Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Book Review - The Ex Factor by Eva Woods

Amazon UK
Title: The Ex Factor
Author: Eva Woods
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 8th September 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

Is it possible to freecycle love?

Modern dating is hard, especially when all you meet are liars, oddballs, men who wear Superman pants and men who live with their mums.

So why not date someone who already comes pre-approved? Just because your friend’s ex wasn’t right for her doesn’t mean that he won’t be right for you. That’s Marnie’s new plan for herself and her three best friends, perennially single Helen, recently divorced Rosa and cynical lawyer Ani.

Through bad dates and good, the four friends begin to realise that there are advantages to dating pre-screened men…but there can be some serious pitfalls to falling for your friend's ex

What a different take on a dating fiction, I think this is the first time I've ever seen a group of friends encourage each other to date their exes, possibly due to all the issues that such a possibly radical idea would bring up. 

The Ex Factor, focuses on a set of four friends, who are all approaching the dating scene from very different angles, there is Rosa who is just in the process of being divorced and barely dated before meeting her husband, Ani who is a lawyer, who is sick of internet dating, but has very strict rules and criteria, Helen who works from home on a controversial dating site and hasn't so much as looked at a man for over to years, and then there is Marnie. 

Marnie has been awol for two years and now she is back, this exes dating each other plan  is her idea, and in the past she has been an indiscriminate serial dater. However will she really fit back into her friendship group after upping and leaving without so much as a word for two years. 

The Ex Factor is as much about female friendships as it is about dating, and yes there are some hilariously bad dates in the mix of the book. At times I found the story a bit confusing, just as soon as you are introduced to the four ladies, you are then being not only introduced and given back story on how they met the ex they are setting a friend up with, but you also have to keep track of who is currently dating who. 

Once that is sorted in your mind, it becomes a pleasure to read. It is a wonderfully light hearted story, great for when you don't want anything too deep and meaningful. Of the various men there is one that I found myself most attracted too, and he wasn't the most obvious of them, not the best looking, just the one that talks to my inner geek! 

Personally I wouldn't want to set a friend up with an ex, let alone still be in contact with one, but as I think it was Charlotte in Sex and the City says - "one girl's trash is another girl's treasure!" so its clearly an idea that could work. I also loved reading about the various jobs the girls dd, from the tricky boss Rosa has, to the gorgeous man working in law with Ani. 

If you want to read some chick lit that has a clear dating and friendship angle, and don't mind jumping straight in with a lot of characters you need to be able to follow, then this is a great book to read. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and MIRA for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Book Review - Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky
Author: Holly Martin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd September 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

This year spend a wonderful Christmas on Juniper Island, where love can melt even the iciest of hearts… 

Piper Chesterfield lives a glamorous life travelling the world and reviewing the finest hotels. She calls nowhere home, she works alone and that’s how she likes it. For long ago Piper decided that to protect her heart she should lock it away. 

So when Piper’s next assignment brings her to the newly opened Stardust Lake Hotel for the festive season, the last person she expects to face is Gabe Whitaker, the man who broke her heart so completely she could never love again. 

But Piper isn’t the only one who has been frozen in time by heartbreak. Gabe hasn’t forgotten the golden-eyed girl who disappeared from his world without a trace. 

Now fate has reunited them on Juniper island, can the magic of Christmas heal old wounds? And can this enchanting town be the one place Piper can finally call home? 

Curl up with this gorgeously romantic tale and let the glistening snow and the roaring fires of Stardust Lake Hotel get you in the festive spirit this Christmas. 

Having just finished and been astounded by Christmas Under A Cranberry Sky, I think I am fairly safe in declaring Holly Martin a queen of the Christmas book, so with that in mind I am delighted that there is a second book in this series out soon. 

But let's talk about this one first, from the simply gorgeous cover, to the simply stunning setting, I really didn't want this book to end, everything about it is pure enjoyment, designed to get you in the festive spirit. I can't believe its September and I am currently really feeling quite Christmassy after reading this book. 

Juniper Island is a one town island near the Shetlands, and Piper is a mystery guest who has been travelling around the world for 10 years reviewing hotels. who comes to Juniper Island for Christmas to review The Stardust Lake Hotel that is just opening. 

