Blog Tour

Blog Tour

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Publication day for The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley

Blogging has introduced me to so many wonderful authors across many genres of fiction. Some have been excellent, some good and some have been pretty much awful! Lucinda Riley falls into the excellent category, I read her book Hothouse Flower last year and simply loved it, you can read my review here. I have just read and reviewed her book The Girl on the Cliff and I just wanted to take the time to highlight that it is published TODAY! Hothouse Flower received a lot of hype and press as it was included in the Richard and Judy book club, I know of several other bloggers who enjoyed that book and were  not aware that Lucinda had a new book coming out today so I thought I would do a little post and share my review with you again.

I really loved Lucinda Riley's last book Hothouse Flower so I was very excited to receive her latest book to review. In my opinion, The Girl on the Cliff is even better and I have struggled to put it down over the last couple of days.
At 543 pages long, there is a lot packed into this book; it covers both the First and Second World Wars and the story flits from Ireland to London, Switzerland and New York.
Grania Ryan returns home to Ireland from New York. Her life is in turmoil and she is seeking the comfort of her family. Grania meets Aurora who is the girl on the cliff, she is a lonely young girl and the two become incredibly close. Aurora lost her mother in tragic circumstances at a young age so when her father, Alexander asks Grania to care for his daughter while he's away, Grania feels compelled to say yes plus it gives her an excuse to ignore her own problems for a while longer.
Grania feels a strong connection to Aurora and soon learns that their families are inextricably linked. Is this why Grania's mother, Kathleen is reluctant to get involved? She warns her daughter to steer clear and initially has no interest in even meeting Aurora. What happened in the past that has caused such bad feeling between the two families and what impact will this have on Aurora's future? As Grania delves into the past we learn of the many secrets and lies, sacrifices and wrong-doings committed by both the Ryans and the Lisles. Grania can't change the past but can she bring some peace to the future through her relationship with Aurora?
Lucinda Riley expertly weaves several stories together, I was completely engrossed from start to finish. As with Hothouse Flower, the author's writing is beautifully vivid and it is easy to conjure up images of the people and places that are described. I really enjoy books about relationships and the sacrifices that people will make for each other. There are heartbreaking moments in each family's past and as a reader, you want  more than anything for Grania and Aurora to find some kind of peace that other members of their families have been deprived of.
The Girl on the Cliff has so much to offer, I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but it is so richly layered that you will not be able to stop turning the pages and beginning another chapter and then another one. Lucinda Riley's books are great in that they appeal to so many readers, obviously you can tell that I have enjoyed it and I know that my mother-in-law and grandmother would love it too.
I can't recommend this book enough, I shall be buying several copies as Christmas presents and I really can't wait to see what Lucinda writes next.



As I said, The Girl on the Cliff is published today, check out Lucinda's website here or you can follow her on twitter where she is @lucindariley

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

An Autumn Crush Competition Winner!!!!

Morning everyone, we were up bright and early this morning so I asked Dr S to pick a name from the hat before he went off to work and the winner is:

Verity

Congratulations, I shall send you the copy of An Autumn Crush and pass your details on to the lovely Milly Johnson who is sending you lots of lovely things to enjoy with the book!

Thanks to everyone who entered, keep popping back as I have some more lovely books to give away soon!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Book Review: Magnolia House by Pauline Barclay

When Jane Leonard gave half of her house to her only son, little did she realise that within twelve months, she would be forced to sell the home she had lived in for nearly five decades. The choice for this action was not hers but the events that led up to her handing over fifty per cent of Magnolia House paled by comparison to what happened after the ink had dried on the documents that named the new owners.
As Magnolia House is put on the market for sale, love and betrayal and ultimately family loyalty will affect the lives of all those who become involved.
I read and reviewed Pauline's latest book, Sometimes It Happens a little while back and I really enjoyed it. When Pauline got in touch and offered me the chance to review Magnolia House, I was more than happy to give it a go.
Magnolia House has  just been re-issued and have a very pretty new cover; it has a different feel to Sometimes It Happens in that it is more serious and poignant in my opinion.
Jane Leonard is the central character, at 70 years old I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to identify with her but her story really made me think. After living at Magnolia House for nearly fifty years, Jane must face the reality that she will have to leave her beloved home after giving half to her son. I hope one day to have a long term family home where I see my children and grandchildren grow up and I can't imagine how it would feel to lose that.
As I found with Sometimes It Happens, Pauline creates very likable and more importantly, believable characters. Jane was the main reason that I turned the pages as I wanted to know what would happen to her and what decisions she would make.
Magnolia House is a really good read, full of emotion and as I said it leaves you with a lot to think about.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 4/5

