#Review By Lou of Keeping A Christmas Promise By Jo Thomas @Jo_Thomas01 @TransWorldBooks #Christmas #RomanticFiction #ContemporaryFiction @alisonbarrow #KirstyDunseath

Keeping A Christmas Promise
By Jo Thomas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Keeping A Christmas Promise is the latest festive offering by Jo Thomas to whisk readers off on an adventure of a lifetime with lifelong friends to keep a very important promise. This is one of the best books I’ve read by Jo Thomas yet! Discover the blurb and my review below, thanks to Alison Barrow and Kirsty Dunseath at Transworld Books.

                                                                             Blurb

A Christmas to remember for a friend they’ll never forget

Four friends
Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed . . .

One promise
Now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.

A life-changing adventure
They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.

But will the Northern Lights appear so they can honour their friend’s wish? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?

‘A deliciously festive treat bursting with Icelandic flavour, adventure and romance’ RUTH JONES

‘Sparkling, romantic, magical – and delicious’ MILLY JOHNSON

‘Heart-warming, moving and romantic, with a beautiful setting – what could be better?’ KATIE FFORDE

Review

Bucketlists, they make us think of our mortality, what’s important to us and what new experiences we should try in our lives. They make us get out there and instead of only existing, they can turn life into a rich tapestry of adventure that also brings excitement and an air of optimism.

4 friends created a bucket list 25 years ago. Their friendship stood the test of time and they still have that zest for adventure. There’s poignancy, which really comes across as one of the friends has died, so they are now living out her wish – to see the Northern Lights in Iceland at Christmas time. I loved that real care and loyalty to their now dead friend, to carry out her wish in her memory. It oozes warmth amongst heartbreak and the genuine determination they have to do this.

There is a lot of Christmas fun to be had with spreading a bit of joy and mucking in with an Icelandic community to ensure this, after some rather serious danger due to an avalanche, putting everyone and everything at risk.

It’s a very endearing book that will warm anyone’s heart and soul and show the way of true and everlasting friendship and some romance along the way.

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#Review by Lou of One Last Gift By Emily Stone @EmStoneWrites @headlinepg @RandomTTours #Prize #Christmas #BlogTour #Competition #BookReview

One Last Gift
By Emily Stone

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for One Last Gift, which is a beautiful story of loss, love, discovery and hope. Time to join the treasure hunt and discover wonderful characters. First, how about discovering the blurb and my review below… There is a real prize to be won, of which I wish you all luck. See details after my review to enter and also to get today’s clue… collect and solve them all and try for the amazing prize. The virtual treasure hunt is run by the author and publisher.

                 Blurb

For as long as Cassie can remember, it had been the three of them: Cassie, her big brother Tom, and Tom’s annoying best friend Sam.

Now, Tom is sorted, Sam is flying high, and Cassie thinks she’s figured it all out. Then tragedy happens and three become two.

For Cassie picking herself up seems unimaginable. Until she finds an envelope addressed to her, asking her to follow the trail to one last gift…

And suddenly what seems like an ending leads Cassie to something unexpected, beautiful and new…

Take an unforgettable journey from London to the Hamptons to the south of France…

Review

The book’s tagline is – “What if you lost someone you loved… Then discovered a trail leading you to one last gift?” It sounds like a movie trailer. It wants you to peak inside and then read and read in all its beautiful and yet bittersweet glory.

There is Cassie, Tom and Sam. Tom is Cassie’s brother and took care of her and you see that sisterly, brotherly love come through, even 4 years later from when the book starts. They had Linda on their side when they were younger and was like a mother to them. She also has a best friend, Hazel.

The three that had come through so much sadly becomes 2. There had been a love of treasure hunts and here for one last gift, left behind by the one who goes away, never to be able to return, had one more treasure hunt planned out, ready to be done. This treasure hunt brings with it some discovery and even through grief, the determination and strength to do it and what’s more, to continue, even when it feels hard. I really like this strength of character and to still live life, fulfill the desires of those who have died, even though grieving. For me, it is identifiable, for others the book may be inspirational.
It all becomes quite the adventure from London to the Welsh mountains to the French cottage.

The book is endearing and heartwarming and filled with love, self-discovery and romance. It is a gorgeous book for Christmas.

Prize Details

DAY THREE, CLUE ONE: 

This is a toddler’s word for sure,

Or one we use when immature…

As mentioned above the author is running a treasure hunt as part of the blog tour to win a voucher for Dinner Bed and Breakfast at Gravetye Manor – https://www.gravetyemanor.co.uk/. It’s a 4 star luxury country hotel in Sussex, and the restaurant is Michelin starred! It is the hotel which is featured in One Last Gift – I won’t say anything in case you haven’t read it, but if you have read it, hopefully you’ll know which hotel I mean – it’s a key moment for Cassie and Sam’s journey!

Each day, there will be a clue to solve – that clue will lead to a word. So if you solve the clue on day one, you’ll end up with one word, day two, two words, etc. There are 11 words in total, for the 11 days of the blog tour  – so at the end, everyone who’s figured it out will have an 11-word sentence. 

To enter, after you’ve got the sentence from all the clues at the end of the blog tour, people should email publicity@headline.co.uk with the subject header ONE LAST GIFT TREASURE HUNT and the answer to the clue (the sentence) in the body of the email. The deadline to enter is the end of October. The winner will be chosen at random, and have the voucher emailed to them. If you have space to include details on how to enter on the post, that would be great. 

 

#BookReview By Lou – Every Day In December By Kitty Wilson @KittyWilson23 @0neMoreChapter_ #ChristmasRead #Christmas #December #EveryDayInDecember #Fiction #ContemporaryFiction #RomanceFiction

Every Day In December
By Kitty Wilson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Follow two lives, each with their ups and downs within them each day in December. A poignant romance for Christmas. Check out the blurb and the rest of my review below.

Every Day In December

Blurb

Every Day In DecemberTwo people. One month to fall in love.

Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.

Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.

But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?

Review

Each chapter leads readers into each day in December and into the main characters – Belle and Rory’s lives. Belle has fallen on hard times, which leads her into a different path in life. This is only the surface of her life. Going deeper in, she has had rough upbringing. She has far, far got her life sorted.
Rory’s life is also not going so well either and he has a lot going on, yet he seems destined to be with Belle, even if it is a slow-burner of a romance.

Belle shows that she has a passion for Shakespeare in inspires others as she talks about him to students and shows just how very relevant he still is, through the themes that he wrote about, which are still universal today.

There is also the equation of Belle’s God-daughter whom she has a close relationship with  and this brings a lighter dynamic to the story.

The book is also poignant about December and how the closer you get to Christmas holidays, the harder it can feel in if something bad has happened in your life. There are ups and downs that the main characters have to overcome.

There is some Christmas cheer to be found amongst the poignancy of Every Day in December.

#BookReview of The Call of the Penguins By Hazel Prior @HazelPriorBooks @TransworldBooks #Christmasread #CallOfThePenguins #Fiction #Wildlife #UpliftingFiction #ContemporaryFiction #GeneralFiction

The Call of the Penguins
By Hazel Prior

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the author of Away with the Penguins - Call of the Penguins is out this Autumn

The Call of the Penguins will have you wanting to whisk yourself to them in a heartbeat!
Thanks to publisher – Transworld Books for gifting me a copy to review. Find out more in the blurb and my full review below.

Call of the PenguinsA delightfully feel-good new novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of Away With the Penguins – sure to become a firm favourite with readers!

At eighty-seven, Veronica McCreedy thinks her days of travelling the world are behind her. But when she’s invited to take part in a TV nature documentary that will take her across the globe filming her beloved penguins, she leaps at the prospect of a new adventure . . .

 

Review

'Penguins represent bravery, determination and resilience'

Set, initially in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland, The Call of the Penguins has charm and warmth and that call for a new adventure for Veronica McCreedy. The book is warm but tackles worldly issues within its cosyness of the penguins. There’s a new colony of penguins being introduced as well as updates on the penguins in the Antarctic. This brings a fresh and brings a new slant to human and animal stories.

The chapters are split between Veronica, Patrick and Terry. Readers get to know their trials and tribulations of life, such as family, health, relationship issues and more… It makes for an interesting read as they take you into the heart of the animal or at least penguin kingdom, as well as their own lives that have their ups and downs as do the penguins. In saying that, it does have a feel-good factor that will give you a cuddly warming feel, without being sappy as it deals with some of what can be found in hard-hitting headlines about the environment and conservation. Veronica McCreedy, although is trying to do something good in conserving penguins, isn’t without attracting her own headlines of controversy to a point.

This is a rather enjoyable book with all the adventures you’ll go on and the characters you’ll meet along the way as you cosy up from the cold winter days.

'The perfect fireside read' Trisha Ashley, 2021