She had to step outside and hold the paper up to the moonlight to read it, but when she was able to make out the words, her heart felt as if it would drop right out of her chest. Because the message was in German.
When Lily meets enigmatic GI Matthew in war-torn London, she doesn’t expect to fall in love. While her sister starts a reckless affair with another GI, Lily tries to hide her growing feelings for Matthew.
But Matthew has a devastating secret. One that could change their lives forever.
Present day, America:
Abby lives a quiet life on an apple farm in Wisconsin. Tormented by survivor’s guilt after the tragic deaths of her mother and brother, Abby leaves the orchards as little as possible, keeping her life small, peaceful and safe… Until she is contacted by Englishman Simon Elliot, who arrives nursing a heartbreak of his own, and bearing a World War Two medal that he claims belonged to Abby’s grandfather.
Together they begin to piece together the heartbreaking story of their relatives’ war. But as the story brings Abby and Simon closer—tentatively beginning to lean on one another to heal—they uncover a dark secret from the past.
And like Lily and Matthew nearly eighty years before them, it will make Abby and Simon question whether you can ever truly trust someone, even when they have your heart…
Chells and Books Review:
I would like to thank Bookouture for sending me a copy of this book to read and for asking me to be apart of the blog tour.
This is a gripping and exceptional inspiring story that had me in floods. Abby and Simon have a connection. Simon has something that belongs to Abby’s grandfather and he wants to return it but essentially write a book about WW2 and about the connections with his family and hers. This is where we get to know Lily and Matthew whose story which runs alongside, set in WW2 Lily and her sister meet two soldiers and a love story begins. This is not the main focus of the plot however, which is how these characters cope in the war and what effects them effects generations to come.
Kate Hewitt has created a powerful story that is historical actuate. It left me stepping away thinking wow! I have read many WW2 stories but this is something else.
A must read for all who love a emotional WW2 read. A perfect book to celebrate the 75th anniversary.
The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon. The perfect summer read for 2020!
Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes . . .
When Hannah and Sonny meet, a spark ignites that is hard to ignore and impossible to forget. Weeks later, their paths cross again, but Sonny appears distant and reluctant to meet Hannah’s eye. It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.
Hannah has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. Plus, she’s only in town temporarily, housesitting for her uncle. But as the summer hots up and the chemistry between them intensifies, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each other than meets the eye…
Praise for Paige Toon:
‘You’ll love it, cry buckets and be uplifted’ MARIAN KEYES
‘Tender, heartbreaking and magical’ GIOVANNA FLETCHER
‘Heart-warming, wistful and full of joy’ LINDSEY KELK
‘Poignant and lovely, warm and wise’ MILLY JOHNSON
Chells and Books Review:
Every time I know a book by Paige Toon is coming out I get so excited as I know I am in for a treat. I would like to thank the Books and the City team at Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to read before release. It felt like all my Birthdays and Christmases had come all at once.
The Minute I Saw You has an unbelievable cover, as the lovely image below shows.
During the Spring Blogger evening earlier this year I got to hear Paige Toon talk about the story and her love for this book and the characters really shown through. I was even more desperate to read it. The Minute I saw You follows Hannah and Sonny. Hannah works at an options and Sonny comes in to have his eyes checked and upon looking into each others eyes they fall in love. (What a brilliant idea to spark a story) However, neither of them want a relationship, painful pasts lead to being friends and as we follow these two characters and they develop and become better people happiness maybe just a minute away.
These characters so deserve love and happiness, Paige Toon said that these two character were special and she was so right, they are firm favourites for me. I adore the idea behind this story and the way these characters meet. The setting is special two and romantic, Cambridgeshire is one of those place I have been too but not as a tourist I would love to go down the river. There are so many scenes from this book that are amazing but I will not give anything away, this story is to special and needs to be read with no hint of whats to come.
The Minute I Saw You is one of my favourite reads this year! Paige Toon’s writing is like a warm embrace. She takes you on a journey that always leaves you feeling uplifted by the end.
Congratulations Paige! The Minute I Saw You is sure to be a No 1 Best Seller!
About Paige Toon:
Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America, following her racing driver father around the globe. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women’s magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor
Visit Paige’s website at paigetoon.com to sign up to her free book club, ‘The Hidden Paige’, and say hi to her on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor and Facebook.com/PaigeToonAuthor
I have loved meeting Paige, she is generally so kind and takes time for her readers. What you see in real life shines through in her writing.
