Dreaming of St Tropez by T A Williams #chicklitmay

dreaming

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.

Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

The Review: I had a number of TA Williams’ books on my Kindle when I saw people raving about this and the guilt I felt was immense having sen how lovely the author is on social media in terms of sharing content, being supportive to other authors etc (we’re in the same chick lit group). As a result I went straight to Amazon to grab this, a gorgeous read set on the French Reviera (note: phew to my loving it as I’d never read his books before!!).

So this is the story of Jess, who we meet showing around a sexist brute who is a Russian aristocrat. Jess turns kick-ass on him and next thing we know, she’s without a job. I easily settled into the book and was thrilled when her and her friend Hope began to discuss how great it would be to get away somewhere like-say-St. Tropez. Instead they’re dog walking (in all fairness, not something I’d mind, and they don’t either, but, you know, I’ve gotta set the scene and all;)) and trying to figure out what to do. Enter Brutus, a lovable labrador (who supplies many moments of easy going comedy throughout the book) and his owner, who needs someone to help mind the dog. And guess where they need to go? You’ve guessed it! They’re heading to the sun soaked, picturesque St. Tropez!! (Yes,  there are moments such as this that are idyllic and make you cock your head to one side, but it really didn’t matter. )

With drama thrown in left right and centre, a who will she end up with that’s done very well, a moody, sullen, millionaire that has plenty of issues to deal with, and oh, yes, special mention for the bodyguard of the piece, I found this book to be beautiful, mesmirising actually in terms of its settings, and yet with an unputdownable quality to it that made me sure I’m going to start moving through T A Williams’ back catalogue quick smart. The perfect summer read that puts you in the most lovely holiday mood.

Rating: 5/5

Watching You by Lynda Renham #chicklitmay

watching

Length: 328 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.

The Review: I took advantage of Lynda Renham being a predominantly chick lit writer (read content from this blog on her here ) to get this, ‘Watching You’ into the mix (I know, genius right?!). The blurb is short, which actually here I like as what more do you need to get you invested?! And it’s so easy to invest time into this, a book that starts with a bang and continues its momentum as we meet Libby Owen, who has changed her name and is living in fear of her life after she was threatened by a man she helped put in prison for the murder of he aunt and uncle. The book is basically us following Libby as she gets more and more paranoid about Galbreith coming to pay her back, while you’re wondering if it is actually him. You are thrust back in time to see what happened to lead to the murders and shown the village, where many people actually had a reason to go after Libby’s uncle.

In modern day we also meet the man himself, Ewan, and a sergeant Fran Marshell and Inspector Mike Magregor, who have been following the case from the start.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it was a bit grubby at times, with sexual content and harsh language, but I suppose that’s par for the course in a story set in an opressed little village where the man of the manor uses people like pawns and smushes them to keep things going the way he wants. In terms of the modern day story I enjoyed trying to figure out if I was wrong in a very early assumption I made. I wasn’t, I’ll admit I guessed very early on part of the twist, although I had a few different thoughts on how it was going to happen, which is the fun of it really, isn’t it? I vaguely thought one of the additional components to the twist might happen, but fought against it and yes, I raised my eyebrows when it happened. To be honest, there’s times where the term ‘suspension of disbelief’ comes to mind, and I think die hard thriller readers mightn’t be choice targets for this book, but saying that I think others will enjoy it and I appreciated what the author was doing and didn’t at any point want to put it down.

Rating: 4/5

Q&A Anne John-Ligali, author of The Friendships Online short story Series #ChickLitMay

 

Purchase The Big Event from  Amazon UK

Purchase The Weekend Spa Break from Amazon UK

Today I’m thrilled to have the lovely Anne John-Ligali, author of The Friendships Online short story Series (see review of The Big Event here and The Weekend Spa Break here)

First off congrats on a really enjoyable series, perfect for chilling out and unwinding!

Can you tell us a little bit about the series?

My short story series is about friendships, human behaviour, social media, and how social media plays a big part in our daily lives whether you are into it or not. I thought about how I was going to present this idea so I pinched a little bit from my own life and created a group of friends. These bunch of friends have known each other virtually for a good number of years. Then for one night they finally get to meet up in the real world at this huge glamorous Christmas party called The Big Event at The Dorchester Hotel.

You’ve a nice range of characters there, can I ask which came first, the characters or their actions?

Definitely their actions came first. I enjoyed having each character act out their flaw, or quirk, and to have these flaws contradict what Constance had read about them online. I thought hard about what I wanted each character to say or to represent, which is why their flaws differ. Karmel fails to embrace growing old, Jagger boasts about how great he is at dancing, Henry wants to appear that he’s over his drinking problem, Stan constantly seeks validation in any way possible and overshares on line, Constance is far too assuming and Estelle is trying to cope with a child that has additional needs.

Have you always wanted to write chick lit?

There was a time I used to write songs. I come from a musical background and began playing piano by ear at the age of five. When I got older, I played on and off and took up songwriting. I seriously thought I was going to nail it with my music back then, but later realised it’s a near-impossible industry to crack even as a songwriter. I had put fiction on the back burner to focus on music and invested a lot of time and money. But after a good seven or eight years later, with a tons of demos on CD’s gathering dust, I decided to shift my goal posts and began writing stories. When I first started writing stories I was a bit of a butterfly, I would try everything, even poetry, although I wasn’t good at it. But my love for chick lit came much later after reading one of Sophie Kinsella’s books that had me laughing all the way to the end. I realised it was a lovely genre and I kept on reading and discovered new authors along. Eventually I found myself wanting to write it too.

I’m so interested in your mix of future projects in your bio, can you tell us about them?

Yes, I have a full-length novel that I have been working on and off. Got the idea in 2014 and have had small parts of it workshopped in writing groups. There’s still a

bit to go but it’s more than half way there. Also, my seven year old daughter loves reading and writing. We’ve done lots of brainstorming on projects and she’s come up with lovely titles and ideas for children’s stories. Whenever she gets an idea, I quickly get out my Dictaphone and leave it to run. (for ages) lol.

That’s brilliant! By the way I’ve been over to Books and Authors UK and adore the mix of books you review there, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Like most bloggers it started with my love for books and wanting to share what I had read with readers. I started my blog in 2013 and back then it has always been a platform to support a good mix of indie and traditional authors. When I started blogging, I noticed most blogs back then only supported traditionally published authors. So I thought by adding this edge to my blog (which was definitely an edge back then) would make it different from the others. But now, with the rise of indie authors, you’d find most bloggers are keen to support self-published books, which is a great thing. There are so many good indie books out there. The mix of books on my blog range from children’s to non-fiction, true crime, time slips and urban thrillers. And of course, romantic comedy.

Lastly, If you had to pick three favourite books what would you pick (they don’t have to be chick lit by the way!!!)?

I would love to pick The Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson for its drama, twists, turns and compelling characters. The Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey; I adore time slip and reading about Paris during the Belle Epoque era was not only stunning, but her writing took to there. My third book would be The Other Us by Fiona Harper, another time slip but with a modern twist. A very cleverly written book that answers that universal question, ‘what if?’ (Ooh, I wish I could pick a fourth.)

Definitely going to go look out ‘The Other Us,’ sounds brilliant! Thanks so much for coming over, Anne, I look forward to reading more from you in the future 🙂

Thank you so much Bernadette for having me, and for supporting me on blog tours. Much appreciated!

(Beyond a pleasure, Anne!)

About the author

thumbnail_Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series. Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Author blog: http://annejohnligali.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/booksnauthorsuk/

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Books and Authors UK: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

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The Cottage at Hope Cove by Hannah Ellis #chicklitmay #bookreview

thecottageathope

Length: 337 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Lizzie Beaumont has it all: a great career, a wealthy fiancé, and the wedding of her dreams just months away. But when her fiancé puts work before her again, she sets off for a week in the picturesque town of Hope Cove. She’s hoping for time away from the chaos to find herself.

Instead, she finds Max.

When the gorgeous guy next door asks her for decorating help, Lizzie finds herself all too eager to please. The week she expected to drag suddenly flies by, and before she knows it, she has to return to her other life. The life with the impending marriage and the fiancé she loves.

Or does she?

One week with Max has left her questioning her life choices. Is her fiancé the man of her dreams, or just the man who asked? Now Lizzie must decide what her life will be. Will she go for the safe and predictable route, or take a chance on a man she hardly knows? No matter what she does, someone’s heart is going to break. She just doesn’t want it to be hers.

