Book Review: Christmas under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

Only three more sleeps to Santa. The excitement in our house is clearly tangible. Christmas is by far my most favourite time of the year. I love all the smells, the hustle and bustle, the smiles and excitement and of course watching Christmas films and reading Christmas related books. The one novel I absolutely loved this year, was Christmas under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin.


PAGES: 368

PUBLICATION DATE: 2nd November 2017 (paperback)

I’ve read quite a few of Holly’s books in the past and enjoyed them all. Christmas under a Cranberry Sky was no exception.

Travel writer Piper finds herself at Stardust Lake Hotel for her last resort review of the year. Little does she know that the owner of this hotel is her former best friend and boyfriend Gabe who left her completely heartbroken several years ago. Will these two be able to re-unite and leave all bad feelings in the past?

I completely adored this book and the storyline nestled within. Holly is such a master of words and it was so incredibly easy to completely lose myself in Piper and Gabe’s world. Set in the beautiful winter wonderland of Juniper Island, the story encompasses all the Christmas feels. I’ve been dreaming of taking my family to a place like this for ages and found myself googling the resort that Stardust Lake Hotel is inspired by, as soon as I finished reading Christmas under a Cranberry Sky (thank you for creating such a wonderful setting and for adding to my wanderlust, Holly :-)).

The characters in this book are perfect! Not only are Piper and Gabe extremely likeable, but every single person who makes an appearance in this novel is just right – from little Wren, Gabe’s daughter, to Stephen, steward and general all-rounder. I loved the close-knit village community and the support and commitment they all gave to make Stardust Lake Hotel a success.

Christmas under a Cranberry Sky will definitely be added to my shelf of most favourite Christmas books. If you are searching for a novel to get you in the festive spirt, look no further – this one is perfect!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All options are entirely my own.

Children’s Book Review: Beware the Mighty Bitey by Heather Pindar

PUBLISHER: Maverick Arts Publishing


PUBLICATION DATE: 30th November 2017

Receiving this book in the post made us giggle quite a bit. Our youngest daughter is teething at the moment and is literally biting everything she can get her gums into, so it was only fitting to take a picture of her and the book (I had to be quick though, as she was trying to bite the book :-))

In this enjoyable children’s book, it is not necessarily the sweet music that Mouse, Goat and Bear play that interest the Mighty Bitey Piranhas most, but these devious hungry sharp teethed fish are after something else entirely. 

With plenty of sing-song and expressive words, this book makes for a brilliant story to be read out aloud. And just when you think the story can only go one way – you are completely taken by surprise. As far as endings go, this was certainly eyebrow-raising and definitely unexpected.

Thank you very much to the publisher for sending us a copy of this book to review.


Book Review: Little Mouse’s Christmas by Riikka Jantti



PUBLICATION DATE: 9th November 2017

Little Mouse’s Christmas in another instalment in the adorable Little Mouse series. This time, just as the title suggests, Little Mouse gets caught up in the excitement leading up to Christmas. Similar to little people, Little Mouse has a hard time waiting for the big day to arrive, but luckily Mummy Mouse has lots of festive activities planned to keep the little varmint busy.

It’s very easy to love the Little Mouse books. They are filled with so much cuteness and brilliantly highlight day-to-day situations (no matter if you are a little mouse or a little person…). The writing style is simple, yet very engaging which make them perfect for children who are just starting to read coupled with colourful, detailed illustrations. This book gives us an interesting insight into a Finnish Christmas, too, with slightly different customs in comparison to a typical British celebration. Finland is a country we have always wanted to visit, and we already feel like it is our second home thanks to the Little Mouse series!

Thank you, Scribe, for providing us with a review copy of this gorgeous children’s book. All views and opinions are entirely our own.

A Dreamy Short Break to Woolley Grange

We have just returned home from an amazing couple of nights at Woolley Grange. I cannot praise this dreamy, utterly relaxing and atmospheric hotel enough. We honestly had the best time there and are already looking to book again for next year’s February half-term (this is not an ad – we paid for our holiday entirely ourselves, but I just had to share our positive opinion with you).

Earlier this year, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We knew we wanted to go somewhere relaxing and ideally on a spa break. However, we did not want to leave our children behind and I really struggled to find hotels that would tick all the boxes. Most spa hotels do not allow children. By chance, I came across Luxury Family Hotels and oh my, am I glad I did. I immediately knew that I had stumbled upon a gem and only minutes later I was on the phone booking our trip to Woolley Grange.

We loved every single aspect of our short break – from the atmospheric Jacobean Manor House to the wonderful gardens, the relaxing pool time to the fantastic activities for children… the list is endless. Here are our highlights:


As soon as we spotted the Manor House out of our car windows, we immediately felt relaxed. This feeling lasted for the whole trip. 


The facilities at Woolley Grange are amazing. We absolutely loved the huge bed in our suite (we stayed in a large family suite located just a few steps away from the main house). Although we were obviously provided with a cot bed for Isabelle and a Z-bed for Morgan, we all shared the big bed for the second night (really as a treat for our girls, but Dan and I secretly loved having our daughters sandwiched between us for the night). 


All guests at Woolley Grange are able to make use of the hotel pool, which our oldest daughter was most excited about. The water was lovely and warm and the glass front gave the most gorgeous views into the Walled Garden. Pure bliss!!


A huge thank you to the amazing staff at Woolley Grange. We were made to feel most welcome at all times. The lovely receptionists and waiters went over and above what could be expected from exceptional service. Each one was warm hearted, took time to talk to us and listened to the endless conversations our oldest one struck up with them. 


Not only was the cooked breakfast and buffet extremely tasty, but the children were made to feel so very special. Each table had a little personalised sign with the children’s names – such a super cute touch! We also loved that everything was provided for our baby girl – from highchairs to bibs, sippy cups and feeding spoons.


Last but not least, there is so much to do for the children! Morgan couldn’t get enough from exploring the wonderful Walled Garden, spotting the free running chickens and ducks, playing in the playhouses, finding hidden sheep on the Woolley Sheep trail, splashing in the pool and of course making new friends in the Woolley Bear’s Den. 

Thank you, Woolley Grange, for such a lovely time. We will be back! That’s for sure.


Book Review: Trust Me by Zosia Wand

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Pages: 352

Publication Date: 5th October 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed Trust Me. The title is extremely appropriate and basically sums up the storyline with just these two words – very clever! 

The beginning of this thriller is rather slow-paced. Having said that, it worked brilliantly in this book. It only adds to the storyline that the reader gets enough time to get fully accustomed with the character cast. Just when I thought, I had the whole story figured out, the author planted little seeds of doubt. Along the way, I certainly had no idea who to trust. 

Some of the characters I liked a lot more than others. Jonty, for example, was someone I didn’t particularly like from the beginning on and my opinion of him never really changed. Lizzie and Sam, in contrast, were extremely intriguing and well developed. Their “stepmother/son” relationship definitely left food for thought. 

This book is a thrilling, head-spinning and well-written read that will keep you guessing throughout. 

Huge thanks to Head of Zeus for providing me with a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.