General Fiction

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton
@bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton @bookish_yogi @rararesources @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Things We Need to Say

Author: Rachel Burton

Published by: HQ Digital on May 11, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

 Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan


Review:

Heartwrenching, touching, and undeniably affecting!

The Things We Need to Say is an absorbing, character-driven novel that highlights the emotional, physical and mental strain infertility and the loss of a child can have on a marriage.

The writing is vivid and eloquent. The characters are raw, consumed, traumatized, and real. And the plot told from dual perspectives is a beautifully written tale about life, loss, heartache, infidelity, friendship, yoga, introspection, and second-chance love.

Overall I would have to say that The Things We Need to Say is an immersive, warm, thought-provoking novel that reminds us just how important trust, communication, honesty, forgiveness, and love are to the success of a relationship and thus ultimately our own happiness.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

    

 

 

Thank you to Rachel Burton, HQ Digital, and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

#BookReview
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
@mkayandrews @StMartinsPress

#BookReviewThe High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPressTitle: The High Tide Club

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 8, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.


Review:

Mysterious, sentimental, and uplifting!

The High Tide Club is an alluring tale that delves into the life of ninety-nine-year Josephine Bettendorf Warrick and all the friendships, lies, secrets, and promises she made, told, and broke over her lifetime.

The prose is clear and fluid. The characters are well-developed, unique, and inquisitive. And the plot, alternating between past and present, is a nostalgic, twisty tale full of familial drama, loss, grief, war, forgiveness, deception, happiness, love, skinny dipping, southern life, and murder.

Overall, The High Tide Club is a humorous, emotional, heartbreaking, suspenseful story that highlights the intricate and dynamic bonds between friends, both old and new, that gets better and better as it goes along and is an excellent choice for a summer read!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BlogTour #Excerpt
East of India by Erica Brown
@baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1

 

 

#BookReview
The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner
@JamieLBrenner @littlebrown

#BookReview The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner @JamieLBrenner @littlebrownTitle: The Husband Hour

Author: Jamie Brenner

Published by: Little Brown and Company on April 24, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When a young widow’s reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family’s old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she’s forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.


Review:

Absorbing, poignant, and incredibly moving!

The Husband Hour is a beautifully written story that delves into the complexities and dynamics of relationships between partners, siblings, and the nuclear family as a whole and reminds us that there’s no perfection in humanity, we are all wonderfully flawed.

The prose is fluid and well turned. The characters are authentic, scarred and lovable. And the story is an exceptionally mesmerizing tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, community, moving on, happiness, and the enduring physical and psychological effects of sports injuries on professional athletes.

Overall, The Husband Hour is the perfect blend of heart-wrenching emotion, grit, hope, and humour. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it left me smiling, and I absolutely loved it!

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                             

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia but has called New York City her home for the past twenty years. She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in literature and spent her career in publishing before becoming an author herself. Her books include The Gin Lovers, The Wedding Sisters. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

#BookReview
An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope
@joannatrollope @PGCBooks

#BookReview An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope @joannatrollope @PGCBooksTitle: An Unsuitable Match

Author: Joanna Trollope

Published by: Pan Macmillan on March 27, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Number one bestselling author, Joanna Trollope, is back with her twenty-first novel.

Dealing with one’s own emotions is one thing, but facing a parent’s rollercoaster of a love life is quite another.

Rose Woodrowe is getting married to Tyler Masson – a wonderful, sensitive man who is head-over-heels in love with her. The only problem? This isn’t the first time for either of them. And when you marry later in life there are a lot more people to consider…

Like Rose’s daughter, Laura, who remembers her mother’s first marriage and doesn’t want her to get hurt again. Or the twins, Emmy and Nat, who are used to their mum being there for them whenever, and for whatever, they need. And then there’s Tyler’s children: Mallory, a young actress who craves her father’s attention, and Seth, whose San Francisco bakery is just taking off and needs all the money he can get.

Both Rose and Tyler are determined to get it right this time, but in trying to make everyone happy, can they ever be happy themselves?


Review:

Insightful, sincere, and absorbing!

An Unsuitable Match is a heartfelt, domestic story about relationships, new and old, and all the complexities, drama, and emotion that surround them.

The prose is polished and astute. The characters are well-developed, genuine, and troubled. And the plot is a compelling, heartwarming ride of life, love, self-discovery, familial dynamics, second-chance romance, aging, support, honesty, and friendship.

Overall, An Unsuitable Match is a sophisticated, moving, relatable tale that highlights the highs-and-lows of committing later in life and reminds us of all the struggles and challenges of trying to combine and blend families together.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

,

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope is the author of twenty highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including City of Friends, Friday Nights, Second Honeymoon, and The Other Family. She was appointed OBE in 1996, and a trustee of the UK National Literacy Trust in 2012. She has chaired the Whitbread and Orange Awards, as well as being a judge of many other literature prizes; she has been part of two DCMS panels on public libraries and is patron of numerous charities, including Meningitis Now, and Chawton House Library. In 2014, she updated Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as the opening novel in the Austen Project.

#BookReview
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
@HarperCollinsCa

#BookReview Tangerine by Christine Mangan @HarperCollinsCaTitle: Tangerine

Author: Christine Mangan

Published by: Ecco on March 27, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HarperCollins Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.


Review:

Chilling, atmospheric, and ominous!

Tangerine is a well-paced, psychological thriller set in Tangier, Morocco that is told from two different perspectives. Alice, a wealthy, fragile, young woman with a history of tragedy and a husband and new home she’s not entirely comfortable or content with. And Lucy, a dangerous, manipulative young lady who seems to lack a conscience and be driven by an unhealthy, violent obsession.

The writing is taut and vividly descriptive. The characters are complex, flawed, and highly unstable. And the plot, using alternating chapters, does a superb job of building tension and unease as it subtly unravels and intertwines an intricate web of lies, secrets, pretense, desperation, infatuation, violence, and murder.

Overall, Tangerine is a fantastic debut for Mangan that transports you to another time and place and reminds you that some friendships are not only toxic but often deadly.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christine Mangan

Christine Mangan has her PhD in English from University College Dublin, where her thesis focused on 18th-century Gothic literature, and an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Southern Maine. Tangerine is her first novel.

#BookReview
The Italian Party by Christina Lynch
@Clynchwriter @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Italian Party by Christina Lynch @Clynchwriter @StMartinsPressTitle: The Italian Party

Author: Christina Lynch

Published by: St. Martin's Press on March 20, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.

When Scottie’s Italian teacher―a teenager with secrets of his own―disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael’s dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.

Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America’s role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, prosecco, charming spies and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.


Review:

Picturesque, insightful, and delightfully winsome!

The Italian Party is an immersive story that takes you back to Siena, Italy during the mid-1950s when The Cold War was still influencing Italian politics, Communism was rampant, spies were everywhere, and in this tale newly married American couple Michael and Scottie have just arrived with glamour, high-tech gadgets, and an abundance of secrets.

The prose is eloquent and atmospheric. The characterization is exceptionally well drawn with a whole slew of characters that are colourful, affable, and quirky. And the plot is an intriguing mix of spy thriller, romance, and comedy, that’s full of life, love, self-discovery, deception, betrayal, grief, friendship, antics, and community.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started The Italian Party but it wasn’t long before Lynch swept me away in a debut that’s mysterious, informative, and witty and gave me a beautiful picture postcard of the history, landmarks, culture, and culinary fare of a country she obviously loves and knows well.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Lynch

Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She is the co-author of two novels under the pen name Magnus Flyte. She teaches at College of the Sequoias. The Italian Party is her debut novel under her own name.

 

 

#BookReview
Say My Name by Allegra Huston
@allegrahuston @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Say My Name by Allegra Huston @allegrahuston @HarlequinBooksTitle: Say My Name

Author: Allegra Huston

Published by: Mira Books on January 9, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Eve is a garden designer and antique buyer whose husband has left her after several miserable years of marriage. Her latest antique find is an old violin, beautiful but broken.

On meeting Micajah, 20 years younger than her, she feels a spark between them – a sexual spark she hasn’t felt in a long time.

As their affair escalates, Micajah shows her how to embrace her sexuality and take charge of it. A musician, he also helps her repair the violin to be even more beautiful than she could have imagined.

Eve goes on a journey of discovery, and the story ends in Venice where she and Micajah set each other free in the world, allowing Eve to take charge of her own happiness at last.


Review:

Pensive, intriguing, and incredibly seductive! 

Say My Name is an alluring novel that reminds us that women can be attractive, powerful, sexual beings at any age and highlights that you’re never too old to try new things, take risks, and discover what truly makes you happy.

The prose is delicate and raw. The characters are authentic, sensual, and unique. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging saga about marriage, independence, age disparity, music, desire, lust, and happiness.

