Genre: 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.

#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 #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 writes romantic women's fiction, and is also an award-winning children's writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three 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.

#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
Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley
@marissastapley @SimonSchusterCA @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley @marissastapley @SimonSchusterCA @HarlequinBooksTitle: Things to Do When It's Raining

Author: Marissa Stapley

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on February 6, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Two families are torn apart by secret pasts and broken hearts—from Globe and Mail-bestselling author Marissa Stapley.

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers and Gabriel Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence river. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets stand in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.


Review:

Powerful, poignant, and heartrending!

Things to Do When It’s Raining is an absorbing novel that delves into the mental and emotional anguish that can be caused by underlying secrets, grief, guilt, family dynamics, friendship, first loves and loneliness and emphasizes the importance of closure and forgiveness.

The prose is smooth and well turned. The characters are consumed, troubled, raw, and authentic. And the character-driven plot interweaves the past and present of two multigenerational families as they learn to cope, survive, accept, support and love each other unconditionally.

Things to Do When It’s Raining is ultimately an intelligent, evocative, pensive novel by Stapley that tugs at the heartstrings from start to finish.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Harlequin – Graydon House for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marissa Stapley

Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novel Mating for Life, and the forthcoming Things to Do When It’s Raining. She writes the commercial fiction review column “Shelf Love” for the Globe and Mail, reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star, and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

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