Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Autumn Skies Over Ruby Falls Holly Martin 5*#Review @HollyMAuthor #RomCom #JewelIsland #Cornwall #Romance #Friendship #SecondChance #BookReview #BlogTour

Get swept away to the sparkling Cornish coast with the stunning new novel from bestselling author Holly Martin. Autumn Skies Over Ruby Falls is the perfect romantic treat to snuggle up with this autumn.

Clover Philips is exactly where she’s meant to be – back home on Jewel Island teaching dance to the guests at the beautiful Sapphire Bay Hotel that she co-owns with her sisters Skye and Aria. Her life is complete, except for one thing…

When Clover left London she also left behind a devastating betrayal. She hasn’t been able to date anyone since, let alone allow herself to fall in love. What she needs is a casual fling to ease herself back into romance. And as luck would have it, the very handsome Angel Mazzeo is back in town.

The chemistry between Clover and Angel has been undeniable ever since Angel first arrived on Jewel Island six months ago. And though content to be her friend till now, Angel is more than willing to help Clover find her dating feet again.

It should be easy to keep things carefree when love is off the table, but when every moment is magical what started as casual soon becomes something much deeper. Will Clover and Angel find the courage to tell each other how they really feel? And is Clover ready to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again, fall in love? 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second in the Jewel Island series is a standalone read, but the series is fabulous, so read the first book too. Clover’s romantic life is under scrutiny in this story. After a bad break-up, she has trust issues and is content to concentrate on her work life at the hotel. Angel offers friendship but their chemistry is undeniable, but can he commit and can Clover trust him if he does?

Against the vibrant hotel and island setting a sensitively written second chance romance begins. The characters are full of life and relatable. The range of characters gives the story authenticity and depth.

This book delivers a lovely gentle romance with contemporary issues and an idyllic island setting.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Guest post, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Return to Cornwall Laura Briggs #GuestPost @PaperDollWrites #Cornwall #RomCom @rararesources #BlogTour #ReturntoCornwall

The sequel novel to the best-selling UK series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL brings new surprises, romance, humor, and wedding bells, to readers who fell in love with the first stories.

Busy mother of two Julianne Rose has extended her talents beyond the manor house, opening her own event planning agency with the help of no-nonsense best friend Kitty. Balancing the chaos of daily life with their respective careers in their beloved Cornish village means Julianne can rarely snatch a romantic moment with handsome husband Matt. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any more chaotic, a sudden arrival at Cliffs House lands Julianne in the most unusual event of her career.

The reappearance of Percy or ‘the old earl’ after years of adventures abroad has temporarily shocked Lord William and Lady Amanda and set the entire village abuzz with gossip. Grizzled, spry, and delightfully eccentric, he’s returned with a most unusual set of traveling companions: an archaeological team digging in a spot whispered to have ties with the legendary Camelot. But it’s Percy’s ties with a certain charming woman among its team that has everyone taken by surprise, along with the news of their soon-to-be nuptials.

Tasked with planning the big day, Julianne and Kitty spring at this opportunity despite its rushed timeline and their own woes regarding the renovation of their future event space. But as the big day rolls closer for the earl and his bride-to-be – with cakes and wedding flowers competing with pottery shards and an ancient warrior chieftain’s grave for attention — are there still surprising revelations to come?

Adding to the excitement is the return of former Cliffs House maid Gemma, whose posh new life as a novelist may not be all it seems … and Dinah visits in a flurry of festive baking for a holiday competition on everyone’s favorite baking show. Kitty’s life is in a tizz regarding both family and secrets … and Julianne’s happy marriage is challenged by an unwelcome sexy-and-persistent suitor among the summer visitors.

Filled with old friends, new adventures, and heartwarming Cornish charm, RETURN TO CORNWALL is an all-new, full-length novel—the first one ever to feature the characters from the original series!

Amazon UK

Fun Facts about Return to Cornwall:Laura Briggs

Thank you to Jane for letting me to tell her readers about my newest romance read, Return to Cornwall. It features the same characters and setting from my long-running series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL, with the same sense of humor, romance, and adventure at its heart. There are exciting new changes too, though, and I hope that fans and new readers alike will find themselves caught up in a fun, feel-good escape when they join event planner Julianne and her friends at Cliffs House for a summer in beautiful Cornwall. I thought it might be lovely to share a few fun facts behind the story’s inspiration, so let’s dive in!

  1. Although a little cliché perhaps, the idea of an Arthurian archaeology site was inspired by Cornwall’s ties to the legendary king and his Camelot. With multiple sites in the county already linked to the beloved lore it only seemed fitting to create a fictional dig with the same special connection. My own personal favorite from the historic Arthurian locations in Cornwall is that of his supposed birth site at Tintagel Castle, with its amazing and atmospheric medieval ruins and rugged shoreline—it’s definitely on my travel wish list!
  2. Julianne and Matt’s decision to name their son Heath is fitting for two reasons, first being that it’s a plant native to Cornwall. The second reason is that Matt and Julianne’s first meeting—and subsequent fiery exchange—took place when her spiky heels trod a patch of heath that was freshly planted by the rugged gardener on the grounds of the estate she was strolling through.
  3. Readers of my Cornish wedding series have always known that it owed some of its inspiration to the BBC drama Poldark. And with subtle nods to the series having popped up in previous novellas, I couldn’t resist sneaking yet another parallel into this reunion story. Fans of the television series will likely guess which one if I say it involves a handsome admirer’s attempts to woo our married heroine through poetry—only with very different results than what happens in the television series, I might add!
  4. In the past, I’ve often watched episodes of reality wedding shows for inspiration on designs, trends, and décor that characters like Julianne would be familiar with in their work. But for this book I needed to get a feel for a very different field of work: namely, the world of archaeology and history exploration. So instead of Rich Bride, Poor Bride, I found myself binge watching episodes of Time Team and Expedition Unknown to help create the atmosphere and excitement of a dig site where ancient ruins are being discovered.

