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Christmas is coming….


Yo ho ho…

I’ve read some fab Christmas books recently including: Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes, A Little Sugar, a Lot of love and finally The Christmas Promise, which has given me the idea of a week given over to Christmas reads. So in November my blog is going to be all things sparkly.


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I’ll be reviewing my latest read and introducing a fellow Irish writer to you but the more the merrier…

 

So if you’d like to join in just drop me a line via Twitter or Facebook and I’ll send you an invite. But don’t forget to BYOB, which as all great writers know means  ‘bring your own book’, wine and coffee optional essentials 😆

Finally here’s my latest book cover, what do you think? 

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The Christmas Promise: Sue Moorcroft


Book Blurb

Countdown  to Christmas with your new must-have author, as you step into the wonderful world of bespoke hat-maker Ava Bliss…

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember…

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones. Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas. So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

My Review

When is too early to read a Christmas book? January, or is that too late? October or, unlike the shops this year should I at least have waited for Halloween costumes and fireworks to be off the shelves before dipping my hand into a tinsel read? I read my first Christmas book this year in August. I know, don’t SHOUT but sitting on a sun lounger while reading about snow and Santa is all part and parcel of being a RONA judge, and I count myself lucky to be assigned a couple of cracking festive treats. So in truth I’m an expert Christmas reader this year, something to bear in mind when you get to ‘read on’, as Mr Bennett tells Elizabeth.

But enough about that, back to The Christmas Promise. I downloaded this a few weeks ago via NetGalley but was saving it as you do. I can’t now remember what it was that attracted me as it’s my first Sue Moorcroft read but there it is. I finally got around to reading it yesterday.

Curled up on the sofa, well actually I read this on a boat journey between France and Guernsey but whatever… so curled up on the hard plastic seat I switched on my trusty Kindle expecting froth, you know something light, festive and shorter than normal. That’s not what The Christmas Promise is. This is a good read in itself that, cutting out the mistletoe and mince pies can easily hold itself amongst more lofty tomes.

The topic centres around Ava an expert hatter, Sam (yum) and Ava’s ex who’s frankly one of the nastiest creeps around. One wonders what Ava saw in him but then again women  choosing crap boyfriends isn’t exactly unique. What is less common is using online revenge as a vehicle for a story and boy does it work. We all know that online dangers exist  but this spells it out. I’m not that computer savvy and this read taught me a lot. I don’t think I’ll be able to block a hat anytime soon but knowing how to load, share photos – I’m now an expert!

There’s laughs too ‘booby Ruby’, in addition to tears ‘Sam’s mum’. All in all a well written, well delivered Christmas book that isn’t. Oh it’s got all the elements in that it’s set around Christmas, but if your expecting the usual you’re in for a very pleasant surprise.

Want to read? Available from Amazon here 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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5⭐️ A little Sugar, A Lot of Love: Linn B Halton


Book Blurb

Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better. But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she can’t help but feel that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?

Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed. ?But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there …

My review

Do you love fairytales?

You know those goodie baddie stories where there’s always a prince that finds his true love? We know there’s going to be a ‘happy ever after’ but that’s all part of the enjoyment. We can dive into the story head first and allow the writer play with all of our emotions knowing full well we’ll fall asleep with a smile of our face. These are the go to staples reads  and one of the reasons that I both read and write romance. There’s no dead bodies or ghosts in the cupboard to jump out and scare the wotnots out of me. There’s good solid writing,  a twisty turny plot with more surprises than a box of Quality Street and cake – lots and lots of cake.

Katie is the kind of baker I’d like to be. I’m master of the wonky cake and mistress of the pancake sponge!

Katie’s set up her own little cottage industry cake shop and then Adam walks into her life, dripping wet and with enough baggage to rival Mulberry. But Katie has rival baggage in the form of her partner and all round baddie Steve (sometimes baddie’s come disguised as grandma, but they’re baddies all the same).

Talking about grandma have I mentioned Grace; granny extraordinaire? There’s something magical about grandma but then again this is a fairytale….

You can buy ‘A little Sugar,  a Lot of Love’ here

About Linn

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, in the UK.

“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache…”An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award. Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

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5⭐️ A short way from home: Jan Ruth


Book blurb

What to do About Clara? The certainty of old love, or the uncertainty of new? Frankie has two women in his life and he needs to make a choice.

Over The Moon. It’s Pattie’s birthday, but will all her wishes come true? Events are planned, but Pattie simply longs to escape, preferably to the man next door!

There are five more stories each as delightful as the rest. 

My review 

There are so many good books out there that short stories normally fall outside of my reading radar: that was my first mistake.

I bought this on a whim a few months ago. Something as a go to reliable on my Kindle when I had a few minutes in the schoolyard between pick-ups: therein lay my second mistake. 

These stories aren’t to be read in short spurts like a dripping tap they are good enough to be savoured with a decent cup of coffee and perhaps a smidgen of cake (chocolate preferably).

The first story ‘What to do about Clara’ is well written but that’s a given with my book reviews. As you know if I can’t get passed page five I don’t read and I therefore don’t review. 

Clara’s story made me want to fling my Kindle across the room in disgust. The indignity of her story heartfelt. So many relationships end up in this mire of misunderstanding and angst but it takes a writer with Ms Ruth’s skill to deliver feelings like this, taut anxious feelings delivered by a consummate wordsmith.

‘Over the moon’ had me laughing out loud, in fact between you, me and the bedsheets I now have a tea stained white duvet cover because of it. What with tastefully arranged carrots and turnips I was beside myself after the first page. And yet there’s pathos here to. My mother counts her birthday cards each year and woe betide anyone that forgets to send her one. To her, birthdays are everything as they are for most of you. For me they mean nothing, they mark yet another tragedy – but that’s another story. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy ‘A short way from home’ here

About the author 


Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic with a generous helping of humour, horses and dogs. Her books blend the serenities of rural life with the headaches of city business, exploring the endless complexities of relationships. ABOUT JAN RUTH:The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical. 

 

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Boy Brainy. New improved cover and hard copies soon

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Bullying has raised its ugly end again with yet another tragedy, but this time it’s one letter too far for me – a letter I cannot read. Bullying is what got me into writing because I too had a story: my story. But my story would have remained unpublished if history didn’t start repeating itself with my son. It was only then I decided to press that self-publish button.

Set in Conwy (North Wales) Boy Brainy isn’t a big book. It’s probably not even a great book but it’s been written with a purpose.

I don’t believe we can stop bullying, it’s too widespread for that now. The only thing we can do is bring up our children to like themselves. By raising their self-esteem to such an extent that they will still be able to walk proud whatever the bullies try to say or do.

So that’s it. Boy Brainy is aimed at 7-11 year old’s, a key age when bullying is recognised as often starting. It comes with additional material that includes key questions that parents/guardians can use to start discussions with their children.

It’s only 99p on Amazon, the cheapest I can make it and I’m working on a print version with Creatspace so I can get some copies into libraries.  There is no catch