Blog Tour: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

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Today I am part of the blog tour for Ali McNamara’s new book The Summer of Serendipity. The Cover is so stunning! When I received a copy to review, I couldn’t wait to jump in… I am such a fan of all of Ali’s books and I knew this wasn’t going to disappoint me.

A bit about the book…
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.
‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.
But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

I loved reading this so much!! I couldn’t put the book down, It was great reading about Serendipity and her adventures with Kiki in Ballykiltara… I was so intrigued with the goings on with ‘The Welcome House’ it kept me guessing right until the very end who could be behind it.

My Favourite Character has to be Kiki as she is just bonkers but in a really good way! Kiki and Ren really make me giggle throughout the book! Reading about Ballykiltara really makes me want to book a holiday to Ireland!

If anyone has read Ali’s Breakfast at Darcy’s then you will read about some familiar characters in this new fab book! It was so great to see what them Characters are upto these days!

Ali’s writing style is so great, she always has her readers hooked with every chapter and she describes places/towns so amazing that you really do wish you could be there too! ( Even if it is a made up island hehe! ) I can never fault her books, Ali McNamara is one of my favourite authors for sure! I’m always recommending her to all my friends!

The Summer of Serendipity is definitely a perfect summer read this year!
I give it 4.5 stars for just being truly fabulous, full of adventure, laughter and some great characters too!
Go Grab a copy now!!

4-stars.5

 

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Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.

When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. www.alimcnamara.co.uk | @AliMcNamara

Blog Tour: Writing and Motherhood by Lucy Clarke

LUCY CLARKE ON WRITING & MOTHERHOOD

The idea for my fourth novel, LAST SEEN, came to me shortly after having my first baby, a beautiful little boy called Thomas Oak. I’d worried that my creativity might fade beneath the weight of sleepless nights and the admin of being a new parent – but in truth, I felt more creative than ever. I picked up my pen when Thomas was a few weeks old and I suddenly felt like I had a wealth of new experiences and emotions to share.

My husband and I co-parent. We’re both self-employed (he’s a professional windsurfer and creator of Bigsalty.com), so we split our working day in half: he looks after the children in the mornings while I write, and then at lunchtime we switch. Although I no longer have the luxury of a full day to write, I use my morning slot with a focus born from necessity.

Six months into writing LAST SEEN, I fell pregnant with my second child, a little girl called Darcy Wren (cue dashing from desk to bathroom in the throes of morning sickness). It was a race against time to finish the novel before she was born, but I signed off the copy edits a fortnight before my due date.

The two lead protagonists in LAST SEEN, Isla and Sarah, are mothers. I think the novel is heavily influenced by the deep well of emotion that parenthood opened in me. Now I’m busy working on my fifth novel, alongside bringing up Darcy and Tommy. Both of my roles – writer and mother – are weaved into the fabric of who I am, and I can’t imagine life without either of them.

19424083_863633683787695_4389404165942464136_nLucy with a copy of her bestselling novel, LAST SEEN

Blog Tour: Catch Me If you Cannes by Lisa Dickenson

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I am thrilled to tell you all that I am part of the blog tour for Lisa’s fantastic new novel Catch me if you Cannes.  Definitely the perfect summer read this year.  My Review is below.

Blurb
Jess has decided it’s time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they’re staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony’s expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It’s just this once. No harm done . . . right?

I have loved every book by Lisa and she is just getting better and better! Lisa definitely knows how to write the perfect character with plenty of things going on that is going to make you laugh lots!

So whats happening?  well Jess has met a boy..yes a gorgeous at that, made lots of new friends and has felt how the other life lives now she may have to go back to her normal self but will she want to?
Jess and Leo are getting on like a house on fire, you could say she has never felt like this before and doesn’t want this holiday to stop…but then her best friend Bryony drops a bombshell and Jess doesn’t quite know whether to believe her or try and prove her Best Friend wrong about Leo?

