Friday 15 March 2019

Rosie's Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin - Chapter One

Woohoo! A new Rebecca Raisin book is out and we have Chapter one for you to read!

From the Blurb:

The trip of a lifetime!
Rosie Lewis has her life together.

A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he's had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

Chapter One: 

‘You’re just not spontaneous enough, Rosie…’

I’ve misheard, surely. Fatigue sends my brain to mush at the best of times but after twenty hours on my feet, words sound fuzzy, and I struggle to untangle what he’s getting at. 

It’s just gone 2 a.m. on Saturday 2nd February and that means I’m officially 32 years old. By my schedule I should be in the land of nod, but I’d stayed late at work to spontaneously bake a salted caramel tart to share with Callum, hoping he’d actually remember my birthday this year. 

He’s never been a details man – we’re opposites in that respect – so I try not to take it to heart, but part of me hopes this is all a prelude to a fabulous birthday surprise and not the brewing of a row.
‘Sorry, Callum, what did you say?’ I try to keep my voice light and swig a little too heartily on the cheap red wine I found in the back of the cupboard after Callum told me we needed to have a chat. Surreptitiously, I glance to the table beside me hoping to see a prettily wrapped box but find it bare, bar a stack of cookbooks. Really, I don’t need gifts, do I? Love can be shown in other ways, perhaps he’ll make me a delicious breakfast when we wake up… 

My eyes slip closed. With midnight long gone, my feet ache, and I’m weary right down to my bones. Bed is calling to me in the most seductive way; come hither and sleep, Rosie, it says. Even the thought of a slice of luscious ooey-gooey birthday tart can’t keep me awake and compos mentis. But I know I must focus, he’s trying to tell me something…

‘Are you asleep?’ The whine in his voice startles me awake. ‘Rosie, please, don’t make this any harder than it has to be,’ he says, as if I’m being deliberately obtuse. 

Make what harder – what have I missed? I shake my head, hoping the fog will clear. ‘How am I not spontaneous? What do you even mean by that?’ Perhaps he’s nervous because he’s about to brandish two airline tickets to the Bahamas. Happy Birthday, Rosie, time to pack your bags!

He lets out a long, weary sigh like I’m dense and it strikes me as strange that he’s speaking in riddles at this time of the morning when I have to be at the fishmonger in precisely five hours. 

‘Look…’ He runs a hand through his thinning red hair. ‘I think we both know it’s over, don’t we?’
‘Over?’ My mouth falls open. Just exactly how long did my power nap last for? ‘What… us?’ My incredulity thickens the air. This does not sound anything like a birthday celebration, not even close.
‘Yes, us,’ he confirms, averting his eyes. 

‘Over because I’m not—’, I make air quotes with my fingers, ‘—spontaneous enough?’ Has he polished off the cooking sherry? 

My husband still won’t look at me. 

‘You’re too staid. You plan your days with military precision from when you wake to when you sleep, and everything in between has a time limit attached to it. There’s no room for fun or frivolity, or god forbid having sex on a day you haven’t scheduled it.’

So I’m a planner? It’s essential in my line of work as a sous-chef in esteemed Michelin-starred London restaurant Époque, and he should know that, having the exact same position in another restaurant (one with no Michelin stars, sadly). If I didn’t schedule our time together we’d never see each other! And I wouldn’t get the multitude of things done that need doing every single hour of every day. High pressure is an understatement. 

‘I… I…’ I don’t know how to respond. 

‘See?’ He stares me down as if I’m a recalcitrant child. ‘You don’t even care! I’d get more affection from a pot plant! You can be a bit of a cold fish, Rosie.’

His accusation makes me reel, as if I’ve been slapped. ‘That’s harsh, Callum, honestly, what a thing to say!’ Truth be told I’m not one for big shows of affection. If you want my love, you’ll get it when I serve you a plate of something I’ve laboured over. That’s how I express myself, when I cook. 

It dawns on me, thick and fast. ‘There’s someone else.’

He has the grace to blush. 

A feeling of utter despair descends while my stomach churns. How could he? 

