The five feelings that I'd bottle up and give to people, if possible.

There are so many beautiful feelings in this world, some fleeting, some which linger on for hours, days, months, years, maybe even eternally. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if we could bottle up those feelings, keep them for a rainy day perhaps, or for a friend in need of a pick-me-up, or for yourself when you're feeling down in the dumps for no particular reason? Perhaps someone who has friend part-way through university who's struggling through, unsure of whether it'll be worth it? Can you imagine if, somewhere else in the world, someone who had already been there and done that, what if they, on graduation day, had bottled up how it had felt? They could then send a bottle of the feeling to the one struggling through, just to show how marvellous they were going to feel once they reappeared at the other end of it, with a degree or two under their belt. 

Since hearing the news in regards to achieving my book deal, my emotions have been on a constant roller-coaster. Happiness, terror, panic, excitement, anxiousness, worry, disbelief... Honestly, I feel like I've been in a mental boxing ring. At the end of each day though, I fall into bed with a smile on my face, because I do believe, for the first time ever, that I'm at a place in life where I'm truly supposed to be. 

Following on from the emotional whirlwind, I was thinking about how hard it is to explain to someone how you feel. I mean, okay, we can use the words 'happy' or 'excited' or 'chuffed' or 'over the moon', but sometimes, I just don't think those words are enough. How I wish I could bottle up how I felt when I received 'the call', or how I felt when my youngest sister was born, or how I felt as a child on Christmas Eve... Words just aren't enough sometimes. I mean, they explain it to a certain degree, but there's just so much more that words can't describe in certain moments during life. 

So, I'm going to share with you my top five feelings that I wish I could bottle up to share with others. You all know which is coming up at no.1, don't you? ;)

1.) The feeling that rushed through me when I received 'the call'.
GAH! Utter, utter disbelief. An overwhelming tsunami-sized wave of wanting to scream my head off, of wanting to race through the streets outside with a flag announcing the incredible news! This feeling, I believe, is how it feels when your dreams come true. I know, it's so ridiculously cheesy, but also very true. Dizzy, breathless, a little unsure of whether it's real or not, hands running through hair, nervous fiddling, grip on phone stupidly tight, time standing still... If I could bottle up exactly how I felt that day (in my imagination it looks like a jar full of sparkles and glitter, with a cork stuck in the top), I'd hand that out to all of the people who are working towards their goal or their dream. The rush, the thrill... I'd give it to people struggling through college, university, exams... If I could give that feeling to people, give them a sprinkle of glitter and taste of how it feels once you get to the top of that hill, I'm certain no one would give up. They'd want that feeling again and again and again. It's one of the best feelings I have ever felt. EVER. 

2.) The feeling of not being able to get to sleep on Christmas Eve. 
I still suffer from this now, but I guess that's because I'm very lucky in that people still like to spoil me. That's probably hugely to do with the fact that I'm still like a bouncy, excitable six-year-old at Christmas, but I also love to spoil others, too. I have six younger siblings, so Christmas for me is the best time of year, especially when surrounded by their infectious glee at the prospect of Santa Clause coming to visit! I think, as we get older and life throws all sorts of boulders at us, the excitement dwindles away slightly for some. Jobs, family issues, relationship issues, health issues... There's a whole lot of stuff that, after a while, really grinds us down. By the time Christmas comes around, for some, there really isn't all that much to look forward to. So, I'd bottle up the excitement of Christmas Eve, that childish, unbridled glee, that fizzle that keeps your body wide awake until past midnight, and hand it out to those who no longer get to feel that. Wouldn't it be fabulous to hand that feeling out to everybody, allow people to feel like a young child again? For just one night, to feel like when they wake up, a magical day waits ahead. I just really like this feeling, okay? 

3.) That fleeting second of pure happiness. 
This little beauty usually comes out of nowhere, completely unannounced, and most of the time, takes you by surprise, but in a good way, of course! I've had this feeling a couple of times. Once, when driving through the countryside on a pretty Spring day. Sunglasses on, music loud... I've had another whilst standing beside the sea, looking out to the distance. I don't know, they just pop up now and again, out of the blue, as if to say, "You're doing just great, don't worry about a thing." I love this feeling, and if I could bottle it up, I totally would. I'd just slip the bottles sneakily into people's bags and coat pockets, so that some day in the future, or whenever they eventually find it, they open it up and are hit with that marvellous feeling. It's a beauty, that's for sure!

4.) That feeling of waking up and knowing that you have the full stretch of a day ahead of you! 
Now, this one is probably only going to work on those who work week in, week out. The ones who are up at stupid o'clock in the morning, and are then back home when it's dark outside. I'd like to bottle this one up and give it to you, to get you through the long hours, to keep you going until your holiday comes around, to put a little luxurious smile on your face! This feeling is awesome, knowing that the whole day and what you do with it is completely in your hands. Here you go, folks! *hands out a bottle* 

5.) My last feeling that I'd like to bottle up and hand out to the world, is the feeling of being loved. It's a glorious one, to say the least, whether it be by your friends, your family, your husband, your boyfriend, your children... It is, without a doubt, one of the best feelings in this world. I'd bottle this one up and share it with those who haven't yet found that special someone, or who don't really have a lot of friends or family around them. I'd give them this to tide them over until that moment actually arrived, because everyone deserves to feel like they're the most special person in the world, whether they're alone or not. 

Well, those are my top five feelings that I wish I could bottle up and give to people. Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could do this? My imagination runs away with me sometimes, but I really like this idea. 

What feelings would you bottle up and share if you could? What would they look like in clear glass bottles? Who would you give them to? 



A marvellous Monday giveaway!

Hurrah! It's Monday! 
(I'm kidding, don't worry, I'm not actually that chirpy on a Monday morning.)
Although, after the reveal of my debut novel's title on Friday, and the sheer excitement that followed on from it, I have been feeling as if I'm on top of the world ever since.

I think it's time I did another little giveaway, because there's nothing like winning a book of your choice, is there? 

So, I'm giving you the chance to win a paperback book of your choice (chosen from Book Depository) up to the value of £7.00. It's pretty simple to enter! Just do your thang' with the rafflecopter below, and you're in!

This is only going to be a day-long giveaway, because I hate waiting for absolutely ages to tell the winner they've won. I find it super exciting, because I know exactly how it feels! ;)

So, yay! Happy Monday, folks, and as always, thanks so much for your epic support. You rock. ALL OF YOU ROCK!!!




I'll miss you, #secrettitle.

This post is going to seem ridiculous to some, to others, they may understand, but I wanted to tell you about why I'm going to miss referring to my debut novel as #secrettitle. 

I suppose my utter disbelief of everything that's going on right now originally stems from never really thinking that I'd get anywhere. Sounds lame, doesn't it? But it's oh so true. I went to college, I studied, I made plans that never really took shape and that never really meant anything to me at the time. Perhaps I was just trying to fill my future with plans so that it didn't look so empty and unexciting. I know, what a rubbish way to look to the future, but writing just seemed so unachievable and out of reach that it felt ridiculous to even place it in the 'hopes and dreams for the future' box. 

Now, I seem to have found myself gradually approaching my debut novel's publication date. It still sounds utterly surreal. Like, I have just swapped lives with someone? Or is this actually happening to me right now? Apparently, it is happening right now, and I'm a little breathless from the heady concoction of excitement, terror and pure exhilaration! 

This Friday, the 27th of March 2015, #secretitle's real title is going to be revealed, and I know it sounds stupid, but I feel really emotional about the fact that I'm no longer going to be able to hide behind it's mysterious veil. Yes, I know, I'm a complete wimp, but once you all hear what my debut novel is called, you're going to see what my writing is all about... And that scares me so, so much. 

It's a big step, or it seems that way to me anyway, to finally reveal what I've been working on and to reveal what it's going to be called. She's been known as #secrettitle for such a long time, but finally, it's time for her to step out from behind the curtain and become an actual 'title'. Gah, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. 

So gorgeous bookworms, I do hope you'll stick around on Friday to find out what #secrettitle's real title is, because I may need you all to calm me down when it takes place ;) 


A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale

To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.


Title - A Place Called Winter
Author - Patrick Gale
Publication Date - 24th March 2015
Publisher - Tinder Press
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 400

The blurb

A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. 

Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. 

In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love. 

