Oct 31, 2015

Halloween Guest Post: Where Is The Costume Spirit by Bridie Blake


Where Is The Costume Spirit?
by Bridie Blake

Violet Hayes loves Halloween. It reminds her of happier times in her childhood when she and Rose would get dressed up together and go trick or treating around the neighbourhood. It reminds her of a time when her parents were still together and she wasn’t the one holding the family together. But she also loves it because she can don a costume and transform into someone else. A character. She gets a night off from being who she is. A sad, lonely, lost girl. And a costume does that. You can wear it like a mask; a shield. Behind the costume and makeup the real you is hidden. If only for a few hours.

That got me thinking about writers and the characters we create. Do we use them as our costumes? 
Do we try and hide behind them? And then I realized that was going into territory that’s far too deep 
for me. I can only do deep after a few glasses of wine! So I went back to thinking about costumes. I love them. Throw a costume party, and I’m there. Unfortunately for me, not everyone else is as costume mad as me.

I went to a cocktail party the other week and it was superhero themed. Pretty cool, right? Wrong. Do you know how hard it is to find a cool female superhero costume in Australia? And one that doesn’t cost a fortune? Near impossible. Unless you want to go as Batgirl, Wonder Woman or Supergirl. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be the only one in my costume of choice. I looked online, searching through dozens of websites that all sold the same costumes, just at different prices and sometimes different materials. Money was a bit tight at the time so in the end I gave up, caved and went as Batgirl; pulling together things from my wardrobe and borrowing what I didn’t have. 
Luckily for me a friend made me a couple of bat logos covered in glitter and if there’s glitter, all is 
right in the world. So, happy with my costume, I went to the party only to find that less than half the people there were in costume. And of those, most were just in a superhero t-shirt. Disappointing!

A few years ago I threw a ‘come as your favourite character’ party. Great idea I thought. The scope 
was huge. You could literally come as anyone from a book, movie, TV show. The world was your oyster. I, being a major Gleek at the time, went as Rachel Berry. I went all out with the outfit, even 
styling my bangs just like her and I expected everyone else to do the same. Most did. Two turned up 
wearing a sign that said ‘Extra’. True story.

Where’s the costume spirit? Where’s everyone’s inner child? Where’s everyone’s inner Violet?


Author Bio

Bridie lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companion Poppy at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews Discover more about her at www.bridieblake.com, 

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBridieBlake or @BridieBlake on Twitter!

Giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon gift card

Halloween Book review: Myth and Magic by Mae Clair

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Breckwood Industries is an influential company, especially in Coldcreek, where the Breckwood family lives. They own several companies and a business oriented lodge. The lodge is supposed to be a place of peace and Veronica manages this retreat. When they were children she used to be best friends with Merlin and Caithelden Breckwood. Now Caith is living somewhere else. Instead of joining the family company he's a private investigator in Boston where he's living with his son. 

When strange things are happening at the Stone Willow Lodge Caith's brothers ask him to come back home to investigate the case. Even though awful memories will come to the surface again Caith agrees to help. That also means he will see Veronica for the first time after he left many years ago. Are they both ready for it and who's behind the occurrences at the lodge? It's close to Halloween and things are getting more and more creepy...

Myth and Magic is such a great romantic, mysterious story. It's the perfect Halloween read. So many mysterious things are happening at the lodge and Caith has been hired to find an explanation. That means he'll have to spend a lot of time with Veronica and he has some explaining to do. I loved the chemistry between them. I immediately liked them both. Caith has to overcome so much to be back in Coldcreek. Slowly his childhood traumas are being revealed. I was curious to find out why he and Veronica didn't end up together and couldn't stop reading until I found out what happened in the past. I felt so sad for the young Caith. Mae Clair has done a great job making the story come to life.

Both past and present are important in this book. It was definitely gripping and I read it in one sitting, because I couldn't put it down, which is always a good sign. I also loved the large family aspect. I immediately liked the Breckwoods and enjoyed reading about all of them. Myth and Magic is such a great story. I highly recommend it, especially because of the Halloween aspect. It was both fun and well developed. The combination of crimes that need to be solved and a beautiful romance works really well. If you're looking for a good thrilling read, you should definitely get this book.

Halloween Giveaway 6: Ghosts, Pumpkins & Cats


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a ghost necklace and tote bag, 2 pairs of earrings and a pumpkin and black cat pouch. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Halloween Giveaway 5: Black Cats & Moon Glow-in-the-Dark Necklace


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a black cats and moon necklace which glows in the dark. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Halloween - Fabulous Freebie Book Review: Witch's Brew by Heidi R. Kling

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

Lily is a young powerful witch. She has a rare power and she doesn't know anyone else who has it. Chosen as the leader of her coven she has to be on her best behavior. Every witch is trained to take on a warlock in 'The Gleaning'. Here they fight the battle of good and evil. When her powers feel off Lily takes a big step to go into the woods to find a special herb. She feels weird like she is being attacked. When she wakes up from being unconscious she meets Logan.

Logan has been a warlock since he was a young child. Not knowing his biological parents he was raised by the leader of the warlocks. When the time comes he is destined to fill his 'fathers' footsteps. The warlocks are evil and they prepare themselves to fight en conquer the witches. When Logan finds Lily in the woods he is mesmerized. Everything about her draws him in. When he sees Lily having a similar amulet he can't help himself. He takes the amulet from her replacing it with his own. He needs to find out what this all means.

Even though they are sworn enemies Logan and Lily can't stay away from each other. They even find out that they have similar powers. Witch's Brew has it all, a curse, love and the battle between good and evil. I loved the way Heidi R. Kling created this magical world.

You also have to make a choice for yourself. That way you can influence how you want to story to go. I loved that idea! You have to be prepared for the open ending that this book has. It really is a jump start for the battles that are still to come. It's a great way to get acquainted with the characters and the writing style. I am definitely hooked and I want to know how the story of Logan and Lily continues, so can't wait to read the rest of the series. This book for me is a must-read and I highly recommend it if you love this genre.

Halloween Giveaway 4: Unique Witch Necklace


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful Halloween witch necklace made by Airalys. This is a one of a kind necklace. There are no others like it. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 30, 2015

Halloween Giveaway 3: Books, Black Cat Pouches, Jewelry & Keychains


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books, black cat pouches, cat earrings, a black bracelet, a dark grey agate slice necklace and keychains. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Guest Post with Playlist & Giveaway: Reverb by Lisa Swallow


Reverb

Rock stars, bacon sandwiches, secret holidays, smart girls, a Disney princess and a scarlet haired rock chick. Isn't it time you met the Blue Phoenix boys? The Amazon bestselling Blue Phoenix rock romance series is about a UK rock band. There are six books in the series, three interconnected feature lead singer Dylan and Sky and three standalones feature the other band members. Check out the big sale on the series. All books are available on Kindle Unlimited. This is book five of the Blue Phoenix series. It can be read as a standalone, but has minor spoilers for the other books.

Blue Phoenix drummer, Bryn Hughes, prefers a quiet life away from the spotlight, but that’s proving difficult when he’s sharing his life with three very different girls: Mia, the girl who doesn’t understand the word no, Avery, who wishes she’d said yes and his forever girl. Add to this a secret that threatens to take decisions about the future out of Bryn’s hands and Bryn’s reputation as the uncomplicated band member is over. The world of Blue Phoenix is changing and Bryn is on the edge. 

Following a failed attempt to win back the girl he loved and lost as a teen, a broken-hearted Bryn returns to England and discovers heiress, Mia Jordan, has moved herself into his apartment while he was away. Life just got hard. When Avery spills soup on a rock star at a wedding and suggests he removes his trousers she doesn’t expect to see Bryn Hughes again unless he’s carrying a lawsuit. So when Bryn gatecrashes an evening with her friends the following day Avery and Bryn begin an unlikely relationship, but their growing closeness looks set to end. If Bryn’s heart still belongs to a different girl and he’s about to tour with Blue Phoenix a future together looks doubtful. When a secret explodes the effects reverberate through every aspect of Bryn’s world and deciding where his heart belongs becomes the least of Bryn’s problems.

Playlist

1. Bryn and Avery meet in weird circumstances and after an even stranger date, they 
go their separate ways. This song explains how Bryn feels when he realizes what he wants. 
The Stereophonics are also a Welsh band so we need one on the Blue Phoenix 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idr7J_S1tKs

2. When Bryn goes on tour he realizes he shouldn’t have ended things with Avery 
and attempts to reconnect, but she isn't the sort of girl who forgives easily: 

“More flowers?” I ask.Michelle looks around. “Where are they all coming from? Does your boyfriend own a florist?” The envelope attached to the vase has my name on it, and I pull out the card.‘If the flowers don’t work, I’m sending kittens’.“Crap,” I mutter because I’m dealing with Bryn here and I can’t be sure he’s joking.

Georgia Florida Line ~ Stay

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_igmjEB560

3. “Avery left that night because I never asked her to stay, and in the quiet moments 
that pull memories of her into my day I realise how stupid I was to let her go.” ~ 

I do (Wanna Love You) ~ Hedley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sZ7wYN6nk0

4. Somebody from Bryn’s past attempts to manipulate him and he takes time to realise he’s doing things for the wrong reasons. (I can’t say much without big spoilers!). 

I feel Avery in the deepest parts of me, on my mind constantly, in my heart always. Holding her hand is like plugging into the sun, the energy and warmth flows between us and burns through the shadows.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NBHS3FtQ20

https://play.spotify.com/user/12133254216/playlist/2PalrRSRvz8EoXH5ZHOSFI


Available on Kindle Unlimited

Reverb (Blue Phoenix #5)


Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win one of two swag packs or a $5 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

Halloween - Book Review: Dead Stop by D. Nathan Hilliard

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

Welcome to the Textro Truck Stop. Here you can eat, drink coffee and just come together. Because of a football match in Masonfield the Truck Stop is not packed with customers. The fact that most people are at the match maybe is their salvage. In the nearby cemetery the dead have come to life and are slowly crawling out of their graves. The lights of Textro are showing them where they can fill their need. The need to feed.

Who will be able to fight the living dead? The people at the Truck Stop are all very different. Marisa and Stacey are the waitresses. There's Harley who just came back to town after serving in the army and old grandpa Thomas who is a trucker. Deke is Harley's friend. Rachel is the town veterinarian and Gerard and Holly are just having a rest stop. There is a storm coming which will make things even more difficult to find a way out. Can they outlast the zombies long enough until dawn? Who will live and who will fall into the hungry hands of the dead...

Dead Stop gave me the creeps. I absolutely loved the way D. Nathan Hilliard built it up. He tells the story from different angles. Even the side of the zombies isn't forgotten. Some of the chapters I read after dark and I wouldn't recommend that... When I'm walking my dog on our last walk of the day I feel a lot less at ease than before. This book really stuck with me.

I love a good zombie book and this one definitely qualifies. You will be scared and intrigued at the same time. What I also found a big plus is that the writer even gives a somewhat logical explanation of the dead rising. This made it even more creepier, because it is not that far out there. If you are looking for a good scare and are willing to lose some hours of sleep then you have found your book!

I have looked at the other books of D. Nathan Hilliard and he really looks my kind of writer. Don't be surprised if you find more reviews in the future of some of his other books.

Halloween Giveaway 2: Black Cat Necklace


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful black cat necklace made by Toni at Woodland. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Beauty Spotlight: Suze Loves Mon Gel Douche Lait d'Abricot by Secrets de Provence


I bought this Secrets de Provence Mon Gel Douche Lait d'Abricot from Ecco-Verde. I love this bio beauty brand. The products are free of parabens, artificial colors, silicones and preservatives, which is something I definitely support.

Apricots are the number one fruit of the Provence. Every time I'm using this shower gel I feel like I'm back there. It's a holiday daydream in a bottle. I think it's such a fantastic product and I can't praise it enough. The scent is absolutely amazing. The shower gel is soft for my skin and it easy to rinse off. I think it's absolutely perfect.

This shower gel comes in a large bottle and a little goes a long way, so it's definitely worth the money. I don't ever want to be without this product again, especially because of the way it smells. It's absolutely divine and I like it a lot.

Oct 29, 2015

Halloween Giveaway 1: Orange - L'Occitane, Books, Candy, Pouch & Jewelry


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win  L'Occitane beauty products, books, candy, a Decodelire pouch & jewelry. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Etsy Spotlight & Giveaway: Suze Loves Surreal Sentiments!


I love Surreal Sentiments, it's such a fantastic shop.


The owner, Andrea, makes the most beautiful felt deserts.


Her handwork is amazing, they're all so beautiful.


These deserts make such great gifts.


They're unique and every detail is exactly right.


Andrea also makes stunning paintings.


I love the way she paints her flowers and I really like the way she plays with vibrant colors and contrast as well.


I admire Andre's creativity. She's both an artist and a pianist. She's smart and she can create anything she likes.


On Andrea's website you can find more information about her. 


If you don't have an Etsy account you can also buy her creations there.


Check out Andrea's fantastic art.


Enjoy browsing...


And have fun shopping!


One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a fantastic prize.


These terrific cat sundaes will be for the winner of the giveaway. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Book Review: The Boy in the Bookshop by Katey Lovell

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Jade has a Saturday job in a bookshop and there she meets an intriguing customer. A boy who immediately catches her eye...

The Boy in the Bookshop is a short story, perfect for waiting room reading. for with a cup of coffee in the morning, for when you need cheering up, for breakfast reading before you go to work, for when your train is late, etc. I love Katey Lovell's writing style. She enchants her readers with her wonderful words. For me it's like she's giving them a dream, something to think about all day long. I love the setting and the story is really good. It was great to take a look into Katey Lovell's world.

I love Katey Lovell's idea to write short and sweet stories. They will brighten people's moods. Her stories are great for bedtime reading and for a good start of the day. I hope she will write many more as I already have a craving for the next one. Try this heartwarming romantic story, you will love it. 

Giveaway: Get Wicked With Entangled Blog Hop


I love Halloween. It isn't a Dutch holiday, but I like everything about it. Halloween reads are fantastic and a spooky atmosphere makes me happy. I have a trick or treat prize for one lucky winner. This person will receive three big lollipops, two Dutch candy bags, and macaron jewelry. I will also give away a kindle copy of If You Dare, because part of it is set in a spooky haunted house.


Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 28, 2015

Winners Dutch Days


2 Rituals packages - Nikolina V

Eveline's Garden - Heather S

Blond Amsterdam -  Soozle

Pip - Anastasiya K

Candy - Margaret I

Hi di Hi brown read bags - Jess M

Return to Sender - Shelly H

Delft Blue - Kat J

Rituals Ayurveda Gift Box - Christine S

Dutch Kawaii - Sarah E

Hema package - Sarah S

Stacked Book necklace - Ruth H

Crocheted Owl - Maida M

Druzy Agate necklace - Mary G

Hi di Hi handbag and wallet - Alexandra E

The Twins or The Angel Maker - Judy T

Aquamarine and orange bracelet - Jen7

Buddha bracelet - Jayne T

Wire wrapped earrings - Piroska B

Delft Blue bracelet - Colette P

Needle Heart Decoration - Clenna L

Shroomper - Judith C

Big last giveaway - Amber T

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die and The Girl Who Broke the Rules - 
Dawn O & Karl B & Rachel C & Julia B

If you are on this list and you didn't receive an email, then please contact me. 

