February 14, 2010
Celebrity obsession, coming of age and cow shit – an hilarious, poignant and darkly comic novel by the Queen of Comedy.
Alice is five, and convinced she needs five personalities to cope. Her family, tucked in a cottage in deepest Herefordshire, are a bit weird. Her mother Gina is obsessed with the weatherman on the local news and when she climbs naked onto the roof with Alice’s pet guinea pig in her arms, she is whisked off to the local psychiatric hospital. Keith, Alice’s father, tries to keep calm, but his patience is severely tested by his in-laws. The only thing that gives Alice’s hope is her love for Morrissey of The Smiths…
About the Author
Jo Brand is a stand-up comic with many TV and radio shows to her name. She is married with two children and lives in South London.
We love Jo Brand, so it’s no surprise that we found ourselves really enjoying this book! Funny, honest and well written.
February 1, 2010
Out March 2010
William Melville’s daughters are heiresses to the world’s most exclusive fashion dynasty. Beautiful and rich, they are envied by all. But behind the glittering façade of their lives, each girl hides a dark secret that threatens to tear their family apart.
Smart, ambitious Elizabeth knows how to manipulate every man she meets, except the one who counts: her father.
Gentle, naïve Caitlin, the illegitimate child, struggling to fit into a world of privilege while staying true to herself.
Stunning, spoilt Amber, the party girl with a weakness for bad boys; more fragile than anyone realises.
As each of them seeks to carve out her own destiny, Elizabeth, Caitlin and Amber face difficult choices, which will take them in wildly different directions. But as old wounds resurface and threaten to destroy the foundations of the Melville empire, their paths will cross again. Because the simple truth is that, no matter how far you go, you cannot escape the claims of family.
I have to admit when this book came I looked at in fear. At 567 pages, I thought this would beat me. “If I hate it I’ll never be able to get to the end to review it.” How on earth would I find the time to read it? Well, I shouldn’t have worried as I read it in two, long sessions. With ease. With pure enjoyment. With an ever-growing desire to read more and find out more about the Melville family.
From London to Paris and New York, the reader will find themselves submerged in glamour and style, secrets and heartache. Three sisters, two full and one half, are brought together at their father’s insistence; each with a distinct personality and not one with the desire to be the same. Elizabeth, the eldest, is intelligent, driven and desperate to please her father. Amber, the youngest, has her mother wrapped around her little finger and relies on her beauty to get what she wants. Caitlin is the odd-one-out, the half-sister no-one knew existed until she was 15 years old. William is their inept father who thinks that by throwing money at a problem it is solved.
At first glance, I thought this book would solely focus on Caitlin and the relationships she would be forced to grow. I was wrong; so, so wrong. Each of the sisters is treated equally in the book and dear old Daddy has his fair share of attention. Miss Hyland has created a world of fashion, deceit and family honour that I was easily lost in. Being a naturally nosey person (as I feel most readers are) I was desperate to read more to find out more about the Melville family secrets and if the sisters would finally bond and work together.
As a debut novel, this is one of the best I’ve read. I’m desperate to read more of Miss Hyland’s work, so please get writing.
By Sarah Keery
January 27, 2010
The announcement of a grand Treasure Hunt sets the Lodes Valley ladies’ hearts aflutter. The cash is only part of the appeal: a win could solve several romantic dilemmas. Pixie Guinness sees the quest as a route back to her wayward husband; Faith hopes to snare true love, Rory; and Liv — well, Liv just wants distraction from the boredom of country life. But it is unhappily married Trudy who finds the trail of clues leads her in quite a different direction: and one closer and closer to temptation. Is she chasing a rainbow or just chasing her own tail? As the hunt reaches its climax, the competitors find they are fighting for the highest prize of all — their own happy ending.
This is the fourth novel in the Oddlode Valley series; however it can easily be read as a stand-alone book, which is how I read it. Not being familiar with any of Ms Walker’s work, I dived straight in. Within a couple of pages I was chuckling away to myself at lines such as “they looked like two left-footed breakfast TV stars in the first round of Strictly Come Dancing”. The characters are easy to like and I rode the twists and turns alongside Trudy as she faced them herself. Though with five strong female characters you would think it would be easy to confuse them and their situations. However, this isn’t the case. Each is well-defined and easily identifiable by their tone of voice or emotional responses to difficult situations.
One thing you have to do before you finish reading this book, in fact, before you start, is visit Ms Walker’s website (www.fionawalker.com) as the interactive map of the village is a fantastic aid to mind- mapping the story. Also, it is a comprehensive resource for her other novels, some of which I will now be seeking out.
This isn’t a normal chick-lit or rom-com type book – there’s also quite a bit of action in it as well but the romance and comedy are still definitely there. The book is quite chunky and at first it took me a while to get into but as soon as the chemistry started I couldn’t put it down. The motto from this book is “Never give up the hunt”.
Reviewed by Sarah Keery
November 25, 2009
For Little Mist, the snow leopard cub, the wonders of his world stretch far and wide. Guided and protected by his mother, Little Mist discovers the glistening snow, the mountain streams and the cloud forests. The world may look big to a little cub but one day, his mother tells him, he will be the king of the mountains. Safely curled up in his mother’s paws, Little Mist can’t wait for his journey to begin . . .
