Saturday, 31 December 2011

Read of the Month - December

I hope every one had a great Christmas and got everything that they wanted. I was lucky enough to get a Kindle, so I've been happily buying and downloading lots of new books. I've no idea when I'm going to get round to reading them, though!

It's been a busy month for me. Aside from Christmas there's been lots of family birthdays and partys, while I also decided it was a good idea to decorate a couple of weeks before Christmas - it wasn't as I ended up with presents in boxes I couldn't get to, and a missing strawberry hair masque that still hasn't surfaced. Despite all this I managed to read seven books this month, which isn't bad considering. So, my read of the month for December is:

The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern

Earlier this year Cecelia Ahern released a short story collection book called Girl in the Mirror which I was really disappointed with, so I was somewhat dubvious about how I would find The Time of my Life. I needn't have worried though as it was great. 

The book tells the story of Lucy who gets an invitation to a meeting with her life. She then finds herself facing up to all sorts of things she has buried and tried to hide as her life fights with her to confront it all. Yes, the premise of this story sounds slightly odd, but it works. Cecelia Ahern has such a great imagination and uses it to come up with a creative and innovative story in the form of The Time of my Life, and I can safely say that I have never come across a story like this before.

The characters are interesting and flawed, and that's what made this book for me. I particularly liked the character of Lucy's life as he really jumped off the page and stood out for me. While Lucy was a character who I thought was easy to relate to and who I really rooted for.

I'm not reading anything at the moment, but in January I want to read One Minute to Midnight by Amy Silver, Home for Christmas by Cally Taylor (Yes, I'm still on the Christmas books!) and Ella Kingsley's Confessions of a Karaoke Queen.

Other books I have read this month which are worth checking out are:
  • Working it Out by Nicola May
  • It Started with a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson

Thursday, 15 December 2011

100 Birdies for ME

Those of you that follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I have mentioned fellow tweeter Diana Hamilton who tweets as @100Birdies4ME . Diana is raising money for ME sufferers by hand-making and selling beautiful birdies, perfect for hanging on your Christmas tree.

I have a close family member who suffers from ME, so I can appreciate the effort and time Diana has taken to make the birdies, and having purchased one ourselves, I can honestly say that they are lovely items, which have been beautifully made, while they also add a nice touch to our Christmas tree.

To visit Diana's shop to find out more about the birdies, please visit her Folksy shop here

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Read(s) of the Month - November

It doesn't feel like it's been that long since I last done this, but nevertheless the time has come once again to coose my read of the month. However, I've found it impossible to choose just the one as I've read some great books this month, so I've chosen two instead. And they are:

Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

I've chosen Ali Harris' debut novel Miracle on Regent Street because I loved how Christmassy the story was right from the very first page and because it put me in a festive mood. I loved the main character Evie and thought that she was a very relatable character which many people would be able to empathise with and feel some connection to. I thought the story was great too and the setting - a suffering London department store - was a really good one as it enabled Christmas sparkle to be dotted throughout the days that made up the chapters in the book.

I've also selected Scarlett Bailey's first book The Night Before Christmas because it gripped me from the very first page. I thought it was a lovely Wintery read and ideal for curling up with on a cold afternoon. I loved how the outcome wasn't predictable - I couldn't work out which of the three men that entered main characters Lydia's life she was going to end up, which I thought was really good, as I was guessing the entire time I was turning the pages. The setting was lovely and I thought it was nice to have a group of friends all together in one place at Christmas all at a completely different time in their lives.

I've got lots of books that I want to read before Christmas. I'm currently reading The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon, and I'm hoping to read It Started with a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson, Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan, The Jewels of Manhatten by Carmen Reid and Georgie Carter's The Perfect Christmas all within the next few weeks. I better get reading if I'm going to get though all of that lot!

Monday, 28 November 2011

I Won an Award!

Yep, that's right, my blog won an award! Thanks to the lovely Juliet Greenwood, whose blog can be found here, my blog has won the Versatile Blogger Award. Yay! I must say I was completely suprised to discover that I had won, but nonetheless it was a lovely suprise.