She has a personal connection to the island as she last visited with her best friend and love of her life back when she was a child, so is keen to see what the new owner of the hotel has done to the place. Little does she expect to come face to face with Gabe who she hasn't seen for many years. 

As Piper is guided around the resort, it becomes apparent just how much thought the author has put into creating this magical and wintery sounding place, from the magnificent ice palace, complete with ice carvings courtesy of a previous character of Holly's, to the glass igloos where if you are lucky you may be able to see the Northern lights. 

I actually melted when Piper is shown the Christmas market that is going to be a permanent fixture of the town called Christmas. As you go into each shop it is clear how much care has been put into every little details, from the arrangement of the snow globes in the snow globe shop, to the six (I think it was) different flavours of chocolate fountains, in the chocolate shop. Each shop and villager is specialising in a different wintery or Christmas craft or food, so all the shops can live in harmony with each other.  It was at this point where I was on social media begging people to let me fly to Juniper Island then and there!

There is some wonderful wildlife on the island too, from the group of shetland ponies that terrorise everyone, and could ultimately cause the tourists problems, to the adorable puppies and not to mention what every Christmas themed resort needs, real life reindeer, all 8 plus Rudolph. There is one very funny and memorable scene involving the reindeer that is brilliant. 

Wren is Gabe's 4 year old daughter, and she takes an instant liking to Piper, asking her all sorts of tricky questions that only someone with a childlike innoncence would.At times she sounds wiser than her 4 years, and then the rest of the time is she your typical child, who loves her new home, and has a huge love of all things Frozen. 

With an adorable child, adding to Gabe's overall appeal its little wonder there is a strong romance element brewing in this story, and although there are some will they won't they moments, I hope I'm not spoiling the book too much from saying that if you are a fan of the author you know she loves a HEA, and with it being Christmas, I was hoping and praying for the only outcome that I would have found acceptable! 

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky has easily moved into my top three Holly Martin books, and I am eagerly awaiting, like a kid at Christmas, for the second book in the A Town Called Christmas series. 

Thank you so much to Bookouture and Holly Martin for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Book Review - Girl Having A Ball by Rhoda Baxter

Title: Girl Having A Ball
Author: Rhoda Baxter
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date: 27th September 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

What if you had to learn to stand on your own feet?
Although Stevie lost her parents when she was very young, she’s always been able to rely on her brother, Marsh. But now Marsh is married and Stevie feels like she is losing him too. Determined to prove her independence, Stevie sets about transforming her life, giving up her dead-end job and following her passion for events management.

Her first assignment takes her to a stunning manor house in Oxford where she is tasked with organising a charity ball on a shoestring. Between canapĂ© worries, celebrity guests and trying to keep the hyper-critical Lady Beryl happy, Stevie’s teenage crush, Tom, resurfaces to confuse things even further.

But ‘poor needy little Stevie’ is now ‘Stevie the strong woman’ and she won’t let a man get in the way of her dreams – will she?

Girl Having  A Ball is a highly enjoyable story, that is a lot of fun. The romantic element was slightly predictable, but its the journey that is always the most entertaining, and it certainly had me smiling as the story progressed. 

Stevie initially comes across as a bit flighty and I initially had large concerns over whether she would be able to organise the charity ball, as the kickstarter for her new career. In fact I was foreseeing disasters that didn't even occur, although that's not to say anything at all ran smoothly. 

I left the book feeling very impressed with Stevie, she experiences a great deal of personal growth over the month or so the story progresses for, as she learns to deal with all manner of  challenges. 

Stevie had a crush on Tom, when she was only 13 and now he is a high powered workaholic businessman, but that may have on re-meeting Stevie, twigged she is now quite a bit over 18, and a woman! The main insights we have into Tom are from his communications with his best friend Og mainly over email, which shows how confused he is about his work currently, as well as his feeling for various females. 

My overall feeling of Girl Having A Ball was that is was a lot of fun. There are smiles and giggles to be had, as well as information about a great charity that the ball is for. I loved some of the solutions to the problems, and really liked the big manor house setting in Oxford.  It was a lovely story to read, and as my second book by this author, I will definitely be curious to see future releases. 

