November 30, 2015

Review: Promises To Keep by Patricia Sands


Love in Provence #2
Author: Patricia Sands
Genre: Women's Fiction
Page Length: 226 Pages
Format: Kindle
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Publishers: Lake Union Publishing
Falling in love with the south of France was no surprise to Katherine. Choosing to walk away from her past and start over was completely unexpected. A new country, a new lover, and the promise of a bright future beginning in mid-life … who knew?

Now there were the exciting dreams of restoring the property on the Cap, of beginning a new career, of experiencing the traditions of Christmas in Provence, of falling even more deeply in love with the man who inspired these hopes.

It was all so perfect, until it wasn’t.

She had embraced new possibilities in life and given her heart only to discover something was being kept from her. Something terrible from her lover’s past. Something that could destroy everything.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, had become her mantra. Would it be enough?
Blogging has helped me discover many authors, whose novels I have started to like and wait upon their new releases. Patricia Sands is one among them. I read The Promise of Provence, the first book in Love in Provence series, back in September. I have read a few novels, set in France. BUT this particular book always stood out, and will always be in my top recommendations for those who adore novels set in la France. Patricia Sands writing is unique, she puts so much passion, details, and emotions in her novel, which will literally take you away into her character's world and leave you with a story that tugs at your heart strings. I was happy for Katherine, the protagonist in the series when I bid goodbye to her last time, meeting Philippe had changed her life. You can read my review of The Promise of Provence here.

I was intrigued by the description of the Promises to Keep, the second book in the series, published on October 13th. Though I had it in my Kindle, it took me a while to get into this book. I was taken by surprise to see Katherine crying and leaving Philippe, wondered what had happened between them. The rest of the novel takes us through a flashback- to where the story ended last time and begins in Promises to Keep

Something from the past is haunting Philippe; they were chased by an SUV and narrowly escaped death, followed by an explosion in Philippe's store. He asks Katherine to return to Toronto, saying she would leave him anyway if he tells the secret. Meanwhile, she discovers a new passion, Photography and befriends Simone, a lonely aged woman, living near the property, Philippe has inherited, which they were planning to restore to start a new business. Philippe secret annoys Kat, she starts to doubt about trusting him. The remaining story focuses on Philippe telling the secret, how they tackle the situation together, Noel in Provence, and an unexpected ending.

The first few chapters give an idea about what has happened till now, brief descriptions about each character. It made reading the novel easier, it can also be helpful to those who haven't read the first book as well. Patricia has followed her unique writing style in this novel too; vivid descriptions and excellent details on the history, life, nature and culture of Southern France. I can't recall an another book, which enticed me to travel to France- to visit Provence, Antibes, and villages in the Southern France.

The main story revolves around Philippe's secret. He chooses not to reveal it to Katherine and asks her to patient till the moment comes. The troubles of the past start itching Katherine's mind, she becomes impatient as days pass by and begins to doubt about trusting Philippe completely. For a moment, I felt that Katherine didn't let her past go, thought she was dubious and uncomfortable for naught. But as I read more, Philippe's secret started getting on my nerves. I do hate it when partner keeps mum about something. I did want him to spill the beans soon, thinking what on earth can be this top secret. I waited on him to come clean. I was also as curious as Katherine to know it and turned the pages quickly. And when I learned it from Philippe, I understood why he was being hush-hush after all and empathized with him. I could have never imagined such a story, an unforeseeable one. I anticipated some actions and adventures in the following chapters, But there wasn't any. Anyhow, I am happy 'cause they were happy again at the end. Almost. Yes, Just when I thought, everything was going to be alright, the story takes an unexpected turn. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series, to know what happens next.

Katherine's new hobbies, Simone's secrets, and the villains made reading Promises to Keep enjoyable. A Provence Christmas was also there, really enjoyed reading all the traditions; especially the Christmas lunch, which includes seven dishes and thirteen desserts. And I was delighted to see Picasso again. To be frank, it wasn't neither Katherine nor Philippe, who came to mind at first, when I started reading it. But the adorable Pico. Happy to see him. And there was a new character this time, Victor Hugo. And Joe, Simone, David, and many more characters. I'm sure that everyone has a story to tell. Waiting for the next book to be out soon.

To sum up, this is the best book in the series so far, I really liked it. Recommended if you love a good, uplifting read and highly recommended if you love France.

Happy Reading!

November 22, 2015

Review and Q & A: The Midnight Hour by Andrea L Wells


The Violet Hour #0.5
Author: Andrea L Wells
Genre: Paranormal, YA Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition
Page Length: 101 Pages
Publication Date: November 10th, 2015
Publishers: KD Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon India
The only true destiny is love.

And love is not always about happy endings.

Michelle Keller-Jarvis doesn't know it yet, but she's going to die.

Beautiful, rich and an immortal werewolf, no one suspects how ready she is to risk everything to keep her daughter, Logan, safe from Xavier's royal clutches.

A prequel to The Violet Hour, this novella offers readers a chance to hear Michelle's story of a plan eleven years in the making gone horribly wrong.

When destiny makes its demands, sometimes the strongest don't survive.

