Love among the Treetops by Catherine Ferguson

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When pastry chef Twilight Wilson was a young girl, she would hide from school bullies up in the treehouse at the bottom of her garden in her family home in Sussex. It was her special place, and even as an adult she still loves it.

So when her family tell her they can’t afford to live there any more, Twilight is devastated. Not only will they lose their home – but the treehouse too!

She comes up with a plan to save the family home – she’ll start up a cafe in the treehouse! It’s a brilliant idea, and excitement builds as she starts planning the menus, with the help of Theo – a rather attractive man from the gym. But when former school bully Lucy finds out the plan, she starts plotting – and opens her own rival cafe in the village!

Can Twilight save her family home? Will her friendship with Theo ever be anything more? And who will win the cafe wars?

Review: If you are looking for a great summer read then this is one such book that is perfect to while away some summer hours. It is not your normal chic lit romance style book. It is set around a topic that is very current today. Bullying. You may be thinking how does that fit in and is it written in this authors normally funny and warm writing style? Well she does it extremely well.

Firstly, I just want to point out what a great cover and title. Refreshing is the word that springs to mind when I look at the cover.

I have enjoyed all of Catherine’s previous books and this is no exception. A lovely feel good read full of strong characters that you can relate to.

 

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The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow

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Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…

For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…

Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…

Review: A perfect read especially if you are sat by a lake or river or any kind of water come to that. When I saw this on NetGalley and having read another book by this author I just had to download it. I am so glad I did.

Sometimes when you read another book by a particular author that you like they can be different in small ways and not so good but this was not the case. I adored this book. Water for me is a calming factor and this book was very calming to read. What I would call an easy but exciting read that keeps the pagers turning.

Meet Nell Andrews who’s live is turned upside down but she has a safe haven, her trusty friend her canel boat. Nell gains courage with support from her best friend Bea and decides it is time to move on. Could a handsome Irish man help? Nell has a project that will help her to move on and needs help but there is something mysterious about this man. I love a hidden past that may threaten the future.

A great refreshing book.

 

 

A Dream Come True

My Reading Corner

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Here is my first post for my reading corner and I have decided to share with you one of my dreams. I have always wanted a bay window seat. I have romanticised about sitting or laying on a bay window seat looking out at the view, whatever that maybe, and relaxing while reading a good book.

My husband and I brought a house with bay windows, first step in my dream coming true, now I just needed someone to put a seat in. Along came my wonderful father-in-law who, and I am not biased here is a very good craftsman. He sees things in a totally different way to most people. I came up with some designs based on my dreams and he suggested what would work and what may not. Together we came up with what you see in the photo above. My father-in-law spent days cutting wood to size, which was no easy feat as the measurements were a pain. He even created a CAD drawing so ensure we had the correct measurements for the seat cushion. Once built my lovely husband painted the wood white. Thanks hubby!

The seat cushion was made by somebody else and is another part of making my dream come true. My mother-in-law is a keen upholsterer and using the CAD drawing created by her husband she made covers for the seat (which is made from foam). My husband and I went to Dunelm and chose the fabric even finding matching cushions. I always dreamed it would be cosy, bright and colourful.

I have spent many wonderful hours reading and loosing myself in a world of exciting romantic adventures in different times and places. It really is a dream come true and such an achievement for all involved. Thanks to my in-laws and of course the husband I have the perfect bay window seat.

Until next time

Michelle

 

The Runaway Wife by Dee MacDonald (Blog Tour)

The Summer of Secrets by Tilly Tennet

One evening in early August, while mashing the potatoes for dinner, Connie McColl decides she’s had enough…

Connie McColl is tired of solving one family crisis after another – usually involving her unruly grandchildren – while her husband Roger spends all day at his beloved golf course. Surely it must be time for her to shake off her apron and start living again?

So Connie packs a bag, gets in her little green car and drives off…

On her journey from England to Scotland, Connie stops in on long-lost friends and makes all sorts of colourful new companions along the way. As Connie has the time of her life, sleeping under the stars and skinny dipping in the sea, she finally begins to rediscover herself. And she starts to wonder, will she ever be ready to return home? 

Or will this summer change her life forever?

Review: So, this books is very different from what I am used to reading as the main character is 66 years old, however putting that aside it is a good read.

Connie has had enough and leaves her husband and home. She travels from England to Scotland and along the way meets up with friends from her past and makes new friends to. Connie has many little adventures along the way which evokes feelings and emotions to rise to the surface and she begins to find herself again.

