Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky - Holly Martin

Under a Cranberry Sky
by Holly Martin
About the book...
Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home? 

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas. 

About the author...
I studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of my colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years service was the moment when I knew I had to escape. I quit my job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, I emerged wide eyed and terrified that I now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. I taught for four years before History Off The Page came to my school to do a Tudor day. I now drive round the country in my little white van, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. 

I love to write. The characters do exactly what I want them to do, most of the time. Sometimes they do seem to go off and do their own thing without my permission. It is complete escapism into a world where I have full control.I've been writing for four years now, every spare second I have, I'm scribbling ideas in a notebook or typing a scene on my laptop. I have written three romantic fiction books. Changing Casanova and The Chainsaw Masquerade were recently shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. My short story, One Hundred Proposals, won the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Holly's publisher in exchange for an honest review, something I'm more than happy to do.

From the very first page I knew I was going to love this book.  Piper, the main female character in Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky is a hotel Inspector - traveling the world, writing reviews about the hotels she visits; both good and bad.  She'd already decided after her assignment to the Stardust Lake Hotel on Juniper Island that she would be taking a sabbatical - having some time out to re-think her life and re-charge her batteries. 

Imagine her surprise when she arrives and finds that the hotel and resort is owned by her first love Gabe Whittaker.  A relationship that ended because of misunderstandings and things both said and unsaid.  Pip is there as an undercover reporter to review this new hotel and business.  She has some hard decisions to make as she feels her position as undercover reviewer will compromise the tentative new friendship/relationship she and Gabe easily fall into - it's like the years in-between have never happened.  He of course doesn't know she is an under cover reporter. 

I really don't know how Holly has done but I feel she has crawled into my mind and stolen my dreams.  If I could have any job in the world I'd be a hotel inspector and my dream holiday destination would be a log cabin, in the woods, surrounded by snow, drinking hot chocolate or mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire.  Add christmas - my favourite time of the year, twinkly lights, a christmas village and beautiful glass igloos and I was totally sold!

Holly's descriptions are so vivid I was sucked straight into the setting and love story (both old and new) of Gabe and Pip.  From the journey to Juniper Island, the location and the preparations for the resort opening, the time of year, the characters.  I loved it all. This truly is a perfect slice of deliciousness - a dream like book that totally melted my heart. I oohed and ahed with every chapter. I've told everybody who will listen, this book is not just a nice christmas book - it's special, perfect in every way possible christmas book and to top it all there is a second follow on book available later this month.

I'm hoping that Holly will tell me this place is real and not just fictional - I'm totally sold and would book a visit in a heart beat.  

Thank you Holly - I can't wait for Christmas Under a Starlit Sky where some of the secondary characters in this book come to the fore to tell their story, still set in this dream location.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery - Tilly Tennant

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery
by Tilly Tennant


CHRISTMAS AT THE LITTLE VILLAGE BAKERY by Tilly Tennant

It’s time to get toasty by the fire with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of chocolate yule log sprinkled with a little romance. Welcome to Christmas at the Little Village Bakery.

Snow is falling in Honeybourne and Spencer is bringing home his American fiancée Tori for a traditional English Christmas with all the trimmings. But when his hippie mum and dad meet her high-maintenance parents, sparks of the wrong sort start to fly. Then Spencer bumps into his first love Jasmine and unexpected feelings come flooding back.

Millie is run off her feet with Christmas orders at the Little Village Bakery and new baby Oscar. Thank goodness her cousin Darcie is here to help her. Although she does seem to be rather flirty with Millie’s boyfriend Dylan.

Will Darcie ever find true love of her own? And is marrying Tori a terrible mistake for Spencer if his heart is with someone else?

A heartwarming Christmassy romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

THE LITTLE VILLAGE BAKERY by Tilly Tennant was published in June 2016.


About the author...

