Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween...

Love Of A Good Book is currently preparing for Inspiration Month which starts tomorrow, so unfortunately today there is no post.

But I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all.....



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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

What Would Oprah Do by Erin Emerson

Cate Sanders is a 32-year-old woman living on her own in Atlanta, who’s at a crossroads. After being laid off from her corporate job, she’s determined to find a new career path. To help guide her, she looks to the woman she admires most, Oprah Winfrey. At every new phase she writes a letter to Oprah, knowing in all probability her hero won’t be reading them, but finds hope and inspiration from imagining what Oprah’s words of wisdom would be.

With Amelia Bedelia tendencies and a Chelsea Handler attitude, Cate’s mishaps provide humor, while her relationships give the story depth. Throughout her amusing and heartwarming trials, she searches for the answer to one question. Can she find her purpose in life by pursuing her passion?




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When Cate is suddenly laid off, she decides that life in the corporate world isn't right for her.
So armed with enough money to bankroll herself for a few months, she decides to venture into the world of self employment,
Now she just needs to decide where her skills lie!


I loved this book, it was a wonderfully witty read that kept me thoroughly entertained over the weekend.

For 48 hours I was submerged in Cate's world, discovering her friends and family , as well as giggling at the letters which started every chapter.

The book has some great characters, one of my favourites is Vivian, who comes into Cate's life through a chance encounter but helps Cate by offering advice and support when it's needed the most.
And as with real life, you will get people who will pick you up and others who will knock you down.
Which leads me to my least favourite character Barbara, a woman who seems to take great enjoyment in making others feel bad about themselves.

With an ending that brings everything together perfectly, this book really is a read to lighten your mood and leave you smiling!

5/5

I would like to thank Erin for sending me a copy to review!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Geli Voyante's, Hot or Not by Elle Field

"I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica "Geli" Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.

Yet, it doesn't sound right. Why won't anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?"

Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper's very Hot political columnist. She's also getting a little lonely being single.

When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it's time for Geli to convince Theo that she's not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she's the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too...




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Angelica Voyante is a columnist for News News, where she shares her views on what's 'Hot or Not'

But in reality the HOT new trend appears to be everyone getting engaged but sadly for Geli she is NOT even in a relationship...,.


At a time in my life when nearly all my friends are married or engaged, I found myself relating to Geli's plight almost instantly, plus like Geli I seem to go for the Theo's of the world.

Elle Field brings the story alive in the readers imagination with the great mix of characters and gripping storyline.

Within the characters, we have:
Tiggy, Geli's rival from school, Tiggy has even gone as far as to bleach her hair to get what Geli has.
Theo, the knowingly good looking guy who plays with emotions and has the morals of an alley cat.
Claire, the supportive sister who really just wants Geli to be happy.
And best friend Glinda who like Claire, wants the best for Geli and is always on hand to offer advice and a shoulder to cry on.

Between the characters who will have your emotions all over the place and the racy scenes that pop up, this really does make for a read that will consume you.
Throughout the story I never imagined the ending being anything like it was and this surprise made me smile but it also left me hoping that Elle will offer us more about Geli and the gang, after all it's always nice to catch up with friends.

5/5

Monday, 28 October 2013

On the quest for the lost boys with Lilian Carmine

Lilian Carmine is a writer and freelance artist, living in Sau Paulo Brazil.
She is currently working on illustrated children's books, animation, comic books, character design and creation, and digital painting - as well as the next book in her hugely popular Lost Boys series.




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On October 24th, your new book 'The Lost Boys' was published, please could you tell me about it?
The Lost Boys is a book about a supernatural romance, but the story is also about music and the power of true friendship. It is about a love that breaks all obstacles and endures through time, with a heroin that will never give up and will always fight with all her might for the ones she loves. You mix all of this up with a bit of magic spells, a rock band, unearthly beings and death, and you have yourself an epic adventure of an amazing group of boys and one rocking girl.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
I am very fortunate in my journey. It started in 2010, when I decided to post the story as a free e-book read at Wattpad. After a year and a half of the story being posted there I already had gathered over 22 million reads. By the time I was closing the deal with Random House UK in 2012, the book had about 35 million reads, and then I had to take the story down and off the site because of the publishing deal. It was a very meteoric ascension, I think, everything happened really fast for me. I would never have imagined I would have 8,000 readers following me and my lost boys, and that my story would inspire and touch so many hearts all over the world. It is a dream coming true for me. My debut novel was released in October, 24th of 2013 and it is available now for anyone to read.
I’ve been reading posts about publishing by many authors, and I know I am an exception to the rule. I know having your book published is a very hard struggle and as a beginner in this writing business I most definitely thank my lucky stars every day for the success I have with my story.



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Are any of the characters in 'The Lost Boys' anything like you?
Yes, all of the boys (and girl) have bits and pieces of me in them. Sometimes I put a quirk here, a habit there, a belief, a flaw or quality, a thought, there’s parts of me in every one of them, some are hidden, some are at plain sight, some I only let out in small clues, but I am sprinkled over the boys like fairy dust, to give them more life. They are all inspired by real people though, so there are bits and pieces of those people in there as well. And then there’s the parts that are intrinsically their own, it is part of the process of creation when you mix everything and the character comes to life and start having opinions and a mind of their own. After that, I have no control over them anymore, they do what they want to do and I have no say in any of it. People think I’m joking about this, but it’s god’s honest truth, after you put your characters out in their world, they come alive and they are not yours anymore, they are their own selves with all the independency and stubbornness that real people have. Sometimes they say and do things that even surprise me! It’s a wild trip to follow them around and type in their stories.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Yes, you can! I am now editing the second book of the trilogy (The Lost Girl – previously Lost Boys on Tour) with my incredible editor at Random House UK. And after that, I will be writing the third book, I don’t have the title yet as it is a wok in progress.
After the Lost Boys trilogy is done, I have a new story with new characters I want to write, it’s about romance and fantasy, but that is for the future. I have a pile of books stored in my head, all waiting in line. All I need now is time to write them all!

Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
I was absolutely in love with “The little vampire” (German: "Der kleine Vampir") by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg when I was growing up. The illustrations in the books from Amelie Glienke are simply incredible, she was the one who inspired me to want to draw (I am now a Bacharel of Visual Arts) just as the author inspired me to write.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?
I think the one that best sums up my life is the line that Tristan says about his love for Joey in the book: “Until the end and from the start.”
It literally means, all my life; from the day I was born to the day I die.

What is your all time favourite book?
Peter Pan by James M. Barrie. I think its self explanatory why I named my band after Peter’s boys, right? They are amazing, the whole book is amazing!

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Tom and Giovanna Fletcher, Danny Jones, Doug Poynter and Harry Judd. They are the soundtrack I played on repeat while writing the book and their work is a true inspiration.

At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of 'The Lost Boys' what are the ingredients?
I think for a ‘Lost Boys’ drink, you have to start pouring a good base of eye-opening mystery into the glass. Add a good dose of sweet rich lip-tingling romance, top it up with some wicked rocking musical ambience to flourish and accentuate all the flavours in the drink, then sprinkle a good amount of friendly humor and fun scenes around, add some fizzing dark suspense and a chilling villain, then shake it all with some good cocktail-shaker-action and pour it all into a beautiful crystal blue glass and there you have it! The most incredible Lost Boys drink you’ll ever have! ;)



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If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Finish your story. Don’t start writing something and abandon it because you don’t have the popularity you expected from it.
Don’t do it because of fame, recognition or money. Do it because you love to write and because you have a story to tell and you can’t get it out of your head and onto paper because otherwise it will drive you mad.
Write. Do if for you, not for others. And you will already be heading in a good direction.


A big thank you to Lilian Carmine for talking to Love Of A Good Book!


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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Christmas Carol by Michele Gorman

One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends... And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like.

When she arrives for the weekend at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?



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Michele Gorman brings us a delightfully witty and thought provoking novella that will bring the festivities of Christmas to any home!

When you think of a Christmas Carol your imagination conjures up ghosts from Christmas' past, present and future, well not any more.
Instead it's relationships that are revisited when Carol finds herself in Scotland for her sisters wedding!
For Carol a headstrong perfectionist, could this be the wake up call she needs.

Carol is quite a sarcastic character and to people around her she comes across as somewhat aloof, but at the same time there's something endearing about the way she looks out for her family.

I love the dynamics of her and her sister Marley's relationship, they make for some comedy moments, particularly when Marley is in bridezilla mode.

The descriptions of Scotland in the winter made the book feel extra festive and had me longing to set up the Christmas decorations.

A wonderful read that certainly left me wanting more.

5/5

I would like to thank Notting Hill press for sending me a copy to review.

Amazon UK:
Amazon US
Amazon Canada:
Barnes & Noble in the US:
Barnes & Noble in the UK:

Michele on social media:
Twitter:
Facebook:
Website:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson

How far would you go to make a new start? Heart-warming and romantic, Take a Look at Me Now will make you laugh, cry and cheer Nell on from start to finish.

What a difference a day makes…

Nell Sullivan has always been known as ‘Miss Five-Year Plan’. But when she finds herself jobless and newly single on the same day, Nell decides it is time to stop planning and start taking chances.

Nell blows her redundancy cheque on a trip of lifetime to a place where anything is possible – San Francisco. There she meets a host of colourful characters, including the intriguing and gorgeous Max. Very soon the city begins to feel like Nell’s second home.

But when it’s time to return to London, will she leave the ‘new Nell’ behind? And can the magic of San Francisco continue to sparkle thousands of miles away?



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I love it when a book speaks to the heart, mind and soul and Take A Look At Me Now definitely does that!

I LOVE THIS BOOK! I love everything about it, from the beautiful cover, to the wondrous characters and the message it delivers and as I said on twitter after 'everybody needs this book'
There is something reaffirming about a story that shows how life changing spontaneity can be and that following your dreams can change not just your life but your whole outlook on things,

I always find Miranda's characters easy to relate to and that's because Miranda writes her characters with such passion, that you can feel everything they are going through.

I'm sorry Romily but Nell has became my favourite Miranda Dickinson character, she is amazing, if I could make her my best friend, I would.
But I couldn't take her away from Vicky, now Vicky she's funny and Ryan Gosling obsessed (something I can completely understand), she is also a wonderful friend to Nell.
And as with real life Nell's friends come in many forms, like Annie the feisty diner owner, cousin and friend Lizzie and fabulous elderly couple the Alfaros, oh how I wish they were my neighbours, lucky Max!
And speaking of Max, he sounds gorgeous, if all men in San Francisco are like him, I'm booking a plane ticket straight away.

Oh who am I kidding, after reading this book I want to go to San Francisco anyway, with the wonderful descriptions I could almost taste the food and see the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was completely captivated by this book, my imagination was consumed and when it ended I was lost, I missed the characters, I missed the words, I missed it all!
The best way to sum it up is with the following quote:

“Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it.”
― Markus Zusak


For me this book is life changing, it brings home that you should always be true to yourself and follow your happiness!

5/5

I would like to thank Sammie at Avon for sending me a copy to review.




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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

S.E.C.R.E.T by L Marie Adeline

Fantasy becomes reality in the internationally bestselling SECRET - the first novel in the enticing, empowering and exciting S.E.C.R.E.T series.

A young widow, Cassie's life is filled with sadness and regret. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, heading home alone each night, yearning for more from her life and wishing she could make it happen.

When Cassie discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, her world is changed forever. The notebook's stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S·E·C·R·E·T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. At the heart of the society is three rules:

NO JUDGEMENTS. NO LIMITS. NO SHAME.

As Cassie is set free from her inhibitions, she is transformed by the confidence and passion she's kept buried deep inside. But can she find the courage to reveal this new side of herself to the one man she never thought she could have?

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The synopsis promises an interesting erotic novel but sadly for me the book didn't deliver.

The premise of one woman's discovery into her sensuality, had me intrigued. More so when you discover the lead female is in her 30's, a time In a woman's life when their sex drive is said to be heightened.
But sadly the descriptions of her sexual encounters, felt as though the writer was just allowing the character to go through the motions, there was no passion within the words.

For a book that's meant to be passionate, sensual and raw, I felt as if it was lacking in it all.
Yes Cassie is likeable and I guess that's why I feel an injustice, because it felt to me as though she never really got the excitement she craved.

Since this is the first of a series I can only assume this book is setting the scene and that the others will be what the synopsis promises.

3/5

Monday, 21 October 2013

United Authors of Chick-Lit

Fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some of your favourite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond.

The event kicks off on Monday, 21 Oct.

On Tuesday, 22 Oct., read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

On Wednesday, 23 Oct., it’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet.

On Thursday, 24 Oct., Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters.

And on Friday, 25 Oct., Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on Amazon.com, Amazon UK and Kobo

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on Amazon.com. Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble US

Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon.com , Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble US

Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss... Available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland – Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK

Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr – Kimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on Amazon.com , Amazon UK , Barnes & Noble US and Apple iTunes

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? Available on Amazon.com
Amazon UK Barnes & Noble USand UK Nook

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on Amazon,com and Amazon UK


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Tuesday, 22 Oct.
Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog http://libby-mercer.blogspot.com/ and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog http://fatgirlsandfairycakes.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 23 Oct.
Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog http://meredithschorr.com/blog/ and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog http://talliroland.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 24 Oct.
Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/ and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog http://sarahlouisesmith.com/

Friday, 25 Oct.
Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/ and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog http://rachaellucas.com/blog/




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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Shocked isn't the word: Romance Industry Awards and New Talent Award 2013 ~ Festival of Romance

This is a post I never imagined I would be writing,

The Love of a Good Book is my proudest achievement, it's enhanced my life in ways that I never imagined. I've met many amazing people, discovered genres I'd never read before and have an even better excuse for the books I pick up whilst shopping in Tesco/ASDA.
But the main reason, the reason that I don't mind coming in from work to spend hours scheduling and writing posts, is because I LOVE IT!

