A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

asongfortomorrowSynopsis 

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
 
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

Review

I’ve read a couple of books by Alice Peterson before, and enjoyed them both, add that with all the hype I read on twitter surrounding this book, I knew I was in for a treat. This book was certainly something special.
 
The power of this book is shown by how hard it was for me to write this review, and how many times I’ve re-wrote the intro. Basically this book had me tongue-tied. The writing is beautiful. It is a book that begs you to take your time over it. You could easily read this in a day, but it made me want to take my time over it and savour each page. The characterisation is as wonderful as the rest of there book. You hear from 3 different people, Alice, Tom and Alice’s mother. They were all unique perspectives on their feelings on Alice and how they deal with Alice’s illness. I absolutely adored Alice’s mum’s perspective, they were incredibly moving.
 
Alice herself is incredibly determined, headstrong and at times stubborn. Her passion for music was clear and her obvious passion for life was inspirational. Of course she worries and is increasingly scared as the book continues, but she constantly pushes herself to make the most of life. Following her dreams is important to her, however far away they may seem, and it’s something we could all learn from.
 
Tom, for the most part was absolutely lovely. He clearly loved Alice and cared for her. Though their relationship is complex at times, and at times he disappointed me, but would I act differently if I was in the same situation? I don’t know, so I can’t act all self righteous.  Their romance was wonderful to read however, his caring side was beautiful and their playfulness together made me smile.
 
It’s only February and  am positive this will be in my top ten books of the year. It is loosely based on the life of Alice Martineau and that just makes it all the more emotional and special. It is heart-breaking, uplifting and inspirational. This book will stick in my mind for a long time.
 
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Published by: Simon and Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Books and The City Goodybag!

On Valentine’s day, I was lucky enough to win a goodybag from Books and the City. I had this big plan to do a video unboxing of it, but sadly there have been some technical difficulties, so I have returned back to my safe haven of blogging. Hopefully the technical issues will be fixed for possible future videos, but I can’t wait any longer to show you what I received from the wonderful Sara-Jade and Team BATC. As you can see it contained lots of lovely books and goodies!
 
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There was several little non-b0ok goodies. We have BATC branded lip balm and postcards, tissues (needed for a few of these books!), a pencil, a cute notepad and most amazingly a lip balm and lip scrub set that is flavoured ‘Cherry Cola Kisses’ and I am addicted to Cherry Coke, so this is perfect for me!
 
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Now onto the beautiful books! 

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A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
 
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.
 
I’ve recently read this as I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Absolutely fantastic, I will be very surprised if this doesn’t star in my top 10 books this year. It’s such an inspirational and emotional book.
 
The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson – Released 9th March 2017
 
When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.
 
As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?
 
I started this last night. I’m one chapter in and I’m completely hooked.
 
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How Not to Fall in Love, Actually by Catherine Bennetto
 
Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it… Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…
 
Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…
 
I read this when I bought it on Kindle for 99p, and it was one of the best 99ps I’ve ever spent. Lots of fun.
 
Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan – Released 9th March 2017
 
In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya deAndalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.
 
Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.
 
Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.
 
Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.
 
Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.
 
As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…
 
I’ve never read any of Patricia’s books before but this one sounds interesting, and the cover makes me want to book a nice warm sunny holiday, so I can have that book in one hand and a cocktail or glass of wine in the other!
 
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American Housewife by Helen Ellis
 
Meet the women of American Housewife…
 
They smoke their eyes and paint their lips. They channel Beyoncé while doing household chores. They drown their sorrows with Chanel No. 5 and host book clubs where chardonnay trumps Charles Dickens. They redecorate. And they are quietly capable of kidnapping, breaking and entering, and murder.
 
These women know the rules of a well-lived life: replace your tights every winter, listen to erotic audio books while you scrub the bathroom floor, serve what you want to eat at your dinner parties, and accept it: you’re too old to have more than one drink and sleep through the night.
 
Vicious, fresh and darkly hilarious, American Housewife is a collection of stories for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on behind the façades of the housewives of America…
 
This book looks to be interesting, and the short story nature means it’s perfect to pick up when I have a short amount of time spare and need something swift to read!
 
This Love by Dani Atkins – Released 23rd March 2017
 
Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
 
One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
 
I loved Dani’s last book ‘Our Song’ so naturally I can’t wait for this one. I’m really intrigued by Sophie and this is another one for tissues I think!
 
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The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon – Released 18th May 2017
 
Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition
 
Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …
 
OH MY GOD! If you’ve ever talked to me about bo0ks, I MAAAAY have mentioned that Paige Toon is my favourite author, just the once or twice you understand! I’m so excited to read this and catch up with Bridget from ‘The Longest Holiday’. I’m having an inner struggle whether to dive right in, or keep it till closer to the release date, and know I have that to look forward to…
 

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Chapter Samplers

There was three chapter samplers included of upcoming releases…

 
The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – Released 20th April 2017
 
Welcome to number 24, a Georgian villa in west London that is home to five separate families and five very different lives.
 
