Friday, 24 October 2014

Books Read: Liesel Schmidt - Coming Home to You

When one door closes…

Zoë and her fiancé Paul had everything ahead of them. So when Paul dies suddenly, Zoë doesn’t recognise the life she’s left with. Helping a friend by housesitting for a stranger is the last thing she wants to do – but she can’t deny that she needs time away from the memories which crowd her flat. So, collecting the keys, Zoë lets herself into her temporary home.

…another one opens.

Surrounded by a stranger’s belongings – his toothbrush, his favourite records, the pictures on his walls – Zoë begins to build a picture of the flat’s owner, Neil, who is away in the military. Driven by a need to know more, Zoë begins writing to Neil and finds herself feeling an unlikely connection with him. But while some people are destined to share our lives forever, others are sent simply to help us on the way. And for Zoë, a new life is just beginning…

Amazon links: Kindle

Guest Book Review: Victoria Connelly - The Secret of You

Reviewed by Tanya Phillips

Journalist Anna McCall has never understood people who collect things so, when she’s asked to interview local collector and eccentric, William Kitson, she isn’t exactly looking forward to the experience. 

But she soon falls under the charm of Fox Hill Manor as well as its owner, even though she thinks there’s something very strange about the collection there. What exactly is William hiding in the unused wing of the manor house? And is it a story Anna could sell?  

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Blogiversary Giveaway #8: Win a copy of Coming Home to You eBook by Liesel Schmidt

The next blogiversary prize has been very kindly donated by Sara at Carina UK and it's for a copy of Liesel Schmidt's debut eBook Coming Home to You.  My review is coming later this evening once I've written it up...  

When one door closes…

Zoë and her fiancé Paul had everything ahead of them. So when Paul dies suddenly, Zoë doesn’t recognise the life she’s left with. Helping a friend by housesitting for a stranger is the last thing she wants to do – but she can’t deny that she needs time away from the memories which crowd her flat. So, collecting the keys, Zoë lets herself into her temporary home.…another one opens.

Blogiversary Giveaway #7: Win a signed copy of Coleen Nolan's memoir No Regrets

The first of today's blogiversary prizes, a signed copy of Coleen Nolan's memoir No Regrets, was kindly donated to me by one of my closest friends Nickie, co-owner of online bingo site Tidy Bingo.


No Regrets is Coleen Nolan's gripping new memoir about love and heartbreak.

As a member of the Nolan sisters, Coleen Nolan was born into the spotlight and has stayed there ever since. She has now become one of the nation's favourite TV presenters and is used to newspapers and magazines claiming to have the inside story of her private life. In No Regrets Coleen finally reveals the truth of what really happened during the last few rollercoaster years, truly the worst of her life.

Guest Post: DARK TIDES and Your Free Turnip Carving Guide! by Chris Ewan

Today I have something a little different for you as I welcome Chris Ewan to the blog to kick off his Dark Tides blog tour.

DARK TIDES, my latest novel, is a Hop-tu-naa thriller. For those who don’t already know, Hop-tu-naa (pronounced Hop Chew Nay) is the Isle of Man’s equivalent of Halloween. Originally a festival celebrating the Celtic new year (not unlike Hogmanay in Scotland), Hop-tu-naa is celebrated every 31st October. In recent years, the differences between Hop-tu-naa and the more familiar Halloween have begun to blur, with a kind of cross pollination of customs taking place, but there are still some key distinctions.

For instance, on the Isle of Man, kids don’t go trick or treating. Instead, they dress up in costumes and perform “nonsense” songs in return for sweets or coins. The nonsense songs vary across the island, with certain songs being preferred in particular towns and villages, but the most popular song – and the one to feature in DARK TIDES – is called Jinny the Witch, and it contains some pretty bizarre, and quite dark, lyrics. Another key difference between Hop-tu-naa and Halloween is that traditionally, people on the Isle of Man carve turnip lanterns instead of pumpkins. Want to know how to carve your own turnip lantern? Well, you’re in luck. Here’s my quick and easy guide.

Step 1: Make sure you have a first aid kit to hand because you’ll probably need one.

Step 2: Brush up on your Manx Gaelic. a turnip on the island is known as a “moot”.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Blogiversary Giveaway #6: Win a signed copy of The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson

You might notice a bit of a theme brewing, excuse the pun, with today's blogiversary giveaways as next up I'm offering one follower the chance to win a copy of Milly Johnson's latest novel The Teashop on the Corner

After buying a copy of the book I contacted Milly asking whether she had any signed bookplates available and she very kindly sent me a couple, one of which I have inserted this book.


Life is full of second chances...if only you keep your heart open for them. 

Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman's Teashop on the Corner, a place where three people will find a friend to lean on.

Blogiversary Giveaway #5: Win a copy of The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene

Last week I had the chance to have a teatime chat with Vanessa Greene as part of her blog tour for her latest novel The Seafront Tea Rooms which can be read here

And thanks to Vanessa's publishers I was also given the opportunity to give away a copy of The Seafront Tea Rooms as part of my blogiversary celebrations this week.  
The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they've been searching for.

Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain's best tea rooms. She knows she's found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the 'Seafront', convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Books Read: Zana Bell - Fool's Gold

Love - is it worth its weight in gold?

It's 1866 and the gold rush is on. Left to fend for herself in the wilds of New Zealand's west coast, Lady Guinevere Stanhope is determined to do whatever it takes to rescue her ancestral home and restore her father's good name.


Forced out of his native Ireland, Quinn O'Donnell dreams of striking gold. His fiercely held prejudices make him loath to help any English person, let alone a lady as haughty and obstinate as Guinevere. But when a flash flood hits, Quinn is compelled to rescue her, and their paths become entwined in this uncharted new world.


Though a most inconvenient attraction forms between them, both remain determined to pursue their dreams, whatever the cost.


Will they realise in time that all that glitters is not gold?


Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Blogiversary Giveaway #4: Win a copy of Fool's Gold by Zana Bell

I had originally planned to combine this next giveaway with my review for Fool's Gold but I'm a little behind and only finished reading it last night so have not had a chance to write it up yet... hopefully it will be uploaded separately later this evening. 

When I was asked whether I would like to review Fool's Gold I was sent both a physical copy of the book as well as an eBook by the lovely Liz at Choc Lit so as you've guessed I'm offering the paperback copy as a blogiversary prize.


Love - is it worth its weight in gold?

It's 1866 and the gold rush is on. Left to fend for herself in the wilds of New Zealand's west coast, Lady Guinevere Stanhope is determined to do whatever it takes to rescue her ancestral home and restore her father's good name.

Guest Review: Amy Shearn - The Mermaid of Brooklyn

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

Jenny Lipkin, former up-and-coming magazine editor and current stressed-out mother of two, is struggling. With two demanding children, she is adjusting to life as an average mother, drinking coffee in the playground and complaining about breastfeeding, sleepless nights and how to get the buggy on the subway.

And then, one summer evening, her husband Harry goes out to buy cigarettes and doesn’t return.


Jenny reaches breaking point. She is contemplating ending it all, but when she falls off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River, she finds a surprising ally – and a magical way to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood and relationships. But confronting her inner demons is no easy task . . . 


Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Blogiversary Giveaway #3: Win a Saving Grace scented candle

I was recently offered the opportunity to run a giveaway to celebrate the publication of Jane Green's latest novel Saving Grace which I agreed with the publicist to tie-in with my blogiversary celebrations.

A perfect stranger wants her perfect life.

Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State.

Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home - and her marriage - by this ambitious younger woman.

Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Blogiversary Giveaway #2: Win a copy of Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy

The second of today's blogiversary giveaways is for a copy of Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy which was one of my favourite books read this Summer so I have bought a copy for someone else to hopefully fall in love with it too.


One beautiful dress is the key to three brave women’s destinies…

France 1919: Jessie is celebrating the last heady days of her honeymoon. But when her husband suddenly disappears she finds herself bereft. Until a chance encounter thrusts her into the centre of the intoxicating world of Parisian high life.

Guest Book Review: Rachel Hore - A Week in Paris

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

The streets of Paris hide a dark past...

September, 1937. Kitty Travers enrols at the Conservatoire on the banks of the Seine to pursue her dream of becoming a concert pianist. But then war breaks out and the city of light falls into shadow. 

Nearly twenty-five years later, Fay Knox, a talented young violinist, visits Paris on tour with her orchestra. She barely knows the city, so why does it feel so familiar? Soon touches of memory become something stronger, and she realises her connection with these streets runs deeper than she ever expected. 

As Fay traces the past, with only an address in an old rucksack to help her, she discovers dark secrets hidden years ago, secrets that cause her to question who she is and where she belongs...A compelling story of war, secrets, family and enduring love.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Blogiversary Giveaway #1: Win a Book Tote Bag

It's hard to believe that it was 3 years ago today that my friend suggested that I set up this book blog... where has that time gone?!

When I set the blog up I never in my wildest dreams expected to receive the support that I have done, I honestly only expected a few friends and family to stop by and certainly never imagined I'd currently have almost 236,000 page views to date.  It's truly overwhelming the support I have received from everyone... publishers, authors but most especially from all my fellow bookworms and makes all the time and effort it takes to post worthwhile.
As a way of saying thank you I will be running a series of giveaways between now and the end of the month.

There's a wide variety of prizes that can be won ranging from book quote keyrings and bookmarks to books and tote bags, the photo below are items I've bought or received from publishers to give away that I will be posting out (these will be staggered out throughout the month as can't afford to post all in one go) plus there are also some additional prizes that have been donated by publishers and authors that will be issued direct by them.


Monday, 20 October 2014

Guest Book Review: Mary Balogh - Only Enchanting

Reviewed by Sarah Brew

Flavian was devastated by his fiancée's desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back - and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of the nearest young woman.

Agnes Keeping has never been in love-and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.

When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she's determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love...

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback