Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Blog Tour: An Excerpt from Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou

Yay! I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Effie Kammenou's debut novel 'Evanthia's Gift'. It is the first book in the trilogy, The Gift Saga. The book has already received many five-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Today, I am sharing an excerpt from the book. Please read it and buy the book to know what happens next.


The Gift Saga #1 
Author: Effie Kammenou
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Length: 564 Pages
Publication Date: August 7th, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon

In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.

The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia, and Dean.

who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.

EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.


Excerpt

November 1955

The air was unusually chilled for early November in NYC, but despite the dropping temperature, sweat trickled down the back of Anastacia’s neck. Unable to wish away the nausea that was taking hold of her and too ill to sit through her last class, she’d left the NYU campus, hopping on an uptown subway to return home for the day. She’d been lightheaded and queasy the past few days, but nothing as violent as what she was currently feeling. Waiting at the crosswalk, the aroma of garlic and cheese permeating from a nearby café antagonized the volcano that was about to erupt in her belly, and she prayed she would get home without incident.

At last, Anastacia ducked into her apartment building, closing her eyes and offering a silent thank you to the heavens for the safety and comfort of her home. Once inside her foyer, she removed her coat, hung it in the closet and glimpsed herself in the mirror hanging over the Bombay Chest. Pale skin and sunken eyes replaced her usual olive complexion and healthy glow.

I just need to sleep off whatever this is.

Her husband, Jimmy, was not expected home from work for several hours, and she hoped to be feeling better by then.

Suddenly, the sound of voices startled her. She walked through the living room, following the noise. She almost forgot the motion sickness that forced her home earlier than usual as the guttural sound of rhythmic moans grew louder, interrupted only by a woman’s shrill laughter. Anastacia forced her legs to follow the cacophony and found herself at the doorway of her bedroom. She stood there frozen. Seeing, but not believing. Tears sprang to her eyes and dripped down her cheeks, and she began to shake uncontrollably. Anastacia attempted to speak, but bile rose to her throat, rendering her incapable of uttering a word. Then, a cry that seemed to escape from her very soul, revealed her presence.

In that second, they knew she’d witnessed their betrayal. Anastacia was taken aback by the look of pure satisfaction that flashed across the naked woman’s face. A face that held not even a hint of guilt or remorse.

Her husband’s face told a different story. Shock, fear, maybe regret. For getting caught. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, but so many thoughts bombarded her mind that it was as though she were moving in slow motion. But then, the impact of it all slammed into her, and she ran.

Jimmy jumped up, wrapping himself in a bed sheet.

“Ana! Wait!” He pushed the woman off him. “Get off me! Move! Get out of here.” Barely making it to the bathroom, Anastacia leaned over the toilet, expelling the contents of her stomach. “Ana,” Jimmy pleaded, coming up beside her.

“Get away from me.” She wiped her mouth with a towel, straightened up and gathered all her strength to push past him.

Jimmy blocked the doorway.

“Ana mou, I’m sorry. Please. Let me explain. Sagapo. I love-”

“Don’t touch me or ever say that to me. You’re disgusting. You both are.” She ducked under his arm, but he grabbed her wrist.

His touch seared her to the bone and she pulled away. She was shamed, shaken—broken, but there was no way she was going to let him see it.

“I said don’t touch me. Never come near me again.”

“It’s not what it looks like. She… it was all her. I never meant to… Ana, please.”

“It looked like it was both of you. Now let me pass,” she spat. He lifted his hands in surrender and stepped aside as she pushed her way past him through the narrow bathroom doorway.

In the hallway, the woman stood, watching, gloating. Although she and Anastacia both had dark brown hair and similar Mediterranean features, she lacked the poise and grace that Anastacia exuded.

“Get out of my home,” Ana ordered her. “I never want to see you again.” Anastacia stormed out her front door, slamming it behind her. Doubling over, she thought she might heave again, but she drew in a deep breath and continued down the hall to Soula’s apartment. She frantically knocked on the door. When she opened it, Soula took one look at her best friend and she hugged her.

“Ana mou, what is it?

Between gasps and cries, Anastacia relayed the entire humiliating scene, as well as Jimmy’s despicable attempt to explain the unforgivable.

“What do I do now?”

“We go upstairs and talk to your uncle,” Soula said. “He will know how to handle this.”

“How can I tell him? What will my parents say? How could I be so stupid? What will Uncle Tasso think?”

“Of you? Nothing different than before. Of them? They will get what they deserve. Come. We will go together. I will tell your uncle if you cannot.”

Liked it? Buy it from here: Amazon

Author's Bio:

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.

Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Follow Effie Kammenou 

Good Luck Effie Kammenou!

Adieu September!


September has gone and October is here. 
I had a SPIFFING September.

Inspired by the book blogger Soudha, who manages to read 10-15 books a month, I decided to set the bars too high and managed to read 10 books in September. YAY!
(Ahh, Soudha read 18 books this month!)
'n'
I joined Twitter this month. It is really fun and exciting. It helps me to interact with the authors directly and share my reviews with them. Interacted with a few bloggers and participated in book discussions as well. It's really good! 
'n'
I won two giveaways hosted by Amanda @ Little Miss Reader.
'n'
I was nominated for Liebster Award and The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.
'n'
Personally, I had an awesome September. A blessed month, actually.
'n'
My dear brother gifted me four Harry Potter books and I own the entire series now.
Thanks, Bro!
 ***

Books I read 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin 
(A Cute Christmas Romance)
The Girl's Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart
(Courage, Friendship and Love )
Can You Fall in Love with Your Ex. (Can You?) by Sophie Ranald
(No, You simply Can't.)
The Violet Hour by Andrea L. Wells
(Never imagined that I would like a Paranormal novel. But, I am just waiting for the next book in the series) 
Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh
(Get your tissues ready!)
The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade by Virginia Smith
(Enjoyable!)
Stirred with Love by Marcie Steele
(A make-you-feel-good novel)
The Square by Rosie Millard
(A comedy-drama?! Don't know!)
The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands
(Travelogue cum an up-lifting novel)
I Wish For You by Camilla Isley
(A modern fairy-tale)

The Favorites of the month

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh
&
The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

Because these two stories sounded real, up-lifting, inspiring and meaningful.

What have you been reading this month?
Wishing you all a Blessed October!


Love,


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Liebster Award

Hurrah! 
Another Blog Award...
Jody @ A Spoonful of Happy Endings has nominated me for the LIEBSTER award. 
Thank You, Jody!
Liebster Award rules:
  •  You can’t nominate the people who nominated you.
  •  You have to notify the new nominees of the event, providing a link to your blog to these  instructions.
  •  Answer 11 Questions.
  •  You have to ask 11 questions set for bloggers only.
  •  Nominate 11 different blogs.

1. Which book are you reading right now and what are your first thoughts about it?
You Can't Fall in Love with Your Ex by Sophie Ranald. I don't know whether it's because I'm sick or the mundane story (most probably the latter one), I can't finish reading it. Just forcing myself to do so, and I fall asleep the next moment. Ugh!

2. What do you dislike the most about book blogging?
So far, I am enjoying it, as it keeps me updated on new and interesting books. Met many lovely bookworms. Dislike??? **thinking** I get disappointed sometimes if the giveaways are not international or to only the places The Book Depositary delivers because I can not participate :( Happens most of the time. Does that count??

3. Nutella or no Nutella?
Nutella, of course! My husband and I can finish it off in an hour ;) And in a few minutes, with cousins or friends.

4. Which book genre have you never tried before?
Erotica, LGBT and Non-fiction

5. Which TV/movie character are you most like if you had to pick one?
Rori Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, because we both like Coffee and BOOKS (By books, I meant Novels and Textbooks) :P

6. What is the last thing you bought?
Chocolate chip cookies!
And a copy of 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern.

7. If you could teach one course at university, what would it be?
Literature courses or any computer programming languages.

