The Secrets of Hawthorn Place by Jenni Keer: Extract

Today, I have something different to share; an extract from Jenni Keer’s new release, The Secrets of Hawthorn Place and a giveaway. I love Jenni Keer’s previous novels and can’t wait to discover more about this one

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place by Jenni Keer

Title: The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

Author: Jenni Keer

Publisher: Headline Accent

Genre: Historical, dual timeline

Release Date: 14th Oct 2021

Purchase:https://bit.ly/HawthornSecrets

Blurb

Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always. When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.

But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.

Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason. What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…

Extract

So now we’ve been tempted by the blurb, I’m excited to share an extract from The Secrets of Hawthorn Place to whet readers’ appetites where Percy Gladwell, a well-respected Arts and Crafts architect, is meeting the husband of his new client for the first time. He’d previously been totally bewitched by Violet Marston, is frustrated by her indifference towards him, and curious about the man she married. The year is 1894.

Prior to Edward’s appointment, I had made discreet enquiries about him, curious to know of his background. Perhaps, if I am honest, keen to investigate Mrs Marston’s choice of husband – if indeed there had been any choice in the matter.

Edward had made his fortune on the railways – not the building of the lines, for that was largely complete – but had instead inherited a large engineering works and was involved in the ongoing supply and repairing of rolling stock. The company had been established by his father, but in the decade since his death Edward had overseen substantial company growth. It was ironic to me that he spoke of supporting the craftsmen of this country when it was his livelihood that had gone some way to destroying it.

As international trade routes expanded and the railways dissected our land, goods were shipped far and wide in journey times that had previously been unthinkable. The building of factories continued, and mechanisation replaced honest working men on the fields and in the towns. Inevitably, we had witnessed a decline in quality of goods and working conditions, and a growing number of us refused to embrace these changes. Was it right that Welsh roof slate tiles should be used in areas where they did not belong? That fittings could be mass-produced in factories but resulted in inferior quality products? Or, conversely, items too perfect, so that each one produced was identical to the one before?

Right or not, being a part of our industrial advancement had enabled this wealthy young man to secure the hand of the enchanting Mrs Marston, but I doubted it was a love match. Edward’s wealth was new money. His family name was not recorded in the annals of history. The marriage to Violet Marston brought legitimacy, and now he wished to design a country house because it was what those of his new-found status did.

‘You have come to the right man, Mr Marston. Rest assured, I will be commissioning locally sourced, handmade items, from the timber and brick of construction, to the hinges and latches on every door. But be aware such items come at a price.’

He waved an indifferent hand in my direction, as another stream of smoke was expelled from his lips.

‘Money, while not in limitless supply, is not my greatest concern. It is of the utmost importance Violet is happy with this house. She will be persuaded you are the best man for the job. My wife has an artistic soul and great sympathy for your movement, even though she was not as taken as me with the York house,’ he continued. ‘She thought it somewhat queer, preferring to spend her time roaming the grounds. But then it has always been hard to please our Violet.’ He rolled his eyes and puffed at his pipe.

There was a stab to my heart as he talked of Mrs Marston’s indifference. Not that this young woman was in any way qualified to judge my skills as an architect, but I was disappointed she found me lacking.

‘My wife and I are very different people,’ he said. ‘I am up at five every morning, restless and pacing. She rises at nine. Whilst I am constantly seeking meaningful pursuits and lively social engagements, she is sedentary, and seeks out nature, content to sit staring out to sea, or while away an hour dead-heading her precious flowers. The land we have secured will suit her well. She longs to be near her mother and brothers, and has fond memories of her summers along those shores as a child. Two years residing in London with me has only accentuated those feelings. I am city and she is country and coast.’

His pipe died and he removed it from his mouth, tamped it down and lit it once more, a fresh billowing of smoke surrounding his face. I stifled an involuntary cough.

‘I have already appraised myself of your portfolio. The estate cottages at Bardenfield, the alterations made to the Steepleford parish church, and a growing collection of small country houses. Even my wife could not deny you made an excellent job of Steepleford; the west tower was a triumph. In your work, I see a simplicity and functionality that I find pleasing, yet an ability to embrace the imagination, which will doubtless appeal to the whimsy of my wife. I am more than satisfied and wish to go ahead with the project.’

‘In that case, my first request would be to visit the plot to assess the landscape and amenities. I will consult my secretary and we can arrange a date that is convenient to yourself. We can then discuss function and aesthetics.’

