Friday Night Drinks with…. Kate Field @katehaswords @AvonBooksUK @RNATweets #FridayNightDrinks #TheManIFellInLoveWith

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Tonight on Friday Night Drinks, I am delighted to be joined by fellow RNA member, award-winning romance author, and all-round gorgeous lady…..Kate Field.

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Hi Kate, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. Sorry we aren’t meeting IRL this time, but my virtual bar is quite cosy. First things first, what are you drinking?

It would have to be a glass of red wine – perhaps a Californian red. I’m from Lancashire – it’s rarely warm enough to make a chilled white wine desirable!

The wrong side of the Pennines but I’ll let you off! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

I love a cosy, country pub with roaring fires and comfy seats. One of my favourites is The Aspinall Arms in Mitton, in the heart of the Ribble Valley, so I think I’d take you there. It has a gorgeous garden overlooking the river, just in case we’re lucky with the weather!

That does look nice, I might be tempted to venture in to enemy territory to visit! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

I’ll have to pick Kenneth Branagh for our male guest. I’ve loved him since I was a teenager and saw him play Hamlet – it was a mesmerising performance. Every time I see him being interviewed, he has wonderful stories to tell, and he seems genuinely interested in listening to other people too. My female choice would be Miriam Margolyes. She tells hilarious and irreverent stories, and I don’t think we’d stop laughing all night.

Ooh, good choices. I absolutely love Kenneth Branagh. He was so good as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice & Benedick are my favourite Shakespearean couple.) I have a feeling Miriam is barking mad so it would definitely be a fun evening.

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

Last year, I collaborated with a group of author friends on a collection of short stories called Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings. We’re planning to publish another Miss Moonshine anthology this year, with a Christmas theme, so I’m writing that story at the moment while I’m waiting for the edits on my next novel.

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What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

My proudest moment has to be when my first novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. It was a huge surprise, as anyone who saw the photo of my shocked face will know! I completely failed to capitalise on the win, though, as I’m too modest to ever mention it, unless I’m asked a question like this. It feels so bigheaded to say ‘award-winning author’! As you’ll gather from that, promotion is my biggest challenge!

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It’s okay, I’ll do it for you. I’ve already mentioned that Kate is an award-winning author. Her winning book, The Magic of Ramblings is one of my favourite novels of recent years and you can read my glowing review of it here. I’ve been a huge fan of her writing since I picked this book up. 

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

Well, between us, Sunday Times bestseller has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?! Back in the real world, my latest book, The Man I Fell In Love With, recently had an orange bestseller flag on Amazon for about 48 hours and that felt like a huge achievement!

What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?

The edits for my second book with Avon are due this week, so I’m looking forward to going back to that. I’m quite anxious too, as we didn’t discuss the idea before I started writing it, and I’ve had no feedback so far, so I hope the editor thinks the book has potential! It’s a story about archeology, kindness, and a couple who meet again seventeen years after the man abandoned the woman at the worst moment of her life. It’s exciting to see how the finished book will end up!

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

Many years ago, we spent a couple of weeks visiting Florence, Venice and Rome and it still ranks as one of my favourite holidays. I’d love to go back. It’s not very exotic, but visiting the Isles of Scilly is high on my bucket list. There’s something fascinating and romantic about island life.

The Isles of Scilly are also on my bucket list. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.

The first Valentine’s Day card I ever sent was to a boy called Simon in primary school. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise they were supposed to be anonymous. Simon then sent my card to another girl, crossing out our names and adding hers instead. You will never find a romantic hero called Simon in one of my books!

Oh, that’s a sad story! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

You may have read this one already, as I’m late in discovering it, but I recently read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and loved it. It’s gorgeously written, has given me a new perspective on homelessness, and has inspired me to walk the South West coastal path one day. I think I’ll give sleeping in a tent a miss though!

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Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

I have a copy of this but haven’t got round to it yet. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

The memory of some terrible hangovers in the past is my safeguard! I’m boringly sensible and have learnt when to stop and never to mix drinks!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

A long walk in the countryside, a pub lunch and then spending the rest of the day with a good book. If only every day could be like that!

Kate, thank you for joining me, as it has been as much of a delight as seeing you in the flesh. I wish you great success with the book and look forward to catching up with you at an RNA event soon.

Kate’s new book, The Man I Fell in Love With, is out now. You can buy a copy here and I can’t wait to read it.

