#BlogTour ~ Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas @Jo_Thomas01 @AnneCater @HeadlinePG

A big welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas.

Coming Home to Winter Island was published in eBook on 31st October 2019 with the paperback following on 12th December 2019, by Headline Books.

Coming Home To Winter Island Cover

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

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A big thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

Aww Jo Thomas, how do you do it? As soon as I know there is a new Jo Thomas book, I know that I am going to absolutely love it and Coming Home to Winter Island is another stellar addition to her collection of beautiful and heart-warming books.

We follow Ruby Mac, a singer who is still waiting for her big chance along with her fellow band members – this is all about to change when a Talent Scout is going to be at their latest gig. Big things are going to happen and all the hard work over the years is hopefully going to pay off. Unfortunately things don’t go to plan and Ruby finds herself unable to do the easiest thing in the world for her – sing. Feeling devastated, she signs up to a yoga retreat abroad in the hope that some relaxation and rest over Christmas is just what she needs to get her hopes and dreams back on track..

Before she can go however, she receives a message from a solicitor regarding her late father and his family. Having never met her fathers family, she doesn’t know what to expect, especially when she is summoned to the small Scottish island of Geamhradh. Her grandfather Hector has dementia and it has been decided that he will need to leave the family home and move into a care home.

This proves to be harder than expected for Ruby as she arrives at Geamhradh and discovers the family home is a large and cold falling down house called Teach Mór along with a resident lodger, Lachlan, who isn’t going anywhere fast!

The spark that Ruby and Lachlan is evident from the moment they meet, they just don’t know it themselves and I loved how they sparred with each other. The more time Ruby spends at Teach Mór and getting to know her grandfather, the more she learns from his distant memories about her fathers childhood and why he never returned to the island.

The island itself, although isolated, sounds wonderful and you get the sense of a real community spirit despite times being hard for everyone.

I loved following Ruby through her journey and learning more about the family she knew so little about and also about herself. With her life almost being mapped out previously, it must have been strange for her to arrive on a Island, with no idea of what the future would hold.

Jo Thomas has succeeded in writing another winning story – I loved every page!

Highly recommended from me.

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About the Author

Jo Thomas Author pic

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show.

In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award.

Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

#BlogTour ~ Christmas at Wynter House by Emily Harvale @EmilyHarvale @RaRaResources

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Christmas at Wynter House by Emily Harvale!

Christmas at Wynter House was published on 25th September 2019 in eBook and paperback by Crescent Gate Publishing.

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After a frosty welcome, things soon heat up at Wynter House.

Neva Grey is looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas with her family in the cosy cottage they’ve rented in the picture-postcard village of Wyntersleap. Nestled between rolling hills and a gently burbling river, it’s going to be idyllic.

Except it’s not. Torrential rain causes the river to burst its banks and the quaint little village isn’t quite so cosy with water lapping at the doors. Add to that a power cut and a sudden blizzard and Christmas is looking bleak … until gorgeous Adam Wynter invites them all to Wynter House.

Although not everyone is happy to share the ancestral home. Adam’s elder brother, Rafe is less than pleased. Their grandmother, Olivia extends a grudging welcome. And for Carruthers, the oddly arrogant butler, unexpected guests are a Christmas surprise he could do without. Especially one as troublesome as Neva’s eight-year-old niece.

But something’s not quite right at Wynter House. What is Rafe intent on hiding behind the locked doors of the old barn? And what really happened to his first wife? It’s a good thing Neva has a sense of humour. She’s going to need it this Christmas at Wynter House.

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A big thank you to Rachel at RaRaResources and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting to take part on the blog tour.

What better news is there that Emily Harvale has written a new series – not much! Add the word ‘Christmas’ into the equation and I am sold, sold, sold!

We follow Neva Grey who is looking forward to a nice quiet Christmas with her family, away from the hustle and bustle of London to the lovely sounding village of Wyntersleap. Things don’t quite go to plan when the cottage they are staying in is caught up in the flooding caused by the torrential rain – not quite to lovely cosy snowy Christmas she was expecting!

Luckily the owners are on hand to offer the family and the other residents of Wyntersleap refuge at their stately home, Wynter House. This is where the story begins as we learn more about the brooding Rafe Wynter and his family.

I absolutely loved every page of this book and was sad to finish it as I had become some heavily invested in the characters created by Emily Harvale. She is so talented about writing about real people that you can imagine being friends with them. The will they, won’t they storyline Neva and Rafe is wonderful to read about and kept me enthralled throughout. Another positive in this story was the location, so vividly described that I would love to visit this fictional village!

Another lovely story from Emily Harvale, I’m really looking for to the next in the series!

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About the Author

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Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at http://www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA and the RWA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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#Review ~ The Lost Ones by Anita Frank @AJes74 @HQStories

Welcome to my stop on the massive Halloween publication of The Lost Ones by Anita Frank.

The Lost Ones is published today by HQ Stories.

England, 1917
 
Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

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A big thank you to Joe at HQ Stories for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.

For some reason, I haven’t read a lot of ghost stories, I’m not sure why but can maybe think I imagine them to be quite far-fetched…… The Lost Ones definitely isn’t. It is spookily realistic from the first page to the last and I absolutely loved it!

We follow Stella Marcham who is grieving her lost fiancé and struggling to find the way and will to move forward. Her parents and their doctor can’t understand her and during a time where women were locked away for things like this, she is determined not to let her life be taken away from her. When her brother in law asks her to visit her pregnant sister, she agrees in the hope that it will help them both. Her sister Madeline had previously lost a baby and is conscious of this happening again and having Stella there, along with her mysterious maid Annie, will hopefully help.

The story really begins when they arrive at Greyswick, a scary and cold country house, which appears to be as unwelcoming as it inhabitants – which Madeline is convinced is haunted. There are unexplained and mysterious goings on that only Madeline seems to see – her husband’s family and servants are quick to put this to Madeline’s over active imagination but then Stella starts to pick up on them too….

I really enjoyed how this story was told. Although we follow Stella, you are allowed to draw your own conclusions too and we begin to learn more about Annie too. Although there is a divide in the social classes, Stella and Annie work together and I really enjoyed how their friendship begins to blossom. You can sense the coldness of the house as you read each chapter and found myself really rooting for Stella who people just seem to brush off that she is losing her mind. Through each chapter, Stella grows as a person and we discover what type of strong willed woman she really is as her begins to get over her grief and find something to live for.

This is the debut of Stella Franks and I can’t wait to read her next book as I think this was outstanding!

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About the Author

A farmer’s daughter from Shropshire, Anita studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia before moving to London to work in media analysis and communications.
 
She left paid employment to become a stay-at-home mum when she had the first of her three children. Sadly, Anita‘s youngest child developed a rare form of epilepsy in infancy which has left him severely mentally disabled and she is now his full-time-carer, but she has begun snatching what time she can to pursue her lifelong ambition of writing historical fiction.
 
Anita now lives in Berkshire with her husband, her two lovely girls and her gorgeous boy, a fluffy cat with an attitude, and a bonkers Welsh Springer Spaniel.