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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:

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Darcie tells us about Cornwall

The House at Greenacres Book Cover The House at Greenacres
Darcie Boleyn
Women’s Fiction
Canelo
25th March 2019

All roads lead home…

When Holly Dryden fled Penhallow Sands nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past – and Rich Turner – behind her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble has led her back to the family vineyard and it’s time to tell Rich the truth – he’s a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once shared Holly’s anger fades in the glow of Rich’s undeniable love for their son and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As Holly watches Rich flourish in his new role as father to baby Luke, she realises that though they can’t change the past, the future is still theirs to write…

An uplifting, emotional romance set in Cornwall perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Phillipa Ashley

Darcie Boleyn

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

When I’m plotting a romance novel, one of the things I have to consider is what trope or tropes I would like to include. Often, the tropes come organically from the characters themselves and their backgrounds. With The House at Greenacres, I had a vision of the main character, Holly, returning to Penhallow Sands for a funeral, emotional and anxious, clutching a baby to her chest. This developed into the knowledge that Holly and her ex boyfriend, Rich, have been separated for some reason, and now, the thing that brings them back together is Holly’s grandfather’s funeral. I enjoy mixing tropes in my stories, so I combined the lovers reunited trope with the secret baby trope. I also wanted to write a story about what it’s like to come home after time away, about how emotional it can be to return to the place where you grew up and to see it from a different perspective.

  • 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 write notes all the time and have notebooks all around my house as well as notes on my phone. I might not start working on an idea properly for months if I’m already working on a different project, but it will often be bubbling away at the back of my mind, waiting for its turn to be nurtured into a novel.

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

I did a lot of reading about vineyards and contacted a vineyard owner to research for The House at Greenacres. It was fascinating to learn about how a vineyard works and how wine is made. I researched before writing and during to ensure that I got the finer details right.

  • What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I rarely get to read in bed these days as I have two children and three dogs, so if I am ill, it’s time on the sofa in the lounge. I read whatever is next on my TBR pile as I have a very full Kindle and a table piled high with paperbacks.

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

I was always writing poetry and prose as a child and I still have some of them stored in the attic. When I was 12, I won a school poetry competition with a poem about Wildlife in Nature and I had to stand up in front of the whole school and read my poem out. I won a £12 book token and I was delighted. I also wrote a project about guide dogs when I was 13 and really enjoyed researching the topic as it meant contacting charities and speaking to people with guide dogs. I think that project is in the attic too. I’ll have to take a look…

  • Do you have any pets?

I do! I have three dogs – two British bulldogs called Spike and Zelda and a rescue greyhound called Freya. They are my writing buddies as they join me in the study and snore gently while I write. As I’m home alone all day, they are good company. As for funny things, one has to be the farting (especially the greyhound!) and the other is that Spike often sings along to my music. I also have three bearded dragons called Andrew, Loki and Cheeky.

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

I was a teacher for twenty years and once, when I went for an interview at a school, the governors asked me what I was most proud of doing. At the time, my daughter was only a year old, and my answer was having my daughter. Of course, that wasn’t what they were looking for (they wanted something teaching related), but it came straight from my heart. My children are my greatest achievements, along with marrying my husband, because I never thought I’d fall in love so deeply. Nothing is guaranteed in life except for today, but being able to love is one of the greatest gifts of all; being loved in return is priceless. However, in terms of my writing career, I’d say I’m most proud of being published. I always dreamt of being an author, but never thought it would happen. To date, it has been a wonderful, exciting rollercoaster. I am proud every time I finish writing a book and every publication day. I am grateful to the publishers who have accepted my work and to the readers and bloggers who read my stories and support me. I am grateful to my agent for taking me on. I am grateful to my family for being the centre of my world.

Thanks for hosting me! J X

Author Bio

Previous Books: Summer at Connwenna Cove, Christmas at Conwenna Cove, Forever at Conwenna Cove, Love at the Northern Lights and Love at the Italian Lake

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Photos:

Twitter: @DarcieBoleyn

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Comfort is offered

Gift from the comfort food cafe Book Cover Gift from the comfort food cafe
Comfort Food Cafe
Debbie Johnson
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Harper Collins
(18 Oct. 2018)

Cosy up at the Comfort Food Cafe for a romance that isn’t just for Christmas…

*Don’t miss out on the new Comfort Food Cafe novel and return to Budbury for a Christmas to remember*

Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindness at the Comfort Food Café.

This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

I have read this entire series about the Budbury cafe (by the sea) and it makes me feel warm and cosy inside and want to join in their fun.

Each book gives us a view of the village and its inhabitants from their different story viewpoints, even when the timeframe and occasion is the same. We learn more about them each time, as the stories focus on one ‘pair’ in each book.

This book, as ever, has a happy ending with a matched pair and a father – or two -for a young boy.

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Curvy wins

Fat Girl Book Cover Fat Girl
(Romance in Reheboth #1)
KL Montgomery
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
(5 April 2015)

Fresh ink on her divorce papers and a new job on the horizon. Forty is right around the corner. The time is ripe for reinvention, and Claire Sterling is tired of being the Fat Girl. With the help of her gay best friend, therapist, a new fitness regime and lots of wine and snark, Claire sets out to find her happily ever after.

Will she get the body and the man of her dreams, or is she forever destined to be the Fat Girl?

I have 2 essential points to make:

  1. always wear 2 bras when undertaking sport – even the slimmest with small boobs do I’ve noticed. And make sure they are proper sports bras too.
  2. build up the exercise slowly. Only add when it becomes easy.

What is curvy and what is slim is one of the biggest dilemmas in a women’s life today. I just read an article by someone about the No Diet way of eating – she reckons that we don’t need to diet – and then proceeds to give us instructions on how to eat, when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. If anything is a diet that is – and her own weight just scrapes into the healthy range at 18.7 (% fat), so whilst she has some good ideas – it’s still a diet to reduce weight to the lowest you ‘should be’ to be considered healthy.

I think she has a point about calories though, as counting them makes you feel guilty the whole time. And that is what we have here. Another book where the heroine is overweight and has struggled all her life to lose weight and she has a mother who remains extremely thin – but eats nothing – and makes her feel guilty because she eats. And constantly reminds her of her weight – which is not the way to go of course.

And then we do have a romance. But will he still love her if she loses weight?

I did enjoy the book even though the storyline was not really new. It was nice take on this trope with fun and humour and a nice heroine you feel for.

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Not new but a chance maybe?






The Lost Art of Second Chances Book Cover




The Lost Art of Second Chances





Courtney Hunt





romance, contemporary, women's popular fiction




Ingleside




November 17, 2015



When Lucy Parker's eccentric grandmother, Belladonna, dies, she leaves one last request. Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey into the past to discover long-buried family secrets that could change everything. . . . Belladonna Rossi grew up as the queen of her small town in rural Tuscany. When World War II terrorizes the countryside, she helps the Monuments Men hide centuries of art in the warren of caves in her family vineyard. When she falls in love with one of the soldiers, will their love be able to survive in a war torn world? When Lucy's childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her to Italy, will they find their second chance at love? From the tiny town of Applebury, Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in...the Lost Art of Second Chances.

 

The second story I have read this month about the Monuments Men and the work they did in Italy during WW2.

Apart from that element though, it was all a little pat, especially as: Jack’s week seemed very long; it was never explained exactly how they finally found Paoloa; there were just too many coincidences; and how the village came to be destroyed and thus forgotten was missed also. Only the church being burnt down was mentioned.

Some good ideas but not completed in all elements.

3 (2.5)

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