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Island in the Sun by Janice Horton: an uplifting pearl of a novel

Synopsis

When successful jewellery designer Isla Ashton unexpectedly inherits her eccentric Aunt Kate’s Caribbean island, she is obligated to return to the place she associates with heartache and regret. To where she grew up and fell in love with her childhood friend, Leo Fernandez. Fully intent on selling the island and finally putting the past behind her, Isla is soon compelled to put together the pieces of what really happened on a fateful night ten-years before. She begins to believe that in going to prison, Leo hadn’t only been shielding her from the same fate. She also starts to suspect that her late Aunt hadn’t been entirely honest in sending her away under the guise of recriminations. Who had they both been protecting and why?

Purchase Link – http://smarturl.it/IslandInTheSun

My review
Everything about this book is colourful and vibrantly lustrous, from the setting, to the characters and their interactions, to the emotions the novel evokes.

Pearl Island is a rich and atmospheric place, exotic and full of promise. However, Isla doesn’t intend staying long – just long enough to wrap up her aunt’s affairs. She also wants closure with a former boyfriend, Leo, who is a pearl farmer. Isla is a jewellery designer so there’s a hint here that it might not be so easy to extricate themselves from their awkward past.

Aunt Kate plays a crucial role from beyond the grave. Isla finds her diaries, which reveal many pertinent facts and also carry an emotional message for Isla to seize the day.

The story is both charming and exciting, and it’s a fast-paced read, but we do get to relax and unwind in the idyllic setting every now and again.

A love for adventure and travel shines through the story, coming, I think, straight from the author’s heart. Janice Horton is also very imaginative and certainly writes in a lively and captivating manner.

This book is a perfect summer read, although actually it’s pretty perfect the rest of the time as it makes you feel like you’re there on Pearl Island when you read it, soaking up the sun and the location’s exoticness.

I do hope Janice’s Island in the Sun won’t get lost amongst all the many other books of that name because it’s most definitely worth a visit.

About the author
Janice Horton, also affectionately known as the backpacking housewife, writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Once her three children had grown up, Janice and her backpacking husband sold their empty nest in Scotland UK along with almost everything they owned and set off to travel the world. Since then they have been traveling full-time and have explored over 50 countries, living out of an apartment, a hut, or wherever they happen to find themselves.

Janice works as a writer wherever she is in the world. When not writing bestselling romantic adventure novels, she writes lifestyle and travel features for her website and her work has featured in national and international magazines like ‘Prima’ in the UK and ‘Friday’ in Dubai. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s Write Here Write Now project and has been interviewed on many podcasts and radio shows including Loose Women’s Kaye Adams’ prime time BBC Radio Scotland Show.

Social Media Links –
Website: https://thebackpackinghousewife.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaniceHorton
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janicehortonwriter/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaniceHortonAuthor
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/janice-horton

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A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale: uplifting and fun

Synopsis

The Angel Bell is ringing for Mia and Jet’s Big Day – but will the Wedding of the Year go without a hitch?

Every bride wants the perfect wedding and Mia Ward is no exception. But she is the only bride in Little Pondale and everyone in the village has ideas for her Big Day. Drowning in suggestions, Mia needs some help.

When she bumps into childhood friend, Breanna Wright on a shopping trip to London, Mia’s convinced it’s Fate. Breanna’s only ambition was to be a wedding planner with her own business, The Wright Wedding … so Mia doesn’t hesitate.

Breanna’s now got three months to plan a wedding where the sky’s the limit, budget-wise. She should be over the moon. Especially as she’ll get a chance to see old friends again, including her first love. There’s just one tiny hitch … Breanna doesn’t have a wedding-planning business.

She should tell Mia there has been a slight mistake, but as usual Breanna’s life isn’t running smoothly and she could really use a break. And when you’ve dreamt about planning weddings all your life, how difficult can it be?

Will this be the chance Breanna’s longed for? Or will Mia’s Dream Wedding be Breanna’s biggest disaster yet?

 

My review

What a lovely, uplifting story, although it’s not without its moments of tension and misunderstandings, and disaster could be just around the corner.

As with all the books in this series, the authors gives us a huge helping of enjoyment. We get to meet another fascinating character. Breanna is energetic and well-meaning, but maybe just a little over-enthusiastic.

Once again the friendly and contented atmosphere of Little Pondale is created for us. It’s a place we’d all love to live, although Mia is finding it a bit trying just at present. She knows everyone’s only trying to help, but it’s borderline interfering, although with the best of intentions. Mia handles it all with good grace and kindness. She’s such a lovely person!