Giveaway: Pouch with Benecos Make Up


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful pouch filled with Benecos eye shadow, lip gloss and a kohl pencil. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Book Review: A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Tabby has to go to prison and it's for something she hasn't done. Someone has betrayed her and she has to pay dearly for that. When she's allowed to go out she doesn't have a job or place to stay. Fortunately there's Mercy who has a Christmas cracker factory. Tabby can live in an apartment at her house and in exchange she'll use her artistic skills to bring the mill and the cracker business back to life. Before her sentence Tabby was on her way to be successful with her art and she loves that she has the chance to be creative again.

Living with Mercy is a joy, but there is one problem. Mercy's nephew Randal doesn't trust Tabby at all. He's displeased with the fact that Mercy has let this in his eyes thieving and fraudulent woman into her home. Tabby is happy with her new life and she needs to convince him that she isn't the woman he thinks she is. Meanwhile there's a lot of work to be done to get the crackers ready for Christmas...

Every Tabby chapter in A Christmas Cracker starts with a joke. I found them hilarious and read the entire book with a big smile on my face. Trisha Ashley knows how to write her Christmas stories. They're all fantastic. I enjoyed A Christmas Cracker very much. The story is original, festive and fun. I didn't want it to end and loved all the main characters. The setting is great, Mercy's kindness and energy are wonderful and exactly what a Christmas book needs, and there are plenty of lovely pets who each bring something vital to the story. All of these things are heartwarming.

Randal has a terrible fiance. I had to laugh out loud plenty of times because of her behavior. Tabby is happy being reunited with her cat again and she isn't looking for love, but she does have an admirer. Reading about him was also really great. There are plenty of amusing scenes and I loved the overall energy and dynamics. I also think that this isn't just a Christmas story, it's perfectly suitable for any time of the year, but it's festive at the same time. A Christmas Cracker is another really good book by Trisha Ashley and it's now one of my all time favorite Christmas stories.

Key Necklace Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful key necklace made by Starla Moore. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 27, 2015

Bookouture Christmas: Interview With Holly Martin & Giveaway


About 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. 


Interview

1) What's your favourite Christmas memory?

Staying in a house in Scotland over Christmas and it had snowed, so we went sledging and built snowmen. Its the only white Christmas I remember

2) What's your favourite Christmas song?

Anything Christmassy by Michael Buble, his songs are very festive

3) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

Sarah Morgan does the most gorgeous Christmas books so i always look forward to which ever Christmas book she has out. Lisa Dickenson's Twelve Dates of Christmas is brilliant, romantic and laugh out loud funny, Rebecca Raisin also does Christmas so well too.

4) What's the best Christmas gift you ever received?

When i was 5 I was given a puppy called Bob, he was a red setter/border collie cross and he was simply brilliant. He was endlessly patient as I tied bows to his ears and tail. We had him for 16 years and he became a real member of our family

5) What does your ultimate Christmas look like?

The perfect Christmas would have all my friends and family together in one place, in a big house with a roaring log fire and lots of snow outside

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a signed copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage together with a Lush Comfort and Joy beauty box and a Christmas at Lilac Cottage book necklace. Good luck!


Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Bookouture Christmas Book Review & Giveaway: One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Hayley and her daughter Angel are going to New York to visit Haley's brother Dean. Angel has one wish and that is to meet her father. Hayley met him in New York, just once, and she wants to track him down to tell him about his amazing nine-year-old daughter. Dean works for a big computer company and when he takes Hayley and Angel out for dinner on the first night of their visit they coincidentally meet his billionaire boss Oliver. Oliver is panicking about a heart condition he may have. His father and brother both died and he thinks he's going to be next. Because of that he isn't getting attached to anyone. When Hayley helps him out they instantly like each other, but nothing can come of it, because Oliver isn't relationship material. 

Hayley tries to find work in New York, because she needs some extra money. Soon something unexpected comes her way. She also tries to find Angel's father and to see as much of New York as possible. Her path keeps crossing Oliver's. Secretly Hayley hopes that she'll find something for herself in New York as well as something for Angel. Will this wonderful city make her dreams come true?

One Wish in Manhattan is a story about a woman who hasn't gone out much because she's a single mother. Hayley does everything she can to give Angel a happy life. I really liked that about her. Angel is such a witty and clever person, I loved reading about her. I especially enjoyed reading the dialogue, she says the most funny things. Hayley is so sweet and I wanted her to find some happiness. The same goes for Oliver, he's seriously messed up and deserves a lot of support and plenty of special moments. He's been through enough already and he also has much stress in his life because he has a big company to run. I loved Dean and his partner Vernon as well. The characters are making this story, they're all fabulous.

If you're looking for a romantic and original Christmas novel you should get One Wish in Manhattan. I enjoyed every single page. Mandy Baggot knows how to tell a story. There is a lot of creativity in this book and all of those scenes come to life really well. I could totally picture the beautiful creations and homes. I wanted to go over there immediately to take a look. Everything in this story matches well from beginning to end. It's easy to get into a festive mood while reading One Wish in Manhattan. I highly recommend this fantastic Christmas story.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a digital copy of One Wish in Manhattan together with a beautiful butterfly necklace made by Coastal Alchemy


Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Giveaway: Macaron Bottle Necklace


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful macaron bottle necklace made by Dleesnow. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Bookouture Christmas: Interview With Sue Watson & Giveaway


About Sue Watson

Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and she realised her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act. So after much comfort eating, soul searching and reality TV watching, she sold her car, cancelled the holiday, bought a flamingo pink laptop and took the plunge as a writer.

The result was Sue's first novel, 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,' a story about Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with the weighing scales and being a working mum, wife and daughter.

The author researched intensely, baking and tasting and baking and ... tasting and... created the fabulous recipe collection of easy but impressive cakes at the back of the book. Sue also gained an equally impressive extra ten pounds on her hips, which to this day she carries with her.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where she is currently writing her third book. When she's not toiling over her latest novel, Sue can be found enjoying large bags of chicken crisps, large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream and 'The Biggest Loser USA' on series link.

Interview

Hi Suzanne! Thank you so much for having me on your blog. X

1) What's your favourite Christmas memory?

My daughter’s first Christmas! I don’t know who was more excited, her or me. We bought her far too many presents and we both got so excited, she had a whole zoo of furry animals and as it was her first everyone else went mad with gifts too. I’m not sure she really understood what was going on that first time – she just waved her legs about and giggled a lot – and so did I!

2) What's your favourite Christmas song?

So many! I do love ‘White Christmas,’ I remember watching the film with my mum when I was very young. It was Christmas Eve and we ate warm mince pies as it snowed outside and I remember feeling very happy and excited about the next day. Just hearing the song, ‘White Christmas’ always takes me right back to that lovely Christmas memory.

3) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

My favourite reads at Christmas are pretty much the same as the rest of the year. Despite writing women’s fiction I love psychological thrillers and well-written crime novels so am always happy to snuggle up with a glass of sherry and twisted murder on a cold Christmas night.

4) What's the best Christmas gift you ever received?

There are so many, but last year my husband and daughter gave me a framed poster of ‘Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake,’ my very first Christmas book. I was delighted, because the cover is gorgeous with little Christmassy cupcakes on – it’s on the wall above my desk and now I can enjoy it all year!

5) What does your ultimate Christmas look like?

