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Top Ten Tuesday – 23.04.19

It’s time for another top ten Tuesday, and today’s topic, courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl is a look back at the first ten books that I reviewed. Now, I did review a few books here and there before I set up my little blog, but it was all a bit haphazard to be honest, so I thought I would make my top ten the first ten books that I reviewed here. Obviously I am a little bit biased, but I think this is a great list, and it actually contains some of my absolute favourite books that I have ever read, so it is great to be revisiting them. In order, from my first ever review up, here they are:-

  1. Blackbird – N D Gomes
  2. Isolation Junction – Jennifer Gilmour
  3. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back – Sariah Wilson
  4. A Dangerous Game – Madeline Dyer
  5. The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale
  6. The Cocktail Bar – Isabella May
  7. The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
  8. The Songs of Us – Emma Cooper
  9. Legendary – Stephanie Garber
  10. Mary Rosie’s War – Catherine M Byrne

What was the first book that you reviewed? Can you remember your first ten?

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A Greek Affair – Linn B Halton

I am just popping in to make you all aware of a special offer on A Greek Affair by Linn B Halton. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom for a fab giveaway that Linn is hosting.

BLURB:

More than just a holiday romance?

Her daughter, her job and divorcing her untrustworthy ex are Leah’s main priorities. She isn’t really bothered that her life might be missing a few things. But after winning a prestigious travel blogger award, she’s inundated with offers to review glamorous holiday destinations. Lying around drinking exotic cocktails and being paid for it! What could be better?

Perhaps a romantic trip to idyllic Greece to find the one man who might make Leah risk her heart again…

A Greek Affair Cover

Price drop: only 99p – grab your copy now!

PURCHASE LINK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

GIVEAWAY:

A Greek affair prize

Do you love a competition?

Hello lovely readers and bloggers!

To celebrate the price drop to 99p I will be running a competition on Twitter for one lucky person to win a goody bag – a limited edition mug and pen, and a Disaronno/chocolate gift box!

No purchase is necessary to join in – just RT one of my lovely blogger’s Tweets for the 99p promo including @LinnBHalton and #AGreekAffair, to take part.

If you have already read/reviewed A Greek Affair and take a photo of it on your reading device and/or send a link to your review in your Tweet – IF YOUR NAME is the ONE drawn by the third party, I will add two signed paperbacks from my backlist to the prize!

Don’t forget to include @LinnBHalton and #AGreekAffair so we can include your Tweet in the competition. Thank you so much for dropping by and good luck!

Terms: Competition closes noon GMT 19 April 2019; international; anyone can enter; prize to be provided by the author; prize winner will be announced on Twitter by @LinnBHalton and on Linn’s website (competition page) at noon on 20 April 2019 after being selected at random by a third party.

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Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop 

This week’s burning question on the Book Blogger Hop is:

When reading a series, do you re-read the previous book/s before reading the newly released book?

Now you would think this would be a straightforward question wouldn’t you? But no, I like to be awkward. The answer to this question for me is, “Sometimes.” As an example, when Legendary by Stephanie Garber was due to be released, for me it was just the excuse I needed to read Caraval again (like I really needed an excuse). With the release date of Finale fast approaching, I am really hoping that I will have time to reread Caraval and Legendary back to back, and then dive straight into Finale the second I get my grubby little paws on it! Even if I don’t manage it, I fully intend to read the entire series back to back at some point in the very near future. Maybe I will do that as a little Christmas treat this year…

A lot of the series that I love, I had the fortune to discover once there were already a few books out, so I could satisfy my binge reading tendencies that way – this was the case for Harry Potter, Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books, The Wolves of Mercy Falls, the Raven Cycle. All of these had at least three books out before I started my love affair with them all. Of course, once I had run out of the already published books and had to wait for the next instalment, it was absolute torture.

One of my absolute favourite series is Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. I struck really lucky there because by the time I started reading, there were eleven books already out in the world. I was in heaven. Of course since then it has been an unbearable wait between books, particularly given Ms Clare’s penchant for a cliffhanger ending. Now, book sixteen (I think) from the chronicles was released this week so I am back in my happy place for a while. Whilst this is a series that I would love to reread for a recap before each new book comes out, there are just too many other books out there that I haven’t read once yet, and it’s just not practical! That said, once they are all finally released, I will be going into full hibernation mode to read the whole lot, so if in a few years time you release that you haven’t heard from me in a while, please send chocolate and coffee – I’ll be under a blanket with my library.

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What about you? Do you reread before a new instalment of your favourite series is released?

Thanks as always to Coffee Addicted Writer for looking after the hop and thanks to Paperback Princess for this week’s question.

 

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Blind Date with a Book

It’s always exciting when something book shaped drops onto your doormat (or in this case is handed to you by your postman because he couldn’t get it through the letterbox, but it’s even more exciting when you aren’t even expecting something. This is exactly what happened to me on Tuesday this week.

Picture the scene – it’s Monday and I am busy pretending to work, but really spending more time on Facebook looking at photos from an epic weekend meeting my Fiction Cafe family and a rather cryptic message pops up from my brilliant friend, K T Robson. “Pick a number between one and four,” she says. I opt for number three and then that’s it, she won’t tell me anything more about why I am picking a number, apart from the fact it is for a blog post. Well, that’s me intrigued, and a good part of the rest of the day is spent with me pondering what it could all be about.

I didn’t have to wait long. Through the miracles of the modern postal service (and it truly is a miracle how fast this happened), the very next day I received this through the post:

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How pretty is that! Almost too pretty to unwrap, but of course there is a book tucked inside, so I had no choice but to unwrap it. I have always fancied trying the whole blind date with a book thing, so this was very exciting. It turns out that K T wanted to send me one, but couldn’t decide between four possible “dates” – the number I chose related to the book she was to pick for me.

So, onto the unwrapping. I was as careful as I could possibly be, wanting to prolong the anticipation:

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After much string untying and careful peeling off of sellotape, this little beauty appeared. Not only does it have a gorgeous cover (how great are those colours), it is a book that I have been meaning to read for a while now. Don’t ask me how, but Malorie Blackman’s books have somehow passed me by until now, although I had heard her name a lot.

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I think this might have to be one of the books that bypasses my book jar experiment and jumps straight to, “Read me now!” not least because I have just discovered that there is going to be a TV series made that is based on the book, and I am definitely a read first, watch second kind of girl.

Thank you so much K T for taking me along on your bookish blind date adventure!

Have any of you ever tried the Blind Date with a Book? What book did you discover?

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Book Blogger Hop – 29.03.19


Book Blogger Hop

 

This week’s question is courtesy of Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer and is…

“Name one classic novel you have always wanted to read.”

This is quite a hard question for me to answer because I really struggle with the classics. I have tried my hardest, but I just don’t think they are for me. Don’t all hate me but I have never even read a single Jane Austen or Charles Dickens book. I think my issue with the classics started when I was eleven and had just moved up to secondary school. Without wishing to sound smug, my English teacher could see how much I adored books and that the ones we were reading in class were quite a way below my reading level. As such she set me off on my own with Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. Now, Rebecca I loved and have read many times since – that opening line is one of my all time favourites. Wuthering Heights, that was another story entirely. I think at eleven I was just too young to understand the depths of the book. I have always meant to pick it up again, but have never got round to it. Anyway, I digress…

There are lots of classics that I own and want to read one day – I have collections by Dickens, Austen, Dumas, Conan Doyle. I even have The Canterbury Tales and The Iliad. But they are all sitting unread. I am determined to crack them at some point. Of all my vast collection though, I think the one that I want to read the most is one that is probably the most daunting, not least because it is enormous, and that is Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the stage show, and whilst I realise the book is going to be vastly different, I think I owe it to my love of the musical to read Jean Valjean’s full story. I have tried a few times, but never made it very far – tiny writing and a heavy book are not great for Spoonie readers. However, I now have a nice shiny version sitting on my Kindle, so those excuses are out the window. As soon as I sit down to tackle it again, I will let you know how I got on.

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Are you a fan of the classics? If you had to choose one classic to read, what would it be?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Audio Freebies

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we are talking about our favourite audio freebies, whether that is audio books, podcasts, music, whatever – as long as it’s free and as long as you can listen to it. Thanks as always to That Artsy Reader Girl for the topic.

This was a bit of a tricky Top Ten for me because I don’t often listen to audio books (I have an annoying tendency to fall asleep) and I have only recently discovered the wonders of the podcast. That said now I have discovered them, I am getting stuck right in.

First up in my Top Ten are a selection of podcasts that I am hoping will be invaluable to my research for my writing:

 

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Photo by Csaba Nagy via Pixabay
  • Celtic Myths and Legends Podcast with Sian Esther Powell
  • Myths and Legends Podcast with Jason Weiser
  • Five Minute Folklore with Bob Shoy
  • Tales of the British Isles

Following hot on their heels, I have also recently found a couple that will help me brush up my writing skills too:

  • Writing Time – BBC World Service
  • The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt with Andrew J Chamberlain

Last but not least, everyone needs some fun free audio in their life:

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Photo by sindrehsoereide via Pixabay
  • Overdrive
  • Spotify
  • Radio 1’s Rockshow with Daniel P Carter – BBC Sounds App

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, Overdrive is an app that lets you borrow audio and ebooks using your library membership, and download them straight to the app. There are other free apps that do this, but Overdrive is the one that my county libraries use, and I love it.

Listing Spotify separately is a bit of a cheat because to be totally honest, that is where most of my podcasts were found. But, I first started using Spotify for the music, and that is why I still love it. Even better, if you can tolerate the occasional advert, it’s completely free.

Including something from Radio 1 feels really odd because if I am totally honest, I thought my Radio 1 days were well behind me! I tuned in last week to listen to one particular artist who was appearing, and ended up listening to the entire show. Maybe I’m not as old as I thought I was!

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What would make your Top Ten?

[Featured image courtesy of Free-Photos via Pixabay]

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Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop 

 

I was recently introduced to the Book Blogger Hop by the lovely K T Robson so today I will be answering my first question courtesy of The Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week’s question is “Do you read along with your audiobooks?” which was submitted by the Paperback Princess.

The easy answer to that is no. Honestly, until I saw this question it had never even crossed my mind to do so. I think this is probably because I tend to turn to audiobooks either when I want to do something at the same time, such as cross-stitching, or when I am lying in bed at night and can’t sleep. There are two problems with this though. I find that if I am cross-stitching or doing some other craft or activity, I forget that I am also supposed to be paying attention to the book and then suddenly realise that I have no idea what has just happened. If I listen in bed, I tend to fall asleep and lose my place that way. I swear when it comes to audiobooks, I spend longer trying to find my place than I do actually listening. That’s why when insomnia strikes I tend to head for the old faithful Harry Potter – I have read the books so many times that it really doesn’t matter if I nod off at any point.

Next time I have an audiobook, I might give reading along a try and see how it goes. I am quite a fast reader though and always used to end up reading ahead whenever we were reading out loud in class, so we will see how it goes. When I do this little experiment, I will let you all know how it goes.

How about you? Do you read along?