Best of the best in 2017

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I’ve had another wonderful year of reading and managed to finish 120 books.  From the 120 books read 52 of them were from new authors to me, so you can say 2017 was the year of discovering new talent.

It’s always very difficult for a book lover to choose their favourite reads of the year.  I enjoy many books from a wide variety of genres and tend to rate them by my overall enjoyment.  However, I would like to highlight a few that I particularly loved:

The Wild Warriners series by Virginia Heath.  Mills and Boon Historical writer Virginia Heath created a new series for us this year and I completely fell in love with it.  The Warriners are four brothers trying to escape the bad reputation that their late father has left them with.  We have been introduced to two of the brothers to-date and shortly in the new year we will be treated to another instalment from the Warriners.  I would say it’s like a 19th century rural middle England ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.’

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  The Bear and The Nightingale is a grown up version of a fairytale set in Russia dealing with loss, grief, family struggles, forbidden love with a wonderful mystery of mythology and unknown magical creatures.  This book and it’s story would look impressive with a big movie budget bringing all the characters and creatures to life, a blockbuster in the making.

all the good things

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher.  A very moving, insightful story that was full of real life raw emotions, there was no sugar coating around the edges of life’s turbulent at times bumps in the road. A wonderful, inspiring debut that I feel should be read by all that have any involvement with young people. The words from this book will stay with me for a long time.

bamboo heart

Bamboo Heart by Ann Bennett.  The author, Ann Bennett, wrote with such passion and honesty. She left no scene without telling the shocking truth of a young man’s struggle to survive in the most terrifying of ordeals. The story sounds quite oppressive but it wasn’t as you were dealing with real people’s emotions and even during times of war love always found a way to bring sunshine and hope to your days.

the woolly hat knitting club

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan.  This was a joy to read.  Poppy Dolan has created the most delightful, charming romcom that leaves you with a wonderful warm cosy feeling.

summer of impossible things

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.  This novel got me from the start to the finish. I was captivated by this almost other worldly love story. A story of a love between a mother and a daughter; a story of a love that seemed almost impossible to believe but the consequence of never feeling the strength of this love is almost too heart breaking to think about.

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca StonehillThis was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me. A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

walking wounded

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne.  This was such an emotive story that deeply moved me, at one point I had to stop reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  The author takes you on a very emotional journey, one that millions took that had no choice but to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

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As many of you will know I love my loose leaf tea and some my favourite blends this year have been:

  • William Wilberforce Blend by The Tea Shop, Hull.  A lovely blend of African black teas.  To find out more details and buy http://teashophull.co.uk/
  • White Bellini by The Tea Experience, UK.  A gentle white tea that’s fruity and refreshing.  To find out more details and buy http://www.teaexperience.co.uk/
  • Cinnamon Bun by Jollybrew Tea.  A festive blend of black tea with a warming taste of cinnamon.  To find out more details and buy https://www.jollybrew.co.uk/
  • Ceylon Decaff by Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments.  A lovely well-rounded black tea without caffeine.  To find out more details and buy https://tea-shirt.co.uk/
  • Lemongrass and Ginger by Chai Kai Tea Company.  This is a perfect combination to drink at any time of the day but especially comforting when you are suffering with a cold.  To find out more details and buy http://chaikaitea.com/

I’d like to thank you all for the support I’ve received this year sharing the love of reading and books.  Wishing you all a wonderful, happy, healthy 2018.

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The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan blogtour book review

the woolly hat knitting club

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club written by Poppy Dolan, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy links:

amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2ypDJ46

kobo – http://bit.ly/2xtfMw7

The book is also available to download on Apple iBooks and Google Books.

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.
But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

 

The Woolly Hat Blog Tour Banner (4)

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Poppy Dolan’s latest novel, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club.  The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is Poppy Dolan’s fourth novel.

What a fabulous knit-tastic story and was a joy to read. Poppy Dolan has created the most delightful, charming, romcom that has left me with a wonderful warm cosy feeling. I want to wrap myself up in a rainbow coloured knitted blanket and read it all over again with a cuppa. This is my first introduction to the works of Poppy Dolan and I have absolutely no idea why it’s taken me so long to read her work, such a gem of a writer.

Delilah (Dee) is a workaholic she thrives on the buzz surrounded by her very busy scheduling and fits in with the city life of London. However, when her younger brother, JP, sends a cry for help she has no hesitation of rushing to his needs. I loved this about Dee, even though she was so focused with her work her family means everything to her especially her brother who had suffered with his health in the past. Dee finds JP with two plaster casts on his arms after breaking his wrists. As he’s totally immobilised Dee steps in and helps him run the knitting shop. However, during her call of family need Dee is unceremoniously fired from her prestige job. Dejected and totally mystified by this she returns back to the knitting shop pulling all her emotions into helping move JP’s knitting shop into the crafting stratosphere. One of the highlights to the knitting shop is the great blog that JP set up which has a fabulous topical catchy name. JP was one of a few male knitters and the crafting universe loved him. Following a chance encounter with one of Dee’s old school friends, Becky, who had recently given birth prematurely to a little boy, Dee quickly realised that JP and his friends could help out her little baby boy by knitting tiny little hats for him. Tiny little knitted parcels soon started flocking into the shop overwhelming Dee with the generosity of the crafters. What started off as a small act of kindness spirals into an inspirational challenge of making more hats to widen this wonderful gesture to help more premature babies in need.

We follow Dee, JP and the ever growing circle of friends bringing this challenge into fruition. Obstacles are a plenty but the knitters will not give up.

Dee also hopes to get her career back on the right footing but helping her brother and the premature babies brings a different perspective to her life. What was once the thrill of the chase of her working life doesn’t look quite as appealing anymore.

A gorgeous romcom that I simply didn’t want to end. I feel quite uplifted and invigorated and want to cosy up with wonderful colours and textures. The perfect book to read on a cold day which will soon envelope you in a cosy cuddle of warmth.

To learn more about Poppy Dolan and her books please visit the following pages:

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

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

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