blog tour · book review · Christmas · Christmas novella · Disney · Happy Ever After

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Mistletoe and the Mouse

Mistletoe and the Mouse

Can a magical Christmas melt a frozen heart?

Join Belle and James as they visit Mickey Mouse for a sparkling holiday season at Disneyland Paris.

Belle has been numb since her mother died, and she can’t face Christmas at home without her. Instead she books a surprise holiday to her “happy place” – the Magic Kingdom. But her boyfriend James has problems of his own. He doesn’t “do Disney” and what will his mother think of him missing their family Christmas to go to Disneyland with Belle?

A festive romance with a sprinkling of Pixie Dust.

Purchase Links

https://amzn.to/31o1Cu3 (Amazon)

Theme Park Press website: http://themeparkpress.com/

 

Author Bio

Elsa Simonetti was born in the same year as Walt Disney World, but many miles away in the north of England. Her earliest Disney memory is crying during Bambi at the Saturday morning cinema club! It wasn’t until her own children were small that her husband introduced her to the magic of Disneyland Paris, and since then she has become obsessed, proving Walt Disney’s own belief that “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever”. That was the seed of this story – that Disneyland is not just for children, but for anyone who is young at heart.

Elsa also writes romantic women’s fiction under the name of Liz Taylorson

Social Media Links

Twitter: @Elsasimonetti

@taylorson_liz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElsaSimonettiAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/TaylorsonLiz

My Review

For me, every Christmas is better with a sprinkle of Disney but this year even more so. I had to squeeze this one in. 

Belle is still mourning the loss of her mother, and her relationship with James accelerated as he stepped in to comfort her. But Belle and James are very different people, and she wonders if their relationship had been allowed to develop at its normal would they still be together. Belle is Disney-obsessed (nothing wrong with that at all 😉 ) while James is into his rugby big-time, both playing and watching. Belle hasn’t even seen him play yet. So, booking a break to Disneyland Paris over the Christmas holidays seems like the perfect way for them to spend more time together as a couple. But, first, they have to tell his mother. 

James does his best to show enthusiasm, but it’s clear a Disney holiday is not his idea of fun, especially at Christmas when his mother likes all the family to gather round. 

But, of course, his mother is gracious in agreeing for James to accompany Belle to Paris. That graciousness becomes ever more evident when we later learn her reason for keeping her family close by over the festive season. 

Belle’s awe and delight is not immediately reflected in her boyfriend’s eyes and she begins to regret asking him along. However, this wouldn’t be Disney without some magic, and James is soon won over by “proper” restaurants and “big” rides, despite Belle’s love for the gentler side of the park with all the lights and fireworks. Can a sprinkle of pixie dust be enough to realign them and their future together?

As a big Disney fan, and a frequent visitor to Disneyland Paris – without kids, because …well, just because 😉  – Belle’s wonderment mirrors my own. “It’s a Small World” is my happy place too. Like Belle, my mum loved it too, and I can empathise with her as she recalls how much her mum would have enjoyed the Christmas theme. That said, I understand there are people like James who don’t “do Disney”, but that’s generally because they haven’t tried it, or they think it’s only for kids. this book did more to disprove that argument than I ever could. 

This was such a heartwarming story, and James’s mum turns out not to be the Evil (Step)Mother thanks to a delightful twist in the tale that sees Belle’s reconsider her impression of the woman.  As with all Disney stories, there’s a message here: don’t judge people until you really know them. Belle’s own grief cut her off from others a little, but with the help of Disney she was able to see through the tears and welcome in a new future for herself … and maybe James too. 

I enjoyed reminiscing over the sights and sounds, the queues (!?), the real food in the restaurants, and the utter magic of  the Parade. Belle and James were the perfect hosts, and they thoroughly deserve a happy ending. 

Thank you to the author and Theme Park Press for my copy of this book which I have voluntarily read and honestly reviewed.

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blog tour · Christmas novella · Contemporary Romance · must-read · mystery · romance · series · suspense

Blog Tour – A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas – plus Giveaway

A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas

by Henriette Gyland

A Lion Is Not Just For Christmas

Is there life after the circus has left town?

Circus performer Justine Belmont works with big cats, but when the circus is disbanded and the old lion is sold to a private menagerie at a stately home in Norfolk, she is asked to spend a few weeks settling him into his new environment. When she arrives at the estate, however, she receives a mixed welcome.

The groundsman Tom Yates resents her presence as he doesn’t feel he needs her help with the lion. He revises his opinion when he sees the bond between her and the big cat, and she and Tom grow closer, although Justine remains torn about her feelings for him. The lady of the house, Priscilla – who is married to the reclusive owner, Lord Brooks’s, grandson – is not so easily convinced. She perceives Justine as a threat for the male attention and her plans for the manor. And her two young daughters are a little too curious about the lion for their own good.

When unsettling events occur, Justine begins to wonder if there is more to Priscilla’s animosity than meets the eye. Can Justine keep herself and everyone else safe until it’s time for her to leave again and start a new life elsewhere?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lion-Christmas-Norfolk-Mysteries-novella-ebook/dp/B0782X1QHV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Lion-Christmas-Norfolk-Mysteries-novella-ebook/dp/B0782X1QHV

Now, that’s a title to grab your attention, right?

And here’s an excerpt to further whet your appetite:

Excerpt

Justine has arrived at the stately home, and the lady of the house, Priscilla, is showing her where she’ll be staying while she’s here, a self-contained flat above the garages.

Priscilla opened the curtains in the bedroom to another French balcony and pointed across the yard. ‘Because the grounds are open to the public we have a small tearoom over there, in what used to be the old stables. Tom’s idea.’

She sighed again. Clearly not her idea.

Looking across at the red brick building, Justine noticed flowerpots and ornaments behind the windows of the stables. A shop sign with the single word ‘café’ hung above the double doors, and a blackboard outside proclaimed today’s specials, but Justine was too far away to make out what these were. An old-fashioned, stone mounting block in the corner of the yard outside the café was the only evidence that this building was once the stables. The sight of the mounting block made her frown – so tempting for a young child to clamber on and fall down onto the cobbles.

Memories of the countless times she’d suffered the humiliation of skinned knees coupled with Priscilla’s demonstrative sigh made her change the subject. ‘Is the estate in financial difficulties?’ she asked, even as she knew it wasn’t any of her business.

‘Whatever gave you that idea? Did Tom say that?’ Priscilla tilted her chin and looked down her slim, elegant nose.

‘Tom didn’t say very much at all.’

Priscilla sighed again. ‘Well, naturally it’s expensive to run an estate like this. Stonybrook is a national heritage and has to be safeguarded for future generations. So yes, we have to be careful. Which reminds me, we recently had to let one of the ladies serving in the café go, so when you’re not busy, perhaps you could make yourself useful over there.’

The words were delivered with a coquettish smile, but the steely look in Priscilla’s blue eyes told Justine she was being put in her place. Not that she minded helping out; Rexus didn’t demand around-the-clock care, and she’d rather be busy than not. It would help combat the feeling of loneliness that had begun to creep over her.

But it still rankled.

‘Of course,’ she said. ‘I’ll do whatever is necessary.’

Priscilla smiled again, and a snake would have looked friendlier. ‘I’m glad we understand each other. And, by the way, you need to be wary of Tom. The last thing he needs is someone else to mess up his life.’

Oh yes, they understood each other just fine; Justine was being kept out of the way in a Cinderella-like existence because Priscilla didn’t want any competition for the male attention, or for the position as first lady, but it puzzled Justine that Priscilla should think she had any plans in that direction.

It didn’t matter. She’d settle Rexus, and then she was out of here, handsome, red-haired groundsmen notwithstanding.

Author Bio 

Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.

Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.

Henriette lives in London.

Social Media Links 

Website: henriettegyland.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henriette.gyland

Twitter: @henrigyland

Giveaway – Win this sterling silver Thomas Sabo Snowflake Charm (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

GOOD LUCK!

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blog tour · book review · British · chick-lit · Christmas novella

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Christmas Spirit with Giveaway

Christmas Spirit

by Nicola May

Christmas Spirit

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks.
A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

Purchase from Amazon UK or Amazon US

My Review

First up, I know, I know … it’s only November … and it really goes against everything I believe to mention the “C” word before December, but what’s a reader to do when faced with such a tempting treat? (Besides, there’s a giveaway to come too!)

This short read is all about being positive and banishing negative influences from life, allowing the small things that we all take for granted to come through.

Admittedly, from the outset, Evie with an E, is a material girl at heart. She worries how she will cope without a job, and now without her boyfriend of two years to pay the rent. All of this with Christmas looming. Her best friend, Bea, invites her to drown her sorrows, and in doing so she meets Greg. Eavesdropping on their chat, he suggests Evie join him down at the homeless shelter. With nothing else on offer – even Bea’s offer for a place at her Christmas lunch table has fallen through – Evie decides to give it a whirl. After all, Greg, although maybe a little older, is easy on the eye. Besides, it would be an experience to be selfless during the festive season.

It just so happens that the atmosphere at the shelter is lively, and nothing like she expected. She is run off her feet, but has enjoyed spending time with the visitors, and especially with Greg. True to form, our hopeless romantic leading lady is already picturing herself with Greg. Until a younger blond woman hurls herself at him shortly before Evie’s stint is up.

Mourning her loss outside, a stranger – to whom she served lunch – sits besides her and invites her to join him on a trip the next day. Over the week, Evie thinks a little less about Greg, and more about the handsome stranger Yves, who delights her with experiences that none of the money in the world could improve upon. They visit some of London’s highlights, all of which cost nothing to enjoy (he is ‘helped’ out by a few friends), but the net effect is to wow Evie at the delights of her city. Each time they part, he leaves her with a card showing a dove, and asks her to describe how she feels in one word only.

Gradually, Evie sees things differently and starts to think that maybe she turn her life around. If it means giving up some of her luxuries, maybe she can afford a place in the arty part of the city, where she could pursue her photography career. Yves makes everything seem possible – the power of positive thinking, of turning negatives forces into positive ones is beginning to work its magic.

And, then, yet more magic arrives, as we learn Greg’s story. It seems there have been some crossed wires along the way 😉 This twist in the tale is heart-warming and comforting. All in all, a joyful read, full of Christmas spirit. Peace, hope, creativity and love all show their hand, and Evie’s world is all the better for her week of enlightenment with Yves with a Y. Even Bea, chipping in from the sidelines, sees the change in her friend and begins to question her own lifestyle choices.

Grab a cuppa, a slice of cake (or a mince pie) and indulge yourself in some downtime. You’ll be glad you did. 

Giveaway – Win 5 x PDF copies of Christmas Spirit (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

GOOD LUCK!

About the author

Nicola May lives near the famous Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.
Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.
Nicola likes to write about love, life and friendship in a realistic way, describing her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick’.
She has written eight novels, with Christmas Spirit being her first novella.

Follow Nicola May on her website,

or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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blog tour · Christmas novella · cover reveal

Blog Tour & Cover Reveal

Follow the Snowflakes

Brrr, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping …which can only mean one thing.
It’s time for a Christmas novella!
What better way to start than with “Follow the Snowflakes” by Angelina Kerner

Author Name: Angelina Kerner

Book Title: Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Date Published: December 15, 2017

Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary romance

Publisher: KDP Select

But enough of the blah de blah, you want to hear what’s all about, don’t you? Well, I do …

 At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

Sounds like a perfect Christmas read. You might want to know more about the writer of the story within this gorgeous cover. Angelina Kerner’s writing career started at a young age when she discovered that her creativity could be channelled through a bit of ink and paper.

She moved around during her younger years from Novosibirsk and Kaluga, Russia to finally settle in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. This startling contrast between the fierce snow of Siberia and the bright sun of the American West is a crucial source of inspiration and humility: the force of people is to be found not only in their spirits, but in their land too.

Angelina’s curiosity in the human condition led her to pursue courses in psychology and blossomed into a master’s degree in Topographical science. It was with a burning fire that she rejected the status quo offered to her generation, and after many meaningless jobs, she decided that writing could be the canvas in which she could express this dichotomy. While working full-time behind counters and registers, she persisted in supporting her family, her full-time coursework, and her creative dreams.

She dared to believe in her talents, and most importantly, in her ability to make a real mark on this world.

Like any creative soul, there was time for doubts, self-loathing, and loneliness, but never fear. She worked on countless experimental narratives, universes, genres, until her voice crystallized into her first published narrative. She is now the author of Deity’s Soulmate and Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted. Her next project involves a competition for a beautiful phoenix. Angelina currently divides her time between her family, work, writing, lots of cats, and two celestial dragons.

You can connect with the author here: 

http://www.kernerangelina.com/ (Website)

https://www.facebook.com/AngelinaKernerFiction (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/kernerangelina (Twitter)

https://kernerangelina.live/ (Blog)

https://www.pinterest.ca/angelinakerner/ (Pinterest)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14651070.Angelina_Kerner (Goodreads)

But, wait … there’s more. The Author, Angelina Kerner will be celebrating for 25 days at her blog with novella trivia starting on November 20, 2017. Follow her Blog in advance! Comment, like, or share the posts for entries to win swag! The more you will participate, the better chance you have at winning! There will be 3 winners, unless there’s a tie ^_^ ! So stay tuned.

If you can’t wait until December 15th, or you’re worried you might forget, you can pre-order “Follow the Snowflakes” from November 1st. Here are the pre-order links

Amazon

Kobo

I guess for many of you a White Christmas is a rare thing. But, look … it’s snowing …

 

Magical, or what?

As an extra pre-Christmas present, the author is offering a giveaway alongside the cover reveal. Here’s the link to take part. 

The prize will be her novel Deity’s Soulmate in Kindle format and it will be gifted via code.

So, what are you waiting for? Subscribe to the author’s blog now and you won’t miss a thing.

Thanks for reading!