September Wrap Up!

So, September is over and done with.. That went too quick for my liking.  We had a good holiday, if not a little blustery – but what do you get for going to Wales, by the seaside, at the end of September?? We loved it though, the child (and the man-child) were very well behaved, no tantrums, not many tears, it was fab!! I got some decent reading done, with 4 books under the “Read” pile. My Goodreads reading challenge now stands at 124/150.

This month, I’m doing things differently.  Instead of saying what I’ve purchased, I’m going to concentrate on the actual read side of things. On that note, here is what I snuggled up with this month!!

1:  Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Rated: 4/5
2: Christmas at the Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant. Rated: 4/5
3: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin. Rated: 5/5
4: Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin.  Rated: 4/5
5: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll. Rated: 4/5
6: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Rated: 4/5
7: Unexpectedly Wilde by Rose Chen. Rated: 2/5
8: The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley. Rated: 5/5
9: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Rated: 5/5
10: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan. Rated: 4/5
11: Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara. Rated: 5/5

Worse Read:
Without a doubt, Unexpectedly Wilde. Oh my god, I don’t even know where to begin with it.  Firstly, let me say that I do not normally go for stories with lots of sex, or verging on the “erotica” label. But with this one… The description given on Netgalley was what made me think it wasn’t like that. I was wrong. Now, I’m not a wimp or a prude or anything when it comes to sex, I just don’t really get the whole erotica thing.  Anyway, that wasn’t the only reason why I didn’t like this book.  On one page, the ex-wife’s name was one thing, and then a few pages later it was a completely different name!!!!!! Then another example that I can think of was a friend was on their honeymoon in one place, and then towards the end of the book it was a different one!!! Surely if you’re writing a book you keep track of details, right?? Just makes sense that it all matches up throughout the book.
This book to me, had a huge amount of potential, but it just fell flat on it’s over sexual face.  It was poor.

Best Read:
Well, with the amount of 5/5 I’ve given, I cannot pick. It’s unusual for me to give 4 of them in one month!!!! Each of them had their own fantastic elements to it.
Six of Crows was fantastic to read, I loved the world – having read The Grisha Trilogy earlier this year.  I loved the characters, I loved the ending, I loved everything about it.
Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky was a brilliant start to what is hopefully and ongoing series.  The characters were fantastic, the island was such a beautiful setting (I need to visit), it’s a great read to get you in a festive mood.  The writing was wonderful, and I cannot wait to see if there will be anymore of them after Christmas Under a Starlit Sky.
The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was such a comfort read.  It set me up for my little reading marathon on holiday, it was just perfect.  I sort of wish I could visit the cooking school, maybe have a little one-on-one with Tom?? Just a wonderfully perfect, comforting book.
Letters from Lighthouse Cottage was great.  It was wonderful to read the backstory of Grace, and how she got to her perfect life.  it was done differently, and I loved every moment of it.  The characters in this book were great, we see how they grew, developed from awkward teenagers into adults, parents, spouses.  I loved the idea of Remy, it certainly made the book have a completely different feel to it.

Biggest Surprise:
This is definitely Christmas at the Little Village Bakery.  While I enjoyed the first one, I didn’t actually have high hopes for this one.  The description, in my own opinion, does not match the book at all. Something about Milly’s cousin being too flirty with Dylan, it just didn’t happen in the book. In fact, cousin Darcie was a shy girl, not what I pictured when I read the description.  Anyway, good points.  I loved the fact that the story didn’t actually centre around Milly and Dylan.  It was nice to read about Spencer and Tori, and their worries about getting married, where to live, their completely different parents.  It was nice to read about other characters, I didn’t particularly connect well with Milly in the first book.  Anyway, I think this book is slightly better than the first, but I cannot see if it can be added to with another one – if there is one, I will read it.  The only way I can see it being added to is with Darcie.  I would enjoy reading about her story, where she came from, where she goes.

Any Disappointments:
Not really, which isn’t a surprise.
I did struggle to get into Glass Sword, but I got there eventually. I’m excited for the 3rd book in the trilogy, and very intrigued with where it is going.  As I said, I struggled to actually get into it. I can’t really pinpoint why though, I loved Red Queen, I was very excited to pick this up but it just didn’t start with the Oomph I was expecting.

October Plans:
This is where I struggle. I’ve got to plan an international giveaway for a author (any tips will be gratefully received!), and read and review both her books (watch this space!!).
I’ve also got extra copies of a book to giveaway as well so look out for that as well.
Other than that, no special Blogging Plans. I’m going to be aiming for 2 reviews a week, fingers crossed I can do it! I’m hoping to get one up by the end of the week this week, and then 2 next and every week from then but we shall see.
This month is busy with homelife as well.  We have a 3rd birthday with the child, with another week away visiting Mum.  Our poor feline-baby, Percy, must think we keep abandoning him!

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August ’16 Wrap Up!!

Oh my goodness, what an awful but brilliant month.  Sadly, we lost my Grandad this month. He was 85 years old, married to my Nan for 60 of them, so he had a full happy life.  He will be missed massively within our family.

But, on a happier note!!! The Man-Child FINALLY proposed to me on my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEKK!!!! Sounds like I’m overreacting right? We’ve been together 10 years this New Years, I moved nearly 300 miles away from my family for us to have a chance, and we have a child. Not overacting, trust me!!!

So, the books.  That’s what we’re all about, isn’t it?
Reading wise, the beginning of the month started fab, I read a huge amount.  I also had to change the number for my Goodreads challenge, again. This time I upped it to 150. And then well, it went downhill.  I couldn’t find my mojo, I think I must have left it with my sanity somewhere.  God knows where that’s been hiding.  Then we went to visit my Mum and I surprisingly read 3 within 3 days. Boom, mojo has been found!! On that note, if you see my sanity then please guide it gently this way!

Before listing books – I shall be skipping my review copies this month, and whatnot, I feel like I need to state something about the amount of books I purchase.  For Ebooks, I very very rarely pay full price.  I always wait months for them to drop down to anywhere between 99p and £1.99.  Even better when I pick up a glorious freebie!! I get a lot of Freebies.  It takes time looking for them but it’s worth it.
With the physical books I pick up, again they are never full price.  I never buy books from Waterstones or other big booksellers.  I tend to do The Works (3 for £5), or occasionally Asda’s 2 for £7.  I always buy a lot of secondhand books from sellers on Ebay or other places.  I never tend to use charity shops for my books as they are always ridiculously expensive in my area. I always find my best bargains online.

As for review copies, I do read them and review them all.  I may not put a post on here but I will review it on Goodreads, Amazon and Netgalley.  If I do a blog post, I always add it to Bookbridgr.  Always.

The only reason I’m clarifying all this is because I was asked recently about the amount of books and how I can afford so many.  I always had 100s before starting this blog so it’s not like I’m never going to stop buying them!

Books Purchased:

1: The Trouble with Henry and Zoe by Andy Jones
2: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas
3: The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews
4: The Lonely Hearts Travel Club By Katy Colin’s
5: The Rose Girls by Victoria Connelly
6: Four Weddings and a Fiasco by Catherine Ferguson
7: High Tide by Veronica Henry
8: Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara
9: Undertaking Love by Kat French
10: Milkshakes and Heartbreak at The Starlight Diner by Helen Cox
11: Royal by Winter Renshaw
12: The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft Pre-Order
13: Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow Pre-Order
14: Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by JL Bryan
15: Prosecco and Paparazzi by Celia Kennedy
16: Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox Pre-Order
17: Friends like Us by Sian O’Gorman
18: The Soul’s Mark: FOUND by Ashley Stoyanoff
19: Skin Deep by Catherine Barry
20: Rosie by Alan Titchmarsh
21: The Garden of Secrets by Jane Petken
22: All The Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty
23: Coast to Coast by Kate Dowling
24: Finding Home by Lauren Westwood
25: The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon
26: Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis
27: A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore
28: Those Faraday Girls by Monica McInerey
29: A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick
30: I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

I’m not putting in my review copies, if you would like to know what they are, have a look on the Books Reviewed menu at the top (Look Up!). Hopefully I Can list them all! I’ve been on bit of a binge recently, that and there have been some amazing books released on Netgalley this month.  I’ve got my Christmas books lined up for review in September.  It’s early I know, but who needs Christmas just once a year???

Books Read:

1: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Remnant
2: Late Summer at The Vineyard by Jo Thomas
3: City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown
4: Royal by Winter Renshaw
5: The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver
6: The Piano Man Project by Kat French
7: The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas
8: The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank
9: Backpack and a Red Dress by Madrid Jane
10: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter
11: The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry
12: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter
13: Milkshakes and Heartbreak at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox
14: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
15: Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
16: Return to the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard
17: The Rejected Writers Book Club by Suzanne Kelman
18: Recreated by Colleen Houck
19: Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas
20: Saving Sara by Nicola Marsh
21: Currently Reading: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Best Book of August:

Tough choice!! For a light hearted read, I’ll have to choose The Piano Man Project by Kat French.  She writes such brilliantly, funny, gorgeous men.  She knows her stuff!!
For everything else, I’ll choose either Posion Study by Maria V. Snyder.  It kept me gripped until the last page, didn’t lose me along the way, and it wasn’t completely outrageous or too soppy for the book of it’s style.

Worst Book of August:

I’m going to sound harsh and say I have 2 this month.  First one, The Rejected Writers Book Club just didn’t really do it for me.  Yes, it made me chuckle, it made smile, but it just dragged a hell of a lot for me.  It didn’t seem to move anywhere quickly or make me want to pick it up.  Honestly, the only reason I finished it was because I was in the car with nothing else to do.
The second one is The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane.  Please do not hate me, and hear me out.  It dragged.  I gave it a 3 because it was a a fantastic idea.  It was a brilliant idea.  But did it really have to drag me on for nearly a damn week?? I finally got into it, then it ended.  Just like that.  Bookshop up and running, year later, the end.  Also, the way it done random parts from someone else’s view.  Like at the university? What was the point?  I know this book is highly popular at the moment but I sort of regret reading it, no not regret but put off reading it while other reviews came in on it.

Book looking forward to in September:

Out of all the review copies I’ve received this month, it’s very difficult to choose one I’m looking forward to.  Obviously I’m looking forward to them all, but the one that stands out which I’ve not read yet? Hmm… Chasing Embers by James Bennett is up there, and so is Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. They are both looking good.

Events for September:

I have a place on the Chasing Embers blog tour, starting the 26th September so I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing that.  I’m also possibly going to do a UK giveaway for 2 people to receive a copy each of a book.  I’m also looking at planning an international giveaway with another author, but watch this space for that.

 So, that’s August wrapped up, and September in full plan mode.  Fingers crossed my mojo loves me enough this month not to abandon me!!!!!!!