#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘The Other Miss Bates’, Allie Cresswell (@alliescribbler) @RaRaResources

Another RaRaResources blog tour for you all this afternoon, and another guest post! Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Allie Cresswell’s ‘The Other Miss Bates’. I have a guest post to share with you all for my stop on the tour. First, here is a bit more information on Allie’s book:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for. 

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

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Guest post.

I can think of no character in Jane Austen’s completed works who would qualify as what we understand today as being ‘disabled’. And yet it seemed to me that a book set in Brighton in the 1780s would be unrealistic if it did not include at least one character physically incapacitated in some way. 

Brighton was a town just beginning to be fashionable as a health resort due to the recent discovery of the healthful properties of sea water; the sea was used for bathing and for drinking – which must have been revolting. The fashionable folk of Georgian England began to use seaside towns as an alternative to spas like Bath and Cheltenham. The medical profession burgeoned to take advantage of the new obsession with health, and doctors  some of questionable qualifications – congregated at health resorts where patients were numerous.In Brighton, as elsewhere at this time, with the American war of Independence being fought as well as wars with Spain, France and Holland, it is inevitable that wounded soldiers would have been commonplace. Add to this that life in Georgian England was dangerous, even for the well-to-do. Carriage and horse-riding accidents were everyday occurrences, claiming many victims.

Having decided to set The Other Miss Bates in Brighton and because it was inspired by Jane Austen’s fourth novel, Emma,it was inevitable that illness should play an important part in it. Illness – real or imagined – is a frequent theme. Imagined illness – such as that suffered by Mary Musgrave in Persuasion, is used to imply weakness of character, a lack of fibre, selfishness or at least self-absorption, all characteristics to be mildly disapproved of. Actual illness occurs infrequently in Jane Austen’s books but always to great dramatic effect. (Think of Louisa Musgrave’s concussion in Persuasion, Tom Bertram’s illness in Mansfield Park and of Marianne Dashwood’s fever in Sense and Sensibility.) The plot of these books absolutely pivots on the life-threatening illnesses depicted in each, and, crucially, on the way the principal characters respond to it. The illnesses themselves are generally a physical result of some morally reprehensible behaviour, like Marianne’s unchecked ardour for Willoughby.That Jane Austen was interested in the narrative possibilities of illness and the influence of illness on character is illustrated by her final – unfinished – novel Sanditon, which is set in an imaginary seaside town and peopled by characters variously unwell or believing themselves to be so.

I felt justified, then, in tackling it, but wanted to explore a different aspect of the subject, so I invented two characters who are confined to wheelchairs. Mrs Sealy is a young and wealthy widow, rendered disabled  by a carriage accident. Captain Bates is a casualty of war whose initial injury was compounded by poor medical treatment to leave him an amputee.

Disabled people are not necessarily ‘ill’ although of course sometimes their disability is a consequence of illness or causes issues of ill health. I didn’t want my wheel-chair bound characters’ disability to be a tool of the plot; that would have been cynical and patronising. Their being in wheeled chairs affects their actions just as much as their behaviour, choices, attitudes and values. Like all Jane Austen’s characters they are weighed morally. Although both are ‘victims’, ie, were not born with a disability, they deal with their situations very differently. Mrs Sealy is without self-pity; she is always cheerful, dressed beautifully, attends balls and parties a-plenty and has herself carried from one place to another by an extremely handsome, well-muscled young footman by the name of Ironside. Her being a woman of her time – not her disability – makes her vulnerable to the terrible machinations of her step-son. 

Captain Bates on the other hand has allowed his life-affecting injury to rule his life. In an effort to compensate for the admittedly terrible time he had under the surgeon’s knife he treats himself constantly to food, drink, fine clothes and expensive trinkets. It is this self-indulgence – especially to food – which is the real cause of his incapacity; he has become too fat to move, even with a rudimentary prosthetic (wooden leg).

I think the way I have handled these characters is true to Jane Austen’s technique. They are not judged by who or what they are, their birth, wealth or cleverness but by how they behave. I agonised over them, though. I did not want them to be pitiful, nor villainous, nor ridiculous. Just because Jane Austen chose not to represent the disabled in her books did not seem a valid reason for me to omit them from mine although in all other aspects – plot, character, tone and language – I have attempted to reflect her style.

