Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett #BlogTour @Helen_Bridgett @rararesources #Review


Thank you for joining me for my stop on the blog tour for The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett. I actually read this book back in May but I'm delighted to be re-sharing my review with you today for the tour. 

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



He took her to dinner: that was annoying

He slept with her: that was hurtful

He bought new underwear to impress her: quite frankly astounding

He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS: INFURIATING!

After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.

But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don't go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie's been looking for.

Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it's never too late for a second chance.

Purchase from Amazon




Helen Bridgett instantly drew me into the story with her delightfully witty writing. I loved the part about the candle, I would definitely feel the same way as Angie! I got an instant feel for Angie's character and it was a great introduction to this charming character. She is such a down to earth and lovely person who at the start is seemingly lost.

All of the characters were developed well and had their quirky ways which definitely made them more memorable. A special mention has to go to Patty there are no other words to describe her other than that she is just brilliant! Her one liners always lightened the mood and I really enjoyed Angie and Patty's friendship. I have to admit that at times Zoe slightly annoyed me with how she acted with her mum. I guess it is difficult being stuck in the middle of divorced parents but she could be a little blunt. I guess this made me like Angie's character even more. It isn't just Angie who transforms over the course of the year her friends and family also change too. I guess that was what was so interesting about following this group of people.

I love to travel although since having children I don't really get much of an opportunity anymore. I guess I look at motherhood as a whole different kind of adventure! So the travel aspect to the story really appealed to me especially as at school I had visions of working as a travel agent just like Angie. 

There are so many funny moments that had me smiling virtually all the way through the book. It was a joy to see Angie try new things in her quest to get her life back on track. The eighties vibe was a brilliant touch I'm sure most people agree that the eighties are a firm favourite for reminiscing! Music features in the storyline and the soundtrack is fab, well it is if you are a fan of 80s pop! The Granny-oakes plot is such a great part of this story and showcases Patty's personality brilliantly.

I'm sure this book will resonate with a lot of people especially if you have had a long term relationship break down. Angie's attitude was a breath of fresh air and even when faced with an uncertain future she picks herself up and carries on the best she can. This book is so easy to read and before I knew it I was half way through and I was having such a great time getting to know Angie and her friends. The short chapters are great and I think this helps to keep the story fresh and moving along at a good pace.

Packed full of friendship, family life & learning to move on - The Mercury Travel Club is the perfect pick me up from everyday life!

With thanks to Helen Bridgett & RedDoor Publishing for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Also my thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the invite to join the tour.



Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year's resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal - to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine - not usually at the same time.
Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series


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Why not follow along with the tour...



Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone @PhillFeathers #BlogTour #Review #Extract @BrookCottagebks #Giveaway


Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone. You can catch my review, read an extract and take part in a lovely giveaway. 

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



Genre: Nominally YA/NA, general fiction
Release Date: 27 January 2017
Publisher: Matador
Kerryl Shaw has always kept a diary, but this one is different because she knows she is going to die.
A highly infectious and incurable virus spreads worldwide. Seventeen-year-old Kerryl lives with her family on a remote farm. They think they will be safe, but the danger advances. One day a stranger arrives, and it soon becomes apparent that he has brought the plague to their door.
Kerryl is sure it’s only a matter of time before she catches the infection and dies, and decides to record what she thinks will be her final days. She realises that her diary will never be read, so she imagines a reader and calls him Adam. Loneliness and isolation affect the balance of her mind. Little by little Adam comes alive to her, and she sets off across the moor to meet him.
Buy Links
TROUBADOR - http://bit.ly/2ATT0wq

WATERSTONES - http://bit.ly/2jw1uFR

Buy direct from the author and get it signed! 

I found the premise for the story so intriguing and I couldn't wait to start reading. So what did I think, well the first thing I will mention is that it was very easy to get into the story. The chapters are short and to the point which I loved and there was a bit of information given to peak my interest making me wonder what actually happened.

There is the odd newspaper clipping interspersed within the story that start to shed some light on The Infection and I found those really interesting. I found the diary style way of telling the story really engaging it made things all the more personal. I'm a fan of dystopian stories and this was no disappointment I could feel the isolation that Kerryl feels as The Infection spreads. I'm trying to be pretty vague as the story is worth reading for yourself and I would hate to spoil the plot.

Kerryl is a great character and I instantly warmed to her, she is matter of fact making her so likeable for me. Phill Featherstone has written her very well, I loved how she talked about her life before everything happened telling the reader her dreams for the future. 


I got completely caught up in Paradise Girl and it ended up being quite an emotional read for me. Also making me think about the choices I would make in the same situation. The story is pretty compelling and I kept saying to myself just a couple more pages which turned into finishing this book in one go. I just had to know how everything would turn out.


Engaging and compelling!
Five stars!


With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


       Introductions are boring, but unless I take time to explain things it will be confusing for you. Me first. Not very polite, I know, but it’s probably the best place to start.

       My name is Kerryl – or that’s what my family and friends call me. My proper name is Cheryl. Cheryl Alison Shaw. They call me the Paradise Girl. Don’t get excited – it sounds sexy but it’s not. I’m seventeen years old and still a virgin. I’m not a nun, I’ve been out with loads of boys – Tim, Mark (two of them), Nathan, Jake, Tristram, Steve – but I wasn’t that keen on any of them and they didn’t last. The exception was Mark II. He was older than me, fearsomely good looking and he had a nice car. I thought he was really hot.

When I wasn’t with him I was thinking about him. But it seems he wasn’t as keen as me, and one day my best friend, Josie, told me that he was going out with Monica Woodbridge and saying I was a frigid cow. It seems everybody knew I’d been dumped and I was the last to find out.

The worst thing was the shock. I thought Monica Woodbridge was my friend. As well as that, all the girls in our group had been going out with the same boys for a long time, but I seemed to keep a boyfriend for only a few weeks. Was there something wrong with me? To be honest, I’m not a great beauty. I don’t mean I’m a train wreck or anything. I’m not bad looking, but I’m not like Charlene Brooker or Suzy Simmonds. They’re electric, both of them. Charlene could be a model, and Suzy’s always surrounded by a gang of drooling boys.

They’re gone now: Charlene, Suzy, Josie, Monica, all of them.

       Sorry for the break there. I had to stop to have a little weep. I’ll try not to do too much of that. I suppose I can console myself with one thing: with everyone else dead, I must be the most beautiful girl in the world!
  

Phill Featherstone was born and brought up in the north of England. He trained as a teacher and taught English in comprehensive schools. In the late 1990s he and his wife, Sally, founded a publishing company specialising in education books for the early years. In 2008 the business was acquired by Bloomsbury, after which they moved to Yorkshire. He now spends his time writing, travelling, on the arts and on conservation work. Phill has degrees from Cambridge and Leicester Universities, and is a member of the Society of Authors. Paradise Girl is his third novel, although the first to be published.
Twitter: @PhillFeathers
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GIVEAWAY
2 signed copies of the book 

(open internationally)

Jungle Rock by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 #FirstBirthdayCelebration #Review #Giveaway #Extract @rararesources


I'm delighted to be taking part in the 1st Birthday Celebration for Jungle Rock by Caroline James. I have a lovely extract to share with you along with a great giveaway to enter. 

In December last year I reviewed Jungle Rock so I'm also happy to be re-sharing my review today.

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...





While celebrity chef Zach, struggles in the Jungle, ex-partner Poppy gets busy in Orlando…

The grand finale of the Epcot Food Festival was the closing event of what had been a memorable week for Poppy and her chefs. Now, as they stood by their work stations in a vast banqueting hall, Poppy felt her nerves take hold.

  The event they had been building up to was about to begin.

  In a few moments time, the doors would open and five hundred guests would flood through. The VIP diners had paid a staggering amount of money to get golden tickets which entitled them to sample taster portions of the signature dishes of forty of Europe’s finest chefs. At the end of the evening, the winning chef would be announced. It was an accolade that every chef wanted to display on his restaurant wall.

  Poppy glanced at Chef and his team and saw that they were busy with the final touches. Renowned for his global cuisine, Chef would prepare a ragout of brill with autumn truffle and bacon foam served on lemon oil. They’d been working all day in the Disney kitchen in preparation for the evening and as Poppy mentally counted the plates, stacked high on Chef’s station, she hoped and prayed that he would be up to the task and fill the plates swiftly with the winning dish. Her role was to meet, greet and guide guests to her client. Armed with information about Chef, from his London restaurant to his cookery books and the many ranges of culinary paraphernalia that he endorsed, Poppy had her work cut out.

  Suddenly, the bright lights overhead were dimmed and thousands of fairy lights twinkled from swathes of dark fabric lining the ceilings and walls. A Disney executive stepped forward and spoke into a mic.
  “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome - the Cirque du Soleil!”

  Acrobats appeared, spinning magically into the room, and a host of circus performers glided through the air across silver wires lacing the enchanting scene. Poppy was entranced. The colours were dazzling as dancers whirled into position.

  “Chefs, are you ready?”

  A hearty chorus shouted back, “Yes!”

  The doors at the end of the hall slid open to reveal five hundred expectant diners who cheered as they witnessed the magnificent sight. Forty food stations awaited, with tantalising tastes, wine-laden tables and entertainment of the highest standard from the world’s leading troupe. The guests stampeded forward and Poppy held her breath.

  “Let battle begin!”





In the summer of  2016 I read Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me by Caroline James in that story we briefly meet Zach and Poppy so I was looking forward to carrying on reading their story in Jungle Rock.

I loved the fun premise for this story and I really hoped that Poppy and Zach would get their happy ending. Even though Jungle Rock is a novella the story didn't feel rushed and everything came together brilliantly. I enjoyed the parts in the jungle with Zach’s fellow campmates. Although at times I thought it was kind of a shame it wasn't a full story so I could read more about them.

When Poppy went to the Epcot Food Festival I had to smile. The last time I was in Florida we went to the World Showcase at Epcot and ate at some of the stalls during the Food Festival. I really liked Poppy and felt for her as she struggled to move on from Zach.

 All of the characters are well written but Jo and Hattie are a delight and it was lovely to catch up with them in this book. Even though Jungle Rock has characters from previous books by Caroline James it can still be read as a standalone.

Jungle Rock is an enjoyable and heart warming story! 

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Caroline James for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Also with thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the invite to join in with the celebration.




Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry – a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK and spends her time writing, climbing mountains and running a consultancy business. Caroline has a great fondness for the Caribbean and escapes to the islands whenever she can. She is a public speaker, reviewer and food writer and loves cooking and baking, especially cake. Her next novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel is coming soon…

Twitter:  @CarolineJames12     
Facebook:  Caroline James Author    

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 Giveaway – Win a £20 Amazon Voucher


Sign up to Caroline James’ mailing list to be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher.  Giveaway open internationally and closes 30th November 2017. Winner will be announced by Caroline via email.




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Monday, 20 November 2017

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Cafe by Rachel Griffiths @authorRG #Review

I received an ARC from the author.



Camilla Dix is fiercely independent. Growing up, she had to be strong for her mother and younger sister after her father left them for a new life in Benidorm. Camilla has kept her heart firmly closed to love, and never allows her relationships with men to develop into anything serious. 

Tom Stone moved to Heatherlea for a fresh start. He’s been hurt in the past and has no intention of making himself vulnerable again. The only company he wants at night is that of his rescue British Bulldog Hairy Pawter.

However, when Camilla and Tom meet, they can’t deny their mutual attraction, and something deeper soon develops between them.

As snows falls over Heatherlea, mulled wine flows and festive carols fill the air, but can Camilla and Tom put their fears aside and trust each other enough to let love in? 

This is the third of four short stories in The Cosy Cottage Café series. 

Now available:

Summer at The Cosy Cottage Café
Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café 
Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café



Coming soon:


Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

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Buy Link


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To begin with I have to mention the cover, I have loved every one of the covers for The Cosy Cottage Cafe Series so far but this one has to be my favourite. It could possibly be the snowman or the holly but I just think it's lovely. This series of books have been so enjoyable and I can't believe that I will be reading the last one in 2018. I'm looking forward to reading Spring at The Cosy Cottage Cafe but I think I will also be a little sad that it will be over!

One of the main things that stands out in this series is the group of friends I feel as if I could just drop in for a chat with them. Along with having a drink, a slice of pizza and of course a piece of cake not that I'm greedy or anything! Just like the previous books this one has a lovely warm and comforting feel to it as if I'm getting wrapped up in a cosy fluffy blanket. That is definitely down to some delightful characters and the wonderful down to earth writing style that Rachel Griffiths has. Even though this book is the third in the series I still think it could be classed as a standalone. However you really are missing out on getting to know some lovely characters.

In this book we follow Camilla in the run up to Christmas and I couldn't wait to see how her story would turn out. Camilla has a strong personality but also that little bit of vulnerability after having faced issues within her family when she was younger. I love the relationship with her sister Dawn and how she feels she has to look out for her. I'm not going to go into the plot too much but there is a big shock in store for Camilla and her family. Camilla also seems to be finding herself in plenty of embarassing situations whenever she is near Tom who is the vet in the village of Heatherlea. Tom is so loveable, I think I may have fallen a little for him myself and I loved their sweet interactions. You also get to meet a very cute British Bulldog with one moment in particular that really stands out. So a special mention has to go to Hairy Pawter (brilliant name) he was such a perfect addition to the story!

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Cafe is a story that is not only witty but will also melt your heart. From the wonderful characters who will have you rooting for their happy ending to the heartwarming nature of the story.

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel Griffiths for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.



Related Posts

And a Sixpence For Luck by Lilac Mills @lilacmills #BlogTour #Review @NeverlandBT #Giveaway


I'm so happy to be one of the bloggers kicking off a brand new blog tour for And a Sixpence For Luck by Lilac Mills. Why not head over to https://brizzlelassbooks.com/ too. 

Today I will be sharing my review along with the chance to enter a fab giveaway. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...  



Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother's loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn't what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

Daisy, bless her, thinks things can't possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.


Buy links




It's safe to say that Daisy gets a shock at the beginning of this story turning her life completely upside down. Then having to move back home with her mum and nan really isn't the best of times. Surely this must be the end of Daisy's bad luck? It's worth finding out for yourself but I will tell you that Daisy ends up on quite a journey! Daisy's family is pretty quirky and they definitely don't make things easy for Daisy although they are only trying to help I guess. One of my favourite parts was the way that Daisy became friends with Zoe it was lovely to see this friendship blossom.



There is a fun sense of humour throughout this story even when Daisy is having a really bad time of it. Daisy and her family end up getting involved in plenty of scrapes especially once the supposedly lucky sixpence gets involved. There are plenty of misunderstandings involving Daisy and a certain doctor that will definitely leave you smiling. Now I know that And a Sixpence For Luck is set at Christmas but it doesn't overpower the story it just adds an extra special magical touch.

The plot is easy going keeping me entertained right through to the end. It's perfect for curling up with after a long day especially if you want to forget your troubles and get lost in a fun and story.


Funny and heartwarming!
Four stars!


With thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.



Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…


When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.






Giveaway

Signed copy of the book and a silver sixpence necklace

International




a Rafflecopter giveaway

We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews #Interview #BlogTour @QuiteFunnyGuy @EmmaMitchellFPR


Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews. I'm delighted to be one of the stops today and I will be sharing an interview with Paul Mathews but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




Title: We Have Lost the Chihuahuas
Author: Paul Mathews

London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your-face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.
Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.
Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help? Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in the latest, crazy comedy-thriller from dog-loving British author Paul Mathews.

Pre-Order link:


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Interview with Paul Mathews

Why did you write a book?

Because I’m a very funny guy and it wouldn’t be fair to keep all that funniness to myself..! Also, so I don’t have to go back to a proper office and work for any more idiot bosses who throw tantrums when their computers don’t work (you know who you are!).

Why did you choose your particular genre?

I’ve always been a comedian of sorts. And I’ve written murder mysteries for the stage. So a comedy-thriller / mystery (without any murders, it has to be said) seemed the natural choice. It was fortuitous that mysteries are so popular because, on the whole, humour isn’t that big a seller.

If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?

Science fiction – it opens up a lot of possibilities for new worlds and characters. But it would still be comedy. And very funny, of course.

What’s the worst thing about writing a book?

All the one-star reviewers who spout off about how unfunny I am – without even contemplating that the humour might be flying right over their heads and back across the Atlantic. I’ll stop there before I start ranting!

What’s the best thing about writing a book?

Seeing reviews from people who genuinely connect with your writing, enjoy the crazy stories & oddball characters, and love the humour.

If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?

Donald Trump – just to get inside that man’s head and see what’s going on might help us better understand why he is like he is. (N.B. he gets a mention in ‘We Have Lost The Chihuahuas’!)


Thank you Paul :)



Paul Mathews is a quite funny British guy who's managed to escape his day job and is currently on the run as a comedy novelist. His sharp, satirical - often surreal - sense of humour draws on 20 years as a British Government press officer, during which time he encountered politicians, senior civil servants, HR managers, and lots of other people who really sucked at their jobs.

His popular 'We Have Lost' comedy-thriller series set in 2040s London, starring beleaguered presidential spokesman and wannabe secret agent Howie Pond, currently comprises four titles with more on the way. Paul has read all the books at least ten times and highly recommends them.

Make him happy by signing up for his 'Very Funny Newsletter' here:
www.quitefunnyguy.com/newsletter. If you don't want to sign up for it, stay calm and do nothing.

Paul also owns a cat, Lulu, who works as his assistant. All fan mail to her, please.