Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

The Single Mums Move On – Janet Hoggarth – 5* #Review @Aria_Fiction @Janethauthor #Romance #Friendship #SingleMum #SelfDiscovery #BlogTour #GuestPost

Can neighbours become more than good friends…

After her husband left her, Ali and her daughter Grace enjoyed living in what became known as ‘the Single Mums’ Mansion’. However, with her best friends Amanda and Jacqui moving on, it’s time for Ali and Grace to make their own way. Thankfully, a chance conversation leads to them moving into the infamous South London gated community known only as ‘The Mews’.

In ‘The Mews’ everyone lives in each other’s pockets and curtain-twitching is an Olympic sport. The neighbours are an eclectic bunch – from Nick the alleged spy, Carl the gorgeous but clearly troubled Idris Elba lookalike, to Debbie who is about to face the hardest fight of her life, and TV agent Samantha who is not as in control as she likes to pretend.

Each day brings another drama, but along with the tears, real friendships grow. And her neighbours’ problems might unlock the key to something Ali has yearned for all along…

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I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I enjoyed the first book in the single mums series, but for me, this one is even better. This is Ali’s story, although Amanda and Jacqui are featured. Ali is stumbling out of, yet another terrible relationship, Amanda suggests, there is a pattern to this self-destruction, and maybe she needs to be single for a while, to find out who she is, and what she wants out of life.

When it looks like Ali and Grace may have to take refuge with Amanda, a lifeline from an unexpected source, brings them to ‘The Mews’, an enigmatic gated community in South London. The characters that live there are beautifully flawed and realistic and their lives make Ali realise that she’s not the only one with problems.

The friendships that follow, are full of love, laughter and sadness. Ali finds a way forward and romance in an unexpected place, The story flows well, and the ethos of the community, is addictive, making me read this story in one sitting.

Guest Post – Janet Hoggarth – The Single Mums Move on

The Single Mums Move On is my difficult second album after the popular Single Mums’ Mansion. Because the first book was based on my life, taking the reader on a bumpy ride traversing heartache and divorce through to a satisfyingly redemptive ending, I was nervous about trying to repeat that. Especially when what happened to me afterwards (a genuine happy ever after) wasn’t as page-turning as living in a mommune (sorry husband)! So I decided to write the next branch of the story from Ali’s point of view. It has its roots planted in the truth, but there are a handful of fictional characters with some of the situations sprouting from my imagination.

            The book opens a few years after Ali has left the mommune and is in a supposed stable relationship. However, on closer inspection there are so many cracks, it’s a surprise it’s not yet imploded. When the inevitable does happen, Ali finds herself alone again with Grace, her daughter, in her scabby flat with mould on the walls, wishing she was back in the mommune. After a chance encounter with a shaman in the local health food shop, Ali is given the opportunity to move into the notorious south London gated community named the Mews (this is a real place!). Ali decides to finally swear off men, and with the guidance of her mommune pals, Amanda and Jacqui, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

Behind the Mews gates, Ali encounters the eclectic bunch of residents who mostly make her feel welcome, but it soon becomes obvious that things aren’t as perfect as they first seem. There’s the photographer with an out of control addiction; the nosy neighbour with a tragic past; the college professor navigating a nasty divorce about to face an even bigger struggle; the mysterious man nick-named the Spy who might be involved in illegal activities; the wise shaman who heals everyone else but can’t heed her own advice; the talent agent who needs a best-selling act to save her from going under; the posh older divorcee who is sick of institutionalised men and desperate for some excitement; and the undisputed boss of the mews who tries to save the world, but continually cocks up her own love life. The Mews is like the Single Mums’ Mansion but with more players and as Ali gets sucked into the tangled lives of everyone there, she realises that other people’s drama could lead her down the path to happiness.

Janet Hoggarth has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, children’s book editor and DJ with her best friend (under the name of Whitney and Britney). She has published several children’s books, the most recent ones written under the pseudonym of Jess Bright. Her first adult novel The Single Mums’ Mansion, a huge bestseller, was based on her experiences of living communally as a single parent.

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Book Review, Inspiration

Christy Newton – Guest Post and My 5*Review: A Guide to Love

7124038Today I have the lovely Christy Newton on my blog talking about the inspiration behind her latest books. I got to know Christy during my first ‘So You Think You Can Write’ contest in 2012 and I’ve read and enjoyed all her books.

