The Cottage On Lily Pond Lane – New Beginnings (Lily Pond Lane Series Part 1) by Emily Harvale

LilyPondpart1

Length: 164 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to an Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Escape to the seaside village of Little Pondale with Part One of this heart-warming and romantic, four-part serial.

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

The Review: From the second Mia Ward stepped  out of her new 4×4 and surveyed her new home, Sunbeam Cottage in Little Pondale, after losing ‘both her job and her boyfriend in rapid succession,’ and ‘feeling about as welcome to the south coast of England as the German Luftwaffe had been in the second world war’ I was quite sure I was all in.

Mia has been left cottage and an inheritance in the will of her great ant Matilda. Matilda has given a stipulation that Mia has to live there for a year before she can receive her due. I really enjoyed this, although I had a few mini issues, the colossal dumping of information and a bit of confusion character-wise- although given that this is the first of the series I’d say it isn’t something that bothered me too much. There were fabulously inviting settings and descriptions and mysteries of delicious proportions and given the amount of bloggers I’ve heard saying they love the series, I look forward to book 2, which is where I’m off to now!

Rating: 4.5/5

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Facebook Event!! Pumpkin and Pages Hop via ChickLitChatHQ

Post Graphic - Pumpkins & Pages Hop

Fall (or Autumn to those of us this side of the pond), is so pretty, but aside from Halloween, there isn’t much going on. If only there were something to tie together all the great elements of the season–the rich colors, the pumpkins (and pumpkin spice lattes!), wearing sweaters, walking through crunching leaves, curling up by the fire with a good book …OH, HOLD UP! There is something going on!

(Disclaimer, I did not write this lovely introduction but I will add a whoop whoop because the Pumpkin and Pages Hop, brought to us by Chick Lit Chat HQ, which is so dear to my heart, is here!!! Thanks to Tracie Banister for allowing me to be part of the hop:))

P&PHopGrandPrizeWreath

Chick Lit Chat HQ is continuing its tradition of hosting killer hops for Chick Lit and Romantic Comedy fans with our all-new PUMPKINS AND PAGES FACEBOOK HOP to get this season started right! From October 1st through the 7th, more than 50 Chick Lit and RomCom authors are banding together to bring you are most awesome event yet! Along with individual author prizes, we’ll be giving away grand prizes of a beautiful fall wreath by Twoinspireyou valued at $160* and THREE gift bags full of pumpkin-scented goodies from Bath & Body Works. PSLs, chunky sweaters, and crunchy leaves ain’t got nothing on this week-long party, so don your scarf and mittens and head on over to Facebook and join the CLC HQ events group to hang with authors and readers, find your next great fireside read, and enter to win all sorts of fabulous prizes! See you there!

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Prizes

*NB The Grand Prize fall wreath giveaway is open to US residents only. However, all of the individual author giveaways and the grab bag giveaways are open internationally.

Now why don’t you pop over to the Facebook pages of the authors taking part

Monday, October 1st

Tracie Banister

Rachel Cullen 

Lindsay Detwiler 

Laura Kenyon 

Beth Labonte 

Melissa McClone 

Kate O’Keeffe 

Meredith Schorr 

Stacey Wiedower 

 

Tuesday, October 2nd

Melissa Baldwin 

Laurie Baxter

Aimee Brown 

Karen M. Cox 

Laura Heffernan 

Tracy Krimmer

Monique McDonell 

Natalina Reis 

 

Wednesday, October 3rd

Traci Andrighetti

Poppy Blake

Annabelle Costa 

Angie Ellington 

Amy Gettinger 

Cat Lavoie

Nikki LeClair 

Gail Olmsted 

Denise Stout 

 

Thursday, October 4th

Christina Boyd 

Whitney Dineen 

Holly Kerr 

Heidi Renee Mason

Becky Monson 

Mel A. Rowe

Melanie Summers

Mae Wood 

 

Friday, October 5th

Rich Amooi 

Glynis Astie 

Rachael Eliker 

Sarah-Jane Fraser 

Jenny Gardiner

Elizabeth Grey 

Erin Huss 

Jennie Marts 

Melanie Moreland 

 

