blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: These Streets – Luan Goldie

Jess is a single mother to two teenage children, and although life can be tough she’s just about keeping things together. But when her landlord asks her to move on, so he can sell the house they’re living in without warning, Jess’s worries take on a whole new meaning. As Jess struggles to regain her footing, cracks begin to appear in other areas of her life, and suddenly she feels she’s failing at everything. Her daughter Hazel is becoming more and more distant, her son Jacob is struggling to find where he fits in the world, and the menacing spectre of Jess’s older brother, someone she cut out of her life years ago, begins to make his presence felt again.

Jess knows she’s the only one who can keep her family together, but how can she keep going when life keeps beating her back?

Set on the streets of East London, These Streets is a searing and powerful novel that explores how we are meant to find our place in a world that is designed for only the privileged to succeed. Beautiful and honest, it is an essential story about living in Britain today.

My thoughts: this was a really interesting slice of life in East London. As rent prices soar, Jess finds herself priced out of the area she grew up in, where her elderly father still lives, where her kids go to school. Something that’s all too common in London in 2022.

The things Jess is facing – job loss, homelessness, an aging parent, struggles with her teenage children, are sadly all too familiar but Luan Goldie makes these mounting troubles not only relatable but empathetic and highly readable. I liked Jess and Wolf, I liked Ben and his dog Harold, I liked Jacob, and even Hazel. I saw so many people I know in the family and their struggles.

Contemporary fiction holds a mirror up to life in many ways and this intelligent and well written novel deserves a wide audience, and maybe someone in power might read it and finally do something about the mess we’re in.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Tasting Sunlight – Ewald Arenz, translated by Rachel Ward

Teenager Sally has just run away from a clinic where she is to be treated for anorexia. She’s furious with everything and everyone, and wants to be left in peace. Liss is in her forties, living alone on a large farm that she runs single­handedly. She has little contact with the outside world, and no need for other people.

From their first meeting, Sally realises that Liss isn’t like other adults; she expects nothing of Sally and simply accepts who she is, offering her a bed for the night with no questions asked.

The first night lengthens into weeks as Sally starts to find pleasure in working with the bees, feeding the chickens, and harvesting potatoes. Eventually an unlikely friendship develops and these two damaged women slowly open up – connecting to each other, reconnecting with themselves, and facing the darkness in their pasts through their shared work on the land

Ewald Arenz was born in Nurnberg in 1965, where he now teaches. He has won various national and regional awards for literature; among them the Bavarian State Prize for Literature and the great Nuremberg Prize for Literature. One of seven children, he enjoys nature, woodturning, biking, swimming, and drinking tea. He lives with his family in Germany. #TastingSunlight #JubilantJune @EwaldArenz

My thoughts: this is a rather strange but beautiful love story. Sally runs away from the mental health unit her parents have sent her to, and finds shelter on Liss’ family farm. Both women are wounded and lonely, together they slowly start to heal.

But Sally’s parents and the authorities are looking for her, and in finding her they drag up Liss’ sad, painful past. This time Sally will be the one helping Liss recover and move on. Their bond is fragile, and the farm is full of complicated memories, but among the pear trees and vines, there is the gentle hope for the future.

Moving, tender and bittersweet, I was swept up into the world Liss and Sally create for themselves as they harvest the fruit and go about their daily chores. The outside world brings them pain so they seek to hide from it. Something I think we can all relate to at times.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Who Do You Think You Are Maggie Pink? –

Maggie Pink is a lot of things to a lot of people, but does she know who she really is?
Maggie is a mother to a stroppy teenager, a wife to a befuddled husband, and a daughter to two very different women. She has always known she’s adopted, but has she ever understood what that means? Not really.
Following the death of her mother, Maggie finally feels able to go in search of her birth mother Morag, and heads to the Highlands of Scotland with her disgruntled daughter Roxie in tow, leaving her crumbling marriage to worry about another day.
The family reunion is bittersweet, but everything is blown wide open when Roxie unearths Morag’s explosive teenage diaries. Why did Morag give Maggie away? What really happened all those years
ago, and how have the echoes of the past resounded through the generations, like ripples in a puddle?
And when all the secrets and promises are out in the open, will Maggie finally have an answer to the question – who do you think you are Maggie Pink?
Purchase


Janet Hoggarth is the number one bestselling author of The Single Mums’ Mansion and the highly successful Single Mums’ subsequent series. She has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, a
children’s book editor, a children’s author, and as a DJ (under the name of Whitney and Britney!).
She lives with her family in East Dulwich, London. Her first book for Boldwood will be published in 2022.

Facebook Twitter Instagram Newsletter Sign Up Bookbub

My thoughts: this was a bittersweet story about family, history repeating itself, and the different ways we express love. Maggie travels to Scotland to learn about her late birth mother – Morag, teenage daughter in tow and discovers a whole life she never lived.

Her aunt Fiona and Morag’s friend Issy bring her mother back to life with their memories and Morag’s own teenage diaries. Which reveal several other kettles of fish. Intergenerational trauma and secrets are revealed as Maggie gets to know the family she didn’t have and Roxie comes to see her own parents in a different light too.

Heartwarming and also very sad in places, this is a powerful and moving book about mothers, daughters and why we all need to communicate better.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Daisy’s French Farmhouse – Lorraine Wilson

Fly to France for the perfect summer getaway –without leaving your house!

This heartwarming, feel good read is perfect for fans of Lucy Coleman and Jo Thomas.
Escape to heaven…
Daisy has never been lucky in love, and when her love life implodes—again—she flees to France. A summer in the sun helping out at her friend Poppy’s guesthouse is the perfect way to put unsuitable men behind her!
When Daisy finds herself dog sitting for two loveable rescues they quickly wind their way into Daisy’s heart. The trouble is so does their owner – enigmatic widower and bookseller Anton! But she didn’t come to France fall for another unattainable man…
Can they honour the past and take a chance on the future?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a division of HarperCollins – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings.
She splits her time between the South of France and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.
Amazon Facebook Twitter Website

Giveaway to Win a L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set (Open UK)
L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Collection travel set containing:
• 50ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Shower Gel
• 50ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Body Milk
• 100g Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Scented Soap
• 30ml Herbae par L’OCCITANE Clary Sage Hand Cream
• in a L’OCCITANE cosmetic bag

My thoughts: this was a really enjoyable, summery book about starting over and it has plenty of canine chums in it and if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know any book with a pet or six in it automatically is even better.

Daisy heads to the sunny South of France after a romantic entanglement goes wrong, to stay with her friend Poppy at the guesthouse she runs. While there she starts a dog walking business and meets romantic academic and widower Anton, and his dogs Pickle and Squeaker. As his dog walker, she’s around his home a lot and slowly they begin to fall in love. It’s a very sweet love story, with some steamy moments too, but the best bit is all the dogs as Poppy has several and her colleague JoJo has one very cheeky pooch as well.

I enjoyed this a lot, perfect sort of book for sunny days dreaming of a holiday.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. 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.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Little Hotel in Cornwall – Laura Briggs

All eight novellas in the UK bestselling series A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL are now available in one collection!

Follow aspiring young author Maisie Clark as she stumbles into a role as a maid in the
idyllic hotel by the sea, where there’s never a dull moment, from her quest to track down a reclusive English novelist, to her brush with jewel thieves and a whirlwind trip through Paris and London to name a few. All the while, she finds herself falling for the handsome and enigmatic groundskeeper Sidney Daniels. Could the key to unlocking her dreams be right in front of her?
This collection contains A Little Hotel in Cornwall, A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores, Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise, A Train from Penzance to Paris, A Cornish
Daisy’s Kiss, A Stargazy Night Sky, and The Cornish Key to Happiness.
Purchase

Giveaway to Win a PB copy of A Little Hotel in Cornwall: Books 1-8 and a scarf with cover art from the series printed on it (Open to UK and US Only)

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Facebook Twitter

My thoughts: this is a delightful series of stories about aspiring author Maisie Clark and her adventures, mostly in Cornwall, as she tries to find reclusive author Alistair Davies in order to get him to agree to mentor her after missing out on a place on a prestigious writing course.