Overall, Say My Name is a thought-provoking, love story with palpable emotion that for the most part kept me captivated and invested in both the characters and the situations they found themselves in.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Allegra Huston

Allegra Huston has written screenplays, journalism, and one previous book, Love Child: A Memoir of Family Lost and Found. After an early career in UK publishing, including four years as Editorial Director of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, she joined the film company Pathé as development consultant. She wrote and produced the award-winning short film Good Luck, Mr. Gorski, and is on the editorial staff of the international art and culture magazine Garage. She lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her 15-year-old son.

 

#BookReview & #GuestPost
If I Fall by Ella Harper
@Ella__Harper @canelo_co

#BookReview & #GuestPost If I Fall by Ella Harper @Ella__Harper @canelo_coTitle: If I Fall

Author: Ella Harper

Published by: Canelo on January 22, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 237

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Four university friends, four devastating secrets.

I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty.


Review:

Sobering, compelling, and incredibly intense!

If I Fall is a complex, character-driven novel that delves into how much friendships can define us and highlights how secrets, lies, and unspoken words can emotionally and psychologically impact them.

The writing is somber and raw. The characters are multifaceted, desperate, and broken. And the plot, using multiple perspectives, is an engaging, edgy tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, deception, jealousy, abuse, friendship, and family.

If I Fall is truly a poignant novel that reminds us that life is unpredictable and full of ups and downs and true friends are those who are there not only in the good times, but more importantly during the hard ones.

 

And now Ella Harper with:

The Importance of Subplots

So. We all know what the main plot in the novel is. It’s the story at the centre of the novel…the important, key issue or theme. That’s the all singing, all dancing part of the story – the part we most want the reader to connect with and relate to. But by and large, there will also be a subplot – or subplots – running alongside.

   The subplot is the secondary strand that supports the main story. It will usually (but doesn’t have to) connect to the main plot and this could be in terms of the theme of the novel, or perhaps the timeline. The subplot could involve the main characters or supporting characters in the book and it will take up less action. It might, however, provide light relief for the tenseness of the main plot strand, adding humour perhaps. It might create a realistic feel to the main plot by showing contrast or providing colour and richness. It can also be used to develop a lesser character in the novel who may become significant later on and who could be woven into the main plot. The subplot should definitely reinforce the main plot – and much of the time, this is a device used to reveal relevant information to the reader that might not have been revealed elsewhere. Equally, a subplot might be used to crank up the tension in the main plot, bringing the protagonist to a different point.

   Another useful aspect of the subplot is to bring in another viewpoint. Sometimes an author can use an entirely new voice or ‘person’ for the subplot…writing in the third person or the first person to differentiate and bring another layer into the novel. But the main thing is the ensure that the main plot is always at centre stage and only use your subplot when you want to change the pace or utilise it in the ways mentioned above.

   I used a few subplots in my first Ella Harper novel Pieces of You. The main characters were essentially Luke and Lucy Harte, but with Luke in a coma for much of the novel, other characters had to come to the fore. So the feelings of Luke’s sister Nell and his mother Patricia then came into play as subplots, which supported the main plot.

   In If I Fall, each character was part of the main storyline, but also had their own subplot, which made it complex, but really fun to write. The characters interacted with one another, weaving in and out of each other’s lives and stories until they merged into one and the subplots all kind of became the main plot. But the characters’ subplots served to provide background and an insight into their lives that then became relevant to the main plot and hook of the novel which is…which one of them wants to commit suicide? And why? As I say, tricky to write, but my favourite so far, because of all the complex subplots!

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

Thank you to Ella Harper and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ella Harper

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

 

#BookReview
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
@ChanelCleeton @BerkleyPub

#BookReview Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton @ChanelCleeton @BerkleyPubTitle: Next Year in Havana

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Published by: Berkley Publishing on February 6, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 394

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Berkley Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.


Review:

Atmospheric, absorbing, and incredibly heartfelt!

Next Year in Havana is a riveting tale that sweeps you into a country ravished by rebellion, oppression, economic instability, and political upheaval, and a populace that’s confused, disappointed, angry and struggling with self-identity, patriotism, and a lack of freedom and rights.

The story is set in Cuba during both the late 1950s, as well as present day and is full of mystique, familial drama, heartbreak, secrets, deception, history, culture, courage, loss, self-discovery, hope, and romance.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are multi-layered, sympathetic, and torn. And the plot is well crafted and uses a past/present style to unravel all the motivations, personalities, and relationships within it.

Next Year in Havana is the perfect blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully written story that is nostalgic, heartbreaking, fascinating and sweet and highlights Cleeton’s passion for her familial heritage.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Chanel Cleeton and Berkley Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Chanel Cleeton

Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

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