The Honey Farm on the Hill: review and author guest post

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the Honey Farm on the Hill blog tour.

Author guest post: My writing day

Jo+ThomasI like to write early in the morning, before anyone else in the house is up. That’s when I get my best words written. Before the world has woken. I love the silence when the house is still asleep, before three different alarm clocks go off, playing three different radio stations and my three teenagers start asking ‘where’s my gym kit?’, ‘Can I have money for a school trip?’ and ‘I need a packed lunch!’. Before emails start coming in, the builders arrive and the phone begins to ring.

And I love the light spring and summer mornings. I get up, feed my two cats and two dogs and make myself a cup a tea, then return to bed. From there I can hear the birds singing and sheep in the field opposite. I watch the occasional early morning dog walker and the milk van rolling through the village. It’s then that I can really get into heart of my story and immerse myself in the world.

The other place I love to work is on a writer’s retreat in France. I love the company of other writers to help work through story sticking points. Even there in France, I wake early, listening to the sound of the market on a Monday morning setting up, the fruit and veg shop opening its shutters and the smell of baking croissants from the shop across the road.  I sit in bed, listening to the sounds and taking in the smells and write my words before saying to hello to the world.

At home, I walk the dogs mid morning and as I walk the characters in book start to talk to me and I find myself having to rush back home to get down all their thoughts. But on days when I find the words won’t come, or when I’m the family taxi, I get in my camper van Dorothy and drive to the beach. That’s where I wrote my first book The Oyster Catcher, in the front seat of my car staring out to sea, away from the outside world, letting my mind wander. One day, I’d love to have an office that looks straight out to sea…..or maybe that should be a bed!!

My review

Honey 250This book has all the ingredients for a light beach read: a ‘take me there’ setting, a story with heart and dashes of both humour and poignancy.

Three aspects of the book really stood out to me:

1. The off-the-beaten-track Cretan setting, which is vividly and beautifully described.

2. The information on dittany growing and usage and bee-keeping, which I found interesting.

3. The Greek dishes explored through the narrative – mouth-wateringly good!

The story makes for easy reading; a little repetitive and predictable in places for my taste, but generally what I’d expect for the genre.

This is a book that you can judge by its lovely cover: colourful, light escapism is guaranteed.

* My rating: Four stars *

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book details

Author: Jo Thomas

Genre: Women’s fiction


We never forget the one who got away.

Eighteen years ago Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and life changed for ever. Nell’s daughter, Demi, has never met her dad. Nell never saw him again.

When she gets the chance to return to the hilltop town of Vounoplagia – where everything began – Nell can’t resist the urge to go back and find him.

Working on a honey farm perched high up in the hills, there’s plenty to keep her busy. And she will quickly realise the town harbours just as many secrets as she does.

But if Nell’s favourite romantic films are right, there’s a happy ending in store for each of us. All she has to do is seek out the magic of the mountains…

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 24 August 2017

Length: 400 pages

Available from: Amazon