Anyone want to join Tilly Tennant and I, as we visit ‘The Garden on Sparrow Street’? @TillyTenWriter @Bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Tilly Tennant’s blog tour, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be sharing my review.

As the cold winter nights draw in, escape to the sleepy town of Wrenwick, where the streets sparkle with snow and a lonely young widow is about to find that true love really can strike twice…

As Christmas cheer fills Sparrow Street with excitement, grieving widow Nina is having a hard time. December is always a difficult month to face without her beloved husband Gray, the days feel long and bleak, and to cap it all, she’s just lost her job.

So when Nina hears that Sparrow Street’s Community Garden, one of Gray’s favourite places, is to be put up for sale she knows she must do something. Filled with purpose, she gathers the residents of Sparrow Street around her to turn the neglected patch of land into a Garden of Memories.

Working with her neighbours, single mum Kelly and eighty-year-old Ada, Nina soon finds that she’s not the only lonely soul on Sparrow Street. And as the community comes together and the garden flourishes, Nina can’t help but be drawn to Irish gardener Colm with his sparkling blue eyes and kind heart, finding herself confiding in him about all her recent troubles.

But just as Colm and Nina grow closer and he opens up to her about his own secret loss, Colm’s estranged wife returns from Scotland, wanting to try again. Nina knows she should let the man she’s falling for go – it’s the right thing to do. But what if fate has other plans in store? Will the beautiful garden on Sparrow Street have brought two people together only for Nina’s cautious heart to push them apart?

What does TWG think?

Now THIS is what I was waiting for!! Emotion, heartwarming events, colourful characters, uncertain romances, and the right amount of humour to even out the tender times. THIS is Tilly Tennant at her finest.

The concept of rebuilding a garden for the local community, isn’t one that i found to be unique. I have read several books which have centred around that particular thing and, in all honesty, I was a bit unsure as to how Tilly Tennant would make it her own. I know that there isnt really much that can be done to make the idea of a garden something to remember, but I must say that Tilly Tennant DID make the idea her own and I thoroughly enjoyed the way she made the community come to life.

Nina and Robyn have both suffered losses that have torn their lives apart. Whilst Robyn has more of an outgoing personality in terms of grabbing another romance by the begonias, Nina is more of an introvert and someone who cant help but worry about every little thing. I found Robyn a little much at times, often a little bit arrogant. I know that she was a bubbly person, however that seemed to make her think that she could walk into any situation like a bull in a china shop. I guess you could say that i related more to Nina due to her type of personality.

What I loved most about the book was that a group of people from all walks of life, came together to support one another, regardless of the issues that they were facing in their personal lives. On the outside, the residents of Sparrow Street seemed to have their stuff together, yet once the walls were brought down, they all ended up showing a different side to their personalities. Nobody judged each other for their issues, their worries and what not. They just helped in their own little ways and I loved that! It was such a heartwarming thing to see and I actually felt a little bit of hope, something which I’ve not genuinely felt in a while.

‘The Garden on Sparrow Street’ is more than just a garden, it’s about journies through life after loss, life after heartache, and living life before it ends up being a loss. I loved the amount of heart that the author invested in the storyline, and I loved being able to watch various characters feel confident enough to spread their wings, even whilst feeling uncertain. A genuinely touching, hopeful, and tender novel – I loved it.

Buy now.

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We’re leaving together, but it’s still farewell; its.. #TheChristmasCountdown! Ready Donna Ashcroft? @Donnashc @Bookouture

Delighted to be closing Donna Ashcroft’s blogtour today for ‘The Christmas Countdown’ – many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the tour and for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s that time of year again, snowflakes are fluttering and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Holly Devine is returning to the only place that feels like home, hoping that some festive magic will help to turn her life around…

Twenty-seven-year-old Holly Devine has just had her heart well and truly broken. Hurt by the two people she loves the most, she flees to her eccentric Aunt Clara’s cosy cottage to hide away over the winter season. But kind, impulsive Aunt Clara has other ideas… She’s not about to see her favourite niece wallowing in sadness during the most wonderful time of the year. So, with the help of her close circle of friends and plenty of gin, she creates a handmade advent calendar for Holly.

