Excerpt: When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham

So I think I’ll just hand you straight over to the brilliant Lynda Renham about When Archie Met Rosie, which is just £0.99 at the moment (check out previous posts on Lynda Renham’s work  here)

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Length: 307 pages

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

Welcome to the world of Rosie Foster and Archie Bolton.

A romance about real people.

Rosie Foster doesn’t have much but then she never has. She’s lived on the Tradmore Estate pretty much since she married her Frank. You may have heard of the Tradmore Estate. It’s been featured on Jeremy Kyle, much to Rosie’s embarrassment. Still, she consoles herself that at least it wasn’t her and Frank on Jeremy Kyle making fools of themselves.

Frank works at Walthamstow Stadium. He loves the dogs. So much so that he bought the rear end of one. Part ownership, you understand. Just in case you thought the dog was cut in half. Rosie often thinks what they paid for the rear end of a dog might have paid for her trip to Paris. Rosie dreams of Paris a lot. The truth is she knows they couldn’t afford to go. Besides Frank isn’t interested in Paris, so it’s just a dream, until a girls night out changes Rosie’s life and it seems that Frank won’t have anything to say in the matter.

Archie Bolton wants for nothing. He’s worked hard for what he has. But now he’s alone. He’s lovely wife of fifty years has died, leaving him alone and sad. It doesn’t help that his daughter-in-law keeps nagging that his five bedroom house is too big for him now. He’s not giving it to her. He’s adamant on that.

Life looks very bleak until his granddaughter goes out with her mates to a nightclub and then he meets Rosie …

Read a sample chapter here on this blog (you can read it below!!!).

I hope you enjoy my new novel. I very much enjoyed writing it and adore Rosie and Archie as I know you will too.

Do join me on my Facebook author page. I would love to see you there.

I’m also on Twitter   @lyndarenham

Much love, Lynda

xx

Chapter One

Rosie

Don’t you just hate those people who win at everything without even trying? A flutter on the horses or a scratch card at the newsagent and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed all the way to the bank. I’ve cried maybe, but that’s usually on the way back from the bank. I once considered robbing our local Barclays. I did seriously. That’s what desperation does to you. I don’t often think about robbing banks, just in case you think I do. It was only the once. Times can be hard sometimes, especially when Frank blows all our money on Millwall. The football club, that is, not the town. Not that anyone in their right mind would spend their money on Millwall, the town or the football club, but then I do sometimes wonder if Frank is in his right mind. Anyway, I digress. There’s a lot of expense involved in robbing a bank, I discovered. I’m telling you this now, just in case you were thinking of robbing a bank yourself. You need a pair of tights for a start. Not just any old pair either. A decent pair costs you a fiver. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can think of better things to spend a fiver on than a pair of nylons, that I’m just going to pull over my face. I did try an old laddered pair, but you could see my features. Not as good as you normally would, admittedly. It resembled a balaclava with one too many holes. Frank said I ought to wear it all the time.

‘It’s a great improvement,’ he’d laughed.

Cheeky bugger.

And then there’s the rucksack. You’ll need one of those. All the best bank robbers have rucksacks. We have one, but the zip is broken. It would be just my kind of luck to have the newly stolen banknotes scattered through the streets of Essex. The expense of a new rucksack was a bit daunting too, especially as Frank only uses it when he trudges down to the off-licence. It nicely holds a six-pack, he’s fond of telling me. It takes a lot of planning, does this bank robbery business. After all, you don’t want to be bursting into Barclays brandishing your P’tit Clown 74560 automatic plastic gun at the wrong time of day, do you? Midday would be a perfect time for me because it’s when I have my lunch break, but have you seen the queues? There’s bound to be one pissed off customer wanting to be a hero, who’d think nothing of wrestling me and my P’tit Clown 74560 plastic gun to the ground, while I’d be yelling, ‘Get your hands off my P’tit, you moron.’

I know what you’re thinking. I have no idea why it’s called P’tit. I imagine, because most of the people who buy it are tits, like me. Let’s be honest, how many bank robbers buy their plastic guns from Amazon? Bank robbers like me, that’s who. Anyway, last but not least, you need a getaway car. If you saw our old Fiesta you’d understand why it wouldn’t have worked. For a start, there’s no door on the driver’s side. Actually, that’s not strictly true. Obviously, there is a door. It would be a touch chilly without one and clearly illegal. It just doesn’t open. No one is sure why. Sam offered to replace it with a spare yellow door he had lying around the garage. Our Fiesta’s black and I didn’t fancy driving around in a lookalike stripy tiger, so I said no and anyway, everyone would have recognised it on the Crimewatch reconstruction. It also takes forever to climb over onto the passenger seat. It’s okay climbing over when you’ve got plenty of time. If your pantyhose got caught on the gearstick, you’ve got time to sort yourself out, haven’t you? But when you’ve got a fleet of police cars after you it’s a whole other ball game. I’m okay getting one leg over the gearstick but it’s my dodgy hip in the other leg that’s the problem. I’ve been known to get stuck in the Lidl car park before now, my crotch nestling nicely on the gears while some kind passer-by hoists my gammy leg over it. Frank says I only do it to pull the blokes. Huh, like I need another one. Although, I have to admit, it is often men who come to my rescue. I guess women are suspicious of a woman sitting on a gearstick. It’s not something you see every day is it? They probably think I’m doing something sordid. I think the men just want a gander up my skirt. They certainly get that. Anyway, the point is, I don’t imagine a kind passer-by is going to give me a leg over after I’ve just robbed Barclays bank, and quite right too.

Anyway, I never did rob the bank. I’m Rose Foster by the way, but everyone calls me Rosie. I like that. It makes me feel young. I live on the Tradmore Estate in Dagenham, Essex. It’s quite well known. Ask anyone where it is, and they’ll be able to tell you. They’ll no doubt look at you with fear in their eyes and advise you to stay away. Tradmore Estate is a regular feature in our local paper. We’re quite famous, although I suppose infamous is the correct word. We’re well known for our raves and raids, usually in that order. We’ve been on Jeremy Kyle too. That is, a few of my neighbours have, not us. I really don’t have the time to go on Jeremy Kyle. I’d love to live somewhere else, but Frank doesn’t believe in mortgages, says they’re a noose around your neck. We can’t afford to rent a house, so I guess I’ll stay on Tradmore Estate until they bring me out feet first. Although, knowing Frank, he’ll bury me on the allotment if it means saving some money. It is expensive dying, isn’t it? More expensive than living if you ask me. Frank works at the greyhound track in Walthamstow and I work three half days at Waitrose and two evenings at Cineworld in Romford. I like that job. They give us free popcorn on Saturdays. It’s rare to get something for nothing these days isn’t it?

Anyway, I’ve seriously digressed. Frank says I can talk the hind legs off a donkey. The reason I began talking about people who easily win things is because, I actually think, any minute now, I’m going to win something. Yes me, Rosie Foster, who never wins anything.

About the author

thumbnail_pKTCLgh8_400x400LyndaRenham

Lynda’s books on Amazon

Lynda’s website

Lynda on Facebook

Lynda on Twitter   (@Lyndarenham)

 

 

#BlogTour #BookReview A Posy Of Promises by Sharon Dempsey

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the lovely A Posy Of Promises by Sharon Dempsey!

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Length: 192 pages

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

What they say: What happens when the relationship you have taken for granted suddenly ends?  

Ava Connors is comfortable with her life just as it is, still living in the tiny terrace house where she was brought up by her grandmother, Maggie, seeing her long-term boyfriend, Finlay, and working in a florists.  
But Maggie’s health is declining and Finlay is fed up waiting for Ava to make a commitment.  
Ava has never really known her mother, Scarlett, and when she inherits an old and dilapidated house it ignites an interest in the mother who had abandoned her as a child.  
Why did Scarlett leave her to be brought up by her grandmother?  
Soon Ava begins to ask this question and in turn sets off a series of events that will change her life forever.  
A Posy of Promises looks at the relationships we have and the questions we ask of those we love.

 

The Review: We start this book with Ava Connors considering the property of ninety seven Mount Pleasant Square, where she was brought up by her grandmother, now in a home following a stoke. Ava had considered selling the house but is re-thinking as she goes over all the possibilities of it as somewhere for her, Ava, to settle. I loved that she was left the property while her grandmother was still alive, and that she didn’t know who had left it to her-a nice little pile of questions and secrets were already beginning to materialise!

I  quickly settled into beautiful descriptions and ‘put you right there’ settings of Belfast, and the nicely timed unravelling of secrets via a letter that her grandmother had written, among other things. This book had a lighter feel to it than the cover, or indeed the genre implied (for me, I can be very judgy in that regard!) and I was happy that there were a few smiles along the way. I also loved when we started getting another side to the story. For me the thing I ached for was a mixture of who the mystery benefactor was, and also why her mother, the aptly named Scarlett, hadn’t been there when she was growing up. These things-the pieces of the puzzle you didn’t know, and the way they were linked up, as well as the near miss type scenarios, where you weren’t sure if certain characters would even meet, were done excellently and I found myself actually nervous at so many points! All in all such an enjoyable book, where I loved moving slightly outside my comfort zone and I look forward to book 2 in the trilogy to see where it goes next!

Thanks so much to Sarah at Bombshell books and to Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

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A Posy of Promises is Sharon Dempsey’s first contemporary women’s fiction novel.

Sharon is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health books published. Her crime debut Little Bird was released July 2017 with Bloodhound Books.

She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges, and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre. She is a creative writing tutor at Queen’s University and Stranmillis College. Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University, and undertook a newspaper journalism post grad at City University, London.  She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.

Sharon is working on the follow up to Little Bird and a collection of dark short stories.

 

Find her online:

Twitter @svjdempz

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

Blog https://1stchapterdempsey.wordpress.com/

Instagram: sharondempseywrites

Now don’t forget to follow the tour!

B L O G B L I T Z (1)

 

 

The Stolen Girls (DI Lottie Parker book 2) by Patricia Gibney

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Length: 452 pages

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

What they say: One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.

Could this be the same girl?

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?

The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.

The Review: You might remember my gush for The Missing Ones (read it here), where I told of Patricia Gibney’s book’s pacing, shocks and general unputdownableness, and yes, the fact that she’s from ‘around these parts’ (puts on Texan twang). I bought and requested all of her books straight away (I’m very late to the party) and can happily inform you that I’m still able to gush about her three books in (fourth still to be read).

(Also a little story of the fact I passed her on the street and a few minutes later passed: one Garda car, one decidedly looking dodgy character and two men reading newspapers- one in a car, the other standing in a laneway, JUST the way you see on tv!) and I wanted to run back and go looking for Ms. Gibney (I’ve only ever met her at the launch so it would be EXTREMELY weird if I did this) and tell her ‘something’s going down’ (puts on appropriate  voice, I actually don’t know what that is!). Suffices to say I didn’t. But there you go. Oh and I also nearly asked a Garda at the police station and another standing at The St Patrick’s day parade had he read any of her books (I’d assume they all have at the station, I mean to date she’s sold a million copies!). I know, I know, I’ll stop now!

Anyhoo, to the book. So here a body of a young pregnant woman is found. On the same day a mother and her lovely, lovely child come to the door of Lottie Parker’s actual house, begging for help to find someone. I was torn between being excited at her family being involved again (because they’re a good age group for that sort of thing) and wondering how they can be involved again, but in the end one of them showed that they definitely have Lottie’s quick thinking and wish to protect people and I loved it all.

As for Lottie herself, she is witty and sarcastic and ridunculously likeable and out to help where she can. I loved seeing more of Boyd, and really getting to know him better (a special mention to how the two  bounce off each other). The Force on the whole in Ragmullin are characters that spring off the page (Corrigan’s bursting in and wanting to kill them all, in particular Lottie, is excellent!).

The story pretty much revolves around trafficking, and people coming to Ireland to make a better life, where some are horrendously duped and forced into sub-par conditions. My stomach tumbled about at parts of this book and there are some top notch moments where you think something is going to happen and then suddenly you were realise you were led astray. Actually, after a ‘oh my god,’ (out loud) moment, I think the author is very likely to be the queen of this. Excellent book, excellent characters, setting, pacing, thrills and spills-the works! Recommended to all around and apologies for the gush and fan moments (but to be honest it’s going to take something big to knock Ms. Gibney off as my top Irish author)!

rating: 5/5

 

The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

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Length: 385 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book which is out this week!

What they say: After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

The Review: Nate Turner wakes up one morning to find his dog licking him. Then

‘I flip over to joke with Sinead about waking up being snogged. The joke will have to wait. Sinead isn’t lying beside me.’

And we’re off! First off, you all probably know that Fiona Gibson is my ‘one author who can do no wrong,’ in the rom com stakes (remember the gush that was ‘As Good As It Gets?!’), and this book was no exception (I’m sorry if you wanted something different, but here we are!).

What Nate finds instead of his wife is a list. A very detailed list that tells us that his wife has been hoarding issues up for a very long time and they’ve exploded out of her with gusto.

I was thinking about this review and actually it’s one of those that there’s not a lot I can say without giving the game away. I CAN tell you that early on I realised I had inadvertently taken sides and even though of course when I heard the other person’s point of view I was going to swing over a little, in general I think I made the right choice. For me. And that was actually because one of the people in the couple had my ideas and my way of going about life and one didn’t and I could warm to that person, but not quite empathise with them and their actions (just to give you a laugh, just because I’m hypothesising over these important things in life, I’m actually saying this out loud as I type, kind of in a Carrie Bradshaw way!) I loved the everyday, with their son, Flynn, who has Cerebral Palsy and Nate’s job as a driving instructor, which was hilarious (special mention to Angus Pew and his threats!) and of course Tanzie. Smiles. Perfection. I loved this book. Thanks to Avon and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

 

Moral Panic by K. M. Ecke

And now for something, as they say, COMPLETELY different! A tough, dark read about Tanner Moore, the CTO of a massive tech company, who is kidnapped by a fanatic serial killer and his vigilante hacker group. Tanner must navigate their underground prison and brainwashing techniques to find the truth behind his kidnapping in a world of distortion. It’s also a totally new media type here too, I don’t think I’ve ever had an audio extract so hopefully you enjoy!

Moral Panic e Book Cover

What they say:

If everything can be hacked, nothing can be trusted.

It’s 2025. Tanner Moore is at the top of his game in the high-stakes world of big technology.

As C.T.O. of Paragon, the largest corporation in the world, Tanner is about to release the greatest convenience innovation in the history of eCommerce: drone delivery services to every inch of the globe.

But when an interview with journalist Amy Noral is secretly recorded and published by the clickbait media, Tanner’s fall from grace is swift and brutal.

He is fired, publicly condemned as a terrorist for comments he never made, and kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante group using surveillance data to track and kill their enemies. Tanner must navigate their underground headquarters full of violent zealots and hedonist hackers to find his way to freedom, or see his drone technology used as the most advanced assassination tool ever devised.

Above ground, Amy, the only person who doubts Tanner’s guilt, delves into the string of mysterious circumstances surrounding Tanner’s disappearance. Risking her own well-being to find the truth, she meets a mysterious conspiracy theorist on the internet offering to help her uncover the vigilante group’s malicious purpose.

Moral Panic explores the collision of the most extreme elements of politics, ideology, and technological media manipulation. It wanders through the maze of modern surveillance with a skeptical eye on the data-driven world we live in, hoping an awareness of the possibility of such a story prevents it from coming true in the real world.

Listen to the first five chapters here

Buy Links

Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo #ChickLitMay (book 1 of Love in the Limelight Series)

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Length: 349 pages

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

What they say:

The award-winning Miss Adventure is the first romantic comedy in the In Love in the Limelight series, where all the books are stand-alone reads, each with its own heroine and hero. It’s the Limelight of zany Los Angeles, where the different stories criss cross, and where the paparazzi just might sink in its glittery talons at the most inopportune and down-to-earth moments.

Miss Adventure: After she survives a freak fast food accident, skittish city girl Lisa Flyte becomes a national joke in the tabloids. Really?! So she decides it’s high time she get herself a backbone and stop letting life plow right over her. But how is she supposed to get tough after a lifetime of watching from the couch? Jack Hawkins, that’s how. The adrenaline junkie from her MBA class needs someone to test his new line of idiot-proof beginner gear, and clueless urbanite Lisa might just be perfect. They strike a deal. The two of them survive (barely!) their bumbling adventures in the wild. But will they survive each other?

