Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…
It may be October but it’s never too early for a Sue Moorcroft Christmas novel.
To add the topping to the cake, we’re welcomed back to the village of Middledip, Sue’s wonderful setting for quite a few of her stories. Because of this, we get a smattering of the inhabitants we’ve grown to love and this gives the novel an atmosphere of a family christmas.
Say hi to Lilly Cortez and Isaac O’Brien, out main protagonists, along with Doggo of course, a very friendly Dalmatian.
Fans of Sue will be familiar too with Tubb the Pub who has a central role in the main story. It’s very nice, this reviewer believes, that this much-loved character has more than a peripheral part in this story. In fact, this novel is chock full of wonderful, rounded, well-written characters, including Carola who’s a particular favourite of mine from Middledip.
Switzerland bounds to life off the pages to such a degree that you feel like you’re walking in the snow-clad towns, villages and fields of this Alpine country. It certainly made me wish that I could go for a visit. Here, you have a roadtrip combined with a love story that will have you silently screaming for a happy ending!by
Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
Lucy and Aria have shared an extract with us today. Enjoy.
***** beginning of extract*****
Standing beneath the steady stream of hot water without the overhead shower wetting my hair isn’t easy but it’s so refreshing. By the time I’ve dried, changed my underwear and donned the crease-resistant, long-sleeved top rolled up in my hand luggage, I at least have a bit of my sparkle back. A quick brush of my hair, a squirt of deodorant and then perfume, and I’m done.
Making my way back into the open area of the lounge and scanning around the sea of occupied seats, I look for Cary. His head appears above the crowded masses as he stands to wave at me and I head in his direction. He, too, is looking a little more refreshed, I notice as I sink down very gratefully into the squishy leather seat next to him.by
Discover the secrets to becoming an amazing author.
Find your creative spark.
Grow your skills and confidence.
Have more fun with your writing.
Packed with top tips, this awesome workbook has everything you need to know about creating colourful characters, perfect plots, dynamite dialogue, and lots more …
I have many ‘how to write’ books and I wish half of them were as fun as this book.
Creative Writing Skills contains exercises, tips from the author and fun illustrations. With it being a workbook, your child can engage with the exercises directly. There are also opportunities to draw as well as writing using prompts.
For me, it’s a really good grounding for your child to begin and further develop writing stories. Also, it will give them an understanding of the writing process which, as someone who is trying to write a book is something that is so important. I really wish I’d had this book as a child.
Topics include looking at characters and building a profile, descriptions, settings, structure (there is a fun rollercoaster diagram which I will be using myself,) themes, genres, voice/POV, dialogue and sparking ideas; everything they will need to develop their stories.by
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not for Angie Martinelli…
Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.
Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.
But Nick has secrets of his own… and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.
Angie has found herself living back at her parent’s house in an attempt to escape a bad break-up and the loss of her job. Desperate to find work and having no offers in event planning, Angie takes a job as an Information Specialist at her local mall.
The need for this job becomes even more apparent when, at a café, her card is declined. This is where she meets Nick, when he kindly pays for her drink. Embarrassed, she leaves, knowing at least she will never see him again. That’s what she thinks.
One of the things I love most about this time of year are the Christmas stories that begin to appear on bookshelves. I know, I have mentioned this love before. I am Laura and I love Christmas. There, I said it.
I was excited to be reading Wrapped up for Christmas and couldn’t wait to start reading.
This book was so easy to fall into. Angie is a wonderfully open, endearing character. She has disappointments but she is resilient and I find that inspiring.
Nick is the perfect love interest. He is just what you want from a love story and I wanted things to work well for him, especially once you meet his Dad. Nick’s story is probably one a lot of people can relate to around this time of year.by
Dear Edie, I wanted you to know so many things. I wanted to tell you them in person, as you grew. But it wasn’t to be.
Jess never imagined she’d be navigating single motherhood, let alone while facing breast cancer. A life that should be just beginning is interrupted by worried looks, heavy conversations, and the possibility of leaving her daughter to grow up without her.
Propelled by a ticking clock, Jess knows what she has to do: tell her daughter everything. How to love, how to lose, how to forgive, and, most importantly, how to live when you never know how long you have.
From best-selling author Laura Pearson comes her most devastating book yet. Honest, heart-wrenching, and emotionally raw, I Wanted You To Know is a love letter to life: to all its heartache and beauty, to the people we have and lose, to the memories and moments that define us.
I Wanted You To Know is Laura Pearson’s third novel.
Jess isn’t like other girls her age. Instead of being at university, spending time with her friends and enjoying her youth, she’s facing the fact that her baby daughter will probably grow up without her.
Jess has terminal breast cancer. As she tries to come to terms with her fate, she writes a series of letters to her daughter – to try and be there even when she can’t be. She wants to tell Edie everything and she doesn’t have long to do so.
Oh Laura, you did it to me again. You made me cry. I knew this would happen the moment I started reading and that was just the authors note. I like the fact that it’s a mixture of letters and prose; the style makes it easy to know what’s going on in Jess’s head. I got so invested in this story and have a massive book hangover.
To be honest, I don’t think there was a completely unlikable character in the whole novel. Everyone has their layers, complexities and flaws. It’s all explored so well.
Aside from what I’ve said already and as normal, I am not saying anything else about what happens to Jess and her loved ones. That is something I suggest you find out for yourself.by
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers. And Oliver Cartwright. Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.
Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is. Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.
This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different. There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers. No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.
But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…
At eighteen, Daisy has a plan. She is going to be a vet, have a family and a life that she could be proud of. All would be good.
In the present day, Daisy is over thirty, renting a room in her friend’s house and she is back at Uncle T’s bookshop attending another Christmas Eve party, this time alone with no boyfriend, no home of her own and a dead-end job writing small ads for the local paper. She is certainly not living the life she thought she would be.
This is made worse when her perfect ‘old friend,’ Ollie, appears. In the years since she’s seen him, he’s turned from dorky teenager into a very handsome Doctor. He’s changed a lot. She can’t like him?… Can she? Not the boy she played and fought with as a kid?
I am so honoured to be part of the blog tour for Zara’s latest book especially as today is publication day for Four Christmases and a Secret.
Daisy is a lovely character. She’s endearing, makes mistakes and the fact that she doesn’t have her life completely together is one of the things I loved most about her. She has a contemporary Bridget Jones feel about her actually.
Ollie is the right amount of confidence and shy. This made him a very believable character. I championed him and Daisy. I am not saying anymore on the ‘will they, won’t they’ situation. I don’t want to give away the plot if I can help it.by
Today’s blog tour features the debut novel, The Flower Arranger from JJ Ellis.
And now he knew what was wrong with the arrangement. It was the Ma… the negative space… There was only one thing beautiful enough to fill it and — finally — she was with him. Ready, if not willing, to play her role.
Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break.
Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation.
But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.
Filled with twists and turns, this unforgettable thriller is JJ Ellis’ first novel.
Holly Blain is quite new to Tokyo and wants to make her mark as a crime reporter. Covering the entertainment wasn’t exactly what she envisioned when she thought about her reporting ambitions.
She is delighted when she is introduced to Inspector Tetsu Tanaka from Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-Jin unit. He could be her way to gain the scoop to further her career.
Tanaka isn’t so sure about Holly and keeps her at arm’s length.
Wow…. just wow.
The Flower Arranger is the debut novel from JJ Ellis but it won’t be the last I read from this author.
Told from the point of view of Tanaka, Holly and the killer, this book pulled me in from the moment I picked it up. I found it compelling and quite frankly unputdownable.
I had what I call itchy book fingers when I was forced to put it down. I just wanted to pick it up and continue reading.
Tanaka is a strong and believable character. He’s an honourable policeman and wants to do his due diligence. He is one for the rules and his reaction to Holly was an interesting one. His relationship with her has a fascinating arc to it and I certainly want to see these two together in another novel.
Holly was more of an enigma to me. Not a lot is given away about where she’s come from and what has happened before she reached Tokyo. This is a book in itself I think and one that I would also read. There is certainly more to Holly than we see here. She and Tanaka are total opposites but they work.
It took me a few pages to get my head around who everyone was. Not a bad thing, just me.by
Autumn is on its way (even though the weather can’t quite make up its mind.)
What this does mean is a great list of fantastic novel releases and here is my first list of the books I am looking forward to reading.
The first book on my list has already come out but it is one I am incredibly excited about. It’s one I’ve been waiting years for… The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
Ever since I read the Handmaid’s Tale when I was sixteen, I have been wanting to know what happened next. The TV show has been great for that but there is something for me about a novel straight from the original author that makes it extra special. I am also interested to read it having had the perspective from the TV show and the continued development of the characters from that. I have heard such good things about this book.
Released on 10th September, The Testaments picks up fifteen years after the end of the first book, Gilead maintains its power but there are signs that it’s beginning to crumble from within. Three women’s lives converge with explosive results.
The second novel in the list is another book I have been waiting so long for and that is Postscript by Cecelia Ahern. I have been fortunate enough to get an advanced copy and I am planning on reviewing soon.
I adored PS I Love You and so the sequel had a lot to live up to. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. The first one had such a unique plot. How was the story going to carry on?
I won’t say too much now about my thoughts at this stage but a summary of the plot is that Postscript starts seven years after the end of PS I Love You and six years after Gerry’s last letter.
A group contacts Holly. They call themselves the PS I Love You club and they are asking her for help. She begins a relationship with the group and is soon finding herself drawn back to the feelings she thought she had left behind.
It has been released today (19th September) so is available to read now.
A Patchwork Family: Taking Chances by Cathy Bramley is part three in a four-part serial and is due to be released on 3rd October.by
What if you couldn’t get away from the one who got away?
This December, unlucky-in-love Jess is following her dream and moving to Notting Hill. On the first night in her new house-share she meets Alex, the guy in the room next door. They don’t kiss under the mistletoe, but there’s still a spark that leaves Jess imagining how they might spend the year together – never mind the house rule against dating…
But when Jess returns from her Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started seeing Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into the man of her dreams – and, apparently, the woman of his.
Jess is determined to move on and spend the year falling in love with London, not Alex – but what if her heart has other ideas?
We Met in December tells the story of Jess and Alex.
Jess has just moved to London after breaking up with her boyfriend. She is looking to go after the career she has always wanted.
Alex was a successful lawyer and has now given that up to re-train as a nurse. He has made a promise to himself that, after a break up with his fiancée, he would focus on his career. He did not count on meeting Jess.
First, I am completely in love with this cover. It is so beautiful.
We Met in December is told from the point of view of both Alex and Jess. I liked this as it gave me a better overall idea of what each were thinking. It’s proof that misunderstandings and assumptions can be the cause of many problems between people that’s for sure.
These two were both wonderful, compelling characters and I came to care for them a lot. I found them to be characters I really liked and want to spend time with in real life.
I also loved the supporting characters, especially Nanna Beth, Rob and Becky. I want to know more about their lives.
I became so invested in this story. I want to be a roommate in this house. It’s like a rom-com movie and I could see it as such.by
Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…
But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.
So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.
Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?
Firstly, Phillipa has created the type of village that I think we’d all love to live in…or maybe that’s just this reviewer?
In our second visit to the Cornish village of Porthmellow, we are treated to the ime after Scarlett’s worst Christmas ever, and how her sister Ellie and her deal with the fall-out. This is so much a family story, though with more twists and turns than a snake!by
Hello and welcome to Sue Parritt and the blog tour for her novel, Feed Thy Enemy.
In this heart-warming narrative based on a true story, a British airman embarks on a plan that risks it all to feed a starving, war-stricken family.
Thirty years after serving in World War II, middle-aged Rob’s holiday plans see an unforeseen change that leads him on a coach tour of Italy. Struggling with post-war PTSD and depression, he reluctantly agrees to the journey – and sparks a dream that plunges him into long-stifled memories.
Set in Europe, Sue Parritt’s Feed Thy Enemy is an account of courage and compassion in the face of trauma. When Rob’s flashback delves into his attempts to save a famished family with a series of increasingly daring raids on his army’s supply stores, will he trigger suppressed remembrances of past war, love, and sacrifice – and find the strength to confront them in the present?
Feed Thy Enemy follows the life of Rob, a tail gunner in the RAF during the second world war.
Now an old man, he is haunted by the actions and memories of his past, suffering from frequent bouts of depression and insomnia.
When a holiday with his wife and friends is changed at the last minute he winds up going to Italy and is forced to face the memories of the time he spent there in Naples during the war and the Italian family he befriended.
Rob is a haunted man. I have some experience of depression and PTSD and I couldn’t help but empathise with him, the author doing a superb job of expressing the isolation and depth of his condition.
The story is not all doom and gloom though by any means, as it details how he went to great lengths (and considerable risk) to help an Italian family who only a short while ago would have perceived him as the enemy.
What better way to kick off a Sunday by welcoming Laurie Benson and the blog tour for her novel, Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance.
She’s played Cupid for others
Now she’s met her own unlikely match!
