Monday, 9 October 2017

My Favourite Things by Sue Moorcroft


Savoury would be a juicy fillet steak, with chips (the kind with no calories). Sweet is easy. CHOCOLATE, the darker the better. Nutty chocolate is an especial weakness.

I love champagne. I keep it as a treat and enjoy it so cold and dry it makes my ears hurt. Champagne’s association with celebrations is a lovely secondary benefit, reminding me of publication days, new contracts and getting to #1 on Amazon last Christmas.

Brassed Off. I don’t know if anybody else remembers this cult classic about a brass band but the humour and poignancy always got to me. Ewan McGregor and Pete Postlethwaite had fantastic roles.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. The first book I read that was intended for adults. I watched the film with Dad and he said he had the book in his bookcase. I was hooked on the work of Nevil Shute for life.

I’ve chosen Linda Howard from a thousand possibilities more-or-less because she came to my mind first.

Sam from Suzanne Brockmann’s Gone Too Far. He’s a fantastic hero, a bad-boy in many ways but a force for good. OK, and, you got me, he’s a navy SEAL.

It was so hard to choose but I’ve gone for Girls & Boys by Good Charlotte because I think the lyrics are funny, clever and oh-too-true, all about girls liking cars and money and boys laughing at girls when they’re not funny.

Holiday destination

Malta. I was brought up there for several years and think of it as my second home.


Dog. I don’t have one of my own now but I sometimes ‘borrow’ Puppy-in-law, who belongs to my son and his girlfriend.

Place to write.
My study, although I can manage it travelling, too. And often do, because I love to travel.

Summer. I’m a heat freak and don’t think I’ve ever complained about sunshine.

A big family meal between Christmas and New Year, which I frequently host. I’m extremely lucky with my extended family as we like each other and like to spend time together.

Inspirational quote
‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.’ Variations have been attributed to various people but it’s one of my guiding principles.

Thing in the whole world
Watching a great Formula 1 race, in silence, with cold white wine and a bar of chocolate.

Thank you so much for joining us today Sue and for sharing your favourite things, Wishing you lots of luck for the new book.

Book Angel x

Author Bio

Bestselling author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. The Christmas Promise rose to #1 in the Amazon Kindle chart and Just for the Holidays was an Amazon bestseller, too. The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards and Darcie’s Dilemma for Readers’ Best Short Romance. Love & Freedom won a Best Romantic Read Award and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA. Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies.

Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and writing ‘how to’.

Sue’s new book: The Little Village Christmas

(published as an ebook on 6 October, paperback/audio 2 November)

Available now from Amazon

Twitter @suemoorcroft

Instagram: suemoorcroftauthor

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Author Q & A Viv Brown

Would you leave a very young child at home on their own – knowing that terrible things can happen in the blink of an eye? Lily, who is not yet three years old, wakes up alone with only her cuddly toy for company. She is hungry, afraid of the dark, can’t use the phone, and has been told never to open the door to strangers…
In the flat downstairs, a lonely and elderly woman keeps herself to herself but wonders at the cries coming from upstairs. Lily’s grandmother frets that she can no longer see her granddaughter since the child’s parents separated. Lily’s father hasn’t seen her for a while. He’s been abroad, absorbed in his new job and his new girlfriend…
A young woman lies in a coma in hospital – no one knows her name or who she is, but in her silent
dreams, a little girl is crying for her mummy…
And for Lily, time is running out.

Author: Vivien Brown
Published by: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: Ebook already available
                             Paperback 5th October 2017
Link:  UK:  Amazon

Author Q & A

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels Viv, can you tell us..

What was the inspiration behind this novel? 
I used to work in banking and accountancy – boring! But ever since my own twins were born almost 30 years ago, I have worked with young children – as a childminder, a language support assistant helping young Asian kids who speak no English prepare for school, and then as an outreach worker in libraries and children’s centres, bringing the magic of books and stories into children’s lives. It is fascinating to watch how babies and pre-school children develop in such a short time, with increasing skills, confidence and independence. But what if a toddler was suddenly left all alone? How would they cope? What would they think and feel? What would they be scared of? How aware would they be of basic household dangers? The germ of my idea came from those thoughts.

Did you always want to be a writer? 
I never considered writing as a potential career, but it was always something I loved to do, starting with poems, then venturing into short stories before tackling longer fiction – all in my spare time. Learning to become a competent and successful writer, able to earn enough to live, can take a long time and many never achieve it, and it is only now that I am at home full-time and with a small income from elsewhere that I have felt able to do what I love most.

How did it feel when your first novel was published? 
My first (self-published) novel, ‘Losing Lucy’, and my second, ‘How To Win Back Your Husband’ (both written as Vivien Hampshire) were only in ebook format. It was lovely knowing they were out there in the world and people were reading my work, but I am so looking forward to ‘Lily Alone’ coming out in paperback. At last, a real paper book to hold in my hand! I don’t drink so champagne is out, but I will probably celebrate with chocolate.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story. 
I sold my first short story to Woman’s Weekly in 1993, under my then name of Vivien Hampshire, and have since had around 140 stories published in a variety of women’s mags. I also wrote articles for professional childcare and nursery magazines for a long time, and turned my hobby of cryptic crosswords into a ‘How to’ book which has sold really well. My first go at novel writing won me the annual ‘Best Opening to a Novel competition’ in The Mail on Sunday, although the finished novel never found a home. I self-published a short ebook novel, and then joined the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) New Writers Scheme four years ago. Both of the novels I wrote under their guidance have now been published.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it? 
There are certainly days when I don’t feel like writing or find other things to do, but that is pure procrastination, not writer’s block! If I have a deadline or a story nagging at me to be written, I just get on with it.

What motivates you to keep writing? 
I just love writing and can’t imagine a time when I will ever stop. It’s not for the money, or the fame, both of which are thin on the ground! It’s for me.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer? 
1. It doesn’t come easy. You have to keep on trying no matter how much rejection you meet along the way. If you believe in what you are doing, never give up.

2. Meet other writers, join local groups, attend courses and conferences, join any relevant writers associations like the RNA. You will learn the craft, find opportunities and make valuable contacts. And when times are bad, other writers understand!

3. Try not to give your work away. Payment isn’t everything, and it may not equate to much per hour, but it acknowledges your time and sweat! No other profession would be expected to work for nothing.

What are you reading at the moment? 
I have been bingeing on Milly Johnson for the last few weeks, I especially loved ‘The Queen of Wishful Thinking’. Milly manages to create fictional places with casts of very likeable characters, and some horrible baddies too! You just know everything will work out in the end. I like Veronica Henry for similar reasons.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits? 
All by myself, by Celine Dion

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book? 
My favourite character is a short and dumpy elderly widow called Agnes. She lives alone with just a cat for company and has terrible arthritis in her knees. She reminds me of my own granny. I think Judi Dench might do a good job!

What is your next book about? 
It is another domestic drama, set in two time periods, charting the long history of a failing marriage from the 1970s to the present day, alongside the current lives of the grown-up children. We are still very much at the editing stage so no news yet of when it might be published.

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? ‘Barmy’, by Victoria Wood, including some of her hilarious early ‘Acorn Antiques’ TV scripts.

Cry your heart out?

A children’s picture book called ‘Tadpole’s Promise’, by Jeanne Willis. A tadpole and a caterpillar fall in love, but when they grow up and change into a frog and a butterfly they don’t recognise each other… and frogs eat butterflies!

Want to read it again?
‘Sense and Sensibility’, by Jane Austen. All human emotion is here!

Think more?
A really good dictionary. I love discovering new words and what they mean.

Wish it would be made into a film?

‘The Queen of Wishful Thinking’, by Milly Johnson. Romance, domestic violence, and the world of antiques. It would make a great TV drama or series.

‘I Let You Go’, by Clare Mackintosh, The absolute best book I read last year and with an amazing twist and some truly shocking scenes. 

Scared? I never read horror or anything that would keep me awake at night!

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Vivien Brown lives in Uxbridge, on the outskirts of London, with her husband and two cats. After a career in banking and accountancy and the birth of her twin daughters, she gave up working with numbers and moved into working with words and has never looked back.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Reach for the Stars by Colleen Coleman

When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s 28, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her small hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up.

This was not in her five-year plan.

Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together. Surrounded by new friends and a welcoming community, Evelyn is building a life that she really loves – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…

But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?

Title: Reach for the Stars
Author: Colleen Coleman
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 21st October 2017
Links:  UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

What a beautiful uplifting novel about a young woman who eventually finds herself and where she's meant to be.
Evelyn is from a tiny town in Ireland where everybody knows each other. When she feels that her marriage is in a rut she tries counselling but to no avail so she makes some huge changes to her life.
The best bit about this book apart from the beautiful way that it's written is that it is so self enlightening and it caused me to look at things in life differently.
The warmth of the characters overflows from this book and the lovely Irish accent and humour shines through.
I loved the story so much and would love to spend some time in Rosie's which sounded like a fab place to be. Evelyn would make a wonderful friend, her innocent approach to situations unearths some really deep solutions.
I'm not sure if any of what I've said here makes sense but in a nutshell I think everybody should read this book because it's just wonderful and I loved every minute of it.
Thanks to Bookouture for the Arc which I've received voluntarily.

Book Angel x                  

About the Author

'Colleen Coleman is definitely one to watch..' Chick Lit Uncovered

Colleen was born in Canada and raised in Ireland. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’.

She spent years teaching English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching both eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words 'the end'. As a result, her first novel, Don't Stop Me Now was born.

Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very,very chatty twin daughters.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza

She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.
Title:     Cold Blood
Author:     Robert Bryndza
Published By:   Bookouture
Publication Day:  20th September 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

Once again Robert Bryndza has lived up to his reputation as a number one crime writer.

Cold Blood is the fifth in the Erika Foster series and is his darkest and most disturbing book yet with a story line that is as chilling as it is gripping.

Detective Erika Foster faces her toughest case when it seems a spate of killings are being carried out by not one but two cold blooded killers. There are so many twists and turns to this story which takes us along a very dark road and some scenes are quite upsetting.

I love Erika's friendship with Isaac Strong which has featured in all the books, he really cares about her which is what she needs when she discovers there are some people she can't trust.
The Characters are believable and time is taken to show how and why the baddies do what they do which I think is important and makes them multi-dimensional, I think it also ensures that the scenes are not gratuitous.

The build up of suspense thunders through this book like a freight train and it's certainly not for the faint hearted but for those who like an adrenaline rush then this is the book for you.
Once again I am waiting with baited breath for the next instalment of DI Erika Foster's life.
Huge thank you to Bookouture for the arc which I've reviewed voluntarily.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood has just been published.

Robert's books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here:

(Simply cut-and-paste that address into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Blog Tour - The Missing Girls by Carol Wyer

One girl found dead. Another girl gone...

Long shadows danced on the tin walls. Inside the trunk lay Carrie Miller, wrapped in plastic, arms folded across her ribcage, lips sealed tight forever...

When a girl’s body is found at a Midlands storage unit, it is too decomposed for Detective Robyn Carter to read the signs left by the killer.

No one knows the woman in blue who rented the unit; her hire van can’t be traced. But as the leads run dry another body is uncovered. This time the killer’s distinctive mark is plain to see, and matching scratches on the first victim’s skeleton make Robyn suspect she’s searching for a serial-killer.

As Robyn closes in on the killer’s shocking hunting ground, another girl goes missing, and this time it’s someone close to her own heart.

Robyn can’t lose another loved one. Can she find the sickest individual she has ever faced, before it’s too late?

An utterly gripping and darkly compelling detective thriller that will have fans of Robert Dugoni, Angela Marsons and James Patterson hooked from the very start. You will not guess the ending!

Title: The Missing Girls
Author: Carol Wyer
Published By: Bookouture
Publication Date: 14th September 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Our Review

Carol Wyer has done it again with this sensational, suspenseful and gripping thriller. DI Robyn Carter is faced with one body and other suspected missing girls but finds it difficult to link them together.

I feel as though I really have got to know Robyn and almost feel as though I'm working alongside her as part of the team. The investigations are always thorough and Robyn uses her team well. The suspense builds quite quickly and we are fully aware that time is running out for the victims.
This time the case comes a little too close to home for Robyn and she needs to solve it fast.

She is flawed and doesn't always make the right decisions but that's what makes her more believable as a character. Her relationship with step daughter Amelie really brings out her softer side and along with her relationship with her cousin Ross who is a private investigator provides a more multi dimensional person.

The book touches on cyber bullying which is a very current and terrifying trend that needs to be stamped out. The app mentioned was a genius idea to provide a reflection of what is happening to society today.

There is a huge shock in store for Robyn but my lips are sealed on that one.

I can honestly say that I can see these books being televised and they would make a brilliant substitute for fans of Prime Suspect, well done Carol I'm now eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

I read at the back of the book that Ross may have his own stories soon too which would be amazing.

Thanks to bookouture for the Arc which I have reviewed voluntarily.

Book Angel x

Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published by Safkhet and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Little Girl Lost, the first book in the Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series came out in January 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Monday, 21 August 2017

Author Q & A Holly Seddon

Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins, but they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another.
Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days house-bound, watching the world from the safety of her sitting room. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't...
And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted - the wonderful family, the perfect home. But, accused of the most terrible thing of all, she can't be around her new family. Not until she's tracked down her twin sister, to come to terms with something that happened a long time ago.
But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship...

Title: Don't Close Your Eyes
Author: Holly Seddon
Published By: Corvus
Publication Date: 4th Jan 2018
Links: UK:  Amazon    US: Amazon

Author Q & A With Holly Seddon

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels Holly, can you tell us:-

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I had a few different loose ideas that I realised were all part of the same book: siblings divided by a break up and new blended families being formed. A woman whose child has been taken from her, and who is accused of terrible things. And, possibly because I’m quite solitary myself (willingly), I’ve always been aware of people who are a lot further along that spectrum, so I wanted to write about someone who had once had a very big and busy life and was now living in isolation, watching and obsessing over the neighbours.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I didn’t dare dream it would happen but it’s all I wanted to do.

What other jobs have you had?
I’ve been a journalist, a social media manager, a waitress, a salesperson, an IT trainer, a receptionist, a bar maid, worked in a dog kennels and more. I disliked a lot of those jobs… I loved working with the dogs and working with words though.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Overwhelming relief. Like, phew, I’m not a one trick pony, I can do this and be really proud of more than one book!

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
After a few (more than a few) unfinished novels, I started writing my debut Try Not to Breathe in 2010. After having to pause it a few times, I eventually finished it in 2013. In January 2014, I was at home following an operation and, feeling really down and poorly, I decided ‘now or never’ to submit it to agents.

I made a short list of agents initially, thinking I would send to those and when they inevitably rejected me, I would make a longer list and carry on. By some kind of serendipity/massive fluke, my email landed in my now agent’s inbox just as she sat down for lunch and she opened it. She replied 45 minutes later and asked for the rest. I ran around the house, nearly bursting my stitches, and then tried to re-edit the whole manuscript in a panic that night before sending the next day. We met and discussed the work needed to bring it up to speed and I was giddy as a piglet when she said she’d work on it with me. We redrafted many times, sloughing away the stuff I thought I had to put in and making it into the book I had wanted to write all along. 

In autumn 2015, we sold it to the wonderful Corvus (imprint at Atlantic Books) and Try Not to Breathe was published in January 2016.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Hmn, I’ve not had writers’ block, but there are definitely times the writing flows easily and times it’s like herding cats: erratic ideas, clunky prose that needs to be re-written, characters that come out of nowhere and change the direction of a scene…

What motivates you to keep writing?
I’ve always written and always will write, but writing to deadline is also something I’m used to from my career as a journalist. I’m definitely not someone who can ask for an extension because I’ve not finished yet, I’d rather work all night than do that!

Where is your favourite place to write?
I always think I like writing in cafés until I actually do it. Then my battery runs down, other people’s kids yell and I drink so much coffee I lose my mind. So now I admit that I’m best off writing on my bed… 

Here it is, being ably demonstrated by my son, Elliot, and my dog, Arnie.

My absolute dream place to write is by a pool in a fancy hotel, by myself. But that’s about a million miles from reality!

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Yes, very much so. There are scenes in Don’t Close Your Eyes that really affected me to the point that I had to take myself off alone for a bit because I was snapping at everybody. I need a lot of time to myself anyway, but that was especially hard.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

1. Don’t try to write the way you think you should write, or the way someone else writes, find your own way. 

2. Read, read, read. Not just the genre you write in but everything that interests you.

3. Don’t give up.

What are you reading at the moment?
So Happy It Hurts by Annaliese Mackintosh.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Either Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division or We Gotta Get Out Of This Place by The Animals.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Vicky McClure as Robin Marshall.

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

Which book has made you:
Laugh out loud?
The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Cry your heart out?
One Day by David Nicholls

Want to read it again?
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Think more?
The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla

Wish it would be made into a film?
The Power by Naomi Alderman 

My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor

Scared?The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

Thank you so much for joining us Holly and good luck with the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller.

Her second novel DON'T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow

You will adore this heartwarming, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestelling author Christie Barlow!

‘Full of warmth, fun and feel-good factor’ Sunday Times bestseller Katie Fforde
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…
For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…
Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…

Title: The Cosy Canal Boat Dream
Author: Christie Barlow
Published By: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 22nd August 2017
Links: UK: Amazon

Our Review

This is such a heart meltingly touching story that I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact I feel quite bereft at leaving the characters behind.

The story follows Nell who is trying hard to carry on with her life after losing her lovely husband Ollie a couple of years before.
One day she meets a handsome Irish man called Guy and helps him look for his dog. They do find him but they also find so much more in each other.

Nell is a lovely person who lives on a canal boat and is happy to work with her best friend Bea who is also her boss in the local deli.  She is fiercely loyal to the memory of her late husband and the moments she spent talking to him on the bridge were very touching and heartbreaking.  It was an interesting dynamic to show her almost being pulled in two directions between her eternal love for Ollie and the potential for a new love with Guy and this was handled beautifully.

The story became even more interesting with the mysterious stranger who turned up at the marina on a canal boat and many secrets were unearthed. I felt I knew what was going to happen and then whoosh the rug was pulled from beneath my feet with quite a shocking revelation.

I could clearly see the marina and the old picture house in my mind and almost felt as though I was there. The story has many layers to it which kept my interest piqued throughout.

I enjoyed this book immensely and felt embraced in the warmth of the setting and the wonderful lovable characters.

Well done Christie and thank you to Harper Impulse for the ARC, I'm looking forward to the next one already.

About the Author

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, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances and The Cosy Canal Boat Dream. 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, USA and Australia.
Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money and awareness and engaging with communities in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being. She is also Literary Editor for uk, bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.
She loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website, Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page, Christie Barlow author.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Author Q & A - Cressida McGloughlin

A wonderfully warm and witty novel from one of our favourite women’s fiction stars. We defy you not to love this’ Heat
The charming new bestseller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Canal Boat Cafe
Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.
Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.
As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Title:  The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse
Author:  Cressida McGloughlin
Published By:   Harper Collins
Publication Date:  29th June 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

Hi Cressida and welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog. 

Can you tell us what was the inspiration behind this novel? 
A couple of things, both stemming from holidays I’ve been on in the past. For quite a few years when I was younger we went to a tiny Dorset village called Burton Bradstock; it had the crumbling cliffs, the sandy beach and a typical seaside feel about it. And then, a few years ago, my husband and I went to Hastings for a few days, and stayed in a boutique hotel on the seafront, where all the rooms were themed around different countries. We stayed in Japan, which had a futon and a square spa bath in the corner. I started to think about a fictional village with a typical south-coast seafront, but also a wide, sometimes wild beach with looming cliffs, and about a guesthouse where all the rooms were themed around things that mattered to the heroine; a place inspired by her hopes, dreams and loves. These came together and The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse was born.

Did you always want to be a writer? 
No! I’ve always loved reading, but was much more interested in reviewing and critiquing books – I did English Literature at university and never imagined writing one of my own. It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties and had the opportunity to do a creative writing evening class that everything changed. From the very first class I was hooked, and decided that I wanted to write stories for a living. I made it happen, but it took a long time!

What other jobs have you had? 
My first job, a Saturday job, was in a local bakery, where we got to take home anything that hadn’t sold, as it wasn’t open on a Sunday. I’ve also worked in Sainsbury’s, for a recruitment agency and as a bid writer for a construction firm. For years before I became a full time author I worked for the local council, where I had varied jobs – waste reduction officer (much more fun than it sounds), PA, and roles in the communications and web teams. They’ve given me lots of story inspiration over the years!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
The most amazing, unforgettable, pinch me moment. I still get those moments all the time; I can’t imagine ever thinking that being a published author isn’t a big deal. Every new cover reveal, publication day, good review, comment from a reader is wonderful. It’s the best job ever.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story. 
Very long and windy, involving lots of rejections from agents and publishers, four unpublished books sitting on my computer and an amazing, ice-cream filled book launch for Alex Brown’s Ice Cream at Carringtons, where I met her lovely editor Kate Bradley, and it turned out to be the day that changed my life. It was about six years between me deciding I wanted to be a published author and it happening. But it’s so worth all those heart-breaking emails and moments of misery; I believed I would get there one day and I persevered, grew a thick skin, and eventually it paid off.

What other books have you written? 
The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse is my third novel. All my books are published as a series, with four ebook novellas that become a full ebook and paperback novel. My first was the Primrose Terrace series, about a dog walker called Cat, who gets a bit too involved in her clients’ lives; the full novel is called A Christmas Tail. My second is The Canal Boat Café series, about Summer Freeman, who takes over her late mother’s failing café on a narrowboat in the sleepy village of Willowbeck. There is always romance, escapism, an idyllic setting and lots of cute animals.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I do sometimes get stuck on a bit of writing, but it’s usually because it’s not going in the right direction. I find stepping away from it, for ten minutes, an hour or an afternoon will help me sort out the niggle unconsciously while I’m doing other things, and then I can go back to it and fix whatever’s wrong. Tea also helps. I drink a lot of tea!

What motivates you to keep writing?
I love it - it’s as simple as that. I lose myself in the story, I love my characters and I always have in the back of my mind that, once it’s finished and polished and ready, readers will have the opportunity to lose themselves in the story too. Getting an email or a Facebook message from a reader who’s done just that is one of the best motivations to write. There are also lovely things like beautiful covers being designed specifically for your book, publication day celebrations, sometimes exciting sales figures that spur you on – lots of reasons to open a bottle of bubbly, which is never a bad thing.

Where is your favourite place to write? (can we please have a picture)
I have one of our spare bedrooms as my office, and I’ve turned it into my ideal writing space. It’s got lots of books, a sparkly lava lamp, postcards of Aidan Turner as Poldark and everything I could want to keep me going. I can write elsewhere – we have a lovely deck looking out over the back garden that I like to sit on to scribble notes – but my office is the most comfortable, the most creative space.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa? 
That’s such a good question! I’m sure they must do – I can sometimes find my character being more miserable than I would like, and try and work out what’s caused it, and I’m sure it’s sometimes my own mood. I also get very giddy when I’ve done a good day’s writing or editing, and I’m happy with the direction my characters are going in. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean they’re happy – it could be a gnarly or tricky part, but if it’s good for the story then it definitely buoys my mood!

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
1. Persevere. Not all writers go through years of rejections, but lots do, and if you love doing it, and you’re passionate about it, then keep going, grow a thick skin and don’t give up. 

2. Write first, edit later. You will never get to the end if you’re constantly going back over your words. Keep writing, however rubbish you think it is, and then, when you’ve reached The End, go back and make it better. 

3. Have fun. There’s no point doing it if you don’t enjoy it. The hours that go into a book, from the author of course, then the editor, copy editor, proof reader, and all the other people – sales, marketing, publicity, cover design – are too extensive for something that isn’t written with love. Of course everyone has bad days, days when the words don’t flow or you want to throw your computer or notebook out of the window, but if it’s always a chore, then you’re probably chasing the wrong dream.

Which authors inspire you?
Harriet Evans, Lucy Robinson, Kirsty Greenwood, Jill Mansell, Elly Griffiths. The list is so extensive, but those are some writers who inspired me when I was starting out, whose words I fell in love with. As I read more, and get sent more proofs I’m discovering new authors all the time, and two writers who I have recently fallen in love with are Helen Fields and Annie Darling. Helen Fields is a wonderful writer of gritty, gory crime fiction, perhaps not so relevant to my writing, but she weaves such brilliant stories and her characters- excuse the pun – are to die for. And Annie Darling writes, for me, the most pitch perfect, warm, funny, indulgent romantic fiction. If there were books I wish I’d written, then it’s the Little Bookshop series; The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts and True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Tattletale by Sarah Naughton. I love good crime and psychological thrillers as much as romantic fiction, and this one is brilliant so far – very dark, with a compelling premise and interesting characters. I’m keen to find out what happens!

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Where the Sky is by Ward Thomas, because I mention it in the book.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book? 
Well, I love all my characters, but if I was picking someone for Robin, then I would pick Emily Blunt to play her (said every author ever about their female main character). I also think James Norton would make a pretty good Will, though when I picture him he doesn’t really match any actor I can think of. Any suggestions very welcome – I love hearing how readers picture my characters!

What is your next book about? 
My next book is called The Canal Boat Café Christmas, and it’s a novella – just two parts. It’s a follow up to my second novel, The Canal Boat Café. It follows Summer and Mason, a year after the first book finished, and is about a journey that they make just before Christmas that turns out to be quite eventful!

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?
Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood

Cry your heart out?
The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan 

Want to read it again?
True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

Think more?
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Wish it would be made into a film?
Last Seen by Lucy Clarke

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Perfect Prey by Helen Fields

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today Cressida and good luck with the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David.

Cressy’s favourite things - other than writing - include terrifying ghost stories, lava lamps and romantic heroes, though not necessarily at the same time. (Though perhaps a good starting point for a story . . ?)

When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful and romantic Norfolk coastline.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Author Q & A Lynda Stacey - House of Secrets

A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …

Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.

Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.

After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.

But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …

Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.

Title:  House of Secrets
Author:  Lynda Stacey
Published By: Choclit
Publication Date: 4th July 2017
Links:   UK:  Amazon    US:  Amazon
Ebook at
Paperback at

Author Q&A - Lynda Stacey

Hi Lynda, welcome to Sincerely Book Angels, can you tell us:-

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The inspiration was always the hall. Wrea Head Hall is the most amazing, historical building. As you walk through the doors, you can feel the history seeping out of the walls at you. I went to the hall for a birthday treat around 5 years ago and immediately fell in love with it.

Did you always want to be a writer?
YES.... absolutely. I wasn't a very adventurous child. I used to spend a lot of time with books, pads and pens and in my early teenage years I was given a lilliput typewriter for Christmas. After that, there was no going back.

What other jobs have you had?
I've always liked to eat.... and with that in mind I've taken jobs doing almost anything that I could get paid for.
I've been predominantly in sales and I'm currently the Sales Director of a stationery and office supplies company.

I worked at 'Rumbelows' selling washing machines and televisions, I worked at 'WHS Do it all' stacking shelves and sitting on reception making those annoying tannoy announcements that could be heard all around the store. I was a model, a dental nurse and I worked in a photography lab cutting negatives to size. Oh, and I was a Scuba Diving Instructor, I taught all over the world and loved every minute, but my proudest moment was when I became an author and saw my book in paperback for the very first time.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Very surreal and very humbling. I'd worked for years for that moment and for some reason I kind of felt as though people were talking about someone else books.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
Well, I'm just a normal person, who grew up in a mining community. I went to local schools and hated every moment. I led what you could call an unpredictable childhood, my father was manic depressive, alcoholic and I spent a lot of time just keeping quiet and out of his way.
At the age of 15 I announced to my careers advice officer that I was going to be an author, he looked over the top of his glasses and asked if I'd ever thought about working in Boots.
It was 1984, there was a miners strike and I had to work. My writing was put on hold and as you see above, I had a lot of jobs to pay the mortgage and it was only after a freak car accident in 2007 that I found myself with limited use of my arm. I couldn't teach scuba diving anymore and found myself sat for long periods of time with nothing to do. It was at this time that I began writing. And now, in 2017 I've just signed my 4th book contract with Choc Lit.

What other books have you written?
I've written 4 books.
House of Sscrets, Tell me no Secrets, House of Christmas Secrets (working title) and Twisted Secrets.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I can't say that I have. Although I don't sit down every day at a set time to write. Because I work full time, I tend to write as and when I can, which is normally at times when I want to write.... or feel happy to write. So, no, no writers block yet.

What motivates you to keep writing?
I love the whole process. I love finding the characters in my mind, giving them backgrounds and life stories. I'd also like to write into retirement and use it as a way to fund my lifestyle, which my husband says is expensive lol.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I love to curl up on the corner of my very big corner suite in my pj's. I put the recliner up and get the laptop on my knee.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
I guess so. If I've been writing a sad or dramatic scene, I find it hard to sleep. It's as though I need to make my heroine's life all nice again before I can settle.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Be prepared to write the same scene over and over again. Be prepared to ride the whole rollercoaster of emotions that come with the publishing game, but most of all keep writing.