Saturday, October 6th

Amanda Aksel 

Renee Conoulty 

Hilary Grossman 

BJ Knapp 

Robyn Neeley 

Carol Maloney Scott 

Joslyn Westbrook

Janice Williams

 

 

Escape to Oakbrook Farm: A wonderfully uplifting romantic comedy (Hope Cove Book 2) by Hannah Ellis

escapetoakbrook

Length: 322 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Village life is supposed to be quiet…

Josie Beaumont is a free spirit. She changes jobs about as often as she changes her relationship status. Frequently! The only constants in her life are the comfy old shoes that she refuses to part with.

When unemployment looms again, she’s intrigued by a job opportunity at a dog kennels in rural Devon. As someone who thrives on change, a move to the sticks doesn’t faze her at all. She’s expecting life in the country to be quiet and uneventful.

What she’s not expecting is Sam.

The charming, sensitive neighbour makes life much more interesting. In fact, when she gets involved in the local community, things really aren’t as dull as she anticipated. But just when she finally feels settled, she’s offered the job of her dreams back in London. It’s time to move on.

Or is it?

Being part of a small community has stirred something in Josie and she begins to question what she really wants. Can she turn her back on her new life and say goodbye to Sam? Or is she ready to hang up her running shoes and stay put? Maybe she’s finally found something worth sticking around for…

The Review: There are a multitude of ways you can see an author’s writing spring to life that isn’t just from the book itself, in fact, this is the reason that I buy more books on the basis of guest posts or interviews or a writer’s review of a book. Here, the dedication itself was enough to make me swoon and settle down, glad I was reading another one of Hannah Ellis’ gorgeous books (Note: the dedication was “To Dua, You deserve the world … here’s a book instead.” Isn’t that so lovely!)

And indeed we are back to another gorgeous book, amazing given that Hannah ( I know her well from being an all round helpful and motivational writerly person on social media and in a writer group we both inhabit) has been probably one of my most reviewed authors on this blog. (You would assume at some stage I wouldn’t connect with a book, as what are the chances I feel so smiley and excited after all her books, but there you go!!)

Here is the story of Josie who we meet at a wedding at the start of her book, dressed in her bridesmaid’s dress and a pair of Converse, speaking to the best man, Sam. Josie has just broken up with her boyfriend and is shocked that she feels a sort of pull towards Sam, given that she’s assuming the break up is just another glitch and they’ll be back together very soon. I have to admit the banter, and Sam in particular, drew me in and I was keen to see where this would go.

Josie was a lovely character too, only changing when we see her with her on/off boyfriend, which reminded me a little of the film ‘The Break Up’ (it always gets me thinking about balancing being naggy and not having to do everything yourself), but soon her and her boyfriend are back together even though she’s agreeing to move to Devon during the week to work in Annette’s dog kennels.

This was another lovely touch. Happy as I was to move to the countryside and enjoy the quirks of country life (in particular the creepy laneways when walking home from the pub and indeed the pub itself with a whole new range of friends for Josie), I was THRILLED that she was going to be working with dogs. The book moved nicely for me and I enjoyed the new friends, the banter, the settings,the drama and the many, many smile along moments. I will admit that just after middle I felt a lull and was afraid nothing would happen but then we went to the one place I’d forgotten we could go and one of the character’s reactions smarted and shocked me! In terms of comedy there were a few very well done, nicely timed moments that had me nodding along. All in all a great book but I’d advise you to move back to the start of the series, to book 1  just to savour it all and meet some other characters that pop up here (here’s my gush about  The Cottage At Hope Cove which seems to be FREE at the moment-get it here on Amazon!). Thanks so much to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the author

Hannahellis

Hannah Ellis lives in Munich with her husband and two little boys. She’s originally from England and has also lived in America, Australia and Ireland. As well as writing, she also teaches English to kindergarten kids. In her spare time she likes to read books, drink tea and eat chocolate. She goes jogging regularly but hasn’t decided if she really enjoys it or not. She’s a huge fan of sunshine and the many Munich beer gardens.

