There is nothing better than receiving books as gifts. Kindle (ebooks) are fine, but a proper physical book is magic. In my capacity as a book reviewer/blogger I am very lucky in that I receive a lot of books for free. Some are ebooks, some are paperbacks and some are hardbacks. I am fortunate enough to have author Heidi Swain as a best buddy too so I get her to sign my books by her too! Through book events I have been lucky enough to meet many authors like Milly Johnson, Jane Costello, Andy Jones, Isabelle Broome, Lucy Holliday, Juliet Ashton, Penny Parkes, Iona Grey and many more. They are a friendly bunch and regularly chat to their fans on social media - Twitter is their favourite.
Sharing the book love however is something I am passionate about. For me there is nothing nicer than giving somebody a well chosen book as a gift. It can be one I've read and loved - in that case you need to read it quickly so we can discuss it! - it could be one that I've heard about and know you will love or it could be something tied in with World Book Night/Day.
I also have a page on Facebook Mary's Writing Page where I run lots of giveaways and that is also a great way to spread book love.
Recently I spoke to a few people I had gifted books to and it was lovely to hear that they had enjoyed their books. Last week I was asked by my friend Sammie for some reading recommendations as she is pregnant - YAY. She wants to get some reading done on her maternity leave. The obvious choice that sprung to mind was The Yorkshire Pudding Club by Milly Johnson. Luckily I had a spare copy so Sammie received one of those. I also had a spare copy of another favourite of mine Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain so Sammie is borrowing that too. It made me happy to give my friend books I had read and loved. Many of you know that Heidi dedicated Summer at Skylark Farm to me, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
|Sammie and Summer at Skylark Farm|
The two friends who receive the most books from me - lucky things - are Tara and Emily. I met Tara through my part-time job for a large supermarket chain and Emily started out as my Macmillan nurse and then became a close friend.
Tara likes romantic comedy and women's fiction and I know if I give her a book I've enjoyed that she will love it. The other day I literally shoved a book under her nose from the shelf at work and told her to buy it and read it! She did and loved it. That book was The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances, it hooked me from the beginning and I would highly recommend it to thriller lovers.
|Tara's book haul and a quote I gave her from our shared favourite Winnie the Pooh|
Emily and I bonded over the love of our two favourite authors Jill Mansell and Tess Gerritsen. One very happy moment was when I asked Jill to send a signed postcard for Emily to me. I gave it to Emily and she was delighted, went goose bumpy and very nearly cried. How beautiful that an author and a gift can bring so much pleasure.
My lovely Mum in-law -Wendy- received a signed book from Santa Montefiore that I won in a Mother's Day competition. Since then we send her a lot of Santa's books and now that she lives in Ireland a lot of Irish authors have also appeared as gifts. Of course Wendy always receives Heidi's latest book.
|Mum's collection - the newest Heidi is still to be sent!|
We share a love of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and for one birthday we got her a vintage hard-backed copy. She has also had a beautiful copy of Jane Eyre too.
So if ever you want to give somebody a present, give them a book. Even if they say they don't read a lot, there is a book out there for everyone.
You gave this book to me, and I have read it twice. It has also been passed around the females in the family and is currently being read by my mummy. My nan took it to Canada where she read it and then her sister read it. It is an easy read but is a real feel good book. It made me laugh as I could so relate to the characters pregnancy in the story. xxx
My sister Linda read The Cherry Tree Cafe after I talked about it non-stop!
OK then Mrs. Not exactly recommended to me by you but as you went on about it, then I thought I would give it a try lol! The Cherry Tree Cafe by Heidi Swain. A pleasant easy read with a light hearted story and a leading lady you could relate to. Lizzie makes a few wrong direction decisions but in the end love wins out and The Cherry Tree Cafe itself is described in such detail that I felt it was a real place and I really would like to go and visit there. Linda xx
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley was recommended to me by the Marketing Director of Simon and Schuster Dawn Burnett and I loved it. I then lent it to my friend Heather who loved it too.
Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. I recommend this book to everybody as I absolutely love it to bits. It is one of the best books I have ever read and if romance is your bag you must read this! It also won a Romance Novelists Association Award.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. A lot of people say they find this confusing as the timeline skips. My advice is make sure you read the chapter title every time. It tells you who is talking and the time they are set in, honestly if you read that you won't have any problems.
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances. Another excellent thriller about a mother, son and his girlfriend and how toxic a relationship can become. I read it in one sitting.
Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris. I have texted 5 people today to tell them they must read this. I have never hated a character so much as I did in this book. The writing is intense and very disturbing. I read it during a thunderstorm and I felt very uncomfortable. I would give anything to be able to write as well as this.
ALL of Heidi Swain's books. I love them and plan to move to Wynbridge. I care not a jot that the town is a figment of Heidi's imagination, I'm off to eat cake at The Cherry Tree Cafe, drink cider and eat bacon from Skylark Farm, go and have Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market and visit the vintage camping experience at Cuckoo Cottage.
That's all for now, but if you fancy winning one of 4 books I have to give away then answer this simple question:
Which book by Milly Johnson did I recommend for Sammie to read during her pregnancy?
Answer either below in the blog comments or on my Facebook Writing Page here Winners will be announced on Friday 21st July.
Sammie reading pic
Wendy Heidi pic
Jo read Cherry tree
Heather read Lily and the octopus