Review

It all started with winning the giveaway of The Violet Hour by Andrea L Wells. A blogger friend of mine was pouring praises on Andrea for the book, it made me eager to read it. Though, I was never open to Paranormal novels, I decided to try reading it. The Violet Hour series is the story of a pack of immortal, ageless werewolves. A new power is in the making, a successor to Alpha- the powerful, royal title among them. It can be a threat to the reigning Alpha. OK, That's it! Read the books to know more :) The Violet Hour introduced me to Luke and Logan and I instantly loved them both. Read my review here. The story ended with a cliffhanger and some unanswered questions, which kept me on tenterhooks, waiting to find out the answers.

The Midnight Hour, a prequel to The Violet Hour was released on November 10th. You know that "itch" to get your hands on the book as soon as it is out... So, I just grabbed it at the first chance. The Violet Hour told the story of Logan's life after her mother, Michelle's mysterious death. The last chapters left some hints on how she died, but I needed a bit more details.

The Midnight Hour is written from Michelle's perspective; her voice awash with the agonies, memories, feelings, emotions, and anxieties knowing the death is too near. Andrea's writing style made it easy for me to get into the character's shoes and to see the life from Michelle's side; a mother, who did her best to save the life of her daughter and silently sacrificed herself when everything else failed. The more I got to know her, the sadder I was to see her go. Her escape plan kept my hopes too high, felt miserable when it went wrong. Michelle's story was heart wrenching! This novella also throws light on Michelle's relationship with her husband, and ex-husband, Kevin. It was nice to see how meaningful and affectionate was each relationship to her.

And I met Xavier this time. I pictured him as a vicious, strong-built, middle-aged, evil-looking man. To my surprise, he was nothing like I imagined him to be. But, more powerful, smarter, faster, and youthful. His powers make him unique and the Alpha. His attitude is different from the other villains I have seen in the movies. He kills only those who break the rules. There was something about him, which makes him royal ( and attractive too). The last part of the novella is written from Xavier's point of view. I completely forgot whose side I was on, whilst perusing the story from Xavier's  angle. Sheesh! I quite liked the villain ;) 

You can enjoy The Midnight Hour, even if you haven't read The Violet Hour. But, I recommend reading them in order for full enjoyment. Andrea's writing will never disappoint you, she certainly has a knack to keep the readers engaged throughout the novel with interesting characters and an engrossing plot. You will love it! I highly recommend these books, if you are a fan of paranormal books. 

This novella did answer my questions. Now that I know what is in every character's mind, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. What shall I expect? Some Good vs Bad intense actions, fights? or more twists and turns? Can't wait!

My Rating: 5/5 (Loved it!)
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Q & A with Andrea L Wills


What was the inspiration for writing The Violet Hour series?


Let me start by saying, I never set out to write a paranormal piece. And werewolves? Not even a thought in my mind. When I sat down to write Logan’s story I knew it was going to be about a girl who had just lost her mother, forcing her to have to move back in with her estranged father. I knew there was going to be a huge contrast between her former lifestyle and her new lifestyle (Hollywood versus Wyoming) which would be the start of the conflict and I knew there was going to be a boy – of course, there was going to be a boy!

I got about 5 chapters in and quickly realized I needed to get a little twisted, thinking to myself, ‘Where can I take this story?’ It was almost immediate that the idea of werewolves came to me. At the time, (back in 2009) vampires were heavy on the young adult paranormal scene but werewolves had just barely started to make their appearance. The Twilight Saga movie New Moon was releasing in just a few weeks which would visually introduce (or reintroduce depending on how long you’ve been a fan of paranormal) the world to werewolves. I, of course, had already read the series many, many, many times.

Armed with my new intentions for the story, I realized almost immediately that I wanted Logan to already be destined to become a werewolf. The story began telling itself and still to this day, 6 years later to the day, it continues to do so in my mind.

What are your favorite Paranormal Novels?


So now you can probably guess one of my favorite paranormal series, having a major influence on my writing – The Twilight Saga. You may find it interesting that I was Team Edward when it came to the books and I was Team Robert Pattinson when it came to the movies. I had no emotional attachment to the werewolves/Jacob Black in the series – which may explain why I set out to write (hopefully) a really good werewolf story. Somewhere in my mind, I was longing to flesh out werewolf characters.

Another paranormal series I couldn’t put down was The Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer (total coincidence on the first names).

I’ve purchased several other paranormal/werewolf series that I’m positive I will love, but since diving deep into the world of writing young adult paranormal romance, I do not read the genre. I know the path of my characters, I know the story, and I feel like while I’m still in the process of transferring all that to paper, I need to protect it in my own mind. So I don’t allow similar series to influence what I’m currently working on.

Because of that rule I have, I’m extremely open to reading any genre and am always accepting book recommendations. 
Thanks, Andrea!

Gee, what are waiting for? Do you like paranormal stories? Werewolves? Then, Grab the copies today itself. Have you read the books already? Did you like it? Please do tell me.

Happy Reading!

November 21, 2015

Darcie Boleyn picks her Top Five Festive Season Movies...

Hello!
Delighted to be a part of the blog tour for Wish Upon a Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn. Today, the lovely author, Darcie Boleyn is talking about her Top Five Christmas Movies. Scroll down to find her favorite festive season movies and for a chance to win a £20 Amazon Gift card.


Author: Darcie Boleyn
Genre: Romance, chick-lit, Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2015
Publishers: Carina UK
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The most wonderful time of the year?

Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!

If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl…

But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?

This holiday season, snuggle up by a roaring fire with a mulled wine and enjoy Darcie Boleyn’s festive winter warmer!
Author Bio


Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Find her Here: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Book Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US
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Christmas Entertainment

No Christmas would be complete without movies. Each year I have my favourites that I watch over and over again.

Here are my top five festive movies:

#1 has to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Growing up I watched this movie with my Dad every year and every time he would belly laugh until the tears rolled down his cheeks. It has such good memories for me and these days I watch it with my husband and children.


#2 is Home Alone – This movie is a classic. I loved it as a child and my children love it, especially my son. It never ceases to amuse us all and the ending sees me in tears every time. 


#3 is It’s a Wonderful Life – A beautiful movie that always reminds me to appreciate what I have and, again, that makes me cry!


#4 is The Grinch – I just love that wicked green guy with his bah humbug attitude and I’m always moved by his turnaround and acceptance of the error of his ways.


#5 Die Hard – I can’t believe this was made back in 1988! Its exciting action scenes featuring the fearless, wisecracking Bruce Willis AKA John Maclane and its messages about family values get me looking forward to Christmas every year.


What are your favourite Christmas movies?

Thanks Darcie for sharing your favorite Christmas movies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodluck & Happy Reading!

November 18, 2015

Blog Tour: What Rosie Found Next by Helen J Rolfe


Hey! I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for What Rosie Found Next by Helen J Rolfe, hosted by Brook Cottage Books. Scroll down to read the review and enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a $15/£10 Amazon Gift Card.


Magnolia Creek Series #1
Author: Helen J Rolfe
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romantic Fiction
Page Length: 248 Pages
Publication Date: 3rd November 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
A shaky upbringing has left Rosie Stevens craving safety and security. She thinks she knows exactly what she needs to make her life complete – the stable job and perfect house-sit she’s just found in Magnolia Creek. The only thing she wants now is for her long-term boyfriend, Adam, to leave his overseas job and come home for good.

Owen Harrison is notoriously nomadic, and he roars into town on his Ducati for one reason and one reason only – to search his parents’ house while they’re away to find out what they’ve been hiding from him his entire life. When he meets Rosie, who refuses to quit the house-sit in his parents’ home, sparks fly.

Secrets are unearthed, promises are broken, friendships are put to the test and the real risk of bush fires under the hot Australian sun threatens to undo Rosie once and for all.

Will Rosie and Owen find what they want or what they really need?

Review

Helen J Rolfe's latest book, What Rosie Found Next is set in Australia, a place I have always wished to visit. I didn't need to think twice before requesting it since I knew that I was gonna like it, the description promised me a good romance with a touch of mystery and the fact that it is set Australia made me too eager to read it.

The novel tells the story of Rosie and Owen. Rosie Stevens has started her house-sitting at Magnolia Creek, as the owners have gone to London for a short time. She is longing to settle down somewhere like Magnolia Creek with her boyfriend, Adam, who is currently working in Singapore. Owen Harrison, the eldest son of the owners, shows up in the middle of the night, not knowing about the 'house-sitter' his parents had arranged. He has come home in search of a secret his parents had been hiding from him all these years. Rosie is adamant about leaving the house-sitting and Owen is confused about how to tackle the situations. The rest of the story revolves around their friendship which slowly grows into a more beautiful relationship, the mysteries and more!

I liked the novel and loved the characters. Owen, a nomadic with a heart of Gold and Rosie, an altruist and good at keeping secrets and Bella- Owen's sweetheart. The spark between Rosie and Owen was crystal clear. Owen realizes it at the beginning itself, whereas Rosie seemed rather flustered about it. She couldn't hear the inner voices, as she always put Adam's choices at first. Still, I liked every banter and chat-ups and occasional flirting they had ;) and the gradual development of their relationship too.

Even though, I wasn't really grabbed by the story then. It's fast-paced and sounded very relaxing; everything was happening so fast with no hints of mystery. But it really got into me by the half. I didn't want Adam in the picture just like Rosie did, but only her, Owen, and their friends. The plot thickened when Owen found 'the box' and I became impatient to know it all and kept reading on. His mother's secrets moved me to tears, it was heartbreaking! The life of the firefighters was an another element I liked. Helen has captured the emotions well in each passage that I had to blink back the tears; very emotional, heart touching scenarios. The story doesn't end there, it kept surprising with more twists and turns and I was forced to change my opinion; from a relaxing book to an engrossing one!

I wished to read more about Owen's Dad and Mom, once the secrets were revealed. I think, I have to wait until the next book is published. I will definitely be reading more Magnolia Creek stories. This book made me blush, smile, laugh and cry. The novel has romance and mystery as well. You can also experience the unpredictable Australian climate with the rainy evenings and scoring hot sun at daytime, the irresistible charm of Magnolia Creek and a Harrison's Christmas too. Perfect to read at anytime. Why don't you grab a copy today?

My Rating: 4/5(Liked it!)
Happy Reading!

About HELEN J ROLFE
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women's fiction. She enjoys weaving stories about family, relationships, friendships, love, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. 

Born and raised in the UK, Helen spent fourteen years living in Australia before returning home. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and children.

November 15, 2015

The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements

Author: Abby Clements
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format: Kindle
Page Lenght: 25 Pages
Publication Date: November 20th, 2012
Publishers: Quercus
Goodreads
With Christmas just around the corner, the residents of Skipley village are gearing up for the annual bake off, and tensions are high.

Winning means a lot to everyone involved - talented cake-shop owner Katie dreams of baking stardom, Rachel wants to prove she's more than a stay-at-home mum, and John hopes his culinary skills will impress the woman he loves.

But when the judges discover that some cakes have been tampered with, the villagers' loyalties are called into question - whose ambition would stretch to sabotage, and why?

The Christmas Bake Off is an exclusive short story from Abby Clements, author of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. This ebook edition also includes bonus recipes for cinnamon cookies and vanilla and almond biscuits.
Finally! I got to read a Abbey Clements book at last. I was beaming like the moon when I found a freebie copy on Amazon and couldn't wait to dive into it. There were a number of hyped titles at a discount and on freebie sections and I  managed to grab a few lots of them. I had to stash away the card to stop splurging. Yikes, The PERILS of BEING A BOOKWORM

I am addicted to books, which incorporates the love of baking along with heartwarming love stories. It's a two-in-one for me since it delights me with a pleasing novel and treats with some scrumptious recipes, two of the things I enjoy a lot. I was already over the moon to spot Abbey Clements's short story and the description tempted me more. I knew I would love it, even before jumping into it, for it was just my cup of tea.

What is it about?

The villagers of Skipley are excited about the annual Christmas Bake off, which will be co-judged by Joe Carmichael, famous for his Baking show on TV. To Katie, the owner of local cake shop and the winner of last year's Christmas Bake Off, it is an opportunity to be recognized by Joe, who promotes new talents. Rachel is jumpy about her Gingerbread house and winning the title, she has worked hard to prepare it. John, the owner of Skipley Hardware is also entering his Mint Cake to impress the woman, he loves. Bea sticks to her traditional Cinnamon star cookies. The table is laden with the delicious sweets, the villagers prepared overnight. And now, the judges have announced that two items are sabotaged by someone. What happens next?

My thoughts

I am awed! Who knew that a heartwarming story can be wrapped up in just 25 pages. Abbey Clements's riveting writing hooked me into the story from the first page. Everything sounded so lovely and lively, I was sad when the story ended, wished it to be longer. I was craving for sweets and was restless to do some baking after devouring this beautiful story, the descriptions made my mouth water; Chocolate Pistachio Yule log, Cinnamon Cookies, Hot Chocolate, Cake, Biscuits, mince pies, and Gingerbread house *Yum Yum Yum* The Christmas Bake Off will definitely make you do some Christmas baking, even if you are in no mood for it, I bet! 

The endearing characters made me smile- a heartfelt smile. The magic of the season was really working the wonders. Albeit they were on the brim of the nervousness, naught did stop them from helping each other. It's the story of a bunch of good-spirited people, who believed in giving and forgiving. Recommended if you like the novels of Sue Watson, Rebecca Raisin, and Alexandra Brown. 

It's free on Amazon Kindle now. A make-you-feel-good Christmas story cum baking recipes, are you buying it? 

My Rating: 4/5(Liked it!)
Happy Reading!

November 12, 2015

Blog Tour: City of Illusions by Judith Works

Hey! Thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for City of Illusions by Judith Works. Today, I am sharing a guest post, in which Judith talks about how she fell in love with Italy. Do check it out! 

CoI_cv_HR
Author: Judith Works
Genre: Romance, Mystery, Suspense Thriller
Page Length: 210 Pages
Publication Date: November 2014 
Publishers: Booktrope
Laura impulsively applies for a job in glorious Rome without telling her husband, Jake. She wants to leave gray Seattle and make her dreams of a more exciting life and a rejuvenated marriage come true. When the offer unexpectedly arrives she talks Jake into the adventure. After all, she is nearing 30 and Jake crossed that threshold only a few years earlier. Life might pass them by if they don’t take the chance. But she and Jake soon learn la dolce vita is far more complicated than they imagined when they are catapulted into a world full of intrigue, deceit, and infidelity lurking behind the sunny piazzas and crumbling ruins. Their lives spin out of control when naïve Jake, cast adrift as the trailing spouse, is sucked into a gang of antiquity thieves. Laura is left to find her own way the city of yearning, of echoes, of illusions. What will she do? Preserve her marriage at all costs or search elsewhere for the key to the happiness she desires?

In this women’s fiction set in the romantic city of Rome, author Judith Works tells the classic tale of the Old World colliding with the New but with a modern twist.

Author's Bio:

Ran away to the Circus (Maximus) in mid-life. In reality, I worked for the United Nations in Rome for four years as a legal advisor to the director of human resources. When the contract was up my husband and I reluctantly returned to the US. But we pined for the land of pasta, vino, art, and sunny piazzas. Then the gods smiled and offered a chance to return to Rome. Six more years in the Eternal City passed much too quickly.

