Friday, June 30, 2017

The Witch's Kiss & The Witch's Tears by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway



Review by Anniek

Merry was twelve years old when she secretly did a test, she wanted to know if she is a witch. Her mother is away a lot and Merry mostly stays home together with her brother Leo. Because of a family feud Merry has remained untrained. She tried to teach herself some harmless spells, but using them turned out pretty badly. Lately Merry has been having dreams of a young man. These nightmares make her feel scared and when she hears noises coming from the attic Merry is terrified. When she and Leo are trying find the source, they discover a rattling box. This box holds the essence of an ancient curse. A curse that can only be broken by Merry. Is it possible for an untrained teenage witch to go up against an old powerful wizard?

Jack is the firstborn son of Queen Edith and her husband Aidan. Edith was once best friends with Gwydion. He saved her life, but when he wanted to claim his prize, seeing his wish to marry Edith fulfilled, she shattered his dreams. Edith never understood how deeply Gwydion was in love with her and she already gave her promise to Aidan, an Irish prince. Gwydion left the palace, his heart full of hate, vowing that some day he'd take revenge for Edith's betrayal. Edith hasn't forgotten this threat and when her son is born she's being consumed by worry. Her worst fear becomes reality when Gwydion returns and claims Jack for himself when Jack will turn eighteen. What horrors will Gwydion have in store for Jack?

Merry struggles with the absence of her mother. She's still so young and is not thrilled when a prophecy appoints her as the one who will break a powerful curse. All she ever wanted was to be a normal teenage girl. Merry doesn't want to be special, but she's even more powerful than she could have ever imagined. Her grandmother is a witch as well and she and her coven have promised Merry they will be with her every step of the way, but they can only go so far. In the end it will all come down to Merry and her brother Leo. Merry and Leo have a very close bond. They tell each other everything and stand together when facing trouble. Being close to my own brother as well made reading about Merry and Leo incredibly special. Both of them are smart and resourceful. They complete each other and even though Leo has no magical abilities he's just as strong as Merry and he's fabulously inventive.

Gwydion has turned Jack into a weapon. Jack is the victim of his revenge and his terrible curse. Everyone Jack loves will be at risk, because Gwydion has full control over him most of the time. My heart went out to Jack since he's powerless and can't help his actions. I was wishing for him the curse would be broken, so that he would be free once more and would be unable to harm anyone else. Love will always prove to be stronger than hate and I kept my fingers crossed this would be what would prevail eventually.

The Witch's Kiss is a magical story about an old curse, witches and wizards and of course love. Love is such a powerful tool, not only when it comes to lovers, but also in the relationships betwee family and friends. I was drawn to the story from the beginning and I think The Witch's Kiss is a powerful start of a series. I love it when two authors can make a story come to life so perfectly. Katharine and Elizabeth Corr's writing style has a wonderful flow, which makes it easy to follow the story. I flew through the pages and was really eager to learn more about the curse and couldn't wait to get to the ending to see if it would be broken. Katharine and Elizabeth Corr managed to keep me guessing until the final scene. I look forward to finding out what happens in the next book of this series, The Witch's Tears.

Advice

If you love stories about magic, witches, old curses and the power of love I would highly recommend The Witch's Kiss.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Merry has defeated a powerful wizard, but the coven she's a member of treats her with distrust. She has to learn how to use magic by abiding to their rules, using their ways of spell casting, when she's finally allowed to actually perform something, and learning plenty of theory. This isn't how Merry feels she should practice her magic, but as it's the way her coven wants it she has no choice but to agree. After losing the boy she loves pretending to be a normal teenager while also being trained as a witch isn't easy, but Merry has to keep going.

Merry's brother Leo is struggling with heartbreak as well. He's angry and while he used to tell Merry everything he's now withdrawn and secretive. When a new friend who understands what magic can do, is interested in spending time with him, Leo decides it's time to make his own choices. However, something isn't right and danger is lurking in the shadows. How long will it take before it strikes and will Merry and Leo be able to be victorious this time or does their rift mess things up completely?

The Witch's Tears is another fantastic gripping story by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr. I love Merry's strength. She's smart, resilient and powerful. She's always looking out for the people she loves. She's being held back by the coven and that's difficult for her, especially when she knows there's so much more she can do. She tries to be patient and I liked her determination to stay civil without losing her willingness to learn and to think outside the box at the same time. However, sometimes it's better for her to go her own way. She's a fantastic main character and I really enjoyed reading about her.

Leo is going through a difficult time. He's from a family of witches and has no power of his own. He's done an incredible thing, but Merry is the special one, because she's the one who's able to cast the spells. I could easily understand his frustration and his sadness about losing his best friend and the person he loved the most. It was painful to see him suffer so much, but it was also great to read more about him and I loved the extra layers of depth Katharine and Elizabeth Corr added to his personality. This made the story even more fascinating and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out where his unpredictable behavior would lead.

The Witch's Kiss is a fabulous series about magic, family, friendship and curses. I liked that The Witch's Tears contains another interesting part of the history of the coven Merry is part of and it was fun to find out more about sorcerers as well. I loved Katharine and Elizabeth Corr's vivid descriptions of magic and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending is terrific and I can't wait to read more about Merry and Leo. I love stories about siblings and highly recommend this one. it's wonderfully enchanting, entertaining and charming.

Advice

If you love stories about witchcraft I highly recommend The Witch's Kiss series. I'd advise you to read the books in their correct order, so you'll fully understand what's going on.

About Katharine and Elizabeth Corr


Hello from the Corr sisters! As well as sisters we are also best friends; try writing a book with someone else and you’ll see why that last bit is kind of important.

