Jan 3, 2016

Australia Days Winners

2 beaded bracelets Esperanza
Kindle copy of Caught by Fire Tammy D.
3 books by Helen Rolfe Catherine
Beyond Innocence Rose F 
A Distant Voice Tanya P.
Naked Maranda H 
Amazonite and agate bracelets Rhonda W. 
Outback Promise Jessica E.
Secret Santo Rachel G. 
Jasper necklace Keith H. 
3 necklaces Sheri D. 
3 gemstone bracelets (aquamarine & dragon) Pam H.
Leather journal cover  Esthefania
Natio 1 Lynsey B. 
Essence in Life Judy T.
Paperback by Jennie Jones Mary P.
Australian Organics Francesca F.
Seahorse necklace Melanie B.
Agate necklace Ana
Natio 2 Aaron B. 
The Near Miss Sharon H.
3 gemstone bracelets  Audra H.
Prize from The Bohemian Original Bn100 
2 macrame necklaces Alys J. 
Komorebi Dreamcatcher necklace Elin H.
Mosaic treasures  Jennifer H.
Beaded choker necklace  Nicole S.
Turquoise & jasper bracelets Ana

All the winners will receive an e-mail tomorrow.

Happy Mail Project

When I stopped this blog a few weeks ago I told you all that I would start something new in 2016. I've made my happy mail project official and you can find it here: http://www.happymailproject.org/!

I asked someone else to take over sending my prizes. This person will finish the job and has nothing to do with my happy mail project which I will handle myself. If you have any questions regarding prizes and things that have something to do with the Librarian Lavender blog please send them to suzelavender@gmx.com,

Dec 28, 2015

Winners Cupcakes, Cake & Cookies

Cupcake and tea earrings - Louise

Bio beauty - Cristina P.

Notebook, Book, Stickers, Mug, Letter Set, Necklace & Tags Giveaway - Arian M.

Cupcake & Cookies Book + Surprise Jewelry Giveaway - Iris W.

Mug Cake, Notebook, Jewelry & Tin Giveaway - Jinger M.

Lush Sugar Sugar - Rhonda G.  

Cookies, Caramels, Tea, Mug, Teaspoons & Chocolate Giveaway - Ana B.

Books, Letter Set & Macaron Jewelry Giveaway - Janine A.

Bio beauty 2 - Ashleigh A.

Diary, Books, Candy & Tea Giveaway - Lisa M

Lush, Cookbooks, Apron, Notebook, Tin & Napkins Giveaway - Ada H

Dec 23, 2015

Book Review: The Starlight Chronicles by Lisa Orchard

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

Lark Singer has only got one dream. She wants to be and will be a famous rock star. Lark has a band named Starlight together with Bean and Steve. They have found their big ticket out of the little town they live in. The only thing they have to do is win The American Singer contest. It turns out that even though all the band members want to win just as badly as Lark does, not all of them have a clear mind or conscience.

I loved Lark. She is a young girl with a good head on her shoulders. She lives alone with her mother and has no idea who her father is. Her mother only finds confidence when in a relationship. This is so hard on her. Lark wants a better life for herself, but she is never patronizing where she comes from. She is really a good girl who wants to achieve more than the odds are giving her. In real life she would be a very good role model for young girls.

Lisa Orchard provides lots of twists and turns in her story. There were times when I knew more or less what was coming, but I was so hoping that I was wrong. This story has some dark sides and the writing is great. I loved the fact that the characters were all thought out very well. This completed it for me.

The message I got from Lark is that no matter what curve balls life is throwing at you, keep your eyes on the prize. Stay focused and stay true to what you believe in. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Dec 19, 2015

Final Post

Dear readers,

I'm very happy that I had the privilege to reach 2,000,000 views. I'm grateful that I had the chance to enjoy this milestone before I had to write this post. I'm going to stop running this blog. I love to make people happy and had a lot of fun writing the posts, but due to health reasons I won't be able to continue. I want to thank everyone for their support, sweet messages and friendship. Please keep in touch, I'd like that very much. 

I might be back in 2016 with a different project, but for now this is it. Of course I will still draw winners for every giveaway.

