#CoverReveal MAKE IT UP TO YOU by LUCY KEELING @ChocLituk

COVER REVEAL

Hello!! I’m back with yet another fab and funky cover to share with you all on behalf of Lucy Keeling and the team at Choc Lit! And this release is out in September so not long before you can get your mitts on it – and it sounds like such a fun read too! 

ABOUT THE BOOK

What do mascara wands and gardening shears have in common?

Absolutely nothing! At least that’s what wannabe beauty influencer Sophie Timney thinks when her friend Polly suggests involving her brother Marcus in Sophie’s make-up tutorials. She needs more views, Marcus needs promotion for his gardening business – in Polly’s mind joining forces will help them both. Sophie isn’t so sure.

Because Marcus Bowman has a habit of getting under her skin in a way that no exfoliating face scrub ever could. But, as the views and comments on her videos begin creeping up, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sophie’s subscribers like Marcus, and what’s even worse is that Sophie might be starting to feel the same way …

Make It Up To You will be published by Choc Lit 17th September and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms and also in audio

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And here it is – in all its’ pink loveliness!!!

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Loving the idea of the worlds of  make-up and gardening being mixed together!! An interesting mix!! Hurry up September!!

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th July 2019

Hello! Happy Saturday!! What a week! It  has been rather hot here in the UK and I’m loving the cooler temperatures and rain that has greeted us today! I can sleep again!!

And it’s been a bonanza of books too this past 7 days! Lots of reading (it’s been too hot to do anything else!) so I’ve finished 6 books, and the heat made me visit NetGalley too so nother 4 books on that shelf, along with 3 more physical books to review! Might need another bookshelf declutter!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

Man with a Seagull on his head by Harriet Paige – 4 stars

The Beekeeper’s Cottage by Emma Davies – 4 stars

The Holiday Home by Fern Britton (audiobook) – 3 stars

The Cornish Cream Tea Bus by Cressida McLaughlin – 4 stars

Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor – 4 stars

The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott – 5 stars

BOOKHAUL

Over to Netgalley we go….

BEFORE THE COFFEE GETS COLD by TOSHIKAZU KAWAGUCHI

out September 2019

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story – translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

For fans of The Guest Cat and If Cats Disappeared from the World, Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a touching story about second chances and how we find and lose the ones we love. 

THE INHERITANCE OF SOLOMON FARTHING by MARY PAULSON-ELLIS

out September 2019

Solomon knew that he had one advantage. A pawn ticket belonging to a dead man tucked into his top pocket – the only clue to the truth . . .

An old soldier dies alone in his Edinburgh nursing home. No known relatives, and no Will to enact. Just a pawn ticket found amongst his belongings, and fifty thousand pounds in used notes sewn into the lining of his burial suit . . .

Heir Hunter, Solomon Farthing – down on his luck, until, perhaps, now – is tipped off on this unexplained fortune. Armed with only the deceased’s name and the crumpled pawn ticket, he must find the dead man’s closest living relative if he is to get a cut of this much-needed cash.

But in trawling through the deceased’s family tree, Solomon uncovers a mystery that goes back to 1918 and a group of eleven soldiers abandoned in a farmhouse billet in France in the weeks leading up to the armistice.

Set between contemporary Edinburgh and the final brutal days of the First World War as the soldiers await their orders, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing shows us how the debts of the present can never be settled unless those of the past have been paid first . . 

SHELF LIFE by LIVIA FRANCHINI

out August 2019

Launching an intelligent, perceptive new voice in fiction, Shelf Life is the exquisite, heart-wrenching story of a woman rebuilding herself on her own terms.

Ruth is thirty years old. She works as a nurse in a care home and her fiancé has just broken up with her. The only thing she has left of him is their shopping list for the upcoming week.

And so she uses that list to tell her story. Starting with six eggs, and working through spaghetti and strawberries, and apples and tea bags, Ruth discovers that her identity has been crafted from the people she serves; her patients, her friends, and, most of all, her partner of ten years. Without him, she needs to find out – with conditioner and single cream and a lot of sugar – who she is when she stands alone.

BONE CHINA by LAURA PURCELL

out September 2019

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last…

THE MAGIC TOUCH by KELLY FIORENTIA

copy from publishers – Accent Press – ahead of Blog Tour

Marriage isn’t high on 39-year-old Emma King’s list of priorities; after all, she’s been there and done it once. So there are no big surprises when, yet again, she turns down her long-term partner Harry’s marriage proposal. They’re a solid, secure couple – a piece of paper won’t make any difference. That is until she accidentally stumbles across a flirtatious text message from one of his female colleagues on his phone. Overcome with suspicion and an impending fear of losing Harry, Emma goes on a quest to get to the bottom of his secret affair with the help of her ninety-three-year-old neighbour, Alistair, her best friend Ola, and Harry’s sister-in-law’s psychic app, The Magic Touch.

