Blog Tour: Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

5 Dec

I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls so you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to be part of this blog tour for Lauren Graham’s book about her life from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and everything in between! For those who haven’t seen the series (why not?!) Lauren plays one of the leading Gilmore girls – Lorelai Gilmore. For this tour I was asked to share my favourite Lorelai Gilmore moments with you, so here are my top three!

lorelai snow1. The one with the snow!

In season one of Gilmore Girls Lorelai opens one of the windows of her house and sniffs the air, declaring that snow is on its way. Later in the episode she explains to Luke why she loves snow so much and how magical it is.

It’s rare that we see much snow here in the UK but when we do I get so excited and Lorelai’s love of snow is one of my favourite things about her! I love that the opening for the new episodes treated us to a new ‘snow’ moment too!

2. The Lorelais go to Yale

lorelai yale

This was actually the first episode of Gilmore Girls that I saw – I was channel hopping one day and got caught up in the story of a mum (Lorelai) taking her daughter (Rory) to university.

In true Lorelai fashion she makes Rory’s first night at Yale special and I think this moment really sums up all that is great about the two Gilmore Girls and their relationship.

lorelai kiss3. Lorelai’s first kiss with Luke

The kiss finally takes place in the season 4 finale and is one of my absolute favourite Lorelai moments especially when she asks him what he’s doing!

This is a relationship that had been building for sooooo long and I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen! A perfect TV moment!

There are so many more Lorelai moments – the show is full of them. What is your favourite?

Talking As Fast As I Can by Laauren Graham is released on 6th December in Harback, Ebook and Audio formats by Virago

Talking_As_Fast_As_I_Can[1]In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood-along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge onProject Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and-of course-talking as fast as you can.

 

Cover reveal! Chalet Girls by Lorraine Wilson

1 Dec

What better way to start December than with an exclusive cover reveal?! I’m very excited to share the gorgeous cover for Lorraine Wilson’s first full length Chalet Girls novel! Isn’t is beautiful?

image1

What happens when life in Verbier suddenly goes off-piste?

Lucy’s been bowled over by the sexy extreme skier who’s hurtled into her life. But can she accept Seb’s commitment to his adrenaline-filled career?

Trusting any man is out of the question after what’s happened to Beth. So why is she so drawn to twinkly-eyed Dan when he’s leaving at the end of the season?

Sophie’s madly in love with her gorgeous fiancé, Luc. Only instead of gleefully planning the winter wedding of her dreams, all she wants is to run and hide…

Three Chalet Girls are about to strap on their skis and find out!

Chalet Girls will be released as an ebook in February and in paperback in April next year. I love Lorraine’s books and if like me you can’t wait to read it you can pre-order it here.

Find out more about Lorraine and her novels at: http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/authors/lorraine-wilson

 

Giveaway winners! The Other Sister by Rowan Coleman

23 Nov

other sister

 

The winners are:

Lifeand30lemons, Maureen Parker, Catherine Franklin, Alison Drew and Katie Woorselton

Congratulations! I have sent you all a message. Thanks to everyone who entered – look out for more fab giveaways coming soon!

Giveaway winner! Yankee Candle Advent Calendar!

23 Nov

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The winner is …

Sarah Rees

Congratulations! I have sent you a message. Thanks to everyone who entered – look out for more fab giveaways coming soon!

Serial spotlight: The Reading Group (December, January and February) by Della Parker

21 Nov

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don’t forget the glass of red!

Today I’m delighted to be the starting point for Della Parker’s blog tour for her new serialised novel, The Reading Group. The first three stories in the series will be published on 1st December in ebook formats and publisher Quercus kindly sent me preview copies of parts 1-3 to review for this tour. Having joined a local reading group myself earlier in the year, I was very intrigued by the premise for this new set of short stories and having read the stories for December, January and February, I think that Della has captured the friendships, support and comfort that can come from being a member of a reading group very well.

decemberPart one, The Reading Group: December is a short introductory story of about 30 pages that introduces us to all of the main members of the reading group; Grace, Kate, Anne-Marie, Jo-jo, Serena and and sets the scene for the months to come which each focus in on a different member of the group. Each month the group are reading a literary classic. For December its A Christmas Carol and readers familiar with the story will recognise some of the themes of the Christmas favourite within the contemporary story that Della is telling as group member Grace has to face the possibility of a less than merry Christmas. Grace is mum to five year old triplets and this endeared her to me straight away. I really enjoyed this introductory story and it left me looking forward to the next part and getting to know the group better. The good news is that The Reading Group: December will be free to download when it is released so you can all try it soon too!

