A Vicarage Christmas Review and Giveaway

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A Vicarage Christmas Summary

Series: The Holley Sisters of Thornthwaite Bk 1

Genre: Women’s fiction/romance

Release Date: October 18, 2017

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy, chaotic bustle of the busy vicarage.

When she finished school Anna left for Manchester and tried to avoid coming back home and the well-meaning nosiness being a Holley sister in a small village like Thornthwaite meant… but when her father says he has an important announcement to make, she’s drawn back home for the happy chaos of a vicarage Christmas.

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, Anna heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

 

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

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My Review

This was a lovely book for Christmastime. Anna has been avoiding coming back home to Thornewaite, where her father is the vicar. She doesn’t like all the attention she gets from the small village because of who her father is nor the memories it brings back of her deceased brother. Anna runs out her first night at home and meets a man at a pub. She ends up spilling the truth about how she feels about her family. The next day, she discovers who this man is and feels horrified. 

There was so much to love about this heartwarming story. Anna has a close and loving family, even if she doesn’t always realize it. The man she meets at the pub, Simon, is sweet and patient. Anna is a very realistic and relatable character with her social anxiety challenges. I believe the series is going to do a book about each sister and I’m excited for that. Each one is at a very different point in their life at the end of this book. If you’re looking for a heartwarming read, I would highly recommend this book. 

About the Author

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Kate Hewitt is the author of over 60 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling an emotionally compelling story. An American ex-pat, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateHewittAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katehewitt1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt

Blog: https://www.katehewitt.blogspot.co.uk

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Not Thomas

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Not Thomas

Author: Sara Gethin


Genre: Fiction

Release Date: 15th June 2017

Publisher: Honno Press

I am so excited to be sharing a book that is right up my alley! If you love Cathy Glass and Casey Watson, like I do, you will love this book! Make sure to scroll down all the way to the bottom for the giveaway!

Summary

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.

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My Review

This book was written from Tomos’s position, in a very similar style to the book Room, which I also loved. Gethin uses this style to slowly reveal more and more details about Tomos’s situation. Although this book is not a thriller, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Although it’s not a mystery, it keeps you guessing. Although it’s fiction, it depicts a situation which could very well be true.

This story will certainly break your heart at times. In the middle, I kept wondering, “When will he be saved? When will his life get better?” Tomos does have a number of redeeming characters in his life, but none can shield him from the realities of home. As you watch the characters try to help Tomos, it sometimes results in more harm and brings up a big question of the right thing to do in this situation. Tomos’s mother could certainly be seen as a villain in this story, but it is written in such a way that the reader has compassion for her and can empathize with her, despite her behavior. This was a very well-written and engaging story that I would recommend to fans of Room, Cathy Glass, and Casey Watson.

BUY LINKS

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983625

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Thomas-Sara-Gethin/dp/1909983624/

https://wordery.com/not-thomas-sara-gethin-9781909983625

Excerpt

The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.

I’ve been waiting a long time.

‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.

‘Thomas, Thomas.’

I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s

not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.

She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.

‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’

I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.

She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.

‘Thomas.’

That is not my name.

The Author

Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaraGethinWriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgethinwriter

Blog: www.saragethin.com

Website: www.saragethin.com

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*Content and images provided to me as part of the book tour. I was given a copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it.*

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The Truth About Gemma Grey Review and Giveaway

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The Truth About Gemma Grey Summary

Life isn’t working out quite as Gemma had planned. Her breakthrough job turns out to involve writing clickbait articles about cats. Her boyfriend Jack is off travelling the world with his glamorous BFF and her mum’s social life puts Gemma’s own to shame.

Then, after a late-night online rant, Gemma’s YouTube channel goes viral and everything changes.

Suddenly, she’s living the dream – only it’s not turning out entirely as she imagined.

Gemma realises she’ll have to choose between fame, real love and being true to herself – because she can’t have it all. Or can she?

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My Review

Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this book! 5 out of 5 chickadees singing! Gemma is such a sweet and relatable main character. I feel like so many young women have felt the way that she does at points throughout the book. This book is also hilarious. Gemma gets herself into some crazy situations and has a funny “inner voice.”  Just reading about the lives of Youtube stars had me feeling incredulous. I learned SO MUCH about people who make a living vlogging. That brings up another great thing about this book- it’s very “of the moment.” From clickbait articles to ring lights, RIGHT NOW is the perfect time to read this book. It revealed a side of the internet I had never paid much attention to before. This book is a great example of fun chick lit. I highly recommend it!

Important Links

Buy the books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071KKJ5JL

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KKJ5JL/

Meet the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SophieRanald/

Twitter: @sophieranald

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7233995.Sophie_Ranald

Website: https://www.sophieranald.com

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*I was given a copy of this book, content, and images as part of the book tour. I reviewed this book voluntarily and honestly, unlike some of the vloggers in Gemma Grey’s world.*

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336 Hours Book Tour

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We are excited to be featuring the awesome book, 336 Hours, today! Scroll down for my review of this relatable, heartwarming, yet funny, story! At the bottom of this post, you can enter a giveaway to win the book for FREE!

336 Hours

By Rachel Cathan

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

336 Hours cover

My Review

I was given this book as part of a book tour and am voluntarily reviewing it. I thought that this book was amazingly relatable. It details the main character’s struggles with the 336 hours before she discovers if her third IVF treatment has been successful. She and her “DH” (dear husband) have decided this is the final time they will attempt IVF. She details the physical challenges, but more importantly, the emotional ones. What will she do if this treatment isn’t successful? She contemplated a childfree life of travel and wealth. Or will she foster or adopt? If this test is negative, will she really be able to stop trying for a baby?

This book had a few hilarious “dry humor” types of scenes with the physical symptoms that infertility treatment cause. I nearly laughed aloud when she felt so gaseous but couldn’t fart. Brilliant writing about an “improper” topic.

I love books like this that delve into emotional struggles on tough, real-life situations. I think this book is a must-read for anyone struggling with infertility. I also think that people who haven’t struggled with infertility could gain an amazing amount of empathy from reading this story, especially learning what not to say to someone who is childfree. Overall, this is a heartfelt book with the right amount of humor.

Links and Author Info

BUY LINK

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

 

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

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RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

 

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

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One Starry Night Book Tour

OneStarryNightTourBanner 1One Starry Night

By: Tilly Tennant

Genre: Chick lit

Release Date: 30th March 2016

Publisher:  Lawsome Books

One Starry Night is the fourth and final part of the Once Upon a Winter series:

They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and Hannah has never really understood the true meaning of that until now. With Gina’s husband misbehaving, bad news for Mitchell that only Hannah can break and Ross under attack, things seem to be falling apart around her, and how is she supposed to be the rock everyone else needs when she can’t even get her own life in order? It’s going to take a special kind of courage to see this dawn break, but when it does it might just be all the brighter for it. The trouble is, Hannah’s not sure she can be that strong…

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My Review

I received this book as part of a book tour. Finally, we get to read the conclusion to the Once Upon A Winter’s Night series! In the last book, Mitchell got some answers about what happened to leave him staggering in the snow on Christmas Day. However, Hannah believes there is even more to the story and takes it upon herself to do some investigations, with the help of her sister, Gina. Gina has worries of her own, knowing that she and Ross need to come clean about their relationship to his family. 

The series was tied up nicely in this book with all questions answered. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of chick lit and romance! It had very interesting, likeable characters. The pace of the stories was good and I like that they were broken up into short, quick novellas. Overall, this was a very cute series with a satisfying ending.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

website: www.tillytennant.com

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*Photos and content given to me as part of the book tour*

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