Summer at the Kindness Café by Victoria Walters @Vicky_Walters @TeamBATC @annecater #blogtour #bookreview #SummerAtTheKindnessCafe #feelgoodfiction

 

Summer at Kindess Cover

Summer at the Kindness Café written by Victoria Walters, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook and audiobook format and is due to be released in paperback format on 13th June 2019.

To buy/pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2WfIpVO

Book Blurb

Welcome to Brew, a cafe where kindness is almost as important as coffee… almost!

Abbie has fled London and the humiliation of not being able to make rent after being made redundant. Her sister, Louise, unlucky in love, has thrown herself into her career at the local hospital. And Eszter, who has travelled from Hungary with her daughter Zoe, is hoping to fulfil her husband’s dying wish: to reunite his family.

This summer, three very different women are inspired by the random acts of kindness written up on the Kindness Board at Brew, and decide to make a pact to be kinder to others and to themselves.

Can a little bit of kindness really change your life? Eszter, Abbie and Louise are about to find out!

**Summer at the Kindness Cafe was previously published as a four-part serial titled Random Acts of Kindness. This is the complete story in one package.**

Summer at the Kindness Cafe BT Poster

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. 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 paperback launch of Victoria Walter’s latest novel: Summer at the Kindness Café.

Summer at the Kindness Café is centred around three young women who have felt heartbreak and loss in their own way.  Abbie, Louise and Eszter have come to escape, make amends, recoup in a little fictional town called Littlewood.  As in most towns there is a welcoming café and Brew has a little special something about it, apart from the generosity of the owners it has a sort of novelty that draws visitors in and reminds them of the good in people all around them.

A bond soon starts developing within the three women and they share the ethos of the kindness and hospitality stemmed from the cafe and this is spreading to all that they touch.  Littlewood becomes an haven for the women as they each moved to the town for different reasons.  After a little while Abbie, Louise and Eszter soon become settled with their new lives.  New friendships for the women are being made bringing much hope for the future but life has a way of throwing stumbling blocks in their paths.  Will all the good that the women have built in the little town soon be a forgotten memory?

Summer at the Kindness Café is a gorgeous, heart-warming tale that is quite inspirational.  Kindness doesn’t cost anything.  There is a definite cosy, feel-good feel to this novel and it is the perfect summer holiday read.

I have worked in an Infant and Secondary School and I can totally see the concept of the spreading and paying back of kindness working with children.  Kindness is not age related and has no barriers, the inspiration from Victoria Walters novel could prove a very useful tool in schools building morale, ownership of actions and a sense of togetherness.

About the Author

Victoria Walters Author PicVictoria Walters was discovered in a short story competition run by Simon & Schuster’s The Hot Bed. Her first novel, The Second Love of my Life was published by Headline, and she returns to the fold with Summer at the Kindness Cafe, her second novel.

Website: https://victoria-writes.com/

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

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The Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson book review

 

the mother of all christmases

The Mother of all Christmases written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

The book is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyles and amazon.  The book can also be found at certain supermarkets.

To buy link (Waterstones): https://bit.ly/2QdkG5B

To buy link for ebook (amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2CFWntA

Product Details

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

christmas cracker clipart

Wow!  What a whirlwind of emotions that the author Milly Johnson has taken her readers on in her latest romcom: The Mother of all Christmases.  I was roaring with laughter one minute and the next my heart felt physically crushed.  The author has sensitively written a story that contains life in all it’s glory including all the low points.  Although there is sadness within the storyline it has been beautifully written and there is an overwhelming heart-warming theme running through the story.

Once again author Milly Johnson has written a story with characters from the heart.  You can recognise and relate to them and a few of your favourite characters from previous novels crop up in this book making it the more wonderful to hear from them again.  Although you can read The Mother of all Christmases as a standalone I would highly recommend reading A Winter Flame prior to this novel so you can fully appreciate the back history surrounding a few of the characters.  I would also recommend reading the novella The Barn on Half Moon Hill for an extended story that relates to a few of the characters.

The Mother of all Christmases is about three women, from very different backgrounds, facing a new challenge in their lives.  One that would have them all coming together and sharing their new journey.  There is Annie who co-owns the Cracker Factory with her Italian husband Joe.  Eve co-owns Winterworld with her husband Jacques.  Palma is a young woman that has felt lost for a long time and finds herself in a situation which she believes is her way out of a disastrous rut she has found herself in.  These three women were to form a bond that would become strong and help them through challenges that came their way.

An extremely heart-warming story that took you into the lives of Annie, Eve and Palma smiling and laughing with them and then holding their hands when they needed strength.  Beautiful and poignant and filled with the most endearing Yorkshire charm.  Milly Johnson, The Mother of all Christmases is a cracker of a read!

About the Author (as shown on amazon page)

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 15 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Website: http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk  (Milly has a monthly newsletter with exclusive news, offers and competitions and is well worth signing up to, please look on the website for more details).

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MillyJohnsonAuthor/

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac book review

you me everything

You Me Everything written by Catherine Isaac, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/ZRuwFN

Product Details (as per amazon page)

You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.

castelnaud_en_dordogne

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

This is a simply beautiful novel with such a profoundly poignant storyline that grips at your heart leaving it with an ache for the characters you have learned to love amongst the pages.  For a long time I had a certain book as my favourite story of all time but I do believe Catherine Isaac has written a book worthy of the top spot of my and I would think many, many others, all time favourite reads.  This story is simply stunning.

Although there is an underlying sadness to the story you are left feeling hopeful. Hopeful for a miracle, hopeful for a change, hopeful that love will find a way through all that life brings your way.

Young lovers Jess and Adam were living the dream after meeting and falling in love at university.  Life was full of hopes and dreams until Jess fell pregnant and their relationship started to show cracks and couldn’t cope with this enormous change in their relationship status.  10 years down the line Jess has more or less single handed brought up William who’s a bright, gifted boy full of inquisitivity.  However, since William was born Jess has had to cope with another critical change to her family unit when her mother was diagnosed with a life threatening condition.  With Jess’ mum now in a care home one of her mother’s wishes is for Jess and William to go to France and visit William’s dad, Jess’ ex, Adam.  Jess’ mum wants Adam to become a bigger part of William’s life, a life that up to now he hasn’t spent much time in.

Jess is anxious about meeting Adam again, she’s been let down so much in the past and fears that Adam will just repeat his past demeanours but now he just doesn’t have Jess’ heart to break but his son Williams.

The author, Catherine Isaac, deals with life in it’s rawest form and tackles it with sensitivity and grace.  However, she injects warmth and humour bringing touches of brightness to the story.  This story is all about letting your heart remember the good times, the nostalgic memories that reignite why the love you had was there in the first place.  A story of letting go, a story of letting love find it’s way to bring light back into the darker times.

Beautiful, stunning storytelling about life, love and hope.  A must read!

To learn more about the author Catherine Isaac please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.catherine-isaac.com/

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CatherineIsaacAuthor

 

 

The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton book review

sunday lunch club

The Sunday Lunch Club written by Juliet Ashton, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from 19th April 2018 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/7ZaA3V

Product details (as per amazon page)

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don’t make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

table setting clipart

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

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the cover of this novel, it is such an appealing colour and quite striking and sitting on a shelf amongst other books it would stand out for me.

I adored this wonderful book by Juliet Ashton and The Sunday Lunch Club is her fourth book.  I do need to find the time reading her back catalogue.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like it would work wonderfully as a Sunday night TV serial. The drama and emotion surrounding each member of the family captivated me. I felt the raw emotion from each character as they were struggling to cope with demons from their past and the demons that they had carried all throughout their life. Each sibling and their respective partners and friends had their own unique personality but they complimented the family unit as a whole. Even though their was plenty of drama and hurdles for the siblings to climb there was plenty of fun interspersed within the storyline.  The novel had a wonderful cosy feeling about it, a feeling of togetherness between the family and I especially liked the powerful bond between the grandchildren and Dinkie.

A beautiful, heartfelt novel that was full of family sagas but had an intense feeling of family spirit surviving all that was dealt their way.

To learn more about the author Julie Ashton please visit the following pages:

Author website:   http://www.berniestrachan.com/
Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/julietstories

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson book review

the perflectly imperfect woman

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/F7UPYp

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

strawberry cheesecake clipart

This latest novel by Milly Johnson was perfectly perfect!

Once again Yorkshire lass Milly Johnson has injected her warmth, humour and charm into the words spelled out across the pages.  Whether you are a fellow Yorkshire lass or lover of a story that injects so much of the cultural charm of the locality in a story you can fully appreciate the author’s love of her county.  Recognising locations brings a feeling of home and also helps the story come to life.

Marnie Salt has always felt different all her life, from an early age the feeling of her love not being reciprocated has stayed with her from childhood to her adult life, with a string of failed relationships behind her.  When the office heartthrob pays her some attention she feels her luck in love is about to change.

Marnie loves baking, especially cheesecakes from memories she shared as a child with a dear old lady. When Marnie gets chatting to a fellow cheesecake fan on a website forum she builds up a budding friendship with Lillian.  Little does she realise that this new friendship is the start of something new to happen in her life.

Milly Johnson has filled this heartwarming tale with a touch of mystery with hints of myths and legends from centuries ago that left a curse on a small village in the Yorkshire Dales.  I could feel the sparkles of magic amongst the delightful charm of the storyline.  The characters were easily recognisable and written with such warmth and you soon wanted to champion Marnie and all that was dealt her way.  The storyline had many twists and turns and was very poignant and emotive at times but there was a wonderful warm undercurrent of inspiration, fun, love and community spirit.  I was romantised by the charm of this quaint Yorkshire village and I fell in love with The Perfectly Imperfect Woman.

To learn more about the author Milly Johnson please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://millyjohnson.co.uk/

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MillyJohnsonAuthor/

The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson book review

queen of wishful thinking

The Queen of Wishful Thinking written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.  The book will be available in paperback format from the 4th May 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon link)

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

rainbow umbrella

Milly Johnson has a knack of creating characters you instantly warm to and want to champion. This is how I felt about Lewis and Bonnie, the two main characters in The Queen of Wishful Thinking. Lewis Harley and Bonnie Brookland haven’t had an easy life; what with Lewis’ sudden heart attack two years ago which made him take stock of his job in London and Bonnie’s grief for the losses she has incurred in the past and also the despair of living in a loveless marriage. Bonnie was in desperate need of a new job and approached Lewis, the owner of the new antique shop, Pot of Gold, for a possible vacancy. Fate has played a big part in putting these two people together, like two pieces of a missing jigsaw. The Pot of Gold was such a warm, friendly antique shop and working in the shop was giving Bonnie a new hope for the future and she was feeling the strength to make big decisions about her personal life.

Lewis’ own personal life takes a dramatic turn and the shop with Bonnie and her quirky friends turn Pot of Gold into a lifesaving haven for many that set foot in it’s door.

Bonnie’s husband is not happy with the changes she makes and he takes up drastic action himself which leads to a series of secrets and revelations being unearthed that could rock Bonnie’s future.

Emotions are running high for both Lewis and Bonnie and the future is looking very unsettled.

This was such a wonderful heartfelt story. The characters were written with such warmth and personality. I particularly liked the array of eccentric sub-characters. As always Milly sets her stories in her beloved Yorkshire, with it’s wonderful backdrop of moorlands and little villages. I particularly love this about Milly’s novels the location and dialect of the characters are very relatable and charming and you can hear the characters come to life in your head. I was surprised but thrilled with the twists and turns in this tale which left me turning the pages to find out what happens next. A gorgeous story that had me hooked from start to finish.

To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website (which I recommend signing up for Milly’s newsletter as she offers many competitions and informative news):  http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/

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

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

Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt book review

devastation road

Devastation Road written by Jason Hewitt, publisher Scribner UK (an imprint of Simon and Schuster UK), is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and paperback format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devastation-Road-Jason-Hewitt/dp/147112746X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Spring, 1945: A man wakes in a field in a country he does not know. Injured and confused, he pulls himself to his feet and starts to walk, and so sets out on an extraordinary journey in search of his home, his past and himself.

His name is Owen. A war he has only a vague memory of joining is in its dying days, and as he tries to get back to England he becomes caught up in the flood of refugees pouring through Europe. Among them is a teenage boy, Janek, and together they form an unlikely alliance as they cross battle-worn Germany. When they meet a troubled young woman, tempers flare and scars are revealed as Owen gathers up the shattered pieces of his life. No one is as he remembers, not even himself – how can he truly return home when he hardly recalls what home is?

black n red poppies image

I’d like to thank the author and his publishers for an arc in return for a review.  This book is quite different to my usual genre of women’s contemporary fiction and romance however, I’ve read a few wartime sagas that have transported me to an era that changed the world we live in now and have been fascinated.  Nonetheless, I do feel this story held some similarities to my usual genre as it was a story of how people, from all walks of life, react with each other during a traumatic time.  Their reactions of love, of hate, of respect and honour, of kindness, of survival, of fear of the unknown and of fear visibly seen before their eyes.

The story starts in 1945 with a man, Owen, waking up bewildered in a field.  He’s battered, bruised and bloody.  He doesn’t recognise his whereabouts and can’t recall how he got there.  Bit by bit his memory vaguely recalls something or he finds something he believes maybe of some significance.  He has to write it down to help him remember but also to make it feel more real.  He feels like he is losing his mind, as if he’s in a ‘groundhog day’.  He knows he has to get back to England as he’s figured out he’s far from home.  Along his journey amongst the mass of refugees, with barely anything to call their own, he befriends two battle scarred lost souls; a young man called Janek and a young mum, Irena, with her baby.  They form an unlikely comradeship across a war torn Germany, seeking help, refuge, their lost family and a way to get home.

This was a very poignant, engaging read that throws no punches and shows the raw side of people trying to survive a war that has shaken the world to it’s core.  Jason Hewitt manages to open your eyes and feel the hidden sights and sounds in a landscape torn apart.  Such a horrific time for all but humanity remained and the tender, heartrending moments felt more intense.  This is a story that I won’t forget in a long time.  5/5*

To find out more about Jason Hewitt and his books please visit the following pages:

http://www.facebook.com/jasonhewittauthor

http://www.jason-hewitt.com/

http://www.twitter.com/JasonHewitt123