Saturday, 12 December 2015

Review: Callies Christmas Countdown by Julie Ryan

Today, I am delighted to be taking part in today's book blast forJulie Ryan‘s new Christmas novella Callies Christmas Countdown. A review copy was provided by Brook Cottage Books in exchange for an honest review.

Keep an eye open for more reviews today on Twitter.

Callie is an event planner, organising weddings and corporate parties. What she'd really love however, is to organise the perfect Christmas. How difficult can it be after all? She simply needs to get her divorced parents talking to each other, sort out a Christmas Eve wedding for the daughter of a millionaire and wait for her hunky, rich boyfriend to propose. What could possibly go wrong?

My Thoughts:

Chick-lit at its best. Perfect for a pick me up in the busy run up to Christmas. At a 150 pages this is a lovely guilt free quick read and a festive treat covering the long run up to Christmas. An amusing and lovely relaxing read.

Callie is likeable and easy to emphasize with. Counting down to Christmas Callie knows exactly what her perfect Christmas would be. Whilst Lauren knows what her perfect wedding should be. Callie is her wedding planner and together they are organizing the perfect Christmas wedding. I really liked the twists and turns in the plot, there are plenty of surprises and funny bits.

There is a love triangle too. Personally I couldn’t imagine what she saw in the stuck up but sexy twit she’s dating. Whilst the attentive, sexy friend and neighbor; now that’s another story –I get that.

Being a Christmas novel, there is some lovely Christmas sentiment in here too, I love Granny’s Christmas star and the role it played in the story. It was funny too how Callie ends up playing both the matchmaker and the parent role to her mother.

I can heartily recommend this book for some Christmas cheer.

What others are saying:

Michele - "I absolutely loved this book by Julie Ryan, so different to her other books IV READ and equally as enthralling."

Rachel's Random Reads - "There is a lovely sense of humour in this story, and I loved how Callie seemed to care more about others than herself."

  • Format: ebook
  • Author: Julie Ryan
  • Release Date:2015
  • Genres: Chic-Lit
  • Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and two cats, a rescue cat and a dippy cat with half a tail. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.

    She is the author of the Greek Island Mystery series, Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophecy, each of which can be read as a standalone. She considers Greece to be her spiritual home and visits as often as she can.

    Connect with the Author:
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    Tuesday, 8 December 2015

    Review: Out of Control by T.A. Belshaw

    Today, I am delighted to be taking part the blog tour for T.A. Belshaw‘s new book Out of Control. A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. Please keep reading to the end of my review as there is a fabulous giveaway for you to enter!

    It began with a trivial moment of carelessness, but the shockwaves that reverberate from this seemingly insignificant incident, spread far and wide.

    Ed and his heavily pregnant wife Mary are on an errand for Ed’s ailing father before the pair depart for warmer climes. But the winter of 1962 comes early and one innocuous event and a hastily taken decision will have devastating consequences for the family of young Rose Gorton.

    Mary’s already fragile mental state is put under further stress while Ed tries to make sense of events that are spiralling massively, Out of Control.

    My Thoughts:

    At 78 pages this was a quick and haunting tale of the unexpected. Trevor takes us back to 1962, cool cars, full ashtrays, typing pool gossip and a pre-mobile phone age.

    What starts as a simple story quickly goes “Out of Control”. Make no mistake this is a game of consequences; A moment of carelessness and one bad decision which quickly leads to another.

    This book really surprised me and was very different to my normal genres. I didn’t particularly connect with the characters, nor did I really like them. Here it was the suspense and their actions rather than the petty details of their respective characters that lay central to the story.

    Reminiscent of a television series previously enjoyed, the surprise ending took me back to the late seventies. The ending isn’t one I will forget in a hurry, but this is a clever story which needs be be discovered one page at a time, to say more would quiet literally spoil the storytellers tale.

    I would like to say that I felt transported back in time whilst reading, but the truth is I didn’t. This story could have taken place in era and any small town where the lack of a telephone could be explained.

    Recommended as a quick read for suspense fans and lovers of “Tales of the Unexpected”.

