Wednesday, 30 November 2016

It's All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

I had come across Ruby Elliot on Twitter (@Rubyetc ) with some of her drawings so when her publishers asked if I would like a copy of her new book called It’s all Absolutely Fine I jumped at the chance as it was something completely different to what I usually read and was rather intrigued.

It is no secret that I battle with anxiety and depression and sometimes it is so hard to put in to words how you are feeling to someone who has been lucky enough never to have suffered but what Ruby has managed to do is draw pictures that shout a thousand words making it understandable to those who don’t understand and also making them incredibly relatable to those who have found themselves going through the dark times.

Ruby has managed to take the topic of mental health and sprinkle some humour to make it a lighter read. There was one particular picture that showed how yes you can acknowledge all the things that you have achieved but instead lets focus on that tiny little thing that I messed up and this is something that I do constantly and when I looked at the picture I could whole heartedly relate to it but looking on the outside in it just seemed so stupid and funny but obviously when that is the mindset you are in it there is no humour there.


Some of the bits in the book was a little too far out there for me but all in all I enjoyed this book because it tackles mental health awareness in an original way. I have seen many people complain about the drawings but personally I didn’t read it for the quality of the artwork for me it was more about what the drawings were portraying and so this book gets a thumbs up from me.


Paperback

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market by Heidi Swain

Christmas has arrived in the town of Wynbridge and it promises mince pies, mistletoe and a whole host of seasonal joy. 

Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.

But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs. 

The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…


Heidi Swain takes us back to Wynbridge this Christmas with her new novel Mince Pies and Mistletoes at The Christmas Market. Ruby has returned home after finishing University and she wants to use the run up to Christmas too catch up with family and friends as well as take advantage of the festive season to be a able to earn money on The Cherry Tree Café market stall so she can use the money to travel.

Ruby’s father isn’t happy about her temporary career but Ruby is determined to run the stool and before long she is a welcome sight among the market traders. The market isn’t as successful as it used to be and is under threat of closure but Ruby has some ideas up her sleeve but not everyone is happy about her plans.

This book is wonderfully festive with the storyline set on the countdown to Christmas, Ruby soon had the villagers getting in the festive spirit and embracing her ideas to improve the trade for the market.

We are reunited with a number of much loved characters from  The Cherry Tree Café and Summer at Skylark Farm which gave such a familiar and welcoming feel to this book but if you haven’t read the previous two books don’t be put off as this can easily be read as a stand alone.

At the heart of this book is a lovely little romance that although was a little predictable it still had you routing for the pair to get together and have a happy ever after. We are kept in suspense about another detail in this book which I never saw coming until it was revealed.

Ruby really felt like a Christmas Angel being sent to Wynbridge to save the village at Christmas! If you are looking for a festive read full of crafty Christmas gifts, delicious bakes and a sweet romance then this book will tick all the boxes. 


Kindle                   Paperback

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Just because you can't remember, doesn't mean you can't love . . . 
 Anna Forster is thirty-eight years old and has started to suffer from the early stages of Alzheimer's. She knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to an assisted living facility. But best can still hurt. What she also knows is that there's just one other resident her age at the facility - Luke. 

As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to all that's left. What remains are her feelings for Luke. Before long the pair fall in love, despite the forces that are set against them. 

But when a tragic incident occurs, Luke and Anna's families decide to separate them. There is one person at the facility who can help the pair, but only if she's willing to risk everything for them . . .


The Thing we Keep is the first book I have read by Sally Hepworth and I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be my kind of book if I am completely honest and yet as soon as I started to read the first page I was totally hooked and couldn’t wait to read the rest of Anna’s story.

The storyline is told from three characters points of view all who are all going through a difficult time in their lives. Anna suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s and she has made the decision to move into an assisted living facility but she isn’t the only young person living there ,Luke also suffers with a form of dementia and before long the pair form feelings for each other but not everyone is happy about it. Eve has recently started working at the assisted living facility and after the devastation she has just lived through she is routing for Anna and Luke and will do what she can to help them both. We also get to hear from Eve’s daughter Clementine who although is in a very vulnerable situation at the moment she brings light to the residents at the home.

