Friday, 27 June 2014

June Random Recommendation Giveaway - "Silver Bay" by JoJo Moynes


It's Random recommendation time again and this month I have chosen a book by an author that I'm sure you have all read by now.  However, this little gem is often overlooked.  I have no idea why, as I really enjoyed it!

Originally released in 2007, it has had different covers and this is the current one.  Here is the blurb.....

Liza McCullen will never escape her past. But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves - if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah.
Until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt's hotel, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and disturbing eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love - never deserve to love - again.

If you would like a chance to win this lovely paperback edition, just enter via rafflecopter link below.  I have opened it internationally as will post via Bookdepository.  Good luck to you all !!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour - "The Life You Left" by Carmel Harrington. Silly Summer Q&A!

Available in e-book format and released in paperback on 3rd July 2014

Today is launch party day for Carmel Harrington's paperback edition of The Life You Left and I am just off to Co. Wexford to help her celebrate at the launch party......Exciting stuff!

To mark the occasion, I thought I would ask Carmel some cheesy, girly questions and start the summer break off on a light and fluffy note.  She gracefully agreed to my relaxed interview and gave some great replies to daft questions .......

1.       What is your favourite thing about summer?
Right this minute, I am sitting in my living room which has two big windows in it, both open, so a light breeze is gently drifting by me.  Sunlight is pouring in and I promise I am not making this up, I can hear swallows chirping, who nest on our dormer bungalow rooftop!  That, is exactly what I love about summer.  The sounds, the light, the sunshine.

2.       Where in the world would you choose for an all expenses paid holiday?
Id love to go to Australia with my family.  My aunt and uncle live in Perth and Ive visited there many years ago when I was single. I would dearly love to bring Roger and the children over for a visit too.  One day!

3.       Sit by the pool or go to the beach?
By the pool if Im sunbathing and reading.  Beach for walks! 

4.       Cocktail of choice?
Im a mojito girl Margaret, but Ill happily drink all cocktails.  Im good like that!  Pass me any cocktail with champagne in it, will evoke smiles and squeals from me.  Throw a bright paper umbrella and a bit of fruit on top and the excitement levels hit new scales!

5.       Bikini or swimsuit?
Swimsuit.  My bikini wearing days are gone.  Or at least temporarily banned for the sake of the eyes of any unwitting passer by.

6.       Favourite holiday reads?
Oh, thats tough!  I know! Anything on your suggested read list Margaret! Seriously, love your reviews, you rarely point me in the wrong direction.

7.       What to do with kids during school holidays?
Mornings they still go to playschool, because I write then.  But once I pick them up at lunchtime, Im in Mummy mode.  Weather as it is right now, we are most likely in our back garden, playing in our swimming pool.  Ok, its not a big swimming pool, in fact, most would dispute the use of the word swimming and instead place the word paddling in its place, but we feel fierce posh in the hs, with it out the back!

8.       Best girlie holiday you had?
Oh, good few years back, I went to Florida with my best friend Annie. We have so many funny stories from that trip, that can cause us to go into hysterical laughter, with the mention of one word! 
Pharmacy! Annie, bet youre laughing now!

9.       Best romantic holiday you had?
My honeymoon with Rog. We spoiled ourselves rotten, first we had a week in Las Vegas, in a mahoosive suite, followed by a week lying by a pool in a villa in Florida, then a week of pure indulgence and luxury on a caribbean cruise! So many wonderful moments on that holiday, but standing on the upper deck of our cruise liner, dancing in the moonlight, makes me sigh every time with the memory.

1     Ideal guy to share beach towel with?
Roger Harrington, aka Mr H.

1     Favourite girlie movie?
Oh, great question!  Hmmmm…… so many to choose from.  Dirty Dancing. no Steel Magnolias no Pretty Woman!!!! Oh I give up, I cant chose!

.          Song that reminds you of a past summer?

