Giveaway! Two copies of The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery to be won!

3 May

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I have a very exciting giveaway for you today! The kind publishers at Gallic books have given me two copies of Muriel Barbery’s new novel, The Life of Elves, (released today!) to be won by lucky readers.

This is such a beautiful book and a magical story. Full details of how to enter are at the end of this post.

elves

 

The highly anticipated new novel from the acclaimed author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

The villagers had never seen anything like it: dense white curtains of snow that instantly transformed the landscape. Not in autumn, not here in Burgundy. And on the same night a baby was discovered, dark-eyed little Maria, who would transform all their lives.

Hundreds of miles away in the mountains of Abruzzo, another foundling, Clara, astonishes everyone with her extraordinary talent for piano-playing. But her gifts go far beyond simple musicianship. As a time of great danger looms, though the girls know nothing of each other, it is the bond that unites them and others like them, which will ultimately offer the only chance for good to prevail in the world.

To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets with the link to this post and I’ll pick  two winners using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Sunday 8th May

Good Luck!

 

Book news: Remember My Name by Abbey Clancey

27 Apr

The fab cover and title (Who didn’t love Fame!) caught my eye recently and I’m looking forward to reading Abbey Clancey’s debut novel – it sound like a great summer escape. Remember My Name will be released in ebook and hardback formats on 19th May by MIRA.

Remember My Name REMEMBER MY NAME

From the moment Liverpool teenager Jess stars in the school musical, she knows that she’s GOT to be a star. Fast forward a few years and the closest the now 22 year old Jessica has got to stardom is as a children’s entertainer – which is where she meets Jack , Uncle to the spoiled 5 year old birthday princess who spots Jessica’s talent and offers her a job with a record label. But that means that she’ll have to leave her family and her home and move to London – where she quickly finds that the streets aren’t quite paved with gold. And as she spends her days making tea for bitchy PR girls and her nights in a mouldy studio flat, Jessica wonders if leaving Liverpool for London has been a terrible mistake.

Attending an industry party – unfortunately only to serve canapes – Jessica’s fortunes suddenly change when Vogue, the singer due to perform at the event drops out. Before she knows it, Jessica volunteers to stand in and takes centre stage. After a dazzling performance, she is surrounded by people wondering who this amazing new talent is. What’s more, her star turn has been captured by the press and she has become an overnight sensation.

Plunged into the crazy world of glitz and glamour, Jessica’s life is transformed but as her star rises, she loses touch with her roots . Jessica’s teenage dreams of stardom may have come true, but at what cost?

Bloggers and reviewers – this novel will be available to request from 2pm today  on Netgalley!!!- head to: https://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book/88152 to request from 2pm!

Guest post: My Top 5 Romantic Books by Fiona Harper

25 Apr

I’m very excited to welcome Fiona Harper to the blog today to share her favourite romantic novels with us on the latest stop of her blog tour for her new novel, The Summer We Danced. Fiona lives in London, but her other favourite places to be are the Highlands of Scotland and the English countryside on a summer’s afternoon.

She loves dancing, cooking and anything cinnamon-flavoured. Of course, she still can’t keep away from a good book or a good movie—especially romances—but only if she’s stocked up with tissues, because she knows she will need them by the ending, no matter if they’re happy or sad. Fiona has written numerous books for Harlequin/Mills & Boon and many of her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in 30 different countries across the world. Welcome Fiona!

Fiona HarperFiona’s Top 5 Romantic Reads:

  1. 1. It has to be Jane Eyre. I fell in love with it after watching the BBC TV series with a pre-James Bond Timothy Dalton in it. I read the book right after watching it, and I’ve read it countless times since. There’s something about Jane’s sense of self that springs up through the words and brings her alive, and for a Victorian governess she has sentiments a twenty-first century woman can understand – the need to be seen for who she is, and loved and accepted for that.
  1. 2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Now bear with me here, because the premise sounds a bit unusual – it’s the retelling of the Biblical book of Hosea, but set in gold rush times in America. Basically, God tells Michael Hosea to marry a prostitute, and he is obedient. Angel was sold into prostitution at the age of eight. She only says yes to Michaelbecause she’s desperate, and because she’s so broken and wounded she betrays him again and again, but Michael refuses to give up on her, and finally Angel starts to understand the power of redeeming love.

