Miss Mary’s Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls

51jzYtQ-kQL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Published 23rd March 2017

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Ella runs Happily Ever After, a bookshop nestled in the cobbled streets of York.

She’s a wife, a mother and a successful novelist. But something is missing . . .

One day a strange girl comes into Ella’s shop. Bryony is shy and unsure, and Ella feels a strange connection to her.

With the help of one very special book – and a little touch of magic – can these women help each other find the fairy tale endings they’ve been searching for?

My Thoughts:

This novel follows Ella a published Author, owner of a bookshop which is thriving and she’s now started a family with the love of her life. In spite of this Ella feels that she is struggling as she realises that motherhood isn’t everything she thought it would be and worse of all she thinks her husband is cheating on her. Then we are introduced to Bryony, as she arrives at Ellas bookshop looking for a magical book and as we soon find out not everything in Bryonys life is perfect either.

I have to say I liked how Sophie Nicholls covered the topic of Mental Health as it’s not something you see alot in books at the moment and she covers the topic in such an understanding way.

The Characters were brilliant and not like other characters which you see in alot of books, these were eccentric and magical and were described perfectly including troublesome Selena.

At first when I started reading the novel it took a few pages/chapters to get my head around  all the characters, however once you know who is who then you are on your way to reading a great novel.

Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

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Published: Paperback – September 2016

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When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.
Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.
Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.
Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.
Photographer Jerry, who’s determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.
And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .
In Chris Whitaker’s brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants.

My Thoughts:

If you enjoyed The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker then I can honestly say you will enjoy Tall Oaks.

This story follows a number of characters who all live in the little town of Tall Oaks, Jess is mother to three year old Harry, and when he goes missing the whole of America turns its attention to the town, weeks pass by with no idea of where Harry is but he is never far from their thoughts. Jerry who is still living with him mother and is trying to get away from her controlling ways, Jared a newcomer to the town and seems to be full of charm and looking into all of these is a police chief who has his own secrets.

I can’t share too much about the book without giving it all away, but what I can say is I was gripped from start to finish, the writing is incredible it draws you into the story in a way that makes you feel that you are in the town itself, to the extent that I was actually imagining what the characters looked like.

The book keeps you guessing from the start to the very end, I thought I had it all figured out but then he would throw a spanner into the works, so just remember you may think you know what’s happened but chances are you don’t have a clue.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay By Jill Mansell.

51ih2eldcelMeet me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Published: Paperback May 18th 2017

Publisher: Headline Review

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Love is in the air in St Carys, but you’d never know it – the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets…

The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings – but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.

For the first time in Ronan’s life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option. Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn’t quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface. The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed.

My Thoughts:

I have a confession to make although she has wrote over 20 novels, this is the first Jill Mansell book I have read and I now know what I have been missing.

The story is based in the seaside town of Cornwall called St Carys, throughout the novel you learn alot about quite a few characters, so don’t skip reading any of the parts as you’ll need to know this information throughout the story.

Clemency is one of the main characters and as she is on a flight she meets Sam, on the spur of the moment she gives him a card with her number, however what she doesn’t know is that he is married ad not able to see Clemency again. On her return home, Belle – Clemency’s sister introduces her to her new boyfriend and gets the shock of her life when it turns out to be Sam, will they be able to keep it together.

I love how throughout the story we meet a variety of characters who re all relatable from Marina an extremely kind painter who holds her own secrets which could turn peoples worlds upside down to Ronan who feels his charm has failed him in winning over the women he loves.

This way Jill writes about these characters and the setting you get the sense that you are there and witnessing everything first hand. The book is beautifully written which she keeps interesting from start to finish even with the little twists and turns so you are never quite sure how it’s all going to end till the very last page.

If you love a feel good novel then I cannot recommend this book enough to you.

 

 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

download.jpegPenny lives at Lilac Cottage with her dog called Bernard and leads what seems to be a solitary life, so decides to rent out her annex in the hope that her new neighbors will end up being friends.

The new arrivals Henry and Daisy are seen to be a new young married couple, however Penny feels an attraction between herself and Henry. However she soon learns that everything is not how others assumed especially between Henry and Daisy.

The writing style is great, I was gripped by the first line of the book and thrown into a wonder world filled with romance, Christmas and a story that sweeps you off our feet and along for the ride. Also the way in which White Cliff Bay is describes it, I cannot only imagine being there but I also want to visit it.

Cannot wait to read more from the great author and hopefully more following Penny.

Book Tour: Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie

9780751562088BURNED AND BROKEN by Mark Hardie.

Published: Available now on e-book, published in Paperback from 4th May 2017.

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Amazon Paperback

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The charred body of an enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out shell of his car on the Southend sea front.

Meanwhile, a vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery of their colleague’s death, dark, dangerous secrets begin to surface. Can they solve both cases, before it’s too late?

 

Hello and Welcome to the third day of the Burned and Broken Blog tour, the fabulous debut novel by Mark Hardie. This novel was recently released via e-book with the paperback version being released on May 4th. I would like to thank Little Brown books especially Clara Diaz for asking me to take part in this.

Mark Hardies gripping debut introduces a new detective duo, working to together on two suspenseful stories which leads to a fantastic read and I am looking forward to more from the dynamic duo.

Straight away you get thrown into the story which I love, you sometimes find that some books take a while before they get going, however this is not the case. You do have to be able to keep track as there are two different stories being told at the same time, which once you get used to it, it is easy to keep track.

I loved the relationship between Pearson and Russell, they kind of reminded me of the tv shows Midsomer Murders and Dalziel and Pascoe.