Lots of love,

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Lynn & Giveaway!

About Lynn

Lynn Brown is a blogger who has two fantastic blogs, Books IMO and of Crafty Linby – just have a look at the things she can create! Amazing, right? Lynn has always crafted something – it began with dressmaking when she was 13 and she got into rubber stamping in 1990. 


1) What’s your best Christmas memory?

when I got a glitter kit when I was a little girl – I loved all the different glitters

2) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

I don’t have much time to do re reads, so I will usually pick a seasonal book around Christmas such as Christmas at Tiffany’s- Karen Swann The French for Christmas -Fiona Valpy The Great Christmas Knit Off -Alexandra Brown all of which are past fav Christmas reads of mine

3) If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

Stephen Fry is so witty and entertaining – I’m sure Christmas with him would be brilliant

4) What are your thoughts about Santa?

He’s magical

5) What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

My best Christmas gifts are jewellery as I always remember the person who bought it for me when I wear it A boyfriend once bought me a first aid kit which I didn’t think was a great present! 

6) Your favourite Christmas song?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

7) Your favourite Christmas movie?


8) Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

Broken Promise -Linwood Barclay The Road to Little Dribbling -Bill Bryson The Chocolate Lovers Christmas – Carole Matthews

9) Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas? 

My favourite part is putting up the Christmas tree and my least is taking it and the trimmings down

10) I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

Pigs in blankets (sausage with bacon wrapped around them.


One very lucky reader of our blogs will receive a beautiful handmade card and notebook from Lynn. Good luck!

2,000,000 Views Giveaway 2: Kindle Fire, L'Occitane, Leather Handbag, Books by C.L. Taylor & Jewelry!

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, The Lie and The Accident, a L'Occitane pouch, a gemstone necklace, a butterfly bracelet, a steampunk necklace made by Zingara Creativa and a leather handbag. 

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.

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Debbie Johnson & Giveaway!

About Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson is an author of women’s fiction for HarperImpulse, Harper Collins, supernatural crime for Avon, and fantasy for Del Ray. Let’s welcome the one and only and very talented Debbie Johnson – and if you want to chat to her, follow her on Twitter.


1) What’s your best Christmas memory?

There are so many lovely ones when you have children, but I especially treasure my daughter when she wasabout 3, coming downstairs all fat and cuddly, saying she’d been kept awake ALL night by reindeer hooves dancing on the roof! We live near the coast, so it could have been seagulls! I also cherish a memory of a Christmas when my mum, who died a few years ago, came down to Oxford to visit me when I was living there – she suffered poor health later in life, so recalling her at a stage when she was fit and independent enough to travel on the train alone is really nice.

2) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Snowman and a really good current festive romance – I’ve especially liked Carmel Harrington’s Every Time A Bell Rings this year.

3) If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

From the real world, too many people – my mum and dad, my dad’s partner, and two of my closest friends, all of whom died in autumn and in the run-up to Christmas. I’d love one more conversation, one more chance to say I love you. But that’s a bit macabre – instead, maybe I’ll have a wonderfully snowy Christmas in front of a roaring log fire in a cabin in the Alps, with James Bond! There’d be lots of booze and good food and…other stuff!

4) What are your thoughts about Santa?

He seems like a cool dude – never met him though! Having played Santa for my kids for a number of years now, I really appreciate how hard his job is!

5) What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

Best gifts for me are always books, but my husband and I also have a habit of getting each other very silly autographed photos. I’ve got him the cast of Lovejoy and Jeeves and Wooster, and my favourite from him is of David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth! They’s displayed in frames in our hallway, and cause much confusion to visitors! Worst gift ever…from my teenaged son, who was going through a real ‚whatever!’ phase and forgot to get anybody any gifts. So he made me a bracelet out of string with old foreign coins glued onto it, thinking I’d see it as cute…I didn’t. I saw it as him having forgotten to get me a Christmas present and having to make one from items he found on his bedroom floor!

6) Your favourite Christmas song?

Last Christmas by Wham!

7) Your favourite Christmas movie?

