Book News

Book Review: The Flower Arranger from JJ Ellis

Agora Books, 26th September 2019

Today’s blog tour features the debut novel, The Flower Arranger from JJ Ellis. 

And now he knew what was wrong with the arrangement. It was the Ma… the negative space… There was only one thing beautiful enough to fill it and — finally — she was with him. Ready, if not willing, to play her role.

Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break.

Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation.

But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.

Filled with twists and turns, this unforgettable thriller is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

Holly Blain is quite new to Tokyo and wants to make her mark as a crime reporter. Covering the entertainment wasn’t exactly what she envisioned when she thought about her reporting ambitions.

She is delighted when she is introduced to Inspector Tetsu Tanaka from Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-Jin unit. He could be her way to gain the scoop to further her career.

Tanaka isn’t so sure about Holly and keeps her at arm’s length.

Wow…. just wow.

The Flower Arranger is the debut novel from JJ Ellis but it won’t be the last I read from this author.

Told from the point of view of Tanaka, Holly and the killer, this book pulled me in from the moment I picked it up. I found it compelling and quite frankly unputdownable.

I had what I call itchy book fingers when I was forced to put it down. I just wanted to pick it up and continue reading.

The setting is so vivid. I have never visited Japan but I could see myself walking the streets with the characters. I felt totally emerged.

Tanaka is a strong and believable character. He’s an honourable policeman and wants to do his due diligence. He is one for the rules and his reaction to Holly was an interesting one. His relationship with her has a fascinating arc to it and I certainly want to see these two together in another novel.

Holly was more of an enigma to me. Not a lot is given away about where she’s come from and what has happened before she reached Tokyo. This is a book in itself I think and one that I would also read. There is certainly more to Holly than we see here. She and Tanaka are total opposites but they work.

It took me a few pages to get my head around who everyone was. Not a bad thing, just me.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Upcoming Novel Releases

Chatto & Windus, Sept ’19

Autumn is on its way (even though the weather can’t quite make up its mind.)

What this does mean is a great list of fantastic novel releases and here is my first list of the books I am looking forward to reading.

The first book on my list has already come out but it is one I am incredibly excited about. It’s one I’ve been waiting years for… The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

Ever since I read the Handmaid’s Tale when I was sixteen, I have been wanting to know what happened next. The TV show has been great for that but there is something for me about a novel straight from the original author that makes it extra special. I am also interested to read it having had the perspective from the TV show and the continued development of the characters from that. I have heard such good things about this book.

Released on 10th September, The Testaments picks up fifteen years after the end of the first book, Gilead maintains its power but there are signs that it’s beginning to crumble from within. Three women’s lives converge with explosive results.

 

HarperCollins, Sept ’19

The second novel in the list is another book I have been waiting so long for and that is Postscript by Cecelia Ahern. I have been fortunate enough to get an advanced copy and I am planning on reviewing soon.

I adored PS I Love You and so the sequel had a lot to live up to. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. The first one had such a unique plot. How was the story going to carry on?

I won’t say too much now about my thoughts at this stage but a summary of the plot is that Postscript starts seven years after the end of PS I Love You and six years after Gerry’s last letter.

A group contacts Holly. They call themselves the PS I Love You club and they are asking her for help. She begins a relationship with the group and is soon finding herself drawn back to the feelings she thought she had left behind.

It has been released today (19th September) so is available to read now.

 

A Patchwork Family: Taking Chances by Cathy Bramley is part three in a four-part serial and is due to be released on 3rd October.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

Hello to Rosie Curtis and the blog tour for her latest book, We Met in December. 

What if you couldn’t get away from the one who got away?

This December, unlucky-in-love Jess is following her dream and moving to Notting Hill. On the first night in her new house-share she meets Alex, the guy in the room next door. They don’t kiss under the mistletoe, but there’s still a spark that leaves Jess imagining how they might spend the year together – never mind the house rule against dating…

But when Jess returns from her Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started seeing Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into the man of her dreams – and, apparently, the woman of his.

Jess is determined to move on and spend the year falling in love with London, not Alex – but what if her heart has other ideas?

 

We Met in December tells the story of Jess and Alex.

Jess has just moved to London after breaking up with her boyfriend. She is looking to go after the career she has always wanted.

Alex was a successful lawyer and has now given that up to re-train as a nurse. He has made a promise to himself that, after a break up with his fiancée, he would focus on his career. He did not count on meeting Jess.

