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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Forgive Me Not By Samantha Tonge **Publication Day Review**

I am delighted to be taking part in the Publication Day celebrations for Samantha Tonge's latest novel, Forgive Me Not.

Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge

 How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future...

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.

My Thoughts
It was only after I read Samantha Tonge's blog post that I realised just how personal this book is to her. (You can read her post here). Forgive Me Not is a courageous piece of writing and deals with its subject matter in a clear- sighted but non-judgemental way. You build up a respect for Emma and wonder at her resilience which she shows she has, to keep going despite the rebuffs she finds in her home village. I don't want to talk in detail about her situation as that would spoil the read. Through a series of flashbacks, you learn about her struggle to get back to the person she wanted to be. The layers of her character are peeled back and, in the end, you get to see just who she is.

    In addition to Emma's problems, there is the heart-breaking situation of her mother who can no longer remember who she is. Her sister cannot forgive her but is clearly barely managing. There is also a cast of other complicated characters who live in the village who have been affected by her previous actions. You get to see how Emma acquires the skills to help others through practical actions. I was not prepared for the reveal right at the end of the story which I had not seen coming but which left me wanting to know what happened next. 

    This is a real class act of a novel. It has hope and despair in equal measure and the author weaves a tapestry which portrays the fragility of everyday life. 

In short: A gem of a book which challenges your perceptions and touches you with its honesty. 

About the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

You can follow Samantha here: Twitter   |  Facebook   |  Website

Book links: Amazon UK   |  Kobo   |  Google Books UK 
                |  iBooks  

Thanks to Samantha Tonge, Canelo and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the event.


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