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Why this Wedding? Daisy explains

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello
Tuscan Trilogy Book 1
Daisy James
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
11th March 2019

Escape to Villa Limoncello… where dreams come true in unexpected ways. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Kat French

When Isabella Jenkins is unceremoniously fired from her fancy London job, she escapes to Tuscany. A few weeks hiding amongst rolling hills and grape vines at Villa Limoncello sounds exactly like the distraction she needs.

But Italy holds emotional memories for Izzy and with a hapless handyman, a matchmaking village matriarch and a gorgeous – if infuriating – local chef named Luca Castelotti, her quiet Italian get away turns into an unending cacophony of chaos.

Suddenly Izzie finds herself on a mission to pull off the wedding of the century and maybe get her life in order in the process. If only Luca’s gorgeous smile wasn’t such a powerful distraction…

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello


Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Q&As

First of all, a huge thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It’s great to be here to tell you about my brand-new book Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I love setting my stories in interesting and exotic places, that way I get to spend the day in some amazing parts of the world. I loved the research I did for the Paradise Cookery School series – each morning when I started to write, I’d get to jet off to the Caribbean island of St Lucia and bask in glorious sunshine, relax on white sandy beaches and dream of swinging in a hammock under a swaying palm tree. Heaven! Equally, with the Villa Limoncello series, I get to indulge in all-things Italian, from frothy cappuccinos to crunchy biscotti, tiramisu to a glass of limoncello.  I always make sure I have a fabulous photograph on my screensaver so I can flick back for inspiration.

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I love the research part of writing so I spend weeks immersing myself in the characters whose stories I’m going to tell, and reading up on the setting. For Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello, I did lots of research on Italian wedding traditions, of local floral arrangements, and of course, on the local cuisine – I made sure I tried out lots of recipes too, just to get into the Italian frame of mind, although they didn’t all turn out perfect! I do have a notebook where I jot down unusual facts I stumble across, and I also cut out snippets from magazines. I’ve just finished the Christmas book set at Villa Limoncello, so I’ve had fun testing out some Tuscan Christmas recipes.

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Before I started to write the first book in my Tuscan trilogy, I spent about a month immersing myself in the places my characters were going to visit, like Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and the history of those places. I was also fortunate enough to visit these wonderful towns and cities with my family which really help to evoke the sights, sounds and flavours of the place. I also managed to do a piece of research on the historical importance of lemons to the local area which was the reason I included the limonaia in Izzie and Luca’s story.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I prefer to set my books in places I’ve actually been to. It helps me fix the story in my mind when I know about the places my characters are going to visit, particularly if there are interesting quirks. Of course, I take lots of photographs to refer back to, I always have a note book with me to jot down little details, and, in the name of research, this time I bought a bottle of limoncello so I could make a limoncello tiramisu.

  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I find it invaluable if there’s an expert available to check facts with or to give you a personal perspective on what you are writing about. I have a neighbour who’s Italian and he’s been very generous with his time, talking me through recipes, traditions, customs, particularly around Christmas. I’m always very grateful for his time. How do I approach him? With a bottle of Chainti and a large bag of his favourite biscotti.

  • What is your favourite genre?

MY favourite genre has to be travel memoirs. I love stories about people who have ditched their every day life and taken off for foreign shores to make anew life for themselves and their families, or who have decided to travel around the world with just a rucksack and a guide book. I’ve recently read A Bike Ride by Anne Mustoe, an account of her 12,000 cycle ride around the world – by herself! I also really enjoyed Tuk Tuk to the Road by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, a story about Antonia and her friend Jo driving a pink tuk-tuk from Thailand back to London! Amazing people!

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I’ve been writing since I was in primary school, creating my own hand-made book by stapling pages together and trying to sell them to my relatives. I really wish I had that! I have a full-length novel which I wrote in my teens in a shoebox on the top of my wardrobe , gathering dust. I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, but I can’t bear to part with it.

  • Which of your books are you most proud of?

Gosh, that’s like asking which of my children am I most proud of! I’ve really enjoyed writing every one of them, perhaps for different reasons. Some I love for the exotic settings, particularly The Paradise Cookery School series. Some I love the recipes, like There’s Something About Cornwall and The Vintage Cupcake Company. And some for the fabulous characters, like Kirstie in Christmas at the Dancing Duck or Gabbie in The Summerhouse of Happiness.

  • Do you have an unusual hobby?

Actually, I do. I play archery. Although I wouldn’t say I’m the best archer in the world I really enjoy being out there on a field with my bow and quiver filled with arrows, trying to hit a gold – a rarity for me!

Author: Daisy James

Previous Books: Sunshine & Secrets, Confetti & Confusion and Mistletoe & Mystery

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

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What happens when? Caro; explains.

