#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.

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#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

#Blogtour! #Review – Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples (@jillesteeples) @Aria_Fiction

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I am both excited and devastated by this blog tour, as I cannot believe we have reached the final book in such a wonderful series! I am super honoured to be day two on the blog tour for ‘Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck’ by Jill Steeples. Many thanks to Aria for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Life in Little Leyton is never quiet, and when handsome developer

Max and his bride-to-be Ellie, receive some sad news, he decides to whisk her away for a romantic break. The time away gives Ellie a new perspective, and she’s eager to get home to get on with planning their wedding.

But a devastating incident at the pub she runs, The Dog & Duck, puts everything in jeopardy. And, at their home Braithwaite Manor, tensions are heightened when Ellie’s future mother-in-law turns up with all her worldly belongings, much to Max’s sister Katy’s despair.

With Max preoccupied with problems at work, Ellie’s left literally holding the baby, while dealing with a seemingly endless list of dramas. And as Christmas approaches, Ellie begins to wonder if she’ll ever get her happily ever after…

What does TWG think?

If you’ve been following the ‘Dog & Duck’ series since the beginning, you’ll be well aware of the issues Little Leyton has had to face. Don’t panic if you’re new to the series though – I would highly recommend reading the books in order so that you can fully appreciate each book, even though the author does a grand job of writing them as standalone. Can ‘The Dog and Duck’ really have the happily ever after it deserves?

I was not mentally prepared for this series to end AT ALL. I wanted to start the book yet I knew that when I did, I would be closer to the series ending than ever before. Sniff. I have been with this series since the first book and I cannot believe how much the main character, Ellie, has grown since she first stepped foot in Little Leyton. I feel as though I have come to know all of the characters individually, becoming part of the village myself.

I am well aware that all good things must come to an end, but with such wonderful characters as Max, Ellie and all the folks in Little Leyton, I would be more than happy to continue following their journey for a very long time.

Once again Ellie is faced with enough stresses to make her hair go grey. Not only is she keeping something from her parents, she also ends up slap bang in the middle of the drama between her boyfriends mother and sister. Families eh, who’d have them? Even so, that isn’t all. The village of Little Leyton have their world knocked when a focal point of the village becomes an uncertainty, highlighting the fact that nobody knows what is around the corner. Money may be on their side, but time and weather clearly aren’t.

I couldn’t help wishing for Ellie to be cut some slack. I mean, how much rubbish can one person take? Yes, she is an incredibly strong character, and yes she has a very good support network, but even so, sometimes even the strongest people need a moment to let the tears fall.

Jill Steeples’ ‘Dog and Duck’ series has got to be one of my all-time serials I have ever read. There is just something so warming about all of the characters and situations within the book, that it never seemed to matter whether the sun shined or the rain fell, as long as the villagers had each other. I am so honoured to have been part of the characters journey indirectly by reading each book. It has been an absolute pleasure and, even though I am utterly devastated that the series has come to an end, I cannot fault ‘Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck’ at all. What a perfect end to a perfect series.

What a finale, seriously. I smiled. I laughed. My eyes leaked. And my soul felt complete. This book warmed me up quicker than a hot water bottle, quicker than a winter duvet on a cold night, and even quicker than a shower on the highest setting. If you’ve ever read a book where you end up feeling calm and serene as though all of the puzzle pieces slotted into place, you’ll understand my feelings where this book is concerned because I felt exactly that.

A truly beautifully written, outstanding, humbling, addictive, cosy and heartwarming novel which made me feel as though I was part of Little Leyton and loved by everyone in it. Jill Steeples has done all of her characters proud throughout the series, but most importantly she has definitely done her readers proud by writing such a perfect ending to a perfect series.

‘The Dog and Duck’, it has been a pleasure. Jill Steeples, I have everything crossed that a new series will be coming soon as, after reading the final installment of this series, i have even more proof as to why you are one of my all time favourite authors.

Absolutely wonderful.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jill lives with her husband, two children and an English Pointer named Amber in the Bedfordshire countryside. Her short stories have appeared in women’s magazines around the world aswell as in charity anthologies. When she’s not writing, Jill loves spending time with family and friends, reading, films, musical theatre, walking, baking and eating cakes, and drinking wine.

Follow Jill

Twitter handle: @jillesteeples

Any blogs/website: www.jillsteeples.co.uk

#BlogTour! #Review – Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Brookcottagebks @Aria_Fiction

I am a massive fan of Lucy Coleman’s novels, so I am thrilled to help kickstart the blog tour with my review of Lucy’s upcoming novel, ‘Snowflakes Over Holly Cove’. Big thank you to Brook Cottage Books for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

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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?

Pre-order 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!