8. What is the first word that comes to mind that starts with the letter... F?
Fairy tales!

9. What is your favorite breakfast?
Porridge! ** I am lying.. (makes up mind) nay, that's the most delicious, healthiest breakfast in the entire world and it would help me to get rid of extra calories. Oh, piteous self-conscious me!!! **

10. Which book was a real struggle for you to finish and why?
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. Because my expectations were too high, really too high. I shouldn't even have bought that book. *Sigh*

11. I know this is a mean one, but if you have to pick one favourite author at this moment, who would it be?
I am a proud Janeite, will not leave her side no matter who comes and goes. Huh!

I nominate:
  1. Soudha @ Of Stacks and Cups
  2. Amanda @ Little Miss Reader
  3. Cindy @ De Readaholic Book Blog
  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
  5. Brena M. @ Our Thoughts Precisely
  6. Verushka @ Pop. Edit. Lit
Sorry about breaking the rules. But I definitely need to expand my network.

11 Questions for you guys: Choose the most suitable option and tell me why you selected it.
  1. Fairy tales/ Fairy tales-retellings
  2. Spring/ Summer/ Autumn/ Winter
  3. Jane Eyre/ Elizabeth Bennet
  4. Blogger/ Wordpress
  5. Paperback/ Kindle
  6. Cinderella/ Belle
  7. Cinderella/ Celaena Sardothien
  8. Game of Thrones/ Lord of the Rings
  9. Twitter/ Facebook
  10. Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ New Year
  11. Romance/ Adventures/ Thrillers
Love,

Monday, 28 September 2015

Musing Mondays (September 28)


Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm.

I’m currently reading…

Not interesting! Just wants to finish it off somehow. 

Up next I think I’ll read…
One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot
Mandy Baggot has written many Romance fiction including Truly, Madly, Greekly. I got a copy of the book via NetGalley. Lucky me!

I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I won two books last week. Yay!


I read The Violet Hour and loved it. It is the first book in the Violet Hour series. Recommend it if you like werewolf stories.  I am yet to read Molly Lee by Andrew Joyce. It is based on Huckleberry Fin. So, I want to re-read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin, before I read Molly Lee.

I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…

Do you like Christmas Romance novels? Then buy a copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin, published on September 25th, 2015. You will love it! Read my review here.

I can’t wait to get a copy of…

Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna
All are talking about her debut novel. Gotta buy it soon.

I blogged about ____ this past week…

A meaningful Christmas novel1
A modern fairy tale!
Werewolves! 

This Week's Random Question: What books about books do you own or have you read & enjoyed?
My papa owns many books about books. I have read most of them, albeit I can not remember the title of any.

Happy Reading!


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review: The Violet Hour by Andrea L. Wells

The Violet Hour #1
Author: Andrea L. Wells
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Page Length: 324 Pages
Publication Date: May 11th 2015
Publishers: Infinity Publishers
Goodreads | Amazon

Still shocked over her mother’s mysterious death, California socialite Logan Keller is handed a one-way ticket to her long lost roots in Wyoming where love, deceit and danger await. Though she could forget everything staring into Luke Callahan’s eyes, Logan is quickly thrust into a fight for survival. Taking fate into her own hands, she begins unraveling the dangerous deceptions that abound at every turn. Her father is keeping secrets and Luke is keeping more. But Logan is keeping the biggest secret of them all. 

The Violet Hour is a page-turning captivating twist of young romance and the paranormal.

I could not put it down! Yes, I can sum up my review in that one sentence. I was never a fan of Paranormal books, haven't even read the Twilight series. I won this book through a Rafflecopter Giveaway and I had set my mind to give it a try as soon as I got time to sit with it. When I did, I just devoured the entire book.

Logan Keller has lost her Mom, who was a famous model and actress. Her step-dad sends her to Wyoming, where her Daddy is staying with new wife, Katherine. There, she meets dad's three adopted sons; Jack, Jesse, and Luke. Logan befriends Luke immediately and finds herself falling for him. She starts enjoying the new life at Dad's home, but she is equally disturbed by the scary, vague dreams and anxious to find out the truths they are hiding from her. Can she bear to hear the horrifying truth about her, Luke, and her beloved family?...

I was hooked on to the story from the starting to the end. The story begins with how Logan deals with her Mom's death, a sentimental chapter at the start. The story is described from Logan's perspective. Thus, it was easy to know how shattered she was, could easily understand her. The following chapters tells the beautiful relationship between her and Luke and how Logan fits into the new life. Delightful! I loved Luke and how he cared for Logan. I am being biased. Luke is my favorite character in this novel, not Logan Keller. 

Then, the novel slowly discloses the secret behind the unusual behavior of the characters. I was surprised to find out the werewolf theme, 'cause I did not know what to expect from this kind of novels. I liked the plot line. My heart was pounding heavily and I was turning the pages quickly to know what would happen next. Andrea's writing style is easy to fall into; with vivid descriptions and flawless, well-paced writing style. I was eager to know the end as much as I did not wish the story to end. I want more Luke and Logan stories. 

I liked Logan. She is a strong character. She chooses to move ahead in life, despite the adversities in her life. She forgives everyone, especially to Dad. She faces the challenges alone and comes out of it as the real heroine. I enjoyed her character development; from a feeble, struggling teenager girl to the ultimate powerful protagonist. I also liked her Parents and adopted brothers. This book is really interesting, you will not have a dull moment. It has a hopeful ending, which is also a new beginning. I enjoyed it. But, I needed a little more detail on the enemies. I wished to know how powerful Logan and Luke really are. Maybe, the next book will satisfy me with those details.  

Please read The Violet Hours, if you like Paranormal Books. You will love it, as I did. Right now, I am waiting for the news on the next book in the series...

Thanks Andrea for this fantastic novel!

My Rating: 4.5/ 5 (I Loved It!)
Happy Reading!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Review: I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

Author: Camilla Isley
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Chick-lit
Pages Length: 309 Pages
Publication Date: July 23rd 2015
Publishers: Pink Bloom Press
Goodreads | Amazon

If all your wishes could suddenly come true, what would you do?

A year ago when the love of her life dumped her for no apparent reason, Ally thought she had hit rock bottom. But now that she has seen him with another woman, and one she knows only too well, her life seems to have reached a whole new level of low.

Yet, when she stumbles across an ancient object infused with magical powers and a stranger with a dark past appears out of nowhere promising to grant all her wishes, she finds herself hoping again.

Suddenly Ally’s life is turned upside down; she has a mystery to solve, a rival to beat, a millenarian curse to break, and well, she wants to have some fun playing with her new “gifts”…

But can she wish her way to happily ever after?


This is just what I wanted- Camilla Isley's 'I Wish For You' was a breath of fresh air to me. I've been dealing with many downhearted, dispirited heroines lately. I was longing to meet someone, who would dare to fight for the things they believed in and Camilla introduced me to Ally Johnson, who had a fascinating story to share with me. She fought for the love of her life. But Ally wasn't alone, she received help from another world- the world, where Magic existed once. Only one word for the book: Enchante!

Ally is clueless on why James broke up with her. She is still grieving their separation. The matter gets worse when she sees him with Vanessa - whom she can't stand in the office. But, everything changes when the destiny gifts her a magical coffer. A man appears out of the blue and promises to grant her five wishes. And now, she is determined to win James back with the help of MAGIC. Will she succeed?  Will Ally find her happily ever after?...

Disney made me believe in magic and fairy tales. Thus, I was immediately hooked by the theme and smitten by the cover, when Camilla Isley asked me to review I Wish For You. The book has surpassed my expectations. I Wish For You is a modern fairy tale. I was a bit sceptical about how the story would turn out, thought Ally was wasting her wishes. But, it gradually held me spellbound till the last page. I was turning the pages hastily, too eager to know what would happen to the mysterious stranger and Ally. 

Don't hate me, but I need to mention Arthur, the Genie in the enchanted lamp. I liked him more than James. When the king Henry II was mentioned, I ended up browsing for more details on Arthur. And I was in for a surprise!!! I loved the twist she gave to the mysterious tale of Arthur I, Duke of Brittany. Wow! The author has done a marvelous job *Applause*. I strongly feel that 'I Wish For You' needs more attention. I can hardly consider it as a debut novel. Well done Camilla Isley! 

Ally's fairy tale reminded me the movie 'Kate & Leopold' and I enjoyed picturing Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman as Ally and Arthur. It was fun. The story will give you many cackle-worthy moments. I loved Arthur. He is Royal, swoon-worthy, a perfect old-fashioned Gentleman, amiable and humorous. I might haven't enjoyed the book if Arthur was not there. I liked Ally too. Can't blame her for the mischievous manner. Even I would have done the same if I knew Magic *Evil Grin*. She turns out to be a sweet young woman. Kind too.

I did not like James and Vanessa at the beginning. But when the stories unfolded, I happened to like them too. The supporting characters are also likable. Liked the romance and loved the unexpected ending, a happily-ever-after! Overall, I Wish For You is an entertaining, light, and quick fairy tale. Highly Recommended! I take the cue by the Author and guessing there will be sequels to this book; Arthur's previous adventures. I'm waiting...

My Rating: 4.5/5 ( I Loved It! )
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Review: Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

Keeping Christmas
Written by     Dan Walsh
Published on  September 1st  2015 by Revell
Genre            Christian Fiction

Stan opened the ugly ornaments box and pulled out the top three ornaments, the ones wrapped in green paper, the kids' favorites, and set them on the coffee table. He picked up the first one, the biggest one--Anna's blue pinecone--and began to unwrap it. Without thinking, Judith walked up, stopped him, and gently took it out of his hand. She wrapped it back up, set it carefully in the box. Then picked up the other two ornaments, put them in the box, and closed the flaps.

"What's the matter?" Stan said. "Did I do something wrong?"

"I don't think I can do this."

Nothing is more beautiful than family

For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking--some were downright ugly--but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

Keeping Christmas is written by Dan Walsh, whose debut novel The Unfinished Gift won two Carol Awards. He has written a number of historical and suspense fictions and some of his works are compared to Nicholas Sparks. I was on a hunt for Christmassy novels and the description of this book caught my eyes. I was curious to know the secret behind those special Christmas ornaments. 

Keeping Christmas is a heart-touching story. Judith is distressed when her kids and grandchildren miss the Thanksgiving and heartbroken hearing the Christmas will be the same. She does not even wish to decorate the house and puts her favorite handmade ornaments by kids in the attic instead of hanging on the Christmas tree. Stan, her husband is worried and is constantly trying to cheer her up. Her friend Betty suggests ideas to restore the Christmas spirit in Judith, but what Stan had in mind for his beloved wife is far beyond her expectations.

Honestly speaking, I can't recollect the last time I was in tears reading a Christmas themed story. It has never happened before, I think. Anyhow, I cried and those were the tears of sheer happiness. Trust me! I had been in a similar situation (thrice!), so I could easily relate myself to her. I know how painful it is, to spend the most awaited day alone at home ** Gasp**. Dan Welsh has perfectly captured all the emotions and agonies in this book ** Applause**. Had a beatific smile when Judith received a wonderful surprise from Stan (not giving away the surprise, find it out yourself). How thoughtful!

Keeping Christmas is a meaningful story. It conveys the true meaning of Christmas; The Christmas is all about cherishing and making memories, also reminds that Christmas is about togetherness and giving and sacrificing. The supporting characters are also lovable. I recommend this lovely book to all who are in search of a meaningful Festive Season Story.

In short, Keeping Christmas is a light-hearted book with a significant message. Pick it up and read!

