Laura Bambrey Books

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Monday, 26 September 2016

Review: The Singalong Society For Singletons by Katey Lovell

It’s Monday and it’s grey, wet and windy here – so I thought, what better than to bring you news of a book that will cheer you up, make you feel warm and cosy and get you humming your way through your week.

The Singalong Society For Singletons by Katey Lovell follows the relationship highs, lows and flatlines of close friends Monique, Issy and Connie. When Monique’s long-term boyfriend heads off to the USA to focus on his career for a year leaving her high and dry and in a complete quandary as to whether there is still a relationship there between them, she comforts her broken heart by filling her Friday nights with friends, wine, nibbles… and of course, musicals.

Very soon, their little society expands to welcome new members- Mon’s sister Hope… and two rather dashing young actors – who quickly add a very different edge to their Friday evenings.

What did I love about it? Not a page went by without having a song stuck in my head. Beware the ear-worms – seriously! It can be very distracting if you’re reading just before sleep. And thank you Katey for introducing me to a bunch of musicals I haven’t listened to before. Also, I completely fell for Ray – his character is truly swoon-worthy.

This is a sweet story of friendship and finding yourself – set to a seriously catchy score!

The ebook is out 7th October, followed by the paperback on the 15th December. Click below to pre-order!


The Blurb:
Monique and Issy are teachers, housemates and lovers of musicals! Their Friday night routine consists of snacks, wine and the Frozen DVD. So when Monique’s boyfriend moves to America for a year and her sister Hope moves in because of her own relationship woes, Friday nights get a new name… ‘The Singalong Society for Singletons’!

It’s a chance to get together, sing along to their favourite tracks from the best-loved West End shows, and forget the worries of work, relationships and love (or lack of it). But when Issy shares the details of their little group further afield, they get some unexpected new members who might just change their opinions on singledom for good…

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Review: The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan

Today I am grateful that I live and work in Devon. Such a beautiful part of the country that I get to call home.

I'm grateful I have the time to go for a wander in the evening with a gorgeous man by my side making me laugh.

I'm grateful that I was sent this lovely book out of the blue by the good people at Yellow Kite!

The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan follows an autobiographical tale of a year in Janice's life, as she explores gratitude. This book is not the diary itself, although it does contain snippets of it, but rather an enquiry into how a year of living gratefully affects Janice’s life- and the lives of her friends and family.

Divided into four parts, each section homes in on different areas of Janice’s personal life and how gratitude can be applied to and affect each one. These are:

1. Marriage, Love and Family
2. Money, Career and the Stuff We Own
3. Health
4. Coping, Caring and Connecting

As with any personal development or self-help book (or any non-fiction book come to that!) I found that there were certain areas that I connected with and that felt I could use personally, and others that didn’t resonate with me as much (I know I do need to diet- I really can’t bring myself to be grateful though!). But, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading the whole thing. Janice’s personal accounts and examples are liberally sprinkled with interesting snippets of research and the input of experts, as well as anecdotes about the famous people the author has met and spent time with (and the one time I meanly thought to myself “name-dropping!!” I have since come to the conclusion that actually, I was just jealous.)

Janice Kaplan has managed the seemingly impossible, she has written a book that is thoughtful, funny, inspiring, applicable, wise and humorous whilst managing to navigate away from the huge potential for smugness.

Does it work? Well, yes. I’ve spent many an evening drive home from work listing my reasons to be grateful out loud to myself (I've also been given some seriously strange looks by other road users- but that's a whole other story). Here I should mention that I've also spent the usual amount of time grumbling- the book's not a magic bullet- but it does give you something to take your mind into a much healthier setting.

This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to start seeing the brighter side of their every-day existence. It can’t help but change your outlook, and it’s a bloomin’ good read to boot.

Kindle:                        Paperback:

The Blurb:

It's easy to look at others and think how lucky they are, and sometimes finding the positives in our own lives can be hard. Success is often measured in tangible ways, and as we strive to achieve more and get more, we forget that it's often the simple things that can bring us the most joy. After reading about how expressing gratitude for the little things can be incredibly powerful and affect our lives in profound ways, Janice Kaplan decided to spend a year living gratefully and find out whether being grateful really does offer a new path to happiness.

Her experiences of living gratefully will be anchored by intriguing research findings, as well as in-depth interviews with real people, those in public life, and neuroscientists and experts in the field, including Dr Martin Seligman and Dr Robert Emmons, the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude.

Recounted with warmth and humour, this story-filled memoir will inspire readers to reflect on the true meaning of gratitude, and provide them with a structure and context for making significant changes in every aspect of their lives. For not only can gratitude make you more honest, courageous and generous; research has shown that it can also improve overall health and reduce stress and depression.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Win: DVD & Book Bundle: A Hologram For The King

To celebrate the film release of A Hologram For The King, I have a DVD & Book Bundle to give away to one lucky winner. Scroll down to enter via the Rafflecopter widget... good luck!



Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies, Inferno, Sully) is a desperate man searching for a way to get his life together in a strange and foreign land in A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING, arriving on digital platforms on 12th September and on Blu-ray and DVD from 19th September, 2016 courtesy of Icon Film Distribution. 

Cultures collide as a washed-up, desperate businessman Alan Clay (Hanks) is sent on a business trip to Saudi Arabia where he hopes to sell a state-of-the-art 3D holographic meeting system to the nation’s King. After losing his house and being divorced by his wife, Alan needs nothing more than for this deal to go through without a hitch. But once he begins work he quickly learns that he will have to adapt to a different culture and way of doing business in order to be successful. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (newcomer Alexander Black) who shows him how best to adapt to the Saudi culture. After suffering a panic attack in his hotel room, Alan meets a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury, Homeland) whose presence has a profound effect on the American, leading him to question the path his life has taken.

Adapted from Dave Eggers’ (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, The Circle) novel of the same name, A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING marks the second collaboration between Hanks and visionary director Tom Tykwer following their pairing on Cloud Atlas. With another tour-de-force performance from cinema’s greatest everyman at its heart, the film serves as inherent evidence that sometimes you have to change your scenery to change your life.

a Rafflecopter giveaway