I have news!!!

Good morning/ good afternoon/ good evening, wherever in the world you are when you read this.

The last few months have been eerily quiet on my part, I have been up to my eyeballs in bookish stuff and general life shizzery that I won’t bore you with 😉 HOWEVER, this means that I have been able to work ridiculously hard to bring you lovely lot a new summer read! I can FINALLY confirm that Perfume and Promises will be released on Saturday 21st May. Hurrahhhhhh! And because I love you all, here’s a sneaky peek at my blurb…….

Chloe Richards is a small town girl with a big heart. At least, that’s what the local folk of Rosehip Village think. But when her parents turn up on her doorstep asking for help, her secret past is about to be revealed.

Being the daughter of Hollywood royalty was never going to be easy, but at 19, Chloe Richards managed to leave that life behind along with the scandals that almost destroyed her. A fresh start was all she needed, and a fresh start was what she got in Rosehip. Girlfriend of a local bookshop owner, best friends with fiercely loyal café owner and owner of a perfume business herself, Chloe has a happy life. But her parents are about to turn her perfect life on its head. Again.

What do you do when you’re torn between loyalty and protecting yourself? Should you trust your heart when your head is telling you not to?

So there you have bookish news number 1. I did say yesterday on Facebook however that there would be 2 bits of news, so it gives me all the feels to be able to tell you that although I can’t promise an actual follow up this year for Dear Darling, Mr Donley will be gracing my blog on Valentines Week. With a chapter a day to keep you all abreast of what’s been going on in their lives, I hope this makes up for my absence and gives all you Adam fans the fix you need haha. He has been one of my favourite characters to write so far so rest assured, you haven’t seen the last of him yet.

If you want to find out what all the fuss is about over the delicious Mr Donley, you can grab your copy of Dear Darling here from Amazon:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

I’ll keep you all updated on Perfume and Promises but want to thank you all for your patience these last few months! :-*

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A quick Bank Holiday treat y’all!

Wahooooo, it’s Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK which means celebrations all round. Unless you think about this being the last one before Christmas….that’s quite a depressing thought given that it’s still a few months away! Anyway, I digress. I’m just popping on here today to share my exciting treat for you all but you have to be quick with this one because before you know it, it will be gone in the blink of a Tuesday morning, never to be seen again. Are you ready?

PROMO FREE

YES! Dear Darling is FREE this weekend! If you want to get your grubby little paws on a copy of this hit summer read then what are you waiting for? Click the link below and have at it 😉

Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/2bui5u
Amazon US: http://ow.ly/2bui5z

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I hope you’re all having a great weekend with lots of reading!

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I HAVE PAPERBACKS!!

Something very exciting happened recently and as I sit typing this post, I’m sat staring at the B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L paperback copies of both Dear Darling and Home for The Holidays!

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There’s something so special about having your work in paperback. It allows you to stroke, smell, and basically violate your book ha it will never get old. Of course, eBooks still have their definite advantages aside from the obvious weight side of things, they can work out a lot cheaper than paperbacks but I don’t think that I’ll ever stop buying paperbacks – much to my husbands dismay.

I want to thank everyone that has bought Dear Darling too, it means that absolute world that you’d buy and read my work and I still have to pinch myself at times. If you have read it, I would love it if you could pop over to Amazon and leave a review. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just a quick little bit of feedback makes all the difference to an author. That’s another thing I’ve realised since becoming an author, reviews are like the tips for the author world haha.

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Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/2bui5u
Amazon US: http://ow.ly/2bui5z

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week and are ready for a well-earned rest this weekend. If you’re reading something that you’re enjoying, shout about it in the comments below. Also, what’s your preference? Are you still a paperback lover like me or are you an eBook lover through and through?

Until next time you lovely lot *mwah*

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The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert – My Review

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What it’s all about:

YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

Review

Book provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

When I first spotted this book on Netgalley, I was so drawn to the cover that I just HAD to read it. The pull was too great to pass up and I hoped and prayed that I would have the privilege of being sent this….and thankfully, I was.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is about the delightful Elizabeth – known as Lou to everyone she meets – who owns a French restaurant named Luella, after her grandmother. We meet her at a point where she is still with her extremely unpleasant fiance just before his birthday and he continues to play a role throughout the book. I won’t lie, I was thrilled that his true colours were revealed resulting in poor Lou breaking up with him after she finds him with another woman on his birthday. She had even made him cake too! What a giant douche. He does, in fact, play quite a key role in the book too, but I refuse to give any spoilers.

On alternate chapters, we get to know Al. Al Waters is an undercover food critic who has moved to Milwaukee to do his bit, review a few restaurants and get the hell out of there. He makes no secret of the fact he is not a fan and clearly wants to be anywhere but Milwaukee. However, when his path crosses with Lou’s in a bar just after she has one of the worst weeks of her life, he wonders whether the city has a bit more to offer than he originally thought.

I really enjoyed watching the two become close, Lou’s vibrant personality shone through and her warm, positive attitude made her a delight to read about and you really do want to see her succeed. She was so full of life and such a kind hearted, good natured person that I was quite sad she wasn’t real; she is someone I would love as a friend! I sound quite gushy now but I can’t say enough great things about her.

