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FLIP-FLOPS FIESTA & FLAMENCO by Donna Hepburn. My book review of a lovely summer read.

FLIP-FLOPS FIESTA & FLAMENCO by Donna Hepburn. My book review of a lovely summer read.

FLIP FLOPS, FIESTAS & FLAMENCO by Donna Hepburn.

flip flops cover

Description:

Flip Flops, Fiestas, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three books about two best friends, their lives, loves, and adventures after moving to a small village in the Andalusian hills.

Abby and Lou have been BFF’s since the first day at Uni. Despite being opposites in both looks and personality they were drawn to each other, sharing a flat, dreams and a love of animals.

Through the ensuing years despite heartache and divorce, they remain as close as ever.

Abby would be the first to admit her life needs an injection of fun. Middle-aged, divorced and slightly overweight, she’s a mother/general dogs-body to two lay-about sons, a pink-haired Amazonian on-off girlfriend and an incorrigible British Bulldog named Chester. Her lifelong dream of living in Spain’s glorious sunshine has been long forgotten or has it?

Lou was stuck in her own rut, never fully recovered from a tragedy in her past. A long list of online dating disasters had left her wondering if she will ever find love again. Her cool ice-maiden persona is shattered along with her cat’s eardrums when she wins £400,000 on an online bingo site.

Could this be the answer to both their prayers?

Flip-Flops packed, they embark on their adventure, but it isn’t all sun and sangria. Warring pets, new neighbours, cooking experiments, scary wildlife and an escapee Donkey named Santos combine to make it an unforgettable Summer.

Can their friendship survive or will the Mediterranean dream become a nightmare?

flipflops media

MY REVIEW:

This is the perfect summer, escapism read. Two friends moving to Spain, animals, food, wine and sun. What’s not to love right!

Well I did enjoy this book, but all was not roses and rainbows in Spain for these two. What kind of read would it be if the ladies didn’t encounter some problems, get up to mischief and meet some Spanish Senoras.

The friendship between Lou and Abby is lovely. Just the kind of friendship a girl could hope for in her middle age. My other love from Flips Flops and Fiesta is Chester, the very stinky but lovable dog. Dog lovers will enjoy the book only for his antics.

This is only book one in the series, but there are no cliff hangers there which is good. Just the anticipation of hearing more about Abby and Lou’s adventures.

A little surprise addition at the back of the book was a few recipes that Abby made during the story. Throughout reading this, I kept licking my lips thinking ooh that sounds so good Abby. Then the recipes were there. 😋

An easy reading book of summer escapism, with fun, sun, fur babies and a little flamenco! Recommended by me, and already anticipating book 2!

cake happy

 

 
Author Bio
I live in the North East of England with my partner and two beautiful boxer dogs; Floyd and Freya.
From a very young age my head has always been full of stories and I’ve been wanting to write a book since way back when, well forever really but finances (running my own business,) procrastinating, and self-doubt have conspired to hold me back.
Dithering about what to write was another stumbling block, my reading taste is so eclectic; Vampires, Serial killers, Dystopia, Vikings, Witches, History, Travel, Autobiographies, the only genres I don’t really read are Spy Fiction, Westerns or Chick Lit Comedy.
Oh, I know I’ll write a Chick Lit Comedy!
Anyway, I digress. After my Eureka moment I decided to scrap all my almost finished, half-finished, ten chapters, first page attempts, concentrating on actually finishing my first novel.
Flip-Flops, Fiestas, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three novels, I am currently writing the second. I’m on a roll!
When I’m not writing I enjoy reading, travel and cooking I’m passionate about animals and consider myself a bit of a Gin connoisseur.

flip flops media 2

Social media Links

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter – @donnahepburn66

 

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 4, 2018 in Books

 

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Book Review: Never Again, by Nicky Clifford

Book Review: Never Again, by Nicky Clifford

Today is my stop on the wonderful blog tour for Nicky Clifford‘s debut book ‘Never Again’.  I have been following the tour and visiting all the wonderful blogs along the way. Reviews have been amazing for this book, and their were also some fantastic interviews with Author Nicky Clifford. You can see the bloggers that took part below.

never-again-by-nicky-clifford-blog-tour

Description:

Mountains, Mystery, Romance: Can you run from your past?
Harriet Anderson’s life is spiralling out of control. Unused to such mayhem, she ditches her high-powered job to take refuge in the Swiss Alps where she meets Philippe Smith, a crime writer with a dark and shadowy past. Thrown together by chance, is their fate intertwined? Will the karma and romance of the mountains and the quaintness of the Alps soothe their troubled souls?
Or will their rocky paths create avalanches that cannot be avoided…

never-again

Self-published via Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace

My Thoughts:

For an Author’s first published book, this is an exceptional one. Nicky Clifford has given us beautifully serene setting in the mountains of the Alps. She brought to life an array of different but fully developed characters, some we grow to love and root for, and some we want to accidentally have a little slip down those beautiful Alps! 😉

The book includes many things that I love, great descriptions which is perfect for imaginative travelling, I have spent many an hour sitting in a cafe besides the wonderful mountains drinking the most amazing hot chocolates filled with piles of whipped cream and marshmallows. (In reality, I was on the sofa with my huge hot chocolates). But a talented Author can transport you, and Nicky Clifford did just that. 

Never Again is a great title, as the 2 main characters have been through tough times and both think to themselves, ‘Never Again’ will I let someone in. This is not your traditional boy meets girl, fall in love, happily ever after. Clifford has used great imagination and filled the story with ups, downs, will they – won’t they moments. There is so much drama, and not only from the 2 main characters, but from the brilliant side line characters too. I loved Elspeth best. Have you ever met a ‘Granny’ who gives great advice and who eats more ice cream than real meals! She is brilliant.

“Life is rarely simple…….the bumps make us stronger”, to which quite rightly she got the reply “I’ve had enough bumps for now. Can’t it be someone else’s turn?”

I felt that Nicky has a good insight into people, and to write a believable novel (of this kind), you need to know people. 

There are many amusing parts to this narrative where the Author made me chuckle quite a few times with her quiet humour. There are a few characters from Wales visiting the hotel. When questioned on their ‘Welshness‘, one of them says:

“What d’you want us to say ‘boyo’ and ‘valleys’ in every second sentence?”

Never Again is a book that I really enjoyed. I recommend reading it with plenty of hot chocolate ingredients at hand, whipped cream, marshmallows and also a cake or two…or three. There will be more to come from Nicky Clifford, and its going to be fantastic. 

hot-choc

Nicky is generously donating some of the royalties from the sale of Never Again to charities which are close to her heart.

 Auticulateh – which helps support children and young people to improve their social, communication and independence skills.

Childhood Tumour Trust – which supports children and young people who have the genetic condition Neurofibromatosis 1 where tumours grow on nerves in the bodies and on .

So aside from getting yourself a brilliant book, you will also be helping out some wonderful charities.

Links:

Facebook/NickyCliffordWriter

Twitter/NickyNovelist

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

NickyClifford.com

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Books

 

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Book Review: Shopaholic to the Rescue, by Sophie Kinsella.

Book Review: Shopaholic to the Rescue, by Sophie Kinsella.

Anyone who knows about my love of books, will also know my love for Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood and her lovely Husband Luke. I have been waiting for a long time to read this book, as if you have read the last Shopaholic book, you will remember the ending…… 

You can read this book as a standalone, but I would recommend reading all of the Shopaholic books, as they are fantastic.

shop rescue

Description:

Becky Bloomwood and a hilarious cast of beloved family and friends (plus one enemy!) set off in a van to find her missing father, last heard from in Las Vegas.

Becky’s father Graham and her best friend’s husband, Tarquin, have disappeared from Los Angeles saying simply they have “something to take care of.”

But Tarquin’s wife Suze who is Becky’s best friend, and Becky’s mother Jane, are convinced the two men are hiding something and are in danger—their imaginations run wild. They must track them down!

Hijinks ensue as husband Luke drives Becky, daughter Minnie, Jane, Suze and other favorite Kinsella characters across country from LA to Las Vegas in search of the missing men.

Becky feels deeply guilty about ignoring her father while he was in LA, in addition Becky feels her enemy Alicia is threatening her friendship with Suze.


 

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My Thoughts:

Well, as usual Sophie Kinsella has not let me down. This is the follow up from the last book that I have been waiting so long for. Sophie brings back all the usual great characters that I know and love. Becky is her usual quirky, lovely funny self. There are a few changes in her within this book which make the story more interesting. You would think that after so many Shopaholic books that the Author would run out of ideas to make the story fun and a page turner, but I can say that I enjoyed this one and as soon as I finished it I was hoping for the next one.

I liked the beginning of the book, where we catch up with Derek Smeath, (Becky’s old Bank Manager). He has been quite a feature in Becky’s life. So I thought this was a really clever way to give readers a quick update of where we are, and also to include Derek. (Who I love a little bit more after these events in Becky’s life).

There are some parts of this book that I never would have predicted within Becky and Suze’s stories, so I am happy yet not at all surprised that Sophie Kinsella has told them in this book.

Becky goes to Las Vegas in this book, and she is her usual funny self making me chuckle as I read about her escapades. Becky Brandon is the only person I ‘know’ who will compare shoping to gambling! After a go in the casino, she says:

“There should be more ceremony to gambling,…like when you buy something expensive and they hand it to you in a nice bag and say ‘Good Choice!”

We also see some different and some older dimensions of Becky and Suze’s friendship. Without giving any spoilers, they have to come up with a code word! To which they choose “potato” ……the reason being, because they can’t think of anything else.

I loved this book, as I expected that I would. I still love Becky, Luke and Suze and hope that Sophie Kinsella will continue to tell us about the lives of my beloved Shopaholic and her clan.


 

Have you read this or any of the Shopaholic books? What did you think of Becky and Suze’s escapades this time? I’d love to hear from you as always, so please leave me a comment below. I love to chat books, and particularly books that I love!

book friend

Happy Reading!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
18 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2016 in Books

 

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