Today as a part of the blog blitz, I am sharing an extract from Mistletoe and the Mouse by Elsa Simonetti. If you love anything and everything abut Mickey Mouse, then this is the novel for you!
Can a magical Christmas melt a frozen heart?
Join Belle and James as they visit Mickey Mouse for a sparkling holiday season at Disneyland Paris.
Belle has been numb since her mother died, and she can’t face Christmas at home without her. Instead she books a surprise holiday to her “happy place” – the Magic Kingdom. But her boyfriend James has problems of his own. He doesn’t “do Disney” and what will his mother think of him missing their family Christmas to go to Disneyland with Belle?
A festive romance with a sprinkling of Pixie Dust.
Intro on the Extract:
Belle and James are on a Christmas holiday at Disneyland Paris, where Belle is struggling to overcome the grief she feels following the sudden and unexpected death of her mother earlier in the year. While she sits on the edge of a fountain, drinking mulled wine and waiting for James, Belle meets a young American, “a tall, slender woman of about her own age. The woman was wearing a knee-length deep red velvet dress over a pale golden skirt, with her long dark hair swept up with red roses. She was so elegant it took Belle’s breath away.” Belle falls naturally into conversation with her, and their meeting becomes something of a turning point for Belle, who is wondering if James’s obvious lack of enthusiasm for all things Disney might drive a wedge between them.
‘Shut up! Were you actually named after Beauty and the Beast?’ asked the woman.
‘Yes!’ Belle said. ‘Yes, my mum went into labour in the cinema watching the film. It was her favourite. She refused to leave until it was over; I very nearly popped out into the world in row H of the Cannon Cinema! That’s why she called me Belle.’
She had never told James that; she knew Beauty and the Beast didn’t mean anything to him. It would be pointless.
‘That is so awesome! Your mom must be a cool mother; I wish mine loved Disney as much as that.’
‘She is! She’s the best!’ Belle said eagerly, before remembering. ‘I mean, she was the best. She died earlier this year,’ she said, her face falling.
‘I’m so sorry for your loss,’ the woman said, looking concerned. ‘It’s so hard, isn’t it, first Christmas without your mom. I remember when my grandma died, I found Mom sitting and crying over the Thanksgiving Dinner, the first one she’d had to cook without grandma. Tears all over the turkey!’
‘Yes, that’s why we came here. I couldn’t face doing all the normal Christmas stuff without her. Mince pies and stockings and decorating the tree; it didn’t feel right.’
‘I can totally get that. Are you here with your Dad then?’
‘I haven’t seen my dad since I was four; he’s in America somewhere. No, I’m here with my boyfriend. James.’
‘The one who doesn’t do Disney?’
‘That’s the one.’
‘Then perhaps he is a keeper after all!’ the woman said. ‘Disney at Christmas is quite a thing for someone who doesn’t do Disney.’
‘I don’t know. He’s been so great this year, but it’s like he doesn’t understand me, sometimes. He doesn’t get it. I’m not sure if he’s The One – you know? He doesn’t seem to get Disney at all, and it’s always been such a big part of my life. Bringing him here, it makes me realise how different we are. He likes rugby, and I like Disney. There’s not much overlap there.’
It was the first time she had ever voiced her fears aloud. She had no-one she trusted enough to voice them to, without her mum. But somehow, this woman felt safe, like a friend.
‘Uh huh, I get that – but would he fight off vicious wolves for you, and carry you back safely to his castle? You don’t have to be exactly the same to be in love, you just have to be on the same side!’
She thought about James, and how he had lain awake with her all those nights, holding her in the darkness while she sobbed. She thought about how he had held her up at the funeral when she didn’t think she could stand on her own. She thought about how he had been prepared to abandon his own family at Christmas to come here with her, even though she could see quite clearly now he didn’t want to. He was on her side, firmly and steadfastly.
‘I think he would,’ she said softly. ‘Yes, I honestly think he would.’
‘Then, Belle, perhaps he is your Beast after all!’ she said, with a wave of her hand as if she was carrying a magic wand and sprinkling pixie dust. But her gesture turned into a wave as she saw her companion, dressed in ice-blue like Cinderella, coming out of the ladies’ toilets at the other side of the square. ‘Oh, there’s Gabrielle. Gotta go. Great to meet you, Belle.’
‘I didn’t get your name?’ Belle called after her. She stopped and turned back.
‘I’m Aliyah. But you can call me Fairy Godmother!’ she said with a laugh. ‘Happy holidays, Belle!’
‘Happy holidays, Fairy Godmother!’ she called after her.
Aliyah is only a minor character in the novel, but she’s an important one, as Belle otherwise has only James to talk to, and I realised that she needed someone to talk to ABOUT James at this point. Although Aliyah is very clearly a real person, the way in which she appears at this significant moment to help Belle and defines herself as Belle’s Fairy Godmother has a deliberate hint of magic about it. It’s one of my favourite scenes in the whole novel!
About the Author:
Elsa Simonetti was born in the same year as Walt Disney World, but many miles away in the north of England. Her earliest Disney memory is crying during Bambi at the Saturday morning cinema club! It wasn’t until her own children were small that her husband introduced her to the magic of Disneyland Paris, and since then she has become obsessed, proving Walt Disney’s own belief that “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever”. That was the seed of this story – that Disneyland is not just for children, but for anyone who is young at heart.
Elsa also writes romantic women’s fiction under the name of Liz Taylorson.
As a part of the blog blitz, today I share my review for Blue Skies by Alana Oxford. I awarded this one 5 stars!
Life isn’t always a walk in the park, but when Patrice takes her Pomeranians to the park after a rough day at the office, fate steps in. An unlikely hero comes to the rescue when one of her dogs gets loose. Short, pale, and kind of cute, Seth doesn’t have a lot of confidence with the ladies, but he hits it off with Patrice.
But some things might be too good to be true. While Patrice wonders if Seth could possibly be “the one”, fate steps in again with a horrible twist. Will it be a deal breaker or just a storm before bright blue skies?
Author: Alana Oxford
Published: August 29, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 6-8, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
This was a fun and quick read, and as you get closer to the end you find yourself reading faster to see what happens!
This was a welcome break from the thrillers I read, and this year in general. Blue Skies is a cute romcom novella, where at 100 pages you get a complete story. As I was getting closer to the end I was not sure it was going to have everything summed up but we did.
I adored both Patrice and Seth. You are rooting for those two to get together, but when you find out what the twist is… Wow…. It is definitely unexpected and makes you unsure of what is going to happen.
Blue Skies deals with a relatable situation that anyone with multiple dogs could find themselves in while walking. In fact, when I had the opportunity to join the blog tour, my sister had just had a similar run in that Patrice had at the park: She has two dogs and one got loose and ran off. My sister did not have a ‘unlikely hero’ come to her rescue, but a group of people helped her with her dogs. Everyone is fine, but because of this story I just had to sign up for the blog tour! I pictured my sister and her two dogs as Patrice and her Pomeranians as I read the novella. This definitely added to my enjoyment of the novella as I read it. Another coincidence is that I have an aunt named Patrice: How about that!?!?!?
This is my first read from Oxford and I hope to read more from her.
This fun novella is definitely recommended in this year of chaos that 2020 has become.
About the Author:
Alana Oxford is a Michigan author of romcoms, sweet romance, and humorous women’s fiction. She wants her stories to bring sunshine and smiles to her readers. She enjoys improv comedy, moody music, everything book related, and has an ongoing love affair with the United Kingdom.[Top]
As a part of the blog blitz, today I share my review for Inside Voices by Sarah Davis. I awarded this one 5 stars! It is currently just .99 for Kindle! **There is also an international giveaway going on!**
The mind is a strange beast…extraordinary, unpredictable, protective.
Penny Osborn’s mind is no exception. In High School, Penny witnessed a massacre and lost her father to the same killers. She had seen it unfold before it happened, in a premonition, but could not prevent it.
A college research project at the edge of the Arctic is her chance for a new beginning. Struggling with PTSD, Penny’s therapy includes running, dogs, and guitars. Yet her fresh start is plagued by new premonitions, dark and foreboding, that coincide with a rising number of murders in the community. Her visions are vague, offering little to identify the killer.
When confronted with an orphaned polar bear cub, Penny risks everything to save its life. The deepening mystery of the murdered women, coupled with the exhaustive duties of caring for the small cub, draw her closer to her friend, Noah, and further from her sister.
Fearful for the serial killer’s next target, Penny discovers where her physical abilities can help her.
Will letting go of the past lead to healing? And can she stop the murders?
Author: Sarah Davis
Published: June 30, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: October 14-27, 2020
The way Inside Voices begins is a living nightmare of a terrible school shooting and then more. This was a day that changes Penny Osborne’s life forever. This novel shows us what PTSD and learning to deal with loss can do to a person. After the shooting, Penny and the rest of her family move to Alaska for a chance to start over and move on. But will they be able to?
From the book description I knew there was going to be a baby polar bear, and I was anxiously awaiting the cub’s arrival. Once the cub arrived things really got moving for me. Inside Voices is my first novel based out of Alaska and also the first with a polar bear cub and I absolutely loved it! Add in a serial killer mystery, a set of twins with psychic powers, and a bit of romance and you have just about everything you could want!
Davis has been a veterinarian for 20 years and she took what she knows with the character of Eelyn. Her descriptions of Alaska made me feel like I was there, I could picture everything perfectly.
I really liked Penny and she has more abilities than just telepathic communication with her twin sister Lucy. Thrillers are my main genre of choice, and the serial killer subplot is what drew me to this novel, but it is so much more than that! Once the serial killer events are solved there is still much more story that takes place: most of it dealing with Fjord. I adored Fjord, and it makes me thisclose to wanting a polar bear cub. (As long as it stays small and will not eat me….) Fjord became the whole reason for reading this novel for me.
There is an unexpected turn that makes we want to read the novel again. It was something I should have seen coming, but didn’t!
Thank you to Sarah Davis for introducing me to the state of Alaska, Fjord and the whole story of Inside Voices. This is one that I really enjoyed and will stay with me for a while. This one is definitely recommended!
Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/insidevoices
About the Author:
Sarah Davis is many things…wife, mother, veterinarian, writer. An avid reader, she enjoys stories that transport her into new and exciting lands. Having read more books than she could ever count, she has considered writing a novel for ages. It wasn’t until the idea for “Inside Voices” popped into her mind that she finally started pursuing that dream, with much encouragement from her family. She and her incredible husband share their remote home on the prairie with their three extraordinary children and one mostly human weimaraner.
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