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Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Other Half of My Heart by Stephanie Butland

Delighted to be part of the blog tour for 'The Other Half of my Heart.'

The Blurb

“It smelled bittersweetly of sourdough, and there was the trace of hot, fresh bread in the air. She took a deep breath and unlocked the door”

Fifteen years ago Bettina May’s life’s veered off course in one disastrous night. Still reeling from the shock of losing everything she thought was hers, Bettina opens a bakery in a village and throws herself into the comfort of bread-making.

She spends her days kneading dough and measuring ingredients. She meets someone. She begins to heal.

Until someone who knows what happens that night walks into Bettina's bakery. In the pause of a heartbeat, fifteen years disappear and Bettina remembers a time she thought was lost for ever . . .

Can she ever go back?

Author: Stephanie Butland
Title: The Other Half of My Heart
Publishers: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 22nd Oct 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   Transworld Books

My Review

The first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful cover and the title which I found intriguing, the second thing I noticed was how beautifully it was written, the tune of it played in my head like a gentle birdsong. After a slow though still enjoyable start I felt that round about page 100 this book opened it's arms to me and drew me into it's heart where it kept me until the very end when I shivered with loveliness and my eyes filled with tears. There is a lot of emotional pain and anguish through the book and I did find myself having to take a few minutes break every now and then to absorb the sheer raw grief that Bettina and the other characters were going through, it was hard to watch Bettina's heart break in so many ways but fascinating to travel on her journey with her. I loved this book so much and really want to know what happens next.

The main character in the book is Bettina Randolph who in 1993 lives with her twin brother Sam and her mother and father, Alice and Howard in a place called Missingham. They are a happy family and Bettina really misses Sam, who is the clever one, when he goes off to university. She is more than happy to work at the neighbours stables as she is able to indulge her love of horses.

The story then fast forwards to 2013 when Bettina - who finds the only thing that seems to bring her any peace is breadmaking - has opened up a bakery in a new town and is having a very casual relationship with her neighbour Rufus which seems more about occasional companionship rather than love or passion. She is very distant with him and he is very patient with her as he knows something has damaged her in her past but he doesn't know what. Her situation is made worse by her mother's illness which she finds exacerbates her heartbreak. Then a chance meeting with someone at a village fair brings up the past for Bettina and all of the memories she has tried to bury come flooding to the surface. This leads to an unexpected development which I was so happy about. It is very painful watching Bettina face up to the heartbreak in her life and try to discover if she can ever love again. But the ending is like being tucked up in bed all cosy, happy and very much at peace with the world.

Thank you to Stephanie Butland for the Advanced Review Copy in return for an honest review.

Book Angelx

About the Author

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Dead Dog Day by Jackie Kabler - Review

Thrilling crime debut from top TV broadcaster Jackie Kabler.

The Dead Dog Day is the debut novel from successful broadcaster and former GMTV reporter Jackie Kabler and it’s out now. 
It follows the story of breakfast TV journalist Cora Baxter, and a race against time to stop a killer from striking again.

“Jackie has real insider knowledge and it shows. A proper page-turning thriller. I couldn't put it down.” Lorraine Kelly

When your Monday morning begins with a dead dog at 4 a.m. and a dead boss by ten, you know it’s going to be one of those days. And breakfast TV reporter Cora Baxter has already had the weekend from hell, after the man she was planning a fabulous future with unceremoniously dumped her. 

Now Cora’s much-hated boss has been murdered, and Cora is assigned to cover the story for the breakfast show – but as the murder enquiry continues, the trail of suspects leads frighteningly close to home. Why is Cora’s arch-rival, glamorous, bitchy newsreader Alice Lomas, so devastated by their boss’s death? What dark secret is one of her camera crew hiding? And why has her now-ex-boyfriend vanished? The race to stop the killer striking again is on...

Author: Jackie Kabler
Title: The Dead Dog Day
Publishers: Accent Press Ltd
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

I remember Jackie Kabler as the lovely glamorous reporter from GMTV and as soon as I heard she'd written a novel I immediately thought, "Now that will be good," and I am happy to report that it certainly lived up to my expectations. It was such a fabulously funny book to read.

Cora Baxter is a reporter who is not having a good day, not only has her boyfriend dumped her by phone but her boss has been murdered, it's a day her and her colleagues from the newsroom will never forget and have nicknamed 'the dead dog day' due to an unfortunate incident earlier on. The fact that they didn't call it 'the day our boss died' is testament to the feelings they all had about her. They hated her, in fact only one person seems upset and is acting strangely which raises suspicions, another person had been arguing with the boss just minutes before she died and a close member of Cora's team was acting strangely and had also fallen foul of their leaders temper.

This is a hugely humorous yet fascinating insight into the world of television crossed with a light hearted whodunnit and I was laughing out loud after just a couple of pages. Although the world of television seems very glamorous there are plenty of examples of hilarious situations to show that behind the camera is a totally different story and I found myself wondering whether they were based on real life. Even though Cora has dark hair in the book when I imagined her in my mind I was looking at Jackie Kabler as I imagine many of these things did really happen.

I loved the relationship that Cora had with her work friends Sam and Wendy, her camera and sound crew and her home friends Rosie and Nicole who both had children. I liked how much Cora loved their children and was still adamant that she didn't want any. Also how lucky was she to have two gorgeous hunky men to choose from?

There were plenty of suspects in the spotlight throughout the book, including Cora's ex who had most suspiciously disappeared off the face of the earth and it was great fun watching each little part of the story unfold, I had my own theories about who did it throughout the book but was kept guessing right up to the end.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn't stop reading until I'd finished it. I am really looking forward to the others in the Cora Baxter series which I hope are coming soon.

Thanks to Kim Nash for the Advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Angel x

About the Author

A twenty-year career in news during which I covered hundreds of major crime stories has given me a wealth of material to draw on for my novels. Aside from the actual murders, everything else that happens in this book actually happened to me as a breakfast TV reporter - with minor details changed to protect identities, of course...", says Jackie Kabler.

Jackie’s novel is the first book in a new series, and she draws on her experiences of the glamorous world of television, as well as her long-standing love for crime fiction. A popular broadcaster turned author, Jackie is now a presenter on QVC, and as well as a decade on GMTV, has also worked for BBC News, ITV News and Setanta Sports News.

Follow Jackie on Twitter
Like Jackie on Facebook

Monday, 19 October 2015

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore … 

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of? 

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year. Snowflakes on Silver Cove coming very soon.

Author: Holly Martin
Title: Christmas at Lilac Cottage
Publishers: Bookouture
Publication Date: 25th Sept 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

If you enjoy that warm and fuzzy glow you get from reading a Christmas love story then I suggest you buy this book, it's as Christmassy as a sparkly snowflake on Santa's hat.

It is set in the beautifully sounding White Cliff Bay where our main character Penny has been living alone in a place called Lilac Cottage. She is nervously anticipating the arrival of her new lodgers who will be moving into an annexe of the tiny house with an interconnecting door. Henry and Daisy sound like a nice couple but on meeting them she finds that hunky Henry seems grumpy and thinks the house is too small and wastes no time in telling her that this will be a very temporary arrangement. Daisy is his sixteen year old daughter whom he is fiercely protective of and she loves the place.

Although obviously attracted to each other they can't enter into a relationship as Penny had her heart broken eight years ago and Henry doesn't do relationships as the last woman he went out with broke his daughter's heart by pretending to be nice to her but secretly being horrible.
Therefore Henry only ever meets women secretly for sex.

Life soon becomes very complicated for Penny and Henry and the more they find out about each other the more they want to be together but the odds are very much against them. Penny loves Daisy and the feeling is mutual but Henry's sister is suspicious about Penny's motives towards the sixteen year old as she wonders if she is just using her to get to her dad.

The story has danger, love, friendship, laugh out loud humour, especially the scene in the shop when Penny needs a toothbrush and I loved the way the community came together to prepare Penny for her non date with Henry.

I did feel all warm inside many times throughout the book and it has put me in a lovely christmassy mood. Make sure you are curled up in a slankie by the fire when you are reading it as it does get very chilly in parts and you will wish you had Henry to cuddle up to and keep you warm.

Thanks to Bookouture for the advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Holly Martin
Holly lives in sunny Bedfordshire in a house with round windows. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years' service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 6 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine's competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. 

