Tag Archives: Miranda Dickinson

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



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!


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.


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.

Top picks: Ten Autumn releases to cosy up with!

21 Sep

It’s been a while since I did a ‘chick lit’ round up and there are so many lovely reads being released this autumn that I thought I’d share my favourites. As the nights draw in I love nothing more than snuggling up with a good book! I’m not including Christmas reads here – I’ll be doing a separate round up of those next month :-)

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd (September)

How’s this for an absolutely gorgeous autumnal cover? And I love the sound of this story too. Thursday’s in the Park is out now from Quercus.

What do you do if you’ve been married to a man for half your life and out of nowhere he leaves your bed – permanently? 

When this happens to Jeanie, she’s furious and determined to confront George, her husband of thirty years. Is he in love with someone else? What did she do wrong? He won’t tell her. 

The brightest day of her week is Thursday, the day Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray, kind, easy to talk to, and gorgeous – he is everything George isn’t. 

But does she have the courage, while facing opposition from all sides, to turn her life upside down for another shot at love?

Uncoupled by Lizzie Enfield (September)

Another cover that I love! This sounds like such an intriguing story. Out now and on my ‘to read’ pile.

‘We are getting early reports of a train crash on the Brighton to London line…Emergency Services are on their way to the scene’. Holly knew that by staying with her he was putting himself at risk. But, as he held her in the darkness, she didn’t want to let him go.

Holly’s a mother with children, a husband she loves and a time-consuming job up in London. She copes, and life is good.

So when she is in a train accident on the London to Brighton line, Holly knows that it’s just a small chapter in her life and nothing has changed. But Holly can’t forget the younger man who comforted her in the chaos of the crash, and when she seems him again on her daily commute up to town, there’s a flash of recognition between them. Is it embarrassment? Curiosity? Or is there something more? And what of Anne-Marie, another passenger who has survived. Just what is her story?

Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman (September)

I loved Rowan’s last book, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud, and this one sounds like a lovely read too. Dearest Rose is released next week!

‘You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment and love in the world. I, for one, know that I have never met anyone quite like you.’

When Rose Pritchard turns up on the doorstep of a Cumbrian B&B it is her last resort. She and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie have left everything behind. And they have come to the village of Millthwaite in search of the person who once offered Rose hope. 

Almost immediately Rose wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake – if she’s chasing a dream – but she knows in her heart that she cannot go back. She’s been given a second chance – at life, and love – but will she have the courage to take it?

Looking For Fireworks by Holly Cavendish (October) 

One of my favourite covers of the year so far and it sounds like a great read to cosy up with!

When her father becomes ill, single city girl Laney Barwell moves to the Cotswolds to look after him. She’s been looking for fireworks in her love life ever since she broke up with her predictable ex-boyfriend Giles, but she has no thoughts of kindling the spark she’s looking for here. If she can’t find love in a big city like London – with all its internet dating, singles nights, and socials – how can she ever hope to meet the man of her dreams in the tiny village of St Pontian? But there are two prospects when she gets there: Martin who can always be depended on for a kind word of advice. And Toby, who is distant, but who sets her heart ablaze. When it comes to love, should Laney trust the logic of her head or the racing of her heart?

 The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Green (October)

I’ve heard lots of good things already about this debut and I love the original premise for it.

At a car boot sale in Sussex, three very different women meet and fall for the same vintage teaset. They decide to share it – and form a friendship that changes their lives . . .

Jenny can’t wait to marry Dan. Then, after years of silence, she hears from the woman who could shatter her dreams.

Maggie has put her broken heart behind her and is gearing up for the biggest event of her career – until she’s forced to confront the past once more.

Alison seems to have it all: married to her childhood sweetheart, with two gorgeous daughters. But as tensions mount, she is pushed to breaking point.

Dream A Little Dream -by Sue Moorcroft  (November)

I really enjoyed Sue’s last book and Choc Lit books are always a romantic treat so I’m looking forward to curling up with this one.

What would you give to make your dreams come true?

Liza Reece has a dream. Working as a reflexologist for a troubled holistic centre isn’t enough. When the opportunity arises to take over the Centre she jumps at it. Problem is, she needs funds, and fast, as she’s not the only one interested.

Dominic Christy has dreams of his own. Diagnosed as suffering from a rare sleep disorder, dumped by his live-in girlfriend and discharged from the job he adored as an Air Traffic Controller, he’s single-minded in his aims. He has money, and plans for the Centre that don’t include Liza and her team. 

