Hello, Sunshines! Can you believe that we are in December??? What??? How did that happen?? how on earth can we be this close to the end of the year and much, much worse; so near….gulp! Christmas! As you may have guessed, I am not the stereotypical Christmas nut, It far too commercialised and as I get older it just doesn’t feel like Christmas anymore, surely that can’t be just me who thinks it, but one thing I do love about this time of year has to be all the lovely festive books and so far there have been some amazing ones.
Anyway, what has been happening here at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals towers? Not a lot, to be honest, just plodding along trying to make a dent in the huge mountain of books which I’ve read and have yet to write reviews for.
I am as usual late to post my monthly round-up, and to say I have been a very bad book blogger this month, it’s been a weird few weeks, schedules have been thrown out of the window and I have missed so many blog tour days and reviews this month…apologies! (I am hoping to have all reviews and blog tours I didn’t post on this blog this month, fingers crossed).
I am hoping to do a lot better in the new year, surely 2021 can’t be as weird as this one?
Before all of that, I want to say a huge thank you to every single book blogger who has liked and shared my blog posts over the past month, You are all so amazing, thank you!!😘
I hope everyone will go and show these amazing bloggers some blog love, you can find all who I follow on my Twitter timeline as I do share their posts a lot….because they are all amazing!
Reviewed This Month
Blog Tours/ Book Blast’s
Harmony’s Embrace by Amber Daulton
Series: Deerbourne Inn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: November 16th, 2020
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense
Heat Rating: 3 Flames
Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.
Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.
When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?
Loved by the Lyon by Collette Cameron
Series: The Lyon’s Den Connected World Seres
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Enter the world of the most notorious gambling den in London, where matches are made… unusually. Welcome to the world of THE LYON’S DEN: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, where the underground of Regency London thrives… and loves.
It’s amazing how quickly a marriage of convenience can become so very complicated…
Kingston Barclay cannot inherit the dukedom soon enough. With siblings to support and a nearly bankrupt estate, an opportune marriage is his last hope. But his best-laid plans are upended when he discovers his best friend’s lovely sister sneaking around The Lyon’s Den. His immediate attraction to her would make her a most inconvenient bride, given his circumstances. Convincing his heart of that, however, is another matter entirely…
The last thing Vanessa Becket needs is another man in her life. Between her conniving stepbrother, a parade of fortune hunters, and the investigator who failed to reclaim her stolen jewels, she’s had enough. But when she finds herself in a notorious gaming hell, she discovers something far more valuable than missing gems. A temporary arranged marriage to Kingston could solve all her problems. If she manages to not fall for him in the process, that is…
It was supposed to be a simple arrangement. But given their histories–and the secrets Kingston is keeping–the road to happily ever after will surely be anything but simple.
Book of The Month
And The Stars Shine Down by Melinda Hammond
Genre: Romance Novella / Pages: 50 / Format: Ebook
This is Laura Grantham’s big chance, reporting on the first flight of a Spitfire that was lost for 70 years. But the story that unfolds is one Laura can never write. Who would ever believe her?
A bitter-sweet short story of two people who should have been separated by a lifetime….
Sensuality rating: sweet romance
Hottie of the Month 😉
There you have it, a pretty full November has done and dusted, so as we head towards Christmas and a whole new year, I will wish you all a very Merry Christmas and to bring a little magic to your day here’s this month’s hottie 😉
Stay well and safe, keep reading and I will see you all soon.
Moonlight Over Studland Bay by Della Galton | #BlogTour #MoonlightOverStudlandBay #Review #BookExcerpt #rararesources #BoldwoodBlogger |
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for; Moonlight Over Studland Bay by Della Galton. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, plus I have an exclusive excerpt which I hope you will love. Firstly I want to say thank you to Boldwood Books for the Invite to this tour, and to Rachel and Rachel’s Random Resources for the complimentary copy. Now, lets have a look at this book!
About the Book
Moonlight Over Studland Bay by Della Galton.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Boldwood Books
A heartwarming read of family, friendship and growing up
‘Utterly uplifting, pure escapism’ Trisha Ashley, bestselling author
Animal loving Samantha Jones is on a mission to ‘live the dream’.
When best friend Abby has a beautiful baby boy Sam’s priorities change and she realises she wants more from her life
Uninspired with her dull day job Sam plans to expand Purbeck Pooches, her seaside pet sitting business into a full-time career and embarks on a mission to find her perfect man.
Sam soon hits trouble. Her boss accuses her of moonlighting. The perfect man is frustratingly elusive and her parents make a shock revelation.
The odds are stacking up against her but Sam finds that sometimes when you reach for the moon, you get a handful of glittering stars thrown in for free.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2YgzrLZ
Moonlight Over Studland Bay is in no other words but pure joy wrapped up in a big comforting bow, it’s a like being hugged. This is all about the journey to find happiness and meaning in life, it fills the heart with happiness, this is all about finding that much sought after peace and happiness something which so many people can relate to.
I really liked Sam, she is the sort of character that you just know you would be good friends with. She is a charming, warm, considerate, loving, passionate and inspiring young woman whom you just can’t help but like, she has been plodding along in her job and then suddenly she realises that there is more to life then what she is living now, she has dreams and hopes and she is determined that she is going to make a career out of her beloved pet sitting business; ‘Purbeck Pooches’ plus now is the time to find her the man of her dreams. But as we all know well-laid plans never go off without a hitch, with family secrets raising their ugly heads, an agitated boss and even worse Mr Right…well we as of yet need to find him!
How many of us are stuck in a bit of rut looking for something, wanting a change in life, looking for the thing that makes us glow with happiness? That is Sam – and I know that is thousands of women out there – the difference is Sam takes the chance to make her dreams become reality, to get that little more from life, she makes a plan and she soon puts her plan to action. True things don’t go exactly as expected but if there is one thing that this book tells us and that is to grasp life and take a leap of faith.
This is such an easy to read book, light-hearted, emotional, cheerful, there is pure magic circulating around Studland Bay. I love that this is all about Sam and her journey, the romance which turns up rather unexpectedly is sweet and loving, but it didn’t overshadow the overall loveliness of the story, and what a truly magic, uplifting and heart-warming story it is.
Moonlight Over Studland Bay is a genuinely lovely and captivating story, which is full of laughter, romance and real emotion. I’ve not read any of Della’s work before, but she has charmed me completely with her eloquent writing and will definitely be reading more of her books.
Sam had to pass the desks of the other three structural engineers on the way to her own workstation. None of them were in. They must all have gone straight out to jobs. Rex’s PA, Elannah Lewis, who was dark and petite with huge geek-girl glasses and was super mature for her twenty-seven years, had the desk just across the way from Sam’s and she glanced up as Sam arrived.
Sam went over to talk to her. ‘What sort of mood is he in?’
Elannah widened her eyes so they looked even bigger behind the glasses, sucked in her cheeks and whistled softly. ‘Not great… But you know what he’s like. He’ll bang on for a bit about you letting him down and the good name of the company, blah blah blah, and then he’ll offer you a Murray Mint and forgive you. He never loses his rag. But you did drop him in it.’ She leaned forwards. ‘Where were you anyway?’
‘I was with Abby. She had the baby yesterday.’
‘Oh wow, really – what did she have?’ Elannah was a sucker for babies and all things cute. There was a picture of a fluffy cat in a stripy hat pinned on the noticeboard over her desk.
‘Boy. Seven pounds.’
‘Are they OK?’
‘Yes, they’re doing great. Fingers crossed, they’re coming home today. I’m picking them up after work. They let them out early these days.’ She’d got the impression when she’d gone back to visit last night that the nurses would be glad to see the back of Abby. Maybe that was unfair, but she was a handful at the best of times and Sam suspected she’d be treating her hospital stay like a visit to a hotel, and expecting on tap room service thrown in.
She yawned and covered her mouth. ‘Sorry… I haven’t had much sleep the last couple of days.’ She was going to have even less from now on, much as she was looking forward to having Abby and baby Jack at Beach Cottage for the foreseeable future.
‘Shall I go in?’ It was five to nine.
‘I’ll tell him you’re here.’ Elannah picked up the phone on her desk.
There was no need for her to do this, due to the fact there was only a glass partition between Rex’s office and the main area where Elannah’s desk was – if he looked up he would see her – but Rex was a man of protocol. He liked things to be done properly. He was only forty-two, but he acted like a man a decade older. He’d inherited Fielding’s from his father when he was in his early thirties and he’d taken the responsibility very seriously.
‘Our reputation is so concrete you can build on it.’ Rex was fond of trotting out this line at regular intervals and it was also part of the company’s branding, as was the line, ‘Our word is our bond.’
‘You can go in,’ Elannah said, hanging up after the briefest of conversations with Rex and crossing her fingers surreptitiously. ‘Good luck.’
Sam stepped into the little office, which smelled of old books and coffee and still had battleship-grey metal filing cabinets that looked as though they had been made at the end of the war. On the wall hung a portrait of an unsmiling man, Mr Fielding senior, who had started the company.
About the Author
Della Galton is the author of 15 books, including Ice and a Slice. She writes short stories, teaches writing groups and is Agony Aunt for Writers Forum Magazine. She lives in Dorset. Della’s new fiction series launched with Sunshine Over Bluebell Cliff in May 2020.
Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/DellaGaltonNewsletter
Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews | #BlogTour #GentlemanJim #Review #AustenProseBlogTours | @MimiMatthewsEsq @AustenProse
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the wonderful blog tour for the utterly gorgeous; Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this book with your all, firstly I want to say thank you to Laurel Anne for the invite to this tour. Now, lets have a look at this book.
Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews
Genre: Regency, Historical Romance
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
She Couldn’t Forget…
Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nick is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nick escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nick never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.
He Wouldn’t Forgive…
After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful–and entirely convinced he’s someone else.
As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?
I have been an avid reader of Mimi Matthews work for a long time now, I never turn down the chance to read one of her books, and I have been hooked by each and everyone since the very first. I am so used to her classically Victorian romances, that Gentleman Jim was a little shock to the system, it’s so different to what we are used to, especially as it is a Regency and not my beloved Victorian, but hey, that’s OK, I can cope with that and I certainly did more than cope with this beauty, I completely fell in love with it.
Set during the Regency era, Gentleman Jim tells the heart-warming story of finding love in the most unexpected places, Maggie is a landowners daughter raised to make a good marriage, her life has been set out for her and she is expected to marry a man of influence. But, our Maggie’s heart has already been stolen by Nicholas, a low born groom; son of a maid and one notorious highwayman who goes by the name; Gentleman Jim – a character who for me stole the whole book – But life goes wrong and Nicholas is soon having to flee.
Years later a mysterious man by the name of St.Claire turns up wanting revenge, he is an enigma, a complex individual with secrets and more intrigues, as soon as Maggie sets eyes on him she knows that there is something about this man, she knows him, is he really who he claims to be or is there something more?
This book is all about love, it’s about finding true love and happiness, with two young sweethearts who are torn apart by social standing, but entwined within is the classic Mimi Matthews love story which is full of secrets, lies, revenge, mystery, intrigue and sadness.
As much as I loved this book, I will be honest and say I would have loved to actually ‘meet’ the notorious highwayman; Gentleman Jim, I did feel as though something was missing by not actually seeing the rogue, I was fascinated by him, I was hooked with his exploits and those whispers and rumours, the stories about him made him all the more compelling to me, I have to admit I did become a little addicted to this shadowy figure lurking in the back of the story but never shows his face – but that’s me, I d love a bad boy, highwayman!
Gentleman Jim is a beautiful, captivating, intriguing and wonderfully romantic story, all about love and loss, about finding happiness and it is a story that will take you on a richly textured journey and settle upon your heart. As always with Mimi Matthews she will cast a spell around you with her wondrous words.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House.
Blog Tour Schedule
Join the virtual blog tour of GENTLEMAN JIM; A TALE OF ROMANCE AND REVENGE, Mimi Matthews’s highly acclaimed new historical romance novel, November 9 through December 6, 2020. Forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, interviews, spotlights, or reviews of this new Regency-era novel set in Somerset, England.
Nov 13 Lu’s Reviews (Review)
Nov 14 The Green Mockingbird(Review)
Nov 19 Laura’s Reviews (Review)
Nov 21 Gwendalyn’s Books (Excerpt)
Nov 24 Let Them Read Books (Interview)
Nov 27 Among the Reads (Review)
Nov 28 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)
Nov 29 Book Bustle (Review)
Nov 30 Cup of Tea with that Book Please(Review)
Dec 01 Nurse Bookie (Review)
Dec 03 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
Dec 06 The Calico Critic (Excerpt)
Where is Tony Blunt? (Atrocities Series #2) by Joseph Mitcham| #BlogTour #WhereIsTonyBlunt #Review #AtrocitiesSeries #damppebblesblogtours | @MitchamJoseph @damppebbles
Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for the gripping; Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham. I am super excited to share my review of this thrilling book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to, Emma at Damppebbles for the invite to this tour, now let’s have a look at this book.
Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham
‘Where is Tony Blunt? The former Paratrooper, having been taken into the fold of an emerging, ambitious, and savage fundamentalist group, has gone to ground without a trace.
Alex, the former Army communicator, is persuaded to return by John, the ex-Special Forces senior, to help track down the terrorist group that killed their leader and several other comrades – Tony Blunt is their only lead.
Working with multiple agencies, including The Security Service, can Alex and the team locate Blunt and stop him before he executes his masterpiece?’
Well, this was a real blink-and-you-miss-it, thriller which kept me hooked from the onset, with it’s an explosive and twisty plot, intriguing and compelling character’s and hair-raising realism which will keep you up at night.
I hadn’t read the first book in the series, something which I think impeded my understanding of certain characters, even though ‘Where is Tony Blunt’ can be read as a stand-alone, I do think you need to read the series in order. That didn’t impact on my enjoyment of this book, but it did make me feel as though I have missed out on something crucial which may have been carried over from the first book. This has nothing at all to do with the author’s writing, but more to do with the fact that I jumped into this series without reading the first. No change there, then!
There were times when I did feel huge pity for Blunt at times, especially with how he was treated in the military. There are moments as we get to know him and the reason behind why he chose the path he followed, that reveal him to be lonely, distanced human being who has only ever wanted to fit in, instead of a heartless terrorist in which he most certainly became. The author has done an incredible job at creating a character who in certain ways many could be anyone in the street, he has the same self-doubts which many. But, I can guarantee as the story quickly moves forward and more and more is revealed, that tiny pity which grabs you in the beginning soon turns to hate and revulsion, you want to see the evil cretin get what’s coming to him.
Joseph Mitcham is a damn fine author who pulls the reader into his dark and deadly world, I really liked how he described the military slang, he did it in a way very clever way, he incorporated it within the passage you read, which for me allowed me to retain all the information I needed to fully understand each scene.
I really liked the group, and especially their leader; Alex, he wasn’t exactly what you would expect, but I liked him. I liked how the team worked, they didn’t share the same views and they certainly are not at all alike, they are all so different and yet those differences create a strong and diverse team which can handle any situation they are thrown in, I would love to see more from them all again in other books.
I think that this series is going to a really thrilling and mind-blowing ride, one which I can’t wait to read more from.
Overall, an eye-opening thriller, a definite must-read for those who love their faster-paced, edgier reads.
About the Author
Joseph Mitcham served with the British military in elite and technical units for over 16 years. His service not only gave him a thorough tactical and technical understanding of some of techniques and processes employed in his first novel, it also provided him with the opportunity to develop himself, earning a first class honours degree in business leadership by the end of his service.
His debut novel, The Watch List, was published in 2019. The inspiration for writing ‘The Watch List’ was taken from personal experiences from the roles that he has served in and characteristics from some of the people that he has served with. Joseph has written an incredible, yet compellingly credible story that plays out in our world as he sees it today.
Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology| #BlogTour #ChristmasCookiesCozies2020 #Review #damppebblesblogtours | @damppebbles
Hello, Sunshines, We are getting festive on the blog today, as I have the pleasure to be kicking off this amazing blog tour for Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology. This is such a cute and cosy anthology, which I am sure you all will love as much as I do. Firstly, I want to say thank you, Emma, at dampebbles for the invite to this tour, now let’s have a look at this book.
Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology
2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!
Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus
Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak.
Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles
Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town?
S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty
With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event?
Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie
Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies?
Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe
When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters.
Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings
Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too?
Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper
When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list.
Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun
Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race.
With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes.
Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop
When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list.
Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds
First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies. Why? And what’s next?
Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime
What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage. Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?
US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K97KLJ9
UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K97KLJ9
There is so much to love about this Anthology, it has something for everyone to love; from light-hearted cosiness, mystery, fun and good-natured humour to a darker edge feel which comes out of the blue, put together and you have one incredibly happy, heart-warming and ridiculously cheerful selection of stories all with added Cookies and festive cheer, so no matter what your preference you will find something to love in this.
I’ve not read any of the authors featured, so it was a wonderful teat to discover completely new-to-me authors and this is what I love about anthologies you have the opportunity to have a taste of what each author writes and you can go out and find more of the authors you fall in love with.
With 11 very short novella’s each as different as next – a bit like a snowflake each one beautiful and each one completely different – read as many or as few as you wish – you will be spoiled for choice. I love that each of the authors also shares their own Cookie recipe, I am definitely going to be trying one, two, five-oh, hell by Christmas I may have tried them all. 🙂
Christmas Cookie Cozies is such a charming, feel-good and delightful anthology, it’s happiness in the palm of your hand, making you feel all the festive warmth and magic – even a Scrooge-like me feels the Christmassy spirit in the air after reading it.
It’s perfect for curling up in a cosy chair, wrapped in your favourite fluffy jumper or Christmassy PJ’s (whichever floats your boat) and reading well into the night, accompanied by a box of cookies and a hot chocolate, of course!
So if you love Christmas, lounging around, eating cookies while reading about cookies, or if you just need to feel some Christmas cheer (don’t we all at the moment?) then this is the book you really must-have in your collection.
What The World Needs Now – Trees! by Cheryl Rosebush.| #BlogTour #WhatTheWorldNeedsNowTrees #Review #lovebookstours | @lovebooksgroup
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for; What The World Needs Now – Trees! by Cheryl Rosebush. This is a little new for the blog, I haven’t branched out into children’s books before, but this once is just too cute and it has such an important message, I can’t wait to share it with you all. Firstly thank you to Kelly for the invite to this book blitz. Now let’s have a look at the book…
What the World Needs Now – Trees! By Cheryl Rosebush
What the World Needs Now is an environmental children’s book series for ages 4-8 that aims to connect the world’s youngest book lovers to the importance of nature, and our place in it.
Each book in the series follows a friendly animal through its habitat, helping kids learn about one thing the world needs now, be it more trees or bees or less plastic, to maintain a healthy planet.
The series is designed to help parents and educators lay the foundation for future learning on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. But for our littlest kids, the connection starts at a much simpler point: their first job is to fall in love with nature – because you don’t protect what you don’t love.
The books support engaging with our kids on how we can better respect and care for the only planet we have.
I will admit that I haven’t read Children’s books for a while (for about thirty years, to be perfectly honest) but this was a fabulous and cheerful escape from the norm and could be the start of more Children’s books to be featured on the blog.
I was really interested in this one because of what the book is about, the larger picture which this book is trying to share with the world. The fact that our trees are not only hugely important to our very living but the fact that trees are the life’s-blood of any creature’s very existences, a message which children need to hear and this book tells that ever-important message in a perfect way by introducing us to the adorable Jefri, a baby Orangutan.
It makes me so happy that the main character is an Orangutan I do have a real love for orangutans they are incredible creatures, intelligent and loving, the similarities with humans is astounding – if anyone has ever watched ‘The Orangutan Orphanage’ then you will know what I mean – and yet it is human’s which are destroying their homes, their lives. So to have a children’s book telling the story of why we need to look after Tree’s and having an Orangutan tell that story is so beautifully done.
The book is pack with information and is very educational, which is all put across to the reader in a fun way, the illustrations are stunning, I would recommend you read this with your little ones using the paperback (if available) as reading from a Kindle like I did takes a little shine off just how visually appealing and special this little book is.
What the World Need Now: Trees! Is a wonderfully engaging, educational and extremely beautiful book, it’s a delightful quick read which I am sure will give children and their parent’s hours of enjoyment. They will take with them the all-important message of just how vital trees are to our world and how important it is for every person on this earth to recognise that, which will then lead more caring and treating our world with the love and respect it needs.
Note From Cheryl
This is a brand-new adventure for me – completely independent and self-published! And it feels like the culmination of everything I have ever worked on.
When was the last time you bought a book that offset its own carbon emissions and preserved critically threatened rainforests? So proud to say that when you buy “What the World Needs Now: Trees!”, you will be doing just that.
Meet Jefri! He’s the adorable main character in the first book of my series called What the World Needs Now: Trees!. He was created by my talented illustrator Zuzana Svobodova. For me, it was love at first sight!
I knew I wanted my first book in the series to be about trees, and after my World Bank mission to Sumatra in 2019, I knew I wanted my main character to be an orangutan. They literally have everything to lose by tropical forest loss. And since they share so similarities to humans, I thought an orangutan would be the perfect animal to underscore the ways in which we are all connected to trees.
Watch this amazing video to see Jefri come to life!
Awww, isn’t Jefi the cutest??
About the Author
I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, Canada in the cities of Burlington and St. Catharines. Long before the internet and mobile phones (now I’m aging myself!), my childhood was spent in forests and parks, on bike rides, and playing hide and seek until the streetlights came on. My family did comical Griswold-style road trips in wood-paneled station wagons. We spent summers swimming in friends’ backyards. These are my very fortunate roots.
I knew from an early age that my destiny would take me far from Southern Ontario. I graduated high school and moved to Montreal to study international politics at McGill University. The subject fascinated me, but as graduation approached, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with a degree in international politics. I didn’t want to become a lawyer. I didn’t want to become a politician or civil servant. The media industry, on the other hand, intrigued me.
The West Coast of Canada also intrigued me. So, after graduating McGill, I packed up again, moved to Vancouver and took the first media job I could get at a local Top 40 radio station (Z.95.3) in Vancouver. Best job. Great bosses. I learned so much. But after a couple of years there, the winds of change came calling again.
September 11, 2001. In a heartbeat, Z95.3 went from playing Britney Spears to reporting up-to-the-minute information on the local, national and international fallout of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In that moment, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to do something that was needed on a good day, and needed even more on a bad day. I wanted to become a full-time journalist.
So, I packed my bags again (a running theme in my life), and moved to Ottawa, Ontario to do my Masters of Journalism. Another incredible two years culminated in me getting a research internship with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) in London, England. That position helped me land back in Montreal for a second chapter there as local news reporter for the CBC. While I was there, I wore just about every hat you could in CBC’s radio and TV newsrooms. Depending on the day, I was a researcher, producer, reporter, or online writer. I even filled in for the weather reports every once in a while.
Find more about Cheryl here – https://www.cherylrosebush.com/
The Last Blast of The Trumpet by Marie Macpherson| #BlogTour #TheLastBlastOfTheTrumpet #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @Scotscriever @lovebooksgroup
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for; The Last Blast Of The Trumpet by Marie Macpherson. I can’t wait to share this book with you all, it sounds amazing, plus I have an exclusive excerpt which I am sure you will love as much as I do. Firstly, I want to say; thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invite to this tour. Now let’s have a look at this book…
The Last Blast of the Trumpet by Marie Macpherson
Conflict, Chaos and Corruption in Reformation Scotland
He wants to reform Scotland, but his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent him.
Scotland 1559: Fiery reformer John Knox returns to a Scotland on the brink of civil war. Victorious, he feels confident of his place leading the reform until the charismatic young widow, Mary Queen of Scots returns to claim her throne. She challenges his position and initiates a ferocious battle of wills as they strive to win the hearts and minds of the Scots.
But the treachery and jealousy that surrounds them both as they make critical choices in their public and private lives has dangerous consequences that neither of them can imagine.
In this final instalment of the trilogy of the fiery reformer John Knox, Macpherson tells the story of a man and a queen at one of the most critical phases of Scottish history.
Purchase Link – Amazon
‘Macpherson has done for Knox what Hilary Mantel did for Cromwell.’ Scottish Field
‘This richly realized portrait of a complex man in extraordinary times is historical fiction at its finest.’ Linda Porter, author of Crown of Thistles; Katherine the Queen, Royal Renegades; Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II
‘Marie Macpherson has once again given us a cavalcade of flesh and blood characters living the early days of the Scottish Reformation in a complex tale told with economy and wit.’ S.G. MacLean, author of The Seeker Series and Alexander Seaton mysteries
The Wrath of the People
I see the battle shall be great for Satan rageth even to the uttermost
—Letter to Mrs Locke
John Knox, 16th Century
The Parish Church of the Holy Cross of St John the Baptist, Perth, 11 May 1559
‘John Knox has come.’
The words took flight, leaping from lip to lip, echoing round the kirk, ringing to the rafters, and striking terror into his soul. The seething mass of humanity surged forward only to be shoved back by metal-clad men-at-arms. Knox stood rooted to the threshold. The kirk was crammed full: he hadn’t expected such a crowd, nor such a clamour. Panic gripped his throat and crushed his lungs.
An elbow nudged him and a voice muttered in his ear, ‘The folk have tramped from all the airts to show support for their preachers and to await your guidance, master.’
Swallowing deeply, Knox steeled himself to follow in the wake of Sir Patrick Lyndsay’s lean, lofty figure cutting a swathe through the swarm that parted like the Red Sea before Moses. The biblical comparison inspired him. In the midst of the throng, folk stood on tiptoe, craning their necks to catch sight of him; those at the front stretched out their hands. Faces rough-hewn by the unforgiving Scottish climate glowed with expectation and excitement. His ain folk, he thought: humble hinds and herdsmen in fusty sheepskin blankets, ploughmen and draymen in worsted tunics jostled cheek by jowl with masons and skinners in worn leather jerkins and aprons, in stark contrast to the docile, dutiful gentry of his Geneva brethren. More like the Berwick horde before he’d tamed them, Knox reminded himself. He should not fear this unruly flock but seek to win them over.
‘Is thon the mighty preacher everyone’s talking about?’ a voice piped up. ‘He’s gey wee.’
Lyndsay grabbed the offender by the throat. ‘Short in stature he may be, but his voice makes the heart dirl like thunder. Afore I rip out your blasphemous tongue, shift your fat arse and let him pass.’
Cowed, the man slunk away while the rest of the crowd fell silent. Patrick, Master of Lyndsay, a blunt and fierce soldier, was not a man to be crossed.
‘Never fash, Preacher Knox, my men-at-arms will guard the kirk doors lest the priors of Perth dare to thwart your sermon. And I’ll no shrink from turning them loose on the rabble if trouble breaks out.’
About the Author
Scottish writer Marie Macpherson grew up in Musselburgh on the site of the Battle of Pinkie and within sight of Fa’side Castle where tales and legends haunted her imagination. She left the Honest Toun to study Russian at Strathclyde University and spent a year in the former Soviet Union to research her PhD thesis on the 19th century Russian writer Mikhail Lermontov, said to be descended from the Scottish poet and seer, Thomas the Rhymer. Though travelled widely, teaching languages and literature from Madrid to Moscow, she has never lost her enthusiasm for the rich history and culture of her native Scotland.
Writing historical fiction combines her academic’s love of research with a passion for storytelling. Exploring the personal relationships and often hidden motivations of historical characters drives her curiosity.
The Knox Trilogy is a fictional biography of the fiery reformer, John Knox, set during the 16th century Scottish Reformation. Prizes and awards include the Martha Hamilton Prize for Creative Writing from Edinburgh University and Writer of the Year 2011 awarded by Tyne & Esk Writers. She is a member of the Historical Writers’ Association (HWA), the Historical Novel Society (HNS) and the Society of Authors (SoA).
Twitter: Dr Marie Macpherson @Scotscriever
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/TheKnoxTrilogy
Publisher page: Penmore Press: https://www.penmorepress.com/project/marie-macpherson/
A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock | #BookBlast #AHomeforChristmas #HFVBTBlogTours #Giveaway |@MKMcClintock @hfvbt
Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well, I am bringing Christmas early to the blog with my stop on this wonderful book blast for; A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock. This book sounds o good, the cover alone looks super festive and cosy I can’t wait to share it with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the invite to this tour. Now, lets have a look at this book.
A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS BY MK MCCLINTOCK
Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Publisher: Trappers Peak Publishing
Genre: Holiday/Historical Western Romance
Will six strangers find hope, love, and family at Christmas? A collection of three historical western short stories to inspire love and warm the heart.
In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.
Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.
“Lily’s Christmas Wish”
Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?
If you love inspirational romance and heartfelt holidays, then you’ll enjoy this trio of stories as we remember the true meaning of love any time of the year.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN AUDIO!
“Ms. McClintock has a true genius when writing beauty to touch the heart. This holiday treat is a gift any time one needs to remember the true meaning of love!” —InD’tale Magazine
“The cold nips at your face and delicious Christmas cake leaves you wanting more.” —M. Ann Roher, Author of Mattie
About the Author
Award-winning author MK McClintock is devoted to giving her readers books laced with adventure, romance, and a touch of mystery. Her novels and short stories take you from the rugged mountains of Montana to the Victorian British Isles, all with good helpings of daring exploits and endearing love stories. Her works comprise multiple series, including: Montana Gallaghers, British Agents, Crooked Creek, and Whitcomb Springs. She enjoys a peaceful life in the Rocky Mountains where she is writing her next book.
Book Blast Schedule
Monday, November 23 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, November 24 Novels Alive
Thursday, November 26 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Saturday, November 28 The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Sunday, November 29 Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, December 1 Rajiv’s Reviews
Thursday, December 3 Reading is My Remedy
One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a wool blanket from England, a Christmas candle, a tote/shopping bag, and treats!
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on December 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Forbidden To The Highland Laird by Sarah Mallory | #Review #ForbiddenToTheHighlandLaird #LairdsOfArdvarrick | @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well on this sunny Sunday! I am super excited to be sharing my review of the utterly gorgeous (and that’s just the cover) new book; Forbidden to the Highland Laird by Sarah Mallory. I can’t wait to share this book with you all, be prepared for babble! Firstly, I want to say thank you to Sarah for the advance reader copy. Now. lets have a look at this book.
Forbidden to the Highland Laird by Sarah Mallory
Series: Lairds of Ardvarrick
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish Romance
Publisher: Mills & Boon/Harlequin Books
Release Date: 1st December, 2020.
A Scottish beauty
Lures the Laird to sin!
Exchanging elegant society balls for clan wars, Logan Rathmore has returned to Scotland as the new Laird of Ardvarrick. Peace is within grasp when he meets musician Ailsa McInnis from a rival clan.
Her stubborn pride and innocence fascinate him—but with her now under his protection, he must do nothing to abuse her trust.
The fragile peace is dependent on his being able to resist the forbidden temptation she presents…
My, oh my! Oh, my! Oh, my!!
I could go on, but you get the drift of my initial feeling of this magical book…..In other words, I adore every page!
Firstly, I have to mention the cover, isn’t it glorious? The art department has once again smashed it with the detail, that cover model is exactly how I imagined Ailsa as I was reading, the cover Logan is a wee bit of kilter for me, but I can see a lot of the chemistry that shimmers between Logan and Ailsa throughout the story on the cover. It’s beautiful!!
This is the first book in the brand new Lairds of Ardvarrick series, It’s a beautiful, sensual and captivating, emotional and heart-warming. It’s a brilliant start to I can see is going to be a captivating series. Plus, this is also Sarah Mallory’s first Highlander romance, something which in my humble opinion is long overdue and equally well worth the wait, and easily has become one of my favourites.
Hmmm, I think, I say that about every Sarah Mallory book I read. But, I do love her work and this is what happens when you have a top-notch author, who is at the very peak of her game, you fall in love with each and every book. Sarah has really put so much into this book, the research gone into the history of the era, the setting’s right down to the clothes, the music and of course the stunning Castle Ardvarrick – I was completely whisked out of my chair to the atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful Scottish highlands.
I really liked how Logan and Ailsa slowly get to know each other, it’s not; boom straight to bed, their romance blossoms beautifully, each page they become closer and closer. I absolutely love the little things he does to put her at ease, to draw her closer into his light, shows her that there is kindness and that she is valued, proves to her that she can be happy. Dancing in the moonlight, reading her poetry …my goodness I fell under his spell just like Ailsa….except for me, it was way sooner, I was a swooning and melting mess.
But, then again I have always loved a Scotsman..;-)
Unusually for a Harlequin/Mills and Boon, there is quite a large cast of character’s, we have Logan’s clan, Ailsa and her clan, villains, unruly cousins, but instead of being inundated with characters popping up left right and centre and never knowing who is who and where they belong. Each character has a place and they each make an impact onto the story, there are one or two which I would love to see have a story of their own.
I loved Ailsa’s passion for her music, even though I do think she has been a little groomed in her beliefs about this ‘curse’ all to make her more biddable and compliant to what her family want. My heart went out to her, she is lonely and sheltered, she has so much love coursing through her and so far her only outlet for that has been through her music, and then out of the mist comes walking a; fall to your knee’s, swoon-some (Is that a word??) charismatic, charming, protective handsome chap, who bestows a gift on her that no one ever has; kindness….plus, the sexiest tilting smile which would make any women go weak at the knee’s….all he was missing was a kilt 😉
This is an intriguing story, going from the back blurb alone you would think it’s a basic enemy to lovers type, but as always with Sarah Mallory, there is more to the tale then that, if you have read any of Sarah’s books you will know she likes to mix thing’s up, she likes to add sneaky little twists and additional elements that bring the story to life and makes you keep flicking through the pages and this is no different. There is a lot going on, various subplots, family myths, clan wars, villains and right in the midst of such turmoil are two lonely, passionate and likeable people all of which entwine together to create a highly enjoyable love story with a twist.
I loved it, I cannot recommend it enough, it may not have as many kilted rough-around-the-edges highlanders as I would have liked but luscious Logan soon worked his Scottish magic.
A Lady For Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo #1) by Sarah Mallory | #Review #ALadyForLordRandall #BridesOfWaterloo #OffTheBookShelf | @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello, Sunshines, I am super excited to be sharing my review of another book which has been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long, plus another book by one of my favourite authors; A Lady For Lord Randall by Sarah Mallory. I adored this book as soon as I set eyes on the cover, I can’t wait to share this gorgeous book with you all.
Plus, do visit the blog over the weekend as I have two more Sarah Mallory books to share with you before that take a look at this beauty!
A Lady For Lord Randall by Sarah Mallory
Series: Brides of Waterloo
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Mills & Boon, Harlequin Books
Format: ebook, paperback
In a time of war…
Mary Endacott has no intention of ever surrendering to a man, especially when she meets stubborn yet infuriatingly handsome Lord Randall! But with a major battle fast approaching, normal rules dissolve, and Mary gives herself to him.
…can true love survive?
Justin is renowned for his authority on the battlefield, but Mary is a challenge of a whole new kind! He’s determined to seize every moment of happiness while he can, but when the fighting commences, will the promise of Mary’s kiss be enough to keep him safe?
Firstly, Look at that cover!!! #TripleSigh
Isn’t it wonderful? And to be perfectly honest it was that cover which caught my attention, I fell in love with it and it is what made me pick up the book in the first place, closely followed by the fact that it is written by one of my all-time favourite authors.
Seriously though, if you read my reviews, then you will have a fair idea about why I was so taken with this book. For those who have just joined my ramblings (hello, and welcome) then; Its the handsome, grizzled chap in uniform….honestly, gets me every time. I blame a childhood of watching far too much Sharpe…other kids had posters of 90’s pop stars on their bedroom wall, I had Sean Bean in THAT uniform side by side with Jon Bon Jovi 😉
I think, I may have trailed a little off course there, honestly, you don’t want to hear about my childhood bedroom walls life’s story, you want to hear about this gorgeous, gorgeous book…and another thing, why is it I have only just discovered the Brides of Waterloo series?
Where has this book been hiding?
It’s true I walk around with my eyes closed, no wonder I walk into things…LOL!
So this is apart of a trilogy which was written to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, I’ve not read the other books in this series, but that didn’t impede in my enjoyment of the book, I would say you can read these easily as a stand-alone. I will definitely be reading the other two books as soon as I am able to.
During the Battle of Waterloo, we have a couple who are made for each other and yet have been pulled apart and not just by the war, Mary isn’t your stereotypical little miss, she isn’t a wilting wallflower by any means. She is strong-willed, free-thinking and like her parents goes against all conventions of society. She is determined not to follow the other ladies of the ton and find a husband, she has other more important things on her mind, most importantly her school for young ladies, but then into her life struts the peacocking, handsome, seductive, dashing, charming, arrogant, rich and rascally Lord Randall and no matter what her mind tells her rapidly beating heart is saying something completely different, but which will win?
Well, if it were me I would throwing myself at the feet of the handsome soldier, waiting to be ravished 😉
There’s aren’t enough words for just how wonderful Justin is, and easily one of my favourite heroes to date; handsome, proud, intelligent, caring, loyal and yet there is a certain vulnerability hidden beneath that oh, so sexy titled confident exterior….Gawd, he is just fabulous!! Is it wrong to say I hated Mary just a little? Because once he set eyes on that free-thinking young miss he was lost to all, he is intrigued by her, he wants her deep down in his soul but she doesn’t make life easy for him…poor Justin, even if at times he did act like an arse, but still he wanted her and only her.
Yup, I will admit of being jealous of a character 😉
I really like how Justin’s little command is called; Randall’s Rogues, which is basically what it says on the tin, here we have a battalion of Rogues, of ruff and ready men who make the enemy shiver in fear, and women….well, they shiver too but in an entirely different way. Again, Randall’s Rogues reminds me of Sharpe’s Chosen Men; a group of misfits, of rebels who are damn fine soldier’s. Such a shame our Randall’s Rogues aren’t in green 😉
Honestly, I do have an obsession with a certain green uniform!!
Sarah Mallory is easily one of the finest historical romance authors around, time and time again she creates beauty with her words, but personally speaking I think she outdid herself with this one (even though there have been many books after this, many of which I have loved) but this one is easily my favourite to date. I love the story, the setting, the chemistry between Mary and Justin, the exquisite attention to detail and I especially love rascally, ravishing, rugged Randall…my goodness, how much do I love him?
A Lady for Lord Randall is an exceptionally great historical romance, it’s beautifully written from start to finish. It’s meticulously researched which makes the entirety of the story realistic and engaging, it pulls the reader right into the centre of each scene. You can almost smell the gunpowder, you feel the urgency of the moment, the drama, the tension, the love and lust.