Tales of the Countess by Cali Bird @calibird @BOTBSPUblicity #chicklit #QandA

Today I have something a little different for you. I have a wonderful Q&A with Cali Bird, the author of Tales of the Countess. This is one for chicklit fans and here is what it is all about…

How can a woman so capable at work be so useless at getting a man?

Kennington, London, 1998

The Countess of Kennington awakes one morning after a heavy night and realises it all has to stop.

She has to stop drinking her problems away. She has to stop acting irresponsibly. And she has to stop obsessing over the MSL: the Man She Loves.

But things are often easier said than done, and when she discovers the MSL is attending a conference where she is presenting, she cannot hold back her burgeoning hopes.

In a Sex In the City meets Toy Story scenario, the Countess lives in an unusual household where her chief confidantes, known as the accessories, are a collection of beloved handbags, a beautiful sheepskin coat and her teddy bear who provide her with support and advice.

As the conference gets underway, the Countess tries hard to focus on work, but encouraged by the accessories, she cannot resist the draw of the MSL.

The bags might talk but this is no kids book…

Tales of the Countess is a highly original chicklit novel by British author Cali Bird, about the need to find happiness in yourself before you get your man.

Buy it now for the perfect piece of romantic escapism.

Now for the Questions & Answers…

Hi Cali. Tell us about Tales of the Countess. What’s the book about?

The book is about the need to be happy in yourself and then you get your man. The main character, known only as the Countess is a modern woman, living in London, who is very capable in her work but useless on the relationship front. She drinks and parties too much and is faced with a situation where she really needs to sort herself out.

Is there any man in particular that the Countess has fallen for?

Yes. It is someone that she used to work with in New York. There had been a few sparks between them but he always insisted on remaining friends because of their work relationship. The book opens with her having left that job and returning home to London. She tries to get over him but then runs into him again through her work. She discovers they will both be going to the same conference which makes it much harder to put him out of her mind.

I’ve heard that some of the characters are handbags that talk. Is this true?

Yes. They are inspired by a collection of handbags that I already owned. I loved the film, Toy Story¸ where the toys are their own community and do their own thing while their owner, Andy, isn’t around.

I imagined the same thing happening with my handbags when I was out at work. When I bought a new one, and it became my new favourite, I always wondered what the others made of this and whether they were jealous.

Unlike Toy Story, the bags interact with the Countess. They try and advise her on her love life. When she gets upset because something has gone wrong, which seems to happen a lot, they support her through her emotions.

How did you decide what characters to give them?

That happened quite naturally as I started writing. One of them is very bitchy, while another is a girly-girl true romantic. The Countess’s teddy bear also features. I’ve always thought that teddy bears are very wise and her bear is no different. He works with the bags to try and support her. Later in the story she buys a beautiful sheepskin coat which has more of a tough-love personality and tells her a few home truths which initially, she doesn’t like.

Was it easier to write for them than the people in the book?

Yes. I always found that the conversations between the bags, including their squabbles, flowed easily.  

With the people characters it was important to make sure that they were realistic and carried the story forward in a way which works for the reader.

Do you have a favourite bag?

Tough question! The bags in the book vary between something you’d take clubbing, a formal handbag and some beautiful fake fur casual bags. The formal bag is called the Queen Mum bag. I bought it in the late 90s at the end of the January sales. It has a cream tortoiseshell patent print and I used it for work. Wherever I went with it, it was men, not women, who commented on how much they liked it. It must have reminded them of their grannies or something! I used it for years and eventually the clasp broke. I sought out a specialist handbag repair shop but they couldn’t fix it without changing the look of the bag, which was a heart-breaking moment.

Recently I bought a bag by Aspinall which is very similar to it. I call it the Queen Mum Redux and I am often found stroking it and referring to it as “my precious”.

The book is set in the late 1990s. Is that when you started writing it?

I started writing it in 2000. I’d had the idea for a few months. For a laugh, I used to call myself Countess Cali of Kennington. In 1999 I started writing and as I worked through some creativity exercises, I realised that there would mileage in a fictional version of the countess and her handbags.

It originally began as a short story but kept growing. I worked on it for a few years but then run out of steam as my own life had moved on and I was no longer single. I parked it for nine years and it sat in the proverbial drawer. During those years I learned a lot about story structure and other novel writing techniques, and worked on other projects. Three years ago, I decided to return to Tales of the Countess and this time was determined to get the story fit for publication. Twenty years after I began writing about her, the Countess is finally out in the world.

