Merry Christmas!

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all Me, My Books and I readers a very…

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Snowflakes on Silver Cove (White Cliff Bay Book 2) by Holly Martin

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 30 October 2015

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself…

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance.

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George.

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. After reading and thoroughly enjoying book 1 in the White Cliff Bay series (review here), I couldn’t wait to get my bookish nose stuck inside book 2.

What a fabulously funny start to a book, I had two thoughts running through my mind at that point – it’s either a mouse or a neighbour! When it became clear who was responsible I couldn’t help but laugh, something that was a regular occurrence throughout I might add.

Learning more about Libby’s friendship with George put a big smile on my face, especially when they first became friends. Assumptions can lead to all sorts of embarrassing situations and Libby found that out the hard way! Both of these characters were extremely likeable and this made it easy for me to sink into the storyline and their lives. Their dating plan was quite obviously heading in one direction but I was keen to find out what kind of twists and turns their journey would take.

This book had two storylines running alongside one another and sometimes meeting in the middle. Seb and Amy’s story was just as intriguing as Libby and George’s but in a different way. I think they brought an extra touch of emotion to the table.

I loved the fact that the author weaved parts of book 1 into the storyline, for me this gave it a familiar edge. You actually don’t have to read book 1 first though, it would easily work both ways!

As I mentioned before, this book raised lots of laughs and I’d like to share some of my favourites with you:

  • A crazy cat rescue – purple is the new white you know.
  • A prank gone wrong followed by a prank gone right.
  • A very conspicuous costume that had me giggling even when I wasn’t reading!

This was a truly romantic and smiley kind of read. Holly Martin is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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kate1

Dashing Through The Snow by Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Random House, Cornerstone. Arrow

Publication Date: 19 November 2015

“Ashley Davison is desperate to spend the holidays with her mother in Seattle. Dash Sutherland has an interview for the job of a lifetime in Seattle and must arrive by 23 December. Both frantic to book a last-minute flight out of California, Ashley and Dash collide at the airport to learn that there are no flights and only one rental car available. After a rocky start, the two reluctantly agree to drive to Washington together. But their journey isn’t without obstacles, and a misunderstanding with the law threatens to ruin their holiday plans altogether.

Will Ashley make it home in time to surprise her mother? Will Kevin report to duty as expected? And most importantly, will they both have the opportunity to discover the greatest gift of all?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. The description really grabbed my attention, I loved the idea of a tense Christmas road-trip with a handsome stranger.

The story began at the airport with an attempt to get to Seattle being more difficult than it should be. Ashley and Dash were clearly feisty characters and their banter was fun to read, I couldn’t wait to see what adventures they would get up to.

When the FBI made an appearance I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting that kind of twist. It gave the storyline a whole different edge and raised so many questions, my imagination was sent into overdrive!

The banter quickly turned to flirtation and the journey took some interesting turns because of this.

I’d like to say I took the characters to heart but for me the connection was lacking. While I really enjoyed the storyline, I just didn’t feel as attached to the characters as I normally would.

This was a fast-paced, fun and romantic read with lots of twists and turns.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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kate1

Christmas at Lilac Cottage (White Cliff Bay Book 1) by Holly Martin

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 25 September 2015

“Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I first came across Holly Martin on Twitter and pretty much fell in love with the covers of her books. Next, I was intrigued by all the wonderful things other book bloggers were saying about said books and that was it, I just had to find out what all the fuss was about for myself!

This book just oozed Christmas right from the very first page. Even Penny’s job as an ice carver added to the festive, wintry feeling.

There was an uncomfortable atmosphere as Henry arrived at Lilac Cottage but I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation, especially as Henry was so clearly in a grump about the whole thing. Putting the comedy to one side, this scene also had an air of loneliness to it. I simply couldn’t shake the feeling that no one should be alone at Christmas. I felt sad for Penny as her disappointment echoed off the page at me and I wondered why she was so isolated.

