Review: Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 12, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Escape to the cosy little village of Appledore for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a second chance at love. Will this Christmas prove that miracles really can happen?


A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas day, Chloe’s heart is finally on the mend as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…


It’s the manager of Gianni’s new seaside restaurant in Appledore, begging for Chloe’s help. Equally famous for his gold-leaf Christmas puddings and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way! It’s the last thing she wants to do, but Chloe knows she is the only one that can help.


As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But as Chloe’s eyes meet Gianni’s as they tussle over a plate of turkey tartlets, could there also be a chance for new romance on the menu? 


A laugh-out-loud festive treat that will give you the tingle of freshly hung tinsel. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

I’m SO excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances today!


Review: 

This is the third book in a series, I absolutely adored the first two, Ella’s Ice Cream Summer and Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream and it felt so good to be back in Appledore! You definitely can read each book as a standalone, however there are reoccurring characters that are so fantastically funny you really should read each book. 

This is told solely from Chloe’s point of view and what a sweetheart she was. It’s been a year since her marriage broke up and she’s lonely and heartbroken but she’s really trying to move on. As she slowly revealed parts of her history with Gianni you find out they’ve dealt with some heartbreaking issues, I truly felt for her. While this still had Watson’s signature brand of wickedly fun humor there was a more melancholy feel to it, it was more emotional than her other books. 

I loved that Chloe crossed paths with some of my old favorites, especially Sue who was back with her inappropriately hilarious advice and god awful malapropisms. Gianni is from Italy and the way he mangled certain common expressions had me rolling with laughter. He’s very sweary and ass is one of his favorite words but he uses it in unusual ways, clown ass, holy ass for a few examples hahaha. He always pronounces beach like bitch leading to some very funny encounters.

This is full of Christmas magic and sparkly moments, all about second chances and starting fresh. Watson’s books never fail to leave me with a smile on my face and are the best way to spend a delightful afternoon. I do hope this isn’t the end of the series, I’ve come to love and adore Appledore and it’s residents.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author: 


Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, make stuff up and sell it! 


So far Sue’s written ten books, and some have been translated into Italian and Portuguese (she’s big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, she now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA,’ on TV. 

 

#CoverReveal The Little Church by the Sea by Liz Taylorson @taylorson_liz @BooksManatee

I’m so pleased to be helping to reveal the cover for The Little Church by the Sea today!

Here’s some information about the book.
 

Isolated and unwelcome in the picturesque seaside village of Rawscar, Reverend Cass Fordyce has lost her faith and her home. Christmas is coming, and she isn’t looking forward to it. Then she meets attractive local man Hal – twice divorced and with a reputation as a ladies’ man he’s everything that a celibate vicar like Cass should avoid…especially as Hal is hiding secrets of his own, including his past with the mysterious Anna.

Can Cass ever find her way in Rawscar? What secret does Hal have to hide? And is there ever such a thing as a truly fresh start?

 

**A HEART-WARMING CHRISTMAS TALE OF LOVE, FRIENDSHIP AND STARTING OVER**

 

And now for the cover….



 

What do you think?! I love it, simple and so pretty. You can find it on Amazon.

Blog Tour: Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir @Lilja1972 @Orendabooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb: 

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Snare today!


Review:

Snare is told via three separate points of view, that of Sonia, Bragi and Agla. All of their lives and stories merge at some point in really interesting ways and the cat and mouse game between Sonia and Bragi was unbelievably tense and exciting. My heart was in my throat for most of this book, as much as I shouldn’t have wanted Sonia to keep getting away with drug running I couldn’t help but sympathize with her and truly hoped she would find a safe way out. 

Sigurdardottir is a fantastic writer, the scenes where Sonia was in the airport were so well written I felt panicky and anxious myself. There was a dark desperation lingering throughout this one, a strong sense of urgency that worked so incredibly well alongside the chilly Icelandic setting. 

Snare was a highly original and tense read that I flew through, it gripped me immediately and caught me in its own unique snare, I read it in one breathless sitting. This was a different type of crime read, the type of book Orenda is known for, fresh, exhilarating and compelling. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading anything by them before you should definitely check out their catalog or if all else fails start with this one, it’s outstanding. 

Quick side note, I just saw it’ll be the start of a new series and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

About the Author:


Lilja Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic crime-writer and playwright, born in 1972. She is the author of four crime novels, Steps (Spor), 2009, Forgiveness (Fyrirgefning), 2010, Snare (Gildran) 2015, Tangle (Netið) 2016 and Cage (Búrið) 2017.


Her debut stage-play Big Babies (Stóru Börnin) was staged in the winter of 2013-2014, became critically acclaimed and won the Icelandic Theatre Prize Gríman as “Best play of the year.”


Lilja´s latest book, Tangle, (Netið) was published in Iceland in October 2016 by Forlagid publishing. The rights to the novel have already been sold to France/Switzerland/Luxembourg/Canada (Éditions Métailié); World English (Orenda Books)


Blog Tour: The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti @KateMoretti1 @AtriaMysteryBus


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: September 26, 2017

Publisher: Atria Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…


Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”


In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.


Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.


And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.


Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.


Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns. 

Review:

The Blackbird Season is one of those books that had me gripped from the first page, there was something mesmerizing about this one, I was completely caught up in the lives of the residents of Mount Oanoke, Pennsylvania. I was so curious about the starlings and wondered how this bizarre event would tie into the story, almost as much as I was wondering what happened to Lucia…

This is told from four different perspectives and shifts back and forth over a few weeks. I don’t think any of the lead characters are super likable and their reliability is questionable, but I found myself relating wholeheartedly to Alicia. Her five year old son is autistic and I found myself nodding my head vigorously anytime she talked about her hopes, fears and worries for her son. Being a special needs mom to a kiddo with autism is the biggest challenge (and biggest gift!) I’ve ever faced in my life and Moretti captured the constant daily struggles absolutely perfectly, a truly accurate portrayal, bravo! While I made have had the strongest connection with Alicia all of the characters are extremely well crafted with strong, distinct voices. 

The setting and overall mood is fantastic, there is a mystical, otherworldly vibe right from the start. There is an ominous feeling surrounding this bleak town creating an atmosphere that was haunting and even sinister at times. Mount Oanoke is a small town full of secrets and that will always grab my attention, and on top of that Moretti is a really outstanding writer. This has a slower pace with a steady buildup and while it doesn’t have many edge of your seat moments, the ending did ramp up the tension and intrigue, I was very engrossed.  The Blackbird Season is an intelligent mystery with an eerie energy, this would be a fun one to add to your October TBR, it’s totally perfect for a fall read.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year, Thought I Knew You, and Binds That Tie. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and kids. Find out more at katemoretti.com.

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Character Spotlight: My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex Boyfriend by Peter Jones @rararesources @peterjonesauth


Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 10, 2017

Genre: Romantic Comedy 

Blurb: 

Adrian Turner, Mountaineer, Secret Agent, Fireman… Ade would dearly like to be any of these things, though he’d trade them all to win the heart of feisty Public Relations Executive, Paige.

Instead, he’s a disillusioned school teacher, on suspension, after an unfortunate incident with a heavy piece of computer equipment. And somebody’s foot. And Paige? Despite being his girlfriend for the past eighteen months, she still seems to have one foot out of the door and hasn’t quite committed to leaving a toothbrush in the bathroom.

Of course, it doesn’t help that she’s working with her ex-boyfriend, Sebastian. A man who in almost every way imaginable is better, taller, wealthier, hairier, and infinitely more successful than Ade.

Is Paige still in love with Sebastian? Why then did she suggest they get away for a few days? Some place romantic…

But when Adrian finds himself in Slovenia – with Sebastian in the room down the hall – he realises there’s serious possibility that he’s in danger of losing his job, his mind, and the woman he loves…

From best-selling author Peter Jones comes this hilarious romp about love, and the things people do to keep it from getting away.

I’m so pleased to be helping with the publication day push for My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex Boyfriend today! I have a character spotlight to share, check out the other blogs participating as well for additional information about the other characters. 


 Character Spotlight: 



 

The problem is he’s too much. In every way. He’s just too much. Too tall, too hairy, too loud, too brash, too rich… it’s like he’s a walking, talking magnet for the excesses of life. Is it any wonder that he was such a massive part of Paige’s life? He wouldn’t know how to be any other way. Invite this man into your life and he’d just fill up all the available space, and then some. He’s like an over-enthusiastic car air bag.

And that’s the other problem. The real problem. Sebastian came into Paige’s life and filled it up. Took over. He’s all she’s known for too long. Can you blame me for feeling paranoid? For expecting her, at any given moment, to ditch me and return to the arms of a man that, in every way, is better than me. Why wouldn’t she? So he’s arrogant, and big headed, and smug, and cocky – but from where I’m lying, with my handful of mediocre qualities, he has every reason to be.

 

Character Name: SEBASTIAN TUNBRIDGE

Age (in the story) / Date of Birth: Fifty two (7th April 1962)

Nationality: English.

Who are they?: Paige’s perfect ex-boyfriend.

Who could play them in a movie adaptation?: Jim Carey

 About the Author: 


Peter Jones started professional life as a particularly rubbish graphic designer, followed by a stint as a mediocre petrol pump attendant. After that he got embroiled in the murky world of credit card banking. Fun times.

Nowadays, Peter spends his days writing, or talking about writing. He’s written three novels; a Rom-Com (Romantic Comedy), A Crim-Com (Crime Comedy), and a Rom-Com-Ding-Dong (a sort-of Romantic-ish Comedy, with attitude). He’s currently working on his fourth novel, which – if it’s a musical – he’ll no doubt describe as a Rom-Com-Sing-Song. (Spoiler: It isn’t).

He is also the author of three and a half popular self-help books on the subjects of happiness, staying slim and dating. If you’re overweight, lonely, or unhappy – he’s your guy.

Peter doesn’t own a large departmental store and probably isn’t the same guy you’ve seen on the TV show Dragons’ Den.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate

What I Read Last Week: 


If There’s No Tomorrow was a powerful and emotional read. 

The Deep Dark Descending was a hauntingly poetic thriller, I loved it!

The Mistake was a solid psychological thriller from one of my go to authors.

My TBT pick was Until You’re Mine, a really great psychological thriller!


Fifty Years of Fear was a really unique crime read.

The Welcome Home Diner was fiction with a social conscience.

I adore this series and really enjoyed Annie’s Christmas by the Sea

Currently Reading: 


Up Next: 


I’m not sure if I’ll read much else, were getting ready to head to California for a family vacation!! I’ll have some scheduled posts of course but things may be pretty quiet from me otherwise.

How was your week? 

Blog Tour: Delaney, And So it Began by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @Bloodhoundbook


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 5, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb:

PI Vincent Delaney thought he was done with the NOPD until a string of seemingly unrelated child murders brings an unexpected invitation from the FBI, and his old boss. 


A serial killer is roaming the South, preying on children appearing in pageants, and the police want him to go undercover using his own family. Accepting would mean lying to people he loves and maybe even putting them in harm’s way. 


In Baton Rouge, a violent criminal has escaped and is seeking revenge for the brother Delaney shot dead. But Delaney isn’t going anywhere. He has unfinished business. Meanwhile, north of the French Quarter, shopkeepers are being extorted and ask for Delaney’s help. Extortion is a matter for the police. 


But what do you do when those responsible are the police? Delaney has his work cut out and he’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this alive…


I’m so excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Delaney, And So It Began today!


Review:

I’ve been a fan of Mullen’s Charlie Cameron series for awhile now and when I heard he was releasing the first book in a new series, I was thrilled! I love that it’s in a new location this time, NOLA and that once again it follows a PI that isn’t bound by the law. There’s something about a character that’s able to go rogue that really intrigues me. This is such a fantastic start to what I’m hoping is a long series!

Delaney has a really fascinating history, he was a detective but hasn’t been one for seven years. When the police and the FBI discover a serial killer is targeting young kids that enter beauty pageants Delaney is asked to consult on the case. The reasons behind his choice to quit working for the NOPD don’t become clear right away, there are flashbacks going back seven years that were tense and insightful. Delaney is just the type of lead character that appeals to me, he’s savvy and sharp but also has that great dry wit that’s a signature in Mullen’s books.

There is a lot going on here, Delaney is helping to track down the pageant killer but he also has two other cases ongoing. First, he’s hired by a group of locals that are being extorted by the cops and that is a huge can of worms in itself. Then, a madman from his past has escaped from police custody and is hell bent on revenge causing Delaney to always be looking over his shoulder. All of these separate plot threads made this an exciting read, there was never a dull moment. 

If you’re already a fan of Mullen you’ll love this one and if you haven’t read him before this is a great place to start. This is definitely his best book to date in my opinion, there is something about his style that I really enjoy.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author: 


OWEN MULLEN’S debut novel Games People Play has been long-listed for Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year 2017


School was a waste of time for me. Or rather, I wasted time; my own and every teacher’s who tried to get me to work. It took twenty years to appreciate what they were telling me. Life has rules. They aren’t written down but they exist nevertheless. I got that. Eventually. But by then I was thirty five.

Along the way I missed an important clue. At ten I won a national primary schools short story competition – and didn’t write anything else for forty years.

SMART BOY WANTED APPLY WITHIN

As a teenager my big obsession was music. Early on I realised if I was successful I would probably be rich and famous and pull lots of girls. 

So how did that turn out? 

Well, you haven’t heard of me, have you? And this morning I caught myself worrying about the electricity bill. So the short answer is: one out of three ain’t bad. 

Running around the country in a Transit van with your mates is fun. It’s your very own gang. You against the world. Until you fall out and the dream lies bleeding on the dressing-room floor. 

When that happened I went to London [everybody from Scotland goes to London, it’s like first footing at New Year, or ten pints of lager and a vindaloo on a Friday night; a sacred tradition] and became a session singer. I also started gigging with different bands on the circuit. 

Back in Scotland – most of us come back with wild tales of great success, none of them true – I wondered what I should do with myself and didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Her name was Christine. We got married, I went to Strathclyde Uni and got a bunch of letters after my name, and toughing it out at Shotts Miner’s Welfare, or dodging flying beer cans at the Café Club in Baillieston, was in the past. The long hair was short now, I wore a suit and pretended to like people I didn’t like because we were ‘colleagues’.

After many adventures I started my own marketing and design business and did alright. Christine and I were very happy, we travelled all over the place; India, Brazil, Botswana, Nepal, Borneo, Japan. One day I suggested we move. To the Greek islands. So we did. We bought land and built a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Then the pan global financial crash happened, years of fiscal carelessness finally caught up with Greece; the exchange rate dived and the cost of living in Paradise went through the roof. 

I had to do something. Then I remembered the short story competition. I had been good at writing, hadn’t I? 

I wrote another short story called The King Is Dead…the first thing I’d written since primary school. When I typed the last word [Christine taught me to type] I held the pages in my hand then started to read. An hour and a half, rooted to the chair unable to believe what was in front of my eyes. For four decades I had shunned a god given gift. And as I read I started to understand why. It was awful. Not just bad. Bloody terrible.

But I kept going.

And now, eight years and seven books later, three literary agents plus two I turned down [they were reading a different book] I am a writer. My books are on Amazon. People buy them and come back for more. 

One seasoned London agent has predicted I am destined to be ‘a major new force in British crime fiction.’

Yeah!

So is the moral: follow my example, find something you’re good at and stick with it. Hardly. I didn’t, did I? Do it your own way; it’s your life.

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Blog Tour: Always With You by Hannah Ellis @BooksEllis @lolasblogtours

Always With You banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Always With You by Hannah Ellis. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 3 till 9 October. See the tour schedule here.

Always With You is only $0.99 on Amazon for a limited time!

Always With YouAlways With You
By Hannah Ellis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 3 October 2017

Blurb:
A secret kept for more than twenty years. A daughter intent on finding the truth…

In 1994, twenty-one-year-old Evelyn Taylor left England to backpack around Australia. When she stopped off in the dusty outback town of Kununurra, she never expected to fall in love with the place – and the people. But Joe Sullivan captured her heart, and when her fun-filled year in Australia came to an end, saying goodbye to him was the hardest thing she’d ever done.

In 2017, Evelyn’s daughter, Libby, embarks on her own Australian adventure. Grief-stricken following her mother’s death, she’s determined to find the father she never met.

Little does she know that digging up the past will be more complicated than she ever imagined.

You can find Always With You on Goodreads

Only $0.99 for a limited time!
You can buy Always With You for only $0.99 for a limited time on Amazon
Always With You is available to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Excerpt: 

Excerpt 1

 

“I’m going to come straight out and ask,” Heidi said, pausing from filing her nails. “Do you want a hug? We could just sit here and cry for the morning if you want? I’d deal with anyone who tried to interrupt.”

I chuckled lightly as I started the process of extracting my outer layer of clothing and readying myself for a morning of making beds and cleaning up after a bunch of strangers. “No, thanks!”

“We can find a minibar to raid if you want?”

“I don’t think so.”

“A regular-sized bar then, if you insist!”

“Did Mel message you?” I asked, pulling on the ugly grey tabard and switching my shoes for a pair of well-worn Crocs.

“Only like a thousand times,” Heidi said, swivelling to sit upright on the couch. “She told me to look out for you today. As if I don’t look out for you every day! She’s actually driving me a bit crazy. You know she had the cheek to invite me over for dinner tonight?”

“She is awful sometimes,” I said, deadpan. “What a cow.”

“But why does she think I need an invitation? Is she trying to make a point about all the times I come around without being invited? Like every Friday night for the past ten years! I’m family. Why do I suddenly need an invite?”

“Well, you’re not actually family,” I reminded her.

“They’re your family, and I’m your family, so I’m related to them through you.”

“Just two small flaws to that equation,” I said flatly. “I’m not related to them or you!”

“I’m your best friend!” she said, outraged. “We’re bound by the knowledge of each other’s deepest secrets and most embarrassing moments. It’s more of a tie than blood, that is. And of course Mel and Rob are your family. You say the weirdest things sometimes. I don’t know why you insist on identifying as a poor little orphan girl.”

“I don’t!” I spluttered. Heidi stared at me, her eyebrows at odd angles. “I’m not even an orphan,” I mumbled. “I have a father somewhere.”

Heidi settled herself back into the couch. “Let’s talk about him.”

“Let’s not.” Sometimes I wished I’d never mentioned my father to Heidi. The snippets of information I’d found out about him before Mum died had played on my mind for a while, and I’d confided in Heidi at the time. I still knew little more than his name. Heidi had been more excited by the revelation than me. She’d spent time searching for him on the internet but hadn’t found out much, other than that he still lived in Australia – where my mum had met him. Heidi had wanted to get on the first plane and go track him down. The more Heidi encouraged me, the more I laughed it off as a crazy idea. After all, I’d managed perfectly well without a father for twenty-one years; why did I need one now?

Because you don’t have a mother any more, the annoying voice inside my head reminded me.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt 2

 

 

“Are you seriously going to sleep there?” Andrew asked.

“My bed is taken!” I flopped ungracefully into the hammock and wriggled to get my balance right. “And this is really comfy.”

“I’m not sure it’s safe to sleep out here.”

“I’ll be okay. Everyone’s so friendly.”

“I was thinking more about the wildlife.” He glanced around, nervously. “There’s about ten thousand species of things that can kill you around here.”

“Ten thousand?” I asked, amused.

“Approximately!”

“I’m sure I’ll survive. You don’t need to babysit me!”

“Not sure I can really sleep in my bed either with all that racket going on.”

“You’ll have to find your own hammock then,” I said. “I’m not shari—” The screech that cut me off was loud, wild and far too close. Jumping out of the hammock, I was behind Andrew in a shot and clinging to his arm. “What on earth?” I said, looking up at the source of the noise.

“Bats,” Andrew said. “One of the few things around here which won’t kill you!”

“Bats?” It was too loud for bats.

“Yeah. Fruit bats are really loud. And really big.”

Rustling overhead drew my attention and the screech came again. Two huge black creatures flapped their massive wings, fighting and shrieking before taking off, causing a breeze as they left.

“Oh my God! They’re huge.”

“Yep,” Andrew agreed.

“What are you doing?” I asked when he manoeuvred himself easily into the hammock.

“I found myself a hammock, like you suggested.”

“But that’s mine.”

Light from the nearby path bounced off his eyes, glimmering as he grinned mischievously. “You got out.”

I glared for a moment. Then I walked purposefully over to the hammock and took hold of it with both hands, giving it a quick, forceful tug. Andrew flailed before tumbling out. Smugly, I reclaimed the hammock.

“You got out!” I said innocently when he brushed himself off and stood looking down at me. The hammock wobbled when he climbed in next to me, and I turned my nose up at having his feet beside my head. “You better not snore,” I said.

“You actually think you can sleep in this?”

“Why not?”

“Well, it’s pretty wobbly for one thing.” He rocked the hammock to make his point. “And did I mention the wildlife?”

“You’re a bit of a scaredy cat, aren’t you?”

“I’m not the one who jumped a mile at a little bat.”

I gave him a quick kick before I closed my eyes. “Goodnight.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt 3

 

I was happy to see Cam and his family turn up only a few minutes later. They had spent their Christmas Day on the river. Three boats pulled up to the riverbank and the rowdy occupants announced their arrival with whoops and cheers and a few of them singing “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” at the top of their lungs.

“How’s my favourite British chick?” Cam asked, giving me a hug. “Having a good Christmas?”

“Yeah,” I said, my thoughts still lingering on Joe and Beth and wondering what had happened. “It’s been really good.”

“It’s about to get better,” he said. “I’m teaching you to water-ski.”

I frowned. “I saw a croc down there earlier.”

“You better learn to stay up on your feet then,” he said with a grin. Then he turned to shout, “Evelyn’s first attempt at waterskiing coming up! Someone get a camera and everyone gather round for a laugh!”

“Thanks!” I said, following him to the boat.

It was so much fun. To everyone’s delight, it took me a while to get the hang of it, and there were a few hilarious false starts which saw me nose-diving into the water. Then I got a feel for it and managed to get up out of the water. Cam steered the boat down the river, picking up speed as we left the house behind. He glanced back occasionally and shouted encouragement.

“Let’s turn around and show them what a pro you are,” he said after a while. We headed back and a cheer arose as we passed the house with me standing relatively confidently on the skis. Joe had returned and I caught his eye. I was having such a great time and laughed loudly before we left everyone behind again. On my next drive by, I got a bit cocky and lifted an arm to wave. Disaster. I let the rope go as I lost my balance and crashed spectacularly into the water. Below the surface, I spent a moment upside down and confused before hitting the air again, coughing and spluttering. Joe was at the riverbank and crouched to my level.

“You okay?”

“Think so,” I said, choking and reaching for his hand. “I lost the skis somewhere.”

“Don’t worry about it. Cam’ll get them. You scared me for a minute. Thought I was gonna have to brave the crocs and jump in after you!”

He pulled me out in one movement and I stumbled on my jelly legs, falling into him. “You okay?” he asked again.

“What happened?” Cam shouted, turning the boat around. “You think you’re the queen, giving everyone the royal wave?”

“I thought I was getting good,” I said, laughing.

 

 

 

 

Hannah EllisAbout the Author:
Hannah Ellis lives in Munich with her husband and two little boys. She’s originally from England and has lived in America, Australia and Ireland. As well as writing, she also teaches English to kindergarten kids. In her spare time she likes to read books, drink tea and eat chocolate. She goes jogging regularly but hasn’t decided if she really enjoys it or not. She’s a huge fan of sunshine, and the many Munich beer gardens.

You can find and contact Hannah here:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Always With You. One winner will win a signed paperback of Always With You and some swag, picture below. Open International.
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Review: Annie’s Christmas by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @bookouture


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 6, 2017

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance

Blurb:

On the beautiful coast of Cornwall lies the idyllic Salt Bay, where Christmas is the perfect time for bringing family and friends together…


Annie Trebarwith is happily settled in Salt Bay with her beloved great-aunt Alice and gorgeous boyfriend Josh Pasco. Snow is in the air, and Christmas is just around the corner.


But when the father she’s never met, aging rock god Barry, turns up with the half-sister Annie didn’t know existed, life suddenly gets complicated. Barry and Storm are soon clashing with the entire village, and their antics are even driving a wedge between Annie and Josh.


Can Annie prevent her new family ruining the festivities and repair things with Josh in time for a cosy Christmas? Or will their relationship end up as frosty as the Salt Bay air?


Annie’s Christmas by the Sea is a hilarious and heart-warming story about family, friends and the magic of Christmas, perfect for fans of Lily Graham, Holly Martin and Phillipa Ashley.

I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for Annie’s Christmas by the Sea today! 


Review: 

A few months ago I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this lovely series, Annie’s Holiday by the Sea and totally fell in love with the characters, Eeles writing style and the gorgeous setting. It was great to be reacquainted with the residents of Salt Bay and as there was a pretty big secret revealed at the end of the first book, I was eager to see that aspect explored further. You could read this as a standalone but they’re such fun and entertaining reads that you really should start with the first book. 

The characters in this book are so lovable and realistic, from Annie the introverted and sweet protagonist to her boyfriend Josh the brooding hunk to spunky Kayla, Annie’s Australian mate. There are many more, far too many to list, but they are all charming and unique in their own way and I loved getting to know more about each of them. The addition of Annie’s father Barry and sister Storm added some humor and snark and plenty of awkward moments and I really did feel for poor Annie dealing with not one, but TWO family members showing up at her door unannounced. No thank you! 

Though technically this is a Christmas book as it’s set during the holidays it really doesn’t play a huge role in the storyline and could easily be read at anytime of the year. There is something about Eeles style that really appeals to me, it’s easy, light and warms the heart leaving you with a cozy feeling. I highly recommend this sweet, adorable series to anyone who needs a pick me up!

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

About the Author: 


Liz began her writing career as a journalist and press officer before deciding that she’d rather have the freedom of making things up as a novelist. 


Being short-listed in the Corvus ‘Love at First Write’ competition and the Novelicious search for a new women’s fiction star gave Liz the push she needed to keep putting pen to paper …. and ‘Annie’s Holiday by the Sea’ (her first published novel) is the result. 


Liz lives on the South Coast with her family and, when she’s not writing, likes to spend time walking by the sea, and trying to meditate. Her ambition is to be serene one day …. she’s still got a long way to go.

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Review: The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman @dinnerfeed


Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website
Release date: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction 

Blurb: 

Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.


Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.


As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home? 

Review: 

Let’s start with that gorgeous cover, isn’t it stunning?! I’ve not read the authors previous book and based on the blurb I was expecting it to be on the lighthearted side, basic women’s fiction with a cutesy plot. Instead this was SO much more, it definitely has its fun moments and happiness but at its core it’s much deeper and full of substance. It tackles some extremely relevant and timely current issues in a really respectful and realistic manner. It touches on love, loss, community, and quite a bit more. 

This is told from two points of view, cousins Addie and Sam and it switches back and forth between the two every chapter. It follows their lives and those of the staff and their community over the course of a year. When it begins, The Welcome Home diner has already opened its doors and is struggling to find its place in this tight knit and hesitant neighborhood. The residents are suspicious and guarded and for good reason as Detroit has had many struggles as of late. Addie and Sam were both well drawn characters with interesting histories and plenty of emotional depth, I enjoyed getting to know both of them. There is a large cast of colorful supporting characters as well with often painful, unique pasts that added an extra layer of emotion. 

This story revolves around food and Lampman’s descriptions were scrumptious. She includes a handful of recipes from the story at the end and I will definitely be trying a few out! Interspersed between the food are some heavy hitting topics such as human trafficking, race relations and gentrification of a community. It’s all handled with grace and a style all of the authors own and leaves much to be discussed, this is an ideal book club read. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.