Week in Review – 16 July 2017

Another week has gone by, how is this year flying by so quickly? Wow!

So this week I got roped into joining a couple of fitness classes with my good friend Jen! She is super fit already being an archaeologist who spends all her time working outside digging in trenches! Despite my massive weight-loss and regular exercise routine I am not fit, not even close, and after going to the first one which was like a military exercise I bowed out of the second on Thursday as I literally couldn’t lift my arms!

I mentioned a while back I’m writing a book about my experiences with mental health, I’ve had a really good author friend beta read the first six chapters of the book to help me gauge how it is coming together and had fantastic feedback which has really given me a boost for continuing to write! Thank you my lovely friend for taking on that challenge with my completely unedited rambling!

I also got invited to interview for a role working in a mental health support role I really wanted. I honestly thought they would laugh at my application so whatever happens just getting an interview is awesome.

I also had an unusual day out this week. I was invited to spend a day at the offices of OVO along with a few other customers. If you aren’t familiar with OVO, they are one of the smaller energy suppliers, so being invited to the offices of an energy supplier isn’t exactly your run of the mill day. I switched to them away from EDF four years ago, and I chose them not just for their 100% green tariff’s but because they had really good social responsibility policies. What going to their offices has shown me is that they actually live and breathe their policy. In my entire adult life I’ve never been in an office where people are so laid back, and happy, even their call centre staff were relaxed and visibly enjoying their jobs. Which actually explains why when I phone them I actually get answers and someone being nice on the phone! I’ve always been a huge advocate of theirs but now I’ve seen them up close I’m an even bigger fan.

Finally, I launched a new feature over on the mental health blog yesterday if you are interested, it’s called Boxed Up and it’s highlighting Subscription Boxes. The first one I have is Literary Vacation Club (hence highlighting it here) which is centred around reading!

Aaaand, Here is my bookish update for this week…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Won

Reviews

My most recent reviews are: Wyvern Awakening, Diving Deep, Seduced by Moonlight, Pack Ebon Red, Lost and Found Sisters and Marry Me At Willoughby Close.

Other Posts

This week I had book blitzes for The Rainbow Player, R&R Launch Party, and Clearing the Ice. Plus a Content blog tour for Starshine.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#WeekendBlitz: Marry Me At Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt @katehewitt1 @TulePublishing @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Kate Hewitt’s weekend blitz for Marry Me at Willoughby Close courtesy of Neverland Blog Tours, you can catch my review below and the blitz schedule aswell so you know who the other blogs are hosting content and reviews this weekend. There is also a fab giveaway that you won’t want to miss at the end of the post.

Description

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Alice James has been a drifter her whole life, working her way through several foster homes before ending up in Wychwood-on-Lea, feeling anchorless and invisible. When a chance encounter leads to Alice accepting a position as a caretaker and companion to Lady Stokeley, she starts to feel as if she might finally be able to put down some roots and live the way other people do.

Then, Lady Stokeley’s nephew, city banker Henry Trent, storms into Willoughby Manor, seeming to find fault with everything, including Alice. As the next in line to the manor and title, he threatens to upturn everything she’s started to build. But Henry is hiding his own secret fears and weaknesses, ones he’s desperate for no one to discover. A surprising and inconvenient attraction that simmers between them leaves Alice feeling more confused than ever, and Henry torn between duty and desire, fear and love.

When circumstances become even more difficult, both Alice and Henry must decide who they really are, and what they are willing to fight for. Could Alice possibly the next Lady of Willoughby Manor?

Marry Me at Willoughby Close - Blitz Banner

Review

It’s always bittersweet when you reach the end of a series you’ve enjoyed. There’s the comfort with Kate Hewitt that she’ll have something else up her sleeve to replace the loss but knowing you won’t be spending anymore time with these characters you’ve come to love is quite sad.

The great thing about this book is that Kate Hewitt most definitely saved the best for last. This book was everything I look for in this genre, witty, funny, sad, and lovable, with that guaranteed happily ever after.

Lady Stokeley has hired Alice who we met briefly in Kiss Me At Willoughby Close. Alice will work as Lady Stokeley’s companion and ensure she is cared for as her cancer progresses. Of course Henry Trent, Lady Stokeley’s nephew isn’t so sure Alice is qualified and starts poking his rather posh nose into affairs.

It became apparent to me early on that Lady Stokeley had alterior motives to most of what she said and did and despite being sick she was completely devious and hilarious.

Alice was wonderful, not one to take Henry’s bully boy tactics, she stood up to him from the start, questioning him and finding a sassy side to herself I don’t think even she knew she had. Because of that she intrigued him and they developed a friendship and got to know each other, the book could only work out the way it did because of the way she found herself in those early pages.