Every day in December, Holly opens a new door and has a different task to complete. She soon finds herself asking out a complete stranger – gorgeous, cheeky pub landlord, Finn Jackson. But as handsome Finn gets involved in her festive challenges, Holly’s determination to avoid romance is put to the test. Still, Finn’s far too carefree and single for true love, isn’t he?

As Holly begins to embrace each day – a complete makeover, building the biggest snowman she’s ever seen, singing in a karaoke contest – Finn is there adding fun and laughter to every moment. Holly starts to realise that she can become the person she’s always wanted to be…

But a secret from Finn’s past threatens to turn Holly’s Christmas upside down and makes her question everything she has experienced in the last few weeks. Will Finn open up to Holly in time to show her how he really feels? And will she complete the advent calendar challenges and fall in love this Christmas?

What does TWG think?

Mrs Christmas has done it again!!!! Omg I LOVED it! What a festive, flirty, fun, and utterly fabulous read this is. I knew that Donna Ashcroft was talented, but honestly, she has exceeded my expectations with ‘The Christmas Countdown’.

I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or not, but the fact that the author set the book around Christmas was genius. I mean, at one point in the story I got a little bit hot under the collar and was thankful for cooler temperatures. Phwoar!

I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Holly and her lack of self confidence, something which I am sure a lot of us have dealt with at some point. I am struggling with my own mental health at the moment, so i found myself becoming emotional at Holly’s situation. I wanted to tell her that I understood y’know?

Holly went on various journeys throughout the book, and watching her grow into her wings and flourish was definitely a highlight of mine.

I also thought Finn was one of those ‘perfectly flawed’ types, another character who had a lot to offer but was lacking in the confidence to be able to offer himself the vital gift of moving on.

You know, I try to savour every word of Donna Ashcroft’s novels and, as weird as this sounds, I sometimes dread reading them too because I know that they will come to an end – I hate it when that happens! As Jane Austen said, ‘if a book is well written, i always find it too short’. The same applies with ‘The Christmas Countdown – I really didn’t want it to end.

It may be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, however Donna Ashcroft has written the best gift of all in the shape of a book that just kept on giving. Mrs Christmas by name, Mrs Christmas by nature – a heartwarming, humourous, poignant, rromantic and beautifully written nove. Donna Ashcroft has kept her title of ‘Mrs Christmas of fiction’ for the second year running – LOVED IT!

Buy now.

Did you get #TheChristmasInvitation? Trisha Ashley did! @trishaashley @annecater @TransworldBooks #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Hayley for the ARC – I am excited to be reviewing Trisha Ashley’s new book today!

Meg is definitely not in the Christmas mood. She’s never gone in for tinsel, baubles and mistletoe, and right now she’s still getting over an illness. Yet when she’s invited to spend the run-up to Christmas in the snowy countryside, rather than dreary London, she can’t refuse.

Arriving at a warm and cosy family home in a small hilltop village, Meg soon begins to wonder what a proper Christmas might be like. But just as she’s beginning to settle in, she spots a familiar face. Lex.

Despite the festive cheer, Meg suddenly wants nothing more than to get as far away from him, and their past secrets, as she can. But if she stays, could this be the year she finally discovers the magic of Christmas…?

What does TWG think?

What I love most about Trisha Ashley, is the way she creates such unique characters who always seem to make their way into readers hearts. Meg was certainly one of those characters. She wasn’t perfect. She was a little rough around the edges. Some might say that Meg was ‘perfectly flawed’, and I would agree with that one hundred percent as she took those flaws and embraced them instead of trying to be something she wasn’t.

I really enjoyed the warmth of ‘The Christmas Invitation’ and the message it relayed to readers regarding the importance of community spirit, the importance of embracing situations one may find uncomfortable, as well as the importance of being true to who you are and what you believe in.

I will hold my hands up and say that i felt that the book was incredibly slow to get going, often going off on a tangent at times it didn’t feel overly necessary to the story. In all honesty, I did struggle with those parts because I just wanted to get back to the main part of the book, instead being sidelined by things that didn’t really fit in.

That said, I really warmed to Cara, and i found her hilarious personality an absolute joy to get to know. I loved how she made the story come alive with her ‘no bull’ attitude and genuine love for those she held dear.

Despite my earlier irks, I really enjoyed the festivities of the overall storyline, especially as I ended up finishing it with a massive smile on my face. Romance may be the spice of life for some, yet Trisha Ashley makes warmth, family, Christmas, and the sense of belonging, the spices of life in general and, to be perfectly honest, what more could you ask for?

A genuine, humble and heartwarming novel, ideal for those warm cosy nights of winter.

Buy now.

Stepping back in time now with a #review of #ARationBookChildhood by Jean Fullerton (@JeanFullerton_) @RaRaResources

Congratulations to Jean Fullerton on the publication of ‘A Ration Book Childhood’! I am excited to be kicking off the blog tour today with a review – many thanks to RaRaResources for the tour invite and ARC.

In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.

With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.

When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?

What does TWG think?

I may have mentioned this once or twice, but I am in my element when I read books with the topic of rationing. There is just something so powerful about those days in history and the steps people took when it came to celebratory events and what not.

One of my go to authors in this genre is Jean Fullerton, and once again she delivers a brilliantly written, fascinating story about life in London during the war. Not only does Fullerton indulge all history fanatics out there with her attention to detail, she also incorporates the strength of the community in her story too.

Ida and Ellen’s lives are about to get a whole lot more difficult, especially as Ida needs to drum up some inner strength to be able to get through the new lot of challenges she has to face. As the storyline progresses, the emotion behind Ida and Ellen’s friendship becomes a lot more raw and fragile. Tears did prick my eyes once or twice, however due to the nature of the circumstances, I couldn’t help but enable my motherly instinct as I was reading.

Just like many other historical fiction novels, the bare bones of the storyline is a tough pill to swallow, however due to the authors insightly way with words, the storyline gave me hope. I really enjoyed reading ‘A Ration Book Childhood’, and I urge you all to devour it like I did.

Buy now from Amazon

Grab some paper, it’s time to get #WrappedUpForChristmas! @katlyn_duncan @HQDigitalUK @RaRaResources

I don’t think anyone is thinking about wrapping up their Christmas presents just yet, but if you are, what better book to get you in the mood than one titled ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HQ for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not for Angie Martinelli…

Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.

Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.

But Nick has secrets of his own… and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.

What does TWG think?

Cute dog? CHECK.

Strong female lead? CHECK.

Ideal person to tickle the main characters fancy? CHECK.

Heartwarming and full of festive cheer? DOUBLE CHECK!

You know the TV channel that’s dedicated to Christmas movies? ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ needs to be put on there! It screamed ‘Hallmark’ movie to me after the first couple of chapters!

Angie has had to reboot her life after things went disastrously wrong. She would have preferred not to move back into her family home, but due to the lack of funds and employment, it was the only option Angie had. With her best friend, Reese, being close to popping, the thought of leaving home yet again filled Angie with dread. Could she really make a new life in the place that she was so desperate to leave?

The romantic elements to this story were absolutely spot on, if somewhat frustrating at times! I just wanted to bang the heads of Angie and her love interest! Seriously! Communication clearly wasnt their strong point at all. Despite that, I was rooting for both of their happiness and had everything crossed that they crossed find themselves on the paths that they needed to be on.

As for the festive cheer, Katlyn Duncan sprinkled it throughout the book like snowflakes. It wasn’t too much, nor was it too little, in fact it was just right.

I adored Reese’s character and ended up laughing out loud at her antics involving her stomach – oh I remember it well!

‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ is a book version of the candy cane – significant, festive, and the ideal thing to get you feeling christmassy. I thoroughly enjoyed following Angie’s journey; it really is a cushty, snugfest of a Christmas treat.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @0neMoreChapter_ @RaRaresources

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Happy publication day to Zara Stoneley and ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’! I’m excited to be kicking off the blog tour today – thank you to Rachel for inviting me to take part, and of course to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Four Christmases and a Secret Cover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

What does TWG think?

If you’re not getting ready for Christmas now….I want to know why! Surely Zara Stoneley’s new book has put you in the Christmas spirit in erm….September?! By the way, this cover is SO pretty!!! Simple yet extremely effective – I love it!

Now, I am a massive fan of Zara Stoneley’s books, so it absolutely pains me to say that I really struggled with 30-40% of this book. I thought the stepping stones to the story were there from the beginning, however I felt that the connection was very thin and the storyline didn’t have the same flawless, continuous vibe like many of her other books. I am well aware that there is a lot happening in the book, and often that can make things feel a little bit up in the air at times, that wasn’t the issue at all. In fact, I loved the randomness of Daisy’s character and the fact that she just dived head first into literally everything about her life. For me, it was the fact that there were snippets of events, issues, relationship drama etc, yet they seemed to lay there dormant and unconnected to the main storyline. That’s what I struggled with…..however….

wait for it……

Once I hit like 40% of the book, everything fell into place and I ended up falling head over heels in love with the book and what Zara Stoneley was trying to achieve. At the end of the book my cheeks were aching something chronic, and it turned out I was grinning like an absolute loon. I didn’t want Daisy’s story to end! I am so pleased that the jigsaw pieces came together eventually.

Daisy is such a bonkers character and I thought she was absolutely brilliant. She gave the book the element of surprise, the element of uniqueness, and ended up becoming a character I would love to meet again in another book. Honestly, she is hysterical and made ‘Four Christmases’ what it was. Well, her and Stanley….oh, and Uncle T. Oh my heart! Uncle T, what a legend! He reminded me of my Great Uncle Ted – a gentle giant who would do anything for anyone, yet also the type of person who would stand their ground if need be. I will hold my hands up and say that my eyes did leak a bit where he was concerned…..that’s all I’m saying on that matter though!

Back to Stanley. Another legend of the four legged variety! I love how Zara Stoneley always puts a doggy character in her books, and the way that she gives them such a memorable personality instead of being just a background ornament as it were. Stanley was as much of a character in the book as Daisy and Ollie were.

Daisy’s mum was a belter too – absolutely hilarious, cringeworthy and simply perfect! Even though there is a lot of hilarity in this book, there are also several discussions of topics on a deeper scale. That said, they are also written with a hint of hilarity….just to even things up a bit.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I couldn’t believe my reaction to the first part of it, but I am so glad that I trusted my judgement and Zara Stoneley’s writing as I ended up absolutely loving this book.

Zara Stoneley creates such hilarious, heartwarming storylines which are both memorable and unique; ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’ is no different. If you’re after a book which puts a unique spin on the festive season, bereavement and relationships, I would urge you to read this in a heartbeat. Another brilliant, brilliant book by an author who certainly knows her way around a pen and paper!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘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’.

Visit Zara’s Website.

#BlogTour! #Review – #FindingBlossomsintheDarkness by Simin Sarikhani (@FindingBlossoms) @Bookollective

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Bit of an emotional blog tour for you now, courtesy of Simin Sarikhani and ‘Finding Blossoms in the Darkness’. Thank you to Bookollective for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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A deeply moving memoir of a mother’s journey through deepest loss to hope. Beautifully designed and produced, featuring the gorgeous illustrations of Lesley Buckingham. Publication supported by imaginative marketing and publicity campaigns from Cultureshock and Bookseller Rising Stars Bookollective.

A refugee from revolutionary Iran, Simin Sarikhani had fled her home, leaving all that she had to make a new life on the other side of the world. Although no stranger to life’s challenges, she would face none so great as the death of her only child, Zhubin, at the age of 21. This heartfelt account describes one mother’s journey through the unbearable pain of a child’s death to find what had seemed forever lost: hope, meaning, love and even joy.

