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Dawn-Tracy ~ A Page of Fictional Love (United Kingdom)

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Down on Daffodil Lane
Down on Daffodil Lane
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story full of hope, love and the dream of starting again, 19 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I couldn't wait to read this book by Becca so as soon as it was released I hit buy and it downloaded instantly to my Kindle. I recall that I was in the middle of gardening and I simply sat for "five minutes" to have a break and there I was an hour later, eagerly flipping the pages on my kindle. The reason being is that with each book that Becca has written, her skill of writing has gotten better and better and each sentence was woven intricately like delicate lace, and like the lace I was hooked.

I actually shed a tear when I began reading Maria Charm's story because I could so deeply identify with her and how much she needed to get away from things. This past year for me whilst has been beautiful, it has certainly had it's moments of enduring pain and sadness. Whilst my personal need to get away was far different to Maria's I found myself nodding along with her wanting to say, "I know exactly how you feel". Maria is a highly lovable character, I would love to have a friend like her! In fact I would love to live on Daffodil Lane near all the characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed the home decor elements to the story as I am a true home decor addict! I just love talking paint swatches, fabric, rearrangements of furniture, accessories and making a house a home. So thank you Becca for adding that into the story, it was a very welcome element.

Let me brief you on the storyline without any spoilers - I hope!

Maria needs to get away from her lying cheating rat of an ex husband. Clearly he's not bothered, but she is. Their marriage meant something to her. Their vows meant something to her. So she is utterly heartbroken when she finds out what he's been upto.

Her mum's friend Geraldine has a cottage on Daffodil Lane that needs a little TLC - just like us all really - and offers Maria the use of the cottage to get away and get a little perspective on things in return for Maria doing the cottage up a bit. I admit I was so jealous at this point. A cottage, A Village, Decorating Potential... what is NOT to love about this life? I mean story... story not life! *day dreams of cottages and villages and decorating*.

So Rob (Maria's brother) takes her out of the cottage to the local village tea-shop *Squeals with delight*, I do love a good tea shop, and tries to get her to come out of her shell. It's a tough one, but the tea shop owner Harriet is lovely and welcomes Maria to the village. Harriet needs a little help in the cafe, and Maria needs a fresh start, something else to do apart from decorating, something to build up her confidence.

In other village news there's a hunk called Brad and then there's Harvey and the hairdresser Millie who has the most adorable little girl Susie and soon there are more sparks flying than a firework display! But Maria does NOT want another man. How can she ever trust a man again? Does she? Doesn't she?

Well you'll have to read yourself to find out because I fear spilling all the beautiful details if I carry on. The characters are just so lovely, so believable that even I wanted to climb into the pages and live there myself. Seriously I'm sure I could find a cottage on Daffodil Lane, and I could immerse myself in village life. I really could. I promise. :-)

I can't just leave you hanging there, so I'll tell you this; in addition to what I've already told you about the delicious plot of this sunny story, there is coin flipping, ankle-breaking, a tearjerking wedding, a pregnancy and that awful "bump into your ex" moment. See??? This is exactly why you MUST read this. If you read one book this summer, PLEASE read Down on Daffodil Lane, and then come and talk to me about it. :-)

Congratulations Becca on another wonderful story that will touch hearts worldwide.

Willow Cottage - Part One: Sunshine and Secrets
Willow Cottage - Part One: Sunshine and Secrets
Price: £0.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch the Willow Cottage Love-Bug, 7 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, just how gorgeous is the cover?? I mean really, it couldn't get any more beautiful and inviting could it? The cover, for me, as I've mentioned many times before is what initially draws me to a book, and this one caught my eye instantly. Then I noted the author; Bella Osbourne and I just KNEW it was a "must read".

I devoured this book in less than 24 hours which lately is a huge achievement for me, and that for me testifies just how compelling the story line is.

