2017 – 10 Goals to Keep me Focused!

 

Oh what a year 2016 has been! Eventful to say the least. It had its ups and downs but all in all it was a good year. I travelled to some really nice places, which brought me nothing but happiness. I've also been served some L's but I turned those losses into lessons and got right back up. This year I decided to set myself new goals and put them in a blog post so I can look back at this later on and see if I achieved them. Here are 10 things that I hope will contribute to making 2017 my best year so far!

Here is a short flashback of goals and wishes I shared in 2015 for 2016

Completed

Get my driving license ✓ (completed in September)
Buy a car ✓ (Citroen C1 Sport Edition)
Make a huge vision board ✓(Love that wall in my room!)
Go to Concerts ✓ (I've been to 8 cocerts in 2016)
Keep my blog up to date / post regularly ✓ (There are ups & downs but I at leat post once a week)
Travel more ✓ (I've visited places in 6 contries all over Europe) 
Go to the gym at least 2 times a week ✓ (kind of completed; managed this until September 2016, then I unfortunately got more and more back in to my old routine)

In progress

Detox Diet for 1 week (I've ordered juices for a 3-day juice fast. I'll starting next Weekend)Lose 55 pounds (It's a long journey. I lost my mojo a few months ago but I'll be back on track soon!)

Not completed

Move out, Take a month off sugar, drink more water, Fall in love and be happy, Get another tattoo,  Try a new haircut,  Move up in my career,  Get a manicure, Write a letter to myself and open it in ten years,  Attend a Blogger event in the UK, Clear my NetGalley shelf, Visit Ireland again, Disneyland Paris, Plan a Christmas trip with my mother, Do a Come and Dine with Me competition with my best friends, Take an epic road trip, Go on a spa day with friends.

You see, here is still so much for to do! These will remain on my list to be completed but I have lots of things coming up in 2017 which I’m so excited for and I have lots of goals that I am ready to achieve next year, so are you ready to catch up on my 2016 goals & see what I have in store for you in 2017? Let’s go!

Get back on track with my weightloss journey

I've started going to the gym in September 2015. I was so motivated, I went to the gym 2-3 times a week, had a good and healthy plans for my eating. It was a hard journey but things were going very well for the first 10 months. Then I got more and more on my plate, so I couldn't bring myself to go to the gym regularly anymore. Since October I got back to my old routine more and more. I have not been to the gym for over a month now. One reason is that I am not happy with the gym I am going to. I am mad with myself that I led it all happen. There is a time for a change!

My company is part of a group and the mother company is offering company sport to everyone who works in that group. When the broucher of the sport offerings landed in my hands in Novemer 2016 I thought, WHY THE HELL NOT, try it and make a change. I signed up for Aqua Fitness and a class where I learn about food, cooking and we're also doing workout lessons. These classes started last week and are fun, I am glad I made that step and I hope I can motivate myself for a healthy life again.

Blog Move and Makeover

I will move my blog to my own URL address with wordpress. With the time I disliked Blogger more and more. So I decided to move to wordpress. You might think, why a makeover again? I know I had a makeover just a few months ago. I realized it's was not the best solution and it's not the layout I see my blog in the future. The move makeover will take place around March. I bought my URL with webhosting and also my new theme. I also choose an Illustrator who is going to help me with my header. There is so much work to do but I am excited for this change!

Get a plan what I want to in the future

I like my job, it's close to home and a long-term working place. I'd be stupid to through that away but it's not something I want to do forever. I am working in a indutrial company in the marketing.  I am happy with my job as a media designer but the ever day topics are very technical and it's all about screws. I am struggeling with those topics because I am just not interested in them. Sometimes I'm doing different project as the company magazine, designs for giveaways and more but that is not life fullfilling for me. I have dreams and wishes, I just don't know how to bring them to life. I’d like to work at a relatively small publishing house (design book covers, promotion banners, intetact on Twitter, develop strategies to release ans promot books and so much more) If anyone has tipps or ideas for me, please shout in the comments or drop me an email.

Living on my own

Hello independence! While all is very well and good living with my mother, I would like to move out at some point in 2017. It's not number one priority but with 26 it's about time. I like to have my own flat and be ressponsible for it, make my own choices and tidy up whenever I want!

Be more creative

Over 10 years ago, I had a most beloved printmaking teacher who constantly exclaimed, “Art is hard!” I get that now. Creating anything is hard. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. The pain of completing projects can be on par with root canals. Showing up and actually doing the work is almost all sweat and tears. Eighty percent of realizing any idea comes down to showing up.

Ideas can come easy — those are the little things that float into your brain while in the shower or taking a walk. I have a really bad habit of saying an idea out loud, and then convincing myself I’m no longer responsible for carrying that idea to fruition. This is only so satisfying; ideas continue to fester in the back of the brain until I face them once and for all. This is why it’s time to show up.