Three women. One summer reunion. Secrets will be revealed…
Villa Dolce Vita, a rambling stone house on the Amalfi Coast, sits high above the Gulf of Naples amidst dappled lemon groves and the fragrant, tumbling bougainvillea. Kim, Colette and Annie all came to the villa in need of escape and in the process forged an unlikely friendship.
Now, years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house into a luxury retreat and has invited her friends back for the summer to celebrate.
But as friendships are rekindled under the Italian sun, secrets buried in the past will come to light, and not everyone is happy that the three friends are reuniting… Each woman will have things to face up to if they are all to find true happiness and fully embrace the sweet life.
Chells and Books Review:
I would like to thank HQ for asking me to review this book and to be apart of the blog tour. I have been a fan of Melissa Hill for quite a few years so was really excited to read The Summer Villa.
The Summer Villa is a beautiful book inside and out. The cover is gorgeous and Italy comes to life as you read. The story is told from three views points from the past and the present. We get to find out about the adventures that Kim, Colette and Annie have when they first arrived in Italy and why they were there and then what happened years later. All three girls have difficulties in their lives in different ways and these influence the decisions they make while in Italy that then impact them and others later on.
Melissa has written an incredible story that is full of life’s emotions and issues. The chapters were short but moved the story on and made for quick reading. Each characters was very real and so relatable. As for the setting, it was captured amazingly and you could actually pictures yourself there. The ending was not what I was expecting but was brilliant, there were hints when you think back but the story had been written in a very clever way that I felt surprised and excited by the events.
I totally loved The Summer Villa and has made me want to go back a reread some of Melissa Hills past books.
Three women. One family curse. The summer of a lifetime.
For generations, no second-born daughter in the Fontana family has married. Lucy desperately wants to find love, but for her cousin Emilia, their family curse is a blessing in disguise.
But then their Great Aunt Poppy declares she’ll reunite with her long-lost love on her eightieth birthday – and break the curse once and for all.
And so the three women embark on a journey to Tuscany to fulfil Poppy’s last wish. But the secrets they uncover there could change their family forever…
Chells and Books Review:
I would like to thank Avon Books for asking me to review this book and to be apart of the blog tour.
This was a lovely read and one I really enjoyed. I have not read anything from Lori before but from looking at the cover and reading the blurb I was intrigued. A family curse that sees the second born daughter in each generation not be married, leads to one summer in Italy where Emilia is finally standing up to her family and her cousin also second born wants to find love. Travelling to Italy to celebrate their Aunt Poppy’s 80th birthday should be an exciting time but with family secrets it could be anything but.
On Italian Summer is a well written story that is set in the present and the past. Reading about the past and Aunt Poppy’s life was interesting and the author knew her history about that time period and the large family in this story. I was sad and emotional in both eras but it was a joy to read seeing how these strong women develop. The characters are incredible detailed and real. Aunt Poppy was a joy to read.
Today is the Mondayest Monday ever. Hallie Winstone has been fired – and it wasn’t even her fault!
Having lost her job and humiliated herself in front of a whole restaurant full of diners, this is absolutely, one hundred percent, the worst day of her life.
That is until she receives an email announcing that she is the lucky winner of the Once Upon a Page Bookshop!
Owning a bookshop has always been Hallie’s dream, and when she starts to find secret love letters on the first page of every book, she knows she’s stumbled across something special.
But Hallie’s beloved bookshop is in financial trouble, and with sales dwindling, she can’t help but wonder if she is really cut out to run a business.
Things start to look up when she meets gorgeous, bookish Dimitri and between them, they post a few of the hidden messages online, reuniting people who thought they were lost forever.
But maybe it’s time for Hallie to find her own happy-ever-after, too?
Chells and Books Review:
I would like to thank HQ digital for asking me to review this book and be apart of the blog tour. As soon as I saw the cover and swooned over it for perhaps a day or two every time I picked up my phone I just knew I had to read it.
Jaimie Admans has written a brilliant story that is perfect for book lovers everywhere. The Little Bookshop of Love Stories is one of my favourite books of all time, I loved reading it and already miss the characters.
Hallie is one of those characters that we can all relate to in one way or another and I fell in love with her. Nothing in her life seems to go right and after loosing her job again Hallie is at a lose of what to do. That is until she receives an email that changes her life. Hallie has won a bookshop! Hallie cannot believe her luck. Upon opening the bookshop she finds that it is in financial trouble and needs a miracle to make it work and Hallie wonders if she can be the one to turn it around. Upon meeting the lovely Dimitri things start to change for Hallie and she begins to think her luck might actually have changed for the better.
The Little Bookshop of Love Stories is one of those reads that the pages keep turning and I found myself completely drawn into the story. I felt like I become Hallie who was living my dream, running a bookshop. As a book lover this story is everything you could hope for in a love story centred around a bookshop, an amazing dream like setting, characters that capture your heart and a plot that has you feeling all the emotions with funny moments, romantic moments and some really funny moments too.
Jaimie Admans has created something special and will be treasured by all book lovers for ever.
Wedding Bells for Woolworth is the latest feel-good novel in former Woolies girl Elaine Everest’s bestselling Woolworths Girls series. It sees the return of her well-loved characters in another heartfelt and gripping story.
July 1947. Britain is still gripped by rationing, even as the excitement of Princess Elizabeth’s engagement sweeps the nation…
In the Woolworths’ canteen, Freda is still dreaming of meeting her own Prince Charming. So far she’s been unlucky in love. When she has an accident on her motorbike, knocking a cyclist off his bicycle, it seems bad luck is still following her around. Anthony is not only a fellow Woolworths employee but was an Olympic hopeful. Will his injured leg heal in time for him to compete? Can he ever forgive Freda?
Sarah’s idyllic family life is under threat with worries about her husband, Alan. Does he still love her?The friends must rally round to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls
Praise for the Author:
“Elaine brings the heyday of the iconic high street to life in this charming novel” S Magazine
“A charming, warm-hearted read” Take A Break
“Heartwarming… a must-read” Woman’s Own
“A lovely read” Bell
Chells and Books Review:
After my review Elaine Everest has been kind enough to let me interview her as part of this blog tour so keep reading for an exclusive on writing Wedding Bells for Woolworths and what she is writing next.
I would like to thank Megan Denholm for asking me to be apart of the blog tour and sending me a lovely hardback book of Wedding Bells for Woolworths.
I adore this historical saga and could not wait to jump back in and find out what all the girls and their families are up to now. It is exciting as we find the war has ended and the the girls are adjusting to life after the war which is still pretty tough. Princess Elizabeth is about to get married and I loved reading about the girls trip to London although as you can imagine there was some drama happening to. I wonder if the Queen has read the Woolworths Girls I could just imagine her sitting in an elegant chair with her dogs sitting around her feet.
There has been one character who I have been waiting for to find herself a wonderful man and I think Elaine has chosen a perfect prince charming for Freda. Yet, the journey to love is packed with drama and friendships being tested. I loved reading about the weddings all with a hint of will they happen or not one leads to a funeral which we get a hint of at the start of the book and I have to say I was thinking it was going to be a certain character and was sad but it wasn’t that character but another which was juts as sad.
Elaine Everest has written a wonderful saga, fall of hope, love and friendship. These characters are friends I will keep forever. If you read on for her interview you will see that there is a hint that we may well return to a certain characters life very soon in the future.
About the Author:
Elaine Everest is from North West Kent and she grew up listening to stories of the war years in her home town of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, and author of nonfiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the women’s magazine market. When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and sheepdog Henry. You can find out more about Elaine on Twitter @ElaineEverest or Facebook /elaine.everest
Thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog, I really do appreciate it.
Thank you so much for hosting me, Michelle, it is much appreciated xx
Please, tell us a little background about The Woolworths Girls and where we find them now?
We are now in 1947 and the war is over. Rations are still in place and the Girls from Woolies are moving on with their lives. Tis book has four weddings – and a funeral! The friends plan to travel to London to see Princess Elizabeth marry her handsome prince, but of course nothing goes to plan. There are three other wedding amongst the extended families – some more stressful than others, but romance is in the air as is the threat to one girl’s marriage. Moving into 1948 we have the ‘Austerity Olympics’ in London and more romance and some crime. We do have a tragedy where sadly we lose a favourite character.
What is one of your favourite scenes from the Woolworths Girls that you have enjoyed writing?
I do love a wedding – don’t we all? Over the years I’ve been able to plan my girl’s weddings and had so much fun checking fashions of the day and what happens around them. However, I have two favourite scenes, and both are from The Woolworths Girls. The first is when Alan Gilbert proposes to Sarah Caselton in the Erith store. The second is Ruby sorting out a criminal in her home using her best frying pan. There was also a sad scene in the same book when Maisie heard of the death of her first husband. She was in The Prince of Wales pub and sang the lovely old song ‘I’ll see you in my Dreams.’ I still get tearful when I think of it now.