After spending our childhood in Essex, we now live ten minutes away from each other in Surrey. We both studied history at university and went to work in London for a bit. So, when we both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious we should do it together.

Stuff Katharine likes:

Playing instruments badly; dead languages; LOTR; loud pop concerts; Jane Austen; Neill Gaiman; Loki; the Surrey Hills. Killing off characters.

Stuff Elizabeth likes:

Sketching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cinema, long baths, kitchen discos, Terry Pratchett, Thor, London. Saving characters.

Stuff we both like:

YA / non-YA fantasy and science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, each other (most of the time).

Author links

Website: http://www.corrsisters.com/
Blog: http://www.corrsisters.com/blog/
Facebook Katharine: https://www.facebook.com/public/Katharine-Corr 
Facebook Elizabeth: https://www.facebook.com/public/Elizabeth-Corr
Twitter Katharine: https://twitter.com/katharinecorr 
Twitter Elizabeth: https://twitter.com/lizcorr_writes

Guest post


We’re celebrating a birthday today: one year since the publication of our first novel, The Witch’s Kiss. As debut authors (and clueless debut authors at that) we had no idea what to expect. Would Peter Jackson immediately beg to be allowed make our book into a film? Or would our baby achieve overnight obscurity, never read by anyone but our editor? Surprisingly enough, neither of those things happened (though the film rights are still available if you’re reading this, Peter!). But a lot of other things did. Here’s our handy guide to what to expect when you’re expecting a book baby.

You have very little control

Our first editor moved to a new job shortly after our first book was published. Then our second editor moved abroad while we were doing line edits for our second book. Personnel and other changes at your publisher will affect things like your deadlines and publication date, and there is NOTHING you can do. Just accept it and keep on writing.

You will get amazing reviews (and the occasional terrible one)

A published book is public property. Some people will love your literary efforts, others (the horror!) will remain unimpressed. We’ve had reviewers compare our books favourably to Harry Potter, and one who said our writing made her eyes bleed. Remember: even JK Rowling and Jane Austen get 1 star reviews. You can’t please everyone.

You will get to talk about your book and people will listen!


We’ve been lucky enough to participate in some brilliant events over the last 12 months. We’ve been to festivals (UKYACX in Newcastle and YA Shot in London). We’ve been on panels at bookshops with other excellent authors (including Melinda Salisbury, Laure Eve, Rhian Ivory and Irena Brignull). We’ve visited schools and helped students write their own twisted versions of fairy tales. It’s been FUN.

You will have actual fans



(Left: @HaleyFraser_x Right: @Ci_designs_)

One thing we never anticipated was people being inspired enough to produce fan art based on our books. Seeing readers’ interpretations of your characters is amazing. A recent high was one lovely reader using our book covers as her profile picture.

You will see your baby in a bookshop


And it will be one of the most exciting moments of your life.

You might also see your baby in other formats


For example, cake. And it tasted delicious (thanks @YAfictionados!). Enough said, really.

Giveaway


One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Witch's Kiss and a 'The Witch's Kiss' necklace made by Luna of Luna's Little Library.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

July 2017 Book of Choice Giveaway Hop


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a July 2017 new release of your choice worth $16. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


Book Review - Comeback Cowboy by Sara Richardson

 

Book review
By Suze

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Naomi is a single mother and her daughter Gracie is all she has. She lives and works on the Cortez ranch, but it's time for a change. She's finally able to purchase her own property, so she can make her dream of owning a bed and breakfast come true. Things are looking up for her and Gracie, but then she runs into Lucas Cortez, her teenage sweetheart. He is back in town and Naomi knows she's missing something in her life, love. Lucas left Naomi and never returned. They still have feelings for each other, but it isn't easy to forgive him for what he's done to her and trust him again. Will she be able to get over the past, so that they can finally have their second chance?

Lucas is back at the family ranch. He left years ago and didn't feel welcome in his hometown any longer, so he stayed away for as long as he could. It's time to help his brothers with their business, but there are still people who would be glad to see him leave. His return should only be temporary, but then he meets Naomi and knows he can't stay away from her. He also easily gets along with her daughter Gracie. Will that be enough to find a way back to the love of his life? Or will the secrets of the past mess things up between them once more?

Comeback Cowboy is a wonderful romantic story. It's clear from the beginning that Naomi and Lucas are soul mates, they're destined to be together, but fate has dealt them a cruel hand. There's something about the past Lucas hasn't shared with Naomi and it already made him lose her once. I felt bad for him and kept hoping she'd give him a second chance and that the truth would come out. Lucas and Naomi are both sweet and caring people and I liked them very much. Gracie is adorable and fortunately she's a resilient child. I enjoyed reading Sara Richardson's dialogue a lot, it made the main characters of her story come to life incredibly well.

Comeback Cowboy is a story about complex family relationships, secrets and true love. I love stories about those subjects and think Sara Richardson has written a great book. I enjoyed the gorgeous descriptions of her setting, her honest and deep way of describing emotions and the moving way she writes about the willingness of her main characters to sacrifice their own happiness for the people they love. The result is a fantastic complete love story. Comeback Cowboy is captivating, gripping and charming and I absolutely loved this amazing book.

Advice

If you love countryside romance you will like Comeback Cowboy. It's the second book in a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.
 

Hometown Cowboy (Rocky Mountain Riders, #1)



About Sara Richardson


Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.
Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After five years in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her first contemporary romance, No Better Man, was released by Grand Central forever 2015.

AUTHOR LINKS: 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Picture This by Lena North - Book Review & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Anniek

Mary was just ten years old when her life took a turn for the worse. Her whole family went grocery shopping and Mary felt like a grownup when she was allowed to stay at home alone for the very first time. She waved her family goodbye, not knowing that this would be the last time she would see them alive. Her relatives weren't willing to take in a child who was angry at the world, so Mary ended up in foster care. The years that followed were rough, but all of that changes the night she meets Miller in the bar she works at. Will Mary have the strength to see that not everybody has bad intentions?

Miller is part of a extraordinary clan. The members all have special abilities. Miller and several others can talk to birds. They each have a connection with a bird, that is also being considered a family member. A while ago they found a stone in the mountains and Jinx, who has a super genius mind, is investigating the capacity of this gem. When Mary is being kidnapped, so that they can exchange her for it, everybody is on high alert. A videotape is sent to them, with proof of the horrific way they're treating Mary. Will the clan be on time to rescue Mary and why is this stone so important?

Mary has built a good life for herself. After she found refuge with a loving family when she was just fourteen years old, Mary was able to finally start living again. She found happiness and now she's a skilled artist. Even with all the love that is surrounding her Mary still feels like the broken child nobody wanted. She often misreads what people are saying, thinking that they don't need or want her around. Mary is so strong and resilient and she's a person you just have to love. She's sweet, but she won't let anyone walk all over her. Mary is fierce in her own way and I kept wishing for her to accept that she has found a new family to love her forever.

Miller is a bit older than Mary and he isn't counting on having feelings for her. When she's kidnapped he has to watch her getting beat up and this almost brings him to his knees. He helps Mary to stay sane and slowly makes her confront her nightmares. Miller is a badass warrior, but he's kind and caring at the same time. Mary means everything to him and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. He's patient, but when people are crossing him Miller will go after them with all the weapons he has at his disposal. I loved to read about this big, beautiful man and think Mary couldn't have picked a better person to fall in love with.

Picture This is a fascinating story about understanding what it's like to be part of a big and special family whose members look out for their own. It's the third book in the Birds of a Feather series and I loved it just as much as the previous one, Sweet Water. Every book is about a main character who is a part of the clan and I like it that through each story the reader gets to know this family better and better. Ever since I started reading the Birds of a Feather series I have been hooked. I love the combination of paranormal abilities with normal life and every day struggles. Lena North's writing is honest and real and I could easily sympathize with the main characters. I will absolutely read the rest of the books in this series as well.

Advice

Lena North has set up the Birds of a Feather stories in a way that enables them to be read as standalones, but I do think that they come out even better when they're being read in chronological order. The series is a great choice for readers who love books with smart main characters.

About Lena North



The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, how much I adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.

Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…

Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say).

Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

Author links

Website: http://www.lenanorth.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lenanorthbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lenanorthbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/lenanorth

Giveaway

Three very lucky winners will receive great prizes. The first prize is a $25 Amazon gift card, the winner of the second prize will receive digital copies of the complete Birds of a Feather series and a third prize winner will get a digital copy of Picture This.

Next August by Kelly Moore - Book Review & Giveaway


Book review
by Anniek

On the outside August has it all. He's handsome and wealthy and he has several homes and great cars. August is successful in everything he does. Not many people know the grief that August has to deal with on the inside. Losing his mother in a car accident left him and his father broken. August's father also hurt other people in that same accident, but managed to walk away from any legal obligations. When August found out he was determined to pay the dues for the wrongs his father did. August doesn't let anyone come close when it comes to a romantic relationship. He feels that he is too damaged to be the person a woman needs. That is until he meets Nashville.

Nashville, or Nash for short, is a nurse and a country girl at heart. She works long hours and sends as much money as she can to her parents. Her parents own a ranch in Nashville and are struggling to keep up with all the bills. Nash lives together with her best friend Anna, who is also a nurse. They love to go rock climbing together. At the top of a climbed rock Nash meets August. Nash is instantly drawn to him and when August hurts his hand on the way down she doesn't hesitate to tell him to go to the hospital, so Nash can take care of him.

August is such a sweet and kind man and he gives more than he takes. He spends a lot of money to make the lives of other people better. He feels guilty about the accident which killed his mother. Because of his guilt he still takes care of his father who is in a catatonic state after a stroke. August can be stubborn, dominant and controlling but he needs this for his own survival. He's a person I instantly loved and who captured my heart with his kindness.

Nash has always been a good daughter to her parents. She works hard and is loyal. Nash is also funny and feisty. August's millions don't faze her. She's her own person and manages to take care of herself really well. I loved the fact that Nash didn't let August dominate her. She isn't a pushover and demands to be treated well. Nash has a good heart and is willing to do what needs to be done to save the people she loves.

Next August is an amazing story about grief, love and finding the strength to let people in again. Kelly Moore never lets you down with her strong and deep characters. August is an Alpha male who finds his equal in Nash. They truly complete each other. This story captivated me from the beginning and the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. Kelly Moore's writing style flows so naturally that I flew through the pages. Next August is an emotional read with so much love, I'll remember this story for a very long time. Kelly Moore is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend any book written by her.

Advice

If you're looking for an intense story about finding true love Next August would be a perfect choice.

About Kelly Moore


Kelly Moore was raised in Mt. Dora, Florida, a true southern girl with a sarcastic wit. Gypsy traveling nurse by day and romantic author by night. Loves all things romantic with a little spice and humor. Loves two characters who overcomes their pasts to fall in love and have a happy ending. Wife, mother, grandmother and dog lover. Travels the US in a fifth wheel making memories and making friends. 

