Cover reveal! ‘All She Ever Wished For’ by Claudia Carroll.

Can you be star struck over the internet…without ACTUALLY meeting the author? Well, I am!! I’m sure many of you have heard of the very talented Claudia Carroll, yes? This October she returns with her latest novel, and tonight, I get to reveal the cover to you -hyperventilates-.

claudia

ALL SHE EVER WISHED FOR

Claudia Carroll

Publishing in eBook and paperback: 6th October 2016 by HarperCollins UK

A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships. Because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store . . . 

Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?
One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…
All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…
Claudia Carroll brings you a Christmas gift filled with second chances, fateful encounters and a lesson in what true love means.

Available for pre-ordering now via Amazon

The Christmas books are being sent by Santa nice and early this year! I wonder what other beautiful books will be on his sleigh?!

Advertisements

TWG is on tour again with T.A.Williams! Excerpt anyone?

taw

Excerpt – What Happens at the Beach…by T.A.Williams

Just then, their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a visitor.

‘Ah, here he is, Natalie. This is my special friend. I forgot to tell you about him. He comes to visit me every day.’ She sounded very animated. Natalie looked up and saw that the object of her attention was a handsome black Labrador with a red collar who had appeared round the side of the house and was heading straight for the table. He was wagging his tail enthusiastically and he came across and nuzzled Colette with his nose. He sat down beside her and put a paw on her thigh.

‘What a beaut.’ Natalie had always loved dogs and her grandmother had always had a dog in the house until the last few years. ‘Where does he come from?’

Hearing her voice, the dog relinquished Colette and trotted round to Natalie’s side. He looked up at her with big brown eyes and Natalie fell instantly in love with him. The feeling was obviously mutual as the dog reared up on his hind legs and did his best to climb onto her lap. Kindly, she pushed him back onto the ground and took the big black head in both hands. ‘Who needs a stupid fiancé when there’s a handsome chap like you around? And where’ve you come from?’

‘I think he’s from the chateau. You know it was sold last autumn?’ Natalie vaguely recalled her grandmother telling her something to that effect, but she had been here so rarely over the past few years. ‘It’s been bought by some rich people, most probably for a holiday home. At least, that’s what I hear from Marie who got the news from Maître Delatour. They’re foreign, maybe even English.’ A note of regret entered Colette’s voice. ‘No surprise there. All the most beautiful places are being bought up by foreigners and turned into holiday homes. The local people can’t afford to buy houses down here any longer. It’s a real problem.’

By this time the dog had collapsed onto his back on the flagstones and was grunting happily to himself as Natalie scratched his tummy. ‘So does he have a name?’ She spotted a medallion hanging from the dog’s bright red collar. Squinting down at it, she saw that it only bore a telephone number, no name.

‘I call him Charlie and he doesn’t seem to mind.’ No surprise there. All the dogs her grandparents had ever had had been called Charlie. Up till now they had all been cocker spaniels, but the name seemed to suit the big black dog just as well. Natalie looked down at him again.

‘So, Charlie, would you like a biscuit?’ The dog clearly understood what was on offer. He rolled to one side and leapt to his feet, tail wagging. Natalie glanced across at her grandmother. ‘Have you been giving him bad habits?’

What happens at the beach..is available to buy right now from Amazon UK

Blog Tour! ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ with Sue Watson!

suew

Blurb

‘A charming, moving second-chance love story for fans of Thursdays in the Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Tango in Halifax.

Does first love deserve a second chance?

When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .

Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.’

Super excited today as it’s my turn on Sue Watson’s blog tour for ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’! Massive thank you to Sue for recommending me and my blog to take part, and to Clara at Little Brown/Netgalley for arranging my advanced copy in return for my honest thoughts!

‘What if?’ seems to be a recurring question, doesn’t it? We all wonder ‘what if?’ about our own lives. But have you ever wondered ‘what if?’ about your love life? Have you ever had your heart-broken by your very first love? I am imagining quote a few of you are nodding to that. But what if your first love came back into your life? Now, I’m not talking about your first love coming back into your life ONE year after. No. Not even TWO years after. How about DECADES later? Nah, it could never happen. Could it?

Sue Watson is definitely one of my ‘star struck’ authors because if I ever have the honour of meeting her, it will be like my two-year old meeting 1D (she loves them, thankfully she doesn’t understand they are no more!). Sue is such a down to Earth person and an incredible author, so when I found out from the lady herself that she was bringing out a new book, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book, and by golly, I was not disappointed.

The first chapter of the book sets the groundwork for the rest of the story, and despite the amount of background that is given at first, it sets the scene with many unanswered questions to figure out the answers to in other chapters. Sue has written a book about heartbreak, new-found love and finding the real you. Rosie has been put in the unfortunate situation of having to re-start her life at a much later age than she probably would have liked. Life certainly has ways of keeping us on our toes.

Understandably, Rosie’s daughters are protective of their mum. But there is being protective and being made to feel ‘incapable’ due to her age and her sudden changes in personality. Is it a change though, or is it who she really is? The amount of emotion in this book caught me straight away. Each and every word has incredible emotional depth which pulls you in as though you’re under a spell. Yes, ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ had me spellbound. I found it wonderful that not only did we learn about the Rosie ‘now’, we learnt about the Rosie ‘then’. Both of the past and present memories linked flawlessly which made the story flow with incredible ease.

Not many of us would ever have a second chance at love when we reach a certain age, probably because we might think ‘is it worth it?’. That is the chance you take though isn’t it? I did feel sorry for Rosie multiple times because she was dealing with grief, as well as trying to have a sense of normality at work and because of her daughters as they were grieving too. I just wanted to climb in the book and give her a big cuddle. Rosie is such a loveable character with a big heart and an even bigger personality. I was rooting for her to finally have her happy ending.

This is a book that kept on giving, there was never a dull moment for me when I was reading it. I could tell that ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ was written from the heart due to the amount of emotion that fills the book and the way I felt included as I was reading it. I know that is a weird description to use; feeling ‘included’ with a book, but I genuinely felt included and involved in the depths of the story and the complexity of the characters.

I absolutely loved ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’. It made me laugh, made me gasp in shock, and yes, it made me cry. A true rollercoaster of emotions, but oh so definitely worth it. If only Sue could live in my house and read stories to me every day, the way that she writes her wonderful books, I would be set for life. An incredible lady definitely, but Sue is an extraordinary author. Fantastic read, thank you Sue for writing another amazing book!

We’ll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson, published by Little Brown Books, is available to buy NOW in E-book from Amazon UK//Amazon US. The paperback version is set for release in 2017.

About the author:
Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before working in a career in TV where she was a producer with the BBC. She has published six novels, her most well- known being Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives in the Midlands and writes full time.

Sue’s Website
Follow Sue on Twitter.

Blog Tour – Author of ‘Find You In Paris’; Alix Nichols, joins TWG with a guest post!

Book Tour (1)

FYP Kindle 3 512kakrO31L

Find You In Paris
(this book has two covers, one for the eBook & one for print)
By author: Alix Nichols
(Alix is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author)

Genre: Chick Lit/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July, 9th 2016

Blurb:

True spite. Fake marriage. Real romance.

If there’s one man who fledgling art photographer Diane Petit really, really, actively hates, it’s fragrance mogul Sebastian Darcy who stole her father’s company–and wrecked the man’s health in the process.

But the arrogant SOB had better brace himself because Diane has vowed revenge.

And revenge she will have.

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS
AmazonUK

 I just want to apologise for my slight delay in posting my stop on the tour, Aimee already knows the reason why.

Today, as you know, is my stop on Alix Nichols’ blog tour, and I have the honour of sharing with you a guest post from the lady herself! Hope you enjoy!

