50 posts and counting!

post-milestone-50-2x

Just a little note to say that today I’ve reached the 50 post milestone! I’ve loved blogging so far and all the opportunities that have come with it so far. Over the past two months I’ve made a ton of new friends (yes, I’m counting you all as friends!) and reached a new level of book reviewing that now includes unreleased books and speaking directly to authors which I love! Hopefully the next few months will bring some posts on baking guides and maybe some craft tutorials too as I’ve been learning a ton of new things this past year.

So thank you to my 80 or so followers who read my posts, leave comments and all the little things that brighten my day. I can’t wait to see what else the blogging world holds.

Roxy xx

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App Review: Shopmium

I was looking recently at ways to keep my grocery costs down. I’ve watched Extreme Couponing but we don’t have as many coupons here as they do in the States. (If anyone does have any good websites for UK coupons please let me know!). However I did come across this app called Shopmium which is a cashback app for products bought at the main supermarket chains eg Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda etc.

Since joining I’ve got a Cadburys advent calendar, go ahead yoghurt breaks and Bahlsen Choco Leibniz biscuits for free! (I love that word). I’ve also got money off Jude’s Ice Creams and a few other things that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise as they cost too much. It’s a pretty cool app and although I don’t use it too often, it’s nice when something comes along to brighten your day a little.

Shopmium

Here’s a screenshot from the app just to show you what it looks like. The items on offer are laid out clearly and you need to click in to them to see what the discount is. There are lots of different products on the app, from alcohol to cleaning products so there’s usually something on there to try.

Shopmium 2.PNG

The next screen shows you whether the product is free or if it’s just discounted. It also tells you what stores the offer is available from, and a handy little map too. The ‘Check product eligibility’ brings up your camera so whilst you’re in store you can check that you’ve picked up the right product.

To receive the offer you need to buy the product and keep hold of your receipt. Simply click the ‘request my cashback’ to take a photo of your receipt and scan the products barcode. Once they approve your cashback request, the money is sent straight to your PayPal so you don’t need to worry about getting to a certain threshold before you get paid.

At the moment if you sign up you’ll receive a bar of Lindt chocolate totally free – just in time for Easter! If you fancy giving it a try I’ve put the download link in this post – I’ve also included my referral code which you can use if you want to. It doesn’t make a difference to your joining freebie, but it does give me some pennies in my referral account.

Here’s what to do:

Download the free Shopmium app on your iPhone or Android smartphone.
https://www.shopmium.com/uk/download
Open the app and use the code KFGYKAAJ when you sign up
Claim your free chocolate!! 🙂

Roxy xx

 

 

Cecily Paterson – Love & Muddy Puddles

Thirteen year old fashionista Coco Franks has finally made it into the popular group at school and is planning to have the most amazing year ever. But then her dad decides to go all eco-feral-greenie-crazy-tree-change and moves the whole family to a remote farm so they can ‘bond’.

With social death looming and more than a few pairs of ballet flats ruined by mud, Coco’s plan is to get herself back to Sydney and her clique at any cost. But it will take an Akubra-hat-and-flanny-shirt-wearing boy and a nervous horse called Cupcake to show her who her real friends are.

love and muddy puddles

Rating: 4 out of 5

So this was one of the books I picked up for free the other day (see my post here) so I thought I’d give it a go in between the ARC’s I have to read. This was a young adults book and actually I would say the audience is probably 10-14 years, so I’ve rated it from the POV of that kind of age group.

The story is told from the POV of Coco who has been forced to move from Sydney to Kangaroo Valley by her family – I don’t know Australia too well so let’s just say from the City to the middle of nowhere. Before moving she’d just managed to get in with the popular crowd (who are actually just a bunch of horrible, mean girls as is the way in most schools right?). Obviously at Coco’s age you don’t really see it like that so to her this is the end of the world etc.

The story really covers her families adventurous move, building their own house and how Coco and her siblings settle in. Coco is seriously self-absorbed and moans all the time. Some of the things she says makes you just want to slap her and tell her to get on with it. Obviously reading it as an adult would be different to the way that a teenager would read it, so I think I’ll pass it to my sister (she’s 11) to see what she thinks.