Check out my reviews of Christy’s books here

Over to you Christy…

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Hi! I’m Christy Newton, author of over ten novels. I’m a wife, mother and book lover. Thank you, Jane, for having me on your blog. I have to say I’m a little jealous of where you live. Visiting the UK is a dream of mine. Maybe someday if I can sell enough books. Anyway, I’d like to tell you a little about the inspiration I had for writing my two newest books.
T25366832he first, Naturally Enchanted, is a paranormal about witches of Mango Cove Island. This book was always inside me—probably from the time I was a little girl and adored the TV show Bewitched. I would even play witches with my Barbies. And if only I could cast a spell on my pesky little brother hehe, sorry Johnny.

When I started writing four years ago, I knew someday I’d write a witch story. When I finished Naturally Enchanted I knew I had not only wrote this for my fans and family, I wrote it for myself.
27830980My newest book, Breaking Free, is a young adult romance. Here again, is something from my childhood. I don’t talk a lot about my past, but like Elin, I had an evil stepfather. Having two teens myself now, I wanted to write a book that dealt with the serious issue of abuse that a lot of children have experienced. I also wanted to write about how strong a person is who can overcome that abuse.
The one thing every one of my books will have in common is a feel good theme with a happy ending.

 

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A Guide to Love:
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The love ship sailed long ago for Daphne Pepper…

Feisty native of Sand Crest Island, Daphne has everything she needs… or so she thought. Until she meets handsome Remy Rosetto who is on a mission to complete his grandfather’s request in order to earn his inheritance.

Remy hires Daphne to be his tour guide for an unheard of amount of money and she is more than happy to take his cash then send him away. Which is fine with Remy, who wants to get back to his penthouse in New York.

Daphne loves her island and will not even think of leaving her family and friends, but as Remy falls for this island beauty he has other plans.

Can they both find more than they ever wanted or are they too stubborn to compromise?

Winter Buy Links

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Winter My Review

This is fun-filled sweet romance set on an island, in the Bahamas. Daphne loves her family and her home and even gave up her chance for love to stay there. She lives an ordinary life filled with work, friends and family and a lovely cat. The humour in this story is there from the first page and you can’t help but like Daphne’s outlook on life. Island life is a lot like village life in the UK, everyone knows everyone’s business and they look out for each other.
When Remy arrives on the island to fulfil his Grandfather’s wishes and claim his inheritance,
Remy and Daphne’s attraction is instant and grows, when she becomes his island guide. The mystery of the letter keeps the two in close proximity and inevitably passion overtakes them. They say opposites attract and these two are opposite in many ways. A Guide to Love offers the chance of a happy ending and a mystery to solve, perfect escapism; an easy to read, light-hearted story perfect for couple of hours on the beach.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Other Books by Christy Newton

More Than Treasure Trilogy
(Stolen Hearts#1, Something to Treasure #2, Treasured Hearts #3)
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Jewels, deception and adventure…

Twenty-two year old, Cammie Adams knows one thing for sure… life isn’t fair. She’s still a wreck from the tragic loss of her parents seven years ago. Right after she gets her PI license she is not only robbed, but abducted, only to find her life was all a lie. When she finds her mother’s diary she discovers she was only a pawn in her mother’s dangerous game. Now she must get back what is rightfully hers from the man who murdered her mother.

Hot and mysterious Simon Fisher has really only loved one thing… jewels. This ex-jewel thief, now bodyguard, doesn’t even know what hits him when he rescues Cammie as a favor to her father. Simon must protect her, but soon finds where there is trouble, Cammie isn’t far behind.

She will not only steal his prized jewel, but his heart.

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Something to Treasure Cover New-002

Murder, jealousy and treasure…

When Cammie Adams, determined novice PI, gets an urgent call from her ex, she is compelled to take his case. Miles, a luxury hotel owner and an upstanding citizen of Upton Hills, finds one of the maids dead. He turns to Cammie for help to keep his beloved hotel from being tarnished. With her partner and boyfriend, Simon, she takes on a case that might just be their last. Her ex’s hotel is an eighty-year-old building that has secrets of its own.

Can they catch the murderer to save the hotel and her ex’s reputation or will the case take a turn that will leave them lost forever?

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Spies, weddings and new beginnings…

Ready to get back to work after a long leave from their PI business, Simon Fisher and Cammie Adams take the first case that comes their way. Someone is selling company secrets and it’s up to them to find the spy. But when they get their answer, they uncover much more than espionage.

After attending recent family weddings, Simon has become an expert at dodging Cammie’s hints about giving her a certain piece of jewelry he has always secretly feared. Simon doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to keep his girlfriend satisfied without giving her the one thing she still desires.

