#Review! Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan(@jennycolgan) @littlebookcafe

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Blurb.

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine…

It’s Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne – a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She’s at her happiest when she’s creating delicious, doughy treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She’s determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn’t always work out as planned…

When Polly’s best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly’s past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that’s not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

What does TWG think?

Jenny Colgan is back with yet another deliciously, tempting tale courtesy of the Little Beach Street Bakery! If you have read the previous books, you’ll know that luck isn’t always on Polly’s side but she tries to make the most of a bad bakers dozen regardless of how much dough gets thrown at her. Not only has Jenny Colgan brought us another instalment from the bakery, she has brought Neil the puffin with her too!

Christmas is one of the busiest times for Polly and her bakery and she is determined to take quality time out for herself, Huckle and…sleep. Unfortunately for Polly, her life (and those in it) seem to have other ideas. Lets hope Polly gets her Christmas and not firework night instead!

If you have been following my blog since the beginning (or know me rather well), you’ll know that I am a HUGE fan of Jenny’s books (major fangirl moment). There is a teeny downside to being such a huge fan though; all of her books automatically have the bar set high (even before I start reading them) because of how much I enjoyed her previous books. So, I curled up on the sofa with my kindle, crossed my fingers and hoped that I would love her latest book just as much…

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery seemed to have a more serious tone to it than the previous books, not a bad thing either! It felt as though the storyline and the characters had grown with the times and we were dealing with situations full of raw and intense feelings.

I’m not going to lie, I was hooked from the very beginning! I loved the fact that we were able to see a different side of Polly and get to know her more outside of the bakery. Until now, I hadn’t quite realised how much of a sensitive wee soul she was as her guard has always been rather high. Don’t get me wrong, we have seen Polly’s vulnerable side throughout the story, but nothing compared to the way she is portrayed in this book. Polly is such a wonderful character to read about and Jenny has definitely showcased her personality in this instalment.

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery had moments of going with the flow, moments of uncertainty, as well as moments that were completely unexpected. I think that’s why I found myself getting sucked into the book more and more, because of the jump from going with the flow to then being faced with a ‘omg what just happened’, type moment. Hats off to Jenny for being able to switch between those vital storyline moments with such ease, and without losing the readers focus.

The Beach Street Bakery books wouldn’t be the same without Neil the puffin, at all. He is such an amazing addition to the story and has given me multiple laugh out loud moments, as well as many ‘awwww!!!!’ moments. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be awww-ing a puffin. You’ve got to though, it is Neil after all. He is legen-DARY!

What’s TWG’s verdict? Another fantastic book by the incredible Jenny Colgan! Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery has swiftly become my favourite of all the Beach Street Bakery series; with its suspense, intensity and comfort, it most definitely is a book that keeps on giving. Such a pleasure and joy to read, I was very disappointed that it had to end.
I love this book and I am sure you will too!

Thank you Little Brown Books UK!

Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan, published by Little Brown Books UK is available to buy now from Amazon UK | Amazon US


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It’s publication day for Lisa Dickenson(@LisaWritesStuff) & ‘Mistletoe on 34th Street’!#Review

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Blurb.

‘A perfect Christmas treat’ Miranda Dickinson

A sparklingly festive and romantic story set in New York at Christmastime, Mistletoe on 34th Street is readers’ favourite Lisa Dickenson at her side-splitting, funniest best! Perfect for fans of Giovanna Fletcher and Claudia Carroll.

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her colleagues are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in the Big Apple.

Jon, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation, he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when handsome New Yorker Elijah is added to the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As 25 December draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

What does TWG think?

The first time that this book caught my eye, was over on Instagram believe it or not. Casually scrolling through my InstaFeed one day, getting hungrier by the minute by all of the photos of InstaFood, when it happened. I spotted this book on Lisa’s Instagram! I was drawn to the cover just like Susan from Miracle on 34th Street was drawn to the light from her mothers ring! (Yes, I did just do that!).

Seeing as the cover is very, very Christmassy, imagine my surprise when I find out that one of the characters isn’t really fussed about the festive season. I say not fussed, Olivia really isn’t fussed, but that is all she knows. She hasn’t experienced jumping on her parent(s) bed at stupid o’clock in the morning, pulling them downstairs to see if Santa has been. So how can you really enjoy something that you haven’t really had much experience of?
But oh ho ho ho, that’s going to change hopefully! Everyone needs the magic of Christmas! Olivia has to jet off to New York for work, counting down the days until she can return home, lay on the sofa in her pjs and sleep. How will she survive amongst the razzle and dazzle of New York at Christmas?

Having only ever experienced an English Christmas so to speak (not that I’m complaining), it was AH-MAZ-ING to be able to ‘see’ Christmas in New York, thanks to Lisa’s wonderful words. The festive magic oozed out of the story with such incredible force, I forgot that it was only September (when I read it) and not December. I was absolutely captivated by the entire storyline and didn’t want it to end at all. I warmed to Olivia and Jon straight away because of their humour and big hearts, and, funnily enough, I didn’t actually dislike any of the characters either! Well, until further on in the book. Read it, you’ll see what I mean.

I absolutely loved the fact that there was ALWAYS something going on in the storyline, whether it was from a character point of few, or a situation. It kept me guessing, it kept me laughing, and most of all, it kept me wanting more. Lisa’s natural hilarity shines through from start to finish, completely unforced. It actually left me having to put my kindle down as I was laughing so much.

There is something so very special about this book and  I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is. All I know is that it made me feel young again, reliving the true magic of Christmas and appreciating every little detail about the festive season. Magical, just, magical.