A WALK IN WILDFLOWER PARK by BELLA OSBORNE

copy won via Avon Books on Twitter

Life’s not always a walk in the park…
Anna thought she’d found The One – until he broke off their engagement exactly a year before their wedding day. Hoping new surroundings will do her the world of good, she moves in to a place of her own on the edge of gorgeous Wildflower Park.
With the help and friendship of her neighbour Sophie, Anna quickly settles in and pledges to focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems determined to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives a text from a mystery man, it looks as though an unlikely romance is on the horizon…
Is Anna about to be swept off her feet by someone she really shouldn’t be falling for? Or could this be the new start she needs and deserves?

JOURNEY BY MOONLIGHT by ANTAL SZERB

copy via Alma Books from their yearly subscription

Anxious to please his bourgeois father, Mihaly has joined the family firm in Budapest. Pursued by nostalgia for his bohemian youth, he seeks escape in marriage to Erzsi, not realising that she has chosen him as a means to her own rebellion. On their honeymoon in Italy Mihaly loses his bride at a provincial station and embarks on a chaotic and bizarre journey that leads him finally to Rome. There all the death-haunted and erotic elements of his past converge, and he, like Erzsi, has finally to choose

A CHAIN ACROSS THE DAWN by DREW WILLIAMS

copy from publisher ahead of Blog Tour

Bigger spaceships. Bigger explosions. Bigger planets.  Bigger problems.

It’s been three years since Esa joined the ranks of the Justified after her rescue from the fanatical murderers the Pax. Together, Esa and her mentor Kamali travel from planet to planet, searching for children with supernatural abilities. It’s hard work, but Esa has never felt more assured of her place in the universe. 
 
On a visit to a planet so remote that its inhabitants never learned that the Sect Wars ended over a hundred years ago, they learn that the Justified are not the only people searching for gifted children. There is a creature with unexpected powers who will stop at nothing to get its hands on the children that Esa and Kamali are trying to rescue.
 
With their latest recruit in tow — a young Wulf child named Sho — Esa and Kamali will travel halfway across the galaxy in pursuit of answers. But the answers only lead to more questions, and the danger will only increase as their terrifying nemesis turns his eyes on them.

CURRENTLY READING

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E.Nesbit

A New Map of Love by Abi Oliver

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How has your reading week been? Any goodies to recommend! would love to hear!

HAPPY READING!

#BlogTour #BookReview A Right Royal Face-Off by Simon Edge #Giveaway @rararesources @EyeAndLightning

A huge delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for A RIGHT ROYAL FACE-OFF by SIMON EDGE.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the copy of the book and putting this tour together – and letting me be part of it all!

There’s also a chance for you to win a copy of this book too!! I do spoil you……..

A Right Royal Face-Off

It is 1777, and England’s second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving practice a stone’s thrown from London’s royal palaces, while the press talks up his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top dog of British portraiture.

Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to grand sitters, but he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III and his large family. In their final, most bitter competition, who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua?

Meanwhile, two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket antiques TV show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey’s ears?

Mixing ancient and modern as he did in his acclaimed debut The Hopkins Conundrum, Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in this highly original celebration of one of our greatest artists.

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Purchase Link

Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURFACE

Eye Lightning Books

Author Bio –

Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.

He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years.

He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. His first novel, The Hopkins Conundrum, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. He lives in Suffolk.   Read more about Simon and his work at http://www.simon-edge.com.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @simonjedge

Instagram: @simonjedge

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a book that is the perfect antidote to the miserable, crazy world we currently live in, then you’ve come to the right place!!  This is a Georgian comedy about Thomas Gainsborough  and his rival painter, Sir Joshua Reynolds – if you thought the art world was stuffy and dull then think again!  It’s a book that made me smile and chuckle on numerous occasions and I just adored spending time with these characters and wondering where the story would take me!

It’s a dual timeline story – from the present time when a new antiques show is about to debut on TV and they’re looking to spice things up, to the past where we see Thomas dealing with royalty and rivalry on a grand scale!  There’s also letters we get to read from the past as we read the Georgian goings on from the point of view of David, a servant to the master painter and he has a whole different take on events at work, as he reports back to his family and let them know about a world they can’t even  begin to imagine!

Gainsborough is a  wonderful character! He almost seems to resent having to paint portraits but it pays the bills and he wants to be #1 – not easy when Sir Joshua seems to be flavour of the month! I loved the behind the scenes  goings on too at a sitting for a painting – the royal family gossiping and complaining about life as they chat with him!

