**Christmas with Bookouture** Carol Wyer @bookouture @caroleWyer

img_0804Today I’m so excited to introduce my brand new feature Christmas With Bookouture in the lead up to Christmas I will be posting Christmassy guest post’s from some of Bookoutures finest authors (no there’s not enough days to feature them all). I may even be able to share with you some very Christmassy photos from the authors personal collection eeeek how exciting is that? So without further ado I welcome Carol Wyer to the very festive book review café 🎄🎄🎄

Hi Carol, What is your favourite Christmas memory?

I was brought up in Germany which in my mind, is always synonymous with Christmas. We used to go to the Christmas markets, filled with music and conviviality, magical displays and and I can still smell the wonderful aromas that accompanied the memory.

Last year, I took Mr Grumpy to Cologne to the Christmas markets so he could experience what I call a “proper” Christmas experience, and he actually loved it. We visited all of the markets, drank Gluhwein, marvelled at the Christmas decorations and incredible displays, especially the one of penguins skiing on a mini ski slope, went ice skating and had a memorable time. I recommend it to anyone.

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

This year we are hiding in south-west France. Mr Grumpy despises Christmas and moans about everything from the advertising in August, to the television programmes. It’s a battle every year with him. We no longer go for the British celebration as we have no family to spend Christmas with, so we are opting for a rented cottage with a log-fire, no television, no turkey or sprouts, no paper hats and we’ll head off to snow-capped mountains for a hot chocolate if we feel like it.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

I used to love Christmas and we had a tradition that I started when my son was small. Each year, I would collect games, jokes and things that were themed or relevant to Grumpy and son, and make up boxes for the Christmas table instead of crackers. These were hand decorated with our names and inside there were several surprises.
We opened the boxes at the beginning of the meal and started with the jokes (several of them) then moved onto quizzes or puzzles, later in the meal. I usually found tiny presents to fit in each box, like a pedometer when my son was going through a fitness phase or small car keyring like his first car. We all loved the boxes more than the tree presents. I gave up the second year my son left home and didn’t want to spend Chrostmas with us any more. I still have one or two of the boxes though.

What was your best ever Christmas present?

Christmas has never been about big presents for our family. My son always got the biggest haul and I used to spoil Grumpy but one year he surprised me. He gave me box of pricey special teas (I only drink herbal or fruit teas.) In the evening, he asked if I fancied a teabag form the new box. When I opened the box it contained a gold bracelet. I have never been so surprised in my life.

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

My mother and father were champions at buying “silly” gifts. One year they bought me a fridge magnet of a chubby bear that said, ‘I’m not fat, I’m fluffy.’ I still don’t know why they bought it for me to this day.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I’d like to say a snowball but they are too sweet for me. Champagne always does it for me and failing that a gluhwein. Nothing says festive more than a tasty tipple.

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

We don’t exchange gifts any more. We stopped when son left home. Instead we spend any money on going away.

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Make the most of your family and friends this year because they are what actually make Christmas.

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Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping Little Girl Lost which will be published by Bookouture on January 19th 2017.

Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.
Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.

To learn more about Carol, go to http://www.carolewyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer. Carol blogs at http://www.facing50withhumour.com and http://www.grumpyoldmenopause.com

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Book description

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A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer

who wants the truth to be told.

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances.
A millionaire is murdered at a local reservoir.
For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link
between the men. But as she starts to delve into the
cases, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect
wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was
Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she
receiving threatening messages from an anonymous
number?

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer,
Izzy is abducted.

Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

Gripping, fast paced and nailbitingly tense, this serial killer thriller will chill you to the bone. Perfect for fans of MJ Arlidge and Angela Marsons. Discover Carol Wyer’s new series today

Amazon UK

Other books published by Bookouture by Carol Wyer

Life Swap Amazon UK             Take A Chance On Me Amazon UK

My thanks to Carol Wyer for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and special thanks to Kim Nash for all her help in getting this feature off the ground 😘😘

🍂🎃🍁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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**Blog Tour** Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn & Giveaway

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Today I am the next stop on the Something Old Something New blog tour, written by the very talented Darcie Boleyn, the tour is hosted by Jenny over at Jennyinneverland anyone who follows my blog will know I mostly review crime/pyschological/thrillers, but every now and then I like to throw in a “feel good” book, and Darcie’s Something Old Something New certainly fits the bill. You can read my review further down this post. Also don’t forget to enter the Givaway to win an Ebook of Something Old Something New, Darcie is kindly giving away three Ebooks.

Book Description

A heartwarming, giggle-inducing romance from Darcie Boleyn, just in time for the wedding season!

Will you marry me…again?

