2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Magic O’Clock By L.S.Fellows

Blurb: Magic O’Clock:

Archie Royle is a kind, funny, gentle man.

He’s also my dad. My storyteller. My hero.

Except he doesn’t remember my face any more.

His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family.

Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life.

Not at all.

It’s just different.

Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience.

He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.

He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.

Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.

Magic O’Clock – buy link:

Amazon – (universal) http://getbook.at/MagicOClock

Other eretailers (Kobo, B&N, Apple) : https://www.books2read.com/MOC

Review: So I realise that these two novellas are linked and I managed to read them the wrong way round. Not that it mattered to the enjoyment of the stories and the underlying messages which are simply beautiful.

Dementia is a cruel disease that tears families apart. Don’t get me wrong for my family it was cancer but the saving grace for us was Nan always knew who we were right until the end. She did get confused from time to time.

Another sad reality to dementia is in some parts of their lives they have perfect clarity and know exactly where they are and what they’re saying and the next minute they don’t recognise their loved ones.

This is a beautiful and extremely sad tale of the reality of dementia and the day to day life of living in this reality with a loved one.

Thank you Rachel for these treats.

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2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Magical Memories By L.S. Fellows

Blurb: Magical Memories

As Archie Royle takes his final breath, three sisters race to say their goodbyes.

Two don’t make it in time.

I do.

And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late.

Despite him having dementia.

Despite them not visiting in over a month.

But I won’t let anger win.

After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we?

Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.

It’s what Dad would want. Expect.

It’s what he deserves.

We have so much to be grateful for.

So many fond and magical memories to share.

Magical Memories is a fictional tale of loss, grief and moving on.

Purchase Link – http://getbook.at/MagicMem

Review: I’ve long been a fan of novellas but what can I say. Magical Memories hit me like a thunder bolt. For our family it wasn’t dementia it was cancer that took Nan from us but in seeing Archie slip away those memories of that room and those final moments with Nan sprang back to my mind. Nothing will ever prepare you for that moment and that feeling but wow L.S Fellows sure does write a raw and hard hitting account of how those final moments pan out.

There’s also those emotions that you go through and those are documented well a short and sharp novella that will suck you in and will have you taking a trip down your very own memory lane.

Grief is a strange emotion one that we will all go through from time to time. It never goes away but it does get easier. For me things like this take me right back there.

2018, New Author to me, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Novella Review: The Last Good Day By Hannah Pearl

Blurb: celebrates life, love and the importance of friendship. WINNER of the Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with heat magazine.

‘A beautifully poignant tale of love, friendship and loss. I can’t wait to read whatever Hannah writes next!’ PAIGE TOON?

Belle knows she is going to die.

Her lifelong best friend Helen knows it too, which is why she decides to sneak Belle out of hospital and take her on one last adventure.

In a day filled with fun, laughter and tears, the pair face the prospect of saying goodbye, and raise the important question:

How would you want to spend your last good day?

Review: I have to start this review by saying Hannah was announced and at the Simon & Schuster Christmas party that I attended. Now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will remember that, that evening was a nightmare for me. I had to work late and got lost so to put a long story short I never met Hannah. You can read the rest of that tale Here.

The Last Good Day – now I’m guessing you will like me look at the title and have some thoughts on the story. I can safely say as much as it is about what you’re thinking you will be taken on a gorgeous rollercoaster of emotions when devouring this sweet treat. A cup of tea or coffee and whatever your choice of treat is needed for this one.

I’m a huge fan of novellas and I always aim to read more of them and it doesn’t always happen. Having seen so many authors and publishers at Books and the City rave about this short story I knew I needed to devour it. I was hoping to have read this during my lunch break – but my work day turned a little chaotic so it became my evening treat and what a treat it was.

Belle and Hannah are best friends – they are so different yet so the same. Their connection is like that of sisters as well as the best of friends. Hannah is the sensible one yet she will do absolutely anything for Belle and Belle simply adores her friend. The day they share is full of love, memories, resentments in the fact the future means separation. I won’t spoil the details but I can honestly say you will be grinning from ear to ear one minute and sobbing the next.

Hannah Pearl has a way with words, she’s written a beautiful short story about love, loss, friendship and making sure you embrace every single day to the max, as you never know when your time is up.

This story will stay with you long after the final pages. I honestly cannot wait to read more from Hannah. I also loved the acknowledgements and the bit about her. Hannah keep writing- you’re an inspiration and you should be extremely proud of The Last Good Day.

2018, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized, update

Novella Review: The Boy with the Board By Katey Lovell

Blurb: A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

When her beloved mum dies suddenly, Helena escapes to sunny California. Determined to live for the moment, she puts aside her fears and signs up for the surfing lessons she’s always dreamed of – with the added distraction of hunky instructor Ashton.