In the present we get to witness how the world of TV operates, especially reality shows who try and use the public and humiliate them – when Muriel Mudge takes a painting along to be valued they think they’ve struck gold with her absurd claim but they’re soon the ones eating humble pie when she digs in her heels and refuses to speak to them as they try and make amends when doubts start to creep in!

The whole flow of this book was just pitched perfectly! There’s a great balance between the two timelines and so much to keep you entertained and intrigued! Just why is there a painting of a man with donkey ears?!  You can tell that the author has had so much fun with creating this storyline as it really comes across and his imagination has run riot!

A blast to read and quite touching too at times! It’s a book that has a little bit of everything from history, to mystery to satire and it  is one I highly recommend to everyone!

★★★★★

GIVEAWAY

A treat for those of you in the UK who want to win a copy of this fabulous book!

Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Right Royal Face-Of (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click below to enter!! GOOD LUCK!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494259/?

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#CoverReveal REACH FOR A STAR by KATHRYN FREEMAN @ChocLituk

cover reveal

Hello!!! Welcome to Books and Me! for  yet another COVER REVEAL on behalf of the wonderful Kathryn Freeman and Choc Lit!!  This cover is super glamorous and sounds like another cracker of a story so I hope you’re as excited as I am!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?

How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?

Reach For a Star will be published by Choc Lit 24th September and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms and also in audio.

★★★★★

So, are we ready?!  Here we go…..

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Simply stunning I hope you agree!!!  I hope you now have a mark on your calendar for the 24th September – I do!! Cannot wait for this one!! And I’m now going to be singing ‘Reach for the Stars’ by S Club 7 for the rest of the day….. sing along with me!! 😉

★★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer Man With A Seagull on his Head by Harriet Paige #bookreview

Finally I’m back with another book finished off the list!  This was book 10 and another one from my ‘little’ list, where it’s under 200 pages.  I think that is 7 books read now from my ‘little’ list so I really need to up my game on the ‘large’ book front – if only there weren’t so many other books I need to read for blog tours and publication dates!!

And what a stunner of a book this was!  I don’t know if I connected to it more because it was set very locally to me, but I just found it to be so absorbing and touching!

A gull falls from the sky and strikes a council worker on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary depicting the scene and the unknown figure with in who filled his view at the moment of impact. The mysterious beauty of his creations draws others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? And what of his anonymous muse?

‘A bona fide gem. A book that would be a credit on any short list.’Guardian

PUBLISHED BY BlueMoose Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website  £8.99

hive.co.uk  £6.25

WHSmith  £6.47

MY REVIEW

Quirky and poignant – my kind of book! And set in the south east corner of Essex that I know so well, this was a wonderfully touching little read that made a very hot afternoon fly by.

Centred around Ray Eccles who lives a quiet life in a quiet cul-de-sac in Southend On Sea, he’s a succesful artist but you’d never know it to see him. Happy to stay out of the limelight and keep to himself – but that all changes when he has a rather unfortunate incident on Shoebury East Beach with a seagull. Witnessed by one woman, he returns home from hospital with her face on his mind and starts his obsession with her that takes over his whole artistic outlook and sees him paint the same scene for 10 years.

The woman who saw the incident with the seagull has her own quiet life – working in a clothes shop, living a normal life but when the work of Ray Eccles becomes a huge success, she knows that the face he is painting is her. She doesn’t know how to feel about it and the struggle she faces is brilliantly portrayed.

The whole cast of charaters in this book are such a wonderful mix of the good and bad sides of humanity. The art studio owners who look upon Ray as their pet project when they take his work to London and have him move in with them, the local reporter from the Evening Echo trying to make her name with a breaking story, and especially Ray himself who never escapes his ‘oddball’ personna and seems happiest when he’s doing his own thing and not living by the rules of normal life.

I loved the touching and human side of the story and the familiarity of the places visited really brought this to life for me – any book that features Keddies is fine by me! It had a great mix of humour and tragedy, and the absurd side of the art world where anything seems to go if it has the right PR behind it, no matter the effect on the artist who was just trying to make sense of what happened to him and dealing with his grief and loneliness.

A stunning little book and one I’m very glad to have read!

★★★★

#BlogTour #BookReview A HOME FROM HOME by VERONICA HENRY #AHomeFromHome #RandomThingsTours

A huge delight to be part of the Blog Tour for A HOME FROM HOME by VERONICA HENRY today to share my thoughts.  Thank you so much to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

 Sunshine, cider and family secrets…

Dragonfly Farm has been a home and a haven for generations of Melchiors – arch rivals to the Culbones, the wealthy family who live the other side of the river. Life there is dictated by the seasons and cider-making, and everyone falls under its spell.

