Monday, 22 June 2015

Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

Hi all

I am so so excited I wanted to tell you about a new book. The debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh was published by Carina on 18th June and is being met with so many five star reviews. I have read such amazing things about this book and cant wait to start reading it myself.

You can purchase Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh by clicking here

Rebecca is also a book blogger and has a wonderful blog that is well worth visiting and bookmarking. The link to her blog is here

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…
Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.

About Rebecca

Author Biography
Rebecca Pugh grew up in the green county of Shropshire, with a mind full of fairy-tales and happy endings. Enchanted by true love and Disney Princesses, she decided that no matter what life threw her way, she’d continue to see the world through a child’s eyes. Through the pages of countless books, her adoration of reading blossomed, and it didn’t take long for her to fall under the spell of hundreds of authors’ words.
Now, Rebecca’s own story has taken a fairy-tale like turn, and at 22, her dream has come true. With her faithful companions: Bonnie the dog, her partner, and her gigantic family by her side, Rebecca is ready to share her stories with readers who enjoy falling in love and losing themselves within beautiful, fictional worlds.
Rebecca Pugh is the author of women’s fiction and romance, her all-time favourite genres. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good swoon?
Her debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, is due to be published June 18th 2015 by Carina UK.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Blog Tour: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

I am delighted to be joined by Emma Kavanagh, author of After We Fall (published as Falling in the UK). Emma has kindly written about the things they never tell you about being an author. I was really interested in this and loved reading it. I hope you will too.

Out now
Purchase from Amazon US here
Purchase from Amazon UK here

A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.
Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.
Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.
Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.
Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.
‘Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head… ‘

The things they never tell you…by Emma Kavanagh

There are things you know as a wannabe author, there are things that everyone tells you. That it’s hard. That it’s really damn hard. Not the work (although there are days when the plotting makes me want to drive my own head into a brick wall), but merely getting to a point where you are justifiably allowed to describe yourself as an author. Now, I’ll admit, I’ve never been entirely sure exactly when that point is. I think for me it was when people stopped looking at me with sympathy mixed with impatience when I dared to use the terrifying word “author”. They threaten you with the horrors that is the publishing industry (they’re lovely - don’t believe a word of it!). They tell you that publishing is dead (it’s not!).

Now, I’m going to tell you some of the things people often fail to mention.

    It’s a game of two halves - either your inbox will be bouncing with emails pinging it at a terrifying speed or you will hear nothing. NOTHING! I mean, in fairness, this will depend on where you are in the process. Mid-writing with nothing due for release? Yeah, you may begin to wonder if people have forgotten about you until your lovely agent or editor get in touch for a quick check in, “just in case you’ve gone quietly mad”. Yes. Yes, I have. Ooh, also, if there’s a book fair on, no-one will be calling you or mailing you. They probably haven’t slept in a week. Give them a break!

    It does get easier. Except when it doesn’t - the writing gets easier. Sometimes. You learn what will become a problem later on, what will be edited out, how you need to pace things, what is important for your characters. And then your characters have a royal fit and suddenly it’s just as tough as the first time you did it.

    You will always doubt your ability to write just one more book - at least I do. That blank screen remains terrifying. When you get lost in your own plot, when a thread just doesn’t turn out as you think it will, you will be afraid that this is it, that the muse has departed and you’re on your own. Ignore it. You can do it.

    Sometimes people will want to take your photograph - What??? I mean, WHAT??? Why??? I’m an author. I got into this gig because I get to hide behind my computer and work in my jim jams. But no! One day, you will discover that a photographer wants to come to your house (also known as the small children/cheerio zoo) and do a photoshoot. And you will cry. And wonder whether your pyjamas are photogenic enough.

    People will occasionally get weird - I have been called a celebrity (whilst picking toast crumbs out of my 3 year old’s hair). I have been asked if I’m disappointed I haven’t done better (that was a good day for my self-esteem). I have been asked to sign a copy of my book by writing down a specific line of text and then drawing a picture (?!). Oh, and could you write a poem in there too? No. No, I could not.

It’s a weird business. And I must admit, when people ask me what I do, I still tend to say ‘author’ in much the same way one might say ‘drugs mule’. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m still not writing that poem though.

Emma Kavanagh is a former police and military psychologist, and author of After We Fall: A Novel (Sourcebooks). 

Twitter: @EmmaLK

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Cover reveal: Wickham Hall Part one by Cathy Bramley

I’m so excited about the launch of my new series Wickham Hall this month; it introduces a brand new set of characters and a beautiful new setting in a stately home just outside Stratford-upon–Avon. It’s a story of love and friendship, family secrets and heartache and ultimately learning to love life and live for the moment! I’ve packed the story full of my favourite things such as the English countryside, exquisite gardens (including topiary – I adore topiary!), weddings, summer festivals, lots of tea and cake, bonfires and Christmas parties!