Henry is someone I felt is always misunderstood, from a wealthy aristocratic family people make a lot of assumptions about him. He likes that Alice treats him like a normal person and just make assumptions. There’s a lot of depth to Henry, beyond the grump that we’ve seen in the previous books and uncovering that character in this book was wonderful. I particularly loved his relationship with his Aunt which was very special.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read and if you’re only going to read one book from the Willoughby Close series then it has to be this one.

Sending a huge thanks to Kate Hewitt, Tule Publishing, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating

Marry me At Willoughby Close - Tour Schedule

About Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt - Author Image

Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of romance and women’s fiction. An American ex-pat and former diehard New Yorker, she now lives in a market town in South Wales with her husband, five children, and overly affectionate Golden Retriever. To learn more about Kate, check out her website kate-hewitt.com, or join her Facebook Kate’s Reads.

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Giveaway

  • Giveaway Button£10 Amazon giftcard – International (Kate will convert the amount depending on the location of the winner)

Book & Buy Links

TitleMarry Me At Willoughby Close
SeriesWilloughby Close #5
AuthorKate Hewitt
Genre: Chick-Lit | Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: 18 July 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 252
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Week in Review – 9 July 2017

Well, it was great taking a week off, my holiday was a bit of a wash out, literally as the tent flooded and we had to come home but these things happen and I’m just glad that we got some time out and managed to get some day trips in.

I’ve combined this update to show what I’ve been reading over the two weeks since my last update so there’s quite a lot here, or not considering it’s been two weeks!

Book of the Month

June was a great reading month for me and it has been really difficult to choose a book of the month, which is why I chose three! I know, I know and I’m sorry but these were three epic books and picking between them was torture so I just didn’t!

Skullsworn was the first novel I have read by Brian Staveley but I will definitely be going back and reading his previous work, it deeply affected me and aside from being a brutal and bloody epic fantasy it was also a heartbreaking read. The Lost Sentinel was the second novel by indie author Suzanne Rogerson, and after her first novel I had high hopes which she completely knocked out of the ballpark. This exceeded every expectation I had and was a superb start to a new series with characters that you become completely entwined with! Godblind is one of the most brutal books I’ve ever read, there are scenes in this book you will never forget. Anna Stephens writing is sublime and haunting and you just can’t stop reading it. There are some awesome characters but that ending, my God, that ending!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

My most recent reviews are: The Château of Happily Ever Afters, Home Field, A Gathering of Ravens, Living in the Shallows, Cheater, The Gunslinger and Blood Bank.

Other Posts

This week I had book blitzes for In Her Blood, and Dirty. Content blog tours for The Corner Office, Hold Me Captive …Forever, and Blood Bank. I also had the very lovely Ashleigh on the Bloggers Bookshelf and revealed my picks for this month’s TBR Topple which you can now vote on.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 28 May 2017

A huge thanks to Janet and Susan who both let me know that I had been quoted in the recently released paperback version of Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell. This was a wonderful surprise and I am in great company with Whispering Stories, From First Page to Last, Paper Love Story, and By The Letter Book Reviews all being quoted aswell.

This is the second book I’ve been quoted in and it feels wonderful! I can tell I’m not going to get bored of seeing my words in print!

After feeling ill last week, I ended up in hospital this week for a brief stint! Turns out I had a really bad UTI. I’ve had a course of antibiotics, and am now on the mend (I wrote a full post on the whole drama on the other blog). Of course it all coincided with when I was supposed to see Iron Maiden so I was not only really unwell, I was really annoyed aswell and everyone was getting the brunt of my bad mood, so apologies to all of my loved ones for my epic sulk!

I have a couple of new features in the pipeline, one will kick off in June and the first post is already written and ready to go. The other I’m planning for July, I have a few posts that I’m working on but I have a facebook post over on my page looking for some feedback on the overall idea as I’m still not 100% sure this idea will fly. If you have time to take a look and give me your thoughts that would be great! It’s the pinned post on my page.

Finally, I have come up with the idea of arranging a Book Bloggers Meet Up in/around Bristol. I have one blogger on board already but it would be great to have an idea of who may be interested if this went ahead and the types of things you might like from such a get together… i.e. Would you like authors there aswell? Speakers? Food and drink? And so on… I can’t guarantee I can meet all requests but it’s worth knowing what the wish lists look like! Drop me an email and I will start plotting and planning!

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

I’ve had real trouble reading with being so ill and being on super strong painkillers, trying to get my head into my fantasy books this week has been impossible, I tried a slightly lighter fantasy read I have for an upcoming blog tour but still couldn’t concentrate so ended up slipping back to the trusted romance and have even been a lot slower with that than usual.

