*BLOG TOUR* A View to a Kilt by Wendy Holden

 

Today it is my pleasure to bring you A View to a Kilt by Wendy Holden as part of her blog tour.

Forget about Cool Britannia and Gallic Chic.  Scotland is having a fashion moment.

London’s most glamorous glossy magazine is in trouble.  Advertising revenues are non existent, and if editor Laura Lake can’t pick them up, she’s out of a job.

According to those in the know, Scotland is having a fashion moment.  Haggis tempura is on Michelin-starred menus, smart spas are offering porridge facials, and a chain of eco-hotels is offering celebrity bagpipe lessons.  So Laura’s off to a baronial estate in the Scottish Highlands to get a slice of this ultra-high-end market.

It’s supposed to be gorgeous, glitzy and glamorous.  But intrigue follows Laura like night follows day.  And at Glenravish Castle – a shooting lodge fit for a billionaire – Laura finds herself hunting for a scoop that won’t just save her job, it could save her life…

I must admit to having never read a Wendy Holden novel before, but I can now confirm that A View to a Kilt will definitely not be the last Wendy Holden novel that I read!

Laura Lake is the editor of the award winning magazine Society, a magazine famed for its exposes and hard hitting articles about topics that other glossy magazines won’t touch.  When Laura’s long-standing CEO Christopher retires, she finds herself managed by the wildly different Bev Sweet, a woman with big plans but no budget.  With advertising revenue at an all time low, she sets Laura the impossible task of bringing huge amounts of revenue for the next issue or find herself out of a job.

Finding herself set up to produce a Scottish issue Laura finds herself in Scotland, away from her boyfriend Harry at a crucial point in their relationship and at Glenravish Castle, guest to the eccentric Sandy McRavish.  What follows can only be described as entertaining and comical! This really is a laugh out loud novel – there were twists that I was not expecting at all, so for a light-hearted, entertaining read you are still kept on your toes!  I loved reading about Scotland, Holden’s descriptions are so vivid – they could definitely be used as a Scottish sales tool – it has certainly made me want to visit those rolling mountains and lochs.

Anyway, back to the book.  This really is a fab read, and I am more than happy to recommend it to you all.  It is perfect for a cosy Sunday afternoon read on a rainy day, or equally as perfect when sat on a beach with a cocktail in hand – read it anytime, anywhere.  I’m already considering my next Wendy Holden read…feel free to throw your suggestions at me!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Wendy Holden and Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this book.  All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Author bio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number-one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, The Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author.  She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers.  She lives in Derbyshire.

Visit her website at http://www.wendyholden.net

Follow Wendy:

Facebook: @WendyHoldenAuthor

Twitter: @Wendy_Holden

Follow Head of Zeus:

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @Hoz_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

*BLOG TOUR* Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

Maybe Baby_High Res

Today it is my turn on the blog tour for Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas.

Just when you thought you had it all worked out …

Best friends Lisa and Felicity think  – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.

Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete after a romantic getaway.

But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises …

I have never read anything by Carol Thomas before, so Maybe Baby seemed like a good place to start! I should point out that Maybe Baby is the second book in the Lisa Blake series (the first is The Purrfect Pet Sitter) but I didn’t feel like I was missing out having not read the first book in this series.  I am therefore happy to confirm that it can be read as a standalone novel.

Maybe Baby follows best friends Lisa and Felicity.  Lisa has returned home after ending a turbulent relationship, and finds herself rekindling a relationship with Nathan, a hunky fireman and her childhood sweetheart.

Felicity is happily married to Pete, and mother to their four beautiful children.  With the passion in her marriage reignited, and her friendship with Lisa at an all time high she feels that everything is finally falling into place.

When life throws both Felicity and Lisa a curveball, they find themselves drawn closer together as they support each other through the trials that they are pushed to overcome.

Maybe Baby is a story about love and loss but most importantly, it is about friendship and how important that can be.  It’s about realising your own potential and what you can achieve when you have the support of those that you love.

