Saturday, 25 April 2015

Books Read: Nicola Doherty - Girls on Tour

Four girls. One year. 

Five fabulous destinations. 

Poppy is bound for Paris, the City of Love. Could this be her chance to end her epic dry spell? 

Lily is en route to her cousin's wedding in LA, where she's willing to break a few rules to land her dream role. 

Maggie can't wait for her romantic ski holiday in Meribel - until it goes seriously off-piste. 

Rachel packs for a glamorous Roman holiday, but a blast from the past is about to sabotage la dolce vita. 

The girls get together and fly to Manhattan. But someone's been hiding a big secret in the Big Apple... 

Hilarious, romantic and unputdownable, Girls on Tour is an irresistible series of interlinked stories about four ordinary girls who have extraordinary fun in faraway places. Follow them in an unforgettable year that includes breaking up, making up, new jobs and some big surprises...

Amazon  links: Kindle or Paperback

Books Read & Giveaway: Lucinda Riley - The Seven Sisters

Maia D'Aplièse and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, 'Atlantis' - a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Maia and her sisters were all adopted by him as babies and, discovering he has already been buried at sea, each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage - a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of where her story began . . .

Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Epoque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio's father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is working on a statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski's studio and in the heady, vibrant cafés of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

The Seven Sisters is a sweeping epic tale of love and loss - the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven books, based on the legends of the Seven Sisters star constellation - Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Friday, 24 April 2015

Guest Book Review: Samantha Tonge - Game of Scones

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones – with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niklaus by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niklaus and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project: The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…

Amazon link: Kindle

Author Interview: Samantha Tonge

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Samantha Tonge back to the blog to tell us a little bit about her latest book Game of Scones which was published on Monday.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel Game of Scones?
Executive Pippa and her friend of old, fisherman Niko, fight to save quaint village, Taxos, from tourist-tastic ruin. An added complication is that the brutal development plans are the work of Pippa’s ambitious boyfriend Henrik. Pippa is torn between respect for his business sense and a nostalgic longing to save the picturesque destination of her childhood holidays. She is also torn between the man she thought she loved and romantic feelings that unexpectedly spring up elsewhere...

Where did the idea come from to write about setting up a tea shop on a Greek island?
Often I think up a book title before the plot! I felt a book called Game of Scones just had to be written and following on from that, one about an afternoon tea shop – it has always been my fantasy to run such an establishment. I felt the book needed to be set in the summer, and in my opinion the Greek islands are the ideal romantic setting for a deliciously warm beach read.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Guest Post: The Writer Reads by Emma Kavanagh

Today I'm happy to welcome Emma Kavanagh to the blog as part of the blog tour for her second book Hidden which is published today and I'll be reviewing shortly.  

I have often written about books I have loved. This is a wide and frequently shifting list. But then, in March of 2015, Terry Pratchett passed away. I got the news through Twitter - the same way I get a lot of my news - and for a moment, everything went still. I never met Terry Pratchett, I didn’t know him as a person. I saw him at the Hay Literary Festival once, and the experience is one that will never leave me. Yet, despite our complete and utter lack of a personal connection, Terry Pratchett has unarguably helped shape my life. 

So, I’m going to talk to you about books I love. The ones that have become so much part of my existence that I often forget about them when asked to talk about “good books”. Because these books are not simply good books. They are books that have held my hand in the darkest periods of my life, they are books that have made me who I am. 

  • Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen): I don’t read this book any more. I float along the words as I have read them so many times that the act of reading is no longer necessary. Elizabeth Bennett - in my estimation the greatest character ever written - springs off the page as soon as I open the book, and sits down next to me, muttering about the ridiculousness that surrounds her. I know what is going to happen. EVERYONE knows what is going to happen. Yet every time I read it, my heart stops, just in case this time it is different. 

Guest Book Review: Iona Grey - Letters to the Lost

Reviewed by Emma Crowley  

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London

… Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five.

...He promised to love her forever 

Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan's words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?

Now forever is finally running out. 

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Books Read: Fiona Harper - The Doris Day Vintage Film Club

Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films at her grandmother’s house and yearned to live in a world like the one on the screen – sunny, colourful and where happy endings with chiselled leading men were guaranteed. But recently Claire’s opportunities for a little ‘pillow talk’ have been thin on the ground. 

Until she meets mysterious Dominic. Nic is full of secrets but their connection is instant. Could he help Claire finding the Hollywood ending she’s been searching for? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… 

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Guest Book Review: Laura Madeleine - the Confectioner's Tale

Reviewed by Sarah Brew

At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air. 

But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins. 

Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback