A Village Romance (Book 2 in the Little Perran Romance series) by Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect

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Note: As always the cover image leads you to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

As a heatwave rolls into Little Perran, so does love. Billy Baxter, the has-been rock star, and Rafe Wylde, the hunky farm worker arrive, both destined to cause havoc as they touch the lives of the villagers. Milly finds a new job and things start to look up for her, but she is unaware that a ghost from her past is looking for her. 

Funny, Compassionate and Sizzling Sexy, A Village Romance is a page-turning summer read. A Village Romance is the second book in The Little Perran Romance series by Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect. 

The Review: There was a time when I ignored book series, dismissing them straight away as reads I wouldn’t have the time to follow through on, but this year things have changed and I’ve found myself embracing and really enjoying them.

And there was a lot to enjoy about A Village Romance, the second book in the Little Perran Romance series by Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect. The start of the book, with two characters I really liked, Billy Baxter,the aging rock star who doesn’t realise his star has faded somewhat. Billy is about as inappropriate as you can get (in a light way, the book doesn’t go over the top with him) and I was happy out. The other was an author, Ash, or if we’re to be correct about it, Ashley Wilmot-Fox, a prestigious young author who’s suffering emotionally as well as physically after an accident. I loved Ash, and felt very much for him and the situation he was in.

Now in the book there were  more characters, Millie, who I loved, so simple and down to earth, and then others who I didn’t warm to so much, in fact I’d go as far as to say that the town had its fair share of people who were, well, to put it in the words of one of the characters “People get too worked up about things in this village.” And that said it all. I felt that a lot of the little mix ups that inevitably happen along the way in a book to create some comedy  were over reacted to and in terms of a book, that means either the events weren’t big enough to warrant a reaction, or the people were over the top. This was unfortunate as it was a very enjoyable, quick read, with so many other pluses to it, namely the three characters I mentioned and the lovely homely descriptions of beautiful scenic settings. In my limited experience (as I’ve said I only started reading series this year), this is my first that wasn’t chick lit and so maybe I couldn’t put it together and warm to it as much as usual, this had a touch of comedy in it but was more windswept romance of the ‘swoon’ type, which will appeal to those of you who like those take her in your arms type book, with some hot scenes thrown in, though more takes place towards the end of the book than at the start which is more concerned with showing us village life in Little Perran. Personally I would read this as part of the series as opposed to a standalone, the first being ‘A Christmas Romance,’ as I think it would serve to let you get to know the characters better.

The book ended on an excellent cliff hanger, and I look forward to the next installment, A Summer Romance, out the 1st July. Thanks to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Check out my previous interview with Lynda Renham and some reviews, including ‘Rory’s Proposal‘ a romantic comedy I really warmed to, and  Perfect Weddings which I also enjoyed!

The Author Online:

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Author Interview: Holly Tierney-Bedord, author of ‘Boots on The Ground’ and ‘Weekend Immune System’

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So today I’ve an interview with Holly Tierney-Bedord, author of, among many others (take a look at them here) ‘Boots on the Ground,’ a wrestling romance novella that is up for review tomorrow (very much recommended by the way!). I have to say that I had planned for this whole interview to revolve around the unusual premise of the book, but then I picked up ‘Weekend Immune System,’ a choose your own ending book that I reviewed here, and I was so intrigued that my questions changed! Anyhoo, here we go!

So Holly, first off let me just say it’s great to have you here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband Bill and our little dog Tyler (who happens to be celebrating his birthday today). When I’m not writing, I work for a group of local restaurants, handling their social media and marketing.

I just finished Weekend Immune system, and I have to say I loved it! Can you give us a little bit of background on it and what inspired you to write it?

I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid, and thought it would be fun to read a book like that for adults. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much out there that interested me, so I decided to try writing my own book in that style.

I’d say the planning on it was immense and you probably had each scenario imprinted in your mind, did you have a favourite direction to go?

Weekend Immune System was a bit of a logistical nightmare. Writing it, linking it, editing it… It was all a lot tougher than I expected. Some books I write pretty quickly, but that one was in the works for a couple years. There were times I set it aside, having had enough for a while. And when I was finally done and was proofing it for the zillionth time, I’d find myself rereading certain parts over and over again, and probably completely missing other parts, even with the help of notes and charts I’d created that were meant to ensure I covered all of it. I had a few beta readers helping me out with it also, but even after all that I still find errors in it. It’s one of the more difficult writing projects I’ve taken on.