The series will be published digitally in four parts this year and then in a complete novel both digitally and in paperback in 2016:

Wickham Hall Part One – Hidden Treasures 25 June
Wickham Hall Part Two – Summer Secrets 23 July
Wickham Hall Part Three – Sparks Fly 24 September
Wickham hall Part Four – White Christmas 26 November

You can purchase part one by clicking here: Wickham Hall Part One Hidden Treasures

Here’s the blurb!
Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

 Holly loves the busy world of Wickham Hall - from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos. But life isn't as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications...). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment?

 After all, that's when the magic happens...

About Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm and Conditional Love. She lives in a small Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two teenage daughters and Pearl, the Cockerpoo.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Luckily her husband has now bought her a Kindle with a light, so that’s the end of all that palaver.

Cathy loves to hear from her readers. You can get in touch via her Facebook page or on Twitter.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Recipes for Melissa by Teresa Driscoll

Publication date: 5 June 2015
Published by Bookouture
Purchase from Amazon here

My Rating: 5 stars - perfection!

The Blurb:

Is it ever too late for the gift of goodbye?

As I write now, you are eight years old – asleep in the bed next door in princess pyjamas, with a fairy costume discarded on the floor.

Twenty-Five. The age I had you. The age our story began. And the age, I hope, that will see you truly ready for the things that I need to say to you…

Melissa Dance was eight years old when her mother died. They never got to say goodbye.

Seventeen years later, Melissa is handed a journal. As she smooths open the pages and begins to read her mother’s words, she is instantly transported back to her childhood.

But returning to her past is painful and memories of her mother’s beautiful face are a cruel reminderto Melissa that she’ll never see her again.

As Melissa slowly makes her way through the precious book, reading the snippets of advice and cooking the dishes from the recipes she is also shocked to learn of her mother’s secrets – secrets that if shared, could change Melissa’s world forever.

A beautifully written, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story of a mother’s loving legacy for her daughter – perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Lucy Dillon and JoJo Moyes.

My Review:

Recipes for Melissa is an absolutely beautifully written book. It is heartbreaking and sad, but at the same time it is also uplifting and inspirational. The book is a reminder that you have to make the most of each day, making sure to laugh and love lots, and be true to your heart.  I picked this up and found it virtually impossible to put down again. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster which, if I'm honest I was sad to get off at the end. It is quite hard to write a review which would do the book justice as to do so would mean giving lots of the plot away, and I don't want to do that and spoil it for others. But Recipes for Melissa is a powerful tale that will stick me with for a long time to come.

Melissa lost her Mum to cancer when she was just eight years old. We meet Melissa as she turns 25. She gets called into a solicitors office where she is given a book that her Mum put together whilst she was ill. Realising that she won't be around to see Melissa grow up, become a wife and Mum the book contains memories of their life together, as well as practical tips and some special recipes.

The story flits between the present day, and the past. We see Melissa dealing with life and her relationship. All is not as rosy as it should be, and we see her internal battle to try and work out whether her future lies with her boyfriend, and what she wants from life. She is also thrown back into mourning the loss of her Mum and finding out more about what happened. It's fair to say that this is a really hard time for her, and I wanted to wrap her up in cotton wool.

Watching Melissa read back over memories of her childhood was very moving. Like most of us, our memories can be sketchy, and we can forget some of things that at the time felt 'normal', but can come to mean so much later on. Silly things, like baking or smells that we forget about, only to be reminded of when we get older and become nostalgic. Reading her Mum's book does this for Melissa, and it is very emotional to relive it with her.

But what makes this book so special and moving for me is that the author has also included Melissa's Mum, Eleanor's voice. I wasn't just reading her words, I could feel myself being transported into her world and her head to experience her illness and emotions first hand. This was so powerful. The angst, the injustice of the situation, but overriding that all, the love for her daughter. The love between a mother and her child is unique, and I know from being a Mum to my daughter that all I want in life is for her to be happy and know she is loved. Trying to imagine how Eleanor must have felt writing this was scary. I realised that whilst this is fiction, it happens in real life and I am filled with so much admiration and respect for these families.

Each part of the story connects in to a recipe which has a story behind it. So, not only do we get a moving and compelling story, but we also get some brilliant recipes too! Now what's not to love about good food? My mouth was watering at times at the thought of the smells and tastes. I loved that the recipes and instructions were included and I will definitely be giving a few of them a go!

I admit, my heart broke a number of times whilst reading, and more than once I was reaching for the tissues, and was totally absorbed in the story. It felt quite close to home in some ways as I lost my Aunt a few years ago. She had a young family and it made me reflect on how she and the kids must have felt.

The book is so cleverly written that I find it hard to believe that this is Teresa's debut novel. But its not all sadness and mourning. There is a really strong storyline which does also delve into the present day and we meet great characters such as Max, Melissa's Dad, who I really liked. I actually felt the book was uplifting and inspirational and it left me feeling positive and determined to enjoy life and those I share it with.

Thank you to Bookouture for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.