from the hotels in Paris we are used to reading about, it is nevertheless her place of work and she deals with it, and the hand she has been dealt in life, with little dignity intact.  We are given sneak peeks of some of her clients and how different they are. Each character is assigned their own short chapter and these chapters work like interlinking short stories, giving the novel a wonderful feel of fluidity.

 Raw, intense and coated with bitter honey.  Every single page is a work of art. Oscar Coop-Phane has a natural talent,  making me think that if Oscar Wilde was alive today, he would be jealous of this book........

An amazing debut, an amazing voice, an amazing book! 

Zenith Hotel is published by Arcadia Books on 15 March 2014 and I'm even quoted on the cover!!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

" Things We Set On Fire " by Deborah Reed

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.........

Vivvie is woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from local police, asking her to come and collect her two grandaughters.  Her youngest daughter, Kate, is in the hospital and there is no one else to mind the little girls.  Vivvie is no stranger to heartbreak as we discover early on in this book.  She is a widow, with two estranged daughters and now is landed with two young girls she barely knows and she contacts her other daughter, Elin for some help.  All is not what it seems though and the two women discover that Kate's disappearance from their lives may have had a hidden agenda.  

The author blends parts of the past with the present and we can begin to form a picture of the girl's lives growing up with their widowed mother and all that it entailed.  Sisters can clash at the best of times, but the loss of their father at an early age, shaped their personalities for the future.  Both stubborn and self preserving,  they chose to remove themselves from their mother's life and try to be individuals in their own right.  When Kate is hospitalised, the women are forced to examine their current situations and assess their priorities.  

This is a novel of feeling.  Beautifully written with some wonderful prose, harrowing at times, but all with a view to exploring the meaning of family.  Split into four parts, it has short chapters, is very easy to read and it is over before you know it.  I loved the whole feel of a non- traditional family and how a moment of misery can sometimes bring change you could never expect.  Well worth reading.

" Unravelling Oliver " by Liz Nugent

Thanks to Penguin Ireland for the ARC of this book......

What goes on behind closed doors? Is there such thing as a perfect marriage?  Can a couple be equally respectful of each other? What causes a man to hit a woman he loves?  All these questions are ones that crossed my mind when reading this novel.

Oliver Ryan is a successful author, living a comfortable life with his wife, in their perfect house in Dublin.  To the outside world, and even to Oliver and Alice, their marriage seems to be one of contentment.  All that changes in one night.  Oliver beats his wife so badly she ends up comatose. How did this anger overtake him?  What could have happened to have caused such rage?  
The author takes us back to the beginning.  Each chapter features a range of characters, including Oliver, Alice, their neighbours, friends and family.  Each chapter has a thread that connects to another moment in Oliver's life and these threads weave together to create the complete story of his life leading up to the assault on his wife.  Tales of Oliver's childhood are stark, yet by comparison, his friends and the women in his life have all grown up loved and surrounded by family.  A trip to France in his college days is the catalyst for his future self, a man of secrets, lies and deception.  

I read this book over a 24 hour period.  I seriously could not put it down.  The writing is superb, the story is so real that you could almost see the newspaper coverage that would, no doubt ,follow such an event.  Oliver is an unlikable character when you can see into his thoughts and know what he is really about, but on the otherhand, you can see why he would be so attractive to others and have people drawn to him, like a moth to a flame.  A mixture of other amazing characters, woven through the book, lend to it's cleverness.  As a reader, we are sucked in to the world of Oliver, turning the pages with great haste to see why he has hurt Alice so badly.  I can't find any flaws in this novel; perfect protagonist, great supporting characters, (especially in France), and perfectly pitched chapters.  Liz Nugent is a novelist to watch out for.  Her writing is sassy and clever but still has a poetic tone,  well able to hold it's own in the world of modern fiction.  

Unravelling Oliver is published by Penguin Ireland on the 6th March 2014

Friday, 21 February 2014

Cover Reveal - " A Girl Called Summer " by Lucy Lord

Thanks to Gosling Girls Book Tours for inviting me to join the team for this wonderful cover reveal.  How beautiful is this?  Sitting her by the fire, looking out at yet another gloomy spring day in Ireland,  I can almost feel the heat of the sun on my skin and smell that fabulous ocean! Scroll down for some more details.......
I'm off to find my bikini !!

Island life is just one step away…
A new start…
Bella and Andy have escaped the rat race for the sun-drenched, relaxed lifestyle on the island of Ibiza. But with a run-down house to make habitable and a distractingly gorgeous neighbour, is their island idyll all that it seems?
A holiday adventure…
Tamara Gold has been Hollywood’s most notorious car crash since she was a child star. Now clean and sober, and engaged to Tinseltown’s hottest leading man, it seems like she’s finally conquered her addictions, if not her bratty behaviour. But a summer in Europe with all the hedonistic lures of Ibiza beckons…
A girl called Summer…
Summer Larsson has always known Ibiza as home: a haven of hippies, yoga and healthy eating – and loneliness. But in Bella, she’s found the friend she always needed, and when Bella’s glamorous Hollywood friends come to visit, it looks like she might have found true love as well…
This could be the summer that everything changes…

Author Website:

Amazon link:

Thanks again to the ladies at Gosling Girls Book Tours who can be contacted via twitter @GGBookTours

" The Legend of Frog " by Guy Bass - Blog Tour with Children's Q&A session with Frog !!

 Thanks to Antonia for including Bleach House Library on Guy's Blog Tour......
 Read Collon National School's questions to the ever-so charming Frog, along with his amusing answers,  underneath the book details.

