Friday, 28 February 2014

Seth Hamilton, My Heart Belongs to....

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Today sharing where his heart belongs is Seth Hamilton
You can read about Seth in the amazing The Sentinel by Holly Martin!


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My heart belongs to Eve Jones. Although that statement doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel for her. I love her so much it actually hurts. It’s such a ridiculous thing to say but in my case it’s true. My heart aches every time I’m with her and hurts even more every time we are apart. She… consumes me, she is every breath I take, every heartbeat, every sight, every sound, every smell, every touch is her. It’s always been her. My Evie.
It wasn’t love at first sight, we were only four when we first met. It was my duty to protect her, to make friends with her and if necessary die to save her. It has been foreseen that she is to save the world and there is nothing more important than her being alive at the end to fulfil that prophecy. She was a job, nothing more and nothing less.
It took about five weeks for me to fall under her spell. Well, in truth it happened much sooner than that but I didn’t want to admit it. The Guardians don’t have emotions, and they certainly wouldn’t let their feelings cloud their judgement. Being only half Guardian, I knew I could be susceptible to those weak human emotions and I was determined to be like the other Guardians, cool, impassive, strong willed. To admit I was in love with her would obviously be a huge sign of weakness.
I remember the day clearly, when she spilt her milk all over me. I sat on the floor, dripping from head to toe and watched her expression change through horror, guilt, embarrassment and even fear. I wanted nothing more than to wrap her in my arms and hold her tight. And that was it. I was in love and there was nothing I could do about it. That feeling never went away.
Although if I thought I was in trouble then, I’m even more in trouble now fourteen years later. This love for her grew and grew until it coursed through my veins and hummed through my skin. She was an addiction I couldn’t escape from.
The first time we kissed, she glowed. An actual glow that shone out from her like the most powerful lighthouse. A golden beam that filled the room. I could feel her powers burn through her and bubble through me. It was the most intense experience of my life. We’ve kissed many times since then, there is always a glow, a sparkle, but nothing like that first time.
But with this love also comes this immense fear. I have to keep her safe, not to save the world or to fulfil the prophecy but for me. I know that’s selfish considering what she was created for but the thought of losing her brings me to my knees. I simply cannot exist without her. There have been too many times I’ve nearly lost her, the Putarians have got too close, the helicopter crash in the sea, she’s been poisoned and tortured. And every time this fear has almost been too much to bear. I worry that this fear will ultimately be what kills her. Distracted by the fear of losing her will be the very thing that tears her away from me, I won’t be quick enough to react, I’ll let it consume me and then it will be too late.
But today, I have a new fear. I don’t think I have ever felt so scared as I do today and this time there is nothing I can do. No brute force or super human strength can help me today. Even Eve’s personal guard are powerless to help. I feel sick and I can’t stop shaking.
She’s here now, standing in front of me and I can’t believe what I have to do.
Holding her hand, I get down on one knee> My heart roars with love as I ask her to marry me.
I only hope she says yes.

AAAAARRRRGGGGGH I love this, I love Seth and Eve so much. Holly how could you end it there????
Thank you for writing this amazing piece

Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Verbier. Exclusive Swiss ski resort and the winter playground of the rich and famous = every chalet girl’s dream!

Good for:

Maximum time on the ski slopes – and in the bars at night!

Looking for flings – or looking for rings!

Super hot snowboarders such as Luxury Chalet Experiences owner Scott Hamilton…

But not for Holly Buchanan. This accidental chalet girl won’t drink, can’t ski – and isn’t there to hook up with any man who’s only interested in making her another notch on his ski pole. Or so she thinks!

Scott’s living life to full, both on and off the piste, and Holly can’t help but find his attitude just a little bit infectious… And the hook up? Well,she’s going to have to confess that one night with her boss just won’t be enough!

So pack your salopettes and pour another shot of Jägermeister, it’s time to hit the slopes.

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Confessions of a Chalet Girl marks my first delve into the world of Harper Impulse and their titles.

Not really knowing what to expect I started this novella with an open mind and was blown away.
It may be themed around a cold ski resort but the heat from the romance warms not just the heart but also the loins.

Holly Buchanan is working abroad to escape the life she's left behind, but what she doesn't expect is to fall for the handsome Scott, who happens to be her boss!

Firstly, I need to gush over the hotness that is Scott. From the first description of him, I was hoping he would be a big part of the story.
I can't describe why I instantly fell for him but then again, he had the same effect on Holly.

I loved the way the story allowed us to get both Holly and Scott's perspectives, it was obvious there was a spark between them, but to read how they felt in their own words added to the build up of the story and also helped with the likability of the characters especially when I discovered their backstories through their own narratives.

With romance and passion let the sizzle of the story warm you on a cold night!

5/5

Hannah Beckerman, My Heart Belongs to......

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Today sharing where her heart belongs is the lovely Hannah Bevkerman. Hannah's debut novel, The Dead Wife's Handbook is out now.
It's a beautiful read, that I highly recommend.
You can find out more about Hannah, by visiting http://www.hannahbeckerman.com and connecting on twitter @hannahbeckerman.


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It was New Year’s Eve, 2010. My husband and I were on the fifth day of our honeymoon in Patagonia, right at the southern tip of South America. In the afternoon, we got a flight from Ushiaia, the southenmost city in the world, to El Calafate where we picked up a hire car and started driving towards the town we’d be staying in for the night.

It was early evening when we arrived at the airport, at a time of year in Argentina when daylight lasted well beyond 10pm. The sky was completely clear save for the odd UFO-shaped cloud hanging like a sculpture in the sky.



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We’d planned on going straight to hotel, but the roads were so empty and the evening so beautiful we made a snap decision: we’d been planning on spending the whole of the following day visiting Perito Moreno, one of the world’s few advancing glaciers, but the evening was so still, so perfect that we didn’t want the day yet to end.

We’d been warned repeatedly about crowds at Perito Moreno. Every guidebook told us that the viewing platforms would be tens of people deep. And a friend who had visited just a few weeks before had reiterated that the crowds were overwhelming. But there was something in the air that evening, and we decided to make the trip anyway.

Our drive to the Los Glaciares National Park took nearly two hours. We arrived at 9pm, knowing full well that the park closed at 9pm and expecting to be surrounded by the day’s tourists making the most of the exceptionally warm and bright evening.

But the car park was empty. And as we got out of the car, all we could hear was the gentle, eery sound of ice on the move.

As we walked towards the start of the viewing platform two things took our breath away: the glacier was one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring sights I’d ever seen. And there was not a single soul around.

We ran along the viewing bridges, almost unable to believe our luck.

Here we were, at one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders, on New Year’s Eve, on the fifth day of our honeymoon. And we had the whole spectacular sight to ourselves. It was truly magical.



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We spent an hour there, taking photographs and just marvelling at the beauty of this phenomenon that had stood for millennia. And as we did, it reminded me of those beautiful lines from Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale:

​And as she gazed at the sky, the sea, the land,
​The waves and the caves and the golden sand,
​She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all,​
​And she said to the whale, “I feel so small.”

We went back to Perito Moreno again the next day, and there were indeed crowds, although nowhere near as big as we’d feared. We got a boat out to get a closer view and watched as a 200ft tower of ice carved off of the glacier and fell into the water, rocking our boat with alarming force. Even this magnificent glacier wasn’t immune to vulnerability.