As they work their case, will Simon and Cammie discover another fortune or will they see that the greatest treasure of all is the one they already have… love?

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Begin Again Cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone… until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his Momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

What starts out as innocent flirting turns into two people finding something they no longer want to live without. The problem is Maisie has deep scars inside and out. Showing Ryan that part of her may just be too painful.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Once broken, can the heart really trust again?

Dreams of escaping her small town brought Ellie Oliver to New York only to find that life there wasn’t all she’d hoped. Seven years later, she is returning to Pleasant Valley, Indiana with new hopes and secrets. She wants nothing more than to fade into the slow pace of small town life and forget about the demons of her past.

Jacob Jones is at loose ends. At twenty-six, a man shouldn’t be starting his life over from scratch. Finding himself out of work, Jacob looks for a new home in Pleasant Valley. He is ready for the single life just enjoying the company of close friends. All that changes when he takes a job remodeling the town’s toy shop and comes head to head with its new owner. Ellie turns out to be sweeter than the candy she sells in her store.

Ellie and Jacob bring out feelings in each other neither were looking for, but both can’t deny. Can they truly trust again or will their shattered hearts refuse to mend

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Protecting the Enemy Cover

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Julianna Fox was made for her job. Or so she is told. The only memory Julianna has of her past is after the explosion. She was a nameless victim until a man pulled her out of the darkness and gave her new life. A new purpose, because anything is better than being no one. When she is about to eliminate her next mark something stops her. The moment Julianna makes eye contact with Reid Castleton, she has a flashback of her forgotten past. How does she know the man? And why can’t she follow through with her assignment?

Expert assassin, Reid Castleton, has been told to kill the only woman he ever loved if he wants to live. When he finds his fiancée, he can’t go through with the hit, even if it means losing his own life. Either she can’t remember who she is or is damn good at acting.

Neither one knows who to trust. Both make a truce until they can find out why the leader of ETE 7 wants them both dead. What they uncover is a long line of lies and deception that started the moment Julianna was conceived. Will love conquer all or will fear make them do the unthinkable?

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

After a tragic accident that brought the small town of Wynter Haven to their knees, Claire Belmont and Nick Lewis went in opposite directions coping in very different ways. Three years later, Claire gets a call urging her to come back to help her friend move past his grief.

It will take more than a little hot cider, gingerbread and mistletoe to bring back Nick’s holiday spirit. He hasn’t celebrated Christmas since his twin sister died. In fact, he’s mastered locking up his feelings so he will never be hurt again.

Claire has a secret and hopes that somehow she and Nick can both get a Christmas miracle this year. After all, Nichole would want them to be happy and cherish the holiday that had been their favorite. Maybe a little bit of Christmas is just what they both need.

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Genre: Paranormal

Ezra Ravenhart has lived with the rumors of her family’s witchcraft her whole life. Too bad she doesn’t believe them – she’d conjure up a boyfriend. But the thing called love remains as mysterious as her Grana’s herb shop on their tropical island.
As a struggling journalist, Owen Cooper has to make a name for himself, and a tip that a real-life witch is living on Mango Cove may just lead to the big story he needs. Undercover as a shipwrecked tourist, he worms his way into Ezra’s family – and their secrets.
But how will he handle the fact that Ezra has found the magic answer to his heart when his body belongs in Chicago? And is their love strong enough to survive the evil stalking their every move?

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Genre: Young Adult

Being sixteen is hard enough without Elin Skye pretending to be a new person over and over again. On the run with her mom from a psycho stepdad, who happens to be a deputy sheriff, her life sucks. She’s determined to sever Wyatt’s hold on them even if it means breaking all the rules.

Sawyer Knight’s summer is doomed when he’s unjustly grounded and must stay with his pain in the ass older brother to earn back his parents’ trust. Things start turning around when he meets a pretty but odd girl trying to kill a vending machine. After Sawyer learns the truth about Elin he has to help her no matter the consequences.

Two teens on their own with little money could be dangerous, not to mention life changing. In order to be free Elin must do something her mom never could—stand up to the monster who made them his prisoners.

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Author Bio

Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic and writes many genres of romance. She just might be the only author out there who doesn’t drink caffeine, but dark chocolate is her must have. She falls in love with each of her heroes and hopes you will too! Christy is the author of over ten novels.

