Thursday, 1 September 2016

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five new novels for September!

September's here! As we slowly say goodbye to the summer, it's time for some cosy reads. Here are five new books that will be published this month.

The Woman Who Lost Her Mojo by Carol Wyer
A hilarious heart-warming read about friendship, taking chances and finding love, second time round. 

When Charlie’s husband leaves after ten years of marriage, her spirits hit an all-time low. She just isn’t sure how to pick herself up again. So, best friend Mercedes makes it her mission to put a spring back in Charlie’s step with the perfect bucket list. 

As Charlie bungee jumps and belly dances her way through an array of adventures, her love life also begins to look up and she’s soon enjoying a few dates as a newly single woman. She begins to realise that finding romance, might not be so hard, especially when you’ve got someone like journalist Jake who has an adorable little boy and is very easy on the eye. 

But is Jake too good to be true? As Charlie’s challenges on the bucket list get bigger, so do her questions about Jake. Should she continue to hold out for the fairy-tale? Or is it only in rom coms that dreams can come true? 

Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde
When Zoe Harper wins a coveted place in a televised cookery competition she's thrilled. It's a chance to cook her way to fame and fortune and the little delicatessen she's set her heart on. 

The first task has hardly begun when she finds herself with rather too much on her plate. Not only has she got to contend with the fiercely competitive and downright devious Cher, but she's fast developing an inconvenient crush on one of the judges - the truly delicious Gideon Irving. 

All too soon there's more than canapés, cupcakes and cordon bleu at stake. Will Zoe win the competition or is Gideon one temptation too far? And is Zoe really prepared to risk it all for love? 

Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Bryony Fraser
It’s Zoe and Jack’s first wedding anniversary party. They’ve got an announcement! They’re getting divorced.

Marriage isn’t for everyone – something that Zoe and Jack discovered only after they’d walked down the aisle. Bad timing, huh?

So now they’re stuck together in their once harmonious marital home, neither one of them willing to move out of their lovely house.

With Zoe’s three sisters always wanting a say, and Jack’s best friend trying his best to fix things between them, misunderstandings arise. Tempers flare. ‘Accidents’ happen…

Zoe and Jack are going to be lucky if they’re still alive when the twelve months are up. But maybe things aren’t quite as final as they seem?

Catch 26 by Carol Prisant
What if you could live your life all over again?

There’s just one catch…

Frannie Turner is a plain, middle-aged housewife married to Stanley, a self-absorbed retired dentist who hasn’t slept in her bed in years. No children to love and be loved by. No exciting career to look back on. Just loneliness and lost dreams. So when the mysterious new hairdresser in town offers her the chance to get everything she’s ever wanted, Frannie figures she has nothing to lose -except her soul. And surely, as a stunning twenty-six-year-old singleton in New York, finding true love within the stipulated year should be a piece of cake, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun!

But New York City is no place for the naïve, and Frannie will soon learn just how dangerous a deal with the devil can be…

The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Strictly My Husband by Tracy Bloom

I've been a fan of Tracy Bloom's novels since reading her first, No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday. Tracy's books are light, witty and brilliantly addictive, which evidently made her a bestselling author and published internationally. Strictly My Husband is Tracy's latest offering.

First of all, let me just say that I am not a fan of Strictly Come Dancing. Not at all. So I was a bit concerned that this novel would be heavily inspired by the show, which I feared I wouldn't enjoy. However, I love Tracy's books so I chose to read it regardless, and as it happens there are not many Strictly references.

But there is dancing! And even us non-Strictly fans don't mind a bit of dancing...

Laura and Tom love to dance around the kitchen when nobody's watching - well, at least Laura, given that she's not that good at it. Nothing like Tom, a trained performer and now an entertainment manager at the theme park in their hometown. Laura's dancing prowess doesn't seem to matter - not when the lovely Tom only has eyes for her! That is, until he turns up one day with a beautiful young woman in tow. Worse still, he's offered her the spare room.

Carly - a  stunning, blonde and bubbly dancer - has bagged the lead role in Tom's upcoming Halloween show, and has just split with her boyfriend. So with nowhere to stay, Tom kindly invites her to be a temporary lodger.

Carly's looks and penchant for getting personal with Tom instantly put Laura on edge. After all, Laura's unglamorous life as a market research analyst is hardly on par with the glittery demeanor that Carly possesses. Scared, and convinced that the pair will be doomed to the 'Strictly Curse' in which dancers fall for their partners, Laura confides in sister-in-law Hannah, whose relationship with Jerry isn't exactly going well either...

As Tom prepares for his show with Carly, Laura is intent on finding out the truth. And when the show's success partly relies on Laura's work, what will she choose to do?

Yet again, Tracy Bloom's wit shines through in this novel. She has a real knack for fun, romantic comedy and relateable characters. After all, what would you do if a stunning woman turned up on your doorstep and miiiight just risk stealing your husband? I really liked Laura, and even though she was abrupt at times, could totally understand why! Each chapter focuses on a different character, so you get to see all sides of the story; Laura, Tom, Hannah, and Jerry. I won't delve any further in case of potential spoilers, but if you're looking for something light and funny (and okay, with a bit of drama), Strictly My Husband is the perfect read.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

COMING SOON: A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley

Anna Bradley, author of A Wicked Way to Win an Earl, returns on 6th September with new regency romance, A Season of Ruin (which, I have to add, has a stunning cover!)

Lily Somerset's plan for the London season is simple: courtship, marriage to a respectable gentleman, then the comfortable existence of a proper Lady. That is, until one tiny misstep leaves Lily on the edge of social ruin, forcing her to depend on a wicked rogue to save her reputation.

Robyn Sutherland doesn't save reputations-he sullies them. He'd rather be drawn and quartered than find himself spending the season as Lily's escort. But he has no choice but to stay until her tattered standing is mended.

What begins as a ruse to deceive London soon flames into an uncontrollable passion. Robyn calls to the wild spirit that lurks beneath Lily's prim exterior, and Lily awakens the hero's heart within Robyn. But can these unlikely lovers trust themselves enough to let desire overrule reason?

Monday, 29 August 2016

BLOG TOUR: Patricia Mar stops by for a guest post!

Today, Patricia Mar stops by as part of her blog tour for new novel, Stuck On You. Read on for her guest post about what inspired her to write the book...

The idea for "Stuck on You" was born by chance. A friend of mine showed me a photo shoot by Miriano Vivanco featuring David Gandy, who looked very comfortable with his graces, so to speak. I immediately thought: if I were his girlfriend, I would be so jealous. Something clicked in my mind. I imagined a girl  desperately  in love with a famous model, a model at ease with his body and adored by women all over the world. I imagined her to be one of us – an ordinary girl with small dreams, goals to achieve and looking for a real and lasting love. But I also thought that that model was not only a man, but had a universe within him, a depth he wanted to protect. 

It felt as though their love could become a fairy tale only in dreams, but I wanted to contextualise it in the real world, with real friends, families and problems to make it appear almost possible. However, since these two characters actually lived in two  very different worlds, I had to invent a funny situation that would make them meet and that allowed them to lay the groundwork for a future meeting. I have always believed that true love can overcome any obstacle with tenacity, patience and trust. Daniel and Sara are the result of these ideas. Also the name of the protagonist, Daniel Gant, is a sincere tribute to David Gandy, who was unintentional muse of my novel.

One of my greatest dreams has always been to write a novel that should somehow honour a genre that I love. Films like "You've Got Mail", "The Wedding Date", "Made of Honour," and "The Holiday" to mention a few, are a symbol of style and romance. So I tried to recreate the spirit: romance and humour, brilliant dialogue and feelings, elegance and joy. I so enjoyed writing about Daniel and Sara’s lives – a beautiful and perfect moment of my creative life.  

I sincerely hope that Daniel and Sara give you joy and leave you with lasting memories.


Stuck On You by Patricia Mar

At last, it’s the day of the interview, and Sara absolutely must get the job. It’s two years since she graduated, and she’s not had much luck in her personal or professional life. Much to her dismay she is desperately late, teetering on her heels, soaking wet and out of breath by the time she arrives at the offices of Inside Look magazine.

Things are going from bad to worse and when the receptionist tells her the job has already been given to someone else, Sara tries to slip away without being noticed. But she finds herself stuck in the lift with none other than the dazzling model Daniel Gant. After being thrown together by chance, Sara can't believe it when Daniel wants to see her again. Is her luck beginning to change?


Sunday, 28 August 2016

MOVIE NEWS: Liane Moriarty's novel 'Truly Madly Guilty' optioned for film

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon have optioned the movie rights to Truly Madly Guilty, the 2016 novel by Liane Moriarty (also author of The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot).

According to The Bookseller, the movie will be produced by both Witherspoon's production company, Pacific Standard, and Kidman's company, Blossom Films.

Moriarty’s UK agent Jonathan Lloyd said: “I am thrilled that there is now an opportunity for fans of the film to discover the magic of Liane Moriarty’s writing and if they haven’t already done so, to go out and acquire all her books.”

Saturday, 27 August 2016

UNCOVERED INTERVIEWS: Zara Stoneley

 The Holiday Swap is the new novel by Zara Stoneley, in which two women are led to spend the festive season away from their very different lives. Zara joins us for the weekly Q&A to share more about her writing.

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Buzzy Barcelona or cosy Cheshire? Plan your perfect escape this Christmas!