Now the Versatile Blogger Award has rules and as I'm a stickler for rules, I am duty bound to follow them. The rules are:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to other, recently discovered blogs and let them know about it.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

So here are my seven facts about myself:

1) I have a massive fear of snakes. Seriously, I can't even look at a picture of one. I even have to watch I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here with my hands half covering my eyes just in case.

2) Chipped nail varnish really annoys me. As soon as I get the smallest chip, the whole lot comes off and I start again. And I hate seeing chipped polish on other people's nails - my sister is the worst for it!

3) I have never tried coffee. I can't stand the smell of it, and can't bring myself to even attempt to drink it.

4) I have a condition called Costoshondritis.

5) I dislike dark chocolate.

6) I have read every book that Jill Mansell has written (that's 22 to date).

7) I passed my driving test on my third attempt.

And the blogs I am passing the Versatile Blogger Award on to are:

Mama J - who blogs about reading, writing, cake, TV and a whole lot more.

Marcie Steele - who blogs about writing and her journey to self-publication.

Amanda Egan (Mummy Misfit) - who blogs about writing and a whole lot more.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas is coming!

I have somewhat neglected my blog recently - sorry! I have no excuses, so I won't even attempt to come up with one.

Anyway, Christmas is coming. It's just over a month away now and I'm rather looking forward to it. To celebrate, my Twitter and Blog backgrounds have been given a festive make-over. My Christmas shopping is nearly done, although I still have a few bits to get over the next few weeks for a couple of family members who are notoriously hard to buy for. How an earth do you buy gifts for people who don't even know what they want?! It's the male members of my family I always struggle with, and it's not just Christmas I have to think about as they all have birthdays either just before or just after Christmas! I'm sure I'll think of something, though. 

How is everyone else's Christmas shopping coming on? Have you started? Have you finished? Are you panicking about what to buy those more difficult loved ones?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Read of the Month - October

It's November already! How did that happen?
I seem to have somewhat abandoned my blog over the past month - sorry! In my defence I haven't had anything to blog about. My writing is still on hold and I haven't read much either. I've only managed four books this month, which seems like hardly anything. Anyway, once again I'm late with my read of the month, but here it is:

Isabel Wolff's The Very Picture of You.
I have been waiting and waiting for a new book from Isabel Wolff ever since putting down her previous book A Vintage Affair over two years ago, which I absolutely loved. It was a long wait, but it was definitely worth it, as The Very Picture of You is a brilliant read and one I couldn't recommend highly enough.

The main character in this book is Ella Graham, a portrait painter who absolutely loves what she does. I loved how throughout the story we were introduced to a number of Ella's portrait sitters, all with a story of there own to tell and who were all interesting in their own way. It was a nice way of meeting some secondary characters and I felt it really tied the story together well as it meant there was focus on other stories and characters aside from Ella and her close friends and family .There was a great build up of suspense and mystery throughout the length of the book which kept me turning the pages, eager to find out the truth.

To reveal anything else about the book, I fear will ruin the story for anyone that hasn't read it and still wishes to, so I'm not going to reveal any more other than say that this is great read that you regret picking up.

I'm sure I said this last month, but this month, I am defintely going to try and read much more. I picked up Georgie Carter's (Ruth Saberton) Christmas book the other week while I was in Sainsbury's, so I am going to read that before the big day, which I have found out today is only 52 sleeps away!  I've also got Ali Harris' debut book Miracle on Regent Street on my To Be Read pile aswell, so I'll be reading that shortly too.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Read of the Month - September

I only managed to read six books this month which, for me, isn't very many, so I'm going to try and up my reading throughout October. Once again, I've read some really good books this month, but my read of the month for September has to be . . . Jane Lovering's Please Don't Stop The Music.

I absolutely loved this book from the very first page and ended up reading the entire thing in a little over a day. Please Don't Stop The Music was released back in February, while Jane's second book Star Struck (which I now can't wait to read!) was released in September, and I'm now wondering why I waited so long to read this one as I thought it was great.

The story flows really well and there's twists and turns galore - ones that I never saw coming at all, and which I loved because they were so surprising. There's also a great air of suspense built up as the story builds between two of the main characters, Jeminina and Ben. We know they both have big secrets that are hiding but we have nothing but a few odd hints and clues thrown in here and there to try and work out their secrets.

This is a really well written book with a great storyline and I now cam't wait to read more books by this author.

Other books that I read during August that are also worth checking out are:
* The Beach House by Lucy Diamond
* Seven Days One Summer by Kate Morris
* Wrapped Up In You by Carole Matthews

Monday, 19 September 2011

Festive Books

Once September rolls around, I always start thinking about Christmas, which, in turn, has got me thinking about what festive themed chick-lit books I hope to read in the lead up to the big day this year. This year, more than ever, there seems to be more of these type of books due for release than ever before.

Here are some of the ones I'm most looking forward to reading:

Carole Matthews - Wrapped Up In You 
Scarlett Bailey - The Night Before Christmas
Georgie Carter - The Perfect Christmas

One Minute to Midnight - Amy Silver
Cally Taylor - Home For Christmas

Ali Harris - Miracle On Regent Street
Miranda Dickinson - It Started With A Kiss

And that's just some of them! I'm sure I've missed plenty of others.
So, that's my list, but what festive themed chick-lit books are you most looking forward to reading over the coming months?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Read of the Month - August

At the end of every month I thought I'd post about my favourite read from that month. Now, I'm a few days late with this one, but here is my August Read of the Month:

During August I managed to read seven books, but my favourite of them all was Paige Toon's latest one, 'Baby Be Mine.' It's the follow up to 2008's Johnny Be Good and while plenty of her fans have been waiting for this follow up for some time, I'm a relatively new reader to Paige Toon's books and only read Johnny Be Good a few months ago so I didn't have long to wait.

I thought that Baby Be Mine was better than Johnny Be Good and I flew through it in the space of a day. I couldn't put it down and was desperate to know what was going to happen next! I love Paige Toon's writing style and always find that she has an uncanny way of making you feel like you are in the main character's shoes, feeling and thinking every little thing that they do. I won't spoil Baby Be Mine for those that are yet to read it, but let's just say it provides all the answers desired after the previous book and revisits lots of past characters and places as well as some new ones.

Paige's other novels are really good also. I haven't yet read Chasing Daisy, although it's sitting on my To Be Read pile of books, and Pictures of Lily and Lucy in the Sky are two of my favourite chick-lit reads! There's something about them that just really connect with me so I'm sure I'm going to enjoy Chasing Daisy just as much.

Other books that I read during August that are also worth checking out are:
* The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas
* Monday to Friday Man by Alice Peterson
* Taboo by Casey Hill

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Social Networking

I have never been into social networking before, although, I have frequently visited the blogs and twitter accounts of many of the writers and book fans I am now following to see what they've been up to, I have never had an account or participated myself. Last week, however, I took the plunge and set up both this blog and a twitter account. I have read many times over the past year or so how social networking is a great tool for writers and readers to make themselves accessible to others and to discuss the things they have in common.

I'll admit I was dubious about joining twitter at first, thinking 'who an earth whould want to follow me?' I needn't have worried, though, as I soon gained a handful of followers, which made me feel a whole lot easier and comfortable with the process. So, thank you to all those that have followed me so far.

I am hoping to sort my blog out and add more content to it over the course of the new few weeks, so I hope you'll stick with it. And if you'd like to follow me on twitter, you can find me at: @amy_jayne_

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Hello and welcome to my blog.

I should probably start by telling you a little about myself. My name is Amy, I live in Suffolk, and am a big reader. I mostly read chick-lit books, although I do like to read a crime novel from time to time and I have been known to dip into fantasy novels too.

I write a bit too. More for fun than anything else though. I got started at the beginning of the year when I was diagnosed with costochondritis. For those who don't know what costochondritis is, it's when the cartilage around the ribs and the sternum become inflamed, causing much pain and discomfort. On average, costochondritis will affect sufferers for 6-8 weeks, however, seven months on, I still very much suffer from the condition. In pain and at a loss as to what to do to get myself through it, I decided to write, and it really helped me through it and I actually found it quite therpautic.

So that's a little about me. I'm not too sure what this blog is going to be about yet, but I hope you stick with it, it might be fun!