#BlogTour! #Review – No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley (@zarastoneley) @HarperImpulse @rararesources

As a massive fan of Zara Stoneley, it gives me great pleasure in welcoming her back to TWG as part of the blog tour for ‘No One Cancels Christmas’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HarperImpulse for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

What does TWG think?

Oh I do love a Zara Stoneley novel!! I love how I can always count on this author to transport me into a storyline which not only makes me unattractively snort at high decibels, but also makes me look at things in a complete different (let’s not forget ‘logical’) manner.

I have noticed that the last couple of Zara Stoneley’s novels have had more of a relaxed feel to them, and I just love how that has made the author bring her trademark humour to the surface in a way which would make readers go; ‘omg she didn’t just say that’, in regards to her characters. Take a look at Sarah in ‘No One Cancels Christmas’ and her award winning customer service for example – that character highlights what you shouldn’t really call someone you have never met before, in the most realistic way ever. Seriously. How many of us have sat at our desks or stood behind counters and have been faced with a customer or client who raises our blood pressure? And how many of us have thought one thing but said the other due to the fact they had had a utility bill through the mail, or the kid had just purchased something on the iPad because £250 was a bargain, all because we couldn’t lose our jobs? Yeah, well, Sarah says those things you shouldn’t really say, and she owns it like the colourful peacock she is!

Given the underlying nature of the book in terms of Sarah’s family history as well as her new friend’s situation, there were times where I thought that the humour wasn’t taking those situations seriously. However, humour is how Sarah deals with her emotions and once I realised that, the entire storyline took on a whole new meaning. I guess you could say that I was finding it all a bit emotional…

Wait. Understatement of the century. Sigh, okay I cried, and no I am not ashamed. I found that watching Sarah’s barriers come down, was such an emotionally rewarding experience as I got to see a side of her I had never seen before.

There is a lot more to ‘No One Cancels Christmas’ than Sarah’s pitiful picnic skills, but trust me when I say that this storyline is like a treasure trove. A never ending one at that. Honestly, every time I turned the page I felt as though I was being given a gift! It certainly takes a special kind of author who is able to pull that off and Zara Stoneley did with ease and grace.

Once again Zara Stoneley has shown me that there is more to people that meets the eyes, and finding out how someone ticks is all part of the journey, regardless of how long it takes.

‘No One Cancels Christmas’ is one of the best festive reads I have read so far this year (I’ve read a few!), with its Christmas spirit, family rifts and enough food to warrant putting Slimming World on speed dial. A beautiful, laugh out loud novel which ticked every single box of candy canes and more – I absolutely loved it. A fantastic, festive treat that is guaranteed to keep your fairy lights on this Christmas!

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, I wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when I grew up. After many years, and many different jobs, my dream of writing a bestseller came true. 

I write about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hope that my tales make you cry a little, laugh a lot, and occasionally say ‘ahhh‘.

I now live in a Cheshire village with my family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Where you can find her

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zarastoneley/

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot (@JaneLinfoot) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


It’s the final day on the blog tour for Jane Linfoot and ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’. Big thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the author for my very own special copy of the book! Here is my review:


It’s time to come home to Cornwall

With an exciting new life in Paris, Clemmie Hamilton isn’t looking forward to heading home to the
picturesque but sleepy village of St Aidan, Cornwall. However, when she discovers that the cosy
apartment by the sea, which her grandmother left to her, is under threat from neighbour and
property developer, Charlie Hobson, Clemmie realises she can’t abandon her home in its time of
need.

With her childhood friends encouraging her, Clemmie decides to turn the apartment into ‘The Little
Cornish Kitchen’ – a boutique pop up pudding club raising money for the repairs to the building in an
effort to stop Charlie once and for all. But when Charlie and his easy charm won’t seem to go away,
everything soon becomes even messier than the state of Clemmie’s Cornish kitchen…

What does TWG think?

As soon as I spotted the cover of Jane Linfoot’s latest novel on social media, I just knew that I had to curl up and read it! Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?! It has been a week or so since I last took a trip to Cornwall in my pyjama’s, and despite having been to several trips to Cornwall in the fictional sense already this year, I was weirdly missing the rather popular setting!

