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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

#GuestPost #PublicationDay SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE by MORTON S GRAY @ChocLituk @MortonSGray



Delighted to be able to share a guest post today from Morton S. Gray, who is celebrating Publication Day for SUMMER AT LUCERNE LODGE!! Hope you’ll all be grabbing a copy to escape in to very soon!!!

Over to you Morton…….

My sixth book for Choc Lit, Summer at Lucerne Lodge tells the story of Tanner Bryant and Rosie Phillips. They first meet at a charity auction held in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge on the outskirts of my fictional seaside town of Borteen. However, that first meeting isn’t as innocent as it sounds, because Tanner has found a private investigator’s file on his father’s desk about Rosie and wants to know why …

The back of the book says:-

Could a beautiful old house and a handsome stranger hold the key to a life-changing secret?

Rosie Phillips could be forgiven for not being immediately won over by Tanner Bryant. After all, their first meeting involves him knocking a tray of prawn cocktail over her very expensive dress at a charity event in the grounds of Lucerne Lodge.

But little does Rosie know how pivotal that awkward first meeting will be, or how the Lodge will become the unexpected backdrop for a summer spent finding out who she really is, and who she could be ...

This is a stand-alone novel, but there are cameo appearances from characters who have been in my previous books, such as Justin Sadler the solicitor who was the hero in Christmas at the Little Beach Café.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition in 2016. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Her other books for Choc Lit are The Truth Lies Buried, Christmas at Borteen Bay, Sunny Days at the Beach, and Christmas at the Little Beach Café.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

You can catch up with Morton with the following links:- Website and blog at www.mortonsgray.com Twitter @MortonSGray Author - https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/


Buying Links for Summer at Lucerne Lodge –

Amazon 

Choc Lit for other retailers

Saturday, 17 April 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 17th April 2021

 


Hello! Happy Saturday! We meet again! And this week I got to stand in an actual real life bookshop again, after the lockdown restrictions were lifted and it felt wonderful! Time to clear some space on my bookshelves again so I can have a good spend up!

On the bookish front, it's been a fairly steady week! Managed to finish 3 books, got 3 from Netgalley and one lovely piece of bookpost!  So here's my look back at the week...

BOOKS FINISHED








BOOKHAUL

3 tempted me at Netgalley this week...

MY MESS IS A BIT OF A LIFE by GEORGIA PRITCHETT 
Publication Date - July 2021

Multi-award-winning television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety.

From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood, (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It's a beautiful moment) worry has accompanied her at every turn.

This memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live - and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) - with anxiety.

THE WOMAN IN THE PURPLE SKIRT by NATSUKO IMAMURA
publication date - June 2021

A bestselling, prizewinning novel of obsession and psychological intrigue about two enigmatic unmarried women, one of whom manipulates the other from afar, by one of Japan's most acclaimed young writers

Almost every day, the Woman in the Purple Skirt buys a single cream bun and goes to the park, where she sits on a bench to eat it as the local children taunt her. She is observed at all times by the undetected narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. From a distance the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. Like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, she is single, she lives in a small, run-down apartment, and she is short on money. The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan lures her to a job where she herself works, as a hotel housekeeper; soon the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Unfortunately, no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That's the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.

Studiously deadpan, highly original, and unsettling, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores the dynamics of envy, the mechanisms of power in the workplace, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, voyeuristic narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.

SONGS IN URSA MAJOR by EMMA BRODIE
publication date - June 2021

A scintillating debut from a major new voice in fiction, Songs in Ursa Major is a love story set in 1969, alive with music, sex, and the trappings of fame.

Raised on an island off Massachusetts by a mother who wrote songs for famous musicians, Jane Quinn is singing in her own band before she's old enough to even read music. When folk legend Jesse Reid hears about Jane's performance at the island's music festival, a star is born--and so is a passionate love affair: they become inseparable when her band joins his on tour. Wary of being cast as his girlfriend--and haunted by her mother's shattered ambitions-- Jane shields her relationship from the public eye, but Jesse's star power pulls her into his orbit of fame. Caught up in the thrill of the road and the profound and lustful connection she has with Jesse, Jane is blind-sided by the discovery she makes about the dark secret beneath his music. Heartbroken and blackballed by the industry, Jane is now truly on her own: to make the music she loves, and to make peace with her family Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?
 

And in the post from Amazon Vine to review.....

SIX TUDOR QUEENS; KATHERINE PARR by ALISON WEIR
publication date - may 2021

A WOMAN TORN BETWEEN LOVE AND DUTY.

Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free to make her own choice.

The ageing King's eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him... or betray that she wanted another.

She becomes the sixth wife - a queen and a friend. Henry loves and trusts her. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn...

KATHARINE PARR. HENRY'S FINAL QUEEN. HER STORY.

Renowned, bestselling historian Alison Weir reveals a warm, clever woman of great fortitude who rose boldly to every turn her life took.


CURRENTLY READING




HAPPY READING!








#BlogTour SWEET PASTRIES AND SOURDOUGH by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources

 


Delighted to be with you today for the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the fabulous SWEET PASTRIES AND SOURDOUGH by ROSIE GREEN. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

On to the book....



Sweet Pastries & Sourdough, Little Duck Pond Café

Ellie's brand new enterprise, the True Loaf Bakery, is finally open and classes are due to start. But when Katja's ski-ing holiday ends in disaster, a new teacher must be found very quickly. Anita is up for the challenge, but - fresh from a break-up and an operation that's left her feeling physically and emotionally vulnerable - the last thing she's looking for when she moves to Sunnybrook is a new relationship. So it's Sod's law that she should find herself with not one but two guys vying for her attention. Sven, from Denmark, is a bit of an enigma - but maybe passion lurks beneath his cool reserve? And as for twenty-five-year-old football coach Ross - surely she'd be asking for trouble getting involved with a gorgeous man a decade her junior? (Although her football-mad son Rufus seems to love him.)

Moving in with Bertha proves a real comfort - but can Anita get to the bottom of what's troubling the older woman?

Anita's job at the True Loaf Bakery is only temporary, but she finds herself drawn ever deeper into life in the village - especially when she finds a child's bracelet from long ago, in the rubble of the newly-renovated building. Solving the mystery of who it belongs to takes Anita on a journey of discovery - a journey that might just help her discover what her own heart really needs...

Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/2YFZufv


About the Author


Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe.

Follow Rosie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 


MY REVIEW

The Little Duck Pond series continues!! This is the 15th novella in the series, and I NEVER want it to end!!  It's the perfect series to escape in to, full of characters that you take to your hearts, and situations that draw you in. Oh and baking!!! There can never be too much baking!

Anita is the main focus of this series and she's dealing with a million problems that life seems to have thrown her way.  Dealing with pain and medical issues, being a mum to the cheeky little chap, but full of beans, Rufus, and struggling with confidence she doesn't know what way to turn, other than to ignore some problems and hope they go away! If only that worked!

She's offered the opportunity to teach some baking classes, and baking has always been her way of escaping and coping. With the class comes new characters for us to fall in love with - Russ and  Sven especially!!  

I found Anita to be such a relatable character - trying to come to terms with changes in her life while facing up to the past, she had no option to keep going but she'd always doubt herself and finds it tough to focus on herself with the adorable Rufus being so full on!  At least he can run off some energy at his football training!

This was another wonderful addition to the series and I hope there's still more to come!!


★★★★★




Tuesday, 13 April 2021

#GuestPost JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS by LUCY KEELING #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @Lucy_K_Author

 


Hello! Welcome to the blog today where I'm super happy to be handing things over to the lovely Lucy Keeling, on publication day for JUST FRIENDS IN VEGAS!!!  Time to celebrate!!

Over to you Lucy.....



Hi, I'm Lucy Keeling and I am delighted to be back on Karen's blog to talk

about Just Friends in Vegas. Thank you for having me back Karen, I really

appreciate it.

Just Friends in Vegas is the third book in the Friends series – but don't

worry if you haven't read the others as it can be read as a standalone.

Sophie, Polly, Mya and Paige are friends that have been in each other's

lives for quite a while. They've seen each other at their worst, but more

endearingly they help each other to be at their best. In book one the focus

is on Sophie as she reluctantly starts to fall for Polly's older brother,

Marcus the grumpy but sexy gardener. In book two we focus on Polly and how

her feelings for her brother's best friend Bailey change drastically after

one fake kiss, as she questions whether or not their fake relationship can

remain fake. So, in book three the focus is on Mya and her super secret

career.

Mya is gorgeous, confident and absolutely amazing. I have adored writing

about Mya. So many people have contacted me, asking to know what Mya's

profession is. Luckily it's confirmed pretty quickly in Just Friends in

Vegas. But I also don't want to give it away so I can't say much else.

Other than Mya may have met her match with Smithy. He's the designer

suit-wearing, smouldering, intelligent, swoon-worthy hero she didn't know

she needed.

Writing about these two has been a wonderful experience. It has not always

been easy – no, in fact it was incredibly difficult in – to write and edit a

book over the last twelve months but Mya and Smithy have definitely made it

worthwhile.

So sit back, relax and I hope that the banter, the charm, and the erm

*cough* sexual tension of these two make for an enjoyable read.

Thank you

Lucy K xx


About the book:

Is love always a losing game?

When Mya is with Smithy, it feels like her eyes are constantly rolling. His wheeling and dealing charisma charms everyone but her. Well, that’s not strictly true – Mya is only human after all, and there’s no doubt the man is hot with his suits and swagger. It’s just that Smithy knows Mya’s secret, and she’s not sure she can trust him to keep it from their group of friends.

As they immerse themselves in the glamorous and mysterious world of ‘The Suits’, growing closer as a result, Smithy has to question whether his time with Mya is destined to become a case of ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ ...

PURCHASE LINKS

Kindle

 Kobo

 . Apple Books .

 Nook .

 Google Books




About the author:

Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she’s arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking. Lucy is currently writing the third book in a contemporary romance series, the first of which was runner-up in Choc Lit’s ‘Search for a Star’ competition which was sponsored by Your Cat magazine.

Lucy lives in Greater Manchester with her family.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @Lucy_K_Author on Instagram Lucy_K_Author on Facebook Lucy Keeling - Author Check out her website: https://lucykeeling.com/


Monday, 12 April 2021

#BookReview THE LAMPLIGHTERS by EMMA STONEX

 


ABOUT THE BOOK 

They say we'll never know what happened to those men.

They say the sea keeps its secrets...


Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

The Lamplighters is a heart-stopping mystery rich with the salty air of the Cornish coast, and an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

PUBLISHED BY PICADOR

PURCHASE LINKS


Blackwell's


MY REVIEW

Holy Moly!! This is one of those books that leaves you feeling bereft when it ends! The characters take over your every thought and you're left experiencing every kind of emotion as you read their stories unfold in front of your eyes. And all set against the backdrop of an imposing lighthouse and the unpredictability of the sea.

The story is told as now and then! Looking back at the families of the men who worked on the lighthouse and how they dealt with the mystery of the men's disappearance on one fateful night. There's no sign of a struggle, they left no trace behind ... so where did they go and what happened to them? The book is based on a real life event, but the author has a wonderful time reimagining the events surrounding the disappearance and the impact on the families left behind.

With the story being told from both the viewpoint of the men as they worked on the lighthouse, and to the women dealing with life married to them and the years that followed after their disappearance, you really get a wonderful sense of how the isolation the men often felt, alongside how the women coped and tried to come to terms with their lives after - their own theories of what happened and the letters shared between the women as their friendships shattered.

There's so much going on within each chapter and revelation. I loved the way the story came back to life as the mystery was looked into by a writer who wanted to try and get to the bottom of it all. Old wounds are reopened and feelings have to be confronted.

A wonderfully evocative book that has a little bit of every genre in it and I adored every single second of it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE SWEETNESS OF WATER by NATHAN HARRIS

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.
 

PUBLISHED BY TINDER PRESS

PUBLICATION DATE - 15TH JUNE 2021


MY REVIEW

This is a beautifully written, understated story that looks into the complexities of human relationships, especially at the time in America when the Civil War had just ended so many people were dealing with loss and a new way of life.

It centres around 2 brothers and their relationship with George, a local man who shuns most human contact and finds it difficult to express his emotions. But the moment he finds these brothers on his land, he seems to connect with them and finds it easier to open up to them than his own wife.

His relationship with these 2 brothers angers many of the locals who find it strange and seems to antagonise many. With his wife on board for his vision for his land, we get to explore a number of relationships and the intricacies that come with them - friends, family, lovers.. - and it's the exploration of the male side of things that I really enjoyed reading about. How awkward someone can be with someone so close, yet so open and free with a 'stranger'.

With resistance from the locals to his plans, George and his family find themselves being shunned because of their relationship with the brothers, and what followed is a story that's full of heartbreak, hope, determination and fight.

The brothers share an extraordinary bond which makes their scenes even more touching, and makes some of the situations they find themselves in even more heartwrenching as things unfold. I loved the style of writing throughout, the action builds up slowly which allows you to connect more to each character and giving a number of characters their own voice allowed you to see more of the picture and understand the times.

A staggering debut and a story that stays with you.

★★★★★

My thanks to amazon vine for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.


Saturday, 10 April 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 10th April 2021

 


Hello! Happy Saturday! We made it through another week - well done us!!  There has also been chocolate this week thanks to Easter - always makes the world a better place!

On the book front, things are slowing down! I've hit a bit of a reading slump - finished 2 books this week, had 1 bit of bookpost and just 1 new addition over at Netgalley.  I'm sure this slump will pass!

Here's my look back...

BOOKS FINISHED






BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley...

THE DREAM WEAVERS by BARBARA ERSKINE
out April 15th 2021

The new gripping historical novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Lady of Hay.

A nest of vipers, they called us. But that is not how it was.

Mercia, 775 AD. In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with ruthless ambition. Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country. Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three. But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

2021. Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about Anglo-Saxon King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. Calling in local expert Bea to identify the issue, Simon hopes to get back some peace – but soon Bea is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever-stronger in its desire for revenge.

And when Simon’s daughter disappears, centuries of secrets and resentment begin to tumble out…

An epic tale of deceit, revenge and exile from the queen of timeslip historical fiction.

Time is running out as the past and present collide…


And in the post, I received this from Amazon Vine for review...

THREE WEDDINGS AND A PROPOSAL by SHEILA O'FLANAGAN
out 20th May 2021

At the first wedding, there's a shock

The second wedding is unexpected

By the third, Delphie thinks nothing could surprise her. But she's wrong . . .

Delphie is enjoying her brother's wedding. Her surprise last-minute Plus One has stunned her family - and it's also stopped any of them asking again why she's still single. But when she sees all the missed calls that evening, she knows it can't be good news. And she's right.

Delphie has been living her best life, loving her job, her friends, her no-strings relationships and her dream house by the sea. Now she has to question everything she believed about who she is and what she wants. Is her mum right - is it time to settle down? Or does she want to keep on trying to have it all?

Each wedding of a glorious summer brings a new surprise. And as everything Delphie thought she had is threatened, she has the chance to reshape her future . . .


CURRENTLY READING





HAPPY READING!!