#BlogTour SNOW FALLS OVER SUNNYBROOK by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88



Delighted to be with you today on the Blog Tour for the fabulous SNOW FALLS OVER SUNNYBROOK by ROSIE GREEN.  My thanks as always to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Snow Falls over Sunnybrook


The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer? But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?



Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3BqYwpv


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. Her latest, ‘The Wedding Cake Wish’, is out now.
Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2022, including ‘Chocolate Cake for Breakfast’ and ‘Christmas in June’. 
Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

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MY REVIEW

Oh how I love this series! And especially the characters of Ruby and Hudson who get another chance to show off their detective skills, this time with the spooky goings on at Brambleberry Manor so I really loved the haunted twist to the story in the run up to the festive period.

It’s always so nice to be back amongst this group of friends, and the lead up to Halloween sees the scare factor ramped up at the Manor!  You often feel they’re trying to scare Primrose into labour as she’s still awaiting the arrival of her first baby and it’s overdue!

Ruby and Hudson decide to set up a ghost watch after they experience some ghostly goings on, and they want to find out more about stories from the past that may have led to the presence felt at Brambleberry! This leads to them spending yet more time together and Ruby is still finding it hard to tell Hudson just how she feels!! If there’s ever a more perfect couple for each other then look no further! If only they could be brave and admit it to one another!! But is there a chance it might ruin the friendship?!

This is easily read as a standalone, but it’s also so nice to catch up with characters from previous parts of the Little Duck Pond Cafe series and it was just another warm, comforting and deliciously wonderful addition to my favourite series!!  And January sees the next installment coming so bring it on!!

★★★★★

#GuestPost LAUGHING ALL THE WAY ON THE JINGLE BELLS EXPRESS by BERNI STEVENS #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @Berni_Stevens1



Hello all!! And it’s my absolute pleasure today to be handing over the Blog to the lovely Berni Stevens as she celebrates publication day for LAUGHING ALL THE WAY ON THE JINGLE BELLS EXPRESS!  Go grab your copy NOW!!
Over to you Berni…


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Release Day: Laughing All the Way on the Jingle Bells Express

Christmas 2020, having been cancelled at the very last minute, was hugely disappointing for most of us. Families were unable to spend the festive holiday together, and so many plans were wrecked as the country went into lockdown, for what turned out to be almost six months. Because of that, I wanted my 2021 Christmas book to be light, amusing, and a lot of fun.

Originally, I’d intended to write the sequel to Izzy’s Christmas Star for this Christmas, but the idea for Laughing All the Way popped into my head unannounced one Spring day. So Izzy’s sequel will be in 2022 instead. As a teenager I was a big Agatha Christie fan, and one of my favourite books of hers was And Then There Were None which is loosely based on an old nursery rhyme. Agatha’s book tells of a ‘perfect crime’ – ten people invited to a house party on a desolate island and all ten are found murdered with no way on or off the island. Well obviously, being Christmas, I couldn’t go around bumping off my characters – I was writing a romcom after all. But I did like the idea of an invitation to something, somewhere, and so the idea started to grow …

I’ve been fascinated for some time by the amount of people in all walks of life, who are constantly on their phones – wherever they may be. How they don’t tumble off station platforms, trains, buses and even out of cars, I have no idea. People don’t appear to have conversations any more – well obviously they do on Zoom, Teams, FaceTime and all kinds of social media – but actually face to face in the same room. Even people in restaurants are constantly peering at their phones, taking photos of their food and themselves, rather than actually enjoying each other’s company (And yes, I do it myself sometimes too).

Laughing All the Way is a story about a group of twenty and thirty-somethings who receive an invitation to go on a festive train ride the week before Christmas. If you received such an invitation – would you go? This is their story, and I hope you do laugh all the way through it. And I promise nobody gets murdered.

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About the Book:

If you received a mysterious invitation for a fun-filled festive train ride the week before Christmas, would you go?

When teacher Dee Nicholls receives her invitation, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Surely it’s some kind of joke to get her out of bed early on a weekend? Perhaps a clever festive marketing ploy?

But as the Christmas countdown begins, it becomes clear that Dee isn’t the only “Jingle Bells Express” invitee. There are other people out there who have received the same invitation: Tom the intern, Rachel the aspiring writer, Dylan the musician and his dog Muttley – and they’re not the only ones!

Could the unusual festive journey they eventually take together show them all the true meaning of Christmas, and also that happiness is sometimes right in front of you – if you just take the time to look?