Now back in the US, I volunteer for arts and literary organizations when not traveling to Italy and other places on my list. And whenever I am in Rome I toss coins into the Trevi Fountain to ensure yet another return to enjoy la dolce vita.

Find her here: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Guest Post

Our first weekend outside Rome provided us with an indelible experience that finally put to rest any lingering doubts we had about moving to Italy. New friends, Peter and Maria, gathered us up for a trip to the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. It was February—cool, damp, but sunny. Our route took us through small hill towns and quiet fields until we rounded a bend and saw a city in the far distance, its skyline punctuated with what looked like skyscrapers, black against the blue sky. In reality it was close by and our destination, a twelfth-century walled town filled with ancient towers. Winter afternoon was already setting in. The low sun lit the cold medieval stones, beckoning us to bundle up and start exploring. The empty cobbled streets echoed with the raucous cry of jackdaws circling the churches, civic buildings, and towers. Built when the Guelphs, supporting the pope, and Ghibellines, the Holy Roman Emperor’s faction, battled each other for power, each side tried to build taller than the other for military advantage. Now peace reigned and many of the towers had fallen or were crumbling with age, home for roosting birds and dangling vegetation.

Our hotel incorporated part of the ancient town walls. When I looked out our window I could see below me the tiled roofs of stone houses, laundry hanging limp in the damp, and small cars tucked into courtyards. The restaurant, decorated with medieval and Renaissance pottery and sculptures, featured a dinner menu suitable for the season with venison, wild boar, and red wine from nearby woods and vineyards.

The morning brought a slow sun rising over misty fields already emerald green with winter wheat. Cypress, olive, and umbrella pine trees completed the dreamy picture. We departed after breakfast for Montalcino. The rows of now-bare vines covering the hills had long since given up their fruit and golden fall leaves. Men were already in the vineyards beginning to prune the sleeping plants before spring arrived. We paused at a fattoria to buy thick red Brunello di Montalcino. The owner showed us his winery and helped load bottles in the car trunk while an elderly woman did laundry by hand in a tub placed underneath an old olive tree. Her hands were as gnarled as the tree’s trunk from wringing out the cold, dripping garments over the years.

The Taverna dei Barbi was the venue for a lunch of freshly made ravioli filled with zucca, pumpkin, followed by grilled bistecca. Then, as if we were modern-day mendicants, we followed the Via Francigena, a medieval pilgrim route, to the Abby of St. Antimo. The rolling countryside was dotted with chestnut forests, vineyards, and olive groves. A few dead sunflower stalks, their heads declined as if in prayer, stood in fields waiting to be ploughed under in the spring.

Founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century, the abbazia had a “new” church and bell tower dating from the twelfth century while incorporating elements of the original. We crossed the greensward toward the massive door. The sound of a Gregorian chant at the hour of Vespers greeted us as we entered the nave. The church was empty except for a young monk whose voice filled the space. We listened to the sound in peace while gazing upon a magnificent carving of a crucified Christ. With eyes open and head to one side, he appeared to be listening too as he ascended to heaven.

We knew that we had found our Italy.

Thanks, Judith!
Don't forget to check out City of Illusions, if you love Mystery Novels.

Book Tour Organized by I ♥ all the Books Tours
iheartallthebooks

November 10, 2015

Ten Books turned into Movies, I Gotta Watch

Is it Books or Movies? I can't choose either and pronounce it as the thing I enjoy the most. I need them both. There is a limit to the imaginations inside the mind and these movies assist in making them much prettier. Isn't it so? When it comes to telly, I am a sucker for Period Dramas/movies, Animation movies, and Movies based on true incidents and books. There are tons of books, I haven't read yet. There, those movie adaptations have helped me invariably; to know the story, to meet the characters and gives enough knowledge to take part in book discussions. Last year, I spent almost two months as a couch potato and watched most of the Period dramas and movies based on novels (excluding the action and horror movies). I fell in love with many on-screen gentlemen, admired the ladies, loved the costumes, learned the basics of how to act like a classy lady, bewitched by anything vintage and longing to visit the awesomely awesome English Villages. *SIGH*

Right, back to the topic; today's Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I'm Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch. Here is the list of top ten movies-to-watch from my list.

Howl's Moving Castle


It started with watching Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I loved it and decided to watch all the animation movies he made. And that's how Howl's Moving Castle was added to my list. Didn't know, it was based on a novel then. I cannot tell what it's about, as I am yet to read the book. There is a magician called Howl and his legged walking castle, a witch and a pretty lass, Sophia. Sounds interesting, eh?

Coraline

Read Stardust by Neil Gaiman years back and he won a place in my favorite authors list with that single novel. Have you seen Stardust? His novel, Coraline was made into a movie in 2009. Recently, I acquired a copy of it, have got to watch it soon. Too anxious to know what's behind the locked door in the drawing room...

A Christmas Carol

My favorite Christmas story, a classic novella was written by Charles Dickens. I read it in January. Haven't you read Mr. Scrooge and Christmas Ghost's tale? It's a must-read festive season book. I'm saving it to watch in December, the best time of the year.