So anyway back to the reason for this post:

Yesterday my phone screen started flashing with messages from Twitter, people congratulating me. Now forgive me because I'm blonde, it took me a while to cotton on that the tweets were actually for me!
I have been shortlisted for Romance Blogger of the Year, in the Festival of Romance Industry Awards



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The other bloggers shortlisted are of such a high calibre that I feel so honoured just to see my name in a list with theirs.



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Here’s the full shortlists:

Innovation in Romantic Fiction (Publisher)

Choc Lit – for their commitment and support to developing new writers
Harper Collins - for use of different formats; ebook compliations, hardbacks and paperbacks
Harper Impulse – for listening to what romance readers want and connecting with readers through social media

Innovation in Romantic Fiction (Author)

Julie Cohen – for outstanding and captivating teaching methods leading to many of her students receiving publishing contracts
Linn B Halton – for evolving the loveahappyending.com author/reader initiative into an interactive lifestyle magazine
Lindsey Kelk - for excellent social media campaigns and use of short stories to promote her novels
Lorraine Wilson – for being such an inspiration to other writers

Publisher of the Year

Choc Lit - for promotion of romantic fiction and the hero and heroine, benefiting the whole genre
Harper Collins - for evolving in the ever changing marketplace and the use of imprints to reach many different readers
Harper Impulse – for going from zero to huge in such a short space of time

Literary Agent of the Year

Carole Blake – for a long, successful career contributing 50 years to publishing
Broo Doherty – for always being the professional and a first class advocate and mentor to her authors
Hannah Ferguson – for her faith in new writers and her ability to spot future bestsellers
Lizzy Kremer – for her commitment to the romantic fiction genre

Romance Blogger of the Year

Tanya Farrell (After The Final Chapters) - for writing honest, funny and no holds barred reviews and using social media to connect to readers around the world
Sharon Goodwin (Jera's Jamboree) - for honest reviews and her active support to new authors as well as more established names
JB Johnson (Brook Cottage Books) - for being unstinting in her support of authors and reviewing tirelessly
Kirsty Maclennan (The Love of a Good Book) – for being a tireless supporter of romantic fiction and continuing to make her blog better than ever
Carol Wright (Dizzy C's Book Blog) - for being innovative with reviews and seasonal extras and having daily posts that are interesting and varied

New Talent Award 2013

Fate Plays Dangerous Games – Kaye Chaloner
Lucky Kate – Glenda Cooper
The Wildflower of Ravenscar – Wendy Grace
Rock, Paper, Scissors – Jayne Hall
Fifty Not Out – Vivien Hampshire
Boot Camp Bride – Elizabeth Lamb
The Opening – Shada Lapite
Glitter Red Shoes and Sky Blue Gingham – Anna Mansell
The Bow Wow Club – Nicola May
Baby Number Two – Catherine Miller
Acting on Impulse – Bella Osborne
The Honey Projects – Fay Rusling
Missing Grace – Vanessa Savage
Crazy Little Thing – Kate Scholefield
Broken Jigsaw – Lynda Stacey
Edge of Life – Karen Taylor
Head over Heart – Lucie Wheeler

Hall of Fame

2013: The Romantic Novelist' Association - for being a defining, driving and positive force for the genre since 1960

Previously elected to the Hall of Fame
2012: Katie Fforde, Black Lace
2011: Carole Matthews , Harlequin Mills and Boon

Congratulations to everyone mentioned, it's an honour and a privilege to be a name amongst you all!



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Friday, 18 October 2013

Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Coming Home for Christmas is a beautifully observed story about the importance of family, the magic of Christmas, and falling in love one snowflake at a time.

Fans of Trisha Ashley, Susan Wiggs, Carole Matthews and Susan Mallery – and anyone who loves the sound of carols and the twinkling of lights on the Christmas tree – will adore Jenny Hale's feel-good debut.

Christmas is a time for family... isn't it?

Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out...

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at them all from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen... even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own...



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There's something magical about Christmas and reading about it nearly 3 months before the event is no exception.
Whilst the rain pelted the windows outside I was sat in the warm being enveloped by the festive spirit contained in Jenny Hale' words.

Coming Home for Christmas tells the story of 32 year old Allie who finds herself moving back in with her mother after 11 years away from home. So much has changed and Allie knows it's not just her duvet cover she's outgrown.
Knowing that she needs to find work, Allie although reluctant, takes the advice of her sister Megan and applies for the job of Estate Manager at Ashford Estate, a multi million pound mansion.
After meeting the head of the Estate Robert Marley, Allie soon finds herself caught up not just in the estate but the family too.
Could she be their Christmas angel?

