Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles: The Driftwood Inn by Phillipa Ashley

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles: The Driftwood Inn by Phillipa Ashley

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About the author

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Born in 1971 in Lichfield, Phillipa Ashley is an award winning author of 17 novels under 3 different pen names.

Blurb

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Review

This was a beautiful book that I randomly chose because it was on offer and I thought looked like a feel good read for December. I’m so glad I chose it because it really was a nice comfortable read.

The first thing I loved about this book was the setting. The setting is so tranquil but also wild and rugged and takes a certain type of person to live there. The islanders are a unique type of people to live there.

Maisie is one of these islanders who was born on the island and after spending time away has returned home and she is happy to be home. She swims in the freezing sea and enjoys running her parents’ pub but most of all she loves where she lives and the people who also live there and doesn’t want that to change. Maisie is a character who will always fight and that is what I loved about her.

Patrick is an excellent guy who appears too good to be true but he does have a past and is open with Maisie about that past but not entirely. He is a good man with a slight cleaning fetish but mainly he just wants to do the right thing.

My favourite character in the book is actually Basil the dog. He is so unruly and wild but just loves people and wants to do exactly the opposite of what his owner Hugo says.

This book has a wonderful storyline and is just a general feel good story that puts you in the festive spirit. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants a festive read and the only reason I gave this book 4 Dragons instead of 5 was because the storyline was a little bit too predictable for me.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton (Book Review)

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

AVGEC

About the author

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Tim Burton was born in August 1958 and is an American filmmaker, artist, writer and animator. He is famous for his dark, gothic and eccentric horror and fantasy films. He often works with Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman.

Blurb

In all the world, there is no place like Halloweenland, and Jack Skellington is Halloween’s most important figure. It’s Jack who devises the holiday’s most macabre tricks and frights, and he’s delightfully done it year after year. But this year, something isn’t quite right: Jack has grown bored with the usual Halloween pranks, and the joy of seeing shock and horror on people’s faces has faded.

Then one night, while out for a walk in the woods, Jack sees something he’s never seen before – a strange door carved into a tree. Stepping through the door Jack stumbles into a world unlike any he’s ever known. He finds himself in a bright, colorful place called Christmas Town. Jack has finally found what he’s been looking for, and knows right away what needs to be done. He will bring Christmas to Halloween – with Jack starring in Santa’s role!

The beautifully designed commemorative edition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of this classic book’s initial publication and features meticulously reproduced original artwork from the incomparable visionary Tim Burton.

Review

I was so excited when I saw this book and I immediately bought it. I love the movie and I have watched it so many times, so when I saw the book I was overjoyed.

The illustrations in this book are stunning and completely right and the book is the perfect size so the illustrations work really well. There was one problem though, it was missing most of the story! Where was Sally? Where was Oogie Boogie? My two favourite characters were not in the book!

I can understand that Burton thinned the story down to its bare minimum to make this a children’s book that wouldn’t scare children like maybe the film would but I just missed my favourite characters and somehow not having at least Sally in the story meant that it just did not feel complete and left holes in the story for me that made no sense. However maybe a child would not see these holes.

I know I have probably looked far too much into this as a children’s book and realise that most children will love the book but for me it just did not feel right. The illustrations were amazing but due to my favourite characters being missing I only gave the book 3 out of 5 Dragons. Sorry Mr Burton but for me the movie is far better.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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One Day in Winter by Shari Low (Book Review)

One Day in Winter by Shari Low

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About the author

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Shari Low is a No. 1 bestselling author who has written over 20 novels and currently lives in Glasgow.

Blurb

One morning in December, Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies. Lila decided to tell her lover’s wife of their secret affair. Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved. And Bernadette vowed to walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back. In one day, four lives will change forever.

Review

This book was another freebie on Apple Books and a very enjoyable read if a little predictable.

The first thing that I enjoyed was that the book is very cleverly spread over one day with each chapter focusing on a certain character. The characters it focuses on are Caro, Lila, Bernadette and Cammy and how these four lives are separate but also linked.

I loved the character of Caro and felt so sorry for her, I do not think I would have coped like she did if I was in her situation. She was down to earth, kind and a decent caring person. Lila however is a complete contrast, she is selfish, uncaring, vain to the core and absolutely obsessed with the media, I really loathed her.

Cammy is a good man if a little vain but he basically wants to settle down and have a good life. Cammy I also felt sorry for because he is also boyishly naive and this leads to him not seeing the cold hard facts.

I must admit this book didn’t move me as much as I thought it would and I think Lila deserved to have had a much more just ending, she did not deserve her ending at all in my opinion and that is why I only gave it 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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November Wrap Up

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

Well it has been another busy month with lots of studying and assignment writing as well as the normal day job keeping me busy.

Not as many books read this month but hopefully in December it will increase because I have loads of books I want to read.

 

Books Read (Click on the Titles to be taken to the review):-

 

 

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare

A Very Murderous Christmas by various.

