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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

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A Sunset in Sydney by Sandy Barker: sparkly summertime reading

How far would you go in the name of love?

Sarah Parsons has a choice ahead of her. After the trip of a lifetime she’s somehow returned home with TWO handsome men wanting to whisk her away into the sunset.

Pulled in two directions across the globe, it’s making life trickier than it sounds. Her gorgeous American, Josh, wants to meet Sarah in Hawaii for a holiday to remember. Meanwhile silver fox, James, plans to wine and dine her in London.

It’s a lot to handle for this Aussie girl, who had totally sworn off men!

Join Sarah after her adventure in One Summer in Santorini, for the heart-warming and uplifting third novel in The Holiday Romance series.

 

My review

Provided lockdown rules permit, this books makes for perfect beach reading. It’s a brisk-paced, easy-read story that whiles away a few hours very enjoyably.

It’s the third, and last, in a series but works as a standalone.

There’s a wonderful sense of place which gives an ever lovelier holiday atmosphere. The characters are fascinating, from vivacious Sarah to lively Josh to smooth Josh. They make for an interesting and tricky love triangle.

Sandy Barker’s writing is always a deligh. She creates such fun scenarios, and there’s plenty of wit and imagination to enjoy.

 

 

Purchase Links

AmazonUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sunset-Sydney-totally-uplifting-holiday-ebook/dp/B081MSC5S3

Google play: https://bit.ly/3dLjJxU

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-sunset-in-sydney/sandy-barker/9780008390020

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-sunset-in-sydney-the-holiday-romance-book-3

 

Author Bio –

Sandy Barker is an Australian writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list and a cheeky sense of humour. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.
Many of Sandy’s travel adventures have found homes in her writing, including her debut novel, a contemporary romance set in Greece, which was inspired by her true-life love story.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandybarker

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

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

Blog: https://sandybarker.com/

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JoJo’s French Escape by Lorraine Wilson

Synopsis

For twelve months JoJo Grant has been hiding from a secret too shameful to share.  And whilst her sanctuary might be the beautiful French countryside, JoJo has a horrible feeling that her peace is about to be shattered…because bursting into her life is the hottest celebrity chef around – Callum O’Connor.

Callum knows all about JoJo’s past, her time as a reality star, the scandal that has dogged her, but he isn’t sure why she’s still hiding?  After spending time with Jojo, it’s obvious to him that she has nothing to be ashamed of – she just needs to be a little braver…
But as much as JoJo likes Callum, he thrives on the glare of the outside world.  Can JoJo let go of her past…with Callum by her side?

 

My review

This is an energetic and enjoyable novel featuring fictional celebs and set in France. It’s also about finding the courage to face up to past mistakes and move on.

JoJo is our heroine. She’s flawed but likeable, although it takes a little while to warm to her. It’s time for her to deal with a previous faux pas and rebuild her life. She manages to do this thanks to help and support from her friends. These are Poppy and Callum, with some back-up from a lot of puppies. They weren’t there for gratuitous tweeness – they had a role to play.

It makes for a light, sweet read. Elements of France and French life emerge, but the story is mainly character driven and about starting over.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jojos-French-Escape-perfect-escapism-ebook/dp/B07V9SK8BS

US – https://www.amazon.com/Jojos-French-Escape-perfect-escapism-ebook/dp/B07V9SK8BS

Author Bio

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

 

Social Media Links

Amazon author page: http://bit.ly/lorrainewilsonamazon

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Romanceminx

 

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The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy

 

The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn

A gorgeous new romantic comedy about taking chances and realising your dreams.

Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.

After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality.

She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age.

When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

 

My review

This is a sweet, warm story about making your dream rise phoenix like from the ashes that unfortunate circumstances have turned your life into.

In Libby’s case she’s lost her job, which she worked hard at, and she’s recently been bereaved too. She achieves two things when she throws her energies and efforts into establishing a bookshop in the village: she fulfils hers and her grandfather’s wish, and she proves to herself that she’s stroner than she thinks. When life throws curveballs it always knocks your confidence, and Libby is no exception.