Review: I have said it before and here I say it again these meet cute stories are perfect tea break escapism from day to day struggles.

For me The Boy with the Board has a totally different feel from the other meet cutes I have devoured. Helena’s Story is tinged with sadness but from a saying her mother used to say she decides to take caution to the wind and get out of her comfort zone. There is something awe inspiring in reading a story where a seemingly average young woman decides to make a life-changing decision. In that I am envious of Helena she saw a chance to change and grabbed it.

Although on a personal note I have made some life changes that have surprised and inspired me in my self and my own motivation. I’m proud of the woman I am becoming it’s like I have got back a little of the confidence I once had. Saying that I’ve never totally felt overly confident but I do feel like the changes I have made are adding to my day to day self confidence.

Reading has always been a passion of mine and following my studies I’m so glad I got back into reading for pleasure as it gives me so much joy. In escaping I’m discovering more about myself, who I want to be and where I want to go. I’m hoping to make some trips based on bookish love so watch this space…. I have two meet cutes left and I’m hoping to participate in the 24in48 readathon next weekend and o think finishing this beautiful series will be the icing on the cake.

Back to the Boy with the Board – there is just something about a guy with confidence and wet hair eh. This tasty treat should be snapped up whilst the weather is still smoking. Katey Lovell I’m saying it again I WANT more Meet Cutes please…

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Short Story

Blog Tour: Here Comes The Best Man By Angela Britnell

Blurb: Perfect for fans of Nashville! Sadly no Avery, Gunnar or Deacon but you do get a new hunky hero – Josh! Sit back, grab a copy and take yourself off to Nashville, Tennessee!

Being the best man is a lot to live up to …

When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow.

But when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.

Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realise that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too?

Review: Firstly, I have to apologise to Angela and Rachel for the delay in this post it should have been yesterday. Thanks to life, work and a football game it sadly didn’t happen.

Now I’m a huge fan of Angela Britnell so when this novella pinged through onto my email I knew I wanted in on this tour. I’ve loved all of her Nashville inspired reads and it’s just heightened my want to get to this beauty of a place. Angela creates rugged heroes who I literally can’t help but love. I was also bowled over by the fact Maggie and Chad from the Reject Table were a huge part of this read. That was another novella that I truly fell in love with so thank you Angela for bringing these beautiful characters back.

Louise and Josh are truly adorable and I loved falling in love with them in this tasty treat, and as much as my review is delayed I’m glad I got to spend a little more time getting to know these two and watching them fall in love. These two lost souls are very similar with their worries and in how they have closed themselves off to avoid being hurt. I loved Louise and in some ways her cautiousness is very much how I have felt – we have similar connections on our sense of self-confidence or lack of especially when men are concerned.

As a huge Nashville fan I loved the connections to the show that has stolen my heart. I haven’t watched the latest season yet and I know I will be heartbroken when it ends.

If you’re looking for a short read that will enhance your want to visit another country, will have you emotionally on the edge of your seat, and will whisk you away from the daily struggles in life then look no further. As I say I’m a massive fan of Angela’s and I’m sure I still have some of her books on my TBR that I need to get back to so watch this space. My love for this author grows each and every time I settle down with one of her books.

2018, Author Love, novella, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Meet Cute Series The Boy at the BBQ By Katey Lovell

Blurb: A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

Betsy and Seb spent their early childhood playing together in the sandpit at the park, but lost touch when Seb’s family moved away. Since he moved back to the area Betsy’s developed quite the crush on him, but she’s not even sure he knows she exists…

Review: Sometimes you just need a bite size treat and they don’t come anymore gorgeous than a Katey Lovell Meet Cute novella. I have read a few previously and as much as I wanted to devour them all in one go I decided to leave some for when I truly needed a tea break read. I feel like on Thursday I didn’t drink enough so I became rather dehydrated and on Friday alongside the heat my head was pounding so on Saturday I didn’t read a thing but decided to download a few more of these tasty treats for when I was feeling better.

Since feeling better I have listened to an audiobook but on Sunday afternoon whilst back from a stint at work and a walk with family I decided I would sit outside and be immersed into Katey’s gorgeous Meet Cute world and now lovely Katey I would love you to write me one?? There I’ve said it ha.

Betsy and Seb are adorable and I truly fell for the Boy on the Bus when I read that as it brought back fond memories for me but this one is just romance personified. It’s everything a girl wants and more.

It’s funny as some people don’t like novellas as they are too short but with each of these I have read I have been truly hooked. There’s just enough to get under your skin and yes there could always be more.

Katey Lovell’s Meet Cute Series is a gorgeous introduction to a truly gifted author. Everything of hers that I have devoured has left me feeling happy and hopeful. Thank you Katey and please write more of these and a Hayley would be nice. Just saying?

I feel like I need to post the reviews I have of the other Meet Cutes that I have read so without further ado.

The Boy on the Bus

The Boy with the Boxes

The Boy in the Bookshop and The Boy at the Beach

I still have a few of Katey’s Meet Cutes left the next will be The Boy at the Bakery. Do feel free to let me know of any gorgeous novellas I must read?.

2018, Blog Tour, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: My Sweet Friend By H.A. Leuschel

Blurb: A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

Review: Back in March I was on the blog tour for Tess and Tattoos by Helene. Here is my review of that.

It was an intriguing and thought provoking read. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was left in awe of the strangest read that left me wanting more. Then Rachel posted about My Sweet Friend also one of Helene’s short novellas. I was an instant yes, reads like these are why I like blog tours. I do get bogged down from time to time but discovering new authors who I may have bypassed makes it worthwhile. I was also lucky enough to win this…

I still haven’t touched the chocolate as I’m very new to Slimming World but will be a good treat soon.

I really don’t know where to start My Sweet Friend is a short novella that will have you captivated from the off. Alexa looks the part and has a way of making people feel special if only for a short while. Rosie seems captivated by her confidence and stylish air but is her new friend what she seems. As the novella progresses Rosie starts to put two and two together although the damage is already done. Rosie confides in Alexa and she chooses to use her weakness to her advantage seeming like a good friend, willing to help and eager to calm Rosie’s stresses – that’s until she changes her mind.

This novella shows you what friends are and aren’t and how a person can use manipulation to make her craziness seem normal.

Alexa is a deeply troubled young woman who likes to believe she lives the high life when in reality, she’s troubled, lonely and depressed.

A thought provoking novella that will make you question your own actions and make you appreciate the people in your life who truly care for you. Helene has a way in intertwining a number of issues, friends, foes, work/ life balance, depression and manipulation. I cannot wait to devour my competition win – this author has one mental imagination.

2018, Author Love, novella, Review, Short Story, TBR, Uncategorized

Book Review: Starry Skies at Castle Court By Holly Hepburn

Sorry for the delay been sucked into a psychological thriller but here I am finally posting my thoughts on a gorgeous series.

Blurb: Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Cat is burned out from working long hours as a chef. They decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.

They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cat have the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in the cocktail bar that overlooks the court.

Review: Wow! I think out of all four parts this was the one I was truly waiting for and I devoured it quite quickly. Once my good friend Catriona had finished it I was eager to know how it ended.

Holly Hepburn has a way of writing characters that you love and those you love to hate. Being the final part of the stories lots of unanswered questions and situations are tied up. I think I said in a previous review there were a few characters who I didn’t see as being the bad guys who actually were a lot more slimy than I first realised.

I adored Sadie and Cat from the off and I love how they became central characters to so much within Castle Court. It’s been a bumpy rollercoaster ride for the pair but they have overcome every single obstacle. We need more strong independent women to give us a boost and at Castle Court we definitely get that. I was so pleased that Cat finally seems happy and fulfilled in both her professional and personal life. It’s been a rocky road for her and I felt like I was cheering her on along the way. So I’m glad she won through – I won’t be stating anything more than that as I want you to read and get the OMG and YES moments that I got.

A wedding always makes me smile – especially if the couple are adorable and they sure are. Once again Cat and Sadie are at the heart of the action as is Sadie’s gorgeous little girl Lissy. I have to mention Adam because he’s been a firm favourite of mine and the scenes between him and Sadie make me happy and sad at times. I was so pleased to have him back – as he was adorable from the off and he’s the kind of guy I need.

There’s sooo much I want to say but I don’t want to ruin any of this gorgeousness. It’s a real treat a story of friends, love, betrayal, good guys, bad guys getting what they deserve – ooooh did I say that. Just an all round feel good read to have with a coffee and a biscuit. Two things I’m currently not having ha go figure. The ending is simply perfect and I would love to see these characters again and I’m still desperate to be in a Holly Hepburn novel – as a good character with an amazing book boy. A girl can sure dream.

Please whatever you do this May read the Castle Court series and if you only have part four to read it’s the best yet.

2018, Author Love, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story

Book Review: Part Two Random Acts Of Kindness – Making Friends By Victoria Walters

Blurb: Escape to the beautiful town of Littlewood with Part 2 in an exciting new serial from Victoria Walters! Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Holly Hepburn and Jo Thomas.

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart. Abbie’s ex-boyfriend and colleague, Jack, has arrived back on the scene… Will she be lured back to London or has her heart taken root at Huntley Manor? Louise has promised to be kinder to herself, but after suffering one heartbreak too many, she isn’t keen to try her luck again…. Can the handsome local vet convince her otherwise? Eszter, who is over from Hungary with her daughter for the summer, has been met with nothing but kindness since she arrived in Littlewood, and now she and her daughter Zoe are all set to return the favour as Eszter’s mother-in-law Anne finds herself with nowhere to stay… Eszter is determined to help Anne get back involved in the community after being alone for so long, but do they belong in Littlewood or will the three of them remain outsiders?

Review: Firstly, I have to have a little rant at myself. I pre-ordered this and it pinged through to my Kindle which I have on my phone and my tablet and it’s taken me so long to get around to it. I won’t mention my other post where this rant was heavily documented. Victoria Walters 110% has a way with words that hooks me in and has me up until the small hours. In reading part one I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re needing a boost, a release or just to escape these instalments of this book about random acts of kindness is exactly what you need.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here but I know I tweeted Victoria about it. After the Books and the City spring blogger evening (still haven’t documented – post will happen) on my way home after meeting Victoria and hearing her read an extract from the book, I was awaiting a train and ended up befriending a lady who was trying to get rid of unwanted attention from a man on the platform. As you do looking out for another woman – we were chitchatting and then an older woman who had got on shortly after I believe was crying on the phone we then took her under our wing. None of us had ever met and the lady I originally spoke to was nearer the older lady in terms of stops and she vowed to make sure she got to her granddaughter safely. That experience made me feel all warm inside and instantly took me back to Littlewood. Not enough kindness happens in London and I would love to see more of it. (Maybe another blog post on this)

Anyway back to Littlewood part one left me wanting more and part two sure was a rollercoaster of emotions. I want Louise to take more control of her life and to feel the fear and do it anyway. (In that closed off respect she reminds me of me a little) I loved how Abbie engineered the meet for Louise and Alex although I felt like I was silently screaming at them both a lot in this part. Victoria does something that also Holly Hepburn does too she writes a male love interest or partner that you should fall for but you’re like no you’re a creep. I have loved having Abbie and Louise together and I’m kind of scared to start part three because I’m like no no no.

Anne, Eszter and Zoe warmed my hearts wholeheartedly in this section. I just love the relationship forming and a bond being made – I don’t want to say too much there are twists and turns that will have you feeling a multitude of emotions.

In finishing part two I want answers – which I can have as part three is sat awaiting me on my Kindle but the other part of me isn’t ready to find out. I love the characters although a number of them are annoying me with there stubborn attitudes.

I want a coffee shop like Brew I’m sure Harry and Joy could give me the additional kicks I need and boost my confidence regularly. Although I’m currently trying to change my eating habits I don’t think Brew would help with that.

If you have read any of the instalments of Random Acts Of Kindness be sure to get in touch with your thoughts I’m torn in whether I carry on or read something else. So tell me what you think I should do and why? I’m intrigued to see what you say…

2018, Author Love, novella, Short Story, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Summer I met You By Victoria Walters

Blurb: It wasn’t love at first sight. It was a summer of love…

When Emma leaves her Cornish hometown of Talting for a summer in Devon, the last thing she dreams of is falling in love.

But sometimes the people who affect us the most come along when we least expect it.

As the summer comes to the end, will it herald the start of something that could last for ever?

Review: Where do I start. I have read the first part of Victoria’s Random Acts Of Kindness and I truly loved it. If you have seen my blogging post here you will see I have given myself a number of things to read not necessarily always what I wanted. So in being online I saw someone mention Victoria’s debut novel – The Second Love Of my Life and then I saw this short story prequel so I decided that would be my treat my reading for me and what a decision. Sometimes short stories leave you feeling like you didn’t know the characters that well or what not but this left me wanting more and truly in awe of Victoria’s gorgeous writing style. The blurb itself states “It wasn’t love at first sight it was a summer of love….” and I truly think that sums up this tasty novella. Although having finished this I saw the blurb for The Second Love Of my Life and I felt a lump in my throat. I can safely say that one will bring on the tears.

Emma is a loveable character from the off and John is so smooth and laid back – when his family expect him to be so much more. I loved the carefree aspect of the two characters falling into sync. It was written in the stars from the moment on the beach but it was so lovely to see their relationship change from friends to more. This story is written in the Then and Now I don’t want to say too much about that as I think you should go and read it yourself but it shows exactly how Emma is feeling throughout.

Victoria Walters is a genius with a feel good story and this has made me long for the sunshine…living in the now and letting go of what we cannot control is definitely something I should be doing more of. If you haven’t read anything from Victoria then why not. Check her out over on Victoria Walters on Amazon I’m hoping to have a another Victoria review for you later. I truly loved part one of Random Acts Of Kindness you can read my thoughts Right here and what I have read of part two has been just as amazing.