Happy publication day, Katey Lovell!

Today on Becca's Books, I'm giving a happy publication day shout-out to the truly fabulous Katey Lovell. One Night in Los Angeles publishes today and I'm thrilled to be sharing this news on the blog. When asked about how she was feeling in regards to the release of her latest title, Katey said,

'It's incredibly exciting to be able to share Aaron and Abbi's story with everyone - it's a bit steamier than the 'Meet Cute' stories, but there's definitely a lot of romance in there too. And of course, it's my first novella, so hopefully it'll please the readers who begged me to write something longer'.

Excited to find out more? Take a peek at the blurb below!

Title - One Night in Los Angeles
Author - Katey Lovell
Publication Date - January 27th 2016
Publisher - Tirgearr Publishing

Abbi Devine never expected Hollywood to be like this...

Leaving her small town in Northern Maine for Hollywood was always going to be a gamble, but she's finally got her chance - a speaking part as a burlesque dancer in a movie starring A list actor Aaron Halliday.

However, when she's thrown off her stride and ends up in a heap on the floor, Aaron's the one to come to her rescue. There's an undeniable attraction between them which comes as a surprise to Abbi, who has sworn off men following a bad experience.

Is Aaron really the unfeeling playboy the press make him out to be? And can Abbi let go of her past to enjoy her present?

Love the sound of One Night in Los Angeles by Katey Lovell? Follow the links below to grab your own copy and fall head over heels in love with Aaron Halliday.

Katey Lovell is fanatical about words. An avid reader, writer and poet, she once auditioned for Countdown and still tapes the show every night. Getting the conundrum before the contestants is her ultimate thrill.

She loves love and strives to write feel-good romance that'll make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their seven year old son.

You can find Katey Lovell on Facebook | Twitter | bookswithbunny.blogspot.co.uk

Book Review: A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

Title - A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother
Author - Christie Barlow
Publication Date - June 9th 2014
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 338

Fed up with the playground mafia at her children's school, Rachel Young is desperate for a change.

With her family and various pets in tow, a picture-perfect village in the countryside beckons. There, Rachel's children will be able to keep chickens and skip through fields and she'll bid farewell to the botoxed, fake-Gucci wearing Mumzillas forever.

But at the new school the mums are even worse, and before long, Rachel finds herself contending with a motley crew including Mrs High School Musical, The International Sex God and The Frisky Pensioner.

While the children are practising their sums and perfecting their reading, Rachel is learning some harsh lessons on the other side of the school gates, and ruffling plenty of feathers along the way...

A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow was a joyful, funny and entertaining read with a fantastic focus on family, friendships and new beginnings. Written in the wittiest of ways, with side-splitting events and tons of tummy-tumbling situations, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Christie Barlow begins Rachel Young's story with a move to a brand new village. Desperate to escape the 'playground mafia', she packs up the family and sets off to her gorgeous new countryside escape where she plans to live a life of peace and serenity, with a few clucking chickens roaming about the back-garden too just to really set the scene. But, once she's beginning to settle into her new home, Rachel quickly realises that living here isn't going to be as peaceful as she imagined. In fact, she's about to find a whole lot of chaos in her path...

Christie Barlow's descriptions are some of the dreamiest, and I loved lapping them up and putting them to good use as I built up the village of Tattersfield in my mind. Rachel's desperation to get away from her old home was immediately evident and it didn't take long for me to share it once I was brought up to-date with what went on at the playground. It was clear that she'd had enough and I was just as excited as she was for her new beginning, unable to wait for her to arrive and see what fun awaited.

Christie then takes us through the year alongside Rachel and her family, as new friends come and go, enemies are made, and life begins to take an unexpected turn. I adored the new setting of Tattersfield and couldn't help comparing it to that of the previous place Rachel had lived, hoping fiercely that she'd find some solitude and a place of non-judgement. Rachel's character was joyful and bubble, amusing at times, and some of the things that she has to deal with within this novel had me wondering where on earth she managed to find her patience from. Christie did an excellent job of creating her characters who really threw this novel into vividness. There were such a great mix of personalities for me to get to know, and I couldn't wait to see where each of them would lead Rachel's own personal journey. Down tricky tracks, it turned out. Once her brand new neighbours began to show their true colours I felt like groaning with frustration. I mean, what does it take for a woman and her family to be left alone in peace?

It was completely comical, highly amusing and a fun, uplifting read which I thoroughly enjoyed. With such a noisy cast of characters and Rachel trying to live her new and peaceful life, I sniggered and snorted and found myself shaking my head in astonishment.

