I am extremely happy to be welcoming Bella Osborne back to Novel Kicks and her blog tour for her new novel, A Family Holiday.
She’ll do whatever it takes to keep this family together…
As the nanny to four quirky but loveable children, Charlie French has learnt that if there was ever a cement shortage Weetabix would be a viable substitute and that YouTube videos can go viral in seconds, much to her horror. But, most importantly, she’s learnt that whatever happens you stick together as a family.
When tragedy strikes, Charlie is forced to decide whether it’s time to move on or fight to keep the children she loves. With the distraction of the children’s gorgeous Uncle Felix and the chance of a holiday in stunning Antigua, she’s left wondering if turquoise seas can wash away their present troubles. Is the pull of white sand beaches too tempting to resist or will paradise fail to keep them all together?
A gorgeous summery beach read, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Jill Mansell.
I’m reviewing the book below and we also have a great competition (details of which are also below,) but first, we chat to Bella about her favourite holiday themed films (which features some excellent choices). Welcome back, Bella. It’s so good to see you…
Hi Laura and thank you so much for having me on the Novel Kicks blog it is brilliant to be back! My latest novel is ‘A Family Holiday’ and as you may be able to guess a holiday is rather key to the story. So that got me thinking about what were my favourite films that featured a holiday as a key part of the plot and here they are:
My Top 10 Favourite Holiday Films
Dirty Dancing – Probably the best holiday film ever made as you are transported back to the safety and simplicity of 1960’s America to witness the coolest dance teacher ever, Patrick Swayze, win the heart of Jennifer Grey. A classic romance that I will happily watch again, and again, and again.
The Wedding Date – I have sort of squeezed this one in on the basis that both characters have travelled from America to England although it is for a wedding rather than a holiday. But a break is a break and it’s one of my favourite films ever so I had to shoehorn it in somehow! This is romantic comedy at it’s best with Debra Messing starring as a single woman who hires a male escort, the gorgeous Dermot Mulroney, to accompany her to her little sister’s wedding. It has a terrific cast with fabulous secondary characters played by Sarah Parish and Jack Davenport.
The Talented Mr Ripley – A great cast and an even better plot pull you into this story about a playboy holidaying in 1950s Italy. Confused identities, complex characters and murder make this is a great film.
Passport to Pimlico – I have a great love of the Ealing comedies and this one is set during a scorching hot British summer. It is full of classic British humour as the residents of Pimlico discover an ancient parchment, which
they believe, enables them to secede from Westminster’s authority, ditching rationing and pub closing hours into the bargain. A lovely gentle comedy that is well worth a watch.
Just Go With It – Starring Jennifer Anniston and Adam Sandler this quirky romantic comedy is about a receptionist going on holiday to Hawaii with her boss and pretending to be his ex-wife. It’ll make you smile and reach for the sun cream.
What We Did On Our Holiday – David Tennant, Billy Connelly and Ben Miller lead a sterling cast in this entertaining film. A couple pretend to still be together when they attend Doug’s dying father’s birthday party where things take an unexpected turn. The children are the real stars here as well as the stunning Scottish scenery.
Summer Holiday – Who wouldn’t want to borrow a London bus and travel round Europe with their mates? Filled with classic sing-along tunes of the era and a cute romance it’s an old favourite.
The Parent Trap – The original 1961 version starring Hayley Mills is my preferred one over the 1998 Lindsay Lohan one. A trip to summer camp reintroduces separated twins who switch places and then pledge to bring their
parents back together. I first watched this many moons ago and it still never fails to cheer me up.
National Lampoons Vacation – not as much of a perennial as its Christmas cousin but still highly entertaining. Follow the Griswolds as they attempt to ‘do’ Europe via road with hilarious consequences.
The Great Outdoors – The late great John Candy stars in this film with a fitting title. With more than its fair share of comedy moments this is a brilliantly funny film about surviving family holidays.
Next time you are feeling in the holiday mood I recommend you switch on one of these and be transported for an hour or two. Happy viewing!
**** Competition – Win a A Family Holiday Tote Bag*****
As part 0f the blog tour, we’ve been given this limited edition A Family Holiday tote bag to give away to one lucky winner. As summer is approaching, it would be perfect for trips to the beach or abroad.
All you have to do, is comment on this post with your name and your favourite holiday destination and why by the closing date which is 28th June 2016 at 23.59. A winner will then be picked and announced on the Novel Kicks blog on 29th June 2016. UK only.
My verdict on A Family Holiday:
Charlie is a nanny to four children, Ted, George, Eleanor and Millie. When the children’s parents suddenly pass away, Charlie attempts to do all she can to keep the family together. This isn’t made easy for her especially due to an Aunt of the children who is seemingly uncaring and overbearing and an uncle, Felix who doesn’t seem to want to know either.
When the opportunity to take a family holiday arises, Charlie sees it as an opportunity to give the children a chance to make new happy memories before they are potentially taken away from her. Once they arrive at their holiday destination, they are reunited with Felix and things unfold in a way Charlie was not expecting.
It was such a thrill for me to be able to read this novel from author, Bella Osborne. Having followed her writing journey through Novel Kicks, A Family Holiday’s release seems so deserving.
This novel had me hooked from the first page (I know it’s easy for me to be biased but it’s true.) I pretty much wanted to devour this novel in one go and would have done had work not got in the way.
Bella’s style of writing is very engaging and has an ease to it that makes you fall very quickly into the story and care very much for the characters within it.
These children have been through at lot at the beginning of the novel. I could certainly empathise with them. I wanted to hug them all myself.
Charlie is a stronger character than she will give herself credit for. She does a very valiant thing in trying to do her best by these four children. To her, she’s not just their nanny. They are her family.
Charlie has not always had it easy herself and details of that are revealed throughout the novel in moments that had me wanting to cry.
I struggled to keep my patience with Ruth and with Felix throughout the novel and wanted to take both of them by the shoulders and shake them.
All of the characters were well developed and seemed realistic (especially the children. Millie was hilarious.)
There is a mixture of bittersweet, poignant and outright laugh out loud moments in this novel. Oh and it made me want to go on holiday too!
If you’re looking for something to take on holiday to read or a book that is just going to put you in a lovely mood, A Family Holiday is perfect. I loved it. Simple.
Bravo, Bella. Can’t wait to read the next book.
About Bella Osborne:
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released by Harper Impulse last year. Her latest novel, A Family Holiday was released on 16th June 2016 and the first in a seasonal series, Willow Cottage is due to be released by Avon next month. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
To read more about Bella’s route to publication, head over to her Novel Kicks column, Bella’s Scribblings.