Extract: Shaken and Stirred by Bella Osborne

shaken and stirredHello to Bella Osborne who is returning  with the blog tour for Ottercombe Bay: Shaken and Stirred.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

To celebrate the release of Ottercombe Bay Part Four: Shaken and Stirred, Bella and Avon have shared an extract. Enjoy. 

 

**** Start of Extract.****

The warm spring weather had brought the trees to life, the seagulls were back in full chorus and as the holidaymakers returned the sleepy town was waking up. Daisy needed it to be a good season.

Locos was busy because Easter was fast approaching, the celebrations for which appeared to start early thanks to Daisy’s Singapore Sling cocktail promotion, and she was rushed off her feet.

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Book Review: Decide To Hope by June A. Converse

EBOOK COVERHello and welcome to the blog tour for Decide to Hope which is the new novel from June A. Converse. 

An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?

For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.

After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother’s intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

Decide to Hope Blog Tour Poster (1)

 

 My verdict: 

Kathleen is the survivor of something she calls ‘the event.’ She barely speaks and her days are spent in a very structured way.

Matt on the other hand is a very overworked tax attorney who doesn’t know when to switch off. He is forced into having a vacation through letters from his mother who has not long passed away.

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Blog Tour: Giveaway and Review of Gravity Well by Melanie Joosten

gravitywellcoverA lovely welcome to the blog today for Melanie Joosten and the tour for her new novel, Gravity Well which was released by Scribe on 10th May 2018. 

Thanks to Scribe and Melanie, I have two copies of Gravity Well to give away. 

If families are like solar systems ― bodies that orbit in time around one another, sometimes close and sometimes far away ― what is the force that moves them? And what are the consequences when one planet tugs others off course?

Lotte is an astronomer who spends her nights peering into deep space rather than looking too closely at herself. Returning to her hometown after years abroad, and reeling from a devastating diagnosis, she finds that much has changed. Lotte’s father has remarried, and she’s estranged from her former best friend, Eve. Initially, Lotte’s return causes disharmony, but then it is the catalyst for a much more devastating event ― an event that will change Lotte and Eve’s lives forever.

How to enter: 

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: One Hundred

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: a one hundred word story. 

Choosing one of the prompts below, write a 100 word story.

September, 1960.

Iceland

A train during a long haul journey.

A car journey with the person you most dislike.

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Quick Spotlight: The Potter Magic of Magic Alley

Magic Alley LogoIf you’ve been following my blog for a while you will have picked up that I am incredibly obsessed with Harry Potter. Even now, years later, it’s the book series I will go to if I need to escape into a fictional world to make myself feel better. I am in Ravenclaw according to Pottermore.

So, when I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely Nathan at MagicAlley.co.uk, I jumped at the chance to pick a couple of items.

Nathan’s love for the Harry Potter books began in 2000 when his brother brought The Goblet of Fire. Like me, Nathan quickly realised that he’d devoured the first three novels and thus began his love of this magical series.

MCM-London-Magic-Alley-Harry-Potter-1Nathan began Magic Alley in 2015 and as you’ve probably gathered by now, it is a store completely focused on the boy wizard and the wizarding world in which he inhabits and that J.K Rowling created.

There is a really good variety of products including ones that are unique and maybe not available in many other places in the UK.

Things available include wands, tote bags, necklaces, watches, chocolate frogs and charm bracelets. There are also house specific items too such as scarfs and ties.

Harry-Potter-Muggle-Studies-Cotton-Tote-Bag-Shopper-Half-Moon-Bay Harry-Potter-Wand-Noble-Collection-Ollivanders-Studio-TourThe items Nathan sells are sourced from the same distributors that work in partnership with Warner Bros. so you know the products are going to be legitimate which is quite an important thing for me.

OK, so when the items arrived on my doormat, it was a little bit like Christmas day as I ripped open the envelope.

The first item I wanted to review was this Harry Potter Feather Quill Necklace.

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EU Data Protection: Subscriber List Review

Novel Kicks logoI am needing to move slightly away from all the writing and books for a moment.

This post is aimed at the people who have previously subscribed to receive new post and comment notifications.

Due to new EU regulations regarding data protection coming in toward the end of May, I wanted to check that you are still happy to hear from me and receive notifications whenever I post new content or someone comments on a post to which you’ve asked to follow.

Your privacy is very important to me and I would never pass on your details to a third-party

If you’re still happy to remain on the subscribers list, then please just ignore this e-mail.

UnsubscribeIf you’d like to unsubscribe, there is an option to do this on any of the notification e-mails you’ve received from me. It can be located at the bottom of the e-mail.

Thank you for your time and I hope to keep staying in touch.

 

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Novel Kicks Writing Room – Firsts

Novel Kicks Writing RoomSeparating real life and fiction. 

Think of a first in your life. A first kiss, the first holiday, the first argument you had, anything.

Write five hundred words with just facts about the incident. What happened, who was there and the outcome.

Now write it from the point of view of someone else. One of your characters? Add fictional elements this time. Also, how does this new person react to this situation? Any difference?

Like before, write about five hundred words.

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Courses and Competitions: Writers & Artists Evening Masterclasses

Writers-and-Artists-logo.wpm_-300x300Writers & Artists are partnering with Book Aid International for the fourth year to bring a small series of evening masterclasses.

On 15th, 22nd and 24th May between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, each masterclass brings something slightly different.

On 15th May, Debut author, Stuart Turton will be in discussion with Joe Haddow on the creative process of writing his first murder-mystery.

On 22nd May, award-winning author, Abi Elphinstone will be in conversation with Writers & Artists editor, Alysaun Owen about the essential elements of writing children’s fiction.

Finally, on 24th May, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Tony Parsons will be talking about his writing career and sharing top writing tips.

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Book Review: Spring on the Little Cornish Isles: The Flower Farm by Phillipa Ashley

Spring on the little cornish islesJess has lived at the idyllic flower farm on the Isles of Scilly her whole life, but when her boyfriend Adam leaves without explanation, Jess discovers that even her little slice of Cornish heaven can be lonely.

For the first time in Will’s life, he’s met someone he can’t stop thinking about. But nothing is simple when the woman of your dreams is working for you.

Gaby is running away from painful memories, and where could be more perfect than a remote island off the Cornish coast? But to put the past behind her, she must keep moving … however much she might want to stay.

Here we are with the second book of Phillipa Ashley’s second series to be set around Cornwall, in this case, we are based on the Scilly Isles, the Cornish Isles of the title. For this title, we focus on Jess and Will who run the Flower Farm of the title. Twins whom we met in Book 1, both were obligated to give up growing up dreams when their father ran off and so have made the best of the situation to run a very successful business. Despite the normal sibling arguments, both are devoted to the farm and each other.

Basic rundown – Jess is dumped by Adam, the man she hoped to marry whilst Will’s world is turned upside down by the arrival from the mainland of a whirling dervish of a lady, Gaby, who is hiding demons in her own life she’s trying to work through, that he fights so hard to resist. The path of true love can never run smooth in stories (or they’d be very short), such is the case here as we follow the twins fencing with their prospective partners, with Jess being wooed by a visiting businessman. Characters from the first book in the series, especially Jess’ best friend Maisie crop up through this story, nicely linking the series.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: The Things They’ve Seen

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: conversation about the things they’ve seen. 

Your two characters work in an airport baggage inspection office. A few mysterious things have arrived including something that belongs to a celebrity.

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Upcoming Books Releases: May

the burning chambersHello May. 

I am not entirely sure how we’re already in May. The weather doesn’t help. It’s very confused right. To help escape this weather or enjoy basking in the sunshine (I can hope,) the list below is a few of the new releases coming this month.

 

The first book I want to feature is The Burning Chambers which is the new book from Kate Mosse. I haven’t read any of her books (and I am not sure why,) but this book is a great reason to start. 

Carcassonne 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to get out of La Cité alive.

Toulouse: As the religious divide deepens in the Midi, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as sectarian tensions ignite across the city, the battle-lines are drawn in blood and the conspiracy darkens further.

Meanwhile, as a long-hidden document threatens to resurface, the mistress of Puivert is obsessed with uncovering its secret and strengthening her power . . .

(Released 3rd May by Mantle.) 

 

the castThe second upcoming release on my list is The Cast by Danielle Steel. It is due to be released by Macmillan on 31st May. 

Kait Whittier has built her magazine column into a hugely respected read followed by fans across the country. She loves her work and adores her grown children, treasuring the time they spend together. But after two marriages, she prefers to avoid the complications and uncertainties of a new love.

Then, after a chance meeting with television producer Zack Winter, everything changes. Inspired by the true story of her own grandmother, Kait creates the storyline for a TV series. Within weeks, Kait is plunged into a colourful, star-studded world of actors and industry pros who will bring her vision to life, from the reclusive grand dame to LA’s hottest bad boy actor.

As secrets are shared and revelations come to light, friendships deepen. But in the midst of this charmed year, Kait is forced to confront the greatest challenge a mother could ever know and this unforgettable cast becomes more important to her than she ever could have imagined.

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May’s Novel Kicks Book Club: You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac

Simon & Schuster, April 2018

Simon & Schuster, April 2018

Hello May. I hope you bring the nice weather with you. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to be able to sit out in the garden in the sunshine.

As it’s a new month, that means a new featured book. For our book club this month, I have chosen You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac.

You Me Everything is a heartfelt and unforgettable story about the lengths we are prepared to go to for those we love. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, this is novel you will never forget.

You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.

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Cover Reveal: Decide To Hope by June A. Converse

Decide to Hope Cover RevealToday I am very happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for Decide to Hope, the new novel from June A. Converse. 

An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?
For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.

After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother’s intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

OK, drumroll for the cover reveal….. 

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A Moment With: Bella Osborne

Avon, April 2018

Avon, April 2018

A big lovely hug and a warm hello to Bella Osborne who is back on Novel Kicks today with the blog tour for her latest instalment of the Ottercombe Bay series, Raising the Bar.

Escape to the Devon coast, with Part Three of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

 

Bella is chatting today about using Pinterest for research when starting a novel. Over to you, Bella. 

Thanks for having me on the blog today. I’m a project manager by profession so I’m a big planner when it comes to pretty much everything I do, so it’s no surprise that I plan my writing. I love the planning stage when a new idea pops up and characters start to form in my mind. I spend quite a long time with them working out who they are, their life history, what their drivers are and what makes them tick. While I’m in the early stages (before I get out the post it notes) I set up a board on Pinterest and start pinning things on it. Not everything will stay but as a visual person it really helps to see pictures of things to help bring them to life.

While I was planning Ottercombe Bay I set up a board on Pinterest, here’s the link – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/bellaosborne9/ottercombe-bay/

I like to picture my main characters and Marlon Teixeira is a model that captures the look of Max perfectly. I struggled more with Daisy. There are a few pictures of Shakira because her hair is similar to Daisy’s but otherwise she’s quite different to Shakira. I am a Rufus Sewell fan so it was no surprise that an image of him popped up when I conjured up the character of Pasco, Max’s dad. But it was very much the rough around the edges, lovable rogue look that Rufus does rather than the neat and well turned out version. I love looking at the pictures of Marlon and Rufus next to each other – I can definitely see a similarity or perhaps I see the Max and Pasco connection that I want to be there?

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April’s Novel Kicks Book Club: Together by Julie Cohen

Together‘Drip, drip drop, little April shower, beating a tune as you fall all around.’

How can it be April already? The clocks have gone forward, the nights are longer, the promise of summer is in the air but the rain (and snow) is still falling.

A perfect excuse to be snuggled up inside with a book. Like we need an excuse though! One of my favourite things to do is to curl up with a book, a blanket and a cup of tea – the sound of the rain from outside.

This month, our book title is Together by the brilliant Julie Cohen. 

Robbie and Emily they have been together for decades. Now, their joints are creaking and their eyesight is failing – but their love for each other is as fresh and fierce as the day they first met. They have had children and grandchildren, lived full and happy and intimate lives.

But they have been keeping a secret since the day they met, when their lives changed forever. Over the years, the sacrifices and choices they made have sealed their fates together.

Did they do the right thing? Read their story, and you decide.

Our book club is completely online, anyone can take part and it can be done in the comfort of your armchair.

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