With trepidation, I invite you to read The Other Miss Batesand let me know how you think.

About the author.

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England. 

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links 

www.allie-cresswell.com

https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/

@alliescribbler

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#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.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at the Chocolate Pot Cafe by Jessica Redland (@jessicaredland) @Rararesources

Apologies for the late post, but many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in Jessica Redland’s blog tour and for the ARC. I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour with a review.

A few minutes of courage might change your life…

Emotionally, Tara Porter finds the festive period a challenge. Christmas Day is a reminder of the family she lost, and New Year’s Eve holds bitter memories of the biggest mistake of her life: marrying Garth Tewkesbury. Shunning invitations to celebrate, she seeks refuge in her flat with only her giant house bunny, Hercules, for company.

Professionally, though, it’s the best time of year. Tara’sthriving café, The Chocolate Pot, is always packed. With the café hosting a wedding and engagement party, it’s shaping up to be the café’s best Christmas ever.

When former nemesis, Jed Ferguson, threatens the future of The Chocolate Pot, Tara prepares for a fight. The café is everything to her and she’s not going to let anyone or anything jeopardise that. 

Tara badly misjudged ex-husband Garth and, since then, has refused to let anyone in. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. But has she misjudged Jed too? Is it possible that he’s not the arrogant, deceitful man from whom she bought the café 14 years earlier? Can she find the courage to find out for sure?

What does TWG think?

Can I just start by saying how divine this cover is?! I can just see myself walking down that street, looking in all of shop windows and being lured into the Chocolate Pot Cafe. Stunning cover. Kudos to the designer!

Tara hasn’t had it easy – Jessica Redland tells her characters emotive journey in a way which hit me right in the feels. I couldn’t help but be swept up in Tara’s life and the way tried to do right by her little café, regardless of how much stress it put her under.

I would suggest not reading this book when you’re hungry, as the story is full of tantalising descriptions of such yummy-ness. I actually wish the Chocolate Pot Cafe was a real place!!

Whilst I loved Jessica Redland’s beautiful story telling and delicate way of including minor details into the little but important moments, I couldn’t help but feel as though something was missing. Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy reading the book and Hercules the rabbit was just brilliant, I just felt that the overall storyline needed a bit more bite.

If you’re after a full blown Christmas story, then this book isn’t for you as Christmas isn’t the main theme in the book. However, if you’re after a book which ignites deep emotions within, has you feeling as snug as a bug in a rug whilst also wishing you had a pet rabbit named Hercules, this book has your name all over it.

An insightful, emotive, and tender story which will sweep your off your feet faster than Cinderella losing her shoe. An absolute pleasure to read.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella.

She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast — the inspiration for the settings in her books — with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!

Her passion for North Yorkshire is shared by fellow-writer and great friend, Sharon Booth and, together, they are the Yorkshire Rose Writers.

Jessica tries to balance her time — often unsuccessfully — between being an HR tutor, trying to re-learn how to play the piano, studying towards a Masters in Creative Writing, and writing itself. Who needs sleep?

Social Media Links – 

Twitter:@JessicaRedland

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Website and blog:www.jessicaredland.com

#BlogTour! #Review – I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas by C.P.Ward (@imgladifoundyo1) @rararesources

Another Christmas book for you all this evening, as I kick off the blog tour for it! I am so excited to be sharing my review of C.P.Ward’s ‘I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas’. Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:



Maggie Coates is frustrated. Her longterm boyfriend, Dirk, recently moved to London to take a job she fears puts him out of her league. Despite the assurances of her best friend Renee, Maggie is convinced Dirk is slowly drifting away. All Maggie wants is to get married and settle down, but maybe Dirk has other ideas.

Convinced by Renee to make one last throw of the dice, Maggie books a romantic holiday for two in the quaint Scottish village of Hollydell. But will Dirk show up?

And if he doesn’t, what if there is a perfect man waiting for her among the Christmas magic of Hollydell’s snow-laden streets? What if Henry, the humble reindeer farmer with the kind smile, turns out to be the man of Maggie’s dreams?

What does TWG think?

If this doesn’t get you singing Christmas songs at the top of your voice, then I don’t know what will!! Why oh why is this C.P.Ward’s first and only Christmas book?!?! I am literally BEGGING for another one next year. Seriously.

Maggie’s boyfriend is an absolute CACTUS! As far as she is concerned, they’re still in a relationship, even though he always seems to find an excuse to not pick up the phone or make an effort to meet her. After multiple heart to hearts with her best friend, Renee, Maggie decides to whisk Mr Cactus away to Hollydell. I say ‘whisk’…he said he would follow her up there. But the thought was there nonetheless.

I did feel for Maggie as she clearly wanted to keep her relationship going despite the bright warning signs overhead – the poor thing couldn’t help but worry as she didn’t want to be let down. Who can blame her?

Wow….Hollydell. The only way I can describe it is – you know the Christmas movies on TV? You know the ones which are shown on a dedicated Christmas channel on Sky? Well, Hollydell reminded me of one of those movies where the magic was rife, the romance was beautifully done yet addictively cheesy, and the Christmas spirit was so over the top that you would have been a fool not to join in. I’m sure you know the ones I’m on about as they’re shown every single year, and every single year we all cosy up watching them, losing ourselves in the magic that is Christmas.

I felt like a big kid reading this book. There’s reindeer, snow, Christmas songs, festive feasts, snowmen, Christmas lights. Everything! I couldn’t get over how much detail the author put into his storyline, making the characters and Hollydell come alive in the blink of an eye. I adored how everyone came together whether they knew each other or not, helping them when things were tough or they had had a few too many mulled wines. You know, usual stuff.

I lost myself in this book and I would lose myself in it again in a heartbeat. Why C.P.Ward hasn’t written a Christmas book before now, I don’t know, but I really do hope that he continues to do them for adults….and maybe even children.

Never mind ‘I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas’, I’m Glad I Found this book this christmas!!! Such a beautiful, majestic, enchanting read which made me want to Rock Around the Christmas Tree on a not so Silent Night, singing Jingle Bells at the top of my voice. Hell, if Christmas was just like it was in this book, I would even go as far to say that ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. I adored this book!!

Purchase Links 

Buy from Amazon US

UK – Buy from Amazon UK

Author Bio

CP Ward is a writer from the UK who currently lives and works in Japan. This is his first Christmas book.

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Giveaway – Win 10 x e-copies for I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas (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.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen Rolfe (@helenjrolfe) @rararesources

Apologies for how late in the day this is, because of internet issues the most of November, I’ve only just been able to read this book and have literally just finished it. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises. 

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track. 

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever? 

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

What does TWG think?

My namesake is baaacckkk!! Not even joking – there’s a character called ‘Kaisha’ in this book and I LOVE it! This character appeared for the first time in a previous book in the series, so my excitement certainly piqued when I saw her make a comeback in this one.

I adore Helen Rolfe’s novels as they’re always so tenderly written and full of such warmth; ‘Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin’ was no different, although I will have to admit that I did struggle with elements of the book.

Whilst the storyline was very poignant regarding first impressions, assumptions, and looking further than a persons exterior, for me there was a lot of information given without many decisions of where it should go. I enjoyed reading about Holly’s journey, especially where Mitch was concerned, but I did feel as though it was missing a bit of magic that usually comes along with this author’s style.

Don’t get me wrong at all, I thought that the message within the storyline itself, is one that a lot of people should take heed of sooner rather than later, and I loved seeing different characters popping up from previous books in the series. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the book because I did – I cannot fault Helen Rolfe on her huggable writing style and the way she brings communities together with minimal effort.

For me personally, I needed that extra spark that was all. However, ‘Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin’ still is such a powerful and tender novel which highlights the true meaning of Christmas absolutely beautifully. It was such a joy to be wrapped up in Helen Rolfe’s magnetic words once again.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

 Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending. 

