Monday, 30 December 2013

2013, Thank you for the BOOKS!

I've found myself going over the books I've read this year and trying to narrow down my favourites.
The problem is that my year has been a whirlwind, I've changed the path I'm on several times and as such I've found more comfort from books, I've found empathy within the pages and the characters lives.

So what should've been a top 10 or even top 5, isn't!

My top ? books.


The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott


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Everyone has heard of the Titanic but besides the iceberg and the love story Kate and Leo acted out for us, what else do you know?
The Dressmaker is a a truly touching story that tells what happened on the lifeboats that tragic night, through fiction comes truth, as the author shares facts from the trial and witness accounts.
I knew the event had happened, but the realness I felt thought the pages, meant I couldn't close the book. I read until the early hours because I didn't want to leave them when help was needed.

By My Side by Alice Peterson


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In my review I said 'This is a story that you should pick up and experience, it’s a story that will stay with you and make you think'
I love Alice Peterson's style of writing, she inspires you through her characters.

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman


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Several people have received this as a gift from me, I love the way it inspires you to live life, to look at what you really want and go for it.


The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

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This is a beautiful story that tells the story of the mysterious Eva through her perfume collection, it's unique in its telling and enticing to the reader from the first page.

About a Girl by Lindsey Kelk

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I loved this book, I relate to Tessa, so much so that I found myself falling in love with Nick (that's myself excuse and I'm sticking to it)
I didn't want to close the book and leave Tessa, Nick and the gang behind, but I'm consoling myself with the fact that they will be back in 2014.

Nearest Thing to Crazy by Elizabeth Forbes

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A gripping read, that plays with the readers mind, I read this book in 3 hours and even now I find myself getting angry when I think of one of the characters.
A book that can grab that kind of emotion, is highly recommended.

The Sentinel by Holly Martin


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This book is a wonderful example of why self publishing is a gift to the publishing industry.
I LOVE this book, it's amazing, the best debut I’ve read this year and the start of a series!

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill


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Based around a bookstore manager at Christmas in New York, it felt like Darcy was living my dream!
I savoured this book, I wanted the story to live on.

What Would Oprah Do? By Erin Emerson


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Life never runs according to plan and sometimes you need something to lighten your mood.
What Would Oprah Do? Is a wonderful read, that will have you laughing out loud.

Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickinson


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A fabulous series of Novella's, with romance, humour and everything Christmassy, I just love these books!

Christmas at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown


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Carrington's gets my series vote for 2013, in the course of 12 months Alexandra Brown has introduced us to Georgie, Sam, Eddie and Tom in three wonderful instalments.
Cupcakes at Carrington's, Me and Mr Carrington and Christmas at Carrington's.
A fabulous series that will be welcomed back with a huge smile and open arms in 2014!

Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson


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This book left me with such a book hangover, I will never get over the emotions I felt turmng the last page and realising I'd left Nell's world.
For me this book is life changing, it brings home that you should always be true to yourself and follow your happiness!



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So there you have it, my top books of 2013, a book for every mood, memory and moment life can throw at you!

2013 has been a great book year, not only have I memories of wonderful books I've read but this year Ive also been lucky enough to meet Lauren Weisberger


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Attend the Festival of Romance ball as a shortlisted blogger of the year

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And made some amazing friends, all through my love of books.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a fabulous New Year
I look forward to 2014 and everything it holds within the pages and the life we lead.

With love
Kirsty
Xxx



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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas - Love of a Good Book, festive break!



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The Love of a Good Book is having a break for Christmas!

There will be a top books post and then normal scheduling will resume on the 6th January 2014.

Thank you for all your support this year, have a fabulous Christmas and New Year.

Kx





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North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans

Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.

Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.

She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.

But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.

A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.
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Suitable for older teens and upwards due to bad language.



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Jaimie Admans does it again!

With this thoroughly festive and gripping read, your imagination will be pulled into the festivities.
A read for any age, 'North Pole Reform School' was read by both me and mum and we both finished reading it, with the same opinion.
It's got to be 5/5

'North Pole Reform School' tells the story of Mistletoe Bell (love that name) who is taken to the North Pole Reform School by the ghost of Christmases ruined.
At the reform school, Mistletoe meets Luke and 3 others and as they work with the elves, they are taught to look for the fun in Christmas and add the magic back into what should be a wondrous time!

Even though Mistletoe and Luke are mischievous, my mum liked them instantly.
It took me a bit longer with Luke, I'm fickle and was won over by Mistletoe's name, I had high hopes for someone with a Christmas themed name!

It was wonderful reading how their friendship formed and following them on their quest.

