An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson #BlogTour #BookReview (@KiltieJackson) @RaRaResources #Giveaway #AnArtisanLovestyle #FictionCafeWriters

An Artisan Lovestyle Blog Tour

My turn on the blog tour for my fellow Fiction Cafe Writer Kiltie Jackson’s second book, An Artisan Lovestyle, today and I am extremely happy to be taking part. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to Kiltie for having me on the tour and for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. There is a great giveaway at the end of the review for you to enter so make sure you read down to the end.

An Artisan Lovestyle - Hi-res

“Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfil their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…”

Wow, so this is a bit of a departure from Kiltie’s first novel, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle, which I enjoyed reading at the end of last year. If you haven’t picked up that book, set in the snowy delights of a wintry Salzburg, I can highly recommend it. The author has taken an unexpected turn in the realms of the supernatural this time with the premise that the two protagonists have been saved from death (small ‘d’) for one year by the machinations of their two deceased saviours and their gambling games with Death (capital ‘D’). a situation they could make permanent if they make some drastic changes to their unsatisfactory lives before next New Year’s Eve. If not, it is curtains permanently.

An outlandish idea but boy does she manage to pull it off with panache. This book is a delight from start to finish and I totally bought in to the story and was rooting for both Danny and Elsa to succeed and carve out the happy futures that were eluding them but they both so heartily deserved.

It took my a while to gel with the main character in the last book, but I did not have the same issue this time. I was invested in the story from the off and warmed to both Danny and Elsa immediately. I think this is testament to how much the author has learnt and matured as an author from her debut. She launches into this story with so much poise and confidence this time that you can’t help but be carried along with it to such an extent that even the supernatural elements flow with a naturalness and normality that you can’t help but but in to. It also helps that there is a huge dose of humour and warmth infused throughout that makes it a joy to read.

There are some wonderful characters in the novel. Death is a delight, if that isn’t an oxymoron, and I was chuckling out loud at every scene he was in. Sukie and Peter from book one return, and I really enjoyed seeing how their lives had moved on. Sukie is a brilliant character, so ballsy and down-to-earth, despite her situation (excuse me for being a little cryptic, I don’t want to include any spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read Kiltie’s first book). I think my favourite scene in the whole book was the one in the library at her birthday party. I get the feeling that there may be a little (or even a lot) or the author in this character and you can tell she enjoys writing her, it shines from the pages.

One of the characters, and I won’t say which one but it is easy to know who I am talking about if you read it, is possibly the most appalling, loathsome person I have ever had the misfortune to meet between the pages of a novel but they are also brilliantly written and great fun – we all love a good villain don’t we? All of the characters in this book are a joy to read. Some of them are very OTT, but in a way that fits in with the book, and they all feel like they could exist (well. maybe not Death but I’d like to imagine he could!). The main two characters, Danny and Elsa, were fabulous people to carry a book, likeable but not nauseatingly so, so it was easy to wish them a happy ending. Elsa in particular had enough edge to make her really interesting and a modern woman, not a swooning drip.

There are a lot of relevant themes running through this book. Loss and coming to terms with that; lost chances and it never being too late to do those things you always wished you had; finding out who you really are and working to become the best and truest version of yourself; never giving up hope and grabbing those chances when they come along with both hands because life is short. It gives you  a surprising amount to think about for a book in this genre and it left me at the end with a lump in my throat and a very satisfied feeling.

Forget that difficult second book conundrum, this is a assured and successful follow up, even better than the first. Any doubts, struggles and tussles are not evident in the finished product. This is a great book. You feckin’ nailed it, Kiltie, and I’m really, really pleased for you.

An Artisan Lovestyle is out now and you can buy a copy here. The first book in the Lovestyle series, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle, is available here.

If you would like to read more reviews of the book, you can follow the blog tour below:

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Giveaway

To enter the giveaway to win a £40/$40 Amazing gift voucher, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494104/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

About the Author

An Artisan Lovestyle Head Shot Piccie

Kiltie grew up in Glasgow in Scotland. This is a very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life.

When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then,
after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are
finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.

