Giveaway – The Wishing Chair Collection by Enid Blyton

The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton is my favourite childhood book of all time. I believe I was 8 or 9 when I got it for Christmas and I couldn’t put it down. There is something about Enid Blyton’s books that turn me back into a kid. The adventures she used to write about were were just amazing and took you on a journey far, far away. I still have my own copy today, but the one shown below is the copy I want to giveaway to one of you, my readers.        
           
The Wishing Chair tells us of the story of brother and sister Peter and Mollie, who are out looking for a birthday present one day and come across a strange little shop. In this shop they find the magical Wishing Chair which ends up taking them on adventures with their pixie friend. They meet many witches, goblins and wizards amongst other creatures along the way.
This beautiful hardback edition I’m giving away contains 3 storybooks in 1. They are:
  • Adventures of the Wishing Chair
  • The Wishing Chair Again
  • More Wishing Chair Stories 
It is over 500 pages long and will keep any child occupied for a good few hours. 

To enter this giveaway please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Due to postage costs this will be a UK only competition. Good luck.

Rachel xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

There is one prize of a hardback copy of The Wishing Chair Collection – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 7 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 
Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

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U, ME AND THE KIDS

Book Review: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

I requested to read an ebook copy of The Bones of You by Debbie Howells from Netgalley for one of my Bank Holiday reads. My initial thoughts of the cover image shown further below was that I am going to be in for a deep, dark, mystery, psychological thriller type of a book. I was not disappointed, and if you decide to read it neither would you.                                             
Book Description

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.
Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.
Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.
The book starts of with a rather creepy intro from Rosie, telling us that she is looking at the movie of her life. This suggests that she is dying and her life is flashing before her eyes. We hear Rosie’s side of the story throughout the book, and get to know her character this way.
Rosie’s mother Jo calls Kate to tell her that her daughter is missing. Kate and Jo don’t really know each other very much, but through the disappearance of Rosie and then the finding of her body, Kate becomes Jo’s rock. Jo’s marriage crumbles through the book, and she becomes a depressed pill taking alcoholic. Kate is with her every step of the way trying to make sense of what is happening while watching her own daughter Grace go off to university and her husband Angus heading up to York for work. 
I didn’t particularly like the character of Kate in the beginning, she seemed to be a bit of an interferring busy body, but as the book goes on I can see why. I am not quite sure I like the parts of Rosie telling her story from the grave either. This narative can be a bit confusing. 
I do like the author’s style of writing designed to tease the reader, drawing you in, thinking yes I know what happened, then throwing another spanner in the works changing your line of thinking. This keeps the reader very much engaged with the story.
This book is a good read for anyone looking for a mystery suspense who dunnit novel. 
I have given The Bones of You by Debbie Howells 3 out of 5 stars. 
Expected publication date 30th June 2015 by Kensington Books
Rachel xx

Disclaimer: I received this ebook free of charge in exchange for an hoenst review. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and Book Description taken from NetGalley.com for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn

I was given the chance to read and review Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn by Net Galley. My initial thoughts were that the cover seemed a little bland, but I always go by the saying, ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’. I did like the thought of reading a very strong character driven book, and this is what the book is.
                   

Book Description and Cover Image

‘Seeking asylum from the wreckage of her life, Yvette Grimm arrives in Australia on a holiday visa. She applies for permanent residency with no hope of success. Resisting advice that she marry to stay in the country, Yvette invests her hopes in a palm-reader’s prophecy that she will meet the father of her children before she’s thirty.
She’s twenty-nine.

Set in the excoriating heat of an endless Perth summer, against the backdrop of asylum seekers locked in detention, Asylum is a gripping tale of loss and belonging that is dark, absurd and hilarious by turns’ 

The story starts off with Yvette Grimm finding herself back in her childhood bedroom at her mother’s Leah’s house in Australia. She is on a holiday visa at the moment, but Leah has sent off her permanent residency forms. Yvette had to leave her old life in Malta. As you read through the book, you discover what Yvette’s life was like with her boyfriend Carlos through little snippets, and why she had to leave. I love this little quote. The author uses a fantastic style of writing throughout, to the point and very clear.
‘Yvette was seeking refuge from the wreckage of her life’
Yvette’s mother tells her that she must get married to stay in Australia, but Yvette is a sort of a hopeless romantic and believes that you marry for love not convenience. 
The story follows Yvette through her struggles of belonging no-where. Yvette takes you to a cockroach infested flat, to a cute little house to singing in a choir and a life changing event. It was a beautiful journey that the author took me on. Laughing in places, crying the next.
I loved the character of Yvette, she never let anything get her down, she was always expecting the worst, and this made her a much stronger person. I didn’t like her mum Leah, she seemed very cold towards Yvette, and always going on about her sister Debbie, which made Yvette feel alone at times.
I think the main idea of the book is to inform you about the difficulties that people have in gaining residencies. Even though Yvette’s mum and sister live in Australia it doesn’t make her a definite case to live their permanently, just because she stayed with her dad in England when her mother and sister moved back when they were children. I find the topic on political asylum quite fascinating and this book does question that. 
I would love to read other books with a similar topic to this one, it was a fascinating read. I would recommend to anyone looking for a strong female character lead.
I gave Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn 4 out of 5 stars.
Rachel xx
*Disclaimer: I was given this ebook to review free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and  book description taken from NetGalley.com for purpose of this review.

Book Review: Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories

I was given an ebook copy of Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories by Shane Hall to read and review for my blog. A word of warning is that the short stories are not for the faint hearted!  
Product Description

“Inside are five brief and unsettling stories based on the dark, unknown corners of humanity and beyond. Five paranormal terrors await, from an impossible video rental store run by a smiling teenage girl, to the corners of reality where humans are locked away, and even to a sunny parking lot where a person who looks just like you is walking closer and closer”
My first thoughts were that the cover is very haunting and disturbing. Perfect for letting us know what type of book it’s going to be. 
I read the book in only an hour, I didn’t know the stories were going to be that short, but it was a very good scary hour. The stories are very well written, nuggets of pure gold in the horror/psychological universe. I re-read a couple of them after I finished to make sure I captured the whole picture of the story.
The first story Vivian’s Video is just plain weird, I really loved it! Next up comes How to Satisfy the Keymaker, this was my least favourite and one of the shortest. Then came John Adams Two. This one was the best, imagine meeting yourself in the car park? What would you do? The last two stories are called A Friend in the Depths and Rooted. 
I love that the stories are original. They show great talent from a new author, and I can’t wait to read more from Shane Hall. It’s a short book that I will read again one day when I am looking for a quick scare. Perfect for quick reading under the covers before bedtime, a note to parents, not suitable for children.
I have given Rooted and Four Other Disturbing Stories 5 out of 5 stars.
Rachel xx

*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a honest review. All views and opinion’s expressed are my own.

Giveaway ~ School For Stars by Holly & Kelly Willoughby

I have had such a huge amount of success with my last couple of giveaways that I have decided to run another one for you. This time it’s a chance to win a paperback copy of the children’s bestselling book School for Stars by sisters Holly and Kelly Willoughby. It’s 2 books in 1, containing the first two books in the School for Stars series. The book is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds although I do like a good school series myself.
The School For Stars series is all about twins, Molly and Maria Fitzfoster and their new friend Pippa Burrows and their school lives at the prestigious acting/dance/drama school called L’Etoile, School for stars. The trio share the same dream of becoming superstars, while being different in their own ways.
For a chance to win this book, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. Due to postage costs this will be a UK only competition.
Rachel xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

There is one prize of a paperback copy of School for Stars – The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 7 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only.
Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway.

Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

www.theprizefinder.com

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Book Review: The Day We Disappeared

Last month I won this book with @joythestore on Twitter. It is a book I heard about before and so really wanted to read it. My luck was in when I was announced as one of their competition winners.
The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson is a cross between a romance novel and a mystery psychological thriller type of book. The two main characters are Annie and Kate, old friends that are living in two totally different worlds and not sure who they are anymore. 
Annie is a hippy type of girl working as a masseuse in various little rooms around London. One day she meets Stephen in one of these little rooms and he becomes her boyfriend and her ‘night in shining armour’ rescuing her and giving her a new working space in his office building. What Stephen doesn’t know is that Annie has a secret from her past that she doesn’t want anyone around her to know. 
Kate has run away from Dublin, suffering from stress and burnout and ends up at a livery yard working for Mark Waverley in Somerset. Kate is scared that she is going to be found at any minute, but this doesn’t stop her from having feelings for her new boss. 
I love the way the author Lucy switches each chapter back and forth between Annie and Kate’s stories. It’s written in a very clever way. I think Kate’s story is my favourite because of her love for Mark and his horse Stumpy and the way their relationships develop. The story keeps you holding on for more as you progress through the book. I really wanted to know why Kate ended up in Somerset! The characters are very well thought out and you will learn to love them all.
My only criticism is that it does start of fairly slow, but now I can see it was building and keeping us on tenderhooks till the end. 
I would recommend this book to mystery romance lovers. It’s perfect for holiday reading and it will keep you on edge till the very end. It’s a book I will be proud to keep on my bookshelf and I’m glad I have been given the opportunity to read it.
I gave The day We Disappeared 4 out of 5 stars.
Rachel xx
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