As Lou and Al grew closer though, I inwardly cringed and winced every time a passing comment was made about their jobs, but as both were adamant that they wouldn’t discuss work when they were together, the timebomb kept on ticking. The day Al found out who Lou was, my heart literally ached for him. Over the course of the year, as he has grown to know and enjoy Lou’s company, he has become a better person. He no longer writes so scathingly about the restaurants he visits, his appreciation for Milwaukee has grown as Lou rose to the challenge of showing him the best of her fair town, and you just know that the moment she finds out he was the reason that she had to give up on the dream she has fought so hard for, the dream that has been destroyed by him and him alone, that her world will unravel at a great speed. It doesn’t matter how hard he tries to protect her from the truth, even resorting to having his newspaper print a story about the death of his alias, he cannot escape what he has done.

Although the story focuses on these wonderful and very realistic characters, it also has a brilliant collection of secondary characters that can’t help but smile at when they come onto the page. The way each person is written made The Coincidence of Coconut Cake such a great read that I read it in 2 sittings; on the way to a concert, and then on the return journey. Once I started the book, I didn’t want to put it down. Something about it just made you feel like you were wrapped in a giant blanket, snuggled up in a chair with a hot beverage getting completely lost in their world. It also made me want to visit Milwaukee!

If you’re a fan of a good old-fashioned romance that has you holding your breath in parts, makes you melt in others, has you salivating at the delicious food and even contains a bonus recipe for the coconut cake in question (which I actually made and it was DIVINE!) then The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is definitely for you.

5 STARS

Buy it now from Amazon UK / US

Follow Amy on Twitter

Visit Amy’s website

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Why I’m proud to be self published

When I first started on my self-publishing adventure, I didn’t have a clue what to expect. What I did know though, was that I loved to write and that the chances of me being able to go the traditional route were quite slim. At this point, I had no idea that the likes of Carina existed where you can approach them yourself and don’t have to wait about 3 months just to get some kind of response.

My first step was trying to get a Facebook author profile and page set up, and then hope that I stood a chance of finding other people that not only wrote, but that were friendly and of a similar mindset. Or at the very least, not bots haha

Then I joined Twitter. Lordy me, the hours I spent trying to fathom out exactly how to use it and not feel like a prize idiot just talking to myself with 0 followers. And don’t get me started on the 140 character thing! Soul destroying. But I carried on and persevered because I was determine to publish my book. I already had a friend who had self-published a book, but she had started out on FanFiction writing her versions of Fifty Shades and such and had a pretty large group of fans that crossed over to her Facebook. People loved her work. Then there was little old me who just adored Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk; all I wanted to do was write something to make people laugh, something that I would love to read. I didn’t have a clue that people were being so negative about chick lit let alone ‘indie’ authors.

Although my start was shaky, I soon discovered a wonderful thing called a blog tour! It sounded perfect! But then I realised the only tour hosts I had come across charged much more than I could afford; so I organised my own. At this point, the wonderful Tracie Banister had taken me under her wing and invited me to join a group on Facebook that was full of chick lit writers, and she also gave me tips on how to arrange my own tour. But then I had no idea how to approach these unicorn like creatures known as book bloggers. I genuinely wanted to cry.

Self-publishing can be a lonely journey when you don’t have an agent or editor to ask for help. I’m certain I offended a few bloggers too (unknowingly might I add!) when I approached them. I made sure to check out their blogs and review policies, but you know when you’re so eager to be a part of an amazing blog that you adore, that you probably don’t quite get it right. I also know for a fact that I sent one email to the wrong blog with the wrong names on. I wanted to die of embarrassment. I was new and naive and just wanted people to give me a chance. The funny thing I began to notice though, was that a lot of bloggers only accept work from published authors or their agents. I didn’t really understand why at the time, but now I’ve just released my fourth book, I’m a LOT wiser than I was back then.

My first tour went amazingly well. Most of the bloggers that gave me a chance in those early days have remained by my side becoming firm friends and have continued to be my cheerleaders. They have supported me, they have tweeted about me, they have recommended me, but still, some people won’t touch a self-published author with a ten-foot bargepole.

I do appreciate that there are some self-absorbed authors out there that think that because they’ve written a book, everyone should want to read it; ‘not into horror? So what, it’s a book, you should read it.’ *rolls eyes*. I also appreciate that there are some that don’t bother to edit their work. But I can’t help but wonder how many brilliant authors aren’t getting a chance because they’re labelled as self-published, like it’s something that should be avoided like the plague. Being self published takes a lot of hard work, long hours, dozens of edits, doors closing, expense, and still people assume that because you haven’t got a contract with a big publishing house, you must be worthless. I too spend months and months working on my novels and work just as hard as traditionally published authors. The number of edits I give my work is ridiculous (although in the early days, I probably didn’t realise that 2 or 3 edits was nowhere near enough), the number of people that help me is amazing, and the hours I spend worrying over whether I’m still good enough is bonkers, but I’m passionate. I’m lucky to have proved myself to a degree and to have people who can’t wait to read what I write, but it takes hard work. I like my covers to look perfect, I like to make a good impression, and hopefully one day, it won’t matter that I’m ‘just another self-published author’.