There’s a strong sense of community in the book, but it’s not overdone to mawkish extremes as can be the case. Libby isn’t above treading on a few toes, and there’s a bit of resentment here and there.

She rubs shoulders with a fascinating host of characters who are a delight for us to meet. We see a lot of the good in people, which is uplifting and affirmative.

In summary, an entertaining, escapist read.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/32fcf1C

 

Join in on social media with #LibbyQuinnBingo

Author Bio –

Freya Kennedy lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and a mad dog called Izzy. She worked as a journalist for eighteen years before deciding to write full time. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, cleaning up after her children (a lot) and telling her dog that she loves her.

She has met Michael Buble and even kissed him. It was one of her best ever moments.

She believes in happy ever afters.

Freya Kennedy is a pen name for Claire Allan, who also writes psychological thrillers.

Social Media Links –

http://www.claireallan.com/

https://twitter.com/ClaireAllan /
https://twitter.com/AuthorFreya

https://www.facebook.com/ClaireAllanAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/claireallan_author/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/freya-kennedy

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/FreyaKennedyNewsletter

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Art and Soul by Claire Huston

Synopsis

There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?

A heart-warming, uplifting romance served with a generous slice of cake.

 

My review

What a delightful book!

Our heroine is single mum Becky, who’s a fixer, but when it comes to client Charlie then ironically there are a few things in her own life that won’t get fixed if she helps him to the extent he wants her to. What to do?

Becky is likeable, determined, strong and energetic. She has her vulnerable side too, and whilst it seems she can indeed cope with and fix anything, that doesn’t necessarily extend to matters of the heart. Charlie is interesting too, something of a typical self-doubting artist but he finds the motivation to do something about it. For a while it seems, though, that he can’t appreciate what’s under his nose.

This is an uplifting romcom with the obligatory at cross-purposes, will they won’t they elements that we love about this genre. The plot is fun and the writing is thoroughly engaging. Definitely one to read.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Soul-heart-warming-uplifting-generous/dp/1911505653/

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That Night in Paris by Sandy Barker: sparkling and fun

Synopsis

Note to self: don’t sleep with your flatmate after a curry and three bottles of wine… especially if he’s secretly in love with you and wants you to meet his mum.

Cat Parsons is on the run. She doesn’t do relationships. After ten years of singlehood even the hint of the ‘L’ word is enough to get Cat packing her bags and booking herself onto a two-week holiday.

A European bus tour feels like a stroke of genius to dodge awkward conversations at home. But little does Cat realise that the first stop will be Paris, the city of love itself.

Joined by new friends, Cat has got two weeks, eight countries and a hell of a lot of wine ahead of her. As they discover hidden treasures and the camaraderie of life on the road, will Cat find a new way of looking at love?

 

My review

With the current Covid-19 crisis going on, the only way we can travel at the moment is through books. That Night In Paris is a great one to widen your horizons beyond lockdown. And keeping the travel theme going, it’s great to be at the departure point of this book’s tour. So clamber up the steps with your over-the-limit hand baggage with me, beat that old lady to the last window seat and enjoy what I’m sure is going to be a wonderful ride!

Our heroine Cat joins a European Tour at the last moment to flee a romantic entanglement. She bumps into several other people on the coach with her who are also escaping various issues. I think it’s fair to say that anyone who signs up with this particular travel company has to be fairly desperate in one way or another. Some of their stopovers are a little dodgy. However, coach travel itself is a wonderful way to see places on a tight budget, so I’m glad it’s featured in this novel, even if not always in the most flattering way!

There’s an element of travelogue in the novel, with good descriptions and a pervading sense of place and hurried movement. There’s are many warm and convincing interactions between various characters, and to spice things up there’s a touch of romance.

The story is entertaining. Cat with her faults and foibles undeniably makes for an interesting central character, although she’s not the most sympathetic or easiest to like. She’s the sort who’ll always fall on her feet, when the occasional landing on her head is what she deserves and what would perhaps sort her out a bit!

The book is part of a series – The Holiday Romance series – so that’s good news as it means there’s more to come from this author.

All in all, this is a fun, sparkling and enjoyable read.

 

Purchase link

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B07ZG8C6L3/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_fr-21&linkCode=ur2&camp=1642&creative=6746

 

About the author

Sandy Barker is an Australian writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list and a cheeky sense of humour. Many of Sandy’s travel adventures have found homes in her writing, including her debut novel, a contemporary romance set in Greece, which was inspired by her true-life love story. Follow her on Twitter @sandybarker

 

 

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The School of Starting Over by Lisa Swift: rich with comedy and optimism

Nell’s going back to school… but now she’s learning lessons of the heart

Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she had until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. But so what if the roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room? Because sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom… right?

Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever had. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…

At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is, until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will the secrets of Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?

Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…

A gorgeously uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy that will delight fans of Milly Johnson, Holly Martin and Heidi Swain.

 

My review

This book is a lot of fun, rich with comedy, community spirit and optimism. It’s not without a sprinkling of darker issues, such as bullying, office – or rather school board – politics and relationship failures. These are well handled and add to the overall enjoyment of the book in that it keeps its feet in reality.

We meet a host of interesting characters, human, canine and ovine alike, and they’re all fascinating in their own way and have a part to play.

The author has a warm, absorbing style that makes the book gallop along. She can make you laugh and sigh, feel gooey one moment and annoyed the next as you follow the main characters’ ups and down and meet their challenges along with them.

It’s an uplifting read, a reminder that there is a lot that’s right with the world alongside the many things that are wrong, and makes for a wonderful, energising escape from the latter.

 

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/39nNxOJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uwXzhC

Author Bio

 

Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.

Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/LisaSwiftAuthor

http://www.lisaswiftauthor.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/LisaSwiftWrites

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A New Life for Ariana Byrne by Liz Hurley: deft and delightful

What happens after all your dreams come true?

Ariana Byrne knows how to survive. After becoming guardian to her four little sisters after their parents died when she was only eighteen, she had to grow up quickly. Now she’s in her twenties, stuck in a loveless marriage to Greg, trying to make ends meet for her young twins, William and Leo.

So when Ari is told that she’s actually the Right Honourable Lady de Foix, Countess of Hiverton, owner of a sprawling estate in the village of Saxburgh in Norfolk, her first instinct is laughter. Surely the girl who has to choose between food and keeping the lights on isn’t really rich beyond her wildest dreams?

She knows how to take care of her sisters and her children, but how on earth can Ari take care of an entire village? Can she fight off the circling land developers from Saxburgh, and stop her in-laws from grabbing all the money for themselves?

And while she’s struggling to settle in and settle down, she’s making new friends and new mistakes. Trusting her gorgeous neighbour, Sebastian Flint-Hyssop, may be the biggest one of all…

She’s swapped sink estate for country estate…but can a girl from inner city London learn how to become a Lady?

Take a trip to Hiverton Manor for the most uplifting novel of 2020 – guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Fans of Jenny Colgan, Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews will love this romantic, feelgood read.

 

My review

Oh dear, I’m late reviewing this wonderful book. Sincerest apologies to talented author Liz. I wrote the wrong date down in my book review diary – truly a ‘senior moment’.

But here I am, better late than never.

A New Life For Ariana Byrne is a heartening, truly uplifting story. After a tough start to her adult life, things start to come right for Ari, who’s had to grow up quicker than she should. She finds herself transported to Norfolk, where she can establish a new life for her family. And mybe a new chance at love.

