#GuestPost A CORNISH CHRISTMAS AT PEAR TREE FARM by ANGELA BRITNELL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @AngelaBritnell



Time to hand over the blog again today! And it’s more festive cheer to share with you courtesy of Angela Britnell who is celebrating publication day today of A CORNISH CHRISTMAS AT PEAR TREE FARM!!   Go grab your copy NOW!!!
Over to you Angela….


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Release Day: A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm by Angela Britnell

I can’t believe it will be Christmas in just a few weeks because it doesn’t seem long since I was here to celebrate the release of my summer book! I’m very happy to be back again to celebrate publication day for the sequel, A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm!

The new book centres around Ashley and Crispin who meet very briefly in A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm and felt an instant sense of connection, but the timing was wrong for them to explore where that might lead. It seemed cruel not to give them a second chance and so this sequel came to life. When we first meet them again they’re both in a better place emotionally but of course that doesn’t mean things will be smooth sailing for me because quite honestly where would be the fun in that! Most romance readers expect a happy ending and so it’s the journey the couple take together that is crucial to either capturing or losing their interest.

Here’s a brief excerpt with a window into Ashley’s thoughts when she and Crispin come together again in this new book.

Ashley had only met him for a few minutes over a year ago at Ward and Nessa’s engagement party. That was when he’d made the decision to turn himself in, and she recalled feeling a fleeting sense of kinship because she’d been experiencing her own rough time. His rugged good looks had stirred something in her then and were having the same effect now.

Meeting Ashley again rattles Crispin too and we feel his reaction when his old friend Polly is talking about the American woman.

‘She’s a real go-getter. Pear Day was her idea too.’ Polly’s smile broadened. ‘But don’t hate her for that.’

Crispin had the sinking feeling he wouldn’t be capable of hating Ashley for anything. It’d been a long time since he’d allowed himself to be interested in any woman but something about her wouldn’t leave him alone.

So the scene is set and even if you know it isn’t so much ‘will they’ or ‘won’t they’ I hope you’ll come along with them as they search for their own Christmas miracle.

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About the book:

Pairing up at Pear Tree Farm in time for Christmas …

Pear Tree Farm in Cornwall, owned by the kind-hearted Nessa Vivian, is known for taking in lost souls, and ex-soldier Crispin Davies is certainly one of those. But the once sleepy caravan park is now a thriving business, and far from the peace and quiet Crispin was craving, he soon finds himself roped into helping out with a short-notice Christmas festival, organised by Nessa’s force-of-nature sister, Lowena.

But despite Crispin’s initial reluctance, his involvement in the festival serves to throw him together with Ashley Spencer, an American woman and fellow lost soul, who works at the nearby Tregereth House. Could Lowena’s ambitious scheme result in a more hopeful Christmas and New Year for them both – with a few surprises along the way?

Sequel to A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm

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Buying links: 

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3B2ItN9 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3pxroqN 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/31zUKfS 

Nook: https://bit.ly/3DugtmW

 About the Author: 

Angela was born in St. Stephen, Cornwall, England. After completing her A-Levels she worked as a Naval Secretary. She met her husband, a US Naval Flight Officer while being based at a small NATO Headquarters on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. They lived together in Denmark, Sicily, California, southern Maryland and London before settling in Franklin, Tennessee.

Angela took a creative writing course in 2000 and loved it so much that she has barely put her pen down since. She has had short stories and novels published in the US. Her novel Sugar & Spice, won Choc Lit’s Search for an American Star competition and was her UK debut. 

Follow Angela on Twitter @AngelaBritnell Like Angela on Facebook: Angela Britnell

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#BlogTour THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT #BookReview @RandomTTours @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK


From the highly acclaimed author of The Photographer of the Lost, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, comes a tale of a young war widow and one life-changing, sun-drenched visit to Cornwall in the summer of 1923…

Esme Nicholls is to spend the summer in Cornwall. Her late husband Alec, who died fighting in the war, grew up in Penzance, and she’s hoping to learn more about the man she loved and lost.
 
While there, she will stay with Gilbert, in his rambling seaside house, where he lives with his former brothers in arms. Esme is fascinated by this community of eccentric artists and former soldiers, and as she gets to know the men and their stories, she begins to feel this summer might be exactly what she needs.
 
But everything is not as idyllic as it seems – a mysterious new arrival later in the summer will turn Esme’s world upside down, and make her question everything she thought she knew about her life, and the people in it.

Full of light, laughter and larger-than-life characters, The Visitors is a novel of one woman finally finding her voice and choosing her own path forwards.



Praise for Caroline Scott:

‘A page-turning literary gem’  The Times , Best Books of 2020

‘A touching novel of love and loss’  Sunday Times

‘A beautifully written must-read’  heat

‘A gripping, devastating novel’ Sarra Manning, RED

‘A powerful novel’  Good Housekeeping

‘A heartbreaking read’ Anita Frank

‘Breathtaking exploration of loss, love and precious memories’ My Weekly, Pick of the Month

‘Achingly moving and most beautifully written’ Rachel Hore

‘This beautiful book packs a huge emotional punch’  Fabulous

‘Drew me in from the first line and held me enthralled until the very end’ Fiona Valpy

‘Quietly devastating’  Daily Mail

‘A compulsive, heart-wrenching read’ Liz Trenow

‘Powerful’  Woman & Home

‘Page turning, mysterious, engrossing and compelling’ Lorna Cook

‘A carefully nuanced, complex story’  Woman’s Weekly

‘Caroline Scott evokes the damage and desolation of the Great War with aching authenticity’ Iona Grey

‘Poignant’  Best

‘Momentous, revelatory and astonishing historical fiction!’ Historical Novel Society

‘Wonderful and evocative’ Suzanne Goldring

‘Based on true events, this is a powerful story’  Bella

‘Immersive, poignant, intricately woven’ Judith Kinghorn

‘An evocative read’  heat

‘The story left me breathless’ Kate Furnivall

‘A poignant hymn to those who gave up their lives for their country and to those who were left behind’ Fanny Blake

‘I was utterly captivated by this novel’ Isabelle Broom

PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on thelandscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. The Photographer of the Lost was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.

MY REVIEW

Caroline Scott has done it again!! Created a storyline and characters that captivate and affect you emotionally as you connect with their plight and watch the drama unfold as they try to make sense of the world, and do their best to move on.

Set in 1923 Cornwall, this is the story of Esme who is looking to try and come to terms with the grief she feels after losing her husband in the Great War.  She comes to the area as that is where he grew up, and she wants to see if that will help her.   She stays amongst a group of artists/soldiers who are all dealing with their own pain and suffering, but the community brings them some peace and comfort.

What stuck me most about this book was the link with nature.  There are so many mentions that it just brings the surroundings to life and that healing feeling that only nature can bring to a soul.  

One of the soldiers she meets is Rory, and he deals with his past by writing about it and that not only helps him, but helps Esme too as she reads his experiences of the war to help her connect with her husband. 

The connection with nature is there again as you read about his experiences in the war – at times it feels like they’re on a birdwatching break, but it cleverly shows that by them noticing the nature around them, helps them to cope with the brutality of war that they are facing on a daily basis.  It makes them feel more human – they’re just young men who have been sent off to be part of something so horrific and totally alien to the normal side of human behaviour.  Watching the local wildlife helps them detach.

Esme is then rocked by a mystery visitor arriving in the area and you get the sense that maybe the past will never leave her, despite her desire to try and move on with her life.

This was a beautifully written story set over a few different timelines that blend seamlessly.  The connection between characters was wonderfully touching and I adored it!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 4th December 2021



Hello all and Happy December!  How the heck are we here already??!!! I’ve lost all track of time and it juts feels like only yesterday that I was back making new year resolutions – of which I think I stuck to zero!!
Not been a good week for me health wise, but book wise it’s been ok!  Another 4 books finished and I stayed away from Netgalley!  Go me!!  And 1 lovely book in the post for review!
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED


THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES – 5 STARS




YOU LET ME IN by CAMILLA BRUCE – 4 STARS


THE SPIRIT ENGINEER by C.J.WEST – 4 STARS


THE PAPER PALACE by MIRANDA COWLEY HELLER (audiobook) – 2 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Just one lovely addition to my bookshelves this week courtesy of the fabulous Gallic Press for review.



B: A Year in Plagues and Pencils by Edward Carey


‘I blame the pencil. I hadn’t meant to do it. I wasn’t thinking. It just happened that way.’

In March 2020, as lockdowns were imposed around the world, author and illustrator Edward Carey published a sketch on social media with a plan to keep posting a drawing a day from his family home in Austin, Texas, until life returned to normal. One hundred and fifty pencil stubs later, he was still drawing.

Carey’s hand moved with world events, chronicling pandemic and politics. It reached into the past, taking inspiration from history, and escaped grim reality through flights of vivid imagination and studies of the natural world. The drawings became a way of charting time, of moving forward, and maintaining connection at a time of isolation.

This remarkable collection of words and drawings from the acclaimed author of Little and The Swallowed Man charts a tumultuous year in pencil, finding beauty amid the horror of extraordinary times.



CURRENTLY READING

THE LOST PROMISE OF IRELAND by SUSANNE O’LEARY

A completely gorgeous story about lost loves and small-town secrets that will sweep you away to the Irish coast.Maggie remembers her summers in the village of Sandy Cove in Ireland like they were yesterday. She and her family would swim in the crystal-clear waters, collect beautiful seashells and relax on the sand. So when she sees that her family’s old coastguard cottage is available, she wonders if renting it for the summer will finally help her move on from the man who just broke her heart.As soon as Maggie arrives she is delighted to find her childhood best-friend Sorcha and Sorcha’s cousin Brian still living in town. They enjoy cosy nights in the local harbour pub, with its stunning views across the ocean, as if no time has passed. And when Brian reveals he had a fierce teenage crush on Maggie, she can’t help but notice just how handsome he has become.But then Maggie finds a worn metal box hidden in the attic of the house, full of love letters she exchanged with a sweet American boy she met one summer. During their last night together, star-gazing on the beach, they promised to find each other again. Soon it becomes clear that Maggie is not the only one returning to Sandy Cove.Torn between her growing feelings for Brian and the romance she’s held in her heart for many years, Maggie realises that her summer may be more complicated than she’d expected. Will Maggie finally find a true love who can sweep her off her feet or will this holiday in Sandy Cove be her last?


HAPPY READING!

#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!!


★★★★★

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.