Thursday, 29 November 2012

Scarlett Bailey brings a little touch of festivity to America!

This is great news for my American followers we have some beautiful new kindle covers for Scarlett Baileys books what do you think of them?




Monday, 26 November 2012

A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams


A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams has to get top marks from me for the traditional festive cover, a snow covered setting with a family singing carols around the tree and yes a nice sprinkling of glitter in the title, oooooooo I am looking forward to this one!

PLOT

With four children, a Christmas cookbook to write, and her mum suffering from dementia, Cat Tinsall has plenty to juggle. When her eldest daughter, Mel, starts going off the rails, Cat has even more on her plate.

Pippa Holliday adores her family, although often finds her hands full. When Dan is involved in a terrible accident, Pippa’s world is suddenly turned upside down.

Balancing her job as a school teacher with twins and her step-son Steven isn’t easy for Marianne North. With her husband’s ex causing trouble, life is getting even trickier. As Cat, Pippa and Marianne help each other through a difficult year, they’re all hoping for a much brighter Christmas.

I adored all the storylines surrounding each of the characters and the author manages to bring all the characters together so that their stories come together and each of the characters support each other which shows the solidarity of the friendship between Pippa, Marianne and Kat. The relationship between these characters seemed so natural.

Many day to day challenges are focused on in this book from budget cuts and how they have an effect on families, to the challenging demands disabilities have on loved one’s. There is also another situation regarding Cat’s daughter Mel which I can not mention as it would be a spoiler alert, but the way the author manages to show us both Cat and Mel’s feelings on the matter was very realistic and well written.

Julia Williams does bring us a little festive read but she also managed to bring a tear to my eye on a couple occasions but particularly on page 264 so be aware.

I didn’t realise that A Merry Little Christmas was a sequel and personally I didn’t have a problem reading it as a stand alone boo, I did find it took a little while to get used to who was who which maybe had I read the first book I may have found it easier to tell the characters apart easier but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book anyway!

This is one of my favourite Christmas books this year and one I highly recommend I may even treat myself to Last Christmas if I have pennies left at the end of the month just to meet the characters again!

Book cover



Festive Feel


Review over all





Paperback              Kindle

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland


I am coming to the end of my Festive reads ( is this bad for November!) Next on my list was Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland, I have  read all of Talli’s previous books and loved all of them they are easy reads with loveable heroines so I was looking forward to starting this one.

Our Heroine this time is Holly West and she is a modern day girl but she lacks the festive spirit that her parents have. Holly’s parents run a Christmas Party Planning company and Holly works for them, when a call comes through offering a chance to organise a Christmas themed party for a celebrity Holly sees this as a big break and snaps up the job and gets ready to travel to Manhattan to start the planning alone. Will Holly’s efforts pay off?

Mistletoe in Manhattan is a great short read that will get you in the festive mood whilst travelling home from work on these cold dark evenings. I devoured this book in under 2 hours, it was an easy read that was fun and festive and delivers an important message not to forget what Christmas is really about. I am not a fan of short stories I can only actually think of one that I previously enjoyed, so I was glad that Talli managed to add to my little list!

Looking for a little festive fun that will warm your wintry nights this Christmas then Mistletoe in Manhattan is the perfect little treat for you.

Festive Feel


Book Cover


Review over all





Kindle

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vets in Love by Cathy Woodman


I absolutely adore Cathy Woodman’s books and I still feel she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.

Cathy has taken this book down a slightly different path this time with our main character Nikki being a GP rather than a vet which is what I think is what has brought the spark back from the first two books as I think Cathy had done all she can with vets as lead characters in Talyton st George, so having Nikki has brought a breath of fresh air to this book. Nikki is a down to earth, loveable character who loves to ride her horse Willow and takes part in horse events.

As love looks like it could be blossoming between Nikki and the handsome local vet Matt, problems begin to develop and Matt soon gives Nikki an ultimatum Him or riding, stuck between a rock and hard place what discussion will Nikki make?

