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.

Books · Jottings

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



Christmas at the Dog and Duck – Jill Steeples

After being made redundant Ellie has returned to her home village, Little Leyton and is house sitting whilst her parents are abroad. To keep herself occupied she works behind the bar at The Dog and Duck and has taken up dog walking and sitting to help out fellow villagers and is looking forward to a peaceful and quiet time at Christmas.

However, fate has other ideas for Ellie. Her ex Jonny assumes that now she has returned from the bright lights of London they can pick up where they left off. Stumbling across a new villager Max when out walking sets her heart racing and that is not just because she has to chase the dog which escapes onto his land. And it seems that The Dog and Duck is going to be taken over by someone unknown. Then a perfect job offer comes in from London.

Ellie is in a complete muddle emotionally and she does not know where her true roots lay. Christmas as a way of making it all seem so much raw.

This is a cosy read, not completely given over to Christmas, but one which shows how communities work, especially small village ones. With a roaring fire, a pint in your hand and some romance in the offing it is a perfect curl up on the sofa read.

Jill Steeples is a new author to me and if you like your stories based round a central place, character and with romance then this is the book for you.

We get to revisit The Dog and Duck in the summer and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Little Leyton.

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

Christmas at The Dog and Duck is out now in e-book format.


Not Just for Christmas – Alex Brown

For those of you who have been reading Alex Brown’s Tindledale series of novels, then this short story is a must read.

Interestingly though if you have never read any of her novels, this is a good place to start, because it means that you have lots to catch up on. The characters you meet in this short story have stories of their own to tell but for this book, the focus is on Kitty who runs the Spotted Pig Tea Rooms in the village.

Widowed with a young daughter, Teddie every year they light a candle for her husband Ed. Ed died on a tour in Iraq. Struggling to deal with her grief,m bring up a young daughter and run the Tea Rooms is enough for Kitty to deal with. She does not need anything else to take up her time.

That is until she gets a phone call, the dog Monty who was Ed’s companion and was with him throughout his tour is being retired from the Army and he needs a new home. Can Kitty cope with this strong memory of Ed from the past?

Amber runs the local pet parlour and loves all sorts of dogs. Trouble is they are taking over her living room, kitchen and she just can’t say no to any passing stray. A rescue centre is what is needed but there is no way Amber can afford to set up such a place.

This is a lovely heart breaking and heart warming tale and is a wonderful example of Alex Brown’s work. I love her Tindledale series of books and this was a lovely short story to catch up with all the residents and now it will not seem so long until we are back in the village again!

Read all the Tindledale series in order and see my reviews at the links below. 

The Great Christmas Knit Off

The Great Village Show

The Secret of Orchard Cottage

Not Just for Christmas – an e-book short story is out now


October Roundup

That is it – October Done! A month where I have spent not much time on this blog, posts you have seen have been scheduled in but I have been reading, working, sleeping, eating and enjoying life.

I am still in a Christmas mood reading wise and that is why I have read a new author to me Jill Steeples – Christmas at The Dog and Duck, pretty much has your Christmas by a log fire in a cosy pub, with your dog at you feet scenario all tied up with a big Christmas bow on it! Lovely read.

I knew what I was getting when I went back to visit Tindledale with Alex Brown – Not Just for Christmas a little story that packed a punch and made me shed a tear or two! Cannot wait to go back to Tindledale next year. No pressure Alex!

I also revisited The Plumberry School with Cathy Bramley – Comfort and Joy. Another short story for Christmas, but one which takes you back to characters and places you have loved in previous novels and ones where you wish that there would be more than one book!

Zooming past Christmas, and I have read my first book of 2017. Well my first book that is published in 2017 – Cathy Bramley – White Lies and Wishes. You will all have to wait a while before you can read the review for this one!

When you are feeling less than 100%, comfort is always a must and that is why I chose to read Agatha Christie – The Labours of Hercules. I was going to participate in the 1947 club this time round and this was my book of choice. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, but I still wanted to read the book, to tick it off my list! I will be well ahead with the next choice of year 1951 as I have read a couple of books on the list.

To complete a series of books I have read this year, led me to buy Rosie Goodwin – Dilly’s Hope which is the final one in the series. I wrote about the first. but in my realistic choices in what reviewed, I simply enjoyed reading the next one and then this the final one, which completes the story and reminded me of the lovely “aga sagas” I used to read. These books are such great joy.

I went on a Gervase Phinn binge back i the summer, to bring me up to date with all The Little Village School Series of books. I was rather disappointed when I shut the last one, because it felt like there was going to be no more. Oh how delighted I was when I found out there would be a fifth – Gervase Phinn – Secrets at The Little Village School. Preordered in the summer and delivered last Tuesday, finished on the Friday. Now I am bereft once again.

Finally, I went back in history and across the seas to Dinah Jeffries – The Silk Merchant’s Daughter. I love the rich tapestry of colours that Dinah Jeffries tells in her stories and how much I actually learn about places in a certain period of time.

So I am reading a rather quirky novel as October draws to a close, but more of that in November.