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Towards The Vanishing Point by Jan Turk Petrie

Towards The Vanishing Point‘Towards The Vanishing Point’ is the latest book by Jan Turk Petrie.

In the North of England in1938, two ten-year-old girls, Lily Hetherington and Stella Marsden, form a close if unlikely friendship that endures despite their wartime experiences. After the war, the two women are working as nursing auxiliaries when Lily meets male nurse Will Bagshaw. Stella begins to hear sinister rumours about the man, but the besotted Lily won’t listen to a word said against him. Can Stella make her see sense before it’s too late?

I don’t often read historical fiction so ‘The Vanishing Point’ was a nice change. The story is primarily seen through the perspective of childhood friends Stella and Lilly, as they grow up together experience love and loss as well an unexpected additions in their lives.

Set against the dark times of the Second World War, this story focuses on friendship and the hardships that women had to go through at these times. Both women are strong and fierce characters that make for interesting reading. Spanning over 30 years, the story is well researched with the dialect and language that was used in that name. There are many angles to the story, but the main one is suspense when a charismatic man called Will enters Lily’s life and put her and Stella’s friendship into question. He’s a complex man who many people are suspicious off when Lily turns out to be his third wife.

The story primarily focuses on friendship and relationships but it does delve into the poverty and the sexism towards women during that era and I did find the story to be vividly written with descriptions of the bomb shelters and the impact they had on people’s lives.

A creative story that follows the ups and downs of life when men and life become in the way of friendships, ‘Towards The Vanishing Point’ is a compelling story that was a nice distraction from the usual genre I read.

You can buy ‘Towards The Vanishing Point’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay By Katie Ginger

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the first book in a new series by Katie Ginger called ‘Swallowtail Bay’.

Licking her wounds from her divorce, Stella impulsively buys a gift shop and two holiday lets in glorious Swallowtail Bay, hoping for a fresh start with her King Charles Spaniel Frank. When the neighbours meet her with a warm welcome, Stella knows she’s found the new home she was looking for. Even gorgeous but grumpy local Miles can’t take the shine off things. But then her ex-husband announces he’s getting married again, and someone in the village starts gossiping about Stella… Is Stella’s dream over already? Or, with her new friends behind her, can Stella fight back and save her new life – and find the happy ever after she’s been waiting for?

This book is a heartwarming introduction to a new series packed with loveable characters against the backdrop of a sleepy town, it was charming from start to finish.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of newcomer to Swallowtail Bay, Stella as she waves goodbye to the bustling city of Oxford and prepares for single life in a strange town with a new business under her belt. Thankfully support comes in the form of Lexi, who helps Stella fit into the new community but is also a shoulder to cry on when Stella’s ex husband announces his new marriage.

From the outset, this is a charming tale that can easily be absorbed in one sitting. Fun and heartwarming, it’s hard not to connect with the relatable characters and their situations that make for interesting reading. I love Stella, she’s fun, creative and it’s lovely to watch her blossom throughout the story particularly when she catches the eye of Miles, who adds an injection of charm to the story. Lexi is also a great character as she battles being a single parent with two boisterous children, she made me giggle at times with her wit.

A beautiful story that will leave you grinning from ear to ear, ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the perfect laugh out loud comedy to curl up with in a world of current doom and gloom.

You can buy ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ from Amazon and will be avaialble to buy from good bookshops from 14th May 2020.

In Five Years By Rebecca Serle

In Five Years‘In Five Years’ is the latest book by Rebecca Serle

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals. That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future.
It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…

Dannie is a strong and logical woman, who’s life is based on numbers and when she meets David, it’s only natural to expect that after a couple of years together that marriage and children would follow as this is the expected way of life. But for Dannie, after the much anticipated proposal becomes a long engagement when her another man suddenly appears in her dreams and suddenly appears in real life in a relationship with her best friend, Bella. Bella and Dannie feel that Bella has found the perfect man but everything is thrown into disarray when Bella suddenly becomes seriously ill and Dannie has to question everything in her life.

I genuinely loved this book and my heart really went out to Dannie and Bella, who’s childhood friendship is sadly pulled apart by ovarian cancer, which also coincides with March being Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

So not only does Dannie have to battle the pain of seeing her best friend in pain but she also has to see her with the real life man from her dreams, who makes Dannie question her own relationship.

I really liked Dannie, she’s a independent woman who’s set her life out and is determined that ovarian cancer will not take away her best friends happiness. She researches methodically into the illness to give her some control over the illness that is spiralling out. Her genuine love for Bella is not only as a friend but is also maternal as Bella’s parents were absent from her life most of the time and Dannie was the friend she turned to most of the time. Their relationship is strong and fun, but is tested a lot throughout the story. It’s also interesting to see how Dannie deals with Aaron, the man from her dreams appear in real life and the new emotions that she struggles, such as wanting her friend to be happy but also deal with a new attraction towards him.

‘In Five Years’ is a rare and brilliant love story about the complexities of relationships. This story is a bittersweet tale that really tugs at the readers heartstrings. Poignant, sweet, this original tale had me gripped from the first page. Sweetly written and well researched of the cruelty of cancer, this book will have you in bits with this emotional rollercoaster.

You can buy pre-order ‘In Five Years’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th March 2020.

A Mrs Miracle Christmas By Debbie Macomber

A Mrs Miracle ChristmasOn the book tour for Debbie MacComber’s latest festive story called ‘A Mrs Miracle Christmas’, enjoy an extract from the story.

“Caring Angels sent you?” Laurel asked, coming out of the kitchen after she had overheard the initial exchange.

“When I called earlier, I was told no one was available.”

“The office hadn’t been informed that I was free to accept another assignment. When I heard your situation was urgent, I came as quickly as I could. I trust I haven’t arrived at a bad time?”

“No, of course not. Please come in.” Looking relieved and grateful, Laurel quickly brought the older woman into the house. Helen sat quietly, observing the arrival of this stranger.
She sensed an immediate connection to this woman who had entered her home, yet she couldn’t understand why. It appeared that she and this Mrs. Miracle weren’t far apart in age. Somehow, though she couldn’t explain it, Helen instinctively knew that this woman had a warm heart, and that the two of them would get along famously.

“The agency said that you sounded quite desperate. The instant she discovered I was free to take on a new client, she gave me the referral. I hope I’m not interrupting your dinner.”

“No, no,” Laurel quickly reassured her. “We are all finished.” Laurel offered Mrs. Miracle tea or coffee, which she politely refused.

“You’re an answer to our prayers,” Helen said, still seated in her chair.

“I’m often told that,” Mrs. Miracle said. “But really, being a Caring Angel is my privilege. I enjoy the work.”

Helen could see the relief in her granddaughter’s eyes. She felt dreadful for causing such concern recently for Laurel and Zach and was determined to do everything she could to keep things straight. No more police, and no more getting lost, that was for sure.

In a businesslike fashion, Mrs. Miracle got right to work. “I understand you both have jobs outside of the home, so I brought the paperwork from the agency for you to sign.” Zach reached for the folder the caregiver handed him.

“No need for you to take time off work to come downtown to meet anyone, as you’ve already been introduced to Caring Angels over the phone. Once the paperwork is signed, I’ll hand it off.”

“Thank you. That’s thoughtful of you,” Laurel said. Mrs. Miracle looked toward Helen and winked. They shared a smile, and Helen was left to wonder what the wink was all about. She couldn’t keep from smiling and winking back at her new caretaker.

Zach looked up from the paperwork, his eyes full of surprise and relief. “This is far less expensive than we’d anticipated.”

“It’s the holiday special,” Mrs. Miracle explained. “Oh— and before I forget—
I brought you a little something.” She set her basket on the coffee table and removed
the red-checkered cloth covering it. “I like to bring a homemade item to my new clients on my first in‑​home visit. I enjoy baking and have several wonderful holiday recipes.”
Helen leaned forward to peek. “You brought us cookies?”

“These happen to be my personal favourites,” Mrs. Miracle said. “I dare not keep them around, otherwise I’d be tempted to eat the entire batch myself.”

Helen removed a large plate of snickerdoodles.

“Snickerdoodles,” Laurel said, a bit taken aback. “You brought us snickerdoodles? Nana was right. You are an answer to our prayers.”

You can buy ‘A Mrs Miracle Christmas’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling By Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Once, Twice, Three Times An AislingThe fabulous Aisling is back for a third time with the latest book by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen called ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’.

Aisling is thirty, flirty and frazzled. But – just when she should finally be feeling all grown-up – she’s floundering. Because when you’re recovering from a broken heart as well as struggling to keep your café as sizzling as your award-winning sausages, it’s hard to feel you’ve really made it as an adult. Which is just the moment for the unexpected to strike and complicate everything. Now is not the time for a delicious new man to show up, her best friend to demand the hen do of the century and a surprise celebrity appearance. But Aisling, never one to worry about having too much on her plate, rolls up her sleeves: she’s got this. Until she discovers that being a proper grown-up means you can’t do everything. Sometimes you will let someone down. But will it be those she loves, or herself?

Aisling is back with a bang and I have to admit, the latest book is my favourite series. Again the writing duo have created a magnificent story filled with empathy, charm and humour that made for delicious reading. Our favourite Irish lass is back and this time it’s all about being the perfect bridesmaid to her best friend, catering for a secret celebrity wedding as well as trying to move on with her broken heart and face her 30th birthday. But in true Aisling style, she puts everyone before herself to make sure that everyone has their perfect day.

I’ve always found Aisling to be one of the most relatable characters that I’ve had the joy of reading in a while. Like every woman, she’s terrified of turning 30 as she hasn’t achieved the same as everyone else and is pressure from society, with everyone settling down around her. She’s kind with a huge heart and a sensible mind, but she genuinely makes me laugh out loud with her wit and the dialogue throughout.

An Irish heartwarming tale at its very finest, ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’ is filled with warmth, Irish charm and a bittersweet ending that really leaves that reader on the edge of their seat. This book is well worthy of its recent Irish Books Awards nomination for Book of the Year and is a fantastic return to everyone’s favourite Irish protagonist

You can buy ‘Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 19th September 2019.