Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Seasonal

Festive Reads Day 16 – A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson (Comfort Food Book 5)

When I heard Debbie Johnson was releasing a new book in the Comfort Food Cafe series, I was really excited as I have loved getting to know the residents of Budbury in these stories.

In this visit to Budbury set in the lead up to Christmas we have the opportunity to get to know Katie and Saul who we have met previously. On this visit we gain an insight as to what bought Katie and Saul to Budbury and see a different side to her character as she gets used to village life and the insecurities she feels in relation to Saul. Saul is one of the many wonderful characters in the village and has won the hearts of everyone. His brilliant character transported me back to when my daughter was a young bouncing bundle of energy.

A fantastic addition to the Comfort Food Cafe series, I have loved snuggling down to read the story of Katie and Saul and I hope that there will be more books set in the lovely idyllic village of Budbury at the Comfort Food Cafe.

Book Blurb

Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindess at the Comfort Food Café.

This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 20.35.59
Available to buy now from Amazon
Advertisement
Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Seasonal

Day 15 – An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan

Today we are visiting the small island of Mure for the next instalment which we revisit Flora and her friends and family in An Island Christmas.

I have really enjoyed this series, the characters are lovely and we get to know them and gain further insight into their lives in this instalment.

Jenny Colgan has a way of making you feel like you know her characters and in this story she deals with illness, family tension, relationships and grief. Another brilliant book that I have read in just under a day as I have enjoyed it so much and had to know what happened. I really hope we are lucky enough to have another instalment visiting the island of Mure and its lovely residents.

Book Blurb

Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark – and incredibly beautiful.

It’s a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love – unless, of course, you’re accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?

Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons – but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for an unforgettable Christmas.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 12.08.07

Available to purchase on Amazon

About the Author

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including The Little Shop of Happy Ever After and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jennycolgan.

 

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Childhood Classic, Debut Book, Historical Fiction, Memoir / True Story, Monthly Round Up, Seasonal, Young Adult

2018 – A Small Chink out of my TBR Pile!

I have had an absolutely amazing year for reading, I have smashed my target of 100 books which I thought was optimistic when I set it and have been lucky enough to read some truly amazing and memorable reads that have stayed with me.
I have been trying to think about my Top 5-10 books for the year and it is so hard to decide and so I am still debating if I can actually condense it down into a few books that are my absolute favourites.
So far as of mid December I have read 109 books which translates to a massive 31892 pages! This is a number that will continue to increase as I am planning on some major reading sessions over the Christmas holidays as that is my favourite way to relax.
Here is a visual summary of the books I have read so far in 2018, this is a mixture of authors I have read before and loved, some cherry pop reads and some debut releases!
If you are looking for a read over the festive season I can promise that all of the books featured above are all fantastic reads with a bit of something for everyone and I am really excited to see what new releases 2019 will have to offer!
Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Seasonal

Day 14 The Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson

Kelly-Mason

I was really excited to see that Milly Johnson was bringing out a new book in the lead up to Christmas this year as I absolutely love festive stories!

Once you pick this brilliant book up you will want to stay enconsconsed in it’s lovely story until you reach the end. The characters are lovely and it is a book full of Christmas cheer from the offset with a bit of romance intermingled as you follow the journey of the head strong Annie, Eve and Palma.

I read this book in just a couple of sittings as this author has a way of just pulling you in so that you have to keep reading.

If you are looking for a story full of Christmas cheer and that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, I would definitely recommend adding this to your TBR pile

Blurb
Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 12.31.06

Available to purchase on Amazon

 

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly’s website is http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk. She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Milly Johnson). She also has a monthly newsletter http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.

Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Debut Book, Seasonal

Day 13 – How to Bake a New Beginning by Lucy Knott

I absolutely loved this book and find it hard to believe this was a debut novel as she had pulled me in from the first few pages!

The story is based around the sisters, food and their Italian heritage. I loved Amanda’s love of cooking and how important good homemade food was for these sisters. This story oozed love and the importance of family from the very first page and highlights just how vital these relationships can be, making you long to be surrounded by your family and tucking into Christmas dinner together.

A brilliant story that I absolutely loved and has made me want to bake and nibble on Italian treats. How to Bake a New Beginning is the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly evening in the lead up to Christmas and has made me really look forward to the upcoming festivities with my family. I look forward to seeing what Lucy Knott releases next, definitely an author that I will be looking out for!

 

Book Blurb

Three sisters. One trip to Italy. The chance to change their lives.

