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Monday, 5 June 2017

Blog Tour - Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate (Hardback)I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out! When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women's House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason. Each of  the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd 
I really enjoyed this book - it is one of those books that once finished makes the reader consider their own lives and what is really important to themselves, being thankful for the good times and their nearest and dearest.
It would be a great book to take to the beach this summer and enjoy with the sound of the sea as a backdrop, imagining they are those from Fiji and not from good old Blackpool or Weston Super Mare.

Thank you to the publishers, Transworld, for sending me the book to review.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Blog Tour - My Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts


Today I am very pleased to kick off the blog tour for Caroline Roberts new release, My Summer of Magic Moments.



My Summer of Magic Moments: Uplifting and Romantic - The Perfect, Feel Good Holiday Read! (Paperback)
'A delightful, life affirming story. I wanted to retreat to a cottage by the sea after the first chapter!' Ali McNamara When a seaside escape spells a little romance ...Claire is ready for a bright new chapter. Winding her way to the coast for a cosy cottage retreat, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year. Claire's a survivor - she's growing proud of the scars that prove it - and she's determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its sparkle. Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. Will a little summer romance prove the worst distraction? Or might it be the perfect remedy? A gorgeous, heartwarming novel to make your heart soar from the author of The Cosy Teashop in the Castle.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers 
ISBN: 9780008236274 

I am very pleased to welcome Caroline to my blog where she has answered some questions about her magic moments.
If you had to pick one for this summer, what would you hope for the perfect ‘magic moment’?

My daughter gets married this summer, so I hope the day works out beautifully for them both and for all of our family and friends.

What’s the best piece of advice you've ever been given as an author?

Can I have two?

One: ‘Don’t get it right get it written’ – stop procrastinating or wanting your writing to be perfect especially at the first draft, just get the story down and keep going until the end. You can always edit later.

Two: Perseverance – especially for the submission process. If you really want to get published, it can take a long time and it can be hard facing the rejections (and there might be many!) as you will have put your heart and soul and many hours into your writing. Just keep learning, keep writing and keep trying. It is really difficult to find a publisher for most authors. It can be tough on you emotionally, but keep going, write what you love and are passionate about and don’t give up!

What do you enjoy most and least about being an author?

Most – creating these wonderful imaginary worlds and getting to know my characters.  Also, it’s just wonderful knowing that readers enjoy my stories too.

Least – marketing and publicity. Most writers aren’t naturally good at blowing their own trumpets or thinking about their books in a business-like way, they just want to write them, but it’s a necessary part of being a published writer these days. Having support from book bloggers, readers and reviewers is really great though.

What genre of books do you mostly read? And do you read anyone else while you’re writing your own books?

I have read widely in the past having taken an English Literature degree, but nowadays I mostly read contemporary women’s fiction. I really enjoy stories about relationships.
I do read whilst I write, usually in bed at night, but I try not to read anything too similar to my current themes, plot or setting, especially when I’m on the first draft stage.

Who are your favourite authors writing today?

I really like Jo Jo Moyes, David Nicholls, Khaleid Homeini, Rowan Coleman, Maggie O’Farrell, Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, Helen Dunmore. I would love to read more, but time is an issue when I’m busy writing myself.

Thank you to Caroline for joining me on the blog today. I really enjoyed reading My Summer of Magic  Moment definitely deserved a break after her breast cancer journey and the recent breakdown of her marriage and the imminent sale of the marital home. The cottage sounded the perfect place to forget about daily life and enjoy the peace and quiet of the seaside - I must admit I would love to see the mysterious neighbour's early morning skinny dip each day!

The book was a great read and I really enjoyed it. It is a cosy read which is perfect for a summer holiday but as the story progresses the story gathers pace and when I was halfway through I thought I was going to be disappointed with the outcome, however I can safely say, that I was very pleased with the ending.

Each chapter begins with a magic moment and I found myself smiling as I started each new one. I really like Caroline's writing style. Her descriptive writing brought the village to life and there are some great characters within the story.

This story is going to touch many people and I am sure there are lots of Claire's within the world, who have or are fighting cancer and I think that Claire is a strong role model that people will relate to.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins, and Caroline Roberts for inviting me on to this tour and I am very excited to be kicking the tour off.