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The Christmas Cupid By Jennifer Joyce

The Christmas Cupid‘The Christmas Cupid’ is the latest book by Jennifer Joyce.

Zoey Beake is having a bad December. She might be an elf in the local toy shop’s Christmas department, but it’s hard to stay festive when you’ve just been dumped, you’ve had an extremely unfortunate haircut, and your boss volunteers you to walk on stilts in the toy shop’s Christmas parade. But then something incredible happens. Zoey is sent back to the start of December, with the chance to live the whole month again. The catch? She has to match six true-love couples by Christmas Eve. Now it’s not just her own love life she needs to fix… Grab the mistletoe, the Christmas Cupid is ready to matchmake!

It might not even be Halloween yet but get yourself into the Christmas spirit with this charming and witty festive tale.

The story is seen from Christmas elf Zoey whose world has just broken apart after her boyfriend Scott breaks up with her. But tragically, when working in the Christmas parade, she’s killed but in a mad turn of events, Zoey is given a second shot of life but all she has to do is, find 6 couples to fall in love by the ill-fated day of her supposed death.

So Zoey is tasked with finding love for other people but also trying to save her own relationship. But as the story progresses, we see her opinions and feelings change towards Scott. Her second shot at life makes her take her rose-tainted glasses off and see the person that Scott really is. I despised Scott, he’s selfish, lazy, arrogant and totally took advantage of Zoey’s kind and sweet nature.

This story is the perfect tale to curl up with, the storyline flows at a lovely pace and the characters were all a breath of fresh air, particularly Milo, the handsome and sweet photographer who falls under Zoey’s radar. I loved the gradual progression of the story and how Zoey grew in confidence and finally realised her true worth and realised how Scott was not worthy of her love.

One thing that truly made for fun reading in the story was the amount of food that featured in it, whether it was the sweet treats from the bakery or the delicious German food that Zoey’s neighbour made. Throughout this story, I constantly found myself snacking and feeling peckish whilst reading the book!

Fun, warmhearted and packed with heart and hope, ‘The Christmas Cupid’ is a story about second chances and new beginnings.

You can buy ‘The Christmas Cupid’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Silverweed Road By Simon Crook

Silverweed Road‘Silverweed Road’ is the latest book by Simon Crook.

Behind each door lies something strange and terrifying. Here, the normal is made nightmarish, from howls of were-foxes to satanic car-boot sales. Creepy, terrifying and witty by turn, Silverweed Road deals in love, loss, isolation, loneliness, obsession, greed and revenge. As the screw turns with each story, Crook creates a world of pure imagination, constantly surprising, in a setting that is instantly recognisable but other-worldly at the same time.

My second book tour of October is a spooky collection of short stories set on the creepily named Silverweed Road.

The story is seen from the narrative of the various residents and the spooky going on’s behind closed doors. Whether it’s the man who sold his soul to the devil to win a darts match, a man who became obsessed with a cuttlefish or the woman who disappeared after falling into a mysterious pool this book has something to creep everyone out.

An interesting slant that features at the end of each story is the personal statement from a police man who always suspected that something paranormal was afoot as none of the cases were ever solved. Another interesting feature to the story was the inclusion of jackdaws birds that were in every story. Jackdaws apparently loves people, but when a jackdaw appeared I immediately felt myself tense up and wait for something horrible to happen.

These stories are not for the faint-hearted, frightfully gory and graphic in parts but crafted with dark humour. clever storytelling and atmospheric reading. Treat yourself to ‘Silverweed Road’ and curl up with some good old-fashioned horror this Halloween!

You can buy ‘Silverweed Road’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Dead Romantics By Ashley Poston

The Dead Romantics‘The Dead Romantics’ is the latest book by Ashley Preston.

Florence Day is a ghost-writer with one big problem. She’s supposed to be penning swoon-worthy novels for a famous romance author but, after a bad break-up, Florence no longer believes in love. And when her strict (but undeniably hot) new editor, Benji Andor, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. Although when tragedy strikes and Florence has to head home, the last thing she expects to see is a ghost at her front door. Not just any ghost, however, but the stern form of her still very hot – yet now unquestionably dead – new editor. As sparks start to fly between them, Florence tells herself she can’t be falling for a ghost – even an infuriatingly sexy one. But can Benji help Florence to realise love isn’t dead, after all?

It seemed only perfect to kick off October with ‘The Dead Romantics’, a witty and romantic story about love and grief.

The story is seen through the narrative of the wonderfully Florence Day who is a ghost writer for Ann Nichols, one of the most famous romantic novelists. But Florence is on deadline with the latest book and she’s finding it hard to write her happy ending after having her heart broken and no longer believing in love. It doesn’t help that her father has just passed home, she has to return to the town that she ran away from and her new handsome editor called Ben is now dead and stuck in a limbo with Florence.

I absolutely loved this book, I devoured it but also tried to drag it out as I didn’t want the love story between Florence and Ben to end. But their story made for poignant and also upbeat reading.

I loved Florence, she’s a unique and quirky character with an unusual power of seeing dead people which was the main reason that she left her hometown. She’s very similar father to her father, which makes her loss so painful as he understand her better than her brother and sister.

Her family run a funeral business and this is where the story is primarily set and this makes for atmospheric reading and each of the family members had wonderful personalities that added to the story perfectly.

I adored the interactions between Florence and Ben and also like Florence – I also like foremans!

A wonderfully original and uplifting story, ‘The Dead Romantics’ is full of hope, love and charm and Ashley is an author I’m definitely going to look into. Her writing is fresh, fun with lead characters that are only aspirational but also relatable!

You can buy ‘The Dead Romantics’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Safe With Me By R.M Ward

Safe With You‘Safe With You’ is the latest book by R.M Ward.

Kath has lived on the same London estate for decades. Lately she’s become friendly with the little girl next door, who is often left alone for hours at a time while her mum is at work. They have a system. When Mina gets home from school to the empty flat, she knocks on the wall three times. Knock, knock, knock. I’m home safe and sound. But one day Mina’s knock doesn’t come. Kath raises the alarm and the police begin the search. Kath was the only person looking out for Mina – now she might be the only one who can bring her home.

Set in a block of flats on a rough estate and seen from the narrative of quiet Den, elderly Kath who misses nothing and young mother Sandy who’s daughter has gone missing.

As the days pass by and the fingers of blame are pointed, the three people all have their own part in Mina’s disappearance. Sandy is having to deal with the guilt of leaving her daughter alone over night, whilst Den was the last person that saw her and Kathy wishes her had done more for the little girl.

The different narratives add an interesting slant to the story. Sandy is seen as a cold character, who shares little remorse for her daughter but she’s really riddled with guilt and wishes her could provide a better life for her. Kath has lived in the estate for many years and notices everything, she’s jokily referred to as the Miss Marple of the story. But even though she’s elderly and not as spritely as she used to be, she has a keen eye and is the backbone of the small estate, wanting the people to come together at this dark time. Whilst Den is at the centre of it all, he’s a quiet man, who’s bullied because of his meekness and this makes him a prime target as Mina was last seen in his dad’s cafe.

I really enjoyed this story, the different narratives made for gripping reading and really helped the pace of the story. I found myself torn with Kath, sometimes I found her extremely nosy and other times, I pitied her lonely life. Den is also another sympathetic character who was only looking for Mina and gave her the odd free treat and this made him a suspect.

The story is bleak and packed with despair with a little girl at the centre of it all, ‘Safe With Me’ is a dark and gritty story that made for gripping reading.

You can pre-order ‘Safe With You’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th September 2022.

A Postcard From Capri By Alex Brown

A Postcard From Capri‘A Postcard From Capri’ is the third book in the Postcard series by Alex Brown.

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, Kelly Sinclair is on the cusp of becoming the next big movie star. Until then, she’s spending the summer of 1953 on the magical island of Capri. Sixty years later, on a visit to her elderly grandmother’s cottage, photographer Maddie Williams unearths a box of old film memorabilia featuring a glamorous and beautiful young woman with platinum blonde hair. She also finds a postcard from the island of Capri, detailing the heart-breaking end of a passionate love affair. Her grandmother now has trouble remembering anything from all those years ago. So when Maddie is commissioned for a photoshoot in Italy, she visits Capri to see if she can find out the truth. Can she unravel the mystery and discover what really happened in the summer of 1953, and will her magical island escape hold some surprises for Maddie, too?

Now that the weather is apparently going to turn bad, now is the perfect time to curl up with Alex’s latest book set in the sophisticated, coastal area of Capri.

In this story, we meet Maddie, an aspiring photographer who’s grandmother is beginning to show signs of dementia. When she begins to talk about Audrey and Lucia, Maddie and her sister Sofia discover postcards from Capri. As luck would have it, Maddie is offered the opportunity to go to Capri on a photography job and hopes to find the answers to the mysterious writer of the postcards. Whilst there, she meets Gio who helps her on her quest and introduces to the Italian way of life, the delicious cuisine and drink as well as the handsome men. The story is also seen from the perspective of Rose O’Malley who leaves the rural village of Tindledale in 1953 to become a film star. Moving to Capri, she is known as Kelly Sinclair and becomes girlfriend to handsome Hollywood star Clarke King. They fall in love and are looking forward to a future together.

I love the ‘Postcard’ series by Alex Brown, they are pure escapism with an element of love and warmth and these summery escapes provide some much needed sun on the dark days.

The story flows at a lovely pace moving between the past and present tense and both Maddie and her granny, Rose/Kelly are such warm and vibrant both filled with passion and determination. And Maddie’s curiosity to find out more about her family, is particularly wonderful as she led a life estranged from her father due to his breakup with her mother. I loved her interaction with Gio, as he tried to help her with his stilted English and their funny misunderstanding, he’s warm, kind and his huge family welcomed Maddie instantly into their lives.

In Alex’s style, she whisks us away without even leaving the comfort of our sofas. Beautifully written and wonderfully descriptive, Alex details vividly the delicious food and drink that made for mouth-watering reading. And the descriptions from the 1950’s are glamorous from the fashion to life on the silver screen are just fantastic.

Packed with sophistication, secrets and new love, ‘A Postcard From Capri’ is a beautiful, Italian love story that made for poignant and tender reading.

You can buy ‘A Postcard From Capri’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.