#BlogTour! #Review – Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman (@lucycolemanauth) @aria_fiction #PublicationDay

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening…..?

I know, some of you might not be due to Christmas still being several months away, however some of you might wish it could be Christmas every day, so this blog post might just make your silent night frosty and bright!!

Huge congratulations to Lucy Coleman on publication of her new novel, ‘Magic Under the Mistletoe’. I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour with a review today! Thanks to Aria, also, for the tour invite and ARC.

It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.

So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?

Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!

What does TWG think?

It honestly feels like ages ago since I was last able to lose myself in a Lucy Coleman novel!

Leesa isn’t driving home for Christmas…literally. In fact, she’s travelling back to the UK from Australia, just days before Christmas day. Why? Let’s just say that her boss is a little bit of a task master, as well as the fact that Leesa has her own business and can’t really afford to turn down an extra profit. Her opinion of her boss/client is pretty straight to the point – he grates on her and leaves her feeling frustrated more often than none. And no, I don’t mean in a good way either!

Considering the fact that Leesa wasn’t a massive fan of Cary, their United front and plan completely blindsinded me. I know they were desperate but seriously!

It took me a while to take to the storyline as I’m so used to Lucy Coleman’s trademark story telling, and I felt like the author had stepped outside of the box. I’m not saying that that is a bad thing as it’s good to experiment, I just didn’t think that Lucy Coleman had any need to differ from what readers know and love about her books. It didn’t really work for me, I’ll admit.

However, I did end up finishing the book feeling rather festive and content, so I can’t complain! I did enjoy this little festive read, and whilst I do wish that it had more of the authors personality in the book, I thought that the uncertain family dynamics were written very graciously, and I thought that it was a poignant nod to today’s society having a female protagonist with her own company, at the heart of her book.

‘Magic Under the Mistletoe’ gave me the giggles and put me in the Christmas spirit….in September. I enjoyed the hope filled story and cosy characters, especially Cary’s grandmother – what a legend! So, whilst the overall vibe of the book was different to the authors other book, I was still spellbound by the enchanting storytelling of an author who has great talent.

Buy now.

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#BlogTour! #Review – One Last Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot (@MandyBaggot) @Aria_Fiction

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Next up is a summery read by an author who knows Greece like the back of hand, Mandy Baggot! I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘One Last Greek Summer’. Many thanks to Aria Fiction for inviting me to take part. Here is my review:

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Beth Martin is 31, newly divorced and wondering just what life holds for her…

Best-friend, Heidi, is adamant that all the answers lie in Corfu – the island where the girls partied away their youth. So cue a trip to a sun-drenched Greek island, ouzo cocktails, a trip down memory lane… and Alex Hallas, the man Beth has never quite forgotten.

As they dance under the stars, the sand beneath their toes, old feelings begin to resurface and Beth might just have a chance to take back her life. If they can learn to love the people they’ve become…

What does TWG think?

Snigger. Mandy Baggot really is a sort, isn’t she? I mean, nobody else can pull of a storyline that threatens to turn the air blue without being too in your face! Snigger.

If you’re a fan of Greece, you will be in your element with this book. I will admit that I have never stepped foot onto Greek soil, however due to the incredible attention to detail of the Island, I genuinely felt as though I was visiting Corfu myself.

Just like Mandy Baggot’s other novels, romance plays a large part in the storyline and is written effortlessly as though anyone can hop onto a plane to Corfu and find themselves a partner just like that!

Beth and Heidi are such fun characters – I thoroughly enjoyed following their holiday of a lifetime. Alex, as well, was another memorable character due to his relatable traits and family issues.

I can’t really fault Mandy Baggot’s story telling at all – she writes with such joy that it ends up being infectious and I always end up finishing one of her books with a huge smile on my face.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble (@RachelBrimble) @RaRaResources @Aria_Fiction

A Rebel at Penningtons Full Banner
Third and final blog post of the day is for ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ by Rachel Brimble. Many thanks, once again to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Thank you all for joining me today and following my reviews!

A Rebel Cover
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me – this book had my name ALL over it!! Not literally of course, because I couldn’t deface a book, BUT, I am sure you know what I’m meaning! If i know that a storyline contains anything to do with the suffragette movement, you can bet your bottom dollar that i would be in my absolute element and loving every minute of it. And yes, that was certainly the case with ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’.

Rachel Brimble’s latest novel is the second book in the series, but do not let that worry you as this story can be read as a standalone without having to have read the previous book. that said, if you’re the sort of reader who just has to read books in order then you won’t be disappointed with either read. Of course, that is just my opinion!

