Featured Slider

Sign Up For Updates & New Blog Posts Delivered Straight To Your Inbox

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 

Blog Tour | Happiness Millionaire - Janet Jones

Title | Happiness Millionaire - Positive Images for a R.I.C.H and Powerful Life 

Author | Janet Jones 

Publisher | HapMill Publishing 

Source | Review Copy from Bookollective

Format | Paperback 

Purchase Link | Buy Here

Author Website |  Happiness Millionaire

Rating | 5/5 

Blurb | Get ready to be a Happiness Millionaire and change your life forever.
Are you struggling to reach your potential, believing there is more to life but don’t know how to change it?
Perhaps you are feeling unconfi dent, unfulfi lled or even a little vulnerable?
Chances are you’re su ering from a poverty mindset, born out of fear. You’re not alone. In fact, I used to feel the same way. Like you, I was stuck, struggling with life. And, through discovering 13 time-tested life principles and creating powerful visual imagery, I discovered how to turn my life around and achieve a R.I.C.H life—
Relationships, Income, Confidence, Health.
In short, I became a Happiness Millionaire, and now it’s your turn!
Through my workshops, I’ve helped people just like you break through to a R.I.C.H. mindset and a ful lling life. And now, the transformative power of the 13-positive images from the workshops are available to you in this book, to work through at your own pace. Take the journey they o er and move towards that worthy goal for which we are all striving: happiness.

When I was asked if I would like to read and review a copy of a book called "Happiness Millionaire" I was always going to say "YES!" because to be honest, the title contains two of my most favourite words, and because I adore personal development. 

Upon opening the package containing my "Happiness Millionaire" I instantly knew that what I was holding was far more than another 'self help' or 'personal development' book. I knew what I had in my hands was important. Was it intuition? Or was it wishful thinking? I don't really care to label it, but I know now after reading it, that I was indeed correct in my 'prediction'. 

Janet Jones has written a 'textbook' if you like on how you can go from P.O.O.R to R.I.C.H. She has very humbly shared her own story in what can only be described as a highly detailed, beautifully honest memoir, more so than any self help book I've ever read. I instantly became hooked into the transformation because of just how honest, 'normal' and insightful this introduction was. I appreciate an author's honesty, especially when it is so detailed as Janet's. 

As you dive further into the book, which believe me, this book is the most transformative page turner I've ever read (and I've read hundreds!), you are led step by step on your own journey to become a Happiness Millionaire. As Janet shares with you the best tools and techniques, insights and images that will lead you to a R.I.C.H life. 

I have to mention that this book is very much about changing your mindset, which is my very own niche which I specialise in as a Coach online, and it will without a doubt change your mindset. You may struggle at first, because we're so used to having our hands firmly gripped to the wheel of life, but in time you will gradually learn to trust and let go. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I have no doubt that I will go back to it time and time again. I absolutely highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a Happiness Millionaire...that's everyone right? 

Review | Love Your Lady Landscape - Lisa Lister

Title | Love Your Lady Landscape

Author | Lisa Lister

Publisher | Hay House UK 

Source | Review Copy 

Format | Paperback Copy 

Purchase Link | Buy Here 

Rating | 5/5 

Blurb | Love Your Lady Landscape is a healing journey through the terrain of what it is to be a woman. When a woman isn't in alignment with her feminine essence, she may experience exhaustion and overwhelm, lack sexual desire or passion for life and generally feel 'out of sync'. 
In this book, Lisa Lister uses a myriad of tools and practices such as Earth based spirituality, shamanic teachings, movement and dance, and breath and sound work to teach women how to reconnect to their feminine wisdom in order to start rebalancing all aspects of their lives. Based on Lisa's own 11-year journey of healing and reconnecting with her body, this book will help you:
  • release guilt and shame from the past
  • explore self-pleasure and sensuality
  • understand, read and connect with your body's signs and signals 
  • learn about your menstrual cycle and its connection with the rhythms of nature and the universe 
  • discover the sacred art of receiving
  • express your creativity 
  • find your voice to communicate your needs, wants and desires 
Love Your Lady Landscape will move women into a fiercely loving and healing relationship with their body and will teach them how to use its cycles and signs to create a life of vitality, fulfilment and creation.

The idea of following my cycle daily, even monthly used to be something I used to think I'd consider when I was ready to start a family. I thought it was something you did when you wanted to zone in on your fertility. Lisa educated me in a way that has changed my life. 

There's this saying that "you know your body better than anyone" and although I can say that yes that's true, but I think I only truly got to know my body intimately when I began following Lisa's guidance in Love Your Lady Landscape. 

I found that by tracking my menstrual cycle not only did I find that I knew when my cycle was going to come on my period but I knew how my emotions would be, what I would be energetically up to doing and I could look forward to the creatively that literally flowed my way. What Lisa teaches you goes way beyond the usual; "Oh I'm tired when I'm on my period, I'm sore and achy, I don't feel like doing anything, I think I have around a 28 day cycle, and I get ratty before I'm due". All that is beautiful and it's great if you do recognise yourself there (or in your own version).

But what if you could pinpoint what exact day you would be feeling weepy, what day the anxiety and lack of self esteem would say hello? What if you could plan your schedule to know exactly what days are good for making plans, for taking on that big project, for putting your project together? What if you knew exactly when you were going to feel aroused and horny for your man? 

I could go on, and in fact I will... 

What if you could learn about many 'female' issues and how to love them anyway? Lisa talks about the actual 'practical' health care for "down there" which I think is absolutely bloody fabulous (pun intended!). So many women, young women are walking around clueless as to how to really love themselves, and love their most intimate parts. Lisa is like the Big Sister you can turn to. I think every high school girl should be given a copy of this - because if their sex education classes are anything like mine were (Male teacher handing out worksheets of the anatomy of both sexes, gave us a textbook page to turn to, and we were told to read the information in the textbook, fill in the labels, fill in the missing words in the sentences and then glue and stick it in our books!) then this book is DESPERATELY needed so that girls KNOW their lady landscape and are unapologetic about it. 

I believe through reading this book, that as a 28 year old woman I have become far more clued up, feminine and indeed I've tapped into my SHE power as Lisa deems it. Even my partner is clued up on MY cycle so to speak so he knows when to cuddle me, when I need that extra TLC and reassurance, and when to leave me the F alone, and it's all with LOVE and RESPECT for my Lady Landscape. 

Who would I recommend this book to? 

If you a woman, a young woman, are bleeding monthly, are due to bleed monthly, have bled monthly and are now in your wise years, then you should read this.

If you get hormonal before/during your period

If you don't get hormonal before/during your period

If you want to shake off the shame and guilt for being feminine and having time each month where you bleed

If you want to finally stand the F u and honour yourself as a female

Listen, are you female? Yes? Then you should read it. Everyone included. All inclusive.  

Lisa, your work is world changing, young women, and women all around the world are waking up and getting clued up on their most vital and sacred aspect of themselves. For that, I applaud you. I sincerely wish and hope that at some point, sooner rather than later, every female in the world either has a copy of this book and read it, or has read a copy. That would be epically life changing. 

Review | Thank & Grow Rich - Pam Grout

Title | Thank & Grow Rich 

Author | Pam Grout 

Publisher |   Hay House UK + Hay House 

Source | Review Copy 

Format | Paperback 

Purchase Link | Buy Here 

Rating | 4/5

Blurb | There are a lot of gratitude books out there, but none quite like this, which comes with actual gifts: a sign, a totem, an answer, and a present from the natural world!
Most of us believe we can think our way out of problems. We believe that if we just exert enough mental effort, we will pull up a solution to whatever ails us.
And that has gotten us nowhere.
So in this book, we’re going to forget thinking . . . and start thanking. This playful but easy practice has the power to reconnect us with our true nature. When we observe the world from a place of gratitude, when we use our attention to spot beauty and gaze at wonder, we tune in to a frequency of magic. This joy channel is the most powerful on the planet and has the capability to radically change our lives.
Brazen gratitude provides a portal—an entry point—straight into the heart of the field of infinite possibilities described in Pam Grout’s bestseller E-Squared. It enables you to align with the spaciousness of the cosmic energy field, the spaciousness that makes your life a love-shining prism. Thanking puts you on an energetic frequency—a vibration—that calls in miracles and will make you rich (in spirit), happy, and madly in love (with life).
This book also offers a different perspective on abundance, which is not just financial capital. It shows readers how to grow and expand creative capital, social capital, rip-roaring good times capital, and much, much more!

