Review | Love Connection by Camilla Isley (@camillaisley)

09 December 2016


Rating:

Publisher: Pink Bloom Press
Pages: 221
Summary:


Have you ever wondered what might have been?

Gemma Dawson is at the airport, staring at two plane tickets to two different cities. Two different weddings. Two possible futures. She’s at a crossroads.

Be maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding or crash her ex’s?

Gemma’s decision, unknown to her, hinges on a delayed flight and a chance meeting. Now her life is about to go down two parallel tracks—will Gemma fly toward a life with her first love or a future with a man she’s not even met yet?

Love Connection is a feel good Romantic Comedy about one woman, life’s infinite possibilities, and the destiny that lies beyond two different choices.

A little while ago Camilla contacted me about her new book, Love Connection and after loving all her previous books I just couldn't say no! In Love Connection we meet Gemma, who is sat at an airport bar trying to decide what to do: crash her ex's wedding or attend her best friend's wedding and be her maid of honour. 

I think this is my favourite book of Camilla's! We get two sides to the same story and it is so beautifully written, it took me a while to wrap my head around the alternating storylines but once I got used to that I couldn't put this book down. We see both outcomes of Gemma's decision and how that chance meeting changes things but not completely! How she has a destiny and will find her way to it. 

I absolutely loved Gemma in this book, she was so easy to like and get behind. I found myself rooting for her the entire way through the book and I was really hoping in the relevant story that she got the ending she so clearly deserved and was destined to get. Destiny is one of the main themes that runs through the book and it really makes you wonder if everyone has a love they are destined for. A love that is out there and waiting just for them which is a lovely idea and one I am partial to finding myself wanting to believe. 

As we go through the book we get to see the same dates but a completely different set of circumstances and I loved reading those chapters, in particular, seeing how one decision can make a difference in your life depending on where you are. 

And of course, there were some incredibly cute scenes! Jake is just perfect in this book and I really enjoyed reading his character, you can really feel the love he has for Gemma whenever they are together. This is a tough review for me to write because I want to tell you the whole story but I don't, I want people who read this book to go into it without knowing what will happen and just following the story of these characters like I did. 

Blog Tour & Giveaway | Be My Baby by A.L. Michael (@almichael_)

08 December 2016

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Be My Baby by A. L. Michael.

 Read on to enjoy an excerpt from the book and find out how to enter the giveaway to win a goodie bag full of healthy treats!


Summary:

Two’s company…

If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.

Three's a crowd?

But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?

Excerpt:

‘Happy birthday baby girl!’

Evie lifted Esme up in the air, then cuddled her close, laughing. Mollie grinned, snapping a picture of the two of them.

‘Now get one of me!’ Mollie said, swapping the camera for her baby, dressed in a blue pinafore and white striped t-shirt underneath. Esme’s blonde curls looked like tiny soft corkscrews as she grinned gummily up at her mother.

‘Ooh, good photo!’ Evie smiled, picking up one of the cupcakes and looking around at the room, strewn with wrapping paper and homemade bunting. ‘So, good party? Sorry I had to work, my supervisor’s a twat bag. I said it was my goddaughter’s birthday and he said it was hypocritical of me, as I was clearly an atheist. Pious bastard.’

‘You’ve got to stop working at the call centre,’ Mollie shook her head, rocking Esme against her chest, feeling her chubby little fists grabbing at her hair.

‘And you’ve got to stop working at the bakery. We’ve got to make a break for it, before Esme wastes her life here, like we have,’ Evie threw herself onto the floor and reached out her hands for the baby. Mollie placed her on the floor, and she crawled to Evie, slobbering and grinning.

‘What, shall we do a Ruby and just disappear to London? I’m sure I could raise this one in a crack den, no problem!’ Mollie rolled her eyes, ‘Eat your cake and stop depressing me.’

‘How about we do presents instead?’ Evie grabbed her bag and pulled out some badly wrapped gifts, covered in torn, garish red paper, lots of tape and bows on top. ‘Ez, look!’

She rustled the paper and encouraged the little girl to tear at it, revealing a giant white rabbit fluffy toy, wearing a top hat. Esme dove on it, nuzzling and drooling.

‘I got her some books but I’m not sure she’ll care about that right now,’ Evie added, patting the bag behind her. ‘What did Ruby send her?’

‘Some heart shaped paperclips and a feather boa,’ Mollie grinned, shaking her head and shrugging.

‘They just get more wacky.’

‘Yes they do,’ Mollie agreed. ‘She said she’s playing a dingy nightclub in Camden though, so that’s cool.’

Evie nodded, ‘At least one of us got out.’

‘You’re going back to uni at the end of your reading week, so you can fuck right off.’

Mollie’s voice had an edge to it, even as she smiled, and Evie nodded, understanding how her own desperate need to get back to London, back to university and art and that career she was working towards, well, they were just more things to rub in Mollie’s face.

‘Hey, language Mama Bear – tiny ears!’ Evie clamped her hands over Esme’s ears.

‘She doesn’t know what it means!’ Mollie rolled her eyes, ‘When the time comes, I will be crazy strict about language.’

Evie nodded and they let the silence settle around them for a few moments.

‘Hey, I got you something,’ Evie reached into her back pocket, pulling out a small, soft square parcel.

‘Why do I get presents? It’s Esme’s day!’ Mollie tore into it, finding a simple silver necklace with an anchor hanging from the chain. She smiled at her friend, raising an eyebrow. ‘Why?’ <

‘Because it’s your anniversary of being a mum! And you’re doing an amazing job, and I thought you should know that,’ Evie shrugged.

‘Why an anchor?’

‘Keep you steady, when seas are rough,’ Evie smiled, reaching out to squeeze Mollie’s hand. ‘It won’t always be this way, Molls. Promise.’

‘Yeah, I know,’ Mollie nodded, as she watched her daughter smile and roll around, wondering, as she had for every one of those three hundred and sixty-five days, whether Jamie thought about them.

‘Things will get better,’ Mollie nodded, almost bursting with the effort it took to lie.

Giveaway:

The prize is a goodie bag, full of healthy foodie treats inspired by one of the characters in the book! It will include baking goodies and other bits and pieces!

The giveaway is only available to UK residents and runs from the 28th November until the 12th December.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:


A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.

She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.

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Book Sale | Dissident by Cecilia London (@authorclondon)

07 December 2016

So, as some of you may know (I mean, it's not like I have shouted it from the rooftops or anything...), one of my favourite series is the Dissident series by Cecilia London.

Well, today I am happy to share the news that the first book in the series is not only on sale for 99 cents until December 9th but has now been released as an audiobook! 

Read on to find out all you need to know about the book and where to buy it and the newly released audiobook. You can also read my review of the book here.

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Summary:
“I will always be with you…”

Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard hasn’t had an easy year. After losing her husband, she is raising two small children alone while trying to navigate the tricky and sometimes shallow halls on Capitol Hill. A string of nasty speeches has her scrambling to apologize to any number of candidates, including newly elected Republican Jack McIntyre. Falling in love again is the last thing on her mind.

Jack McIntyre might have a reputation as a playboy, but he has his sights set solely on his new colleague. Can he break through Caroline’s grief and capture her heart?

Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate contemporary romance, and undying love.

For readers 18+. Ends in a cliffhanger. The first part in a six book saga.

Buy Links:

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About the Author:

BUSINESS CARD FRONT

Cecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She's filled several roles over the course of her adult life - licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.

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Blog Tour | Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris (@Joannechocolat)

03 December 2016

Today is my spot on the Runemarks blog tour! Read on to find out all you need to know about the book and read an excerpt from Runemarks. 



RUNEMARKS by Joanne M Harris is out now in hardback from Gollancz!

Amazon Buy Link

Summary:

Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured rune shape on her hand a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic. Even if it is just to control some pesky goblins.

Before checking out the excerpt I am featuring, you can read the previous excerpt over at Teen Librarian.

Excerpt:

Now One-Eye had no love for children. He looked down with no affection at all at the grubby little girl with the runemark on her hand, and wondered how he could have let her draw him in. He was getting old – wasn’t that the truth? – old and sentimental, and it was likely to be the death of him – aye, as if the runes hadn’t already told him as much. His most recent casting of the runestones had given him Madrthe Folk, crossed with Thuris, the Thunderer, and finally Hagall, the Destroyer, and if that wasn’t a warning to keep
moving on—

‘Teach me,’ said the little girl.

‘Leave me alone.’ He began to walk, long-legged, down the side of the Hill, with Maddy running after him.

‘Teach me.’

‘I won’t.’

‘Teach me.’

‘Get lost!’

‘Teach me.’

‘Ye gods!’

One-Eye made an exasperated sound and forked a runesign with his left hand. Maddy thought she saw something between his fingers – a fleck of blue fire, no more than a spark, as if a ring or gemstone he was wearing had caught the light. But One-Eye wore no rings or gems . . .

Without thinking, she raised her hand against the spark and pushed it back towards him with a sound like a firecracker going off.

One-Eye flinched. ‘Who taught you that?’

‘No one did,’ said Maddy in surprise. Her runemark felt unusually warm; once more changing colour from rusty brown to tiger’s-eye gold.

For a minute or two One-Eye said nothing. He looked at his hand and flexed the fingers, now throbbing as if they had been burned. He looked at Maddy with renewed curiosity.

‘Teach me,’ she said.

There was a long pause. Then he said, ‘You’d better be good.

I haven’t taken a pupil – let alone a girl – in more years than I care to remember.’

Maddy hid her grin beneath her tangled hair.

For the first time in her life, she had a teacher.


Review | Too Late by C. Hoover (@colleenhoover)


Rating:

Summary:

Sloan will go through hell and back for her little brother. And she does, every single night.

Forced to remain in a relationship with the dangerous and corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has what he needs. 

Nothing will get in her way.

Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the only good thing to ever happen to Asa. He knows this and he never plans on letting her go; even if she doesn't approve of his lifestyle. But despite Sloan's disapproval, Asa knows what it takes to get what he wants. He knows what he needs to do to remain on top. 

