Archive | November, 2016

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



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!


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

Find out more about Donna and her novels at:

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:


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 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.


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


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 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.

Book review: Romeo and / or Juliet by Ryan North

13 Nov

romeoWhat if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits?

In this New York Times bestselling version of Romeo and Juliet, you get to choose where the story goes. Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns and more than a billion possible storylines, Romeo and/or Juliet offers a new experience every time you read it. And, as an added bonus, all the different endings feature beautiful and quirky illustrations by some of the best artists working today, including New York Times bestsellers Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Jon Klassen.

Whatever your adventure, you’re guaranteed to find lots of romance, epic fight scenes and plenty of questionable decision-making by highly emotional teens.

This book is so much fun! I used to love ‘choose your own adventure’ books when I was younger but I haven’t read anything like that for years. Romeo and/or Juliet is an all singing, all dancing interactive novel that puts a whole new spin on the original Shakespere play. It cleverly lets the reader explore the original play and to have a whole lot of fun with the plot.

There’s so much going on in this book, it’s hard to know where to start. I started by being Juliet but my Juliet was a little bit more kick-ass than the one I remember from the original play. I’m delighted to say I found my happy ending as Juliet and winning thousands of points (yay me!) For the second reading, I took Juliet down a different path to an altogether darker end but it was just as much fun! There are some headspinning possibilities and brilliant twists in this book. At one point I was given the option to be Juliet being Romeo and to chat myself up! At another point I was Romeo and cunningly disguised myself as a wall.

What I loved about this book is that as well as making me laugh a lot, it taught me so much about the original play – it basically translated the Shakespearean language into easily understandable sentences and explained the meaning and background if it wasn’t immediately clear.

There’s also a thread of the book just for Mr Shakespeare where you can find out all sorts of interesting stuff about The Bard and his life. There are books within the book, puzzles, games, quests and more; plenty to keep even the most reluctant reader hooked. And supporting all of this are excellent illustrations from bestsellers including Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe and Jon Klassen.

With over 100 different endings, I’m going to be reading this book and playing with the different scenarios for a long time – it’s brilliant value! This is the book to give to the person who says Shakespeare is boring this Christmas – it will blow their minds!


Romeo and /or Juliet is released today in paperback and ebook formats from Orbit books.

Find out more about Ryan and his books at:

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

Author interview: Jo Platt

9 Nov

Please join me in welcoming author Jo Platt to One More Page today on the latest stop of her It Was You blog tour. Jo was born in Liverpool and has lived in Wiltshire, London, Seattle and St Albans, before settling in Bristol with her husband and two children. She studied English at King’s College London and worked in the City for 10 years before becoming a pre-school teacher in the US and then a mother and secretary. Her debut novel Reading Upside Down was self-published in 2013, selling over 15,000 copies and has since sold to publishers internationally. Jo Kindly let me ask her some questions about her new novel. Welcome Jo!

Jo_PlattYour new novel, It Was You has just been released. Please could you tell us a little about it and your inspiration for it?

It Was You is a romantic comedy focusing on 32 year-old Alice Waites and her friendships, in particular within The Short Book Group.  Alice has been happily, or perhaps apathetically, single for almost two years, but when her book group friends question her reluctance to meet a man, even for a no-strings coffee, she decides it’s time to start dating again.  Along the way, she uncovers secrets kept hidden by friends and family, and also learns something quite devastating about herself.  It’s a story which made me both laugh out loud and shed a few tears as I wrote it and I hope readers will find it equally funny and touching.

There were so many real-life inspirations for the story that it’s difficult to pick just one.  But obviously, my membership of a very lovely book group hugely influence my decision to make a book group central to the plot.  My Bristol group is, in fact, almost three times the size of Alice’s in It Was You but the group’s friendship, warmth and pathological fear of any novel over two inches thick, is exactly the same.

The story focuses on Alice and her friendships and relationships. What would her Twitter bio say?

Interior designer, daughter and friend.  Doing my best and, fingers crossed, very little harm.

Which character did you find hardest to write and which was your favourite?

Ooh… That’s tricky because I want to say that Stephen was the most difficult to write, but I don’t want to spoil anything for the reader by explaining why.  I think I’ll just have to let everyone draw their own conclusions as to why that was, once they’ve read the book!

As to my favourite character, It Was You is very much an ensemble piece, so I have huge affection for all the characters – even the dreaded Eleanor.  David and Sophie were probably my favourite to write as a pair and if you twisted my arm to pick just one, I’d probably plump for David.  He was written with one of my earliest bosses in mind and he was a man of enormous intelligence, kindness and diffidence.

How do you feel your own experiences fed into the story and what would you like readers to take away from It Was You?

I am blessed with a wonderful family and wonderful friendships and I think It Was You is a celebration of both of those things.  I’d like readers to come away feeling entertained and uplifted, with a sense that there are more good things and good people in the world than bad.  All of the characters in It Was You are flawed, and a few are deceitful and disreputable, but only one gives no hint of having any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  And it’s important to remember that that kind of person is, in my experience at least, very much the exception.

We see Alice venture into dating again during the book; what’s the strangest date you’ve been on? Cover

I once went on a date with my trousers on back to front and no opportunity to sort that out for the first hour or so.  I had a huge bulge of fabric at the front, which made me look pregnant, and every time I tried to sit or bend down, I suffered dreadful workman’s bum at the back.  Not the best start to things, but the evening improved and we’ve now been married for twenty-four years.

It Was You features a book group; what are your top three tips for setting one up?

I have no doubt that our Bristol book group breaks all the rules. But the following approach has worked for us.

  1. Try to have a mix of personalities and backgrounds.  It’s great to have something in common (in our case, we each had a child in Year 6 when we established the group), but don’t feel you have to share the same outlook, or sense of humour.  An eclectic mix of people results in an eclectic choice of books and a broadened reading experience.
  2. As far as practically possible, don’t turn people away.  There are seventeen of us in our book group.  It is, admittedly, a bit of an unwieldy number, but we average about twelve at each meeting and the sense of inclusion is great.
  1. Insist that everybody does their best to read the book, but don’t make it a stipulation for coming along.  I have one friend who is too terrified to attend her book group meetings if she hasn’t read the book.  That isn’t the case in our group and, actually, we have had a meeting where only one person had read the entire book.  The evening therefore consisted of that person telling the story to the rest of us, while we all sat quietly, sipping wine and looking thoroughly ashamed of ourselves.  To be fair, we did all pull our socks up a bit after that.  A very little bit.

And finally … what can we expect next from Jo Platt?

Well, I am currently making myself laugh over Book 3 and hope to have the first draft of that finished by Christmas.  It’s about a tortured, and highly confused, author whose longsuffering agent gives her a good shake and tells her to pull herself together.  And before you ask, it’s not at all based on anyone I know…

It Was You was published by Canelo on 31st October priced £1.99 as an ebook. 

Find out more at: