Book Tour: Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett


Hey, today I have a blog tour book review for you for the novel Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett. 
Blurb…

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?
Review…

Hell To Pay is the fourth book in the Kay Hunter series and I have been lucky enough to read them all.

Hell To Pay certainly didn’t disappoint. From the first to the last page I couldn’t put it down. 

Kay is and always has been an interesting character to follow and I really like how Rachel adds elements of Kay’s home life into the story without making it all about her home life. 

This book can be read as a standalone however, I would highly recommend reading the other novels especially as this one is the culmination of an issue that has been building since the first book. 

The book has plenty of action and even though the ending in some ways is somewhat predictable as it’s set up early on in the book it still retains the exciting ‘must read’ feeling. 

Rachel really is a fantastic writer and I really have nothing negative to say about any of her books. Her writing style is brilliantly done and it keeps you glued to the pages. 

Another fantastic read and if any crime lovers haven’t read these then they should, they are missing out.

You can purchase Hell To Pay here.

Thanks for reading and thank you Emma from EDM Creating Perfection for selecting me to review this book and taking me on this tour.

Emma-Louise x

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Blog Tour: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from Lynsey James author of A Winter’s Wish Come True. 

Blurb…

Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

Guest Post – Sequel Survival Guide

There’s no two ways about it: writing a sequel is hard. You wonder if people will like it as much as your characters’ first story, if the characters are well-liked enough to warrant another part to their journey or if your readers might think it’s overkill.

A Winter’s Wish Come True is a sequel to A Season of Hopes and Dreams and I’ve thought all of the above at least fifty times over. I hope readers are happy to see Cleo and Scott again and that their new adventure is as well-received as the first one was. I learnt a lot doing a direct sequel and decided to put this survival guide together to help other authors who might be in the same boat.

1. Don’t second-guess yourself

This is easier said than done, but if you manage to stop second-guessing yourself, writing your sequel is a lot easier! If you feel that your characters have another part to their story, go ahead and write it. After I finished A Season of Hopes and Dreams, Cleo and Scott just wouldn’t leave me alone and I felt like I had to tell the second part of their journey as a couple. It’s only natural to wonder if people want to have your characters back for another story, but if you really feel passionate about the sequel’s subject, that’ll come over in the writing and transfer to the reader.

2. Have the original story open on your laptop

I learned this the hard way. Keeping a file of the original story open on your laptop is absolutely crucial, even if it’s just for little details! I couldn’t remember the surname I gave a character in A Season of Hopes and Dreams and it drove me crazy until I remembered I had the story on my laptop for reference. From then on, I kept it open and used it to check parts of the first story that I was bringing into this one.

3. Have fun

This is a really important one, and one that can be really easy to forget about. For as hard as sequels can be to do, just have fun with it. You’ve already got a great set of characters that readers love and you get to spend even more time with them! As I said above, it’s really natural to worry about doing the first story justice, but I’m here to tell you you’ve got this. These are your characters and you’re going to tell a great second story with them. So go for it and don’t hold back!

About Lynsey…

 Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can purchase a copy of A Winter’sWish Come True here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

It’s A Family Thing: Flora With Flossie by Jude Lennon {Review}

Hey everyone. Today I have another It’s A Family Thing post from myself and Alexis. 

Today we will be reviewing Floga With Flossie by Jude Lennon. Jude approached me and asked if it would be something which Alexis may like to read. Alexis being the little Bookworm she is would absolutely love to read it.

Let’s start with the illustrations. All these were done by Holly Bushnell and they are the cutest little pages. The way the book has been illustrated really brings to the story to life. Alexis loved looking at them and found the story easy to follow as she could see it unfold in pictures while I spoke the words. 

The story itself was great. It was fun and it rhymed so well. Alexis has picked up certain repeative patterns in the paragraphs and repeats them back to me while pointing out words she recognises so it’s really helping her development. 

From a parents perspective the book is fun, light and enjoyable. It flows easily and reads like a dream. It has encouraged Alexis to be more interactive with what’s written in the pages.

When I asked Alexis if she liked the story she told me that she liked it a lot and her favourite was the lamb as it was cute and fluffy. 

I’d say this book is definitely a hit from both of us and we highly recommend it 🙂

You can purchase Floga With Flossi here.

To find out more about Jude you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise and Alexis x

Book Tour: The Lido Girls by Allie Burns {Excerpt}

Today I have a Excerpt from The Lido Girls by Allie Burns.