As with all of Jaimie's books, you are able to feel the turmoil that the characters are going through.
Not everyone loves Christmas and I did feel for those at the reform school, to be blamed for ruining Christmas, is a lot of pressure.

It was great how Jaimie turned the Christmas characters around, with grumpy elves and bad Santa, you found yourself laughing out loud and lost in a world that was very surreal.
Escape into the festivities and; lose yourself in the North Pole Reform School!


5/5

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson

Dates 1&2
Claudia is a girl in a rut. At 30, her life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time to the Royal Opera House. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life – and Christmas – alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It’s also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing’s for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different . . .



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Dates 3&4
What is this huge secret Nick is planning to tell Claudia?

As the day of her ‘date’ with Nick arrives, Claudia can’t help letting her imagination run away with her. And try as she might to stop them, Claudia’s hopes for what the evening has in store are very high. So when Nick arrives to pick her up, there is a lot riding on what’s going to happen next. It’s a shame that Nick has no idea what Claudia is thinking . . .


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Dates 5&6
Seth and Nick. Nick and Seth. Seth. Nick. Nick. Seth.

Nick and Seth have never warmed to each other but they’ve always made the effort for Claudia’s sake – and now they don’t have to. So when, after a disastrous trip to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, Claudia is suddenly faced with the two men at the same time, in the same room, she honestly doesn’t know what to do. She’s not ready to face up to what happened on her date with Nick, but she’s not that keen on seeing Seth either. Things are about to get very awkward . . .


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Dates 7&8
Two more dates, one tough choice and a sprinkling of Christmas magic . . .

Nick and Penny are Claudia’s best friends in the entire world. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them and she can’t bear the thought of causing either of them any pain. Yet somehow Claudia has found herself caught in the middle and now one of them will get hurt – because of her. Claudia may want to bury her head in the sand (again) and distract herself with more dates but Christmas waits for no one. Time is marching on and there’s a decision to be made . . .


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Dates 9&10
Hopeful feelings, nervous excitement and crossed wires are about to collide in dramatic fashion . . .

Claudia has never felt more nervous than she does tonight, because tonight is The Night. Tonight is her ultimate date of Christmas. It’s going to mean something to her, and to him (she hopes), so everything has to go well. Inspired by the romance of the season, Claudia has set the mood and she is ready. So what if she’s feeling a bit anxious? That’s normal, right? The only problem is that when Claudia is jumpy, things don’t always go according to plan . . .



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Dates 11&12
On the twelfth date of Christmas, Claudia’s true love was nowhere to be seen . . .

Everyone Claudia cares about is mad at her, all the good things in her life have turned bad, and Seth is still hanging around. In short, everything is a big fat mess. And now she has to find some festive cheer and get ready for her friends’ wedding. Unfortunately all those angry-at-Claudia people she’s been avoiding are also going to be there – including him. With the big day fast approaching, she desperately needs some Christmas magic to put things right. Will Claudia get the merry Christmas and happy ending she longs for, or has her chance at love gone forever?



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My review:

Over the course of several days I've ensconced myself in the world of 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas'

These 6 fabulously festive novellas have taken over my life, I've compared every man to Nick and wanted to be Claudia, to experience some of the beautiful dates that she's be invited on.

'The Twelve Dates of Christmas' tells the story of Claudia as she suddenly finds herself single in the run up to Christmas.
With the support of best friends Penny and Nick, Claudia starts getting back out there and living life.

WOW!
Lisa Dickenson has made the magic of Christmas jump from the pages.
With a witty and wonderful writing style, I found myself laughing out loud and envious of the beautiful descriptive dates.

What I love about Claudia is how relatable she is, like Claudia, I often over think everything and I'm prone to bad dates. I once met a man who was shorter than the bar stool I was sat on and when I turned round to see who had said hello, I overlooked him completely!
I think every reader can relate to bad dates, awkward conversations and the spark not being there, so for me it's nice to have a character who shares these experiences, someone you want to have a happy ending, to prove it can happen!

Now i said what I love about Claudia but the character I loved and I mean grab your mistletoe kind of love, was Nick.
I hope this man is real!
Not only is he gorgeous, toned and genuinely lovely, but the man loves Christmas
He didn't just make it magical for Claudia, he made it magical in my mind.
I long to go Ice skating, choir singing and just see what's under his Christmas jumper!

When you look at the wonderful Nick and compare him to Claudia's ex Seth, Seth looks even more of a low life than he already is.
I despise Seth, I could almost picture him green faced and snarling, the evil grinch!

I really hope that Lisa lets us catch up with the characters, I pine for more Nick, I want Claudia to have adventures.
For Penny and Billy to have their stories told.
And I need more Christine and Joe, they are hilarious when they get together!

