Archive | October, 2010

In My Mailbox (13)

31 Oct

In My Mailbox is hosted by the Story Siren to highlight books bought, borrowed or received each week and is a great way to find lots of new ideas for books to read.

Spookily, my Halloween IMM is number 13…

It’s been a fab book week here at One More Page and I’m so pleased I have the next week off work so I can read my new books :)

For Review

The Hating Game by Talli Roland

This is Talli’s debut novel and will be released worldwide on 1st December as an e book and in paperback in early 2011. I posted about Talli’s blog splash a little while ago and if you’d like to join in on 1st December or find out more you can find the details on Talli’s blog. I’m really looking forward to reading this one and would like to thank Talli for sending me a copy for review.

When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she’s confident she’ll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she’s perfected from years of her love ‘em and leave ‘em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £200,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it’s revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

Won

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


I won a signed copy of this one in a competition over at Jess Hearts Books :)

Pack life is about order, but Bryn is about to push all the limits, with hair-raising results. At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn’s been as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule. Little fazes her. But the pack’s been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum’s orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her parents come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It’s Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

Bought

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

The Blue Bloods series is my favourite vampire series so I’m very excited about this one.

After inheriting the complicated Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with Jack, risking both of their lives for love. The two of them embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the remaining five gates that guard Earth from Lucifer, Prince of Hell and lord of the Silver Bloods. As the Blue Blood coven weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires.

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

I’ve had my eye on this for a while and saw it in an offer in the book shop yesterday so finally decided to buy it.

Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend in class rebel Lucas. At home her father puts a brave face on things but cries in secret in the bathroom, while her mother rarely speaks and hardly ever leaves the house. To escape this desolate world, Lou goes often to Gare d’Austerlitz to see the big emotions in the smiles and tears of arrival and departure. But there she also sees the homeless, meets a girl called No, only a few years older than herself, and decides to make homelessness the topic of her class presentation. Bit by bit, Lou and No become friends until, the project over, No disappears. Heartbroken, Lou asks her parents the unaskable question and her parents say: Yes, No can come to live with them. So Lou goes down into the underworld of Paris’ street people to bring her friend up to the light of a home and family life, she thinks.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween!

Magical Halloween Book Review – Could it be Magic? by Melanie Rose

29 Oct

 
 

 
All it takes is a bolt from the blue to change your life forever! When Jessica Taylor is struck by lightning one afternoon whilst walking her dog, she has no idea how dramatically her life is going to change! Lucky to survive, Jessica wakes up in a hospital bed – but as someone else. Apparently she’s now Lauren Richardson, wife and mother of four young children. No one will believe her story – she can hardly believe it herself. Later that night, Jessica wakes up again – as herself. She quickly works out that when Lauren sleeps, she wakes up as Jessica. But when Lauren is awake, she must sleep – whatever the time of day. Needless to say, it plays havoc with her work and her blossoming relationship with Dan Brennan, the handsome stranger who saved her on the Downs that fateful day. Jessica has no idea what has happened to her and whether she can get back to life as she knows it. Meanwhile, she must quickly get the hang of looking after four demanding children, an even more demanding husband and also learn all about the woman in whose designer shoes she now stands. But as she digs deeper into Lauren’s life, she unearths some secrets, secrets which may tear the family apart…
This is Melanie’s debut novel and the first of her books that I’ve read, although I do also have her second novel, Coming Home on my to read pile as well. I was drawn to the book by the lovely cover and fab title. I also thought the plot sounded very original – a girl is struck by lightening and becomes two people; when she sleeps as one, she is awake as the other. 

From the cover and title, I expected  book to be lighthearted but I actually found it quite a serious book which touched on some major issues and included amongst other things infidelity, abusive relationships and the care of a  brain damaged child; it was more of a drama than the romantic comedy I’d imagined. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it –  I thought the story was well told and actually believable. Melanie Rose does an excellent job of putting forward both sides of the story and the contrast between Jessica’s single career-based life and Lauren’s as wife and mum to four children and I think it might give readers from both camps pause for thought.

The main focus to the story is Jessica and I liked her as a character – Melanie Rose has cleverly created someone that many different types of readers will identify with and I enjoyed watching her opinions change as she got to grips with her new role as Mum to four children whilst balancing her single life. It was interesting to have Lauren (the body that Jessica occupies when she sleeps) almost as a non-character; Jessica looks and sounds like her but her personality is still her own and I think the book makes some really interesting observations on the nature of ‘soul’, who we are and ‘soul mates’.

As the story progresses it becomes aparant that it is Jessica’s soul that has split in two and inhabits the different bodies at different times. The story is complex, well thought out and cleverly written. It’s clear that Jessica can’t carry on living two lives forever but as I was  reading, I couldn’t work out how the situation Jessica found herself in would rectify itself in the end which really kept me turning the pages! The final twists to the story surprised me and I liked the ending very much and will look forward to reading more from Melanie Rose.

4/5

Melanie Rose released her third book earlier this month. You can find out more about Melanie and her books at: http://www.melanierose.co.uk/

Magical Halloween Book Review – The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

26 Oct

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season; she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle; and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet.

For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night . . .

Until she finds her closet harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tender-hearted woman who is one part nemesis – and two parts fairy godmother . . .

I’ve had The Sugar Queen on my ‘to read’ pile for quite a while. Having read it, I really do wonder why I’d left it there for so long. I’d read Sarah Addison Allen’s previous book Garden Spells and enjoyed it but The Sugar Queen is in a different league.  Sarah Addison Allen has a magical way with words and the worlds she creates are real but with just enough of a touch of enchantment and myth to be almost fairytale like.

In The Sugar Queen we meet downtrodden Josey. Her life revolves around her mother for whom nothing is ever good enough, as she tries to atone for being a difficult child. Now in her late twenties, Josey longs to escape but doesn’t know how so she hides the things that make her feel good (sweets, travel brochures and paperback romances) in a secret space in her wardrobe and indulges when she can to make herself feel better. Her secret is safe until one day she finds local waitress Della Lee has adopted her sanctuary as her hideout and is intent on giving Josey advice on life and love. The book follows Josey as Della prompts her to try new things and emerge from the shadow of her mother with surprising consequences.

I really warmed to Josey from the first page of the book when she describes her feelings about winter and why it is her favourite season. Winter is also my favourite season and I’m sure this is in part why I enjoyed the book so much. As more of Josey’s history emerged I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I loved the way that Della’s presence slowly changed her routine and got her meeting new people. Della is very much a fairy godmother figure throughout the story (albeit a bleached blond, chain-smoking one from the wrong side of the tracks) as she discovers that Josie has had a long term crush on the local postman Adam and sets about manoeuvring Josey to develop her relationship with him. Despite the complete contrast between Josey and Della’s upbringing and personalities, they find that they have much more in common than they ever imagined and I really enjoyed the way their relationship developed through the book.

Josey’s is the main story, but there are several other subplots and a number of mysteries that need to be solved. I loved the way that the quirky cast of characters mixed and their stories crossed. Love and forgiveness is a strong theme throughout The Sugar Queen; Della introduces Josey to Chloe who has just found out that her boyfriend has cheated on her; Della is trying to come to terms with an abusive relationship and Josey’s mother Margaret needs to reconcile a lost love. I had guessed the twist in the story a long time before I got to it but this book is such a pleasure to read that it didn’t matter.

Another reason that I loved this book is that one of the main characters has a very special relationship with books. Since childhood they have appeared to her at times of need. They follow her and even though she doesn’t want to read them are persistent enough to stick by her. I love the idea of having books just pop up when you need them and thought the magical books were a fab addition to the story.

This truly is a magical read and if you are looking for the perfect book to warm your heart this winter – look no further :)

5/5

You can find out more about Sarah Addison Allen at: http://www.sarahaddisonallen.com/

Have a magical Halloween with One More Page!

25 Oct

I thought I’d celebrate Halloween on the blog by going against the trend and reviewing some lovely girly chick lit books!  I’ve raided the ‘to read’ pile and chosen three books that have magical theme to them and maybe the odd ghost thrown in. I’ll be reviewing them through the week starting tomorrow and ending on Sunday. I’ve even created myself a little banner to go with my theme – complete with bookaholic pink witch!

