The Art of Spirit Capture – A #NewRelease by @geofflepard #BlogTour – How I Found The Story

Our wonderful fellow blogger, and author, Geoff LePard, fondly known as His Geoffleship to me, anyway, has a fabulous new release, out now. His first romance, no less!

It’s called The Art of Spirit Capture, and sounds fabulous!

Now, His Geoffleship, as I mentioned earlier, has penned a romance.

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Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked; and Christmas is round the corner to remind him how bad his life has become. 

After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future. 

While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbour so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?

Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption and good cooking.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

I asked him where the story came from…

I imagine most writers are asked how they uncover their stories. And as a supplemental, how
do they decide one has the legs to be an 80,000 plus novel against a 10,000 short story or 500
piece of flash?
In the case of the Art, it all began with a prompt. The late Sue Vincent began a series of
prompts she titled #writephoto. She would post on a Thursday and try and reblog the stories
she received during the week, ending with a collection the following Thursday and a new
prompt. Her photos were often taken from her visits to the wild and wooly places in England,
her beloved Albion and led me down many a weird and wacky path.
In one she posted a picture of a crow in flight. That led me to my trainee exorcist Pearl Barley
who is now the subject of two draft novels and a third I hope to at least begin this November.
The picture that started me on the road to The Art was a Christmas decoration through which
a rainbow of refracted light showed. Some of you may remember it. There was something
beautiful yet otherworldly about it – a lot of Sue’s prompts had that otherworldliness.
What, I mused as my fingers hovered over the keys, if that wasn’t just a simple decoration
splitting white light into its spectrum of colours? What instead if that bauble gave off more
than mere refracted light? Some sort of essence?
I wrote maybe 500 words that day, imagining a glass blower working away in a remote shack
known only to a few. He had discovered a way of capturing the spirit of someone in the act of
dying and implanting it into a glass decoration. Glass is fluid, even though it appears solid.
What if some of that spirit could escape and create a miasma around close relatives, bringing
succor to the recently bereaved?
It was a little piece, in the run up to Christmas and, for me, surprisingly romantic.
When I started writing seriously I tried not to limit myself in what I wrote. One way to avoid
such limitations was to challenge myself to write in different genres. I tend to default to
humour or mysteries in my longer works, fantasy in my shorter pieces.
Could I write a romantic novel, a romance? A Feelgood book?
I think I have; now it is over to you to decide…

Geoff Le Pard

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Check out Geoff’s other crackers!

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

C:\Users\Geoff\Pictures\Walking Into Trouble_KDP Cover.jpg

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to reading this one!

The Fault Between Us by @BetteLeeCrosby #BlogTour #BookReview

I was honoured to be given an ARC of Award Winning Author, Bette Lee Crosby’s newest release, The Fault Between Us,having read several of her previous books, and throughly enjoyed them!

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby

Here is the blurb:

April 18, 1906 – A devastating earthquake rocks San Francisco and Templeton Morehouse fears her husband is lost forever. A powerful and compelling story from USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby

Chances were a million to one that a girl born and raised in Philadelphia would encounter a stranger from California on the trolley and fall madly in love, but that’s what happened. Templeton was not only taken with John Morehouse, but also with his tales of life in San Francisco. As an aspiring fashion designer, the dazzle of a city called the Paris of the West, with its towering department stores and European couture was too much to resist.

Despite her family’s objections, she and John are married and, on their way back to California, before the month is out. To ease the heartbreak of such a move, Templeton promises her family that they will return for a visit every summer. She fully intends to keep that promise, but as her fashions gain popularity, the business grows increasingly more demanding. The trips back to Philadelphia become less frequent and she makes foolish choices she will come to regret.

Now, when she is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted, a devastating earthquake has torn across San Francisco and she awakes to discover the father of her baby is missing.

With the city in flames, Templeton’s daddy leaves Philadelphia and sets out in search of his son-in-law. He’s too old for such a trip and ill-equipped for the challenges he will encounter, but he’s the only hope of saving his daughter’s happiness.
Lines of communication are down and the city in shambles, so the only thing Templeton can do is pray she doesn’t lose both her daddy and her husband.

And my review:

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read a few of Bette Lee Crosby’s books, since discovering her by a Facebook group, and I was honoured to be asked to read her soon to be released book, The Fault Between Us, as an advanced reader.
The book centres around Templeton, a young woman in Philadelphia, with hopes and dreams. Unmarried, still, at an age where most women were settled, she wants to make a name for herself in fashion and design.
Despite her parents’ anguish at their unmarried younger daughter, she forges on with her dreams and is celebrating successes, when she meets a man, John Morehouse, by chance, on a tram journey.
Love often finds you in totally unexpected circumstances, and this is one of them.
Her parents show reluctance to let their girl go, however, Templeton and John marry, and move across the country, three thousand miles away, to San Francisco.
Here, the story builds upon her settling into life as a married woman, but also pursuing her dreams in a different location.
The time-worn worry of whether to be a career woman or a mother plays its part in the story, here.
A natural disaster threatens to rip their lives apart, and this is where the story really comes to life, and the choices made affect their lives forever.
The era in which the story is set was a time when it was frowned upon for a woman to put work before family. Then, there wasn’t the confidence that she could do both.
I loved Templeton’s drive. She’s passionate about what she loves, be it her work, or her family. The way she is torn between the two, and feeling that she might not be able to have either, pulled at my heartstrings.
But thankfully she found a partner who, after initial misgivings, was able to accept and support his wife.
I felt, keenly, for Templeton’s parents, throughout the story. It highlights the fact that no matter what their age, we parents will never truly stop worrying about our children.
A heartwarming read.