Review: And now, as they say, for something, well not completely different, but still! We start off seeing Elizabeth Beaumont and her boyfriend Max discussing their wedding in passing as they try to find time to spend with each other in the midst of busy careers. I loved seeing Eliazabeth’s work in a magazine and could understand her passion for a job. They’re supposed to finally take a holiday together but then, again, work stops Max but he convinces her to head off on her own to the lovely Hope Cove. And it was lovely:

“The village streets were narrow and dotted with bright white cottages with neatly thatched roofs. When she reached the bay she stopped the car and gazed out. A full moon hung over the water, and the sea sparkled beautifully in its reflected glow.”

I fell in love with Hope Cove in the same way I’d enjoyed hearing of her time at the magazine, and gobbled up the fantastic setting. And then we met Max. I have to admit I wasn’t so sure about him at the start but then, on saying that it’s been some time since my stomach has leapt around solely from the mesmerizing romance in a book. I was so torn. Both of them were due to marry and yet the pull of the chemistry and connection between the two of them was so strong that I still wanted them to get together.

I loved Elizabeth becoming Lizzie and that the book didn’t always succumb to cliches and that everything was so realistic in terms of what life had in store for them and how they had to get back to ‘real life’. There were twists that were unexpected, and mix-ups and misunderstandings that were welcome and realistic. I’ll admit when we went along to Hope Cove I was afraid we’d be trading comedy for beauty, but there were still sudden out of the blue smiles, albeit more understated than Ms. Ellis’ previous books. I hearted this book so much, every single second of it and read it in one night with my eyes searching out the next words while still relishing those before. I have always been a fan of the author’s before now and know her online, but this book has moved me into Superfan mode. One of my top books this year! Cannot recommend enough.

Rating: 5/5

Note: Read previous reviews of this author’s books here

 

#ChickLitMay #Excerpt Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister

As part of #ChickLitMay , and following on from The Happily Ever After Hop, which will continue over the next few days on all the various Facebook page (to read my post, enter some great giveaways and search out loads of excellent chick lit authors look here  ) where better to go than to Tracie Banister, one of the organisers of the hop, with an extract from ‘Izzy As Is,’ a book I absolutely adored!  (Read review here),

 

izzyasis

Please note that the cover leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever. Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Excerpt:

As we’re polishing off the last of the appetizers and I’m starting to feel a pleasant buzz from the rum, our conversation is interrupted by a familiar voice. “Izzy! Topaz! Nacho! Oh, my gosh, I haven’t seen you guys in forever.”

I turn to see Silvana Diaz, fellow model, friend (more like rival since we’re Latinas in the same age group and have always been sent up for the same jobs), and . . . I quickly take stock of

the wealthy-looking, pudgy, salt and pepper-haired gentleman whose arm she’s clinging to . . .

new member of the Sugar Daddy Matchmakers service?

“Yeah, it’s been a while. What have you been up to?” Besides hanging out at a plastic surgeon’s office. The once noticable bump on the bridge of her nose is gone, and her lips have doubled in size since the last time we crossed paths.

“Oh, you know, just spending time with my man.” She strokes Middle-Aged Murray’s suit-clad arm and gazes at him adoringly. “He proposed on Valentine’s Day!” Silvana shoves her left hand in my face.

“Woah!” I jerk back in surprise when I see the size of the rock on her ring finger. Has to be at least three carats, and its platinum band is studded with sparkly diamonds, too. “That is quite a ring. You have great taste,” I compliment her fiancé.

“Only the best for my little mango.” He grins up at her. Yeah, that’s right, Silvana is a head taller than her hubby-to-be.

“He calls me that because I’m sweet and exotic,” Silvana explains, and I try not to gag.

“We’re all really happy for you, Sil,” Topaz says kindly. “Have you set a date yet?”

“No, but it will have to be later this year since I’ll be busy through the summer.”

I sit up straight in my chair, suddenly on high alert. “You’re going to be tied up all

summer? Did you get a national campaign or something?” Silvana is only six months younger than me, and she’s not nearly as pretty even with all her new cosmetic enhancements, so she’d better not have booked some big job, or I’m going to start flipping tables Real Housewives-style.

“I’ve retired from modeling. I don’t really have time for it anymore since Harry has to travel to Asia for business every few weeks, and I go with him since we can’t stand to be apart. Plus, it’s not like I need the money anymore.” She holds up her left hand and wiggles her fingers

to remind us once again how well-off her intended is and giggles.

So, Silvana no longer has to work and by the looks of things, Harry (ew, I hope that’s only his name and not an adjective that could be used to describe his back) is providing her with a very nice lifestyle that includes international travel and some very impressive bling. Hmmmm . . .

About the author

tracie

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit). Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

CONNECT WITH TRACIE:

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The Happily Ever After Hop #ChickLitMay #ChickLitChatHQ

I’m so so excited for this! The Happily Ever After Hop, as part of Chick Lit May! A tour of chick lit authors for you to discover organised by the brilliant Chick Lit Chat HQ!

CLC Chick Lit May Promo FINAL

Picture it . . . the lovely month of May, where spring is springing up all over the Northern Hemisphere, and there’s going to be a royal wedding, and it’s International Chick Lit Month! What’s a Chick Lit lover to do? Join Chick Lit Chat HQ’s Happily Ever After Hop on Facebook, of course!

From Monday, May 7th through Sunday, May 13th, 49 bestselling and award-winning Chick Lit and Romantic Comedy authors will be whooping it up on Facebook, celebrating all things royal and romantic. And because our readers deserve to be treated like queens, these authors will be giving away books, swag, gift cards, and lots of other fabulous prizes (no toads or poisoned apples here!), plus the week will wrap up with an award of a blingtastic, royal-themed Grand Prize Pack worth more than $150* and not one, not two, not three not four not five, but SIX $25 Amazon gift cards! (The royal-themed Grand Prize Pack giveaway is US only and not open to international entrants. However, all of the individual author giveaways and the $25 Amazon gift card giveaways are open internationally.)

 

CongratsGiftCard

*A Reminder: The royal-themed Grand Prize Pack giveaway is US only not open to international entrants. However, all of the individual author giveaways and the $25 Amazon gift card giveaways are open internationally.

QueenofEverythingMug

So, grab that tiara, hop on your unicorn, and head on over to the Happily Ever After Hop page on Facebook and join the group where you can meet and chat with your fellow readers, as well as some of the most popular authors in your favorite genres. Plus you’ll find links for all the participating authors and you can enter to win the Grand Prize Pack or one of those Amazon gift cards. We look forward to partying with you!

If You feel you want to take a look at some of the Facebook pages of authors taking part individually, you can check them out below but remember their hop piece won’t be up until the day allocated! Now go, have fun!:):):)

Happily Ever After Hop Schedule

Monday, May 7th

Rich Amooi

Tracie Banister

Susan Hatler

Erin Huss

Jennie Marts

Susannah Nix

Melanie Summers

Barbara Valentin

Joslyn Westbrook

Tuesday, May 8th

Jackie Bouchard

Laura Chapman

Renee Conoulty

Jayne Denker

Whitney Dineen

Karin Gillespie

Diane Michaels

Robyn Neeley

 

Wednesday, May 9th

Glynis Astie

Kathryn Biel

Christina Boyd

Rachael Eliker

Jenny Gardiner

A.G. Henley

Holly Kerr

Heidi Renee Mason

 

Thursday, May 10th

Beth Carter

Karen M. Cox

Virginia Gray

Laura Kenyon

Cat Lavoie

Nikki LeClair

Cassandra O’Leary

Meredith Schorr

 

Friday, May 11th

Melissa Baldwin

Lindsay Detwiler

Angie Ellington

Laura Heffernan

Beth Labonte

Monique McDonell

Kate O’Keeffe

Michelle Jo Quinn

 

Saturday, May 12th

Hilary Grossman

Tracy Krimmer

June Moonbridge

Jennifer Peel

Bria Quinlan

Natalina Reis

Sarah Louise Smith

Stacey Wiedower

 

 

Stacking The Shelves

staackingtheshelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, where you share the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks, audio and paperback books, including books you’ve bought, borrowed or received an ARC of.

So given #ChickLitMay I’ve gone a bit chick lit nutty this week, and am looking forward to all of them (there’s one outlier;))!

singlewoman

To start with Tracy Bloom because, to be honest, she’s romantic comedy/ chick lit royalty in my book at this stage! Can’t WAIT to read!!

What they say: What do you do when you find your love-life in ruins? Get revenge on every man who ever broke your heart of course….

Suzie Miller, a disillusioned agony aunt, can’t believe she’s been dumped from a great height yet again (this time by text, straight after they’ve had sex… twice!). So she decides the time is right to make every one of her exes feel the pain she felt when they carelessly cast her aside.

Her methods are unusual but humiliation on a grand scale is no less than they deserve.

Euphoric that she’s finally stood up for herself she starts suggesting outrageous ways for her readers to deal with their relationship nightmares too. Suddenly everyone wants Suzie’s advice. Finally content with being single and enjoying her blossoming career it seems as though happiness is within her grasp. That is until a man gets in the way.

Single Woman Seeks Revenge is a romantic comedy with a kick: a kick up the backside to any man who believes he got away with treating a woman badly and to any woman who doesn’t fight back.

 

ottercombe bay

If I was ever to visit anywhere it’d be Devon. It seems to be the setting of so many gorgeous descriptive chick lit books! Looking forward to this!

What they say: Escape to the Devon coast, with Part One of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

 

thecottageathope

I ‘met’ Hannah Ellis some time ago now when I got a review copy for her first book, and have stayed in contact and continued to read her warm, feel good rom coms since!

What they say: Lizzie Beaumont has it all: a great career, a wealthy fiancé, and the wedding of her dreams just months away. But when her fiancé puts work before her again, she sets off for a week in the picturesque town of Hope Cove. She’s hoping for time away from the chaos to find herself.

Instead, she finds Max.

When the gorgeous guy next door asks her for decorating help, Lizzie finds herself all too eager to please. The week she expected to drag suddenly flies by, and before she knows it, she has to return to her other life. The life with the impending marriage and the fiancé she loves.

Or does she?

One week with Max has left her questioning her life choices. Is her fiancé the man of her dreams, or just the man who asked? Now Lizzie must decide what her life will be. Will she go for the safe and predictable route, or take a chance on a man she hardly knows? No matter what she does, someone’s heart is going to break. She just doesn’t want it to be hers.

 

thewindmill

Have heard so many good things about this!

What they say: As Rosie Barnes serves glasses of tangy lemonade and ice-cold prosecco at her summer garden party, she couldn’t be happier. The Windmill Café, with its peppermint green sails is a roaring success and has given Rosie a chance to escape the heartbreak of her busy life in London.

But then disaster strikes when popstar Suki Richards is taken unexpectedly ill at the party. Now all eyes are on Rosie…have her famous raspberry cupcakes poisoned her most high-profile guest? Or is someone else trying to damage Suki’s chance of stardom?

If Rosie wants to save her picture-perfect life, and the reputation of her beloved Windmill Café, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of the mystery…and fast!

 

sunshine at the

(whispers) I’ve never ACTUALLY read a Debbie Johnson book, despite having a number on my Kindle (shuffles away shiftily … )

What they say: Come to the Comfort Food Café this spring for sunshine, smiles and plenty of truly scrumptious lemon drizzle cake.

‘As cosy as a buttered crumpet’ Sunday Times bestseller Milly Johnson

‘Summer wouldn’t be Summer without Debbie Johnson!’ Jenny Oliver

My name is Willow Longville. I live in a village called Budbury on the stunning Dorset coast with my mum Lynnie, who sometimes forgets who I am. I’m a waitress at the Comfort Food Café, which is really so much more than a café … it’s my home.

For Willow, the ramshackle café overlooking the beach, together with its warm-hearted community, offers friendship as a daily special and always has a hearty welcome on the
menu. But when a handsome stranger blows in on a warm
spring breeze, Willow soon realises that her quiet country
life will be changed forever.

Curl up with this gorgeous novel and make yourself
at home at the Comfort Food Café.

 

appleby

 

This next one is one of those books I’ve been hearing about forever! It was originally published as a four-part serial but this is the full thing.

What they say: Sometimes the life you want isn’t the one you need…

Freya has skirted through life, drifting from place to place and job to job. Always restless, it seems she’s finally found a place to settle down (with a sexy boyfriend to match) in a small and cosy town. But she still finds herself thinking of the rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm. They’re only dreams though… there’s a life right here ready to be lived.

But a phone call rocks the new life she has built. Tragedy has threatened Appleby Farm and Freya makes the choice to return home, leaving her lovely boyfriend and safe job behind. But maybe the grass at Appleby Farm will be a shade greener this time…

Now, ever-restless Freya must finally make a choice about what she’d like her life to be. With two lives, two men and two futures to choose from… who does she really want to be?

Appleby Farm is a charming, funny and romantic story for anyone looking for a feel-good, light-hearted read, from the author of bestselling Ivy Lane.

 

plotting

I’ll admit I actually thought this one was a book on plotting but then the actual plot got me and so I bought anyway!

What they say: A Novel for New Beginnings….. set in the Derbyshire Peak District

“Women reach fifty and think they’re on the verge of liberation and excitement, and their broken-down men just want to stay home and fart. Or in my case, go and live in a cabin in the Rockies and fart.”

Sally Howe plans to spend her husband-free year trying her hand at becoming a wildly successful author. But she’s beset by distractions – the first being a queue of local lotharios, led by young Billy Bathgate, the village postmaster with a tartan trouser habit and an obsession with drain rods. Then her delightfully empty nest fills up again – her younger son boomerangs home with a new-found vegan-activist agenda, and her DIY-crazy brother comes to stay.

Warm, wise and funny, Plotting for Beginners offers a wry evaluation of long-haul marriages, plus a lesson on how to hit the menopause running and seize your freedom when the family has gone.

And the outlier- very excited to have this land into my Kindle- One Click by the brilliant Andrea Mara …

oneclick

What they say: When Lauren takes a photo of a stranger on a beach and shares it online, she has no idea what will come of that single click.

Her daughters are surprised that she posted a photo without consent, but it’s only when she starts to get anonymous messages about the woman on the beach that she deletes the photo. It’s too little too late, and the messages escalate, prompting Lauren to confess to the woman. The woman has her own dark story, one that might explain the messages, but Lauren isn’t convinced. Then her ex-husband begins to harass her, telling her she shares too much online and brought this on herself.

She’s also dealing with other problems. A difficult client at work starts to show up in places he shouldn’t be. Her younger daughter is behaving out of character and Lauren can’t work out what’s wrong. And the cracks are literally beginning to show in her old South Dublin house, mirroring the cracks in her carefully curated life.

Meanwhile, the messages from the internet troll become more personal and more vindictive. Her friends feel she should stand up to her stalker, but Lauren isn’t so sure. And then she makes one small mistake that brings everything tumbling down.

#ChickLitMay

When I started blogging three years ago one of my first orders of the day was to climb up on a pedestal and deliver this ridunculously lofty rant/ plea re: chick lit (read it here ) I’ll be honest, I had very large ideas back then, and was determined to become a blog choc full with books that would make people smile, laugh and swoon. Thrillers took over half of my heart along the way and have been sharing it since, which isn’t a bad thing (I put five on my tbr just this morning!).

On this day, the 1st of May, where I listed to Ryan Tubridy (who I rate very highly as a literary expert, although I have no reading choices in common with him) gush about how great it was that JoJo Moyes had basically come out saying that authors should try not to put sparkly pink covers on their books, and should avoid the phrase ‘chick lit’ like the plague, I find myself sinking down a little in my chair as I begin, um, #chicklitmay, a month where I want to get to the books I’ve put aside over the past few years, to rave and share about writing chick lit, to interview and share work of writers of chick lit and romantic comedies (yes, I’m piling them in here too, please don’t hate me!), and there’ll be some cover reveals, polls and giveaways too. I hope you enjoy whether you read the genre or not, and if you want to step away for a while, sure I’ll still be here, chatting away to myself about bright, out there characters who live beautiful vibrant settings, or who are trying to escape the mundanity of the everyday by doing something ‘out there’. If you have any comments, I’d love love love you to share, or any recommendations for romantic comedies or chick lit would be welcome too.

Thanks!

Berni xxxxxx

The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali (Part 2 of The Friendships Online Series) #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway #shortstory

thumbnail_The Weekend Spa Break Cover

 

What they say:

 

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.

It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.

As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

Purchase from Amazon UK

 

First off, how about a trailer to get you in the mood

The Review: You’ll remember I enjoyed The Big Event by the lovely Anne John Ligali (ironically to the theme of social media in her stories, I’ve briefly ‘spoken’ to her on this forum and she’s lovely AND a chick lit champion so big thumbs up from here!) which made me rush to get to the next installment, this, The Weekend Spa Break, where Constance is availing of the spa voucher presented to her by Estelle in installment number 1. I was happy to see that Estelle was going with her so we’d get to knowanother character a bit though, and also happy to meet some of the rest of the gang again, although we mainly met them through regular social media posts. I will admit that I have had to accept that Constance is not totally my type of person, and on a lesser note I found Estelle a little closed minded to others, which was fine, she was going through a lot but that’s me over analysing as usual, they’re still nice people and it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story. Again I loved the writing and bookish aspect to it, with talks of covers and beta readers making me smile.

This was as easy to fly through as ‘The Big Event’ and I enjoyed it even more. I loved the tranquil, gorgeous setting of the spa and enjoyed the lighter moments, which led to some  great drama later on  as we got a reveal as to the secrets in the book-why Estelle was acting so shifty and then an explosion as we found out the truth of what had happened with Constance and her fiance, Maxwell. I found myself thinking of shorts in general and the fact that back in the day a magazine would have been my read of choice for example to pick up in the train or to flick through in the evening, and it makes me happy that I’ve discovered shorts instead, where a book can make you smile and leave a nice story in your head after an hour and a half or so of enjoyable lightness, which is what this is.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

thumbnail_Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series. Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Author blog: http://annejohnligali.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/booksnauthorsuk/

Author Twitter

Author FB

Books and Authors UK: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Books and Authors UK Twitter

Books and Authors UK Facebook

As always thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of this great blog tour:)

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!!

And now for something very special! (I adore Sanctuary stuff, and heart Anne’s work, so honestly I’d get onto this if I were you!!!)

A message from the author:

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To mark the release of part two in the friendships series, I’m giving away a Sanctuary Spa gift set and a signed printed and binded copy of The Weekend Spa Break to one lucky winner. At present, there are no physical copies of The Weekend Spa Break available, so this is a treat. To enter you only have to do is visit my Twitter page here and retweet the pinned tweet showing this GIVEAWAY.

A winner will be chosen at random by Tweet Draw and announced on Saturday the 19th of May at 20:00hrs.

Competition is open worldwide.

Good luck!

Now since I’m on the first day of this tour and there are so many brilliant blogs taking part how about you head off and follow the rest of the blog tour?

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#Giveaway #BlogTour #BookReview The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @rararesources #TCSICB

 

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

 

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Cover

Length: 344 pages

What they say:

Praise for Nicola May’s books

‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson

‘A fun and flighty read’ the Sun

‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’ WOMAN Magazine

*

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

The Review: Well, the blurb kind of says it all, doesn’t it (I know you’re fed up of me saying it but yay to blurbs that tell you exactly what you’re getting as opposed to giving you so little that you basically can’t write a review!)

So this is the story of Rosa, who has just been fired from another job when she gets a shock. She has been gifted a shop! With nothing to lose Rosa heads off to try to make a go of what is the legacy of an unknown benefactor. What with this unknown factor, the beauty of Cockleberry Bay and the drama that quickly ensued this book was really a lesson in how to write chick lit that has so much going on you don’t have time to stop reading! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t always too sure of Rosa, she’s a bit of a departure from the usuals, she’s very open which is a nice way of saying she’s loud, pushy and brash, and yet that made her fit into Cockleberry Bay even more, as they weren’t averse to telling it how it is either.

It also made you feel for her that little bit more when she let her guard down when things fell apart, and wow, did they! With a myriad of romantic possibilities, Rosa is beyond unlucky in love, although she doesn’t mind that, she’s never been looking for ‘The One.’ As well as that, the people in Cockleberry Bay aren’t too quick to bring her into their fold and there’s a lot of work to be done in the new shop. Saying that there were also some helpful characters to pull her up and of course a special mention has to go to her great little dog ‘Hot!’ The antics and mysteries in this were brilliantly done and interspersed with gorgeous settings. It was a very busy book, what with trying to work out who people were, figure out who’d knocked down one person and who’d got another pregnant, as well as the one burning question, who gave Rosa the shop in the first place?

The book is told in third person and mainly from Rosa’s pov, although we’re lucky enough to hear other people in it too. All in all, pretty much my type of chick lit in terms of being very soap opera-ey and crazy, with so many threads running through it that made me want to salute the author for her braveness. It wasn’t always my cup of tea, just because I can be a bit of a prude and amn’t too much of a fan of cursing either but that was who Rosa is really! Whoever loves this will seriously heart it, and I hearted most of it myself!

Rating: 4.5/5

Purchase from 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

About the author (I love this bio, by the by!!!)

nicola may portrait

Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

Follow Nicola May

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter @nicolamay1

Instagram

Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949475/

*See Ts&Cs below. Also, don’t forget to follow the blog tour! As always thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to be part of this and happy Friday to you all!

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*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.