Monday, 31 March 2014

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke



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Blurb
The deeper the water, the darker the secrets

There were so many times I thought about telling you the truth, Eva. What stopped me was always the same thing…

When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely…

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My Thoughts

This is a beautiful tale of love, loss and discovery.
As Eva sets about on a journey to discover more about Jackson, her husband who was sadly taken by the sea.

I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of 'A Single Breath', since reading Lucy Clarke's debut novel 'The Sea Sisters' .

Lucy has a beautiful writing style that allows the story to flow with smooth fluidity.
The tensions of the pages rise like the crashing of the waves as the need to read consumes you.

With a split narrative from Eva and sometimes Saul the story allows us a chance to glimpse the feelings of important characters, as well as something extra special when we hear how Jackson felt as Eva reminisces.

You can't help but love Eva, she's grieving for the love of her life and in her need to be close to him she goes to where he grew up. She just wants to keep their connection.
It makes for extremely touching reading, as Eva embarks on the journey to stay close to her husband.

I was captivated by the beautifully descriptive way in which Tasmania is shown to the reader, I love how Lucy can whisk your mind to another time zone and leave you hearing the waves in the distance.

I can't express enough times how beautiful this story is.
With revelations and intrigue felt throughout you are about to embark on a tale of love that will have you captivated from beginning to end.

5/5

A big thank you to Jaime for sending me a copy to review.

Riding the waves with Lucy Clarke

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Lucy Clarke has a first class degree in English Literature and is a passionate traveller and diarist. She has worked as a presenter of social enterprise events, a creative writing workshop leader, and she is now a full-time novelist. Lucy is married to James Cox, a professional windsurfer, and together they spend their winters travelling and their summers at their home on the south coast of England. Lucy’s debut novel, The Sea Sisters, was chosen for the Richard and Judy Book Club. A Single Breath is Lucy’s second novel. www.lucy-clarke.com / @lucyclarkebooks



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Your new novel is called 'A Single Breath'. Please could you tell me about it?
When Eva’s husband, Jackson, tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely…

Are any of the characters in 'A Single Breath' anything like you?
A piece of me goes into every character I write because I need to be able to understand and empathize with each of them. I certainly share some of Eva’s determination, and perhaps also her desire to have time alone and space to grieve. Equally, there are hints of me in some of my male characters – such as Saul, who is passionate about the sea and chooses to base his life around it.

Both in 'A Single Breath' and 'The Sea Sisters' the reader is taken on a journey of loss and discovery. What is your writing process for writing something that is so beautiful and, at times, very deep?
When I am writing scenes that are particularly emotional, I often play particular pieces of music that evoke strong emotions in me. I have to pick the right time, too. Sometimes I’m in the mood to write a more upbeat, light scene, whereas other times there’s nothing I like more than getting stuck into a challenging, heart-wrenching scene.

What can we expect next? Is book number 3 in the making?
I’m currently writing my third novel – and LOVING every moment of it! The working title is The Blue, and the novel is set on a yacht sailing towards the South Pacific, crewed by a group of travellers. Best friends, Lana and Kitty, join the yacht in the Philippines and sail through crystal clear lagoons, and remote, uninhabited islands. But, on a 10-day ocean crossing, the crew wake to discover one of their friends is missing – and no one claims to know anything. Disturbed by the disappearance, relationships between the crew begin to fracture, and Lana and Kitty’s friendship is stretched to breaking point. It’s a story of friendship, hedonism, and the delicate balance between truth and fiction.

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 was 24 when I realized that I’d love to be a novelist. Up until then, I’d always assumed that I’d have a career in business, and I pushed aside all the signals that I’d perhaps make a good writer: I’ve always kept diaries and journals; I read voraciously; I studied English Literature at university; I’m at my happiest with a notebook and pen in my hand. It took a round-the-world trip with a van, tent and travel journal to make me realize that what I wanted to do most was write.
Once I’d made the decision to be a novelist, then came the small matter of actually doing it. Like most writers I needed to work to support myself whilst trying to make it happen, so I set up a small business delivering events in schools, which afforded me both an income and a flexible schedule so I could make time to write. It took me until I was 30 to sign my first book deal. I could paper a wall with the rejection letters I received along the way, but eventually good news landed. I was delivering an event at a school in Kent when I got the call to say I’d had an offer, and my knees literally went weak with the shock. A month later I sold my business, and now I’m thankful for being able to do what I love full-time.



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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?
What a lovely question! I’d spend the day with Saul, because I have a bit of a crush on him myself. And I’d spend the day in Wattleboon, freediving, then drying off on his boat. I’d ask him about his work as a marine biologist as I think he’s fiercely knowledgeable, but also very modest, and I’d like to hear more from him.

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway is a master of simple, elegant prose – a sentence of his conveying what most of us writers struggle to convey in a page. I’ve read this book several times over the past decade and find new joys with every rereading of it.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
Trust your instincts.

What or who in life inspires you?
Travelling inspires me. I love seeing new places. It reminds me that my way is not the only way!

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Jamie Oliver (to do the cooking)
Stephen Fry (for the chat)
Angelina Jolie (for the intrigue factor)
Ryan Gosling (to look at)
Maggie O’Farrell (so we can talk books once the others have gone)



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At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of ' A Single Breath' what are the ingredients?
Vodka, crushed ice and a splash of passion fruit.

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

Promo Blirz: To Tell a Tale or Two

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Blurb:


A collection of ten contemporary short stories about love, betrayal and family drama, all with a subtle twist!

Ideal for fans of chick-lit, these ten minute reads will take you through the pain of infidelity to the heartache of letting go of someone you love, the lightheartedness of speed dating to the chill of an encounter with a ghost.

Can Rebecca forgive her husband for a drunken one night stand? Find out in Band of Gold. How does Jan react when she comes face to face with her psychic lover after fifteen-years? All is revealed in Waiting for Daisy. And just how did Rob end up in a pool of blood at his wife's feet? A Passionate Crime discloses all.

Enjoy these bite sized tales during a coffee break, with a glass of wine in the evening or as a quick bedtime read.


Author Biography:


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Kelly Florentia is an author of women's fiction. Her short stories have been published in women's magazines worldwide and anthologised by Accent Press in their charity range. Her eBook, To Tell a Tale or Two, featuring ten of her short stories, was published in February 2014 and is available for download via Amazon.

Kelly is currently working on her second novel, a contemporary romantic drama with a supernatural swirl. Her first novel is awaiting publication.

Kelly lives in London with her husband. Hobbies include reading, jogging, cycling, Facebooking, Tweeting and yoga. Oh, and the odd game of Candy Crush Saga.

Links:
You can buy To Tell a Tale or Two from Amazon

I’m on Facebook – http://facebook.com/kelly.florentiaOn Twitter @kellyflorentia. I’m also on Goodreads.
My website is www.kellyflorentia.co.uk


Trailer
http://youtu.be/jfLU6lguRjE

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Showcase Sunday #5

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea.
The aim of this event is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here:


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Hi Everyone

I hope you've had a great week and have read some fantastic books.
I'm writing this early because tomorrow I'm going into hospital for knee surgery and since I've lots of lovely books already here, I thought why not!

New to my collection this week:

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan. Amazon/Purchased


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City of Bones: Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Amazon/Purchased


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Trouble by Non Pratt. Amazon/Purchased


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Shadow Forest by Matt Haig. A Gift from Holly
Captivated by Nora Roberts. A Gift from Holly


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Deeper by Robin York. Book Depository/Purchased


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All The Things You Are by Clemency Burton-Hill. Amazon/To be reviewed


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The Summer Without You by Karen Swan. Amazon/To be reviewed


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Surrounded by Water by Stephanie Butland. Amazon/To be reviewed


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As always I've been incredibly lucky with the books I've received this week.

I am in love with the cover of Trouble, it's beautiful and I can't stop staring at it.
Speaking of covers, I've bought the US version of Deeper because I loved their cover more that the UK.
I will be reading Surrounded by Water for a blog tour and I'm really looking forward to delving in (the review will go live the 21/04)
As always there are so many fantastic books to read and I'm lucky that I've lots of lovely books to keep me occupied for after my surgery.
Like the two that my amazing friend Holly bought me to help with my recovery!

What have you bought or received this week? What books are you currently reading?
I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Have a fabulous week all!


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Xxx

Saturday, 29 March 2014

CHOC LIT: Mother’s Day Story – Part 6 Mandy

I am really pleased to be hosting Day 6 of Choc Lit’s Mother’s Day round-robin love story. Today’s contribution is written by Amanda James.


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Seven Choc Lit authors have contributed to give you one exciting story. Each author has to continue the tale left by the previous author. They have no idea where the story will take them! Not an easy task but makes good reading for us all. Read Part One by Alison May on Chick Lit Reviews and News, Part Two by Laura E James on Jera’s Jamboree, Part Three by Henriette Gyland on Laura’s Little Book Blog. Part Four by Berni Stevens on Cosmochicklitan and Part Five by Beverley Eikli on Chick Lit Uncovered now!



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The Grande reception was in full swing. Damien flashed smiles, kissed cheeks and shook hands, but all the while his heartbeat thumped in his ears, almost muting the chamber music and tinkling laughter. His head kept re-running his conversation with Ade and what he needed to do that evening to make amends.
How could his father have been so conniving? Not only had he offered Kelly money, but Ade later revealed that he’d also been behind Kelly’s rapid move to Prague. Ade had an answer to why she’d not answered Damien’s calls too. Kelly had been given a new phone – a token of the company’s appreciation. Damien’s number had been blocked – courtesy of Mr Grande senior. His dark eyes found Janine’s sharp green ones appraising him and she blew him a kiss across the room. Damn her! Apparently she was the one who’d told his father about he and Kelly, but how did she know?

At the back of the room after slipping in late, Kelly leaned against a pillar behind a conveniently tall man, to watch Damien work his magic on male and females alike. Despite her deep resentment of the man, she was no exception. As he ran his fingers through his hair, gave that lopsided sexy smile of his and leaned to whisper in some woman’s ear, a stab of pure jealousy twisted Kelly’s gut. He was looking at the woman as if she was the most important person in the world; exactly how he’d once looked at Kelly. All just an act of course, Kelly now realised. She drained her champagne glass and grabbed a full one from a waiter’s tray.
Janine tottered past on her skyscraper heels. Kelly shook her head, why ever had she trusted her? On her return from Prague, Janine had caught Kelly in tears in the ladies after she’d told Damien he was the father. Because Janine had been so warm and sympathetic, stupidly she’d spilled the beans. Once the news was out, all pretence at caring had vanished. Janine tossed her hair and snorted, ‘I guessed something was going on when I saw you leaving that party together. Well if you think he will stand by you, you’re delusional. Damien has slept with most of the women at work, including me. He makes a game of it.’
Kelly wondered at the time if it was a case of a woman scorned, but then Mr Grande senior had put paid to that idea. He’d arranged a meeting, confirmed what Janine had said and offered her money and sympathy. ‘You see, it is a delicate situation and my son wants to be removed from it. I’m sorry my dear, but Damien is a lady’s man, pure and simple ... and he makes mistakes.’
Mistakes! Kelly downed the champagne. How dare the old goat refer to Lucas as a mistake? As she looked for the waiter, she saw Damien making a beeline for her and her stomach flipped. She turned to escape, but there was nowhere to go. Then the heat of his hand on her back burned through her thin cocktail dress.
‘We need to talk ... about us,’ he whispered, sending tingles down her neck.
Hardly able to believe her ears she whirled round to face him, the champagne fuelling her anger, ‘Us? There is no us, ever since you washed your hands of me and our son!’
‘You hardly gave me a chance, just walked in after ignoring my calls and messages for months, said you were pregnant, that you wanted nothing from me and stormed out again.’ His voice was soft, his lovely eyes full of anguish. ‘But yesterday I found out why and ...’
Kelly took a deep breath. There was no way she was falling for this. ‘You tried to buy me off. That was low.’
‘That wasn’t me. My father set up the whole thing—’
Kelly held up her hands. ‘Oh please, give me some credit.’
‘But you have to listen—’
‘No, Damien. I don’t.’ Kelly pushed past him and walked out of the room with as much dignity as she could muster.

Read the final instalment by Margaret James on One More Page (Mother’s Day!)

About Amanda James:

Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Cornwall with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.
Amanda is a published author of short stories and her first novel with Choc Lit, A Stitch in Time was chosen as a Top Pickin RT Book Reviews magazine in the US in July 2013 and won a 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. Amanda’s Choc Lit novels include: A Stitch in Time and Somewhere Beyond the Sea (April 2014).



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A big thank you to Amanda James and Choc lit for sharing a great story!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Magnificent mums!

On Sunday, wonderful mothers all over the UK will be celebrating 'Mothering Sunday'
So in honour of this special occasion, I asked some friends of mine from the twitterverse to share with you a special mum, real or fictional, the choice was theirs!

First though, is me:

The truth is, I read about so many mums in books but not one of them can compare to mine. She is my best friend, my confidante and a truly amazing woman.
My mum has supported me in everything, from deciding to move abroad to my oddball choices in men.
And when things go wrong, she is always there with a hug and words of comfort, because at times I'm sure she knows me better than I know myself.


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Over the years we've faced our difficulties as a family and it's made us closer, I love spending time with my mum, sharing jokes and shopping trips.
One day I would like to have children and if/when that day comes I can only hope to be half of the remarkable woman, my mum is.
One things for sure, my children will be blessed with amazing grandparents.


Victoria from Victoria Love Books

For me in fiction there is only one mum that I would happily have as a real mum, that is Molly Weasly from the Harry Potter series.

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For me Molly is exactly how I would like to be as a mum, she is kind, warm hearted, loving, patient, fiercely protective, she takes no crap and the Weasley boys know their place, but most importantly she is hardcore when it comes to anyone hurting or threatening her family.

For example....

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LEBsvfcX_KU

I mean, every Potter fan cheered with joy at this part! I think that's when every fan realised just how far Molly would go to protect those she loves.

One of the things I love most about Molly is her relationship with Harry. Molly took Harry in and made him a part of her family, she treated him as if he was one of her own sons and loved him like one too. Always their to offer him help, comfort or sausages.

Where we really see how much Molly and Harry mean to each other, is in The Goblet Of Fire, when the champions have family to come and support them. Harry expects no one and opens a door to see Mrs Weasly. (I just got genuine goosebumps).

I love Molly. I love her with my whole heart and I'm so grateful to her for the love she gave to Harry. (You may think I'm nuts but I love Harry Potter as if he was real).


Megan from Reading in the Sunshine

My mum is a beautiful person both inside and out. My mum is a lady who will do absolutely anything for anyone, and she has been mine and my sister’s best friend for all of our lives. My mum helps me every day with a range of things, and she has always done SO MUCH for me and put all of her love and effort into getting me where I am today, I know if I didn’t have her I wouldn’t be the person I am now. She is always there for me and she has a heart full of love and kindness. We laugh together, we cook together, and she brightens up my life.
My mum inspires me, and I hope that one day when I am lucky enough to be a mum, that I can try to be as wonderful of a mum as she has constantly been to me.


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Laura from She Loves to Read

Mums are a very important breed. They know when you're sad, are good at first aid and can keep you smiling when the rest of the world can't. My mum and I don't always see eye to eye, sometimes we fight, sometimes we can't stand the sight of each other and sometimes we want to push each other off of a cliff! But, underneath all of the fighting and the sarcasm and the teasing...my mum is my rock. Whatever happens she's there for me. Be it a listening ear, a warm hug or just a friendly smile...my mum can make everything better. I love my mum and even though I don't always like her, I couldn't be without her!


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Holly Martin, Author (http://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com/)

I love my Mom, i love her more than chocolate and thats a whole lot of love. She is my best friend. We go on holiday together, we talk almost every day, she quite simply is the best Mom in the world. She is the kindest, most generous, most patient person i know. And she really makes me laugh, she's one funny chick. She has read every single word I've ever written and loved everything about it. She has absolutely been my rock and I love her to bits. Now in books,there is really only one Mom that comes close to my Mom, Molly Weasley. I love Molly Weasley, she's proud of her children, a bit scatty, and fiercely protectiveness of those she loves which is stretched to encompass Harry, Hermione or almost anyone else who crosses the threshold of 'The Burrow'. Some of my favourite Harry Potter quotes come from Molly Weasley, so to celebrate Mother's Day here is my favourite

'Not my daughter you bitch!'

