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The Case of the Reincarnated Client by Tarquin Hall

When a young woman comes forward saying she’s the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Vish Puri is dismissive. He’s busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom’s thunderous snoring. Puri’s indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accurately describe under hypnosis Riya Kaur’s life and final hours?

Driven by a sense of duty – the original case was his late father’s – Puri manages to acquire the police file only to find that someone powerful has orchestrated a cover-up. Forced into an alliance with his mother that tests his beliefs and high blood pressure as never before, it’s only by delving into the past the help of his reincarnated client that Puri can hope to unlock the truth.

 

My review

I’m kicking myself that I’ve only now discovered this fabulous series. But better late than never!

The Case of the Reincarnated Client is the fifth novel featuring Vish Puri as its hero. Or rather anti-hero, since he’s an unassuming, kind man who much prefers the quiet life and really doesn’t want to be called on to do heroic acts. He is very much at the beck and call of Mummy-ji, who is actually the driving force behind this novel in that she insists that Vish takes this case on. Poor man, he has no choice!

The setting is modern-day Mumbai and the atmosphere is one of endless noise, colour and activity. The pace of life is frenetic, yet somehow it doesn’t sweep Vish along with it. He takes his time, especially over meals, and remains sedate, almost ponderous, but resolute.

Not only are we thoroughly entertained in this book but we learn some Indian history and get a revealing glimpse of its modern culture too.

All the characters we come across are fascinating, most of them borderline eccentric if not beyond, and they are all a joy to encounter. There’s lots of humour and quirkiness in the novel and it’s one that really gets under your skin and won’t give you any rest until you’ve finished it. You just have to know what unexpected thing is going to happen next!

An excellent book that I wholeheartedly recommend.

 

Purchase Links

UK –


US – https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0727888781

About the author

Tarquin Hall is a British author and journalist who has previously lived in the USA, Pakistan, India, Kenya and Turkey. He now divides his time between the UK and India and is married to BBC reporter and presenter Anu Anand. He is the author of four previous Vish Puri mysteries and The Delhi Detective’s Handbook.

Social Media Links:

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Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman

Christmas and romance are in the air…

It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.

So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?

Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!

 

My review

I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this Christmassy treat from Lucy Coleman’s as I’ve loved all the other books by her that I’ve read. And I was right!

This is a charming and uplifting story that will get you feeling very festive. The theme of co-workers or friends pretending to relatives encountered over the holiday period to be in a relationship is one we’re familiar with but this author handles it in a very fresh and original way.

Cary and Leesa are both workaholics with emotional baggage that has made them close themselves off to an extent. They’ve poured their energy into their careers, but perhaps its time they gave priority to themselves.

The background of familiar, familial bickering and tension mixed in with the love that we get in the scenes with the relatives is very enjoyable, also warming and a wonderful reminded that although our families frequently drive us up the wall, we wouldn’t want to be without them. Not really!

Highly entertaining, this feel-good festive romcom will leave you with a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.

 

Purchase Link –


Author bio 

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

 

Social Media Links –

Website: https://linnbhalton.co.uk/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

 

Giveaway to Win a Signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas Pamper Pack. (UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494305/

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A Forgiven Friend by Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape: fun amidst the chaos

A Forgiven Friend: Lies, Loss, and Love, But Always Friendship

Friendship will always come first.

There’s only one way out from rock bottom and that’s up, and Teri Meyer is finally crawling out from the worst time of her life – no thanks to her best friend Lee. But no matter, she’s finally found love – real love with a real man, a successful man, a man who accepts all her flaws. Teri’s never felt like this before, and yet it’s changing her in ways she doesn’t understand.

And there’s only one person who can help, one person who truly understands Teri.

It seems that no matter how hard Lee Harper tries, there’s a battle awaiting her at every turn these days, and she’s tired. And as if she needs the extra stress, Teri continues to create constant and unnecessary drama. But Lee’s the only one who really knows what’s going on under Teri’s hard, convoluted exterior, and that’s why she’s always been there for her.

But the question is: will Teri be there when Lee needs her most?

The brilliant and entertaining final book in the unique FRIENDS trilogy dishes out another dose of rib-tickling mayhem for our favourite thirty-something professional women.

 

My review

A Forgiven Friend is the third in a trilogy of novellas, but that said it works fine as a standalone. I suspect there may be added richness from knowing what’s come before, but I’m sure that after reading this book you’ll want to rush off and read the preceding two as quickly as possible. (These are A Falling Friend and A Forsaken Friend.)

The book is written by two lady authors who make a fantastic team. And we have two women as our heroines in the story, Lee and Teri. I hope that Sue and Susan get on better than their creations! Lee and Teri have a volatile relationship, at times almost childish in their vacillations from hate to love, blame and apologies, betrayal and loyalty. But as the title suggests, they truly love each other and will always forgive. There is also a deep maturity and sincerity to their friendship.

Lee and Teri are chalk and cheese. Teri is impulsive, frequently thoughtless and not the sort to think before she speaks. Lee is more considered, thoughtful and restrained. They are attracted and annoyed by the opposing qualities they see in their friend.

As mid-thirties heroines they have a bit of baggage and are embroiled in family dramas. Those of us of a similar vintage, or beyond, and situation will recognise so much of it! This aspect makes the characters very rounded and convincing.

There’s plenty of fun amidst the chaos in this novella, and so much to enjoy.

 

Purchase Links


Biographies: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists with extensive experience of working for national and regional papers and magazines, and in public relations.

More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity University.

The pair, who have been friends for almost 30 years, wrote two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage), before deciding to turn their hands to fiction.

The first novel in their Friends series, A Falling Friend, was released in 2016. A Forsaken Friend followed two years later, and the final book in the trilogy, A Forgiven Friend, published on November 19.

Sue, who is married with two grown-up daughters, and the most ‘gorgeous granddaughter in the whole world’, loves reading, writing and Nordic walking in the beautiful countryside near her Yorkshire home.

Susan is married and lives in a village near Leeds, and, when not writing, loves walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also a member of a local ukulele orchestra.

They blog about books at https://bookloversbooklist.com/

Follow them on Twitter: @SueF_Writer and @wordfocus

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Christmas Kisses On Hollywell Hill by Jackie Ladbury: so much to enjoy!

How lovely to be taking part in the first day of this wonderful book’s blog tour 🙂

Synopsis

Christmas is coming and actress Kirsty Castille seems doomed to play the front part of Nag, the Christmas pantomime horse, when a surprise audition lands her the lead role as Maria in the Sound of Music.
Even better she bonds with a handsome chef over a piece of squid at her local supermarket, although sadly romance is the last thing on Jake Levy’s mind.

He has a Christmas deadline, an ex-wife to mourn and lots of emotional baggage to drag around. He certainly doesn’t have time for romance and even if he did he wouldn’t fall for someone like Kirsty who craves the limelight: been there, done that.

A misunderstanding leads Jake to offer Kirsty a job in his new restaurant and she takes it purely to convince him that she’s the girl of his dreams.

Her charm offensive begins to work but while he’s cooking up a storm she’s secretly sparkling under the spotlight – until her cover is busted.

The fallout is catastrophic, but as they say in Luvvie Land, the show must go on, even if Kirsty is terrified that she’s taken her last curtain call and ruined her chance for love.

Read on and immerse yourself in this delightful winter romance as the snow starts to fall and Christmas day becomes a magical reality.

 

My review
This novel is great fun with lots of lovely festive touches. It has you giggling at the absurdity of some of the situations that crop up, but they fit into the madcapness of the story. I mean, having to play the pantomime horse and meeting your true love at the fish counter? Somehow that’s exactly right for Kirsty.

Kirsty and Jake, the other lead role, are both extremely likeable. They both have baggage they’re dealing with, and on top of that Kirsty is permanently broke. But she’s rich in her personality, friendliness and vivacity. The pair of them are also both trying to build new careers which isn’t going to help make the course of true love run smoothly.

The pages of this book deliver a wonderful, tantalising will-they won’t-they tale that keeps us guessing and hoping for the best, right to the end. You may occasionally growl with frustration when either of our hero or heroine messes up what was looking a very promising moment! Jackie Ladbury enjoys teasing her readers as well as her characters!

Loads and loads to enjoy in ‘Christmas Kisses on Hollywell Hill’ in the shape of wit, festivities, delicious-sounding food, comic capers and sheer entertainment!

 

Purchase links

About the author
Jackie Ladbury writes heart-warming contemporary and historical women’s fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying as she now lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats, spending her days making up stories and finding excuses not to go to the gym.
To find out more about Jackie Ladbury, check out these pages:

https://www.facebook.com/jackie.ladbury
https://jackieladbury.com

https://thewriteromantics.com/

 

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Ten Things My Husband Hated by Pauline Wiles: lively and original

Synopsis

Maggie Moone is happily divorced.
And with her talent for fixing things, she’s perfectly content with her mundane life in the sleepy English village of Saffron Sweeting. That is, until one humiliating March evening when she learns everyone else assumes she’d love to mend her broken marriage.
Determined to prove them wrong, Maggie and her friends concoct a list of ten ways to assert her independence and live large. But her mission to move on leads to unexpected encounters, and Maggie soon finds herself mixing business with pleasure. Is the attractive young Irishman just another item on her list, or is he something more?
Before long, unresolved issues from her past begin to clash, and Maggie is forced to wonder if antagonising her ex-husband was such a stellar idea.
No sooner does she begin to understand what’s important to her, than she stands to lose everything that truly matters.
This is the fourth in the collection of Saffron Sweeting romantic comedies, which can be read in any order. If you like gentle British humour and deliciously resilient heroines, you’ll love Ten Things My Husband Hated.

 

My review
This is a lively romcom set in a counry-village England where life moves at a slower pace than in the big cities and the sense of community is very much stronger. Almost too strong, perhaps, and certainly for Maggie at the start of the novel where everyone is talking about her and making assumptions that aren’t correct. Or are they?

Our heroine Maggie Moone is getting over a divorce. Slowly. Her ex, Colin has moved on easily but Maggie less so. Her friends take things in hand. Maggie has to make a list of the ten things that would have driven her husband to apoplexy if she’d done them when she was still his wife, and work her way through them. The idea that this will empower her and show her that’s she’s heaps better off without him.

It has to be said Maggie is in a bit of a sorry state when we first meet her. She’s passive and full of self-pity. She really enters into the spirit of the thing and as her campaign continues she grows stronger and more self-reliant and confident. Almost too self-reliant confident in that she teeters on the edge of total self-indulgence – and she risks losing something that has started to become very important to her.

The back-up characters in this story are well rounded, quirky and interesting. They all interact in believable and entertaining ways. Finn, the quietest of them but the most charming, is engaging from the first time we meet him.
The setting to the novel is beautifully created and we wallow in the gentle, authentic atmosphere of quiet East Anglia.

The plot is very original and the story is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. It’s highly enjoyable and uplifting. A perfect read for any time of the year.

Purchase Link

Author bio
British by birth, Pauline is now a contented resident of California, although she admits to occasional yearnings for afternoon tea and historic homes.
Her debut novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting, reached the quarter final of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Three further books set in the same village are now available, along with a collection of short stories and Indie With Ease, a self-help guide for other self-published authors.
When not writing, Pauline can be found pondering how many miles she has to run to justify an extra piece of cake. She’s also fond of daydreaming about flying herself and a reader to London for tea.

Social media links
https://facebook.com/paulinewilesauthor

www.paulinewiles.com

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Frankie: the woman who saved millions from thalidomide by James Essinger and Sandra Koutzenko

Frankie: The Woman Who Saved Millions from Thalidomide

Thalidomide: patented in Germany as a non-toxic cure-all for sleeplessness and morning sickness. A wonder drug with no side-effects.

We know differently now.

Today, thalidomide is a byword for tragedy and drug reform – a sign of what happens when things aren’t done ‘the right way’. But when it was released in the 1950s, it was the best thing since penicillin – something that doctors were encouraged to prescribe to all of their patients. Nobody could anticipate what it actually did: induce sleeping, prevent morning sickness, and drastically harm unborn children.

But, whilst thalidomide rampaged and ravaged throughout most of the West, it never reached the United States. It landed on the desk of Dr Frances Kelsey, and there it stayed as she battled hierarchy, patriarchy, and the Establishment in an effort to prove that it was dangerous. Frankie is her story.

 

My review

This book will astonish you – and for many reasons.

What makes a particularly strong impression is the powerful yet non-sensational style in which it’s been written. It’s that very fact that makes the book more impactful. There are interviews with adults who were affected devastatingly in vitro by thalidomide, a detailed depiction of the general background to the thalidomide scandal as a whole – the way drug trials were conducted, the god-like status granted to doctors and the powerlessness of most women at the time – and a study and assessment of the long-term impact of the whole affair. The authors have clearly conducted a lot of research and used it to produce an informative, shocking and compelling book.

Frankie, the central figure of the book, emerges from this background as the book proceeds. She’s the lone voice in the wilderness for a long time, actively pressured by the drug company to stop holding things up. Her power, emanating from her position in the FDA and her unstinting devotion to doing what was the right thing, contrasts sharply with the role women generally played in the period, as mentioned earlier. She’s one of the pioneers in demonstrating that women are up to doing any task. Her courage and stance saved up to a million babies around the world from the destructive impact of thalidomide.

