Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Book review: The Christmas Cookie Club - Ann Pearlman


Mark your calendar. It's the Christmas Cookie Club!

Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie's oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie's father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie's husband doesn't want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that's a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor's life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.

On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it's anything, is a reminder of delight.
 


My opinion.
The first thing that stood out was of course the cover. It's sweet, it's seasonal and very promising, just like the title.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book. I felt like these woman had so much wisdom and I was intrigued to learn about their lives. But it's those same things that made me enjoy the first part, that put me off the second half of the book. I don't have anything in common with these woman - I'm much too young and haven't "lived" enough. Although this didn't stop me enjoying the story at first, it stopped me from making a real connection to these characters, after the first few... 'testimonies'. Those woman were reflecting on their lives, and even though it was inspirational at times, to me it felt almost depressing. None of them lived the life they hoped they would. I know that's usually how it goes: life throws you curve balls, but I'm still at the age where I dream and make plans for my life with a certain amount of naivety.
It's a wonderfully written book with some amazing recipes, a holiday story about a group of very different people sharing their stories and cookies. The bond these women have is truly remarkable.



 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Book review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) - Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham


From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.
 


My opinion.
I'm a huge Veronica Mars fan. There, I said it. I was incredibly sad when the show ended, ecstatic when the movie came out and now oh-so-relieved that this book didn't disappoint.
It's everything you would expect from a Veronica Mars case. It has so many unexpected twists and turns, but more importantly: it has Veronica Mars. I mean, how fantastic is she? Maybe Kristen Bell gives the on-screen Veronica that little extra "va va voom", but there really was no awkward transition from page to screen.
The story kicks off right where the movie left off. Veronica is back in Neptune at Mars Investigations. And let's face it, that's where we love her the most. She's clever, determined and a little reckless (as usual, right?), with Mac, Wallace and of course Keith loyally by her side. [Spoiler alert if you haven't seen the movie yet] Of course Logan is on a mission abroad so he's not really in the picture, but it still makes me really happy knowing they found each other again. Lucky for us, Marshmallow fans, this is the first book in a series, so I got my fingers crossed we'll see more of Logan in the following books.
So we're back in Neptune in time for spring break. The entire town is filled with (mostly drunk) college students having "the time of their lives". Even the report of a missing girl can't stop the partying. That's until Veronica Mars is hired for the job. She immediately sinks her teeth in and even a corrupt, lazy sheriff can't stop her (although let's face it, has a Lamb brother ever succeeded in 'keeping V. in check'?). The story is fast paced and keeps surprising you. It keeps you guessing (although V. is of course always a few steps ahead of you when things heat up), and reminiscing about Veronica's high school days. 
I can't tell you enough how amazingly happy I am to have another chapter in the "Veronica Mars story". I cannot wait to read the second book (really, if I had a copy I would start reading right away), and hopefully Rob writes many more of these.
Absolutely brilliant!


 

Find out how I liked the book (series) in comparison to the tv-series and movie here.


Book review: Mishaps & Mistletoe - Tilly Tennant


Phoebe has had a terrible year, starting with the death of her boyfriend and ending, three weeks before Christmas, when she’s sacked from her job. The bills are piling up and she’s desperate enough to find herself working as a Christmas elf in the grotto of Hendrick’s Toy Store. As if the job description isn’t bad enough, Phoebe doesn’t like children. There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just not for her. Neither is there any escape from a boss whose only language is sarcasm, and an alcoholic Santa. 

Then one morning Maria comes into the grotto – a little girl unlike any she has met before. Phoebe doesn’t know it yet, but Maria and her dad are about to shake her life up in ways she could never have imagined…


My opinion.After reading 'Hopelessly Devoted To Holden Finn' and more recently 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved', I new I just had to read Tilly's Christmas novella. I didn't even read the blurb. I just put on my Christmas jumper and started reading.Mishaps & Mistletoe is such a sweet, heartwarming read and it just captured the Christmas spirit perfectly. It's a magical novella that will make you fall in love with it's characters instantly and will be over too soon.

