Archives

#WeekendBlitz ~ Elephant and Pinky Moon by @LilacMills @NeverlandBT #Giveaway

Twenty-eight-year-old Nina lives a quiet, unassuming life, happy (ish) with her job, maybe not quite as happy with her non-existent love-life (but who has everything) and content to trundle along with her nice, predictable daily routine.

That is, until her octogenarian grandmother talks Nina into accompanying her on holiday.

Nina envisages sedate walks along the promenade, afternoon naps by the pool, and bingo in the evening. What she actually gets is too much vodka, adult games of “pin the tail on the donkey” and dancing on a bar whilst flaunting her knickers – and that’s just her gran!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it! She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun… When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

Website

Twitter

Facebook

My Review

After reading Under the Cherry Tree and absolutely loving it I was delighted when the author approached me and asked if I would like to read her next book, of course I said yes. Then as soon as I saw the cover and title I knew it was likely to be just as much fun if not more so than the first one. Elephant and Pinky Moon (awesome title!) is a blast!

Nina, fairly average, quiet, unassuming 28 year old ends up going on holiday to Turkey with her grandma, Flossie is 80+ and an absolute hoot. As much as I admire her outrageous outlook on life and the hilarious antics she gets up to I would freak if my grandmother or even mother had behaved like that!

Basically Flossie thinks Nina should be happily in a relationship by now and makes it her mission to ‘help’. Lilac has a natural way with words that make her stories flow so quickly and easily, the details are vivid, the humour spot on. One minute tears of laughter then the next a lump in your throat testing the readers emotions.

I felt like I had been on vacation with this pair, thankfully as a silent/secret observer lol. The supporting characters are great, Leo is a dream, the excursions they go on are realistic and the meaning behind the title is revealed in time. 

I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this as a wonderful chick-lit read, perfect for the remainder of the summer but would work just as well as a tantalising winter read.

Thanks to Lilac for my copy and to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for organising and inviting me to the blitz.

 

International Giveaway

2 signed paperbacks:  Elephant and Pinky Moon – Under the Cherry Tree

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BlogTour #Review ~ Every Last Lie by @MaryKubica @HQstories

She always trusted her husband.

Until he died.

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed.

But when Maisie starts having nightmares, Clara becomes obsessed that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident.

Who wanted Nick dead? And, more importantly, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out the truth – even if it makes her question whether her entire marriage has been a lie…

Purchase Here

About the Author

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

Twitter

Website

Facebook

My Review

Every Last Lie will take your mind, screw it up and leave you questioning yourself and your relationships! A tale of deeply disturbing circumstances that portray how a young woman can fall apart.

Clara and Nick are the parents of four year old Maisie and newborn Felix. Picture the scene, exhausted family, mum is tied to the sofa feeding the baby so dad does the usual routine with the older child. As Nick takes Maisie to ballet he leaves Clara and Felix on the verge of dozing. He calls her to ask if she wants him to pick up a takeaway on the way home …….

The knock at the door alters Clara’s life entirely .. she is aware Nick always drove too fast but that can’t possibly be the reason for the accident surely?

The story moves at a steady pace as Clara becomes more distraught, she neglects herself and to a certain extent her children. Her father tries his utmost to help her but he has his hands full coping with her mother who has dementia.

As Maisie suffers nightmares and is afraid of the ‘bad man’ and ‘black car’ Clara’s mind goes into overdrive. 

This is told in alternating chapters, Clara (now) and Nick (pre-accident) so we piece together via the narration what this couple have been going through. Just what has Nick been up to, was it an accident or something far more sinister?

I felt for Clara as she copes with grief but found it quite difficult to get into her psyche as she descends into paranoia. Nick seemed rather weak-willed and not a particularly appealing character. Maisie is a typical little girl mixed up in a fairly dysfunctional family but she added a lighter dimension.

I really liked the way the writing flows and grasps the reader .. a good solid psychological thriller with plenty of twists.

My thanks to the author and HQ Stories for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

#BookReview ~ The Great Escape by Charlotte Fallowfield @RomcomAuthor #DilburyVillage#2

A tropical beach paradise in Mexico was the last place Georgie Basset expected her decimated heart to be jump-started again, not after she’d been jilted the year before by her fiancé, leading to said breakage. But when she spotted Weston Argent jogging along the beach, all bronzed with ripped muscles like some Greek God out of a modern day Baywatch scene, she nearly choked on her cocktail. She knew immediately she was in trouble, she’d never reacted so strongly to a man on first glance.

However, after a disastrous first date with him, she headed back home to Dilbury, resigned to never seeing him again. That is, until Weston turned up unexpectedly at her dog grooming parlour with Bertie the French bulldog, a species she had a real weakness for. She couldn’t help but wonder if fate was playing a helping hand. But each time she saw him, their encounters never went smoothly, resulting in some mortifying and hilarious escapades. Despite their undeniable attraction, there was something about Weston that she couldn’t quite put her finger on, something that concerned her.

When Weston finally confessed that all was not as it seemed, Georgie was convinced that all men were dogs, except she knew that was an insult to dogkind. Ever the meddler, her best friend, Abbie, intervened, knowing in her heart that despite what had happened, Weston was full of good intentions, and was undoubtedly Georgie’s Prince Charming.
The question remained, could he convince Georgie of that, or would he forever remain in the dog house?