    What others are saying:

    Beverly - "Twisty, turny and downright creepy in places"

    Ali The Dragon Slayer - "leaves you gasping for breath by the end ... mix of drama, horror & emotion"

  • Format: ebook
  • Author: Trevor Belshaw
  • Release Date:25 Aug. 2015
  • Genres: Noir-Suspense
    5 Ecopies and 2 signed Paperback copies of the book.
    Open Internationally

    Trevor Belshaw, aka, Trevor Forest, is a writer of both adult and children's fiction. He lives in Nottingham, UK with his mad Springer Spaniel, Maisie. Trevor is the creator of Tracy’s Hot Mail (Crooked Cat Publishing,) and has recently released a noir novella, Out of Control.

    Writing under the name, Trevor Forest, he has published fourteen children’s books including the Magic Molly series, The Stanley Stickle series, and Peggy Larkin's War.

    Trevor’s short stories and articles have appeared in various magazines including The Best of British, Ireland’s Own and First Edition. His poem My Mistake was awarded a highly commended status and included in the Farringdon Poetry competition best entries anthology. His children’s poem Clicking Gran, was longlisted in the Plough Poetry competition 2009.

    Trevor’s short stories have been published in many anthologies including the charity anthologies. 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, 100 Stories for Queensland, The Best of CafĂ© Lit, (2011 2012 and 2013) The Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and other stories and 24 Stories for Advent.

    Connect with the Author:
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    Monday, 7 December 2015

    Review: The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant

    Today, I am delighted to be taking part in the Brook cottage Books blog tour for Tilly Tennent‘s new book The Accidental Guest. A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. Please keep reading to the end of my review as there is a fabulous giveaway for you to enter!

    From the author of the much-loved, best-selling Mishaps in Millrise, a brand new four-novella-part series, Once Upon a Winter- come and fall in love this Christmas!

    Once Upon a Winter is a new four part series which begins with a big surprise on Christmas Day – and it’s not those bath salts from your auntie Edith! Join Hannah and her sister, Gina, as they navigate the choppy waters of love… will they sink or swim?

    Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?

    Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him.

    Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down. Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…

    '...a wonderful read with a bubbly, unique and fresh style of writing' Sky’s Book Corner

    'Tilly makes her characters so relatable that you can’t help but fall in love with them' Starcrossed Reviews

    My Thoughts:

    The Accidental Guest is a real corker. You have to hand it to Tilly she certainly knows how to put an amusing spin on a turn of events. Her chatty prose leaps from the page and there isn’t a dull moment. The characters are interesting and easy to emphasize with. At 80 pages the book is short but packed with story. It is a real pageturner.

    Tilly gently takes the reader by the hand and together we embark on an intriguing journey of discovery making this book feel initially more a mystery than a romance. Three single women are spending Christmas together. Hannah, her sister Gina and Gina's daughter Jess are making dinner on Christmas day and generally goofing around when there is a knock at the door.

    How the characters interact with each other is very amusing. I really enjoyed both the way the story evolved and new characters are introduced. It made me chuckle and left me with a big grin on my face.

    This is both my first Tilly Tennent and my first experience of reading in installments. Whilst Tilly didn’t disappoint, I discovered I don’t have the patience to read in installments. Just as I was getting into the story it ended abruptly and on a cliffhanger. This definitely is not a book, which can be read alone; it is the first installment of a new series.

    If you are a Tilly Tennent fan you are in for a treat.


    What others are saying:

    Jack's Reviews - "Tilly writes so well, whilst I was reading this I started to think it really was Christmas day, and found myself craving turkey, a crackling fire and lots of chocolate!

    Grass Monster - "Loved this by Tilly Tennant, so much so i had to finish it which left me going to bed at 2am.

    Hilda D. - "Tilley provides the reader a gripping story with developed characters, well written plot, twists and turns, funny dialogue and heart wrenching ending. I can’t wait to read the next book.

  • Format: Kindle
  • Author: Tilly Tennant
  • Release Date: 5th November 2015
  • Pages: 80
  • Genres: Romantic Comedy
  • In her own words: Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

    Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. It was followed by Mishaps and Mistletoe and The Man Who Can't Be Moved. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at

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