Blurb…

Escape to the inter-war years in this emotional story where opportunity can be found at the pool-side in your local lido… Perfect for fans of Pam Evans and Gill Paul 

Change is in the air…

London, 1930s: 

Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.

But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?

Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart.

Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!
Excerpt…

They followed the chattering girls through to the Grand Hall. The hairs on her arms stood tall again. The sweeping latticed glass ceiling, way above them in the heavens, was both a hothouse that at once amplified the chatter of two and a half thousand excited women, while also bringing them closer to the serenity of the clouds above on this grey April day.

She threaded an arm through Delphi’s and they smiled at one another, sharing the thrill of the moment, the tingle in the air.

A troop of women brushed past them as they marched up and down behind banners from their home towns or counties; first Portsmouth went by, then Yorkshire was followed by a rowdy group from Yeovil. On either side of the central concourse – the same dimensions as a swimming pool, though broader and longer than anything she’d ever seen – were steep-sided seats for the spectators: the children, sisters, brothers and husbands of the women demonstrating today.

‘I want to be near the front,’ Delphi said, ‘as close to Prunella as possible.’

Natalie held back, noticing the flashbulbs coming from the front. Prunella had been the main topic of many of Delphi’s letters, but they had to be practical and not get too close. They’d both told lies so they could be there today. It would do neither of them any good to find themselves pictured in the press, nor would it help Delphi’s career prospects if she had a sleeping fit right at the foot of the stage.

Delphi gave up on pushing through when an instruction came for them to sit down. They noisily lowered to the cool concrete floor and sat cross-legged. Delphi and Natalie squeezed into a row in the midst of a group of Scots wearing tartan ribbons on their shoulders, about half a dozen lines from the very front. They had an excellent view of the stage and the three-piece jazz band, but were safe from the photographers, and hidden from view should Delphi take a turn.

Natalie lifted her head and looked all the way behind her at the rows and rows of ladies, all in matching white shirts and black shorts. All with their hair set in waves.

For all their uniformity, the women inside the outfits were much more of a mixture than she’d expected. At her college there was a definite sort of girl who thrived there – she’d been one herself – usually wealthy, or as in her case, with a father in a respectable profession.

These ladies weren’t of one sort at all. Some were their age – surplus women as the press liked to label them, women like she and Delphi, in their thirties, still single and not much hope of that ever changing. The loss of so many men in the war had seen to that. Not that she’d ever give up the hope of finding a husband. Others around them wore more lines about the eyes, and had rounder hips. War widows, no doubt.

All of them, whatever their age or circumstance, had come more out of the need for company than exercise and so for that reason she should fit right in, but still she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was wrong to have come.

You can  purchase a copy of The Lido Girls here.

Thanks for reading and thank you to Jenny at Neverland Book Tours for putting together another fab tour.

Emma-Louise x

Clipped Wings By Jennifer Gilmour {Book Review}

Hey everyone. Before I get started on the blurb and review of this book I want to say a little something. First of all this review and book does come with a trigger warning and upsetting details. 

Domestic violence accounts for approximately 16% of all violent crime. The figure is likely to be much higher as many instances go unreported. On average 2 women per week and 30 men per year die from domestic violence incidents. That number is appalling. To think even 1 person would die per year at an abusers hand is too much to think about but those figures…wow. 

Domestic abuse can happen regardless of your gender, sexual preference or station in life. It can come in many forms. Not always is abuse physical and mental, it can also be economic for example. The author of this books Jennifer Gilmour wrote a previous book which I had read called Isolation Junction. Jennifer herself is a survivor of domestic abuse and is an advocate for all others in this area, campaigning to bring justice to those who need it and with an aim to prevent such a subject being a taboo. 

We have a responsibility to act, to help give voices to those who cannot speak. It is never acceptable for people to be victims because of someone else’s need to control and dominate. 

I grew up in a domestic violence household and watched my mum be a victim many times, I myself was a victim from the age of 10 to 16 so this is an area that I feel extremely passionate about. I am a survivor of childhood abuse, I look upon my past as giving me strength during my adulthood. I respect and admire every single person who took part in writing Clipped Wings, to get their voice heard and their story out.

Now enough talking from me, let’s get to the book stuff! 

Blurb…

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.
But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

Review…

This book is heroic in its own right. Each story of domestic violence tells a tale of just how much this behaviour leaves a lasting mark. This book will be uncomfortable to read and so it should be, the moment we become complacent and accept these sorts of stories as been normal the more we have failed to change anything. 

The book contains many different stories not just from women. Hearing a man’s account of abuse it’s extremely vital in raising awareness as it often more under-reported than against a woman.