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

#BlogTour! Interview with author of ‘Facing a Twisted Judgement, K.J.McGillick (@kjmcgillickauth) @rararesources

What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labeled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system?  Probably not.

 

After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace. 

 

When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved. 

 

As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.  

 

Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

 

Purchase Links 

Buy now from Amazon US

Buy now from Amazon UK

I am delighted to welcome the author of ‘Facing a Twisted Judgement’, K.J.McGillick, to TWG today for an interview. Enjoy!

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

 

The ideas from my books come from my varied and usual background in the law and medicine. I find that most people have a keen interest in how the law works and most especially how people escape justice due to technicalities of the law. I try to think of a crime that would hold my readers interest and then delve into the mechanics of it. If I can throw in how medicine enhances or interferes’ with the crime all the better. I like to use my books as a teaching experience.

 

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

 

My last book’s main character was loosely based on a girl that disappeared under suspicious circumstances in the ‘90’s and never found. Although it was not someone I knew personally it was someone who a friend had come in contact with and I found the story intriguing. None of my other books are based on people I have come in contact with although I find a lot of myself in Aunt Mary.

 

How do you pick your characters names?

 

Some just come to me and others I try to pick based upon theethnicity after doing some research. 

 

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

 

With some books I start with a seven point plot wheel to outline the plot on one piece of paper. Then I jot down some information about the characters and flesh them out. Once I have the plot and characters in place I then spend about 2 hours in the morning writing a chapter and an hour in the evening editing it. However some books I have no outline or plot wheel and start with my first sentence and see where the story leads me. Often I’m surprised as the reader with the how the book ends when I use this method and I seem to enjoy the unexpected outcome.

 

Who are your top favourite authors?

 

Melinda Leigh, Kendra Elliot, Dan Silva, Kristen Ashley, J. A. Huss, Lee Child 

 

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

 

J.A. Huss who is an indie author. How do you write 8 books a year and do everything yourself in house and not hire anyone to help you.

 

Were you a big reader as a child?

 

Yes and my favourite series was Nancy Drew.

 

When did you start to write?

 

As an attorney I have to write briefs and legal papers all the time. However, my first stab at creative writing was when I returned from a concentration camp in Germany in 2005 and started a book on the Nazi pillage of art. I didn’t have the writing tools availablethen that I do now and the manuscript sat dormant not to be resuscitated. I became enthused about writing again last year and took a writing class and researched the craft of writing until I was ready to start writing. After I returned last year from a visit to London and Paris I was ready to write.

 

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

 

Gone With the Wind. Scarlett and Rhett would have a happily ever after.

 

 Is there a book you wish you had written?

 

The DaVinci Code

 

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

 

The Struggle Was Worth It

 

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

 

Gabriel Allon from Dan Silva’s novels and it would be a coffee house in my area.

 

What are you working on right now?

 

The continuation of Facing A Twisted Judgement . Facing A Twisted Judgment can be read as a standalone with a conclusion to it. But early readers felt they wanted more, an expansion of the conclusion and that is what I’m working to give them. 

 

Do you have a new release due?

 

Facing A Twisted JudgmentDecember. The next one February

 

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

 

Have a special lunch with a friend

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?

 

www.kjmcgillick.com and kjmcgillick@gmail.com

 

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

 

Every bit of my personal history has brought me to the place I am now where I use it all in my books. I like to think that when my readers finish my books thy are more educated about art, medicine and the law and find my endings satisfactory.

 

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row by Emily Harvale (@emilyharvale) @rararesources

Apologies for the slight delay in this blog post, internet issues have caused me no end of problems! Huge thanks to Rachel for her patience and for inviting me to take part in Emily Harvale’s latest blog tour! Here is my review:

It’ll take a miracle to make Juliet’s Christmas merry, but Mistletoe Row is the place to be when you need some Christmas magic. 

The last person Juliet Bell expects to see when she returns home for Christmas is Harrison Bow.Especially with the most beautiful woman in the world by his side. Twenty years ago, Juliet and Harrison had the shortest romance in history, consisting of one date – and one blazing row. But Juliet will never admit when she’s wrong, and Harrison doesn’t forgive easily, so they haven’t seen, or spoken to one another since.

