#BlogTour! #Review of ‘Be My Baby’ by @ALMichael_ @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT #giveaway

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Blurb.

Two’s company…

If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.

Three’s a crowd?

But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?

What does TWG think?

BE MY, BE MY, BE MY LITTLE BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
YAY! Finaaalllllyyyyy able to review this BEAUTY! It does feel a little bittersweet though. I mean, all three books are fabulous…but…’Be My Baby’ is the third and FINAL book in the House On Camden Square series! I cannot believe we are here already, it feels like yesterday when the series started with ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’. I’ll be very sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful bunch of characters. My fingers are crossed that A.L.Michael gives in to my persistent nature and writes more! Here’s hoping!

‘Be My Baby’ focuses on Mollie and Esme’s relationship, as well as their everyday lives. Mollie has met her match in daughter Esme and she finds herself wondering what life would have been like if Esme’s father was in the picture, or if she had found love after Esme was born. Seeing as Mollie is a single mum and her daughter’s school life is about to be turned upside town, Mollie starts questioning how well she is actually coping…that is, until someone waltzes into her life; again.

As a single mummabear myself, I was able to relate to the storyline rather easily, and incredibly quickly. Well, I have a three year old instead of an eleven year old, but the concept is similar! It’s very clear that Mollie just wants to do right by her daughter, but no matter what she does, it never seems to be the right thing as someone will always be a bit miffed by her choices.
Personally, I felt as though the storyline attempted to rid single mums from the stigma that seems to surround them, especially when people assume it’s a chosen path. Sometimes it isn’t. A.L.Michael has taken such a complex situation and has written about it with such ease, determination and power. For that, I thank her.

In the previous books, Esme’s personality was on point even then, but oh my goodness!! This book in particular showcases her intelligence and sharp wit, I spent most of the book thinking ‘why didn’t I say that?!’. Absolutely brilliant, she has been such a consistent character and a wonderful one to watch grow up from a small witty person, to a witty person that will give adults a run for their money.

The last third of the book was a little bit tricky for me to read. Nothing against the A.L.Michael’s writing, but I found myself deeply involved with the situation and found it difficult to remove my own feelings from that. Jamie got on my nerves swooping in and acting like he had been there all along. Part of me did wish Mollie had a little more fire in her belly to take charge and stick to her guns. But, like I said, that is just my opinion and it is nothing against the writing or book. It does contain a topic that will get people talking so I am sure A.L.Michael knew that beforehand!

‘Be My Baby’ has got to be my absolute favourite book of all three due to its huggable, cosy feel and relatable circumstances. The humour throughout the book, as always, was on point and then some! My belly hurt from laughing so hard afterwards. Such an inspirational read full of gusto, beautiful relationships and a lot of love.
A.L.Michael has completely outdone herself with ‘Be My Baby’. Another stunning book from a very talented author. I cannot WAIT to see what comes next from A.L.Michael and her magical writing fingertips!

Thank you A.L.Michael & HQDigitalUK!

Buy ‘Be My Baby’ from Amazon UK.

Fancy being in with a chance of winning a goody bag which is inspired by one of the characters in the book? Of course you do! The giveaway will close on the 12th December and is UK ONLY! To be in with a chance all you need to do is:
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Good luck!

About A.L. Michael

A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative
Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.
She’s a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she’ll settle for lying on the page.

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

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#HouseOnCamdenSquare girls celebrates Halloween with an exclusive short story by @ALMichael_!

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BOO!!!!!!!!!
Did I make you jump?
No? Damn it.

The fang-tastic A.L.Michael has ventured into the Haunted House this Halloween; but, luckily for us, she has come out with more than cobwebs on her! Especially for us here at TWG, the ghoulish ladies from the #HouseOnCamdenSquare series (Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, Nice Day For A White Wedding & Be My Baby) have gotten into the Halloween spirit and author A.L.Michael has written all down in a short story. Hold onto your fancy dress costumes ladies and gentlemen because things are about to get….SPPPPPOOOOOOKKKKKKYYYYYYYY!