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, likeThe Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel,Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

An extract....
Chapter One

It felt like the world had been muffled. Their breath rose in plumes into the air against a landscape that was white as far as the eye could see. Gentle feathers of snow fell silently, frosting their coats and hair.
Tori gripped Spencer’s hand tighter and he looked down at her with a broad grin as they trudged along the path that led to the Old Bakery, his unruly black hair peeking out from beneath a woolly hat and his startling blue eyes alive with humour. Her tiny frame was bundled up in a huge padded coat, and he could barely see her flamered hair beneath the hat and scarf wrapped around it, but the perfect nose that turned up a little at the end, and the blue eyes set in a face that looked a good deal younger than her twenty-eight years, peeked out at him from the layers, and he couldn’t think of a time when she had looked lovelier.
As he drew in a lungful of frosty air, he was filled with joy to see the paths and fields of Honeybourne that meant they were home – at least, his home; though, in time, he hoped that it might become hers too. He had enjoyed his time in Colorado teaching on the exchange programme at a school in Boulder – aside from being the place where he had found Tori it was a beautiful part of the world – but he had been away for over a year, apart from the one brief visit in the spring for the opening of the Old Bakery, and a year was a long time to be parted from the place he felt rooted to.
‘I bet you didn’t expect to go from snow in Boulder to more snow here,’ he said.
‘You get snow in England too.’
‘Yeah, but usually at Easter, not Christmas,’ Spencer laughed. ‘One of the supreme ironies of all those songs about white Christmases is that in real life you don’t get a flake of the stuff until at least March.’
‘I can deal with snow. It’ll shake the jet lag off a bit.’
‘Maybe we should have had another snooze at home before venturing out to meet everyone,’ Spencer said thoughtfully. ‘I’m sure they would have understood if we’d put off the reunions until we were feeling right.’
‘Best way to deal with jet lag is to battle through it,’ Tori announced stoically. ‘When you’re exhausted, your body won’t care whether it thinks it’s bedtime or not.’
‘If you say so. And is the jet lag being shook off?’
‘Not really,’ Tori grinned. ‘I never said it was a foolproof plan.’
‘Maybe it’s the wrong sort of snow… How’s our English snow holding up against your American stuff?’
‘It’s a bit wet.’
‘Don’t you dare add anything to that about it being like the English people…’
‘I would never say that,’ Tori smiled. ‘I love the English people. One in particular I love more than anyone in the world…’
Spencer’s grin widened, and he gave her hand a squeeze. He’d waited so long to hear those words. ‘I love you too,’ he said.
She turned to him with an impish gleam in her eye. ‘Oh, did you think I meant you? I was talking about your friend, Millie, obviously. After all, anyone who can make chocolate cake like she does has to be worthy of my love.’
Spencer bent to kiss her lightly on the lips. They were cold, but yielded and warmed beneath his own. ‘That’s exactly why I love you, chocolate cake or no. And you’re really getting the hang of the British sarcasm thing.’
‘I’m not sure that’s a compliment.’
‘Of course it is.’
Tori raised her eyebrows. The action was just about visible below the rim of her red and blue reindeer-motif bobble-hat. ‘Is that the British sarcasm thing?’
‘I’m afraid so.’
‘Then you’d better watch it, buster. We may not have sarcasm in Boulder but we do have fists.’
Spencer threw back his head and laughed. The sound echoed down the frozen lane. Then he scooped Tori into his arms and planted another kiss on her lips, this one more passionate than the last. ‘I really do love you, Tori Annabelle Dempsey.’
‘Hey…’ She smiled as she pulled away, catching her breath. ‘If you do that again we might not make it to the bakery.’
‘I’m sure they won’t mind if we’re late.’
‘That’s rude. Didn’t your parents teach you anything?’
‘You can ask them in a couple of days when they arrive back from Spain.’
Tori’s smile faded. ‘You think they’ll like me?’
‘Of course they’ll like you. Quite frankly, I don’t care anyway. I love you, and that’s the only thing that matters.’
‘You didn’t say that when you were stressing about meeting my parents.’
‘That’s different.’
‘How?’
‘It just is. Your parents are… Well, let’s just say they take a lot more impressing than mine will. And fathers are always more protective of daughters, aren’t they?’
‘Are they?’
Spencer nodded as he set her on the path again.
‘I don’t buy it,’ Tori said. ‘Your parents will be just as tough to crack as mine were.’
‘Ah, so you do admit that your parents are tough!’
‘Maybe a little.’
Spencer grinned. But then it disappeared. It was bad enough that his parents were going to meet Tori and her parents for the first time, but his anxieties weren’t helped by the fact that Tori’s parents had met Spencer once before and made it quite clear they hated him. But he tried not to dwell on that. Tori had told him not to worry, and briefly explained that it was all to do with some guy named Hunter that they had earmarked as a potential husband for her. It wasn’t Spencer’s fault that he wasn’t Hunter, she’d told him, but in time they would get over that. Maybe he could salvage things over Christmas, when people were feeling a little more charitable and disposed to love their fellow men?
‘Maybe we should have done all this before we set a date for the wedding,’ he said. ‘What if our parents don’t like each other?’
‘Well, at least they won’t have to see much of each other as yours live in Spain and mine live in Colorado.’
‘That will certainly put paid to a life of weekend bridge tournaments.’
‘Never mind that, what if they hate each other and it ruins Christmas for everyone?’ Tori asked, anxiety creeping into her tone for the first time. ‘We can always “forget” to ask them to the wedding, but they’re already on their way for Christmas so there’s no saving that.’
‘My mum would never speak to me again if we didn’t ask them to the wedding and Dad always takes her side over everything.’
‘Neither would my mom but I’m still prepared to risk it if you are.’
Spencer tried to smile but he couldn’t. He wanted to believe it was just because his face was so cold. ‘I’m sure it will be fine.’
‘No, you’re not. You’re chewing your lip.’

