Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Blog Tour with Giveaway: Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major




Synopsis

LOVE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Peace and quiet—that’s all Connor Pierce wanted from the rented cabin on Crimson Mountain. Yet the caretaker turned out to be lovely April Sanders—a total distraction. As were the two little girls she was caring for. Connor’s plan to forget his painful past soon detoured into giving the ladies a Christmas to remember.
Being named guardian of two motherless girls has upended April’s world. Add to the mix a mysterious, brooding writer claiming he wanted to be left alone while going out of his way to bring a little joy to the girls, and she has quite the quandary. April had counted herself out of a happy ending. But maybe Santa still had a few surprises up his merry old sleeve…
Find out more at: Amazon / B&N

Excerpt from Christmas on Crimson Mountain

“Thank you for taking care of me these past couple of days.”
She sniffed. “It’s my job.”
He acknowledged her words with a small nod, or maybe it was the bitterness creeping into her tone that he recognized. “How are Ranie and Shay?”
“Do you really care?”
“Yes.” He sighed. “Even though I don’t want to care. The other night...on the highway...it affected me. Hearing that scream when the car slid on the road and the headlights moving closer.” He paused and a shudder ran through him. “I’m sorry I disappeared, but I wasn’t fit company for anyone after that.”
“It’s fine.” She tried to hold on to her anger even as it slipped through her body like grains of sand through her fingers. She needed that anger. It was safer with this man. Safer for her heart. “You don’t owe me an explanation.”
“I want to give you one anyway.” His hold on her gentled and he rubbed his thumb over the sensitive flesh on the inside of her wrist. “I’ve missed you, April. I’ve spent the past three years alone, and suddenly I’m lonely without you. I stopped caring. I didn’t think I had it in me to care, and I’m still so turned around. Every little thing sets me off and I can’t stop it. But I also can’t stop wanting to be near you. It doesn’t make sense.”
She closed her eyes against the onslaught of emotions that poured through her at his words and the gentle pressure to her skin.
“Do you know,” he asked, shifting so close now that she could feel his breath against her hair, “that I listen for the door to close after you leave and rush down to the kitchen because your scent lingers after you’re gone?”
She huffed out a laugh that sounded breathless to her own ears. “Are you saying I smell?”
“Like lavender and vanilla. I’ve made an idiot of myself the past two days following traces of you around the house.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Because I want you to know what you do to me, even if I should stay away. It’s better for both of us if I turn around and walk back to my bedroom until you’re gone.”
She waited a moment, but he didn’t move. “You’re not walking.”
“Hell if I can make myself go.”
“Don’t go,” she whispered. Slowly, as if she were gentling a stray animal, she lifted her hand. Her finger brushed the prickly strands of his dark beard, and his lips parted.
“I forgot to shave,” he muttered.
“Too busy?”
He took a breath, released it and then nodded. “Writing.”
“Connor,” April whispered. “That’s wonderful.”
He shrugged and looked away. “Who knows how long it will last. But the words are coming. So damn many, drowning me with their force. It’s like...”
She pressed her palm to his cheek, gratified when he leaned into it. “Like what?”
“Like it used to be.” He said the words softly, as if they were an apology. April could feel the tension in his body and wished, just for a moment, she could transfer his pain to herself. Give him a few seconds of remembering what it was like to live without the weight of guilt and sorrow bearing down on him.
“Look at me,” she said, moving closer to him, pressing into his warmth. His arms came around her waist, his hands splayed open against her back. She could feel their heat and strength through the thin cotton of her pajama shirt. So much talent flowed out of those hands. The worlds he created within his imagination and put on paper for readers to discover. “You have a gift, Connor Pierce.”
“It’s not—”
“Don’t say it. Whatever you’re thinking.” She brushed her lips over his. “Those words are in you. The stories you write are part of you.”
“How can they still be there when I’m dead inside, April? They were part of my life before, but now I’m—”
“You’re here,” she told him, and held her hand to his chest. His heartbeat was strong and sure under her palm. “With me. Now.”
“You make me feel things I’d thought I lost the capacity to feel. You make me want things—” His voice broke off as he drew in another deep breath. He leaned down until their foreheads touched. They stood that way for several long moments, her lips just grazing his. She breathed him in and it felt like she was pulling his essence into her lungs. Like he was part of her. A part she thought she’d lost after the illness and heartbreak that had changed who she was inside.
“I’m sorry I can’t be the man you deserve,” he whispered. “I’ll hurt you and girls. I hurt everyone—”
“Not now.” She pressed her mouth to the base of his neck, tasted the salt on his skin and wanted more. “This moment is ours.”
He claimed her mouth then, kissed her until the feel and taste of him was all she knew. Everything else burned away in the flame that was her need for him. He pulled her closer, if that was possible. Their tongues tangled and his hands skimmed under the shirt and up her spine, sending tingles as they moved. His kiss was demanding and consuming, and every inch of her body burned for him. For more.
His lips trailed over her jaw and he nipped at the sensitive flesh of her earlobe. “Will you stay?”
The simple question rocked her. How was it that such a longing could have been buried inside her and she’d never guessed? Even at her most in-love-and-alive, she’d never felt anything quite like the force of her desire for Connor. Still, she shook her head. “I have to go back in case the girls need me. If Shay wakes up...”
“I understand,” he said, pulling his hands from underneath her shirt.
No, her body screamed. Don’t let him go.
“Come with me,” she told him, lacing her fingers with his.
He stared at her, his eyes unreadable once more. She hated that he could slip behind his mask so easily. She wanted to break through until she saw every bit of him, good and bad. She wanted to know him and, in return, allow him access to all the secret places she kept hidden from the rest of the world.

About Michelle Major


Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway





Thursday, 1 December 2016

Blog Tour - TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN by Lauren Graham


Hi everyone, Rinny here. OMG I have been waiting for today for so long! I cannot even describe or more like I do not want to admit to my reaction when a few weeks ago, I came across the email in our inbox inviting us to take part in this tour from the lovely Grace at Little, Brown Book Group. I have an awful feeling I was more excited about this opportunity than anything else in my life. ( apologies to my family and friends lol). Since I was in my late teens the tv show Gilmore Girls has been a huge part of my life and joint number one of two different shows as my ultimate best tv show. I drive my family crazy still rewatching this show at least 2 times a year (maybe more). I had an awful but awesome realisation last night that I have rewatched this show so much that my husband who has no interest in it probably could ace any Gilmore Girls question he was faced with lol. My daughter now presumes that it is Gilmore girls I am watching.   

It is my go to show when my health issues or life are getting me down or when I am busy and need something on that will distract me as I cannot stand silence. It makes me smile, laugh, cry and even angry at points regardless of how many times I have watched it, I just adore it. It is just so different to what many tv shows in the past few years have brought us. There is just something heartwarming and comfortable about the show and I find as i grow older I always come away with a different view, a different character I relate too, a new appreciation for a side character or two and some new pieces that I am sure I have missed in the last 100 rewatches lol. The wit, pop culture references and not to mention the sheer amount of books referenced in the show is incredible. The recent surge in new generations of fans discovering the show just proves how awesome, relatable and timeless it is.  Anyway, I have kind of rambled off from my purpose. Naturally, I am a huge Lauren Graham fan so I could not refuse the opportunity to help promote her new book. I wish you the best Lauren Graham and hope both the revival and your new book's release do great 😊. 



Blurb


From the star of the much-loved television shows Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, and the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Someday, Someday, Maybe, comes a collection of candid and hilarious essays.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout.”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” for the first time Graham settles in for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high.”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!).
         
Complete with black-and-white photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Book Links




(Review coming soon!)

A different kind of Blog Tour

Apart from just being excited about Gilmore Girls in general, the revival and the fact that I get to help promote Lauren's book on my blog! This tour is a little different instead of reviews and excerpts which could contain spoilers for A year in a life, everyone taking part will be sharing their fave Loralie moment or moments from the original 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. Why not join in the fun and comment below with yours? Just please keep it spoiler-free about the revival, tho I would be happy to chat wth you on the opinionated cupcakes FB page about the revival. I sat all day and watched them all so many feels and tears. I require a rewatch already to try and process what I feel lol. Feel free to try and guess my fave moment from the revival on our twitter or FB (not in the comments here). A small hint it is in the Fall, not the end and prob not what you are thinking lol.

Anyway, back to the blog tour, I tried so very hard to pick my faveourite moment it didn't work, so i tried to pick just a couple of moments....... it didn't work. So I have decided to pick one moment (a super hard near impossible task) from each of the original series. Let's begin.....

Season 1 - Episode 2

This might seem like an unusual moment to pick but hands downI love this moment and is one of my fave's from this season. Just because the more I rewatched it made me realize this is one of my that's so Loralie moments. The moment being after sleeping in and leaving all her 'good' clothes at the cleaners Loralie reveals begrudgingly to not only Rory's new headmaster but her mum Emily that under her coat she is wearing a tiny tie-dyed top, Daisy Mae shorts, and cowboy boots not ideal at all on Rory's first day at Chilton. Even though embarrassed she handles it with her usual wit and I just love her for it.

Loralie: "......laundry day"
Loralie "....no, because that would be embarrassing."

Season 2 -  Episode 16

There s s many possible moments to choose from season 2 seeing Loralie graduate and her parents so proud, her 'picnic' with Luke, helping Richard set up his new business's office. My fave moment, however, is when Emily and Loralie are at the spa as reluctant as Loralie is to be 'stuck' with Emily, the two may have their ups and downs whilst there but they bond a little and I love that. Especially the scene where Loralie gets Emily to try  the 'Vicious Trollop' lipstick just found it so funny.
Season 3 - Episode 22

One of my fave episodes in the whole of the Gilmore Girls saga but my one moment is where Loralie holds up the paper having written on it so Rory can see that Loralie and Sookie had got the inn! Just a perfect moment amongst a lot of great moments. Both our girls accomplishing their goals at the time. Loved it! This moment made me get teary all over again having finally stopped crying over Rory's speech.

Season 4 - Episode 22

The Dragonfly inn opening and Luke and Loralie's kiss FINALLY! I loved that kiss! and this episode 

Season 5 - Episode 3

Every time I rewatch this episode I just love the moment it is revealed to Loralie that Luke has kept the Horoscope she gave him when they first met on which she had written  'today a crazy woman will come in, give her coffee and she will go away.'
Season 6 - Episode 9

How can  pick any other moment except when Rory returns home? I can't, the moment as Loralie is talking to her on the phone and looks out the window to see her pulling up and still talking on the phone goes out to greet her just makes me smile and tugs my heart strings so hard. 

Season 7 - Episode 11 + 12

We come to the end of our journey (well, it was that way for years not anymore yay!) I found this season tough to pick just one moment we have the moment where Luke and Loralie kiss at the Bon Voyage party, Loralie mediating between Lane and Mrs Kim and plenty more. I am kinda cheating as my moment is really a series of moments all involving Loralie's character reference letter about Luke. Her why can't I write this letter is legendary to somehow manage to get to "Monkey, monkey pants" beats any rant i have heard lol. In Episode 12 where we have the judge and Christopher reading the letter at the same time, so many emotions and a beautiful letter that only Loralie could have written about Luke. This moment in particular always makes me so emotional. Tor between feeling sorry for Christoper being blindsided by the letter and caught up in the words of the letter, the sense they make as Luke really is a good guy and my own personal feelings being on ship #TeamLuke.


Wow, that was hard (I honestly think I could spend a week just writing about moments I love and not be done) but loved reliving my fave moments in my head and yet again I am rewatching seasons 1 -7  (on 4. If you have never watched this show give it a try and if you have give it a try again lol. So I am away now to work on the plan to live in a town just like Stars Hollow.

About the Author 


Lauren Graham is an actress best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, Someday, Maybe. Graham has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Author Links 




Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Blog Tour & Review - Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson





Published 3rd November 2016

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her colleagues are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in the Big Apple.

Jon, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation, he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when handsome New Yorker Elijah is added to the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As 25 December draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Links

Goodreads
Amazon UK
Waterstones


Review

*** Disclaimer - I was given a copy of this book by  Little Brown Book Group, in return for an honest review ***

Finally, I have been waiting weeks to post this review. It is finally November and I can indulge, get cosy under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and absorb myself in Christmas themed books. This being my first of the year and having read it over Halloween, I had been worried I might not get fully into the Christmas spirit. I need not have worried it did and some. By the way how pretty is the cover? It caught my attention straight away when I received an email about this book.

The author has a talent for drawing you in, making you feel like you know the characters and is extremely good at describing the world around Olivia our main character, in particular, New York. All the characters have varied personalities and they are relatable in their own ways which helped me get past a slightly slow start (which for me is my only real criticism of this book). The story is full of romance, humor and everything that makes Christmas... well Christmas. I laughed out loud at so many parts, I am pretty sure my husband thought I had finally lost my marbles. 


The Author's writing style is fun, lighthearted and ( as someone who has not read anything not in the third person style in a long while) refreshing. Olivia's mind is perfect for telling this story and a pleasure to be 'inside' she is so quirky and her inner monologue is quite often so funny you cannot help but fall in love with her yourself. As we follow her struggle of understanding Christmas from a traditional point of view and her struggles with work, love, being stranded in New York, crossed wires and learning that the past is just that the past. She is surrounded by a variety of entertaining individuals, each bringing their own little thing to the story. Some of which are just perfect and favourites in the book for me. Such as Olivia's dad, Kim (her appearances are just gold) and Abigail. Another thing I found a really nice touch about this book was the well-placed pop culture references. I loved them! Especially regarding a certain favourite childhood toy of mine, I actually think that might be my favourite scene throughout the whole of the book.

As lighthearted, festive and funny as this book is it caught me upside the head with one hell of a wallop of emotion and although not where it may have been attended or where people would think I was a gibbering teary mess. If a book can make me cry, laugh out loud and festive then that is definitely a book worthy of a read.

There is very little to criticize about this book. I found the start slow and for, me it took a while to get hooked. I also had trouble with some of the words used / phrasing, this is in no way the author's fault but my own.

If you are feeling grinchy this year or having trouble deciding on your first or latest festive read for the year, pick up a copy, grab your blanket, your festive pj's or jumper, your favourite winter tipple and settle down to enjoy.

My Rating : 


Author Bio


Lisa Dickenson is the pseudonym for Beyoncé. OK, FINE, THAT'S NOT TRUE. Lisa lives by the Devon seaside, stuffing cream teas in the gobs of anyone who comes to visit, and writing stuff down that she hopes is funny.  Her first novel was the copyright-infringing Sweet Valley Twins: The Twins Holiday Horror, which she wrote in primary school and gave up on after five pages. Twenty-ish years later Lisa went on to be a *real author* and wrote the Novelicious Debut of the Year, The Twelve Dates of Christmas. In summer 2016 out popped You Had Me at Merlot. She’s now keeping her fingers crossed that everyone will like her third paperback, Mistletoe on 34th Street, and that New York City gives her a free apartment near Central Park as a ‘well done’.  

Stalk Lisa at the links below:


Twitter



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