Blog Tour Book Review: A Summer of Secrets, by Alice Ross

One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

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Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!

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Blog Tour Book Review: Summer at Rose Island, by Holly Martin

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance.

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Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down.

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Monthly Wrap Up: November 2015

decemberFreaking December, you guys! The final stretch of the year. I can’t quite believe it. In some ways this year has seriously zoomed by, but when I look back SO MUCH has happened. It’s been a hell of a roller coaster for sure, but on the whole it’s been a pretty awesome year with a particularly awesome journey for me personally. And now we are solidly in winter. While my shivering body weeps at the cold temperatures that I am unable to deal with (I was not meant to be British, I swear, I belong somewhere warmer!), there’s still a big chunk of my heart that loves the cosiness of winter. Hot chocolates, chai lattes, blankets, jumpers, thick socks and, most importantly…

It’s Chriiiiiistmaaaassss!!!

I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED YOU GUYS!!!! Yes, I am a massive 5-year-old at heart, no, I don’t care. I bloody well love it. My heart’s been in Christmas-mode since my birthday passed on November 20th, and now that it’s December I am pretty much full on freaking out. At first I worried about living alone this Christmas, but I’m away with family for Christmas itself, and my ex actually didn’t like Christmas (weirdo), so this year I am just going to go all out, 1000% Christmas crazy. There will be tinsel freaking everywhere, and I don’t even like tinsel, but the point is BECAUSE I CAN. I will have my very own grotto – god knows I already have the penguins!! (And the bloody temperatures for it – my flat is arctic!!) – and that in itself is another reason this month and Christmas are so awesome: Penguins. Everywhere. ALL OF THE PENGUINS.

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Christmas is especially exciting this year being my gorgeous little beastie’s first Christmas, and my oh my, do I plan on spoiling him rotten! I really need to stop getting him stuff, but it’s so hard! Everything is sooo cute! And he’s so perfect he deserves it all. So, apologies in advance to all my other friends and family who are unlikely to get anything because I’ve bankrupted myself spoiling Sonnie; I have no regrets. I can’t wait to spend Christmas day with him.

Honestly, just thinking about Christmas I’m getting over excited. I’ve come to realised it brings out quite an aggressive excitement in me, where I literally feel the need to jump and shout and generally behave in a way which is (unfortunately) not accepted in every day situations. Personally, I think the world is a poorer place for it. At least at Casa de Paris, this whole month will be one amazing festive party, even if it only has an attendance of one. I will bring enough festive spirit (in both a figurative and literal AKA alcoholic sense) to make up for a hundred.

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Nanowrimo

If anyone did notice my absence throughout the month of November, it was – for once! – with very good reason. Being me, I did my typical leave-it-to-the-last-minute game where I decided I wasn’t going to participate, then changed my mind around the 5th of November. No plan, no idea, no outline, nothing. So I didn’t actually start for the first week or so, and with a hectically busy month of Birthday plans etc, this resulted a mad writing frenzy yesterday, the 30th, where I type like a loon for 6 hours until I finally updated my word count at over 50,000 with one minute to spare at 23:59, and typed those two precious words, ‘THE END.’

Now I can finally breathe easy again and tuck it away until I bring it back out in the New Year with the big ole red pen to start working through it.

Birthday Shenanigans

A couple of weeks a go saw me turn the milestone corner of a quarter of a century, and I have to say it’s freaked me out a bit. I can no longer say I’m in my early twenties. FUCK. What have I done with myself? What have I achieved? To be totally honest, not bloody much. BUT, I am on a much better path right now to head towards the things I do want to achieve, so I just have to focus on that (while sobbing into my wine glass alone at night). I’m an optimist, I swear.

However, the one thing I did do was made sure my early twenties went out with a bang, and had a whole week of celebrations. It was a really lovely week spent with my closest friends and family, filled with love, laughter, dancing and theatre, which was pretty darn perfect.

November in Books

Lack of reading this month is actually guilt-free for once, as I have been in my writing cave, so have hardly dared look at a book the last couple of weeks for fear of distraction (naturally, I found a hundred other ways to procrastinate, but that’s not the point!).

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Books I Plan to Read in December.

I am going to be massively catching up on my christmas reads throughout December. I actually had some annual leave left to take, so I finish on December 16th and am off to the New Year, which will leave me plenty of time to read all of the Christmas books 🙂

What are you looking forward to this month? Are you as much of a Christmas fanatic as I am?

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Blog Tour Book Review: At the Corner of Magnetic and Main, by Meg Welch Dendler

It’s hard to get on with your life when you’re already dead.
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Penny had been stuck in the same diner for decades—ever since she died in 1952. Her diner 
was comfortable and safe. Serving ice cream to those who dropped in on their way to the 
next level of existence, she helped to ease their transition into The Light, the one place she can’t go. Her afterlife was perfect.

But when the ridiculously handsome, bad boy biker Jake Thatcher shows up and becomes stuck 
as well, Penny rediscovers feelings that she thought had been buried with her body.

Life is still life, and love is still love. But was her existence really perfect, or was it something else entirely?

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Blog Tour Book Review: Snowflakes on Silver Cove, by Holly Martin

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

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Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Snuggle up with a piece of Christmas cake and mulled wine, and spend the festive season at White Cliff Bay. You won’t want to leave! Christmas at Lilac Cottage also out now

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Book Review: Lost Girls, by Angela Marsons

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.

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The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons. Continue reading

Monthly Wrap Up: October 2015

As if it’s November already! Where the hell has this year gone?! It’s crazy! However, I have several friends visiting home to Jersey this month and my best friend from school is actually moving back, so I am very excited 🙂 team that with birthday celebrations, winter snugglyness, hot chocolates and ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES COMMENCING, and November is looking pretty awesome. My tree will totes be up before the week is out.

And, as I’m about to elaborate on, October was pretty freaking awesome too. This does mean it’s a rather long wrap-up post, but it was just too fabulous a month to skimp on 🙂

Holly Martin’s White Cliff Bay Party

The first weekend of October was SUPER EXCITING as I flew to London to attend Holly’s launch party, and generally to hug and squish lots of lovely writer and blogger friends. It was superb. Sharon and I met for a drink and catch up on the Friday afternoon before we headed to the party, where I just met so many amazing people I feel like I’ve known my whole life, mainly for the first time and some for the second time having met before in March, like Simona and Sharon. It was just such a special night and I loved every second gossiping with these amazing women (and the odd man, hi Holly’s dad and Olly!!) and guzzling far too much rose than can be called acceptable. Books, friends and wine *ahhh*, what a perfect combination.

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Saturday was spent with Sharon, Simona, Maryline and Rachel, and we had a lovely stroll around Convent Garden before lunch at Jamie’s Italian (yum!) and in the evening we saw Kinky Boots which was just fabulous. I had a horrendously early start on Sunday, then spent 9 hours sat in Gatwick as I missed my flight due to train cancellations and delays, and had to book a new flight for the evening, so that was all a wee bit stressful, but still couldn’t really dampen how awesome a weekend it was, and how happy I am to have met and squished so many of my lovely online friends.

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Long Lost Friends

Now, while I have not had much any luck on Tinder when actively trying to find a date, I have found it a worthy platform at reuniting long lost friends. When I was casually quick-swiping every mother f*cker left as I often do when bored, a familiar face popped up and I swiftly swiped right. I was quickly alerted of a match and typed a cheeky message to a guy who used to be one of my closest friends as a kid before I moved to Devon, but who I haven’t really seen or spoken to for a good five years, as though I’m now back in Jersey, he now lives in Paris. After a few messages, it was decided a dinner was in order, and we made plans to go out the next week for dinner then the cinema.

It turned out to be the BEST ‘date’ Tinder has ever provided, and generally one of my favourite evenings for a very long time. I did not stop giggling the entire time until my face was literally aching by the end of it. It took mere seconds to fall into our old relationship of being so close, and we had a great time catching up on our lives. Anyways, I’m rambling, but I just think that’s such a wonderful thing! So often these days I seem to lose touch a drift apart with more and more people – simply because life just happens – so it’s great to reconnect with someone instead for once. It’s put a massive smile on my face for most of the month having re-found my friend, and even though he’s returned back to Paris, neither of us have any intention of losing each other again. And hey, I’ll just have to plan a visit there next time, after all, Paris is always a good idea! 😉

Legally Blonde

The week before I went on holiday, after years of deliberation, I finally plucked up the courage to audition for the local amateur dramatics group. It was something I did all the time as a kid, but I get bad stage fright which has prevented me from having done anything for a very long time. Next year, the local club is doing Legally Blonde, and I’m very happy to say I got the role of Elle’s best friend, Margot. It’s my first show in ten years, so to have got a lead is really awesome and I am SO excited to get started, it’s just such a fun show and I can’t wait to just get involved with all that again.

Walk Like an Egyptian

On Tuesday 20th October, I woke up at an ungodly hour to make my way to the airport and begin my travels to the beautiful land of Egypt, somewhere that has pretty much become my favourite place in the world over the last couple of years – largely to do with temperatures consistently exceeding 30 degrees celsius, which just feels much more like my natural climate! As soon as I stepped off that plane and felt the rush of warm air hit me, I couldn’t stop smiling.

This was a particularly special holiday for me, as for the first time in my life I went away by myself. Having spent months discussing/debating holidays with my ex, but never getting round to booking anything (thank god, looking back!), I had pretty much resigned myself to a holiday-less year when we broke up. Within a couple of months though, I realised I was being a total moron and question what the fuck I was doing. Why the hell should I not have a holiday just because I don’t have anyone to go with? If anything, when I’m on holiday I just want to lie in the sun and read all day, occasionally swimming in between, and let’s be honest – those aren’t exactly sociable activities, so I am more than capable of achieving that on my own! So I found time I could take off work and began my search of where to go for a fairly cheap and cheerful holiday I’d be comfortable on my own and – more importantly – where’d have the hottest weather in late October. All signs quickly started pointing to Egypt, and while I wasn’t sure at first having spent two weeks there last year, I did love it and the promise of heat won me over.

Arriving at the hotel late, tired and hungry on my first night after 15 hours of travel and just missing there restaurant which closed mere minutes before I arrived, I had a quick couple of drinks in the bar before turning in for the night. At 7am I wondered down to the poolside and was faced with my most taxing decision of the week: which sun lounger do I choose? Where will get the best sunlight hours for optimum tanning?! This is serious stuff. Pleased with my decision, I headed off for breakfast before returning to my selected lounger, where I remained until the sunset, with the exception of a few dips in the pool and a few trips to the bar a few metres away. It’s a tough life, but someone had to do it, and I spent every following day doing the exact same thing. Suffice to say, I was in heaven.

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I did have a slight wobble for all of about half an hour that first evening in the bar, where I wondered if I could really do the whole being on my own for a week thing, but I took stock of the situation, realised I was in a beautiful (HOT!) country with nothing more to do than swim, sunbathe and read, no one else to worry about whatsover and realised: fuck it! This is amazing. After that I had one of the best weeks of my life, and loved every goddamn second of it and am trying to plan a way to go back and live there, naturally.

Honestly, as soon as I stopped worrying I think I was probably the most relaxed and content I’ve ever felt. And I wasn’t truly alone, because I got to know other guests and the staff, and we had a great time together. What I enjoyed was having the luxury to spend time with them, or choose to simply sit and enjoy my own company with a book if I wanted to! Though  honestly, I think they thought I was pretty weird the first few days, constantly having my nose in a book – especially when I began each meal by cutting it into little pieces like one might for a child, just so I could eat one-handed and hold my kindle in the other! But they soon got used to me and it became a conversation starter.

It was definitely up there with Best Holidays Ever, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go alone again, possibly even to the same resort. As I’ve mentioned previously, these past few months have been really important for me, and I’ve found I’ve become more myself – the myself I want to be – than ever before, and being able to spend so much time in my own company, and relax and enjoy it, is a massive achievement for me, and something I totally recommend.

IMG_1892Halloween

I actually had a relatively chilled Halloween, we got ready at my mum’s house then all headed to the localYacht Club for a party which was really fun.

However, as I’m a bit of an obsessed perfectionist when it comes to fancy dress, I thought I’d post a few quick pics of the night! I was pretty pleased with it, but as a slight overlook on my part, I hadn’t really thought through is that it simply did not work what so ever with my tan, so it looked a bit silly, but I’d planned it before going away, so couldn’t do anything about it! I also did my mum’s weird doll make-up, which I was quite pleased with…

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October in Books

So it turns out what I needed to get me out of my reading slump was a good old week in the Egyptian sunshine! I may have to do that more often then 😉 it was slightly odd as I was catching up on a lot of Christmas reading, which can be slightly difficult to get into when lying in 35 degrees of heat, but I enjoyed them none the less. I tried to get a nice mix of Christmas, general catch up, and some nice summery/sunny books too.

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Books Releases to Get Excited About in November

I am totally in full-on gunas-a-blazin’ Christmas mode now, so nearly all releases to get excited about this month are Christmas related. Oh, and the new Cecelia Ahern, obviously!

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A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin – November 5th

How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake – November 5th

A Girl’s Best Friend by Lindsey Kelk – November 5th

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern – November 5th

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons – November 6th

Wickham Hall, Part 4: White Christmas – Novemeber 26th

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What are you looking forward to this month?

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