While The Great Escape will be a standalone story, it’s the second in the Dilbury Village series of romantic comedy novels. All of them will be set in the quaint ficticious English hamlet in the Shropshire countryside, but feature a different village couples’ story.

Warning, if you are of a sensitive disposition when it comes to toilet humour, then the Dilbury Village series may not be for you!

Pre-Order Here  Available 31st August 2017

About the Author

Charlotte Fallowfield’s books contain plenty of romance and laugh-out-loud humour, but she makes her characters work hard for their happy ever afters, aided by a supporting cast of endearing friends and family that you may wish were your own. Her style has been flatteringly compared to Bridget Jones.

She has a childlike sense of humour, and a penchant for gorgeous, suited alpha males who would do anything for their woman. As Charlotte is half French, if they have a sexy French accent, even better. She lives in the wonderful countryside of Wales and is yet to find her own Prince Charming, but shares her home with her extremely pampered fur baby, Pumpkin, kitten of mass destruction and world’s worst serial killer of voles.

Charlotte is an Amazon UK top 50 bestselling author who writes romantic comedy novels. Her debut became a UK #1 contemporary romance bestseller, with both of her books hitting the romantic comedy bestseller charts internationally. Her saucy alter-ego, C.J. Fallowfield, is an Amazon #1 UK and international bestselling author of contemporary humorous erotic romance novels.

Sign up for her newsletters to be kept up to date on her frequent promotions and giveaways, as well as to get exclusive first looks at covers, teasers, excerpts and her latest releases: www.cjfallowfield.co.uk    www.charlottefallowfield.co.uk

Twitter

Facebook

My Review

Charlotte Fallowfield is one of my go-to authors when I need a guaranteed laugh. The Great Escape is the second in the Dilbury village series, after meeting Abbie in Never the Bride, this time we focus on Georgie’s story. Don’t worry though Abbie is making a full appearance in this one.

Georgie and Abbie are best friends, Georgie is getting over a broken heart after her cheating scumbag boyfriend Greg sullied her impression of men forever. In order to recover the girls go on holiday to Mexico. 

The last thing Georgie needs is another man in her life but each day as she is sunning herself a glorious hunk jogs by .. as much as they try to deny it there is something clicking between them. Abbie being her forthright self engineers a meeting and from there the whole will they, won’t they escapade begins.

The hilarious moments in this book are way too many to mention, even the most embarrassing situations turn into an opportunity for a giggle. I will never ever look at a jelly teddy sweet again!

I just love the way the village and it’s inhabitants are like a family, we meet up with the local residents once more and it feels like going home. The group of friends make a great unit and all support each other.

The chemistry between Georgie and Weston is enough to ignite the pages, she is nervous about trusting him and he obviously has dark hidden secrets which all makes for a great story.

The highlight of the book has to be Bertie the dog, such a cutie and instrumental in the love stakes! I absolutely fell in love with Weston, would be proud to have Georgie and Abbie as friends .. this is fabulous book that will leave such a stupid huge grin on your face for hours. Charlotte has delivered a winner yet again and I can’t wait for the next in the series.

I was lucky to be offered an ARC by the author which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Crazy Stupid Love by @CassieRocca @aria_fiction

Are there written rules on how to find a soulmate? Or is it better to trust the hands of fate? A hilarious romance perfect for the fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

After enduring a string of dead-end relationships, Zoe Mathison has made a decision – to find a man who truly appreciates her. But this is turning out to be more complicated than she expected. Fed up of being surrounded by insufferably happy couples in love, her mission to find the perfect man starts to become an obsession.

Eric Morgan is pushed to his limits. Hopelessly in love with Zoe, who sees him as nothing more than a best friend to lean on, he can’t bear seeing his hopes of romance crushed every time the sculpted pecs of a younger man comes along. But when a new girl appears on the scene, he is determined to prove that he can push his infatuation aside and move on. But is it as easy as it seems?

In the romantic and bustling city of New York, will Zoe and Eric’s hilarious misadventures attract Cupid’s arrow?

Buy links:

Amazon UK

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

About the Author

Cassie Rocca is a writer of Sicilian origin who has lived in Genoa since the age of three. In everyday life she is a child-minder, a job which gives her plenty of ideas for her modern fairy tales.

Twitter

Facebook

My Review

After reading and enjoying the first book in this series I was looking forward to Crazy Stupid Love. Last time we had Clover and Cade’s story so it follows on from there in the respect we meet the same characters but this could easily be read as a standalone.

This time it’s Zoe we concentrate on .. it’s classic story of unrequited love. Her and Eric have known each other since college days but she can only see him as a best friend, always there to rely on but can’t grasp how he feels about her.

Zoe is the type that doesn’t really form friendships with the females and thinks guys are only good to flirt with. I didn’t particularly feel a sense of warmth or caring from her, whereas previously Clover was so sweet and had the reader rooting for her.

So just as Zoe thinks it’s time to find herself a long-term love, Eric also thinks after ten long years of being walked over that maybe he should look elsewhere. Have they both let the opportunity of love pass them by?

This is a fun, cute book, set in NYC, fairly predictable but perfectly entertaining enough for a quick beach read. It’s pretty quick and will satisfy any rom-com cravings.

