Review | Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell

Title | Love You To Death

Author | Caroline Mitchell

Publisher | Bookouture

Source | Review Copy

My Rating | 5/5 


‘I’m not your mother. You’re a monster. I don’t want you’

Women who gave a child up for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.

For Detective Ruby Preston and her team, it is a race against time to connect the dots before the killer can strike again. But when Ruby receives a sinister email, the case takes a terrifying personal twist. 

Could the clues to the identity of the killer lie in Ruby’s own past?

Who can she trust with her secrets?

And could Ruby be next?

Love You to Death is a serial killer thriller packed with twists.

What Dawn-Tracy Thinks

I have been witnessing great things said about Caroline Mitchell yet I'd not read any of her work. I've read a couple of crime authors; Angela Marsons, Robert Bryzna, Kerry Wilkinson (All Bookouture authors), but I was lacking one in my collection. Fear of missing out (FOMO - is real you know), I decided that I wanted to dip my toe into her crime thrilling world and WOW was I rewarded for facing my fear.

Never before has a Crime Thriller had me so intricately hooked upon every single word and caused me to lay awake at 2-3am in bed just desperate to read more, but that is exactly what Caroline has achieved in Love You To Death. It's a storyline I've not had the pleasure of reading anywhere else before, so the fact that it had me tied to my bed, bound by the pages and words of this mind blowing story is a testament to the sheer impact this book will have upon you.

My initial response to having finished this book was posted on my twitter feed to Caroline and Bookouture was as follows; 

"OMFG 😱 just finished reading by ... What the hell do I do now I've finished?? 😜😂 😵"

So what caused this reaction in me?

Love You To Death is the first introductory book to DS Ruby Preston who is one of my new sheroes in the crime world - I think if she teamed up with badass DI Kim Stone (courtesy of Angela Marsons) there would be a whole new genre of wonder-woman heroes (Bookouture, we can do this can't we? We can get two fabulous authors team up for a ONE OFF special book can't we? - Do I need to get a campaign set up?) shaping up the crime thrilling fictional world.

I love Ruby because she is the girl who made a choice to better herself, she lived right next door to the criminal underground - literally - and happened to fall in love with their son, Nathan Crosby, and we see the delicateness of their fierce, protective love for one another throughout this book. It has a kind of Romeo and Juliet theme going in that it's a forbidden love, but as anyone who has ever been in love will say, sometimes you can't help who you fall in love with. Their bond is joined forevermore with the daughter, Lucy they had adopted.

But aside from her love life, Ruby has to contend with a serial killer named "Lucy" who is killing women who had their daughter's adopted. Is it the Lucy? Why is she doing this? Is it some sort of revenge? All Ruby can focus on is trying to save the next victim, and the victim after her and her daughter.

Ruby makes a deal with the devil aka Lenny Crosby (Nathan's brother) and asks him to hunt down her Lucy - she needs to know if it's her, but she should have known it would come at a cost, and a whole load of manipulation from the Crosby family - interfering "Mother-in-Laws" ring any bells?

Then she has her colleagues on her back or stabbing her in it! Can she trust anyone and if she can, just who has her back and who is the snake in the grass?

The twists and turns in this book are far to many to mention, but each grips you in and not once did I know who the killer was until the very end and the shock was explosive! 

I'm glad Caroline left book 1 on a hook of how Ruby and Nathan's relationship and the revelation about their daughter hanging in the balance. I can't wait to pick up book 2 which Caroline has assured me today that is currently being edited!!!

OMG please don't make us wait much longer for book 2! This was incredibly twisted and tormenting with a satisfying breath of fresh crime thrilling air! 

Blog Tour | The Cat of Yule Cottage by Lili Hayward

Title | The Cat of Yule Cottage 

Author | Lili Hayward 

Publisher | Hodder 

Pages | 208 Pages 

Purchase | Amazon 

A magical tale of Christmas and cats, perfect for everyone who loves A Street Cat Named Bob and Alfie the Doorstep Cat.
It's nearly Christmas, and Jessamine Pike needs a serious life overhaul.
Jess moves into Enysyule, a centuries-old cottage in Cornwall, and begins the process of renovating the rundown house by day and finishing her novel by night, planning to have both finished in time for the holidays. She's got good company: a beautiful, arrogant tomcat stalks around like he owns the place, and seems very skeptical of Jess' tenancy.
But there's magic in the air... Local legends tell of a spirit that inhabits the area, and an ancient standing stone that keeps watch over the valley. As Christmas comes closer and closer, Jess uncovers treasures from Enysyule's past, and becomes involved in a fight for its future.
For Jess has stumbled into a story that's been going on for five hundred years. A story about land, love, friendship, the Yuletide... and one remarkable cat.

Guest Post 

Dear Reader,

Today I have something rather wonderful for you to kick off my December posts and festivities here at A Page of Fictional Love. I am rather fond of books, crochet and cats as many of you will know of my beautiful fur baby; Magick, which is why this post is so extra special for me today.

In celebration of the publication of; The Cat of Yule COttage (the title is simply so dreamy!), I am handing over my blog to author Lili Hayward for the day as she shares with you her rather fun post 'Cats vs. Dogs'. It brought smiles and giggles to my face as I read it, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy! 

Cats vs. Dogs
Lili Hayward

Dogs are nice and all that. They have funny faces and are sometimes useful and good for long walks. But for me, there’s no contest. I am a fully paid up lifetime member of the Cat Club. Here are six reasons why(and a liberal smattering of YouTube links):
1. Cats are keen on scientific education
They regularly offer free anatomy lessons to their owners; without them, how would you know what a mouse kidney looked like? They're strict on timetables as well, and will often commence your lessons first thing in the morning, by leaving a new exhibit (bird foot, decapitated mouse head) on the rug next to the bed.

2. They encourage philosophical thinking
And I’m not only talking about Schrödinger... Cats present daily paradoxes and conundrums to test their owners, such as: My Cat Refuses the Fancy Food Yet Feasts on Half a Dead Moth: Discuss. Or:The Only Water I Like to Drink is From the Toilet or Your Glass: true or true?

For extra feline philosophy see Derrida’s cat in his philosophical work: The Animal that Therefore I am.

3. They hold down important jobs
Yet still manage to do almost nothing at the same time. Take Tama, the calico cat who was made Super Station Master at Kishi Station in Kinokawa, Japan. Or Tuxedo Stan, who ran for mayor in Halifax, Canada or El Candigato Morris in Xalapa, Mexico, whose team pledged he would “rid the city of its corrupt political rats”, and argued that voting for him was less of a joke than the election itself.

4. Sometimes they even work for a living
Dogs aren’t the only ones who work. All over the world, cats occasionally deign to accept employment. Take the famous Tibs the Great, the Post Office’s Number One Cat, who kept the HQ free from mice for fourteen years. Or the many famous Ship Cats, like Able Seacat Simon and Mrs Chippy. And as for sniffer dogs, pah! At a police checkpoint in Stavropol, two Russian cats, Barsik and Rusik, could sniff out smuggled cargos of black-market sturgeon and caviar with astonishing accuracy, ousting the force’s sniffer dogs. They were so successful, that eventually, they sadly became victims of a Mafia hit.

5. They are celebrated in art
Forget “How Much is that Doggy in the Window”. Cats have been inspiring works of art for thousands of years. Take the 9th Century Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán”, written by a monk to his cat. "Pangur" translates as “fuller” (e.g. someone who pounded woolen cloth for a living: as anyone who owns a cat and has been subject to a vigorous kneading can testify, it's an apt name) and Bán, meaning “fair” or “white”. And then there's my personal favourite, Jeoffry the Cat, who kept poet Christopher Smart company when his family had him incarcerated in an asylum. Smart dedicated a whole section of his 1762 poem Jubilate Agno to Jeoffry: “For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery... For by stroking him I have discovered electricity”. From illuminated manuscripts to the magnificent Japanese Edo-era ukiyo-e woodblock prints, artists and cats go together like claws and the bottom of the sofa.

6. They Keep Writers Happy
Every writer needs a cat. Cats have carefully honed the art of focus training, and frequently test a writer’s determination to keep writing by time-honoured exercises, such as Walking Across the Keyboard, Sleeping on the Laptop, or Must Sit on the Lap Now. Sometimes, they'll encourage you to take a break and stretch your back and neck muscles by mewing loudly and persistently for food.

Writers are often odd creatures, who – speaking for myself –require bothhours of solitude and sudden bursts of human interaction. Who can better understand that than a cat? Alan Ginsberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Mark Twain, Patricia Highsmith, Tove Jansson, Ernest Hemingway, Neil Gaiman, Doris Lessing, Philip K. Dick, Edgar Allen Poe... Cat-lovers, all of them. Over and out.

You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.”
Jorge Luis Borges, To a Cat

Please consider making a donation to your local animal rescue centre (such as Cats Protection) this Christmas! 

Image result for Cats protection

#BlogTour | Brides & Bouquets by Rebecca Raisin

Dear Reader, 

Today I have a wonderful review for you as I am one of the hosts on Rebecca Raisin's Blog Tour today to promote her brand new book, Brides & Bouquets, Book 2 in the Cedarwood Lodge Trilogy. I adored her first book, so I jumped for joy when I was invited to take part in hosting book 2! First let's do our usual routine of looking at what the books about before we find out exactly what I thought of it. I'm so glad that you are here for this! 

Title | Brides & Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge

Author | Rebecca Raisin 

Publisher | HQ Digital

Source | Review Copy 

My Rating | 4/5 


Christmas has come to Cedarwood Lodge in the second part of the feel-good romance serial from best selling author, Rebecca Raisin!

Dreaming of a happily ever after at Cedarwood Lodge is Clio Winters’ current focus, especially with a winter wonderland wedding expo planned. But with brides coming from far and wide the heat is on for Clio to fulfil everyone’s dream of a Christmas wedding!
It seems like Clio’s new business might be off to a rocky start and surrounded by love struck brides she can’t help but hope for a little Christmas romance of her own…
Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts – following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of Evergreen. This is Part Two.

What Dawn-Tracy Thinks

I adore Cedarwood Lodge and the town of Evergreen, so to return there was a pure treat especially as the lodge prepares for its first Christmas in quite a few years. The last time we caught up with Clio and her friends, they'd finally successfully restored the lodge to its former glory - with a few minor hiccups, and Amory, Clio's friend from Manhattan had arrived just as Clio and... Well I don't want to spoil it for you if you've not read it just yet. <Looks at you accusatory; "why haven't you read it yet?">

Now we're back and there is a bride expo to plan for. There's the vendor's to confirm which Amory is helping with, the food to organise - but we have Georges to deal with that, everyone is helping. It's going to be fine. Or is it? 
Amory suddenly turned up, but why? And what's going on with her and Cruz? Things are quiet since Kai left and Clio kind of misses him, but refuses to allow herself to miss him or ponder on why that might be. 

Things are pottering along nicely, everything is coming together, even Clio and her Mum are getting on better - until Clio finds out that her Mum is hiding something and it involves a baby. After some digging, she realises that everyone else seems to know, but her.
Just as it all starts to come together, and people are imminent to arrive Georges announces that he's off on some cruise and Clio will have to warm the canapes up herself! OMG It could be a disaster! 

When the bride's' turn up everything goes so well, potential bookings and then this awful bridezilla who could ruin everything in a single second with her... mouth! 

I loved the twists and turns of Brides & Bouquets, my heart was beating so fast in places I wondered if I'd survive if I didn't just turn another page. Also, I secretly wondered if Kai would make a return... can't resist a bit of eye-candy can we girls? ;-) 

I'm sad that I have wait until next year (March I believe for the final installment in the trilogy) but what a treat that will be in the new year. Definitely something to look forward to. 

Author Info:
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thank you to the publishers, tour promotions team, and of course Rebecca for allowing my to have an early copy to read, and to be a part of the blog tour. I wish you much success

With Love,
Dawn-Tracy xx 

Review | Twelve Days Of Christmas

Dear Reader, 

Today I have a gorgeous book for you, one that I have been looking forward to, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed! One of my favourite authors ever as many of you know I do have a few, but one of them is Debbie Macomber, writer of the famous Cedar Cove TV series which is based on her books. Every year I look forward to Debbie's christmas novels because for me they always manage to capture the true meaning of christmas. This year's title is definitely one of my absolute favourite books ever. 

Title | Twelve Days of Christmas

Author | Debbie Macomber

Publisher | Arrow

Source | Review Copy

My Rating | 5/5 


Julia is infuriated by her grumpy neighbour, Cain, who can’t even be pleasant when they bump into each other.

So on the suggestion of her best friend, Cammie, Julia concocts a plan. She starts a blog in order to clinch her perfect job, and now she has a subject. Over the next twelve days, she is going to kill Cain with kindness – and Christmas cheer – and document it for all to read about.

But as the experiment goes on, Julia realises she underestimated the effect it would have on Cain, and on their relationship, and things take an unexpected turn…

What Dawn-Tracy Thinks...

I admit that I got just a little excited when I began reading this book as both my Mum and my Partner will vouch for. When I think of this story I immediately smile and have such fond memories. Even though my Partner doesn't have time to read much I like to think that he read this book through my telling him what was happening in the storyline - which he found really amusing. Funnily enough, I heard my Mum laughing out loud during certain moments in the book, so when I read it, I was adamant that I didn't want her to tell me anything about the book to spoil it for me. But I kept updating her as to where I was in the book.