I also enjoyed how the back story wasn’t just given all at the same time, it was slowly given out throughout the book, so just as you thought you had figured it out BAM some more information is revealed and it turns the story on its head.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and as a huge lover of Crime Thrillers it was definitely up my street and I look forward to seeing what is in store next for Pearson and Russell.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tours for day three:

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About the Author

Mark Hardie was born in 1960 in Bow, East London. He began writing full time after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.Mark lives with his wife Debbie in Southend-on-Sea.

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Blog Tour: Frost Blood by Elly Blake

 

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Hello and welcome to the final day of the Frosty Blog Tour for the fabulous debut Novel from Elly Blake, I not only have a review for you but also an Ice Extract for you all. Also, don’t forget to check out the previous stops and reviews in the blog tour, shown below:

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Extract:

“Is there a problem, Fireling?” the king asked, his eyes narrowing to dark points, his lips twitching. “You look . . . a little cold.

   ”As he said the words, my limbs went stiff. My feet wouldn’t move. I realized they were mired in frost up to my ankles. My heart still beat hard in my chest; my breath came in panting bursts. But when I opened my mouth, whether to plead or threaten, my jaw was too stiff for speech. Sheer blind panic flooded my veins. I was completely and utterly at the king’s mercy. “You’re accustomed to frost having little effect on you, aren’t you?” He smiled, looking satisfied, like a well‑ fed cat. “Well, I’m no peasant. My power comes from the throne of Fors. It absorbs your heat.”

The cold reached my stomach and was creeping toward my chest. My breathing slowed and my vision dimmed. So this was how the king killed Firebloods. As if through a fog, I saw his smile, felt his raw pleasure in the act of making me hurt.

I tried to force words from my frozen throat. Stars burst in front of my eyes.

 The young woman in the plum gown stepped forward. She gave me an intense look from thickly lashed violet eyes before turning to the king.

 “Pardon, Your Majesty,” she said in a soft, melodious voice, “but would it not be a fine idea to let her fight? We haven’t seen a Fireblood in the arena for several weeks. Perhaps it would raise the spirits of your soldiers to see your champions defeat a Fire‑blood, to remind them of our great victories. It could be an auspicious way to start the summer season of games.”

Annoyance flickered in the king’s eyes, but the woman’s expression was patient, inquisitive, and hopeful. Her wheat‑ gold hair, lit from the window behind, was braided and twined on her head in an elegant style that suited her delicate features. I had the sense that if anyone else had been so brazen, they would have been frozen on the spot. But the king seemed to consider her words.

“My arena is for warriors and champions, and she is neither,” he replied. “Fighting is a privilege that must be earned through a show of strength.”

He tapped his fingers on the icy throne, the sapphire ring glinting in the light. The shadows in the ice shifted.

“She must be tested,” said a voice that resonated in my head like a thousand chiming bells, excruciatingly loud. From what I could see, no one in the room showed signs that they had heard anything at all. The king’s head was cocked slightly.

“She must be tested,” the king repeated. He lifted his hand and made a careless gesture in my direction. The cold rushed away, leaving me boneless. “Take her to Gulzar. If she survives the beast, perhaps I’ll consider allowing her into my arena. If not, at least my pet will have a hot meal.”

 Review:

Frost Blood was a great start to what I feel will be a fantastic series. It follows Ruby who is a Fireblood, however she must hide her powers from the ruling Frostbloods otherwise like her Fireblood descendants she will be killed. However situations change and she finds herself teaming up with those who are known to kill her kind.

I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this book, from the beginning you are thrown straight into the story. It was full of suspense, always wondering what would happen next and second guessing and also full of action.

The world building in this novel is fantastic, whilst reading I could actually imagine being in that world, and I think if as a writer you can capture that then you are onto a winner.

I loved Ruby as a character and the developing relationships she had with other characters, I found myself rooting for her at the beginning. I also loved that other characters that were involved and how much you learnt about them which was great because sometimes you find in some books you don’t learn much about other characters at all.

I feel that this book is different to similar book out there, I feel that the history between the two rivals is more realistic and isn’t too far fetched.

The book had tension throughout and at some points you definitely didn’t know what was coming next – no matter how much you tried to guess. Ruby is a very believable character and I am really looking forward to to reading what happens next to Ruby throughout the series.

If you are fans of Red Queen or Six of Crow’s then I think you will definitely love this book.

WRITERLY YOURS CHRISTMAS READATHON 2016/ December Wrap up

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So in December I was asked by Priya to take part in Writerly Yours Christmas Readathon 2016, where for the whole month I read Christmas/Festive themed books.

I had created a list of books I wanted to read, now out of the 5 books I had selected I read 4, I then found another two in the shops at the beginning of December so I also added them to my pile, so out of the 7 I managed to get through 6 of them.

In December I read:

  • A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin
  • Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
  • The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher
  • A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams
  • The Cosy Christmas Teashop by Caroline Roberts
  • Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market by Heidi Swain

All the books I read in December I thoroughly enjoyed, I think I have to say my favorites were The Cosy Christmas Teashop and Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market, whilst reading I could picture myself at the locations in the books especially the scenes in Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market.

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery was a lovely ending to the beach street bakery series, unsure as to whether there is going to be anymore but if there isn’t then this was a lovely way to end it.

The Christmasaurus was a fab read and included two things I love in life Christmas and Dinosaurs, this was a lovely story about a boy called William Trundle.

A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin was another fabulous read, I love her writing and the detail that she puts into the story, it makes you feel like you are part of the story and that you can relate to the characters.

Finally was A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams, this is the first novel of her’s that I have read, however it won’t be my last, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the developing friendships in the book.

I really enjoyed taking part in the Christmas Readathon and look forward to participating in other readathons in the future.