Which authors inspire you?
Oh nooooo, I can't answer that. I'd be like asking me to choose a favourite child.

What are you reading at the moment?
After going to a tutorial of hers at the RNA Conference, I'm reading 'The Other Us' by Fiona Harper.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Probably something by Queen or Fleetwood Mac.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
My favourite character in the book is Bandit and I'd probably choose Stuart Martin to play him. He's gorgeous with just a touch of vulnerability.

What is your next book about?
Tell me no Secrets. Here's the blurb...

Can a secret be worse than a lie?

Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …

On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?

When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.

As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process...

Sounds fab, and now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quick-fire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:
Laugh out loud?
Any Milly Johnson book, they're brilliant.

Cry your heart out?
I don't really do crying... sorry.!.

Want to read it again?
My childhood Enid Blyton Books. I spent hours of my childhood getting lost in the pages, I'd love to see if they still captivate me.

Think more?
A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness. It was about witches and vampires, but deep down it was about acceptance within a society.

Wish it would be made into a film?
House of Secrets, by me.

Thanks so much Lynda for joining us on the blog today and good luck with the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,

Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Link to Choc Lit





Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Blog Tour - Author Q & A Darcie Boleyn

On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.
Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.
When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.
But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

Title:  Love at the Italian Lake
Author: Darcie Boleyn
Published By: Canelo.
Publication Date: 31st July 2017
Links: UK: Amazon    US: Amazon

Author Q & A Darcie Boleyn

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
In 2010 my husband and I travelled to Lake Garda in Italy to decide whether it would be a good location for our wedding. We fell in love with Malcesine, and although we didn’t get married there in the end, it is such a beautiful location that I knew I had to set a novel there.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve always written, and as a child I used to enter short story and poetry competitions. This continued when I went to university but then, as life became busier, writing took a back seat. I nursed the dream to write for years when my children were young, and I tried to write a novel but spent far too much time procrastinating, which meant that it didn’t get finished. A few years ago, my husband encouraged me to really try again, and following a few false starts, I finally had that amazing acceptance email. Since then, I haven’t stopped!

What other jobs have you had?
When I was sixteen, I worked at a local supermarket on the checkouts and stacking shelves but I quit to focus on my A Levels. After graduating from university, I spent a year working at a shop that sold toiletries – although polishing the soaps got a bit boring after a while – before returning to higher education to achieve my PGCE. Following this, I worked for nineteen years as an English teacher, teaching pupils aged 11-18.

What motivates you to keep writing?
I love writing – everything about it – from the moment that I have the story idea, whether it’s a title, a line from a character, or a clear scene that appears in my head, to the full mapping out of the story, to writing the first draft then working on edits to make it stronger. It’s such an exciting process and one where I’m constantly learning. I’m always writing these days and I can’t imagine any other way of life. If I couldn’t write, I’d suffer, because I am quite literally bursting with ideas, words and plots.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
As for my moods, there will always be elements of me in my stories and my characters, especially where emotions are concerned, but I am writing fiction, so I try to allow the characters to develop themselves and to ensure that they make decisions that would make sense for them. This is also where a good editor comes in; to point out if something is ‘out of character’ or to question if a character’s thoughts and feelings are fully developed. Some scenes that I write make me cry – it could be because they’re happy or because they’re sad – but some also make me laugh, so yes, my characters’ moods do affect me. Also, as I’m constantly thinking about my current WIP, I do carry my characters around with me and it can be difficult to switch off, as I’m always thinking about their development and motivation. Luckily, my family are very understanding. ;-)

Which authors inspire you?
So many authors inspire me, and I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres, so this is always a difficult question as I’m worried I’ll miss someone out if I start naming them. Anyone who manages to write a whole book is inspirational because finishing a novel is the hardest part.

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?
Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael

Cry your heart out?

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes

Want to read it again?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Think more?
Court of Lions by Jane Johnson

Wish it would be made into a film?
One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (I read this years ago for my degree but now I’m watching the series and it’s fabulous!)

The Stand by Stephen King

Thank you for joining us on the blog today Darcie and good luck with the book.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Follow the rest of the tour here....