We see a number of characters from the previous books return to make an appearance in this book which gave the book a cosy and familiar feeling but having said this they do not have important roles so you can easily read this book as a standalone book.

What I love about Cathy’s writing is it flows so effortlessly and at an even keel enveloping you into the storyline straight from the first chapter and carries you right the way through to a perfect ending without feeling rushed and also with no low points in the book which would make you want to skim through the pages when you lose interest.

These books are great for readers who love believable romance and stories set in cosy little villages, oh and a love of animals help but is not essential!

I highly recommend this book although not one to get you in the festive mood as the topic of Christmas is only briefly touched upon, this would still make a perfect Christmas gift.


Paperback                Kindle

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas is coming!!

With Christmas only weeks away we have a few things coming up most importantly

* Christmas Book 2012 Winner announced and a giveaway!

I will also be putting together a list of possible Christmas gifts ideal for us bookworms so you can send your other half over here for inspiration, I know what I have on my wish list (hint below!)



We have 2 more Christmas reviews coming up this week so keep your eyes peeled.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

You Had me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane


‘Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.’ ‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’ ‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’ Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away. They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.



I first of all have to comment on Mhairi Mcfarlane’s writing skill which is very sharp and witty and it comes across so naturally. I think the humour is also helped by the book being set in my home country so I easily understood the great British banter and made this book even more entertaining.

Our main character Rachel is an intelligent, humorous down to earth character who soon feels as though she is a good friend and I found that the delicious Ben brings out the best in her character and this is where I had my laugh out loud moments with the interaction between the two best friends. There were quite a few supporting characters in this book from friends on both Ben and Rachel’s sides and also work colleagues but they were all enjoyable characters and played great parts in the book.

Although I have read many books with “the one who got away” topic this book definitely has a fresh feel to it and doesn’t feel similar to anything I have read before and I didn’t feel that the book was overly predictable in fact there was a number of unexpected twists that you stumble across whilst devouring the book. The book jumps back and forth between Rachel and Ben’s time at Uni together to 10 years on and this allows us to see the characters grown and develop whilst finding out what happened in their early years to then lead to 10 years with no contact.

This is a modern day love story that will have you gripped from their first meeting. You will be laughing out loud and also having your heart strings pulled all the way through this book.

You Had Me At Hello is available now on kindle and at an amazing 99p!! This will be the best 99p you have spent this year. If you have not converted to the world of Kindle yet then the paperback is due for release on the 6th December.



Kindle                      Paperback

Saturday, 10 November 2012

When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson


Miranda is back this year with another fantastic read When I Fall in Love, this lady continually brings us stunning covers containing beautiful storylines you have got to love her.

Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again...

 ...but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most. Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart. Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete. 

Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?

I loved our heroine in this book, Elsie has just had the toughest eighteen months of her life but she now has to take the steps to start building a new life. Out of all of the storylines Miranda has brought us this is the one that touched my heart the most. Elsie has an edge of vulnerability about her but after finding out what it is that has occurred in her life you actually think how well she is coping and you can’t help but hope that with each step she takes in building her new life she will start to mend her heartache and start to find happiness. She is a very selfless character and is instantly loveable.

I have to say this is one of the rare books where I loved each and individual character in this book from members of the Maynard family who really show the meaning of family support, to each member of Elsie’s new venture all who are very different from each other and bring a something different to the storyline.
I loved both Torin and Oliver who were our male characters and I never quite knew all the way through who if either of them Elsie would open her heart to. Miranda’s descriptive writing is back again giving us a mini tour of Paris which has made me rather excited about my trip there for New Year now.

It is quite clear that Miranda has brought her own personal interests in music and singing into this book and I think that is why the book flows so well because it was so natural for her to right about something that is a great interest to her. I was hoping that there would be a little hint of festivity in this book but unfortunately there wasn’t any, and yet I still thoroughly enjoyed this touching read.

A very emotional and moving read that I highly recommend.

Book Review over all



                            Festive Feel                             

          Book Cover
                        

BUY YOUR COPY HERE



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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones

I am a big fan of Christmas so other than my favourite authors turning up on Christmas day to play silly games and eat my Christmas dinner surely the next best thing is when one of your favourite authors release a Christmassy book!

I was so delighted when Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones arrived on my doorstep as this is one writer who get s me in the holiday spirit with her writing so surely she can get me in the festive mood too!

Imagine waking up in a snow globe... That's how travel journalist Krista feels when she arrives in magical Quebec to report on Canada's glittering Winter Carnival. Over ten sub-zero days Krista's formerly frozen heart begins to melt as she discovers an enchanting world of ice palaces, husky dog-sledding and maple-syrup treats galore. And then she meets Jacques, a man as handsome and rugged as he is mysterious... The two share a secret that could bond them forever, but can they find a way to break through the protective layers around their hearts to warm up this winter wonderland? ...let the snow-spangled adventure begin.

Wow..... Although we don’t have the festive roast cooking or Santa popping down the chimney this book still brings the perfect backdrop, I am talking the cold chill with our friend snow, cute fluffy dogs pulling sledges..... oh I am in my element!
How does this author manage to wrap you up in the setting so much so that you feel like you have been to the location! Belinda Jones is back in full swing this year, she needs to be on commission because her beautiful and informative writing skill has sparked an interest in me to visit Quebec, now that is saying something for me because I only do Summer holidays!

The author also manages to give you a tour of Quebec and gives you a number of facts and many must see sights but all of this is weaved perfectly into a great storyline. I loved each and every character in this book, there were more than our fair share of tasty men to choose from. Our Heroine Krista took a little time to warm to but as the story progressed her character softened and became an enjoyable character to read and towards the end of the book when you find out her secret she becomes even more loveable. The ending was rather predictable to me but this didn't ruin it for me it was great to watch what you had a feeling was going to happen unfold. I am a hopeless romantic so this book was perfection for me with the gentle romance blossoming in this picturesque scene.

I am sure this book will be a hit this Christmas my one and only negative about this book is that I wasn't invited along to help with the research that Belinda clearly undertook for this book!



Paperback                    Kindle

 


We have a chance for you to win a copy of Winter Wonderland enter below. ( sorry Uk only this time) xx
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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Belinda Jones Interview

We have another great Christmas book being released this week, Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones.

We have been lucky enough to catch up with Belinda to find out a little more about her new book and the adventure she undertook to help create this fantastic read.


1) Tell us a little about your new book.
Sparkling snow. A ye olde fairytale kingdom in the midst of a Winter Carnival. Maple syrup pie. Hundreds of Husky dogs. And a man called Jacques.

2) What research did you have to do for this book?
I think the most significant 'research' was sleeping on a bed of ice at the Hotel de Glace! I really felt I had to have first-hand experience to write about it, especially since it's the opening scene in the book, but oh my! Never again! All through the night I kept checking my nose was still there and hadn't snapped off like an icicle. Compared to that, the rest of the research was a breeze, or rather a sub-zero lacerating wind. But I've always loved big fluffy hats and fleecy mittens so it was actually fun to be thigh-deep in snow. I basically spent a week in Quebec during their fabulous Winter Carnival and a couple of days prior in Montreal. Plus I've been going to Cirque du Soleil shows for the past ten years (one of the characters is an extremely bendy aerialist) so that came in handy!


3) What was your favourite book of yours to write and why?
Until now it was I LOVE CAPRI because the idea for that literally came to me in a dream and it was heavenly to keep re-visiting Capri, even if it was just in my imagination after the first visit. But now, it's definitely WINTER WONDERLAND. I fell head-over-heels in love with Quebec, it's such a magical place and I've never written a book so fast, the words were pouring out of me (and it can be such a tortuous extraction process!) so it really was a pleasure, even the passages that had me streaming with tears as I wrote them! Not that it's a sad book but one of the themes is particularly poignant!


