My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – December 29th 2018

Hello!  Hope you are well! I’ve got a stinking cold so am not a very happy bunny today! Currently sneezing, sniffing and coughing my way through the day and leaving a trail of tissues in my wake!  

Christmas is already seeming like a distant memory, and it did affect my reading time for a couple of days as it was all just too much! BUT  I still managed to finish 4 books this week so keeping the pace up so happy with that!  Book hauls weren’t my fault this week – I’m blaming Santa and those who bought me gift vouchers and I’ve already posted the results of those up – so I’m claiming this week as a ‘no book’ haul week!

Here’s a quick look back at how my week shaped up book wise!

BOOKS FINISHED

Tin Man by Sarah Winman  – 5 stars

The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M.Harris  – 5 stars

Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood – 4 stars

Odette by Jessica Duchen  – 3 stars

CURRENTLY READING

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy #3)

I love this series so really don’t want it to end!

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow has burned nearly to the ground, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to hold accountable. Vasya finds herself on her own, amid a rabid mob that calls for her death, blaming her witchery for their misfortune.

Then a vengeful demon returns, renewed and stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos in his wake and never be chained again. Enlisting the hateful priest Konstantin as his servant, turmoil plagues the Muscovites and the magical creatures alike, and all find their fates resting on the shoulders of Vasya.

With an uncertain destiny ahead of her, Vasya learns surprising truths of her past as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all… 

The Beat of the Pendulum by Catherine Chidgey

Published by Eye Books – 1st January 2019

Every day for a year, Catherine Chidgey recorded the words and language she came across during her day-to-day life – phone calls, television commercials, emails, radio shows, conversations with her family, street signs and satnav instructions. From these seemingly random snippets, she creates a fascinating portrait of modern life, focusing on the things that most people filter out.

Chidgey listens in as her daughter, born through surrogacy, begins to speak and develop a personality, and her mother slips into dementia. With her husband, she debates the pros and cons of moving to a new town. With her publisher, she discusses the novel she is writing. While, all around, the world is bombarding her with information.

In The Beat of the Pendulum, Chidgey approaches the idea of the novel from an experimental new direction. It is bold, exciting, funny, moving and utterly compelling.

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Wonder how long I can keep the no haul weeks going…. it definitely needs to be a thing in 2019 as the books are taking over my home again!  Hope your bookish week has been good too!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year – may there be yet more wonderful books for us all to explore and enjoy!!

HAPPY READING!

Post Christmas Book Haul!

What happens when you give a bookish person a book token or two for Christmas?! And then mix in a sale at Waterstones…. you get this!!!  And there’s still money left over so I might have to force myself to buy more!  How awful for me!

Anyway, here’s a little look at the latest books that have arrived for me to enjoy!  

The Little Book of Sloth Philosophy by Jennifer McCartney

Relax, unwind and soak up the wisdom of the sloth with the slowest page turner you’ll ever read.

From tidying and Hygge, to living Lagom, the endless pressure to be happier, live better, sleep soundly, and eat mindfully can be exhausting. But this year’s lifestyle trend finally delivers the perfect antidote – welcome to the year of the sloth.

Sloths are mindfulness in action. Contemplative, deliberate, relaxed, and focused. They resist the rat race, the incessant pressures from society to be more productive, and they don’t care how many steps they’ve logged on their fitness tracker. Long-limbed, a little bit shaggy, and a lot wide-eyed, they’re wonderful creatures, not to mention completely adorable.

Here you can enjoy take-it-slow wisdom inspired by sloths; including advice on sleep (more restorative than a 6am run), eating and ‘exercise’ (sloths are the original pioneers of slow food and yoga after all), work (did you know that lazy people have higher IQs?), family life, and love.

Dispelling over-complicated myths about productivity, this brilliant book confirms that it really is OK to be a sloth.

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Skyshows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.

A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.

Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them – or to whom they belong – as long as they help him rise to the top.

Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse.

The Glorious Life of the Oak by John Lewis-Stempel

The Glorious Life of the Oak explores our long relationship with this iconic tree; it considers the life-cycle of the oak, the flora and fauna that depend on the oak, the oak as medicine, food and drink, where Britain’s mightiest oaks can be found, and it tells of oak stories from folklore, myth and legend.

The Wood by John Lewis-Stempel

From ‘one of the best nature-writers of his generation’ (Country Life) and 2017 winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, this BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ is the story of a wood – both its natural daily life and its historical times. Cockshutt is a particular wood – three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire – but it stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England.

For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed the wood. He coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there – the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl – and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John too.

To read The Wood is to be amongst its trees as the seasons change, following an easy path until, suddenly the view is broken by a screen of leaves, or your foot catches on a root, or a bird startles overhead. Lyrical, informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, it is both very real and very magical.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of fairytales poetically retold for a new generation of women. 

Traditional fairytales are full of cliché and gender stereotypes:beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take the glory.

But in Nikita Gill’s new prose and poetry collection, Fierce Fairytales: And Other Stories to Stir Your Soul, she rewrites the fairytale classics and reworks their old-fashioned tropes into empowering and inspirational stories. Meet the grief-stricken Ursula, the troubled Wendy Darling, the wolf in the concrete jungle, and the courageous Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own…

Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton

A whole new way of looking at the world – and your life – inspired by centuries-old Japanese wisdom.

Wabi sabi (“wah-bi sah-bi”) is a captivating concept from Japanese aesthetics, which helps us to see beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity and accept the transient nature of all things. With roots in Zen and the Way of Tea, the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi is more relevant than ever for modern life, as we search for new ways to approach life’s challenges and seek meaning beyond materialism.

Wabi sabi is a refreshing antidote to our fast-paced, consumption-driven world, which will encourage you to slow down, reconnect with nature, and be gentler on yourself. It will help you simplify everything, and concentrate on what really matters.

From honouring the rhythm of the seasons to creating a welcoming home, from reframing failure to ageing with grace, wabi sabi will teach you find more joy and inspiration throughout your perfectly imperfect life.

This book is the definitive guide to applying the principles of wabi sabi to transform every area of your life, and finding happiness right where you are.

Someone Like Me by M.R.Carey

SHE LOOKS LIKE ME. SHE SOUNDS LIKE ME. NOW SHE’S TRYING TO TAKE MY PLACE.

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. She’s a gentle woman devoted to bringing up her kids in the right way, no matter how hard times get.

But there’s another side to Liz—one which is dark and malicious. A version of her who will do anything to get her way, no matter how extreme or violent.

And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating.

The only way Liz can save herself and her family is if she can find out where this new alter-ego has come from, and how she can stop it. 

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Christmas 2018 Book Haul

Hello!  Merry Christmas!!  Hope Santa treated you all! He appears to have thought I’ve been a good girl this past year, so was treated to a lovely haul of book shaped items this year – along with some book vouchers (so I’ll be posting up what I’ve bought with those when I’ve been out shopping!!) – so I just thought I’d share with you what I got, as I know we’re all nosey and love looking at a few books!

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Not a bad little haul eh! Didn’t come with extra bookshelf space though so now to wonder where to put them all!

Click on the title for a link to the GoodReads page if you want to read more about each book!

The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada

Insomnia by Marina Benjamin

House of Glass by Susan Fletcher

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates

Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin

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Very happy with that little lot!! Where to start?! If you’ve read any of them I’d love to hear which one you’d start with!

 And 2019 definitely needs a self imposed book buying ban for a month… or 12!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – December 22nd 2018

Hello! And Merry Christmas one and all!! I hope your households are all calm and ready for the big day!!  I think (!) I’m all set – and if we’ve forgotten anything then tough!  And the moving around of books on the shelves has begun just in case Santa brings some book shaped things my way!! 

On the reading front, it’s been a slower pace of things again this past week with just 3 finished. But there has been additions to my book collection – despite my best efforts – but NONE from NetGalley so at least I’m making progress on that front!

Here’s a quick look back at all things bookish!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan – 5 stars

Audiobook

The Shape of Us by Drew Davies  – 4 stars

A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor  – 3 stars

BOOKHAUL

A couple of books I treated myself to, a couple of books from publishers to review, and a couple of books I’ve won!! Happy me!!

The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes  – bought from Goldsboro Books

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation. 

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, was found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she had regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community was appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy revealed that Harriet was six months pregnant. 

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters, each of whom have a reason to want her dead. Harriet Monckton had at least three lovers and several people were suspected of her murder, including her close companion and fellow teacher, Miss Frances Williams. The scandal ripped through the community, the murderer was never found and for years the inhabitants of Bromley slept less soundly. 

This rich, robust novel is full of suggestion and suspicion, with the innocent looking guilty and the guilty hiding behind their piety. It is also a novel that exposes the perilous position of unmarried women, the scandal of sex out of wedlock and the hypocrisy of upstanding, church-going folk.

Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris – bought from Goldsboro Books

An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in. 
(Child Ballad, no. 113)

So begins a stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man.

Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there – without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.

Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.

Echoes of Grace by Caragh Bell – received from Poolbeg Books

Even in death, love survives

Grace Molloy was the darling of the theatre scene.  Young and

dazzling, she gave it all up to marry the playwright Henry

Sinclair, thirty years her senior. Then, one stormy night, she died

giving birth to her daughter, Aurora.

Left with no memory of her mother, Aurora is raised by Henry and her 

nanny, Maggie, in a huge old house on the Cornish coastline.

All the little girl has of Grace is a portrait – a painting of a woman

in a white dress, her beautiful face frozen in time.

Aurora grows up, resembling Grace in looks and talent.

She pursues her dream of being on

the stage and soon achieves great success in the world

of theatre, like her mother before her. Then a secret unfolds

  – a secret that could threaten all that she holds dear . . .

Echoes of Grace is the story of a young woman who, having

overcome a painful past, must now embrace it to find her real self.

The Year After You by Nina De Pass – received from Ink Road Books

New Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend, Georgina, doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides that packing her off to a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

On the plus side, up in the vertiginous Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But her classmates, Ren and Hector, have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straighttalking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the
walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to. 

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara’s quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance

Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood – signed copy I won

Worlds collide when two strangers meet at Waterloo station. It’s a moment they’ll never forget. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson.

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw…

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist.

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – proof copy I won from the lovely Ova at Excuse My Reading

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow has burned nearly to the ground, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to hold accountable. Vasya finds herself on her own, amid a rabid mob that calls for her death, blaming her witchery for their misfortune.

Then a vengeful demon returns, renewed and stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos in his wake and never be chained again. Enlisting the hateful priest Konstantin as his servant, turmoil plagues the Muscovites and the magical creatures alike, and all find their fates resting on the shoulders of Vasya.

With an uncertain destiny ahead of her, Vasya learns surprising truths of her past as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all…

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

CURRENTLY READING

The Beat of the Pendulum by Catherine Chidgey

Published by Lightning Books – January 1st 2019

A found novel

LONGLISTED: OCKHAM NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2017 BY RADIO NEW ZEALAND

Every day for a year, Catherine Chidgey recorded the words and language she came across during her day-to-day life – phone calls, television commercials, emails, radio shows, conversations with her family, street signs and satnav instructions. From these seemingly random snippets, she creates a fascinating portrait of modern life, focusing on the things that most people filter out.

Chidgey listens in as her daughter, born through surrogacy, begins to speak and develop a personality, and her mother slips into dementia. With her husband, she debates the pros and cons of moving to a new town. With her publisher, she discusses the novel she is writing. While, all around, the world is bombarding her with information.

In The Beat of the Pendulum, Chidgey approaches the idea of the novel from an experimental new direction. It is bold, exciting, funny, moving and utterly compelling.

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And there we have it! Have you read any of these?! Would love to hear your thoughts!  

And I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

About the book

Charles Dickens should be looking forward to Christmas. But when his latest book, Martin Chuzzlewit, is a flop, his publishers give him an ultimatum. Either he writes a Christmas book in a month or they will call in his debts and he could lose everything. Dickens has no choice but to grudgingly accept…

Published by Allison & Busby

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk

book depository

MY REVIEW

There’s no better time of year to read this and I found it very easy to read and enjoyable with a rather clever twist at the end to keep you engaged!

It’s the story of Charles Dickens and his struggles with having to come up with a quick Christmas story as his last novel, Chuzzlewit, has bombed sales wise and the publishers aren’t happy. With his wife just giving birth to their 6th child he begins to crack under the pressure and when his family move away, he is left to search for inspiration and try to avoid the threat of the poorhouse!

There are short and snappy chapters in this book which really help with the pace and it’s lots of fun to see the characters we all know from his other books being bought to life in this story and to see where he could have got some of his ideas from in his quest to write the perfect Christmas story. Using his own experiences, good and bad, he begins to see Christmas through different eyes and helps bring to life the story we know and love today! A fun and interesting read!

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#BookReview The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan #bookblogger

About the book

Join Sarah Morgan this Christmas and treat yourself to this feel-good festive read about mothers and daughters, romance and drama, and Christmastime in Scotland!

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.

All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.

Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . .

This Christmas indulge in some me-time and enjoy this uplifting and heart-warming story from international bestseller Sarah Morgan. Full of romance, laughter and sisterly drama, The Christmas Sisters is the perfect book to curl up with this festive season.

* * * * *

What readers are saying about The Christmas Sisters:

‘Perfect to snuggle up with in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate’

‘Practically perfect in every way!’

‘Likeable characters, the dialogue was spot on and it’s all wrapped up in the wonderful Scottish Highlands setting

‘It’s warm and cuddly and cosy – perfect switch-off, feel-good reading’

Published by HQ

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

book depository

MY REVIEW

This is Christmas writing at its’ very best! A story full of heart that just lets you wallow in all the warmth of a wonderful cast of characters!
A tragedy that happened 25 years ago still plays a major role in the lives of the McBrides, and when they all come together to spend Christmas with each other, the tensions and guilt are still plain for all to see and it’s how that affects their relationships with one another that is the strength of this story and just keeps you wanting more!
Suzanne and Stewart love seeing their 3 daughters – Beth, Hannah and Posy – but with all 3 girls having such different personalities and lives it isnt very often that they can all be together. But this Christmas is different and they’re all set for a lovely family reunion in the mountains that have been home to the McBrides for many years.
Posy is already there living and working, so she sees close up what effect the past has taken on everyone, but she’s such a lovely personality (and definitely my favourite of the sisters!) that she always tries to be the one doing the right thing and never puts herself first. That may be about to change though with the arrival of Luke who is staying at the resort but has clicked with Posy over their shared interests!
Beth and Hannah are both living in America but very different lifestyles – Beth is a mother and gave up a successful career to do the family thing, but that is beginning to take its’ toll and she is thinking about dipping her toe back into work again – if only her husband Jason was thinking the same way! And as for Hannah, she’s all about work!! Even her family don’t normally get a look in, so they’re surprised when she shows up early and seems a little preoccupied with things.
The connection between all the characters was what hooked me. You could tell they all loved one another so much, but there was still so much that was unsaid between them that had caused resentment and assumptions over the years that gave this reunion an edge. Definitely a case of them thinking the grass is always greener on the other side as they looked at their siblings lives and envied different aspects.
Each sister was given plenty of time in this book to share their stories and even had plenty of time to look back at the tragedy that struck them all so early in their lives. And that made it such a joy to read as you felt you knew where each sister was coming from as they struggled to decide what to do that was right for them. 
Loved it!! 


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My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the e-copy in return for a fair and honest review.

My December TBR! #bookblogger

I find myself in a very pleasant position this month of being up to date with all the books for Blog Tours – well, the 2018 ones anyway!! –  so that gives me a bit of free reign when it comes to choosing what to read this month! But with free reign comes indecision!!!  😱

Do I  make a head start on some of the 2019 titles I have in my possession (that all look blooming amazing!)  OR do I catch up with all those books that I’ve been dying to read from my bookshelves all year?!! What’s a girl to do!  😉

So I’m going to  try and do both!! My NetGalley shelf makes for rather worrying viewing at the moment so I’m going to try and attack that a little more this month, alongside some other books that have been shouting at me from my bookshelves! So we will see how it all goes – after all this I’ll probably hit a reading slump in December and won’t want to read any of them!!  😭

Click on book title for link to the GoodReads page!

Books from my bookshelves!

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor – the December pick from the Elizabeth Taylor Reading Project

Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva – Ninja Book Box Book Club choice

Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone

The Beat of the Pendulum by Catherine Chidgey

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Little by Edward Carey

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Netgalley shelves

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

The Shape of Us by Drew Davies

A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley

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That little lot should keep me amused I think! Have you read any of these already?! Where should I start?!

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview A Christmas Secret by Kirsty Ferry #PublicationDay

About the book

A heartwarming fun read from Kirsty Ferry, perfect for cat lovers and fans of Kathryn Freeman, Lindsey Kelk and Jill Mansell.

What if a secret from Christmas past was stopping you from moving on to Christmas future? 

When Hugo McCreadie steps into Isla Brodie’s pet portrait studio to get a ‘Festive Furball Photo Shoot’ for his sister’s cat Schubert, he does question his sanity. But he knows the photographs will be the perfect Christmas present for his eccentric sister, Nessa – and he finds himself quite taken with ditzy, animal-loving Isla Brodie, too.

Will a Christmas secret from long ago prevent Hugo and Isla’s new friendship from going any further? Or will a certain big, black cat taking matters into his own paws lead them not only on a mad winter dash through snowy Edinburgh –but into each other’s arms for Christmas as well?

Linked to Every Witch Way but can be read as a standalone novella. 

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Published by Choc Lit

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Apple IBooks

Kobo

Google Play Books

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for  a purr-fectly (!) fun and festive read this Christmas, then look no further and hopefully you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did!!  And prepare to meet a cat like no other in Schubert!!  There’s nothing normal about him and it seems fitting that a cat photo shoot brings his cat-sitter – Hugo – into the Pet Portrait studio run by Isla.  Hugo knows how much his sister dotes on the lovely Schubert, so what better present than a kitty photo shoot!  

There is instant attraction between Hugo and Isla, so no surprise when they start to spend more time together.  Someone from Isla’s past doesn’t seem to approve of her new friend though, and there may be more to Hugo than meets the eye, which did add a deliciously darker twist to the story.  

But the star of the  show is Schubert and his antics are destined to keep you amused and wondering just what he will get up to next!  It seems he might have a career ahead of him as a matchmaker – who needs Tinder when you have a cat looking out for your lovelife!!  

Thoroughly enjoyed A Christmas Secret and hope there’ll be more from Schubert in the future!

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#BookReview One Magical Christmas by Berni Stevens #PublicationDay @ChocLituk

About the book

Christmas magic doesn’t really exist – does it? 
When Annie Berry collides with Nik Knoll in a car park on the day of her sister’s wedding, it feels like all of Nik’s Christmases have come at once. Annie seems like just the sort of woman he’d like to get to know, and the chance nature of their encounter is almost like, well … Christmas magic. 

But Nik has a secret, and he has to be sure that he can trust Annie before he tells her. The problem is that this secret has a Christmas deadline, and time is running out … 

Published by Choc Lit

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Kobo

Author Website http://bernistevensdesign.com/

Author on Twitter – @Berni_Stevens1

MY REVIEW

Look no further if you’re after a Christmas story that is truly magical and has all the feels!! I found myself smiling throughout this book and fell totally in love with Annie and Nick!

They meet in rather strange circumstances and the moment Nick lays eyes on Annie he is smitten! For Annie her pressing concern is that the wedding of her sister goes off without a hitch! The build up has driven them all seemingly insane so everyone is just hoping for a perfect day!

For Nick he is feeling  lonely! He’s tried online dating and that’s not gone well, and there seems to be some urgency to his quest to find ‘the one’.  Annie is also looking for someone to share her life with, and when their paths cross again they soon realise there is something between them so decide to see how things play out. 

Any characters that name their dogs after characters in Buffy is fine by me ,and I just found the cast in this story were just so endearing, with a few secrets to hide as well which added to the intrigue as the story played out!  You find yourself desperate to find out the secrets of Nick and his family and wonder how Annie will react to what he is hiding!

I loved my time with these characters and this book was a magical treat from start to finish!

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#BookReview Watch For Me at Christmas by Kirsty Ferry #PublicationDay @ChocLituk

About the book

A fabulous new Christmas story for 2018 from Kirsty Ferry.

When midwinter magic brings you home for Christmas …

When Emmy Berry arrives at Hartsford Hall to work at the Frost Fayre she immediately feels at home. Which is odd because she’s never set foot in the place in her life.

Then a freak blizzard leaves her stranded and things get even weirder when she bumps into Tom Howard. Tom and Emmy have never met before but neither can ignore the sense that they know each other.

With Christmas fast approaching and the weather showing no sign of improving it soon becomes apparent that Hartsford Hall has a little bit of midwinter magic in store for them both …

Published by Choc Lit

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

MY REVIEW

I do love the Hartsford Mysteries series and this is the latest addition and I just want more!! Hartsford Hall has become a favourite place of mine through this series and it was just so wonderful to be able to go back and visit some old favourite characters, alongside some new introductions!

Emmy Berry finds herself at Hartsford Hall for a craft fair. One of those last minute things that she agreed to do to help distract herself from an upcoming lonely Christmas.  Her crafting is her passion and she’s not in it for the money – and that is what seemed to upset her ex!

She is welcomed with open arms by the owners and despite never having visited the Hall before she feels at home! She’s keen to learn more about the history and keeps catching glimpses of people dressed in vintage clothing which really adds to the historical atmosphere.

I love the parallel timelines contained in this series.  They work so well alongside each other, so in this book we get flashbacks to 1884 and the story of Charles and Millie.  Both besotted by each other but hesistant to take things further, until a snowy Christmas brings them closer together.

While Emmy is snowed in at the Hall she spends more time with Kate, who lives above the museum and her brother Tom is visiting for the holidays.  He’s been having very strange dreams recently about a woman and he’s a little shocked to now see her in real life! Maybe spending Christmas with his sister and her family won’t be so bad after all!  The world works in mysterious ways or so they say!

The blend of romance and history is a wonderful mix once more, and with a snowy setting it can’t get any better!  I loved being reunited with old characters from the series, but this can also easily be read as a standalone story, perfect to get you in the Christmas mood.  Loved every single second of it!!

                                                   ❅❅❅❅❅