Set in 1911 with the coronation of king-emperor George V looming, ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ tells the story of one young woman’s journey as she attempts to put women’s rights on the map. As we all know, the suffragettes didn’t exactly have the easiest of time where the vote was concerned, and they certainly put themselves in harm’s way for what they believed in. Now, with someone as, how shall i put this, blunt as Esther, her mouth struggled to connect with her brain. Put it this way – her heart was in the right place but her delivery left a lot to be desired.

I really enjoyed watching Esther’s journey with Lawrence as she tried her best to not let her head rule her heart. On one hand she needed Lawrence’s help to put women’s progression on the map, but then on the other hand she wanted him in her life on a much deeper level. Whether she could manage the two without causing too much disruption to anyone involved on either side, remained to be seen.

Out of both books in the series, i will have to say that ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ has got to be my favourite book so far. I just loved the strength behind the storyline and how well the author had brought her characters to life, whilst also keeping history at the heart of her words.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the
UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

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#BlogTour! #Review -Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_fiction @RaRaResources

Summer on the Italian Lakes Full Tour Banner (1)
It’s a RaRaResources day today as all of my blog posts are for this tour host! I hope you will join me for the three reviews I have lined up (I say lined up….i’m yet to type them but y’know!). First of three posts is my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and many thanks to the publisher for the ARC.

Lakes yellowBestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?
Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

What does TWG think?

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes of an author’s life, then you’re in luck as the main character of this book is a best-selling romance author. I have a slight hunch that Lucy Coleman used her own personal experiences with writing to bring Brie’s character to life, by highlighting the highs and the lows of putting pen to paper. I thought it was brilliant as well how the author made people think about the romance genre as it had, and continues to do, negative press because people can’t understand the complexity behind writing romantic novels. Obviously that’s a nice way of putting it! Even though I am pleased that Lucy Coleman has openly, well, indirectly, defended her genre, I felt sad because why should she? Nobody gives bad press about thriller novels and people getting their heads lopped off, so why should romance authors defend the fact that they want to spread a little love around the place? You’ll have to excuse me – I’m going off on a tangent,  it’s just something i feel quite strongly about….if you hadn’t guessed already!

Anyway! Poor Brie not only has writers block, she also has self-confidence block because of just how much recent events have made her want to hide. People automatically assume that, just because Brie likes to write things that get her readers a little hot under the collar, that her own bed is getting a lot of attention. And no, I don’t mean sleep.

When Brie goes to Lake Garda to assist another author and his retreats, she manages to re-evaluate her life in more ways than one. Obviously I won’t say how she does that, but i definitely became her cheerleader that’s for sure!

I am probably going to sound like a pessimist here, but I spent a lot of the story sitting waiting for Arran to run. It’s not that i don’t believe in love, I just felt that Arran’s situation was incredibly fast and I suppose I couldn’t really invest in it because I was uncertain of the overall outcome. Like i say, I know i sound a bit pessimistic when I say this, especially as i wanted the ‘happily ever after’ as much as the next person, i just found it a little too….shall we say, convenient? Just to clarify – the above isn’t a negative remark towards the author and the way that she has delivered the storyline, it’s just my opinion on the characters lifestyle choices. I know the author put them there, obviously, it’s just hard not to think of them as real people.

I really enjoyed the realistic portrayal of a writers life alongside such wonderful, and heartfelt humour. The characters were such a fun bunch to get to know and I thought that Lucy Coleman did a sterling job at making readers (ie me) resonate with their personalities on various levels.

Brie has got to be one of my most favourite characters that Lucy Coleman has written, mainly due to the relatability of her personality but also because she shone with both her perfections and imperfections.

‘Summer on the Italian Lakes’ is such an uplifting, humorous, poignant read which will have you yearning for your own happily ever after.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links

Website
Facebook
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#BlogTour! #Extract – The Foyles Bookshop Girls at War by Elaine Roberts (@RobertsElaine11) @Aria_fiction

Today I am excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Elaine Roberts’ new release; ‘The Foyles Bookshop Girls at War’ with an extract. Many thanks to Aria for having me involved, and congratulations to Elaine on the publication of her new book. Enjoy!

Swapping books for the bomb factory takes courage – and could be dangerous. 

Working at the Foyles bookshop was Molly Cooper’s dream job. But with the country at war she’s determined to do her bit. So Molly gathers her courage, and sets off for the East End and her first day working at Silvertown munitions factory… 

It’s hard manual labour, and Molly must face the trials and tribulations of being the ‘new girl’ at the munitions factory, as well as the relentless physical work. 

The happy-ever-afters Molly read about in the pages of her beloved books have been lost to the war. And yet the munitions girls unite through their sense of duty and friendships that blossom in the most unlikely of settings…

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

Molly glanced through the large window, into a small square room. The soft grey walls were bare, apart from the round, oak-framed clock, sitting fairly high up, telling her it was quarter to seven. She breathed a sigh of relief. There were three desks in there, each covered with paperwork. A blue book with a red spine was on one of the desks, next to a pad of lined paper. Glasses sat open, on top of the pad. Molly fleetingly wondered if they were his. A calendar sat on a shelf over one desk, with a family photograph standing proudly next to it. Underneath the shelf, stood three cream bottles, each of them a different size, but the largest was no more than six inches tall.

The man opened the office door, stood aside and indicated for her to walk in.

Molly nodded and stepped past him, making sure no contact was made. She had no desire to get off on the wrong foot. She shook her head. He had barely spoken to her and she didn’t know his name, so how could she do anything to upset him?

‘Is everything all right, Miss Cooper?’

The man’s deep voice broke into her wayward thoughts, startling her back to reality. ‘Yes, yes of course.’

He smiled and immediately his face looked younger. She momentarily wondered how old he was, thirty maybe. There was also the niggling question of why he hadn’t signed up to the Great War.

He pulled out a dark wooden chair from under one of the desks and indicated for her to sit down, before quickly pulling out another for himself. ‘It can be difficult for people when they first arrive, because it’s very noisy, with all the machinery and everything.’

Molly noticed the window for the first time. No sunshine was going to break through the thick dirt that coated it. She tilted her head slightly. Was that a crack that ran down the glass? She squinted as she stared at it. It was hard to tell, but maybe it was the dust locked onto the glass. Her mother immediately jumped into her thoughts and a smile formed on her lips. She would have had a bucket of water and a cloth on it within a blink of an eye. That is, once she got over the fact her daughter was sitting in this dingy office.

‘Right, Miss Cooper.’ The man shuffled some paperwork around the desk, before opening one of the drawers and slamming it shut again. ‘We just have some form-filling to do and then I’ll get someone to take you to the lockers, where you can change into the rather fetching uniform of overalls and cap.’

Molly’s blonde ponytail bobbed, flicking the back of her neck as she nodded. Her hand went up to smooth it down and she caught her fingers in the bright red ribbon tied around it. It had been gifted to her mother as a child, when she had nothing. She treasured it, claiming it brought her and her husband, Jack, together. Molly often borrowed it, under the threat of death if she lost it. She regretted her ponytail, wishing she’d taken the time to put it in a bun. It would have been more elegant, as well as making her look older than her twenty-three years. Molly realised she was worrying unnecessarily, as he didn’t look at her. She sighed. There was a time before the war when she would have enjoyed a little innocent flirting with a man of his calibre, but those days were long gone. They had disappeared with Tony.

The man suddenly looked up at her and gave a little cough. ‘When we’ve finished the paperwork, someone will show where to get changed. It’s what we call the dirty area of the factory. You’ll remove your clothing and let your hair down. There can’t be anything metal about your person, including any material covered buttons or jewellery.’ He held out some forms and a pen. ‘If you can just read and sign these, then we’ll get you settled.’

Molly reached out. Their fingers brushed against each other and she snatched her hand away.

He stared at her for a moment, before dropping the papers on the desk.

Molly picked up the pen and quickly signed the forms.

He coughed again and colour rose in his cheeks as he looked down again at his paperwork. ‘If you’re wearing a corset, I’m afraid that will also have to be removed. You will be allocated a locker to store your things, then you will cross over to the clean area, where you will put on your overall and mob cap. Your hair must be completely covered by the cap.’

Her hand immediately reached for the gold heart around her neck and she swished it back and forth. Colour rose in Molly’s cheeks. Her mind started racing at this unexpected information. Would she have to undress in front of people? Her face was burning at the thought.

About the author.

Elaine Roberts had a dream to write for a living. She completed her first novel in her twenties and received her first very nice rejection. Life then got in the way until circumstances made her re-evaluate her life, and she picked up her dream again in 2010. She joined a creative writing class, The Write Place, in 2012 and shortly afterwards had her first short story published. She was thrilled when many more followed and started to believe in herself.

As a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Women Writers & Journalists, Elaine attends many conferences, workshops, seminars and wonderful parties. Meeting other writers gives her encouragement, finding most face similar problems.

Elaine and her patient husband, Dave, have five children who have flown the nest. Home is in Dartford, Kent and is always busy with their children, grandchildren, grand dogs and cats visiting. Without her wonderful family and supportive friends, she knows the dream would never have been realised.

