Archive | June, 2013

Love is a Thief Giveaway Winners!

30 Jun

The winners are …

Ceri, Linda and Cheryl

Congratulations! I have sent you all an email. Thanks to everyone who entered. Look out for more giveaways very soon!

Event news: Independent Booksellers Week 29th June – 6th July

29 Jun

Independent Booksellers Week starts today! What better way to get your weekend off to a good start than visiting your local independent bookshop for some reading treats?!

Over 360 bookshops around the UK are taking part in Independent Booksellers Week with talks and events taking place throughout the country, exclusive collectibles on offer from the likes of JRR Tolkien, Ann Patchett and Yann Martel amongst many others, and appearances bestselling writers including Antony Beevor, Kate Mosse, Rachel Joyce, Ann Widdecombe, Richard Madeley, Deborah Moggach, Kate Humble, Jack Straw, Malorie Blackman and Ruth Ozeki who will be visiting bookshops to discuss why they matter so much to them and the valuable role that they play.

The headline event will be a debate at the Southbank Centre in London on Wednesday 3rd July. Entitled The Perfect Storm: Why Bookshops Are in the Frontline in the Battle for the High Street,chaired by James Runcie, Literature Director of the Southbank Centre, the debate will be an opportunity for the book industry, media and members of the public to meet to discuss the issues facing bookshops today. The panel will include leading independent bookseller Nic Bottomley (Mr B’s Emporium), award-winning author Kate Mosse, Chair of the Society of Authors Anne Sebba , Gordon Wise of Curtis Brown literary agency and Lindsay Mackie (New Economics Foundation). Tickets are available at: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

I’ll be posting throughout the week highlighting some of the events and special collectible items available as well as telling you about some of my own favourite independent bookshops around the country. Happy reading all!

Find your nearest independent bookshop 

Find out more about Independent Booksellers Week and the events taking place at: http://independentbooksellersweek.org.uk/

Ten books to travel with Summer 2013!

28 Jun

Whether you’re jetting off to an exotic location this summer or just relaxing in the back garden, here are ten new summer books just perfect to escape with!

Bay of Secrets by Rosanna Ley (Canary Islands) Out now!

Spain, 1939.

Following the wishes of her parents to keep her safe during the war, a young girl, Julia, enters a convent in Barcelona. Looking for a way to maintain her links to the outside world, she volunteers to help in a maternity clinic. But worrying adoption practices in the clinic force Sister Julia to decide how far she will go to help those placed in her care.

England, 2011.

Six months after her parents’ shocking death, 34-year-old journalist and jazz enthusiast Ruby Rae has finally found the strength to pack away their possessions and sell the family home. But as she does so, she unearths a devastating secret her parents, Vivien and Tom, had kept from her all her life.

Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy (Marbella) Out Now! 

SUN, SEA AND SCANDAL

Notorious heiress Alexa Green has certainly been enjoying her most recent girls-holiday in Marbella. Just as we thought, she’s been knocking back the cocktails and showing off her fabulous bikini body on the beach… but rumour has it she’s also been spotted sneaking out of Enrique Castillo’s penthouse in the early hours of this morning – in nothing but her underwear! Our question is, doesn’t this fiercely private billionaire know what he’s letting himself in for?

He’s got the millions… and she knows how to spend them! So lie back on your sun lounger and get comfortable, because this summer fling is going to be a sizzler!

Sunlounger by the Belinda Jones Travel Club (Worldwide) released 1st July

A bumper chick lit anthology of short stories from an amazing group of fabulous authors including Belinda Jones, Miranda Dickinson, Alxandra Brown, Julia Williams and Kate Harrison!

Around the World in 40 Stories – accompanied by your favourite women’s fiction authors.

The big dilemma this summer is which adventure to choose first: Boarding a milliionaire’s yacht in St Tropez? Slipping into a Sheikh’s palace in Dubai? Attending a movie premiere in Venice? Or contemplating your life on an idyllic Thai beach?

WIth so many stories to choose from, there is as much range in the writing styles as the destinations – we’ve got ones to make you chuckle, ones to make you swoon, ones to make you well up or perhaps decide to be a little bit bolder with your life…

The beauty of it is that you don’t even have to pass through security to board Sunlounger Airways! No loading your shoes/belt/keys in a plastic tray, no pat-downs, no bleepers, no suitcase-wrangling, no hassle – just RECLINE, RELAX & READ!

Check out the brilliant website to accompany the book with loads of extras at: http://www.va-va-vacation.com/

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk (Hawaii) released 4th July

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.

After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, she might try being Vanessa. With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…

In the Summer Time by Judy Astley (Cornwall) released 4th July

It’s twenty years since Miranda, then sixteen, holidayed in Cornwall and her life changed forever. Now she’s back again – with her mother Clare and the ashes of her stepfather Jack, whose wish was to be scattered on the sea overlooked by their one-time holiday home.

The picturesque cove seems just the same as ever, but the people are different – more smart incomers,fewer locals, more luxury yachts in the harbour. But Miranda and Clare both find some strangely familiar faces, and revisit the emotions they both thought had disappeared.

A Night on the Orient Express by Veronica Henry (London to Venice) released 4th July

The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance.

For one group of passengers settling in to their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime.

A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime…As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world.

The French for Love by Fiona Valpy (Bordeaux) released 12th July

Can Happy-Ever-After get lost in translation?

Gina has lost her perfect job, her boyfriendand her favourite aunt all within the space ofa few months.So when she inherits her aunt’s ramshackleFrench house, Gina decides to pack her bagsfor the Bordeaux countryside – swappingthe miserable English weather for blue skies,sunshine, great wine and a fresh start.What she hasn’t factored in is a hole in theroof, the
most embarrassing language faux pas, and discovering family secrets that shewas never supposed to know.Suddenly feeling a long way from home,Gina will have to rely on new found friends,her own hard work – and Cédric – her charming, mysterious and très handsome new stonemason. But whilst desire needs no translation, love is a different matter.

Can Gina overcome the language barrier to make her French dream come true?

Swimming Pool Summer by Rebecca Farnworth (Greece) released 18th July

Frankie hasn’t had a proper relationship for years. But though she tells everyone this is how she wants it, but secretly she’s in love with her best friend Patrick.

Tor didn’t think she could have a baby, but now she is pregnant by her younger lover. Could this mean the end of a romance that has started to mean more to her than she expected?

Leila seems to have it all – a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter and a successful career. But Leila is harbouring a secret that could destroy her marriage forever.

On an idyllic Greek island, the three women try to keep their secrets hidden. But emotions are running high, and when an unexpected guest arrives, events start to spin out of control.

Wicked Wives by Anna-Lou Weatherly (Antigua, London, Ibiza, Capri, Las Vegas, Paris and more!) released 18th July

When the ‘Blue Angel’ yacht is found abandoned off the coast of Antigua and Playboy and Casino owner, Tom Black, who was on board is pronounced missing, foul-play is suspected. After all, the serial gambler and womaniser has made plenty of enemies.

As events come to light however, the finger of suspicion points to three women in particular – and the men they’re married to.

Ellie Scott, the beautiful socialite with a dubious past; Loretta Fiorentino, the fame-seeking gold-digger and Victoria Mayfield, the glamorous successful author.

Full of intrigue, revenge and decadence, this is a tale you’ll want to revisit again and again.

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky (Maine, USA) released 18th July 

Can the bonds of friendship weather a betrayal? Charlotte and Nicole were once best friends, spending long, idyllic summers together in Nicole’s family home on the island of Quinnipeague, but they have since grown apart. After ten years, their writing careers brings them back together – to write a cookbook about island food in their childhood haven. When both women reunite, it becomes clear that they are both guarding secrets of the years spent apart. But when Charlotte learns that her secret is the key to saving Nicole’s husband’s life, she must face her painful past and risk the consequences that honesty might bring …

 

Where are you looking forward to escaping to this summer?

 

Short Story Spotlight: Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

27 Jun

 

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a fun and flirty contemporary romance novella from the fabulous Lorraine Wilson.

The slopes seriously start to heat up when chalet girl Holly is propositioned by her sexy new boss!

I love the cover for this novella – it sums up the fun feel of the story perfectly and certainly drew me into reading it. Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a quick and lighthearted contemporary romance read. We meet Holly who has decided to escape the cold British winter for a turn as a Chalet Girl in the exclusive ski resort of Verbir.

I loved the location descriptions in this book – it made me want to pack my bags and hit the slopes (even though I’ve never actually been skiing!) The wintry location is very romantic and the situations Holly finds herself in are luxurious and just a little bit naughty!

Holly is a pretty sensible character and is using the chalet girl job to escape from her family troubles. She doesn’t really fit in with the other Chalet Girls who are only out to land a rich man. The fact that Holly is different attracts the attention of her boss, Scott whose rule is not to date the Chalet Girls … but we all know rules are made to be broken don’t we?!