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In the two years my husband and I were living overseas, we were lucky enough to do a lot of travel to some amazing places. But Perito Moreno will always be special for that alchemical mix of perfect weather, perfect timing and the perfect solace that we found there. And the reminder that there was life long before us, and there will be life long after, and that all we can do in the meantime with the tiny sliver we’re afforded is make as lasting an impact as we can on those around us.


A big thank you to Hannah for sharing such wonderful pictures and memories

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

Meet Jessie, the daughter of Johnny Jefferson, as featured in Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine…
My fifteenth birthday was the worst day of my life, and it's inconceivable to think that any single day in my future will ever be as bad. My mum was killed in a freak accident on her way to pick up my cake. Even when there was still no sign of her after two hours later, and my friends started to arrive at our house, it never occurred to me that she wouldn't be coming back. That was six months ago. My mum died without telling me who my real dad was. And for a while I hated her for it. I thought she's taken the secret of my father's identity with her forever. But she didn't. Holy hell, she didn't. Because three weeks ago I found out the truth. And I'm still reeling from the shock of it. My dad is none other than Johnny Jefferson, mega famous rock star and one-time serial womaniser. And now I'm on my way to LA to meet him and his family. My tiny little world has just got a whole lot bigger…


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In less than a year Jessie' whole world has been turned upside down.
Trying to deal with the tragic death of her mum is one thing but Jessie doesn't know who her dad is.
Even with her stepdad Stu to support her, Jessie has never felt so alone.
But Stu has an answer for Jessie, one her mum confided in him, he knows the name of her dad............ JOHNNY JEFFERSON

I love Paige Toon's writing style, she has a wonderful way of pulling you into a story instantly.
And although it's been highly publicised that this falls within the YA genre, it's not removed from the stylings of Toon which means YOU WILL LOVE IT!

I loved Jessie, she has experienced so much for one so young and although she rebels a little, she still shows a strength and courage in how she deals with things.
I loved reading about her with Barney and Phoenix, seeing their relationship form.

The story captures so many emotions from happiness to jealousy and it certainly takes the reader on a journey.
With some brilliant new characters,

Like siblings Jack and Agnes, I hope we get to see more of them.
I would love for Agnes and Jessie to form a friendship like Johnny and Christian.
Speaking of Christian, he makes an appearance. Which I'm really happy about, I have always had a soft spot for him.

Catching up with Meg, Johnny and Christian was an added bonus to what is an amazing story in own it's right.

I honestly cannot wait for the next in the series and look forward to seeing what life has in store for Jessie Jefferson.

5/5

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Laura Lovelock for this book!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Much Ado About Sweet Nothing by Alison May

Is something always better than nothing?
Ben Messina is a certified maths genius and romance sceptic. He and Trix met at university and have been quarreling and quibbling ever since, not least because of Ben’s decision to abandon their relationship in favour of … more maths! Can Trix forget past hurt and help Ben see a life beyond numbers, or is their long history in danger of ending in nothing?

Charming and sensitive, Claudio Messina, is as different from his brother as it is possible to be and Trix’s best friend, Henrietta, cannot believe her luck when the Italian model of her dreams chooses her. But will Claudio and Henrietta’s pursuit for perfection end in a disaster that will see both of them starting from zero once again?

This is a fresh and funny retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, set in the present day.



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With Much Ado About Nothing being my favourite of Shakespeare's works, I was excited to read this story.

Alison May created a story that was filled with likeable characters, a story where you want the characters to have the best outcome possible,
For me the characters made this book, they were what kept me turning the page.
There was something lovely and empowering, reading about such a strong heroine and Trix is definitely that, if not also a little fiery!

My problem is that I didn't find the flow of the story easy, the narrative changed several times and it was a confusing transition for me.
I hate the fact that I let the narrative changes stop this book from gripping me because honestly the characters are great.
It's a shame that with all the descriptiveness that went into the story the ending felt rushed.

Ultimately though it is a nice tale of romance.

3/5

I would like to thank Choclit for sending me a copy to review.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Truly, Madly, Deeply

From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an exciting romantic adventure where love really is all you need. This collection brings together 24 specially-selected works from bestselling authors including Adele Parks, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson



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24 wonderful short stories that allow you to delve into the imagination of some of our favourite authors.

I love short stories, they allow you to spoil yourself with a great mix of characters and locations.
Of course, that's when they are written in such a way that you feel as though you've been pulled into another world and throughout this anthology, you certainly get that feeling!

All 24 were lovely stories, not one of them did I dislike.
But some really stood out for me.

Adele Parks: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet, was a lovely start to the book, it captivated me and delivered an ending I hadn't foreseen.
I loved Miranda Dickinson's: Love On Wheels, which was a beautifully written story that shows us we should always listen & never give up.
Another great story was Kate Harrison's, Life of Pies.

I also really enjoyed A Sensible Proposal by Anna Jacobs, this is the first I've read of hers, even though my mum is an avid Anna Jacobs reader.
What I found great is that as I started to tell my mum about the story I was reading, my mum knew the characters.
So for new readers, a wonderful short story but for fans of her books, a chance to catch up with friends!

A wonderful read that you can dip in and out of, or settle on the sofa and devour in one!

5/5

A big thank you Cara at Harlequin for sending me a copy to review.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Elaine Spires drops by!

Today I’m joined by author and actress Elaine Spires and I’ve asked her a few questions about

Elaine Spires is a diverse novelist as well as an award-winning playwright and actress.

Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine's keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels.
She wrote her first book What's Eating Me in 2010. It was originally a play, a one-woman show performed as a monologue with a child actor - Elena-Beth Carter playing Eileen as a child in the background and Elaine performed it on the London and Edinburgh fringes. She loved the character of loved Eileen so much that she decided to expand the story into a book.

Her second novel was Singles' Holiday, set on her beloved Antigua... the Caribbean at its most luscious, its most beautiful... silver sand, cobalt sky, warm, turquoise sea... and a bunch of complete strangers who only have one thing in common: they're single!

And her third novel Sweet Lady, again set in Antigua, will amaze you with a massive twist which goes to show that nothing is as it seems!
When Elaine is not writing her ideas into her next book or play, she enjoys going to the theatre, visiting the cinema, eating out with her friends and she also loves to read! Elaine spends her time between her homes in Hadleigh, Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).


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You can find out more about Elaine at http://www.elainespires.co.uk/%20/t%20_blank
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elaine.spires
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/elainespires


When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book in 2010. It’s called Whats Eating Me. Kim The Bookworm reviewed this book for me and that link can be found here to give you more of an insight into what that particular book is about.

What prompted you to write it?
It was originally a play, a one-woman show performed as a monologue with a child actor - Elena-Beth Carter playing Eileen as a child in the background. I performed it on the London and Edinburgh fringes. I really loved the character of Eileen and so decided to expand the story which became the book. I then went on to write Singles’ Holiday – which you very kindly agreed to join in the blog tour and then Sweet Lady (Kim’s review is here) which are both based in Antigua.

Tell me about Singles’ Holiday being adapted into a stage play
It’s very exciting! Singles’ Holiday has been adapted as a stage play and it will be touring in autumn. I’m also extremely delighted to tell you that a pilot episode for a TV series of Singles’ Holiday will be filmed in August/September.


