Christmas novel recommendations!

merry christmas

Today I’m posting a round-up of Christmas books that I’ve read and reviewed this festive period in case you’re looking for a last minute Christmas read or Christmas book gift!

merry mistletoe

I’ve read some wonderful and magical Christmas books this year so it’s near impossible to pick my favourites. I do have a real soft spot for Emma Davies’ Merry Mistletoe as it was different to any Christmas book I’ve read in a long time, not just this year, and I loved all the comforting imagery around feathers and robins. This is a short novel and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone looking for a comforting read this Christmas.

The Boy Under the Mistletoe by Katey Lovell

I also adored Katey Lovell’s latest Meet Cute short story The Boy Under the Mistletoe. It’s a delicious five-minute read that will warm your heart and will instantly having you feeling more festive!

One Wish in Manhattan

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot became an instant favourite of mine and I know it’s a novel that I will come back to for many Christmases to come. It’s a gorgeous novel set entirely in the build up to Christmas, it has elements of A Christmas Carol running through it and won’t fail to make anyone feel festive.

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce was brilliant! It’s perfect for anyone who loves films like Freaky Friday – I love body-swap books where characters become someone else and literally have to walk in their shoes for a period of time and setting this over the festive period just made it even better. It’s a fab read!

The Winter Wedding

Abby Clements’ latest novel The Winter Wedding is more of a winter themed book than a Christmas one and yet it made me feel so festive. I think it’s the build up to a winter wedding – snow combined with romance is such a magical mix!

Holly Martin released two Christmas novels this year, both set in White Cliff Bay (Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes on Silver Cove) but featuring different characters (although if you read both you may spot some familiar characters popping up). I adored both of these novels – Holly just writes with a perfect mix of humour, romance, and festivity!

winter's fairytale (1)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey is such a perfect Christmas romance. The whole novel is set in the couple of weeks before Christmas so it’s as festive as can be!

What Happens at Christmas_FINAL

T. A. Williams Christmas novel What Happens at Christmas is a lovely Christmas novel. It’s set in a beautiful village, with Chocolate box cottages and friendly locals. I loved it.

how to stuff up christmas

I adored How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake. It’s a perfect mix of being hilariously funny and incredibly heart-warming!

Christmas wishes and mistletoe kisses

I read Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale as part of Bookouture Christmas and am so glad I got the chance to read this novel. It’s a really sweet story about what is really important at Christmas and how spending time with other people can really help us be better versions of ourselves.

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I just read The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson this week and I loved it. It’s all how opening yourself up to new experiences can lead to unexpected and wonderful things happening.

Snowed in for her Wedding

Snowed in the for her Wedding by Emma Bennet is a short novella, but it’s a lovely story. I loved how a whole community pulled together at Christmas to help their local girl Gwen have her Christmas Eve wedding despite the heavy snow.

christmas at cranberry cottage

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland is a lovely novella. I most enjoyed the nostalgia in this story, as the main character tries to save her Gran’s cottage and reminisces about growing up there and all the Christmases spent in that lovely home.


 

**Amendment 23 December 2015**

every time a bell rings

Last night I finished reading Every Time A Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington and it simply has to be added to this list, it’s such a gorgeous and utterly perfect Christmas read! It’s inspired by It’s A Wonderful Life and is just magical, go read it! It’s up there with my all-time favourite Christmas reads!


 

I hope this helps you find the perfect Christmas read for over the next week or so. You really can’t go wrong with any of the above books, they’re all wonderful.

Wishing you all a very happy and book-filled Christmas!

 

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (5th December)

I don’t know where the weeks are going at the moment, I can’t quite believe that it’s Saturday again already and time for my weekly wrap-up post!

I’ve realised over the last few days that due to my physio schedule increasing I simply don’t have the energy and brain power to read as many books, or to write as many reviews or posts on my blog. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to post as and when I can, or whether to try and make some sort of schedule so I still have regular posts. If any of you have any suggestions on how to manage book blogging alongside a hectic real life then please let me know in the comments. Any and all advice is much appreciated.

This week on my blog I’ve posted my usual WWW Wednesday, and Book Beginnings posts. I also did my monthly wrap-up for November.


 

My week in books:

I’ve read four books this week and have managed to review all of them.

(Please click on the links below the images to read my reviews)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce


 

stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week:

This week there has been a huge sale on Kindle books due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and I went completely and utterly one-click happy! I was debating whether to post pics of all of the books I bought as it will show how out of control I’ve been this week, or whether I should just post highlights. In the interests of always been truthful on my blog, I’m listing them all. Please don’t judge me!

The first four books are books I already own, and have already read, in print but when I spotted them on sale as ebooks I decided to buy them in this format as well.

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Janette Winterson

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

The following are all books on my wishlist that dropped in price over the past few days and so I couldn’t resist buying them!

The Story of a Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (sale)

The Novel Cure by Susan Elderkin (sale)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (sale)

Little White Lies by Lesley Lokko (sale)

The Gallery of Lost Husbands by Natasha Solomons (sale)

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf (sale)

Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin (sale)

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (sale)

Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (sale)

The Other Child by Charlotte Link (sale)

Winter Flowers by Carol Coffey (sale)

The Island Hideaway by Louise Candlish  (sale)

Never Broken by Hannah Campbell (sale)

The House of Frozen Dreams by Sere Prince Halverson (sale)

The Happy Hoofer by Celia Imrie (sale)

Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer (sale)

 

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (sale)

Murder by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough (sale)

Skellig by David Almond (sale)

Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking (sale)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (sale)

All Day Long by Joanna Biggs (sale)

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (sale)

Coming Up Trumps by Jean Trumpington (sale)

Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill (sale)

26 Miles to the Moon by Andrew Males (sale)

Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid (sale)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales (sale)

No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue (sale)

Learning to Speak American by Colette Dartford (sale)

The Hidden Legacy by G. J. Minett (sale)

 

The next four books are all Christmas books that I couldn’t resist buying even though I’m not sure I have time to read all the Christmas novels I already own!

Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories by Enid Blyton (sale)

Wish Upon A Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn (sale)

A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby (sale)

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse (sale)

And the last two books that I bought this week were two books that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and couldn’t resist them any longer. The Melissa Hill book was just released on Thursday and I’ve been waiting for it to be out!

A Diamond from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

Paulina and Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

 

Review books received this week:

Snowed in for her Wedding by Emma Bennet (ebook)

Callie’s Christmas Countdown by Julie Ryan (ebook)

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon (ebook)

As Weekends Go by Jan Brigden (ebook)

A Savage Hunger by Claire McGowan (ebook)

The Ballroom by Anna Hope (ebook)

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell (print book)

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald (print book)

The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements (print book)

 

IMG_3383

 

And I won a proof copy of The Missing Husband by Amanda Brooke in a completion run by Shazsbookblog.

 

 

Review: The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up is a gorgeous festive novel. Calvin works hard at the office and thinks his wife has it easy with her part-time job in the local cafe and looking after their two children. Judy thinks her husband could help her out a bit more instead of coming home from the office and going out to football or down to the pub with his mates. They each think the other has a much easier life and one night, just two weeks before Christmas, they both wish to swap places and in the morning they find that their wish has been granted. This novel is in the vein of Freaky Friday and 13 Going on 30 and is a wonderfully funny novel.

I can never resist a body swap film or book, and this novel is up there with the best of them – I loved it. I think just about everyone at one point or another in their life has wished they could swap places with someone else; it’s human nature. I don’t think we ever think through all the consequences of such a thing happening though, which is what makes this novel so entertaining.

During the time they’ve swapped bodies some very funny situations occur and it makes for a very entertaining read. I found myself giggling quite a few times while reading this book. It was very amusing when Judy or Calvin would forget they were in the other’s body and would speak as if they were themselves. I loved how Calvin decided to ignore his boss’s swearing and replace all the swear words in his head with Christmas words, it was very funny at times and had me thinking I may well do the same!

I loved how it was obvious all the way through this novel that Calvin and Judy still love each other very much, they’ve just got set in their ways and have begun to take each other for granted. This wasn’t about a marriage that was in trouble, they’re just a couple that needed a reminder of all that the other does for them. It was a wake up call to what they’re missing out on or not making time for.

Ultimately, this novel is all about how everyone could do to put themselves in someone else’s shoes from time to time to try and understand life from another’s perspective. This works so well as a Christmas novel because this is the season where we’re urged to be kind to each other and to be more giving.

The Mince Pie Mix-Up is set in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and so is very festive. It’s a funny and very heart-warming novel, and I highly recommend it. I rate it 4.5 out of 5.

I received this book from Carina UK via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Mince Pie Mix-Up is out now and available from Amazon.

WWW Wednesday (2nd December)

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?

What I’m reading now:

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

I’m finding this book to be such a compelling read – whenever I have to stop reading I look forward to getting back to it.

Synopsis:

We accepted it was terrorism. But what if we were wrong? What if London’s July bombings were the greatest criminal deception of our time? 7 July 2005: In the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest terrorist investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police. Who masterminded London’s summer of terror? Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation? Are the bombers the perfect pretext to mask a different plot entirely? Is Jake’s absent Security Service girlfriend really who she claims to be? While hunting for the answers to the most complex terrorist case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time. Terror, extremism and fear of the unknown, Sometimes the answer is much closer to home.

make a christmas wish

Make a Christmas Wish by Julia Williams

I’m finding this book to be much more emotional than I expected.

Synopsis:

Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.
And she’s not ready to go just yet! She’s furious about the new woman in her husband’s life and she’s worried about her beloved son who doesn’t seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.
This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?

Beneath the Surface- Killer Whales

Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, Seaward, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish by John Hargrove

I watched the Blackfish documentary a while ago and ever since have wanted to know more so when this book caught my eye I couldn’t resist buying it. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters so far but it’s very interesting.

Synopsis:

Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld’s U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld’s wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld’s orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act. In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favourite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld. Hargrove’s journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix Up by Jennifer Joyce

This is such a fun read! I can never resist a body swap movie or book, and this one is everything you could wish for. Fab!

Synopsis:

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…

A hilarious, feel-good festive read, perfect to curl up with this Christmas. Fans of Carole MatthewsJane Costello and Mandy Baggot will love this story! As will fans of Freaky Friday or 13 Going on 30!

IMG_3340

100 Poem Challenge Pamphlet by Jen Campbell

I bought this a while ago and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. It was delivered yesterday and I’m forcing myself to read the poems slowly so I can savour them. It’s utterly beautiful though, I’m so glad I bought a copy.

Synopsis

On 6th & 7th October 2015, author Jen Campbell wrote 100 Poems in 48 hours to raise money for The Book Bus – a charity which funds mobile libraries across Africa, Ecuador and India. These poems were made into a limited edition pamphlet.

I’m also still reading A Notable Woman ed. by Simon Garfield.

What I recently finished reading: 

Click the links in the list below the images to read my reviews.

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

Don’t Jump by Vicky Abelson

What I plan on reading next:

Snowed in for her Wedding

Snowed in for her Wedding by Emma Bennet

Synopsis:

A lovely Christmas romance short read that you won’t want to put down
Christmas is coming to the little Welsh town of Tonnadulais, and the much-loved characters from ‘The Green Hills of Home.’ But this year it’s somewhat overshadowed by a rather special wedding taking place on Christmas Eve.
Local girl Gwen Jones is finally marrying her man, London publisher John Thatcher, and she couldn’t be happier. Though as her friends and beloved mother help her prepare for the big day, Gwen can’t suppress the little nagging doubt that John shouldn’t still be stuck working in London the day before their wedding. Has the city boy changed his mind about marrying his country girl?
When a huge snow storm hits, it seems John might not to be able to make it back to her, whether he wants to or not.
Join Gwen, John, and Oscar the dog, in this Christmassy treat guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit!

Even Angels Fall by F. L. Darbyshire

Even Angels Fall by F. L. Darbyshire

Synopsis:

After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape. As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems. But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for? Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?

The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

Synopsis:

Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?
Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him.
Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down. Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…


 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

WWW Wednesday (25 November)

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?

What I’m reading now:

the widow

The Widow by Fiona Barton

(Due to be published 14th January 2016)

Blurb:

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.
But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.
Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.
But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.
Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

 

Don't Jump by Vicki Abelson

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson

(Out now)

Blurb:

Don’t Jump, chronicles a woman’s quest to find her place and purpose amidst sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and celebrity. It’s a story of unfulfilled potential, addiction, and bad behavior. Ultimately, it s a story of redemption, told with levity and a wicked sense of fun.
Don’t Jump takes us backstage and off-screen with a world famous athlete, rockers, movie stars, and some of the biggest names in comedy. A unique female perspective,
It’s an inside view from an outsider. From the kings of late night, to America’s number 1 shock jock, to the top sitcom earners of all time, we glimpse their humanity, previously unexposed.
Andi’s story drives Don’t Jump her descent and her resurrection. The celebrities who populate her life add spice and flavor but, it’s Andi’s perceptions that fuel the narrative. Smart, sassy and sexy, she projects confidence and success. But beneath her cool exterior, she knows she’s “simple, boring and fat.”
Seeking solutions for her disintegrating marriage, tumultuous show biz ups and downs, her slow and painful recovery, and mid-life transition, Don’t Jump explores Andi’s journey to make her life count.

SEARCH FOR the TRUTH

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman

(Out now)

Blurb:

Sometimes the truth hurts … 
When journalist Tess Johnson takes a job at Helix pharmaceuticals, she has a very specific motive. Tess has reason to believe the company are knowingly producing a potentially harmful drug and, if her suspicions are confirmed, she will stop at nothing to make sure the truth comes out.
Jim Knight is the president of research and development at Helix and is a force to be reckoned with. After a disastrous office affair he’s determined that nothing else will distract him from his vision for the company. Failure is simply not an option.
As Tess and Jim start working together, both have their reasons for wanting to ignore the sexual chemistry that fires between them. But chemistry, like most things in the world of science, isn’t always easy to control.

I’m also still reading from last week: 

A Notable Woman   winter's fairytale   bossypants

A Notable Woman ed. by Simon Garfield

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey

Bossypants by Tina Fey

What I recently finished reading: 

(Click the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews and to find out more about the books)

IMG_3242  IMG_3270  Follow Me by Angela Clarke  9781782641759  the secret by the lake

Hello, Goodbye an Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas (I’m on the blog tour for this novel tomorrow so my review will be posted then. I can tell you that I loved it though!)

What I plan on reading next:

Aside from reading review books to order of either publication date or a date agreed with the publisher/author, I tend not to plan what I’ll be reading next. The following books are the ones that are jumping out to me the most as I write this post and as they’re all review books I’ll definitely be reading them at some point in the next few weeks.

 

 

when we were

When We Were by Alexandra Diaz

(Out now)

Blurb:

No one messes with Whitney Blaire or her friends, which is why she can’t help but let it slip that someone spotted Tara’s boyfriend making out with one of the guy cheerleaders.
Even after spending hours training for her marathon, down-to-earth Tara can’t outrun the rumors about the boyfriend she thought was perfect.
Pinkie, the rock and “Big Sister” of their inseparable group, just wants things to stay exactly the way they are…
…but that’s not possible when new-girl Riley arrives in school and changes everything.
Suddenly Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before—for anyone—while Whitney Blaire tries to convince her that this new girl is Trouble. Meanwhile, Pinkie’s world begins to crumble as she begins to suspect that the friends she depends on are not the girls she thought she knew. Can friendship survive when all the rules are broken?

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

(Out Now)

Blurb:

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…

A christmas cracker

A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley

(Out now)

Blurb:

A WONDERFUL STORY with a great BIG HEART. This is Trisha at her best.

This Christmas is about to go off with a bang!

Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabby. Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she suddenly finds herself without a job. Then to make matters worse, Tabby’s boyfriend dumps her and gives her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes in the form of kindly Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays, Mercy wants Tabby to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together, they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers.

But someone has other ideas. Mercy’s nephew Randal thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. Stubborn, difficult and very attractive, her future depends upon winning him round. But it’s that time of the year when miracles really can happen. Standing under the mistletoe, Tabby’s Christmas is set to be one that she will never forget . . .

A Christmas Romance Design!

A Christmas Romance by Amy Perfect (Lynda Renham)

(Out now)

I have an interview with Lynda Renham on my blog today, please check that out here.

Blurb:

Romance is the last thing on Frankie Bell’s mind as she gets ready for Christmas in the English village of Little Perran. It’s going to be a quiet affair once the annual Great Little Perran Christmas Bake Off cake competition is over, with Frankie, and her little dog Buster, tucked up warmly in Primrose Cottage. Fate, however, has other plans and Little Perran is thrown into turmoil when the film star, Roux Lockhart, comes to stay.

The spirit of the season weaves its magic and a freak snow storm that blows in a surprise visitor. Frankie discovers love from an unexpected quarter, but can she trust it? And is someone cheating with their Christmas cake?

A delightful Christmas love story to be enjoyed with a mug of hot chocolate and a roaring log fire.


What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

WWW Wednesdays (18th November)

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?

What I’m reading now:

the jazz files

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

(Out now! My review will be up on Monday 23rd November as part of the blog tour)
I’m thoroughly enjoying reading this novel, I haven’t read anything like it for such a long time and it feels like a real treat.

Blurb:

“It stands for Jazz Files,” said Rollo. “It’s what we call any story that has a whiff of high society scandal but can’t yet be proven… you never know when a skeleton in the closet might prove useful.” Set in 1920, The Jazz Files introduces aspiring journalist Poppy Denby, who arrives in London to look after her ailing Aunt Dot, an infamous suffragette. Dot encourages Poppy to apply for a job at The Daily Globe, but on her first day a senior reporter is killed and Poppy is tasked with finishing his story. It involves the mysterious death of a suffragette seven years earlier, about which some powerful people would prefer that nothing be said…Through her friend Delilah Marconi, Poppy is introduced to the giddy world of London in the Roaring Twenties, with its flappers, jazz clubs, and romance. Will she make it as an investigative journalist, in this fast-paced new city? And will she be able to unearth the truth before more people die?

 

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

(Due to be published 3rd December)

This book is so good and near impossible to put down but is utterly terrifying at the same time. I’m over half way through and am suspicious of  just about everyone in this novel!

Blurb:

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …

 

the silent dead

The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan

(Due to be published on 19th November)

I started reading this last night and it’s brilliant! It’s so good to be catching up with Paula Maguire again. This is one of my favourite book series!

Blurb:

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.

Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.

ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?

 

bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey

(Out now!)

I’m listening to the audiobook of this and am really enjoying it. 

Blurb:

Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.

Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and ‘Sarah Palin’, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

 

I’m also still reading from last week: 

A Notable Woman   winter's fairytale   hello goodbye and everything in between

A Notable Woman ed. by Simon Garfield (Kindle Book)

Winter’s Fairytale by Maxine Morrey (Kindle Book)

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (Kindle Book)

What I recently finished reading: 

(Click the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews and to find out more about the books)

IMG_3165  What Happens at Christmas_FINAL  the single feather ruth hunt  The Winter Wedding   Sky Lantern

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

What Happens at Christmas by T. A. Williams

The Single Feather by R. F. Hunt

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (review to follow soon)

Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

What I plan on reading next:

the secret by the lake

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas

(Due to be published on 19th November. My review will be up on 26th November as part of the blog tour)

Blurb:

A FAMILY TRAGEDY
Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.
A SISTER’S SECRET
But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.
A WEB OF LIES
Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

 

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin (1)

Sugar and Snails by Anna Goodwin

(Out now!)

The past lingers on, etched beneath our skin …
At fifteen, Diana Dodsworth took the opportunity to radically alter the trajectory of her life, and escape the constraints of her small-town existence. Thirty years on, she can’t help scratching at her teenage decision like a scabbed wound.
To safeguard her secret, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon Jenkins sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, and he expects Di to fly out for a visit. She daren’t return to the city that changed her life; nor can she tell Simon the reason why.
Sugar and Snails takes the reader on a poignant journey from Diana’s misfit childhood, through tortured adolescence to a triumphant mid-life coming-of-age that challenges preconceptions about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

 

the mince pie mix up

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

(Out now!)

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…

 

the drowning lesson

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

(Out now!)

The press conference, one year ago
Our home is a crime scene now.
I am in yesterday’s clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he’d belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world.
We should be grateful.
‘Our son . . . Sam . . .’ My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. ‘Someone took him. Please help us . . .’
I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary
The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.
Not minus one child.
A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?

 

How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens (1)

How To Get Ahead in Television by Sophie Cousens

(Out now!)

Poppy Penfold desperately wants a career in television. After months of dead-end applications, she gets her big break with a temporary job as a runner for RealiTV. But to land a permanent role, Poppy will need to go head-to-head with fellow runner Rhidian: arrogant, highly competitive – and ridiculously good looking.

Poppy goes all out to impress, but somehow things don’t go to plan. Whether failing to prevent a washed-up soap star from becoming roaring drunk during Scottish game show Last Clan Standing, or managing to scare the horses during the filming of Strictly Come Prancing, Poppy gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. With highly strung presenters and distractingly handsome producers in the mix, it’s Poppy’s determination that will see her win or lose her dream job, and maybe her dream man too…


 

What are you reading today? What have you finished reading this week? What are you hoping to read over the next week? Have you read any of these books? Please share your answers in the comments below.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up and Stacking the Shelves (7 November)

This week has flown by! I’ve had a lot going on in real life this week and so haven’t read quite as much as I would have liked to but I still have lots of bookish things to share with you today.

I started my blog on 19th August this year but didn’t post my first review until 9th September so I’m almost at my two month anniversary of my first book review on here. It was lovely to notice that this week I actually posted my 40th review! I do review every book I read but I hadn’t realised that I’d already reviewed so many. It’s given me a much-needed boost after a week of not-so great news in real life.

I decided this week to add a new page link to the menu at the top of my blog. It is a list of my all-time favourite books. Even before I was a blogger I had a favourites shelf on my Goodreads account and a real-life favourite bookshelf in my home, and I realised when I read an incredible book this week that I really wanted to make a feature out of those books that are in another league of special. The books that rate 10 out of 10 and have that extra magical something that makes you want to treasure that book forever and ever, and you want to shout from the rooftops that everyone should read it! I haven’t yet got the skills to make this part of my blog look super fancy so it’s a work in progress but at least it’s there and every author that makes that section of my blog is very highly honoured. Here’s a link to the page: My Favourite Books of All-TIme! I also have a sideshow in my side-bar showing a loop of covers of the all-time favourite books!

This led me on to the realisation that as I’m a newbie blogger I’ve so far only reviewed one book that is on my favourites book shelf. So, for now I’m adding a list of my favourite books and ideally I’d like to re-read them all and do proper reviews. I don’t have time to do that as well as keep up with new books so I’m thinking i might start a mini reviews section on my blog where I share the blurb of a book and a few words about what it meant to me. This would just be for books on my favourites shelf so that you can all start to see why I love these books so much.


Also on my blog this week:

I currently have a fabulous giveaway (UK only) running for a gorgeous prize courtesy of Katy Hogan.

KATY HOGAN PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Katy Hogan has very kindly offered me this fabulous prize package so that I can run a giveaway. The giveaway is UK only this time. The prize is for one paperback copy of Out of the Darkness, a gorgeous Yankee Candle and a box of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat. 

Please click here to read my review of this incredible book and to find the link to enter the giveaway. Good luck!



This week I have read four books and have posted reviews on all of them. (Click on the titles in the list below the pics to read my reviews)

out of the darkness   12080721_10208053670124026_1305089176_n  time to die  how to stuff up christmas

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan (This book is the first book I’ve read since I started reviewing that has made it on to my all-time favourites shelf, it’s an incredible novel and I can’t recommend it highly enough)

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell

How To Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake


stacking-the-shelves

I’m also joining in with Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews), which is all about sharing all the books you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.

Books I’ve bought this week: 

the marble collector   katherine carlyle   night owlsabout sisterland   The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet   Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks   The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes  Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn  The Prodigal by Nicky Black

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson

Night Owls by Jenn Bennett

About Sisterland by Martina Devlin

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Indecent Acts by Nick Brooks

The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes

Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

The Prodigal by Nicky Black

ARCS I’ve received this week:

The Winter Wedding   look at me sarah duguid  Dead Pretty by David Mark  The Stylist by Rosie Nixon   The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas  The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce   Follow Me by Angela Clarke   Don't Jump by Vicki Abelson

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements (Paperback)

Look At Me Sarah Duguid (Paperback)

Dead Pretty by David Mark (ebook)

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon (ebook)

The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas (ebook)

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce (ebook)

Follow Me by Angela Clarke (ebook)

Don’t Jump by Vicki Abelson (ebook)

Also, I won this lovely signed book in a giveaway this week. It’s How to be Brave by Louise Beech and I can’t wait to read it.

IMG_3031   IMG_3032