Harrison Bow vowed he’d never visit his grandfather at The Grange, again, or drive along Mistletoe Row, the scene of one of the unhappiest times of his life. He hasn’t been back for twenty years and he’s only here now because his brother pleaded with him to come. At least with his executive assistant joining him, he’ll be able to do some work. 

But Juliet’s sister, Zoe and Harrison’s brother, Luke have some surprises in store for their elder siblings, and so it seems does Fate. After Harrison risks his life to save Juliet, the least she can do is be nice. The problem is, Harrison is hotter than the log fire in The Mistletoe pub, and when she’s surrounded by twinkling lights and softly falling snow, it doesn’t take long for her to realise she’s in love with the man she thought she hated. Even if he doesn’t appear to be in love with her. 

What does TWG think?

Ohhhhhhhhh ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….’. Wow, what a fabulous little read!

‘Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row’ is full of festive goodness, guaranteed to get even the Scroogiest of Grinch’s in the Christmas spirit. If you aren’t aware already, I adore this author’s novels as she always captures the hearts of her characters lives, and her latest book is no different.

There is a lot of history between characters on Mistletoe Row, but is everything as it seems? With so much bad blood between ancestors and new neighbours alike, the Bow and Bell family have a task ahead of them if they wish to end their feud once and for all. I mean, it’s not as though they have a very special reason to do that….is there?

Juliet and Harrison are chalk and cheese, yet I couldn’t help wish for the pair of them to find their own individual ‘happily ever after’. I wish I could pinpoint why! There was just something about both characters which made me see the bigger picture and realise that when folk get things wrong, it doesn’t mean that they are unworthy of positive things in life.

From start to finish, Emily Harvale had my attention as I followed the journeys of a highly unique bunch of characters during the festive season. I won’t lie, I had a first impression of a couple of them, but I can safely say that by the end of the book, my original opinion was nowhere to be seen.

I loved the fun and humorous edge to the book, as well as the in-depth romantic edge – everything was very well balanced and such a joy to read, I really didn’t want it to end!

Emily Harvale has written yet another cracker of a read without a doubt. A relatable, romantic, festive and touching novel, ideal for warming hearts everywhere this Christmas.

Buy now!

About the author.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart. 


Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media Links –  

Find Emily Harvale on Facebook

Follow Emily Harvale on Twitter

Follow Emily Harvale on Instagram

#BlogTour! #Review – A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman (@kathrynfreeman1) @rararesources @choclituk

Hurrah for being able to read fast! If you aren’t aware by now, I adore Kathryn Freeman’s novels and this one was no different. I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ as part of the blog tour today, many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?


Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

What does TWG think?

That’s it, I’m done!!!! I think I’ve found ‘The One’! I’m not even joking! Okay, there is a teeny tiny problem though – he is two dimensional and, erm, not real. Well, he was certainly real in my mind!! Is it me or is it hot in here?!?!

If you have read this book already, you’ll know exactly what I’m on about. However, if this is still on your TBR pile (it should be), stop shaking your head at me and just trust me! Owen Cooper is going to be sending a lot of readers in their own boat of dreams!!!

And helloooooooooo, I felt like I was reading a book about myself! Gabby is me! Pfft, aside from the Mr Cooper obvious, but aside from that I related to that character SO much! Poor Gabby has trust issues due to her mother – her childhood was a never ending reel of disappointment which has unfortunately led to problems in her adulthood. Hardly surprising really though (you’ll see what I mean when you read it). It was such a shame to see Gabby so broken, yet her emotions were things I saw a lot of in myself. That was pretty hard going, I shan’t lie.

Owen Cooper hasn’t had it easy either, and it was nice to read a book with a male character that wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side. ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ might have the ladies swooning, but there is a lot to the book which I thought even male readers will be able to relate to and enjoy.

I loved how the author brought ‘dysfunctional families’ into the spotlight! Not every household has a mum, dad and children. Families come in all different shapes and sizes what with step families, half siblings, adopted families, and even the families that are made up of people you love rather than people who share the same DNA. It’s a shame that people think families should be a certain way, so I adored what Kathryn Freeman did with her characters in this story, that’s for sure!!

Watching Gabby flourish was definitely a highlight for me (again, aside from the obvious!!), and I felt that the entire storyline worked from the humour to the choice of Christmas decorations, to the choice of confectionary and drunken one liners. Seriously – this book had everything I could have wanted and I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end!

‘A Little Christmas Charm’ isn’t just full of a LITTLE charm, it’s full of so much charm, poor Santa would need another sleigh to carry it all. A hot under the collar, laugh out loud, uplifting, heartwarming, and utterly amazing book – I will be recommending this book until I am blue in the face! Make sure you ask Santa for this one – I absolutely loved it!!

Buy now!

About the author.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero. 

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (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! #Review – The Fourth Victim by John Mead (@JohnMeadAuthor) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC – here is my review of ‘The Fourth Victim’ by John Mead:

Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight.  And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging gone wrong.  The victim deserves more.  However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

What does TWG think?

I really don’t quite know how to review this book I must admit. I was quite intrigued about the overall premise of the book to begin with – police procedural, a whodunnit and questionable circumstances – definitely my kind of book.

However, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was missing something! There were times where I felt as though I had walked into a conversation half way through, or picked up the book in the middle of a situation when in actual fact I hadn’t. I couldn’t quite grasp the way in which the storyline came together which ended up making the novel, in my eyes, a very difficult book to follow.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the police procedural content, especially the gripping events which led to the conclusion. There was definitely a complex level of suspense throughout the entire novel which I thought worked very well with such flawed characters.

For me, ‘The Fourth Victim’ had the ideal recipe for a belter of a read, I just felt that the icing on the cake needed a bit of fine tuning. All in all an intensely promising read.

Buy now!

About the author.

Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built. I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university.

I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet. I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. 

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real incidents and people I have come across. Although I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

 

Social Media Links – 

Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

#BlogTour! #Review – Snowed in at The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green (@Rosie_Green1988) @RaRaResources

Another one I didn’t think that I would read in time due to WiFi issues, but thankfully this is a novella so my speed reading came in super handy! I am back visiting the gang in Sunnybrook today as I review Rosie Green’s latest read. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

The biggest snowfall in years has blanketed Sunnybrook, cutting the village off from the outside world. For Fen, who finds herself snowed in at The Little Duck Pond Cafe, it’s little more than a minor inconvenience. Her love life is finally running smoothly; it looks as if she’s found the perfect man for her.

 But then a shocking secret threatens to destroy Fen’s new-found happiness.

Will being snowed in be the final straw? Or will Fen find a way through the snowdrifts to the perfect love?

What does TWG think?

Oh, Fen! Fen, Fen, Fen!! I’m literally shaking my head right now, no joke. Don’t worry, no spoilers, but reallyyyyyy?! Look, if you’re new to this series then I suggest you go back and read the books in order otherwise things may get a little confusing, although Rosie Green does talk about previous storylines ever so briefly. The reason I say read the books in order is because of Rob, Fen’s friend and a man who is good with his hands. Mind out of the gutter folks, he’s a carpenter!!

I am flabbergasted at Fen’s actions because in all honesty, I don’t know how she kept her cool and let things conclude in the way that they did. It’s easy for me to say but I certainly wouldn’t have! I actually found her a little bit weak because of it and, even though I tried to see things from the other side, I found the whole thing underhanded. Good on Rosie Green for writing characters to get people talking though!

‘The Little Duck Pond Cafe’ isn’t the main attraction in this book, well, I didn’t feel like it was and it really needed to be, instead there was a lot of emphasis on Fen’s actions and reactions. I love being ‘around’ ‘Lellie’ and Maisie as I find their personalities so comforting and homely.

Even though I enjoyed the latest visit to Sunnybrook, it wasn’t my favourite in the series but I certainly appreciated the fun which the storyline had to offer.

Rosie Green’s story telling does not disappoint – can I live in Sunnybrook please?!?!

Buy now!

About the author.

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. The first two stories in the series are: Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe and Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café.

  Follow Rosie Green on Twitter