Up in the eaves, Sarah finds that recovering from a nasty divorce is even more heartbreaking when your ex-husband lives one floor beneath you with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her. A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?
 
The Spring brings a new couple to number 24. Jane and Tom’s zest for life revives the flagging house, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential.
 
The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.
 
Love, rivalry, secrets and murder – all under one seemingly ordinary roof ….
 
I loved Juliet Ashton’s last book and this one looks to be equally as good, if not better.
 
The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall – Released 2nd November 2017
 
Could you kill someone? Someone you love?
 
Paris, 1938. This is the story of twin sisters divided by fierce loyalties and by a terrible secret. The drums of war are beating and France is poised, ready to fall. One sister is an aviatrix, the other is a socialite and they both have something to prove and something to hide.
 
I don’t normally read books set in the past, but this sounds interesting and the sampler is perfect to let me see if I can expand my reading habits.
 
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan – Released January 2018
 
The novel centres on a marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband James is innocent and desperately tries to protect her family, but Kate, the prosecuting barrister, is certain James is guilty and determined to see him pay for his crime.
 
This sounds really interesting and deliciously dark, quite a wait till release though!
 
Thank you so much to Sara-Jade and Books and the City for this generous Goodybag! 
 

These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

these-days-of-oursSynopsis

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.
Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

Review

This book has be heavily anticipated since I first found out about it’s existence and set my eyes upon the pretty cover. The cover is delicate and beautiful, and the story within is equally as beautiful.
This book while telling an emotional story has some great humour to it. If you’ve read my spring blogger event post, you may remember me mentioning there was a particular quote involving ‘the consumption’ I found particularly funny, and I still smile to myself now when thinking about it. While that moment is my favourite funny moment, plenty more follow.
The book is told through events such as birthday parties, weddings and hen do’s, and the time surrounding them, the glimpses into the characters life are often years apart. While this could be off putting, it wasn’t as no important detail was left out, so you’re never confused as to what had happened and this allowed a much bigger story to be told spanning 3-4 decades. It was such compulsive reading, I felt the need to read it almost in one go, if only work and sleep didn’t get in the way.
Katie was simply great. She was a very caring and attentive, always wanting the best for people. This book is about relationships, both romantic and platonic, especially the bond between Katie and her cousin Becca.
They are the polar opposite of each other. Katie is kind and thoughtful, Becca is brash, selfish and a bit mean at times. Despite this while at times I didn’t support Becca and what she was doing, I couldn’t help but like her overall.  Seeing how Katie and Becca’s relationship fared over the many years is a beautiful story, showing that sometimes blood is thicker than water, all interwoven with insights into significant times of their lives and relationships with those around them.
As I said earlier, this also features romantic relationships, and other than Julian, I think they were all great, despite some of their issues and bad habits. Julian was really nice to start with but soon his snobbery and patronising attitudes towards his wife’s career.
I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. Beautiful, emotional and funny, this book has it all.
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Published by: Simon and Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
Ebook out Now / Paperback available 7th April

Books and the City Spring Blogger 2016

HP_NecklaceLast year I attended Books and the City’s spring blogger event at Simon and Schuster, if you want to check it out, it’s here. This year I was lucky enough to be invited again, which meant another fab day out in London beforehand, which only added to the excitement I felt the moment the invite pinged it’s way to my email inbox.

In an unusually organised fashion, I had the forethought to ask Laura (from Laura’s Good Books) if she would like to meet, as we’ve been chatting on twitter for quite a while now, and I always forget she lives near London. Naturally organisation is not my forté, as I had the dates mixed up, thankfully I realised a couple of days beforehand, and we quickly re-arranged to meet on the correct date (which I checked about twice daily until then). Anyway, we met up at Waterloo station and quickly made our way to a second hand book market I had never heard of, but was just a stone’s throw from the station. Sadly they were still setting up, but there were a few good books there (typically already owned them), will definitely check it out again when I’m next in london. While discussing our plans for the rest of the day, Laura gave me a present, which was a lovely Harry Potter necklace, completely adorable, Thanks Laura! We then caught a bus to Covent Garden, had a quick mooch around there before heading to Charing Cross road and the delights of Foyles.

thousandnights_cropI found a lovely hardback of ‘A Thousand Nights’ by E.K. Johnston and was tempted to buy it, but none of the dust jackets were perfect, and like many of you possibly are, I’m a bit ‘precious’ about how my books look, at least if buying new. It is definitely on my list to look out for in the future though as it is one of the most prettiest books i’ve seen. The cover is gorgeous, if you take off the dust jacket there is gold foiling detail on the actual cover, and there’s a pretty pattern on the paper’s edges. Definitely a work of art. To me, it sometimes seems that a lot of YA books get a lot more attention in design than adult fiction (excluding some beautiful classics editions that are out there), but maybe I’m just not looking hard enough. That isn’t to say the covers in adult fiction are horrible, far from it, but it’s the little touches like the hardback having a cover under the dust jacket and patterned printed on the page edges that can make the books shine. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, let me continue…

So with no luck at Foyles, we stopped for lunch at ‘The Spice For Life’ pub nearby and had a nice lunch and pint of Cider. I forget how much I like Aspall’s, since Thatcher’s Gold is more Somerset’s ‘standard’ cider of choice in bars. Would it be terribly disloyal of me to admit that maybe I prefer Aspall’s? Probably, I may be ousted from Somerset any day now. However, no cider can beat the ‘Apples and Pears’ cider from Frome that my local stocks, tastes exactly like the pear drop sweets and is pure heaven.

waterstonesbooks

Lastly was a stop at Waterstones Piccadilly, which has a big romance section and a lovely YA section as well. However inspiration in buying books was lacking, I couldn’t find anything I felt that I really wanted, and it wasn’t until last minute I actually found a couple of books I wanted, so raced to the checkout to buy ‘The Mistake I Made‘ by Paula Daly and ‘No Place To Hide‘ by Susan Lewis before I could convince myself otherwise. With my ‘Books are my Bag’ tote finally in use, Laura and I headed to the tube where we parted ways, and then it was off to King’s Cross and to the main event.

While waiting for the talk to start we were given the opportunity to talk to other bloggers, have a drink, and stuff our faces full of the most delicious cupcakes from Cakes and Doillies, which had the most intricate icing I’ve ever seen. Lots of the cakes had icing discs on, and there was a section of either the cityscape in BATC’s logo, the BATC text logo, or Spring Blogger Event in the same style. The icing was so perfect, my handwriting looks like a big fat mess compared to it, and that’s me using a pen and lined paper, not icing and blank, delicious icing discs. While I think I’m an OK baker in getting cakes to taste good, decoration has never been my strong point, I cringe every time I see my icing work on the nyan cat cake I attempted, so hats off to the talented people there!

Onto the talk, after a welcoming by Sara-Jade Virtue, who was as lovely and bubbly as ever, we were introduced to Clare Hey, who introduced the authors, Juliet Ashton, Holly Hepburn, Paige Toon and Penny Parkes. They all gave a reading from their upcoming publications, and then there was a Q&A.

these-days-of-oursFirst up was Juliet Ashton, who read from ‘These Days of Ours‘ which I have been begging to read since I saw it. The reading was absolutely fantastic, and at one point, in a part that mentions ‘consumption’ I found it so incredibly funny that I was at sincere risk of getting into one the moments where I literally cannot stop laughing for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Luckily I managed to surpress the urge and listen to the rest (which was equally fantastic). It will be interesting to see if I have a similar reaction when I read that line, now I know about it. The neighbours may think I’ve gone crazy. Juliet is one of the funniest people I’ve met and I cannot wait to read her new book.

Ebook (Out Now) | Paperback (Out April 7th)

summerstarandsixpenceNext was Holly Hepburn reading from her novella ‘Summer at the Star and Sixpence‘, I reviewed ‘Snowdrop at the Star and Sixpence‘ in December and really really enjoyed it. Set in a pub, so suits me to a tea and the summer novella holds further promise of a hot blacksmith and cellar man, what more can you want? This novella sounds just as good as the first and will be perfect when I want a nice comforting quick read.

Ebook (Out April 25th)

Third was Paige Toon, of course some of you may know she is my favourite author, so was naturally excited to hear her read part of her new book ‘The One We Fell in Love With‘, and OH MY GOD it is set to be a good one. Written from the viewpoints of identical triplets who fall in love with the same man, it sounds like it’s going to be another fantastic book from Paige.

Ebook | Paperback (Both out May 19th)

outofpractice
Last, but of course by no means least, was Penny Parkes and her book ‘Out of Practice‘. I hadn’t heard of this book beforehand, but with all the talk of Dr Dan, and the reading of the beginning of the book, I already know I am going to enjoy it, especially Elsie, who sounds incredible.

Ebook (Out May 23rd) | Paperback (Out July 28th)

After all the readings and Q&A we went back to the other room for a glass of fizz, then there was an opportunity to pick up a few books, our goody bag, which had a copy of each of the authors books in (which is amazing, thank you SJ and everyone at S&S) that we then had to opportunity to get signed. There was also a few other goodies, and a chapter sampler for a book by Georgia Clark thats coming out in the summer (who was also there so I also managed to get that signed). Of course meeting them and speaking with them all was great. Completely made a fool out of myself in Juliet Ashton, and probably fangirled a bit too much in front of Paige Toon.

Overall it was a fantastic evening, thank you to all the authors, Clare, Sara-Jade and the whole Books and the City team for organising a great evening and inviting me along.