#CoverReveal! The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please @AvonBooksUK #romcom #womenfiction

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

Nothing like seeing ‘hump day’ in with a cover reveal! A mid-week cover reveal, oh my goodness; I know, I know, I spoil you. Well, it isn’t me really, it’s Avon!

As I am sure you’re aware by now, I seem to reveal the covers of books that I reallyreallyreallyREALLY want to read. The thing is, I don’t know it until the see the cover, and let me tell you; I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE THIS!
(if you didn’t sing that to the tune of a Carly Rae Jepson song then I failed, miserably.)

3…

2…..

1…….

Untitled-1

Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .

It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (albeit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate) and settle into a house (that isn’t falling down). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.

So when, in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.

Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from new friends, a crumbling cottage and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.

The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

See what I mean!! Glancing at the blurb, it seems as though A LOT of us will be able to relate to the storyline of this novel and I for one, cannot wait to curl up on my sofa and put the world to rights with ‘The Summer of Second Chances’.

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please will be published in e-book on the 17th July, with the paperback following in September. If this book tickles your fancy and you wish to pre-order it, you can do so via the link below:

Pre-order now!!

#CoverReveal! The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French (@KFrenchBooks) @AvonbooksUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

It’s Sunday….

It’s 7pm….

It’s….

COVER REVEAL TIIIIIMMMMEEEEEE!!!

There’s revealing a beautiful cover, and then there’s revealing a beautiful cover for one of your favourite authors; tonight’s reveal is the latter, I couldn’t BE more excited!!

The incredibly talented, Kat French, is back and she’s bringing a brand new book with her! Her upcoming novel, The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach, will be published in e-book on the 22nd June, and paperback will follow afterwards on the 13th July.

Are you ready for this cover?

Are you?

Kat French

A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?

Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.
When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B&B on a remote Greek island.
Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape
from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding
neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own
complications – not least how attractive he is…

Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…

Eeeeee!!!! Does that sound exciting, or does that sound exciting!! The countdown is definitely on where this baby is concerned! Roll on June!!

The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach is available to pre-order right now from:
Amazon UK

#Review! One Endless Summer by @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @HQStories

Laurie Ellingham

Three best friends.

Three continents.

Three months to live.

How long can you keep a secret?

Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.

Lizzie’s battle with cancer is coming to an end, and now she’s ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. There are only three months, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!

Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.

Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…

As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late…

What does TWG think?

I know I keep saying this, BUT, I am so glad that I tend to avoid reading the blurbs of novels before I read them. I have just read the blurb for Laurie Ellingham’s book; if I had read it before I started reading, I would have been a tad miffed as it gives a little too much away for my liking. I chose this book to read because of the three sentences on the front cover; ‘Three best friends. Three continents. Three months to live.’. Those words (and the beautiful cover itself), were enough to make me go and buy this book for myself. Why? Because Laurie Ellingham has written the type of book that needs to be left to do the talking, it needs to speak for itself. The magic needs to be read in the moment…and not before.

‘One Endless Summer’ pulled me in by my heart-strings nion straight away; there was absolutely nothing I could do to prepare myself for any eventuality within the storyline. Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha are three completely different women in terms of personalities and beliefs. One thinks with her heart, one thinks with her head and the other one leaves decisions to ‘fate’. I’m sure you can guess how problematic that would have been!

It didn’t take me long to focus on Lizzie’s story and everything else that went with it, including the camera man. Now, because my mind was focused on Lizzie’s hurdles, when another character was involved in a secretive situation, it completely caught me off guard. I had assumed that this storyline was going to centre around one circumstance in particular, so when the storyline spread its wings and took various different paths all at once, goosebumps covered my body from head to toe.

To be able to write a storyline containing several shocking situations involving most of the characters, as well as being able to maintain the high level of suspense and intensity, really does take a considerable amount of talent – Laurie Ellingham has done exactly that. Outstanding.

Throughout the entire novel it felt as though every time I turned the page, there was going to be even more shocking events, or rifts between characters, or something else utterly unexpected and bewildering. It most certainly kept my on my toes, but let’s just say that my emotions were becoming even more difficult to control.