Nothing will get in his way.

Nothing except Carter.
I am a massive fan of Colleen Hoover, I have read almost all of her books and I failed to realise she had been writing and releasing a new book via Wattpadd! Bookholic fangirl fail! So, when the news broke that the book was being published on Amazon, I just had to get a copy. I bought it last weekend and delved straight into it! Colleen warned us that this book would be much darker than anything else she has written and she wasn't lying...
The story centres around Sloan, a young college student trying to give her brother the best life she can which has meant staying with her arse of a boyfriend, Asa (more on him and my hatred for him later...). Whilst she's at college she meets a guy in her Spanish class, Carter and is instantly attracted to him. From the moment you read their interaction you can just tell how he is the complete opposite to Asa. Of course, Carter has a secret which, considering what we know about Asa at the point we meet Carter, isn't all that difficult to figure out but this didn't detract from the story. 
I absolutely loved Carter! He was just what Sloan needed and he has made it onto the list of book boyfriends I need in my life. I mean, Colleen is the creator of most of the book boyfriends on my list, so it was inevitable she would add another. Carter just knows all the right things to say and do for Sloan and I loved their silly messages to one another in the house that would make utterly no sense to anyone but them.
Right, after all the gushing over Carter, it's time to deal with my hatred for Asa... Now, you know when you're reading a book and you instantly despise a character with your whole heart? Utterly hate them and can see no way of redemption for them? That. Is Asa. From the first page, I despised him and nothing could redeem him for me. Even when I knew his back story I couldn't feel an ounce of sympathy for the man. He is just such an idiot (and that is putting things lightly). He traps Sloan in a relationship she despises through deception and emotionally and sexually abuses her without even realising he's doing it. He is completely and utterly delusional. Reading his chapters just made me ragey and I couldn't see any way for him to be redeemed and in my eyes he never was and he got the ending he rightly deserved. 
For the most part, I loved the book but there is just one issue I had with it: the ending. Not with how the book ended but with something that happened during the ending. Now, at one point Carter and Sloan are talking about vengeance and Sloan admits what her ultimate vengeance against Asa would be. Now, I was fine with them talking about it and never really thought they would do it but then when the book hit the climax they actually did carry out what they were talking about. That just didn't sit right with me. I'm not sure why because I hate Asa so much but I just didn't think it was necessary for them to do that and that it didn't really add anything to the story for me. I guess that is what is stopping me giving this book five stars. That and the fact that there were all these little additional chapters at the end that didn't really add anything to the story for me, while aside from getting to gush over Carter and how amazing he is...

Blog Tour & Guest Post | Murder at Mistletoe Manor by Holly Tierney-Bedord

25 November 2016

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Murder at Mistletoe Manor. Read on the find out all you need to know about the book and its author plus read Holly's guest post which gives you a recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa! I can't wait to try that during the holidays!



Tour Dates: November 20th – 26th, 2016

Blurb:
Klarinda Snow is the innkeeper of a beautiful, historic bed and breakfast in Windy Pines, Idaho. Guests come to Mistletoe Manor to escape from their troubles while enjoying the scenic mountain town.

When all seven rooms of the inn get booked on a Tuesday night in December, Klarinda is excited about having so much business, but a little confused as well. After all, her inn normally isn’t exactly a destination hotspot.

The guests have barely settled in before strange things begin happening. Is this the most accident prone group of travelers ever, or is someone out for revenge?

Buy the Book:


Guest Post:

When you curl up with Murder at Mistletoe Manor, you're going to want a hot, wintery beverage to go along with it! Here's an easy recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa. Tastes great without the Schnapps, too. This recipe makes enough for you and a couple of your friends. 

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

5 cups of milk of your choice (substitute half and half for up to fifty percent of the milk, for richer hot cocoa)
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
Sugar to taste (estimate: 2-3 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Peppermint candy canes
Peppermint Schnapps
Whipped cream to top off mugs

Directions:

Heat the milk (or milk and half and half) in a saucepan on medium heat until it's hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the burner. Add chocolate chips, stirring them gently until themy melt. Then stir in sugar and vanilla extract, mixing well. Reheat if necessary until hot but not boiling. Pour hot cocoa into mugs, leaving room to add 1-2 teaspoons of Peppermint Schnapps per mug. Stir well. Top off with whipped cream and a peppermint stick.

About the Author:

holly

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over a dozen books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband Bill and their dog Tyler.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website 

Visit all the Tour Stops:

November 20th
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt Post
Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt Post

November 21st
My Novelesque Life - Author Guest Post
Steamy Book Momma - Book Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover - Author Q&A

November 22nd
Reviews by Crystal - Book Excerpt Post
Imaginary Book Club - Book Review

November 23rd
Lilac Diaries - Author Guest Post
Thoughts on Books - Book Review
Christa Reads and Writes - Book Review

November 24th
Jenabooks - Book Review

November 25th
Bookaholic Babe - Author Guest Post
Appletree Books - Book Review

November 26th
Reading To Unwind - Book Review
4TeenReaders - Author Q&A

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