#BlogTour #BookReview Sweetbriars Tabby’s Big Year @rararesources

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What they say: After Tabby’s father vanishes, a deep rift develops in Tabby’s family. Tabby’s mother is focused on being a star performer in her pharmaceutical sales career, while Ava, Tabby’s older sister, is living with grandparents in Cornwall. Tabby feels neglected by her mother and jealous of Ava and although outwardly diligent and responsible, she’s like a kettle about to blow its top… bottling things up until

it’s nearly impossible to keep a lid on her frustration and sadness.

 

Tabby finds solace with her best friends Cate and Violet at Sweetbriars Farm where she is nursing her dream horse Bliss back to peak performance, to be able to participate in the try-outs for the British Young Riders Squad.

 

Tabby also finds herself facing other challenges – saving her beloved horse Nancy from the knacker’s yard and finding the courage to tell her friends the truth about her family.

 

Will Tabby be able to save the horses she loves and be brave enough to tell people how she really feels?

 

Purchase Link:
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Biography

Hollie Anne Marsh is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona, Spain with her partner, baby boy and horse Frieda.

Hollie has been horse riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, showjumping, eventing, and trail-riding in the great Australian bush. Hollie lived in England for almost ten years where she had two horses and trained them for dressage.

The Sweetbriars series is inspired by all the special moments Hollie spent with horses – good, funny, and challenging moments!

Additionally the ‘coming of age’ and ‘growing up’ experiences that Hollie had.
Hollie hopes that readers will be able to identify with the characters, find the books fun to read, and they will help readers learn more about horses.

 

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The Review: It’s been some time since I read a horsey book, or indeed was around horses and this book as the biggest breath of fresh air I could ever have received! It is the story of Tabby. If you look at the blurb above it’s about her family and how things are and have unravelled but I read this as I would have back when I was a teen obsessed with horses, as a book about a yard, a group of friends that are there for each other and the everyday goings on around some fantabulous horses. And oh were the horses fantabulous!

I easily settled into the, um, settings, breathing in the horsey sights and smells of not only the yard, but of pony club meets and shows. I experienced every single second of this book, in particular Tabby setting out to save her favourite horse from destruction. The family issues were of course important, but I relished this book purely for the vividness, the beauty and the excitement and I look forward to buying it for someone for a gift.

Very much recommended and thanks so much to Rachel both for the books and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour.

Rating: 5/5

 

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#BookReview Oh Henry (Book 1 in the Henry Houdini Series) by Morgen Bailey

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Length: 316 Pages

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

What they say:Set in Northamptonshire, England… Henry, a talking Jack Russell, is part of a small team researching a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. He is the target of several dognappers but can he use his wit or guile to outwit them and, with the help of forty-year-old laboratory assistant Gwynne Davies, find the proof needed to convict the criminals. Thus begins a series of adventures for the unlikely pair. There have been amateur sleuths, there have been talking animals – Henry is both. This is Family Guy’s Brian meets Poirot meets My Fair Lady.Tagline: Henry, a nineteen-month-old Jack Russell, has been given the ability to talk and now they can’t shut him up! Family Guy’s Brian with just as much attitude but better sleuthing skills.USP: There have been amateur sleuths, there have been talking animals – Henry is both.‘Oh, Henry’ may look like a young adult or children’s novel but the main human character is a woman in her early forties so a more general appeal. ‘For the young in all of us’.

The Review: It is indeed for the young in all of us! This is the story of Henry, a Jack Russell who has spent his 19 months to date as a happy enough participant in a laboratory. As a result of the experiment, Henry can speak and is navigating a human’s world; trying to figure out what people mean by certain sayings, sarcasm etc.

So from the start the book kind of reminded me of my favourite character-Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, with his witticisms and attempts at humour. I also felt like saying (in the manner of Stephanie from Johnny 5) : ‘Stop it, he’s alive!’ (Yes dogs have rights and should be treated as close to humans as possible, but I felt that it was even more of an affront to him that he was told that dogs are below humans and that he knew his place in the world).

There were some great characters in this, the person who is at the forefront and who you really felt for as you heard their inner musings (the book moves form character to character), the lovely Gwynne, but so many others too (special mention for a night time visitor!). There were some moments that broke my heart, in particular when he wondered if they might miss him as they might actually, possibly love him and hoped it was so. I also felt for the staff who, although they looked after him, knew he deserved to be a dog. There were references to everything and anything Bruce Forsyth to the Fantastic Four to Stranger Than Fiction to Kiss and all of these kind of sealed the deal for me. A lovely read which so many will love for its light, easy going enjoyment. I’ll admit it seems to be more of a lead into the series, getting to know Henry, and it was only the last 30-40% that gave us detective work, but it most definitely did the job and I look forward to the next in the series.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

#BookReview I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr

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Length: 139 pages

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

What they say: This stowaway sets sail for love!

Small-time con artist Siggy needs to get out of town fast. When she’s offered tickets on the legendary Oceanic Aphrodite, Siggy jumps at the chance to get away.  A week on a luxury cruise ship, with a suitcase full of clothes and all expenses paid? Yes, please! The only catch is that she has to pretend to be someone else. 
No problem. Siggy has no intention of getting close enough anyone to discover her secrets.
But this is the Oceanic Aphrodite and love is in the air. When Siggy sees assistant cruise director Will taking tickets, Cupid’s arrow hits the target. Luckily, Will’s too busy smiling at her to check out her fake passport because he’ll toss Siggy off the ship if he finds out about the scam.  
Onboard, dolphins and cameras and runaway ferrets bring Siggy and Will together. The more time they spend together, the more Siggy wants to tell him the truth.

Cupid’s arrow has struck deep but can Siggy stop running?

This novella-length romantic comedy is the first book in the Oceanic Dreams series

Books in series:
I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr
Time of My Life by Laura Heffernan
Circle in the Sand by Tracy Krimmer
I Thought it Was You by Kirsty McManus
I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord
Take a Chance on Me by Delancey Stewart
Shut Up and Dance With Me by Monique McDonell
The Best of You by Sophie-Leigh Robbins

The Review: As you can see this is part of a box set about the Oceanic Aphrodite. I have to admit I bought it totally due to the cover, being in the mood for pure chick lit escapism and this didn’t disappoint (I also started reading so I could begin to make a dent into the mess that is my Kindle, which is brimming with books I HAVE to get started on). It is the story of Siggy, who, on the opening of our book, is on the run from some unsavoury characters who are her work colleagues (Siggy is a con artist). She is running as she has never been very good at her career choice (I laughed as I read about her beginnings and how her guilt used to lead her to redeem herself!) As she escapes, an extraordinarily rich lady offers her an out and before she knows it she’s on a cruise ship sailing away. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish, it was a nice easy going read that had me smiling in all the right places. I’m sorry to say it would have impressed me a little bit more had it been purely comedy, I didn’t really need the romance that went on and it actually made me question the fact that rom coms are so much more prevalent in my book land than humour. Why does a happy ever after involve the presence of a couple at the end of the book? Aside from this I did totally enjoy it and will most likely look out both the author and the series (I’m hoping the staff etc from the ship stay the same but I’m not sure if they do) again.

Definitely a recommended holiday read.

Rating: 4/5

Confetti At The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview

Is there anything better than a Duck Pond Cafe book to brighten up your day? (Gosh today is a good day for bright unputdownable books!!!!)

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Confetti Cover

What they say: Wedding fever is in the air in the village of Sunnybrook. With Ellie and Zak’s Big Day on the horizon, the sun is shining brightly on the Little Duck Pond Cafe community. But when dark clouds begin to roll in from more than one direction, several close relationships look to be under threat. Will the wedding of the year actually take place at all?

Purchase Link

The Review: It is ironic that in the last post I talked about covers and here we are again, a mesmerising, stare at and continuously smile at cover that just lifts you! And the book is no different! There are times you hear people say ‘this series gets better and better’ but oh my wordy word this is totally the case here!

Ellie is under pressure trying to pull off wedding preparations in an extremely short time and find the venue of her dreams while at the same time looking after lovely (oh how I love her!) little Maisie and their latest addition. There is non stop drama, in particular what struck me was her lovely (again, oh how I love her!) mother Rose, whose memory is failing further (chills down my spine as I say this, it was done so well and really affected me).

There is a large host of characters here, to be honest, one or two that I know we should love and who we’ve heard the story of and in one case we probably will be in the future, but who I still couldn’t really warm to and then funnily enough someone I knew I shouldn’t warm to but whose story I really want to hear (Madison! And yes, I know!!)

As with the other book I reviewed today I loved this book so much, the ups the downs, the romance (some of it a surprise) the little mysteries (what’s going on in Brighton?), and the fact that I couldn’t put it down. Cannot wait for the next book. Thanks so much to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be on this lovely blog tour and for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Author Bio

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaringadventure 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 romanticcomedies 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. Confetti at the Little DuckPond Cafe will be the sixth in the series

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Now, go check out the rest off the blog tour (so you can continuously gaze at that beautiful, beautiful cover!!)

 

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To The Stars and Back by Camilla Isley @camillaisley @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Today it’s an honour to be on the blog tour for To the Stars And Back by Camilla Isley

To The Stars and Back

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What they say: To the Stars and Back

When Hollywood’s sexiest bachelormeets the girl next door their relationship doesn’t follow the script…

On-screen, Christian Slade is America’s favorite heartthrob. Off-screen, letting romance into his life isn’t as easy. The women he dates all seem to want a piece of his glamorous life rather than his heart, and trust doesn’t come easy for him.

Then along comes Lana. A beautiful rocket scientist who’s also sweet, smart, sexy, and has absolutely no idea who he is. But what will happen when she finds out?

Will their worlds prove too far apart or could love really be like in the movies?

Purchase Link 

The Review: Oh my wordy word! Okay. So to start with let’s take a look at that cover. I could fall into that cover-the colours and the fireworks are THAT beautiful. I have to admit I have gazed at this cover a lot and it most probably is my top so far this year (I will spend an enjoyable evening checking this out to be sure!) So anyhoo back to the book!  So this is the story of a heartthrob that has a team of people (well a few anyhoo, and as I get distracted again, let me tell you I really really want to read a story about his assistant!) and ends up hiding from the media and finding a lady in a closet. This lady is Lana, who is hiding in a closet herself after getting a bit of a shock.

I loved the interactions from them at the start, they are worlds apart and it was mesmerising to see how things progressed. I loved the cloak and daggerness of Christian’s life, the fact that he could be bundled  into a car at a moment’s notice, and lived for the Notting Hill type moment when the public decided they had a stake in proceedings. I’ll be honest, at times Lana wasn’t fully my cup of tea, but it didn’t hamper any of this, a book I beyond enjoyed that has sent me racing to the author’s back catalogue.

(By the way I read this as a standalone but it’s number four in the series. I have no idea if any of the characters in this book are threaded throughout the rest of the series, but will be heading back to read anyhoo so you might want to go to book 1 first and move along from there. (I certainly intend to!)

Rating: 5/5

 

Author Bio –

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

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Giveaway to Win a To The Stars and Back Tote Bag (Open to UK Only)

To The Stars and Back Toe Bag

*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter link 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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

To enter click here

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Every Dog Has His Day by Chloe Grace @rararesources

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What they say: Every dog has his day

They say every dog has his day.

Well, today I’ve certainly had mine.

Hey, I’m Albertus Eagle and it turns out I’m an unwitting pet detective. I haven’t always been such a successful legal beagle, but when I’m confronted with a case that is so personal I can’t ignore it, I discover I have a passion for finding those who don’t want to be found.

Cleo the cat. Well, she came along for the ride too.

So, sure I’ve had my day today, but not in the sense of being past my prime. To the contrary, the fun is just starting. And I am buzzing with a new purpose, mixed with a tiny amount of vindictive elation.

Why?

Because, I’ve not only found myself a new home after the untimely demise of my previous owner, but I’ve also made amends with the cat. It turns out she’s not that bad, really.

On top of that though, and this is what really sends shivers racing all the way down my spine to my paws, is that we’ve fingered a killer.

How?

Because you human’s, you underestimate us animals. And while you go about your business ignoring our very existence, the cat and I are listening and taking notes.

This is the first full length novel in the Albertus Eagle detective beagle series of animal cozy mysteries, starring Albertus Eagle, and his two sidekicks, Cleo the cat and Bella Schuhmann, the smart human who actually understands him. In this wonderful full length book packed with humour and satire, we see the world of murder and intrigue set up through the eyes of a loyal dog turned amateur sleuth.

Purchase Links:

UK 

US

The Review: You know when there are books you know you’re going to need some day as a pick me up (I no longer really read magazines, which used to be my go to “chill out” fodder!) Well this was such a book.

Stuck in a slump I remembered I had this, a detective book with the dog as the main hero and so off I went. It is the story of Albie,  a beagle who is in for a shock as his owner dies and he heads straight for the pound. Enter the lovely and kooky Bella, who takes a shine to him and his nemesis, cat Chloe. The huge thing is Bella can understand what Albie says! (Chloe the cat, not so much!) Between them, they realise there’s a mystery to be solved and so, as you would suspect with a talking dog on her side, Bella has the ultimate in a tool to find out the ultimate in mysteries. The story is done in a way you would expect and hope, with for example Albie keeping sketch for Bella or being able to get into places she can. There’s also a real life human member of the force looking over their shoulder! I really enjoyed this and flew through it, nodding in a satisfied fashion as I read. It was a fun read that is perfect for either holidays or just chilling out on the couch. Very enjoyable! Thanks so much to Rachel for having me as part of blog tour and for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

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 Chloe Grace is the cozy mystery pen name for romantic mystery author, Karen Botha. While she doesn’t understand animals quite as well as Bella in the Albertus Eagle Detective Beagle cozy mysteries, she does chat along to her rescue dog, Shadow, pretty much all day.

And she’s sure that he chats back.

Chloe lives with Shadow and her hubby in a small outpost of London city—funnily enough it’s a little like where Bella and Albie live. As a family they like to go on walks in the local woods and throw a tennis ball until their respective arms ache, which is usually before Shadow shows any hint of exhaustion.

While her first romance novels were inspired by true life events, the Albertus Eagle series are complete imagination – although her conversations with Shadow can’t be ignored.


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#BookReview for The Healer by Sharon Thompson @BloodhoundBook @sharontwriter #TheHealer

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Length: 258 pages

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

What they say: How do you escape a life of conflict and abuse?

Being a young girl in 1940’s Ireland isn’t easy for Molly, especially since she isn’t like others. Her family and community are wary of the beautiful child. 

As Molly becomes a teenager life gets harder and she loses faith in everything. 

Molly is surrounded in danger. She must make choices. But will she chose the right path or is she doomed to a life of misery? Will she survive in a world of violence and crime? Will The Healer ever be healed?

Sharon Thompson is also the author of the critically acclaimed, thriller The AbandonedThe Healer is a dark and suspenseful family drama which will appeal to fans of authors like; Stuart Turton, Tana French and Anthony Horowitz.

The Review: You’ll remember I gushed, gushed, and gushed even more about the brilliant The Abandoned and the lovely, brilliant and inspiring Sharon Thompson who I met in Imagine Write Inspire and also followed over to Indulge in Writing (her amazing online writing group,  which lets people hear the advice of industry experts and chat and be supported by like minded and not anyway like minded writerly people! By the way I of course stayed in IWI too, they’re my peeps! ) Well here we meet the character I had immediately wondered about from The Abandoned, the ghostly Molly, who I cannot even say how much I hearted (I’m pretty sure I held her up as my most intriguing and fantastic character of last year).

So Molly is a character who, from the start, was in for a difficult life with a resentful mother and a clueless father. This leads me on to characters straight off the bat, as all of them were so human in their insecurities and uncertainties. Unfortunately for Molly, these were the things that also led them to act against her best interests and as a result she had a horrific childhood, where she basically tried to fade into the background. I loved the arrival and indeed the presence of Mollys gifts, her angels. They really gave you hope that there was a chance she might be okay. Of course then you saw that there was darkness there too (cue a moment that seriously shook me!).

This was, as they say, one heck of a page turner (or maybe I just say that, I don’t know). There was tremendous, awe filling, inspirational beauty both tinged and tainted with darkness, misery and of course blood. There were characters that filled you with joy and hope and others that were rotten to the core, more often than not, though, there were characters that chose the wrong path as you silently pleaded that this time, no THIS TIME, things might turn out okay. And all the time you just hoped that this girl, who lost her voice, metaphorically but physically also, might get what she deserved, someone to be her family. This is a dark, at times bloody, tragic (how I sobbed!), beautiful, spine tingling novel with settings, events (one in particular that I can see right now and it sends a chill through me) and people that kept me reading all night. Gorgeous.

Rating: 5/5