Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Book Review: Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

 

Surviving Me Cover

Surviving Me by Jo Johnson

Title: Surviving Me

Author: Jo Johnson

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Release date: 14th Nov 2019

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.

Purchase Links

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/48660416-surviving-me

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Me-Jo-Johnson/dp/1789650615

My Thoughts

I loved this book but it became a difficult book to read. Not because of the writing style or plot but because I connected with Tom so deeply it made me sob and feel his despair. Only a good book can do that. Tom has his flaws but it became easy to understand how one delay in telling the truth could snowball into the nightmare of depression. This often humorous story unfolds slowly  giving you time to know the characters and care for them. The scenes in the cafe are an in-depth study of personalities and interesting to read but even though Adam and others play a role in this novel, this is predominantly Tom’s story.

It discusses many difficult topics such as fertility, depression, suicide and illness in a sensitive manner which makes it emotional and harrowing in places but it is an important read in a time when male suicide is high. It gave me an insight into the mind as it declines into mental illness and a greater understanding. This was helped by reading the male perspective rather than the usual female protagonist I have read in the past.

 Would I recommend?

Yes, it is an insightful, deep and important novel which left me emotionally drained. Tom’s voice and actions will stay with me for a long time. Have tissues with you and mentally prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster.

Author Biography

Surviving Me - Jo Johnson PHOTO 2

Jo Johnson

I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.

I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.

I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.

Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.

In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.

Social Media Links 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/shrinkingthesmirch/

Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me &  five Surviving Me fridge magnets  (Open INT)*

1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me

5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet

Click here to enter and good luck!

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy to review.

Stay at home if you can and stay safe.

Happy reading!

Love

Katie signature pink

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Today I am pleased to share with you The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable. As some of you may know, I love folklore and fairies so I was instantly intrigued by this book by the title alone. It was inspired by a real oak tree in Curbridge, Oxfordshire where locals and visitors write to and place for offerings for the faerie folk. The idea grabbed my attention and I was eager to discover more about this book.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the copy of The Faerie Tree so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Book Review:The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

The Faerie Tree Cover

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

Title: The Faerie Tree

Author: Jane Cable

Publisher: Matador

Release date: 16th March 2015

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

HOW CAN A MEMORY SO VIVID BE WRONG?
In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of memory, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cables first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Shows Peoples Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

Purchase Link

http://viewbook.at/TheFaerieTree

My Thoughts

The fictional Faerie Tree in this novel holds the story together and the mystery surrounding Robin and Izzie first visit kept my attention throughout. I needed to know what happened and the twists in the plot kept me guessing. Robin and Izzie’s lives go in different directions and the dual time line show how their past relationship and experiences affects the one in their present day. The descriptions of the landscapes, especially Cornwall made me long to be there walking along the beach or through the woodland to give my own letter to the tree.

The use of folklore and magic is subtle and cleverly woven into the plot so if you are expecting it to be full of faeries scurrying through the countryside weaving magic then you will be disappointed, but you will not be if you are wanting an emotional read about relationships in all it’s forms – first love, marriage, friends and the bond between mother and daughter. It discusses several difficult topics, such as grief and mental health issues, and false memories in a sensitive, unique way and leaves you questioning your own memories and how they may deviate from the truth.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a unusual gentle romance with depth and mystery. All the characters and their flaws will stay with me for a long time.

Author Biography

The Faerie Tree - Jane Cable 2019

Jane Cable

Jane Cable writes romantic fiction with the over-riding theme that the past is never dead. She published her first two books independently (the multi award winning The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree) and is now signed by Sapere Books. Two years ago she moved to Cornwall to concentrate on her writing full time, but struggles a little in such a beautiful location. Luckily she’s discovered the joys of the plot walk.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @JaneCable
Facebook: Jane Cable, Author (https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/ )

Giveaway to Win PB copies of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House (UK Only)*

I am excited to share with you the chance to win a copy of The Faerie Tree and The Cheesemaker’s House.

Click here to enter.

Good luck!

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

*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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson

I am very excited to be part of this blog tour for The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson; not only because I love the cover but also because I had the pleasure of meeting her last year and have been looking forward to reading her work ever since. This is her first paranormal romance and I hope it will not be her last.

Book review: The Devil’s Bride by Emma S. Jackson

The Devil's Bride cover

The Devil’s Bride

Title: The Devil’s Bride

Author: Emma S. Jackson

Publisher: DarkStroke

Genre: Paranormal romance

Release date: 6th February 2020

Blurb:

No one goes near Edburton Manor – not since the night in 1668, when demons rose from the ground to drag Lord Bookham’s new bride to a fiery death. Or so the locals say.

That’s what makes it the perfect hideout for the gang of highwaymen Jamie Lorde runs with.

Ghost stories have never frightened her. The living are a far more dangerous prospect, particularly to a woman in disguise as a man. A woman who can see spirits in a time when witches are hanged and who is working hard to gain the trust of the most ruthless, vicious man she has ever known because she intends to ruin and kill him.

But when the gang discovers Matthew, Lord Bookham’s illegitimate brother, who has been trapped by a curse at the Manor ever since the doomed wedding, all Jamie’s carefully laid plans are sent spiralling out of control.

My Thoughts

If I saw this book on a shelf in a store, the striking cover would have drawn me in with its spooky design and I am happy to say it fits the novel perfectly. From the start I found myself immersed in the story by the atmospheric descriptions of the foreboding forest and the haunted house abandoned after the legendary wedding with its demonic guests. Once I met the protagonist, Jamie Lorde I could not stop reading until I knew her story and the outcome of the Highwaymen’s quest. Yes, it was one of those books I stayed up past midnight to read in one sitting. Jamie has a strength, intelligence and courage I admire and is memorable as are the other characters in the book. They all have depth which adds to the richness of the story and they all have secrets which adds to the thrill. The mix of paranormal and historical fiction gives it a delicious Gothic feel and has just the right balance of romance. The constant threat the others in her gang will discover her true sex or her psychic ability adds tension to an already unnerving set of events and the unexpected twists kept me on edge until the satisfying conclusion.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it may only be February but I know this will one of my favourite reads of the year. It made me feel excited about reading and I am pleased to have a copy on my forever shelf to reread in the future. It is everything I want in a paranormal novel and much more. I am looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

Author Biography

Emma Jackson

Author Emma S. Jackson

Emma Jackson is the best-selling author of A MISTLETOE MIRACLE, published by Orion Dash. A devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old, she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association on their New Writers’ Scheme at the beginning of 2019, determined to focus on her writing. Her debut novel was published in November 2019. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE is her second novel, published by DarkStroke as Emma S Jackson. She hopes to continue working across sub-genres of romance, as she believes variety is the spice of life.

You can follow Emma on

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESJackson1

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

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

Website www.esjackson.co.uk

Thank you Emma Jackson for an advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy Reading!

Love

Book Review: Captive by Madeline Dyer

Following on from my last blog with Madeline Dyer I am pleased to share my review for her latest book, Captive.

Book Review for Captive by Madeline Dyer

Captive cover

Captive

Title: Captive

Author: Madeline Dyer

Genre: Biography, poetry

Publisher: Ineja Press

Release Date: 14th Jan 2020

Blurb

I just want to get better and see the stars and believe in hope again.’

Captive, Madeline Dyer’s first poetry collection, is based on the therapy writings she produced when she was experiencing psychosis and OCD due to Autoimmune Basal Ganglia Encephalitis, a rare type of brain inflammation caused by the immune system attacking the brain. While her communication skills and cognitive abilities diminished due to the effects of the inflammation, she was able to share her thoughts and emotions via the written word, a process that gave her great comfort when she otherwise felt possessed.

Captive provides readers with a glimpse of her tormented mind during this dark time of loneliness, loss, and fear.

My Thoughts

A few years ago I was diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis, which is another rare form of inflammation in the brain, and also having problems with my basal ganglia I was intrigued by the blurb to read someone else’s experience of a neurological disease. Reading Madeline’s poems made me appreciate how lucky I was in experiencing mainly physical symptoms. They are raw, honest  and haunting giving an insight into the terrifying world of OCD and psychosis. The panic, fear and confusion comes through with the imagery she uses and I feel privileged to have read them. I wanted to reach into the book and give her a hug and tell her she will get through it. Mental health is rarely discussed at the level it should and as an outsider it is hard to understand how it feels. These poems opened my eyes in a similar way Still Alice by Lisa Genova did for early dementia. It makes me see things differently and have given me a greater awareness and compassion for these conditions.