Follow her on Twitter @hollymartin00

Friday, 16 October 2015

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

Hugely excited to be part of the blog tour for Pretending to Dance, I can't believe that I haven't read any of Diane's books before but this certainly won't be the last.

The Blurb

When the pretending ends, the lying begins . . . Molly Arnette is good at keeping secrets. As she and her husband try to adopt a baby, she worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. Molly ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a healthy future, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders.

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, is a fascinating and deftly-woven novel, that reveals the devastating power of secrets.

Author: Diane Chamberlain
Title: Pretending to Dance
Publishers: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 8th Oct 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

This book was amazing, a heartfelt depiction of love and the shocking extent of what people will do for someone they love, which had me in tears by the end.

The story starts with Molly Arnette and her husband Aiden preparing for a huge step in their lives as they plan to be adoptive parents. Due to a complicated first pregnancy, which resulted in the loss of their baby, Molly had to have a hysterectomy which devastated them both. Molly is concerned she may not love a child who isn't her own. Aiden tries to convince her she will be fine as she managed to fall in love with his twin nephews.

Molly's main concern is that it would be an open adoption which means that a relationship would also be formed with the birth mother, this stirs up emotions for her from her childhood as she was brought up by her birth father Graham who is a 'pretend therapist' and his wife Nora,who adopted her but her birth mother lived near them and the rest of her family at Morrison Ridge in North Carolina and Molly had a relationship with her also.

Molly had cut her family out of her life after the death of her beloved father who had suffered with MS but to make things easier with her husband she had told him that both her parents had died as she didn't want to tell him the unforgivable sin that her mother had committed.

The story frequently cuts from Molly's life in 2014, happily married and living in San Diego to when she was a happy innocent fourteen year old living in Morrison Ridge in 1990, in love with Johnny Depp and boy bands.I really liked this concept and felt it worked really well.

Her close family had made sure that Molly had everything and a very happy childhood and she is content with all of this until she meets her new friend Stacy who is a lot older in the head than she is and begins to introduce her to the less wholesome things in life. I really felt sorry for Molly as I remember being that lovely but self centred fourteen year old who wanted to push the boundaries and felt resentful to those who try to stop you. It's only with hindsight you realise that the people who love you just want to protect you but she is just being a normal teenager and trying to grow up too soon.

Molly can't forgive herself for not stopping her father from dying and when her husband eventually finds out about everything he convinces her that the only way she can move forward is by revisiting her past and trying to make peace with it. However she is not prepared for the secrets she unearths in doing so.

This was a lovely tender love story that really tugs on the heartstrings in more ways than one, the father's illness was handled with deep sensitivity and it really shone through how much he was loved by everybody, especially Molly. I loved the descriptions of Morrison Ridge and of the little spring house. It also covered really well the awful angst of being a teenager who wants to naturally start breaking away from the security of the family but isn't quite ready for real life just yet. 

The concept of open adoption is covered which I hadn't heard of before but seems like a way of avoiding the anguish of giving a baby away and never knowing what happens to it. The strongest emotion to come through is that of motherhood and that you don't have to have given birth to a child to feel that overwhelming sense of love.

The fact that her father was a pretend therapist and how that eventually influenced Molly's life and the reason for the title of the book actually gave me shivers down my spine because it was such a touching and tender moment in the story.

The cover of the book was absolutely beautiful and had a very luxurious feel about it.

I thoroughly recommend this book and would love to read Diane Chamberlain's back catalogue.

Thank you to Francesca Pear at Pan Macmillan for the Advanced Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Angels x

About the Author

Diane Chamberlain
Diane Chamberlain is the USA Today and London Times bestselling author of 24 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.
Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.
Diane received her bachelor's and master's degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel.
Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. She's currently at work on her next novel.
Please visit Diane's website at for more information on her newest novel, Pretending to Dance, and a complete list of her books.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Author Q and A Carmel Harrington

We are delighted to welcome Carmel Harrington to our blog today to talk about her new book Every Time a Bell Rings.

What was the inspiration behind this novel? 