Thank you to Choc Lit and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Book Review - The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

Amazon UK
Title: The Paris Secret
Author: Karen Swan 
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan McMillan
Publication Date: 14th July 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren't all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family's affairs - but just what is he hiding?

It took the whole of the first couple of chapters for me to realise that Karen Swan had yet another truly fantastic book on her hands (well, so  long as it continued for the whole book, which it did). There are early on the mentions of what are clearly a couple of big and intriguing mysteries, one related to Flora's work and the other with her family. 

Many pages into The Paris Secret you only start to get a glimpse as to how big the secrets are, and even then I couldn't foresee how they would turn out. Around half way through, I actually had to stop to gasp out loud at a revelation. 

Yet despite being a huge fan of Karen Swan's books, I had let The Paris Secret sit on my kindle for months because I fell into the age old trap of judging a book by its cover. Due to this cover not really being the same style as any of her previous books, I was worried about the content of the book, and whether I would really like it. The moral of this is I really do need to with authors that I love, to just sit and read them regardless of cover and potentially blurb. 

The backdrop to this mega story is Paris, and more specifically the art world. A known family in Paris suddenly discover they own an apartment that they didn't know existed. They call in the art experts, Flora, and she makes a whole range of startling discoveries, starting initially with just the sheer volume of treasures there are in this apartment. 

As she is tracing the provenance of some of the works of art, she is drawn back in time to the Second World War, and hits some big question marks, which make her even more determined to come up with the goods. Normally I try to avoid history, but in this case, it was a huge part of the story, but without being set in the past, so I was able to cope with it. 

The writing drew me in, and I was hooked on the whole book, especially the last quarter or so, where I lost all track of time, or where I was, as I knew I had to find out what happened next. It is a thoroughly enjoyable story, and I'm just sorry I didn't start it the second I got hold of a copy. 

Thank you so much to Pan and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Book Review - Single All The Way by Elaine Spires - Back Catalogue Books

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it! 

So today I have a review of Single All The Way, the 3rd book in the wonderful Singles Trilogy.

Amazon UK
Title: Single All The Way
Author: Elaine Spires
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Author supplied review copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 9th October 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell is planning a quiet Christmas at home to rest and relax before a special New Year. But she soon, very unexpectedly, finds herself in the depths of the Essex countryside looking after a singles' group which contains some old, familiar faces and some pleasant - and not so pleasant - new ones. With its country walks, quizzes, disco and black-tie ball, the Christmas and Twixmas Break passes quickly, but just as they think it's all over the plot takes a twist and we learn some dark secrets...

Although it has been a few months since I read the previous books in the Singles Trilogy, within the first two  chapters it felt as though I had never left. That being said it can easily be read as a standalone, its just some of the characters recur, as well as Eve who is the main character for the whole trilogy. 

This time instead of an exotic location, its a short Christmas break with Travel Together, which Eve is called to on Christmas Day after some both with the previous guide. The break is the other side of Essex to her, so not exactly a glamorous location, but that is good, as it gave the whole book quite a different feel to it. 

In fact Single All The Way is quite cosy, in its small hotel setting, and on paper it looks like Eve is supposed to have a reasonably easy few days, make sure people turn up for a couple of organised walks, host a pre-prepared quiz or two, and then the black-tie ball to round off the trip. But when do things ever run smoothly, in fact when Eve says "How much trouble can three days be?" I just had to laugh out loud, as when anything ever gone to plan in fiction, after a statement like that! 

There was a good variety of guests, some which Eve already knew from previous trips, and those are ones that readers of the whole trilogy will recognise and be pleased to see again. There is also a group of friends called The Three Sues, a group of four rugby club friends, a rather obnoxious woman, an older gentleman who is struggling with Christmas and that is just some of the group. When you also take into account a certain young waiter with an eye for the ladies, and you know there will be sorts of antics to occur. 

However the book although the bulk of it is this holiday in Essex, it really is building continually to a big occasion in Eve's life, which I won't mention as it could spoil enjoyment of previous books in the series. As a fan though of the series, it was wonderful to see, and I loved the overall conclusion to the trilogy. 

I'm not quite sure how but I managed to read the whole book pretty much in one sitting over the course of an evening, admittedly finishing it in the early hours of the next day! I found myself so caught up in the stories of all the guests. There are so many different things simmering just under the surface, and as they are uncovered, there was a mix of all sorts of emotions and even some gasp worthy moments, in addition to lots of laughs. 

Single All The Way is a wonderful way to end what has been a superb trilogy, I have heard there may be another book in progress, which if that is true, then I will be looking forward to reading that too, as I  am a huge fan of Eve, and of the Travel Together holidays. 

Thank you so much to Elaine Spires for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Back Catalogue Books - Q&A with Colette Kebell

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it! 

This week we have Colete Kebell talking about her previous welcome.

Hello there, my name is Colette Kebell and I am an author of Chicklit/Romcom. I’ve only been writing a couple of years but am loving every minute of my new vocation.  I was lucky enough to meet Rachel last year, whilst attending Jill Mansell’s book launch for You and Me, Always at which we were both a little star struck by the faces we recognised of some of those who attended to support Jill.  I am very grateful to her for this opportunity to be interviewed.

1) Please tell me about your first book, and what started you writing in the first place

My first book has never seen the light of day, if I am honest.  It still sits in a cupboard collecting dust…My first self-published book is Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says).  The story came about following being made redundant and teaching myself to build a website for my father-in-law.  After that I still had this huge creative urge but little actual money to, for example, take up painting or some such as that requires the purchase of materials and taking classes.  Writing on the other hand, to put it bluntly, just takes a large amount of time and research.   I have quite a creative streak by nature and this was a way that I could live vicariously through my characters and achieve things that I would otherwise have just brushed aside, becoming more and more frustrated, whilst job hunting.  Writing it was my outlet for all my frustrations but not only that, as it turned out, it brought myself and my husband closer, despite it being a solitary vocation, as I involved my husband each step of the way, whilst writing he would read, make suggestions and laugh along with me.

2) How many books have you written and what are they?

So far I have self-published two books but have three more on the go, if you will.  My first book is Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says) which was followed quite swiftly by The Retail Therapist.  After writing Blue and Green I felt that I had more of GiGi’s story to tell and so, despite this being the wrong way round to most people, I wrote a prequel.   One of my WIP’s is the sequel to these two and the other two are still Chicklit/Romcom but they are a little different.

3) Which book are you most proud of writing?

That, at this point at least, has to be Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says).  I loved writing it from beginning to end and it brought such laughter to our household that our neighbours wondered just what had my husband and I so amused so frequently.

4) Which book was your favourite to write?

I think this question comes under the same umbrella as the one above as for the same reasons, so far at least, it would have to be Blue and Green.

5) Who are your favourite characters from your books and why?

Oh, despite having fallen in love with my main character, GiGi and Ritchie of course, my absolute favs are Jasper Barnes and Lady Whilsham.  They are such a dastardly couple and were great fun to write.  But then there is Timothy with his shoe fetish and oh I could go on and on.  I think you get the point though…

6) If you could go back and change anything from any of your books, what would it be, and why?

I think that as far as Blue and Green is concerned I would leave it just as it is.  As far as my novella The Retail Therapist is concerned, I would have liked to have made it a little longer.  I had far more to say about this part of GiGi’s life but considered that if I did it would lose some of it’s momentum.  There is, afterall, only so much one can say about what brought someone to the point of changing their career so drastically….

7) Which of your covers if your favourite and why?

I love both my covers equally though I guess, as this was the first time I had dealt with my cover designer, it would have to be Blue and Green as from what was a relatively small brief, she just got me and what I wanted on my cover.  She did a fabulous job and has received a large amount of praise from not only myself but also my peers.

8) Have you ever thought about changing genres, if so what else would you like to write?

To me, I have already changed genre.  That book I mentioned previously which is gathering dust was a fantasy novel.  I may return to it sometime in the future but having said that I have so much fun writing Chicklit that I think I will probably stick to that.  I may at some point in future decide to write something with a little more grit and drama to it, but that is a long way off currently.

9) Looking forward can you let us know what you are working on next?

Next is the sequel to Blue and Green, though whether I publish another one or two in the meantime remains to be seen, as I currently have three WIPs.  Life hasn’t allowed me as much time to write in the past year or so as I would have liked, due to house sale, move etc and so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this Autumn, hopefully, and then it will be a matter of which one flows the best at the time.

10) I dare not ask for a favourite author, but is there any author’s back catalogue you admire and why?

I grew up reading the likes of Jilly Cooper and the late great Jackie Collins amongst others.  I was also a huge fan of Stephen King and James Herbert in my youth though have long since stopped reading all the horror books.  Having said all that, if I didn’t mention the lady who inspired me to write Chicklit, namely Sophie Kinsella or by her other name Madeleine Wickham, then I would be failing not only myself but your blog readers.  
11) Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your back catalogue of books?

At this point in time my back catalogue only consists of one book and I am, therefore, incredibly humbled and grateful to you for accepting me as an interviewee.  As far as Blue and Green is concerned I hope that your followers take the time to have a look at the book, read the reviews, and hopefully end up buying it.  I don’t want to quote a particular review verbatim, but having said that, one thing that has been said about it is that the excitement and laughter that occurred in my household at the time it was written has translated to the pages in my book.  I feel very proud of my achievement, especially as my husband has now translated it into Italian and the sales are fantastic for a new author to the Italian market. 

Thank you so much Colette for this fabulous interview, I am so happy for your that you have got an Italian translation, and I must say I am also a huge fan of the whole Sophie Kinsella / Madeleine Wickham back catalogue. It was a pleasure to meet you too earlier in the year, and starstruck is definitely the correct word for that launch party. 

Author Bio

After being a Legal Secretary for about 10 years, Colette was on the hunt to find something else that she would find just as interesting. She found that in writing and she hopes you like what you read. She loves fashion with a passion (pardon the pun) and therefore it is not surprising that her debut novel was going to follow that theme. 

Her debut novel was “Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen!” which was followed by “The Retail Therapist”, both of these being romantic comedies/Chick Lit, a genre she adores. 

When she’s not in writing mode she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, a task that usually produces good results; as her husband would say, as opposed to “his” experiments which often end in a culinary disaster.  She lives in Coastal Kent, UK with two adorable dogs. Oh yes, and hubby too. 

You could also look at her website and see what news is on there at 
or follow her on either twitter  
or Facebook 

Purchase links:-

Blue and Green
The Retail Therapist
Senza Tacchi non mi Concentro!

Both my books are available to buy in all e-reader formats and the ones in English are also available from bookshops and libraries, by request, worldwide.

And these are my covers in the order that they should be read ideally 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Book Review - Take a Chance on Me by Carol Wyer

Amazon UK
Title: Take A Chance on Me
Author: Carol Wyer
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 23rd September 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

A hilarious heart-warming read about friendship, taking chances and finding love, second time round. 

When Charlie’s husband leaves after ten years of marriage, her spirits hit an all-time low. She just isn’t sure how to pick herself up again. So, best friend Mercedes makes it her mission to put a spring back in Charlie’s step with the perfect bucket list. 

As Charlie bungee jumps and belly dances her way through an array of adventures, her love life also begins to look up and she’s soon enjoying a few dates as a newly single woman. She begins to realise that finding romance, might not be so hard, especially when you’ve got someone like journalist Jake who has an adorable little boy and is very easy on the eye. 

But is Jake too good to be true? As Charlie’s challenges on the bucket list get bigger, so do her questions about Jake. Should she continue to hold out for the fairy-tale? Or is it only in rom coms that dreams can come true? 

Fun with surprises along the way, is probably the best way to describe Take a Chance on Me. Really early into reading this book I realised that I was laughing, smiling and generally all around loving this story, and that if I had to review at that point, it would have been described as a fun book. Of course I then read the rest of it, and my opinion didn't change, it has fun at its heart, but it's also inspirational and there are a couple of surprising turns that the story takes. 

Two friends on News Years Eve drunkenly agree to a challenge - the have both written Carpe Diem lists (similar to bucket lists) but its been decided they will work through each others lists. Charlie can't remember what she put on hers, and Mercedes who is in charge is also in a wheelchair, so is using Charlie to live through vicariously for some of these challenges. 

For Charlie its a chance for her to face some of her biggest fears, and for her to get some of her old joie de vivre back, and being the kind hearted soul that she is, she also managed to turn it into a fund raiser for the hospital radio station she works on, by setting up Challenge Charlie! 

The challenges Charlie faces are quite varied, are thankfully feel quite different to other books featuring bucket lists. However she also has challenges in her personal life, her daughter would have been 18 this year, and her romantic life is non existent at the start, but does develop in some interesting ways. 

One my my highlights of the book were any time Charlie went over to her next door neighbour Peggy and Bert. Bert is easily one of the most entertaining and charismatic characters, he is a fantastic mimic, hates angry men, and is fabulous at sports, oh and he isn't human either! I challenge you to read scenes featuring Bert and not fail to either laugh or  if a bit more cynical, at the very least roll your eyes at what he gets up to! 

Charlie's best friend Mercedes is an inspiration, she has been through a tough time over the past few years, but she is still smiling and has a real zest for life. They are fantastic friends, and with quite contrasting personalities, that mesh well together, and she puts her all into doing the things on Charlie's original list, even if they are a bit tamer than she would have liked. 

The other venue I really need to praise is the Art Cafe, where Charlie bakes cakes and is a waitress for her day job. There are some detailed descriptions about what the Art Cafe is, what the various rooms are and it's a place that I would love to visit in real life, it sounded like a great business idea - or at least a couple of existing businesses melded together into this Art Cafe!

I could probably continue to go on and on about various aspects of this wonderful book, but I would much rather urge you to take the time to read it for yourself and make up your own minds. I really did enjoy every last second of Take a Chance on Me, and I am so excited to have discovered just how talented author Carol Wyer is for romantic comedies. She is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future. 

Thank you so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Funday Friday - Truth or Lie? Tracey Sinclair - Month 5 Week 4

Welcome to the latest edition of Truth of Lie. My name is Rachel and I will be your host, for this exciting new game show. Each Friday, I will have one contestant, and they will be answering at least 14 questions. There is of course one small twist...

For three of the answers, they have to lie. It is your task as the viewer to guess which three answers are lies. You are allowed 3 guesses and I want them posted into the comments field. 

Every 4 weeks, I will close the guessing, count up how many correct answers each of you has, and create a leaderboard. Anyone who is top of the leaderboard, will go into a draw for a paperback of the winners choice (open internationally). 

Please do include a way for me to contact you (email or twitter or similar), so that I can let you know if you have won. 

The weekend after a 4 week period closes, not only will I produce a leaderboard, and announce a winner, I will also let you know into the true answers, and which were the lies.  

Closing date for the fifth month is 11pm on 29th September 2016. 

So without further ado, let's meet today's contestant. 

Good morning Tracey Sinclair, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a freelance writer, editor and author, born in Newcastle but based in Brighton. My books include the romcom The Bridesmaid Blues and the Dark Dates/Cassandra Bick series, the latest of which is Angel Falls.
Please to meet you Tracey, who is back for another interview, after kicking off my Back Catalogue Books interview series back in July. 

Now onto the show, and remember everyone, Tracey, hasn't been entirely truthful with three of these answers, so it is up to you to guess which ones they are (only 3 guesses per person though). 

1) What book do you wish you had written?

That changes pretty much every time I read something good, but off the top of my head: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn or The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

2) Tell me about any really memorable dream or nightmare you have had

I often have vivid, narrative dreams that are like watching a film. A few years ago, when there was all that furore about the movie Natural Born Killers, I dreamt an entire version of it that scared me so much that to this day I haven’t been able to sit through the entire film!

3) What was your most memorable holiday ever?

A childhood holiday to Wales – it rained constantly but I didn’t care as I had a massive crush on one of the locals who worked at the campsite, so spent the entire time either ‘accidentally’ trying to be wherever he was, or writing bad poetry about him in my notebook! 

4) If you could be an animal what would you be and why?

A cat – they seem to have life pretty figured out!

5) What superpower would you love to have?

If I could have a combination of teleportation and invulnerability, that would be great. 

6) What is the most annoying interview question you have ever been asked?

Perhaps annoying is the wrong word, but my first novel was a book about a woman who tracks down and has an affair with her estranged father. So it was always slightly off-putting when people asked, ‘is that based on you?’ Um, no!

7) What is your dream job, and have you tried to achieve it?

It isn’t any more, but as a teen I wanted to be a TV presenter and did an audition tape that I cringe to think of even now. It was the eighties so I recall my outfit being neon bright and terrifyingly heavy on the shoulder pads…

8) If you could only read one author for the rest of your life (and I’m aware that’s a very scary world), who would you choose and why?

Terry Pratchett – he’s written a lot of books, and he’s my favourite ‘go-to’ reread. 

9) Did you have an invisible friend as a child? If so, please tell me about them. 

Not invisible as such, but I did have a life size doll called Athena who was about 3 feet tall, that I used to pretend was a real friend and used to hold long, detailed conversations with. Maybe as an only child I wanted a sibling. My mum got so freaked out though that she gave it away!

10) What would your ideal pet be?

In an alternate universe where I lived in a big house with lots of space, I’d love a big, friendly dog like a collie or a husky or a lab.

11) What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music? 

Oh, my music tastes are all cheesy and I’m not guilty about any of them! I love a good pop song and am not embarrassed about dancing round the living room to Taylor Swift or Britney Spears!

12) If you could only look at one view for the rest of eternity, what or where would you like to be to see this view?

I’d like it to be a balcony view over the ocean, ideally somewhere warm. Maybe Hawaii. 

13) Can you let us in on an embarrassing secret?

I once accidentally dyed my entire body a glittery shade of blue (long story).

14) If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?

Travel. Maybe check out the view from a balcony in Hawaii…

Thank you so much Tracey, I urge you to put your audition tape onto youtube, as I bet your fans would love to see it, and while your there please also share with us all how exactly you managed to die your body glittery blue! 

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Truth or Lie? I will be back next week with another episode, and in the mean time...
Don't forget to guess the lies, to be in with a chance of a prize! 

About Tracey Sinclair

Tracey Sinclair is an author and freelance editor and writer. Her books include the romcom The Bridesmaid Blues and the Dark Dates/Cassandra Bick series. Her latest book, Angel Falls, is out now.

The Bridesmaid Blues:

Angel Falls:

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Cover Reveal - April Showers and Wedding Flowers by Lindsey Paley

I am delighted to be able to reveal the new cover in Lindsey Paley's Camille Carter series, April Showers and Wedding Flowers.

This is a series I am really looking forward to reading in the future, I have the first book, and hopefully you will be seeing a lot more of the author on Rachel's Random Reads.

But without further ado, here is the beautiful cover.....

The wedding cake is baked, the champagne is on ice and the bridesmaid dress is a perfect fit. Everything is ready for Hannah and Archie's wedding at the picture-perfect church in the sleepy village of Aisford in the Lake District.

But if Camille Carter, 'Queen of Culinary Chaos', thought everything would go according to plan for a change, then she was wrong. When tragedy strikes at the Stag Party weekend there's a risk the wedding will have to be called off. 

Will Millie team up once again with irritating-but-hunky Fergus McKenzie to untangle the mystery and ensure the wedding of the year goes ahead without a hitch? Or should she leave well alone and return to her little Parisian patisserie to concentrate on her fledgling Afternoon Tea business?

April Showers and Wedding Flowers is sure to delight fans of the Camille Carter series.

April Showers and Wedding Flowers is out now and available for purchase from Amazon UK

Author bio:
Lindsey Paley is the author of contemporary romance novels and a cosy murder/mystery series set in the English Lake District. When not scribbling away in her peppermint and cream writer's retreat (shed) she loves baking cakes and indulging in a spot of Afternoon Tea with her friends where a glass of pink fizz is often the highlight. She loves walking in the countryside and is also a keen archer!

Author links:

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