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Sunday, 25 December 2016

My Favourite Things by Carol Cooper, Author

Favourite food, savoury and sweet 
I prefer savoury things to sweet, and I especially love a Middle Eastern dip called babaghanouj (also spelled baba ghanoush). It’s made of aubergine, garlic and lemons, among other things. Like my character Laure from my novels, I am half Lebanese, and this is my favourite food, eaten with proper Lebanese bread which is like pitta but more papery. If I had to choose a sweet, it would be dark chocolate, ideally Swiss. 

Bloody Mary, please, and not too much Tabasco. Oh, is it too early? Well, just a tomato juice then. My father used to make the best Bloody Marys and they remind me of happy times. Plus I like to think they’re healthy. 

Love, Actually, for its mix of wit and sparkling dialogue. The plot is a little unlikely in places, but the film is also poignant and full of great characters. I happen to love multi-stranded stories, as you’d guess from reading my novels. 

That’s a tough one, as I’m sure many authors tell you, but I’m going to choose Cocktails and Camels by my late mother. It was her first book and she wrote it while I was a child. She kept telling me to keep quiet because she was writing. It was annoying at the time, but now I can totally understand it. Cocktails and Camels was about growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, around the time of WW2, and it’s still one of the funniest books I have ever read. I have one cherished signed copy, which is just as well as it’s out of print. 

My all-time favourite has to be Kate Atkinson. She writes books that are consistently intelligent and entertaining, yet she never fails to surprise. What’s not to love? 

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Although she’s just a child, she’s a natural leader, and she grows in strength and wisdom during the book as she learns what’s really important in life. And the ruby slippers are irresistible. 

Summer in the City by the Lovin’ Spoonful. Or Nights in White Satin. Or maybe Purple Haze? Damn, sixties music is just so good. 

My ginger cat Mishmish. The name means ‘apricot’ in Arabic and in Hebrew. Ginger female cats are uncommon, but not that rare.  Mishmish is the third one I’ve had. She’s very affectionate, and I think she’s quite clever too. She now has her own column in an online publication called The Property Owner, which she writes under the pen name of Lady Marmalade.  

Place to write 
In a notebook, with a pencil. It doesn’t really matter where, but I do need some quiet. Later on, I transfer my scribblings to the computer. If I can read them. 

I’ve always loved summer.  You don’t need a coat, tights, or a jumper, and the long evenings make everything seem possible.  

Inspirational quote 
“You cannot predict the future,” as Stephen Hawking said.  

Thing in the whole world 
Am I allowed to say my family? It’s absolutely my favourite thing in the whole world.  

Author Bio: 
Carol Cooper a doctor, journalist, and author. After a string of parenting books and an award-winning medical textbook, she turned to writing novels. She lives in North London and Cambridge, and has three grown-up sons who haven’t turned out too badly.
Published in July 2016, Hampstead Fever is Carol’s second novel. It follows the intertwined lives of six Londoners as emotions rise to the boil one hot summer. One Night at the Jacaranda is her first novel.
Twitter @DrCarolCooper

Thanks so much for joining us today Carol.
Book Angel x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Mince Pies & Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

Christmas has arrived in the town of Wynbridge and it promises mince pies, mistletoe and a whole host of seasonal joy.  Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.
 But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs.
 The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…
This Christmas make time for some winter sparkle – and see who might be under the mistletoe this year…

Title:                    Mince Pies & Mistletoe at the Christmas Market
Author:                Heidi Swain
Published By:      Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 17th November 2016
Link:                     Uk: Amazon    US: Amazon

Our Review

A lovely feel good Christmassy read.

Ruby Smith has returned home to Wynbridge after having been away studying for four years.
She has decided to go travelling in the new year and in order to earn some money she accepts a job running a stall at the Christmas market, on behalf of the Cherry Tree Cafe.
Tensions run high at home as her dad is disappointed that she is not setting her sights on a better job.
She also realises that working on the Christmas market is a tad awkward because her ex boyfriend Steve works on the next stall. Also her dad is not popular with the stall holders as he works on the council and they don't trust him.

Heidi's description of working on a market stall was very realistic as whilst it may sound romantic Ruby was actually freezing cold most of the time and relied on the hot tasty goodies from the café and warm clothes to keep warm.

Some incidents that happened in the book struck a chord with me as my little village was unable to have lights this year due to funding cuts and they decided to put a Christmas tree up where no one can see it, so I could really sympathise with the residents of Wynbridge about this.

I loved the story of Ruby and her return to Wynbridge where she uncovers some family secrets that had altered the course of her life dramatically. Also it was lovely to be able to catch up with more of Heidi's characters from The Cherry Tree cafe and Skylark farm. The home crafted gifts that Ruby was selling on the stall all sounded brilliant and I wouldn't be surprised to find that Heidi had tried them all out for herself.

Heidi Swain has created a perfect little haven for readers to get lost in for a few hours and simply enjoy. Her characters are likeable and interesting, even those involved in longstanding family feuds.
This book is full of comfort and Joy and I'm very much looking forward to her fourth book for a little more indulgence.

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 now writes contemporary fiction and enjoys the company of a whole host of feisty female characters.

Heidi can be found at the keyboard at all hours of the day and night and quite often scribbling longhand in her car during her lunch break. She 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.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Blog Tour - Louise Jensen - The Gift

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister.

Title:      The Gift
Author:  Louise Jensen 
Published by: Bookouture
Publication date: Dec 16th 2016
Links:  UK: Amazon  US: Amazon 

A breathtaking extract from 'The Gift'


It’s dark. So dark. Clouds scud across the charcoal sky, blanketing the moon and stars. Dampness fills my lungs and as I draw a sharp breath nausea crashes over me in sickening waves.
My energy is fading fast. My trainers slap against the concrete and I don’t think I can hear footsteps behind me any more, but it’s hard to tell over the howling wind.
I steal a glance over my shoulder but my feet stray onto soft earth and I lose my footing and stumble, splaying out my hands to break my fall. The side of my face hits something hard and solid that rips at my skin. My jaw snaps shut and my teeth slice into my tongue flooding my mouth with blood, and as I swallow it down, bile and fear rises in my throat.
Don’t make a sound.
I’m scared. So scared.
I lie on my stomach. Still. Silent. Waiting. My palms are stinging. Cheek throbbing. Rotting leaves pervade my nostrils. My stomach roils as I slowly inch forward, digging my elbows into the wet soil for traction. Left. Right. Left. Right.
I’m in the undergrowth now. Thorns pierce my skin and catch on my clothes but I stay low, surrounded by trees, thinking I can’t be seen, but the clouds part and in the moonlight I catch sight of the sleeve of my hoodie, which, unbelievably, is white, despite the mud splatters. I curse myself. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I yank it off and stuff it under a bush. My teeth clatter together with cold. With fear. To my left twigs snap underfoot and instinctively I push myself up and rock forward onto the balls of my feet like a runner about to sprint. Over my heartbeat pounding in my ears, I hear it.
A cough. Behind me now. Close. Too close.
I stumble forward. I can do this I tell myself, but it’s a lie. I know I can’t keep going for much longer.
The clouds roll across the sky again and the blackness is crushing. I momentarily slow, conscious I can’t see where I’m putting my feet. The ground is full of potholes and I can’t risk spraining my ankle, or worse. What would I do then? How could I get away? The wind gusts and the clouds are swept away and in my peripheral vision a shadow moves. I spin around and scream.

Book Angel x

 About the Author

Louise is a USA Today Bestselling Author, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat.

The Sister is Louise's debut novel and it reached No.1 on the Amazon Kindle chart in both the UK and Canada and No.1 on iBooks. Louise's second book, The Gift, will be published on 16th December 2016.

Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.     

Follow the rest of the blog tour here...

Sunday, 18 December 2016

My Favourite Christmas Things by Holly Martin, Author

Favourite savoury food
Turkey sandwiches with lots of stuffing. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the food and I love all the leftovers probably more than the main Christmas meal, snacking on bits of cold turkey, stuffing, sausage meat and having all of that in a sandwich is delicious.

Favourite sweet food
Champagne truffles, Toblerone and After Eights. We only ever have these things at Christmas so I love indulging in them. Me and my mom always give each other a giant toblerone every year and get really creative over how to disguise those distinctive triangular boxes

Favourite Christmas drink
White hot chocolate or would you call it hot white chocolate? Tastes delicious whatever you want to call it and i recently bought a tub from whittards and its heaven in a cup.