Many thanks to Pauline for sending me a copy of Magnolia House to review, you can buy it via Amazon.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Book Review: The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley

Why has a secret from 1914 caused a century of heartache?
Troubled by a recent loss, Grania Ryan has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family. And it is here, on a cliff edge, that she first meets  young girl, Aurora, who will profoundly change her life.
Mysteriously drawn to Aurora, Grania discovers that the histories of their families are strangely and deeply entwined...
From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, from devotion to a foundling child to forgotten memories of a lost brother, the Ryans and the Lisles, past and present, have been entangled for a century. Ultimately it will be Aurora whose intuition and remarkable spirit help break the spell and unlock the chains of the past.
Haunting, uplifting and deeply  moving, Aurora's story tells of the triumph of hope over loss. 
I really loved Lucinda Riley's last book Hothouse Flower so I was very excited to receive her latest book to review. In my opinion, The Girl on the Cliff is even better and I have struggled to put it down over the last couple of days.
At 543 pages long, there is a lot packed into this book; it covers both the First and Second World Wars and the story flits from Ireland to London, Switzerland and New York.
Grania Ryan returns home to Ireland from New York. Her life is in turmoil and she is seeking the comfort of her family. Grania meets Aurora who is the girl on the cliff, she is a lonely young girl and the two become incredibly close. Aurora lost her mother in tragic circumstances at a young age so when her father, Alexander asks Grania to care for his daughter while he's away, Grania feels compelled to say yes plus it gives her an excuse to ignore her own problems for a while longer.
Grania feels a strong connection to Aurora and soon learns that their families are inextricably linked. Is this why Grania's mother, Kathleen is reluctant to get involved? She warns her daughter to steer clear and initially has no interest in even meeting Aurora. What happened in the past that has caused such bad feeling between the two families and what impact will this have on Aurora's future? As Grania delves into the past we learn of the many secrets and lies, sacrifices and wrong-doings committed by both the Ryans and the Lisles. Grania can't change the past but can she bring some peace to the future through her relationship with Aurora?
Lucinda Riley expertly weaves several stories together, I was completely engrossed from start to finish. As with Hothouse Flower, the author's writing is beautifully vivid and it is easy to conjure up images of the people and places that are described. I really enjoy books about relationships and the sacrifices that people will make for each other. There are heartbreaking moments in each family's past and as a reader, you want  more than anything for Grania and Aurora to find some kind of peace that other members of their families have been deprived of.
The Girl on the Cliff has so much to offer, I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but it is so richly layered that you will not be able to stop turning the pages and beginning another chapter and then another one. Lucinda Riley's books are great in that they appeal to so many readers, obviously you can tell that I have enjoyed it and I know that my mother-in-law and grandmother would love it too.
I can't recommend this book enough, I shall be buying several copies as Christmas presents and I really can't wait to see what Lucinda writes next.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to Lucinda and Penguin for sending me a copy to review, The Girl on the Cliff is published on 27th October!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Book Review: An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson + GIVEAWAY!!!!

