Book Review: Candyfloss Guitar by Stephen Marriott

Title: Candyfloss Guitar candyfloss guitar

Author: Stephen Marriott

ISBN: 1505448050

Published:   Published March 2nd 2015 by Createspace (first published August 11th 2014)

Genre:  Novella, Travel Novel, Fiction

Pages: 60

Source: I received my copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Description:

Diego is coasting. He has been content with living his life in a sun scorched pueblo that lies on the route of the pilgrim path: The Way of Saint James. But one stormy night, change is forced upon him when his father, Eduardo, the local candyfloss man, unexpectedly catches him entertaining a captivated crowd with flamenco guitar rhythms. At that moment, Eduardo relinquishes the hold from the ghosts of his past and realises it’s time for Diego to confront his fate. Eduardo arranges for Diego to live and work on a farm and sends him on his way with the gift of his old Spanish guitar.

Candyfloss Guitar is a story about taking the first steps on a journey towards shrouded dreams and searching for meaning.

Stephen Marriott, the soulful travel novelist, brings a subtle tenderness to this traveler’s tale that traverses the spiritual and physical worlds.

“A Gabriel Garcia Marquez-style tale of self-discovery kissed by the supernatural. Short, lovely and satisfying.” – Acclaimed spiritual fantasy author Laura K. Cowan, author of Music of Sacred Lakes & Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen

My Thoughts:

Candyfloss Guitar is a delightful novella by Stephen Marriott who is a traveler as well as a wonderful author. When Diego’s father sends him off to make his own way in the world with his trusty old guitar a series of unplanned circumstances have him decide to walk the pilgrim path, The Way of Saint James (Carmina de Santiago) rather than head off to work on his cousin’s farm as he planned. Diego’s journey becomes not just a physical one but a quest to find his destiny in life and he meets many interesting characters along the way.

The author’s descriptions of Spain are beautifully done and I can tell he holds a great love for the country and the people there. While reading Candyfloss Guitar I was very tempted to pack my bags and embark on a pilgrimage myself until I remembered how rubbish I am at  walking long distances!

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Book Review: Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks

Title: Bah, Humbug                                                                    bahhumbug

Author: Heather Horrocks

Published: September 9th 2011 by Word Garden Press

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit

Pages: 96

My Rating: 3/5

Description: From Goodreads

Lexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbor, Kyle Miller.

For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block – until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes this is the perfect place for his villain to hide the weapon. He digs into the snowman to discover two things: the weapon fits int he body just under the head, and the snowman was supposed to be the back drop for Lexi’s next show.

From this improbable beginning comes friendship. Can there be more for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood?

Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

My Thoughts:

I downloaded my copy as a free download from Amazon.

As most of you know I have been reading Christmas themed novels as part of the Aussie Readers Group December Challenge at Goodreads. I put the call out to my readers to choose my next Christmas read here and Bah, Humbug was the hands down winner. I think everyone was very intrigued by the name. Thank you Holly, Delia and Marjorie for the input!

Bah, Humbug tells the story of Lexi Anderson, the next Martha Stewart, who has recently moved next door to her children’s favourite author, Kyle Miller, just before Christmas. At first she is horrified to discover that Kyle is a bit of a Christmas Grinch but she soon discovers that he has his reasons to dislike Christmas so she conspires to save Christmas once and for all for Kyle and his family. How does she do that? With lots of decorations and food of course!

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and this is definitely the case for Kyle Miller. I find that my boyfriend is generally especially nice to me if I cook any of his favourite foods so I think that Lexi could be on to something here! Kyle starts to realise that he is falling in love with Lexi but will she reciprocate those feelings or fall for the charms of Kyle’s handsome and charming brother?

Bah, Humbug is a nice and easy Christmas themed novella. I would recommend it for anyone who loves the romance or chick lit genres or for anyone looking for a short, Christmas themed read that is easily read in one sitting.

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Scatterbooker reviews The Perfect Christmas by Kate Forster

Title: The Perfect Christmas 

The Perfect Christmas CoverAuthor: Kate Forster

ISBN: 9781474008501

Published: September 2014, Harlequin (UK) Limited

My Rating: 3/5

Description:

A holiday short story that proves that true love is forever, not just for Christmas…

Hollywood movie star Maggie and friend and manager Zoe need an escape from their complicated star-studded lives in LA. With its history and Christmas charm, London feels like the perfect getaway.

But can they truly leave their realities behind?

In their luxurious quarters, the girls meet Holly who is ideal at showing Maggie and Zoe the sumptuous sights and sounds of London in their most glittering light. But behind her bright façade, Holly is hiding a secret: suffering from unrequited love, she’s looking for a Christmas miracle. Desperate to see an unattainable love story for Holly come together, will our LA starlets succeed in providing a Hollywood ending before the dawn of Christmas Day?

Packed to the brim with festive cheer, this is the only story you’ll need this Christmas…

My Thoughts:

I received my copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Perfect Christmas is the fourth book that I have read so far as part of the Aussie Readers December Challenge at Goodreads. All these Christmas themed books are really getting me in the mood for the festive season. If only the weather would start behaving now, it’s very miserable and dreary in Melbourne today. At least it isn’t as cold as London would be this time of year which is where The Perfect Christmas is set.

London is the perfect setting for such a short, sweet novella which is full of Christmas spirit, romance and finishes with a Christmas miracle. I really liked all of the characters and would love to read more about them, in fact The Perfect Christmas could have easily been longer for my liking.

I you enjoy romance or Christmas themed short stories then you will love The Perfect Christmas.

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Book Review: Secret Santo by Carla Caruso

Title: Secret Santosecret santo

Author: Carla Caruso

ISBN: 9781760141080

Published: December 2014, Penguin Books Australia/Destiny Romance

My Rating: 3/5

Description:

Holly Plume is a bookseller by day and a romance blogger by night, dishing out scathing reviews under her pseudonym, Sultry Scarlet. When she scores an invite to the publishing event of the year, Holly couldn’t be more excited. Finally a chance to meet her favourite author, the mysterious thriller writer known only as AJ Ruffo.

When Holly literally falls into the arms of the mysterious and charming Santo Randolfi, she’s sure it must be AJ. After all, Santo has tousled good looks, dark curls, luscious lips . . . He’s exactly what she’d imagined. But when Santo reveals he’s actually the author of a romance novel Holly recently slammed on her blog, keeping her online identity a secret becomes vital.

As Holly struggles to keep Santo from learning the truth, she realizes just how much she likes him. But when he discovers who she is, will their relationship be over before it’s even begun?

My Thoughts:

I received my copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Secret Santo a fun Christmas novella which is just perfect for this time of year with all of the interruptions and distractions that come along with the silly season.This was another book that I read as part of the Aussie Readers December Challenge.

The main character is Holly a romance blogger who loves everything about Christmas, romance novels and her favourite author AJ Ruffo.She has just posted a scathing book review about the most awful romance book that she has ever read when she has to dash off to the most exclusive Christmas party in the publishing world of Melbourne. (Yay Melbourne, I love my home town!)

Confusion and mayhem ensues since it seems that every single person at the party writes under a pseudonym. Is Santo the handsome hunk a hack or the real deal? Either way you will enjoy this quick, fun Christmas read.

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