#BlogTour! #Review – The Christmas Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke (@karenclarke123)

After seeing loads of pretty Christmas decorations in a shop today, I am very much in the Christmas spirit, just in time to review Karen Clarke’s newest novel. Thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the café at Seashell Cove, where there’s hot chocolate to keep you warm – and the man of your dreams could be waiting…

Interior designer Tilly Campbell loves being carefree and single. But her latest job is redecorating the cosy local café for a Christmas party, and when her friends confess their plans for the big night – including a proposal, a declaration of love and a pregnancy announcement – Tilly starts to wonder if she might be missing out…

Transforming the café into a winter wonderland is more of a challenge than she thought, so when she bumps into gorgeous newcomer Seth, Tilly welcomes the distraction. Seth is a single father, struggling to settle his son Jack into their new cottage, and Tilly is determined to help them make their house into a home in time for Christmas.

But with the café still in chaos just days before the party it looks like it’s going to be a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons… With friends old and new relying on her, can Tilly save the Christmas party?

And could she finally find love waiting for her under the mistletoe?

What does TWG think?

It feels like ages since I was last in Seashell Cove! I was so excited to catch up with all of the characters and find out what they have been up to since I last ‘saw’ them. At first I didn’t recognise the place, probably because I half expected to be back with Meg as the main character. It was wonderful to see snippets of her story live on in this one though, that’s for sure.

I did find the book to be a little of a slow starter as I took a while to warm up to Tilly, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the overall vibe of the book. Once I got further into the storyline, my opinion of Tilly changed and I found myself warming to her like marshmallows to a fire. How the hell she put up with her sister, Bridget, without committing a murder is beyond me!! Romy, Bridget’s little girl, had me in hysterics! She reminded so much of my own little girl. If only we all went through life without a care in the world like children!!

Tilly is a very independent character who is so set on doing things for other people, she sometimes forgets just how much one person can hold on their shoulders. Fortunately for her, newcomer, Seth, helps her see otherwise. As for his mother though, geezzzzzz!!!!!! I don’t get why he didn’t stand up to his mother! I know that Felicity wanted to do right by her grandson, but surely she must have realised that alienating him wouldn’t be the answer?

Even though this is a Christmassy book, the festive theme isn’t overpowering for those who dislike Christmas in October. I do think that as festivities were an apparent part of the book, that there should have been more oomph with it. That said, Gwen’s antics with the Christmas pudding kept Christmas on the map.

All in all, The Christmas Cafe at Seashell Cove kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish, with Romy being my star at the top of the Christmas tree. I really do hope we get to see more from the gang in Seashell Cove, as I can’t wait to find out what else others are hiding! A fun, light hearted and addictive read – a great follow up novel in an already fabulous series.

Buy now!

About the author.

Karen is the author of the popular BEACHSIDE and SEASHELL COVE series of romantic comedies, published by Bookouture. 

She’s also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’ 

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children, and when she’s not writing loves reading, walking, baking and eating cake.

 

Author Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/karenclarke123

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Website: http://writewritingwritten.blogspot.co.uk/

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#BlogTour! #Review of The Beachside Sweet Shop by Karen Clarke (@karenclarke123) @bookouture

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Chocolate fudge, butterscotch and raspberry bonbons… treat yourself to some sugary treats, a big slice of friendship and a sprinkling of romance at The Beachside Sweet Shop.

When Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help. 

Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop. 


Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate. 


And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish? 


A deliciously heartwarming read about family, friends and handmade coconut ice. Perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Debbie Johnson, and Tilly Tennant.

What does TWG think?

Ahhh do you remember the good ol’ days, usually a Saturday, when you were given pocket-money from your parents and there was only ONE place that was guaranteed your ‘hard earned’ change? Every Saturday, my mum used to give my brother and I anything from 50p-£1 to spend on sweets, and we always went to the same place; Churchills. The sort of sweet shop where, in the mid-nineties, 50p would get you a heck load of sherbet pips! As soon as I saw the title of Karen Clarke’s novel, it brought back so many childhood memories which were all centred around that one particular sweet shop. It didn’t even matter whether you dabbled in the sugary treats every so often, or whether you inhaled them as though they were the last sweets on Earth (every.single.week), you just had to visit your local sweet shop.

Marnie Appleton is under a lot of pressure (pressure which she has put on herself no less), as she tries to keep her grandfather’s memory alive by keeping his bricked ‘baby’, aka his heart and soul open; The Beachside Sweet Shop. After Marnie’s grandfather passed away, most of the family seemed more willing to eat the liquorice and bon-bons themselves, rather than serve the residents of Shipley those treats. Marnie didn’t want to let her late grandfather down and was determined to keep the shop going in a way she knew that he would approve of. However, the best laid plans don’t always go the way you want them to.