All Reader Reviews appreciated! Miss Adventure has been previously published as She Likes It Tough and She Likes It Rough by GVR Corcillo.

The Review: You all have to know how much I totally heart both the books and personality of this author, whose work is always incredibly beautiful and yet full of energy, twists and over the top comedy (see previous posts on Geralyn here ), and so I am gutted I never got to this before, a book about Lisa Flyte, possibly one of my most stand-outish, brilliantly done characters ever.

Lisa, on waking up as a millionaire from a coma after a drive thru nearly crushed her car (which the media had a field day with), decides things have to change- she’s been afraid of life for too long and wants to woman up. And how better to help her than Jack Hawkins, an adrenaline junkie who scales mountains and scuba dives in his sleep. I loved the way the two of them met, and loved Jack’s indifferent attitude to everything and bemusement at her and her constant references to film, which at times were so spot on I almost jumped about! When he asks Lisa to help test adventure gear for beginners and we get in depth look at various equipment and techniques, I literally hung on every-single-word. The comedy was top notch, as were the smile out loud moments and wonderful, wonderful romance, that wasn’t always obvious but that made you suddenly put a hand to your heart and inhale. A special moment for her awful family who were like something out of a Roald Dahl novel! All in all just such a special book and again, one that is ridiculously highly recommended!

Rating: 5/5

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About the author: First and foremost, screenwriter and award-winning romantic comedy author Geralyn Corcillo loves reader reviews! In other news…When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching old movies, British mysteries and the New York Giants. She lives in a rickety old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite. Visit Geralyn at geralyncorcillo.com and even leave her a note – she loves to connect with readers!

Geralyn’s website: geralyncorcillo.com

Geralyn’s books on Amazon

Geralyn on Goodreads

Geralyn on Facebook

Geralyn on Twitter

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

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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

 

Second Guessing by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Length: 218 pages

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

What they say: Jill Griffin & Ben Fein are meant to be together… said no one ever!
Jill has built a successful career writing romantic ballads for many of today’s top performers. Since the tragic end of her marriage a couple years back, the 40-something single mom has all but abandoned hope for a love story of her own.
Ben is a brash, young boy-band singer seeking a solo career who hires Jill to write for him. He’s got a dark secret from his past that he wants to keep hidden.
The attraction between the two is red-hot and when Ben falls hard for Jill, he doesn’t care who knows it. Jill’s been burned before and wants to take things slow, keeping their relationship out of the glare of the media. After a gossip columnist exposes their affair, she’s forced to decide if she can risk letting go of her past in order to build a life with Ben.
When Ben’s past makes headlines, Jill begins to wonder how well she really knows him. But as Ben climbs to the top of the pop charts, he’s determined to succeed… at convincing Jill to take a second chance on love.
Second Guessing is the love story of Jill and Ben, who are so wrong for each other that they may actually be right!

The Review: I previously read the brilliant  Driving On The Left by this author and knew that again I’d be stepping outside of my comfort zone, moving more to romance as opposed to a book that provides the laughs I generally crave, but again I beyond enjoyed!

This is the story of Jill Griffin, who I’m assuming people met in Guessing At Normal which I hadn’t read. I read this book as a standalone and totally enjoyed it that way! I have to admit when I started reading I was thrilled with the music aspect, as Jill was arranging a tribute concert for her husband (from Guessing at Normal). Ben is one of the lead acts in this concert and him and Jill are soon seeing each other to the excitement of the media. I have to admit I was quite protective of Jill at first and not very trusting, and was thrilled when the author gave us Ben’s pov. The pacing in this book was excellent with something happening around each corner, bandmates in mutiny, crazed fans-the lot! I absolutely flew through the book and was very satisfied at the end. Thanks to the Lovely Ms. Ward Olmsted for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

gail

Like JEEP TOUR’s main character Jackie Sullivan, I am a professor of marketing. I have taught at the college level for twenty years.  A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. I am a mom to two young adults and two cats and enjoy reading, music and travel.

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#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),

 

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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.

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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.