Out 11th November, 2021

About Bette Lee Crosby

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”

Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Getting Published | Short Reading and Q&A session with author and Journalist Michelle Jana Chan


Today, I am honoured to present you with an opportunity to sign up to a chance to hear award winning journalist, Michelle Chan talking about her new book, Song, with a chance to ask questions, after.

In this free online session, Michelle Jana Chan will give a short reading from her book ‘Song’ and then a Q&A session.

Sign Up Linkhttps://www.meetup.com/The-Writers-Initiative/events/280961013/

Time and Date: On Sunday 17th Oct from 1 pm to 2 pm.

Event Agenda:

  1. Michelle will give a short reading from her book ‘Song.’
  2. After this a Q&A session of around 25 minutes for questions in relation to her creative writing process, the book and the publishing process.
Michelle and Book Image.jpg

SONG:

A sweeping historical epic following one boy’s long journey from rags to riches, by the award-
winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair.


Blurb

Song is just a boy when he sets out, in the year 1870, from Lishui village in China. Brimming
with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his family, hoping he’ll make his fortune and return
home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber, and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage
across the oceans to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so
easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.
This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and
between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than
accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.
This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and
though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to
improve his life is timeless.
Chan’s own family lineage lays the path for the tale of Song, as she is descended from
indentured Chinese immigrants who immigrated to British Guiana in the mid-1800s. Her father
grew up there but left in the 1960s—searching, in turn, for a better life in England.

“A wonderfully lush and atmospheric of survival against all odds.”

—Bernardine
Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other

About the Author

Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair in the UK, where she presents the magazine’s digital Future Series. Formerly, Michelle was a BBC TV presenter, news producer at CNN International, and reporter at Newsweek. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

September 2021 Books #AmReading

Right, so it’s the month we head back to school. Highly unlikely that I’ll hit the giddy heights of twenty books, like last month, but, then again, I am hoping that when I have spare time that I might just write, too, this month!

Bitmoji Image
On a Night Like This

On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new Lindsey Kelk book?
Er, yes please! I’ve been a fan since the early Shopaholic days, and Kelk truly doesn’t disappoint with her latest, On A Night Like This.
Fran Cooper is kinda stuck in a rut. On the outside, things look fine with her life. She’s engaged, they have a house, family and friends around her.
But, inside, she’s feeling a little unfulfilled.
Having put all her career aspirations to one side, to concentrate on her life with her fiancee, she loses sight of her own dreams.
Until an opportunity falls into her lap. Something she’d be a fool to turn down.
And, despite what her c0mmon sense tells her, she takes it.
Thrust into the whirlwind life of celebrity, Fran finds herself as the PA for an extremely famous person, for a short while, and the few days she is with this individual, changes her thinking. But it’s that one night that truly changes everything.
I loved it. Like, literally every little bit of the book! I have to admit, there were times I wanted to shake Fran, as she refused to admit her relationship was floundering.
But, oh, the chemistry Kelk builds, between Fran and Evan was amazing. It just goes to show that you don’t need all over the top explicit scenes to create steam… and I loved the end!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Releasing 11th November, 2021

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby

Review to follow on 20th Oct during Blog Tour, but here’s the blurb!

April 18, 1906 – A devastating earthquake rocks San Francisco and Templeton Morehouse fears her husband is lost forever. A powerful and compelling story from USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby

Chances were a million to one that a girl born and raised in Philadelphia would encounter a stranger from California on the trolley and fall madly in love, but that’s what happened. Templeton was not only taken with John Morehouse, but also with his tales of life in San Francisco. As an aspiring fashion designer, the dazzle of a city called the Paris of the West, with its towering department stores and European couture was too much to resist.

Despite her family’s objections, she and John are married and, on their way back to California, before the month is out. To ease the heartbreak of such a move, Templeton promises her family that they will return for a visit every summer. She fully intends to keep that promise, but as her fashions gain popularity, the business grows increasingly more demanding. The trips back to Philadelphia become less frequent and she makes foolish choices she will come to regret.

Now, when she is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted, a devastating earthquake has torn across San Francisco and she awakes to discover the father of her baby is missing.

With the city in flames, Templeton’s daddy leaves Philadelphia and sets out in search of his son-in-law. He’s too old for such a trip and ill-equipped for the challenges he will encounter, but he’s the only hope of saving his daughter’s happiness.
Lines of communication are down and the city in shambles, so the only thing Templeton can do is pray she doesn’t lose both her daddy and her husband.

Releasing 11th November, 2021

The Impossible Truths of Love

Review to follow on 14th October for part of the Blog Tour

Here’s the blurb!