Author links


Giveaway

One very lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

With Love For Bookouture: Return to The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
Review by Anniek


Emmy has decided to take a leap of faith and left her life in England behind to stay with Rupert, the owner of La Cour des Roses. She's the manager of this beautiful guesthouse now and is determined to learn everything she needs to know to help Rupert make La Cour des Roses a success. Emmy fell in love with this place from the moment she arrived. Although the short holiday made her see the true colors of her boyfriend Emmy chooses not to dwell on it and wants to follow her dreams. Emmy has built a life for herself and is making loyal friends along the way. When an unexpected and unwanted return of Gloria, Rupert's ex-wife, is about to mess things up, Emmy is devastated. What will this mean for her job at La Cour des Roses?

Emmy has taken on the responsibility of her job with a lot of enthusiasm. She's thinking outside the box to attract more customers. Not all of them are as easygoing as Emmy hoped they would be. She invites a well know travel blogger, who has a lot of followers, to hopefully gain a positive rating. She doesn't know that this blogger has some rare character traits that might disturb the other guests. She also receives a massive booking with a lot of extras and Emmy has no idea how to pull it off. The days at La Cour des Roses are never dull and Emmy needs all of her skills to meet everyone's expectations. Will she be able to show everyone what she's made of or did she make a rash decision when she moved to France?

Emmy is such a sweetheart. She's full of life and even though she doesn't know everything there is to know about her job yet, she always tries to make the best of it. I love it when a person is looking on the bright side of life. I had a huge smile on my face when I was reading about the way Emmy interacts with people. She's a hard worker and she's never been one to crumble in the face of a crisis. Emmy has taken a huge risk, but I totally understood her motivations and I could easily imagine her living in France. Emmy has gotten burned by love and now that she has met Alain she's slowly trying to let someone in again. I loved to read about the journeys of the main characters and found them all incredibly interesting.

Ever since I read The Little French Guesthouse I fell in love with La Cour des Roses. Rupert is such a colorful character and the descriptions of the food that he cooks made my mouth water. I would be perfectly happy to spend my holiday reading in his beautiful garden and enjoying the peace and quiet at La Cour des Roses. Helen Pollard managed to take me with her on her journey to France. I have been in France when I was younger and while I was reading Return to The Little French Guesthouse all I could think about was packing my bags and start driving. Return to The Little French Guesthouse is an enchanting and heartwarming story that had me mesmerized from the beginning until the very end. I can't wait to read the next book in this series and to return, once again, to the beautiful La Cour des Roses.

Advice

If you're looking for the perfect read for a lovely day in the sun, I highly recommend taking a trip to France with Helen Pollard and enjoy the magical surroundings of La Cour des Roses.

About Helen Pollard


As a child, Helen had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook.

She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart.

When she's not writing, Helen enjoys reading, scrapbooking and watching old seventies and eighties TV shows.

Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors.

Author links

Website & Blog: http://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/HelenPollardWrites
Twitter: http://twitter.com/helenpollard147

Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in Yorkshire with my husband, my daughter who finished university last year and is now back with us and working nearby, and my son who will return from a year volunteering abroad soon but will then be off to university. We have a cat with a Jekyll & Hyde personality – one minute lovingly draped in your lap, the next viciously clamped onto one of your limbs with all teeth and claws. Antiseptic cream is always close at hand!

2. Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?

Often it will be a setting. That won’t necessarily inspire a whole story, but I do need a sense of where the story takes place before I can get going with the actual writing. Otherwise, characters just seem to turn up in my head one day and refuse to leave until I’ve woven a story for them.

3. Do you have a writing routine?

No, not really, but I do like to get any admin, e-mails etc. out of the way before I feel free to get stuck into my writing. Creativity used to be precipitated by my mid-morning coffee, but nowadays I’m decaff so I don’t get quite the jolt I used to!

4. What do you like the most about writing romance?

Romance is timeless. I can’t imagine a world without it. My books often have a serious side, too, but romance is the thing that will keep the characters going; give them and the reader hope. I love taking a couple who are attracted to each other, putting obstacles in their way and getting them through them at last . . . I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

5. If you're not writing or reading what do you like to do?

I don't watch much TV – something has to be really good to keep my attention. I try to go for a short walk once a day to blow away the cobwebs, and I enjoy a coffee and a chat with friends or family.

6. Could you describe your main characters in six words each?

Emmy is good-hearted, open, loyal, self-deprecating, practical and funny.

Alain is sexy, kind, thoughtful, empathetic, warm-hearted . . . and tall!

7. Are there certain elements that a story by you has to have, so readers can easily recognize it as yours?

I always like to have some element of humour in my books. The amount will vary depending on the story, of course, but I’ve had plenty of scope for it at the Little French Guesthouse, which has been fun.

8. What makes your heart beat faster?

Knowing that I’m more in love with my husband now than I was twenty-plus years ago.

9. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Trust your own instincts.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve just completed the third in the La Cour des Roses series, Summer at the Little French Guesthouse, which is due out on 12th July. Then I have a busy summer and autumn ahead on the family front, so I’ve decided that a break from writing might be in order before I plan my next project!

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a digital copy of Return to The Little French Guesthouse and a gorgeous book cover necklace.
 

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Book Review - Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Colt Harper is a vampire cat. He loves killing, especially humans who are cruel to cats. He doesn't know any others of his kind, but he isn't the only monster that exists. He is being watched by the council and tried like all monsters when he does something wrong. They don't allow killing humans any longer and because Colt has just murdered someone he's being ordered to do community service, which he finds incredibly unfair.