But dreams have a way of shifting and changing and Dominic’s growing fascination with Liza threatens to reshape his. And then it’s time to wake up to the truth …

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern (October)

I have to admit that my relationship with Cecelia’s books is a bit hit and miss but I think this one sounds like it has potential to be brilliant!

Journalist Kitty Logan’s career is being destroyed by scandal – and now she faces losing the woman who guided and taught her everything she knew. At her terminally ill friend’s bedside, Kitty asks – what is the one story she always wanted to write?

The answer lies in a file buried in Constance’s office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, nothing to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.

With everything to prove, Kitty is assigned the most important task of her life: to write the story her mentor never had the opportunity to. Kitty not only has to track down and meet the people on the list, but find out what connects them. And, in the process of hearing ordinary people’s stories, she starts to understand her own.

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland (November)

My mum is a huge Pollyanna fan so the title grabbed my attention immediately. It sounds like another fab read from Talli :-)

Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on ‘the glass is half full’ optimists, believing it’s better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on.

With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. For the next year, she’ll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation.

Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea?

When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson (November)

I’ve been a fan of Miranda’s books from the start and I’m already very excited about her fourth release. Guaranteed to be a heart-warming romantic read!

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.

From Notting Hill to New York… Actually by  Ali McNamara (November)

One of my most anticipated reads of the year – I can’t wait to pick up Scarlett’s story and find out what happens to her in New York!

Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. 

From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean . . .

It’s going to be an exciting bookish autumn and I can’t wait to add these to my shelves. Which new releases are you most looking forward to this autumn?

Book news: The Perfect Treat by Claudia Carroll, Julia Williams, Miranda Dickinson, Liz Trenow and Mhairi McFarlane

17 Sep

What better way to start the week than with a free book? Subtitled Heart-warming Short Stories for Winter Nights, this sounds like the perfect ebook to curl up with and includes stories from some of my favourite authors as well as introducing two debut authors.  As well as the short stories, there are extracts of each author’s new release  … be warned – your wish list might grow if you read this!

 Love, Loss and Coffee Cake: Through tears, heartbreak and the undying hope of love, a tale of a pair of star-crossed lovers.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A comedy that proves you should be very careful what you wish for.

Driving Home For Christmas: A touching tale about a newlyweds desperate to spend their first Christmas alone.

Breaking The Spell: A moving story about the power of hope and love.

The Twelve Lies of Christmas: A hilarious feature that offers up the truth about the festive season.

The Perfect Treat is released today in ebook format.

Book news: When I Fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson

19 Jun

Everyone probably knows by now how much I love Miranda Dickinson’s books and I’m predicting another hit for her later this year when When I Fall In Love is released. How gorgeous is this cover?! And check out the fab book trailer below – soooooo exciting! When I Fall in Love will be released on 8th November – put it on your wish lists now!

Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again… 

…but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most. 

Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart. 

Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete. 

Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?


You can follow Miranda’s journey to publication on her blog: http://www.coffeeandroses.blogspot.co.uk/ and on her website at: http://www.miranda-dickinson.com/

Ten Chick Lit books I can't wait to read in 2012

17 Jan

Last year I chose my five most anticipated chick lit reads. This year I’ve gone for bigger and better with ten titles I can’t wait to read – there are so many great books coming out in 2012! Some of the later books don’t have much detail yet but I’ll update this post as and when more information becomes available.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (Bantam February)

After reading all of the Shopaholic books as a blogging challenge a couple of years ago, I’m a big fan of Sophie’s books. I’m looking forward to meeting new characters in her latest standalone novel.

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive!! :)

A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls at a charity do and Poppy’s life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she’s lost her phone too. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number with the hotel staff. It was meant to be!

Except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back, and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, phone messages and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, can things get any more tangled?

The Out of Office Girl by Nicola Doherty (Headline, March)

This sounds like a fun debut and perfect summer read!

From London ….

Alice Roberts is having a rubbish summer. She’s terrified of her boss, her career is stalling, and she’s just been dumped – by text message. But things are about to change …

… to Italy

When her boss Olivia is taken ill, Alice is sent on the work trip of a lifetime: to a villa in Sicily, to edit the autobiography of Hollywood bad boy Luther Carson. But it’s not all yachts, nightclubs and Camparis. Luther’s arrogant agent Sam wants him to ditch the book. Luther himself is gorgeous, charming and impossible to read. There only seems to be one way to get his attention, and it definitely involves mixing business with pleasure. Alice is out of the office, and into deep trouble …

… with love

Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan (Sphere March)

I love the cover for this book and it sounds like a lovely story.

