A Year at the Star and Sixpence – Holly Hepburn

The Star and Sixpence is a pub in Little Monkham a village far away from the bright lights of London where it’s now owners Nessie and Sam come from.

Their story has been told through a number of short stories over the course of 2016 and I came to it in the Summer but the story progressed through Autumn and it finishes as it should I suppose at Christmas.

I caught up with Autumn, where Nessie and Sam are embracing village life and getting into the Bonfire spirit, whilst their own personal fireworks are going off around them.

As Christmas fast approaches, everything is settling down at the pub and it is becoming popular and successful in the village. But for Nessie and Sam it is not all plain sailing.

Nessie has to contend with an ex mother in law and Sam is missing her film star boyfriend.

However this book brings everything together and has a most satisfying ending. I could quite happily read it all again.

All of the novellas, are now available to purchase in one book A Year at the Star and Sixpence from 29th December 2016. Of course if you cannot wait until then, you can purchase them all separately.

I look forward to the next set of books from Holly Hepburn in 2017.

November Roundup

Where to start with my November reading? Probably not as much read as could have been, but birthdays, celebrations, dinners out, christmas decorations seriously cut into the reading time. It also has cut into reviewing and blogging time as well, as you may well have noticed on this blog.

Nonetheless I did manage to read some crackers and some with a Christmas theme, I am getting in early with all the Christmas reading.

I got to finish off the series Holly Hepburn – Christmas at The Star and Sixpence and I am looking forward to seeing what else she comes up with, though I think I still prefer the whole read and not the novella/series/part way. I keep saying that and I still keep going to read books this way!

I revisited The Cornish Cafe with Phillipa Ashley – Christmas at The Cornish Cafe very much a book for the settee with a blanket,tea and mince pies. It is pitched as a trilogy but I am not sure when the final book is going to be out.

More Christmas with Katie Fforde – Candlelight at Christmas. A great short story and always a good way to be introduced to Katie Fforde’s work. It turns out in this novel, they are recurring characters from one of the novels I have not read and so I have to read that as soon as possible!

Now if you were paying attention, you will notice that I go on about preferring to read books in their whole and not in the parts – then what do I do? Start another series Della Parker – The Reading Group: January. Whoops! Clearly with the months, this is a series that could go on a while!

Now for something completely different Julia Stuart – The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland. I have read most of this author’s work and highly recommend it if you want something really quirky! I only have one to read and that is because I have struggled to get hold of a copy. In this book, whilst it is perhaps not as quirky as previous novels, it has a real depth and focus which is quite heart breaking.

Another quirky novel and one that I struggled with is Mave Fellows – Chaplin and Company. If I struggled why did I not give up on it? I think because it was a beautifully written novel and deserved to be read but it was difficulty in places and I think I may have missed some of the story.

You cannot beat a good murder mystery and if you like such things then I heartily recommend Kate Saunders – The Secrets of Wishtide. Kate Saunders – The Secrets of Wishtide. It is really frustrating when you discover what is going to be a series of books and you have only the first one to read – all you want to do is devour all that have been written. I am on the look out when the next one of these is to be published!

Still reading Christmas stories as the month closes and I am hoping that I will have lots of time to do even more reading!

Winner – Not Just For Christmas Giveaway

I was part of the Alex Brown – Not Just for Christmas Blog Tour!

This was the prize


Thank you to all who entered, you were all allocated a number between 1- 54 (based on the ordered commented) and I asked my mum to pick a number……

She picked (although disappointed she was not getting the tins herself)


That was allocated to Julie Davies.

Congratulations Julie, I have emailed you.

Much thanks to everyone who entered and I hope you pick up the Not Just For Christmas book from Alex Brown and you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you also for visiting my blog, hope you may have found something of interest to you.

Not Just For Christmas Blog Tour – Giveaway!!

I reviewed this book back at the beginning of the month here. The book is available as an e-book to buy now! Well when you have finished reading this post of course and entering the giveaway.

A giveaway?


I am part of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour for this book and you can get the chance to win these


A set of Cath Kidston Christmas Tins! Yes Cath Kidston tins!!

So you want to be in with a chance of winning?

Simply comment on this post before 23:59 on the 25th November and you will be put into a draw to win these tins.

I will announce the winner on my blog on Sunday 27 November and will pass the winners details onto the publisher who will send you the tins.

I am excited to be part of this, and only wish I could enter my own giveaway!


Christmas at the Cornish Cafe – Phillipa Ashley

When we left Cal and Demi the Cafe was about to open and it seemed that whatever ghosts were rattling around in both Cal and Demi’s past they were being laid to rest.

However as Christmas approaches, Cal and Demi are trying to enjoy each other without anyone else knowing what is going on.

Demelza’s Cafe at Kilhallon Resort is open even in the winter for a few days, and Demi is frantically baking to cash in on the run up to Christmas. A few of the cottages are open to more harden visitors who want to embrace and brave the Cornish weather and one of them seems to be getting under the skin of both Demi and Cal.

Kit Bannen is there writing a book, but he seems to have a nose for everything and keeps turning up when you least expect it. What does he know?

There is certainly an atmosphere building at Kilhallon and the weather is about to take a turn for the worst. Christmas is not always about celebrating,it can sometimes be about pulling together and facing whatever storm is coming with indeterminable spirit.

In this second book I was transported back to Penwith and all the characters I loved and hated in equal measure that make the place tick. We get to share laughs, tragedy and love with them and it makes for an excellent follow-up to Summer at The Cornish Cafe and I am really looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

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

Christmas at The Cornish Cafe is out now in e-book. 

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter – Dinah Jefferies

As with all of Dinah Jefferies novels, you are taken back to another time as well as another country. I have been to Malaysia and Ceylon. Now I have been transported in the case of The Silk Merchant’s Daughter to Vietnam.

Nicole Duval is half French and half Vietnamese, a dangerous position to be in. Why? It is 1952 and the Vietminh are fighting against colonial rule – colonial rule by the French.

Nicole favours her late mothers Vietnamese looks and suddenly she realises that perhaps she does not fit in anywhere. She sees her sister, Sylvie classically chic French in every way and always determined to have the last word when it comes to her younger sister, to make sure Nicole knows her place not just because of her looks but also her birth as well.

Her family let her run an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese part of Hanoi because she will blend in well. Trouble is Nicole is awakened to the other side of the fight regarding the Vietminh and the French and when she witnesses events she realises that perhaps not everything she knows and has been told is the truth.

Meeting Mark she has her world turned upside down as she tries to understand his role in a war that has nothing to do with him. Meeting Tran a revolutionary, her world is turned again. Nicole struggles to find herself and find those she can trust. It is going to be a testing time for her.

This is an interesting book, and a good starting point if you wanted to understand more about the Indochina wars which have dominated the middle part of the twentieth century. There is perhaps an inevitability to the plot of this story, the twists were perhaps not needed because of the complexity of the issues of the time. I admit to taking my time to understand who was exactly who and how the featured in the bigger picture of the war itself, not just the immediate family were introduced to in the book.

Ultimately a love story, but one that is fraught with danger, destruction and dynamic men. It will keep you interested, but not one of my favourite Dinah Jefferies novels.

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

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is out now in all formats. 

If you wish to perhaps visit another part of the world with Dinah Jefferies then check out my reviews of

The Tea Planter’s Wife

The Separation


Remembrance Day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.