Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Magic Of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

I have just finished reading Trisha Ashley’s The Magic of Christmas. This book is an updated version of Trisha’s previous novel Sweet Nothings which I haven’t read so I was looking forward to reading this version after the great reviews I have read for Sweet Nothings.

Another deliciously seasonal and heart-warming tale from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Twelve Days of Christmas and Chocolate Wishes. In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her serially unfaithful husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Good job she has welcome distractions in the form of her Christmas Pudding Circle, a circle of friends swapping seasonal recipes, and a simmering rivalry with cookery writer Nick Pharamond – a rivalry set to come to boiling point after he snatched the Best Mince Pie prize away from her at the village show. Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Mystery Play which takes place on Boxing Day. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch Rainford, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it will certainly be a hard act to follow next year!

My Opinion
This is the third book I have read and reviewed this year as part of my Best Christmas Book 2011 competition. The cover is very festive and eye catching and the synopsis gives a great taster as to what to expect from the book.

The setting for the story is in an idyllic village which sets a cosy setting for the story. The characters in this book were all very believable characters, with Nick and Lizzy taking place as my favourite characters. The subtle chemistry between the two characters felt very endearing to read.

The storyline has a very charming and traditional feel to it and there were a few parts that were included in the storyline which gave a little more modern feel to it such as Lizzy’s son going off to University. The book did flow at a slow place and I did find at times my interest was starting to waver a little. What I really liked was the Christmas feel to this book with the villages Christmas Nativity and Christmas recipe swapping, as this is what I have been finding with all of the beautiful festive covers that when you read the book there is only a very brief mention of Christmas but this was not the case with this book.

I did find it hard to maintain my diet whilst reading this book as some of the recipes that are included in this book just sounded mouth watering and gave a nice additional touch to the book.

This is definitely one to give a try and it is at an incredible price on kindle at the moment which you can find here for £1.99. I did enjoy The Magic Of Christmas although I fell it is that type of book you must read but would only read once.
Thankyou to Trisha Ashley and to Avon for sending me a copy for review.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

This is the first book I have read by Anne McAneny. You can be in with a chance of winning a $10 Amazon gift card. For those who purchase their copy of Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe by November 6 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com will receive five bonus entries! Also, that winner will receive a shipment of one dozen medium cupcakes courtesy of STUFFED CUPCAKES(Nutley, NJ). Please note this give away will be limited to the US due to shipping requirements. Comment away- I know you want to win this scrumptious prize!

A wedding order at The Secret Lives of Cupcakes Shop is always reason for Millie Morris to celebrate – except when the groom is her ex-boyfriend and the bride is the woman he dumped her for. Still, it’s business for her mom’s shop. Millie even makes a good-faith effort to shoo the groom away when he confides his doubts about the marriage. But when Millie's job as a crime reporter finds her covering a big court case, she must choke down her unresolved feelings like a burnt cupcake slathered in bitter frosting… because the bride is the lead lawyer on the case. Unexpectedly intertwined on multiple levels with both her ex and his fiancĂ©e, Millie must choose to either remain in her half-baked state of existence or finally rise above it.

My opinion
This is the third book I have read as part of the chick-lit plus blog tour. The story has all the ingredients to make a perfect book for me, romance, humour, emotion and heart ache, there was also an added extra cupcakes!

I found the first half of this book very hard to get into due to the slow pace of the book. By the second half of the book the characters and the storyline seemed to develop. My favourite characters had to be Pauline and Millie as they seemed like very down to earth characters which made them easy to connect to. I would give this book a try but I don’t think it is the type of book that is going to stick in your mind.

Thankyou to Chick lit plus and Anne McAneny for the opportunity to read this book.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Post Man is here!!

We have had some great books sent to us this week for our Christmas 2011 book competition. Look what gas arrived. Which one is calling out to you?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson

I remember the first time I see the cover to Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes it was months ago when I came across Sue Watsons blog. I have pestered her ever since awaiting for the release date! I am sure everyone will agree the title of this book and the design is one that would wickedly tempt you from the shelf. I was just wondering if the storyline was going to be as tempting as the cover!

Can you really make a living from indulging in your dreams? TV Producer Stella Weston is over worked, over weight and under fire. Having battled uphill for years to balance her career with her family life, she is repaid by being put out to pasture on a religious gardening programme complete with a nervous vicar, his nymphomaniac wife, and 22 stone Britney wannabe gardener, Gerald. In the past, comfort has always been found at the bottom of her mixing bowl but when even the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting cannot save the day, Stella decides enough is enough. However, finding the courage to quit is sometimes the easy part. Can you really turn a passion into a profession? Does more time at home actually give you a happier family life? Are men truly from Mars or another universe altogether? Stella has to roll up her sleeves and find out - when the going gets tough, the tough get baking....