The final book of The Sommersby Brides quartet. Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks self-made businessman William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself!
She thought her days of romance were over, but is this younger man intent on giving her a second chance?
Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance is a seasoned regency romance novel and the last in the Sommersby Brides series.
This was my first novel in the series and one of the things I loved was that the main character was in her forties. Prove that life doesn’t end simply because you’re not twenty.
As I said, this book focuses on Clara Sommersby who is drawn to a visitor to Bath, William Lane. Instantly they have an attraction to each other.
This can be read as a standalone novel but I will be picking up the others in the series when I can.
I immediately fell in love with the characters, the setting and the atmosphere in this novel. I love Bath and felt as though I was there observing the relationship that builds between Lane and Clara. I felt like I was stepping back in time with this magical love story.
I cheered for both Clara (who is a strong, independent woman,) and Lane who is a proper gentleman. Like Clara, Lane knows what it’s like to work hard for what you achieve and what it’s like to have little in the world and for the society around you to expect that you’re not capable of achieving anything.by
Life is made up of countless moments. Moments that make us who we are. But what if they don’t unfold the way they’re supposed to…?
What if you get on the wrong bus, or don’t speak to the right person at a party, or stay in a job that isn’t for you? Will you miss your one chance at happiness? Or will happiness find you eventually, when the moment is right?
Meet Matthew and Myrtle. They have never really felt like they fitted – in life or with anyone else. But they are meant to be together – if only they can find each other.
A powerful and emotional story about missed chances, interwoven lives and the moments that define us.
The Moments is the story about two people as they go through significant moments in their lives. I’ve seen it described as a cross between One Day and Sliding Doors.
This story follows Myrtle and Matthew; two outsiders who have always felt as though they’ve never fitted in. The Moments is told from the point of view of both characters but it was made very clear which one I was reading about. This book was an interesting approach to the traditional love story. These characters have many chances to meet. I am not going to reveal if they do and in what circumstance.
Fate is so present in this novel and very much has its own agenda. The idea of meeting the right person at the right or wrong time. I find it fascinating.
It reminded me so much of my husband and I. Although we grew up at opposite ends of the country, he used to holiday/had family in my home town. His mother and mine were even in the same guide troop a couple of years apart. Although we didn’t meet until we were eighteen, I always loved the idea that, like this novel, we possibly crossed paths without even realising.by
When Angela Clark’s best friend Jenny invites her to join a press trip to Hawaii, three days of sun, sea and sleep sounds like the perfect antidote to her crazed life.
At work in New York, she’s supposed to be the face of Having It All. But the only thing Angela feels she excels at is hiding in the printer cupboard, eating Mini Cheddars and watching Netflix on her phone and if this is living the dream, she’s more than ready to wake up.
A few days away with Jenny sounds like exactly what she needs but Angela’s talent for getting into a scrape guarantees nothing goes to plan – and not even the most beautiful beaches, blue skies and daiquiris will get her off the hook…
I have to say that I was sad to hear that this is the last in the I Heart series. I have enjoyed following Angela over the last few years.
Angela is still in New York. Alice is almost one, Alex is getting ready for a live show full of new material and our heroine has quit Spencer Media to go and work for her frenemy, Cici.
She has also been invited to meet with the exclusive Mothers of Brooklyn group which, on first inspection feels more like the mafia to Angela.
When Angela is given the chance to go on an all expense paid trip to Hawaii, she reluctantly goes, with a little arm twisting from Jenny.
Now, I can’t say much more without giving things away but if you are in any way familiar with Angela, you will know that hilarity and chaos will ensue.
I really enjoyed this novel and feel it was paced well. I was reading far into the night and couldn’t put the book down (the same as the rest of the books in the series.)by
I am very happy to finally be welcoming Jo Lambert back to Novel Kicks with the blog tour for her new novel, A Cornish Affair.
Here’s a little about the book…
In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …
Luke Carrack is back in Carrenporth after a couple of years away.
He soon discovers that in the two years he has been away, not much as changed. There are still the village gossips and his Aunt and Cousin don’t like him much.
There is only one person he seems to connect with, Cat, who is the daughter of the local hotelier.
This book immediately pulled me in. This is partly down to the writing style and how it so easily got me absorbed into the story. Told from both Luke and Cat’s point of view, I really got an idea of what each one was thinking and feeling. The setting also sounds beautiful. I could see myself in this little Cornish town.by