I admit that it's taken me a really long time to FINALLY read this book when usually it would be the one type of book I jump at reading, but I am so glad that I read it when I did. 

Firstly I have to say, don't confuse this book with "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. This book is NOT about ways to think your way to monetary wealth, this book is about more than just money. This book is about gratitude and it's not your typical gratitude book! 

Pam's writing is engaging, honest, unapologetic with hints of humour. I did read her famous "E-squared" and tried the experiments but perhaps due to my lack of belief in 'the universe' actually bringing what I expected (or wanted to expect) it never happened. Yet "Thank & Grow Rich" provided blessings DAILY!! 

Every day without fail I did what Pam suggested, I began my day by saying "Something amazingly awesome is going to happen to me today", followed by listing 3 blessings before I even got out of bed. And every day something amazingly awesome DID happen to me. There was one day that I didn't say it, I actually said "Oh I'm not even going to bother today because I just know that today's going to be rubbish" and you know what? It was bloody rubbish. So I immediately went back to my morning routine that was working so well for me, and the awesome stuff began happening again. 

In the book there are 27 exercises (or party games as Pam calls them)  to bring your awareness to gratitude daily. You get the party game, the party favour and the pudding (as in the proof is in the pudding). There is so much choice as to how you can cultivate a grateful mind and heart and even if you only do the one thing that I did (as mentioned above) your life will improve - I'm the proof in the pudding! 

I really enjoyed reading the book, learning more about the many ways that can creatively expand your grateful awareness. Highly recommend if you want to increase your levels of happiness, or just want to try to be happier on a daily basis. 

Review | Don't Stop Me Now - Colleen Coleman

A hilarious feel good read about finding your feet when life pulls the rug out from under you.

Poppy Bloom planned to finish her PhD and walk straight into a job at her university. But here she is, unemployed, unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, and living back at her mum’s in her vampire-themed childhood bedroom.

Not exactly what she was hoping for.

But when Poppy sets her mind to something, nothing can stand in her way. She scores herself an internship at the hottest radio station in town, joins a netball team, and renews her friendship with her oldest friend Leanne. Spending time with Leanne’s gorgeous twin Tom is just a bonus…

But life has a way of tripping you up when you least expect it, and Poppy soon has to decide where her priorities lie… With new friends, a new career and a new romance, can Poppy keep everyone happy, or is everything about to tumble down around her? 

A laugh-out-loud story about friendship, second chances, and new love, perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Marian Keyes and Jane Costello.

You cannot read this title without hearing the song in your head! I dare you to try!

I laughed out loud so much that I cried reading this book, but not because I was laughing at the main character, Poppy, but rather laughing with her. I felt that I could have written this book, and I just have to thank Colleen for FINALLY writing an honest book about what really goes on with graduates and people who all their life have done the 'right thing', played by the rules, right from Nursery (or Reception class in Poppy's case) and still get sh%t on! Thank you! 

The plot is unique - in regards to anything I've ever read before, describing it as the perfect book for Lindsey Kelk fans is perfect, and I'd go as far as saying any Sophie Kinsella fans - particularly the Shopaholic series would LOVE this book if it's the humour, comedy and relatable characters that float your boat. 

We meet Poppy who is getting her PhD and finally becoming Doctor Poppy. She thinks the skies the limit for her now, that she'll even be given a fellowship. But life - the crafty cunning swine has other plans for Poppy. At first I wondered if anything was going to go right - it was like all her bad luck came at once. The fellowship, the boyfriend and the best friend! And I know what that feels like! 

But despite Poppy's bad luck, we get to go on a journey with her that sees her playing netball (after basically getting dragged out of bed by her team mates), take a shine to a blast from her past, grieve for someone close to her, and become quite the talent when it comes to radio... 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and really can't wait to see what comes next from Colleen - she's an author to watch & anticipate what follows. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this book. I genuinely really enjoyed it.

Thanks to Bookouture for the advanced press copy in exchange for an honest review.