‘I must brave the scorched earth and the blackened skies and the catastrophe – to see what the End of the World is like. But fear not, I shall return!
And I’ll bring you back something nice.’ 

FEB 2014 sees the epic publication of a hilarious tale of a frog, a princess and an all-out alien invasion… 
When a frog-like prince armed with nothing more than a pair of Catastrophe Pants and his trusty stick, Basil Rathbone, ventures beyond the End of the World to claim his throne, he finds a plucky princess is already wearing his crown and discovers that the world isn’t quite as ended as he thought. A royal rivalry ensues, but when Frog discovers he is in fact a prince of an alien army, he realizes that he is not destined to rule…  but to destroy. Can he and the princess put aside their differences long enough to save the kingdom – and the world?
The first title in this action-packed adventure series for ages 8 years and over, The Legend of Frog by Guy Bass will have you on the edge of your seat. With explosive cover art by award-winning illustrator Jonny Duddle (The Pirates Next DoorThe Pirate Cruncher), this book is a unique mash-up of fairy tale, fantasy and science fiction with a hearty helping of humour.


Guy Bass is an award-winning author whose children’s books include Secret Santa and the highly acclaimed Stitch Head series. In 2010, Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things won a CBBC Blue Peter Book Award in the ‘Most Fun Story with Pictures’ category. He has written plays for both adults and children, been a theatre producer and illustrator. Guy lives in London with his wife.


Thanks to Mr. Garvey's 4th class for reading The Legend of Frog and coming up with some great questions for Frog himself :

Asking Frog (His Royal Majesty, Lord of all Kingdoms, Rightful Ruler of the World)
A few questions...

1. Why do you not have a proper name?

What the ... what? "Frog" is a proper name!

2. If you had a proper name, what would it be?

It is a proper-- Look, Frog the best, most princely name ever by a million. No other name would come close to describing my excellent royal greenness. Except maybe "Blammo B. Blastington."

3. What age are you?

I'm a whole year old - and I've got the mighty jumping legs to prove it. I'm also full on mighty and I can turn invisible like a magic ninja and I'm quite handsome.

4. How did you feel when you were in the storm on your way to The End Of The World?

You know when have a nice hot bath at the end of a hard day counting clouds? It was nothing like that. 

5. What were the Catastrophe pants like to wear?

It's not easy to combine extra-stylish comfort with apocalypse-busting usability. It feels like wearing a friend... but a proper skilled-up epic friend who happens to be made out of 100% pant.

6. Why did you leave Buttercup behind?

My best friend Buttercup raised me from an egg. She taught me rights from wrongs and made sure I was the best prince I could be, even though I couldn't be a prince because the World had Ended. I have a funny feeling Buttercup didn't want me to go to the End of the World. My first clue was when she said "DON'T EVER GO TO THE END OF THE WORLD!" … So I went without her.

7. Why did you name your stick Basil Rathbone?

What else would you call the most unbreakable and first rate sword in the whole world? And what do you mean, "stick"?

8. Where did you get Basil Rathbone?

My unbreakable sword was forged by the most skilled-up sword-maker that there's ever been in the whole world. I'm not too sure how it survived the End of the World, or ended up washing up on the shore of the Island at the Edge of the End of the World... but I'm glad it did. Now let's have no more talk about sticks.

9. How did you feel when Basil Rathbone broke?

I felt like ... like maybe it wasn't an unbreakable sword at all and had just been a stick all along. I see where you're going with this…

10. If you were any other animal in the story, what animal would you be?

The Rarewolf! The Rarewolf is as tall as horses. Yes, he spends too much time grumping about prophecies and doom but he can make it thunder and lighting, which is full-on impressive. If I was a Rarewolf I'd spend the whole time doing lighting-based tricks at birthday parties and such.

11. Did you have any friends apart from Buttercup in the island?

Nope ... except for my loyal subjects, of course. There's the Pebble People, Sir Painted Face on a Rock, Lord Limpington the One Legged Teddy, Duchess Drawing of a Duchess...

12. If you were related to Princess rainbow, would you like her as a sister?

No way! Princess Brain-Slow isn't sister material. Plus, she locked me in a cage and tried to make me her pet and so I owe her a proper stern glare. I'm going to glare at her prince-style ... then she'll be sorry.

13. Are you able to fit into Oldasdust's hat?

I wouldn't climb into that stinky old wizard's hat for all the polished sandwiches in Kingdomland.

14. Would you replace Basil Rathbone and if so, what would you replace it with?

Well, Basil Rathbone is one 100% irreplaceable. But if I had to, I'd have a special bow that shot arrows made of pure incredibleness, called Tyrone Power.

15. What is a Kronon?

A Kronon is a measure of alien space invader time, approximately equal to 2.5 months. Which I only know 'cause it turns out I'm actually the prince of a race of alien space invaders sent to destroy the whole world.

16. What species of frog are you?


The Legend of Frog by Guy Bass
Paperback | 3rd February 2014 | £5.99 | 9781847153883 | Stripes Publishing

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Details of upcoming Blog Tour of The Legend of Frog by Guy Bass

Look what's coming!! 

Exciting Q&A session with Frog himself.  He is a mighty clever frog and all questions were supplied by 4th Class of Collon National School, Co. Louth who have been reading the book.

  Check back here on Friday 21st Feb to see the kids clever questions and Frog's witty answers!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Blogger's choice of best romantic reads on Valentine's Day

The fab asked me to add to their list of romantic reads for their Valentine's Day Battle of the books.  Keeping away from my normal choice of classics, like Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet, made this even more fun.  See my choice along with other book bloggers below :

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