#BookReview JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS by LUCY KEELING @ChocLituk



ABOUT THE BOOK


Is love always a losing game?


When Mya is with Smithy, it feels like her eyes are constantly rolling. His wheeling and dealing charisma charms everyone but her. Well, that’s not strictly true – Mya is only human after all, and there’s no doubt the man is hot with his suits and swagger. It’s just that Smithy knows Mya’s secret, and she’s not sure she can trust him to keep it from their group of friends.


As they immerse themselves in the glamorous and mysterious world of ‘The Suits’, growing closer as a result, Smithy has to question whether his time with Mya is destined to become a case of ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ …

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Friends-Vegas-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B08XQVQSPG/

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/just-friends-in-vegas/id1556116102

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/just-friends-in-vegas

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lucy_Keeling_Just_Friends_in_Vegas?id=wlQkEAAAQBAJ

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-friends-in-vegas-lucy-keeling/1138924029?ean=2940162596943

MY REVIEW

This was a fabulous read! It was fun, sexy and full of sparks that it just made me want to pack up and head to Vegas…. I might meet a Smithy while I’m there! He’s one of those guys that is a bit of a lad, and full of himself, but that seems more of a front than anything. Underneath you know there’s a big softy just waiting to get out!

And in this book he has his eyes on Mya! She’s a lady full of secrets, and he’s party to the biggest secret, but how long will he stay quiet!? And why hasn’t she told her friends the real reason why she’s over in Vegas to begin with?!

This is a fabulous setting for a story!! It’s full of glamour and there’s lots of mystery and intrigue going on and the group that are thrown together are bound to clash with the varying personalities amongst them!

While Mya and Smithy are in Vegas they are both there for the same reason, and – trying not to give away any spoilers! – it was really fun to see how their relationship progressed. Mya is a bit of a hard one to read at times and glimpsing behind the bravado shows us her other side and shows the best way to deal with the sexists amongst the group! Never stoop to their level and hit them where it hurts!!

Another great book from Lucy, featuring a feisty female character and a storyline that zips along and keeps you fully involved! Loved it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview Colt Harper – Disparaged Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty #ColtHarper

ABOUT THE BOOK

Colt Harper, now stinking of humanity, has lost his esteemed title and is doomed to wander the earth with his fugitive…ugh, ‘friends’.


Travelling through various realms in an attempt to earn back his title, Colt meets his maker, the dreaded council and an old friend he assumed was dead.


Book 2 in the award-winning series, Colt Harper: Disparaged Vampire Cat returns with his catty sense of humor.


Don’t let the Short Stature Snatcher bite…

Praise for Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat

“The first page had me hooked” – Readers’ Favorite“Terrific read! Ludicrous and fun!” – Erin Michelle Sky, bestselling author of The Wendy

“Couldn’t put it down. Fun and unique!” – Wilbert Stanton, bestselling author of Gears of Fate

“Mega fun!” G. Miki Hayden, author of Writing the Mystery: A Start to Finish Guide

“Terry Pratchett meets possessed cats!” Clayton Snyder, author of Child of Nod

purchase link

Amazon

MY REVIEW

Having loved the first book in this series – Colt Harper – Esteemed Vampire Cat – I’ve been eagerly awaiting book two and it’s just wonderful to have this character back in my life….. even if he’s a little different now! That struggle is real for Colt as he comes to terms with having ’emotions’ and ‘feelings’! His normal cynicism and snark has been replaced by a reluctant compassion and he hates himself for it!


In this story he’s reunited with some favourite characters from the first book – the tickle monster is back! – and he’s dealing with seeking his own revenge, while being hunted himself by a supernatural ‘being’ and this allows an adventure of sorts to new dimensions, alongside dimensions from other books written by Tyrolin Puxty! 


What I love most about these books are the humour – it’s less in your face here than the previous book, but it’s brilliantly subtle and allows for so many different aspects to be explored, and there’s a never ending supply of quirks and curve balls littered throughout that had me in stitches!


Having Colt so conflicted as a character really made this book for me!  Helping people is not his normal ‘thing’ but with his new human emotions, he takes to responsibility with aplomb – even if he doesn’t really know what he’s doing half the time!


   There are so many brilliant one liners –  “I’m a tickler, not a fighter” ( I want this put on a t-shirt!!) and a cliff hanger that left me shocked and desperate for more, so I’m just hoping Colt will be returning soon and wonder what complications are set to face him next time!!

★★★★★

#BookReview Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella #ChristmasShopaholic

ABOUT THE BOOK

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Publication Date – 17th October 2019

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £14.00

hive.co.uk  £12.69

whsmith  – signed edition £12.00

MY REVIEW

Becky Bloomwood is back!! And this time Christmas is on her shopping list – surely a doddle for a shopping queen such as herself?! Wrong! The chaos, fun, disasters and dilemmas that Becky has faced so often in her life are present once more and it was an absolute blast to have these characters back in my life with the latest installment in the Shopaholic series!

Christmas has always been the same in the Bloomwood family – her mum and dad hosting the festivities, neighbours visiting and jolly japes all around! But this year it’s all changing as her mum and dad are moving so they are passing on the festive duties to Becky! And there are many requests for Becky to have to accommodate – her sister is a vegan, her husband only wants his normal aftershave and their daughter Minnie has put in her present demands…. in the Becky bubble world this sounds like the perfect excuse to go shopping for new stationery to make notes! So she does!!

I loved how his story is told through different means – the day to day, the emails, the texts, even glimpses of search histories! – and this helps make it flow so well and adds to the hilarity! Not that Becky ever needs an excuse to go shopping, but even she’s finding the quest for the perfect Christmas a challenge this year! She shares the stress of online shopping, the bargains you find but have sold out by the time you get to check out and I found myself nodding and chuckling along in agreement with her on so many occasions! She’s at her crazy but lovable best throughout this story and never likes to do things the easy way! Who knew a llama bauble would make someone go so crazy!!!

With all the issues that Becky faces it wouldn’t be fun if they all worked out swimmingly, so there’s always a spanner in the works as she makes life more difficult for herself – her family and friends are seemingly oblivious to the stress she’s putting herself under. She even decides to take on the local Billiards club just for a way to get her husband the most amazing present! The pressures of having a job and competing with the other school mums who try and outdo one another also adds to her stress – why is modern life so complicated?!

It was so lovely to be back in the world of Becky! Yes she’s overboard, often tactless and slightly out of control but her heart is always in the right place and she means well so I’m just hoping that this won’t be the last we see of this super shopaholic as I just had so much fun reading this book!

★★★★★

My thanks to Becky Short and Bantam Press for the advance reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview #GuestPost The Truth about Love and Dogs by Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK

A huge delight for me to today to share my review for THE TRUTH ABOUT  LOVE AND DOGS by LILLY BARTLETT, and also share a guest post by the lovely Michele about something we all love and that’s book covers!  Which cover do you prefer?! Never an easy decision to make, especially when you’re an Author and wanting people to pick your book up!  

Here’s a little more about the book!

Four little words, uttered by her husband…‘Oh my god,’ he gasped into her shoulder. ‘Shannon!’There’s just one problem: her name isn’t Shannon.
Rewind six months and Scarlett and Rufus aren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore so much as the honey-should-we-bother phase. Desperate to get their sparkle back, Scarlett has plotted, planned and waxed more than any woman should have to, but none of it is working. Which makes it very hard to start the family they want. 
At least her business is going strong, even if her marriage isn’t. She and her best friend spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur. Scarlett/ is the fairy dogmother, training hopeless pets like compulsive eater Barkley, impulsive Romeo Murphy and bossy Biscuit. Meanwhile, her best friend walks the dogs and pines for the man who doesn’t know she exists. Thank goodness the women have each other. 
If only Scarlett could work out how to get her marriage back on track. But Rufus isn’t sharing his feelings with her. He is, though, sharing with her best friend. Her best friend, Shannon.

Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Four-Legged-Word-Michele-Gorman-ebook/dp/B01LW80PF7

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Four-Legged-Word-Michele-Gorman-ebook/dp/B01LW7UMO9

GUEST POST – all about covers!

How often do you pick up a book because of the cover? I do it all the time. It’s what makes me take the time to look at the description, read the first few paragraphs, and, if I like all that I see, decide to buy it.

So, is it any wonder that covers cause us authors so much angst? They might even make us more nervous than writing the book itself. That’s because writing is an evolutionary process. It takes months to do, plus there are many rounds of editing. But the cover is the instant, one-and-only first impression your book will make. It’s like getting ready for a first date with someone that you really really want to impress! You’ve only got one chance.

Every single author I know holds her breath when that email comes through from the publisher saying “Here’s the cover art and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do.”

So here it is: my one chance. These are the two covers we’ve chosen to make a first impression for The Truth About Love and Dogs. What do you think? They’re very different from one another, aren’t they? That’s because tastes in romcom covers in the UK are so different from preferences in the US.

I always ask my Facebook friends and newsletter followers for their feedback about my proposed covers, and the US readers mostly go for a photographic cover while UK readers love the illustrated ones. Does that hold true for you? Which do you like better?

Whichever cover grabs you most, I hope you’ll love the story inside!

Happy reading!

Lilly xo

https://www.facebook.com/michele.gorman3

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dr5RGX

http://www.michelegorman.co.uk/

About the Author

Michele writes books packed with heart and humour, best friends and girl power. Call them beach books, summer reads, romantic comedy or chick lit… readers and reviewers call them “feel good”, “thought-provoking” and “laugh out loud”. She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London with her husband. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films. Michele also writes cosy chick lit under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, romance, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

MY REVIEW

What an absolute joy this was to read!! It mixed the fun of dealing with crazy dogs – and their even crazier owners! – with the more serious topics of a married couple drifting apart and how fertility issues played their part in putting a wedge between a husband and wife and how that put so much pressure on their relationship and friendships!

Scarlett is a dog behaviourist – she is the doggy whisperer!  Although most of her work centres around re-training the owners more than the dogs! The exploits of both had me laughing out loud! And along with her best friend, Shannon, who is a dog walker,  their business is growing nicely and all seems well!

But tougher times are just around the corner and when her husband, Rufus seems to find it easier to talk to Shannon about delicate issues rather than to his wife and it puts them all, especially Shannon, in a very awkward position. And when Gemma, Scarlett’s sister, falls pregnant it really devastates Scarlett and she struggles to cope with her feelings of jealousy which was totally understandable.

I raced through this book as it was just so easy to care about these characters and hoping that their lives could be put back on track and loved how sensitively more serious subjects were dealt with alongside the humour of dealing with problem dogs!.  

🐾🐾🐾🐾

#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. 

❄❄❄❄❄

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!

                                      😻😻😻😻😻

#BlogTour The Optimist by Sophie Kipner #BookReview

Hello!  Delighted to be able to share my thoughts with you today on this fabulous new release from Sophie Kipner! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne Cater of  Random Things Tours for letting me be part of this wonderful blog tour!  Here’s a little bit more info about the book…..

‘Hilarious . . . Kipner writes beautifully, is emotionally intelligent and has a keen eye for detail – the more absurd the better. The result is a different, occasionally deranged and always very clever read. I loved every minute.’ Daily Mail

Meet Tabitha Gray, a delusional girl from Topanga, California, who redefines what it means to be a truly hopeless romantic. Tabby suffers from an aggressive strain of cock-eyed optimism – no amount of failure, embarrassment or humiliation can dent her fierce belief that real, true, lasting love is just around the corner.

Where most people think, fantasize and dream, Tabby says, feels and does. Whether waiting in her lingerie for Harrison Ford to open the door of his hotel room; declaring her love, aged nine, for Ernesto the gardener; encountering Al Pacino in a Russian bathhouse; seeking passion with a blind man on the advice of a wise old woman with dementia at her grandmother’s home for the elderly; or sending intimate photos to a random sexter with an apparently charming dick, Tabby refuses to be crushed by her many misadventures. She has to keep believing, because if she gives up, what then? Ill-advisedly armed with the words of Dorothy Parker, Tabby knows that her own ferocious optimism is the only thing keeping her heart-sore, wine-swilling mother and cynical, single-mum sister from giving up on love altogether. She is their only hope. If Tabby can find love, then they too will believe…

In this warmly witty debut novel, Sophie Kipner takes a satirical look at the extremity of romantic desperation, and pays wry tribute to the deep human need to keep on heroically searching for love despite our manifold absurdities. 