Amanda has always taken the role of big sister seriously. She has her life in order; a fantastic job in a great restaurant, a wonderful house and a best friend who’s a Rockstar. But, Amanda’s beginning to realise that her life is missing one monumental piece…

Sabrina is living the high life in LA. Her Instagram is full of lavish parties, her tweets are brimming with celebrity names, but in reality she’s stuck behind a desk working for a boss who is determined to make her suffer. Is it time for her to stand up and take charge of her life?

Louisa has always been drowned out by her sister’s successes. As the university drop-out she’s always felt third best. But a chance encounter in a little Italian village may be about to change that…

When their beloved grandfather passes away these sisters are forced to take another look at their lives. These three sisters are about to embark on a journey of self-discovery that could just lead them down a road of romance (with a little help from the kitchen)!

 

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 18.52.22

Available to purchase on Amazon

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Seasonal

Day 12 Christmas for One by Amanda Prowse

PSX_20181213_183010.jpg

I love a festive read in the countdown to Christmas and I chose this as I have previously read A Little Love from the No Greater Love series where Meg is initially introduced through Pru’s love story.

This book fills you with love and the magic of Christmas early on, you then go through a whirlwind of emotions following the love story of young Meg whilst waiting to see if it will have a happy ending or if she is indeed destined to never experience the true love she craves. Amanda Prowse has a gift as writer for making the reader feel the emotions she is conveying as they progress through the story and Christmas for One is no exception.

I really enjoyed this book and I didn’t want it to end, a fantastic story that can be read individually or as a follow on in the No Greater Love series.

Book Blurb

A lonely single parent finds love at Christmas in this warm festive rom-com from best-seller Amanda Prowse.

As a child, Meg always dreamed of the perfect Christmas…

This year, she can make it come true for her own little boy. There will be turkey and all the trimmings, a glittering tree, and a stocking hung up by a roaring fire. Who cares if there’s no devoted husband in the picture? She and Lucas will be just fine on their own.

But then a chance meeting with a stranger in New York unravels everything she’s planned. Will Meg finally get everything she wished for? Or will she be alone this Christmas after all?

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 18.19.11.png

Available to purchase on Amazon 

 

About the Author

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has had twenty novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’ and ‘My Husband’s Wife’ have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include ‘A Mother’s Story’ which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and ‘Perfect Daughter’ that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s latest book ‘The Coordinates of Loss’ went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Family Drama.’

Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Seasonal

Day 11 – It Started with Christmas by Jenny Hale

A lovely read that will definitely help you feel festive and in the mood for Christmas. This year I am loving the brilliant selection of festive reads that are being released and It Started with Christmas is my first book by the lovely Jenny Hale and is a lovely addition to the fantastic line up being released this year.

This brilliant festive read is highlighting the importance of family and is a lovely family based festive read. Holly is a force of a nature who is totally invested in providing a wonderful Christmas for her dear Nana to help lift her spirits after the loss of her Papa.

Set in the beautiful snowy outskirts of Nashville in Holly’s family cabin, from the first few pages where Holly was strapping their Christmas tree to the roof of her car to move it to the cabin I knew I was going to love her character in this story.

A story that will make you laugh and cry, full of community love, wonderful characters and lots of lovely family Christmas traditions.

Book Blurb

A beautiful, feel-good Christmas story. You’ll laugh, cry, and fall in love with this wonderfully warm and MAGICAL festive romance…

Holly McAdams loves spending the Christmas holidays at her family’s cozy cabin, with its little red door and twinkling lights, tucked in the snowy hills outside Nashville. But this year will be different. Someone unexpected is joining them…

After Holly and her beloved Nana struggle through a snow storm to reach the cabin, they discover gorgeous and wealthy Joseph Barnes, who has been renting the cabin for the last few weeks, is now snowed in. And it looks like he’ll be staying for the holidays.

Determined to make the best of the surprise situation, Holly tries to bring everyone together by baking delicious treats and decorating the cabin with plenty of festive sparkle. She finds herself growing close to handsome Joseph, who is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, even if Nana isn’t so keen on the dashing stranger with the mysterious past.

But charming and irresistible musician Rhett Burton is also back in town. Thrown into close proximity with the person who used to be her best friend and the man who broke her heart, Holly realizes it’s time to face her feelings and figure out what she really wants from her life. But to complicate things, both Joseph and Rhett have secrets to reveal…

Will Holly be able to find herself and the love she’s always dreamed of this Christmas?

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 12.32.24

Available to purchase on Amazon

 

About the Author

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about the magic of love at Christmas, and 2017 TV movie on The Hallmark Channel.

The rest is history.

When I’m not writing, I’m a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

Posted in Childhood Classic, Seasonal, Younger Readers Age 9-12

Day 10 – The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.52.58

Today we have a Mum and daughter review as we have both read and loved this book! Daisy is a massive fan of Michael Morpurgo so when I saw that he had released a new re-imagined version of The Snowman I had to buy a copy so we could both read it as we both loved the original story by Raymond Briggs.