The books I’ve chosen are:

  • The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Could it be Magic by Melanie Rose
  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Please stop by during the week to check out the reviews and let me know what your magical Halloween recommendations are.

Book Review: The Birthday Party by Veronica Henry

25 Oct

Delilah Rafferty has lived out her tempestuous marriage to hell-raiser Raf in the full glare of the media spotlight. Now, from the luxurious comfort of her beautiful kitchen, Delilah is planning her birthday party, a night that will see a star-studded gathering of friends and family celebrate in traditional Rafferty style. But she has more on her mind than just invitations… Raf has been offered a part in a movie he can’t refuse. But will that mean he’ll succumb to the temptations he’s struggled so hard to resist for the last ten years – beautiful women and too much wine? And Delilah’s three daughters, Coco, Violet and Tyger, are building careers of their own, only too aware that the press are waiting for them to slip up. For although the Rafferty girls might look like angels, they are only human. As with all families, there are secrets and rivalries bubbling away, and on one gloriously starry night, it’s all going to come spilling out. This is your invitation to a birthday party of the year…

In August I read and loved Veronica Henry’s last book, The Beach Hut so I was very excited when I saw that she had a new one coming out and pre-ordered it straight away.  I thought the cover was pretty when I saw the picture to the left but in real life it is even lovelier with lots of glittery sparkles!

The Birthday Party tells the story of the Rafferty family; Mum Delilah, Dad Raf and daughters Coco, Violet and Tyger. With names like those, you might guess that the Raffertys aren’t your average family and you would be right. Delilah is a celebrity cook, Raf a fallen movie star, Coco an actress in a TV medical drama, Violet an aspiring musician and Tyger a 21 year old entrepreneur with a very successful lingerie company. Throw in a rebellious rock star, a billionaire business tycoon and young beautiful film star and you have all the ingredients needed for lashings of drama.

This is a fast paced roller coaster of a book with several interrelated story threads running at once. I liked the way that each character was set up with their own storyline and I really enjoyed how the different threads wove together to give the big picture of life as a Rafferty family member and a believable view on the lives of the rich and famous. Although Delilah is billed as the focus of the book, I felt that each of the Rafferty family members were actually equally important. Henry has created some characters that you might find yourself loving to hate here – in particular Delilah’s husband Raf who I just couldn’t make my mind up about throughout the book.

I had a lot of sympathy for Delilah as she approaches her 50th Birthday and has a crisis of confidence. Having been the one who has very successfully held her family together for many years she now has to watch as they stand on their own feet with the implication that they no longer need her, something that I’m sure many readers will identify with. Add to this that her career seems to be reaching a peak whilst her husbands is taking off again and there is a subtle but well made point about the treatment of women by the media industry.

Tyger and rock star Louis were my favourite characters because their stories and the outcome really surprised me. I also really enjoyed the supporting characters in The Birthday Party. As she did in The Beach Hut, Veronica Henry has a way of getting to the heart of even the minor characters and showing their depth even if their appearances are fleeting. I particulalry liked the downtrodden Polly and film director Dickie and found myself hoping for a happy ending for both of them.

Veronica Henry depicts a family living their life in the media spotlight and highlights the sometimes grim reality beyond the projected perfection. This book is much racier than The Beach Hut but no less enjoyable because of it. My only objection is the use of one swear word which I really hate but in the context of the character who said it, I expected nothing less. Reading the Birthday Party feels like you have been given an insider glimpse into the celebrity lifestyle and it’s an excellent book to curl up and escape with this winter.

4/5

You can find out more about Veronica Henry and her books at: http://www.veronicahenry.co.uk/

In My Mailbox (12)

24 Oct

In My Mailbox is hosted by the Story Siren to highlight books bought, borrowed or received each week and is a great way to find lots of new ideas for books to read.