Bad Santa

8) Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

I’m giving my own away to one friend, because she’s asked for it! I’ve bought my daughter the complete Enid Blyton Mysteries set, and my middle son the latest David Walliams. There are always lots and lots of book-shaped gifts under our Christmas tree!

9) Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

Favourite: spending time with family, totally relaxed and away from the stresses of work and the real world. Least favourite: the horrible bit straight after, where people go back to work, and everyone is really depressed!

10) I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

Savouries for me – roast spuds and stuffing with the turkey!


One very lucky reader of our blogs will receive digital copies of Cold Feet at Christmas and Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper, both really great books. Good luck!

Dec 18, 2015

Book Review: Finding the Snowdon Lily by Heather Pardoe

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Catrin loves the mountains. Her father is a mountain guide in the Snowdon mountains and she knows them well. She helps at the family inn and enjoys working there. Her father wants her to marry and he's already chosen someone suitable. His name is Taran and his parents own a nearby hotel. There isn't much choice when it comes to potential husbands, but Catrin is convinced she will meet her true love and she isn't sure if Taran is that person.

Judith is determined to bring the first picture of the Snowdon Lily to London and she's staying at the inn together with her brother Phillip who is a photographer. Catrin and her father will take them to the mountains to show them the precious flower, but will they be on time? The competition is fierce...

Finding the Snowdon Lily is a heartwarming story about the Snowdon mountains. I love the setting and Heather Pardoe's descriptions of the mountains themselves, nature and the weather. I could picture everything that happened in the story very well. I greatly admire the vivid way she writes. It makes the whole story come to life. I wanted to visit the inn and climb the mountains. The setting is both volatile and romantic and it's absolutely perfect for the story.

I love how Heather Pardoe describes the past. It was fun to read what kind of photography equipment people needed in the earlier days. I also liked that Judith is so strong and that she stands up for what she believes. Catrin is brave and kind, a great combination. Phillips has such a good heart. Everything in this story is exactly right. I highly recommend this fantastic novella.

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Erika & Giveaway!

About Erika

Erika Kehlet – a wife, a mom to two lovely daughters, an IT professional, and a voracious reader of fiction. You can follow her on Pinterest, or follow my reviews onGoodreads and Riffle or on Facebook - follow The Book’s the Thing for links to giveaways and free or cheap ebooks, as well.


What are your favorite Christmas reads?

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie, because there's something wonderful about an English country house Christmas. :)
A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - I love a good Christmas ghost story, and this one is my favorite.

If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

My grandmother. When I was little we always spent Christmas Eve at her house, and those are some of my favorite holiday memories. She died before I was married and I would love to be able to have her spend Christmas with me one more time and to meet her great-grandchildren.

What are your thoughts about Santa?

I love the magic that the idea of Santa brings to children as long as they are young enough to believe!

Best and worst Christmas gifts?

I can answer the same thing for both. Gift cards! I know they save time and are so easy, so yes, I give them myself. They are great for people who are hard to please, or never seem to want or need anything. They just seem somehow impersonal to me, and I prefer to buy (or make) a more personal gift whenever possible.

Favorite Christmas song?

This year at least, my favorite Christmas song is Pentatonix's version of Mary Did You Know. I also love Song for a Winter's Night by Sarah McLachlan.

Favorite Christmas movie?

White Christmas - I love Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in this one. My favorite bit is when they sing "Sisters"!

Which books are you giving as gifts this year?

. I love to give books as gifts, and a few I've picked out for recipients on my list this year are The Girls on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan, and several books from the Dork Diaries series. 

Favorite and least favorite part of Christmas?

My favorite part of Christmas - just the feeling of togetherness. I spend more time with family during December than the rest of the year combined, and see people I don't get to spend much time with therest of the year. Least favorite part? The pressure. It always creeps up on me and I feel rushed to decorate, bake, plan, etc... ans spend several weeks panicking that I've forgotten something.

Favorite Christmas food?

My favorite Christmas treat is potica! I haven't had any in several years, and am currently looking for someone local who makes it. We always had it at Christmas when I was a kid and I've missed it the last several years.


One very lucky reader of our blogs will receive a wonderful prize:

This lovely Christmas package will be for the winner of the giveaway. Good luck!

Dec 17, 2015

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Camilla Isley + Giveaway!

About Camilla Isley

Writer of romantic comedy, cat’s lover, coffee addict, and shoes hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading, cooking—and eating—especially pasta, going to the movies and obviously ordering a gigantic bowl of popcorn, and watching too much TV. You can find Camilla on her website , on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @camillaisley.


1) What’s your best Christmas memory?

My best Christmas memories are definitely from when I was a kid, there’s nothing like the enthusiasm of when you’re little and open your presents to find all the toys you liked the most. Christmas makes me want to go back in time like no other holiday.

2) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

The Night of Wishes by Michael Ende, it’s not really a Christmas story, more of a New Year’s one but it always gets me in the festive mood and it’s a book I love.

Around Christmas I get a craving for Harry Potter, I’ve re-started the series many times around this period of the year. Sometimes I binge read the entire series, sometimes just one book, and sometime just some of my favorite passages.

I always re-read Twas the Night before Christmas A Visit from St. Nicholas…

3) If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

It would be my grandmother Maria. She left us a couple of years ago and I miss her a lot especially at Christmas. This was her holyday, she still cooked the meal from scratches for the entire family when she was ninety one years old. She was the best person in the world, so kind, so generous. I love her so much.

4) What are your thoughts about Santa?

What can I say, I wish he was real!

5) What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

I love almost anything, from clothes to tech gadgets to makeup, body lotions, and even kitchenware gets me excited. If someone made the effort to go out and shop for me, I’m always grateful. Which brings me to the only gifts I passionately dislike: re-gifted gifts!

6) Your favourite Christmas song?

No doubts, Jingle Bells Rock!

7) Your favourite Christmas movie?

At Christmas I love to watch Lady and the Tramp, I always hope I will get a kitten or a puppy as Christmas presents, but I never do O.o

8) Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

On the adventurous side. Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith, I’m also excited to read this myself.

Cozy and Romantic. Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale and Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin.

Amazon USA Amazon UK

And of course my friends and family will be stuck with a lot of copies of my debut novel.

9) Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

The best part is definitely Christmas day: the family meets for Christmas, the food is great, gifts are exchanged, it’s just such a beautiful day. The least favorite part would be maybe Christmas evening. I find it a little bittersweet. Yes, it’s still Christmas. The decorations are still there, and the festive mood still lingers. But then, when I look at the Christmas tree all the presents have been unwrapped, all the anticipation is gone. It makes me feel a bit melancholic.

10) I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

Homemade Cappelletti in beef broth. It’s one of my favorite pasta, and a family tradition at Christmas. I also love Pandoro, in the month of December I eat it for breakfast almost every day.


Camilla has offered 6 (!!!) lucky winners an ARC of her second novel, A Sudden Crush – that will be published on 4th February! Good luck!

Dec 16, 2015

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Sheryl Browne & Giveaway

About Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne writes edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction and has seven books published. Sheryl says:

„After a tumultuous few years, I am at last feeling proud of my writing endeavours. However, none of this would have been possible without the wonderful support of readers, book bloggers and reviewers, without which I would have given up. I can’t thank those people enough.

Information about my books, together with snippets from reviews, can be found on this site , so please do take a look around. Please also feel free to contact me – I’d love to hear from you, or take a peek at my blog to see what I’m up to. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.”


What’s your best Christmas memory?

Getting a proper bicycle with a bell on it. Please see ‘best and worst gifts’ below.

What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

Fairy Tale in New York by Nicky Wells, The Art of Christmas by Jane Lovering and One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot. All beautiful books to curl up with, Christmas chocs and mulled wine to hand.

If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

My mum. I lost her when I was young. She had seven children. Yup, seven. Remembering how hard she worked, I’d love to give her a beautiful Christmas where she didn’t have to lift a finger.

What are your thoughts about Santa?

They really ought to give him an all year round job.

What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

Best: A bike! I was all grown up at the time, but I so wanted a traditional ladies bike. My partner bought one for me. He hid it in a neighbour’s garage and presented me with it after dinner, a proper bicycle with a bell and a basket and little roses on the frame. Worst: A peg bag. Say no more.

Your favourite Christmas song?

A Winter’s Tale by David Essex. I challenge you to watch the video and not drool.

Your favourite Christmas movie?

My fave would have to be Finding Nemo (don’t tell anyone, but my partner’s eyes welled up!). How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey ranks up there too.

Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

Ahem. I have to admit they’re all by one author: John Donoghue’s, Police, Crime & 999, Police, Lies & Alibis and Shakespeare My Butt. I badly needed something to cheer me up after my partner’s cancer diagnosis and his undergoing various surgeries (he’s doing fabulously now, btw!). You can probably guess then that this author had his work cut out. He succeeded. I laughed until I cried. Anyhow, long story short, my partner nicked my print copy of his latest, Police, Arrests & Suspects and now he wants the rest. The books are just sidesplittingly hilarious and, as you can gather, made my partner hoot too. Job done!

Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

Fave: Watching my foster dogs open their pressies.

Least fave: Knowing there are people who are lonely, hurting or frightened who will never now the luxury of Christmas.

I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

Christmas pud! It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.


One very lucky reader of our blog will receive an ebook by Sheryl Browne, winner's choice. Good luck!

Guest Post & Giveaway: From Shattered Pieces by Traci Jo Stotts

About Traci Jo Stotts

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Always one to daydream, I’m often teased for the many bits and pieces of paper with notes and ideas for different books littering my desk. After spending most of my life in rural Nevada, I’ve recently moved to Washington. 

To my husband and sons…I finished!

Why book covers are so important

I really didn’t have any visions of what the cover for From Shattered Pieces would look like. I purposely ignored that part of the process. I filled out the cover worksheet and daydreamed about how I was going to feel when I saw it. Once I knew it was on its way, I was giddy with excitement. 

The e-mail came with cover art in the subject line. I knew this was too important to open on my phone so I powered up my laptop and sat, anxiously waiting. I clicked the attachment and that feeling I was anticipating wasn’t there. The cover was beautiful. I loved the font and the shattered pieces flying this way and that. The model on the cover just didn’t reflect the story. Ian, the main character in FSP, is a tomboy and the model was pretty glamorous. It was almost too beautiful.

This being my first experience, I wasn’t sure how to voice my concerns. The artists have a worksheet with limited information to go by. I am sure it’s not a dig at the artist’s work to say it’s too beautiful, but it was hard to speak up nevertheless. 

I asked for something a little different (with not a moment to spare), and was lucky enough to be able to look for an image that better reflected the overall feel of Ian’s story. 

Again, I pushed away any images that tried to creep into my mind. I knew the cover artist was more than capable of delivering a fabulous cover, and boy, did she ever! The moment I opened the second attachment, I felt it. “THIS IS IT! THIS IS HER! THIS IS IAN’S STORY!” I couldn’t stop staring at it! 

I’m in love with the artwork for From Shattered Pieces and I’m so thankful to have worked with such an amazing artist! It was important for me to love the cover. It’s the first connection reader’s have with the story. So, I disagree with the old saying Don’t judge a book by its cover. For me, it’s the first impression and when I look at the cover of From Shattered Pieces… I’m impressed! 


Amazon USA Amazon UK

Ian had no intention of running away. She lived with her abusive parents for sixteen years, so surely she could endure two more. But something changed the night she fought back.

Leaving home was one thing but being on the streets of Reno brings scary to a whole new level. A chance run-in with Jubal proves to be both a blessing and a curse.

Now, Ian must come to terms with who she is and what she must do to survive.


One very lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Tanya & Giveaway

Interview with Tanya

What’s your best Christmas memory?

I think that would be the first year after my eldest was born. Both my husband and I were so excited that we couldn’t sleep. So instead we went downstairs to open our stockings and were watching the “baby”, who was nearly 11 months old, on a TV monitor that we had. She woke up with a massive smile and was feeling the presents in her stocking. Another that stands out is the year I was pregnant with the youngest and Sian came into the room on Christmas morning asking if I had had the baby for Christmas. Thankfully no I had her 5 days later.

What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

I don’t really have three favourite Christmas reads, not ones that I read again and again, although last year I did love The Great Christmas Knit off by Alexandra Brown. I love Christmas books in general so if you have any suggestions for me I would be grateful.