Dr Frances Kelsey’s story is inspiring and positive. It shows what one person can achieve, and that’s an important lesson to take out of the book. Stand up and be counted.

 

Purchase Links

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/frankie/9780750991919/

https://www.amazon.com/Frankie-Woman-Saved-Millions-Thalidomide-ebook/dp/B07PQV547Y

Author Bio –

JAMES ESSINGER is the author of non-fiction books that focus on STEM subjects and personalities, including Charles and Ada (The History Press) and Ada’s Algorithm (Gibson Square), the latter of which has been optioned for a film. He lives in Canterbury.

 

 

SANDRA KOUTZENKO is a bilingual writer whose work spans a variety of categories and topics, ranging from French poetry to English non-fiction, focusing on human nature and the conflict between its potential for greatness and its propensity for destruction.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter @TheHistoryPress

Instagram @TheHistoryPressUK

https://www.facebook.com/james.essinger  

https://twitter.com/jamesessinger

 

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One Week Til Christmas by Belinda Missen: festive and sparkly

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.

Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…

When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.

It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.

There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?

 

My review

I could read Belinda Missen books until my eyes fell out!

I adore this author. Her books are always clever, uplifting, witty and enjoyable. One Week Til Christmas is no exception.

We have two fascinating lead characters in Tom and Isobel. There’s instant attraction after they literally bump into each other, and fortunately Fate brings them into each other’s company again in slightly less frantic circumstances. But then they discover that they might not be that perfect for each other after all since he’s a celeb, and they’re the sort of people Isobel dislikes, and she’s a journalist, the sort of person Tom hates.

But it’s Christmas in a week, and so there’s hope that festive magic may have time to work its charm and make this pair realise that you shouldn’t be too quick to judge someone. You mustn’t be afraid to seize the day and see what happens.

This is a beautifully festive and polished romcom, as sparkly as a glittery bauble on a Christmas tree.

 

Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.com.au/One-Week-Christmas-Belinda-Missen-ebook/dp/B07VXLVLJW

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VXLVLJW

https://books.apple.com/us/book/one-week-til-christmas/id1475077464?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Belinda_Missen_One_Week_Til_Christmas?id=W4CmDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/one-week-til-christmas

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-week-til-christmas-belinda-missen/1132755266?ean=9780008296933

Author bio 

Author and sometimes foodie, Belinda is a ridiculous romantic who met her husband after being set up by a friend two states away.

Residing in country Victoria, surrounded by books, cat-fur, and half-eaten cake, Belinda divides her days between writing rom-coms, baking, and indulging her love of comic books.

Social Media Links –

www.belindamissen.com

facebook.com/BelindaMissen

twitter.com/belinda_missen

Instagram @belinda_missen

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Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade: charming and mysterious

 

A time for spilling secrets…

Having refurbished her inherited house and upcycled her whole life in the process, Freya – now happily married to Patrick, and with a small child – has to transform her tiny stone barn into a romantic hideaway for a mystery guest who is also looking for change. With Christmas only a week away, things don’t go according to plan…

In the past old uncertainties are resolved when an elderly woman seeks the truth of a legend on Christmas Eve and confesses to a deception; a Tudor wife listens to a story that must never be repeated and is given a precious relic that must never be displayed; and in the early nineteenth century an old woman tells a younger one the story of the hares at Ladywell.

Past and present are only a whisper apart when Freya learns of an astonishing discovery that will make Ladywell famous, but meanwhile her house is full of unexpected visitors, she has a turkey to cook – and a very special secret of her own that must be told.

 

My review

Christmas at Ladywell is a quick and charming read. It’s part of a series but you don’t need to have read the preceding books to be able to fully enjoy this one.

It’s a dual-timeline story that focuses on the past and the present at Ladywell. In having to do some rather quick renovations, Freya, who inherited the house, makes some interesting discoveries about former residents and royal connections. We get to travel back in time to witness events and meet some of these people. There’s a wonderful atmosphere of mystery woven into the historical element of the story.

There’s mystery in the present day too. Just what is Patrick’s surprise for Freya, and Freya’s own secret?

This is an uplifting, comforting sort of story, perfect for Christmas.

 

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-at-Ladywell-Nicola-Slade-ebook/dp/B07YNKPCJW

Author bio

Nicola Slade is an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire – which is where she lives. The House at Ladywell – a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes – won the Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019.

She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries and The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, is the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.

 

Social media links
Website:
www.nicolaslade.com

Blog: www.nicolaslade.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nicolasladeuk/

Twitter: @nicolasladeuk

Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/nicola8703

 

Giveaway to Win a .mobi or PDF of The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494301/

 

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A Christmas Kiss by Eliza J Scott: joyful and festive

A Christmas Kiss

A sparkling festive romance that will warm your heart this Christmas.

The week before Christmas, GP Zander Gillespie finds his festive plans in tatters. He’s supposed to be flying out to his parents’ chateau in Carcassonne with his high-maintenance girlfriend, Melissa. But she has other ideas. She wants to spend Christmas in London with her party friends – and he’s not invited. The prospect of facing his family, with their questions and their sympathy – not to mention the ‘I told you so-s’ – just isn’t an option. Instead, Zander decides to head to his holiday cottage in the quaint moorland village of Lytell Stangdale, where he intends to hide away with his faithful rescue Labrador Alf.

Eighty miles away, Livvie’s world has come crashing down. With plans to cook a romantic meal for her boyfriend, she heads home early and walks in on him in a compromising position with their neighbour. Fed-up of his lies and philandering ways, this is the final straw. With her Christmas plans up in smoke, the thought of spending it with her parents and her smug, married sister with her pompous husband in tow, is enough to bring Livvie out in hives. So, when she fires up her laptop and finds the perfect little holiday cottage in Lytell Stangdale available to rent over the festive period, it seems the perfect solution. Or is it…?

Zander didn’t believe in love at first sight until he set eyes on Livvie. Livvie had sworn off men until she met Zander. The pair may be reluctant to give in to temptation, but fate seems to have other ideas…

Join Livvie and Zander – and all the usual characters – for a magical Christmas in Lytell Stangdale.

My review

This is a joyful, festive romcom but there’s a little bit of edge to it too. Both our main protagonists are in damaging relationships which they seek to escape over Christmas. As fate would have it they turn up under the same roof, each thinking they’ve got the rental cottage to themselves.

The plot is clever and interesting, and all the characters we meet are fascinating. Lytell Strangdale, the setting, is a place of warmth and friendship, and it weaves its magic spell over the troubled Livvie and Zander. The atmosphere is tense at times, but mainly festive and uplifting, like the book itself.

This novel is no. 4 in a series but it works perfectly as a standalone. I shall definitely be reading the rest in the series, and I’m sure you’ll want to as well. The author has such an enjoyable and readable style, and creates the most wonderful imagery and relationships.

This is the perfect read for the run-up to Christmas when you’re looking for cosiness and happy endings.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Kiss-Life-Moors-Book-ebook/dp/B07XBSZMQ5/

Author Bio – Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter: Eliza J Scott@ElizaJScott1

Instagram: Eliza J Scott@elizajscott

Facebook: Eliza J Scott@elizajscottauthor

Blog: www.elizajscott.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ElizaJScott

 

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott

Amazon Author Page: UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH

                                          US: www.amazon.com/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH

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XYZ by William Knight: sharp, funny and brilliant

XYZ

Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.

When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.

Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?

XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.

 

My review

This book is sharp and funny, and it really resonated with me. Like Jack Cooper, our antihero, I’m someone who would prefer a mobile phone to just be a phone and not the receptacle for a zillion apps that you really can get successfully through a day without. Are we dinosaurs? Maybe, but bear in mind that dinosaur fossils have survived for tens of millions of years. We’re not that easy to ignore.

Jack isn’t just fighting technology – he’s fighting himself. He can be his own worst enemy at times, which serves to make him more endearing as our central character, although admittedly only in the way that your bad-tempered cat can occasionally sit on your lap and purr to stop you despairing of it completely.

There’s so much humour and cleverness packed into this novel. The pace is swift and, like the assaults of modern-day living on Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, relentless. With Jack we are swept along from blunder to mishap to misunderstanding to annoyance to occasional triumph. The shining light throughout is Jack’s love for his daughter.

If that will prove enough to stop Jack sinking into a muttering, antic-social wreck, well, you’ll just have to read this fabulous book for yourself to find out!

 

Purchase Link


Author bio

William Knight is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting, progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in the late nineties.

“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William

The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamKnightAuthor

http://www.williamknight.info

https://twitter.com/_William_Knight

 

Giveaway to Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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