 

Total page count this month:- 656

Year page count:- 14,017

 

Happy reading!

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Christmas Book Haul

Hello!

Today I have had a wonderful day off, as I spent the morning reading and then went and spent the day in Birmingham book shopping and exploring the German Christmas Market.

I had a lot of fun in Waterstones and bought quite a few books and my husband also got some as well so the lady on the check out was quite surprised at the varied selection. I also had a lot of fun looking at the children’s section.

 

Here are my lovely books:-

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I bought this book because my best friend, nicknamed Tufty Seal highly recommends Adam Kay as a writer so I am really looking forward to reading this book.

 

AVGEC

I saw this today and just had to buy it as I absolutely love the film!

 

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I must admit I got this because the cover was pretty, I know very shallow, but sometimes a pretty cover is all you need to buy a book.

 

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I bought this because I loved the last book with Murder Christmas stories I hope this one does not disappoint.

 

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Another book from the Christmas table at Waterstones. I hope it does not disappoint.

 

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This book I got in the children’s section. I always get a version of The Nutcracker each year and this year I got this little one with a pop up surprise at the end!

 

I also got two very pretty decorations from the German Market.

 

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of the books.

Happy Reading.

 

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A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season by Various Authors (Review)

A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season by Various Authors and edited by Cecily Gayford

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Blurb

The Christmas season is one of comfort and joy, sparkling lights and steam rising from cups of mulled wine at frosty carol services. A season of goodwill to all men, as families and friends come together to forget their differences and celebrate the year together.

Unless, of course, you happen to be harbouring a grudge. Or hiding a guilty secret. Or you want something so much you just have to have it – whatever the cost. In A Very Murderous Christmas, ten of the best classic crime writers come together to unleash festive havoc, with murder, mayhem and twists aplenty.

Following Murder on Christmas Eve and Murder under the Christmas Tree, this is the perfect accompaniment to a mince pie and a roaring fire. Just make sure you’re really, truly alone …

Review

I bought this book last year just after Christmas so I never read it and thought I would save if for Christmas 2019. I’ve been desperate to start my Christmas reading and so kicked it off by reading this book. I read a short story a night and loved it.

The book has a range of short stories but sadly they are not all murder mysteries and some are just merely mysteries. My favourite story was Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz, it really made me giggle.

The first story in the book The Man with the Sack by Margery Allingham set the scene of a wonderful Christmas in the old days where the village children would come and visit the big house and someone would dress as Father Christmas and give out presents. I really enjoyed the beginning of this story but must admit I found the ending rather a disappointment and it was all a bit too predictable for me.

The Adventure of the Red Widow by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr was very amusing and it was a nice Sherlock Holmes mystery and I enjoyed the murder mystery immensely but I must admit I found the ending rather sad, not something I wanted from a Christmas book, even a murder mystery Christmas book.

Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz my absolute favourite of the book and made me giggle. A proper little Christmas story.

The Flying Stars by G. K. Chesterton I must admit I found this story rather annoying in places and rather predictable. Just could not get on with characters in this story and rather pleased it was only short.

A Problem in White by Nicholas Blake this story I did enjoy and loved how it unfurled, a real mystery and set on a train with snow. A perfect Christmas tale with more than one crime to solve.

Loopy by Ruth Rendell now this story I found disturbing and rather worrying. The main character had clearly been over protected by his mother his entire life and also did not live in the real world or cope well when made to deal with it.

Morse’s Greatest Mystery by Colin Dexter. Oh I love a Morse story and this one was excellent. Morse is so eccentric in this story and his usual grumpy self, it did make me laugh.

The Jar of Ginger by Gladys Mitchell. An odd Christmas story and I’m not entirely sure I would have included it in a Christmas book if I had been choosing the stories but the plot was good and overall an interesting concept.

Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces by John Mortimer. This is another wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It had all the Christmas requirements: a pantomime, snow, a cold vicarage, Christmas parties and festive spirit. A perfect little Christmas story.

The Problem of Santa’s Lighthouse by Edward Hook. The last story of the book was a great mystery and rather Johnathan Creek in style and not just because of the windmill!

Overall I loved this book and would highly recommend it, especially as you can just dip into it over the festive season. The only reason it didn’t get the full 5/5 Dragons and only 4 was because it did not have a full set of murder mystery stories and because The Flying Stars just annoyed me.

Purchase links;-

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Christmas Reading list: Update

Hello!

So yesterday after spending a great deal of time reading and note taking for my Masters, I decided I would check out Amazon and see if they had any super cheap Christmas books. To be honest I do not usually buy books off Amazon unless it is for my Kindle but yesterday I felt like a treat.

So the list has grown again, I just hope the new books prove to be good. I have also read one of the books on the list and a review will be posted shortly.

The List

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

 

Please drop me a comment if you have any Christmas book recommendations, as I would love to add to the list.

Happy Reading!

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