Review & Giveaway: 336 hours by Rachel Cathan

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Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017
Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

My thoughts

The author has written a story, her story, in a humoured way but with an everyday struggling subject for most women. There were moments where I laughed out loud, had tears in my eyes… as I was one of those ‘lucky ones’ to get pregnant without going through the IVF system. Howevee I was tols that was the only way to conceive for me due to medical reasons so I could relate in ways a lot to her writing.

All the assumptions are there too – you are married 5 years… where are our grandkids… people expect so much and expect people to go through the norm it is unreal.

Rachel has captured all her insecurities during the book really well and real but with a healthy dose of humour. I think this is a must read for any woman who is trying to break from the norm about kids or who are struggling to do so.

I can highly recommend this book and I will mention this to many of my friends as a must read.

Extract

I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

BUY LINK

AMAZON UK – AMAZON US – Silverwood Books


ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

 wp-image-88309157jpg.jpgRACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads Author Page – Blog – Website

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Giveaway

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Review: The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

thecakeshopinthegardenPublisher: Sphere
Publication Date:
23 April 2015
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Buy Links:
Amazon UKAmazon US
Website:
www.carolematthews.com

Synopsis

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn’t do all this, who will? Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she’s ever made. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay’s entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn’t know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision – even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most? Life, love and family are about to collide in The Cake Shop in the Garden

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My thoughts

What a fabulous and awesome read! I started this last night and finished it later today. I couldn’t let this go and it was a complete page turner for me.
The characters are very well written and I absolutely loved Fay, Danny, Stan and Lija. Especially Lija, with her foul mouth but the one solid presence in Fay’s life and always there for her no matter what.
The non likeable characters such as Miranda, Anthony and Edie are good written, so much so that I really disliked them haha! Feeding off Fay as the good girl Fay is, Miranda I really detested till the very last page of the book, I can’t believe someone would do that to someone!

In the other sense, this book has made me think about a lot of stuff and contains a lot of good quotes and life lessons I will certainly take on board. Now more than ever I believe that books walk into your life on the right times on the right moments.
Take control of your life and your happiness, only you can bring happiness to your life, not someone else. Someone else may enrich your life but happiness should come from yourself, from within.

Review: The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis

The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis

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Publisher:
Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: 27 May 2015
Genre: New Adult, Chick Lit, Hockey, Romance
Links: Amazon UK – Amazon US
Website: Avenellis.com
Source: Received from Author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Synopsis

Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she’s gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.

All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the blond beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.

So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she’s all about the chocolate now.

Or is she?

Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything. Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn’t want to be, for reasons that have caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what happened to him in Minnesota.

But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn’t so sure about his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide…

 

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My Thoughts

Warning – Make sure you have plenty of chocolates whilst reading this book

Oh my, Aven Ellis once again does not disappoint with her books! I absolutely adore her books, especially if the handsome Dallas Demons boys are in it!

Let me explain the warning for you, We meet Kenley (Bae) here and she has studied chocolate making in Europe and got her business called Confection Consultants. If you during and by the end of the book had not eaten any chocolate nor did you felt the need to it, I will eat a milk chocolate curry bar!! hahaha
But Kenley makes you not only want to eat chocolate, she makes you want to fall in love with the best chocolate out there. Suddenly the Cadbury isn’t good enough and you start to research luxury chocolate such as Marabau – or is that a cute floppy rescue puppy?

Anyways let’s get back to this awesome story, as we meet Nate! Oh and we see snippets of Harrison and Kylie, I just love these two!! Nate is a broody Hockey player from Minnesota who has been transferred to Dallas because of his past. Not that he has been a bad boy, on the contrary. His previous girlfriend cheated on him badly, that due to a contract clausule he was the one who had to be transferred somewhere else and OH BOY did he not liked this!

Kenley is a professional businesswoman who has to battle continuously against people who doesn’t want to see passed her exterior. She is a typical blond with blue eyes, but she is intelligent and businesslike. She and Nate bump into eachother during a photoshoot for the Dallas boys – where they try to get her to dress in a skimpy dress and promote her chocolate. She refuses and Nate buts in and has her back! That is where we first see their connection!