As I mentioned near the beginning of this review, Karen Clarke’s tantalizing novel brought back so many memories for me, it was lovely to be able to reminisce about things with people you don’t even know; the characters. I felt as though Marnie had bitten off more than she could chew and part of me wondered whether her heart was truly IN the sweet shop, or that she wasn’t taking it over because people expected her to. Karen’s descriptions of the shop’s interior, the sweets and even smaller things like the paper bags that they were put in, was beautifully written. She didn’t rush over the items in the shop, she took her time in letting the reader know everything about the sweet shop as if she was describing it to one of her good friends. I warmed to the storyline even more so because of that.

Even though Karen Clarke’s novel seems to be centred around one thing in particular, there is a lot more to the storyline that meets the eye. At first I thought I was going to get an insane sugar rush from the book and its contents, but what I actually got was a clever, in depth storyline which contained a lot of depth and giggles. The Beachside Sweet Shop really is an enjoyable place to visit, and, thanks to Karen Clarke, the storyline tickled my taste buds in more ways than one. It wasn’t just school children and sweeties, it was more about who had your back….whilst eating sweets. Make sense?

The Beachside Sweet Shop is a really enjoyable, fun and sweet read, full of good friendships, lost memories, good intentions and finding the right recipe to move forward. For me, some of the characters weren’t as memorable as I would have liked them to be, it didn’t stop me from having fun with this book.

The Beachside Sweet Shop really is the ideal read for just letting go and distracting yourself from the outside word.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

Huge thank you to Bookouture for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for The Beachside Sweet Shop by Karen Clarke! We have now come to the end of the tour, so I really hope you haven’t stuffed your faces with too much sugar. If you haven’t, here are all of the blogs which were involved in this tour (in case you wish to dabble)!

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About the author
 

After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

Website

https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682

#CoverReveal!! SH! An @Aria_Fiction author is back with a brand new book, but WHO? #secret

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Getting asked to do the cover reveal for a publisher and its author, is such an honour! I was completely overwhelmed to be asked. Big thank you to Aria for asking me to be involved!

I was under strict instructions to keep this reveal super close to my chest. Well, I was allowed to tease on social media with the above picture, but that was it. Are you curious? I hope so! Today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover of an authors BRAND NEW BOOK. It’s not just ANY author, no siree!

The author in question released their previous novel in July 2016.
Their previous novel is sporting an average of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon UK.
The author in question lives in Ireland and, as I am sure you have already guessed, is published by Aria (an imprint of Head of Zeus).

Any idea? No?
I’ll give you another hint: Authors first novel.

It gives me great pleasure to reveal to you, the cover of…..

Sian O’Gorman’s upcoming novel, Always and Forever!

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A warm, witty, compelling and emotional novel about love, family and coming to terms with your past. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain.

How can you find yourself again, when you can’t face what you’ve lost?

Joanna Woulfe is looking to get her life back on track after her husband John leaves their family home. Once a high-flying PR Director, Jo now looks after her son Harry and seeks support only from her mother Marietta and her best friend Nicole. But Nicole’s own marriage is facing its greatest ever crisis, and Marietta, too, is distracted by the reappearance of an old flame, ex-Showband-singer and lothario Patrick Realta.

Soon Jo enrols with a colourful local amateur dramatics group and begins a flirtation with the handsome young Ronan Forest. But is she really ready to move on from her old life – and from her years of marriage to John? And what was it that happened three years ago that sent the couple into free-fall?

Before long Jo will realise that is only by looking back that she will ever truly be able to move forward..

Isn’t it super pretty?! It also sounds rather fab, I CANNOT wait to read it! If, like me, you are rather excited for this novel, you can pre-order it right now from Amazon.
‘Always and Forever’ will be published on the 1st May 2017 by Aria! Can you wait that long?

#BlogTour! Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @Aria_Fiction #Review & #Q&A

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Today is Sunday 5th Feb which can only mean one thing; ITS MY STOP ON FAITH’S BLOG TOURRRRRR! Can you tell that I’m excited? I was GUTTED that I couldn’t be part of Faith’s previous tour as I was still the new kid on the block. However, I’m here now and what a stop I have for you! Not only am I reviewing Faith’s new book ‘Secrets We Keep’, I was also given permission to interrogate the lovely author herself AND keep both spoiler free. I hope you enjoy!

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Blurb.

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts
and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never
meant to be kept..
A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele
Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades.
For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their
adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past
where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her
future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath
House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away –
but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

What does TWG think?

At first I did wonder whether the novel was going to go down the old life = new start route, with the character rejigging their life and having a happy ending. Predictable, so I am sure you can sense my relief when it became clear that the main characters life wasn’t that straight forward…in the slightest. Kate Hunt had done a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over the years, but little did she know that she was going to clock up even more miles on her return to Ireland. Heartbroken and emotional, Kate has multiple decisions ahead of her, none of which can be solved over a cup of tea and a jammy dodger.

I couldn’t get enough of this storyline! Yes, I was a bit concerned that it was going to end up predictable, however, ‘Secrets We Keep’ is a storyline with incredible depth. The highlight for me was the historical influence. Not only did we delve into the characters past, we were also made aware of the history behind certain points in Ireland. Being part Irish myself and having never been, the insight to the history of certain buildings and areas was mind-blowing.

Everything flowed really well overall, although I did find myself becoming a bit impatient when males came on the scene as I wanted to get back to Kate’s family history! I sound a geek now eh!
I really do think that ‘Secrets We Keep’ is Faith’s best novel so far as its shown a different side to her writing  without having to add a severely drastic situation to the overall storyline. It kept me on my toes, had me wondering ‘what ifs?’ and even had me sitting there with my mouth open trying to catch fish (that’s shocked to you and me by the way). There is something incredibly special about ‘Secrets We Keep’ and I really believe that that special something is the fact it was written from the authors heart.

Gripping, heart warming and positively eye-opening; ‘Secrets We Keep’ goes above and beyond with such an enchanting and emotional storyline. It is pretty clear that a lot of research went into the novel as well as a lot of effort. Faith Hogan, you’ve done yourself proud; a truly wonderful read.

Thank you Aria!

Buy Links.

Amazon UK // Amazon US // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

Q & A with the lady herself, Faith Hogan!

Welcome back to TWG, Faith Hogan!

First off, thanks for having me Kaisha! It’s lovely to be back dropping in on TWG!

TWG: For those that aren’t overly familiar with your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a published author?

Well, like you, I’m a Mammy first (Irish mothers are always Mammy’s!!) I live with my husband, four children and a fat cat called Norris in the beautiful, if somewhat windswept west of Ireland. I just love books, always have and once I discovered eBooks, well let’s just say I’m a seriously happy bunny. I’m one of those people who has always written, whether it was sitting in a waiting room or wrestling with a longer piece of fiction. The road to publication was what it was – I think we get to where we’re going when we’re ready to be there. I’ve been lucky, my agent is the best and Aria Fiction are a seriously dedicated and lovely bunch – I can honestly say, I’ve loved every minute. Now, I get to talk to bookish types like yourself all the time and it’s even better than I could have hoped for!

TWG: Your first novel, My Husbands Wives (published by Aria in May 2016), has got such a deep and dark feel to it in comparison to your new novel, The Secrets We Keep. Was it intentional to write two books with storylines verging on both ends of the spectrum, as it were?

I’m not sure any book is intentional – they just sort of need to be written! I always believed I’d write crime and My Husbands’ Wives grew from the question of ‘What If…; My agent felt I had a women’s fiction book in me, if we could just get it out! Now, it’s flowing out of me and the words are just flying onto the pages – it’s amazing to love what for so long you resisted.

Secrets We Keep was born of the place – Ballytokeep is based on a small seaside town near where I Iive. The characters are from my imagination, but there is an old Bath House dug into black stone cliffs and I’m sure I’m not alone in having looked at it and maybe asking that same question once more – What if…

TWG: How hard has it been to write two novels and get them both published, in under a year? I am in awe! What’s your secret?

Well, the writing is actually the easy bit! Aria Fiction are the wizards who got them out there. I had started Secrets We Keep once I sent off My Husbands’ Wives – it was a way of keeping my nerves even! Really, it’s down to time and making the most of it. We have a busy house, but I’m lucky – I have a husband who is happy to dig in and a family around me who are all rooting for me, in all the best practical ways.

TWG: Having read both of your books (and thoroughly enjoyed them), were there any parts of the storylines that you find quite difficult to write, on a personal level?

In the first draft of Secrets We Keep we had a tragic death and to be honest, I’m really glad that I changed that in a later draft, the change was actually more emotional than the death. It felt as though I could touch on the notion of soul mates. Secrets We Keep had a working title of MFEO – Meant For Each Other and I think that was the bit that kind of got me!

As regards things that would cause me sleepless nights – I never write about children in peril, never write about children as victims – I know, I couldn’t cope with that at all – in fact, I love a good thriller, but I won’t read anything with a child victim – I think it affects me more now I have children of my own. Life is too short to go reading things that make you sad or upset!

TWG: Your second novel, Secrets We Keep, has just been released, congratulations! How did publication day feel the second time around?

To be honest, the night I got the news that Aria were interested in taking me on was the best night ever. We announced to family and opened a bottle of champagne – I’m not a drinker, but even I had a glass of bubbly that night!

On the night of publication,(My Husbands’ Wives,) I thought I’d explode with excitement. I lay in bed for hours, spinning everything from the text to the blog tour over in my mind. It dawned on me, that I was going to bed as a writer, but I would waken as an author and in some profound way, I felt it changed me from what I always wanted to become to who I was meant to be!