There were times reading this book that I felt a rush of anger for the abusers, that I felt sad and had a cry at the things people have had to endure by someone who is suppose to love, cherish and protect them. There were times is had me recalling instances from my past and wishing I had spoke out about them much sooner.

Clipped Wings is so well thought out and put together, it shouldn’t just be read as a book but it should be used to teach, to raise awareness and make people aware of the symptoms of abuse. I would recommend everyone to read this book, to show your support for these survivors, to make a stand against those who oppress and abuse and to raise awareness. Domestic violence is something that should not cause shame to victims but to the abuser,  it’s something that should be talked about over and over again until it stops.

You can connect with Jennifer and find out more about her story here and to purchase a copy of Clipped Wings or/and Isolation Junction you can do so here.

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Flashfall by Jenny Moyer {Review}

Some of you may know I have another blog, until I created this one it hosted all my book reviews. Including one for a book called Flashfall by Jenny Moyer.

I read the book back in May and the full review can be found over at The Stationery Geekette.

However, the sequel Flashtide is due to be released on 14th November which I have of course pre-ordered. So I thought I’d post a copy of my review here to give everyone a reminder of just how amazing the book was. 

What’s Flashfall About?

This story is about a girl called Orion. Flashfall is a dystopian novel. Orion is a caver, who is sent to mine Cirium. Cirium is the only material to protect people against the Flash curtain which causes radiation. However, things are not as they seem and Orion learns more about life on the other side of the Flash curtain and takes actions to secure her freedom.

What did I think of Flashfall?

I think the answer to that question is..AMAZING! Honestly, I absolutely loved it. I had seen this book about a lot before I got a copy, and I didn’t really know much about it. I challenged myself to not read the blurb so I actually thought it was a sci-fi book.

I really loved the character of Orion. I loved her spark, how she didn’t give up despite everything they threw at her and everything they tried to take away. It wasn’t one of those generic ‘Yay they did’ it journey’s. Every time one thing good thing happened, three bad things happened. As the end of the book approached I didn’t think there was going to be a good end at all.

There is an under current of a romance with Dram, a lifelong friend and Orion’s counterpart in the caves. Dram tries to play the hero to Orion but more often than not they save each other.

The writing flows so well and eases, chapter to chapter before you know it you’ve read about 5 chapters and didn’t even notice.

It’s safe to say I will be getting the sequel to Flashfall. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Flashfall is fresh, different and not your typical heroine’s journey.

This book gets an almighty 5 stars from me. 
Thanks for reading. 

Emma-Louise x

What Lurks Beneath (Part 1) 

Today I have the first in a two parter that I wrote for Halloween. It originally started as a flash fiction piece but has evolved into much more. 

——————————————————————

The heart of Autumn surrounded us now. The leaves rustled in the bitter breeze that stings my cheeks and makes my eyes water.

I thought agreeing to this trip would be a good thing, I’d imagined a cosy cabin, log fires, long walks and early nights. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First there was no heating save for the log fire, which also was the only source for heating water, the cabin was old and dusty and looked like it had been picked up from some cheesy Halloween film and put in the middle of this forest. I’m glad I wasn’t here alone otherwise I’d have turned and left by now.

There was however, a beautiful lake which on a night like this shone with a moonlit glow. It looked incredible, inviting.

I’m sure I could see things moving underneath it’s surface but it was clear the atmospheric effect of this cabin was playing tricks with my mind. 

I could hear the others playing Monopoly in the main room. Louis loudly declaring how much he was kicking everyone’s arse on the property front, Sarah laughing because despite him owning everything he was broke and she wasn’t and then Ryan who just laughed at them both. My Ryan, the diplomatic one, never caused a scene, always the voice of reason and the one I was head over heels in love with.

Ryan and I had been together now for almost 2 years. We had met through random chance at a college fair when we were in our last year of school. This week was my 18th birthday and this trip was meant for me. Ryan knew I didn’t do massive parties or huge celebrations. Coming to a quiet romantic cabin with our best friends was the perfect gift. 

At least it should have been. Leaving Louis to find and book a place may not have been the wisest of ideas. His version of comfort was quite different from mine. Despite this place though I was having a nice time, I just didn’t relish showering in the luke warm water or waking up to know I needed to de-frost the kettle before I could have a morning cuppa.

We were booked for a week and this was our 3rd night. I had to admit though this place was growing on me. It was my birthday tomorrow and we were going to have a barbeque if it wasn’t raining. The last few days had been sunny but cold, perfect walking weather. Louis and Sarah decided a barbeque would be a great idea, I have to say it did sound nice.