What inspired you to write The Holiday Swap? 
I was initially inspired by one of my favourite Christmas films - 'The Holiday'. I love the idea of swapping homes (and lives) with somebody. There are two places that are very special to me - the UK countryside, and glamorous Barcelona - they're very different places at Christmas, both magical in their own way, and so I couldn't resist the idea of writing a book set in both locations.

Where do you do most of your writing? 
If I'm in the UK I love to sit at my kitchen table (unless it's nice enough to sit outside) as it's lovely and light and I can gaze at the garden when I need inspiration. If I'm in Barcelona I do lots of scribbling ideas down on the beach, but I do the actual writing in the apartment with the doors open - I can hear the gentle buzz of chatter outside, and quite often there are buskers to listen to which I love.

What is your favourite book? 
There are so many brilliant books it's hard to name a favourite. The best book I've read recently has to be 'Me Before You' - it's quite different to the type of book I normally read these days, because I like something light and funny, but I really enjoyed it. It's impossible to name an all time favourite though - I'd need to give you a top ten!

Which part of The Holiday Swap did you enjoy writing the most?
Now that is a really difficult question to answer! I loved writing about the really cosy side of Christmas in the UK, snow and roaring fires, but I also really enjoyed writing about buzzy Barcelona! I suppose if I really had to single one bit out, it has to be the very last chapter, in Barcelona on New Year's eve... and a very special ending that caught even me by surprise!

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Bridget Jones. Does she qualify as 'literary'? She might not be a role model in the way somebody like Elizabeth Bennet might be (is she the modern day equivalent?), but I can relate to her, and she makes me laugh, cry and hope that things will work out.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Find your voice - once you find your writing style, and the stories you really love writing then things will start to fall into place. I think the hardest part of writing is patience, and not expecting too much too soon - take your time, read lots of different authors and keep writing until you hit your stride. And write the story that you want to tell, in your own way - publishers aren't looking for copycats, they want unique voices that can put a new spin on old themes.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I can't say much at the moment, but it does involve an absolutely gorgeous little village (even more lovely than Tippermere - I never, ever thought I'd say that!), a hunky vet, and a school teacher who thinks she's a city girl at heart but might be about to find out she's wrong!

Thanks, Zara!

You can find out more about Zara at her website, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon.

The Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley

Two women, two very different lives – one perfect solution to a Christmas holiday fraught with potential pitfalls.

Florence Cortes has the perfect life – an apartment in the trendiest district of Barcelona, a job she loves and a boyfriend who’s whisking her away on a romantic break to Paris to no doubt propose.
Only, he’s planning something far different, and Flo soon realises her life isn’t so perfect after all.
Home loving Daisy Fischer is perfectly happy in her idyllic home in the Cheshire countryside, with an on-off boyfriend who might be slightly dull but is totally dependable. Until he issues an ultimatum, and Daisy suddenly realises that there might be a whole different world out there that she’s missing out on.

Have Flo and Daisy come up with the perfect solution to escape festive heartbreak?

Can a snowbound Christmas in Cheshire – with aristocratic, handsome Hugo as her neighbour, a house full of animals and a leaking roof – help Flo mend her broken heart, and remind her of what she really wants in life?

Can a sunny break in beautiful Barcelona – with the dishy but brooding Javier, a never ending supply of cava, and a sea view to die for – prove to Daisy that playing safe isn’t always the answer?
Love actually does seem to be all around this Christmas – and in the places Flo and Daisy least expect to find it, but where will they be for New Year?

Thursday, 25 August 2016

BOOK NEWS: The Weekends of You and Me by Fiona Walker

The Weekends of You and Me is the new novel by Fiona Walker (author of The Summer Wedding and The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week). Released in September, the novel follows newly-single thirty-something Jo and divorcee Harry, who meet up every year for one weekend only...

Can your final fling become your Happy Ever After?

When Jo Coulson finds herself single again in her late thirties, she finally resigns her membership to Last of the Hopeless Romantics, fully intending to tackle midlife and motherhood alone. First, she plans one legendary last fling...

In walks Harry Inchbold, and the connection is electric. Passionate, unpredictable and messily divorced, Harry is the perfect antidote to cosy coupledom. Known as The Sinner, drama follows him around with a clapper board.

Harry's favourite holiday hideaway in the wilds of South Shropshire puts the mud and fun into the perfect dirty weekend. But at the cottage Harry reveals a very different side, melting Jo's resolve. What better combination to face an uncertain future than two cynics who have learned from their mistakes?Together they make a pact; 'same time next year'; they can promise no more than that.

Through life's most stressful decade, Harry and Jo return to the Shropshire hills for one weekend each year to rediscover passion and make peace. As career, family and home crises all threaten to bring them unstuck, the cottage is their glue. Here, different rules apply: the day to day world is not allowed to intrude.With Harry and Jo, however, it's only a matter of time before rules get broken. As real life gets increasingly complicated, can they keep renewing their promise?
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