Every Time a Bell Rings is inspired by the beloved Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life. The movie has incredible themes to work with, both dark and light - from love, family, friendship to utter despair and hopelessness. 
My story is set in Dublin and centres around the life of Belle Bailey. Its told in three parts, from Belles early childhood, right up to the present day.
It was a joy to write.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

Yes, ever since I was a young girl, standing in my local library choosing my next read, I dreamt of one day having a book on those book shelves!

What other jobs have you had? 

Lots of different ones - from waitress, to shop assistant as a teenager. Then I worked with Aer Lingus for ten years, before moving to an american multinational as a Sales and Marketing Manager. 

How did it feel when your first novel was published?

It was the single most beautiful moment of my professional life. And it’s up there in my top five moments of my personal life too, only eclipsed by my wedding day and children's births!

I literally whooped out loud with excitement, I cried tears of joy, I danced, I sang, I celebrated, I sat quietly and felt awe that it had finally happened. It was wonderful.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?

No, I haven’t, but if it did happen, I’d walk away, take a break for a few days and recharge my batteries and creative brain.

What motivates you to keep writing?

So many things - a reader getting in touch, the actual joy I get in creating all these characters and plots, seeing my book - my book with my name on it! - on a bookshelf. All motivates me. 

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa? 

Yes. It’s impossible not to lose yourself in their lives, they become like family to me. And when they are sad, I’m sad for them. And when they are happy, I walk a little lighter, smile a little brighter.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Once you have written your manuscript, make sure it is the very best it can possibly be, before you submit to an agent or publisher. I’d invest in a good edit. Or at the very least, make sure that you get constructive feedback from writer friends.

Know the industry, be informed.  There are a lot of options now for aspiring writers and publishers worldwide are now more accessible than ever before.
Get involved on twitter and Facebook with your favourite authors and publishers.  Start a conversation with them; you may be surprised at how accessible they are!  

Take advantage of any opportunities that are out there.  For e.g. there are so many literary festivals on, not least of which this one!  Empower yourself with knowledge.  And enjoy the journey. Believe in yourself and know that it will happen one day.  The when is the only bit that is unknown.  

Which authors inspire you?

So many - Maeve Binchy, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, Liane Moriarty, Cecelia Ahern, Paul O’Brien, Jane Austen, Harper Lee. 

What are you reading at the moment?

Jax Millar’s Freedoms Child.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?

I’ll be home for Christmas.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book? 

Belle Bailey would be played beautifully by the Irish Actress Ruth Negga. 

What is your next book about? 

The Road Back Home is about the Guinness family who are sent on an eight week tour of Europe, in a campervan, by grand-dad Pops.

It’s a story about discovery, family and love. 

Thank you to Carmel for answering our questions. For details about the book please see below.

Book Angels x

Carmel Harrington’s new novel, Every Time A Bell Rings is a captivating story told in Harrington’s trademark charming and emotive voice. Heartwarming, magical and full of the warmth of Christmas.
Every Time A Bell Rings !
… an angel gets its wings…!
Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating. As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss. Hence, Christmas is cancelled.!
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.!
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…!
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?!

Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book is full of Irish charm, magic, and the warmth of the festive season this is an emotional, heartwarming story that will stay with you long after you’ve reached ‘The End’. !

Author: Carmel Harrington
Title: Every Time a Bell Rings
Publishers: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Ebook; 15th Oct, Paperback; 19th Nov 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon

To read our review of Every Time a Bell Rings please click here

About the Author

Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington lives with her husband Roger and children Amelia and Nate in a small coastal village in Wexford. She credits the idyllic setting as a constant source of inspiration to her. !
Her first book, ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ was originally self-published in August 2012. Grace’s
story quickly became a bestseller - fast forward 12 months and Carmel joined the prestigious
HarperCollins publishing house, represented by Trace Literary Agency. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow was voted Romantic eBook of 2013 and Kindle Book of Year 2013. Her second novel ‘The Life You Left’, was published in June 2013, was also an eBook bestseller and earned Carmel the nickname, ‘Queen of Emotional Writing’. !
Carmel writes emotional family dramas and they share one common theme - strong characters who
find themselves in extraordinary situations. She loves to dig deep and see how they cope, as they grapple with life-changing moments. !
She is a regular on Irish TV as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday Show, as well as being interviewed on RTE1’s Today Show, TV3’s IrelandAM and TV3’s The Morning Show. She has also been interviewed on US TV - Indiana’s WNDU. A a regular guest on radio stations and a
popular freelance writer. Carmel is also a popular motivational keynote speaker, at events in Ireland, UK and US. !
Twitter @HappyMrsH !
Facebook/happymrsh ! !