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What was your childhood ambition?
To be an actress, knocked on the head by careers mistress who told me "girls from Dagenham don't go to RADA or appear in the West End!” Well, I proved her wrong!

What is your ambition now?
To be a very successful actress and writer.

Have you ever won any awards?
Several times I've won Best Play at the Anna Scher Theatre Festival of Plays and once Best Actress and twice Best Comedy Performance.

What do you do in your spare time?
Go to the theatre, cinema, out for meals and I read!

Who are your favourite authors?
Lee Childs, Kathie Reichs, Peter James, Val McDermid, Linwood Barclay, Khaled Housseini and thelate Maeve Binchy as she's such a wonderful storyteller.

Do you have a favourite book?
I have a hundred favourite books, but if I have to choose one I'll go with the Kite Runner.

Singles' Holiday
Elaine Spires' second novel was Single's Holiday, set on her beloved Antigua... the Caribbean at its most luscious, its most beautiful... silver sand, cobalt sky, warm, turquoise sea... and a bunch of complete strangers who only have one thing in common: they’re single!

Some are looking for romance and some for something more... but they've all chosen to spend their holiday with people they have never met before. Pretty soon some become great friends, some enemies and some lovers, but it is perhaps their tour leader Eve who has the biggest shock of all.

Glorious days on the beach, boozy, balmy nights and a pending tropical storm combine in a story to make you laugh and cry with just the right number of twists to keep you turning the pages as you get to know all the members of the group as they, in turn, get to know each other.

Purchase Singles' Holiday Paperback
Kindle: Amazon.co.uk
Kindle: Amazon.com

Singles and Spice (available on Kindle on March 14th, paperback early April)
A singles' holiday to India's Golden Triangle - Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, tiger-spotting in Ranthambore, the noisy, crowded streets of Delhi - all go to make up a trip that is hot, humid and spicy. Eve Mitchell, Travel Together's tour manager extraordinaire has a couple of familiar faces in her little group of travellers and others that she hasn't met before; sexy man-eating pensioners, a compulsive over-eater, a constant whiner, a cross-dresser, and a man with a personal problem.

And there's a big surprise awaiting someone -and Eve - early one morning. By the end of the tour, which sees our group travelling by coach, rickshaw, train and elephant, she will know rather more about some of their innermost secrets than she'd like. But Eve deals with all the twists and turns the trip throws at her as we try to understand what makes people travel the world with a bunch of complete strangers and tourism's latest success: the phenomenon that is a singles' holiday.

A big thank you to Elaine for stopping by The Love of a Good Book

Dan Taylor, My Heart Belongs to......



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Today sharing where his heart belongs is Dan Taylor. You can read about Dan in ! (Dan Taylor is Giving Up On Women - Amazon ) by Neal Doran
You can follow Neal on Twitter @nealdoran



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Thank you to Neal/Dan for sharing

Friday, 21 February 2014

COVER REVEAL: A Girl Called Summer by Lucy Lord

Today I am incredibly excited to be able to share with you the gorgeous cover for A Girl Called Summer by Lucy Lord
I am in love with this cover and even more excited about publication day now.
I can't wait for summer!



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Blurb:

Island life is just one step away…

A new start…
Bella and Andy have escaped the rat race for the sun-drenched, relaxed lifestyle on the island of Ibiza. But with a run-down house to make habitable and a distractingly gorgeous neighbour, is their island idyll all that it seems?

A holiday adventure…
Tamara Gold has been Hollywood’s most notorious car crash since she was a child star. Now clean and sober, and engaged to Tinseltown’s hottest leading man, it seems like she’s finally conquered her addictions, if not her bratty behaviour. But a summer in Europe with all the hedonistic lures of Ibiza beckons…

A girl called Summer…
Summer Larsson has always known Ibiza as home: a haven of hippies, yoga and healthy eating – and loneliness. But in Bella, she’s found the friend she always needed, and when Bella’s glamorous Hollywood friends come to visit, it looks like she might have found true love as well…

This could be the summer that everything changes…

Links:
http://www.lucylordauthor.com/
Pre-order A Girl Called Summer on Amazon
Buy: Party Night on Amazon
Buy: Revelry on Amazon
Buy: Vanity on Amazon

My reviews for previous books/novellas by Lucy Lord
Party Night
Revelry
Vanity

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Creating the perfect heroine with Portia MacIntosh

Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place by Portia Macintosh.



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When it comes to writing the perfect heroine, it can be hard to get it just right. When you’re writing a book your leading lady needs to be realistic. Readers need to be able to relate to her and if you make her too perfect that’s not going to happen. Similarly, if you make her unrealistically flawed, no one is going to like her. Bridget Jones is a great example because she wasn’t perfect, she had her flaws and that was OK – that was normal. Nobody wants to read about a girl with a perfect life because it’s just not real. I know this is fiction we’re talking about, but chick-lit is supposed to be relatable, and real life is never perfect.

No matter what your books are about, your leading lady needs to go on a journey. By the end of your book your main character needs to have grown and learned something about herself or about life – otherwise, what was it all for?

I have two books coming out over the next two months and my leading lady in both in a music journalist called Nicole. Nicole has a great job, a pretty easy life and her friends are all rich and famous musicians. I’ve used my real life experiences working in the music industry to inspire my fiction, so Nicole gives readers a unique insight into the music biz, but she would be a pretty boring character if the entire book was about how fabulous her life was. So while Nicole has a great job and awesome friends, she is also pretty rubbish at living in the real world. She’s spend so much time around bands and enjoying the perks of their job that she doesn’t know how to function in normal scenarios. She can’t really take care of herself or manage her finances. A boyfriend isn’t on the cards because she’s used to the fleeting relationships that happen on tour, not proper commitments. She can’t even show up for work on time.

It’s all about creating a balance. I’m working on a new book at the moment and my main character is a bit of an antiheroine. This means I’m having to balance out her bad behaviour by making her a likeable person regardless – this can be tricky, because she’s a very bad girl. It’s OK for your heroine to do bad things because people do bad things all the time, just make sure it’s justified.

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is out 12th February, ahead of How Not to be Starstruck in March. For more information visit www.portiamacintosh.tumblr.com

A big thank you to Portia for dropping by The Love of a Good Book

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

The Dead Wife's Handbook is the stunning emotional debut from author Hannah Beckerman.

'Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.'

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life - until the night Rachel's heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can't forget her, Rachel can't quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she's lost and the life she'll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.

Hannah Beckerman gives an unforgettable exploration of love and loss in her first novel, The Dead Wife's Handbook.



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It's hard to believe that this is a debut!
The words flow so beautifully throughout the pages, as this incredible story unfolds.
Through the words of Hannah Beckerman, you will find yourself caught up in an emotionally charged thought provoking world, of what happens after death!

The idea of watching over your loved ones after you die has always seemed somewhat magical in films but through Rachel, you get to see the heartbreaking side to watching them grieve, miss you and learn to move on.
All at a time when you can't offer them comfort.
This broke my heart, I could feel the pain that enveloped Rachel when Ellie and Max needed her the most as well as the loss that she felt.
I empathised with so many characters in this book but my emotions became most attached to Rachel, because it was her loss that I felt deeply, for she had lost her family, friends, her life...

But through dark times we look for a light to guide us and Ellie is that light.
The relationships she has with everyone affected by Rachel's death is inspiring, without realising it, she gives them a reason to carry on,
For me, her relationship with Harriet is particularly special, something more than just the godmother, goddaughter bond.
I found myself so proud of Ellie, the way she copes shows an inner strength, a maturity older than her years.
When we attended her sports day, I wanted to jump into the book and hug her.

My emotions were so in-tune with the characters and the reality of the story, it felt as if I was looking into their lives the same way Rachel was.

I can't thank Hannah enough for evoking so much emotion and love for a book and it's characters!

5/5

Thank you to Katie at Penguin for sending me a copy to review

BLOG TOUR: The Dead Wife's Handbook: The one thing you'd like to be remembered for

Today the blog tour for The Dead Wife's Handbook, stops here.

Not only will I be sharing my review of the book, but Hannah and myself will be sharing 'The one thing we would like to be remembered for '



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Hannah says:

Of all the posts we've done on this book blog tour, this one has to be (understandably) the hardest. I thought about whether I'd like to be remembered by lots of people or just a few, by people I didn't know or only people I'm intimately connected with, for something work-related or something entirely personal. It's precisely the issue that Rachel grapples with throughout The Dead Wife's Handbook. In the end I decided that what I'd most like to be remembered for is pretty simple: I'd like to be remembered as someone who was there for family and friends when they needed me. I've always been someone who's wanted to provide a shoulder to cry on when loved ones are having a tough time. My mum and I have been through a fair amount together and I think that's made me hyper-aware of when people are unhappy or in need of some emotional support. And since good friends and family are - above all else - the difference for me between a happy world and an unhappy one, the thing I'd like people to remember me for is being on hand to help out - emotionally and practically - when I'm needed. Maybe that and being comically competitive at Trivial Pursuit!

Kirsty Says:

A couple of years ago I found myself confronted with my own immortality, up until that moment I'd never thought about what would happen when I'm gone.
I've still got so much living to do, I've started to say YES to more things and take a few more chances.

When I was 14, I lost my uncle Phillip. I saw him in hospital on the 10th of December, the next day he was gone.
Taken from our lives, no real chance to say goodbye, to tell him a million times how much I loved him, how lucky I was to have him in my life.
Many years later I still feel that loss, I miss him every day. Yet here he is, years later immortalised in my memories of him, my words and my heart.
Phil was spur of the moment, he would jump at any chance and I've often had moments where I wonder, what would he think of me, saying yes/no to experiences?
The thing with memories is that they live on through those who experienced them and through me, he will live on.

You may think I've digressed, but you see, I'm not famous and I'm not rich, I'm just me and it's through my family and friends that I will be remembered.
Which is why, the one thing I want to be remembered for, is being me.

I want to be in their hearts, their thoughts and their memories, as the book loving, wine drinking, slightly random girl.
And with every day, I want to add to the things they will remember because if in years to come someone can think about me the way I think about Phil, then I know I've left my mark on the world!



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At 9:00 my review of The Dead Wife's Handbook!

Laura Delve: My Heart Belongs to.......



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Today sharing where her heart belongs is the lovely Laura from http://www.lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.com/, you can connect with Laura at
https://twitter.com/Midnightstar3


This may sound totally clichéd, but I don’t care because the Harry Potter series are the only series that captured my heart as a child and still have not let go 18 years later.

When I think back to being at school, the Harry Potter books played a predominant part in them. I remember exactly where I was when I received each book, and where I spent most of my time reading them.

I was first given books one and two of the series by my Grandad when I was seven years old. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was at my Nanny and Grandad’s house and we were in the hall by the front door, and my Grandad was standing on the stairs. He said: “Laura, do you think you would be interested in these?” leaning down over the bannister to pass me Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I said “Oh yes Grandad, these look really good. Thank you very much” and I gave him and big grin. It sounds cheesy, but it is honestly what happened. And to use another cliché, they were literally the start of something magical.



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When the Prisoner of Azkaban came out I remember my Mum giving it to me at home. When The Goblet of Fire came out, I was 11 years old. I was in year six and moving onto secondary school and we were each given a book token to spend on a book of our choice and of course I chose Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I remember reading it in my old room in bed and thinking just one more chapter even though I was really tired. I stayed up until the small hours.

It was a few years later when The Order of the Phoenix came out and I was in year 9. Practically everyone in my year had a copy and we would all sit round in our study (we had study rooms at my school) and read it during our breaks. I remember wanting to read as much as possible before anyone else as I was worried people who read faster than me would let slip what happened.

The sixth in the series came out after my GCSE’s and I spent a lot of the summer in the garden reading it and also read it on the beach when we went on holiday. And finally Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out when I was 18. I put of reading it for ages, because I knew that once I read it that would be it. There would be no more books in the series to look forward to. It also felt doubly sad as I was leaving school and moving onto university, so I was officially leaving my childhood behind. Thank God at the time there were still four more years of the films left, but they weren’t the same as the books.

I will never stop loving the Harry Potter series. I know I don’t rave about them and I don’t have tons of Harry Potter memorabilia, but they will always have a place in my heart. I will be passing them down to my niece when she gets old enough and hopefully if I have children one day, I will pass them down to them.

About me:
Hi! My name is Laura and as you may have guessed, I am an avid reader. As is the case with all book lovers, I have had my nose in books since I was very little. My nan has picture of me when I was two pretending that I could read it. I live in the south of England and I work in London as a Marketing Executive, so when I’m not working I’m either reading, on twitter, or writing my blog.


A big thank you to Laura for sharing where her heart belongs

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Checking Inn – Emily Harper Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Checking Inn Tour Banner


Welcome to the Checking Inn Blog Tour!


After storming up the Amazon charts with the brilliantly funny White Lies, Emily Harper has now released her second rom-com novel Checking Inn. Find out all the details, read reviews, guest posts and enter the tour giveaway as the book visits a selection of fantastic blogs . . .


 
 

What they say:


‘Kate Foster runs the Summerside Inn (and her life) by well-organized checklists.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00025]Make sure the caterers don’t serve devil’s food cake to the Christian Women’s Alliance– check.

Tell my mother that having a séance to get rid of any unwanted spirits in the kitchen during dinnertime is not okay- check.

Send a friendly reminder to all staff that the pens are colour coded for everyone’s enjoyment, and therefore it is not a good idea to put them all in one jar in order to “spice things up” as was anonymously suggested– check.

But, when an acclaimed hotel critic dies at the Inn, just before she’s about to publish a scathing review that would ruin the business, Kate’s life and checklists are thrown into disarray. And it doesn’t help matters that the detective assigned to the case is messy, unorganized, and too charming for his own good. Now Kate has to prove her innocence and save her Inn, or else the only thing that she’ll be organizing is the prison’s next bake sale.’
 


Click Here To Buy This Book - UK

Click Here To Buy This Book - US

 

The 3rd and final guest post and we see what form Kate's relaxation takes . . .
 
Okay, I thought I could do this− and I think we can all agree that I’ve been doing an amazing job− but I’m not sure I’m really cut out for the relaxation lifestyle.
 
For one, my left eye hasn’t stopped twitching since last Thursday. Also, I’m not sure the amount of liquid that is coming out of me every five minutes is exactly healthy. I kind of miss my toxins…
 
And people don’t realise, but I had a clothing schedule for a reason. I had a very important town meeting to go to yesterday, but all my suit jackets were at the cleaners because my schedule is all over the place. I ended up having to do my presentation to the committee for the new spa expansion permit in my red, figure-hugging dress that is reserved for weddings. I mean, I got the permit, but I really question whether Mayor Banks gave it to me because of my proposal or because the top of my lacy knee-highs kept falling down.
 
Also, the Inn’s lawn looks terrible! Becky is still stalking the poor lawn boy. I would mow it myself but the insurance company made my sign an amendment that I wouldn’t operate any heavy machinery at the Inn after the floor refinishing incident. Anyways, my mother is doing it, and despite the diagram that I drew for her the grass lines are all over the place and she’s missed huge areas.
 
Needless to say, the relaxation list is going out the window. I know my yoga class will be devastated; I really was making progress with so many of them. Mrs. Phelps was doing extra meditation after every class that I taught. It’s so nice to see that I inspire them.
 
But to be perfectly honest, now that everything is back to normal, it is the first time in weeks that I have been able to breathe properly.
 
My eye is still twitching, but we can’t have everything in life.


 

emily-harper-head-shotAuthor Bio:


Emily Harper has a passion for writing humorous romance stories where the heroine is not your typical damsel in distress. Throughout her novels you will find love, laughter, and the unexpected!


Originally from England, she currently lives in Canada with her wonderful husband, beautiful daughter, mischievous son, and a very naughty dog.


Emily is also the author of the funny and charming novel White Lies, which has proven to be a huge hit with fans. The book will even be appearing on The Marilyn Denis Show as a giveaway next month! For more information on the book please visit Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.


Ways to stalk follow Emily


Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


 

***GIVEAWAY***


 

Emily Harper has generously donated some amazing prizes for 3 lucky winners! Take a look at what is up for grabs with easy entry via the below Rafflecopter:


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1st prize: Kate spade clutch, nail polish and signed copy of checking inn



2nd prize: signed copy of checking inn



3rd prize: ebook of checking inn


 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and Conditions



This is an international giveaway. Three winners will be drawn through the above Rafflecopter widget and prizes will be awarded in the order they are selected. BestChickLit and Emily Harper reserve the right to amend or cancel the giveaway at any point without prior notification to entrants.



 

Emily Harper Books


Kelly Rufus, My Heart Belongs to...



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Today sharing were her heart belongs is Kelly from http://www.compellingreads.co.uk
(Twitter: @compellingreads)

So I've been thinking long and hard about this, and its simple. My heart belongs to my children! Hands down they beat anything or anyone else in the whole world (closely followed by my husband, I guess). From the moment I knew I was expecting each of them and saw them on ultrasound scans, I had this overwhelming sense of love and this unbreakable bond which has just grown stronger and more powerful with each passing day. I can not help but look at them in amazement - sometimes it all just feels to good to be true. How on earth do these amazing little people belong to me? How on earth did I make such gorgeous, fascinating little people? Each has their own little personality and I love watching them grow and develop,


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William is definitely the cheeky one - one look at his little face and I can't help but smile or laugh with him. Even when he is being naughty, the cheeky side shines through and its hard to stay cross at him.


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As for Isabelle - well her little personality is still very much developing but she is definitely a mummy's girl - As soon as she spots me, her face breaks into the hugest of beaming smiles and my heart melts. They have each well and truly stolen my heart and I can not imagine life with out them, they have definitely brightened up my life :-)

Thank you for sharing Kelly, your children are beautiful

Monday, 17 February 2014

Summer Affairs by Louise Candish

Three short stories to heat up your summer by bestselling author Louise Candlish

The Alibi
When Kim oversteps the mark and 'borrows' a dress belonging to her employer, she has no idea she is also providing an alibi...

The Assignation
Agnes signs up for a course that teaches losers in love how to recover their mojo, but no one expects to find success overnight...do they?

Doing the Wrong Thing
A woman escapes her husband and children to fly to Marrakech for a weekend with 'the girls'. Why, then, is she checking in alone?

Contains the opening chapters from Louise's brand-new novel, The Disappearance of Emily Marr



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The synopsis tells you enough about the stories to entice the reader into the world of adultery.
Through each story you get a different opinion on the subject.
The Alibi: Kim knows her employee is having an affair.
The Assignation: Agnes is the victim of adultery.
Doing the Wrong Thing: A woman on the way to cheat.

I really enjoyed Agnes' story, particularly the descriptions at the group sessions.

This is a fast paced, quick read that has left me eager to read more from Louise Candish, thanks to the sample chapters that were included.
it was nice to experience the pace and style of writing of her full length novels.

4/5

Erin Emerson, My Heart Belongs to....



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Today sharing where her heart belongs is the wonderful Erin Emerson.
You can connect with Erin at http://www.whatwouldoprahdo.net/ or tweet her @EmersonErin


I think of the perfect puppy as a cuddly little one who licks your face and sleeps a lot. Sam was not one of those puppies. He was a black fuzzy guy from the pound who liked to exercise his staggeringly sharp puppy teeth on the back of your ankles. I’m surprised he didn’t break one off into my skin. If you held him up to your face in an attempt to give your ankles a break, you could end up with puncture wounds on your chin that required a Band-Aid.
Sam never needed rest. He was always on the go and usually looking for something to destroy. He didn’t even have the curious look of a puppy discovering new things. He had a simple stare that reminded me of John Goodman playing Roseanne’s husband. Sam was a very cute puppy, but I must admit, I thought that when his puppy fur grew out, he wouldn’t be the best looking dog.
A few months later I moved to a city where I knew no one. It was me and Sam. During the day I wrote. In typical Sam fashion, he didn’t sit at my feet; he was on the war path. I took him for long walks morning and night, which almost made him manageable. He still ate The Annie Dillard Three and my big hardback dictionary like they were his chew toys.
My bed was somewhat high, and our evening and morning ritual included transporting Sam from ground to floor (and in the morning vice versa) as his little legs weren’t long enough for the jump. I lived in a small carriage house, where there was a certain amount of noise from the gravel pathways behind it. One night I woke up to more noise than usual. I suspected that it was nothing, until I noticed that this black fur ball was sitting up on the bed, all of his fur raised. Before I could register fear, Sam jumped off of the bed, toppling a bit on his landing and laid Super Man style in front of the closed bedroom door. In that moment, I knew he was my dog.
And he was. He developed, and his simple stare became something deeper. He could look at me and read my emotions, expressing back how he felt about them. When I was sad, he was sad too. When I was happy, he wagged his tail with delight. When I was pensive, he would sit beside me, not making eye contact, letting me live in my head for a while.
He calmed down over the years and started chewing his own belongings. While he still lived up to the reputation he had earned after getting kicked out of a puppy obedience class, he got better.
I got married and when I went through a heartbreaking divorce, he let me cry all over his neck, every single night. During that time, he could hardly be coaxed away from my side as he sat with me in what I think of as his show of solidarity. If I lay down on the floor facing him, he would lie facing me, putting his forehead against mine. This became Foreheads, something we did every morning. As silly as it may sound, it’s one of the most peaceful things I know.
A few years later he became well enough behaved to act as the mascot at the small newspaper where I worked. He even appeared in our Christmas photo, which is more impressive than you would think considering that “stay” and other basic commands just weren’t in Sam’s wheelhouse. He was perfect for the job. I was wrong about his looks as a pup. He never outgrew his puppy fur. He grew into a handsome fuzzy black dog, with a fluffy tail like a squirrel, the model mutt.
When I had outgrown my position at the paper and become dissatisfied with my career, Sam must have felt it too. I brought him in with me one day, which wasn’t unusual in our small Sam-friendly office. As soon as I sat down at my desk, my completely house broken dog took a giant dump in the middle of our office floor. Did I mention that our office floor was carpeted?
Sam scrutinized my dates. He was very standoffish with anyone he didn’t like. Part of how I knew that my now husband was special is because of the way that Sam bonded with him, never hesitating.
This is how the next ten years went by. As life went on, life went on. There were special events, and some very sad ones. Any loss that I experienced was punctuated with his ever presence, his ability to just be there showing his truly empathetic nature. When I wrote my debut novel, Sam had a place in it as Buddy. My heart swelled with the number of strangers who emailed me and said how much they loved Buddy. Sam was my buddy.



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When you have a fourteen-year-old dog, you start being together differently. You have to start paying attention to things that weren’t an issue before; changes in eating habits, slowing down of movement, decline in energy. I was aware, but Sam was consistently telling me that he was fine. When we got a puppy, Sam welcomed this newcomer with the love he had given me. He was patient and gentle. He let the puppy run under his legs, and as the puppy got bigger, he indulged him in some light wrestling. Despite the puppy having his own bed, Sam let the new guy cuddle up with him at night. I was so glad that Sam finally had a special friend. In some ways I thought of the puppy as Sam’s puppy.
This fall I noticed more changes. Sam stayed in his bed much longer than usual and there was a lump on one of his hind legs. The vet checked it, and said that it was just a lump, although it couldn’t be drained. Sam was already on geriatric dog food, but we added supplements and arthritis medication for good measure. The lump continued to grow. And Sam continued to slow down, which is normal for a dog approaching his fifteenth birthday.
Over a period of about eight weeks, Sam started to sit beside me, just looking at me like he was trying to tell me something. He was. I wasn’t ready to listen, but he was. I took him to the vet where we went over the fact that he was still participating in all of the fundamentals of a happy dog, and we added some mild pain medication to his regimen.
I had warned my sister of his decline, but it wasn’t until she came over after not seeing him for a month that I could truly gauge the extent of it. She sat on the floor with him. While he nuzzled her neck, she began to cry. And like the comforter he had always been, he sat still and let her cry into his thick fur. I knew then. I didn’t want to acknowledge it, but I knew.
Before long, Sam started trying to tell me again. That he was tired. That he didn’t feel good. That he needed for me to do the right thing, for him. While there were plenty of physical signs, what spoke the loudest was Sam. My sweet, sweet boy, always the one to rally was trying to tell me. When he would get up from his bed, he would look at me, like ‘See? This is getting really hard for me.’
I called the vet, who was so gentle and kind, and told her that it was time. I have lost people. I will not compare the two. They are very different things. What I will say is that they are both gut wrenching experiences.
The vet increased his pain medication and we made the appointment for a few days later. I knew it was the right thing to do. Yet I still wondered if there was any chance I could be wrong. I had a little gathering at my house for friends who would want to say goodbye to him. We drank wine and Sam mingled and enjoyed a lovely piece of lamb. As much as it broke my heart, it was a beautiful thing to see how many lives he had touched, how many people loved him. That is how we spent his last night.
The next day Sam paced. He couldn’t get comfortable despite the pain medication. As much as I knew we had to put an end to his suffering, I didn’t know how to say goodbye to my buddy, my very best friend.
When it was time to go, my husband carried him to the car, something I don’t know if I could have done. It was a rainy day, but he put on sunglasses, tears streaming beneath them on the ride to the vet’s office. When we got to the office Sam didn’t pull his usual act of walking back to the door, sort of a ‘nothing to see here, let’s go home’ gesture, he wagged his tail.
When he was lying on the floor, they shaved his leg for the injection. I tried to put on my bravest face for my buddy, not wanting his last moments to be me crying on his face. I had my forehead on his, and my hand on his back. “It’s ok, buddy.” I said this over and over again. Sam lifted his head and licked my face.
This is still raw, something I can’t eloquently relay, much less write. But when asked to write “My heart belongs to…” I didn’t have to give it a thought. My heart belongs to Sam.

A big thank you to Erin for sharing such a wonderful & touching post.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Kim Nash, My Heart Belongs to....



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Today sharing where her heart belongs is the lovely Kim from http://kimthebookworm.blogspot.co.uk/


My heart belongs to: My son, my best friend and the love of my life Oliver.

I always thought that the love of my life would be in the form of someone tall, dark and extremely handsome. What I didn’t realise was that I was going to give birth to him.

I didn’t realise what love really was until my heart swelled with over-flowing emotion that ripped through my soul from the moment he was born. My life has never been the same! He absolutely and categorically owns my heart, lock stock and barrel!

Here are 10 things I love about my six year old Ollie:

I love that he loves holding my hand
I love that he doesn’t get annoyed when I tell him a million times a day how much I love him
I love that sometimes we laugh together so much over something very silly that we both cry, hold our sides and do a big “oh dear!”
I love that he says he’ll always love me and will always cuddle me, even when he’s a man
I love that he waves at the stars at night and says goodnight and blows kisses to my mom and dad in Heaven
I love that he strokes my face because he knows I love it
I love it when I say “you’re a smoothie” and he says “yeah, I know!”
I love it when he tells me I’m his best friend
I love every minute I get to spend with him
And finally I love that he loves reading as much as I do!

I’m a book reviewer and blogger and have normally got my nose stuck in a book. You can find my blog by clicking here. I love that Ollie loves reading too and I love that when he goes to bed at night we snuggle up and read. At first, I didn’t like it when he stopped me mid-story to ask questions but then I quickly realised that doing that while reading books with kids aids their development. It’s a way to talk about the story and let their imagination run wild!

A friend of mine is a speech and language therapist and wrote a post a while ago about the importance of reading to children. You can find that post by clicking here.

If you have kids, please share books with them from a really early age. It’s such a lovely way to be close to them and to spend great quality time with them, exploring their thoughts and minds.

A big thank you to Kim for sharing

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Aven: My Heart Belongs to......



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Today sharing where her heart belongs Is the fantastic Aven Ellis. You can get in touch with Aven on:
Twitter: @avenellis
Website: http://www.avenellis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1


The fabulous Kirsty has once again asked me to participate in her February Love Feature, and I said, “hell to the yes!” faster than Felix Loch went down the luge track in Sochi. (Come on now, people, it’s the Winter Olympics, keep up with me here.) Anyhoo, back to l-o-v-e yes yes?
When Kirsty first asked me to write about love, I had one idea and one idea only. I wanted to talk about what the love of writing has given me, and it’s way more than I ever expected.
I have had a love of writing going back to when I was ten years old. I would write stories on notebook paper and tuck them away in my desk drawer. I always had ideas for characters and stories and the places I could go with them via the written word.
When I was a teenager, the stories became sharply focused on one thing: love. Not just love, but a love that changed people and resulted in a happily-ever-after. My stories were--and still are--stories of two people finding each other, bringing out the best in each other, falling in love, being torn apart, and then realizing that no matter what is stacked against them, they want to face it together. A formula as old as time, but one that I’m happy to write. People know what to expect when they pick up an Aven Ellis book, and I’m happy that they know what they are going to get going in. But the heart of all my stories is the love the two characters share. I’m a romantic at heart, and my stories are romantic, too.
My debut novel, Connectivity, is about the love that William and Mary-Kate found with each other. When I was writing them, I felt the magic on the page and I knew this book had potential to sell. But what I didn’t know then is that the love I created in writing that story would lead me to some of the greatest friendship loves I have ever known.