Book links: 

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/3qPAnpL 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3HvSp6e 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lIGskL 

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3csVZ2L

About the Author:


Berni Stevens lives in a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, son and black cat. She trained in graphic design and has worked as a book cover designer for more than twenty years.

Books and art remain her passion, and her love of the paranormal began when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, aged fourteen. She is now on both the committee and the book panel of the Dracula Society, a society for fans of gothic literature and film.

Berni writes contemporary and fantasy romance.

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#BookReview THE KEY IN THE LOCK by BETH UNDERDOWN



ABOUT THE BOOK


I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire. Smoke unfurling out of an upper window and a hectic orange light cascading across the terrace.

By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still.

For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

Brimming with secrets, this lyrical haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Macneal, Sarah Waters and Diane Setterfield


PUBLISHED BY VIKING

PUBLICATION DATE – 13TH JANUARY 2022

PRE-ORDER LINK
Amazon

MY REVIEW


If you are looking for an atmospheric gothic mystery, then look no further! I found this to be one of those stories that keeps you guessing, and gets you emotionally involved with the characters as secrets begin to reveal a shocking past!

Told over 2 time periods – 1918 and 1888 – we are following the story of Ivy who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her son Tim 10 months earlier. She’s going through the motions and trying to make sense of it all and hearing stories back from the war makes her want to know more of what exactly led to his death.

But it also triggers memories of 30 years ago when another boy died in traumatic circumstances, and she’s been left haunted by his death ever since. The story flits between the 2 timelines seamlessly and both are full of mystery, deception and tragedy.

As both storylines play out, the mysteries hanging over the deaths start to reveal themselves and I loved the way it’s all revealed and the emotions of the main characters are explored. There’s mysteries for Ivy to uncover, all while trying to balance her emotions and find comfort or distraction in her quest to uncover the truth. A really absorbing story.


★★★★★

#BookReview THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI


ABOUT THE BOOK

A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being

After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.

At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.

And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.


PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

MY REVIEW


Poignant, emotional, inventive – I think those words best sum up this reading experience! It has one of the most novel ways of telling the story via 2 narrators! Young Benny who is at the heart of the story, alongside the voice of ‘the book’! And Benny hears the book telling his story too which leads to some brilliant exchanges between the two of them and it just makes reading their story even more captivating.

Young Benny is dealing with the sudden death of his father and this trauma leads to him starting to hear voices. And not just any voices, but the thoughts and feelings of everyday items that crowd his mind leading to those around him worry as to what is wrong with him. His mother tries her best to be there for her son, but she’s dealing with her own grief and her hoarding starts to spiral out of control. There’s a lot of exploration of mental health in this story and the author has approached the subjects with compassion and care.

It is a very difficult book to review as there’s so many threads to it, but it all boils down to humans and their fragility. Their strength. Their quirks. And the ways that people find comfort, be that in the pages of a book or through connecting with others.

Your heart just breaks for Benny at times as there’s nobody around who understands what he’s going through. But he finds a strength somewhere deep down to try and make sense of it on his own, while watching his mother go through her issues. There’s a clear message throughout about decluttering/letting go of the past to help clear your mind and this comes across loud and clear in a very creative way.

It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures and is one of those books where the characters stay with you long after the final page. Wonderful!


★★★★★

#BookReview FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER #Audiobook

ABOUT THE BOOK


A chilling look into an alternate near future where a woman and her daughter seek refuge in a women-only colony, only to find that the safe haven they were hoping for is the most dangerous place they could be.

Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago.

Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.


PUBLISHED BY   HQ

PURCHASE LINK
Amazon

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book – extremely well read by the narrator!

 The author is back with more dystopian fiction, and it’s even more scary than ever! The world has gone through many changes and what is left is bleak, especially for women. It’s every man for himself and woe betide any woman who gets in the way. That leads to some upsetting and harrowing scenes at times, so beware if you are easily triggered. Miranda and her daughter Emma have to look out for themselves and desperate times lead to desperate measures, and Miranda makes the decision for them both to head to Femlandia – an all female ‘utopia’ set up by her mother – in the hope for some safety and relief.
You follow them on the journey to Femlandia, but the main action takes place when they arrive and Miranda is soon left to face the facts that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s a very scary look at human behaviour and shows that both male and females are all flawed, especially when power is involved.

They face a shocking truth when it comes to pregnancies in the camp, along with all mentions of male history being removed from the past which leads to young girls growing up with no knowledge of life on the ‘outside’.

This was a shocking read at times, although it did run out of puff a little towards the end and it just left me feeling hatred towards men and women in equal measures!! No matter the best intentions of some, there’s always those who are more interested in power and control over others with no thought to the consequences. A bleak but gripping read!