How does the book mirror your life?

I was single when I started writing it, and suffering one of many heartbreaks. Another liaison with someone I liked didn’t go the way I would have wished. Initially I was attracted to writing the story because, unlike real life, I could choose the ending!

Once I got into writing it though, the story took on a life of its own. As I revised it, the elements in the initial draft which had been based on real events dropped away. Over time it developed its own truth.

I guess I’m similar to the Countess in that at the time I was doing the same kind of work. She’s much more capable than me though. I’ve been too busy playing around with creative stuff!

Thanks very much Cali. It sounds like a fun read.

Thank you. That’s the feedback I’m getting from people who have read it. It seems to be the perfect piece of escapism for the current times.

Cali is in her mid-fifties and lives in Bedfordshire. She was single until she was nearly forty and used to be the archetypal career girl, living in Central London and working in investment banking. One day, she had an epiphany, realised that she needed to honour her creative side and started writing. Since then, she had various side projects including running a life-coaching business, giving self-development talks and blogging about creativity at www.gentlecreative.com. She has practised Buddhism for over thirty years and is a self-confessed tree-hugger.

Cali has known her husband, Graham, since they were at school together. Although they once had a smooch when they were nineteen, they didn’t get back in contact for many years. Within a month of their first date, they realised they had found someone special in each other, but it was another few years before they were married at the tender age of forty-six. It’s never too late to find love!

Twitter: www.twitter.com/calibird

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GentleCreative/

Buy Links: 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088WBTRKK

Amazon US –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088WBTRKK

Amazon Spain: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B088WBTRKK

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B088WBTRKK

Apple UK – https://books.apple.com/gb/book/id1516176786

Apple US – https://books.apple.com/book/id1516176786

Barnes & Noble/Nook -mhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tales-of-the-countess-cali-bird/1137082685?ean=2940164319793

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/tales-of-the-countess/cali-bird/9781916360808

Scribd – https://www.scribd.com/book/463657008/Tales-of-the-Countess

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/tales-of-the-countess-a-chick-lit

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @nicolamay1 @rararesources #rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int) #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. I love this series and I was delighted to get s spot on the Blog Tour, huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

From the author of the #1 BESTSELLING The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

It was so good to journey back to Cockleberry Bay and catch up with the old faces from previous books in this series. The Gift of Cockleberry Bay is the third and final book in the series which I am absolutely gutted about, I hadn’t realised this was a trilogy.. The author does fill in some details from past books, but you really do want to read them all.

The main character is Rosa, she owns the local pet shop and also works in the cafe and the story opens with a sudden storm, a rescue and the arrival of puppies.

Cockleberry Bay also has some new arrivals and of those not all make a very good first impression. They do add a dash of colour as well as intrigue to the story. There is also various revelations and one involves a surprise from the past.

I adore this series and this latest book is one that I was eager to read. The author has pulled together a story that does have some mystery and drama and poor Rosa does have a right old time of things. She juggles so much and is pulled from pillar to post as she deals with one thing only to find herself getting her head around another.

By the end of the book I was sad to be saying goodbye to the residents of Cockleberry Bay and it did have a feeling of finality to it. I will miss the characters, but things in the story have come full circle in some ways. The shop Rosa was gifted has done its job and helped her overcome various things, it has helped to ground her and now it is time for Rosa to pay it forward.

This is such a fabulous series and this final book was a wonderful read. It is a story and series that has friendship, second chances, drama, mystery, family, secrets and truth. A book and series I would definitely recommend.

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.

Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

Follow Nicola on – FacebookTwitterInstagramWebsite

Giveaway

Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Top Reads of 2018…finally

I know, I know, this is a little late but better late than never as they say..

Before I get into my top reads of last year I just want to share some of my Goodreads stats with you. My original Goodreads 2018 Challenge was to read 200 books, I read 222 and one manuscript that I am sworn to secrecy about at the moment…

I read 59,747 pages across 222 books

I am breaking this down into genres, that I would recommend and then right at the end if you are still reading I will do a TOP 3 Reads.

So first off Contemporary/General Fiction… Recommended Reads

These were stories that really touched my heart, for various and different reasons. They each had a special something about them.

Next up is… Crime and Thriller Reads

Crime is probably one of the genres I read most. There are several authors here that have released more than one book and I would happily list them as well. I have decided to limit myself to one author.

Nest genre is Fantasy/ Dystopia I have put these together for my convenience 🙂 …

Again these are very different and yet still fall into my category. They give a glimpse into a different reality and all are fabulous reads, some are part of a series while others are stand alone reads.

Historical (Fiction/Non-Fiction) is my next category…

I say Historical because the books I have chosen here is because they have either a historic setting or are based in myth and legend, historical culture if you like. They are a mix of fact and fiction or based on real life.

Finally, I have Romance, Chick Lit, Rom-Com… whichever term floats your boat. They all have a romance aspect to them.

These are stories that worked for various reasons, nothing in love ever goes according to plan and these stories really made for great reading.

Now then…

Are you still here?

Helloooooooo, anyone still reading?

Do you think I have missed any?

Are there any books that you think I should have included?

Well maybe they made it into my TOP 5…

Yes I know I originally said TOP 3…

But as I was writing this post up…

I found that I was wrong in thinking I could narrow it down to a Top 3…

What on earth was I thinking…

Okay to my Top 5 book s that I read last year…

Right then…

The eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I have listed only 4 books so far…

wait for it…

There was one book that absolutely made me have goosebumps on a very hot summers day as I read it…

It made my fingernails go twitchy…

I felt claustrophobic and I was sat outside while reading…

It was fabulous read…

Have you guessed what it is yet?

It’s one I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you have not yet read it

Okay here it is…

And…

It was a brilliant book…

I would love to know what you think of my picks.

I know that some of the genre grouping may look random to some, but for me they make sense. This has been such a hard post to write up as I could included so many more books than the…

just scrolls back to count how many books …

44… thats a nice number…oops

Hope you all have a great reading year and thank you all for sharing, posting and commenting on my posts. Hopefully 2019 Top Reads will actually be posted in 2019 🙂

Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner @suzy_turner @rararesources #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of Aphrodite’s Closet by Suzy Turner with you all today. Huge thanks to Rachel for the invite onto the Blog Tour for this book and also to Suzy for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Agatha Trout didn’t even know she had a Great Aunt Petunia, so imagine her surprise when she finds Petunia left her a corner shop in her will. But it’s not just any old corner shop—it’s a corner shop that needs something unique, something the town of Frambleberry has never seen before.

Influenced by her confident best friend, Coco, Agatha is soon convinced that there’s only one way to go: an adults-only sex shop.

While some of the townspeople are clutching their pearls in horror, others are open to the new experiences this shop offers. But not everyone in Frambleberry is convinced. Will the women soldier on in the face of violent threats or will their fears get the best of them—and their new venture—before it even gets off the ground?

Purchase Link – Amazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Aggie Trout dresses far older than her years, she is a librarian and certainly fits the old, clichéd stereotype. She is left a shop by her mysterious Great Aunt Petunia. When her flamboyant friend Coco suggests going into business with Aggie, I don’t know who was more flabberghasted when Aggie agreed to open a sex shop. Here begins a story of transformation as the shop will test the girls resolve to some opposition.

Oh my goodness, what an absolute corker of a read, it had me laughing and giggling at so many moments throughout. Aggies family and friends really do compliment her and the story so well and the author has done such a great job creating them. Along with various innuendos there is the mysterious Petunia, yes she is dead but her story and why she is a mystery gradually comes out, like a skeleton from a family closet, along with a few other little titbits.

The descriptions of this classic, old style shop were marvelous and soon had me wishing I had a Great Aunt Petunia loitering around somewhere… though I don’t think an adult only shop would be my choice…

This story is about how important family and friends are. There are several secrets and stories that are teased out through the pages. It is also about how Aggie, who was the quiet, invisible one who has been wrapped up in her comfort blanket too long, finally starts emerge. The devious tactics of Aunt Petunia and the energetic Coco soon pull her out into the world and get her to experience life.

It was an absolute pleasure and delight to read this book, it is such a fun, and humorous story and I absolutely loved the lightheartedness as well as the romance and slightly more serious aspects of it. A book that I would definitely recommend to other readers.

About the Author:

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Born in England and raised in Portugal, Suzy lives with her childhood sweetheart Michael, their two crazy dogs and three cats.

Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy worked as a trainee journalist for a local newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she took the job of assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher before becoming editor of a monthly lifestyle magazine. Early in 2010 however, Suzy became a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo, We Stand Against Evil (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless, And Then There Was You, Stormy Summer and her latest, Aphrodite’s Closet.

In 2015 she launched her popular 40+ lifestyle blog which continues to go from strength to strength, while just over a year later, she trained to become a yoga instructor. Suzy continues to write, blog and teach yoga in one of Portugal’s loveliest settings – the Algarve.

