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Monday, 30 July 2018

Five Unforgivable Things by Vivien Brown



Almost thirty years ago, Kate’s dream came true. After years of struggling, she was finally pregnant following pioneering IVF. But the dream came at a cost. Neither Kate nor her husband Dan could have known the price they would have to pay to fulfil their cherished wish of having their own family. Now, years later, their daughter Natalie is getting married and is fulfilling her own dream of marrying her childhood sweetheart. Natalie knows she won’t be like most brides as she travels down the aisle in her wheelchair, but it’s the fact her father won’t be there to walk beside her that breaks her heart. Her siblings, Ollie, Beth and Jenny, gather around Natalie, but it isn’t just their father who is missing from their lives… as the secrets that have fractured the family rise to the surface, can they learn to forgive each other before it’s too late?



Title: Five Unforgivable Things
Author:  Vivien Brown
Published by: Harper Impulse 
Publication Date:  26 July 2018
Links: UK:    Amazon      US:   Amazon




Guest Post and Novel Extract by Vivien Brown


Life and love in a wheelchair: Introducing a disabled character


This is a book about a marriage and the quest for a child, and some of the bad decisions and unforgivable mistakes a couple make along the way. In Kate and Dan I wanted to create realistic characters, and hopefully likeable characters, who love each other but can’t always cope with what life throws at them, especially when it’s their own actions that are so often to blame. But two people, no matter how many problems they might have, can never fill a 100,000 word novel. I needed a cast of supporting characters too, and so, running alongside the story of the marriage, set over a forty year period, I have written alternate chapters in the present day, based around the lives of their now adult children.

I am not sure how the idea first came to me to put one of them in a wheelchair, but I have certainly noticed how few disabilities feature in mainstream romantic and women’s fiction. Why shouldn’t a leading character be disabled? She doesn’t have to be able to walk to be strong, or happy, or to achieve her dreams. And yet, I didn’t want to make my story about disability. Natalie is not there to be pitied or as some kind of champion for the disabled. She is just there! She is a character in her own right, with just the same feelings, friendships and family ties as everyone else.

In fact, of all the siblings, it is Natalie who is in many ways the happiest and the most settled. She is the one about to get married, to the childhood sweetheart who used to push her home from school. Whatever practical difficulties she encounters can be overcome, and always have been, with those who love her by her side. But she still has all the same worries and doubts any soon-to-be-bride has when planning her wedding – about the guest list, the bridesmaids, the honeymoon, sex, and of course the dress...

In this extract, Natalie is entering a posh bridal shop. She wants to look fabulous on her big day, but can she really get away with wearing a long flowing traditional wedding dress? Won’t it drag along the floor, get caught in her wheels, make her the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons? The reaction from the shop owner says it all - Natalie is different from her usual clientele. But Natalie is a determined young woman and, whatever dress she chooses, her wedding is going to be done her way, and it will be perfect… if only her father would agree to be there.

But why is Natalie in a wheelchair, and why has Dan told her he can’t give her away? Why not read the book and find out!



Novel Extract


Natalie wasn’t used to doing things alone. In fact, these last few days had probably – no, definitely – been the first she had ever spent entirely by herself. Phil was away at a work conference so boring she didn’t even want to hear about it when he called, let alone be there with him, and Mum was off on one of her regular retreats, her mobile deliberately switched off. Jenny and Beth were visiting some seaside spa place together on a cheap mid-week deal for two. Natalie hadn’t been able to get the time off work to join them, even if squeezing an extra bed into their room had been a possibility, but the truth was she hadn’t been asked. Despite their distance, the bridesmaid question still hung in the air between them, unspoken but so obviously there, and she knew that by the time they came back, it needed to be answered.

Natalie shook her thoughts away, tentatively leaned into the glass door of the shop and eased it open. Although the best of the summer was over and the days were already starting to get noticeably shorter again, the sun was bright today and she could feel her spirits lift along with it. The path through the park was bordered by bouncing rows of tiny-headed purple pansies, newly planted in neat rows, and, after a week of relentless drizzle, her raincoat and boots were at last stuffed back in the hall cupboard in favour of a lighter jacket and her favourite sandals. There was something about the change in the weather that seemed to promise better things to come, making her feel suddenly bold. It was her wedding, after all. Not theirs. And she would do things the way she wanted to, whatever any of them said.

The shop’s interior was an oasis of beauty and calm. There was a deep cream carpet and floor to ceiling mirrors without so much as a smudge on their shiny gilt-edged glass. The sweet scent of jasmine drifted in the air but, in the absence of any real flowers, it seemed to be coming from a huge fat candle that floated in the centre of a bowl of water on a shelf, well out of harm’s way, behind a small desk in the corner. Little red velvet-covered chairs were dotted about around the edges of the room, between tall slim glass cases with the most wonderful satin shoes, beaded bags and glittering tiaras displayed on their shelves. One wall, the longest one, off to her right, was swamped by an unbroken row of big billowing floor-length dresses that brought the phrase ‘as far as the eye can see’ instantly to her mind. There was nobody else about and, for a moment, she just came to a standstill right in the centre of it all, feeling completely overwhelmed.

“Can I help you?” A small bird-like woman, with a slight foreign accent Natalie couldn’t quite place, and a tape measure looped loosely around her neck, emerged from behind a curtain at the back of the shop, revealing a brief glimpse of a hidden workroom beyond, with a sewing machine and scraps of satin and lace strewn across a cluttered table in the centre, and yet more dresses, draped on hangers from an over-full coat stand and all encased in see-through plastic bags.

Natalie saw the look of surprise that flickered across the woman’s heavily made-up face before it was swallowed up in what was clearly a well-practised customer-friendly smile. It was a look she was used to, one that told her she was not quite who, or what, had been expected to come rolling in.

“Sorry… about the carpet.” Natalie turned her head to indicate the small trail of dirt and soggy leaves her wheels had brought in with them.

“That’s all right. Can’t be helped.” The woman’s face flushed as she came forward, fiddling nervously with the tape around her neck.

“I’d like to look at a dress please,” Natalie said. “The ivory one in the window. And, I’m sorry, but I might need a bit of help to try it on.”

Thank you so much for joining us today Viv, the book sounds really interesting and I can't wait to read it.

Sincerely
Book Angel x




About The Author



Vivien Brown lives in west London with her husband and two cats. She worked for many years in banking and accountancy, and then, after the birth of twin daughters, made a career switch and started working with young children, originally as a childminder but later in libraries and children’s centres, promoting the joys of reading and sharing books through story-times and book-based activities and training sessions. As Vivien Hampshire, she has written many short stories for the women’s magazine market and a range of professional articles and book reviews for the nursery and childcare press, in addition to a ‘how to’ book based on her love of solving cryptic crosswords. Now a full time writer, working from home, Vivien is combining novel-writing and her continuing career in magazine short stories with her latest and most rewarding role as doting grandmother.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Confetti and Confusion by Daisy James





The Paradise Cookery School is officially open!
Stepping in for a celebrity chef, Millie Harper is feeling the pressure to make the first ever Paradise Cookery School classes a dazzling success and ensure that bride-to-be Imogen and friends have an unforgettable experience.

Meanwhile, Millie is trying to play it cool around handsome estate manager Zach Barker. But whenever he is near Millie cannot fail to notice the chemistry between them – until someone from Zach’s past arrives and any potential romance seems out of the question.

When disaster strikes and the wedding is in jeopardy, Millie realises she may have to go above and beyond to make sure the school is a success. Can Millie manage to create a day that dreams are made of, and will she find a way to tell Zach how she feels?

Allow yourself to be transported to the balmy St Lucian sunshine by this uplifting summer read – perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver and Sarah Morgan
The Paradise Cookery School
Sunshine & Secrets
Confetti & Confusion
Mistletoe & Mystery (out Sep 2018!)



Title:  Confetti and Confusion
Author:  Daisy James
Published By: Canelo Escape
Publication Date: 9th July 2018
Links:  UK:  Amazon     US: Amazon


Guest Post by Daisy James

We are delighted to welcome Daisy James to our blog today to talk about her latest book Confetti and Confusion.


Adventures in St Lucia
Confetti & Confusion is the second book in the Paradise Cookery School series, set on the spectacular Caribbean island of St Lucia. In the story we re-join Millie and Ella as they showcase a myriad of chocolate-themed recipes for bride-to-be Imogen and her friends in the run up to their glamorous wedding at a luxury resort on the hilltop overlooking the stunning Pitons. It’s a dream come true for Imogen to be getting married in such exotic surroundings and, as a confirmed chocoholic, being able to attend the cookery school is the icing on the three-tiered wedding cake.
By the time the Chocolate & Confetti course starts, Millie has been in St Lucia for two weeks and she’s been so busy that she hasn’t had time to see very much of the island. Zach comes to the rescue and offers to take her on a magical mystery tour of the sights, culminating in an exhilarating treat. Millie isn’t sure about that, but if there’s one thing she’s learnt since meeting Zach it’s that life is for the taking and unless she’s prepared to grab it by the scruff of its neck, she’ll be missing out on all the wonderful things on offer in that part of the world. Little did she know what Zach had up his sleeve – zip-lining!
I had a great time watching the videos of people who had enjoyed the zip wire flights on the slopes above the St Lucian capital of Castries. It looked like fun, but also very scary! The trees were as tall as telegraph poles, and the dense tropical foliage hid a plethora of creatures, insects and bugs. The worst bit for Millie was when she stood on the platform, her toes gripping onto the edge, her stomach churning like an out-of-control washing machine. Fortunately, Zach was there to encourage her to take that first flying leap into the unknown and once she’d landed on the next wooden ledge in the treetops, she was hooked! Exhilarating!
In the interests of research, I decided that I should try out a zip wire ride myself. However, flying through the September air in the UK is a totally different experience to what it would have been in the sun-drenched Caribbean, and I have to admit it was the scariest research I’ve ever done. My heart lodged firmly in my mouth, my knees trembled, and it took a great deal of persuasion for me to jump from the safety of the first platform. Nevertheless, I did it – but I can definitely say that I will not be repeating that particular adventure. I prefer the food-based research any day!
Have you done a zip wire flight? Let me know in the comments.

Sincerely
Book Angel x



About the Author


Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks or on Instagram @booksdaisyjames.


Monday, 25 June 2018

After He's Gone by Jane Isaac



You think you know him. Until he’s dead.

When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them.

As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets.

Even the dead…


Title:  After He's Gone
Author: Jane Isaac
Publication Date: 18th June
Links:  UK:  Amazon   US: Amazon


Our Review



I love a book with intrigue right from the start and this book fits the bill perfectly.

DC Beth Chamberlain is assigned as a family liaison officer in a case where a man called Cameron Swift is murdered in cold blood on his own doorstep. She then becomes involved in the investigation as they unravel the complexities of his life and discover how much he'd been hiding from his fiancée Monika.

The investigation was really interesting as we are taken down various avenues and the secrets are unearthed one by one and we are pulled in different directions not knowing who can be trusted. Delving into the lives of those around him threw up some interesting facts and complicated the investigation further.

I really liked Beth's character and the mix of dynamics from the relationships around her with her sister and also her lover and how those relationships affected Beth's role in the police.

This was very well written and the build up of suspense throughout ensured that the pit of my stomach felt pinched as I was held in the grip of wanting to know what happens next.

Looking forward to Jane's next book as I'm sure there's a lot more in store for Beth Chamberlain.

A very satisfying read to quench my craving for crime novels.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author




Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective (very helpful for research!). They live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane's debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.'

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as 'Thriller of the Month - April 2014' by E-thriller.com and winner of 'Noveltunity book club selection - May 2014'.

Jane' s sixth novel, After He's Gone, features Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain and will be released in June 2018. The second Beth Chamberlain novel will follow later in 2018.

Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. You can reach her via her website at www.janeisaac.co.uk

Sign up to her book club at http://eepurl.com/1a2uT for book recommendations and details of new releases, events and giveaways.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson





Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

Fast-paced and thrilling, The Brighton Mermaid explores the deadly secrets of those closest to you.


Title: The Brighton Mermaid
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Published By:  Century
Publication Date: 17th May 2018
Links:  UK:  Amazon       US: Amazon
                      Waterstones
                      WH Smith


Our Review

Wow this is one of the best books I've ever read.
It was mesmerising from beginning to end and the momentum of the plot raced along with intrigue and suspense in equal measures.
The story is told by alternating chapters between Nell and her sister Macy and also alternates between the present day and to the time of the discovery of the body, along with flashbacks to other occasions.
As a teenager Nell and her best friend Jude discovered the body of a girl on Brighton beach. The unidentified girl soon became known as The Brighton Mermaid due to a defining tattoo on her arm and the case remained unsolved even after 25 years.

I found the premise of the story absolutely fascinating as Nell spent most of her time trying to find out who the Brighton Mermaid was and what happened to her.
Also the fact that Nell and Jude's lives were changed so dramatically after this incident mostly due to the reaction of the police which involved racism towards them and their families. One nasty piece of work in particular called John Pope was determined to destroy them.
To say this book was unputdownable is a complete understatement, I enjoyed every last word of it and the book itself was so thick and felt great to be immersed in.

Nell is a flawed but immensely likeable character and I felt so sad for her for the way she was treated. The author has been very perceptive in relaying the feelings of teenage insecurities and how unkind words said to a teenager can have a profound affect on the rest of their life.

Dorothy Koomson is one of my favourite authors and this has become my favourite of all of her books. I see this as a blockbuster film or series on a par with Big Little Lies. I want to shout from the rooftops BUY THIS AMAZING BOOK!!!

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author













Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 14 novels and has been making up stories since she was 13 when she used to share her stories with her convent school friends. Her published titles include: The Friend, When I Was Invisible, That Girl From Nowhere, The Flavours of Love, The Woman He Loved Before, Goodnight, Beautiful and The Chocolate Run.

Dorothy’s first novel, The Cupid Effect, was published in 2003 (when she was quite a bit older than 13). Her third book, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of 2006 and went on to sell over 500,000 copies. While her fourth novel, Marshmallows For Breakfast, has sold in excess of 250,000 copies. Dorothy’s books, The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach were both shortlisted for the popular fiction category of the British Book Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

Dorothy’s novels have been translated into over 30 languages, and a TV adaptation loosely based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013. After briefly living in Australia, Dorothy now lives in Brighton.

For more information on Dorothy Koomson visit www.dorothykoomson.co.uk

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Five Years From Now by Paige Toon




What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?
Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

Title:  Five Years From Now
Author: Paige Toon
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date 17th May 2018
Links:  UK:   Amazon      US:   Amazon
                     Waterstones
                     W H Smith


Our Review


Heartbreaking and heart wrenching I actually felt physical pain in my tummy at the ending of this book.

I loved every second of it. It's almost like a modern version of Wuthering Heights if Heathcliff had been a nice person. Paige Toon has an amazing way of creating believable characters and delving into their and the reader's emotions and she doesn't hold back from breaking hearts.

Nell and Vian first meet at the age of five when he and his mum move in with Nell and her dad. It doesn't take long before they become inseparable until a tragedy occurs and their lives are torn apart. The book returns to their relationship every five years and we get to see them change from being filled with teenage angst into fun loving twenties and then become more mature as time goes on.

I loved both Nell and Vian so much as they were such lovely characters. Going through their teenage years took me back to when I was a teenager and the feelings I felt then were captured beautifully.
Sadly they go through a lot of heartbreak throughout this book but although the ending tears your heart out there is still such an uplifting feel to it and then wallop! the last line makes you want to sing.