Beth 'accidently' bids on the cottage at the auction house and quickly stands by her decision and is soon looking forward to moving in. But like all stories of true love, it never does run smoothly. Firstly, she and her son Leo can't find the cottage, then she meets a 'crazy old lady' Shirley, who I have to say made me giggle so much I nearly lost the contents of my cup of tea at one point! Beth soon meets Jack who I also found quite endearing - I do hope something sparkles there - I'm a hopeless romantic.

My laugh out loud moment came when Jack helped Beth discover if the cottage was 'watertight' - I shall leave you to enjoy that moment yourself.

Oh the entire book was just utterly scrumptious, and on World Chocolate Day, it was exactly what I needed! I must warn you though, make sure you have snacks handy because my mouth drooled at the mere mention of scones, bacon butties, and jacket potatoes! (perhaps I'm eating far too much salad like Beth!). I can barely wait for the second installment in October ( Willow Cottage 2 - Christmas Cheer) when we hit Christmas season, as I just know that at Willow Cottage, something beautiful, heart warming and deliciously romantically fun is bound to happen.

Well done Bella on writing another truly beautiful story, you've made my day, and this HAS to be one of my Top Reads for 2016 (and I've not read the following installments yet!) Willow Cottage has made me want to buy my very own cottage, renovate, embrace village life and have a bright pink front door! Although, I would need to find a symmetrical cottage (needle + haystack anyone??), and it would need to be bright, airy,..... wait... you're not interested in MY estate agent needs... quick go... shoo... buy this book today, and catch the Willow Cottage love-bug!

Easily awarding Willow Cottage (1) Sunshine & Secrets 5 out of 5 stars!

Summer at Skylark Farm: The perfect summer escape to the country
Summer at Skylark Farm: The perfect summer escape to the country
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The cover is utterly beautiful, and the contents inside are simply fabulous, 11 Jun. 2016
The second this book landed on my kindle to read from Simon & Schuster UK (THANK YOU!) I began devouring it. I couldn't stop reading. Heidi had absolutely nothing to worry about with this book, in fact Heidi... if I were you I'd be channelling that worry into book 2! *angel face*

I adored this book for so many reasons, and if it were in paperback I could gush about how the cover always made me smile gazing up at me whenever I managed to put it down, but alas on the kindle I didn't have that so much, but even so. The cover is utterly beautiful, and the contents inside are simply fabulous!
Heidi made me smile SO much with this book that I have to say she caught me out. I thought I knew where the story was going... you know the typical woman chooses career abroad aka opportunity of a lifetime and wishes she'd chosen the man, returns home and discovers he's moved on and in fact just before we end the book we discover they do still love each other and finally have a happily ever after together???? Yeah, I was wrong! Because whilst that is a fabulous storyline, what Heidi has written is OMG SO MUCH BETTER!!!

I could tell you how it really goes... but NO... You must read it for yourself and be inspired at how TRUE LOVE really does shine through this story and how realistic and utterly relatable it is. I know I could imagine this actually happening.

I would not hesitate for a split second on recommending this book and it is so brilliant that I am debating whether it could actually knock off my current number 1 read of 2016!

Life Loves You Cards
Life Loves You Cards
by Louise Hay
Edition: Cards
Price: £13.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louise Hay never fails to disappoint with whatever book or product she brings out it ..., 3 May 2016
This review is from: Life Loves You Cards (Cards)
Louise Hay never fails to disappoint with whatever book or product she brings out it is always so inspiring, helpful and healing. I also think that her teamwork with Robert Holden is beautiful and so sacred.

Last year I was reading the book they co-wrote, Life Loves You and still to this day I only have to look at the cover or think about the book to trigger reminders of the practices I could do to have a better day and life. So when I discovered that they were bringing out a deck of cards to help with the practices mentioned in the book I knew that they were going to be special.

I wasn't disappointed one tiny bit. Each card is beautiful, and so loving. On the one side there is a small affirmation such as "Love is my teacher" and then on the back there is a short paragraph, only a couple of sentences explaining how you can bring that practice into your life, or offering you an exercise to do or journal prompt.