First, I am completely in love with this cover. It is so beautiful.

We Met in December is told from the point of view of both Alex and Jess. I liked this as it gave me a better overall idea of what each were thinking. It’s proof that misunderstandings and assumptions can be the cause of many problems between people that’s for sure.

These two were both wonderful, compelling characters and I came to care for them a lot. I found them to be characters I really liked and want to spend time with in real life.

I also loved the supporting characters, especially Nanna Beth, Rob and Becky. I want to know more about their lives.

I became so invested in this story. I want to be a roommate in this house. It’s like a rom-com movie and I could see it as such.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Extract: A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker

Hello to Mary Jayne Baker and the blog tour for her novel, A Question of Us. 

Two best friends. Eight pub quizzes. One shot at love…

There are some people who seem like they have all the answers in life. Clarrie Midwinter isn’t one of them.

At the age of 26, tomboy Clarrie is still struggling to become a ‘proper’ grown-up.

She’s eternally strapped for cash, she hasn’t had a date in nearly a year and her attempts to quit smoking tend to take a nosedive after the second pint. Most annoyingly of all, her ladykiller best friend Simon just won’t stop asking her out.

The only thing keeping her sane is her pub quiz team, the Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers.

But when Simon bets her a date their team will win the quiz league, Clarrie is forced to confront what she really wants out of life – and love. Is it finally time for her to grow up?

 

Mary Jayne and her publisher have shared an extract with us today. Enjoy. 

 

***** beginning of extract*****

 

‘The chances of me getting lucky with Sally Pemberton are slim to none,’ Dave said.

‘The chances of Si getting lucky with Sally Pemberton, and me therefore receiving the knock-on benefit of a faster pint, are about 99.9 per cent. I’ll take those odds.’

Clarrie was still squinting at the photo of the dog, which was small and Ewok-like with curly beige fur.

‘I reckon it’s a cavapoo,’ she said.

Si shook his head. ‘That’s not a thing.’

‘It is too a thing, the woman next door to my mum’s got one.’

‘What, so it’s half poodle, half fizzy wine?’

She nudged him, smiling. ‘Half Cavalier King Charles, you div.’

‘You know, dogs really went downhill when they started breeding them for comedy portmanteau purposes.’

‘Go on then, write it down,’ Dave said, rolling the pen to Clarrie. ‘You’re captain, you get final say.’

‘All right.’ She jotted it into the answer box. ‘But if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I don’t want it following me to the grave like Sonny and the fifth Marx brother.’

Sonny scowled. ‘Do we have to bring that up every week? Anyone could’ve made that mistake.’

‘Very true,’ Dave said gravely. ‘I’m sure Karl had plenty of time after writing Das Kapital for a bit of slapstick fun with the family.’

‘Oh, knob off, can you?’ Sonny rubbed a V-sign at Dave against his cheek. ‘Eight years ago I got that wrong. Jesus.’

‘Still funny though,’ Dave said, grinning. ‘Right, I’m off to the bar. Same again, you lot?’

Jeff was half asleep again, but he flickered to attention when he heard the magic word ‘bar’.

‘Another Landlord for me, young Davy.’

‘Si?’

‘I’ll skip this round.’ Simon waggled his still half-full beer. ‘All right with what I’ve got for now.’

Clarrie glanced at the dregs of her pint. She had to work tomorrow. Probably should go easy…

Oh, what the hell.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Moment With… Barbara Wallace

A big welcome to Barbara Wallace who is here to share some fun facts about her novel, One Night in Provence, plus she’s sharing a deleted scene!

Without further ado, over to you, Barbara.

Hi! Thank you for letting me visit.

I’m going to share with you a little secret. As much as writers love telling stories, the actual process of writing a book can be a long and boring process. After all, you try and spend months with the same two people in your head. Therefore we sometimes – okay I sometimes – make up little inside jokes and references as a way of making the work fun.

What I’d thought I’d do today is share some of those behind the scenes facts. I’m also sharing some of the great historical facts I learned while doing research. Provence and Nantucket are both rich with history. Because Philippe is an historian, I was able to weave in a few facts, but just as many ended up discarded. (Until now.)

Lastly, I decided to share a deleted scene with you all as well. I thought it might be fun for you to see the kinds of things that editors suggest we cut.

So, without further ado, let me present, Ten Fun Facts About One Night in Provence (whether you wanted to know them or not.)

The Destination Brides series was originally named Bucket List Brides. We conceived the idea during a brainstorming session on Facebook Messenger. It began as an excuse for Donna Alward, Nina Singh and I to work together on a project. We asked Liz Fielding to join us because working with her was on our personal bucket lists.

Jenna Brown and her colleagues Shirley and Donna were named for my fellow romance authors Jenna Bayley Burke, Shirley Jump and Donna Alward.
In the book, Shirley is dating a man named Joe. In real life, Shirley will be marrying her fiancé Joe this fall.

Chateau de Beauchamp is based on a real five star French hotel: La Bastide de Gordes. Sadly, I haven’t been there. Never been to Provence either. I’ve spent exactly eight hours in France. Long enough to do a hop on/hop off tour of Paris.

Equally sad is the fact that those eight hours are more than I ever spent in Nantucket – despite living four hours away. By the way, The Whaler Inn in Nantucket – the Merchant auction takes place – is also based on a real hotel. The Ocean House Resort in Westerly, Rhode Island. That hotel was recently named one of the best in the country. Oh yeah, and Taylor Swift lives down the street.

The White Terror that Philippe refers to when he first meets Jenna was an uprising staged by the royalists following the French revolution. Members of the noble classes briefly fought back by conducting nighttime terror raids.

The Tour Magne in Nimes is real and you can climb the stairs. It was built by the Romans in 15 BC.

Philippe’s apartment is located in Arles. Vincent Van Gogh also lived in Arles. In fact, I imagined Philippe’s apartment overlooking the park near Van Gogh’s famous yellow house. While living in the Arles, Van Gogh decided to focus many of his paintings on a single theme: Sunflowers. Arles is also where Van Gogh severed his ear.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Cover Reveal: Coming Home to Merriment Bay; Part One: A Reunion by Emily Harvale

I am particularly excited to be helping to reveal the cover for Coming Home to Merriment Bay; Part One: A Reunion by Emily Harvale.

 

About Coming Home To Merriment Bay; Part One: A Reunion.

After eighteen years apart, reclusive Cat Devon still recognises her mum’s handwriting. Plucking up the courage to open the letter, its contents send Cat racing to Merriment Bay, the seaside village where she grew up.

On arrival, Cat and her teenage daughter, Kyra are shocked to find the situation is worse than expected. But despite everything, Cat considers herself to be an optimist at heart and Kyra takes after her. Looking on the bright side may not improve the situation, but it definitely can’t make it worse.

When clearing out the house that, even now, Cat fondly thinks of as home, she stumbles upon more than just memories in the battered leather trunk in Granny Viola’s bedroom. She discovers a faded photo of an RAF pilot, a pile of unopened letters, and a mystery waiting to be solved. Who is the man in the – clearly treasured – photo? Cat didn’t know her granddad. Could this be him? A man even her mum never met.

Cat and Kyra are intent on finding out. But that’s not all Cat’s determined to do. It’s time she came to terms with the issues in her past, and made peace with her mum and her gran. All the while avoiding bumping into the one man she never quite got over … and keeping a few secrets of her own.

 

Drumroll……….. here’s the cover.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…

But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.

So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.

Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?

Firstly, Phillipa has created the type of village that I think we’d all love to live in…or maybe that’s just this reviewer?

In our second visit to the Cornish village of Porthmellow, we are treated to the ime after Scarlett’s worst Christmas ever, and how her sister Ellie and her deal with the fall-out. This is so much a family story, though with more twists and turns than a snake!

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Extract: Nadine by John Steinberg

A big hello to John Steinberg and the blog tour for his novel, Nadine.

London 1974 – and Peter Greenberg is riding high. Thanks to his magic touch, every play he puts on in Theatreland is a hit and the money is rolling in. The young man’s empire feels secure – but then everything changes. One evening, he calls in to see a rival’s musical and falls head over heels in love.

The beautiful Paris-born dancer who catches his eye is Nadine – a major star in the making. Like Greenberg, the young dancer too is in love – but with someone else. The eternal triangle is complicated by the birth of a child, and by tragic secrets that go back before World War Two; slowly, those secrets reveal themselves in a drama that out-performs anything on the West End stage or Broadway.

Nadine is a poignant story of unrequited love, a love that will one day be returned – and in a most unexpected way…

 

John has shared an extract today. Enjoy.

 

 

**** beginning of extract*****

INTRO

Greenberg has lost his theatre and his luxurious Georgian home. His wife has run off with his accountant with whom she’s been having an affair and he’s been relegated to living in a one bed flat above a North London Florists. With too much time on his hands, Greenberg is teetering on the edge of depression.

A phone call from an unexpected source, Nadine’s father, offers him a lifeline and a chance to salvage his reputation.

 

*****

 

Jacques Bertrand had described himself perfectly. Medium height, with a full head of white hair and a tanned complexion. He resembled Alan Ladd, the 1940s Hollywood actor, Greenberg thought to himself. They had arranged to meet at Nadine’s graveside. It was probably his last chance, Jacques said, to see where his daughter had been laid to rest and to beg for her forgiveness.

 

***

Greenberg couldn’t believe what the other man was proposing. The chance to put together a major musical production based on his daughter’s life seemed completely surreal. It was, in the old man’s words, his ‘last opportunity to try to make up for the despicable way he had discarded Nadine when she had needed him most’.

Alors, Monsieur Greenberg, do we have an agreement?’ the old man said, suddenly coming to life.

‘Jacques, it’s very kind of you, but I’ll need to give it some thought. What you are asking is a huge commitment.’

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Laura Briggs

Hi Laura. It’s lovely to welcome you to Novel Kicks today and happy book birthday for A Wedding in Cornwall. Can you tell me a little about it and what inspired it?

Thanks so much, and very excited to share with your readers today! The romance read A Wedding in Cornwall is the first novella in a series that focuses on an American event planner’s adventures working at a Cornish manor house in a remote village. It was heavily inspired by other Cornish-themed stories, including the television shows Poldark and Doc Martin.

 

What’s your writing process like, from idea to final draft and how has it evolved from your first novel?

My writing process is actually much the same as when I first started. I usually start with brainstorming some notes, and then create an outline. This can range from anything from a few lines to describe each scene to a more full-blown, descriptive document outlining what happens in the story. From there, it’s just a matter of getting it all on paper and then onto revisions and editing for the final draft.

 

Where do you like to write, do you prefer silence and do you write longhand? Need coffee?

I work with a laptop, but my work station is most often in my living room (usually with a cat or two on hand for company!). I often work to music or sometimes a favourite television program, although silence is okay too. No coffee, but occasionally a cup of hot chocolate in the winter time!

 

What elements need to be in place for beginning a novel?

For me, the basic events of the story need to be outlined, so I don’t get too off track, so to speak! And I need to have some basic notes on character background too, even though certain things about both plot or characters may change as the story goes on paper.

 

Do you think plot or character is more important?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Ann Morgan

Photo credit: Steve Lennon

Hi Ann, thank you so much for joining me today. Your book is called Crossing Over. Can you tell me a bit about it and what inspired the story?

Thanks for having me! Crossing Over is the story of an unlikely friendship between an elderly woman living alone on the Kent coast and a traumatized Malawian migrant hiding in her barn. On the surface, the two characters have little in common and in some ways they can never fully understand one another, but through their interaction they gain new perspectives on their own experiences and uncover more similarities between their lives than you might expect.

For several years, I’d wanted to write about the little ships manned by civilians that were sent to rescue soldiers from the beaches in Dunkirk early in the second world war. I knew this would probably involve an elderly character who had been involved in the evacuation effort. Then, when reports started to surface of refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean and more recently the Channel in small boats, the parallels and contrasts between the two types of crossings seemed powerful.

In addition, I’m fascinated by representing altered mental states in narrative and how mental illness affects storytelling (something I explored with bipolar disorder in my first novel, Beside Myself). Many therapies are built on the theory that telling a story can help a person move past a traumatic event – so what are the implications for people who are unable to articulate what has happened to them coherently? It struck me that bringing together two characters whose storytelling is compromised – one through PTSD and the other through dementia – might provide an interesting way to explore this.

 

What challenges did you face in regards to the themes of the book?

I was representing the story from the point of view of two characters with markedly different life experiences to my own. It required sensitivity and a great deal of thought. Indeed, for a long time I would have doubted my entitlement as white British writer to try and tell the story of a Malawian character.

However, recent books such as The Good Immigrant and Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race challenged my thinking on this and made me see that it’s important for writers of all backgrounds to do what we can to increase representation and diversity in storytelling.

The key is to do your best to do it well – in fact that is always a writer’s job. In the case of Jonah and Edie, this involved a huge amount of research and time spent talking to people with direct knowledge of and insight into many of the things I was writing about.

I then had to filter all this research through my own imagination and sensibility to try to make sure that it lived in the story as human experience, rather than two-dimensional information.

 

What’s your typical writing day like? Is there somewhere specific you like to write?

I get up very early and start at 5am in my writing room looking out over the hills and the white cliffs. Those early hours when the house is quiet are golden. If I have all day and am not going out for meetings, I will work in two- or three-hour stints, with breaks for meals and probably a run in the middle of the day, until around 6pm.

 

What’s your favourite word and why?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Extract: The Time of Our Lives by Abby Williams

Welcome to Abby Williams and the blog tour for her novel, The Time of Our Lives.

Two women from two very different generations are brought together through dramatic circumstances and help each other to forge new paths.

Twenty-six-year-old Erin has everything she’s ever wanted – a good job, a gorgeous fiancé and a best friend who’s always there for her. But suddenly her life comes crashing down around her. Unable to return home to her parents, she takes a room in a house nearby and her life starts over in the most unexpected of ways…

Seventy-six-year old Lydia, who, shocked by the sudden death of her husband, is devastated to discover that he has left her in crippling debt. With no choice but to take in a lodger, Erin comes into her life. When they find a letter hidden in the attic old secrets come to light and, with Erin by her side, Lydia finds herself going on a trip of a lifetime.

 

Abby and Aria have shared an extract with us today. Enjoy. 

 

***** beginning of extract*****

 

Brad and I had been together for three years, and now I was a fully qualified architect but still also worked as his PA. Watching him now as he walked along the open plan office towards me I felt my heart bang against my chest. Tall, with chocolate eyes and thick, black hair, Brad still gave me butterflies.

‘Erin, have you got my itinerary for the conference tomorrow?’ he asked, standing in front of my desk.

‘Of course,’ I replied, pulling out a glossy brochure from my in-tray and handing it to Brad. ‘I booked you into your usual hotel for two nights and I’ve arranged for the hotel business centre to set up your presentation material so you don’t need to worry.’

Brad smiled. ‘Thank you, that was very thoughtful.’

‘All part of the job,’ I replied sweetly.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Holly Tierney-Bedford

Hi Holly, I am so pleased you’ve joined me today. Can you tell me a little about your book, I Will Follow Him?

My story is about Francie, a private detective hired to follow a groom-to-be and his groomsmen as they go on a cruise. It’s a romantic comedy about a singles’ cruise, so there are lots of laughs, surprises, and (naturally) love.

 

What have been the challenges of writing within the Oceanic Dreams book series?

No challenges! It’s been great!

 

Do you need to have read the other books to read yours?

No. Every book can be read as a standalone story.

 

What is your writing process like, from idea to first draft? (If you are happy to provide a photo as an example of any part of the process, then that would be fantastic.)

I just jump in and start writing. I’m a total pantser, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. Every story has a “feeling” to it, a mood, of those particular characters, setting, etc. When I signed on to the Oceanic Dreams project, I loved the light, fun premise. Although I didn’t have a particular plot or character in my mind until I sat down to write and saw what showed up, the series had been on my mind, percolating, for months before I started and I’m sure that helped me.

 

Is character or plot more important?

Character. I’d read a book about a fascinating person cleaning their house. I would not want to read a book with a great plot but characters who are boring.

 

How important is it to pick character names and how do you pick yours?

Important. I often change my characters’ names (find and replace) several times before I get it right.

 

Which authors do you admire?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson

What better way to kick off a Sunday by welcoming Laurie Benson and the blog tour for her novel, Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance.

 

She’s played Cupid for others

Now she’s met her own unlikely match!

The final book of The Sommersby Brides quartet. Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks self-made businessman William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself!

She thought her days of romance were over, but is this younger man intent on giving her a second chance?

 

Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance is a seasoned regency romance novel and the last in the Sommersby Brides series.

This was my first novel in the series and one of the things I loved was that the main character was in her forties. Prove that life doesn’t end simply because you’re not twenty.

As I said, this book focuses on Clara Sommersby who is drawn to a visitor to Bath, William Lane. Instantly they have an attraction to each other.

This can be read as a standalone novel but I will be picking up the others in the series when I can.

I immediately fell in love with the characters, the setting and the atmosphere in this novel. I love Bath and felt as though I was there observing the relationship that builds between Lane and Clara. I felt like I was stepping back in time with this magical love story.

I cheered for both Clara (who is a strong, independent woman,) and Lane who is a proper gentleman. Like Clara, Lane knows what it’s like to work hard for what you achieve and what it’s like to have little in the world and for the society around you to expect that you’re not capable of achieving anything.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: The Moments by Natalie Winter

Life is made up of countless moments. Moments that make us who we are. But what if they don’t unfold the way they’re supposed to…?

What if you get on the wrong bus, or don’t speak to the right person at a party, or stay in a job that isn’t for you? Will you miss your one chance at happiness? Or will happiness find you eventually, when the moment is right?

Meet Matthew and Myrtle. They have never really felt like they fitted – in life or with anyone else. But they are meant to be together – if only they can find each other.

A powerful and emotional story about missed chances, interwoven lives and the moments that define us.

*****

 

The Moments is the story about two people as they go through significant moments in their lives. I’ve seen it described as a cross between One Day and Sliding Doors.

This story follows Myrtle and Matthew; two outsiders who have always felt as though they’ve never fitted in. The Moments is told from the point of view of both characters but it was made very clear which one I was reading about. This book was an interesting approach to the traditional love story. These characters have many chances to meet. I am not going to reveal if they do and in what circumstance.

Fate is so present in this novel and very much has its own agenda. The idea of meeting the right person at the right or wrong time. I find it fascinating.

It reminded me so much of my husband and I. Although we grew up at opposite ends of the country, he used to holiday/had family in my home town. His mother and mine were even in the same guide troop a couple of years apart. Although we didn’t meet until we were eighteen, I always loved the idea that, like this novel, we possibly crossed paths without even realising.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Moment With… Laura Bradford

Kensington Publishing (28 May 2019)

Laura Bradford is the author of A Daughter’s Truth and I am very happy to be welcoming her to the blog today.

Emma Lapp tries to be the perfect daughter, to earn the loving embrace of her family and her Amish community in Pennsylvania. Yet she can’t quite win her mother’s smile–or her forgiveness for a transgression Emma can’t quite place . . .
Emma knows she’s the source of her mother’s greatest sorrow, having been born on the same day Mamm lost her beloved sister. The one bright spot has been the odd trinkets anonymously left at her aunt’s grave each year on Emma’s birthday–gifts Emma secretly hides because they upset her parents. But the day she turns 22, a locket bears a surprise that sends her on an unexpected journey . . .

Searching for answers, Emma travels to the English world and finds a kinship as intriguing as it is forbidden. But is this newfound connection enough to leave behind the future she’d expected? The answers are as mysterious, and as devastating, as the truth that divides Emma from the only family, and the only life, she’s ever known . . .

 

Talking about the birth of a story, it’s over to you, Laura. 

With thirty-three published books under my belt to date, it’s not any wonder that readers are curious as to how I get my ideas. Do I keep a notebook by the bed? Do I pick the brains of my friends and family? Do I spend hours thinking about the next book?

The quick answers are no, no, and…no.

My ideas generally are born on a conversation I’ve overheard, the juiciest part of a 30-second radio newsbyte that piqued my interest, and/or, oftentimes, my own imagination.

A conversation, you ask? Sure. I think it was the sixth book in one of my earlier mystery series that came about after listening to someone talk about a co-worker with a penchant for pinching things off people’s desks. There was more to this woman’s story than just that, but that initial nugget was enough to send my thoughts racing. By the time I was back home that afternoon, one of my beloved series characters had an elderly mother with that same affliction…

A 30-second radio newsbyte? Absolutely. Think about it. When you’re listening to a favorite music station on the radio, the disc jockey likes to share quirky little news stories between songs. And it’s always the juiciest part, because they don’t have time to drone on for too long. So when I heard a story about a decades-old letter found during the renovation of a post office, my personal antennae shot straight up. What was in the letter? Who had sent it? What did/didn’t happen because it had never reached its intended destination? These were the kinds of answers the newsbyte didn’t give, but that was okay. Because, once again, the writer part of my brain filled in the answers all on its own. And, before long, I had the plot for what became my first ever romance novel.

Fun stuff, for sure.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Pinterest
LinkedIn
INSTAGRAM
RSS
Follow by Email
Book Club
Book Club
Twitter
Poll
Archives
Categories