Thursday, November 16, 2023

Blog tour - Celebrations in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen


If I was to do a count of reviews by author, I think Maggie Christensen would be right up there as one of the most reviewed authors on my blog. I always look forward to reading a new book from her.

This book, Celebrations in Bellbird Bay, is the eighth instalment in the Bellbird Bay series. Bellbird Bay is a magic place, where opportunities for second chance, late in life romances abound!

Sandy Elliott is busy building up her new catering business, Celebrations, when the building burns down. At the same time she gets a call to say that her mother's friend Ruby has had an accident, so Sandy and her daughter head to Bellbird Bay. The plan is to only be there for a few months. While she is there she can continue baking cakes for the local garden centre and even run Ruby's B&B business, just to keep things going while Ruby recovers.

Rob Andrews is a Bellbird Bay local. After leaving the armed forces after a difficult tour of Afghanistan, Rob started Bay Bikes. He is proud of his business, but personally he had closed himself off, sure that he is too emotionally damaged by the things he saw in battle. He suffers from nightmares and can't ever imagine himself letting anyone special into his life.

Small towns being small towns, after initially meeting Rob and Sandy keep on running into each other. Rob is emotionally unavailable, Sandy is only staying in town for a short while, and she doesn't like his beard and tattoos, and yet, there is something between them. The question is will either of them be brave enough to take the first steps to explore the connection

Ruby has always been something of an enigmatic character in the previous books. She appears, makes a subtle prediction for the future, and disappears, leaving everyone wondering what her prediction could possibly mean. Oh, and everyone talks about her cakes. It was therefore nice to get to know Ruby a bit more.

As always, the book is populated with many of the characters that we have come to know in previous books. They are a friendly bunch, and very accepting of newcomers. But don't let that worry you if you are new to the series. Of course, I would always recommend reading a series in order, but there is enough back story here to mean that you would still enjoy this book. 

Do yourself a favour though and read the whole series. The books in this series always transport me to the beach side community! It almost feels like you go and sit at the surf club, and have a beer, watching the people come and go and know exactly who they all are! They are comfort reads for me, guaranteed to make me feel very content once I get to the end of each book! And this one was set around Christmas so it was festive contentedness!!

Needless to say, I will be reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to the author and Rachels's Random Resources for the review copy.

About the book

Celebrations in Bellbird Bay: An uplifting, emotional and festive story

Sandy Elliot is devastated when a fire destroys her new business and doesn’t know how she can go on. When she receives a call from her grandmother’s old friend seeking her help, a trip to Bellbird Bay seems like the answer to a prayer.

Rob Andrews is proud of what he has achieved with Bay Bikes, the business he set up when he returned from Afghanistan. But the memory of his time there still plagues him and has always prevented him from forming any close relationships, afraid his deep-seated guilt and recurrent nightmares would scare off any woman foolish enough to become involved with him.

Upon meeting, it’s certainly not love at first sight. Sandy hates his beard and tattoos while Rob, though attracted to Sandy, doesn’t believe he deserves to find happiness.

But Bellbird Bay is a small town, and their paths continue to cross, making it impossible for them to ignore each other or to deny the attraction between them.

With the festive season approaching, can Sandy and Rob overcome their pasts and enjoy a celebration of their own?

Purchase Link -

About the author

After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Maggie has been called the queen of mature age fiction and her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call to ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!

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