I loved this story, there wasn't one unlikable character, in fact I found myself loving the Marley's and their family dynamics.
Kip is flirtatious and good looking, you can feel the attraction him and Allie have from their very first meeting.
But for me the relationship between Allie and Robert had me enraptured, the changes the employee brings out in the employer is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

A festive debut to warm the heart whatever the season, which leaves you eagerly awaiting more from Jenny Hale!

5/5

A big thank you to Oliver @bookouture for sending me a copy to review.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Christmas comes early with Jenny Hale

Jenny Hale Author Bio:
When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result is Coming Home for Christmas - a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.

I am currently at work on my second novel, also under contract.

When I’m not writing, I’m a District Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a mother of two boys, and a wife to a very supportive husband.




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Your novel is called 'Coming Home For Christmas' please could you tell me about it?

Coming Home for Christmas is a story about family, but it’s also about finding that one person who makes everything in life right. Allie Richfield has grown up with her sister and mother in a lovely, but small, family. She takes a job as House Manager for the Ashford estate where she encounters a larger and more dysfunctional family, The Marleys.
Heading it up is the 92-year-old grandmother, Pippa, who has three grandchildren: Robert, who controls the Marley home and wants to sell it, Kip, a well-known playboy, and Sloane, a divorced mother of two children.
They’re all coming home for one last Christmas gathering before Robert sells Ashford out from under them. All Allie has to do is plan it. What she finds out is that pulling off this last family Christmas might be harder than it seems, and the choices she makes while at Ashford may be the biggest ones of her life.

'Coming Home For Christmas' is about Allie Richfield, please could you tell me about her?
Allie has a happy life, but she’s a little lost. She thinks everything through so much that she can never make her own decisions because she’s afraid they’ll be the wrong ones. Therefore, she loses out on opportunities, and so she relies on her sister to help her. If that doesn’t work, with nothing left to do, she flips a coin. Because of this, she finds herself alone and moving back in with her mother at the age of thirty-two, when all she really wants in life is to settle into a family of her own. As she transitions into a new job, Allie decides that it’s time to make her own decisions, but doing that isn’t as easy as she thinks.

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
One night, I sat down and decided to play around with writing a story. Many evenings—and curious glances from my husband—later, I had a manuscript. I knew that it wasn’t perfect, but I’d done it. After that, I spent the next seven years reading about writing and publishing. I also wrote another manuscript. This one was called Flipped for You. Then, I began submitting.
I submitted queries to agents and publishers and received rejections, so I revised my query letter and tried again. Then, once I had a solid query letter, I began to get requests for partials and even the full manuscript. The personal feedback I received kept me going.
I spent the whole of every night, after the kids had gone to bed, plopped down beside my husband on my laptop, writing another manuscript and searching for publishers and agents who interested me. One night, I found Bookouture, and I really liked what I saw. I submitted, and here we are. Flipped for You has been re-titled Coming Home for Christmas, and it will be released October 4th.



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Are any of the characters in 'Coming Home For Christmas' anything like you?
Allie is like me in some ways (more so than any other character I’ve written). She has a teaching degree, as have I, and we both enjoy children. Many of the activities that Allie does with the two boys in the story, I’ve done with my own kids.
We see the world similarly: we believe that, regardless of wealth or status, everyone possesses the same emotions, and we are both sensitive to those feelings. Allie and I also become invested in the people we meet along life’s journey, and we feel a need to try and make things better when life throws a curveball. Also, without giving anything away, we both fall for the same type of guy.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?

I would spend the day with Pippa. I’d go anywhere quiet—a café, a library, a park—anywhere that I could listen because I’d want to hear her stories. Also, Pippa has nearly lived her whole life, beginning to end. She has a century of perspective about what’s important and what’s not. I’d want to hear her thoughts about my own choices, from her point of view.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
If I had to pick one, it would be to wait to publish until the aspiring author feels comfortable writing more than just that first book. In this process, I’ve had to write or rewrite pieces of my current manuscript, but I’ve also had discussions regarding what comes next. By the time I’d accepted this offer of contract, in total, I’d written three and a half manuscripts.
This process takes teamwork and a whole lot of discussion. The author has to be able to rethink old ideas and sometimes even scrap them as well as think up brand new ones and work through those. So, keep writing!

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
We’re toying around with plot lines, and I’m currently under contract for two. I absolutely see more books in my future.

Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
I didn’t realize my ability to write novels until adulthood. I honestly believe that writing came out of life experiences coupled with my love of reading. There wasn’t one book in particular, but many—each one giving me something new and lovely to store away until I had so many wonderful fictional experiences that I said, “I can think up something of my own!”

If there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?
It’s hard to sum up my life because I haven’t finished yet! So, if we look at today, I’d say, in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.” (Anyone who knows me knows exactly who I am because I live my life being absolutely myself with everyone I meet.)
Quote Source: Dr. Seuss (1959). Happy birthday to you! New York: Random House.

If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
By nature, I’m a rule-follower, but if I had to, I suppose, I’d skip work and board a plane to somewhere fantastic. But only after securing a sitter for the kids, arranging time off for my husband, and packing meticulously. Even still, I’d worry about skipping work.

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Anything by Bill Bryson. My favorite is Notes from a Small Island. That one made me laugh out loud.

What or who in life inspires you?
Children inspire me every day. I have learned my greatest lessons of strength and perseverance from children.

What is your all time favourite book?
I don’t have just one favorite because I keep finding new favorites, so if I were to list one here, I’d be annoyed in a week when I read something else that I loved even more! When I’m reading, certain lines, imagery, ideas—all sorts of things—will grab me and hold me there for a minute. (And that’s regardless of the genre of literature. Even those light, quick reads sometimes give me something great.) Those are my favorite books. So, since I don’t have a favorite, here’s a peek into my bookshelf—the keepers—right now.
Top three in no particular order…
The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Remember Me, Sophie Kinsella
Starter for Ten, David Nicholls

If 'Coming Home For Christmas' was to be made into a film, who would you like to star in it?
(These are the people who most resembled the characters in my head. I focused on their faces; hair color and eye color can change.)
Allie – Emilie de Ravin
Robert – Paul Walker or Chris Pine


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'Coming Home For Christmas' is set at Christmas time, what was your inspiration behind picking this season?
Originally, I had only created the Ashford home and Robert Marley, its owner, when the idea was first born in my mind, but when I placed the other characters there, and started to construct the rest of the Marleys, I tapped into my strongest and happiest memory of family. Here’s a glimpse into that memory:
I got married in December, my favorite month. My wedding reception was in an old plantation house with white clapboard siding and hinged black shutters. There were fires in all of the fireplaces, and hot, cinnamon apple cider waiting in warmers near antique settees where my friends and family could sit and have a chat. The banisters of the wooden staircase in the center of the home had fresh greenery all the way to the second floor, filling the air with the scent of evergreen. White twinkle lights hung from various surfaces of the interior, and the flicker of candles on tables illuminated groups of friendly faces. On the back porch that had been enclosed, creating three sides of large, thick-paned windows with whitewashed woodwork, we danced all evening.
The Ashford estate is not anything like the plantation house from my wedding day, but my reception inspired the feeling that I wanted to ultimately achieve within the Marley family—that mixture of faces, some who had been around a long time and others who hadn’t, shared stories, laughter. So, I suppose, it was only fitting to set the story at Christmas time.

Please could you tell us a bit about your writing process?
i get inspiration in many different forms: sometimes it’s a song, sometimes a title, it varies. Anything can inspire a thought. From that thought, I may get a character or pieces of a plot. I keep a ton of small, spiral-bound notebooks and I generate lists and notes and plot ideas, situations, and story themes in whichever notebook is handy. I put the characters in a particular situation and then I watch them go.
After I have enough ideas spread across a few notebooks, I start typing. When I have a rough story idea, I tweak things as I get feedback, or feel the need, to make the story work. If I get stuck, I listen to music. Sometimes one song can give me a couple of pages.
With Coming Home for Christmas, I kept the whole structure in my head—nothing written down—and just wrote it from beginning to end, but now that I’m working with Bookouture, and their atmosphere is so collaborative, I’m discovering the importance of a synopsis. I’m writing that first these days. It makes total sense, since I can expand quite easily once I have the idea solidly defined. (And it cuts down on notebook purchases.)



20131005-212126.jpgWhat are your favourite things about Christmas?
I enjoy carrying over Christmas traditions that I had as well as making new ones with our own children. One of my traditions as a child that I do with my own kids is to make homemade cookies for Santa the night before Christmas eve. It’s funny, but we always pick their Daddy’s favorite recipe when we make our Santa cookies. Both Daddy and Santa like the exact same kind.
A new Christmas tradition that I’ve started with my children—and one that I mention in Coming Home for Christmas—is building a gingerbread house. It’s a struggle every year to have enough candy to actually put on the house.
I also love Christmas morning when my kids get me up. They wake up before dawn and come and get us. We all go find Santa’s loot together—the whole family.

What would your dream Christmas gift be?
A live-in housekeeper like Alice on The Brady Bunch! (I’d probably produce double the books if I had one. I so dislike having to stop writing for things like meals and cleaning… Who has time for that!)


