#BlogBlitz! #Review – Keep You By My Side by Callie Langridge (@clangridgewrite) @bombshellpub

Happy publication day to Callie Langridge and ‘Keep You By My Side’! I am honoured to be kicking off the blog blitz today with a review, many thanks to the publisher for the blitz invite and ARC.

Are family secrets the ties that bind or the lies that divide?

The secrets of one family live in the walls of a cottage perched high on a Dorset cliff. But secrets can only be kept for so long.

 Follow three generations of a family from war-torn London, to the permissive 60s and liberated 80s. Gertie, Rose and Abi live through joy, tragedy and heartache as they navigate complicated mother-daughter relationships and learn the importance of friends and finding love. When circumstances force them under the same roof, secrets begin to unravel and promises made in love threaten to tear them apart. 

 How far would you go to protect the people you love?

What does TWG think?

Having read and absolutely adored Callie Langridge’s debut novel, I could not wait to see what the author would bring out next. She had certainly set the bar high for herself with her debut, that’s for sure! I tried to ensure that I kept my mind open, reading the book as though I hadn’t read anything from the author before, purely because the bar was so high. I must admit that it didn’t always work though.

‘Keep You By My Side’ is gold from various viewpoints at multiple moments in time, with one character in particular telling her story during the war. It took me a little while to work out how all of the characters fit together, but when I did, I enjoyed being able to connect with the characters on a deeper level now that I was aware of their individual links in the storyline.

I would say that the romance element is evident throughout the entire novel, and it is also written in such a heartfelt manner so that even someone as unromantic as I, could fall under the heartwarming spell.

I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy ‘Keep You By My Side’ because I did, but for me personally, I didn’t find it as strong as the debut. Don’t get me wrong, Langridge told Gertie’s story beautifully and I was mesmerised by her journey, I just wanted more as I know the author has the outstanding talent to achieve that. This book was a very poignant and pleasing read, I just hope that the next novel comes back as strong as the first one.

As a story told by three generations, it was remarkable to see just how their personalities differed over the years, even though a lot of their choices and decisions were quite similar. My heart went out to Abi, but for me the star of the book was Gertie. I think that was because she reminded me of one of my own family members. Her story really touched me and I am delighted that I was able to be a part of that by reading it.

Overall, ‘Keep You By My Side’ was a very heartwarming and tender read which kept me cosy from start to finish. It is a lovely, lovely read which came across well, despite having to follow in the footsteps of the authors incredible debut novel.

Buy Now!

About the author.

Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.

 Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for history, working in marketing and communications for historical and cultural organisations.

 On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to pick up her pen and take the first of many creative writing courses. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London. Her first novel A Time to Change was published in September 2017.

 Her second novel Keep You By My Side will be published in October 2018.

 Callie lives in London with her long-term partner, an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities, and more books than any person really needs. 

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#Review of A Pug Like Percy by Fiona Harrison (@Fionajourno) @HQStories @PuglikePercy

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Blurb.

A furry festive miracle who’s there for you with a helping paw. Percy definitely isn’t just for Christmas…

Percy is homeless, abandoned by his owner at an animal rescue centre on a cold winter’s night. So when he finds a loving new home with Gail and her family, his deepest wish is that this time, it’s forever.

Gail hopes that Percy will be the little miracle that her family so desperately needs. Her young daughter, Jenny, is in and out of hospital and she’s only just holding things together with her husband, Simon.

With the family at breaking point, and Christmas just around the corner, is Percy the furry friend they’ve all been waiting for?

What does TWG think?

This Christmas, there seems to be an influx of novels with animals as the main character, in the ‘voice’ of the animal. I have seen reviews of those books, even this one, where people say ‘how silly’ it is to have a dog ‘talking’ to the readers. WELL! Some of you say silly, I say GIVE ME MORE! I’ll be honest, I did originally think that these books were aimed at children or young adults, purely because of the covers and general assumption. However, once I actually opened the book and started reading, I quickly discovered that these books are in fact novels for adults yet they could suit young adults also.

‘A Pug Like Percy’ has such a gentle, yet bold looking cover, which will no doubt get many fans cooing over Percy’s cuteness! I did expect the book to be rather sweet and sickly, but oh my goodness, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We meet Percy in an animal rescue centre where he is scared, lonely and worried that nobody will come and give him his forever home. Soon enough, Percy’s worries go out the window when he meets Gail, a lady who falls in love with him straight away. But, for poor Percy, things aren’t as they seem and it looks like the little pug will be doing more than just being a dog this Christmas..