Kiltie currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one grumpy husband.
Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having
plenty of moggies, there are no towers!

The cats kindly allow her and Mr Mogs to share their house on the
condition they keep paying the mortgage!

She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles.
She really dislikes going to the gym!

Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job
and write her stories for a living.

Kiltie’s debut novel, ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’, was released in September 2017 and won a “Chill With A Book – Reader Award” in December 2017.

She first began writing her debut novel eleven years before it was released but shelved
it as she didn’t think it was very good.

In November 2016 when, having read more on a best-selling author who had begun
her own career as a self-published author, she was inspired to revisit the unfinished manuscript and finally finish what she had started.

Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing.
‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is the second book in the Lovestyle Series.

Work is due to begin on book three (not yet titled but also part of the Lovestyle Series)
in the Summer of 2018.

She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a
fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and
the ideas still keep on coming.

Kiltie now lives her life around the following three quotes:
“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”
“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”
“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”

Connect with Kiltie:

Website: http://www.kiltiejackson.com

Facebook: Kiltie Jackson

Twitter: @KiltieJackson

Instagram: @kiltiejackson

Goodreads: Kiltie Jackson

 

 

Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife by Sun Chara #BlogTour #BookReview (@sunchara3) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources #Giveaway #GreekMillionaireUnrulyWife #NetGalley #YearofSun

Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife

I am really excited to be on the blog tour today for this glamorous-looking book. Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be on the tour and to NetGalley, Harper Impulse and the author for my copy of the book. Make sure you read to the bottom of the review as there is a fabulous giveaway to enter.

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“A tempestuous fling…a marriage…a betrayal?

When Michalis Leonadis’ bride jumps ship at the first sign of rough waters, he’s annoyed. When she costs him a marriage and a billion-dollar deal, he’s furious; but when he discovers she ditched him whilst harboring a secret…he’s out for revenge.

Ex-model, Julia Armstrong gave up everything for Michalis but when she catches him with another woman, crushed, she jets out of his life. The proud Greek blasts back into her world seeking retribution—in exchange for a divorce, he demands she relinquish the one thing she cannot. Her daughter. Only one other bargaining chip remains…Julia herself.”

You know the saying, ‘I’ll try anything once’? Well, that doesn’t apply to me because there is no way I am ever going to do a sky dive or cuddle up to a tarantula. However, when it comes to books it is true, I’ll give anything a go and, as I’ve said before, my aim on the blog this year has been to push myself out of my comfort zone and try some novels that I would not usually choose.

This is another of those books. This is a genre that I haven’t really picked up since my friends and I passed around illicit copies of Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran novels in school with the saucy pages dog-eared (do you remember the goldfish scene in Lace? We were scandalised!). Anybody who enjoys this raunchy style of contemporary women’s fiction is going to love this novel.

The two main characters in this book, Julia and Michalis are everything you would expect – attractive, glamorous, strong-willed and passionate. They seemed to be made for each other and marry after a whirlwind romance but are driven apart by his errant behaviour. When they part, Julia is nursing a huge secret that causes Michalis to track her down twelve months later, purportedly for revenge, but all is not what it seems and the love story for these two may not be over.

There is a lot to appeal to lovers of this genre in the book. Beautiful people, jetset lifestyle, gorgeous and exotic settings and passion so steamy it is practically curling the pages. There were some aspects of the story I found a little frustrating, particularly the fact that all the angst could have been sorted out quite easily with a simple conversation. However, there are two very stubborn, proud and independent people so I guess it is not very surprising that neither is willing to show weakness to the other by admitting their true feelings.

There were some aspects of the book that made me a bit uncomfortable; the way he blackmails her into spending time with him and is very forceful, but I know this is a popular trope in the genre and this type of ultra-dominant male lead is attractive to many women. To be fair, Julia is feisty and can hold her own and I didn’t feel the tone crossed the line into being abusive. I guess it is just not my particular fantasy but if the idea of being swept off your feet by a rich and powerful man floats your dream mega-yacht, I am sure Michalis will have you swooning.

This book is a quick and pacy read, perfect for anyone who wants a steamy story of glamour and passion to keep them company on their sun lounger, and I really love the title. Unruly is the perfect way to be!

Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife is out now and you can buy a copy here.

If you would like to follow the rest of the tour, the details are below. And don’t forget to scroll down for the competition.

Greek Millionaire Unruly Wife Full Tour Banner

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway to win an e-copy of Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife and a Greek style bracelet (Open Internationally), please click on the Rafflecopter Link below the bracelet images.

The design of bracelet will vary depending on where in the world you live. 

Greek Bracelet UK 41 TFu6kRCL._AC_US218_Greek Bracelet US 41j6uRFjvPL._AC_US0_

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494100/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

About the Author

Sun photo-1

Sun Chara, an Amazon top 100 bestseller, writes sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance for HarperImpulse. JABBIC winner, Manhattan Millionaire’s Cinderella launched her writing career, spinning the ‘global millionaires’ series’. She makes her home in southern California, and has appeared on stage/film to rave reviews in How the Other Half Loves, General Hospital, and McGee and Me. With a Masters Degree in Education, and membership in SAG/AFTRA and Romance Writers of America, she enjoys sipping Frappuccinos topped with whipped cream/sprinkles, and dancing on the beach…making everyday a celebration! 

Connect with Sun:

Facebook: Sun Chara Author Page

Twitter: @sunchara3

Instagram: @sunchara3

Goodreads: Sun Chara

 

 

Song by Michelle Jana Chan #BlogTour (@michellejchan) @unbounders @annecater #Giveaway #Song #RandomThingsTours

Song Cover Image

“Song is just a boy when he sets out from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his impoverished broken family hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the globe to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.

This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.

This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to improve his life is timeless.”

Isn’t the cover of this book just beautiful? It is so gorgeous and colourful, I have to have a physical copy to grace my bookshelf and you get an enthralling, epic journey of a story inside to boot.

To celebrate publication of this wonderful book, we have one copy to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me which is your favourite ever book cover. The winner will be picked at random. UK ENTRIES ONLY PLEASE.

If you are not lucky enough to win the copy, you can buy the book here.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for offering me a place on the tour and to the author and publisher, Unbound, for my copy of the book and the copy for the competition.

If you would like to read some reviews of the book. please follow the tour below:

Song Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Michelle Chan Author Picture

 Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair. She’s also contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveller, presenter of the BBC’s Global Guide and a writer for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Travel & Leisure. Michelle has been named the Travel Media Awards’ Travel Writer of the Year. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Connect with Michelle:

Website: http://michellejanachan.com

Facebook: M J Chan

Twitter: @michellejchan

Instagram: @michellejchan

Goodreads: Michelle Jana Chan

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Butterfly Ranch by R.K. Salters #BlogTour #BookReview (@Descend_Orpheus) @matadorbooks @annecater #Giveaway #ButterflyRanch #RandomThingsTours

Butterfly Ranch Cover

“Tristan Griffin is a household name and the author of a universally popular detective series. For the past few years he has lived in self-exile in a remote jungle lodge nestled in the Mayan hills of Southern Belize, with his partner Hedda. Butterfly Ranch begins as he attempts suicide and Hedda disappears. Altamont Stanbury, an old Kriol police constable posted to the local backwater of San Antonio, rushes to the scene with his daughter Philomena, the village nurse.

Philomena saves Tristan but he remains unconscious. Altamont, a bumbler and long-time reader of crime novels, launches a half-hearted search for Hedda by radio but decides to remain at the lodge. In truth his reverence for Tristan the writer consumes all else, and he becomes obsessed with the Griffin books he finds at the lodge.

When Tristan comes to, he is distraught and at times delirious, haunted by flashbacks of his uncompromising, cursed love for Hedda and the dark secret behind her disappearance. His anger and increasingly erratic behaviour only find respite in the presence of Altamont s innocent daughter. But he feels nothing but spite for Altamont himself, and the relationship between the two threatens to have fatal consequences for one or both.”

Today on the blog I am reviewing the debut novel by R K Sakters, Butterfly Ranch. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Matador and the author for my copy of the book.

From the blurb of this book, you might be forgiven for thinking it is a straight-forward thriller, albeit it set in an exotic part of the world not much used for that type of novel, but you would be wrong. Although with a dramatic mystery at its heart, Butterfly Ranch is so much more and I was astonished to discover that this is a debut by the author.

For me, reading this book is a little like walking through someone else’s dream. A jumble of current events interwoven with flashbacks which tell the story of the mystery happening in the present with regard to the missing Hedda, whilst simultaneously slowly unveiling the history of Hedda and Tristan’s turbulent relationship. The melange unfolds in a disconnected way which added to the air of unreality which permeated the book and I truly was taken out of myself and the every day world which I inhabit whilst I was reading it, not just to another country but also to a slightly altered mental state. (I’m not sure if I have explained that very well. I was reading it late at night!)

The setting of the isolated, decrepit ranch in the dense, stifling jungle of Belize, combined with the repressive atmosphere preceding the imminent hurricane gave the novel a tense, oppressive, almost dangerous mood which enhanced the tension of the thriller aspect of the book and kept me feeling on edge throughout, which I find a positive trait in a thriller novel (although not in life!). The author does a wonderful job of bringing the book’s setting to life, his descriptions are evocative and richly drawn, the world is really vivid and immersive.

There is a small cast of characters, which allows us to get to know them intimately over the course of the book. The bored and bumbling PC who is obsessed with crime novels and is more concerned with discussing Tristan’s work than solving the mystery of the missing Hedda. His daughter, Philomena, only semi-trained but already more dynamic and assured that her father will ever be, seeing him through new eyes as the situation unfolds and she has to take charge. Hedda’s sister and her complicated feelings about her  relationship with her missing twin. All are explored in depth, along with the central relationship between Tristan and the missing Hedda; they all really jump off the page as real, flawed, interesting, but not necessarily likeable, characters. This book focuses a lot on family dynamics and how complicated and shifting these can be. The book also deals with complex issues of mental illness, self harm and destructive relationships.

The pace of the book is leisurely and languorous, unveiling the mystery slowly and with consideration – it is definitely not fast paced and action-packed – but this perfectly mirrors the sultry, tropical setting and the inch by inch exploration and revelation of the background emotions and events. This is not a book of quick, cheap thrills, but rewards a more cerebral and considered examination. It is not at all what I was expecting, but it was extremely rewarding to read and it is a novel that will linger in my mind and which I will mull over for some time to come.

Butterfly Ranch is out now and you can buy a copy here.

The author is hosting a giveaway of five signed copies of the book over on Twitter so, to be in with a chance, please follow this link and leave your smilie on the pinned tweet!

Butterfly Ranch Giveaway

To catch up with the rest of the blog tour, visit the fabulous blogs below and see what they thought of the book:

butterfly ranch

About the Author

RK Salters - Author Picture

RK Salters grew up in Paris in the 1970s to an Irish émigré father and French mother. He is himself an exile of sorts, having left the roost to study abroad and subsequently lived in a number of countries. His approach to writing is eclectic, drawing influences from classic and contemporary, genre and literary fiction alike, across both sides of the Atlantic.

He is now settled in Lithuania (Baltics), where he earlier met his future wife while exploring the collapsing Soviet Union. He is a passionate traveller and an expedition in Belizean jungles provided the setting for Butterfly Ranch, his first novel.

Connect with the author:

Twitter: @Descend_Orpheus

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One Summer Weekend by Juliet Archer #BlogTour #BookReview (@julietarcher) @ChocLituk @RaRaResources #Giveaway #OneSummerWeekend #NetGalley

One Summer Weekend

Today I am closing up the blog tour for One Summer Weekend, the new novella by Juliet Archer. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour and to NetGalley and ChocLit for the copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially. We have a giveaway of paperback copies of two of Juliet’s previous books below so make sure you scroll to the bottom of the review to enter.

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“One summer weekend can change everything …

Alicia Marlowe’s life as an executive coach is well under control – until she meets her new client, Jack Smith. Jack’s reputation precedes him and Alicia knows immediately that he spells trouble. Not least because he reminds her of someone else – a man who broke her heart and made her resolve never to lower her guard again.

Taking Jack on as a client is a risk, but one that Alicia decides to take for the good of her career. As long as she keeps him in his place, she might just make it through unscathed. But Jack has other ideas – including a ‘business’ trip to the Lake District. One summer weekend with him is all it takes to put Alicia’s carefully organised world in a spin …”

This book is a short and sweet summertime read about misconceptions, hang ups and reluctant attraction. Alicia has a troubled romantic past and has no intention of getting involved with a man again, especially a client, and especially one with as bad a reputation as Jack Smith. But you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the gossip columns.

This story is told from Alicia’s perspective (I believe there is a sequel coming which is Jack’s take on the story) so is entirely coloured by her world view and life experiences and, boy, is she quick to jump to conclusions! In fact, she’s made up her mind about Jack before she even meets him and doesn’t really give him a chance. She came across to me as a bit pompous and judgmental to begin with, but the reasons for that become a little more obvious as the story unfolds.

Jack was easy to like and he made me wish Alicia would give him the benefit of the doubt, which was the point of the story. It does not delve too deeply into his history and I feel there is more to Jack than we discover in this book, so I’m looking forward to the sequel.

The setting of the story – mainly in the beautiful Lake District – was wonderful, the author did a great job bringing its splendour to life and I was charmed by the whole section involving Bill and Midge in their holiday home (the book cover perfectly encapsulated how I imagined their cottage to look in my mind). I was less happy about how dire she made the location of Jack’s factory sound; it was a bit of a stereotype of  a ‘it’s grim up North’ industrial town that, as a Northern girl, I didn’t entirely appreciate but it is a minor niggle and I’m guessing she did it to contrast with the beauty of the Lakes but it could have done with being reined in a tiny bit!

Despite being very short, Juliet packed a lot in to the book and made a good job of it not being too obvious what was going to happen. One twist I thought was coming didn’t and then the book took a completely unexpected turn, so it kept me on my toes which is refreshing in a book of this nature. On the down side, given how much Alicia banged on about professionalism, I was surprised and a bit unconvinced about how quickly she herself abandoned these principles but, this is a summer romance not a gritty real-life memoir so I decided to go with it and enjoy it for what it is.

This book is a short and easy read with a beautiful setting and likeable characters and enough action to keep you interested for the couple of hours it will take you to read it. If you are looking for something undemanding to take to your lounger on a lazy, summer afternoon, this book will be perfect and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

One Summer Weekend is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To enter the giveaway to win paperback copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me, please click on the Rafflecopter Link below the cover images.

book_cover_IOBE book_cover_PM

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949490/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Find the previous posts on the blog tour below:

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About the Author

Juliet Archer 2

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet’s third book, One Summer Weekend, is out in June 2018. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in Choc Lit’s Kisses & Cupcakes anthology.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

Connect with Juliet:

Website: http://www.julietarcher.com

Facebook: Juliet Archer

Twitter: @julietarcher

Instagram: @julietarcher

Goodreads: Juliet Archer

The Flowerpot Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 3) by Wendy Steele #BlogTour #BookReview (@WendyWooauthor) @RaRaResources #Giveaway #BookBlog #BookBloggers

The Flowerpot Witch

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Flowerpot Witch by Wendy Steele and I want to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part. Make sure you scroll down to the end of the review to enter a giveaway for one of three copies of the book.

The Flowerpot cover 2 front

“Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…

But the teacher from hell threatens to thwart her ambitions before she starts.

She has support from her best friend Louise and Evan, another pottery tutor, but Rowan, her fifteen year old daughter is restless, Josh, her ex-husband is colluding with her aunt and though her mother is alive, access to her is forbidden. When The Morrigan appears in her sacred circle, Lizzie knows she has a battle on her hands.

There is hope though.

Stardust the chicken brings a new creature into Lizzie’s life and a long awaited meeting with her Aunt Matilda brings Lizzie’s past into perspective.

Lizzie’s magic ventures beyond The Sanctuary, into the Welsh landscape and the realms of the fae.”

As soon as I saw the cover of this book I knew I had to read it. I just love the cartoony witch legs and that cat reminds me of my own dusky ‘familiar’, Barney. Isn’t he handsome?

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However, the cover of this book is deceptive and it turned out not be be what I expected at all. It was far more deep and complicated than the light-hearted read I was expecting and dealt with a very twisted family history and mature relationship issues which took a lot more concentration than I had anticipated.

Lizzie Martin is a witch, but not in a storybook, fantasy sense but a proper, modern day pagan sense which is not really reflected in the fun cover of the book. She lives her life fully in accordance with these principles and that theme of the book was absolutely fascinating to me. I’m really intrigued by aspects of these practices, particularly the Tarot, and really enjoyed reading a novel that approached these issues as valid themes to be explored seriously, not treated with disdain or dismissal or as a comic element. I wish more books approached different beliefs with an open mind, it would make the world a much more tolerant and happy place!

Aside from the magical element, the book focuses mainly on relationship’s between Lizzie and her family and friends. Lizzie’s family is extremely complicated and, unfortunately, I found this history a little difficult to sort out because this is book three in a series and I have not read books and and two where it would appear a lot of the history has been established. I would say that reading these books in order is essential to get the most enjoyment out of them as I spent a lot of mental energy trying to work out who everyone was and what had happened in the past that influenced their behaviour. There is some attempt at including back story to explain things but it did not work effectively for me, and there were a huge number of characters referred to in the opening chapters will minimal introduction, which was confusing. I think I managed to get it all sorted out eventually, but not until the very end of the book and the time spent trying to work it all out prevented me getting engaged with the book in the way I would have liked to from the beginning and I could not fully relax into it.

That being said, the main characters in the book are appealing and likeable and I warmed to them immediately. The relationship between Lizzie and her teenage daughter, Rowan, was beautifully drawn and completely authentic to me as mother/step-mother to five daughters, the eldest two just reaching this age. I could totally relate to the  energies and issues between them. Lizzie’s struggles as a single mum trying to balance the needs of her daughter, trying to start a business, a new relationship and the needs of friends and family is so familiar to me, and her resentment at constantly having to put her own needs and desires last with no one to consider what she might want is one any mother can relate to I am sure. We all need to channel a bit of The Morrigan from time to time, I think!

I was left at the end of the book wanting to know what happens next with regard to Lizzie’s family issues and her new relationship, which I am still not sure about, and I will go back and read the first two books in the series. I found this a refreshingly original book with a magical theme explored in a way very different to anything in the mainstream. The book leapt around a bit in parts in a way that made it a little confusing at times and I would say it is essential to read books one and two to get the most out of this but the book is definitely appealing and I look forward to another one, I hope.

The Flowerpot Witch is out now and you can buy a copy here. You can buy Book One, The Naked Witch here. Book Two in the series is The Orphan Witch can be purchased here.

To enter the draw to win one of three copies of this book, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949492/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

If you would like to follow the rest of the blog tour, the details are below:

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About the Author

The Flower Pot Witch - Wendy

Wendy Steele is author, wise woman, goddess. She is writer, dance teacher, mother and healer. 

Her passion is magic.

‘The Lilith Trilogy’ leads the reader along the paths of the witches Qabalah, following Angel Parson’s story of betrayal, retribution and redemption. Her magical story contains high magic as well as pagan ritual. 

‘The Standing Stone Book Series’ focuses on the lives of three women linked together across time and space by the standing stone. The countryside is the focus of their magic, embracing the gods and goddesses, tree spirits, elves and fairies. 

Her latest series, The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, begins with The Naked Witch. Lizzie Martin, receptionist, single mother and witch, is asked by her new boss to conform and embrace the corporate dress code. The reality of paisley to pin stripe, an unexpected stay in hospital, monitoring of her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, the search for the truth about her father’s death and two new men in her life, give Lizzie plenty of plates to spin. In the Orphan Witch, Lizzie is grieving while trying to find her real mother and the truth about her father and in the third book, The Flowerpot Witch, due to be published on 21st June, she embarks on a new career, thwarted at every step by those around her. 

You can hear Wendy telling her short stories in Pan’s Grotto on her Welsh riverbank, on her YouTube channel, The Phoenix and the Dragon.

Wendy’s non-fiction title ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles’ offers the reader 101 ideas to bring a smile to every day.

Wendy lives in Wales with her partner, Mike, and cats. If she’s not writing or teaching dance, you’ll find her renovating her house, clearing her land or sitting on her riverbank, breathing in the beauty of nature.

Connect with Wendy:

Website: https://wendysteele.com

Facebook: Wendy Steele

Twitter: @WendyWooauthor

Goodreads: Wendy Steele

#BlogTour Just by Jenny Morton Potts #BookReview (@jmortonpotts) @RaRaResources #Giveaway #BookBlog #BookBloggers

Just

I’m delighted to be on the opening day of the blog tour for Just by Jenny Morton Potts today and I want to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part. Make sure you scroll down to the end of the review to enter a giveaway for one of five copies of the book.

just_ebook_web

How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.”

This is a difficult novel to categorise. It is described as a heart stopping thriller and at its basic core, that is what it is, but I felt it went beyond that. To me it seemed to be written very tongue in cheek which lifted it out of the general thriller genre and into something unique of of its own. Suffice it to say, this is very different to anything else I have read, to the point I can’t actually think of anything to liken it to, which is refreshing.

This is a book that takes a little while to warm up and draw you in and I think that is partly because it jumps around very quickly from location to location and character to character, so it takes a while for the reader to make a connection to the individuals in the story. The timeline is also jerky and disjointed, hopping from date to date in uneven leaps. The plot twists and turns and ends up in unexpected places and you need to do some work on occasion to work out how it got there. It is a book you really need to concentrate on to keep up with what is happening to each character at any given moment. It is not a particularly restful book, not for a lazy brain or a period of desired idleness of thought; it requires an investment of thought, a stretching of the cerebral matter but I think this is warranted and to be encouraged, given the subject matter and it is worth the investment of effort.

The characters are complex and, save for Scott, not necessarily particularly likeable but this does not prevent us being drawn into their stories, because they are realistically flawed and intriguing. I was left at the end still with some ambiguous feelings for a couple of them, but this just fitted in with the whole tone of the book. Nothing about fits into a neat and easy box that you can just close the lid on once you are done. It leaves you with as many questions as it answers and I was thinking about it long after I finished the final page.

The subject matter of the book is topical and very relevant, but does not make for easy reading and the author does not shy away from giving us the full visceral experience of the scenes she is describing. Some of the language is blunt and earthy and readers should prepare themselves for that but it is totally justified, not gratuitous and the author really brings the scenes to life, scenes which we may as people in our comfy, safe havens be aware of but shy away from imagining too vividly. The author isn’t allowing us to do that, she is slapping us in the face with some harsh and unpleasant realities that make for uncomfortable but possibly necessary reading in the current environment.

The main thing I loved about this book was her use of language. The author has a way of describing everyday sights in a succinct but novel way that you may not have thought of before but completely encapsulated what she was trying to say and I could immediately and very clearly picture what she was describing. I went through highlighting some of my favourite phrases: “the panic of real life locked back in their cars at the NCP”, “something of a busty Uriah Heep”, “The kind of person who would take the low offer on The Chase” (don’t you immediately despise that person?), “the frill of the sea”, “the contents scampering up the sides of the glass as his hand shook’, ‘gentle slopes of spices’, I could go on and on. The author is obviously having great fun with language and description and I delighted in her delight of it. My very favourite part involved an inexperienced person handling a baby, it made me laugh out loud with glee at how brilliantly she brought the experience to life.

This book is different, challenging, rewarding and will linger in my mind for a good while. I would recommend it as a very meaningful read.

Just is out now and you can buy a copy here.

To enter the draw to win one of five copies of this book, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949489/?

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I think this is a book that will illicit very different responses in each reader so if you would like to see what my fellow bloggers made of it, please follow the tour:

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About the Author

Just - jenny

Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Connect with Jenny:

Website: http://www.jennymortonpotts.com/

Facebook: Jenny Morton Potts

Twitter: @jmortonpotts

Goodreads: Jenny Morton Potts