3A Convenient Groom A Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter. When radio relationship guru Dr Kate is jilted the morning of her wedding, Luke Wright steps in and helps save her dignity and her career. However, this marriage of convenience ends up being much more than Kate ever bargained for. This is another tale of the love of a strong and steadfast man winning the woman he loves over. I’m a total sucker for an honourable hero. Give me one of those over a playboy any day!

4. Girl from Mars by Julie Cohen. I love all of Julie’s books, but this one particularly stuck me. It’s about a comic book artist, Fil, who’s sworn off romantic relationships, yet suddenly finds herself tempted by Dan, the man who wants to turn her professional world on its head. I loved Fil because she was geeky and insanely-talented, yet she lacked confidence, especially in how she looked and felt as a woman, and this story sees her blossoming, discovering her own sexuality and finding the courage to step out of her rather rigid comfort zone. I loved how Fil’s journey was mirrored by her comic book creation: the Girl from Mars.

5. The Bridesmaid’s Reward by Liz Fielding. This book is Mills & Boon gold. It’s not about the perfect girl with flowing hair and a willowy figure, the kind that every man wants. No, it’s about that girl’s sister – her plump, not very confident, would-much-rather-stay-in-the-shadows sister, Dodie. Unfortunately, Dodie’s famous sister is getting married and she needs to get into shape fast! Cue gorgeous personal trainer Brad. I loved the way Dodie didn’t need to become a stick insect to get her man  – she just had to see the beauty in herself that he saw.

image001 (6)The Summer We Danced by Fiona Harper is out now in paperback and ebook (MIRA)

Find out more about Fiona and her writing at: http://www.fionaharper.com/

After a humiliating divorce and watching her former rock star husband leave her for a model live on reality TV, Pippa is determined to disappear. So she returns to the small Kent village where she grew up to make a fresh start. Little did she know that would mean saving her beloved childhood dance school or falling for her old school crush Tom too!

The Summer We Danced explores lost love and new beginnings with emotional depth and wry humour. This is a novel to curl up with and laugh, cry and enjoy the perfect happy-ever-after.

Guest post: Location, Location, Location by Eve Devon

25 Apr

Today I’m delighted to welcome Eve Devon to One More Page to talk about the settings for her new novel, It’s In His Kiss. Eve Devon writes sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

She grew up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela which gave her a taste for adventure and her love for romances began when her mother gave her a romance book in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!

Eve worked in a library until she realised she was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with her very own sexy hero husband! Welcome Eve!

Eve Devon_author photoThe setting for It’s In His Kiss is a fictional Surrey town called Heathstead.

Heathstead first entered my imagination when I was writing Her Best Laid Plans (the first book to feature the King siblings). I needed a place where a large house/country estate wouldn’t look out of place but that was also within commutable distance to London where the family business headquarters were.

Before I knew it, Heathstead – a thriving village, popped almost fully-formed, onto the page. With street layout and buildings borrowed from many places I’ve visited throughout England, I suppose it has that quintessential English village look…with a little Chelsea/Kensington thrown in to update the chocolate-box look! In my head, beautiful old brick buildings retain their character but now there’s also contemporary signage over the doors of boutiques, hairdressers, convenience stores, café’s, pubs and post office. And, somehow, whenever we visit Heathstead, it’s always on one of those perfect clear summer days that show the place off at its best!

Sometimes I have to remind myself the place only exists in three books, Her Best Laid Plans, The Love List and my new release, It’s In His Kiss, because with each book, Heathstead has grown, taken on more character and become more important to the stories. But it’s in It’s In His Kiss, where the village, and in particular, the King Estate, becomes almost a character in its own right.

I imagined the King estate to be a little bit like the very gorgeous Titsey Place: http://www.titsey.org/   www.gardenvisit.com

The King estate in the books is a stately home with sweeping gardens, a long gravel drive and a beautiful lake.

Titsey Place house

Titsey Place lake

 

Sephy King has lived on the King estate all her life. Now twenty-five, along with her five-year-old daughter, Daisy, she resides in the new purpose-built flat, over the block of garages, behind the main house.

 

 

There’s a scene in It’s In His Kiss where Sephy leaves her catwalk show at the main house, walks along the gravel drive, and down to the lake to meet Luke. And it’s in this scene where, under a beautiful hand-crafted gazebo, strung with thousands of fairy lights, we start to discover just how important the King estate is to Sephy.

Yes, it’s the place where she dreams her dreams and makes her plans, but it’s also so much more…

It’s In His Kiss is out now in ebook formats: http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/books/its-in-his-kiss

It's In His Kiss coverWho do you turn to when things go wrong?

Your best friend. Obviously.

Sephy King’s worked flat-out to make her new lingerie business a success, only there’s a tiny snag – the marketing photos for the launch party are a disaster.

Luke Jackson will help her, won’t he? They just need to strip off, model gorgeous, sexy underwear together and take more photos! So what if the stunning body he’s been hiding makes Sephy’s eyes pop out? And when he holds her, she suddenly wishes they were in her bedroom…alone? He’s her best friend.

Then Luke asks Sephy for a return favour: to pose as his fake fiancée to get his parents temporarily off his back. It’s a risky strategy – but she’s sure she can pull it off.

Until he kisses her…

 

It’s In His Kiss is a standalone novel, but if your curiosity is spiked by the other Kings, Sephy’s brother, Jared King’s standalone story is Her Best Laid Plans and Sephy’s sister, Nora King’s standalone story is The Love List

Find out more about Eve and her novels at: http://www.evedevon.com/

Cover reveal! Time After Time by Hannah McKinnon

24 Apr

Tonight I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Hannah McKinnon’s debut, Time After Time. I love this cover but I love the premise for the story even more – who hasn’t imagined how their life might be different if they’d taken another path?! I can’t wait to read Time After Time. The book is out on 2nd June so add it to your wish lists!

time after time

Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.

Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?

Find out more about Hannah and her writing at: http://www.hannahmckinnonwriter.com/

Giveaway winners: The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig

24 Apr

map of bones

The winners are …

Marie and Suzanne

Congratulations! I have sent you an email. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Book review: The Chic Boutique on Baker Street by Rachel Dove

21 Apr

chic boutiqueThe perfect escape to the country…

Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of West¬field is the perfect place to
make a fresh start.

Local vet Ben is the golden boy of West¬field, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.

When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?

 

The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is Rachel Dove’s debut novel and was just the light summery read that I was looking for this week. Set mainly in the little Yorkshire village of Westfield, this is a sweet romance that follows Amanda as she leaves her job as a lawyer, escapes London and tries to start a new life by opening a little village shop.

There have been a lot of books recently charting new starts and the opening of shops, cafes or other ventures and though I love this kind of story,  as I started reading I wondered what would make this one different? I’m pleased to say that Rachel has put her own fab spin on this type of story and has created a lovely village of characters for readers to get to know including handsome vet Ben and a fantastic group of older residents that act as the village gatekeepers, match makers and crafty fairy godmothers!

As we first meet Amanda, she is a very successful lawyer, living the life of a city girl. The daughter of two high flying lawyers, Amanda has had her life mapped out for her from a young age and has more than risen to the challenge but when events conspire to turn her life upside down she begins to question how happy she really has been with her life to this point and jumps at the chance for a new and very different life. But the occupants of Amanda’s new home, especially Ben, are not all as enthusiastic as she is and she soon realises that she will have to earn her place in the community and win the village over if she is to succeed.

I enjoyed the tension between Amanda and Ben and I liked how both their back stories wove into the story playing out in the present, complicating the story with their own issues and past secrets. My favourite characters in the book by far though were not the leads but the older residents of Westfield who provide so many of the heartwarming and funny moments of the book. Village organiser Agatha Mayweather is a force to be reckoned with and I wasn’t sure I’d like her at first but she won me over and I loved the turn that her own story took as the book progressed. Ben’s receptionist and surrogate Mum Dottie was my absolute favourite, especially in the moments when she told Ben a few home truths!

Together the wonderful group of ladies with their crafts and matchmaking plans pulled the story together for me and gave it a little extra magic. And as Amanda has several trials to contend with during the story and both Amanda and Ben’s pasts come back to haunt them, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen.

The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is a fab debut and a lovely escapist romance, perfect for curling up with this weekend and I’m looking forward to reading more from Rachel in future.

4/5

The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is out today in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Rachel and her writing at: https://racheldoveauthor.wordpress.com/

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Book review: The Nurses of Steeple Street by Donna Douglas

19 Apr

steeple streetWelcome to the district nurses’ home on Steeple Street, where everyone has a secret…

Ambitious young nurse Agnes Sheridan had a promising future ahead of her until a tragic mistake brought all her dreams crashing down and cost her the love and respect of everyone around her. Now she has come to Leeds for a fresh start as a trainee district nurse. But Agnes finds herself facing unexpected challenges as she is assigned to Quarry Hill, one of the city’s most notorious slums. Before she can redeem herself in the eyes of her family, she must first win the trust and respect of her patients and fellow nurses.

Does Agnes have what it takes to stay the distance? Or will the tragedy of her past catch up with her?

Today I’m delighted to be reviewing The Nurses of Steeple Street as part of Donna Douglas’s blog tour. I’ve been a big fan of Donna’s Nightingale Nurses series right from the start (you can read my reviews and interviews with Donna here), so I was excited to see that she was starting a new series but still about nurses. This new series focuses on district nurses and we see a move north to the city of Leeds.
As much as I loved the Nightingale series, as a proud Yorkshire woman I’m so pleased that Donna has chosen to set a series in a northern city and its suburbs. A lot of the story takes place in the very poor Quarry Hill area and I found the historical detail of post war England and of district nursing, fascinating. Donna’s books are always so well researched and this one is no exception.

The Nurses of Steeple Street sees a new recruit arriving to train as a Queen’s Nurse. Agnes is originally from London and did her nursing training at the Nightingale but has moved north for a new beginning. Agnes is a very interesting character and has a lot to learn as she begins her training. I enjoyed how Donna highlighted the differences between the different types of nurse training using Agnes, but it was the clash of personalities between Agnes and her supervisor Bess Bradshaw that made Agnes’s story really interesting and their ups and downs did make me smile whilst admiring both womens’ strength of character!

Bess is quite a character to contend with and it’s not only Agnes that she has it in for; district nurse, Polly also frequently fails to come up to standard. Fans of TV series like Call the Midwife will love this book as will fans of well written saga and historical romance. The residents of Quarry Hill and the nurses of Steeple Street have plenty of surprises in store for readers and I found myself wanting to return to the story as soon as I could but not wanting it to end either!

Donna has created an immediately lovable cast of characters in The Nurses of Steeple Street and I was pulled in not just by Agnes, Bess and Polly’s stories and the mysteries in their pasts but also by the patients and their families that they visit. Personal favourites of mine were Mr Shapcott, who uses all manner of trickery to get out of his treatment and I loved the feisty Lil Fairbrass and her family, especially her daughter Clara.

The Nurses of Steeple Street has the perfect mix of humour, love and heartbreak, written in Donna’s lovely warm and engaging style. This is an excellent start to a new series and I can’t wait to visit Steeple Street again soon.

5/5

The Nurses of Steeple Street is released in paperback and ebook formats on Thursday 21st April by Arrow.

Find out more about Donna and her writing at: http://donnadouglas.co.uk/

Please do check out the other stops on Donna’s blog tour this week!

Book review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

18 Apr

the obsessionNaomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.

Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton – gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart.

But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret – and won’t let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor’s identity, before it’s too late.

There was much excitement in my little corner of the World when a proof copy of Nora Roberts’ latest novel was delivered. I’m such a big fan of Nora’s books now so I was delighted to be asked to take part in the blog tour for The Obsession which starts today.

The Obsession is described as ‘romantic suspense’ and it is just that. I think the word ‘gripping’ is often overused but that’s just what this novel is. The story held my attention from the shocking opening to the very final pages and I sped through this book in just a couple of days because I had to know the outcome of the story. Nora’s writing is impressive – the more I read her books, the more impressed I am by her ability to weave a story that is easily readable, yet not predictable, be it a paranormal/fantasy set on a sunny island (Nora’s last novel) or, as in this case, a harrowing story of the daughter of a family with a dark secret.

The book opens with twelve year old Naomi discovering the shocking truth about a member of her family. It’s an opening that will stay with me for a long time and had me holding my breath as I read. As the extent and horror of the crimes are revealed, she escapes and tries to begin a new life far away. I enjoyed how Nora focused in on Naomi and the effects of her discovery on her life, taking me as a reader with her as she grew up. The portrayal felt very believable, particularly the media interest in the case and the family and The Obsession made me think about what it could be like to be the subject of such scrutiny.

As grown up Naomi, who is now a photographer buys a run down house in a small town and starts to consider settling, the story takes on a very different tone and I enjoyed this part of the book a lot. I loved the descriptions and details of Naomi’s house renovation and how she reluctantly became part of the community. This is also the part of the novel that introduces the romantic element to the story as Naomi meets Xander, the local garage owner. I loved Xander as a male lead – book lovers take note; you will want to meet him!

I liked the way that The Obsession kept me guessing (and suspecting!) and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t sure where the story was going in terms of an obsession or how it would play out. This kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. I don’t want to give anything away but will say that I found the ending very satisfying and I’m already looking forward to reading Nora’s next book! Thankfully I don’t have long to wait, Bay of Sighs is out in June!

5/5

The Obsession is out now in hardback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Nora and her novels at:

Giveaway! Two copies of The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig to be won!

9 Apr

It’s my stop on the fabulous Map of Bones Blog Tour today and publisher Harper Voyager has kindly given me two copies to give away to lucky readers!

Francesca Haig is a novelist, poet and academic. The Fire Sermon, her debut novel was published in 2015, the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Her poetry has been published in literary journals in both Australia and England, and her first collection of poetry, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006. Francesca grew up in Tasmania, gained her PhD from the Universityof Melbourne, and was a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chester. In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship.

Find out more about Francesca and her writing at: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/cr-108655/francesca-haig

map of bones

The second book in Francesca Haig’s incredible Fire Sermon series.

The Omega resistance has been brutally attacked, its members dead or in hiding.

The Alpha Council’s plan for permanently containing the Omegas has begun.

But all is not entirely lost: the Council’s seer, The Confessor, is dead, killed by her twin’s sacrifice.

Cass is left haunted by visions of the past, while her brother Zach’s cruelty and obsession pushes her to the edge, and threatens to destroy everything she hopes for.

As the country moves closer to all-out civil war, Cass will learn that to change the future she will need to uncover the past. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers: a deeply buried secret that raises the stakes higher than ever before.

I have two copies of The Map of Bones to give away. To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below and I’ll pick  two winners using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Thursday 14th April.

Good Luck!