The Reading Group: January sees the ladies of Little Sanderton reading Jane Austen’s Emma and the storyjanuary focuses on the youngest member of the group: Anne Marie. I loved the way Della modernised the story of Emma for this part of the series and Anne Marie’s antics made me smile. Her character is lovably flawed and in keeping with the classic, this is a lovely romantic part to the series. The descriptions of Little Sanderton come alive in this part too and as regular readers will know, I have a weakness for seaside-set stories so this was right up my street!

februaryFebruary sees the romance turn a little more sultry as the group turn their attention to Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Kate is the focus for the story. Again, I enjoyed how the classic that the group are reading linked to the story and I’ve enjoyed the variety of storylines that each of the parts of The Reading Group have  featured so far. The Reading Group: February highlighted for me how quickly friendships can flourish in a group where the members trust and confide in each other and how wonderfully supportive this can be.

I love serialised novels; they give me quick bursts of a story that I can fit in when I don’t have time to sit down and get engrossed in a full book and I’m delighted to have discovered a new author in Della Parker. I can’t wait to read parts four, five and six when they are released early next year!

The Reading Group December, January and February will be released in ebook formats on 1st December.

To celebrate the launch, Quercus and Della Parker are holding an online book club on Friday 2nd December – full details below! Please do join us!

Online Book Club Invite

My best and worst Christmas presents by Bella Osbourne

19 Nov

Please join me in welcoming Bella Osbourne to the blog today on the latest stop of her Willow Cottage: Christmas Cheer blog tour. This is the second part of the seasonal Willow Cottage series and Bella joins me today to talk about her best and worst Christmas presents! Welcome Bella!

High-res-Bella-Osborne-218x247Hi One More Page, Thank you for having me on your blog today. Isn’t this a delicious subject with a huge opportunity to offend my family and friends!

So let’s start with the easy ones here’s my top three Christmas presents of all time:

1. An Adidas tracksuit

Now you may be surprised at this but perhaps less so when I tell you that I was eleven years old, very allergic to nylon and virtually the only person in my class that didn’t have a tracksuit. So the fact that my Grandma managed to track down one that was made of cotton (even if it was forest green with yellow stripes) made for the best present that Christmas.

2. A sign

It’s a very simple sign and it hangs above my writing desk. It reads:

‘Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.’

It makes me smile every time I read it and for a short spell when I had a particularly unpleasant boss I hung it over my desk in the office but unfortunately it didn’t have the desired effect

3. A sealed box

I know this sounds very dull but that all changes when you read the poem that was attached to it. It was given to me by my father who I didn’t reconnect with until I was in my twenties. Here’s the poem:

This is a very special gift

That you can never see

The reason that it’s special

It’s just for you from me

Whenever you are lonely

Or when you’re feeling blue

You only have to hold this

gift and know I think of you

You never can unwrap it

Please leave the ribbon tied

Just hold this box close to your heart

It’s filled with love inside

It’s something I will always treasure.

Now for the really fun bit (insert villainous laugh here). Here are my top three worst Christmas presents received ever:

1. An Insulated Gravy Boat

Yes, readers, such a thing actually exists – I too was amazed. Why? I asked, would you need to keep gravy hot for longer than it is passed around a table and poured onto food? It was also quite an unattractive looking thing – try to imagine a kettle sized plastic jug in hearing-aid beige with a screw top lid. Hopefully now you see why this had to be on this list.

2. A used lipstick

Surprisingly you did read that correctly, yes, I was given a used lipstick for Christmas. It was packaged in a lovely make up bag (with labels attached) and I think the giver thought I needed an example of what it was for. This is in itself quite worrying that she felt I was that stupid, but let’s not dwell on that point. Anyway, when I pulled out the lipstick, in an interesting shade of bright pink, I could see that it’s surface was no longer pristine, shall we say. It could be that the giver recycled it or it could be that they purchased a tester product by mistake, which is something I have almost done in the past and I like to think that was what happened here.

3. A jumper

I know this sounds like an innocent item, however, there was more to it than met the eye. Firstly, this jumper was purchased from a shop that I believe you have to be over 65 to enter – I am not ageist but let’s say this shop caters for a target market that I am not currently part of. Secondly, it had a large sequined tree on the front, which was possibly one of the most unattractive things I’ve ever seen (and that includes Donald Trump). Thirdly, it was in a particularly generous size 16 – my issue here is that I am a size 10 and very boringly have been so since the age of sixteen. Seriously, you could have easily fitted three of me inside it! This oversight could be overlooked unless of course you factor in that the person who bought it was my mother*. I rest my case.

There you have it, I hope I haven’t upset too many insulated gravy boat owners in this process and that you all have a fantastic Christmas with lots of wonderful presents!