My Opinion
OOooo I love Cake!!!
This book has three ingredients that make a perfect read ,cakes,humour and a loveable main character.

The book started off completely unexpectedly not with Stella and her cupcakes but with Stella working in television. The first part of the book is when we really get to know Stella and find out that she is a loveable hard working character with a huge heart. We can feel how Stella is torn between wanting to be there for her family but also having to commit wholeheartedly to her job. It is quite a way through the book that the whole cake topic starts and that was when my mouth started watering and my stomach rumbling reading about all of these delicious cakes.

I found the first half of the book was full of humorous parts and I did find myself chuckling away especially the part involving Stella and a vicar let’s say “stuck in the mud!” The second half of the book is more emotional in many different ways. There really is something for everyone in this beautifully written page turner.
There are also a real mix of characters in this book some who you will fall in love with and cannot wait to appear again, like the flamboyant Al who I would love to have as my best friend! There are also characters who you will loath such as MJ.

Friday, 14 October 2011

What is coming up!

It has been quite on the blog this week but that is not because I have forgotten about you all! I have still been reading alongside getting the new salon ready for the launch. I have some great reviews coming up for you I have recently finished reading three books but because they are part of blog tours I have dates which they must go up but here is what you have to look forward to.

Denise Grover Swank - CHOSEN
This book is action packed and full of suspense

Mandy has us dribbling over a sex god!
Check out Mandy Baggot's book trailer here

This book is set in cupcake heaven!

We have also had more books entered into our Christmas 2011 Competition. I will put a picture of the new mail box arrivals up over the weekend.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Looking For Leon By Shirley Benton

Looking for Leon is Shirley Benton’s debut book and she has started with a bang. Just looking at the cover of this book is enough to entice you to read this book. When I read the synopsis of this book I was drawn into the story already and knew there was going to be a humourous feel to this book.

What would you do to find the one that got away? Andie hadn't gambled on meeting the love of her life on a holiday in Las Vegas but when she meets Leon, love suddenly seems like a bet she can win. That is, until the wheel of fortune steps in and separates them during a fire drill. With next to no info on Leon, Andie finds it impossible to track him down despite staging a series of publicity stunts to get the media in on the act. Back in Ireland, journalist Andie begins to write a regular newspaper column about her search. Readers love it and a local TV station flies her back to Vegas to take up the hunt for the man she can t forget. What starts off as a simple low-budget documentary, spirals into a frenzied national media search. With the world's most ambitious PR agent on board, Andie becomes a heroine for those who are looking for love. But does Leon want to be found?

My Opinion
Andie is our heroine in Looking for Leon, my feelings towards Andie’s character change throughout the book. When we first meet Andie she was a character who I felt I was going to really enjoy reading she seemed to be a bit of a live wire with a great sense of humour. I then felt a bit of a surprising blow when she treats cameraman Colm badly, it just seemed so out of character for her. Luckily she seems to redeem herself later on in the book. Colm’s character was a typical old fashioned gentleman and I loved his character.

The book gets up to a great start at a very fast pace with alot of humour envolved. I mean how many books have you read that starts with “There I was on the front page, flashing my Knickers”! This all ready had me chuckling but also eager to know what on earth was going to happen next! We hear about the brief time Andie has with Leon and how well they connect before they are separated by a fire alarm. This is what sparks Andie into her campaign to try and find Leon again. The beginning of the book really had me turning the pages and eager to know what Andie had up her sleave next, unfortunately I found the middle part of the book took a little down turn and I was worried that the book wasn’t going to pick up again. It was a shame we didn’t hear a little more about Leon during the book but when we do meet him again it is a great twist in the book and in my opinion takes the book in a different direction bringing the book back to the fast pace page turner again.

I loved the twist in this book it was so unexpected. This book really is worth picking up as there is a great mix of humour, suspense and romance a great combination for a perfect read. I will defiantly be LOOKING for Shirley in the future!

Give Away Results

Thank you to all who took part in this week's give away. I am going to hand over now to the author of Sophie's Turn, NICKY WELLS who has picked our winner.....

I want to say a big "Thank You" to all entrants for your interest in Sophie's Turn and for taking the time to enter the competition. I loved all the comments and had a really hard time deciding on a winner. In truth, I wanted you all to have a copy! So I randomised all your lovely entries--including the one submitted through Facebook!--and picked a random number. My lucky winner is JULES! Congratulation to Jules for winning an e-copy of Sophie's Turn, I will be in touch shortly with your Kindle gift code. Thanks again to all who entered, and to Rea for hosting this give-away on her blog!
Cheerio from--Nicky.

Congratulations to Jules !!

I would like to personally say a big thank you to Nicky Wells for the chance to read and review her book and also for taking part in the interview and book giveaway. xXx

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Nicky Wells Interview and Giveaway

It is hard to believe it was a month ago that I read Nicky Well's book Sophie's Turn. I still remember the story as clear as if it was yesterday! If you missed the review click HERE to read it. Nicky is now back with us this time to answer some questions for us to find out a little about the author behind the book.

