thoughts and things

Recent Posts

One Wish In Manhatten by Mandy Baggot Book Review

As Bookouture Christmas comes into an end, I have a great review to leave you with. This is a lovely, romantic story which is just the Christmas tonic I needed. This a great book if you want a piece of escapism set in the magical […]

Q&A with Mandy Baggot, Author Of One Wish in Manhattan #BookoutureXmas

   Today as part of Bookouture Christmas I’m welcoming Mandy Baggot, author of  One Wish in Manhattan, to the blog for a Q&A! Find out about what gets Mandy in a Christmassy mood, her writing tips and an X factor audition!   1. I love […]

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin Book Review #BookoutureXmas

  

Holly says this is the perfect book to curl up by the fire with, and I totally agree! Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a snowy whirlwind of romance and full of Christmas charm. I was able to read this book by taking part in Bookouture Christmas who provided me with an ebook via Netgalley.

  

Here’s the blurb:

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

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? 

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year.


The Review

When Penny rents out her annexe, little does she know that romance awaits her. As soon as she meets Henry, there is an instant attraction. However, after having her heart broken 8 years ago, Penny is unsure she wants to take the risk of romance. However Henry, and his daughter Daisy soon become a part of her life. As Christmas gets closer, will they?

I really loved this story, it was charmingly magical and romantic. From the start, I just wanted Henry and Penny to get together. The will they, won’t they scenario grows in tension and you go through ups and downs with the characters, all framed behind a perfect Christmas setting, with snow included. The town of White Bay has a lot of interesting characters, and I can see how Holly was able to write another tale set in the town. There’s a lot of potential here! The book was also surprisingly funny for a romance novel, it was laugh out loud in places which I really loved. I really got to know the characters of Penny and Henry, they were so believable, I felt invested in the story and wanted them to have a happy ending!

It was an easy read, and one I wanted to take my time over with a cuppa. I got totally wrapped up in the story, and that is exactly what you want from a Christmas novel.

I give Christmas at Lilac Cottage 5 out of 5 stars. 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin is published by Bookouture and is out now! Available on Amazon.

The Author

  

Holly Martin

Holly emerged onto the Chick Lit scene by winning the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition – and has not looked back since.

Her adult fiction debut, The Guestbook, hit number 5 in the Amazon chart and she has now written three books with Bookouture: Fairytale Beginnings, Christmas at Lilac Cottage and Snowflakes at Silver Cove.

https://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Brownies by Bella! #BookoutureXmas

   These fabulous brownies are featured heavily in ‘Bella’s Christmas Bake Off’ By Sue Watson- and the recipe is also included in the book – it was only fair that I gave the recipe a go and try them! They are so easy to make […]

Bella’s Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson #BookoutureXmas

     First of all let me say Welcome to Bookouture Xmas!  I was thrilled to be able to read an advance copy of Bella’s Christmas  Bake Off from Bookouture via Netgalley as part of the #BookoutureXmas event. Check back each day until 27th October […]

No I’m not pregnant….

I’m just not drinking alcohol 

I’m the designated driver 

I’m not that fond of shellfish

I just ate too much at lunchtime 

I’ve given up Diet Coke

I’m just wearing leggings because of my hairy legs

I got so used to using my stomach as a tea cup holder I never stopped 

Just because two people at work are, doesn’t mean I am

I’m just cutting out caffeine because I am a sadist 

I don’t fancy that rollercoaster, ok?

I’m waddling because I seem to have injured my hip picking up a 2 stone toddler 

I like water 

I’m just wearing a dress which accentuates my stomach 

I just caught my daughters sickness bug

This pair of maternity trousers were the only clean ones I had 

They only had decaff at the shop, and I was desperate 

I just like trying new things! So what if I’ve never eaten prawns before…

I accidentally bought this top from the maternity section 

It’s perfectly normal to cry at The Great British Bake Off

I’m just fat!

My daughter is just 2 years old, I didn’t realise that meant I should be pregnant by now 

Goodbye Granny Pants

When I was pregnant and I was told that I had to buy some massive pants for after the birth, I was half amazed and half disgusted that I had to buy some Granny Pants.  They looked bloody HUGE. I couldn’t find any to start […]

What I’ve Read: September

I have been a bad book blogger. In that, I haven’t blogged anything booky for a really long time. I suddenly hit a reading block, and I just couldn’t budge it for a while. I didn’t read anything for a long time. Life got in […]

Why I joined the Labour Party

This month, I joined the Labour Party. It’s been a big month for memberships with over 60,000 people joining the political party. 

I am in no way an expert in politics, and I don’t pretend to be. But I know what I think, what I believe in. I feel that now is the time more than ever to start making a stand for the things I believe in.

 The general election result was gutting. I couldn’t, and still can’t understand why people voted Conservative. I voted Labour, however I also felt uneasy at Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party. I felt he had nothing new to give, didn’t appear to have much passion, and did not seem a strong opponent, so why would people want to rock the boat and take a chance on him – I can understand why people may have felt this way. I also felt after the election that I need to get more involved in politics, hold my MP to account and stand up for what I believed in. I have been doing this quietly and steadfastly, signing petitions, and emailing my MP. But still I felt the need to do more. To get involved. To bring politics into the everyday.

The more I hear of the conservatives not sticking to their election manifesto, reducing benefits for those less fortunate and increasing benefits for big businesses, the more dismayed I became. Even things that I thought would benefit me, such as 30 free hours per week childcare, which was discussed again and again at the election, won’t even be implemented until 2017. This Government promised a lot but has not delievered anything that I can see truly benefits the people who really need it in this country. 

I have dithered and debated joining the Labour Party for a long time. I decided to join when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. It felt like a new wave, a fresh start. Time to move forwards and remember and hold onto the core values and beliefs of Labour. I feel refreshed and energised by the things that are currently being discussed and brought forward by Labour. This is the kind of politics I understand, that I can get passionate about. 

I joined the Labour Party because I feel the party echoes my core values and beliefs regarding a more equal society, and equality for all. 

Jeremy Corbyn has set the cat amongst the pigeons in political terms. He is a completely different sort of politician to David Cameron. You can see through their terrible propaganda, such as calling Corbyn a ‘threat to national security’, that they are concerned about his influence in society. That because he speaks geuinely and honestly, that they don’t know how to react to him. The  first Prime Ministers Questions was a great example of seeing how they react to any form of change.

I like the fact that Jeremy doesn’t rise to their childishness, rising above it and focussing on what matters – the issues. He genuinely cares about the issues he talks about, and he listens to what people are telling him. He is breaking the politicial mold of recent years.

I feel the Labour Party need to get on board and work together now, here is the moment to really make some changes and progress. Compromise is essential. I was disappointed that women such as Liz Kendall chose the backbenches instead of working together with Corbyn to move the party forwards. I don’t agree with everything Corbyn says, beleieve me, but I truly believe he is a great catalyst for change. I for one feel that women in the party do need to be more present in senior roles, and I have joined the Labour Women’s Network to support their efforts. He isn’t perfect, he isn’t trying to be, but what he is doing is wiping the slate clean and moving forwards, which can only be a good thing. 

This is an exciting time in politics, and I feel motivated to stand up and have my voice heard. I am very interested to see what happens. 

Whatever your political beliefs, I hope you do the same. 

Mum Fog: Things you forget when you’re a Mum

You give birth, you don’t sleep for months, brain cells dissipate..you think you’ve got through it, but then the Mum Fog descends and you start to forget to do everything….. 1. Shave You get to the swimming pool, you get into your costume and you […]


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