Becca's Books is awarding A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother with four stars! If you're after a book that will make you grin and laugh in equal measure, then this will definitely do the trick!

Blog Tour - Book Review: Destination Thailand by Katy Colins (Double cover reveal, story of inspiration & review!)

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be shouting about my stop on the blog tour for Destination Thailand by Katy Colins. But this isn't just any blog tour stop. This is a blog tour stop RAMMED with beautiful things from fantastic Katy Colins, including a DOUBLE COVER REVEAL, finding out how Thailand inspired Katy's debut novel AND my review of Destination Thailand.

Phew! Exciting, right?

To kick things off, and because I'm such a SUCKER for a cover reveal, I'm beyond thrilled to be sharing with you today not one but two covers which belong to the next two books in Katy's The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series, Destination India and Destination Chile. Are you ready? Of course you are! Here they are in their full gorgeous glory!

Aren't they beautiful? I, for one, cannot wait for both of these little beauties, in fact since reading Destination Thailand I've been craving more travel from the lovely Katy. Destination India arrives March 25th 2016 & Destination Chile arrives May 25th 2016, so it's not long to wait at all really! Excited? You definitely should be, because I just know that these two books are going to be stunning, and also make me want to jump on a jet-plane and head off on my travels.

So, *deep breath*. Now you've seen the two brand new covers, next up Katy Colins is joining me to share just how magical she found Thailand, and how it inspired her debut novel Destination Thailand.

~ The Magic of Thailand and How It Inspired My Debut Novel ~

When I made the decision to go to travelling on my own for the first time ever, I knew that Thailand was going to be my first destination on my South East Asia trip. I'd always envied others who'd come back with incredible photos of pure white shores, drooping palm trees and lush tropical jungles. I'd be desperate to hear their stories of what madness they got up to in Bangkok, the elephant sanctuaries they'd visited and swimming in turquoise waters that were as warm as a bath.

I wanted to experience all of that and more.

I ended up staying in Thailand for over two months, working my way up and down the country and island hopping as I met incredible people, ate mouth-watering dishes, saw stunning sights and most of all learnt to be by myself. After being jilted before my wedding and the end of a long relationship I needed to build up my confidence and bring back the fun happy-go-lucky Katy that had been lost.

Thailand and my subsequent travels helped me get back to me.

That is something I wanted to highlight in Destination Thailand. That sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself. To leave the life you knew behind and head for undiscovered lands in order to rediscover yourself and the person you want to be can be the most exciting and terrifying thing you will ever do. In the novel, Georgia Green has her fair share of mishaps to get through but the thing that makes her dust herself off time and time again is the underlying belief that she wants to get back to the person she was, only a shiny new and improved version.

There is something about putting yourself in a completely alien situation and knowing that whatever happens you are going to get through it. This is what travel does for me. It reinforces the skills and strengths I didn't realise I had. Being able to haggle a tuk tuk fare and make your way from A to B with only yourself to count on is liberating. The best bit of it all is being able to look back at how far you've come and the things you've learnt.

Of course it helps to go through this reinvention of yourself when sat on a picturesque sandy beach, feeling the sun warming your bare shoulders and hearing crashing waves or topical bird songs.

They call Thailand the land of smiles, well I think they may be right as whenever I think back to the time spent there I end up with the biggest cheesiest grin on my face. 

Title - Destination Thailand
Author - Katy Colins
Series - The Lonely Hearts Travel Club
Publication Date - January 21st 2016
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 384
What if you had a second chance... to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day crying into a warm Sex-on-the-Beach, wondering where it all went wrong.

 Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it's not long before travel-virgin Georgia's packing her bags for a long-haul adventure to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia's big adventure doesn't seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book Georgia has never felt more alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of...

This year, it's time to find the place where you truly belong...

Allow Katy Colins to whisk you away from the drizzly norm, to the humid and tropical shores of Thailand, alongside Georgia Green as she sets out to rediscover the very best parts of herself. This is exactly what happened when I began reading Destination Thailand by Katy Colins. Passionate travel blogger, and now Carina author, this is Katy's first book in The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series and I honestly couldn't have loved it more if I'd tried. In fact, the next book in the series Destination India cannot arrive quick enough for me.

In Destination Thailand, we're introduced to Georgia Green. After a disastrous end to her long-term relationship, she's suddenly lost and not sure of what her next move should be. So, after much persuasion from best friend Marie, Georgia creates a bucket list and sets out to tick off the things she's wanted to do for so long, but hasn't had the courage, or incentive, to do so. Dusting off the discouraging comments from family, and knowing in her heart it's the right thing to do, Georgia stumbles upon a place that appears to offer exactly what she's after. A getaway, far from the memories and her ex's new girlfriend, where she can hopefully find the old Georgia. And so, the adventures in Thailand begin...

