Sunday, 28 October 2012

Review of How do you Voodoo? by Janice Horton

Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career.
Nola rejects all rational explanation on what might be causing her lost looks and decides she has to find a way to get uncursed. This imaginative quest takes her from the Caribbean to Glasgow’s own City of the Dead. Along the way, she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, involved in a voodoo ritual, reveals one or two unrests in her own past and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm, that would be a witch doctor, right…?

Last year I really enjoyed reading 'Reaching for the Stars' by Janice Horton, so I was looking forward to reading her latest novella 'How do you Voodoo?'.

Nola Nichols is a beautiful model who is determined to forget her upbringing and family in Glasgow. However, when she loses her temper on a flight from the Caribbean to the UK a lady from Haiti puts a curse on her. Other passengers and even the flight attendants look scared and think that Nola has been cursed. However, Nola believes this is nonsense and the woman is crazy. That is until she wakes up the next morning and doesn't look or feel the same. Is Nola cursed and, if so, is there a way to become un-cursed?

This is a funny story with a nail biting plot and a strong heroine. A perfect read to get you in the mood for Halloween.

Thank you Janice for sending me a copy to review.

Find out more about Janice Horton and her novels:
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 Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes contemporary romance with humour. Her novels ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and ‘Reaching for the Stars’ are both Kindle bestsellers. Her latest title is out now on Amazon for Kindle. It’s a romantic novella entitled ‘How Do You Voodoo?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review of The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes

The Star Child is the first novel from debut author Stephanie Keyes.

The novel follows seventeen year old Kellen St James as he graduates from Yale. Kellen has an estranged relationship with his father who doesn’t attend his graduation and as he is waiting on the podium to receive his degree, he is suddenly transported back to a childhood holiday to his Grandmother’s home in Ireland. In Ireland he meets a beautiful young girl called Calienta, but he is not able to follow her to where she is going.

Suddenly back on the podium Kellen realizes that he must go to Ireland where he will learn the truth about his mother’s death. Whilst in Ireland, Calienta visits again and this time for real. What Calienta tells Kellen changes his life more than he could ever have imagined and he is suddenly pulled into a strange world of faeries and demons where he is a key figure.

Keyes’ writing pulls you straight into this story and will leave you on the edge of your seat desperate to know what will happen next. I loved the characters of Kellen and Calienta and found myself worrying about their journey.

This is a fantastic debut novel and I really enjoyed reading it. I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy books, but enjoyed this one so much that I think I will look out for more. Highly recommended.

The Star Child is available to buy now:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Review of The Last Caesar by Henry Venmore-Rowland

Summary from Goodreads

AD 68. The tyrant emperor Nero has no son and no heir.

Suddenly there's the very real possibility that Rome might become a republic once more. But the ambitions of a few are about to bring corruption, chaos and untold bloodshed to the many.

Among them is a hero of the campaign against Boudicca, Aulus Caecina Severus. Caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow Caesar's dynasty, he commits treason, raises a rebellion, faces torture and intrigue - all supposedly for the good of Rome. The boundary between the good of Rome and self preservation is far from clear, and keeping to the dangerous path he's chosen requires all Severus' skills as a cunning soldier and increasingly deft politician.

And so Severus looks back on the dark and dangerous time history knows as the Year of the Four Emperors, and the part he played - for good or ill - in plunging the mighty Roman empire into anarchy and civil war...


The Last Caesar is an impressive novel from debut author Henry Venmore-Rowland. It is set in AD68-69, which was a remarkable period of time in Roman history as in AD69 four Emperors ruled Rome. It has become known as the Year of Four Emperors.

This is the first novel set in this time period that I have read and I really enjoyed it. Venmore-Rowland’s writing is addictive to read and keeps you turning the pages to find out what will happen next.

Venmore-Rowland is certainly an author to look out for. I am looking forward to reading future work from this author.

I read this as part of the Transworld Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Avon Book's 5th Birthday Celebrations

As part of Avon Book’s 5th birthday celebrations,  Julia Williams, Claudia Carroll and Fiona Gibson will be taking part in a Google hangout at lunchtime today from 1pm, along with Avon’s Editorial Director Claire Bord. 

Watch online at HarperCollins UK’s Google+ page:

Tweet your questions for the authors @AvonBooksUK

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Interview with Nicky Wells - Author of Sophie's Turn


Tell me a bit about yourself and what made you get into writing

I am a really chatty person with a very active imagination. I’ve always made up stories, for as long as I can remember. When I was little and couldn’t go to sleep, I used to amuse myself by making up long and complicated adventure stories (featuring, naturally, myself and my best friends). I guess most of us do that! But as soon as I could write, I started to set these stories down on paper. I doubt they were elegant or even remotely eloquent narratives, but I do remember sitting on my window sill after lights-out and scribbling furiously on a small note-pad. A few years later, that enterprise turned into hacking things out on an ancient typewriter I’d been given. So that’s kind of where it all started… there was always this idea that I would write books. In fact, until half-way through secondary school, I would tell any adult who asked very earnestly that I would be a writer when I grew up!

Obviously years passed and this ambition never came to much. As a teenager, I had other things on my mind (rock music and rock musicians, mostly!) and then I had a boyfriend and then I started studying… Life kind of took over. But when I took a work sabbatical prior to the birth of my first child, I promised myself that I would, finally, write that book I’d been thinking of for some time!

How long did it take you to write Sophie’s Turn?

Well, I had four months in which to write (before birth of baby number one) and so that’s how long it took! I spent about a month planning in meticulous detail my characters and my plot, and then I sat down and just…wrote! It was a fabulous experience. Every day, I would re-read the previous day’s work, do some rudimentary proofing and editing (and occasional re-writing) and then write some more. So the first draft seemed to go quite quickly. Then my first baby boy arrived and nothing much happened to the book. It wasn’t until a few years later that I got round to re-reading it and making some substantial changes, especially to the first half. Those changes took me another six months or so. So total working time on Sophie’s Turn was… ten months, give or take. And then of course, I polished it before publication… and most recently, again, before publication by Sapphire Star Polishing. I’d like to think it’s a shining gem now!

Tell us a bit about Sophie’s Turn and your inspiration for the book?

I’ve come to call Sophie’s Turn a ‘rock star romance’… not least because, you guessed it, one of the protagonists is a rock star. Sophie’s Turn tells the story of one young woman and her entanglement with a rock star, the man of her dreams. Unfortunately she is already engaged to somebody else when this romance finally enters her life, and it all gets a bit messy. Sophie is a fundamentally nice person and the presence of two men in her life gives her all manner of emotional nightmares. She sorts it all out eventually, although perhaps not in the way she expected!

The inspiration for the book has its roots in my residual soft spot for all things to do with rock musicians, in particular the long-haired variety with nice voices. There are quite a few of those about! Anyway, I was watching TV one night with my husband and some kind of long-haired male creature came on… I can’t recall who it was, might have been an actor or a rock musician. Anyway, I obviously liked that person because I said something like, “cor, now how would a girl ever turn him down?” My husband teased me about this all evening. And it got me thinking. What would a girl do if she was in a steady, happy relationship… and then suddenly met her teenage idol, and he proposed? There was the core conundrum, and it fascinated me enough to spin a story around it when I couldn’t sleep that night (on account of big baby belly!).

What are your favourite books?

Generally speaking, I read almost anything but I can never resist a good chick lit book, a thriller or a good contemporary literary read. Favourite books of all time include Catherine Alliott’s “The Old-Girl Network,” Stephen Fry’s “Making History” and Katherine Neville’s “The Eight.” I also like books by David Baldacci and John Grisham. Actually, the list is pretty long….

What do you like to do outside of writing?

Ooooh, now there’s a question! When I do get the time, I like to read the paper in a coffee shop with a big latte or a pot of tea. I do like to sit on a rock on the beach just watching the waves come in, and listening to the surf (that’s probably one of my favourite pastimes!). I like travelling and exploring new places. And… actually one thing I do do even at the moment when things are so busy is… knitting. I do like knitting. I’m not a great knitter, I can just about manage my knits and purls but I find it very relaxing, especially when I’m stressed. Oh, and talking of stressed, I do have a Pilates routine that I like doing at least once a day, especially when I’ve been hunched over the laptop writing lots.

What are you currently working on? Is a sequel to Sophie’s Turn planned?

The sequel to Sophie’s Turn, Sophie’s Run, is fully written and coming your way from Sapphire Star Publishing on 7 February 2013—not long to go now! With that, at the moment I am actually working on the third and concluding part of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. This third book is fully planned and I am now in my favourite phase of writing, the actual all-out, full-on writing. I love it! The final part is due for release in early September 2013 so within the year, you’ll be able to hold Sophie and Dan’s entire story in your hands. I can’t wait!

Thanks Nicky!

Sophie's Turn is available to buy now:

We have one e-book version of Sophie's Turn to giveaway. To enter, please retweet this post or leave a comment below. Closes 31st October 2012.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review of Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells

Sophie’s Turn is Nicky Wells’ debut novel and published by Sapphire Star.

I was instantly hooked from the very beginning of the novel and found the writing style to be both easy to read and gripping at the same time.

Sophie Penhalligan is a twenty eight year old journalist who is in a comfortable relationship with Accountant Tim. Sophie is waiting for Tim to propose and is worried that he is missing every opportunity. When Tim does propose it seems like everything Sophie has wanted. However, things soon get even more heated when Sophie’s bumps into her rock star crush from 80s band Tusk at the airport and the two begin a series of romantic (and hilarious) evenings together. Before Sophie realizes it she is engaged to Dan as well and is not quite sure what to do!

I loved Sophie’s character and I think that only she could end up in the situation engaged to two men and still seem to be a lovely person.
The book itself is hilarious and had me laughing out loud in places – especially when we see Tim de-slugging the garden in the middle of the night.

The story is divided into three separate sections and flits back between present day and ten years earlier when Sophie first met the band. I liked the way that the author did this as it really made me think about the story and see how Sophie and Dan’s friendship began. The book is quite a whirlwind and you will see Sophie flitting from London to New York for work and then to Paris for romantic weekends. I found that I didn’t want to put it down as I was desperate to know what would happen with Sophie.

If you love chick lit then you will adore Sophie’s Turn; it is funny, gripping and will see you laughing (and possibly crying) in places and I loved the ending which was not what I thought it would be at all. Nicky Wells has written a fantastic novel and I look forward to reading her future work.

Thank you Nicky for sending me a copy of Sophie’s Turn. You can follow Nicky on twitter @WellsNicky and visit her website:

Friday, 12 October 2012

Review of A Very Accidental Love Story by Claudia Carroll

I had heard a lot of good things about Claudia Carroll’s books, so I was keen to read her latest novel ‘A Very Accidental Love Story’.

Eloise Elliott is a high flying career woman, she is editor of the ‘Post’ where staff are terrified of her and the board refer to her as Madame Editrix. At thirty, she is one of the youngest newspaper editors in the country and works all hours. However, when virtually no one turns up to celebrate her thirtieth birthday, Eloise realizes that she has sacrificed everything for her job. She decides that her life needs to change and has a baby.

Three years on and Eloise is frantically trying to balance everything. She loves her daughter Lily, but realizes that she has a lot of questions to answer when Lily starts asking who and where her Daddy is. What follows is a determined and heartwarming journey to track down Lily’s real father. There are quite a few hilarious moments as Eloise uses her journalistic skills to work out who he might be and where he could be.

Eloise is a fascinating character. At first, I felt that she was a little selfish as she was always working and hardly spending anytime with her daughter. However, by the end of the book my mind had totally changed and I admired her for all of the sacrifices that she had made. Seth is a great character and again, he has totally transformed by the end of the book.

I loved this story, the characters really change and grow over the course of the novel. Carroll’s writing draws the reader right into the story making it an addictive read for me.

The cover is gorgeous too!

Thank you to Avon for sending me a copy to review.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Review of Move Over Darling by Christine Stovell

Move Over Darling is the first book by author Christine Stovell that I have read and I loved it.

The story is set between Penmorfa, a sleepy Welsh village and New York. Coralie Casey has escaped her past and her busy corporate life by setting up ‘Sweet Cleans’, a range of natural beauty and cleaning products in Penmorfa. Gethin Lewis is a world famous artist living in New York, but is originally from the village. Both Gethin and Coralie are desperately trying to escape their past when they first meet.

The locals of Penmorfa have turned against Gethin and felt betrayed by his most famous painting ‘Last Samba before Sunset’. So, it comes as a surprise to many when he offers to donate a painting that can be auctioned to help pay for the new community hall. There is, however, one clause – the subject of the painting must be Coralie and she must go to New York to sit for the painting.

I loved the setting of Penmorfa and all of the local characters. Although, mainly set in Wales, the storyline does also take us to New York and I enjoyed Stovell’s vivid descriptions of this famous city.

There are lots of smaller stories woven into the plot of the novel and this is a part I really enjoyed, as I felt we got to know the other characters. I particularly looked forward to reading about Kitty and the two village gossips; Delyth and Mair. Doris Day songs are also interwoven in the storyline and fit with the mood – this is a lovely touch.

Move Over Darling is another un-putdownable love story from Choc Lit. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Thank you to Choc Lit for sending me a copy to review.

Move Over Darling is available to buy now:

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Review of The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles is a fantastic debut novel by Karen Thompson Walker and is a book that is quite unlike anything I have read before.

The story is told through the eyes of eleven year old Julia. On what seems like normal Californian morning for Julia and her family, they discover that the earth’s rotation is slowing. The idea itself is almost beyond comprehension and the characters, like the reader, are soon clamouring to find out what the consequences will be. Before long, birds fall from the sky and the days seem to stretch on and on.

This is a thought provoking novel that had me hooked from the very first page. It is all the more powerful for being told through Julia’s eyes as she goes through adolescence.

The Age of Miracles is a fascinating story of an unthinkable event. Thompson Walker cleverly combines an unknown situation with everyday family dramas creating a compelling read.

This book exceeded my expectations and I did not want to put it down. I will definitely be looking out for future work from this author.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to review.