I grew up with the beautiful story of The Snowman and reading this lovely story took me back to my memories of reading the original as a child in the lead up to Christmas.

This is a beautiful story that is wonderfully interwoven with the original to ensure that the story of The Snowman released 40 years ago has not been lost. It is the perfect story to curl up with your children and read whilst snuggling with a Hot Chocolate and a lovely way for older children to experience the magic of Christmas.

Daisy was enraptured as soon as she picked it up and loved the adventure that this story took James on and how it was so similar yet had differences to the original story.

A lovely festive read that I would recommend to children of all ages that carries all of the magic of the original story and more.

Book Blurb

Beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo has re-imaginedRaymond Briggs’ classic The Snowman for a new generation of readers. 

One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling.

He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose… just like the snowman from his favourite story.

That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life!

He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.52.25

Available to purchase on Amazon

 

 

 

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Seasonal

Day 9 – A Miracle on Hope Street by Emma Heatherington

Today we have the beautiful A Miracle on Hope Street, I love an author who writes with such skill and who always triggers an emotional response. This lovely story again pulls at the heart strings, Emma Heatherington is an author who always leaves me feeling emotional with her fantastic stories.

A Miracle on Hope Street is a beautiful story about loss, love and finding a reason to hope again. It is a story full of characters from all walks of life who have loved and lost and through being united are finding reasons to hope again.

A truly brilliant story that I absolutely loved and will definitely be recommending as it made me feel all of the emotions being portrayed as I read them throughout the story.

Book Blurb

Can a single act of kindness change a life forever?

To many people Ruth Ryans has everything: the perfect job, a home to die for and a loving family. But it’s all lies. As Christmas approaches, Ruth feels lonelier than ever.

Then Ruth meets Michael. A man who, on the night of her father’s death the year before, she showed kindness to during his darkest moment. That one single act, his miracle, helped change his life forever.

Can one act of kindness really change a person’s life? Ruth decides to find out and plans to make this Christmas the most perfect one ever, opening up her home to those who need her help – the lonely, the lost and the ignored.

This Christmas actions will speak louder than words and Ruth Ryans’ kindness will create little miracles for everyone … including her own battered heart.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.36.27

Available to purchase from Amazon

 

About the Author

Emma Heatherington is an international bestselling author from Donaghmore, County Tyrone.
Her novels include the Amazon UK Top 10 bestseller and Amazon US hit, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, and more recently, A Part of Me and You, which reached the USA Kindle Top 100 and the UK Top 40. Her books are also published in Germany and Holland.
Her next novel, A Miracle on Hope Street is a heartwarming Christmas themed story of love, kindness and friendship and is out on ebook format in September 2018.
As well as her own novels, Emma has written scripts for over 70 educational short films and plays and was ghostwriter for country legend Philomena Begley on her autobiography, My Life My Music My Memories (The O’Brien Press, 2017) and Nathan Carter’s life story, Born For The Road, which will be published in September 2018 (Penguin Ireland).
She also regularly contributes to the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life newspapers and has appeared on chat shows on RTE, TV3 and UTV.
Emma is a mum of five, aged from 22 to 3 years old and her partner is Irish artist and singer/songwriter Jim McKee.
Find Emma on Twitter @emmalou13 or on Facebook at emmaheatheringtonwriter

Posted in Adult Fiction

Day 8 – The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

I love Sarah Morgan and every year I love that Sarah Morgan releases a new Christmas book and this story did not disappoint.

The McBride sisters all knew tragedy at a young age and it has haunted them in the background ever since they were small children. During this story you see them all arrive back home to the Scottish Highlands for Christmas but each of them has their own issues that they are trying to deal with. A lovely story about three sisters uniting, rediscovering and uniting as a family once again.

This book is the perfect story to snuggle down with under a nice warm blanket, with a hot chocolate on a winters evening in December and get lost in the highs and lows of the McBride family.

Book Blurb

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

 

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.29.21

Available to purchase from Amazon

 

About the Author

Sarah Morgan is a Sunday Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. She has sold over 16 million copies of her books and is a 3-time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist.

Sarah lives near London with her family and when she isn’t writing or sprawled on the sofa reading, she likes to spend time outdoors walking or riding her mountain bike. She still can’t believe she is lucky enough to be paid for doing a job where she makes things up.

Join Sarah’s mailing list at http://www.sarahmorgan.com for all book news. For more insight into her writing life follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook/AuthorSarahMorgan and on Instagram at @sarahmorganwrites Contact Sarah at sarah@sarahmorgan.com