Thanks to the author and Aria .. I read and reviewed this voluntarily. 

Follow Aria

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

#BlogBlitz #Review ~ The Good Sister by Jess Ryder @jessryderauthor @bookouture

There are two sides to every secret. When her beloved father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover a secret life he has led with another family: another house, another woman and a half-sister, Valentina. Born in the same week, in the same hospital, they look so physically alike they could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there… Josie is sweet and reserved, a counsellor with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. Valentina is damaged and reckless, and she always gets what she wants. But what she wants is Josie’s life, and she’ll stop at nothing until she has it.

 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the Author

Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer. After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime. Writing, that is. Her other big love is making pots.

Facebook

Twitter

Website

My Review

The Good Sister hooked me from the beginning. I believed it was going to be a simple story of one family facing trauma or tragedy but it is far deeper involved than that.

Josie comes from loving parents, has a perfect boyfriend, works hard and life is good. But very early on we find her father is a bit of a troubled soul, he rides his beloved motorcycle to clear his mind and it ends in disaster. 

As with any family facing grief the tensions mount, the sadness envelops them all but as the investigations continue into the accident Josie faces revelations beyond comprehension.

The writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, my curiosity needed to fathom out the events but I just got drawn in deeper and deeper.

Valentina is the image of Josie .. what is the connection between them and the families?

This is told in alternating chapters, it creates a mind-boggling drama which takes some concentration to keep up but it’s well worth the effort. Each chapter begins with a passage from a Viking history fact, at first I just skimmed them because they seemed irrelevant .. I should have known better, all is revealed eventually.

While my sympathies laid in one direction they then got pulled in another .. the plot thickens and the relationship between Josie and Valentina is gripping and suspenseful. The ending doesn’t disappoint! 

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

#BookReview #Excerpt ~The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse #Giveaway

I’m delighted to share The Big Dreams Beach Hotel with you today .. I have my review, a giveaway and because I just know you will love this book as much as I do, I have the first chapter available (below) as a teaser 🙂 Pre-order ~ available 18th August Amazon UK  Amazon US

Wriggle your toes in the sand and feel the warm breeze on your face at the hotel that’s full of dreams…

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

Twitter

Website

Facebook

My Review

I was over the moon to get an ARC of The Big Dreams Beach Hotel .. I have loved previous books by Lilly (aka Michele Gorman) so I knew I was in for a treat. 

What a pretty cover, I’m rather fond of the colour scheme. This book has so much going on that it’s like you need to take a deep breath then delve in. Rosie is a delightful character, crazy, impulsive, caring but let’s just say maybe a little too trusting. I adored some of the capers she got up too. She basically works in the hotel business, sometimes in New York and also in the UK.

The story alternates between her life in NY with the great American guy Chuck or back in Scarborough, her home town where Rory makes an appearance.

The hotel in Scarborough is more like a hostel for the weird and wonderful, a whole mix of zany folk live there and call it home due to various tenancy arrangements with the council etc. But as expected in a wet, run down seaside town it’s not exactly thriving so when Rosie discovers it has been sold to a pair of American brothers who want to inject a bit of Florida zest into it her work is really cut out!

The way she deals with the refurbishments, new routines, juggling staff and residents is an absolute hoot. I immediately wanted to be her friend and give her a little guidance. The reasons behind her leaving NY are revealed eventually and are cleverly intertwined with life back home. Rosie has a inner strength, she is quirky but at times vulnerable yet she takes on the ‘fight’ to save her friends/family hotel admirably and I like the way her and Rory work and blend together despite differences of opinion.

I don’t want to give anything away but keep an eye open for a particular day out Rosie go on … just loved the romance of that idea.

For a book full of enjoyment, humour and utter brilliance look no further than The Big Dreams Beach Hotel. Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

Pre-order The Big Dreams Beach Hotel to land on your eReader on August 18th!
Kindle Unlimited subscribers will get it for FREE.
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Start reading the romcom that Debbie Johnson calls “absolutely gorgeous!”
The Big Dreams Beach Hotel
Lilly Bartlett
Chapter 1
New York is where I fell head over heels for a bloke named Chuck. I know: Chuck. But
don’t judge him just because he sounds like he should be sipping ice-cream floats at the
drive-in or starring in the homecoming football game. Rah rah, sis boom bah, yay, Chuck!
Believe me, I didn’t plan for a Chuck in my life. But that’s how it happens, isn’t it?
One minute you’ve got plans for your career and a future that doesn’t involve the
inconvenience of being in love, and the next you’re floating around in full dozy-mare
mode.
I won’t lie to you. When Chuck walked into our hotel reception one afternoon in late
October, it wasn’t love at first sight. It was lust.
Be still, my fluttering nethers.
Talk about unprofessional. I could hardly focus on what he was saying. Something
about organising Christmas parties.
‘To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing,’ he confided as he leaned against
the reception desk. His face was uncomfortably close to mine, but by then I’d lived in New
York for eighteen months. I was used to American space invaders. They’re not being rude,
just friendly. And Chuck was definitely friendly.
‘I only started my job about a month ago,’ he told me. ‘It’s my first big assignment,
so I really can’t fuck it up. Sorry, I mean mess it up.’ His blue (so dark blue) eyes bore into
mine. ‘I’m hoping someone here can help me.’
It took all my willpower not to spring over the desk to his aid. Not that I’m at all
athletic. I’d probably have torn my dress, climbed awkwardly over and landed face-first
at his feet.
Keep him talking, I thought, so that I could keep staring. He looked quintessentially
American, with his square jawline and big straight teeth and air of confidence, even
though he’d just confessed to being hopeless at his new job. His brown hair wasn’t too
long but also wasn’t too short, wavy and artfully messed up with gel, and his neatly
trimmed stubble made me think of lazy Sunday mornings in bed.
See what I mean? Lust.
‘I noticed you on my way back from Starbucks,’ he said.
At first, I thought he meant he’d noticed me. That made me glance in the big mirror
on the pillar behind him, where I could just see my reflection from where I was standing.
At five-foot four, I was boob-height behind the desk in the gunmetal-grey fitted dress
uniform all the front-desk staff had to wear. My wavy dark-red hair was as neat as it ever
got. I flashed myself a reflected smile just to check my teeth. Of course, I couldn’t see any
detail from where I stood. Only my big horsy mouth. Mum says giant teeth make my face
interesting. I think I look a bit like one of the Muppets.
‘Do you have the space for a big party?’ he said. ‘For around four hundred people?’
He didn’t mean he’d noticed me; only the hotel. ‘We’ve got the Grand Ballroom and
the whole top floor, which used to be the restaurant and bar. I think it’s even prettier than
the ballroom, but it depends on your style and your budget and what you want to do with
it.’
Based on his smile, you’d have thought I’d just told him we’d found a donor kidney
for his operation. ‘I’ve been looking online, but there are too many choices,’ he said. ‘Plus,
my company expects the world.’ He grimaced. ‘They didn’t like the hotel they used last
year, or the year before that. I’m in over my head, to be honest. I think I need a guiding
hand.’
I had just the hand he was looking for, and some ideas about where to guide it.
But instead of jumping up and down shouting ‘Pick Me, Pick Me!’, I put on my
professional hat and gave him our events brochure and the team’s contact details.
Because normal hotel receptionists don’t launch themselves into the arms of prospective
clients.
When he reached over the desk to shake my hand, I had to resist the urge to bob a
curtsy. ‘I’m Chuck Williamson. It was great to meet you, Rosie.’
He knew my name!
‘And thank you for being so nice. You might have saved my ass on this one. I’ll talk
to your events people.’ He glanced again at my chest.
He didn’t know my name. He’d simply read my name badge.
No sooner had Chuck exited through the revolving door than my colleague, Digby,
said, ‘My God, any more sparks and I’d have had to call the fire department.’
Digby was my best friend at the hotel and also a foreign transplant in Manhattan –
where anyone without a 212 area code was foreign. Home for him was some little town
in Kansas or Nebraska or somewhere with lots of tornadoes. Hearing Digby speak always
made me think of The Wizard of Oz, but despite sounding like he was born on a combine
harvester, Digby was clever. He did his degree at Cornell. That’s the Holy Grail for aspiring
hotelies (as we’re known).
Digby didn’t let his pedigree go to his head, though, like I probably would have.
‘Just doing my job,’ I told him. But I knew I was blushing.
Our manager, Andi, swore under her breath. ‘That’s the last thing we need right now
– some novice with another Christmas party to plan.’
‘That is our job,’ Digby pointed out.
‘Your job is to man the reception desk, Digby.’
‘Ya vol, Commandant.’ He saluted, before going to the other end of the desk.
‘But we do have room in the schedule, don’t we?’ I asked. Having just come off a
rotation in the events department the month before, I knew they were looking for more
business in that area. Our room occupancy hadn’t been all the company hoped for over
the summer.
‘Plenty of room, no time,’ Andi snapped.
I’d love to tell you that I didn’t think any more about Chuck, that I was a cool twentyfive-year-old
living her dream in New York. And it was my dream posting. I still couldn’t
believe my luck. Well, luck and about a million hours earning my stripes in the hospitality
industry. I’d already done stints in England and one in Sharm El Sheikh – though not in
one of those fancy five-star resorts where people clean your sunglasses on the beach. It
was a reasonable four-star one.
There’s a big misconception about hotelies that I should probably clear up. People
assume that because we spend our days surrounded by luxury, we must live in the same
glamour. The reality is 4a.m. wake-ups, meals eaten standing up, cheap living
accommodation and, invariably, rain on our day off. Sounds like a blast, doesn’t it?
But I loved it. I loved that I was actually being paid to work in the industry where I
did my degree. I loved the satisfied feeling I got every time a guest thanked me for solving
a problem. And I loved that I could go anywhere in the world for work.
I especially loved that last part.
But back to Chuck, who’d been stuck in my head since the minute he’d walked
through the hotel door.
I guess it was natural, given that I hadn’t had a boyfriend the whole time I’d been in
the city. Flirting and a bit of snogging, yes, but nothing you could call a serious
relationship.
There wasn’t any time, really, for a social life. That’s why hotelies hang out so much
with each other. No one else has the same hours free. So, in the absence of other options,
Digby and I were each other’s platonic date. He sounds like the perfect gay best friend,
right? Only he wasn’t gay. He just had no interest in me. Nor I in him, which made him the
ideal companion – hot enough in that freckle-faced farm-boy way to get into the
nightclubs when we finished work at 1 or 2a.m., but not the type to go off shagging and
leave me to find my way home on the subway alone.
‘I hope you’re happy,’ Andi said to me one morning a few days later. The thing about Andi
is that she looks annoyed even when she’s not, so you’ve got to pay attention to her words
rather than the severe expression on her narrow face. Nothing annoyed Andi like other
people’s happiness.
But I had just taken my first morning sip of caramel latte. Who wouldn’t be happy?
‘You’ve got another assignment,’ she said. ‘That Christmas party. You’re on it.’
‘But I’m on reception.’ My heart was beating faster. She could only be talking about
one Christmas party.
‘Yes, and you’re not going to get any extra time for the party, so don’t even think
about it. I can’t spare anyone right now. You’ll have to juggle. He’s coming in at eleven to
see the spaces and hopefully write a big fat cheque, but I want you back here as soon as
you’re finished. Consider it an early lunch break.’
Even though my mind warned me to stop questioning, in case she changed her mind,
I couldn’t resist. ‘Why isn’t Events handling it?’
‘They would have if he hadn’t asked for you especially. It’s just my luck that it’s a
huge party. We can’t exactly say no.’
‘I’m sorry.’
‘Then wipe that stupid grin off your face and next time try not to be so frickin’ nice.’
‘I need to use the loo,’ I told her.
‘Pee on your own time,’ she said.
I didn’t really have to go, despite the industrial-size caramel latte. I just wanted to
put on some make-up before Chuck arrived. Instead he’d see my green eyes unhighlighted
by the mascara and flicky eyeliner that I rarely remembered to use. Pinching my cheeks
did bring up a bit of colour behind my freckles, at least.
Every time the revolving doors swung round, I looked up to see if it was Chuck.
‘You’re going to get repetitive strain in your neck,’ Digby pointed out. ‘And you know
our workmen’s comp sucks, so save yourself the injury. Besides, you look too eager when
you stare at the door like that.’
‘I’m putting on a convivial welcome for our guests,’ I said. ‘Just like it says in the
Employee’s Manual.’
He shook his head. ‘There’s no way that what you’re thinking is in the manual.’
The weather had turned cold, which was the perfect excuse for woolly tights and
cosy knits or, if you were Chuck, a navy pea coat with the collar turned up that made him
look like he’d been at sea. In a suit and dress shoes.
‘I’m so sorry I’m late,’ he said. ‘I hate wasting people’s time.’
‘It’s not a waste,’ I told him. ‘I’m just working.’ I caught Andi’s glare. ‘I mean, I’m on
reception. I can show you the rooms any time you want.’
Anytime you want, Digby mimicked behind Chuck’s back. Luckily Andi didn’t catch
him.
‘Thanks for agreeing to take on the party,’ he said as we shared the lift to the top
floor. ‘Not that I gave your colleagues much of a choice. I told them I’d book the party if
you were the one organising it. I hope you don’t mind. It’s just that you seemed … I don’t
know, I got a good feeling about you.’
‘No, that’s fine,’ I said, willing my voice to sound calmer than I felt. Which meant
anything short of stark raving mad. ‘Once you decide which room is most suitable, we can
start talking about everything else.’
‘I knew you’d get it,’ he said.
The lift doors opened on the top floor into the wide entrance to the former
restaurant. ‘As you can see, there’s still a lot of the original nineteen thirties decor,’ I said.
‘Especially these art deco wall sconces. I love them. Ooh, and look at that bar.’
I’d only been up there a few times, so I was as excited as Chuck as we ran around
the room pointing out each interesting feature, from the geometrically mirrored pillars
to the sexy-flapper-lady light fixtures.
‘I’m such a sucker for this old stuff,’ he said. ‘I grew up in a house full of antiques.
Older than this, actually, in Chicago.’ Then he considered me. ‘You probably grew up in a
castle from the middle ages or something, being English.’
‘That sounds draughty. No, my parents live in a nineteen fifties semi-detached with
pebble-dash.’
‘I don’t know what any of that means except for the nineteen fifties, but it sounds
exotic.’
‘Hardly. Let’s just say it looks nothing like this. Will this be big enough, though? You
said up to four hundred. That might be a squeeze if we want to seat them all.’
‘My guest list has halved, actually,’ he said, shoving his hands into his coat pockets.
‘The company isn’t letting spouses and partners come. Isn’t that weird, to exclude them
from a formal social event like that? It’s going to be black tie with dinner and dancing.
They were always invited wherever I’ve worked before.’
The painful penny dropped with a clang. Of course he’d have the perfect girlfriend
to bring along. A bloke that cute and nice wasn’t single.
‘Which company?’ I asked, covering my disappointment. ‘Your company now, I
mean.’
‘Flable and Mead. The asset managers? Sorry, I should have said before.’
Of course I’d heard of them. They were only one of the biggest firms on Wall Street.
No wonder Andi had to say yes when Chuck made his request. We were talking big money.
And big egos. ‘I’m not surprised that other halves aren’t invited,’ I told him. Surely
he’d worked out why for himself. ‘They usually aren’t invited in the UK either. The
Christmas do is your chance to get pissed and snog a colleague.’
Chuck laughed. ‘I’m really glad I’ve seen all those Hugh Grant movies so I know what
you’re talking about. So maybe it’ll be everyone’s chance at Flable and Mead to snog a
colleague too.’ When he smiled, a dimple appeared on his left side. Just the one. ‘And as
you’re working with me to organise the party, I guess that makes you my colleague, right?’
Did he mean what I thought he meant? The cheeky sod. ‘Come on, I’ll show you the
ballroom.’
But the ballroom had nowhere near the ambiance of the top floor, and I knew before
Chuck said anything that it didn’t have the right feel. Whereas upstairs had character and
charm, the ballroom had bling. I’d only known Chuck for a matter of hours, but already I
knew he wasn’t the blingy type.
‘Definitely upstairs,’ he said. ‘So it’s done. We’ll book it. Now we just need to plan all
the decorations, the food, the band, DJ. I guess the fee goes up depending on how much
in-house stuff we use.’ He laughed. ‘I’m sorry, I really am in too deep here. I talked my way
into my job. I have no idea how. My boss is a Northwestern alum like me and that must
have swung it for me. Before I only worked organising conferences and a few parties at
the local VFW hall. This is the big time.’
I knew exactly how he felt. When I first started at the hotel I had to pinch myself.
There I was, about to live a life I’d only seen on telly. All I had to do was not muck things
up. Digby had been on hand to show me the ropes when I needed it. So the least I could
do for Chuck was to help him as much as I could.
That’s what I told myself. I was paying it forward.
‘We’ve got a range of decorations we can do,’ I told him, thinking about how much I
was going to get to see him in the upcoming weeks. I could really stretch things out by
showing him one tablecloth per visit. ‘And we work with a few good catering companies,
who I’m sure can arrange anything from a sit-down meal to a buffet. One even does burger
bars, if you want something more quirky.’
‘What I’ll want is for you to help me, Rosie. You will be able to do that, right?’
‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Whatever you need. It’s a whopping great fee your company is
paying. That buys a lot of hand-holding.’
‘I was hoping you’d say that,’ he said. ‘The second I came in and saw you, I knew this
was the right choice. We’re going to be great together, Rosie.’
I was thinking the exact same thing.

Pre-order The Big Dreams Beach Hotel to land on your eReader on August 18th!
Kindle Unlimited subscribers will get it for FREE.
Amazon UK
Amazon US

You’re warmly invited to the Wedding of the Century with all your favourite friends. It’s the most vintage fun you’ll have this year!

To WIN a personally inscribed paperback of this gorgeous book, simply sign up here: http://eepurl.com/b96-Yz

Winners will be randomly selected and notified on August 18th via the email used to sign up.

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Queen of New Beginnings by Therese Loreskar @loreskar @bombshellpub

Kajsa lives in a large house in Stockholm along with her three children and their dog. Since coming clean about lying on her popular blog she no longer has any work. Not only that but she has kicked her husband out because of his sex addiction.

While her husband is in rehab trying to fix his little problem, Kajsa’s mother in law is thrown out of her retirement home and comes to live with her daughter in law.

Then Kajsa receives an unexpected offer to move to a fashionable part of London. But having to look after her mother in law makes life complicated.

Can Kajsa rid herself of her baggage and make a fresh start with her children in England?

This laugh-out-loud comedy looks at the daily struggles we all face with our families and asks if starting again is ever really possible.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Therese Loreskär started her carrier in 2010 as a Swedish author. She self-published her first novel which was very well received and quickly sold out!
In 2014 she signed up to a publishing house. Her novel called “The Queen of Blogging” was released and the feedback was overwhelming! People referred to the book as a modern “Bridget Jones” and couldn’t get enough of the main character, Kajsa. The next book “The Queen of Blogging 2” was released shortly after to all the reader’s delight.
Therese has since then published 4 bestselling children’s books as well. She often does tours at different schools and talks about her books. The children love her visits and Therese always enjoys talking to her little readers.
“The Queen of Blogging 1 & 2” have also been recorded and launched as audiobooks in addition to paper backs in Sweden. Her biggest dream is to have “The Queen of Blogging series” made into films, and she secretly keeps a list in an old drawer of presumptive actors that would do the characters in her books justice.
Her never-ending energy for writing and entertaining people with her characters is her biggest trait.
Therese lives in the countryside along the west coast of Sweden. She has a rather big and busy household, with (one) husband, two children, one deaf cat, five hamsters and a grandmother.
When she’s not busy making up stories and writing silly things, she enjoys the nature, people, history, redecorating the house without asking anyone for permission, and all other kinds of creativity.
My Review
So this is the second book by Therese Loreskar which follows on from The Queen of Blogging. This can be read as a standalone but you will probably benefit from reading in order.
Written in short, sharp, diary/timed entries by Kajsa, single mum to three kids plus dog who in all honesty has a life filled with calamity!
I really enjoyed her view of the world. While she tries her best it just seems like everyone is conspiring against her or perhaps that’s just her paranoia. She is a fabulous character and provides many a chuckle .. the mother in law (ex!) Gull Britt is the star of the show. Good grief she is the epitome of an old lady who you really couldn’t bear living with but Kajsa has to take it in her stride.
The Queen of New Beginnings is a mix of reality, humour, endearing moments and a few cringe-worthy ones. At times I felt sorry for Kajsa but she soon bounces back and the fun-filled atmosphere reappears. This is ideal as a quick read, you really fly through it due to the writing style and it’s highly entertaining. Brilliant for a holiday book or just to brighten/lighten the mood.
It reminded me of several sit-coms all rolled into one where you want to get to the next episode to meet the characters again, it would make great TV.
Thanks to the author and Sarah at Bombshell books for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Transition by Jo Huey @Joanne_Huey @emmamitchellfpr

An autobiography of Jo’s life from the trauma and unpredictability of living in an alcoholic home,
through self-development transformation to the more content, happy and successful business
woman she is today.
Jo shares her many insights into alcoholism and the effects on the family. An honest and brutal
account of Jo’s experience with her father’s addiction to alcohol, she shares the highs and lows of
life with an absent father and busy mother.
After life hit an all-time low in adulthood she decided to turn her life around and start a journey of
self-discovery. Jo transformed herself through therapy, self-help books, groups, events and more
which she shares in the book.
If you have experienced the challenges of living with someone’s drinking, then you’ll relate to Jo’s
experience and feel the connection with her story.
If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed.
Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really
want the change you seek.
Jo Huey is an inspirational & motivational speaker, coach and author.
Jo gets up every morning wanting to help those with experiences like hers, those affected by someone’s drinking. She connects the dots to form a new picture using practical tools & techniques
with the aim that they would genuinely feel better about themselves and live a calmer and chaos
free life.
Purchase Here

About the Author

Jo is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares
her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult
life.
Jo is brutally honest about her experience, explaining how she coped as a child in an alcoholic home
and the self-development journey she took in her twenties to overcome the trauma.
If you’ve experienced the impact of living with a heavy drinker, someone’s addiction or mental
health problem you’ll relate to Jo’s story. For those of you that haven’t experienced what an
alcoholic home brings it will give you an insight into the damage it causes to the family.
Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they
know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden
problem.

Twitter

Website

Facebook

My Review

I went through a stage of reading ‘self-help’ books on various subjects or autobiographies that caught my eye but that has dwindled lately. Something about the cover of Transition interested me enough to have a look although I have no personal experience of alcoholism in my family I have worked in areas where it has been apparent.

Jo opens her heart and tells us what is was like as a child of an alcohol dependent father, how the family fractures and life is affected for all. Her mother was either too busy or quite likely keeping her head down, but as far as a child’s interpretation she was as absent as her father when she was young.

The book follows Jo as she matures, realises that she has to change her outlook and concentrate on herself. There are various parts that struck a chord .. how she reacts to being in control, lack of trust, OCD, anxiety .. all aspects that arise in mental health so from that point I was curious to see how her therapy, counselling, NLP, mindfulness could have an impact.

While she later forges a relationship with her mother and sister she really struggled to maintain any personal partnerships and that was quite sad. Her comment about not liking her dad but he was the only dad she had so she loved him was very intense.

I admire her for speaking out and raising awareness, the self-help tips will reassure people in the same situation that they are not alone.

My favourite parts of the book were actually when she ‘explored’ America .. I’m a huge fan of the USA and have travelled extensively so I found her experiences fascinating.

My thanks to Jo and Emma (TheLittleBookWorm) for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown @AuthorAimeeB @crookedcatbooks

Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother
Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.
From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner
secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little
gray dress.
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous,
southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that
she doesn’t need or want Jack!
Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult
life. Will it make another when she least expects it?


AmazonUS: eBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99
AmazonUK: eBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Noble: print – $9.99



Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published
novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English
Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching
shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has
been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.
Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of
twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.
She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with
her she’s very active on social media.
As a fellow blogger I was delighted to see Aimee has branched out into the world of authors, so I’m chuffed to have had a chance to read Little Gray Dress and participate in the blog tour.
After reading the blurb I could see this had potential and Aimee has done a brilliant job of bringing Emi and Jack’s story to life. Poor Emi was all set to marry Jack until he did the dirty on her .. now two years later Emi is going to meet up with him again at the wedding of her twin brother Evan as he marries Jack’s sister .. could life get any more complicated!
I quickly formed a soft spot for Emi, she is quite a character but has a lot to deal with. The story is told in alternate story lines so we get the present day and then the background of Jack and Emi and how things deteriorated. Plenty of twists and turns, with interference from family and ‘friends’. They are such a cute couple but things can go wrong so fast when there are misunderstandings. The love Emi has for Jack is so apparent though.
I loved the descriptions of Emi having her dress fitting, could definitely sympathise with the disproportionate boobs, legs, hips etc and having to be strung up like a turkey in her corset! Aimee has written it with great humour in a sympathetic way that entices giggles. 
If anything this book proves that real love can find a way and just maybe we shouldn’t believe everything we see or hear. Aimee has created a warm, caring story with characters that creep into your heart. This is astounding for a debut and I look forward to what comes next.
Thanks to Aimee and Crooked Cat Books for my copy .. I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

I have the cutest Giveaway for the tour  & open worldwide.
Included is a ‘create’ coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weds – August 2nd
Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author
Guest Post after 2nd
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Judging More Than Just the
Cover
– Book Review/Author Interview
Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post
The Novel Girl Reads – Book
Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A
Thurs – August 3rd
Chick Lit Central – Author Interview
NovelGossip – Book Review
Hey Said Renee – Author Guest Post
Romantic Reads and Such – Book
Excerpt
Steamy Book Mama – Book Review
Fri – August 4th
BrizzleLass Books – Book Review
O.D. Book Reviews – Book Excerpt
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
Corinne Desjardins – Book Spotlight
Where Dragons Recide – Book Review/Author
Q&A
Sat – August 5th
JenaBooks – Book Review
Sylv.net – Spotlight Post
Got Books, Babe? – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
Sun – August 6th
I Read Novels – Book Review
It’s my Life – Book Excerpt
RaeReads – Book Review
Keelee Morris – Author Guest Post
GrassMonster – Book Review
Mon – August 7th
Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author
Q&A
The Belgian Reviewer – Author
Guest Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post
Books in my Opinion – Book Review
Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author
Q&A
Tue – August 8th
Reading to Unwind – Book Review
Kristin’s Novel Café – Book Excerpt
& Giveaway/Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post
FrankyBrown – Book Excerpt
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog
Book Reviews (3)
Weds – August 9th
Ink, Maps and Macarons
Giveaway/Author Q&A
Heartalefix – Book Review
Tea Party Princess – Author Guest Post/(possible)
Review
One Book at a Time – Book
Excerpt/Spotlight/Book Review
Thurs – August 10th
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book
Review/Excerpt
Rosa Temple Writes – Author Guest
Post
Life at 17 – Spotlight Post
Daily Waffle – Book Excerpt/Author Q&A
Fri – August 11th
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book
Review
Sparkly Word – Book Review
Books and Readers – Book
Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post
Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review
Katie Lady Reads – Book Review
Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews – Book
Review/Book Excerpt
Sat – August 12th
Life of a Simple Reader – Book
Review/Excerpt
Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book
Review
KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest
Post
D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author
Q&A
20CC Reviews – Book Review
TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt

 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR

What do you do when you’re a newly divorced 52 year old mother, keen for a second
chance of romance? Why internet dating of course! Daisy Mae_224 embarks on the internet
dating process with trepidation. Having not been on the dating scene for nearly 30 years,
and with fairly rudimentary computer skills, she finds herself embroiled in a series of
haphazard and hilarious situations. Daisy keeps a diary of her internet dating life and reveals
detail by detail, the ups and downs of her midlife dating extravaganza. Soon after starting
out, Daisy realises her true mission. With no past experience and no-one/nothing to guide
her, she needs to produce – Internet Dating lessons. Read on to find out about PLONKERS,
muppets and MAWDs, and a whole host of amusing anecdotes, tips and ideas. Working by
day as a Sexual Health doctor, the story as it unfolds contains accounts of Daisy’s clinical
experiences with patients in the Sexual Health clinic. She also reflects on her past life with
Voldemort (the dreadful ex-husband). With advice and encouragement from Imogen, her 17
year old daughter, her surrogate parents known as the Amigos, with a big house and swanky
swimming pool, her friend Pinkie and from Jeannie, her nonagenarian friend from the
Nursing Home, Daisy resiliently persists in her quest to find a long term partner. This is a
heartfelt story that will ring bells with anyone who has ended a long term relationship and
now wants to find somebody new. It is humorously written, full of emails, poems, limericks,
and even a recipe! Daisy can’t resist her pages of advice on topics like “Kissing” and “AntiSnoring.”
It is a unique and highly amusing book, which will make you laugh out loud! So
read on and see. Will Dating Daisy find her “prairie vole?” Or will the whole process end in
disaster?
Amazon UK

About the Author

Living in the South of England Daisy_224 shares many similar
professional, life, and dating, experiences as her protagonist; for this reason she has chosen
to write under a pen name.

My Review

Who could resist that brightly enticing cover .. I love daisies, it’s pink and I immediately spotted the he loves me he loves me not imagery with the missing petal.

There have been an influx of books lately that dip their toe into the world of online dating so I needed something that would have that certain something to make it stand out.

While it obviously has to include the whole, create a profile, pros, cons, disasters list which frankly never differs much no matter who is advertising themselves!

However it also highlights how desperate some people are just for company, not necessarily love or the whole commitment scenario. Daisy seemed to pin all her hopes on each suitor being the one so not surprisingly she had a few disappointments. As much as I wanted her to find her prince charming I think she set the bar a bit high .. fine line between perfection and companion. I agree there should be pheromones involved though so that kept me following Daisy’s quest in the hope of a happy ending for her.

This book is broken down into fairly snappy chapters, the parts I found most fascinating involved Daisy regaling tales from the clinic where she works as a sexual health doctor. These were embarrassing, funny, dumb or just plain idiotic in equal measures but certainly held my attention. In fact I would have been quite happy if the whole book revolved around this.

Daisy also lives in an area I know well and put her search radius out as far as where I used to live, so who knows maybe she was on a date at a time I was out .. it would account for a few weird conversations often overheard!

There are plenty of tips/advice on how to date, kiss, and even an anti-snoring strategy. There are some funny giggle inducing moments but I never quite gelled with the characters.

While Dating Daisy may appeal to the newly singles or those considering joining a dating site I’m not convinced it will be fresh or different enough for younger readers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not young but it just missed it’s mark with me as well. I do however wish Daisy the best of luck for the future.

Thanks to the author and Rachel at Authoright for my copy and inviting me to join the tour. This is my unbiased opinion.