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Books and the City Spring Blogger Evening!

10 Feb

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Last week I was lucky to be invited to the Books and the City Spring Blogger Evening at publisher Simon and Schuster. These eveningsIMG_7258 are always brilliant  thanks to the lovely Sara-Jade Virtue and the rest of the team, and this one was no exception (check out the cakes!).

There were four author’s on the panel and another two authors joined them at the event. The super six were: Alice Peterson, Dani Atkins, Milly Johnson, Kate Furnivall, Juliet Ashton and Sarah Vaughan. It was lovely to hear them read from their laIMG_7256test books and to hear a little about them and how they go about writing the books that we love!

 

The evening ended with lots of book talk with fellow bloggers, a signing, more cake and a treat-packed goody bag!

Here are the fab books that you can look forward to this spring from Simon and Schuster.

song for tomorrowA Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson – out now!

This book is hot off the press as it was released yesterday! Alice’s books are always emotional and poignant reads and this one is no exception – based on a true story.

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Liberation by Kate Furnival – out nowthe liberation

Look out for Kate’s next novel, The Betrayal too which will be out in November!

The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father’s name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall?

Orange Blosson Days by Patricia Scanlan – 9th March

I’m typing this in cold, grey, wet England – how I wish I could jump into this cover! Patricia’s beautifully titled new book will be out in hardback on 9th March.

orange blossomIn a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya deAndalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.

Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.

Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.

Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…

this loveThis Love by Dani Atkins – 23rd March

I loved Dani’s last novel, Our Song and I can’t wait to read This Love!

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

woman at number 24The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – 20th April

The cover for this book has just been revealed – isn’t it fab?

Welcome to number 24, a Georgian villa in west London that is home to five separate families and five very different lives.

Up in the eaves, Sarah finds that recovering from a nasty divorce is even more heartbreaking when your ex-husband lives one floor beneath you with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her. A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?

The Spring brings a new couple to number 24. Jane and Tom’s zest for life revives the flagging house, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential.

The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.

Love, rivalry, secrets and murder – all under one seemingly ordinary roof ….

queen of wishfulThe Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson – 4th May

This sounds like another treat of a book from Milly – add it to your wish lists now!

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

last pieceThe Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon – 18th May

I’m a massive fan of Paige’s books and have read them all so I can’t wait to read this one!

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

Which of these are you looking forward to reading this spring? Find out more about the books featured here and lots of other lovely reads on the Books and the City site at: http://booksandthecity.co.uk/

Event news: Foyles Christmas Craft Fair

9 Dec

I’m a big fan of both Foyles and crafts so I was excited to see that Foyles Charing Cross Road will be hosting a Christmas Craft Fair next week.

Entry to the event is FREE and there will be 30 stalls selling all sorts of wonderful items. The first ten guests to find the Foyles stall on launch night will receive a goodie bag.

There’s also have a free prize draw to win a hamper which contains items provided by a number of the exhibitors.

You can find the full details below and on the Foyles website at: http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Events/Detail.aspx?eventId=3095  Happy Christmas Shopping!

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Giveaway! Win a Matilda DVD and bag to celebrate Roald Dahl Day!

13 Sep

As I’m sure many of you will already know, today is Roald Dahl’s birthday! 2016 is also his centenary year. Did you know 2016 is also the 20th anniversary of the release of the film of Matilda – one of Dahl’s most loved books?

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We’re huge fans of Matilda in this house and it was an absolute pleasure to introduce my son to her world this summer as part of The Big Friendly Read.

In celebration of this special day, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has given me a fab new copy of the Matilda DVD bearing the new #RoaldDahl100 sticker and a gorgeous Matilda tote bag to give away to one lucky reader  – I so wish I could win this giveaway myself!

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To enter this giveaway just leave comment in the box below or re-Tweet one of my tweets with the link to this post 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 Sunday 18th August. Good Luck!

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 2016 celebrates Matilda’s 20th anniversary and Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday. You can purchase Matilda on DVD via Amazon here.

 

Event news: Rooftop Book Club with Sheila O’Flanagan, Sarah Vaughan and Tracy Rees

10 Jul

rooftop book club

The brilliant Rooftop Book Club has a fantastic Holiday Reads on the Roof event taking place on 19th July featuring Sheila O’Flanagan, Sarah Vaughan and Tracy Rees. The views from the rooftop at Carmelite House are just stunning  – the perfect location to watch the sun set whilst hearing from your favourite authors.

Books will be on sale and you will have the opportunity to get copies signed. All attendees will go home with a fab goody bag too! You can buy tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rooftop-book-club-presents-holiday-reads-on-the-roof-tickets-26241545168 I hope to see some of you there!

rooftop book club details

Event news: Emerald Street Literary Festival, London 11th June

6 Jun

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Tickets are now on sale for The Emerald Street Literary Festival. The event will feature finalists from The Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction speaking alongside founder Kate Mosse, Jessie Burton and Maggie O’Farrell.

The event will take place on Saturday 11 June at the Royal Geograpical Society in Kensington, London. Tickets are priced at £20.

The event was programmed by Emerald Street editor Anna Fielding. “I’m thrilled with the range of fantastic writers who have agreed to take part,” she said. “It’s a line-up I would love to see as a festival goer and I’m sure our readers will feel the same way. This is such a brilliant and fun way of moving our publication off screen and into the real world”.

Emerald Street’s publisher Glenda Marchant said: “This is a very natural brand expansion. Emerald Street’s readers are so passionate about books and reading. This event is a great fit and we expect a very enthusiastic response.”

A debate about women in the European Union will also take place, as will a discussion of female addiction memoirs. The Faber Academy will be running two writing workshops and The Emerald Street Presents… strand  

For a full line up please visit The Emerald Street Literary Festival Site at: emeraldstreet.com/literaryfestival

 

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The One Where I Join A Book Club!

11 Mar

I’ve always wanted to be part of a real life book club so when a friend who lives round the corner suggested setting one up with some of the other mums from school, I jumped at the chance. Last night was the first meeting of the book (wine and cake) club and it was a resounding success! There are thirteen of us, so quite a big group and plenty of opportunity for discussion!

As last night was our first get together we hadn’t read a book in preparation but everyone had been tasked to bring one book suggestion with them. We all wrote the name and author on a piece of paper and put them in a hat. We drew them out to get an order and now have at least a year’s worth of reading to look forward to as we’re aiming to meet every 5-6 weeks.

I was really intrigued to see what our reading list would be and spent quite a while trying to decide on a title to throw into the hat! I’m really excited about the final list and of the 13 books on it I’ve only read two already! I’m looking forward to discovering new books and authors as the year goes on and getting to discuss them with friends. As we read the books below I’ll try to summarise the thoughts of the group!

Our reading list is:

  1. The Green Road by Anne Enright
  2. Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
  3. The Blue by Lucy Clarke
  4. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  5. The Stranger by Harlen Coben
  6. Us by David Nicholls
  7. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  8. A Little Life by Hanya Yanaginera
  9. The Secret History by Donna Tart
  10. The Actual One by Isy Suttie
  11. The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies
  12. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
  13. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Have you read any of these? Are you part of a book group and how does it work?

Event news: Harper Collins #BFILovefest 20-22nd November 2015

2 Nov

 

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Publisher HarperCollins has teamed up with the BFI (British Film Institute) to host a virtual romance festival called #BFILoveFest taking place over the weekend of 20-22 November.

The festival is part of BFI Love, the major UK-wide celebration of LOVE on the big and small screen. #BFILoveFest will explore the links between romantic film and literature around 3 themes:-

  • The Power of Love
  • Fools for Love
  • Fatal Attractions

#BFILoveFest is completely FREE and takes place on social media, so no need to leave the comfort of your home. You will need to register here to be sent the full program.

I’ve already signed up and I hope many of One More Page’s readers and romance fans will join me to discuss the greatest fictional lovers, how love has been represented over the last 50 years, the enduring appeal of the love story and much more!

The team behind the festival is also on the look out for romance authors, bloggers and reviewers to take part in the festival – register to find out more and follow @romancefestival on Twitter or like RomanceFestival on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceFestival

Author event: When Amanda met Candace Bushnell!

5 Oct

FullSizeRender (3)Last week I was very lucky to be invited to a special lunchtime Q&A session with Candace Bushnell. Aside from being a huge fan of Candace’s most famous creation Sex and the City, I’ve also read all of her other novels and I love her stories so it was a very special treat indeed to be able to meet her in person and listen to her speak about her writing and her latest novel, Killing Monica.

In the suitably swish surroundings of the Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design in London’s Soho, Candace was interviewed about her books, her writing and her career to date. From starting writing at 15 to moving to New York at 19 and getting her big break writing the Sex and the City column at 34, Candace has so many stories to tell and it was wonderful to her anecdotes first hand. Her love for her ‘home’ city of New York is clear and I was fascinated to hear that my favourite of her books, One Fifth Avenue is about how the city defines the people who live in it and that Candace says New York never really changes.

It’s clear to me that there’s a lot of Candace in her most famous character Carrie Bradshaw but unlike the protagonist of her new novel, Killing Monica Candace insists that she has no desire to be rid of her most famous creation! Killing Monica tells the story of P. J. Wallis, an author whose creation, Monica has become too big for her to cope with and is blurring the lines between reality and fiction but Candace says that in a wider sense the theme of the book is about self reinvention and taking stock at different points in your life.killing monica

Moving on to wider topics Candace also had some excellent advice about how we might see our careers in terms of a relationship with ourselves – and it’s not always going to go smoothly! As the questions were opened to the audience there was an expectant hush as the possibility of a third Sex and the City film was raised. Candace admitted that she’d love to see the characters return to the big screen but thinks its now unlikely that a third movie will happen. The good news is that she has plenty more books planned starting with a Young Adult novel that will be her next release.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meeting with Candace and look forward to reading Killing Monica very soon.

Killing Monica is out now in hardback and ebook formats from Little Brown.

Find out more about Candace Bushnell and her writing at: http://www.candacebushnell.com/

Blog tour: A Parcel For Anna Browne – When Amanda Met Miranda!

22 Sep

a-parcel-for-anna-browne-978144727605001I’m declaring today Anna Browne Day here on One More Page in celebration of Miranda Dickinson’s wonderful new book A Parcel for Anna Browne which is released on Thursday (24th September). Later today I’ll be giving you the chance to win an exclusive signed first edition of the book and I’ll be posting my review but first I wanted to share with you a very special day that took place last month when I won a competition to meet Miranda and see this gorgeous new book be printed!

At the beginning of August I received an email almost as exciting as one of Anna’s parcels challenging me and fellow book bloggers to show our wrapping skills by creating A Parcel for Anna Browne and posting the results on Twitter! The prize – a chance to meet Miranda and see the book printed. Of course I couldn’t resist so I put IMG_2972my thinking cap on and raided my children’s craft cupboard to conjure up something suitably magical for Anna. To be honest, my craft skills are a bit hit and miss and there was a very dodgy moment when my attempt to tear a heart shape in the wrapping almost ended in tears but I stuck with it (!) and was pretty chuffed with the final result!

It’s safe to say there was a lot of happy dancing when I found out I’d won and then the nerves set in! I was going to meet one of my favourite authors. I’ve read every one of Miranda’s books and we’ve chatted on Twitter for years so it was very strange to actually meet face-to-face finally. I needn’t have worried – Miranda is as chatty and friendly in person as she is online and instantly put me at ease.

IMG_3176 IMG_3164Seeing A Parcel for Anna Browne being printed was a brilliant experience and I can’t thank publisher Pan Macmillan enough for arranging the day. As a librarian and avid reader I’ve always been fascinated by books but I’d never actually seen one printed and it was amazing to see hundreds of copies of the book whizzing round the printers – I couldn’t believe how quickly the whole process moved! Hopefully you can get an idea from the pictures here.

IMG_3186My special day ended with lunch with Miranda and her editor where we chatted about reading, writing and some of the very exciting things planned for the launch of A Parcel for Anna Browne this week. I was delighted to take home a hot off the press copy of the book and Miranda kindly signed two more first edition copies for me to offer as competition prizes to lucky readers here on One More Page. I’ll be launching the competition and publishing my review of the book later today so please do watch this space!

Keep an eye on Miranda’s Twitter @wurdsmyth and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaDickinsonAuthor for more exciting Anna Browne related news and events this week!

Event news: Free virtual sci-fi festival – 15th & 16th November 2014

9 Nov

bfivoygerPublisher HarperCollins and the British Film Institute have  announced an exciting collaboration – a Virtual Sci-Fi festival on 15th & 16th November.

The festival takes place as part of the BFI’s major three month celebration of Sci-Fi,Days of Fear and Wonder presented together with O2, which takes place at BFI Southbank and venues across the UK until December. http://www.bfi.org.uk/sci-fi-days-fear-wonder

The aim of the BFIVoyager Sci-Fi festival is to explore the link between science fiction literature and film. The festival will offer a program of events on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other platforms.

The festival program is based around three themes:

Tomorrow’s World – from post-apocalyptic wastelands to megacities to far-flung dystopia

Altered States – the science fiction of ‘inner space’ mad scientists, mutants, man-machines and mind-bending trips

Contact! – time to explore life from all corners of the universe and across multiple dimensions.

The festival will focus on story-telling and the impact of literature on film and television. Anticipate some friendly rivalry between book versus film as well as conversations such as how science fiction may have changed our future, what’s so appealing about a dystopian world and some of science fictions biggest names discussing their opinions on what comes next.

Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins UK, said, ‘I am thrilled that HarperCollins is collaborating with the British Film Institute on the BFIVoyager virtual sci-fi festival. It is very exciting to be working with such a prestigious organisation.

Heather Stewart, Creative Director of the BFI said: “‘Sci-Fi is all about big ideas – it all begins with the writers, and it’s notable that there are many great women writers working in this genre. We’re pleased to work with HarperCollins to bring the worlds of literature and film into perfect collision in November, opening up the very best of this spectacular genre to online audiences everywhere.

The festival is free to ‘attend and attendees will also be sent two free HarperVoyager ebooks at the end of the festival!

Register now at: http://bit.ly/BFIVoyager