From bestselling author Hannah Beckerman comes a moving story about memory, secrets, and what it really means to feel that you’re one of the family.

When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own.

Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did.

As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.

In this beautifully observed and emotionally powerful story of identity, memory and the nature of family, Hannah Beckerman asks: To what lengths would you go to protect the ones you love?

Releasing 5th October 2021

Midnight in the Snow

Midnight in the Snow by Karen Swan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read a couple of Karen Swan books, and have thoroughly enjoyed them, so when I saw this, I was compelled to read, purely on previous experience.
Midnight In The Snow is filled with the adrenalin highs and lows that come with the sports it features, heavily, Surfing and snowboarding.
I’m not a sports junkie, but the story that carries the book was compelling.
Clover Phippils makes films.
She’s just finished one where accolades have been showered upon her, covering the story of a talented surfer, Cory, whose career was ruined by the actions of a competitor in one of the championships.
Having got herself extremely close to the family, she feels a need to try and find out why things happened as they did, ultimately leading to the loss of life.
Managing to get an all-access pass to the life of surfing champion, Kit Foley, the surfer responsible, she heads off to Austria, where he has now come, having changed his life path from surfing to snowboarding, hoping to find out why he did what he did to Cory.
It was a fantastic build-up of tension between Kit and Clover, seeing as he holds her responsible for ruining his professional life, whereas she lays the blame for the ultimate loss of Cory’s life at Kit’s feet.
Things are never that simple, though, and the way we learn snippets of the truth, throughout the book, alongside the chemistry that steps up a notch, between the interviewer and the interviewee, was fantastic,
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Releasing on 14th October, 2021

Medusa

Medusa by Jessie Burton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have seen the hype about this book in Social Media for a while now and knowing the critical acclaim author Jessie Burton has already amassed with her previous books such as The Miniaturist, I was extremely excited to read Medusa.
I’ve always had a thing about Medusa. I’ll let you in on a secret – at college, due to my long curly locks, there was a lad who used to call me Medusa the Seducer! (I am not, in any way, shape or form, a seducer, but still… it was his thing!)
So, to find this book, written from the perspective of this character who has been much maligned within Greek mythology, was absolutely fantastic.
We are put in the shoes of Medusa, a young woman who has been transformed into this creature, feared by many, but how, and why was she made to look this way?
I finished this book with a newfound sympathy for her.
And the illustrations were just the icing on the cake, for me. I think I will need a physical copy of this one!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing on 28th October, 2021

The Replacement by Melanie Golding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved Melanie Golding’s previous book, Little Darlings, so was equally excited to be given chance to read The Replacement, upon reading the blurb.
Oh, what a twisted, tangled web she has woven within this story!
A little child found alone.
A man found, left for dead, in a bathtub, miles away.
And two women, missing, who the police are desperate to speak to.
Seemingly distinct separate situations, however, inexplicably linked, as the police find out more and more. And what a joy to find a familiar character, within these pages, DI Joanne Harper, who ends up with stakes, far more personal, than in her last appearance, in Little Darlings.
Folklore and mythology, interspersed within a complicated criminal case… it sure kept my brain ticking over, the whole way through, and I more or less finished it within a day!
I was hooked!
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 11th November, 2021

Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market: Book 2 in a brand new series by the author of bestselling phenomenon THE CORNER SHOP IN COCKLEBERRY BAY

Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market: Book 2 in a brand new series by the author of bestselling phenomenon THE CORNER SHOP IN COCKLEBERRY BAY by Nicola May
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having read the first in the Ferry Lane Market series, I was pretty excited to be able to visit again, especially since the author, Nicola May has created a fantastic cast of memorable characters, and I wanted to find out more about what was going on,
This book is centred around Steren, or Star to her friends and family, a single mother, with several layers to her own story, as well as her background. Being the product of a single-parent family, herself, and one which wasn’t the best, she has been determined to be the opposite to her own daughter, Skye, though, she, like her own mother, has been hesitant to let Skye know the identity of her father.
Skye is now older, with a life of her own, and it’s time for Star to think about herself more. Two prospective partners on the horizon; one unavailable, one she’s not sure of, though he’s a loveable Irish hunk…
Across the market, other stories unravel, bringing the community together in ways they never imagined.
I loved how this story ended, and can’t wait for book three, now!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Releasing 11th November, 2021