Ari is likeable, determined and genuine. She’s a modern mother hen, caring deeply for her children and sisters but she’s a truly twenty-first century young woman. We really care about her and become totally invested in the story. And she’s not the only fascinating character. There are plenty more thoroughly engaging people to meet, good and bad, all different and appealing in their own way.

The settings are beautifully handled. Early in the book, when Ari is struggling, her surroundings seem constraining and harsh, but once she moves to the estate there’s space, light, possibilities. There are shadows on the horizon but Ari can cope with those.

I particularly love how the author has combined the very realistic hardship of struggling to make ends meet with Ari’s slightly magical rise to riches. This demonstrates both deftness of plot and great skill by the author to marry these two elements in the story and make each so convincing.

I can’t wait to read more from Liz Hurley and I’m delighted that Ari has four sisters whose stories she’s going to share with us.

 

 

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2NKQuAm

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uPB0ob

Apple: https://apple.co/2RsuI5z

 

Author Bio –

When I grew up I wanted to be an underwater archaeologist or an astronaut but I ended up in a library. Everyone laughed as I’m not a naturally quiet person but I loved it. I went on to become a professional librarian for the money and the glamour. Not finding quite enough of either my husband and I set up a bookshop.  We didn’t find much there either so I started writing. Now I have loads of money and glamour but only in the pages of my books! In the meantime I dive and look at the stars.

 

Social Media Links –

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Five Wakes And A Wedding by Karen Ross


Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.
Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.

Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.

When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.

Because, after all, it’s her funeral…
The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry.

My review

Now here’s an unusual central character for a romcom – an undertaker! And Nina is an unusual example of one, which makes it all the more interesting. She’s lively and approachable as a person, and, on the work side, professional and totally dedicated to her trade. She spots a niche for her business and leaps into it.

There’s lots of wit and black humour in the novel. Neither the author nor Nina are the least bit squeamish about it all, which is a great approach. No sentimental mawkishness or overdramatic hushed reverence here. The honest, in a fictional way, straightforwardness of the novel is uplifting and admirable.

The pace is between steady and brisk, the characterisation varied and just the right degree of nicely eccentric, the plot original and absorbing. The novel makes for delightful reading, and gives you a thing or two to think about that other inescapable aspect of life that isn’t taxes.

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB
US – https://www.amazon.com/Five-Wakes-Wedding-Karen-Ross-ebook/dp/B07NXYXFSB

About the author
As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction. Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads: the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony

Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur. By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

Social media links
@ComedyKaren

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Cool Cover Reveal for The Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James


A gorgeous sun-filled new story from author of the Villa Limoncello series.

Welcome to The Cornish Confetti Agency!

When the grand finale of Lexie Harrington’s catwalk show ends with a disastrous twist on the ‘ice bucket challenge’, she was expecting her highly-strung boss to fire her on the spot. What she wasn’t expecting was to bump into her fiancé cosied up with an attractive blonde in the restaurant opposite their apartment!

Desperate to escape her heartbreak, Lexie flees to her childhood home of St Ives to hold the fort at The Cornish Confetti Agency for her best friend Freya, leader of the yummy mummy network and firm believer in ‘happily ever afters’. Little did she know that delivering a Caribbean-themed wedding in sunny Cornwall would rival the fashion industry for drama, tantrums and mysterious goings on.

Who is responsible for dousing the bridesmaid’s dress with tomato ketchup? Or hiding the bride’s beloved Jimmy Choos? Or attaching googly eyes to everything in sight?

The perfect Cornish wedding? Is there such a thing for The Cornish Confetti Agency?

 

And here’s the cover!

Pre-order Links:
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Confetti-Agency-gorgeously-uplifting-ebook/dp/B0846LN57K/
US – https://www.amazon.com/Cornish-Confetti-Agency-gorgeously-uplifting-ebook/dp/B0846LN57K/
Publication Date: 19th March

About the author
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks or on Instagram @booksdaisyjames.

 

Social Media Links –
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009889775019
Twitter: https://twitter.com/daisyjamesbooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daisyjamesstories/