Tag Archives: Miranda Dickinson

Book review: Searching for a Silver Lining by Miranda Dickinson

20 Oct

searching for a silverIt began with a promise . . .

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything . . .

When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Miranda Dickinson has done it again! Searching for a Silver Lining is a beautiful, nostalgic, hopeful and uplifting read that will inspire you to go out and grab life! I love the positivity that Miranda always shows in her blogs, vlogs and tweets and that comes through in buckets in this book – it’s my new favourite of her books!

The setting and background to the story ticked all the boxes for me. I love history and particularly vintage fashion and household items. Like Mattie in this story, I also love the 1950s and this book evoked so many memories for me and that’s why I think it’s such a special read. I smiled as Mattie described a jewellery box just like one I had when I was a little girl and the singers and bands that Mattie and Reenie discuss were the backdrop to my own childhood as my Dad is a big fan of 50s music. Each chapter has a song as it’s title and if you have chance you really should play them – they add a fun extra dimension to the book.

As we meet Mattie, she’s going through a tough time; her relationship has broken up and her beloved Grandpa has recently died, the pain of which is made worse as they had fallen out and Mattie wasn’t given the chance to say goodbye. Determined to make amends, Mattie says yes when she’s asked to run a memory evening at a local retirement village. It’s at this evening whilst the residents are reminiscing about their younger days that Mattie meets Reenie Silver – a 1950s singing star  who is also keen to make amends for a wrong commited 60 years earlier.

I loved the combination of Mattie and Reenie – they make such a fun double act and are often have reactions that are the reverse of what you would imagine! Reenie made me laugh so many times as I read with her quick quips, sense of fun and adventure and amazing stories. Mattie is often more cautious and less likely to take risks and I enjoyed reading as the two taught each other a few life lessons.

Searcing for a Silver Lining took me through all the emotions as I read. As Mattie and Reenie embark on a road trip around the UK to right past wrongs there were surprises, tears, drama and pure comedy moments and the story kept me gripped from first page to last. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Alnwick, Bath, Cambridge and the Brecon Beacons with Mattie and gang. I also loved the diary extracts from 1956 written by Mattie’s Grandpa Joe and the combination of Mattie, Joe and Reenie’s stories had me hooked.

As with all of Miranda’s novels, there’s a wonderful feeling of community and family to this story and this shines through even in the sadder moments. There’s also a lovely message about second chances and that its never to late to make amends. Searching for a Silver Lining is a fabulous book to curl up with this winter and there are lots of lovely little extras at the back of the book including a Q&A with Miranda, cocktail recipe and play lists!

5/5

Searching for a Silver Lining is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Miranda and her writing at: https://miranda-dickinson.com/

Book review: A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

22 Sep

a-parcel-for-anna-browne-978144727605001Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . .

When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change.

But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

If you’ve read my earlier posts today you’ll know already that I think A Parcel for Anna Browne is a really special book but now I want to tell you exactly why I enjoyed reading it so much. I’ve always been a fan of magical books and I love the idea that we can find magic every day if we know where to look for it and that’s the exact sentiment that Miranda Dickinson has captured perfectly in her latest novel.

Anna Browne works as a receptionist for a national tabloid newspaper in London. By all accounts her life is unremarkable but that’s the way she likes it. Anna takes comfort in the anonymity of the big city; she likes her little flat, her small group of friends and the routine of her job. The Anna that we meet as the novel opens is very much in her comfort zone and happy to be there. Then one day she receives a mystery parcel that makes her feel unequivocally special and that’s when the magic begins.

I loved how the beautiful and thoughtful gifts that Anna received made her think about herself in a different light and in turn influenced her to be more confident and do things that she wouldn’t have thought herself capable and it was wonderful to see how she changed as a character as the story played out whilst remaining true to herself.

One of the things that I liked most about Anna is that she is a nice person and that Miranda celebrated that; in a world where being friendly and ‘nice’, especially in the workplace is often met with cynicism or even seen as a negative quality, it was lovely to read a book where the lead character was allowed to believe that the world can be a magical place and there doesn’t have to be a sinister ulterior motive to everything!

There’s cynicism and suspicion aplenty though from Anna’s colleagues at the paper. Miranda has created a varied and believable supporting cast with some great characters each with their own views and theories on the mystery parcels and who the sender might be. I particularly liked conspiracy theorist and head of security Ted; Anna’s elderly neighbour Isadora and friend Jonah (got to love a Yorkshireman!). Chief reporter Ben will certainly set hearts aflutter and I enjoyed trying to guess where the romance thread of the book would go as Anna has a number of potential suitors as the story progresses.

Although this is a substantial read at 500 pages, I thought the story flew by and like Anna, I couldn’t wait to see what would be in the next parcel and to find out who was behind them. Miranda throws in some clever twists and even a little visit to beautiful Cornwall as the suspense builds and although I was eager to find out who was behind Anna’s surprises, I didn’t want the story to end!

A Parcel for Anna Browne is the complete package; a treat of a read sprinkled with romance, magic and mystery and just perfect for cosying up with this Autumn.

5/5

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

Find out more about Miranda and her writing at: http://miranda-dickinson.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!

Book news: A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

2 Aug

I’m a huge fan of Miranda Dickinson’s books and have been eagerly anticipating more details of her new release A Parcel For Anna Browne. The cover was revealed just recently and I think it’s Miranda’s best yet! The book sounds like the perfect autumn read to snuggle up with and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! A Parcel for Anna Browne will be released in paperback and ebook formats next month (24th September) by Pan Macmillan.

anna browne

 

Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . .

When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change.

But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

Exclusive extract! I'll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

27 Oct

I’m a huge fan of author Miranda Dickinson and am delighted to be part of #TeamBea to celebrate the launch of I’ll Take New York on 4th December. Miranda’s debut Fairytale of New York which was released in 2009 is one of my all time favourite New York novels and I can’ wait to be back in my favourite city catching up with some familiar faces this year.

As part of the build up to the release of I’ll Take New York, #TeamBea will be taking part in #MirandaMondays from today until the release of the book on 4th December. Today is the first Miranda Monday and I’m very excited to share an exclusive extract from I’ll Take New York with you. Enjoy and do look out for more extracts, giveaways and other treats each Monday from now on!

ill take new york

Have you ever given up on love?

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.

Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there’ll just be one love in his life: New York.

At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.

But the city has other plans . . .

——————————————————–

Chapter One

Stromoli’s restaurant, 11th Street, Brooklyn

 

‘Bea?’

Five more minutes…

‘Bea, honey, why don’t we just order? I don’t think he’s…’

‘He’s definitely not…’

Shh! Can’t you see she’s upset?’

‘What? I’m just saying…’

He’ll be here. I know he will

‘I think he stood her up.’

‘Could you say that any louder? Only I don’t think the waiter in the restaurant across the street heard you…’

‘Maybe we should wait a little longer?’

‘The fact is, he hasn’t just stood Bea up: he’s stood us all up…’

Bea James closed her eyes and willed her gathered family members to stop voicing the thoughts in her own head. Of course, they were right. They had waited nearly two hours already and now even the laid-back waiter in Stromoli’s restaurant was snatching not-so-subtle glances at his watch.

Bea’s father wasn’t likely to be silenced by her mother’s attempts. Even though he respectfully lowered his voice, Bea was still aware of every word.
‘If we don’t order soon, the kitchen will close and we’ll end up at Pete’s twenty-four hour diner. And you know what happened the last time I chanced a Reuben there…’

Her Uncle Gino and paternal grandfather Gramps mumbled in support.

‘He said he would be here,’ Bea’s mother hissed back. ‘He specifically asked us all to be here. We rescheduled our holiday to be here. Now why would he ask us to come if he had no intention of turning up?’ She reached across the table towards Bea. ‘Darling, have you checked your phone recently? Maybe he’s been unavoidably delayed?’

