Sunday 23 October 2022

The Empire by Michael Ball

The Empire
Michael Ball

I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for Michael's first book. I hope to review this one as soon as I can, but with the postal strikes, i'm afraid it didn't come in time!

When Jack Treadwell arrives at The Empire, in the middle of a rehearsal, he is instantly mesmerised. But amid the glitz and glamour, he soon learns that the true magic of the theatre lies in its cast of characters - both on stage and behind the scenes.

There's stunning starlet Stella Stanmore and Hollywood heartthrob Lancelot Drake; and Ruby Rowntree, who keeps the music playing, while Lady Lillian Lassiter, theatre owner and former showgirl, is determined to take on a bigger role. And then there's cool, competent Grace Hawkins, without whom the show would
 never go on . . . could she be the leading lady Jack is looking for?

When long-held rivalries threaten The Empire's future, tensions rise along with the curtain. There is treachery at the heart of the company and a shocking secret waiting in the wings. Can Jack discover the truth before it's too late, and the theatre he loves goes dark?

It my turn on the blog tour for Michael Ball’s very first novel. I am hoping to review soon, but I didn’t get the book in time unfortunately. Good luck Michael!

Thursday 20 October 2022

The Winter Dress


Lauren Chater


I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Blast for The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater which is published today. You can read my review below. 

Jo Baaker, a textiles historian and Dutch ex-pat is drawn back to the island where she was born to investigate the provenance of a 17th century silk dress. Retrieved by local divers from a sunken shipwreck, the dress offers tantalising clues about the way people lived and died during Holland's famous Golden Age.
Jo's research leads her to Anna Tesseltje, a poor Amsterdam laundress turned ladies’ companion who served the enigmatic artist Catharina van Shurman. The two women were said to share a powerful bond, so why did Anna abandon Catharina at the height of her misfortune?
Jo is convinced the truth lies hidden between the folds of this extraordinary dress. But as she delves deeper into Anna’s history, troubling details about her own past begin to emerge.
On the small Dutch island of Texel where fortunes are lost and secrets lie buried for centuries, Jo will finally discover the truth about herself and the woman who wore the Winter Dress.


Jo Baaker lives in Sydney, Australia, having moved there as a child when her parents died to live with her aunt. She originally came from a Dutch island called Texel.

She is a historian with a special interest in textiles and when she was headhunted to look at a dress from the 17th century that was brought to the surface from a shipwreck near her birthplace, she had to pack her bags and get on a flight back to Texel.

The dress belonged to a girl called Anna Tesseltje who came from Amsterdam, but what was she doing on the ship in the first place? this is what Jo needs to find out and also to find out more about the exquisite gown.

This is a dual timeline story (which I love) and the attention to detail and research the author did was very thorough and based on the real discovery of a shipwreck in 2014 in Texel.

A good read for historical fiction fans. 

Thursday 13 October 2022

 Keeping a Christmas Promise


Jo Thomas



Julie Williams

What a day for Christmas publications! And congratulations to Jo Thomas for Keeping a Christmas Promise and once again, to Julie Williams for reviewing. She does love a Christmas book!


Keeping a Christmas Promise is a delightful festive fun read. It immediately transported me to snowy Iceland with its beautiful scenery and community.

When a group of friends honour their deceased friend Laura’s wish to see the spectacular Northern Lights, they embark on a mini trip to Iceland. None of them can really spare the money or time with their own hectic lives at this time of year but are determined to keep their promise to her. 

They start off in high spirits but soon encounter an avalanche as the Northern Lights evade them and are forced to stay in a remote area in the middle of nowhere but its' community are so welcoming that they soon begin to realise just where their lives have taken them and not always for the better.

I really enjoyed this Christmas story with its unique characters and I learned some Icelandic traditions.

My thanks to NetGalley and Transworld Publishers for the advanced digital copy of this gorgeous book.

 On the First Day of Christmas


Faith Hogan



Julie Williams

And I'm also delighted to say happy publication day to Faith Hogan for her new novel On the First Day of Christmas and thank you again to the lovely Julie Williams for reviewing!


This Christmas story is a little confusing at first but all comes together and makes sense when I realised that it is two versions of one tale. 

Set in Dublin, an Accident & Emergency nurse Liz, still in the throes of grief after the death of her twin sister, experiences a near death event herself as she leaves the hospital after her shift. This event changes her life as this story continues in two different ways. 

It reminded me of the film Sliding Doors and required me to give my full concentration.

It wasn't a happy, heart-warming festive read that I am used to reading, so for me it did not fill me with Christmas spirit! However, it will not put me off reading this authors books in the future.

My thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the ARC of On The First Day of Christmas.

 A Christmas Celebration


Heidi Swain



Julie Williams

I'm delighted to be able to bring you a review by the lovely Julie Williams for latest novel by Heidi Swain, A Christmas Celebration. Enjoy!


A Christmas Celebration is not just about the festive season, it is about family, friends, and the magic that surrounds Wynthorpe Hall.

I love going back to re-visit the characters from Heidi’s previous books as she cleverly weaves them into this latest noel with such joy. I especially enjoyed Winter Wonderland, an annual event put on by the Connelly family in the beautiful grounds of the Hall, much to the delight of the community.

When Paige returns to England after leaving as an aid worker for a charity her parents suggest that as they are away she visits her Godfather Angus at Wynthorpe Hall. Paige is instantly welcomed back with open arms, love and understanding, which is just what is needed after the loneliness she has suffered recently. 

Paige discovers herself again with the help of the community and its glorious surrounding. Paige is a caring person so when she meets octogenarian Albert, she coaxes him out of his small world and they both get a new spark of life.

This third visit to Wynthorpe brings us readers a chance to meet new characters who I hope will feature in future books in this gorgeous setting of Norfolk.

My thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for this ARC.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

 The Christmas Letters


Jenny Hale

Happy publication day to Jenny Hale for The Christmas Letters. The lovely Julie Williams has kindly reviewed for you.

Review by Julie Williams

The Christmas Letters is a gorgeous festive read from Jenny Hale filled with romance, snow, Christmas culinary that will have your mouth watering and so much more.

Elizabeth retreats to her hometown after her relationship of seven years ends in New York. 

Elizabeth is uncertain of where her life will take her next as she had gone to The Big Apple to pursue her dream, leaving the small community of Mason’s Ridge behind.

 Upon returning, she discovers that a corporate developer is seeking much of the land including her own family’s farm. Determined to keep her childhood home and all the memories it holds makes her realise that this is where her heart belongs.

This story has lovely characters with firm friendly natures that certainly gives a heart-warming feel to the book. It is a perfect winter read to cosy up to.

My thanks to Harpeth Road Press for the advanced copy and to Julie Boon for sharing my review on her blog.