In the heart of the windy season, four friends are about to get swept off their feet...
Newly single after a bruising divorce, Juliet Miller moves into a place of her own and advertises for a flatmate, little believing that, in her mid-thirties, she'll find anyone suitable. Then, just as she's about to give up hope, along comes self-employed copywriter Floz, and the two women hit it off straight away.
When Juliet's gentle giant of a twin brother, Guy, meets Floz, he falls head over heels. But as hard as he tries to charm her, his foot seems to be permanently in his mouth. Meanwhile, Guy's best friend Steve has always had a secret crush on Juliet- one which could not be more unrequited if it tried...
As Floz and Juliet's friendship deepens and Floz becomes a part of the Miller family, can guy turn her affections into something more- into love for him? And what will happen to Steve's heart when Juliet eventually catches the eye of Piers- the man of her dreams?
Milly Johnson has written such a lovely book to get you in the mood for the Autumn months. Friendship is key to this story as it is in most of Milly's books; Juliet and Floz have only just met each other but it becomes obvious very quickly that they have found a friendship for life.
Juliet is the more out-going of the two women, she has a huge crush on her boss, Piers Winstanley-Black and dreams that one day he will sweep her off her feet and carry her into the sunset. She is completely oblivious to Steve, her brother's best friend who has always had a thing for her. Juliet doesn't have a good thing to say about Steve, but has this just become a habit rather than true feelings?
Floz is an extremely likable character but she is the one with skeletons in her cupboard. She reveals she has an ex-husband and a more recent broken relationship but she won't divulge any more details. As the book goes on, Floz becomes quieter and Juliet decides that she must find out what is upsetting her new best friend. Meanwhile. Juliet's brother Guy is completely taken with Floz but a mixture of bad timing and misunderstandings means that the two are never likely to get it on.
I have enjoyed all of Milly Johnson's books that I have read, they are always filled with warm and likable characters and a lot of humour. If you are looking for a good book to curl up with on the sofa as the nights draw in then give An Autumn Crush a go!

Dot Scribbles rating 4/5

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of the book to review, it is out now!

I have one copy of An Autumn Crush to give away so you can enjoy it for yourself! Autumn is my favourite time of the year (mainly because it is when my birthday takes place!) to win this copy just tell me what your favourite thing about Autumn is, along with your comment please leave your email address so that I can contact the winner! This competition will stay open until midnight on Tuesday 25th October and is open to UK residents only- Good Luck! 


The ever-lovely Milly Johnson saw my competition yesterday and has kindly said that she will also send the winner a signed book plate, a book bag and an autumn bookmark!! Now that would make a lovely prize wouldn't it! 

Friday, 14 October 2011

New to Dot Scribbles Shelves

There have been some lovely books arriving at Dot Scribbles this week, let me know your thoughts on any of them!


The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey ( Ebury Press, 27th October) All Lydia's ever wanted is a perfect Christmas... So when her oldest friends invite her to spend the holidays with them, it seems like a dream come true. She's been promised log fires, roasted chestnuts, her own weight in mince pies- all in a setting that looks something out of a Christmas card. But her winter wonderland is ruined when she finds herself snowed in with her current boyfriend, her old flame and a hunky stranger. Well, three (wise) men is traditional at this time of year.
I think this one looks ever so good, plus it arrived with chocolates and a bottle of Baileys so I can't complain!


Pure by Julianna Baggott (Headline Review, February 2nd, 2012) Pure is a dark, haunting and brilliantly written post-apocalyptic novel. It is a sweeping epic which transports the reader to a world which is nightmarish and alien, yet also poetic and beautiful. It is no surprise that Fox 2000 have snapped up the film rights and the motion picture will be produced by Karen Rosenfelt, who is lead producer on the Twilight Saga series.
After the detonation, the world is divided in two: The Pures and the Wretches. Those who were not selected to live a life inside the dome felt the full force of the detonations.- fused to whatever they were closest to- they cut a shocking image. Birds are fused to backs, groups of people fused together to created 'Groupies' and Pressia, holding a doll, now had a dolls head for a hand.
Pressia Belze has lived outside of the Dome ever since the detonations. Struggling for survival she dreams of life inside the safety of the Dome with the 'Pure'. Partridge, himself a Pure, knows that life inside the Dome, under the strict control of the leaders' regime, isn't as perfect as others think. Bound by a history that neither can clearly remember, Pressia and Partridge are destined to forge a new world.
This book sounds so different and interesting, really looking forward to giving it a go.


Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris (Simon and Schuster) For the past two years, Evie Taylor had lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For Winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy's- once London's most elegant department store- Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. When Evie overhears that Hardy's is at risk if being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store's fortunes by December 26th- three weeks away- and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she's going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact she's going to need a miracle.
I love the cover to this one and it sounds a bit like The Secret Shopper series which I really enjoyed reading. 


And Then it Happened by Linda Green (Headline Review, 14th October) Mel Taylor was thirteen years old when she found her Mr Right. Twenty years on they remain blissfully in love. She has the man she adores, a gorgeous daughter, a great job and a dream home. But Mel's seemingly perfect life is spoilt by a dark secret and a niggling fear that her good fortune can't last for ever. Despite her husband Adam telling her to live for the present and stop worrying about the future, Mel can't shake the feeling that someone is about to call time on their happiness.
I have read a couple of Linda Green's books before and they have been really good so I have high hopes for this one too! 

The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley (Penguin, 27th October) Why has a secret from 1914 caused a century of heartache? Troubled by recent loss, Grania Ryan has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family. And it is here, on a cliff edge, that she first meets a young girl, Aurora, who will profoundly change her life. Mysteriously drawn to Aurora, Grania discovers that the histories of their families are strangely and deeply entwined...
From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, from devotion to a foundling child to forgotten memories of a lost brother, the Ryans and Lisles, past and present, have been entangled for a century. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and remarkable spirit help break the spell and unlock the chains of the past. Haunting, uplifting and deeply moving, Aurora's story tells of the triumph of love over loss.
I read and loved Lucinda Riley's last book Hothouse Flower last year, I am lucky enough to chat to Lucinda via email and I know how excited she is about this book coming out and how hard she has worked on it, sounds great doesn't it! 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Book Review: The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long-lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on it's envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother's emotional distance masks an old secret.
Evacuated from London as a thirteen-year-old girl , Edie's mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe and taken to live at Milderhurst Castle with the Blythe family: Juniper, her twin sisters and their father, Raymond, author of a 1918 children's classic, The True History of the Mud Man. In the grand and glorious Milderhurst Castle, a new world opens up for Edie's mother. She discovers the joy of books and fantasy and writing, but also the dangers.
Fifty years later, as Edie chases the answers to her mother's riddle, she, too, is drawn to Milderhurst Castle and the eccentric Sisters Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiance in 1941 plunged her into madness.
Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins  to unravel her mother's past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.
Dr S bought me this book two Christmases ago, it has been languishing in my TBR pile but it has certainly been worth the wait.
At 670 pages, it is pretty lengthy but I believe it to be Kate Morton's best yet, I finished it over three days ago and can't stop thinking about it. I'm not going to give you any more information on the plot as I think everything you need is in the above synopsis. Mysteries and Secrets are the key to this book, Morton jumps back and forth in time tying the present and past neatly together. Milderhurst Castle is as much of a character as any of the human ones, with it's tower, secret passages and hidden doors, it is the perfect place for keeping secrets, now and then.
Edie is the character who ties everyone together, she is the one in search of answers. The Blythe Sisters are a fantastic creation, they almost seem fairytale like, three princesses locked away in a crumbling castle with no chance of rescue. I loved how Kate Morton builds up a picture of each sister as an individual whilst also exploring and exposing the bond they share as a formidable threesome.
The Distant Hours draws you in and then holds on very tightly. I think that Kate Morton has a brilliant ability of creating stories and characters that you entirely believe in and want more and more of. As I said, this book is quite long but at no point did I find myself feeling bored. Kate Morton makes every description and encounter between characters count and I think that is what makes her such a fantastic writer.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Monday, 10 October 2011

One thing or another!!

I'm still alive!!! Just a quick post to apologise for the lack of activity on here lately! I came down with a horrible virus last week, luckily Dr S had the week off, comes in very handy being married to a doctor sometimes! Anyway I am feeling much better now and normal service shall hopefully resume shortly.

Last week was really busy, as I said Dr S was off so he decorated the nursery, I am a little bit in love with it, shall post some pics when we are all done! I have also just finished reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton which has been sitting on my shelf for two whole years, as usual Kate Morton didn't disappoint so shall get my review up in the next couple of days.

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