THE HOLIDAY CRUISE by VICTORIA COOKE

Today I’m excited to be part of the book birthday blitz for The Holiday Cruise by Victoria Cooke:)

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What they say: 

As if it weren’t enough to be cheated on by her husband of ten years, Yorkshire lass Hannah Davis is losing her beauty salon business too. Luckily, her big sister is there to pick up the pieces, but Hannah is desperate to find some independence.

Impulsively, Hannah applies for a spa job…on a cruise ship! Christmas in the Caribbean, springtime in the Mediterranean, what’s not to like? But, despite being in her thirties, Hannah has never done anything on her own before, and she’s terrified.

As the ship sets sail, Hannah has never been further from home…or closer to discovering who she is and who she wants to be. 

The Review: I have to admit when I heard the blurb for this I was excited to review as it sounded very different to anything I’d read- a cruise ship sounds like a great place to get away from your troubles! I also loved that her job would be in a spa so we could sample some of the more decadent things, as opposed to her struggling to survive (sometimes when you’re up for a bit of holiday escapism, you want the works!).  I’ll admit I didn’t always get on with this book, for me it was a case of picking it up and putting it down a fair bit more than I’d have liked and I think it was Hannah’s character that did it, we just didn’t click. There was also some repetition of words and editing issues that the pernickety side of me would’t let go of, but I doubt this would be a problem for most.

The cast around Hannah pulled me in, as did the settings, not only on board but also when they visited the places they stopped at and I got to experience all the different countries. The group dynamic of the people that worked on the ship was well done, and I crossed my fingers for them all. I adored the ending, which was very satisfying. I have to add that the me from ten years ago would have devoured and ingested this book in one go, it really ticks all the boxes for a light enjoyable read and one that is great for, not just holiday escapism, but for any time of the year escapism. Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

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Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016

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#BlogTour Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman #BookReview

I am so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this today, ‘Oh Crumbs’ a romance designed to never allow your eyes to leave the page!

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What they say: Sometimes life just takes the biscuit … Abby Spencer knows she can come across as an airhead – she talks too much and is a bit of a klutz – but there’s more to her than that. Though she sacrificed her career to help raise her sisters, a job interview at biscuit company Crumbs could finally be her chance to shine. That’s until she hurries in late wearing a shirt covered in rusk crumbs, courtesy of her baby nephew, and trips over her handbag. Managing director Douglas Faulkner isn’t sure what to make of Abby Spencer with her Bambi eyes, tousled hair and ability to say more in the half-hour interview than he manages in a day. All he knows is she’s a breath of fresh air and could bring a new lease of life to the stale corporate world of Crumbs. To his life too, if he’d let her. But Doug’s harbouring a secret. He’s not the man she thinks he is. 

The Review: Onto a book that I’m sure I’ll remember for some time to come because of characters that leapt off the page, and romance and heat that took my breath away!!! So this is the story of Abigail Spencer, who stole my heart from page one, where she showed how willingly she took up the role of surrogate mother to a huge household and I knew she was something very special. Abby is one of those characters that only comes along in books every so often, a girl with a big heart that evolves into a woman that’s not only enthusiastic about everything in life, but wants everyone else to be happy too. I read so many books that try to be Abby, but then you meet the happy, over the top, accident prone ‘real life’ version and you sigh in happiness, because she is ‘The One!’ Abby has a fire in her to better herself and be the best she can be and we see her graduate form night school and end up at an interview for Crumbs, the biscuit manufacturer.

Enter Doug, the millionaire Managing Director, who against everything his gut tells him, hires Abby, although he worries afterwards that he has just hired a disorganised, chatty, tell-it-too much like it is scatterbrain. A word of warning, if you’re not a fan of not only the ‘will they, won’t they’ scenarios, but also the ‘when will they?’ notion, then this book is most definitely not for you! Blowing hot and cold is as rampant as moments when you have to fan yourself for the expectation of them not only getting but deciding to be together. The chemistry from the off with the two of them was mesmerising and blew me away! This book was like a lesson in how to do romance and heat and I willed them together from the off, unable to take my eyes away.