Jess is such a funny character, she is just plain Jane but as soon as she came to Cannes with her best friend Bryony and has made lots of new friends who like to party, spend lots of money and are in the crowds with celebrities.  She gets her self in some disastrous scenario’s but gives you plenty of giggles! Jess & Leo are so cute together! Their love for Nutella & Crepes is so cute and throughout the book I’m rooting for them to get together!

I cannot fault Catch me If You Cannes at all, It is a perfect summer read and I couldn’t put it down! If you want a book to make you giggle throughout, then your at the right place! Catch Me If You Cannes has plenty of drama, crazy moments, a bit of romance and a dream life anybody would be jealous of Jess & Bryony!
Well everything just gets even more complicated for Jess in the last part of
Catch Me If You Cannes. She is out to prove Leo isn’t a drug lord which Bryony has said he is, but things just get ever so confusing and even more drama happens in Jess’ life. . . I don’t want to say much more because I just think you should buy this and read for yourself!

You will most certainly laugh (be careful of reading in public) and will be hoping Jess gets her happily ever after which is what you want in any chick lit book at the end! The whole book is just pure fantastic with plenty of laughs throughout! Perfect Summer read this year.

Thank You Lisa and Clara at Little Brown for letting me part of this amazing blog tour! I’ve enjoyed the book ever so much! I am going to be passing the book on to my friends so they can all have a giggle while reading this amazing book like I did.
When’s the next book Lisa?
You Fantastic Lady!

I reward Catch Me If You Cannes 5 fantastic, amazing, sizzling hot shimmering stars.
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About the author:
dickensonlisa-c-phil-dickensonLisa Dickenson is the pseudonym for Beyoncé. OK, FINE, THAT’S NOT TRUE.

Lisa lives by the Devon seaside, stuffing cream teas in the gobs of anyone who comes to visit, and writing stuff down that she hopes is funny. Her first novel was the copyright-infringing Sweet Valley Twins: The Twins Holiday Horror, which she wrote in primary school and gave up on after five pages. Twenty-ish years later Lisa went on to be a *real author* and wrote the Novelicious Debut of the Year, The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

Other titles by Lisa Dickenson:

You Had Me at Merlot
Mistletoe on 34th Street

Blog Tour: PaperHearts & Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews

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 Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking.

And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down.
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.

Today I am pleased to say I am part of Carole Matthews Paper Chain Blog tour for her new novel Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses. I need to thank Stephanie Melrose for asking me to be part of the blog tour, I just couldn’t resist when its one of my favourite authors!
I always enjoy Carole’s books, they are all fab! Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses didn’t disappoint at all. Carole is a fantastic author and Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses is her 29th Novel which is a wonderful achievement.

Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses pulls at the heart strings a little bit but also if your a fan of arts & crafts makes you fall in love with this book more. Carole definitely has you on a roller coaster of emotions of laughter and tears. It is a fantastic read that I certainly couldn’t put down.  I don’t want to give too much away as this is a book you need to enjoy yourself as you will love every minute of it.
I loved all of the characters especially Christie, what she goes through I really felt for her at times rooting for her when tragic things happen.With all of Carole’s characters and her writing style you just can’t help but love them all.

Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses is a fabulous beautiful read,tugs on your heart strings and deserves a 5 star rating.
Go grab a copy now!
gie5xyb8T

Book Review: The Escape by C.L Taylor

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Title: The Escape
Author: C L Taylor
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 23rd March 2017

Blurb
“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

My Review

I need to start off by saying this book was terrifyingly good! I love a good psychological thriller and I’ve read Cally’s books before so I knew The Escape wasn’t going to disappoint.

In The Escape we have Jo Blackmore who is a Wife and a Mother, is asked for a lift from a stranger at first she is very unsure that she should however she gives in and let’s the stranger in her car only then she turns nasty and threatens Jo that her husband Max should give something back which doesn’t belong to him… It soon escalates into a nightmare with the police and everyone not believing Jo when things happen in their family home..

