Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…
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
Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
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
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.
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.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
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!
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
What are you looking forward to this month?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love!
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.
With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.
But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.
While Hayley tries to fufil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.
Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?
Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count.
A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…
Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.
When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.
As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…
While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?
Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down.
Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year. Snowflakes on Silver Cove coming very soon
I still cannot quite believe it is October! Where does the time go? As much as I am a total sun-worshipper, who adores the heat, I do love how snug and cozy autumn is. I’m looking forward to snuggling up with hot chocolates or chai lattes, to autumn walks through rustling leaves, to amazing winter squash recipes, to carving pumpkins and fancy dress, to layered clothing and chunky boots. There’s so much to enjoy this season, so as much as I’ll miss the sunshine (which we didn’t even get that much of!) I definitely plan to make the most of it. Plus I’ve just bought a winter wetsuit so I can stay in the sea, and I’ll be jetting off for a week in the sun soon anyway! So I will hopefully get the best of both worlds 🙂
I entered September totally ready to beat my reading slump and delve back into things full throttle, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I really don’t know what it is – it’s not that I’m not getting into books, because I’ve really enjoyed what I have read, I just haven’t read much. Also, I’ve just been downright busy, which is actually quite a pleasant (and surprising) change – I can’t remember the last time I was actually out and enjoying life and socialising so much that I didn’t manage to read. Don’t get me wrong – I miss the reading, but normally I’d pick reading over most other things, so actually enjoying myself so much that I don’t have time to read is in some ways quite nice for once.
World Suicide Prevention Day
On September 10th, it was World Suicide Prevention Day, for which I decided to speak out about my own experience with depression. I just had to note it here because I was absolutely overwhelmed but the love and support I received from you all, so I just wanted to say a great big thank you. It was a very cathartic exercise, writing it all down, though emotionally exhausting too! But I’m in a really great place right now, and putting my story out there – and receiving such phenomenal support – has really helped me feel even more strong and empowered. You guys are awesome. Seriously.
September in Books
As aforementioned, sod all! There really is no excuse for being this bad, but somehow I was! I hang my head in shame.
Books Releases to Get Excited About in October
ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS BOOKS ARE HEEEEEERREEE! Oh my God, it’s so exciting, I am feeling so festive already! Here’s a few of my fave choices for October releases (congrats Bookouture on the super strong Christmas reads game!):
Christmas Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes – October 16th
Bella’s Christmas Bake Off – October 22nd
Snowflakes on Silver Cove – October 30th
Books I Plan to Read in October.
Luckily, I am taking myself away to Egypt for a week later this month, which means I have one whole week on my own, with nothing to do but lie in the sun and read. So, I have absolutely NO EXCUSES for not catching up on some reading! Still fairly unlikely I’ll actually read all these, but here’s hoping!!
What are you looking forward to this month?