REVIEW: Trouble At Toff Towers by Anne Ullah.

Title: Trouble At Toff Towers.
Author: Anne Ullah.
Publisher: Self Published.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Year: 2013.


Meet Louisa Toff, a St Thinnian’s old girl who still lives by the old school motto: “Outdo and move on”. Louisa enjoyed her heyday in the 1960s/70s (when she was a top model with the Bone Idol Model Agency) and is now trying her best to stay in the limelight, cashing in on today’s celebrity culture, helped (well, hindered usually) along the way by an assortment of madcap characters. Louisa, or ‘Ell - The Glowering Inferno as she was (unfairly, she thought) christened by the Press, is happily married to millionaire Jack Toff and goes to great lengths to keep it that way. After all, it is easier and quicker to have sex with Jack than to make up an excuse not to and when you’ve found someone like that you hang onto them!

Both ‘Ell and Jack get along famously with her ex-husbands, Hugh Jass and Stu Pendous. Hugh is very good looking if rather vain. He was one of the most celebrated actors of the 1960s/70s. Stu is a rock singer. You remember The Who, of course. Stu was front man for their rival band The Why. They split up when two of the members died. It was (almost) classic rock n roll. You’ve heard of people choking on their own vomit. Well, these two choked on each other’s! Stu made a swift exit and formed his current band, The What On Earth Four.


‘Ell stumbles from one crisis to the next, constantly trying to manipulate the Press to her own advantage. Things rarely go smoothly but, with the help of her Analyst, Di Laffin and her PR Agent, Sue Perdooper, she usually manages to take something positive from each unfortunate experience, and there are plenty of them! However, she does manage to enjoy some success with various business enterprises and it is when she launches her Food For Toffs range and gets mixed up with Sardino Codleone of Finned-Us Frozen Foods that things start to get a little (more) complicated (than usual) at Toff Towers.


Review:

If you can read the synopsis of Trouble At Toff Towers without raising a smile, I’d suggest this book isn’t for you. Personally, I loved all the fun names (and all the connotations that came with them!) and the ridiculously dramatic events which have happened in Louisa’s life.

The book is written in the form of a diary (Louisa’s), which isn’t normally something I like to read. However, in Trouble At Toff Towers, it’s so expressive and fun. Some of the things that were said did make me laugh out loud.

The other characters were great fun too! I especially liked Edna (Bucket), and how her accent was written…

Eh up. It’s me, Edna (Bucket). Sorry, but “madam” is avin’ a bit of a lie down at t’ moment. She sez she’s exorsted. Huh – she’s exorsted! Worrabout me? She ‘ad me runnin’ all over t’ chuffin’ city this mornin’ tryin’ ter get ‘er some “ultra-tight, ultra-flared jeans”. O’ course, ah offered ter lend ‘er a nice pair o’ slackd – beige or navy – whichever she preferred but oh no, that weren’t good enough for ‘er. It ‘ad ter be t’ jeans – two sizes bigger than she normally (admits she) teks.

Luckily, she wasn’t speaking too often as I don’t think I would have found it so funny having to read like that for the whole book!

One slight negative feeling I do have of Trouble At Toff Towers is that there didn’t seem to be one definitive moment which changed the direction of the book (the moment where the drama increases at some point from the middle to the end). Yes there were lots of various ups and downs in ‘Ell’s life but I can’t single out one moment in the book where the plot peaked. It seemed to run at the same pace throughout which whilst not necessarily a bad thing, it does make it a bit difficult for me to pinpoint the reasons why I enjoyed Trouble At Toff Towers so much.

But it was a cheerful read – a book to pick up when you’re looking for something to lift your mood and make you smile. After all, there can’t be many people who want to read hard-hitting books one after another.

All in all, if you’re wanting a book dealing with serious issues and full of a complicated plot, you’re not going to find it here. But if you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted read, then picking up Trouble At Toff Towers and reading about the crazy life of an ex model is the best choice.


Rating:


*The author sent me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow.

Today I'm excited to bring you the cover reveal for The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow, a Young Adult book which will be released February 25, 2014. I love the cover - it's kind of glam with an air of mystery to it. What do you think?


Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.  

PRE-ORDER: Amazon ; Barnes & Noble ; Books A Million ; Book Depository 

Michelle Madow will be having a book release party on March 1, 2014, at Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL. Join the event page on Facebook here.

Giveaway:

The author is also celebrating the cover reveal by hosting a giveaway for an advanced reading copy of The Secret Diamond Sisters! The giveaway is open only to residents in the USA or Canada, and the lucky winner will receive the ARC at the end of October.

To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below.
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Connect with Michelle:

Facebook  ; Instagram ; Goodreads ; Pinterest ; TwitterWebsite  

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Smoke, Wings and Stone by Marijon Braden.

Title: Smoke, Wings and Stone.
Author: Marijon Braden.
ISBN: 9780985985424.
Publisher: Self Published.
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy.
Year: 2013.



Carrie and Sara Fleming are as different as two sisters can be. Both in high school, Carrie is an outgoing soccer jock, trying to navigate the minefield of Varsity sports –and dating. Sara is a talented musician, who wants to spend her senior year focusing on graduating and getting into a great music school. Both of their lives change forever when Sara inadvertently finds herself engaged to marry Lucien Gargouille, prince of an ancient race of gargoyles.

Sara has no interest in marrying anyone, but a vow spoken in the moonlight has bound her to Luc – forever. To make matters worse, there is a war brewing. For centuries, the gargoyles have protected mankind from all the dark forces in the world. But someone is making trouble, and trying to break the fragile treaty that has kept evil at bay, and Sara has become a target.

Carrie sees the danger around her sister, but can only watch and wait, hoping that Luc and his Family can keep Sara safe. After all, this is what they were born to do – protect the world from vampires, and all the other creatures, who would try to break out of their darkness. But when the enemy makes a daring move, it falls on Carrie to not only save her sister, but to keep the two worlds from crashing together.


Review:

When I was sent a copy of Smoke, Wings and Stone, I loved the cover, I loved the synopsis and I really wanted to enjoy the book.

The plot was so intriguing – I can’t say I’ve ever read a book about gargoyles, and I don’t imagine there’s too many about. I was a little concerned that it would be hard to connect to the gargoyle element, but Marijon Braden wrote it so well; it was really interesting learning about their history and abilities.

We were brought into the lives of Carrie and Sara really quickly – no half a book full of building up their lives before it all changes and turns into one big dramatic mess. Smoke, Wings and Stone was written in four main parts, alternating between Carrie and Sara’s perspective. I thought this was a great way of drawing the readers in because there was so much going on, it would have been a bit hard to keep up had there only been one perspective.

There were a lot of characters but somehow Marijon Braden defined them in a way that I didn’t get confused and have to check back because I’d forgotten who one of the characters was.

The flow of Smoke, Wings and Stone was really appealing too. I can’t recall a part of the book which I thought should have been left out, or which made the book boring. It was entertaining throughout.

I did, however, find a couple of little niggles.

Although I liked some of the humour in Smoke, Wings and Stone, it did seem so unrealistic for everyone to become so accepting upon learning about the gargoyles, vampires, and how they were now a part of their lives. At points, the danger seemed to be treat like a game which I just found strange. I didn’t get why it seemed like they were mocking certain events instead of worrying.

I also thought Luc should have been more involved too, since he was the prince and introduced the gargoyles to the book. He seemed to disappear too often, and whilst I don’t think he was necessarily missed, I found it unusual that the book was meant to focus on him and Sara when really, they weren’t involved together all that much.

Smoke, Wings and Stone was a fun read though. I loved the build-up of characters and the action. I liked most of the characters, especially Carrie – she was loyal, funny and intelligent (all ideal traits!).

I read this book in three sittings and will be raving about it a lot. Smoke, Wings and Stone amassed my expectations and if it is continued, I will definitely read more.


Rating:



*The author sent me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Giveaway (and free bookmarks!):

Marijon is kindly offering a free bookmark to everyone who signs up to her newsletter via her website (scroll down to the bottom of the website to see the Join my newsletter form) before October 2.

Here's the bookmark:


The author is also offering an e-copy of Smoke, Wings and Stone to one winner who enters using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open internationally and ends October 2.
 
