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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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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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Quickie review: Murder in the Christmas Tree Lot by Judith Gonda

Blurb

Landscape architect Tory Benning returns in a holiday mystery tied up with a bow!

Still struggling with the death of her husband, Tory Benning is doing her best to get into the festive spirit of the holiday season, but when her landscaping company’s email is hacked and there’s a break-in at the office, it’s enough to make her see red. And then the unthinkable happens, when the owner of a specialty food truck is brutally slain at the company’s Christmas tree lot, and Tory finds herself mired in murder once again.

With a long list of suspects—including an untold number of revelers disguised in Santa suits, seasonal employees handling tree sales, and even a vengeful jilted suitor—the police investigation grinds along slowly and methodically. But as Tory begins piecing together clues on her own, she finds she’s the target of a menacing stalker who may be out to do more than just scare her. Refusing to be intimidated, Tory vows to nab the culprit, even if it means that catching a Christmas killer has become her lot in life . . .

 

My review

A thoroughly enjoyable festive cosy with a strong and likeable heroine. Unlike many amateur sleuths, who tend towards the ditzy, Tory is understated, calm and gracious.

The plot is clever and intriguing, with plenty of seasonal overtones. Setting is well constructed, and you get a very strong sense of community. People pull together here – apart from when they’re bumping each other off, of course! The author gets the balance just right – we get glimpses of enough people to show this is a small town but we don’t get swamped by a sea of names.

Throughout Tory is continuing to come to terms with the loss of her husband, and this adds an extra layer to the story.

There’s excitement, tension, friendship, loyalty and courage. A wonderful read.

 

Kindle book available at all Amazon stores.

Published by Beyond the Page Publishing.

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Quickie review: The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Synopsis

Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. This time, the assignment sounds as tasty as a taco. A quick trip to Mexico City is on her agenda. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroiled in quite a hot Cold War—and her country’s enemies find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.

My review

In a nutshell, the best book I’ve read this year – and I’ve read a lot of books. Possibly the best book in several years!
If you’re expecting, despite the title, a cosy mystery with a feeble old dear as the main character, think again! This mystery takes on international dimensions and involves real, modern threats. Mrs Pollifax certainly starts her volunteer work with the CIA in at the deep end!
Everything’s pretty much perfect about this book – a delightfully likeable heroine, who’s more of an anti-heroine until push comes to shove, quirkiness grounded in brutal reality, the right combination of lucky coincidences and thwarted plans in the exciting action, and detailed, lively background..
The characterisations throughout are wonderful, the settings dramatic, and frequently terrifying, and the plot is clever with sheer brilliance thrown in here and there for good measure.
I literally couldn’t stop reading this book once I’d started. I was hooked from the start.
I can’t wait for Mrs P’s second adventure!

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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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Excerpt from ‘Dead in Tune: A Christmas cosy mystery’ by Stephanie Dagg

Chapter 1

“That was fun,” smiled Martha, climbing into the passenger seat of the bright red BMW X4.

“Wasn’t it just,” agreed driver Lottie, starting the engine. “Not keen on the French carols, though.”

Martha shot her an astonished glance. “But, apart from ‘Nouvel Né’, which is absolutely lovely with that haunting tune, the only other carols we sang in French were ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’. And they’re just France’s versions of traditional British carols.”

“But that’s what I mean,” explained Lottie, reversing rapidly out of her tight slot, without looking, which made Martha cringe. “They’re simply not the same in a foreign language.”

“We can hardly expect the French contingent of our Worldwide Friendship Club to make all the concessions, now can we,” said Martha reasonably.

‘Worldwide Friendship Club’ was a bit of a misnomer. The vast majority of members were either British or French, with just a handful of other Europeans and one South African. But Martha supposed it didn’t hurt to be ambitious.

“As it is,” Martha continued, “six of the nine carols we’re singing are English.”

Lottie gave one of her characteristic snorts in response to Martha’s reasonable remark. Snorts were her vocal version of the French shrug in that they came with a practical endless variety of meanings. This latest one clearly implied ‘that’s six too many’.

Martha knew it was pointless trying to argue further when Lottie was being so very Lottie, so she sat back in her luxuriously soft seat and reflected on the last hour and a half. The Worldwide Friendship Club, under the capable if relentless leadership of chairperson Belinda Parsons, was organising a carol service in Boussiex for Friday in the modest but beautiful St Claire’s church. The Club had decided that a couple of rehearsals – today and Thursday – would be a good idea so that at least some of the French attendees at the service would be familiar with the English carols, and vice versa. Lottie had joined the WFC back in March, and had badgered Martha into doing likewise until she finally relented a week ago.

Martha wasn’t really a club sort of person, but Lottie seemed to enjoy herself at WFC functions so that was a good recommendation. However, Martha’s main motivation was mercenary. She was about to submit her demand for French nationality, given all the unnecessary uncertainty and mess that Brexit was creating, and membership of a society or two would look good on her application. For the same reason she’d also signed up to a handicrafts club in a nearby village and had started turning up to listen in at municipal council meetings. She had initially felt very guilty about doing so for such selfish reasons, but she had since soothed her conscience by assuring herself that her membership fees were doing the organisations involved good, and her mayor and councillors had been delighted to actually have an audience for once. Plus she was benefitting. She’d met some lovely people in the two associations, and was picking up a lot of fascinating village gossip from the council meetings.

She was roused from her musings by Lottie’s sudden outburst of, “But I really don’t see why we need to have a Scottish piper at the carol service.”

“I think it’ll be rather fun,” countered Martha.

“There’s nothing Christmassy about bagpipes,” snapped Lottie. “It’ll ruin the atmosphere.”

“But he’s only going to be playing outside, near the Christmas tree in the square, until the service starts,” Martha reminded Lottie of the arrangements. “And I dare say he’ll play carols.”

“He’s not even a member of the WFC,” protested Lottie. “And I thought the Scots were more about New Year anyway.”

Martha was of the opinion that people of any nation were surely allowed to indulge in more than one festive celebration, but she chose not to voice it for the time being.

“And they have that haggis festival in January as well,” Lottie ploughed on.

“You mean Burns Night,” Martha corrected her mildly.

“That’s the one, with that poem about mice and men and plans going googly, or whatever.”

“You’re muddling up ‘Address to a Haggis’ with ‘To a Mouse’. And it’s ‘schemes o’ Mice an’ men
gang aft agley’, not plans going googly,” Martha persisted patiently.

Lottie, of course, snorted. “Both versions are daft. And what sort of person writes poems about meat and vermin anyway?”

“Just the national poet of Scotland,” murmured Martha.

“You’re very knowledgeable about Scotland all of a sudden.” Lottie shot her an annoyed sideways glance.

“My grandmother was Scottish,” Martha informed her.

“Huh. So that’s why you like the bagpipes so much,” concluded Lottie. “Mind you, the French members didn’t seem that impressed. They seemed to be saying something quite rude about them. Sounded a bit like ‘unicorn mucus’.”

Martha sighed and wondered, as she frequently did, how her friend could have lived in France for so long but picked up so little of its vocabulary.

“They were saying ‘cornemuse’. That’s French for bagpipes.”

“That’s a silly name,” declared Lottie. “In English it says exactly what the thing is – a bag with some pipes stuck into it. It ought to be ‘sac… sac’ something in French.”

“It is. A ‘musette’ is a type of bag, and ‘corne’ is a musical horn, amongst other things.”

Lottie muttered something about know-it-alls. Martha smiled to herself.

“You’re on the committee,” Martha reminded her friend after a few moments. “Couldn’t you have voted against the idea?”

“I can never make it to the committee meetings. They’re on Saturdays,” explained Lottie, “so I can’t go because of work.”

Martha frowned. “But I thought you didn’t work on Saturdays.”

“Of course I don’t!” Lottie sounded appalled at the very idea. “But I’ve been slaving away from Monday to Friday so I’m not going to give up my precious weekend for silly meetings.”

There wasn’t an answer to that, only questions such as “Well, why did you put yourself up for the committee in the first place?” and “So why don’t you resign your position and let someone who can spare an hour or two one Saturday a month take your place?” Martha, however, knew better than to give voice to those. She made do with rolling her eyes and pulled the conversation back from such dangerous territory.