‘You misunderstand me, dear fellow. I will have very little to do with design and planning. I merely intend to provide the funds. I am a busy man, Mr Gladwell, and my business interests keep me in London. This house will be the primary residence of my wife, so it is she who must be consulted at every stage.’

I nodded my understanding and cannot deny my heart gave a tiny leap at the thought of further contact with the beautiful Mrs Marston…

What will happen when Violet is forced to work with Percy? And will they find common ground over the house design? I hope readers are curious to read more about their highly unusual love story, and see how present day Molly uncovers their startling secret, as well as finding love in her own life.

Author Biography

Photo of Jenni Keer author
Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.

Social Media Links –

FB Jenni Keer Writer

Twitter @JenniKeer

Instagram jennikeer

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)

Giveaway prizes

For your chance to win a signed copy of The Secrets of Hawthorn Place, click here.*

Good Luck!

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and Jenni Keer for sharing an extract. I have my copy waiting on my Kindle for me to catch up with a couple more books before I snuggle under the duvet with it. Watch this space for a review.

Love

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Today I’m reviewing something different but could be the answer to a book lover’s prayers – the Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour. If you are like me you may record your books read on Goodreads or rely on memory to remember which books you’ve read and want to read. This book promises an alternative. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Cover for Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour
Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Title: Book Review Log Book

Author: Jennifer Gilmour

Genre: Non-fiction, book gift

Release Date: 14th July 2021

Purchase: mybook.to/bookreview

Blurb

Keep a track of your reading progress and your book reviews in one place:

  • Reading Goals
  • To Be Read List
  • Book Release Dates
  • Word Cloud
  • Your Reviews
  • Your Notes

My Thoughts

This book is a book blogger’s dream, especially for one as disorganised as me, but it is also a joy to use as a book lover. With a clear format, it does exactly what the blurb says and more. On each book review page, there is a space to record your favourite quotes from the current book, write a review, and add the general information about it. There is even a place to stick an image of the book cover, which is a pleasant touch. It is the extra bits I love because Jennifer Gilmour has thought of everything a book lover may want, including a place to jot down inspiring words (perfect for writers), a planner for future book releases and a to-be-read list in the form of a book shelf allowing you to be creative. There are also plenty of pages to add your own notes and to customise it to your heart’s content.

This log is highly accessible, made with consideration and love. I love using it. It provides a sense of satisfaction that is lacking in the digital places such as Goodreads. I can see myself ordering another copy once I’ve reached my 100 books.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a wonderful book to record books read and everything related to reading. It would make an ideal gift for a book worm or a useful companion for a book blogger thanks to its clear layout, space to record for the important things and the chances to customise it so it can become an individual record of books you loved and disliked.

Author Biography

Author Jennifer Gilmour
Author Jennifer Gilmour

Jennifer Gilmour is an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships, using her own experiences of domestic abuse as a catalyst to bring awareness and to help others. Jennifer has published two publications, Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings which have both been Amazon Best Sellers and received awards. Jennifer speaks at events across the UK and continues to raise awareness through her blog posts, public speaking, radio interviews and social media.

Most Informative Blogger Award 2018 (Bloggers Bash Annual Awards)
UK & European Award for using Social Media for Good 2019 (Social Day: Social Media Marketing Awards)

Jennifer says: “Together we are Louder”.

Social Media Links –

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com  

Facebook; www.facebook.com/JenLGilmour

Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour  

Instagram; www.instagram.com/JenLGilmour  

Amazon author profile; http://author.to/jennifergilmour  

Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour  

Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

I usually adore Victoria Connelly’s novels and after reading the first one in this series, I was excited to read the next instalment, High Blue Sky. Thanks Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy to read so I could give my unbiased review.

Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Book Cover for High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly
High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Title: High Blue Sky (2nd book in the House in the Clouds series)

Author: Victoria Connelly

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: 5th October 2021

Purchase:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Blue-House-Clouds-Book-ebook/dp/B096KDLB6X

US – https://www.amazon.com/High-Blue-House-Clouds-Book-ebook/dp/B096KDLB6X

Blurb

What would you sacrifice to be with the person you love?

Summer has arrived and it’s over a year since strangers Abigail and Edward bought Winfield Hall at auction and restored it together. Now, two new tenants are about to join them at their beautiful Georgian home.