Just like Gail, I fell in love with Percy straight away! He has got such a loveable personality which is laced with cheekiness. Some of the things that Percy got up to had me in absolute stitches, especially when we got to read his thoughts about certain situations. Felt a little powerful if I’m honest, I got to read Percy’s mind! No wonder he’s a smug pug!

Gail’s family situation is rather heart-breaking as her daughter, Jenny, is very poorly yet spends most of her time worrying about her parents constant arguing. The fact that Gail and Simon couldn’t put their issues aside during Jenny’s time of need, irked me. I know that in stressful situations people say and do things that are out of character, but I did find it to be a little selfish of them. However, Percy got to have a little fun with it and tried his best to fix things with his doggy pals, especially Peg.

Do not, under any circumstance, judge this book by its cover thinking that it is for children, as you will be missing an absolute treat of a book. With ‘A Pug Like Percy’, the storyline speaks volumes by highlighting exactly how much love pets have for their owners. I adored this story from start to finish; it had me smiling, laughing and going ‘aww’ as the storyline tugged at my heart-strings on more than one occasion.

Fiona has written such a cosy and heart warming read, bringing the loveable Percy into our hearts this Christmas. Such a cleverly written novel which will leave you feeling snuggly and full of love, trust me, it happened to me. Merry Christmas Percy, you loveable pug, you.

Thank you Fiona & HQ.

A Pug Like Percy is available to buy now from most supermarkets AND Amazon UK. The perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

#Review of Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by @HJRolfe @RNATweets #tuesnews #RNA

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Blurb.

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.
Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.
When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

What does TWG think?

Have you ever fallen so in love with book that you feel a loss when it ends? Have you ever fallen so in love with a book that the entire thing just felt…right? I have. I was really excited to read Helen’s new book even before it was released (I will explain why shortly), so when I had the added bonus of falling in love with the storyline and the characters, I just knew I had to shout loud and proud about this one.

To Cleo, The Little Knitting Box is everything. It’s her safety net, her lifeline and the place where she can fill her heart with memories of her family as she works. Just as Cleo feels settled, something is about to threaten The Little Knitting Box’s livelihood..

One of the reasons why I was bouncing around like a lunatic before the book was released, was because Helen had created a character…with MY name! Oh yes folks, The Little Knitting Box has a character in it called Kaisha! Even though I knew my name would crop up, I still felt quite emotional seeing it in black and white. Absolutely surreal. I was already beginning to feel involved in Cleo’s life myself, then my character doppelgänger turned up and was also involved in Cleo’s life! Yes, the character has my name, but despite that, the way that she was written into the storyline with such feistiness and bolshiness, Kaisha quickly became one of my favourites.

As Helen was describing The Knitting Box interior with such attention to detail, I felt like I was walking around the shop myself. Every feature she described, I could see it. Every smell she described, I began to smell it. Everything. That may sound daft but it is true. Such beautiful descriptions of such memorable features; if this was an actual shop in my town, I would be living in it, mark my words!

The storyline goes between Cleo’s life, and Dylan’s life. Unfortunately, we meet Dylan at a very sad time in his life, and people around him seem to be using that to his advantage. His naivety was a little questionable at times, but it was a joy to see Dylan grow as a character throughout the book. By the end of the story, my opinion had changed as I had gotten to see a different side of him and get to know him much better. The only way that I can describe Dylan would be; ‘teddy bear’, you’ll see why in the story!

It’s not often I say this but I really would love to see this storyline carry on into another book. Whilst the ending wasn’t left unfinished, it still has been left with room to expand due to where the characters are in their lives at the end of the book. For me, the book just stopped. I wanted to know more and I am really hoping that Helen does make it into a series because it is such a beautiful book. Every single thing was…perfect. I felt like I was opening a present as I turned each page and read the magically words in front of me.

Christmas at The Little Knitting Box has gotten under my skin in ways I never thought were possible. I feel like have lost something due to finishing the book, crazy huh?
Helen Rolfe has written such a warm and cosy read, which will fill your heart with sheer joy from first page to the last. I ended the book feeling as though I had gained a lot of new friends, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will feel that too.

Beautiful, magical and incredibly moving; Christmas at The Little Knitting Box is a book that keeps on giving. Easily one of my favourite books, ever.

You too can buy a piece of Christmas magic from Amazon UK, enjoy!

@millsandboon author @EllieDarkins, talks about the ‘perfect ring’! @RNATweets #tuesnews

It’s very close to publication day for author Ellie Darkins and her latest release; Holiday with the Mystery Italian, courtesy of Mills and Boon! Ellie Darkins has written a guest post especially for TWG about choosing the perfect engagement ring. An important ring to choose…so I hear! I don’t know about you, but I am rather intrigued…

Choosing the perfect engagement ring
By
Ellie Darkins

One of my favouring things to do when I’m writing a brand new Happy Ever After is to think about what would make the perfect proposal and engagement ring for my heroine. I’m a diamond solitaire girl myself – classic, timeless, goes with anything. But I know that that’s not the choice that’s right for everyone. And then there are so many other things to consider for a proposal – does the hero buy the ring in advance, or pop the question without any forward planning? So, each of my happy couples, here’s what I consider!

Is the hero a planner?        

My husband definitely was. In fact, he put a good eight years of thought into deciding to propose (but that’s another story…). There was crafting involved in the ring box. Spontaneity wasn’t the order of the day, but he scored very high for effort! Some of my heroes have been planners, some haven’t. One hero was even proposed to by his very spontaneous heroine! In some ways, I think the more of a planner the hero is, the bigger risk he has to take. My BFF’s hubby was a planner and a researcher. Not only did he want to find the perfect diamond, he found a jeweller who used the same technique as is used to make samurai swords – so so perfect for my comic-loving friend. I was commandeered to provide advice on design and sizing, and – oh my goodness the pressure! Luckily, he got it totally spot on and she still loves her totally unique ring.

Is the heroine quite … particular?

Ahem, this may have applied to me (something to do with spending my teenage years working Saturdays in a jewellery shop). After all the planning and crafting, and eight years to think about it, my husband decided he wanted to choose our ring together. So my hand-made ring box held a placeholder ring, and then we had an amazing day out in the jewellery quarter of Birmingham, looking at tiny (and not so tiny!) diamonds displayed in glass cases and wrapped in folds of paper. Quite a few of my friends felt the same – if you’re going to wear something for the rest of your life, you better be sure that you like it! But a fair few of the others were in the opposite camp – they’d been surprised, loved what their other half had chosen, and were happy not to have the pressure of choosing something!

What makes their love story unique?

This is where I really get to have fun as a writer. For the sculptor hero in my second book, who worked mostly in wood, I knew that this had to influence the ring that he designed for his love. And for my latest hero and heroine, whose love was forged on the side of an active volcano, I knew that nothing short of a fire opal would capture the heat and the spark of their relationship. And as for how he proposes? You’ll have to read their story to find out!

How can anyone fall in love on the side of an ACTIVE volcano?! Surely that is enough to get anyone to read! If you feel like picking up the book when it is released on Thursday 1st December, here are a few more details as well as the all important buy link.

Thank you to Ellie Darkins for her glitzy guest post!

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HOLIDAY WITH THE MYSTERY ITALIAN – OUT 1 DECEMBER 2016

Since the accident that paralyzed him, Italian tycoon Mauro Evans vowed to embrace life. So when he stars in a dating show for charity, picking prickly journalist Amber Harris as the winner to take on holiday is a challenge he can’t resist!  In Amber’s experience, relationships equal pain, so she’s determined to ignore her attraction to charismatic Mauro. But his bravery and strength threaten to tear down her defenses, giving her a new Christmas dream—ringing in the New Year with wedding bells!

Buy from Amazon

About the author.

Ellie Darkins  writes heart-warming stories about falling in love, finding your soul mate and fighting hard to make real relationships work. The HEA is guaranteed, but nothing else along the way is. Expect to see surprise babies, breath-taking settings and alpha heroes by the bucketload. Plus steamy kisses, heaps of sensual tension, and fireworks just audible from behind a closed bedroom door.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#Blogtour! Review of The #ChristmasGuest by Daisy Bell. @AlainnaGeorgiou @QuercusBooks

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Absolutely thrilled to post my review as part of the blog tour for an undeniably cute book, The Christmas Guest, by Daisy Bell!

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Blurb.

When Teddy runs away from home a week before Christmas, he’s far too excited to worry about what lies ahead. But all too soon Teddy realises just how cold and scary the world really is, and what was supposed to be the perfect adventure now seems like a terrible mistake.

Then Teddy is discovered on a snowy doorstep by the Woods family. With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Claire, Ben and their daughter Emily are the family Teddy is desperate to have. But Emily is ill, her parents are stressed and, with Christmas around the corner, raising and training a well-meaning but unruly puppy is hardly a priority. Teddy knows he and little Emily have a once-in-a-lifetime bond, and that he can be the best friend she needs in this dark time. If only he can prove to Ben and Claire how much happier he could make them all, Teddy might just find the family of his dreams this Christmas.

A puppy for Christmas. A friend for life.

What does TWG think?

Whilst the cover of the book is cuteness overload, do not, under any circumstances, be fooled by the cute pup on the front. I was, I must admit. I fell under the little pups spell straight away, I mean, how could anyone not! Look at its cutie little face! The storyline itself, however, doesn’t follow in the same vein though (if that makes sense). It has a lot more guts and dynamic oozing from it, than the cover could ever reveal. To be fair actually, the cover doesn’t reveal any clues except a puppy. Very cleverly put together in my opinion.

Meet Teddy, a puppy which has been given a new home with human parents instead of his own doggy mummy and family. At first he finds it exciting as there are new places and smells to explore. The excitement doesn’t seem to last too long though and soon enough, Teddy takes matters into his own paws and goes on a new adventure, away from his new home. Oh the things that Teddy sees!  Teddy’s little legs can only do so much and before long, he needs to find a place to sleep and some comfort for his puppy tummy. Unfortunately, there are no puppy versions of Premier Inns and Teddy has to make do with a doorstep. Could the doorstep he chose, end up being the doorstep to puppy happiness?

If you have ever wondered what life is like from dog level, here is your chance! As I’m sure you’ve noticed, most books seem to be written from the eyes of a human. However, ‘The Christmas Guest’ sees the readers following the storyline in the eyes of the puppy, Teddy. Every experience that Teddy has, readers may find themselves emotionally involved with everything that he comes up against; including snow. I’ll be honest, I did find myself going ‘awwww!!!!’ quite a few times as I was reading the book. It is a bit hard to not find Teddy’s antics rather cute yet quite sad. For a small puppy, he does have a bit of a tough start in life.

After Teddy wakes up on the doorstep, it isn’t long before he realises that his role in that particular household is more than to just being a puppy. Emily is poorly and there only seems to be one bundle of love that could help her this Christmas. As soon as I realised that the storyline was going to go on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, nothing could prepare me for how bump the ride was going to be.

‘The Christmas Guest’ is a book completely different to those that I have read before. The emotional edge the storyline contained was extremely evident and often took me aback. I completely underestimated the power behind a four-legged friend and the love that they wish to give. I was flabbergasted, emotional and felt as though I was walking on air by the time that I had finished the book. unbelievably written, ‘The Christmas Guest’ is such a unique and poignant book to read this Christmas, ideal for anyone, and everyone. An absolute pleasure to read, thank you Quercus books for giving me the opportunity.

The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell, published by Quercus books, is available to buy now from Amazon.

Blog Tour! ‘A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love’ by Linn B Halton (@LinnBHalton) @BrookCottagebks

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Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Linn.B.Halton’s ‘ A Lot of Sugar, A Lot of Love’! There is also a giveaway at the end of the post, just incase you fancy your luck!

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Blurb.

Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better. But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she begins to sense that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed. But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

Previously released as Sweet Occasions by the author. Revised and edited by Choc Lit December 2015.

What does TWG think?

Absolutely thrilled to be part of this blog tour, courtesy of Brook Cottage Books! I was rather intrigued by the cover of this book as it didn’t give a lot away and the title itself made me want to find out more.

‘A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love’ is set in a bakery; a bakery that is being run from the heart and not by the amount of money that goes into the till daily. Katie adores her bakery, but as her partner is a businessman, all he sees are figures, overheads and a business that lacks yeast and not rising as much as he wants it to. Unfortunately, it turns out that Katie may be being swayed into her partners way of thinking as she’s too afraid to say ‘no’. It’s funny what guilt can do isn’t it?

I must admit, I found Katie and Steve’s relationship quite an absurd one at first as I could tell something wasn’t sitting quite right, I just didn’t know what. The further into the storyline that I got, the much clearer that things became, but I still couldn’t work out what Steve’s motives were. If he had any that is!

I absolutely adored how the authors wonderful writing managed to embrace the warmth and heart of the bakery, just by the description used. I could smell the baking, I could see the wonderful cakes that were being decorated, and I could feel the heart and soul that oozed from the bakery walls. I am in awe at how Linn managed to create that feeling within her book. Absolutely outstanding.

There was a rather poignant part of the storyline which made me overcome with emotion. Obviously I can’t say too much about that part as I don’t want to give anything away, but wow, completely and utterly unexpected. It opened my eyes to many, many things; especially the powerful force behind true love itself.

As this was the first book of Linn.B.Halton’s that I have ever read, I reserved judgement as I had no idea what to expect or where the authors words would take me. It did not disappoint at all as it is a book that has stayed in my head since I finished reading it. If this book was a cake, it would be the most beautiful, multiple layered, complex and outstanding cake ever to be made. Never mind a little sugar; Linn’s book gave me a lot of sugar and a lot of love. Brilliant.

Thank you Brook Cottage Books!

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love by Linn.B.Halton, published by Choc Lit, is available to buy now from:

Amazon UK E-Book
Amazon UK Paperback
Amazon US E-Book
Amazon US Paperback

GIVEAWAY! If you are feeling a little bit lucky, you can enter the giveaway here. Good luck!

About the author.

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”

An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

Website/blog: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Twitter: @LinnBHalton FB: Linn B Halton Author

Amazonhttp://smarturl.it/LittleSugarLotOfLove

TWG Solo Tour For Lucy Scala (@LucreziaScali) & ‘Someone To Love’. Day 2 -Review @Aria_Fiction

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Blurb.

A heart-warming story of a young woman’s search for her one true love. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Mia is thirty, has a history of unhappy love affairs and a mother who arranges blind dates for her. Every night Mia dreams of her ideal man, but in the morning she wakes up next to a brute with drooping ears and a bristly coat. By day she runs one of the best-known veterinary clinics in Turin and organizes pet therapy sessions at the local hospital. True love never seems to enter her life. Or so Mia thought, until she meets Alberto, an attractive doctor, and Diego, a policeman who has just moved to Turin from Puglia.

At last Cupid is going to shoot his arrow; will he manage to pierce the heart of the right man for Mia?

What does TWG think?

I must say, books that are set in a vet are few and far between, so it was a lovely surprise (and change) to read a storyline that had that particular setting. I do realise that I have mentioned the vets before the part of the world that the book is set, and that is because, at first, I didn’t have a clue WHERE in the world Turin was. At least I’m honest! Thanks to Lucy’s wonderful descriptive writing, Turin soon became special, as did the vets!
My first thought of ‘Someone to love’ was that is was going to be about people falling in love with each other. However, despite that being part of the storyline, it wasn’t the main focus.
The main character, Mia, has been given the green light to run pet therapy sessions at her local hospital, trying to bring a smile to very poorly children’s faces. The amount of love that shone through the story when those visits happened, was truly phenomenal. Being able to visualise the children’s happy faces when they saw the dogs wouldn’t have been possible if Lucy hadn’t written the scenario with love herself.
I thought the entire storyline was well thought out and it was very easy to lose myself in the happiness of the animals. Every character stood out, some in more ways than others, but I could definitely see which ones were going to cause the most trouble! That said, I was rather shocked with the way that Mia found her love! I know that the phrase; ‘love comes when you least expect it’, can be true, but I didn’t realise how true until I saw how it happened! It was even unexpected for me, and I wasn’t the one that it was happening to!

‘Someone to love’ shouts about finding love in different ways. Maybe it’s not about FALLING in love, maybe it’s about loving something or someone just enough to bring happiness. Love is found in mysterious ways and Lucy Scala has made me fall in love with a country that I have never even been to, as well as changing my opinion on love itself. Such a light, cosy and loveable read, ideal for cuddling your blanket and curling up on the sofa with!

Thank you to the publishers for giving me a complimentary copy of the book in return for my honest views.

‘Someone To Love’ by Lucy Scala, published by Aria Fiction, is available to buy now from Amazon UK. The Italian version is also available from the Italian Amazon!

Thank you so much for joining TWG for day 2 of the Someone To Love blog tour! We are halfway through, I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am, Lucy Scala & Aria Fiction; I Hope I’m doing you both proud! Day 3 will see TWG interview the lovely Lucy Scala, so I would love to see you back here tomorrow!

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Blog tour for ‘Owl Song at Dawn’ by Emma Claire Sweeney.

Owl Song at Dawn by Emma Claire Sweeney.
Published 1st July 2016 by Legend Press.
Available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

‘Maeve Maloney is a force to be reckoned with. Despite nearing eighty, she keeps Sea View Lodge just as her parents did during Morecambe’s 1950s heyday. But now only her employees and regular guests recognise the tenderness and heartbreak hidden beneath her spikiness.

Until, that is, Vincent shows up. Vincent is the last person Maeve wants to see. He is the only man alive to have known her twin sister, Edie. The nightingale to Maeve’s crow, the dawn to Maeve’s dusk, Edie would have set her sights on the stage all things being equal. But, from birth, things never were.

If only Maeve could confront the secret past she shares with Vincent, she might finally see what it means to love and be loved a lesson that her exuberant yet inexplicable twin may have been trying to teach her all along.’

Thank you to Legend Press for giving me a copy of the book in return for my honest opinion.

Owl Song at Dawn is the type of book that, regardless of what anyone else says about it, you need to read it for yourself to capture the true essence of the story. Maeve has had a lot to contend with in her life. Not only has she been her own protector, she has had to be a protector for her twin sister Edie. Unfortunately,  people were treated much differently in the 1950’s compared to now, and disabilities weren’t accepted by many; if any.

Despite Maeve’s persona coming across as very guarded, I could tell that she carried a lot of hurt and loss on her shoulders. The loss of part of herself, her twin Edie. Throughout the story, Maeve is faced with dilemmas and past memories. She has kept Sea View Lodge the same over the years, and it’s a safe haven for people with disabilities to feel accepted.

Edie is never far from Maeve’s mind because she talks to Edie via the story as though she is right next to her, continuously protecting her.

How can people judge others without knowing them? The true meaning of Owl Song at Dawn hit home to me in multiple ways. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to deal with such prejudice about something you cannot control. You want to fight for the one you love, but there is only so much you can do if things are understood in different ways. I could feel the emotion right from the beginning to the very end, the powerful and fierce message the book contains is quite overwhelming.

Owl Song at Dawn is very well written despite having quite a harrowing storyline, which in turn makes it quite a deep read which I found tough to read at certain points. Despite that, I enjoyed the portrayal of loss versus love and finding comfort with moving forward into the unknown. Very inspirational.

My thoughts on ‘Time after Time’, NO, not the one by Cindi Lauper! Written by Hannah McKinnon.

Time after Time by Hannah McKinnon.
Published 2nd June 2016 by Maze (an imprint of HarperCollins).
Available to buy in E-book format from Amazon UK.

‘Have you ever wondered ‘what if?’
When Hayley Cooper goes to sleep wishing for a different life, then wakes up in bed with her first boyfriend, she can’t believe her eyes. She hasn’t seen Chris in over twenty years – but now she’s married to him. And Hayley is in for a few more romantic surprises . . .
Over a single weekend, Hayley lives her life time and time again, and as each of her former loves resurface, Hayley starts to realise that there’s some truth in the saying ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Yes, the past two years with her husband Rick have been tough, but is the grass always greener?’

Such a good question; have you ever wondered ‘what if?’. Have you ever wondered what things would be like if you had taken a different path in life? Have you ever wondered what your acquaintances from the past would be like after you have moved on? Lets just pause for a second whilst you get into the ‘what if?’ mind-set….

Have you thought about it yet?

What about now?

Now?!

We’re only human, of course we are bound to wonder ‘what if?’ whenever relationships end, or we make a huge decision in life. However, we cannot wave a magic wand, or close our eyes and be back in time, to a life that never was. Well, WE can’t, but there seems to be just one person that can. Does the name ‘Hayley Cooper’ ring a bell to you? No? Well it should! (Why haven’t you read this book yet?! :o)

Hayley Cooper is in a difficult situation in her current life and it’s safe to say that she is pretty peeved with the way things are going. She wants a different life, and it gets her wondering about her ex boyfriends. Little did she know she would come face to face with them when she woke up the next morning.

That reminds me, what day is it today? Monday, or Saturday?

The cover of this book totally threw me. I had seen it multiple times over on Twitter and Amazon but hadn’t had the chance to click buy. So, when Avon publishers tweeted about it again one night, I made sure I got it there and then. Not only is it a memorable cover, it is also a very romantic looking cover, although I stupidly judged the book by its cover and wondered why I was getting confused. Only a smidge though, honestly…

Hayley is the main character of the story. She is married with children but there is something about her life that isn’t sitting right with her. Something doesn’t seem quite right and she cannot seem to put her finger on it. That is of course, until she follows all the paths of her past that she never took. Hayley seems to like the weekend in this book because she re-visits the same day multiple times! If you went back in time to visit all of the ‘what ifs’ of your past, do you think that you would be met with positivity, with everything the same as you have always dreamt about?

That is a tough one to answer. Although in Hayley’s case, it was definitely an eye opener for her (and for me, her past is fascinating!). My opinion of Hayley changed throughout the book because of how the story unfolded. One moment I felt incredibly sorry for her, another time I felt infuriated with her because she just could not see what she had which meant her decisions were otherwise jaded. Hayley’s best friend is a hoot, my sort of person with a mouth that’s always on fast forward.

Considering the amount of to-ing and fro-ing this book does, it didn’t actually get me flustered, which is surprising. Books like that usually do, but maybe because the switch was always expected, it didn’t confuse me. Whilst the book contains very funny moments, as well as some difficult situations, it made me think about my life. What if I had chosen different paths? Obviously I can’t do anything about it now, but it’s only natural to wonder.
Hannah has written such a heart warming and emotionally driven book, which was full of depth and relatable situations. The message behind the story is a rather powerful one, however, the added softness in terms of humour and sarcasm, turns it into a light-hearted read as well.
I must say, I am looking forward to whatever Hannah has up her sleeve next. I can promise you one thing though, I won’t ever be thinking ‘what if’ about this book because I know I took the right path by reading it!

It’s wedding season! How about ‘Four Weddings..and a Fiasco’?

Four Weddings and a Fiasco by Catherine Ferguson.
Published: 16th June 2016 by Avon (Harpercollins).
ISBN-10: 0008163618
ISBN-13: 978-0008163617
Available to buy from Amazon UK.

‘The ebook bestseller is back with her next riotously funny read! Get your hands on the ONLY book you need this summer. 
Katy Peacock lives a life as colourful as her name. As a wedding photographer, she spends her days making other people smile as she captures all sorts of fun and capers at celebrations that range from the wacky to the wild. 
But her own life isn’t looking quite so rosy. Her mum is acting out of character, her menacing ex is back on the scene, and she is torn between two gorgeous men. And that’s before we even get started on the trouble her sister is causing . . .
As Katy weathers the ups and downs of the season, she revisits problems from the past, discovers new friendships and finds that four weddings and a fiasco have the power to change her world beyond measure.’

