When Stars Will Shine by Emma Mitchell | @emmamitchellfpr @BakerPromo #WhenStarsWillShine

Heroes Front Cover NEW

About the Book

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

 

My Thoughts

I was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour for When Stars Will Shine compiled by Emma Mitchell. This is a short story collection from a wide range of authors and it’s such a brilliant read. All the proceeds from this book go to Help for Heroes.

I don’t read a lot of short story collections because I tend to find the stories get blurred together in my mind but When Stars Will Shine is packed with such excellent stories that they’ve genuinely all remained distinct in my mind. There is such a variety in the type of stories and that made this such an exciting collection to read, there really is something for everyone in this book.

The collection opens with a beautiful and poignant poem by 11 year old Megan Steer which sets the bar really high and every single story lives up to it. There are stories about redemption, about loss, about family and love. There are twists and surprises galore, it’s such a brilliant collection!

I can’t really pick a favourite story as I genuinely enjoyed them all but I will mention some of them briefly here:

The opening story is Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman is such a poignant and moving story. Likewise, Malcom Hollingdrake’s Died of Wounds is stunning and a real tear-jerker. I find stories from either of the World Wars heartbreaking – my lovely Nan lost her father in WW1 and her husband went missing presumed dead fighting in WW2. These two stories just got me in the gut and made me cry but it really does give you a sense of the loss and pain of the war but also a sense of hope that comes in the aftermath and in the generations that follow.

Believe by Mark Brownless is a really clever story. It begins as something that feels lovely and heart-warming and by the end my head was spinning. I love a story that can completely catch me off guard and this one certainly did that!

Mountain Dew by Paul T. Campbell is one of those perfect stories to read on a dark, cold night in the run up to Christmas, it had me gripped and I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. Excellent story!

Stewart Giles’ Free Time is such a well-written story. He has created a story that is so believable and scary to begin with and then it become even more horrifying as it goes along. I can’t stop thinking about this story and I now need to read more by this author!

I’m a huge fan of Louise Jensen‘s novels so was delighted to find a short story by her in this collection. Her story The Christmas Killer is brilliant! It appears to be a story about a lonely older man struggling to get through the festive period but it takes an unexpectedly dark turn!

Billy McLoughlin’s The Invitation is a gorgeous story about forgiveness, about finding people you’ve lost along the way and being able to move on from the past. This is a lovely story to read at this time of year and it’s one that is really staying with me.

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli is such a heart-warming story, I adored this one. It shows how a small act of kindness can make a much bigger difference in life than you ever might imagine. A wonderful story for Christmas!

Jane Risdon’s Penance had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. This is a creepy, sad story that I was gripped by. I had no idea where it was going or how it was going to end. I loved it!

The collection ends with Family Time by Graham Smith and this story was brilliant! It’s one of those stories where you’re not quite sure where it’s going, it feels a little sinister as if violence is just around the corner but nothing is quite as it seems. I felt emotional by the end. An excellent story for this time of year.

When Stars Will Shine is a phenomenal collection of short stories that also serves as a fabulous taster menu for discovering new authors. My wish list is now huge with books by all the authors in this collection as every single story is so good that I now want to read more by each and every one of them. I highly recommend this book, it’s one I know I’ll re-read in the years to come and it’s one I think everyone will enjoy!

 

Here is the full contents page for the book:

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg

The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff

Believe by Mark Brownless

What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron

Mountain Dew by Paul T. Campbell

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton

Free Time by Stewart Giles

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen

Pivotal Moments by Anna Franklin Osborne

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli

Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees

Inside Out by KA Richardson

Penance by Jane Risdon

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg

Family Time by Graham Smith

 

Many thanks to Emma Mitchell for my copy of this book and the invitation to take part in the blog tour. All thoughts are my own.

 

When Stars Will Shine is out now in paperback and ebook and is available here.

 

You can find the rest of this tour at the following blogs:

Blog Tour Week One NEW

Blog Tour Week Two NEW

WWW Wednesdays (11 Dec 2019)! What are you reading this week?

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl

I bought this on kindle and then I spotted I could also get the audio book from Audible for £2.99 so I have both versions and am switching between the two. I’m enjoying this book but so far there’s no Christmas so I’m hoping there is some festive stuff soon.

Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler

This book is FULL of Christmas and I am loving it! It’s exactly what I want in a festive book and it’s really making me feel Christmassy.

Last Christmas by Emma Thompson & Greg Wise

I’m really enjoying dipping in and out of this book and reading about how other people spend Christmas. It’s making me think, and it’s also making me feel nostalgic. It’s a great collection so far.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

This book got put to one side last week but I picked it back up yesterday and am gripped so I expect to finish this one very soon.

 

What I recently finished reading:

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley

I’ve had this book on my TBR ever since it was first published so I’m glad to have finally got to it. I enjoyed this one, it’s set at Christmas which I appreciated and has family dramas galore. It didn’t make me feel quite as festive as I’d hoped but I did really enjoy it.

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

I borrowed the audiobook of this from BorrowBox and really enjoyed listening to it. It was my first Sarah Morgan book but it definitely won’t be the last!

Love, Secret Santa by S. A. Domingo

This is a really sweet YA book set in the run-up to Christmas. I found this cute and it made me remember what it was like to be a teenager.

Pushing Her Luck by B. R. Maycock

I read this book over the weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I got swept up in Holly’s life and it was fab escapism. I reviewed this yesterday so you can find my full thoughts here.

When Stars Will Shine by Emma Mitchell

This is a brilliant collection of short stories by different authors and I loved it. I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow for the blog tour so please look out for my post then.

Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of this author’s previous Christmas novels Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, and It Started With Christmas so I was looking forward to this one. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as Christmassy and romantic as I’d hoped it would be.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I am so happy that I picked up this audio book as it’s a return to form for the Shopaholic series and I loved this. It was so fun and festive and Becky is as hilarious as ever! I recommend it!

 

What I plan on reading next:

Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle & Maureen Johnson

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a couple of years and am determined to get to it this week so that I can watch the new Netflix film of it!

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch by Tom Fletcher

I read and loved The Christmasaurus last year so I couldn’t resist buying the sequel this year and I can’t wait to read it!

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (4 Dec 2019)! What are you reading this week?

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

Love, Secret Santa by S. Domingo

I started reading this last night and it’s such a lovely YA Christmas read, I’m very much enjoying this one.

When Stars Will Shine by Emma Mitchell

I’m thoroughly enjoying dipping in and out of this short story collection, it’s such a good read. As this is a book that is raising money for charity I took part in a cover reveal for it a few weeks ago and since then there’s been an issue with pre-orders but that is now all up and running. So if you’d like to know more about the book and to pre-order it please click here.

Pushing Her Luck by B. R. Maycock

I’ve only just started this one but I’m already hooked and I can’t wait to read more of it  over the next couple of days!

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

This is my current audio book which I got from the library. It’s an enjoyable listen so far and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.

I’ll Have What She’s Having by Erin Carlson

I bought this at the weekend and am really enjoying it. It’s a non-fiction book about Nora Ephron’s three rom-coms and it’s such a fun read. I now want to watch When Harry Met Sally for the umpteenth time! 🙂

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

I haven’t read much more of this book since last week I as I got caught up with Christmas reading but I will be getting back to this one very soon.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Body Tourists by Jane Rogers

This was such a good read, something completely different for me but I’m so glad I picked it up. I’ll be reviewing this once I’ve got my thoughts in order.

The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

This was a fun read about a group gathering and secrets being uncovered. It was a quick, enjoyable book.

Home Truths by Tina Seskis

I really enjoyed this thriller, I read it all in one sitting as I was desperate to know what was going on. I reviewed this yesterday so you can read my full thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

Bowie’s Bookshelf by John O’Connell

I really enjoyed dipping in and out of this book during Non-Fiction November. I wrote a mini review of this on Monday as part of my wrap-up post so you can read that here if you’d like to.

All the Water in the World by Karen Raney

This book was different than I was expecting but it was a good read and I’m glad I read it. I hope to get a review up of this one very soon.

Dopesick by Beth Macy

This book was such an interesting and moving read and I’m so glad I read it. I knew a reasonable amount about the opioid crisis but this book was still eye-opening to me. I wrote a mini review on Monday which you can find here.

Snowglobe by Amy Wilson

This is a lovely, moving middle grade read and I really enjoyed it.

Christmas Under the Stars by Karen Swan

I’m sorry to say that I found this such a disappointing read. I downloaded the audio from the library and was looking forward to a festive read but it has nothing to do with Christmas at all. There is a blink and you miss it mention of Christmas and that’s it. It was an okay read but not what it was billed to be.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler

This was on my TBR for last week and I didn’t quite get to it so it’s definitely a priority for the coming week, I’m looking forward to this one.

Last Christmas by Emma Thompson & Greg Wise

I’m also really keen to get to this as I love having a Christmas book that I can dip in and out of in December.

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

I’ve had the ebook of this on my TBR ever since it was first published so when I spotted the audio book on my library app this week I immediately downloaded it. This will definitely be my next audio book and I can’t wait!

One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot

I got this book on Kindle when it was free recently so I think I’m going to buy the audio book so I can part-read and part-listen to this one. I love Mandy’s Christmas books so I have high hopes for this one. I’ve previously read and reviewed One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot and I adored it!

 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (20 Nov 2019)! What are you reading this week?

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

This book is so good! The amount of research that the author must have had to do in order to give such a full picture of each of these women’s life is so impressive. I’m in awe of her. This is a book that I want to both savour and devour, it’s brilliant. I have no doubt that this will be one of my standout books of the year.

Constellations by Sinead Gleason

This is also a brilliant read and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been dipping in and out of it but I’ve reached a point where I don’t want to put it down, it’s so good.

Bowie’s Bookshelf by John O’Connell

I only started this book last night so I’m not very far into it but I know I’m going to to enjoy it. I think it might be one I dip in and out of over the next week or two.

Snowglobe by Amy Wilson

In my quest to catch up with my NetGalley ARCS as much as I can before the year is out this book is the next on my list. I’ve only read the opening chapter so far but it feels like a very lovely, magical book.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman

This is such a lovely, romantic book and I really enjoyed it. I’ll be reviewing it next week for the blog tour so please look out for my thoughts then.

The School Friend by Alison James

This is an ARC that has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while so I finally read it this week and it was an enjoyable read.

How to be Human by Ruby Wax

This was one of my Non-Fiction November picks and I’m glad I finally read it. It’s a good overview of how to deal with emotions around certain things and has a decent guide to easy mindfulness exercises in the back. My full review is here.

Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin

I listened to the audio book of this and really enjoyed it. Armistead Maupin narrates it himself which really added to my enjoyment of his memoir. It’s made me want to start reading Tales of the City all over again so I may do that in the new year!

Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly by Jim Rogatis

I borrowed this book from the library audio books app on a whim and I’m really glad I got to listen to this one. It’s written by a journalist who has been looking into the revelations about R. Kelly since the 90s so it’s a really interesting and insightful book. I recommend it.

James Baldwin and the 1980s by Joseph Vogel

I’d almost finished this book when I wrote my post last week and I’m really pleased that I stuck with this one as it turned out to be such a fascinating book. It’s sparked my interest to want to read all of James Baldwin’s writing (I’ve only read a couple of his books before). My thoughts on it are here if you’d like to know more.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I listened to this on audio and I’m so glad I did. There’s nothing like a memoir that’s read by the author and this book was such a treat. I adored this book and I highly recommend it.

 

What I plan on reading next:

One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster

This is my next planned Christmas read and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got an ARC from NetGalley but I think I’m going to get the audio book so I can listen to it as I read.

When Stars Will Shine by Emma Mitchell

This is a Christmas short story collection and I’ve been so keen to start reading it so I think I’m going to dip in and out of this one over the next week or two.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

This is the next book I want to read from my Non-Fiction November TBR. I’ve heard such good things about this and I can’t wait to start it.

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

This is also on my Non-Fiction November TBR and I think this is the one I’ll pick up after Three Women as I’m keen to read this one before the end of the month.

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves with my new Book Haul!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

Books and eBooks

Born Lippy: How to do Female by Jo Brand

A lovely blogger friend very kindly sent me her copy of this book this week. It’s a book that I’m really keen to read so I’m going to try and get to it this month while it’s Non-Fiction November!

Christmas With Dull People by Saki

I spotted this book online this week and bought it purely based on the title as I was really intrigued by it. It’s a tiny book with a couple of short stories in so I’m looking forward to reading this one next month.

A Fabulous Creation: How LPs Saved Our Lives by David Hepworth

I’ve previously read one of David Hepworth’s books and very much enjoyed it so when I spotted this one on sale on kindle this week I immediately downloaded it. I can never resist books about music and records!

The Corset by Laura Purcell

This was another impulse buy when I saw this was on a kindle daily deal this week. It sounds like my kind of novel and it’s one I think will be good to read as the nights draw in so I don’t think this will be on my TBR for very long.

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

And another impulse buy from the kindle daily deal! I grabbed this one as I noticed that if I bought this I could download the audio version for £2.99 so I think I’ll do that and listen to this one. It sounds like an interesting book!

One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot

I read and loved a Christmas book by this author a couple of years ago so I couldn’t resist adding this one to my TBR this week! It sounds like a really lovely festive romance!

 

Audio Books

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Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly by Jim DeRogartis

I downloaded this book from my library audio book app this week on a whim. I’ve already started listening to this one and it’s really interesting – I’m about 90 mins into the book and I’ve already found out things that I didn’t know before so I’m keen to get back to this one.

 


 

Audible had a 2 for 1 book sale on last weekend and I had a couple of credits so I bought these four audio books!

Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher

I chose this book on a whim as it sounded like a really engrossing family saga set around Christmas and I thought it would make a good listen throughout December.

One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley by Carol Ann Lee

I spotted this book and decided to get it as I’m always intrigued to know more about the backgrounds and psychology of people like Myra Hindley.

You Left Early by Louisa Young

I’ve had this book on my wish list for ages so I snapped this up when I saw it in the offer.

Look What You Made Me Do by Helena Walmsley-Johnson

I also got this book off my wish list as I’ve been wanting to read it ever since it was first published.

 

ARCs

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

I’ve been so keen to read this book so when I saw it on NetGalley this week I immediately requested it and was delighted to be approved. If I love this as much as I think I’m going to I will definitely be buying it in hardback to have on my bookcase.

When Stars Will Shine edited by Emma Mitchell

This book should have been in last week’s book haul but I somehow managed to miss adding it so I’m sharing it now. This is a Christmas short story collection that is raising money for charity to Help the Heroes. I’m really looking forward to starting this one!


 

Have you bought any new books over the last week? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.