‘Or maybe he’s the schmuck we all thought he was,’ Aunt Ruby snorted. Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, Ruby had been uncharacteristically quiet this evening – until now. Bea knew this was the first comment of what would quickly become a flood.

‘That’s enough, Ruby! Think of poor Bea…’

Staring defiantly at the white linen tablecloth to avoid the concern of her family, Bea heard a chair scrape back on the other side of the table. Moments later, the vacant chair beside her – the one he should be sitting in right now – was occupied by the familiar hulk of her brother.

———————————————————-

I’ll Take New York will be released in paperback and ebook formats on 4th December and is available to pre-order now!

Find out more about Miranda and her writing at: http://miranda-dickinson.com/

Short story spotlight: Truly, Madly, Deeply (Short Story Collection) by Adele Parks, Carole Matthews, Katie Fforde, Miranda Dickinson and more …

16 Mar

Fall Head-Over-Heels…

From wedding days to special anniversaries, steamy one-night encounters to everlasting loves, Truly, Madly, Deeply takes you on an unforgettable romantic adventure where love really is all you need.

This collection brings together all-new specially selected stories from star authors from the Romantic Novelists’ Association, including international bestsellers Adele Parks, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Miranda Dickinson, and many, many more and is edited by Sue Moorcroft.

The perfect indulgence to curl up with, Truly, Madly, Deeply is the ultimate romantic treat!

As you can see from the names on the cover, this is an impressive collection which includes stories from many of my favourite romantic authors. Published by Mills and Boon in association with the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the book features twenty-four brand new stories and has an impressive cast of authors including the ladies mentioned above plus favourites such as Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Chrissie Manby, Judy Astley, Kate Harrison and Sue Moorcroft.

With a busy life, I find myself reading more and more short stories and novellas and I loved the variety of the stories in this book. Covering historical and contemporary settings with characters of all ages, I’m sure there’s something in Truly Madly Deeply for all readers. The stories cover love, marriage, friendship, separation, divorce and everything in between and show the wonderful spectrum of romantic fiction and its authors. Personal favourites of mine were The Corporate Wife by Carole Matthews, Living the Dream by Katie Fforde and Love on Wheels by Miranda Dickinson who should win an award for making meals on wheels romantic!

I love discovering authors that are new to me and collections like this are ideal for getting a feel for an author’s style and trying out new reads.  I really enjoyed Elizabeth Chadwick’s historical story, The Rough With the Smooth which introduced me to some of the characters in her trilogy about Eleanor of Aquitaine and has me eager to read The Summer Queen when it comes out in paperback in June. I’m also looking forward to more from Sophie Pembroke, whose modern fairytale left me with a smile on my face.

Each story is preceded with an author biography and I enjoyed learning more about the contributor’ careers. And if you choose to read the ebook of Truly Madly Deeply, you’re in for even more of a treat with 11 extra stories included in the digital edition! An ideal gift for upcoming mothers day or just a lovely treat for romance readers everywhere!

4/5

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

Truly, Madly, Deeply is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about the book at: http://romanticnovelistsassociationblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/truly-madly-deeply.html

October 2013 New Releases – hot picks

1 Oct

Here are my top recommendations from the new books out in October – it’s another exciting month!

The Signature of all Things by Elisabeth Gilbert (Bloomsbury, 1st October)

The cover image here does not do this book justice – the hardback is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it!

5 January 1800.

At the beginning of a new century, Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. Her father, Henry Whittaker, is a bold and charismatic botanical explorer whose vast fortune belies his lowly beginnings as a vagrant in Sir Joseph Banks’s Kew Gardens and as a deck hand on Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution. Alma’s mother, a strict woman from an esteemed Dutch family, has a knowledge of botany equal to any man’s.

It is not long before Alma, an independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, comes into her own within the world of plants and science. But as her careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction – into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical. She is a clear-minded scientist; he is a Utopian artist. But what unites this couple is a shared passion for knowing – a desperate desire to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all of life.

