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27 February 2014

March 2014 releases!

The month of March has already arrived, which means Spring is getting closer! I'm already hearing birds singing the occasional song when I'm making my way to work every morning and the sun is showing its lovely bright face more and more... Hopefully, March will have some lovely Spring days in store for us, but if not, no worries, because there will be plenty of fabulous book releases to keep you occupied, whether that means sitting inside with a comfy blanket on the couch or perhaps outside with the first rays of Spring sunshine on your face!

Amy Hatvany - 'Safe With Me' (4th of March)

The screech of tires brought Hannah Scott’s world as she knew it to a devastating end. Even a year after she signed the papers to donate her daughter’s organs, Hannah is still reeling with grief when she unexpectedly stumbles into the life of the Bell family, whose child, Maddie, survived only because hers had died. Mesmerized by this fragile connection to her own daughter and afraid to reveal who she actually is, Hannah develops a surprising friendship with Maddie’s mother, Olivia.

The Bells, however, have problems of their own. Once on the verge of leaving her wealthy but abusive husband, Olivia now finds herself bound to him as never before in the wake of the successful transplant that saved their fifteen-year-old daughter’s life. Meanwhile Maddie, tired of the limits her poor health puts upon her and fearful of her father’s increasing rage, regularly escapes into the one place where she can be anyone she wants: the Internet. But when she is finally healthy enough to return to school, the real world proves to be just as complicated as the isolated bubble she had been so eager to escape.





Jane Linfoot - 'The Right Side of Mr. Wrong' (6th of March)

One-off, moving on sex, wasn’t meant to be this hot…

When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the “wife” of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger.

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she’s just another woman after his wallet? And if she’s looking for Mr Right, she’s definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this “gold-digger” a lesson!

She’s seizing the moment, he’s breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr. Wrong…



Zoe Miller - 'A Husband's Confession' (6th of March)

Some marriages work out to plan; others are torn to shreds...

When Ali met Max in the summer of 1990, he turned her empty life around and filled it with love. Now, years on, Ali's greatest fear is that their happiness and hard-won success might be taken away. But just as Max's star is rising, unsettling incidents at their artisan bakery in Dublin's creative quarter threaten to damage its reputation and their dream.
Finn and Jo were running away from heartache when they met in Australia over twenty years ago. They married on a beach after a whirlwind romance and came back to Ireland to start afresh. But now Finn is in shock after the demise of his gritty role in a popular television crime drama, and Jo fears for him and their marriage.
When an accident one Saturday night has devastating consequences for both families, both Jo and Ali find out that there is no going back to the sparkle and excitement of those early years, and the future depends on the strength of their love and courage. 

 



Katie Fforde - 'The Perfect Match' (13th of March)

Three years ago Bella Castle left her home town nursing a broken heart over Dominic Thane, the man she fell in love with but couldn't have .

Now she's made a new life for herself in the country, working as an estate agent.

Bella loves her job and she loves her boyfriend Nevil. But recently he's been preoccupied, and she's starting to question if his future hopes and dreams are a perfect match for hers.

And when Dominic turns up unexpectedly in search of his dream house, she begins to wonder if home is really where the heart is. But she's over him, isn't she?
 



Claire Dyer - 'The Perfect Affair' (13th of March)

What happens if you fall in love with the wrong person?

Rose knows only too well the exhilaration and devastation of loving a married man. So she watches with a keen eye as Eve - her closest companion, the granddaughter she never had - meets Myles, the new tenant in her downstairs flat.

Quietly and softly and against the backdrop of their own unsatisfactory marriages, Myles and Eve fall in love and, as they try to have the perfect affair like Rose did before them, they come to learn about the pain of lost opportunities, to decide whether it is ever better to follow your head or your heart, to know what it is to be torn between love and duty.

 
 



Nic Tatano - 'The Adventures of Jillian Spectre' (13th of March)

Welcome to the Mystic Quarter...

Jillian Spectre knows what happens after you die.

Because the seventeen-year-old mystic seer can see the future of her clients even after they've passed on. And that's not even her coolest power...

She can be in two places at once. Problem is, her heart can only be in one.