In addition to showing up, my goal for 2017 is to focus on what’s worth doing. I have so many ideas — most stupid, some exciting — that I’ve reached a critical mass. I feel pulled in multiple directions. Until we’re able to build personal armies of clones, we won’t be able to accomplish everything in this lifetime. So I want to become more ruthless, letting go of ideas that aren’t worth my time. Further, some ideas that come to you simply aren’t ready. Write down those ideas, then toss them back in the ocean. When they’re ready, they’ll wash back on shore.

NetGalley

I think almost every single book blogger can agree with this, but I’ve got to get my Netgalley shelf under control. I might have not as many books as some other blogger, but it's still a lot to me. I think there are about 30 books I think. I’m not requesting anything new until I make a huge dent in my TBR there. 

Be more organized

I'm not the most organized person. Not at home, not in work, neither in blogging. I want to change that. I have to find a way that works for me. Do I need more lists? Get my self together? What's your way to be organized?

Read more paperbacks

I need to get my unread paperbacks down! I want to read at least one or two book every month from my personal TBR, not just because it needs to be reviewed ASAP. I want a no pressure read, I did start this whole thing for fun after all. 

Get a bookshelf

This goal can only be completed when I move out. Sadly I am very limited with my space in my room. I don't have enough space for a new bookshelf. When I move out I dream of buying a bookshelf where all my books fit in.

Complete Goodreas Goal

It was very difficult for me to meet my goal of reading 50 books in 2016. Nevertheless, I am happy I achieved it. I set me goal to 55 books this year. It is going to be a real challenge. Let's see how that will go.
 
Let me know in the comments below what you are hoping to achieve in 2017! 
  

Perfect Strangers by Dani Atkins

 
 
 
Name: Perfect Strangers
Author: Dani Atkins
Format: ebook
Pages: 164
Release date: December 15th 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Teaser

Hannah Truman is twenty-seven years old. She is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary memory. One thing she certainly can’t forget is her boyfriend William’s betrayal, which was why she fled to Canada to stay with her sister.

Now, on her way home to England, Hannah finds herself in a queue behind Logan Carter at the airport terminal. He’s checking into Business Class on her flight and although their paths keep crossing, fate prevents them meeting. An almost shared cup of coffee never takes place when Logan is suddenly called away.

But once in the air the unthinkable happens: the plane needs to make an emergency landing. Hannah is alone and terrified, until suddenly Logan slips into the seat beside her.

In the days that follow, Hannah and Logan must call upon all their resources to survive in the frozen landscape, growing ever closer as hopes of a rescue begin to fade …


The Year of Saying Yes Part 1 by Hannah Doyle





Name: The Year of Saying Yes (1 of 4)
Author: Hannah Doyle
Format: ebook
Pages: 83 pages
Release date: December 15th 2016
Publisher: Headline

Teaser

Join Izzy on her journey from January blues to joy. THE YEAR OF SAYING YES by Hannah Doyle will make you dirty-laugh, feel warm and fuzzy, and rediscover life's magic - all thanks to one little word: yes.

Dear Readers, it's drizzling outside, which totally matches my #currentmood. Pigs in blankets, all the mince pies and a festive Baileys or five are distant memories. You know the drill - it's January. Everyone's banning booze (terrible idea) or cutting carbs (impossible). To add to the misery pile, my plans to seduce the man of my dreams at the stroke of midnight flopped spectacularly.
I'm Izzy. I don't just need a New Year resolution, I need a whole new life. And I need YOU. My dreary life is about to get a total makeover - it's my 'Year of Saying Yes'. And this is where you come in. It's up to you to #DareIzzy. I'm saying yes to your challenges, no matter how nuts, adventurous or wild they are. The sky's the limit - I'm at your mercy, readers! Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm going to need it. Love Izzy x


My thoughts

New Beginnings, new ideas, new energy! A new year is coming and the posibilities are endless. Whatever is changing you, it's definitely happening for the better.

What would happen if we stopped saying no and started saying yes? That is the big question Isobel, also called Izzy, is asking herself. She has been too scared and too shy to take chances to change her life. Her hopes for this years New Years Eve are held up high as she is spending it at home with her sister, sisters boyfriend, her parents and Gorgeous George, the object of her affection. For the last three years she has been hoping that they will finally get together, however he doesn't know how much Izzy likes him. Her hopes crahes into nothing when George announces that he has a new girlfriend. 

First she thought some New Years resolutions will help. Then Izzy decides to make a list of things to say no to in the new year. Soon Izzy realizes that her list is practically identical to the one she wrote last year. Despite her good intentions at the start of each year, nothing has changed for a very long, long time. Not her relationship status, not her poxy flat, not her junior job neither her weight ... nothing. 

