Dec 3, 2014

Lavender Loves Floood! & Giveaway


I love Floood. It's such a great shop with beautiful felt items. The owner, Joanne makes the most beautiful plushes and mobiles.


I'm in love the super cute animals. They all have the most wonderful features and accessories.


 Everything has been put together very well. The sewing and the finishing touch is beautiful.


This shop is perfect for any kawaii lover.



All of the items in the store are hand stitched by Joanne.


Looking at the items in this shop makes me unbelievably happy. I love this cute panda bear. It's adorable with the one black eye and the bamboo stick.



A cheerful mobile from Floood would make all children happy. It's such a wonderful and original gift. 


If you like decorations that are one of a kind this shop will be perfect for you. There's plenty of choice.


Joanne makes the most lovely Christmas items. If you like kawaii Christmas items Floood is the place to shop. There are so many beautiful plushes and decorations, you will love them all!


Soon it will be Christmas and because of this wonderful time of the year Joanne will make a lovely Christmas surprise for one very lucky winner. If you want to win a gorgeous felt Christmas item, enter the rafflecopter below. 



  
I will contact the winner of this giveaway on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international Good luck!

Christmas is Cancelled by Aurelia B Rowl

It's impossible to forget...

Matilda 'Tilly' Carter has had the week from hell - and now, with all trains cancelled, it looks like Christmas will be too! With a mascara-streaked face, a broken heel and nowhere to go, there's never been a worse time to run into the man who once broke her heart. Especially when he looks better than ever.

The one that got away...

For Dean, Christmas has always been hard. The Tilly standing before him is no longer the firecracker of his memories--even if the way she makes his heart race hasn't changed at all. He is determined to uphold the promise that kept them apart nine years ago. But spending a cosy Christmas with Tilly would break a better man and each accidental touch, heated look and stolen kiss is taking its toll on Dean.

After all this time, can the magic of Christmas bring Tilly and Dean together at last?

Amazon

Tilly is in quite a state. She's stranded, because her train has been cancelled and all of her possessions are in one suitcase. She's lost her job and she's on her own. Then she meets someone from her past which is a huge surprise. Dean is the man who has broken her heart ten years ago and it's the first time they see each other again since that awful event. Even though she's still hurt she can't stay mad at him and when he offers her a ride she has no choice but to say yes. Dean is happy to see her again, but he's promised to stay away all those years ago and he's still bound by his honor. Now that she's standing before him, it's so hard to say no to her. Tilly and Dean have to spend Christmas together, does this mean they will finally get what they both want or will they get into serious trouble?
I read this novella in one sitting. I loved the story and was happy that this was quite a long novella as that meant more fabulous reading. There's a lot of chemistry between Tilly and Dean, but that doesn't mean they can do whatever they want. There are secrets that might be standing in their way. I wanted to know what those secrets were and I had to keep reading until I found out. This is a story that kept me glued to my seat and I really like it when I have a real page turner in my hands. Aurelia B Rowl has such a great writing style. There are several hot scenes and there's also a good story, which is a perfect combination.

Dec 2, 2014

Christmas Countdown: Dear Santa by Clare Dowling! & Giveaway


Dear Santa,

My top five fantasy presents this year would be ….

A cookbook that guarantees my efforts will turn out just like the picture. No more

crooked cupcakes, sinking sponges and dodgy looking desserts.  I love cookery

programmes, and have a secret fantasy of one day being plucked from obscurity by

Mary Berry to whip up a Tarte au Citron in that big white tent.  But I’m going to need

a lot of help to get there, so a cookbook with extra special powers would be a great

start. 

A head massager.  This is an odd one, I’ll admit, but I’ve been reading about such

things and have become mildly obsessed.  They look like a cross between an

instrument of torture and an egg whisk, but apparently deliver the most amazing,

relaxing experience of your life.  There’s even a rumour that they’re the solution to

nasty bouts of writer’s block. 

An Audi A5.  I’m only joking, Santa - I’d be petrified of driving a swanky car in case I

got a scratch on it in Tesco’s car park.  What I’d really like is a car that self-parks,

particularly in those tricky parallel parking situations. I’d never again have to suffer

the public shame of being judged by a bus stop crowd as I make one, two, three, no,

four, attempts at getting into that tight spot.

Dinner with Michael Fassbender.  Or, if he was busy, Brad Pitt.  This is purely for

research purposes, you understand.  As a writer, it’s important to get out and about,

and search out inspiration.  Along with the head massager, I’d never suffer writer’s

block again. 

And finally, Santa, I’d like a ride on your sleigh. What better way to see the world

than an all-nighter in the company of a great man like yourself, helped along by a

glass of mulled wine or two? Rudolph would be a fantastic guide, and with all that

happiness, peace and good cheer floating around, I’m sure it would be a magical

night I’d never forget. 