Having loved Jane Linfoot’s previous wedding series, I had very high hopes for ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’! I think I burst out laughing after just a few pages! One word – mermaids. Enough said. Obviously mermaids themselves aren’t hilarious, but the way in which Jane Linfoot incorporated the majestic sea creatures into her storyline was brilliant and very funny. See for yourself!

I did really enjoy this book, and I am so pleased that I was able to lose myself in another of Jane Linfoot’s addictive storylines. However, I found it very hard to relate to the main character and the storyline itself. I thought Clemmie’s personality was very fiery and made for such fun reading, but I couldn’t help feeling as though something was missing. For me, ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ had Jane Linfoot’s trademark humour, her loveable way of writing, as well as her clever way of incorporating humour and depth into multiple situations – I just wished that I could get into it as quickly as I did her previous books.

I loved the fact that this author made my stomach rumble, despite sweet treats not being my go to thing, and I thought that her creation of multiple diverse characters was very well thought out.

‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ is a very tantalising, colourful, and laugh out loud read which will make you feel like channeling your inner Mazza Bezza….or Paul Hollywood. Just make sure you don’t leave a path for a dog….just saying!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in
Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves
seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.
Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales
blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and
renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s
always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes,
and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when
she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in
Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes –
Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding
Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an
imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot

Giveaway!

Prize – Win a signed copy of The Little Cornish Kitchen, Mermaid Notebook and Sugar
Unicorns (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 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! #CharacterReview of ‘Ellie’ from #TheSecretsofVillaRosso by Linn.B.Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


I have something a little bit different for you all today, as I have already had the pleasure of reviewing ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, I will be doing a character review of main character, Ellie, instead! Thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and to both her and the author for allowing me to do something different for my tour stop today. Enjoy!


Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her
job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect
escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels
to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the
rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the
undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about
this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

Character review – Ellie

So, Ellie, a character who is bound to get readers talking for various reasons, but just how far can I delve into those reasons without giving anything away? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Ellie has been asked to go on a business trip to Italy, and of course she agreed. Who wouldn’t? What Ellie didn’t bargain for was a connection to local man, Max Jackson. Ellie is someone who doesn’t quite know her true worth, especially when she has a husband at home who seems to want to knock his wife’s confidence, instead of being the cheerleader she so desperately needs. Personally, I had everything crossed that Ellie would see sense where her husband was concerned, by telling him where to go so that she can live the life she unknowingly wants.

I loved how bubbly and warm-hearted Ellie’s personality was; it was really difficult not to fall under her spell! No wonder Max Jackson was awfully taken with her! Although to be fair to him, Ellie is an extremely determined woman, so I can’t exactly put all of the blame onto him. I don’t think that Ellie is one of the strongest characters Linn B Halton has written, but she is definitely one that will leave a mark for a lot of readers. I’m all for independence, so when Ellie chose to go to Italy, I felt a different side of her personality come alive. It’s just a shame that she hadn’t felt comfortable to dust the cobwebs from that particular side around her husband.

All in all, I thought that Ellie was a fun character to read about, but one who also showed signs of low self-esteem towards herself, and nervousness towards her future.

Buy ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ – now!

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn – 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
Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); 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: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth
Facebook: LinnBHaltonAuthor

#BlogTour! #Review Poppy’s Place in the Sun by Lorraine Wilson (@Romanceminx) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources

Poppy's Place In The Sun
It gives me great pleasure to be one of the bloggers closing Lorraine Wilson’s blog tour for ‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’. Big thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and thank you to HarperImpulse for the ARC. Here is my review:

image3
‘She had me at Bonjour! Warm, funny, deliciously French…this lovely story filled my heart with sunshine’ Jane Linfoot

Sometimes you need to lose yourself to find your way home…

With only her trusty dogs Peanut, Treacle and Pickwick by her side, Poppy Kirkbride could be forgiven for having doubts about her move to a quiet village in rural France. But as the sun shines down on her ramshackle new home, Poppy knows she’s made the right decision. A lick of paint, and some TLC and her rustic farmhouse will be the perfect holiday retreat – Poppy’s dream come true.

Poppy is welcomed by her fellow villagers, except for brooding local vet Leo Dubois, who
makes it clear Poppy isn’t welcome in his village – or his life! Leo might be gorgeous, but
Poppy won’t be told what to do by an arrogant Frenchman – no matter how kind and gentle he is to her dogs!

