Category Archives: blog tour

Blog Tour: This Family Life by Jon Rance – Guest Post

Today we have the pleasure to take part in Jon Rance’s Blog Tour for his latest novel ‘This Family Life’. It’s a fantastic rom com and perfect for anyone who wants to have a good laugh, so we strongly recommend it. It’s also currently just 99p for the kindle, so we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t check it out:) Thanks Jon for visiting our blog today!

 

Hello and a big thank you to This Chick Reads for having me. This is stop number nine on the blog tour for my new book ‘This Family Life’. If you missed the last one you can find it herehttp://book-central.wix.com/bookshelf

 

On this blog I’m going to talk about the character of Emily. The book is written in a diary format from the point of view of Harry Spencer, a thirtysomething teacher, father, and husband to Emily. Emily was one of the more difficult characters to create and write. In the first book ‘This Thirtysomething Life’ she puts up with a lot from Harry, and the same again in this book. She’s definitely a long-suffering wife, but I never wanted her to be this weak, pathetic, needy person and hopefully what I’ve created is a strong, independent woman, who loves Harry to bits but definitely won’t put up with him being an idiot and will always speak her mind.

 

Being a man and creating female characters is always something I’m aware of. I think in all my books, I’ve tried to write really strong female lead characters and Emily is no exception. While Harry is often immature, definitely sometimes selfish, and is prone to making terrible decisions, Emily is the rock the relationship and the family. She keeps things together when Harry is doing his best pull them apart, and in ‘This Family Life’ she is the driving force behind her and Harry getting fit and eating healthier. Emily is always trying to improve their life and even when Harry has problems in the bedroom, she’s the one who takes the initiative. I think she’s rather a super wife.

 

Below is an extract from the book and it’s a conversation I’ve definitely had with my wife. It’s hard for men, especially when babies are very young, to feel that connection that mums just have. I remember worrying that I wasn’t a very good dad, that I didn’t love them enough, and that I was going to ruin their life. The saying is true that women are parents as soon as they conceive and that men don’t become parents until the baby is born. Harry definitely struggles, but Emily comes through once again.

 

Thursday 31 January 11.30 p.m.

 

‘Emily, can I ask you something?’

‘Sure.’

‘Do you think I’m a good dad?’

‘Why are you asking me?’

‘Because I was thinking about how hard I’m trying not to be like Steve, who is a great dad, even if he is slightly annoying. But what sort of dad am I?’

‘Harry, you’re a wonderful father.’

‘Am I though? I get annoyed by so many things parents do. I love William to bits, he’s the best thing in the world, but sometimes I don’t feel very, you know -’

‘What?’

‘Dad-like.’

Emily looked across at me with that stare. You know the one – the stare when you’re being a bit of a plonker.

‘Harry, just because you don’t carry around a spare pair of bongos in case your main set of bongos breaks, and you don’t know all the words to every Wiggles song, it doesn’t mean you’re not dad-like.’

‘But how am I dad-like?’

‘For a start we’re having this conversation,’ said Emily. ‘The fact you’re even worried about it means you’re dad-like. You spend a lot of time in the shed, you moan about the weather, you tell terrible jokes, and you dance as though you’ve been rogered by a hot stick. It’s the way you look at William, hold him, cuddle him, and tell him about bands he’s only going to grow up to despise just to annoy you. And you’ve recently started wearing cardigans. You’re a dad, Harry. You aren’t like Steve, but then again, most people aren’t and that’s OK.’

‘Thanks, Em.’

‘You’re welcome.’

‘Oh, and FYI, cardigans are back in fashion.’

‘Sure they are,’ said Emily with a lovely smile. ‘Sure they are.’

 

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Synopsis

 

Things that might happen during your first year of parenthood:

1. You’ll get covered in a ‘nuclear’ poo.

2. You’ll be convinced your son is talking with a Japanese accent.

3. You’ll worry that when your son waves, it looks like a Nazi salute.

Of course, this might just be Harry Spencer.

 

Taking up where This Thirtysomething Life left off, Harry Spencer and is wife Emily are back and trying to survive their first year of parenthood. It has its ups and downs (and a few bits in the middle), but along the way they begin to understand the true meaning of family and what it takes to be a parent.

 

Featuring a hilarious cast of extras including Harry’s father-in-law Derek, who has a unique problem with Scotch, Steve and Fiona, the parents from children’s entertainment hell, and a yoga instructor with a prominent camel-toe, This Family Life is the ultimate comedy for anyone who is a parent, has a parent, or is thinking about becoming one.