Halloween on Camden Square written for TWG
Copyright A.L.Michael (2016)

 

‘Babe, I’m getting old here,’ Chelsea rolled her eyes, adjusting her short white skirt.
Mollie looked at herself in the mirror, her long blonde curls tied back into two pigtails, a basket with a stuffed ‘Toto’ sitting at her feet. ‘Bet she’s been ready for ten minutes, she just wants to make an entrance.’
‘Hey! I heard that!’ Ruby called through the bathroom door, ‘Perfection takes time!’
‘The party will be over by the time we get there!’ Evie sighed, adding to her eyeliner.
‘You know, dressing up like a goth on Halloween when you already are one is really lacking in imagination,’ Chelsea said, sticking out her tongue.
‘And dressing up as a slutty nurse is….?’
‘In the spirit of the season, obviously.’Mollie laughed at the two of them, shaking her head. ‘Ruby, you might want to come out before the witch and the nurse get into it.’
‘Okay, prepare yourselves girls…’
Ruby threw the door open and posed, her red curls hidden under slick black dye, the wedding dress she wore covered in fake blood spatter, ripped and cut to show off her legs. Her eyes were red, and her throat looked slashed.
‘So, perfect right?’ She winked, disarming in the face of her costume.
‘Grotesque and wonderful,’ Mollie agreed, putting some delicate freckles on her skin.
‘So can we go and get bloody well pissed now?’

*** 

‘What is it with you and pirates?’ Mollie laughed as Killian walked in, plastic parrot sitting on his shoulder. She was stringing up pumpkin style halloween lanterns.
‘I should have lived at sea, argh,’ he made a face, flicking up his eye patch. ‘And what the bloody hell are you meant to be? A creature from the deep?’
Mollie look down from the ladder at her green top and leggings. ‘Oh, right.’ She reached over for her hat, green spikes coming from the top of her head. ‘I’m the scariest of all vegetables…I’m broccoli!’ She held out her hands in front of her, ‘Zombie broccoli! Made in a….laaaaaab!’
‘You wanna put a “please buy organic” sign on your back, just to get your point across?’ Evie laughed as she walked into the studio.

Killian and Mollie laughed as she walked up. Evie was wearing a smart two piece fitted suit, a white shirt, high heels and a pair of square framed glasses. Her huge wild curls were slicked back into a overly neat bun.
‘What the hell are you meant to be?’
‘Corporate consumer bollocks,’ Evie shrugged, grabbing a handful of popcorn from the side, ‘Duh.’
‘So the most scary thing you can think of on Halloween is working a normal job in an office?’
‘It’s like you don’t even know me,’ Evie laughed and kissed Killian. ‘How are we getting along ahead of the party?’
‘All systems go!’ Mollie nodded, ‘Ez is out with Jamie, finalising her excellent costume, apparently. When’s Chels getting here?’
‘She has stopped to buy booze,’ Evie said, ‘I said if she brought something posh, I was chucking her out.’
‘You think she’s still going to do a Chelsea special?’ Mollie grinned.
‘What’s that?’ Killian asked.
‘Chelsea always really enjoyed the part of Halloween where you could show off as much skin as possible, and no one could say shit about it,’ Evie said.
‘That’s hard to imagine.’
Evie laughed, ‘you don’t have to imagine, I have ALL the pictures from our teen halloweens, and I’ve had them blown up and placed around the studio!’

Chelsea arrived not long after, bursting through the door, holding up a box of blue WKDs. The others stood there in silence. It wasn’t every day a woman dressed in a unicorn onesie, complete with sparkly horn, burst into the room, holding bright blue booze and yelled, ‘It’s party time bitches!’

***

‘It’s party time bitches!’ Chelsea howled as they entered the party, hobbling along in her heels.
‘Aren’t you getting frostbite on your arse?’ Evie rolled her eyes, nudging her friend.
‘Drink more, keeps you warm,’ Chelsea replied, opening the door.
And once again, the most exciting party in Badgeley was a bunch of losers sitting on the floor in Nigel’s empty house. They looked up in shock, as if they’d never seen women before.
‘Is this not…the party?’ Mollie sighed, wincing with the embarrassment of it.
The poor boys’ eyes almost bulged out of their heads, and like zombies, they stumbled to their feet.
‘It is, it is the party!’ one said.
‘Stay, we’ve got beer!’

Nigel rolled his eyes and nudged Evie, ‘Everyone’s late – some of the Henley boys were setting off fireworks on the estate, and everyone went to watch when they got arrested. They’ll be here. Drink?’
Evie snorted and followed him through to the kitchen.
‘You don’t have to stay, I know it’s Night of the Living Geeks in here,’ Nigel grinned, handing her a beer.
‘Were you playing dungeons and dragons?’ She stuck out her tongue.
‘No, we were telling ghost stories.’
They went back into the living room, where the girls had since collapsed onto the floor, sitting in a circle. Ruby was lighting candles around them, and talking in a creepy voice.
‘We’re going to do a seance!’

Chelsea rolled her eyes and huffed. ‘One more thing the magical Ruby Montgomery can do! Hey, feel free to ask my nana where she hid that necklace she meant to give me.’
Ruby closed her eyes, rocked side to side, holding a finger to her temple, ‘Your mum sold it before she died.’
Chelsea shrugged, ‘Sounds about right.’
‘What is this bollocks, Rubes? Seriously.’
‘We used to do it in my foster home all the time,’ she shrugged, one shoulder jauntily raising as she grinned, fake blood running down her pale arms. ‘I’m gifted.’
A chill ran through the room, and the candles flickered.
‘See? The dead are on my side,’ Ruby whispered, grinning. 

*** 

‘My god, look at that one! Do you remember that year?’ Chelsea pointed at the picture, her with a blue tongue, tiny white nurse’s outfit askew.
‘The year of the dud party!’ Evie grinned, ‘poor Nigel and his D and D mates.’
‘Come on, some of them saw more of a woman that night with your outfit than they would for the next five years.’
‘Yes, okay, I was working through some stuff,’ Chelsea laughed, ‘And to be fair, I will never have a flat stomach like that ever again.’
‘Is that why….the full body fluffy suit? Or are you hiding a future baby unicorn in there?’ Evie wiggled her eyebrows.
‘Nice, Eves. Great way to ask if I’m pregnant. And no,’ Chelsea made a face, ‘It’s just really comfy and I’m done with having to make an effort this year!’

‘Anyway, I thought that halloween was nice!’ Mollie interjected, smiling at the photo, ‘that was the last one before Ruby left.’
‘And she freaked us out with her ghost stories and fake seance!’ Evie added, then paused, grinning. ‘I have an idea.’
‘What idea?’ A little voice came from across the room, where Esme was dressed as a giant felt pumpkin. When Mollie looked at her, she saw the long sleeves actually looked like hammers.
‘What’s that?’
Esme grinned, and banged on her costume with the palms of her hands.
‘I’m the smashing pumpkins!’ She waited, grinning, ‘They’re a band!’
‘Yes,’ Killian raised an eyebrow, ‘we know they’re a band…how do you know they’re a band?’
‘I’m an old soul,’ the little girl said simply, grinning up at her father. ‘Do you like Dad’s one? Evelyn helped us make them. He’s a rocky.’
‘Just Rocky, baby,’ Mollie grinned at how uncomfortable Jamie looked, wearing his shiny red silk boxing shorts, a plastic champions belt around his waist, and red gloves. And not much else.

‘Think we could turn the heating up?’ He said awkwardly, ‘I tried to put a towel around my neck, but apparently that spoiled the illusion.’ He looked at Esme. ‘Not that madam knows who Rocky is.’
‘He’s a man who gets beaten up a lot and wins stuff. Like you,’ Esme nodded seriously, ‘Now, what’s the idea?’
‘It’s a spooky test!’ Evie said, ‘A homage to Ruby.’
‘Don’t you think there’s enough homages to Ruby?’ Mollie sighed, ‘I mean, I love her, but if I have to see one more little girl dressed up as the undead version of our dead friend, I might scream.’
‘An honouring, then. You remember what she said?’ Evie smiled, lighting tealights around the room, and turning off the lights. They stood in silence for a moment, watching each other by flickering candlelight, unsure what would come next.
‘The dead are on her side, remember?’ Evie grinned, ‘Ruby? Babe, you always loved a big entrance, right? Wanna impress us from the other side?’
They waited for the briefest second, until a breeze picked up, and every single candle in the room went out.
Mollie screamed, Chelsea gasped, and by the time Jamie had hit the lights, Esme was grinning. ‘Awesome!’
The adults stood around, shaken.
‘I’d only been messing around…’ Evie whispered, looking paler than ever.

‘Guys,’ Chelsea walked across to the box of booze she’d dropped when she first arrived, ‘the tops have been taken off everyone of these WKDs…and one’s missing.’
She turned and grinned at them, ‘Bloody hell.’
‘Here’s to Ruby, the classiest ghost around,’ Evie laughed, holding up one of the bottles so they could cheers, the glass clinking so that it sounded, ever so faintly, like laughter.

hwn

How fantastic was that! Thank you to the lovely A.L.Michael for writing the short story especially for my blog! Truly honoured. Unfortunately folks, you won’t be able to get your hands on that as it isn’t a book -growls-. Fear not though, A.L.Michael will be bringing the third and final #HouseOnCamdenSquare instalment to a Kindle near you, on the 7th November. I will just have to keep pestering her for more tales from Camden Square!

Blog Tour. ‘Nice Day For A White Wedding’ by A.L.Michael (@ALMichael_) @UKCarina @NeverlandBT

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Absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for A.L.Michael’s ‘Nice Day For A White Wedding’. It is the second book in the Camden Square series, but it can be read as a standalone. In my opinion though, the first book is a brilliant read so you will definitely be missing out if you haven’t already read it! You can find my review for it right here: Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, ‘Nice Day For A White Wedding’ appeared on my blog, well, Chelsea, a character from the series did. If you fancy dabbling in a bit of wedding planning that will take you the same amount of time as eating a cake, you can: TWG kicks off ‘Nice day for a white wedding’ (@ALMichael_) #blogtour! What would YOU choose? @UKCarina.

Back to today’s blog post, as it is TWG’s stop on the tour, courtesy of NeverlandBT, I am sharing my review of the book!

ndBlurb.

Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…

Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.

These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancé. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?

What does TWG think?

This is one series of books that I have been extremely excited about, unfortunately though, the author has had me pestering her wondering when I would be able to read more! It is also bittersweet as the next book is the last one in the series, sniff sniff. That said, what better way to turn your frown upside down, than with a wedding. Right? As Billy Idol says ‘it’s a nice day, for a white wedding’!

In this book we follow Chelsea’s life whilst running into a few familiar names too. Those who know Chelsea well, know that she has a past, one that she thought she had broken away from as she grew up. It doesn’t quite work like that though, especially when there is a possibility of a wedding!

What did I like about this book? Seeing as it was yet another drama filled novel with bolshy characters and gritty storylines, what is there NOT to like? There was always something to sink your teeth into, regardless of what page you looked on. If the gritty storyline didn’t keep you hooked, a lot of the characters decided to show a different side to them, very interesting to say the least!

A.L.Michael’s trademark humour ran throughout the book like cookie monster down the biscuit aisle; very quickly and everywhere! I definitely had the giggles more than once while I was reading the book, the humour was just so matter of fact, I couldn’t help but laugh!

Despite the very humorous edge to the book, I did feel as though there was a hidden message. No doubt a lot of us are ashamed of our pasts, but I am quite sure that once you have read this book, you might think of it a different way!

Another brilliant book from A.L.Michael, whilst I don’t want the series to end, I am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

‘Nice Day For A White Wedding’ by A.L.Michael, published by Carina, is out to buy right now from Amazon UK.

If you fancy entering a little giveaway, courtesy of A.L.Michael, now is your chance!
Enter the giveaway!

About the author.

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of ‘Wine Dark, Sea Blue’, ‘The Last Word’, ‘My So Called (Love) Life’, ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, and ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, based upon her experiences as a London barista. Her new three book series, The House on Camden Square, starts with ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ and focuses on three friends as they try to open an arts centre in Camden, in memory of their rock star friend.

She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and likes running writing workshops that link together the body and the mind. When she’s not writing, she likes yoga, trying to bake healthy treats and was a hipster before hipsters were hipster. Well, she likes Chai lattes and owns a Mac.

Author Links.

 

Website: www.almichael.com

Twitter: twitter.com/almichael_

Facebook: facebook.com/a.l.michael.writer

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/almichaelwriter/

 

TWG kicks off ‘Nice day for a white wedding’ (@ALMichael_) #blogtour! What would YOU choose? @UKCarina

I am truly honoured to be kicking off A.L.Michael’s blog tour for her latest release ‘Nice day for a white wedding’! Everyone loves a good wedding, and seeing as TWG is kicking off the tour, I had to really think outside of the box!

TWG + The Wedding Singer + Billy Idol = Nice day for a white wedding!

Today joining me on the blog is the main character from ‘Nice day for a white wedding’; Chelsea. This book is the second in the House on Camden Square series, following ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’. 
 I have given Chelsea a task, a very interesting one if I do say so myself! Feel free to play along and let me know in the comments which YOU would choose.

Let’s get this show on the road!

Welcome to TWG Chelsea! I hope you’re ready for this as we’re going to have a bit of fun (I hope!).

TWG: Have you have thought about your own wedding Chelsea? 
Chelsea: Hiya! Yes, well, weddings have been in the air recently, and whilst I’d never really thought about mine before, I guess now is the time! I have a feeling it’s going to be hard though.

TWG: Well, today on TWG you’re going to choose what YOU would like for your wedding if money was no issue. What I would like you to do is to pick just ONE choice from each heading. All headings have three options, except for the wedding dress which has four (most important thing, obviously).

Chelsea, are you ready to ‘say YES to the dress’, with the possibility of meeting the ‘wedding singer’?

Choose ONE wedding ring.

rings
Option 1: Stand out like Ruby Tuesday?
Option 2: Pretty in pink like Esme?
Option 3: Bold like Evie?

Chelsea: I love the first one. It’s classic, elegant, but completely huge and a little edgy. Lots of drama!

Choose ONE wedding theme.

theme
Option 1: Vintage and demure
Option 2: Winter wonderland
Option 3: Christmas theme.

Chelsea: I never had great Christmas experiences growing up, we didn’t have the tree and the turkey and the hundreds of presents. I hadn’t thought about it until now, but it would be so great to be able to correct that! To make Christmas something special for both me and Kit.

Choose ONE wedding venue.

venue
Option 1: A castle fit for a Princess.
Option 2: Shake your tail feather in a barn.
Option 3: Get acquainted with nature.

Chelsea: I am definitely no princess! Mama always said I was born in a barn, and I”m afraid I’m not the outdoorsy type. Some dancing and drinking in a barn sounds about right.

Choose ONE wedding entertainment.

singers
Option 1: THE wedding singer (do I even need to continue?)
Option 2: Boogie nights with a disco.
Option 3: Have you ‘White Wedding’ with Billy Idol.

Chelsea: My old bad girl ways would probably love some Billy Idol, but how can you choose anyone but the wedding singer! Plus, Kit loves cheesy music, more than he’d like to admit!

Choose ONE wedding cake (yes, sorry, just one).

cake
Option 1: As white as dulux…
Option 2: Classy zebra cake
Option 3: Fruity and FABULOUS

Chelsea: Cake 2! Drama! So much drama! Love it, love it!

Choose ONE bridesmaid dress.

bridesmaid
Option 1: Strapless, mid-length dress with flower embellishment and a ribbon belt.
Option 2: A strapless, full length gown with multi layers at the bottom and floral design. Option 3: Halter neck, full length chiffon gown with a bling belt.

Chelsea: I mean, I can’t see Evie getting into a bridesmaids dress either way, unless it’s got ripped bits and safety pins on it, but if she can be classy for a day, number three is definitely it for Evie and Molls!

Choose ONE bouquet.

flowers
Option 1: Subtle yet classy
Option 2: Beautiful in blue
Option 3: The Ruby Tuesday bouquet.

Chelsea: It would be so great to honour Ruby in the flowers, add a little colour and sparkle to everything. Like I’ve said, drama drama!

Choose ONE wedding shoe (yes, ONE, sorry!!)

shoes
Option 1: Sexy!
Option 2: ‘Runaway Bride’?
Option 3: Statement!

Chelsea: I’m slightly more traditional with shoes – the higher the heel, the better to stamp down the aisle with! Sparkle, lace and skyscraper heels – check, shoe 3.

Okay Chelsea. It’s now time for the BIG one; THE wedding dress. You ready?

wedding dress
Option 1: Lace, full length dress with capped sleeves.
Option 2: It’s a Pnina Tornai…need I say more?
Option 3: I think Ruby is trying to tell you something…!
Option 4: This dress is inspired by Cinderella (I’m being serious).

Chelsea: I know I said I’m no princess, but, well, it’s one day, right? Some ruffles and a happy ending, that’s all I’m after. (TWG: Chelsea, you SHALL the ball ;). Good choice with number 4!)

Have you chosen your dress? Ready for the big question?
TWG!!
Chelsea, do you say YES to the dress?!

Chelsea: I’m saying YES! Thanks so much!

Were you all picking your choices whilst you read this? This was the first feature that I thought of completely on my own. A.L.Michael gave me the true honour of kicking off her tour and I just want to do her and the book proud!

Speaking of which….

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Blurb.

Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…
Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.

These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancé. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?

Nice day for a white wedding, by A.L.Michael, published by Carina, is available to buy right now from Amazon.
If you missed the first book in the series ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ (don’t worry, ‘nice day for a white wedding’ can be read as a standalone if necessary), you can pick up your copy from Amazon UK.

I hope you’ve enjoyed TWG’s wedding planning! Thank you so much to A.L.Michael for being an amazing sport with this feature, as always. Also, thank you to Chelsea for taking part!

No longer ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’, more ‘Hiya younger Ruby!’. Courtesy of A.L.Michael.

Seeing as A.L.Michael and I enjoy bringing something different to TWG, we obviously need to keep that momentum going. Obviously! The last blog post we had, featured a wonderful cake recipe. Any of you made it yet? If you don’t know what I’m on about, take a nosy here —> Love cake, ‘Ruby Tuesday’, cake, A.L.Michael and…cake? <— and go into the kitchen and make cake!

I hope the title of the blog, or part of it, sounds a bit familiar to you. Author A.L.Michael released the first book in a series back in April, called ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’.
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!
The second book in the series is released in August, and I am already very impatient because I want to read it yesterday! A.L.Michael has put together these posts for me so I can get my fix of her amazing book whilst I’m pacing the floor waiting for the next one. Well, she didn’t know that bit, but she does now. Hiya!!!!

Today’s post is yet again something different. A character from the book,  Ruby Tuesday has written a letter to her younger self, and it certainly isn’t one to be missed. Powerful words. Enjoy.

What I would tell my younger self
by Ruby Tuesday
This feels kind of like a school report, one of the ones I would have bunked off doing, and somehow managed to get away with, instead of an article for a magazine. It’s funny how
things end up seeming the same.
I loved being young, there was nothing better than being seventeen and in love with every
boy who jutted his lip and looked at you like you were a delicious piece of pie, or the most
glorious ice cream sundae. I loved the power I had then, people just seemed to do what I
want without me even really trying. I know that sounds stuck up, and no doubt there’ll be a headline in a tabloid newspaper tomorrow saying ‘Ruby Tuesday thinks people love her’,
but it was true. Something about having nothing to lose, I guess.
I was never mean, I don’t think, and I can be proud of that, but I had to be in control.
I loved my friends, like, my school friends, more than anything. I had moved so many times by that point, foster home to foster home, and I knew none of them would ever stick, because I always caused trouble. I just couldn’t help it, it was my way. But I wouldn’t tell myself to cause less trouble, because that’s how I found my friends. In detentions and after school sessions, random and peculiar punishments (are they still getting kids to scrape chewing gum off desks and put dots in every corner on a page of squared paper, because that’s a real fucking waste of time – give them a newspaper and tell them about the world, would you?) is how I made friends. And enemies. Maybe that should be my advice, to have made fewer enemies, been nicer about everything.

I had a certain thing I liked to do, and I thought I was being good, a vigilante for justice, and female empowerment, as much as anyone knows what they’re doing at seventeen. I used to test their boyfriends, used to see if they’d cave and fall for flattery and flirtation. The boys who fell for it were publicly shamed and their girlfriends were told. They were found unworthy, and it proved to me just how fickle men were. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have based my opinion of all men on the pricks of horny teenage boys, but I did. And the weirdest thing happened – the girls stayed with them. They blamed me, and they stayed with the boyfriend, convinced it was my evil feminine wiles, and not their less than significant others. And that was the way of the world then, and it’s the same now.

So I play the part a little more. I put on my make up and I curl my hair and I sing to the world that the boy is treating you bad, and I want to be your friend and I wish you would listen. I want to save every one of those women from throwing themselves away on someone who’s unworthy. But…it made me a bitch, obviously, so maybe I should tell my younger self to stop all that shit. Maybe I should have told her to chill with the drinking and the need for drama, to stop acting like every day was her last on earth and just do her fucking maths homework. No wonder I got screwed in my first contract – could they add that to the syllabus as well?

Learning about percentages would be so much better in context! I think I would tell Ruby to wait, not to run whenever things got hard, not to be so eager to dish out the advice and so unwilling to take it. I loved people and I still held them away from me, never letting them see the whole. And now everyone sees Ruby Tuesday, and Ruby Montgomery, that poor little girl with no parents and no lunchbox, who grinned and caused trouble, well, there’s only three people in the world who still remember her.
And maybe I’ll get really lucky, and they’ll read this, and know how much I miss them.

The next book in the House On Camden Square series, is available to pre-order right now via Amazon UK.
Big thank you to A.L.Michael for yet another wonderful post. If you wish to keep up to date with the latest from her then you can do so via Twitter.

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael.
Published: 29th April 2016 by Carina UK.
Available to buy from Amazon UK.

The #houseoncamdensquare tour bus has stopped by my blog today! Super excited to be taking part in my very first book tour for such a talented author! First all of all I would like to say a big thank you to A.L.Michael and Sara for keeping me right with the information for this tour! Think it’s time I put A.L.Michael out of her misery and let you all know what I thought of Goodbye Ruby Tuesday! You comfortable? I shall begin…..

‘Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?’

Remember having a group of close friends at school? A group of people with extremely different backgrounds and very different personalities? Meet Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea, four girls each with their own distinct pasts.  Unfortunately, not all of their pasts were as ‘ruby’ as they might have hoped. To be fair, who’s are? After many years of lost contact and growing up, the girls get to reunite in sad circumstances, for Ruby’s final ‘party’. The remaining girls; Evie, Mollie and Chelsea have taken very different paths in their lives, but all paths have led them back to each other. But why? Because of their friend, Ruby. Will Ruby’s death bring the girls closer again? Or will the girls leave their memories and their old friendships in the past?

In a couple of hours I had read 135 pages, I couldn’t put it down! The only thing that forced me to put the kindle away was the fact it was gone midnight and I had to be a grown up. What.a.book! Oh my goodness. A story of four childhood friends, each with their own very different personalities, disliked each other sometimes, but were still best friends no matter what. A.L.Michael, can I join the gang?! Pleaseeeee!! I felt quite sad that they had lost contact over the years though and that it took an unfortunate circumstance to reunite them. I found all of the characters to be very likeable, well, the main ones anyway! That rarely happens. I do have a favourite character though, little Esme. A little girl with on point humour and talks sense. Wait, I’ll rephrase that. She talks. The sort of person you would go to advice about, apart from she’s little and that’s probably not ideal, but you know what I’m saying. Anyway!
Throughout the story you learn about each of the girls individual pasts, and I found that to be such a clever way of writing as you could see for yourself how much they have grown over the years. They always fought for what they believed in, and they might have the opportunity to fight again…in more ways than one! Despite some of the deep subjects within the book, I found it to be such a light-hearted and very entertaining read. It contains humour, stupid mistakes, men, but most importantly, dreams. If you believe in it, it’s worth it.
I hadn’t read A.L.Michael’s previous books (even though I have one in my ‘to read’ pile) and now I am rather sad that I didn’t find her work sooner. That said, she has set the bar quite high with Goodbye Ruby Tuesday. Every page had me wondering what was going to happen, what else were they going to find out, and what one liners will Esme come out with next. For me personally, that makes a brilliant book to read because not only was it captivating, it had me snorting like a pig and laughing like a dolphin at the same time. I especially loved the bookish references throughout. If you’re a book nerd, you will appreciate those even more so!
I am so honoured that I was given the opportunity to read such a relatable and outstanding book. Such high praise for A.L.Michael! Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is definitely a book that I will remember for a long time. One slight critique I do have……..I didn’t want it to end! I wanted more! I cannot wait to see what the girls get up to in the next book of the series, extremely excited already. I definitely recommend this, everyone needs to have a dream, and everyone needs to be able to fight for it. Goodbye Ruby Tuesday shows you how…