Two for me this week  – I’m working hard at keeping the ‘to read’ pile down :)

For Review

Dream Machine by Will Davis

This one was sent to me by Bloomsbury and sounds just the thing for fans of the X Factor!

Thousands of wannabes are auditioning to be part of mega-girlband Purrfect in a new reality TV series. Among them are ice-queen Louise, who thinks she’s got god on her side, foulmouthed Joni, desperate to hide the fact that she’s got a baby, mousy teen Ella, obsessed with her stepmother’s boyfriend, and cocky Riana, a stripper with a naughty penchant for coke. Each one is determined to be the new Purrfect girl. But as the show progresses it seems someone has a very different sort of agenda in mind – someone who’s not afraid for things to get deadly.

Bought

The Fledgling Handbook by P.C. Cast with Kim Doner

I’ve been looking forward to this being released and was very excited when Amazon emailed to say it would be dispatching early. I’ve already had a quick look through it and it’s a gorgeous book!

Merry meet, fledgling. I trust this guide will serve you well…

Every vampyre fledgling who arrives at the House of Night receives a copy of The Fledgling Handbook 101, and now, fans can have one, too, with this gorgeous must-have edition. Inside you’ll find original stories, the complete vampyre history, inside info into rituals, vamp biology, and the Change, and much more.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else got.

November book release preview – my wishlist

23 Oct

November is going to be an amazing month for new books – there are so many fantastic sounding books being released in time for Christmas and narrowing it down to the ones I plan to buy has been really hard but here they are:

Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City) by Armistead Maupin
Released
11th November
Published by Doubleday
Website
: http://www.armisteadmaupin.com/

I already raved about this one in my mailbox post last week so I’ll say no more except that it’s a must for Tales of the City fans.

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York.Now, a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, a gay gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband. Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple’s backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of 57, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes.Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her speckled past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined. Among those caught in Mary Ann’s orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael’s transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann’s former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane.

Welcome to My World by Miranda Dickinson
Released 11th November
Published by Avon
Website
: http://coffeeandroses.blogspot.com/

Miranda’s first book Fairytale of New York was one of my favourite reads of last year and I’ve been eagerly anticipating Welcome to My World since I read the sample chapter at the end of Fairytale. Thankfully I don’t have much longer to wait :)

Close your eyes and imagine the world is your oyster…
And now imagine never seeing it. Welcome to Harriet Langton’s world. All her life she’s dreamt of travelling the globe – fate always got in the way. Working as a travel agent, the closest Harri comes to her dream destination of Venice is booking the trip for someone else. But everything changes when travel fanatic Alex drops in.With her boyfriend Rob tied up with work, Harri is persuaded to help Alex in his quest for love. But in her attempts to help, Harri soon discovers that she’s alienating those around her. Desperate to leave her life behind, will her dreams finally come true? Or will Harri’s leap of faith be her biggest mistake yet?

A Winter’s Wedding by Sharon Owens
Released
11th November
Published by Penguin
Website
: http://sharonowens.blogspot.com/

Having had a wintry November wedding myself, this one really appealed to me!

Love in the bleak mid-winter . . . Emily loves Dylan.And Dylan loves Emily.Their relationship is rock solid.Everyone says they are meant to be together, it’s just a matter of when – not if – Dylan’s going to pop the Big Question. There’s just one tiny fly in the ointment: Emily hates weddings. Which is fair enough seeing as she was jilted at the altar years ago by Alex, her supposed soulmate.Still, Dylan isn’t Alex.He’s gorgeous and sexy and scruffy and kind – and more than worth taking a chance on … But what happens when the ghost of Emily’s Christmas past threatens to ruin everything? Can Dylan convince the love of his life he’s different and that their wedding day will be remembered for the right reasons? After all, with a sprinkling of snow and a touch of magic in the air, there’s nothing quite like a winter’s wedding to warm the soul …

From Notting Hill With Love … Actually by Ali McNamara
Released
25th November
Published by Sphere
Website
: http://www.alimcnamara.co.uk/

This is Ali McNamara’s debut novel and it sounds like a lot of fun. I love the cover and the title.

She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy …wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant. Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiance David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now …When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill ? the setting of one of her favourite movies ? Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carrol
Released
25th November
Published by Bantam Press
Website
: http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk

This one is set in New York and promises to reveal a whole new side to my favourite city.

Jeweller Garet James isn’t the same as everyone else. She just doesn’t know it yet. With her fair share of problems – money (lack of), an elderly father, a struggling business – Garet should be just like any other young, feisty, single New Yorker. If only it was that simple… It begins with the old silver box that had been soldered shut. All Garet has to do is open it. A favour for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn’t help? Only it’s then that things start to change. Garet doesn’t notice at first, the shifts barely perceptible. But the city in which she grew up is beginning to reveal a long-hidden side – darker, and altogether more dangerous: parallel world of chaos, smoke and blood. And now it’s out of the box…and it has no intention of going back in.

All I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver
Released
25th November
Published by Arrow
Website
: http://www.randomhouse.co.uk

As you may have already guessed – I love Christmas and will be well and truly stocking up on lovely Christmassy reads during November. This one sounds like it fits the bill perfectly!

Twelve days and counting… It’s Bea’s first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she’s determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she’s invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn’t have time to get involved in two new people’s lives, let alone fall in love… When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can’t help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia’s life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé’s entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn’t be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea’s café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever. But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom…

Comfort and Joy by India Knight
Released
25th November
Published by Fig Tree
Website
: http://www.penguin.co.uk

I love the cover for this one – it really stands out.

It’s December 23rd and Clara Dunphy is running around Oxford Street like a blue-arsed fly trying to buy presents. She wants to make Christmas perfect: it’s a lifelong ambition. And a challenging one at the best of times, even without taking her sixteen guests – sorry, “loved ones” – and their varying degrees of social dysfunction into account. Meanwhile, something weird has happened to her marriage, and the ho, ho, ho is thin on the ground. Why does Christmas have such an emotional hold over us? Why does family stuff hit the peak of its madness on December the 25th? And is it okay to want more than you have, when what you have seems so enviable from the outside?

So that’s my November wish list – what are you looking forward to?


Angel by L.A. Weatherly
Released
1st October
Published by Usborne
Website
: http://www.usborne.com/angel/

Book Review – Angel by L. A. Weatherly

19 Oct

Willow knows she s different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into peoples futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from… But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willows secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

Anyone following me on Twitter will know that I went to great lengths to get this book. I tried a four bookshops before I found one that was selling it and even then I had to ask them to get it for me as they still had it hidden away in the stockroom.  So why was I so keen to get my hands on it? Well, there were a couple of reasons; firstly I’d seen lots of Angel mentions on blogs and Twitter and there seemed to be a real buzz about the book coming out which made me curious to read it. Secondly, I thought the premise that angels are actually an evil force out to prey on the human race was really original and different enough to make me want to read it.

I’ll admit from the beginning that I’m not really into angels – sparkly vampires yes but glowing divine beings not so much. This is the first angel based book I’ve read and despite the reasons mentioned above for wanting to read it, I was fully prepared for Angel to be an OK read but not really to my tastes.  I was really surprised to zip through the first few chapters and find that I liked the sound of the two main characters, Alex and Willow very much.

Alex is an AK (Angel Killer) and at the start of Angel we find him on the hunt for an angel having got a text from his CIA contact. I liked that the book got straight into the action but gave glimpses of Alex’s back story that really made me want to find out more about him.  In contrast, we first encounter Willow fixing a friend’s car outside of school. We learn that Willow has psychic abilities and is a bit of an outsider at school but she is unaware that she has anything to do with angels. Both Alex and Willow have detailed back stories and have had difficult upbringings. Both have experienced loss and heartache because of the angels which makes for a really interesting dynamic when Willow and Alex discover that she is half angel.

The story is told alternatively from Willow’s perspective in the first person and third person narrative focusing on Alex. The shift of perspectives took a little bit of getting used to but I found that it kept the story exciting and I liked the different angles to the story. There is also plenty of action and good plot twists which combined with the genuinely likeable hero and heroine, make this book stand out from a lot of the paranormal romance stories out there.