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A big thank you to Jenny for talking to 'The Love Of A Good Book' and bringing the festive spirit with her!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Lying To Meet You by Anna Garner

Today's review is brought to you by my mum, Rachaell
Shell is a lover of books and can often be found reading her kindle or reading to her granddaughter. She loves the fact that both her children are avid readers, something they've been since children and knows that books can be enjoyed by all generations


Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?


Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.

However...

Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan's theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she's lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?




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Chloe is a talented designer who is on the brink of her 30th birthday .
Still single, Chloe finds that she just doesn't have the time to find anyone & on the rare occasions that she does go out with friends she finds that no one ever seems interested.
So it's the perfect plan when Chloe and her long time friend Ethan decide to be a fake couple.
The idea being it will take the pressure off and hopefully allow them both to meet somebody.

I love both Chloe & Ethan, their characters are so comfortable with each other. They have a lot in common which I suppose comes from growing up together.
With so many shared memories they are just generally at ease with other and each other's families, who are lovely!

The character I liked the least was the sexy William Shannon (wiley willy) he is everything you want in a man except he is constantly on the phone or in a meeting so when he has time he thinks if he clicks his fingers that people should jump and want to spend time with him.

Chloe and Ethan have an amazing friendship but they are also blessed with a really good network of friends who are always there, friends who are thoughtful and caring, friends who spend time and money throwing parties even when it's the last thing that Chloe and Ethan want.

I loved this book it was such a lovely easy read.
The story just flowed it made me laugh & in places it made me want to hide behind my hands cringing with embarrassment for the characters.

A book to cheer you up!

5/5

I would like to thank Anna for sending a copy to review.

COVER REVEAL: North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans

Today I'm very excited to be sharing with you the cover for North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans.
I love the festive and seasonal feel this cover has and I think you will agree the book sounds great!

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:
North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans
Publication date: November 6th 2013
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.

Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.

She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.

But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.

A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.



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AUTHOR BIO:
Jaimie is a 27-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps.

She has been writing for years, but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. She writes mostly chick-lit and young adult. Kismetology is her first novel and there are plenty more on the way!


Author Links;
Jaimie's Website /
Facebook/
Twitter





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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Book House - CODE RED: Victoria's in the house

Today entering the book house is Victoria from Victoria loves books (@arrrgggghhhhhh on Twitter).



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'Day one in the big book house and the new book nerds are about to enter,

First up we have Victoria, 26 and a huge book worm. Not one to leave her family behind she struggled with the decision, but when finding out her fellow housemates, she forgot she even had a family!


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Second in is Noah Calhorn who comes from The Notebook. Noah is a man who knows how to use his hands and madly in love with Allie. He spends his spare time building houses or rowing amongst geese. Also known to be very romantic.


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Third in we have Ron Weasley best known for his help in defeating He Who Cannot Be Named. Ron is married to his childhood sweetheart Hermione, without her he is pretty useless, for the safety of others his wand has been taken away!


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Fourth in we have Richard De Clare from The Lady Of Hay. Richard is a knight from hundreds of years ago. He may struggle to fit in with modern day life. We can confirm his been told not to whip his sword out under any circumstances.


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Fifth in we have Claire De Tamble from The Time Traveler's Wife, now a widow after her husband died (although don't let her hear that she is certain he is still alive, we will be monitoring her health closely) she has decided to join the book house for a new experience.


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Sixth in we have Johnny Jefferson from Johnny Be Good. Now a reformed man, married with kids and most importantly sober, will he manage without Meg keeping him on the straight and narrow?


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And in last place we have an absolute corker it's Gideon Cross, no one knows how or why Gideon came to be in the house, but most are hoping to catch glimpses of him in the shower. (Camera heights have been adjusted ladies)


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First out is Richard De Clare, the viewers and housemates alike found it hard to understand his way with words. Although everyone enjoyed his lack of understanding on today's mod-cons. We will never forget the incident with the curling tongs!

Second out is Victoria, the housemates found it quite disturbing that she wore a t-shirt with Noah's face on it....


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And lets not forget the picture she has beside her bed....


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Not only this, on several occasions she asked Ron to "whip out his wand" and begged Gideon "to give me your babies" and lets not forget when she tried to lick Noah's chest. Unfortunately she refused to leave gracefully and clung into Noah's legs weeping.
(Her husband was unable to comment and has gone into hiding!)

Third out is Johnny, the public find his moping around and talking about missing Meg and his son his just too boring now, plus the housemates didn't appreciate his concern on their alcohol intake.

Fourth out is Claire, in the middle of the night Henry appeared, naked at the day he was born, and the other housemates were shocked and appalled that she was allowed to see her husband, whilst they hadn't. Also the scandal with her and Gideon in the hot tub will go unforgotten for many.