My Rating: 4.5/5 ( I loved it!)
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Too Many Books, Too Little Time! Have you ever felt so? I have to find more time to spend with these beauties (Are not they? Look at them, Pretty and Cute!) and write reviews. My TBR is overflowing and I am puzzled out right now. Do you know how to manage it??? Please tell me.

Here are the Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

One Wish in Manhattan 

One wish in Manhattan, Mandy Baggot

A Christmassy novel by Mandy Baggot. Can't wait!

The Golden Braid 


I have read many Praises on Melanie Dickerson's works. The Golden Braid is a fairy tale retelling of Rapunzel's story.

I Wish For You


Camilla Isley has offered me a review e-copy of the book. Excited!!! Reviews and the blurb have promised something magical. I will read it next, I think. 

Big Little Lies


Ever since I saw this on Amazon Top Selling books, I have been longing to read it. Can't wait anymore to pick this up.

The Misadventures of a Playground Mother


If you are a chick lit fan, then you might have heard about this book. This book has been getting a ton of rave reviews and I am determined to find out why.

Sofia Khan is not obliged


Sofia Khan is not obliged is the debut novel by Ayisha Malik. The theme is entirely different and new and I am tempted to read it.

Promises to Keep


This is the second book in Love in Provence series. I liked 'The Promise of Provence' by Patricia Sands, looking forward to read the next book. If you love France, do not miss this series.

You can't Fall in Love with Your Ex


I am not familiar with Sophie Ranald novels, have read reviews of her works in many blogs and goodreads. Thus, I have added her latest book in my TBR.

A Court of Thorns and Roses


Yep, I know.. I haven't read it yet. It's been resting on my table for a while now. Have to dust it out and read soon.

Time To Die


I do not read paranormal, thriller stories usually. But, I need a small break from chick-lits, fairy tales,  & Classics and I have chosen Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell for that. 

Have you got any of these books in your Fall TBR? 

Happy Reading!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: The Girl's Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart

The Girl's Guide to Getting Hitched
Written by       Sophie Hart
Published on   July 17, 2015, by Bookouture
Genre              Women's Fiction, Romance

Rule number one: Keep calm and marry on…

When new mum and events planner Julia Crawford is given the opportunity to plan three weddings, she jumps at the chance. What could possibly go wrong? …

Forget bridezilla, Aimee’s future mother-in-law is the stuff of nightmares – hell bent on taking over the wedding entirely. Worse still, her fiancé, Jon, seems oblivious. Aimee’s starting to wonder if she and her groom-to-be are right for each other after all…

Body shy Debbie is on a mission. She’s determined to shed a lot of pounds before the big day. As the wedding inches closer, will the new Debbie lose sight of what’s really important?

Gill loves Mike and their blended family of five kids to bits, but with a house full of teenage hormones and her eldest, Kelly, struggling with so much change, Gill is feeling the pressure...

As the women bond over cake and a cuppa, can they each resolve their wedding woes before the big day?

I love chick-lit novels, read as many as I can find. I have met countless gorgeous, strong women characters in all these years and most of them are forgotten, unfortunately. But, I strongly feel that I will never forget the Charming ladies from The Girl's Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart. It was a pleasure meeting them all. Absolutely delightful! 

Julia Crawford - a new Mommy and an Event Planner, is busy changing diapers and preparing the meals for her husband, Nick nowadays. Soon, she is exhausted from spending the days inside the walls every day. So, she says 'yes' when an opportunity knocks at the door as a letter from Valerie to arrange her Son's wedding. I loved Julia, she is amazing. Losing temper when overloaded with responsibilities, a series of quarrels when frustrated and pushing hubby down the priority list. I was having a 'I-knew-this-already-smile' whilst reading the bickering and moaning and silly fights they had. They all are true, had a Deja Vu moment then. ** SIGH ** Glad she found the rhythm again and balanced her career and life with ease. Julia is sensible, kind, ambitious and tactful. I loved her the most.

There is no Bridezilla in this novel, but Aimee's vicious future mother-in-law, Valerie. Aimee is dejected, unable to plan her own wedding. All things are getting planned according to Valerie's wishes. She is being smothered by the negligence of Jonathan and a strong desire to have a career, which Jon wouldn't let her. Then, there is Debbie, who has made up her mind to burn off the extra calories before the wedding and Gill, who has troubles planning her wedding because of her naughty crazy children. I liked all the brides-to-be. Aww, How I wish to be calm and composed as Aimee, to have Strong willpower like Debbie and big-hearted as Gill.

The characters are lovely and charming. I can write an essay on them. I loved their husbands too, they are supportive, caring, understanding and are truly madly deeply in love with their wives, irrespective of all the flaws they have. I wager, this novel will make you feel good and put you back in a 'lovey-dovey couple' mood. Read this when you are in a bad mood, especially after those annoying fights and your eyes are puffy, welled up with tears. 

I have not read Sophie Hart's novels afore, but I am determined to read them, particularly The Girl's Guide to Falling in Love to read more Julia Crawford's Story. This book can also  be enjoyed as a stand-alone. Simple and quick. It can be finished in one sitting. There is no room for 'what-would-happen-next' anticipations or excitements, though. The entire story is pretty predictable and each problem resolves before the chapter ends. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book from the first page to the last and happy that everyone got a happy ending/beginning they deserved. To sum up, it is a 'make-you-fee-good' book, full of laughter, friendship, and romance. Highly Recommended!

My Rating: 4.5/5 ( I Loved it <3 )

Happy Reading!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Review: Stirred with Love by Marcie Steele

Stirred with Love
Written by      Marcie Steele
Published on  September 3rd, 2015 by Bookouture
Genre             Women's Fiction



Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them …
Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left.
After the end of her fairytale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart.
Chloe, a young woman with the world at her feet, is struggling to know what to do with her life.
When Lily embarks on a new venture in the picturesque town of Somerley, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around.
But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add neighboring competition, local heart throbs and heartbreak to the mix.
When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds?

Best friends, Coffee, and Romance, can the description be any more tempting? I was allured by the description and the pretty cover and glad, I found it as a heartwarming story.'Stirred with Love' is written by Marcie Steele who loves Cakes, Coffee and hanging around Coffee Shops. She has also written a number of gritty crime stories as Mel Sherratt. 

Stirred by Love is Marcie Steele's first Romance fiction. It tells the story of three strong women- Lily, Kate, and Chloe. Lily, is trying to re-open the Coffee Stop after the husband's death and Kate's husband has asked for a divorce and is reluctant on giving a second chance to save their marriage and Chloe, a teenager girl, who is anxious about what to do with her life. When they all come together to start a new venture, the future unfolds better days for them, but can they face the trials to come?

Stirred with Love is a poignant and moving story with likable characters. I immediately loved Chloe, she is filled with youth and hope and sprinkles cheeriness wherever she goes. Childish or surprisingly mature and bold, sometimes and speaks her mind always, which might be a blunder often. Chloe was lucky to have a supportive and caring family. I was finding a bit of myself in Chloe. Anyhow, my favorite character is Lily Mortimer, she is strong, kind-hearted, and affectionate. It was a delight to read how she held them all together and encouraged to hope and dream again. Her story moved me to tears, the last chapters are loaded with emotions and I ended up worrying for my characters. I would say, Marcie Steele has skillfully written the whole story. I appreciate it. Jane's story was a wee bit fast-paced, I felt. Happy that all turned well at the end, for a Strong, Capable, and an Independent woman she becomes.

I like the novels, in which women muster up the courage to do something new in life, and this is one among them. They all learn from their the mistakes/past and embrace a new life by letting things go. The main theme 'Friendship' is well narrated in the book; the bonding over a cup of coffee, late night chats and treats, being there for each other, confiding the secrets etc. I was cherishing the good times with my pals whilst reading it. However, the story did not appeal as an intriguing one to me. I liked the novel, did not love it. Overall, it is a quick, light-hearted and touching story. Recommended to anyone looking for a heartwarming read.

My Rating : (4/5) I liked it

Happy Reading!
   



Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Review: The Square by Rosie Millard

The Square
Written by      Rossie Millard
Published on  August 1st, 2015 by Legend Press
Genre             Women's Fiction

Jane has the ideal life: a loving husband, beautiful house and delightful son. Her fashionable dinner parties are perfect - and so are her secret assignations with her neighbour's husband, Jay.

From Tracey and her ‘New Money’ lottery winnings to eccentric artist Philip and his pornographic portraits, the residents of North London's most privileged enclave The Square are a very satisfied bunch.

To raise money for communal fencing, the Residents' Association decides to hold a Talent Show, produced by Jane and hosted by TV celebrity Alan Makin. But when the show lurches into public disarray, reputations are shattered and everyone has to learn to live with a far less glossy reality than before.

Phew! Just finished a soap opera, Season 1 and wondering why on earth I watched it. Right, that's exactly how I feel after reading 'The Square' by Rossie Millard. This book sounded like a comedy-drama inside my head. It has too many things going on inside, but I have to admit that the entire story was believable too, 'cause The Daily Newspapers say so. 

The Square is the debut novel by Rossie Millard, who is a British journalist and broadcaster. It is about a group of proud residents in a 'seems-like-posh' residential area. There lives Jane, who has everything she wishes for; a beautiful house, loving husband, adorable son, financially strong, an enviable body shape and an affair with the neighbour's husband too. Tracy's family moved into the Square after winning a lottery, but they are struggling to meet the ends now. Philip and Gilda hardly mingle with anyone in the society. They organise a Talent Show for the fundraising programme and it brings drastic changes in everyone's life.

I hate that itchy 'everyone-read-it-but-not-me' feeling. So, when I found many of the Blogger's review on this book, I added it in TBR. I was happy when the NetGalley approved me a copy of it. The description promised me an exciting read, but it didn't meet my expectations. An easy, quick read and each chapter is described from a character's perspective, thus it was easy to get into their shoes and analyze them. Even though, I did not click with any.'Schadenfreude' is the best word to describe them all. They forget their own predicaments in their neighbour's misfortunes. Apart from that, it is full of extramarital affairs.This novel reminds that "how people SEEM to live is completely different from how they ACTUALLY live". 

My favorite characters are 'Boy' George, an innocent child and Roberta, his Piano Teacher. I was glad when everyone appreciated George on his performance at the talent show.Rossie Millard leaves us with the hints to wonder what would have happened in their lives at the end or maybe, there will be a sequel. I am giving this book a 3.5 star; .5 stars for George, .5 stars for Roberta and 2.5 stars for the story. 

My Rating: 3.5/ 5 (It is Okay)
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Top Ten Non human Characters I like

Oye! 
Tuesday is here and a new TTT too. 

Without further ado,

The Top Ten Non-human Characters I Like 

1.The Beast from Beauty and the Beast


Do I need to explain it? He is my favorite non-human character. Previously, I thought of making a list on animal characters, but changed it to non-human characters, just to include him in.

2.Boxer from Animal Farm by George Orwell
A dedicated and hardworking horse, who believed in the words of the leaders. 

3.Winnie-the-pooh 


A bear who loved honey!

4.Robin from The Secret Garden by  Frances Hodgson Burnett


Yes, the Robin, who helped Mary Lennox to find the key and door to the Secret Garden.

5.Bagheera from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling


The self-appointed guardian of Mowgli. I loved this book as a kid. 

6.Snowy from The Adventures of Tintin

My brother and I loved the adventures of Tintin and Snowy. Do you know? Our pet dog's name is also Snowy, inspired by the real one. 

7.Black Beauty from The Black Beauty


8.Hedwig from The Harry Potter series


Awww.. I wish If I had one!

9. Peter Rabbit from The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Poter


I mean, Who doesn't like Peter Rabbit?

10. Timmy from The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton

Did you like my list? What list did you make today? Do tell me.

Happy Reading!