The only way to describe the chemistry between Holly and Scott is HOT and while the weather and scenery may be snowy and cold, the romance in Confessions of a Chalet Girl certainly turns up the temperature! Underneath the flirting and banter there is a more serious side to both Scott and Holly which added a nice edge to the story and showed a more sensitive side to Scott.

I loved watching the romance develop from both sides and was really rooting for a happy ending for Holly and Scott. Throw in a jealous colleague and some little white lies and the scene is set for a sexy, fun read with plenty of drama that you can devour in one sitting. I can’t wait for more from Lorraine Wilson!

5/5

Confessions of a Chalet Girl is released today in ebook formats.

I’d like to thank HarperImpulse for providing a review copy of this book via Netgalley.

Find out more about Lorraine Wilson and her writing at: http://welcome.lorraine-wilson.coml

Author interview: Sara B Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

26 Jun

I’m super excited to have Sara Elfgren and Mats Strandberg as guests today, answering my questions on the Elgelsfors Trilogy! The Engelsfors trilogy is a series of Swedish urban fantasy novels that have now been published in over 25 countries worldwide. Fire, the second book in the trilogy was released last week and is a fantastic follow up to The Circle. Sara started her career in the film industry as a screenwriter and Mats is journalist and a regular columnist for Sweden’s biggest evening newspaper Aftonbladet.  

Fire, the second novel in the Engelsfors trilogy has just been published in the UK; for those who haven’t encountered the series yet, please could you tell us a little about it and the inspiration for it?

It’s about a group of girls in their late teens who find out that they’re witches. They’re the Chosen Ones who have to stop the apocalypse, but they also have to deal with the smaller battles that teenagers face every day in school and at home. And one of the greatest challenges for them is to learn to cooperate. They’re very different from each other, and some of them have real reasons to hate each other.

We planned for a trilogy from the beginning, so with each book the stakes get higher, and we go deeper into the mythology and continue to explore the main characters and their relationships.

We’re very much inspired by TV shows like Buffy the Vampire SlayerVeronica Mars, Freaks and Geeks and My So Called Life. And, of course, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In (a.k.a. Let Me In). Prep by Curtis Sittenfield was another literary source of inspiration for us.

Why did you choose to write about witches?

We wanted to write about teenagers who were forced to work together, despite their differences. So we thought well, having to stop the apocalypse is a good catalyst for that. Witches have often been said work in groups, in covens. We also wanted to give them different magical powers that would challenge them as individuals. For instance, the bullied girl Anna-Karin is given the power to control others’ feelings and thoughts. Of course, she will abuse that power. Who in her situation wouldn’t?.

Who are your favourite witch characters outside your own books?

We both adore the 90s film The Craft! And of course, Willow and Tara in Buffy. And Magica de Spell was always the coolest chick in Duckburg. Ursula is so much more fun than Ariel in The Little Mermaid. When Sara was little she couldn’t get enough of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Beverly Nichols’ books about the evil witch Miss Smith and The Witch’s Handbook by Malcolm Bird. And how can we not mention Hermione?

Your books aren’t afraid to tackle some of the harder hitting issues (eating disorders, bullying, depression and suicide amongst them); why did you think it was important to include these topics?

Because they were there when we grew up, and they are there among young people growing today. It just felt natural to us. But we also wanted to write about the small, everyday insecurities and difficulties that one may experience as a teenager. And the beautiful things in life – romance, friendship and solidarity.

The trilogy has a great set of six female leads; do you have a favourite from the six ‘chosen ones?’ 

We’re so happy that you like them! We don’t have any favourites however. Boring answer, but true. We love them all equally. And it’s so much fun to switch between their different perspectives.

Each witch has their own set of special powers; if you could develop a supernatural power, what would it be?

Mats: I would like to have eternal life, so that I didn’t have to be so stressed out all the time about all the things I want to do.

Sara: Teleportation would be very practical.

And finally … what can we expect next from Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg?

Right now, we are editing the third and final book, The Key. We are suffering from separation anxiety from each other and from our world. After that Sara will focus on co-writing the screenplay to the The Circle movie together with director Levan Akin. It’s being produced by former ABBA member Benny Andersson and his son Ludvig Andersson. Casting has begun and we’re so excited about being involved with this! Mats next project is a horror novel. Sara is co-writing a graphic novel called Vei which is a Viking fantasy story and she has a couple of other (secret) projects lined up. But we will definitely write together again in the future. We have so much fun when we work together.

Thank you so much Sara and Mats  and good luck with all your new ventures!

Fire is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

You can find out more about the Engelsfors Trilogy at: http://www.worldofengelsfors.com/

Giveaway! Love is a Thief by Claire Garber

25 Jun

I have three copies of Claire Garber’s fab debut novel to give away to lucky readers!

Love is a Thief is released by MIRA on the 5th July and is set in England and France. Described as ‘One girl’s journey to take back what love stole’, Love is a Thief sounds like an excellent summer read!

Find out more about Claire and her writing at: http://clairegarber.blogspot.co.uk/

Kate Winters might just be ‘that’ girl.

You know the one.
The girl who, for no particular reason, doesn’t get the guy, doesn’t have children, doesn’t get the romantic happy ever after.

So she needs a plan.

What does she like doing?
What didn’t she get to do because she fell in love?
What would she be happy spending the rest of her life doing if love never showed up again?

This is one girl’s journey to take back what love stole…

…and maybe find love again along the way.

To enter this giveaway, just leave a ‘pick me’ comment below and I’ll draw the three winners using random.org after the closing date.

 This giveaway is open to UK residents only and will close at Midnight on Saturday 29th June. The winners will be announced on Sunday 30th June. 

Good luck!

Short story news: Sunshine with a Chance of Snow by Carole Matthews

25 Jun

Lovely Carole Matthews is treating us lucky readers to a free ebook short story this summer! Sunshine with a Chance of Snow is released on the 1st July and is free to download until the end of July :-) The download also includes the first three chapters of Carole’s brilliant Cottage By the Sea so grab your copy now!

Beth and Michael have worked hard all their married life to give their children everything they want. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it. Now, as Beth enjoys quality time with her family on their beach holiday, she knows she has a lot to be thankful for. But it’s not until she’s faced with her biggest challenge yet that Beth really begins to understand how lucky she is.

Book review: Save the Date! by Allie Spencer

24 Jun

Family weddings can be hell…

…and, marooned in Italy for her cousin’s nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she’d been hoping for.

And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.

How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can’t stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place – and then there really would be trouble.

Save the Date! is another lovely romantic comedy from Allie Spencer.  Set in Italy during the week long preparations for her cousin’s wedding, the book follows Ailsa as she runs from her relationship problems right into the middle of a whole host of wedding and family related dramas.

I love Allie’s writing style and her books never fail to make me smile. The story is written from Ailsa’s point of view and straight away I could see that she was a girl I could identify with. Her funny quips and observations made me laugh and it was very easy to become involved in Alisa’s world. As the story opens, Ailsa is nursing a broken heart having walked out on her ex, Nick. As she receives an email from her cousin begging her to attend her week long wedding celebration in Tuscany, she grabs the opportunity to escape her troubles for the sunshine.

Alisa’s family and the other wedding guests are a pretty eccentric bunch. From her flighty cousin Jess to flustered Aunt Sheila and overbearing Uncle Dudley; Ailsa finds herself at the centre of one wedding catastrophe after another. There are some very funny moments in this book and I loved the light-hearted feel to it. Combined with the gorgeous location descriptions and the luxury hotel wedding venue this is a fab escapist read.

But there’s also a magical romantic side to the story and as Ailsa finds herself face to face with her ex there are some major surprises in store! I absolutely did not see the twist in the plot coming which made me enjoy this book all the more – I love it when a story surprises me. And this wasn’t the only twist in the tale. I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what would happen and would Ailsa and Nick be able to put their differences aside.

There’s also a lovely thread about family running through the novel. Ailsa’s and Jess’ mums fell out many years ago and Ailsa and her sister Kitty also have a testy relationship. But there’s nothing like a wedding to bring everyone together … is there?!

I really enjoyed Save the Date! but there was one character who stole the show for me; Arthur the puppy. Like Ailsa, I’m not normally a dog person but little Arthur won me over with his cute antics!  With its sunny location and funny romantic story line, this is an ideal book to pop in your suitcase (or on your e-reader) this summer. Guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face :-)

4/5

Save the Date! is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank Philippa at Arrow for sending me a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Allie Spencer and her books at: http://www.alliespencer.com/

Check out Allie’s guest post as part of her Save the Date Blog Tour.

You can win a copy of this book as part of my Blog Birthday giveaway!

Guest post: The Perfect Setting by Allie Spencer

24 Jun

Today I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Allie Spencer’s fabulous summer romantic comedy, Save the Date! Allie is the author of four novels: Tug of Love, which won the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme prize for the best debut of 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance, The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl, Summer Loving and Summer Nights. You can find out more about Allie and her writing at: http://www.alliespencer.com/ Welcome Allie!

‘Save the Date!, like my last two novels, is set abroad. This time, the scene is Italy – the rugged Tuscan coast to be specific – and a hotel looking down upon a little red-roofed town nestling between the shore and the inland hills. Setting is very important for me as a writer, not least because I am one of those people who ‘pick up’ vibes and find that the atmosphere of a place can really affect my mood.

One occasion when this happened was the first time I visited the Brontës’ parsonage in Haworth. I was with my then-boyfriend – a super-rational scientific type (I know, I know, I do pick them!) – and I was doing my best to impress him by being super-rational too.

But the house got the better of me.

It was a cold, clear January day and, after a nice little pootle round the town, we walked up the hill to the parsonage, taking the route that led through the graveyard. Now, of course I knew that all the sisters had died young, mostly from consumption, but I hadn’t bargained for the graveyard to be so packed. And I mean packed: you’d have been hard-pushed to get another tombstone in there. In addition to this, the rooks were cawing and wheeling in the trees above us, so I suppose I may have been primed for a spooky experience, but once were inside it all seemed friendly enough – until I went into Bramwell’s room. For those of you who don’t know, this is located right in the centre of the house and has no exterior wall – and therefore no window. More than that, though, it had the most suffocating, claustrophobic atmosphere I have ever experienced. I walked in and walked straight back out again, making some excuse to the super-rational boyfriend and arranging to meet him outside when he’d finished.

Not all my experiences are negative, though. My sons’ school is over a hundred years old and has a lovely sports’ field bounded by mature horse chestnut trees. Whenever I’m there I get a sneaking sense of small boys playing cricket on a golden summer afternoon way, way back. It’s so strong that I half feel if I turn around quickly enough I might catch them at it. Middle Temple in London, where I did my legal training is the same: if I close my eyes I can almost hear the hurrying footsteps of nearly a thousand years of comings and goings.

So I hope I’ve written Italy right. The hotel Santa Lucia where the action takes place is ancient and beautiful and I’m sure that Ailsa, my heroine, is quite correct when she thinks there is something there, watching over the place and making sure that everyone finds their own happy ending.

Thanks Allie – you definitely got it right :-)

Save the Date! is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Please stop by again later today to read my review and if you’d like to win a copy of this lovely book please check out this giveaway!

Happy Birthday One More Page!

23 Jun

One More Page is three today!!!

Hopefully you can see from my posts how much I enjoy blogging and reading. The last three years have been so much fun so today I’m saying a big

‘Thank You’

to all of the bloggers, tweeters, readers, publishers, and authors, who have chatted, commented, recommended books and supported me since I launched One More Page.

To celebrate I’m giving away brand new copies of the three fab summer reads listed below! Just leave a comment telling me which of the books you’d like to win (you can enter for all if you wish) and I’ll draw the three winners using random.org after the closing date.

This giveaway is open internationally! The closing date for entries is midnight on Saturday 29th June. Good luck!

Perfect Stangers by Tasmina Perry

Just an innocent invitation…

When Sophie Ellis is asked to house-sit at a luxurious Knightsbridge townhouse, it appears to be the offer of a lifetime. Drawn into the glittering circle of the home’s owner, she meets wealthy American businessman Nick Cooper and is swept up into a thrilling and passionate affair.

But when Nick is found dead in his hotel suite, Sophie is suddenly the prime suspect for his murder, and soon realises Nick was not the man he seemed. Racing to find the truth and clear her name, Sophie must elude not only the authorities but also a group of dangerous players who believe Sophie has something that they want. And who won’t stop until she’s caught…

Wish You Were Here by Victoria Connelly  

Sun, sea and secrets…

A week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos is just what Alice Archer needs, even if she has to put up with her difficult sister. Stella’s tantrums and diva-like demands are a fair price to pay for crystal-clear waters, blue skies and white clifftop villas.

When Alice meets Milo, a handsome gardener at the Villa Argenti, for the first time she suddenly feels beautiful, alluring and confident. But is it just holiday magic or will the irresistible pull between Alice and Milo survive against all odds?

Save The Date by Allie Spencer 

Family weddings can be hell.

…and, marooned in Italy for her cousin’s nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she’d been hoping for.

And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.

How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can’t stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place – and then there really would be trouble.