Would I recommend?

Yes, read them. They are emotional and sometimes hard to read but you will come out of the book a different person which is a sign of a good book and in this case an important collection of poems to raise awareness of mental health.

Author Biography

Madeline Dyer photo

Madeline Dyer

Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and holds a BA honours degree in English from the University of Exeter. She has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged.

Social Media links:

 

Thank you Madeline Dyer for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Do you have any poems that touched you and changed the way you see the world? Let me know in the comments below.

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: Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield

Several Advent calendar windows have been opened and I have already eaten the chocolate oranges I had put away for Christmas day. I haven’t written my Christmas cards and I am not organised for the big day which fits nicely with today’s book, Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield. Scroll down to see my review for a novel about searching for the perfect Christmas.

Book Review: Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield

ECFront

Eve’s Christmas

Blurb

Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.

But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

US – https://www.amazon.com/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

My Thoughts

Eve is determined to have a perfect Christmas when her husband’s best friend announces she is coming for twelve days. Project Christmas begins with detailed planners,umpteen magazines promising the method to achieve the ideal one. From experience, I know it is easy to get swept up with the tips, ideas and dreams leading to exhaustion and disappointment when attempts at cooking resemble something from the disaster photos on Great British Bake Off Extra Slice rather than the winning showpiece. I could relate to Eve’s ambition and she does not hold back. Retail therapy is taken to its limits which made me gulp and her passion can only be admired as she creates complex recipes designed to impress. Her enthusiasm for the preparation was exhausting to read, never mind do and I was relieved to have a more relaxed approach nowadays. It highlights the juggle between family life, work, chores and relationships in the festive period. Once I met Abby, I wanted to shake Eve to get a grip and yell at her husband to open his eyes about the truth of his best friend. It is an enjoyable and entertaining read as well as a reminder to enjoy the time of year with people you love rather than chasing the illusion.

Author Biography

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Social Media Links

@juliebeewriter

www.Juliebutterfield.co.uk

Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Eve’s Christmas (UK Only)

Click here to enter this giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this book blitz and allowing me to read an advanced copy to give an honest and unbiased review.

Love

*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: 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: Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl

December is only days away; are you ready? I am eager to get our decorations up and celebrate the season thanks to the pile of festive novels I have read recently. Today’s book, Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl  has a festive theme but is different to my expectations. Read on to find out more.

Book Review: Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl

Daisys Cover

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop

Title: Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop

Author: Hannah Pearl

Genre: Festive Romance, Woman’s fiction

Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Release Date: 29th October 2019

Blurb

Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Step into Romantic Daze …

Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop – because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one. And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting.

The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent. But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?

Buying Links:

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2kdCgNf
Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2lNhpR0
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2kdtGOu
Nook: https://bit.ly/2jUJghL

My Thoughts

I thought I knew what I was about to read when I read the blurb but I was wrong. It is an entertaining  novel based around Daisy’s shop, Romantic Daze, in the run up to Christmas like I expected but it is also so much more. An unexpected twist sends the usual romance of “will the main characters get together?” into a different direction adding  thrill, suspense and adventure into the mix making this a quirky book to remember.

Daisy’s shop is adorable and I love the idea of a unique shop sourcing specialised and bespoke gifts to show someone you care. The description brings it alive and I long to visit. Daisy is relatable but the characters around her to steal the show especially Lily and Ben. Lily is vibrant, fun and adventurous and in contrast to Daisy’s shop of romance hers sells sexy lingerie and sex toys. They complement each other well.  Ben, Daisy’s brother,  is a likeable genius whose quirks and outlook suggests he is on the autistic spectrum. As the plot unfolds he becomes more than a side character and I enjoyed that he was integral to the story.

It is a tale about family, romance, complex reactions to grief and, of course, Christmas.

Would I recommend?

Yes. I have previously read Hannah Pearl’s debut novel It’s My Birthday and I was impressed by her writing style. This book is a refreshing Christmas read and is perfect for curling up under the duvet with a hot chocolate.

Author Biography

Hannah Pearl Author Photo

Hannah Pearl

  

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.

She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.

In 2015 she was struck down by labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.

Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Blog – dizzygirlwrites.wordpress.com 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HannahPearl_1

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

Happy reading!

Love

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