As soon as I started reading I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put the book down, i was hooked within the first two chapters. You have chapters from the mother Jo Blackmore then the odd chapter from the person who seems to be out to destroy Jo, which keeps you guessing throughout the book who it could be and leaves you terrified.

Cally really knows how to get her readers hooked into her books, leaving them wanting to really know whats happening, even trying to judge who the person could be throughout the book. Cally’s style of writing is fantastic and i am huge fan of her books.I would highly recommend her books to all my friends & family.

I give the Escape 5 star rating for being amazingly terrifying and keeping me gripped all the way to the end.
gie5xyb8T

Blog Tour: Review of A Thousand Letters By Staci Hart

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Blurb
Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

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I am so chuffed to have signed up to this wonderful ladies new book blog tour. I have seen so many teasers for this book on Facebook so I squeeled with delight when I managed to grab an arc and be part of the blog tour.

Here is my review then, where do I start?!?

I LOVED IT!!! Every single chapter I was hooked, I couldn’t stop reading it, I felt I needed to read more and more about Elliot & Wade. Such a heartbreaking story about two people who clearly love each other very much but what happened between them in the past haunts them both… Can they find happiness with each other again?

I definitely needed tissues while reading A Thousand Letters, I was kinda scared to read in public in case I just became a blubbering wreck!

Staci Hart has written such a fantastic book that many of her readers are going to love this and fall in love with Elliot & Wade. Staci definitely knew how to pull at people’s heart strings with this amazing book. I can’t say anything bad only fantastic words about this book right now.

Everybody go purchase and read it now!
Totally be worth it!
5 amazing stars for a perfect book!

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Read Today:

FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lc28DN Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/x7nolo

Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/SORJXP

About the Author

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Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with the Author:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hv5OA5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacihartnovels
Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaquirkybird
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/
Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Blog Tour: Chapter Extract of If I Ever Fall by S. D. Robertson

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“I want to tell you about what happened in the schoolyard today. I was standing apart from the other mums, as usual. I’ll never be part of their little club and I’ve no desire to be. I’m pretty sure they all either despise me or pity me and, to be honest, I feel pretty much the same about them. The ringleaders – the overdressed, overconfident Queen Bitches, as I call them – make me want to scream. They’re so damn snooty. And I feel sorry for the more timid, frumpy underlings for being at the Queen Bs’ beck and call.

I missed my chance to join ‘the gang’ when Ruby started in reception and I was too busy working to do the school run. That already marked me out as a bad mum in their eyes. They’ll always think so now, even though the new me is in the playground five days a week. It’ll never make a difference. I’ll forever be an outsider: someone talked about in hushed voices behind her back.  That’s small town life for you, I suppose. We made the decision to buy this house – in a semirural spot within commuting distance of the city – and with that comes a specific type of people, people who have, shall we say, certain attitudes. I imagine it would be much the same anywhere in the country as it is here in the north of England. City folk are less judgmental in my experience, or at least better at minding their own business.

In the early days I made the mistake of trying to talk to a couple of them: a pair I later christened Horsey and WAG, not knowing their real names. I walked up to them and said something innocuous. ‘Lovely weather today,’ I think it was. Their response was simply to look down their noses at me for a horrified moment and then to continue chatting with each other as if I didn’t exist. I shuffled away, turned back to watch them giggle. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was back at school myself, but at least I knew to steer clear of them in future.

Not everyone is that way. There are people I could speak to if I so desired. I could always make small talk with the other outsiders: the grandmas and grandpas; the working parents on a rare day off; even the girls in the hi-vis vests from the nearby after-school club. I do occasionally, if I’m feeling chatty, but mostly I keep myself to myself. It’s easier that way.

So there I was, standing alone in my usual spot near the dustbin, avoiding eye contact with everyone around me, and willing Ruby to be the first out. Then someone spoke to me.

‘What’s your secret?’ a deep male voice asked.

There was no doubt he was talking to me, since his mouth was so close to my ear that he could have whispered the question. And as if that wasn’t enough, he touched my shoulder at the same time. I almost jumped out of my skin. orry?’ I said, fighting not to look too shocked as I turned around to see a gorgeous man – six foot, athletic, with dreamy chestnut eyes – beaming a perfect grin at me. Then came this deep, infectious laugh.

‘Don’t look so startled,’ he said. ‘You were behind me on the road. Black Golf, right? I was wondering how you were able to park so quickly. One minute you were there; the next you weren’t. It took me ages to find a space. Do you have a secret spot?’

It feels strange talking to you about a man this way, considering … well, you know. Honesty’s essential, though. I wouldn’t be confiding in you if I held that kind of thing back.

Once I realised what this guy was talking about, I relaxed. To be honest, I could hardly believe that such a handsome stranger had noticed me, never mind started a conversation. He looked in his late thirties, well dressed in a light-grey suit and tie; clean-shaven with cropped hair. I decided to enjoy it, not least because I could see the Queen Bs staring at us, wondering why he was talking to me and not them.

‘Um, there is a spot a few streets away that I tend to use.’

‘I knew it,’ he replied. ‘And let me guess, you’re not going to tell me in case I nick it in future.’

I smiled. ‘It’s not that secret. There’s room for more than one car. Did you see me turn left on to Meadow Street?’

I gave him the directions and, next thing I knew, we were shaking hands.

‘I’m Rick,’ he said.

‘Nice to meet you. I’m Maria.’

I wondered how he’d been able to recognise me just from seeing my car behind his. When I asked him this, he laughed.

‘You stopped for petrol on the way, right? Don’t worry, Maria. I’m not stalking you or anything. I just happened to be doing the same thing. I noticed you at the pump and then you followed me out afterwards.’

Rick explained that he and his daughter, Anna, had recently moved to the area because his job had been relocated. He’s a finance manager for a large retail firm, apparently. I didn’t ask, but there was no mention of any wife or girlfriend. Today was Anna’s first day at her new school, he explained, adding that she was eight, the same age as Ruby. The weird thing was when the school doors opened and Ruby ran out into the playground with Anna in tow, begging me for her new friend to come to play at the house. Coincidence or what?

Before I go on, I must say how much Ruby misses you. Please don’t think for a second that she’s forgotten you and moved on. I could list countless examples of how that’s not the case; they’d break your heart. But again, that’s not why I’m writing to you.

Where was I? Oh yes, Ruby and Anna coming out of school together, all smiles. They were both buzzing about having a new playmate, as kids do. It was lovely to see.

‘Pleeease can she come, Mummy?’ Ruby asked, arms squeezed tight around my legs and puppy-dog eyes peering through her long blonde curls.

I looked over at Rick. He was being accosted in a similar way by his own daughter, who was a little taller than Ruby, with shoulder-length dark hair in neat plaits. ‘What do you think? I’m fine with it if you are.’

‘Sure,’ he replied, flashing his pearly whites at me. ‘When were you thinking?’

‘How about tomorrow?’

I could have invited them there and then, to be honest, but I knew the house was a mess and I didn’t want that to be his or Anna’s first impression of where we lived.

‘Fine with me. Am I invited too?’

‘Of course.’ I smiled. ‘I wouldn’t expect you to entrust your daughter to someone you’d just met.’

He beamed back at me in a way that felt like we might be flirting with each other. ‘I don’t know. You look like a pretty safe bet. And you did share your parking secret with me. We’ll look forward to it, won’t we, Anna?’

She replied with an excited nod.

‘Great. See you here tomorrow, then?’

‘Fantastic.’

And that was it: play date arranged. I’ve been cleaning the house ever since. Tidying up is my way of dealing with the nerves.

I could have imagined the flirting thing; it’s been so long, I’m not sure I even know how to do it any more. Luckily I stopped short of saying: ‘It’s a date.’

I’ll tell you what: I can’t wait to see the look on the Queen Bs’ faces when we leave together. It’ll be priceless.

Time to go now. It’s late and my empty bed awaits. I’ll write again soon.

Love as always,

M

X”