This is a super story, totally absorbing and with exactly the right balance of humour and emotion. It’s quite a quick read, but it’s a busy book with plenty of little things going on alongside the main plot so you feel well rewarded. Absolutely worth a read.

 

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Lily-Pond-Lane-ebook/dp/B07P2SMR1Z

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wedding-Lily-Pond-Lane-ebook/dp/B07P2SMR1Z

 

Author Bio –

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

 

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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Return to Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale: captivating and touching

Synopsis

Life couldn’t be better for Mia and her friends in Little Pondale – until tragedy strikes…

Mia Ward is on cloud nine after a magical Christmas and New Year and she isn’t the only one. Everyone on Lily Pond Lane seems to be living in blissful harmony. Until tragedy strikes… not once, but twice. And as Hettie Turner points out: ‘Bad things always come in threes.’

Whilst the other residents of Little Pondale are wondering what might happen next, Mia is busy worrying about her friends and trying to help them with their grief. But she needs to be careful. Just when she thought she had everything, there’s a very real chance she might lose the only thing she truly wants.

 

My review

Until now in the series, Little Pondale has generally seen only happiness and good things, but in this story there’s a dark cloud over the village, and definitely over Mia. However, as she always does, Mia proves to be a source of strength not only for herself but for others. A sense of friendship, loyalty and just being there for each other illuminates this book.

This is a shortish, fast-paced read. Plenty happens to keep the reader eagerly turning the page. You share the ups and downs of a truly likeable set of characters, who are all drawn into the village community. There’s a strong sense of place too. Little Pondale is so well portrayed and in such detail that it starts to feel like home as you’re reading. It’s a very special place indeed.

I particularly admire the way the characters interact. The author is brilliant with dialogue and catching all the little quirks and mannerisms that make the people we meet on the pages so very human.

It’s an absorbing and really enjoyable book, and I’m pleased to say that it’s not the end of this lovely series yet!

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6J1TWG

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6J1TWG

 

Author Bio –

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton: entertaining, moving and satisfying

Synopsis

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

 

My review

You might think the theme of girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back (or vice versa!) would be getting tired by now. But no, it isn’t, and I don’t think it ever will, especially when in the hands of authors like Rachel Burton who give their own very unique take on this timeless situation.

We have two very interesting protagonists in Jess and Rupert. Jess narrates the portions of the story that centre around here, whereas we get a third person pov for Rupert. This means we get to know Jess a little better than Rupert, since we really can see into the corners of her mind and she is deservedly the central character of the story. She has a lot on her plate besides losing Rupert, and she is strong and resilient. The different points of view also add an element of disjointedness which reflects what the book is about – the disjointed pieces of the two characters that somehow need to be fitted back together again. It won’t be easy, but nothing is that is worth doing.

The pace is generally gentle, but with plenty of excitement along the way, touches of humour and always sensitive writing. Descriptions of places and people are beautifully done and this is a very richly textured book. Entertaining, moving and very satisfying.

 

Purchase Link: mybook.to/PiecesYouMe

Author Bio – Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

Social Media Links – Twitter: twitter.com/bookish_yogi

Instagram: Instagram.com/Bookish_yogi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachelburton6/pins/

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Clarissa’s Warning by Isobel Blackthorn: an enchanting, exciting modern take on the gothic genre

Synopsis

Clarissa’s Warning is a haunted-house gothic mystery set on Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic Aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

 

My review

It’s nice to see the gothic genre given a more modern take. Gothic fiction combines mystery, horror, death and romance, traditionally in the setting of a building of Gothic architecture i.e. medieval, but any old, large imposing building will do. The heroine is generally unassuming, naïve but no sissy, and likeable. Claire Bennet from Colchester fits the bill perfectly. She’s had a lottery win and is using that money to buy a wonderful old building on the island of Fuerteventura which she’s admired every year during her summer holidays. It is probably a foolish thing to do, as the house needs a lot of work and it’s a huge leap for an ex bank-employee to take, but Claire is game. She’s even prepared to ignore a warning from Aunt Clarissa who informs her that the astrological and other psychic signs aren’t favourable to this rash venture. However, her warning comes too late. Claire is committed and so ignores anything she doesn’t want to hear.

She embarks on her plans, encountering some pleasant locals and some less so, and slowly her house becomes habitable. She’s forced to move in a little sooner than intended, and some inexplicable happenings began to occur. Claire is rattled, but she’s made of stern stuff and begins to investigate what might be behind it all. She’ll make some alarming discoveries, but also encounter true love.

This book is rich with description and thus we can conjure up the appearance and atmosphere of Fuerteventura in vivid detail in our minds. We quickly get to know Claire by sharing her wry humour and down-to-earth approach as we share her space, mental and physical. Aunt Clarissa is a colourful, eccentric figure but something of a cornerstone in this book, and Paco is another.