Facebook

Twitter @BooksEllis

Goodreads

Author page on Amazon

Previous posts on this blog

Madame Love Actually by Rich Amooi #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Today I am so so excited to bring this gem to your attention: Madam Love Actually by Rich Amooi. Oh and there’s a giveaway too!! Thanks so much to Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest gush. (I mean review!)

Madam Love Actually

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To buy:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

What they say: Lance Parker is an arrogant know-it-all. As author of the bestselling book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist, he says love is for losers. Madam Love is a fortune teller and matchmaker who has brought hundreds of couples together.

When the two clash during a radio interview, she admits even someone as irritating and impossible as Lance has a soulmate. He says she’s delirious and a fraud. Then the gauntlet is laid down: Madam Love has two weeks to prove Lance wrong and find him a soulmate.

When Lance meets wonderful Emma by chance, he doesn’t know what to think anymore. But Emma has a secret. She’s Madam Love, actually. And it’s going to take a whole lot more than a crystal ball to get her out of this mess.

About the book: This is the story of Emma Wright, known as Madam Love to her clients in San Francisco. Madam Love tells her clients how about meeting ‘the one.’ She has a step of instructions for her to get to the person of her dreams, but can’t tell her the specifics. I cannot tell you how taken I was with Emma straight away in both iterations, both as herself, and as the talented Madam Love. As Madam she is the totally together, wig and fortune teller garb adorning, tell it like it is because I’m totally right, fortune teller, but as Emma things are a bit more difficult, with bills to pay, rent increases and a decision made that she herself will never meet the love of her life.

Enter arrogant Lance Parker. I loved him too and was practically jumping up and down when I met him on air, speaking about his book ‘Your soulmate doesn’t exist.’ (Guess what it’s about). He was sarcastic and cheeky and yet rational and lovely and if I hadn’t been in before (I was, from the get go), I was most definitely all in when Emma rang in as Madam Love to put her two cents in and we found out that he’s also fully against fortune tellers too. And so a challenge is put to Lance; take Madam Love’s advice and NOW try to prove there’s no such thing as a soul mate and that fortune tellers are frauds.

So now it’s up to Madam Love to send Lance off to meet his perfect match, only she doesn’t realise that fate has made a decision for her too! The magic in this book, the intervention of fate, is genius, as wee see how one decision changed, can suddenly impact others and yet one thing knocking on to another, was very likely always decided.

I do see what I’ve done here, I’ve just told you all about the book and not gone into the characters (swoonerific, not just the mains, but her landlord and partner in crime Randy), the pacing (perfection, what with the back and forward between Emma, Madam Love and Lance that you watched with, jaw slightly dropped , as if watching a movie heading to a climax that had me holding my breath), the settings (oh and what a dog festival, especially because I got to meet the lovely Typo!) and the general perfectness of the romance and zingy chemistry. I defy people not to read this book and smile, laugh, gasp and swoon and will never be able to recommend it enough-totally up my street and beyond recommended and I cannot WAIT to get to the author’s back catalogue!

Rating: A million out of five (that’s a five;))

About the author

Rich Amooi -Author Photo

Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. They live in San Diego, California with their very hairy daughter, a mini goldendoodle puppy. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

And now for the Giveaway!

 

Win a Sterling Silver Lucky Charm Pendant, plus an autographed paperback copy of Madam Love, Actually. (Open Internationally).

Rich Amooi Prize

To enter click here 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

And now, how about you head off to follow the rest of the blog tour!

Madam Love Actually Full Tour Banner

 

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green #BlogTour #Extract

It’s a pleasure to bring to you today an extract from Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green (if you remember I’ve a very soft spot for the first of this series, Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by the lovely Rosie Green- read review here!)

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe Blog Tour
Cover IMG_0565(1)

Purchase from Amazon UK

What they say: Jaz Winters stuck a pin in a map and fled to the village of Sunnybrook, looking for a brand new life – and after a rocky start, it’s beginning to look as if she made the right decision. Her blossoming friendship with Ellie and Fen has seen her through some dark times, and she’s managed to land two jobs – waitress at The Little Duck Pond Café and working as a weekend tour guide at Brambleberry Manor, the country house that’s been in Fen’s family for generations.