Colt is being sent to a community theater where he has to work together with several other monsters that have done something the council doesn't approve of as well. Jax, a scared werewolf has turned someone against their will, Lexi is a tickle monster and kills kids by tickling them to death and Saffy has green eyes and seems human, but is she really? How can Colt like someone who's human, he normally finds them beneath him and wants to kill them. When chasers are coming after the group of monsters Colt wants to protect them, especially Saffy. That's nothing like him, what's happening to him?

Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat is a fantastic absurd story. Tyrolin Puxty has a great sense of humor and I loved every word of her story. Colt likes killing people and doesn't understand why he isn't allowed to do what his species can do best. He says exactly what he thinks and I liked the way his mind works. I loved his dry remarks and he kept making me laugh. His story captivated me immediately and enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. He's a brilliant main character.

Tyrolin Puxty's writing has an easy flow and she has a great original own style. Her stories are fast-paced and filled with amazing dialogue and surreal ideas. It's wonderful to be taken into one of her imaginary worlds. Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat is a terrific story, it's creative, entertaining, fascinating and absolutely spellbinding. The characters are fabulous and every single one of them made me smile. They're the least scary monsters I've ever read about and I found that hilarious. I read this story in one sitting and really enjoyed it.

Advice

If you love reading about monsters and like entertaining stories that will make you laugh Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat would be an excellent choice.

With Love For Bookouture: Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream by Sue Watson - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

 
Review by Suze

Dani left Appledore after a traumatic experience. Her boyfriend at the time, Jude, shattered her dreams and broke her heart. She wanted to escape the aftermath and went to London to become successful. Ten years later she's back in her hometown where she works as the assistant manager of Caprioni's, the ice cream café she used to have a job at when she was a teenager. She knows Jude is still living in Appledore and that sooner or later she runs into him. Her biggest wish is to impress him with her achievements, so she can show him what he's missing. However, is she ready to meet him again?

 Dani isn't happy with herself. She's overweight and doesn't like the way she looks at all. That's why she tries the local gym, where Chris, the owner, offers to train her. Her aim is to lose as much weight as she can before her fortieth birthday. Will Dani be able to resist the temptation of delicious ice cream whenever she wants while she's at work and will she indeed feel better when she trains more and eats less? Does she actually need someone else's approval or does it only matter how she feels about herself? Will she learn to enjoy life and be proud of who she is both on the inside and the outside?

Dani is training with Chris and this gives her the chance to get back in shape, but Dani has some other issues to work on as well. Her past keeps influencing her decisions and behavior. She has a lot of pain and self loathing to deal with and exercising is just one of the ways she can start feeling better about herself. I liked that she has so much support from people who love her because of who she is and not because of what she weighs. I liked her cheerful personality and impulsiveness and often had to laugh while reading Sue Watson's fantastic dialogue. I kept my fingers crossed that Dani would eventually see what a wonderful person she is and couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out if she'd find the happiness she deserves.

Sue Watson writes about a sensitive topic, dieting, in a beautiful honest and sympathetic way. Due to her detailed descriptions of feelings and doubts she managed to make me understand what Dani is going through very well. The emotions she focuses on are realistic and I liked the way she addresses the subject of not being comfortable in your own body and having to lose weight. She writes about the struggles with food, the reasons behind Dani's eating patterns, the shame, the insecurity, the cravings and the happy memories in a fantastic believable way and I was greatly impressed by the many amazing layers of her story. Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream has a lot of depth and the many unexpected twists and turns kept surprising me.

Sue Watson writes about women with plenty of insecurities. When they look critically at their existence they find a certain emptiness and with a little help from their friends they decide to change their lives and feel empowered when they start achieving their goals. I absolutely love that about all of Sue Watson's books. Her vivid writing style, knowledge of her subjects, sense of humor and creative themes stand out and they always make me want to read more. She combines this with mouthwatering descriptions of food, gorgeous men and sparkling romance. I absolutely loved Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream and highly recommend this terrific humoristic story.

Advice

If you love stories about personal growth combined with humor and delicious descriptions of food you should definitely read Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream. It's the second book in the Ice Cream Café series, but can easily be read as a standalone.
 
About Sue Watson

 
About the Blog: My blog is a bit like my handbag. It’s filled to capacity with a mess of random thoughts, recipes, favourite things and notes to and from my friends and family. Please feel free to have a delve in my blog handbag (sadly more Primark than Gucci) and say hello. If you should come across anything of interest among the favourite recipes, congealed sweets and old tissues of my life, please feel free to comment and share with your friends on Twitter and FB. And thanks for stopping by.
 
About Sue: Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.
 
So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,' tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.
 
Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she's not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA.'
 
Author links

Facebook

Guest post

 
Curves, Kisses, Chocolate Ice Cream and Lettuce!
By Sue Watson

My new book Curves, Kisses, and Chocolate Ice Cream was an absolute pleasure to write. Like my previous book Ella’s Ice Cream Summer, the novel involved a great deal of vital research tasting ice creams in every flavour and then retesting them, just to make sure. It was relentless, but I was happy to sacrifice my time and my figure for my readers.

It all started because I planned to set this new book in and around The Ice Cream Cafe in Devon where ‘Ella’ was set. The novels are standalone, involving characters from both books and while I contemplated this second book, I was thinking about ice cream all the time, while trying to avoid eating it! And as I struggled I realised I wanted my new heroine in Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream to be like me, a woman whose desire to lose weight is overcome by her passion for ice cream. My life is a constant conflict, just looking at a rich creamy ice cream topped with thick, fudgy sauce fills me with love and fear in equal quantities, I know I shouldn’t but don’t you dare try and stop me!