Just brilliant'


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Pat (http://patelliott.co.uk/)
I recently read about a lovely mum called Alice, in a book called 'Take Mum Out' by Fiona Gibson.
Alice is a single mum, with two teenage boys. She's the type of mum you'd love to have as your own. She has pizza nights with her boys, watching tv. She bakes, she listens, she encourages. When things go wrong, she's there at your side, organising help first and leaving criticism until after the peril has passed. Alice does date and is smart enough to know that only when she's herself, will she find a perfect man, for her. Alice is a wonderful Mum, one you should all meet.


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Author, Rosie Blake (http://www.rosieblake.co.uk)

One of my favourite quotes about Mum's is this from Pearl Buck, "Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same." I know my Mum falls firmly in the former category, she is a total ball of fluff you just want to hug and never let go. She is extraordinarily happy and positive and encourages me in all my ventures, however mad and however temporary ("of course you shall play the drums my love, no doubt you will reach great heights in the musical world, want to take up interpretative dance? Of course my darling, you will go down a storm and make this art form universally popular" etc). There are other mothers who teach their children in different ways and who show their love in different guises and they are wonderful and fabulous too because they all love their children. So here is to Mum's in their many forms. Love you.


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Catriona from Fabulous Book Fiend

The mum I'd like to spotlight is my best friend. She is the best step mum that ever there was. Step mums don't get as much publicity as they should, and when they do it's the wicked stepmother in fairytales. My best friend is the most awesome step mum sorting potty training, first haircuts, projectile vomiting and trips here there and everywhere like no other. She does the job of a mum without being called mum and she does the best job in the world in my opinion and that is why I want to spotlight her!


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A really big thank to everyone for who took part, why not tell us a mother you find inspiring, in the comments section

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

Shortlisted for the Epic Novel award in the Romantic Novelists Association Books Awards 2014.

Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a girl, Anahita Chavan, from 1911 to the present day . . .

In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of rich Indian royalty. Becoming the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of the Great War. There, she meets the young Donald Astbury - reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate - and his scheming mother.

Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to the wilds of Dartmoor in England. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .

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My thoughts:


A beautiful read that en-capture's 100 years in its telling, separating countries and timelines as they sow the seeds of a remarkable character, threading the links together to culminate in a climatic ending.

The story starts from the narrative of 100 year old Anahita, who we find in India in the year 2000 and is spilt across era's in the telling of Anahita' story.
On her hundredth birthday Anahita entrusts her story to her grandson Ari, which leads him to Astbury Hall and Rebecca Bradley.
As the pair strike up a friendship they embark on a quest to discover the link Anahita has to Astbury hall and the family that reside there.

Anahita sends the reader on a tale of discovery, a tale that will inspire and amaze.
She is an incredibly wise character and you can't help but feel for her at times in her life.

Which is the same for Rebecca because there are times in the story where I hoped her life would turn around.
Rebecca is a wonderful character to read about, beautiful inside and out. But without the knowledge of her own true beauty.
Other lovely characters can be found in the form of Maharani of Cooch Behar, Sereena & Ari.

Then on the other side of the spectrum you find a character i despised, Lady Maud, claiming to be carrying out gods deeds as an excuse for her evil actions.

What appears to be a daunting read at 688 pages will leave you lost and longing for what is a fascinating story that will capture your heart and mind.

5/5

A big thank you to Olivia for sending me a copy to review.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Tilly Tennant



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Today I am excited to be part of the Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn blog tour.

Guest Post:
Whilst I was rifling through my research files, getting ready to write Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn, along with all the interview transcripts and snippets that Holden himself kindly provided me with, I came across some interesting newspaper stories. I thought I’d share this one with you, because I’m fairly certain (although I can’t prove it) that this mystery lady is our very own Bonnie Cartwright. See what you think…


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If it is Bonnie, then they didn’t do a very good job of keeping their rendezvous a secret!

About Tilly:


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Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family. Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). She likes nothing better than curling up in a quiet corner with a glass of wine watching the world go by, but can more usually be found taxiing her daughters to parties or taking them on emergency shopping trips. After a huge list of dismal and disastrous jobs over the years, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing, she began working as a temporary secretary in a hospital to boost her income whilst doing a degree in English and creative writing. This job lasted nine years. Not terribly temporary. But it does mean that she knows just what it’s like to make monumental admin cock-ups, spend the month’s wages in the hospital coffee shop and fall in love with all the doctors. As she’s a smug married, however, it’s fortunate that the doctors in question don’t usually feel the same way.

Tilly is represented by the wonderful, gorgeous Peta Nightingale at LAW.

I am delighted to bring you not just the blurb and cover but also a video created especially for this tour, want to discover who we bloggers crush on,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx_P_1dWqbU

Blurb:
There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.

The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.

Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …'

After tweeting Holden Finn, I can certainly see what Paige sees in him. Want to follow Holden on twitter, just follow @holdenfinn >

Cover:


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Website: http://tillytennant.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7204286.Tilly_Tennant
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant?fref=ts

http://tillytennant.com/



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A big thank you to Tilly for stopping by!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Chocolate Book Tag

I was tagged by the beautiful Laura from She Loves To Read; you can read her post here!



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The idea of this tag is to match books with a certain type of chocolate! And since I'm from Birmingham I have a lot to live up to.

1.Dark chocolate: a book that covers a dark topic.
Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent.


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This story covers a variety of topics and the blurb itself is dark 'I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.'
It's a thought provoking read and a brilliant debut!

2.White chocolate: your favourite light hearted/humorous read.
Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickinson


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This is wonderful and witty series of novellas, released just before Christmas but definitely a read to life your spirits whatever the season.

3.Milk chocolate: a book that has a lot of hype that you're dying to read.
Half Bad by Sally Green


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It's been described as a YA supernatural thriller.
That description alone had me sold but add to that, the fact my friends love it and that it features dinners. #excited

4. Chocolate with a caramel centre: a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it.
A Little Love by Amanda Prowse


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Thus is a beautiful story that proves love can happen at any age. This book made me feel hopeful.

5. Wafer free kit kat: name a book that has surprised you lately.
Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly


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This story pulled me in and kept me captivated but the surprise within the pages was the ending. WHAT AN ENDING!

6. Snickers: a book that you are going nuts about.
Spaghetti with the Yetti


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Yes it's a children's read, but I love this book!
I bought this to read with my niece, it's funny and the illustrations are fantastic.
We love reading it together.
I recommend this to anyone who has children in their lives.

7. Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows: a book that you would turn to for a comfort read.
Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson


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This is THE book, this book fils me with the confidence to take chances, the knowledge that you can turn things around and the excitement to travel and challenge myself.
I have so much love for this book!

8. Box of chocolates: what series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and something for everyone?
Harry Potter by JK Rowling


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I've loved these books for years, I remember the first time I read The Philosophers Stone, the feeling if wonderment and excitement of what was to come.
That feeling still comes every time I read these books and if you haven't read them, you really should.


I tag the following people (not sure if they’ve already been tagged)
Reading in the Sunshine
Victoria Loves Books
I Heart..Chick Lit
LeeLee Loves
Eve's Chick Lit Reviews

Two Nations Divided by a Common Book Cover

Today I would like to welcome Michele Gorman to The Love of a Good Book.

Guest Post:

I’ll never forget the day I first saw the cover for my debut novel back in early 2010. My editor emailed it to me while I was waiting to meet with my agent. I was sitting in a beautiful café on Piccadilly on a sunny February day (a rare thing in London). Excitement, tinged with nerves, fizzed when I opened that image. For months I’d wondered how Penguin would package the book that I’d spent years writing and rewriting until it was as perfect as could be. Would they take the same care over the cover? Would it reflect the story, about a young American woman named Hannah who moves to London only to find that she’s completely ill-equipped to live there?


