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Blog Tour | To Provence with Love - TA Williams

Hello Lovely, 

How are you? I would ask if you are enjoying the weather, but right now here in the UK we're having a typical British Summer that feels very much like Autumn and fears of Summer having abandoned us early are unspoken. 

Today however I am stopping by to tell you all about a fabulous story that will have you dreaming of sunshine and escaping for summer from your daily grind. I am grateful to be taking part in the Blog Tour for TA Williams (he's a favourite author of my Mum's) and his new book; To Provence with Love. Shall we take a look? 

To Provence with Love is written by TA Williams, and it is published by HQ Digital. You can purchase a copy via Amazon

Escape to the south of France with this perfect feel-good summer romance!

Anything is possible…

Struggling writer Faye Carter just can’t believe her luck. She’s off to Provence to write the autobiography of a famous film star and she’ll be staying in the stunning chateau!

So when she meets charming (and completely gorgeous) lavender farmer, Gavin, she knows that she’s made the right choice – even if glamourous, elderly Anabelle seems to be hiding something…

But when the sun is shining, the food is delicious and the air smells of honey, anything seems possible. Will the magic of Provence help Faye finally find a happy-ever-after of her own?

At first I admit that reading a story set in France wasn't the top of my list - I'm much more fond of stories set in Italy BUT I'm so glad that I did because I would have missed out on a real gem of a book had I not. To Provence with Love is a beautiful story that had me reminiscing about films I've watched in the past and for this reason I was completely swept away by it. 

TA Williams, writes the most beautifully detailed descriptions of the location that I was utterly romanticized by it all and it had me wanting to book a ticket to the French countryside to see these lavender fields first hand (If only I had my passport!). If you think the cover to this story is beautiful, you will be mesmerized by the actual detail found within it. 

We meet Faye who I could closely identify with - she's a school teacher who loves her job but is rather fed up with the administration of the school -in particular the head teacher. I can 100% relate to this, and so when Faye is offered the chance to do something different and get paid to do it she jumps at it. Like Faye, I've been given the opportunity to get out of a similar school and work somewhere else - not as exciting as Faye's opportunity - but I still grabbed the opportunity for myself.

Faye heads off to Provence to write an autobiography for a famous old lady who is Hollywood royalty and gets swept away with not only listening to Miss Beech's life story unfold, but her own starts to take a turn. Of course there are two men who Faye meets; Obelix...I'll let you discover that one! and Gavin the hunky dark haired gorgeously handsome farmer...But after Faye having her heart broken by her womanizing ex she's not interested and Gavin has Dominique anyway...doesn't he? So she's thrilled that she can be just friends. 

I'll be honest and say that I haven't quite finished the book yet so even though I would never spoil the story for you - I couldn't anyway because I don't know just yet. I'm enjoying the storyline, and the setting. The characters are warming, honest and enjoyable to read. Even though I've not yet finished, I'm awarding this book 4/5 because it is an amazing story, superbly written and a joy to read. 

All About The Author

I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...

I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.

The Book That's Made Me Broody!

Hi Lovely!

How are you? How was your weekend? I'm just sitting with a nice lemon tea (my favourite beverage) and thought I'd pop in and have a chat with you about a book that I've recently read. This book is not only a real treat to read that actually helped me get out of a reading slump, but it's actually making me feel quite broody! Now my Mr is aware I've been reading the book and he said "the book sounds so good" but I don't think he quite knows the fact that its made me broody haha. So, Mr, if you're ready this on your day off whilst I'm being "Moaning Myrtle" - as in Myrtle Warren (HARRY POTTER DAY!) at work then - .... Surprise haha, Your girlfriend is officially broody! 

So, this book is a beautiful looking book that is absolutely a winner in my eyes for being a debut. Let's take a look shall we? 

The First Time Mums' Club is the debut novel from Lucie Wheeler. HarperImpulse published it and I was fortunate enough to receive an eBook ARC from them (Thank you HarperImpulse). 
You can purchase your copy from Amazon here (paperback is out 13th July) 

As you can see, the cover is delightful, and you can obsviosuly work out that it's a novel about a group of women who are pregnant - for the first time. Shall we see what the blurb says? 

A gorgeous, heartwarming debut for fans of Giovanna Fletcher, Paige Toon and The Unmumsy Mum!
Meet Pippa…
After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.
A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it's clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls' good news.
And Ellie…
A drunken one-night stand and Ellie's life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie's baby…and potentially the love of her life!
For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

I loved this book from start to finish, I genuinely did. I am very fortunate that 98% of the books I receive are spot on with regards to my interests and this was one of those. I love supporting debut authors because you are potentially holding their dream, their 'book baby' in your hands and they are trusting you to be honest and be gentle with it. This can sometimes scare me as a blogger because I always have to remind myself - that I have nothing of their previous work to compare it to, this is it. This is the first impression going out into the world.

Lucie, I'll put you at ease; as far as I'm concerned you have a beautiful bouncing book baby here and I can't wait to see what you bring us next. 

So why did I like it so much? 

Well, firstly the topic; new mums. This is something that of course at my age I've thought about and I've talked about - a lot, it is something that I've literally dreamt about on many occasions. Literally. Becoming a mum for the first time as much as it can be joyous, i'm sure that a lot of mums will agree with me here when I say that it can be the most terrifying, emotional, scary yet exhilarating experience ever. I know for myself personally, as much as I a m looking forward to becoming a Mum - and believe me I am - I've got the crochet homemade baby blanket patterns, ideas and booties all ready in my mind, along with the nursery decor, it actually does scare me a little. 

Lucie shares this journey with you in The First Time Mums' Club so brilliantly and she weaves in so many possibilities for a first time pregnancy that I am sure there is something that everyone can identify with. We have the couple that's been trying for years, couples who've tried IVF, same sex marriage and parenthood, couples who break up, couples who do the unthinkable, and then we have the "friends with benefits" couple. It's jam packed with gorgeous storylines that you will find it very hard to become bored with the story. 

So many important topics came up in this book that I feel I need to mention; same sex marriage and the trials and tribulations that come with it, miscarriage, abortion, decision making, infidelity, twins, juggling motherhood and work. And that's just to share a few. 

All I will say, is that the epilogue could have been lengthened and turned into a follow up book because I would have loved to have read about the first year as parents. Other than that, it is a splendid debut, a spectacular storyline and one that I will be recommending for a long time to come. Congratulations Lucie!!! 

Therefore I am awarding this book 4.5/5 stars. 

We are all ONE

Hello Lovely, 

I've started to get back into my reading now that University has finished for the year (Yay!). I feel that I haven't been able to fully immerse myself into reading for quite some time but that renewed sense of passion and enjoyment has returned, gladly. 

Today I want to share a book with you that I had on my kindle sitting patiently for some time and I managed to read it only through it being required reading for my final university assignment. I believe this book to be one of a kind and one that truly touched me deeply with the topic it centred around. If you've not yet read it then I urge you to do so at the earliest possible time. It will warm your heart and break it utterly and completely. 

One is written by Sarah Crossan, published by Bloomsbury Children's, has 192 pages. I read the ebook version that I purchased myself and which you can purchase here

This book won a lot of awards which is why it was a required reading for my children's literature university course. Shall we see what the blurb says? 





Grace and Tippi don't like being stared and sneered at, but they're used to it. They're conjoined twins - united in blood and bone. 

What they want is to be looked at in turn, like they truly are two people. They want real friends. And what about love?

But a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead for Tippi and Grace. One that could change their lives more than they ever asked for...

This moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate? 

The ONE book you have to read this summer! Incredibly moving and extraordinarily crafted, it explores the unbreakable bond and love between sisters. Winner of The CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2016.

You can see from the blurb that this book sounds brilliant can't you? I have to say that I found this book to be an incredibly easy read and that was for 2 reason's; (1) It was a beautifully gripping storyline that just hooked you in and made you want to keep turning pages and (2) because of the format in which it was set out in. The layout of the text in this book looked a like the way in which one sees poetry written and published. 

What I loved about this book was that you could very easily tell that Sarah has researched the storyline with incredible detail, compassion and a level of authentic understanding. As this book is the story of conjoined twins; Tippi and Grace the story is narrated by only one twin. We learn the 'normality' of their life and the fact that they are very much aware of 'those questions' so many want to ask about their daily lives that they dare not to. Questions such as; "Is it hard to shower and see each other naked?" "What's it like when you go to the toilet?" "Will you be able to have children of your own?", "Do you wish that you were normal?". All very valid, and private questions. However what this book does spectacularly well is bring to light the true question; What is "normal"? 

But the reality of their life is that during their childhood, as the children growing up today, we live in a very social media focused world. We see it every day with events happening all around the world, in seconds, an event, an accident, or for teenagers today, an embarrassing moment in their life can be streamed live across the world at the touch of a button. Tippi and Grace live in this world which is hard enough for any teenager, but for conjoined twins who are prone to being looked at and treated like a circus act it is understandably difficult. 

Tippi and Grace are my sheroes this year. They embrace all of life's 'challenges' and they swat them away without a second thought. However, as we see in this book, being so 'medically challenged' as some would say leaves them open to all sorts of medical challenges. Challenges that not even the medical staff at the top of their game know the answers to. And I for one can completely understand just how terrifying that thought is. 

We see that Tippi and Grace are just normal girls, growing up, learning how to navigate their way in life and the trials of being a teenager. Subjects that we take for granted; falling in love, dating, learning to drive, recovering after an illness, and such. 

Without spoiling the story, I have to say that the ending utterly broke me. I lay in bed eager to finish this book before falling asleep and I sobbed my heart out. I sobbed because of the true brilliance of Sarah's talent for writing, I sobbed for Tippi, and I sobbed for Grace. But just like in recent weeks here in the UK, at times when things are really horrific and heartbreaking in the most painful of ways, we see figures of the public pull together and show true compassion and humanity. If anything, this book truly shows that no matter just how ripped apart we can be and how life can throw the most cruelest of curveballs of loss, pain, and difficult decisions, it can also bring with it unconditional love, understanding, togetherness and unity. 

Truly this book shows that no matter what. We are all ONE. Which is why I easily award this book 5/5 stars. 

I would like to dedicate this review to all the victims that have suffered here in the UK in the past few weeks; the victims of the Westminster Attack, the beautiful people who are victims of the Manchester Attack, and the victims of the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower Fire. Each and every ONE of you are in my heart, faces and names that I promise I will never forget. My love, my thoughts, and my prayers are forever with each and every one of you. 

We are all ONE. 

Why BrexitLand is as Entertaining as it Sounds

Hello lovely, 

How have you been? We really must meet up here more often with a cosy cup of coffee. I can't stay long today as I've got a lot going on at the moment which is why I'm not popping in here as much as I used to but I do want to have a coffee with you and tell you about this book I read recently. 

As you know, here in the UK we're heading to the polls in a few days time and we've had some truly devastating attacks in our country that I think has shocked us all to the core. When times get tough I like to escape by reading a good book. It helps to just "get away from it all" in your mind. 

Get comfy and let me tell you about my latest read that you simply have to read. 

Alice in BrexitLand is written by Lucien Young and published by Penguin Random House, part of Ebury Press. I am grateful to the publishers for sending me an advanced review copy to read. 

You can purchase from Amazon here

When I read the blurb the first time, I had to smile. I knew it was going to be enjoyable. Have a read and see what you think; 

"Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. 

Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts...

She meets such characters as the Corbynpillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Humpty Trumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit. 

Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?"

Without giving away too much, I have to say that quite a few times through reading this book I found myself giggling away to myself. If you're anything like me when it comes to election time you recognise how important it is that we each vote, but tend to get really P-ed off with all the constant backbiting that goes on, the arguments and the sheer drivel and 'empty promises' that get made. 

Whilst this book doesn't feature on a general election - what we're going to the polls for in a few days - it does relay the many thoughts and feelings when the UK voted to leave the EU and Brexit became a thing. 

The characters are all based on the traditional children's story of Alice in Wonderland - with a twist of going down a rabbit hole with Dave the white rabbit (who sounded like he'd gone to a posh expensive school for rabbits!) heading down the hole to BrexitLand. 

People who find politics - especially right now - a joke will enjoy this book, and even though it does make digs at Polish workers (Ahem! I am of Polish descent (My Grandfather came to the UK in WW2 to escape the Nazi's who had tortured his family before his own eyes - and just whilst we're on it... he immediately signed up with the British Army and fought against the Nazi's) - so you know... be careful as it can really offend some people! They aren't the only Europeans who have come to the UK recently from the EU) it is all rather tongue in cheek.  

It's a fun enjoyable read and one that I'm sure people will enjoy reading as it's just a fairly quick read. 

It's not going to become the "new" classic, but right now, with the times we are living in, and the right audience, it could be a fun read of the moment. 

So, my overall rating has to be 3/5 on this one. 

Why Italy Stole My Heart in 2 Books

Hello Lovely, 

Thank you for stopping by, it's been a long time hasn't it? But as you can see, I've had a bit of a renovation here, we've had paint charts, material swatches, and in the end we came up with this... a gorgeous Cath Kitson inspired cosy nook in blues and reds, florals and a gorgeous bunting to boot! I do hope you love it as much as I do. 

I'm glad that you stopped by today actually, because I wanted to tell you about two absolutely gorgeous books I've read during the renovation - you just have to down tools and relax sometimes don't you think? 

Well, these books are by one of my favourite authors, you've perhaps heard of her; Tilly Tennant ... yes, she has two gorgeous new books out and they scrumptiously follow on from each other. I love it when you discover a series of books and fall in love with them don't you? These books are set in my ultimate dream country; Italy, Rome in fact. You might remember me saying that I can't wait to travel to Rome with my handsome other half, well I had a bit of a sneaky trip reading these books. 

Shall I tell you more? Good, I was hoping you'd say that. Grab a cuppa, and snuggle down in my cosy nook  for the love of books... 

Rome Is Where The Heart Is by Tilly Tennant, is published by Bookouture. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced review copy in ebook format (thank you Bookouture). 

You can purchase from Amazon here 

The blurb is delightfully exciting, here read it yourself and see what you think; 

"Can a holiday romance ever have a happy ending? Escape with Kate to the sun-drenched city of Rome where a love affair is just about to begin…

When Kate’s husband Matt dumps her on Friday 13th she decides enough is enough – it’s time for her to have some fun and so she hops on a plane to Rome. A week of grappa and gelato in pavement cafes under azure blue skies will be just what the doctor ordered.

What she doesn’t count on is meeting and falling for sexy policeman Alessandro. But the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly – Alessandro has five meddling sisters, a fearsome mama and a beautiful ex Orazia. They’re all certain that Kate is not the girl for him.

Can Kate and Alessandro’s love last the distance? Or will she return home with the one souvenir she doesn’t want – a broken heart …"

I don't know about you but I am a complete magpie to any book that even slightly mentions Italy, so when I saw this beautiful book cover with the title "Rome is Where The Heart Is" I fell instantly in love. I recall gazing at the ebook cover for quite some time as I didn't want to turn the page to begin reading as it would mean I would no longer see the cover. 

However, intrigue soon got the best of me and I couldn't wait to begin this story. I was swept into the storyline like a sweet breeze, however the setting at first was anything but when the domestic situation Kate found herself in with her husband, Matt left much to be desired for. Matt was a complete and utter idiot for doing what he did, but I think, Kate was better off in the end. 

Doing what she should have done all along, Kate followed her heart (and mine) and boarded a plane to Rome...if only she'd told me she was going  :)  

The description of Rome had you feeling torn between downing the pages to book a flight yourself, and eagerly gripping the book in order to not miss one single detail out. Tilly created such highly detailed descriptions that you almost kid yourself into thinking that you were there yourself! Each chapter came with more exquisite imagery, and the plot literally thickened especially when that sexy Italian policeman in his uniform showed up...between just you and I, I was categorically drooling myself for Alessandro. 

The romance that blossomed between those pair in my opinion could give Romeo and Juliet a run for their money, but set in such a romantic place, romance had to blossom didn't it? But, as in all truly beautiful love stories - they do not always run smoothly...

I am giving this book 5/5 because I simply loved it!  

I devoured each page like a delicious bowl of pasta (I love my carbs), and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next book to see exactly what happened with Kate and Alessandro. Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait that long before ... 

A Wedding in Italy by Tilly Tennant, again published by Bookouture. I had the privilege of reading an Advanced Review Copy in eBook format. (Thank you again, Bookouture). 

You can purchase from Amazon here

Fancy reading what this one's all about? Let's read the blurb... 

Sun, spaghetti and sparkling prosecco. When it comes to finding love, there’s no place like Rome… 

Kate is living the dream with her gorgeous boyfriend Alessandro in his native city, but the reality is sometimes a little less romantic than she’d hoped. Every day in her new home is a fight against leaking pipes, her cantankerous landlord and her less-than-perfect grasp of the Italian lingo. 

All around her there is talk of weddings, but when a secret from her past is thrust out into the open, Kate must fight to prove to Alessandro’s Mamma – and the rest of his formidable family – that she truly is Italian marriage material. 

With the women in Alessandro’s life on a mission to break them apart, the cracks begin to show and Kate starts to question if Alessandro really is the man of her dreams. Can love and the city of romance conquer all, or is that just a fairy-tale?

Well, this one had me excited from the very beginning as it mentions a wedding. I knew of a wedding to take place but the plot wasn't exactly what I thought. Alessandro's sister was getting married to her true love, and then there was a 'black sheep of the family' that showed up - *whispers* "he was divorced!", and then there was the American who called Kate and mentioned Vegas. I can't say anymore. 

What I can mention is that I really sympathised with Kate as she tried so hard to make a new life for herself in Rome. She searched for a new job, she worked hard, she ignored those who doubted her, she had troublesome meddling women in her life who in my opinion just needed to mind their own business! And then she had the sexy Italian policeman in and out of his uniform.. I'm not jealous. Honest. 

Italian tradition means that getting married to a non catholic, non italian divorced woman is a HUGE no no! So Kate has to prove to Alessandro's mum that she is marriage material. 

I adored this book with all my heart, both books in fact. However, I am going to be a bit picky here - I just wish the final chapter was stretched out and made into a third book because I really think it could have been. BUT I am hopeful still that we see another installment in this series because I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the twists and turns in the plot, I love the important issues raised in the book, and I just miss them to be honest. I've had book-hangover since finishing this. 

I am giving this gorgeous book 4/5 just because I wanted it to be stretched a bit further. 

If Italy is a place your heart travels to, and you love romance, then this series of books is a MUST this year. 

Have you read these books? Let me know below, leave me a little message because I've got to pop out now, but I'll read them when I get back. 

I've loved having you around, please come back soon, and we can chat more about books in my cosy nook for the love of books,

Love Dawn-Tracy xxx