Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Book Review: The Jade Lioness by Christina Courtenay



Title: The Jade Lioness (Kumashiro Book 3)
Author: Christina Courtenay
Publication Date: 15 May 2015
Publisher: Choc Lit

Twitter: @PiaCCourtenay
Website/Blog: http://christinacourtenay.com/?page_id=278

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis
Can an impossible love become possible?
Nagasaki, 1648
Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. However, she soon finds the country's strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Trip Report: A long weekend in The Big Apple - New York City



What can be more exciting than a long weekend in New York City ("NYC")? How about a FREE weekend in NYC? Yes, you heard correctly, FREE!!!

I am hugely lucky to have just returned from an all expenses paid trip to NYC, courtesy of a competition win by my lovely husband (and thanks to the generosity of Motorola). The prize included flights & transfers, a 3 night stay in a boutique hotel, dinner for 3 nights, an activity and some spending money.

I've been to NYC on 2 previous occasions and I have always loved the city, however my husband had never been before and I was hugely excited to introduce him to the delights and experiences of NYC.

Food & Drink: Quick Microwave Chocolate Cake (recipe from Mumsnet)



There are a number of microwave cake recipes on the internet and, whilst not as good as a properly baked cake, they are great for a quick late-night fix!

The recipe I've used is one that I found on Mumsnet.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Book Review: The Lie by C. L. Taylor





Title: The Lie
Author: C. L. Taylor
Publication Date: 23 April 2015
Publisher: Avon

Twitter: @callytaylor 
Website/blog: http://www.callytaylor.co.uk/

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis

This was no accident...

Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Food & Drink: Lavender White Tea from Forleaves Tea Co.



Good evening all!

I'm a huge tea drinker, particularly green and white teas. Green tea has become more popular in recent years, making it easier to find in supermarkets and tea shops, however, there remains a limited choice of white teas. I'm also a huge fan of leaf tea, preferring that to ready-made team bags. As such, I'm excited to introduce you to my new discovery - Forleaves Tea Co. 

I got into a discussion with Drew from Forleaves Tea Co after seeing their intriguing new blend, Lavender White Tea, on Twitter. Drew informed me that the blend was not yet on sale but kindly offered to send me a sample. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Book Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst


Title: How I Lost You
Author: Jenny Blackhurst
Publication date: 23 April 2015
Publisher: Headline

Twitter: @JennyBlackhurst
Blog/website: unknown

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?
 
I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you?
 
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered by 12-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.
 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Book Review: Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley



Title: Creature Comforts
Author: Trisha Ashley
Publication Date: 26 February 2015
Publisher: Avon

Twitter: @trishashley
Blog/website: http://trishaashley.com

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis
 
Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancé Kieran and returned to her childhood home - the sleepy village of Halfhidden.
 
She soon realises that life in the village is anything but peaceful - for one thing she's living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.
 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Travel: Trip Report - A weekend in Fira, Santorini

 

As some of you may of seen from my recent tweets, I have recently returned from my first holiday of 2015 - a long weekend in Santorini, Greece with an old friend (thanks to a very understanding husband!). I had such a wonderful time that I thought this trip would be great as my first trip review/travel post.

The trip from London Gatwick to Thira, Santorini is just under 4 hours. This is a bit lengthy for a long weekend, but well worth it. I flew with EasyJet who have recently started a London-Santorini route. The ticket, flying out 7am on Friday and returning 3pm on Monday, cost approximately £200. I took hand luggage only and this meant that I did not have to queue at the Check-in desks at either end and could go directly to the security queues.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Book Review: Twin Piques by Tracie Banister


Title: Twin Piques
Author: Tracie Banister
Publication Date: 7 January 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Twitter: @traciebanister
Blog/Website: https://traciebanister.blogspot.co.uk

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis

Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common. How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head? Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Book Review: The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café (Cherry Pie Island #1) by Jenny Oliver


Title: The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café (Cherry Pie Island #1)
Author: Jenny Oliver
Publication Date: 27 March 2015
Publisher: Carina UK

Twitter: @jenoliverbooks
Blog/Website: http://jennyoliverbooks.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis

Home, Sweet Home….?

There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming...

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Blog Tour - A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install - Review



Title: A Robot in the Garden
Author: Deborah Install
Publication Date: 23 April 2015
Publisher: Transworld Digital and Doubleday UK

Twitter: @DeborahInstall and @BenandTang
Blog/website:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I am happy to be today's stop on the blog tour for Deborah Install's fantastic new release, A Robot in the Garden.

Synopsis/Press Release

Warm-hearted fable of a stay-at-home husband who learns an important lesson in life when an unusual creature enters his life.

A story of the greatest friendship ever assembled.


One day, in a future not too far removed from the present, Ben Chambers wakes up to find an unfamiliar object - rusty and dented - sitting underneath the willow tree in his garden. Refusing to throw it on the skip as his wife Amy advises, he lures it home. Ben does not want children, or even a job, and now he has found yet another reason to stay in his study and ignore his family.