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The 12 Christmases of You & Me by Jennifer Joyce

What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?

Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?

When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.

 

My review

I think most of us wish that we could revisit at least one of our childhood Christmases, especially if your parents, or whoever the main enablers of Christmas were for you, have passed away. Or if, as here, there’s something you’d like fix. Likewise parents think fondly about those most magical Christmases when their children were small. What we’d all give to jump around in time like Maisie can! This element of the story is very fitting.

I suppose it’s the time travel element that necessitates the use of the present tense, which works satisfactorily but, I must confess, I’m not a number one fan of the practice!

Our characters are lively and fascinating, and it’s fun to see them growing up. There aren’t too many to confuse the reader, but enough to be interesting and to get some lovely interaction.

The settings are seasonal with Christmas always strongly in the background.

Jennifer Joyce provides us with a different and enjoyable approach to a festive romcom.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086T3LKB7/

US –   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086T3LKB7/

 

Author bio

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. She’s been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as she can remember, graduating from a pen to a typewriter and then an electronic typewriter. And she felt like the bee’s knees typing on THAT. She now writes her books on a laptop (which has a proper delete button and everything).

 

Social media links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenniferjoycewrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writer_jenn

Instagram: www.instagram.com/writer_jenn

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Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger

Grab your cosiest jumper and escape to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.

Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.

After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?

Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is the hilarious new romantic comedy from Katie Ginger.

 

My review

This is such an enjoyable book!

The key phrase in it is ‘the one’ and it refers to many ‘best’ things: the one wedding dress, the one best wedding venue in Swallowtail Bay, the one best friend, and The One, the man of Nell’s dreams.

Nell is fabulous. She’s both romantic head-in-the-cloudsy, and very down to earth. She’s confident one moment, and a dithering bundle of nerves the next. She’s perfect in being so realistically imperfect.

Tom is gorgeous in an understated, natural way. He’s Nell’s The One, but of course, she doesn’t realise that. Will she finally stop alternating between daydreaming and overworking and see what’s under her nose?

Swallowtail Bay is a bustling, interesting place with a population of interesting characters who enjoy good and bad relations, friendships and rivalries with each other, and there are interlinked and opposing businesses too. It’s beautifully portrayed.

Lots to entertain and enchant you in this seasonal romcom.

 

Purchase Links

UK Amazon ebook: https://amzn.to/2Ni5ipv

US Amazon ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Wishes-Swallowtail-Bay-Book-ebook/dp/B08B4D1N1M

Author bio

Katie Ginger lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is her sixth novel. She is also the author of Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged Romanian rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

For more about Katie, you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor.

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You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Louise Marley

You Make It Feel Like Christmas

The only thing preventing Beth’s perfect family Christmas? Her family!

Television presenter Agatha Holly has built her career on telling viewers how to have the perfect Christmas. A Holly Jolly Christmas has been screened every December for twenty years and her entire family are involved, including her daughter Beth—the unwilling star of a thousand memes and gifs. But Beth has finally had enough of public ridicule. All she’s ever wanted is a traditional family Christmas away from the television cameras. If she can’t persuade her family to change, should she consider celebrating Christmas without them?

 

My review

There’s an awful lot going on in this book! It’s about Christmas – obviously! – expectation, over-expectations, appearance, reality, traditions and family. Family is really the crux of the matter, and that theme is explored in both poignant, tension and explosive modes. Loyalty, love and hostility jostle for prime place. Sound familiar? The author has a fine eye for detail and portrays many situations we’ve probably come across with humour and honesty.

There’s romance too, and that’s beautifully handled.

Christmas is a time when divisions are healed and new starts are made and those are both elements of this novel.

The action is brisk on the whole, with occasional changes in pace to focus on something else, and the plot is cleverly put together. The characters aren’t ones you can ignore. You either love them or hate them, and quite often you do both!

This is a very enjoyable festive read, perfect for getting you into a Christmassy mood, and also thinking about your own family and the Christmases you’ve had together, and those that are yet to come.

 

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Make-Feel-Like-Christmas-ebook/dp/B08HL8QH9B

USA: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HL8QH9B

 

Author bio

Louise Marley writes murder mysteries and romantic comedies. She is lucky enough to live in a village where there is a famous library and TWO ruined castles. (Her husband still thinks they moved there by accident.)

Her first published novel was Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which was a finalist in Poolbeg’s ‘Write a Bestseller’ competition. She has also written articles for the Irish press and short stories for women’s magazines such as Take a Break and My Weekly. Previously, Louise worked as a civilian administrative officer for the police.