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

Nobody Knows – Rebecca Barber – Blog Tour – Inspiration

NobodyKnows_ecoverMystery Thriller Blurb

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

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Rebecca  shared  some of the  secrets behind her new story with me.

 What was the inspiration for Nobody Knows?

A friend was going through a hard time and it hurt to watch (it was nothing like this) so I created a monster we could despise. At the time it seemed everyone around me was celebrating how men who were rich and handsome and charismatic could do no wrong, so I wanted to create one who had flaws – after all everyone does.

Loss, especially when it’s both parents, is hard. How does Gillian deal with that?

Gillian doesn’t really know how to deal with it which is why she throws herself so recklessly into a life with Joel. I think deep down she always knew he wasn’t the knight in shining armour she’d prayed for, but he filled the loneliness and made her feel special, if even for a moment. She clung to the nearest warm body to ease the ache. As it turns out, she chose the wrong body.

Click on the My Review image to read my review of Nobody Knows.

Mystery Thriller My Review

EXCERPT

Adult Read

Gillian

‘The scowl on his leathery face should have been enough warning to shut me up, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to back down. I was ready for a fight. Whatever he dished out would come back at him twofold. He came through the door, ripping it almost off its hinges and letting it slam behind him. He took one look at me, sitting on the lounge quietly watching television and sipping my coffee, and rolled his eyes in disgust. I didn’t say a word. This was the game we played these days. After more than a decade of marriage, this is all we had left.
“What’s for dinner?” he snarled, his eyes filled with hatred and disgust. I just shrugged apathetically. What was I supposed to say? ‘Hi honey, how was your day? You look tired. Why don’t I just whip you up a nice, juicy T-bone steak and fresh steamed veggies?’ The truth was, I would probably be having home-brand crackers with what was left of the vegemite.
“Not sure. We don’t have much,” I admitted, instantly feeling ashamed.
I hated the fact that he could make me cower like that. Once upon a time, in another lifetime far away from this one, I felt different. I felt worthwhile and even happy. We were happy at one point, weren’t we? Somewhere along the line, I must have loved him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. I can’t be that stupid, can I?
“For God’s sake, didn’t you even bother to do the shopping?” he snarled from the kitchen.
I heard him muttering to himself as he shuffled the near-empty boxes about in the pantry. Much as I hate to admit it, the profanity spraying from his lips was mighty impressive.
Stomping back into the lounge, he planted himself deliberately in front of the television, hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. Knowing what was coming, I was glad the kids were out with their godmother Heidi tonight. That was the only positive in this nightmare.
“For fuck’s sake, Gillian. I give you money. What the fucking hell do you spend it on?” he demanded, tiny bits of spittle flying from his mouth.
We had danced around this confrontation for weeks now. The tension was escalating, as was the hatred buried inside me. I don’t remember the last time that I had actually had a full night’s sleep. These days, I was too angry to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all I could do was imagine all the things that I wanted to do and say to him, but was too afraid to.
My life had somehow crumpled into a pathetic mess, and most of the time I hated myself for it. I was furious, and the more I saw of him, the more he continued to be the heartless barbaric bastard he had become, the worse things got, and the more I despised myself.
“Do you really want to know how fucking far your measly twenty bucks stretches these days?” I asked, keeping my face as blank as possible. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and folded his arms aggressively across his puffed out chest.
I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the arms of my chair with both hands, and squeezed as hard as I could. When I looked down, my knuckles were white with the strain and I could hear myself grinding my teeth desperately, trying to control the rage inside me.
“Well?” he snapped, shifting his weight impatiently from one foot to another.
I exhaled heavily. “If you really want to know what happened to that twenty you gave me a week ago for food and to keep the house running, well, it bought a six-pack of home brand toilet paper, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, vegemite, eggs, and a packet of tampons for your daughter!” I told him, ticking the items off my fingers as I announced them.’

Click the Author Interview image to read my interview with Rebecca

Author Interview

Author Bio 2016 -1.

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Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Posted in Author Guest Post, New Books

Guest Post: The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE – Hannah Emery

Today I have author Hannah Emery as a guest on my blog.

She reveals some of the secrets behind her exciting new story;

‘The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE’, published by Harper Impulse.

Secrets of Castle du Reve

 

Historical Blurb

In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…

Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…

In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?

In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.

Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…

 

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Mother and Baby Homes

A few years ago, when I was starting to think about ideas for The Secrets of Castle du Reve, I came across an article on homes for unmarried mothers. I’d heard about the homes before that, but reading about individual women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies in secret, sometimes not even telling their families because of the scandal that it would cause, really touched me. Soon after I read the article, I saw an episode of Long Lost Family that outlined the case of a woman who had been sent to a mother and baby home in the 1960s when she was seventeen. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and about how different life is now.

Motherhood was particularly significant to me at that point because my first daughter was about two years old then and I was feeling stunned by how powerful and intense it all was. I already knew that motherhood would be an important part of my book. The idea of having to hide a pregnancy, and the different ways relationships have been seen throughout the last hundred years or so added a whole new dimension to my plot. It took ages to decide on how to include something about mother and baby homes. I wrote so many different scenes, and even had some poor characters that didn’t make it into the first draft.

I didn’t know much at all about the homes before I started writing the book, so I read a lot of accounts of women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies, and I stared quite endlessly at pictures of the places they’d stayed in, imagining what it must have been like for them. I read about the types of lives the women had before they’d become pregnant, and the stark contrast of their times in the homes. Once I’d done my research, I enjoyed placing Isobel in 2010 alongside Victoria in the 1960s. Both women fall in love quite quickly and have such different experiences, mainly because of how much things have changed for women in a relatively short amount of time.

The clichéd writing advice that people always seem to share is: write about what you know. But I like writing about things that I don’t know. I love learning about times that have passed and bringing them back to life. For me, that’s what curling up with a book is all about.

 Thanks for revealing some of the secrets behind your story Hannah. I certainly agree that its much more fun to write about things that are new to you because the research is such an  important part of the writing process. I am currently reading  this intriguing story and I’ll be reviewing it here later this week.

e176263a92251467e5ea7882edf4e3dcAuthor Bio -1

 I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, and I know work in a College where I mentor degree students. The most important things in my life are my family, my friends, books, baking on a Saturday afternoon, getting glammed up to go out for champagne and dinner and having cosy weekends away. I live in Blackpool with my husband and our two little girls

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas – Michelle Betham

ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover image


Lana Saunders is on a mission to find the ‘new Lana’, the real Lana. After twenty years spent as a prim and proper businessman’s wife, she’s finally swapped beige cotton for black leather, and cardigans for tattoo sleeves! With the ink only just dry on her divorce papers, she’s ready to live it up in Vegas.

What she doesn’t expect is to meet wickedly sexy biker, Eddie and is shocked when he asks her out. Not only does he send her sex-starved libido into overdrive, but the connection between them is unlike anything she’s ever experienced. So when Eddie asks her to stay with him in Vegas, the desire to fall into this gorgeous man’s bed and stay there forever is too tempting to ignore!

Living with Eddie in Las Vegas is the most fun Lana’s had in years—especially when he shows her that there’s more than one way to ride on a Harley!—but soon she realises she can’t ignore her old life forever, particularly when her ex, Adam shows up determined to win her back!

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My Review 2

Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas

Lana Saunders is a likeable ‘Shirley Valentine’ character, ‘living the dream’ in Las Vegas, rather than the Greece.

Lana knows her marriage isn’t going to be as exciting twenty years on but she is escaping from more than the routine. Lana is fighting for her individuality, tired of being the square peg in the round hole.

Finn, Lana’s younger brother, gives her somewhere to run to. Lana empathises with his way of life and friends and rediscovers who she is. I loved Finn, he is loyal and caring and I would like to see what happens in his life in a sequel perhaps?

Lana’s chance meeting with Eddie, a Scottish biker, living in Vegas is vivid and intense. Eddie is a mysterious character. Lana gradually discovers his secrets and demons, when she lives life on the wild side. Adam, Lana’s ex-husband’s reappearance, transects her new life and leads the story in a new, unexpected direction.

Full of twists and surprises, with realistic characters and an absorbing plot, which draws you in and keep you turning the pages. This is an epic sized novel but it is so easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Vegas and walk on the wild side; especially the hot and raunchy love scenes that epitomise Lana’s journey of self- discovery.

I received a copy of this novel from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

What inspired Michelle Betham to write ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’? 

Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas by Michelle Betham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas by Michelle Betham

Michelle Betham

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Posted in Author Guest Post, New Books

Guest Post: Michelle Betham – Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas

ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover image

‘Shirley  Valentine Goes to Vegas’ is the latest release from one of my favourite authors, the lovely Michelle Betham.

Miauthorpicchelle is guest posting on my blog today to share the inspiration behind this unusual story of self- discovery.

‘There are three things I’ve always wanted to do:-

1. Visit Las Vegas.
2. Ride a Harley Davidson.
3. Get a real big tattoo.

Two out of those three things are still on my “yet-to-do” list, but the third one has been achieved. My left arm now sports a rather large “statement” tattoo – a black ink rose vine that stretches from my wrist to my shoulder. And I love it. It was something I’ve wanted for a long time, and despite being on the wrong side of forty-five now, I truly believe that it’s never too late to do anything, be that get a tattoo, or, in the case of Lana in my new book ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’, change your life.

Funnily enough, Lana also decides to “ink up”, as part of her rather drastic lifestyle change, but that’s kind of where the coincidences between myself and my character ends. But, writing about Lana and her journey into a whole new world did give me a chance to – albeit in the fictional sense – live out those first two items on my “things I really want to do” list.

Most of the story in ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’ takes place in, yes, you’ve probably guessed it by the title, Las Vegas. I have a huge a fascination with that place, and I really, really want to go there some day, so setting a book there was a no-brainer for me. It seemed like the perfect place for Lana to discover that new life she’s been looking for, even if she didn’t go there expecting to find it. Relationships are the last thing on Lana’s mind when she meets super-sexy biker, Eddie, at a tattoo convention in Las Vegas. But the connection is instant. And it throws Lana. Newly divorced after twenty years of marriage she isn’t used to the feelings Eddie stirs up in her, and when he asks her – completely out of the blue, and after only a couple of days of knowing each other – to stay with him in Vegas, she struggles with what she feels she should do, and what she really wants to do. But, you know, Eddie owns two Harleys. And as I can’t get to ride one of those (yet), Lana gets to do it for me… and Eddie shows her there’s more than one way to ride one of those beautiful machines…

She’s having more fun than she’s ever had before with Eddie, living the kind of life she hadn’t even known existed. But sometimes the past can’t always be pushed aside quite as easily as you’d like it to be. Especially when the past comes looking for you…

For me, creating the character of Lana – a woman who, at the age of thirty-nine, has literally walked out on the only world she’s ever known – was quite liberating. And that’s where the whole “Shirley Valentine” comparison comes into it. Just like Lana, she upped and left the only life she’d ever known to try and find a new one. Because it really is never too late to change anything; to go out and get something, or just do some of those things you’ve always wanted to do. If you have dreams, go out and live them.
Writing this book, I got to turn a woman who’d once been stifled, almost, by the life she’d once lived, from corporate wife into tattooed biker babe; she got to go out there and live out her fantasies, and to write about her transition was a blast! But, of course, nothing is ever that simple, and there comes a point when Lana also has to make choices she didn’t think she’d ever have to make…

I guess this is also a story about – to some extent – fate, because I’m also a strong believer that (some) things happen for a reason. And some of the things that happen to Lana… well, you’ll have to read the book to see how it all works out for her. All I know is you only get one life. And, like Lana – like Shirley Valentine – there comes a time when you just have to get out there and live it – the way you want to live it…’

Untitled
ShirleyValentine Goes to Vegas Cover imageLana Saunders is on a mission to find the ‘new Lana’, the real Lana. After twenty years spent as a prim and proper businessman’s wife, she’s finally swapped beige cotton for black leather, and cardigans for tattoo sleeves! With the ink only just dry on her divorce papers, she’s ready to live it up in Vegas.

What she doesn’t expect is to meet wickedly sexy biker, Eddie and is shocked when he asks her out. Not only does he send her sex-starved libido into overdrive, but the connection between them is unlike anything she’s ever experienced. So when Eddie asks her to stay with him in Vegas, the desire to fall into this gorgeous man’s bed and stay there forever is too tempting to ignore!

Living with Eddie in Las Vegas is the most fun Lana’s had in years—especially when he shows her that there’s more than one way to ride on a Harley!—but soon she realises she can’t ignore her old life forever, particularly when her ex, Adam shows up determined to win her back!

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Author Bio

authorpicMichelle Betham is an ex-media technician turned author of hot, edgy, gritty romance, usually involving rock stars, sports stars, and bikers. But not usually all in the same book. Yet. She is both self-published and published through HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Addicted to binge-watching TV dramas she struggles to think of a life before Netflix, loves rock music, tattoos, spicy food, and Keanu Reeves – a crush that’s lasted over twenty years, and one she blames entirely on ‘Point Break’…

Her dream is to ride a Harley. And visit Las Vegas. And be able to eat any amount of chocolate without putting on weight…

She lives in County Durham, north-east England, with her husband and West Highland Terrier, where she can be found most days drinking tea and making up stories.

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