Unfortunately, this book does start slow but get past the first forty percent of the book and you begin to see changes in the character and it makes for a more interesting read. This did make it a hard read for me but a little tweak of events and it would be fine. I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it as it is very funny.

 

Interview with Erica Brown (Blog Tour)

Interview

 

As part of the blog tour for East of India I am delighted to welcome Erica Brown, who has kindly agreed to an interview to celebrate her wonderful book. 

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

What motivated you to become an author?

I had always been a story teller, but if you have a family and a mortgage to pay you always opt for getting paid as quickly as possible. So it wasn’t until I was unemployed and just about homeless that I began using my story telling skill to write novels and was published about 14 months later.

How did you come up with the idea for East of India?

One of my favourite books was A Town Like Alice. Another was Memoirs of a Geisha and another was Black Narcissus. These and my fascination with India and the far east combined to tell the story of a mixed race girl, a mixed race love affair and how war can affect people with divided loyalties.

How do you develop your plots and characters? 

Organically. I never plan things out. I have a vague idea and write the first draft as a template. Both the characters and the plot strengthen as the story evolves.

Where is your favourite place to write?

I haven’t really got one. A friend of mine used to be a commissioning editor and is now copy editor to some very big names. She told me very specifically that the real storytellers don’t care where they are as long as they have a pen, pencil, a notepad – or even a scrap of paper – to hand. They can’t help but write.

What books have most influenced your life?

That is a very difficult question to answer. I have enjoyed many books and each and every one of them attempt to convey some kind of message. As far as East of India is concerned, my interest in that country began with The Far Pavilions.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? 

What lengths would you go to just to live another day, to survive at all costs and to find love in the darkest hours?

What are your future project(s)?

I am currently working on a number of projects, both historical, epic, a children’s novel/script and a fantasy novel. Quite a lot you may say, but there you are; I’m a natural born storyteller – I can’t help it.

Thank you Erica for this wonderful interview. Below is a link where you can go and buy this amazing book. My review of this book has also been posted today as part of the blog tour. 

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

East of India by Erica Brown (Blog Tour)

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India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Review: I would like to thank Canelo for asking me to review and be apart of the blog tour for this book.

This is an amazing story I loved it from this first look of the cover to the last page read. It is brilliantly written and has such amazing depth to it. The plot takes us to some amazing places in different countries, which are beautiful described. The action and emotions jumps out from the page.

Nadine grows from a little girl into a very strong women. She has to as life is tough on her. I don’t want to give too much a way as this is a book that as to be read to fully get the understanding and feel of the novel. The romance in this book gives it a light feel in amongst the tough hardship faced by Nadine.

A marvelous story!

 

The House of Birds and Butterflies by Cressida McLaughlin

 

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Book One: The Dawn Chorus

Abby Field is living the dream. As events coordinator at the Meadowsweet nature reserve on the idyllic Suffolk coast, every day is an adventure with the birds and the butterflies, and she couldn’t feel more at home. When another local nature reserve is chosen as the hot location for a new television series, however, Meadowsweet looks set for seasonal hibernation – unless Abby can whip up a creative plan to keep the visitors flocking.

With the help of the Meadowgreen villagers, and her cute rescue huskie, Raffle, can Abby rescue the nature reserve from oblivion? Or will she be distracted by the arrival of a brooding – and annoyingly handsome – new neighbour…

Book Two: The Lovebirds

A gorgeous new romantic series from the bestselling author of The Canal Boat Cafe

It’s winter at Meadowsweet nature reserve. Wildlife-lover Abby is busy trying to lure in the crowds, and although her event planning is a little on the whacky side, her creative efforts are helping to keep Meadowsweet afloat. She’s not having quite the same luck, however, in getting to know the elusive village newcomer, disgraced celebrity author Jack. It’s clear that Jack has mysterious reasons for staying out of the limelight, and the village rumour mill is in overdrive.

Abby’s passion for the great outdoors is nothing short of infectious and when Jack joins her on a special nature walk, sparks unexpectedly start to fly.

The Lovebirds is the third part of a four-part series
As their relationship thaws, should Abby be on high alert? Or would a new romance be the most natural thing in the world…

Review: These books are the first two in a four-part series.

The House of Birds and Butterflies is a story which is based around a nature reserve which is not doing very well. This is due to a nature reserve near by having a TV series based there. Abby our main character has to draw new visitors but finds that a mysterious neighbour is drawn to her.

A lovely idea for a book, I have read many like this with other types of failing business such as book shops and cafe’s but not one set on a nature reserve which I think is a really fresh idea.

This is very well written which has an easy feel to it. The setting is described beautifully and the character to are easy to connect to.

I can’t wait for part three.