It’s a bit of a mad one, I’m used to being over here as a blogger, and only sometimes as an author. Instead I’m now showing my author wares, but I’ll definitely be throwing in some reviews and updates on my writing, reading and book buys.
So I found myself heading to the ‘about’ section and sitting down to type this:
I’m Berni and I live in the Midlands of Ireland with my brilliantly out there husband, four great little men and four cats! I write sunshiny, feel good romantic comedies and chick lit. You may have come here expecting a book blog. Hopefully you won’t mind joining me for various musings on my rom com and chick lit books and series. There’ll still be some reviews of course, and you can always look over the hundreds I’ve blogged about over the years. See you inside!
So there we go! And hopefully I do see you inside. Saying that if I don’t, thank you for following me all these years, it’s beyond appreciated!
Am so so thrilled today to be showing you a book from the amazing Anne John Ligali’s (you, know, from the weekend spa series which I adored?) daughter Annabelle! I’d say my kids will love it! And she’s only NINE? Oh, oh, oh- and there’s a giveaway too!!
LOST IN CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND PUBLICATION DAY GIVEAWAY!
To celebrate the release of Lost in Christmas Wonderland, Annabelle is giving away a marshmallow cake. In her book, the family makes a huge fuss over granny’s Christmas marshmallow cake that she makes every year. In one chapter, granny Sylta asks Rita to buy a bag of marshmallows at the Christmas Wonderland theme park, and throughout the book there’s always a mention of this delightful cake. Annabelle has decided to give one person the chance to win a marshmallow cake to enjoy! There’s also a second prize, you can win a box of candy canes.
Here’s what you need to do to enter.
1) Follow Annabelle on her Instagram page at @annabellepresents 2) Find this picture of the marshmallow cake and leave a comment. Tell her what your favourite theme park ride is, or used to be, or just anything you enjoy about visiting a theme park, and that’s it. The giveaway closes on the 8th of December at midnight. Winners announced at random on Annabelle’s Instagram page @annabellepresents
This competition is open to UK residents only.
Thank you and good luck!
What they say:
Lost in Christmas Wonderland, by Annabelle John-Ligali
When ten-year-old Bella Matthews and her mum, Isabel, visit Granny Sylta in the snowy village of Lakersfield for Christmas, it turns out there is more in store than just Christmas cake and a ton of presents.
When she arrives, she meets her cousin Rita and a boy called Tommy for the first time, and catches up with her friend Iris again too. Together they discover an exciting attraction is in town: A giant Christmas Wonderland Theme Park. They are dazzled by hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, a Musical Nativity, a Santa Parade, an Upside Down House, and many more attractions.
But Bella ends up having an unexpected adventure of her own as she dances with pot-bellied Santas, discovers a palace made entirely out of glass, wanders into an intriguing puzzle room, and treks for miles to find shelter on a snowy night.
Can Bella find her way back to Granny Sylta’s house in time for Christmas dinner?
Lost in Christmas Wonderland is a story about courage, kindness, friendship, the importance of family, and the magic of Christmas.
About Annabelle Annabelle is nine years old and lives in London. The inspiration for her book came after she visited Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park in November 2019 with her mum, dad, little brother Andre, and Granny Sylta. It was here she first saw an Upside Down House and had heaps of fun filming and visiting all of the rooms. Annabelle was so fascinated that she decided to vlog about it on her Youtube channel. Click here to watch the video. Shortly after her visit, she thought how fun it would be to write a story about a girl who visits a Christmas theme park with some friends and goes on a little adventure. Outside of school, Annabelle enjoys playing with her brother, vlogging about books she’s read, and places she’s visited. She also likes making up dance routines to songs that are trending on Tiktok. When she wants to have a giggle, she plays Guess Who with her mum. Her favourite authors are Alesha Dixon, Trish Cooke, David Walliams, and Ben Miller. She also likes reading magazines like First News For Kids and Cocoa Girl. This is Annabelle’s first book, and she hopes you like it. Amazon UK Amazon US Instagram @annabellepresents Youtube: Annabelle Presents
A gorgeously romantic festive read from the author of A Mistletoe Miracle, guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas!