I can't recommend these stories enough, if I had the money I would buy everyone the first novella and get you hooked.
But remember ladies and gents, NICK IS MINE!

5/5

A really big thank you to Clara at Little Brown for sending me the series of novellas for review!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Decisions of the dangerous kind with Margaret Kaine

Born and educated in the Potteries in Staffordshire, Margaret Kaine now lives in Leicester. Her short stories have been published widely in women's magazines in the UK, and also in Australia, Norway, South Africa and Ireland. Ring of Clay, her debut novel, won both the RNA's New Writer's Award in 2002 and the Society of Authors' Sagittarius Prize in 2003. She has written several romantic sagas about life in the Potteries between the 50's and 70's,and translations include German and French.



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Your novel is called 'Dangerous Decisions' please could you tell me about it?
I found this novel a joy to write. I’ve always been fascinated by the Edwardian era, loving the fashions, the formal manners, the romance of it all. And yet beneath lay another world, one of poverty and vice.
In Dangerous Decisions, Helena, charmed by the wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday yet haunted by the image of an attractive young doctor, mistakes infatuation for love. Despite a sense of unease, she accepts Oliver’s proposal, but he’s deeply flawed and she finds it hard to forgive the travesty of her wedding night. The novel is set ‘Upstairs’ and ‘Downstairs’, with one major character a prostitute in a top class London brothel. Described as ‘Downton with a twist’, it is cosmopolitan in its background, and deeply romantic with an underlying menace.

'Dangerous Decisions' is about Helena Standish, please can you tell me about her?
Helena, educated at home, has led a sheltered life until she goes to London to be presented at Court. A romantic at heart and loyal to her father and the aunt who brought her up from birth. She is musical, tenderhearted but has a much needed inner core of steel.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
I’m a Taurus, often described as stubborn - I prefer determined. I nicknamed my first novel ‘boomerang’, because it went out and came back on a regular basis. I failed to get either an agent or a publisher despite multiple submissions and was at a loss where to try next. Then I saw an article in Writers’ News that a top Irish publisher, Poolbeg, was asking for submissions. With several weeks I was offered a 4-book contract. That book was Ring of Clay which went on to win literary awards.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

I think it would be Nicholas. I have a weakness for tall men with dark hair and although ambitious he is sensitive and caring. And to accompany him on his rounds, to witness first hand medical care - or the lack of it due to poverty - was like a hundred years ago. We are so fortunate today.



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If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I’d pamper myself, indulge myself with chocolates and dine out in style, ordering dishes I’m normally unable to eat, and exult in wine and liqueurs without a resultant migraine!

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
It’s never too late to achieve your dream.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
I have already begun another novel set in the Edwardian era, it’s lovely to spend your days - at least in the mind - drifting around a luxurious stately home. However, this one begins in a workhouse and I was rather relieved when my heroine was able to leave. I’m an organic writer, so the plot is still developing. But I’m loving the characters.

What or who in life inspires you?
Malala Yousafzai - the courageous young Indian girl. I foresee a great future for her.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Prince Harry - he’s a born aristocrat so could give me authentic details, he would also bring a sense of fun. Andre Rieu as he is a true romantic and I love his concerts. Colin Firth on the condition he comes dressed as Mr Darcy. Emma Thompson whose creativity I admire, and Oprah Winfrey, a powerful woman who must know many secrets.

At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of 'Dangerous Decisions' what are the ingredients?
A Champagne Cocktail would be served.

3 drops Angostura bitters poured over 1 sugar cube, then add 1 ounce Cognac and 4 ounces of chilled Champagne.



A big thank you to Margaret for talking to 'The Love of a Good Book'

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Chasing your dreams with Jill Knapp

Jill Knapp, a native New Yorker, is the author of the Chase series (New Adult/ Women's Fiction) and a former adjunct professor of Psychology at her Alma Mater Kean University. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Knapp reports on entertainment, relationships and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. She received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan.



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Your novel is called 'Chase' please could you tell me about it?
Chase is about a young woman who moves from a suburban area of New York into the city to attend graduate school at NYU.
Chase is the first book, in a series of coming of age novels which revolve around 5 characters. The main character’s name is Amalia Hastings and her two close female friends are Cassandra and Olivia. Cassandra’s an old childhood friend, who doesn’t attend NYU but rather already works full time. Olivia is a new, but close friend that Amalia met at school. The other main characters are Nicholas (Amalia’s boyfriend), Alex (Amalia’s snarky classmate), and Michael (one of Amalia’s close friends from school who she realizes she has feelings for). The story is about her experiences living and getting acquainted with a new city, even though she’s technically been a New Yorker her entire life. She learns lessons in love, life, money, and friendships.

'Chase' is about Amalia Hastings, please can you tell me about her?
Amalia is constantly falling down and picking herself back up again. She’s one of those characters that you can really route for. She is currently a graduate student at NYU and a recent graduate of Rutgers University for undergrad. She smart and cute but not the hottest girl on the block. Her self-steem is low, but grows as the story continues on. She’s your average American Girl chasing her dream in the big city.

Are any of the characters in 'Chase' anything like you?
I think all of the characters are like me in some way. Except for maybe Alex. I don’t think I’m anything like him, at least not in the first book!



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'Chase' is set in Manhattan, what inspired you to choose this setting?
I spent most of my life living in New York. I’m from Staten Island but I’ve also lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I am pretty familiar with a lot of New York City. My parents are both native New Yorkers too, both from Brooklyn. Since it’s the place I’ve spent the most time in my life, I figured it would be the city I could best describe from memory, both mine from a few years ago, and mine from when I was a child. New York has changed a lot since I was a kid, but it’s still a very inspiring city.

What advice would you give to someone chasing love, anywhere in the world?
My best advice is – don’t. Be with the person who wouldn’t make you chase them, the person who’d always be by your side.



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Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

I would have to pick Olivia. She seems like the most well rounded of my characters and I’d love to spend a day with someone neurosis free!

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I first read it in the 9th grade, and it changed my life. Since then I’ve re-read it about 5 times. It’s one of those books that really open your eyes about what life is really about.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Yes! I am currently working on the second installment in the Chase series. I will be writing either 3 or 4.

What or who in life inspires you?
Past experiences, friend’s past experiences, music, movies, television shows, and other novels.

What is your all time favourite book?
It’s a tie between Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger. Everyone Worth Knowing is a fantastic read for anyone who likes books about NYC.

There is a cocktail in honour of 'Chase' what are the ingredients?
I joked with my husband about this, but this is what I came up with. Being that Chase is about New York City and how different it seems to native New Yorkers then to new comers, I would say the cocktail would be made out of Dom Perignon champagne, and $5 whiskey.


A big thank you to Jill for talking to 'The Love of a Good Book'

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Goodness, Grace and Me by Julie Houston

When Harriet’s husband, Nick, throws in his safe, but boring job in order to set up a new business during the current recession, Harriet is distraught. More so when she realises Amanda, her and best friend Grace's old enemy from school is Nick’s new boss’s wife and will be accompanying Nick on his business trips to Italy. How will Nick not succumb to the ruthless charms of the utterly gorgeous Amanda? Knowing Nick is being seduced is bad enough, but when Grace falls madly in love with Sebastian, Amanda’s precious, much younger son, it can only mean trouble ahead.

Determined to fight for her man, Harriet’s seduction techniques go into overdrive. Unfortunately she is hampered in her attempts by two bolshy teenagers, an increasingly eccentric mother and a job teaching horrible children. Not to mention something very strange going on at the bottom of her garden!

Can Harriet save her marriage, and also her friendship with Grace? And what will happen if Nick’s new venture fails especially now that Harriet’s worst nightmare appears to be coming true...?



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'Goodness, Grace and Me' tells the story of two friends, Harriet and Grace.
Harriet is happily married to the devastatingly handsome Nick, who is the love of her life. But whilst her romantic life is good, work and family pressures are causing the two problems.
Grace is trying to conceive, but that's easier said than done, especially when her husband is more intent on bedding other women.
Can friendship help them through life's problems?

Through 300 pages you find yourself caught up in the turmoil that is the women's lives.
Within this tale of romance, there is also a strong element of friendship, an inner strength from the two friends, that is felt throughout!

Harriet is a wonderful character, always there whenever someone needs her, offering a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on.
Although she has her own problems to deal with, she always puts others first.

Amanda was my least favourite character, I suppose you could say, I loved to hate her.
She has everything going for her and doesn't she know it, she would often flaunt herself around others,

A humorous, heart warming read.
Snuggle up this winter with 'Goodness, Grace and Me'

4/5

Thank you kindly to Julie for sending me a copy to review!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Pleasures of Autumn by Evie Hunter

When fine arts curator Sinead O'Sullivan is charged with a stealing the Fire of Autumn, a dazzling ruby with a history of violence and treachery, bail is set at one million Swiss francs.

Investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel. Niall knows Sinead's form as the feisty red-head led him a merry dance when their paths crossed once before. Despite the overwhelming sexual chemistry between them, Niall knows that he cannot trust her.