As the storyline progressed, my wondering was answered but things were also improving. There was some serious chemistry between Penny and Henry and sexual tension that fizzed and crackled like fireworks on New Years Eve. But a good book is never that simple is it and the bumps in the road that followed captivated me throughout.

The author’s writing style was endearing and made me feel quite at home as I whizzed through the pages. I laughed out loud, gasped in shock and there were definitely a few ‘awww’ moments along the way too.

With wonderful main characters and a fabulously fun supporting cast, Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a must read for any romance fan!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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kate1

Jera's Jamboree/Talk of the Town

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

Publisher: Carina

Publication Date: 26 October 2015

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. The blurb really intrigued me – I’ve said many times (jokingly of course 😉 ) that hubby has it easy, going off to work while I’m at home looking after the kids and house. I was curious to see how swapping places would work out for Calvin and Judy.

As soon as I started reading I found myself smiling because the crazy morning scene playing out in front of me was just so familiar. Even down to the verbal checklist as they were walking out of the door. It was a typical family morning with Judy running round in circles trying to do fifty things at once and this made her an instant hero in my eyes (us busy mums have to stick together)!

There were so many funny moments that had me chuckling to myself as I read. Let me share some of my favourites with you:

  • Calvin entertaining himself by changing swear words into something more festive.
  • The moment the switch was discovered.
  • After the switch when Judy realised she had a new plaything!!
  • A doggy mess in the kitchen.

The whole idea of switching places with your loved one really got my imagination working overtime and that’s what made this book so enjoyable for me. I just couldn’t help but imagine hubby and I in the same situation – you will do exactly the same when you read this so be prepared.

The Mince Pie Mix-Up was a light-hearted read that was incredibly easy to relate to. Lots of fun!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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kate1

Jera's Jamboree/Talk of the Town

A Miracle at Macy’s by Lynn Marie Hulsman

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Publication Date: 18 October 2015

One lost dog. Two lonely hearts. A Manhattan Christmas full of magic.

Shy homebody Charlotte is planning her usual quiet Christmas celebration: Turkey for two for her and her beloved pet dog Hudson. Only, this year, little Hudson decides to take matters into his own paws and give his favourite human a holiday adventure she’ll never forget.

When Hudson runs away the week before Christmas, Charlotte is devastated. She’d rescued him from the trash years before and gave him a place in her home – and her heart. But with the help of uptight Englishman Henry, Charlotte ends up on a magical treasure hunt around Manhattan to find her furry, four-legged bestie.

Spotted in Central Park as one of Santa’s Little Helpers, or last seen in the arms of a supermodel in Times Square, Hudson leads Charlotte and Henry on a very merry dance around the Big Apple, where love, (or should that be Christmas?!) actually is all around.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I was initially attracted by the cover but when I read the blurb I knew I just had to read it – dogs and Christmas are two of my favourite things!

I thought Charlotte’s relationship with her dog Hudson was wonderful, probably because it reminded me so much of my own relationship with our dog Flint. There was a definite mother and child thing going on between them.

Charlotte seemed very awkward around people to begin with, she was a homely person with a passion for cooking so she spent a lot of time indoors with Hudson. This was why, when Hudson went missing, Charlotte was so far out of her comfort zone. I really enjoyed watching her character grow as the storyline progressed and the hunt for Hudson intensified.

The sights, scents and sounds of Christmas in New York were beautifully described and paraded vividly through my mind as I read.

There were plenty of funny moments – Vijay in particular was a hilarious character and a real favourite of mine. This was combined with some magically romantic scenes which kept me flipping the pages.

Although it was pretty obvious where the storyline would end up, even just from reading the blurb, I still thoroughly enjoyed the journey to get to that point.

A Miracle at Macy’s was a feel-good, Christmassy read that put a smile on my face.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

kate1

A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston – Guest Post

Today I’m delighted to welcome Holly Kingston to Me, My Books and I.  To celebrate the release of Holly’s first novella A Cinderella Christmas we have a fantastic guest post for you – an exclusive interview with one of the characters – Harry Addler, director and co-writer of Cinderella, the pantomime.