I have read a number of books this year that focus on the topic of early onset Alzheimer’s and they all do a wonderful job of raising awareness to what people assume is an old person’s disease but they all tackle this subject in a different way so the storyline of this book was very interesting.

Anna was a wonderful character whose humour shines through on her good days and you could see the frustration she feels when in a situation that makes her uncomfortable. Seeing things through her eyes was an eye opener from not being able to remember the words for things but also not knowing where she is such as when she was in her room and not knowing how to get out because there were three doors one of which was a cupboard.

I enjoyed having the background of Eve and Clementine weaved into the story, they have also been through a difficult time and are learning to adjust and I looked forward to hearing from them just a as much as Anna.

The issues surrounding the relationship in this book is one that may divide people at the beginning of this book but because we can read Anna’s thoughts as well as her and Luke’s family’s thoughts on the matter it soon makes you see things from both perspective.


I loved the flow of this authors writing style she manages to pull you in from the first chapter and keep you captivated right until the final page. There are emotional highs and lows and I found it to be a thought provoking read. I will be sure to pick up the authors previous book The Secrets of Midwives next.


Paperback              Kindle

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Not Just for Christmas Blog Tour


Today it is my stop on the Not Just for Christmas blog tour.
I'm joined by the lovely Alex who is talking to us about her love of Christmas.



Countdown to Christmas

I absolutely adore Christmas, from the tips of my fingers right down to my toes; snuggly encased in my Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer slippers! There’s no other part of the year like it and I throw myself into the whole affair with much enthusiasm! I try to get all of my shopping done in plenty of time, having learnt over the years that trudging through the hordes of other disorganised shoppers on Christmas Eve really isn’t the best start to the perfect festivities.   

On Christmas morning, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop! I LOVE giving presents to those special people in my life, even more than getting them myself and I spend ages picking the perfect gifts. Seeing the look on their faces when they rip open the paper is the best present I could have.

But the loveliest thing about Christmas is being together with family and friends. I love all of the Christmas traditions, dressing the tree together and cooking roast turkey with all of the trimmings, though one year it nearly ended in disaster when my naughty dog, Puppy Oscar, stole the turkey and we had to frantically drive around the town on Christmas Eve trying to find a replacement!

Whatever you end up doing at Christmas, I hope that, like the villagers of Tindledale, you are surrounded by people you love and who love you back.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, my dear friends.

Luck & love
Alex xxx


Not just for Christmas is out now and you can read my review by clicking HERE!
Be sure to head over to http://tishylou.blogspot.co.uk/ tomorrow where the blog tour continues.

Currently on kindle for only 99p!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Kindle Deal is a Kindle Steal


I have been longing to replace my poor broken kindle for over a year now. I made the mistake of
purchasing the Kindle Fire which is great to use as a tablet but personally I didn't like reading on it, I found I was getting headaches and just generally didn't enjoy reading on it. 
I really wanted the Paperwhite but it came with a hefty price tag.

BUT IT HAS FINALLY GONE ON SALE!



The Paperwhite is usually £109.99 but it has been reduced to 
£79.99
You need to get in quick though as this offer is only available until Tuesday 29th November.
So get your Christmas shopping started early and make someone's Christmas with a gift that just keeps giving.



Click on the link below to purchase.

Available in White and Black.


If the Paperwhite still has a hefty price tag for you then think about the Kindle Fire which is great for people looking for a lightweight device to read on as well as having the added use of using as a tablet.


The Kindle Fire is only £29.99! Making it an affordable present for most.





There are also currently some great books under £1 on Kindle check them out below ( price at time of post )


Saturday, 19 November 2016

While you were Sleeping Blog Tour


Today it is my stop on the While You Were Sleeping blog tour and I am able to share with you the Prologue to give you a little teaser of what this book has to offer.......

While You Were Sleeping 
By Kathryn Croft 
PROLOGUE 
I open my eyes and know immediately something is wrong. Nothing is familiar. The dark blinds, shutting out all but a tiny sliver of sunlight, are not mine, and neither is the black silk sheet covering my body, nor the too-soft pillow beneath my head. 
This is not my bedroom. 
With eyes still groggy from sleep, I rely on all my other senses to comprehend where I am, but I have no idea. 
Something else is wrong. 
I should be warmer than this – it was over eighty degrees yesterday evening, yet now I feel cold. And as I become more alert, it only takes a few seconds to work out why this is. 
I am naked. 
Forcing my eyes to focus, I squint into the darkness, and try to take in the rest of the bedroom. Everything is white and neat, deliberately minimal. Furniture I would not have chosen. Furniture that is both strange and familiar. 
Someone is next to me. 
‘Noah?’ I whisper. But I already know it’s not him. The shape under the sheet is not my husband’s. 
Now I begin to panic because none of this makes sense. Slowly I lift the sheet, and take in the familiar dark hair and suntanned skin. 
I know this man. 
Gently I nudge him, wait for the awkward response, as I start to remember brief flashes of his face last night. The smile as he invited me inside. 
‘Lee?’ Another gentle nudge, but harder this time. 
Nothing. 
On rare occasions I have seen Noah like this. Too intoxicated from celebrating something or other to wake up, unless I shout directly in his ear. 
Flinging my legs over the side of the bed, I search for my clothes. My black skirt hangs over the radiator, my underwear scattered on the floor. I can’t remember what else I was wearing. I can’t remember anything other than turning up here. 
I retrieve what I can and hastily dress. I don’t want him to see me undressed. But he already has. He must have. And when I walk to his side of the bed I know immediately something is wrong. Something else. Something worse than waking up naked in my neighbour’s bed. 
He is dead. I know this already. No one with life in them can lie so motionless. 
With heavy robotic movements, I pull back the sheet, preparing myself to call an ambulance. He is young, but he could still have had a heart attack or something similar. I have heard of this happening when people exert themselves. But no, I cannot allow myself to believe I slept with him. I wouldn’t do that to Noah. To Rosie and Spencer. 
This I am prepared for. It is the river of blood which is the shock. The gaping slits across his body. The way his mouth forms an ‘o’ shape. The accusation in his wideopen eyes. 
I scream into the silence. 


You wake up to find the man beside you is dead. 
He is not your husband. 
This is not your bed.

 Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 
But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour, Lee Jacobs’ bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death. 

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood. But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her own life knows what really happened that night. And when the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out. 

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?


Kindle                     Paperback

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom.
This book is a perfect winter read to get you in the festive spirit on the run up to Christmas.


For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . . 
 For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . . 
 For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . .


I was won over earlier in the year by My Map of You by Isabelle Broom so when I saw that she was releasing a festive read with a breathtakingly gorgeous cover I couldn’t wait to start.

This book is set in Prague which is not somewhere that has ever really appealed to me but Isabelle Broom captures the true beauty of Prague and has brought the Old Town to life teasing me with all the deviously good food, plentiful wine and iconic historical sights. I don’t think I have ever googled the location of a book so much whilst reading a book and by a quart of the way through I was already pricing up a getaway to see the beauty that this author has dangled before me.

To add to an idyllic setting we are also introduced to a wonderful set of engaging characters Hope and Charlie are enjoying a romantic break, Sophie is returning to where she first met fiancé Robin who she is waiting to join her later in her trip, whilst friends Megan and Ollie are soaking in the sights for their jobs as a teacher and a photographer but can the magical and festive surroundings work its magic on the pair?

I am an avid reader but my favourite time of year to read is around Christmas wrapped up with a hot chocolate and a festive read but over the last few years I have struggled to find a book that really captures the festivity that ticks all the boxes and yet finally I have found it all in this book (other than poor Father Christmas he must have been busy!) This book has all the feels, the cosy festive setting, the romance, the delicious food and drink and the quaint little Christmas market stalls.