 
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COVER REVEAL: Char by Mercy Amare.


I'm very excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Char by Mercy Amare, a book I personally can't wait to read! So here it is...


I’m Charlotte York, but you can call me Char. My life is perfect. Except for the fact that my older sister is posing naked for Playboy. And my mom wants me to be just like her. Oh, and I caught my boyfriend cheating on me. But other than that, it’s definitely perfect... Until the paparazzi publishes a picture of me smoking weed.  Now I am being forced to move to NYC with my dad. Too bad I hate New York.

At least there is Tristan Becker. He makes NY better. But he won’t date me because he thinks my best friend is in love with me. Which is absolutely not true... Or at least I don't think it is.
As you can see my life is just... perfect.

Char is coming October 11.


About the author:

I am 24 years old. I live in St. Louis, MO with my extremely-nerdy husband. <3

I currently have six books out. 2 stand-alones: Don't Tell and You Got MeThe Rock Star Trilogy: Jaded, Faded, & Hated. And The Kihanna Saga: The Fab Life. The Kihanna Saga is a 5 part book series. Book 2, I Hate Goodbye, is coming December 21, 2013

I have a slight addiction to the TV series: True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars.
Where to find Mercy Amare online:

Facebook: author page or personal page.
Twitter: @mercyamare.
Instagrammercyamare
Email: mercyamare@gmail.com

REVIEW: The Park Bench Test by Sarah Lefebve.

Title: The Park Bench Test.
Author: Sarah Lefebve.
ISBN: 9780007548613.
Publisher: HarperImpulse.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Release Date: September 12 2013.


How do you know when you’ve found Mr Right?

Aspiring journalist Becky Harper loves her boyfriend Alex, but she doesn’t think he’s Mr Right.

Her best friend Emma doesn’t believe in Mr Right – she’s just looking for a man who will stick around longer than her dad did.

Katie has found her Mr Right and is planning her September wedding with her two best friends.

Debut author Sarah Lefebve asked her own friends and family how they knew they had found the elusive Mr Right and then turned their honest – and often surprising – answers into this charming, emotional and downright funny romance about three friends and their search for Mr Right – if he even exists that is…

  
Review:

When I saw The Park Bench Test, I knew it’d be the kind of book I’d love – and it never let me down.

Sarah Lefebve has written an easy-to-read, light hearted, funny, sweet book. The Park Bench Test was the perfect chick-lit read, a real girly book full of romance, drama, heartache and humour.

I can see myself growing old with Alex. I can. I can see us sitting in our slippers, holding cups of cocoa, watching Countdown and re-runs of Heartbeat on UK Gold. But that means nothing really. I can see myself growing old with anyone if I look hard enough. Jude Law, for example, or Aidan from Sex & The City (lovely guy, can’t imagine what Carrie was thinking,) or that cute new doctor in Holby City. But just because you can see it, doesn’t mean it’s right, or that it’s going to happen – Jude might not feel the same way about me, for instance and, well, sadly Aidan isn’t even real.

But more importantly – not growing old with Alex – I can see that too.

I loved the characters! Becky especially, and Matt and James (the hunks, of course). I loved Becky’s humour and how she could be such a wreck at times – I also loved her love of Pringles (she says whilst writing the review and eating Pringles at the same time)!

The Park Bench Test was one of those books I just enjoyed the whole way through. I never really wanted to put it down.

Sarah Lefebve’s writing drew me in. The Park Bench Test was in a different style to a lot of books in the same genre, as the story really revolved around the article Becky needed to produce about how you know when you’ve found Mr Right. It could have simply been the drama and romance without featuring the article, but I think The Park Bench Test found its edge over other books in that genre by making it about the magazine article.

I loved the ending. The whole book had been leading up to that point (without giving anything away), and it seemed a fitting end. It wasn’t rushed, which is my pet-hate with books, and it tied things up really well.

I will admit, however, that I found The Park Bench Test quite predictable, and I guessed the main twist. A lot of the time, knowing what’s going to happen puts me off. But, I just loved the plot. I didn’t want the book to end and for me, that’s the sign of a great book.


Rating:



*I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
 

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