 

Buy ‘This Family Life’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com/strong>

Find Jon Rance on his site and twitter

 

Blog Tour: Fall From India Place by Samantha Young – Review

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Yo people! It’s been a while since our last review, but please bare with us as both Marina and I have had quite soooo many things happening in our lives. Sometimes 24 hours are way too little for us to be able to do everything done, right? RIGHT? But today we’re back, and we’re part of Samantha Young’s Blog Tour YAY! We’re way too excited and so grateful to lovely Clara for the invitation to take part in this epic tour. Read on our review and make sure you read Fall From India Place, I can promise you you won’t be disappointed. See ya cupcakes!

 

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Blurb:

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again.

 

Our review:

Fall From India Place is the latest from Samantha Young and the 4th installment in her ‘On Dublin Street’ series, which I know many of you read and loved. Though I have read only the first book in the series, I pretty much could understand why everyone was going gaga over this series and what is it about Samantha’s writing that appeals to everyone.

But before I share my thoughts with you on this book I have a confession to make. I have this strange love-hate relationship with New Adult. I’ve read quite some New Adult titles, but some of them have disappointed me so much, I decided to take a break from it. My dear friend and blogger, Victoria, recently told me I need just ONE book to fall in love at a certain genre. Only one book that will cover for all the disappointments and attempts before…well, I guess I found THAT book and I’m soooo thrilled and relieved I can go back to reading NA. Now I know, every book can’t be the right for me, however Samantha and her beautiful book made me fall in love with the NA once again.

If I have read all the books in the series, I guess I would pretty much remember all of the characters mentioned in this part..but I haven’t. So, it felt a bit overwhelming getting to know so many characters in such a short time span. There were too many of them to remember, though the book follows Hannah’s story.

But, fear not my friends, for if you have read the other parts in the series you’d already be familiar with this characters. And for you who haven’t, don’t worry..if I could find my way around it, you will too.

The story follows Hannah, who got hear heart broken by Marco 5 years before. So, the author goes back and forth in time, telling us their love story and all the reasons why they are not together. Hannah is a teacher (I teach too) and I must say the bond was there pretty much at the beginning. I totally connected to her, despite not having a Marco of my own in my life. She’s kind and ambitious, she really tries to make a difference and help the kids she teaches. I absolutely LOVE the fact how Samantha brought back Marco on the scene, it wasn’t over rushed or anything like that.

The romance part left me speechless. I honestly, thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry between Hannah and Marco, and though I found him a bit too overprotective for my taste, he seemed like a great guy I would love to be friends with.

However, despite the romance parts, there’s a lot of pages dedicated to Hannah’s family and the characters from the previous parts in the series, and I loved the fact Hannah loves her friends and family and is so strongly connected to them.

Finally, it’s a fantastic book you won’t be able to put down. As for me, I’m definitely gonna read the two parts of the series I haven’t so far, they seem like the perfect books I need to take on my summer holidays. Oh, and also another mental note to myself – read everything Samantha Young writes in the future! Yep, I enjoyed this book THAT MUCH.

My rating: 4/5

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Blog Tour: In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda Review + Giveaway

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*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

In the Mirror is the first book by Kaira Rouda that I have read. Not being familiar with her writing style, I didn’t have any expectations for this book. The blurb sounded great, and though I’m not the biggest fan of sad stories or stories about sicknesses I decided to give this book a go.

However, whatever it was I was expecting from the blurb, I got something else. The story itself was rather complex, at times even too complex for me to digest. Jennifer Benson is the main character and is facing a deadly illness while being only 34 years old. Knowing she might leave this world too early she decides to celebrate her life by hosting a party. Now, despite the fact that I love her attitude and the fact she’s fighting the illness and mocking it in its face, I have to admit this attitude seems a bit strange to me. It’s either that, or the fact I didn’t feel Jennifer as strong as the author tries to portray her. She’s also very indecisive and I must admit the love triangle left me disappointed.

It would be awkward to say this is an enjoyable book, because it’s serious and deals with a tough subject. However, it’s definitely thought provoking and one that will take you by surprise. I couldn’t relate to the main MC as much as a tried too, but I can totally see many readers connecting to Jennifer. Either way, even if you don’t really connect to Jennifer, you will be able to at least get a glimpse of her life, and all the horror she’s going through. You’ll root for her (or against the illness) and you’ll start thinking about your own life. I’m quite sure of this! I would read couple of pages, than pause and try to see all the good stuff happening around me, remind myself of everything I’m blessed with. 

In the Mirror is certainly a complex story and not your every day read. At least, it wasn’t for me. I stepped off my comfort zone with this book, but at the end, I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I picked it up and would definitely read Ms. Rouda’s other books.

My rating: 3/5

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 About the author

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Kaira Rouda is an award-winning entrepreneur and author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women EntrepreneursHere, Home, HopeAll the Difference; and the short story, A Mother’s Day.  She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel.

Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books. And of course, on Pinterest! For more about Kaira and her books, please visit her website KairaRouda.com.

GIVEAWAY

The US/Canada giveaway on tour is : a cozy throw,  a scented candle and a coffee or tea mug.

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The International giveaway on tour is: A signed copy of all of the authors novels, including In the Mirror.

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Blog Tour: Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy Review + Giveaway

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Here to put a little sizzling sunshine in your life is the Sinfully Summer Tour!

The smash-hit contemporary romance novel by Aimée Duffy has just been released in paperback so take a look at the details to find out why fans are loving it! There will be reviews and guest posts along the way, plus the chance to win a personalised signed copy of the book.

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What they say:

A Summer Bonkbuster perfect for fans of Jackie Collins, Tilly Bagshawe, Jilly Cooper and Victoria Fox!

SUN, SEA AND SEX

FLINGS & FLIRTATIONS

Notorious heiress Alexa Green has certainly been enjoying her most recent girls-holiday in Marbella. Just as we thought, she’s been knocking back the cocktails and showing off her fabulous bikini body on the beach…

SECRETS & SCANDALS

But rumour has it she’s also been spotted sneaking out of Enrique Castillo’s penthouse in the early hours of this morning – in nothing but her underwear! Our question is, doesn’t this fiercely private billionaire know what he’s letting himself in for?
He’s got the millions… and she knows how to spend them! So lie back on your sun lounger and get comfortable, because this summer fling is going to be a sizzler!

 

Our review

 

*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

I really should have read this book by the beach! Look at that summery cover and all those vibrant colors! Sinfully Summer is one of those books that should come with a cocktail and lots of sun. Unfortunately the weather out here is crazy and been raining and grey mostly, however Aimee managed to transport me to sunny Marbella and its beautiful beaches.

This is a rather short, but very much sweet read. It’s one of those you’ll finish in one sitting, cover to cover, maybe even on your lunch breaks. It follows the story of Alexa, a bit of a spoilt, wild party-girl who’s on a vacation with her girls. Under very strange and embarrassing conditions, she meets Ric the hotel owner, an up tight businessman who asks (or shall I say forces) her to help him out organize a charity ball.

The writing is easy to follow and I really liked the immediate chemistry between Alexa and Ric, however there were few things that bothered me. As much as I tried to, I couldn’t relate to Alexa and despite the fact she’s trying to act mature I still thought she’s very spoilt. I also didn’t like the way Ric is blackmailing her to help him out.

However, Sinfully Summer is definitely a nice beach read, perfect to get your mind off serious matters and every day problems. I wish it was a bit longer though, because maybe I’d got to see more of Alexa’s character and like her more. I loved the setting and think I should definitely re-read it for my summer holidays.

If you’re looking for an easy, romance read and a short getaway from all your daily troubles, look no further. I’m sure you’d love to visit Marbella, just make sure you don’t forget getting a nice cold drink.

My rating: 3/5

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Click Here To Buy The Paperback

Want the book instantly? CLICK HERE to download the eBook via Amazon UK or CLICK HERE to download the eBook via Amazon US.

images-257Author Bio:

Aimée writes steamy, contemporary romance for the 21st century woman who enjoys the 21st century alpha male. She’s addicted to reading, shopping and can’t go a day without music. When she’s not writing you can find her traipsing up the Ochils (weather permitting of course) or procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Aimée
Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google +

 

***GIVEAWAY***

Enter the giveaway and you could land yourself a personalised signed copy of Sinfully Summer, the book readers have dubbed “Sexy”, “Fun” and a “Must Read!”

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CandleLit Author Services and Aimée Duffy reserve the right to amend the giveaway details at any time and without prior notice. No responsibility is taken in the event of prize non-delivery.

 

Blog Tour: ‘Closing In’ by Sue Fortin Review + UK/INT Giveaway

Today we have the pleasure to be part of another Blog Tour organized by lovely Sharon from Fiction Addiction Tours, this time for Sue Fortin’s ‘Closing In’. Sue is the author of 2 novels, and her debut ‘United States of Love’ is high up on our TBR list (especially after reading ‘Closing In’). Thanks to Sue we’re also offering you a fab giveaway (details found at the end of post). Scroll bellow to read our review and make sure you add ‘Closing In’ to your TBR pile no matter the size of it. It’s a fantastic read, I can guarantee you that. Then come back and comment, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

 

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Blurb:

Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn?

