Follow by Email

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Daydream Believer by Lizzie Fayke

Sarah Collin's world is about to be changed forever by her imaginary boyfriend.
Her dream world collides with reality when she invents Steve, her rock musician lover, in the hope of adding some much needed glamour to her life, while gaining a little respect from her workmates.
As the lie spirals out of control, she finds herself on the Costa Blanca. Could her chaotic holiday actually make some of her daydreams come true?

Title:        Daydream Believer
Author:    Lizzie Fayke
Link:        UK: Amazon  

My Review

What a fun ride.
Really fast paced, gripped me from the beginning and I read it in one day.

Sarah Collins is a serial daydreamer who is being bullied at work. She doesn't want to admit to being the loser that the bullies think she is so she invents a boyfriend called Steve who is on tour with his band. She almost convinces herself he is real and even books a holiday to go and see him.

Whilst in Spain she meets some interesting people and has an exciting adventure including a glamorous party on a yacht.

The whole story is told from Sarah's point of view and it races along with a whole load of laughs.  I loved this story and enjoyed every minute of it. Sarah is just a genuine girl who wouldn't harm a fly and is just trying to get through life as best as she can. She is an endearing and likeable character, and I was really cheering for her to get one over on the bullies who were horrible characters.

Her dad and his Dolly Parton lookalike girlfriend, her religious nan and her slutty best friend all added to the fun.

I would thoroughly recommend this funny, happy book. Thanks to Lizzie Fayke for the ARC.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Lizzie has been writing since she could hold a crayon. At school she loved writing poems, plays and dirty limericks to impress the boys. Her English teacher told her she had too much imagination – she accepted it as a compliment.

Lizzie grew up and got a day job but she still loves writing. Her debut novel, Daydream Believer is out now and the sequel is progressing well.

When she has spare time she spends it gazing at handbags and thinking up names for the 3 bulldogs she aspires to own (oh, and Googling ‘is there a cure yet for pet allergies?’).

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Missing Wife by Sheila O'Flanagan

When Imogen Naughton vanishes, everyone who knows her is shocked. She has a perfect marriage. Her handsome husband treats her like a princess. She's always said how lucky she is. So why has she left? And how will she survive without Vince?

What goes on behind closed doors is often a surprise, and Imogen surprises herself by taking the leap she knows she must. But as she begins her journey to find the woman she once was, Imogen's past is right behind her...

Will it catch up with her? And will she be ready to face it if it does?

Title:        The Missing Wife
Author:    Sheila O'Flanagan
Published By: Review
Date:        June 16th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

I enjoyed this book and found it interesting. I loved the descriptions of Hendaye in France which is where the main character Imogen had lived when she was younger. Her mother had been a housekeeper for the Delissande family.

Imogen's memories of growing up in that house with the Delissande's two sons Oliver and Charles were very vivid however that life was torn away from her suddenly and she had always lived with the guilt of what happened to cause that.

Years later she finds herself married to a very controlling man called Vince and she knows she has to leave him for her own sanity. Their relationship was described very well as he was a controller and although their marriage looked perfect on the outside Imogen was feeling more and more stifled by him.

The only way she could escape was by disappearing as she was so worried about his manipulative skills. She felt she couldn't tell him that she wanted to leave because he would find a way of getting into her head and convince her to stay. This also applied to her best friend and family members, she knew she couldn't confide in them because he would work it out of them in the end. His controlling had pretty much turned her into a nervous wreck and it was interesting to see how she reacted even when away from him, it took her a long time to realise that she was free to make her own choices and she felt quite liberated by that.

The book has a very relaxed pace which I found enjoyable, instead of racing through it I found I could pick it up when I had a few spare minutes. It was interesting to see how her husband also manipulated her feelings towards her family and friends. I would love to spend some time in Hendaye and meet the characters who became Imogen's friends.

Thanks to Headline books for the ARC.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Pic credit

Sheila O'Flanagan is the author of many bestselling novels including My Mother's Secret, If You Were Me, Someone Special and Bad Behaviour. She worked in finance for several years, but always dreamed of writing fiction, and she is now a full-time writer, with over twenty bestselling novels published. She lives in Dublin with her husband.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Author Q&A with Tilly Tennant

It’s time to get toasty by the fire with a glass of mulled wine and a slice of chocolate yule log sprinkled with a little romance. Welcome to Christmas at the Little Village Bakery. 

Snow is falling in Honeybourne and Spencer is bringing home his American fiancĂ©e Tori for a traditional English Christmas with all the trimmings. But when his hippie mum and dad meet her high-maintenance parents, sparks of the wrong sort start to fly. Then Spencer bumps into his first love Jasmine and unexpected feelings come flooding back. 

Millie is run off her feet with Christmas orders at the Little Village Bakery and new baby Oscar. Thank goodness her cousin Darcie is here to help her. Although she does seem to be rather flirty with Millie’s boyfriend Dylan. 

Will Darcie ever find true love of her own? And is marrying Tori a terrible mistake for Spencer if his heart is with someone else? 

A heartwarming Christmassy romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.

Title:        Christmas at the Little Village Bakery
Author:    Tilly Tenant
Published By: Bookouture
Date:        Sept 16th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Author Q&A with Tilly Tennant

Today we would like to welcome the delightful Tilly Tennant to the blog to talk to us about writing and her new book Christmas at the Little Village Bakery.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
Christmas at the Little Village Bakery is the second in a series and really came about because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the characters of The Little Village Bakery. So this story takes place a few months on from the end of that book, and we get the chance to catch up and see where life has taken them.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I’d always dabbled, but never written anything seriously – mainly because I couldn’t imagine why anyone would care what I had to say. Then, ten years ago, I decided I’d had enough of feeling unfulfilled in jobs that I didn’t particularly enjoy, and I enrolled on a university course to study English. While I was there I filled a gap in the timetable with a creative writing module, wrote my first novel in the summer holidays, and instantly became addicted.
What other jobs have you had?
I’ve lost count of all the other jobs I’ve had! I’ve never been able to settle in one because in my heart I knew they weren’t what I wanted to do. I’ve done everything from waitressing, shop work, pottery painting, newspaper advertising, promotions, reception work and secretarial. There are probably loads more that I’ve forgotten!  
How did it feel when your first novel was published?
A bit surreal, if I’m honest. Five years on and I still have to pinch myself daily to make sure I’m not dreaming this wonderful job I get to do.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so how did you overcome it?
I’ve never had it yet. In fact, the opposite happens and when I’m meant to be concentrating on a current project I find it very difficult to shut out ideas for the next.
What motivates you to keep writing?
It’s a boring reply but I love it so much I can’t imagine ever stopping. It helps that I get fantastic support and encouragement from readers, and that the bookish community is full of lovely people.
Do your characters’ moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Definitely! I often find myself crying or laughing at one of them. It’s a very strange thing to be moved in that way by something you’ve created, even stranger to be surprised by it when you ought to know what’s coming!
What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Develop a very thick skin, learn patience (because you will do a lot of waiting around on submissions), and make friends where you can because somewhere along the line you’re going to need them.
Which authors inspire you?
These questions are always difficult because the list is truly huge. I’m going to choose three purely on aspects of their writing, which are Neill Gaiman, who is endlessly inventive, Erin Morgenstern, for her gorgeous use of language, and Lee Childs, just because he’s so freakishly productive!
What are you reading at the moment?
See How They Run by Tom Bale.
If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues, because it’s in the book!
Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
I’d like to see Kate Winslet play Jasmine because I think she could pull of masses of pink hair!
What is your next book about?
It’s about a holiday to Rome…. Sorry, but that’s all you can have just yet because that’s all I know!
And now to 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?
An Utterly Impartial History of Britain by John O’Farrell

Cry your heart out?
A Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Want to read it again?
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Think more?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Wish it would be made into a film?
The Night Circus!

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Any book by Stephen King

Thank you for joining us Tilly it's been a pleasure. Good Luck with the book. 

Book Angel x

About the Author

From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage. Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, likeThe Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel,Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Extract from Love Is by Haley Hill

Dating Agency doyenne Ellie Rigby always thought that helping people find love with the hard part…
But now she’s all loved up with husband Nick and has hundreds of matchmaking successes under her belt, Ellie ought to know all there is to know about love.
As her struggles to get pregnant put strain on her marriage, and her matchmaking service starts losing clients, Ellie realises she has so much more to learn. So setting off on a global research trip, Ellie makes it her mission to find out what makes love last forever, and whether it’s enough to save her own romance.

Today we are delighted to feature an extract as part of the blog tour for Love Is by Haley Hill please see below.

Title:        Love IsAuthor:    Haley Hill
Published By: Mira
Date:        Sept 8th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon  

Extract from Love Is

I rolled my eyes. ‘It can’t be all bad.’

‘It’s not all bad,’ he replied, ‘but it won’t make you happy. Just like marriage won’t make you happy. And kids certainly won’t make your marriage happy.’ He paused for a moment, seemingly to wipe a child’s orifice, then continued. ‘If you kept abreast of the latest research, as you should, you would know that a recent study showed a couple’s happiness decreases proportionately with the birth of each child.’

I rolled my eyes. ‘Who conducted that study?’ I said. ‘Was it you, interviewing yourself?’

He laughed. ‘We’re conditioned to think we need to have children in order to be content, when in fact, if we bother to look at the evidence, the opposite is true.’ He let out a deep sigh. ‘Why else do you think Lucy went back to work and left me looking after the little buggers?’

I giggled. ‘You love it really.’

‘No,’ he said, ‘I really don’t. I love them, of course, but I don’t especially enjoy sacrificing my every human right in the name of positive parenting.’ He moved away from the phone to confiscate some crayons then continued. ‘Freud said that our need to procreate is driven by a fear of death.’ He went on to adopt a lady therapist voice. ‘Do you fear death, Eleanor Rigby?’

I rolled my eyes. ‘The only one who should fear death is you, if you don’t shut up.’

He was still laughing when I hung up..

I checked the timer on my phone. Twenty seconds to go.

I flopped down on the bed again, feeling the weight of my body sink into the mattress. Nick said he would love me no matter what.

Would he really, though? I wondered. Even if I could never give him the sandy-haired children he’d always wanted: the son he could hoist up onto his shoulders and teach him what it means to be a man, or the little girl with pigtails reaching for his hand, eyes wide with adoration. What if it was just us? For the rest of our lives. Our union having no greater purpose than to provide comfort to each other in old age. We’d play bridge, grow vegetables and potter around the house. And then we’d die.

Ten seconds to go.

I burst back into the bathroom. Before I reached for the test, I stopped and looked up at the ceiling, retracting my earlier complaint to the Almighty and substituting it with a pledge to reinstate my monthly charitable donations.

I snatched the test from the pot and stared at the screen on the side. The words registered straight away.

Not pregnant.

I looked again, just in case I was hallucinating the ‘Not’. I shook it and then held it up to the light. I knew there was nothing I could do to change it. I threw it in the bin, along with the backup test and then went to get ready for work.

I am so looking forward to reading this one.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Haley Hill is a fresh new voice in romantic fiction who has previously found success in the self-publishing world. Prior to launching her fiction career, Haley launched and ran the Elect Club dating agency – and is an expert in all things dating! Haley lives in South London with her husband and twin daughters.

Follow the blog tour here.....

Thursday, 8 September 2016

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. But her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.
Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking, and at all times ask, 'What would Mary Berry do?'
Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget cuts and with redundancies on the horizon, he too puts on a pinny. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .
Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?
This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson.
**This is a work of fiction, in no way endorsed by Mary Berry, and where neither Mary Berry herself nor her recipes feature.**

:        What Would Mary Berry Do?
Author:    Claire Sandy
Published By: Pan
Date:        July 31st 2014
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

This book is the ideal accompaniment to The Great British Bake Off and tells the story of how Mary Berry changed one woman's life for the better.

Marie Dunwoody is an overworked dentist and mum of three. Her story starts when on the day of the school fair her twin daughters announce that she is meant to be making a cake for it. But this is not just any old cake it is the 'showstopper' cake that they have volunteered her for.
A couple of hours later she is unpacking some boxes of fondant fancies to the dismay of parents and teachers and feeling like a failure especially when her neighbour and nemesis, the ever so perfect Lucy, turns up with an amazing cake creation which makes her look even worse.
Suddenly Marie spots a second hand Mary Berry recipe book for sale on one of the stalls and has an epiphany, from then on Mary becomes her mentor and Marie is determined to be a better cook and a better person. The trouble is her obsession with making the perfect cake takes over her life just at a time when her husband really needs her. The funny thing is she ends up fighting over the oven as her husband Robert begins to see himself as Paul Hollywood and is determined to impress his boss with his own culinary skills. Meanwhile the kids  feeling badly done to with all this home cooked fare are craving processed foods.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it encapsulated the life of a busy working mum absolutely perfectly. Trying to juggle a job, husband, house, teenager and young twins is no mean feat and any mum will empathise with Marie.  Especially as we all know some mums like Lucy that seem to find it so easy and manage to keep a perfect home and never have a hair out of place. However sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

The Dunwoody's were real characters and I could really relate to Marie as a busy mum of three who had gone through the devastation of losing her mum.

The book was hilariously funny throughout with lots of laugh out loud moments, Marie's employees Lynda and Aileen were very comical and there were also some really tender moments between them and Marie.

Marie has a tough time as her husband's job is under fire and she is worried about becoming the breadwinner especially when a new state of the art dentist opens up across the road and begins to steal all of her patients. He might have all the high tech equipment but can he care for the patients as much as Marie and her team do?

I loved this book and if I had to describe it in two words they would be 'deliciously scrumptious.'

Book Angel x

About the Author

Claire Sandy lives in Surrey with a husband and a daughter and loves lots of things, such as baking, reading, writing, eating, chatting about matters of global importance with her nine year old, dressing up her dog and inventing new things to do with gin. She's worked at many things - advertising, radio jingles, a wool shop - and thanks her lucky stars that writing What Would Mary Berry Do? involved every single item on her list of loved things.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Extract from The Ex Factor by Eva Woods

In The Ex Factor by Eva Woods, we watch as four friends try a new experiment: Freecycling their exes. After all, just because he wasn’t a good fit for you doesn’t mean that your friend won’t like him right? What could possibly go wrong?

Marnie, Helen, Ani and Rosa are about to find out just how…awkward this could all get. Especially as the four girls haven’t all been together in quite a long time – do they really know each other well enough to go through with this?

Title:        The Ex Factor
Author:    Eva Woods
Published By: Mira
Date:        Sept 8th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Here at Sincerely Book Angels we are delighted to be taking part in the Ex Factor blog tour, see below for an extract from the book which was kindly shared with us by those lovely people at HQStories.

The Ex Factor Extract

Ani was looking at the menu. ‘Well, should we order? Oh, surprise, surprise, pulled pork. Tell me this, is there any un-pulled pork in the whole of London right now?’
Helen was starting to feel anxious, checking the time, when she realised—like the night bus you wait for so long you slip into a sort of hallucinatory state—Marnie was there.
There was something about Marnie. A shimmer in the air around her. Even though Rosa was sad and Helen was worried and Ani was tired, all three of them looked up as she came in, and one by one they smiled.
She was thin, was Helen’s first thought. Thin, and incredibly pale given she’d been travelling, and she’d cut her strawberry-blonde-copper-ginger hair into a short crop. It would have made someone else look like a dinner lady, but on Marnie it was cute, child-like yet sexy. She was wearing a vast cape, which again came out more catwalk trend than ‘Little Red Riding Hood: the London Years’, and a short dress the colour of sunshine. Her big green eyes flicked over them, faltered. ‘Guys, I’m late—I’m not used to the tube…’
Helen was on her feet, gathering her up. ‘Never mind. You’re here!’ Marnie smelled like she always did, of exotic spices and airport lounges. For a moment, Helen felt the name hover between them. Would Marnie mention Ed? God, she hoped not.
Marnie’s arms met behind Helen’s back, and she pulled away, staring. ‘Oh my God! Look at you!’
Helen blushed. ‘Oh. Yeah.’
‘How come you didn’t tell me?’
Helen didn’t say: Er, maybe because I haven’t heard from you in months. She said, ‘Oh, it’s no big deal. I just joined a gym and stuff.’
‘Um, hello, you must have lost, what—three stone?’
‘Four,’ said Ani. ‘She looks amazing, doesn’t she? Hey, it’s great to see you.’ Ani was on her feet now too, embracing the other side of Marnie, and Rosa draped herself over them, so the four women were enmeshed in a kind of eight-armed hug monster.
Marnie squeezed Ani: ‘God, you look like a grown-up, I love the suit,’ then kissed Rosa’s wan cheek: ‘Sweetie, I’m so sorry about David. I want to hear everything.’ Soon they were sitting down, and the waiter, suddenly happy and smiling after the application of Marnie’s magic smile and her warm, ‘Hi! How’s your day been?’ was bringing extra pickled eggs and sneaking them popcorn in little tin buckets.
‘Pulled pork,’ said Marnie, looked at the menu. ‘What’s that? Sounds like what they used to put in the ‘mystery meat’ sandwiches at primary school. I’m not paying £17.99 for school dinners, they can do one.’
The others burst out laughing. ‘Marnie,’ said Ani, raising her jam-jar cocktail. ‘London has missed you.’

Can't wait to read this.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Eva Woods lives in London, where she writes and teaches creative writing. She likes wine, pop music, and holidays, and thinks online dating is like the worst board game ever invented.