Becca's thoughts 

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive thank you to Georgina Moore @publicitybooks for providing me with a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review, and also, thank you to the incredible Patrick Gale. I very rarely stray from my chick-lit roots, but every now and again, a book like this will come around and make me thankful that I did, because quite simply, it was epic

Harry Cane's story begins in the present day. Harry is a patient at Essondale Asylum, until one day, he is told that he is going on a journey, and ends up at Bethel, a private therapeutic community. Here, Harry is introduced to the other inhabitants, and also to Gideon, the man who is to take care of him. Personally, I cannot think of a more intriguing, interest-piquing way to begin Harry's story. What was even better was how Gideon encouraged Harry to tell the story of what had happening in the past, and we were taken right back to the past as Harry's memories of his life gone by resurfaced. I don't know if you know this about me but I love to be taken back in time when reading. There is something incredibly pleasing about it, being invited back to witness a character's past, to see all that has happened to them, and how those events shaped them up to the person that they are in the present day. It's a fantastic technique, and made Harry seem all the more believable in my mind. 

After that point, we're taken right the way back to the beginning of Harry's life. Patrick details Harry's family in a fascinating light, also describing how very different Harry and his younger brother Jack were. Whilst Harry was painfully shy and very rarely ventured over the boundaries into unknown territory, Jack was far more adventurous and seemed to know exactly what he wanted from life. I loved the obvious contrast between the two brothers, and to me, it seemed to put emphasis on the fact that the two brother's lives would very much end up going in opposite directions. I also found that I had a strange feeling about Harry from the moment I first read about him, not only because of his quietness, but there was something else there too, and even now, after reading, I just can't put my finger on it! It's almost as if he had secrets, and they were right there, just inches away from the surface, bubbling and simmering, ready to break through. And it wasn't until they did! They were shocking secrets too, especially given the date in which the book was set. There was a mass of intrigue and secrecy, and a constant invisible threat, telling me that it wasn't too long until Harry was found out, and things were about to get shaky!

The story progressed beautifully, taking me from one place to the other alongside Harry. As well as being a fantastic book containing some of the most fascinating descriptions and settings, it was an epic adventure through the years of Harry Cane's life. His circumstances changed, his life and his surroundings, and I was gripped constantly. 

Patrick's characters in A Place Called Winter were incredibly in-depth and detailed. Of course, Harry was the hero of the story, but there were so many others to touch upon, too. As we move forward through the years, new people come and go, leaving their own unique marks on us as readers. 

There's also a huge emphasis on the theme of setting up home and farming. I really enjoyed watching Harry bring his new home in Winter to life, from building his actual house to planting and harvesting crops. War rages on around him, but right there, at Winter, I felt calm and peaceful, as if nothing bad could touch the place. It was brilliant, and Patrick achieved the atmosphere perfectly! It was like being cocooned in this beautiful fictional world, surrounded by wheat and all things organic and homely. 

Without giving away too much, I also want to add that A Place Called Winter will reel you in and hold you captive. Secrets, threats, mystery and intrigue await you, dear readers, and believe me when I say that you definitely need to add this book to your to-read lists. As I said earlier, it really isn't my usual choice of book, but damn, am I happy that I was sent a copy to read and review. Not only is it story of danger, but it's a story of love too, the strongest kind that can withstand anything. 

Becca's Books is rating A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale with five scrummy cupcakes! I loved everything about this story, the characters, the settings, even the illicit circumstances that Harry found himself faced with. I cannot recommend this book enough! Even if it's not something that you'd normally go for, I urge you to do so anyway. You will feel all the more better for it, I promise!




   

The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

         

"You've disappeared off the face of the earth, darling."


Title - The Day We Disappeared
Author - Lucy Robinson
Publication Date - 24th March 2015 (Kindle Edition)
9th April 2015 (Paperback)
Publisher - Penguin UK
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)

The blurb

Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her. 

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind. 

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good...

A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist... 

Becca's thoughts

I'd like to begin this review by saying a huge thank you to the absolutely incredible Lucy Robinson, and her wonderful publishers Penguin UK, for providing me with a Kindle Edition of The Day We Disappeared via Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is the first book by Lucy Robinson that will have been reviewed on Becca's Books, and I'm super excited to share it with you all because, quite simply, The Day We Disappeared blew my bloody mind, and then some. Since beginning my book blog, I haven't really had the chance to read my self-purchased copies, what with a mountain of a to-read pile to get through, and sadly, The Unfinished Symphony of Me and You is somewhere in that pile! So, I was very eager to get started on Lucy's newest release and I was so far away from being disappointed, I don't think there's even a word to describe it. 

To be honest, I'm going to have to be very careful with this review because, you see, The Day We Disappeared is a bookish Rubik's cube, and if I was to give anything away about the story then I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. If I were to ruin the magnificence of this book for any potential readers out there, I would be the most terrible book blogger of all time, and frankly, I'm not okay with that happening! Not okay at all. 