Eat Pray Love

I know it's a true story but marked as DNF last time. Thus, I will watch the movie first, and read Elizabeth Gilbert's story again.

The Hobbit

Ahh, my naughty little cousin cornered me and forced to hear the entire story. He wanted to tell the story to somebody, so he chose me. Damn it! I will watch this after perusing the novel.

Far From The Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy's Classic novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. I didn't finish reading it last time, as I was busy taking care of something important than all the novels. I will pick it up for Classic Challenge 2016. The background music is alluring, I might end up on my couch with biscuits and tea anytime now... Of course, to watch FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.

To Kill a Mockingbird

A chance to put a face to the names; Mr. Atticus Finch, Scout, Jem, Dill and Mr. Arthur Radley. I was dying to meet them all. Read it in July and loved the novel. Someone has uploaded the movie on Youtube, so I can watch it anytime, I wish.

The Fault in Our Stars

Oh Lord, No! I do not want to cry :(

In the Heart of The Sea

I seriously don't know anything about this movie or the novel. I wanted to watch it, just because Chris Hemsworth is acting as the hero. I am looking forward to watching the movie in December. I will never read the novel, though; it's just not my kind of read.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2

Another book, I would never read; Sci-fi novels are not my cup of tea. I have seen all the movies in the series. I will watch Mockingjay Part-2 with my partner, since we both love Peeta and Katniss. Another movie, I'm looking forward to watching on the big screen.

Which movie are you planning to watch next? Have you seen any movie from my list? Did you like it? Please, do tell me.

Good Day!

November 05, 2015

Heartsong Cottage: When Life Gives A Second Chance at Love

Author: Emily March
Genre: Romance
Page Length: 320 Pages
Format: Kindle Edition
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2015
Publishers: St. Martin's Press
Goodreads | Amazon
Two weary strangers are about to rest their burdens in Eternity Springs, where there's hope for every broken heart.

Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn't found a way to mend the wounds of his past until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs...and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he'd never have again.

Sometimes life gives us
a second chance at love.


Shannon O'Toole isn't looking for romance. Ever since her fiancé's death, she created a quiet life for herself restoring Victorian cottages. Still, she can't deny her attraction to the handsome, broad-shouldered stranger. Daniel makes her feel things she's hasn't felt in years-including the desire to share her secrets. But can Shannon trust a detective when doing so could bring danger to her cottage door? In Eternity Springs, anything-and everything-is possible...
Heartsong Cottage, it was the title, which enticed me to select this book, the word 'Cottage' is one of my favorite words and it appealed to me as a make-you-feel-good read. I was a bit betrayed as the cover gave me an idea of a festive-season read, which it isn't. Nevertheless, the magic of Eternity Springs was great enough to tug at my heartstrings.

Heartsong Cottage gave me goosebumps at the beginning and end as well. The novel starts with the unfortunate events happened in Daniel Garret's life years back. Daniel fails to understand the premonitions of an imminent disaster, he loses his son and wife and the incident breaks his heart. The incident broke my heart too, it was heart-wrenching. The introduction of Shannon O'Toole told me that she was in hiding, far away from someone she was afraid of. It sounded as a thriller at first. I even doubted whether Heartsong Cottage was a romance novel after all. The following chapters tell us the story of Daniel and Shannon from their own perspective. They both were ready to accept the chances life offered them, albeit they were afraid deep in their heart. Life surprises them with more exciting news. But, the past returns as the villain and threatens them. Heartsong Cottage will make you smile and cry, it was an emotional read.

I enjoyed the novel very much, although I had a bit trouble to know who was who. The supporting characters are from the previous novels in Eternity Springs series, I was confused when Emily March mentioned them all. A whole town was a part of Shannon and Daniel's story and I didn't know any of them. Thus, I would suggest reading the previous books to get to know everyone, especially Celeste and her Angel Rest. 

My favorite part of the story was Finding Soupy again. Soupy, a lost dog was returned to Daniel after ten years. Such an Emotion-packed novel! The writing was impressive, it literally takes you to Eternity Springs, where special memories happen. I was hoping for an HEA at the end. Instead, she kept my heart pounding, expecting the worst. Ah! I would gladly bag another book from the series if I spot one.

The novel tells us to listen to the voice from the heart, it will definitely make you believe in the Guardian Angels. It also reminds us to accept the chances life throw at us, instead of mourning about the past, it urges to move forward in life. Shannon and Daniel tackled the problem like adults, there were no immature, daft actions and that's how I do exactly plan to face the challenges. It made the story sound so original, I liked that. Overall, Heartsong Cottage is a wonderful novel that will stay with you for a while.

My Rating: 4/5
Happy Reading!

November 03, 2015

Have you ever been to The Magical Animal Adoption Agency?

The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #2
Author: Kallie George
Genre: Middle Grade, Children's Fiction
Page Length: 136 Pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2015
Publishers: Disney Hyperion
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon India | Barnes & Noble

There's a new resident at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, but this one hasn't hatched yet! Mr. Jams brought home an enchanted egg from his last journey, and Clover can't wait to find out what kind of creature the polka-dotted shell contains.