Due to a case of mistaken identity she ends up working at a Cornish hotel, where she encounters all sorts of people – roguish porters, charming gardeners, psychics, landed gentry, eccentrics of all types who holiday at Penharrow (the hotel) and indeed the staff too – everyone seems to have a secret or two, plenty of inspiration for a wannabe writer. I also really liked the idea for Maisie’s novel – it’s clever and I wish there was a copy of it!

She’s doing her best not to fall for Sidney Daniels, a kind hearted local resident who rescues stray dogs, helps out at various local events, tends the vicarage garden and has taken up being the painting hand of a paralysed friend. But even he has secrets, and they might make Maisie see him differently.

Funny, charming, sweet and entertaining, this is a lovely set of novellas, and worth getting the whole series for, I certainly found myself finishing one and starting the next very quickly.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

*Terms and Conditions –UK & US entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. 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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Beach House Summer – Sarah Morgan

When Joanna Whitman’s famous ex-husband dies in a car accident, she doesn’t know what to feel. Their dysfunctional marriage held more painful secrets than she cares to remember. But when she discovers that the young woman with him in the crash is pregnant, Joanna feels compelled to act, knowing exactly how brutal the media spotlight will be on celebrity chef Cliff Whitman’s ex-wife and his mysterious female friend.

Ashley Blake can’t believe it when Joanna shows up in her hospital room and suggests they hide away at her beach house on a sleepy stretch of California coast. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley can’t turn down Joanna’s offer. Yet she knows that if Joanna ever found out the real reason Ashley was in that car, their tentative bond would shatter instantly.

Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy, but her return causes major waves in the local community, especially for the man she left behind years ago. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby’s future, and to avoid causing any trouble for Joanna. But as secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is about to be put to the test.

My thoughts: I do enjoy a Sarah Morgan novel, they’re excellent cheery reads and perfect for days just lounging about reading. Ideally on holiday. In this one we’re in California, by the beach as Joanna and Ashley navigate their unusual connection and Joanna revisits her past.

Cliff Whitman was not a nice man and it took his now ex-wife a long time to see it, but once she did she was done. Joanna wants to help Ashley and protect her, knowing exactly how it feels to be thrust into the limelight and over a summer, the two women bond and cook and chat.

It’s not a complex read, but there are a few plot twists and surprises lurking in this book, the light and intelligent story whizzes along and Joanna, Ashley and their old/new friends are charming company.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Break Up – Charlotte Barnes

You don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it.

Edi Parcell thought she had life all planned out, so when her childhood sweetheart proposes a three-month break to date other people, she’s shocked. Unexpectedly back on the dating scene after years with the same guy, this is the first opportunity Edi’s had to think about what she really wants from life – and love.

From disastrous first dates to meet-cutes at museums, Edi is soon on a voyage of self-discovery – and she has her best friends on hand to help with everything from deciphering WhatsApps to deciding whether that cute woman in the art gallery really was flirting with her. When the break is over, will Edi even want her old relationship back?

My thoughts: I liked Edi and her hilarious friends, I was in agreement with them about how much her stupid boyfriend needed to be dumped for good, and kicked in the shins for good measure. He’s so pathetic, he didn’t like it when Edi realised she didn’t need him any more.

I didn’t really get why they were together in the first place and for so long, but never lived together and just, there was something off about him from the start and his parents seemed like total nightmares too.