I think many women have this daily wrestle with food and calories and it can sometimes blight our days, our lives even. So I started with a girl called Dani, who loved ice cream but hated her body and desperately wanted to be slimmer for her 40th birthday party. And off we set, on a delicious journey of naughty treats, late night ice cream sundaes, secret fast food binges, and an aversion to the gym – something many of us can relate to I’m sure. But then Dani meets Chris, the gym Adonis, who can’t even mention the word ice cream without doing twenty lunges to make up for it. So I introduced curvy fast food fetishist Dani to lean machine five-a-day Chris and watched the magic happen!

I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say they have a very hot summer, and both Dani and Chris learn a lot about love, lunges, lettuce - and luscious ice cream!
 
Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a digital copy of Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream and a gorgeous book cover necklace.
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.
 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Loving Cat Tote Bag, Mug & Pillow Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Book Love tote bag, mug and pillow set designed by Lisa Marie. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Book Review - The Mothers of Lovely Lane by Nadine Dorries


Review by Suze

Ever since Paddy came home injured from the war his wife Noleen has been the one in their household who's responsible for bringing in money. She doesn't earn much working as a cleaner at St Angelus Hospital in Liverpool. That's why they need their son Bryan's income as well. He works as a porter at the same hospital. Paddy is feeling useless because he misses one of his legs and sits at home moping all day. Will the warmth of family and friends be able to lift his spitrits and make him feel useful again?

Lorcan is afraid of his thieving big brothers. He wants to earn an honest living and when he is fourteen years old he can finally find himself a job. He starts working at St Angelus and hopefully he'll be able to stay away from the life of crime his brothers are involved in. Will he be able to pull it off and manage to stay away from them and is he strong enough to he handle the care of his mother, who hasn't been right ever since her husband died in the war?

The trainee nurses of Lovely Lane have become close friends. Pammy, Dana, Beth and Victoria are working hard to finish their education. Beth feels left out, because she hasn't found love yet. The other nurses are dating and that's what she wants as well. Will she be able to choose wisely when someone's finally showing an interest? Beth might feel lonely, but Pammy is the only one who's happily in love though. Both Dana and Victoria are having problems that can't easily be solved and they need their friends more than ever. Will they be all right?

The Mothers of Lovely Lane is another wonderful story about St Angelus by Nadine Dorries. I absolutely love reading about everything that's going on in the hospital. It was nice to read about the nurses, the doctors, the porters and the cleaning staff again. The Mothers of Lovely lane is all about friendship and community spirit. The main characters are wonderful people who are helping each other and are trying to be the best they can be. I liked that attitude very much and enjoyed reading about their creative solutions to any kind of problem. The close friendships in this story are absolutely heartwarming and they constantly put a smile on my face.

Nadine Dorries has a lovely writing style that's easy to read. I flew through he pages of The Mothers of Lovely Lane and didn't want to put it down. There are many main characters and all of them are equally interesting. St Angelus is an amazing place to work and those who have a job there see each other as family. It's a fantastic setting to read about. Nadine Dorries always gives the exact right amount of details and her descriptions are lively and dynamic. She skillfully creates a stunning atmosphere over and over again, which is one of the most terrific part of her stories. The Mothers of Lovely Lane is a brilliant inspiring novel filled with love, friendship and secrets. I highly recommend this entertaining comforting book, it definitely lifted my spirits.

Advice

If you love heartwarming stories set in the years after the Second World War The Lovely Lane series would be an excellent choice. I'd start with book one, The Angels of Lovely Lane, and read the books in the correct order.

About Nadine Dorries


I was first elected as an MP for Mid Bedfordshire in May 2005 and my feet really haven’t touched the ground since.

My background is one of nursing and business, broken by a spell of teaching in Africa.

The mother of three daughters I am originally from Liverpool and arrived at my constituency via a long spell in the Cotswolds.

As an MP I constantly draw upon skills learnt or gained during my pre political life.

Never one to sit still, I have found the challenges Mid Bedfordshire has presented exhilarating (whoever told me it was a quiet rural constituency on the day I was first elected was obviously having a joke at my expense!)

A constituency of 77,000 homes, there are plans afoot to increase this by a further 12,000.

Preventing Mid Bedfordshire from being swamped by concrete remains my main focus and my biggest challenge.

As a young nurse living on a council estate, I learnt to communicate with people from all walks of life. After all, you never knew who was going to arrive in casualty next; the homeless drug addict or a barrister. This is a skill which has served me well every day in my role as an MP.

I like to think that, whilst having developed a reputation as a tough campaigner and fighter on behalf of constituents, they know that I’m just as able with a box of tissues and a big shoulder to cry on.

That will always be at the heart of everything I do. Representing, speaking out, working hard for every individual who needs my help, regardless of whether they vote for me or not or what their political beliefs are. It is of no consequence to me. I am here to represent everyone in Mid Bedfordshire and will continue to do so whilst always carrying with me the knowledge that it is the hugest privilege and honour to do so.

Links

With Love For Romantic Books - Kiss Me That Way, Then He Kissed Me, Light Up the Night & Till I Kissed You by Laura Trentham - Book Reviews, Interview & Giveaway

 
Review by Anniek

A river is what kept their lives separate by creating a boundary between the upscale Mississippi side and Louisiana. Louisiana is considered to be the wrong side of the track, or the river, if you live in Cottonbloom. Monroe has been struggling with the alcohol problems of her mom and the nasty boyfriends she brings home from the bar. When mom's latest boyfriend shows to Monroe that he can't be trusted she flees the house. Monroe ends up at the river having nothing else on her but her nightgown. She's cold, dirty and scared. Cade finds her and promises her that he'll do whatever he can to keep her safe. Will Cade be able to stay Monroe's knight in shining armor or will the river divide them for good this time?

Cade had to grow up really fast when he was a teenager. Needing to provide for his siblings he didn't always follow the law. Cade did what was necessary to keep them all together. He despises people who pray on the weak, just so that they can take whatever it is they want. This is why he defended Monroe at a time when she couldn't do this for herself. He's always had a weak spot for her and that never went away. One night when Cade is caught by the police he has to make a choice. Everything he has ever done has been for others, will this choice give him the space to finally start living for himself?

Monroe isn't a scared young girl anymore. She trained herself in martial arts and knows how to defend herself now. Not only is Monroe teaching self defense classes to teenage girls but she's also a physical therapist. She never forgot about Cade and how she felt when she was with him. He's the only one who knows everything there is to know about her. When he left without a word, Monroe's heart was shattered. I loved Monroe from the start. She has a very good work ethic and is a smart and capable woman. I love to read about people who are strong and will fight for the good in this world. Monroe has managed to overcome her own nightmares and tries to help others to build up their self esteem.

Cade still sees himself as the swamp rat from Louisiana. When he was forced to leave Cottonbloom it meant leaving his family and Monroe behind. It also gave him the opportunity to make something of himself. He's now a wealthy man with a successful company. When he returns home unexpectedly, he can't stop thinking about the girl he once had to leave behind. In Seattle he'd been living the life of a ghost, leaving his soul to wander Cottonbloom. He once was a teenager with the burden of never feeling good enough and now returning as a rich man must feel amazing. Cade is rough around the edges, but has a heart of gold. He did what he had to do to provide for his family and I can't imagine how hard that must have been for him.

Kiss Me That Way is one of the most intense love stories I have read this year. I loved the passion between Monroe and Cade. They know each other inside and out and I felt that connection throughout the story. I laughed out loud several times when the mayors of both towns kept antagonizing each other. Kiss Me That Way is a fabulous story with fascinating main characters, many interesting emotional layers and brilliant writing. Laura Trentham's sentences are exceptional and I can't wait to find out more about Cottonbloom and the great people who live there.

Advice

Kiss Me That Way is perfect for lovers of small town romance and compelling love stories.


Cottonbloom is a divided town, split in two by a river. One side is part of Louisiana and the other of Mississippi. There's quite a bit of animosity between the two and this has made life difficult for Nash and Tally. They used to be neighbors and were best friends. They spent all of their time together and Nash wanted nothing more than to run away with Tally. When his mother died he had to move in with his aunt at the upscale side of the river and he lost Tally's friendship. His aunt considered her a swamp rat and didn't think Tally was good enough for her nephew.

Nash is back in Cottonbloom to teach at Cottonbloom College. Tally owns her own gym. The past has damaged them both. Tally went through something traumatic and had to do this without the support of his best friend. They've missed each other, but now that they're adults their lives are very different. Nash's aunt is still against Tally and Tally's ex boyfriend is making her life incredibly difficult. Will they be able to find a way back to each other and repair their once so precious friendship and is there a chance there can be more between them?

Then He Kissed Me is a beautiful romantic story. Nash has a good heart. He's a kind and patient man with a lot of hidden depts. I was immediately fascinated by his multilayered personality. He's smart, strong and resilient. He can stand up for himself and will always defend the girl he loves. I liked the special friendship between Nash and Tally. They've loved each other for so long and it's clear from the start that they're soul mates. I couldn't wait to find out if they'd finally find happiness and read the book in one sitting because of it.

Laura Trentham has an amazing heartwarming writing style. I love the setting she's chosen for her books. The two towns where love and friendship are often being influenced by rivalry between the different parts of the river are a great setting for plenty of intriguing stories. The inhabitants of both parts are equally fun to read about. I love how they all have their own story and how the river plays such a big part in them. Nash and Tally are very special and I hoped they wouldn't let the river separate them ever again. Their story kept me glued to my seat and the ending is fantastic. I really enjoyed reading this amazing romantic book.

Advice

Then He Kissed Me is the second Cottonbloom novel, but can easily be read as a standalone. If you love small town romance you'll definitely like this series.
 

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Regan and Sawyer were high school sweethearts, but not everybody was happy with their relationship. Regan is from the rich Mississippi side of Cottonbloom and Sawyer is from the poorer Louisiana side. After an awful breakup they stopped been part of each other's lives, but that is no longer an option. Regan is the mayor of the Mississippi side and Sawyer the Parish Commissioner of the Louisiana side of the river. They are competing against each other by organizing a festival on the same day. They both need funding for their side and are battling against one another to receive it.

Regan is being sabotaged and at first she thinks Sawyer is behind it, but when the things that are being done to her are starting to get personal and are going pretty far she no longer suspects him. He even offers her his help. Slowly they're finding their way back to each other, but there's a lot of pain from the past they have to deal with before they can make a fresh start. Will they be able to mend each other's broken hearts?

Till I Kissed You is a fantastic romantic story. Regan and Sawyer used to be in love, but they became enemies. At first there's plenty of animosity between them, but they can't keep it up. They still like each other and are trying to find a way to get along. I loved their chemistry. They're both doubting themselves and the other and there's a lot of confusion because of it. They have to talk and work things out, but that isn't always very easy. Especially not when other people are involved. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see where this would lead and hoped they'd be able to overcome their differences and have their much deserved second chance.

Laura Trentham's Cottonbloom stories are terrific and I loved Till I Kissed You. Regan and Sawyer are perfect together and I liked the way they interact. The dialogue is fiery, their connection is deep and the story has many emotional layers. Someone is trying to sabotage the festival they're organizing and finding out who's behind the nasty incidents kept me on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved Till I Kissed You, it's a dynamic, fun and endearing story with an unexpected gripping ending. I highly recommend this fabulous book.