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It did, and I loved it. The cover fit perfectly with the story and perfectly with the romantic comedy genre in the UK – a pretty illustrated pastel cover. It reflected Hannah’s uncertainty, swept along and buffeted by London.
Then, about a month later, my agent took me out for dinner. “You’re not going to like what I have to tell you,” she said, pushing the cake we were sharing in my direction. “Penguin wants to change the title. To Single in the City. They feel that it has broader appeal.”
That explained why she’d been plying me with wine for two hours.
It took me a few days to get used to the change, but if Penguin, one of the biggest publishers in the world, thought Single in the City was a better title, then I’d trust them. So the book got a name change, and a new cover. And I loved it even more than the first one.
Happily, so did the British reading public. Single in the City gained tens of thousands of fans and I was officially a best-seller in the UK!
So when I decided to independently publish Single in the City in the US, I worked with the cover designer who’d done my UK cover. I wanted suitcases, and a little clue that she’s American. I loved the result (and note the tiny flag).
Misfortune Cookie followed, and then The Twelve Days to Christmas, and the series was complete.
But the thing about being an author is that there are always things you’d like to change in your books, and as I wrote 5 more after my debut, the number of things I wanted to change grew with my experience.
I couldn’t rewrite Single in the City in the UK, because Penguin owns those rights. But I could rewrite it for the US. Misfortune Cookie and The Twelve Days to Christmas also got makeovers. Together they’re rebranded as The Expat Diaries series, as I’d originally planned way back in 2010. (For those who follow me on twitter, that’s why I’ve been @expatdiaries all along)
And just as redecorating one room can make the rest of the house look tired, knowing that the text was rewritten made the covers seem out of date. So new covers were designed and they’re the ones that I’d want to snatch off the shelf, throw myself on the sofa with a glass of wine, and devour. I hope you will to!


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The Expat Diaries: Single in the City launches in the US on March 25th . All the books are available globally, and here’s the Amazon.com link.
If you’re on Facebook and/or twitter, please do come say hello – I promise to do my very best to be entertaining
@expatdiaries
https://www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Love of a Good Book talks to The Chicklitsisters

Lorraine and Pam are co-authors of the Ellie Campbell novels. They write together despite living in different countries. Pam in UK and Lorraine in US.
They find writing together the perfect excuse for endless phone conversations. Together they've published four novels, How To Survive Your Sisters, When Good Friends Go Bad, Looking For La La and To Catch a Creeper.
They love any chance to connect with their readers and you can find them at;
Website: http://chicklitsisters.com/
Facebook: Ellie Campbell Books
Twitter: @ecampbellbooks




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Hi ladies, it's lovely to catch up with you both, it's been nearly a year since our first interview
And we have a lot to catch up on, I have a different blog and you, a new Novel.


Your new book is called 'To Catch a Creeper' please could you tell me about it?
Yes, like Looking For La La, you could call it a chicklit mystery – it’s a funny entertaining rollercoaster ride about a North London wife and mother who once again finds herself involved in solving a murder, while surmounting marital crises, career crises, friendship crises and everyday parental challenges. We intend it as the second book in a series but it totally stands alone if someone hasn’t read the first. This time there’s a burglar terrorizing the neighbourhood and a transvestite as the prime suspect. Of course Cathy’s female friendships are a vital part of the story and her long-suffering husband has his own issues to deal with.

'To Catch a Creeper' follows Cathy from 'Looking for La La' - has Cathy changed at all?
Yes, she’s still scatter-brained, a bit naïve and very loyal and dependent on her friends but she has gained in confidence and self-esteem. At the start of the book she’s no longer a depressed ‘desperate housewife’ but very excited about her new job and much more secure in her vastly improved marriage. (Of course we couldn’t let her stay that content for long.) As complicated as things get I’d say she’s better prepared for adversity and using her ingenuity to overcome obstacles rather than falling prey to jealousy, suspicion and alcohol-fuelled fights – although she still enjoys her girls’ nights out which now have increased from twice a month to every Wednesday.



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Can you tell me about some of the new characters we will meet?
Well, there’s her hip new colleagues at the advertising agency, including ‘Vicious Viv’ and other trendy young executives who seem to have it in for poor old Cathy. She has a new neighbour, an eccentric nervous old lady, Mrs Baker, who involves Cathy in a running battle with her domineering daughter and proves to be full of surprises. And then there’s the nerdy middle-aged members of the Neighbourhood Watch, mostly cardigan-sporting males, who she enlists to help her solve her crime.

There's going to be more in the 'Crouch End Confidential mystery' series, what can we expect to read about in the future?
I think you’re going to see the new book transition even further into the mystery side as Cathy and Pimple (the cleaning lady) decide they have a talent for solving crimes. There’ll be more developments in her marriage, her family life and with her female friends. And of course the same laughs, chaos and complications.



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Last time we discussed your writing process, (Lorraine & Pam are sisters who write as Ellie Campbell), today I would like to ask if you find it difficult getting a book to its print stage, when you live in different time zones?
It’s not really an issue now that Pam has stopped jolting us out of slumber with pre-dawn phone calls and I have realized I’d better contact her early in the day because the UK is 7 hours ahead. We have few really urgent ‘have-to-be-answered-this-minute’ decisions. Actually I get a bit insomniac, I’m often on the internet at 4 a.m. and Pam frequently surprises me by responding to an email when I happen to know it’s 1 a.m. in England. It’s only a problem if she doesn’t get to the phone in time and decides to return my call forgetting it’s some ungodly hour over here – which happened when I was jetlagged a couple of days ago - and we inadvertently woke my husband. Since we’d just returned from India and he was exhausted, I felt terrible about it.



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Questions for you both to answer:

if you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?

Lorraine: I don’t have any secret criminal – or otherwise naughty – fantasies so I’d probably pick something I’d be far too chicken to do these days unless I was sure I’d come out unscathed – I don’t bounce the way I did when I was 13. I’d love to jump a horse at top speed over huge cross-country obstacles for example or play a fast-paced game of polo without falling off. Or maybe I could summon the nerve for a spot of extreme skiing and basically just fall down a mountain, popping to my feet with panache for the final run in. When you say no repercussions, you’re including bruises and broken bones, right?
Pam: I’d probably spend the morning releasing all the battery hens from their poor life, and the laboratory animals at the same time. Then I’d hijack some cattle lorries heading for slaughter. Find them good homes where they could live a lovely peaceful life. In the afternoon I’d rob a bank so I could use the money to open a horse rescue centre. (Might all take more than a day though.)

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?

Lorraine: The Bible. Our grandmother used to force it on us every Sunday, she was very religious and didn’t approve of us playing on the Sabbath! And from a historical, political, or educational standpoint, it is THE big epic, documenting – and still inspiring – stories of bravery, love, death, murder, religious wars, crusades, invasions, great kindnesses, terrible cruelties. Christians, Jews and Muslims have based their entire cultural identities, social laws and moral codes around its ancient texts. It’s actually mind-blowing to imagine how our world might have developed without this one book. And it’s still influencing our lives today even though everyone seems to find something different in its pages.
Pam: I’m going to go for the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. There’s just so many great stories in there, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, Tin Soldier, The Nightingale, Snow Queen, etc. Everyone should read them as kids.

What or who in life inspires you?

Lorraine: Smiles, friendly people, nature. I’m lucky enough to live on ten acres with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and incredible sunrises over the haystack-shaped hill to our east. It’s impossible not to jump out of bed when I see the sky awash with red and orange and know the horses are at the fence waiting for me.
Pam: My friends. They’re just awesome. In so many ways.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?

Lorraine: I’d step back to classic Hollywood in its most glamorous era hoping to pick up some backlot gossip. For starters I’d choose Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Robert Mitchum with Barbara Stanwyck or Mae West for witty one-liners – and just to liven things up the Marx Brothers could fight over the final chair. But if any of them cancelled, Errol Flynn has always been one of my all-time original heartthrobs.
Pam: I’m always a bit nervous about dinner parties, especially if it is me holding one. So I’d choose a few comedians to liven things up. Probably no 1 is Russell Brand, because even though he can be very naughty, he is incredible to listen to and can tie people up in knots. Graham Norton because he is just so quick-witted and makes me laugh with all his silly looks. Then I’d bring in Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and watch them spar off each other. Finally I’d get Jerry Seinfeld because he’s super talented and it’s nice to get an American take on things.

At your dinner party, there's a cocktail in honour of ' To Catch a Creeper' what are the ingredients?

Lorraine: Tricky…in honor of Cathy’s scatty nature and dubious culinary skills, it would probably be something haphazard and impromptu – vodka and blackcurrent Ribena, supplemented with the kids’ juice boxes when the Ribena runs out.
Pam: I could also see her doing something totally self-indulgent and decadent – Mars Bars in a blender with Baileys Irish Cream. Yumm.


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A big thank you to Lorraine and Pam for dropping by to chat!

To celebrate the launch of 'To Catch A Creeper'
Looking for la La is just 99p from the 24/03-30/03/2014
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

In the US only, you will be able to get 'How to Survive Your Sisters' FREE from the 26/03-30/03/2014
Amazon.com