Christmas at Carol’s by Julia Roberts book review

christmas at carols

Christmas at Carol’s written by Julia Roberts, publisher ripped, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2kJJPHk

Product Details (as per amazon page)

An uplifting tale of people’s desire to help each other in the season of goodwill – a romantic comedy with a twist in the tale.
Carol fell in love with Wisteria Cottage the moment she laid eyes on it and moved in two weeks before Christmas hoping it would be start of a new more positive period in her life.
On her first night in her new home she discovers an old Christmas card to someone called Annie with a heart-breaking message inside from Jake.
Although she doesn’t know them, and despite being on a self-imposed dating break herself, Carol begins planning how she can bring them together, while her new neighbour, Sally, is attempting a bit of matchmaking of her own.

 

christmas-at-carols-banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this festive novella by Julia Roberts.

Novellas are the perfect size reads to while away an hour or two.  I also find novellas are ideal in-between reads for when you’ve just completed an epic novel.

Christmas at Carol’s is everything a Christmas novella should be!

Julia Roberts has managed to pack a fair bit in this festive treat of a novella.  We have romance, mystery, community spirit and heart warming seasonal scenes to put us all in the festive mood.

Moving into her new home, Wisteria Cottage, two weeks before Christmas proved to be a great time for reflection for Carol.  A time spent wisely decorating her new home and getting to know her neighbours.  With the uncertainty of the winter weather brought upon the village the spirit of Christmas was even more paramount.

Christmas at Carol’s is a perfect novella for a cold wintry day to comfort you with joy.

To learn more about Julia Roberts and her writing please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.juliarobertsauthor.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JuliaRobertsTV

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/JuliaRobertsTV

 

 

 

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The Pets at Primrose Cottage: Part One and Part Two by Sheila Norton book review

The Pets at Primrose Cottage is a new serialised novel from Sheila Norton, published Ebury Digital.  Part One: A Place to Hide is available NOW in ebook format.  Part Two:  New Beginnings is available to download in ebook format on 21st December 2017.

PART ONE: A PLACE TO HIDE

To buy link:  Part One:  http://amzn.to/2CGei0i

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Emma Nightingale needs a place to hide away. Pursued by the demons left by her ex-boyfriend, she takes refuge in quiet Crickleford, a sleepy town in Dartmoor, where she can lay low.

Life in Crickleford is quiet and peaceful, but it won’t be for long if people discover the truth about Emma’s past. Not wanting to make too much of a fuss, she ends up lying about why she’s there – she’s looking after some cats, she says – then suddenly the town’s new ‘pet-sitter’ is in high demand!

While looking after an Alsatian, Emma finds all attention is on her, and the handsome young reporter from the local paper takes an interest in her story…

Review

alsationI adored Sheila Norton’s previous book, The Vets at Hope Green and was pleased to hear of a new story from her.  I was instantly drawn by the title, I love stories set around a country cottage and with the inclusion of animals, which I feel add a warmth and humour to a storyline and they also bring out the soft side in a character’s personality, I knew I was going to enjoy this story.

Emma has recently moved to the little Devon village.  She’s renting a room with a young family.  The author hints about some celebrity gossip that Emma has fled from in the States.  You are left wondering what has happened to make Emma leave the bright lights of New York.  Emma is afraid of being recognised which has left me intrigued as to what she is trying to hide from.  She has no job and her money will only last a short while but when she offers to help look after her landlady’s two pet cats word spreads about Emma helping out with pet sitting and she is soon inundated with requests to look after other pets.

Emma, with the help of the dogs she is caring for, soon starts to enjoy village life and whilst walking the dogs she falls in love with a little property near the river.  It appears to be empty at the moment and Emma soon starts day dreaming of owning a property like this.  Wishful thinking at the moment.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like I was exploring the village with Emma, it sounded so idyllic with names like Primrose Gardens, Primrose Cottage, Lavender Lane and Bilberry Cottage. Such a lovely start to a new cosy novel to cuddle up with on a winter’s night.

PART TWO: NEW BEGINNINGS

To pre-order/buy link:  Part Two:  http://amzn.to/2D5WuNh

Product Details (as per amazon page)

All Emma wants is a quiet life in sleepy Crickleford, away from the prying eyes of the press who are obsessed with the life she used to lead.

She is enjoying her new vocation: the town’s most in-demand pet-sitter. But her journalist friend and fellow animal lover Matt is desperate for a big story to make his career – such as Emma’s true identity…

Emma doesn’t want the spotlight, but it keeps finding her anyway. Can she keep her past a secret and live the life she’s dreamed of?

Review

burmese catIt was so nice to return to Emma and Primrose Cottage, it felt like I’d just recently visited them.  We left Emma last time with the fear of her whereabouts being found out by the local journalist.  Emma is still in hiding after fleeing from the States.  With this instalment we learn a little more about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend celebrity Shane but as yet we don’t know why she suddenly fled.

The pets of the village are keeping Emma’s mind off her thoughts although a farm cat causes her undue pain and anguish.

Will Emma’s new life and new beginning become in jeopardy as her friendship with the local journalist grows?

Another lovely instalment from Sheila Norton of a paw-friendly heartfelt story with a touch of intrigue and maybe blossoming romance for our animal loving shy heroine.

I’m really looking forward to continuing with this story, we don’t have long to wait with part three due out on 18th January 2018 and the final instalment part four due out on 15th February 2018.

To learn more about Sheila Norton and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.sheilanorton.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/NortonSheilaann

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SheilaNortonAuthor/

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest book review

christmas at woolworths

Christmas at Woolworths written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2kHcXiD

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

female despatch rider wwII

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Christmas at Woolworths is the sequel to Elaine Everest’s bestselling debut novel The Woolworths Girls.  I do have a confession to make, The Woolworths Girls is still waiting for me to read on my kindle.  I purchased The Woolworths Girls after reading and enjoying The Butlins Girls but when I saw this new novel out by Elaine Everest I couldn’t wait and dived straight in.  This new book by Elaine Everest can easily be read as a standalone but to fully appreciate the history surrounding all the characters I would wholeheartedly recommend reading all Elaine Everest’s nostalgic family sagas in order.

Christmas is a time when we reflect and relish nostalgia.  Elaine Everest’s Christmas at Woolworths is the perfect read for a cosy nostalgic hug of a book.

I was transported to South East London to 1942 when a war was still evident with many husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends were away from home risking their lives for King and country.  When women were left to step-up and fit in to many a man’s role and to do their bit for the war.

We once again visit the residents of Erith and especially to Freda, Sarah, Maisie and Betty who work at the Woolworths store.  As I mentioned previously I hadn’t read The Woolworths Girls but due to the warmth the author had created in her characters and setting I was soon engaged and enveloped in this wonderful family saga.

We follow predominantly the girls from the store over a 9 month period which was full of highs and lows leading up to Christmas, when just for a few minutes all appears at peace and harmony with the world.

A truly wonderful family saga dealing with all generations of a family and their friends coping with life still going on during a time of unrest and uncertainty.  A story filled with warmth and charm treating your mind to a whole host of nostalgic images that belonged in a world long ago but not forgotten.  I loved it and could carry on reading stories set in this time as fiction can bring history to life.

To learn more about Elaine Everest and her work please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineEverest

 

Q & A with author Kate Murdoch #historicalfiction

stone circle

Today I am pleased to welcome author Kate Murdoch to my blog answering a few questions about her work and inspiration.  Her debut novel Stone Circle is available NOW in ebook and paperback format and was published by Fireship Press.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2nPc4ZZ

Hello Kate and welcome …

  • I understand you were a widely recognised artist prior to writing.  Has your love, skill and experience in painting helped at all with the research work for your writing?

In the case of Stone Circle, it helped in that I’d done a lot of study of the Renaissance period at art school, so I had a sense of the aesthetic, the culture and the society. Most importantly, the art history gave me a fascination with the period in Italy. As a result, I enjoyed delving into further research focusing on alchemy, the role of women and the social hierarchy.

  • Where did the inspiration come for Stone Circle?

Originally from a dream I had of two young men and an old man, rowing in a canoe on a calm stretch of water. I knew the old man was imparting knowledge and that the time period was long ago. Then it was a matter of narrowing down the period, which led me to alchemy and the fact that it was practised at the time. 

  • Can you give us a brief overview of Stone Circle?

Stone Circle tells the story of Antonius, a fisherman’s son with psychic abilities, who wins a competition to be apprentice to the town seer. The son of a nobleman also wins, and there is intense rivalry between them for their mentor’s favour and the affection of his daughter as they study alchemy and magic rituals.

  • Do you have a set writing time in your day?  And, do you have a writing room?

Not really. Although my most productive time is the middle of the day and, quite often, the hour before I must pick up my children from school. I don’t have a dedicated writing room – I mainly write in the living room, looking out to the garden. If I have something more challenging, like intensive edits, I sit at the dining table.

  • Do you prefer writing a full length novel or short stories?

I love both. I’ve written many short stories and flash fiction pieces as well as two novels. There is satisfaction in creating a complete narrative in fewer words, but there’s also much enjoyment to be had in long-form, where you can create more detailed descriptions and delve deeper into characterisations. I also like the mystery of long-form – I enter it fairly blindly, never sure where the story will go.

  • If you’ve had time to relax and read this last year, what was your most outstanding book?

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. This was a book that impressed me for many reasons. The luminous prose and the exploration into choices and moral ambiguity. The fact that there is so much we don’t understand about peoples’ actions and the turmoil that can provoke them. Along with the heartbreak of being unable to turn back the clock. I found it deeply moving.

Thank you so much Kate for joining me today.  To learn more about Kate Murdoch and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://katemurdochauthor.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@KateMurdoch3/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/katemurdochauthor/

 

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café by Rachel Griffiths book review

winter at the cosy cottage cafe

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café written and self-published by Rachel Griffiths is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2A4EHZ3

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Camilla Dix is fiercely independent. Growing up, she had to be strong for her mother and younger sister after her father left them for a new life in Benidorm. Camilla has kept her heart firmly closed to love, and never allows her relationships with men to develop into anything serious.

Tom Stone moved to Heatherlea for a fresh start. He’s been hurt in the past and has no intention of making himself vulnerable again. The only company he wants at night is that of his rescue British Bulldog Hairy Pawter.

However, when Camilla and Tom meet, they can’t deny their mutual attraction, and something deeper soon develops between them.

As snows falls over Heatherlea, mulled wine flows and festive carols fill the air, but can Camilla and Tom put their fears aside and trust each other enough to let love in?

bulldog in the snow

 

This was such a treat to return to one of my favourite cafes (shame it’s fictional)!  Rachel Griffiths has created an idyllic setting for her new book series and Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café is our third outing to the café.  Each book can be read as a standalone but to fully immerse yourself in this picturesque landscape and the characters that the author has created I would fully recommend reading all the books in the series in chronological order.  The books now available are:

  • Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Winter at The Cosy Cottage Cafe

and coming soon …

  • Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

I instantly felt like I was re-visiting my very own book family as Rachel Griffiths has created a lovely myriad of characters for this series.  Characters written with warmth and humour and all set around The Cosy Cottage Café in the fictional country village of Heatherlea.

This story focuses on Camilla, the older sister of Dawn and the glamorous career woman from the friendship group that live in the village and congregate at the café.  Due to heartbreak in the past Camilla is wary of committing to a relationship but when a new vet turns up in the village Camilla is instantly attracted but is confused with her growing feelings.

Vet Tom has recently moved to the village following his own heartbreak, with the unique help of his trusted dog HP he is trying to settle into a new community.

With the festive season in full flow the storyline weaves around Christmas markets with festive foodie treats and handmade toys.  Family and relationship unrest but with a close friendship circle any unsettling is minimised by the love of the community within.

This was such a fun, festive read and the author has given us so many comical moments in this story.  A story of letting go of the past and opening your heart to new beginnings.  Cosy, comforting, full of laughter and festive sparkle.

To learn more about Rachel Griffiths and her work please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/authorRG

 

 

 

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple book review

Lord Hunter's Cinderella Heiress

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress written by Lara Temple, publisher Mills & Boon, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2ihfkYs

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Betrothed…to the wrong man!

Building a life away from her bullying family, schoolmistress Helen Tilney needs to convince her childhood sweetheart she’s a worthy bride. Standing in her way is Lord Hunter―the man Nell has just discovered she’s betrothed to!

Hunter’s offer of marriage to Nell came out of guilt, and now seems less than appealing! So when she asks for his help to win another man he agrees. Until their lessons in flirtation inspire a raging desire which has Hunter longing to keep Nell for himself…

regency couple silhouette

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress is the first book in a new series by Lara Temple.  After reading this first novel in the series I am already eager to read the other stories in the Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies trilogy.

Lara Temple has taken me to an era where women were courted and often seen swooning upon the men in their sights.  With the fluttering of eyes behind fans and the gentle blushes bestowed upon their delicate cheeks the women had a great part to play in this game of match-making and when the young lady in question was a wealthy heiress then her popularity grew making her prey for unscrupulous rogues.

Young Nell Tilney first met Lord Hunter four years ago when she was 17 years old.  She remembered he had a sadness about him but she could tell he loved horses from the way he acted around the family’s horses.  Four years on from that day when Nell was left feeling hurt by the constant bullying from her aunt and father she is now a different young woman.  Nell has grown in confidence within herself and has been enjoying her work teaching at a local school.  However, learning from the papers that she is engaged to Lord Hunter she immediately pays him a visit to find out exactly what is happening.  If Nell is bestowed to Lord Hunter she then cannot win her heart’s desire of the hand of Charles Welbeck, whom she has been in love with since she was a child.

Although confident in herself Nell is still very shy amongst men, especially Lord Hunter who’s rake-ish reputation bestows him.  A pact is made between Nell and Lord Hunter, he will guide her in her quest to woo Charles Welbeck with some gentle flirtation.  However, the more time the unlikely couple  spend together the more they both start to realise a connection between them is growing.

Lord Hunter with his dark, handsome features and his rake-ish personality leaves many ladies swooning with desire.  However, Hunter has a vulnerability and sadness behind his suave, delicious exterior.

As Nell and Hunter start playing a delicate dance of love the game soon starts to become dangerous with heated exchanges soon confusing both Nell and Hunter’s feelings.

A gorgeous, sexy, regency romp that will leave you with want for more from the Wild Lords …

To learn more about Lara Temple and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.laratemple.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/laratemple1

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor/

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay by Emily Anne Brandon book review

christmas in whitehorse bay

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay written and self-published by Emily Anne Brandon is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AnzFWt

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s happening! Angus and Ruth, Whitehorse Bay’s favourite young-at-heart couple, are tying the knot.

Lexy loves father-figure Angus and village gossip Ruth to pieces and she’s thrilled to be chief organiser of the festive extravaganza. Not that it’s an elaborate affair, but she’s got a few top-secret plans to put into practice.

Until the snow starts.

Being on the Scottish coast, snow doesn’t ordinarily last longer than a day or two. However, the flurries don’t seem to be letting up, and the village is thrown into turmoil as everyone realises there’s no way in and no way out. Lexy is stressed, the villagers are on edge, and what is up with the hush-hush tones and sneaky looks between Lexy’s fiancé and her best friend?

The wedding has been the talk of the town for months and Lexy is desperate for the big day to go ahead as planned. If everyone pitches in, perhaps all will not be lost. Plus, people get ordained online all the time, don’t they?

christmas tree in snow

I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon cosied up inside with a hot drink, scented candle burning and a festive treat of a novella by Emily Anne Brandon.  It was the perfect read for a cold winter’s day and it left me chuckling, smiling and warmed my heart.

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay is our second visit to the Scottish coastal village.  I would highly recommend reading Love on the Rocks:  Summer in Whitehorse Bay prior to this novella as you will then fully appreciate the history surrounding the characters and will enjoy the full Whitehorse Bay experience.

I instantly felt reacquainted with Lexy, Jamie, Poppy, Graeme, Angus and Ruth and it was great to learn about new residents in the bay.

The story starts off with Lexy in full wedding planner mode organising Angus and Ruth’s forthcoming Christmas wedding.  Lexy is very vibrant and is buzzing with wonderful and quite frankly extravagant ideas for the couple.  But as the months fly by and December approaches the Scottish winter weather starts to become a threat for this wedding planner extraordinaire.  Excited and super organised Lexy becomes paranoid and starts to panic about her preparations.

Will the wedding take place?  Will Lexy’s carefully thought out plans come to fruition?  Why are Lexy’s two most important people in her life acting strange?

A fabulous, fun filled festive treat of a read.  Once again Emily Anne Brandon held me captive to the storyline with her great dialect including wonderful wit and humour … I could feel the characters coming to life.  I’m hoping for more from the residents of Whitehorse Bay.

To learn more about Emily Anne Brandon and her work please visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/emilyabrandon