The first thing that struck me when I began reading The Day We Disappeared was how down to earth Lucy's style and dialogue is. There's nothing showy-off or pretentious about it, it's relaxed, easy and completely laid-back, and that in turn made me feel so much better about reading it. It flowed smoothly, sort of like I was sitting in one of those rubber dingies and floating down the lazy river at a water-park, bobbing along and enjoying the scenery. Lucy doesn't beat about the bush, but at the same time, when writing, you're given maximum detail without the author bombarding you with all manner of sensory aspects. The dialogue between Lucy's characters didn't go on and on, yet still managed to provide me with all of the things that I needed to know. I honestly haven't got a clue how Lucy does what she does, but she's one of those writers that make you sit back and think, "Wow", once you've finished reading their work. I'm sure it wasn't effortless on Lucy's part, but when reading, from my perspective, the story was just so seamlessly, pristinely put together, I found myself admiring every single page. 

The Day We Disappeared had such a fantastic, twisting, turning plot and I have no choice but to applaud Lucy with what she has achieved within this book. It was insanely, incredibly, absolutely fascinating to experience the authors imagination in action. I flew through the pages without hesitation, taking everything in, trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, failing, and then trying again. It had my brain whirring with all sorts of possibilities and scenarios, my mind working overtime, and by the end of it, I felt like I'd run some sort of marathon! Breathless, hand to chest, eyes wide... It was phenomenal, the sort of book that should be forced upon people who have never read before, just to prove to them how absolutely amazing reading can be! Lucy had me hanging onto the edge of her every word, every paragraph, and every chapter. Pretty sure my knuckles grew white during a few scenes too, due to gripping my Kindle to death! The entire book was a guessing game. I couldn't bear to tear my eyes away for fear of missing some sort of clue or hint, and as I felt myself nearing the moment of revelation, I swear my breath caught in my throat. It was absolutely fantastic, and I swear, I've never be so eager to finish a book, but not want to finish at the same time.

There were plenty of characters within The Day We Disappeared, but Lucy's two main characters were the ones to really take into consideration. We're introduced first to Kate, who has just arrived in Exmoor to begin a new job as a live-in trainee yard assistant, surrounded by lush countryside, stables and horses. Annie is introduced to the reader not long after, and she's back home in London, also about to start a new job after a chance meeting with handsome Stephen. Two women, two completely different circumstances in completely different areas. What Lucy achieves with these two women is something that I am still completely in awe of. You know when you read something, and you sit there and think to yourself, "How has the author managed to do this because I'd never be able to?" Yeah. That. That exactly. As well as Kate and Annie, there was a whole cast of other characters who I found effortlessly engaging and were real people almost immediately in my mind. From Becca, who also works at the stables in Exmoor, to Claudine, a ruthless French woman who is not afraid to say it like it is, to Mark Waverley, the intriguing horse-rider with a face like a slapped arse most of the time. Each and every single one of these fictional people were quickly shaped up and brought to life in my imagination. Each character's own life became a thing of interest and I just couldn't wait to see where Lucy would take them next. 

I think that The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson is a real treasure of a book. A masterpiece, even. I was held captive to Lucy's storytelling abilities right from the very first page to the very last. This is one book that needs to be added to everybody's to-read list this year, without a shadow of a doubt! My experience of reading this book will stay with me for a very long time. I really, truly didn't want it to end, and even now, as I write my review, I'm sat here thinking about it. About everything that happened, about that crazy, exhilarating moment when realisation hit, and when I realised that I was at the hands of a one-of-a-kind author who took me on an amazing journey that I will never, ever forget.

Becca's Books is rating The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson with FIVE GLORIOUS CUPCAKES! I honestly would not be able to give this story any less of a rating. This is right up there with some of my favourite books of all time. I just can't get my head around Lucy's talents and abilities when it comes to words. She manipulates and moulds them into something that can only ever be done once, and only ever by one person. Lucy Robinson, you are incredible, and I am already looking forward to your next release. I cannot wait to see what you do next! 






   


    


Slow Burn by K. Bromberg

         

Head straight, libido on lock down, Montgomery. 


Title - Slow Burn
Author - K. Bromberg
Publication Date - 26th March 2015
Publisher - Piatkus, Little, Brown UK
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 372

The blurb

One night. That's all it was supposed to be. 

Reeling from the sudden loss of her sister, Haddie Montgomery has sworn off relationships. All she wanted from Beckett Daniels was a sexy distraction to help her escape her pain for just a little while... There weren't supposed to be any strings attached - so why can't she shake the memory of that unforgettable night from her thoughts? Or the taste of his kiss from her lips? 

No matter how hard Haddie tries to forget about him, Becks relentlessly tries to prove that she should start living for today. But she is determined to avoid romantic commitment, and she can always use her ex-boyfriend's reappearance to help snuff out the slow burn within her that Becks has sparked...

Or will fate force her to realize that this kind of connection doesn't come along very often and a chance at love is worth the risk? 

Becca's thoughts

First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank you to the lovely Helen from Little, Brown UK for getting in touch with me in regards to K. Bromberg's Slow Burn. The blurb for this book immediately had me wanting to know more, and it was claimed to be 'Captivating, emotional and sizzling hot,' by S.C. Stephens on the front cover, so of course, I couldn't say no! It's been such a long time since I've read a book riddled with this much chemistry, a book with two characters who are so emotionally and physically pulled towards it each other that I could barely breathe. So, Helen, thank you!

This is the first book by K. Bromberg that I have had the pleasure of reading. I've never heard of the author before, nor of her Driven series, which Slow Burn is #5 in. Thankfully, I'd read that this book could be read as a standalone, so I wasn't left feeling clueless. The author ensured that certain characters from the pasts and things that had happened before Haddie and Beckett's story were explained, so I felt pretty clued up which is always a good thing, right? I loved the fact that whilst I was reading Slow Burn, I found myself wondering about what had happened in the previous books in the Driven series. If they're all as packed with breathy, hot moments like Slow Burn, then I'll definitely be adding those to my to-read list, too. 

In Slow Burn, the characters that we're given are Haddie and Beckett, as well as a couple of secondary characters who really give this story that busy feel. As I began reading, the author didn't hang around. The action took place right away and before I knew it, some pretty sexy goings-on were taking place. This was such an effective way of opening this book, mainly because it really sets the tone for the remainder of Haddie and Beckett's story. These characters were utterly brand new to me, but the author did an exceptional job of bringing them to life for the reader, Their characteristics were fantastically bought to life, their separate circumstances, as well as their physical and emotional aspects when together. Whenever Haddie and Beckett came together in a room, I was made to feel as though I was holding my breath, waiting for the electric sparks to light up and produce fireworks. Gah, the chemistry between the two of them was out of this world, and just so, so sexy. The author brought the sexual chemistry to life perfectly. Every breath, every touch... Every detail was touched upon in the most seductive way. Not only were Haddie and Beckett suited for each other perfectly in regards to being between the sheets, but they were also good friends before they took a huge step into this new territory. I also find the couples who have known each other longer to have the biggest effect on me. It seriously highlights the amount of time that they've been experiencing the tug towards each other, making it even more exciting when the sparks finally explode. Seriously, it was so incredibly torturous waiting for the next moment to happen between them, because the build-ups during those moments of time were impeccable. I could have crawled the walls whilst waiting for either of them to make a move, I really could have! 

Between every couple who are meant to be together, there are always barriers, which only makes the reader want them to be together even more. In Haddie's case, she was unwilling to get serious with any man because of her sister who had passed away due to cancer. My eyes smarted with tears at numerous points throughout mentions of Lexi, and her daughter and husband who she'd left behind, because it was just so damn tragic. I felt every emotion that Haddie felt whenever she thought of her sister. It made me think of my own sisters, and I just couldn't comprehend being in the same position. As well as being left with the mental scars of seeing her sister slowly fade from life, Haddie has the terrifying prospect of facing her future in the same way. Her mother, her sister, and quite possibly Haddie. It scares the life out of Haddie, to think that perhaps she could be carrying the same gene that took her mother and sister's life, as it would do to anybody in that position. She's seen her sister's daughter Maddie left behind without a mother, and she's seen her sister's husband Danny be left behind without his wife. Among the fright and the anxiety and the sheer terror of what the future could hold, Haddie refuses to hold anything too close to her heart for fear of tearing up another family, perhaps a family of her own. This barrier was absolutely perfect for this story, and it only made me wish for Haddie to put them down and allow Beckett to come into her life. To me, she seemed like a perfectly strong-willed woman, with weaknesses and strengths just like any normal human being. I loved her, inside and out, and could completely sympathise with the things that scared her most. 