But one morning when Clover checks on the cozy nest of feathers she's made for the egg, she finds it empty, and the baby animal is nowhere in sight! Clover is anxious to find the creature, but the Agency is full of visitors looking for pets of their own. Will Clover be able to match them with their perfect companions and save the mysterious animal before Mr. Jams returns from his trip?


I am a Disney fanatic and love anything Disney. I was uber excited when Disney-Hyperion approved my request for Magical Animal Academy: The Enchanted Egg via Netgalley. I kept my chick lit novels aside and dove into this charming book.

The Enchanted Egg is the second book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency. Clover is spending her summer vacation in an animal adoption agency. As the name suggests, the animals are magical in this agency; dragons, griffins, phoenix, unicorns, magical kittens, fire salamanders, fairy horses and so on. Mr. Jams, the owner had brought an enchanted egg from his last journey. It's not hatched yet and Clover gets curious day by day, to find out what kind of magical animal it could be. When Mr. Jams set off on his next journey, Clover is assigned in the charge of the agency. Next day, she finds the broken egg shells coated with some gooey, slimy thing. She can't find the animal anywhere. It was missing! The remaining story tells us Clover's effort to find the missing magical animal.

The journey to the Magical Animal Adoption Agency was delightful. I was keen to finish reading it, before going to bed. There were giants who use sunscreen lotions, leprechauns wearing tutus, a gnome who comes alive at night, a goose laying golden eggs filled with liquid gold, a centaur delivery man and a baker ghost who makes fluffy cupcakes. I enjoyed the story very much. All those illustrations were cute and helped in envisaging the story as well. The story reminded me of the Harry Potter series too, it could be the references to the three-headed dog and the basilisk, the poisonous snake. You will meet all kind of magical creatures in this story and that's the reason why I loved it.

Clover has taught us never to give up, even when situations are tough. I liked how she faced the challenges, her compassionate attitude towards the animals definitely qualifies her as a keeper. Each character I met was amazing. Kallie gives different interpretations to each enchanted creature; they are friendly and lead a normal life. So, you will certainly end up loving them, especially Children. Pages were turning so fast, as I was eager to know about the mysterious animal. I imagined it as something I have heard before. But, I was taken by surprise to discover the animal at last, I had never thought of such a creature before. I am sure that kids too will love it. They wouldn't be afraid of giants and ogres, after reading this book.

The Enchanted Egg ends with welcoming a new member to the agency, which hints to the next book in the series. I would gladly buy these books for my kids. It would make a nice addition to the storybook collection. Highly Recommended for the kids who enjoys fantasy novels. Take your kid on an imaginary trip to The Magical Animal Adoption Agency before going to slumber. They will be delighted!

My Rating: 5/5 (Perfect!)
Happy Reading!

November 02, 2015

November 2015 Releases

What Rosie Found Next ( November 3rd, 2015)

A shaky upbringing has left Rosie Stevens craving safety and security. She thinks she knows exactly what she needs to make her life complete – the stable job and perfect house-sit she’s just found in Magnolia Creek. The only thing she wants now is for her long-term boyfriend, Adam, to leave his overseas job and come home for good.

Owen Harrison is notoriously nomadic, and he roars into town on his Ducati for one reason and one reason only – to search his parents’ house while they’re away to find out what they’ve been hiding from him his entire life. When he meets Rosie, who refuses to quit the house-sit in his parents’ home, sparks fly.

Secrets are unearthed, promises are broken, friendships are put to the test and the real risk of bush fires under the hot Australian sun threatens to undo Rosie once and for all.
Will Rosie and Owen find what they want or what they really need?

I am participating in What Rosie Found Next blog tour. I have received a copy of the book, will read it next. I am thrilled to read a novel set in Australia.


Magical Animal Adoption Agency: The Enchanted Egg (November 3rd, 2015)

There's a new resident at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency-but this one hasn't hatched yet! Mr. Jams brought home an enchanted egg from his last journey, and Clover can't wait to find out what kind of creature the polka-dotted shell contains.

But one morning when Clover checks on the cozy nest of feathers she's made for the egg, she finds it empty, and the baby animal is nowhere in sight! Clover is anxious to find the creature, but the Agency is full of visitors looking for pets of their own. Will Clover be able to match them with their perfect companions and save the mysterious animal before Mr. Jams returns from his trip?

I am over the moon, receiving a review copy of the book from Disney Hyperion. I really enjoyed Clover's summer vacation in the Adoption Agency. It's a charming story.


 A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin (November 5th, 2015)

Catherine ‘Cat’ Palmer realizes that bringing an adorable puppy into work is a bad idea, especially when it gets her the sack. Deciding it’s the perfect opportunity to launch her dog-walking business, Cat enlists the help of flatmates Polly and Joe. After all Primrose Terrace, the street where they live, is full of home-alone hounds.

Getting to know the owners and their precious pooches isn’t all plain sailing, but soon Cat is making friends, particularly with sexy Mark and his Collie, Chips. But is he the right man for her?

