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The Vintage Village Bake Off by Judy Leigh #Review

  Here we are with another amusing romcom by Judy Leigh . The Vintage Village Bake Off was published by Boldwood Books on December 4th. Now in his seventies, Robert Parkin is stunned to find himself the unlikely sex symbol of the village gardening club. Living in happy solitude with his cat Isaac Mewton in the Devon village of Millbrook, entertained by his mischievous chickens and goats, Robert has never figured out the rules of romance. But as the local ladies vie for his company, it soon becomes clear that Robert's Victoria Sponge cake is the lure, and as his baking prowess grows, so does his confidence. Cheesecakes, meringues, puddings, Robert can do it all, but his real masterpieces are his scones - ginger, rosemary, coconut, fruit, his recipes are inspired and soon come to the attention of the local media. Which county does the best cream tea - Devon or Cornwall? It's time for an age-old debate to be settled with a competition. Robert's sisters Bunty and Ha

There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F Ross #Review #Giveaway #OrendaBooks


Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the latest novel by David F Ross' There's Only One Danny Garvey. He certainly has a distinctive style. You may remember Welcome to the Heady Heights- you can read my review of it here.

I also have a great giveaway for you with the chance to win a print copy of There's Only One Danny Garvey. (UK only) Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.


Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned.And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted ... and that’s the problem.

A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams –of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat –There’s Only One Danny Garveyis, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.

My Thoughts

This is a story which spends much of its time, looking to the past and evading the present. Danny Garvey gets to return to his childhood home but it is clear from the off that he is doing this reluctantly. Barshaw, in Scotland seems remote, cast adrift, neglected, a little like him in fact. With a brother in prison and a mother who is dying, Danny seems to be an isolated figure. Yet when he left years ago, he had a promising football career in front of him. Higgy is determined that he will return and face up to his issues with his mother. Quite why Danny seems to feel the need to atone for the past and why he is so obsessed with disappearances and deaths from his childhood days does not become clear for some time.

    Set against the backdrop of a low ranking football team, the novel is much more than the story of  their season. I am sure that football fans will appreciate the footie references which crop up and there is some humour to be found there, but for me, the interest of the story lies in the relationships within the community and the untapped potential of some. You take them at face value at your peril. Danny is a complicated character who senses in Nancy's son, Damo, unrecognised needs. As the story progresses, you get to hear from different characters. This leads you to doubt the reliability of what certain characters are saying. I found that I was never quite sure where anyone stood. I certainly didn't foresee the end.

In short: A mixture of hope and despair, humour and sadness - a powerful mix.



About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy:The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.

You can follow David here: Twitter  |  Website 

Book links: Amazon UK

Thanks to David F. Ross and Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

                                                         Check out the rest of the tour!

Giveaway (UK only)

To win a print copy of There's Only One Danny Garvey, just Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings Closing Date is January 19th 2021 and there is one winner.  Good luck!  
*Terms and Conditions – UK only.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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