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Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it…

After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary Black when her husband announces he’s leaving her… for another man.

For the sake of the children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that include Leo and his new partner. She copes with the kids wanting to spend less time with her and more time with their ‘fun’ dads. But one thing she can’t quite ignore is Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has just come back to town…

After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?

Please do check out my review of Kate’s marvellous book, The Magic of Ramblings, and you can also find my review of Kate’s last book, The Winter That Made Ushere. (Can you tell I am a fan?)

To find out more about Kate, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves #BookReview #BlogTour (@tgarvisgraves) @orionbooks @AlainnaGeorgiou @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #NetGalley #TheGirlHeUsedToKnow

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What if you had a second chance at first love?

Annika Rose likes being alone.

She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. She just can’t read people. She prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others. Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all those years ago.

Annika Rose likes being alone.

Except that, actually, she doesn’t like being alone at all.

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. My thanks Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on to the tour and to Orion for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

This book totally took me by surprise to be honest. I thought it was just going to be a straight forward romance, and it certainly started out that way, and then it became one of those books that just grabs your heart and compels you to keep reading. I ended up staying up until three a.m. to finish it and I don’t regret it for a second.

The main character is Annika, a girl who isn’t quite like everyone else. She has always been branded weird and has severe social anxiety, so has led a sheltered life without friends until she goes to college, where she finally finds a couple of people who understand her and help her come out of her shell.

One of these is Jonathan, a boy she meets at chess club, who finally seems to be someone who can accept her and love her for who she really is. But then, something happens that sends their relationship off the rails and they part and don’t see each other for ten years until fate brings them together again and they try and find out if they can work through what went wrong all those years ago.

This is a split timeline book, as we follow events while Annika and Jonathan are at college, and then when they meet again ten years later, so we can see how they have both changed over that time. The structure works really well and was very clear and easy to follow. I connected with Annika’s character immediately, even though she is someone who walks her own path. She is someone you can’t help wanting to protect, and for things to go right for her because she is such a sweet and gentle person, who is just out of step with the rest of the world. Jonathan was a bit more of a problematic character as, although he was good to Annika and she loved him, I had glimpses of times when he needed things from her that weren’t quite true to herself. However, it was obvious that the relationship has certain unique difficulties for him, so I guess that was only to be expected and was kind of the point, showing the challenges of being in love with someone that doesn’t quite fit in to the definition of the norm.

The plot of this book is very gentle most of the way through, which was not a problem, I loved it for what it was and would have been happy if it had carried on that way to the end. The writer is very accomplished and her portrayal of two people and their relationship was enough for me to enjoy the book just for that. However, something then happens that jolted me out of my complacency and took the book to a totally new place and a different level that I was not expecting. The last 20% of the book had an extremely dramatic effect on me, hence the late night reading binge, and elevated the reading experience to something quite out of the ordinary. It is difficult for me to say more without giving away any spoilers, you will have to read it for yourself. I read another review of this book that said this book contained no surprises. I can honestly say this absolutely was not true for me (maybe other readers are more astute), the ending was like a punch to the gut.

This book deals with some sensitive issues and some things which some people may find problematic or upsetting. I applaud the writer’s bravery in tackling them, I think these are things that need to be written about and we, as readers, should not shy away from reading books with tough themes. These things are the truth of human experience and by engaging with them, we can only gain insight into and empathy for our fellow man. I have to say that some of the issues discussed are not ones with which I have had personal experience so, although they felt authentic and sensitively handled to me, I am not really in a position to attest to whether this is actually the case.

I thought this book was quite stunning. It stood out as something very different and brilliantly written. I was left feeling like the time I invested in this book had been repaid tenfold by the reading experience and I am excited to find a new writer that I can’t wait to read more of. Please read it.

The Girls He Used To Know is out now in ebook and in August in paperback and you can buy a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, please check out the other blogs taking part as detailed below:

The Girl He Used to Know blog tour v2

About the Author

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Tracey Garvis Graves is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into thirty-one languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, Cherish, Heart-Shaped Hack, White-Hot Hack, and The Girl He Used to Know. She is hard at work on her next book.