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alix Nichols

First, full disclosure: I’ve been in love with Mr. Darcy since I was twenty, and not in a casual yeah-he’s-cool kind of way. I’m a devotee. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice three times, including the wonderfully helpful annotated edition by David M. Shapard, which explains every period detail that can be explained. I also own a copy of every Pride and Prejudice TV series and movie ever made, and I have watched each of them at least twice. Six times in the case of the 1995 BBC mini-series, of which I own three copies, just to be on the safe side. 
Finally, I’m the creator of the Ultimate and Authoritative Darcy Hotness Chart. You can check it out here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/386324474268007114/

Before you do, can you guess who’s my Darcy #1? 

Colin Firth from the BBC mini-series, of course! The Incomparable, the Forever Young, the One and Only. 
In light of the above, it’s only natural that I’ve written a romance inspired by Pride and Prejudice. It’s titled Find You in Paris, and its hero is called Mr. Darcy. Actually, his real name is Monsieur Sebastian d’Arcy. You see, all my romances are set in modern-day France, which means that my Mr. Darcy is a Frenchman. He lives in Paris (when he’s not in his ancestral château in Burgundy). He’s rich, tall, dark, and brooding – and oh-so-hot. Just like the guy on the cover of my book. 
The heroine is a young art photographer, Diane Petit. Diane is as independent, feisty, and witty as Elizabeth Bennet. And, she’s just as prejudiced against Sebastian as Jane Austen’s Lizzy is against her Fitzwilliam.
Working on this book has been such a joy that I often had to stop and wipe the silly grin off my face (especially when I worked in a café). Now that it’s finished, edited, and out there in the world, I hope it’s going to be just as much fun to read as it was to write!

About the Author:

912B9W9QDkL._UX250_Alix Nichols

Bio:

Alix Nichols is a caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies.

At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.

Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

Find her here:

Amazon author page
Blog: http://www.alixnichols.com
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
Goodreads

Check out the full tour:

Book Tour (1)

July 24th

Jenna Books – Book Review/Promo Post
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt/Promo Post

July 25th

The Writing Garnet – Book Review/Guest Post
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A

July 26th

The Ultimate Fan Blog – Book Promo Post
Karan Eleni – Book Excerpt/Promo Post

July 27th

Grass Monster – Book Review
Gabriela Cabezut – Book Review/Promo Post

July 28th

He Said Books Or Me – Author Guest Post/Promo Post
Sweet Little Pretties – Book Excerpt/Promo Post

July 29th

Sylv all about books and films – Book Excerpt
Book Lover in Florida – Book Review/Promo Post

July 30th

One Book At A Time – Book Review/Promo Post
These Words: A Blog – Book Review/Promo Post
Liz Marid Author – Author Guest Post

***COVER REVEAL*** Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington.

SQUEALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! She has only gone and done it!! Sam Carrington releases her debut novel ‘Saving Sophie’ on the 12th August 2016! A lot of people in the book world are routing for Sam (Hiya Book Connectors!) as she has been waiting for this moment for a while. Today I have the honour of sharing with you Sam’s cover of her new novel and all the details you will need to buy your own copy. You will really want to buy it once you have read the blurb (speaking from experience!).

Are you all ready for this? Drum roll please……

samc

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?

Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?

When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington, published by Maze (Avon), is released on E-book 12th August 2016, and paperback 15th December 2016. You can pre-order your e-book copy now via Amazon UK.

To keep up to date with the latest book news from Sam Carrington herself, you can: Follow Sam on Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited to read this book! Good luck Sam (not that you’ll need it!)

Blog Tour! Time to ‘meet’ Turbo the penguin with author of ‘My Last Continent’-Midge Raymond!

midge

Big thank you to Alice for finding me and my blog, and inviting me on this blog tour! I am rather excited about this blog post because I LOVE penguins. Right, stop frowning at the screen! I know you’re probably wondering what a penguin called Turbo has to do with this book, yes? I think I will leave it to the expert, author Midge Raymond, welcome to TWG, and thank you for writing the post for TWG!

Turbo the Penguin: The inspiration behind the character of “Admiral Byrd”

By Midge Raymond 

While My Last Continent is set in Antarctica, one of my inspirations for the novel — and for one of my favorite characters, “Admiral Byrd” — was a penguin from Argentina. 

When I volunteered to help with a penguin census at the Punta Tombo colony in Patagonia, among the thousands of birds I counted, one of them stood out — and I still think of him ten years later. His name is Turbo — so named because he’d inexplicably built a nest under a turbo truck instead of within a burrow, like the other penguins of his species — and instead of looking for a mate, he preferred to hang out with the researchers.

Turbo has been tagged with a metal band by scientists, along with thousands of other birds in the colony. 

In the decade since my time at Punta Tombo, whenever I receive updates on the colony, I look first for Turbo’s name, for confirmation of his return from his months at sea. While all of the research data from this colony is important, I can’t help but be drawn to Turbo as a representative of the species. 

Similarly, as readers, we can relate more to individual characters than to numbers in the hundreds of thousands — and this is why I wanted to have a penguin character in My Last Continent: to give a name and a face to all Antarctic penguins. For me, the character of Admiral Byrd — a gentoo penguin named after an explorer by the human who admires him — represents all the penguins in my fictional world, who in turn represent all the penguins in the real one. By connecting with just one bird, perhaps we can feel closer to them all; by getting to know one, we can understand many more. 

While Admiral Byrd may be fictional, he has real-world counterparts — oddly friendly penguins of all species, including other Magellanics. There’s Jinjing, the penguin who returns each year to the Brazilian man who saved him from an oil spill. There’s Juan Salvado, another Magellanic who lived with his rescuer in a suburb of Buenos Aires after refusing to return to the sea. 

And, of course, there’s Turbo, who is now eleven years old. He’s still single, preferring the company of humans to his own species. This fall, I’ll eagerly await news of his return to the colony — where he might choose to build his nest, whether he’ll still be a bachelor or will finally settle down. The data will tell us one story — but as long as Turbo shows up, I feel as though there is hope for all of these birds.

About the author.

midge1
Midge Raymond is an award-winning short-story writer who worked in publishingin New York before moving to Boston, where she taught creative writing. She has published two books for writers, Everyday Writing and Everyday Book Marketing. Midge lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is co-founder of the boutique publisher Ashland Creek Press. My Last Continent is her first novel.

Midge’s Website
Follow Midge on Twitter


About the book.

midge2

‘Antarctica provides solace from life for two scientists who spend a few weeks a year there studying penguin habits – but their romance can only ever be fleeting.
It is only at the end of the world – among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica – where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few blissful weeks they spend each year studying the habits of Emperor and Adélie penguins, Deb and Keller can escape the frustrations and sorrows of their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is tenuous, imperilled by the world to the north.
A new travel and research season has just begun, and Deb and Keller are ready to play tour guide to the passengers on the small expedition ship that ferries them to their research destination. But this year, Keller fails to appear on board. Then, shortly into the journey, Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from the Australis, a cruise liner that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean. Soon Deb’s role will change from researcher to rescuer; among the crew of that sinking ship, Deb learns, is Keller.
As Deb and Keller’s troubled histories collide with this catastrophic present, Midge Raymond’s phenomenal novel takes us on a voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. MY LAST CONTINENT is packed with emotional intelligence and high stakes – a harrowing, searching novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences.’

My Last Continent by Midge Raymond, published by Text Publishing, is available to buy on the 28th July 2016 from Amazon UK

Blog tour! T.A. Williams joins TWG to explain ‘Why there?’!

taw
Welcome to my stop on T.A.Williams’ tour for ‘What Happens at the Beach..’! T.A.Williams is popping his TWG cherry! How exciting. This is my first post out of THREE for this tour. That’s right, he has to put up with me for three blog posts! I wonder if I’ll get air miles for all of this touring…..