★★★★

#BookReview THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES



ABOUT THE BOOK


The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.


PUBLISHED BY HUTCHINSON


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

Blackwell’s – signed edition

MY REVIEW

Amor Towles does it again! Another spectacular and engrossing story that captures your heart and imagination from the get go! Another one of those books where I didn’t want it to end and feel bereft without these characters in my imagination anymore!!

The story picks up with Emmett being driven home by the warden, back to his younger brother who has been with neighbours since Emmett was taken away a year ago. He is regretful over his choice of action in the past and vows to make up for it, especially where his family is concerned. With his house being foreclosed on, it’s time for he and Billy (his wonderful brother!) to make a new life elsewhere and that was their plan – until Duchess and Wooly show up! They’ve hitched a ride with the warden too, albeit without his knowledge, and now they have scores of their own to settle.

What follows is a road trip with a difference! They all set out together , get parted, reunited, and you’re constantly on edge as you watch their new paths unfold. The detail in the characters and their personalities are beautifully written, especially the brothers, and it’s just a masterclass of the connection between humans. The disappointments, regrets, hopes and fears and I just totally lost myself in their world.

Their paths collide again in New York as Emmett tries to get his plans back on track but things don’t always work out as he envisaged. Billy is just a wonder of a character – a wise old soul in a very young body, and I just found his outlook on life so amazing and innocent. I was smitten!! It’s emotional and captivating in equal measures. Told from various viewpoints, it’s seamless in flow and never dips in pace or drama!

This has been one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I’m already itching to pick it up again and start the journey with them all over again! Brilliant!!


★★★★★

BINGO!!!!!!! NetGalley November 2021 – Challenge Complete!! @NetGalleyNov #NetGalleyNovember

BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I don’t know how I’ve done it after a very slow start, but I managed to complete my Bingo card with a day to spare!! Yay me!! Thanks again to @emandherbooks and @totandtales for running such a brilliant November challenge!! I need them to host it every month so I can get the rest of my Netgalley shelf under control!!!


Now to write the reviews…. aarrgghh!!


Here’s my completed reading list!


A BOOK PUBLISHED THIS YEAR

THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI

OLDEST APPROVAL…. 2015!! Shame on me!


HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING

BOOK BEGINNING WITH N

NATURAL MAGICK by LINDSEY SQUIRE

YOUR LATEST APPROVAL

THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL

BOOK WITH A GREEN COVER

BIRD, BATH AND BEYOND by E.J.COPPERMAN


A BOOK YET TO BE RELEASED


THE KEY IN THE LOCK by BETH UNDERDOWN

A BOOK BEGINNING ‘THE’..


THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES by C.J.COOKE

A DEBUT AUTHOR


THE SPIRIT ENGINEER by A.J.WEST

MOST EXCITED FOR


THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday – once again! Not many Saturdays left in 2021!!! So scary! And the festive spirit still hasn’t got me! Full Grinch mode continues!!
On to books!! It’s been a fairly quiet bookish week for me – things on Youtube keep distracting me and taking me away from reading time!! But I did manage to finish 3 books, including 1 audiobook.  Just 1 newbie on the NetGalley shelf and 1 lovely book in the post to review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

BIRD, BATH AND BEYOND by E.J.COPPERMAN – 3 STARS

BAGGAGE by ALAN CUMMING – (AUDIOBOOK) – 4 STARS

THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Just the one to tempt me at Netgalley this week

THE WINTER GUEST by W.C.RYAN

publication date – January 2022

Winter 1920. Though the war has been over for two years, many are still struggling to pick up their lives again when so much has been lost. In Ireland too, other terrible troubles are taking hold.

Then Tom Harkin, a former officer, arrives in the dead of night at a deserted railway platform. He has been summoned to Kilcolgan House, a grand old estate, to work as a tutor.

When Tom reaches the house it gradually becomes clear that this is not the imposing residence it once was. Half abandoned and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the noble family within co-exist only as the balance of their secrets is kept.

For there are mysteries at the heart of this family. And Tom’s arrival will set into motion a series of events that may become deadly . . .

A gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, The Winter Guest is the perfect chilling read this winter. 


And in the post I was lucky to receive this lovely parcel from the author..


CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS


Manchester, 1941

Christmas is the season for family and friends, and this year the railway girls will need each other more than ever.

Cordelia appears to have the perfect life. When her daughter Emily arrives home unexpectedly, she can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. But when things don’t go to plan, Cordelia must decide where her loyalty lies.