 



Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them. 
Tilly is represented by the wonderful, gorgeous Peta Nightingale at LAW.


The Man Who Can’t Be Moved is Tilly’s second full length novel.
Get in touch with Tilly:
via her WebsiteTwitterGoodreads and Facebook
Click for my review:
 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Book blitz: Surviving The Rachel - Aven Ellis


Life after college graduation is not at all what twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan expected. Unable to find a professional communications job, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail waitress at a posh Chicago hotel.
In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there’s something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.


In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?


Surviving The Rachel by Aven Ellis is out 20 Dec. 2014!
It's the perfect romance with a little Holiday spirit.
Treat yourself or a 'Friends' loving friend.

 




Read the first chapter here:

Chapter One

Drastic times call for drastic measures.
I wrinkle my nose as I stare at my reflection in my mirror. Okay, so that might be a wee bit dramatic on my part, but I do feel the need for a change.
Like a haircut.
A serious haircut.
I remove the rubber band holding my long, jet-black locks in place and shake out my hair, which I haven’t changed since college.
Nothing screams “I’m a woman ready for change” like an entirely new hairstyle.
And if anyone needs a change, it’s me, Bree Logan.
I study myself in the mirror. My green eyes stare back at me, and I think of how my summer can be recapped into three major events. First, I graduated with honors from the University of Arizona, but I can’t find an entry-level job in advertising. Next, my boyfriend Alex—who I thought was The One—dumped me after graduation and bailed on our apartment in Chicago. And due to lack of gainful employment and my stupid ex-boyfriend not giving me any money toward breaking the lease, I had to move back home with my mom and dad.
I bite my lip for a moment. Okay, yes, that’s my crappy summer. So if anyone needs a haircut to signal change, it’s me.
I’m ready to start over.
I’ll keep looking for a break in advertising while working as a cocktail server at the Bradley Scott Hotel downtown. I’ll pay off the money I borrowed from my best friend, Avery Andrews, to break the lease of the apartment in Lincoln Park. Then I’ll save up so I can move back to the city and have that post-graduate life I dreamed of and planned for.
Suddenly there’s a rap on my doorframe. I turn and see my mom standing there with a bottle of water.
“I thought you might need another one after unpacking these boxes,” Mom says, stepping around the boxes that I have piled in my room.
I turn and smile gratefully at her. “Thank you.”
Diva, my mom’s toy Pomeranian, is right on her heels and begins barking and growling at me.
“Now, Diva, Bree isn’t a guest, she’s home now,” Mom says soothingly, picking her dog up and cradling her to her chest. “You need to get used to that, Precious.”
I almost laugh. Leave it to the dog to remind me of my inability to pay rent and land a professional job.
“I’m thinking of cutting my hair,” I announce, unscrewing the cap on the bottle of water and taking a sip. “Maybe go into the city this afternoon and get it done by some cool professional.”
“Oh, Bree, are you sure, sweetheart? Maybe you should start with more layers or something? I don’t want you to do anything you’ll regret.”
“No, I’m ready for change in my life,” I say honestly. “I feel like this is symbolic of that change, you know?”
Mom sits down on my bed, next to a box of pictures. She puts Diva down and begins to sift through them.
“I can understand that,” Mom says. “Oh, I love this picture of you and your friends.”
I smile as Mom shows me a picture taken in July at Wrigley Field. It’s me and Avery, my best friend since middle school, our mutual friend, Emma Davenport, Avery’s boyfriend, Deacon Ryan, and his brother, Zach.
“That was a fun afternoon,” I say, smiling at the memory.
Mom sifts through a few more and then glances up at me. “I notice there are no pictures of Alex in here.”
I sit down on the other side of the box and frown. “I got rid of all of them,” I admit. “Looking at them was like being reminded how stupid I was to even think he could have been The One.”
“Sweetie, you were a young girl in love for the first time,” Mom says soothingly. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
I flop backward on my bed and groan. “Oh, but Mom, I was so blind. There were so many red flags. Like how he never wanted to do anything I wanted to do, we always did what Alex wanted to do. He was never interested in what I had to say. We always had to party when I wanted to go get a Starbucks some nights. And I was always driving him around because he got so drunk all the time. What did I see in him? How could I ignore all that?”
Mom drops the pictures back into the box. “You were in love with him. And sometimes that can make you blind, Bree. But you’ve learned from this, and that’s a good thing.”
I sit back up. “Oh, yes, I’ve learned all right. My next boyfriend isn’t going to be a selfish partying jerk.”
“So are you ready to date again?” Mom asks in a hopeful tone.
I see she’s grinning at the prospect, no doubt eager to start finding potential men for me.
“No. The last thing I need is to be dealing with dating when I’m trying to get my career off the ground.”
“Are you sure? Have you seen the Cheltens’ grandsons, Jack and Eric, yet? I keep telling you to go over next door and introduce yourself. They are such nice boys and they are your age, Jack is the older one, he’s twenty-five, and Eric is—”
“Oh no. No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. No.”
“What am I thinking?”
“That I’ll end up dating one of them,” I say, giving my mom the suspicious eye.
“Well, Eric is very charming and available,” Mom declares.
I furrow my brow. “How do you know?”
“I asked.”
“Gah, Mom,” I wail, putting my hands over my face. “Please tell me you didn’t.”
“Of course I did,” she explains. “It’s called making conversation.”
No, it’s called scouting the field for your daughter.
“Well, I’m not interested. I’m not ready.”
“That’s too bad, because that Eric is so cute. Jack is, too, but Eric is just charming,” she says as she stands up. “Well, I’m going out to the garden. Lots of work to do. Oh, by the way, your father and I have plans for a movie and dinner tonight. If you are home by five, you can join us.”
Good lord. I thought being a third wheel with Avery and Deke was bad enough, but resorting to being a third wheel on my parents’ date?
That is a whole new level of hideousness I do not want to experience.
“Um, thanks, but I think I’ll just stay in tonight,” I say honestly. Which appeals to me. I haven’t had a Saturday night off in forever, and I want to order a pizza and have a movie marathon.
“All right,” Mom says. “Come on, Diva, let’s go outside.”
Diva barks happily and follows my mom out the door. I pick up my phone and do a search for some modern, hip, downtown Chicago salon. City chic, that’s what I want. I scroll through suggestions from Google until I see this:
Fringe Chic Spa & Salon—Modern Hair for Chicago’s Modern Woman
Perfect.
I call the salon, hoping against hope there might be a cancellation or opening today.
“Fringe Chic Spa & Salon, how can I help you?” says an utterly bored-sounding woman.
“Erm, yes, I’m calling to see if it is possible to get a haircut today?” I ask hopefully.
“Frederic is booked solid for months. So are Javier and Orlando,” she says as I hear keystrokes on her keyboard. “But you can have an appointment with Marcolo if you can get here in one hour.”
One hour? It takes about 45 minutes to drive there if traffic is awesome.
“Okay,” I say as if suddenly this haircut is the most important thing ever. “Um, how much is a haircut?” I ask as I realize I neglected to look at the prices on the website.
“$70.”
Wow? That’s not bad at all for a downtown salon.
“For the cut,” the receptionist says haughtily, interrupting my thoughts. “If you want it dried and styled, as I am sure you do, that will be an additional $120.”
Shit.
“Of course,” I say, mentally calculating cut + style + tip + parking downtown and the slim availability left on my MasterCard . . . and I’ll just make it.
By five dollars.
The receptionist takes my name, says they’ll see me at two o’clock, and hangs up. I frantically toss on a coral-colored maxi dress. I slide into my flip-flops and hesitate as I glance down at my toes. Crap, my pedicure looks like hell. I ditch those shoes and put on some espadrilles instead. Better.