Social Media Links

Lifestyle BlogInstagramGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPintrest

See what other readers think by following the Blog Tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx

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#BlogTour : Her Secret by Kelly Florentia @kellyflorentia @UrbaneBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours #HerSecret #GuestPost #CharacterSpotlight

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I am delighted to be sharing the book love for “Her Secret” by Kelly Florentia with a Guest Post by the author  as part of the blog tour with Urbane Books and Kelly at Love Book Group Tours. Her Secret is a Women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, adult romance, chick-lit and available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

“A brilliantly-woven tale of love, friendship, heartbreak and hope – I couldn’t put it down.” Jill Finlay Fiction Editor of The Weekly News

“a must-read for anyone who loves intelligent, grown-up romance” – Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The Secrets Between Us

Following the events of No Way Back, Her Secret sees our heroine, Audrey Fox, now married to Daniel. But Daniel’s grown daughter Connie is still causing trouble in paradise and it is not long before Audrey is neck deep in secrets and lies, and once more searching for true love and happiness. Her Secret is the brilliant third novel of up-and-coming chick-lit author Kelly Florentia. Perfect for fans of Fiona Gibson, Marian Keyes, Sheila O’Flanagan and Lisa Jewell it is a wonderful contemporary adult romance.

• The idea behind Her Secret, the sequel to the bestselling No Way Back, is to highlight a positive, independent woman’s lifestyle choice, showcasing that single women in their 40s and 50s are eligible, sexy, and fun – connects directly to large ‘chick-lit’ readership • ‘A truly-talented storyteller who had me hooked from the very first page. – Jill Finlay, Weekly News

Guest Post:

Her Secret by Kelly Florentia : Character Spotlight

Who is your protagonist?

Audrey Fox

The inspiration for your protagonist

Someone recently asked me why I chose such an old-fashioned name for my central character, but when I explained that I named her after Audrey Hepburn I got the thumbs up – everyone loves Audrey Hepburn, right? Before building a character profile, I usually get an image of my protagonist in my head and then give her a name. For me, the name is important and it has to fit. Perhaps the name Audrey is unfashionable but it’s also a classic name, so I hope it’ll be quite memorable.

The creation of your protagonist

Audrey’s character is based on 40-something women who aren’t wives or mothers. Although Audrey is married in Her Secret, she begins her journey as a single woman in the first book in the series, No Way Back. We all have different needs, roles, and aspirations in life. What is right for one person may not be right for another. I wanted to showcase the 40-something woman in a modern light, in a 40 is the new 30 kind of way, in a nonconformist way, and I hope I’ve achieved this in creating Audrey Fox.

 About your protagonist’s character

I wanted my heroine to be relatable and ordinary. Audrey is a 42-year-old woman; she makes mistakes, puts on weight easily, says the wrong thing frequently, and puts her foot in it often. Audrey is loveable and witty, caring and loyal, but she isn’t a pushover. She’s very understanding and generous as a rule, but can be a bit feisty at times. She has a passion for designer shoes and is a bit of a tidy-freak – can’t stand seeing things out of place, and has a bit of a thing for germs, too!

 Do they have any similarities to someone ‘real’? If so, tell us more!

Sadly, no. Audrey Fox is a figment of my imagination. However, she does have some of the characteristics and attributes of some of my friends. She’s the kind of person I think most people would like to have as a best friend – loyal, funny, smart, caring and fun.

 What do you like most of your protagonist?

Her sense of humour and her loyalty. There’s never a dull moment when Audrey Fox is around.

 What do you dislike about your protagonist?

Audrey does have a tendency to put her foot in it – she’s a bit impulsive and ends up in awkward situations and then, sadly, has to suffer the consequences.

 Would you and your protagonist be friends in ‘real’ life?

Absolutely. We would be the best of friends.  In fact, when I typed The End I was heartbroken because I knew that I’d miss her.

 What’s next?

I’m in the early stages of book 4 – so watch this space!

About the Author:

  Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. Her debut novel THE MAGIC TOUCH was published in March 2016. TO TELL A TALE OR TWO… is a collection of her short tales. Kelly has a keen interest in health and fitness and has written many articles on the subject. SMOOTH OPERATOR (published in January 2017) is a collection of twenty of her favourite smoothie recipes. No Way Back was published by Urbane in Sept 2017.

Follow the tour to see what other Book Bloggers think

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Many thanks for reading my post, share the book love with a like or share 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe @HJRolfe @orionbooks

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I have a novella by Helen Rolfe to share with you today.  “Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” is the first in a series of up coming stories published by Orion Books.  It is available to purchase in eBook format.  Click HERE for Amazon UK link. At the time of writing this book is currently #free

Synopsis:

Searching for love? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…

When Jo’s beloved grandparents ask for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.

The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.

Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love – and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates – each date is held in the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.

But Jo has never found love herself. She always held her grandparents’ marriage up as her ideal and she hasn’t found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose…?

My Thoughts:

Jo is given the chance to leave her job and relocate to help out in a cafe run by her grandparents, Molly and Arthur. With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon Jo learns the story of her Grandparents’ engagement.
This novella is the “perfect lunch time read”. It is a beautifully told little story, it has charm and warms the heart in a lovely way. For being a novella it made an impact, enough for me to pre-order the next two books in this series.
A definite recommended read from me, it’s perfectly charming and totally yummy. I have the next two books in the series on pre-order and I am looking forward to see what happens next.

About the Author:

CATLKB - authorpic1Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

To learn more about Helen and her writing, find her at: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

The following books in the series are available for pre-order on Amazon UK.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or go and get your own copy 🙂 xx

 

November Book Round up. Blog tours, blitz’s & reviews on Me and My Books.

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This month has been a very busy reading month for me.  With a whole range of different genres, authors and publishers. With 25 books read and a guest post as I was unable to read a further book in time, I can say it has been my most busiest month as far as reading goes ever.

So to start with the Blog Tours, I was involved in.

Absolution by P.A.Davies | Scream Blue Murder by Tony. J, Forder | Dark Chapter by Winnie. M Li  |  The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett  | Illusion by Stephanie Elmas  |  Into The Valley by Chris Clement-Green  |

There were a number of different Blog Blitz tours as well. 

Wormwood by Larry Enmon  | The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton  | Secrets & Fries at The Starlight Dinner by Helen Cox |  Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by Helen. J. Rolfe  | The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

Books sent to me for my thoughts on them, or that I offered to read.

Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers  | The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw   | Living in Italy, The Real Deal by Stef Smulders  | Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux    |  Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser

NetGalley gave me a chance to start to read books aimed at children, as well as for my usual genres.

Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley  | The Price of Silence by Delores Gordon-Smith  | Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre  | Hortense and the Shadow by O’Hara Sisters  | The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

Finally a few books from my TBR Pile.

Bone by Yrsa Daley Ward   |The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd | Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek by Anthony O’Neill
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Finally I received the most amazing Guest Post from Peter Bartram.  Author of “Crampton of The Chronicle” mystery series.  I have rad some of his books in the past, but I just could not squeeze another book into my reading schedule. His post about Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hung in England, has a link into his new book. GuestPost by Peter Bartram.

 

 

 

 

A big ” Thank You” to everyone who has shared, tweeted and commented over the month.  As well as a huge “Thank You” to the authors, tour organiser and publishers.

If you liked this post, or any of the other links to my posts, please give them a like or a share.  Or better still, go and buy the book 🙂

#BlogTour The Mercury Travel Club by @Helen_Bridgett with @RedDoorBooks @rararesources @gilbster1000

“The Mercury Travel Club” by Helen Bridgett.  Is available in paperback and eBook format.  Published by Red Door Publishing.

Synopsis:

He took her to dinner: that was annoying

He slept with her: that was hurtful

He bought new underwear to impress her: quite frankly astounding

He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS: INFURIATING!

After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.

But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don’t go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie’s been looking for.

Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it’s never too late for a second chance.

My Thoughts:

Angela is coming up for her 53rd birthday, she is divorced, in a starter home and feeling a little sorry for herself.  Her marriage ended after 24 years and 11 months, not even long enough to get her silver wedding anniversary.  Her 23-year-old daughter Zoe, wants her mum to move on, just as Zoe’s dad has.  Patty has been a friend to Angela for over 30 years and is of the same opinion as Zoe, but her ideas are not the same as Zoe’s.  During one night out, the girls are trending on you tube, much to Zoe’s disgust!

Essentially this is a story of a 50 something trying to find out who she is, and also so much more than that.  As Angela takes steps to moving on she starts to change, initially outwardly, it is far easier to change clothes, hair and make up.  After a while she starts to change on the inside, she decides she is going to be priority and starts to gain the confidence to put herself first.  What started as a little idea, has turned into a success.  Her little idea of a travel club is now reality, as is all the hard work of organising, attending talks, group visits and the whole shebang that goes with it.

This is a great book, it is light-hearted and heart-warming.  I am not a big reader of this style of book, but as I read this I had a smile on my face, and several times sniggered at the antics.  It has a great deal of well written little stories within the main story, sort of anecdotes of things that happen in the characters lives.  The characters are wonderful, diverse and well described.  The plot of the story I really enjoyed.  As I mentioned, a 50 something woman finding herself, or should I say finding herself in situations that she would never have considered herself in as a wife. It is a warm, cosy, snuggly read, with some wonderful characters and really well written.

I would recommend this book to readers of chic lit, who like a good light-hearted, heart warming, humorous read with some memorable characters.  I will be looking out for more books in this series.

I would like to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and allowing me a spot on the tour.  My thoughts here are my own and are unbiased.  I would also like to wish Helen all the best with this book and future books.

About the Author:

Helen Bridgett

Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine – not usually at the same time.Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series

Author Links: Website   Facebook    Twitter

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: RedDoor Publishing (16 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910453285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910453285
  • Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share. 

Better still go and buy the book.

#BlogBlitz : Little White Lies and Butterflies by @SuzieTullett : @bombshellpub @sarahhardy681 : #BookReview

 

 

 

I am very pleased to be on the blog blitz for this book.

 “Little White Lies & Butterflies” by Suzie Tullett.

My thoughts:

This is not a genre I tend to read very often, it is a chick lit style romance, and I really enjoyed it.  I thought it was a light-hearted read and I do admit to guessing some of the scenarios, but I still did really enjoy it.

It is set on a Greek Island, with the main character Lydia, she is fed up with not finding her Mr. Perfect so she has decided to take herself off on holiday, alone. Things are not smooth sailing for her and after a series of unfortunate, or fortunate events, depending on your outlook, she forms a friendship with Sam. She seems to fit in well with the locals, but one little white lie soon escalates.  Rather than tell the truth, she tries to save face.  Help arrives from a surprising quater, to dig her out of trouble and also giving her much more to think about. Things are not all she thought they were, and people are so much more than she thinks they are.

As I said this is not my normal genre, but I found it made a really great change to the norm.  I found the characters very well-developed, Lydia especially.  She has been well described to the point that I found her very annoying in how judgemental and assuming she was at times, as well as wanting to tell her “to get over herself” with her annoying attitude at life and people around her.  Various different events cropping up through the story added several dimensions to her character, giving different view points and perspectives of her, again this I really liked. The setting of the story certainly was described very well, I have never been to Greece, but the way the author described the area jumped out at me.  I had no problem visualising her scene.

Overall a very enjoyable read, that would, I think, appeal to readers of Chick/Lit and Romance genres.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank Sarah Hardy, Bombshell Publishers and Suzie Tullett for giving me the opportunity to read Little White Lies & Butterflies.  My views expressed are my own, they are honest and unbiased.

Synopsis:

Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.

Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.

So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…

Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?

Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.

About the Author:

me

Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is to ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.

Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.

 

Author Links Facebook|Twitter | Instagram|Website

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

A Falling Friend by Sue Featherstone & Susan Pape

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MY REVIEW: 4*

I was lucky enough to win this e-book on a giveaway run by Lakewater Press. Here is my honest review.

This is about two friends Teri and Lee, they are lecturers in a Yorkshire University. The story alternates chapter by chapter between the two women. One is described as slim and good-looking, the other a bedraggled charity shop user.  They have been friends for many years. The story begins with them at an event run at the university.  As the story develops we get a glimpse into each of their worlds, they are support for each other, share thoughts, dreams and future aspirations.  Their childhoods are described and show a big difference in the way their parents raised them.

As the story unfolds it becomes obvious that the two women we met at the beginning are not the same two we see at the end.  They have each had to go through various personnal and professional issues, leaving them very different people.

I enjoyed this story, and I would recommend this book to Book Reading and Discussion groups, I feel there would be a lot of things in the story to make great topics for debate. It has a meandering pace and is pleasant to read.  Ideal for a lazy afternoon.

THE BLURB:    A Falling Friend by Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape, a tale of two friends – one who always seems to make the wrong choices, and the other who’s always there to catch her.
After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire, England, —and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.
Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.
Published by Lakewater Press, a new boutique publishing house, based in Queensland, Australia, but with a worldwide reach.

BOOK DETAILS:

ebook
Published April 25th 2016 by Lakewater Press
ISBN13 9780994451149
Edition Language English