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve been on a bit of a spree this week, as well as the one’s below I’ve pre-ordered a bunch which I will put in as they arrive! Oh dear I need to sprout a couple of extra heads at this point!

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed, Kiss Me at Willoughby Close, Red Sister, Groupie, Alice in Brexitland, and Roadie.

Other Posts

I had a book blitz for Dark Illusions this week and on The Bookshelf was the very lovely Book Blogger Lorraine from The Book Review Café.

Giveaways

  • Head to my pinned post on Twitter to enter to win a book of your choice from BookDepository up to the value of £10. This is international to celebrate reaching 2,000 followers on Twitter.
  • £10 Amazon Gift Card / Paperback copy of Find me at Willoughby Close (Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon gift card + signed copy of Groupie (Tour-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • Signed copy of Dark Illusions / $25 Amazon gift card from Dark Illusions (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

 

#BlogTour: Kiss Me At Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt @katehewitt1 @TulePublishing @NeverlandBT #Review #Giveaway

Hey Guys, thanks for stopping by for Kate Hewitt’s blog tour for Kiss Me at Willoughby Close, you can catch my review below. There is also a fab giveaway that you won’t want to miss at the end of the post.

Description

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?

Kiss Me at Willoughby Close - Tour Banner

Review

I could barely contain my squeal of joy when I realised this was going to be the story where we found out more about the Willoughby Close caretaker Jace, I was sat on the bus as this dawned on me (I hadn’t read the blurb) so I did manage to keep said squeal inside…just!

In the fourth Willoughby Close story Ava moves into the close having just lost her Husband. Having married a much older man she had thought she had a happy if unconventional marriage (he was twice her age), but on his death she discovered her millionaire husband had left her ten thousand pounds, the same amount he left their cleaner, putting her marriage into a clearer light.

Moving into Willoughby Close she discovers there are genuinely friendly people out there, and Jace, despite being someone who infuriates her proves to be a rock she seems to like having around.

As someone who has read all of the novels I’ve been intrigued about Jace from the beginning, he has regularly popped up and I was so much more interested in him than Ava in this novel. Learning his back story, how and why he ended up in Willoughby Close was heartbreaking and for Ava to openly accept him was all I was wishing for. They seemed such a perfect fit to me, two people with broken pasts that needed someone to open their heart to the other.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and it is by far my favourite of this series, Find Me at Willoughby Close is an absolute treat and Jace is a complete swoon-fest and the kind of man dreams are made of.

Sending a huge thanks to Kate Hewitt, Tule Publishing, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating

About Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt - Author Image

Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.

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Giveaway

  • Giveaway Button1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard
  • 2nd prize: Paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close

Book & Buy Links

TitleKiss Me At Willoughby Close
SeriesWilloughby Close #4
AuthorKate Hewitt
Genre: Chick-Lit | Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 206
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Week in Review – 14 May 2017

Lovely week this week, Tuesday my walking group joined up with another for Bristol WalkFest and Mental Health Awareness Week, it was a beautiful blue sky day and it was great to see some of the guys from the other group and catch up with them (our groups occasionally join up so I know most of them already).

Also, as it was Mental Health Awareness Week, I wrote a piece for the charity I volunteer at which is up on their website. If you are interested you can read it here. The piece was also published to the Huff Post, which we were pleased about. I love volunteering with this charity which is also the charity who provide my mental health care, well for the next few weeks at least as I’m being discharged soon (eeek!) They are absolutely amazing, and unlike many of the national campaigning charities, these guys work on the frontline doing work that the NHS isn’t able to provide or has contracted out, which is why I had care from them, and I can tell you that the service they provide is a thousand times better than anything I have ever received from the NHS.

On Tuesday evening I went to see the musical Wonderland with some of my family. This is a musical retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It was a bit different from how I was expecting it to be but still very enjoyable, I was pleased that many of the songs had a more rock feel to them and that it was an original score (I have a particular dislike for musicals made up of “real” songs).

Unfortunately, during the early hours of the next morning we were woken up by someone trying to break into our flat through our bathroom window. The friend they had with them was trying to steal Hubs motorbike just outside. The bike theft is becoming a bit of an ongoing problem, Hubs had a bike stolen just before Christmas, and this is at least the fifth time we know of that the replacement one has almost been taken. Luckily Hubs woke up before the person got inside and scared them off, the police were brilliant and got here within a few minutes, had the helicopter up searching for the little buggers (I guarantee they were teenagers around here), but having heard no more they haven’t found them. We are at the point of phoning them so often that we are pretty sure we have our own personal police guard now which is why they arrived so quickly!

