Blog Tour: Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Spring At Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Hey Everyone. Today I have a review for you for Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett. I must apologise as this was due to go out at the weekend but I was unwell in hospital but as they say…better late than never.

Blurb…

A season for change…?

Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?

Don’t miss Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

Review…

Ahhh I admit I totally loved this book. I read it really quickly because I enjoyed everything about it.

Both Beth and Sam were relatable and I felt like I really wanted the best for them.

The story wasn’t straight up soft and fluffy and it did touch on some sensitive subjects but it never took it to a dark place.

I will be reading the rest of the books in the series. Sarah has such a lovely writing style that her words flow so naturally on a page.

I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants something that is easy to follow, a bit of fun and a sprinkle of romance.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Advertisements

Blog Tour: A Dangerous Game by Madeline Dyer

Dangerous Game Banner

Hey Everyone. Today is quite an exciting day for me. I am hosting my first book blog tour. I do not plan to make this a regular occurance but I wanted to help out someone from one of my writing and book groups.

I will be bringing my review of the book later in the week and on Sunday I will be linking all the reviews of the lovely book bloggers which have taken part.

Madeline is the author of the highly rated Untamed series. The first book in the series is Untamed and there are 3 books so far with a 4th due to be released at a later date.

Blurb..

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides–because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors. (less)

A Dangerous Game

A Dangerous Game is a standalone novel which is set in the same world as the Untamed series. Labelled as a YA dystopian romance it was released by Ineja Press in November 2017.

Blurb…

LOVE WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE EASY…

All her life, Keelie Lin-Sykes has known what she wants: to protect her brother and sisters by killing as many of the soulless Enhanced Ones as she can. Oh, and to have fun while she’s doing it. After all, hiding in a secret Untamed community, while the group’s Seer warns them of danger, shouldn’t mean that life can only be serious, right?

But, when a face from her past suddenly–and secretly–shows up, Keelie’s catapulted back into the very world she’s been trying to escape from for the last ten years: a world full of guilt, lies, and…love. And the deeper Keelie gets into this world, the bigger the risks become.

Now, Keelie must deceive those she values most in order to protect them, even though her actions will destroy everything she knows and haunt her family forever. But she can’t ignore her feelings–not again. And Keelie will do anything to be with the man she loves.

If this is a book that sounds like something you would enjoy then you can find a purchase copy below;

Buy the eBook: AmazonB&NKobo, or iBooks

Buy the Paperback: Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAWaterstonesBook Depository, or Barnes & Noble.

Don’t forget to drop in later this week for my review and on Sunday to catch up with what others have said about A Dangerous Game.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

 

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

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

Book Tour: Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James {Review}

BLOG BLITZ (3).jpg

Today I have a review for you from the book Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James.

Blurb..

When they were children, Megan adored her younger sister Chloe. Now she can’t bear to be in the same room as her.

Megan believes Chloe is a psychopath and her sister does appear to be a textbook case: cold, cruel and lacking in empathy.

Why does Chloe want to taunt Megan at every opportunity?  And why does she persist in manipulating their mentally ill mother, Tilly?

When Tilly, under Chloe’s malignant influence, becomes dangerously unstable, the consequences are ugly. Megan’s world falls apart. Her sister’s out of control and there’s little she can do about it. Until Chloe’s actions threaten the safety of Megan’s former lover. A man from whom she has kept an important secret…

A study of sibling rivalry and dysfunctional relationships, Sister, Psychopath tells the story of one woman’s struggle to survive the damage inflicted by her own flesh and blood.

Review…

What a corker of a book! I seriously enjoyed reading this. The main character Megan is the sort of woman everyone can relate too. Most of us have siblings or family members we cannot stand, all have unrequited love, and generally stuggle for our careers and money. Chloe on the other hand plays the perfect villian, everythign about her reminded me of the mean girls you get at school and within business enviorments that drive you insane and get away with everything.

The build up through the story to that main critical point was fantastic, I never saw what was coming and the end twist? Saaayyy whaaaat???? I did NOT  see that coming, maybe a few little parts of I had an inkling but not on that scale.

Maggie has a way of writing that sucks you in and keeps you glued to the pages. The character development was really well done. I would give this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good psychological thriller.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Losing Myself by Victoria J Brown {Review}

Today I have a review for Victoria J Brown’s book Losing Myself. Losing Myself is the sequel to Holding Myself.

Blurb…

Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood.

To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough?

Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

Review…

After reading the first book which I enjoyed (you can see my review here) I was really looking forward to see how Kat’s story progressed. 

All the way through I felt so sorry for her, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. 

I really felt like I could relate to her, more often in life we have more town’s than It’s and this was a more realistic story to follow. There was no Knight on a white horse ending, it just simply was as it is. 

We saw Kat develop into a more rounded person and come to terms with loss of not just her business, her friend and her partner but of the single person without children. Kat took on the new roles in her life with dignity and grace despite been utterly heartbroken. 

We see her sister go through turmoil and I would personally love to have a story which focused around that and her as a main character, perhaps a novella. It was be such a good read. Kat struggles to make sense of the world in which her sister is lost too but does what she feels she can all the way through. 

I really enjoyed this and it is far from some soppy romance. It’s realistic and shows that despite going through the worst of times we can all come out on top. 

I would rate this book 4/5. Brown’s writing style flows perfectly and interest in the page never wavers. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby {Excerpt}

Today I have an except from the book The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby.

Blurb

“Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. 

James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”

Excerpt 

“I stare at the screen exasperated.

Am I being pressured by a bunch of women I’ve never met before into having a baby asap? Isn’t that like the most important decision in your life? One that you don’t take lightly but think about long and hard? Preferably with your partner. Haven’t these women ever heard of family planning?


Then it dawns on me. I know what’s happening here. This is cyberbullying. It’s when people use social networks in a deliberate manner to harass other people. I’ve read a lot about this on the internet. There’ve been suicides. Jobs have been lost over this.


I just never thought it’d happen to me.


I rub my nose with the back of my hand. I brush against the mug of tea, which I’ve put too close to the edge of the table. It shakes perilously. A few droplets splatter over Giacomo’s beige shagpile rug.


‘Shit!’ I jump up and rescue the mug from toppling over. I run to the kitchen for some paper towel and dab the droplets until they dissipate.


‘Phew!’ I plonk back in the chair. Where was I?

I peer at the screen.


SkinnyMumof2: But if u are not pregnant and u don’t have kids and u are not necessarily trying what are u doing on mumsnet AshleyPiccolaMia?


She has a point.

What exactly am I doing on Mumsnet? On a non-bank holiday Monday. When everyone is hard at work milking the cash cow or saving the world.


I can’t tell the truth. Because… thing is… the reason I’m online so much and spend all this time talking to people on Mumsnet and Gay.com (it only happened once! I was curious…) is because I’m bored.


Ever since I moved my cookery show online I don’t get out much. The TV crew I work with comes to the house to do the filming. It’s cheaper that way, and Giacomo’s kitchen is way more swanky-looking than most of the studios’ ones out there.


I’m terribly, mind-numbingly, tear-jerkingly bored.


I get all my groceries delivered.


I don’t have a pet to keep me company. Not even a goldfish—


AshleyPiccolaMia: Finding new friends I guess *smile*

SkinnyMumof2: On mumsnet of all places…

PinkBear87: How has it come to this? To look for friends online? You should be going out there. You should be meeting with real people…

TatianaTopBanana:Honestly, AshleyPiccolaMia you should get a life.

SkinnyMumof2: Yeah. Why don’t you go out instead of lurking online?

PinkBear87: No offence AshleyPiccolaMia but that sounds a bit weird… like stalking…

I gasp. Lurking? Stalking? It’s not like that at all.

AshleyPiccolaMia: That’s not what I’m doing!


But everyone has left the chatroom.

‘Well, that went well,’ I say to nobody in particular. My voice echoes in the empty room. I put my hands to my face. My cheeks are flaming hot. Whatever. I don’t need to talk to people. There are lots of things I could be doing instead.”

If you like the sound of The Sinking Chef you can get your copy from one of these Amazon stores.

  AMAZON LINKS

The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited

US

https://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

UK
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB

Australia

https://www.amazon.com.au/Sinking-Chef-Pot-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZYGMPLB
Canada
https://www.amazon.ca/Sinking-Chef-Sylvia-Ashby/dp/1548021784

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour Blitz: A Justifiable Madness by AB Morgan {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from AB Morgan for the Blog Blitz Tour for the novel A Justifiable Madness hosted by Bloodhound Books.

Guest Post

Writing Style:

 It’s not accurate to say that I write like I speak, because I swear far more in real life than any of the characters in A Justifiable Madness. However, I do believe that my sense of humour and fascination with the way people interact and demonstrate their personal traits does define my writing. ‘Unpretentious’ would probably describe my style. I try to produce a story that is easy to digest and one that readers would be driven to turn each page to find out what happens to all the characters, not just the main players.

As I write I inhabit the characters, I see and hear the story in my mind as a real-life performance, as if it were on screen. My intention is for readers to have the same experience by using dialogue to its best advantage, and I try not to overload with too much added detailed description.

The best advice I’ve been given is to read out loud what I have produced on the page. This is invaluable. I can hear the mistakes. My latest approach to editing involves making a voice recording, so that the story comes alive when I play it back. If it sounds flat then it is flat and needs attention, and the process also helps with those moments when the right words fail to appear, or have arrived in the wrong order.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Path To The Key by April Canavan {Review}

I received this book from Seraph Book Reviews.

​Wow, Wow, Wow. Let me start by saying this is not your average Vampire story. Path To The Key is incredibly unique and full of twists and turns that even seasoned readers will not see coming.

The book sucked me in right from the start. Every single character that was introduced was fascinating and interesting whether it was the main character Sarah or the Villan Alex.

Each character held their own and had great character arcs despite some only been background characters. Each personality fed into the story and plot in such a fitting way.

I loved the mix of supernatural and vampire, the way they blended together in such an unusual fashion which worked so well. I really like how the author describes the way that magic works within a Vampire and doesn’t just expect the reader to guess at possible issues.

While sex does feature in the book its not done in an in-your-face manner and fits perfectly with the story.

I adored the character of Winter, I’d like to think if I was a Witch I would be as powerful as she is and Jack is adorable. The use of having a child as part of the main story in what could be quite a dark book works really well and doesn’t feel forced or out of place.

Sarah was such a unique main character. Faced with making life altering decisions and the reality that she cannot do the one thing which she lives for really shows how people can overcome adversity and become stronger than they initially thought. This definetly isn’t your average weak girl becomes strong style story. It runs much deeper.

The plot was filled with emotion and really led you to care about what was happening to everyone in the book not just the main players.

The writing style flowed beautifully, it was so easy to read and get sucked into. The Imagery used was realistic enough to allow your mind to create scenes and pictures from the writing.  The style of the story could so easily have become confusing but everything was written so well that I never ended up confused by what was going on.

My favourite quote is from a part where Winter is discussing her relationship with Jonathon and she says;

“I chose power over love, and there is nothing worse than that.”

I feel this is relevant even in our non-fiction real life world.

April Canavan has written an amazing book and I would urge everyone to read it.
Massively impressed I eagerly await the follow up. This book has huge potential to be one of the greats that people talk about for generations. It’s definitely a page turner that I couldn’t put down, I throughly enjoyed every moment, even when I almost missed my bus stop because I was so engrossed. If in doubt just know that the main part of the book is set in a magical bookstore…now who wouldn’t love a story like that?

Star Ratings;

Plot 5/5
Character 5/5
Heat 5/5
Writing Style 5/5
Overall Rating 5/5

Thanks for reading. You can also see a copy of this review and others over at Seraph Books

Emma-Louise x