Monday, 26 September 2016

A quick update! I’m so super-pleased to share that Learning to Love has now hit 50 reviews! I was thrilled to bits that the book found a lovely home with Choc Lit. Beyond thrilled to find that people were reading it and genuinely loving it. I hope you’ll indulge me. I can’t resist sharing a snippet:
“This story was just perfect. It had times of poignancy and sadness; times of despair and heartache; times of love and lust; a time where the storyline gripped you so much that you couldn’t turn the pages quick enough. It also had some wonderful wit and humour thrown in to balance out the sad times.”  Thank you so much, Adele. I can’t tell you how much that means to be me. Um, actually, I think I already have! KRAFTIREADER
Another little gem: “Sheryl should be sponsored by Kleenex, this is a fab book which had tears running down my face.”
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Thank you, Tracey, for making me laugh out loud! Excellent therapy. The Reading Shed
LTL - Dr Ali

If you do read Learning to Love and enjoy, reviews are always tremendously appreciated.

I can’t wait for the print book to come out, scheduled for Easter 2017. Did I mention the WH Smith Travel Buyer loved it so much he took a quote from it? Yes, I did shed a little tear. I think I can definitely say the angst of the previous year is firmly behind me.

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.
Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …
* Available on all platforms.
In other news, I now have three shiny new contracts for my thrillers! Coming soon from Choc Lit, including my new book, Sins of our Fathers! I’m busy plotting a sequel to that. To which end, I’ve signed up for a forensics course. Hopefully, it will update my knowledge and kick start my brain, which I think is possibly residing behind one of the kitchen cupboards I just installed in my kitchen. I’m a bit battered and bruised after that venture, but one happy little writer.
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A huge THANK YOU to all those wonderful readers and Book Bloggers who have supported me. You're all amazing!
I hope all is well in your world.
Keep safe!
Lots of Love,


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Monday, 19 September 2016

Please Release Me (Choc Lit)Please Release Me by Rhoda Baxter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good looking and with bags of potential, Peter is a catch and Sally has snared him. He’s a bit nerdy, definitely na├»ve, but for a girl who’s determined to shake off her problematic and traumatic past, he’s perfect. Newlywed Sally is about to embark on a new, debt free life. Only she never makes it past the honeymoon, leaving Peter blaming himself for the car crash that results in her comatose state of existence. For info, the author has obviously done her research and the scenes in the hospice are handled extremely sensitively. As Sally hovers between life and death, Peter, too, is in a state of limbo, unable to move forward, unable to grieve the loss of someone who isn’t physically gone. As he keeps up a vigil at Sally’s bedside, Peter comes to know Grace, a volunteer at the hospice, who is attempting to move forward after the loss of her mother and helps Peter take tentative steps to do the same.

An attraction between these two lonely souls soon grows and Sally is having none of it. I’ll leave you to work it out. I’m desperate not to give spoilers but think ‘Ghost’ and ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ and you have it, but with a difference. I adored these two films and so too I adored Please Release Me. If at first you hate her, when Sally’s secrets are revealed, you can’t help but empathise with her and like her a little. A feisty ghost, a hurting hero, what’s not to love? Definitely recommended.


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Monday, 5 September 2016

The Woolworths GirlsThe Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you pick up a book like The Woolworths Girls you’re looking a comfort read. I think most of us are aware that the ‘good old days’ weren’t quite so good, but what the author brings us is that magical sense of nostalgia for things past, perhaps things lost, a sense of family, of belonging and community spirit. Opening at the beginning of WWII, telling the story of three young girls setting out on an uncertain journey to adulthood, a journey made more daunting by the impending war, the story is based around Woolworths, a landmark in history, the go to shop for bits and bobs which you could rely on Woollies to stock. It can’t fail to resonate with people, young and old, those who might have shopped there, those who, like me, had mothers or grandmothers with barely ‘two pennies to rub together’, who would go to Woollies for everything from cheap lippy to laces. The central girls, Sarah, Freda and Maisie, win hearts immediately. Nervously attending interviews, we are given glimpses of just the right amount of beautifully concise backstory to have us totally invested in them. They’re from very different backgrounds, each with their own troubled secrets, and each with an innocence we want to preserve. We watch them bond, we watch them grow, we follow their trials and tribulations, from the seemingly trivial which are so important to girls of that age, to their adapting to the terrors that war brings. The secondary characters are cleverly drawn, making us want to share their stories too. Sarah’s grandmother, Ruby, whose home is where the heart is, is the linchpin, a stalwart of a woman who’s as determined the girls will have a square meal inside them as she is to protect them. I loved this book from the opening chapter, where ex-sailors from the Seaman’s Mission were singing Christmas carols in the snow. I loved the ending, where Sarah was taking new staff under her wing. I loved everything in between. If you love WWII reads, nostalgia in bucketfuls, a timely reminder of the hardship endured, and a smile along the way, The Woolworths Girls encapsulates it all. Highly recommended.

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