Favourite Christmas film
The Holiday. I love Christmas films and would quite happily watch all those cheesy hallmark movies one after the other.

Favourite Christmas book
Anything by Sarah Morgan. Her Chistmas books tick every box for me.

Favourite Christmas Song
I love Christmas songs. The old classics and the new modern ones. I love a bit of Michael Buble at Christmas.

Favourite Christmas Holiday destination
Would love to go to America at Christmas. The food is amazing and they always go to town on the lights, would love to see it all decorated for Christmas.

Favourite Christmas animal
Rudolph of course. I have a very horny Rudolph in my latest book which seemed to be very popular with the readers.

Favourite Christmas Person
The big man in the red suit.  Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without him.

Place to write
In a cafe, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the people watching.

Christmas!!! I love this time of year. I feel like I live it all year round as I write my Christmas books for the first half of the year  and then my books come out in September/October and then its the build up to the real event. I should probably be sick of it but I love it.

Favourite Christmas Tradition
Me and my family always play games on Christmas day and I love that. My favourite is Cluedo

Favourite Christmas thing in the whole world
Christmas Chocolate.

About Holly
Holly lives in sunny Devon in a little white cottage by the sea writing stories that make people smile and fall in love with love. Her latest Christmas stories are set at Stardust Lake Hotel, a winter resort on a Scottish Island complete with log cabins and glass igloos to watch the Northern Lights, husky dogs, reindeer and mischievous Shetland ponies.

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky

You can follow Holly on Twitter @hollymartin00

Thanks for joining us today Holly and sharing your favourite Christmas things.
Book Angels x

Monday, 12 December 2016

My Favourite Christmas Things by Jane Linfoot, Author

Favourite Christmas Food:

Talking of Christmas favourites, I do love mince pies. But my special Christmas treat is/are coffee cupcakes with toasted almond topping. I find the coffee flavour is a perfect foil for the sweetness of the buttercream, and the crunch of the almonds are delicious. It’s no coincidence that in Sequins and Snowflakes, Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, head bridesmaid Sera often turns to coffee cupcakes to rescue her at stressful times. (See below for the recipe)
Favourite Christmas Drink:

I know lots of people love mulled wine, but I’m not too keen. If you’ve ever tried Pimms as a summer drink, you’ll know it’s delicious. My next door neighbour got me hooked on the warm winter version, which is made with Pimms No 3 Winter Cup and hot apple juice, and known as a Winter Warmer.

In Sequins and Snowflakes, Alice, the bride loved her Winter Warmers too, because they were warming and relaxing. Try them, you won’t look back. (Recipe below)

Favourite Christmas Film:

The first time I watched Love Actually I didn’t like it that much. But I’ve watched it at least a hundred times since, and it just gets better and better. And now Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas if I haven’t watched it. I love the way the stories intertwine, and the wry humour.

Favourite Christmas Song:

I have to admit I’m a sucker for Christmas songs. Sera, the heroine in Sequins and Snowflakes loves her Christmas songs too, and she sings along whenever she can – which is quite a lot. My own personal favourite is Merry Christmas by Shakin’ Stevens, because it takes me back to a magical dressage to music I once saw in the days when my children rode ponies. And because I’m a softy, I also love Lily Allen’s version of Somewhere Only We Know that went with the John Lewis advert. That song makes a significant appearance in my Christmas book too. It was summer when I wrote the book, and on the sunniest days I’d sit in the garden writing, listening to Christmas tunes to get in the festive mood. I think the postman thought I’d gone mad.

Favourite Christmas Present:

At the very end of Sequins and Snowflakes, everyone exchanges Christmas presents. I loved writing this part of the book, because it was so interesting deciding what gifts each of the characters would give. You can express so much about a character by the gifts they choose – and how they feel about the gifts they receive.

Presents on my aspirational wish list might include spa treatments. In real life I’m just as likely to be thrilled with a pair of new wellies.

Favourite Christmas Animal:
The animal star of Sequins and Snowflakes is definitely Snowball, the pony who pulls the wedding carriage. He’s a white horse, (technically known as a grey) but everyone gets to make their own wishes on him.

As for me, my very first Old English Sheepdog came to me at Christmas. She wasn’t a Christmas present, but I have had and Old English in my life ever since. My first one was called Blizzard, which was a snowy name to go with her snowy white head. My current one is called Yoyo, named by the rescue she came from, because she was so bouncy when she was younger.