The Imperfect Art of Caring

The Imperfect Art of Caring by Jessica Ryn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful gift author Jessica Ryn has, for creating those wonderful, hapless characters, who you can’t help but fall in love with. Dawn Brightside was a highlight of my year last year, and I was extremely excited to be able to read her newest offering, The Imperfect Art of Caring.
Within these pages, we are, again, introduced to a main character who has a lot going on, in her mind.
Violet Strong is a woman who has learned to keep everyone at a distance from her – for good reason, She is Bad News. Ever since she can remember, bad things happen, and they always come back to her.
Estranging herself from her family and friends, she ends up near Manchester, with a cleaning job, and a wonderful blog where she reviews books.
Things are fine until her sister drops a bombshell on her: She’s leaving the country, and Violet has to come back home, to help look after her mother, and facilitate a house sale, so her mother can be put into care.
My heart went out to Violet, especially as I got to know her, and realised exactly how wrong her own opinion of herself was. She only wants to help, and sheer coincidence meant that so many awful things happened in her life, that really had nothing to do with her, yet, she had carried the burden of guilt on her own shoulders.
The cast of characters introduced through the story are wonderful, including Tammy, one of the residents in the flats her mother’s house have been turned into, who has a learning disability, but no one to help her learn how to live independently, to Mrs R, the grumpy resident, who is, in fact, a rather lonely woman. To top it off, there is Adam, Violet’s childhood best friend, and first love, who makes up half of the occupants in the third flat, alongside his father, Bill.
The book looks at the often lonely job of carers. What is expected of them, what they have to deal with on a regular basis, as well as the lives of those being cared for.
I was truly touched when reading this beautiful book.
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 25th November, 2021

The Arctic Curry Club

The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lovely debut novel, bringing together the heat of spice with the chill of the Arctic!
Maya has accompanied her boyfriend, Ryan out to the Arctic, to help him follow his dream.
Though it’s not hers, by any stretch of the imagination.
Shrouded in anxiety at every step, the story uncovers different layers of Maya’s own story and the reasons for her deep-rooted anxieties, as the inky black nights of the Arctic begin to shed their darkness, revealing new layers of colour along the way.
Maya’s Anglo Indian background gives her a reason to stay in a place she would never have chosen to be, once her relationship crumbles, as she picks up the reins of her own love, cooking, and slowly begins to experiment with the flavours connected to her childhood.
Her mother’s handwritten recipes, in an old book, help Maya to create something the Arctic wasn’t expecting, and the memories that surface, with every new mouthful of food she creates, helps Maya to discover more and more about a past she had learned to block out.
I truly enjoyed this story, with a little hint of romance, but, ultimately, a book filled with self-discovery. It was a tad slow at the start, but as revelations kept popping up, the faster my pages turned.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 9th December, 2021

So, 9 books – not bad for the first term of the year, and with illness thrown into the mix! And an eclectic selection, at that!

Any caught your eye? What have you been reading?

August 2021 Books #AmReading

August is a month where school takes a total back burner… well, usually, it does. I may have some documents to read and write, and a visit into the classroom, to get ready for September, but for the best part it will be cricket, house stuff, a little writing (I hope!) and reading! Bring it on! (I have sp many arcs publishing this month, I hope I get them all read!)

Advance Warning!: I managed to read loads! TWENTY BOOKS! And the reading also included some Christmas ARCs, so for me, it wsa Christmas in August, not July, as many like to post about!

peacefully reading


The Dating Game

The Dating Game by Sandy Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having lapped up Sandy Barker’s previous novels, I was extremely excited to get a chance to read The Dating Game, her highly anticipated next release.
And I was not disappointed!
Abby is a woman with dreams of becoming a serious journalist. But right now, she’s ended up on a gig where she writes as her alter-ego, Anastasia Blabbergasted, a hilarious gossip columnist whose recaps of reality shows grasp the attention of the masses.
Somehow, she ends up being railroaded into taking part in The Stag (think The Batchelor), purely for fly on the wall, research purposes, where she is asked to pretend to be one of the Does (the women hoping to be chosen by The Stag), so she can get close to the action, and write really juicy recaps of the newest series.
So that is Abigail the journalist Abby the Doe and Anastasia the columnist. Quite a lot of personas for one person to juggle!
What she didn’t expect was to feel the flutterings of romance building up from a totally different source, as well as finding out she really likes some of her fellow contestants!
Okay, so if you are looking for a straight-up romance, it ain’t gonna necessarily come from this book, but that doesn’t mean, by any way, shape, or means that there isn’t any sizzle. Add to that, the fact that he’s a hot Aussie hunk… who isn’t The Stag… There is hidden romance and plenty of laughs, so it firmly sits in the Rom-Com sector, for me.
I do love a bit of reality TV, and having watched series like The Batchelor, it was great to get a feel for what possibly happens behind the scenes! The dynamics between a group of women vying for the attention of one man, for very, very different reasons, was a great avenue to explore.
Add in all the different locations they visit on dates, in and around Sydney, and I felt like I was on holiday, myself! (Much needed in this climate, I’ll have you know!)
A fun, light-hearted read to give you a giggle!
Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins Uk and One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 10th September, 2021

Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home

Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home by Nikesh Shukla
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I embarked upon making my own writing dreams a reality, I stumbled upon author Nikesh Shukla, a fellow Indian of Kenyan descent, who was of similar age, and though he was Gujerati, and Male, to my Punjabi and Female, there were enough similarities to make his career interesting to me.
Brown Baby is a memoir, as well as a guide to life for his own Brown Baby, Ganga, and her sister, but the memories he recounts, the feelings he encounters, growing up as a British-born Indian, a child of immigrant parents, displaced by society, not really getting why, but then, yeah, getting it, were all emotions I’ve felt, too.
The passages about his mother and those feelings of love, loss, and guilt were overwhelming.
Add in the fact that his own Brown Baby has a mother who isn’t brown, so there are so many other questions, and hurdles to overcome. Again, close to home, as my own brother married a Finnish girl, and their boys are ‘Finndian’, so yup, more intriguing questions as they grow up, inquisitive.
A heartfelt tribute to a strong mother, a memoir filled with lessons. All in all, a good read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having spent the whole of January gorging on the entire Bridgerton Series, I was drawn to try this older regency novel by Georgette Hayer, after it was advertised as something for Bridgerton fans.
We still have a rakish Duke, and a young lady who may, or may not, be suitable as a bride for him, alongside a strange situation that throws them together, despite neither of them really wanting to be with one another.
I’m afraid this was where the similarity ends, for me. Perhaps the writing was not a style that I enjoyed, as it was written quite a while back, compared to the slightly more contemporary way the Bridgerton series was penned. The story was intriguing, but I did find the language didn’t captivate me in the same way.
Still, if you are a Regency Romance fan, I am sure you would be more than happy to read this, and the many others Heyer has penned.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Did You Miss Me?

Did You Miss Me? by Sophia Money-Coutts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wish List was a book I loved, when I read it, so to be offered the chance to read a new book by Sofie Money-Coutts was not to be sniffed at.
I really loved this story centring around first loves and second chances.
Nell is a successful lawyer in a prestigious law firm in London, specialising in family law, so basically she spends her days dealing with divorces. Good thing that she wasn’t all that fussed about marriage, since the stories she has to deal with, would put off many a bridezilla.
Oh and her partner, Gus, was also of the opinion that marriage was unimportant: an unnecessary evil in their perfect relationship.
A local tragedy brings her back home for a short while, but in that twenty four hours she is back, she meets people who stir up a whole lot of long hidden emotions.
She’s faced with Art, the newly appointed Lord of the manor, since his father passed away, and also, her first love.
Of course, he’s married, and lives in another country, so why would he remember much about their teenage romance? Or was it just a little fling for him?
Fantastic story! I think I always know where it would end up, however, there were a few points where I thought the end might have been something different, so I was definitely turning the pages, in anticipation.
I kinda loved Art, the handsome new Lord, who really didn’t know what he’d done wrong.
Gus, well, I could take him or leave him, but I understood why Nell was with him, comfortable, content, but was she happy?
The addition of the secondary characters back home; Nell’s newly separated parents, her brother and her two besties from school, Colin and Luce, all made for some interesting side storylines, too.
And Nell, I was quite proud of her by the end, making a stand where it counted!
Many thanks to Netgalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.


Released on 19th August, 2021

Ouija

Ouija by Zoé-Lee O’Farrell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I’ll start off by saying that Horror is not my go-to genre, usually, but having read the opening chapters of this book, previously, my appetite was well and truly whetted, so when I was given the opportunity to read the whole book, I jumped at the chance, straight away!
Ouija is the debut novel by Zoé-Lee O’Farrell, and what a fantastic debut it is, too!
Six high school students take it upon themselves to have a go at something they really shouldn’t have touched, i.e. the Ouija board, inside an abandoned school, where tragedy struck a little while before.
What were they thinking? That’s what I was thinking, as I read, having been a little silly in my own youth, and tried this occult madness out at university. Put it this way, we had to break the session, and I was too scared to walk home in the dark, alone, for ages!
Still, Jon, Ben, Caley, Lara, and twins, Simon and Sophie all head into the school, some with doubt and trepidation, some with scepticism, some with a little indifference.
They all leave with something that binds them all together for life, and it ain’t something pleasant, I tell you!
O’Farrell has created just the right amount of tension and jumps, twists and turns to really keep you turning the pages, and the ending?
OMG! I will be needing a continuation, please!
If you like a bit of horror, that isn’t overly gory, but will play with your mind, you need to read this!

So, so, so proud of you, Zoe, for this fab book!

Released on 30th August, 2021

Eight Perfect Hours

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautifully crafted story about fate, and what was always meant to be, but how, sometimes it’s just not the right time.
Nell, our heroine, is stuck in the snow, after a hurried reunion at her old college, where she was meant to be coming home with a special package. Instead, she is sat in the car, on the M4, stuck because of heavy snowfall, with a letter, memories, extreme emotions and a mobile with a flat battery.
Her hero arrives, not on a trusty steed, as such, but with a knock at the window, and the offer of a charger, as well as some company, the night ends up as the most perfect eight hours of her life.
Only, they never exchange contact details after.
The next few months sees so many coincidental events happening, that it is hard for Nell to discount the thoughts of her hippyish best friends, Theo and Charlie, who firmly believe in the whole ‘it was meant to be’ theory.
But, were they right?
A book I devoured within hours. Honestly, if I hadn’t started it so late last night, I would have finished it in a single sitting.
I truly felt for Nell, a woman with so much talent, but with responsibilities weighing her down, in the shape of her mother. A troublesome ex, and a wayward brother, make her feel like she isn’t worth much more than the lot life has thrown her.
Then there’s her knight in shining armour, Sam, who rescues her from the snow, and over the story, their own lives entwine in ways that seem unreal. A hunk with a heart, that’s Sam!
Of course, there is also Ed, the ex who pops back in, and even though she is thinking there could be something there, I found him rather smarmy. Keep well away, Nell!
Honestly, this was a wonderful read, covering so much within it, including loss, and bereavement, as well as postnatal depression, and that old chestnut, Fate.
A thoroughly good read that I would highly recommend!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Released 19th August, 2021