Could it be the start of her happy ever after?
Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan – who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable – her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…
That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.
When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.
If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…
The Review: When Emma Jackson set up her Winter Warmer challenge to read Christmas books over November, with a read along of sorts on the 29th, I thought what better book to start with?!
From the start I was very much taken with this book, where we follow Ash, who has been working as an elf in a santa’s grotto, also meeting Olivier, who has returned from France, from a thankless job as a chef with his tough – love delivering father.
Ash and Olivier have a past together and I loved unfurling their story. The romance here is beautiful, and has everything a Christmas story should have, with so much sparkle and twinkle. The side stories and side characters, Ash’s man, and Oliver’s maman, were lovely, as were the resolutions.
All in all, I loved this book and can’t wait for more winter Warmers!
Hi everyone! Sits down at dusty desk and swipes st the screen with a cloth. So I’ve been away from here for over a month now, I’ll be honest, I was terrified I was done with both blogging and reading, but Halloween seems to have tentatively nudged me back in the right direction, and I’m now enjoying a host of holiday (the holiday of Halloween of course!) reads! Huge hugs to you all, it’s a relief to be back!!!❤
Penny and high school never got along. She attends her fifteen year reunion costume party on Halloween and hopes her high school crush Will shows up. When the lights go out and Will finds her, can their sparks turn the lights back on?
The review: So I’ve always been a ginormous fan of Halloween. Every year my kids ask ‘ but do you really like it more than Christmas?’ And I admit that it’s possible but that it’s not comparable, that they’re two different holidays etc. Saying that, as far as books and movies? I ADORE Halloween done well!
I love the spectacular autumnal colours, the decorations, the costumes, the trick or treaters traipsing from door to door. Perfection! And so this year, with my huge reading block, I decided these were the books that would shift it, and also get me back blogging, and boy was I right!!
The Right Equation was the story of a high school reunion where Penny returns to give the place another chance. In her head is a list of people she doesn’t want to meet, and one she’s intrigued about. I jumped easily into the amazing halloween setting of a high school in halloween, complete with fancy dress and a range of characters who had decided to keep their high school personas, with some of the bullies never having learned to be nice. I flew through this, felling like I was really there, and really feeling for Penny. I’ll admit I wanted the non romantic story to climax more but my god if you want to absolutely ingest the spirit of Halloween this was a fantastic story and as I said, got me my realing groove back, so definitely one I’ll remember and am grateful to!
About the book: There’s nothing quite like a Christmas love story, to get you in the mood for celebrating…
Cara doesn’t do sexy and she only does ‘Happy Christmas’ under duress. She is, after all, a serious musician, and her stubborn streak is born from her struggle to recover from a serious injury.
Javi lives for escapist fun – in his music, and in his life – especially since he’s always failed at life’s more serious challenges, including marriage and fatherhood.
Javi and Cara are forced to record a Christmas single together, but neither of them have plans to spend any more time with each other than they absolutely have to. With Christmas traditions that couldn’t be more different, and outlooks on life that are worlds apart, the chemistry just shouldn’t work. But the magic of Christmas can bring even opposites together…
From the snowy beauty of London at Christmas, to the candle-lit magic of Javi’s traditional family celebrations, let Leonie Mack whisk you away on a memorable festive adventure. Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Mandy Baggot and Holly Martin.
The Review: I had absolutely leapt for this book for so many reasons, I had ‘met’ the author on social media, and aside from how positive, enthusiastic and lovely she was, I was blown away by her professionalism, which I knew would translate into her books. (Of course add the words, music, Christmas and ‘for fans of Mandy Baggot’ and you pretty much have me grabbing for my Kindle anyhoo!)
So we have two very different characters, both mesmerising, one a loud, gyrating, bubbling over Columbian musician who is looking for ‘Something’ music wise, the other a dancer, an artist even, who’s graceful and captivating and also a talented musical artist, but from a totally different world- one where she side steps all that Christmas means because of a horrific accident that marked Christmas as a tragic time for ever more.