Connect with Tracey:

Website: https://traceygarvisgraves.com

Facebook: T Garvis Graves

Twitter: @tgarvisgraves

Instagram: @traceygarvisgraves

 

The Mill on Magnolia Lane by Tilly Tennant #BookReview #BlogTour (@TillyTenWriter) @bookouture #NetGalley #TheMillOnMagnoliaLane

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The sky is cornflower blue, the air is scented with the smell of fresh apple blossom and Lizzie Lovell can’t wait to start her new life in the mill on Magnolia Lane. But is she just about to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t? 

When Lizzie loses her larger-than-life Dad she doesn’t know how to move forward. Encouraged by a childhood dream she shared with her beloved father, she is determined to continue his legacy and moves to the old Mill on Magnolia Lane, a place he had always longed to own.

Restoring the old windmill is a much bigger job than Lizzie bargained for, especially when she is distracted by her new next door neighbour Jude, who has temptingly twinkly eyes and a body to die for. But when Jude’s ex- girlfriend Harriet arrives back on the scene, Lizzie begins to wonder if life wasn’t far simpler before she moved to the mill. Especially when it emerges that Harriet knows something about Jude’s past, something that could shatter her new start and her heart into smithereens …

It’s publication day for The Mill on Magnolia Lane, the latest book by Tilly Tennant so I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour on this special day. Happy Publication Day, Tilly! Huge thanks to Noelle Holten of Bookouture for inviting me on to the tour and for my copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I know there will be a lot of people out there who, like me, are huge fans of Tilly Tennant and who will be waiting eagerly for this new book and I can confirm that I don’t think they will be disappointed by her latest offering.

This book joins Lizzie at a very sad time in her life when she has just lost her dad and she is feeling a little adrift. She decides to buy the derelict old mill on Magnolia Lane that her father always longed to own and decides to renovate it in his honour, and so her adventure starts. Living in a cramped caravan onsite, trying to deal with all the issues that inevitably come with restoring a crumbling, old building and dealing with her dishy neighbour and her fractured family in to the bargain was never going to be plain sailing.

Having built by own house from scratch (not literally, of course, I had builders!), I could relate to Lizzie’s dilemmas in the book and thought Tilly captured the problems with taking on a huge building project very well and it was a great driver for the book. The parts describing the renovation of the mill were some of my favourites in the book and anyone who enjoys these kind of stories about the renovation of old buildings, breathing new life into the and, thus, bringing to life the hopes and dreams for the future of the owners (because that is what building or renovating a house is, trying to bring to life your dream home) will love this book.

Although this is a romance, it is actually a book more about family relationships and how turbulent they can be and how we need to work at them sometimes, but that it can be worth it. Lizzie has a very troubled family. Divorce has led to conflict between her mother and siblings and her stepmother, to whom Lizzie alone is friendly and this causes friction. Lizzie’s stepmother was actually one of my favourite characters in the book and I loved the scenes she was in. Lizzie’s sister is high maintenance, and comes into the book with a lot of issues which she then burdens her sister with. All of this rang very true to life and brought a really interesting thread of questions and plot and tension to the book. It felt like a realistic portrayal of family to me. I thought the issues regarding Lizzie’s brother were rather glossed over or rushed and could have been developed more fully if they were to be included but I loved the rest of it.

For me, surprisingly, the romantic part of the book was the least compelling on this occasion. Part of the problem was that it just developed too quickly. I mean, unrealistically quickly. You really need to suspend your disbelief to buy in to this one, or maybe I am just old and jaded, who knows. Given her past history, I wasn’t quite buying it, particularly given the peculiar situation with Jude and his ex, Harriet. I didn’t blame Lizzie for her misgivings over that, although I did think that exploring this kind of situation was an interesting and relevant idea, as this is so common these days and something I have experienced myself but the portrayal didn’t quite ring true. Part of the problem was that Jude wasn’t quite doing it for me in his obliviousness. I did absolutely love Charlie as a character though, I could have read about him all day long. However, we all know that what we find compelling about men in books is very subjective (am I the only one who didn’t fall for Mr Rochester?), just as it is in real life. If we all liked the same, we’d be fighting over a very small pool of eligible men!

This is a really charming, summer read with a lot of strong points and an interesting premise that I know fans of Tilly will enjoy. Her appealing, breezy writing style is present and as strong as always and it is an easy and fun read. Just maybe one beat from perfect for me, but only for very personal reasons. You must read it and judge for yourself.

The Mill on Magnolia Lane is out today and you can get a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, see the stops detailed below:

The Mill on Magnolia Lane - Blog Tour

About the Author

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Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her next Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier.

Connect with Tilly:

Website: https://tillytennant.com

Facebook: Tilly Tennant

Twitter: @TillyTenWriter

The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings by Donna Ashcroft #BookReview #BlogTour (@Donnashc) @bookouture @RNATweets #NetGalley #TheLittleGuesthouseOfNewBeginnings

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The Sunshine Hideaway, with its big bay windows and stunning view of Sunflower Island’s golden beaches, is the only place Madison Skylar has ever truly thought of as home. Could returning to the island be the second chance she needs? 

When twenty-three-year-old Madison arrives at The Sunshine Hideaway, she discovers the beautiful little guesthouse is falling into disrepair. With the help of old friends Amy and Connor, Madison throws herself into creating a gorgeous wellness retreat, introducing yoga sessions, adventure walks and ice-cream sundaes with a delicious twist. But will it be enough to save her childhood home?

Handsome and mysterious Connor has lived on Sunflower Island his whole life. He works hard as a builder, with his faithful dog Jaws by his side, but something is missing and he dreams of bigger things. As Connor helps to revamp The Sunshine Hideaway, this could be his opportunity to tell the woman he’s secretly been in love with for years how he really feels…

As spontaneous and fun-loving Madison settles into life on the close-knit island, sparks fly between her and shy Connor as they clash on the reinvention of the guesthouse. Are the they too different to make things work or will Madison and Connor finally find true love this year?

Delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for the new book by Donna Ashcroft, The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for my place on the tour and my copy of the book via Netgalley, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

You can tell from the cosy, pastel cover that this is going to be a fun, warm, summer read so this is the perfect book to pick up the weekend British Summer Time officially started and I can confirm that I whiled away a couple of contented hours devouring this book.

From the very opening scene, as Madison is approaching her old home of Sunflower Island via the ferry, the reader is thrown straight in to the atmosphere of the book, so if you are someone who likes a sweet, seaside setting for your romance (and who doesn’t, it’s like taking a holiday while staying in your armchair, and at a fraction of the cost!) you are going to love the setting. Donna does a great job of setting the scene and I found it very easy to picture Sunflower Island and the Hideaway guest house in my mind’s eye.

The main characters in the book, Madison and Connor, are quickly and firmly established, and seem to rub each other up the wrong way. Madison is a travel junkie with itchy feet, a legacy of her childhood, whereas Connor has always lived and worked on Sunflower Island. He is deeply suspicious of Madison and her nomadic tendencies and she can’t understand why he seems to dislike her so much. Plot set for much misunderstanding and tension, but you can feel the attraction  between them from early on and will be eager to see if they manage to work out what we believe, they are each the perfect person to help the other out. It is the classic tale of opposites attracting. I fell in love with both of them, although neither are perfect, and really cared what happened to them. An essential requirement for a compelling read.

You see, despite the fact this book may look like a fluffy, summer read, there are real issues carrying the story along. This is a book about how our relationships with our parents can affect the way we form relationships ourselves in later life. It is about finding a place to call home, and learning that we don’t need to be alone in life, there are people who will love and care for us if we let them in. It is about stopping to look around us and valuing each moment for the precious gift it is. Donna brilliantly weaves all of these things through the story and gives it a heft you wouldn’t necessarily expect from  a beach read.

The writing in the book seems effortless and follows easily, carrying the reader along. This is no chore to read and I whizzed through it quickly, absorbed in the story as the hours flew by. It felt like a very quick book, so if you are looking for something satisfying by speedy, I would highly recommend it.

I have to say, I was captivated by this book. The characters, the plot, the setting, the writing were all very appealing and I would urge you to pick it up if you are looking for a mood-lifting read. Looking forward to more from this author.

The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings is out now and you can get a copy here.

There are lots more fabulous bloggers taking part in the tour so make sure you check out their reviews too:

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About the Author

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Donna Ashcroft was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.

Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint winner of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.

Connect with Donna:

Website: http://donna-writes.co.uk

Facebook: Donna Ashcroft Author

Twitter: @Donnashc

Divine Invention by Linden Forster #BookReview #BlogTour (@LindenForster) @RaRaResources #RachelsRandomResources #DivineInvention #TheHerosArc

Divine Invention

I’m very pleased to be taking part in the blog tour today for Divine Invention by Linden Forster, the first book in The Hero’s Arc series. Thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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Most stories begin with either an unforeseen turn of events or a problem.