Suddenly Single
Carol Wyer
contemporary fiction, romance, Women’s Fiction
Canelo
8th April 2019

When bestselling romance author Chloe Piper’s marriage implodes a week before Christmas, she flees her cheating ex and the village gossips for the solitude of the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm and the company of her hapless dog, Ronnie.

But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…

This enthralling romantic comedy of self-discovery and new beginnings is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

  • Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

All my comedies have serious threads running through them and in this one I wanted to tackle the subject of self-confidence and especially social anxiety disorder. Many people suffer from this debilitating disorder that prevents them from mixing with others. Following the death of her parents and sister in a light plane crash, Chloe developed this disorder and struggled all her life with it. Her husband William used it to bully her and the story isn’t just one of finding love and friendship but of overcoming something that can really ruin people’s lives. When Chloe meets her new neighbour, a larger than life figure, who runs a singleton’s club and who won’t take no for an answer, she doesn’t realise at the time but she has taken the first step on a path that will aid her recovery. All the madcap events she attends, and people she meets, help her find out who she really is and that she is stronger than she believes she is. I am incredibly sympathetic towards people who suffer from this condition. I struggle at times with mild anxiety disorder but know others who find it too difficult to combat. I suppose that’s what makes the book different. It isn’t just a crazy, laugh-out-loud novel of people learning to enjoy life but puts a fresh spin on the heroine of the story and her lifeline – the hapless mongrel, Ronnie.

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

All my books start as ideas – a series of scrawled notes in brand new notebook. Some can take months or years to be turned into a story. The idea for Suddenly Single came about in 2012 after we moved onto a half completed new development of only six houses. I jotted down notes and possible scenarios. A few months later, I added character notes and then stacked it in my ‘To Be Written’ pile of notebooks. I didn’t begin work on it until early 2018.

  • Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I actually self-pubbed my first book in 2010. I’m not sure if I needed to but I simply didn’t have enough patience to wait for a publisher to pick it up and after three rejections, decided to go alone. As it turned out it wasn’t a bad move because the book did remarkably well and I was then offered a contract by a small publishing house. If I were to do it all again, however, I would definitely be more patient and by that, I mean wait up to a year or longer to get a contract with a publisher. It was extremely hard to make a name for myself and do all the marketing and promo as well as write a sequel.

  • In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

That’s tough because there are a lot of incredibly funny authors. I’ve always enjoyed Janet Evanovich and Ben Elton’s books. I suppose if I had to narrow it down to one person, I’d go for Caitlin Moran, the journalist and author of How to Build a Girl. She’ll make you sort tea from your nose.

  • What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

There are a few things I’m proud of:

I learnt to fly a helicopter in my 40s

I got my PADI diving licence and dived with sharks for charity.

I took up stand-up comedy in my 50s and performed gigs around the Midlands.

I won The People’s Book Prize award in 2015 for Grumpy Old Menopause and was on BBC Breakfast television and Sky news.

But most of all, I am proud of my books. Every time I receive an emails or message from a reader saying how much they’ve enjoyed reading one of them, I feel ridiculously proud.

Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Twitter: @carolewyer

Previous Books: What Happens in France

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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Hunt Souls? Really?

Eden Hunter trilogy Book Cover Eden Hunter trilogy
Eden Hunter trilogy
D.N. Erikson (Author)
low fantasy, dark fantasy
kindle

A razor-snark, sun-soaked urban fantasy trilogy for fans of Jim Butcher and Ilona Andrews.

You'd think coming back to life on a beautiful island would be a good thing.
Turns out life on the beach kind of sucks. Especially when you spend it harvesting souls for a vampire.

But after four years of reluctant "employment," things have somehow gotten worse. Some jackass just framed me for murdering an old friend. And the cops seem pretty damn sure I did it. More concerning than potential jail time: the local goddess of rain wants my head for the crime.

You see, we cut a little deal when I came back to life that no one knows about. What'd I get from her? I'm not telling. But I'll tell you what I gave up: no weapons and no murder.

Pretty easy to follow, right? I thought so. Well, if you're a Reaper, it's a pain in the ass. Because a creature's gotta die for you to reap its soul. And despite the postcard sunsets, it gets pretty dangerous in the jungle without a gun.

Never say the gods don't have a sense of humor. But this time the joke is on me. Because if I don't find the real killer—and why they pinned this mess on me—before the week is through, I'll be returning to the land of the dead.

And this time, it'll be for good.

A trilogy of stories about a fantastical island that is hidden from normal (and usually human), view. It is populated with a mix of magical and mythical creatures plus some normal humans that have either discovered it or have been brought there.

Eden was a con artist. A grifter. Until she was murdered – specifically so she could be revived on this island and bound into service by the ancient vampire – who had founded the island as his serfdom, and who had hidden the island from view.

Eden’s task, bound by a magical contract which cannot be broken, is to harvest souls. Souls are the fuel for magic on this island.