But first of all, lets introduce the book:

A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston (1)

“This year’s Cinderella pantomime is the hottest production in town. What’s more, Lucy is starring alongside Ryan Aspall: famous TV actor, sex symbol and potential love of her entire life. One teeny problem – Lucy is tripping the light fantastic as … the back end of the comedy cow. Surely nothing kills a flirty moment quite like wearing a massive set of udders? 

At least she has the support of glamorous (if potentially flammable) Charmaine; a reality star diva of a Cinderella, who Lucy is completely fascinated by. But behind the fame and beauty, Charmaine is not all she seems. 

With more drama off the stage than on it, and everyone wanting to be star of the show, will Lucy find the confidence to make it out of the cow suit and into the spotlight this Christmas?”

GUEST POST

Q. So Harry, what made you decide to cast Charmaine Lewis as Cinderella?

A. We wanted a great singer for the part of Cinderella. I wrote most of the songs in the pantomime myself you know. Unfortunately most of the female vocalists we approached were too busy publicising their Christmas single, so we went for Charmaine instead. She’s not bad though. Very pretty girl. If you close your ears and concentrate on her face then she makes for a fabulous Cinderella. Although she’s a bit … how can I put it…high maintenance? We had to get her a dog sitter and a fridge had to be plumbed in to her dressing room.

Q. And what about Ryan Aspall, was he your first choice for Prince Charming?

A, Absolutely! That boy can sing. He also isn’t too trigger happy with the lawyers when things get a little, how can I say, tricky, on stage. He’s got the good sense to call an accident an accident that boy. That’s what I like in a man. The good sense not to sue.

Q. We heard that there was some drama in rehearsals with an ambulance being called for some of the cast? What happened?

A. How did you hear about that? They’re fine. It wasn’t my fault. They should’ve looked where they were going. Idiots. Anyway … no comment until I speak to my lawyers. Next question!

Q. What do you have planned for Christmas Day?

A, Well that’s our one day off. If it were up to me we’d work it, but some of the cast are in a bloody union. I can’t get home on Christmas Day so I’ll probably go to a local hotel with some of the actors for overpriced turkey. If you ask me, some of the guys are a bit over excited about the party. They’re like a bunch of over hormonal teenagers the lot of them.

Q. Will the pantomime be featuring on Charmaine’s new reality show Charmaine: The Beauty Days?

A, Not unless they sign my health and safety disclaimers! That theatre is a death trap. Actually, can I rephrase that please? Thank you. Ahem … the theatre is not a place for people who cannot be responsible for their own actions.

Q. So what’s next for you, Harry?

A. In the Spring I’m working on a musical based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s cats. I’ve called it Dogs. It’s early stages but the lyrics for the songs are great and I’m really excited about the costumes. It’s going to be barkingly brilliant. See what I did there? You see barking … dogs … get-it?

Thanks very much for your time Harry.

BUY THE BOOK

You can read more about Harry, and the outrageous goings on in his theatre production, in the brand new novella A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston, available on Amazon now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HollyKingstonHolly started her life as a child. When she grew substantially taller and learnt how to read she decided that she’d jolly well like to write books. Whilst at college, Holly had a slight change in her career focus and decided to become a marine biologist. On discovering that she sucked at science and that her future job was unlikely to involve monitoring anything larger than sea plankton, Holly went back to the drawing board and got a BSc in Psychology instead. She studied with Scriptwriting North and wrote her first film, along with a number of shorts and a sitcom pilot.

After several years of writing, rewriting, and hiding stuff for posterity on her hard drive, she sent her first novel to The Marsh Agency where she is now represented by Hannah Ferguson. She is currently working on her second full length novel and wondering how to lose the weight she’s put on whilst writing her last book.

You can find out more about Holly Kingston on the Novelicious website, Holly’s website, Twitter or Facebook.