I also have cats too, but we’ll cover up their ears, because there are four of them, so we can’t choose favourites. 
Favourite Christmas Memory:

As a child, our family used to spend Christmas with my grandparents on their Yorkshire farm, which was somewhere I loved. I drew on those experiences for Daisy Hill Farm, the Cornish farm in Sequins and Snowflakes, where the wedding guests stay. When we were children, went to bed on Christmas Eve my grandmother always used to sneak out into the garden and ring bells. Once when I was quite small I remember looking out of the bedroom window onto a frosty moonlit garden, and seeing Santa flying past on his sleigh. Looking back, I think it must have been a lucky coincidence that a helicopter happened to be passing, but it had me convinced for years.

Favourite Christmas tree decorations:

Christmas trees are a big feature in the Sequins and Snowflakes book. In the hallway of the Christmas Country House where Alice’s wedding takes place there’s a huge Christmas tree, decorated with white ornaments, and Sera has the nightmare task of decorating that tree on her own. There are lots of smaller trees too, all decorated with strict colour themes, according to bride, Alice’s, orders. But Sera prefers her small tree in her studio, decorated with mis-matched decorations that belonged to their grandmother. Sera also loves hanging sea shells from the beach on her tree too, but that’s not something her uptight sister Alice would ever dream of doing.

Here in Derbyshire I always decorate the tree with something home made - biscuits in festive shapes are a favourite, especially with the dogs, who sidle past and help themselves.
Favourite Christmas Book:
Last year my favourite of the Christmas book crop was Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson. I can’t wait to get my hands on this year’s pile.

Favourite Inspirational quote:

I really enjoy collection quotations, and have a special book I write them in. So this is my quotation for today, because it relates so much to Sera in Sequins and Snowflakes.

A girl knows her limits but a wise girl knows she has none, Marilyn Munroe

And one for Christmas...

When it snows you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels. Unknown

And here are the recipes...

Alice’s Winter Warmers
150 ml Pimms No 3 Winter Cup
450 ml apple juice
(Basically one part Pimms NO 3 to three parts apple juice)
Apple slices
Orange slices

For large quantities, warm the Pimms and apple juice in a saucepan, then transfer to a serving jug, and add fruit slices.
Alice warmed hers in a pan, and drank it from a glass mug, usually without the fruit slices. At our house anything goes.


For the cupcakes:
150g sugar
150g butter
150g self raising flour, sieved
3 eggs
Two heaped teaspoons instant coffee
A little warm water to dissolve the coffee

For the icing:
100g butter (softened)
200g icing sugar, sieved
Two heaped teaspoons instant coffee
A little warm water to dissolve the coffee

For the topping:
100g flaked almonds

Method for the sponge cakes:

1. Preheat the oven, 170C Fan/ Gas Mark 5/ 190C Electric. Prepare a 12 sectioned cupcake tin with your chosen cupcake cases.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, using an electric whisk.

3. Add the eggs, and mix again.

4. Add the sieved flour, and fold into the mixture until it’s all combined.

5. Put the coffee granules into a cup, and add a tiny amount of water. Mix until the coffee has dissolved, then add to the cake mixture. Stir gently until it’s all mixed in and the mixture is a uniform colour. You can very the amount of coffee, to give a darker or lighter cake.

6. Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling to about 2/3 up the side, to allow for the cakes to rise.

7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through. (Check by sticking a sharp knife in, it comes out clean when they’re done.)

8. Place on a cooling tray, and ice when cool.

Method for the buttercream icing:
You can make the buttercream icing while the cupcakes are in the oven.

1. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the softened butter and cream together.

2. Put the coffee granules into a cup, and add a tiny amount of water. Mix until the coffee has dissolved, then add to the icing. Mix until the icing is a uniform colour. Use more or less coffee depending on how dark you’d like your icing.

3. Spoon the icing into a piping bag, with the pipe of your choice. When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing in swirls on top of the cupcakes.

For the nut topping:

1. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan, add the nuts, and stir over a gentle heat until the almond flakes are toasted and golden brown.

2. Leave the toasted almonds to cool, then and sprinkle on top of the cupcakes as soon as they are iced.

As an alternative to almonds, walnut halves also work well with the coffee icing. You can pop these on top of the icing without toasting them

These are totally delish!!