If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

This is a hard one and I am not really sure of my answer. For me as I am lucky enough to have most of my grandparents alive I think it would be my dad’s brother as I cannot remember him and it would be nice to meet him. Christmas is for family and it is important to me to have as much of the family around as possible.

What are your thoughts about Santa?

I believe in the magic of Santa and love seeing the excitement on children’s faces at that time of year. I do think that there are too many around now though and that the numbers should be limited. My husband and I still do each other a stocking and will continue to even when the girls don’t believe any more, which unfortunately I think will be soon. I am hoping that they still believe in the magic and continue to be excited by it all.

What are your best and worse Christmas gifts and why?

Funnily enough my best and worst is probably the same. It is socks. As a child my parents have a tape of me getting so excited to have socks in my stocking that every year since I have had socks. I also give socks to the Girls and hubby in their stockings. It’s a very partial gift that we all need. Of course when we get them we have to shout socks in our most excited voice.

Your favourite Christmas song?

I am a bit old school and like Silent Night. I love going to the choral service at my local Salvation Army. I can’t sing but like to go and at least mime the words and enjoy listening to others.

Your favoutite Christmas movie?

I think it has to be Miracle on 34th street. Although every year on the run up to Christmas I do like to watch Santa Claus the movie with the girls. It is a must to watch Christmas movies whilst wrapping presents.

Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

My daughters have asked for books this year. I am getting Sian the 13 year old the Christmas Geek girl and Ffion is having the latest book by David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson. 

Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas? 

I used to love wrapping presents and making them look special but now I feel different as I struggle to wrap presents as it hurts so others have to do it for me. My favourite part is watching everyone open their gifts and seeing their faces. I also really enjoy sitting around the table in the evening playing family games and eating junk food and having the occasional drink. Christmas is really busy for us as we are very social and like to have people over or do things with the family. We also celebrate our youngest birthday on the 30th with lots of friends and family going to the pantomime.

The best Christmas food is…… 

I love Christmas dinner as my husband makes an amazing cooked dinner. Along with my daughters he also makes fantastic Christmas cake. We are lucky as we always have two of these as my youngest daughter always insists on having a Christmas cake for her birthday. However my favourite food is Christmas pudding with extra thick cream and I always have second helpings.


One very lucky winner of our blogs will receive a lovely surprise from Lisa Angel. Good luck!

Australia Days: Beaded Choker Necklace Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful beaded choker made by Makeutock. 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.

Dec 15, 2015

Book Review: Pompidou Posse by Sarah Lotz

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Vicki and Sage have set a garden shed on fire and to avoid the consequences they flee the country and go to Paris. There's only one problem, they don't have any money. They're both seventeen years old and are art school dropouts. Vicki and Sage are optimistic, they're in Paris, they're having a good time and everything will be all right. The longer they stay the harder it will become to make enough money to survive. Going home isn't an option and they're in the city of endless possibilities having fun. They're in Paris where nothing can go wrong, right?

When I started reading Pompidou Posse I didn't expect to read such a raw story. I though this would be a story about two very cool teenagers who were going to have a great time in Paris. They would have lots of luck and everything would go their way eventually. I couldn't have been more wrong. Vicki and Sage have to survive in a city where making money is tough. Pompidou Posse is rough, it's honest and it broke my heart. It's a book I won't easily forget, this story will stay with me for the rest of my life.

It's obvious that both Vicki and Sage are very young and don't always make the right decisions. They're having fights, are gullible sometimes and they aren't always a good judge of character. Their stay in Paris is a succession of problems, of difficult situations to deal with. The girls are resourceful, but they also don't really care about consequences. They're fun and different. I immediately liked them. Vicki has rich parents and Sage knows almost everything about her, but Sage has a lot of secrets. That makes their friendship unbalanced from the start. It was really interesting to see the development. I felt for them and with them from beginning to end. The finale is fitting, but unexpected and I cried a bucket load of tears. Pompidou Posse is a must-read, it's impressive, moving and beautifully written.

2,000,000 Views Giveaway 1: Owls!