It’s an enchanting, exciting read and definitely has you considering whether there’s more than meets the eye in this world of ours.

Purchase Link – viewbook.at/ClarissaWarning

Author Bio

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of brilliant, original fiction across a range of genres, including dark psychological thrillers, gripping mystery novels, captivating travel fiction, and hilarious dark satire. Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism and carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia, with her little white cat.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

@IBlackthorn

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Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe: perfect festive reading

Synopsis

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

 

My review

This makes for perfect Christmas reading with its festive backdrop of mountains, snow and log cabins.

The story revolves around Holly who has decided to turn her back on the rat race and go freelance. Despite having plenty of resources and contacts under her belt, it’s still a nerve-wracking and difficult decision to make. She heads to Inglenook Falls for her first assignment, and to have some to think and unwind from the stressful life she’s lived until now. A slip and a blow to the head have her waking up in the little log cabin she was trying to photograph, and in reclusive Mitch’s company.

This is a book about first hiding from the world, but then finding the courage to face at least certain aspects of it again. We always like to think that Christmas is a magical, healing time that can mend rifts and make things better. A time for second chances. But sometimes there can be a bit of a fight first!

This is a beautiful read, totally engrossing with some very interesting characters. The reader too has to learn not to judge the book just by its cover (although this book has a super one that entirely matches up to the book’s contents) but to look a little deeper. It’s tempting to dismiss a few of the cast members out of hand as self-centred or anti-social, but when we give them time we soon learn there’s a lot more to them than at first meets the eye.

Very enjoyable and one to squeeze into your Christmas reading list. That said, it makes for lovely reading any time of the year.

 

Buy the book:

Amazon UK  https://amzn.to/2UsqCLv

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

 

About the author

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

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Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair: touching, intriguing romance

Synopsis

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashes around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life?

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit.

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia and Frederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens to re-surface.

Can Amelia, Frederick and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself?

 

My review

We have three very interesting main characters in this story. All are undervalued to an extent, and have demons to face. Amelia and Frederick in particular are getting grief from some of their loved ones too. However, all three strive to be positive and strong, and all of them are likeable, sympathetic people. Their interactions make for a fascinating story.

Family life is shown in two very different lights in the novel: we see its difficult, dismissive side but also the ever-loyal and supportive side to it too.

The setting is rural Australia, and the author’s writing takes us there. We get especially interesting insights into running a vineyard, and the business side of a bottle of wine, but learn about the other character’s professions too.

The romance that blooms slowly between Amelia and Frederick is beautifully portrayed, but it’s not without its frustrations and misunderstandings. And is Amelia too disillusioned to trust someone enough to truly love again?

This is a gentle and touching romance with splashes of intrigue and skulduggery and lovely, wry humour here and there to keep the reader fascinated until the very end.

 

Purchase Link  –  https://amzn.to/2PmkNvi

 

Author bio

Megan’s stories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children, and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

 

Social Media Links –

Https://www.instagram.com/meganmayfairwrites

Https://www.facebook.com/meganmayfairauthor

Https://www.twitter.com/mayfairmegan

https://www.meganmayfair.com

 

 

 

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A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas by Henriette Gyland: fabulously original

Synopsis

Is there life after the circus has left town?

Circus performer Justine Belmont works with big cats, but when the circus is disbanded and the old lion is sold to a private menagerie at a stately home in Norfolk, she is asked to spend a few weeks settling him into his new environment. When she arrives at the estate, however, she receives a mixed welcome.

The groundsman Tom Yates resents her presence as he doesn’t feel he needs her help with the lion. He revises his opinion when he sees the bond between her and the big cat, and she and Tom grow closer, although Justine remains torn about her feelings for him. The lady of the house, Priscilla – who is married to the reclusive owner, Lord Brooks’s, grandson – is not so easily convinced. She perceives Justine as a threat for the male attention and her plans for the manor. And her two young daughters are a little too curious about the lion for their own good.

When unsettling events occur, Justine begins to wonder if there is more to Priscilla’s animosity than meets the eye. Can Justine keep herself and everyone else safe until it’s time for her to leave again and start a new life elsewhere?

 

My review

What a fabulously original story! I was hooked by this story from its first word. It provided an interesting insight into circus life and the very real threats its face, from legislation as well as dwindling audiences lured away by ever more online entertainment. A way of life faces extinction, and it’s a way of life that is too often vilified as cruel to animals. In our story we see well-cared for animals to whom performing is simply what they do in order to get nice rewards.

