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Published: 10 November 2016
Reviewed: 18 December 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by HQ Digital as part of blog tour

 

Description:

This Christmas pantomime is about to be the talk of the town!
 
Luna Bay’s festive preparations are well under way and the much anticipated annual pantomime is to be, once again, the highlight of the season. Too bad that the village’s very own actress and darling of Broadway, Alice Woods, isn’t feeling in the mood for Christmas.
Until the pantomime comes under threat and a grief-stricken Alice is forced to push her personal pain aside and step up to direct – after all, the show must go on…
So with (more than) a little help from her new found friends, not to mention one very gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrity, the play begins to come together, but will Alice finally believe that Christmas is a time for miracles after all?
My Thoughts & Review:
I’ve been a fan on the Luna Bay series written by Lynsey James since the beginning and I honestly think that the books get better each time, there’s a lovely cosy warmth in Lynsey’s writing that envelopes you while you read her books and the festive spirit in this one makes it the perfect read in the build up to Christmas.
I should stress that this can be read as a stand alone, although Alice did appear in The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club this is her story.
She has returned to Luna Bay after a very successful career on Broadway, broken hearted and hoping to stay under the radar.  Her mother has other ideas and gets her involved in the local pantomime (albeit reluctantly), where she meets a colourful array of characters including Christabel the pantomime director.  None of this does much to help lift Alice’s spirits in the beginning but soon she has some wonderful ideas to help the performance.
As always, the characters are wonderful creations, so lifelike and relatable.  Alice is a character most readers will instantly take into their hearts, her sadness is almost heart wrenching to read and I wished I could give her a hug and a cuppa to try and help her.  Christabel is a character we have all encountered at some point I would reckon, she’s fiercely proud but her enthusiasm seems to get in the way end things end up in a bit of a fluster (or mess).  It was lovely to see old friends like Emma and Lucy from previous novels, so nice to have that little bit of life moving on for readers of the series.
The ease at which Lynsey James transports her readers into the book means that you can almost see what’s going on and I really wish I could have seen Alice’s ideas for the pantomime as the mental images conjured were wonderful.
Well paced, this was a quick and enjoyable read just like the previous books.
You can buy a copy of The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime here.

About the Author:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime’ written by the lovely Lynsey James and share an extract from this wonderful book as well as the chance to win a £25 theatre voucher with ATG Theatre Group.

This Christmas pantomime is about to be the talk of the town! Luna Bacovery’s festive preparations are well under way and the much anticipated annual pantomime is to be, once again, the highlight of the season. Too bad that the village’s very own actress and darling of Broadway, Alice Woods, isn’t feeling in the mood for Christmas.

Until the pantomime comes under threat and a grief-stricken Alice is forced to push her personal pain aside and step up to direct – after all, the show must go on..

So with (more than) a little help from her new found friends, not to mention one very gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrity, the play begins to come together, but will Alice finally believe that Christmas is a time for miracles after all?


Extract from The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime:

Now that I didn’t have to don my pointy ears and massive shoes at Fox’s, I had time to go to the Breakfast Club again. As I stepped into beautiful Sunflower Cottage on a rainy Friday morning – seven Fridays before Christmas, according to a chalkboard in the hall – I felt a sense of calm wash over me. I always did when I came to the B&B; it was one of those places you couldn’t help but love. A collection of glorious smells wafted out from the kitchen to meet me in the lobby, making my mouth water and stomach growl.

‘Hello?’ I called. It looked like I was the first one there, which was unusual. What if they’d changed the day and I hadn’t realised? Just then, the kitchen door swung open and out popped Emily, one of the B&B’s two main proprietors.

‘Hi, you, long time no see! How’ve you been?’ She came over and enveloped me in a friendly embrace. She smelled of cake batter and freshly baked bread.

I nodded and mumbled a reply, not wanting to say too much in case the whole drama with my job and Mum came spilling out. Nobody would want to hear about that, I guessed.

Emily ushered me through to the cosy dining room and let me pick a table. I selected one by the window, so I could watch the snow that had just started to fall outside. It was in its own private corner, away from everyone else. Just the way I liked it.

‘It’s great to have you back,’ she said. ‘What do you fancy? We’ve just had new menus printed; why don’t you take a look and I’ll come back later.’

I picked up the laminated menu with a picture of a sunflower on the front and studied it. They’d added some new dishes since I was last there: eggs Florentine, home-made muesli and freshly made bagels with salmon and cream cheese. There was so much to choose from that I didn’t know where to start. Should I stick to my favourite of chocolate pancakes or stick my neck out and try something new?

Decisions, decisions…

My musings were interrupted by the front door swinging open and a loud voice booming ‘SHOP!’ As soon as I realised who it was, my insides curdled. Standing in Sunflower Cottage’s foyer was none other than the inimitable director of the Silver Bells pantomime, Christabel Grant herself.

I heard the kitchen door swing open and Noah appeared, a bright smile lighting up his handsome face.

‘Morning, Christabel, are you here for the Breakfast Club?’ he asked.

‘Indeed I am!’ Her voice was so loud it made the whole room vibrate. ‘Please make sure my table by the window is free and I’ll have your delicious eggs Benedict, please.’

She strode into the dining room and I immediately felt a shiver of apprehension travel down my spine. It was easy to see why she was the Silver Bells Theatre’s fearless leader; she was a huge, intimidating sort of woman with an angular face and a crop of sleekly styled brown hair. Her outfit reminded me of a school headmistress’s: a starched white shirt, grey pencil skirt and black blazer. She didn’t look like the carefree, jovial kind of person who usually ran an amateur drama group, that was for sure.

Her keen blue eyes fell on me and she approached my table like a lion would approach an unsuspecting gazelle. She stared at me for what felt like hours and I felt a chill run down my spine. For a moment, it looked like she might come over, but instead she walked past me to the table she wanted to sit at.

I breathed a sigh of relief when Emily reappeared and broke the eerie silence in the dining room.

‘Have you decided what you fancy off the menu yet? We’ve got some fab new dishes for you to try.’

‘I’ll have the chocolate pancakes, please.’ Now that Christabel’s laser-like stare had been diverted elsewhere, I felt a little more at ease. ‘Better the devil you know and all that.’

‘Perfect, I’ll get Noah on the case!’

She lifted the menu and headed off towards the kitchen. I couldn’t help but notice the spring in her step; it had been there ever since she’d made the move to Luna Bay from Glasgow a few months previously. She’d been so uptight at first, but now she was a permanent resident of Cloud Nine. I smiled; it must be wonderful to feel so blissfully happy all the time.

A memory from my days in New York drifted into my mind. Jamie and I are on the pond in Central Park, sitting in our rowing boat and swapping stories. He’s so funny that he makes my sides split with laughter and happy tears stream down my face. The sun is shimmering on the water, bouncing off the leaves on the trees. I can’t imagine a more perfect day; Jamie’s smiling as he rows and that look on his face when he thinks of another story is priceless. It’s little moments of perfection like these that I wish would stretch on for ever. Being on Broadway in front of hundreds of people was always my dream and to actually get to do it is amazing, but Jamie is the dream I never saw coming. He sneaked up on me when I wasn’t looking and I’ve never been happier…

You can buy a copy of The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime here

Don’t forget to click here for your chance to win a £25 theatre voucher with ATG Theatre Group (please note this is only open to UK entries) for full list of venues check out their website).

About the Author:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews, extracts and the chance to win a £25 theatre voucher with ATG Theatre Group

tour-bannersilver-bells-jenny

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The Broken Hearts Book Club

Author: Lynsey James
Published: 12 October 2015
Reviewed: 19 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Carina UK in return for an honest review

3 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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