And here's the finished product!
Saturday, 30 April 2016
And here's the finished product!
Friday, 29 April 2016
And here it is.....
Thursday, 28 April 2016
Summer starts to feel a real sense of freedom amongst wandering river folk, but she soon finds herself missing Willowbeck… And Mason, whose articles she has been reading online. Will Summer embrace the nomadic lifestyle or will she find herself drawn back to Willowbeck, the place she loves best and where Mason is waiting?
In this instalment, Summer Freeman, who has taken on the running of the cafe following the death of her mother who originally set up the business, has moved on from its once permanent mooring in the peaceful little town of Willowbeck. When she settles in another town further along the canal, she meets new friends and experiences what it is like to join a group of traders based on other canal boats. It all turns out to be quite different from how things were previously. However, friends from Willowbeck keep in touch and there is once again a hint at possible romance with Mason, who Summer met at her former mooring.
As with the previous book, I enjoyed this continuing tale of life on the canal. It is very well told, with descriptions of not only the sights and sounds of day to day existence on the water, but also of delicious cakes that Summer and her friend Harry create for the cafe. Unfortunately, there is also a more sinister part of this type of life that rears its ugly head in a frightening episode.
I can only reiterate what I said in my review of the first part of this series. Although this is a short story, it has been written with depth and substance. I can't wait to see where Cressida takes us in the next part when it is released.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Then a phone call out of the blue and a desperate plea for help change everything…
The farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape.
Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert.
But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.
But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?
Immediately I saw the cover of this book, with its sea, sand and bougainvillea-covered buildings, I knew that I wanted to read it. Isabelle Broom is a new author to me and I was interested to see what the story was all about. It didn't pull me in straight away, but once I got into it, I really couldn't put it down.
The main character is Holly Wright. She is living an existence that certainly doesn't match the cover to begin with - working in London for an online clothing retailer and in a relationship with boyfriend Rupert. However, her world is turned upside down by a letter from solicitors in Greece informing her that an aunt she did not know existed has left her a house on the beautiful Island of Zakynthos. Holly is not the most confident of people, but decides to go off and take a look at this property. What she finds is not just a house, but a whole family history of which she had previously been unaware.
I really loved the character of Holly and the way in which she flourishes as the story progresses. Isabelle Broom has written this so well. I could almost smell the Greek food, feel the sand of the beaches between my toes and feel the sunshine warming my bones. It brought back memories of my visit to this self same island as Holly visits all the tourist attractions as well as the quieter, unspoilt parts. Of course, Holly meets lots of new people on the island, all of whom I found lovely, likeable characters. The list includes the local shop keeper, the ex-pat who owns the local bar, and, of course, the dishy Irish vet, Aidan, who lives next door. The story has great depth to it. It's not just a simple romance; the way in which Holly's story emerges is very powerfully told, and there were parts that had me in floods of tears as well as the happy moments.
This book would definitely make great holiday reading, although it should come with a warning that it may have you dashing to the travel agent to book another holiday on a Greek island. It certainly had me yearning to return. I look forward to reading more from Isabelle Broom.
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Summer Freeman returns to the waterside village of Willowbeck to rescue the Canal Boat Café, her late mother’s picturesque narrowboat, which has run into choppy waters. A family friend, Valerie, has been trying to keep things afloat, but the coffee machine is jammed, the cake offerings are paltry, and not all of the locals want to see the café succeed.
Help comes from the boat next door, in the shape of handsome wildlife photographer, Mason and his naughty Border Terrier, who are showing more than a passing interest in Summer and her adorable Bichon Frise, Latte. But is Mason being honest about himself? Or does he have something to hide?
As her life and the community of Willowbeck begin to entwine, Summer finds herself setting sail on a new adventure. Will the anchor of a steady life on land be too strong, or can Summer learn to cut loose and embrace life afloat?
Review: This is a charming short story from Cressida McLaughlin, author of the Primrose Terrace series of ebooks. All Aboard is the first in a succession of tales about the Canal Boat Cafe: as the name suggests, a cafe contained within a narrow boat.
The central character is Summer Freeman, whose mother established the cafe and ran it until her death. We meet Summer as she is returning to the boat for the first time since her mother's death, and after a period of 8 months. She is struggling with the decision of whether to restore the cafe to its former glory and run it as a business, or stick with her sign-writing career. There is encouragement from her mum's old friend and fortune teller, Valerie, and her own best friend, Harry, but opposition from some of the locals. There is also the hope of some romance for Summer in the shape of Mason, a wildlife photographer who lives in the boat moored next to hers with his lively terrier dog.
I loved the idea of this 'floating cafe' and life on the canal. The descriptions were so good that you could almost smell the coffee, taste the lovely cakes and scones that Summer makes on board, even though she claims to be no good at baking, and even feel the boat bob gently up and down. Fortunately, there seems to be a plentiful supply of passers by on the towpath and passing boats to keep the cafe busy. I also liked the fact that events that have happened in Summer's past are hinted at from the beginning of the story and begin to unfold as the tale progresses.
Although this is a short story, it is not without depth and substance. Cressida has done a good job of packing a lot into the 6 chapters and whetting the appetite for more. It ends on a cliff hanger, and I, for one, can't wait for the next instalment to be published.
Monday, 11 April 2016
Welcome to the magnificent Making It Up as I Go Along - aka the World According to Marian KeyesT - A bold, brilliant book bursting with Marian's hilarious and heartfelt observations on modern life, love and much, much else besides. Such as? you are determined to ask. Well, how about her guide to breaking up with your hairdresser? Or the warning she has for us all after a particularly traumatic fling with fake tan. There's the pure and bounteous joy of the nail varnish museum. Not to mention the very best lies to tell if you find yourself on an Arctic cruise. She has words of advice for those fast approaching fifty. And she's here to tell you the secret secret truth about writers - well, this one anyway.
You'll be wincing in recognition and scratching your head in incredulity, but like Marian herself you won't be able to stop laughing at the sheer delightful absurdity that is modern life - because each and every one of us is clearly making it up as we go along.
Friday, 8 April 2016
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.
Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.
But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Tuesday, 5 April 2016
Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.
When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.
Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?
The Night That Changed Everything is a funny, feel-good and bittersweet story, told in alternate chapters by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice.
Monday, 4 April 2016
Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.
That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.
Demi realises that she has finally found a place she can call home. But as the summer draws to a close, and Demi’s own reputation as an up and coming café owner starts to spread, she is faced with a tough decision . . .
A gorgeous story exploring new beginnings, new love and new opportunities, set against the stunning background of the Cornish coast. Phillipa Ashley has written a feisty, compelling heroine who leaps off the page and encourages you to live your summer to the full.
Recommended for readers who loved Summer at Shell Cottage, The Cornish House, Tremarnock and Poldark.
And here's what other fab authors are saying about it...
“Warm and funny and feel-good. The best sort of holiday read.” Katie Fforde
"Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!" Jill Mansell
This book is out on 5th May to help get you in the mood for a wonderful British Summer!