I excused myself and went up to bed. I wanted an early night so I could get up for a jog in the morning before everyone else awoke. Running through the surrounding forest with just the birds for company was relaxing. I could happily do this everyday rather than at home where I had to navigate roads and cars on my morning route. Living in the middle of a big city meant we didn’t have places so full of nature like out here.

I felt the alarm vibrating under my pillow, I must have slept great because I don’t remember anything from when I got into bed until now. I reached for my thick dressing gown while attempting to stay hidden under the cover. I grabbed it and quickly whipped it on, then slide my feet into my furry slippers. 

I snuck out of the room and made my way to the main living room. Now that we had started to make our presence felt I could definitely see the charm in it. The kitchenette stood off the the left, a simple row of cupboards, cooking stove, fridge and other essentials. To the right a massive open fireplace and an arrangement if mismatched chairs, a sofa and some bean bags. There was a gorgeous real wood coffee table that had two tree trunk legs. To either side of the fireplace was wood stacked up to the ceiling as well as smaller piles scattered around the room, Windows sat next to the tall wood piles. The floor was made from wooden floorboards with thick worn rugs in random colours scattered about. In the centre of the back wall was a huge door and coat rack. I could see the moonlight just hitting the trees. It was still pitch black outside.

I walked over to the fire and added more logs, stoking it to bring up the flames. Thankfully the room wasn’t as cold since the embers had burnt through the night. I filled the kettle and switched it on, grabbing one of the mugs and popping in a teabag and some sugar. I walked over to the one of the windows near the fireplace. This view looked directly over the lake, it looked even more stunning than the night before. 

I heard the kettle click off and went to make my drink. I shoved on some wellies, put my thick coat over my dressing gown, grabbed my mug and headed towards the lake. I sat on the bench that sat near the waters edge. Despite been dark the moon let off enough light that I could see easily.

I was sat contemplating the day ahead. Finally 18 years old. Old enough to drink and vote. A proper adult now. Due to start university in a weeks time. Life was good.

It was then I heard the whispers. At first I thought it was just me. I’d have put it down to the wind but there wasn’t even a small breeze this morning. It was still and silent. The whispering seemed to get louder, more frequent. I couldn’t make out any words. I looked around me but I couldn’t see anyone. I then got up and started to walk around the lake, staying in the light. I could hear the whispers getting louder now and tried to follow the sound, it led into the woods. I hesitated following, I mean I was still in my pj’s, who knows what else is out here. But still, I followed. 

I came to a small clearing surrounded by the most beautiful wildflowers, the moon shone down into the centre. Everything seemed to sparkle. 

The whispering had stopped now. There was no sound not even a bird.

“Hello Juliet” a voice said. I turned around, nothing was there. I couldn’t see anyone. Shadows hiding from the moonlight concealing what lurked in the darkness. 

“Don’t be afraid Juliet, we’ve waited a long time for you” the voice spoke. 

“Who are you? Where are you?” I replied, my voice shook with nerves. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest. My hands had gone clammy. I was more than half tempted to to run back to the cabin but something compelled me to stay.

“Juliet, we are the people of the forest. You will see us when your eyes allow us to be seen” the voice said. 

“What do you mean? My eyes allow you to be seen? What are you ?” I replied. 

“Everything will be revealed in time Juliet. The question you should ask is not who are we, but who are you” the menacing voice replied.

“What do you mean? I’m a human of course. What else could I be?” I had no idea what was going on, were the guys playing a trick on me? Not exactly the way I wanted to start my birthday.

“You my dear child are not pure human, there are things in this world that have been kept from you. But now as you celebrate the day of your birth old magic will pump through your veins. When you are ready to know everything come back to this spot. We will be here waiting. You are not ready yet, don’t fight it when you feel it” the voice faded as it finished it’s words, I knew that whatever it was had gone. 

I went back inside confused, sitting on the sofa in front of the fire my body started to warm up. What on earth did it all mean. I’ve never felt normal, at least not in the way that people seemed to look. My father has always kept secrets about my mother,  my heritage and what happened to her. Did this have something to do with her? 

I jumped as Ryan put his arms around my shoulders, I hadn’t even heard him come out of the bedroom. “Good Morning birthday girl. Happy birthday” he said, kissing my cheek.

To be continued….. 

Emma-Louise Smith x

Other bloggers who have written a small Halloween story…

J.E Kennedy – The Sven Lands

Cassandra Jones – Ghostly Writes Anthology Free E-Book

Blog Tour: The Forgotton Room by Ann Troup


Blurb…

Can the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.