‘Well?’ I urge him again. Since he’s dropping truth bombs left, right and centre, he can at least admit his part in this… this break-up. Hurt crushes my heart. I hope I’m asleep and having a nightmare.

‘Well, yes, there is, but it’s not exactly a surprise, surely? We’re like ships that pass in the night. If only you were more—’

‘Don’t you dare say spontaneous.’

‘—if only you were less staid.’ He manages a grin. A grin. Do I even know this man who thinks stomping over my heart is perfectly acceptable? 

He continues reluctantly, his face reddening as if he’s embarrassed. ‘It’s just… you’re so predictable, Rosie. I can see into your future, our future because it’s planned to the last microsecond! You’ll always be a sous-chef, and you’ll always schedule your days from sun up to sun down. You’ll keep everyone at arm’s length. Even when I leave, you’ll continue on the exact same trajectory.’ He shakes his head as though he’s disappointed in me but his voice softens. ‘I’m sorry, Rosie, I really am, but I can see it playing out – you’ll stay resolutely single and grow the most cost-effective herb garden this side of the Thames. I hope you don’t, though. I truly hope you find someone who sets your world on fire. But it’s not me, Rosie.’ 

What in the world? Not only is he dumping me, he’s planning my spinsterhood too? Jinxing me to a lonely life where my only companion is my tarragon plant? Well, not on my watch! I might be sleep-deprived but I’m nobody’s fool. The love I have for him pulses, but I remember the other woman and it firms my resolve. 

He sighs and gives me a pitying smile. ‘I hate to say it, Rosie. But you’re turning into your dad. Not wanting to leave the…’

‘Get out,’ I say. He is a monster.


Cold fish, eh? ‘OUT!’ I muster the loudest voice I can. 

‘But I thought we’d sort who gets what first?’ 

‘Out and I mean it, Callum.’ I will not give him the satisfaction of walking all over me just because he thinks he can. 

‘Fine, but I’m keeping this apartment. You can—’

‘NOW!’ The roar startles even me. You want to see me warm up? ‘LEAVE!’

He jumps from the couch and dashes to the hallway, where I see a small bag he’s left in readiness, knowing the outcome of our ‘quick chat’ long before I did. With one last guilty look over his shoulder, he leaves with a bang of the door. He’s gone just like that. 

As though I’m someone so easy to walk away from. 

Laying down on the sofa, I clutch a cushion to my chest and wait for the pain to subside. How has it all gone so wrong? There’s someone else in his life? When did he find time to romance anyone? 

Sure, I don’t go out much, other than for work purposes, but that’s because there’s no bloody time to go out! I’m not like my dad, am I? No, Callum is using that as ammunition, knowing how sensitive I am to such a comparison. 

The sting of his words burns and doubt creeps in. Am I not spontaneous enough? Am I far too predictable?

Admittedly I’d been feeling hemmed in, ennui creeping into everything, even my menu. Each day bleeding into the next with no discernible change except the plat de jour. Sure, my professional life is on track but lately even my enthusiasm for that has waned. I’ve had enough of tweezing micro herbs to last a lifetime. Of plating minuscule food at macro prices. Of the constant bickering in the kitchen. The noise, the bluster, the backstabbing. Of never seeing blue skies or the sun setting. Of not being able to sit beside my husband on the couch at a reasonable hour and keep my eyes open at the same time. 

Is this my fault? Am I a cold fish? I like routine and order so I know where I fit in the world. 

Everything is controlled and organised. There’s no clutter, mess, or fuss, or any chance I’ll lose control of any facet of my life. That need to keep life contained is a relic of my childhood. Is my marriage now a casualty of that?

 But he’d promised he’d love me for better or worse. 

Am I supposed to hope he comes to his senses or to beg him to come back? 

 Sighing, I place a hand on my heart, trying to ease the ache. I could never trust him again. I’m a stickler for rules, always have been, and cheating, well… I can’t forgive that. 

But bloody hell, our lives had been all mapped out. Our first child was scheduled for conception in 2021. The second in 2023. And he’s just blithely walking away from his children like that! Didn’t he understand I would have given up my career for our future family? The career I’d worked so hard for! And I would have done it gladly, too.

Now this?

The gossip will spread like wildfire around the foodie world. My name embroiled in a scandal not of my choosing. It’s taken me fifteen years to get to where I am in my career, and that’s meant sacrificing a few things along the way, like a social life, and free time, real friendships. But that was all part of the bigger picture, the tapestry of our lives. 

 It hurts behind my eyes just thinking about it all. 

And I mean to cry and wail and torment myself about the ‘other woman’, or force myself up off the couch and throw my lovingly baked birthday tart at the wall, or eat it all in one go as tears stream down my face – something dramatic and movie-esque – but I don’t. Instead, I fall into a deep sleep, only waking when my alarm shrills at stupid o’clock the next day, and with it comes the overwhelming knowledge that I must leave London. At 32, this could be my rebirth, couldn’t it?
Not spontaneous enough? Cold fish? Spinster? Like my dad?

I’ll show you. 

Rosie's Travelling Tea Shop
by Rebecca Raisin is a contemporary romance released by HQ on 4 May 2019.

About the Author:

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly, believe in true, once in a lifetime love.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday 16 October 2017

Book Tour - How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh

Today is release day for How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh and we're hosting a blog tour! Check out the reviews, interviews, and excerpts as the tour goes on from all our wonderful bloggers.

From the Blurb:

‘Delightfully romantic, light-hearted and charmingly entertaining.’ What’s Better Than Books?
Definitely, maybe…yes?

Mia Valentina gave up her high-flying life in LA to move back to Kent over four years ago. But it turns out that life in the slow lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

So when her boyfriend Leo proposes, she says yes, hoping it will bring some much needed sparkle back into her life. The trouble is, Mia never wanted a big white wedding, just the happy ever after…
The laugh-out-loud, uplifting new book from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake and Sophie Kinsella.

Add on Goodreads
Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK 

About the Author:

Portia MacIntosh has been 'making stuff up' for as long as she can remember - or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it's really like for women who don't find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Reviewing Outside Tour Dates
Ali - The Dragon Slayer


Wednesday 14 June 2017

Book Tour - The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh

Hurray! Today is the first day of the book tour for The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh, hosted by... US!

Check out the blurb below, then go visit some of the amazing bloggers who are taking part. The wonderful bloggers are sharing guest posts, excerpts and also reviewing.

The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh releases on June 16, 2017.

From the Blurb:

What happens in Vegas…When Georgie discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, only a few days before her cousin’s wedding, her whole world explodes. Facing a romantic trip to Vegas alone, she decides to go out and have some fun…

…but Georgie never expected to wake up wed! And even worse, she can’t remember who to. So when gorgeous Jack reveals himself as her husband, she can’t believe her luck – he’ll act as the perfect wedding date!

Even if it is their very accidental honeymoon, surely the newlyweds can keep their emotions in check for just a few days more?

Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order Links: Amazon | Amazon UK 

About the Author:

Portia MacIntosh has been 'making stuff up' for as long as she can remember - or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it's really like for women who don't find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


June 14
June 17
June 18 
June 19

June 20


Saturday 6 May 2017

Author Spotlight by Kimberly Livingston - Guest Post

Today Kimberly Livingston is stopping by to tell us a bit about herself and her books. Thanks, Kimberly! <3

Author Spotlight by Kimberly Livingston

I’m an American living with my husband in Colorado, (which for my UK followers is the middle to western half of the United States, right next to the Rocky Mountains). I am a Disney fanatic - Disneyland to be specific. I spend as much time there as I absolutely can. I currently am immersed in studying American Sign Language (ASL) and am trying to work that into a novel at some point in time.

I’ve had stories bouncing around in my head since I was a kid. I’ve always loved to write but never committed to a novel. I took a leave of absence from my job a few years ago and filled my days with writing. Best hours I’ve ever spent, in my opinion.

In the Eyes of an Angel was the result of that time. It is about a college student, Camille Ryan, who is eeking out a living as a bartender while trying to cram 8 semesters of college into 6. It is the story of her struggle with her father’s alcoholism, and with being raised by her mother to be independent. What Camille really wants is to have someone to just take care of her and love her. She meets Rick Pantanelli, a wealthy executive who happens into her bar one evening and falls for her. Camille sees in Rick the escape to the “easy life” she has been looking for. Rick sees in Camille a woman to mend his heart and make him want to be a better man. The problem comes when Camille’s friends convince her that he is too old for her and likely married as well.

The title, In the Eyes of an Angel, comes from when Rick first meets Camille and sees something in her eyes; a lightness and a strength. I see Camille as a very strong character underneath her fragile exterior.

I have just finished writing Change of Heart,  the follow up novel to In the Eyes of an Angel. It follows one of the characters on their own journey. Change of Heart  is set in Hawaii and so allows me to “escape” to the beaches as often as I want.  I am super excited about it and can’t wait for the cover to be completed and to put it up on Amazon Kindle.

When people ask me what kind of novels I write I often will say “a good beach read or perfect rainy/snowy afternoon escape”. If asked which author I most write like I say Susan Wiggs, who actually inspired me to write my first novel. the Blurb of In the Eyes of an Angel:

Camille Ryan is in her final year at Southern State University. Working as a bartender in a local establishment in order to support herself, she knows from her mother’s experience with her alcoholic father not to depend on anyone. That is until travelling businessman Rick Pantanelli decides to visit her bar. He is a handsome, well-off, successful professional and her senior by a full 17 years.

Camille is used to doing everything she is expected to do. But when she meets Rick she is swept away by his good looks, his charm and his ability to take care of her. Rick is used to getting what he wants. But when he meets Camille he is swept away by her beauty and her inner fragility. He finds himself believing he can take care of her. Is this belief strong enough to make him a better man?

Find this book at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

About the Author:

Kimberly Livingston visited Disneyland for the first time as a young girl. Since then the magic has infused into her blood and she remains an avid Disney fan! She lives in Colorado with her own Prince Charming. In the Eyes of an Angel is Kimberly Livingston's first published novel.  On A Run is her second novel.  Please connect on  twitter @KLnovels

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday 27 April 2017

The Cupcake Caper by Kelle Z Riley - Book Review
From the Blurb:

Science is about solving puzzles. Why should solving a murder be any different?
Dr. Bree Watson (aka Gabriella Catherine Mayfield-Watson) is comfortable solving chemistry problems. She isn’t comfortable finding her boss dead and being a suspect in his poisoning. Now she’s juggling:

•A sexy marketing manager—who may, or may not—be a contract killer.
•A handsome lead detective whose interest goes beyond the case.
•The dead man’s cranky cat.
•A goose-chasing dog in hot water with an animal rights group.
•The search for the perfect cupcake recipe.
•And, of course, someone who wants her out of the picture.
And she thought getting a Ph.D. was hard.

The Review:

The Cupcake Caper is a cute cake lit, cozy mystery.that I read in a single sitting. The story follows scientist Bree Watson, who is quietly going about her life until she finds the body of her murdered colleague and, to free herself from suspicion, is pulled into investigating. She uses her scientific powers of deduction (along with her knowledge of cooking, which come surprisingly handy) to get herself both in and out of trouble along the way!

Bree is quite an endearing character, with her love of cooking, the sciences, and desire to rescue cats - despite being a dog person! And there's quite a busy cast of both suspicious and also endearing characters, from her colleagues to her family.

I'm never good at working out mysteries, so I won't tell you if it's predictable or not - I didn't work it out though! And there are some nice twists and turns as Bree investigates.

This a great book for just tuning out for a for a little while, if you don't want to get bogged down in anything heavy, but still want some mystery to keep you wondering. It reminded me a lot of the vibe of the Heather Well's mysteries, such as Size 12 is not Fat by Meg Cabot, which I absolutely adore. As in those, you can't call it a romance, because there's no happily ever after or even a happy for now with any love interest, but there are love interests (and a bit of a love triangle) to keep the romance addicts amongst us happy - and eager to read more of the series to see which way Bree goes!

A fun little addition to the book is that we also get some of Bree's recipes at the end!

