Wahey!! I am super excited to be kicking off Catherine Miller’s blog tour for her gin fuelled, festive read; ‘Christmas at the Gin Shack’, which will be published by HQDigitalUK on the 13th October! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Catherine Miller’s novel, so huge thanks to HQ for that! Here is my review:
Welcome in the festive season with love, laughter and the perfect G&T
in Christmas at the Gin Shack – the most uplifting holiday read of 2017!
Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…
Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin- themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!
But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.
Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?
What does TWG think?
The GIN SHACK is a little old place where we can get together
GIN SHACK, baby (a-GIN SHACK, baby)
GIN SHACK, baby, GIN SHACK
GIN SHACK, (GIN, baby, that’s where it’s at) baby, GIN SHACK
Please say that I’m not the only one who changed the lyrics of B-52’s song? I think I did it in my last review of the first book in the series as well, thinking about it! Speaking of which, whilst I believe that ‘Christmas at the Gin Shack’ can be read as a standalone, I would recommend you read the first book ‘The Gin Shack on the Beach’ beforehand, just so that you’re clued up on the history behind certain friendships and banter. There is nothing worse than reading a book with humour in, only to find out that you haven’t a clue what they’re on about because the information is in the first book of the series. Plus, the first book in the series is a fab read, so either way you’re going to be gaining!
We are back with Olive and the gang at the Gin Shack and unfortunately, things aren’t as plain sailing as they would have liked. Whilst the Gin Shack has made itself known and routines are in place, a devastating even occurs and all the locals are quite shaken due to the what if’s surrounding it. Not only that, Olive and the gang feel as though someone is out to bring the Gin Shack down and, to be honest, whoever they are, are quite brave for going up against Olive. Rather them than me!
Oh how I love Olive, how can anyone not?! She is such a sprightly, fiery and loveable character who is able to stick in your mind a long while after you have finished reading the book. & yes, I am speaking from experience. By the way, it’s pretty clear that Catherine Miller’s new novel is based on gin. Don’t start thinking that you need to be a gin connoisseur to enjoy this storyline, because you don’t. You may find that you become one by the end of the book, but you don’t have to be one to begin with. Hell, you don’t even need to like gin! Sorry Olive….I didn’t mean to swear…
I’ll admit, I’m not a massive fan of gin, but seeing as I have only had it with tonic, I’ll be more than willing to try some of the flavours Olive and her gang concoct. Well, and the one I saw online – Bakewell tart gin anyone?
There is more to this storyline that meets the eye, I’ve got to say. Yes, it is fuelled by gin. And yes, it is also fuelled by the gin shack. BUT, there are quite a few serious topics going on around the gin which is highly likely to make you stop and think. I loved how the author was able to go from describing Olive’s latest purchase and having me in hysterics at her antics, to taking the storyline down an emotional path more than once. Obviously I’m not going to go into detail, but the transition from hilarity to heart-warming was absolutely spot on. It was flawless, unexpected and gave the storyline a whole new dimension. Fantastic writing.
The only irk I have with the storyline is how I struggled to agree with all of the characters having a place in the book. I have to be honest, there was a character from the first book who had come back in this one and, whilst they had a place in the first book, I couldn’t quite understand why they had come back in this one. Without being rude, I personally didn’t see the point and I feel that the story would still have worked if they haven’t been in it.
Aside from that, Catherine Miller has down Olive and the gang proud. I loved seeing how much each character had grown up since the previous book, especially her son Richard. My opinion of him changed greatly in ‘Christmas at the Gin Shack’ – he wasn’t the numpty I thought he was. Far from it if I’m honest!
I hope we see more of Olive and the gang, I really don’t want to have to say goodbye to some truly memorable, heart-warming and fantastic characters, because it would be such a travesty if so.
Full of giggles, smiles, unbelievable friendship and gin; ‘Christmas at the Gin Shack’ had me smiling until the very end. Definitely the perfect escapism, as well as the perfect book to snuggle up with.
When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with HQDigital UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time.
Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016. She is now the author of four books and hopes there will be many more now her twins have started school. Either that, or she’ll conduct more gin research on Olive’s behalf.
To follow Olive and Catherine Miller as they go on tour with the Gin Shack, all the blogger details are on the graphic below: