My Lemon grove Summer by Jo Thomas #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for My Lemon Grove Summer by Jo Thomas. This is the 2nd book I have read by this author, the first being Sunset Over Cherry Orchard. Because I loved her that one so much I was not going to leave this sat on my shelf too long before picking it up.

Let’s see what it’s about…

Could the lemon groves of Sicily be the perfect place to start over? The irresistible new novel from Jo Thomas, the author of Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard, will transport you to the island of mountains and sparkling blue seas.

When life hands you lemons … is it ever too late for a second chance?

Zelda’s impulsive nature has got her precisely nowhere up until now. A fresh start in a beautiful hilltop town in Sicily looking for new residents, together with her best friend Lennie, could be just what she needs. And who better to settle down with than the person who knows her best?

But the sun-filled skies and sparkling seas can’t hide the shadow hanging over Citta d’Ora, which means not everyone is pleased to see their arrival. The dreams Zelda and her fellow new residents had of setting up a new life might be slipping away. But a friendship with restauranteur Luca could be about to unlock the possibilities that lie in the local lemon groves. And there’s a wedding on the horizon that might be just what the town needs to turn it around…

Could a summer in Sicily help Zelda learn to trust her instinct and follow her heart?

Zelda and Lennie are best friends. When they were teens they made a pact. If they were not in a relationship with their respective Mr or Mrs Perfect by the time they were 40, they would marry each other. Both are stuck in a rut and single when Lennie pulls the “pact” agreement out and suggests to Zelda that they up-sticks and move to Sicily. A fresh start, a new adventure beckons.

This is such a wonderful book that I happily lost myself in for an afternoon. The author once again successfully created wonderful imagery with her words. I was able to imagine the village and more importantly the surrounding area and the lemon groves. I have not been to Sicily, but the author made me feel as if I had glimpsed it through her story.

The adventure that Zelda and Lennie sign up for is a dream of local business man, to help -build the community he loves and get the passing tourists to stop rather than just drive past. On arrival though, Zelda and Lennie discover that things have not been planed and sorted as they had expected. They soon discover they are not the only ones who have decided a fresh start is the way to go.

I liked how the author brought in people from different backgrounds and for different reasons together, though she does not excessively dwell on those, she does give enough information about them so I got to know them a little. The main focus is on the key characters, and I have to say there is one I would quite happily focus on!…

Lemons feature in this story and does some fabulous food mentions, I am glad I read this after eating a Sunday roast or my stomach would have been growling. Along with the food, there is also a mentions about lemons, and the growing of them.

This is one of those stories that I think is delightful reading, it is perfect for loosing yourself in and makes you feel good. The author has woven a tale that has friendship, optimism, feuds, family, relationships and drama.

A fabulous summer read that I happily read in one sitting. It’s also one that I would definitely recommend!


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Flying By The Seat Of My Knickers by Eliza Watson #Review

I am delighted to vbe sharing my review for Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson. I saw this title on Facebook and the title definitely caught my eye!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

Why run from your troubles when you can fly instead? 

When Caity Shaw is fired from her first job that doesn’t require an elf uniform, her older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Caity jumps at the opportunity to travel abroad and escape her pathetic life. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex.

While in Dublin, Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. Caity struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length. Declan repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence, making it difficult to keep her distance from the charming womanizer. When Declan helps her research her Irish grandmother, Caity discovers the mysterious past of the courageous woman she barely knew might hold the answers to her future.

This is the first book in The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw. With a title like this, how could I not pick it up?

Caity is full of doubt and low in confidence. This is not helped when she goes to work for her high flying sister, Rachel. Rachel is an event planner and a very successful one at that!

This is a quick and fun read and is one I read in an afternoon. I discovered that there is more to the Caity than meets the eye. She is trying so hard to do a good job, in fact too hard to the point that little mishaps occur along the way.

The reason behind her lack of confidence gradually come out as she helps out on the tour around Ireland.

An interesting and somewhat quirky and fun read. It has a lighthearted and entertaining feel and is one I would recommend. Ideal for a couple of hours of escapism.

This is available on Amazon for kindle and is Free!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner @suzy_turner @rararesources #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner with you all today. Huge thanks to Rachel for the invite onto the Blog Tour for this book and also to Suzy for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Agatha Trout didn’t even know she had a Great Aunt Petunia, so imagine her surprise when she finds Petunia left her a corner shop in her will. But it’s not just any old corner shop—it’s a corner shop that needs something unique, something the town of Frambleberry has never seen before.

Influenced by her confident best friend, Coco, Agatha is soon convinced that there’s only one way to go: an adults-only sex shop.

While some of the townspeople are clutching their pearls in horror, others are open to the new experiences this shop offers. But not everyone in Frambleberry is convinced. Will the women soldier on in the face of violent threats or will their fears get the best of them—and their new venture—before it even gets off the ground?

Purchase Link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Aggie Trout dresses far older than her years, she is a librarian and certainly fits the old, clichéd stereotype. She is left a shop by her mysterious Great Aunt Petunia. When her flamboyant friend Coco suggests going into business with Aggie, I don’t know who was more flabberghasted when Aggie agreed to open a sex shop. Here begins a story of transformation as the shop will test the girls resolve to some opposition.

Oh my goodness, what an absolute corker of a read, it had me laughing and giggling at so many moments throughout. Aggies family and friends really do compliment her and the story so well and the author has done such a great job creating them. Along with various innuendos there is the mysterious Petunia, yes she is dead but her story and why she is a mystery gradually comes out, like a skeleton from a family closet, along with a few other little titbits.

The descriptions of this classic, old style shop were marvelous and soon had me wishing I had a Great Aunt Petunia loitering around somewhere… though I don’t think an adult only shop would be my choice…

This story is about how important family and friends are. There are several secrets and stories that are teased out through the pages. It is also about how Aggie, who was the quiet, invisible one who has been wrapped up in her comfort blanket too long, finally starts emerge. The devious tactics of Aunt Petunia and the energetic Coco soon pull her out into the world and get her to experience life.

It was an absolute pleasure and delight to read this book, it is such a fun, and humorous story and I absolutely loved the lightheartedness as well as the romance and slightly more serious aspects of it. A book that I would definitely recommend to other readers.

About the Author:

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Born in England and raised in Portugal, Suzy lives with her childhood sweetheart Michael, their two crazy dogs and three cats.

Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy worked as a trainee journalist for a local newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she took the job of assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher before becoming editor of a monthly lifestyle magazine. Early in 2010 however, Suzy became a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo, We Stand Against Evil (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless, And Then There Was You, Stormy Summer and her latest, Aphrodite’s Closet.

In 2015 she launched her popular 40+ lifestyle blog which continues to go from strength to strength, while just over a year later, she trained to become a yoga instructor. Suzy continues to write, blog and teach yoga in one of Portugal’s loveliest settings – the Algarve.

Social Media Links

Lifestyle BlogInstagramGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPintrest

See what other readers think by following the Blog Tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx

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The Little Theatre on the Seafront by Katie Ginger @KatieGAuthor @HQDigitalUK #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Little Theatre On The Seafront by Katie Ginger. This is available in eBook format now and the paperback is due to be published on 15th November. It is published by HQ Digital and can be purchased or pre-ordered from AMAZON UK

Synopsis:

When Lottie’s Gran dies she leaves one last request; save Greenley Theatre.

Faced with a decaying building, a mayor who most definitely isn’t on board with the project and a group of actors who just can’t get along, Lottie has her hands full, but with best friend Sid by her side she knows she can do it somehow.

But the arrival of Jeremy, a hotshot London developer who sweeps Lottie off her feet, complicates things. Suddenly Sid gets a new girlfriend, the Greenley Players fall apart, and that crumbling building? Well it crumbles a whole lot more. With no one to turn to, Lottie has to find the courage to save the day.

Will Lottie be able to save the theatre and also follow her heart?

My Thoughts:

Lottie is left a last request letter from her Gran Elsie. Elsie was a big supporter of the Greenly Theatre and asks that Lottie take over the role as Chair. Luckily Lottie has her best friend Sid there to give a helping hand. Lottie and Sid have been friends forever and know each others moods, likes and dislikes. Things between them change when new people arrive in their lives.

This story is just an absolute delight. A decrepit theatre in need of buckets full of TLC, characters that are dramatic and maybe a little eccentric, the sense of community and a nice underlying touch of romance, that mixed together bring this story to life.

The antics of the theatres players is absolutely brilliant, some of the over the top attitudes mixed in with those quiet and shy types are just fabulous. Each has a little trait or mannerism that range from a snide remark to a snarky aside is a hilarious addition, and had me grinning several times.

As if Lottie didn’t have enough to deal with as she tries to bring the Theatre back from it’s gloomy and damp ridden existence to a charming, family theatre and community space. She also has to deal with the airs and graces from the actors, the attentions of a property developer and the committee.

The descriptions the author gives for the theatre worked really well for me, giving me wonderful images of it in its shabby state. With not only the visual cues, but the smells that would be associated with a damp building. I have mentioned it before in reviews, that it is the attention to the little details that add so much to a story, and I am glad to say this author has lots of little details squirrelled away in this one.

There are other story-lines that run alongside the renovation of the theatre but I’m not giving you anything on them, you need to read and discover for yourself.

I found this book was quick to get caught up in with fabulous characters, the author made it easy to get to know them and also to remember them and importantly care about them. Yes, I did shed a few happy tears …. and not just once.

So yes, I did love this story a lot, I read it in one sitting and would absolutely recommend it to other readers who like a bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, a touch of humour and a couple of slightly more serious aspects. Go grab a copy it’s great.

About the Author:

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Well, hello there!

I’m Katie, and I’m a writer of romantic fiction and a few cosy mystery short stories. The Little Theatre on the Seafront is my debut novel and I’ve got another rom-com coming out next year, which I hope you’ll also enjoy.

I live in Kent with my hubby, two kids, and our King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit. As I love a good chinwag, do come and say hello over on Twitter or on Facebook. I also blog about random stuff on my Website.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Summer at 23 The Strand by Linda Mitchelmore @LindaMitchelmor #NetGalley #HQDigitalUK #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Summer at 23 The Strand by Linda Mitchelmore, this is definitely a read for warm summer days. I would like to thank HQ Digital for my copy on NetGalley. You can buy this on kindle HERE at the time of writing this post its 99p 🙂

Synopsis:

Escape to the seaside this summer!

After actress Martha’s painful break-up hits the headlines, the warm golden sands and sparkling seas of Elberry Cove are the perfect escape from the paparazzi!

Nestled amongst a gorgeous line of brightly-coloured beach chalets, Number 23 The Strand is a home from home, a secret paradise where she can slowly begin to piece her heart back together.

When it’s finally time to leave, Martha decides to leave a special gift for the next guest. It’s a small act of kindness that starts a magical tradition all summer long…

A delightfully uplifting holiday read, perfect for fans of Lilly Bartlett, Tilly Tennant and Eve Devon.

My Thoughts:

This is such a delightful, uplifting and heartwarming read about acts of kindness for the visitors to 23 The Strand, it is a chalet in a Devon Holiday Village and it tells of the various guests who come and stay.

Sometimes you get a book that is just right for whatever time and place you are in. I read this book after coming back from holiday, I stayed in a chalet in a Devon Holiday Village, it was number 25. It was also in the same area as the book setting as well! It brought back memories and warm snuggly feelings of being away on holiday

This book is set out as a series of stories that deal with some aspects of the guests who stay at number 23. Starting with an actress who is trying to escape the limelight of the paparazzi she manages to relax and find peace. On leaving she leaves a little gift along with a note explaining why the chalet and her stay helped her. This little gesture is found by the next guest and they decide to keep the gift and note giving continuing.

This gives you various guests that arrive in the form of families and individuals throughout the season. Each visitor has their own agenda for being there, a problem or two, or something they need time to ponder over. Each story just flows from one to the next as the gift and note add the link.

Sometimes we all need to re-charge our batteries or need a time out from the real world for a few days and just escape. You don’t have to travel far to do this, for me my holiday was only 2-3 hours drive away. But the author has managed to capture the feelings behind the characters individual stories very well. It does have some more serious problems that the characters have to deal with, they are mentioned but not overly dwelt upon and so gives the stories a slightly more uplifting feel to them.

This really is a great summer read that had me with a smirk on my face and the odd lump in my throat and I admit to going a little misty eyed at times. The ending of the story was perfect and I did love the way the author tied up the loose ends.

A great book for readers who are looking for a delightful and heartwarming story and I am very happy to recommend this one. Pull up a chair under the sun shade, get a glass of something chilled with ice, maybe pop your feet on a footstool and relax with Summer at 23 The Strand xx

About the Author:

61y0w8T91KL._SY200_.jpg My writing life began when I was shortlisted and published in a Woman’s Own short story writing competition. Since that happy day I’ve gone on to have over 300 short stories published now. I’ve written for just about all the UK women’s interest weekly magazines and also seen my work published in Sweden, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. Radio, too, on just the one occasion. I’ve also won and been shortlisted in a fair few short story writing competitions. I’ve also been published in anthologies – five to date. LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT which is the 50th Anniversary Anthology of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and published by Mira, SEXY SHORTS FOR CHRISTMAS, SEXY SHORTS FOR THE BEACH, SEXY SHORTS FOR SUMMER – all published by Accent Press, and CHOC LIT LOVE MATCH, published – of course – by Choc Lit.
So, that was the first step. It seemed logical to move onto novels but that didn’t prove as easy for me. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and through their New Writers’ Scheme slowly honed my craft at novel-writing. Katie Fforde awarded me her bursary and it was just the confidence boost I needed to take me a step nearer publication. In 2012, Choc Lit published my debut novel, TO TURN FULL CIRCLE, which is the first in a trilogy. Book two is already written and on my publisher’s desk but I don’t have a publication date for it yet. I’ve also written a novella and a contemporary which are both under consideration.
I suppose you could call me a bit of a late starter. I’m a Baby Boomer and when I began working for Lloyds Bank, aged seventeen, there were still those ancient things called ‘hand-written ledgers’. So, post book publication, I’ve been on a very steep learning curve with technology. But so glad I plodded on with it because it has brought long lost school and work friends back into my life, and it’s made me so many new cyber friends, some of whom I have already met in the flesh. I would probably get a lot more written if I didn’t swan off to lunch with said friends far more often than I ought but I strive to make a work/life balance that I’m comfortable with.

Follow Linda on Twitter and on her Blog


This was our chalet overlooking the River at Shaldon with Teignmouth on the opposite side, a fabulous view and the chance for a sneaky pint 🙂

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

#Extract | She’s Bad News by Elle Spellman @capesandcorsets @rararesources

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Today I am hosting an extract for “She’s Bad News” by Elle Spellman. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. Purchase links for the ebook areUK: Amazon ~ US: Amazon.

Synopsis:

What would you do if you woke up with super powers?

For Bella Brown, life hasn’t gone according to plan. She’s almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside.

That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she’s been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper The Hartleybourne Gazette.

Soon Bella’s out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe. But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons. Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town’s new vigilante…

Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

 

Extract from “She’s Bad News” by Elle Spellman:

She’s Bad News follows Bella Brown, an aspiring journalist in a small town who thinks that luck is against her – that is, until she wakes up with super powers.

In this extract, Bella is trying to track down the source of her mysterious new abilities. Thinking that a diet pill could be responsible, she turns up at SegPharma, the company responsible for manufacturing the tablets, to try and find out more…

One thing was for certain – this place wanted to blend into the background.

Tentatively I stepped out of Delilah, grabbed my bag from the passenger seat and made my way across the car park towards the door, surveying the place. What was I even expecting, some Willy Wonka-like factory that claimed to make all your dreams come true? Probably. Though I knew from my investigation into BodiBurn that companies like this much preferred to lay low.

Taking a deep breath, I pushed the buzzer and waited. No response. I could hear noises from inside, from the back of the building that, I now realised, was particularly long as well as tall. The back, I presumed, was where the products were made. I jabbed the buzzer again, twice just to be on the safe side.

“Hello, SegPharma,” a male voice crackled from the intercom.

“Hiii!” I said excitedly. “I’m looking for the company who manufactures NARCIS products. Would that be you guys?”

“What is this regarding?”

I stood on the spot, looking up at the small security camera above the door. This was my chance, and I couldn’t blow it.

Having thought about my predicament, I had decided not to rush in and tell all about my P-word. Going in guns blazing would be way too risky. It’d be far too easy for SegPharma, or NARCIS, to deny it; after all, landing abilities like this could also land me grounds for immense compensation. Not that I wanted money – I just wanted answers. And, as I’d previously learned from BodiBurn, asking for the truth straight out often led to nothing. So I was going to try a different method.

“Oh! Well, it’s a bit of a long shot really,” I said, in the perkiest voice I could muster. “I’m a health and beauty journalist from a top women’s magazine! I’m looking into some of the nation’s favourite and most talked-about slimming aids, and of course, you’ve made the top spot! So I was hoping to have a chat with someone about the latest NARCIS range. My colleague has some and says they’re totally life-changing!”

Okay, white lies seemed to be my forte of late. I just hadn’t lied this hard before.

“Wait in reception, please,” the voice said curtly. Let’s face it, I could kick down the door with minimal effort, but I was at least trying to stay civil. The door opened with a click. I was in.

Flattery gets you everywhere.

I stepped into a small reception area, where a young man in a smart grey shirt covered by a white lab coat greeted me from behind an overly-clean white desk. I looked around, taking in the bland, somewhat clinical surroundings; white seats, coffee table decorated with leaflets, generic ornamental pot plants. The usual.

The man looked me up and down, no doubt wondering why some random woman had turned up out of the blue to their hidden headquarters on a desolate industrial park. “In case you’re wondering,” he said, arms folded, “we are a cruelty-free company. We keep any testing to a minimum, and ensure no animal is truly harmed.”

“Truly?”

Truly. We only test on animals when absolutely necessary, and even then, it’s not lethal.” He shot me a look that said, ‘So there. Ner-ner,’ but not before stealing a quick glance out the window to see if a small army of my picketing mates were waiting outside to storm the place.

“Thanks for the clarification, but that’s not why I’m here.”

There was a flicker of dismay on his face. It was so quiet in the building that maybe some sign-wielding protesters from PETA would have brought some much-needed action to his day. “That’s good. Just a prior warning. Wouldn’t want any trouble. If you’re a journalist, I’d be curious to know what kind of story you’re working on.”

“Like I said, one of your products has become one of the most popular in the UK!” I said, trying to keep up my perky attitude and Stepford-like grin. “So I just wanted to have a chat with you about the NARCIS range. The Ultra-Boost range in particular. It’s become quite a hit…”

“Honestly? I don’t think anyone here is likely to help you. The products are developed here at SegPharma, but the brand itself is based elsewhere. If you need Sales and Marketing, you’d be better off speaking to – “

“To Alexis Dean. I know,” I smiled, leaning in closer. I could hear the soft thud of his heart beating as he stood behind the desk. “I saw her on TV just yesterday. The thing is, I’m having a bit of trouble with tracking her down. Do you know how hard it is to speak to someone at NARCIS Life Solutions who isn’t a robot trying to sell me stuff? It’s nigh on impossible. I’m on a tight deadline and so lucky I managed to find you guys! I’ll be writing an intriguing piece on the brand, an article that gives an insight into what you actually do, you know? I want more than just PR. While Alexis is busy fielding off the controversy about those ‘body-shaming’ ads, I’m going to try and dispel that. Really get behind the brand. I’m giving you a great opportunity here. Are you going to throw that away?”

The man looked at me, speechless, as I realised that was probably the most persuasive pitch of my career, and I was only pretending.

About the Author:

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Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She’s been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She’s Bad News is her debut novel, and she’s just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.

Social Media Links –  Twitter ~  Goodreads Page ~  Blog

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Many thanks for reading my post a share or like would be great 🙂 xx