Every day I pull myself a card thinking "How can I let life love me today" and I always find that the card is perfect for me. These are absolutely brilliant for anyone at any stage in their life. They aren't what you would consider "woo-woo" at all, they are a practice application tool to loving yourself more.

I would recommend them specifically to anyone with confidence or self esteem issues as I think they are a great support and so positive.

Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection
Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection
by Kyle Gray
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was excited about this book as I love the idea of being able to dip in and ..., 3 May 2016
I was excited about this book as I love the idea of being able to dip in and out of a book to pick a thought for the day, a teaching, an activity etc. The cover is gorgeous and the way the title shimmers is beautifully in sync with the title.

The layout is superb, and each 'daily vibe' is short and doable. There is for each day a hashtag quote which I assume is to be shared on social media kind of in the same way that Gabrielle Bernstein's "Miracles Now" was set up. In fact this book really reminded me of her book. It's very similar and even features the odd yoga pose for the day - again like Gabby's does. So if her book really floated your boat then this one may help you add on to our practice.

I can't say with my hand on my heart that it was original because it wasn't - it was like Gabrielle Bernstein's book as I've already mentioned. However the yoga featured wasn't kundalini yoga but the more well known version that Kyle practices, Ashtanga.

I like how you can pick out a page in any order if you like or you can follow them on a day to day basis from start to finish and as you do so you work through activating, balancing and energising your chakras. There are 111 practices (as opposed to Gabby's 108) so there are plenty to chose and work through.

I must add that at the start of the book before you actually get into the daily practices there is quite a lot of good information to get you started from angel numbers to chakras and how they work within our auric bodies etc.

I think this book would be brilliant for anyone new to spiritual practice and want ideas on how to have a daily practice.

Due to the lack of originality I'm giving this a 3/5

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I heard good things about it and it seemed to be always ..., 27 April 2016
I have to admit, this is one book that I saw in the bookshops and kept meaning to read it but never got around to it. I heard good things about it and it seemed to be always on show when ever I was in a book shop. I was thrilled when Little Brown offered me the chance to read it along with the new book that follows on Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.

It took me a while to get into the book but once I did I couldn't put it down. I think i'm one of those readers that struggles to get into a book for the first half and then zoom through the last half of the book utterly gripped!

The characters were instantly likeable, and although a couple made me feel wary of them, it was utterly beautiful how it all played out in the end. I was also made so aware of just how awful life in Afghanistan can be, especially for women. I think it's only natural that in this day and age where we've had to accept terrorism as more normal than it should be, it really made me think just how I can sometimes misjudge people and fear them for no reason.

I love how brave Deborah was with the content of her story, she really brought the life in Kabul alive in the pages, shying away from nothing and revealing all. From the customs and traditions expected and obeyed to the disgusting treatment of women, this book also beautifully captures the friendship and bonds between multi-cultural women and men that centre around the Little Coffee Shop.

Whilst the book does encroach on aspects of romance and forbidden love, I particularly enjoyed how it didn't focus so much on romance, literally teased us with enough information for the romance to be captured beautifully. This book has opened my eyes and my heart to the possibilities and daily life in Kabul.

A wonderful and heartening read that will stay with me forever, I'm looking forward to reading the following book; Return to the Little Coffee Shop in Kabul, and also Deborah's other books.

#HigherSelfie: Wake Up Your Life. Free Your Soul. Find Your Tribe.
#HigherSelfie: Wake Up Your Life. Free Your Soul. Find Your Tribe.
by Lucy Sheridan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Manual For Modern High Vibe Living!, 27 April 2016
I remember seeing this book pop up in my recommendations on Amazon and the cover blew me away. It is one of those books that I *knew* I had to have. It was such an excitable wait until this was published and when it was, it was perfect timing.

I devoured this book when I received it from Hay House to review, and had I not been sent a review copy, I would definitely have purchased it for myself. It's one of those books that I believe will help everyone. It's not strictly limited to anyone with "woo-woo" inclinations. I read this book from the view point of someone who might never have meditated, aligned their chakras, or bought a crystal in their lives (just for the record I have done all those things before).

The rawe honesty in this book is breathtakingly refreshing and it have made me realise just how incredibly professional these ladies are. Both Jo and Lucy are utterly lovely and are the role models young women should be looking up to. Nothing is out of bounds in this book, their honesty like I said is a welcome change. I loved their no bull s*** approach - yes these ladies have worked their asses off to get to where they are right now, and they didn't sit on their ass visualising for eternity. They got off their ass, hey worked hard - literally, from bridge job to bridge job - cleaning toilets, putting up with low vibe work places just so they could get where they are today. I loved how they said not to be ashamed of where the money comes from. That is something that I have struggled with in the past, and still have "icky" feelings about at times.

The areas touched upon in this book make this my new go to manual for surviving in this day and age. No young woman or man should be without it.

Learning how to deal with internet trolls (a sad reality!), how to not beat yourself up by comparing yourself to others, dealing with drama, going for your goals, and so much more. There is so much good, common sense almost advice in here that I think the new age community have been in need of for a long time! Finally Jo and Lucy said what we all need to hear! I love this book.

It's perfect for getting you connected to your #HigherSelfie whilst grounding you in the present moment. It's pages of perfection! I cannot express how much I have learnt by reading this book. High fives and vibes ladies!!!

The Woman Who Upped and Left: A laugh-out-loud read that will put a spring in your step!
The Woman Who Upped and Left: A laugh-out-loud read that will put a spring in your step!
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I heard great things about this book and I was really drawn ..., 22 April 2016
I heard great things about this book and I was really drawn to the title because it sounded so fun! The cover is gorgeous!

Audrey has one of the most annoying teenage sons I have ever read about! He really grated on me and I just wanted to shout at him so much! He is the stereotypical lazy, self centred teenage boy ever!
However, saying that, The boy came good in the end - thankfully.

Audrey is a school dinner lady, and she has won the Dinner Lady of the Year award which gives her a prize that has options. Should she take the £5000 cash (her son would LOVE that!), or should she go away for a week and learn how to cook french cuisine with a celebrity chef?

Well, after some oohing and aahing (and getting a list of "things I need" in her birthday card from her son) she decides to go for the latter option. She meets some really interesting characters, gets flirted with the by chef and even gets herself tied to the bed posts much to her alarm!

The trip away gives Audrey food for thought and she questions her life and whether it's going in the direction that she actually wants it to. And with the right people.

There were a few aspects to the story that really grated on me, but I can see how they would be funny and highly entertaining - I was just I guess feeling so much empathy for Audrey that I didn't find much of it funny - at the time. I've already mentioned her son and his lazy ways. Well that gets worse. But she is also dating a guy who arranges to meet her on Motorway Service Station motels for a fumble. Its the only dates they really have. She discovers her has a notebook in his car with details of Junctions and Motorway numbers and initials next to it - Her son explained it to her because she found it confusing **Shocked face & combined eye roll**. Next on my list is that her son gives her the list of things he needs in HER birthday card, and whilst she decides to go for the week away rather than the cash, it really bugged me that she felt the need to leave cash on the table for her lazy son, and go out and do the food shop for him. And whilst she's driving there she wonders if he'll be OK and should she go back and be with him. I wanted to shake Audrey so hard!

OK so his girlfriend finds out she's pregnant whilst she's away BUT.... still. He can look after himself! I won't even mention the fact that this is the same son who microwaved his t-shirt to dry it!!

The book has a whole load more twists and turns in it and if I were to fully divulge it all I would spoil it for you. I already feel I've given far too much away, but I haven't. I promise. There is still the guy at her other part time job - the gardener, the old lady she cares for, the guy she meets on the cookery course, the BHS jewellery, and so much more!

I think you would really enjoy reading this book, even if you get as infuriated as I did, it was still a really good read and I would definitely read more of Fiona's work having never read any of her books before this one.

The thing with book reviews, it's all about the readers perspective, so whilst parts of it annoyed me, you might find yourself crying with laughter! So all I can say, is that if what I've written intrigues you, then go grab yourself a copy and enjoy!

Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life
Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life
by Louise Hay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to Love Yourself with a Mirror, 6 April 2016
I make no attempt in hiding the fact that an area in my life that I have to do a hell of a lot of “Self Help in the City” on is learning to love myself. I struggle daily. I’m human and just because I’m a qualified life coach and wellness blogger, does not exclude me and make me immune to human conditions. Thankfully.
There are days when I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror, and there are day when I find it easier, I even smile and tell myself “Wow, you really are beautiful – just look at you!”. So when Hay House sent me Mirror Work by Louise Hay (one of my ultimate favourite authors) to review I was so thankful and it felt like a prayer of mine had been answered. cover78628-medium
It’s a 21 day “prescription” where you have mirror work daily – where you look into the mirror frequently and say something – either mentally or verbally – out loud that is positive about yourself. Examples include; “I love you, I really really love you.” or “I approve of myself, I love you and I approve of you. You are are perfect just the way you are.”
You also get a daily mantra such as “It is safe for me to approve of myself” and a daily meditation which with the right code (found in the book at the front) you can download the audio. I usually do this as I drift off to sleep at night. There are also journalling tasks which I’ll be honest, I have missed a couple of days, but they are very much a healing method to help you really understand why you struggle to love yourself.
I should mention that “loving yourself” is not the same as eyeing yourself up and massaging that ego of yours thinking you are IT!. Yes you are fabulous, but so is everyone else. We’re all equal in this!
I’ve just started week 2 of this program, so I’m on day 8 of 21 and already there has been gradual improvements in my confidence and self esteem. I still have bad days, but what I’ve noticed is that I am bouncing back much quicker than before. I think this book will help me when I no longer have CBT therapy sessions, and it’s one that I am going to repeat straight after I’ve completed the 21 days, because it’s so beneficial.

*also posted on my blogs; [...] & [...]

The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller
The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Storyline That Shook Me To My Core, 22 Mar. 2016
This review first appeared on my blog A Page of Fictional Love. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.

This was one of those books that I almost put down and didn't complete. For me the start didn't grip me enough, I can't say what it was, perhaps it was just a different style of psychological thriller than I've read before (and I haven't read many of those!) or maybe it was just that my mind was pre-occupied. In fact I am sure it was because I am so grateful that I did continue reading it and pushing through my urges to just stop because I would have missed out on such an emotive and compelling read had I not finished reading it. It really would have been my loss.

The plot is gripping, so much it made me hold my breath at several points throughout. Once I got around half way into the book I simply could not put it down. I read from 63% to the end in one sitting because I was so hooked I felt that if I left the book, something might happen and I could miss it! I was so drawn into the plot by then, that there was no going back. I feel like I've been through the ordeal myself, with the key character Simone (more about her soon) and I had that weird "did that really happen" sensation this morning when I awoke.

Simone and Matt are parents who had their daughter Helena abducted when she was 6 months old. The police never found her and they had to just get on with life without her. As I'm sure any parent will agree, how they managed to do that, I do not know, but they appeared stronger together and 16 years later a girl called Grace turns up with Helena's precious toy that was not disclosed to the media and has never been in the public domain of knowledge. Grace claims to Simone to know about Helena - or at least have information, but first she needs Simone's help. Simone is cautious, rightly so, but something about this girl Grace intrigued her and she found herself helping her.

What then begins as trying to help Grace, becomes the explosive unravelling of secrets from decades of hidden connections and secrets so dark that I was left sitting in tears, shocked by the revelation. I can't say the story ends happily ever after, but there is a somewhat degree of closure. Of course there will always be unanswered questions, but for the large part, the truth finally is out. And that truth will make you question whether or not you can ever truly know someone...

Kathyrn Croft is an utterly brilliant author, whom I've not have the pleasure of reading before, but if The Girl Who You Lost is anything to go by, then she is going to be around a long time yet, with some explosive storylines that will literally shock you to your core.

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