He also went into typical hetero panic mode when Edi met Fred, shock horror, a woman! As a queer person, I just rolled my eyes at this, sexuality is fluid, especially for women, and heaven forbid Edi find a woman attractive. Cemented his loser status right there. I cheered when Edi finally realised she wanted to make some serious changes and not stay stuck in a rut forever.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Summer Fair – Heidi Swain

Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
 
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
 
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?

My thoughts: this was lovely and heartwarming and really hit the spot. I’ve been a bit down recently due to a bereavement and I didn’t realise how much I needed an uplifting book with a happy ending, but I really did.

Beth works at a care home and lives in a horrible house share. Her only real joy is the collection of house plants she tends, but when a resident at the home introduces her to the residents and delightful location of Nightingale Square, she realises she wants more. Becoming Activities Co-ordinator at work means she can afford to rent a room in Kate’s cottage and begin to build a happier life. And maybe fall in love…

Featuring some of the recurring Nightingale Square residents and introducing some new faces, this is a lovely, sunshine filled story about friendships, community and love in various guises. And it’s very cheering.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review: The Island Home – Libby Page

Two decades. Hundreds of miles. A lifetime of secrets. Could coming home mean starting again?

Lorna’s world is small but safe.

She loves her daughter, and the two of them are all that matter. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.

Alice’s world is tiny but full.

She loves the community on Kip and how her yoga classes draw women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…

And as the two find friendship, Lorna also starts to find her place in the world.

Can coming home mean starting again?

My thoughts: I was kindly sent this book to review and as I loved the author’s previous books, was thrilled and so here we are.

This was an incredibly moving and lovely story about family, memory and going home. Lorna’s parents have died and she and her daughter Ella are returning to the island she grew up on, somewhere she hasn’t been back to since she left at 18.

Going back means reliving some terrible memories and trying to repair her relationship with her brother Jack, with the friends she left behind and with the island itself.

I loved Lorna and her sister-in-law Alice, they bonded and were able to talk about the past as Alice wasn’t there and is open to Lorna’s story, in a way Jack struggles with. The other islanders, many of whom are incomers, are mostly welcoming and Lorna’s relationship with the place she grew up changes.

Bits of the book were really gripping and I couldn’t put it down. I also had a little cry because it was so sad at times and I was so upset for little Lorna.

Ultimately it was so redemptive and as Lorna and Jack rebuild their bond, and Lorna realises that sometimes you can go home, that places and people change. I loved it so much.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Secrets of Summer House – Rachel Burton

An emotional, atmospheric summer read about family secrets and loyalty from the author of Kindle bestseller A Bookshop Christmas.
The secrets of Summer House are about to come out at last…

Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. There begins a whirlwind romance, and Alice falls pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. Then Tristan is killed in a car accident. Unable to cope, Alice takes her baby to Summer House, Tristan’s family home in Suffolk, leaves her there and disappears.

Olivia Somers has always been told that her mother died in the same accident as her father.
But when she finds a bundle of old letters in Summer House, everything she ever believed about her mother is called into question. Can she find her – and even more importantly, forgive her?

Order from KoBo
Order from Amazon

Rachel has a degree in Classics and another in English Literature, and fell into a career in law by mistake. She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire
with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes. Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow
her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com

Twitter: @RachelBWriter
Facebook: @Rachelburton74
Instagram: @RachelBWriter

My thoughts: families are complicated, messy beasts, often people do things that they feel are “for the best” even when that’s not necessarily the case. When Olivia’s grandmother, who raised her, dies, things once best thought hidden surface. An envelope of photos, a drunken comment from her father-in-law and Olivia is convinced the story about her parents’ deaths was a lie. Her mother is still alive, but where is she and why did she leave?

Moving back and forth from Olivia’s present and the 1970s love story of her parents, Tristan and Alice, this is a bittersweet, moving and evocative story of love, secrets and truth. The author also includes a playlist (on Spotify) to help you get into the characters story and personalities too, a lovely touch.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.