Determined to stay, Poppy tries to understand the enigmatic Frenchman better. But as the two get closer, Poppy sees another side to Leo – a man with heartbreak of his own. Falling in love with Leo is easy, but can he ever return Poppy’s love? And what would this mean for her dream life and place in the sun?

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a bit of girl power, look no further as Lorraine Wilson has upped the ante in that department, that’s for sure!!

I adored this book pretty much from the beginning, as the author seemed to connect with her readers on an emotional basis when we first meet Poppy. Unfortunately for Poppy, luck wasn’t on her side and everything she thought she knew was taken away from her in the blink of an eye. Any plans she had made had to be rearranged, putting her newfound life in a spin before it’s even begun. It was from that moment where I knew that Poppy was going to be an incredibly special character. Thankfully Lorraine Wilson didn’t allow my opinion to falter throughout the story.

Due to the rough start Poppy had in her new life, she was determined not to let anyone get in the way of her future happiness, especially a charming vet! I say charming, Poppy may say arrogant and I’ll agree, because at first he was the type of person I would walk away from. Yet there was something about him which made me feel as though he was being led by a personal barrier. What that may be, however, I had no idea.

‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’ is such a feel-good, smiley read which left me wanting more. Not only that, this book contains dogs and oh my goodness, they are a HOOT! I couldn’t stop laughing at their antics and, whilst Poppy and Leo were very endearing characters, I couldn’t help but be bowled over by the personalities of the fantastically named pooches.

Despite the vibe of the book being quite romantic, the author doesn’t shove it down your throat. Funnily enough, even though I enjoy reading romance novels, I am the least romantic person ever so I did appreciate the romance element being a bit rugged. For me, it added depth to the storyline as I was excited by what may or may not happen, without things being evident from the onset.

I won’t be forgetting ‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’ anytime soon as it is such a wonderful read. Lorraine Wilson is an incredible storyteller, creating stories which hug you from the inside out and warm your heart like a coal fire on a winter’s day. A truly enchanting and feel-good novel, I absolutely it!

Buy now!

Giveaway!

Poppys Place In The Sun Giveaway
Win a PB of Poppy’s Place in the Sun and a crossbody hand bag (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 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 now!

About the author.

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for Harper Impulse – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.
She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

You can find her online either via her website: http://www.lorraine-wilson.com or on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/LorraineWilsonWriter and Twitter @Romanceminx

What a difference, a day makes – or in this case, the month of May! #MonthlyRoundUp #TopBook (@NoelleHarrison @bwpublishing)

The Writing Garnet's Book of the Month is......
It isn’t often that I do a monthly roundup, purely because I often forget. However, I felt the urge to do one for the month of May because I feel that I have to speak out about a few things, and what better way to do it than in a roundup post! #KillTwoBirdsWithOneStone

So, what happened in May?

The highlights!

– TWG was involved in 52 blog tours, the highest amount of blog tours in one month, ever!
– I met up with author, Mary-Jayne Baker, in Edinburgh for bookish chat.
– My TWG Facebook page  hit 1602 likes!
– I went over 5000 followers on Twitter, despite starting with around 100 or so when I started blogging two years ago.
– I found myself being quoted yet another book cover (thanks Bookouture!), as well as being quoted on Amazon itself!
– I received so many wonderful proof copies through the post, as well as being approved for other many awesome books on Netgalley. Big thank you to the publishers/publicists who have either sent me books or approved me. You’re all amazing!
– I have had many wonderful bookish chats with my fellow book buddies on social media – love you all!

There have been, I’m sure, many other highlights but it is quite difficult to remember them all when you make yourself do so! Like most things, there is always a downside:

The Lowlights.

May was the month where I was trolled on social media not once, but twice in the matter of one week. Now, despite being told that other people have had similar and just to ignore, for me that isn’t easy and I’ll tell you why. From the age of five, I was horrifically bullied, tormented for the hair on my arms to how I spoke, being pushed into brick walls to then having a metal sellotape holder slammed down on my knuckles. I was even told that I was fat day in, day out, where I ended up battling with anorexia and bulimia. Whilst I would love to say that the bullied ended quickly, it didn’t. For some, comments on social media are like water off a ducks back. But for me, when they come across as personal attacks, similar circumstances or not, I find them to be a trigger. It isn’t nice because it then sets off my mental health which in turn sets off my chronic illnesses. Thankfully I have drawn a line under that, but I just wanted to speak about that.