Have people told you what guided their choices?

Good question! Not exactly. The feedback I’ve gotten has either been really positive, with people jumping in and going after every ending, or the exact opposite, where people are confused and frustrated by the book, try maybe one path, and then say, “Well… That was different.”

You have a great range of books in terms of diversity, where do you get your ideas from?

I’m influenced by situations around me, tv shows I like, people who amuse or inspire me… I guess I have a wide range of interests, and I want to write about all of them!

Lastly, it’s chick lit May so I can’t let you leave without asking who your favourite chick lit author is?

Sophie Kinsella is the queen of chick lit. I adore her writing style and her great sense of humor. Her books are funny and clever, and they can be read really quickly, because they’re so polished.

Well, Holly, it was so lovely to have you here, thanks so much!

Thank you so much for having me, Bernadette! It’s been an honor!

Not at all, and of course we’ll be seeing more of Holly tomorrow with my review of ‘Boots On The Ground,’ a wrestling novella that is chock full of romance and comedy!

Connect with Holly! The Links:

Website

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Twitter:  ( @hollytierney)

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Holly’s Amazon Page

Author interview: Lynda Renham: Perfect Weddings

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Please note that clicking on the images will lead you to the buy links or the author’s image will lead you Lynda’s website where you can view her huge selection of books! Enjoy

The Interview: First off, Lynda, a huge welcome and congratulations on a truly enjoyable book (read the review here.) I have to tell you that from the very start I was sucked into Amy’s world. Can you tell us about Amy in your own words?

Thank you very much for inviting me onto your blog. I’m very happy to be here.

‘Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works?’

How Amy overcomes the difficulties of overcoming a weight issue to seeing her ex love marry someone else makes for interesting and hilarious reading, I think. I wanted love to rule Amy’s head and her heart but to also show how integrity really mattered to her.

I always want to know did you know what would happen in the book from the start or did your characters take control and guide the story?

I only have a vague idea. My characters pretty much take over. Chardonnay, for example was only supposed to have a small part in the book and yet suddenly she came back into the novel at a time I wasn’t expecting her to.

Did you enjoy writing a wedding story? Did you need to do much research?

Yes I did enjoy writing a wedding story. But I also enjoyed writing ‘A Christmas Romance’ as I love Christmas too. I did so some research on best man speeches and that was fun to do.

How did you feel about the change in Amy?

Oh, it had to happen. But I’m not going to say too much else we’ll give the game away.

There were a lot of brilliant side characters, I loved Rosie and Georgina too! Can you tell me were there any in particular that grabbed you and wouldn’t let go?

Yes, Chardonnay was one. I found she kept hovering at the back of my mind, pushing for a bigger role. I also found Lucy grabbed me and she is rather overlooked I think but I did like her personality. The way she handled Amy I found very funny.

And lastly, have you any plans at the moment for your next book?

Yes, I am writing it at the moment. It is the second book in the Little Perran series and follows on from ‘A Christmas Romance

Thanks so so much for being here, Lynda, it’s been a pleasure and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future and hopefully seeing you here again, in fact I have the review for ‘Rory’s Proposal’ for you all tomorrow which I look forward to sharing!

Thank you for having me on your blog. I have enjoyed it.

About Lynda

‘Perfect Weddings’

‘Perfect Weddings’ Amazon.com

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Twitter @lyndarenham

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Author Interview: Jan Birley: The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett


 

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Amazon UK

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So a big hello to Jan Birley, author of the brilliant ‘The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett,’ (see here for review). First off, can you tell me a little bit about it in your own words?