For Secret’s We Keep, the party was planned well in advance, just a very nice meal out with my nearest and dearest, well, it’s not every day you publish your second book, is it?

TWG: Secrets We Keep seemed to be centred on genealogy, which I found extremely interesting. Have you ever had (or wanted) to delve further into your own family history?

I think every family has secrets – sometimes, there better left alone!

In Secrets We Keep it all turned out for the best, but in real life, what’s good for one can be disastrous for another. I live in the same area that my family has lived in for generations. Recently, my husband visited a graveyard about twenty miles from where we live and he stumbled across my great, great, great grandparents graves, by chance more than by design. I knew they were there, but I’ve only been there twice. The man with him remembered the ‘old master’ (my father’s family were all teachers) and he sang a song that had been written about him in the village where he taught. It’s nice to hear things like that, but I’m sure that there are many other ditties written about school masters back in the day that were not so very complimentary!

TWG: Were there any characters from your books that you found yourself disliking?

Now, let me see – would you fancy Duncan Delaney?

TWG: Those that are familiar with your work know that you have joined the ever growing list of Irish authors. I have Irish heritage yet I have never been there! How important was it to you that you set, The Secrets We Keep, in Ireland? Is that a theme you will use for your other books going forward?

I suppose I’m inspired by the landscape – by the wind and rain, maybe more than by the sunshine. There is nothing to compare with the autumn sound of the wind raging through the trees and the scatter of tawny leaves at your feet. Perhaps one day, I’ll decide that I just love sun, sand and sangria and move to… you see, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be. So, probably yes, for now I’ll be writing about what fills my soul – those bright and breezy days, walking along the coast or through shaded woods, far from that ‘madding crowd.’

TWG: This is a question that gets asked in every single interview that I do: what was your favourite book(s) as a child? Oh, I’m quite boring that way, I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton. I could blame her for my love of crime fiction, but the truth is, I graduated from her, probably too early to Agatha Christie and then I ended up getting a compendium of Arthur Conan Doyle and I was hooked forever. Thankfully, my reading cache has widened somewhat, but that’s where I started!

With the kids I’ve gone back and read Roald Dahl and I’m probably the biggest Harry Potter fan in the house. Now, I’m loving David Walliams too – he’s funny, current and brave.

TWG: If you could walk into a book shop, pick up any book and have the author name change to yours, which book would it be and why?

It would have to be Kate Atkinson – I love her style of prose.

Then, I’ve also gotten lost in quite a few Kate Morton books and everything about them is just dreamy as a writer – I’ve even bought some of them in hard back – although I’ve read them on my kindle! They’re just the right mix of women’s fiction, historical fiction and intrigue. 

TWG: When you’re not busy writing books for me to read (I’ll share them, honest), what would we find you doing?

Did I mention that I have four children, a husband and very fat cat…

Seriously, I love the simple things, going for a walk, meeting up with friends, hanging out with the kids. My oldest is partial to a Netflix binge, so although I’m hopelessly behind on anything cool I love to sit late into the night with him for that (occasionally)!

And of course, there’s always chocolate…

TWG: As you know, TWG LOVES an exclusive (or two), do you have a little something that you can tell me about any upcoming books? It’ll be ‘The Secret We Keep’, honest ;).

Well, there is talk of a trade paperback for My Husbands Wives in May, now that’s been a well-kept secret for a while…

TWG: It is still very early in 2017, how is the rest of the year looking for you, book wise? Are there any new books on the horizon? Different genres?

I have something very close to finished. It’s a story about three women who decide to strike out and change their lives and we all know how easy that is!! Let’s just say, it’s not as straight forward as they thought 😉

TWG: One last question; in ONE sentence only, what advice would you give someone who wants to enter the world of authors, and publish a book?

I’d say first, write because you want to write, not because you want to get published. Write because it’s what you do, because it’s who you are.

Then, I’d say read, read, read. Read books like you want to write, good books and terrible books, they all have something to teach. Read books that show you specifically how to write, there are lots of them out there.

Finally, the most important thing, buy, get or borrow a very comfortable chair – you may be sitting in it for a very long time!

Thanks again, Kaisha for having me on the blog –I love TWG!!

Faith x

Thank you so much for letting me interrogate you!
If you wish to keep up to date with Faith’s books, here are a few author links for you to nosey at:

 

#Review – The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake by Pippa James (@PippaJames7) @bwpublishing #baking

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Blurb.

Daisy Delaney’s life is pancake-flat. A talented baker and passionate lingerie specialist, she has wound up with no one to bake for and a career that hasn’t proved successful. But when she starts a delicious relationship with famous French author-chef, Michel Amiel, everything begins to look a bit more exciting.