They have their ups and downs as they have both been wronged and hurt by past relationships, but their connection is literally flying off the pages that at some points you want to jump in and talk to them.
I am absolutely in love with Kenley’s sister Amanda, her two nieces and Kenley’s BFF Lexi. Ooohh Lexi is so awesome! Even her mother CiCi is hilarious, although sometimes a bit too overbearing.

A lovely romantic Dallas Demons Hockey book, which will have you melted and crumbled and wanting chocolate by the end of the book. I can highly recommend this book and I will continue devour Aven’s books!

Review & Giveaway – A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love by Linn B. Halton

alsalolPublisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date Kindle: 15 January 2016
Publication Date Paperback: 14 October 2016
Genre: Chick Lit
Links:  Amazon UK EbookAmazon UK PaperbackAmazon US EbookAmazon US Paperback
Source: I have received this ebook in exchange for an honest review by Brook Cottage Books.


Synopsis

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better.

But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katies life is changed.

But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.

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My Thoughts

This was a nice and easy reading book for me – I haven’t read for a while now having a bubba and this was the perfect book to start reading again. I loved the different points of views of the different main characters you read about.

I really liked Katie, she showed how you can end up in a rut. Unwillingly or unknowingly on how you got there and it can sometimes feel like you are trapped in this situation and you can’t find yourself getting out of it. Of course her partner has just been through cancer, so you put your whole life on hold for this person and that is how Katie came across and that is true. Her one and true love is the bakery she has got. But her partner Steve doesn’t agree with how it is run. It is lovely and sad to read at the same time how Katie’s cute and lovely bakery turned into a highstreet name, which is ok but you could tell she was sad about losing the initial charm.

of course then one day a random stranger stood in front of her closed door. And Katie being Katie she invited him in after opening hours as he was drenched. Adam is a lovely character who has got a cute daughter Lily. His partner and he have split up and Adam divides his time between work and Lily and he was then visiting his nan. Who I absolutely adore!

I don’t want to give away too much – but this is definitely a lovely book to just sit on a rainy day on the sofa with a hot cocoa and reading about your friends.

I can highly recommend this book and I will be following this author in the future.

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About the Author

lbh-author-photo“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

 

Website/blog: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: 
@LinnBHalton FB: Linn B Halton Author
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/LittleSugarLotOfLove

Giveaway

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Review: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

wpid-51s4wprxe4l._sy344_bo1204203200_.jpg.jpegPublisher: Quercus
Publication date: 2nd July 2015
Buy Links: Amazon UK
Source: I have received this book via The Ninja Book Swap

Synopsis

frieda and isabel have been best friends their whole lives.

Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions – wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative – life as a concubine – is too horrible to contemplate.

But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to remain perfect becomes almost unbearable. isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty – her only asset – in peril.

And then, the boy arrive, eager to choose a bride.

frieda must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…

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My thoughts

Wow – I don’t know where to start with writing my review on this… I found this a heavy book to read and finish, it took me longer than normal as I needed breaks in between to let the story sink in. It is a Dystopian, but most of it fits in the society we have right now when it comes to ‘beauty’.

The girls are bred to serve men in three different purposes, to be either a Companion, a Concubine or a Chastity. From the age of 4 they are put in a school, although sounds more like a prison, and they are being bred and have to follow rules to get them ready for their ceremony day when they turn 17. There are daily fights and struggles with food, calories, beauty and of course weight. They rank each other and always picks out each other flaws on a day to day basis and there are even special classes for it.
They don’t see any boys till a couple of months before their ceremony – these boys will choose an eve (the girls) for their liking and those women who are companions will bear as many sons as their womb can take them and then they get cast away when they are 40. When the boys are here you will have the weird ranking but then also done by the boys and you will have the ‘Heavenly Seventy’ where the girl is put in a closet with a boy who has chosen her.

It took me a little while to get into the story, because I wasn’t prepared for the shock of how it started. The situation for the girls starts of bad and gradually gets worse. And when you think it can’t get worse…. it will!

I loved reading about Isabel and Freida – note that all women names are written in lower case and not in capital because they don’t mean anything in life – they are worthless.
Such a shockingly honest book – one that will stay with me for a long time. I can definitely recommend this book to people, but there is a lot of worrying stuff in it about weight, food and vomiting…

Definitely go read this book and I can’t wait for Louise O’Neill’s next book which is coming out in September called: ‘Asking for it’. Another quite controversial read I think.