 

Hardcover, 384 pages

Published May 18th 2017 by Unbound

Purchase Links

About the Author

Visual artist and author Sophie Kipner grew up in Topanga, CA. A graduate of the University of Southern California, she writes and illustrates her own stories, which have appeared in Kugelmass: A Journal of Literary Humor, Amy Ephron’s One for the Table, FORTH Magazine and The Big Jewel, and her artwork, most recently her series of blind contour portraits, DONTLIFTUPDONTLOOKDOWN, has been shown and sold internationally. She lives in Los Angeles, and The Optimist is her first novel.

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a book that makes you laugh out loud and  squirm with embarrassment, then this is the book for you! I have adored spending time in the company of Tabitha as she spends her life searching for love and no matter how many frogs she ends up kissing, she is convinced her prince charming is out there – and probably in the guise of a hollywood superstar… they just don’t know it yet!

Tabitha is such a fabulous and quirky character! She is down to earth, with her head in the clouds, living in her bubble world of seeing the positive in almost every situation and this book is her recollection of what she learns about herself from the dating situations she finds herself in on her quest for true love!  She isn’t afraid of negative experiences, and I think that comes from her growing up in a slightly messed up family and she is obsessed with happy endings, and she is just biding her time until she gets the fairytale ending she remembers reading about in her childhood.

There are a lot of uncompromising positions she finds herself in, and often a little crude at times – but very funny crude!  I found myself laughing so much, and often in shock at some of the embarrassing situations she finds herself in. But I just loved her frankness throughout!  She is happy being HER – she doesn’t want to be someone else and I think this book had the great message that life can be fun if you are YOU!  Don’t follow the crowd, don’t comform and do what makes you happy!

All the dating disasters she experiences are a great learning experience for her and helps her to clarify in her mind what she wants from her life and she isn’t afraid to take her time in finding out what is right for her!

I loved this fabulously funny debut from Sophie Kipner and will be eagerly awaiting more from this author as I loved her style of writing and the sense of humour!!

                                                      💋💋💋

optimistblogtour

#BookReview #GuestPost My Favourite People by Rob Keeley

Delighted to be able to share my review today of this fun new picture book for the little people in your life, alongside a guest post from one of my favourite people in the book world, and that is Rob Keeley!!  

About the book

Rob Keeley’s first picture book!
A book for young children all about the importance of relationships.
Comes complete with suggested activities for bringing the book to life.

Illustrated by Simon Goodway.

My favourite people are…

all in this book. And I’m going to tell you all about them. You can meet my Auntie Meg and Uncle Steve, my best friend Alice, my favourite footballer and the band that’s going to save the world. Then I’ll tell you about a brilliant idea I’ve had…

Following his success as a writer of novels and short stories for older children – including the ongoing Spirits series, listed for the Bath Children’s Novel and Independent Author Book Awards – Rob Keeley makes his picture book debut with My Favourite People, a fun illustrated journey through childhood and the friends and family who make it possible. It’s an amusing and insightful look at the world around its central character, an excellent read-aloud or read-alone. It encourages young people to look at relationships and recognise their importance. It will appeal to girls and boys of lower primary age – and to parents and teachers reading the book aloud.

Paperback, 1st, 24 pages
Published April 28th 2018 by Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN13
9781789013313
 
Purchase Links
Amazon UK  £7.99
Hive.co.uk  £6.95
 
MY REVIEW
 
This is the first picture book from the author Rob Keeley, and it is a bright and bubbly book that has plenty of colourful illustrations and educational activities inside to keep young children entertained and engaged with for the duration.

It introduces a variety of characters and their relationships with the central character and all the things they do that make them so special to him! And at the back of the book are a number of suggested activities that make it easy for those reading with youngsters to make the reading experience more personal and to engage with what they are reading and seeing.

Lots of fun!!  And a great way of helping you get more out of a book when reading with children!

 
GUEST POST
Now I get to hand over to Rob for his thoughts on the whole experience of creating this picture book and a little bit more about himself, including where you can find him online!
😊😊😊

Karen is now one of my favourite people following all her lovely reviews of my books for children, so I was delighted to get this opportunity to write a guest post for her blog! I’m so pleased to see that My Favourite People is proving popular. It’s my first picture book for younger children and is aimed at both the preschool and the 5-7 audience. I wrote the text some years ago but have been looking for the right illustrator to bring my characters and fictional world to life. Finally I was thrilled to discover the work of Simon Goodway, a very talented man with wide experience of children’s books as well as other projects (visit http://www.simongoodway.com). His pictures are bright and colourful, slightly larger than life but with a realistic quality to them as well. In other words, a perfect match for my writing style! I would love to do more picture books with him and am already thinking of a follow-up – though I have the final Spirits novel for older children to publish first!

My Favourite People is more of a character piece than a narrative one, and revolves around a young boy who’s the same age as the target audience. He tells us all about the favourite people in his life – family, friends, acquaintances – and then about a brilliant idea he’s had to reward them for their kindness and friendship. It’s a celebration of the pure pleasure we can get at that age from being in the company of someone we love. We get to see, through his eyes, what makes his favourite people special – the Mum and Dad who love him, the best friend who’s there when he’s unhappy, the teacher who inspires a love of music, and the footballer and the pop band who are his heroes, amongst others. I gave Simon notes on all of these characters and he has interpreted them brilliantly.

I did a lot of research into picture books for these age groups and saw that many now end with activities to bring the book to life and build the young reader’s literacy. These can be used by parents reading the book at home, or by teachers in the classroom. I had teaching assistant experience to draw on as well as more recent experience of holding author workshops in primary schools and children’s libraries. I ended up suggesting tie-ins with everything from Food Technology to P.E., taking in English lessons along the way! Reading should be an interactive experience and the four pages of Suggested Activities that end the book allow adults to join children in their reading dream.

Two favourite points in the book? Uncle Steve tinkering at the baking session, and the boy’s big idea at the end. But you’ll have to read it to see what I mean!

For more information on My Favourite People and my other books, visit http://www.robkeeley.co.uk/ and follow me on Twitter @RobKeeleyAuthor.

😊😊😊

Sunshine & Secrets by Daisy James #BlogTour #BookReview #Excerpt

sunshinebanner

Title: Sunshine & Secrets

Author Name: Daisy James

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Release Date: 19th March 2018

Publisher: Canelo

Welcome all to my stop on this wonderful Blog Tour! And what a treat we have in store today with a fabulous extract from this feelgood book, along with my review – spoiler alert – I loved this book!  Full of all the feels in the most idyllic setting!!

sunshinecover

Book Blurb: 

When newly heartbroken, michelin-starred chef Millie Harper is offered a job overseeing the setup of The Paradise Cookery School she jumps at the opportunity. Leaving London and her memories of heartbreak behind she hops on a plane to the hilltop cocoa plantation in St Lucia.

But this beautiful island break might be more work than she’d expected…. With only two weeks to have the kitchen installed, cocoa pods going missing from the plantation and the notoriously relaxed island workmen to contend with, she’s going to need some help. Gruff but charming estate manager Zach Baxter, is only too happy to offer his opinions. As the two clash heads can they remain focussed on the job in hand and get the cookery school finished in time?

Pack your bags and jump right into the sun and secrets of The Paradise Cookery School. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Kat French.

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Kobo

Google Books

Apple Books UK

Author Bio:

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Author Social Media Links Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

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

☀☀☀☀☀

Sunshine & Secrets Extract 

Millie had received the promised email from Jen and had studied the attachments during the flight. It turned out her sister hadn’t told her the full story – nothing new there. Not only did she have to oversee the renovations but she was also expected to triple-test and finalize the course recipes and menu cards. It was going to be a challenge – it would be years before she could aspire to match the brilliance of Claudia Croft, if ever. She was relieved that Claudia had arranged for her friend and local Caribbean cook, Ella Johnson, to be an integral part of the testing committee. Despite the course attendees’ desire to indulge in a fun-filled, pre-wedding celebration, Millie knew that the price the bride’s mother had paid for the classes meant they would be a discerning and demanding audience – foodies with an interest in furthering their skills and repertoire to include a cocoa-flavoured twist.

So, a siesta was obviously out of the question. Ella would be arriving shortly to meet her and Millie wanted to reassure her that she was up to the job. She straightened her shoulders, grabbed the handle of her wheelie suitcase and drew in a lungful of breath. The sweet fragrance of jasmine, mingled with wet soil, tickled her nostrils as she dragged her luggage and her exhausted body up the incline towards the house. She slung her bag higher up her shoulder so she could protect her trusty scrap box of recipes with her arm, and tossed her bedraggled mermaid hair over her shoulder, wishing she had thought to tie it back. Her jerky movement dislodged an apple from the top of her bag and it rolled away down the hill, picking up speed until it rounded the corner and disappeared from view.

The daily deluge continued its onslaught. The celestial director of meteorology had clearly decided to ratchet up the special effects for her arrival on stage. Unexpectedly, Millie felt tears gather along her lashes. Not only was she soaked to the skin, with a throbbing toe and burning lungs from the unfamiliar exertion of tackling the hill, now a juggernaut of tiredness had rammed into her bones.

However, her excursion into self-pity didn’t last long. As she emerged from a dense grove of banana trees, the welcome sight of the old plantation house erased her lethargy in an instant. Built in the French colonial style, with a white-painted veranda and pale blue jalousie shutters, the villa nestled comfortably against the tropical foliage of the rainforest. The building was impressive but she was too exhausted to fully appreciate its architectural splendour.

She ditched her luggage next to a stack of scarred wooden crates, stuffed to bursting with weird-looking purple-brown pods, loitering on the doorstep like sentries, and trotted around the wooden veranda to the front of the house. What she saw whipped the breath from her lungs.

A set of smooth white marble steps descended towards the most stunning expanse of aquamarine she had ever seen. The infinity pool’s decking had been embellished with six navy-and-white striped sunloungers and was bordered by a necklace of lush banana trees, their leaves sporting a glossy sheen from the recent downpour. But she barely noticed this arboreal glory compared to the majesty of the panorama in front of her widened eyes. She felt her jaw drop.

☀☀☀☀☀

MY REVIEW

This was a treat of a read! Full of fun, romance and those feel good vibes that make the world a happier place!

Millie isn’t in a happy place as she’s recovering from a broken heart. But she has her love of cookery to help distract her. Her sister Jen is also on hand to try and help her move on and what better way than springing a surprise on her at the airport! She thought she was going to spend time with her mother, but Jen has recommended her for some work in St Lucia to help out the celebrity cookbook writer Claudia Croft who is setting up a Paradise Cookery School over there and needs some help. How could she say no?!

When she arrives over there she’s quite low on confidence and is a little daunted by what she faces but with stunning views and friendly locals, she soon settles and finds herself enjoying life once more! Even the daily downpours don’t seem to dampen her spirit.

The estate manager, Zach Barker, is there to watch over here and their first few meetings don’t go well but it’s nice to see how their friendship develops despite their clashes.

Even with some mysterious goings on happening that seem set to test her , she finds the challenge she faces with the school is just what she needed and her love of cookery is easy for all to see and a helpful way into the hearts of the local community!

This was so much fun to read with a lovely cast of characters in a paradise setting!

☀☀☀☀☀

Thanks for stopping by today! Don’t forget to check out the other stops on this Blog Tour and hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!!

sunshine blog tour

The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James #bookreview #happypublicationday

THE BLURB

‘Britain’s answer to the best Marigold Hotel’

Let the shenanigans begin at the Best Boomerville Hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!

Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than its fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun-loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

Publisher – Ruby Fiction

Publication Date – 13th March 2018

BUYING LINKS

Kindle

Apple IBooks

Kobo

Google Play Books

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline’s latest novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel will be published by Ruby Fiction on 13th March, 2018 and is being described as ‘Britain’s answer to the best Marigold Hotel, fabulous!’

Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad.

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was Ebook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, Coffee Tea The Chef & Me has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” The book is an amazon best-seller and ‘Top Recommended Read – Thomson Holidays InFlight Magazine 2017’

Jungle Rock has been described as ‘fabulously funny – a perfect feel-good read’.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for a lifestyle magazine. When she’s not writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.

You can follow Caroline:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolineJames12
Website: http://www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk/

 

MY REVIEW

What a fabulous fun read! It follows a number of characters as they reach a certain stage in their life and are looking for more! And they definitely find more than they hoped at the Boomerville Hotel!

Kate is 50 and finding it hard to find love so she’s looking to get away from it all, and sees an advert for this luxury retreat and decides to do something different and book herself in there! She’s looking forward to meeting a variety of people and trying new things.

Hattie and Jo are the owners of the Boomerville Hotel in the Lake District and are glad to see business picking up after they recently re-opened and they see the people who come and visit as extended family. Some are there for a short time, others are longer stay residents so they get to know everyone who walks through their doors.

I loved the mix of characters in this story! Some were easier to warm to than others and I loved the mix of storylines too – there is romance, finding yourself, moving on, family problems – as it keeps you guessing what is round the corner and how they can all end up helping one another in learning things about themselves. There’s even echoes of the film ‘Ghost’ in one class!

Everyone is there for their own reason – some good, some bad! – and it was a delight to watch over this community through good and bad times and see how their lives can change after a change in their routine and a different approach that their time at the Boomerville Hotel allows them to discover!

                                                                💖💖💖💖💖

A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Hello!  Delighted to be taking part in this magic blog tour today, hosted by Rachel at rachelsrandomresources! So thank you for stopping by!  Am posting a review and a giveaway today  – you lucky people!!!

THE BLURB

Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch.

She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.

Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.

She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.

On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.

For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078NRFL93/

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078NRFL93/

 

Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of seven novels, two short story collections and a novella.

The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company. Their latest novel, Oddjobs 2: this time it’s personnel, was published in August 2017.

Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

Facebook

Pigeon Park Press Website

Twitter: @HeideGoody and @IainMGrant

MY REVIEW

I found this to be such a fun read, full of crazy capers and a full cast of wonderful characters!  It doesn’t take long before you take the group of sassy witches to your heart as you follow their stories from the ‘real’ world where they each work in a variety of jobs and they find themselves all brought together on a course in the middle of nowhere but they aren’t sure why they’ve been chosen!  It doesn’t take long for the true reasons to be revealed!

I found myself chuckling along at many points and the character of Jizzimus is full of hilarious one-liners – he was definitely my favourite! I just couldn’t wait to find out what he would come out with next!!  The witches all learn so much about themselves and the others while they are away and how they need to pool their ‘witchy’ resources together to fight those plotting against them!  Dee, Caroline and Jenny aren’t your normal kind of witches – is there ever a normal kind?! – and when they all realise what they have in common you start to see the bonds between them strengthen, despite their reluctance in the beginning.

Highly recommended for all those looking for a funny, spellbinding read!!


And then there’s more!  A fabulous giveaway!! 

Giveaway – Win a Witch’s Pamper Package (Open Internationally)

The package, worth over £100 contains…

  • A lacy gothic bracelet
  •   A witch’s hat fascinator
  • A pair of green and black stripy tights
  • A Yankee candle in “Forbidden Apple”
  • A set of wand-shaped makeup brushes
  • A gothic notebook (for spells!)
  • A bookmark featuring a squashed witch (with just the legs sticking out!)
  • A gemstone ring
  • A gorgeous coffin-shaped vegan eyeshadow palette from Lunatick Cosmetic labs (with a bat-shaped mirror!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ENTER!!