Beckett was insanely attractive, in that he didn't look like your typical bad boy. He'd always had a thing for Haddie though, and it was clear that he'd been besotted with her for an incredibly long amount of time. He wanted her, well and truly, and I loved how he went about it. Despite not appearing like the typical bad boy that Haddie usually found herself falling for, one night with Beckett changed her good boy opinion of him after seeing what he was capable of in the bedroom. The genuine, warm-hearted man was anything but in the bedroom, and I loved how it surprised Haddie to find this out. He was capable of pleasing a woman (more than once, might I add), but still had that delectable wholesomeness about him, that every female likes to see in a man. He was trustworthy, brave, and knew exactly what he wanted, especially when it came to Haddie. I loved his strong, dependable character, and the fact that beneath his appearance, he was just as bad as they came, in a good way of course! He was incredibly masculine, attentive, and the fact that he'd had his eye on just one girl for such a long time boosted him right up in the adorable charts. 

I loved following Haddie and Beckett's story, which all led on from just one night which they accidentally ended up spending together. It's crazy to think how just that single moment changed everything, the course of their futures, and whether they'd see each other again. It was heart-stopping, breathtakingly beautiful, and just the sort of book that brings to life all of the beautiful, passionate things about falling in love despite it not being on the cards. Not only did the author focus intently on the gorgeous couple, but she brought in all of the other aspects of both Haddie and Beckett's life, from family to real life, the ups and downs that all of us experience at one time or another. Not only the gorgeously romantic, but the scarily real, too. 

Becca's Books is rating Slow Burn by K. Bromberg with FIVE GLORIOUS CUPCAKES! With chemistry capable of pausing the earth in its spin, this was stunning, and I'm looking forward to reading much more of the author's work in the future. 



    

Revealing Zoe Markham's cover of Under My Skin


Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be taking part in the fabulous Zoe Markham's cover reveal for her debut novel Under My Skin. This cover is, without a doubt, a serious eye-catcher. Not only that, but every time I look at it closely, I am super intrigued to know what happens inside, because it's just so different, and incredibly chaotic. 

Here it is, beautiful bookworms! 


Under My Skin
By Zoe Markham
Published March 31st 2015 by Carina UK

Inside we are all monsters...

Chloe was once a normal girl. Until the night of the car crash that nearly claimed her life. Now Chloe's mother is dead, her father is a shell of the man he used to be and the secrets that had so carefully kept their family together are falling apart. 

A new start is all Chloe and her father can hope for, but when you think you're no longer human how can you ever start pretending? 

A contemporary reworking of a British horror classic, Under My Skin follows seventeen-year-old Chloe into an isolated world of darkness and pain, as she struggles to understand what it really means to be alive.

Set against the familiar backdrop of everyday, normal teenage worries, Chloe's world has become anything but... 

***

Wow. Sounds pretty epic, don't you think so, bookworms? 
Also, the whole 'British horror' aspect really speaks to me (we all have that dark side), so I'm really looking forward to reading this and immersing myself within this dark, suffocating world!







Revealing Lynsey James's cover of Just The Way You Are



Today on Becca's Books, I'm absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Lynsey James's debut novel Just The Way You Are. I cannot wait for you to see this bookworms, because it is absolutely gorgeous, and it just seems the perfect way to display what is no doubt a beautiful story within. 

Without further ado, here is the STUNNING cover of Just The Way You Are by the fabulous Lynsey James.


Just The Way You Are
By Lynsey James
Published April 8th 2015

Dear Ava, 
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart? 

Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces. 

Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two - she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met. 

It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer... but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken. 

Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer... and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

***

This is Lynsey's debut novel, and bookworms, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to Just The Way You Are. It sounds like the swoony type of romance that I ADORE to read, so April can not come around quick enough for this beauty! 








His Other Life by Beth Thomas ~ BLOG TOUR!

'You can never be too suspicious.'


Title - His Other Life
Author - Beth Thomas
Publication Date - 12th March 2015 (Kindle Edition)
26th March 2015 (Paperback)
Publisher - Avon 
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 400

The blurb

He was hiding a terrible secret...

Grace's new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming - almost too good to be true...

So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace's life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions. 

As she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora's Box of secrets and lies - and starts to learn that Adam wasn't so perfect after all. 

What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be...

Becca's thoughts

For this review, I want to take you right back to the beginning. Obviously I'm not talking years and years ago to when dinosaurs were roaming the earth, more like a couple of weeks or so ago. Back to when the fabulous people behind Avon began sending out these very mysterious and very intriguing pink packages... 