Elijah, Justine’s father, recognises that he’s fighting a losing battle trying to keep his big cat show going. It’s time to retire both himself and his animals. Rexus, the lion, goes off to Stoneybrook – which Justine soon discovers is nicknamed stoney-broke (an English expression meaning really short of money) – and Justine goes with him.

There are plenty of exciting events and interesting twists in the plot after Justine’s arrival in Norfolk. The hints are there, but I don’t think anyone can predict the fascinating denouement. I know I couldn’t, and Ioved I how was kept on tenterhooks!

We meet many fascinating characters, from Justine, who seems stubborn and rather set in her ways to begin with, to the austere Priscilla, the eccentric Lord Brook and the kind and dashing Tom, whose heart has been maltreated in the past so he’s rather wary around women now, especially ones like Justine that he can’t quite fathom out…

Animals, ways of life under threat, Christmas and romance – what a wonderful combination for an entertaining and thought-provoking festive read.

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lion-Christmas-Norfolk-Mysteries-novella-ebook/dp/B0782X1QHV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Lion-Christmas-Norfolk-Mysteries-novella-ebook/dp/B0782X1QHV

Author bio

Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.

Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Henriette lives in London.

Social Media Links

Website: henriettegyland.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henriette.gyland

Twitter: @henrigyland

 

And looks, there’s a lovely giveaway!

 

Giveaway – Win a sterling silver Thomas Sabo Snowflake Charm (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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494166/

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The Barn of Buried Dreams by Chrissie Bradshaw: so much to enjoy

Synopsis

Erin and Heather Douglas are struggling. Their mother’s death has left a void in their family and everyday life has side-lined their dreams.

Erin has buried herself away in the family home and left her stage career. By hiding away, she is evading the pain of returning to London and the acting world where her ex-fiancé is enjoying success and a new relationship. When she meets charismatic Texan Jackson McGee, she wrestles with her feelings for him. Should she trust another man?

Heather is juggling babies, work, a rocky marriage and running on wine. An overheard conversation makes her wonder if husband Mark would cheat on her.

Can the sisters help one another to face their fears, dust off and revive those dreams and find joy in life?

 

My review

This is such a delightful book. There is so much happening – a mother dying early, a miscarriage, alcoholism, postnatal depression, an extra-marital relationship. But don’t panic! If that makes this book sound heavy and pretentious, it absolutely isn’t. These various problems are there but handled gently and subtly woven into the plot, rather than shoved in the reader’s face. It adds so much richness to what’s already a beautifully written and touching story.

It’s a book largely about the excuses we make for ourselves and our loved ones when we know that either we or they are not behaving the way they should. ‘My sister’s the one with all the free time since she’s unemployed so she can look after Mum on her own.’ ‘I don’t have time.’ ‘I know I shouldn’t but I deserve another drink.’ ‘Where’s the harm in flirting with another woman – my wife’s so busy with the new baby.’  ‘I can’t face doing that today because I’m tired.’ And so on. We’ve all convinced ourselves we’re doing the right thing when we know we’re not, and the characters in the novel are no different.

It’s also about family relationships, those all-pervasive bonds that support yet can also shackle us. Erin and Heather spar and argue, like so many sisters, but they love each other deeply. Their brother Fraser is well-meaning and kind, but now much help. Families have their ups and downs, and we some storms being weathered in the novel until a balance is found.

Our heroine, Erin, is sweet and sympathetic, but not a pushover by any means. She shows strength and resolve, and we see her blossom in the novel. The hero, Jackson, is exactly the sort of man we want him to be, a foil to the unpleasant Damien who’s presence is felt throughout.

So much to enjoy and relish in this touching story.

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barn-Buried-Dreams-When-daylight-ebook/dp/B07GY3YFQ7

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Barn-Buried-Dreams-When-daylight-ebook/dp/B07GY3YFQ7

Author Bio

Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. She has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking Oscar on the beach, trying to avoid the gym and spending time with her family and friends.

Her new release, THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS – when will they see daylight?, is a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother. It starts in Dunleith, the same Northumbrian setting as her debut novel ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’, and some characters cross both books. Readers can enjoy either book as a stand alone

Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee
Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author
Her blog is newhenontheblog.com
and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.
She would love to hear from readers

 

And hooray, there’s a giveaway!

A giveaway. A read, a cuppa and a treat.

Win a Paperback copy of ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’, limited edition mug featuring both of Chrissie Bradshaw’s  novels and  a box of fresh macarons delivered from ‘Urban Cakehouse’.  (Open to 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494162/

 

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The Christmas Heart by Helena Halme: uplifting, mature romance

BLURB:

Tall, dark and handsome, Tom is out to have some fun. Kaisa doesn’t think she’ll ever fall in love again. But when they meet on the snow-capped Swedish Alps, sparks fly.

With his beloved mother passed, Tom is forced to leave his two teenage sons in Milan with his ex and is looking forward to an uncomplicated Christmas skiing in the Swedish Alps.

With her daughter Rosa away backpacking in the Far East, Kaisa decides to take a rare winter break over the holidays with her best friend Tuuli. Now in her late fifties, Kaisa doesn’t think she’ll ever fall in love again. But when she sees Tom after some thirty years, her heart begins to beat a little faster. Kaisa knows, however, an affair with Tom will go nowhere. Years ago, they had a disastrous date, which neither of them wishes to revisit.

Yet, on the slopes and in the apres-ski bars Tom showers Kaisa with his attentions and she finds she cannot resist his intense eyes and passionate kisses.

Can Kaisa trust this European Casanova, and her own sudden infatuation?

The Christmas Heart is a seasonal story of grown-up love set in the beautiful Swedish Alps. It’s the final book in the acclaimed Nordic Heart series, but can also be read as a stand-alone story.

Get this feel-good Nordic holiday romance today!

 

My review

This is a wonderfully Christmassy book and a touching love story. The setting in Finland in the deep snow is beautifully festive, with people skiing and then enjoying warm wine in the evenings in the cosy bars and restaurants.

The cover gets you into the mood beautifully. There’s obviously going to be romance with that loving couple, and there are hints of hygge happiness with the knitted hats and Christmas decorations. Or so I thought until I did some research. Hygge isn’t a Finnish thing: they go for the more down-to-earth pantsdrunk, which is relaxing by drinking alcohol in your undies! However, a warm, enticing Nordic atmosphere is created. All the little details of life in Finland that you find in this book are fascinating.

Our characters are mature, in their fifties and early sixties, making this a work of boomerlit, if you want to give it a label, but it will appeal to younger readers just as well. However, I think the elements of the story that deal with past regrets and loss will resonate more strongly with those of us with a few more years under our belts. Tom and Kaisa were attracted to each other at university, but never acted on that. They met briefly later and had a short fling, but went separate ways again. But now they’ve been set up. Tulla and Ricky, their best friends, have arranged this skiing holiday, not mentioning to either Tom or Kaisa that the other would be there.

Despite herself, Kaisa is instantly attracted to Tom again, but she’s wary. He was a ‘Rich Boy’ back in uni days, and still is, somewhat entitled and extravagant. Is that really the sort of person she wants to be with? And she discovers after a passionate night with him that he has a younger girlfriend. What a mess she’s got herself into. Never again.

But you should never say never…

Tom takes a little longer for the reader to warm to. He’s recently suffered death in the family, and so that wins our sympathy, but like with Kaisa, he has to work to win our affection. He’s a nice guy but, as he admits, he’s no saint, so we’re all going to have to get to know the real him to make our final judgement.

The author tells an engaging story of attraction, stubbornness, misunderstandings and happiness. It’s a gentle story but that’s not to say it’s without emotional tensions, and highs and lows. There’s a nasty accident too, and whilst the outcome of that has long-term consequences, they aren’t necessarily bad…

But I mustn’t give too much away! You must read this atmospheric, sweet yet powerful short novel for yourselves. You’ll be so glad you did! And who can resist the work of someone who confesses to dancing to Abba in secret. I mean, don’t we all?

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:3959 KB
  • Print Length:134 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Publisher:Newhurst Press (25 Oct. 2018)

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Heart-feel-good-holiday-romance-ebook/dp/B07HRMQ3PZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538763247&sr=1-1&keywords=the+christmas+heart+helena+halme

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A prize-winning author, Helena Halme writes contemporary fiction with a hint of both Nordic Noir and romance. She’s a former BBC journalist, bookseller and magazine editor. Originally from Finland where she gained an MSc in Marketing, she also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and writes in English.
Helena acts as Nordic Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors and helps other writers publish and market their books.
Helena has published seven fiction titles, including The English Heart, a best-selling Nordic romance, which won an Awesome Indies badge on publication. The bittersweet 1980s love story between a Finnish student and a British Navy officer is now a series, including a prequel novella, The Young Heart, the sequels The Faithful HeartThe Good Heart and Helena’s latest title, The True Heart, book four in The Nordic Heart Series. Helena has also published a non-fiction title, Write Your Story: Turn Your Life into Fiction in 10 Easy Steps.

Helena is addicted to Nordic Noir and dances to Abba songs when nobody’s watching.

Website: http://www.helenahalme.com/
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