And what fantastic adventures Georgia sets upon! From the moment she arrives, the author delivers this new, exciting setting the most gorgeous of ways. Katy's descriptions are so vivid and fresh, so much so that I could just imagine myself walking alongside Georgia and taking in the sights and smells right beside her. From the palm trees to the tropical flowers, it was a tantalising treat for the senses which the author got spot-on, ensuring I was transported there myself.

Despite the setting being brought to life so fantastically, to me, Georgia Green made this wonderful novel what it was. I loved everything about her character. The fact that she'd been let down so tragically is something I think a lot of readers are able to relate to at one point or another, myself included, so I was able to sympathise and warm to Georgia's character instantly. I was outraged on her behalf in regards to the circumstances that had befallen her, and this only goes to show how much heart and soul went into her character from the author. I knew, without a doubt, that a trip to Thailand was exactly what Georgia needed, and I was wholly satisfied when Katy delivered this. I was excited to follow Georgia on her adventures, to discover what mishaps would befall her when she arrived, and I was delighted. Not only because of where Georgia ends up treading, but because of the entertaining cast of characters who are beside her on these adventures. From falling beneath the spell of a handsome hunk and losing her belongings, to visiting an animal sanctuary and giving someone a taste of their own medicine, it was fun, fun, fun beneath the Thailand sun!

But it isn't all fun and games for dear Georgia Green. Oh no. As she goes on her way, she learns some very important lessons and begins to find the pieces of herself that she'd thought she'd lost back home. Not only that, but the help of a new friend comes in handy and steers Georgia back in the right direction when she accidentally stumbles off-course. It's beautifully enriching, eye-opening and soul-capturing, and a tale of one young woman who goes in search of herself when she needs it the most. With the support of her best friend, new friends, and not-so-much friends, Georgia Green is on a mission, and I loved reading about every single part of it. It's escapism at it's best, and oh-so-tempting when it comes to encouraging you to pack your own bags and jet off too. It's a story full of surprises, and twists and turns, and taking chances, even when you don't feel brave enough to do so.

Becca's Books is awarding Destination Thailand by Katy Colins with five gorgeous cupcakes. I adored this book, and I'm thrilled that it's part of a series. A series which I am now seriously looking forward to. I feel like I need to get prepared for some fictional globe-trotting with Georgia Green and I cannot wait!

Katy Colins completed her first novel 'A Dog's Tale' at the age of 11 which received rave reviews... from her granddad and English teacher. This was just the encouragement she needed to carry on writing.

As a qualified journalist with articles published in Company Magazine and The Daily Star she crossed sides to work in Public Relations before selling all she owned to backpack solo around South East Asia and finally put her thoughts into words, writing as she travelled.

Katy currently lives by the sea in France where she is on a one woman mission to educate the French about the necessity and technicalities of making a good cup of tea. When she is not writing about romance, travel and adventure, she loves travelling, catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her croissant addiction isn't out of control - just yet.

You can find Katy Colins on Twitter | notwedordead.com

Book Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

Title - The Widow
Author - Fiona Barton
Publication Date - January 14th 2016 (Paperback August 25th)
Publisher - Transworld
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 416

We've all seen him: the man - the monster - staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs - the woman who stands by him?

Jean Taylor's life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she'd ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she's alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

I have an insatiable hunger for psychological thrillers right now, and I'm being deadly serious when I say that I cannot get enough of them. A cluster of passionate bloggers had been raving about The Widow by Fiona Barton over on Twitter which is when it originally caught my attention, and after kindly being sent a proof copy via the marketing team, I was more than ready to dive in head first and see what all the fuss was about.

The Widow by Fiona Barton is one of those novels that have you feeling like you can't really breathe. Claustrophobic, overwhelming, but at the same time you just can't bring yourself to put it down for fear of missing out on some vital piece of information, because that vital piece of information could quite possibly be the undoing of the entire mystery... Or could it? Who knows? I found myself reading this novel extra-carefully, trying to unpick and unravel Barton's words to find the clues that would lead me to the truth, but so full of dead-ends and red-herrings, it was impossible for me to know whether I was right, or whether I was, in fact, wrong. Each and every single time it turned out to be the latter. A trickster, Barton reeled me in completely and had me hanging on the very edge of her every word. I was compelled to keep reading, all the while drowning in this world full of accusations, investigations and lost in a 'did he, didn't he?' daze. The further I fell into this twisted spider web of a novel, the harder it became for me to untangle myself and climb back out. I took The Widow everywhere with me, including a bubble bath in which I almost dropped the book when the plot took a heart-hammering turn! Impossible to put down and ignore, it was glued to my hands for pretty much the entire duration of me reading it. I was riveted.