Louise’s books have spent a total of 7 months in the Amazon Top 100 (UK). Three of her books have been #1 bestsellers in Romantic Suspense and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was #1 in Romance.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.louisemarley.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Louise-Marley/e/B005FV0ITM

Amazon Author Page (USA): https://www.amazon.com/Louise-Marley/e/B005FV0ITM

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louisemarley @LouiseMarley

Blog: https://louisemarleywrites.blogspot.com

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

Facebook (Page): https://www.facebook.com/LouiseMarleyAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louisemarleywrites/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4557986.Louise_Marley

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/louisemarley/

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Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere…

Return to your favourite little wedding shop by the sea for love, laughter and a romance to sweep you off your feet!

It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop!

Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!

 

My review

Milla is our central character, and she’s an engaging, interesting person. Also hurting, as this St Valentine’s Day sees the arrival of the baby of her ex-boyfriend and her business partner, Phoebe. To rub salt in the wound, Phoebe has even pinched the name Milla had earmarked for her own use in the future.

So Milla loses herself in her work, and comes into contact with Nic. He’s a fun character, who is upbeat and confident, if occasionally a little too full of himself. He’s a good foil for Milla, who lacks confidence at times.

The story is entertaining and fresh, and the setting atmospheric and charming. Characters gel or spark to give us some interesting interactions, and they all develop. Action is steady with the right amount of tension here and there to keep us thoroughly hooked.

All in all it’s a very enjoyable story, which you can read any time of year, not just around St Valentine’s Day.

 

Purchase Links –

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Little-Wedding-Shop-Sea-ebook/dp/B084L7SJJV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Love-Little-Wedding-Shop-Sea-ebook/dp/B084L7SJJV

Author bio

I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines, and lots of heart. Writing is fab, because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I live in a cottage up a mountain road in Derbyshire, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos. Happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.

Social Media Links – Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot, or find her on her Author Page on Facebook. She’s also on Instagram, and has lots of Pinterest boards relating to her novels.

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The Country Escape by Jane Lovering: rich and rewarding

Welcome to the idyllic country retreat of Christmas Steepleton, and let Jane Lovering whisk you away with the most heart-warming, romantic and comforting read of the year.

Leaving London and her ex-husband Luc behind, Katie and her 14-year-old daughter Poppy move into their very own, very ramshackle cottage near the village of Christmas Steepleton on the Dorset coast.

Harvest Cottage has been unloved for many years, so the job of bringing it back to life is a slow and expensive one. So, with funds running low, Katie jumps at the chance when a film company asks to use the cottage as a location.  But even as things are looking up, as harvest time passes and autumn chill starts to bite, the prospect of a cold winter in the country is daunting.

Some light relief comes from new friend Gabriel, so different from Katie’s exuberant but arrogant ex Luc. Will their friendship blossom into something more romantic, or will the reality of a tough country winter send her and Poppy scurrying back to the comforts of town?

Let Jane Lovering spirit you away to the perfect country escape, far away from the bustle of the city.

 

My review

This is a very enjoyable, heart-warming romcom set by the English coast. But don’t think snug country cottage – Harvest Cottage is anything but, and that’s not the only touch of unconventionality in this book. Many of the characters have a touch of eccentricity, because after all that’s what makes uplifting books like this one so much more entertaining, and there’s also a refreshingly unique hero in the form of Gabriel, who is disabled.

Pretty much everyone we meet is overcoming or dealing with some sort of baggage, but this isn’t an issue-laden book. It’s reflective of real life where no one’s path is completely smooth, and we all trip and fall from time to time and make mistakes. It’s all wonderfully real and human.

There’s a lot of energy in the book, not just from the strong characters but from the plot and action. Lots is going on, and at quite a pace too.

And there’s layering, suggested by the title A Country Escape. What exactly is the escape from? And to what? And who are the escapees? Rather more than simply urban living, that’s for sure.

A rich and rewarding read.

 

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

Author Bio –

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.

Social Media Links –

Twitter Profile: @janelovering

Facebook Profile: Jane Lovering Author

Website URL: www.janelovering.co.uk

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jane-lovering

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Summer at my Sister’s by Emily Harvale

Twin sisters. One scorching summer.

A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much.

Diana has a rich and successful husband, two talented youngsters and an adorable dog. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.

Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends and often looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge.

Although Josie loves Diana deeply, each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.

But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she also hiding something? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance.

 

My review

Oh, but I do love Emily Harvale’s books! Always entertaining, interesting, revealing, absorbing, unique, she never fails to thoroughly delight the reader.

This book is set in picturesque Seahorse Harbour (and you get to learn a few facts about seahorses while you’re  there). One fact you don’t learn, at least not for a while, is why Josie hasn’t been to this perfect-sounding place for so long, despite family links. And another is what is going on behind the scenes with Diana.

As always with this fabulous author, there are secrets to be discovered. It’s fascinating as they’re gradually revealed.

We have some charming men to catch the eye of our heroine, and us too! And a lovable dog who has his part to play.

Family plays a crucial role, as does community, creating a rich, warm atmosphere, despite the odd hiccup.

There’s a lot going on in the novel, and we’re kept hanging on every word since it’s all so involving. There’s humour, crossed purposes, economies with the truth when pride is at stake, and lots of very clever writing.

Wonderful from front cover to back!

 

Purchase Link – mybook.to/SummeratmySisters


Author bio

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not 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. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

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Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terrace by Fay Keenan

As the snowflakes fall, new love blossoms…

When teacher Florence Ashton receives a surprise inheritance, she decides to make the life-changing decision to up sticks to the charming town of Willowbury in Somerset. With a new house and a new job, she’s too busy putting down roots to think about love.

Air Ambulance pilot Sam Ellis is definitely not looking for romance either, especially not on his doorstep. When Florence, his new neighbour, complains about his noisy housemate, he feels more cross than star-crossed.

But as the nights draw in and both find themselves thrown together in Willowbury’s seasonal drama production, will they overcome their differences and allow a little bit of winter magic to fall along with the snow? And what secrets will be revealed by the box of memories Florence finds in the attic at Bay Tree Terrace?

Let Fay Keenan transport you to the perfect country winter wonderland, with roaring fires, spectacular scenery, and unforgettable characters.

My review

I must start by saying I think it is definitely a bit too early to be reading and reviewing Christmas books, especially when it’s still so hot here in France! But I appreciate authors and publishers want to get their offerings in front of an audience in good time. I just hope that you won’t have forgotten all about this book when the chill of November puts you in a mood for a Christmassy read.

Aunts are so handy in literature when they die and leave legacies that change the heroine’s life! It’s a familiar trope but always interesting, and this author handles it in an original way.

Florence and Sam are very engaging as hero and heroine. Neither is perfect as each comes with a certain amount of baggage and flaws but that’s what we want and expect from this genre. They meet, grate, grumble and finally begin understand each other, with lots of lovely will-they won’t-they along the way.

This is a lovely, easy read, with the right amounts of comedy and romance and seasonal atmosphere for the perfect, festive romcom. I shall read it again during once the night’s have really drawn in as I’m sure it will resonate and entertain even more then.

Love the cover!

 

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3d1DPTC

 

Author bio

Fay Keenan is the author of the bestselling Little Somerby series of novels. She has led writing workshops with Bristol University and has been a visiting speaker in schools. She is a full-time teacher and lives in Somerset.

Social Media Links –

Twitter Profile: @faykeenan

Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/faykeenanauthor

Instagram Profile: faykeenan

YouTube Channel: faykeenan

Pinterest Profile: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/faykeenanauthor/

Bookbub Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/fay-keenan

Blog / website URL: http://www.faykeenan.com

 

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Love, on the Rocks by Elsie McArthur: tremendously enjoyable

Love on the Rocks

Escaping a difficult childhood, unhappy marriage and dead-end job, Rachel McIntyre has escaped to the tiny Hebridean island of Inniscreag in search of a new beginning.

Taking a job as the manager of the local distillery, she’s just settling into her new life when the elderly, eccentric owner dies, unexpectedly leaving her two hundred year old family legacy in Rachel’s inexperienced hands.

Can she keep the small, community business alive in the face of a takeover attempt from a major multinational corporation? And can she resist the charms of the flirtatious, attractive company lawyer who arrives on the island to persuade her to sell up?

Join Rachel and the quirky inhabitants of Inniscreag – along with a couple of unexpected arrivals – in this funny, heartwarming tale about love, loss and having the courage to start over.

 

My review

The synopsis makes the book a little more serious than it is. Yes, the book tackles some big and unpleasant issues, but it does so in a positive way.