About the Book

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes (The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea)

The snow is falling around Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, and wedding dress designer Seraphina East is in her cosy studio designing exquisite dresses to make even the most demanding bride’s dreams come true.

Unless the bride is her big sister Alice of course. Saying that the two sisters don’t always see eye to eye is an understatement. Alice hasn’t even asked Sera to design her wedding dress. But when an absent groom and ill-fitting dress threaten to ruin Alice’s happiness let alone her big day, Sera’s determined to give her sister the winter wedding of her dreams – even if that means keeping not one but two irresistibly gorgeous best men under control…

Is Sera going to end up being the maid of dishonour…Or will repairing her frozen relationship with Alice be the icing on the wedding cake?

There’s sequins, snowflakes, and plenty of romance in this gorgeous love story. The perfect romance to curl up by the fire with this Christmas! Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

Click here to buy the new Christmas Book

Click here to buy the first book in the series Cupcakes and Confetti, The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea
A third novel in the series, Bunting and Bouquets, Summer at the Little Wedding Shop will be released in Spring 2017. The books are stand alone novels which can be read independently.

Author Bio
Jane Linfoot writes escapist books, with feisty heroines and lots of heart. She lives with her family and pets in Derbyshire, and loves hearts, flowers, and happy endings.
Author Page Facebook
Personal Page Facebook Happy to have new friends
Twitter @janelinfoot
Pinterest Find lots of Little Wedding Shop by the Sea boards here

Thank you so much for joining us today Jane and a Merry Christmas to you.

Book Angel x

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Author Q & A - Sue Fortin - The Girl Who Lied

The USA Today Bestseller!

'Gripping…I was desperate to turn the pages' – Amanda Jennings
Sometimes the perfect friend tells the perfect lies…
Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.
When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?
A must read for fans of CL Taylor and BA Paris.

Title:               The Girl Who Lied
Author:           Sue Fortin
Published By: Harper Impulse
Date:               May 19th 2016
Link:               UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog.
Hello! Thank you so much for inviting me, it's lovely to be here.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The family unit and how it is made up, really fascinates me and I enjoy delving into what makes up the dynamics of a family. Erin’s story was partly this, it looked at the lengths mothers would go to for their child and the fact that just because your child is an adult, and possibly a parent themselves, it doesn’t stop you mothering them. As my own children grow up, I often think, the bigger the child, the bigger the worry or problem.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I've always wanted to write but at different points in my life, I've had other things I wanted to do more. It wasn't until I had the yearning and the time, that I actually sat down and got on with it.

What other jobs have you had?
Chalet Maid - summer job
Care Assistant - weekend job
Receptionist - Estate agents
Secretary to the Litigation Partner at a firm of solicitors
Manager's Secretary - High Street bank
Learning Support - local further education college

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
On publication day - nervous. I thought I'd feel excited and be dancing around the place, but I was really nervous and found the attention on the day quite overwhelming. People were so kind and supportive. It took a while for it all to sink in.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
I came through the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. I was on the scheme for three years when I then self-published my first novel, a contemporary romance called United States of Love. A year later HarperCollins started a new imprint, HarperImpulse, and I submitted my book to them. I was very lucky to receive a three book deal with them and have since gone on to have another novel published by them, with a contract for a further two. In between books three and four, I signed with my agent. I'm still a member of the RNA and really can't thank the NWS enough for all the advice and support I've received.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I haven't but if I feel I'm getting stuck, I try to write through-it. By which I mean, just write whatever comes to me. It may not be something that makes the final draft, sometimes it's just me telling myself what I want to happen, even though I can't seem to get the right words down. I've then got something I can go back to and work on.

What motivates you to keep writing?
My personal enjoyment of creating another world. Putting all the things going on in my mind onto paper and making some sort of sense out of it. Mostly, though, knowing that readers really enjoy sharing these stories with me.

Where is your favourite place to write?
Thanks to my lovely husband, I now have an office to write in.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Not always, but last year when I was particularly worried about my father, when I was writing a scene between a father and daughter, it did make me quite emotional. I think because my feelings were very close to the surface, they spilled over into my writing. Another time, I was writing a character who swore quite a lot and then realised I was doing it myself - I had to keep apologising to my husband and explain that the character was having a bad influence on me!

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Always be professional, ie. polite, courteous and reliable.
Accept advice and constructive criticism with grace.
Celebrate all your achievements, no matter how small.

Which authors inspire you?
Nora Roberts for her output.

What are you reading at the moment?
Coffin Road by Peter May. I've only just started it and not read any of his before - so far I'm enjoying it.
I'm also listening to Hunted by Paul Finch on Audible. Again, another new author to me.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Teenage Kicks by The Undertones. I reference this in the parts of the book where the teenage years of my characters appear.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Oh, that's tricky. I think it would have to be Charlie Hunnam's Son's of Anarchy character Jax Teller as Kerry Wright.

What is your next book about?
My next book The Cuckoo is due out in the new year and is about two sisters who are reunited after the breakdown of the family unit 20 years earlier. Things however don't run smoothly and soon events take a sinister turn.

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
Getting Over Mr Right - Chrissie Manby

Cry your heart out?
What Doesn't Kill You - Laura E. James

Want to read it again?
Omerta - Mario Puzo

Think more?
Gray Justice - Alan McDermott

Wish it would be made into a film?
Anything, by which I mean any book, by Chris Kuzneski

Wayward Angel - George Wethern

The Fog - James Herbert

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book.
Thank you! It's been great answering the questions. x

Book Angels x

About the Author

Published by Harper Collins' imprint Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin writes gripping dramas.

Sue is an Amazon best selling author, The Girl Who Lied, reaching #1 in the UK in 2016. Her novel, Closing In, became a best seller in 2014 reaching #1 in the Kobo Romantic Suspense chart. Her originally self-published debut novel, United States of Love, was awarded the INDIE Brag Medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Sue blogs regularly with the on-line writing group The Romaniacs (

Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.

Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.

You can find out more about Sue at
Twitter : suefortin1
Facebook : Sue Fortin Author

Sunday, 4 December 2016

My Favourite Things by Christie Barlow

My favourite people.

My family! Whose patience has never gone unnoticed while I have been locked away in my writing cave.

My favourite friend.

Anita Redfern! Friendship is a real gift. It’s given with no expectations and no gratitude is needed. She is one in a million and my loyal true friend.

My favourite animal.

This of course has to be my mad cocker spaniel Woody, who is by my side every day and is unquestionably the best company ever!

My favourite food.
I adore all types of curry especially when it is washed down with a cold beer!

My favourite drink.

I love a glass of Pinot Grigio after a hard day in the writing cave.

Favourite Film.

My favourite film of all time is A Few Good Men which I think was released around 1992. It’s a dramatic courtroom thriller. LT Daniel Kaffee, a Navy lawyer who has never seen the inside of the courtroom, defends two stubborn Marines who have been accused of murdering a colleague. However, even though I know this film off by heart, at the last count I have watched it nearly three hundred times. I LOVE Tom Cruise and my gosh he looks hot in his uniform in this movie!

Favourite book.

My favourite book of all time is Enid’s Blyton's first Famous Five book – Five on a Treasure Island. This book has stayed with me from the age of seven when I can remember sitting on an old trunk in my bedroom and not moving all day until I finished reading it. I have introduced all my children to these books. They are absolute classics and every child should have the opportunity to read them; they are truly fantastic.

My favourite song.

This is a difficult one as I love music! However, without sounding too morbid I’ve chosen Never Forget by Take That. Why would that be morbid I hear you ask? Well, because that is the song I want playing at my funeral! As I disappear behind the curtain, I would like everyone standing on their pews with their arms in the air singing this song at the top of their voices!

My favourite holiday destination.

Anywhere with a sandy beach, sunshine and the odd cocktail!

My favourite season.

It’s got to be winter! I love the snow, log fires, hot chocolate and especially Christmas! It’s the most magical time of the year!

My favourite inspirational quote.
Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve – J.K.Rowling.

My bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream and Lizzie's Christmas Escape. She lives in Staffordshire with her husband, four kids, horses, chickens and a mad cocker spaniel. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK and USA.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page Christie Barlow author

A gorgeous country house hotel, a liberal dusting of snow, a cosy weekend away…what more could Lizzie ask for at Christmas?Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?

A funny feel good festive read about rediscovering the magic of Christmas - just the thing to curl up with on a cold winter's night.

Thank you so much for joining us on My Favourite Things Christie

Book Angel x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

My Favourite Things by Sara-Jade Virtue, Project Manager at Books & The City

Back in the 70's women had very limited choices for when the sun was over the yardarm. A small (warm) glass of Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch. A Port and lemon. A thimbleful of Sherry on Christmas morning.

By the time I was 'of age', times, they were a changing. The exotic taste of paradise/smell of suntan cream that was a Malibu and Coke. Babycham poured from the smallest bottle ever mass manufactured into the prettiest branded glass ever mass manufactured. A Snowball on Christmas morning.

The options, as repugnant as they now sound to our developed and sophisticated palettes, had multiplied ten-fold, and even through the dark 90's days of so many Vodka Redbulls and Jager bombs that our collective hearts and brains exploded, we could taste the promise of better times ahead.

Then BOOM, in the early 2000’s the Botanical Era emerged. Like a whirlwind we were thrust into the fresh and fruity Golden Rein of The Cocktail. Overpriced and largely comprising of ice - oh, what a time to be alive my friends.

Forgiving and forgetting the early days of the Long Island Iced Tea, the Pina Colada and the Blue Lagoon, everyone remembers their first post Sex and the City Cosmopolitan, right? The minty sugary gingery suprising joy of their first Mojito. The first sip of bite-y, sour, so wrong-it’s-right and so sophisticated-it’s-a-joke Dirty Martini.

Most of us now have cocktails shaker's IN OUR OWN HOMES, like we live in Manhattan not Milton Keynes. We have a bottle of Baileys for Christmas morning in our kitchen cupboard. A selection of gins and Fever Tree tonic LIKE WE LIVE ON THE SET OF MAD MEN, and we think nothing of mixing up a daiquiri on a Wednesday night in our otherwise unused nutribullet.

And this is why, when Annette from Sincerely Book Angels Blog asked me to contribute to her My Favourite Things feature, I absolutely had to share my love of a cocktail above and beyond anything else. Because I do. I really really love cocktails. I love how they make me think I look when I’m drinking one. I love how they never taste like you think they are going to. I love how expensive and decadent and ridiculous they are. I love how I think they make me sound classy and refined and a tad gauche when I order them. I love the taste, even when they taste a bit odd. I love the accoutrement of silly garnishes you get with them. Oh, cocktails, how I love thee…

And anyway, as someone lucky enough to work in the book world, I talk, think, dream about books ALL THE TIME - it's my passion, my addiction, my job and my income - but it would be stating the bleeding obvious to list BOOKS as My Favourite Thing wouldn't it?

I've been shouting about my Laminated List of Top Ten Novels for years - and the world and his wife (OK, OK, just my colleagues, my husband and the late, great Jackie Collins herself) know about my Jack Python obsession.

And I constantly shout (via and through twitter @BookMinxSJV) about books on my TBR Pile of Dreams, books on my shelves at work, books I’m reading, proofs of books I’m salivating over, books in the Top Ten, books not yet published, books published a month, a year, a decade ago… so NO-ONE wants to hear me wanging on about books again do they?

But, in the spirit of filling the brief Annette sent me, here are my Quick Fire Round answers:

Food - Savoury/Sweet

Savoury: the Dinner of Champions (and small children) - Fish Fingers and Peas

Sweet: there-isn’t-enough-time-to-tell-you-how-many-puddings-I-love


See above + Diet Coke


I can re-watch the 1991 Bette Midler/James Caan classic For the Boys over and over again and still cry like a baby, ergo, that must be my favourite film



See above


See above!


Kissing You by Keith Washington for one reason, April in Paris performed by Count Basie in 1956 for a whole other reason -

Holiday destination

The Stoop or anywhere by the sea


Harley the cockatoo – this is why


@MrBookMinx – reader, I married him

Place to write



All of them, for different reasons


Pancake Day?

Inspirational quote

Is it what it is. I don’t know if it’s an inspiration in the true sense of the word, but it sees me through days and days spent staring at costing grids!

Thing in the whole world

A breath-taking sunset and sunrise,Beyonce, iced fingers, mascara, gothic architecture (preferably in ruins), nail varnish, trainers, ballet, L L Cool J, whales, lightning… how long have you got?

@BookMinxSJV is the Project Manager of the Simon & Schuster Women’s Fiction Community She mostly tweets about books, buns and booze.

Cheers Sara-Jade and thanks for joining us.

Book Angel x

Thursday, 24 November 2016

A Stolen Life & Freedom by Jaycee Dugard

In the follow-up to her #1 bestselling memoir, A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard tells the story of her first experiences after years in captivity: the joys that accompanied her newfound freedom and the challenges of adjusting to life on her own.

When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Philip and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment.

A Stolen Life, which sold nearly two million copies, told the story of Jaycee’s life from her abduction in 1991 through her reappearance in 2009. Freedom: My Book of Firsts is about everything that happened next.

“How do you rebuild a life?” Jaycee asks.

In these pages, she describes the life she never thought she would live to see: from her first sight of her mother to her first time meeting her grownup sister, her first trip to the dentist to her daughters’ first day of school, her first taste of champagne to her first hangover, her first time behind the wheel to her first speeding ticket, and her first dance at a friend’s wedding to her first thoughts about the possibility of a future relationship.

This raw and inspiring book will remind readers that there is, as Jaycee writes, “life after something tragic happens…Somehow, I still believe that we each hold the key to our own happiness and you have to grab it where you can in whatever form it might take.”

Author                   Jaycee Dugard

Publisher               Simon & Schuster

A Stolen Life        UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

Freedom               UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

My Review

I remember seeing on the news about Jaycee Lee Dugard being found and thinking how miraculous it was that after eighteen years she would be reunited with her mother. However, although I was so happy for this family I also had to wonder how on earth does someone cope with finding out these awful things have happened to their daughter.

I felt so sorry for Jaycee at the time but having read the harrowing book A Stolen Life I  realised its not pity I feel for her but huge respect and admiration. Jaycee has been to hell and back through the sickening actions of two drug taking psychopaths whose names do not deserve a mention. Yet she is actually stronger than both of them put together .

In the first book Jaycee talks about what happened to her at the age of eleven when she was abducted on her way to school by  a paedophile and his wife. The details are extremely painful to read as Jaycee is subjected to eighteen years of being held captive and abused in the most unimaginably horrific ways.
After being continually raped over the years she actually managed to give birth, on her own, to two daughters whom she loves deeply. Despite who the father was, these children are her flesh and blood and she knew she would do anything to protect them, 

Jaycee has been asked why she didn't run away in the later years but she had been programmed to fear the outside world due to his manipulation of her and she also now had the fear of losing her daughters.

Thankfully they were eventually found and reunited with her mother, sister and aunty. This reunion was made easier by therapists, who have since become firm friends with Jaycee and also a family reunification centre which uses animals to help people to learn trust and confidence.

I found Jaycee's story very fascinating and while I obviously wish that she had never had to go through this ordeal, the fact is she has and nothing can change that. But the amazing thing about this situation is how resilient Jaycee was and continues to be.
She has not let hatred consume her and has a really positive outlook on life.

The second book, Freedom is very positive and shows all the wonderful things that Jaycee has been up to since she was freed. One of the most wonderful achievements she has made was setting up her own foundation to help similar families in need. It is called the Jayc foundation, the letters stand for Just ask yourself to care. Proceeds from the books go to this worthy cause. The foundation has won awards and they give talks at schools and to law enforcement officers to try and create a better understanding of these situations.

One of Jaycee's main aims is to dispel the term 'Stockholm Syndrome' which suggests that people being held captive begin to develop empathy  with their kidnappers and even fall in love with them.
Jaycee completely disagrees with this notion as she had to develop skills in order to survive and learn to read her captors moods and thought processes in order to keep herself and her children safe.

Jaycee reminds me of sunshine as her words seem to light up the pages full of hope. Despite the torturous life she had with them she has remained a ray of light in the world and her lovely gentle innocent personality shines though the books. I think she is an amazing person and her story has really touched my heart.

Message to Jaycee

Jaycee, I would just like to thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Those monsters may have stolen eighteen years of your life in the most cruellest way and many other things too, but one thing is for sure, they didn't take YOU. You are resilient, strong, beautiful, kind and a wonderful mum as your mum is to you.
I hope your light continues to shine brightly and wish you a wonderful and happy future. I think there is a handsome knight in shining armour for you one day and I know you'll be more interested in his horse at first but I wish you every happiness in life. If anyone deserves happiness it's you.

Book Angel X