Ironically, we were talking only a few days ago about not feeling comfortable here anymore, partly because it’s so small (it’s the tiniest flat in the world, I swear nobody could find somewhere smaller than this) and partly because of all the crime problems we’ve had in the last six months. Then this happened, it’s like someone is telling us to get lost!

Finally, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had taken part in the Grimbold Books podcast. It is now up on their website for all to listen to. We talked about book blogging and being a book reviewer. It was great fun, I’ve never taken part in a podcast before but would definitely do it again. I was with a group of seasoned pro’s including their other guest BookTuber Thomas Wagner from SFF180. You can listen to the Podcast here.

So, onto my bookish update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Roadie - C.M. Stunich Legion - Julie Kagawa

What I’ve Read

The many colours of us Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant  Save The Date - Aven Ellis Groupie - C.M. Stunich

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Connectivity - Aven Ellis The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square - Lilly Bartlett Roadie - C.M. Stunich Real Ugly - C.M. Stunich

Giveaway Wins

  

 

eARCs

Reviews

I’ve got one 5* review this week in Into the Hall of Vice and I took part in a Mental Health Awareness Week blog tour this week with Loving the Life Less Lived, I was honoured to be included on this tour given my connection to the subject.

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone Into the Hall of Vice - Anabelle Bryant Loving The Life Less Lived - Gail Marie Mitchell

Other Posts

Vicki from Cosy Books joined me on The Bookshelf this week, if you missed it do head over and check it out. I also had a really lovely guest post from Pat Abercromby earlier in the week about writing a book from the point of view of a carer.

Just One Life - Pat Abercromby The Bloggers Bookshelf Logo

Giveaways

  • 1 Copy of Loving the Life Less Lived available to UK Readers of my Blogs! Rafflecopter
  • Variety of Cry Wolf Prizes including Necklace & $25 Amazon Gift Voucher (International Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Week in Review – 30 April 2017

This week I drew the winners of my Blogiversary Giveaways, all of the winners have been notified by email and I’ve received word that some of the prizes have already landed. 

I’m so grateful to everyone who entered, for the people who donated prizes, and to all of you for all of your support.

The lucky winners were:

  • The Last Days of Magic – Holly
  • Caraval – Ali
  • Caraval Goodies – Kerry
  • Bookishly Goodies – Suzanne
  • Book & Nook Candle – Jill

I also had a wonderful experience with an author this week which I wanted to share, especially during these times where there is so much talk of aggression from authors. 

I wrote a negative review on the back of not being able to finish a novel. I was very disappointed about this because I’d been very much looking forward to reading this book and as all of us do I did my best to make sure that the review I wrote was reflective, honest, but fair. 

The response I had from the author was nothing short of wonderful and far beyond gracious. We had a short conversation and she even recommended some other authors to me. I know it can’t be easy at all to know the work you’ve put your heart into hasn’t been well received but to be so lovely when you read that is something I’ve certainly never experienced before. If I’m honest, I’m even more gutted than I started out that I didn’t get on with this book, because now I know the author is really nice aswell!

Flash Giveaway

So, I bought myself a new Kindle cover and like the highly intelligent person I am, I bought the wrong size *insert clapping here* the ebay shop I bought it from, after making me think they were going to refuse to let me return it, actually spun things around and sent me the correct one at no charge and told me to keep the wrong one (5 star review for them). So, I now have a cover which is of no use to me. So I figured if anyone out here in book blog land wants it…it’s yours! It is for a Kindle Fire HD 2013 7″ model and the picture to the right is the design on it. If you want it just pop a comment below to say you want it. I don’t expect this to be popular so first comment that wants it wins. Simples!

So, onto my update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone

What I’ve Read

There Is Always More To Say - Lynda Spiro HEX - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

New Books

I’m sticking with being strict on not having too much adding to my TBR at the moment. I really need to clear it down some more.

Bought / Freebies

The Keepers Sienna - Rae Rivers 

eARCs

Mother of Wolves - J. Aislynn D'Merricksson

Reviews

The Dragon's Legacy - Deborah A. Wolf  Find Me At Willoughby Close - Kate Hewitt The Darkness of Love - Catherine Green the-unlikeable-demon-hunter-deborah-wilde

Other Posts

I had a lovely guest post from dual-timeline novelist Suzanne Rogerson this week, and author of The Guardian J.L. McFadden wrote a really personal guest post which was very well received earlier in the week.

Prowlers & Growlers The Guardian - J.L. McFadden the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • eBook Copy of Thrust by Sybil Bartel with Rough (International) Rafflecopter
  • Amazon Kindle Fire or $100 Amazon Gift Card and FREE eBooks from Prowlers & Growlers – Blitz Wide (International) Rafflecopter
  • 1 Signed Paperback of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter – Tour Wide Rafflecopter