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Connectivity did sell--Soul Mate Publishing purchased it a few months after I finished it--and then I began the unknown journey of promoting myself as a new author and my new novel. So I got on Twitter and began searching out book bloggers to request book reviews. I felt amazed each time I got a “yes” reply. But I got so much more than a book review. I found lifelong friendships with some amazing young women around the world. These are now friends I love, friends I never expected to have in my life, but friends I now can’t live without.
To me, friendship love is critical to happiness and well-being. Your friends are your community. They share your joys, your sorrow, they build you up when you are down, and they tell you the truth when you need to hear it. They love you. You want to log on to see what they are up to, or in my case, to send them a hot man picture just because. (I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to open up a tweet and see Henry Cavill, right?)


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I love being around my younger friends. Young women inspire me every day--to write the truth about life, to show them what they can do if they put their mind to it, to encourage them to live their dreams. I love seeing women evolve into the person they truly are meant to be. That brings me joy and puts love in my heart.
So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and love, I send all my love to all the people in the book community I have met along the way this past year. Some are readers, some are bloggers, but we all came together thanks to the magic of social media, a willingness to share, and trust in a little thing called friendship love. You have all made the journey worthwhile, and I love you for it.

Xoxoxo Aven


A huge thank you to Aven xxx

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Guestbook by Holly Martin



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Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook!

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.
This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.
Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying wish you were here - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.



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Holly Martin has written a wonderfully unique and beautiful book that tells the story of a guest house through it's Guestbook.

Willow Cottage is owned by Annie Butterworth and through the wonderful Guestbook you get to follow not just her guests, but the wonderful lady herself!

Never before have I read a book that has such a magnificent mix of characters and stories.
From the annoying and downright rude Mrs Ashcroft, to the lovely Meechams family. You will find characters to make you laugh, cry and get your blood boiling.

Worried you will get confused by who is who, don't be!
For Holly Martin has been genius in using different fonts to help the reader differentiate between the characters.

It's not just the fonts, the characters or even the Guestbook that make this story the magical read that it is, it's the way the author flits so effortlessly from story to story.
She deals with problems that people face everyday in a touching way and then can take your mind away to a lighter place with a more upbeat storyline.

Annie is a wonderful loving character, who is caught up in a love triangle of sorts, through her comments I found myself longing for her to get her happiness.
Her essence is felt throughout the pages and I found myself getting angry on her behalf, laughing when she tried the coke and apple cake and wishing so much, that she would see what others saw!

With romance and love throughout, The Guestbook leaves it mark on your heart!
My comment 'Buy it now'

5/5

A big thank you to Holly for sending me a copy to review!

Megan, My Heart Belongs to....



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Today the beautiful Megan is sharing with us where her heart belongs.
You can connect with Megan via Reading in the Sunshine


What does my heart belong to? I could say many things, those of you who know me will know I love to gush about all of my favourite things, such as books or Stephen or even Benedict Cumberbatch. But when I really think about what excites me, what stays in my heart and never ever goes away….my heart belongs to Disney.


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Ever since I can remember I’ve been the BIGGEST fan of anything Disney related. Even now my heart leaps and I squeal in delight at the news of a new Disney film being made and released. There’s something special about Disney that releases a rush of emotions and magical feelings of happiness and joy.


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Whenever I need it, Disney has ALWAYS been there for me, to pick me up when I’m down, to put a smile on my face and have me believing in fairytales and magic all over again.
If I wanted an adventure, Disney was there – with Disney movies it always felt as though I was part of the story. It was like I was flying over London and going off to Neverland with Peter Pan, then having duels with Captain Hook. I could ride on the magic carpet with Aladdin and I could go off to fight and be brave with Mulan.

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Most important of all, Disney taught me that there is such a thing as true love. I fell in love with the Disney Princes and how they’d do anything for their leading lady. I wanted someone who would fight for me, have daring swordfights, slay a dragon and sweep me off my feet and rescue me. I wanted chivalry, kindness and above all a love so strong and true that it could always win. I wanted true loves kiss, the kind that makes you feel like you’re floating on air and where there would be sparks and fireworks and that moment where you don’t notice anything around you because you have found your soulmate, your one destined love who you could ride off into the sunset with. Then I met and fell in love with Stephen, we had a fairytale wedding and just like Prince Charming he swept me off my feet.

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I have an ever-growing collection of Disney DVD’s, and Stephen and I always go to the cinema to see the latest release, and rush out on release day to buy the film and have an evening in watching it. I don’t tell anyone but I still dream of being a Disney Princess, with the beautiful dresses, a fairy Godmother on hand and with some wonderful moments of spontaneously bursting into song.

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And I hope one day when we have a family together, that they can experience the excitement and happiness of it growing up just like I did….and truly BELIEVE in the magic of Disney.


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A big thank you to Megan for sharing, I want to be a Disney princess too!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Rock My World by Julie Shackman


Author Bio:
Like so many other writers, my journey to publication has been a long and varied one!

I initially trained as a journalist but I always wanted to write contemporary romance.

I had two children’s picture books published some years ago, as well as a few poems in anthologies. Life sometimes gets in the way though, so the idea of writing novels went on the backburner.

After our two sons grew a bit older, I found more time again to indulge in my love of reading and that was when I knew I had to try and write contemporary romance.

Whenever I got the opportunity, I put pen to paper and then when I finished my novel and polished it, I started firing it off to literary agents and publishers. That was when the fun really started!

This went on for a number of months. I received a few full MS requests and lots of positive comments generally, which was great – but nobody was biting.

Then just before Christmas, I read about the dynamic (!) London based digital publishers Not So Noble Books, who were considering new authors.

I submitted a query, synopsis and first three chapters and got a reply from them several days later. They said they enjoyed my writing and asked to read the full MS.

I sent it off straight away and tried not to get too excited. I even attempted to forget about it, which is easier said than done. But to my shock and delight, about two weeks before Christmas, I received an e-mail from NSNB, offering me a publishing contract.

I remember hyperventilating and then asking my eldest son to read out the e-mail to make sure it wasn’t just wishful thinking!


Twitter Handle G13Julie.



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Your novel is called 'Rock My World' please could you tell me about it?

The strap line I came up with when I first starting writing "RMW" was "The spirit of Rock n’ Roll does exist…..and he’s “living” in Ruby Cameron’s new home!"

Stevie Vee, an enigmatic local rock singer on the brink of fame, died in 1989 in mysterious

circumstances and he wants local reporter Ruby to find out what happened to him.

Apart from a troubled dead singer, Ruby has other things on her mind.

Her Mother is dating a new man but there is just something about Peter de Marlow which

Ruby doesn’t like. It turns out her Mum possesses a secret of her own….

Whilst trying to put her disastrous relationship with selfish ex-boyfriend Luke firmly
behind her, Matt Jardine, a handsome but irritating new journalist joins
her newspaper.
Will Ruby still have a “ghost” of a chance of happiness and can she help Stevie rest in peace?



'Rock My World' about Ruby Cameron, please can you tell me about her?
Ruby is a real romantic yet she has the unfortunate habit of kissing frogs!

She doesn't have much luck in relationships, mainly because the guys she goes out with, are about as deep as a teaspoon. When things start to go wrong, she immediately wonders if it's her fault. She's loyal, passionate and creative - that stems from her rather bohemian and arty family background. She will go out of her way to speak out against injustice and to stand up for the underdog.

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?
Like so many other writers, it has been a long one!

I had two children’s picture books published some years ago, as well as a few poems in anthologies. But I always wanted to write romance. Life sometimes gets in the way though, so the idea went on the back-burner.

After our two sons grew a bit older, I found I had more time to read again and I decided to try and write romance. Whenever I got the opportunity, I put pen to paper and then when I finished my novel and polished it, I started firing it off to literary agents and publishers. That is really when the fun starts!

This went on for a number of months. I received a few full MS requests and lots of positive comments generally, which was great – but nobody was biting.

Then just before Christmas, I read about Not So Noble Books, who were considering new authors, particularly genre writers. I submitted a query, synopsis and first three chapters and got a reply from them several days later. They said they enjoyed my writing and asked to read the full MS.

I sent it off straight away and tried not to get too excited. I even attempted to forget about it, which is easier said than done. But to my shock and delight, about two weeks before Christmas, I received an e-mail from NSNB, offering me a publishing contract.

I remember hyperventilating and then asking my eldest son to read out the e-mail to make sure it wasn’t just wishful thinking!



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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 think it would have to be Stevie Vee, my dead rock singer. I know on a practical level, it wouldn't be particularly easy, but he's talented and a lot of fun to be around - even if he did pass away 25 years ago! He'd serenade me with some of my favourite rock anthems as we shared a picnic somewhere beautiful, like the shores of Loch Lomond. Having said that, as he's a ghost, I'd probably end up having to eat all the contents of the picnic!

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Oh, that's a difficult one. There are so many fantastic books out there, but I think I would recommend anything by Jenny Colgan, Wendy Holden or Nick Spalding.

I've laughed out loud at their observations - well, when I say laugh, it's more unlady-like snorts really. I'm sure I've been on the verge of being evicted from several public places. Their writing is effortless, it just flows and the humour is wonderful.


If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
My Mum always told me to never give up, so I would say "If you want it badly enough, it will happen."


What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
I've just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment. It looks at what happens when "celebrity" clashes with "the ordinary". I'm also about to do some research for my third novel, which is about a prominent historical figure....Both are contemporary romances. I just love the romance genre and always have done.

What or who in life inspires you?
My Husband and two sons inspire me. My late Mum was an amazing woman and she has had a huge influence on me - and always will.

I'm also a huge music fan and have to write with the radio on. The Thea Gilmore song, "Love Came Looking For Me" is almost like the anthem to "Rock My World". The lyrics are fantastic, as if they are describing how Ruby feels.

What is your all time favourite book?
I have to mention "Who's Afraid of Mr Wolfe?" by Hazel Osmond. It has everything - passion, humour and emotion. It left me breathless at times!

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
What great questions!

Marilyn Monroe - gorgeous and totally underestimated as an actress, in my opinion.

Wendy Holden - One of my favourite authors. A very talented writer who is effortlessly funny.

Bradley Cooper - A great actor and complete eye candy. Also, my hero Matt Jardine has a brush of "The Bradley" about him.

Eric Morecambe - A comedy genius. I've seen "Morecambe & Wise" so many times, yet I still laugh like a drain.

Stevie Nicks - I'm a huge fan of hers and Fleetwood Mac are my favourite band ( Ruby is a big admirer too, by some funny coincidence!) and have been since I was 13. When a lot of my contemporaries were into Wham! I was pouring over her beautiful lyrics and trying to copy her big hair!

Sexiness, intelligence, creativity and humour - what more could you want at a dinner party?! (I'm not talking about me incidentally, but about my guests!!)

At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of 'Rock My World' what are the ingredients?
Coconut to represent Ruby. Dreamy with lots of depth.

Rum for Matt. Deliciously edgy.

Whiskey for Stevie. Very Scottish, with a fantastic, husky voice.

Vodka. What Peter de Marlow, my villain, would drink. He's seething with hidden danger and revenge.

I can't begin to imagine what this cocktail would taste like, but I'm sure it would look amazing...!

Thank you so much to Love Of A Good Book for this fantastic interview!

A big thank you to Julie for talking to The Love of a Good Book

Lauren Cusack, My Heart Belongs to....



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Today sharing where her heart belongs is Lauren Cusack. You can read about Lauren in The First Time We Met by Pippa Croft.
https://twitter.com/PippaCroftBooks
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pippa-Croft/202374169948664?fref=ts
The First Time We Met is available to pre-order in paperback or purchase (from today) on Ebook on Amazon UK


Firstly, let me say that I don’t believe that any person should belong to another. Period. No matter how hard we fall for someone, or how badly we want them, we have to stay true to ourselves. Our destiny lies in our own hands.
Others may disagree but that’s just how I see things.
However, I do believe in deep and lasting love, not only between lovers, but between family and friends, and even for a cause we feel passionate about.
My heart belongs to my parents, of course, first and foremost. You might think I have a privileged life. As a senator’s daughter, I’ve travelled to some pretty cool places all over the US, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe. I have a nice, comfortable home and my own generous allowance. I know how lucky I am and I’m grateful.
But life hasn’t been simple. My father worked very hard to make the Senate. He’s a Democrat and his liberal policies have earned him plenty of enemies. One maniac decided to beat him with a baseball bat, which caused him to lose the sight of in one eye. My mother and I thought Daddy might die at one point. I’ll never forget what my father and mother have done for me so my heart belongs to them.
For a long while, I also thought my heart belonged to my ex, Todd. He was an old friend of the family and we started dating while I studied Art History at Brown University. Everyone thought we might get engaged but it all ended last summer. He wanted me to be the perfect lawyer’s wife and belittled my ambitions to study at Oxford and forge a career in the art world. When we split up, I thought I’d never meet anyone who would understand me.
I guess my heart also belongs to Picasso, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Klee and Klimt - and all those other artists and sculptors whose work has inspired me to pursue my passion for art.
But as for my heart belonging to Alexander Hunt? Any woman who gave her heart to him would be out of her mind. I’ve only seen him a few times around college but he’s driving me insane!
OK, he’s gorgeous - sex on legs - but he’s also the most arrogant, maddening guy I’ve ever met. Just because he’s wealthy, titled and an Army officer, doesn’t mean he can simply walk into my life, snap his fingers and expect me to fall into bed with him.
Just because he knows that I can’t stop thinking about him and that I tremble when he’s near, doesn’t meant that I will ever give him anything, let alone my heart...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRr8pJ18pk4&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DqRr8pJ18pk4&app=desktop

A big thank you to Pippa for sharing where Lauren's heart belongs.