I now need to lie in a darkened room to recover from this amazing love story

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author


Paige Toon was born in 1975. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women's magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. She is very experienced at events and interviews and has a significant social media following. The One We Fell in Love With was picked for the Zoella Book Club. Her novels are bestsellers throughout Europe.

Visit Paige's website at paigetoon.com to sign up to her free book club, 'The Hidden Paige', and say hi to her on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor and Facebook.com/PaigeToonAuthor

Friday, 1 June 2018

Sunshine & Sweetpeas on Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain





Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide... a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don't take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read - you'll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.


Title:  Sunshine & Sweetpeas in Nightingale Square
Author: Heidi Swain
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  31st May 2018
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon


Our Review


This book was an absolute delight to read and I can safely say it is my favourite so far.

The story focuses on Kate who moves away from the fictional village of Wynbridge, which features in all of Heidi's other novels, to leave behind a failed relationship and as soon as she finds the little cottage on Nightingale Square I immediately felt at home there and wished I could move in.

I found the story intriguing in parts and was flicking the pages quickly to try and find out what was behind the history of Prosperous Place the mansion which was on Nightingale Square, which sounded amazing.

I fell in love with Luke the hero and found some of the conversations he had with Kate really quite funny. I also really liked the new friends that Kate had made in her new neighbourhood and thoroughly enjoyed being on her journey with her as she settled into her new place.
.
I also enjoyed the trip back to The Cherry Tree cafe which featured in Heidi's first novel.

Reading this book about love, friendship and second chances is as lovely as that special time when spring turns into summer and will guarantee you a cosy warm feeling inside.

If you haven't read the other books by this author then why not? This one could be read as a standalone but you really should read all the others too.

Heartily recommended.

Sincerely
Book Angel x



About the Author



Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she finally plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she writes contemporary fiction and enjoys the company of a whole host of feisty female characters.

Heidi is now a Sunday Times Best-selling author who lives in stunning south Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Cafe, was published on July 16th, 2015 and became an Amazon bestseller.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Oh My God What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen



Ever been a small town girl trying to make a life in the big city?

Meet twenty-something Aisling - that's pronounced Ashling - she can barely boil an egg let alone figure out what night bus to catch home.

But she's got a job in the big city, a flat and a boyfriend. She has an umbrella for rainy days, an electric blanket for cold nights and keeps her kitten heels firmly on the ground.

Until the day she accidentally ditches her only slightly useless boyfriend John. And finds herself in a spot of bother at work.

Is it time to pack up and go back to the sticks?
Or can Aisling fix the mess she's made?
What's a Complete Aisling to do?


Title:  Oh My God What A Complete Aisling
Authors:  Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Published By: Penguin, Michael Joseph
Links: UK:  Amazon    US:  Amazon


Our Review



What a lovely funny book with a touch of heartbreak and included one of the most touching moments that brought many a tear to my eye.

Aisling is a lovely girl who would do anything for anyone, she is well liked by all around her. As is typical of her age group she finds herself in a position where all of her friends are getting married one by one and so she gives her boyfriend an ultimatum.
This doesn't go too well and the story follows the ups and downs and how she deals with the aftermath of that.

The writing is fresh with a happy vibe and spoken in the wonderful Irish accent which I love, including lots of Irish turns of phrase.

This book will give you a lift and make you laugh out loud but it's not without it's more tender moments and some parts are truly heartbreaking as Aisling discovers the most important things in life and learns a bit about herself along the way.

This reminded me a bit of the TV series The Derry Girls which was hilarious as I imagine they would be like this when they grew up.

A refreshing book to make you laugh and cry as you immerse yourself into the life of a complete Aisling.

Sincerely
Book Angel x


About the Authors

Emer McLysaght is the former editor of The Daily Edge and has worked extensively in journalism and radio. You can follow her on twitter @EmerTheScreamer

Sarah Breen is a journalist whose work has appeared in Stellar, Image, U, The Irish Independent and The Gloss. You can follow her on twitter @SarahJayBee

(Source: Book cover)