Every Day in December

Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kitty Wilson is a ‘new to me” author, so reading the blurb was what attracted me to the story. I mean, who doesn’t love a Christmas Romance story?
This was a beautifully crafted story about a woman and man, each with their own insecurities and losses, but with so much to give to the world, and possibly each other, if they could be brave enough to chance it.
Despite coming from a family of means, Belle Wilde is determined to make it, by herself in this world. She has her love of Shakespeare, and a lifelong project she needs help to launch, but there is no way she wants to take money from her parents, especially since her famous father doesn’t really rate her chances at anything in life.
Christmas is looming and faced with a jobless festive season, she goes about thinking of the cheap and cheerful gifts she could bring home when she unexpectedly bumps into Rory, an old acquaintance from student days.
Now, Belle, she loves Christmas. Rory? Not so much,
After the loss of his wife in December a few years previously, Christmas has lost its sparkle for him.
Somehow, after finding out about Belle’s secret project, he finds himself entwined in her life every day of that festive month, as she slowly teaches him how to love Christmas, and quite possibly other things, again.
Each chapter of the book is set on a different day in December and I loved it all!
Belle’s goddaughter, Marsha is a firecracker of a five-year-old, and I absolutely loved Angela, cancer-stricken mum of Rory, with spunk to match that of Belle’s!
Filled with a real slow burn of a romance, building a casual friendship up into something rarely found in relationships, this was a lovely read that I have to admit made me shed a tear of sentimental happiness at the end, too!
I’d love to read a bonus chapter, a year on. What is happening in the world of Belle and Rory? Is Marsha still crazy but oh-so-cute? Did Angela’s Secret Santa tradition keep on going? How is that Shakespeare project progressing? And, what is happening with Belle and Rory?
Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released 19th August, 2021

The Liar Next Door

The Liar Next Door by Nicola Marsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nicola Marsh has totally done it again, honestly! I’ve read a couple of her domestic thrillers now, and each time, she pulls me in with the storyline, all the twists and turns, and I am blown away by the ending!
The Liar Next Door was no different.
Three women living as neighbours in a lovely neighbourhood become tentative friends, knowing no one else there.
They each have their own secrets, and reasons for moving from previous locations, but some are more sinister than others.
But, which one is lying?
All three characters have issues of their own, from paternity secrets to infidelities, and the way their stories end up weaved together is nothing short of genius. You have a married mum of one, who is a famous influencer, a young, newly married, pregnant woman and a single mum, apparently fleeing from some danger.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and can’t wait for another!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released 23rd August, 2021

Hot Desk

Hot Desk by Zara Stoneley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you’re looking for an easy, uplifting read, with a bit of a slow burn romance, then this is quite possibly a book for you.
Hot Desk is about precisely that. A company changes up its working procedures post-Covid, with more work from home, and less time in the office,e meaning people now have to share desks.
Music to the ears of some, but not for Alice, our heroine, for whom the lockdowns and being stuck in her room in her house share haven’t been ideal, especially for work.
And then she finds out that her haven at work is now to be shared, and by none other than Jamie, her annoying colleague, who was also the one to give her a kiss to remember, many moons ago, yet doesn’t seem to remember said life-changing moment.
Kinda second chance romance, though the first time didn’t really go anywhere.
I’ll be honest, not my favourite ever read, but it was a pleasant one, and I enjoyed the story. It would make a good beach read.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Released 31st August, 2021

Freckles

Freckles by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Freckles. The cover and the blurb enticed me to read.
A woman, who is floundering in life uses a phrase uttered to her in a moment of annoyance, to shape the rest of her life.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Who are those five people, and how have they shaped her?
Are they the same five people throughout her life, or do they change?
Allegra Bird is a complex character. She shows shades of autism throughout the book.
I have to admit that, initially, I found it quite hard to get into, as there were no speech marks throughout the book, and sometimes I was mixing speech for thought, etc, but it added to the confusion in the mind of our main character.
But, once I was in, I was IN, if you know what I mean.
I was making my own list of five for Allegra, throughout the book, and am so glad I got it right, in the end!
There were hints of a possible romance, but the essence of the story wasn’t muddied by that. Instead, we were given a hopeful ending.
I felt for the young girl, discarded by her mother, who wanted to know more. A woman who wanted to help others, but didn’t often get it quite right. Someone who was frequently misunderstood.
As I mentioned before, it took a little while to get into, but I did enjoy the journey through Allegra’s quest to pinpoint her five.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 2nd September, 2021

