Archive | July, 2011

Book news: The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

29 Jul

I realise it’s the middle of summer but I’m such a fan of Christmas and I’m already getting excited about the Christmassy reads that are coming out later this year so I just had to post about the gorgeous new cover for Trisha Ashley’s next release The Magic of Christmas which was revealed today …

The Magic of Christmas is released on 27th October and is a reworking of Trisha’s novel Sweet Nothings with lots of new material and is definitely on my Christmas wish list!

In the West Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzie Pharamond is cooking up a defensive storm of comfort food as she becomes increasingly estranged from her serially unfaithful husband, Tom. Then fate takes a hand and when Tom is killed in a car accident, Lizzie has to deal with his quarrelling mistresses and devious friends – and to top it all – The Mystery Play steering committee have to find a new Lazarus. Middlemoss is already gearing up for its annual performance due to take place on Boxing Day with Tom’s elderly uncle Roly Pharamond as the Voice of God.

As a distraction, Lizzie’s Christmas Pudding Club is about to have the first meeting of the year to swap baking tips for traditional puddings, cakes and mince pies. Lizzie’s growing rivalry with her husband’s cousin, celebrated cookery writer Nick Pharamond, is coming to boiling point. Having snatched the Best Mince Pie prize away from her at the village show, he is certainly the last man she wants to play Adam to her Eve in the Mystery Play.

Meanwhile, her best friend Annie has developed an unsuitable crush on local resident Ritch Rainford, the handsome and charismatic star a popular TV soap. But it becomes clear that Ritch is more interested in Lizzie who, desperately in need of comfort, might just be a tiny bit tempted. The Voice of God will have one or two things to say about these and other village affairs at the Mystery Play, in a performance that will be a hard act to follow next year.

Book review – Incubus by Carol Goodman

28 Jul

‘This is where all stories start, on the edge of a dark wood…’

Dr. Callie McFay’s travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…

It’s been a while since I read a paranormal novel so I was very excited to recieve a copy of the first book in Carol Goodman’s new series The Fairwick Chronicles. Incubus tells the story of college teacher Callie McFay as she takes up a job in the small town of Fairwick near New York. Callie is a student of folklore and has built her career on the study of Gothic novels, legends and fairytales.

The first part of the novel follows Callie as she attends her interview at the college and is drawn to an old Gothic house at the edge of a forest. I enjoyed seeing the town of Fairwick through Callie’s eyes and the first chapters of the book set the scene well for what is to come with Callie being mysteriously drawn to the old house; having a strange experience as she goes for a run in the woods and the return of Callie’s dreams about a lover made out of shadows. On the surface, all of these occurrences are explainable and Fairwick seems to be a fairly ‘normal’ college town but there is of course much more to Fairwick and it’s residents than an initial glance might reveal.

On accepting the job offer and deciding to buy the house by the woods, Callie discovers that the house belonged to Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte. As Callie settles into her new life she finds a treasure trove of Dahlia’s original manuscripts, complete with erotic scenes that were edited out before publication. As Callie ponders Dahlia’s prolific writing and the inspiration for it, her own dreams become more regular, vivid and strikingly similar to Dahlia’s written encounters.

As Callie gets to know her new colleagues better and they reveal the local legends surrounding the gate to Faerie, she begins to question whether her dreams and the shadow man who occupies them could actually be real. Potential readers should note that the dream/sex scenes are quite a feature at the beginning but become less so as the book progresses and although there is what would be described as ‘Adult’ content in the book, I think it would be suitable for the majority of young adult readers too.

The book changes pace dramatically when three of Callie’s colleagues realise that she is under the infulence of an Incubus and stage an intervention. The story really takes off once Callie is accepted into the magical community and begins to learn the truth about the town’s residents, her own heritage and role. At some points I felt that Incubus read like an adult version of Harry Potter with a fascinating cast of magical beings to get to know including witches, fairies, succubi, vampires and more! The characters in Incubus provide great variety and each has a strong depth with plenty of scope for expansion in future novels; Goodman has created a whole new magical and sometimes dangerous world for her characters to inhabit and her readers to enjoy.

Paranormal romance fans will certainly get their fix as Callie tries to work out her feelings for boyfriend Paul, the Incubus who haunts her and new tutor on campus, Liam. There are numerous references  to the recent obsession with vampires and the paranormal and  I enjoyed the way this book looks at the trend through the eyes of an outsider, acknowledging the great Gothic novels whilst not taking itself too seriously. Incubus feels very different in style to Goodman’s recent collaboration with her husband, Black Swan Rising and although I enjoyed both, Incubus definitely has the edge for me.

As the book ends, several new threads open up leaving plenty of scope for further novels in the series. After a slow start, this book pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. I’m pleased to have found another paranormal series to get myself hooked on and am already looking forward to the next installment of The Fairwick Chronicles. I haven’t found any information on the release of book two yet so if anyone knows, please shout! There is a fab interview with Carol at the back of the book and if you liked A Discovery of Witches this might just be the next book for you – a paranormal series with lots of potential!

4/5

Incubus is out now and I’d like to thank Emma at Ebury for sending me a copy to review.

You can find out more about Carol Goodman and her books at: http://www.carolgoodman.com/

Book news – book gossip

27 Jul

Some sequel news for this week’s book news:

A Discovery of Witches – the movie and the sequel!

I loved A Discovery of Witches when I read it earlier this year and have been eagerly awaiting news on the second book in the series which should be out next year. On Thursday Deborah Harkness made two big announcements on her Facebook page; the first, that the sequel will be called Shadow of Night and the second that Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to develop A Discovery of Witches as a series of films. You can find out the full details of the possible films on Deborah’s Facebook Page. The casting stage is still a long way off but feel free to leave your thoughts on who should play Diana and Matthew on the big screen in the comments box below!

For those of you who haven’t read A Discovery of Witches yet, the paperback is out in September with this lovely cover showing some of my favourite Oxford buildings.

Lindsey Kelk Hearts …

… Vegas! I’m so excited about this one – the next novel in Lindsey Kelk’s ‘I Heart…’ series will be I Heart Vegas and the book will be out just in time for Christmas with a release date of December 8th. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Angela next and I love the fact that the book will be set at Christmas too!

Angela Clark loves her life in New York. She loves her job, her friends and her gorgeous musician boyfriend, Alex, who is finally ready to move in with her and start planning their future together. Everything is perfect.

But, after Angela loses her job, her world starts to crumble around her – her visa is revoked and she’s given the disastrous news that she must leave New York and her life behind and go back to London.

Confused, heartbroken and desperate to stay, the last thing Angela needs is a girls’ trip to Vegas just before Christmas – especially when Manhattan at Christmas is so perfect that she never wants to go home…

August new book release preview – on my wish list

26 Jul

Here are my August wish list choices – everything from romance to sci-fi next month! What are you looking forward to reading?

Bad Sisters by Rebecca Chance
Released 4th August
Published by
Simon and Schuster
Website: http://www.rebeccachance.net/

Rebecca Chance is a new author for me but I think this sounds like a great read!

Three ambitious, rivalrous sisters. And a deadly secret, which one of them is determined to keep buried at any cost …Deeley is the fake wife of a Hollywood TV hunk, who is secretly gay. But Deeley’s five-year contract is up, and his cut-throat publicist wants Deeley out. So, dejected and penniless, Deeley wends her way home to London, hoping to re-establish links with her two estranged elder sisters …Devon is married to the nation’s-favourite-rugby-hunk Matt, and has her own highly successful TV career, as the sexy hostess of her own cookery show. But behind her buxom facade, Devon is lonely and frustrated, and when a live celebrity cook-off shows her up as a fraud, she leaves sweet Matt and runs off to Tuscany, to learn a few lessons – not just in cookery – from an Italian master. Lastly, there’s Maxie: a politician’s wife, Maxie is fiercely ambitious. She’s furious when Deeley, hard on her luck, sells the sisters’ childhood story to a tabloid newspaper, revealing their impoverished roots and unsavoury parentage. The story undermines Maxie’s carefully cultivated image, and the fallout threatens to be devastating. But Maxie is only too aware that there is much more Deeley could yet reveal. What murderous secret lies in the sisters’ past? And just how far will Maxie go to keep it buried?

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James
Released 4th August
Published by
Piatkus Books
Website: http://www.eloisajames.com/

Combining two of my favourites; fairytales and the Regency period, this is the first in a series of classic fairytales reworked and sounds like a fun read.

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales …or happily ever after. Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince, and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman – a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfil his ruthless ambitions. Gabriel likes his fiancee, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her, and knows, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him. Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after – unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.

What You Don’t Know by Lizzie Enfield
Released 18th August
Published by Headline Review
Website: http://www.headline.co.uk/

I love the cover for this book and the synopsis has me really intrigued!

You’ve been together for fifteen years. You’ve got two gorgeous kids and a great career. All the boxes are ticked. You wouldn’t be tempted by a plain, slightly balding man called Graham… Would you?

When Graham Parks walks into Helen Collins’ life, the last thing she expects is to fall for him. He’s nothing like her handsome, successful husband, Alex.

But fifteen years is a long time and Helen can’t help wondering what it would be like to sleep with someone else. Has Alex secretly been thinking the same thing? As harmless flirtation develops into something far more complicated, Helen’s perfect world begins to look shaky.

It’s exciting, alluring, all-consuming. But is it worth the risk?

Idol by Carrie Duffy
Released 18th August
Published by
Harper
Website:
http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Titles/63189/idol-carrie-duffy-9780007421503

It was cover love at first sight for me when I saw Idol so it had to go on my wishlist!

Meet Jenna Jonsson and Sadie Laine: two gorgeous, glamorous twenty-somethings fighting to make it to the top of their chosen professions. Beautiful and talented, Jenna is an international pop star, determined to take her career to the next level. And when a chance meeting leads to an opportunity for Jenna to work with world-famous rock band Phoenix, Jenna is quick to agree – although her decision is somewhat influenced by Nick Taylor, the drummer with Phoenix and the most gorgeous man Jenna has ever met… Meanwhile, Sadie is a struggling dancer and a childhood rival of Jenna’s. Ambitious and passionate, she is determined to fulfil her dreams. And a move to Las Vegas yields an unmissable career opportunity and a chance at true love. Jenna and Sadie’s lives are about to collide but will sparks fly? Or will they be able to put the past behind them?

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
Released 23rd August
Published by
Michael Joseph
Website: http://www.iamnumberfour.co.uk/

I read I Am Number Four last year and had really mixed feelings about it but I can’t resist finding out what happens next.

We are the last defence.

I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened to John Smith. To the world he’s a mystery, but to me … he’s one of us. Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us, if we all still believe in our mission.

There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another, but our Legacies are developing and soon we’ll be ready to fight. Is John Number Four – and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who might be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio … and failed. I am Number Seven. And I’m ready to fight.



Working it Out Giveaway Winner!

25 Jul

The winner is …

Brita Bevis

Congratulations! I have sent you an email. Thanks to everyone who entered and look out for more giveaways coming soon!

Book review – Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon

21 Jul

‘He’s not mine, is he?’ That’s the question I fear the most. You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous rock stars that ever lived. And he doesn’t even know it.

One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is now settled and living in the south of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their son Barney. But they’re living a lie – a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out – because as Barney reaches his first birthday, Meg can no longer deny that her son is growing to look more and more like his rock star father every day, and less and less like Christian, and sooner or later, the world is going to realise …

I’m a huge fan of Paige Toon and have read all of her books so I’ve been both excitedly anticipating and slightly nervous about Baby Be Mine coming out ever since I heard that Paige’s next book would be a sequel to Johnny Be Good. For those who haven’t read Johnny, the book ended on a cliffhanger with lead character Meg wondering who was the father of her baby; was it rock god Johnny Jefferson or his best friend and Meg’s boyfriend Christian? Would the outcome be the one I wanted and what would that mean for the three main characters?

I’ve waited three years to find out the answers to my questions and, as you can see from the synopsis above, taken from the back cover of the new book; the answer to who baby Barney’s father is is revealed stright away in Baby Be Mine. But although as readers we know that baby Barney isn’t Christian’s son, the only person who knows the truth as the book opens is Meg and that’s how, true to form, Paige Toon gripped me from the start with her latest novel.

I love the way Paige writes; she uses a lot of dialogue and the story is told from Meg’s perspective in the first person – two factors that combine to make you feel like you are really in the middle of the drama. And there is plenty of drama in Baby be Mine; in addition to the main story of baby Barney’s paternity the plot includes a death and takes in both the glamorous and seedier side to the celebrity lifestyle. Moving between England, the South of France and LA taking in Barcelona along the way with some amazing locations, the book felt like a very summery read which balanced the dramas of the story nicely.

As Meg’s secret is revealed, her life changes dramatically but the big question throughout is who will she end up with? Paige Toon kept me guessing about the ending with Johnny, Christian and new man, film star Joseph all in the frame at one point and right up until the end of the book I was wondering would Meg end up with one of them or would she go it alone and dedicate herself to baby Barney? Of course I’m not going to tell you the outcome, but I will say that as with all of Paige’s books, the ending is brilliant and includes a surprise appearance from Paola and Luis from Chasing Daisy (Paige’s third novel). I was pleased to see that Paige has kept up the tradition of characters from earlier books making cameo appearances in later ones.

Although I’d highly recommend all of Paige’s books, you don’t need to have read Johnny Be Good to enjoy Baby be Mine as all the essentials are recapped as the story progresses but for those who have read Johnny Be Good I really enjoyed seeing how even the minor characters lives had moved on. I’m pleased to say that the wait for this sequel was well worth it and Paige is now firmly in place as one of my favourite chick lit authors. Baby Be Mine is a gripping read that will take you to another world and is perfect for packing in your suitcase this summer!

5/5

Baby Be Mine is released today and I’d like to thank Ally at Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to review.

You can find out more about Paige Toon and her books at: http://www.paigetoon.com/ and also check out http://www.booksandthecity.co.uk/ for news and interviews with Paige as well as an extract from Baby Be Mine

Book review – From London With Love by Jemma Forte

21 Jul

Everyone wants to be famous, don’t they?

Not Jessica Granger. Her father was the movie star who played the world’s favourite James Bond and, worse, her mother was voted sexiest-ever Bond Girl for her role as Heavenly Melons. Like it or not, fame is in her blood.

But Jessica dearly wants to be someone in her own right.

So she flees Hollywood for London, seeking independence in a city where nobody knows her name. But when she finds a job as a celebrity booker on a chat show she realizes the more friends she makes, the harder it is to keep up the lies about who she is. And when Jessica falls for Paul, a writer on the show, her life as a double agent causes double trouble.

With the truth of her past about to explode into her new world, can Jessica convince Paul she’s the real deal? Or maybe a sprinkling of the old 007 magic will spice up her love life?

Every so often a book comes along that surprises me and this summer it’s From London With Love by Jemma Forte. I loved the cover straight away and I was expecting a fun chicklit read but I  literally could not put this book down once I’d started reading and even though it’s a big read at almost 500 pages, I didn’t want it to end and could happily have carried on reading about Jessica, her family and friends all day!

The story follows Jessica Grainger, daughter of Bond actor Edward Grainger and A-list actress Angelica Dupree as she moves to London for the summer in an attempt to escape the shadow of her famous parents and make her own way in the world for a little while. I like Jessica’s character straight away; she’s self-aware and desperately wants her independence but at the same time has led a pampered and protected life so is quite naive when it comes to the practicalities which makes for some amusing moments as she sets out on her own. Jessica’s heart is definitely in the right place and her earnestness really endeared her to me. As well as the contrast between Jessica’s glam Malibu lifestyle and her ‘normal’ London existence, Jemma Forte also brings the cultural differences between the characters from the US and the UK out really well too showing a sharp sense of humor.

I thought all of the characters were well written and although this book has quite a large cast, the variety of characters and their individual threads of storyline kept the plot moving at a good pace but didn’t feel overwhelming with Jessica as the focal point around which the sub-plots revolve. Jessica’s new work colleagues in London come across as relistic and excel at exhibiting a dry British wit and I thought Jessica’s manager Kerry was fab. I loved Jessica’s Dad Edward as the action hero with a softer side and as a mum I couldn’t help sympathise with struggling worn out mum Diane (the wife of Jessica’s boss, Mike) and I think a lot of readers will find something to identify with in From London with Love.

Jemma’s writing style is witty and fresh and she gets the balance just right between lighthearted humour and more serious issues which the book doesn’t shy away from.  I laughed out loud or smiled to myself so many times whilst reading and for me thats the mark of a brilliant read. For the romantics out there, there are love stories aplenty with a number of relationships at different stages. I enjoyed the slow burn and drama of Jessica and Paul’s relationship but also loved the storyline involving Jessica’s parents and Jessica’s best friend Dulcie made me smile with her wedding obsession.

As the story progresses and Jessica ties herself in knots trying to keep her identity a secret, From London with Love has a great message about not judging a book by its over and being who you really are. Coupled with the Bond theme throughout, this is a fun summer read with more than a touch of A-list glamour.  This is Jemma’s second novel and I’ll definitely be going back to read her first, Me and Miss M as soon as possible. Perfect for fans of Paige Toon and Lindsay Kelk, I’d highly recommend adding From London with Love to your summer reading list!

5/5

From London  with Love is released today and I’d like to thank Jemma for sending me a review copy.

You can find out more about Jemma Forte and her books at: http://jemmaforte.com/

Book review – Maidens' Trip by Emma Smith

20 Jul

In 1943 Emma Smith joined the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company under their wartime scheme of employing women to replace the boaters. She set out with two friends on a big adventure: three eighteen-year-olds, freed from a middle-class background, precipitated into the boating fraternity. They learn how to handle a pair of seventy-two foot-long canal boats, how to carry a cargo of steel north from London to Birmingham and coal from Coventry; how to splice ropes, bail out bilge water, keep the engine ticking over and steer through tunnels. They live off kedgeree and fried bread and jam, adopt a kitten, lose their bicycles, laugh and quarrel and get progressively dirtier and tougher as the weeks go by.

Maidens’ Trip is a little different to the books I normally review in that it is part memoir and part fiction; Emma Smith takes her own experiences on the Grand Union Canal during the Second World War and condenses them into a single trip. Her fellow boaters, Nanette and Charity are fictional characters representing the girls that Emma met during her time on the canals.  Originally written in 1948, the latest edition of Maidens’ Trip was released by Bloomsbury this week with a fab new cover that really caught my eye and whichever category the book falls into, I found it an interesting insight into a lesser known area of work that women undertook during World War Two.

Emma’s descriptions of life on the canals are vivid and detailed capturing both the ups and downs (of which there are many!) of guiding a pair of canal boats loaded with cargo from London to Birmingham and back. The three girls battle inclement weather, inhospitable conditions, mistakes and accidents to see their cargo to its destination, with some interesting encounters with the true boating families along the way. The contrast between the three girls and the boaters is stark and I was fascinated by the way that Emma and her fellow boat-mates seemed in general to be accepted and supported despite their lack of experience. The book is as much a tale of the boating families and their ways of life as it is of the wartime volunteers and truly seems to capture a moment in time for both sets of characters.

What struck me most whilst reading was the girls’ quest for adventure and their ‘have a go attitude’ but also the lack of mention of events in the outside world. Although their are references to the conflict that had put them in the position to be accepted into The Grand Union Canal Carrying Company, the book is very much focused on events on the canal and captures the single return journey like a snapshot. I expected to find out more about the girls, their families and histories and this is where the book feels most like a memoir rather than historical fiction in that the focus is firmly on the situation as opposed to the characters even though strong personalities do show through.

Maidens’ Trip is a quick read at just over two hundred pages and will appeal to readers and history lovers of all ages. The book left me wondering what happened next to Emma and girls like her who volunteered for such a unique opportunity. Emma has published a number of other works since her debut with Maidens’ Trip and you can find out more about her and her books at www.bloomsbury.com/emmasmith

4/5

Maidens’ Trip is out now and I’d like to thank Bloomsbury for sending me a copy to review.

About Last Night Giveaway Winner!

20 Jul

The winner is …

Pukkapad

Congratulations! I have sent you an email. Thanks to everyone who entered and if you weren’t a winner this time, I’m also currently running an international giveaway to win a copy of Working it Out by Nicola May!

Author interview and giveaway: Nicola May

18 Jul

Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Her favourite authors are Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews and she is currently working hard to promote her latest book release, Working it Out.

I reviewed Working it Out earlier this month and Nicola kindly agreed to be interviewed for One More Page and is also providing a copy of the novel for me to give away to one lucky winner (details on how to enter at the end of the interview).

Working it Out is a fun and original addition to the Chick Lit genre; have you always wanted to write chick lit and do you think you’ll dabble with other genres in future?

Writing chick lit just happened really and I am going to run with it for now as readers are certainly enjoying Working it Out. However, I do have some other ideas up my sleeve for the future, including a dark comedy.

In Working it Out, Ruby makes a New Year’s resolution to try out twelve jobs in twelve months to see if she can stumble upon her ideal career; where did the inspiration for the plot come from?

I have actually never enjoyed being tied to the 9-5, even though I did it for years. So many times I sat in jobs that I didn’t enjoy as was too frightened to take the plunge and try something new. When I was made redundant it gave me the ideal opportunity to try different things with some very amusing consequences, and so the plot developed.

Ruby’s twelve jobs are very varied covering waitressing to fortune telling; if you had to pick one job from Ruby’s twelve to do long term which would it be and why?

I’d love to be an actress.  I won’t spoil the plot and say what it is, but definitely not the role Ruby gets landed with! When Working it Out becomes the Working Title film I want it to be then I certainly want a cameo role.

I could see Working it Out on the big screen; who would you cast for the roles of Ruby, Gorgeous George and Ruby’s fab neighbour Margaret?

Kim Tiddy, ex Bill now Hollyoaks would make a fab Ruby, I think she would add the beauty, quirk and slight laddetteness required to bring out her character. Scott Neal would have to be George, he would pull out the east end lad really well and is definitely handsome enough for Ruby to fall for. Margaret would have to be Brenda Blethyn.

Ruby meets a great set of characters as she works her way through the year; who was your favourite character to write and why?

I love Daphne du Mont who runs Piaf’s cafe. Her whole appearance and demeanour and the fact she sings Edith Piaf songs all the time made me laugh a lot whilst writing her. I can see her black dress and bright red lipstick as I type this. She is so carefree, that she just had to be given a handsome toy boy to play with.

Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

Marian Keyes, Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson are all favourites of mine and I like to think my writing is a mix of all three.

Working it Out is the most professional self published book I’ve seen this year and is making a big impression; what are your top tips for other aspiring authors on getting your book noticed?

Thank you for saying that. The feedback I am receiving is certainly astounding. Getting your book noticed takes hard work, but getting the cover right is key. Also nowadays use social media as much as you can. Twitter has really got me where I am today for various reasons. You can find me @nicolamay1

And finally, what can we expect next from Nicola May?

My ambition is to get on the Times bestseller list, and yes of course seeing it out there as a film. I am already writing my fourth novel, so watch this space for book number two coming out before Christmas.

Many thanks Nicola and good luck with the next book! You can find out more about Nicola and her novels on her website at: http://www.nicolamay.com/

Giveaway!

Nicola will send a copy of Working it Out to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway just leave a comment below telling me about the best, worst, funniest or most unusual job you’ve done and I’ll pick a winner using random.org following the closing date. This giveaway is open worldwide! The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday 24th July – good luck!