About the author
Angela McAllister has written over thirty children’s books and has also illustrated some herself. She lives in a rambling 16th-century cottage in Dorset with her husband and two children.
This is an adorable children’s book that is ideal for reading on those cold winter nights before tucking your little on into bed! An ideal Christmas gift!
View more info about this title here
November 3, 2009
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
A new home, a new life, a new boyfriend. Sounds quite ordinary when you put it like that, but in reality Bella Swan finds herself in a world beyond her control, a web of lies being spun to those she loves most and danger lurking around every corner – Meet The Cullen′s, the stars of the Twilight Saga. Read more
October 7, 2009
America – A country of many contrasts. For me, it presented the ultimate food trip to explore places, ingredients, food culture & traditions. I wanted to get to the heart of great American food, to get past the junk and super-sized portions. I set off on what I knew would be a completely inspiring trip. I wasn’t wrong. . . from New York to New Orleans, the energy of Los Angeles to the big skies of Wyoming, I found what I was looking for: some of the most diverse and delicious recipes I’ve ever come across! And with 120 of them in this book, I’ll show you the quick and easy way to put a little slice of America on your dinner table. What a trip!
About the Author
Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents’ pub, the Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight, and has gone on to work with some of the world’s top chefs. He founded Fifteen restaurant in London and the associated charity, Fifteen Foundation, which continues to train disadvantaged young people to become chefs. There are now three other Fifteen restaurants in the world: Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne. Jamie has also launched a chain of high street restaurants in the UK called Jamie’s Italian. In 2005 Jamie led a campaign to improve the quality of school dinners in the UK and, through the Feed Me Better movement, caused the government to substantially change its policy towards school food. Jamie continues to write for publications in the UK and around the world, including his own magazine, Jamie Magazine. He lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their daughters, Poppy, Daisy and Petal
What Girlie Gossip Thought…
If like us, you can’t get enough of Jamie Oliver’s new TV show in which he travels around America then fear not, this fantastic new hardback book contains all the information, recipes and method’s you need to attempt to re-create them from the comfort of your own home!
The series has been fascinating and inspiring, and we’ve really enjoyed seeing the various different areas of America and learning about their culture and eating habits. The book contains a great mix of main courses, side dishes and deserts for you to try yourself and is perfect to sit on your kitchen shelf for when you feel yourself itching to try something a little different from the norm. Add it to your Christmas list girls!
September 4, 2009
‘Do you always sleep in separate beds?’
A question from her outspoken friend Kiki shocks Amelia Bradlow into taking stock of her ‘perfect’ life. She might have the adoring husband, the flat in Mayfair and the weekend cottage, but what about the things that really matter? Like the unmentionable matter of the baby they haven’t had . . .
Just when she is most confused, up pops gorgeous Joseph Renwick – the first boy she ever kissed – back in town and dangerously single.
Struggling to put thoughts of him aside, Amelia makes some big changes. A reinvigorated career and a style makeover turn her into a new woman – but husband Ed preferred the old one.
So with her internal clock ticking ever louder, Amelia has to decide whether to stay in her nearly happy marriage, or take a gamble on going solo. Is it better to break your own heart than to settle for second best?
About The Author
Maggie Alderson was born in London and educated at the University of St Andrews. Cents and Sensibility is her fourth novel. Her previous books – Pants on Fire, Mad About the Boy and Handbags and Gladrags – have been published in many different countries. She is married, has one daughter and lives in Hastings.
What Girlie Gossip Thought
We loved it!! A fantastic book that takes chic lit to a new level. Fun, sexy and glamourous this is the ideal book for curling up with and escaping life for a few hours and reveling in someone elses. If you liked sex and the city and the devil wears prada you’ll love this book.
September 4, 2009
While clearing out her grandmother’s cottage for sale, Connie Goodwin finds a parchment inscribed with the name Deliverance Dane. And so begins the hunt to uncover the woman behind the name, a hunt that takes her back to Salem in 1692 . . . and the infamous witchcraft trials.
But nothing is entirely as it seems and when Connie unearths the existence of Deliverance’s spell book, the Physick Book, the situation takes on a menacing edge as interested parties reveal their desperation to find this precious artefact at any cost.
What secrets does the Physick Book contain? What magic is scrawled across its parchment pages? Connie must race to answer these questions – and reveal the truth about Salem’s women – before an ancient family curse once more fulfils its dark and devastating prophecy . . .
About the author
Katherine Howe’s family has lived in the area around Salem Massachusetts for generations dating back to the 1620s. She is a descendant of two accused Salem witches – Elizabeth Proctor and Elizabeth Howe. Katherine is a PhD candidate at Boston University.
What Girlie Gossip Thought
A surprisingly different and hugely enjoable read by author Katherine Howe. Suspenseful, entertaining and a real break from the norm this book is written by a descendant of two of the accused Salem witches and provides some great information along with a captivating story. A real page turner that we just couldn’t put down! Perfect for a Halloween read.
Have you read this book? Leave your thoughts below!