4) What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
I'm still in the midst of reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. It's a brilliantly funny and fascinating exploration of the 'happiest' countries in the world from a former foreign correspondent, who spent most of his career reporting from the most miserable, desperate places! There's even a chapter on the UK! I recently went to hear this author talk at a book festival in Charlottesville, Virginia... I was a bit early so I stopped into this cafe for a chai latte and to read one more chapter (on Bhutan!) and this man approached me and said, 'How are you enjoying the book?' and I went into this gushy rave and then he said, 'I wrote that.' It's always been a dream of mine to see a stranger reading my book and it was such a kick to have that reversed in this way. His talk was hilarious and of course I got him to sign my copy! "Follow your bliss!" Good advice for one and all!


5) What I love about your writing is the descriptive writing of various locations abroad, is there anywhere you havn't been that you would like to go? 
Thank you! And yes, so many places! Madagascar and Galapagos for the animal life. After visiting Quebec, I'd love to see more of Canada, particularly the polar bears of Manitoba. And then St Petersburg, Russia. For the vodka!


6) Are you currently working on your next book and if so is there anything you can tease us with!
I am! In fact my deadline is January so I'd better get a bloomin' move on! It's a cake-themed caper around New England called THE TRAVELLING TEA SHOP. A group of British women (including Laurie who you will meet in WINTER WONDERLAND) take a scenic road trip across seven states to trade classic English recipes such as Battenburg and Victoria Sponge for American favourites such as New York Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake, Boston Creme Pie and Whoopie Pie! (Both pies are in fact cakes!) Three of the women are related and there's a bit of family drama going on there, not to mention the fact that they are taking this trip in a red London bus! There are some great stops along the way, including Manhattan, Cape Cod, the Von Trapp Lodge in Vermont and my personal favourite, Newport, Rhode Island which has strong ties with Downton Abbey! All will be revealed, including a host of yummy recipes, autumn 2013!



7) You are stuck on a desert Island what are your 3 must have items?
1. A frozen yoghurt machine dispensing some refreshingly zingy flavour like lime. 
2. My dog Bodie. Watching him romp at the beach is one of my greatest pleasures in life! He's even learning to swim - albeit with chin in the air and a slightly panicked look on his face. Plus he could dig us a nice sleeping hole. 
3. A notebook and pen so I can write about the experience! 


Thank you Belinda for taking the time to talk and to tease us!
My review of Winter Wonderland will be on the blog on Thursday.
There will also be a chance to win your own copy of Winter Wonderland!


Saturday, 3 November 2012

A Winter Flame by Milly Johnson


Milly Johnson is a new author to me, a friend of mine sent me White Wedding to read earlier in the year and just loved it so I couldn’t wait to read another book by Milly so you can understand my delight when I found out she was releasing a Christmas themed book.


Having never been a fan of Christmas especially after her fiancé was killed in action on Christmas day imagine the thoughts that were going through Eve’s head when she is left a Christmas themed theme park in her late aunts will!

The added mystery to Eve is that she has inherited the theme park along with a mysterious man whom she had never heard of, Jacques Glace. The last thing Eve wants is to be working alongside someone else let alone with anything to do with Christmas but never one to give up easily Eve is determined to get the theme park up and running her way and hoping to lose the mysterious Jacques in the process.


Wow, Wow, Wow. This was just spine tingly good! I am a huge fan of Christmas and I do love it when I pick up a book with a festive cover and actually get a festive feeling whilst reading, but this book gives you more than a little festive feeling. The author manages to describe a perfect Winter wonderland which manages to transport you into the setting so you really feel as though you are there watching each little detail of the theme park appear if there really was a place like Milly has created in her book here in the UK I would be on my way there now!