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a lot of different owl stationery items and rubber stamps, plus owl earrings and two lovely gemstone bracelets. 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.

Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Krysten Lindsay Hager & Giveaway!

About Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager is a young adult author who writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, celebs, and values. She writes the Landry’s True Colors Series and the new Star Series. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton. Krysten’s latest novel, Next Door to a Star, is out now. Coming soon in early 2016: Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Book 3) will be available on January 12th, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) will be available on March 22.


What's your best Christmas memory?

Santa always came to my grandparents’ house, but one year my parents told me to go downstairs because something had been delivered to our house instead. It was a Barbie Dream House and my dad spent the whole day putting it together. I remember I was still in my pajamas and my mom said we were going to get pizza for dinner and Dad and I were looking at her like, “Why is she bringing up dinner?” when we realized we had spent the whole day getting the Barbie house ready and it was dinner time! It was a lot of fun to spend all the time together as a family and well, you can’t beat a Dream House.

What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

I always liked the Truth About Stacey (Babysitters Club, Book 3) because it dealt with New York City at Christmastime. I remember getting it in my stocking when I was in the fourth grade and I spent the day trying to sneak away to read a little bit more.

When I was a kid, I also read I'll Take Manhattan (Mirrors #1) by Danielle Barlette, which also deals with New York City at Christmas time. It’s about a teen who visits her fashion boutique owning aunt and saves the day with her brilliant idea.

Are you sensing a theme with the New York at Christmas books? Imagine my surprise when I got to see Rockefeller Center in person and the ice skating rink is actually way smaller than it looks on TV and in pictures. The tree is large though, but I expected the whole area to be enormous. I did see some guy propose to his girlfriend on the ice though. That was very sweet.

My third pic for a Christmas time read is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I love the story and I also love all the different versions shown in movies. My favorite adaption has to be the Muppet Christmas Carol though. But nothing beats sitting down and reading it.

If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

I would love to have one more Christmas with my dad and I’d really love to celebrate with all my grandparents again, too. This will be my first Christmas without him and I’m a little anxious about it.

What are your thoughts about Santa?

Why? What have you heard? He’s totally real. I don’t know what you’re implying…have you heard something? When I was a little girl, I was in line to see Santa and I told my mom I wanted to ask if Santa could arrange for me to meet my actor crush. My mom said, “Not really sure Santa has those kind of connections.” I thought he did, but I chickened out when it was my turn and just asked for toys. I still regret that I didn’t “go big” on my request.

What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

You know how people used to joke about getting slipper socks for Christmas? I actually got them and the worst thing was I was a preteen at the time, so they were the LAST things I would have ever wanted. However, the second time I wore them, I happened to have the flu and I threw up on them. Lovely story, eh?

My best Christmas gift (other than the Dream House) was a few years ago when my Dad surprised us with tickets to see a figure skating competition in Detroit. My sister and I are really into watching ice skating and my dad watched as well, so he got tickets to an event for us and also bought us ice skates. We got to see people like Michelle Kwan, Evgeni Plushenko, etc. skate. We had so much fun. As for the ice skates? Well, my sister and I had dreams of going onto the ice and at least being able to do a spiral (who am I kidding? I thought I’d be able to at least do a triple axel).However, I put my skates on, stood up, and found I was almost six feet tall in them and that I had a long way down if I fell. I skated that day while clinging to my dad’s arm, while some little girl came up next to me and did little spins. I actually put that whole embarrassing scenario into my book, True Colors. To make things worse, as I was trying to learn to ice skate, the high school hockey team came out to play on the other side of the ice. I was in college, but not much older than them and I looked like Bambi on the ice when he falls. Not hot. But still a funny memory to look back on.

Your favourite Christmas song?

I have a couple. Everyone knows I love George Michael, so “Last Christmas” is one of my faves, but my all time favorite Christmas song is, “Every Year, Every Christmas” by Luther Vandross. I love how sad and soulful it is. I actually did a post of my top ten favorite Christmas songs that you can read here: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/top-10-favorite-christmas-songs

Your favourite Christmas movie?