I grab my purse and dash down the stairs. I slide the patio door open and pop my head out. As soon as I do, Diva begins barking and growling at me again.
“Mom,” I say over the barking, “I’m going into the city to get my hair cut.”
My mom glances up from the rose bush she’s pruning. “Okay, good luck.”
“All the way to the city for a haircut?” my dad asks. “That sounds extreme.”
“I want it to be chic,” I explain.
“They can’t cut chic hair in the suburbs?”
“Dad, I want it done in the city. So I’m going now,” I yell over Diva’s yip-yap-yip-yapping. “See you later.” And with those words, I bolt out the door.
Luckily traffic into the city isn’t bad, and I pull up to the valet stand with a few minutes to spare. After I hand over my keys, I step inside the posh salon. It’s all black and white and silver, with funky light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling. I see Chicago’s elite drinking champagne and being fussed over by stylists all dressed in black. The music is edgy sounding. Everything, in one word, is incredibly hip.
Hip. That is who the new Bree is going to be. Edgy and hip and ready to reclaim her life.
I approach the receptionist, who appears just as bored in person as she sounded on the phone. She is texting on her iPhone and only looks up after I clear my throat.
“Hello, I’m Bree. I have an appointment with Marcolo,” I say.
The girl nods. She punches a button on her headset and speaks into her mic. “Marcolo, your appointment is here.” She disconnects and shifts her attention back to her iPhone, not even glancing at me. “He will be right up.”
Alrighty then.
I take a seat in a sleek black and chrome chair and restlessly tap my foot. I’m excited about this. I haven’t deviated from my style much since college, and this will give me just the boost of confidence I need to go out and attack the advertising job front again.
I see a young man with a bright pink Mohawk approaching me. He’s very tall—about 6’4—and rail thin. He is wearing all black, of course, and has piercings in his nose. And tattoo sleeves.
Perfect, I think happily. He’s cool and young and will totally be able to give me an awesome new hairstyle.
“Bree?” he asks in a high-pitch feminine-sounding voice.
I stand up and smile. “I’m Bree.”
“Hello, I’m Marcolo,” he says, extending his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Bree. Come on back.”
I nod and follow Marcolo to his station. I slide into the chair, and he lifts up my hair. “What can I do for you today?”
“I need a change,” I say. In more ways than one. “I’m open to anything.”
“Ooooh, I love that,” Marcolo says excitedly. “Tell me about yourself. Your interests, what you do, so I can create a vision for you.”
Wow, Marcolo is going to create a vision? I totally lucked out getting in to see him today!
“Well, I recently graduated from the University of Arizona,” I start out, meeting Marcolo’s eyes in the mirror. “I want to work in advertising, as an account representative.”
“Mmmmmmm, what about your interests?” Marcolo says, playing with my hair.
“I like being outside,” I say. “I like taking nature walks. I love good conversations, whether over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. I love shopping. And I’m obsessed with the show Friends. I know every episode by heart.”
Marcolo stops playing with my hair. “Interesting. Who is your favorite Friends character?”
“Oh, easy. Rachel. I love Rachel Green.”
Marcolo spins the chair around, so I’m facing him. “I’m inspired. I have a brilliant idea.”
Yes! I’m going to look fabulous when he’s finished; I can just tell.
“Really?” I ask, smiling at him.
“Let’s give you a modified Rachel cut.”
I pause. “Do you mean The Rachel?” I say, referring to the haircut that exploded during the 90’s when Friends came on the scene.
“Yes. But with an edge.”
I bite my lip. “But . . . that cut was popular a long time ago. I’m not sure about all those layers.”
“This is not going to be that cut,” Marcolo explains excitedly. “Fewer layers, some bangs. It will be fresh and sexy.”
“I don’t know.”
“Bree, you said you wanted a change. I’m offering you something fresh and familiar at the same time. What do you think? Marcolo works at one of the best salons in Chicago. He wouldn’t lead me wrong, right?
I take a deep breath and nod excitedly. “Let’s do it. Give me the modern Rachel.”
And with those words, I put my faith in Marcolo’s vision—and his scissors.
***
I sit in my car and stare at my reflection in the mirror on the driver’s side visor.
My hair does not look like a fresh, modern, version of The Rachel.
It looks exactly like The Rachel.
Which might be awesome if it were 1994.
But it’s not.
Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! Oh, but I don’t just have The Rachel. I have one with heavy bangs cut in, Marcolo’s “modern” twist.
My beautiful black hair is now in that infamous, choppy cut. Looking incredibly old and dated. And the bangs make it extra hideous.
Why, why, why, did I agree to this? Why?
I slam my visor up. I hear a driver leaning on the horn behind me, so I need to focus and move.
Anger fills me as I think about my hideous new hair. New, hip, edgy woman, my ass! If I were to slap a denim vest on over a floral dress, I’d be a perfect specimen from the Central Perk set on Friends in the 90’s.
I groan aloud. Of course, I want to work in “Image is everything” advertising. Who the hell is going to hire me with this outdated haircut?
Hmmm, let’s see . . . Nobody!
I fume as I navigate my way toward the expressway. And not that I’m remotely ready to think about dating, but no guy is going to ask me out with this shitty hair either.
A bit of my anger dissipates with that thought. I guess that’s a bonus. Maybe by the time all these freaking layers have grown out, I’ll be ready to go on a date.
There is more traffic on the way back, but I don’t care. I have no plans for tonight, other than to sit around with hair clips and try to figure out if there is any way to fix Marcolo’s disaster of a haircut. Oh, yes. And maybe I’ll get a bottle of wine and down a few glasses. Along with a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that my mother keeps stashed in the freezer. Crappy haircuts call for a crappy dinner.
I park in front of the garage, then I make my way up the front steps and thrust the key into the lock. Diva is already growling and yipping at the door. Ah, yes, the perfect ender to the evening. Diva will probably bark more now because I look scary with this stupid outdated hair, too.
I open the door, and before I know it, Diva shoots in between my legs and down the steps, and across the lawn to the Cheltens’ house.
“Diva!” I scream, taking off after her. “Diva, come back here!”
I watch in horror as she runs up to the neighbor’s porch. A young man is coming outside and stops when Diva moves straight toward him.
“Stop her,” I plead.
The guy goes to shut his door, but Diva shoots right past him—and into his house.
“Hey, hey, come back here,” he says, heading back inside after Diva.
I sprint up the steps and bound into his house after him, only to find Diva running around in circles around his living room.
“What is wrong with her?” he asks.
“She’s insane,” I cry. “Diva, stop!”
Diva jumps on a chintz couch to avoid me. I dive toward her, but she leaps down onto the floor and under a dark, cherry-wood table. Now the guy is trying to catch her, but he misses as she dodges around a white Queen Anne style chair to avoid his grasp. Finally, she stops. And pees all over his hardwood floor, narrowly avoiding the floral rug that is the centerpiece of the living room.
“Oh no,” I gasp, my hand flying over my mouth. “I’m so sorry!”
I turn to the guy, who is gazing back at me. For a brief second, I’m distracted from the disaster at hand. His dark-blue eyes flicker at me, and I stare back into his face, one filled with freckles. It’s an interesting combination—the reddish-brown hair, tousled with gel, the dark-blue eyes, and the freckled face . . .
Then I realize I need to clean up after Diva.
“Please, let me get some paper towels so I can blot it up,” I say in an embarrassed rush. “Then I’ll take Diva home, and I’ll come back to clean the floor for you.”
He’s silent for a moment. I’m waiting for him to explode, but then he simply clears his throat.
“So is this,” he says, sweeping his arm out toward Diva and her puddle, “how you planned to introduce yourself to me, Breanna Logan?”