This storyline will pull you in from the first chapter and not let you go. The characters strike up a friendship which brings the storyline together as they reveal events from their past as well as the difficulty and apprehension in moving forward.


This is an utterly perfect wintry read that will leave a lasting impression on me and I wouldn’t be surprised if this hits the top spot on my Christmas 2016 book list this year.


Paperback               Kindle

Monday, 14 November 2016

A Christmas Kiss by Vicky Pattison


Amber Raey is working all the hours God sends as assistant to one of the country's top fashion designers, and her boss is a complete nightmare. But Amber has big plans for her future so, for the time being, she just has to grin and bear it. And then opportunity comes knocking and suddenly she's on the fast track to the top.

Amber adores her new life, especially as she's falling in love for the first time too. But soon the glossy exterior starts to slip and Amber begins to wonder if she's made the right decision entering this world. Then a face from her past reappears and she finds herself in real trouble. With Christmas fast approaching, Amber is drifting further away from her loved ones. 
Can she get her life back on track before it's too late for a merry Christmas?


With such a pretty festive cover it was impossible not to stop everything and dive in to A Christmas Kiss by Vicky Pattison. I really enjoyed All that Glitters earlier in the year so I was looking forward to starting this one.

Amber Raey has always had big dreams to become a great fashion designer and she was hoping that working as an assistant to Diana would give her a chance to break into the industry but she seems to be slaving away still at menial tasks and she is no closer to her dream. When a chance meeting with fashion designer Allesandro arises she is about to get a chance to shine and make it to the top.
Amber soon finds out that life in the spot light is not all rosy when it attracts fame hungry people who put spanners in the works but can Amber keep her feet on the ground and also make a success of the career she longs to hold on to?

This is such a fast paced exciting read that has Vicky Pattison’s voice sounding out through the pages! Full of glitz and glam and the troubles of being in the spot light this is something that Vicky Pattison knows all too well and she has poured this into this storyline.

Amber is an extremely talented and determined character who has such a loving family to support her as well as encouraging friends too.

There is a lot of humour as well as some deeper moments that will pull at the heart strings as Amber experiences many highs and lows along her journey making mistakes along the way and desperately wanting to right the wrongs she has made.

My one little gripe is this book lacked the festivity I was hoping for after seeing such a promising cover and title, in truth this is a book that could be read all year around even on your next Summer holiday.


This was another entertaining and witty easy read that has a sweet splash of romance for you to enjoy.



Paperback             Kindle

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Midwinter by Fiona Melrose

Father and Son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, are Suffolk farmers, living together on land their family has worked for generations. But they are haunted there by a past they have long refused to confront: the death of Cecelia, beloved wife and mother, when Vale was just a child. Both men have carried her loss, unspoken. Until now.
With the onset of a mauling winter, something between them snaps.
While Vale makes increasingly desperate decisions, Landyn retreats, finding solace in the land, his animals - and a vixen who haunts the farm and seems to bring with her both comfort and protection.

Midwinter is a beautifully written sensitive debut by Fiona Melrose. At the heart of the storyline is a deep raw grief that has divided father and son Landyn and Vale. After the tragic death of Cecelia the pair are both dealing with grief in their own way whilst Vale is like a boiling kettle waiting to bubble over, Landyn puts his heart into his pup and the mysterious vixen that arrives on the farm. 
My heart went out to both of the men as there emotions could be felt through the pages but I found Landyn touched my heart more so as not only was he struggling with the death of his wife he also has to watch his son hurting with his own grief and yet he was so powerless to help him as he seemed to make everything worse so he was dancing around warily on eggshells.
The storyline is told from both Vale and Landyn's points of view so we hear how they are both feeling not only about themselves but how they feel about each other too. The storyline also moves back and forth in time revealing the events of Cecelia's death and this gave way to some understanding on how Vale felt and the reason why.
Although the opening chapter was tense and eventful the remainder of the book is a very gentle read that flows at a delicate pace full of grief,depression, forgiveness, hope and friendship. The vixens appearance also brought a mysterious sense of calm to the storyline and Landyn found such comfort in her too. 
I was desperate for Landyn and Vale to break down the big divide between them so they could comfort each other and with every chapter my hope began to fade as Vale was in a very dark place and didn't seem to know how to get out again.
This was a poignant debut and I can not wait to see what else this author has in store for us as her writing is just so enchanting.