Love you Mum – but really what were you thinking?

Willow Cottage: Christmas Cheer is out now in ebook formats from Avon.

image001Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green

in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

Book review: A Nightingale Christmas Carol by Donna Douglas

18 Nov

A Nightingale Christmas CarolThe Nightingale Hospital, London, 1944

All that Dora Riley wants is her husband home safe for Christmas…

With her husband Nick away fighting, Dora struggles to keep the home fires burning and is put in charge of a ward full of German prisoners of war. Can she find it in her heart to care for her enemies?

Fellow nurse Kitty thinks she might be falling for a German soldier, whilst Dora’s old friend Helen returns from Europe with a dark secret.

Can the women overcome their prejudices and the troubles of their past to do their duty for their country?

This is the eighth book in Donna Douglas’s Nightingales series and Donna continues to create strong story-lines and to bring to life war-torn London of the 1940s. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love being back at the Nightingale and catching up with some familiar faces. If you’re new to Donna’s books, don’t be worried about starting here; the story reads perfectly well as a stand alone novel.

Starting in December 1943, A Nightingale Christmas Carol spans a two year period that finally sees the end of the war. Donna really gets into the heart and feelings of a nation that has been at war for many years and her descriptions of the devastation, loss and fear felt by the east end community are heartbreaking and thought provoking. Donna took me through all the emotions as I read this book and I admired the way the characters carried on and made the best of things at the worst of times. There’s an absolutely beautiful scene linked to the title of the book which actually brought tears to my eyes!

Donna focuses in on an interesting angle for this book; the treatment of German prisoners of war, in this case, those brought to the Nightingale hospital for treatment. I loved that Donna represented a complete cross-section of reactions to the German patients at a time when tensions were naturally high.  As ever, Donna takes a topic and weaves it skillfully into personal stories. Dora, Kitty and Helen all have strong reactions through the book to the German POWs and this added a strong tension and drama to the story and quickly showed their personalities.

Kitty and Dora’s stories in particular had me turning the pages as fast as I could and hoping for happy endings for both of them. Both are east end girls with extended family nearby and I liked the depth that this brought to the story as well as the side stories involving their parents and siblings. Kitty’s story brings the romance to the book and I enjoyed this aspect as she finds herself attracted to one of the German soldiers but catches the eye of a Scottish soldier.

Dora’s story tugged on my heartstrings as a mum. As well as working at the Nightingale Dora has six year old twins and her husband is away fighting. My heart was in my mouth whenever the story focused on Dora and Donna Douglas certainly threw in some shocking story-lines for her character.

A Nightingale Christmas Carol is another excellent read from Donna Douglas and if you’re a fan of wartime saga and historical romance then you should definitely put this book on your Christmas list!

5/5

A Nightingale Christmas Carol is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

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

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

Read Donna’s guest post on here inspirations for the book at: http://www.onemorepage.co.uk/?p=19788

 

Guest post: My inspiration for A Nightingale Christmas Carol by Donna Douglas

18 Nov

I’m very pleased to welcome Donna Douglas back to One More Page today as part of her A Nightingale Christmas Carol blog tour. Donna is one of my favourite historical saga authors and writes the hugely successful Nightingale series about nurses at the Nightingale Hospital in London and The Nurses of Steeple Street series about district nurses in Leeds. I’m a big fan of both series’ and I love the mix of historical detail and gripping story-lines that Donna always includes. Today Donna joins me to talk about her inspirations for A Nightingale Christmas Carol. Welcome Donna!

Donna DouglasThe idea for A Nightingale Christmas Carol came about entirely by accident, while I was researching a previous Nightingale novel. I was browsing on The People’s War, a BBC online archive of personal stories and firsthand accounts of life in the Second World War. If you haven’t seen it, I’d urge you to take a look if you have any interest in wartime history. There are so many fascinating and heartbreaking stories there, they could fill a hundred novels!

Anyway, I was researching nursing when I came upon a fascinating story from a young trainee nurse who was given the job of caring for German POWs in a British hospital. Apparently there were so many enemy casualties after D-Day that the local field hospitals couldn’t cope and they had to ship them to hospitals over here.

That set me thinking. What must it be like for a young British woman, perhaps someone with a loved one who had been killed or injured fighting in Europe or during the Blitz, to suddenly find herself in the position of looking after her sworn enemy?

And so the idea for A Nightingale Christmas Carol was born. The main character, Dora, has waved her soldier husband Nick off yet again, with the lurking fear that she may never see him again. She tries to bury her worries by throwing herself into her work as a nurse at the Nightingale Hospital. But then she is assigned to a new ward looking after German POWs.

And she’s not the only one, either. Fellow nurse Kitty has lost her beloved brother to a German U-Boat. And ward sister Helen has her own scars to bear from her time as a military nurse in Europe.

A Nightingale Christmas Carol is about how they all come to terms with putting their duty before their heart, which apparently many of these young women managed to do in real life.

It’s a side of the war that rarely gets written about, which is what attracted me to it. Germans are generally seen as ‘the enemy’, but they were also human beings – scared young men with loved ones at home who worried about them.

This is what the nurses came to realise, as they got to know their patients better. There were even stories of romance blossoming on the ward, although as you can imagine, this was incredibly frowned upon. A prisoner who fell for a local girl could find himself sent to another POW camp at the other end of the country. And a girl who fell for a German might find herself branded a traitor, or far worse.

But many of the wartime stories had happy endings, with couples finding that love really can conquer all. But will this happen in A Nightingale Christmas Carol? You’ll have to read it to find out!

A Nightingale Christmas Carol is out now in paperback and ebook formats from Arrow.

Find out more about Donna and her writing at:

Do stop back later today for my review!

A Nightingale Christmas Carol

The Nightingale Hospital, London, 1944

All that Dora Riley wants is her husband home safe for Christmas…

 With her husband Nick away fighting, Dora struggles to keep the home fires burning and is put in charge of a ward full of German prisoners of war. Can she find it in her heart to care for her enemies?

Fellow nurse Kitty thinks she might be falling for a German soldier, whilst Dora’s old friend Helen returns from Europe with a dark secret.

Can the women overcome their prejudices and the troubles of their past to do their duty for their country?

Giveaway! 5 copies of The Other Sister by Rowan Coleman to be won!

17 Nov

One of my favourite Rowan Coleman books is being re-released today with a new title and beautiful new cover! Previously released as Lessons in Laughing Out Loud, the new title is The Other Sister and if you haven’t read this book yet, I can highly recommend it – please read my review if you need further convincing!

To celebrate release day, Rowan’s lovely publisher has given me five copies of The Other Sister to give away to lucky readers!

other sister

 

Every family has its secrets…

Willow and Holly are identical twins, as close as two sisters can be. But while Holly has gone through life being the ‘good twin’, Willow has always been the less than perfect one. Holly is happily married, Willow is divorced and almost twice her twin’s size. And while she puts on a brave face to the world, Willow knows she’s been hiding her unhappiness for far too long.

So when the past catches up with her, Willow realises it’s finally time for her to face her fears, and – with her sister’s help – finally deal with the secrets of their childhood before it’s too late.

To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets about this giveaway or like one of my posts about this giveaway on my Instagram page.
I’ll pick a winner using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Monday 21st November. Good Luck!

Giveaway! Win a Yankee Candle Advent Calendar!

14 Nov

 

Pleasse note – this giveaway is now closed.

Today I’m very excited to be kicking off The 12 Days of  Not Just for Christmas blog tour with a fantastic giveaway in celebration of Alex Brown’s lovely new festive short story Not Just For Christmas. Each day from now until 25th November you’ll have the chance to win a festive prize or read a special post from Alex.

NJFCblogtour

Today’s prize is the beautiful Yankee Candle advent calendar pictured below.

yankee-candle-holiday-party-advent-calendar-p7200-5494_medium

To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets about this giveaway or like one of my posts about this giveaway on my Instagram page.
I’ll pick a winner using Random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at midnight on Friday 18th November. Good Luck!

not just forKitty, who runs the Spotted Pig Tea-rooms in the picturesque village of Tindledale, thinks she’s come to terms with her husband Ed’s death on active duty. When she learns that Ed’s army dog, a black Labrador named Monty, is being retired and needs rehoming, it awakens her heartache once more.

Amber runs the pet parlour, but her love of dogs extends to rescuing abandoned pooches and now her tiny cottage is overflowing with homeless hounds. The only answer is to open a proper rescue centre but where will the money come from?

Kitty knows she could never take on Monty – it would be too painful, but with more than one dog needing a home this Christmas, is a miracle too much to hope for?

Not Just for Christmas is a lovely short story read – just perfect for curling up with on a cosy winter afternoon. Fans of Alex’s books will enjoy being back in the country village of  Tindledale and if you’re new to the village and its residents, don’t worry at all – Not Just for Christmas is a perfect taster and introduction to the village and reads perfectly as a standalone.

I loved meeting Kitty and her daughter Teddie and their story was a particularly poignant one to read given the military angle as Armistice was remembered this weekend. Readers will have their heart stolen by Monty the army dog – he certainly stole mine. Not Just for Christmas is a lovely story of new beginnings that made me thankful and hopeful.

This giveaway has now closed.