That is until Michel’s bestselling cookbook is knocked off the top spot by newcomer ‘Lucy Lovecake’. His outdated recipes slide down the charts, while the popularity of Lucy Lovecake’s new dating cookbook is rising like the perfect sponge.

As Daisy teeters on the brink of love, how can she ever tell Michel that she is the mysterious Lucy Lovecake? Could he ever forgive her for finishing off his career? And more importantly, does Daisy even want to be with a difficult, egotistical, down-on-his-luck Frenchman just as her career is beginning to take off? Especially when she has some other very interesting offers…

What does TWG think?

I’m not gonna lie; as soon as I saw the name ‘Lucy Lovecake’, I just knew that I had to read the book pronto. Can you imagine having the surname ‘Lovecake’? I would be Kaisha Lovecake, and damn right, I do LOVE CAKE. It’s safe to say that I was rather intrigued, who wouldn’t be?

Unfortunately, ‘Lucy Lovecake’ isn’t the main characters real name; she goes by her proper name of Daisy Delaney when she isn’t feeling as fruity as ‘Lucy’. Having spent a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up mouth-watering delights, Daisy knows that she can bake well, unfortunately not well enough to rival the likes of Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood. By trade, Daisy isn’t a baker but she can probably rival Ann Summers on their knowledge of lingerie, what with being a lingerie specialist of course. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Lingerie + baking = ? No, I’m not brave enough to bake in my knickers, but I have a feeling I know who might…

I need to be honest; I did find the first chapter or so, to be a little slow and hard to sink my teeth into. However, after a little bit of stopping and starting the novel, I ensured that I was relaxed and ready for fun before I carried on reading. If you’re after a novel that is straight-laced, innocent and lacking in proper ‘oooer missus’ humour, then this book isn’t for you. If you’re after a book that is full of double entendres, enough cake to fill a bakery (several times), hilarious (yet cringy) ‘omg’ moments, as well as plenty of sass and enough spice to spice up your life; then this book IS for you. Once I had tuned myself into the authors humour and way of writing, I flew through the novel and couldn’t put it down.

I have NEVER read a book as quirky, fun, mischievous and darn right fabulous as Pippa James’ novel is. It’s relatable in so many ways; the only difference is, Pippa James’ characters are being open about their antics and we’re too embarrassed to do so. Daisy Delaney is what I class as a ‘gold’ character; by that I mean brilliant and definitely one to remember. Daisy oozes confidence in ways a lot of women would be jealous of (I was, I’ll admit it), yet her character comes across incredibly down to earth and such fun.

Pippa James has delivered in writing such a unique book which has enough depth and charisma to stand tall above many other books. Even though the main concept of the storyline revolves around baking, lingerie and Daisy Delaney’s life; there is more to the characters (and storyline) that meets the eye. It isn’t all Victoria sponge cake and padded bras; it’s about finding your niche, shoving a cake in your mouth and grabbing your dreams by the suspenders. Going on the Lucy Lovecake journey with Daisy Delaney you’ll find yourself looking differently at the eligible bachelors and finding humour that you’ve been too afraid to make use of; until now.

Such a well written, unique and hilarious read to lose yourself in, go with the flow and indulge in the fantastic person that is, Lucy Lovecake.

Pippa James, I cannot WAIT to see what you come up with next! (I’m rather hoping Lucy Lovecake makes another appearance).

Thank you Black and White Publishing!

The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake is available to buy right now from Amazon. Enjoy!

#Review The House of New Beginnings by @LDiamondAuthor @panmacmillan #TheHouseOfNewBeginnings

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Blurb.

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city’s history, but it’s also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she’s sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .

Charlotte’s in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she’s suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it’s a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it’s as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.

What does TWG think?

Bestselling author, Lucy Diamond, is back with yet another cracking novel. Just when you think her novels cannot get any better, she manages to raise the bar even higher for herself and write another heart-warming read.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t lust after a new start at some point in our lives, right? A change of scenery, fresh new faces, a brand new routine and seeing your old life without your rose-tinted glasses. We have all been there, and no doubt whilst you’re reading this, a lot more human beans are deciding to do just that; create a fresh start or a ‘new beginning’ if you will. Maybe a complete house full of new beginnings? I wonder…

Lucy Diamond’s latest novel follows three main characters in particular; Rosa, Georgie and Charlotte. Each lady has their own individual story to tell along with various skeletons in their closets as baggage. Each lady has their own reason as to why a fresh start was needed and, thanks to Number 11, Dukes Square, new life stories will be created. How long their chapters are though, remains to be seen.

Receiving this novel felt as though all my Christmases had come at once (thank you Panmacmillan!)! You know when you have admired an author from afar for years, never in a million years thinking that you would get a chance to talk to that very author, or that you would have a proof copy of their new novel pop through your door, so you jump up and down and stroke the book? Yeahhhhhh, that was me.