Hardback                   Kindle

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

It's a Wonderful Life Blog Tour


Today it is my stop on the It's a Wonderful Life blog Tour and I am delighted to be able to share an extract from Julia William's latest release.

Daniel got in late from work to find Beth cooking and the kids, as usual, in their rooms. Sometimes it felt as if they’d already left home and it was just him and Beth in the house. For all the notice the kids took of them, they might as well be invisible. Still, it was always good to come home, to Beth, to their shared life. He was lucky to have such a family, lucky to have a four-bedroomed detached house, lucky to have a garden. He could never have imagined this happening to him when he was growing up, in the small flat he and his Mum had shared in south London.
            ‘Good day?’ Beth asked, giving him a welcoming hug. He pulled her to him, breathed her in. She was every bit as gorgeous to him now as she had been that first day he’d met her at teacher training, when she’d walked into the lecture hall and smiled at him. He’d taken one look at the pretty arty girl with the long curling hair, and known that he was smitten. All these years later and he still was.
            ‘Busy,’ said Daniel. ‘How did the meeting go?’
            ‘It was dire,’ said Beth. ‘That girl. Ugh. I’m more confused than ever. I feel this bloody book is going to be the death of me.’
            ‘I’m sure it’s not as bad as all that,’ said Daniel. Beth always fretted when she was in the middle of a book, but she pulled it off every time. It was a constant source of astonishment to him as to how she did it. He was so proud of her.
            ‘It really is,’ said Beth. ‘Oh, and you’ll never guess who the new Art Director is.’
            ‘Who?’
            ‘Do you remember me telling you about a guy called Jack Stevens?’
            ‘The guy from college?’ Daniel had faint memories of Beth mentioning  a friend from art school called Jack years ago. Apparently he had always encouraged her when they were students, which had given her the confidence to do what she was doing now. For some reason they’d drifted apart after college; she was always a bit vague as to why.
            ‘The very same,’ said Beth. ‘Small world, huh?’
            ‘Isn’t it?’ Daniel said. ‘How was he?’
            ‘Just the same,’ said Beth. She seemed a bit preoccupied. ‘At least I know he’s on my side.’

OUT NOW!

Paperback                Kindle

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Blood Lines by Angela Marsons


A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring mother and social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up. 

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet. 

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother. 

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…


I just can’t get enough of the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, as soon as a new one is released whatever book I am reading has to be put down so I can jump straight into the next instalment.

Blood Lines is the latest book in the series and this time we revisit the twisted sociopath Dr Alex Thorne who is determined to wreak havoc and finally break Kim Stone. Meanwhile bodies are being investigated when they all show identical stab wounds but they need to find out what connects the victims to have a chance of finding the killer.

This is another gripping and tense read and having the evil and manipulating Alex back gave the storyline the same head fuck feel, as this woman is such an unlikeable, unpredictable and sinister character. I am pleased that this was just a sub plot as I can only take so much of this unbearable woman but I think it worked well having this plot weaved around the main storyline.

Once again the author has us over analysing everything trying to piece little clues together to try and solve the case before the professionals do! Kim Stone is still as frosty as ever and I am so pleased that her character isn’t softening along the way.


Play Dead and Silent Scream still remain my favourites but this is still addictive read that you do not want to miss. I hope it is not too long until we meet up with Kim Stone again.


Paperback              Kindle

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