Workaholic Harry Freeman has forgotten what it is to relax so when he meets healer, Aura Arden, and learns to meditate with her, he can’t believe how good he feels and he soon finds himself falling for her. But, with her bare feet and crystal beads, Aura’s not a big hit with Harry’s old-fashioned parents, and he finds himself torn between the people he loves most in the world.

It isn’t just Harry and Aura finding love. Summer has woven its spell over Edward and his brother Oscar, and both are making a play for Abi. But Abi isn’t happy at having to choose between these two very different men and, when Oscar’s behavior spirals out of control, she realizes that some decisions can have devastating consequences.

High Blue Sky is the second novel in the heart-warming trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

My Thoughts

This was a return to the idyllic location of Winfield Hall in Sussex to catch up with the owners, Edward and Abi. While it continued to follow the slow burn will they/won’t they theme between this pair and revealing more about the relationships they have with their respective siblings, the main focus was the newest residents, Harry and Aura. Harry is a workaholic feeling the stress of overwork and the expected high standards of his family and Aura is the opposite with her free-thinking attitude and love of crystals. It wasn’t long before the adage of opposite attracts came true and the chemistry between the two bloomed.

Victoria Connelly is the queen of immersive sensory descriptions as I discovered in the Book Lovers Series, and she used this in the scenes with Aura and her crystals. I found myself breathing in time with the characters as Aura instructed Harry on meditation and her calming influence leapt off the page. I imagine the audiobook would be even better for this, and it rekindled my fascination with the crystals I have dotted about my room. Her shared interests with me made her an easy character to like and though she may have come across as dreamy and hippy like, her backstory provided an emotional read about new beginnings, and transformations.

The conclusion made my heart race and left me eager to read the next one. It is going to feel a long wait.

Would I recommend?

So far I haven’t read a novel by this author I have not loved and all of them belong on my forever shelf. This one did not disappoint. Though it could be read as a standalone, the reader would gain more by reading the first one, The House in the Clouds, beforehand. With delightful characters, exquisite storytelling and a stunning location, these books never fail to be a joy to read and pure escapism for sunny days or cuddling under the duvet with your favourite beverage.

Author Biography

Photo of Victoria Connelly
Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly lives in a 500-year old thatched cottage in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, The Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

 Social Media Links –

www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

https://www.instagram.com/victoriaconnellyauthor/

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

https://www.facebook.com/victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy
https://www.twitter.com/victoriadarcy

Other blogs on this tour

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

Book Review: The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

Title: The Daughter’s Choice

Author: S.D Robertson

Publisher: Avon

Genre: General fiction, woman’s fiction

Release Date: 30th Sept 2021

Purchase: smarturl.it/TheDaughtersChoiceEB

Blurb

Is her whole life built on a lie?

Rose has always been close to her father. Her mother died soon after she was born, so it’s been just the two of them for as long as she can remember.

But a chance encounter days before she’s due to get married leaves Rose questioning everything she has ever known.

The man she trusts most in the world has been keeping a secret from her.

And the truth will leave her with an impossible choice…

My Thoughts

Rose is on a pampering weekend before her wedding to her childhood sweetheart when she befriends a stranger, Cassie. While Rose believes this is a spontaneous meeting and appreciates the fledgling friendship, Cassie and the reader know differently, giving this story the tension needed to keep my attention and desire to keep turning the page. Without the endless questions in my mind of Cassie’s motive and clue searching, it would have been easy to pass the beginning of this novel which focuses on Rose’s life as something I had read before where a girl has a close relationship with her father and is set to marry. But that insight and the anticipation of Rose’s life imploding made this story different and highly readable.

In contrast to Rose’s tale, Cassie’s life was full of adventure, freedom and secrets. I became immersed in her world despite not trusting her narration. Her recollections of places she’d visited and S. D Robertson’s ability to draw me in to these locations made me love the globetrotting experience and added extra places on my must-see places wishlist.

When secrets were revealed and further twists ensued, family loyalty was put under pressure and choices needed to be made. I enjoyed seeing all aspects of the truth and the satisfying conclusion.

Would I recommend?

This is the first book by S.D Robertson and am tempted to add his back catalogue to my TBR list based on the strength of this read. It’s an emotional, and intriguing novel that shows the depth of relationships in families and the consequences of decisions made. If you love family dramas with tension and twists, this is one to try.

Author Biography

Photo of S.D Robertson
S.D Robertson

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Book Review: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Hello October! Autumn is here with winds, rain and falling leaves so what better time to share my review for Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano.

Book Review: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Title: Annie’s Autumn Escape

Author: Debbie Viggiano

Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Ltd

Genre: Woman’s fiction, Romance

Release Date: 1st October 2021

Blurb

Annie’s big birthday is looming.  Sixty!  She feels half that age, even if the mirror tells her otherwise.  Hubby Keith promises her a birthday to remember, and doesn’t let her down, but packing his suitcase to shack up with a forty-something isn’t quite the memory Annie wants to make.  Suddenly she’s single and – as an empty nester – very, very alone.  The Bucket List she and Keith had promised to work their way through is but a dream, until besties Bella and Caz rally around Annie and whisk her away for a trip that will be remembered for ever. Dubai. But it’s not all skyscrapers, bling, sand dunes and sheiks. As the sun sinks over the horizon of Jumeirah Beach… might there also be love?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annies-Autumn-Escape-laugh-out-loud-romantic-ebook/dp/B09BNWKKP3/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Annies-Autumn-Escape-laugh-out-loud-romantic-ebook/dp/B09BNWKKP3/

My Thoughts

Eat your heart out Shirley Valentine. There is a new holiday romance to love and remember. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading this, but the opening chapter’s clever observations of a long marriage tugged me into Annie’s life. It was great to see an older protagonist and though I’m only in my forties her menopausal rage, hot flushes and general clumsiness was highly relatable and provided many Brigit Jones-esque laughs, chuckles and drama in this story of self-discovery and escapism after a marriage breakdown.

Dubai must be the go to location at the moment as it’s the third book I’ve read this year using this setting, but I had not seen it presented in this light with the bling, touristy spots and over the top destinations. I wanted to go there to experience the luxury, the camels and the sunsets like the trio of friends and, of course, the potential love interest Mr Butler.

All the characters were well developed and relatable with realistic dialogue and banter. The trio of friends highlighted the need for friendships outside a marriage for support in times of need and when complications are thrown your way. The dementia storyline was tackled with care and showed the surreal nature of the disease and the chuckles it can provide alongside the heartache.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a great start to this autumnal season. It’s an enjoyable romp with a swoonsome hero, a stunning and blingy location, and full of humour adding to the chemistry in this second chance romance. Grab a copy when you need to escape these cooler and darker evenings.

Author Biography

Photo of author Debbie Viggiano
Debbie Viggiano

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate.
Tweet @DebbieViggiano or follow her on Facebook!

Social Media Links

TWITTER:   @DebbieViggiano

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/debbie.viggiano.5/

INSTAGRAM: debbieviggiano

WEBSITE: www.debbieviggiano.co.uk

Other blogs on this tour

Dystonia Around the World readathon update:

The challenge is over with the end of Dystonia Awareness Month but 14 books were read and one I had to give up on. I wanted to read more but it seems dystonia has robbed me of my ability to read a book at least a day. You can support Dystonia UK and view my challenge here. Thank you all who supported me and shared/retweeted posts all month. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Today I’m excited to share my review for Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar. I feel head over heels in love with The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday so jumped at the opportunity to get a sneaky read of this one. Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.

Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Title: Matchmaking at Port Willow (Port Willow Bay book 2)

Author: Kiley Dunbar

Publisher: Hera

Genre: Romance, women’s fiction

Release Date: 16th Sept 2021

Purchase links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3yjUyMO

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36678DF

Apple: https://apple.co/36aBHI5

Blurb

Beatrice Halliday has been working hard at the Princess and The Pea Inn, loved up with landlord Atholl and enjoying planning events for the locals. But at Christmas there’s a kick – as she realises she’s expecting.

Despite being fearful of the future, Beatrice is graced with a distraction: the prospects of helping a romance flourish when a married couple spend their first child-free holiday at the Inn – and it becomes clear they need some help rediscovering each other. In true Beatrice fashion, she cant help meddling.

Featuring the story of a first love, a new family, a marriage in crisis, and an octogenarian love affair, you’ll fall head over heels for this heart-warming rom-com.

My Thoughts

This is the second in the Port Willow Bay series and though it can be read as a standalone as I did, I believe you would gain a greater experience with reading the first one, Summer at Highland Coral Beach and knowing the backstory of Beatrice and Atholl.

The primary focus of this book is the continuation of the love between Beatrice and Atholl, Beatrice’s matchmaking and Nina who, after losing everything in one swoop, is sent to Scotland to prove herself to her boss. The contrast between the hustle of New York and the cosiness of the Highlands worked well and drew me into the story. I fell in love with Atholl so have moved up his story in my TBR; he knows just what to say in a time of crisis and supportive. Their story is emotional and uplifting.

With a large cast of characters, superb descriptions, especially why Burns’ night is celebrated, the Kiley Dunbar magic brought the village and Inn to life, so rather than being a spectator I felt like a friend popping by to catch up with the news. The culture of Scotland shines through this lyrical ode to the Highlands and traditional crafts. Port Willow Bay is somewhere I long to go in reality for the hospitality, crafts but most of all a stay in the Princess and the Pea room. This room is an inspiration and created a vivid image of luxury and romance.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Full of warmth, a spectacular location and a festive feel this novel is one to curl up under the duvet with and indulge in a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows – deal for this time of year when nights are drawing in.

Author Biography

Photo of Kiley Dunbar
Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).

Social Media Links


Website and newsletter: http://www.kileydunbar.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI8wM4Fmkbyg4S_XGSnfUCA

Twitter https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KileyDunbarAuthor/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Dystonia Around the World readathon update: 8 books read so far – need to read so many more and update my page. You can support Dystonia UK and my challenge here. If you do look, a huge thank you. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.

Love

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16-Sep 	Book Escapes with BabsW67 	Bookescapes.home.blog 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Library_of_lucyg 	www.Instagram.com/library_of_lucyg 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Being Anne 	www.beinganne.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	BreakfastAtShelbys 	http://breakfastatshelbys.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Bookmadjo - Mad About Books 	bookmadjo.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Instagram.com/Kirsty_Reviews_Books 	kirstyreviewsbooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Books, Life and Everything 	bookslifeandeverything.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	@theweebookworm 	https://www.instagram.com/theweebookworm/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Kelly T’s Space 	https://kellytsspace.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Books and Bindings 	http://booksandbindings.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Splashes Into Books 	http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	From Under the Duvet 	https://fromundertheduvet.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Captivated Reading 	http://www.captivatedreading.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Eatwell2015 	https://eatwell2015.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Ginger Book Geek 	https://gingerbookgeek.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	htdk2002.reads 	https://htdk2002blog.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	BetweenTheLines 	http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	This Hannah Reads 	Www.thishannahreads.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Bobs and books 	https://bobsandbooks.wixsite.com/bobsandbooks 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	mrsljgibbs 	https://www.instagram.com/mrsljgibbs/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Jav Bond Blog Tours 	https://javbondblogtours.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Love the Smell of a Book 	www.lovethesmellofabook.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Ceri's Little Blog 	https://cerislittleblog.home.blog/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Bookish Jottings 	bookishjottings.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Wrong side of forty 	https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Tizi’s Book Review 	http://tizisbookreviewmusic.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Berit Talks Books 	https://berittalksbooks.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	A Little Book Problem 	www.alittlebookproblem.co.uk 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Little Miss Book Lover 87 	https://littlemissbooklover87.wordpress.com/blog-posts/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Victoria Wilks Writes 	https://victoriawilkswrites.wordpress.com/
Other blogs on this tour

Book Review: Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cecelia Ahern novel and have several one my TBR pile, but I was excited to be invited to this tour for Freckles not only because the cover is stunning and the blurb sounded different but relatable. Scroll down to see if they lived up to my expectations.

Book Review: Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

Book cover of Freckles by Cecelia Ahern
Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Freckles

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction

Release Date: 2nd September 2021

Blurb

‘Freckles is a beautiful, hopeful book when the world needs hope most. Cecelia has written a novel about our search for our authentic selves in a crazy world. Like all her novels, it’s inspiring, life-affirming and full of insight’ CATHY KELLY


You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with…


When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city. But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long: who are
the people who made her the way she is? And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin.


Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.

My Thoughts

Freckles is unlike the other Cecelia Ahern’s novels I’ve read for its lack of the signature quirky otherworldly elements, but it grabbed me from the beginning with Allegra connecting her freckles on her arms to form constellations. This simple image connected me to her despite her character being someone who is hard to get close to initially. Feeling disconnected from everyone including her beloved father, Freckles as she is known has been hurt multiple times and keeps everyone at arms length including the reader. Her chosen career choice as a traffic warden which she loves for its rules and routine she follows with precisely was guaranteed to put a barrier between those in her new town and any relationships she may have. Freckles is a complex and authentic personality with many traits to indicate that she is neurodivergent, making her feel out of step with those around her. She says things as they are and sometimes cause offence without meaning to. As a neurotypical reader, I felt this was a good representation of a neurodivergency and gave an accurate glimpse into her world but with all books with neurodivergent characters the true test is how those with autism feel.