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer in the Orchard by Fay Keenan (@faykeenan) @Aria_fiction

I am so excited to be kicking off the blog tour today for ‘Summer in the Orchard’ by Fay Keenan – huge thanks to Aria for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Sophie Henderson loves her job at Carter’s Cider in the picturesque Somerset village of Little Somerby, but with summer dawning before yet another picking and pressing season, and her boss David showing no signs of wanting to hang up his cider jug, perhaps it is time to move on.

She’s all set to hand in her notice when Alex Fraser, an intern from Vancouver, comes to Little Somerby to learn everything he can about the cider business. With Sophie as his mentor, attraction between them starts to grow alongside the apples.

For Alex, however, being in Little Somerby is about more than cider, and as the summer grows warmer, and his relationship with Sophie blossoms, can he find the courage to tell her the truth before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

‘Summer in the Orchard’ is the third book in the ‘Little Somerby’ series and, whilst it isn’t a necessity to have read the previous books in the series, I do think it would be advantageous as characters from previous books make appearances throughout, and it would save any unnecessary confusion if you already know who they are and where they fit in. Like I say that, you can read the book perfectly well on its own, so if you are okay with the not knowing every single persons backstory, you’ll get on just fine!

Personally, I bloomin’ loved this book! And no, it wasn’t because the resident dog had the same name as mine! Plus Barney is absolutely brilliant and I did miss him in the storyline when he was no longer in the spotlight (don’t panic – he’s fine, I checked 😉 ).

Sophie adores her job working with cider and, despite being around it all day, she still enjoys having several glasses off the stuff when she’s off duty. However, not everyone is as excited about cider as Sophie. Carter’s Cider is a family run business and the bosses really are keeping it in the family….for now anyway as an intern from overseas has made his way to Carter’s to find out about how cider is made from the best in the business. But why Carter’s? Why now? Why come ALL the way from Vancouver to talk about….apples?

This is such a drama filled storyline, and I loved the fact that I was able to sink my teeth into the story and not let go because of it. Sophie’s situation with her ex had me switching between anger and rolling my eyes – yes, her ex is an eejit and he just seemed to get worse!! I also adored her gran – she reminded me of my great grandmother, Waddy – you couldn’t get anything past her either! That woman seemed to have eyes everywhere!!!

‘Summer in the Orchard’ was such a delightful, energised read which kept me hooked due to the family dramas and animal antics. Fay Keenan has really gotten into the heart of the characters with this book! I think she has done a fantastic job of keeping the true meaning of the story close to her characters hearts without going off on an unnecessary tangent – I would even go as far to say that ‘Summer in the Orchard’ is my favourite book in the ‘Little Somerby’ series to date!

Such a free spirited, joyful and ideal read to lose yourself in – I adored it!

Buy now!

About the author.

Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.

 Follow Fay: 

Twitter: @faykeenan

Facebook: @faykeenanauthor

TWG’s #TopBooksOf2018! (@Bookouture @littlebookcafe @PanMacmillan @HarperImpulse @Headlinepg @TeamBATC @bwpublishing @MichaelJBooks @TransworldBooks @OrionBooks @AvonBooksUK @QuercusBooks @Aria_fiction) & more!

Oh my goodness me, what a PHENOMENAL year its been for books! I have had the pleasure of reading some truly amazing books this year, and whittling my 368 reads down to a selection of my favourites was incredibly difficult.

2018 has seen the growth of debut authors with debut novels, brilliant additions to intense series, and authors bringing out standalone novels which made me laugh out loud and my toes curl (clearly I mean two different genre’s…obviously!). Before I start sharing my favourite reads of 2018 with you all, let me just take this moment to say a MASSIVE thank you to all of the publishers who have sent me ARC’s in the post, approved me on Netgalley, asked me to be on blog tours – I am so honoured to work with every single one of you! Huge thank you to the publicists and blog tour organisers who also invite me to take part in some rather fabulous blog tours and who share my posts left right and centre, it is an absolute pleasure to work alongside you. Lastly, thank you SO much to all of the authors who continue to give me the escape and distraction I need from my everyday life with their incredible words – I am so excited to see what the new year brings for all of you. You are all amazing.

Actually, one last thing; thank you to all of my fellow bloggers for just being you and for supporting my posts, especially when I end up being on 6 blog tours in one day. Your support means the world to me and I cannot wait to follow your blogs again next year to see what fabulous reads have tickled your fancy.

So, let’s get to this list shall we? I’m cheating a little bit in my list as I have combined series as I couldn’t pick just one book from the series…so I chose them all. You’ll see what I mean when I get to it. This list is in no particular order, however when I get nearer the end, I will put a couple of the books in order to share my top read of 2018.

Ready? Let’s go!

#Review – The Endless Beach by @JennyColgan @littlebookcafe #TheEndlessBeach #publicationday

#BlogTour! #Review – #WeOwnTheSky by Luke Allnutt (@lukeallnutt) @TrapezeBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – #OnlyChild by Rhiannon Navin (@RhiannonNavin) @JessDuffyy @Panmacmillan

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Wedding Island by Jaimie Admans (@Be_the_spark) @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans (@HarrietEvans) @headlinepg @Annecater @Bookish_becky

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Next Girl by Carla Kovach (@CKovachAuthor) @Bookouture

#Review – You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac (@CatherineIsaac_) @TeamBATC @SimonSchusterUK @BookMinxSJV

#BlogTour! #Review – #LittleBigMan by Katy Regan (@katyreganwrites) @panmacmillan @MantleBooks @ChablisPoulet

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Way or Another by Colleen Coleman (@CollColemanAuth) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Almost Wife by Jade Beer (@JadeBRIDES) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Island Villa by Lily Graham (@LilyGrahamBooks) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister (@GillianMAuthor) @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90

#BlogTour! #Review – #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksBooks) @arrowpublishing

#BlogTour! #Review – Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (@KathrynFreeman1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLightBetweenUs by Katie Khan (@Katie_Khan) @TransworldBooks @hannahlbright29 @AnneCater #RandomThingsTours

#BlogTour! #Review -Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas1) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG @Bookish_Becky @DavidHHeadley

#Review – My Mad Dad by Robyn Hollingworth (@MyMadDadStory) @trapezebooks @orionbooks

#BlogTour! #Review – In Bloom by C.J.Skuse (@CJSkuse) @HQStories

#BlogTour! #Review – Kiss of Death by Paul Finch (@paulfinchauthor) @AvonBooksUK #KissOfDeath

#BlogTour! #MiniReview – #WhileIWasSleeping by Dani Atkins (@AtkinsDani) @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

#BlogTour! #Review – Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne (@Raeannethayne) @MillsandBoon

#BlogTour! #Extract – Perfect Silence by Helen Fields (@Helen_Fields) @AvonBooksUK

I’ve popped one book here for Lisa Regan and D.K.Hood, but for me the entire series are absolutely brilliant and I urge you to buy them all!

#BlogTour! #Review – Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan (@lisalregan) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Crying Season by D.K.Hood (@dkhood_author) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review -Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer (@kelrimmerwrites) @headlinepg @phoebe_swinburn @annecater

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer (@carolewyer) @Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul (@GillPaulauthor) @Headlinepg @annecater

Right, we are nearing the end now so here are my favourite reads of 2018 numbers 11-2 (in no order)

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood (@lwestwoodwriter) @aria_fiction @rararesources

#BlogTour! #Review – I Wanted To Tell You By Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @Bookouture

#Review – How to Walk Away by Katherine Center (@katherinecenter) @Panmacmillan @EllisKeene

#BlogTour! #Review – The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper (@ItsEmmaCooper) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis (@EmilyGunnis) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater @Phoebe_Swinburn

#BlogTour! #Review – This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell (@JillMansell) @Headlinepg @AnneCater

#BlogTour! #Review – The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave (@HollyACave) @QuercusBooks #MemoryChamber

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheConfession by Jo Spain (@spainjoanne) @QuercusFiction @AnneCater @QuercusBooks

#BlogTour! #Review – I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford (@sjfordauthor) @RaRaResources

#BlogTour! #Review – #MakeOrBreak by Catherine Bennetto (@cathbennetto) @Simonschusteruk @TeamBATC

I just want to say a special mention to Sarah Vaughan’s ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ – I read that book this time last year before it was released early 2018, and it’s a book I will forever be shouting about until I am blue in the face. I’ll even go as far to say that it is still a top book of mine a year after reading it. You can read my review here:

#BlogTour! #Review – #AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan (@Svaughanauthor) @simonschusterUK

We have reached TWG’s Top Book of 2018!!!! I may be slightly cheating here as this book isn’t out until 1st February 2019, but due to the fact that I actually read this book this year, I felt that I was able to include it in my favourite reads of this year. I’m sure you’re wondering what that is……

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I haven’t written a review of this book yet as I am on the blog tour for it next year. However, ‘The Day We Met’ by Roxie Cooper completely blew my mind and left tears rolling down my cheeks like a homemade waterfall. Stephanie and Jamie are two, highly complex, emotional and brilliantly written characters, I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t fall in love with them like I did. For me this book was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I will do a full review on the blog tour next year, but if you fancy pre-ordering your copy now based on my views above, you can do so now here!