Asking for It by Louise O'neill

It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident.

One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there.

She doesn't know why she's in pain.

But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night.

But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes . . .

Author: Louise O'Neill
Title: Asking For It
Publishers: Quercus
Publication Date: 3rd Sept 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

This is a hard hitting and harrowing account of an eighteen year old girl in Ireland who goes to a party, gets drunk and has sex with an older man and the next thing she knows she wakes up on her front porch the following day when her mum and dad find her lying there. She is still completely out of it and can't understand why she's in pain, that is until she gets to school and starts seeing disgusting  explicit photo's on social media of her being raped by four men, supposedly friends of hers. She is understandably mortified especially when her best friends also turn against her.

Reading this book made me realise that we have all kind of been brought up with the Asking for it mentality, in this example she was villified for being a slut and a whore whereas the general consensus seemed to be that lads were just being lads and it got out of hand. This example was made even worse by the instantaneous sharing of the images of facebook and the internet. When her brother tries to persuade her she's been raped and she should prosecute, she still feels all the guilt and worries that she is ruining their lives. As it sinks in what has happened to her and the fact that she can't remember she goes into a deep depression and this has a dramatic effect on the rest of the family and she just wants it to be over.

This is a highly emotive subject and Louise O'Neill fearlessly shines a torch on something that most of us would rather sweep under the carpet. It raises the importance of girls knowing how to take care of themselves and taking responsibility, being aware that taking drugs and drinking too much can leave them vulnerable to all sorts of dangerous situations and more importantly that men should be educated to respect women and to know that an unconscious woman cannot give consent and so if they have sex with them it is automatically rape. 

The acts committed in this book were despicable yet disturbingly the hatred was directed at the victim and sympathy given to the perpetrators which is so wrong. Emma had made a choice to have sex with one man she was then abused and attacked by a group of other men in the most humiliating way, she was most definitely NOT asking for it!

Thank you to Isabelle Broom from Heat magazine for my copy of the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Louise O'Neill was born in west Cork in 1985. She studied English at Trinity College Dublin and has worked for the senior style director of American Elle magazine. She is currently working as a freelance journalist for a variety of Irish national newspapers and magazines. She lives in Clonakilty, west Cork, her website is and you can find her on Twitter @oneilllo.

Monday, 12 October 2015

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding - Samantha Tonge

Things don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…

Former hot shot city girl Pippa Pattinson loves her new life of rustic simplicity, running a quaint teashop on a sleepy Greek island with her hot fiancé, Niko. But it’s been a quick change to slow living – and you can’t blame a girl for wondering, ‘how did I get here?’
As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife?
There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s hoping she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…fingers crossed in time for the wedding…
Perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Debbie Johnson, you won’t want to miss the Christmas Wedding of the year!

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding is the standalone sequel to Game of Scones, perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Debbie Johnson. Don’t miss the Christmas Wedding of the year!

Author: Samantha Tonge
Title: My Big Fat Christmas Wedding
Publishers: Carina
Publication Date: 15th Oct 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

If I had to choose one word to sum up this book it would be 'interesting.' To be honest I was expecting the usual schmaltzy Christmassy cheer which I absolutely love but this was more in depth than that. It was interesting and very topical to see the effect of the Greek economy on the villagers and the devastating impact on them that the sight of refugees turning up in boats and dying to flee their home country had. 

It was a shame to see Pippa and Niko's relationship going through a hard time, However, the fantasy of living in Taxos with her Greek lover seems to be over as Pippa misses her hometown and wonders whether she has made the right decision, to give up her life of luxury in favour of a simple life as a fisherman's wife. I think it was quite realistic to show that she was bound to have doubts about leaving her old lifestyle behind especially when handsome Henrik turns up to tempt her back. Once again it looks like Pippa might have to rethink her choice as to which of these handsome hunks would she be happier with.

I loved seeing how the villagers all came together to help the refugees and for the Christmas Fayre and I was eager to discover whether Pippa's soul searching brought her the answers she needed. I really enjoyed the anticipation leading up to Pippa's new plan and once again the mouth watering descriptions of the scone flavours were lovely.

Although this is a standalone book I was pleased that I knew the whole back story from reading Game of Scones. Which I also loved and have reviewed here.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina for the advanced review copy.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Samantha Tonge
Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it's a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women's magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from HarperCollins (CarinaUK), bestselling "Doubting Abbey", was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award, 2014. Her most recent novel is romantic Game of Scones, a deliciously summery, fun beach read. Look out for her festive 2015 novel, My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, up for pre-order now!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Cover Reveal; The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

Today we are delighted to be part of the exciting cover reveal for The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin and what a gorgeous specimen it is. The book is published by Carina and is due out on 16th October. For more details about the book and links please see below.

Le Vie En Rose
Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris…for Christmas?

Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!

Imagining days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and watching the snow fall on the Champs-Élysées Sarah boards the plane.

But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream of a Christmas fairytale in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

A deliciously feel-good Christmas romance perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Julia Williams

The Little Paris Collection:

The Little Bookshop on the Seine

The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower

The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées

Also by Rebecca Raisin

The Gingerbread Café trilogy:
Christmas at the Gingerbread Café
Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Café
Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café

The Bookshop on the Corner
Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm


About the Author 

Rebecca Raisin is a bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in various short-story anthologies, and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous men who have brains as well as brawn is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and, most importantly, believe in true, once-in-a-lifetime love.
Follow her on twitter @jaxandwillsmum

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggott

Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year…to fall in love

The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish…to start over.

With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad.

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.

Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count.

A big warm-hearted story, full of Christmas sparkle that will delight fans of Jane Costello, Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond.

Author: Mandy Baggott
Title: One Wish in Manhattan
Publishers: Bookouture
Publication Date: 30th Sept 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

This is the sort of book that leaves you with a lovely warm glow in your heart and a tear in your eye. This is the second of Mandy's books that I have read and she certainly doesn't disappoint in the book boyfriend area! 
The story follows Hayley Walker and her nine year old daughter Angel. Hayley books a trip to New York to stay with her brother Dean over Christmas or at least that's what she tells him but she actually has an ulterior motive for going there which is to find the father of her daughter, the trouble is she only has a name to go on.

Once in New York she bumps into the Billionaire Business man, Oliver Drummond who is a womaniser. He is a confirmed bachelor that doesn't want to settle down so he meets women when he's out and after granting them one wish, will sleep with them and forget about them.
A chance meeting, near a fire exit, between Oliver and Hayley starts a chain of circumstances in which their lives become entwined and when he asks her what she would wish for he is taken aback as it isn't what he is used to.

I loved the relationship between Hayley and Angel as they were so close but then Angel was so lovable and funny and managed to form amazing relationships with most of the other characters.

It was hard to watch Oliver being distant and horrible to Hayley especially after she started to have feelings for him. There was never a dull moment in the book as there was always something going on, it was lovely to see Angel and Hayley inject some much needed love into the lives of the Drummonds as they had been through so much heartache.

When I got to 85% of the book I found myself going all trembly with sentimentality and then there was an incident when a parcel arrived and I thought to myself 'oh I know what's in there' and then I really went trembly and a lovely fuzzy warmth came over me till the end of the book.

A cracking christmassy read that you will not want to miss.

Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the review copy.

To read my review of Truly, Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggott please click here.

Book Angels x

About the Author

Mandy Baggot
Mandy Baggot is an award-winning romantic fiction author, writing hot heroes and emotional reads. She is represented by Kate Nash of The Kate Nash Literary Agency.

In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK's Festival of Romance and has since scooped Top Ten Reads/Book of the Year places from a number of UK book bloggers.

Traditionally published by US publisher Sapphire Star, Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse, and most recently, digital fiction specialists, Bookouture, a great story is never far from her fingertips!

A contributor to writing blogs and short story anthologies, Mandy is also a regular speaker at literary festivals, events and women's networking groups.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World's Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1's Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.