It arrived looking like a very average box. Brown, cardboard, addressed to me. After opening the box up, I found a pink bag, with a slip of paper sat on top of it.

'Do you want to know the truth?' this piece of paper asked me...

Hell YES I wanted to know the truth! I didn't realise until a few moments after that, that this pink bag was actually padlocked shut, preventing me from getting my grabby little hands on whatever was hidden away inside. GAH! Frustration! So of course, Avon proceeded to torture me for a while longer, until eventually, I was given the code and eagerly un-padlocked my way towards whatever was inside. In the pink bag was my very own gorgeous proof copy of His Other Life as well as a box of teabags, aptly called 'Truth Tea'. By this point, I was practically climbing the walls with my excitement to begin reading, and now that I have finished this book, I can happily report that His Other Life was completely and utterly worth the wait.

Ever since reading Beth's debut novel Carry You, I have been eagerly anticipating the release of her next book. Little did I know back then that I was going to really get into my book-blogging and be lucky enough to be invited along for Beth's His Other Life blog tour and even be sent my very own gorgeous copy! Carry You had me giggling to such an extent that my sides hurt, and it left such a lasting impression on me of Beth and her writing, I made sure that I didn't forget the author, and kept up to date with her bookish news, keeping my eyes peeled for the announcement of her next novel. 

So anyway (I'm getting way off track here), I read the blurb of His Other Life and, despite it sounding nothing like Beth's debut novel Carry You, I just know, hand on heart, that this was going to be a corker. Was I right? Was I EVER!!! Let me tell you why I adored His Other Life by the fabulous Beth Thomas. 

First of all, THAT COVER! The first time I spotted it (and that was way, waaaay before I'd heard anything of being sent a proof copy), I was immediately charmed by the thought of what story lay hidden behind the image on the cover. Take a good look at it, bookworms... Aren't you just dying to know what's concealed within that box? Before I had even read the blurb of the book, I wanted to crawl into the cover, sit beside that woman, and take a good look into the box, too. It screamed numerous things at me. Secrets, mysteries, lies, shock and surprise, and those are but a few of the things that I adore to discover when reading. Now, I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but in this instance (as well as many others, oops!), I am guilty as charged. 

As soon as I began reading, I was overjoyed to see that Beth's writing style hadn't changed a single bit, and was very much still the same as when I read Carry You. His Other Life was an entirely new premise, but Beth's witty, entertaining style was still in play, and it had me chuffed to bits. Dashes of sarcasm here and there, humour used just right when the plot began to get heavy with drama, and overall, it satisfied me, as a reader, completely. I'm sure for Beth, writing His Other Life really gave her imagination a stretch of its legs. The whole idea behind this novel, the secrets, the mysteries, the unknown, worked so well with me, and I feel that Beth achieved it fantastically well. It had my mind whirring with countless possibilities, and I just could not wait to find out the truth behind Beth's characters, and just what in God's name was going on!

Beth's heroine Grace was such a brilliant character, and because of her personality and attitude, I couldn't help but to feel as if we were figuring out the mystery behind the so-called "perfect husband" together. Adam, on the other hand, made no sense to me whatsoever. As soon as Beth introduced me to him, it just felt like there was something fishy going on. As Grace relayed the ins and outs of their relationship, mentioned the small things about Adam that had sometimes had Grace wondering who he truly was, I knew immediately that there was so much more to Adam than met the eye. The action pretty much happened right at the very beginning of the book, pulling in me instantly, and from that point on, I was hooked. 

I raced through His Other Life so quickly that I'm surprised wisps of smoke weren't curling up from the pages as they turned over repeatedly. Clues were revealed, bits of information that at first you'd think meant nothing but actually held the key to Adam's disappearance... It was all just SO CAPTIVATING! The further I got into the book, the deeper I fell into the mystery, and it absolutely consumed me, from the inside out. I just couldn't wait for the moment when the truth behind Adam would be revealed. It's safe to say that I was kept guessing almost the entire way through, and it had my mind working away, even when I was away from the book. 

His Other Life by Beth Thomas was addictive, compelling and utterly, utterly mind-bending. I tried, again and again, to imagine what I'd do if I were to find myself in Grace's situation, but I just couldnt! It was thrilling to read of a character who was suddenly confused and honestly didn't have a single explanation as to where her husband had disappeared to. 

Becca's Books is rating His Other Life by Beth Thomas with FIVE GORGEOUS CUPCAKES! This was something different, something eye-opening, and something I could devour like I've never read a book before in my life. Beth Thomas, massive congratulations to you! I've no doubt that this book will be tangling the minds of many readers for a long time! 



Be sure to check out the other fabulous bloggers who are taking part in the #HisOtherLife tour, too!






   

  







Re-cap of the #BookBloggerAwards!

Hello, beauuuutiful bookworms!


So, recently, myself and the wonderful Tay from @chicksthatread announced the award winners of our joint project, the #BookBloggerAwards. This has been SO MUCH FUN to create, and it's safe to say that Tay and I have had a complete BLAST! 

What we wanted to do was whip up a real buzz in the book blogging community, really get the book bloggers out there excited about their friends and the book blogs that they love so much. So, we came up with the #BookBloggerAwards, where everyone could vote for their favourite book bloggers in the categories that myself and Tay provided. 

The categories this year were as follows ~

Twitter-Obsessed Book Blogger
Best Male Book Blogger 
Best International Book Blogger
Best UK Book Blogger
Best Romance Book Blogger
Friendliest Book Blogger
Prettiest Book Blog
Best Crime Book Blogger
Three Honourable Mentioned Book Bloggers
Best Inspirational Book Blogger

Tay and I were absolutely amazed by how many bloggers actually took the time to come along and vote, and to join in with the fun! So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Yesterday and today were our announcements days, which to me, was the best part! Yesterday, I announced five of the award winners, and today, Tay announced the remaining award winners, including our very special Honourable Mentioned Book Bloggers.

Tay, who is incredibly talented when it comes to creating and designing, put together the gorgeous custom blog badges for the award winners, all appropriate for the award which they'd won. 

For those who aren't aware of the #BookBloggerAwards winners, they are listed below!

Twitter-Obsessed Book Blogger - Awarded to Suze from @ScintillatingSZ


Best Male Book Blogger - Awarded to Kevin from @iHeartChickLit

Best International Book Blogger - Awarded to Ana from @ThisChickReads 

Best UK Book Blogger - Awarded to Sharon from @ShazsBookBlog

Best Romance Book Blogger - Awarded to Charlotte from @BestChickLit

Friendliest Book Blogger - Awarded to Becca from @BeccasBoooks
(Yep, little old me! Exciting, huh?!) 

Prettiest Book Blog - Awarded to Simona from @skydreamersimi


Best Crime Book Blogger - Awarded to Shaun from @bookaddictshaun


Best Inspirational Book Blogger - Awarded to Tish from @tishylou


First Honourable Mention - Awarded to Jo from @cometbabesbooks



Second Honourable Mention - Awarded to Jenny from @jennymartson_xo



Third Honourable Mention - Awarded to AJ from @ajcraftybox



***

This has been, without a doubt, one of my favourite experiences as a book blogger, and I'm sure that Tay will agree with me. It has been so excited, and you lovely lot created such a fantastic atmosphere, it was absolutely fantastic!

Tay and I are already planning for the next #BookBloggerAwards which will be taking place next year. On our second time round, we're hoping to get plenty more bloggers involved with exciting prizes, too. 

From myself and Tay, we'd like to say a MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to our lovely award winners, and a huge THANK YOU to all who got involved, gave your votes and upped the atmosphere even more. It's been fabulous, and we really can't thank you all enough! 



















HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY ELLEN FAITH!

Today on Becca's Books, I'm spreading the bookish love by wishing the one and only Ellen Faith an absolutely marvellous publication day! Today sees the publication of Ellen's new novella Learn to Love Again, and I am so SO excited about this one guys, I cannot even tell you.


Living in a small seaside village can have its perks, but after the death of her husband, Lillie Gilbert finds the people she grew up with turning against her faster than the tide rolls out. 

As she grieves for the life they planned, the life they'll never live, she leans on her best friend for support and tries to come to terms with the fact that one day, she may have to open up her heart to a new life and new love.

After losing her childhood sweetheart, can Lillie really Learn to Love Again? 

***

I haven't yet read Learn To Love Again but I can tell you that, after reading all of Ellen's previous novels, there is no doubt that it will be absolutely fantastic! I enjoy this author's so much, and with this one being classed as a tearjerker, I'm sure I'll be needing a box of tissues by my side, too. 

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY, MISS FAITH!!!

Also, be sure to keep up with Ellen's Learn To Love Again blog tour!