1991, Everything I do, I do it for you, was no 1 for what felt like years, but in fact was the whole summer. And when I hear it now, it takes me back to a time where I was young, single and could be found in a beer garden around North co. Dublin with a cold beer, surrounded by great friends, listening to Bryan Adams croon away.  Twas a good summer! 


With my husband Roger and two beautiful children Amelia and Nate, I live a pretty idyllic life in Ireland, full of stories, songs, hide and seek, Mickey Mouse, walks on the beach, tickles, kisses, chocolate treats and most of all abundant love. To make life even more perfect, I have now fulfilled a lifetime ambition to be a writer as I am both a published author and a playwright. I believe in Happily Ever After’s because that’s what happened to me.

I had great fun doing this blog post with Carmel and hope you enjoyed the summery feel.  Thanks to Harper Impulse for allowing me to blog on the actual publication day and I am off now to a castle in Co. Wexford to raise a glass to the wonderful Carmel Harrington and The Life You Left.

Here is the link to my review of this lovely read......

Thursday, 26 June 2014

I have been nomintated for "The Very Inspiring Blog Award", thanks to Sandra Danby

Thanks to Sandra Danby for my nomination!
Here is her original post:

Some Bloggers don't rate these awards, but I do.  They show how other people view your work and it's a lovely way to thank someone for all the hard (unpaid) work that goes into blogging...... Here's what this award is all about:

I think the world of book reviewing is changing at a rapid pace. While the newspaper and media reviews are obviously still hugely important, they books gets one mention and only if selected by a strict selection within the publication's criteria.  I often wonder who gets to choose which books will be reviewed for the broadsheets, as often the same writers/publishers are in all the supplements around publication time and we see the same authors names again and again.  In the world of Book Blogging, anything goes! Personally, I review everything except sci-fi and fantasy and love to rotate the genres as much as possible to give all authors a chance.  I love debuts, independent authors and literary works.  However, having built up a great relationship with certain publishing houses, I get very exited for their new releases and watch for book post on a daily basis!
I hate spoilers, so if a blog tells me the ending, I will not read their reviews again and have to read reviews on GoodReads with caution for this very reason.  I'm a sucker for a Giveaway and am delighted when they are International, as living in Ireland, I miss out on all the UK or US only ones.  I love author interviews, especially when not just about the book.  I like to know a bit about the person behind the story.
I enjoy the odd classic book review and ones I may have missed the first time around, which is why I do a monthly Random Recommendation Giveaway on BleachHouseLibrary.  You may come across a title that blows you away, but because it's a bit older, you missed out on the reviews and recommendations.

Anyway, that's my criteria for a good, honest, balanced book blog.  However, some of my list below are genre specific and that's great.  I can pick and choose from a pool of resources and all's good within the world of books!

Seven Things You May Not Know About Me:

I won two medals for figure skating.
I play cello, badly.
I worked for a British Airline for 11 years.
I am afraid of DaddyLongLegs
I can't swim but love the beach.
I have Jane Austen quote tattooed down one side of my torso.
I have never read Wuthering Heights (shock horror).

My List of Inspiring Blogs:

Here's what you should do if you have been nominated :
Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Read about why I love to blog about books. Article by

Book Bloggers Unite – Why Do We Blog?

As fun and fulfilling as maintaining a website dedicated to all things literary is (we get to talk about books all day long – what's not to love?), it takes a lot of hard work, organisation and pure, unadulterated passion, too. In honour of our 5th birthday, we decided to gather a few of our favourite book blogging pals for a virtual tea party, to talk about why we do what we do and how much we love it. Do you have a book blog? Be sure to share your link in the comments so we can check you out!
Book Blogger Tea Party
We book blog because we're sincerely hoping to promote great books to avid readers looking for something new! Book blogging has become so much part of our lives that we couldn't imagine a day without it – so we keep cramming in into our busy schedules (like most readers, we sneak a few minutes here and there for a good book) and get a big thrill when we know we've connected an author with a new fan. Congratulations on five years Novelicious!
I like to blog about to books because it's my passion and it's so much fun, sharing good books with other readers. I love how I get to be a part of the blogging community as well as the writer sphere on Twitter and other social media sites. I really love it when I get to brighten an author's day by telling them how much I enjoyed his or her book. I guess blogging about books is my escape? It's my baby, my blog, because I started it from scratch and I poured all my heart and effort into moulding it to what it is today, building a readership and getting my blog out there. What I'm saying is, blogging has become a part of me.

Emma Louise from Emma Lou Book Blog
The reason I started book blogging in June 2013 was because Paige Toon (author of The Longest Holiday) told me that she'd love to see my thoughts online. At the time, I was working my way through all her books and I thought: why not? Since then, I've been very lucky with the blogging industry. I've become friends with authors and people who work in the publishing industry. For me, it's not about receiving books in the post – it's about promoting the authors. It's something I love to do.
I blog purely to share my love of books. As a book lover, I'm constantly found with my head in a book and when I'm not reading, I'm always recommending books to friends. Fortunately with the website, it makes my suggestions open to a much wider circle of friends 24/7 so I am able to tell people about all the books and authors that I fell in love with, in hope that they do too.
I love book blogging as it gets the word, out on the street about books that deserve a read, deserve a chance and deserve a place on a bookshelf! Blogging had become a major part of my life and, while not every book is to my taste, I review honestly and with no prior agendas. The people from the book world that I have encountered since I started reviewing are the nicest, most genuine, book-loving gang and I can place a hand on my heart when I tell you that book blogging has improved my life. Here's to many more years of this awesome experience!
I started TheBookGeekWearsPajamas in March 2013 after I sent over a short review and note to Trisha Ashley for her book Wedding Tiers. Trisha encouraged me to carry on and start a blog. I am so glad I did. After becoming disabled and bed bound, I found myself slipping into a deep and dark depression. Books helped me escape from reality and gave me the release I so desperately needed. When I started reviewing I was not just given something to look forward to each day, but a new world of friendship, love and support from all over the world. It inspires me daily to fight and stay strong and allows me to give back to the authors who, for years, have given me such joy and pleasure. I love that it has given me so many fantastic opportunities, too. I'm invited to book launch parties and given the most wonderful books; I'm invited to take part in book tours, and I get to speak to authors and publishers and other book geeks daily. I love that it has given me a life. Without TBGWP I can honestly say I don't know how I would have survived.
I originally started book blogging in 2011 to remember the books I read – once too often I bought a book and then realised it was one I’d read in the past. I found that blogging about it meant I remembered! Then on social media (mostly Twitter), I discovered other people with the same passion and, as my network grew, it became much more than my original concept. I realised that, although I started my blog for ‘self’, it quickly grew to help promote others. The format changed, too. It wasn’t just about writing a review but showcasing authors with book news, interviews and guest posts etc. Today, I’m still loving sharing my thoughts on the books that I read and the interaction with other readers, but I’m also loving the relationships with authors and publishers, too.I’ve had times when I’ve thought about giving up. When the commitment I give has seemed too much and I’ve felt trapped. Ultimately though my passion wins through. The book blogging community is awesome. My life has definitely been enriched.
I’ve been book blogging for a little while now and the reason I started was because I thought it might be cool and fun. After a while, you realise it’s also a lot of hard work – scheduling posts, making sure nothing is missed and having enough time to read the books by the agreed date. However, it is still a lot of fun. I love the feeling that it’s mine. I created it all. From the design (which I constantly change) to the words on the page. I love helping newbie authors just as much the well-known ones. I love that feeling when someone says that they have bought a book because of your review or your post.  It makes me so happy that I’ve got through to someone. I also love discussing my views on books and my blog gives me the exact forum for that.
I have always been a reader and love sharing my thoughts on books with other people, as well as recommending books and giving shout-outs to my favorite authors. Not to mention new authors who are just starting out but have done excellent work so far. I love that books have brought me together with so many amazing people that I never would have met if I hadn't started a book blog.
When I read an amazing book, I can't wait to tell everyone I meet all about it. Turns out my cat wasn't too interested, so I decided to start blogging my reviews instead. I love having the chance to share my feelings about a book, to meet fellow book lovers, bloggers, publishers and authors.  The book blogging community is friendly, informative and jam-packed full of lovely writers, readers and reviewers and I love being part of it. Happy 5th Birthday, Novelicious – thanks for being part of my blogging bubble!
I read so many awesome books by both published and self-published authors and want people to know about them and feel the same way that those books make me feel! I want to share all these fabulous books with the world. Reading is such a great way to relax (unless it's a tense thriller!) and to learn about and experience different worlds, different emotions and different situations. Reading is fab!
My blog started out as an online version of a paper book journal that I'd kept for a long time – the subtitle is 'diary of a book lover'. I blog about books because I want to keep a record of the books I read and share my thoughts on them. Since I started blogging four years ago, it has become a bit of an addiction and I'd blog even if nobody else was reading it – I love my little blog, it's my escape from everything else! There are many things that I love about book blogging but the book blogging community, which has grown massively and is so friendly and welcoming, is top of the list. I also love that feeling when a reader leaves a comment or tweets to say they loved a book you recommended.
Back in the mid-noughties, the literary snobs had spoken and the obit had been penned: chick lit was dead, apparently. Those light-hearted stories about women’s lives, their glamorous jobs and shopping habits were as out of vogue as a pair of Bridget Jones’ giant knickers. Except how could it be when I and so many others were drawn irresistibly towards those sparkly pink covers? So with the aim of bringing book news and reviews to chick lit lovers around the world, Chicklit Club was formed. And our mission today is still the same – helping readers find books that allow them to walk in another woman’s shoes. Hearty congratulations to Kirsty and the Novelicious team for five fab years of supporting women’s fiction.
Happy 5th birthday Team Novelicious, you were one the first sites that I used to visit for book news and reviews! I love reading so blogging is a way for me to forget about the stresses of work/home, there's nothing better than opening the pages of a book and getting lost in the moment. But as much as I love reading lots of fantastic books, the best part of book blogging for me is the interactions with authors, publishers and fellow bookworms and bloggers.
I started my blog purely as I way to remind myself of the books I had read once I started my first reading challenge a couple of years ago. I love the idea that other people might pick up a book I have loved after reading my review, because there's nothing like the magic of finding an amazing book. I also love the interaction my blog has given my with authors and other bookworms – it's like I've entered a whole new world of online bookish wonder!
Initially book blogging was an alternative way to help me shout out about my own books, but it has developed into so much more! Lately I've been devouring so many other people's books and loving every second of it. It has introduced me to a wider variety of genres that I'm becoming hooked on – and it's so cool to have such a wonderful community of authors and bloggers to share the love with.
Congratulations to Novelicious – HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I started Chick Lit Love as a way to become a tiny part of the world that I loved so much – a way to reach out to other Chick Lit readers, authors and publishers. It's the same now, and by reviewing I hope I'm giving a little back to the authors who make my reading life such a joy. Oh, and I love that it is the perfect excuse to always have my nose in a book!
Spreading the word about authors and books you love is the best feeling ever and that's why I book blog. Not only that but you get to make amazing friends, read loads and speak to great authors and publishers!
I blog because I'm compelled to do so. There are too many fantastic books out there that people don't know about and, as a thank you to the authors, I want to help spread the word. I love it because the book community is a fantastic thing to be part of.
It could be all the virtual tea and cake, but we’re feeling so much love right now. Group book blogger hug! Do you book blog? What do you love most about it? And share the link in the comments so we can visit!

Exclusive! New Cover reveal for Jill Knapp's "What happens to men when they move to Manhattan?"


I am delighted to be chosen to be the first blogger to showcase this cover reveal for the fantastic American author, Jill Knapp who has been signed with Harper Impulse.  The book has been given a make over and a new title and I think it is just perfect!  Huge Congrats Jill and we are wishing you all the best with its release next month.........

When you live in the fastest moving city on earth, how do you decide-
What is worth the chase?

Life in the city gives 23 year old Amalia Hastings a ride she is not expecting... As she tries to find her way on the little island that never sleeps, she discovers she has a harder time navigating through life then she does the streets of Greenwich Village!

 Amalia thought she had everything she wanted – a new apartment in Manhattan, a first-rate education at NYU, a group of fabulous friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she once believed was her soul-mate. But somehow, it isn’t enough. Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael. An attractive classmate who quickly moves from being one of her close friends, to an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about New York is its beauty. Amalia is essentially torn between two men, and Michael is torn between two women. Her best friend Cassandra is being strung along by her "boyfriend", Bryce, and even her friend Olivia is having a secret relationship! After getting hopelessly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia finds herself asking – what happens to men when they move to Manhattan?!

Harper Impulse| 7/24/2014 | EBook |

About HarperImpulse:
HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is an exciting new range of romance fiction brought to you from the women’s fiction team at HarperCollins. Their aim is to break new talent from debut authors and import the hottest trends from the US, bringing to market the very best in romance. Whether that is through short reads for your mobile phone or epic sagas that span the generations they want to proudly publish romance fiction that gets everybody talking.


A native New Yorker, Jill Knapp is the author of the New Adult series What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?. A former adjunct professor of Psychology at her Alma Mater Kean University, she received a Master’s degree in Psychology from the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post and The High Tea Cast, Knapp writes about entertainment, dating, and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. 

About HarperImpulse:
HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is an exciting new range of romance fiction brought to you from the women’s fiction team at HarperCollins. Their aim is to break new talent from debut authors and import the hottest trends from the US, bringing to market the very best in romance. Whether that is through short reads for your mobile phone or epic sagas that span the generations they want to proudly publish romance fiction that gets everybody talking.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

" A Gift To Remember " by Melissa Hill

Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for approving a review copy via Netgalley.

Book lover, Darcy Archer, has the ideal job in a small independent bookstore in Manhattan. For a single girl, in her thirties, who adores classic literature and surrounds herself with books at home and work, she is quite content.  Her dreams are set in the world of Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters.  She has a tiny apartment, regularly meets us with her aunt, who raised her after her parents death, and enjoys her daily bike ride through the busy streets of the city.  That is, until she runs over a man out walking his dog, and things get a little bizzare.
The man, unconscious, is rushed off in an ambulance but Darcy is left with his rather large dog and no idea how to reunite them.  There is also a beautifully wrapped gift left at the scene of the accident and she feels obliged to make sure the present also makes it to its intended owner.
She begins a the unusual manhunt and, with some help from her fellow booksellers, she finds Aidan.  Happy ever after, right?  Actually, no. There is a small problem. Other than his name, Aidan has no memory of his life before the collision. Trapped in the hospital, it is left to Darcy to try and figure out who Aidan is, and why no one seems to be looking for him?

This novel is set in the snowy December period that lends to some beautiful descriptions of Manhattan, and all its glories, under the crisp frost, ice and snow.  Christmas shoppers are out in force and the atmosphere is positively dreamy.  However, I read this on a (rare) scorcher of a day in Ireland, and didn't feel the out-of-season vibe that a reader sometimes gets when turning the pages of a Christmas book.  The season is irrelevant to the story, so don't be put off by a bit of snow or fairy lights on the streets.
One of my favourite aspects of the book was that each chapter begins with a famous literary quote.  Each one seems to be have lovingly chosen rather than just Googled and I recognised a lot along the way.  Darcy's character was a complete book nerd, which I am too, and I felt like we could be great friends if she wasn't fictional!  Her investigative skills were a bit slumped and not thought through very well, but I think this was perfect for her persona. More pen and paper than i-cloud, letter writing than e-mails.  I found her work colleagues a lovely addition, a real mix of characters that gelled well, despite their different backgrounds.