I liked the fact that Angel had a really strong premise from the start: the angel world is failing and the energy sources that give angels life cannot support them anymore. The angels can feed off human auras and are planning a mass invasion of earth. When angels feed they give their victims ‘angel burn’ which manifests itself as mental illness, weakness or severe physical illness like cancer. The victims themselves are unaware of the negative angel effects and see and feel only the beauty and positive power of the angels. This has led devotees/victims to set up The Church of the Angels which is rapidly gaining membership and is serving as cover for the angel invasion.

Above all else, the love story between Alex and Willow really made this book stand out for me. I loved the way the tension builds as Alex and Willow are thrown together by events. Although they are attracted, they are quite hostile to each other for a large part of the book and I really enjoyed the way that they gradually found out more about each other and began to admit their feelings. L.A. Weatherly certainly knows how to write a good love story and Alex and Willow’s story is one of my favourites of the year so far. I’m pleased to say that Angel really surprised me and I’m so glad that it is part of a trilogy!The next installment Angel Fire is due out in June 2011.

5/5

You can find out more about Angel and L.A. Weatherly at: http://www.usborne.com/angel/

Lisa Jewell giveaway winner!

19 Oct

Drum-roll please … and the winner is ….

Inspired Kathy

Congratulations! I’ve sent you an email. Thank you to everyone who entered and for all the brilliant 2011 book suggestions. I now have a very exciting wish list for next year :)

In My Mailbox (11)

17 Oct

In My Mailbox is hosted by the Story Siren to highlight books bought, borrowed or received each week and is a great way to find lots of new ideas for books to read.

I had an eye infection this week and haven’t been able to read as much as I’d have liked but the three books that came through the post really cheered me up while I was feeling rubbish. I’m so excited about all of them!

Won

Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin

When I saw a Tweet earlier in the week offering the chance to win a proof of this one I was so excited. I entered straight away and couldn’t believe it when I got the message asking for my address :) This is the first book I’ve won which makes it all the more exciting and the fact that it is the new book in a series that I love makes it all the more special. I’ve also just purchased a ticket to go to Armistead Maupin’s London talk and signing for Mary Ann in Autumn on 22nd November – can’t wait!

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York.Now, a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, a gay gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband. Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple’s backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of 57, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes.Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her speckled past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined. Among those caught in Mary Ann’s orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael’s transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann’s former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane. Over three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin’s legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion and mordant wit.

Mary Ann in Autumn will be released on 11th November by Doubleday (Transworld)

Bought

Two books that I’d pre-ordered from Amazon arrived this week and they both have gorgeous sparkly covers!

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

I’ll be reading and reviewing this one as part of my Christmas month in December – look out for more news of that coming soon.

What would we do without one another? It was a statement, not a question. Each of us knew the answer for herself. Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish and a bottle of wine and, as they eat, they take turns telling the story of the cookies they have baked. Stories that, somehow, are always emblematic of the year that has just passed. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story will end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, but can she live with his decision? Each woman, each friend has a story to tell. The Cookie Club is about the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, and above all, it’s a celebration of the friendships between women.

The Birthday Party by Veronica Henry

I really enjoyed Veronica’s last book, The Beach Hut which came out over the summer so I’m very much looking forward to reading her new one.

Delilah Rafferty has lived out her tempestuous marriage to hell-raiser Raf in the full glare of the media spotlight. Now, from the luxurious comfort of her beautiful kitchen, Delilah is planning her birthday party, a night that will see a star-studded gathering of friends and family celebrate in traditional Rafferty style. But she has more on her mind than just invitations…

Raf has been offered a part in a movie he can’t refuse. But will that mean he’ll succumb to the temptations he’s struggled so hard to resist for the last ten years – beautiful women and too much wine?

And Delilah’s three daughters, Coco, Violet and Tyger, are building careers of their own, only too aware that the press are waiting for them to slip up. For although the Rafferty girls might look like angels, they are only human.

As with all families, there are secrets and rivalries bubbling away, and on one gloriously starry night, it’s all going to come spilling out…