#BookReview : Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair by @Heidi_Swain : @simonschusterUK

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I am sharing my thoughts today on “Sleigh Rides & Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair” by Heidi Swain, available in paperback or eBook, published by Simon & Schuster UK.

Synopsis:

When Anna takes on the role of companion to the owner of Wynthorpe Hall, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, she has no idea that her life is set to change beyond all recognition.

A confirmed ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, Anna is amazed to find herself quickly immersed in the eccentric household, and when youngest son Jamie unexpectedly arrives home it soon becomes obvious that her personal feelings are going all out to compromise her professional persona.

Jamie, struggling to come to terms with life back in the Fens, makes a pact with Anna – she has to teach him to fall back in love with Wynthorpe Hall, while he helps her fall back in love with Christmas. But will it all prove too much for Anna, or can the family of Wynthorpe Hall warm her heart once and for all…?

Join Anna for a festive journey festooned with sleigh rides and silver bells and help her discover her happy-ever-after.

My Thoughts:

Anna does all she can to avoid Christmas and when the job as a companion comes up at Wynthorpe Hall it is perfect.  She is met with a very warm welcome from the owners and also the staff, in fact at times it is hard to see a difference between staff and family as they all just seem to bimble along in a wonderful warm way, everyone helps out with whatever is required.  Anna trying to be professional, unknowingly lets her guard down and fits right in.

Oh my goodness, this is such a deliciously warm, snugly and cosy read.  The characters are as welcoming to the reader as they are to Anna on her arrival.  As the story unfolds you get to meet all the characters and all their quirky ways and also their friendly and open warmth as you read about how they arrived at the Hall, what they do and their relationships with each other.  But there is also a serious side to the story that involves the owners three sons who you will meet further in, Christopher, Archie and Jamie.  They have different lives and responsibilities and the story line takes in various problems and run in between them in its stride.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I followed Anna and the other characters to the run up to Christmas at the Hall, there antics are hilarious at times and I found myself reading with a daft grin on my face.  A book that I could not put down, very well paced with a brilliantly written cast.

This is my first experience of reading this author, yes I am kicking myself for this, I will definitely be reading more.

If you want a heartwarming festive treat, then this is the book to read.  It is a book that was comfortable and relaxing and is ideal for readers who like a festive fiction, women’s fiction and romance.

 

About the Author:

A1v63L0h5XL._SY200_  Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she finally plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she now writes contemporary fiction and enjoys the company of a whole host of feisty female characters.

Heidi can be found at the keyboard at all hours of the day and night and quite often scribbling longhand in her car during her lunch break. She lives in stunning south Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Cafe, was published on July 16th, 2015 and became an Amazon bestseller.

Follow the author on Twitter  ~  Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (5 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164859
  • Purchase from Amazon UK  ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, feel free to share. 

Better still, go and buy this book xx

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#BlogTour : Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler : @rararesources : #BookReview

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I am so delighted to be taking part in the tour for this stunning book, “Tall Chimneys” by Allies Cresswell.  It is available to purchase in paperback and eBook, published via Createspace.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Allie for my copy of this book.


Book Details: 

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Paperback: 416 pages

 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (5 Dec. 2017)

 Language: English

 ISBN-10: 1978036914

 ISBN-13: 978-1978036918

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon.Com


Synopsis:

Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time – abandonment or demolition. Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater – the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard – little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up – until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder. Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself. A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever. One woman, one house, one hundred years.

My Thoughts:

This is stunningly beautiful book.  Tall Chimneys is a Jacobean house set in a dip alongside the Yorkshire Moors. The story that unfolds is one that shows the relationship the Talbot family have with the house over a hundred years. It is told from the perspective of Evelyn, the youngest family member at the time. As she tells her story she also includes things going on in the world, providing reference dates through history. The house has a hold over Evelyn, it has always been there for her, it has been her home as she has watched it pass through the family.  It has been a place that at witnessed and seen many things along with Evelyn.  It has hosted parties and soiree’s, held secret wartime meetings, met famous people and also American servicemen, seen births and deaths and has remained just a little out of time, not really modernised properly at any point.  It holds a whisper of times gone past.

This is such a beautiful story to read.  It dips into family dynamics and social class structure of the times, looking at the differences and expectations of those “above stairs” and also those “below stairs”.  There is a wonderful array of characters, some you will love, other despise, odd one will probably infuriate and then there are the loathsome, they share different personalities, outlooks, opinions and expectations on life, love, death and loss.

As Evelyn led me through her story I could not help but feel for her, she has stayed true to Tall Chimneys, has been caught up in the time bubble that has surrounded it, in doing this she has used the house as a security blanket, it is her home, safe haven and refuge. The detailing that Allie has added to this book regarding the house, the interior, gardens and surrounding area built up a wonderful image for me.  All this was given as Evelyn made her way through the story.  Then at the end of the book we are brought up to present day as a distant relative shows an interest in discovering his roots, it is a very good way to bring an end to the story, this I found quite emotional as I knew I was also coming towards the end of this book.

For me the pacing is perfect for this book, from the first few lines of the prologue to the final line in the epilogue.  As I read of the pull that the house had over Evelyn, I found a similar pull keeping me held with in the story, so much so that I stayed up to finish this book until 2:45am, that was how much of a hold it had on me.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book, stunning, beautiful, wonderfully written and totally captivating.  Ideal for readers of Literary Historical Fiction, General Fiction and Women’s Fiction.

Thank you so much Allie and Rachel for a copy of this book. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, one granddaughter and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.

Tall Chimneys is the sixth of her novels to be published.

Facebook – Website – Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy the book xx

#BookReview :#AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan : @SVaughanAuthor : @simonschusterUK : @NetGalley

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“Anatomy Of A Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan and has a planned release date of 11th January 2018 you can pre-order now.  Published by Simon & Schuster UK and available as Hardback, eBook and Audio.

Book Detail:

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164996
  • Purchase from 

Synopsis:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Thoughts:

This is a story that is told from the perspective of several characters and across different timelines.  The trial of a Junior minister James, for the rape of a colleague, but it is a tricky case as they had an affair that had recently ended.  We are introduced to Kate the Prosecuting Barrister, Sophie who is James’s wife, and a few others, but these are the main ones.

This is at times a hard read as there are sexual references made.  Also at times I thought a little slow and repetitive at times as the story progresses.  But that being said,  I really enjoyed the different story  lines, they have been well developed and intertwined around the various characters.  They give an insightful read showing how they have changed over the years, why their opinions, demeanour and outlook on life is what it is.  But like most people they have skeletons in their closets, and these are now about to see the light of day, and they are going to have repercussions.

I really liked the character of Kate, by far my favourite one.  She has a strong persona but underneath is vulnerable and emotional.  Sophie felt like a real sap, over the years she seems to have lost her identity, then there is James, what a slime-ball of a man.  Kate has a different background to the other two so I think this is why I liked her, a black sheep of sorts in the social ranks of Oxford University.

I would recommend this book to readers of Courtroom Drama, Women’s Fiction with elements of suspense.  I will add that there are sexual references that may offend some readers.

I wish to express my thanks to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training at the Press Assocation, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. It wasn’t until her second child was born, that she finally did what she’d always wanted to do and started writing fiction. The Art of Baking Blind is the result, and will also be published in the US (St Martin’s Press) and in nine translations. She lives near Cambridge and is working on her second novel.

Follow Sarah on : Facebook  Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give a share.  Better still go and buy the book xx

 

 

#BookReview : #TheMarriagePact by Michelle Richmond ( @michellerichmon ) @MichaelJBooks @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be able to share my thoughts on “The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond.  It is available in Hardback and eBook format now, Paperback is due for release on 14th December 2017, published by  Penguin Books.  I was originally sent an invite to read this from Michael Joseph Books via NetGalley, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (14 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718186133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718186135
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Synopsis:

Would you stake your life on your marriage?

Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered a mysterious wedding gift – membership of a club which promises its couples will never divorce.

Signing The Pact seems the start to a perfect marriage.

Until one of them breaks the rules.

The marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Because The Pact is for life.

And its members will do anything to make sure no one leaves . . .

 

‘A brilliant premise . . . tautly plotted and deftly written’ J P Delaney

‘Beware. This will keep you up all night’ Lisa Gardner

‘You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough’ Paula Daly

My Thoughts:

When I received the invite to read this book, It was a very quick response that yes I really wanted to read this.  I was not disappointed, from the outset I was hooked.  The story is told from the perspective of Jake as he relates his experiences of his relationship and then through his marriage to Alice.  But one of their wedding gifts is an unusual one, entry into a group that promotes marriage.  The Pact is a group that helps to guide and support their members to achieve and maintain a successful marriage.  At first it seems okay, little things such as giving your partner a gift each month, making time for your partner, answering calls straight away, attending meetings, having regular holidays together.  It all sounded great and doable, until that is, you miss one of the rules.  Yes all these guidelines of things to do are rules, and if you break a rule there are consequences.

Oh my goodness, this is a book that makes you think.   It is quite scary how, as you read, you find yourself agreeing with some of the ideology behind The Pact, spending time with your partner in this fast paced world we live in is a definite must.  At this point you can see how Jake and Alice saw no problem being part of the group.  Then as the story deepens you see another side to the group.  I am not going to say any more on this, I just ask that you go and buy yourself a copy of this wonderful book to find out more.

What I expected from this book and what I experienced are two completely different things.  There is a sense of foreboding with the synopsis, but I did not expect what I read.  It is psychologically deeply twisted and sinister and also very believable.  It is that believe-ability of the plot that is the real hook for this book, in my opinion. As you meet other characters your opinions will change about them, as you realise you don’t know who you can trust to tell the truth. They refer to each other as “Friend” rather than by name, keeping things slightly impersonal, a great touch to raise the suspicion level.  It has a fast pace that adds to the thrill, i did find a drop on a couple of occasions, but not enough to take anything away from it

So, if you like to read very suspense filled, sinister, psychological, deeply twisted and believable read then get a copy of this book.  It is one I really recommend reading.  My thanks to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for my copy of this book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Michelle Richmond is the author of the novels THE MARRIAGE PACT, THE YEAR OF FOG, NO ONE YOU KNOW, GOLDEN STATE, DREAM OF THE BLUE ROOM, and the story collections HUM and THE GIRL IN THE FALL-AWAY DRESS.

“Michelle Richmond has established herself as mistress of the kind of literary mystery which packs the punch of a fine thriller but with added insight and wisdom….” Sarah Broadhurst for The Daily Mail (The Year of Fog)

Michelle’s novels are primarily set in San Francisco, California. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Follow the author on her Website ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this great book x

#BookReview : The Little Village Christmas by @SueMoorcroft : pub by @AvonBooksUK #FestiveReads

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“The Little Village Christmas” by Sue Moorcroft.  Published by Avon Books UK and is available in paperback, eBook and audio.  I do actually recommend buying the paperback book, it is sparkly, and shiny and has glitter that stays on the book and not on your face ! (Apologies, a very girly moment there, girly moments are a rarity for me !!)  I read this book on the recommendation of A Love of Books  Facebook Group for their monthly Book Night pick.

Book Details: 

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (2 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000826001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008260019
  • Amazon UK link

Synopsis:

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Thoughts:

The village has come together with money to restore the old village pub but as a Community Cafe.  But after all the money is stolen along with almost all of the period features the chance of being able to transform the old pub looks lost.  But not so, there are some who are not willing to just give up, instead a stubborn determination takes over and they want the project to remain on track.  Ben is a newcomer to the village, but has a family connection to the village, he offers help to Alexia, the project manager, an old adversary has a change of heart and there are those who want to distance themselves from the negativity of the theft.

I really enjoyed this book, it is a light hearted and humorous at times read, with a warm cosy feel to it.  I found some of the local community references very believable, living in a village myself.  I found that I could mirror some of Sue’s characters with some of our own locals, though I would never say which ones.  This added that little bit extra special something for me, the believe-ability of the community was great.  Even though there is quite a limited cast for the village.  This is where we learn more of Alexia and her role in the village and what her dreams are.  Ben’s story is also included and also his connection to the village.

Even though this is a story with a Christmas element in it, it is not a mistletoe, baubles, fairy lights,  twinkly jumper wearing book.  It takes place on the run up to Christmas, but with all the busy-ness of the characters in this book, they don’t have the time to thinks about it too much.

This is a really enjoyable, cosy, snuggly on a sofa, big cushion hot chocolate read.  Get comfortable for this, I read it virtually in one sitting, if things like going to work hadn’t got in the way. I would have done.  I definitely recommend this to readers of feel good, warm, light-hearted, crime and mystery books, with a sprinkle of romance to top it off nicely.  I am going to admit to being aware of this author, but (whispers…) not reading any of her books, this is absolutely going to change. A great introduction to this authors works, in my opinion. Now off to order a couple more of her books 🙂

About the Author:

B14P3XHiAvS._SY200_Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes women’s contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her last book, The Christmas Promise, was published by Avon Books UK. It reached #1 in the UK Kindle chart and did well in mass market paperback both in the UK and in Germany (WinterZauberKüsse). Her new book, Just for the Holidays, is already a best-seller in several categories.

Sue has won the Best Romantic Read Award, been nominated for a RoNA and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

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Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.

November Book Round up. Blog tours, blitz’s & reviews on Me and My Books.

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This month has been a very busy reading month for me.  With a whole range of different genres, authors and publishers. With 25 books read and a guest post as I was unable to read a further book in time, I can say it has been my most busiest month as far as reading goes ever.

So to start with the Blog Tours, I was involved in.

Absolution by P.A.Davies | Scream Blue Murder by Tony. J, Forder | Dark Chapter by Winnie. M Li  |  The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett  | Illusion by Stephanie Elmas  |  Into The Valley by Chris Clement-Green  |

There were a number of different Blog Blitz tours as well. 

Wormwood by Larry Enmon  | The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton  | Secrets & Fries at The Starlight Dinner by Helen Cox |  Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by Helen. J. Rolfe  | The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

Books sent to me for my thoughts on them, or that I offered to read.

Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers  | The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw   | Living in Italy, The Real Deal by Stef Smulders  | Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux    |  Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser

NetGalley gave me a chance to start to read books aimed at children, as well as for my usual genres.

Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley  | The Price of Silence by Delores Gordon-Smith  | Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre  | Hortense and the Shadow by O’Hara Sisters  | The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

Finally a few books from my TBR Pile.

Bone by Yrsa Daley Ward   |The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd | Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek by Anthony O’Neill
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Finally I received the most amazing Guest Post from Peter Bartram.  Author of “Crampton of The Chronicle” mystery series.  I have rad some of his books in the past, but I just could not squeeze another book into my reading schedule. His post about Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hung in England, has a link into his new book. GuestPost by Peter Bartram.

 

 

 

 

A big ” Thank You” to everyone who has shared, tweeted and commented over the month.  As well as a huge “Thank You” to the authors, tour organiser and publishers.

If you liked this post, or any of the other links to my posts, please give them a like or a share.  Or better still, go and buy the book 🙂

#BlogBlitz : Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by @HJRolfe : with @rararesources : #FestiveFiction #HotOffThePress #Giveaway

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I would like to wish Helen a Happy First Birthday for “Christmas at The Little Knitting Box”.  I am delighted to be part of the blog blitz celebrations for this.  Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot.

*****Book News Alert*****

Helen has the the next book available on Amazon UK & US for pre-order, release date is 12th December, not long to wait for  “Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn”. You will find details of this next book at the end of this post.

Synopsis:

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.

Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.

When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful, cosy, snugly, wintry read.  Meet Cleo, she ran to New York 4 years ago from England, leaving behind a failed marriage.  Now divorced she has taken over The Little Knitting Box, a family run business that Cleo fits into perfectly.  She has found her safe haven amongst the ribbons, buttons, threads and wool that makes up this haberdashery shop.

Now meet Dylan, ex husband, ex lawyer and father of two.  Things were going well until his ex-wife Prue starts spending more time with the children.  She has made a mistake, wants to try again, be part of the family.  Dylan thinks she has something up her sleeve.

But things for these two people are about to change.  Unforeseen developments are on the horizon that will make both Cleo and Dylan re-think their individual futures.

This is a story that has pulled on the city of New York, a city that does Christmas, and does it well.  Helen has managed to bring the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere onto the pages and into my head.  She has invoked the warm cosy Christmas feeling into her pages and has wrapped it around a story very adeptly.  The Knitting Box descriptions are a delight, I could see the colours, shapes and feel the textures.  The plot hooked me from the first few paragraphs and kept me turning the pages. Among the plots that are told in this story, there is one that I really liked.  Second chances,  should people be given a second chance ? This I really liked as there were may different aspects, scenarios and situations that involved this theme.  A constant will they, won’t they plot, with some unexpected twists and developments.

This is a book that I fell in love with, it is out of my usual reading genres, but I am so glad I gave this book a chance.  I wanted a read that was Christmas themed, with a bit of romance and had a good story line.  This ticked all of those requirements and added quite a lot more.  A look at life, love, relationships and past personal problems that have an impact on life.

I would highly recommend this beautifully written Christmas book.  A great read that is perfect for snuggling up under a blanket or beside an open fire with a constant supply of hot chocolate.  Ideal for readers of romance, women’s fiction and general fiction.

About the Author:

CATLKB - authorpic1  Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

 

Follow Helen Website  Twitter  Facebook

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1861.0 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

*********Book News – Hot Off The Press**********

I as mentioned earlier in this post, Helen has a new book coming out, “Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn” .

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Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but is it the time to fall in love? 

As the flames on the log fire flicker and the snowflakes swirl above the New York streets, maybe this Christmas could be the one that changes everything…

When Darcy returns to Manhattan, she’s put in charge of the Inglenook Inn, a cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Inn needs a boost in bookings if it’s to survive the competition, so Darcy is convinced that hosting Christmas this year is the answer. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a face from the past, which can only spell trouble.

Myles left England behind and took a job in New York. It’s a step forwards in his career, and has the added bonus of being nowhere near his family. He’s also hoping to avoid Christmas, the worst time of the year. But when his company puts him up at the Inglenook Inn and he recognises Darcy, it isn’t long before they clash. 

When disaster strikes, can Myles and Darcy put their differences aside to make Christmas at the Inglenook Inn a success?

Publication Date – 12tth December 2017

Pre-order Now!

Amazon UK   or Amazon.com

 *****************************************CATLKB - bookbirthdaygiveaway prize

 

As if we hadn’t been spoilt enough there is also a great giveaway, enter below for a chance to win a paperback copy and chocolate.  Good Luck xx

**>Click Here to Enter<**

 

 

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#BlogBlitz : Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by @Helenography with @rararesources

secrets and fries cover

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner” by Helen Cox. This book is available to purchase now an is in eBook format.  Blog Tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

What brings Bonnie Brooks to The Starlight Diner? And why is she on the run?

As the front-woman in a band, Bonnie is used to being in the spotlight, but now she must hide in the shadows.

Bonnie only has one person who she can turn to: her friend Esther Knight, who waitresses at the Fifties-themed diner. There, retro songs play on the jukebox as fries and sundaes are served to satisfied customers. But where has Esther gone?

Alone in New York City, Bonnie breaks down in front of arrogant news reporter, and diner regular, Jimmy Boyle. Jimmy offers to help her. Can she trust him?

When the kindly owner of the Starlight Diner offers Bonnie work, and she meets charming security officer Nick Moloney, she dares to hope that her luck has changed. Is there a blossoming romance on the cards? And can Bonnie rebuild her life with the help of her Starlight Diner friends?

My Thoughts:

Meet Bonnie, just arrived in New York to find her friendand ex work colleague Esther.  Bonnie has very little money, only a few belongings, is cold, hungry, alone and scared.  When she arrives at the diner Bonnie is told that Esther is away with her boyfriend and due back the next day.  This is the final straw for Bonnie’s emotions and she breaks down, luckily for her the is Jimmy, a cautious, wary big hearted customer of the diner and also Mona who helps keep an eye on her.

Now I like a good prologue, the one for this book is short, sweet and beautifully sums up what the essence of The Starlight Diner.  I admit those few paragraphs did it for me, I was hooked.  The story that follows is deliciously yummy.  The main protagonist is Bonnie Brooks, a woman with issues, she is a disappointment to her family, who tell her so on a regular basis.  With this attitude towards her, she doesn’t keep in touch with them, but it has an effect on how she sees herself in the world, a feeling of not fitting in, not conforming to the norm or knowing her own self, is it any wonder she has been a drifter.  Good things happen at the diner with good people, Esther and Jack, then Angela, Mona, Bernie and then Jimmy as well as a few others, they provide an interesting cast for a book with a heart.

As the story unfolds the story of Bonnie we learn why she arrived in New York from Atlantic City, the why, who’s and where’s are all filled in.  There is suspense, tensions, thrills and a plot that kept me intrigued and turning pages, it’s a story that has been well written and has humour as well as crime, mystery and a dash of romance.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of cosy crime, mystery, romance.  I really enjoyed this book, it is the second in the series and reads really well as a stand alone.

I would like to take the time to thank Rachel at Rachel Random Resources  for the opportunity to be part of this tour. Also to wish Helen Cox all the very best with this great book.

About the Author:

Secrets and Fries - Helen Cox.JPG  Helen Cox is a book-devouring, photo-taking, film-obsessed novelist. If forced to choose one, Helen’s Mastermind specialism would be Grease 2. To this day, she still adheres to the Pink Lady pledge and when somebody asks her if she is a god she says ‘yes.’

After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen found work writing for a range of magazines, websites and blogs as well as writing news and features for TV and radio. She has written three non-fiction books and founded independent film publication: New Empress Magazine. She currently lives in York and writes novels.

Follow Helen on Facebook  Twitter   Instagram

Author Giveaway

Secrets and Fries - Giveaway Prize  Win a signed proof copy of book 1 – Milkshakes and Heartbreaks – Open Internationally.

Sign up to Helen Cox’s mailing list before 1st December in order to be in with a chance of winning –

https://helencoxauthor.wordpress.com/send-me-a-free-book-to-read/

As a thank you to signing up to the mailing list you will receive three short stories too.

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 976 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Maze (16 Dec. 2016)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share. 

Better still, go and buy the book.

#BlogTour Dark Chapter by @winniemli with @Legend_Press #BookReview

 

I have read this book as part of the tour for this heartbreaking, emotional, inspiring book.  This book is available as paperback, hardback, eBook, audio-book and audio CD.

Synopsis:

An astonishing and unique novel inspired by the author’s own story

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel.
Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society.

On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.

In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.

Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

Praise for the Book:

Winner of The Guardian Not The Booker
Prize 2017

As covered by YOU Magazine, Daily Mail,
Daily Telegraph, The Times, Metro, The Weekender, The Stylist, Irish Sun, Irish
News, The Scotsman, Irish News, Books Ireland Magazine, BBC World Service, RTE
Radio, BBC Radio Ulster, London Live, The Pool, Crime Writers Association,
English PEN podcast.

STYLIST magazine Top 10 debuts to look out for in 2017

‘An important and moving book’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Complex and rewarding… an important book’-Stylist

‘Dark Chapter is a must-read. It’s gripping, compelling and all the more authentic for inhabiting both voices so completely. Stunning.’ Erin Kelly

‘An authentic, courageous debut, told with unflinching honesty and exceptional insight.’ A.D. Garret

‘A powerful story, compassionately told.’Ros Barber, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize and The Author’s Club First Novel Award

‘An accomplished debut, an honest and unsparing story.’ Cath Staincliffe

‘I have never found myself rooting for a heroine with more urgency’ Kate Rhodes

‘Deftly written, pacey and unflinching, I could not put it down. Winnie Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it.’ Marti Leimbach, best-selling author of Dying Young and Daniel Isn’t Talking

Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger

My Thoughts:

When I was approached by Imogen Harris at Legend Press to read this book and be part of a blog tour , I did not respond straight away, I thought about it first.  I am not a reader who likes to read about rape, so why would I want to read this? Then I read that it was based on a true story by the victim of this attack, it did make me re think.  I changed my mind because I wanted to support this lady, my way of offering my support is to read her book.  Her experience inspired the story.

So onto my thoughts regarding the story.  At first it was a little confusing, starting at the end, then jumping to the beginning. Then onto the  childhood of Vivian, living in America, her education and her love of travel  with her arrival to the UK.  At the same time as Vivian’s story we are told about Johnny, a teenager of Irish Travellers, his upbringing is very different and hard.  Once I had gone a few chapters into the book and understood the switching between characters, then I was well and truly hooked.

The book tells how two people come to be in one place at the same time.  How that meeting changed both of their lives.  What I found interesting was how the author had also incorporated the thoughts of both the victim and the attacker.  It gave a very deep and in-depth perspective.  Two views that are so opposite to each other.  The characters are different in their mannerisms, outlooks on life, their education, their everything.   The book, once I had got used to the style, was then set out in a very logical way.  It gives details up to the attack, the attack, the trial and also the after effects of the attack  As I read the section regarding the trial especially, I had a lump in my throat, just holding back the tears until the verdict was delivered.  At this point I had to put down the book, I could not see through my tears.  I was amazed at how caught up I had got in this story.

I found once I had started this book, it was very difficult to put down.  There are some uncomfortable reading moments as you would expect.   It has  an honesty that is heartbreaking, emotional and inspiring.  I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, crime genres.

I wish to thank Imogen Harris and Legend Press for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785079069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785079061
  • Amazon UK  Amazon US

About the Author:

IMG_9929 LR final.jpg

Winnie M Li is a writer and producer. A Harvard graduate, she has written for travel guide books, produced independent feature filmes, programmed for film festivals and developed ecotourism projects. After graduating with Distinction in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, she now writes across a range of media (including the Huffington Post), runs arts festivals, and is a PhD researcher at LSE. Winnie lives in London, yet is somewhat addicted to travel Follow Winnie on Twitter

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, please give a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.

#BookReview : Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland : @under_blue_sky

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Synopsis:

THIS BOOKSHOP KEEPS MANY SECRETS . . .

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.

Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can’t hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?

It’s time to turn the pages of her past . . .

My thoughts: 

I would like to say a big thank you to Kelly Lacey and Joanne Baird of A LOVE OF BOOKS Facebook Group, they chose this as their September Book Club Pick, discussion night is on Thursday 28th September at 8 pm.  What a wonderful decision they made.

This book is set in York, in a book emporium.  Loveday Cardew is an employee with a secret.  She works with the flamboyant and larger than life Archie, who a couple of secrets of his own.  Loveday is a book person rather than a people person, but people are a means to an end regarding having a job.  She is a quiet, shy, reserved person who has been on a long journey in her life experiences.  It has been heartbreaking and has left her very vulnerable, with a slightly different outlook on life.  Over the course of the story we discover why this young lady tries to shun society, but finds a courage she never believed existed.  It will involve standing up to her memories and accepting them.

So the setting is a readers dream, the description of the shop is one a second-hand book shop lover will recognise very well.  Loveday is a wonderful character, it would be easy to think of her as a weak wishy-washy person, but actually the author has given her a very good uncompromising and strong character, it’s one that Loveday wouldn’t see in herself.  The shop is her refuge, her sanctuary against the outside population.  Books have been her armour and never let her down, well until she first met Archie, but that chink in her armour allowed something special in, a friendship.  A lost book also allows her to meet a rather confident poet.

I really want to say so much about this book, but do not want to spoil it for readers.  I hope that readers who come across this book will enjoy it to the same extent as I did.  The synopsis for it does not really give anything away, but what is contained within the cover is a very addictive story.  So addictive that I almost burnt the evening meal and  drank several forgotten about cold cups of coffee, this was my commitment to reading this book.

I would highly recommend this book to people who like a heartbreaking and heartwarming contemporary fiction read.  It is a book that would be great for discussion for reading groups, and included at the end of the book are a few questions to get you started.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zaffre (20 April 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785762591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785762598
  • Amazon Link

Author Bio:

Stephanie-Butland-image-Carliol-Photography-3-small-200x300

I’m a writer, and I’m thriving after breast cancer. (I used to say I was a survivor, but that was a bit lacking in joie de vivre.)
Although I’d never have chosen it, my dance with cancer has changed my life in many positive ways. Now I am happier, healthier, and more careful with my precious life and the precious people and things in it.

My writing career began with my dance with cancer, and now I’m  a novelist.

Aside from writing, I work as a speaker and trainer, and I work with charities to help raise awareness and money in the hope that cancer will soon be about as scary as a wart.

Links:

Author Website

Author Twitter

Author Facebook

 

Many thanks for reading my post.