Guest post from Lilac Mills author of And A Sixpence For Luck #Guestpost

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I’d like to welcome to my blog today Lilac Mills, the author of the gorgeous book And a sixpence for luck. Here Lilac talks about the difference between Love and romance, over to you Lilac…

 

There’s a whole lotta difference between love and romance, when it comes to novels.

The main (and maybe the only difference) is that readers have the expectation that a romance novel ends in a happy ever after, or at the very least, a happy for now.

Love doesn’t have this restriction, and in some ways I believe it makes for more powerful reading.

Take Wuthering Heights, for instance. I studied this little beauty in university, and loved every tortured word of it. If you remove the setting and the era, you are left with what is basically a tale of obsession, revenge, and thwarted love. It is wonderful and tragic and timeless. Yet there is not one romantic word between its pages. Love is not happy and uplifting and heart-warming – it’s wild and savage and cannibalistic, in that eats away at both Cathy and Healthcliffe until nothing of them is left, except a tragic haunting.

Then there’s Romeo and Juliet – possibly the most famous lovers in the world.  Again, love not romance, though the balcony scene was a touch on the romantic side (didn’t think old Shakey had it in him!). Considering Romeo died for his love, I don’t see why we call men who have a bit of a roaming eye, Romeo… Without the death of this pair, the whole play would have been just another ‘met and married’ story, with a bit of angst along the way to retain the reader’s interest.

Lancelot and Guinevere – hmmm. Famous lovers to be sure, but I’m not too keen on the adultery theme, however much they loved each other. And look at the havoc they caused!.

Yet all of the above are remembered for their love.

Me? I prefer a happy ever after. And I think many of us do. We are attracted to that fairy tale ending of undying (but not tragic love), and that is why stories like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White have endured (I’m talking about the Disney version here and not the darker – but more fun – original version).

We all love the idea of a soul mate – the person we are destined for and who will love us no matter what, and this is what drives the romance novel. Ignore the degree of heat; from sweet to scalding, the premise is the same. Love. Romantic love, and whether that be in the traditional form between a man or a woman, or between lovers of the same sex, it makes no difference. Readers all want to believe in Mr or Ms Right.

Love and happy life together, takes precedence over love in its rawer form, where life get in the way, and it makes no difference to your enjoyment if you have already found your soulmate.

As we sit on our sofas, or lying on a sunbed, or squashed on a rattily train, we are reading about what we want for ourselves. I believe romantic fiction, no matter the time, the location, or the premise, appeals to the hope within us all, and that is what makes the genre so popular. It is escapism at its best!

Head over to my blog post and read my review of the wonderful And a sixpence for luck

Click here to buy And a sixpence for luck

I’d like to thank Neverland blog tours and Lilac Mills for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis #Review #Blogtour

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Synopsis

Some people just won’t take death lying down … ! (NB: cliffhanger ending).

Part one of a fun-filled trilogy about life, death and letting go.

Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.

Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.

Hattie can’t convince anyone that Gary has returned. Not even best friend Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her.

Why has Gary returned? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings will make you laugh, cry and count down until Part Two …

The Haunitng of Hattie Hastings

My review

Firstly I would like to thank Rachel’s random resources and Audrey Davis for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

The haunting of Hattie Hastings pulled me into its pages from the first sentence. I’m a sucker for a story with a supernatural edge, especially ones that have a lovely slice of humor mixed in.

I enjoyed the way that the beginning of the story is based on Hattie after the death of Gary, but as the story progresses other characters slowly take the spotlight.

Audrey has depicted beautifully how relationships change in the midst of an untimely death, how some people cope and some people really don’t.

I really could not put this book down, as I found out more about each character it compelled me to read more. I wait with baited breathe for part 2!

 

 

Buy the haunting of Hattie Hastings here

 

All about Audrey

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Scottish-born Audrey studied journalism in Edinburgh more decades ago than she cares to admit. She cut her writing teeth on provincial newspapers (using a typewriter) and a London-based video magazine (another sign of her advanced years).

Engagement to her now-husband Bill took them to Singapore, Australia and Buckinghamshire, England, before they settled in Switzerland in 2002. Along the way they had two boys, both all grown-up and living in the UK.

Her journey to becoming a published author began with an online Writing Fiction course. It took well over a year but, in June 2017, Audrey published her debut romantic comedy novel, A Clean Sweep. It was quickly followed by a shorter and darker prequel, A Clean Break.

The idea for The Haunting of Hattie Hastings came from nowhere, just a random title that popped into her head and from there grew into Part One of a trilogy. It comes under the same genre, but has some poignant scenes and – hopefully – lots of laughs! Audrey admits to being a worrier, and has always used humour as a defence mechanism, as her friends will attest.

When Audrey isn’t writing, she loves shows like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Strictly Come Dancing (a strange mix, she knows). Her interests include cooking (and eating pretty much anything apart from oysters), travelling and going to the gym. OK, the last one is mainly to compensate for her passion for food!

Audrey would describe herself as a ‘pantser’ rather than a ‘planner’, preferring to run where a story takes her and scribble copious notes along the way. She’d love to write a page-turning thriller, but fears her natural tendency to see the comic side of life might be an obstacle.

Where to find Audrey

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Cocktails and Dreams by A L Michael #blogtour #giveaway

SCHEDULE C & D

Synopsis

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person…

Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the bigtime.

Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams?

See inside for a delicious cocktail recipe and book club questions!

Cocktails and dreams

 

 

 

 

My review

The story begins as Savvy’s long term ‘Z list’ celeb boyfriend dumps her. Instead of crumbling and giving up Savvy moves back to her Auntie Jen’s. Auntie Jen’s straight talking, pulls no punches and say it how it is approach is enough for Savvy to reinvent herself.

A childhood tainted by the departure of her rock star Mother, this is not a story of self-pity and abandonment, but a story of survival and girl power.

I immediately loved Savvy. Down to earth, quiet and a loner, she has the complete likeability factor. An ordinary girl by day, but once in the bustling burlesque bar, the Martini Club,  Savvy is brought to life and is transformed into a confident, ambitious and sociable young woman.

As opportunities arise and doors open Savvy creates a life within a whole new world. Within the secrets and mysteries of her new life, Savvy meets Milo the cool, approachable and very sexy bar tender who captures her eye. An instant spark, passion and romance are the perfect ingredients for a new relationship.

Cocktails and dreams is the first in the Martini Club series and the desire for more leaves you shaken and stirred with excitement and wanting more!

A big thank you to A . L Michael & Neverland blogtours for allowing me to review Cocktails and dreams.

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All about the author

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of nine novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, will start with Cocktails and Dreams, released 24th July 2017. She likes to write about sassy females who follow their dreams, and don’t take no for an answer.

She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and believes in the power of writing to heal.

Where to find A L Michael

Website

Twitter

Buy Cocktails and dreams here

Amazon

Kobo

Giveaway

C & D Giveaway Prize

win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of Cocktails and dreams (UK only)

Click here to enter

 

 

Simply Anna by Cristina Hodgson #Freedownload

simply anna

Synopsis

How could a dinner date with the handsome Niccolo possibly go wrong? Or perhaps, how could it possibly go right for Anna, who suddenly finds herself behind the wheel of a probably stolen car, driving down a dark and eerie country lane in the company of a complete stranger?

This certainly isn’t her idea of romantic.

What is Niccolo’s real motive? Are his feelings genuine, or is she just a pawn to be used in his game strategy, whatever that might be?

My review

After reading a little bit of Chantelle rose by Cristina and absoutely loving it, i was excited to discover Cristina had written a short story which is free…yes, i said free and available on Amazon.

Anna is such a relateable character, she’s funny, sassy and slightly dizzy. The story starts as she is preparing for her date with Niccolo, an Italian hunk, who she met as he collided into the rear of her car! Her preparation for the date has involved her applying a homemade advocado face mask, she now can’t remove that has made her look as if she has sneezed backwards on herself!!

Along with her paranoia that Niccolo may actually be a kidnapper and her late Nan’s ancedotes echoing in her head this is a really funny and utterly charming little read. Perfect for a lunchtime pick me up that definitely has that feel good factor. Did i mention it was free…..

Follow Cristina on Twitter

Click here for a free download of Simply Anna

Enter Cristina’s giveaway

Read my review of a little Chantelle Rose here

Mad girl by Bryony Gordon

I had never heard of Bryony Gordon and then I stumbled upon Mad girl in the latest Richard & Judy reads. The cover caught my eye and when I read the blurb it became the top of my 2017 ‘to be read’ list.

Growing up I suffered with awful anxieties and mental health issues which really shadowed my childhood, adolescent and early adulthood. At the time there wasn’t the support there is now, luckily I had a great family doctor who seemed to understand or partly understood what I was going through, and instead of making me feel daft he actually listened and tried to shed some light on the constant turmoil I was going through.

Reading ‘Mad girl’ was slightly like reading an autobiography of my life! I laughed out loud at some of Bryony’s stories, to the point that I took the book to the hairdressers with me and literally spat my coffee out at one point! This book made me sigh a big sigh of relief, finally there was a name for the turmoil I’d suffered all those years ago, OCD. I wasn’t alone! There are other Mad Girls & men out there! 

I, like Bryony, never see myself as cured, I handle my OCD now, it sits within a secure box in my mind, it’s been asleep now for years but occasionally it stirs, I hear it starting to wake but I’m clever now & manage to secure the box before it has a chance to open it.

I’d recommend this book to everyone, it makes you laugh, cry & sometimes spit out coffee!