I am very pleased and super excited to be welcoming the fabulous Sue Moorcroft and the blog tour for her new novel, Just For The Holidays, released today by Avon Books.
In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.
Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.
But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…
Mick has reviewed the book but first, Sue shares her top tips for surviving summer holidays. Over to you, Sue.
I love summer. I was brought up for several years in Malta and it’s there I think I must have developed my love of the sun. Here are my top tips for surviving summer holidays:
• Take plenty to read. Whether it’s your eReader, print books or magazines, just make sure everybody in your party has something. I know you’ve got your phones on which to browse the Internet or tablets to let you watch DVDs but airport delays or beaches lead to flat batteries, low signal or extortionate phone bills. I find a book a day a nice starting point. Loading my eReader for a trip is such a pleasure! And I generally take a magazine just in case something makes it impossible to read on my eReader and the app on my phone.
• Choose a holiday you actually want. This might sound like stating the flippin’ obvious but if you’ve browbeaten your holiday companions into going where you want, you may find that nobody has a good time – and that includes you if they remind you every five minutes and sulk. (Of course, if you’re the browbeaten one and you didn’t actually want to spend your holiday in a theme park, put your friends/family in a queue for a ride, find a sunny bench and take out your book …) Leah in Just for the Holidays allows her sister, Michele, to coax her into a holiday she doesn’t want and things go seriously wrong from the first. (It doesn’t help that Michele has a couple of secrets, including quite an important one that she hasn’t shared with Leah.)
• If you can afford it, treat yourself to a pre-holiday pamper. Leg-waxing and gel nails can keep you feeling good all through your long-awaited holiday.
• Stay safe. It’s a shame we have to think this way but many a fabulous break has been ruined by theft of money and/or passports and returning to find the home ransacked. Be aware, use the hotel safe, visit one of the ‘information for travellers’ websites for advice pertinent to the place you’re visiting.
• Take at least one sweatshirt and a raincoat. Even hot countries have summer storms or freak weather.
• Also take sun protection if you’re going somewhere hot. Especially if you expect to go topless. Seriously! People end up in hospital.
• Have a really, truly fabulous time. Oh, yes, and remember all that other stuff that might be necessary: visa, passport, boarding pass, currency, credit card (find out if you need to tell your provider if you’re travelling abroad), insurance, medication (is what you need allowed into your destination country?), surfboard, adequate sun protection, contraception, bucket and spade, and someone to feed your cat.
Mick’s verdict on Just For The Holidays….
How do you follow up the Christmas smash that was ‘The Christmas Promise’? That was the question facing best-selling author Sue Moorcroft. For the answer, look no further than her second novel for Avon, ‘Just For the Holidays’.
Nobody writes family angst better than Ms Moorcroft and JFTH delivers in spades. Take a family, in an atypical situation and you have a cornucopia of possibilities. Against her wishes, Leah is persuaded to join a family holiday in France by her sister Michele and finds herself left to look after her niece and nephew when Michele runs off with her boyfriend, to top things off, her estranged husband Alistar is badly hurt in an accident. Adding to the confusion is the attraction Leah feels to the workman next door who turns out to not only be not only not a local, but a helicopter pilot recovering from an accident, something that was certainly not on her agenda; the single life is what Leah feels best able to cope with.
I hope you’re not looking for a more detailed review of the full story, as you won’t get that from me – I hate spoiling things – you can get that from other reviewers. All I will say is that you will be very hard-pushed to find a novel with more twists and turns in it this year, or other’s for that matter. All the protagonists, including the children who all have large influences upon this book, go through more emotional, and physical, learning than I’ve read in one book than you’ll believe. If that doesn’t satisfy your need to know more about what happens, I have one thing to say to you; buy the book.
Here we have a master class in how to write family conflict that will stand the test of ages. The adult characters are, complete and accessible from the outset, which helps the reader relate to their reasons for acting as they do from the start, and to cheer, and boo where needed (and for one character, it certainly is) as they grow and evolve as the story unfolds. As for the teenagers? I probably know more about emogees (think that’s the correct expression) and text-speak than I did prior to reading this, but all are perfectly believable, the scenes where first-love rears its head is beautifully written and you can feel Ronan, Leah’s love-interest, cringing when he discusses the expression ‘MILF’ with his son (it’s also hilarious!).
If you’re new to Sue’s stories, I envy you if my review persuades you to go and purchase this book, you’re about to discover an author I’m sure you’ll grow to love as much as I do; if you’re already a fan, then I envy you as you’re undoubtedly about to embark on reading JFTH for the first time.
About Sue Moorcroft:
Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes women’s contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her last book, The Christmas Promise, was published by Avon Books UK. It reached #1 in the UK Kindle chart and did well in mass market paperback both in the UK and in Germany. Her next book, Just for the Holidays, was published on 18 May 2017.
Sue has won the Best Romantic Read Award, been nominated for a RoNA and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’.
For more information, visit her website: www.suemoorcroft.com