He clamped his mouth shut and pulled her close. ‘This is our first Christmas together – at least officially – and I won’t let anyone spoil that, parents or otherwise.’

Head to Amazon and order your copy now!
CHRISTMAS AT THE LITTLE VILLAGE BAKERY by Tilly Tennant

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

All fall Down - Tom Bale

All Fall Down
by Tom Bale

About the book...
You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.

It’s the perfect Sunday. Summer sunshine, a barbecue with the kids.
But a knock on the garden gate and two words, ‘HELP ME’, changes everything.

When loving parents Rob and Wendy Turner let a dying man into their home, and do their best to help him, they think pure chance led him to their house. But soon their lives are threatened in ways they could never have imagined … and then the first anonymous letter arrives, forcing them to question all they know.

Someone is watching.
Someone is waiting.
They will stop at nothing.


Rob and Wendy will do anything to keep their family safe, but their children Georgia, Josh and Evan are teenagers now, with their own hidden lives.

Everyone has secrets, but how can you save your family, if you don’t really know them? 

Buy Links:

About the author...
Tom Bale decided that he wanted to be an author from the age of seven but, after another career got in the way, it wasn’t until much later that his dream was fulfilled.  After several books with Random House, Tom signed with Bookouture for two stunning ‘everyman’ thrillers.
Read more about the author: www.tombale.net






My thoughts...
I am hugely, honoured to be part of the blog tour for this book, All Fall Down by Tom Bale.  I received an ecopy from Bookouture Tom's publisher in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

All Fall Down is the second novel I have read by Tom Bale and most definitely won't be the last.  I don't know how he does it - he's a family man and he has managed to manifest every parents worst nightmares onto paper, almost like if they are out there and shared they could never happen - could they?  His graphic attention to detail is stomach churning and heart attack inducing.  Once again he has feared me half to death, made me sick with suspense and still I kept turning the pages - although I have to admit I started this book whilst eating my salad one lunchtime at work and had to switch to a christmas story I felt so ill and all within the first few pages.

Sunday is the archetypical day, a day for families, a summer bbq in the garden.  But, for the Turners it's the day when their lives as they know them implodes. A knocking on the garden gate and a whispered plea for help reveals a brutally attacked man - why is he at their gate and who attacked him?  Surely nothing to do with their family and his arrival just a random circumstance of chance.  Think again!

This was an incredible book that I found myself compulsively reading. I read faster and slower as the pace of the story ebbed and flowed.  As Tom peels back the layers of the story, me as well as the Turner family get more than a little jumpy with the thought, then knowledge that somebody is watching them, someone has lit the touch paper and is sitting back waiting for the explosion.  Tom builds the tension as the family question first themselves, then each other it becomes apparent that there is more to each of the characters than was originally portrayed.  Rob and Wendy are keeping secrets from each other and their children and their three teenage children Georgia, Josh and Evan are no different. 

I'm not quite sure how he does it but reading a book by Tom Bale makes me sick to the stomach, the adrenalin pumping around my veins and still I go back for more. He knows how to pack a punch and doesn't hold back - All Fall Down was every bit as good as See How They Run.  Another book that left me physically drained, feeling like I'd run the race of my live.  I can only thank God it was 'just a book' and not my life really!

Monday, 8 August 2016

No Turning back - Tracy Buchanan

No Turning Back
by Tracy Buchanan
About the book...
You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life…? 

About the author...
Tracy Buchanan is a web journalist and producer who lives in Milton Keynes with her husband, their little girl and their one-eyed Jack Russell. 

Tracy travelled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor, sating the wanderlust she developed while listening to her Sri Lankan grandparents’ childhood stories – the same wanderlust that now inspires her writing. 


Find out more about author Tracy Buchanan
Web Page: Tracy Buchanan
Twitter: @TracyBuchanan




My thoughts...
I was given a copy of No Turning Back by Harper Collins, Tracy Buchanan's publishers in exchange for an honest review something I'm more than happy to do.

Wow, where to begin?  This was a real page turner and captured my imagination from the very first few pages.  Tracy's perception of life, bitterness, jealousy and shear shocking horror is so vivid my heart beat faster for practically the whole book.  

The story begins as Anna returns to work from maternity leave to her job as presenter co-hosting a radio chat show, featuring hard hitting, gritting phone-ins.  A job she loves and is good at.  Tracy captures the emotions perfectly - the dead on your feet barely functioning aspect of any new mother returning to work who see-saws between wanting to be at home with her child and needing to be back at work for herself.  Add to that she has recently become a single parent and is facing the spiteful jealousy of a bitter colleague.  Oooh how I loathed Heather from the very first words she uttered!   

At the end of that first day back at work, Anna is exhausted but glad to be getting back to work.  She takes her customary, nightly walk over the beach out to the lighthouse, owned by her grandparents to say goodnight to her beloved grandfather who's life ended, tragically on the rocks beneath it.  Heading for home, Anna and daughter Joni encounter a situation that proves to be life changing.  Not just for them but a whole community.  A community that was rocked on it's heels twenty years ago is once again facing tragedy so awful it's unthinkable, literally everybody touched by it but none more so than Anna.

It was at this point that I thought OMG - I can't read this, the storyline had just taken a dramatic turn, it was shocking and rocked my equilibrium.  The sun was shining and I had turned one page too many into a dark, twisted place with no where to run.  It was so close to the beginning of the book I knew it had to get worse before it could get better and boy did it!

Tracy Buchanan is without doubt one of the best writers I've read that can write in such a shocking way, yet you're compelled to read on - I felt like I was living Anna's world, I really was the fly on the wall - seeing and hearing everything, my heart rose and fell in total sync with the tempo of the book and so many times I wished I could un-read the words.  But for me, the brilliance was in Anna's inner voice, the conversations in her head that play out as thought processes as she decides what to say, who to trust, what to do  Nobody really seems to listen or understand. 

No Turning Back has clearly been researched to a tee.  Tracy has demonstrated through media and that of a small community how word of mouth and the written word can twist and turn what was actually said or done.  Public opinion changing in a blink of an eye. 

Anna's strength of character comes across - many would have crumbled with all that she has to face and the support she gets or doesn't get is surprising. The characters in this book aren't always likeable and in fact aren't always what they seem.  She doesn't know who to trust or who to turn to - her sole focus is that of a mother, the lion like nature kicking in, facing demons far worse than she ever thought possible in her pursuit of the truth.

In case you haven't guessed, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it - it's a psychological thriller with a plot that is so intricacy woven it will leave you guessing right until the end.  So many times I had my theories blown like dandelion clocks in the wind and when the answers come with the end of the book you like me will sit back open mouthed and words will fail you - a book with an unthinkable storyline running through it that will make you sit back and be thankful it was just a book, it's not real - yet it so easily could be!

Tracy, thank you - such a vivid, capturing book that will stay with me for a long time to come.
  

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

We'll Always Have Paris - Sue Watson

We'll Always Have Paris
by Sue Watson

Is it ever too late for a second chance at first love?
About the book...
A charming, moving second-chance love story for fans of Thursdays in the Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Tango in Halifax.
Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .
Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.
About the author...
Sue Watson was a journalist on women's magazines and national newspapers before working in a career in TV where she was a producer with the BBC. She has published six novels, her most well-known being Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives in the Midlands and writes full time.
Author Links:-



My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the We'll Always Have Paris Blog Tour organised by Sue Watson's publisher.  

Where to begin?  It's no secret how much I love Sue Watson and her writing - she has characters that are engaging and so very true to life. Stories that provide the perfect amount of escapism but you don't have to totally suspend belief - they're realistic, touching and heart warming with a generous helping of fun and laughter to counter balance the more serious aspects.

We'll Always Have Paris is a story packed tightly with love, family. friendship, and hope.  It's about a family drifting through each day without a rudder to guide them.  Mike, husband to Rosie, father to daughters Anna and Isobel passed away, taken by the dreadful curse that is cancer; just six short weeks after diagnosis.  

Married for over forty years Rosie is struggling to get back to normal.  A year has passed and she realises that she has to start to regain some normality in her life, to do things for herself and begin living again.  She goes back to work in the florist shop she owns and runs with her daughters.  She finds just being out of the house is a big enough step for her to begin with - the thought of facing everyones sympathy face to face is too much so she takes a role in the background preparing the flowers for a big wedding.

A chance meeting whilst accompanying Anna to deliver the wedding flowers with a man, who as a teenager was the love of her life literally knocks Rosie for six. Peter is equally reeling, they haven't seen each other for over 40 years.

I can only imagine the tug of love played out in Rosie's mind as she was drawn to Peter and the 'perfect' memories of teenage love, then the heart stopping guilt because she feels she shouldn't be happy because the man she married is dead.  After all she's a widow and is still grieving.  Feeling immense guilt because she loved Mike, but he wasn't the love of her life. That was Peter, something Mike always knew but he still loved and cherished her all the same.  

The more I read of this book the more entranced I became.  Through this book Sue demonstrates how grief and grieving is a process.  There isn't a rule book and it can also be a positive thing.  Somehow, grief can empower people, giving purpose, focus as a result of reflection - this was certainly the case for Rosie.  

Grief affects us in different ways and takes differing amounts of time for people to come to terms with their loss. The wanting and needing to move on versus the guilt for being the one left behind enjoying life is all too apparent as Rosie struggles with her inner self.  At the same time she also has to consider the feelings of her daughters.   They're so busy looking out for their mother their own grief is on hold.  It's a complete role reversal that though well meant, in the end comes across as patronising - they have become the parent and she Rosie, the child.  

Through Rosie Sue demonstrates how we often look back at life through rose tinted glasses, remembering the good bits and erasing from our memories the worst bits.  It's easy to forget that young people have fewer commitments and don't often look beyond the here and now so everything was perfect then. Peter's re-arrival in Rosie's life is the catalyst, the turning point for Rosie.  When shrouded in grief she could only see herself as a widow.  With Peter back in her life, a friend to share happy memories with she finds the strength and begins the process of taking control of her life, stepping back into the shoes of her other roles.  That of Mother, grandmother and daughter. Connecting with her daughters on a much closer level, sharing her past and the events in her life that have shaped her. 

We'll Always Have Paris has a strong storyline that each and everyone of us can relate to.  It has family at the heart of it, led by a mother who always has her children's best interest at heart. The connection and understanding between mothers and daughters not always evident until they too become parents and face the same challenges - loving and protecting them, making decisions based upon experience. The older characters were perfect for this story about reflection, the dynamics of family life and taking second chances - with age comes maturity and understanding.  We all, I'm sure, can remember a time when we couldn't understand our parents reasoning and thought they was just being deliberately mean or awkward but as mature adults, perhaps as parents ourselves suddenly 'see the light' and get it.  It's a book that highlights the need to take chances, to live your dreams as we only have one life after all - life is too short and we shouldn't lose sight of our own hopes and aspirations whilst nurturing those of the people closest to us - it is still possible to achieve them whilst helping others achieve their own. Grief shouldn't be, but is often is the thing that gives us a kick up the bum to live our lives a little fuller.

I just loved this book, it's taken me three hours to try to put into words how much I loved it and I'm still not happy, I haven't done it justice.   It's such a thought provoking, reflective story told from the heart.  I smiled and savoured the raspberry macaroons - thank you Sue! Whilst at the same time laughing to myself as I thought about the many texts I receive off my daughter on a weekly basis, checking up on me - asking me where I am, what time I'll be home and telling me to ring when I arrive somewhere.  I'm not quite sure when I became the child and my daughter the mother but it has slowly happened in this house too!

Follow the rest of the tour :)


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Melody Bittersweet and the Ghostbusting Girls - Kitty French

Melody Bittersweet and the 
Girls Ghostbusting Agency 
by Kitty French

MELODY BITTERSWEET AND THE GIRLS’ GHOSTBUSTING AGENCY by Kitty French 
OUT 14TH JULY 2016
About the book...
An absolutely hilarious, totally entertaining, spookily sexy read that you won't be able to put down!

Life’s tricky for Melody Bittersweet. She’s single, she's addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers and ... she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder? 
Waking up lonely on her twenty-seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change. 

Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency – kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her sexy enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat. 

Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there are the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job… 

Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night. 

About the author...
Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic - songs, music, and most of all, books. 

Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins. She's over the moon to join Bookouture with her brand new paranormal romantic comedy series, Melody Bittersweet and the Girls Ghostbusting Agency.

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Kim at Bookouture, Kitty French's publishers, in exchange for a review on the final day of Kitty's Blog Tour.  Where to begin, Kim told me way back she'd read an absolutely amazing book and I should read it 'you'll love it' she said.  Love isn't a strong enough word!  This book was an absolute delight - I found myself laughing out loud and sitting with a stupid grin on my face from the very first page.

Melody Bittersweet was born into a 'different' family to say the least - her grandmother, mother and herself all live and work together with dead people - they all have the gift? Affliction? of seeing ghosts.  

Melody is single, addicted to chocolate and cakes and reaches a crossroads in her life on her twenty seventh birthday - time to flee the coop and strike out on her own setting up her own business.  Her mother and grandmother need ghosts to pass on messages, find lost items and generally comfort people.  Melody decides she's going to be a modern day ghostbuster - getting rid of unwanted ghosts and desperately seeks the blessing of her family.   

And so begins Melody Bittersweet and the Ghostbusting Girls - well girls and one boy! Melody is joined in business by a whole host of characters that can only be described as a bag of revels - each one completely different - love them or not they compliment each other perfectly.  There's best friend Marina, Glenda part-time office manager to herself and her mother, Babs the company vehicle with more than a little character and Artie - the member of staff she didn't know she needed until she had a message from his dead father. 

This has got to be one of the best feel good books I've read in a long time.  Different to anything else I've read with colourful, vibrant characters that play off each other.  Each and every chapter is filled with humour, fun and laughter alongside a murder mystery with a difference and a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure.  Kitty French really has used artistic licence in writing this book and to find out it's part of a series is just brilliant.  Doctors should prescribe this book as the perfect, tongue in cheek tonic that wouldn't fail to lift even the lowest spirits - no pun intended :D.  

Until the next time...... thank you Kitty.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Plumbery School of Cookery - Cathy Bramley

The Plumbery School of Cookery 
by Cathy Bramley

About the book...
The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Verity Bloom hasn't been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks' time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she's home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?

About the author...
After four years of flinging herself round the dancefloors of Nottingham's nightspots, British author Cathy Bramley somehow managed to get an honours degree in business.
She then plunged herself into the corporate world of marketing, working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker water guns and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears until deciding in 1995 to set up her own marketing agency.


She now lives in an idyllic Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog called Pearl.


It's my absolute pleasure to be part of the Blog Tour for The Plumbery School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley.  She's one of my all time favourite authors and her books never fail to bring a smile to my face.  Cathy was recently interviewed by fellow blogger Zarina @zarinatweets.  I have one of the questions she was asked below and you'll find the full interview at http://www.pagetostagereviews.com

What about the food in Plumberry?

One of the key themes of my new book, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food, is sharing a love of cooking and, of course, food. I enjoy collating my favourite recipes and those of my friends, family and colleagues at Transworld to include in the back of each book. I particularly love recipes which have been handed down through families.

Last year I had a bit of bad news when I found out that my beautician, Lauren had given up her beauty business, but I was immediately cheered when she said was opening a café in the next village instead!

Honestly, this woman can turn her hand to anything, so I got myself down to Rhubarb’s Café and Tea Room and commiserated the loss of my eyelash extensions with a slice of the most delicious cake. This, Lauren told me, was her granddad’s recipe.

I knew straight away that it deserved a place in The Plumberry School of Comfort Food and asked her to give me the recipe. So thank you, Lauren’s granddad, and I hope you enjoy making and eating it too!

Rhubarbs’ Fruit and Ale Cake

You will need…

170 ml ale something like Old Peculiar would work well
1kg mixed dried fruit and peel
125g glacé cherries
50g cranberries
255g softened butter
255g caster sugar
3 beaten eggs
255g plain flour
125g chopped walnuts
Some walnut halves to decorate top (optional)

Soak dried fruit and peel in the ale overnight if possible or for at least several hours. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and pale. Mix a spoonful of the flour into creamed mixture to prevent curdling, and gradually beat the eggs into the mixture. Stir in rest of the flour and finally add chopped walnuts and fruit and ale. Stir well together before putting into a greased and lined 8inch (20cm) square cake tin. Smooth over the top and place the walnut halves in a pattern over the surface if using. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 3, 170c (150c fan oven), for 3 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Delicious with a cup of tea!



I so want to be eating this cake now, it sounds absolutely delicious!  Huge thanks to Transworld Cathy's publishers for inviting me to be part of the tour and sending my a copy of The Plumbery School of Comfort Food - a review of this delicious book will be heading on to my blog very soon.