With her talent for misadventure, Cat’s new life starts to show some cracks, and when one of the street’s loveable schnauzers gets ill, it looks like this Christmas could be turning into a dog’s dinner. But Cat has never given up on anything in her life – and this is one Christmas that’s definitely worth saving…

I have been longing to read Primrose Terrace Series. Now, the entire novels are released as a single book. Can't wait to buy it!

The Midnight Hour (November 10th, 2015)

The only true destiny is love.
And love is not always about happy endings.

Michelle Keller-Jarvis doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to die.
Beautiful, rich and an immortal werewolf, no one suspects how ready she is to risk everything to keep her daughter, Logan, safe from Xavier's royal clutches.

A prequel to The Violet Hour, this novella offers readers a chance to hear Michelle’s story of a plan eleven years in the making gone horribly wrong.

When destiny makes its demands, sometimes the strongest don’t survive.

This is a novella, a prequel to the Violet Hour series. I had the pleasure to read The Violet Hour and loved it. Some questions were left unanswered last time and this novella would give me a few answers.



The Winter Wedding (November 5th)

Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie's summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, the word about Hazel's expertise soon spreads.

But Hazel's clients expect the very best - she's promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say 'I do'? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?

Abbey Clements's festive season novel! The blurb sounds exciting, a must read for me... ;)

The Accidental Guest by Tilly Tennant (November 5th)

Soulmates don’t just fall from the sky… do they?

Hannah Meadows doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, or any of the other things people reach for when they lose control of their lives. That is, until a man arrives on her doorstep on Christmas Day begging for help. Hannah’s not the sort of woman to turn her back on someone in need, but this isn’t what compels her to aid the handsome stranger, nor is it his intense dark eyes, or the inexplicable feelings she quickly develops for him.

Something magical is coming her way, something that will turn her life completely upside down. Hannah Meadows may not believe in fate or destiny, but they seem to have other ideas…

I am taking part in The Accidental Guest's blog tour. Haven't read her books earlier. So, I am anxiously waiting to read this book.

A Girl's Best Friend (November 5th)


After the crazy six months she’s had, if there was a ‘clear history’ button for your life, Tess Brookes would be the first in line to press it.

When the opportunity arises to join her best friend, Amy, in New York for Christmas, Tess jumps at the chance. The only slight hitch is that Nick, the man who broke her heart, lives there. And Charlie, the man she turned down, has just started talking to her again. And she has just four days to take a photo for a competition that could save her career.

But aside from that, everything is going to be great: it’ll be the best Christmas ever. Won’t it?

Lindsey Kelk is famous for I heart series. I was planning to read her 'I heart Christmas' in December. Who knows! I may buy this one too...


Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper (November 5th)

You’ve seen Mark Darcy in the reindeer jumper his mother gave him, now meet Marco Cavelli in this season’s hottest Christmas knit!

For single mum Maggie, Christmas has always been a family occasion – her daughter Ellen filling the house with her bubbly warmth and mistletoe, her dad Paddy having one too many festive tipples, and the traditional family Christmas tree looking like a drunken elf vomited a rainbow all over it.

But this year, with both Ellen and Paddy away for the holidays, Maggie’s facing a truly blue Christmas – alone with nothing but a bottle of Baileys and an M&S turkey dinner.

Until walking the snowy streets of Oxford, Marco Cavelli quite literally crashes into her life – and, complete with broken leg, becomes her unexpected houseguest. All dreamy brown eyes and 6’5” of gorgeousness, the man is hotter and more delicious than a freshly baked mince pie.

Though Maggie always thought it’s a truth universally acknowledged that you never kiss a man in a Christmas jumper?

The entire chick lit fans are raving about this book. I need to find out the reason why they are crazy over Debbie Johnson's latest book.

Dashing Through the Snow (November 19th)

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?

Christmas is incomplete without Debbie Macomber's book. I recently found out her works, whilst browsing for Christmas Novels. I am adding this to my TBR, straight away...


Wickham Hall- White Christmas (November 26th)

Sleigh bells are ringing and the snow is glistening at Wickham Hall! While overseeing the hall’s very own winter wonderland, Holly is kept busy making lists and checking them all twice. It’s almost enough to keep her mind off her one and only Christmas wish... 

But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those usually have their complications). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic really happens…

Cathy Bramley! I am frequently checking Amazon to buy her books; Appleby Farm, Ivy Lane and Wickham Hall series... When will I be able to buy one? It's frustrating!





Winter's Fairytale (November 10th)

A few weeks before Christmas and a sudden blanketing of snow has closed the roads and brought public transport grinding to a halt, stranding Izzy miles from home and in desperate need of rescuing.

That doesn’t mean she’s looking to bump into Rob and spend a cosy weekend holed up in his swanky flat watching London become a winter wonderland! Because Izzy and Rob have history…

Six months ago, they were standing in the vestry of a beautiful country church, while best man Rob delivered the news that every bride dreads on their big day.

But at the time of year when anything is possible, can Rob and Izzy let go of the past and let Christmas work its magic? Or will this be one-holiday wish that Izzy let's walk right out of her life…

I have a copy of this novel in my Kindle, received via Netgalley. Winter's fairytale is the winner of #WhiteChristmas Competition by Carina UK. Look out for a review next week.

Did I miss any new releases? Do tell me.
Wish you all a Blessed November!