Friday, 20 July 2018

Emma's Review: The Factory Girls of Lark Lane by Pam Howes

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

The struggles of war will build the strongest of friendships…

1940, Liverpool: Best friends Alice Turner and Millie Markham work for the war effort at Rootes munitions factory, making shell caps and Halifax bombers. Alice’s sweetheart Terry is home from the front for a brief period of leave, and the women are excitedly planning a whirlwind wedding.

But the honeymoon is soon over, and the ever-present air raid sirens quickly bring Alice back down to earth. When a terrible explosion at the factory leads to a tragic death, and a loved one is announced missing in action, it’s only their friendship and the support of the other factory girls which help to keep Alice and Millie’s spirits up.

As the war stretches on with no sign of an ending, can Alice and Millie help one another make it through – and find happiness even in the darkest of times?

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Books Read: This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

One little mistake and nothing will ever be the same again!

On the one hand, if Essie hadn't written that letter - the one that only her best friend was meant to see - then she'd still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding...

On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn't accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn't have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas...

And she wouldn't have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn't fall in love with...

Amazon Affiliate Links: Kindle or Paperback

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Author Interview: Evie Grace

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Evie Grace back to the blog for the A  Place to Call Home blog tour.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
Thank you very much for welcoming me on this stop on the blog tour. I’m delighted to be here. 

A Place to Call Home is the third novel in the Maids of Kent series that was inspired by my family history. Having written contemporary fiction in the past, I’m really enjoying my foray into the Victorian era.

I was born in Kent and one of my earliest memories is of picking cherries with my grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling. I spent many happy holidays with my other grandparents in Canterbury - I can remember feeding the ducks in Westgate Gardens, and buying shoes at Kennedy’s shoe shop on Sun Street. My experiences, and the time I spent with my grandparents and great-grandmother, inspired me to write about this beautiful and historic area. 

I’m living in Devon now with my partner, and I have a daughter and son who have flown the nest. 

If you had to give an elevator pitch for A Place to Call Home, what would it be? 
Rose Cheevers lives a happy life with her patchwork family at the tannery beside the river Stour in Canterbury until disaster strikes and she is forced to flee with the younger children. Moving from the city to the Kent countryside and then on to the brickfields of Faversham, Rose struggles to keep her family together and find a place she can call home.   

Describe Rose in 3 words.
Resourceful. Caring. Strong. 

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Write Stuff with... Vanessa Carnevale

This morning it's my pleasure to welcome Vanessa Carnevale for today's stop on the blog tour for her latest book The Memories of Us.

One of the questions I’m most often asked by readers is where my ideas for a novel come from. It’s a discussion that I enjoy having, because I find the creative process as wondrous and fascinating as my readers. The whole concept of making a book, of making something out of nothing is exciting and one of the things I love most about writing.

For me, ideas can come from anywhere. A ‘what-if’ type question, a news article, an off-the-cuff comment someone makes about something, a setting, or a single character. More often than not, my story ideas begin as little seeds. I hold and nurture them for a little while, not quite sure what surprises they hold or what they’ll blossom into. 

I have a process when an idea comes my way whereby I play a bit of ‘hard to get’ with it. I’ll think about the idea for a bit allowing me to daydream about characters and the feel of the story, along with potential story problems and challenges characters in the novel might face. Then I park the idea, setting it aside to focus on something else. If the idea, which is often still very embryonic and far from fully formed, keeps pestering me, as in, it slowly becomes something I simply can’t stop thinking about, then I decide to give it some more attention by way of brainstorming to see if I can give it some shape. It really is a case of using my intuition to guide me as to whether the story feels right.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Write Stuff with... Daisy James

Today it's my pleasure to hand the reins of the blog over to author Daisy James on the latest leg of her Confetti & Confusion blog tour with a post about Wedding Fiascos.

Confetti & Confusion is the second book in the Paradise Cookery School series, set on the spectacular Caribbean island of St Lucia. In the story we re-join Millie and Ella as they showcase a myriad of chocolate-themed recipes for bride-to-be Imogen and her friends in the run up to their glamorous wedding at a luxury resort on the hilltop overlooking the stunning Pitons. It’s a dream come true for Imogen to be getting married in such exotic surroundings and, as a confirmed chocoholic, being able to attend the cookery school is the icing on the three-tiered wedding cake. 

Weddings are stressful occasions that take months, if not years of meticulous planning. Everything needs to be perfect on the day, but there’s so much to co-ordinate that there’s a myriad of ways that things can go wrong. What about the wedding where the bride’s grandmother threw a cup of coffee over the bride and groom instead of a cup of confetti? Or the disastrous staging of a wedding party photograph when the over-ambitious photographer lined everyone up on a wooden jetty that collapsed under all the weight – thankfully everyone could swim!