The Hidden Child

The Hidden Child by Louise Fein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first book by Louise Fein, and I have to say I was glad I gave it a try.
The Hidden Child is a story steeped in history, filled with beliefs that many of us would find hard to swallow nowadays, but which were held to by many a century ago.
The story centres around Husband and wife, Edward and Eleanor.
Both have a strong belief in Eugenics, and the plan to institutionalise those who suffer from certain afflictions and maybe even sterilise them, to prevent the risk of ‘inherited’ disorders, such as epilepsy, being passed down to the next generations.
Until something happens in their own personal life that tears both them apart, and their own beliefs.
I have to say I couldn’t read this in one sitting because the subject matter was so deep; eugenics, the search for the perfect Aryan race, institutionalisation, alternative treatments,
But behind those topics was a story about a real family, struggling with dealing with situations out of their hands,
Reading the Author’s note at the end was enlightening, as certain aspects of the story are based upon one of her own background truths, and it is also quite scary to read how much of what is included in The Hidden Child is based upon truths, politically, and medically.
I have to say there were moments, as a mother, I had tears in my eyes,. There were times I wanted to cheer, as Eleanor grew a backbone, and also moments of upset when I read about some of the Eugenic beliefs.
A really fascinating, and engaging book. It’s not an easy read beach book, but something to take time, and mull over.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Releasing 2nd September, 2021

I Have Something to Tell You

I Have Something to Tell You by Susan Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You’ve got to love a Susan Lewis book, haven’t you? Well, I know I’m always going to enjoy her brilliant storytelling skills, having read many of her books over the years.
I Have Something To Tell You was nothing short of a masterpiece, quite possibly one of her best, to date.
Jay is a defence lawyer, caught up in the early confusion of a new murder trial. She finds herself sucked up into this particular case more than others, as she tries her hardest to help her client, who she has a gut feeling about. He can’t be guilty. Can he?
Meanwhile, in her personal life, she’s dealing with trust issues. Fractured trust is never quite as strong after it’s been shattered once, and she is finding that, even years after finding out her husband cheated on her.
With good reason, it seems.
There were so many twists and turns within each different part of the story. from Jay’s relationship with Tom, her husband, to how she handles the murder case client, Blake, and all the investigations.
I Have Something To Tell You is a brilliant title for the book, where those words, or something similar, are uttered several times, bringing new tweaks to an already engaging story.
Thoroughly enjoyed this!
Many thanks, to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 16th September, 2021

Seizing the Bygone Light by Cendrine Marrouat

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography by Cendrine Marrouat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Many thanks to the Authors for providing a copy for review purposes.

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography captures the essence of emotions within the images enclosed by the authors, and the words of poetry that accompany them.
I loved some of the chosen images, which left me feeling wistful, in some ways, and ignited inspiration within me.
An interesting book for photography enthusiasts, with a love of poetry.

Rhythm Flourishing by Cendrine Marrouat


Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku by Cendrine Marrouat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We all need a bit of positivity in our life, and this beautiful collection of poetry and photography has it in spades.
I am a lover of poetry, both syllabic, and not, and being introduced to the new-to-me forms, Kindku and Sixku, was great.
I enjoyed both the photography-based lines, as well as those inspired by the words of well-known figures, such as Maya Angelou.
Many thanks to the Authors for providing me with a copy, in exchange for an honest review.

Matchmaking at Port Willow (Port Willow Bay #2)

Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I just say, I was so excited to be heading back to Port Willow, with Kiley Dunbar!
I’ve been a huge fan of Dunbar’s stories over the last couple of years and was thrilled that I was able to read the next book about The Princess and Pea Inn, and its lost soul inhabitants and guests.
It was a joy to be back with Atholl and Beatrice, Gene and Kitty, and to meet all the newer characters that made the story so great to read.
Beatrice and Atholl have settled into their life at the Inn, with plenty of exciting new projects to get their teeth into. They have a couple coming to stay, who are to celebrate their twenty-fifth Anniversary, during their month-long stay, and a young woman from New York, coming to find some new trends around the Highlands that she can tout to her company back home, as the next ‘big thing’.
Each of these characters has stories of their own that bring about the ‘Matchmaking’ part of the book’s title.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, and give things away, but, despite being a book two in a series, it is easily readable as a stand-alone.
There are trigger warnings with regards to miscarriage, but it has been health with sensitively, and as I mentioned before, I’ve read the first book, so was aware of this side of the story. Also, hats off to the author for bringing menopause into the equation.
Also, it is lovely to have a cast of characters who aren’t all young, beautiful people, looking for love and finding it, but those more advanced in their years, with a history behind them, and, yes, still finding it!
A heart-warming story with the capacity for more to happen… hint, hint!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hera Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Releasing 16th September, 2021

Safe at Home: What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?

Safe at Home: What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? by Lauren North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read two of Lauren North’s previous books and loved them, so was excited to get my teeth into her latest one, Safe At Home.
She is a fantastic author of Psychological Suspense, and her plots keep your mind ticking over, second-guessing every thought you have, throughout the books she writes.
Safe At Home is no different.
Anna is bringing up her three girls alone, while her husband, Rob, works overseas. After some incident prior to the start of the book, they are living in a different area and living a completely different life to what they were used to.
She’s become an extremely protective mother, not trusting anyone, despite the local community trying to welcome her into their folds.
A decision, not taken lightly, to leave one of her girls at home alone for what should have been a twenty-minute period, becomes the catalyst for an event that changes the lives of not only her family but many people around her.
I was on tenterhooks throughout the whole book, I have to admit. What a fantastically told story, with so many twists, and possibilities, to make you think you know what is going on, before you get thrown off the scent, again.
Loved it!
Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Corgi for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 30th September, 2021

The Other Man

The Other Man by Farhad J. Dadyburjor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars
Reading the blurb for this book, I felt I really wanted to read it. an LGBTQ romance, based in recent years, in Mumbai. It’s not something that is written about often, so I was excited.
Ved Mehra is the son of an affluent businessman, from a wealthy family, and wants for nothing.
Except for love and acceptance.
Finding himself forced into an engagement with the delightful Disha, Ved thinks it must be for the best.
Only… he’s gay.
Then he meets Carlos.
The story is set around the time when Section 377, a law set in British colonial times, criminalising homosexual activity, amongst other things is due to be overturned.
While I really wanted to love the story, I found the characters to be underdeveloped, and there were areas that the story almost went too fast, or felt a little unbelievable.
I mean, considering Ved hadn’t come out to his parents, would he still have brought a man back to the house, so brazenly, indulged in such loud physical pleasure, and have none of the house staff batting an eyelid, nor his father asking questions?
But, there was a HEA, so, I was happy!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 12th October, 2021

Baby It's Cold Outside

Baby It’s Cold Outside by Emily Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You hear people talking, jokingly, about getting together in x amount of years, if you’re both still single, but in Baby, It’s Cold Outside, the pact to meet in ten years in Dublin is something our main character Norah Jones is seriously considering.
Having met Andrew in Italy, as a fresh-faced young woman, and been swept off her feet, fate brought them together but tore them apart too.
As the date of reckoning approaches, life throws Norah a curveball, leaving her at a loose end at Christmas, and she finds herself going to Dublin to see if this meeting will really happen, with her long time friend Joe with her.
I really loved Norah Jones, singer, turned music teacher. She’s been dealt a tough hand by life, in so many ways, losing people she loved, and I really wanted her to get her happily ever after,
She gets her Happily Ever After, but, maybe, not in the way she expected.
The cast of characters within the book was great, with Norah’s circle of friends, her mum, and several special other people she meets in Dublin.
And, talking of Dublin, reading this book makes me want to go and visit!
A lovely Christmas story to warm the cockles of your heart.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Michael Joseph UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 14th October, 2021

All For You

All For You by Louise Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was thrilled to receive a copy of Louise Jensen’s new psychological thriller, having enjoyed some of her previous books, and All For You didn’t disappoint.
On the surface, the Walsh family seem like your average family, husband and wife with their two sons, but when you scratch the surface, all isn’t as simple as it should be.
For a start, there is a young boy suffering an illness that nothing but a transplant can help with, and another teenager suffering anxiety and stress from a tragic event that happened in his own life a few months before.
To top it off you have a husband and wife with their own secrets.
Then, the unthinkable happens. One of their boys goes missing.
The story is told from the viewpoints of both husband and wife, Aiden and Lucy, and the eldest son, Conner. We find out snippets of their pasts, as layers are slowly peeled off, as the story unfolds.
A wonderfully wicked web of interweaving storylines makes for a fantastic thriller, and it kept me on my toes the whole way through. At many points, I was convinced I knew what was happening, only for the next chapter to throw another curveball.
It really does make you think, ‘What would I do?’, had you been in a situation similar to any of the characters, for they all made bad decisions in the past, though for compelling reasons…
Fantastic read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 28th October, 2021

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You can’t go wrong with a Sarah Morgan Christmas book, can you?
Well, I’m pretty certain of that fact, and I loved this one as much as the others that I have read.
This story centres around three main characters, Robyn, her niece, Christy and Christy’s best friend Alix.
Robyn lives in Lapland with her husband Erik and has been estranged from her family for many years, yet, out of the blue, she receives an email from her niece, wanting to come over.
Christy is nervously excited at the thought of meeting her aunty, the Rebel Robyn, about whom she knows nothing, other than her mother refused to discuss her, at all.
She’s due to take her family; husband Seb and small, feisty daughter Holly to visit her rebel aunt, with her best friend and ally, Alix in tow, too, all the way to Lapland.
But, things happen. (Of course, they do!)
And she finds herself having to ask her best friend a huge favour, i.e. stepping in as ‘mum’ for a while, as she sorts out something personal, meaning Alix has to go to Lapland with Holly. With backup, of course. Zak. Who happens to be Seb’s best friend, and apparently a sworn enemy of Alix’s.
Yes, it is a romance, in many ways, and how can you not get romantic, thinking of the Northern Lights, and midnight sleigh rides, the snow, and saunas…
Though, more than that, I felt this book was about relationships and friendships, and misunderstandings. How something that seems so small can end up becoming bigger than you realise, and that thing you thought was huge, actually isn’t important at all.
A fabulous read that I devoured pretty much in one sitting on a Bank Holiday Monday!
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Releasing 28th October, 2021

So, I’ve given you quite a selection to think on from Romantic, to Christmas, Psychological thrillers to poetry, not forgetting a little LGBTQ fiction. What tickles your fancy? And share what you read this month, or recently, that you would recommend!

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