Friday, 28 August 2015

UNCOVERED INTERVIEWS: Emma Burstall

Being a fan of stories set in Cornwall, I was extremely happy to hear about Emma Burstall's book, Tremarnock. In the novel, Liz and her daughter have come to the little seaside village to seek sanctuary, but there's trouble on the way. Emma has joined us for the Q&A session so that we can find out more about her intriguing new novel...

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A shocking turn of events causes havoc in a small Cornish community.

What inspired you to write Tremarnock?
My first three novels are based in and around London and when I started thinking about the next one, and particularly the character of Liz, who was very clear in my mind, I knew that it had to be set somewhere completely different.

Liz isn’t close to her relatives and feels very isolated when her relationship breaks up, leaving her to raise her young daughter, Rosie, alone. She wants to escape her old life and start afresh and where better to go than to a small, tight-knit village community where friends and neighbours soon become the family she lacks?

I’ve always loved Cornwall, so this seemed like the ideal bolt-hole for her. I spent many happy summers there as a child and rediscovered the area in my twenties when I landed my first job as a cub reporter on a Westcountry newspaper, based in Plymouth. From there, it’s only a short ferry ride into South East Cornwall and I enjoyed going on long walks and exploring the colourful fishing villages on which my fictional village is modeled.

Of course, the fact that Tremarnock is so small, warm and welcoming makes it all the more shocking when trouble strikes at the very heart of the community and Liz has to find a way through the secrets, ambitions and lies.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I’m a bit of a nomad, to be honest. At the moment, I’ve taken up residence in our dining room in South West London. I’m afraid I’ve spread my things across the whole table, so that we can’t possibly have friends round to eat because tidying up would be too daunting!

At other times, however, I’ll use my small study upstairs, or even pop to my Mum’s round the corner and work in her lovely, airy room at the back of the house. I get bored of being in the same place and find a change of scenery inspires me.

What is your favourite book?
I love all sorts of fiction but I guess my favourite book of all time has to be Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I’m a huge Dickens fan because of his humour, his unique perception of the human psyche, his unforgettable characters, great plots and unflinching message about poverty and charity. He wrote many amazing novels but for me, Bleak House stands out the most, probably because of Esther, Lady Dedlock and the ghastly Mrs Jellyby and Harold Skimpole.

Which part of Tremarnock did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing about the village itself, because there was something thrilling about bringing to life an imaginary place with its beach and harbour, cobbled streets, painted cottages and quirky characters. I could see everything so clearly in my mind’s eye.

An even more enjoyable part, however, was probably writing the ending. In real life you can’t always make things happen the way you want, but in fiction, you get to play God. I liked resolving things for Liz and the others in the way that I thought most fulfilling. I wrote more two versions of the very last pages, though, because I couldn’t decide which was best. I hope readers approve of the one I eventually chose!

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Jane Austen’s Emma, and not just because we share a name! She’s stubborn, spoiled, willful and a little vain, but her heart’s in the right place and we can’t help but forgive her when she recognises the error of her ways and tries to put right her wrongs. And I do love Mr Knightley!

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Develop a thick skin, because you’re going to need it. You’ll almost certainly receive rejection letters, perhaps lots of them, it’s par for the course. If you’re lucky enough to find a publisher, you’ll probably think you’ve made it. That’s until the reviews start coming in when people you’ve never met will say that you’re a terrible writer, even if they can hardly string a sentence together themselves.

Accept that you can’t please everyone. Believe in yourself, write something every day and relish every compliment, whether it’s a passing comment from an acquaintance in the street who enjoyed your book, or a fab, five star review in a national newspaper.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes. Tremarnock is the first in a trilogy and I’m in the thick of writing the second book in the series right now. I’m loving re-visiting the characters of Liz, Rosie, Robert et al, and also introducing new people and a whole new plot.

Thanks, Emma!

Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father. 

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner. 

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community. 


Thursday, 27 August 2015

GUEST BLOG: Please Retweet by Emily Benet

Emily Benet, author of The Temp, is back with her new novel Please Retweet, about a celebrity social media manager. Today - the publication date of Please Retweet! - Emily joins Uncovered to share her thoughts on how social media can often take over our lives, and especially that of heroine May...