Prize –  A Christmas Book-reading Bag (a signed copy of A Cottage in the Country + treats)       UK ONLY

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Keep Her Silent by Theresa Talbot (@theresa_talbot) @Aria_Fiction


I am very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Theresa Talbot’s latest novel, Keep Her Silent. Now before anyone says about the date, I do apologise that I am a day late with my review as my illnesses rendered me unable to move last night. However, the review is here now so thank you Aria Fiction for the blog tour invite and the ARC.


Ooonagh ONeil is back with another dark and chilling investigation

“Do that which is good and no evil shall touch you”

That was the note the so-called Raphael killer left on each of his victims. Everyone in Glasgow investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil included remember the murder of three women in Glasgow which sent a wave of terror through the city. They also remember that he is still at large…

When the police investigation into the Raphael killings reopens, Oonagh is given a tip off that leads her straight to the heart of a complex and deadly cover-up. When history starts to repeat itself, it seems the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Oonagh be the next target…?

What does TWG think?

I am probably going to sound completely uneducated here, but until I had read ‘Keep Her Silent’, I had absolutely no idea about the blood scandal that went on in the seventies. Seeing as it literally was a world-wide scandal, I am rather shocked with myself for not knowing (okay, I wasn’t born then but still!). ‘Keep Her Silent’ may be predominantly fiction, but the author has used a real life, historical event in her storyline, which means that those parts of the book are based on true event that happened to real people. To be perfectly honest, that alone is shocking enough. I mean, I was absolutely gobsmacked by what the author was teaching me – how on Earth did it manage to stay under the radar for so long, and why hasn’t anyone got justice?

Aside from the blood element, ‘Keep Her Silent’ has a lot of things to keep readers interested! I won’t give anything away but Oonagh O’Neil is certainly a memorable and larger than life character, that’s for sure!

I adored the opening to ‘Keep Her Silent’! The seed was planted, the hook had done its job, and the seatbelt was secured ready to keep me safe on a ride of a lifetime. I’ll even go as far as saying that that opening was my favourite part of the book!

However (sorry!), I couldn’t help but feel as though the pace of the storyline dropped dramatically as the storyline progressed, before reaching its peak again towards the end. I thought that Theresa Talbot wrote about the scandal very well, being very clear and concise with all of the facts, whilst also keeping to the timeline of events. Very impressive. I also thought that the storyline contained such colourful characters who made the storyline weirdly entertaining. Whilst I enjoyed the overall premise of ‘Keep Her Silent’, I couldn’t help but feel as though there were too many pregnant pauses which were being padded out, even though the author was very clever at keeping her readers eyes glued to the page.

Overall, I found ‘Keep Her Silent’ to be an incredibly promising, interesting, and shocking read and, despite getting teased with little snippets of high intensity, I have everything crossed that Theresa Talbot goes even darker and full of more twists with her next novel – I’m looking forward to it!

Buy from Amazon // Kobo // iBooks

About the author.

Theresa Talbot is a BBC broadcaster and freelance producer. A former radio news editor, she also hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland, but for many she will be most familiar as the voice of the station’s Traffic & Travel. Late 2014 saw the publication of her first book, This Is What I Look Like, a humorous memoir covering everything from working with Andy Williams to rescuing chickens and discovering nuns hidden in gardens. She’s much in demand at book festivals, both as an author and as a chairperson.

#CoverReveal! ‘A Way Back Home’ by Alison Sherlock (@AlisonSherlock) @Aria_ Fiction

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First cover reveal of the week! Big thanks to Aria Fiction for asking me to be involved in the cover reveal for Alison Sherlock’s upcoming novel, ‘A Way Back Home’. I think that this is a beautiful little cover, and I hope you will like it too.

Here is the cover as well as a little bit more about the book incase you’re a blurb reader:

ARIA_SHERLOCK_A WAY BACK HOME_E
After recent heartbreak, Skye Jackson finds herself homeless and on the road with
only a classic Airstream trailer to her name. A surprise inheritance of a rundown little
lodge in the grounds of beautiful Willow Tree Hall forces her to change her plans.
However there is a problem…

The lodge is co-owned by care-free, playboy Will Harris, who finds himself
unemployed after a recent tabloid scandal. Syke desperately wants a home to call
her own and needs to move on as quickly as possible. Will doesn’t want to stay at his
family home either to face the ghosts of his past. So they decide to put aside their
differences and renovate the cottage together.

But when a storm hits, Skye and Will are forced to stay on to ensure that an
important wedding goes ahead. Can Skye finally find a home of her own? Can Will
stop running from his past and help out his family when they need him the most?
The magic of winter at Willow Tree Hall is about to change everything …

See, didn’t I tell you it was pretty!!? I don’t know about you, but I am rather looking forward to reading this one!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)