I loved not only the banter between two of the most likeable characters I’ve read in some time, and their alternating povs, but the everyday in the ‘Crumbs’ biscuit factory and how the power structure was playing out with Doug’s dad, the owner of the business. There is tension and drama aplenty, in fact it is thrown at us from all angles, work, home and Doug’s family too, and I was never bored or even contemplating having to push my eyes back to the book. I will tell you that there’s cliches aplenty, but if you’re willing to accept them they’re impeccably done, the millionaire in his flashy car saving the day, some over the top baddies, Abby stepping in to help the company, that sort of thing, and I devoured it all!

Actually there was a hint of ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes about this book, in relations to characters, circumstance and Abby’s huge and larger than life (I adored them all!) family, and that being one of my favourite books, I took it excitedly. My only issue at all was that there’s some books out there that I find myself editing (just a little) as I read, substituting one word for another along the way, and unfortunately I was doing that sometimes here, finding eh odd word repeated, or a word I would have rathered but when I thought back over it it didn’t in any way take away from the enjoyment of a book that kept my heart and senses racing on a cliff edge throughout. A book that has you smiling from the start, I have to say this is a book that is going to stay with me for some time to come and I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Freeman. Thanks so much to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Win a paperback copy of Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman (Open Internationally)

And, now, before we meet the author, how about a Giveaway?! (Click here!)

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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About the author

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A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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#BlogBlitz #BookReview The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three

 

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part 3

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Purchase from Amazon UK

What they say: Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …

Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

The Review: I was dreading this. The end of The Hattie Hastings series. And look at the first line of that blurb: ‘Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end.’ And yet while I did sob proper tears in the book, there was so much hope and warmth and still the fun and the puns and the romance that I probably did spend more time smiling and laughing. One of the iterations of the ‘moving on’ that goes on in this part of the trilogy (as there’s much moving on when you think of it!) is possibly one of the most memorable mixes of comedy and grief I’ve come across, and it floored me as a reader and a writer. There’s a lot about passing on and death and it really really got to me, especially when you thought about who was going (oops, am crying!)

I adored this book. I loved Hattie’s son and her mother, Hattie’s brother and his partner, in fact every character was perfection, the good, the bad and the cringey! The romance as ever, was gorgeous and it led us to a very satisfying conclusion. I will admit Cat’s story wasn’t so important for me, as I really wanted to get back to Gary and also to Hattie, but it was dealt with satisfactorily too! All in all such a memorable series, and one which I’ll probably re-read in the future. Excellent part, excellent series. Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review. (Previous posts part 1 and part 2 )

Rating: 5/5

About Audrey Davis (it’s long but worth a read!)

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Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, fewer farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’

After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce. It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in July. After which she might have a wee lie down …

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The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part 1 by Audrey Davis

 

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Length: 90 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon book link

What they say: A ghostly and witty romantic comedy
Some people just won’t take death lying down … (NB: cliffhanger ending)

Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.
Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.
Hattie can’t convince anyone that Gary is back. Not even best friend Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her.
Why has Gary returned? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings will make you laugh, cry and count down until Part Two …

The Review:

This is the story of Hattie Hasting, who is living in a not always perfect but always full of love marriage with the larger than life character of husband Gary until “Almost twenty-one-years of marriage destroyed by a lunatic driver who’d mounted the pavement, smashed into Gary as he positioned the bin just outside their gate, then disappeared into the night. His injuries were so severe, he never regained consciousness.”

When Gary begins to appear to Hattie, slightly translucent but still the same Gary, you see that this is not your average ghost story. For one thing ghosts can’t usually drink whiskey!  This book is full of comedy (there’s amazing one-liners that are credited to a comedian at the end that I have to go look up!) but it’s interspersed nicely with the other worldly as we hear Gary try to make sense of death with Hattie. The romance with the two of them, in all their normality, was spellbinding, and it made it all the more heartbreaking that they couldn’t return to it. In fact it is the everydayness of this that blows your mind-the continuing on from day to day even though Hattie’s soul mate isn’t there and wondering when he is, well, what happens next? How can this work?

The characters were excellent. I loved Cat, Hattie’s best friend, too and was thrilled with the cliffhanger, it was absolute perfection! All in all a romantic, heartbreaking, gorgeous, hilarious (HILARIOUS) book that would remind me of something like Robert Brenda’s Coco series, fun and funny and a little over the top but not crossing lines into crass or something you’d cringe at. A series I will rate and adore for a long long time to come. Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

 

Madame Love Actually by Rich Amooi #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Today I am so so excited to bring this gem to your attention: Madam Love Actually by Rich Amooi. Oh and there’s a giveaway too!! Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest gush. (I mean review!)

Madam Love Actually

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To buy:

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What they say: Lance Parker is an arrogant know-it-all. As author of the bestselling book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist, he says love is for losers. Madam Love is a fortune teller and matchmaker who has brought hundreds of couples together.

When the two clash during a radio interview, she admits even someone as irritating and impossible as Lance has a soulmate. He says she’s delirious and a fraud. Then the gauntlet is laid down: Madam Love has two weeks to prove Lance wrong and find him a soulmate.

When Lance meets wonderful Emma by chance, he doesn’t know what to think anymore. But Emma has a secret. She’s Madam Love, actually. And it’s going to take a whole lot more than a crystal ball to get her out of this mess.

About the book: This is the story of Emma Wright, known as Madam Love to her clients in San Francisco. Madam Love tells her clients how about meeting ‘the one.’ She has a step of instructions for her to get to the person of her dreams, but can’t tell her the specifics. I cannot tell you how taken I was with Emma straight away in both iterations, both as herself, and as the talented Madam Love. As Madam she is the totally together, wig and fortune teller garb adorning, tell it like it is because I’m totally right, fortune teller, but as Emma things are a bit more difficult, with bills to pay, rent increases and a decision made that she herself will never meet the love of her life.

Enter arrogant Lance Parker. I loved him too and was practically jumping up and down when I met him on air, speaking about his book ‘Your soulmate doesn’t exist.’ (Guess what it’s about). He was sarcastic and cheeky and yet rational and lovely and if I hadn’t been in before (I was, from the get go), I was most definitely all in when Emma rang in as Madam Love to put her two cents in and we found out that he’s also fully against fortune tellers too. And so a challenge is put to Lance; take Madam Love’s advice and NOW try to prove there’s no such thing as a soul mate and that fortune tellers are frauds.

So now it’s up to Madam Love to send Lance off to meet his perfect match, only she doesn’t realise that fate has made a decision for her too! The magic in this book, the intervention of fate, is genius, as wee see how one decision changed, can suddenly impact others and yet one thing knocking on to another, was very likely always decided.

I do see what I’ve done here, I’ve just told you all about the book and not gone into the characters (swoonerific, not just the mains, but her landlord and partner in crime Randy), the pacing (perfection, what with the back and forward between Emma, Madam Love and Lance that you watched with, jaw slightly dropped , as if watching a movie heading to a climax that had me holding my breath), the settings (oh and what a dog festival, especially because I got to meet the lovely Typo!) and the general perfectness of the romance and zingy chemistry. I defy people not to read this book and smile, laugh, gasp and swoon and will never be able to recommend it enough-totally up my street and beyond recommended and I cannot WAIT to get to the author’s back catalogue!

Rating: A million out of five (that’s a five;))

About the author

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Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. They live in San Diego, California with their very hairy daughter, a mini goldendoodle puppy. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

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And now for the Giveaway!

 

Win a Sterling Silver Lucky Charm Pendant, plus an autographed paperback copy of Madam Love, Actually. (Open Internationally).

Rich Amooi Prize

To enter click here 

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

And now, how about you head off to follow the rest of the blog tour!

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#BlogTour #BookReview Sisterly Love by Michelle Vernal

Today I’m beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for the brilliant ‘Sisterly Love’ by Michelle Vernal!

Sisterly Love

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Length: 349 pages

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

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What they say:

Nobody’s Perfect Are They?

Rebecca Loughton’s bumbled her way through her thirty-something years making a few cock-ups along the way. Of course, these wouldn’t be so obvious if it wasn’t for her golden haired, older sister Jennifer.

In a bid to escape Jennifer’s lengthy shadow and to find her happy ever after Rebecca, high-tails it out of her hometown of Christchurch to the other side of the world landing a legal secretary job in the buzzing city of Dublin. A few drinks later, all she has to show for her new life is an embarrassing one-night stand and a dollop of flirtatious banter with her boss Ciaran, who just happens to have a predatory receptionist in hot pursuit of him.