 

Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But something is wrong. Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?

For fans of Emily Barr & Rosamund Lupton.

 

About the Author

 

Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.

Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.

To find out more about Sue visit her blogs www.suefortin.wordpress.com  and www.theromaniacs.co.uk

Twitter : suefortin1.

Facebook : Sue Fortin Writer’s Page

 Buy ‘Closing In’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

 

Our review:

*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

‘Closing In’ is Sue Fortin’s second novel, and though I haven’t read her debut yet (I do however have it on kindle so expect to rectify this pretty soon) I know this one is much different to her previous one. I’ve read many reviews of ‘Unites States of Love’, Sue’s debut, as well as chatted to people who have read it, and I must admit I didn’t expect this type of read from her. While ‘United States of Love’ is a chick lit/contemporary romance, seems with ‘Closing In’ Sue decided to explore the darker side, creating one hell of a gripping psychological thriller.

It’s got loads of elements in it, suspense, romance, mystery, drama..it’s one great combination of all the things I personally enjoy very much in a book. The story is centered around Helen, who leaves home and decides on changing her identity. For a while, she seems to be alright and finally living the life she always dreamed of. She has a job she enjoys, and maybe there are chances even for starting a new romance. However, things get pretty strange soon… could it be her past is still haunting her?

This was truly an enjoyable and such an easy read. I didn’t even want to go to bed so I could see how things will turn out for Helen at the end. Sue’s narration and the skills to create such a gripping read have really impressed me. I was completely hooked from the first page, wondering why Helen is doing such a drastic change. I could feel her reasons for that, but I can’t say I could totally predict everything that was happening in this book. It’s definitely one of those book that will keep you guessing and one which you won’t be able to put down. 

Needless to say, I will definitely be on a watch out for Sue’s next book (I know authors sometimes feel the pressure when a reader approaches them with this statement, but honestly I can’t help it). I will also definitely check out United States of Love, and I really can’t wait to see if Sue will decide to go back to chick lit or if she’ll continue writing psychological/drama/suspense. As much as I love chick lit I must say I wouldn’t be complaining if she decides to stick with the darker books. It’s obvious she feels very comfortable in this genre and she’s mighty good in creating an intriguing, complex and fast paced story that will keep you invested throughout.

My rating: 4/5

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GIVEAWAY:

The giveaway on tour is 1 x ecopy of Closing In (INT), 1 x Amazon GC £5/$10 (INT) plus a handcrafted tote bag (UK only). Enter through rafflecopter.

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Blog Tour ‘The Half-Life of Hannah’/’Other Halves’ by Nick Alexander: Guest Post + INT Giveaway

Today we’re honored to be taking part in Nick Alexander’s Blog tour for his two novels ‘The Half-Life of Hannah’ and the sequel ‘Other Halves’ published by Black & White Publishing. Many thanks to Nick for his lovely post and make sure you enter the fantastic INTERNATIONAL giveaway (rafflecopter found at the end of the post).

 

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“If your first love came back to offer you everything you ever dreamed of, what would you do?”

Hannah is thirty-eight and the happily married mother of eleven-year old Luke, the diamond in her world. Her marriage is reassuringly stable, and after fifteen years she has managed to push the wild dreams of youth from her mind and concentrate on the everyday satisfactions of here and now. The first half of her life hasn’t been as exciting as she had hoped, but then, she reckons, whose has?

When she succeeds in convincing husband Cliff to rent a villa in the south of France for a summer holiday with her sister Jill and gay friend Tristan, she’s expecting little more than a pleasant few weeks with her family. But they each have their own baggage – their own secrets – ready to explode on this not-so-relaxing holiday in France.

When a phone call at the villa announces the imminent arrival of a ghost from her past, the ambiance is transformed into a raging sea of jealousy as Hannah is forced to question everything she thought she knew and believed.

But is she brave enough to take the life-changing decisions her future happiness requires?

 

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Blurb:

Hannah and Cliff’s marriage is over. After a traumatic family holiday, Cliff’s lies have been exposed and Hannah has been reunited with her lost love, Cliff’s brother, James. But after fifteen years together, and forever bound by love for their eleven-year-old son, Luke, breaking free and starting again seems impossible.

A new life in Australia with James beckons for Hannah – but can she embark on this adventure without losing the love of her son? And can Cliff finally face up to issues he has suppressed since adolescence and find happiness in a confusing world?

Amid the turmoil of separation, and with Luke caught in the crossfire, both Hannah and Cliff face the challenge of rebuilding their lives. To make the other halves of their lives count, theyneed courage and determination. But perhaps it’s more than they possess…

 


Nick’s Guest Post: LIving Other Lives

 

Although I had planned to write a sequel to The Half-Life of Hannah from the moment I started planning the first book, the actual nature of Other Halves didn’t come to me until much later. In The Half-Life of Hannah, Cliff came over very much as the bad guy, and this was fine and intentional. The story was all about Hannah, and a large part of that story was how Cliff had let her down by keeping a couple of very major secrets from her. The book was written from Hannah’s point of view, so, of course, Cliff wasn’t going to come out of it smelling of roses. But once I had finished writing the first episode of Hannah’s life, and as the book reviews started piling up (frequently mentioning what a truly nasty guy Cliff was) I started to feel a bit sorry for him. Because, in my mind, Cliff had never intended to hurt Hannah. Nor had he intentionally let her down.

So it started to seem to me that book two would have to redress that balance a bit. It would need to explain just why someone would behave so badly.

At the time, a couple of my friends were in the process of divorcing. It was what people call “a messy divorce”, and often, in the same day, I would have both of them on the phone to me telling me what a complete and utter bastard the other person was being. I realised, fairly soon on, that I was going to have to cut loose one side of the couple, because being in the middle was an almost impossible place to be. But equally, I discovered that it was really very, very intriguing, exciting, almost, to be able to hear one side of a story and then another. I was constantly amazed how the utterly repugnant behaviour of one half of the couple would sound utterly reasonable half an hour later when described by the person who had been accused. And as I started to plan out the new loves and lives of Hannah and Cliff in Other Halves, I started to think, “Yes, that’s what I want to do!” I wanted to drag the reader back and forth between different points of view, to make them sympathise with Hannah, and then Cliff, and then Hannah again. And I wanted, above all, to get across the idea that unless you really know what’s going on inside someone else’s head (which pretty much involves having lived their entire life from birth to date) you’re in no position to judge them.

To push the concept to the extreme, take the serial killer. Had I been unlucky enough to live a serial killer’s entire life, being born when and where and to the same parents, and living every single unhappy experience he lived, I honestly believe that I would have ended up the same way – a serial killer! And had I been born Cliff or Hannah, I would very likely have behaved exactly the way they did. And with that understanding comes forgiveness. That doesn’t make anything anyone does acceptable, but it does make it understandable. Luckily, I was born Nick Alexander, so I get to live as many other lives as I want right here inside my head. Maybe I’ll write a serial killer next time! Hum. Maybe not.

 

About the Author

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I grew up in the seaside town of Margate England with four brothers including three on the web: Matthew AlexanderGreg AlexanderSteven Alexander who are all painters as was our father, Chris.

On leaving Margate, I moved to the Midlands and then Cambridge. In 1991, in need of adventure, I headed off with a backpack finally settling in Nice France where with the exception of a brief, exciting stint in New York, I have lived ever since.

After being refused by truly every publisher in the world, I self-published my first novel 50 Reasons to Say Goodbye in 2003. Encouraged by its success, I wrote and published four sequel novels: Sottopassaggio (2005), Good Thing/Bad Thing(2006), Better Than Easy(2009) and Sleight of Hand(2010) as well as a standalone novel, 13:55 Eastern Standard Time(2007).

My self published 2011 title The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend reached #1 in Amazon’s UK chart and gained me my first proper publishing contract with Corvus-Atlantic who also republished the entire 50 Reasons series and the sequel to The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend, The French House which sold more than 200,000 copies.

My 2012 novel The Half-Life Of Hannah, though mysteriously refused for publication by Corvus, again, once self published, reached number one and sold over 275,000 copies, and the paperback rights were subsequently purchased by Black and White Publishing.  Black and White are also publishing the Hannah sequel entitled Other Halves in both ebook and paperback, so I seem, finally, to be on a bit of a roll. Long may it last!

I also edit and contribute to the gay lit website, BIGfib.com

I currently spend half my time in Nice, and the other half in a cabin in the French Alps where I get bored enough to actually concentrate on writing. But whenever I can, I jump on a plane or a train to London, my favourite city in the world.

 

Author Links

Website

Twitter @authornick

Facebook

GIVEAWAY!

The overall giveaway on tour is a paperback copy of both books and is open Internationally. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck guys!

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Blog Tour ‘Dear Thing’ by Julie Cohen – Review + Europe & UK Giveaway

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The day is finally here! We are thrilled and so honored to be the second stop of Julie Cohen’s ‘Dear Thing’ Blog Tour. ‘Dear Thing’ is a wonderful, emotional novel and we must say we weren’t surprised to hear it’s a 2014 Richard and Judy Summer Book Club pick. Congrats Julie, well deserved! And to you our lovely blog readers, read our review and make sure you enter the fantastic giveaway (details found at the end of the post). Many thanks to Julie and Tess Henderson for the opportunity to be part of this tour and for sponsoring the great giveaway. Also, make sure you visit the other tour hosts for more great content and chances to win this amazing book!

 

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Blurb:

After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily offered to give them the one thing they most wanted.

But Romily wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire – and even destroy their marriage.


Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make . . .

 

 

 

 

Our review:

*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

OMG what a journey! ‘Dear Thing’ can be only described as a roller coaster, swinging you up and down, throwing you from side to side, evoking all these emotions you never thought a book would get out of you.

I knew pretty much just by reading the blurb this was going to be an emotional read, but honestly, I was not prepared for this. And even now, while I am writing this review, I can’t help but have teary eyes. 

‘Dear Thing’ is definitely one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, and I don’t mean strange in a bad way. It tells the story of Claire and Ben, a loving, (almost) perfect couple who seem to have it all. Except, the most important thing in life – children. No matter how hard they try, how many IVFs they have, they seem to be out of luck. That’s until Romily, Ben’s best friend for years suggest another plan. She wants to be their surrogate, letting them have the only and most precious thing in life they seem to miss.

Of course, many things will go wrong, and there’s the topic of Romily’s ex boyfriend (the father of her 7 year old daughter, Posie) but there’s also lots of drama with the new (and very awkward position) Romily, Ben and Claire get themselves into.

As you can assume, it’s a hard book, speaking about difficult topics, about being in a position when you have to make some choices and wondering which one would be the best. It’s deep and thought provoking and raises so many serious questions. It will make you love, hate, sympathize, even cry – it will get all these feelings out of you. The emotional factor and the exquisite writing skills of Ms Cohen will literally keep you glued to its pages. I’m sure many women, even if for a moment, will relate to either Claire or Romily (if not with both), and though they may not agree with the choices these women make, they will genuinely care for them. I didn’t like Romily much at the beginning, I admit. I couldn’t understand her reasons for wanting to be a surrogate. I’ve had the chance to discuss this topic with a friend of mine a couple of years ago, and to be honest, though I would never judge anyone for wanting to go through this, I would never be able to be a surrogate. I would never be able to have my dear thing in the womb for 9 months, and unselfishly give it away. Now, some would think this is normal, others would feel it’s selfish… but we’re all different and that’s the beauty of living. Those are the questions the characters in this books ask themselves and those are the challenges they face each day.

Ben is truly a great character, loving and caring, just the type of a man any woman would fall for. He’s so supportive and his desire to become a father was truly heart breaking. But at the same time, all these characters have certain flaws, making them more believable and adding dimension to them. They experience jealousy, fear and competitiveness just like any of us. Ms Cohen really managed to describe all of the turmoil and all their emotions so well, so descriptive. 

It’s a truly unique, thought provoking story that will make you think of the most precious things in life, of all the choices you make and of the consequences. Wonderful, deep and emotional, ‘Dear Thing’ is a story that will surprise you, make you think and stay with you for a long time. I can think of million reasons why you should read this book, however can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t. ‘Dear Thing’, you’re precious and I love you with all my heart.

My rating: 4/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Julie and Tess, we have THREE paperbacks of ‘Dear Thing’ to give away. The giveaway is open to UK and rest of Europe and closes on May 21th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Blog Tour ‘Heartbreak Cake’ by Cindy Arora – Guest Post + Giveaway

Hey guys, today we are part of another awesome tour. This time we’re touring with Cindy Arora, the author of ‘Heartbreak Cake’. This is Cindy’s debut and she’s also one of the authors of the ‘Merry & Bright’ anthology which was published last Christmas. Today, Cindy is here with her post and has an awesome giveaway for you (details to be found at the end of the post). So, make sure you visit the other stops on her blog tour, read on her post and make sure you enter the giveaway. Very soon we’ll be reviewing ‘Heartbreak Cake’ so stayed tuned! Many thanks to lovely Cindy for being our guest on the blog today!

 

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Can Your Chick Lit Heroine Be A Mistress?

By Cindy Arora

I just finished watching the first two seasons of the show Scandal (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal), and am completely hooked. Nighttime soap operas are not typically my wheelhouse. But one of the main things I love about the show is the heroine– a strong, brilliant, fiercely independent woman who also happens to be wrapped up in a complicated, messy, passionate, multilayered relationship with a married man.

Did I mention that he’s the President of the United States? It’s a delicious mess.

Since releasing HEARTBREAK CAKE in the fall one of the more poignant questions I get asked by readers is why I chose to tell the love story of a woman detangling herself from a relationship with a married man. It’s not always a popular topic and a lot of readers don’t always want to hear the story of The Other Woman. She’s not typically the character you root for, but in the case of Indira, her story isn’t just about infidelity. It’s about renewal.

Her story is weaves the classic tale of how one bad choice can lead to a negative domino effect that touches every aspect of one’s life. In Indira’s case, it’s her love life, friends, family and ultimately –her career, which was the one place where she felt safe, stable and in control.

Yet, taking chances (as illogical as they may be) when it comes to love is what we love about our Chick Lit heroines. They are feisty, spirited and don’t always make the best choices … but they always try to figure out how they can fix it so they can grow and become a better woman and at heroine to admire.

Feminist and author ― Simone de Beauvoir once said: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”   Which is ultimately the journey I intended for Indira in order to become a better version of herself.  She is undeniably flawed, but is ready for significant change for herself.

And like all good Chick Lit heroines, she does it with spirit, sass, her favorite pair of jeans and her best friends. Oh and chocolate cake. Always chocolate cake.

 

About the Author

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Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. 
GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to lovely Cindy, we have one paperback of ‘Heartbreak Cake’ (US only) and one e-book (INTERNATIONAL) to give away. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Cindy Arora. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

 

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Blog Tour: Take Me Home by Daniela Sacerdoti Guest Post + INT Giveaway

We’re so honored to be tour hosts for Daniela Sacerdoti’s Blog Tour for ‘Take Me Home’. We first heard about Dani when she published her debut ‘Watch Over Me’ which became a HUGE hit! (If you don’t believe me, just check the number of reviews on amazon). It is one of the BEST and most touching books we’ve ever read. We’re beyond happy to see ‘Take Me Home’ receiving so many positive feedback already and we do hope Dani is already working on a new book. Today, Dani is here to talk about Inary, the MC in ‘Take Me Home’, but there’s also a fantastic giveaway for you (rafflecopter link found bellow). So, enjoy Dani’s post and make sure you read her books! She’s a fantastic author who’s books are NOT to be missed!

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Blurb:

Inary Monteith’s life is at a crossroads. After a stolen night with her close friend Alex, she’s just broken his heart by telling him it was all a terrible mistake. Then she has to rush home from London to the Scottish Highlands when her little sister’s illness suddenly worsens – and in returning she must confront the painful memories she has been trying so hard to escape.

Back home, things become more complicated than she could ever have imagined. There’s her sister’s illness, her hostile brother, a smug ex she never wants to see again and her conflicted feelings about Alex in London and a handsome American she meets in Glen Avich. On top of that, she mysteriously loses her voice but regains a strange gift from her childhood – a sixth sense that runs in her family. And when a voice from the past keeps repeating, ‘Take me home’, she discovers a mystery that she knows she must unlock to set herself free.

Take Me Home is a beautiful story of love, loss, discovering one’s true abilities and, above all, never forgetting who you really are.

 

Inary’s Silence

Take Me Home is the story of a young woman who, after a trauma, stops speaking altogether. Although it took me a relatively short time to write this novel – nine months – the story has been growing inside me for a long time. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of not speaking, of letting yourself be sheltered by silence.

As a teenager, I read Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy M. Montgomery (the author of Anne of Green Gables) about a girl who, for some mysterious reason, can’t speak, so she expresses herself through writing in a notebook she carries around her neck. I very much saw myself in Kilmeny back then, because so much of what I wanted to say could only be conveyed by writing – so I found the idea of a girl who can’t speak, but instead writes, spellbinding.

The catalyst for Inary’s silence is her sister’s death – her grief is such that her feelings can’t be expressed with words, and her overwhelming emotions somehow choke her. As she loses her voice, she finds that silence changes her from the inside. Because she now has to write everything she wants to express, she can’t blurt out things any longer – they need to be filtered by the medium of writing, they need more time and effort to be said. Therefore she begins to say less and think more, to shave off layers of herself until she gets to her core. She begins to understand herself more, and realise what she really wants and needs from life. The deepest, most secret part of her – her Sight, the ability to see the dead and listen to their stories – springs back to life after years of dormancy. As she sinks into silence, people long gone begin speaking to her, and she’s able to listen and, in turn, tell their stories through her writing.

Inary’s journey to me is a metaphor of the writing process, of the necessity of silence to focus on the stories inside our minds – but in her case it’s also a journey through grief. The trauma of her sister’s death is such that she has to work through her pain and bewilderment in a way that’s almost physical – before she can find herself again. Having had two major bereavements in my life, I found it very hard, almost heartbreaking, to let myself remember those feelings so I could describe Inary’s. However, it was certainly cathartic to write the ending… but I won’t spoil it for you!

If you have any thoughts about this post I wrote, or about Take Me Home, or if you feel like a natter, do come and find me – @danisacerdoti. Thank you for having me!

Dani

 

About the Author

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Daniela Sacerdoti is a mother and a writer. Born in Naples, but brought up in a small village in the Italian Alps, she lives near Glasgow with her husband and sons. She calls herself a thief of time – she steals time to write when everyone has gone to bed, or before they wake up. She’s a Primary teacher, but she chose to be at home with her children. She loves being with her boys, doing art with them, reading anything she can get her hands on and chatting with her girlfriends. But she also adores being on her own, free to daydream and make up stories.

You can find out more about Daniela Sacerdoti on her website.  You can also tweet (@danisacerdoti) with her and find her on Facebook.

 

GIVEAWAY:

The overall giveaway is a paperback copy of Take Me Home.  Open Internationally.
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Blog Tour: Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis Guest Post + INT giveaway

EXCITING DAY! Today we’re tour hosts for lovely Aven Ellis, the author of ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Waiting For Prince Harry’. We’ve read/reviewed and above all, LOVED, both of her books and we’re thrilled to welcome Aven on This Chick Reads today. Read on her post and make sure you enter the amazing giveaway (rafflecopter at the end of the post). Also, make sure you visit the other tour hosts for loads of more guest post, interviews and reviews. The stage is all yours Aven and thank you for being our guest today!

 

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Blurb:

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer…Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry—Kylie’s ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course.  And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down.  But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option.

Or does it?

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to take a chance, to face her fears, and live in the present?  And could this stranger be the Prince Harry she has been waiting for? Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it…

 

The Setting in Waiting for Prince Harry

 

Setting is always so important to me when writing a story. It gives readers a new place to explore, or a familiar trip to somewhere they’ve been many times through the eyes of a character instead of their own. In Waiting for Prince Harry, I take the readers to my hometown of Dallas, Texas.

Dallas is a chic, fashion-forward city in the southwest. Summers here are sultry and hot, with temperatures often over 100F in the day. So I decided to place my story here, in the steamy summertime, to allow the heat to bring another element to the story. And we visit some fabulous places, too. So let’s take a look at some of these, shall we?

 

  1. The Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Ritz is gorgeous and the perfect place for a posh Dallas wedding reception as described in the opening scene in the book.

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  1. The Rattlesnake Bar is where Kylie meets Harrison for the first time. It’s rugged sexy—just like our hockey hero!

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  1. The lobby of the Ritz Carlton is where Kylie’s indecision costs her a chance to ask Harrison for his number. This scene happened right next to this table of vases.

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  1. Kylie works at an outdoor mall in Dallas, and I modeled it after the famous Highland Park Village.

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  1. Kylie lives in Uptown,  a chic spot for shopping, dining out, and living.

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  1. Harrison and Kylie enjoy nights out in Dallas, and this is the beautiful skyline of my hometown.

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  1. Kylie attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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  1. Southlake, Texas is the Dallas suburb where Kylie grew up.

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  1. Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Five Sixty is a favorite of Kylie & Harrison.

Image 10. And this is where Kylie had one of her first dates with Harrison: the Dallas Arboretum.

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So I hope you enjoyed this visual trip through Dallas. And if you’ve read the book, I hope my descriptions gave you a good picture of my hometown.

About the Author

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Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night.  Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published this year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

 

Author links

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AvenEllis

Web site:

http://www.avenellis.com/index.html

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/avenellis/

 

GIVEAWAY:

The overall giveaway on tour is an ecopy of Connectivity and an ecopy of Waiting for Prince Harry. Open Internationally!
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