Check it, check it - a novel for all us social media addicts

Do you ever randomly open your front door to check if someone's there? Even though no one's rung the door bell, do you think: let's just have a quick look
And after you've opened it and found no one there, do you go back and open it again a minute later, just on the off chance there's someone there now. Two minutes later, do you open it again?
No. You don't. You only open the door when someone knocks.
SO WHY ARE WE ALWAYS CHECKING OUR PHONES WHEN WE HAVEN'T EVEN RECEIVED A NOTIFICATION?!!!
As soon we wake up: We check our phone.
At the bus stop: We check our phone.
When we have to do something difficult to do at work: We check our phone.
At lunch: We check our phone.
When we go to the loo.... Ahem. Some people check their phones.
What are we hoping for? Well, I reckon we're hoping for a little high. 'Likes' on our Facebook post gives us a little high, a 'retweet' on Twitter gives us a little high, an email reply from someone gives us a little high, a comment on our blog gives us a little high...
How long does the little high last?
Approximately 1 minute.
Which is why we keep checking our phones! We need the the next high!
The main character in my new book, #PleaseRetweet, is always checking her phone because it's her job. May Sparks is paid to manage the online profiles of several C-list celebrities. They're a bunch of loose cannons who would offend half the planet if they were left to run their own Twitter and Facebook accounts by themselves. May has to be careful to get their voices right and not mix up accounts. As her client number grows it gets increasingly challenging.
Posting as several people means May is always getting notifications on her phone. She's experiencing so many highs and lows in her day it's like being on an electric seesaw that won't stop...
Imagine if your phone was going off every second of the day. And every notification required a clever reply.
Welcome to May's world. Coming out this August.

#PleaseRetweet is out in ebook from today, and paperback on 5th November  

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

NEW RELEASES: I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

Camilla Isley's new novel, I Wish For You, was released last week. What would you do if you had the power to have all of your wishes granted? Ally is about to find out...

If all your wishes could suddenly come true, what would you do?

A year ago, when the love of her life dumped her for no apparent reason, Ally thought she had hit rock bottom. But now that she has seen him with another woman, and one she knows only too well, her life seems to have reached a whole new level of low.

Yet, when she stumbles across an ancient object infused with magical powers and a stranger with a dark past appears out of nowhere promising to grant all her wishes, she finds herself hoping again.
Suddenly Ally’s life is turned upside down; she has a mystery to solve, a rival to beat, a millenarian curse to break, and well, she wants to have some fun playing with her new “gifts”...

But can she wish her way to happily ever after?

Monday, 24 August 2015

BOOK NEWS: Letting You Go by Anouska Knight

Letting You Go by Anouska Knight is published in September, in which Alex, who blames herself for a past tragedy, is forced to return home to the place from which she previously escaped...

What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past? 

Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn't visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she's plunged back into the past she's been trying to escape.

Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it's soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

SUMMER READS: Deep Fried and Pickled by Paisley Ray

Paisley Ray's 'Rachel O'Brien' series of novels continues with the latest in the series, Deep Fried and Pickled, which is available now. Taking place in the 80s, the college tales incorporate humour, romance and mystery - stories for those who remember the eighties, as Paisley says, 'as fondly or as cringe-worthy!'

It’s ’86, the era of Pop Rocks, Jelly shoes, and big hair bands. Rachael O'Brien's freshman plan seems simple: Attend a southern college away from her hometown of Canton, Ohio, earn a degree, party, and meet cute guys—hopefully acing the latter two. 

But being threatened by a jealous She-Devil, avoiding the advances of a thirty-something redneck, and discovering an art fraud scheme mess with her “to do” list. Her problems deepen when her compulsion to reveal a fake take her on a dangerous misadventure.
Bad decision-making, law-bending behavior, and surprise romances make freshman year more challenging than expected in Paisley Ray’s DEEP FRIED AND PICKLED, a quick-witted, south-of-the-Mason-Dixon romp.

Monday, 17 August 2015

EVENTS: Festival of Romantic Fiction 2015

Fans of romantic fiction can attend the UK festival dedicated to the genre, which takes place in November.

Started in 2011, the Festival of Romantic Fiction is open to readers and writers of romance, and will take place in the historical town of Stratford-Upon-Avon between 6th-8th November. The festival is supported by a host of publishers including Piatkus Entice, Mills & Boon, Impulse and Choc Lit, with special guest authors Adele Parks and Milly Johnson.

To view the programme and book tickets, head on over to the website, or follow @romancefest on Twitter.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

BLOG TOUR: Q&A with Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We, about an American who comes to Oxford and falls in love with the UK’s future king, is ostensibly based on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s love story. How would you pitch the book to Kate Middleton if you were in an elevator with her?