Amidst plans of preventing such a merger, Rebecca receives news that Jennifer’s picture perfect life has a big, fat crack down the middle of it in the form of a philandering husband. Summoned home to look after her sister’s children and cooking school while she works on her marriage, Rebecca finds the reality of looking after two young children along with the bizarre array of guests booked into the cooking school grim. The only bright spot on her horizon are Ciaran’s e-mails but then she meets David Seagar whom she thinks might just be the ending to her happy ever after but will he prove to be far from perfect too?

The Review

So we meet Rebecca, who’s been drafted in by her sister to look after the kids after said sister’s marriage breaks down to fly back to their home town (Rebecca moved to Ireland some time ago) in Cristchurch.  I have to start by saying all settings were excellent, in particular the finer details, her home household with it’s Addam’s family type portrait, her apartment in Dublin (me: yay-it’s set in Dublin!), or her sister’s decadent family house.

The comedy and smart remarks were totally me, the fact that there was two kids present to send everything in a spin and that her and her ‘try-to-get-out-of-anything’ friend, Melissa, was helping mind them? Just brilliant.

Now I’ll admit I had tiny issues, Rebecca wasn’t always the world’s most likeable protagonist and I’d say the book was more comedy than romance (I didn’t totally believe any of the romance to be honest), but all in all I loved this book, with it’s non stop pacing and bam, bam, bam approach to everything that happened. Any issues I found in terms of believably were miniscule and didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for a book I absolutely DEVOURED, nodding along and smiling, in just a few hours. I’ll most definitely look forward to making my way through this author’s back catalogue.

I’ll never forget when Cher Lloyd was first on the X Factor, and after one of her particularly amazing performances, Cheryl said (puts on Cheryl accent:)”You’re right up my street you are” (or something close to that anyhoo!). THAT is how I feel about this book.

Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for this book in return for an honest review and of course for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the author

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Hello, my name is Michelle Vernal, and by way of introduction, I’m Mum to Josh and Daniel and am married to the super supportive Paul. We live in the garden city of Christchurch, New Zealand with our three-legged, black cat called Blue. BC (before children) Paul and I lived and worked in Ireland, the experiences we had there have flavoured my books.

I’ve always written, but it was only after my first son was born that I decided to attend a creative writing course at Canterbury University. Oh the guilt dropping him at pre-school so I could learn the basics of story writing, but oh the joy of having conversation to contribute other than the price of nappies that week! The first piece I ever penned post course was published by a New Zealand parenting magazine. I went on to write humorous; opinion styled pieces of my take on parenting, but when the necessity for being politically correct got too much, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel. Six books later and a publishing deal with Harper Impulse here I am. These days I write for a North Canterbury lifestyle magazine and my latest book Sweet Home Summer has just been released by Harper Impulse.

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#BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway One Summer Weekend by Juliet Archer

Apologies to everyone I let down yesterday when I failed to post this, my blog post for the tour of One Summer Weekend by Juliet Archer.

One Summer Weekend

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Purchase from Amazon UK

What they say:  One summer weekend can change everything …

Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again.

Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin …

The Review: We meet Alicia Marlowe as she meets a new potential client for ‘Coaches for Growth,’ and she is not impressed by what she sees. I was straight in, straight away as we also met Jack Smith, whose reputation as single handedly turning around a company that was in severe difficulty preceded him. I knew I liked Jack straight off the bat, and enjoyed how they interacted with each other, even though Alicia did at times come across as being slightly over dramatic, jumping to every cliche conclusion about him not being serious, and being a womanizer. I enjoyed their time in the office, but it was after the twenty percent mark, where Jack took Alicia to the beautiful Lake District, that things really kicked off for me as they pretended to be a couple for the lovely Bill and Midge. I enjoyed the scenery and settings, although for once I wished I could have gotten even more of a feel for both, given the beauty of this cover (isn’t it gorgeous?)and the location.

The romance in this book is impeccible, turning a couple who I wasn’t sure of the chemistry of, into a partnership that I willed to work. With both struggling from past hurts, we got some drama that I really enjoyed. I flew through this book in one lovely Summer’s afternoon and it was perfect for this. Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

And now for the giveaway!!!