Time to put your dancing shoes on as it’s TWG’s stop on the ‘Four Weddings and a Fiasco’ blog tour!! A big thank you to Harpercollins publishing for inviting me onto the tour; the cover alone caught my eye before I received the invitation, so I was rather excited when my e-mail notification pinged to tell me that I had the opportunity to be involved with a book I was very eager to read! It most certainly didn’t disappoint either!
Katy Peacock hasn’t been lucky in love in the past. She has had multiple failed relationships which means she has put the idea of herself walking down the aisle, on a backburner…for now. Despite that, there has been nothing (yet) to stop her being able to make other people happy on their special day. Instead of being the one that is in the photographs, Katy is the person taking the photographs. Unfortunately for Katy, it’s hasn’t just been her love life relationships that have failed, her own family relationships have suffered over the years also. Can Katy fix the mess that she was left in? Or will she end up finding herself in more of a difficult position? They say that there are two sides to every story….if both sides talk to each other that is.
As I said above, the cover caught my eye before I got invited onto the tour. Whilst it is quite a simple cover, it made me rather intrigued as to what it was ‘hiding’. I couldn’t wait to see what Catherine Ferguson had in store for me as I began reading the book. By the end of the first chapter I realised that there was more to Katy that meets the eye. She comes across as a very lovely, humble lady, but there was just something I couldn’t put my finger on. You’re probably thinking that one chapter isn’t long enough to get to know a character in a book, and you’re right, but you can begin to work out each character usually by the end of the first chapter. I say usually, this time I hadn’t!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the different weddings that Katy was involved in, learning about each and every character and what makes them tick, and whether each wedding will go without a hitch. I’m not being pessimistic but there’s bound to be something that goes iffy during a wedding isn’t there? Even if it was just a lost shoe! Luckily for you though, Four Weddings and a Fiasco isn’t just about a lost shoe, it is full to the brim of secrets, betrayal, but most importantly, hope.
The story follows Katy throughout her job as a wedding photographer as well as capturing moments that could either re-light her fire, or extinguish it. Not only that, each of the weddings that Katy is involved in have their own story to tell. Some of the weddings aren’t as straight forward as the others, but one in particular had me bent over laughing because of the extraordinary events that happened. As the saying goes ‘photographs capture moments that words cannot’. I found that saying come to life on more than one occasion throughout the whole story. Many relationships were put to the test; what would you prefer: perfect wedding or a perfect relationship with a few bumps on the wedding day?
Catherine Ferguson has written Katy’s personality like you’re reading a story about a close friend. I warmed to Katy quicker than I did the other characters and multiple times I felt extremely sorry for the things that she has faced.
But what was the fiasco?! If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what it might be as soon as you have read the title. Although, to begin with my curiosity about the ‘fiasco’ soon disappeared as the story came to life. Not only has Catherine captured her characters in a wonderful way, she captured my heart with such a warm and heartfelt story. It had me captivated and mesmerized, I did not want it to end! Reading ‘Four Weddings and a Fiasco’ felt like I was in the middle of a 21st century love story four times over.
Extraordinary book from a very talented author. I am so looking forward to what Catherine has in store for us with her next book!

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You’re in for a double treat today! Not only have I written this review, Catherine Ferguson has written a short story featuring the main character of ‘Four Weddings and a Fiasco’, Katy Peacock. If you have been following the blog tour so far, you would have come across the other parts to the short story! Here, especially for you, is part nine of the short story. Thank you to Catherine and Harpercollins for allowing me to share this with you on my blog, I am extremely honoured! (Especially as one of the characters names sounds like mine 😉 ).  I hope you enjoy:

ONE BRIDE AND A BOMBSHELL 

9

How odd, though, that I’d been thinking only the night before about her horrible bullying. When I was in the pub talking to…?
What was his name?
My lips twitched in a rueful smile. We’d talked about pretty big stuff yet we didn’t even know each others’ names! 
Camilla left to make her phone call and I walked briskly over to the purpose-built annexe where the wedding ceremonies took place. 
When I entered the room, a string quartet were in the process of setting up at the back, and the groom and best man were already there, standing by the altar. 
I glanced over at them and to my surprise, I realised I actually recognised the groom. It was the man with the beard and curly black hair from last night. The man who’d come over to ask if his mate wanted a drink. It was a small world. 
As I approached with my camera, he looked across at me and I saw a flicker of recognition as his eyes landed on me. I took a deep breath and hid my nerves behind a big smile. ‘Hi there, you must be Jonathan. Pleased to meet you. I’m Katy Peacock, Camilla Radcliffe’s assistant.’ 
He grinned and shook my hand. ‘Actually, it’s not me going to the slaughter today,’ he joked. ‘I’m Keesha’s brother, Lewis. This is Jonathan, the lucky groom.’
A sandy-haired man, who’d had his back to me, now turned. I stared in amazement. It was the man I’d talked to in the pub. 
‘Well, hello,’ he smiled. ‘Fancy seeing you again.’
‘Yes, fancy!’ I forced a laugh, as my head reeled all over the place.
This man, Jonathan, was getting married. To Keesha Dixon
It didn’t make sense. 
Keesha was the woman he’d been telling me about in the pub? The woman who was so generous and kind-hearted, she gave her money away in the street? And who, for years, had selflessly run marathons and raised money for charity, despite having asthma? 
But it was all lies!
The Keesha I’d known back then was so lazy, she’d bunk off PE every chance she got. 

I stared at Jonathan, wondering what the hell to say. 
His bride-to-be had never been bullied at school. Ever. For one very important reason. 
Keesha ‘Crusher’ Dixon was the bully!