Skip to content

Merry Christmas from Handwritten Girl

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve found myself writing my annual sign off instead of wrapping presents that are still in their bags. Last minute as always!

Before I sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely publishers and authors who introduced me to some of the most wonderful books this year, from intense thrillers to happy romances, there’s something for everyone to curl up with during the cold winter nights and poolside reads.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers of the website for taking the time to read a review, tweet, Favourite or Like a post, your support is appreciated tremendously. I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and receive loads of treats from Santa Claus, especially books as there are some great ones out there.

Have a Happy New Year and I shall see you in 2020.

The Afternoon Tea Club By Jane Gilley

The Afternoon Tea Club”The Afternoon Tea Club’ is the latest book by Jane Gilley.

Marjorie, Stacy, Raymond and Dora each hold a different story to their chest – lost loves, abandoned dreams, crippling self-confidence issues, and simply feeling invisible. For each of them, the thought of letting those stories out is almost as terrifying as letting strangers in, and that makes for a very lonely life indeed. But when these four strangers who have struggled to “fit in” end up on the same table for an event at their local community centre, little do they know that their lives are about to be entwined and changed forever because of an Afternoon Tea club. Cue an unexpected journey of self-discovery, some unlikely new companions, and plenty of tea and biscuits along the way…

With a simply stunning cover, this book was an enjoyable read about new friendships and the hardship of loneliness. We meet various different people at different stages in life who have all been impacted by isolation whether that’s through family difficulties or a bereavement and how they find it hard to settle back into society.

We meet Stacy, the youngest of the group who’s let her little cat family consume her life so when she has a nasty accident, she decides to turn her life around and make an effort and get to know humans instead of her kitties. Raymond is at a loss after losing his wife, Dora’s heir to a family fortune but is unhappy and alone, Majorie lives with her daughter and has found herself to have turned into quite a cynical person, after years of abuse from her dead husband she’s struggling to interact with people.

The story is seen through the narratives of the characters and really hones in how loneliness and sadness can have a profound impact on people, affecting them in different ways. But with the introduction of ‘The Afternoon Tea Club’ we see, confidence and new relationships blossom and this really does make for tender and heart-warming storytelling.

Charming from the first page, this book is a sweetheart of a story from the very beginning. With relatable characters and situations, injected with humour and warmth, ‘The Afternoon Tea Club’ is a lovely story about the value of friendship.

You can ‘The Afternoon Tea Club’ from Amazon.

Paige Toon Reveals New Book – The Minute I Saw You

'The Minute I Saw YouWonderful news if you’re a Paige Toon fan as she’s revealed her new book for 2020 called ‘The Minute I Saw You’.

What the back cover says –

Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes, but Hannah, who spends her working life staring into the eyes of strangers, has never felt anything out of the ordinary for any of her clients. Then she meets Sonny, and a spark ignites between them that’s hard to ignore and impossible to forget.

Weeks later, they cross paths again, but Sonny’s whole demeanour has changed. Gone is the sexy, laidback, confident man that Hannah was so attracted to, and in his place is someone who can barely make eye contact at all.

It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes, but these changes can’t and won’t include romance.

Hannah, who is only temporarily housesitting her uncle’s cottage, has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. But as summer hots up and the chemistry between them sizzles, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each of them than meets the eye…

With a vibrant cover and synposis,’The Minute I Saw You’ sounds like a heartbreaker!

You can pre-order ‘The Minute I Saw You’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 14th May 2020.

I Dare You By Sam Carrington

I Dare You‘I Dare You’ is the latest book by Sam Carrington.

Mapledon, 1989. Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home. The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared. No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars. The village could sleep safe once again.
Now. Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past. 30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party. Now he’s out.

With the right amount of suspense and drama, Sam’s latest book is a thrilling story that keeps everyone on edge. The story is written in the past and present tense with multiple narratives, giving an insight into the people affected by the tragedy.

The story is essentially about a child who disappears 30 years ago never to be found and the village recluse, who didn’t fit with the mindset of the villagers being the prime suspect and later sent to jail. Now ‘Creepy Crawley’ has been released from prison and Anna returns home to the village, that her best friend died in and Lizzie has gone to the village with the mindset of getting the big scoop.

But neither of the women are prepared for what they discover on their return, as Anna and her mother become victims of harassment and Lizzie is determined to get some questions finally answered.

The story flows at a fast pace, with short chapters that leave the reader bursting for more. The characters are interesting and complex and even from the very outset you can see that not everything is as it seems. The community is tight knit and protective of its community and newcomers or those who don’t fit in with the village are not welcome.

With the story flowing between tenses, it gives a good background into the drama and I particularly found these scenes interesting as they really set the tone for the suspense and drama that was weaved throughout the book. I found the characters to be quite fascinating, as nearly everyone had something to hide and found Anna’s mother, Muriel quite interesting. She came across as the matriarch of the village with everyone siding with her, no matter the consequences.

A pacy and observational thriller about family secrets and betrayal, ’I Dare You’ is an engrossing tale filled with twists, drama and riddled with suspense that made for tense reading.

You can buy ‘I Dare You’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Jane Fallon Reveals New Book – Queen Bee

Queen BeeJane Fallon has revealed her new book for 2020 called ‘Queen Bee’ and it sounds like an absolute treat.

What the back cover says

When Laura’s marriage falls apart she needs to find a home for her and her daughter. And quickly.

Welcome to The Close, a beautiful street of mansions, where Laura rents a tiny studio above a garage, and gorgeous Stella is the indisputable Queen Bee – who soon suspects Laura of having designs on her fiancé.

But when Laura unearths the ghastly secret he is hiding, it threatens Stella’s perfectly curated world as well as Laura’s career.

Hatching an elaborate plan to beat him at his own game, these former enemies are now best friends.

But has Laura forgotten that revenge always comes with a sting in the tail?

Sounds like another explosive story from one of my favourite authors.

You can pre-order ‘Queen Bee’ from Amazon and will be avaiable to buy from good bookshops from 2nd April 2020.