The stories tell of her more than shady adventures, as she attempts to fulfil her contract – no killing permitted, she is only permitted to harvest from the already dead – and outwit the people who want her dead for various reasons. Or to use her. Or…

The first book starts rather slowly and although the writing style is reasonable, it lacked enough humour for me. Eden is snarky and resourceful, good with one-liners, but her dialogue could have had more humour. The books improved as the story progressed and it seemed to me that the author grew more confident in style and the characters and their behaviours.

So I read all three books in the end.

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Magic comes when it is night-time

Magic after Dark
multi
mythology, fantasy, folklore
Wetknee Books
(4 Mar. 2019)
kindle

Dive into the darker side of magic

Enter the underbelly of city life, where werewolves, demons, and vampires stalk the streets. These six bestselling urban fantasy novels plus bonus novella will submerge you in a page-turning world of modern magic.

Half Wolf by Aimee Easterling: When half-werewolf Fen is cast out of her home pack, she and an unlikely ally are forced to shore up her waning power in an effort to save half-shifters everywhere.

Unquiet Souls by Christine Pope: When the hosts of the new Project Demon Hunters show investigate a demon-infested mansion, evil follows Audrey Barrett home...and she learns why her co-host is the last man she can trust.

Dark Hunt by Kim Richardson: Tasked with tracking down a demon that's killing humans, hunter Rowyn is forced to partner with an angel-born warrior who has an ulterior motive. But Rowyn's own dark secret could upend everything...

A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain: Madison actively avoids her soul-sight—until she witnesses ethereal monsters feasting on a stranger's soul...and the monsters notice her. Thrust into a dangerous new world, Madison must master her atrophied abilities fast if she has any hope of survival.

The Wolf Within by M.J. Scott: Ashley Keenan just wants to be normal. But then her ex-lover, now werewolf, turns up with a lead on the vampire who murdered her family. To survive, she might just have to leave normal behind and embrace her inner monster.

Vampire Midnight by Gary Jonas: Kelly Chan agrees to kill a vampire, but finds herself under his spell. How do you kill something you've been commanded to protect?

Sylphide by K. Gorman: When a private investigator breaks into Allish Statia's apartment and threatens her with a gun, she is able to use her Wind Elemental powers to subdue the man—but he is only part of something much bigger. Something that wants the destruction of her, her husband, and every single Mage in the city.


A set of 7 stories – with 2 particular stories by authors that I followed up into their series.

The first stories were excellent – and really only 1 was not so good, Sylphide. I liked the Kelly Chan series, and Aimee Easterlings’ Half Wolf. She is an author that I like anyway.

  1. Magic after dark
  2. Half wolf – Aimee Easterling is one of my new favourite authors, and I am happy to read 99.9% of her books and series.
  3. Unquiet souls
  4. Dark hunt
  5. A fistful of evil – this became a very interesting series. Soul sight was more than that it seems, and acknowledging it means that Madison learns to use her lux luminis – which is what she called soul sight, in defence of her territory. This defence meant fighting creatures invisible to norms but ones which feed on their souls and drain their good, sometimes replacing it with evil. These creatures can kill Madison and she has to learn to defend herself in a number of unusual ways that seem puzzling to normals. And she has grate difficulty explaining her new job to her family as she can;’t tell them the truth. I enjoyed the books I have read in this series, but have come to the end of my enjoyment after A Fistful of Frost.
  6. The wolf within –
  7. Vampire midnight – This story I found unusual and followed it up with another in the series. The idea of a heroine who is magically enhanced so that she is the most kick-ass of all was interesting. What was disturbing was that she came by her magic because she has been sold by her parents to warlocks; who repeatedly killed her so she could be brought back to life, and who removed her ability to feel pain – thus beig able to fight on when seriously injured. However, she now teaches abused women how to fight and also rescues abused women from their dire situations. So a good heroine who learnt from her experience that abusing women was not on… It did get rather graphic in places and the detail of some of the fights and the numbers killed were rather too much at times.
  8. Sylphide – an extra story – 1 star, boring.

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Don’t trust her

The Nanny Book Cover The Nanny
Gilly Macmillan
Mystery & Thrillers , Women's Fiction
Random House
27 Jun 2019

Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother.
When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss.
How could she vanish without saying goodbye?

Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed.

What secrets was her nanny hiding – and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her?

Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

This story gradually ramps up the chill factor as it progresses.

It initially comes across as a normal family drama with a neglected child from a rich family who is befriended by her loving nanny. Her nanny gives her the affection and attention she craves.

But the nanny isn’t quite what she seems and suddenly you find yourself shouting at Jo and telling her not to trust Hannah!

I thought the beginning was rather slow, and I did begin to get a little bored. The style was appropriate for the family saga storyline, which added to the authenticity of the opening chapters. Overall it was well written without mistakes in the grammar and vocabulary, but not a book that hooked me.

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