Category Archives: Christie Barlow

🍂🎃🍁Fall Activities Book Tag🍂🎃🍁

 

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Its not often these days I get the time to take part in book tags, but after I was tagged by the fabulous Sharon over at ChapterInMyLife I thought it would definitely be a fun tag to take part in.

Scroll down to the bottom to see who I’m tagging – and if your name is mentioned, please comment below and send me a link to your post (no pressure to take part, I know how busy everyone is).To take part then simply have a look at the books I have chosen for each title; then you chose your book – I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

APPLE PICKING (A book on your TBR pile that looks so good you can’t wait to take a bite out of it!)

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RagDoll by Daniel Cole 

I’m desperate to read this one and I love the cover, it’s near the The top of my TBR and I can’t wait to read it

CORN MAZE (A book that is fun to get lost in)

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

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I mostly read crime and psychological thrillers but every now and then I like to pick up a book that helps me to escape for a couple of hours and Christie Barlow is the author I always turn to when I’m looking for a fun read

HAUNTED HOUSE (A Book that scares you silly)

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It by Stephen King

I read this book years ago and I’m sure this book is where my fear of clowns originated from basically  there’s this murderous monster clown invisible to adults who feeds on children in a small Maine town.. I couldn’t read this book now it would seriously scare me! and how can anyone think clowns are funny, I think there anything but! A certain author mentioning no names (Caroline Mitchel) seems to have great delight in sending me clown GIF I can’t think why!

PUMPKIN PATCH (last book you picked up/purchased)

Snatched From Home and I Know Your Secret by Graham Smith

I bought two books at the same time after I read Noelle’s rave reviews for them over at CrimeBookJunkie

SCENIC DRIVES (a book that is lyrically beautiful)
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Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop

This one is on my TBR pile and just looking at the cover, the beautiful photographs and the descriptive writing it conjures up images of Greece

PUMPKIN CARVING (A book you didn’t enjoy so much and you wouldn’t mind carving up!)

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Baby Doll by Hollie Overton some bloggers raved over this book, but I really struggled with this one and found it a mediocre read and the characters just grated on me

DRINKING APPLE CIDER (A book to curl up under the covers with)

Robert Bryndza 

Any of the of the books in the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, I love his books he’s probably my favourite author at the moment and I totally loose myself once I start reading one his books.

JUMPING IN A PILE OF LEAVES (A book that reminds you of your childhood)

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Any book by Enid Blyton reminds me of my childhood I use to save up my pocket money to buy them, I loved all her books. Whilst looking for a photo to add to this post I was shocked…. WHAT have they done to the covers? the new updated covers are hideous! I loved the retro look of the original ones

SCARY MOVIE NIGHT (favourite spooky read)

Time To Die by Caroline Mitchell 

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This is the second book in the Jennifer Knight series which has a paranormal element to it, add to the mix ravens (which terrify me!) and it made for a very spooky read.

I tag………

Emma  at http://damppebbles.com

Emma at http://www.emmathelittlebookworm.wordpress.com

Janel at http://keeperofpages.wordpress.com

kaisha at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

Jo at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

and anyone else who is reading this and wants to take part

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Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow #Review

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Book description

Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?

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Even though I’m a huge fan of crime/psychological thrillers there are a small bunch of authors who write what I call “need to escape, cheer me up books” and the very talented Christie Barlow is one of those authors, and she certainly never disappoints me. I’m sure millions of women will relate to Lizzie on many levels, she’s in a humongous rut, her marriage is stale, in fact she has better conversations with her Gary Barlow calendar than she does with her husband! her children have flown the nest and she’s not sure where her life is going (ring a bell anyone?), but then the very handsome and charismatic Marcus moves into her street and things take a turn for the better or do they? You will just have to read Lizzie’s Christmas Escape to find out!

What I absolutely love about the authors book is her attention to her characters, they are a joy to read about, they are so well developed by the end of the book you really do feel you are saying “goodbye” to old friends. The relationship between Lizzie and Ann was heartwarming and very genuine, they are the best of friends and you couldn’t help wishing for a friend just like Ann or Lizzie. Their friendship is one many woman could only wish for they are supportive, loyal of one and other and the humour and banter between them helps them through the difficult times, and there are plenty of those! The dialogue between the two friends was so realistic at times I thought I was eavesdropping on a friends conversation, it’s full of humour and honesty that only true friends would understand, and at times I laughed out loud at some of their conversations.

Lizzie’s story reminded me very much of an old adage “the grass isnt always greener on the other side”, or is it? this was something Lizzie was forced to find out for herself I’m afraid. Lizzie’s story made me laugh and cry, sometimes all in the same chapter, you can understand Lizzie feeling fed up with life and why she strived to find something better, but life is what you make it, and just maybe Lizzie will have to learn this lesson through making her own mistakes. As Christmas approaches you can’t help feeling sorry for the two friends (everything seems so much worse during this period, don’t you think?), as they experience what could be their worse Christmas ever.

What I would say about Lizzie’s Christmas Escape is its a shame that many readers will only pick this book up if they are looking for a “Christmassy” read, I read it whilst led on a sun lounger in Portugal, and I feel this book has so much more to offer than a mediocre Christmas read, it’s about family, reaching a crossroads in life, and the importance of family and friends, with a “just what the Dr ordered, a dose of humour thrown in”

Christie Barlow has again written a captivating and charming book packed full of characters you will care about one way or another, full of drama and bucketfuls of humour. So I would recommend you pull the curtains, light the fire (unless you have an electric one of course!) and pour yourself something sparkling and immerse yourself in Lizzie’s heartwarming tale. This is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for “a feel good read” and definitely NOT just to be read at Christmas!

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5

Print Length: 348 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (21 Oct. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

 

 

 

**Holiday Reads September 2016**

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Hello the book review café is back, did you miss me? Probably not!! Well here I am anyway and I thought I would share my holiday reads with you all. I’m glad to say I had the most relaxing holiday ever in Portugal, and I managed to read TEN whole books, yes you read that right! It’s the most I’ve ever read in such a short time, and my god I read some real corkers. I’m super excited that I have made a dent in my Netgalley reads (six of the books were Netgalley reads), and now I just need to try and stay away from requesting any books until I’ve posted my reviews, and my shelf will be reasonable (watch this space, note I said TRY😂🙈). Just in case you are wondering what I read I’ve included a list. As a blogger I like to write my review straight away, so I’m feeling slightly sick at the thought of having to write ten reviews, and trying to remember everything I want to include in my review. So don’t expect them any time soon 😀😀……so here are the books I read

Ward Zero by Linda Huber

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Anything For Her by Jack Jordan

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Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

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Untouchable by Sybil Hodge

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The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

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Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

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Hide And Seek by M J Arlidge

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No Way Back by M J Arlidge

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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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This week I have managed to finish one book, read another and start on my third so not to bad a week for reading

All Fall Down by Tom Bale

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I absolutely loved this book, and I would love to share my review unfortunately you will have to wait until the 4th September, as I’m one of the bloggers on the blog tour.

They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

imageA promising debut which I enjoyed, my review will be live next week

Portraits Of The Dead by John Nicholl

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Book post I received this week
The Wharf Butcher by Michael K Foster

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Arc’s I’ve received this week

I tried to keep away from NetGalley this week and failed miserably …..oh well there’s always next week 😂😂

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

The Taken by Casey Kelleher

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Hide and Seek DI Helen Grace 6 by M.J. Arlidge

Books I’ve bought

I bought three books this week……..