Things aren’t going too smoothly for Alison either. Her beloved boyfriend has yet to propose, but there’s a charity fundraiser dance and she’s dressed up specially. Surely, tonight must be the night.

Colette’s friends are envious of her devoted husband; he meets her after every shift on the railway, and accompanies her around town. But Colette has a secret, one that will change her life—if only she knew who to confide in.

With the festive season fast approaching, the railway girls are hoping for some Christmas magic…



CURRENTY READING

THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES


HAPPY READING

#BookReview CARROTS DON’T GROW ON TREES by ROB KEELEY

ABOUT THE BOOK


Lily loves eating fruit and vegetables – but is tricked by Jordan, who tells her that carrots grow on trees.

With the help of her Mum, some healthy eating and a box of elastic bands, Lily sets out to teach Jordan a lesson…

Carrots Don’t Grow On Trees! is a bright, colourful and funny story, told entirely in dialogue and pictures, and takes a fun and compassionate approach to dealing with teasing at school, as well as promoting healthy eating.

Rob Keeley’s second picture book sees him reunited with illustrator Simon Goodway, following their previous successes with My Favourite People and The Treasure in the Tower.
PUBLISHED BY TROUBADOR PUBLISHINGPUBLICATION DATE – 28TH NOVEMBER 2021


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon – Kindle Edition

WHSMITH £8.19

BOOK DEPOSITORY £9.01 (free delivery)

MY REVIEW


Oh to be a kid again!! I’d love to have had the range of picture books that seem to be available now when I was little and Rob Keeley has such a fun way of telling a story and getting various important messages across, that this title was just a blast to read!

From the fabulously bright illustrations, to the simple font, this was such a fun and easy book to read and is a great way of getting across the message of healthy eating in children, alongside approaching the subject of teasing and making things up – and how to deal with that by getting your own back in a creative way!!

Jordan teases Lily that carrots grow on trees, and his schoolmates back him up on the story to the point where Lily is made to feel silly and wrong! Mum to the rescue!! And they come up with a plan to get their own back on Jordan!

There are also a list of little activities in the back of the book to help extend the enjoyment and messages that can be learnt from this book and it’s such a great way to add to the reading experience! It even allows for the reader to make up what they think happens next between Lily and Jordan – hopefully helping create some new aspiring authors out there who might get the writing bug from creating their own stories!

A fabulously colourful picture book carrying important messages, that are put across in an engaging way. Fun for all!!


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My thanks to the author and publisher for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour THE ARCANE by ANDREW S.FRENCH #bookreview @rararesources @andrewfrench100



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE ARCANE by ANDREW S.FRENCH! My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

The Arcane


Orphaned science nerd and maths prodigy Alice Valentine wants to ace her studies. She’s spent all her life struggling to make friends, passed between foster families and care homes, isolated and lonely. Losing herself in academia from an early age, she becomes the first sixteen-year-old at her local university. Her whole world changes, but nothing can prepare Alice for the night she’s attacked by a werewolf.


But even that isn’t as strange as discovering she has an identical twin sister, Cassie.And Cassie kills werewolves. And all the other monsters Alice didn’t believe existed.Alice and Cassie set off to discover what happened to their parents, a journey that takes them from northern England to the edge of the apocalypse, unsure if they will save the world or destroy it.


Purchase Links

 Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077

About the author.

Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.


Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitterInstagramFB page

MY REVIEW


When a book is sold to me as Buffy meets Supernatural then I am IN!! And it doesn’t disappoint and I’m eagerly awaiting the next in the series – a TV show would be nice too!!Alice is an orphan and is a true science nerd/maths prodigy! She’s always felt a bit different and isolated but academia is her thing and saved her and it’s when she’s at university aged 16, that life starts to take a different turn around her and she’s attacked by a werewolf!  It’s where she also finds out she has an identical sister, Cassie, who is well into the supernatural kind of world and this sets them off on a quest to find out more about the various creatures, along with their parents and to find out why they didn’t know about each other before.

What follows is a rollercoaster ride of adventures and quests, and a variety of adversaries to overcome. I loved the mix of history and mythical creatures and it just made it so much fun to read as you never knew who they’d be facing next – Dracula? Medusa? Archangels?! They’re all there and add to the Buffy/Supernatural feel which is probably why I enjoyed it so much!  I kept waiting for the Winchester brothers to appear!!

There’s also time travel thrown in to the mix, and allows them to go back and find out more about their truth and the author has done a brilliant job of setting out a great backstory, alongside taking the story forward with things to look forward to in the next installment!

Hurry up already and get Book 2 of the series out! I need to find out what happens to the girls next!!

★★★★