Q and A: C.R Berry and his Book Million Eyes

Happy New Year! I hope you have a good one with plenty of good books to read.

For  this decades first post I am excited to share something different – C.R Berry has visited to talk about his exciting new book Million Eyes but first here is the information about this exciting sci-fi, conspiracy novel.

Million Eyes Cover Large

Million Eyes

Title: Million Eyes

Author: C.R Berry

Publisher:

Genre: Sci-fi, conspiracy

Blurb for Million Eyes

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase Links

http://bit.ly/Million-Eyes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

https://www.amazon.com/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

Q and A with C.R Berry

  • Hi C.R Berry. Welcome to From Under the Duvet. Can you tell me a bit about Million Eyes and the world you’ve created for it?

It’s a sci-fi conspiracy thriller set in a world where time travel has been invented (secretly) by a huge global conglomerate called Million Eyes. It’s also a world where many of the conspiracy theories you’ve heard about are true and involved Million Eyes in some way. So, Princess Diana’s death, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, the replacement of Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I with lookalikes (among many others) all happened because of Million Eyes.

  • So you cover all those conspiracy theories in the novel?

Not all of them. Princess Diana’s death and the Princes in the Tower are in the novel. The conspiracy theories about Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I actually feature in the Million Eyes short stories, which have been published separately by Elsewhen Press as a collection, Million Eyes: Extra Time. It’s free to download in all ebook formats and offers readers an initial insight into the Million Eyes world and its time-travelling villains. This came out in October 2019.

Also, Million Eyes is the first in a trilogy. So there are more conspiracy theories to come in the next two books!

  • As Million Eyes has time travel in it, are you aiming it at sci-fi fans?

Not exclusively, no. I know people who’ve enjoyed Million Eyes who don’t like sci-fi at all. I don’t think the time travel is alienating for people who aren’t into that. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit like Game of Thrones was for non-fantasy fans. GOT had such wide appeal, probably because it told the story through the eyes of normal people with real problems. Million Eyes does the same thing.

  • Are there other authors whose work Million Eyes could be compared to?

I think Million Eyes shares a lot of similarities with Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper. That was a conspiracy thriller that incorporated real historical events and had an element of fantasy to it. I also think if you’re a fan of Dan Brown, Doctor Who or the TV series 24 (which had a lot of conspiracy thriller elements), you’ll like Million Eyes.

  • Why did you write Million Eyes and what gave you the idea?

Million Eyes came about by meshing together three loves of mine: conspiracy theories, time travel and history. There were three events in history riddled by mystery and conspiracy theory that I wanted to tie together. The probably-not-accidental shooting of King William II in the New Forest, the still-unexplained disappearance of the Princes in the Tower (both of which I learned about at school), and Princess Diana’s car crash, one of the most shocking things to happen while I was growing up.

Inspired in part by a short-lived TV series called Dark Skies, which took real American history and ‘explained what really happened’, I wanted to take these three events in British history and do the same. And since the three events were approximately five hundred years apart, there was really only one way to do that—time travel!

  • Tell us a bit about your main characters, Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson.

Ferro’s in his 50s, has a wife and two kids and used to be a history teacher. An incident at his school led him to give up teaching and write history books. He wants to do his best by his family but he’s fiercely dedicated to his work and doesn’t always get his priorities right. This becomes a problem when he starts finding evidence that time travellers were behind the death of William II.

Jennifer’s in her 20s, fresh out of uni, and is working in a call centre because she’s not sure what to do next. She’s hot-headed and she doesn’t always think before she speaks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. She loves history as much as Ferro and, when she learns about his theories, can’t resist reaching out to him.

  • I understand Jennifer’s a lesbian. How common is it to have a gay female protagonist in these kinds of stories?

I’m sure there are some but it’s not common. I don’t think there are enough LGBTQ protagonists full stop. But I should note that Jennifer’s sexuality is really not relevant to her story. She just happens to be gay. It’s normal and it’s a non-issue, which was exactly the point.