Rosy’s story could have been told in many ways. The tale of a woman finding herself in a troubled world, she neither asked for or deserved, and how she fights her way back to a new life, can come in countless different shapes and sizes. Rather like women. Rosy is strong and feisty and has no idea of what she is capable of until challenged. That doesn’t mean she always gets it right, far from it. She is weak when it comes to dealing with one of her sons and overcompensates, but she feels guilty – quite unjustifiably – for her boy being so unhappy. She loves him and excuses him when she shouldn’t. I’ve certainly been there! Inheriting the alpacas is certainly one of her challenges but they are dear creatures with heavenly faces and I think she finds them an emollient. I like Rosy, I like the fact she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and sometimes doesn’t behave in the way she should. Like me – like us all I suspect. Her story is largely based in the pretend village of Kirmington Abbas in Dorset and although my books will be very different, they will all have a thread of the village running through them, however small. One day, I shall write a book about the village and all the main protagonists will re-appear. Then we can find out how Rosy really got on!

Sitting down to write this, did you have the whole story planned out or did your characters take the reins and surprise you? And added to this, did you know at the start which characters you warmed to and which you didn’t?

I always have my story planned out at the outset. I spend considerable time trying to think through the plot. I try hard not to have the main character do something that is annoying. Making mistakes is fine but I know when I read a book, and halfway through, the main character decides she won’t tell the father she is pregnant or something, when it is obvious she must, puts me off reading the rest. However, this perfectly planned plot then goes pear shaped when I start to write. As you say – the characters take the reins and canter off into the distance with me ineffectually and feebly trying to pull back. To start off with I liked all of the characters, except for one obviously dodgy one (no spoilers) but as the book developed I became increasingly irritated by one of the men who wanted to figure more in Rosy’s life. Luckily, she thought so too.

Was the move based on personal experience and what did you think of Rosy’s sons, Archie and James’ reactions to the move??

The move was based on personal experience, yes. We moved from London to Dorset three years ago; although my circumstances didn’t involve alpacas or errant husbands! James was always going to find the move hard and the one person he could lash out at was his mother – which he certainly did. Archie behaved how Rosy knew he would, mature beyond his years, he was a rock although Rosy knew only too well she shouldn’t be thinking of a young teenage boy as such.

In general, the premise of the book, and how Rosy picked herself up, was brilliant! Can I ask how you had the idea for Rosy’s way of obtaining an income and did it take a lot of research?

I’m never too sure where the idea of alpacas came from – but I’m happy it did from somewhere! I spent time on an alpaca farm not too far from London learning about them and their ways. If I could, I would love to have a couple of these lovely creatures of my own but our garden in Dorset is too small and although it would be perfectly possible at our home in Italy, we are not there for long enough for it to be feasible. As far as Rosy coming up with the idea of making money I know that many make alpaca socks, scarves and hats but I wanted something different and when I found out that material could be made from alpaca wool, it seemed the answer to her problems.

I love that it came from personal experience, actually, I was really hoping you’d say that it was and I hope someday I’ll get to see one, they sound like beautiful animals in looks and personality. Now finally, did you know the ending of the story to start with or did it surprise you? The ending didn’t surprise me but the strength of Rosy’s feelings did. I think they even surprised her. Up to this point she hadn’t been entirely honest with herself and the final events made her wake up and confront her emotions.

Thanks so much for being here with me today, Jan, and again, loved the book, congratulations:) And thanks again to Aimee from Hello Chick Lit for introducing me to Rosy and Jan!

Thank you for the interview and your help. I am so happy you enjoyed reading about Rosy.

About the author

janbirley

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My March Bookish Wrap Up!

Please note: if you don’t have the time to read through the post, the pics link to the reviews! Enjoy:)

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Another good month in books! It all began with me giving my book of the year so far seal of approval to The Canal Boat Cafe book number 1: All aboard by Cressida McLoughlin, chick lit at its beautiful, descriptive, gripping best! I was torn on Sleepless in Manhatten by Sarah Morgan, which grabbed me with  its building a business form nothing storyline, kept me happy with its comedy, and yet didn’t quite hit the mark Christmas Ever After had done.

I was thrilled to be part of the Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem’s book tour with Hello Chick Lit, where 80’s was the era of the day, definitely one for any eighties fan! Tapestry by Elle Turner mesmerized me with its beautiful mixture of slightly dark stories, and, speaking of dark, I finally reviewed and raved about Room by Emma Donoghue.The Runaway Bridesmaid by Daisy James was a bit too flowery for me, I’m afraid, but I acknowledged that it could be a very popular book, as I did with Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow, which didn’t go the way I expected.