Guided by the letters her son wrote to her to be read after his death, and his other insightful writings, Simin was able to find light in the darkness. In this book, she shares not only her own story but also Zhubin’s simple words, with the wish that they may also bring some comfort to other bereaved parents. Simin Sarikhani was born in Iran, and now divides her time between London and Montreal. Finding Blossoms in the Darkness is her first book.

What does TWG think?

Just as I was getting ready to write this blog post, ‘Footprints in the Sand’ by Leona Lewis, came on Youtube. I don’t think my background music, while I’m typing this, could be more apt!

I’m not going to sit here and say that this is an easy read, because it’s far from it. I’m also not going to sit here and say that I read it in one fell swoop either, because I didn’t. To be honest with you all, ‘Finding Blossoms in the Darkness’ isn’t a book that can be read cover to cover, not unless you’re going to read through eyes like waterfalls and a nose like a fountain. Not a pretty image really, is it! However, this book is pretty….pretty emotive and pretty poignant. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that Simin felt when she lost her son, Zhubin, It takes a lot of courage, and a lot of strength to be able to put those emotions into words for other people, especially strangers, to read.

I won’t lie, I became incredibly emotional reading ‘Finding Blossoms’, both for Simin, the boy she lost, and for all of the other people in the world who have had to deal with something similar. Life isn’t fair at all, but the fact that Simin chose to share her grief alongside feelings of hope, love, and poignancy was incredibly moving. A breath of fresh air if you will. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, there’s no right or wrong way of how somebody approaches and digests those feelings. I want to thank Simin for choosing to share her story with the world. I want to thank her for sharing the heartache, the loss, the feelings of despair. I want to thank her for sharing the love for her son, a love that will never, ever go away.

‘Finding Blossoms in the Darkness’ may be a memoir about Simin’s own personal loss, however it is also a book which will no doubt give other bereaved parents, or members of the family, the strength to breathe.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters (@Vicky_Walters) @HeraBooks @rararesources #PublicationDay

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Many congratulations to Victoria Walters on the publication of ‘Coming Home to Glendale Hall’! For those people who aren’t sure about reading Christmas books before December, I can assure you that this book is worth that commitment! Thank you to Hera for the ARC and to Rachel for the blog tour invite, here is my review:

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No matter how far you go, home is where the heart is…

Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.

As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.

Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?

Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale – or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?

What does TWG think?

Do not be fooled by the incredibly beautiful, festive, cosy looking cover on this book! I’m not saying that the book isn’t any of that, it is, it’s just I underestimated just how much the story would pack a punch due to the cover. I was expecting a calm, rockin’ round the Christmas tree type of book, and instead I got a story which resonated with me on multiple levels and had my eyes feeling like snowflakes had melted on them. In other words, I ended up quite emotional towards the end.

Can you honestly tell me that you don’t feel the same when you look at the cover?! Massive kudos to the cover designer at Hera for their wonderful job though, it is such a stunner. Like I say, don’t be fooled though, there is so much more to ‘Coming Home to Glendale Hall’ than snow and snowmen. Trust me!

The author set the scene by describing Beth’s predicament, as she made her way back to her childhood home after ten long years away. What made Beth stay away for ten years? Why was she so nervous to cross the threshold again? The author divulged the answers to those questions quite slowly throughout the book, and at the same time we are made aware that the cracks in various relationships run a lot deeper than originally thought. Again, readers don’t know the reason for that until a little later on in the story. Of course, I won’t lie, I found it frustrating to be drip fed the information, however that was my own impatience letting me down. There was a very good reason as to why the author planned the story that way, and it did work. It made the truth have more of an intense impact that I don’t think would have been there had things been revealed earlier on.

I said above that I resonated with the story, and that is definitely true. Beth is a single mum, like me, and usually when single parents are mentioned in books, I get rather nervous due to the way that they are represented. Seriously, are we still in medieval times?! Thankfully (and I could hug the author for this), she wrote about single mothers like they should be written; like humans. We aren’t horrible people. We don’t deserve to be ridiculed for bringing up our children single handedly, whether its our choice to or not. I really appreciated how Beth was portrayed both as a mother and as a woman in her own right, and I’m sure that a lot of single parents will agree with me when I say THANK YOU for doing that.

‘Coming Home to Glendale Hall’ is a bit like Pandora’s box, except Christmassy….maybe it’s like a Christmas Eve Box. Anyway, several of the characters seemed to be holding the keys to their own boxes which held the answers to their secrets, and I’m sure that deep down, all of them knew that once those boxes were open, there would be no turning back.

There really wasn’t. I was shocked by the actions of several of the characters – I was angry for Beth and Isabelle! I know that my anger towards certain actions means absolutely diddly squat, but I just couldn’t help it. I really don’t know how the particular characters involved (yes, I’m not naming names) lived with themselves. I know that they had their own reasons, but just like the author makes abundantly clear via Beth, it wasn’t their choice to make. Not in the slightest.

‘Coming Home to Glendale Hall’ really gave me the chills (and no, I don’t mean because it was snowing in the book!), and it certainly gave me all the feels! Throughout the book I felt like I was at home, joining forces with a family who only wanted the best for each other, yet their communication left a lot to be desired. I loved being able to lose myself in the community spirit and being able to find my inner child again as Isabelle got excited for Christmas. You cannot beat the excitement of a child at Christmas, watching their eyes light up when seeing snow or the pretty lights. It may be something small, however things like that really do put things in perspective and I was so pleased to see that happen for Beth.

Victoria Walters, once again, writes a story with so much heart in it, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the book had been inspired by her own life. I adored the beautiful story telling, the outstanding seasonal descriptions and attention to detail, but most of all I adored the poignant and emotional underlying message of the entire story. We only die once, yet we live every single day – don’t live with regrets. Oh, and you can never have too many Christmas lights! Just beautiful.

Buy now from Amazon.
Buy from Apple.
Buy from Kobo

About the author.

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. Her moving debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE was chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star. Her heart-warming new novel SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFE is available to download now.

As well as being an author, Victoria also works as a Waterstones bookseller and buys far too many books there. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter). Victoria is not only obsessed with books but loves buying slogan tops, mugs and notebooks, and posting them all on Instagram.

You can discover more about Victoria – and find pictures of Harry the cat – by following her on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at:https://victoria-writes.com/.

#BlogTour! #Review – #IntimateStrangers by Lasairiona McMaster (@QueenOfFireLas) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Intimate Strangers’, as well as the ARC. I am delighted to be kicking off the tour with a review.

Is there such a thing as too perfect?

Lisa Millar wasn’t supposed to fall in love with a guy on the Internet. But she did.

Other than living over five thousand miles away in America, AJ Williams is seemingly her perfect match. Strikingly handsome, musically talented, plays hockey and has a typical college-guy life.

In a moment of carpe diem, Lisa flies from Ireland to Alabama to surprise her internet-beau and finds herself face to face with an inconceivable reality that she couldn’t possibly have prepared for.

How well can you truly know someone you meet online?

Will true love win out, or will AJ’s secret life be too much for Lisa to bear?

What does TWG think?

I don’t quite know what I was expecting with ‘Intimate Strangers’, but what I got certainly wasn’t it, and no I don’t mean that negatively! This isn’t your ‘typical’ romance novel by any means, yet it has a lot of lovey dovey situations throughout the book which again, completely surprised me by the route they took.

‘Intimate Strangers’ has that YA vibe about it due to the ages of the main characters and where they are in their lives, ie college and what not. With that in mind, I was a little bit confused by how the storyline went from having a YA vibe, to having the adult vibe with a lot more mature decisions being made. Now I’m not saying that young adults are immature, not at all. In fact, some can actually be more mature than a lot of adults. What I’m meaning is that the intended audience varied instead of staying consistent with the characters. This meant that at times I felt that the main characters were coming across rather immature with the way that they presented themselves and their choices. If the storyline had remained a bit consistent, I dont think I would have thought that.

As I said before, there is a lot of love in this story! Long distance love and one that is found online of all places. Lisa plucks up the courage to travel to the other side of the world to meet a guy she has only spoken to online, never met. She put her trust in what AJ said, hoping that he was indeed telling the truth, and he had put his trust in Lisa. What happens next is a journey of life discovery, self discovery, and finding out just how deep their love for one another is.