Another lowlight in May involved the entire blogging community and the idea of ‘paid reviews’. I won’t get into it again, but I am sick and tired of hard working bloggers getting thrown under the bus by people who can waltz in without giving a damn about integrity or hard work. I don’t charge for my book reviews, and I don’t intend on doing so. I review because I love books and because I feel that I am forever in authors debts for writing books which allow me to escape my daily hell. And yes, it is often hell.

Again, another one which involved the entire book blogging community was when it became known that someone was selling ARCs/proof copies on Ebay. The fact that it says somewhere on the proof ‘not to be resold or used for quotation’, is neither here nor there…..clearly. Seriously, receiving proof copies from publishers/publicists is an honour and I feel privileged to be able to receive some amazing books through my letter box. Would I then go on to sell them on Ebay? Like fuck would I. Respect is earned, not given. Respect isn’t an entitlement, it’s a privilege.

The following lowlight is a personal one for me and one which I have ummed and ahhed about saying. Those who know me personally, or those who have read my previous posts, will know that I am rather lacking in the ‘healthy’ area, with illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, joint hypermobility syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, anxiety and depression, under my belt. It’s bad enough dealing with all of that, but now, after years of battling with doctors who told me it was ‘all in my head’ and being looked at like I had two heads, I am now being treated for CFS otherwise known as ME. I was also put on a new medication, one which isn’t going to become my bestie anytime soon that’s for sure (amitriptyline). Coming to terms with yet another illness at the ripe ‘old’ age of 28 is heart-breaking, and once again I’m left feeling like I am grieving a part of me now gone. Although to be fair, I’m surprised that there is anything left of ‘me’ to grieve but y’know! I want to say a personal thank you to a person who has been checking in with my every few days despite going through their own issues, and that big thank you is for Abbie Rutherford – your friendship means a lot to me, thank you for being there for me <3.

Enough of the lowlights, lets talk books!

With 52 blog tours in one month, I got through quite a lot of books in May such as:

#Review – The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton (@bookish_yogi) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Lead Me Home by CS Savage (@sarahsavage26) @BloodhoundBook

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

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

& many, many more.

It is such an honour to be involved in the blog tours/blog blitzes for incredible books, so thank you to the publishers who invite me to take part!

If I did have to choose just one book from May, it would have to be ‘The Gravity of Love’ by Noelle Harrison. That book blew my mind like nothing before, plus I managed to make the author AND the publishing team cry with my review. I loved everything about the book and everything it stood for, and I am sure that you will too. In case you missed my review the first time round, you can read it again here:

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

The Writing Garnet is going from strength to strength and I can only thank you all for supporting me along my journey, sharing my blog posts/tweets, inviting me on tours, and involving me in a community that sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough to be in. It is such a joy to be able to share my love of books with you all, so thank you <3.

What’s coming up in June?

As it stands, I have 40 blog tours in my diary for this month already. I expect that to go up when I realise that I have included all of the tours by forgetting to write some of them down (it happens, but I do post them on time!). We are on the 5th June and I will have taken part in 11 blog tours by the end of today. Insane, but amazing. I don’t have many other bookish plans for June at the moment, well, apart from the usual, but I am looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Lots of love and books,

TWG x

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

The Wedding Date Full Banner
The Royal Wedding is nearly upon us, and what could be more apt than ‘The Wedding Date’ by Zara Stoneley! Even though I have already reviewed this book independently, I jumped at the chance to be involved in the blog tour organised by RaRaResources, by sharing my review for a second time. And, seeing as this book is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, I think it deserves being put in the spotlight multiple times.

weddingdate
One ex.
One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)
So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.
But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

What does TWG think?

I have to admit that at first, I was a little bit wary about the concept of this book. I mean, we have all seen the film ‘The Wedding Date’ with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, right? Plus, having read multiple books with a wedding date at the forefront of its storyline, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to be different about Zara Stoneley’s interpretation of the theme seeing as it has been done multiple times…

But, after reading ‘The Wedding Date’, I can honestly say that whilst the theme may be familiar, nobody has written it in the way that Zara Stoneley has. Ever. And I don’t think that they will either. There’s writing a story based on a popular theme, and then there’s writing a story based on a popular theme and owning it ten times over. Zara Stoneley is the latter and by golly did she own it!

Samantha has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friends wedding. The wedding where her ex-boyfriend (the one who dumped her after dipping his wick in new wax before the old wax had even dried) was going to be the best man. Samantha’s knee-jerk reaction is to hide under the covers and ignore the invitation ever arrived, just so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with the man who thinks his derrière doesn’t smell after a bout of diarrhoea. But, because Sam has a conscience and a heart, she is determined to not let her best friend down on her wedding day. With no boyfriend, no date, no man in question, Sam has to think outside the box when it comes to wanting to shove her ex boyfriend inside a box. How? Well, you’d better read the book then, hadn’t you!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! This book!!!! I think I resembled a pig more often than not whilst I was reading Zara Stoneley’s latest offering! The amount of snorting that came out of me really didn’t sound healthy at all, especially when faced with a border collie whose personality is larger than life. Seriously, the dog is a legend and I want his bandana for my own dog!

Now, as a person who finds themselves checking into ‘Zara Stoneley Anonymous’ after each book, I cannot help but think that ‘The Wedding Date’ is her best book EVER. Seriously! The humour was absolutely brilliant, unforced, and totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the storyline. Not only that, the energy throughout the entire story was mind-blowing and highly contagious. So much so, I couldn’t help but feel like I could conquer anything, even if it meant looking like a prat whilst doing it. ‘The Wedding Date’ is Zara Stoneley’s most energetic book yet, and one which kept me with a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Everything the characters got up to was unique, brilliantly written and full of hilarious one liners which ended up creating vivid (and hilarious) imagery in my mind. One word – horse. When you delve into this book for yourself, remember the word ‘horse’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Whilst I have to admit that the author may have adapted her writing style slightly with ‘The Wedding Date’, I for one am not complaining and think that the slight change has brought more energy and oomph to an already accomplished author. I would LOVE to see these characters back in another story, and I would love to see Harry settle down with a Mrs Harry to find out whether they dress their pups in bandana’s. It has GOT to happen!!

‘The Wedding Date’ blew me away and threw all of my misconceptions out of the window straight away. These bunch of characters are truly fantastic, with personalities you cannot help but gel with. Well, apart from the two characters which are total asshats!!

I want to stand on my soap box with brightly coloured pom poms and shout about this book for the entire world to hear – that is how much I loved this book! Honestly, what a fantastic, high energy, hilarious novel – ‘The Wedding Date’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far, and even in my ‘top books of all time’ list. I have found my new book boyfriend in ‘Jake’ and nobody is pinching him!!! ‘The Wedding Date’ is the best date I have ever been on, and the one I will remember for a very long time…especially seeing as I will be re-reading this book until I know it word for word. Out-fudging-standing. Zara Stoneley, you legend!!!

Buy: Amazon // iBooks // Waterstones

About the author.

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara Stoneley wanted to be James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more! Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.
She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.

Where you can find her-

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

#TWGDiscusses – Please STOP saying that e-books aren’t REAL books – it’s offensive! #authors #publishers #ebooks #paperbacks #lovebooks

Which books are REAL books?-2
I feel like I’m stuck on repeat where this topic is concerned, yet STILL people continue to offend hundreds of authors, and readers, out there with comments such as ‘e-books aren’t real books’. How aren’t they real? An author spends the same amount if time writing a book whether it’s published in e-book, paperback, hardback or on a slate -eye roll-, so why do people continue to say that other formats of books aren’t real?

Let me ask you this….

You know those ‘friends’ you’ve made online yet haven’t currently met offline, would you say that they weren’t ‘real friends’ because they were made online? Probably not, so why is it okay to say that a book, published in a digital format, isn’t as real as those friends you have made using technology?

Think about it.

Authors can spend anything from a few months to a few years, perfecting their manuscript ready for publication, going through various steps such as multiple edits, restructures and so forth – it’s not like they wake up one morning, sit at their computer for an hour and produce a book. It takes time and a lot of patience. Once that manuscript is given to their publisher, it’s then digitalised and printed. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the same manuscript is used for a digital book AND a print book. Who would have thought it?! Obviously with a paperback/hardback you are physically turning the pages and holding the book with two hands, yet with a kindle you’re holding it differently and using one finger to change a page. BUT, have you thought about the different types of readers that are out there in the world? No?

