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Showing posts from September, 2014

Cheltenham Literature Festival

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I'm very excited to announce that I'm part of the volunteer team at Cheltenham Literature Festival this year! I stumbled upon it quite by accident last year (I just happened to be in the city visting my boyfriend when it was on) and fell instantly in love with it. I think this was primarily to do with the fact that Emma Thomspon was in town! I jumped at the chance to volunteer this year and now here I am, sat next to my suitcase preparing to travel down there tomorrow- it's a hefty five hour train journey from my home on the North Yorkshire Moors!

Celebrity highlights at the festival this year include Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral / Notting Hill), Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, and Damian Lewis of Homeland fame (although I know him best as Soames from the Forsyte Saga). On the more traditional side of things there's talks with Ian McEwan (Atonement), David Nicholls (One Day), Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall), Nick Hornby (About a Boy) and Sarah Waters (Fingersm…

Review: The Secret Place by Tana French

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'I know who killed him.'

Could these few words, posted on a notice board in an exclusive girls' boarding school, be Detective Stephen Moran's passport to the Murder Squad?

Moran is about to be plunged into the single most intense and nerve-shredding day of this life, investigating the story of a boy whose murder has remained unsolved for a year, and a group of girls on the verge of womanhood, who all seem to have something to hide.

Comtemporary crime fiction isn't usually my thing; the glamorous world of the 1930s and Agatha Christie are about my level when it comes to mystery and murder. But the premise of this story lured me in.The boarding school setting appealed instantly to me. It's strange how in children's literature boarding schools such as St Trinian's and Hogwarts are places of mayhem and cameraderie, but they become altogether more sinister and somewhat sordid in adult fiction.

The writing style drew me in from the very first page; it's incre…

Review: The Out of Office Girl by Nicola Doherty

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Through a massive stroke of luck, editorial assistant Alice Roberts finds herself on a plane to Sicily to work on the autobiography of Hollywood mega-star and bad boy Luther Carson. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and no-one is going to stand in her way, least of all Luther's bitchy co-star  Annabel or his arrogant agent Sam. But in such a beautiful location with such beautiful people, Alice can't help but feel out of place. With Luther off gallevanting and reluctant to spill his life-story, Alice needs to step up to the challenge and make this summer one to remember!

After spending some time in Italy this summer, I'm finding myself drawn to books set there. Call it a remedy for the post holiday blues; reading about it means I can pretend I'm still there! I got myself into a bit of a rut with chick-lit so I decided to avoid it for a while, but when I read the blurb for this novel I knew that I had to give it a go! I'm so glad that I did. Once I got into it I r…

Blog Tour: Ravensdale by Lucinda Elliot

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Publication Date: April 18, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 260p
Genre: Historical Regency/Comedy-Spoof

Synopsis
When the group of highwaymen headed by the disgraced Earl of Little Dean, Reynaud Ravensdale hold up the hoydenish Isabella Murray’s coach, she knocks one of them down and lectures them all on following Robin Hood’s example.
The rascally Reynaud Ravensdale – otherwise known as the dashing highwayman Mr Fox – is fascinated by her spirit.
He escaped abroad three years back following his supposedly shooting a friend dead after a quarrel. Rumour has it that his far more respectable cousin was involved. Now, having come back during his father’s last illness, the young Earl is seeking to clear his name.
Isabella’s ambitious parents are eager to marry her off to Reynaud Ravensdale’s cousin, the next in line to his title. The totally unromantic Isabella is even ready to elope with her outlaw admirer to escape this fate – on condition that he teaches her how to be a highwaywoman herself.
T…

Blog Tour: The Unexpected Earl by Philippa Jane Keyworth

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Today I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Unexpected Earl by Philippa Jane Keyworth. I really enjoyed this book, and you can can check out my review of it below! Publication Date: September 20, 2014 | Madison Street Publishing Formats: eBook, Paperback Genre: Historical Fiction/Regency/Romance

Synopsis From the author of the widely acclaimed The Widow's Redeemer, comes a new Regency romance from Philippa Jane Keyworth. Six years after being jilted without a word of explanation, Julia Rotherham finds Lucius Wolversley standing before her once again–unexpected, unannounced, unwelcome. With her heart still hurting and, more importantly, her pride, Julia must chaperone her younger sister, fend off fortune hunters, orchestrate a fake engagement, and halt an elopement–all whilst keeping the man who jilted her at arm’s length. But what Julia doesn’t know is that this time, the Earl has no intention of disappearing, and this time, he has more than an explanation to offer…

R…

September Library Haul

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The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­former…

Personality Test: Which fictional characters are you most like?

