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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 so excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for A.L. Michael’s “Be My Baby” and share my review of this lovely book with you.  There’s also a wee giveaway running so be sure to add your entry for the chance to win a goodie bag of healthy foodie treats!

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Published: 7 November 2016
Reviewed: 14 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by HQ Digital as part of the blog tour

 

Description:

Two’s company…

If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.

Three’s a crowd?

But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?

My Thoughts & Review:

Be My Baby is the third and final instalment of The House on Camden Square series, and if I’m honest, I’m a little sad to be leaving these wonderful characters.  The first books in the series being Goodbye Ruby Tuesday  and Nice Day For A White Wedding (my review of book two can be found here).  Technically this can be read as a stand alone book, there are enough details given so that the reader can understand the character connections etc.

This book focuses on Mollie’s story.  Mollie is a single mum who has been raising her daughter Esme (aged 11 going on 30 it seems, Esme is wise beyond her years).  Mollie is still hurt that her ex Jamie left when she was pregnant with their daughter.  A chance sighting of Mollie on TV promoting her healthy eating for children “Mollie Makes” is enough for Jamie to get in contact.  Through a raft of misunderstandings and the subsequent explanations Mollie agrees that Esme can see her dad so that the pair can work on building a relationship.

As always the characters in this are wonderful, Andi Michael has created such vivid and realistic personas.  Esme is a darling, very much her own person and not one to fit in the mould.  She really comes across as realistic and quite a wise character.  Mollie is a great character, the reader really gets a feel for her struggles as she tries to accept the bond between her daughter and Jamie forming, the fact that she was a lone parent for so long means she finds this hard and it comes across well through the writing.  She’s also quite a humorous character, the dialogue in the opening chapter where she was on a date had me giggling from the get go.
The relationship between mother and daughter was very well written, their bond was strong and the sensitivity shown towards the subject of Jamie’s absence was handled well.

The writing style makes this a joy to read, it’s entertaining, light hearted and witty.  Yes, there are sad moments in the book, but there are humorous ones too.  A nice quick read that keeps a reader interested throughout.

You can buy a copy of Be My Baby here

Don’t forget to add your entry for the giveaway!  The prize is a goodie bag of healthy foodie treats inspired by one of the characters in the novel – closing date for entries is 12th December.

About the Author:

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A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.

She’s a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she’ll settle for lying on the page.

To find out more about A.L. Michael and her books you can go to her website https://almichael.com or follow her on Twitter @ALMichael_

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