Fifth to leave is Gideon, he left soon after Claire's eviction, after hearing the crowd boo and chant "get Gideon out" he realised he had made a fatal mistake in allowing Claire to get drunk. Eva being the very jealous type he knew he had to get to her and be with her. But lets reminisce his time in the house...


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The final was very tense with two very brilliant finalists but the runner up was Noah. Whilst in the house he stayed true to his Allie, wore white vests and built a tree house and read poetry. He was adored by the viewers and housemates and left to chants of his name. Lets reminisce over his time in the house...



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(Victoria was held back by security for fear of what she might do!)


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And the winner of The Book House was of course Ron Weasley, Ron swore a lot, burnt things, screamed at spiders and was fascinated by "the muggles" he made us laugh and the public fell in love with him. He came out to chants of "Weasley is our King" and when he left the house he was greeted by hundreds of gingers, Hermione, Harry and their children.


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A huge thank you to Victoria, not only for making me laugh but for the many Ryan Gosling pictures.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Stormbird (Wars of the Roses 1) by Conn Iggulden

Today's review is brought to you by my brother Jamie (Twitter: @xjammacx) .
Jamie lives in the West Midlands with his wife and daughter. He is an avid reader and enjoys reading on his commute to and from work.
One of his favourite books (ok it's a trilogy) is The Lord of the Ring's, a series that thankfully wasn't ruined when it made it to the big screen.
Although Jamie still tries to read frequently, his reading choices have altered slightly since the birth of his daughter and he can now quote Rapunzel word for word.




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King Henry V - the great Lion of England - is long dead.

In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king - Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom.

Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England's territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real.

As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what, can save the kingdom before it is too late?

The Wars of the Roses series will be a benchmark for historical fiction, showcasing Conn Iggulden at his finest.



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As a normal follower of Lee Child and the late Tom Clancy, Stormbird by Conn Iggulden was a considerable departure from my usual reading material.

Having little knowledge of the War of the Roses and a more than passing interest in British history I was intrigued to see how the marriage of fact and entertainment was handled. My fear that this would read like a history textbook was initially reinforced by the family tree style royal line at the start of the book however it was quickly put to rest and this substantial book (500pages) turned out to be a great novel that I couldn’t put down.

From the death of Edward III at the start of the book we are led to the marriage of Margaret of Anjou to Henry VI and the subsequent peace treaty with France. All part of a play to strengthen and hold the young King’s realm. To his credit Iggulden’s creation of ‘Derry’ Brewer the kings spymaster is a stroke of genius as it allows him to explore the possibility of an individual behind the scenes guiding the powerplays that drove the key decisions of the time.

The other characters are not just there to make up the numbers each has their own story to tell and part to play, Jack Cade and his Kentish rebels for example are used to portray the feelings of the nation at that time. Together with Thomas Woodchurch and his son, who have lost everything as a result of the treaty, they march on London and the throne. Lord Suffolk is left in an almost impossible position of having to defend England’s lands on the continent against overwhelming opposition and all the while the Duke of York move pieces in to play to execute his own plans for the throne.

This book is not just about behind the scenes scheming and gruesome battles. There is also a softer side shown through the eyes of Margaret of Anjou where we see the shy chid bride blossom in to a key character who struggles to hold on to her husband’s throne whilst those that wish it for their own purpose circle.

Stormbird is the first of a series of books about The War of the Roses and I’m sure many will compare this to George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (adapted to A Game of Thrones) which is inspired by the same events however where Martin uses Magic and Dragons to keep the reader entertained Iggulden manages to do this by beautifully weaving together historical fact and fiction to form a truly mesmerising story.

I for one can’t wait for the rest of the series.

5/5

I would like to thank Francesca at a Michael Joseph, Penguin for sending a copy to review.

The Book House - Erin's in the house!

Today entering 'The Book House' is Erin from http://erins-choice.blogspot.com



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1. Jocelyn Butler from On Dublin Street by Samantha Young - she is totally kick ass and would have my back in a bitching sesh with other house mates.


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2. Second would have to be Noah Calhoun from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Ryan Gosling, I repeat, Ryan Gosling.
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. Angela Clark from Lindsey Kelk's I Heart series. She has a great sarcasticness about her and I love the sense of humour Lindsey has given her.


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4. Katniss Everdean from The Hunger Games, because who knows when we would need a fire lights or saved from eating killer berries.


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5. Vaughan from Unsticky by Sarra Manning who always looks a bit like Daniel Craig in my head, which kind of means he could double as 007!


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6. Lastly I would take in Hermione Granger. She's clever and gorgeous and if someone sat on my glasses she could fix 'em right up.


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I would want Angela to win. She always gets herself in a right pickle, worries and comes up with wacky schemes to sort herself out, but always manages it

Thank you Erin, tomorrow Victoria is entering 'The Book House'