When she hears the quote telling her people’s personalities are made up of five people around them, she longs to meet those who will improve her lot. Her innocence in how she sees the world is refreshing and tugged at my heart especially when it leads her to situation you know she may get hurt. I felt a maternal love for her and longed to jump in and steer her in the right direction with some of the choices she makes on her pursuit to find herself and happiness. It made me reflect on my own life and pinpoint my five, while reading her emotional but uplifting journey.

All the characters around her are well developed and have interesting backstories to help push this character driven story forward. It tackles some heavy topics including self-harm and dementia in a sensitive manner.

Would I recommend?

Yes, behind this beautiful cover is a beautiful, warm and thought provoking book which may have a slow pace but it has depth and introduced me to Freckles who on her quest to find her five slipped into my heart and on to my forever shelf for a reread.

Author Biography

Photo of Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is one of the biggest selling authors to emerge in the past fifteen years, having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide in over 50 countries. Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany. Her novel PS I Love You was a New York Times bestseller and huge #1 bestseller in Ireland and the UK. In 2007, it was made into a major film starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and most recently, Cecelia wrote the sequel- Postscript which was an instant bestseller. Cecelia has written13 bestselling novels including two YA novels and a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, ROAR which is being produced by and starring Nicole Kidman. Her novels have resonated with readers everywhere through their thoughtful, unique and inspiring storytelling and have won numerous awards.


Cecelia lives in Dublin with her family. To find out more please visit www.cecelia-ahern.com


Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

A quick Dystonia Around the World challenge update, dystonia attacks and migraines have slowed down the reading but currently on book five. To find out more about the challenge click here.

Take care and happy reading!

Love

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Why not pop over to other blogs on this tour.

Hello September and my overwhelming TBR pile #dystoniaaroundtheworldchallenge

Hello September and Dystonia Awareness month. Dystonia is a neurological condition affecting the muscles causing them to spasm and twist, sometimes into impossible positions – the girl in The Exorcist is nothing compared to what dystonia can force the body to do. It has been in my life much longer than 2013 when I was finally diagnosed and affects much of my body at various times. The long wait in diagnosis for people with the condition is why September and the awareness it can bring is so important to me and why I want to take part in Dystonia UK’s Dystonia Around the World challenge.

What is Dystonia?

  • It is the 3rd most common movement disorder behind Parkinson’s and essential tremor.
  • It can affect any region of the body including the eyelids, face, torso and limbs. Some people have their voice affected.
  • It can affect one part of the body or many making it more generalised.
  • Some have dystonia from childhood but it can develop as an adult.
  • It is usually a lifelong condition with no current cure.
  • Treatment includes botox injections, medication or deep brain stimulation (DBS).

What is the Dystonia Around the World Challenge?

The aim is to join forces to collectively and virtually travel 25,000 miles from Dystonia UK’s London office around the world and back, and raising £25,000 to help raise global awareness of the condition affecting 100,000 people in the UK alone each year.

Miles can include those done physically by walking, jogging or cycling or by choosing another activity such as drawing and craft. Every 10 minutes of activity = 1 mile travelled!

My Plan

Last year, I took part in the Dystonia Around the World challenge by writing short stories for my sister blog, Kate Kenzie Writes and this year I have scratched my head trying to decide what to do until I tripped over my overwhelming TBR pile that has extended to the floor despite already filling two book trolleys – I’m going to finally read the books that have sat patiently waiting for my attention including the rereads who are calling me. With only have a handful of blog tour books to read, now is the ideal time to start. I may even be able to reduce my Netgalley online shelf that is fast becoming an encyclopaedic length. I’ll aim to post updates on my Instagram page. How many do you think I can read?

Lockdown and shielding has also meant the pounds have piled on and my mobility has suffered. With this in mind, I’m also aiming emerge from my duvet more and face the world with my walker more (despite my love-hate relationship with it) and see where that leads.

If you’d like to support my epic readathon and help fundraise for Dystonia UK, click here.

Let the readathon challenge begin!

Happy reading and stay safe

Love

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Book Review: The Woman in the Wood by M.K Hill

Autumn has arrived here in Yorkshire and the evenings are drawing in earlier now we are in September. This is the perfect time to turn to thrilling reads, and with the title The Woman in the Wood and intriguing blurb, M.K Hill’s latest novel promised to be just that. Scroll down to see if it fulfilled my expectations.

Book Review: The Woman in the Woods by M.K Hill

The Woman in the Wood by M.K Hill

Title: The Woman in the Wood

Author: M.K Hill

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 4th March 2021

Blurb

A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, funny and moving new thriller from M.K. Hill.


Three years ago, Danny ‘Abs’ Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. And then, on the night of the party, everything changed. It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering. Just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing,
presumed dead. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.


No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs’s career. So now, three years later, the celebrity who once captured the heart of millions is opening Southend’s new branch of Quidstore. And then one of Abs’s mates is murdered. Does someone know what really happened that night in Wales?


DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again –
but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished. Will the
truth set Abs free? Or bury him?

My Thoughts

The premise of this novel surrounds an ex-reality T.V star Abs, who is famous for his appearance on Laid in Essex, which is similar to a series we all know with a similar name, and what someone will do to make sure the secrets of the night a woman disappeared are never revealed. A murder of his friend triggers an investigation led by Sasha Dawson. As a central protagonist, I found her character intriguing and wanted to know more which is always good in a crime series because it meant not only did I keep turning the page to follow this investigation, I’ve added the previous book to my TBR and intend to keep an eye out for the next to see how the dynamics of her team and family relations develop with time. Abs was not an easy character to warm to, but I found it fascinating to see how he coped with his downfall from being a star and at times felt pity for him with his constant belief he could return to stardom. It is through his eyes we discover what happened in the past with his friends in the woods; the deeper I got into the mystery, the more I needed to know who did it and what exactly they did. I didn’t get much sleep when the pace picked up, events turned darker and I headed to the conclusion which I would never have guessed.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a strong, dark crime novel with many twists, well-developed characters and personalities throughout using the desire for fame as a backdrop.  Sasha Dawson is a detective to follow and I could easily see this adapted to television.

Author Biography

M.K Hill

Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time writer.
The first novel in the Sasha Dawson series, The Bad Place, was described as ‘everything a police procedural should be’ by The Times, who also named it as their Crime Book of the Month. He lives in London.

Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

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Other blogs on the tour

Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Finally, I’m able to share the review for The Beach Read Club by Kathryn Freeman I was supposed to post a couple of weeks ago before a Kindle hiccup and life took over. With a bright, cheery cover it promised what the title suggests – a book suitable for reading on a sun lounger by the pool or on the beach. Scroll down to see if it lived up to its expectations.

Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Title: The Beach Reads Book Club

Author: Kathryn Freeman

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: RomCom

Release Date: 30th June 2021

Purchase Links:

UK AMAZON https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0931Y5W12 US AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0931Y5W12

BLURB

Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…

When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!

The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.

If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.

A love letter to chicklit, romance, romcoms, whatever you want to call them!

My Thoughts

I loved the premise of this novel, which focused on the friendships formed in a break away book group, where instead of the highbrow literature of the primary group, books read for fun are up for discussion. Lottie, the protagonist, was a relatable, friendly and as a book lover, I found an instant connection with her, especially because like me she owned a lovable and sometimes destructive dog.

The chemistry between her and the bookshop owner, Matthew, sizzled from the start and it was a joy to see the spark grow and progress through the upcoming chapters. Each chapter covered the particular book the group was reading, so not only did I enjoy this story, my TBR pile has grown too.

It is the type of book club I would love to join and the characters are the people I would love to spend time with, so this novel was like being surrounded by friends and gave the warm hug of friendship as I read it.

Would I recommend?

Yes, yes, yes! If you are a lover of romcoms and uplifting summer reads this is one to pack in your suitcase for your holidays or to read while soaking up the British weather in the garden or duvet, depending on whether the sun is shining or it’s chucking it down outside. Full of chuckles, romantic chemistry and feel good friendships this is one for my forever shelf so I can return to it again and again. It’s best read with gin or tea and cake, depending on the time of day.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Kathryn Freeman

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero. 

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to the blog tour which introduced me to this book. It was just what I needed to read.

Love

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