Once I had finished reading ‘Mistletoe on 34th Street’, I just wanted to hug Lisa for writing such a soul grabbing book. Yes, it was full of hilarious moments, innuendos and plenty of tinsel. But, it was also full of magic, love, finding your inner elf and knowing that its okay to lay on the ground and make snow angels in your thirties, or kiss under the mistletoe wherever you are. Ideally on 34th street though, yeah?

Lisa Dickenson, you are truly magnificent with your words, thank you for making me feel young again and for writing a book that has become my favourite Christmas book of all time.

I received a copy of the book in return for my honest views.

Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson, published by Little Brown Books UK, is available to buy for your kindle right now from Amazon UK & Amazon US. Don’t fret though, if you prefer paperback copies, or just want to buy it because it is beautiful, you can get your hands on one from the 3rd November 2016. Secure your copy by pre-ordering it right here!

TWG’s Don’t-Snooze-You’ll-Lose Deal Day With….(@suewatsonwriter) @LittleBrownUK

At the weekend I told you that this month would be full of brilliant book deals, I wasn’t lying! Today’s book deal is courtesy of one of my all time favourite authors, and her latest release.
An author who believes that lemon cake fits nicely with love and lies. An author who wanted to channel her inner Mary Berry and bring bake off to a book, with Bella. An author who, next month, will have another scrumptious book for us to read about cake…and Christmas…and cake…

Any guesses who I might mean? Of course, it’s none other than the very talented and wonderful Sue Watson! I LOVE this lady, she has swiftly become one of my good friends. I can personally vouch for this book today as I wrote a review for it when it was released:

Blog Tour! ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ with Sue Watson!

It is a 99p book ladies and gentlemen!!!!

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Blurb.

Does first love deserve a second chance?

When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .

Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.

I probably sound like a worn out record, but, just like the other books that feature on the deal day, all deals are on for a LIMITED TIME ONLY. Unless of course a date is specified. At 99p for such a brilliant read, it is definitely one of my top books of the year (and I have read many already). Please don’t snooze with this one as you will regret it!

Buy ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ from Amazon UK

If you already have read this book, or any others of Sue’s, please go and support her by writing a review. Don’t think of it like an essay, it can be a wonderfully written, constructive two lined review, at least you have written one! Authors really do thrive on the constructive reviews that they are given. Think of reviews to authors like the Eiffel Tower to Paris….

Blog Tour! ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ with Sue Watson!

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Blurb

‘A charming, moving second-chance love story for fans of Thursdays in the Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Tango in Halifax.

Does first love deserve a second chance?

When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .

Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.’

Super excited today as it’s my turn on Sue Watson’s blog tour for ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’! Massive thank you to Sue for recommending me and my blog to take part, and to Clara at Little Brown/Netgalley for arranging my advanced copy in return for my honest thoughts!

‘What if?’ seems to be a recurring question, doesn’t it? We all wonder ‘what if?’ about our own lives. But have you ever wondered ‘what if?’ about your love life? Have you ever had your heart-broken by your very first love? I am imagining quote a few of you are nodding to that. But what if your first love came back into your life? Now, I’m not talking about your first love coming back into your life ONE year after. No. Not even TWO years after. How about DECADES later? Nah, it could never happen. Could it?

Sue Watson is definitely one of my ‘star struck’ authors because if I ever have the honour of meeting her, it will be like my two-year old meeting 1D (she loves them, thankfully she doesn’t understand they are no more!). Sue is such a down to Earth person and an incredible author, so when I found out from the lady herself that she was bringing out a new book, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book, and by golly, I was not disappointed.

The first chapter of the book sets the groundwork for the rest of the story, and despite the amount of background that is given at first, it sets the scene with many unanswered questions to figure out the answers to in other chapters. Sue has written a book about heartbreak, new-found love and finding the real you. Rosie has been put in the unfortunate situation of having to re-start her life at a much later age than she probably would have liked. Life certainly has ways of keeping us on our toes.

Understandably, Rosie’s daughters are protective of their mum. But there is being protective and being made to feel ‘incapable’ due to her age and her sudden changes in personality. Is it a change though, or is it who she really is? The amount of emotion in this book caught me straight away. Each and every word has incredible emotional depth which pulls you in as though you’re under a spell. Yes, ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ had me spellbound. I found it wonderful that not only did we learn about the Rosie ‘now’, we learnt about the Rosie ‘then’. Both of the past and present memories linked flawlessly which made the story flow with incredible ease.

Not many of us would ever have a second chance at love when we reach a certain age, probably because we might think ‘is it worth it?’. That is the chance you take though isn’t it? I did feel sorry for Rosie multiple times because she was dealing with grief, as well as trying to have a sense of normality at work and because of her daughters as they were grieving too. I just wanted to climb in the book and give her a big cuddle. Rosie is such a loveable character with a big heart and an even bigger personality. I was rooting for her to finally have her happy ending.

This is a book that kept on giving, there was never a dull moment for me when I was reading it. I could tell that ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ was written from the heart due to the amount of emotion that fills the book and the way I felt included as I was reading it. I know that is a weird description to use; feeling ‘included’ with a book, but I genuinely felt included and involved in the depths of the story and the complexity of the characters.

I absolutely loved ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’. It made me laugh, made me gasp in shock, and yes, it made me cry. A true rollercoaster of emotions, but oh so definitely worth it. If only Sue could live in my house and read stories to me every day, the way that she writes her wonderful books, I would be set for life. An incredible lady definitely, but Sue is an extraordinary author. Fantastic read, thank you Sue for writing another amazing book!

We’ll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson, published by Little Brown Books, is available to buy NOW in E-book from Amazon UK//Amazon US. The paperback version is set for release in 2017.

About the author:
Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before working in a career in TV where she was a producer with the BBC. She has published six novels, her most well- known being Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives in the Midlands and writes full time.

Sue’s Website
Follow Sue on Twitter.