Cut by Marc Rabbe

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

Bad Blood by Julie Shaw

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Last week on The Book Review Café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/08/12/the-forgotten-woman-by-angela-marsons-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/08/11/cover-reveal-inside-the-whispers-by-a-j-waines/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/08/11/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-david-baird/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/08/09/nina-is-not-ok-by-shappi-khorsandi-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/08/08/author-interview-with-cat-hogan-author-of-they-all-fall-down-blogtour/

Next week on The Book Review Café

Review for They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

Review for Dead To Me by Lesley Pearce

#TopFiveThursday with Clair Boor

**Blog tour** Blood Sisters by Dreda Say Mitchell, author interview

Blogging news from The Book Review Café

Author Tom Bale tried to lead me astray when I moaned on Twitter I couldn’t read All Fall Down in one sitting as I had to go to work.

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And what a fabulous end to the week Christie Barlow included me in her Thank you’s, along with some really brilliant bloggers, in her new book Lizzie’s Christmas Escape.

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Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

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I have read far too many crime/psychological thrillers over the last few months that I’m sure I could spot a serial killer a mile off! I love this genre but every now and then I like to read something that’s completely different to my usual read. Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow is the first book I have read by Christie, so I picked up the book with trepidation, would I like her writing style? Would I find it to sweet and sickly? Would I wish I had stuck to blood and gore and serial killers? It’s a resounding NO I absolutely LOVED this book from the first page until the last.

Firstly I must say I expected Kitty’s Countryside Dream to be your typical “chick lit”, enjoyable, but lacking in substance. Boy was I wrong! when kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from a grandmother she never even knew existed, she embraces her new life with open arms, and bucketfuls of enthusiasm. As Kitty gets to grips with becoming a chicken farmer the future looks bright, especially with her handsome neighbour and farm manager Tom working alongside her. But things are never that straight forward, and when kitty finds a mysterious diary which contains shocking revelations, she wonders if her countryside dream and blossoming relationships will survive.

Christie Barlow has created characters who are adorable, and oh so loveable by the end of the book they felt like old friends. Kitty and Tom especially found a special place in my heart, they really made the perfect couple, and the dialogue between them was full of humour and warmth. As I reached the end of the book I felt sad at the thought of saying “goodbye” to characters who felt like they had become friends. It’s a tale of friendship, love, secrets and new beginnings, it’s full of humour, sadness and so much more.

Kitty’s Countryside Dream is anything but “run of the mill” chick lit, I was surprised just how much depth there was to Kitty’s Countryside Dream, especially as we learn more about the secrets hidden in Violets diary. Christie has written a beautiful and at times heartbreaking novel, with genuine loveable characters. I can honestly say I loved every page of the delightful, heart touching novel (and not a serial killer in sight!)

5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5
Publisher: Bookouture (25 Feb. 2016)

Kindle

Paperback

 

WWW Wednesday

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it’s my first ever WWW Wednesday, and I thought it would be a fun post to do every Wednesday.
The WWW Wednesdays meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/ and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

What I am Currently reading

Darkest secrets by Alex Marwood

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Book description

When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.

But what really happened to Coco?

Over two intense weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second twelve years later at the funeral of her father – the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed…

I only picked this up to read a couple of chapters, but 2 hours later I had to force myself to put it down, Either that or miss my late shift! Which I’m sure wouldn’t have gone down well. It’s compelling, dark and totally addictive. My review for Darkest Secrets will follow shortly

What did you recently finish reading?

Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood

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Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…
DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…..

For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood. This is Michaels debut novel it’s a crime thriller with plenty of bite. I sped through this book it was that good! Fantastic characterisation and a well plotted story with plenty of twists and turns. I was really impressed with this debut and I will certainly look forward to his next book. You can see my review here

https://thebookreviewcafe.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/author-interview-for-reasons-unknown-by-michael-wood/

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

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Book Description

New home. New life. New beginning. It’s time for Kitty Lewis to start living again . . .

When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, the discovery of a long-hidden diary,at the farm, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems …

My last month of reading has mostly consisted of Crime thriller books, and I fancy a different genre this book appeals to me as I have already read some fantastic review on it, and it’s only been on NetGalley a couple of days

If you have any other suggestions or if you’ve read any of the above books, please feel free to leave a comment below