I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed reading ‘Intimate Strangers’! Despite feeling as though several parts of the story were a bit top far fetched, I ended up becoming hooked on Lisa and AJ’s story, especially when their new relationship went through something no-one should ever have to witness, or go through themselves. The friendship groups both Lisa and AJ had were simply wonderful to see so, whilst the storyline had romance in it, the author was also telling the story of another kind of love, the type you only find in friendships.

‘Intimate Strangers’ has such a hilarious vibe to it and, all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed walking alongside Lisa and AJ on their various journeys. Im so looking forward to seeing what else is in store for this couple!

Buy from Amazon UK

Buy from Amazon US

#BlogTour! #Review – #ChristmasEveryDay by Beth Moran (@BethCMoran) @BoldwoodBooks

Christmas Every Day Blog Tour Final
Thank you so much to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for this festive delight, ‘Christmas Every Day’ by Beth Moran, and for an ARC of the book as well. Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier each year but if you’re anything like Beth Moran and her characters, would you wish that it could be ‘Christmas Every Day’? I hope you enjoy my review as much as I enjoyed the book:

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When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose – no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better…

Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.

Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.

What does TWG think?

‘Oh I wish it could be Christmas, every dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.’

Do you? Do you really? I couldn’t handle the expense or the amount of food! Surely there would need to be some ground rules put in place before things got out of hand? Or am I thinking too deeply about something that actually won’t happen…..

Anyway, Jenny has to start her life again. Well, not quite. I mean, she can’t exactly go back where she came from and ask her mother to give birth to her again now can she? She does require a brand new start though after things got severely out of hand in her old job. I so wish I could divulge what happened as it is an absolute BELTER! But I can’t, because I would be in trouble. Soz……

So, in the quest to find her new start, Jenny goes to live in a cottage which hasn’t seen anyone live in it for many, many years. Seriously, you cannot count the copious amounts of rats that have taken over the house!

Jenny is STUBBORN! Not just a teensy bit stubborn so it’s slightly endearing, she’s stubborn to the point where you want to shout at her to accept help. I know that there are people who prefer to do things themselves without feeling like they owe anybody anything if they received help, I get that, I’m a stubborn ahem too. But come on, how often would you get a neighbour who seems to be a Jack of all trades, offering his services? Mind out of the gutter…

The community spirit in this book is phenomenal. I loved how everyone was there for one another, whether they had known them briefly or not, they just didn’t turn anybody away. If one person had something they no longer needed but someone so desperately needed that item, they would give it to them no questions asked. How lovely is that? I can’t even get my brother to share his cheese and onion crisps with me and I’ve known him 29 years! RUDE!

I lapped up every inch of this book, losing myself in the wonderful personalities of the characters, the emotive actions of certain characters, Jenny included, and the hilarity behind the overall storyline.

I went into ‘Christmas Every Day’ thinking that I was going to be faced with a typical romantic novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course), but instead I ended up reading a book which not only has romance by the bucketloads, it also has a subplot which literally moved me to tears. I wasn’t expecting to be blindsided by the details of bullying, health, regrets, secrets, and strength, however that is exactly what happened and wow, all of it completely blew me away.

I LOVED how unique the storyline was, and I adored how every little path came together to create a storyline that was full of multiple, beautiful journeys all incased under one umbrella; hope.

‘Christmas Every Day’ is as glittery as a Christmas tree after your three year old has decorated it.
As funny as your family member channelling their inner Santa Claus for the younger families (ridiculous Ho-Ho-Ho included).
As emotive as hearing yet another Cliff Richard Christmas song on the radio….
And as brilliant as watching young children get excited about their presents on Christmas morning.

Whether you’ll find yourself on the ‘Naughty’ or ‘Nice’ list this Christmas, ‘Christmas Every Day’ has found itself on my ‘top reads of 2019’ list. I absolutely adored it.

Buy now!