Well you should.

Some readers can’t hold paperbacks/hardbacks due to illnesses.
Some readers can’t read books full stop because they’re blind and rely on audio.
Some readers are chronically ill and they require various different options, depending on their pain on that particular day.
Some readers have various different reasons as to why they would choose one format over another.

All of the above have one thing in common – they all want to read!!

I’ll be honest with you here. Several years ago I would have given you a filthy look if you had said about reading an e-book, but after realising that I was missing out on such fabulous books, I decided to give it a go. Not only that, several years ago I became a lot more ill and holding things for a long period of time was becoming impossible. E-books helped me to feel ‘normal’ and read books just like everyone else, on days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything like everyone else.

I appreciate that not everyone likes e-books and that they prefer paperbacks/hardbacks – that is totally fine! But what isn’t okay is when people say that they prefer ‘real’ books which is insinuating that a digital version of an authors book, is in fact fake. Can’t you see how offensive that is to the author? Just because a book is digitalised instead of being printed on paper, it doesn’t make it any less of a book!

Those ‘real book’ comments are not only offensive to the author who has written them, it’s also offensive to a reader reading them as if the 100 kindle books read last year shouldn’t be included in their Goodreads challenge because they’re ‘not real’. And yes, someone has said that before. If you don’t like e-books, fine! If you don’t like paperbacks, that’s also fine!

But please, please, please STOP saying that e-books aren’t real when they’re as real as the money you paid for them.

Oh, and as those comments are being made on a DIGITAL website, I can’t help but think ‘well isn’t that ironic’. Put your nose where it belongs, remove your snobbery and let people read the books they choose, in the format that they choose without offending a truck load of people in the process.

ALL books are real.
Instead of bashing people with the stupid ‘they aren’t real books’ comments, be happy that people are actually reading and supporting authors in any way they can. Surely that is more important than your snobbery?

#Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse @LBAamanda

weddingdate
One ex.

One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

What does TWG think?

I have to admit that at first, I was a little bit wary about the concept of this book. I mean,  we have all seen the film ‘The Wedding Date’ with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, right? Plus, having read multiple books with a wedding date at the forefront of its storyline, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to be different about Zara Stoneley’s interpretation of the theme seeing as it has been done multiple times…

But, after reading ‘The Wedding Date’, I can honestly say that whilst the theme may be familiar, nobody has written it in the way that Zara Stoneley has. Ever. And I don’t think that they will either. There’s writing a story based on a popular theme, and then there’s writing a story based on a popular theme and owning it ten times over. Zara Stoneley is the latter and by golly did she own it!

Samantha has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friends wedding. The wedding where her ex-boyfriend (the one who dumped her after dipping his wick in new wax before the old wax had even dried) was going to be the best man. Samantha’s knee-jerk reaction is to hide under the covers and ignore the invitation ever arrived, just so that she doesn’t have to come face to face with the man who thinks his derrière doesn’t smell after a bout of diarrhoea. But, because Sam has a conscience and a heart, she is determined to not let her best friend down on her wedding day. With no boyfriend, no date, no man in question, Sam has to think outside the box when it comes to wanting to shove her ex boyfriend inside a box. How? Well, you’d better read the book then, hadn’t you!!

Oh my goodness gracious me! This book!!!! I think I resembled a pig more often than not whilst I was reading Zara Stoneley’s latest offering! The amount of snorting that came out of me really didn’t sound healthy at all, especially when faced with a border collie whose personality is larger than life. Seriously, the dog is a legend and I want his bandana for my own dog!

Now, as a person who finds themselves checking into ‘Zara Stoneley Anonymous’ after each book, I cannot help but think that ‘The Wedding Date’ is her best book EVER. Seriously! The humour was absolutely brilliant, unforced, and totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the storyline. Not only that, the energy throughout the entire story was mind-blowing and highly contagious. So much so, I couldn’t help but feel like I could conquer anything, even if it meant looking like a prat whilst doing it. ‘The Wedding Date’ is Zara Stoneley’s most energetic book yet, and one which kept me with a humongous smile on my face the entire time.

Everything the characters got up to was unique, brilliantly written and full of hilarious one liners which ended up creating vivid (and hilarious) imagery in my mind. One word – horse. When you delve into this book for yourself, remember the word ‘horse’ and you’ll see what I mean!

Whilst I have to admit that the author may have adapted her writing style slightly with ‘The Wedding Date’, I for one am not complaining and think that the slight change has brought more energy and oomph to an already accomplished author. I would LOVE to see these characters back in another story, and I would love to see Harry settle down with a Mrs Harry to find out whether they dress their pups in bandana’s. It has GOT to happen!!

‘The Wedding Date’ blew me away and threw all of my misconceptions out of the window straight away. These bunch of characters are truly fantastic, with personalities you cannot help but gel with. Well, apart from the two characters which are total asshats!!

I want to stand on my soap box with brightly coloured pom poms and shout about this book for the entire world to hear – that is how much I loved this book! Honestly, what a fantastic, high energy, hilarious novel – ‘The Wedding Date’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far, and even in my ‘top books of all time’ list. I have found my new book boyfriend in ‘Jake’ and nobody is pinching him!!! ‘The Wedding Date’ is the best date I have ever been on, and the one I will remember for a very long time…especially seeing as I will be re-reading this book until I know it word for word. Out-fudging-standing. Zara Stoneley, you legend!!!

‘The Wedding Date’ is due to be published on the 20th April but it can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal (@MichelleVernal) @Rararesources @HarperImpulse

Sweet Home Summer Full Banner
Another evening post for me today, apologies! I have the pleasure of kicking off Michelle Vernal’s blog tour for ‘Sweet Home Summer’. Thanks to Rararesources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HarperImpulse for the ARC. Here is my review:

Sweet_Home_Summer_01_New
What’s a Matchmaker? I’m thinking a really, really old Irish version of Tinder…

Isla Brookes was terrified of leading a little life in the small New Zealand town where she was born and where her gran and mum were also born and bred. To escape their fate, she breaks it off with her teenage sweetheart and runs away to London. She’s spent the last ten years climbing the interior design career ladder and meeting the wrong kind of man until one day she wakes up and wonders what it’s all been for. Leaving her latest unsuitable man and job for dust Isla winds up sitting on a beanbag in therapy at a Californian retreat, where she realises it’s time to go home.

They breed em tough on New Zealand’s West Coast. A fact Isla’s grandmother, Bridget prides herself on. Her heart was broken once, and she won’t let it happen again, but now ever since her husband passed away, someone’s been sending her Valentine’s Day cards.
When the dance hall, the scene for this heartbreak, falls into decline, Bridget decides the link to her first love must be restored even if the events of long ago can’t be put right. She’s never heard of dating apps, so in a nod to her Irish ancestry, she decides to hold a fundraising Matchmaker Festival.

Then Rohan Sullivan blows into town on a strange wind offering his services as a bona fide matchmaker; suddenly it’s time for both women to remedy the mistakes of their past.

What does TWG think?

What a jam packed story this is!

According to Isla, staying in the same town as her mother and grandmother is beneath her. She wanted more in her life and felt that the only way she was going to get that, was to move to the other side of the world. However, due to spending a lot of time running away from herself and her family, Isla finally realises that she won’t ever find herself again unless she slows down and appreciates life for what it is. Plus, I think therapy in California may have swayed her decision as well.

I love the concept of this book, especially as a lot of readers may relate to the ‘losing yourself and finding yourself’ theme to the book. What I did struggle with however, was the pace. It took me a very long time to find something in the storyline to hold onto. Instead of the pace being upped and the grit being entwined into the book, there seemed to be a constant addition of brand new characters and, whilst I usually don’t mind meeting new people in books, if the pace isn’t there to go with the new characters, I find myself becoming incredibly confused and forgetting who is who.

That said, the real star of the ‘show’ was Isla’s gran. Her humour was on point, with the romantic element to her lifestyle becoming more evident as the storyline progressed. I actually think Gran needs to come back in a sequel as I feel that there is a lot more to her personality, with us only seeing the tip of the iceberg in ‘Sweet Home Summer’.

Once I had gotten into the storyline, I did end up enjoying it, laughing along with several of the characters. Personally, I think that the overall concept of this book is brilliant, with the underlying message being one to take notice of, but I just think that it could be a little more defined in its delivery. Hopefully there will be a sequel so that we can find out what happens next with Isla and Gran!

Buy now from Amazon UK
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About the author.

Hello, my name is Michelle Vernal, and by way of introduction, I’m Mum to Josh and Daniel and am married to the super supportive Paul. We live in the garden city of Christchurch, New Zealand with our three-legged, black cat called Blue. BC (before children) Paul and I lived and worked in Ireland, the experiences we had there have flavoured my books. I’ve always written, but it was only after my first son was born that I decided to attend a creative writing course at Canterbury University. Oh the guilt dropping him at pre-school so I could learn the basics of story writing, but oh the joy of having conversation to contribute other than the price of nappies that week! The first piece I ever penned post course was published by a New Zealand parenting magazine. I went on to write humorous; opinion styled pieces of my take on parenting, but when the necessity for being politically correct got too much, I set myself the challenge of writing a
novel. Six books later and a publishing deal with Harper Impulse here I am. These days I write for a lifestyle magazine and my latest book Sweet Home Summer has just been released by Harper Impulse.

Social Media Links –

http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist/
https://twitter.com/MichelleVernal
https://www.instagram.com/vernalmichelle/

#BlogTour! #Review – Mums Just Wanna Have Fun by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

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Happy publication day to Lucie Wheeler and ‘Mums Just Wanna Have Fun’! Big thanks to the author for inviting me to take part in her blog tour, and thank you to HarperImpulse for my copy of the book. Here is my review:

lucieMeet Nancy…

Single mum Nancy will do anything for her little boy. Jack’s autism makes life difficult at times, but she’s determined to ensure he lives the best life possible. So, when her best friend Harriet suggests a holiday to Ibiza, Nancy is torn: will Jack cope with the change in routine…will she?

And Harriet…

Workaholic mum Harriet convinces Nancy it’s the break they all need. A chance to have some fun with the kids, away from the stresses of normal life. And she’s determined to switch off her laptop, ignore her inbox, and just have fun with her kids for seven whole days…

Cocktails and kids’ club – what could go wrong?

Ibiza is beautiful, but Jack struggles with everything, Harriet refuses to put her laptop away, and Nancy begins to think she’s made a huge mistake. And then Nancy meets Cameron and his young son, Aiden and discovers that sometimes the best fun happens when you least expect it…

Can these two single-mum’s swap their mummy guilt for sunglasses and sangria?

What does TWG think?

Lucie Wheeler is back with yet another tale of mummyhood with ‘Mums Just Wanna Have Fun’. I am pleased that an author chose to write about single mums and the challenges that they can face on their own. As a single mum myself, I appreciated the concept of a single parent being laid bare. However, I found the way in which single mums were described in this book, a little bit on the disappointing side as it made single mums come across as whinging, whining people and that becoming a single parent was a negative thing. Now whilst I can appreciate that every family has different challenges, I didn’t quite understand where the negativity for single mums in general, was stemming from personally.

If you take away the negativity surrounding single mums/single parents then yeah, I did really enjoy reading this book. I loved how raw Nancy’s life came across in regards to her son’s challenges with autism. It certainly opened my eyes to that situation as a whole – my heart certainly went out to her one more than one occasion.

Harriet…what a hilarious character. A character who a lot of readers will be nodding along with, agreeing with every hurdle this character had to face yet was too afraid to admit. It’s people like this which allow women to feel like they’re not on their own when they can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I remember holding my baby for the first time and going ‘errrrrr what do I do now?!’ and yet i was a single mum from the moment I fell pregnant.

I thought the whole section with Cameron and his son Aidan, absolutely beautiful. I’m not going to lie, i did get emotional. As weird as this sounds, Aidan’s gift for Jack was the star of the storyline as it highlighted the fact that there are in fact, truly wonderful people in this world. You just need to find it in your heart to believe.

Despite my own personal issues with the storyline as mentioned previously, I still found my heart getting hugged by the beautiful vibe of the overall storyline itself. You can tell that the author is a parent herself due to the way in which she conducted the parts about being a mummy – its moments like that which Google cannot help you with. You either know, or you don’t, and Lucie Wheeler certainly does as it was written from her heart.

‘Mums Just Wanna Have Fun’ made me laugh, made me smile, and made me feel exceptionally proud to be a mummy, even when I feel like the worst mummy in the world. This book is definitely a star in the night sky.

Buy now from Amazon