Women’s Fiction

#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.

#CoverReveal
The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali
@AnneJohnLigali @rararesources

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Friendships Online Series – Part Two

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

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

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

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

 

About the Author:

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

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

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

 

For more information on Anne John-Ligali, visit her at the following:

 BLOG / TWITTER / FACEBOOK / BOOKS & AUTHORS UK / BOOKS & AUTHORS TWITTER / BOOKS & AUTHORS FACEBOOK

 

Available April 30, 2018! Preorder Now!

 

 

#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.

                                            

 

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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.

#GuestPost
The Summer Will Come by Soulla Christodoulou
@schristodoulou2 @rararesources

 

Synopsis:

Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time. Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland’s traditions and culture. Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost? A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn’t always as imagined.

 

About the Author:

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education. She is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes as well as proof reading and other writing services.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and The Summer Will Come is her second novel. She is currently working on a third novel Trust is a Big Word about an on-line illicit relationship that develops between two people.

 

And now Soulla Christodoulou:

Thank you for inviting me to post as part of the blog tour for the launch of The Summer Will Come out on 25th March 2015. I thought long and hard about what I could share with you and then I remembered how my family has always celebrated ‘Name Days’. So I asked my mum about them and did a little research of my own too.

In Cyprus ‘Name Days’ traditionally are celebrated more than actual birthdays which weren’t even registered until the 1900s in Cyprus. This is because in Cyprus, and across Greece too, children are typically named after a Patron Saint of their region,

with the eldest son often being named after his paternal grandfather, and the eldest daughter after her paternal grandmother. This is why it’s common to see a continuation of names in the family line and often cousins within the same family will share names too.

I looked up Saint Days for the Greek Orthodox Church and found that every day of the year, with no exception, is dedicated to the memory of at least one saint or martyr and in some cases there are more than one to celebrate on each day. (you can view the calendar by clicking HERE). 

So what do we do to celebrate our ‘Name Day’? Traditionally, in Cyprus the person celebrating their Name Day has a party and invites all their family and friends who bring gifts of food, flowers and presents. It is a party for all so whoever wants to join in can and in the villages very often the party continues all day and in the evening. The host will have food and drinks ready and will welcome everyone into their home as a way of rejoicing together. My ‘Name Day’, my full name is Anastasia, was celebrated on the 22nd January – I cooked a special meal for my family and I received lots of wishes and phone calls wishing me a happy ‘Name Day’. If I was living in Cyprus I am in no doubt that my neighbours and friends would have come over for a drink and even a dance and wished me Xponia bolla! – may you be blessed with many years!

Each Greek Orthodox Church is also named after a saint, therefore there are also community celebrations for its ‘Name Day’, known as panigiria, which include food, fireworks and fairs. On the eve of the saint’s day, villagers and street-vendors may gather in the grounds of the patron saint’s church to sell local delicacies and homemade gifts and bric-a-brac.

So following in the Greek tradition why not look up your ‘Name Day’ date and if you need an excuse that is, use it as just that and have a party with your friends and family. Thank you and happy ‘Name Day’ to you all.

 

Thank you to Soulla Christodoulou for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!

 

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

For more information on Soulla Christodoulou follow her on the following:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Scriggler

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert
@JaneLambert22 @HQDigitalUK

#BookReview #BlogTour The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert @JaneLambert22 @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Start of Something Wonderful

Author: Jane Lambert

Published by HQ Digital on June 5, 2015

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 364

Format: eBook

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Previously published as Learning to Fly

It’s never too late to follow your dreams…

Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…

Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!

Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?

Don’t miss this heartwarming and uplifting debut, perfect for fans of Colleen Coleman and Cate Woods!


Review:

Inspiring, humorous, and heartfelt!

The Start of Something Wonderful is a delightfully affecting tale that takes us on a journey into the life of Emily Forsyth as she courageously decides at forty to reinvent herself and give up all the luxuries she’s become accustomed to and follow her life-long dream of becoming an actress.

The writing style is light and genuine. The characters are fun-loving, realistic, quirky, and likable. And the amusing plot is filled with hope, heartbreak, infidelity, friendship, family, dreams, romance, awkward moments, entertaining mishaps, yummy food, and an insight into the crazy world of theatre production and movie making.

Overall, The Start of Something Wonderful is an engaging, effortless read that highlights that at any age it’s possible to start over and live a happy, rewarding, fulfilled life you just have to commit and jump!

 

This book is available now. 

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

                    

 

 

 

Thank you to Jane Lambert and HQ Digital UK for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Lambert

Jane was born in Yorkshire and brought up on the west coast of Scotland. She studied French and German at Stirling University, taught English in Vienna and travelled the world as cabin crew before making the life-changing (and slightly mad) decision to become an actress in her mid-thirties.

She has appeared in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, “Calendar Girls” and “Deathtrap” in London’s West End.

While hanging around as an understudy in draughty theatre dressing rooms, she wrote her first novel, “The Start of Something Wonderful” and has now discovered her true path in life. Jane is currently writing her second book, “Marriage, Mafia & Mozzarella” and a 6-part comedy drama for TV.