Whilst I sit and ponder air miles, I will hand you over to the man himself to explain ‘Why there?’ Why where….

Why the South of France?

   So far in my What Happens… series, I’ve set books in Tuscany, Cornwall, the Alps and in a little village on the edge of Dartmoor. This time I’m heading for the sun. My new book, What Happens at the Beach… takes place on a beautiful little beach that I’ve called Port Renard in the south of France. Why there, you may ask?

   First and foremost, for the sun. I started writing this book in the depths of a cold, wet English winter and I really got a buzz out of imagining myself down there amid the pine trees with the scent of resin in the air, the hiss of the waves and the incessant hum of the cicadas ever-present in the background. When I wrote about swimming in the clear blue sea, floating above the white sandy seabed, it was a welcome relief from the constant beat of rain on my study window. You see, I write for myself as well as my readers, you know.

   I studied French at university many, many years ago and I love the language. Although I spent more time in Italy, I lived in France on and off for a couple of years and we always took our holidays down there. Just where exactly are we talking about? France is separated from Spain by the mountain range of the Pyrenees. Port Renard is at the far eastern edge of the mountains, on the Mediterranean coast, just about ten miles from the Spanish border. This part of France, Roussillon, is a major holiday destination to people from all over Europe, and many people from Britain and elsewhere have chosen to buy houses there and relocate in search of sunshine and a slower way of life.

   It’s also a very historic region. Back in the Middle Ages, it was the scene of a horrific attack by forces of the Vatican (in the days when the Catholic Church was every bit as much of a temporal power as the secular states around it). The crusaders marched into the southwest of France to eradicate heresy. To modern eyes, the Cathar heretics, who even called themselves Good Christians, differed little from mainstream Catholicism, but they got wiped out all the same. As a result, the area is rich in amazing hilltop castles, spectacular churches and abbeys. All in all, a fascinating place.

   Natalie, my heroine, is half English, half French. She’s all alone in the world after the death of her parents and the collapse of her relationship with David, and she travels over to Port Renard to seek refuge at the home of her beloved grandma. When she gets there she immediately falls in love with Barney. Barney is totally gorgeous (if you like dogs) and it’s love at first sight. And his hunky master isn’t too bad either. Like all my books, this one is designed to put a smile on your face and to give you a nice warm, fuzzy feeling. There’s enough horror going on in the world these days. In my own small way, I hope that a visit to the sunny south of France with me will cheer you and remind you that life’s not all bad all the time.

ta

Book Information
Title: What Happens at the Beach…
Author: T. A. Williams
Series: What Happens in…
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Genres: Chick Lit
Publisher: HarperCollins/Carina UK

 

For the perfect summer romance…
It’s finally time for Natalie Dryden to decide what she really wants! After ditching her sparkling engagement ring, and her ghastly fiancé, she jets off for the sun-kissed shores of Southern France – the only place that has ever truly felt like home. For the first time ever, Natalie is determined to forget all about men and follow her dreams!
…head to the French coast!
Only, avoiding the male population isn’t quite so easy, especially when she meets smooth-talking Philippe and gorgeous fisherman, Remy! But then Natalie, quite literally, bumps into brooding millionaire Mark whilst swimming in the glittering azure-blue bay – and her life is turned upside-down. Love might be off the cards for Natalie, yet suddenly she finds herself in her dream job and working with her dream man! But is it all too good to be true…?