Sure, life isn’t totally perfect. There’s the irritating know-it-all guy who keeps popping up on her manor tours, for a start. He seems determined to get under Jaz’s skin whether she likes it or not. But she supposes it’s a small price to pay for the relative peace she’s found, living in Sunnybrook.

But just as Jaz is beginning to think rosier times are on the horizon, a shock encounter looks set to shatter her fragile happiness.

Will she be forced to flee from Sunnybrook and everyone she’s grown so fond of? Or will she find the strength to stand her ground and finally face up to the nightmares of the past?

This novella is part of a trilogy:

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café
Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café
Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café

The Extract: ‘What’s going on over there?’ I ask, suddenly spotting what looks like a TV crew and their gear ambling over the grass towards us.

The man at the head of the posse comes over and says, ‘We’re here from the local news.’

‘The TV?’ asks Fen.

The man nods. ‘We were told it’s happening at four-thirty?’

Fen looks puzzled. ‘Oh, well, it’s been happening all day, really. But Mum will be so chuffed. She’s been pestering you – er, I mean calling you about the event for ages.’

The man frowns and scratches his head. ‘It wasn’t Lady Redpath who called in with the story.’

‘Oh? Who was it, then?’

‘Lord Redpath?’

‘My dad? But he’s not even here.’

The man grins and looks away, across the parkland. ‘Er, I think he might be just arriving.’

We all look over to where he’s pointing and our mouths collectively drop open. A man on a beautiful white horse appears between the trees, stops for a moment, then starts cantering across the grass towards the lake. He’s dressed in full Georgian regalia, pale breeches, dark jacket and riding boots.

‘That’s Dad?’ breathes Fen in wonder. Then a second later: ‘Christ, that’s Dad. What on earth’s he doing?’

The man refers to his notes. ‘According to this, he’s re-enacting the scene from Pride & Prejudice where Mr Darcy gets his kit off and dives into the lake?’

‘Nooooooo!’ Fen gasps, half in disbelief, half delight. ‘But he’s the shyest man I know. He must be doing this for Mum!’

We all start laughing and cheering and walking down to the lake, as Lord Redpath jumps off his horse – with surprising agility for a sixty-plus man – and strides towards the water.

‘Mum has to see this!’ shouts Fen and she turns, ready to run back to the house.

‘I’m here. What’s all the fuss?’ asks Lady Redpath, joining us. She suddenly sees what’s happening over by the lake and her mouth drops open. ‘Will?’

‘Right, let’s get down there!’ The crew are off, not wanting to miss the main event. And after a second, we all follow, Lady R linking arms with Fen and leading the way down to the lake.

‘Will?’ Lady R calls as she gets near, and he hops on one leg and looks around, having just removed one boot. Locating his wife in the crowd, he shrugs. ‘It was the best idea I could come up with. I bloody hope this lake isn’t freezing.’

‘Go, Mr Darcy!’ shouts Fen suddenly, with all the power in her lungs, and we all turn and stare at her in amazement. She glances at Ethan, who’s standing nearby, and he gives her a huge grin and takes up her words, chanting, ‘Mis-ter Darcy! Mis-ter Darcy! Mis-ter Darcy!’ And then the whole crowd are joining in.

Pulling off his other boot, Fen’s dad stands at the edge and glances back at the TV crew as if to say, Are you ready for this because I’m not sure I am! He rips off his jacket to reveal a white, flowing-sleeved shirt underneath. Then, curling his body forward, he executes a perfect dive into the waters of the lake.

I glance at Lady R. The disbelief on her face is almost comic.

Lord R is emerging from the water, shaking himself off like a dog, and everyone is cheering.

‘He needs a towel,’ murmurs Lady R, coming to her senses. ‘I’ll get you a towel, Will!’ she shouts and starts back across the grass to the house.

Author Bio

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café, published on 18th June 2018, follows the first in the series, Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café.

Follow Rosie on Twitter 

And now follow the blog tour which is brought to you by the brilliant Rachel’s Random Resources

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe Full Banner

 

#ChickLitMay The End!

This is just the quickest post ever to say thanks so much for sticking with me through #chicklitmay! I didn’t get everything done I wanted to, but a lot of reading was done and in fact I have two more reviews to come in the next few days, The Last Laugh by Tracie Bloom, which I’m devouring at the mo, and The Mum Who’d had enough by my now favourite author Fiona Gibson (spoiler, it’s a five star). I’ve also plans to get to all the books I got when stacking the shelves the other week.

#chicklitmay was great as it got me fully back into jumping for romantic comedies and chick lit, and appreciating laughing out loud and bright colours and Summery series, which I had totally strayed away from. It was detrimental that I had done this as obviously I write chick lit and it would only take a short amount of time before this side of my writer’s brain would be switched off (I honestly believe reading the genre that you write is essential). I never say never but I don’t know that I’d ever write thrillers, I adore them now, but I think some people have amazing wiring that allows them to think up plot twists that are actually viable, and characters that are believable and that have dimensions to them and make us believe it all. I have seen thrillers where it didn’t work and I’d hate to contribute. Add also of course that I feel the need to make something inappropriate happen at every stage of writing, someone falls, hits into someone, vomits (sorry, but has happened in the first two books and in the book I’m writing at the mo, she is very drunk and I really can’t say she’s not going to get sick into someone’s bag, it just seems inevitable:() etc, so no, this is my genre and I’m thrilled that I’m excited about being back to it. Saying that of course an absense of something makes your heart long for it and I’m going to be reading One Click by Andrea Mara and No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney next.

I am sorry, I had expected #chicklitmay to be something more mesmerizing than it turned out to be, and I know I in no way stand up to the bloggers that push themselves all in to a month or a theme (I bow to them actually, especially when I think of for example Jen Med and her Bookouture time), and there’s no way I converted anyone, but I hope you got some form of enjoyment anyhoo:)

 

The Girl I was Before by Izzy Bayliss

thegirliwas

Length: 244 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: When Lily McDermott walks in to find Marc, her husband of just three months in bed with actress Nadia, life as she knows it is over. Lily thinks things can’t get any worse when she sees photos of her husband and his new lover splashed across the glossy magazine pages, but when she loses her job too, she is at her lowest ebb and turns to baking to soothe her soul. Wounded and broken she has to try and pick herself up again with the help of her best friend Frankie and with her encouragement, Lily decides to turn her hobby into a business and sets up Baked With Love. However whatever Lily does, it seems disaster soon ensues and when handsome stranger Sam comes to her rescue, Lily isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage.
Can Lily risk opening her heart again or is she destined to allow Marc to shadow her life forever? 

The Review: I have to admit I have no idea how this book was on my Kindle. Normally I vaguely or sharply remember a book blogger hosting a book, or I remember Amazon recommending it, but the origin of this witty beauty escapes me. And it is that! Not only that, the author lives in Ireland so yay!

This is the story of Lily, who walks in (as you can see above) to find her husband of just three months in bed with an Oscar nominated actress. To make it worse he goes off radar after and doesn’t even attempt to fight to get her back. Izzy works as a call centre operative for a pregnancy test firm, which, come on, is ingenious(I was gutted when she was fired)! There are lots of funny moments in this book, and references to things that were right up my street, Cheryl, Home and Away, Kate Middleton, L K Bennett, Jennifer Aniston, and Your Face or Mine, to name a few(or maybe I’ve used them all, apologies if I have!)! There were also a heartbreaking family backstory and a lovely lovely dad who reminded me of the dad from Bridget Jones (sniff). I loved her friend Frankie and her sister, Clara was, um, interesting. My only thing at all with the book would be with the cover, which I don’t think puts across what a sparkling, bright read this is.  Really enjoyable and I’m most definitely going to read ‘Baked With Love.’

Rating: 4.5/5