Rather than this book being a tale of a traditional Christmas this book instead creates the more magical and surreal side of Christmas which manages to bring out the child in each reader.

Once again the author creates a wonderful cast of characters some who have returned from the pages of White Wedding but please don’t feel that you can’t read this one without having first read White Wedding as this can easily be read as a standalone book as the characters who are from White Wedding are supporting characters in this book but having said that I would still head out and by both as they are both fantastic reads.

Eve has many sides to her character the true side to her we get to see and love and then there also is the cold and frosty side she saves for Jacques but seen as I am ever the romantic I was convinced it was a love hate relationship as both Eve and Jacques are truly lovely and warm characters I couldn’t see a negative side to them.

Milly Johnson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and she has won my heart with this book. This easily has to be one of my favourite ever Christmas reads.

Book Cover


Festive Feel


Book review over all


Kindle                      Paperback 


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Friday, 2 November 2012

The School Gates by Nicola May


With all the lovely Christmas books being released at the moment I have been in my element but not wanting to read all of them months before the special day I decided to read The School Gates by Nicola May. Nicola is an author who in my eyes doesn’t get enough recognition for her work, I love her books and they are easily upto the same standard as many current chart books.

Plot
At 3.10pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children. For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows. When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child's father, she doesn't expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. 

Ex Czech au-pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Mo's wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Supper Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow. And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings


I had to say I was a little concerned how I would find this book, I don’t have children and I also seem to be missing the whole maternal gene to, on the odd occasion I have had to do the school run for my Niece and Nephew I have hated it and would rather go to the dentist to have my teeth pulled out, luckily I didn’t have the same feeling when reading this book!

Each chapter alternates between the many characters who make up this book and believe me there are a hell of a lot of them and when you first begin to meet them you do start to lose track of who is who but as the book moves along each of the characters start to develop and some of their storylines start to include the other characters and so you soon become familiar with who is who.

My favourite thing about Nicola May’s writing is the humour she brings to her books it is in a league of its own and it is very down to earth, day to day humour and she brings that humour back in this book which makes it such an enjoyable read. Humour aside the author also brings a number of more serious issues such as death, Infidelity, Weight Issues and fertility issues and each of these issues are brought to us on a very in-depth level the author doesn’t tiptoe around these issues which for me brought a deeper feeling storyline and it was great to see a different side to the authors writing style.

There are characters who you will love and there will be some you hate but I think the character that shone through for me had to be Mo she was such a loveable and genuine character she really was a joy to read. It really is amazing the amount of characters and storylines that are included in this book there really is something for everyone.

Look for a humour read with full bodied character and an indepth storyline then this book is right up your street.


Kindle

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Construct a Couple by Talli Roland

I have enjoyed all of Talli Roland’s books and so I was keen to read Construct a Couple which is a follow on from Build a Man and I couldn’t wait to see what the characters were going to get upto in this book.

With a great job at a reputable magazine and a man who's the perfect match, Serenity Holland thinks she's laid the foundation for an ideal London life. When a routine assignment uncovers a shocking secret threatening her boyfriend's company, Serenity decides to leave nothing to chance, taking matters into her own hands. Soon, though, she realises keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought . . . and the consequences are far worse than she ever imagined. 

We meet Serenity and Jeremy a year into their relationship and for once something seems to be going right for these characters, Jeremy is recovering from his stroke and Serenity is about to start a new job which she is hopes will lead her to her dream position. It doesn’t take long for a spanner to be put in the works for them, trouble just seems to follow Serenity which only makes you feel sorry for her character.

What I really missed in this book compared to previous books by this author is the humour, but her writing style still allows you to breeze through this book as her writing just flows effortlessly which makes it an enjoyable easy read.

Although this could be read as a standalone book I still think it would be worth reading Build a Man to get to know the characters a little better before reading this one. This is well worth picking up and it is an unbelievable price on kindle so give it a click.



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