Books

Holly Martin Books

I am rather an avid fan of Holly Martin and have read the following eleven of her novels in the last four years or so:

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky

Spring at Blueberry Bay

Summer at Buttercup Beach

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove

The Holiday Cottage by the Sea

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach

Coming Home to Maple Cottage

The Summer of Chasing Dreams

The Little Village of Happiness

The Gift of Happiness

I have a few more to catch up on but in the meantime I am delighted to be able to tell you about her new novel.

Fall in love with the beautiful Jewel Island this summer, where the sapphire sea sparkles, the golden sun warms your skin and the islanders melt your heart. From the bestselling author of The Little Village of Happiness comes Holly Martin’s most romantic novel yet.

Sunrise over Sapphire Bay is published on the 24th April and you can pre-order the book here. Of course it is already on my list to be read!

If you are looking for books to bring a bit of sunshine into your life then these could well be the books for you.

 

I occasionally receive an advanced review copy of Holly Martin’s novels but I receive no payment or other incentive in reading, reviewing them or promoting her work. 

Books · Jottings · Witterings

Books in 2019

And with a blink if eye another year has passed (in fact a decade – more about that on another post) and it is time to reflect on what perhaps I have read this year…..

Numbers and statistics first!

107 books in total – 2 less than last year but still more than recent years. And there was no rush to the finish either.

Shortest book was 48 Pages

Longest book was 672 Pages

In total 35,554 pages read.

81 were on my kindle. In the main that is in fact due to my requests on netgalley which has enabled me to read a lot of lovely new books before they hit the shelves and I can share them with you all. However I find that sometimes that can be my undoing as when I ventured into my local bookshop, I looked round and thought ‘read that and that’. That said I am endeavouring to keep my list down on netgalley to a more manageable level and reading more off my shelves….well that’s the plan.

So what books have stood out for me in 2019? Everyone’s list is different, for different reasons and I think sometimes list envy kicks in when you think I have not read the books that everyone else is or has read. So my list is my list.

Mystery and Crime – When I got back to looking at the last ten years of reading, I realise that perhaps this genre has tailed off in recent years. My need for “happy” probably is my current state of mind. However I choose these books

Historical Fiction – now what do I choose to put in this category? Books about the past and ‘real’ people or books simply set in the past. Which some of the books in the previous category would happily fit into.

 

Multiple Books – in other words authors who I have read more than one of their oeuvre in 2019.

More statistics – 7 authors who I have read 3 books of are as follows Sarah Bennett, Agatha Christie, Emma Davies, Rachel Dove, Liz Eeles, Holly Martin, Robin Stevens. 

I will give a special mention to Agatha Christie – whose work is still confounding people even after all these years.  She cannot of course say anything back to me!

I will pick out another 3 who deserve special mentions

Sarah Bennett – 2019 was the year of Bluebell Castle and the best of her work so far, in my humble opinion. I am a great advocate of her work and witter on about it on here and twitter where we are tiwtter chums.

Holly Martin – her books need no introduction, apart from the fact if you want an absorbing read and pure escapism. Holly must be your go to author.

Robin Stevens – a new author to me and I stumbled across this delightful series of children’s books. They are pitched for 9-11 year olds but I think they are tremendous jolly fun. A cross between Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie and I just love the bright colours of the covers.

Of the authors who I have read 2 books of it is quite a list, Phillipa Ashley, Trisha Ashley, Christie Barlow, Julie Caplin, Georgina Clarke, Liz Fenwick, Rachael Lucas, Libby Page, Laura Purcell, Nancy Revell, Caroline Roberts, Helen Rolfe, Sara Sheridan, Heidi Swain and Tilly Tennant.

Who to choose of the 15….

Heidi Swain – one of the authors who I can rely on to cheer me from beginning of a book right up to the end. And despite many witterings on here I still have not read her first book The Cherry Tree Cafe.

 

Georgina Clarke – combining many things, strong women, crime and history. What more could someone like me who is a fan of such things want in a novel. A new author this year and one to watch!

 

Nancy Revell if there ever was a series that you wanted to run and run this is it. If you love historical saga then you will love The Shipyard Girls series.

Christie Barlow – the Love Heart Lane is another heartwarming series and I just want to move there! Which considering I also want to move to Bluebell Castle with Sarah Bennett and Wynbridge with Heidi Swain, it is going to be rather difficult.

And Finally.…mention must go to these

As I look back at this year, I then go back and look at the last decade of reading. But that is for another post because I am really not sure how I consolidate, categories, list or even talk about all those books.

In terms of this blog, I cannot believe it has been going for so long. Thank you to everyone who visits whether it is every week or only now and again.

In 2019 I posted 102 posts (50,731 words!), which looking back is about average. Gone are the heady days of 177 posts in 2012. I actively chose to stop reviewing every book I read as it was becoming too much to maintain and I suppose I have stepped away from posting anything other than ‘book’ posts in the recent years.

So let’s get on with the next year, the next decade and the next book!

Books

Snowed in at The Practice – Penny Parkes

Time for another appointment with the Doctors at the Larkford Surgery.

Whilst Dr Holly Graham is on maternity leave and struggling to make everyone else understand that is she just not simply the mother of two sets of twins, she is also a wife, a friend and a doctor. There must be a better way to transition back to working than everyone seems to be suggesting at the moment.

Perhaps talking to her patients on a normal level and with no pressure is the only way to go, but when an offer of an feature on a radio show and also a fixture at the Rugby Club, it seems that Holly’s options are even greater than she first thought.

Dr Alice Walker and her amazing dog Coco are still working their magic but it seems that Alice has also brought a fellow doctor and friend Dr Tilly Grainger along who is struggling to fit in not just in the village of Larkford where hearts are being broken by the day, but as a doctor in something other than the war zones she had been used to. Is there a project that Tilly can call her own and something where she feels she is making a difference?

Dr Dan Carter and Practice Manager Grace are facing some difficult decisions and it seems that their future is decided for them when someone captures Dan’s heart.

Along with this we have all the other wonderful characters which have featured in previous Larkford novels, the wonder that is Elsie, hellbent on being the centre of attention wherever she may go and of course Holly’s friend Lizzie and former rock star Connor whose life is about to be changed once again.

This book like the previous three is a complete joy to read. You are completely immersed in the world of Larkford and the residents and of course the patients as well as the doctors at the surgery. There are some real tough topics dealt with in this book. You might need to harden your heart or just let the tears flow as I did. Nothing is off limits. It is both joyous and sad in equal measure.

What makes this series if books stand out is the clear detail that the author has gone into to understand the workings of a local GP practice, a practice which I am sure like many around the country is suffering from an overload of paperwork, government targets and cut backs on the things that really matter like time with the patients. I don’t know how Penny Parkes does it but she has brought a ‘hot topic’ into fiction and added a dose of characters and created a series which I think could run and run.

I prescribe this series of books to everyone.

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

Snowed in at the Practice is out now. 

 

 

Books

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane – Ellen Berry

 

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. However, when a tragic accident leads to a completely path again it seems that there is only one more year left at Rosemary Cottage and life in Burley Bridge.

James is back in Burley Bridge as it appears his father needs some care as he has exhibited some rather worrying behaviour. James also recalls playing in the garden of Rosemary Cottage as a child and playing with Lucy so he is shocked to see her again.

James patience and kindness though is what Lucy needs right now as she tries to decide whether she should really leave her dream, Rosemary Cottage and go back to a world that seems to have left her behind.

This is a welcome return to Ellen Berry’s series of books featuring the village of Burley Bridge, but you do not have to visited before to get a feel for the place. Familiar faces soon become your friends and the author draws you right into how a village can help a newcomer as well as a stalwart resident.

A nice comfortable read which is not full on Christmas but is more to do with love and sorrow, grief and happiness.

A book with lots of positivity amongst all the sadness and a lot is packed into the pages, that the story skillfully takes you over a large time period in a clever way without ever feeling bogged down or dragging a plot out for the sake of it.

I hope one day we perhaps return to visit Rosemary Cottage as I feel there is more to know about Lucy and James. The ending was left very loose……

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

Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane is out now.

Books

Winner – A Perfect Cornish Christmas

Thank you very much to everyone who entered – if you have entered more than once then I have just counted you as one entry.

So I can reveal the winner is (thanks to a random name picker site on the internet)

 

Well done!

I will be in contact so I can get the book to you, hopefully before Christmas! Happy Reading.

Thank you again to everyone who stopped by my blog and took part.

Books

The Child of Auschwitz – Lily Graham

How do you write a review for a book where you know pretty much what it is all about from the title? How do you write a review for a book about one of the most horrendous periods of history?

I approach this with such trepidation.

Eva boarded a train to Auschwitz she is looking for her husband of only six months. She wants to find him and she is going to hell on earth to do so. But is he there?

Sofie befriends Eva as they share a bed, what food they can get and the knowledge that they are goign through the same, shaved heads, back breaking labour and ultimately fear of death.

As Eva dreams of her husband, Sofie dreams of being reunited with her son.

As the days go on, Sofie sees an opportunity to bring happiness to Eva, but at what cost?

When Eva’s dreams come true the worse is still yet to come. Pregnant, Eva and Sofie now need to protect more than just themselves.

Will anyone survive the heartbreak of separation from the ones that they love?

This is an incredibly moving, researched, story that had me gasping in shock and with tears streaming down my face. The strength that these women went to, to survive makes our moans and groans of today’s world pale into comparison.

It is a fascinating read and brought such horror to life and I think a lot of people need to know what human beings are capable of, both good and evil.

This has to be Lily Graham’s best novel to date, the others were excellent but this seems to go above and beyond that.

A book worthy of your time to read.

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

The Child of Auschwitz is out now. 

 

 

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.