Book review: The Man Who Can't Be Moved - Tilly Tennant




Fledgling journalist Ellie Newton is keen to prove herself when she lands a hard-won job at the Millrise Echo. So when reports come in of a man camped on the corner of a local street, refusing to move until the girl who has jilted him takes him back, Ellie is on a mission to get the scoop. 


She arrives to meet Ben Kelly, a man she is instantly attracted to. But she has a job to do and an incredible story to write and has soon pledged to help him win back the girl of his dreams. With Ellie’s help, Ben’s plight captures the hearts and imaginations of the public. And when a TV film crew appears to make a feature on the most romantic gesture the town of Millrise has ever seen, Ellie’s mission gets its happy ending... 



But while Ellie has been busy fixing the lives of her wayward parents, providing shoulders for heartbroken friends to cry on, and worrying about her terminally-ill aunt, she hasn’t noticed that she has also been falling quietly in love – with the very man she has now ensured is hopelessly out of her reach. 



Ellie must choose between doing the right thing, and the thing that feels right. And whatever choice she makes, someone will get their heart broken.


My opinion
First off I just have to say how much I love this cover. Together with the title it just made this book irresistible. I couldn't wait to start reading and once I started reading, I simply couldn't stop.
Ellie is a wonderful MC. She's so caring, so sweet, determined and loyal,... You can't help but want to protect her from everything... and everyone. [The patience she has with her stubborn mother...]  I loved how the connecting between the characters was there from the beginning of the story and how natural it felt. Ellie has an amazing support system and Tilly did an amazing job giving all of them a moment to shine.
As for Ben, what can I say? He's definitely McDreamy... + guitar = irresistible. When I see the characteristics I used to describe Ellie, it's so obvious again why Ben is so perfect for her: I could easily have been describing him. He's a dreamer, a hopeless romantic. Ellie is a bit more careful. She's trying to protect herself (and everyone else for that matter) but she never stood a chance: there was no way she could have resisted Ben Kelly. They just fit.
The Man Who Can't Be Moved had me laughing, crying and swooning over that cute guy waiting on the corner for the girl of his dreams. I loved everything about this book and I cannot recommend it enough.


 


 

Thank you so much, Tilly, for sending me a copy of
The Man Who Can't Be Moved. It was such a pleasure reading it.
Happy Holidays!

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them. 



Tilly is represented by the wonderful, gorgeous Peta Nightingale at LAW.


The Man Who Can’t Be Moved is Tilly’s second full length novel.
Get in touch with Tilly:
via her WebsiteTwitterGoodreads and Facebook
Click for my review:


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Book review: I Will Marry George Clooney (...by Christmas) - Tracy Bloom



A brand new very funny Christmas novel, from the bestselling author of No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday and Single Woman Seeks Revenge.

There comes a time in every woman's life when the only answer is to marry George Clooney.

For Michelle, that time is now.

Slogging her guts out in a chicken factory whilst single-handedly bringing up a teenager who hates her is far from the life that 36-year-old Michelle had planned.

But marrying the most eligible man on the planet by Christmas could change all that, couldn't it?

Sometimes your only option is to dream the impossible - because you never know where it might take you.


My opinion
When I saw this book at the bookstore, I just had to buy it. The title, the cover,... and that's before I even saw it was a Tracy Bloom novel.
If there's ever a book that will put you off having kids... and more specifically teenagers, it's this one. How Michelle copes, I have no idea, 'cause Josie is just.. wow. Even for a 15 year old girl she's spectacularly disrespectful and 'fed up'. And Michelle's mother... I'm not even sure how to explain the amount of frustration I felt nearly every time she was mentioned. Insufferable mother, but with a comedy edge, of course.
Everything from 'the Mission' to that horrible grandmother, intolerable teen and the chicken charity event is so over the top and far fetched it actually works. I Will Marry George Clooney is a funny novel - slightly Christmassy but not really - with a wide variety of very colourful characters and the right amount of 'hiccups' and unexpected turns to keep you surprised. Tracy Bloom keeps you entertained and guessing, but just like No-one Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday, the title is slightly more promising than the book turns out to be. 


 

Click to read my review:


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Xmas tree picture competition


Merry Christmas!

I organized a little competition on Twitter and Facebook:
a picture of your Christmas tree got you an entry
to win a little bookish xmas gift.
(winner picked via random.org)

Seeing all those beautiful trees made me really happy
so I thought I'd share them all with you.

This wasn't about a big expensive giveaway,
just about the most wonderful time of the year.

Enjoy!


                  



Merry Christmas!


  

xxx Maryline xxx