Posted in Animal Friends, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books, Parenting and Famlies

Home Alone Harry Jerry Rhodes – Rachael Messiter – Illustrator Nicky Hill 5* #Review @TalkingPaws @rararesources #JerryRhodes #NickyHill #KidLit #PictureBook #Family #Dogs #AnimalBehaviour #Education #BlogBlitz #BookReview #HomeAloneHarry

#HomeAloneHarry

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?

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I received a copy of this book from the authors in return for an honest review

#HomeAloneHarry

My Thoughts…

The family dog or dogs are an integral part of many households, but dogs are pack animals, and many integration problems arise from the dog being unclear about their role in the family.

This beautifully illustrated and cleverly written picture book uses a team of cartoon characters, each with a specific role to help educate a family about their dog’s behaviour when they leave him home alone.

The story is fun to read for adults and their children, and the advice is delivered in bite-size amounts. Using illustrations and short written paragraphs, making the narrative easy to understand.

I like the positive ethos of this story, which reinforces the idea, that things are not always perfect the first time. Sometimes, you have to work at understanding how someone thinks before you can live or work together in harmony.

A well written and engagingly illustrated picture book. Delivers advice in a fun, easy to understand way, about living with our animal friends. I look forward to the next book in the series.

#HomeAloneHarry
Jerry Rhodes AUTHOR

Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his worldwide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

Rachael Messiter AUTHOR

Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.

Nicky Hill ILLUSTRATOR

Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romantic Comedy

Anything for Love Gracie Bond 4* #Review #RomCom @gracie_author @rararesources #BlogTour #Whitby #Family #Humour

Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything – yes, anything – to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession.
Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views.
Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.

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#AnythingFor Love

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a humorous, romantic story, with complex characters, and a lovely northern ethos. Whilst there are aspects of this story that I love, there are a few I don’t. Some of the attitudes jar with twenty-first-century thinking. The length of the story is longer than it needs to be. It is written with maximum visual imagery, so the pace carries it along, despite the length, but a shorter story would work better. Most of the characters work well, but a few stereotypical traits are in evidence.

On the positive side, this is a heartwarming, humorous and hectic story, with a lovely main protagonist, Leah, and a cast of varied and interesting characters to compliment her. This is pure escapist reading, providing you accept this, it will be an enjoyable experience. There are many mentions of James Bond, and there are aspects of the story that mirror these stories, the intrepid heroine, the quirky sidekicks, and over the top villains, for example.

If you’re expecting to spend your time in Whitby, you may be disappointed, the historic seaside town does feature, but there is more action elsewhere. I would love to spend more time in the dog-friendly cafe.

An ideal read if you’re looking for something different in the romantic comedy genre.

#GracieBond

Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch (Bridgett Jonesany time of the day.

Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.

Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Travel

Let It Snow Sue Moorcroft 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @SueMoorcroft #Festive #FamilyDrama #Romance #Travel #Friendship #Relationships #Music #Switzerland #BlogTour #BookReview

#LetItSnow

Family means everything to Lily and Zinnia Cortez 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’s always believed. She 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 Christmas market or two along the way…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I’m starting to get in the festive vibe now, well it is the last day of September, and this story is a festive gem. The conflicted romance between two likeable protagonists, Lily and Issac, is at the heart of this story. Rather like a festive ‘pass the parcel’, it has so many layers, with a surprise every time you peel one-off.

There is a family drama, as Lily’s search for the other half of her family, raises hidden secrets in the other half. There tumultuous consequences. for Lily, Zinnia and their mothers. This story is wonderfully contemporary, internet dating and same-sex relationships are interwoven into the complex plot, which adds to the story’s authenticity.

A significant part of the story takes place in Switzerland, where Lily and some of the villagers, take their choir to deliver some quintessentially British Christmas cheer. This is where the title really comes into its own, The ambience, food and scenery are beautifully vivid.

The darker themes explored in this story are a good contrast to the festive frivolity and fun, It reads perfectly as a standalone, even though it features characters from the Middledip series.

The perfect book to get you in the festive mood. With family, friends and sparkling romance wrapped beautifully in a snow covered world.

#SueMoorcroft

Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and been nominated for others, including a ‘RoNA’ (Romantic Novel Award). Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice-chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies.

She also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor.

The daughter of two soldiers, Sue was born in Germany and went on to spend much of her childhood in Malta and Cyprus. She likes reading, Zumba, FitStep, yoga, and watching Formula 1.


Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Four Christmases and a Secret Zara Stoneley 5*#Review @0neMoreChapter_ @ZaraStoneley #FestiveRead #Christmas @rararesources #Romance #Friendship #Secrets #RomCom #PublicationDay #BookReview #BlogTour

#FourChristmasesandaSecret

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…

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I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A lovely emotional life journey with amusing and heartwarming family interaction, romance, laugh out loud moments and some life-altering poignant events and secrets. Christmas is the time when families and friends come together, not always successfully. Everything is intensified during the festive period,

Daisy’s story, as the title suggests, is told over four Christmases, focusing on an annual Christmas Eve party, at her honorary uncle’s bookshop and her interactions with Ollie. her friend since childhood.

The plot is well-paced. and the secrets are successfully interwoven into the story for dramatic impact, but it’s the characters who make this special.

Daisy is lovely, self-effacing. and easy to like. She is comparable to the ‘Bridget Jones’ character, as she draws you into her life, and lets you experience the lows, high and outrageousness of it. The cast of characters are also believable and vital, they are so well -written, it is easy to visual them.

The beauty of this book is its vivid imagery, as I read, I can see the scene playing out and the characters within it, and this makes it addictive, easy reading. Whilst, Christmas is an important element in the book, it is not just a festive read.

This is a journey of self-realisation for Daisy, significant events turn her into someone who lets things happen because she doesn’t feel worthy enough to stop them. As the story progresses. through the four Christmases, so does her self-development and character maturity. It’s this that makes this a heartwarming, satisfying read, with the bonus of romance, friendship, laughter and tears.

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Escape to Giddywell Grange Kim Nash 5*#Review @KimTheBookworm @HeraBooks @rararesources #RomCom #Romance #BlogTour #BookReview #EscapetotheCountry

#EscapetoGiddywellGrange

Maddy Young thought she had it all.

Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.

Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?

An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart.

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I received a copy of this book from Hera Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

MyThoughts…

‘Escape to Giddywell Grange is an amusing, poignant, romantic and uplifting story.

Maddy thinks she’s living the dream until her world crumbles when she loses her glamorous job. In shock, she returns home to the mother who has always put her first, and the best friend who she has sadly neglected and seeks the emotional comfort she needs. The opportunity to help her friend, when she needs her, is too good to resist, and after a while, Maddy realises that it may be the best choice she’s ever made.

This story leaves you with a lovely warm feeling. It celebrates everything that is good about humanity and shows that money and glamour and material things are worth nothing if they are not shared with someone special. The characters are well-written and believable, they have flaws, but in all but one case they are easy to like.

Maddy is at a crossroads in her life, and you want her to find something more worthwhile. Some of her decisions towards the end of the story had me shaking my head and telling her to think again, so she’s someone you can relate to and care about. Thankfully, the story comes to a convincing and hopeful conclusion.

If you’re looking for a lovely escapist read, this heartwarming, humorous journey of friendship, self-discovery and gentle romance is the answer.

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA. 

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge-watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs. 

Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and will be published on September 18th 2019.

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Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery

Last Pen Standing Vivian Conroy 4*#Review @PPPress @VivWrites #CozyMystery #StationeryShopMystery #BookReview #PublicationDay #Montana

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This promises to be a truly unique cozy mystery series. Beautiful stationery, lovely animal companions and a clever, courageous amateur sleuth in Delta, what more can you ask?

The setting is vivid and easy to visualise from the descriptions in the story. There are many personalities to meet, some of which will feature hopefully in future stories, The plot has lots of twists and all the clues and false leads that this genre demands.

Friendship, mystery, and a hint of romance make this a lovely escape, to the hills of Montana, but be careful, not all the residents are as harmless as they appear.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Humour

Henry’s Tale David Pipe 4*#Review @dfpwriter #borderterrier #DogsLife #Humour #Essex #Dogs #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

#HenrysTale

Henry Ford, the cutest Border terrier puppy, lives with his papa Alan and mama Jenny. Alan loves his job, playing golf and above all, Henry. Jenny loves designer clothes, handbags and shoes. She doesn’t love Henry. When Jenny insists on a week of high life on Majorca, Henry’s world takes a nosedive.

An attempted dognap and a traumatic stay in the veterinary clinic leave Henry a sad and confused puppy. Desperately lonely he sets off on an adventure with his friend Bully, a streetwise Essex bulldog, where he meets the beautiful Paula and for the first time experiences the heartbreak of puppy love.

Back at home, his mama and papa’s marriage is on the rocks – will Alan agree to Jenny’s ultimatum? Will he choose Jenny or Henry?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Definitely one for anyone who has shared their life with a dog. This is a lovely coming of age tale, about Henry, the Border Terrier, whose comfy life is interrupted at six months old, when his mama and papa go on a marriage mending holiday.

Everything is told from Henry’s point of view, through his human ghostwriter of course, and it is a funny, irreverent and often poignant read. The dog characters are well- written, and their adventures are exciting and full of humour. The human characters are a little stereotypical, but who knows how our dog friends see us?

This story highlights many human issues; crime, homelessness, mental health, prejudice and violence, but the general ethos of the story is positive and heartwarming.

#DavidPipe/Henry

David Pipe was born in 1949 in a small Essex village. He attended a local grammar school, then the University of Hull where he took a B.Sc in chemistry. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry in England and South Africa before studying for a PhD in organic chemistry at Imperial College. After spells at universities in Geneva and Mulhouse he joined the oil industry in Germany where, aged 53, he gratefully took a redundancy package. Following a period of self-employment he wound down his business, eventually giving it up to scratch the writing itch which has produced Sacrificing Starlight, a timely reminder of the risks our children face and Henry’s Tale, where ghostwriting for his furry friend he describes the emotional growth of a puppy on the rollercoaster of life, compressed into a few weeks because puppies learn faster than their staff.

When he’s not writing David spends his time travelling, reading, swimming and jogging. He is married and lives in Hamburg with his wife and their Border terrier Henry. Twitter Facebook

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