I have been a fan of Melissa Hill for many years and was delighted to see that, if anything, she is getting better and better with each book.  I have added this to my Top 5 reads for summer, as not many books cause me to ignore all my daily chores and even forget to feed my children at their normal times. Maybe the sunshine helped, maybe it was pure laziness, but I think it was more that I was in Darcy's world for those three or four hours and could smell the bookstore, feel the spines of the classics and wanted to be walking down the streets of Manhattan with my dog on a lead and a Starbucks in my hand.  Well done Melissa. A fantastic light read, with fab quotes and lots of book talk. But, you owe me a days housework!!

This edition of A Gift To Remember is published by Simon and Schuster UK on 3rd July 2014

Although this was released last year in trade paperback, with a different cover, I somehow missed the boat and didn't get my hands on a copy.  Seeing it again reminded me that it was on my TBR list and started it the minute it arrived.  Here is a glimpse of the original cover.......

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

My Top 5 Summer Reads

The second quarter of the year and I have read some amazing titles since my spring post.  it is so hard to pick only 5, but I have to be ruthless!!  So, without further ado ........

1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
A clever blend of amazing storytelling and humour made this my favourite read this season.

2. Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
A mystery told through the eyes of an elderly dementia sufferer. A stunning debut from this young author.

3. The Closet Of Savage Mementos by Nuala Ní Chonchúir
Immaculate prose and a personal story,  this should not be missed.

4. The Lost by Claire McGowan
The first in her Paula McGuire series. A gripping crime thriller which had me gasping for more.

5. A Gift To Remember by Melissa Hill
Technically a Christmas read, but paperback now on general release. An ideal light read for book lovers with lots of literary quotes.


Each book has its own buy link underneath, for convenience. I hope I have guided you to a perfect read for this summer season!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

" First We Take Manhattan " by Colette Caddle

Thanks to publishers for approving my request for a review copy of this book via NetGalley......

This book has been available in Ireland, in trade paperback, and as Kindle edition, since march 2014.  The regular paperback will be released on 14th Aug.

Sinead and Sheila Fields are identical twins. Sheila disappeared almost a year ago and Sinead is not coping with the loss very well at all.  Feeling helpless, emotional and like she is missing a limb, she seems to be pushing everyone away from her. Even her boyfriend is finding her beyond help.  When her accountant brother discovers how bad things have become, in her business as well as her personal life, he gets her to accept that she needs to get a grip and begin her life again.  Part of this deal is bringing in a new staff member who can help the millinery business regain momentum.  Sheila had been part of the company, and without her, Sinead has let things slip. In comes Dubliner, Krystie, recently returned from Manhattan and dying to get back to work in the world of fashion.  When she realises who she will be working for, the memory of a familiar face in Manhattan comes back to her and she questions her need to share some information with Sinead. Will it help or hinder?

I always enjoy Colette Caddle's books. You can count on her.  They are well written, have great characters and the stories usually keep me guessing til the end.  This was certainly true with First we take Manhattan.  lots of interlinking storylines, and nuggets of information drip fed throughout, make for a page turner.  The twins family feature a lot and I like the fact that they are not perfect.  Who's family are?  
The world of hats was a strange choice, but the author did enough research to make it a viable career choice for the girls.  The story is centered around losing a family member but also delves into the 'skeletons in the closet' area, which we all know and love......

A great read, perfect for summer, making you wish you could have a glass of bubbly while wearing a great big sunhat !!  A special shout out for the stunning artwork on the cover too.

Remember, First we take Manhattan is available in good bookshops in trade paperback and will be on general release from Simon & Schuster from 14th Aug. You can order via link below. Enjoy!

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