 

#BookReview
On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond
@LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: On a Beautiful Day

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by Pan Macmillan on March 9, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An inspiring and uplifting novel from the bestselling author of The Secrets of Happiness and The House of New Beginnings.

In Lucy Diamond’s new novel, On a Beautiful Day, four thirty-something friends are catching up, eating al fresco at a bistro in Manchester. Laura is desperate to get pregnant and is glumly starting to think it’s never going to happen. Recent divorcee Juliet is swept up in a whirlwind romance although finding it hard to win over her new partner’s precocious teenage daughter. Eve, an uptight and a control freak, has found a lump in her breast and is in complete denial that anything might be wrong. India is the most happy-go-lucky of the four, but when you’re trying to juggle a career, marriage, kids, ailing parents, neurotic dog, and a falling-down house, there’s always a catastrophe waiting in the wings.

But when they witness an accident on the street that changes them forever, each woman begins to contemplate just how lucky (or not) they really are.


Review:

Affecting, inspiring, and delightfully mesmerizing!

On a Beautiful Day is a heartwarming tale that reminds us that life should be lived to the fullest every day and it’s not only the high but also the low moments in life that truly shape us.

There are four main characters in this novel; Eve, an accountant and mother of two who struggles to ask for help; Jo, a divorcee and nurse who’s hesitant to fall in love; Laura, a middle-aged woman who craves motherhood; and India, a mother of three who has a secret from the past that continually haunts.

The prose is warm and emotional. The characters are multifaceted, empathetic, resilient, and endearing. And the plot is a sweeping saga about life, loss, family, secrets, adultery, infertility, determination, acceptance, self-discovery, happiness, romance, and love.

Diamond has an uncanny ability to write beautiful, beguiling stories about female friendships that resonate and On a Beautiful Day is no exception. It’s powerful, genuine, heartfelt, and moving and I enjoyed every minute of it.

 

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 Lucy Diamond

Lucy Diamond lives in Bath, England with her husband and their three children. She has penned numerous bestselling novels, including The House of New Beginnings, The Secrets of Happiness, Summer at Shell Cottage, and The Year of Taking Chances.

 

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
Finding Dreams by Lauren Westwood
@lwestwoodwriter @Aria_Fiction

#BookReview #BlogTour Finding Dreams by Lauren Westwood @lwestwoodwriter @Aria_FictionTitle: Finding Dreams

Author: Lauren Westwood

Published by Aria on March 1, 2018

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 590

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Lizzie Green opens up her house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel, she has no idea how her life will change. A heartwarming story of love and second chances.

A must-read for summer – a heartwarming story of love and second chances. Perfect for the fans of Jane Costello and Milly Johnson.

Lizzie Greene is about to lose everything when her husband suddenly dies and his debts come to light.

To make ends meet she opens up her quirky old house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel. Her life and household are turned upside down when a whole cast of colourful characters enters her family’s lives: from an enigmatic author, a handsome location scout, a brooding director, to a heart-throb leading man, never mind her now ex-mother-in-law camped out in her drive. As Lizzie delves deeper into the film’s book, all is not as it seems.


Review:

Compelling, poignant, and uplifting!

Finding Dreams is an entertaining, heartwarming read about letting go of the past, accepting the things you can’t change, forgiving, surviving, taking chances, and moving on!

The writing style is engaging and creative. The characters are reluctant, troubled, and lovable, including the quirky, old Tanglewild, which is a character itself with its landscape, history, and multitude of secrets. And the plot, using a story within a story, is an intriguing, mysterious tale about life, loss, heartache, infidelity, friendship, family, romance, and the crazy world of movie making.

Finding Dreams, overall,  is a delightfully charming tale that is heartfelt and genuine and reminds us that good things can happen if you believe in yourself, stay open minded, and be excited for whatever comes next.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                              

 

 

Thank you to Lauren Westwood and Aria Fiction for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lauren Westwood

Lauren Westwood is also a prize-winning debut YA novelist and a solicitor for a renewable energy company. Originally from California, she now lives in a rickety 400-year-old house in Surrey, with her partner Ian and their three young daughters.

 

For more information on Aria Fiction visit them at:

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | NetGalley | Newsletter

 

#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.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview & #GuestPost
Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael
@ALMichael_ @canelo_co

#BlogTour #BookReview & #GuestPost Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael @ALMichael_ @canelo_coTitle: Prosecco and Promises

Author: A.L. Michael

Series: Martini Club #2

Published by Canelo on February 12, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

Meet Mia: an unforgettable heroine learning the meaning of life and love on a beautiful Italian island. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.

Mia’s dad has always been her idol. Now, she faces losing him and he is insisting that she leave England to visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia.

Arriving on the island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy relatives she hardly knows. Despite her doubts about the trip, it is in Italy that Mia discovers connections to a part of her life that’s been missing, and during the sun-soaked days and steamy nights Mia falls for handsome local Salvatore. But as the day of her departure draws nearer can she risk having her heart broken twice in one summer?

If you love Prosecco and Promises, why not read more about Mia’s best friend Savvy in Cocktails and Dreams? Out now!


Review:

Uplifting, romantic, and genuinely heartfelt!

Prosecco and Promises is predominantly set on the island of Ischia in the Mediterranean and is the story of Mia, a young woman who heads to her mother’s homeland and the relatives she barely knows when the impending loss of her beloved father turns her life upside down.

The prose is expressive and effortless. The characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters that are multilayered, strong, charming, and determined. And the character-driven plot interweaves the lives of multi-generational families as they learn to cope, survive, heal, respect, support, and love each other unconditionally.

Overall Prosecco and Promises is sweet and incredibly touching with a real undercurrent of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, and grief. And even though it had me in tears more than once, it also had me smiling, laughing and completely enthralled by all the big family antics and budding romances.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

And now A.L. Michael with:

My Writing Routine

When I first started out, writing was a very different game – I was a pantser, no doubt, letting the story flow where it felt like. I still think that’s really important, discovering the story as you write it. It’s half the fun, where plot points and ideas just suddenly appear from thin air (when really, you’d been leading your mind there with breadcrumbs as you’ve been writing). The first draft is always you telling yourself the story, and there’s something beautiful in that – your brain telling your hands or fingertips a tall tale.

My process has changed a little since then – I’ve got a 9-5 and I’m still writing at least two books a year. I can’t poodle along like before. My ideas need to have a least a little structure, a few plot points to work towards, to keep me on track. When you’re working towards deadlines, and you don’t have too much time to write, knowing where you’re going and making the most of that precious time is important.

When the story is evolving, I’ll be writing notes on my phone, usually fragments of conversation that gives me an idea of who my characters are, without having to know what they’re talking about. Usually, these don’t get used. I’ll start typing it up straight away, usually after writing a brief outline. And then it’s onto the daily typing – I fit it in wherever I can. Writing this article now is instead of my lunchtime writing. I bring my laptop in almost every day and write for an hour. Usually I can get about 1500 words done. When I get home, I’ll try and write some more after dinner, with the TV on in the background. Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings are when I get up early and snuggle into the sofa to grab a few hours, and those are probably my most productive times.

Being in the story, even when you can’t be writing, is becoming more important. I’ve been creating playlists for my novels, and I listen to them on the way home from work, to prepare myself for the scene I’m going to write.

When you’re in the story, everything suddenly starts to relate to it – it’s like being in love. Everything you see, or read, or hear, starts to influence and connect to what you’re writing. I’ve always been a one for stealing snippets of phrases I hear on the train, or things friends say, and so I take every experience that isn’t writing as inspiration for writing.

The biggest excuse for anything is not having time. Not having time to see people, to write books, to workout. I refuse to let that stop me. Because time is what you make it. If you’re scribbling notes on your morning commute – you’re writing a book! If you’re writing full time doing 20 minute springs – wahey, you’ve found your rhythm! We use and value our time differently, and it’s true, I don’t have kids or a huge amount of responsibility, so I’m using every minute I can, so that when I do have less time, I won’t feel guilty.

I’ll never forget at my first book launch I heard another writer say ‘Well, I could have a book published if I had the time,’ and it still makes me laugh to this day, because you have the time. We all have time. When it gets towards deadlines and I’m up until 1am editing and I don’t go out at the weekends and I’ve had to tell people not to call me for a week – that’s me having the time. It’s like when people look at modern art and say ‘my kid could have done that’, my answer is always: ‘but they didn’t, did they? This person did.’

So that’s my routine – snatched moments wherever I can, and whether you need structure or not, I would encourage you to snatch those moments too. They’re precious, and finite, and when people ask you how you did it, you tell them you made the time.

 

Thank you to A.L. Michael and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About A.L. Michael

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of 10 novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, started with Cocktails and Dreams, to be followed by Prosecco and Promises, and Martinis and Memories. She likes to write about difficult women. Well, they say to write what you know. Andi works as a Content Writer, as well as a therapeutic facilitator. She has a bunch of degrees in stuff to do with writing, and wrote her MSc dissertation on the power of creative writing in eating disorder recovery. She truly believes stories can change your life.

 

#BookReview
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
@KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

#BookReview Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouseTitle: Surprise Me

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Published by Dial Press on February 13, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.


Review:

Warm, affecting, and extremely entertaining!

Surprise Me is a lighthearted journey into the lives of married couple Sylvie and Dan who have it all, beautiful girls, successful careers, and a rock-solid marriage until the suggestion of another 68 years of marriage sends them into a tailspin that makes them question their goals, dreams, and each other.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are quirky, comical, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is an engaging, moving tale bursting with witty banter, embarrassing situations, awkward moments, hilarious hijinks, and sweet romance.

Surprise Me is, ultimately, a story about marriage, secrets, commitment, family, introspection, and enduring love. It’s classic Kinsella with well-crafted characters, humour, heart, a surprising twist and a delightful ending that will definitely make you smile.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night, the hugely popular Shopaholic novels and the Young Adult novel Finding Audrey. She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham.

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