Posted in Festive Read

#BlogTour T.A. Williams – Dreaming of Christmas- Guest Post -5* Review

Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it’s been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all-expenses-paid skiing holiday with old university friends.

The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime, he’s done rather well for himself.  As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it’ll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others…

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Guest Post –

T.A. (Trevor) Williams talks about his new book, Dreaming of Christmas and how potentially tricky it was to write.

I’ve never been big on Christmas. Like a lot of men, I find it creeps up on me and suddenly it’s Christmas week and I haven’t bought anybody any presents. This realisation has me scuttling off to the city centre on Christmas Eve with little or no idea of what to buy. Mind you, ever since one memorable Christmas forty years ago, I definitely know what NOT to buy for my wife. If any men are reading this, heed my words – underwear is not a good idea. Indeed, clothes of any kind are definitely a risky business and best avoided. Luckily my wife has a definite weakness for marrons glacés, so if all else fails, I go for a ridiculously expensive box of those. Anyway, as Christmas approaches, the pile of Christmas cards on my desk grows ever taller and, with it, so does my sense of guilt. If you are one of the rare recipients of a Christmas card from me, don’t be surprised if it was postmarked 24th December.

So how, you may ask, does such a pathetic specimen manage to write a Christmas book? It’s a question I asked myself a good few times last winter when I sat down to write Dreaming of Christmas. The answer has to be imagination. Just because I’m useless at Christmas, this doesn’t mean I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who know what it’s all about and how to do it properly. Over the course of my writing career, I have written about medieval knights, Hollywood film stars, Italian winemakers and internet billionaires. I have no experience of any of these job descriptions so I have had to use research and imagination. So it was with Dreaming of Christmas. I had to think myself into the mind of a Christmas aficionado and write accordingly.

Even so, when I sent the first draft to my editor at publishers, Canelo, I was unsurprised to receive his subsequent advice to “ramp up the glitter” and I did my best to comply. In fairness, I did make life easy for myself by setting the book in a very posh luxury hotel in the beautiful Austrian Alps. This place in my mind’s eye was smothered in deep snow, surrounded by snow-covered pine trees hung with fairy lights, and inside there were Christmas decorations galore. I even Googled “Christmas decorations” so as to remind me what sort of things constituted a really special Christmas and included as much as possible, from angels on top of trees to presents beneath them. I even gave the hotel manager – a figure I image to be a short, chubby man in an impeccable grey suit – a pair of plastic reindeer antlers on his head.

The characters in Dreaming of Christmas are a group of old university friends meeting up again after ten years. They all spend Christmas together so this inevitably meant I had to think about Christmas presents. The eagle-eyed reader will soon spot that nobody gives anybody else any underwear (when I learn a lesson, I really learn a lesson), but it was a struggle to imagine what, say, a thirty-something billionaire would give to his former housemates. Luckily I hit upon the idea of a “Christmas Market” in the village and that opened to doors to snow globes, candles, mugs, scarves and gloves, as well as a rather fine little silver necklace.

Hopefully, the description of Christmas in the book will satisfy the reader. To be totally honest, I ended up rather liking the environment I created. So much so that Casa Williams this Christmas may well find itself with an all singing and all dancing Christmas tree and ancillary baubles, just like in the book. Who knows? I might even buy a few presents in advance. Maybe writing the book has been good for me.

My Thoughts…

A lovely festive setting, an interesting group of people and an unlikely romance make this an enchanting Christmas story.  Glamour, reunion, troubled relationships and romance simmering under the surface bring this modern-day fairytale to life, and it will have you turning the pages lost in its ambience.

Billy is definitely romantic hero material and Zoe can’t believe how he’s changed in ten years, but he’s married and so she has to look elsewhere for her prince charming. Zoe is faced with numerous dilemmas, as she deals with her former flatmates’ problems, but can she sort out her own life and make it a truly memorable festive time?

This is an easy to read, well written festive romantic comedy, set in the picturesque Austrian Alps, complete with a perfect fairytale ending.

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

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.  Twitter

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay – Zoe Cook – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.

You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.

That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.

I still think about you.

Tom.

Buy Links - Coastal

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My Review - Coastal

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember

This story gets better with every page you read. The first few chapters, authentically set in London’s celebrity and media culture, highlight Lucy’s superficial character. Lucy‘s self destruction imminent, as she seeks the ultimate career high.
There are references to drug taking, which I disliked but this are important indicators of Lucy’s deterioration and the culture she is part of. Similarly, smoking is a legacy of her teenage.
Flashback chapters in Hideaway Bay feature teenage Lucy and introduce the other three friends, who are linchpins of this story. Lucy wants to escape the seaside town, even though most people would love to live there. The phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone’, comes to mind.
This story has plenty of surprises that inform Lucy’s current emotional state. The cast of characters both in Hideaway Bay and London are vivid and believable. For me, it is the last quarter of the story that tugs at the heartstrings. The twist is unexpected and poignant. You really care because the characters are like old friends by this time.
Well written women’s fiction, a lovely balance of humour, romance, sadness and secrets in a charming seaside setting.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

ne Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

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Posted in Cover Reveal

Wildfire Hurricane – Amelia James – Cover Reveal

Untitled

WILDFIRE HURRICANE by Amelia James
Release Date: JULY 5, 2016
Cover Designer: WICKED BY DESIGN

Blurb 2016 -1
When Simone Leveque met Dash Ryder in seventh grade, she immediately fell for him—head over heels down the stairs…

Despite her less than graceful introduction, Simone jumped right up and yelled, “Ta-da,” drawing the attention and admiration of everyone, including Dash. The two quickly became bickering best friends, fighting about anything and everything until Dash finally kissed her, cementing their young love for a lifetime.

They fought hard and made up harder, but some things are unforgiveable…

Simone knows Malcolm lied to Dash. Plain and simple. She would have never cheated on him, especially with his own brother. Dash wouldn’t believe her back then, and thirteen years later when their careers bring them back together, he still won’t.

Dash can’t believe the woman who sent his heart to an early grave is now his new boss…

Time doesn’t heal pain. Dash still can’t forgive Simone for betraying his trust all those years ago, and when old tensions combine with an undeniable attraction, a new flame takes hold—literally.

An out of control wildfire tests Dash’s firefighting crew, and an unprecedented hurricane threatens the city, forcing the volatile former couple to work together to survive while somehow keeping their hands off each other. But reckless passion isn’t enough to keep them together this time. Simone must fight to bring the truth to light if she wants her future with Dash to outlast this…

Wildfire Hurricane.

 

Untitled 1

 

Author Bio 2016 -1

 

Amelia James 2016

When I was in the third grade, my teacher wrote ‘tends to daydream’ on my report card. What did she expect from a girl raised on fairy tales? I’m convinced those fanciful stories led to the romance novel addiction I acquired in junior high. My mom caught me reading a particularly hot one and took it away from me. She couldn’t stop me from daydreaming though, and after I got married, I wrote some of my steamier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them were published. I kept writing and eventually my short stories became romance novels.

I live in Colorado now, but I’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When I’m not lusting after my next bad boy hero, I’m looking for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, morally ambiguous lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks. Characters—the ever-present voices in my head—bring my books to life. They’re my imaginary friends.

We all need to get away from reality for a little while. I prefer to escape with a sizzly, sexy, forever romance.

Links 2016-1

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Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

The Ocean Between Us – Delisa Lynn – 4* Review and Spotlight

The Ocean Between Us FRONT

THE OCEAN BETWEEN US by Delisa Lynn
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: March 15, 2016

Blurb - Coastal

 Masters Sweet Baked Goods—the best bakery in Benton Creek.

Run by Hendlee Masters and her grandmother, Masters Sweets is the heart and soul of what’s left of Hendlee’s family. Raised by her grandmother after her parents died when she was only five, Hendlee’s poured her time and energy into building her own life in the small town she loves.

Best friends are hard to find—and even harder to keep.

Hendlee didn’t start to notice her feelings for one of her friends—Quaid Castings—until she was in high school. By then it was too late. Unlike her, his plans for the future involved ditching town and enrolling in the Naval Academy.

Just one night with Quaid is all she wants, but when it finally happens, it’s not nearly enough. And he’s leaving in less than twenty-four hours.

The pursuit of happiness often requires leaving someone behind.

Quaid wants more than the country life. Joining the Navy is the best way to explore the world beyond the hills of Kentucky. Except chasing his dream means leaving behind the girl he’s been in love with all his life—Hendlee Masters.

When Quaid chooses a career in the Navy over the love of a small-town girl, will their fates once again align? Or will their love be lost in The Ocean Between Us?

The Ocean Between Us PROMO

Buy Links  - Coastal
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 The Ocean Between Us FULL

 

My Review - Coastal

 This is an emotional small town romance. It shines because of its realistic characters and accurate reflection of a small town’s ethos and values.
Blighted by tragedy, Hendlee is strong and loyal; her friends mean everything to her. Quaid looks out for her but now she wants more, even though he is hell bent on leaving their small town behind, maybe forever. Quaid needs to satisfy his wanderlust and the Navy is the perfect way. He is willing to deny his feelings for Hendlee until he’s achieved his ambition. Hormones intervene but he still leaves, promising to return. Fate and human nature intrude and make a happy ever after unlikely but fate hasn’t finished with Hendlee and Quaid yet. The romance is sensual and the dialogue authentic and contemporary. The plot is simple and  a little predictable but I liked that. There are enough twists to keep me turning the pages and plenty of angst and lost opportunity. The ending is satisfying and I look forward to finding out what happens to Hendlee’s other friends.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Author Bio -1

6fb83-author2blogoDelisa Lynn grew up in Columbus Ohio, she is currently residing in Western New York with her husband and fur daughter Sophie. During the day she works as a Medical Assistant and at night, she types away on her laptop, allowing her characters to escape her mind. Pink is her favorite color, and she loves anything animal print. She loves traveling, shopping and baking. When Delisa isn’t working or writing you can catch her snuggled up with her kindle reading about her newest book boyfriend.

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Links -1
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Posted in Book Spotlight, New Books, Release Day Spotlight

ECHOES of the Past -Iris Blobel – Release Day Spotlight

ECHOES OF THE PAST by Iris Blobel

Fermosa Bay #1

New Adult Contemporary Romance

::: SYNOPSIS ::::

Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…

When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.

When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia. 

With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…

 Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…

As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London? 

Walking away from a real chance at true love…

::: NOW AVAILABLE :::

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/23ZYPS5

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/23ZYVJw

AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/23ZZ27R

Iris 

 ::: MEET THE AUTHOR :::

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 CONNECT WITH IRIS BLOBEL:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

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