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US


ta2
Author Biography

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams
because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, ‘Dirty Minds’ one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador. I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

Author Links.
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon Author

rrt2

TWG’s Don’t-Snooze-You’ll-Lose Deal Day With….@daisyjamesbooks

It’s Tuesday…which means…it’s SNOOZE day!! Wait, no, it’s not snooze day…if you snooze you’ll miss a deal, yes? Ahhh, that makes more sense now. Shall we try again? Tuesday’s on TWG mean it is…..’Don’t-Snooze-You’ll-Lose’ Deal Day With the lovely Daisy James!
Daisy James is the author of ‘If the dress fits’ which was released in paperback format not so long ago! She is also the author of today’s deal AND, as of the 4th August 2016, her third novel ‘When Only Cupcakes Will Do’.

Today’s deal you definitely do not want to snooze for because it’s another 99p deal!! Yes, that’s right, 99p for a book! If you fancy a nice chic lit/rom com style read, then feast your eyes on this:

runaway

What a girl wants…

Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister Freya can’t get any worse.

But discovering her boyfriend in a cupboard with the bride, ten minutes before Freya is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequined wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.

Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.

Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s diaries, Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants…’

Please note: The Runaway Bridesmaid is 99p for a LIMITED TIME ONLY. I do not know when the deal will end. If you don’t want to miss out, then it’s best if you don’t snooze or you’ll lose.

To grab yourself a copy of ‘The Runaway Bridesmaid’: Click Here
To grab yourself a copy of Daisy’s debut novel ‘If the Dress Fits’: Click Here
To pre-order your copy of Daisy’s new novel ‘When Only Cupcakes Will Do’: Click Here 

I have this book sitting on my kindle waiting to be read! Actually, I fib, I have all three of Daisy’s books haha. If you have read them too, please do leave a review on Amazon etc. It doesn’t have to be an essay, as long as constructive, it will help and support the author. Thank you!

Stay in touch with Daisy
Daisy’s Facebook
Follow Daisy on Twitter

Blog tour – Author of ‘The Dress’; Sophie Nicholls, shares her ‘Everyday magic’.

thedress1
The eBook sensation, with over 165,000 copies sold.’

About ‘The Dress’.

‘When Ella and her mother Fabia Moreno arrive in York one cold January day to set up a vintage dress shop, little do they know what the future holds for them. The flamboyant Fabia wants to sell beautiful dresses and move on from her difficult past. Her daughter only wants to fit in. But the owner of York’s new vintage dress shop is not quite what she seems… and not everyone is on their side.

Will Fabia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What’s that dark secret she’s hiding? And do the silk linings and concealed seams of her dresses contain real spells or is it all just ‘everyday magic’? Among the leopard-print shoes, tea-gowns and costume jewellery in Fabia’s shop are many different stories – and the story of one particular dress.’

It is such an honour to be able to kick this blog tour off for such a BEAUTIFUL book! I was rather excited when I received the e-mail from the publishers Twenty7 asking me if I wanted to take part in the tour. Can you keep a secret? I hugged the book when it arrived. I mean, just look at that cover!

My stop on Sophie Nicholl’s tour isn’t a book review (stay tuned though as there will be one soon!), I have a magical post centered around a character from ‘The Dress’ and her ‘Everyday Magic’. Enjoy!

Everyday magic: Three ways to rediscover the magic in your everyday life.
by Sophie Nicholls.
 

‘The world is full of magic when you know where to look, tesora,’ says Fabia, the main character in my novel, The Dress. ‘It’s in the river, the way it moves and in that pot of basil on the windowsill, the way the leaves know exactly how to grow, how to create themselves… and it’s in this fabric here, the way it has a flow and a feeling all of its own when I move my needle through it…’  

Fabia’s life is full of ‘everyday magic’ – and she sprinkles it liberally everywhere she goes, transforming the lives of her customers when she opens her very special vintage dress shop in York. For Fabia, magic is about noticing the good that is always present in our everyday lives, taking pleasure in the small details that are so easily overlooked, the little acts of kindness. 

How many of us, in the middle of the commute, the school run, the supermarket shop, have time to really notice the magic that is all around us? And when we’re feeling low or exhausted, we know that we should make time for something beautiful but it all just feels a bit too difficult, too self-indulgent.  

The following three tips, borrowed from Fabia, might help you, in the smallest of ways, to rediscover a little ‘everyday magic’ in your life.

Slow down

Take a deep breath. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. Whether you live and work in a crowded city or open countryside, make time to get outside for a walk. Allow yourself to reconnect with your senses. What do you feel right now? Whereabouts do you feel it in your body? What can you taste on your tongue? What can you smell? Let yourself luxuriate in the here and now, just for a moment, without worrying about what might happen in the future or re-running the past. Look up from your desk from time to time. Look outside the window and notice what you see. Allow yourself a moment to be fully present to the ‘magic’ all around you.

Harness the power of simple rituals

Fabia uses rituals – simple household ‘spells,’ for want of a better word – to conjure the right atmosphere of warmth and welcome in her vintage dress shop. She washes her floors with lavender-scented water, polishes them with beeswax, sprinkles salt and lights candles. She uses her special brand of ‘everyday magic’ to sew new futures for her customers, hiding secret words in the hem of a skirt or the pocket of a dress, and she keeps the snipped ends of her embroidery threads in a special jar. 

Your rituals don’t need to be so elaborate. I like to light a candle at the end of the day, to help me to make the transition from the world of work to one of slowing down and preparing for sleep. Sometimes, when my daughter is tucked up in bed and the house is quiet, I light a candle before I start to write.  

What rituals might you use to help yourself to make a little time for you, to open up a breathing space where you can just be for a while? 

A friend of mine wears a particular pair of red shoes every time she has to do something that feels difficult, such as giving a presentation or running a difficult meeting. What rituals might you use to give yourself confidence in a certain situation at work or at home; or to help you to focus on a task?

Pick a card

Like me, Fabia uses tarot cards to help her to make decisions. I have several different sets, from the traditional Rider Waite pack to decks of oracle cards. I keep my cards in a drawer by my writing desk and I like to choose one at the beginning of each day and prop it up against the vase on my windowsill so that I can see it when I write. Alternatively, you can carry a card around in your pocket all day and let its ‘magic’ rub off on you. Sometimes, I choose a card for the online writing class that I teach and I email it to the students at the beginning of the week. 

The words and images on a card will mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. They can be instantly clarifying. They may speak directly to something that you’ve been mulling over in your subconscious. Often, the relevance of the card might not be immediately clear, but its meaning has a habit of making itself known to you.  

One way of working with the ‘magic’ of the cards is to choose a card and use it as a starting point for a piece of journaling or free writing. By scribbling down what comes up for you as you look at the card – just writing without thinking or analysing too much and without pausing or editing – you might discover all sorts of things about your life and yourself that you didn’t know you knew. 

What will you do to begin to rediscover the little fragments of everyday magic in your life? Like Fabia, I believe passionately in the power of women coming together and sharing their experiences. I’d love to share in your everyday magic, the little things that you notice when you slow down for a moment or create a breathing space for yourself. Tag your pictures #everydaymagic on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and let’s spread some sparkle.
#everydaymagic

Thank you Sophie for writing that piece for us here at TWG! My lovely readers, as soon as you have read this post, take Fabia’s advice. Stop, look around you, and breathe. What do you see? Do you see something that may have gone unnoticed if you hadn’t taken the time to stop? Take a photo, and like Sophie says, put them on social media with the tag #everydaymagic. I will encourage the theme of this post throughout the rest of the week, so please do get involved. Sprinkle your fairydust like Tinkerbell….or Tinkerdude if you’re a guy ;).

About the author Sophie Nicholls.

thedress2

Sophie Nicholls is an Amazon bestselling author. The Dress is her first novel – which hit the Kindle Top 5 in 2012, and is followed by two further books in the well-loved ‘The Dress Trilogy”. She is an award-winning poet and leads the MA Creative Writing Distance Learning at Teesside University. She lives in North Yorkshire, in the North of England with
her partner and young daughter. She likes swimming outdoors and eating large quantities of very dark chocolate.

Visit Sophie’s Website
Follow Sophie on Twitter

The Dress by Sophie Nicholls is published on 28th July by Twenty7. Available to buy from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

 

#Discussion – What’s on your mind TWG? – Can a book really speak to you, or is that just wishful thinking?

It’s that time of the week again! Well, kind of. I am actually a day late in posting this feature this week, I do apologise! I haven’t had any readers kick me up my toosh toosh to remind me, so I’m hoping you still enjoy the feature!
I wrote on the facebook page (feel free to ‘like’ the FB page here) for this blog that this weeks feature will have a more personal element added. Although, I don’t know how much more personal it can get, after all, it is about my mind ;).

So, the topic that has been on my mind is: ‘can a book really speak to you, or is that just wishful thinking?’

I’m sure many of you have read books that you could relate to for multiple reasons, whether it’s because of a character’s personality or even certain events within the story. It’s crazy how something based on ‘made up’ events, can make you feel as though you are reading about your own life.

If you have felt as though a book has spoken to you, which one was it? In what way did it speak to you? As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts and personal feelings on this topic. If something I too personal for you to share, please don’t feel that you have to share if you don’t want to.

I have been a bookworm for many years but when you’re reading books as a teenager, it’s less likely that you would sit there dissecting a book like you would as an adult. Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of relatable books out there for young adults which cover some unfortunately ‘popular’ subjects. For example, suicide, teen pregnancy, self harm, cyber bullying, sexual assault, just to name a few. Those subjects in particular are usually seen as ‘taboo’ subjects because nobody really knows what to say. It could be possible that anyone going through those issues in their life, may not feel comfortable talking to anyone close to them about it. So when an author is willing to write about situations that crop up in everyday life, those books could become a lifeline for readers in terms of feeling less alone. That is when books will shout from the rooftops.

I read a book at the start of the year that didn’t just speak to me, it shouted at me. Have any of you read The years of loving you – Review by Ella Harper? The book has such a relatable storyline for me, and millions of other people I’m sure. Life changing illnesses, also known to be chronic illnesses; parkinsons, depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, crohns disease, hypothyroidism, again just to name a few.
**Please note that I have only selected a few, I do know that there are a lot of other illnesses at different levels, but as the book contains one of the illnesses that I stated above, I named the branches of that illness.
‘The years of loving you’ takes you on THE journey. The journey of oblivion to destruction in just one afternoon. The journey of grief. The journey of multiple masks and trying to find one that fits. To read such an emotional journey, having just had my path re-routed on THE journey for the sixth time in nine years, caught me off guard. The feelings that I felt, moments when I felt as though I was crazy for feeling like I do, someone in the book had the same thoughts and feelings and they were struggling with it too.

Can you see why the book didn’t just speak to me? When you find characters to be incredibly real, it can make you feel as though you have someone who knows exactly what you’re going through, or went through. Has anyone else ever felt like that?

There are a lot of books where I find the characters speak to me within a book. To be honest, sometimes I do find a character or two that I wish I could have a stern word with haha. One of the lovely ladies in a book by Darcie Boleyn spoke to me because of her wisdom…and the fact that I wanted a best friend like her!

In my opinion, yes, I believe that books can speak volumes. Not just in emotional ways due to certain events, but in eye-opening ways that can make you start thinking about your own life. It’s books like that, that I believe to be little gems. Small in size but the volume is immense. I thank each and every author out there for taking the time to write such moving and soul capturing books. As a reader that relies on books as an escape from a daily struggle of continuous pain and illnesses, when you find a good book that triggers your emotions and thoughts as well as relatable factor, it’s like having a pocket-sized friend. Only YOU know what it holds. Beauty is within, just like the contents of a book.

My question to you, can a book really speak to YOU?