That’s it folks! TWG’s Top Books of 2018! How many have you read? How many are you going to read? Let me know in the comments and keep me posted! Thank you all so much for sticking with me for another year, here’s to yet another fantastic year for books.

See you next year, folks!!

Kaisha x

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood (@lwestwoodwriter) @aria_fiction @rararesources

I am delighted to be taking part in the one day blog blitz for Lauren Westwood and ‘Moonlight on the Thames’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw… 

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist. 

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

What does TWG think?

If there was such a thing as a ‘mic drop’ for books, then this would warrant it ten times over. What a powerful, powerful read this is.

If you are as career minded as Nicola, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find yourself wrapped up in clients as opposed to being wrapped up in, erm, presents. Once upon a tome, Nicola loved Christmas but then life happened and an unfortunate incident left her wishing the festive season away before it had even begun. Can you blame her? No you can’t, not once it becomes clear why she dislikes Christmas, however her outlook to begin with was incredibly narrow minded. I was going to say that her reactions were borderline offensive, but she genuinely didn’t realise that people’s lives weren’t as rosy as hers because, well, she was too involved in her own self made issues.

Dmitri is a flawed and highly complex man whose journey was a touching one to watch flourish. Just like Nicola, he has his own demons to fight and the scars to go with them and, whether it’s right or wrong, he had become bitter and uncertain.

Watching Nicola’s and Dmitri’s journeys come to life was both heartwarming and quite emotional. Lauren Westwood has created characters with such beautiful souls, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with their story and everything it stood for. Westwood is such a stunning and magnetic storyteller, her words do more than just jump off the page, they ensure that the reader is looking at every inch of the bigger picture to highlight the importance of thinking of others. Especially at Christmas.

Yes, this book is festive, has glistening lights and carols by the bucket load, but ‘Moonlight on the Thames’ is more than the joys of Christmas; it’s about the sadness of Christmas, the festive reflections, the ability to trust again, seeing life through somebody else’s eyes. Making the moment count. You know? It’s about the things which cannot be bought, just taught and learnt.

‘Moonlight on the Thames’ blew me away and left my soul cosy by the fire. Lauren Westwood is a phenomenal author and this book definitely showcases her beautiful way with words – I adored it.

Buy now!

About the author.

 Lauren Westwood writes romantic women’s fiction, and is also an award-winning children’s writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three daughters. facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks; twitter: @lwestwoodwriter; web: http://www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com; instagram: @lwestwoodwriter; Goodreads: Lauren Westwood

Giveaway!

 Win 2 x Signed copies of Moonlight On The Thames (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman (@lucycolemanauth) @RaRaResources @Aria_fiction #giveaway

I am very excited to be kicking off Lucy Coleman’s blog tour today with a re-share of my review of the festive delight, ‘Snowflakes over Holly Cove’. Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite! Here is my review:


As the snowflakes start to fall, Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…

For lifestyle magazine journalist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around…’

So, Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air and rugged stranger, Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart. Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Christmas wishes might just come true…
Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly rugged Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands; the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.

As cosy as a marshmallow-topped cup of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.

What does TWG think?

I had no idea, until I read ‘Snowflakes Over Holly Cove’, that a mere ONE word could be the culprit of my eyes casually leaking. I know….it’s funny how much emotion the word ‘eggnog’ has, isn’t it? Yes, I am being serious. The word ‘eggnog’ made me burst into tears. I’m still not too sure whether my tears were because the word reminded me of what it actually tastes like, even though I have never had eggnog pass my lips, or whether it was because…..oh, heck. I can’t tell you can I? Many of you may associate eggnog with Christmas, so the fact that it is in a Christmas book may not come as a surprise to some. However, if you’re a soppy date like me, ‘eggnog’ may not be just for Christmas. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book….I hope.

Anyway, eggnog aside, ‘Snowflakes Over Holly Cove’ is such a stunning read, so much so that I felt so bereft when the book came to an end. I wasn’t emotionally read to leave Tia and co behind at all. I would really love for Tia or Olweyn, or even Max, to come back again in another story as their personalities and life stories are so giving, I would love to be in their company once again. Plus, I’m very nosy and I don’t think these characters have let all of their skeletons out of the closets yet.

Tia hasn’t exactly had a calm few months and, when she returns to work, she can’t help but feel bewildered by the job her boss has sent her on. Did her boss even pay attention to what has happened in Tia’s life recently? Does she even care?

