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 #Sale, Book Spotlight, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

The Christmas Calendar Girls Samantha Tonge @Aria_Fiction @SamTongeWriter #BlogTour #BookPromo #99p #Festive #Christmas #Heartwarming #MondayBlogs @rararesources

This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

#TheChristmasCalendarGirls

Fern and her best friends call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.

In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.

Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?

This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

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Heart-warming, cosy and charming, get The Christmas Calendar Girls for just 99p for a limited period!

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#SamanthaTonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award

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

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry Caroline Roberts 5* #Review @0neMoreChapter_ @_caroroberts @fictionpubteam #Puddings #Northumberland #Festive #Recipes #FamilyDrama #Romance #BlogTour #BookReview

#ChristmasatRachelsPuddingPantry

Cosy up with the new novel in the Pudding Pantry series, full of love, laughter, kisses under the mistletoe, and plenty of delicious pudding!

The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.

If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.

With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?

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

My Thoughts…

The Northumberland setting is perfect for a festive edition of the pudding pantry. It is idyllic in many ways, but this story serves up a healthy portion of real life, with its picture-postcard Christmassy setting, and lovely comforting puddings.

After finding friendship can turn to romance Rachel and Tom are hoping for some festive romance, but farming is hard particularly in the winter months, and the pudding pantry is not making enough money now the tourists have gone home. Long hours and financial worries, mean romance is low down on the list, and even time together is hard to find.

The reappearance of ex-partners ramps up the tension, and make a happy ever after for Rachel and Tom further away than ever. The strong relationship between Rachel and her mother, grandmother and young daughter is the foundation of this story and makes it such a pleasure to read.

The festive touches are lovely and coupled with the twelve, simple but delicious-sounding recipes, you can visualise Christmastime at Primose Farm.so well.

Resourcefulness and romance triumph in the perfect ending.

The Fourth Bake of Christmas

Blackberry and Apple Jam Sponge Pudding – Grandma Isabel’s Recipe, circa 1946
This handwritten poem had always been tucked into the Baking Bible as a loose-leaf next to a recipe of Rachel’s grandmother’s:

Autumn days, the sky a blue haze. Blackberry picking, Hedgerows thick with brambles, Watch out for the prickles. Purple-stained fingers and mouths, Ripe dark berries sweet with juice, Baskets laden. Ready for home, pass on to Mum, With crumbles, jams and puddings to come!

Recipe

100g/4oz self-raising flour

Pinch of salt 100g/4oz caster sugar

100g/4oz butter 2 eggs, beaten

2tbsp whole milk

45ml/3tbsp homemade or good quality Blackberry and Apple Jam

(or another flavour if you prefer)

Method

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time with a spoonful of flour, beating well until eggs are mixed in. Fold in remaining flour alternately with the milk.
Grease and base-line a pudding basin, add the jam to the bottom. Spoon over the pudding mix up to ¾ full. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper, and secure with string. Using extra string to make a handle for ease of removal.
Steam for 1 ½ to 2 hours in a covered pan of boiling water, keeping water topped up to halfway up the pudding bowl sides, until a wooden skewer comes out clean at centre. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before turning out.

Delicious with custard or cream.

Image Credit Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts lives in the wonderful Northumberland countryside with her husband and credits the sandy beaches, castles and rolling hills around her as inspiration for her writing. She enjoys writing about relationships; stories of love, loss and family, which explore how beautiful and sometimes complex love can be. A slice of cake, glass of bubbly and a cup of tea would make her day – preferably served with friends! She believes in striving for your dreams, which led her to a publishing deal after many years of writing.

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

A Perfect Cornish Christmas Phillipa Ashley 5* #Review @PhillipaAshley @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour #Festive #Cornwall #ChristmasRead #Friendship #Secrets #Lies #Love #Relationships #SecondChances #Festivals #BookReview #FamilyDrama

#APerfectCornishChristmas

Return to Porthmellow Harbour in this gorgeous festive romance.

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?

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.

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

My Thoughts…

Christmas the time for family, friends, and memorable presents. Scarlett’s Christmas present last year resonates, but not in a good way. It revealed a family secret, and her family is still reeling from its impact.

She comes to Porthmellow Harbour to stay with her sister Ellie, and find some answers. Full of angst and family drama, this story follows Ellie and Scarlett as they both seek the happiness they deserve. The plot is full of clues, but like all good mysteries, most of these lead to nothing. It is poignant and sometimes humorous and full of romantic moments, It keeps you turning the pages, in anticipation right to the end, which is uplifting, whilst remaining believable.

The characters are full of flaws and so human, most of them are likeable, with one notable exception. This is a story of family, forgiveness and the importance of honesty.

The romance is gentle and full of conflicts, but both sisters have to learn to trust and accept, even the men of their dreams have flaws.

All the family drama plays out, in a lovely Cornish coastal setting, and the excitement and uniqueness of a pagan style festival.

A lovely, Cornish Christmas tale that leaves you feeling festive.

Phillipa Ashley

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Phillipa Ashley is the author of a string of Amazon Top 10 and Bookseller Heatseekers N best-selling Cornish novels. Before she became a full-time writer, she studied English at Oxford and worked as a copywriter and journalist.

She also writes rom coms as Ashley Croft and steamy romance as Pippa Croft.

She lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. When she’s not writing, she loves falling off surfboards and following Poldark around in a camper van.

Her latest release is A Perfect Cornish Summer is out now and is an Amazon Top 15 and Heatseekers number 1 best seller.

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

Notting Hill in the Snow Jules Wake 5* #Review @JulesWake #BlogTour #RomCom @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #festive #NottingHill #CoventGarden #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas

#NottingHillintheSnow

It’s mayhem in Bethlehem…unless they can work together!

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra (yes really!), but this year she’s been asked to stretch her musical talents to organising Notting Hill’s local nativity.
Nate Williams isn’t looking forward to Christmas but as his small daughter, Grace, has the starring role in the show, he’s forced to stop being a Grinch and volunteer with Viola.

With the sparks between them hotter than the chestnuts roasting in Portobello market, Nate and Viola can’t deny their feelings. And as the snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one…

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I received a copy of this book from 0ne More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

If you enjoyed Covent Garden in the Snow last year, this standalone book featuring some of the lovely characters is worth reading. Viola is a viola player, she is best friends with Tilly, and always willing to help out. Her meeting with Nate is unexpected, and the only high spot in a fraught journey to a morning rehearsal at Covent Garden. The chemistry simmers from their first encounter, but before you get too starry-eyed, be prepared for a very rocky road to true love, which even at the end seems unlikely to have a festive happy ending.

Viola and Nate are easy to like characters, and Grace is heartbreakingly lovely a mini adult, but so vulnerable, you want a happy ending for her, more than the adults.

Full of fun, festive cheer and poignancy, this book is guaranteed to give you a Christmassy feeling. The London setting at Christmas softens its hard edges, as everyone is touched with Christmas spirit, The orchestra, and the nativity play, provide plenty of interest and add to the story’s atmosphere.

The romance is sweet but the conflicts are real and demand that Viola and Nate risk their happiness for Grace’s. The ending is tender and makes you believe in love. A beautifully written Christmas tale, with a fairytale ending.

#JulesWake

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her writing and creative skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer and stationery. 

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the Romantic Escapes series. 

Between them, the two Js have written twelve novels, ‘Notting Hill in the Snow‘ is the latest.

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Covent Garden in the Snow

#NottingHillintheSnow
Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Family Drama, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

The Wife’s Revenge Deirdre Palmer 4*#Review @DLPalmer_Writer @crookedcatbooks @darkstrokedark @rararesources #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #Revenge #Relationships #Suspense #PublicationDay

#TheWifesRevenge

Sometimes the lie is safer than the truth.

Fran made the biggest mistake of her life when she had an affair with Ben. Both families live in the village of Oakheart; their children are friends. Fran’s guilt shadows her days. But it’s no more than she deserves, or is it? At least she’s managed to protect her husband, Hector, from the harsh truth.

But for how long?

Tessa has left her troubles in the past and now has the perfect life. Ben might have his faults, but his life has not been easy. They need each other, and Tessa will do whatever it takes to eliminate any threats to her marriage.

Threats from women like Fran.

A cliff overlooks a disused chalk-pit. The locals call it High Heaven. It’s a place of secrets. And it’s where Oakheart newcomer Maria died. When Fran discovers a link between Maria and Ben, disturbing questions arise to which she has no way of knowing the answers. 

Faced with an ultimatum from Tessa, time is running out for Fran. She’s scared, every minute of every day.

But where does the real danger lie?

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#TheWifesRevenge

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

My Thoughts…

This starts with a tragic event and then lapses into normality, which although slow-paced is essential world-building. Told from two points of view Fran and Tessa, you meet Fran first and realise her normal life is unbalanced with a few strange events. You don’t meet Tessa in any detail straight away, but when you do, immediately you realise she is not happy.

The suspense building is steady and relentless, you are constantly waiting for what something bad to happen. Fran appears to be a reliable protagonist, but she does have secrets she wants to keep hidden. Tessa has an agenda, but are past events really as she sees them?

The plot is clever, not too complicated, but effective. I guessed one of the twists early on, believing things are never as obvious as they seem, but the final twist is chilling.

A well-paced story of love, obsession and revenge in an everyday village setting.

#DeirdrePalmer

I live in Brighton with my husband and a tabby cat called Chester. After a career in public sector admin, most recently at the University of Brighton, it was time to stop dreaming about being a writer and actually do something about it!  Fast forward to the present, and now I’m both traditionally published and self-published, with five women’s fiction novels under my own name, and five ‘cosy’ reads, writing as Zara Thorne.  I’ve also published a book of short stories, most of which were previously published in The People’s Friend magazine. ‘The Wife’s Revenge’ is my first foray into the psychological suspense genre.

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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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