Overall it was entertaining and the author has written it really well – she’s just managed to get the right level of teenager drama without going OTT. It also reminded me just how mean girls of that age can be. I always want to follow my sister to school and fight her battles when someone is being horrible and it’s pretty difficult not to! She’ll be pleased to know though that I don’t think there’s any plans on the horizon to move her to the middle of nowhere where she might fall in horse poop.

This book is still free on amazon at the moment – download it here

Roxy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Releases: 27th March – 2nd April 2017

Firstly, sorry for being very quiet this weekend! It was one of those busy ones but I’ll be back on track this week 🙂 One of my favourite parts of the weekend is getting to see all the fabulous new books that are coming out in the next week – here are some of my favourites!

The Girl In The Shadows – Katherine Debona

The girl in the shadows

A teenage girl is missing in Paris
A young woman is searching for her mother
A female PI on a mission

When police drop the case on missing Mathilde Benazet, renegade PI Veronique Cotillard steps in to prove that she can succeed where police inspector Guillaume Leveque and his team have failed…

Alice Weston’s father had always told her that her mother died in childbirth – but now Alice has proof she may be alive and living in Paris. Now her father is dead she has nothing to stay for, it’s time to uncover her family’s long-buried secrets…

As their lives intertwine and the city prepares to celebrate Bastille Day in the shadow of a gathering storm, both Veronique and Alice will face the ghosts of the past – and the monsters in the present.

Release Date: 29th March 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Length: 384 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

Something Old (Lone Star Match Book 1) – Megan Ryder

Three Bridesmaids. Three lost loves. One matchmaking bride. With just a week before the wedding, can a bride-to-be reunite her bridesmaids with the ones who got away?

something old

Delaney Winters never expected to see Ethan Van Owen again. He was part of a life she had left far behind… But now, with her best friend’s wedding coming up, it seems like her past has caught up to her. Forced to spend time with her former flame, Delaney’s feelings for him resurface, rekindling the white-hot passion that had always drawn them together.

For five years, Ethan has wondered what went wrong with their relationship. After Delaney broke up with him, Ethan moved to Texas Wine Country to start a new life. But now, he is being pressured to take up the mantle of his family investment business and return to Houston, Ethan must confront his past.

Can Delaney and Ethan bury their past to rekindle the love and passion they once shared?

Release Date: 30th March 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Get a copy here

Butterfly On The Storm (Hartland Trilogy #1) – Walter Lucius

butterfly on the storm

A hit-and-run on a woodland road near Amsterdam involving an Afghan boy is connected to a powerful international crime syndicate.

Journalist Farah Hafez, together with her colleague Paul Chapelle, gets caught up in an investigation that takes them all the way to Moscow and has greater political and personal ramifications than they bargained for. After this perilous journey, their lives will never be the same again.

Butterfly on the Storm, the first instalment of The Heartland Trilogy, is not only a fast-paced thriller, but also an intriguing tale of lost loves and ideals.

Release Date: 30th March 2017
Publisher: Michael Joseph (hardcover), Penguin (kindle edition)
Length: 528 pages (hardcover), 518 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

A Life Without You – Shari Low

A life without you

Touching, funny, and bittersweet, this is a story that will make you laugh, cry, and call your best friend to tell her you love her.

Dee and Jen have been best friends since their days of teenage crushes, bad 90’s make-up and huge hair.

They’ve passed every milestone of their lives together and now in their thirties own a successful boutique, sharing a bond that is as strong as the closest of sisters.

Until one day everything changes.

Dee is gone, killed by a reckless driver, leaving Jen to face the harsh reality of a world without her.

Jen vows to honour Dee’s dreams and take care of everything and everyone she loved.

Until she realises that sometimes the only way forward is to let go of the past.

Release Date: 01st April 2017
Publisher: Aria
Length: 378 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

The House on Selkirk Avenue – Irena Karafilly

the house on selkirk avenue

It is autumn, 1997 and Kate Thuringer is back in her hometown to help her college-age daughter settle into her new life. A professional photographer, Kate has lived in Western Canada for nearly three decades. Before her marriage, however, she survived a turbulent year in which Québécois terrorists kidnapped a British diplomat and murdered an innocent politician.

The middle-aged Kate is obsessed with the past, particularly with the memory of a poor francophone student with whom she had been involved during the historic October Crisis. Back in Montreal, she is plunged into a mid-life crisis, struggling to reconcile her romantic past and her melancholy present.

The House on Selkirk Avenue is a complex novel about obsessive love, family bonds, aging, and the impact of political events on innocent people’s lives.

Release Date: 1st April 2017
Publisher: Guernica Editions Canada
Length: 301 pages (paperback)
Get a copy here

Roxy xx

Harriet Cummings – We All Begin as Strangers

It’s 1984, and summer is scorching the ordinary village of Heathcote.

What’s more, a mysterious figure is slipping into homes through back doors and open windows. Dubbed ‘the Fox’, he knows everything about everyone – leaving curious objects in their homes, or taking things from them.

When beloved Anna goes missing, the whole community believes the Fox is responsible.

For the worried residents, finding Anna will be difficult – but stopping the Fox from exposing their darkest secrets might just be impossible…

We all begin as strangers

Rating: 3 out of 5

I just want to take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness of this book cover. The colour of the fox being the same as the title and the light in the houses is such a clever way to show that the village revolves around him/her/it. The book is inspired by true events, I haven’t looked in too much detail but I’ll be totally honest and say that the whole thing creeps me out. I think that the true events were a lot worse and I don’t want to freak myself out more!

‘The Fox’ refers to an unknown person who has started sneaking in to people’s houses. It doesn’t steal things or even really do much, other than sometimes making a den of blankets (hence the fox name). They can tell it’s been when there’s a slight mud trail, or a whiff of freshly sprayed perfume. The local villagers are obviously concerned but they only realize how serious it is when a local woman goes missing, and they believe the Fox to be behind it.

The story is told from the POV of a few different characters. I didn’t actually like many of the characters at all so I found it quite difficult to get caught up in the story. I can’t fault Harriet’s writing at all – she’s a very talented author and I really enjoyed her style. I felt very on edge and a little violated even just reading the book, almost as if the Fox was watching me as I read. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy feeling that way, I think that’s how Harriet means us to feel reading it so that we’re really living the same emotions as the villagers.

It did only take me a day to read this but I quite often checked how much of it I had to go. I wanted to find out who the Fox was so I kept on reading, but I wasn’t that in to it and I wasn’t satisfied with the ending either. I would happily read the next book that Harriet writes, unfortunately I think that this book was just not for me!

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for the chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

#QuoteOfTheDay

“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

Christie Barlow – Evie’s Year of Taking Chances

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.

Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother.

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past.

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

evies-year-of-taking-chances

Rating: 4 out of 5

I wondered if someone had covered my kindle in superglue because I just wasn’t able to put it down! Seriously, I loved this book. Loved it. The author has a fantastic writing style so I practically fell into the book and lived alongside them the whole way through. It was a really easy read but still got me emotional at all the right points.

The main character in this story is Evie, a 23 year old librarian who was passed through a lot of foster homes growing up before finally landing with the lovely Irene. In a way this made a nice change from the usual ‘adopted at birth and had a good childhood’ story we normally hear in many romance books. She finally decides to start searching for her birth mother and this is where the story really starts.

If I’m totally honest I found some of the plot a little predictable – I did guess what was going to happen close to the beginning and ended up being right BUT Christie did throw a few curveballs in there too so I ended up second guessing myself quite a bit. It’s always nice being right though 😉 The characters all felt so authentic to me – sometimes you can read a whole book and feel like you don’t even know the main character at all! I got so involved with everyone that it really was a rollercoaster to read but in an enjoyable way.

A wonderful book about what happens when you face your fears and step out of your comfort zone, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances is one of my favourite reads so far this year. You’ll laugh, cry and finish with a slightly cheesy but warm feeling from head to toe.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the chance to read and review this book!

Roxy xx