Hello Nicky and welcome to Rea Book Review.....

Hi Rea! Thanks for hosting this interview on your blog as part of my virtual book tour for Sophie’s Turn. I’m very excited to be here.

The characters in your book felt very down to earth and easy to connect to, when writing do you base your characters on the personalities on people you know?

That’s such wonderful feedback, thank you! I was certainly trying very hard to make them down-to-earth, likeable and credible… especially Sophie, who walks on a knife’s edge of being unlikeable and flighty at times. She isn’t though; she’s actually finding the whole double engagement situation really difficult, emotionally! And it was my job to bring that across.

The obvious disclaimer here that Sophie’s Turn is a work of fiction and not based on any real persons, living or dead. (Sorry—I have to say that!). That said, the characters all have a lot of ‘me’ in them because I am obviously able to share ‘me’ without fearing libel! What do I mean by that? Well, Dan is my idea of the perfect man… and better than that, the perfect rock hero! So in coming up with Dan’s profile, I considered all the rock singers that I know of (oh how I wish I could delete the ‘of’ in this sentence!) and amalgamated all their best traits. Then I also included a few hypothetical ‘must have’ traits in a man—for example, to accurately assess a woman’s dress size visually and buy a perfectly fitting dress without her having to try it on! I’ve never yet met a man who can pull that off but wouldn’t it be great?

In creating Tim, I did the exact opposite. Sounds a bit stark, doesn’t it? And actually it’s not quite as bleak as that, because obviously Tim has to have quite a lot of good features too—otherwise why would Sophie be with him at all? But on the whole, I thought of all the things I dislike most in a person (not just a man) and assembled some of the more… extreme things. Like his obsession with protocol and his bizarre collection hobbies. (NB—I have absolutely nothing against people who collect things, really! Tim takes this to extremes though… which, as I know from personal experience, can be extremely tedious and boring. Not to mention expensive!)

And Sophie… well, there is a lot of ‘me’ in Sophie. This book is, after all, my attempt at creating my most perfect fairy tale ever, and part of me wanted to be the heroine. Somebody commented, after having read Sophie’s Turn, that she speaks an awful lot like me, uses a lot of the same turns of phrases and expression. There we go then!

Do you have plans for a sequel for Sophie's Turn and if so what can we expect for the new novel.

The sequel is very much a work in progress. I have a four-fold iterative planning process… goodness, doesn’t that sound boring? But it’s how I work, and I’m currently completing the last stage, from which I will come away with a one-page summary of each chapter. That means that I have planned the entire plot with every twist and turn in minute detail. Naturally there’ll be changes as I go along because my pesky characters always have a mind of their own… but the blueprint is there.

What can you expect… Let me see. Dan, Sophie and Rachel will continue to feature, and Tim will make a brief (and somewhat harrowing) guest appearance that will have Dan extremely annoyed. There will be further developments in Sophie’s love life that I can’t anticipate here because it will spoil the fun for folks who haven’t finished reading Sophie’s Turn yet. And Rachel will have a big role to play—much bigger than in the first book. But it won’t always be an easy or pleasant task! At the moment, expect at least one wedding and several trips. But who’s getting married to whom… and who’s travelling with whom… well, you’ll just have to wait and see. With a bit of luck (and if given the time) I should bring the sequel to market within a year.

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden. I found it quite hard to get into at first because while the opening intrigued me, I got a bit frustrated hopping between three narratives initially. When they started to connect, things got easier and then I got totally absorbed in the plot. The source of Rose’s scars TOTALLY freaked me out (gave me nightmares in fact) and the reason why Nell was alone on that ship made me cry. It was a really good read and I thoroughly recommend it.

If you were stuck on a desert Island what would be your two must have items?

A Kindle—with all the books on one could ever read! And a solar panel with some sort of battery contraption—so that I can charge my Kindle.

Quick fire questions now for you Nicky

Sweet or Savoury? Savoury
Paperback or Kindle? Oh must I choose? Kindle, then.
Hunk or Gentleman? Hunk
Cosy Night In or Night on the Tiles? Cosy Night In
Relaxing holiday or Action Packed Holiday? Relaxing holiday

Thanks again, Rea! I’ve really enjoyed your questions...
You can follow Nicky over on twitter @WellsNicky
or Facebook on the following link

Thats all folks.................Oh No IT Isn't!! Nicky has kindly agreed to a giveaway a copy of her book so to enter comment below and tell us What would be the 2 items you would take with you on a desert Island?
Nicky will pick a winner based on your answers and the closing date is 7th October. Remember to leave  your email address so we can contact you ! GOOD LUCK!!