Advice

The Cottonbloom novels can be read as standalones, but I'd advice you so start with book one, simply because they're all really great.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Sadie was the victim of a mugging that left her traumatized and easily spooked. She's new in Cottonbloom where she'll work at the local college. She has a PhD in psychology, but hasn't been able to get rid of her anxiety. She was hoping to feel safe in her new surroundings, but someone was in her house and she hears noises in the garden. Therefore she calls Thaddeus, the local Chief of Police. Who's behind these incidents and will Sadie eventually feel safe again?

Thaddeus hasn't really lived since his older brother did something incredible for him. He's tried to make something of his life and wants to make sure his brother's sacrifice wasn't in vain. However, he hasn't allowed himself any fun because of it. Will Sadie bring back a part of him he thought he'd lost forever?

Light Up the Night is a lovely sweet story. Sadie is easily scared because of what happened to her and Thaddeus is the perfect knight in shining armor. They like each other straight away and share an easy friendship with plenty of sparks. I liked that they feel so comfortable with each other. They clearly belong together and I kept hoping that they'd both find their happily ever after.

Laura Trentham has written another wonderful Cottonbloom story. The setting has so many possibilities and I love that she makes use of that in such a good way. She's a skilled writer and knows how to create a perfect romantic atmosphere. Light Up the Night is a charming and entertaining story with a great heartwarming ending.

Advice

If you love a quick romantic read set in a great small town, Light Up the Night would be an excellent choice.

Free book

Light Up the Night: A Cottonbloom Novel is currently free on Amazon.
 
About Laura Trentham


An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be- read pile of books on her nightstand.

Author links

Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in a little town in northwest Tennessee. I toyed with the idea of majoring in English in college, but I wanted to eat and make money when I got out, so I picked the next most logical major: chemical engineering. I worked, got married, had kids. Just before my 39th birthday, with my kids both in school, I sat down and started writing my first book. I didn’t tell my friends or husband what I was doing until I was about a third of the way done with no signs of slowing down. That’s when I was like, Holy crap, I’m going to finish this book. I got an agent a year later and sold that first book plus its follow-up a year after that. It’s never too late to try something completely different or pursue a dream that you’ve put off!

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

The pot of coffee I drink a day? Lol.

3. You've grown up in a small town. Is this where you get the inspiration for your stories from?

I’ve definitely pulled from my experiences in a small town both in Tennessee and Alabama, both good and bad. If you’ve read my contemporary books, both the Falcon Football and Cottonbloom series touch on the darker aspects of small town life. Drugs, poverty, class differences. I want my small towns to be real. One reader told me that Cottonbloom reminded her so much of her hometown—except her town didn’t have as many available hot men!

4. On your website you wrote about your house which got glanced by a tornado. That must've been terrifying. Are you accustomed to dealing with these forces of nature?

Not at all! In fact, like a total idiot, my 12yo son and I were looking out the window when he said, “The wind is blowing in two different directions!” The bottom edge of the slide on our playset lifted six feet off the ground and only then did I grab the kids and the two dogs and shove everyone in our small bathroom downstairs. The tornado threw our wooden, sturdy playset across the yard and took down our fence. It was matchsticks. Craziness!

5. You have a pages with recipes on your website. Which one is a favorite in your household?

Chicken and Dumplings. Comfort food that isn’t unhealthy and is easy to make. A win-win!

6. Who did you have in mind when you created the personalities of your main characters?

Unlike some authors, I never pull “inspiration” pictures or base my characters on actors or actresses. The characters come to me first, and they are like unique, real people to me. In fact, when I start writing, I usually only know the characters, their backstories, and the first scene. Quite often, I’ll be writing and the characters will totally surprise me! I’ve made myself gasp before. Is that weird?

7. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?

I love romance! I started filching my mom’s Harlequin Presents back in middle school. I would sneak one, read it, return it under her bed, and repeat. I graduated to the lush historical romances of the late ’80s in high school. Even though I read across many genres, when I decided to write a book, it was a no-brainer. The story that came to me was a romance. And, unlike some authors, I love writing sex scenes. The tension and push-pull dynamic make them that much sexier.

8. Can you describe the main characters of your stories in seven words each?

I’ll take the hero and heroine of LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, the next Cottonbloom book.

Wyatt: Rumpled, sexy, blue-collar mechanic, restless, loyal, dreamer.

Sutton: Betrayed, unsure, uptown, classic-beauty, down-to-earth, caring, dreamer.
The fact both Wyatt and Sutton have (as yet) unrealized dreams draw them together.

9. What's the most special thing about Cottonbloom and the river that flows between it?

The river bisects the town in fortunes and also acts as the state line. One side in Louisiana, one in Mississippi. It’s a twist on a “wrong side of the tracks” trope, except it’s a river. Even though a competitiveness and lingering animosity exists between the two sides, when it counts, the town comes together.

10. Recently you've signed a new two-book deal (congratulations!). The books will be military romances. What more can we expect from you?

Thank you! I just turned in the first of the military romances, as a matter of fact. Tentative release date is summer 2018 (so far away!!) I also have three more Cottonbloom books coming. Yay! The first, LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, will be out August 1st! Same town, different family. This trilogy will follow three blue-collar mechanic brothers on the Louisiana side of the Cottonbloom.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a paperback copy of Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham. If the winner is from the US the book will be signed, if the winner lives outside the US the book will be sent via an online bookshop.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.