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Book Review: The Season For Love by M.W. Arnold

The Season For Love - M. W. Arnold* Rating:

Book Summary:
Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathe new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.
Review:
Congratulations to M.W. Arnold on his debut novel; The Season For Love*.

There is a strong theme of love, loss and friendship running through the novel, which had me desperately hoping for Chrissie to fi…

Book Review: Summer In San Remo by Evonne Wareham

Rating: Book Summary: Cassie Travers is a strong, independent women who is determined to maintain control of everything in her life. However, life is never quite that straightforward. In order to get her out of one mess, Cassie ends up in another as she takes a job that causes her to be reliant on a man she vowed never to need again. To resolve her future, she must first resolve her past.
Review: Summer in San Remo takes us on a captivating journey from the quaint streets of Bath to the stunning Riviera. The beautiful descriptions had me planning my next holiday destinations!
Cassie is a wonderful character; strong and capable, but hiding a vulnerable side that makes her doubt herself and always push herself harder to achieve success. Her curiosity is contagious and I found myself captivated by the mystery that she and her old flame Jake were on a quest to unravel.
I loved the fiery chemistry between Cassie and Jake. She might need his help, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to make …

A Book Launch & Obscure Loves

I'm so excited to tell you that Rhoda Baxter has a new book out today! I loved Girl on the Run and can't wait to read Rhoda's new novel; Girl in Trouble. 
Just to tempt you, here's the fabulous cover and book blurb:
Girl In Trouble blurb: Grown up tomboy Olivia doesn't need a man to complete her. Judging by her absent father, men aren't that reliable anyway. She's got a successful career, good friends and can evict spiders from the bath herself, so she doesn't need to settle down, thanks.
Walter's ex is moving his daughter to America and Walter feels like he's losing his family. When his friend-with-benefits, Olivia, discovers she's pregnant by her douchebag ex, Walter sees the perfect chance to be part of a family with a woman he loves. But how can Walter persuade the most independent woman he's ever met to accept his help, let alone his heart?
Girl In Trouble is the third book in the award nominated Smart Girls series by Rhoda Baxter. If yo…

Heading Back To Fuerteventura

I know I haven't been home from my holiday very long, but I enjoyed it so much I've just booked a return trip. It's not until Christmas, so it feels a long way off yet. Mind you given the amount of Christmas stock I see sneaking onto the supermarket shelves, perhaps it will be here quicker than I think.

I'd started working on a new novel when I was away. I know I really should be finishing the edits on my current works in progress first, but what can I say, I was inspired. The words kept springing into my head and obviously I just had to write them down. I'm hoping to feel equally inspired on my return trip so I can find the ending for the novel. So if you think about it, this means that my return trip to Fuerteventura isn't really a holiday at all. It's all research. Every part of it, including sitting on the beach, paddling in the sea, lounging by the pool, exploring the local market and meeting new people. It's absolutely all research for the novel. …

My Favourite Writing Place

I’ve always loved the beach. There’s nothing like the feel of the sand between my toes and my hair blowing in the sea breeze. I have fond memories of my childhood summer holidays when we packed Dads tiny Peugeot 205 full of camping gear and headed to the seaside. The drive always seemed to take forever to get there and the tent felt too small with my whole family crammed in, but it was all worth it to spend long days building sandcastles and swimming in the sea.

My love of the beach hasn’t dismissed through the years, though my standard of accommodation has certainly changed. These days I prefer somewhere with indoor plumbing, a comfortable bed and a solid roof (instead of tents that leak or blow away in the middle of the night during a storm…)
Having just returned from the Barcel√≥ Fuerteventura Thalasso Spa Hotel I can safely say whilst I am never going back to camping again, I would love to return to the lovely Barcel√≥. It was a truly wonderful holiday. The hotel was exceptionally c…

Book Review: Everything But The Truth by Gillian McAllister

Everything But The Truth was recommended to me on the basis that Gillian McAllister writes gripping stories with strong emotional character threads running through them. I wasn’t disappointed. Gillian has created rich, layered characters, who I couldn’t wait to read more about as I delved further into their world.

It was fascinating to follow Rachel as one email in the middle of the night causes her to question everything she knows about the man she loves. And love him she does. Through Gillian’s elegant writing style, Rachel’s voice was clear and her emotions were cleverly portrayed throughout in her explicit yet simple descriptions of what she liked and loved, as though Rachel was confiding in the reader as a friend.

Everything But The Truth is an excellent example of how even the smallest of lies can spiral out of control. This novel made me realise that the desire to protect the image that someone else holds of us, can lead to deceit. But one little lie or one simple omission ca…

The Diminishing Word Count

Inspired by last week’s RNA conference, I returned home eager to finish the draft of my novel ready for submission to the NWS for critiquing. One week later, I have a newly written synopsis, a clearer sense of my characters, a revised structure, oh yes, and a novel that’s about 30,000 words less than I started with.
The latter is not quite what I was intending to achieve.
However, all is not lost. The cut sections are now patiently residing in a new file marked ‘book 2’. There’s just one small snag… A book 2 requires a book 1 to precede it.

Just over one month to go till the NWS deadline and 30,000 words to write. I can totally do this, right?

Book Review: Girl in Red Velvet by Margaret James

Rating: Book Summary:Girl in Red Velvet is a novel about friendship and impossible choices. When Lily Denham met two boys on her first day at Oxford University, she never imagined that she would fall in love with both of them, or that one day she would have to choose between them.
Review: Beautifully written, Girl in Red Velvet had me hooked from the start as I wondered who Lily would choose. Harry and Max are both intriguing, well rounded characters who are complete opposites, but equally appealing in their own individual ways. I found myself sharing Lily’s dilemma as I wondered who I would choose myself: safe and dependable Harry, or exciting and adventurous Max.
At the start of the novel, Lily is a strong willed, independent woman with her own distinctive style. She doesn’t care what other people think or whisper about her behind her back. How I would love to be that bold!
However, Lily discovers that as hard as making a decision can be, living with that choice can be even harder…

Rediscovering the Theatre

As a child I loved going to the theatre. It was something that my parents and I could enjoy together. The same however can't be said for the pop concerts my poor mother drew the short straw of having to take me to. I don't think she'll ever forgive me for the Jason Donovan concert. Not because of a lack of appreciation for the music, but more from a distinct aversion to being surrounded by hordes of screaming kids. Who can blame her?

The theatre however was much more refined and dignified. Which, to be honest, was half of the appeal for them and I. It seemed such a grown up thing to do sitting on those posh red velour seats, before a huge stage with elaborate sets and costumes. The stories came to life in a way that watching a film on TV never did. It was like being part of something special.

My childhood was filled with shows like; Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie get your gun and the Buddy Holly Story (ok that one was Dad's choice). And then I grew up. I w…

Who Do You Think You Are?

Last week I went to the Who Do You Think You Are? exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. Having never been to this kind of event before I wasn't sure what to expect, other than a lot of walking and a crowd of people. I wasn't disappointed.

Researching our family history has become a family affair. Turns out learning where you come from is a contagious pastime. Mum's cousin started on it a couple of years ago when she started compiling names and creating our family tree on www.ancestry.co.uk. Then her daughter joined in and their family holidays started including visits to view parish records. Another cousin sparked our curiosity by asking who these people really were. Where did they live? What did they do? Suddenly we were all scouring the genealogy websites searching for answers. The more information we found, the more it inspired us to dig deeper. Which is how I ended up at what is pitched as 'the worlds largest family history show'. It's big. My feet can atte…

The Reluctant Gardener: Lingering Effects of Storm Doris

This has been the view from my kitchen window ever since storm Doris uprooted a tree. Yes, I know that was over a month ago. Yes, I know that was too long to neglect the tree lying across my lawn. Have you noted the title of this blog series? Reluctant is putting it mildly when it comes to my gardening abilities. I will do almost anything to avoid even the simplest of task such as mowing the lawn, so when it comes to anything that involves actually getting my hands dirty and digging, my ability to procrastinate is truly impressive. Although, I have had a good excuse recently – did you see my post about my two jobs? See, I have been busy. Very busy. Far too busy to venture out into my garden with a spade…
To be fair I’d known for a while that the tree was a little wobbly and needed to be replanted much deeper, but it’s one of those things I hadn’t quite got around to. After all, it was still standing. It may have swayed frantically even in the slightest of breezes, but it was fine real…

Common Ground

I’d always thought of writing as rather a solitary pursuit. It was just me and my notebook. No-one I knew would have understood. My friends went home after a long day in the office to watch TV and unwind, not spend hours at a computer typing. Sure they enjoyed a good book or film, but did they ever think about what went into writing them? Probably not. They didn’t need to.
Then I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and everything changed. That solitary pursuit that had once made me feel like somewhat of a recluse, became the key to a world of sociability. People brought together by their common quest to create a story so compelling that it just has to be read.
People like me.
Of course it didn’t happen overnight. It started slowly. I joined the RNA facebook group and met Morton S Gray. She was the first fellow Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Scheme member I knew. In one of those ‘isn’t it a small world’ moments, it turned out Morton was part of the Birmingham RNA c…

Book Review: The Girl on the Beach by Morton S Gray

Rating:
About the Author Morton S. Gray is a writer from Worcestershire, U.K. A member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, she recently graduated from their excellent New Writers' Scheme. Her debut novel, ‘The Girl on the Beach', was the winner of the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition and was published in January 2017. Morton writes romance stories with a mystery to solve.
Website and blog www.mortonsgray.com
Facebook author page : Morton S.Gray
Twitter : MortonSGray

Book Summary: When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon there’s something familiar about him. He reminds her of someone she used to know. There’s just one problem; he’s dead.
Right from the beginning The Girl on the Beach is full of mystery and intrigue. We follow Ellie and Harry from their first meeting, as Ellie tries to figure out why Harry seems so familiar, and Harry wonders why a woman he’s never met seems to know him.
Review: Morton’s easy to read writing style kept me turning the page eager to find…

Foyles Blogger Brekkie

What better way to start the day than surrounded by books?

This morning kicked off the first of Foyles monthly Blogger Brekkies in Birmingham's Grand Central bookshop.

We spent an hour before the store opened chatting about books and blogging over cups of tea and croissants. Does it get any better?

Well, possibly...

Over the coming months Foyles events team are planning to have guest bloggers and authors attend the Blogger Brekkies to share their wisdom and tips. Something tells me I'm about to start spending a lot more time in Birmingham...