As I said above, I assumed that this storyline was going to follow one path from start to finish, it didn’t; I am so, so glad that my assumption was incorrect as ‘One Endless Summer’ just kept on giving.

It’s incredibly difficult to write a vague review for a book that I adored, as all I want to do is go ‘OMG! Did you read the part where….’, and I can’t say anything along those lines.

All I can say really is that your own eyes need to read this mind-blowing, enchanting, heart-breaking, moving, spell-binding and emotional novel. I have never, EVER read a book like ‘One Endless Summer’; to be honest, I hope that I never read another book like it because it really is one of a kind. In my eyes, it’s going to take something completely flawless (of a similar genre) to be able to knock Laurie Ellingham’s book off my favourites list.

Words cannot describe how much I loved ‘One Endless Summer’, it really is THAT beautiful as well as thousands of other adjectives. Laurie Ellingham has blown my mind with this phenomenal storyline that’s for sure!

‘One Endless Summer’ is one of my MUST READ books of 2017 without a doubt. It’s also a book that will stay in my heart for a very, very long time.

Buy ‘One Endless Summer’ NOW!

#Review! Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot (@janelinfoot) @HarperImpulse

jane linfoot

The third book in the bestselling series, ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’.

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

What does TWG think?

Just to clarify, Summer at the Little Wedding Shop IS the third book in the series, however, the books can be read as a standalone and it isn’t a necessity to have read the previous books before you start this one. That said, you might find it easier to connect with the characters if you have already read the other books. Jane Linfoot does give reminders of the characters lives as the story unfolds, but it really would stop those ‘huh?!’ moments when various characters popped up (again).

Personally, Summer at the Little Wedding shop has got to be my one of my most favourite books from the series, with the previous novel Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, coming a close second.

Lily is stuck in a rut and has a huge, grey rain cloud camping above her head, just waiting to rain on her parade; especially seeing as Lily’s mother seems to enjoy leaving a bitter taste in her mouth by trying to be the Cornish version of, Cilla Black! To bide her time, Lily has been given the role of ‘wedding stylist’ in the wedding shop itself, a role where no Lily has gone before. Literally. All she would need is one larger than life (personality) bride who knows what she wants, to ease her into the role gently….right? Ha…ha…..

Once again, Jess manages to make me laugh out loud whilst covering my face with my hands. She is such an amazing character to read about, even if her ideas are extremely farfetched! Got to give her her due though, she manages to pull them all off, including giving Lily the new role!

I could just imagine the look on Lily’s face when she went to meet with the rivals in the storyline, seeing as there is a lot of history with the rival and his family. I’m sorry to say, but, I could not stand the bloke at first. His arrogance, pigheadedness and ability to not see further than his nose, REALLY got my back up! If it wasn’t for Lily’s vocal castration, I don’t think I would have put up with his character for much longer. Luckily though, Lily had her one liners down to a fine art which made me giggle. You know the sort I’m on about, ‘right place right time’ one liners. Genius.

I realised with the previous book that it wasn’t a good idea to read it on an empty stomach. Did I take my advice for this book? No, I did not. Poppy’s mouth-watering treats feature rather heavily throughout the entire book! The way Jane Linfoot had written about those sweet treats made it seem like the pages had turned into cakes…mmmmm. Seriously though, the descriptions of Poppy’s baking was beautifully executed, even down to the tastes. It’s safe to say that my stomach was rumbling and dribble may have, erm, landed on my kindle once or twice. #sorrynotsorry.

The pace of the storyline was excellent, nothing was rushed, nor were there any empty moments; Summer at the Little Wedding Shop kept me entertained from start to finish. There always seemed to be something to giggle at, a character to dream about, items to lust over, characters to get annoyed at (for me, the rival and one other person!), as well as multiple situations to think about. What more could you honestly want? Well, except real cake of course…

I was worried that certain characters and their personalities would end up taking centre stage, turning the novel into a serious, complex situation as opposed to the lighthearted and heart warming book we all know and love. Due to my concern above, I loved the storyline contained a couple of hidden messages yet it didn’t let those messages over power the rest of the storyline.

