Books

The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street – Emma Davies

Daisy did not have a happy childhood and when the chance to escape came, she got a job in Buchanans a jewellery shop and her love for the romance of jewellery and her secret passion for making it as well blossomed.

Daisy kept herself to herself and followed a routine that kept her grounded and focused. It was the only way to survive.

That is until the owner of Buchanan’s decides she is goign to retire and therefore leave the shop to one of her three sons. The successful one will be the one that creates a piece of jewellery for Daisy – to do this they need to get to know her.

Step forward Lawrence, Bertie and Kit. Each of them decided to take Daisy out in turn to try and find what would be the right piece for her. Ice skating, shopping in London and a simple meal are on the cards but will any of them find the right piece and will Daisy be able to survive three separate days out from the normal safe routine of her life.

Whoever wins it will change their lives forever and why must the piece be for Daisy?

This is another 5 star read from Emma Davies, with characters you will recognise from previous novels they are all there to bring forth the romance and the love that Daisy has for jewellery that is hand crafted and made for love from love and not one that costs cast amounts of money and is the largest and most sparkliest gem in the shop.

This was a lovely story and the plot pulled you right in and you within the first few pages card greatly about Daisy and how she came to be living the almost half life she was. It took someone to notice something in her that needed more nurturing, more caring and ultimately more love to show Daisy the life she could be living.

A feel good festive read that will keep you warm on the coldest of nights. Emma Davies has done it again and her books are a joy to behold at any time of year!

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street is published on 16 October. 

 

Books

Parish Notices

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas……..well Christmas reading anyway. Though I have purchased the odd present or two! Enough already I hear you say.

I have had rather an up and down week, the NHS have not let my family down but the worry continues. Reading, swimming and crafts have been my crutch as has the odd chocolate bar.

So what is there to tell you about – what might you have missed?

Trisha Ashley – The Christmas Invitation – OUT NOW

It would not be Christmas without a Christmas read from Trisha Ashley, whether it be old or new – and for this year it is her latest novel and she invites us all to Christmas.

Tilly Tennant – The Garden on Sparrow Street – OUT NOW

This is an enchanting tale of loss, grief and moving forward and whilst Christmas is clearly featured the book is very much about the characters, their relationships and is not full on Christmas as some books can be at this time of year.

Katie Ginger – Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage OUT NOW

Esme loves everything about London, her boyfriend, her friends, her job on a top tv cooking programme and the fact she can experience so much about Christmas immediately from her front door.

This is a great festive read and one for all food fans as well. Mouthwatering descriptions of food and the fun of amaetuer recordings of making lots of funny moments.

And you have all of this to look forward to:

Holly Martin’s novels are a joy to read. So heartwarming and like receiving a great big hug all through the power of a few words on paper.

A Five Sparkly Christmas Star read!

The Gift of Happiness is published on 25 October – my full review will be on this blog around that date.

Daisy did not have a happy childhood and when the chance to escape came, she got a job in Buchanans a jewellery shop and her love for the romance of jewellery and her secret passion for making it as well blossomed.

This was a lovely story and the plot pulled you right in…….

A feel good festive read that will keep you warm on the coldest of nights.

The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street is published on 16 October – not long to go now!

This is the final book in the this trilogy set in Bluebell Castle. I have previously described the novels as Antiques Roadshow meets Downton Abbey, with added Chelsea Flower Show and now we are going to add in a Winter Wonderland.

Christmas brings its own magic and can Jess really see herself with Tristan if she could perhaps trust not just him but her own heart?

Starlight over Bluebell Castle is published on 4 November.

I think that is enough for the moment – there is more Christmas Reading lurking around my kindle and my bedside table but I think this is the first Christmas Selection Box you should reach for this year!

I am currently slightly Christmassed out – talking about it for work doesn’t help so I have reverted back to an Agatha Christie before I embark on anymore festive fiction.

*I have received these books in exchange for an honest review and I receive nothing in payment for recommendation more than once on this blog or on any other social media channel I use. I simply pass on the books that have given me joy. 

Books

Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage – Katie Ginger

Esme loves everything about London, her boyfriend, her friends, her job on a top tv cooking programme and the fact she can experience so much about Christmas immediately from her front door.

One day though it all comes to a grinding halt.

She is sacked from her job.

She is dumped by her boyfriend.

She can only go home to Sandchester.

There with her madcap parents who made me laugh out loud, especially mother Carol she starts to rebuild something of a life she may want.

Finding refuge in Mistletoe Cottage, still in its seventies decor and no central heating it seems a really madcap adventure to set out on. But her father’s advice is never go back.

So Esme goes forward and embraces the new way of making a name for yourself – as a blogger, a social media whizz and a name to watch.

Embracing her love of cooking and food, she clutches her grandmother’s recipe book to her chest and embarks on her own version of a cookery programme with some interesting results!

Going back home means she comes face to face with some old friends. Joe in particular always had her attention when they were younger, but will his reputation ever change and is something about his past preventing him from moving forward.

But he always seems to be there for Esme and with Christmas coming has she now found someone to kiss under the mistletoe.

This is a great festive read and one for all food fans as well. Mouthwatering descriptions of food and the fun of amaetuer recordings of making lots of funny moments. What made it more interesting for me was that we got to see how other people affected by what has happened to Esme as the story progresses.

It was good to see how her ex-boyfriend was now managing and his attitude to relationships and the role women play in them made me want to punch him! He got under my skin for the wrong reasons. Always a sign of good writing and characterisations for me.

This was a book when good overcame bad and those that needed to get their comeuppance did and everyone lived perhaps not happily ever after, but they all found where they should be and a contentment that many spend a lifetime looking for.

A good Christmas read.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage is published on 11 October. 

I will check out Katie Ginger’s earlier novels now – I have a feeling I will enjoy them. 

Books

The Garden on Sparrow Street – Tilly Tennant

Nina is still grieving some two years later for her husband, Gray. She found solace with work in a local charity shop where she met fellow widow Robyn. But the shop is closing and in the run up to Christmas it seems that life is going to be bleak for Nina.

Whilst looking for work, keeping an eye on her widowed father, Nina throws herself into helping her local community and in particular the Garden on Sparrow Street. She thinks that the garden should be a place for people to come and remember and not sold off to the highest bidder by the council.

Gathering other neighbours from Sparrow Street as well as her friend Robyn she sets about making it a garden of memories. Other neighbours, lonely for many different reasons help in the garden but when disaster strikes it seems that the garden is just another thing to be grieved.

However when Colm a local gardener gets involved, Nina finds herself looking forward once more but can she ever get over the guilt of looking at someone other than her husband as she is more and more drawn to the garden and Colm.

As Christmas approaches, it seems that it has come early for some people until the past comes back and makes itself ever so present. Will this Christmas be different for Nina or will she actually let her heart rule instead of her head?

This is an enchanting tale of loss, grief and moving forward and whilst Christmas is clearly featured the book is very much about the characters, their relationships and is not full on Christmas as some books can be at this time of year. The secondary characters are all interesting and amusing and the book moves along at a good pace as you see the heartache that many of them all go through as they rebuild not just a garden but build new memories for the future.

An ideal book to start your Christmas reading season.

 

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Garden on Sparrow Street is published on 9 October. 

 

Books

The Christmas Invitation – Trisha Ashley

It would not be Christmas without a Christmas read from Trisha Ashley, whether it be old or new – and for this year it is her latest novel and she invites us all to Christmas.

Meg has never celebrated a proper Christmas it was not something that happened when she was growing up. However recovering from illness and with a commission to paint some portraits, Meg finds herself thrown into Christmas head first with the Doome family.

Henry and Clara Doome live in The Red House a large house that they have made a home in the depths of the North. Die Hard fans of Trisha Ashley will recognise names and places from other novels, but it is certainly not a requirement to have read any of them.

Henry and Clara are well known in both their respective fields which is why they decided to have their portraits painted. So close to Christmas, Meg thinks she can get them done before the big day and can then escape back to the life she knows.

Henry and Clara have other ideas.

And so it seems does fate, when Meg bumps into someone from her past.

Henry and Clara delight in welcoming Meg to their home and infusing her with everything Christmas as well as feeding her up with the other members of the household who all seem to gravitate to these strong characters all who have back stories and are almost invisibly linked in some way.

Add to this, Teddy an enthusiastic child excited by Christmas that it almost jumped off the page. Then there is Den and is wonderful cooking; Sybil and her son Matthew; Zelda, Teddy’s actress mother; Lex, Clara’s nephew and widower plus Flora, Rollo and River makes for some interesting house guests and an enthralling storyline.

It seems rather a lot of people with a lot going on but in no time, Trisha Ashley has drawn you right in and you are in the story, so much so I think if I turned up to the house Henry and Clara would have found me a room, a purpose and a new direction in life just as they did Meg.

A must for all Trisha Ashley fans and for new readers too! This is how Christmas can be.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Christmas Invitation is published on 31 October but out now on Kindle.

 

 

Books · Jottings · Witterings

September Roundup

September can always feel like a new year for me, when you have an enforced break from work as I do, it feels all ‘back to school’ somehow. Anyhow, as I get used to waking up in the dark, swimming in the dark and those darker nights setting in, the reading continues apace.

I was never going to beat my wonderful record in August, not that I had time too but Setpember has turned out to be the month of the kindle reading. Despite me actually starting and reading a physical book.

I having been trying to get through a backlog of books and when I get a bit request happy on netgalley they can build up. So I decided to jump in with Gill Paul – Another Woman’s Husband a book I have had for a while and one that I thought sound intriguing and interesting. The Princess Diana storyline did not sit quite right with me but the story of Mrs Wallis Simpson drew me right in and again reminded me of the power of historical fiction.

I had Cath Staincliffe – Ruthless for so long on the to read shelf, that it could almost be called historical fiction. The wonderful Scott and Bailey from the ITV series are brought to life here in one of three novels. I love Cath Staincliffe’s writing there is something so honest and unfussy about it all, the plot was great and had me more hooked that the tv programme.

What also had me hooked this month was Joanna Nell – The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker which I describe as a thoughtful and poignant book. Some might find it a difficult read and in places it was but I think it needed to be as we look with Mrs Henry Parker for the man Henry himself.

The Christmas reading obviously continues and by the time it comes round I will probably be all Christmas read out and want something completely opposite. (I have plans for that point) So where to start?

With an invitation of course! Trisha Ashley – The Christmas Invitation latest novel is one of sheer joy and it would not be Christmas without a novel from Trisha. No pressure! The books takes you to the depths of places Trisha has been before and you get to experience Christmas – full on!

Christmas is not easy for everyone and in Tilly Tennant – The Garden on Sparrow Street I would say that Nina is struggling to find ehr new future. A great start to Christmas reading as this book will ease you in gently.

As did Katie Ginger – Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage which was the first book I have read by this author. It took a while to get going but when it did, I was drawn into the cottage and it was great to see how the fallout of one particular event unfolded. I will certainly go back and look out her other novels.

If you want to go full on Christmas then go to Holly Martin – The Gift of Happiness a return to the wonderful village of happiness which embraces Christmas wholeheartedly even if the Christmas lights are bit suspect! I love Holly’s books they are so heartwarming that it feels like a great big hug.

As for Emma Davies – The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street she is also someone who can take you away in the pages of their book with such wonderful stories that you wonder where they all come from. It all works so beautifully and it was great to be able to relate to characters from previous novels too.

Enough about Christmas – it is only September…well October now. I know there is more Christmas to come and that is without even discussing it for work. But I must try and make a dent again in the physical books I have on the shelf just to perhaps dilute all the tinsel and snow.

Happy October readers.

Books

Ruthless – Cath Staincliffe

Back in 2013, I reviewed Bleed Like Me the second novel to feature Scott and Bailey (yes the ITV Series) and was interested in reading a third. Cath Staincliffe, a lovely lady who I have met and has had written some cracking books delivered a third in 2014.

Shamefully it has taken my another five years to read it. I feel like I should go and stand in a corner somewhere and think about the error of my ways.

So I am back with Gill Murray, life with her son is balanced but her ex husband is just one step away from falling apart in front of everyone and losing everything.

Janet Scott, recovering from the fall out of events in the previous book. Trying to hold together a family.

Rachel Bailey married to Sean, although both I and her are not sure why. She seems suffocated by it and spends a lot of time running.

Rachel was running the night when a blaze erupted at a abandoned chapel, she witnessed the scene but what and who else did she?

The next day, it turns out the blaze was arson and there was a fatality.

Cath Staincliffe takes us straight into the police work, the station, the briefings, the allocation of roles and the cameraride and banter between colleagues. How do you keep all that going when it seems you private life is becoming so difficult.

Then there is another fire and this time there are two bodies.

Are they connected?

Is this the start of something frightening in the area?

With gunshots, confessions, drugs and domestics this book has it all. Well plotted and I hate to say a great example of a ‘police procedural’ novel that I sometimes hear bandied about. Except somehow we manage to get under the skin of the three main detectives and that gives that fragility to humans dealing with some horrific events.

A great read and well worth the wait.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book albeit five years after publication. 

Ruthless is the third in the series with Scott and Bailey. If you want to read them all then start with Dead to Me and then Bleed Like Me.

Scott and Bailey can be found repeated on ITV3 (in the UK) if you want to see everything brought to life. I only watched a few episodes of the first series, but they are very true to the characters and bring them to life, great casting.