Not long after I had picked up Lucy D’s novel, I found myself entranced by every word in front of me. The storyline flowed beautifully and didn’t require too much brainpower to sail through it. The message throughout the novel is one that I feel will resonate with A LOT of readers as I am sure several of them would have been in that position once or twice. I know I have been. Despite that, Lucy Diamond told the story of three ladies life turbulence with such ease and poignancy, that the deep and secretive moments didn’t overshadow the true meaning of the story. As I said above, the novel didn’t require over thinking or the need to play detective when it came to characters pasts. Yes, the entire storyline kept me hooked and curious about the overall outcome, but it wasn’t forced. Every single line, every single chapter, every single emotion had a purpose within the storyline.

Ah-ha! It’s a relaxing sort of read! You know, the type of book that you want to snuggle up with, cuppa on a coaster and chocolate on your lap and just lose yourself in….magic. ‘The House of New Beginnings’ is just THAT. I’m frustrated with myself for not being able to get that out sooner, I do seem to go round the houses a tad, I do apologise!

‘The House of New Beginnings’ is a cosy, poignant and emotional read that may end up becoming your ‘go to’ book for 2017. Full of warm, hilarious moments that are guaranteed to make you smile (as well as shedding a tear), Lucy Diamond’s new novel is most definitely one to watch this year.

Effortlessly brilliant; another fantastic read from the genius that is Lucy Diamond.

You too can get your own copy of The House of New Beginnings right now from: Amazon.

#Review! The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris (@AliHarrisWriter) @simonschusterUK

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Blurb.

How do you hold on to a love that is slowly slipping away from you?

Can you let go of the past when you know what is in the future?

And how do you cope when you know that every kiss is a countdown to goodbye?

This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart. The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they’d be together forever. Six years and thousands of kisses later she’s married to the man she loves. But today, when Ryan kisses her, Molly realises how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted…

What does TWG think?

I have seen Ali’s books as I have nosed on Amazon in the past, yet never gotten round to reading one. Until now that is. Well, this book was recommended by THE Tracy Fenton on TBConFB (she gets everywhere! Don’t tell that I said that!), and I thought that if the Queen Bee herself thought it was fabulous, then it must be!

I will need to be incredibly vague in this review! I don’t want to give anything away by writing something that could potentially be linked to a spoiler; I wouldn’t be popular if I did that. ‘The First Last Kiss’ was yet another book that I read without looking at the blurb as all I went by was recommendation, and the title/cover. I didn’t seem to twig what the book was about based on the title, it wasn’t until the storyline unfolded that things became a lot clearer.

Imagine being in love; completely head over heels in love with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Got it? Now, try to imagine how you would feel if your relationship and life together was sitting on a mound of uncertainty….
You’re probably thinking that you would fight, regardless what life throws at you both, you’d fight, yes?
But what if it wasn’t up to you, or your partner to fight?
Life is about to shake things up for Ryan and Molly, and the only thing that is a guarantee in their lives…is devastation…

I’ll admit, I read this book completely unaware. I had no idea what to expect in regards to the storyline, or even Ali’s writing style.
It didn’t take me long at all to warm to both Ryan and Molly’s personalities, for completely different reasons. Don’t get me wrong, they had bad days as characters, just like us and I did find myself getting a bit frustrated with their choices sometimes. The fact that both of them came across very realistic and relatable was a big bonus. They also make such a lovely couple…when they get their act together of course!

As the storyline developed and the characters grew, I found myself incredibly settled. I didn’t want the book to end, nor did I want anything to change! No sooner had I thought that….WHAM.

What happened next completely caught me off guard. I couldn’t prepare myself or my emotions as I was in shock. Put it this way, I wasn’t moving my toosh off the sofa until the book was completely finished. Not that I was going to anyway mind you, but the change of pace in the storyline cemented that fact.

The way that Ali Harris wrote the entire novel, especially the last third, was exceptional. My hat goes off to her for the way she handled such a harrowing, and devastating topic with incredible sensitivity, yet still kept it realistic. I am sure a lot of readers have been able to relate to the circumstances the characters faced, and I am sure a few tears may have been shed along the way.

For me, I didn’t just shed a few tears; I sobbed my heart out at the powerful image Ali Harris’ writing had stamped in my mind. I sobbed my heart out due to the emotion that was jumping off every page and making itself known. I sobbed my heart out because the characters were emotional at times and because I had warmed to them, their pain was my pain…in a roundabout way.

Ali Harris has written such a powerful, intense yet beautiful read that is guaranteed to leave you with something in your eye. ‘The First Last Kiss’ will show you the true meaning of love, promises and honesty; all you need to do is focus on Ryan and Molly. I am in awe of Ali Harris and her incredible delivery of such a heart breaking subject. She has done it proud, beautifully written.

The First Last Kiss is available to buy from Amazon UK

 

#Review! A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom (@Isabelle_Broom) @MichaelJBooks

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Blurb.

Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she’s determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything – and she won’t let that happen again . . .

For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she’s struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it’s all her fault . . .

For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can’t stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .

What does TWG think?

Ollie is a teacher and he has asked his photography minded friend, Megan, to accompany him on a trip to Prague. It’s a win-win situation really, Ollie wants to take historical findings back to his students, and Megan gets to take photographs for her upcoming exhibition. The thing is, despite Megan and Ollie being really good friends, Megan is unable to let her guard down and shed light on what has been eating her up inside for many years. On their trip they end up getting involved with three other people and their lives. Little do Megan and Ollie know, how involved that they will end up becoming in those strangers lives..

Oh my goodness..what a book! The first third of the book seems to be focused on Megan and Ollie’s lives before switching between the other characters in the story. Everything in the story at that moment felt calm, light, enjoyable and just going with the flow, little did I know what was ahead.

I rather enjoyed taking a little holiday in Prague, via the book. I have never ventured outside of the UK so to read a book set in a different country, which was written so beautifully, made me feel as though I was right there, soaking up the history and phenomenal views. Even though I haven’t seen the city for myself, I did feel as though Isabelle’s description of the city was extremely detailed, vivid and undeniably…stunning. She captured by heart from the very moment I ‘stepped’ off of the plane.

As I became more invested in the storyline, I noticed how intense it became, ever so quickly. The characters became even stronger, the storyline became bolder and I no longer plodded along with the book. Not in a bad way either. I couldn’t do anything else except focus on the book; even my galaxy chocolate wasn’t grabbing my attention as I continued to read. I was utterly mesmerised.

The mood turned sombre, my emotions were on high alert; yet I had absolutely no idea what the overall outcome of the storyline would be. I had a few guesses along the way, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure. All I knew was that the book wouldn’t be leaving my hands until the very end.

Ever felt as though your heart was going to beat out of your chest? Ever felt so anxious about a situation, but you were far too involved to let go? Ever read a storyline where everything was transferred to your mind in slow motion, as if you were in the moment with the other characters? I’ll admit, I hadn’t had all of the above happen to me whilst reading one book…until now. ‘A Year and a Day’ made me feel that way, and more.

The entire book took me on an emotional journey to the historic city of Prague. I started the book completely unaware, with no expectations and in my own world. I ended the book with tears rolling down my cheeks.

‘A Year and a Day’ is such a beautiful, intense and highly charged storyline which highlights the true meaning of love and loss. A truly magnificent, breath-taking read which has left its marks deep within my soul. One of my top books for 2016 by miles.

Thank you Netgalley & MJ!

A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom, published by MichaelJBooks, is available to buy from TODAY (17th November 2016) from Amazon

#Review! In A Manhattan Minute by Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) #bookboost #bookblogger

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Blurb.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but when the temperature dips, can Manhattan work its magic?

Jack exists in a world that has seen its fair share of tragedy, but also success and the wealth that comes with it. One snowy night, he crosses paths with Evie, a homeless girl, and it changes everything.

Three years on, Evie’s life is very different. She’s the assistant to a prestigious wedding gown designer, she’s settled in Manhattan, has her own apartment and friendships she holds dear. But the past is lurking in the background, threatening to spoil everything, and it’s catching up with her.

Kent has kept a family secret for two decades, a secret he never wanted to share with his son, Jack. And even though she doesn’t realise it yet, his life is inextricably tangled with Nicole’s, the woman who was his housekeeper for thirteen years and the woman who helped Evie turn her life around.

It’s Christmas and a time for forgiveness, love and Happy Ever Afters. And when the snow starts to fall, the truth could finally bring everyone the gift of happiness they’re looking for.

What does TWG think?

When I started the book I genuinely thought that it would be light, fluffy and full of Christmas antics. Yes, I got all of that from the cover! However, it didn’t take me long to realise that it would be anything BUT fluffy.

Evie is a homeless girl. A homeless girl with a past and bucket loads of stigma attached to her due to her lifestyle. Homeless. She wants to turn her life around and actually live without worrying when her next shower will be, or when her next hot meal would be. But, thanks to someone giving her the benefit of the doubt, her future starts to look less bleak…for now.

Then on the other end of the scale, we have Kent and Jack. A father and son duo who use monetary values as their mantras in life. The thing is, their life isn’t as simple as dollar bills and pound signs. Money can’t buy you love, or time..

We have both ends of the scale with this novel as it covers homelessness as well as the very wealthy. It isn’t very often that those two worlds come together, let alone in one book. I felt that Helen covered the homeless topic with such sensitivity whilst still keeping it raw and very poignant. It most definitely opened my eyes to the unfortunate fact that people do actually live like that, and passer-by’s can act like many of the characters that feature in this novel. It is a shame, but I am glad that an important topic, such as the one featured, has been brought to the world’s attention.

I’ll be honest, I took an instant disliking to Jack. His snobbery and pompous attitude made my skin crawl! Several expletives fell out of my mouth where he was concerned. #sorrynotsorry. The annoying thing was though, Jack’s character had gotten under my skin in such a way, I had to keep reading and hope to Santa that his attitude changed!

In A Manhattan Minute took me on a journey. A journey where I saw characters change direction within their lives and grow before my very eyes. A journey which highlighted what is important, as well as what’s not important. A journey that opened my eyes to unfortunate circumstances that are all around us.
Most importantly, In A Manhattan Minute made me realise that anyone can fly, as long as they hold onto their dreams like wings and never let go.

Another strong, powerful and poignant read from the very talented Helen Rolfe; a true mastermind in uncovering emotions from her storylines alone. Beautiful.

Thank you Helen Rolfe for pointing me in the direction of this book!

In A Manhattan Minute is available to purchase right now from Amazon UK

#Review! The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Joanna Bolouri (@scribbles78) @QuercusBooks

I’m allowed to squeal right? SQUEALLLLLL!!!!
I am so excited to be today’s tour stop for Joanna Bolouri and her latest release; The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Quercus Books). Thank you so much to the publicity team at Quercus for allowing me to be on the tour! Incredible author!

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Blurb.

Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex . . . but he’s nothing she can’t handle.

Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it’s going really well. So well, in fact, that this year Emily is hoping to take him home for Christmas to meet her family. Finally she won’t be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity looks from her younger married siblings.

But when Robert breaks up with her a week before Christmas, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan (in exchange for one month’s rent and the use of her convertible) Emily is determined to take Robert home for Christmas come hell or high water, even if it isn’t the real Robert . . .

What does TWG think?

Having read Joanna’s previous books (yes, all of them), my expectations were pretty high. I absolutely loved her style of writing in the other books and I was hopeful that it would continue. No pressure for the author eh!

Did it live up to my expectations? This novel went above and beyond! It’s safe to say that this festive treat is my most favourite book of Joanna’s.

We follow the life of Emily; a thirty-something woman who is loving life away from her interfering family, as well as being courted by Mr Robert. Sounds bliss really doesn’t it? Well, it would be if her neighbour didn’t decide to turn his sex volume up several decibels. The walls are thin, not exactly the most comforting lullaby to fall asleep to! Despite being unable to find her neighbours mute button, Emily makes a lot of noise celebrating the fact that she is FINALLY going to be taking her boyfriend, Robert, to her parents house this Christmas! Unfortunately, best laid plans and all that, Emily needs to come up with plan B. Or Plan ‘E’ as it should be….

#MostWonderful has quite simple jumped into my Top 10 books of 2016!
The moment I opened the book and engaged with the storyline; I was hooked completely. Joanna’s trademark humour set up camp the whole way through and was definitely there to stay as I have NOT laughed that much in ages. Emily was such a fun and feisty character to read about and follow the footsteps of; especially as her one liners were unbelievable! The innuendos and witty comments seemed to fall out of her mouth with such ease; if it wasn’t weird I would say that I am jealous of Emily! COUGH, I am jealous. She’s fabulous.
Emily’s friends seemed to have similar personalities to her which was a definite plus point as I couldn’t imagine Joanna writing a boring character to live with her hah!

I am afraid that I cannot comment on Robert as my opinion is not suitable before the watershed. Ahemmmmm!!!!

You know when you pick up a book, totally lose yourself in it and end up feeling on top of the world whilst reading it? #MostWonderful gave me that feeling. The entire book allowed me to escape, lose my inhibitions and just go with the flow of the storyline, enjoying it in the process. As I said above, I adore Joanna’s style of writing as it is so down to Earth and enjoyable. It’s as though she is right in front of you having a chat, and that’s what I loved about #MostWonderful in particular; the fact it is such an easy read. Everything is there for you within the storyline, you just need to let go and enjoy it. Considering I turned into a drippy nosed, squeaky woman whilst reading it, I loved it. Yes, that is what my laughing does. Sorry, no, my extreme laughing. I make all sorts of sounds…

There was nothing I disliked about #MostWonderful, at all.
A truly magnificent and damn right hilarious read that will make you think twice about love this Christmas. A book that had tears streaming down my face with laughter, Joanna’s humour turns this storyline into an innuendo work of art.
‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ will definitely be #MostWonderful as long as you have Joanna Bolouri under your Christmas tree this year!

Thank you Quercus books!

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Joanna Bolouri, published by Quercus Books, is available to buy in both e-book and paperback format from Amazon UK.

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