The Signature of All Things is a big novel, about a big century. It soars across the globe from London, to Peru, to Philadelphia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam. Peopled with extraordinary characters – missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses and the quite mad –above all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker, a woman of the Enlightened Age who stands defiantly on the cusp of the modern.

Close to the Wind by Zana Bell (Choc Lit, 7th October)

This book sounds like a brilliant adventure – perfect for escaping with this Autumn.

What would you give to be free?

Georgiana da Silva is catapulted out of the Victorian drawing rooms and into a world of danger when she escapes her fiendish fiance to engage in a mad dash across the world to save her brother before an unknown assassin can find him.

Meanwhile, Captain Harry Trent is setting sail for New Zealand. With a mission to complete and the law on his heels, he’s got enough trouble of his own without further complications.

Thrown together, unable to trust anyone, Georgiana and Harry are intent on fulfilling their missions despite the distractions of the other. But liberty comes at a price and the closer they get, the more they must question the true cost of being free.

There’s More to Life than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan (Novelicious Books, 10th October)

As a long-time Novelicious fan I’m very excited about the first release from Novelicious Books! Look out for my blog tour stop later in the month.

Ellie Redford has a husband, a job and a home. According to the rest of the world, it’s baby o’clock already. Shame life doesn’t come with a recipe…

Ellie knows that starting a family with lovely husband Pete would be an amazing adventure. Pete would make a brilliant dad and she’d have an excuse to eat shed loads of Cherry Bakewell. But Ellie’s bestie would rather she was up at 3am with a bottle of Malibu, not formula. And with redundancies looming, Ellie’s boss isn’t exactly going to throw her a shower if she disappears for a year, with pay.

While Ellie juggles her feelings (and everyone else’s) as competently as a drunken clown, she finds herself signing up for a baking class, alongside the young, free and sizzling hot Joe. As they work buns and shape tarts, is there more to their friendship than a shared appreciation of Paul Hollywood? 

Ellie’s soufflés may be rising, but her personal life is one big soggy mess. If she doesn’t make a decision soon, she may just lose everything that matters to her. Maybe it’s time to take off the pinny and face up to the truth: there’s more to life than cupcakes…

Finding It by Cora Carmack (Ebury, 10th October)

I loved Losing It and Faking It so I can’t wait to see what Cora has in store for Kelsey in this new release.

Kelsey Summers is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Spending a few months travelling around Europe – with no parents, no responsibilities and a no limit credit card – Kelsey’s having the time of her life.

But when she completely embarrasses herself in front of the hottest guy she’s ever seen, she soon realises there’s more to life than the next party.

What she doesn’t realise is that although she’s on a journey to find herself, she will end up finding The One…

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill (Simon and Schuster, 24th October)

I’m very excited about this one – it features a book lover, a bookshop and Manhattan and of course it’s going to be full of Melissa Hill’s trademark magic! I love the clever cover too.

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man… literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger’s world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she’s always imagined?

Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews (Sphere, 24th October)

Carole’s Christmas books are always a treat!

Cassie Smith has been out of work for a while but she has an idea. Drawing on her love of Christmas, she begins charging for small things: wrapping presents; writing cards; tree-decorating. She’s soon in huge demand and Cassie’s business, Calling Mrs Christmas, is born. 

Carter Randall wants to make Christmas special for his children, so he enlists Cassie’s help, and his lavish requests start taking up all her time. Thank goodness she can rely on her loving partner Jim to handle the rest of her clients. 

When millionaire Carter asks Cassie to join his family on a trip to Lapland, she knows she shouldn’t go . . . Suddenly Cassie finds herself facing a heart-breaking choice that could change her entire life. 

Join Cassie as she takes you on a romantic and emotional rollercoaster ride in Calling Mrs Christmas.

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson (Avon, 24th October)

I’ve been following Miranda’s vlogs and eagerly awaiting this novel for a long time! Set in the city that’s top of my list of places I want to visit, this sounds like a fab inspirational read.

What a difference a day makes…

Nell Sullivan has always been known as ‘Miss Five-Year Plan’. But when she finds herself jobless and newly single on the same day, Nell decides it is time to stop planning and start taking chances.

Nell blows her redundancy cheque on a trip of lifetime to a place where anything is possible – San Francisco. There she meets a host of colourful characters, including the intriguing and gorgeous Max. Very soon the city begins to feel like Nell’s second home.

But when it’s time to return to London, will she leave the ‘new Nell’ behind? And can the magic of San Francisco continue to sparkle thousands of miles away?

Secrets of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson (HarperImpulse, 24th October)

I’m looking forward to hitting the slopes again for Lorraine Wilson’s second HarperImpulse novel.

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Secrets of a Chalet Girl is the second book in Lorraine Wilson’s fabulous Ski Season series.

 

 

Trust in Me by J.Lynn (HarperImpulse, 24th October)

Wait For You is one of my favourite reads of the year so far and I can’t wait to meet Cam (and his cookies!) again :-)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Wait For You, this is the story of Cam and Avery’s sizzling romance as you’ve never seen it before, told exclusively from Cam’s perspective…

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up – he can’t get this feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. What will it take to help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine (Ebury, 24th October)

This is another book that has been on my wish list for ages – it sounds like a great paranormal romance!

Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart?

Having moved to a strange town, seventeen-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home.

But there’s a very good reason why Tristan Halloway is always to be found roaming in the local graveyard…

 

What are you looking forward to reading this month?

Book news: The Perfect Escape by Claudia Carroll, Miranda Dickinson, Julia Williams, Stella Newman, Laura Ziepe, Sophie Hart and Anna-Lou Weatherley

16 Jun

Publisher Avon is releasing a free ebook collection of short stories later this month featuring a host of fabulous authors. The Perfect Escape: Romantic short stories to relax with features short stories  from seven wonderful authors including Claudia Carroll, Miranda Dickinson and Julia Williams! And the best news is it’s free! Yes FREE!! and each short story is followed by an exclusive extract of the author’s latest release.

Everyone’s against Claire marrying Barry in Don’t Marry Barry. Claire is determined to prove them wrong. If only she could get a significant ex out of her head …

Four for Home is the moving story of Jim, left by the love of his life to bring up his three young daughters …

My Midsummer Miracle is the story of Lizzie, who is penniless and lonely. Before she died, Lizzie’s mother promised her some midsummer magic. This Midsummer’s’ Day will Lizzie’s fortunes be changed?

Amanda’s excited about her hen party in The Naughty Girls Hen Weekend. But the best laid plans never do run smoothly …

In The Psychic 32-year-old lawyer Gina does nothing but work. Little does she realise that a surprise gift to see a psychic will change her life …

The Goslathon is Stella Newman’s witty tribute to Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling.

Soldedad had thought she had finally tamed womaniser Lance in The Clause. But leopards can’t change their spots and when a mystery woman catches Lance’s eye on holiday, sparks fly …

The Perfect Escape is released on 27th June in ebook format and is available to pre-order now.

Author news: Miranda Dickinson launches 'Future Stars' mentoring programme

29 Jan

It’s always nice when authors give something back and the multi-talented and Sunday Times Bestselling author Miranda Dickinson has decided to do that big style this year with the launch of her ‘Future Stars’ mentoring programme.

Miranda is promising “a twelve-month course of inspiration, advice, opportunity and fun” with the programme which will take place over the duration of one-year. The chosen writers will have Miranda on hand as their personal cheerleader, mentor, challenger and inspiration coach. She will work with each writer on their personal writing goals, offer help and advice with their work in progress, help with editing, advice on promotion and social media, and will introduce them to people within the publishing industry to experience first-hand what agents and publishers are looking for.

Each writer will receive a 30min phone call from Miranda each month and there will be an exclusive networking group for all five writers and Miranda to chat to and support one another throughout the year. There will also be opportunities to meet up! So if you’re an aspiring author check out the details below for the chance to become one of just five people who will benefit from Miranda’s new venture!

Miranda is looking for writers who are committed to investing a year in their writing. Not only will talent count but also a demonstrable desire to make this year the year when things happen. Because of this, four of the chosen writers will be asked to pay a course fee of £80 (because this is an investment in their future career) – and Miranda will choose one writer to receive a scholarship place for free.

Miranda says, ‘I’m asking all entrants to submit a chapter of their work, plus complete a personal statement on the application form outlining their goals for their writing. It all sounds very serious, but this way people who are really determined to be writers will stand out. I can’t promise you a publishing
deal – I wish I could – but I can promise you will learn about yourself as a writer, hone your craft and put yourself in the best possible place to pursue your dream.’

Applications are open now. Entrance to the competition is via a completed application form available at: http://www.miranda-dickinson.com together with one chapter of work sent by email to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com. Applications will close at midnight on Thursday 14th February 2013 and
the five chosen writers will be announced on Saturday 16th February.

This sounds like an amazing opportunity! Good luck to all who enter!

Find out more about Miranda, her books, Future Stars and other projects at: http://miranda-dickinson.com/

Book review: When I Fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson

19 Nov

What happens when your happy ever after is suddenly and painfully taken away from you?

Elsie Maynard has a whole new life she never expected to have.

From inadvertently founding a choir like no other with former 80s rock star Woody Jensen, to daring to date again, Elsie steps out into an unknown future – a future that could include gorgeous designer Olly Hogarth, a man who seems intent on winning her heart. Overcoming problems, challenges and the occasional frustration – namely overconfident Torin Stewart who seems to be everywhere – Elsie believes she is making the most of her life.

But then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the last item on a very important List.

Can Elsie take the final step and lay her past to rest? Join Elsie as she battles to start again, with the help of a disastrous, newly-formed singing group and her father and sister armed with dating hopefuls.

When I Fall in Love is a moving and optimistic love story from Miranda Dickinson in her trademark warm and witty style. Set in Brighton and Paris, the story centres on Elsie Maynard as she begins to move forward, eighteen months after her life changed forever. This is Miranda’s fourth novel and despite the beautifully wintry-looking cover is actually not a Christmas story. In fact, the majority of the book is set in spring and summer and I felt the novel really captured a warm summery seaside feel making this an excellent read at any time of the year!

Miranda Dickinson has clearly done her location research for this book; her descriptions of Paris had me itching to pack my bags but it was the combination of great characters and the fab seaside setting of Brighton that I loved most about this novel. Miranda really lives and breathes her characters and I had no trouble at all believing that the wonderful Brighton community that she describes in When I Fall in Love exists and I wanted to hop straight on a train for an ice cream at the brilliantly named ‘Sundae and Cher’.

Elsie is one of three sisters who together with their Dad make a solid and supportive family unit. I liked the fact that the story didn’t dwell on the girls’ absent mother rather focussing on their lives in the here and now. I’m a huge fan of Miranda’s books and this one certainly continues the magic; there are some really sweet romantic moments throughout but the endings (yes there are at least three big romantic finales in this novel) were excellent and guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

I don’t want to give away the reason for Elsie’s new beginning but I will say that the events she faces are sensitively written with a mix of honesty, strength and optimism. For me the supporting cast really made the book and I found it hard to pick a favourite character from Cher with her vintage café and wicked sense of humour and slightly crazy ex rocker Woody to lovely Irene, the quiet oldest member of Elsies choir. Miranda knows her subjects well and I enjoyed the way that she worked music into another excellent novel.

As Elsie gets involved in setting up a community choir, there’s plenty of action to keep the plot moving and I liked the way the sub plots involving family, friends and Elsie’s challenge gave the story plenty of variety and pace. With two very different men finding their way into Elsie’s life and a fab set of sub-romances, Dickinson keeps us guessing throughout as to who her characters will end up with and although for me the ending wasn’t quite the one I’d hoped for it was a fitting end to a great read.

4/5

You can find out more about Miranda Dickinson and her books at: http://www.miranda-dickinson.com/ 

I’d like to thank Becke at Harper Collins for sending me a review copy of this novel.