I think my ultimate Christmas would be like Bella’s in Bella’s Christmas Bake Off – on the surface anyway. Bella is ’a TV chef who loves luxury and always enjoys Christmas at her beautiful home in the Cotswolds where no expense is spared and every bauble glistens. But as is often the case, Bella’s Christmas isn’t what it seems – I think we all have an image of what we would love Christmas to be but the reality never quite matches it. I’ll be happy in my own home with my family where the biggest luxury will be the M & S Christmas pudding and all the family round the table.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a digital copy of Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas cake (you can find my review here) together with a handmade felt Christmas cake bauble decoration made by Polly Chrome Crafts


Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Book Review: Shifting Colours by Fiona Sussman


Amazon USA Amazon UK
Review by Suze

Celia Mphephu works for the Steiners. They're living in a white suburb in South Africa. Celia has a daughter, Miriam, and she loves her more than anything in the world. It's the beginning of the sixties and unrest grows in the country. So much that Mr. and Mrs. Steiner don't feel safe any longer. They want to go to England and because they don't have any children of their own they ask Celia if they can adopt Miriam. They will give her a secure future with more education than she'd ever been able to get in South Africa. Celia has to make the most difficult decision of her life...

Miriam doesn't like her life in England very much. She stands out and people aren't always friendly to her. She also misses her mother. She tries to live her life, but she doesn't feel complete. That's why she eventually decides to go back to South Africa to look for her roots. 

Shifting Colours is an impressive story about a mother and a daughter who are separated. Celia has to make a difficult decision and she does that out of love, which is awful and beautiful at the same time. The situation in South Africa is scary, she fears for her daughter, and I could totally imagine that. It must be really hard to live in a country that has such strong foundations based on inequality. I felt so bad for her and for everything she had to go through. I wanted Miriam to be safe, but my heart broke when they were separated. 

I highly recommend this great novel. The writing is really good, it makes the reader feel everything that's going on so well. There are two voices, Miriam's and Celia's. I think that they were cleverly intertwined. I immediately loved both of their personalities. I cared for them and that made me feel emotionally attached to the story straight away. It left such a deep impression on me. I highly recommend this book, it's absolutely brilliant.

10,000 Twitter Followers Giveaway 2: L'Occitane, Books, Druzy Necklace, Make Up Bag & Lush!


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win It Started at Sunset Cottage, Creature Comforts, Pieces of You, a Lush Snow Fairy gift box, a make up bag with mirror, a lipstick case, L'Occitane beauty products and a druzy necklace. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 26, 2015

Bookouture Christmas Book Review & Giveaway: Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Libby's residence of the moment is White Cliff Bay. She moves around a lot because of her work. She's an author and loves writing romantic stories, even though she doesn't have any real romance in her own life. She's found a new best friend in her neighbor George. His door is always open and they spend a lot of time together. He hasn't dated in years because of a traumatic experience and Libby wants to help him to get back into it. She wants him to find the love of his life...

Amy has several different jobs and she loves them all. She's working at Seb's bar and really likes her boss, but he's a widower and made a promise when his wife passed away, he wouldn't date anyone again. Amy's neighbor was Seb's mother-in-law and they're very close. She doesn't like Amy much and some well meant gestures from Amy that didn't go entirely right make her dislike her even more. Will Amy have a chance at happiness eventually?

Snowflakes on Silver Cove is a wonderful Christmas story about friendship and love. There are two main stories instead of one and that worked really well. I liked them both a lot. Holly Martin's first White Cliff Bay book was funny and I enjoyed it very much. This book is different, there's a little less humor and more seriousness. Together they make a great duo. I love the way she set them at the same time, so several events can be read about from a different angle. They can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend them both.

Holly Martin's writing has matured, she's found an amazing voice. There's a beautiful and clear message in this book, you should be with someone who loves you for who you are. Be yourself and wait for that person to come along. I think this message makes the story special and for me it deserves a little halo. I liked the main characters a lot. George is one of my all time favorites now, he is such a fantastic guy and I really enjoyed reading about his home and his preferences. Snowflakes on Silver Cove will get you into the right Christmas mood, it's cheerful, original, sweet and lovable.

Giveaway

One lucky reader of my blog will receive a digital copy of Snowflakes on Silver cove together with 12 lovely Christmas decorations. 


Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

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