When Annie Thomas agrees to give her ex away at his wedding to his boyfriend, she thinks she’ll be fine. With her three children at her side, she can handle anything. Then she finds out her gorgeous first ex-husband Evan Llewellyn is flying in from his glamorous life in New York to attend as well!
An unexpected pregnancy ended their relationship and as she stumbles through the ups and downs of life as a working single mum – helping everyone else find a happy ending along the way – Annie refuses to believe their old and incredibly hot spark can still exist.
It’s only when she and Evan are forced to face up to the past together that they’ll discover if they can have their own happily-ever-after too!

Goodreads      Amazon

About Darcie Boleyn

Author Bio: Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

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Links:

Twitter     Facebook     Blog     Pinkinkladies blog

Giveaway

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Click for giveaway

 

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Once in a blue moon I like to drag myself away from serial killers, murders and gory deaths,
so I was really looking forward to reading Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn. I knew I was in for a treat with a dose of humour thrown in when I read the title of the first chapter “Dog Poo Divorce”, and I’m glad to say I throughly enjoyed it (despite there not being any serial killers hiding in the shadows).

Annie is fast approaching forty, twice divorced and struggling to balance her work and family life, she’s unintentionally funny, witty and a good friend and confidant to those around her. I loved the character of Annie she’s was very likeable, she is one of those women who always puts others before herself, even if it means putting her own dreams on hold to care for her family. I think most women will be able to relate to her in some way or another, which makes her credible as a character.

As Annie’s ex husband Evan comes back into her life, things take an unexpected turn and Annie will have to face up to her past before she can look to the future. Besides Annie there are multiple characters in Something Old Something New who all added to the enjoyment of this uplifting tale, and Annabelle Annie’s daughter was adorable and very mischievous, which added humour to the story.

There are real no surprises in Something Old Something New, but sometimes its just nice to read a book that you don’t have to think about to much, and this in no way distracted from my enjoyment of this heart warming tale of regrets, the power of love and friendship. Darcie Boleyn has written a uplifting tale that I’m sure fans of chick lit will really enjoy. It will make a perfect holiday read, so I suggest you Pour yourself a glass of wine, pull out a sun lounger, slather yourself in sun tan lotion and immerse yourself in this feel good book.

Publisher: Carina (16 May 2016)

Amazon UK

If you want to follow the blog tour, here is the tour banner and a list of the fabulous bloggers taking part
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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well this week I have only read 3 Books, and I’m half way through the fourth, my weeks holiday is over and now I’m back to work full time, so I don’t get to read as much as I would like, but I managed to read the following books

Deadly focus by RC Bridgestock

imageI’m on the blog tour next month for RC Bridgestock’s latest book When The Killing Starts, so I wanted to get a feel for the series and I have to say I really enjoyed Deadly Focus.

When He Fell by Kate Hewitt

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Again this is a blog tour book I found this book to be really emotive and compelling, you can see my review on Sunday 12th June

The Madam by Jamie Raven

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This week in case you haven’t noticed it’s all blog tour books and you can see my review for The Madam on Sunday 22nd May

The Safe Word by Karen Long

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Another blog tour read I’m about half way through The Safe Word and so far so good, but you can catch my review on Thursday 2nd June

Book post I received this week

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I received the following books in the post this week

How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake 

Chosen Child by Linda Huber

Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne

Stalker by Lars Kepler

Watching Edie by Camilla Way 

Next week on the book review cafe

Dead Focus by RC Bridgestock review

Interview with Sanjida Kay author of Bone By Bone 

Last To Die by Arlene Hunt review

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn blog tour Friday 20th May

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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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I thought I would have a change and do a weekly wrap up post rather than a Stacking the shelves post, so here it is…..

I’m on a weeks holiday at the moment and not been well, so on the downside I haven’t been up to much, but every cloud has a silver lining and all that jazz, and I have have managed to read 6 books

In to Deep by Samantha Haynes

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you can read my review here……. In too Deep Review

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn

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I am taking part in the blog tour so check back on Friday the 20th May for my review, I did really enjoy this “feel good read”

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

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My review will be up shortly for The Night Stalker, but I will say I absolutely loved this book

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton

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Again I will be posting my review soon, and Sharon Bolton is on form with Daisy In Chains

Blanket Of Blood by Eileen Wharton

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You can read my review here ……Blanket Of Blood Book Review

My Girl by Jack Jordan

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This is another book I’m reading and reviewing for the My Girl blog tour, you will be able to read my review on Thursday 16th June, if you love a dark and twisted crime thriller I would highly recommend you get a copy of My Girl

I bought three books this week, I use to read loads of real crime books, and so after seeing these posted on a thread on Facebook I decided to treat myself (well it is my birthday this weekend)
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Coming next week on the book review cafe

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Author interview with Mary-Jane Riley

Review for Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton 

Guest review by Virginia King for In Her Wake by Amanda Jenning 

Review for Play Dead by Angela Marsons