So I came across this idea on tumblr, and thought it might be fun to do it over here.

The rules are simple: take the personality test here, then find out which characters share the same personality traits as you here. List the characters that you find relevant and tag a bunch of bloggers to do the same!

So, according to the test, my personality is INFP:
"You are one of the Diplomats - an empathic and idealistic individual who enjoys exploring interesting ideas and prizes morality. You are known for your poetic nature, intuitive skills and pure, childlike enthusiasm. "

These are just a few of the characters listed that matched my personality type:

Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia
Frances "Baby" Houseman from Dirty Dancing
Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby
Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon
Marius from Les Misérables
Christian from Moulin Rouge!
Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
Romeo from Romeo and Juliet
Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility
The eponymous m…

The Book Reading Habits Tag

So a few weeks back the lovely Girl with her Head in a Book nominated me for the Book Reading Habits Tag. I'm not brave enough to booktube - that and it's difficult to get a quiet moment here with family lurking around - so for now written answers will have to suffice!

#1 - Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Most of my reading is done in bed, although when I have a particularly gripping book on the go I have been known to carry it with me around the house and read it anywhere I get the chance to!

#2 - Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?
I have loads of bookmarks but they always seem to just disappear when I need them! I use tickets, old lists, basically anything that I have to hand when I need one. If I manage to actually find a bookmark even better.

#3 - Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?
The end of a chapter, always. Unless of course I fall asleep mid sentence, which I very often do!

#4 -…

Review: Ice Creams at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown

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Georgie Hart seems to have her life on track. The perfect job, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life. Then she is given the challenge of
organising the first summer regatta for Mulberry-on-Sea, sponsored by Carrington's Department store! With the regatta looming, her father loose on the continent in a camper van and an opportunity state-side that is just too good to miss, Georgie finds herself pulled in all directions. This is the summer when Georgie will discover what she truly wants out of life.

I reviewed the previous book in the series, Christmas at Carringtons, here, in fact it was my first ever review on this blog! It's not necessary to read the Carrington's books in order -I haven't read the first one yet - but personally I enjoyed this story a lot more than the previous one.

As in the previous book, the slang annoyed me a bit; I've had enough of 'emosh' and 'amazeballs' to last a lifetime as it is so I don't want them in my books too (plu…

Review: Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

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Edinburgh, 'a city of infinite promise.'

For those of you unaware of the plot of the original Northanger Abbey, written by the great Jane Austen, it is a Gothic parody novel depicting the adventures of Catherine Morland, a young girl with an over-active imagination, and her relationship with a certain Mr Henry Tilney. In her re-imagining of the classic story, Val McDermid moves the action to modern-day Edinburgh during its world famous book festival, a literature lover's dream.

I went into this novel with high expectations, and to be perfectly honest the writing didn't grab me instantly. I found the narrative a little patronising towards Cat, but in hindsight perhaps this is intentional to highlight her naivety. It is more a retelling than a re-imagining as other reviewers have pointed out, with perhaps too much effort made to stick closely to the original plot instead of telling its own story.

That said, moving the setting from Bath to Edinburgh was a genius idea! The ch…

Blog Update: Kitten Shenanigans

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After an unexpected mini-hiatus from blogging, I'm back! The reason for my absence can largely be
explained by this little fellow. His name is Walter and I found him out in a barn abandoned by his mother, stone cold and barely breathing. A week and a half of hot water bottles and cuddles later and he's toddling around the house biting everyone's toes. So cute! So now that he doesn't require quite as much constant attention it's time for a catch up - and I'm sure my laptop will provide a cosy place for him nap on too! I've a huge backlog of posts to write up, so expect to see a lot from me over the next few days!