The covers of your books are lovely, what work goes into them to create them?
They are lovely, aren’t they? I’ve been fortunate to have some input into the design as my editor will ask me about the book. It may be the street where a character lives, or perhaps the Woolworths store. For the teashop Girls I sent over images of the Nippies and links to the teashops in Ramsgate and Margate. I am always shown the cover image and can point out of something that may need tweaking. I was recently shown the potential cover for my next book, ‘Christmas with the Teashop Girls (October 2020) and it is lovely. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. The team at Pan Macmillan take such care with the covers of my books. I’m truly grateful for their dedication.
What are your future projects?
As just mentioned, there is a teashop book coming out in time for Christmas. I’ve loved revisiting those hardworking Nippies and their families. They have a lot of excitement in their busy lives and just a little danger. I recently filed copy of my book for March 2021 with my editor. I loved writing this book as I went back to 1905 when a certain character from the Woolworths books starts out her married life as she moved into number thirteen Alexandra Road. Can you guess who it is? I’m just about to start writing another book and all being well it will take us to another part of Kent and a new group of women.
Thank you again for appearing on my blog and taking the time to answer these questions? It means the world to me as one of my favourite authors.
Thank you Michelle. It is always a joy to be invited to your blog xx
Paris and the Palace of Versailles have always meant a lot to TV producer Lexie. Her grandma Viv spent a year there, but her adventures and memories were never discussed, and Lexie has long wondered why they were a family secret.
When work presents the perfect excuse to spend Springtime in Versailles, Lexie delves into Viv’s old diaries and scrapbooks, and with the help of handsome interpreter Ronan, she is soon learning more about the characters that tend to the magnificent gardens, now and in the past.
In amongst the beauty and splendour of the French countryside, a story of lost love, rivalry and tragedy unfolds. Can Lexie and Ronan right the wrongs of the past, and will France play its tricks on them both before Lexie has to go home?
Chells and Books Review:
I love Lucy Coleman’s books and just knew that this would be another amazing read, I mean look at the stunning cover.
Lexie is following in her Grandma’s footsteps and is visiting the Palace of Versailles shooting a documentary. Alongside the documentary she wants to find out more about her Grandma’s time there and why she would not talk about it. Searching through her dairies and scrap books Lexie begins a journey in France that will change not only her life but her families to.
I found this completely captivating and loved reading about the history of the gardens, how they were created, what the gardens jobs were and the unexpected politics involved. The beauty of France fell from the pages and the love scenes between Lexie and Ronan were a pleasure to read. I was transported to France each time.
An amazing story that was a pleasure to read it reminded me of times I spent in the garden with my Grandad and the history of each plant or part of the garden that he would talk to me about.
1560: Amy Robsart is trapped in a loveless marriage to Robert Dudley, a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Surrounded by enemies and with nowhere left to turn, Amy hatches a desperate scheme to escape – one with devastating consequences that will echo through the centuries…
Present Day: When Lizzie Kingdom is forced to withdraw from the public eye in a blaze of scandal, it seems her life is over. But she’s about to encounter a young man, Johnny Robsart, whose fate will interlace with hers in the most unexpected of ways. For Johnny is certain that Lizzie is linked to a terrible secret dating back to Tudor times. If Lizzie is brave enough to go in search of the truth, then what she discovers will change the course of their lives forever.
Chells and Books Review:
I would like to thank Sian Baldwin at HQ for asking me to be apart of the blog tour for The Forgotten Sister.
As soon as I read the blurb for this book I knew I had to read it. I love a story that features the Tudors and like Nicola Cornick whose Grandma had books on the Tudors, I love nothing more than watching the amazing TV series or reading historical books and wishing I could be apart of that era.
The Forgotten Sister is set in the present day and in 1560. In 1560 we follow Amy Robsart who is married to Robert Dudley who is Queen Elizabeth favourite and he is besotted with her. Amy wants freedom and a life of her own and decided to escape..moving forward in time in the present day we meet Lizzie Kingdom who is a celebrity has to escape the public eye due to scandal, on meeting the Robsart family a completely unexpected journey takes place.
I was completely hooked from the first page and I was excited by the fact that I did not know where this story was going to go. I loved Lizzie and her complex history and I adored Amy, the links between the past and present day were so cleverly written. The Tudor era sounded so real and as believable as present day London.
Nicola Cornick has just become one of my favourite authors and I am excited to read more books by her.