Supernatural abilities aside, she's a typical high school senior torn between two guys. But that gets put on the back burner when she discovers the father she had long assumed was dead is actually alive, with unique powers of his own. He's a technopath, with the ability to interface his mind with technology. And he's got a plan to take down society.

Unless Jillian can stop him.
 



Jenny Colgan - 'Little Beach Street Bakery' (13th of March)

Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their townhouse, she has to move miles away from everyone, to the sleepy little seaside resort of Polbearne, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.

And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.

Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.
 



Fiona Gibson - 'Take Mum Out' (13th of March)

Three blind dates
Two teenage boys messing up her plans
And one man who'll melt Alice's heart.

'You need to get back in the saddle…' Alice despises that phrase. She's fine being single – with two slothful teenage boys and a meringue business to run, she has enough on her plate without negotiating the troublesome world of modern dating.

However, Alice's three best friends have other ideas. Each one will present her with an utterly delicious, eligible man – all Alice has to do is pick her favourite.
 





Elizabeth Maxwell - 'Happily Ever After' (18th of March)

At forty-six, Sadie Fuller's life isn't exactly romantic. A divorced, overweight, somewhat sexually frustrated mother of an eleven-year-old, she lives in the suburbs, shops the big box stores, makes small talk with her small-minded neighbors, and generally leads a quiet life. But while her daughter is at school, or when Sadie is up late at night, she writes erotic fiction under the name KT Briggs.

Then, during a routine shopping trip, Sadie runs into someone familiar...too familiar, in fact. She encounters an incredibly handsome man exactly like the one in her imagination--and her latest novel. Is Aidan Hathaway really one of her characters? And if so, what is he doing in Target? As Sadie tries to negotiate this strange new world, her eyes begin to open to romantic possibilities in places she never dreamed of looking...places where Happily Ever After might not be so far-fetched after all.
 



Susan Rieger - 'The Divorce Papers' (18th of March)

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane—and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.
  



Jane Fallon - 'Skeletons' (27th of March)

Jen has discovered a secret.

It's not hers to share, but is it hers to keep?

If she tells her husband Jason, he might get over the shock but will he forgive her for telling the truth? She might drive a wedge through their marriage.

If she tells someone else in Jason's family - the family she's come to love more than her own - she'd not only tear them apart but could also find herself on the outside: she's never really been one of them, after all.

But if she keeps this dirty little secret to herself, how long can she pretend nothing is wrong? How long can she live a lie?

Jen knows the truth - but is she ready for the consequences?
  



Isabel Wolff - 'Ghostwritten' (27th of March)

A childhood mistake. A lifetime of regrets.

Jenni is a ‘ghost’: she writes the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own.

Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell.

But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara’s help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?

  



Emma Hannigan - 'The Summer Guest' (27th of March)

Lexi and her husband Sam have put their heart and soul into renovating No. 3 Cashel Square. Lexi's mother thinks it's high time they had a baby, but Lexi's thriving art gallery keeps her more than busy. Plus her headstrong niece Amelie seems to have practically moved in. And then, just as summer arrives, a mysterious stranger knocks on the door. Kathleen Williams has come from America, longing to see the house in Cashel Square where she was born, over sixty years ago. Kathleen's visit is tinged with sadness but she finds comfort and laughter with Lexie and Amelie. Soon the three women are sharing their hearts, tears and secrets, little knowing their unexpected friendship will touch them all in more ways than they can imagine... 
   



Jane Costello - 'The Time of Our Lives' (27th of March)

Three best friends. One five-star hotel. Will it be the holiday of a lifetime ...? 

Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool. So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury. But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan, while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL assistant. 

Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget, the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy who's always in the right place at the very worst time. Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions ...
  



Rebecca Chance - 'Bad Brides' (27th of March)

Good brides promise to obey. Bad brides wouldn't dream of it… 

Milly Gamble is an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she's always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself. 

Brianna Jade is an all-American pageant girl. The daughter of Tamra Maloney, a stunning billionairess, Brianna is a sweet, pretty girl who is more than happy to go along with her mother's ambitious plans for her. Now Tamra's brought her to the UK and hooked her up with an Earl. He has a crumbling stately home and needs a rich wife to help restore it to its former glory. Tamra is as ambitious and determined as Brianna is sweet and innocent - is this more a case of mother-in-law-zilla than bridezilla? 

Both Milly and Brianna's upcoming weddings will be huge, lavish events that garner national press. But with the cover of the biggest magazine in the country to be won, things are about to get very dirty…




Mary Hogan - 'Two Sisters' (27th of March)

One family, two sisters, a lifetime of secrets . . .

The third child in a family that wanted only two, Muriel Sullivant has always been an outsider. Short, dark-haired and round, she worships her beautiful blonde sister, Pia, and envies the close bond she shares with their mother, Lidia. Growing up in their shadow, Muriel believes that if she keeps all their secrets—and she knows plenty, outsiders always do—they will love her, too.

But that was a long time ago. Now an adult, Muriel has accepted the disappointments in her life. With her fourth-floor walk-up apartment and entry-level New York City job, she never will measure up to Pia and her wealthy husband, their daughter, and their suburban Connecticut dream home. Muriel would like nothing better than to avoid her judgmental family altogether. One thing she does quite well.

Until the day Pia shows up to visit and share devastating news that Muriel knows she cannot tell—a secret that will force her to come to terms with the past and help her see her life and her family in unexpected new ways.
  



Lucy Clarke - 'A Single Breath' (27th of March)

The deeper the water, the darker the secrets

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

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

The truth is, it was all a lie ...

  
 

26 February 2014

Review: 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' by Clare Dowling (2013)

Clara's been away for too long. So, after ten years in London and with boyfriend Matthew in tow, she arrives home in Castlemoy, a town with nineteen pubs and a shiny new motorway to civilisation. Her family welcome them with open arms but Jason, her long-ago-ex, seems to have old scores to settle and it's not before Clara finds herself being watched, followed and manipulated from afar.

As her dream of happily-ever-after begin to shatter, Clara decides it's time to wrestle her life back before it's too late...

At the end of 2013, I unexpectedly received a review copy of Clare Dowling’s latest release, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.’ The novel was released in November and I remember seeing it mentioned on Twitter and other book blogs (also because the title immediately reminded me of the song by Frankie Vallie, I’m not the only one, right?). I hadn’t read any of Clare Dowling’s works before, but I liked the look and sound of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and was looking forward to checking it out!

Thirty-something Clara and her boyfriend Matthew decided to leave their happy life in London, including good friends, a lovely apartement, and steady jobs, behind to move to Clara’s hometown in Ireland, Castlemoy. They’ve found a wonderful home that is large enough for the both of them and possible children in the future, and it also means Clara is now closer to her mother Anita, who is dealing with diabetes and the life changes this requires, and her sister Roisin, who is dealing with her own personal troubles which involve her girlfriend Catherine and the arrival of a new old enemy in town. However, Clara has her own troubles to deal with when she keeps bumping into her ex, Jason, whom she didn’t split up with in good circumstances. At first, he seems to be supportive and interested in her life, but this quickly changes…
 
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this book and the characters at its core. Clara is a great protagonist and I quickly found myself rooting for her. She and Matthew make an amazing couple and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them and their strong relationship. There are also some well worked-out secondary characters in the novel, such as Clara’s mother Anita (who made me laugh out loud with her specific ways and her love for food) and her sister Roisin, and a fascinating friendly group of neighbours who really added another fun layer to the story for me. This in contrast to the character of Jason, the boyfriend with whom Clara broke things off with 10 years earlier, who managed to really send the chills down my spine. Clare Dowling’s descriptions are spot on and she manages to set the scene perfectly, making the reader feel what Clara is feeling at a particular moment, whether it’s joy or fear.

After reading the blurb, I initially expected the main focus of the story to be the broken relationship between Jason and Clara, and his obsession with her now she has come back to Ireland. However, this didn’t take up most of the space in the novel. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed by this, though, because I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the subplots in it. ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ is a gripping and funny novel with a slightly darker and more serious side to it as well; certainly a read I’d recommend to people who are looking for chick lit but with a twist!

Rating:
8,5/10  

For more information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

25 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Favourite Books of 2013!

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Lately I've seen some other book bloggers being quite enthusiastic about this weekly meme, so I decided to join in with the fun and try it out myself as well!
 
 
Top Ten Favourite Books of 2013
 
For Today's Top Ten Tuesday all bloggers got the chance to pick one of the previous Top Ten topics we'd like to do again or may have missed. Since I joined the Top Ten Tuesday club just a few weeks ago, there are quite a lot of fun and challenging lists to choose from. However, I decided to go for my 10 favourite books of 2013! I never got around to making a list of my favourite books of last year, and this is the perfect chance to do this, even though I might be about two months late, oops! 



  
Giovanna Fletcher - 'Billy and Me'

 
Giovanna Fletcher released her debut novel 'Billy and Me' in May 2014 and it was a release I was really looking forward to. As soon as I read the title and the blurb and saw the cover of the book, I knew this would be chick lit I'd instantly fall in love with, and that is exactly what happened when I read the book. I can't wait to read Giovanna's second novel, 'You're The One That I Want', which will be released in May 2014!

Click here to read my review of 'Billy and Me'!


 
Lindsey Kelk - 'About a Girl'

Lindsey Kelk is without a doubt one of my favourite chick lit authors. Her 'I Love...' series is an absolute must-read for any chick lit fan, but 2013 introduced us to a new Lindsey Kelk series! 'About a Girl' tells the story of new heroine Tess, and was everything I had hoped for: thoroughly entertaining, incredibly funny, and simply sparkling! In 2014 the second part of the series will be published, 'What a Girl Wants', and I can't wait to pick it up!

Click here to read my review of 'About a Girl'!


 
Kirsty Greenwood - 'Yours Truly'


Kirsty Greenwood's debut novel 'Yours Truly' was one of the best chick lit debuts of 2013 and I couldn't simply not mention it on this list. 'Yours Truly' tells the story of Natalie Butterworth who manages to get hypnotized, which completely turns her life around. The novel's not just funny and a definite page-turner, but also has a lovely handsome male character at its core... I'm looking forward to reading more of Kirsty's work in 2014!

Click here to read my review of 'Yours Truly'!


 
Diane Chamberlain - 'Necessary Lies'


I unexpectedly received a review copy of Diane Chamberlain's novel 'Necessary Lies' and was completely blown away by it. The book is set in America in the 1960's and tells the story of Ivy and Jane, who both lead completely different lives but are brought together, which results in a simply wonderful tale. Diane Chamberlain is an amazing author and I definitely plan on reading more of her work in 2014. 

Click here to read my review of 'Necessary Lies'!


 
Kim Izzo - 'My Life in Black and White'


Kim Izzo is another author I was introduced to in 2013, and I really fell in love with her novel 'My Life in Black and White.' I can honestly say it's a book unlike anything else I read before, and I simply did not want to put it down. The book is a time-travel romantic comedy, in which the reader is transported from the present day to the 1950's, and is suitable for any reader, not just fans of chick lit. A read I still recommend to others every chance I get!

Click here to read my review of 'My Life in Black and White'!


 
Miranda Dickinson - 'Take a Look at Me Now'


One of the queens of chick lit, Miranda Dickinson, treated us to another brilliant read in 2013 in the shape of 'Take a Look at Me Now.' I love love love Miranda Dickinson's novels, they are always filled with amazing characters, a wonderful storyline, and a good dose of romance. This one definitely did not disappoint; Nell's story is one I thoroughly enjoyed and the book earned a well-deserved place on my favourites list!

Click here to read my review of 'Take a Look at Me Now'!



 Emily Liebert - 'You Knew Me When'
 

Next to 'A Spoonful of Happy Endings', I'm also a book blogger for Chick Lit Club and that is how I got into touch with a publisher about Emily Liebert's 'You Knew Me When.' Sometimes you read a book and just after a few pages you already know you've fallen in love and don't want the book to end. That's exactly what I felt when I read this novel. I loved absolutely everything about it, and it is undoubtedly one of my favourite reads of the past year.

Click here to read my review of 'You Knew Me When'!



  
Charity Norman - 'The Son-in-Law'
 

Another book I was asked to review and was completely blown away by. Charity Norman's 'The Son-in-Law' is an incredibly emotional and realistic read; a story that has stayed with me up until this day. It's a book that looks at a rather serious topic from two different points of view, which really captivated me and proved once again that there are always two sides to every story. A must-read!

Click here to read my review of 'The Son-in-Law'!


  
Alexandra Brown - 'Christmas at Carrington's'
 
 
 At the start of 2013, I read Alexandra Brown's novel 'Cupcakes at Carrington's' and I instantly loved the storyline and the characters at its centre. At the end of last year we were treated to the Christmas-themed sequel, 'Christmas at Carrington's' which was definitely one of my favourite Christmas releases of 2013! I loved travelling back to the world of heroine Georgie Hart and Carrington's department store. A wonderfully festive novel, and I'm already really looking forward to the third part in the series which will be released this year!

Click here to read my review of 'Christmas at Carrington's'!


 
Lisa Dickenson - 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas'


Another Christmas read which I enjoyed SO much it had to be the one to end this list with! Lisa Dickenson's 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas' was released at the end of 2013 as an e-book series, with 6 different parts focusing on 2 of the 12 dates as mentioned in the title. The story is incredibly funny, magical, and simply brilliant, and I honestly can't wait to see what else Lisa has in store for us. Even if it means I have to start a petition in order to have more of her work published!

Click here to read my review of 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas'!


 
I'd love to hear what YOUR favourite reads of 2013 were!


24 February 2014

Author Interview with Nancy Scrofano!


Today I'm excited to welcome Nancy Scrofano to the blog for a short interview about her new novel, 'American Honey'!
 
Can you tell us something about your new novel, American Honey?
In American Honey, recent high school graduate Olivia “Ollie” McKenna leaves her small town roots in Summerville, Georgia, to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. With her best friend and older sister in tow, wholesome Ollie travels to the big city to compete in singing contest Atlanta Idol where she meets nineteen-year-old Jack Bradley, a fellow country singer who quickly becomes a close friend. The connection between them is magnetic and an opportunity to sing together could change their lives forever.

Where did you find the inspiration for American Honey?
I’m a fan of American Idol. I’ve been watching it since the first season, and I wanted to write a story involving a singing competition. I started working on American Honey after watching the season ten finale of American Idol in May 2011. I was inspired by winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina. I also found inspiration for this book from Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally and ABC’s Nashville.

Why did you decide to write a story set within the music business?
The music business has a lot of highs and lows. I wanted to explore all the emotions that come with such an unpredictable industry. Reality singing competition shows like American Idol propel a lot of average, small-town people to superstardom practically overnight, and they are usually very young. It’s a lot of pressure and a lot to deal with really quickly. These people have an incredible drive and an intense passion for singing and performing. It’s in their blood, and they have to entertain. I find that fascinating, and I wanted to portray characters who have that desire. Also, I can relate and have similar feelings as a writer.

Which character in the novel did you most enjoy writing about and why?
So far, I’ve always written in first person, so my heroines have a particularly special place in my heart. I loved writing for Ollie in American Honey. She’s innocent, but she’s growing up and maturing. She’s caught between the simple life she’s always known and her big dreams, and she struggles to figure out where she really belongs.

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans as an author? Are you already working on a next novel?
I’m working on the sequel to American Honey. My plan is to release a series of American Honey books with at least two more.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read a lot because that will help you become a better writer. Always keep writing, and don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of achieving your dream. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. It’s as simple as that. 

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
I just finished reading Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart. I’ve been a fan of hers since she starred in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, so it was really interesting to learn about her life. A very enjoyable read.

And last but not least, if you had to describe American Honey in just three words, which words would you pick?
Lighthearted. Southern. Musical.

 

Add American Honey to your Goodreads shelf! Follow along with the American Honey Tour via Fictionella! Connect with Nancy at nancyscrofano.com!

Thanks so much, Nancy!

21 February 2014

Author Interview: Portia MacIntosh

Today I'd like to welcome author Portia MacIntosh to the blog! Her novelette 'Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place' is out now and I've had the chance to ask Portia a few questions about her new release and writing in general!


About the Novel


Behind the music…

Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream ‒ and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities. Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gig tomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is the fun and fabulous prequel to Portia MacIntosh’s How Not to be Starstruck. Look out for it March 2014!



About the Author

When she was fifteen-years-old, Portia MacIntosh fell in with a bad crowd… rockstars. 

After disappearing on tour and living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for a few years, Portia landed a job in the music industry – but only so that she didn’t have to join the real world just yet.

Now in her twenties, Portia is ready to spill the beans on the things she has witnessed over the years. Well, kind of. If her famous friends knew that she was borrowing their lives to inspire her fiction, they would stop inviting her on tour and banish her from the inner circle. Then she really would have to rejoin the real world, and she’s still not ready.

Portia only started writing novels to share her secrets, but then she realised she actually quite liked writing – maybe even more than she likes living on a bus with a bunch of smelly boys – and has since tried her hand at writing about other things.

For more information, visit Portia's website by clicking here!



Author Interview

Can you tell us something about your upcoming release, ‘Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place’?
Well it's a novelette being released ahead of my first full-length novel, How Not to be Starstruck. My stories tell the tale of music journalist Nicole Wilde, and her adventures working in the music industry and touring with bands.

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place’? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?
The only reason I started writing was so that I could tell my tour stories anonymously. I have been working in the music industry for over ten years - since I was a teenager - so I have a lot of tales to tell. My books are heavily influenced by my experiences, and I hopefully use them to give readers an interesting insight into a fascinating industry. 

Do you have a personal favourite rockstar?
I think Jon Bon Jovi is one of the ultimate rockstars. From his 80s big hair and spandex days to now, even though his style has changed he still commands an audience with ease. Jared Leto is a great example of a modern-day rockstar. He's got the look, the talent and the charm.

When and how did you decide you wanted to be an author?
It was never my dream to write books. I just wanted a way to tell my stories anonymously, and novels seemed like the best way to do that. As soon as I started doing it I fell in love with writing, that's when I decided I wanted to be an author. 

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans as an author? Are you already working on a next novel?
I have four books coming out with Carina UK. Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is the first, followed by How Not to be Starstruck which is out next month. Keep your eyes peeled for info on the others.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write in a way that works best for you. Don't feel like you have to plan you book before you start writing, but if you want to then plan the heck out of it. There's no right or wrong way to do it.

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
I recently re-read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Everyone needs to read that book.

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Rock and roll.


Thanks so much, Portia, and good luck with the release!

20 February 2014

Review: 'The Dead Wife's Handbook' by Hannah Beckerman (2014)

'Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.'

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life - until the night Rachel's heart stopped beating.

Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can't forget her, Rachel can't quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.

As Rachel grieves for the life she's lost and the life she'll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.

‘The Dead Wife’s Handbook’ was one of those books everyone seemed to be talking about prior to its release on the 13th of February. I have to admit, I was straight away intrigued by the title and the blurb of the novel and was really excited when I was lucky enough to receive a review copy before the official release date (thanks so much, Hannah!). As an avid chick lit reader with a clear preference for happy endings, I was curious to discover what I would eventually think of this particular read because the topic of death and loss is something I try to avoid, if I’m completely honest. However, it is of course a part of life you cannot ignore, no matter how hard you might try, and I was interested to see what Hannah Beckerman had made of it and whether this book would live up to the hype that had been created around it during the past few months. 

Rachel had it all, until her heart unexpectedly stopped beating and she had no other choice but to leave behind her loving husband Max and beautiful daughter Ellie to fend for themselves. It has now been a year since Rachel passed away, and she is somehow still stuck somewhere between life and a possible afterlife. She is still able to watch occasional fragments of what is going on in the lives of Max and Ellie, but she has no control whatsoever over the things she is allowed to see and there is absolutely no way for her to get involved or show any sign of her presence. Rachel is forced to find a way to deal with the fact that Max might fall in love with someone else and Elsie growing up and overcoming hurdles in her life without her mum by her side. One thing quickly becomes clear: life moves on, it has to, and Rachel will have to find her own way to accept this, whether she wants to or not.

First of all, I’d just like to say: yes, this book definitely lives up to the hype that has surrounded it the past few weeks. From the first chapter I was completely taken in by Rachel’s story; I really felt for her, being able to see everything but all of it being absolutely out of her control, and I couldn’t help but go along on the rollercoaster of emotions of the various stages of grief. Imagine looking down upon your loved ones, being torn up between wanting them to remember you and wanting them to be happy and to go on with their lives. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears while reading this novel, not only because my heart ached for and with Rachel, but also because of Hannah Beckerman’s beautiful and gripping descriptions which made this quite an intense read.

The book has some wonderful characters at its center. Next to Rachel, there’s the handsome and dedicated Max, who is obviously struggling with trying to overcome his grief and deciding when it is time to move on with his life; their daughter Ellie is the cutest thing and I absolutely loved reading about her conversations with Max and how she is dealing with her grief in her own way; and I specifically loved Harriet, Rachel’s best friend, who is struggling with the loss of her closest friend. Overall, ‘The Dead Wife’s Handbook’ is an incredibly moving, thought-provoking and heartbreaking story that will not only stay with you but will also make you think twice about your own life, your loved ones, and possible what if’s. Definitely highly recommended!

Rating:
9,5/10

For more information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

19 February 2014

Cover Reveal: 'You're The One That I Want' by Giovanna Fletcher

I have been waiting for this for quite some time and I'm SO excited to be sharing the title and cover for Giovanna Fletcher's second novel with you today! Giovanna's first novel 'Billy and Me' was a big chick lit success and a book I personally really loved! But now, it's time to get excited about the upcoming release of book #2, 'You're The One That I Want'!



Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that's the problem.

Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it...

Who can possibly resist this gorgeous cover?! I know I can't and I can't wait to pick up a copy of the book myself as soon as it is released!

The book will be available from the 22nd of May, mark it on your calendars!

Author Interview: Karoline Barrett

I'm delighted to welcome Karoline Barrett to the blog today! Check out the author interview below with questions about her novel 'The Art of Being Rebekkah'!


When Rebekkah Gelles suspects her husband, Avram of not only lying to her, but also contriving not to have the children she so desperately wants and embezzling money from his business, she wants out of their marriage. 

Her life gets complicated when she falls in love with detective Nick Rossi. Convinced Nick’s wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—she walks away after they share a night of passion. Nick warns her even though he loves her, he won’t beg. Their budding relationship seems to have ended. 

When Rebekkah finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test, she wavers between joy and sadness. Motherhood wasn’t supposed to happen this way.


About the Author


Karoline Barrett loves writing and reading women’s fiction and romance.  Her short stories have been published in various outlets, most recently in Every Day Fiction.  She is also a poet.  Karoline was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband.  When not writing, Karoline reads, spends time by the water, watches the New York Yankees, indulges her Coca-Cola addiction and does anything that has nothing to do with math. www.karolinebarrett.com


Author Interview

Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘The Art of Being Rebekkah’? 
Jody, thank you for having me here! My novel is women’s fiction about a Jewish woman who navigates love, family, and faith, as she goes on a journey of self-discovery when her husband turns out to be  manipulative liar, and their relationship crumbles. 

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘The Art of Being Rebekkah’? 
It started out as a short story that was never published, but I loved the characters and wanted to keep writing about them. Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences? I’m adopted, like Rebekkah, but everything else in the book is totally from my (fertile) imagination! 

Which character in the novel did you most enjoy writing about and why? Rebekkah. I enjoyed seeing her grow from an unhappy wife to a woman who learns to nurture herself, and isn’t afraid to find happiness again through her art and a new relationship. 

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans as an author?
I would like to do a series of cozy novels. 

Are you already working on a next novel? 
I just finished AN APPLE A DAY CAN BE MURDER and now I’m outlining book two with the same characters.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? 
Write what you love, don’t give up, and find a great writing community. 

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others? Murder As A Second Language by Joan Hess. It’s a very funny mystery! 

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘The Art of Being Rebekkah’ in just three words, which words would you pick? 
I love this question; no one has ever asked me that. I’d say, romantic, suspenseful, and surprising. 


Thanks so much, Karoline! :)