It started with Christmas by Jenny Hale (Blog Tour)

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by T (5)

A beautiful, feel-good Christmas story. You’ll laugh, cry, and fall in love with this wonderfully warm and MAGICAL festive romance…

Holly McAdams loves spending the Christmas holidays at her family’s cozy cabin, with its little red door and twinkling lights, tucked in the snowy hills outside Nashville. But this year will be different. Someone unexpected is joining them…

After Holly and her beloved Nana struggle through a snow storm to reach the cabin, they discover gorgeous and wealthy Joseph Barnes, who has been renting the cabin for the last few weeks, is now snowed in. And it looks like he’ll be staying for the holidays.

Determined to make the best of the surprise situation, Holly tries to bring everyone together by baking delicious treats and decorating the cabin with plenty of festive sparkle. She finds herself growing close to handsome Joseph, who is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, even if Nana isn’t so keen on the dashing stranger with the mysterious past.

But charming and irresistible musician Rhett Burton is also back in town. Thrown into close proximity with the person who used to be her best friend and the man who broke her heart, Holly realizes it’s time to face her feelings and figure out what she really wants from her life. But to complicate things, both Joseph and Rhett have secrets to reveal…

Will Holly be able to find herself and the love she’s always dreamed of this Christmas?

Review: It started with Christmas is one of those novels that you just have to read when the weather is cold outside and you are wrapped up in a blanket all cosy by the fire.

I would like to thank Bookouture and Noelle for arranging the blog tour and letting me review this wonderful book.

Holly loves a cosy Christmas with her family in their cabin all decked out in its festive splendour. However, this year is going to be very different with the absence of her beloved Grandpa and the sudden appearance of a handsome Joseph.

I adored this read, for me it sums up what Christmas is all about. Love and family with a sprinkle of magic. A beautiful setting, snowed in in a log cabin at Christmas is my kind of dream. A perfectly written Christmas romance.

Christmas is not right without a Jenny Hale book.

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Second Chances at the Log Fire Cabin by Catherine Ferguson (Blog Tour) + an extract

Her Mother's Secret by Rosanna Ley (5)

It’s time to cosy up this winter…

When Roxy proposes to her boyfriend Jackson in a moment of madness on live TV, she’s mortified when he rejects her. To escape the embarrassment, she takes a job working as baking assistant at the idyllic Log Fire Cabin. Roxy hopes the new job will take her mind off Jackson, because to her eternal annoyance, she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him…
But when Jackson turns up at the cabin unexpectedly, things begin to go wrong. With a sprinkle of snow, the help of new friends and more than a couple of mince pies, can Roxy heal her heart in time for Christmas?

Here is an extract from Second Chances at the Log Fire Cabin: 

Although it’s only the first week in December, Christmas has arrived in style on the high street. The shops, bars and restaurants glimmer with fairy lights and a huge Christmas tree takes pride of place in the town square.

My mood soars. I love Christmas. I love the lights and the glitter. I love going for frosty walks and coming home to hot chocolate by a roaring fire. I love everything about it, really. And, this year, it’s going to be even more special than usual.

I smile up at Jackson, loving the feel of his warm hand wrapped around mine. Tonight is going to be a good night!

In the bar, we find a cosy corner table and I order a Manhattan, which makes me giggly and slips down almost before I realise. I insist on buying the next round, which is eye-wateringly expensive but well worth it, because I’m a Piña Colada convert! I tell myself it’s a special night and I won’t have to worry quite so much about rent now that I’m moving in with Jackson.

I assume we’ll head off to the studios after that, but just as we’re leaving the bar, a crowd of people that Jackson knows walks in, so naturally we stay to chat a little. From the conversation he’s having with a couple of the guys and a woman in a stunning sequinned mini dress, I gather they’re on a work night out from a company Jackson occasionally does business with.

He introduces me simply as ‘Roxy’ – no mention of the word ‘girlfriend’, which I try not to mind about. We’ve only been going out a couple of months, after all, and maybe Jackson didn’t want to be presumptuous. We join them at their table for a drink.

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank Avon for asking me to review and be apart of the blog tour for Second Chances at the Log Fire Cabin.

Second Chances at the Log Fire Cabin is a laugh out loud, cosy Christmas read. Perfect to read on a night in from the cold winter nights wrapped in a warm blanket in front of the fire.

Roxy needs to lick her wounds after an embarrassing moment on national TV and arrives at the log fire cabin, however she may want to escape her life for a little while but her life is following her here. Roxy is a girl who is brave enough or perhaps crazy to take chances even though she may not be the best at them to try to move on in life. Roxy is a girl who I took to my heart.

A brilliant Christmas read.

 

Second Chances at the Log Fire Cabin Blog Tour

The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly (Blog Tour)

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by T (3)

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank Poppy for arranging this blog tour. When this book landed on my doorstep I could not help but marvel over the lovely cover.

This story is from three view points which makes for an interesting read. We follow three strong women’s journeys as they overcome some very heart breaking and emotional moments in their lives. The emotion just pours out from the pages. I was totally engaged and routing for all of their happy endings.

Cathy Kelly brings women to the fore front of this novel and it made me stop and think about things. As the title says it really was the year that changed everything.

Brilliant read. Will be looking out for more from Cathy Kelly.

 

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The Spitfire Girl by Fenella J Miller (Blog Tour)

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by T (2)

With the men on the front line, courageous Ellie must do her bit for the war effort.

It’s 1939 and the threat of war hangs over the country…

Flying instructor Ellie Simpson has grown up a tomboy. She’s never had an interest in the latest fashions or finding a husband, her only passion is flying her beloved Tiger Moth. But when war is declared, she is no longer be able to do what she loves most – fly.

When Ellie is offered the opportunity to join the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, she jumps at the chance to help keep the brave boys in the RAF safe. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Ellie realises that this war could tear both the country she loves – and her heart – apart…

Review: I read The Spitfire Girl in one sitting! It really is that good!

I would like to thank Aria for asking me to review and be apart of the blog tour for The Spitfire Girl.

Ellie Simpson is a tomboy at heart and enjoys working at the airfield which is based on her father’s farm. Despite her mother she takes her love of flying to new levels and joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force to do her bit for the war.

The Spitfire Girl is a well written book which captures the very essence of a perfect historical fiction saga. The characters literally come to life and are very strong. As I read I could picture the farm and airfield vividly in my head. I adore Ellie she is a perfect lead character and I love how she handles life. I cannot wait to continue her story in the next book in the series.

I am so glad that I agreed to review this book. I am looking forward to the next instalment coming out next year!

 

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No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley (Blog Tour)

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by T

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

Review: A fast, paced, festive romance from one of my top authors.

Firstly, I would like to thank Rachel Gilbey from Rachel’s Random Resources who asked me to be apart of this blog tour and secondly Zara who has created a brilliant Christmas story.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort sounds like the perfect Christmas getaway to experience all the festive magical treats that come around once a year however, if the reviews are anything to go by it is anything but festive. Sarah whose business is going to suffer if things do not change takes on the responsibility of Will Armstrong, who is Scrooge wrapped in a handsome mans body, and decided to spend Christmas with him at The Shooting Star Mountain Resort. With personal issues to overcome this Christmas and Will to deal with can she create a happy Christmas again a the Shooting Star Mountain resort.

I adored this laugh out loud Christmas read. It’s fast paced and you quickly created attachments to the characters.  The setting is perfect for a cosy, festive Christmas.

This is a perfect read for Christmas.

 

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Interview with Kate Ryder (Blog Tour)

 

Interview

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Meet Kate Ryder: 

After pursuing a career in publishing and acting, Kate found her passion in writing. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her self-published debut novel received a Chill with a Book, “Book of the Month” Award. She currently lives with her husband in the Tamar Valley in a renovated 200-year-old Cornish sawmill. She finds the Cornish landscape a great source of inspiration. When she is not writing she enjoys reading, art, theatre and travel.

Thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog, I really do appreciate it.

It’s a privilege to appear on your blog, Michelle.  Thank you for inviting me. 

Please tell us a little about Cottage on a Cornish Cliff and where the idea for the book came from?

Cottage on a Cornish Cliff is the continuing story of Oliver and Cara, who throughout the course of the book deal with acceptance, forgiveness and trying to put things right.  Although both Oliver and Cara realise they have experience a love that only happens once in a lifetime, each has taken the mature decision of putting aside any personal gratification for the sake of their respective families.

 At the end of Summer in a Cornish Cove I knew Oliver and Cara’s story wasn’t over, and in my head their journey continued.  It was only when several reviewers begged me to write a sequel that I decided I had to share their continuing story.

This is a sequel, did you know how you wanted the characters journey to play out before writing or did you find the characters had a mind of their own?

I had an idea how the characters’ journey would play out, but – and this is the magic of writing – the characters had a habit of taking over and telling their own story, and often went off-piste!

In the book Summer in a Cornish Cove, depression is something that plays an important part of the story. Was it important for you to get the message about depression across to the readers and does it play a part in the next book?

I felt it was important to get the message about depression across to readers.  So often depression is mistaken as weakness and I wanted to show that even though the world may know a person by his (or her) public image, a psyche is fragile and “things” may not always be as they appear.  In this social media/celebrity age that we live in, we are often pressurised into appearing successful and in control, whilst hiding how we truly feel.  I felt it was time to demonstrate that a little understanding goes a long way.

 Depression continues to play a part in Cottage on a Cornish Cliff.  Although Oliver has lived with mental imbalance since late childhood and is aware of what works for him and what doesn’t, because of his current personal circumstances he finds himself tempted to over-medicate.

 How do you develop your plot and characters, who feel very real to me?

Thank you.  I’m glad you found the characters real.  I always have a storyboard of photos to refer to.  It’s not something I set out to do, it just develops organically.  When I wrote Summer in a Cornish Cove I was definitely a pantser and allowed the characters to evolve as they so wished.  With Cottage on a Cornish Cliff I tried to embrace more of a plotter mind-set, but still the characters wanted to go off on their own.  I’d never written a sequel before and I found it an ‘interesting’ experience!  When I finally typed THE END, I treated myself to a wonderful oil painting of a cottage on a cliff that I’d come across while creating the storyboard.  Weirdly (although things like this often happen to me) it turned out the artist once lived almost at the very spot where I set the book!

 Do you have a certain place where you like to write?

I live in a two hundred year old cottage, rumoured to have been a sawmill.  It is a three-storey property and my office is on the top floor.  When I’m up there, lost in words, I feel cocooned and far away from the rest of the world.

Location plays a big part in this story, how do you choose your locations?

Cornwall has always resonated deeply with me and there are many locations where the story could have been set.  However, because of Oliver’s fame and need for seclusion and privacy, it had to be an isolated part of the county.  The Lizard delivered.  During visits to friends who live there, we explored the area and walked the coast path, and I found the landscape at the mouth of the Helford River worked well for the setting.

 Did you learn anything from this book while writing it?

Yes, mostly to do with babies (I don’t have first-hand knowledge) and delving into Greg’s psyche took me to some very unsavoury and dubious places.  Also, not to panic!  I discovered that by taking little steps it is possible to meet deadlines.

When you are not writing what can you be found doing?

Working!  I am a negotiator with a company that specialises in selling farms, equestrian properties and country houses across the West Country.  I also spend a large part of my life with a gorgeous Arab gelding and we are currently on a journey of Straightness Training; a programme based on the principles of the old grandmasters and their ‘classical’ way of training horses.

A film is being made of Summer in a Cornish Cove and then a sequel of Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, who is going to play Oliver and Cara?