Sinead toys with Niall, refusing to tell him what she knows about the theft. An expert in interrogation, Niall uses every trick of the trade - and every tool in his erotic armoury - to get at the truth. And Sinead - just as well armed - counters his every move with one of her own.

As thief and thief-taker fight for dominance, there can be only be one winner ... but what happens when the stakes are raised and it's no longer just a jewel and Sinead's freedom in play?



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This is the first book I've read by Evie Hunter and it has left me wanting more.
I will definitely delve further into this series.

The Pleasures of Autumn tells the tale of Sinead who sets about clearing her name after a priceless artefact is stolen from the museum she works at.
Everyone around her believes her guilty of stealing the Fire of Autumn, intent on proving her innocence Sinead finds herself thrown together with Niall, the man tasked with finding the jewel and getting to the truth.
But how can she prove she isn't guilty of theft when her body is fighting an attraction to the man trying to prove otherwise!

With an intense storyline and wonderful characters, 'The Pleasures of Autumn' really was a pleasure to read!
I loved Niall's character, he is such a strong, sexy and vibrant man.
When he walks into a room, he turns womens heads and although he is a distraction to others, Niall doesn't like being distracted. When he takes on a job, he gives it his all, so intent on the truth, so determined!

Sinead is a strong character to read about, although with her small statue and librarian style looks, she comes across as anything but, this woman is a fighter, she is determined to clear her name.

Then we have the polar opposite. Lottie the flame haired, vivacious burlesque dancer, striving for a better life, a chance to fulfil her dreams.

The story has many twists and turns, that all make for a gripping read.
With interwoven tales and mysterious characters, you are gasping and wanting more.

5/5

A big thank you to Catherine at Penguin Ireland for sending me a copy to review!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Is This Love? by Sue Moorcroft

How many ways can one woman love?
When Tamara Rix's sister Lyddie is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in need of constant care, Tamara resolves to remain in the village she grew up in. Tamara would do anything for her sister, even sacrifice a long-term relationship.

But when Lyddie's teenage sweetheart Jed Cassius returns to Middledip, he brings news that shakes the Rix family to their core. Jed's life is shrouded in mystery, particularly his job, but despite his strange background, Tamara can't help being intrigued by him.

Can Tamara find a balance between her love for Lyddie and growing feelings for Jed, or will she discover that some kinds of love just don't mix?

Is This Love? returns to Sue's fictional village, Middledip, as featured in Starting Over, All That Mullarkey and Dream a Little Dream.



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Tamara has never left Middledip, she's always wanted to remain close to home.
Feeling like she should always be there for her sister Lyddie who has needed round the clock care, following an accident as a child.
But then Jed, Tamara's childhood friend returns to the village, with a secret he promised his dying father he would share.
Will one mans dying wish, change so many lives....

Sue Moorcroft delivers a poignant story, that's pulls you in almost instantly.
With so much going on, you find yourself turning the page automatically, the need to know what's happening taking over the need to do anything else!

There are so many wonderful characters, from family orientated Tamara, whose kind and caring nature often means she puts her dreams behind everyone else's. To Jed the handsome but flawed hero of the story.
There was only one character I was unsure of, Emilia raised my suspicions and I found myself not trusting her. Something about her didn't sit right with me!

'Is This Love?' Is a wondrous story that will have you gripped from beginning to end!

5/5

A big thank you to Choclit for sending me a copy to review!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Connecting with Aven Ellis

Aven in her words:
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I am particularly fond of British actors named Benedict and Henry. I love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. I am also obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.



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Your novel is called 'Connectivity' please could you tell me about it?
Connectivity is the story of Mary-Kate Grant (MK), a young woman pursuing her dream career in television. MK is all business—she will not allow time for romance in her life as she considers it a distraction from her goals. Enter William Cumberland, a British media mogul who owns the social media empire Connectivity. When he purchases the group of networks where MK works, her world is turned upside down in more ways than one. William has the ability to see right through her, and for the first time, MK questions if romance can have a place in her life after all…

'Connectivity' is about Mary-Kate Grant, please can you tell me about her?
MK is passionate about things she cares about. She’s smart, quick, and is not afraid to speak her mind. MK has an eye for interior design and loves cooking. And she is a complete klutz!



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Are any of the characters in 'Connectivity' anything like you?
Like MK, I work in sports television. And I love cooking, so I gave her the same passion I have for it.

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
My Life in France by Julia Child. This book changed my life! Julia had a zest for life and lived it full out. And her cooking career didn’t start until later in life—so it’s never too late to realize a dream!

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Yes! Waiting For Prince Harry will be released in April 2014; Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista in Fall 2014, and I am writing the companion book to Fashionista now.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Actually, I would love to meet some of the bloggers I have met during the process of promoting Connectivity. I have truly been blessed by this experience in more ways than one, and I’d love to have a group of them around the dinner table with me.

Who would you like to find under the mistletoe?
Benedict Cumberbatch.



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With the new year looming, will you be making any resolutions?
I make them every year. Last year one of my resolutions was to submit Connectivity to a publishing house. And the first house I submitted it to bought it!

Quick fire questions:

Sweet or Savoury? Sweet! Even though I am trying to eat clean right now, I love dark chocolate, pastry, pumpkin pie…sorry, I digress. LOL.

Phone or computer? Computer.

Book or film? Film if Benedict Cumberbatch is in it. Otherwise a book!

Wine or water? Wine for a nice meal. I am on a guava coconut water kick right now though.

Twilight or True Blood? *swoons thinking about Eric* Neither. Not a vampire fan.

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Thank you so much Aven, for talking to 'The Love of a Good Book'

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Excerpt: April Fools

Today I'm very excited to bring you an excerpt of the hugely anticipated 'April Fools' by Karli Perrin.

Karli Perrin is a 25 year old English Language & Linguistics graduate from Manchester, England. She has always been a big lover of books and is the author of the 'April' series.
She is a big believer of fate and is a sucker for a happy ending. She honestly believes that there is a reason why you are reading this right now (apart from the fact that you are awesome!)
Her ultimate goal in life is to live in a house made entirely out of books with her best friend, who also happens to be her fiancé.
...Hogwarts is plan B.


'April Fools' (April, #2) is the conclusion to April's story.



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Excerpt:

"Are you ready for desert?"
I sat up, "Oooh, we're having desert?"
He raised his eyebrow and I immediately understood what that meant.
Communication by eyebrow.
"Ah ha, that kind of desert."
"If you mean the delicious kind then yes, I've heard it's your favourite."
"Well you've heard right."
He gave me a cocky grin, "I don't blame you...it's just so smooth and creamy."
Two can play that game.
"I love how it melts in my mouth" I replied, trying to keep a straight face.
"Oh really? I need a demonstration." He stood up and walked towards the kitchen. A few seconds later, he reappeared holding something behind his back.
"What are you hiding?"
"Your desert, of course."
I narrowed my eyes, "I'm starting to think that we've just been talking about two different things."
He shook his head and revealed the tub of chocolate body paint.
I laughed, "We are so not doing this."
"We so are."
"You're crazy" I told him.
"Crazy for you."
"Stop trying to sweet talk me."
He winked, "Good one, I see what you did there. Sweet talk...chocolate, now take off your clothes."
"But how will you know if I'm just using you for your chocolate?"
He slowly sauntered towards me, never once taking his eyes away from mine. My heart began to race as he bent down and whispered in my ear, "I'll take the risk if you take off your clothes."



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April Showers: Amazon UK
April Showers: Amazon US
April Fools - Amazon UK
April Fools - Amazon US

12 Days of Christmas Tour with Jane Lark

12 Days of Christmas Tour with Jane Lark

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Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas Tour with Jane Lark.


After signing with publisher Harper Impulse, Jane, author of the smash-hit Marlow Intrigues series, has decided to end 2013 with a bang! She’s gathered together some of the industry’s best authors to create one enormous Christmas giveaway.


The huge prize is made up of more than 30 books, a combination of signed paperbacks and eBooks, and two gorgeous book bags. It’s the perfect early Christmas present for any bookworm and all you’ve got to do to win is feast your eyes on the details below and enter via the Rafflecopter . . .


To kick off the prizes, Jane is giving away copies of her much loved The Illicit Love of a Courtesan and its highly anticipated follow-up The Passionate Love of a Rake


 

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Jane's books have been a huge hit with fans, leading to an ever-increasing fan base and comments such as:


"Jane Lark has an amazing talent to draw the reader in from the first page onwards."


- CosmoChickLitan


And to celebrate her upcoming December release of NA novel I Found You, you could also win a unique rucksack.


The book is already causing excitement among readers and looks set to be the must-read NA of 2014.


 

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But that's not all folks! As if Jane's books weren't enough, check out the other amazing books included in the prize pot, you're sure to find one or two of your fav authors getting involved . . .


 

12 Days of Christmas TP


 

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Entry to Jane Lark's 12 Days of Christmas giveaway extravaganza is easy, just follow the authors on Facebook or Twitter, plus maybe give the comp a shout-out tweet (or two) all via the Rafflecopter below and you're golden. But don't forget to keep your fingers crossed too!


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please take a moment to read through the giveaway terms and conditions:


This is an international giveaway.


Signed paperbacks are to be sent from the authors themselves. Jane Lark, BestChickLit and/or any authors involved accept no responsibility for delivery failures. The winner must be open to accepting eBooks in any format i.e. Kindle copies and via iTunes voucher, from different sources. In the event of .mobi copies, the winner must have an Amazon Kindle account and be prepared to add selected addresses as approved emails on their Personal Document settings.


Some of the books involved in the giveaway contain adult and sexual content and this should be taken into consideration before reading. Jane Lark, BestChickLit, Harper Impulse and any of the participating authors are free to amend any of the giveaway details at any time.


Good luck!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown

A deliciously indulgent read and the follow up to Cupcakes at Carrington’s. Set in Carrington’s Department Store this is perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan.

Georgie Hart loves Christmas time at Carrington’s Department store. Running the luxury handbag department, Georgie adores helping customers in the hunt for the perfect gift, for the perfect someone. And this year is no exception – now she has the hunky Tom, Mr Carrington himself, to spend the special day with.

But when Tom springs a surprise, Georgie’s plans are thrown into chaos. Carrington’s is getting a fresh lease of life in a hot new reality TV show, featuring formidable retail guru, Kelly Cooper.

As the first show airs, Georgie is shown in a far from flattering light. Worse is to come when Kelly’s vile daughter appears to get her claws into Tom. Georgie fears this will be the worst Christmas ever, but Santa still has a little surprise for her stocking this year – she’ll just have to wait until Christmas to find out…


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It's nearing Christmas in Mulberry on Sea and to pull in some new customers, Carrington's is entering the realms of reality TV.
You thought TOWIE was shocking, you haven't seen anything yet!

Let's be honest, I was expecting wonderful things from Christmas at Carrington's and Alexandra Brown delivered so much more!

There's something wondrous about a book that can pull you in and have not just your mind, but your emotions submerged within the pages.
Alexandra Brown has such a wonderfully descriptive way with words, that means you soon find yourself lost in the world of Carrington's.
I found myself lusting after bags and purses, whilst my mouth was watering at the thought of the delicious cakes created by Sam.
And when I say my emotions were submerged, the biggest test of this was when, I felt myself wanting to jump into the pages and slap a character.
Such a nasty piece of work, with a vile mind and mouth!

With thanks to Eddie's flamboyant side, Georgie's love life, Sam's personal life and Tom's gorgeousness, this book kept me gripped for hours.
I always wanted one more chapter and as I turned the last page and found myself leaving behind the store, I was left
eagerly awaiting the opening of Carrington's next year and more so after that epilogue (wow)!

It's fabulous, festive and fun!

5/5

A big thank you to Jaime at Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

What if your crush crushed back? by Tilly Tennant

Like many teenage girls during the brief but brilliant chart reign of Norwegian popsters, A-ha, I wondered what it would be like to date lead singer, Morten Harket. Eyes like the crystal clear waters of the fjords, cheekbones cut from Nordic glaciers and hair that seemed to defy gravity, from the moment he reached out of that comic book during the video to Take on Me, I was lost. The first concert I ever went to see was A-ha at the BIC in Bournemouth. My dear old Granddad steadfastly waited outside in his car the whole time, refusing to leave the venue until he had got me safe back with him. I can still remember leaving at the end of the night, feeling like something very important had happened on that stage, and that I would never be the same girl again.

I often laugh with old friends now about those times, but it was these events that sparked the original idea for Hopelessly Devoted. What if you had this crazy, debilitating crush now, as a much older woman with a normal job and a family to raise? And what if you didn’t just have a crush on your pop idol, what if you met him? What if he actually liked you too? Where could it go? Bonnie, the heroine of Hopelessly Devoted, is just that: an ordinary thirty-something woman with a teenage daughter and a mundane shop job who finds herself slap bang in the middle of a very strange turn of events when her daughter, Paige, wins a radio contest to meet the members of the boy band, Every Which Way. Paige has a huge crush on one of the members, Holden. The trouble is, so does Bonnie.


Hopelessly Devoted

There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn. The problem is, Holden Finn a twenty-something pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, who doesn’t even know she exists. Not only that, but half the women of the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. But the real men in Bonnie’s life only let her down, and a man you can never have can never let you down… right? When Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and his band, it seems all that is set to change. Bonnie is about to find out that you should be careful what you wish for, and that happiness can come in the most unexpected shape…

Hopelessly Devoted is due for release December 2013 but you can get your hands on a free copy by entering the Hopelessly Devoted blog giveaway. Not only that, but you’ll also win an exclusive unreleased Christmas novella, Mishaps and Mistletoe, which is only available by entering the draw.

About Tilly:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family. Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). 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 enrolling on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books while getting paid for it.

Tilly Tennant on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter
Tilly’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant
Follow Tilly’s blog http://tillytennant.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 9 December 2013

Dancing with Julie Mayerson Brown

JULIE MAYERSON BROWN lives on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a rural suburb of Los Angeles, with her husband, two sons (who return from school periodically for laundry service and home-made chicken soup), four (yes FOUR) boxer dogs, and hundreds of wild peacocks. Her work has appeared in the Daily Breeze, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Jewish Journal, and Parenting Magazine.
An “at-home” mom and community volunteer for over twenty years, she is a founding member of Mothers Advocating Prevention, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children and teens.
Her first novel, The Long Dance Home, was published in November of 2012 by Mischievous Muse Press, a subsidiary of World Nouveau Publishing.
Currently working on her next novel, Julie usually can be found in one of the quiet corners of her local library.



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Your novel is called 'The Long Dance Home' please could you tell me about it?
We came up with that title because my protagonist is a former dancer who returns to her hometown with great reluctance, and it takes her a long time to realize exactly where she belongs.

'The Long Dance Home' is about Cece, please can you tell me snout her?
Cece's backstory, readers will learn, is that she was on the verge of becoming a prima ballerina when she suddenly quit dancing. Thirteen years of ballet lessons had made her a perfectionist and a little too controlling. She likes/need everything to go according to plan. Although Cece can be a bit demanding at times, everyone loves her - her family, her best friend, and especially her boyfriend, Doug.

I, of course, adore her. My intention was to create a lovable protagonist who has some faults and limitations, just like we all do. Naturally, it is because of her flaws that her life unravels. But when she picks up the pieces and realizes what she wants to do with her life, those flaws become her strengths.

Are any of the characters in 'The Long Dance Home' anything like you?
While there's a little bit of me in a few of the characters, the one most like me is Cece's step-mom, Julia. She is loving and practical. She takes care of everyone, adores her family, gives excellent advice (but only when it's asked for). She also loves to have her house filled with kids, friends and family and to throw great parties. That's me!

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Writing a book and actually getting it published through a traditional publisher was one of the biggest events in my life. I've been a writer for a long time, and the road to publication was arduous to say the least! I was fortunate to find my publisher through my writing group. She was familiar with my writing style and asked me if I had a holiday book. (Many writers do have a number of abandoned manuscripts collecting dust in drawers or folders or computer files). My answer was: "Well, not exactly, but I do have something that might work . . ." I ran home and pulled out a novel I had started about a former ballerina. Over the next week or so, I completely revised the outline. I set it at Christmastime, created bunches of new characters, changed the location, and basically revamped the entire story. I submitted the outline to the publishing company and was given the go-ahead to write my novel with the understanding that my completed manuscript would be sent up the editorial chain for approval. There was no guarantee they would publish my book. But I jumped in anyway and spent the next eight months to completing my first draft. I submitted it to the publisher and then waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. A tremendous amount of hard work and a little bit of "right time right place" got me published.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

I would love to spend a day with Patty. She is Cece's best friend, and she has a few characteristics of some of my friends. Patty is funny and quirky and bold. Every scene she is in I loved writing, especially her dialogue. When I had a chapter without her, I couldn't wait to bring her back. I'd love to buy her a drink!

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
I would tell them to read "Six by Seuss," a collection of stories by the incredible Dr. Seuss. When my boys were little, it was their favorite nighttime book. Children love the rhymes, the rhythm, and the adorable characters, while adults recognize the lessons Seuss's stories teach.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." Writers take huge risks. Putting our stories out there makes us very vulnerable, but what choice do we have? We click that send button and then hope and pray and dream. I learned a long time ago that there's no point in keeping my stories locked up in my computer. They have to be released. Am I risking rejection every time? Absolutely.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Yes! I hope to see my next book out around the end of 2014. It's very different from The Long Dance Home. It's about two sisters growing up in the 70's with an alcoholic mother who invites danger into their home.

What or who in life inspires you?
My dad - he's 91 and still goes to work every day! And he loves his family.

What is your all time favourite book?
SO difficult to name one book, but I'd say it is "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is beautifully written - full of mystery and intrigue. Some of the best character development I've ever read.



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'The Long Dance Home' is set at Christmas time, what inspired this?
When I revamped my original story and turned it into a holiday novel, I realized that that was exactly what my manuscript needed. The plot, the setting, and the characters worked. The timeline made sense. And best of all, putting it at Christmas time let me include a small town production of my favorite ballet, The Nutcracker.

Thank you Julie for talking to 'The Love of a Good Book'