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with a touch of science and cake on the side.

The Cupcake Caper by Kelle Z Riley is a cozy mystery romance, released by Curtis Brown, on November 22, 2016.

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Book Tour - Where Dragonflies Hover by AnneMarie Brear

Hurray! Today is day one of our book tour for WHERE DRAGONFLIES HOVER by AnneMarie Brear. We are so excited to host it. You can find out more about the book and find the tour schedule below. xxx

From the Blurb:
Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …

Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

Add on Goodreads
Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK
 About the Author:

Annemarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate - not always in that order!

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

March 24
March 25
March 26

March 29

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Book Tour - Shelter by Rhyll Biest


Today is release day for SHELTER by Rhyll Biest! I'll be sharing my review soon but for now check out the other bloggers taking part in the SHELTER book tour!

Find out more about the book and the tour schedule below:

From the Blurb:
Raw and risky, a new rural romance that explores the dark side of small towns, and the people who put everything on the line to protect them...

Kat Daily is excited to trade her Sydney airport quarantine uniform for an RSPCA inspector’s uniform and a job in the rural town of Walgarra. A fresh start in a new place, where she can make a real difference in the lives of the animals that she loves.

But Walgarra doesn’t offer a peaceful, bucolic existence. Like many small towns, the distance from urban settings — and urban law enforcement — has allowed a criminal element to set in. Kat may only be looking after animals, but that doesn’t mean she will be immune to people with sinister agendas.

The previous RSCPCA inspector was murdered, and Officer Luka Belovuk is determined to keep the new inspector from the same fate. He may have very broad shoulders, but carrying the safety of the law-abiding community just trying to live their lives has weighed him down, and one more death might be more than he can take.

Not all small towns are quaint and quiet, but they all have one thing in common: a community of people willing to protect their population with everything they have. 
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Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS

About the Author:
Living in Prague, Shanghai and Germany and studying several languages has given Rhyll a taste for the exotic, and she populates her writing with sexy Soviets, hot Aussie vixens and gratuitously attractive Teutonic gods. Outside of playing host to the United Nations of Hotness in her writer's imagination, she can be found trying to pass for normal at her office job, twiddling with art, or reading. She's also a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia.
  Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Sign ups are still open for our next book tour, WHERE DRAGONFLIES HOVER by AneeMarie Brear! You can sign up here:

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Book Tour - Dirty Deeds by AJ Nuest

Today is release day for Dirty Deeds by AJ Nuest! Woooohoooo!

We're running a tour that starts today, with some fabulous book bloggers! Find out more about the book and check out the tour stops below:

From the Blurb:

An Eye for an Eye
As owner of Dirty Deeds, a tech-savvy company specializing in the age-old art of revenge, Eden Smith knows first-hand that secrecy is critical. But when a dead body washes up on the shores of Lake Michigan clutching her business card, Eden’s well-constructed world begins to fall apart. Apparently, she’s not the only one with a passion for payback, and staying alive to outsmart a killer has become her most important job of all.

A Game for a Game
Hardened homicide detective Kelly Riordan is convinced Eden Smith is hiding more than she’s willing to admit. Years on the force have taught him that nothing is what it seems, and that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investigating the alluring owner of a revenge-for-hire business. But revealing her past could put everything Eden has worked for in jeopardy. And trusting a man like Riordan goes against the very instincts that have kept her alive this long.

Add on Goodreads
Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK

About the Author:

Multi-published award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest, resides in Northwest Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship. The cat is winning.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

January 31 (Release Day)
BeeBee's Happy Place - Review, Guest Post
Bobbi's Blog - Excerpt, Guest Post
February 1
Naughty book love affair - Review, Excerpt
February 2
Books Of All Kinds - Review, Excerpt
Jen's Reading Obsession  - Excerpt
February 3
Sharame's Sharings - Review, Excerpt
February 4
Romancebookworms reviews - Review, Excerpt
C. K. Crouch - Review, Excerpt
Bookish Jottings - Review, Excerpt

We still have signups available for the book tour for Shelter by Rhyll Biest. Check it out here: