Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Book Review for Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

Summer at Skylark Farm
Book Review

I was looking forward to reading this book and managed to read the whole thing in one weekend. Heidi Swain manages to bring the countryside into your lounge in this gorgeous summery read.

For everyone dreaming of escaping to the country, fall in love this summer at Skylark Farm...
Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn't quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.
Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined - it's cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.
But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?
A story of love in the countryside from the author of the bestselling The Cherry Tree CafĂ©. Perfect for Escape to the Countrydreamers, Cath Kidston fans and Country Living addicts!

I absolutely loved Heidi's first novel The Cherry Tree Cafe, so I was confident that I would enjoy this too. The characters are well rounded and I particularly warmed to the main character Amber and the maternal figure of Annie. How I would adore a chance to rummage around in Annie's attic to uncover what treasures must be lying there.
Jake is a fantastic hero and it is clear he has as much love for Amber as he does for Skylark Farm. 
The setting for the novel sounds absolutely idyllic and reminded me - as Heidi herself mentions - of The Darling Buds Of May. I live in Kent and H.E Bates got it spot on with his tales of the Larkin Family and Heidi hits the spot in the same way when it comes to the trials and tribulations of country living.

Grab this book and go out into the open somewhere. Even if you live in a city, find a green space, lean against a tree, find time to be with nature, pour yourself a cider and sit back and lose yourself in this fantastic story.

Buy your copy here
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 464 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781471150098 | 
  • June 2016
List Price £2.99

Kentish Pip Cider


Totally unrelated to Heidi's book, but by happy coincidence my clever hubby spotted this fantastic cider for sale nearby in Kent. Made by Kentish Pip it is their first sparkling cider and is named Skylark Cider. We bought Heidi some for her book launch present!

Visit their website here Kentish Pip where you can buy Skylark Cider and their other ciders too.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Summer at Skylark Farm

The Launch Party - Saturday 4th June - Norwich

Summer at skylark farm will be published in paperback exclusive to Sainsbury on August 25th 2016

It was a very tired Mary who had her husband drive her to Norwich late Friday night so she could attend Heidi Swain's launch party for Summer at Skylark Farm.

Heidi's second novel was published by Simon and Schuster on June 2nd and she kindly invited both me and hubby to attend her launch at the Virgin Money Lounge in the centre of beautiful Norwich.
It was also a very special occasion as she had thoughtfully dedicated her precious creation to me. I was told in March and got goosebumps and cried when she told me her intention, but I had to keep it a secret! It was such a wonderful thing to do and I am very honoured.

Hubby and I arrived in Norwich at 10:45pm and found our Airbnb accommodation. A strange experience, but one we would definitely repeat. You literally stay in someones spare room, which I found a little unnerving, but it was OK. We weren't attacked in our beds and there was no wife swapping involved LOL. Our accommodation didn't offer breakfast, but we had a double room and our own bathroom at the top of a town house, which was literally 10 minutes from the Virgin Lounge. They also lent us a parking permit, which in a busy city was a complete bonus.

We made our way to the book launch stopping to breakfast in Debenhams first.
It was great to see Heidi and her hubby Paul again. I also got to meet fellow New Writers Scheme member Jenni Keer in the flesh after chatting online and caught up with my old friend Vicki Bowles and her lovely family.

Jenni Keer and I

Vicki Bowles, Heidi Swain and I

Heidi began her launch by introducing us to the book and thanked us all for coming. She thanked hubby and I for travelling so far to be there and then told everyone I was the Mary Anne she had dedicated her book to. I couldn't look at her and she couldn't look at me as we got quite emotional!
Next she introduced the room to Vicki Bowles who kicked off The Blog Tour last Monday. 
She then embarrassed her hubby by thanking him for his support and getting us all to wish him a Happy Birthday for the following week. He got a rousing "Happy Birthday" and a round of applause.

Heidi then treated us to a reading from Summer at Skylark Farm, which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed, then opened the floor to questions. Questions ranged from "How do you manage to be so fabulous?" (Jenni Keer) to "Does Skylark Farm actually exist?" (Sadly no)

After the questions and answers we all dived into the tasty treats, cupcakes and tea whilst chatting to each other. I met some lovely ladies from the Norfolk Chapter of the RNA and look forward to meeting more members soon.

Our present to Heidi - Skylark Cider from Kentish Pip 

Thank you Heidi for including us in your special day and for such a beautiful dedication.
You are a very special lady and a wonderful, very dear friend.

Heidi and me


Vicki: Blog tour

Laura: Blog Tour

Emma: Blog Tour

Rachale: Blog Tour

Rea: Blog Tour

Kirsty: Blog Tour

Alba: Blog Tour

Heidi's Blog: The Writer Files

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