JESSICA: I’d tell her, “Despite what it sounds like, this book isn’t actually about you. But I think you’ll find it a particularly relatable story.” Which is true. Bex, our heroine, finds herself in Kate’s shoes, but definitely isn’t Kate. That said, I think Kate would be pretty sympathetic to Bex’s many romantic (and familial) problems.

HEATHER: I’d say, “Aren’t you even a BIT curious whether two Americans got any of this right?”

How would you pitch the book to Pippa Middleton if you were in an elevator with her?

JESSICA: I’d tell her, “Despite what it sounds like, this book isn’t actually about you, either.” Bex’s twin sister Lacey goes through a lot of ups and downs in the book, because part of what we’re exploring is the idea that Bex’s family becomes collateral damage when she falls in love with Nick, the second in line to the throne. Their lives change because of who he is, and the baggage that comes with him. So she might find it relatable as well. (Maybe not quite as much as Kate.)

HEATHER: Yeah, to Pippa I’d say, “Bring it to Mustique, read it with a cocktail, and know that even if it doesn’t always seem that way, we have a lot of sympathy for you.”

Was it difficult to separate Nick and Bex from Kate and William?

JESSICA: Not at all, once we started writing. Obviously, the book is inspired by them -- or rather, by wondering what it would be like to be a more or less regular person, who was thrust into the spotlight merely because you fell for someone who was born into it. And we definitely used some major points in their actual relationship as signposts for the book -- meeting at university, a lengthy courtship, a break-up. There are moments in there that someone who is a royals watcher will recognize, for sure, both large and small. But as far as characters go, to me, Nick and Bex are just Nick and Bex. (If anything, my fondness for Nick and Bex has extended to Kate and Wills, rather than the other way around.)

HEATHER: There were moments back when we were just outlining when we’d catch ourselves saying things like, “But would Harry DO that?” Because the thing is, we knew we were playing off of public figures for whom much of  the world feels a tremendous amount of affection and protectiveness. So in the early going, we’d catch ourselves getting nervous that a decision we made might lead people to say we were being disrespectful. But once the first word of the first chapter was written, that all fell away. These are fictional people in a situation that happens to sound familiar, and nothing they’re doing has any bearing on what the real-life royals are up to, you know? And so the second we started, it stopped mattering whether Harry or William or Kate would do any of these things, because Freddie and Nick and Bex WOULD, and did.

What’s appealing here for someone who maybe isn’t as big a fan of the royals, or of Kate and William?

JESSICA: We’ve heard from a lot of American readers who’ve said they were surprised they liked the book as much as they did, because they don’t really care about royalty at all. I think, at its heart, the book is really a love story about two people in extraordinary circumstances. There’s a line right at the beginning where Bex says, “I fell in love with a person, not a prince,” and that is, in many ways, the heart of the book. If anything, The Royal We is about how much of your true self you are willing to sacrifice for a great love; being part of the royal family isn’t presented as being as appealing as you might at first suspect.

HEATHER: Yes, it’s a love story about two people, not a love letter to an institution. In many ways it’s an examination of whether anything is worth the sacrifices that life requires of a person like Bex, or yes, Kate. And even if we haven’t all suddenly found ourselves raising future kings in bucolic Norfolk estates, we can all relate to the root emotions in this book. Most people have found themselves in a relationship that might force them to change something about themselves. Or we’ve been in social situations where we act a certain way to fit in, even if it’s not true to who we are, or we’re offered life-changing opportunities that carry us hugely far away from the path we thought we’d take. Even if Bex’s precise circumstance isn’t relatable, the feelings certainly are.

What makes the royal family, from any period of history, such a compelling thing for fiction writers?

JESSICA: I cannot speak for all Americans, but I feel comfortable saying that many of us are fascinated by the British royal family, especially those of us who were at an impressionable age when Diana married Prince Charles, and then watched that entire soap opera unfold in front of us. We learn a great deal of British history in school, but of course we don’t have a royal family of our own, so for us, it’s an intriguing mix of the exotic and the familiar, without being politicised the way it naturally is for the British.

