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Lost in Translation by Audrey Davis

Synopsis

Charlotte Egerton and family are off to Switzerland, after husband Dom bags a big-time job promotion.

But Charlotte isn’t exactly yodelling with delight at the prospect. Not since a chance discovery cast a shadow over her ten-year marriage. And navigating twisty Swiss roads and getting to grips with French only adds to her woes…

Following a bumpy encounter with an arrogant German, Charlotte is far from convinced the expat life is for her.

With doubts about Dom — and concerns for her best friend, Ruth — plaguing her mind, will Charlotte embrace the Swiss way of life, or are some mountains just too hard to conquer?

Embark on a journey filled with laughter, tears and lessons in love. Sometimes you just have to seize the day…

Praise for Audrey Davis

‘Warm, witty and highly entertaining.’

‘The author never fails to provide humour and pathos in equal measure.’

‘The story-telling is rich, intelligent and rewarding.’

 

My review

This is a thoroughly delightful novel that gives a realistic insight into the life of a trailing spouse. From the outside it might appear to be glamourous and enviable, but on the inside it’s a rather different matter of coping with a new culture and trying to fit in. There are added difficulties for Charlotte, too, with Dom’s wandering eye.

Charlotte is a likeable, genuine character. She’s not afraid to express her true feelings, apart from in front of the children. There are times when even the most gung-ho of spirits will quail, and Charlotte is certainly no pushover. She tackles her new life with as much enthusiasm as she can muster but can’t quite shake off the square peg in a round hole feeling.

There are lovely descriptions, fascinating insights into life in Switzerland, plenty of humour, touches of pathos and anger, and flowing writing that sweeps you into the story and keeps you enthralled all the way through. Very enjoyable.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Translation-romantic-comedy-starting-ebook/dp/B08P7WTQ9K/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Translation-romantic-comedy-starting-ebook/dp/B08P7WTQ9K/

 

Author bio

Audrey Davis is a Scottish-born former journalist, now resident in Switzerland. Her newspaper career saw her cover events in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, as well as working for a London-based movie magazine writing reviews and carrying out interviews.

She self-published her debut romantic comedy novel A Clean Sweep in June 2017, following an online Open University course in Writing Fiction.

Audrey followed up with a short, darker prequel A Clean Break before beginning work on a rom-com novella trilogy with a ghostly twist – The Haunting of Hattie Hastings. Again, reviews across the board were excellent, and it was combined into a standalone novel in November 2018. Her third novel, A Wish For Jinnie, was published in June.

Apart from writing, Audrey enjoys travel and spends a lot of time in Edinburgh. At least she did until recently…  She is an avid cook, watcher of scary movies and reluctant gym-goer.

 

Social media links

https://twitter.com/audbyname

https://www.facebook.com/audreydavisbooks/

https://www.instagram.com/cowieaudrey/

https://audreydavisauthor.com

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Meant To Be by Louisa Leaman

Synopsis

After a spate of terrible boyfriends, Jess is sure she’s found her perfect man in dependable – but occasionally dull – Tim. But when her grandmother, tasks her with retrieving a family heirloom from a local auction she finds herself face to face with a charming stranger, Guy.

Guy has already bought her grandmother’s precious necklace and whilst Jess desperately tries to buy it back from him, he somehow convinces her to go out on a date instead.

Ridiculous. But Guy has the necklace and Jess’s grandmother’s health is declining rapidly. Jess has no choice but to indulge Guy and go on a date with – if only to get the necklace back.

Will saving the necklace risk disrupting Jess’s happily-ever-after? And will she care if it does?

 

My review

This is a fast-moving, interesting romance that revolves around a vintage butterfly necklace.

Jess makes for a lovely heroine. She’s strong-willed, yet also lacking in confidence due to boyfriend disasters and an accident that has left her walking with a stick. Aggie, her sister, is the perfect foil. They’re chalk and cheese but united by family loyalty and love.

The two main male characters of dependable boyfriend Tim and the charming, impulsive newcomer Guy – well, we’ve met them a hundred times before in other romcoms, but that doesn’t make them any less effective here. They fulfil their roles splendidly, and Guy is definitely multi-faceted and fascinating.

The opening setting of an auction room is excellent, a real eye-opener to those of us who’ve never ventured into one. The recurrent themes of art nouveau and jewellery are equally attention-grabbing, and really set the book apart.

The plot keeps a tight hold of the reader’s attention, so this is certainly a very entertaining book, as sparkly as some of the gems we come across within its pages.