“A Muppet Christmas Carol” is my must see movie every Christmas and I love the “All I Want for Christmas” movie with Lauren Bacall and the kid who wants to reunite his divorced parents for Christmas. If you haven’t seen them, you really must check them out.

Top 3 books that you're giving as Christmas presents?

I’m giving my mom a copy of Life by the Cup, which is an inspiring book about tea and a woman’s journey of following her passion to create her tea company based on her grandmother’s tea blends. My mom is a big tea drinker and also loves to read inspiring books like that.

I’m giving my aunt a copy of an anthology I was in called, Dear Nana. I wrote an essay about my grandmother for it and I think she’d like reading it.

I’m giving my friend a copy of Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein because I just got a copy and the book reminds me of something she’d be into…but I can’t say which friend in case she reads this!

Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

My favorite part is driving around and looking at the decorations. I love sparkly lights. I also love getting unexpected cards in the mail. Least favorite part is missing people who have passed away. This year will be hard since it’s the first Christmas without my dad. 

I must ask, sorry - the best Christmas food is...?

Growing up, we always had ham and Polish sausage on Christmas Day. I can’t imagine Christmas without ham. When I was a kid, my grandpa used to buy this huge bag of sprinkle sugar cookies—they were super inexpensive (hence the giant bag) and had a buttery taste and one year he couldn’t find them anywhere. My mom and I were going nuts trying to find them in the stores last minute. She actually went up to a store manager and we had no idea of the brand or anything, so she referred to them as, “These really cheap Christmas cookies in a bag.” And he knew what she meant and was able to get her some—haha! So from that moment on we called them the “Cheap Christmas cookies.” 

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Agi & Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Katey Lovell + Giveaway

About Katey Lovell

Katey Lovell is the author of the Meet Cute series published by HarperImpulse. The next part – The Boy Under the Mistletoe will come out on 17th December! Katey is also a reader and all round lover of books and has a wonderful blog.


1) What’s your best Christmas memory?

My husband and I got married on December 23rd 2005 so that was a really, really memorable Christmas. Weflew to New York on honeymoon on Christmas Eve and woke up on Christmas Day in the city that never sleeps! We had a wonderful meal at a revolving restaurant and then a romantic (but rainy) walk through Central Park taking in the Alice in Wonderland statue and Strawberry Fields. It was such a lovely, lovely day.

2) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

I’ve read so many Christmas books that it’s hard to choose! Although I do love Dear Santa by Rod Campbell as it was my son’s favourite picture book for a long time !)

3) If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

This is another tough one but as I can’t imagine a Christmas without my son Zachary I’ll have to say him :) 

4) What are your thoughts about Santa?

He’s a very hardworking chap, for 24 hours at least! I’d love to know what he gets up to the rest of the year though…

5) What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

My son was born on December 19th and I always say he was my Christmas present, but in terms of physical objects one of my best has to be my Kindle as it’s had so much hammer! As for the worst – my husband once gave me an out of date packet of Worcester Sauce flavour French Fries as a sticking filler. I love them, but I’m really fussy at not eating anything out of date so there was no way I was letting those pass my lips!

6) Your favourite Christmas song?

Whilst I love the Christmas pop songs, my favourites would have to be one of the traditional carols – maybe O Come, All Ye Faithful because it’s so rousing. Plus, it has a verse just for Christmas day itself, so singing that at midnight mass signals the start of the celebrations.

7) Your favourite Christmas movie?

This is easy – Love Actually. It’s just so incredibly sweet and touching and brings home the importance of spending Christmas with loved ones.

8) Top 3 books that you’re giving as Christmas presents?

Hmmm… well, without spoiling anything for anyone, I’m giving my son’s godmother The Lake House by Kate Morton – and she’s giving me a copy too as we both love Kate’s books! I’ve also got a Kitty French book for my mum and Joe Root’s autobiography for my husband.

9) Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

Most favourite is spending time with loved ones and not having to go to work! The least favourite is how busy everywhere gets with people Christmas shopping – I’m not keen on queuing.

10) I must ask, sorry – the best Christmas food is…?

We always had Turkish Delight at Christmas when I was growing up and the rose flavour is delicious. My favourite part of a traditional Christmas dinner is a Yorkshire pud – yum!

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