Rosie Hopkins is about to face major upheaval. Her elderly aunt Lilian – feisty, independent Aunt Lily who never talked about her past – needs her help, so Rosie is moving to the depths of the countryside for a few months to look after her. Plus Rosie will be away from Gerard, the man she hopes to settle down with soon, and they’ll miss each other dreadfully . . . won’t they? Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton’s village sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to sell up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully coloured sweets. And the longer Rosie and Lilian spend together, the more they realise they can learn from each other . . .

White Wedding by Milly Johnson (Simon and Schuster, April)

I read my first Milly Johnson book last year and loved it so am very much looking forward to her next offering!

It’s the day they’ve always dreamed about. But will it turn out to be a nightmare …?

Bel is in the midst of planning her perfect wedding when disaster strikes and everything she thought she knew is turned on its head. Can she hold it all together and, with the help of her friends, and a mysterious man she meets unexpectedly, turn disaster into triumph?

Bel’s best friend, ice-cream parlour owner Violet, is engaged to Glyn, who is besotted by her although Violet fell out of love with him long ago. But however trapped she feels in the relationship, she can’t quite say the words, ‘I don’t want to marry you anymore.’ Then, just when she’s about to give up and resign herself to married life, she finds love in the most surprising of places. Will duty rule her heart or will she allow herself to be swept off her feet?

Their childhood friend Max was planning a quick registry office do with her fiance Stuart until she sees a TV programme about traveller brides and becomes determined to have the most extravagantly glitzy wedding ever. But in all the excitement has she lost sight of what’s really important? Does she want the wedding more than she wants the groom?

And as all three friends find the dress of their dreams at the White Wedding bridal shop, its owner, the lovely Freya, guarantees that her gowns will bring them happiness – though maybe not quite in the way they expected …

The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill (Hodder, May)

I have a charm bracelet that I add charms to, to mark important events in my life so I love the premise for this story – it sounds like another gripping read from Melissa.

Every charm bracelet tells a story and Holly O’Neill knows this better than most.

Years ago, at a difficult time in her life, a silver bracelet in a pretty wrapped box was delivered anonymously to her, a single charm attached. Some time later, another mysterious charm appeared, and the same thing happened many times over the years. Each charm proved to be significant in her life, as if her unnamed benefactor understood she needed some kind of talisman to help her through challenging times.

Since then, she has added her own charms – special reminders of the most important events in her life. Her bracelet makes memories tangible – spelling out the nuances of cherished moments through the shorthand of each tiny charm. For this reason, Holly’s charm bracelet is her most prized possession.

So when one day, she stumbles across a bracelet that somebody else has lost, she recognises a lifetime spelt out through the very different charms, and knows she must try to reunite it with its owner. In order to try and track this person down, she uses each charm to help discover more about them.

But as Holly gradually begins to piece together the details of this person’s life, her quest leads her somewhere she never expected.

One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon (Simon and Schuster May)

My favourite chick lit author – can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

‘Do you still love him?’ Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…Alice is18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Summer Daydreams by Carole Matthews (Sphere, May)

This really appeals to me as someone who is always trying to juggle family, work and a million other things!

What if you had always dreamed of something more…? Nell McNamara has a happy life: her boyfriend Olly adores her, their four-year-old daughter Petal is the centre of their world and Nell has a steady job in the local chip shop. When the chippy needs a makeover, Nell jumps at the chance to unleash the creativity fizzing inside her. Inspired by what she can achieve – and encouraged by the best friends a girl can have – Nell is determined to try something new and starts making her own line of must-have handbags, which are soon flying off the shelves! It seems Nell’s dreams are finally coming true, but her success doesn’t come without a price. Before too long, Nell has to ask herself if it’s really possible to have it all… Full of fun, love and laughter, soak up the sunshine with Summer Daydreams.

I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk (Harper, June)

The fifth in the I Heart Series sees Angela back in London!

Angela’s visa has expired and it looks as though she’s going to have to set foot again on home turf where further romantic trouble awaits. She has to face the ex-boyfriend she ran out on, her best friend’s new baby, and her mum. Is she now a New York girl through and through or can London win her heart again?

When I Fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson (Avon, November)

No synopsis for this one yet but I’ve loved all of Miranda’s book so far and am eagerly anticipating this one!

From Notting Hill to New York… Actually by Ali McNamara (Sphere, November)

Scarlett goes to New York – yay!!

Are your favourite authors on my list? Which books are you looking forward to reading this year?