I adored this book from the start. I devoured the beauty, stoicness, strength and sadness of Cara’s life and the craziness of Javi’s, unable to look away as they clashed and then almost able to hear the fantastic music they made together. The Christmas feel, then the settings as they moved between climates, the chemistry and heat and some wonderful side characters were amazing. This book had an almost cinematic feel to it, and I absorbed every second. A beautiful book with salsa rhythms and outstanding beauty.
All in all beyond recommended and thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.
Leonie Mack is a debut romantic novelist. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!
What they say: United in grief. Pushed apart by tragedy.Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives aninvitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up oneverything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time. As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’thelp but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…Head to Paris this Christmas and fall in love under the lights of the Eiffel Tower with best-selling author, Mandy Baggot.
My Take: Another author I do not get to enough and hopefully when I wind down ironically I’ll get to more of her books because after reading and adoring One Christmas Star, which was vibrant and sparkly and fun and really, just amazeballs (review here) I cannot wait wait wait to read this book and have pre-ordered and will have the full review for you in the next few weeks! I’d say go get!! Thanks to Aria Fiction for including me in the blog tour.
About the author
Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer.Thewinner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance,her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for theRomantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016.Mandy’sbooks have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech andHungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music andhandbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury,Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.
The review: One of the authors I regularly recommend for fantastically vivid, bright, fun books and conversely don’t read enough of is Jane Linfoot and this book reminded me exactly of that!!
We begin with an encounter that had me smiling and settling in, praying that there was to be more like this (there was!). I’m always a fan of anything to do with weddings and was intrigued to hear of how weddings had changed from lavish princess affairs to more modern, eco friendly one, where brides wore long sleeved dresses than gowns and I wished (oh how I wished!) that I had read the first few books in this series to see how this particular wedding business had operated and also whether the betrayal by a best friend at the beginning of the book (in so many ways-I was incandescent with rage on hearing she’d robbed a potential baby name!!!) had been ‘seen’ by readers previously.
I beyond enjoyed every second of this book- the detail, the brightness, the warmth and general unputdowness that had me turning the pages to the final ‘ps!’
Very much recommended but definitely go back to the start of the series! Thanks so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.
About the author
I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines, and lots of heart. Writing is fab, because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I live in a cottage up a mountain road in Derbyshire, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos. Happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.
Thrilled to be one of the openers for the blog tour for the amazing laura Briggs, oh and there’s a giveaway!!
The sequel novel to the best-selling UK series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL brings new surprises, romance, humor, and wedding bells, to readers who fell in love with the first stories.
Busy mother of two Julianne Rose has extended her talents beyond the manor house, opening her own event planning agency with the help of no-nonsense best friend Kitty. Balancing the chaos of daily life with their respective careers in their beloved Cornish village means Julianne can rarely snatch a romantic moment with handsome husband Matt. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any more chaotic, a sudden arrival at Cliffs House lands Julianne in the most unusual event of her career.
The reappearance of Percy or ‘the old earl’ after years of adventures abroad has temporarily shocked Lord William and Lady Amanda and set the entire village abuzz with gossip. Grizzled, spry, and delightfully eccentric, he’s returned with a most unusual set of traveling companions: an archaeological team digging in a spot whispered to have ties with the legendary Camelot. But it’s Percy’s ties with a certain charming woman among its team that has everyone taken by surprise, along with the news of their soon-to-be nuptials.
Tasked with planning the big day, Julianne and Kitty spring at this opportunity despite its rushed timeline and their own woes regarding the renovation of their future event space. But as the big day rolls closer for the earl and his bride-to-be – with cakes and wedding flowers competing with pottery shards and an ancient warrior chieftain’s grave for attention — are there still surprising revelations to come?
Adding to the excitement is the return of former Cliffs House maid Gemma, whose posh new life as a novelist may not be all it seems … and Dinah visits in a flurry of festive baking for a holiday competition on everyone’s favorite baking show. Kitty’s life is in a tizz regarding both family and secrets … and Julianne’s happy marriage is challenged by an unwelcome sexy-and-persistent suitor among the summer visitors.
Filled with old friends, new adventures, and heartwarming Cornish charm, RETURN TO CORNWALL is an all-new, full-length novel—the first one ever to feature the characters from the original series!
The Review: I will tell you a horrible thing now. (Mutters) I have never read this series. Yes I absolutely know I rant and rave about every single Laura briggs book and that people rave about it! I’ll get on it, okay?
I really enjoyed this, a book about Julianne, who is an events planner (yay!) in a cornish village. At the start I was intrigued to see something of a diversion from the writing (funnily enough not unwelcome, I loved the almost mom lit feel) I was used to from Ms. Briggs, as we met her family, including husband Matt, who was so lovely.
The writing gradually changed back to what I was used to, that iconic prose filled language that had me experiencing every beautiful detail of foods, gardens and events. I’ll admit this was a book of two halves for me, the first setting the scene of Julianne and Matt’s cosy but sometimes too comfortable marriage with the presence of Percy, who is professing his ability to change the investigating of historical finds, and young Dex, who has his eye on somebody … These stories definitely moved on in the second half, building to a nod along climax and very satisfying ending. Really enjoyable and very much recommended. Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.
Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Return to Cornwall by Laura Briggs (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.
What they say: Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.
Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much.
Diana has a rich and successful husband, two talented youngsters and an adorable dog. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one. Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends and often looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge.
Although Josie loves Diana deeply, each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret. But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she also hiding something? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance.
This is the first book in my new series of standalone novels set in Seahorse Harbour.
THE review: I would say one of my most reviewed authors, I seriously jumped when I saw this, a book by the prolific Emily Harvale about two very different sisters being put together again. So we meet Josie, who we see as a very devil may care (I’ll admit we didn’t always get on), out to have fun person, being pushed into checking if there is something up with her sister.
Having moved away and pretty much checked out from life in Seahorse harbour Josie returns to find her sister is not herself and sets about figuring out what is going on and oh my wow what a job to do this! There were scenes that made my jaw drop and made me nod along, agog. The mammy in me raised her eyebrows at a particularly lusty stormy scene (it was dangerous people!) but nobody could have ripped my eyes from the page!
This is a book full of the most wonderful, sweep you away cosiness, witty banter and nod along humour, with beautiful captivating settings and of course Ms. Harvale’s trademark romance and dramatic flair all thrown into the mix. It was exactly what I needed and is very much recommended. Dramatic, witty, charming and romantic, and as it says, the first in a series of standalone books set in Seahorse Harbour that I for one will be following!
Thanks so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.
What they say: The sun … the ocean … the farmhouse … the scammer… the police… the 3-legged dog?
George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-owning friends while George’s heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that they’re no longer living busy London lives, they’re beginning to realise they have very different ideas of happiness.
Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That’s why it’s particularly embarrassing that he didn’t realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.
Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons. She’s finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.
The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.
The review: I was thrilled to see this author come up for review , I remember ‘Please Retweet’ from the earlier days of the blog and had marked her as one to watch so jumped for this one!
This is a book for those of you who want to be transported to a very vivid but sometimes stark destination in Spain. We meet Salva, a jaded investigator who is beginning to feel the weight of his job as he’s surrounded by his family who are trying to solve some issues.
We move on to a number of different people, including a motivational speaker who doesn’t always take her own advice, a smooth talking charlatan and a couple who both want very different things as they live out their spanish ‘dream’. It was these two that gripped me most, as I felt for both at different times, but obviously leaned towards one(!)
I loved how all of the stories continued along and then careered into each other at the intersection which had me willing on people to do the right thing. All in all a very riveting read, with the perfect balance of gripping and madcap, set against a great backdrop with excellent characters.
Very much recommended! Thanks so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.
About the author
Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.