Natalie’s Getting Married gave me chick lit heaven, The Treachery of Trains gave me a lovely, slightly dark, european rom com, and Dear Dad by Giselle Green gave me a gorgeous rom com about three characters on a journey to find their place.

I had a lovely interview with Rosa Temple, and did my first, and only ‘Stacking the Shelves‘ Post (Unfortunately I’m trying to cut down on books at the moment, my volume books on Netgalley are weighing me down!). I also posted on the books I use for writing, which is starting to take off again, I’m currently 10,000 words into book 2, not much, but an achievement for me (I was 20,000 words into a different book 2 and it wasn’t working, so I put it aside and was feeling quite despondent but now I’m all excited again:)). I’m still trying to get it together in terms of a solid blogging presence, and figure out my timetable, but hopefully I’ll get there.

Hope you all had a great month too, let me know in the comments!

Bernadette:)

 

 

 

Author Interview: Rosa Temple: Natalie’s Getting Married

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Hi Rosa! So I had to start by telling you that I enjoyed this so much and was really sorry when it ended. I knew from the blurb it was going to be a goodie, but never guessed the many places it could go. Before I hop along and start to ask questions, can you tell me a little bit about ‘Natalie’s Getting Married’ in your own words?

Well this what I call my ‘feel good’ novel. But, like you say, it goes to many different places and not all of them are ‘feel good’. Natalie’s journey to find her happy ever after means she had to cry a few tears and kiss a few frogs along the way. It’s the story of a girl becoming a woman and trying to find her happy place in terms of her work, family, social and love life.

I’d love to know how much of the book was planned from the start: So you have multiple love stories in here, did you know they were all going to happen, or did your characters decide to mix things up a little?

I started with a seed of an idea. And though I thought I would be writing a convoluted romantic comedy, I was actually writing a coming of age story too. So, yes, a lot of things surprised me, not only in the characters choosing to do their own thing, but because of the plot twists that just needed to happen.

Jackson’s mother wasn’t very fond of Natalie, did you think it was a class thing or was nobody going to be good enough for her little boy?

In my mind it always about class. Mind you I think Mrs Humphries was in a class of her own. I’m sure if Natalie came from the ‘right’ family, she would have been happy (well I’d like to think so).

There are some gorgeous friendships in the book (Bella, Alissa and Gabriel were brilliant), did they take you by surprise or did you know they were going to happen?

There was one friendship I planned from the start – and that was the one between Natalie and Gabriel. I never knew that Bella would have such a big role to play but she was the perfect vehicle to show us who Natalie was. In a lot of respects, the same could be said of Alissa. Both Alissa and Bella are opposites to Natalie and you wonder how they’d ever get on. But somehow it works and, despite their faults, they’re a lovely bunch of people.

What did you think of Gabriel and Natalie’s friendship, did you think that any prospective partners had a right to be jealous of them?

In many ways, I could see how prospective partners could be jealous. The two of them were so close. They were the type you’d imagine shared ‘in jokes’ that no one else got. They hugged each other and slept over at each other’s houses. And though their relationship was purely platonic, a partner might find that hard to understand.

Can you tell us about Margie McGee (no spoilers)? Is the whole dress shop experience based on real life?

When I got married I went to a discount wedding suppliers in North London. My wedding was very small and done on a budget. My husband’s suit was more expensive than my dress, which is unheard of! But I remember that shop and how the dress I wore was perfect for me. Sadly there wasn’t a Margie McGee at the place I bought my dress. Margie was a made up character who in my head looked like Edna Mode in The Incredibles.

That is absolutely brilliant, she really is! Now there’s an image that’ll stick:) One more question: I loved Gabriel’s success, did you enjoy writing it?

As a writer just starting out I love the idea of a writer doing really well. I could have made him a struggling artist, like the rest of us, but I’m secretly in love with Gabriel and think he deserves to have been successful. He was a really great writer anyway.

(I was secretly rooting for him all along;)) Well, thanks so much for dropping by, Rosa, really, really enjoyed having you over:)

 

Rosa Temple author pic

About the author (she says it best herself on her website here, so enjoy!:))

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Rosie’s Novella ‘Sleeping with your best friend’ on Amazon

Note: As always, the image leads you to the buy links for the book.