This is such a lovely, easy-read novel.  I am more than happy to recommend it – best read with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Carol Thomas and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel.  All opinions offered are my own.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maybe-Baby-friendship-humour-Blake-ebook/dp/B07NKQVL96

US – https://www.amazon.com/Maybe-Baby-friendship-humour-Blake-ebook/dp/B07NKQVL96

Author Bio

Maybe Baby Author Photo

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.

Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

Social Media Links –

Website and Social Media Links:

http://carol-thomas.co.uk

http://facebook.com/carolthomasauthor

http://twitter.com/carol_thomas2

http://www.pinterest.co.uk/carol_thomas2/

http://www.instagram.com/carol_thomas2/

Blog:

http://carol-thomas.co.uk/blog

*BLOG TOUR* A Dangerous Act of Kindness by LP Fergusson

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for LP Fergusson’s A Dangerous Act of Kindness.

What would you risk for a complete stranger?

When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep.  Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered, and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm.

On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond.  But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War Two forces them apart, leaving on the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.

As Millie’s dangerous act of kindness sets them on paths they never could have expected, those closest to them become their greatest threats, and the consequences of compassions prove deadly.

As you know, I am a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly that which is set during World War II so I was very excited to be invited to read this debut novel by LP Fergusson and offer my review as part of the blog tour.

What sets this apart from other World War II historical fiction that I have read is the characters and the setting.  So much of what I read is about those living throughout the blitz in a war torn London.  In contrast this is set in the country, where the inhabitants are affected by the war due to rationing, and the inflow of women and children who are swarming out of the cities.  They are not however directly affected by the constant bombing, and therefore, at times, the war can feel to be far away.  The sense of this is really captured within the novel.  Of course the war is part of their every day lives, but not necessarily in the same way as those who found themselves night after night in air raid shelters, escaping the constant bombing.

The characters also set this novel apart.  Millie is a woman widowed, left fighting to keep her farm afloat in the absence of her husband.  She is struggling in a way that very few could understand due to the circumstances of her husbands death.  When a German plane comes down near Millie’s farm, the war becomes more real for the local villagers as they revel in the successes of Britains war effort in destroying the enemy.

When Millie finds Lukas, the injured German pilot, on her land she finds herself drawn to him despite the danger it puts them both in.  She protects him, as she finds herself becoming more and more emotionally involved as they both try to forget the circumstances they find themselves in.  I really enjoyed reading about Lukas – it was fascinating to read about the British war effort through German eyes, to find out more about the propaganda that the German forces were fed and how certain they were that they were mere days away from victory.  What he sees when he eventually leaves Millie and is captured is eye opening.

This is such a poignant tale of war, of love, of guilt and of betrayal at a time when all of these things were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. It really is a beautiful debut novel, and I hope to read more historical fiction from LP Fergusson.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for providing me with a copy of this novel and inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio

LP Fergusson grew up on the borders of Wales in a Tudor house on the banks of the River Wye.  As a child she longed to go back in history.  Now she does, through her writing.  She has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University and won the Blackwell’s Prize for MA Creative Writing.  Her stories have made a number of shortlists for competitions run by the Orwell Society, Oxfordshire Libraries and Flash500.  Her psychological thriller reached the final three of a Quercus/Psychologies Thriller competition and her wartime novel A Dangerous Act of Kindness was Highly Commended in the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.  She edits the historical blog With Love from Graz which was featured on BBC Radio Wales, Radio 2 and BBC4’s A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley.  She now lives in an Oxfordshire village beneath the chalk downs where her debut novel is set.

*BLOG TOUR* It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl

It's My Birthday Cover

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl – thanks for joining me!

It’s My Birthday

… I’ll cry if I want to.

Oh boy, another birthday …

Karen could be excused for crying on her birthday, especially as it’s the first one since her husband got on a plane to the States and never came back. Then there’s the fact that her workmates were practically bribed to attend her birthday meal. But when a restaurant double booking leads to her sharing a table with single dad Elliot and his daughter, things start looking up.

As Karen gets to know Elliot she experiences feelings she thought she’d never have again. But is it enough? Or will the thing that destroyed Karen’s previous relationship also ruin things with Elliot?

I was really looking forward to reading this – the premise of this story felt realistic, covering real life topics.  Whilst reading fiction is definitely for escapism, it is sometimes nice to read about people dealing with real issues, and discovering how they work through them.  It gives you the opportunity to compare yourself with others in a safe environment!

Karen is struggling with turning 40.  Her husband has left her, getting on a plane to the States and not coming back.  She is not where she thought she would be at this point in her life; married with children, enjoying life with her own family.  Instead she has spent years in turmoil, going through emotional and physical changes that ultimately pushed her and her husband apart.  When her best friend Sally forces her out for her birthday (having bribed her work colleagues to attend), Karen is at rock bottom.  A chance meeting with single dad Elliot and his daughter Sophie, forces out of the dark hole she has dug herself, and makes her evaluate what is really important to her.

This story isn’t just about a blossoming relationship.  It is about learning from your past mistakes, being open to making new mistakes whilst also discovering what you really want from your life for your future.  It’s about working for what you really want from life, and creating the opportunities to achieve them.  This is a story about a strong woman who manages to rescue herself from the darkness she finds herself in, with a little help from her friends.  It’s about love, it’s about forgiveness and it’s about learning from your past to ensure your future is filled with the things you really want from life.

This novel deals with some emotive topics, but I am more than happy to recommend it to you all.  It’s a lovely novel that deals with some emotional issues.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Hannah Pearl and Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for asking me to take part in this blog tour and providing me with a copy of this novel.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-My-Birthday-heartwarming-romance-ebook/dp/B07N5LXS93

US – https://www.amazon.com/Its-My-Birthday-heartwarming-romance-ebook/dp/B07N5LXS93

Author Bio

Its My Birthday Author Photo

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.

She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.

In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.

Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Blog – dizzygirlwrites.wordpress.com 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HannahPearl_1

*BLOG TOUR* The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Morgen Bailey’s The Serial Dater’s Shopping List – thanks for joining me!

Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read?  Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper.  Her somewhat intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

So, I was more than happy to read and review The Serial Dater’s Shopping List when it popped up in my emails.  It looked like a fun, easy-read based around internet dating, which is now apparently the only way to date – I haven’t dated in 15 years so I cannot confirm or deny this!

As you can see from the blurb, this is recommended as a ‘perfect summer holiday read’ and I have to say, I would completely agreed with this.  Sadly I had to read it during a wet and blustery weekend, but it would have been ideal to read sat on a hot beach with a cocktail in hand!

Izzy is our central character, a journalist with a technology column in her local newspaper.  When her boss William sets the task of dating thirty-one men, she takes the bull by the horns, sets up her online dating profile and gives it her best shot!  What follows is a number of funny, interesting or non-existent dates, pushing her out of her comfort zone to meet men that she probably would not normally meet.  The project enables her to write her ‘shopping list’ –  a list of do’s and don’t for dating, and it makes her evaluate what she is actually looking for from a man.

I enjoyed following Izzy in her quest to date thirty-one men – she met men that we have all met at one time or another in our lives, making her experiences more than relatable.  I’m not sure she convinced me that online dating is the way forward should I ever find myself in that position, but I enjoyed following her nonetheless!  So if you are looking for a light-hearted, easy-read this could well be the book for you this summer!  Don’t forget that cocktail!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Morgen Bailey and Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side Publicity & Promo for providing me with a copy of this book.  This is my own honest review.

Author Bio

Morgen Bailey is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writer’s Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker and co-founder of Northants Authors.  The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions.  She also runs her own monthly 100-wod competition.  2018 events included talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course.  Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others.  Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

*BLOG TOUR* A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble.

One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote.  Perfect for fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store.  She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.

Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life.  But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed.  With the coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

I was lucky enough to read and review the first book in the Pennington’s series, The Mistress of Pennington’s last year, so was very pleased when I was offered the opportunity to read and review the latest instalment in this series.  I really do enjoy revisiting places and getting to know characters that previously only played a small role.  This novel gave me just that.  I found myself back at the prestigious Pennington’s department store located in Bath, the setting for the first book in this series.  We are given the opportunity to check in with Elizabeth Pennington and Joseph, which is always lovely as we get to see where characters we have grown to love are at in their lives.  A Rebel at Pennington’s brings Esther, a window dresser at Pennington’s, to the forefront of the story.  A friend of Elizabeth’s, we learn that Esther is a staunch supporter of the suffragist movement and is keen to enable women’s progression in society at a time when they didn’t yet have the vote.  Kicked out by her own father for her beliefs, she is fiercely independent and forever fearful that if she were to let a man into her life he would attempt to hold her back.

Lawrence Culford is a very successful businessman, and widowed father of two beautiful children.  Despite his adult successes, his own upbringing has scarred him making him shy away from love.  Lawrence and Esther find themselves pulled together by their mutual support of the Cause, but also by something deeper – we follow them in this novel as they both attempt to overcome their own internal barriers to really work together, both in life and love.

I love novels set in years gone by.  I am a big fan of history, yet I have actually read very little about the suffragists and suffragettes.  Historical fiction such as A Rebel at Pennington’s intertwines a beautiful fictional story with the factual events of the past, ensuring that we are able to learn something new whilst immersing ourselves in such a wonderful, vivid story.  Rachel Brimble really brings this story to life with the vivid descriptions of Pennington’s and Bath, along with a group of flawed but well-rounded characters who you can really relate to, despite the decades separating us.  I really enjoyed this novel, and do not hesitate to recommend it to you – if you enjoy novels featuring strong, independent women (and equally strong, independent men) then you will love this series.  I look forward to reading the next one!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Rachel Brimble and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel.

Author Bio

Rachel lives with her husband their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eith books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victoria romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store.  The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest.  When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.  Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.  She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers.  Rachel would love to hear from you!

 

*BLOG TOUR* Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

Today I am pleased to say that it is my stop on the blog tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow.

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days.  The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away!  As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind.  And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Love Heart Lane is the first book based in Love Heart Lane, and I am pleased to confirm that it will not be the last!  It is the first novel that I have read by Christie Barlow, and I really enjoyed exploring the village of Heartcross and getting to know its inhabitants.  As you all know, I am a fan of authors who revisit places in future novels, as it often means that we get to learn about new characters, or find out more about characters we have fleetingly met, whilst also hearing about the characters we already know and love.  So as I’m sure you can imagine, I am already sitting waiting to read Foxglove Farm so that I can revisit Heartcross!

Anyway, back to Love Heart Lane.  Flick Simons is a woman living in the city, far away from her home, escaping a past full of tragedy and loss.  When her beloved Grandmother passes away, she finds herself back in her childhood home with her mother, grieving and faced with regret about the time she has lost with her Grandmother.  When the village finds itself cut off from the outside world, and Flick finds herself unable to return to the city, she is forced to face up to what, and who, she left behind.  Flick finds herself in the centre of a village which is pulling together to rescue itself, surrounded by friends and loved ones who, despite her running away years ago, welcome her back into their fold with open arms.

Fergus Campbell is Flick’s childhood sweetheart, and father to the beautiful Esme.  He is less pleased to see Flick again – when she ran away to the city, she ran away from him too.  Having finally recovered from his heartbreak, he is less than happy to find her back in the village, forgiving her seems an almost impossible task.

This is a novel about love, friends and family.  Its about loss, but it’s also about what you can find when you are forced to re-evaluate your life, whilst overcoming obstacles.  It’s about forgiveness, and it is about admitting when you were wrong.

I really enjoyed Love Heart Lane.  I loved watching a wealth of characters pull together in a time of need, forgetting past wrongs to really achieve something together.  Of course I love a bit of romance thrown in, but this was also a novel about how important friendships are, and family.  It is about discovering that you do not have to cope alone – there is always someone there if you are willing to let them in. I am more than happy to recommend this novel if you enjoy a light read, full of family, friends and romance!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Christie Barlow and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane.  Her writing career came as somewhat of a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams.  The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA and Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

Website: http://www.christiebarlow.com

Twitter: @ChristieJBarlow