Krank has a problem. For centuries, the people of the island have lived on the animals and plants to be found there. It was bliss and so the population grew. It was not until very recently anyone noticed that the quantity of plants and animals had not. The delicate balance of the ecosystem has tipped and food is dwindling.

The King assigned the island’s two resident self-proclaimed geniuses, the Creators, to find a solution. The fruits of their labour ripen into the invention of the world’s first aquatic transportation device and promises to provide passage from the island to search further afield for food and resources.

So, there it is. Problem solved. End of story. Barring any unforeseen turn of events…

I don’t read a lot of fantasy but I am a fan of fantasy that is well written. I went in to this book not knowing what to expect, as this is a debut novel and it’s always a bit of a risk reading a fantasy debut because the quality can vary hugely. However, I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

I’m going to take a punt here and say that the author is a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. This book is very much in the vein of that style of world-building and comedic writing and I could sense the influence in the book. This is not a negative, by the way, because I absolutely adore Terry Pratchett’s books. The man was a genius. This book does a great job of telling an original, funny, wry story with interesting characters in a similar way.

The characters were the real strength of this book, particularly Aereon and the king and queen of Krank. Their personalities came across very strongly and were really funny and cleverly written. Aereon in particular really goes on a journey in this book (the Hero of the series), both actually and in his character and I think he has a very compelling arc and a lot more places to go with it, which I look forward to reading about in the next book.

The story itself might not seem like the mighty quest you find in some fantasy books, Aereon is not heading for Mordor with the One Ring, he is trying to find some new meat for the barbecue on a small island, but you know, it doesn’t matter. It is part of the comedy, and it actually leads him to a much bigger adventure than you might expect. I made a deliberate reference to The Lord of the Rings because there are also nods to that great fantasy trilogy here and people who have read that will also enjoy it, in a different way. (I have a very clear picture of the books that the author had on his adolescent bookshelf after reading this!)

The ending? What? I need the next book!

This was a fresh, funny and original book from an emerging talent. I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing the second book soon. Comic fantasy fans will not be disappointed by this book.

Divine Invention is out now and you can get a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, check out the stops on the poster below:

Divine Invention Full Tour Banner

About the Author

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Linden Forster began writing at the age of seventeen. Divine Invention is his debut novel and it took seven years from the idea conjuring at the back of an English class to reaching the page.

Since then, writing has become his dream and passion. His sequel is finished and awaiting publication, while he types the third in a darkened room.

He is a lover of nature and enjoys walks in the country and often ventures out armed with a notepad and pen.

Connect with Linden:

Website: https://lindenforster.wordpress.com

Facebook: Linden Forster

Twitter: @LindenForster

Instagram: @lindenforster

A Wedding On Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale #BookReview #BlogTour (@emilyharvale) @RaRaResources #RaRaResources #LilyPondLane

A Wedding On Lily Pond Lane

Another visit to Little Pondale and this time we are attending a big celebration as I take part in the blog tour for A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour and to Emily for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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The Angel Bell is ringing for Mia and Jet’s Big Day – but will the Wedding of the Year go without a hitch?

Every bride wants the perfect wedding and Mia Ward is no exception. But she is the only bride in Little Pondale and everyone in the village has ideas for her Big Day. Drowning in suggestions, Mia needs some help.

When she bumps into childhood friend, Breanna Wright on a shopping trip to London, Mia’s convinced it’s Fate. Breanna’s only ambition was to be a wedding planner with her own business, The Wright Wedding … so Mia doesn’t hesitate.

Breanna’s now got three months to plan a wedding where the sky’s the limit, budget-wise. She should be over the moon. Especially as she’ll get a chance to see old friends again, including her first love. There’s just one tiny hitch … Breanna doesn’t have a wedding-planning business.

She should tell Mia there has been a slight mistake, but as usual Breanna’s life isn’t running smoothly and she could really use a break. And when you’ve dreamt about planning weddings all your life, how difficult can it be?

Will this be the chance Breanna’s longed for? Or will Mia’s Dream Wedding be Breanna’s biggest disaster yet?

So, the big day is finally here for Mia and Jet. Would you like to see the wedding invitation? Of course you would!

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The moment the series has been building up to, the big day for Mia and Jet, is finally drawing near but will the wedding preparations run smoothly or are there still a few more bumps in the road before they get their happy ever after? You’ll have to read this book to find out!

While all of the characters we have come to know and love on Lily Pond Lane are back, this book largely centres around a newcomer to the story, Bree, and old school friend of Mia and Ella, who has a vital role to play in Mia and Jet’s story but also has a few issues of her own to deal with. I think Emily’s idea to make Bree the focus of the story was a good one, as I am not sure how many more difficulties I could stand for Mia after the previous books! Obviously some of the usual characters were involved, but I can’t say more without giving away spoilers so I’ll leave it there.

The book is written with all of the warmth and charm we have come to expect from Emily, particularly in this series, and it feels like a nice way to round things off. All of the loose ends for everybody are neatly tied up, maybe a little too neatly in places for believability, but hey, this is Lily Pond Lane, a place of magic and happiness so I think we can give the story a bit of leeway in pursuit of this for everyone involved.

Emily has hinted that this may not be quite the end for the residents of Little Pondale (A Baby on Lily Pond Lane, anyone?) but for now this book is the perfect way to round off what has been a gorgeous, feel good series with a cast of lovely characters that I am going to miss greatly. If you want a series that is simply going to make you happy, this is it. No mean feat in these turbulent times.

A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane is out now and you can get a copy here.

To follow the rest of the tour, please visit the blogs listed below:

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About the Author

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Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.


Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t 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.

Connect with Emily:

Website: https://www.emilyharvale.com/

Facebook: Emily Harvale Writer

Twitter: @emilyharvale

Instagram: @emilyharvale

The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin #BookReview #BlogTour (@HollyMAuthor) #TheSummerOfChasingDreams

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Eva Blue is about to go on a trip of a lifetime, but one adventure she didn’t count on was falling in love…

Eva is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She’s happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Things she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled – she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this holiday.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this journey, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor’s kindness and mischievous sense of humour. But will it be a simple holiday romance or could this wonderful adventure lead to so much more?

I’m so happy to be taking my turn on the blog tour for The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin today. My huge thanks to Holly for inviting me to be on her tour and for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

I have to tell you that I am a massive fan of Holly’s writing. When you pick up one of her books, you know exactly what you are going to get – a light, heart-warming, fun, romantic read with a picture perfect setting and characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. They are the perfect pick-me up for dreary days or when you want something cute to read on your sun lounger and she never fails to deliver.

Now we have established that I am a huge fan, I have to say that this book exceeded even my very high expectations. I think this is Holly’s best book yet; I absolutely loved it from start to finish and it was over way too quickly.

Everything about this book is perfect. The premise is beautiful and tugs at the heartstrings as home-loving Eva decides to venture out of her comfort zone and embark on a round-the-world adventure, fulfilling her deceased mother’s bucket list. Leading on from this, the story then hops around the world, visiting all the exotic places you wish you could go in your wildest dreams. Add into the mix a hot Scandinavian and you have a magic recipe. The protagonist, Eva, is completely lovable and you will be rooting for her from the off and the plot has all the highs and lows needed to keep you turning the pages.

Holly’s writing is chatty but evocative, and you will feel like you have visited all the corners of the world along with Eva. I find it hard to believe that Holly has visited all of the locations described in person but, if she hasn’t, you’ll be hard pushed to spot which ones she has and which one she hasn’t. If I get the chance, I’ll ask Holly to let me in on the secret as to how she managed to make the travels sound so authentic.

If I had a small quibble, as a very-recently-ex-travel agent, I’d say that Tracy has some very dubious business practices and I’m amazed her travel agency is still in business. I’d have thought ABTA would be inundated with complaints about her! However, I’m very happy to suspend my disbelief for books that are as sweet and fun as this one.

I devoured this almost in one sitting, so greedy was I for the story, then I felt bereft when it was over because I was so caught up in the story. Sometimes this type of read will be something you read once and then move on from but, for me, this is one I know I will want to come back to in the future when I feel in need of a TLC read, so I’m going out to buy myself a paperback copy. In my over-crowded library, a permanent stretch of premium shelf space is the ultimate endorsement.

The Summer of Chasing Dreams is out now in paperback and e-book format and you can get a copy here.

Make sure you read the reviews from my fellow bloggers taking part in the tour:

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About the Author

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Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books.

Connect with Holly:

Website: hollymartin.com

Facebook: Holly Martin Author

Twitter: @HollyMAuthor