My favourites of 2013

Good morning to you all. Or afternoon / evening. You get my drift. Happy new year. I hope you were able to see out the old and bring in the new happily and peacefully. I went to my sister in laws with most of my in laws and had a great night. We weren’t going to go – we didn’t know if the kids would manage to stay awake. They are 3,4 & 6 and are usually in bed by 6.30 every night. At 23.50 we were gathering them all up to bring them in for the countdown when we realised one was missing. Poor Aidie (Aidan) had let himself into the ‘big sitting room’ and closed the door and curled up on the couch with his teddy and went to sleep. I of course went in at midnight and gave him a kiss anyway. Holly (3) and Jamie (6) welcomed in the new year but i’m not sure what they made of the flurry of hugs and kisses that came their way.

So yesterday I started a post of my Top books of 2013 but I am hopeless. I’m like a little puppy – just rub me under the chin and tickle my belly and I will be loyal forever. So instead of my brian setting off every nuclear reactor known to man due to overload with me trying to decide what to include, I am going to tell you a few of my favourites.

Tear jerker

Well this should go without saying really. I have read a few books this year that would bring a tear to a glass eye but there aren’t any that can hold a candle to my #1. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow

New Beyond Grace's Rainbow (1)

Granted I didn’t read it for the first time last year but I did read it again and it had a new chapter. Anyway this is my post and I make the rules 😉 I am only delighted with the success Carmel Harrington has achieved with BGR and I can only wait for things to get better and better for her.

Biggest book hangover

This, beyond a shadow of a doubt, belongs to Elizabeth Reyes and Breaking Brandon.

BB cover

Ever since I read Forever Mine, I have been hooked on Elizabeth Reyes’ books. Every time I read one it becomes my new favourite. Though this one I think will hold that title for a long time to come. It took me two days to pick up another book after reading this – and it wasn’t for the want of trying. I just couldn’t get my head out of the story. I’d love a bit more….

A Little Teaser

BB_Teaser

The book that made me spit out my coffee..

Haha this could only belong to M. Leighton and Everything for Us

EverythingForUs

I can’t even begin to go in to what made me spit out my coffee. You will just have to read it and see 😉
This is a fantastic series of book from Michelle, you need to get on it!

The book that most surprised me

Is surprised the right word? Probably not. Maybe the book I wasn’t expecting? You see this is why I review and not write 😉 Anyway, whether or which this is Jane Lark‘s latest book I Found You

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CLICK ON IMAGE TO READ FIRST CHAPTER **WARNING, BE READY TO ONE CLICK**

From the very first page in this book I was hooked. I couldn’t read it fast enough. I had read Illicit Love from Jane which is a historical. I didn’t know what to expect in this genre and I was quite simply blown away. I cannot wait for more in this series.

The book that had the biggest personal impact

The wonderful wonderful Lauren Blakely and her amazing book The Thrill of It

The Thrill Of It Cover

I adore Lauren and all of her books. When I started this blog almost a year ago she supported me 100% even though at the time she didn’t know me from Adam. She is absolutely fantastic with bloggers and just her fans in general. I am lucky enough to be part of Lauren’s street team now. Anyhooooo…

There was a part of The Thrill of It that struck home with me. It even had me in tears (no not the part about being a sex addict). Then it gave me an epiphany. Then I ended up with a tattoo. Still can’t quite believe that I did it. I am not a major fan, but it’s different when it means something, right?

I blame Lauren and this book though. Have you read it? If you haven’t then you really should. I am on pins waiting for the second one!

One of my favourites of the year, just because

Belle Aurora and her book Willing Captive

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The title of this book led me to believe certain things about it. I was thinking in and around Fifty Shades. I was wrong. You see I rarely read a blurb. I like the element of surprise. I have recommended this book to many people since I have read and they have all come back saying it is amazing. Thats’s because it is. I just loved it and that’s why it is up there with my best books of the year.

Another of my favourites because….

…who doesn’t like a bit of misery, right? Erin Lawless and The Best Thing I Never Had.

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** Click image to read an extract**

I absolutely loved this book from Erin Lawless. It’s about real life, coming of age, growing up and realising those people that you trust absolutely, think have your back and will always be there for you – maybe they won’t.

My #1 Best book of the year. AND EVER.

Well if you know me or read this blog at all this is a no brainer. Colleen Hoover just swept me off my feet with LOSING HOPE

Losing Hope

It is just quite simply THE.BEST.BOOK.EVER

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Finding Cinderella

Finding Cinderella

Findind Cinderella

What it’s about

This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen
+outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

What I thought

I think my heart literally broke reading this story. We all know Daniel as the joker of the pack, the ultimate piss taker. I thought his book would be just more of that. Should have known better. We know Colleen Hoover likes to pull at our heart strings. She didn’t just pull this time, the mean cow (only kidding!) twisted them too. I think I even heard one snap but I was so busy wiping the tears on my cheeks I couldn’t be too sure. Only, just to be a complete contradiction it was completely heart warming at the same time. It restores our faith in fate. You know that old saying “what is meant for you won’t pass you by!”. It reminds us how fragile love is and yet how strong it can make us. How with that person, our soul mate – our other half, we can overcome anything. For a novella this story packed a punch. It certainly isn’t one that I will be forgetting for a long time to come.

Oh yeah, did I mention that this book is free in all outlets?

I’d just like to add

Do you know how hard it is to make money out of writing books. I do, having friends in the industry it has become abundantly clear. We like to think it’s all glitz and glamour and these authors have it made. It’s so not true. The money we pay for books, in the early days even the signed authors don’t get a whole hell of a lot, even less if you are self published. We never hear them complain. They work so hard to bring us our books.

So when I heard that Colleen was releasing a Novella about Daniel and Six i was happy dancing all over my house. OK so maybe I only did that in my head but I was so bloody excited. Then hold up, it’s gonna be free?? Holy hell. You do know that everyone one of CoHo’s fans, and oh my God there are many, would have bought this book. It would have been a bestseller in record time. She would have made whatever money she would from it and been a happy little bunny. But no. Colleen wanted to say thank you to her fans. Her acknowledgement to fans is amazing. Never expected but much appreciated all the same. It doesn’t hurt that the book is pretty butterflying amazing either.

What Colleen Hoover said

I can’t count how many times I’ve been told I was insane for giving this novella away for free. Maybe so, but I’ve never been more excited about the a release as I have been about this one. I’m so thankful to be able to show my gratitude to all the readers who have supported me over the past two crazy years. This novella is for you, for completely changing my life.

Says it all really….We love you too Colleen!

OK I know this is a book blog but….

So it is not big secret to anyone out there that Colleen Hoover is one of my favourite authors in the world. Losing Hope is my number one book. EVER. I don’t see that changing. EVER.

Have you had a look at the cover of Losing Hope. Isn’t that just a damn fine specimen gracing the cover. You probably already know that the name attached to said damn fine specimen is Griffin Peterson. You probably already know he was on American Idol season 12. I didn’t. You know, being stuck over here in that patch of grass known as Ireland and all that. Also having my head stuck in a book and not watching much telly didn’t help. Well I must agree with the masses – that boy can sing!

Two days ago he released two singles. Getaway and Makes Me Hold On To You, well let me tell you he can be my getaway and hold on to me anytime he likes! Anyways..several times today his face has popped up in front of me – not that I am complaining so I said feck it I will get them now. Off i trotted over to iTunes and bought them both. BARGAINS at .99c each. Let me tell you ladies – he sounds every bit as good as he looks!

I was also catching up on CoHo’s (thanks to JR Lewis for coining that btw) blog earlier and saw that Hopeless and Losing Hope had both been optioned. Cue one of the many happy dances I happened to perform in my kitchen today. The thought struck me, the boy looks good, sounds good but I hope to God he can act. I can’t imagine Holder fans settling for anything less than…well Holder 🙂

Go get your copy of Griffins Singles; Getaway and Makes Me Hold On To You You won’t regret it.

And just for those of you that would like a not so sneaky reminder..

Losing Hope

Release Celebration and Giveaway! And a free pig!

The amazing Colleen Hoover is running a competition – just to say Thanks. ♡♥♡♥

Colleen Hoover

Contest ended and winners have been notified.

 

At midnight tonight, Losing Hope will officially be released!  Not sure if it’ll release until the 9th in the UK, but that’s still just a little over 24 hours away.  🙂  I know a lot of you have already read it from Netgalley and thanks so much for the early reviews!

To celebrate the release of my fifth book, I’m doing a giveaway for a Kindle Fire and an ipad mini.  To enter, all you have to do is share the link to this blog post and comment in the comments below with where you shared. I’ll also be giving away three copies of the Hopeless series.  The paperbacks won’t be out until October, but winners will definitely receive them as soon as they’re available.

Edited to add that I’m also choosing one winner for an Indonesian copy of SLAMMED. 🙂

And…

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These ladies are killing me!!

There is just no room!!

What’s a girl to do when a new book comes out and it is her new favourite? My top three is quite an extensive list. But there can only be three in a top three can’t there?

That’s the best thing about us women. We are problem solvers. We make things fit. Hell we could get a square peg into a round hole if we needed to.

My top three used to be;
1. Beautiful Disaster (read my review here)
2. Hopeless (read my review here)
3. Reason to Breathe
Not necessarily in this order I must point out. Each time I re read any of the books I am reminded of just how much I love them and it goes back to the top of the list.

Then we had Barely Breathing. How the hell am I mean to squeeze another book in there. I could relegate one to 4th place. That would be the logical thing to do. The normal thing even. I couldn’t do it though. I wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of any of the books. Yes, I know. I have issues (I remember sleeping on the floor and being cold as a child because I put all my teddies in the bed so they wouldn’t get cold).

BAND THEM TOGETHER!!
Perfect. I had the best solution. Barely Breathing is the second book not a ‘new’ book so I would just put them together.

So my new list;
1. Reason to Breathe / Barely Breathing
2. Hopeless
3. Beautiful Disaster
Simple.
No, not so much. Jamie McGuire went and brought out Walking Disaster. Again I just band them together. So here we go again;

1. Beautiful Disaster / Walking Disaster
2. Reason to Breathe / Barely Breathing
3. Hopeless
So I have 5 Books in my top 3 books. Sure that’s not too bad. Of course then next week Colleen Hoover is bringing out Losing Hope, which I have had the pleasure of reading. It has overtaken my number one spot. So my list now looks like this;

1. Hopeless / Losing Hope (read my review here)
2. Beautiful Disaster / Walking Disaster
3. Reason to Breathe / Barely Breathing.

Losing Hope is at the moment my all time favourite book. So I would imagine my list will be staying like this. At least until tomorrow when Rebecca Donovan’s Out Of Breath comes out!

Losing Hope

ohmygodohmygodohmygod.OH.MY.GOD

Losing Hope

Did I say Oh My God?

We have been patiently waiting for Losing Hope, which is Hopeless from Holders point of view. I got my hands on it Thursday and I was like a giddy child. In fact I almost got whiplash when I saw Colleen Hoover‘s post on Facebook that it was available on NetGalley. I loaded t straight up but it was mid night and I had to go to sleep knowing I was going to have a very early morning wakeup call. I had been glued to it ever since and read the last few pages this morning (Sunday).

I normally start a review by giving a brief run down of the storyline. You all know this storyline however. I would like to take this opportunity to say that if you have not yet read Hopeless then you have no business reading Losing Hope and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I also mean that you need to go get Hopeless (you can read my review here), read it and get your ass back here to read about Losing Hope.

I decided as I wiped the last tear off my face this morning that I was going to write the review straight away. Hopeless was already in my all time top three books. It was amazing, so intense and you just didn’t know where it was going to take you. This book however, in my humble opinion, blows Hopeless out of the water. I almost feel as though I am betraying the book by saying such a thing. The intensity of Hopeless was 75% Holder and 25% where the story was going, so if you can imagine the same story told from Holders own perspective, well freakin’ hell.

I don’t know if I am getting my point across too well. Losing Hope kicks ass. Right now it is occupying the #1 spot in my list.

There is so much going on in Holders head that we had no idea about. He was broken, like seriously broken. Colleen Hoover found the best way to portray this, through a diary of sorts. Through getting everything down on paper and working through things in his head he is able to deal with his feelings for Sky and work out just what it is he needs to do. Sky puts him back together and by the end of the story between Sky, his mother and Les he is whole again. That’s what we wanted for him. If you fell in love with Holder even just a little bit in Hopeless then be prepared to fall hard and fast in Losing Hope. There is nothing that will save you.

Have the tissues ready girls. There is nothing going to make you cry like a broken man!

To read an interview I did with Colleen back in February click here.
P.S I feel sorry for all of you that have to wait til July 8th but be assured, it’s worth it!

Hopeless

hopeless
Be not afraid, the title of this book could not be further than the truth in relation to the content of it. Hopeless spent 3 weeks in the No 1 spot of the New York Times Bestsellers! So, you don’t have to take my word for it – this book is Awesome!

There is something that sets Sky Davis back from the other 17-year-olds in her school. Senior year will be the first time she has gone to high school. Sky’s mother is a bit quirky. Well she is her adopted mother, but Sky would say she couldn’t have done better if she had picked her out herself. Sky has been home-schooled up until now but she wanted to have the experience of high school and get a taste of the real world before going off to college. She also has no cable television, mobile phone or access to the internet, meaning no Facebook, Twitter or Google. Of course she was meant to be experiencing senior year with her best friend and neighbour Six, only she has gone on a foreign exchange. This gig isn’t exactly going to plan! When she arrives at school she finds she had inherited Six’s reputation (well, you lay with dogs you come up with fleas, not that I’d ever dream of calling Six a dog but you get my drift). Lets just say Six is a bit on the loose side, if you know what i mean and while Sky has made out with plenty of guys she hasn’t gone there with any of them. The completely bore her truth be told but she is good at keeping up appearances.

Then she meets him, the guy that attracts her and repels her at the same time. She knows he is bad news, she knows she should run, he has a temper – she has seen that and the stories about him scare the hell clean out of her. There is just something about him though, she is intrigued, wants to know more – she can’t stay away! When a chance meeting has him become her running partner, with Karen’s (the mother) blessing there is no avoiding him.

She is drawn to Dean Holder like a moth to a flame. It seems the stories she has heard aren’t all true. Some are but have earned a fair bit of embellishment along the way. It seems when someone doesn’t know something or the story isn’t gritty enough they just make it up to suit themselves. There is something he isn’t saying though, he gets upset with her for reasons she can’t fathom. He tries to stay away from her, she tries to stay away from him but it just isn’t working. They are again pulled together.

The problem is that Holder knows a truth, a truth that Sky doesn’t know exists. She doesn’t know the truth exists because she doesn’t realise there is a lie. Not just one lie but a whole tally of them. When this truth starts to unravel Sky doesn’t know who she can trust, who she can turn to and where she can run. How is she going to get to the bottom of the mystery that is her life and who is still going to be around when she gets to the other side?

Wow, there is nothing that I write that can even begin to do this book justice, Colleen Hoover is quite simply amazing! The books screams intensity right from the front cover. Everything in it is gripping, front he story line to the characters and the ending – well you will just have to read the book to find that out for yourself. Again WOW

My poor children were seriously neglected the day I read Hopeless. Yes I do mean the day. I usually leave my reading until they are in bed, but I had started it late the night before and only got a chapter read, I couldn’t wait until the next night. I woke at 6am to get up to one of the kids and said to myself I would read a few pages to get myself back to sleep. Ya right, I couldn’t put it down until it was finished. Then I was disappointed cos it was gone, I felt bereft and wished I had savoured it. Imagine my excitement last night when I hear that we are going to get Holder’s version of the story! I can’t wait to find out what is going on inside his head!

I have read a lot of books already since the beginning of the year, I love intense books and just can’t get enough of them. Hopeless if firmly secured in my top three books this year alongside Rebecca Donovan’s Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing, which is on top? It depends on the day!

I will guarantee you, stake my reputation on it, if you read Hopeless you will be enthralled from the very first word and unable to put the book down. The bad thing about this book? There isn’t another one yet to dive straight in to!

You can buy Hopeless on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and anywhere else you normally buy your eBooks.

Colleen Hoover, busy and all as she is was generous enough to answer my interview questions. I hope that you enjoy them!

Colleen Hoover

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Disorganized. Procrastinator. Ninja. Positive (despite being so disorganized). Happy.

How did it feel to see yourself as No 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers?

Surreal. I’m still in shock that the book hit number one and even more in shock that it stayed for three weeks in a row.

Do you have a preference to whether you write a series or a stand alone?

I don’t. It really just depends on the book. However, I will say that I’m not a fan of cliff-hangers, so I’ll try to never leave a book hanging.

I loved the ‘Butterfly effect’ in Point of Retreat. I often see reference to it on your Facebook page. Did you think it would stick?

Oh, I didn’t think anyone would read the book…much less did I think it would stick. I wrote Point of Retreat immediately after finishing SLAMMED, so I had no readers at that time. Once the books started taking off and I would see the references, it was really awesome.

Who were your easiest and hardest characters to write for?

Lake and Will’s relationship was the easiest and funnest. Holder was really hard to figure out. I wanted him to be an enigma to the reader, but he ended up being an enigma to me as well. I had to

Your favourite band, The Avett brothers featured quite a bit in the Slammed series, was it easy to fit the quotes in so well with the chapters?

It was hard, because they have so many great lyrics that fit. The hard part was picking which ones to cut.

Hopeless was AMAZING and it up there as one of my all time best reads, You think Griffin Petersen (yum) would make a great Holder, who do you think would make a great Sky?

I have no idea. I’ve had a lot of people say Jennifer Lawrence, but I never picture the characters in my head when I write. But after readers pointed out Griffin, he definitely fit what I could see as an image for Holder.

Far from being run of the mill Romance, your books have tackled heavy issues yet you managed not to make the reader feel weighted down, what was your inspiration behind both the Slammed series and Hopeless?

Entertainment is always my only inspiration. I don’t write to education, inform or impress. I just write to entertain and I feel that even with tackling heavy issues, the read should be given lighthearted, fun moments as well.

What can we expect next from you?

I never talk about what I’m writing next. I have started many books that never get finished, so I don’t want to give readers an idea that something is being released when there’s a good chance I’ll change my mind. I find it much easier to release when it’s all complete.

(Since giving this interview Colleen made a very excitement announcemet on her blog http://www.colleenhoover.com about what is coming next!)

Are you living the dream?

Absolutely.

Ok a few random questions now

If you could pick a random guy out of a book to have all for yourself who would it be?

Probably Lucas from Tammara Webber’s Easy.

You are only allowed 3 luxury items for the next month, what are they?

Cell phone, laptop, and a butler.

Do you prefer sweet or Savoury?

Sweet.

Tell us a joke

Two muffins were sitting in an oven. One muffin turns to the other muffin and says, “Man. It’s hot in here.” The other muffin screams, “ARGH!!!!! A Talking Muffin!”

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?

Never regret.