This is a tremendously enjoyable book. Rachel is a wonderful, real character – caring, kind, committed, a bit too self-critical – and her interactions with the other people who populate the pages of this book are always interesting. She’s always ready for the next challenge – which is just as well, since suddenly finding yourself running your own distillery has to be just a teeny bit daunting! Duncan, or hero, is a good foil to her, with more confidence but less imagination and gung-ho-ness.

The setting is full of quirky but warm atmosphere, the plot is unpredictable and clever, and there’s plenty of humour and happiness alongside the everyday ups and downs of rural Scottish life.

A super story that’s an absorbing and fast-paced read.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B089G71S4N

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089G71S4N

 

Author bio

Elsie McArthur is an independent author of women’s fiction. After studying law at university, and then re-training as a primary school teacher, she now lives in the Highlands of Scotland with her husband, two kids, a couple of badly behaved dogs and a cat with a superiority complex. As well as continuing to work part time as a teacher, she is now indulging in her first love of writing. Her first book, ‘The Back Up Plan’, was released in January 2020. Her second novel, ‘Love, on the Rocks’ – a tale of love, loss and starting over, set on the remote Scottish island of Inniscreag – is due for release in Summer 2020.

Social Media Links

Twitter – @ElsieMcarthur

Instagram – @elsiemcarthur.author

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElsieMcArthurAuthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19961166.Elsie_McArthur

 

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A Seagull Summer by Jane Lovering

Synopsis

Leah has come to Dorset to collect seaweed samples for a nutrition research project. She’s trying to leave behind a disastrous family life, and is haunted by the death of her best friend, Claire, on whom she relied for advice.

Here she meets Brendon, an Australian come to search for his mysteriously-vanished-from-the-family great grandfather. Brendon has discovered a fear of British seagulls, particularly Roger, a hand-reared bird which has taken a liking to Leah. As Leah and Brendon form a summer friendship, their pasts catch up with them. But together they help each other to see beyond the narrow confines and mistakes of the past.

My review

This is an enjoyable romcom, with a side helping of some serious, tricky family issues.

Leah is a hard-working scientist who’s not good at enjoying herself. Brendon, in contrast, is a free spirit who very much lives for the moment. Whereas Leah would rather forget her difficult mother, Brendon is on a quest to find out more about his in the form of his great-grandfather. Leah is also trying to come to terms with a difficult secret.

Events, and a demanding seagull called Roger, bring the two together. There’s the will they, won’t they element that all romcom fans love, with other action to keep us interested while the emotion grows steadily in the background.

There were some fascinating secondary characters and lots of entertaining situations.

 

Get your copy here: https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B08BCRJ1DJ/

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Cynthia Smart’s Midwife Crisis by Liz Davies

At forty-four, Cynthia Smart is exactly where she wants to be. Almost.

In a couple of years, she’ll be the CEO of the company she’s spent her most of her adult life working in. For now, though, she’s still busy shimmying up the greasy pole of corporate business. She’s single, carefree, and independent, and nothing can stop her getting what she wants and deserves.

Until she discovers she’s pregnant.

Determined to have her cake and eat it, she’s convinced that having a baby will make little difference to her life, and that she will be one of those women who can hold down an incredibly demanding job and also be a perfect mother.

But as her pregnancy progresses and her life slowly falls apart, she has the sneaking suspicion that Max Oakland, the new guy on the block, is out to steal her dream job. That she’s terribly attracted to him doesn’t help, nor does the fact that he’s devilishly handsome, appears to be a really nice fella, and is good in a crisis.

When she gradually comes to realise that something has got to give, what she doesn’t want it to be is her heart.

 

My review

I’m mortified to be a day late with this review. My sincerest apologies to the author and tour organiser. I’m clearly nothing like as on top of things as our career-woman heroine Cynthia is! (At least to start with…)

This novel is delightful, light-hearted and uplifting, even though dealing with the rather huge and serious issue of unplanned pregnancy. For a career-driven, more mature person like Cynthia, it’s definitely a shock. However, her confidence that she can handle everything is all-pervading. But then reality begins to sneak in and Cynthia starts to see beyond the confines of work and workplace success. The path to motherhood isn’t smooth at any stage.

The foil to Cynthia is Max, whom Cynthia initially sees as a rival on the work front. She’s suspicious of him, but her opinion of him changes as the action progresses. And goodness, is there some action in this story!

And isn’t that cover superb!

The whole book is fun and lively, one that many women can relate to, and makes for a fabulous summer read.

 

Purchase Linkhttp://mybook.to/CynthiaSmart

Author Bio –

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.

Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

Facebook: fb.me/LizDaviesAuthor1