To say that this book is a book that I adore, and that the storyline cheered me up is an understatement. I don't want to spoil it for you so i'll just give you a little brief on what it's about.

Julia lives across the hall from Cain, and as much as she tries to be neighbourly and polite when she sees him, he is simply grouchy with her and earns himself the name of Ebenezer. He actually infuriated Julia so much that she told her friend Cammie on the phone all about him. Cammie, like all best friends always know what to do, so Julia was shocked when Cammie suggested that Julia kill him ... with kindness!

As Julia was in competition with another prospective employee for her dream job in social media, she was set the task of writing a blog - (You can see why I got excited now can't you?) and the person with the highest readership would get the job. Julia had no idea what to write about on her blog so when Cammie suggested killing Cain with kindness in the run up to Christmas, Julia decided to try just that - and document it all on her blog.

I will admit that as Julia's readership rose, and the thousands of readers, pages of comments and such were mentioned - I was so envious of her :-) I think any blogger would be! But I was also rooting for her and proud of her. Keeping a blog can be tough! 

As the challenge went on, there were many twists and turns, misunderstandings, and hilarious tongue in cheek moments. The one thing that stood out to me was the way that kindness was the central theme, and just how kindness can change people. It's something we could all do more of, to make this world a better place. 

I highly recommend Twelve Days of Christmas, if you love traditional christmases, and traditional stories, this is definitely one not to be missed. 

Thank you Debbie for writing another much treasured book in our home, we loved it! 

Merry Christmas Debbie from our homes to yours, 
With Love, 
Dawn-Tracy & Family xxx 

Blog Tour | It's Not You, It's Them by Portia MacIntosh

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for "It's Not You, It's
by Portia MacIntosh and am I so pleased that Portia has written a
 little guest post for us all to enjoy about 
Writing 'Grown-Up' Fairy Tales. Of course we also have the 
details and links you need to get yourself a copy of It's Not You,
 It's Them which is all found below. But first, I want to hand 
over to Portia. 

When I was a kid, I would love reading fairy tales. Even now, as an
adult, I am a sucker for a good romance. It’s no surprise that 
writing books is a dream come true for me, because it means that I
 get to invent my own love stories for other people to enjoy
Fairy tales are a big source of inspiration for me, that’s why, when
 I was writing It's Not You, It’s Them, I wanted an opening chapter
 that paid tribute to them.

I had my Cinderella character (dressed as Harley Quinn) and my
 Prince Charming (dressed as Heath Ledger’s Joker in his nurse 
outfit) meet at a (charity) ball. Cinders didn’t think she was special
 enough for the prince, and in classic fairy tale style, she flees the
 scene, leaving her glass slipper (well, baseball bat) behind her. My
 prince travels to all the houses (media outlets) in the land (city) to
 find the girl (journalist) who left her slipper (bat) behind.

You do have to tweak what you write, to write a fairy tale for 
‘grown ups’ though. For starters, you have to throw a little sex into
 the mix. The fairy tales we know and love don’t have any funny
 business, but adults like a little funny business with their romance 
(because that’s real life) so we have to work that into there. The 
same goes for swearing, it’s just a part of adult life that you can’t
 really avoid – even if you don’t swear yourself, we’ve all got that
 one friend who throws around F-bombs like confetti at a wedding.

I do have to make my stories more realistic than a fairy tale, but I 
don’t think that means losing the magic. Falling in love is magical.
It’s such a wonderful feeling and it doesn’t matter how much
 realism surrounds it.

I love a fairy tale even more now as a grown-up than I did as a
 young girl, probably because not only does it give you an avenue
 of escape from the real world, but you do get the joy of reading the
 sex scenes. I've loved reading about Portia's thought process when 
writing fairy tales for the adult audience, and reading that alone 
makes you want to read the book doesn't it? Shall we have a look at
 what it's about and where you can get your copy from? Let's take a 
peek then.
From the Blurb:

An irresistible, feel-good romance, perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

First comes love. Then comes family…

After a lifetime of kissing frogs, Roxie Pratt has given up on finding her own fairytale romance. That is, until she meets her very own Prince Charming, Mark Wright, and he sweeps Roxie off her feet!

So when Mark finally gets down on one knee and pops the question, there’s only one thing left to do: meet the family! And when everything has been picture-perfect so far, what could possibly go wrong…?

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order Links: Amazon | Amazon UK 

About the Author:

Portia MacIntosh has been 'making stuff up' for as long as she can remember - or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it's really like for women who don't find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads