Reviews: Season’s Readings

Hello everybody! Today, I have some reviews to share with you, which are all wintry things I’ve read since I finished uni, and I really enjoyed them. They’re mostly adult books as I was reading MG for some other posts at the same time, but there is an MG and a YA as well. Onto the post!


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The Baby It’s Cold Outside Book Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing the Baby, It’s Cold Outside, which I found on Aoife’s blog. Onto the post!


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If You Liked This Book, You’ll Enjoy This One Too! | Winter Edition

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be doing another if you like x book, read y type post, which I always love writing, and this time it’s a winter edition. Onto the post!


Disclaimer: there are LOADS of books I could have used in this post, and I really hope no one is offended if their book or a book they’ve loved isn’t in here,, they’re just the first things that popped into my head and I’ll almost definitely do a similar post next year!


If you liked THE SECRET STARLING, try THE HOUSE ON HOARDER HILL

One of these is middle grade historical mystery set in the 1970s, and the other is a present day magical mystery, and although they have a lot of differences, I think at the core of both is a family mystery that needs to be unravelled which is why I’ve put them together. Hoarder Hill is definitely set during the Christmas holidays, and while I can’t remember exact dates for Secret Starling, I’m assuming it might be similar because I read it on New Year’s Day the year it came out.

If you liked MISTLETOE AND MURDER, try TROUBLE IN A TUTU!

So, I love the Murder Most Unladylike books, and no matter how hard I try, I’ve never quite managed to find a Christmas mystery that hit the spot for me just as much as Mistletoe and Murder, BUT Helen Lipscombe’s second Swan House book did a very good job filling the void for me last year; it isn’t technically set at Christmas, but it’s still very Christmassy as there are a lot of references to the Nutcracker, a ballet which plays a big part in the plot. It’s a properly exciting mystery with lots of intrigue and excitement and spies and ballet! And I’m cheating a tiny bit here, but you should also check out MURDER IN MIDWINTER by Fleur Hitchcock, the master of MG thrillers.

Did ONE CHRISTMAS NIGHT warm your heart? Try THE VANDERBEEKERS ON 141ST STREET for similar feel good vibes!

The order of these was determined by the fact that One Christmas Night is very much an adult book, so this only really applies to adult readers who like middle grade, but these have very similar themes of community and appearances being deceiving sometimes, and they’re both very heartwarming and lovely.

Just finished THE GOOD BEAR and looking for another wintry animal story? SNOW FOAL is perfect for you!

Both of these are heartwarming stories about the bond between children and animals, which is the most obvious link between them, but they also have themes of family not always being linear and uncomplicated, and I loved both.

Looking for a funny festive read like THE MIRACLE ON EBENEEZER STREET? 2021 debut THE CHRISTMAS CARROLLS is exactly what you need in your life!

I read and really enjoyed Catherine Doyle’s Christmas Carol retelling last year, as it’s such a magical, fun story, and while the Christmas Carrolls is more of a contemporary, I feel like they have quite similar vibes and they gave me the absolute warm fuzzies. Both are perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit.

Need another polar fantasy like THE EYE OF THE NORTH to devour under a cosy blanket? Helenka Stachera has you covered with THE ICE WHISPERERS!

I usually only do five books for each of these posts but I’ve already cheated a bit, and I really wanted to mention these two because reading the Ice Whisperers just reminded me somehow of the Eye of the North. Emmeline and Thing aren’t biological siblings but they very much feel like brother and sister to me, and the relationship between the sisters in the Ice Whisperers melted my heart completely. They both have great worldbuilding as well. I’d also recommend 2018 release FROSTFIRE if you’ve enjoyed these too.


Thank you so much for reading! Do you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned, if you’ve read them? Are you planning to add any to your TBR? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Ten Wintry Book Recommendations

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be giving you some wintry book recommendations, given winter is almost upon us and there’s almost nothing better than cosying up under a blanket with a book when it’s cold, in my opinion. Onto the post!


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November/December 2021 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be sharing my list of the books coming out in November/December that I’m really looking forward to reading, which I’m combining because I was only able to find one for the whole month of December that I’m interested in. Onto the post!


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The Christmas Characters Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m doing another Christmassy tag, and I found this one on Lainy’s blog. Onto the post!


SANTA CLAUSE- A Gift You Received or Want This Year?

I’ve been pretty obsessed with Oh Wonder for a while now, and I’m really hoping I’ll get physical copies of their albums for Christmas.

MRS. CLAUSE- A Favourite Holiday Treat to Have Every Year?

As in my favourite holiday snack? Chocolate coins, hands down. I’m particularly loving Costa’s this year.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST- A Holiday Memory from Your Past?

I really love opening the Christmas Eve box my mum does for me, with new pyjamas and some other nice treats.

BUDDY THE ELF “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”- A Holiday Song You like to Sing Each Holiday Season?

My actual favourite Christmas song is one you can’t really sing along to (Carol of the Bells). The ones I most like singing along to are Baby It’s Cold Outside (Idina Menzel/Michael Buble version) and All I Want for Christmas is You

MISFIT TOYS- An Unpopular Toy You Really Wanted to Get One Year?

I loved Playmobil as a child, and I don’t really remember anyone else I knew wanting the new sets for Christmas. But I could just be forgetting. I can’t think of anything super strange.

GRINCH- A Moment When Your Heart Grew Three Sizes?

I bought a book each for a family friend’s kids one year and they sent a video thanking me. It was the most precious.

JACK FROST- A Tradition You Like to Do Every Winter?

My favourite thing I always do in December is probably just watching Miracle on 24th Street. I really love that film and it doesn’t feel like it’s Christmas unless I see it at some point.

HERO BOY-A Moment You Believed in a Holiday Wish/Miracle

This is really hard! I can’t really think of anything specific, although I’m very superstitious so I do believe in miracles as a general rule.

CINDY LOU WHO- A Favourite Holiday Tradition?

Other than the Miracle on 34th Street thing I can’t think of anything very interesting. I love watching Christmas Strictly ever year as well, that’s about the best I can come up with.

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN- A Memory Involving Snow or A Memory You Would Like to Have Involving Snow?

I’m pretty scared of snow (I like it in films if you’re wondering why I love Frozen so much, but in real life it’s a no from me) so most of my related memories are of me getting upset. A snow related memory I did enjoy was reading a book under a blanket, facing away from the window so I didn’t have to see how deep it was and how fast it was falling. I’d quite like to build my own Olaf one day, so let’s go for that being a memory I’d like to have (also wouldn’t say no to recreating the ending of Bridget Jones, it’s such a cute scene!)

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOISED REINDEER- A Holiday Activity You Like Doing?

I really like writing Christmas cards, if that counts. I find it relaxing.

EBENEZER SCROOGE “Bah, Humbug!”- A Favorite Holiday Saying or Quote?

I don’t really have anything very interesting for this at all. It’s not very Christmassy, but it’s part of a Christmas episode, so I guess the bit of The West Wing’s Noel where Leo tells Josh the story about the man in the hole would count. It’s one of my favourite moments of the whole entire series, and West Wing had a hell of a lot of amazing moments. It was so far ahead of it’s time.


Who is your favourite Christmas character? What would your answers to some of these be? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Five Wintry Books I’ve Accquired in 2019

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m doing another Top Ten Tuesday where I only have five on my list, and I’ve twisted today’s theme a bit to narrow it down for myself and make sure I’m not repeating the books I always mention when I talk about festive reads. Onto the post!


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The Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

Hello everybody! Today, I’m kicking off December with a Christmassy tag- the Bookish Naughty or Nice tag, which I was tagged for by its creator Jenn last year and have been saving since then. Onto the post!


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My Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Traditions

Hello everybody!

Can you believe it’s Christmas Eve?! Today, to finish off blogmas, I’m going to be speaking about my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions

Onto the post! 

• A fish supper- Every Christmas Eve we have a fish supper takeaway and even though I eat fish suppers at plenty of other times throughout the year (a lot, actually. Fish suppers are marvellous 😉 ) this one always signifies that Christmas is almost here.

• Watching films- Whether I stay downstairs with my family or go upstairs myself, I always watch films on Christmas Eve and at Christmas night (not usually Christmassy; we watch those in the weeks leading up to Christmas) I`m not QUITE sure what I`ll be watching this year yet (although I do know Pretty in Pink and The Proposal are strong contenders), but last year I snuggled up with Pretty Woman and Marley and Me.

• Eating Twilights- I don`t think I`ve done this for the past couple of years, but when I was a bit younger I always used to eat Twilights (chocolate sweets with crunchy mint inside, if you don`t know them) when I was opening my presents. In recent years I`ve opted for some Celebrations or Thorntons Smiles instead.

• We lose a giftcard/money- This tradition is not intentional but almost every year it happens. A giftcard stays in the envelope and ends up in the bin, it goes under the couch or down the back or it gets sat somewhere no one would think to look till next Christmas. Many a year has been spent hunting for a book token and similar, and it is a SCARY couple of minutes of hunting, let me tell you.

• Strictly Come Dancing/Mrs Brown`s Boys- These are the only Christmas TV show specials that I think we watch every year. They`re always a fab end to the day though, especially Strictly (I adore Strictly in general, and the Christmas show is always super festive and fun.)

Thank you so much for reading! Do you have any Christmas traditions? Do we have any in common? What Christmas TV do you tune into? Let me know in the comments below!

Amy xxx

A Festive Q&A with Katy Cannon 

Hello everybody, and welcome to the 18th day of blogmas. Today, I have a Q and A with Katy Cannon, author of Love, Lies and Lemon Pies (among other great books too, but I like to mention LLALP as much as possible since I love it so much 😉). 

Onto the post!

Hi Katy! Thank you so much for being here!

1. Love, Lies and Lemon Pies was your first YA book. Was there any particular inspiration behind it?

I was actually eating cake with my agent, Gemma, in a local coffee shop, talking about ideas for a new book. I wanted something that resonated with my own interests, and I was doing a lot of baking with my daughter at the time (it was at the height of the Great British Bake Off’s popularity) so Gemma suggested a school Bake Club. We started brainstorming around that, and suddenly I had a whole book’s worth of ideas!

2. The book balances a more serious side and fun so well. Was it difficult to get this just right?

There’s always a balancing act in all books, and I never get it right the first time! As with all things in writing, it takes a lot of revising and editing to get the balance right. But it’s always worth it in the end, when the book works. 

3. I`m going to be very mean, seeing how hard I`d find it to answer this! Who`s your favourite member of Bake Club?

I think my favourite is Jasper, because he reminds me of my youngest brother. 

4. This is another tough one. What`s your favourite scene of the book, and why?

That one is tough – especially since I haven’t read it for a long time! But I think probably the scene with Mac and Lottie outside on the trampoline at Grace’s party.

5. Was it fun to return to these characters for Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines? Would you ever write more stories in the Bake Club world? 

It was so much fun! And I loved seeing the world through Grace’s eyes for a change, too. I also loved going back to write Jasper’s Christmas short story – Love, Lies and Mince Pies. As for any more stories in the Bake Club world… well, I’m off to Paris next week, so maybe there’ll be a short story of Lottie and Mac in Paris yet!

6. Before the quickfire round, can you say a little bit about your story in I`ll Be Home for Christmas and why you wrote it? 

My story, Christmas, Take Two, is about Heather, who is spending her first Christmas at her Dad’s new house with his new girlfriend and her family. For me, home always means family, but families come in so many forms that I wanted to explore a little bit how we can make any family home – biological, adoptive, step or half family, or just the family that we choose. As long as we have people on our side whoever they are, we have a home. 

CHRISTMAS QUICKFIRE

Hogwarts house? (they have amazing Christmas scenes, plus I love asking people this!) 

Ravenclaw

Favourite food to eat?

Risotto. It’s my ultimate comfort food.

Would you rather meet a penguin or a polar bear?

Penguin. 

Favourite Christmas film?

The Muppets’ Christmas Carol. 

Favourite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells (note: this is my fave one too! And no one has ever heard of it, so I love that this is Katy’s too!)

Your Christmas traditions?

Too many to name in a Quickfire round! But my favourite is Boat Sunday – the day my whole extended family go out for dinner before Christmas, and then we all sing Christmas songs together. 

Thank you so much for reading! Are you a Katy Cannon fan too? Do you like Carol of the Bells? 😉. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl, I’d love to hear from you!

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