Win PB Copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me (Open Internationally)

Giveaway – Win PB Copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me (Open Internationally)

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To enter simply click here

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

About the author

Juliet Archer 2

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet’s third book, One Summer Weekend, is out in June 2018. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in Choc Lit’s Kisses & Cupcakes anthology.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

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#Giveaway #BlogTour #BookReview The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @rararesources #TCSICB

 

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

 

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Cover

Length: 344 pages

What they say:

Praise for Nicola May’s books

‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson

‘A fun and flighty read’ the Sun

‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’ WOMAN Magazine

*

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

The Review: Well, the blurb kind of says it all, doesn’t it (I know you’re fed up of me saying it but yay to blurbs that tell you exactly what you’re getting as opposed to giving you so little that you basically can’t write a review!)

So this is the story of Rosa, who has just been fired from another job when she gets a shock. She has been gifted a shop! With nothing to lose Rosa heads off to try to make a go of what is the legacy of an unknown benefactor. What with this unknown factor, the beauty of Cockleberry Bay and the drama that quickly ensued this book was really a lesson in how to write chick lit that has so much going on you don’t have time to stop reading! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t always too sure of Rosa, she’s a bit of a departure from the usuals, she’s very open which is a nice way of saying she’s loud, pushy and brash, and yet that made her fit into Cockleberry Bay even more, as they weren’t averse to telling it how it is either.

It also made you feel for her that little bit more when she let her guard down when things fell apart, and wow, did they! With a myriad of romantic possibilities, Rosa is beyond unlucky in love, although she doesn’t mind that, she’s never been looking for ‘The One.’ As well as that, the people in Cockleberry Bay aren’t too quick to bring her into their fold and there’s a lot of work to be done in the new shop. Saying that there were also some helpful characters to pull her up and of course a special mention has to go to her great little dog ‘Hot!’ The antics and mysteries in this were brilliantly done and interspersed with gorgeous settings. It was a very busy book, what with trying to work out who people were, figure out who’d knocked down one person and who’d got another pregnant, as well as the one burning question, who gave Rosa the shop in the first place?

The book is told in third person and mainly from Rosa’s pov, although we’re lucky enough to hear other people in it too. All in all, pretty much my type of chick lit in terms of being very soap opera-ey and crazy, with so many threads running through it that made me want to salute the author for her braveness. It wasn’t always my cup of tea, just because I can be a bit of a prude and amn’t too much of a fan of cursing either but that was who Rosa is really! Whoever loves this will seriously heart it, and I hearted most of it myself!

Rating: 4.5/5

Purchase from 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

About the author (I love this bio, by the by!!!)

nicola may portrait

Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

Follow Nicola May

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter @nicolamay1

Instagram

Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949475/

*See Ts&Cs below. Also, don’t forget to follow the blog tour! As always thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of this and happy Friday to you all!

thumbnail_The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Full Banner

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#CoverReveal The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John Ligali

Another day, another cover reveal (jumps about excitedly!) You’ll remember I read ‘The Big Event’ last year which is the first of the sparkly  ‘Friendships Online’ series  (see review here ) and was excited to read the next in the series. Well today I’m lucky enough to be revealing its beautiful cover!

The Weekend Spa Break Cover Reveal

 

You ready? No, hold on, how about the blurb first …

Friendships Online Series

Part Two

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.

It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.

As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

And you can pre-order it here!! Amazon UK

So here we go …

The Weekend Spa Break Cover

Isn’t that just gorgeous?

 

About the author:

thumbnail_Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series. Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs

in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Author blog: http://annejohnligali.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/booksnauthorsuk/

Author Twitter

Author FB

Books and Authors UK: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Books and Authors UK Twitter

Books and Authors UK Facebook

As always thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of this great cover reveal and I really can’t wait to take part in the blog tour! Happy Monday everyone:)

#CoverReveal The Picture by Roger Bray

Today I’m very excited to be part of the cover reveal for Robert Bray’s ‘The Picture!’

thumbnail_The Picture - Cover Reveal

Here’s the blurb

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

Ready for it …

thumbnail_The Picture

How mesmerizing is that photo? Just to tell you a little about the author ( I have to admit, I love this bio!)

thumbnail_Author photo

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops. My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider. Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing. Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school. So here we are, two books published and another on track. Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Find him on Social Media

Twitter  @rogerbray22

Facebook

Website

Buy his book ‘Psychosis’ on Smashwords here

Or on Amazon here

As always thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of this great cover reveal!