Oliver is easy.  When Summer in a Cornish Cove was first published, series one of Poldark was just airing.  I already knew Aidan Turner’s previous work and, through Being Human, was aware he can play moral dilemma and angst really well.  His portrayal of Ross Poldark further confirmed he can handle subtle emotion with ease.  Also, having recently seen him on stage as mad Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, there is no doubt that he is a fine actor and the perfect casting for Oliver (in a few years).

Cara, however, is not so easy.  Although she is a child of our time, she is also a free-spirit with a God-given light and I have yet to find an actress who truly possesses her ethereal quality.  Spookily, however, during the summer I saw someone on a Cornish beach who literally stopped me in my tracks.  I thought Cara had come to life!  This person was oblivious to anyone else on the beach and simply enjoying the moment, playing with her dogs in the sea.  That scene fired my imagination and made its way into the book.  Now, if that young woman also turns out to be an actress, the search will be over!

Christmas is coming. If you could buy one present for one of the characters in your book what would it be and why?

A pet for Jamie.  He is the youngest of Oliver and Deanna’s confident, goal-orientated children.  However, he possesses a more cautious and fragile nature and is often pushed out of the way and overruled by his more robust siblings.  Oliver worries constantly about him, seeing his own mental imbalance in his son’s tendency to quiet introspection.  If Jamie had something he could call his own he would not feel so alienated and adrift.

 What advice would you give to any budding writers?

To write every day, if possible (but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t!)  As with learning any new skill, flexing those (writing) muscles will lead to progress, which is never a straight line (something I’ve become aware of through Straightness Training).  Simply enjoy the journey with all its many twists and turns.

 What are your future projects?

I am very fortunate in that I have a four-book deal with Aria.  Book number three is a contemporary romance set against an intriguing ghost story, a tale inspired by a discovery made during extensive renovations to my Cornish cottage.  Book number four is still in the melting pot.

Thanks again for appearing on my blog and taking the time to answer these questions.

You are very welcome.  I know you connected with Summer in a Cornish Cove and I hope you enjoyed Oliver and Cara’s concluding chapters.

A link to buy Cottage on a Cornish Cliff is below along with Summer in a Cornish Cove.

Cottage on a Cornish Cliff by Kate Ryder (Blog Tour)

Her Mother's Secret by Rosanna Ley (1)

Returning to the heart of her beloved Cornwall, Kate Ryder weaves another deliciously irresistible tale of desire, jealousy and the search for understanding, set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Lizard Peninsula.

Globally renowned actor Oliver Foxley has made the most difficult decision of all and set the love of his life free, in order to try and bring his family back together. But there’s a magnetic pull back to both Cara and Cornwall that Oliver can neither deny nor resist…

Heartbroken for a second time in her short life, single mother Cara knows she has no choice but to pick up the pieces yet again and carry on. Perhaps a complete change of scenery would help her, and her young family? Yet her mind, spirit and heart yearn for the windswept shores of her Cornish Cove…

Cara and Oliver face the agonising choice between following expectations, or following their hearts. How will their story end…?

Review: Cottage on a Cornish Cliff is a brilliant story to escape into.

We return to Cornwall and catch up on where Oliver and Cara are and what is happening in their lives now. Oliver is back with his children and his wife where big changes are happening and Cara has some big decisions to make herself. However, they both still feel that strong connection to each other and to Cornwall.

I cannot praise Kate Ryder enough. Her exceptional writing skills has created such an amazing cast of characters and Cornwall just shines through the pages. As I read Cottage on a Cornish Cliff I was right there, back with Oliver and Cara feeling everything they are going through, it was so easy to picture in my mind’s eye where they were at anytime, it felt like coming home.

I would highly recommend reading Summer in a Cornish Cove first before Cottage on a Cornish Cliff so you have a full picture of all the characters and settings.

Kate Ryder is one of my all time favourite authors. These two books I could read again and still feel that special magic all over again that only a really good book has.

I will be looking out for the next book by Kate Ryder.

Look out for my Interview with Kate Ryder as part of these blog tour!

 

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