‘Summer at the Little Wedding Shop’ really is a beautiful, heartfelt and cosy read, which really needs to have its own space on your bookshelf (as well as the other two). Jane Linfoot’s beautiful writing is the star of the show; the entire novel was such a breath of fresh air and a lot of fun.

Highly recommended!

Thanks Jane/Harper Impulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour #Review – Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea by Liz Eeles @lizeelesauthor @Bookouture

Liz Eeles

When twenty-nine-year-old Annie Trebarwith receives an unexpected letter from a great-aunt she’s never known, she leaves her shoebox-sized flat in London and catches a train to the rugged Cornish coast.

Salt Bay is beautiful and Annie begins to kindle a bond with her great-aunt Alice. Even though there is zero phone signal and the locals – including the gorgeous but brooding Josh Pasco – can be decidedly grumpy at times, Annie starts to feel at home in Salt Bay.

Soon Annie’s love of music leads her to relaunch the Salt Bay Choral Society, and she’s surprised to see how just much the choir means to the community – and she even starts to break through Josh’s surly exterior…

But London is calling Annie back, and she has to make a decision. Give up her old life completely, or leave Salt Bay, her new-found family – and the choir – behind?

What does TWG think?

Happy publication day to Liz Eeles and Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea! I am truly honoured to be kicking off the blog tour with a review. Hope you enjoy!

How STUNNING is that cover by the way!!

Let me just get this bit out-of-the-way first; I may have groaned a little when I saw that the book was set in Cornwall. I know, I know, it’s madness! Recently there seems to have been a rise in the amount of books set in Cornwall (not that it’s not a beautiful place btw!), and I did happen to think ‘not another one’. Wait, wait, let me explain! A lot of the novels that I’ve read that were set in Cornwall, seemed to be a bit ‘samey’; I was uber excited about Liz Eeles’ novel and I really was hopeful that it would be different from the rest.

You want to know something?

It only took until the end of the first chapter for me to decide that, Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea, is my MOST FAVOURITE book set in Cornwall so far, without a doubt! This book had everything I could have hoped for in a book and more. The main character, Annie, was introduced to Cornwall in the most unique and comical way; lets just say that that woman has a lot of balls!

I was hooked on Annie’s personality from the very beginning as she didn’t seem to take herself too seriously, unlike a certain other character in the book (naming no names)! I thoroughly enjoyed finding out Annie’s family secrets, as well as seeing Cornwall from a completely new angle. Honestly? It was fun. Most of the characters (again, naming no names) stood out in their own individual ways; each of them bringing something special to the storyline. Don’t get me wrong, there was a character or two (cough) that managed to rile me up the wrong way good and proper. No, seriously, I think I actually swore out loud whilst I was reading it; I couldn’t get over how self-absorbed one character was! I could not stand them! I have a slight feeling that I’m not going to be the only one either haha.

The direction in which the storyline took was unexpected and I loved it. Not only did it surprise me multiple times, reading Liz Eeles’ novel gave me a sense of belonging due to Salt Bay’s unity. I loved the fact that I was able to see Annie come out of her shell as the story went on; and as stupid as this sounds, I felt quite proud of her.

Annie’s Lovely Choir by the Sea truly was an idyllic, beautifully written, heart-warming story that made my heart swell with joy. There was something incredibly special about Liz Eeles’ novel and I can’t seem to put my finger on what that is. Maybe it was the storylines aura, I don’t know. It just gave me that feel good feeling, as well as the belief that anything is possible if you just get up and do it.

A phenomenal, mesmerising novel which is full of family secrets, heart-warming moments and the power to dream.
Absolutely beautiful; I love everything about this book and Liz Eeles’ captivating writing. Brava…really, Brava….

Thank you so much Bookouture!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

 Liz began her writing career as a journalist for newspapers and magazines before moving into the health sector as a communications manager and press officer. The low point of her career was abandoning an interview with Cliff Richard after two questions because she was about to faint – her excuse is that she was newly pregnant at the time.

Liz is from Gloucestershire but now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and grown-up daughter. She spends a lot of time meaning to meditate, avoiding exercise, and missing her son who lives in London.

https://www.facebook.com/lizeelesauthor/

https://twitter.com/lizeelesauthor

The blog tour has only just begun! All the details of the hosts on this tour are below:

Annies-Lovely-Choir-Blog-Tour

#Review! Then. Now. Always by Isabelle Broom (@Isabelle_Broom) @MichaelJBooks

Isabelle Broom

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn’t be a more perfect setting to fall in love…

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For just once in her life, can’t Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

What does TWG think?

I need to start this review with a little apology! I was lucky enough to receive Isabelle Broom’s new book ahead of publication date, (I did read it then too) so I am ever so sorry that I am just getting round to reviewing the book on my blog now!

Having devoured and absolutely ADORED Isabelle Broom’s previous novel, ‘A Year and a Day’, my excitement for her latest book reached its maximum level ten times over. Yes, I was THAT excited. There is just something so majestic about picking up an Isabelle Broom novel, allowing yourself to surrender to the beautiful words which have the depth, and power to be able to take you on a journey where the only guarantee is its beauty.

In the little Spanish village of Mojocar, Hannah and her colleagues are busy filming a documentary. Well, unless Hannah’s definition of ‘filming’ equals ‘oggling’ the boss, then yes, she is oh so busy filming! It was made clear from the onset that Hannah had a special connection to Mojocar; to be able to re-visit village years later, brought a lot of memories to the surface. Luckily for Hannah, she was able to use her work trip to her advantage and delve deeper into Mojocar’s heritage, finding out exactly why her connection with the village ran as deep as it did.

It took me a little while to be able to really gel with this storyline, as I struggled to find that vital piece of information to sink my teeth into. The ‘connection’ if you will. At times there seemed to be a lot of information gathering, scenery descriptions, character discussions, and a lot of me wondering where all of the above was heading. To be honest, the description of Mojocar was what kept my attention for the first part of the book. I am ashamed to admit that I never even knew that village existed; I thoroughly enjoyed being able to find out more about such a beautiful sounding village.

When Hannah’s half-sister, Nancy, appeared on the scene, that was when the storyline changed direction. I remember rubbing my hands together thinking, ‘drama, drama, drama’!! Up until then, the only side of the story I had heard was Hannah’s. Let’s just say that her opinions of her half-sister were not exactly glowing! Seriously, I thought that I was going to be introduced to a demon (slightly over dramatic, but y’know, my point is there!). As more of the storyline began to unfold, I got to know more about Nancy; I didn’t think that she was as bad as Hannah had made out. However, certain situations began to unravel and Hannah & Nancy’s relationship became more black and white, as opposed to rainbow.

Overall, ‘Then. Now. Always.’ is such a carefree, beautiful, and unique tale which highlights the importance of being true to yourself. I loved ‘watching’ Hannah’s personality evolve throughout the course of the book; it was incredible to see her start off as a duckling and grow into a beautiful swan. Yes, there were times where I couldn’t relate to the book as much as I would have liked to, but it didn’t ruin the storyline for me. Isabelle Broom’s stories and her outstanding descriptions of different countries, has turned her into my unofficial tour guide. I have never been abroad before, yet after reading this novel (as well as her others), I felt as though I had travelled to Spain and seen the sights for myself. Honestly. Every rock face, every lingering smell of the Spanish food and the surroundings, just every little detail of the country and the characters were described absolutely beautifully. I am still in awe at how one author can make her words jump off the page and turn into an image in my mind.

Another beautiful, and mesmerising read from the incredibly talented, Isabelle Broom.

Thank you Michael Joseph Books/Penguin.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Guestpost from ‘First Time Mums’ Club’ author @lucie_wheeler @HarperImpulse

First Time Mums Club

Today I have the honour of closing Lucie Wheeler’s FIRST EVER blog tour! If you missed any of the blog posts on the previous days, all of the bloggers who have taken part are listed above. I’m not biased or anything as I am a blogger myself, BUT, what a fabulous bunch of bloggers on this tour!! Don’t you agree? The excitement on social for Lucie Wheeler’s debut novel has been outstanding, I am truly blessed to be part of a fantastic group of bloggers for a truly inspirational author.
Today I have a guest post from the lady herself, Lucie Wheeler, but if you did miss my review of her debut novel ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’, you can check it out here: #BookReview! The First Time Mums’ Club by Lucie Wheeler (@lucie_wheeler) @HarperImpulse

My ideal writing environment.
by Lucie Wheeler

There are people who can write anywhere, and there are people who can only write in certain places. I think I fall in between. Generally, as a rule, I write in my office upstairs, which is the box room. I have my desk in there which I bought from Ikea, a steal at £40, a cube unit (also from Ikea) which stores anything and everything and a few filing cabinets for all the boring stuff. It is a room which I really wish I could spend some money on and jazz it up into a fantastic little writing room full of inspiring quotes and beautiful furniture… but that will have to wait. Right now, it serves its purpose and that’s what is important. So I generally do my writing in there. 

However, I also have my laptop which I can take with me anywhere I go and I can still write. Sometimes this is just downstairs on the sofa so that I can spend time with my family alongside writing or catching up with work emails. And sometimes this will be in my car, in the car park at gymnastics, whilst I wait for LO. I do occasionally venture into the garden too – but I get frustrated with the glare from the sun so it doesn’t happen often. 

So what do I need from a writing space? Whether I am in my office at home, or in the car, I need relative silence to function. I am not a writer who can listen to music and write. Sometimes I use music to get a ‘feel’ for a scene or try to encourage an emotion out of me so that I can write about it, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of writing a story, I like it to be quiet. I like to let the story talk to me and run away with my imagination. Saying this, I can work with a little background noise. The TV is on at the moment and I can concentrate fine (unless something like The Great British Bake Off or The Apprentice is on!) I can also write in the library when I am at uni (because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time so sometimes my writing has to happen whilst at university) and the library isn’t silent. But… I can’t concentrate in a place like a coffee shop. I think because the talking there is closer to me and more in my personal space, whereas in the university library, it is a large space and the chatter tends to be a dull hum rather than an interesting conversation that I want to earwig in on – and let’s face it, we authors love an earwig on a conversation. It’s where half our material is inspired from! 

And I am definitely a straight-to-computer type of writer. I can’t do longhand. Whilst this is fine for notes, I simply cannot write fast enough. I like the speed of typing as the idea unfolds in my head and my hand doesn’t write fast enough. And when I try to do it, the words become illegible and it’s a waste of time. So for me, typing is the way forward. 

So there you have it. As long as I have a computer and fairly quiet surroundings, I can write pretty much anywhere. Although if we are talking about an absolute ideal writing environment – I wouldn’t say no to a balcony in a tropical climate with a cocktail and the sea to look at… who wants to take me?

Haha I don’t think many people will be disagreeing with Lucie on her dream writing location, would we? I certainly wouldn’t! It’s fun to see what an authors life is like BEHIND the book. Big thanks to Lucie Wheeler!

If you still haven’t been able to get your paws on a copy of ‘The First Time Mums’ Club’ yet, here are all the details of the book and the ‘to buy’ link:

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Meet Pippa…

After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted…if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement.

Imogen…

A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news.

And Ellie…

A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over- forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby…and potentially the love of her life!

For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

Buy now from Amazon UK!

#Guestpost Marcia Spillers @mysterwriter2 (Murder at the Mystery Bay Hotel) @brookcottagebks

Murder at the Mystery Bay Hotel Tour Banner(1)

Murder_At_The_Myster_Cover_for_Kindle

Can Delphie Beauchamp, a Texas born research librarian fresh from a break-up with her two-timing boyfriend, help best friend and newly elected Chief of Police Em Landry, solve a double homicide in the old Mystery Bay Cemetery? Chief Landry needs Delphie’s help in solving the murders, along with determining why specific graves from the early eighteen-hundreds have been vandalized. Her canine best friend in tow, a twenty-two-pound dachshund named Huckleberry, Delphie heads for the tropical island of Mystery Bay, Florida where she begins a journey that includes a pinch of gold, a touch or romance, and a wallop of ghosts, in a race to solve the mystery, of the Mystery Bay Hotel.

EXCERPT

The smell of the ocean, crisp and briny like a jar of pickles, held just a hint of murder in the air. I picked up my luggage from the small carousel inside the terminal and opened the glass door of the Mystery Bay International Airport. The sultry, mid-October sunshine hit me all at once, along with the sweet fragrance of the red, frangipani trees that bordered the edges of the sidewalk. Amazing how paradise was just a plane ride away.

“God, what a beautiful day.” I dropped my suitcase on the pink-hued coral sidewalk and pulled out my sunglasses. Before I could slip them on, Huckleberry, my twenty-two pound, red Dachshund whined for me to take off his winter sweater. Poor little guy. The outfit worked great for the chilly October weather in central Texas but not the south Florida humidity.

“Sorry, Huck.” I unhooked his leash and pulled off the sweater. Stretching out his long body, Huckleberry trotted over to the nearest hibiscus bush and hunched over.  Seconds later he sighed in relief.  

I coughed and fanned the air. Guess he wasn’t that hot in his sweater after all.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Guest post from the author.

Craft vs. Creative Talent

Craft or creative talent was a burning question that was asked in many of the creative writing classes I attended when I first began to write. The instructor would begin the class by asking if a person could learn the craft of writing well enough to write a great book, or was creative talent the main factor in getting a book on a best sellers list regardless of how well the book was written?

For clarification, let’s get a few definitions going, so we’ll have a better idea of the two before we make a choice. Merriam-Webster defines the word “craft” as “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.”
The word “talent,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a special ability that allows someone to do something well.”

Something to ponder, correct?  If you had to choose between the two, which one would you pick? One of the best classes I’ve taken for learning the craft of creative writing began with a simple exercise.  The exercise?  Write down twenty things that must happen in the book.  Simple, right?  But wait.  There was a problem. How do you know what twenty things to choose for your book?  Is that a function of craft or creative talent?

Once you decide on the twenty things, then the trick is to arrange them into a well-written, attention-grabbing, heart-pounding novel that involves sub-plots, character arcs, scene arcs, dialogue that rings true and forever changes the reader.

Again, craft or creative talent?

One of the arguments I’ve heard in favor of creative talent, is that a spectacular story can override a book that might not be quite as well written as it should.  The reader may have to struggle over improper grammar or sentence structure, weak plot or character development, but if they can do that, a page-turner could reside within that manuscript. Of course, one can also argue that a well written book may be so well done that it leeches any creativity out of the story line and leaves the reader dissatisfied without knowing why. I find each of these arguments to be true, although both leave something to be desired.  

When a reader decides to pick up our book, or download our e-book, we, as writers, are asking them to suspend their reality for a time and come into our world.  They are trusting us to provide them with an experience that makes it worth their time, and money.  When we don’t live up to their expectations, then we fall short as writers and leave them feeling disappointed and disjointed.  It’s not a good feeling, and something I don’t care to experience myself.

So, what is the answer?  For me, it’s caring enough about your work as a writer to provide the best experience possible for your reader.  It’s making sure you learn the craft of writing to turn your creative talent into an impossible to put down novel.  It’s taking the time to do the job right, without any shortcuts.  In other words, it’s combing the two, craft and creative talent, as well as you possibly can, so your reader will be left with an experience that will last them a life-time.

About the author.

Marcia Spillers has been a Librarian/Archivist for more than twenty years.  Currently a school librarian, she lives in Austin, Texas with her two chows, Bella and Susie Bear.  Marcia spent seventeen years in south Florida perfecting her writing skills, along with completing the Writer’s Program at UCLA.

Blog:  http://www.marciaspillers.com/blog/

Website:  www.MarciaSpillers.com

@mysterywriter2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcia.spillers.7

 

#BlogTour! #Review of Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer by Sue Watson (@suewatsonwriter) @Bookouture

Ellas-Ice-Cream-Summer-Kindle

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.

Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is a heart-warming and hilarious romance that will scoop you off your feet and prove it’s never too late for a fresh start. The ideal holiday read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

What does TWG think?

Eeeee!! Over the moon to be one of the stops today on Sue Watson’s blog tour for her brand new book, Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer! Love, love, LOVE HER! Hope you enjoy my review!

As soon as I find out that Sue Watson is due to release a brand new book, I begin to feel the excitement (quite similar to Christmas Day as a child) start stirring, deep within. Now, of course, if I have to wait a few weeks for a Sue Watson book and I know that it’s on its way, well, I do become rather impatient. Reading a Sue Watson book is quite similar to the feeling of getting into a freshly made bed; the calmness, comfort and soothing touch, feeling all of your worries disappear from your mind for the duration of the book (or, as soon as you snuggle into your brand new duvet). Bliss, right?

Almost every single time that I finish one of her novels, I always wonder how on Earth she will top that particular book with her next one. But you know what? She does! Sue ALWAYS manages to up the ante on her own storylines.

Take Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer for example; a deliciously enticing front cover don’t you think? A cover that is bound to bring back childhood memories of visits to the beach, 99’s and the good ol’ marmite opinion flavour; Neapolitan. I’m sure you’re probably nodding your head in agreement right now, because it IS true. Now, the thing about Ella and her Ice-Cream Summer, well, the storyline goes wayyyyy beyond the calm childhood memories and it delves a lot further than I could have anticipated. I too, thought that this book was going to be a tutti-frutti style storyline; colourful, sweet and completely one of a kind, based on the cover. But, this storyline isn’t just tutti-frutti. No. There were moments where the storyline had the depth of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream, the intensity of Karamel Sutra ice-cream, the vulnerability of raspberry ripple ice-cream and the uniqueness of a tiramisu ice-cream, topped with coffee sauce and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

In a nutshell, Sue Watson’s novel contains everything you could ever dream of. Ella is stuck in a rut; her children are growing up and becoming less dependent, her living situation isn’t the most reliable, and a four-legged friend struggles to decide on a tutu or pjs for a lounge day. If Ella wanted a bit of excitement in her life, excitement is what she shall get (and no, I don’t mean that she bought an ice-cream with two flakes instead of one. Although….). Every family comes with their own collection of skeletons in closets, however, Ella had absolutely no idea about the amount of skeletons there were in her own family’s collection.

Road trip to Devon anyone?


Ella’s Ice-cream Summer tickled my taste buds from start to finish. I had only reached 5% completion on the Kindle when I had to put the book down to attractively snort in hysterics at the words in front of me. 5% was all it took to make that happen, imagine what the rest of the book must have been like! Oh, wait, I don’t need to imagine as I have read it, nerney ner ner! How mature of me…

I absolutely ADORED this book. The characters were incredibly written, full of surprises and incredibly memorable (Ben.cough.Ben), the overall theme of the novel uncovered itself really nicely throughout without rushing to a conclusion, and the hilarity really did continue until the very end of the book. Sublime.

When it comes to a Sue Watson novel, I usually feel sad that the story is coming to an end and I would have to wait a while for my fix; that was not the case this time (there’s another book in the series, but shhhhh). Don’t get me wrong, I felt like I was leaving my long-lost friends behind as they were amazing to get to know; their journey really was such an enticing read. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, without a doubt.

Sue Watson has written yet another hilarious, heart-warming and utterly inviting read, full to the brim of surprises, delightful treats and one of a kind characters. Whilst I adore everything that this author writes, Ella’s Ice-cream Summer has got to be my most favourite book of Sue Watson’s, ever. I really have no idea how she does it, but she does. Every.Single.Time.

I cannot recommend this book enough! You will be a tool not to go and buy a copy of it; surrender yourself to Sue Watson’s beautiful and comforting words, with this addictive and memorable storyline. Absolutely divine (as always)!

Thanks Bookouture!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author
 

Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.

After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write.  After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes Sue signed with Bookouture.
 
 

#EarlyReview of The Last Piece of My Heart – @PaigeToonAuthor @SimonSchusterUK @JessBarratt88

Paige Toon

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture… Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition.

Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie

What does TWG think?

I was lucky enough to have been given a copy of Paige Toon’s new book, long before publication date. The only downside to that was how I ended up having multiple arguments with myself about it. They went something like this;

Me: AHHHHH read it already!!
Me: Nooo, I can’t read it yet, I need to savour it for as long as possible!
Me: But you need to read it!!
Me: Savour it!! It’s PAIGE TOON FOR GOODNESS SAKE
Me: READ IT BECAUSE IT IS PAIGE TOON!!!
Me: But then if I read it, I’ll end up finishing it!
Me: Well yes, that’s the whole point!

Soooooo, much to the annoyance of…me, I read it. Now, I say annoyance like I didn’t want to read it, when I would have done anything TO read this book. As you saw by the argument with myself (above), I just didn’t want to read it and then end up being disappointed because it had finished, meaning I would need to wait for another book (which I’m going to have to do anyway!!).
Right, if you’re a bookworm, you’ll understand what I’m trying to get at here, right? I hope so!

Anyway, I did attempt to savour this book, so much so that I ended up reading 60 odd percent in one day. Yeah, totally savouring it! Even if I wanted to, I could not have put it down. Whilst I struggled to gel with Bridget at first, I automatically clicked with the general feel of the storyline, and I couldn’t put my finger on why that was exactly. It just felt…magic. Does that make sense?

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ really came into its own, in my opinion, when the setting changed to Cornwall. It felt like the entire feel of the storyline, as well as the strength of the characters and their emotions, became settled and I was able to really get comfortable with the book. It was also at that moment when my emotions began to get the better of me.

Why?

Because, one of the characters in particular grabbed a hold of my heart and wouldn’t let go. It sounds pretty daft now when I think about how emotional that one character made me, but I’m just being honest. I’m trying to be extremely vague and not say too much here as I guess it could be seen as an interlinked spoiler, BUT, the character I’m referring to was by far my favourite character in the book. Such a beautiful, beautiful character.
(If you read the book when it comes out, you’ll no doubt see who I’m on about!)

Charlie and Bridget’s relationship truly was a breath of fresh air. Their banter was on point and the way their personalities complimented each other, really did make for excellent reading. Paige Toon certainly knows how to create such loveable, memorable  characters that reel you into the heart of the storyline like long-lost friends.

I have been a HUGE fan of Toon’s work for many, many years and I have to say that ‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ is definitely her best book to date, and one of my most favourite books of all time. She just has that skill of making a storyline come to life as though you’re living in the pages with the characters; a comforting author I would say. Whilst this novel delved deeper into some rather emotional and raw topics, it also made me laugh out loud and end up with sore cheeks from smiling so much.

Toon’s brand new novel, in my eyes, is flawless. From the moment I began reading, until the moment the book unfortunately came to an end, I was addicted to Bridget, Charlie and Nicole’s life. I would say that Paige Toon had me at hello, but the book didn’t start like that! You catch my drift though I’m sure..

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ is yet another of Paige’s books which I could sit and talk about for an age, but I can’t. I am absolutely devastated that the book had to come to an end, I didn’t want it to! I wanted to keep on reading and stay in the safe haven of Toon’s delightful and exhilarating words.

An addictive, heart warming, thought-provoking, and beautiful read from the incredibly talented, Paige Toon. The Last Piece of My Heart is an outstanding tale of love, loss and having the strength to make the most out of your life, no matter what the circumstances are.

Paige Toon and her brand new novel now have a piece of my heart, and you know what? I don’t want it back either because I will remember this phenomenal book for a very long time.

P.S. Welcome to my list of top books ever, Paige. This novel flew on there. Amazing, truly amazing.

Thank you S&S!

‘The Last Piece of My Heart’ by Paige Toon, will be published by Simon and Shuster on the 18th May 2017. You can ensure your copy is secure by preordering it via the links below (you’ll be mad not to, honestly):

Pre-order now from Amazon UK
Pre-order now from Amazon US