I hope this post doesn’t sound like a rant, it’s not meant to be. I wanted to write this to show how proud I am of where I’ve come from. I am a self-published author. I have spent a lot of money to make sure my work looks professional. I have spent hours perfecting my novels and promoting my ass off. I also have a lot of blogger friends now who are always there to offer a helping hand or to listen to me rant when I need to.

I am responsible for hitting that publish button and setting my own deadlines. I’m in control of how much I charge for my book, when it goes on sale and how my cover looks.

I am a self published author and I am proud!

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Aaaaaand breathe

I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet recently, Dear Darling was released on 29 July and the last month or so has seen me eyeball deep in edits and proofreads! The time has finally come though where I can sit back and look at my book baby with pride and luckily, she’s getting a great response so far. The blog tour finishes soon and then the hard work will continue to get Dear Darling out to the world.

I realised yesterday that it has been 18 months now since I published my first novel, The Story of Us, and what an 18 months it has been! Four books later here I am, and I feel incredibly lucky to have such a great support network. Dear Darling has felt like a long time coming, but I am so proud of how she has turned out. I won’t lie, I do give myself a little high five when people tell me how much they love Mr Donley who appears to be a new favourite book boyfriend for a lot of bloggers out there.

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So that’s basically what I’ve been up to for the last month and why I’ve been a little quiet.

Dear Darling is out now and just 99p/99c for the rest of the day so grab a copy while you can for a bargain price and see what all the fuss is about:

Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/2bui5u
Amazon US: http://ow.ly/2bui5z

And the wonderful Tay at chicksthatread.com created this trailer too!

That’s all from me for today. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow though that I’ve been putting off since May. I’ve pondered and questioned whether to publish it or not, but I really feel that I should let it be seen. It’s nothing too dramatic, but I hope that it gets a positive response. Until then, have an amazing weekend *mwah*

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Lila’s Choice by Laura Brown

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Here’s the books official description:

Never let your friends get involved in your personal life.

Lila and Nate learn this the hard way. They are the star-crossed lovers of Glendale High. For three years the students have waited for the two to get together. They begged Nate to put his past relationship behind him, and cringed when Lila started dating Bryce. Just your typical teenage romance, except they’re the teachers.

Lila, a guidance counselor with a sweet demeanor, has an answer for every problem, every problem but her own. A visit from childhood friend Bryce thrusts her calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. He soon realizes what only a friend can notice and a lover regret, that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is in love with Nate. 

Nate has seen better days. He is a history teacher stuck living in the past. Depression has kept his love for Lila unspoken, his ego frail after being cheated on.

Now Lila and Nate’s coworkers must unleash a scheme and uncover Lila’s true feelings. In a school this nosey what better way to get fast results than to involve the student population? The students are all too eager to get involved. 

If everything goes as planned Lila will have to choose between two men. If her friends fail they might destroy these three and ruin their friendship. No wonder the scheme is called Project Torture.

Review

I’m currently part of an amazing group of women on Facebook who write chicklit and the lovely Laura is one of these women.

Her novel, Lila’s Choice, is her debut novel and I enjoyed every second of it. There are some great characters in it, all of them down to earth and completely relatable.

The book really centres around Lila, a school guidance counsellor who lives with her colleague and friend Ette.

Early on in the book we learn that Lila has one of her oldest friends, Bryce, coming to town for a spell and that she has suddenly realised she has feelings for him. Feelings that are more than the ‘just friends’ feelings that she thinks she should be having. She’s certain that these feelings are wrong and that she shouldn’t act on them. Ette however, disagrees completely.

We soon learn that the pair are a group of four friends who all work together at Glendale High. Nate and Kent complete the group and I have to say, I loved the friendships they all have. Kent and Ette are brilliant at lightening the moods of Lila and Nate, who incidentally has a huge crush on Lila.

Poor Nate is currently going though a divorce after being separated for 3 years but can’t seem to take that final step, and when he learns of Lila’s new relationship with Bryce, he all but gives up on the idea of anything more than friendship with her – especially when Bryce pops the question in front of the group and Lila says yes, and then drops the bomb that she’ll be leaving with Bryce to move to Florida at the end of the school year.

About halfway through the book, Ette learns of Nate’s affections for Lila from Kent and after watching her carefully, she realises that Lila is not only having doubts about the move to Florida, but she’s having doubts about Bryce. So Kent and Ette decide team up with some of their students – who are also abundantly aware of the feelings Nate has for Lila – to try and get Lila to see what everyone else can, that they are both very much in love with each other.

There are some very comical moments in this book, but most of all I found it a sweet and genuinely heartwarming read about friendships and going after your true love. There are many twists and turns, and in parts I felt really sorry for both Lila and Nate, but as with any love story, the path to true love doesn’t always run smoothly.

I also have to say that Glendale High has a Deaf Program in the book and reading about it really made me want to learn sign language! This really made the book stand out from anything else I’ve read and I look forward to reading more.

4 STARS

Get the book here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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