For cousins Tabitha and Georgia, it has always been a home from home. When a tragedy befalls their beloved great-uncle Matthew, it seems the place where they’ve always belonged might now belong to them…

But the will reveals that a third of the farm has also been left to a total stranger. Gabriel Culbone has no idea why he’s been included, or what his connection to the farm – or the Melchiors – can be.

As the first apples start to fall for the cider harvest, will Dragonfly Farm begin to give up its secrets?

A Home from Home is the very best of Veronica Henry’s storytelling – gorgeous scenes you wish you could step into, a cast of characters who feel like friends, and an irresistibly feel-good family drama crossing three generations.

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Discover Veronica Henry – your favourite authors’ favourite author:

‘Wise, insightful, beautifully written. A delicious treat of a book’ Milly Johnson

‘An utter delight’ Jill Mansell

‘Truly blissful escapism’ Lucy Diamond

‘A heart-warming, triumphant story combined with Veronica’s sublime writing – the perfect mix!’ Cathy Bramley

‘A beautiful book. Warm, emotional and full of hope’ Sarah Morgan

‘Veronica Henry has such a deft hand with families and their complications’ Katie Fforde

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

WHSmith

Author Website

MY REVIEW

As a huge fan of Veronica Henry I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this book, and it has been an absolute treat to read from start to finish.  Dragonfly Farm is the perfect setting for a story full of drama, love, tragedy and tons of family secrets to be revealed.

There’s a great cast of characters in A HOME FROM HOME.  At the centre is Tabitha – a hard-working woman who seems to be able to turn her hand to most things and has happily lived at Dragonfly Farm for a number of years with her great uncle Matthew, and the pride they take in the place and the family business is lear for all to see.

When he passes, Tabitha and her cousin Georgia are shocked to find out that Matthew has left a third of the farm to a complete stranger to them –  Gabriel Culbone.  Hearing the surname has them even more shocked as there has always been ‘beef’ between the Culbones and the Melchiors, and the revelations that soon follow send shockwaves through both families.

To his credit Gabriel is as in the dark as Tabitha and Georgia as to his connection to this Farm.  He’s an artisan knife-maker and just looking to do the best for his family and beloved daughter, so the girls are concerned that he’ll want to sell his share and they could lose the farm they hold so dear to their hearts.

The story then jumps back and forth to look back at the family over different time periods and to find out the truth of what happened over the years to cause the rifts and to shed light on the future for Dragonfly Farm.

With a wide range of characters there are so many avenues for the author to explore and you get some really enthralling storylines to follow, especially from the past and I loved the different emotions you went through reading their stories.  

 A truly charming book, and one I adored!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour #BookReview A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert @rararesources @RubyFiction

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the wonderful A CORNISH AFFAIR by JO LAMBERT.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting it all together and letting me be part of it all and sharing my thoughts.

A Cornish Affair

 In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family. The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging. But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Bio –

 Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in West Somerset, was followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in th Rain followed in 2017, In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall, has just been published. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall. When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://jolambertbooks.com

Blog: http://jolambertwriter.blog

Twitter: @jolambertwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolambert185

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jo-lambert-6 4644530

Instagram: jolambertwriter185

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a book that has a little bit of everything – romance, drama, dark family secrets and plenty of twists and turns throughout  which made for such an entrancing read that I loved!

Set in Cornwall, the stunning backdrop adds to the whole scene and you’re soon immersed in the lives of these characters – mainly Luke and Cat.  Luke Carrack has been away for a couple of years and seems to have a bit of a reputation with rumours about him never far away, so he’s happy to keep to himself and just try and get on with his life.

Cat Trevelyon is the local hoteliers’ daughter and is back to start the events managment job at the hotel and her first meeting with Luke gets things  off to an interesting start! Definitely a case of mistaken identity which breaks the ice but soon starts off a connection between them – they both seem to have trust issues so that helps them bond and they find it very easy to talk to one another although you still get the feeling they’re holding things back from one another.

Add to the mix the local gossips who are out to cause trouble and it really sets things up for some very intriguing circumstances and to delve into the past which brings up a lot of bad feeling, jealousy and some startling revelations.

I really enjoyed the whole feel of this book – it never felt twee or too light as it dealt with some serious and darker issues which made it feel more real and added to the tension.  In Luke and Cat you have 2 very relatable characters who you warm to through their attitudes to life and  the things they find themselves facing.

An excellent read and I look forward to more from this author in the future.

★★★★★