Books

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry – Caroline Roberts

This is a lovely festive follow up to Rachel’s Pudding Pantry which was released earlier in the year.

Rachel is still at Primrose Farm and her Pudding Pantry has survived the busy summer period but as autumn sets in and Christmas looms, she is starting to worry that the money from the diversification is not going to see them through the winter months.

With some very quiet days to add to her worry there is also the fact that her ex seems to be more involved with someone new who happens to have a child, and interest in their little girl Maisie perhaps takes a back seat. Her romance with neighbouring farmer Tom seems to be going one step backwards rather than forwards and when someone from the past turns up it seems to put everything in jeopardy.

Of course nothing is going to be easy but an idea of starting a ‘Pudding Club’ to diversify and bring people together over a love of puddings and making friends makes the run up to Christmas less of a problem. With a Christmas Fayre, nativities and plenty of festive baking to fit in between running the farm she has perhaps taken on more than she can cope with.

When the weather takes a turn and her livestock are threatened she has to muster all the strength to not just save them but everything she loves as well.

It was lovely to return to the farm and see how Rachel and her family were moving on from the past and creating a rather different future. Rachel realises that time moves on and with it so do people and perhaps she needs to accept the change that his happening around her – it can only be for the good.

This is a great festive read and with the recipes punctuated throughout the novel it definitely sets you taste buds going. Makes you want to sit in front of a roaring fire and demolish a mince pie or two!

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

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry is published on 31 October. 

 

 

Books

Christmas with the Shipyard Girls – Nancy Revell

It doesn’t really matter that this book is a Christmas book, what matters is that I am back amongst the Shipyard Girls and I have been with them since the beginning. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you read books out of series order, but to get the real benefit of this series I implore you to read from the beginning.

It is coming towards the end of 1942, Polly’s fiance has returned and is recuperating in hospital but not at the speed that he wants especially when all he wants to do is marry his sweetheart. Trouble is Polly suddenly seems reluctant, why would she not want the wedding she has always dreamed of?

Rosie’s sister, Charlotte is in Sunderland for good now. Trying to show her how tough life is in Sunderland and the threat of war has not worked on Charlotte and Rosie is resigned to the fact that she is goign to be a permanent fixture at home. How can Rosie keep her work at Lily’s a secret especially when Charlotte gets to know everyone quickly and ask a lot of awkward questions.

For Helen, once everyone’s enemy she is slowly being welcomed as a friend amongst the female welders. There are still plenty of secrets and Helen knows that the actions of her mother could upset a lot of people. But as she recovers from her own personal tragedy and her friendship with Dr Parker has its ups and downs, she recognises something in someone and she just cannot place what it is.

Of course we still hear all about Pearl, Bel and Joe, Gloria and Hope, Dorothy and Angie as well as the gentle soul of Hannah who starts to learn about what atrocities could be happening in Germany.

The shipyard is how all these women were brought together, where friendships as well as ships are forged and welded together and where all their strength is needed both mentally and physically to survive as the war rumbles along into 1943.

This is one of the best series of books I have read in a long time and is well written, well researched and deals with some tough subjects in such a sensitive manner that many a tear was shed in this particular novel.

Long may this author and these books continue!

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

Christmas with the Shipyard Girls is published on 31 October.

 

If you wish to read them in order:

  1. The Shipyard Girls
  2. Shipyard Girls at War
  3. Secrets of the Shipyard Girls
  4. Shipyard Girls in Love
  5. Victory for the Shipyard Girls 
  6. Courage of the Shipyard Girls 
  7. Christmas with the Shipyard Girls (review above)
  8. Triumph of the Shipyard Girls (March 2020)
Books · Jottings

Parish Notices

 

Sorry folk’s it still looks like Christmas around here but I need to tell you about the following:

Yesterday I was part of the blog tour for the wonderful Holly Martin’s latest novel – The Gift of Happiness 

 

Coming up in November I will also be part of Ellen Berry’s blog tour of her new novel Snowdrops at Rosemary Cottage

Lucy fell in love with Rosemary Cottage when she was a girl, plundering berries from the garden in fear of the owner catching her and her friends. It was her dream home.

Years later when her life takes an unexpected path, Lucy can buy her dream home and embrace life with her children and husband in the countryside and run a B & B.

 

**GIVEAWAY TIME**

I have been lucky enough to receive a paperback copy of the new Phillipa Ashley – A Perfect Cornish Christmas – the review will be featured on my blog on the 24th November. I am going to giveaway the paperback copy to one lucky reader of this blog.

Look out for the post for this in coming days……

 

*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

The Gift of Happiness – Holly Martin

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.

This book was no exception.

Back in the village of Happiness, first introduced in an earlier novel this year. From that novel Andrew and Willow are settled, and Willow’s friend Ruby decides to break away from her past and start again in Happiness.

She has only visited before but now Ruby wants to take up the opportunity to live and work there in return for a cottage and a shop. What better shop at this time of year than a Christmas shop. Ruby is all about Christmas.

However plans don’t get off to the best start when her intended shop is damaged and she finds herself next door to artist Jacob Harrington. They have met before and had made a lasting impression on each other.

This time though Ruby just wants to be friends. Jacob can cope with that, he thinks?

But fate, her friend Willow and many of the other residents seem to have other ideas.

Thrown into Christmas planning almost upon arriving in the village, it seems that Ruby and Jacob are destined to be pushed together despite their pasts and their secrets.

This is full on Christmas from the moment Ruby arrives and spots the nativity scene, I could see what was going to happen and chuckled my way through the book at this offshoot of the main plotline.

The course of anyone’s Christmas doesn’t always run smoothly and it seems Ruby’s is going to be the same. The book made me laugh, made me cry and made my heart sing with delight as I was immersed in the village of Happiness.

This is not your typical fluffy Christmas novel, it has some real issues and they are dealt with sensitivity and show how people need to move on, but perhaps have to do so at the right time and with the right support. Christmas somehow makes it all that more difficult and also special for everyone concerned.

Another great big hug of a book from Holly Martin and I think maybe there might be another visit to Happiness tucked away somewhere? I can live in hope.

A Five Sparkly Christmas Star read!

Thank you to the author who kindly provided me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I have received nothing in return and the only thing I give is the recommendation to read this book. 

The Gift of Happiness is out now

 

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.