HQ Digital Publisher
#BlogTour | The Woman In the Painting by Kerry Postle #TheWomanInThePainting #Review @kerry_postle @HQDigitalUK
Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Woman in the Painting by Kerry Postle. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, I hope you love it as much as I did.
The Woman In The Painting by Kerry Postle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 23rd July 2020
‘She’s beautiful,’ I told him. ‘Hair like skeins of silk; deep, brown eyes that sparkle in the light like jewels; beautiful lips, deep pink, and as juicy as ripe fruit.’
Ideas rippled in the pools of his eyes. ‘I must paint her,’ he said
1508. In Rome, artists are everywhere and feted as gods. But the most celebrated amongst them, a man who can paint beauty itself, is Raphael. When he touches brush to canvas, his subjects burst to life; he takes base metal and turns it to glistening gold.
When Raphael meets Margarita Luti, a baker’s daughter, he is beguiled and inspired in equal measure. As his muse, her face becomes that of a thousand Madonnas, but it is his portraits of her which reveal his full talents – and which will become his downfall.
For Raphael is wanted for greater things than a mere baker’s daughter. He is soon promised to the niece of a cardinal, a man upon whose connections and commissions the artist’s future relies. Without his good will, Raphael will be ruined.
Raphael must make a choice between his love for Margarita and his future as an artist – a choice that will have devastating consequences.
Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, this stunning and evocative novel is perfect for fans of Debbie Rix, Kate Furnivall and Dinah Jefferies.
After reading the previous by Kerry Postle, I was really looking forward to reading this one and I can happily say, I was not disappointed. It was a little slow-paced for my liking, there are long-winded chapters that did carry on a little too much, which I think could have been shorter and still told the overall story, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Set in 1508; the Italian Renaissance is in full swing, artists are revered and loved by all this tells the story of maybe not as a well-known artist, but one of the very best; Raphael, a man whom people think has been touched by God himself for the beauty he creates on the canvas. When Raphael meets alluring and utterly beautiful Margarita, the daughter of a baker he is enthralled and transfixed by her, she becomes his muse and also his downfall. He may love her dearly but a mere bakers daughter isn’t good enough for the likes of the great Raphael as he is promised to another, a woman he doesn’t want but a woman who has the connections that any artist needs in this era to be able to further his career.
But will he give up the woman he loves his human heart or will his artist’s one win and he does as expected of him?
I learned so much about Italian art from this, I have read a few other stories that feature Italian artist’s from the Renaissance, so I had heard of the artist mentioned in this book. I loved this is inspired by the true love story of Raphael and Margarita, their story was one of love, passion and heartbreak. It is obvious from reading this, that this story and the history is a real love of Kerry’s, her passion for those Renaissance artists shines through, the research and attention to detail are fabulous it’s clear and vivid. But more than that, after reading this it does leave you intrigued by the artwork mentioned.
I was intrigued by the sound of this as soon as I read the back blurb, I am fascinated with this era there is something about Italian history that really pulls you in and captures the attention. This is a beautifully poignant and compelling book that will leave the reader feeling all the love of any Renaissance artist.
This was an arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.
About the Author
Kerry loves art, history and literature.
In her debut novel, ‘The Artist’s Muse’, she explores the artist Egon Schiele’s relationship with his model Wally Neuzil and shows that it isn’t only Schiele’s paintings of Wally that shimmer and shock.
Kerry’s second novel, ‘A Forbidden Love’, is set during the Spanish Civil War and tells a rousing and ultimately uplifting story: that when war has taken everything away from us we are still left with our humanity.
With the author’s third novel, ‘The Woman in the Painting’, she returns to the world of art. Set in Rome at the start of the 16th century the author shares with us the heartbreaking story behind the artist Raphael’s portrait of his lover, Margarita Luti. Known as ‘The Baker’s Daughter’, this portrait hides a secret…
For more about Kerry Postle visit; http://frockfriday.co.uk/
Blog Tour Schedule
Hello, sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book with you all; The Girl With The Amber Comb by Linda Finlay. This post was scheduled to be shared in March, but as we all know one thing leads to another and we fall behind, way behind in this case…..Oops! So, here it is ridiculously late, sorry! But, I hope you all enjoy it anyway.
The Girl With The Amber Comb by Linda Finlay
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: HQ Stories
‘Sure to delight’ Dilly Court
A heart-warming tale from the Queen of West Country Saga, LINDA FINLAY.
Orphaned at birth, Eliza lives with her beloved Grandparents in a waterlogged Somerset cottage surrounded by willow beds where she ekes out a living making laundry baskets and eel traps. Although poor she is content, until childhood friend Clem, regales her with tales of his adventures along the river and she begins to wonder what life is like beyond the Droves.
When fate brings handsome, wealthy Theo to her workshop she is instantly attracted and a rosy future beyond the Droves beckons. Only things don’t go to plan and naive Eliza finds herself in Lavender House where she is expected to care for gentlemen in a way she never imagined. Forced to flee for her life, she ends up in a woollen mill run by a corrupt foreman, working for crumbs and pennies with only her grandmother’s comb in her pocket.
Now she knows what matters in life – but is it too late? And will she ever be able to return home to those who love her?
Set amongst the stunning wetlands of Somerset, this tale of triumph and tragedy will delight fans of Rosie Goodwin and Dilly Court.
This is a cracker of a story!! If you love your nitty-gritty; Dickensian-esque saga’s, then this is the book you have to read. I hadn’t read any of Linda Finlay’s books before this, honestly, I must walk around with my eyes shut while living in a bubble. How Linda’s books have passed me by, who knows, but I will certainly be seeking out more of her work.
Set in Victorian Somerset the story opens to young Eliza taking on the bulk of the families basket making business after the death of her greatly loved grandmother (or grammer) At seventeen she wants more in her life than to make laundry and eel baskets all day while caring for her grandfather (gramfer) She cares deeply for her gramfer and she loved her grammer so to lose her and to see how her gramfer struggles really break her heart.
When handsome Theo arrives at her little workshop she falls in love with him, he is the very embodiment of every girl’s dream; handsome, charming, wealthy. But as you might expect, all won’t be roses and happiness where he is concerned. One thing leads to another and Eliza first finds herself in the questionable Lavender House where she ends up fleeing to save her life and then she ends up in a wool mill with nothing to her name but the clothes on her back and her most prized possession; her grandmother amber comb.
Anyone who has read a review of mine, or follows me on social media will know how much I love historical’s where the leading character is from a working-class background, honestly, it is such a breath of fresh air to read a book set in the Victorian era where the whole focus isn’t on the aristocracy or the well-to-do families of the time. The leading lady is a very down-to-earth, liable and relatable young woman who has stars in her eyes and big dreams and wishes in her mind. But she is also a very loyal, caring and a genuinely lovely person wants to do the right thing as much as she wants an adventure.
There isn’t a single word I can say against this book, I loved the characters; whether good or bad each one brought something to the story, there is a realism that instantly grabs you and transports you to the era, the historical detail is so brilliantly researched yo the plot is engaging, I swear you will age ten years while reading it as you follow Eliza on her and at times unsavoury journey from her being a naïve little country miss from Somerset to a world-weary woman aged beyond her years. You will laugh and cry in equal measure, your heart will weep for Eliza at times and then burst with joy in other moments, but this is what you want from a historical fiction; you want to be bombarded with every human emotion as you read this young woman sorry tale.
It is without a doubt that The Girl with the Amber Comb is an engaging, captivating, authentic, richly detailed and beautifully written book. I would say one thing though – nothing bad, I promise – only I wouldn’t say it was a women’s fiction saga, I would say it’s more for those who are first starting to explore historical fiction, for those who are just dipping their toes into the historical fiction/saga waters and find that they love the genre, maybe even a young adult. It’s an easy to read book, one that you can dive into and instantly becoming carried away and one that you can easily devour in a weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
About the Author
Linda Finlay was brought up in Surrey and as a child loved creating stories. She won a competition run by the Leatherhead Advertiser then foolishly declined their offer of a job as a trainee reporter (oh, the ignorance of youth!) Married with two children, making up stories was a highlight of their upbringing.
Trained as an Image Consultant, she has an avid interest in people especially the synergy between appearance and perception, especially the effect this has on self-esteem. A move to the spectacular Devonshire coast combined with her passion for local history inspired her to write her Victorian sagas while her training enables her to create the vivid, colourful characters she so enjoys writing about. She is a shameless eavesdropper – so beware your conversations might not be as private as you think!
Linda has just begun her tenth novel set against the rich West Country background and incorporating a traditional local craft.
I just want to make a brief apology to Linda and the team over at HQ Stories – for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.
So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?
#Review | Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay (Swallowtail Bay, Book 1) by Katie Ginger #SpringTidesatSwallowtailBay #BlogTour @KatieGAuthor @HQDigitalUK
Hello Sunshines, I hope everyone is safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the charming book with you all today; Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger. This post was scheduled to be shared in March, but as we all know one thing leads to another and we fall behind…..Ooops! So, here it is ridiculously late, sorry! I hope you all enjoy it!
Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Publisher: HQ Digital UK
Escape to the cosy seaside town of Swallowtail Bay, the perfect place for a fresh start – but is Stella’s new beginning over before it’s begun?
Licking her wounds from her divorce, Stella impulsively buys a gift shop and two holiday lets in glorious Swallowtail Bay, hoping for a fresh start with her King Charles Spaniel Frank.
When the neighbours meet her with a warm welcome, Stella knows she’s found the new home she was looking for. Even gorgeous but grumpy local Miles can’t take the shine off things. But then her ex-husband announces he’s getting married again, and someone in the village starts gossiping about Stella…
Is Stella’s dream over already? Or, with her new friends behind her, can Stella fight back and save her new life – and find the happy ever after she’s been waiting for?
Fans of Cathy Bramley, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan will fall in love with Swallowtail Bay!
This is such a great introduction to a new-to-me authors work and even better I have started reading her work at the start of a brand new series, how better could a person get?!
I will admit that even though I have heard a lot of great things about Katie Ginger’s work, this is actually my first of her books I have read and I am so pleased to say that she well and truly lived up to such great expectations and I will certainly be seeking more of her books out in the future, as I think her cheerful and feel-good writing is exactly what we need to cheer us all up in these weird days we have found ourselves in.
After her divorce, Stella and her gorgeous King Charles Spaniel; Frank, makes a dash to the beautiful village of Swallowtale Bay, where she rather impulsively buys the local gift shop plus two-holiday lets and plans to make a whole new life for herself in this quietly charming and idyllic village. There she meets a single mother and fellow divorcee; Lexi who currently works in the shop next door and as you can expect with two women having so much in common they soon make the best of friends. And Miles who is a grouchy grumbling grump, a man who is a little peeved as he had his own eyes on the very shop Stella has bought.
All s pretty much OK for Stella and her newfound way of life, that is until someone in her new home starts spreading gossip about Stella, anyone who has watched an episode of Emmerdale of Midsummer Murders will know that gossips spread like wildfire in these cosy little villages and to top it all her ex-husband is getting married and has invited her to his wedding….well, that isn’t uncomfortable, is it?
Will Stella go to this wedding? Will she get to the bottom of the gossip and who is behind it? And more than that will she be able to find her happiness in the new home she has found for herself?
I absolutely love a book which has a real friendship for life feel to it, yes there is love in there too but it is the unbreakable bond between true friends that I really loved, This is what we need more of from books, we need that added layer of good strong female friendships that the reader can relate to instantly.
This book is full of good-natured banter, romance, I love the small village community that is so strong within Swallowtail Bay, nothing is perfect but this group of intriguing and highly likeable individuals come together, I love that and it was such a joy getting to know Stella, Lexi and Miles, I am very excited to see what comes next in this series.
Overall, am enjoyable, non-taxing easy read story that is all about friendship and love, a cosy little drama that will pull at the heartstring far more times then I can count.
I live in the South East of England in a lovely little town by the sea and spend my time working, running around after my kids, walking our King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit, and writing!
Writing has been a dream of mine since I was little. I wrote my first story about a mermaid when I was 9 and was thoroughly delighted to show it off to my teacher, having written a whopping four whole pages, complete with illustrations. After a couple of life-changing experiences over the last few years, I rediscovered my passion and knew I had to give it my all and try my luck at getting a book deal. In January 2018 I was lucky enough to secure a deal with Harper Collins, Digital HQ Digital!
My debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was published in September 2018, and is a funny, heart-tingling contemporary romance. In 2019 it was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year Award. Summer Season on the Seafront, the second in the Seafront Series, was published in 2019.
I just want to make a brief apology to Katie and the team over at – for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.
So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?
#BlogTour | Arrowood and the Thames Corpses (Arrowood Mysteries) by Mick Finlay #ArrowoodAndTheThamesCorpse #Review #ArrowoodMysteries @mickfinlay2 @HQStories
Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well! I am super excited about being today’s stop on the amazing blog tour, I have been so looking forward to this book and I can’t wait to share my review of Arrowood and the Thames Corpses by Mick Finlay. As always take a seat, grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Arrowood and the Thames Corpses
Series: Arrowood Mysteries #3
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Publisher: HQ Stories
Format: Print, Ebook, Audio
The most exciting historical crime fiction thriller of 2020 for fans of Sherlock Holmes
South London, 1896.
William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy.
Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett suspect professional jealousy, but when a string of skulls is retrieved from the river, it seems like even fouler play is afoot.
It’s up to Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett to solve the case, before any more corpses end up in the watery depths . . .
Am I excited about this book, or what? The long-awaited latest instalment of the fabulous Arrowood Mysteries is back, I have been waiting with baited breathe for this book and it was well and truly worth the wait. Mick Finlay has sealed his name as one of the best historical mystery fiction writers of the time, this is a gripping, atmospheric, richly detailed, gritty, darkly funny and realistic mystery.
Those who haven’t read an Arrowood mystery – then you are really missing something – each book is a stand-alone story so anyone can pick up any of the books without worrying about whether they have missed something. William Arrowood is a London Private Detective, not to be mistaken for the famed Sherlock Holmes, Arrowood takes on those cases that the celebrated Holmes wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. There are some cracking moments especially with Arrowood as he continues his secret loathing and one-sided feud with the much-acclaimed detective, he hates that Holmes has the fame and the respect of the city and he loves to compare his superior brain and knowledge with Holmes. As before the whole saga is told through the eyes of Arrowood’s assistance; Norman Barnett who is a man of the world he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and he is loyal and protective of his boss.
Set in London 1896; Private Detective William Arrowood is approached by a Captain Moon and his daughter Suzie who are reaching out for help, their boat; The Gravesend Queen, a pleasure steamer which runs tourists and locals down the river and back again. Their family-run boat is being targeted with what they believe for the intention of running them out of business and to take over their routes. So Arrowood along with his loyal sidekick; Norman Barnett take on the case, but soon it becomes apparent that there is more going on than mere route wars, as the deeper the investigate the ore dangerous it all becomes especially when a line of skulls and corpses or found tied to a boat, who put them there and is it connected to what is happening with Captains Moons’ boat?
It hooks you from the off, with each you are pulled into the dark and grimy Victorian world which is full of dingy working-class life and strife, plus the vivid description of just how desolate, grimy and harsh Victorian London really held my attention, it’s raw, honest and brilliantly engaging. If you love your murkier historical mystery crime fiction which has the slightest Sherlock Holmes essence and a large spoonful of Ripper Street and the best characters in the genre, then Arrowood is the book and series you need to read.
The writing is impeccable as is Finlay’s flawless research into the era, I cannot say a single negative word against this amazing book or it’s a hugely talented author. It is memorable as it is thrilling and I am already waiting for the next instalment from the remarkable Arrowood series.
There is a real buzz about it that I can’t quite describe, I don’t have the adequate words but believe me when I say that this really is an absolute stonking great book, a huge joy to read; in other words, pure brilliance!!
This was an arc copy via the publisher which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you Sian and the HQ team. Xx
Arrowood and the Thames Corpses is available now from Amazon.
Blog Tour Schedule
#BlogTour | A Year of Chasing Love by Rosie Chambers #AYearOfChasingLove #Review @RosieCBooks @HQDigital
Hello Sunshines – and Happy New Year!! My first blog tour of 2020 and it’s a real charming one; The Year Of Chasing Love by Rosie Chambers. So, sit back grab that cuppa – or health drink – and enjoy!
One moment can change a lifetime…
The last thing top divorce lawyer Olivia Hamilton ever expected was to be served her own divorce papers! To escape her marriage troubles, she agrees to go on a year-long trip to find the ultimate guide to love.
Travelling the world, surrounded by stories of love and happiness, it’s not long before her thoughts turn to Nathan, her soon-to-be ex-husband, and she starts to take note of her own lessons in love…
But with Nathan over a thousand miles away, will it be too late?
Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Philippa Ashley and Caroline Roberts.
The year of Chasing Love is the debut novel by Rosie Chambers, and I definitely see great things in her future, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next from this new author. This is a sweet, little contemporary story, one that will leave you smiling and feeling in a sunnier mood.
The story opens when top divorce lawyer; Olivia is presented with her own divorce papers. Not just shock and horror for her, but she also sees this as bad for her career.
After years of putting her career first, of building up her steely reputation she has unfortunately neglected to look after her home life, she has neglected her husband. Nathen has been patiently waiting and wanting them to move forward with their married life and now she is at the top of her game, Nathen decides enough is enough and files for divorce. Olivia is shocked, obviously, she isn’t naïve enough to think that everything was hunky-dory but she thought that she and Nathen were rubbing along happily enough and so for him to want to tear up their marriage is a real blow for her. She wants nothing more than to stick her head in the sand and delve further and further into her work but the fates are all against her as her boss forces her to take a long-overdue sabbatical hoping that it will make her take the breath she needs to actually take stock and put some perspective in her life before it’s too late.
Now she is left with a year with no work, no husband and she is fast sinking into despair that is until brilliant best friend Rachel turns up and offers her the chance to turn her life – or the year – around, by travelling around the world as she research’s the ultimate guide to love, she travels around Malta, Hawaii, Copenhagen and Singapore and finally landing in the city of love the most romantic place on earth; Paris, but will her travels be her saving grace? Swill Olivia finally be able to allow herself to be happy and will she find the love and the life she is secretly searching for?
I really enjoyed this, I did think at first it started off a little on the slow side for my liking, but it soon picks up the pace, A year of Chasing Love is such a relatable story, it’s one that is so relevant for today where there are so many women in top positions they do unfortunately have to pick between career and family, and when the career path is chosen family and those we love are unfortunately pushed aside. It’s a simple story which has a lot of heart, it’s a delightful and heartwarming story, the characters are wonderfully portrayed Olivia especially is very relatable even though at first I did find it difficult to warm to her but she soon won me over.
Overall, this is a charming little story about finding happiness and love and allowing yourself to let go a little if you love your easy-peasy, none taxing feel-good stories then this is the book for you.
This was an arc copy via the publisher and Netgalley, which I voluntarily and honestly reviewed as apart of this blog tour.
Blog Tour Schedule
#BlogTour | The Widow Of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox #TheWidowOfPaleHarbour #Review @HesterFox @HQStories
Hello everyone, I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on this fabulous blog tour, and to be able to share with you all my review of the stunning; The Widow Of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox. So grab a seat and a cuppa and enjoy!
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?
Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.
As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.
I have just one word for this, and this is; stunning! I was completely blown away by this, it’s a stunning, haunting and brilliantly gothic mystery which will grab your attention and imagination from the first page, I absolutely loved the eerie-ness and atmosphere, the plot and the character’s, there isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book.
This is the first I have read by Hester Fox; it will definitely not be the last, I have completely fallen in love with her writing, she has a real skill at swirling gothic mystery and intrigue around the reader like a heavy mist coming in from the sea.
Set in Maine; 1846 Pale Harbour village has a new minister; Gabriel Stone, who is there not only taking on the new job but he wants to try and move forward with his life after the death of his wife, he is hoping he can do so in this sleepy quiet village. Oh, boy how wrong he is! If he wanted sleepy village he may be better off moving to Sleepy Hollow or Midsummer Murders 😉 He soon realises that all is not as it seems as strange and bizarre tins start to happen, amongst them a young woman; Sophronia becomes the target of a witch hunt because she is a widow who lives quietly in the Gothic Castle Carver the locals who really are a superstitious lot and belief all the ills in the village has to be witchcraft and has to be Sophronia. Typical!
Gabriel doesn’t believe beautiful Sophronia has anything to do with such evil, he may be the only person who doesn’t – they are quick to make the connection to Edgar Allen Poe, and now it’s only time before the culprit escalates their activities, Gabriel and Sophronia must work together to find out who is behind it all before they find themselves in danger.
With murder, mystery and intrigue a woman wrongly accused of witchcraft and strange going’s on that come directly from the gothic stories of Edgar Allan Poe, all is not as it appears in the sleepy village of Pale Harbour. I absolutely loved how Poe’s stories are interlaced throughout the plot, it’s so clever and at the same time incredibly eerie, you will become completely hooked, as you fly through the pages, never wanting it to stop and yet desperately needing to know what the hell is going on and who is behind all the strangeness. The ending is fabulous, there was a moment when I sat back and thought; wow, I did not see that coming!
I can guarantee that if you love your historical mysteries with a Gothic twist then this is a must-read, it is one of those books that will be read and re-read over and over, people will talk about it, I can see it becoming a new classic, one that may rival Poe himself, I was riveted with it, and cannot recommend it enough!
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you Jess.
About the Author
Hester Fox comes to writing from a background in the museum field as a collections maintenance technician.
This job has taken her from historic houses to fine art museums, where she has the privilege of cleaning and caring for collections that range from paintings by old masters, to ancient artefacts, to early American furniture.
She is a keen painter and has a master’s degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history. Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and two cats.
The Witch of Willow Hall is her debut novel.
#Blog Tour | Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans #SnowflakesAtTheLittleChristmasTreeFarm #Review @be_the_spark @HQDigitalUK
Hello my lovelies, I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for Snowflakes At The Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans, so as ever sit back grab some hot chocolate and maybe a piece of pumpkin pie – read the book and you will understand my reference to Pumpkin 😉 and enjoy!
Snowflakes At The Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans
All she wants for Christmas…
Leah Griffiths has woken up after a few too many glasses of Prosecco with a hangover – and discovers she’s accidentally bought a little Christmas tree farm in Scotland!
At first she’s horrified, but perhaps it’s the perfect way to forget all about her cheating ex.
And when she meets grumpy (but ridiculously gorgeous) pumpkin farmer Noel underneath the mistletoe, Leah begins to believe that at Christmas time, anything can happen…
I absolutely adore this book! I do have a real love for Christmas stories, they are like chocolate to me, I can read my fill of them and still want more and this wonderful. It is such a fabulously fun, joyful, very festive and romantic tale with all the hilarity and adorable moments that you love to see in romantic comedies – I could definitely see this made into a film. I loved the whole concept of this story, it’s completely out there original, but brings home the, message that if you truly want something then go out there and get it – yes, easier said then done, i know but if anything this book will inspire and make you feel all cosy warm.
Written first person through Leah’s eyes, we are taken on a laugh-out-loud, engrossing and marvellous festive journey, I can guarantee that you will be charmed from the start and you will be giggling away throughout.
After catching her boyfriend/boss having a fumble with another colleague at work, Leah Griffiths walks out after making quite the spectacle of her self and that of her amorous boss, she drowns her sorrows in three bottles of Prosecco and while under the influence she does what we all do when a wee bit intoxicated, she opens the computer, grabs the credit card and starts to buy. Only difference here is Leah doesn’t just buy shoes, storage boxes and garden ornaments (we’ve all done that right? Leah doesn’t do the ordinary binge buying trash she buys a Christmas Tree Farm in the middle of Scotland – as you do!
As much as spontaneously buying a Christmas Tree Farm sounds mad, Leah believes that this is exactly the thing she needs. Leah has been through the mill over the last few years, not only with walking out on her dead end job but she has had to cope with the death of her parents, having to sort everything out has been a weight on Leah’s shoulders and now she needs something else, for the first time in many years Leah feels free – that is until she actually sees what she has spent all of her savings on.
The pictures online didn’t exactly portray the whole truth, the farm has been abandoned these last four year and most of the trees are dead, the farmhouse is falling down around her ears, plus there is her neighbour; grumpy, moody, brooding ridiculously sexy in a rough around the edges sort of way, pumpkin farmer; Noel. To say he is a little put out by the city lass next door is an understatement, he firmly believes that she will give up and run off back to where she came from with her tail between her legs, but she surprises him by staying.
Oh be still be thundering heart, I have completely fallen head over heals for Noel, sigh!! He comes across as brusque and a bit of a group but he does have a real kind and soft heart, he is the sterotypical romantic comedy guy brooding with a lot of hidden virtues, he is as sexy as hell – but then again I have always had a love for the rougher heroes, add into that his Scottish accent and his love of dogs then you have my perfect man…even when he is baring a pain in the arse.
I have to comment on the dedication, Oh my word that tore at my heart, for anyone who has lost a dog will know exactly what I mean. Those few words alone with have you a bit teary and which made the whole having a dog in centre stage rather poignant.
This is a fast paced quick read, the story started off with great humour which carried on through out. From the first page ou will instantly feel a real kinship with Leah, she is fabulously down-to-earth and fun, you will be cheering her on as she negotiates her path from drunken stupor of chapter one to getting the Christmas Tree farm on its feet. This is the first I have read by Jaimie Admans, and I can certainly say without a doubt that it will not be the last, I really liked her engaging and witty writing, she grabs the readers attention and keeps a firm hold until the very last word.
Overall, this is a fantastic book, if you love your sweet rom-com’s with a gorgeous festive feel and some brilliant characters then this is the book for you.
This was a Arc via Netgalley, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.
About the Author
Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.
She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.
She has been writing for years but has only just plucked up the courage to tell people.
She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies Kismetology and The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, and young adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.
Blog Tour Schedule
#BlogTour | The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick #TheLibraryOfLostAndFound #Review @phaedrapatrick @HQstories
Hello my lovely friends! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for the utterly enchanting; The Library Of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, as always grab yourselves a cuppa and let me tell you a little about this gorgeous and heart-warming book.
A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people―though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend―her grandmother Zelda―who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heart-warming reminder that even the quietest life has the potential to be extraordinary.
This is one of the most adorable and heart-warming books I have read, I loved the simplicity and of the plot and the message of how through books we can really discover who we are as people. As soon as I heard about this, I just had to read it. A book about a book, set in a library! What more could I possibly want?
This is a wee bit more then just a story about a woman who works in a library and finds a book with a hand written dedication from her grandmother to her, from this one message Martha sets off on a life changing voyage of discovery, learning truths, secrets and lies as she goes, she starts remembering things that had been closed away in her mind and soon Martha begins to see her childhood, her parents with new eyes. I can only imagine how traumatic that must have been for Martha as her whole life and what she thought happened and what she believed soon coming unravelling, all because of a book.
Martha is a woman who no matter who you are, you will relate to her in some way. I know that I did! She has sacrificed everything; a life of her own, a career, happiness, even romance and relationships all for her parent’s, she has done the dutiful daughter, she has cared for them for years putting everything else aside for them and their needs. I can relate to Martha in ways that not a lot would, I understand her wanting to do right by her family and I can also understand her frustration with how her life turned out. Now that her parents are no longer there she has again fallen into the role of carer – or a general dogs body – with everyone else, with the people at the library, with neighbours and even her sister.
Well, you can only keep pushing a person so far before they snap, which is what Martha does, she finally says no and it is that moment when she takes hold of her life and does something for herself for a change, and that is to discover the secret of the book and what really happened to her grandmother; Zelda, she was told as a child that her grandmother had died, yet this book says a different story all together and it is a story that Martha wants to know, but is she really ready for what she discovers?
I love how there is a slight timeslip aspect to this book, as we follow Martha on her journey we get flashes into her past which are told through her mother’s point of view. I really enjoyed that, getting to see Martha’s childhood and the complicated dynamics of the Storm family is fascinating to read, we really see and understand why Martha has surpassed so many memories, it wasn’t the most pleasant of childhood that’s for sure.
The Library of Lost and Found is a magical and heart-warming tale, it has a real whimiscal feel to it that is so charming to read, the writing is superb, I’ve not read Phaedra Patrick’s work before but I will definitely be scouring the shops for more. This is a real winner, it is a book that you will devour in one lazy afternoon, and one that you will keep pulling of the shelf again and again until your copy is battered and worn.
Utterly charming, I cannot recommend this more.
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Izzy.
The Library Of Lost And Found can be found at Amazon.
Do check out the other blogs which are participating in the wonderful blog tour.
#BlogTour : Love and Other Things To Live For by @louiseleverett #Review #LoveAndOtherThings #LoveOnTour via @ninadouglas and @hqstories
Hi everyone! I have the pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour and to be sharing my review of Love and Other Things To Live for by Louise Leverett.
Jessica Wood is an aspiring photographer living in London. She’s had her heart broken, and her friends have pieced it back together again.
But across the neon lights of Soho, in the smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke, on every night bus, in every song, every time she tries to forget: she remembers him.
Now, in a battle between the past and the future, choosing between having a life and making a living, finding her feet or spreading her wings, Jessica must ask herself: who is she really living for?
Love and Other Things to Live For is an ode to modern girls and triumph over heartbreak, perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Dolly Alderton.
This is the debut novel by Louise Leverett and I do have to say I am impressed, it wasn’t exactly my kind of reading but I have to give credit where credit’s due and say that this has a real quality about it that I had not expected.
Going by the blurb, I had unoriginally thought that this would be a fun chic-lit come coming of age story, but it is more more a journey of self discovery and shows just how important true friends can be.
The main character’ Jess is in the midst of a life breakdown, a promising, aspiring photographer she is living in the lights and smoke of London on the outside Jess has it all, but inside she is screaming and a dishevelled crying mess who after having her heart broken she has taken to the path of self destruction as she tries to make sense of her life and find her way to her won happiness.
I will admit that I am in two frames of mind about this, on one hand it is a fascinating look into the life of a twenty-something women living the high life in London, a woman who goes as on a self-destructive journey which ends in self discovery. And one the other hand, I couldn’t relate to Jess or the story, I felt that there was something essential; missing from it. That missing item was relatability, I am a reader that likes to relate in some way to the character’s and if I can’t – like I couldn’t here – then it does ruin the whole story. Which is a shame as, there is a lot of real depth and heart in this.
But, even though the story didn’t quite work for me, it will for many, many other readers out there. It’s not a light read, there is a real heavy feel to it especially as Jess goes on her self-destructive moments. Recommanded for those who like the more edgier, thought-provoking stories.
This was a complimentary copy via the Publisher and authors PA in exchange for an honest review, as apart of this blog tour, thank you Nina!
Do check out the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.
Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Time Of Our Lives by the wonderful Portia MacIntosh, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this gorgeous book.
Love is in the air…?
Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.
It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?
And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?
The laugh-out-loud new novel from bestseller Portia Macintosh
Well, Portia MacIntosh you have gone and done it again, this is good, so good! I will admit that I am very late to discovering Ms MacIntosh’s work after only reading my first of her work at Christmas, but I am definitely well and truly a fan of hers.
The story is split between two times of Luca’s life; present day and then it flits back to her university days and I really love how this is written, it really gives and insight into what was going on and how Luca found herself where she is in her life. I found that the flashbacks to her university days really brought Luca to life and you began to understand her and her friends all the more, at times this kind of writing can be a bit confused for the reader but Ms MacIntosh has nailed it.
I really like Luca, she is a down-to-earth, likeable and very real character, she is a woman whose life hasn’t exactly gone to plan she has headed way off the planned path of life – I think every single one of us can relate to that in one way or another! Single, in a job she has come to pretty much hate and surrounded by happily married/coupled people, something she is used to, so when she is invited to the wedding of one of her oldest university friends she knows that it will end up being a reunion – and she is ready for being the only single one left amongst their little circle. She is ready to blow their socks of at what a successful woman she has become – even if that does mean buying an out fit that could make her go hungry for the next few months, but hey; she can always take it back to the shop! What she isn’t prepared for is to unexpectedly bump into the very person her broke her heart all those years ago, a man whom she says she is over but deep down she is in fact still that heartbroken young woman and seeing him again at the wedding is a real punch for her. It is bumping into Tom; the one who broke her heart, that really makes Luca start evaluating her life.
This is a great story, the present is set during the wedding and we all know what mayhem weddings can bring on their own, let alone mixing in a bunch of old friends, ex’s popping up left right and centre and a bit of a romance blossoming – but from what direction is this romance? You will just have to read it to find out! The main message I got from this above the romance, the heartbreak, the emotional upheaval was that true friendships can last forever, no matter where you are going in life, those special friendships will always be there when needed.
The Time Of Our Lives is a fun, engaging and very sweet romance that I am positive readers will relate to in some way, there is a realism about it – or more accurately about lead character; Luca. I know that a lot of readers will probably say the same, but there is something very real about Luca, she is one of those character’s that you can instantly see a certain aspect of yourself in and you just know and understand her in every way. This is so rare to find and I absolutely applaud Portia MacIntosh for writing this wonderful story, for bringing Luca into the world where we all can sit back and say; ‘That is so me’ or ‘My, goodness, yes I think that too’. I literally finished reading this, sat back and heaved a sigh, wiped a tear at the perfect story I’d just read.
Ms MacIntosh is an astounding writer, she really captures Luca in this she is so real to me, it is so rare to really connect with a character from the very first page but here I instantly did. The story really does pull at the heartstrings, you will be laughing out loud, blubbering like a baby with it’s intricately woven tale of love and friendship, there are secrets and lies some of the best wedding scenes ever – honestly think Four Weddings and a Funeral and you will know what I mean about fun and love at a wedding.
Overall, this is one of the best romantic comedy’s I have read, highly recommended and one that you will be pulling of the bookshelf to re-read.
This was am Arc from the publisher, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Time Of Our Lives is available now and can be found at Amazon, and do grab a copy.