In the most gripping of ways, Barton chooses for this novel to be told through alternating narratives, not only that of Jean Taylor, but of Glen who is the accused, the mother of an abducted child, and the detectives who are working tirelessly on the case. Reeling me in like this, drawing me as up close and personal to these characters as possible, I felt like I knew each of them inside out. The Widow, Jean Taylor, was a woman I was fascinated by. I watched her every move, I watched how she communicated with her husband, I watched how she'd go about her day and I'd listen desperately to the words she spoke. I was trying, with all of my bloody might, to catch someone out, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it. It was frustrating to say the least, but only added to my eagerness to reach the moment of truth. Barton is master at deceit, at those dark and overpowering atmospheres. There were topics raised within the novel that may not sit comfortably for some. Even I, at times, found it painful to read, but the realness left me reeling and dizzy and thinking about this novel even now.

I can't wait to read Fiona Barton's next book. If it's anything like this, then I just know that I'll need to get myself a copy. Possibly the definition of a psychological thriller? If not, then I'd say that it's certainly not far off. I absolutely loved it, and so will be rating The Widow by Fiona Barton with five stars.


Cover Reveal - Reader, I Dumped Him by Lorelei Mathias

This evening on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal of Lorelei Mathias's Reader, I Dumped Him. This book sounds like a right treat, one that will certainly have me giggling away, and I think the cover is just fab! Don't believe me? Go ahead and see for yourself.

Title - Reader, I Dumped Him
Author - Lorelei Mathias
Publication Date - February 4th 2016
Publisher - Avon
Format - eBook
This story is a celebration of the people that bring you back to life when your world closes in: your mates. Relationships come and go, but the Break-Up Club membership never truly expires.

Holly Braithwaite and lovable loser Lawrence have been together for five years. But the obvious cracks in their relationship can no longer be ignored and Holly soon finds herself saying 'it's not you, it's me.'

In the shock aftermath of their break up, Holly finds unlikely companions in Olivia, Harry and Bella. Together, they form the Break-Up Club, as they support each other through their mutual melancholy and find ways to love, laugh and function as human beings again.

Break-Up Club meets every Sunday. Each week, as the comedy and drama unfolds, they discover a new BUC 'rule'. And, one by one, the rules become vital markers on their journey to recovery... 

Love the sound of this one? I do!

'If I Could' Tag

I don't think I have ever done a blogger tag before, but when the wonderful Simona from Sky's Book Corner tagged me (thank you!) in this one, I couldn't resist joining in because it looked and sounded fantastic!

If I could live anywhere:
Immediately Hawaii comes to mind, but I'm not sure if I'd actually like to live there as opposed to jetting there for a holiday, so if we're thinking more long-term then I'd have to say a charming little cottage in the English countryside somewhere. I know, I know, I'm completely obsessed, but cottages just seem to reach me on an entirely different level. There's something romantic about them, especially those with chaotic flower gardens, low-ceilinged rooms and fairy-lights. Am I living on cloud nine? Perhaps, but that sounds perfect to me!

If I could have any home:
See answer above!
I really have no idea why I'm so obsessed with cottages.

If I could be on holiday right now:
It looks like paradise. I'd love to stay in one of those over-water bungalows. Apparently you can have breakfast delivered by canoe. And the sea is so clear out there, it's amazing. Throw me a hammock and a book, maybe a cocktail or two, and I'll see you soon. Maybe.

If I could have any job:
I think I'm already living my dream career as an author and to be honest, that's all I've ever really wanted to do. Still surreal? Yep!

If I could have any talent:
I would love to be able to sing but unfortunately the vocal chords I was born with don't allow such things. To be honest that doesn't really stop me, but imagine singing in the shower and sounding utterly amazing rather than like a walrus. That would be cool.

If I could live any day again:
Oh man, I'm just going to throw a few out there.
My 18th birthday party. The day I got the call from my publisher. The day I met my Mr W. I'm lucky in that I have some truly brilliant days that I'd love to re-live.

Thanks a million to the fabulous Simona for the tag, I really enjoyed taking part in this one.
I would like to tag Rebecca from Brunette Lifestyle and Ellen Faith from EllenFaith.com