 

About the author

Louisa Leaman was born, raised and now lives near Epping Forest. She studied Art History at Leeds University before becoming a teacher working with children with special needs. After winning the Times Education Supplement’s New Writer’s Award, she turned her hand to writing books for children. Louisa currently writes content for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but has also been published in the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and The Times Educational Supplement. Her interest in the arts is often inspiration for her plots and her first book, The Perfect Dress, was inspired by the V&As large wedding dress collection and fulfils her dream of writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t busy writing or rearing her three lively children, she paints portraits, takes long walks and spends far too long browsing vintage clothing shops.

 

‘Meant To Be’ is published by Penguin.

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Publication day promo: Just for Christmas by Emily Harvale

Just for Christmas

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Finding an abandoned dog beside the road isn’t the Christmas surprise interior designer, Molly Ford is hoping for. But when the local vet can’t find a space for the bedraggled dog, Molly makes a rash decision.

The problem is, she’s spending Christmas with her brother, Terence, and his girlfriend is allergic to dogs, so the bundle of wet fur, which Molly has named Miracle, might not be the only one needing a home this Christmas.

And Miracle causes chaos wherever he puts his paws. He pees on the Christmas tree, shreds the Christmas presents and eats the honeyed ham. That’s just the first night.

When Terence’s best friend, Chance offers Molly and Miracle a place to stay for Christmas, Molly is ecstatic. She doesn’t mind at all when he informs her there are strings attached. She’d rather like a festive fling with gorgeous Chance.

Now Molly’s in for another surprise. Chance is about to pop the question. Except it’s not to Molly. In fact, he needs her help to get the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, all clean and sparkly in time for his girlfriend’s impending arrival on New Year’s Eve.

But as Molly and Chance grow closer, spending time together beneath the stars in a winter wonderland and enjoying the Christmas festivities, they realise they have feelings for each other.

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

 

Purchase Link –  mybook.to/JustforChristmas

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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A Real Royal Christmess by Linda West

A Real Royal Christmess

Jess is trying to win back her boyfriend, who dumped her for being boring. Jamie is trying to complete his father’s bucket list before he takes the Crown. Both of them are hiding who they truly are, and when the truth is discovered, it’s a real royal Christmess!

 

My review

There’s quite a strong element of fairy tale in this fun and festive novel where rather boring accountant meets dashing, secret royal. It has a winter holiday background so is very seasonal.

Our two main characters are chalk and cheese. Jamie is outgoing, caring, laid back and a little economical with the truth at times. Jess is earnest, a touch needy, and frankly exasperating in her attempts to win back her boyfriend who is so not worth it! She takes a while to warm to. However, we do ultimately care what happens to her. Her friend Molly is altogether more feisty and engaging, and she plays an important part in the story.

It’s an entertaining, quirky story and makes for a fairly quick read. It’ll while a winter’s evening very enjoyably.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KTMFCK4

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KTMFCK4

Author Bio

Linda West is the best selling author of the adorable and enchanting “Christmas Kisses and Cookies.” It is a delightful series of holiday romances based around the town of Kissing Bridge and the magical Landers sisters who are the reigning blue ribbon cookie queens thanks to their mothers’ ‘special’ recipe book.

Linda was the owner of Mayberry – a celebrity-filled restaurant in Malibu where many of her recipes enchanted the regulars such as Tom Hanks and Anthony Hopkins to name a few. Her recipes are sprinkled throughout her fiction books much to the delight of her fans.

Her newest venture is in the cosy mystery and humour genre. With – Death by Crockpot – the first in her newest series, Linda takes her favourite known characters from Kissing Bridge and throws them into some side-splitting funny adventures.

 

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/Morningmayan

http://www.morningmayan.com/

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Quickie book review: Someday at Christmas by Lizzie Byron

Synopsis

Shell Smith is a popular, larger than life make-up artist working in the beauty department at Duke & Sons, a beautiful but old-fashioned family-owned department store in her home city. While business is booming on Shell’s counter, the rest of the store is threatened with closure unless their Christmas sales take a dramatic upswing. Old Mr Duke’s grandson, Callum, has come up with a creative way to get some extra income: unbeknownst to Mr Duke Sr, a production company is using the photogenic store as a location for its next big Christmas romcom, filming at night while the store is closed. When Shell is let in on the secret, she discovers there might be more to Mr Duke Jr than sharp suits – but when her old crush Nick moves back home, life starts to mimic the romcom’s storyline. With Christmas Eve just around the corner, Shell will find herself in a race against time to save her job, save the department store and save herself from heartbreak.

 

Review

This is a charming festive read, with a touch of old-fashionedness about it, which is meant as a compliment. The nostalgic element comes from it being set in a department store, most of which are making their valiant last stand their days. Also, there’s decency and loyalty, on the whole, which are good old fashioned values so sadly lacking in modern (political) life.
The characters are fascinating, especially our heroine, but eveyone has a slightly eccentric role to play in keeping us entertained.
There’s lots to chuckle at, and it’s certainly a seasonal tale, so a super read in the run-up to Christmas.

Kindle edition £2.99

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One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

Could it be the start of her happy ever after?

Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan — who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable — her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…

That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.

When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every other Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.

If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…

My review

This is a lively, fun, uplifting festive novel that’ll get you in a lovely Christmassy mood. Just look at that super cover!

Ashleigh is a super character, down to earth and very aware that life is somewhat disappointing but still determined to make the best of things. Playing an elf is better than no job at all, and as challenging as her Nan is, she’s lucky to have family.

Olivier is equally genuine and likeable, and a bit more successful workwise, but perhaps not successful enough as far as his father is concerned. He’s much happier with his chocolatier mum.

We get Ashleigh and Olivier in the same place for this Christmas, and what follows is a thoroughly enjoyable will-they won’t-they with a super seasonal background, lots of fascinating secondary characters and some wonderful chocolatey goodness. It’s all very Christmassy and heart-warming.

 

Pre-order Link – http://bit.ly/OneKissBeforeXmas

Author bio

Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Her latest romantic comedy, SUMMER IN THE CITY, was released in June 2020.

Emma also writes historical and fantasy fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE was published by DarkStroke in February 2020.

You can find out news about Emma via her website, by signing up to her newsletter at www.esjackson.co.uk or on:
Twitter: @ESJackson1

Instagram: @emma_s_jackson

Facebook @EmmaJacksonAuthor

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Christmas Under Construction by Rylee Ridolfi

Synopsis

How does one go from socializing at the country club with the perfect family, living in a mansion and driving a Lexus—to wrestling salamanders and tutus with two feuding daughters, living in a rundown ski lodge and driving a demonic minivan?

Megan’s post-divorce life has proven more difficult than binge-eating fruitcake. With no particular skill set, and the dating pool thinner than a piece of tinsel, she considers giving in to sweatpants, carbs, and bottomless mugs of eggnog. However, when her sisters ask her to renovate the old Mistletoe Lodge, she optimistically accepts.

Stone Reynolds has sworn off work and women. However, upon hearing about a rustic ski lodge in desperate need of remodelling, the handsome, rugged handyman can’t help but want in.

Megan is modern luxe, white fur, and chandeliers. Stone is rustic elements, vintage accents, and weathered wood. Megan is modern luxe, white fur, and chandeliers. Stone is rustic elements, vintage accents, and weathered wood. The last thing Megan needs is a flannel-wearing, country music loving, know it all contractor. The one thing Stone can’t afford is a beautiful, complicated distraction. As sleigh rides and mistletoe swirl around them, an unexpected kiss nearly melts the snow off their boots. As the old lodge gets a fresh start, will they discover that second chances aren’t just for fixer-uppers?

 

My review

Well, I adored this book from start to finish! The synopsis above gives you a very good idea of the big problems we’ve got ahead of us: talk about two worlds colliding. Megan and Stone could hardly be  more different, and neither could Megan’s pre- and post-divorce existences. And while we’re into differences, Megan’s daughters Sophie and Olivia are chalk and cheese.

This book is full of energy – frequently chaotic. The sequel to this book – which, never fear, works absolutely perfectly as a standalone – has ‘mayhem’ in its title, and ‘Christmas Under Construction’ is fairly jam-packed with mayhem too. Physical mayhem, which is inevitable in any construction project; emotional mayhem in what passes as Megan’s social life, and domestic mayhem when a certain ex-husband reappears…

There’s lots of humour to be found in situations, interactions and witty writing. There’s a strong festive element with seasonal themes of family and new beginnings as well as Christmas looming large in the background. All this leaves you feeling very upbeat and happy. A real tonic in these trying times.

In summary, it’s a (Christmas) cracker of a book!

 

  • Publisher : Paisley Cottage Books (13 Aug. 2020)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Under-Construction-Heartwarming-Romance-ebook/dp/B08FXGXCDX

 

About the author

Hello friends,
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A bit about me. I have a mild addiction to shoes and secretly long to spend a day in Carrie Bradshaw’s closet. I have not only the heart of a romantic, but the soul as well. Yes, I cry at sappy movies and silently clap when true love shows up. The mere mention of Christmas makes my heart dance while summoning up visions of twinkling lights, a reminder of the magic that exists in everyday life.  I believe in the power of spreading positivity and the importance of kindness.
When I’m not writing you can find me enthralled in a  decorating project, snuggled by the fireplace with a good book, escaping to my happy place the beach, or hosting family gatherings. I live in New Jersey with my husband, three children, and a rotund Shih Tzu.
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My stories are meant to empower women to believe in themselves, to go for their dreams and above all recognize the beauty in their authentic self, all while delivering a smile to your heart.
Find your happy!

www.suzanneryleeridolfi.com

Twitter @RyleeRomance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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/