HEATHER: For me, it’s a combination of the power structure, and the fact that it’s inherited and not earned. The royals are who they are by the gift -- or accident, if you will -- of birth. They’re not famous because they begged for it. They’re not the Kardashians, who relentlessly clawed their way up and won’t go back down without a gnarly fight. William and Kate can’t help who they are, nor the fact that they’re so widely watched and exposed, so it’s intriguing to watch how they handle it. Now, if we’re talking Royals of Yore, they’re interesting to me for a different reason. Many of them DID either battle their way into the throne, or fight to keep it -- or start another war, say, over the Church, or the right to run it. That tapestry seems rich in the way any slice of history does, I think. What WAS it like to snap your fingers and be brought the wench or pageboy of your choosing? What WAS it like to be a King of England who traveled via lengthy procession in the countryside because if you didn’t, most of your subjects would never even lay eyes on you? It’s always fascinating to look at the meaning of power, and how it’s morphed over the years, and how technology and media have changed what it means to have it and to wield it.

Did any character surprise you?

JESSICA: It seems crazy to say this now, but looking back at it, I think I am actually the most surprised by our prince, Nick. Before we started writing, I was worried it was going to be a challenge to take a character who is a fundamentally really good, solid person and also make him compelling and swoony and complicated.  But I actually really love him. (This might also be good life advice for me: that the good guy isn’t always necessarily boring once you get to know him.)

HEATHER: For me, it was Penelope Six-Names. We tossed her in there in the first section just for fun, and the ways she kept popping up were random decisions that happened on the fly, and make me really happy.

Who was the hardest character to get right?

JESSICA: We had a lot of challenges, I think. Nick, as I said in the answer to the previous question, was one of them. But I think it was also challenging to take members of Nick’s family -- and I can’t say too much or I’ll give it away -- and make them sympathetic enough that they still feel like real people, even when their behavior is less than stellar.

HEATHER: I’ll add that I think there is a temptation in general to add something redemptive to a character arc, even when that might not be true to who that person is. Because at first you think, “No, that person needs a secret soft side,” and it’s very easy to get sucked into that, so we had to make sure there was not too much, or even any, hugging and learning where hugging and learning were not appropriate.  I also think we hit the right balance with one Beatrix Larchmont-Kent-Smythe, who could have been overkill if we hadn’t meted her out correctly. I think we did.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

JESSICA: Honestly, there is nothing you can do for it but sit down and push through. Although, in times of real need, I firmly suggest taking a shower. I get all of my ideas in the shower. I need to figure out some way to keep my laptop in the shower with me!

HEATHER: I break a sweat. It’s pretty trite, but I will go to the gym or go on a swim and just see where my brain takes me. Maybe it’ll help me find the answer, or maybe I’ll spend that hour on Britney Spears songs and thinking about what to make for dinner. Regardless, it’s time where the pressure is not on my brain to do ANYTHING it doesn’t want to do, and that’s as effective a palate cleanser as any. Get up. Walk away. Engage the mental muscles in something else. And trust that when you sit back down, you’ll find your way again.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.
Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

DEBUT NOVELS: Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Tremarnock is the new novel from journalist Emma Burstall, set around an idyllic Cornish village. Released in eBook format in June, and hardback in October, Tremarnock is Emma's first novel and has been described as an engaging debut.

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father. 

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner. 

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

NEW RELEASES: Little Sacrifices by Michele Gorman, writing as Jamie Scott

Michele Gorman is the author of many romantic comedies including Single in the City, Bella Summer Takes a Chance, and Weightless. Now her new novel, Little Sacrifices, will be released (under pen name Jamie Scott). Little Sacrifices is an atmospheric coming-of-age women's fiction novel set in the 1940s segregated American South.

How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When Duncan and Sarah Powell move with their daughter, May, to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they’ll be welcomed. But they’re Yankees and worse, they’re civil rights advocates almost a decade too early.

At first May can pretend they’re the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it’s worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they wake to find that they’re the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between what’s easy and what’s right.

Little Sacrifices includes a link to download Michele's rom-com Single in the City for free.

Monday, 10 August 2015

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five travel-themed chick-lit novels

Seeing as summer is upon us, it has been fun to take a look at some of the holiday-themed chcik-lit releases that are available. From a dancing holiday in Spain, to a family cruise, the celebrity-filled Cannes and idyllic Greek villages, here are five summer books that would be perfect to transport you to a sun-filled, faraway location!

Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams by Sue Watson
Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you'll never get hurt... 

Laura Watkin's heart isn't broken, she's just forgotten how to use it.   After years on her own, the highlight of single mum Laura's week is watching Strictly Come Dancing with a glass of Pinot Grigio and a large helping of imagination.  With her daughter Sophie going travelling, Laura knows the time is right to do something for herself for a change.  One disastrous Zumba class later and Laura ends up at the feet (literally) of gorgeous dance instructor Tony Hernandez.

A natural dancer and inspiring teacher, Tony rekindles in Laura a passion she inherited from her ballroom dancer father - and with it comes a dream... to make him proud. But when Tony enters them to perform at the National Dance Festival, can Laura's new-found confidence survive the test?  And with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn Flamenco in Spain, could Laura truly learn to dance like nobody's watching... and love like she'll never get hurt?  

A laugh-out-loud, uplifting comedy about finding the courage to be yourself, the importance of dreams, and learning to grab life by the glitter balls.  

A Proper Family Adventure by Chrissie Manby
Could you spend two weeks at sea with your family?

Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise. With stop-offs in Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles, plus constant entertainment onboard, it's a dream come true...Or is it? Last time Chelsea Benson went on holiday with this lot she nearly went crazy.

Her mum and sister are convinced Chelsea's boyfriend Adam will propose on the ship. Chelsea's sure he won't, but she can't help feeling butterflies as they set sail. Is Adam going to pop the question, or will the only thing to pop be Chelsea's ego?

Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.

Catch Me if You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson
Jess has decided it's time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of glitz, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they're staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony's expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It's just this once. No harm done...right?

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot
Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a whole lot more complicated...  
Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross.  Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn't and everything fell apart...  Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey's big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart.  But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.   

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis - Yan - Ellen finds him difficult to resist.  But Ellen isn't looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo...or is she?  

A Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge
Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones – with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niklaus by her side… 

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niklaus and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project: The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it… 


Friday, 7 August 2015

UNCOVERED INTERVIEWS: Katie Kirby

Katie Kirby's novel Could It Be You is available now from Endeavor Press. The novel is about twenty-something entrepreneur Rachel Kane, who goes on a journey to claim back her life after a breakup. The lovely Katie has joined us for the Friday Q&A to tell us more about her writing and Could It Be You...

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A story about love, loss and love again, oh and the South of France!

What inspired you to write Could It Be You?
I hadn't written anything in a while and after I had my first child I wanted to get back into it but I wanted to develop something a little lighter and I really wanted to focus on a story about friendships.

Where do you do most of your writing?
In the evening time after my girls go to bed is when I sit down to write.

What is your favourite book?
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Which part of Could It Be You did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the party scenes at the wedding which incorporated a lot more characters some of which were very funny.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Jane Eyre.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
It's all about perseverance.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I'm actually about to begin the follow up story to Could It Be You based around my lead character Rachel Kane.

Thanks, Katie!

You can find out more about Katie Kirby on her website and Twitter.

Could It Be You by Katie Kirby

Could It Be You centres around Rachel Kane, a woman in her late twenties and an entrepreneur who owns her own beauty range business. She is desperately trying to navigate her way through life since the very sudden and heart wrenching split from her husband.

The story begins the day before her first holiday to the South of France as a singleton where she is the maid of honour at her best friend's wedding and from there takes Rachel on a journey where she has to face who and what is most important to her.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

NEW RELEASES: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Katarina Bivald's book, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, has already reached the top ten lists in Sweden and France. The promising new book, which was released in late June, is said to be perfect for those who love contemporary fiction and romance, and is a tale of loneliness, fitting in, and the love of books.

Sara is twenty-eight and has never been anywhere in her life – except, that is, in the books she reads. So when she accepts an invitation by her bookish penfriend Amy to leave Sweden for the first time to visit her in the tiny town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, a new chapter begins. But when she arrives, it is to a twist even she could not have predicted – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere wasn’t exactly the holiday she has in mind. Adventure over. The End.

But she’s not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it is almost beyond repair are all the loveable characters she has gotten to know through Amy’s letters. Sara soon find that the secrets and pasts, lives and loves of the residents of Broken Wheel are just as compelling as any good book. But it becomes clear that this town is in desperate need of some adventure, a smidgen of self-help and perhaps a little romance too. It needs, in short, a bookshop.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

BOOK NEWS: The Curvy Girls' Baby Club by Michele Gorman

Fans of bestselling author Michele Gorman (whose books include Single in the City, Misfortune Cookie, Bella Summer Takes a Chance and fabulous novella Weightless) will be happy to hear that new novel, The Curvy Girls' Baby Club, is due for release in September. The body-positive novella follows on from The Curvy Girls' Club, and follows Ellie as she navigates new motherhood.

Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can’t wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone’s surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own… The women are due a day apart, on December 25th and 26th, and Katie can’t wait to be an honorary auntie to the babies. 

But it’s hard to keep your sense of humour, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of haemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach? 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

COVER NEWS: Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy

Legend Press have recently released the cover for upcoming novel Bright Stars, by Sophie Duffy. Released on 1st October, the book is about four friends who are involved in a life-changing tragedy, reunited twenty-five years later...

Cameron Spark's life is falling apart. 

He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie.

Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the Feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music and late night fox raids, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living.

Until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever.

Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

Monday, 3 August 2015

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five August Releases

August is here, and with it comes new books from women's fiction authors such as Rosie Millard and Jessica Thompson. There's also a sequel from Shari Shattuck, a social media-themed novel from Emily Benet and a new title from Choc Lit...

The Square by Rosie Millard
Jane has the ideal life: loving husband, beautiful house and delightful son. Her fashionable dinner parties are perfect - and so are her secret assignations with her neighbour's husband, Jay.

From Tracey and her New Money lottery winnings to eccentric artist Philip and his pornographic portraits, the residents of North London's most privileged enclave The Square are a very satisfied bunch. 

To raise money for communal fencing, the Residents' Association decides to hold a Talent Show, produced by Jane and hosted by TV celebrity Alan Makin. But when the show lurches into public disarray, reputations are shattered and everyone has to learn to live with a far less glossy reality than before.

Search for the Truth by Kathryn Freeman
Sometimes the truth hurts … 

When journalist Tess Johnson takes a job at Helix pharmaceuticals, she has a very specific motive. Tess has reason to believe the company are knowingly producing a potentially harmful drug and, if her suspicions are confirmed, she will stop at nothing to make sure the truth comes out. 

Jim Knight is the president of research and development at Helix and is a force to be reckoned with. After a disastrous office affair he’s determined that nothing else will distract him from his vision for the company. Failure is simply not an option. 

As Tess and Jim start working together, both have their reasons for wanting to ignore the sexual chemistry that fires between them. But chemistry, like most things in the world of science, isn’t always easy to control. 

Please Retweet by Emily Benet
Social media whizz kid May Sparks has landed her dream job. Well, not quite, but the salary is great and all May has to do is handle the online profiles of C-list celebrities who have the tendency to say inappropriate things. Easy, right? #wrong 

May's clients include an ex-Big Brother star (who she's definitely not going to sleep with #neversaynever), a disgraced TV presenter (who wants May to sort out his marriage as well as his Twitter account), and a woman who once flashed her boobs on X-Factor. They're all relying on her to turn them into stars. But they're not going to make her job easy. As May is sucked further and further into her job she begins to lose her grip on real life. Her friends don't 'like' her Facebook posts anymore and even her gorgeous neighbour, who once seemed to be on the same wavelength, criticises her career choice. Worse, May's clients start getting trolled by an annoying tweep, who May happens to agree with. 

Then May's secret online identity is leaked, causing her to start trending on Twitter. It looks like the status update is over. Unless May can leave the superficial social media word behind and find her own voice again...

Becoming Ellen by Shari Shattuck
Ellen Homes is done being invisible. Well, sort of. 

Living with her closest friends, Temerity and Justice, has helped her step out of the shell of invisibility she once hid away in. She still seeks refuge in solitary time and observing from afar, but she has pushed herself to open up to others in ways that bring her unexpected happiness.

But when a terrible bus crash upends her normal routine, Ellen finds herself on a whirlwind crusade for the unseen and downtrodden. Only this time, helping others—including two young children with no one else to turn to—will mean facing a pain from her past that she’s long tucked away.

Picking up where Invisible Ellen left off, Becoming Ellen returns us to the touching, poignant, and compassionate world of Ellen Homes as she learns how to navigate the world she has decided to become a part of. 

The Waiting Game by Jessica Thompson
Nessa Bruce waits for her husband to come through the double doors. She'd waited for him to return home from Afghanistan for what felt like forever, and now the moment was finally here. But Jake isn't... Jake Bruce hasn't come home, and it looks like he never will. 

Nessa's life - and that of her daughter Poppy - is turned upside down in an instant. What has happened to the elusive man at the centre of their world? They hold onto the hope that he is still out there somewhere, alive... but as time passes by, Nessa is forced to look at her life, at the decisions she has made and the secrets she has kept. For maybe somewhere within it all lies the answer to the question she's desperate to answer - where is the man she loves?

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