Review…

I was really intrigued by the blurb of this book. I love a good thriller. The story didn’t take long to get into the more ‘thriller’ aspect and you got the vibe there was a lot more going on early on. 

Maura was likeable enough and I could certainly sympathise with her but I have to admit I didn’t seem to gel with her. I don’t know if it’s because I felt in some ways I was coming into a story that had already started.

I enjoyed the story, there were a lot of twists and turns and I didn’t see the murderer coming at all. However, the pacing really got me. I think it was probably just me but I felt like the story went on forever. So much had happened that I felt it dragged on a bit. I hit 75% and couldn’t believe I still had so much more to go. That been said I would recommend it. Ann definitely has a great flare for this sort of genre. The book was enjoyable and unpredictable. 

I would rate The Forgotton Room 4/5 stars. Despite my pacing issues the book has everything you would want from a great thriller. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x 

Book Tour: The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes {Guest Post}

Blurb…

Love happens when you least expect it…

Jodi is panicking. It’s only weeks until her little village in Devon holds its first ever festival and everything is falling apart.

Desperate to avoid disaster, she brings in notorious party planner Christian to save the day. Although she wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous he would be!

Men are off the cards for Jody and surely Christian is the last man she would ever date? But with tensions rising – along with the bunting and home-made scones – she’s about to find out…

Guest Post…

The Power of Procrastination

It’s safe to say before giving birth and changing jobs my whole working life had been deadline driven. My career as a radio copywriter was filled with daily, heck, hourly deadlines. From when a script must be written by, to when it needed to be approved by, to when it needed to be recorded by, to when the audio needed to be approved by the client for it to go to air. And it wasn’t a case of one client a day, we’re talking multiple clients, multiple account managers, multiple demands to have stuff done yesterday. I thrived on it. Procrastination was a dirty word. It meant not getting stuff done. And stuff needed to be done.

Fast forward five years and how times have changed. Since becoming an author I’ve become quite the procrastinator. You see there are deadlines, but they’re not the kind that require you to plan your day out in order to meet them. It’s more… if I write just over one thousand words a day I’ll finish the book with enough time to go through it two more times to ensure the plot holes are tidied up, the grammar probably won’t kill the copy editor and the spelling is checked.

It leaves a lot of time to twiddle my thumbs, but is that twiddling of thumbs actually procrastination? I think not, for it’s during those times of putting off writing when I get my best ideas.

Recently I was standing in the shower longer than usual and it came to me that my hero in Christmas at the Second Chance Chocolate Shop needed a good emotional reason to hate Christmas, and not the amusing one I’d initially considered going with. I walked out of that shower cleaner and with an idea.

When I’m at the absolute end of a deadline my house turns into a tip. Everything is ignored in order to get the words to my editor. But in the initial stages you could eat off my floors. Toys are in the toy box. Dishes done and put away. And when I do sit down at my laptop it’s with a scene planned in my head. A scene that has played earlier in my head as little bits of toys and cat fur are sucked up the Hoover’s tube.

You’ll also find my legs a touch more toned (which means not really toned at all) during this period, as there’s no better way to procrastinate than by telling yourself you need to go for a walk to avoid writer’s bum. Also known as avoiding the daily word count. So you wander round, get your exercise in, and during that time characters accompany me on my walk and chat to me about their needs, desires and what irritates them about the world. Those walks fill out my characters, make them more real to me. Changing them from strangers into friends.

Procrastination. Not such a dirty word after all. Without it I’d be staring at a blank page.

(PS – previous to writing this, I’d convinced myself I really needed to go down to the fruit and veg shop to buy bananas. And that’s where the idea for this post came from.)

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt {Review}

Today I have a review for the book A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt.

Blurb…

 Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test. 

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

Review…

I have read a few of Kate Hewitt’s books before and always enjoyed them. A Vicarage Christmas was no different.

This book has elements of mental illness in it, specifically social anxiety and I found it interesting to read about. How it affects the characters and the decisions that Anna makes because of it. 

Anna is a really easy to like character, I sympathised with her completely and really felt for the situation she was put in and also the guilt she felt.

Simon is a really good guy and it was really good getting to know him, I’d quite like a book from him perspective which delves into his past. 

There are elements of sadness in the book but every moment is well worth reading. I was left feeling warm and cozy when it was over.

Kate has such a smooth writing flow that you can easily get through chapters and not even notice. 

I would rate this 4 stars and highly recommend it for anyone wanting a lovely Christmas read.

You can grab your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x