Izzy can't look quick enough as her editor decides that this list will become a thing in the past and instead she'll has to agree to take on new and exciting challanges, better said she's going to write a monthly piece on saying YES to dares the readers are going to send to her via Twitter or E-Mail for one year. No is not an option! A makeover and a complete switch off mini break sees a remarkable change in Izzy starting to take shape. New year, new look new life is Izzy's new mantra and she starts to believe in it.

I read an absurd amount of books and so I often find myself picking random books by authors I have never read before and hoping for the best. Sometimes the books turn out to be lackluster if not down right horrible but sometimes they surprise me and turn out as the most excellent and humorous book I have read in a very long time. Well done, Hannah Doyle! This is such a perfect start to the series! The idea for this series is brilliant as so many of us can relate to this story. Who does really stick to the resolutions we're making in the begining of each year? 

There might be a few expectations but hey come on, none of us! Excellently written, Hannah tells us Izzy's story of The Year of Saying from January to March. Doyle was able to suck me into the story immediately. She combines the right amount of humor, drama, and action to create a great read that leaves the reader wanting more. 

This is a great escape from all the heaviness of what's in the news now, stresses of the season and just the hassles of every day life. Fun, light-hearted, uplifting and easy to read. I am most happy to highly recommend this series and have already been out and pre-ordered the second part in this series directly after finishing the first part. I enjoyed it that much. Hannah Doyle is a breath of fresh air, watch out Lindsey Kelk, someone is toppling you ;-)
 
Published as a four ebook serialisation during early 2017

Part 1 It Started With a Dare, 15th December 2016
Part 2 A Dare to Remember, 12th January 2017

Part 3 She Who Dares, 26th January 2017
Part 4 The Dare of a Lifetime, 9th February 2017



5 roses for The Year of Saying Yes Part 1

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads
More information about the author: Website / Twitter
     

Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to For the First Half of 2017



2017 is looking like it’s going to be another fantastic year for new releases. There are SO many books that I’m really, really excited for. These are just a few of them but keep in mind there are a ton more (which I’m sure you’ll hear about on my blog eventually). I also decided not to include (beside one book) any of the 2017 releases I have ARCs for since I personally don’t have to wait until 2017 to read them. Now let’s dive in, shall we?

Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #2) by Samantha Young

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.  

Why so excited?  I absolutely love Samantha Young's books. She has become an autobuy author for me, so this book is a no-brainer for this list!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

Why so excited? Well, it's Paige Toon guys! Any more words needed? No, I don't think so! She is my queen of Chick-Lit. I am super excited for each book release every year. She writes fantastic books and when you think the stories can't get any better she publishes another bestseller. 

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads



This Love by Dani Atkins

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

Why so excited? I had the chance to discover Dani Atkins beautiful writing this year. Our Song was the first book I read by Atkins and it certainly won't be tha last. Looking forward to her new release This Love. 

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

Meet Molly

New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel

A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…  

Why so excited? I just LOVE Sarah Morgan. I've heard of those who have read advance copies LOVE this book so I cannot wait to treat myself with this one!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads
 

The Escape by C.L. Taylor

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

Why so excited? I try to include more and more reads "out of my comfort zone". I enjoyed a few psychological thrillers in the past and C.L. Taylor is definitively my go to author when I am looking a good dark, gripping and creepy story.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


Das Mädchen aus Brooklyn: Roman (German Edition) by Guillaume Musso

Raphaël ist überglücklich, in wenigen Wochen wird er seine große Liebe Anna heiraten. Aber wieso weigert sie sich beharrlich, ihm von ihrer Vergangenheit zu erzählen? Während eines romantischen Wochenendes an der Côte d’Azur bringt Raphaël sie endlich dazu, ihr Schweigen zu brechen. Was Anna dann offenbart, übersteigt jedoch alle seine Befürchtungen. Sie zeigt ihm das Foto dreier Leichen und gesteht: »Das habe ich getan.« 

Raphaël ist schockiert. Wer ist die Frau, in die er sich verliebt hat? Doch ehe Anna sich ihm erklären kann, verschwindet sie spurlos. Raphaël bittet seinen Freund Marc, einen ehemaligen Polizisten, um Hilfe. Gemeinsam setzen sie alles daran, seine Verlobte wiederzufinden – der Beginn einer dramatischen, atemlosen Suche nach der Wahrheit, die sie bis in die dunklen Straßen von Harlem und Brooklyn führt.

Sorry, there is no english blurb available.

Why so excited? I started to read english books about six years ago. Musso is a reason why I pick up a german book once or twince a year (his books are not often translated in english). I adore his books! I love that mixture of a good thriller with a heart-warming romance. I still have a few of his books unread on my shelf, altough I am super excited for his new book.
More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

Just The Two of Us by Georgie Capron 

Lucy is the wrong side of thirty and tormented daily by the idyllic family pictures cluttering up her Facebook newsfeed. All of her friends seem to be getting married and having babies, and yet here she is, resolutely single, and no prospect of creating the perfect family she's always dreamt of.

How she longs for it to be her turn.

But finding love is complicated, and as time passes she wonders if there might just be another way to make her dreams come true. Is she brave enough to go it alone, or is the fantasy of 'baby makes three' just too precious to give up on?

Funny, warm, and a story for our time, Just the Two of Us will make you laugh and cry, and remind you never to give up on love.

Why so excited? Another stunning, but effective cover. It certainly captured my attention.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


Rome Is Where The Heart Is by Tilly Tennant

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 …

Fall in love with the colourful cafes and the cobbled piazzas of Rome and follow Kate’s dreams and her heart in this enchanting escapist read.

Why so excited? It's been a while since I read my latest Tilly Tennant novel. Whenever I picked up one of hers I enjoyed the story. I'm sure Rome is Where the Heart is, is a super summery and highly enjoyable novel holiday read for the summer.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads
 
The Year of Saying Yes (part 2-4)

Join Izzy on her journey from January blues to joy. Hannah Doyle's THE YEAR OF SAYING YES will make you dirty-laugh, feel warm and fuzzy, and rediscover life's magic - all thanks to one little word: yes. 
 
The second of four exclusive part-serialisations of THE YEAR OF SAYING YES by Hannah Doyle. Izzy's one-in-a-million story continues...

Dear Readers Welcome back! It's Izzy (or should I say New Izzy) reporting for duty. It's time for Part Two of my 'Year of Saying Yes'. Thanks to your amazing challenges and fabulous feedback, I've been up to all sorts over the past few months. Drumroll please... 

- I asked a total stranger for his number (what can I say, he was hot and wearing a pirate's hat)
- I modelled for a life drawing class (yes, starkers!)
- And somehow I performed on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury *gulp*

All this gallivanting around means that the new, improved me is in full flow. And guess what? For the first time in forever I have an actual LOVE LIFE, with a real-life man! But in between the fun and frolics there's been a whole lot of #drama.

Buckle up, guys, we're in for a bumpy ride...
Love Izzy x

Why so excited? I recently read the first part of the story and highly enjoyed it. Made me laugh and happy. I can't wait to continue with the series.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon UK / Amazon UK

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement. As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it? 

Why so excited? I recently discovered this new release by bookouture on NetGalley. I was totally enchanted by that beautiful cover right away. The blurb of this story also sounds very intriguing, so I couldn't do anything else as hit the request button. Thanks a million to bookouture for approving me to read this novel. I am very looking forward to it!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads
  
 

10 Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree


 10 Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree 

Just one more day until Christmas (in Germany we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve) and as usual I couldn’t avoid adding books to my wishlist because what could a bookworm want more under the Christmas tree than new reading material (even if there are still loads of unread books on the shelf)? One of the things that I love seeing under the tree is, books. Over the years the amount of books I have gotten for Christmas has grown and I love it. Boy oh boy, my wish list has reached a ridiculous size. I know we all have pretty long lists about some of the books we’d like under our trees. So without further ado, here’s some books I’d love Santa to leave me:

All About the Hype by Paige Toon

The third super hot, super fun Jessie Jefferson novel from internationally bestselling author, Paige Toon.

Is the life of a famous rockstar's daughter all it's cracked up to be? And what about dating your fellow band-member just as you hit the bigtime? Jessie is still getting used to being a celebrity, and the daughter of one of the world’s biggest rock stars. With her own music career on the rise, a gorgeous love interest and a fun group of friends, it seems Jessie’s glamorous LA life couldn’t get any better . . . but things are about to get really complicated.

I don’t know why I haven’t read this. Seriously I loved all the previous parts of the Jessie Jefferson Series so damn much, but I just haven’t picked this one up.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels. So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the unwelcome attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.

Posy has a cunning plan and six months to transform Bookends into the bookshop of her dreams – if only Sebastian would leave her alone to get on with it. As Posy and her friends fight to save their beloved bookshop, Posy’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies… Like her favourite romantic heroines, will she get her happy ever after too?

Ever since the cover of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts has been revealed I was drawn to this book. I love reading about bookshops and the books sounds like a book I am going to love!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

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 co-workers are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in The Big Apple.

John, Olivia's friend, on the other hand is so upset and 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 she adds handsome New Yorker Elijah into the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As December 25th draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Lisa Dickenson! Do I need to say more? No! She's a genius of a writer. I read and love a few of her novels and I need to get my hands on this as soon as possible!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads



Marry Me Tomorrow by Carla Burgess

Emily needs a husband…fast. It’s just a few days until Christmas and to finally put a stop to her nagging mother’s matchmaking plans, Emily has convinced her that she’s already married! 

And when her excited mum announces that she’s coming to stay, Emily can think of only one man to play the part: gorgeous ex-soldier, Sam. It’s the best part of her day, handing him a coffee every morning – but then, Emily never expected to offer him her hand in marriage, too… 

All that’s left is for Sam to say ‘I do’ – it’s the perfect plan! So why then, do her ‘pretend’ feelings for Sam seem far too real?

This book has been on my radar since it's been published in October. I've heard great things about Carla Burgess's debut novel but haven't gotten my hands on a copy just yet!

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads



In a Manhattan Minute by Helen J. Rolfe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but when the temperature dips, can Manhattan work its magic?

Jack exists in a world that has seen its fair share of tragedy, but also success and the wealth that comes with it. One snowy night, he crosses paths with Evie, a homeless girl, and it changes everything.

Three years on, Evie’s life is very different. She’s the assistant to a prestigious wedding gown designer, she’s settled in Manhattan, has her own apartment and friendships she holds dear. But the past is lurking in the background, threatening to spoil everything, and it’s catching up with her.

Kent has kept a family secret for two decades, a secret he never wanted to share with his son, Jack. And even though she doesn’t realise it yet, his life is inextricably tangled with Nicole’s, the woman who was his housekeeper for thirteen years and the woman who helped Evie turn her life around.

It’s Christmas and a time for forgiveness, love and Happy Ever Afters. And when the snow starts to fall, the truth could finally bring everyone the gift of happiness they’re looking for. 


Another festive novel.  I have read three of Helen's books and and loved every single one. I'm sure this is going to be as great as her previous novels. However, this one came out this year and I would love for it to be left under the tree by Santa. This book sounds adorable.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill

Hollywood movies are Beth's passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with 'movie moments', where things like serendipity and fate happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero - though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable.

And then, one morning at work, Beth receives an anonymous delivery of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at Tiffany's. From there, she is given a series of clues directing her to some of NYC's most popular landmarks - a treasure hunt using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher. And Beth is forced to wonder: has Danny realised their relationship needs a boost - or could it be that charming new work colleague Ryan, with his intense gaze, flirtatious smile and almost encyclopaedic movie knowledge, wants to sweep her off her feet? And how would she feel about taking a chance on a new leading man in her life?


Melissa Hill is another of my absolute favorites! None of her books ever disappointed me. I can't wait to read her latest novel The Love of a Lifetime.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh 

Can you ever outrun the past?

It's Zoe's wedding day. She's about to marry Jamie, the love of her life. Then a phone call comes out of the blue, with the news that her mum Gina has been arrested. Zoe must make an impossible decision: should she leave her own wedding to help?

Zoe hasn't seen Gina for years, blaming her for the secret that she's been running from ever since she was sixteen. Now, Gina is back in her life, but she's very different to the mum Zoe remembers. Slowly but surely, Gina is losing her memory.

As she struggles to cope with Gina's illness, can Zoe face up to the terrible events of years ago and find her way back to the people she loves?



How did I miss this book?! It caught my attention in a bunch of lists this year and read great reciews about this book, which made a must for the wish list. 

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads


Would Like to Meet by Polly James 

Could the worst thing that’s ever happened to Hannah Pinkman also turn out to be one of the best?
She and her husband Dan have reached the end of the line. Bored with the same gripes, the same old arguments – in fact, bored with everything – they split up after a trivial row turns into something much more serious.

Now Hannah has to make a new life for herself, but that’s not easy. She’s been so busy being a wife and mum that she’s let all her other interests slip away, along with her friends. And when Hannah is persuaded to join a dating site, her ‘best match’ is the very last person she expects it to be . . .
A clever, funny and poignant novel about life after a long relationship, the importance of friendship, and rediscovering your identity.
 
This one has been in my must have list for quite some time. If Santa doesn't bring it I'm definitely buying it after the end of the year. 

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

On Thin Ice by Aven Ellis 

Holly Johansson knows some things in her life are certain after college graduation:

1.) It’s a long road to become a full-time author. 2.) She’ll need to work to pay her bills. 3.) And Dallas Demons superstar Matt Rhinelander will never return her feelings.

Holly knows her unrequited crush on the partying hockey player is ridiculous. There’s no way Matt would be attracted to a woman who prefers nights in watching TV or reading books when he’s known for his frequent bar hops and fast lifestyle. Obviously he would never see her as anything other than his teammate’s little sister.

Yet Holly is drawn to the other side of Matt—the man she knows has always been thoughtful and easy to talk to whenever she’s been alone with him. It is this Matt that fueled the crush Holly has on him. And she knows it will always be just that—a secret crush.

Or will it?

Because when Matt helps Holly through a crisis, her heart begins to believe that there might be feelings on his part, too. After a night of hard partying puts Matt in jeopardy with the Dallas Demons, can Holly be the one to save him? And when Matt admits he sees her as more than Nate Johansson’s sister, will it put both of them on thin ice?


It's the fourth part of the Dallas Demons Series. I'm honestly so, so, so curious how the Series continues. I adored every single part so far.

More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads

The Year of Saying Yes Part 1: It Started with a Dare by Hannah Doyle

The first of four exclusive part-serialisations of THE YEAR OF SAYING YES.

Dear Readers, It's drizzling outside, which totally matches my #currentmood. Pigs in blankets, all the mince pies and a festive Baileys or five are distant memories. You know the drill - it's January. Everyone's banning booze (terrible idea) or cutting carbs (impossible). To add to the misery pile, my plans to seduce the man of my dreams at the stroke of midnight flopped spectacularly. I'm Izzy. I don't just need a New Year resolution, I need a whole new life. And I need YOU. My dreary life is about to get a total makeover - it's my 'Year of Saying Yes'. And this is where you come in. It's up to you to #DareIzzy. I'm saying yes to your challenges, no matter how nuts, adventurous or wild they are. The sky's the limit - I'm at your mercy, readers! Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm going to need it. Love Izzy x

As I was I just prepared this post, I discovered that the first part of this serial novel is for free! Yay, merry Chritsmas to me. Had over to Amazon and download your copy, it's sounds like a super fun novel.

 More information about this book: Amazon UK / Goodreads 
  

Here come the girls: Meet Jessica from Christmas Kisses by Alison May



Here come the girls: Meet Jessica from Christmas Kisses by Alison May
 
It’s that time of year again and if you’re in need of some festive reading, look no further than Christmas Kisses by Alison May – a collection of three gorgeous, cleverly interlinked Christmas stories featuring three girls in desperate need of some Christmas spirit after their own personal ‘years from hell’.

We’ve met Holly and Cora and now, finally, it’s time to meet Jessica, who is still struggling to trust her husband after his betrayal … 

Christmas drinks before Michelle and Sean headed up to Scotland. Jess took a deep breath. It was nice, just her and her best friend, her best friend’s husband, and the youngest of Jess’s three big brothers, Simon. These were probably the three people she was closest to in the world. Apart from her husband, of course.

Simon picked up a card from the pile on the table between them ‘Okay. The question is … your first kiss? Truth or dare?’

Jess shook her head and sipped her wine. ‘I don’t think so.’

Her best friend, Michelle, and Michelle’s husband, Sean, stared at her expectantly.

‘Why not?’

‘Because you’re sober, so I’m at a disadvantage. And you already know anyway.’

Michelle patted her growing belly. ‘Well I’m only sober because of this little one. And Sean doesn’t know.’

Simon laughed. ‘And I’m not sober, so it all works out.’

Jess shook her head. ‘I thought it was Sean’s turn anyway.’

There was a second of silence, before Jess realised why Sean wasn’t talking. Sean’s first kiss would have been with his childhood sweetheart, wouldn’t it? An image popped, uninvited, into Jess’s head. Cora. She tightened her grip on her wine glass. ‘What about you Simon?’

‘It’s not my turn.’

Jess pursed her lips. ‘Well I’ll tell mine, if you tell yours.’

Her brother shook his head. ‘Well there were a couple of girls during school, but my first proper kiss was a boy called Craig on the school residential trip to Norfolk.’ He grinned. ‘I saw him again a couple of years after when I was with Anthony, who was insanely jealous of course.’

The group fell quiet for a second. Anthony had been Simon’s first, and only, serious boyfriend. He’d died, after a long illness, when Jess was in her teens, but she could still picture her brother’s devastation.

Simon broke the silence. ‘Right. Your turn.’

Jess took a drink. ‘Fine. ’ She closed her eyes for a second and thought back. ‘It was 2000 I think. It was Christmas Eve, so I was fifteen.’

‘Quite old.’

‘Fifteen’s not that old.’

‘It is,’ Sean insisted.

‘Well maybe if you grow up with nothing but trees for miles around and there’s nothing else to do.’

He opened his mouth to protest before Michelle whacked him over the head with a cushion. ‘Let her tell her story.’

‘Thank you. Anyway I was fifteen. It was Christmas Eve. I was at some horrible party at this friend of my mum’s house.’ She turned towards her brother. ‘Aunty Janine, you know?’

Simon shook his head. ‘Not a clue. Definitely not a proper aunty.’

Jess pursed her lips. The twelve year age gap between her and her youngest brother meant that more often than not their childhood memories failed to overlap. ‘Well anyway, it was all vol-au-vents and mini sausage rolls …’

‘I like a mini sausage roll.’

Jess shrugged. ‘Well everyone likes a mini sausage roll. That’s not the point. Anyway it was a horrible party, and I was in a massive sulk because I hadn’t been allowed to go to Keeley Andrew’s party at her house which everyone in our year went to.’

Michelle pursed her lips. ‘I didn’t.’

Jess grinned. ‘That’s because you refused to engage in any form of Christmas celebration. All the normal people in our year went.’

‘Get to the point.’

‘Sorry. So anyway, it was in the kitchen. He had dyed hair and an earring, so I basically thought he was the most worldly and glamourous being I’d ever met.’

‘So you snogged him?’

Jess didn’t meet Sean’s eye. ‘I did. And so that’s that. My first kiss story.’

But of course that wasn’t quite that, was it? Jess let her mind take her back to that kitchen, and that boy with the shock of black hair hanging in front of his bright green eyes. She remembered the touch of his fingers against her cheek, and the taste of his lips – cheap cola and a hint of salt. She remembered the cheesy Christmas music coming through the wall. She remembered the cupboard door handle that had been digging into her side, and she remembered not caring at all. She remembered friends at school describing their first kisses as gross or sloppy or icky, but hers had been nothing like that. It had been warm and soft and she’d felt somehow like she’d arrived home. She wondered if she’d ever been kissed like that since.

‘What was his name?’ Sean interrupted her thoughts.

Jess heard Michelle and Simon snigger. ‘She doesn’t know.’

‘What?’ Sean frowned.

‘I do know. He was called Alan.’

Michelle shook her head. ‘Only you checked and there was nobody called Alan at that party.’

Sean grinned. ‘You got fake named.’

‘I did not.’

Michelle was staring down at her glass, but Jess could see the smirk pulling at her best friend’s lips.

‘Well I never met him again anyway. He was there at that party and then he was gone.’

‘Oh I get it.’ Sean was grinning. ‘He’s the one that got away.’

Simon nodded vigorously. ‘That’s what I said.’

‘Wise man. One perfect kiss and then he vanishes. Definitely the one that got away.’

Michelle sighed. ‘You are such a girl when it comes to romance.’

‘And you have no soul.’

Jess let them replay their regular argument. Of course the boy at the party wasn’t her “one that got away”. Okay, so she might have thought that once, but she wasn’t a teenager any more. She was an adult and that meant not getting swept away by silly romantic ideas. There was no perfect guy out there pining for her. There was her husband, Patrick, and she was going to find ways to compromise, and they were going to make things work. That was realistic, not some hopeless teenage fantasy. Another memory forced itself to the front of Jess’s mind. Cora. Was she Patrick’s “one that got away”?

Jess had actually been to confront the other woman, and had instantly regretted it. Cora’s apartment was a penthouse on the South Bank, and the woman herself was a picture of old school glamour. Perfect chestnut-brown hair, creamy skin, and the sort of figure that would have made Cindy Crawford look a bit frumpy. Jess was a scruffy, dowdy mess by comparison. And rather than Cora apologising to Jess for trying to steal her husband, Jess had found herself apologising for taking him back. Nothing about the visit had worked out like she’d imagined it.

Michelle glanced at the clock. ‘I guess we’d better get going.’

A knot formed in Jess’s stomach. Her friends wanted to leave before Patrick got back. He’d gone for a drink with some friends from where he used to work, at least that’s what he’d told her. Jess took a deep breath. That’s what he’d told her, and she believed him, like she believed him every time he popped out to see a recruitment agent, or go for a run, or to the gym. On the settee, Sean glanced at his watch and raised an eyebrow to his wife. Even he didn’t want to stay, and he was Patrick’s best mate. At least he had been. Was it always going to be like this? Jess frowned. ‘You could stay to say hello.’

The look they exchanged was fleeting but Jess saw it. Michelle shook her head. ‘It’s not that. We’ve got a long drive tomorrow. Back to Scotland for Christmas.’

A noise in the hallway interrupted Jess’s reply. ‘That must be him now.’

She pulled herself to her feet and dashed the four paces to the door. Patrick was peeling off layers of coat, scarf and gloves. He was handsome. Properly handsome. Underwear model handsome. She watched him run his fingers through his hair and waited for the pang of desire she was used to feeling to hit her. It didn’t quite come. Jess pushed the corners of her mouth wide. ‘Michelle and Sean are still here. And Simon.’

Patrick nodded and flashed his perfectly even smile. ‘Great.’

Jess followed her husband into the lounge. He asked after Sean’s business and Michelle’s health. Both replied grudgingly. Jess could feel her muscles tightening. Patrick was trying to put everything with … her brain pushed the details of the thought away … Patrick was trying to put everything that had happened behind them. She could see that he was trying. Why wouldn’t her friends see that too?

She took a deep breath. The fairy lights were twinkling on the Christmas tree in the corner. Her present for Patrick was wrapped and waiting. In a couple of days it would be Christmas and then New Year. Once January came they really would be able to make a fresh start. All she had to do was hold on until then.


Three girls, three kisses, three gorgeous Christmas stories ...

Holly hates Christmas with a passion and can't wait to escape it - but then the flight to her once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination is cancelled ...

Cora has had the year from hell, and faces a bleak Christmas working in Golding's department store - in the most unflattering reindeer costume imaginable ...

Jessica is in denial after her husband's betrayal, and can't help but think back to when her life still seemed so full of hope and promise ...Three years from hell, three sets of broken dreams, three girls in desperate need of Christmas spirit.

Is the perfect Christmas kiss all it takes?

Christmas Kisses is now available to purchase in paperback from all good book stockists and retailers. Click HERE to order from Amazon.

I was born and raised in North Yorkshire, but now live in Worcester with one husband, no kids and no pets. There were goldfish once. That ended badly. I’ve studied History and Creative Writing, and worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, and a freelance trainer, before settling on ‘making up stories’ as an entirely acceptable grown-up career plan. I’m a qualified teacher in adult education, a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors, and an experienced creative writing tutor. I’m a published commercial fiction author. I write short stories, novels and novellas, including the Christmas Kiss series, Midsummer Dreams, and Sweet Nothing. I won the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2012, and have been shortlisted in the RoNAs and the Love Stories Awards. I’m represented by Julia Silk (in association with MBA Literary).

For more information on Alison, follow her on Twitter @MsAlisonMay.


Flashback 2016: Travelling to Hamburg


  


I’ve been enjoying some time on the road this year. Hamburg was another place to visit on my bucket list. It was on of my favourite trips, thats why I want to tell you about it. Anyway, it was quite a spontaneous desicion. Before the year is about to end I needed to plan a few days I take off before the Christmas holidays starts, otherwise my unused holiday days will be lost if I do not take them until the end of 2016. So I talked to my best friend, who recently finished her studies and enjoys some free time at the moment before she will start working as a teacher next year. We both ever dreamed of going to Hamburg to see the Lions King Musical. So why not do it now? Hell yeah, yes! We planned everything we needed within two weeks.

Our trip started on 1st November in Stuttgart. We took the train from there to Hamburg. It was not a direct connection, we had to change the trains in Frankfurt am Main. Without any delays we had arrived in Hamburg without in the late afternoon. Our hotel was only a few minutes walk away from the central station. We checked in, refreshed ourself and made a move to the harbour. It is the pulse of the city, the one that brought Hamburg to wealth and prosperity. That which started out as a small basin within the city, is now Europe’s second largest sea port! We decided to take a tour of the harbor by boat. I was totally facinated by that beautiful view with all those ships, the containers and the river. Here are a few impressions:


As we were wandering around the harbor we stopped for dinner at Blockbräu, a nice two level brew house in the German tradition. Attracted by the location on the Elbe and the fact that this place brews its own beer with the attractive vats dominating the restaurant, we enjoyed an evening of german traditional food and locally brewed beer. Of course it's a bit touristy but it's worth a visit. After admiring the copper kettles and beer tanks, we made your way up to the roof terrace where we had an excellent view over the harbour area. We decided not to take the train back to thr central station, instead we walked all the way back to the hotel (about 45 minutes) so we enjoyed the night atmosphere in Hamburg and wandering around the city.

The next day we had some more time to discover the city before we had to get ready for The Lion King. We started early in the morning with a bus tour through Hamburg to see as many places as possible. We visited places as such as the Warehouse District, the spice museum, the town hall, a coffee roastery, and my favourite was The ‘Michel’, a beautiful neo baroque church. It is said to be northern Germany’s most beautiful church. Its wide open and light interior, 4 organs and an impressive acoustics makes it a great location for classical music. We went up the tower and enjoyed a 360 ° view of the city. Then it was about time to go back to the hotel and get ready for the Lion King Musical. Seeing this Musical was a dream come too. I lost the count of how many times I have seen and listend to this movie as kid and as well as an adult. It is my all time favourite!


I loved every minute of it! It was as a great show. My favorite things were not only the impressive costumes but also how the play was creating a connection between the audience and the actors. Especially the first scene was super catchy and directly took you in some kind of feeling of joy. The stage setting is simple, the costumes elaborate, the performers impressive and the songs a good mix of those we know and love and an extra few that fit quite well. The cherry on top is the location across the Harbour - the shuttle boat ride offers the perfect view!

The follwing day it was already time to say goodbye to Hamburg. Time went by super quickly and I was sad to we had to leave already. It was an amazing experience all in all. I can't wait to be back!


A Fairytale Christmas: New York Christmas Romance by Melissa Hill

 

Name: A Fairytale Christmas
Author: Melissa Hill
Format: ebook
Pages: 70 pages
Release date: 7th November
Sold by: Amazon Media

Teaser

When Londoner Penny decides to visit her best friend Kate in New York for the festive season, the surprise appearance of a previous suitor sends her plans for a relaxing, carefree visit into complete disarray. When she and Mike last saw each other, the timing couldn't have been worse.

But when Mike decides to show Penny the very best of what a snowy, festive, New York has to offer - resolving to make it a Christmas to remember - will she be able to resist his charms this time round? And will there be a happy ending to her fairytale New York Christmas? 


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