Holiday Reading – Darlene Jones

Here’s the lady on the camel, Darlene Jones, with her recommendations for your holiday reading list.


Tis the season to curl up with an afghan, a cup of hot chocolate (or a rum toddy) and indulge in a feel-good read. Here are three books I love. The stories are not all sunshine and laughter, but they will leave you with a sense of having met new friends, learned new things, and, most importantly, with the satisfaction that comes from having spent your reading time wisely.

Domingo’s Angel by Jenny Twist. A survey showed that the most important aspect of a fiction novel to readers is that they learn. Domingo’s Angel fills the bill perfectly. The reader learns about conditions in Spain during Franco’s rule through the lives of villagers in the mountains and the young foreign girl who arrives on their doorstep. The story is beautiful, heartbreaking, and haunting. The characters, depicted so vividly, stay with the reader long after the book is done. This is one I will reread. Do pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed. Note: The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco’s rule.

The Palaver Tree by Wendy Unsworth. Subtle, direct, gentle, and jarring, The Palaver Tree takes the reader on an incredible journey from the safety of small town England to the dangers of Africa. But, for Ellie, Diane, and Tiffany, England isn’t safe either as the wily and unscrupulous Gabriel cons them all. And the Africa Ellie comes to know and love—the friends she makes and the children she teaches—cannot protect her from the dangers of either Gabriel or rioting as rebels attempt a coup to overturn the government. I’ve lived and traveled in Africa and found this book taking me down memory lane. Thankfully, I never had to face the dangers Ellie faced. If you’re looking for a good read, that takes “ordinary” people into extraordinary circumstances, this is it. Note: Watch for Wendy’s new book, Beneathwood, coming out in November.

And my favorite book of all: Mixed Marriage by Elizabeth Cadell. Written in 1969, it’s a timeless rendition of family (you’ll be thinking of your own as you read) and clash of cultures as a young British girl plans her marriage to a young Portuguese man. Moving to Portugal, meeting his family, learning the language—all of it told in diary entry format—makes for one of the rare books that has me laughing out loud every time I read it. If you can get your hands on a copy, all I can say is, lucky you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading to all.


Find all books by Darlene Jones on her author page on or on

Visit her website at

Holiday Reading – Rachel Brimble

And now for something a bit different. Today’s guest writes romance of a different kind. Author Rachel Brimble is going to share her thoughts on what makes the cut on her reading list. (Looks like she’s already having fun celebrating the holidays).

Me & Mr B - xmas 2012

My reading taste is immensely varied and I love many genres from romantic suspense to crime to biographies. I usually have two or three books on the go at any one time. Usually a hardback for bed, a paperback for in the bath (naughty, but nice!) and something on my Kindle, which I keep in my bag for emergencies.

When I say emergencies, these are those pesky times waiting at the doctors/dentists, waiting for one of my two teenage daughters to come out of one class or another…or those times when I’m waiting unexpectedly!

I have read many great books this year but two of my favourites have been:

  • The Yard by Alex Grecan  –  A Victorian set crime novel
  • Consuelo & Alva Vanderbilt by  Amanda Mackenzie Stuart – A biography of a famous mother and daughter

My latest novel is book 5 in my ongoing Templeton Cove series with Harlequin Superromance (all the books can be read stand-alone).


She’s back to right her wrongs

When Tanya Todd returns to Templeton Cove, she knows better than to expect a warm welcome. She burned a few bridges on her way out of town, and making amends won’t be easy. First on her list is the man whose heart she carelessly shattered, Liam Browne.

Seeing the successful criminal lawyer after all these years, Tanya is interested in more than just Liam’s forgiveness. As they work together to bring the man who hurt her sister to justice, the attraction between them sizzles. Suddenly Tanya’s second chance could include a future with Liam…if she can prove she’s changed.

Barnes and Noble

Rachel’s Website and Blog

Holiday Reading – Patricia Sands

Author Patricia Sands has been busy reading and will share her three recent good reads to add to your holiday reading list.
Here’s Patricia:
3 books recently read (click on the book titles for more information):
The Red Notebook ~ The owner of a bookshop in Paris finds a woman’s handbag on the street and becomes obsessed with finding the owner although there is no identifying information apart from a dry cleaning tag. It’s a quirky, creative read that becomes addictive. Who is that woman?
~ My Wish List ~ Also set in France. A woman leading a simple life in a small village wins a BIG lottery and can’t decide whether to upset her life by cashing it. This is a quick, light read and gives pause to the question of what you might do. My Wish List on Kindle
All The Light We Cannot See ~ On a completely different literary level (and, yes, also set in France … but then you know that country is my addiction), from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr. This is the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
And here are Patricia’s own books for your reading pleasure.

Holiday Reading – Sheryl Browne

Continuing our list of books for good holiday reading, we have Sheryl Browne to enlighten us.

Sheryl and Dogs Photo

I’ve enjoyed quite a few books this year. The most outstanding for me though was Police, Crime & 999 – The True Story of a Front Line Officer by John Donoghue. I badly needed something to cheer me up after my partner’s cancer diagnosis and his undergoing various surgeries (he’s doing fabulously now, btw!). You can probably guess then that this author had his work cut out making me smile. He succeeded, admirably. I laughed until I cried, literally. The book is totally hilarious. In fact the title of my review, which you can find here, is ‘Excellent Therapy’. His other books, Police, Lies & Alibis and Shakespeare My Butt are similarly side-splittingly hilarious and I’ve just purchased his latest, Police, Arrests & Suspects. If you find me crying, it will be in the best possible way.

My second choice is Untouchable by Ava Marsh. The central character is a high class call girl and if you want a read that is riveting, powerful, and different, this is the book for you. I have to say, well done Ava Marsh on tackling a subject that some would shy away from.

Thirdly, NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews by Gisela Hausmann. This easy-to-read book simply outlines the dos and don’ts when approaching reviewers. Unlike many ‘how to’ books, which tend to be great tomes, this one is concise enough to make you want to read it. It works for me.

Happy reading all!

Cover - WHS3

The Rest of My Life:

Holiday Reading – Julie Ryan

Ready to add to your holiday reading list? Here’s author Julie Ryan to share three of her favourites with us, and two of her own novels as well.
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Why not add these to your list?
Three books I enjoyed –
The Little Bookshop on the Seine – Rebecca Raisin
One Wish in Manhattan – Mandy Baggot
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding – Samantha Tonge
Link to Pandora’s Prophecy on
And watch for “Callie’s Christmas Countdown” coming out on amazon in early December:
Christmas countdown

Holiday Reading List – Mandy Baggot

My guest today is UK author Mandy Baggot. Let’s hear what Mandy suggests for our Christmas reading list.
Here she is:
Looking for great gifts for Christmas? These are three of the best books I’ve read recently:-
Lost Girls – Angela Marsons
A brilliant crime thriller and #3 in the DI Kim Stone series. This is a gripping page turner with protagonist detective, Kim Stone in a race against time to find two kidnapped girls. I love this series, it was another five-star read for me and I can’t wait for more.
A Cottage in the Country – Linn B Halton
This really was a festive treat and will make you want to cosy up with a hot chocolate and be glad you’re not living Maddie Brooks’ life! Stuck in raging floods at Christmas time in a cold, partially renovated house with a grumpy (yet attractive!) man-who-can, I loved this feel-good story of reinvention.
Life or Something Like It – Annie Lyons 
I adore Annie’s books and this was another triumph. Cat is an opportunity-hungry career woman until she loses her job and has to look after her brother’s children. Will anyone survive? And what will Cat do without Twitter for a week? A perfect, fun, feel-good read with a dash of romance.
Check out Mandy Baggot’s latest release, One Wish in Manhattan or visit her website!
One Wish in Manhattan

Holiday Reading List

When winter weather arrives, I like to be someplace cozy and warm, maybe curled up in a big armchair or a recliner, with a good book or my Kindle in my hands.

I’ve asked my friends to help me out with a reading list to fill my Kindle (or bookshelf)  for the coming Christmas season.

Books make great gifts. Did you know you can send an e-book as a gift to another person? All they need is an e-reader. If it isn’t a Kindle, you can order books through You can load up your e-reader and never be bored while you’re waiting for that Christmas turkey to be done, or in those doldrum days that follow Christmas. And what a long-lasting gift a book is! Hours and hours of enjoyment.

To help me start my list, my guest is British author Miriam Wakerly. She has written books of her own, but of course, all  authors like to read. So let’s look at her list of favourite books and then see what she has to offer as her own latest book.

Here’s Miriam:

Miriam (1)

I have an eclectic list of ‘books read and enjoyed’, some of them quite serious with deep themes, like Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” and fiction about Alzheimer’s, women in Afghanistan, and so on. Well, here we go, Christmas is coming and we all need to smile and even laugh out loud during the festive season! So I am choosing three funny books you might like to check out:
Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses by Virginia Ironside
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My new novel will particularly appeal to those who can remember the freezing Christmas of 1962. Maybe your parents were of that era and you’re curious to know about those ‘olden times’!
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Secrets in Appley Green – a 1960s village novel  For UK customers, click here North American customers, click here.
All my books take place in the fictitious Surrey-Hampshire village of Appley Green. You can find them via my Author Page on or on