“You’re not the only anti-bagpiper, by the looks of things,” she mused. “Did you see old Matisse’s face when Belinda made her announcement about the Christmas bagpipes? A perfect balance of shock, horror and fury!” She chuckled at the memory.

Lottie laughed out loud. “He always looks like that! He strikes me as a sour, mean-spirited old git, but I may be warming to him a little now that we have a shared hatred of Scottish musical instruments.”

Lottie swerved to avoid a hedgehog that had suddenly launched itself at full trot into their path, meaning they rounded a blind bend on the wrong side of the road, but fortunately the road was deserted, other than themselves.

“Actually, the bagpipes might not be the worst thing about the carol service,” she confided, once she was driving on the correct side again.

“Oh come on, our singing wasn’t that bad!” protested Martha with a forced laugh, which she hoped would cover the sound of her heart thudding.

“I don’t mean our singing. That was really rather good, apart from Horace, the growler. And as you obviously heard, Matisse has an amazing voice. I do love a nice, deep bass. No, what I mean is that Belinda told me earlier that that she’s just booked a Spanish couple to do a flamenco dance the service. Really lovely young people, apparently, only been here a month or so and want to get involved in community things. But seriously, flamenco dancing? In a church?” Lottie couldn’t summon up a snort that could convey precisely how appalled she was, so she made do with dramatic and dismissive hand gestures, making the car swerve and Martha’s heartbeat temporarily soar again.

Belinda had made the decision unilaterally, something she did rather a lot, and something which other members of the WFC grumbled about when their chairperson wasn’t around. But Belinda was in charge, and had been for four years now, and frankly no one else wanted to take on the significant workload that went with the post. So they left her to rule the roost. Belinda’s husband, Horace, had held the equally unpopular position of treasurer for the same length of time.

“I love flamenco.” Martha actually wasn’t a particular fan but she couldn’t resist winding Lottie up, just a little bit. “It’s associated with religious festivals and rituals, so I dare say there’s a Christmassy version of it. And did you know that UNESCO recognises it as a cultural heritage?”

“Well, I do now,” snipped Lottie. “I suppose you’re also going to tell me that Dutch clog dancing is a UNESCO wotsit too so we should ask dour old Gerrit to do a number between ‘Hark the Herald Angels’ and ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. And while we’re at it, why don’t me and you do a quick Morris dance before the final blessing?”

Martha knew she should but she couldn’t stop herself from laughing. Lottie in full-on grump mode could be very funny.

“Bagsy be the one with the hobby horse,” she chuckled.

Lottie’s annoyed expression resisted for a moment then morphed into a smile. “No way, I’m having that. You can make do with bells on your knees and hankies to wave.”

“I’d rather have sticks than hankies,” said Martha.

“Tough,” riposted Lottie. “You could do too much damage in the church with them. You might behead one of the crumbly old statues or take out a stained glass window! It’s hankies or nothing.”

“Big hankies then,” bartered Martha.

Both women laughed.

“You know, I think I might actually suggest a Morris dancing session as an activity for next year,” said Lottie.

“It would be fun,” acknowledged Martha, “but it would confirm the French in their view that the English are crazy.”

“They already know we are,” smiled Lottie.

“Excuse me,” riposted Martha. “Philippe doesn’t think I’m crazy.”

Philippe, a senior officer in the local gendarmerie, was her French beau. A family friend for years, he’d always carried a candle for Martha but it was only recently, more than three years after she’d been widowed, that he’d plucked up the courage to act on his feelings. A series of brutal murders that had appeared to centre around Martha had brought the two firmly together in the summer.

“Of course he does,” teased Lottie, “but he still loves you. How’s he getting on in Norway? I still can’t believe you didn’t go on that ski-ing holiday with him.”

“Well, you should because I’ve given you my reasons enough times. One, he booked the holiday with a group of friends, all male, a year ago. Two,  it’s cross-country ski-ing, which is a well-known form of torture. The appeal of ski-ing downhill is obvious, but ski-ing on the flat has nothing going for it whatsover. Three, my leg isn’t up to any sort of ski-ing at all.” She’d been hit and injured by a car driven by the man behind the summer’s murders.

“You didn’t have to ski,” Lottie ploughed on. “Just gone for gentle strolls in the snow and sipped hot chocolate by the glowing fireside of your log cabin.”

“Yes,  I know I could. Philippe tried to persuade me to come along, which was sweet of him, but I didn’t want to intrude into a guys-only thing. He’d have felt obliged to spend time with me when he’d have much rather been snow-yomping with his mates, and I’d have ended up feeling guilty.”

“I wonder what this ‘feeling guilty’ thing is like,” remarked Lottie with a smile, but she was only half joking. It was a sentiment that featured only rarely on her emotional compass.

They turned into the drive that led down to Martha’s farm.

“Thanks for the lift, Lottie. I hope to get the Renault back before the Thursday rehearsal so I can get there under my own steam.” Martha’s ancient but usually ever-reliable car had decided not to start that morning. The garage had collected it for, allegedly, urgently dealing with, but Martha had had no further news of it since watching it disappear on the back of the breakdown truck. She knew better than to waste time and phone calls on chasing it up too soon. It would be ready when it was ready.

“Not a problem. Just shout if you’re still without wheels on Thursday.”

They pulled up outside the house, sending two of the half dozen farm cats skittering into the shadows, away from the rude and intrusive flood of brightness from the headlights.

“I won’t come in,” said Lottie, as Martha opened her mouth to invite her in for hot chocolate. “Got a bit of paperwork to finish up before tomorrow’s mammoth acte de vente.”

Lottie was never normally one to use a French word or term when there was an alternative in her mother tongue. However, there was no direct UK equivalent to the acte de vente, which was the final stage of the cumbersome but watertight house-selling process in France. All the parties concerned met at the Notaire’s office, where the lengthy contract was read through, word by word, and everyone got up in turn and initialled every page of the document. Even a straightforward one could go on for hours. But of course, things were rarely straightforward in France.

“How mammoth exactly?” probed Martha.

“Think herd of mammoths. No, more than that. Massive herd of humungous mammoths,” sighed Lottie.

“How come?” asked Martha.

“For a start, there are six vendors. Old Papa Champolivier was a widower so the property passed to his four sons and two daughters. They’d hardly spoken to each other for years, so naturally the bickering continued for a few more until they eventually agreed on selling price, solicitor and salesperson. Moi, obviously.” She flashed a proud smile. “One or other of them has rejected all the previous decent offers I got for them on the place, but I think finally common sense but most likely greed prevailed and they all accepted this latest one straight away. I hoped at least some of them might grant power of attorney to the notaire to sign the contract on their behalf, but no, they all wanted to come along in person. So, with me and the notaire, that brings tomorrow’s attendance up to eight.”

“Quite a crowd,” nodded Martha.

“Ah, but that’s not all. Whilst all the bickering about selling was going on, the place was let out to a pair of brothers for farming. So they’ll be there too, tomorrow, and their wives, to relinquish their rental rights.”

Martha nodded again. The same thing had happened when she and Mark had bought their farm, only in their case it was just the confirmed bachelor Monseiur Josset.

“And now enter the buyers. Four of them as well in the shape of two sets of Monsieur and Madame Dupont.”

“The men are brothers?” hazarded Martha.

“Correct. And, what’s more,” Lottie went on with a twinkle in her eye, “their wives are sisters.”

“Goodness!” gasped Martha. “That’s unusual, surely.”

“But what’s even more, the brothers and the sisters are both sets of identical twins.” Lottie beamed triumphantly at the bizarreness of her news. “You couldn’t make it up, could you!”

“Nope,” agreed Martha, impressed. “That’s definitely material for a gossip magazine.”

“So that’s sixteen of us all crammed into Maître Cognac’s stuffy office, and having to take turns to sign every page of the contract. Given how doddery half of them are likely to be, it’ll take ages. They’ll be diddling around with spectacles, having to take a rest halfway between their seat and the desk, then dropping the pen, then needing the loo between pages three and four and again between eleven and twelve… aargh! That’s why I need to get on with the paperwork I won’t have time to do tomorrow. Half the day will be spent at the office.” She groaned.

“Yes, but think of your fee,” Martha consoled her.

“True.” Lottie brightened. “I got a good price for the property. A very good one.”

Lottie always did. She really knew how to turn on the charm with the buyers and put the fear of God into the vendors so pretty much dictated terms to her own advantage.

“Well, I hope it goes as swiftly as possible for you tomorrow,” smiled Martha, patting Lottie’s arm and then, reluctantly, opening the door of the luxuriously warm car to brave the freezing elements outside. Her house would be warm enough, since she’d stoked up the fire before leaving it this evening, but there was a cold trudge and a chilly hallway to brave before she got there. “See you Thursday.”

“Ciao.” Lottie blew her a kiss, then did a high-speed three-point turn, showering the waving Martha with gravel and hoar frost, before flooring it back up the drive.

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Cover reveal: The Mystery of Montague House by Emma Davies

When Summer meets Wynter…

With enough rooms to fill a Cluedo board several times over, Montague House has often been the subject of rumour and gossip. Tales of strange goings on, an owner who disappeared one day and was never seen again, not to mention the treasure that rumour has it lies at its heart… But now the present owner has died and the house is to be sold. It looks as if the opportunity has come to finally settle the stories once and for all.

Clodagh Wynter doesn’t believe in ghostly goings on and tall tales of secrets. She has her feet very firmly on the ground and, tasked with the job of valuing and cataloguing the house and all its contents, she’s simply looking forward to working in such a glorious setting. And if she happens across a priceless painting, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Andie Summer is a Finder of Things and desperately needs this job; she’s down to her last few tins of baked beans. So looking for hidden treasure sounds right up her street, even if there was something very fishy about the mysterious Mr Mayfair who hired her. Because it’s just like she said to her faithful Basset Hound, Hamish; I saw something out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving, and you know what that means. It’s never good news when I see something out of the corner of my eye…

As the unlikely pair are thrown together, it soon becomes very clear however that they are not the only ones searching for the treasure. And they’re going to need all their ingenuity, resourcefulness, not to mention chocolate biscuits, if they’re ever going to untangle the web of secrets that surrounds Montague House. One that reaches even further than they ever thought possible…

 

Here’s the cover….

I think it’s great!

 

Purchase Link – https://smarturl.it/MontagueHouse

Author bio

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty-something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a fifty-something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband and three children in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life.

 

Social Media Links –

@EmDaviesAuthor

www.facebook.com/emmadaviesauthor

www.instagram.com/authoremmadavies

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Christmas at Aunt Elsie’s by Emily Harvale: a festive tale of starting over

A distant relative. A blizzard. A Christmas of surprises.

Lottie Short isn’t looking forward to Christmas. Her boyfriend has dumped her and she’s also lost her job. Lottie and her beloved spaniel, Merry, are facing the festive season – and a bleak future, alone.

But a Christmas card and round-robin letter give Lottie hope. And as the first snowflakes fall, she’s on her way to the tiny seaside village of Seahorse Harbour to visit her distant aunt. She’ll stay in a cosy B&B and get some bracing, sea air. That might lift her spirits.

What she doesn’t plan for is a blizzard, her aunt taking a fall, or the dramas unfolding all around her. But at least there’s a warm welcome at Aunt Elsie’s cottage … and a roaring log fire in the village pub.

That’s not all that might bring a rosy glow to Lottie’s cheeks. Asher Bryant, the local vet is pretty hot, and Lottie also hits it off with another visitor to Seahorse Harbour. This festive season might be better than she hoped.

And when Lottie gets more than one surprise this Christmas, perhaps she and Merry won’t be spending the New Year on their own.

This is book 2 in my new series of standalone novels set in the tiny, seaside village of Seahorse Harbour.

 

My review

This is a festive, uplifting story of starting over.

Our heroine is Lottie, who has made a few mistakes but is ready for a new start. Where better to make it than charming Seahorse Harbour, and with Merry the dog at her side she surely can’t fail. Throw in a handsome man and lots of Christmas atmosphere and this is the perfect story in the run-up to what’s going to be a strange Christmas this year. However, fun, lively books like this give a lift and some sense of normalcy.

Emily Harvale is brilliant at creating memorable characters and clever plots. There’s always a fascinating secret to uncover, warm friendships and strong family relationships. On top of the lovely setting, these elements all make  for an enjoyable and absorbing read. As always.

 

 

Purchase Link – mybook.to/ChristmasatAuntElsies

 

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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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