Thank you and Happy Christmas!

Clare xx



Lavender Loves Healoom


I love the beautiful handmade animals of Healoom.

Every item in this shop is very cute.


The Healoom animals have a typical style, which is something I really like about the store.



I love the use of color and the tiny details like a little scarf, a printed belly, an accessory or a cute sweater.


Every item in this shop is ready to ship. That's really handy if you want to do some last minute Christmas shopping on Etsy.


Healoom also does custom orders, so if there's anything in particular that you're looking for, you can send a message.


Enjoy shopping!


Sealed with a Christmas Kiss

Kate has taken to life on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor like a seal to water: she's given a new lease of life to the Laird's estate in her day job; she's befriended the once-nosy locals; and even young Laird Roddy is not quite so grumpy these days.
Better still, Kate has just had her best idea yet: they'll turn the castle into the most gorgeous wedding venue in Scotland. The pressure's on as the first wedding is booked in for Christmas Eve - just weeks away. But with a mismatched bride and groom, a hysterical PR on her case, her own relationship woes and a huge storm blowing in, can Kate pull it off in time?
Escape the stresses of the Christmas season with this warm, funny and truly inspiring novella from bestselling author Rachael Lucas

Amazon

Kate has moved in with Roddy and is getting used to being the lady of the manor. Roddy and Kate have big plans for their home and the tourism on the island of Auchenmor. Christmas is near and they're trying to organize a big wedding which will involve a lot of publicity. When the bride and groom to be are visiting the island to finalize most of the plans something goes very wrong. Will Kate and Roddy be able to solve the problem or is their first wedding going to be a disaster?
It was wonderful to read about Kate, Roddy and their friends on the island again. It made me quite happy to find out what would happen next in Kate and Roddy's life. Sealed With a Christmas Kiss is a feel good Christmas novella. The island, the weather and the house itself make the story so festive and romantic. I loved every new development and had a lot of fun reading it. If you liked Sealed With a Kiss you don't want to miss this great sequel.

Great Interview with Carol Maloney Scott!



1) Could you tell a bit more about yourself?

I am 46, divorced, and soon to be married to a wonderful man. I have a 20 year old son and a 5 year old wiener dog named Daisy. I live in Richmond, VA and I moved here from New York 15 years ago. I hold a fun and challenging day job in corporate HR and training.

Here’s my official “author bio”:

My name is Carol, and I'm addicted to Romance. I grew up in the Hudson Valley area of New York, surrounded by "city folk," like my Manhattanite mom and Bronx-native Dad, who taught me to be sweet on the outside, yet tough on the inside. As a result, I'm often gifted sassy labels like "firecracker" or "feisty," which I choose to take as a compliment, due to my Irish/Eastern European heritage.My romantic history is as real (and complicated) as that of the heroines in my novels. I've been divorced, relocated, plunged fearlessly into the turbulent waters of online dating--only to retreat, yelping, at the occasionally shocking climate before bravely renewing my efforts--until finally, I grabbed hold of happiness and refused to let go.While I did eventually find my "HEA" in the form of a real life relationship, I also fell in love with writing, and it's a romance I can't get enough of.That's why I can't help chasing after that thrill of first love, of never-ending passion, of self-discovery, of romance--even if that chase leads me to (and sometimes over) the edge.

2) How long did it take you to write this novel and what is it about?

I wrote and released my first book in 11 months, which was quite a feat since it was my first book and I have a full time job and I moved into my fiancĂ©’s house, combining our two homes into one. I try very hard to carve out 1-2 hours at least 5 times a week to write. Sometimes I do better and sometimes life gets in the way. I remain flexible and forward thinking. Plus I love it, so it never feels like work. “There Are No Men” is about finding love after divorce and loss, and how rocky that road can be.

3) Have you used any of your own past experiences as an inspiration for your novel? What has inspired
you to write it?

“There Are No Men” is loosely based on some of my own life experiences as a divorced woman trying to find love after being with one man since my high school years. Claire and I also share pregnancy loss and hysterectomy, although I am blessed with one healthy and hilarious child, a soon to be 20 year old son. I wanted to capture the pain of infertility and the fear of dating after divorce, with the hope of new love and learning that there are different ways to reach our goals. These messages are carefully hidden in the midst of crazy antics and hilarious misadventures. Just like in real life.

4) How would you describe your main character?

On a good day, Claire is funny, articulate and full of energy. On a bad day she is clumsy, judgmental, confused and out of control. But mainly she’s afraid. Fear rules her every decision and she has not yet figured out that she has the power to overcome her fears and look at life through a new lens.I thoroughly enjoyed putting her in all the challenging, sometimes preposterous, and often hilarious situations that pushed her to grow beyond her fear.

5) Your book is self-published, do you have any advice for beginning authors who would like to do the same?

When I discovered self-publishing was an option to get my work out into the world, I was ecstatic! I am not a patient girl – if I had to wait for the traditional publishing world to find me I would have blown up in my writing chair. The indie route also gives total control of a writer’s work – to the writer. I don’t like being told what to do. but, I can see the benefit of traditional publishing and of course I would consider it. I’m a little stubborn, but not that stubborn.My best advice is to do a lot of research on the craft of writing, as well as the process of publishing. Whether you are planning on going the indie or traditional route, it is a steep learning curve. No matter what there will be mistakes, and you will learn from them. I could write a book about all that I have learned…wait, there’s an idea!

6) On your amazon page you write about your complicated love life and that you are happy now. Do you think everyone can experience real love? And what's your advice for women who are in the complicated stage at the moment?

Have faith. Don’t settle. Learn to enjoy your own company. Cultivate your own interests and really live them. Be clear about what you want. Don’t give up hope and become jaded. I do believe real love is available to everyone, just maybe not exactly the way we want, when we demand it.Don’t wait for a man to live, and the one you are meant to live with for the rest of your life will appear.

7) Where and when do you write?

I write in my office, which is a small bedroom converted into an office space in my home. I carve out time in the mornings, at lunchtime and in the evenings – around my day job and life.

8) What are your three favorite books? And which author is a great example to you?
In no particular order I would say:

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

I am inspired by all authors who have completed their work and pushed it out into the world. Neither of these things are easy for anyone.

9) Why should my readers read your book?

It’s a story of hope and second chances. Overcoming disappointments and learning from them. Plus I am told it is hilarious and heartwarming. Sounds like a good book to check out :).


Dec 1, 2014

Lavender Loves Bored Inc.! & Giveaway


I love Bored Inc. because it's such a cute and funny brand. The owners, Courtney and Carol were bored with the designs that were on the market when they first started as a company. That's why they tried more fun things inspired by Japanese kawaii. The result is this wonderful and truly unique brand. I'm a big fan!


=
Bored Inc. is an Etsy shop with all kinds of products. All of them are original designs belonging to the company.


They make the best handmade felt items and plushes. This panda is so sweet and I love the bright red heart.


 In the shop you can find quite a few fabulous and super cute necklaces and charms. They are perfect Christmas gifts. The prices are reasonable and the items are so pretty and well designed. I have both a necklace and a charm and the quality is really good.


The marshmallow is very kawaii, it's my favorite item in the shop. The ladies of Bored Inc. have sent me some of their products as a gift which was unbelievably kind of them and such a nice surprise. I still can't believe how gorgeous they are. 


Bored Inc. is a professional company. Everything is exactly as it should be and the packaging is both sturdy and cheerful.


The look and feel of the brand is such an important part of this company. I like the colors, the whimsical characters and the large range of affordable products.




The Poo collection for example is really funny, it's making me laugh every time I look at it. As you can see there are many different kinds of products. This shop sells art prints, post cards, tote bags, plushes, necklaces, charms, felt items, coloring books, digital downloads and tees.





Some of the items have clear messages, it's important to be kind to each other and this shop promotes a positive attitude which makes it even more special for me.






Those pictures are all great reminders that we should treat both ourselves and others with respect.



Dog lovers will also like this shop. There are several very cute dog designs. 


Have fun doing your holiday shopping in this great store and don't forget to check out the about page as that's really nice. There's also a great website where you can find more information about the brand and the products. It's possible to buy the items there as well in case you don't have an Etsy account.


Bored Inc. has such a great prize for one very lucky reader of my blog. This person will receive five items from the shop:

:



You have a chance to win this great giveaway, enter the rafflecopter below.




I will contact the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international. Good luck! 

Chaos



It's the first day of December, which means the most festive month of the year has begun. The days are getting shorter and it's getting colder. I love the cosiness of being inside where it's warm and light. In the Netherlands we celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th and then we're getting ready for Christmas. I love both holidays and always feel lucky that I can celebrate them with my husband, family and friends.
December also has a completely different meaning to me, it's chaos. In December I have to run from one project to the next and in between there isn't much time to breathe. Because of that I have the feeling that I'm living in a huge chaotic whirlwind for an entire month. Do I mind? Not at all, because I love the festive cheer, the love and warmth and the exchange of thoughtful gifts.
I would never exchange the feeling of going crazy for a peaceful and quiet December. It's the first day of the month and already I have the feeling that my head will explode. My to do list is longer than the wish list I have for Santa. Even though there's chaos, I don't want to let this month be ruled by stress. I'm trying to enjoy every minute and if something goes wrong I will fix it, there's no need to worry about it up front. This December the month will be even busier and crazier. I'm as ready as I can be and hope it's going to be a great roller coaster ride.

----- Suzanne -----
Be an e-tailPR blogger