Despite her reservations, Tia begins the job with an open mind and ends up getting more than she bargained for. Maybe her boss did good after all?

‘Snowflakes Over Holly Cove’ is a book which just kept on giving. Every time I turned the page I was surrounded by yet another laugh out loud event, or a situation which made me stop to gather my thoughts – reading this book was like waking up on Christmas morning to see if Santa had been. The excitement of what lay beneath each page rivalling the excitement of what lay underneath the Christmas wrapping paper left by Santa. Feeling loved by fictional characters just like being loved by good ol’ Saint Nic. The excitement of not knowing what was a round the corner, just like the excitement when reaching for every new present. Everything about this book was just…..perfection, without a doubt.

Lucy Coleman’s story telling where ‘Snowflakes Over Holly Cove’ is concerned, has raised the bar extremely high for future novels. This author doesn’t just write words and expect her readers to imagine the Christmas magic or the deep rooted emotion, instead she writes the emotion from her own heart as though she has endured similar. Story telling of this calibre cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t, and it is pretty clear that Lucy Coleman has that beautiful magic flowing from her mind through to her fingertips.

As I said above, a certain word made me burst into tears and whilst I can sit back and giggle about it now, my heart broke at the time because I had become incredibly invested in Tia and her life, I felt my own sense of loss for that character.

If only the feelings of love, serenity and goodwill could be bottle, I would be one extremely happy lady. I couldn’t have wished for a better book to read when my own life is crashing down on me, and I felt the love from the characters seep into my mind like the first coffee of the morning. In my eyes, this is exactly why I love reading, because of books like this.

A humbling, emotional, poignant, touching novel which wrapped my heart in a cosy rug whilst also making me cry because of the eggnog – what more could a girl want?

Buy now!

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the
pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be
writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper
Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary
Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either
upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction
award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and
the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and
gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good,
uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Facebook // Twitter // Linn B Halton – Twitter // Website

Giveaway!

Win a signed paperback of A Cottage in the Country and a rustic wooden heart decoration (Open Internationally)

*Terms and conditions Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passedto the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Extract – What Happened to Us by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @aria_fiction

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Faith Hogan’s new novel today. Unfortunately I couldn’t do my review due to a technical difficulty in getting the book, but I am able to share an extract from the book instead. Do watch this space as I intend to read it ASAP though!!

Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego. 

 Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

 Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side. 

 With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable… 

 How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

 Buy links

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Pv3cCJ 
iBooks: https://apple.co/2BBjSpp

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2o3aMrV 
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2OHDsSO

Extract.

Carrie eyed her stocky frame critically in the mirror. She had washed her hair and attempted to brush it out straight, but of course, as always, it disobediently fell back into a mass of curls. In the end, she pinned it up in a messy bun and pulled a few tendrils free, in case she needed to hide behind them. She had just spent an hour crying about the way things had turned out, so she hoped there were no more tears left. Her shift in the restaurant started in less than forty-five minutes. The last thing she wanted was a replay of the previous evening. She may be an emotional wreck; it didn’t mean that all sense of herself had to be obviously lost.

She pulled out an emerald wrap dress she’d bought in New York a few years earlier. It was made of the softest wool and always garnered a compliment when she wore it. It worked quite well with patent heels and her black lacy bolero. She needed a splash of Manhattan in her life now. The wrap top managed to hold in her ample boobs. The skirt though narrow didn’t make as much of her peasant thighs as some clinging skirts did. It was the best she could do, and she wasn’t sure who she was trying to impress anyway, she could never match Valentina for looks.

‘Right, Teddy, how do I look?’ she quizzed the little dog when she went back into the kitchen. He looked at her curiously, she was not sure if she passed the appearance test, but she had a feeling he saw something in her that went deeper than her figure. She bent down and scratched his head gently. He seemed content to slumber in the same spot in her kitchen, so she left him there.

She was dreading going into The Sea Pear. There, she’d said it. How long had she felt like that? She shook her head, not long, probably only since Kevin made his announcement. God, it was almost a full fifteen minutes since she gave him a thought. Now the dread filled her again. There was no point going through the thoughts that were cramming her mind: What was she supposed to do now? What was Kevin going to do? Was he going to shack up permanently with Valentina? Carrie couldn’t allow her mind to go there, not yet. For now, she had to get through working in the same building as the pair of them. For now, that would be as much as she would demand of herself.

The restaurant felt warm and fresh when she arrived. It wasn’t four hours since she walked through here with Teddy and Luke. Yet, knowing that Kevin was going to be here now, the place felt different. As though its familiarity was jarring with what it should be. She hadn’t been at work since yesterday evening, when she’d run out of here distraught. No one had checked up on her and the business had not come crashing down without her. Actually, the place looked fine. Everything was exactly as it should be.

The smell, familiar, trailing before her was Kevin – a mixture of Calvin Klein and hair products to make his wiry hair appear sleek. They had not spoken, not really, since he had trotted out of her office with Valentina at his side. Oh, they’d exchanged orders from the kitchen to the front of house. They’d worked around each other in careful silence for almost two days, until finally the hollowness inside her had given way last night. He, she knew, was much more cowardly than she. Had she always known that? Was he actually spineless? She thought about it for a moment, then she threw her shoulders back, her ample chest out and marched into the kitchen. She was not afraid. Broken, but not afraid.

‘I can’t believe you left my mother high and dry.’ Kevin’s voice reached a pitch she hadn’t heard in years.

How are you Carrie? How are you doing? I was worried about you?’ Carrie said the words sarcastically; after all, they were what she imagined she would say to him if things were reversed.

‘Of course, I was worried about you, we both were, but…’ He ran his long fingers through his thick hair and she noticed it seemed greyer now than it was before. Could he have aged overnight or was it really so long since she’d actually properly looked at him? ‘But still, what was I supposed to do, drag you back to work. Valentina said you probably needed some time to get your head around things. We managed fine, by the way,’ he nodded towards the restaurant.

‘Really,’ Carrie said and she let the hurt of him talking to Valentina about her slide sideward on her consciousness. She couldn’t think about all the times they’d probably spoken about her these last few weeks or maybe months. ‘Well, good news for both of you. But I’m back now, so…’

‘Well, of course,’ Kevin bit his lip, a nervous habit he had worked hard to kick in college. ‘And…’

‘Yes?’ she said. Had he thought about the restaurant, had he thought about the house? She’d bet Valentina had thought of it.

‘Well, it’s just…’ He was too weak to move things forward and for that, perhaps, she was glad; she had enough to cope with for now.

‘You’ll need to tell your mother, Kevin. From now on you’re going to be bringing her to mass every Sunday.’ She grabbed an apple from the top of a newly delivered box and took a satisfying bite. God, but she’d love to be a fly on the wall when he told Maureen Mulvey about Valentina.

Working in the restaurant that evening was hard. There was no point lying to herself. Carrie sidestepped Valentina when she could, but they couldn’t avoid each other. Perhaps she could ask some of their friends to give Valentina work in their restaurant. Jim McGrath ran a little bistro on the north side; she’d make a bomb there in tips. She could suggest it to Kevin, maybe, in a few weeks, when they had time to cool down, all of them.

That was the funny thing though; they were all very cool about this. She hadn’t lost her temper, she hadn’t screamed or shouted, or thrown plates. Today, at least, she didn’t want to hit him or hurt him in any way and, maybe, that meant something. Maybe it meant something more than she’d have realised if this hadn’t happened. Oh, she was hurt. She was hurt beyond description, the kind of pain that goes deep into the core of you. Even when she thought she’d cried herself out, she felt a new current of grief rise within her, bringing waves of tears to her eyes that there was no stopping. Poor Teddy had leant against her leg, lapped up the tears and occasionally rested his head on her lap, as if to offer her his own brand of sympathy. It was a funny thing; there was something in the dog that made her feel he actually got her pain, he, by his very wish to console her, somehow made things better. She was so glad to have him in the house with her.

She looked up at the clock, almost ten p.m. She walked to the door. Across the road, The Marchant Inn was in darkness and its emptiness thrashed like a wave of lonesomeness through Carrie. She thought of Jane, so fragile and alone in the hospital. Through all those tears, Carrie had made a promise of sorts, even if she hadn’t put it into words – she was going to look out for Jane from now on. Somehow, she was going to help that lonely woman get back to a life that meant something. She sighed, perhaps it would do her good to think about someone else for a while and take her mind off Kevin and Valentina.

Sunday night was always quiet, very few bookings this evening and generally, everyone was seated by nine or half past and they managed to clear out by twelve. She was looking forward to getting out of here now. Funny, but she’d never felt like that before.

Carrie slipped upstairs to her office and turned on the computer. She logged into her Facebook account to catch up with what was happening with people she knew who were flung all over the world these days. For one more time, she could pretend that everything was normal. Then she’d call Anna and tomorrow she’d go and see her mother.

About the author.

Faith was born in Ireland and currently lives there with her husband, four children and two fussy cats. She gained an HonorsDegree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair- an international competition for emerging writers. When she’s not writing, she’s an enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger. 

 Follow Faith

Twitter: @gerhogan

Facebook: @faithhoganauthor