Saturday, 29 April 2017

My Favourite Posts - April 2017



I love being a blogger and I also love visiting other blog sites, not just book blogs either! 

Below you'll find some of my favourite posts and videos that I have came across during the month!



  
 British Beauty Bloggers looks at the cuteness that is Tony Moly Panda’s Dream




 



 



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Friday, 28 April 2017

REVIEW - The Dog Walker by Lesley Thomson


Title: The Dog Walker

Author: Lesley Thomson

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Release Date: 6th April 2017

Source: Advance Copy
A haunted house, a broken family and a body that has never been found. Stella and Jack must reawaken the secrets of the past in order to solve the mysteries of the present.

January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Helen Honeysett, a young newlywed, sets off for an evening run from her riverside cottage. Only her dog returns.

Twenty-nine years later, her husband has asked Stella Darnell, a private detective, and her side-kick Jack Harmon, to find out what happened all those years ago.

But when the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting a killer whose trail has long gone cold...
There are two things that I love in a book, the first is a map and the second is a varied cast of characters.

The Dog Walker has both of these things, set in London it has a nice map which shows where the events took place and a great collection of characters young and old perfect for throwing you off the scent of the murderer in the midst.

Told over the course of twenty nine years, the story visits the disappearance of Helen Honeysett, a beautiful young woman who vanishes whilst running besides the Thames with her dog back in 1987. With her whole life ahead of her she never returns and everyone she knows is a suspect from her husband to her neighbours.

Fast forward to 2016, Stella Darnell a cleaner who is also an exception private detective is approached by a lady who lives in the area that Helen went missing in, she complains of a ghostly presence in her home, could it be the missing Mrs Honeysett?

Along with her partner in crime Jack, Stella sets out find out what happened to Helen but with so many possible suspects will she ever find out what happened to her?

It has a perfect atmospheric setting, London is a true star in the story, especially during the 80's POVs, it feels dark and gloomy, just a little bit dangerous.

The Dog Walker is told from past and present POV's from multiple characters and like all good crime novels you just don't know who is guilty and who is innocent.  I love these types of novels, I hate a book that straight away you pinpoint who the murderer and The Dog Walker had me guessing right till the end.

Thank you to Head of Zeus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.






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Monday, 24 April 2017

I've been watching #3 - Detroiters


Recently lander on Comedy Central UK is Detroiters and it is very good indeed...


It follows the lives of Sam and Tim, two guys who have an advertising company, are best friends and literally live next door to one another.

It is ridiculous fun as they are slightly inept but always seem to manage to get their adverts made at the end of the day, their adverts are always faintly ridiculous but my favourite has to be the advert Sam makes for himself when he accidentally becomes a male prostitute.  Now I would have put a link to that clip but putting the words male, prostitute and advert in to the internet might bring up a shedload of quite inappropriate stuff.

Anyway here are some clips for you, its funny, its sweet and Lorne Michaels from SNL is a producer so it is definitely worth a look doncha think?






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Sunday, 23 April 2017

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy narrated by Stephen Fry


Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams

Narrator: Stephen Fry

Length: 5 Hours, 51 minutes

Source: Audible

Master of comedy Stephen Fry delivers a brilliant audiobook narration of the best-selling novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams. Arthur Dent is a very British man having a very bad day. He discovers his friend is an alien and he's taken off earth just as it's destroyed to make way for a galaxy highway. To make matters worse, he hasn't even had his morning cup of tea yet. This ingeniously constructed story takes a humorous look at how something as precious as Earth isn't always appreciated until it's gone. A lighthearted and enjoyable listen. 
I am assuming that unless you have been living under a rock for the last few decades you will have heard of the Hitchhiker's Guide and you will know what it's about, heck you may have seen the tv show, the film, listened to the radio series or played the video game.  If you have no idea what I am talking about visit the handy BBC page.

Anyway after avoiding audiobooks for a considerable time I decided to take advantage of my free Audible trial and I downloaded this.

I love the book and I love this audiobook, narrated by Stephen Fry who quite frankly owns one of the best voices in the world...ever.  I mean I could listen to him happily reading the instructions for my washing machine.

He injects his own brand of dry humour in to the perfect telling of this fantastic classic.  Portraying each character perfectly from the the straight laced Arthur to the depressed Marvin via bonkers Zaphod, this is a highly enjoyable version of this iconic book.



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Saturday, 22 April 2017

REVIEW - Crosstalk by Connie Willis


Title: Crosstalk

Author: Connie Willis

Publisher: Gollancz

Release Date: 15th September 2016

Source: NetGalley
Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants . . .

Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept ('anything to beat the new apple phone') to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They've been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other's feelings. Trent doesn't just want to tell her how much he loves her - he wants her to feel it.

Everything is perfect.

The trouble is, Briddey can't breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she's had two minutes to call her family. And they're hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD - which they will - they'll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later.

Only Apple are poised to deliver an amazing new product and she has to be one step ahead . . . if she can only persuade their tech genius, C. B., to drop his crazy ideas about a 'privacy phone' with its 'do not disturb' settings, and focus on what people really want: more efficient, instinctive and immediate ways to communicate.

The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and - for Briddey - a chance for love at the heart of it all.

This is a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy from one of the wittiest and wisest of our authors. Written with a light touch and a smile, we're swept up in Briddey's romance - and into the difficulties of a world just one technological step away from our own, as technology and social media blur (or indeed remove) the line between personal and public.
Take the humour and Irish family craziness from a Marian Keyes book and inject a heavy dose of sci-fi in to it and you get Crosstalk.

Set in our near future it looks at what happens when you take your romantic relationship to the next level, no not putting a ring on it or even getting a puppy,no its getting an implant that lets you be in tune with the one you love feeling all the emotions.

Briddey works for a mobile phone company and they are the main competitors to Apple, needless to say the tech they are bringing out has to be the hottest, most up to date technology going.  She works with her boyfriend of 6 weeks, the ever so slightly full on sleaze bag that is Trent.  He is a high flyer and he wants her to get an EDD, the procedure that make you feel just how much your partner loves you.

Briddey loves him and want to get the procedure but her crazy Irish family don't seem keen plus they seem to be having drama of their own that they want Briddey help them sort out.  Her family aren't the only ones against it, C.B. the crazy tech guy who works in the basement is dead against it too.

C.B. is a tad eccentric but he is the path to conquering Apple, he is full of great ideas for new phone tech, Briddey need to keep him on side but despite what C.B. and her family say she fires ahead and gets the EDD.

Expecting to feel instant connection to Trent she is horrified to find herself connecting to someone else, someone totally unexpected and this sets of a crazy journey for Briddey as she discovers that not everything is as it seems and that Trent may not be the man she wants.

Crosstalk is a lovely mashup of scifi with romcom, it is fairly obvious who Briddey is going to end up with but the way she gets there makes for an enjoyable read plus any books that have eccentric Irish family members are always full of fun.





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Sunday, 16 April 2017

PODCASTASTIC #4 - What Say You?



The day that I walked in to Night Vale was the day I fell in love with podcasts.  

My phone how ever got pissed off quickly as it liked Angry Birds and I'd went and put it in the great recycle bin in the cloud to make way for episodes of quirky shows that me, the owner of said phone likes!

Anyway this week I've been listening to......


I like to think I am a reasonably cool mum so I thought nothing of letting my 8 and 10 year old daughters watch Impractical Jokers, I mean it's shown on freaking Comedy Central for goodness sake and they don't show anything that my beloved offspring would be traumatised by.......

Ok fine, I'm maybe a tad lax with the parental controls but for me IJ was fine and like Peppa Pig before it I found myself watching it with the kids but now the kids have moved on to Hawaii 5-0, Bob's Burgers and Friends but me I still love IJ.

I was made up to discover that two of the jokers have a podcast - What Say You - Brian 'Q' Quinn (aka cats and hats man) and Sal Vulcano (sassy cat hater dude) basically talk shit about anything and everything and this week I've been enjoying their Fast and Furious episode.

Like my main podcast love The Complete Guide to Everything, this is just two best pals talking, having a laugh and swearing a bit more than what we hear on IJ.  Sal and Q bounce brilliantly off one another whether they are talking about diamonds, Sarah Jessica Parker or women with quite frankly amazingly placed tattoos.  

Like most podcasts I come across I love to binge on them and What Say You has 70 odd episodes sitting on iTunes for your listening pleasure.  There has not been a new podcast since the back end of last year but these are two busy dudes, as well as tormenting their best pals Joe and Murr on IJ,  Q has the Tell Em Steve-Dave podcast which has fanatical listeners from what I've read about on the crazy world that is Reddit and Sal is on the stand up comedy circuit working his way round the States.  

So anyway check this out, it's funny and like hanging out with pals on the couch just kicking back talking bollocks.

Check out their episodes here at http://www.whatsayyoupodcast.com/


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REVIEW - Lumberjanes #1 (Beware the Kitten Holy) by Stevenson, Ellis, Watters & Allen


Title: Lumberjanes #1 Beware the Kitten Holy

Author: Stevenson, Ellis, Watters & Allen

Publisher:  Boom Box

Release Date: 14th April 2015

Source: Own Copy
Friendship to the max! 

Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! 

Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things. 

It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake. And with the talent of acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, talented newcomer Grace Ellis writing, and Brooke Allen on art, this is going to be a spectacular series that you won’t want to miss.

Being in my late thirties I could possibly be about twenty years above the ideal demographic for this comic series but to be honest I've never acted my age.

I read Nimona by Noelle Stevenson a couple of years back and loved it, looking for something else to read by Noelle I came across the Lumberjanes series which was quickly bunged on my Amazon wish list.

We'll not talk about the bit where it has taken me two years to getting around to buying and reading it though, anyway this book is all kinds of crazy cutesy supernaturally bonkers brilliance.

It follows our five Lumberjanes pals as they attend Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpets camp for hardcore lady types and each chapter follows our plucky gals as they earn their Lumberjane badges such as the Robyn Hood Badge and the Everything Under the Sum Badge.

This is no straightforward girl guide camp, there is all sorts of weird stuff going down in the woods but nothing our girls can't handle. Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are equally cute, sassy, smart and innocent all rolled up in to an adorable ball.  They are the kind of best friends everyone needs, they've got your back and they'll stick up for you no matter what.

As for the look of the book, it is lovely and colourful, full of greens, oranges and red that make the scenes explode of the pages, the illustrations are interspersed with the text that explains how a Lumberjane obtains the many badges they can earn.

A sweet read, full of good humour, it's been compared to Buffy (I've never seen it, I know, what the heck!) but I have seen Gravity Falls and totally get the comparison.

Friendship to the MAX!!!






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Saturday, 15 April 2017

REVIEW - The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett


Title: The Space Between The Stars

Author: Anne Corlett

Publisher:  Pan MacMillan

Release Date: 1st June 2017

Source: Publisher Advance Copy
The Space between the Stars by Anne Corlett is an enthralling novel of love, the choices we make, and what it means to be human. It's also a dramatic road-trip across the stars, as a woman journeys across a plague-ravaged universe to the place she once called home, and the man she once loved. 

How far would you travel to find your way home? 

Jamie Allenby wakes, alone, and realises her fever has broken. But could everyone she knows be dead? Months earlier, Jamie had left her partner Daniel, mourning the miscarriage of their baby. She’d just had to get away, so took a job on a distant planet. Then the virus hit. Jamie survived as it swept through our far-flung colonies. Now she feels desperate and isolated, until she receives a garbled message from Earth. If someone from her past is still alive – perhaps Daniel – she knows she must find a way to return. 

She meets others seeking Earth, and their ill-matched group will travel across space to achieve their dream. But they’ll clash with survivors intent on repeating humanity’s past mistakes, threatening their precious fresh start. Jamie will also get a second chance at happiness. But can she escape her troubled past, to embrace a hopeful future?

This was one of these books that traps you with a matter of paragraphs, literally a page in to this beautiful sci-fi I knew I was going to love the story that was unfolding before me.  It also reminded me of Firefly and I LOVE Firefly!!

Jamie wakes up alone, she feels like crap but she also feels very much alive which considering the virus which has decimated the population of her known universe is a bittersweet feeling.

Alone on Soltaire, all she wants is to make her way home to Earth and to find her estranged husband Daniel, the man who she left following the loss of their first baby.  The chances of him being alive are slim to none but first she needs to get herself off planet.

Luck comes her way, she meets other survivors and a passing ship picks them up, gradually a mis-matched group of survivors finds itself making its way towards whats left of humanity.  Jamie hopes that she will find her way home, she hopes to find the man she loves (or should that be needs) so much.

Of course the known Universe is now fully in survival of the fittest (and smartest) mode, Jamie comes across the last remnants of humanity trying to cling to life and the life they are leading is not one Jamie wants to be part of.

This is a beautiful read which takes the traditional post-apoc virus and throws it out in to space.  I love a survivor story but to make that survivor stranded on a planet at the back end of the universe plays on your worst nightmare to great effect.

This isn't all doom and gloom, the story takes Jamie and her fellow survivors, all totally different from one another and forces them to live together, it shows us that despite the fact that the odds are very much stacked against them, life always finds away - plus romance fans you'll be happy to know there is a nice hint of romance too.

Thanks to Pan Mac for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 






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Monday, 10 April 2017

REVIEW - Murder on the Pilgrims Way by Julie Wassmer


Title: Murder on the Pilgrims Way

Author: Julie Wassmer

Publisher:  Constable

Release Date: 6th April 2017

Source: Publisher Advance Copy
Pearl receives a surprise present from her mother, Dolly - an early summer break at a riverside manor house that has been recently transformed into an exclusive hotel - the newly named Villa Pellegrini.

Pellegrini - the Italian word for pilgrims - reflects the fact that the building lies on the old Pilgrims Way into Canterbury, and Pearl is looking forward to the break, not least because DCI Mike McGuire has been neglecting her due to his work. But when she discovers that she's actually booked in for a cookery course from the Italian celebrity chef, Nico Caruso, she begins to think again . . .

Pearl doesn't welcome instruction on cookery at the best of times, and certainly not from an arrogant chef like Caruso. She goes along, intent on challenging Caruso's egotism - and a long tradition of men dominating gastronomy - but soon finds herself distracted, not only by her enchanting surroundings but by the disparate selection of guests.

She even begins to enjoy Caruso's attentions - and his cookery - until one of the guests goes missing and it becomes clear that murder is on the menu.

I really enjoy the Whitstable Pearl mystery series, with each new book I look forward to first of all visiting the beautiful Kent countryside and the town of Whitstable which I visited many years ago and loved.  Secondly I also love being thrown in to the lives of Pearl, her family, friends and her food!

Murder on the Pilgrims Way is, I think, my favourite so far in the series, set in the idyllic countryside at a beautiful country retreat.  Pearl and her mother Dolly have left Whitstable behind, Dolly is treating her daughter to cookery course at Villa Pellegrini and the course is taught by charming celebrity chef Nico Caruso.

The house is beautiful but in true murder mystery style Pearl and Dolly's fellow guests are hiding secrets.  What starts of as an idyllic break with fine food, delicious wine and charming company ends with the grisly discovery of a body, instinctively private detective Pearl starts delving in to the lives of her companions.  Who is the murderer in their midst?

Full of English country charm, delightful characters and a hint of romance this is a great read which I would recommend to lovers of cosy mysteries and Agatha Christie.

Thank you to Constable for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.






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