Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’


** My thanks to Rachel and Helen for my copy of this and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **



Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.

Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.

When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.

My Thoughts & Review:

When a book title has something to do with knitting it’s almost destined to catch my eye, and this one certainly did.  The description made it sound like a perfect read for a wintery cold Sunday afternoon so I curled up on the sofa with my kindle and a hot chocolate and soon forgot about the housework.

This is such a lovely and cosy story, with characters that readers cannot help but take into their hearts and want to hug close.  And the wool shop, well that’s got to be my favourite part of the story!  Having visited one or two wool shops over the years (ok so many wool shops), I can officially say I’ve never been to one as amazing as that described by Helen!  I definitely would like to go to it though, it sounded so wonderful.  The rainbow of shades of yarn mentioned sounded quite magical, the descriptions of the yarns, the smells, it all felt so real as if I were standing in The Knitting Box.

The way that this story is written, giving readers a glimpse at the perspectives of both Cleo and Dylan means that you get to know them both, get really see what they are like and in turn feel connected and invested in them.  Cleo’s assistant Kaisha is a lovely character, her enthusiasm and passion are wonderfully written and I’d love to see her in her own novel!
Christmas in New York is always a lovely setting and in this book it’s perfect!  It works so well with the budding romance between Cleo and Dylan, the “will they, won’t they” feel to it all just makes for a more enjoyable read.

You can buy a copy of Christmas at the Little Knitting Box via:

Amazon UK
Amazon US



CATLKB - bookbirthdaygiveaway prize

For your chance to Win Christmas at the Little Knitting Box paperback & Galaxy Minstrels (UK Only) please click on this link to the Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

Website – http://www.helenjrolfe.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

Twitter  – https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I’ve got the great honour of sharing this exciting news with you too!

Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn (New York Ever After, Book 2)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but is it the time to fall in love? 

As the flames on the log fire flicker and the snowflakes swirl above the New York streets, maybe this Christmas could be the one that changes everything…

When Darcy returns to Manhattan, she’s put in charge of the Inglenook Inn, a cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Inn needs a boost in bookings if it’s to survive the competition, so Darcy is convinced that hosting Christmas this year is the answer. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a face from the past, which can only spell trouble.

Myles left England behind and took a job in New York. It’s a step forwards in his career, and has the added bonus of being nowhere near his family. He’s also hoping to avoid Christmas, the worst time of the year. But when his company puts him up at the Inglenook Inn and he recognises Darcy, it isn’t long before they clash. 

When disaster strikes, can Myles and Darcy put their differences aside to make Christmas at the Inglenook Inn a success?

Publication Date – 12tth December 2017

Pre-order Now!

Amazon UK


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** My thanks to Josie at Ebury for my copy of this book **



Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…

My Thoughts & Review:

I’m sure we can agree that I’m a sucker for a pretty book cover by now, I have no problem admitting that a snazzy or interesting cover will grab my eye and so when I saw The Toymakers I was instantly wowed.  The colouring and images were eye-catching, beautiful and screamed “READ ME”.  Although this book isn’t out until February 2018, I was delighted to receive an early copy to fall in love with.

The early 1900s setting of this book adds to the magic of the tale for me, it’s a time when innocence and wonder still exist in the minds of children, when families would make the trip to a toyshop for Christmas gifts and be awed by the magic within the store, and that’s just what happens at Papa Jack’s Emporium in London.   But to offset this wonderland of toys, there’s the tale of young Cathy Wray, a pregnant fifteen year old girl who sees a seasonal add in the local paper for Papa Jack’s Emporium.

With narration through Cathy’s eyes, we truly experience the Emporium at it’s best.  The wonder and excitement she experiences seeing the displays and the toys really sparked something within me, reminding me of toys from childhood, the innocence and happiness Christmases past.
The way that the toys are described conjured such crisp and vivid images in my head, such amazing creations that I wish I could physically see – they alone make me wish that this would be turned into a Christmas film!

The real story however, really begins when the Emporium closes with the flowering of the first snowdrops.  From here we get to see a different side of the characters in this book, we see a different side to Kaspar Godman, we learn more about Emil Godman, and more importantly we learn the true meaning of the toys made for the Emporium by the man behind it all, Papa Jack.

As the plot moves on in time, the characters mature and in turn their perspectives do too, we begin seeing events through the eyes of an adult Cathy, the troubles of adult responsibility lying heavy on her shoulders as the years have advanced towards WWI.  The change in tone from the childlike innocence at the beginning of the book is superb and really gives the reader the impression of character growth, facing reality of the world around them and how events outwith their control have impacted upon them.
Seeing the way that war played a part in the lives of these characters was so well written, the stark contrast with the childhood innocence was powerful and almost painful to read in places.

Whilst there are undoubtedly moments of pure joy woven expertly throughout the plot, there are also moments of heartbreaking sadness.  Whilst reading I was aware of a lump in my throat, hoping that the inevitable could somehow be crafted into a magical event to change the outcome.  I think it’s a sign of a well written novel that it can pull so many emotions from the reader, and this one certainly did.

A superbly written novel which is in equal parts enjoyable as it intelligent.  The themes throughout make this a book that you can take so much from, there are snippets into the minds characters who survive great sadness, loss, wars.  There are characters who evolve and become shadows, and there are ones who remind you to never forget the magic of being a child.

Now to find somewhere that will make a wind-up patchwork dog……..

You can pre order a copy via Amazon UK



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Author: Holly Martin

Published: 22 September 2016
Reviewed: 29 September 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review



This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts…

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away.

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again.

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace.

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home?

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas.

My Thoughts & Review:

Reading any of Holly Martin’s books is like curling up on the sofa with your best friend and catching up, so when I discovered Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky I knew I would need to immediately download a copy.

For fans of the White Cliff Bay series this is a departure from the much loved setting and characters we have come to  know and love, but in turn this does give us some shiny new characters to get to know and a wonderful new setting to dream about.

Piper Chesterfield is once again on Juniper Island, which is part of the Shetland Islands.  She’s there to review the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel, a winter resort with log cabins, a glass palace and glass igloos.  Unfortunately for Piper, the resort is owned and run by Gabe Whitaker, her childhood best friend and at one point, the love of her life.  For Piper this will be an incredibly hard assignment, Gabe broke her heart when she was 17 but she has to be professional and do what she came to do.
Gabe is just as stunned to see Piper as she is to see him, but he has other concerns to prioritise, his four year old daughter Wren.

The attention to detail in this book is beyond belief, Holly Martin usually pulls out all the stops in her books to make the reader feel utterly immersed in the settings but this book truly goes one step beyond.  The Christmas market that Piper visits needs to become reality.  It sounds completely wonderful, the snow globe shop has to be one of my favourites.  The little details about each of the shops and villagers brings the market alive, transporting the reader to a perfect little Christmas Wonderland.
In all honesty, all of the settings in this book sound magical, Holly Martin knows how to conjure locations that will capture the hearts of her audience.  The hotel is vividly described, the magnificent ice palace, the ice carvings (provided by a character in a previous book), it is all so well written that it sounds real!

The story combines humour (the Shetland ponies immediately spring to mind) and romance effectively.  This is a heart warming read and perfect to start you in the Christmas spirit.  Holly’s writing style has the reader curled up in a cosy embrace with a story that flows well and is a joy to read.

I just need to read  Christmas Under a Starlit Sky next!

You can buy a copy of Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky here.


About The Author:

Holly lives in sunny Bedfordshire in a house with round windows. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 6 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014.

Follow her on Twitter @hollymartin00

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