I did make an effort to include as many female characters as possible and that’s not just because I enjoy writing women. Nearly all the sci-fi/fantasy/conspiracy books I’ve read have failed the Bechdel Test because women are so thin on the ground. With Million Eyes, I was determined not only that the book would pass the Bechdel Test, but would also contain such an abundance of female characters there could be no question of under representation.

  • Where does your interest in time travel come from?

Star Trek, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time, The Butterfly Effect, Looper, Lost… I could go on! I just love the idea of being able to go back in time and see first-hand how things were, or go forwards and see how things might turn out. If it were possible, I’d be a time traveller myself!

  • When is Million Eyes available and where can readers get their hands on it?

Million Eyes is available now from Elsewhen Press in ebook formats. It can be purchased for £2.99 RRP from Apple, Amazon and other eBook platforms. On March 9th, it will be released as a paperback and be available to buy for £9.99 RRP from bookshops and online. I’ll be hosting several book launch events around the time of the paperback release. The first will take place at Waterstones in Farnham on Friday 13th March (Yes, I know—Friday the 13th! It’s a conspiracy!)

Author Biography

Million Eyes Author

C.R Berry

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://crberryauthor.wordpress.com

http://millioneyes.co.uk/

https://gregoryferro.home.blog/

https://twitter.com/CRBerry1

https://www.facebook.com/CRBerry1/

Thank you for coming and talking about your book. As a huge fan of Glenn Cooper’s Library of the Dead, it has been added to my TBR and I look forward to hearing more about your series in the future. Good luck with your book launches.

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage by Rosie Green

This is the first book I have read from Rosie Green and I am pleased to share my review for her festive novel Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage.

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage by Rosie Green

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Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage

Title: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage

Author: Rosie Green

Genre: Festive Romance

Blurb:

When Jess Thornton’s dad was lost at sea, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get their old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It’s sure to stir up all sorts of memories she’s desperate to avoid. And to make things worse, Isla appears to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved old home! Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snowflakes-over-Moondance-Cottage-sparkling-ebook/dp/B07XGDZ4Z2

US – https://www.amazon.com/Snowflakes-over-Moondance-Cottage-sparkling-ebook/dp/B07XGDZ4Z2

My Thoughts

This novel follows grieving Jess, whose father is assumed dead after a boating accident. She was easy to connect to so I slipped into the story early on. Her quiet, settled life is turned upside down with the arrival of Seb,the hunky builder and the bombshell her sister wants to sell the family home. His description and personality made it easy to see why Jess would be attracted to him. The chemistry between them made me want to continue reading after bedtime.

Isla is the opposite to Jess in many ways making the dynamics between the siblings interesting and adds to the tension as her mum’s struggle with her mental health after losing her husband. The marital relationship is slightly complicated because they both have new partners but it works well with the plot. It is an enjoyable and emotional read with the right balance of Christmas traditions to make you feel warm and Christmassy.

The descriptions of glass blowing the baubles makes me appreciate those on my tree more than usual. It was fascinating to read about.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is a lovely story with a satisfying conclusion, ideal to read in the run up to Christmas. I love the authors style and characters so I look forward to reading more of hers in the future.

Author Biography

Rosie Green Author Pic

Rosie Green

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Bonfires & Hot Chocolate at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, is out now.

Watch out for ‘A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, which will be published Christmas 2019.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to the tour and giving me an advanced copy so I could give an honest and unbiased review. If you would like to know more about this book and author, why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Love

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Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm – Dreamweavers Book 1

Today I am pleased to share a review for something different – the first book in the Dreamweaver series, Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. It is a novel for children and young teens.

Book Review: Awa and the Dreamrealm.

Awa and the Dreamrealm Cover

Title: Awa and the Dreamrealm ( Dreamweavers Book 1)

Author: Isa Pearl Ritchie
Publisher: Te Ra Aroha Press

Genre: Children and young teen fiction

Release date: 23rd Oct 2019

Blurb

What if dreams are more real than waking life?

Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.

She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.

At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XFHSB9R

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XFHSB9R

My Thoughts

The blurb caught my attention because I have always had lucid dreams and I was intrigued how the author would entwine this idea into fiction. As the title suggests the novel has a surreal dream like quality to it in many places making it an unusual read.

Awa arrives at a new school following parents divorce and a run in with the school bully adds to her anxiety, triggering nightmares. Reality and her dreams collide but she is guided by the dreamcharmer, Veila on a journey which reminded me of guided meditation and relaxation techniques. As anxiety is increasing in young people, I feel this  story could be a good way to introduce the ideas to them. The theme running through the novel is to trust your intuition and self when facing adversity.

It deals with many issues facing young readers including racism, bullying, divorce, moving and friendship changes in a sensitive and imaginative manner. The interesting concept and character kept me reading and I am curious to see how the story will unfold in the next book in the series.

Would I recommend?

As a mum, I would have given this book to my daughter to read in her preparation to go to secondary school. The topics are age appropriate and much needed but more than that it is a lovely read.

About the Author

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. As a child, she loved creating imaginary worlds. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. Her second novel, Fishing for Māui, was selected as one of the top books of 2018 in the New Zealand Listener and was a finalist in the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019. Awa and the Dreamrealm is her first book for young people.

www.isaritchie.com

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/isapearlritchie/

https://twitter.com/isapearlritchie

https://www.instagram.com/isapearlritchie/

Giveaway to Win 1 x kindle copy of Awa and the Dreamrealm (INT)

Click here to enter the giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Love

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Book Review:A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

December is here and I begin the month with a review for A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan. It has become my tradition to indulge in a Sarah Morgan book in the the run up to Christmas because they are usually guaranteed to be a wonderful treat. Scroll down to see if this year’s tale follows the same trend.

Book Review:A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan Wedding in Decenber

Wedding in December

Title: A Wedding in December

Author: Sarah Morgan

Publisher: HQ

Genre: Christmas Romance

Release Date: 31st October 2019

Blurb

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

My Thoughts

This festive romance follows Rosie as she prepares to marry Dan after a whirlwind romance, her workaholic sister, Katie, and her mum, Maggie. It is told in 3 points of view which works well as all the characters have different personalities, are believable and have different conflicts to deal with. Rosie has her wedding doubts, Katie has problems at work while Maggie is preparing for her divorce. I felt there was a bias towards it being Maggie’s story rather than Rosie’s but this suited me because she was the character I could most relate to. It is a study of the different stages of love and relationships as well as family bonds.

The stunning setting gives you everything you need in a Christmas novel – snow, mountains and trees  making it an ideal festive read. It is easy to visualise and imagine you are there. If Snowfall Lodge in Aspen was a real place it would be on my wish list of places to visit with the idyllic tree houses, sleigh rides and roaring fires.

It’s fun and emotional in places which is perfect to read in the light of the Christmas tree drinking hot chocolate.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Sarah Morgan has the knack of producing a book that always gives the reader characters to love and a journey to entertain. This novel sends you to the winter wonderland to relax in without leaving your duvet. It is happily sitting on my forever shelf to read next year.

Thank you HQ for inviting me to this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy for an honest and unbiased review.

Love

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Book Review: Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman

After falling in love with Lucy Coleman’s previous book Summer on the Italian Lakes, I was excited to be invited to the blog tour for Magic Under the Mistletoe. Carry on reading for my thoughts and the chance to enter a wonderful giveaway.

Book Review: Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman

ARIA_Coleman_MAGIC UNDER THE MISTLETOE_E

Magic Under the Mistletoe

Title: Magic Under the Mistletoe

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Festive, Romance

Release Date: 30th September 2019

Blurb

Christmas and romance are in the air…

It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.

So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?

Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!

Purchase Link – http://smarturl.it/MagicUnderMistletoe

My Thoughts

This is another Christmas themed book with an unusual premise which makes it memorable against the others. While most books have the premise of boy meets girl and fall in love under the mistletoe, the relationship between Leesa and Nate is one of convenience and allows them to have a partner when needed without commitments to prevent meddling from family and friends. This adds to the tension between them as they become closer and makes you keep turning the page.

Leesa is intelligent, driven and independent and despite his workaholic and aloof tendencies I was instantly attracted to Nate. As with her other book, Lucy Coleman adds depth to the characters and plot which increases the connection with the characters and makes you love them more as their backstories are revealed. Tissues are required as unexpected secrets are told which are handled sensitively.

The descriptions of Nate’s Grandmother’s home is detailed which immersed me in the festive spirit as it is everything I long my house to be. Within the first few chapters, I was hooked. Lucy Coleman has a talent for creating characters who feel real and Cressida is no exception. She came across as a warm, friendly, driven Danielle Steele like personality. As the queen of romance novels she dreams of seeing her grandson, Nate settled. Her intentions are good and is someone I would love to have a cup of tea with.

I felt the ending was rushed compared to the pace of the rest of the novel. It was suddenly over leaving some minor threads unresolved. The strength of writing, characters and plot means this does not affect Magic Under the Mistletoe being a wonderful book.

Would I recommend?

Yes! I love the author’s style and ability to transport the reader into the setting which is ideal for a festive read. You can see the decor, smell the festive aromas and taste the food. Despite my misgivings about the end it is a strong, enjoyable book which I will reread next year. I have already read it twice so definitely has a spot on my forever shelf.

Author Biography

Magic Author Photo

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://linnbhalton.co.uk/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth https://twitter.com/LinnBHalton

Giveaway to Win a Signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas Pamper Pack. (UK only)

Mistletoe prize Rachel

Prizes to be won

For a chance to win these wonderful goodies Enter here

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Aria for the chance to read an advanced copy of this festive treat to review.

What are you reading? Let me know below.

Happy Reading!

Love

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: Hallowed Ground: They Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Book Review: Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

There have been downpours of rain outside for days here in Yorkshire so I was more than pleased to be transported to the hot sun in Namibia in the YA novel Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

 

Hallowed Ground Front Cover

Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles by Paul Twivy

Title: Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles

Author: Paul Twivy

Publisher: The Conrad Press

Genre: YA

Release Date: 1st October 2019

Blurb:

This magical story is inspired by the most haunting and least explored country in the world – Namibia – with its foggy Skeleton Coast, buried goldmines, shocking secrets and awe-inspiring sand dunes.

Spread across the face of its deserts are hundreds of miles of ‘fairy circles’ : vast enough to be seen from space.  They grow and die with the same lifespan as humans, yet no-one has been able to explain why or how they appear.

Then one day, three teenagers and their families arrive from different parts of the globe. Helped by bushmen, the buried possessions of a Victorian explorer, and a golden leopard, they solve the mystery of the African Circles. What will be discovered beneath the hallowed ground? And how will it change the future of the planet above it?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hallowed-Ground-mystery-African-Circles-ebook/dp/B07YDY9LF2/

Com – https://www.amazon.com/Hallowed-Ground-mystery-African-Circles-ebook/dp/B07YDY9LF2/

My Thoughts

This is one of those books where the cover matches the story perfectly; it’s vibrant, atmospheric and the desert in Namibia arrives in your living room, bed or wherever you are when you begin to read. It captured my imagination with the visual descriptions and the mystery of the fairy circles.

The four teenagers are distinct from each other with different personalities, backgrounds, cultures and unique talents but their shared curiosity and determination make them work together to solve the puzzle of the circles. Unlike many YA books, the teenagers are not alone on their adventure but have help from their parents who were not just blurry characters on the edges of the story. Theyhad their own fully formed stories and roles to play. It is a format that worked well and made it more believable. Paul Twivy has blended history, folklore, legends and stunning settings to produce a beautiful and unique novel which does not shy away from the horrors of the genocide which affects the country or other sensitive topics. I learnt things I was unaware of reading this.

There are many climate change references and a few older teenagers and adults could view it as didactic but most will nod and agree with the underlying message of protecting and nurturing the environment and our planet now rather than later.

Would I recommend?

This is one of those books which make me happy to be a book blogger. If I hadn’t been invited on to this tour and shown the blurb, this novel would have gone under my radar and I am so glad it didn’t. It reminded me of the books that sat on my twelve year old’s forever shelf and it would have slotted in perfectly.

Author Biography

Paul Twivy

Paul Twivy

Paul Twivy studied English at Oxford University and became one of the most famous British admen. He has written comedy and drama for the stage and radio.  He edited the bestseller Change the World for a Fiver. He is married with five children. He was inspired to write Hallowed Ground by his first-hand experiences of the extraordinary landscapes and culture of Namibia.

Social Media

www.thefairycircles.com

https://hallowedground.co.uk

https://twitter.com/paultwivy

A big thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and The Conrad Press for the chance to read this delightful book and give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Love

Katie signature pink

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Book Review: Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake

More Christmas delights are ready to be shared with you today with my review for Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake.

Book Review: Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake

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Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake

Title: Notting Hill in the Snow

Author: Jules Wake

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Christmas Romance, Women’s fiction

Release Date: 11th October 2019

Blurb

It’s mayhem in Bethlehem…unless they can work together!

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra (yes really!), but this year she’s been asked to stretch her musical talents to organising Notting Hill’s local nativity.
Nate Williams isn’t looking forward to Christmas but as his small daughter, Grace, has the starring role in the show, he’s forced to stop being a Grinch and volunteer with Viola.

With the sparks between them hotter than the chestnuts roasting in Portobello market, Nate and Viola can’t deny their feelings. And as the snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Notting-Hill-Snow-heartwarming-uplifting-ebook/dp/B07RNFF9Q1/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Notting-Hill-Snow-heartwarming-uplifting-ebook/dp/B07RNFF9Q1/

My Thoughts

I loved this novel. It is Christmas bound in words, pages and a cover. It drew me in from the beginning with the introduction of Viola on her way to the Opera House and my love for it was cemented with the arrival of an armadillo in the nativity play. The chemistry between Viola and Nate sizzles and the relationship between him and his daughter, Grace pulls at the heart strings. Some children seem to be placed in a book as an afterthought or a way of directing the plot, but she is a fully formed character who I fell in love with.

I loved Jules Wakes style and ability to bring the festive cheer of London into my own home. It is humorous, emotional and entertaining.

Would I recommend?

Yes! Yes! Yes! Grab your duvet and hot beverage and read it. It is a beautiful and entertaining novel which ticks all the boxes for a festive read and more. It will be on my forever shelf for rereads in the run up to Christmas.  I am thrilled to discover other books written by Jules Wake to enjoy including another Christmas one.

Author Biography

Jules Wake (2)

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her writing and creative skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer and stationery.

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the Romantic Escapes series.

Between them, the two Js have written twelve novels, Notting Hill in the Snow being the latest.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @Juleswake

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juleswake.co.uk/

Instagram: juleswakeauthor

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and One More Chapter for an advanced copy to review. It has woken up my Christmas spirit and a new author to follow is on my list.

Love

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Book Review for Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage

Book Review: Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger

It is another festive book today. I am pleased to share you my review for Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger. This is a new author for me but I am looking forward to reading some other stories by her.

Book Review: Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger

Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage

Title: Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage

Author: Katie Ginger

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Christmas Romance

Release Date: 11th October 2019

Blurb

On a grey, London day, Esme’s world crumbles around her when she loses her glitzy job on a top TV programme, her gorgeous, city-slicker boyfriend and her stunning apartment, all in one fell swoop just before Christmas.

Esme is forced suddenly to move back to her sleepy hometown of Sandchester, and despite the snow blanketing the roof and the fairy lights that twinkle in her rustic little cottage, everything is looking bleak. That is until she reconnects with an old crush and finds herself unexpectedly getting swept away.

But Joe, handsome and charming as he is, is not all he seems. Esme soon realises that he has a tragic past which he just might not be able to overcome…

Surrounded by her loving, if harebrained, family and with the support of her hilarious friends, Esme is determined to have a go at forging her own path, even if it all comes to nothing. But one question still lingers in her mind: will she find someone to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK ebook: https://amzn.to/2NL7fhq

Amazon UK paperbook: https://amzn.to/2Y51uPP

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2LP8Ujm

Amazon US ebook: https://amzn.to/2XHxFR1

My Thoughts

Oh my! This is the best Christmas book I have read this year (and I have read quite a few now). I began reading at bedtime and found myself staying awake until the last page. I could not put it down. It made me chuckle out loud waking my husband and sob too. It had everything a festive book needs – characters you love, scrumptious food to make you hungry, a magical setting, a plot you are immersed in and sprinkling of festive moments that make you wish you could experience them yourself.

I am a fan of the Great British Bake Off so I was drawn in by the first scenes where I was introduced to Esme on the set of a cooking programme. Food plays a large part of the story and Katie Ginger’s writing makes the food come alive on the page, I could see, smell and taste the flavours as Esme baked. I am going to have to search for some orange tea bread. It sounds divine. The promised aroma of the bakes conjured up the spirit of Christmas.

Esme is a wonderful character who I would love to meet in reality. She tackles problems head on, is natural and funny so complements Joe, an estate agent who is the reluctant love interest with a heart breaking past. Their relationship is an emotional roller coaster as obstacles are put in the way of love and fresh beginnings. Esme’s friends add an extra element to the novel as they are always there for each other and add humorous moments not that Esme needs help in that department.

Would I recommend?

This book will be on my forever shelf so I can read it again and again. It is a festive treat that makes you ready for Christmas and tantalises the taste buds. It is heart warming, funny and emotional making it perfect for fans of the Great British Bake off, Bridget Jones and Christmas.

Author Biography

Snowflakes - author pic

Katie Ginger

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage is her third novel. She is also author of the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive her two children: Ellie, who believes everything in life should be performed like a musical number from a West End show; and Sam, who is basically a monkey with a boy’s face. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

For more about Katie you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources and HQ Digital for an advanced copy to review and allowing me to discover a new author to follow.

Happy reading!

Love

Book review: Wrapped up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan

The festive reads continue with a new author for me, Katlyn Duncan.

Book Review: Wrapped Up for Christmas by Katlyn Duncan

Wrapped Up for Christmas_FINAL

Title: Wrapped Up for Christmas

Author: Katlyn Duncan

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Festive, Romance

Release Date: 1st October 2019

Blurb

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NGuQyc
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2HBoxs2
B&N: http://bit.ly/32fCF1R
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2NGvUlG
iBooks: https://apple.co/2LmsotI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/32jrSUl
Books2read universal link: http://bit.ly/34deOBH

My Thoughts

I loved the overall Christmas feel of this novel with the decorations, trees and festive food leaping off the page but it was the shopping mall which resonated with me most. In my student days, my first job was working in a mall at Christmas and I loved it – the atmosphere, people watching and helping shoppers with their retail experience. Katlyn Duncan has captured the essence of that perfectly as Angie returns to the mall she once worked. She is a character I could relate too and Nick along with his dog, Charlie makes a good love interest. Their chemistry meant I was more than happy to have a duvet day to continue reading to discover how family feuds and trust issues played out.

It is heart-warming, reminded me of the important things about the festive season – love, charity and goodwill – and more importantly, gave me the tingle of anticipation that soon it will be time to decorate my own tree.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. It is entertaining, heart-warming and pure escapism allowing you time away from soggy days and gear up for the Christmas period which is on its way.

Author Biography

Wrapped UP Author Photo

Author Katlyn Duncan

Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters.

Currently, she’s a full-time author and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’.

She currently resides in Southern New England with her family. Check out more about her writing and current TV addiction in her newsletter, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

SCBWI & RWA Member.

Social Media Links –

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkatlynduncan/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katlyn_duncan

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/duncankatlyn/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060690.Katlyn_Duncan

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katlyn-duncan

Newsletter sign up: https://www.subscribepage.com/q6i5n1

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources, and HQ Digital for an advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion. It was a pleasure to read.

Happy reading!

Love

Wrapped Up For Christmas Full Tour Banner

Book Review: Writing Fiction by James Essinger

Book Review: Writing Fiction by James Essinger

Today I am reviewing something slightly different to the usual books found on this blog. When I am not reading, blogging or sleeping I write fiction. Like many readers, I dream of seeing my book in a book shop surrounded by authors I love so when I was offered a chance to review this book on writing fiction I knew I had to take it.  My writing journey can be found here.

Book Review: Writing Fiction A User-friendly Guide by James Essinger

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide (1)

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide

Title: Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide

Author: James Essinger

Genre: Non-fiction, Writing

Publisher: The Conrad Press

Release Date: 1st August 2019

Blurb

‘Writing Fiction is a little pot of gold… Screenplay by Syd Field for film, Writing Fiction by James Essinger for fiction. It’s that simple.’

William Osborne, novelist and screenwriter

Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a must-read if you want to write stories to a professional standard.

It draws on the author’s more than thirty years of experience as a professional writer, and on the work and ideas of writers including:

  • Anthony Burgess
  • Joseph Conrad
  • George Eliot
  • Ken Follett
  • Frederick Forsyth
  • Dan Harmon
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • David Lodge
  • Norman Mailer
  • John Milton
  • Ben Parker
  • K. Rowling
  • William Shakespeare
  • Martin Cruz Smith
  • R.R. Tolkien

The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including: devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.

Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Future movies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster  Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Fiction-user-friendly-James-Essinger-ebook/dp/B07VYY9XH9/

https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Fiction-user-friendly-James-Essinger-ebook/dp/B07VYY9XH9/

My Thoughts

James Essinger is a novelist, non-fiction writer and publisher so he has the experience to write a writing guide. This is a concise, useful and easy-to-read book for beginners and breaks down the important elements of fiction writing. Examples are given to illustrate the advice with links to Back to the Future, Titanic and The Day of the Jackal.

I enjoyed learning about how the oral tradition of telling stories around the campfire has evolved through time to Dickens, Conrad and more modern novelists like Ken Follett and the importance of picking a role model suitable for today’s readers. He gives a good overview of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey which gives a story a solid structure. There are several tips that will help my writing but as a writer of women’s fiction and magical realism some suggestions were not applicable. If I had read this before learning the expectations of readers from those genres, I think I would have come away disheartened after trying to fit my manuscript to all the points given and failing. The bias to male authors made the book less relatable to what it could have been.

Would I recommend?

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide is useful and the length makes it ideal to read  between writing your own chapters. It is worth reading for writers of crime and thrillers.


Author Biography

Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide (2)

James Essinger

James Essinger has been a professional writer since 1988. His non-fiction books include Jacquard’s Web (2004), Ada’s Algorithm (2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019). His novels include The Mating Game (2016) and The Ada Lovelace Project (2019).

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/james.essinger  

https://twitter.com/jamesessinger

 Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and The Conrad Press for the copy of Writing Fiction a user-friendly guide to review and give my honest opinion.

Happy reading!

Love