If you’re a fan of feel-good romance with a bit of drama and a lot of heart, I hope you’ll be sure to check out my latest read. And if you haven’t read Julianne’s previous adventures, now is the perfect time to start. You can find all twelve of the original novellas from A WEDDING IN CORNWALL available in individual format as well as two convenient book bundles—they go perfect with a cuppa and a sunny day in the garden!

Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review, Romantic Comedy

Beach Read Emily Henry 5*#Review @EmilyHenryWrite @PenguinUKBooks #romcom #BeachRead #BookReview #SundayMorning #weekendreads #SundayMotivation

TWO WRITERS, ONE HOLIDAY. A ROMCOM WAITING TO HAPPEN…

January is a hopeless romantic who narrates her life like she’s the lead in a blockbuster movie.
Gus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.

But January and Gus have more in common than you’d think:

They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
And they need to write bestsellers before summer ends.

The result? A bet to swap genres and see who gets published first.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…

Set over one sizzling summer, Beach Read is a witty love story that will make you laugh a lot, cry a little and fall head over heels.

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

My Thoughts…

What’s your definition of a perfect beach read? Addictive, emotional, humorous and romantic? This story is all of these things with an intelligent pacy plot and believable, relatable characters.

January and Gus are successful writers, they met at college but were not friends, now they are both experiencing difficulty writing their next book. January is grieving her father’s death and the revelations that followed. Gus carries emotional damage from his childhood. Their first encounter is humorous but bordering on disastrous, but things improve, and they make a bet to write in each other’s genre with life-changing results.

The story explores genre and prejudices about female writers. It’s also an emotional journey of self-discovery for our couple with angst, fun, romance and tears.

The perfect beach read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Magic, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Wish For Jinnie Audrey Davis 5*#Review @audbyname @rararesources #romcom #magic #humour #friendship #BlogTour #BookReview #AWishForJinnie #MondayBlogs #MondayMorning #RachelsRandomResources #MondayMotivation

What if wishes really could come true? 

When Jinnie Cooper is dumped by her fiancé, and exiled to a job in an antiques shop in a sleepy Scottish village, little does she know a battered old lamp is about to shake up her life. 

Genie Dhassim grants wishes. But he also wants a few of his own to come true. Letting him explore the outside world proves nerve-wracking as Dhassim has an uncanny knack of putting his pointy-slippered foot in it. 

As Jinnie grows closer to her employer Sam, Dhassim discovers his time on earth is running out. 

Can both Jinnie and Dhassim find true happiness? Or are those wishes that cannot be granted?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Everyone needs a little magic in their life and Jinnie more than most. Losing her job and her lover, left her broke and heartbroken and having to move to a village on the outskirts of the city she loves. This story is character-driven. All the characters are believable and relatable and add to the story’s ambience. Then there’s the gene, who makes her life unpredictable but helps her start to live again.

Humour, poignant moments and romance characterise this lovely story, which is heartwarming and magical. The perfect escape from life’s troubles.

Audrey Davis is a Scottish-born former journalist, now resident in Switzerland. Her newspaper career saw her cover events in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, as well as working for a London-based movie magazine writing reviews and carrying out interviews.

She self-published her debut romantic comedy novel A Clean Sweep in June 2017, following an online Open University course in Writing Fiction.

Audrey followed up with a short, darker prequel A Clean Break before beginning work on a rom-com novella trilogy with a ghostly twist – The Haunting of Hattie Hastings. Again, reviews across the board were excellent, and it was combined into a standalone novel in November 2018.

A Wish For Jinnie is her third standalone novel.

Apart from writing, Audrey enjoys travel and spends a lot of time in Edinburgh. She is an avid cook, watcher of scary movies and reluctant gym-goer.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Agony Auntics Julie Butterfield 4*#Review @juliebeewriter @rararesources #romcom #multigenerational #AgonyAuntics #BlogTour #BookReview #RachelsRandomResources

As an agony aunt, Fliss Carmichael should have all the answers but when her own marriage begins unravelling at the seams, she hasn’t a clue where to start. After a simple mistake causes an unintended role swap, she becomes the one seeking advice from an unlikely source!

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Based on an unusual idea, which is always good, this story features an agony aunt and a young woman who emails her. Are agony aunts commonplace nowadays? They were in the second half of the twentieth century, which gives this story a retro feel, adding to its originality.

There are two stories, both entertaining, with poignant moments, but this is a mostly humorous romantic read. The characters are likeable and relatable and the situations they find themselves in very amusing.

This is an engaging escapist read.

Julie Butterfield

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Never Have I Ever Club Mary Jayne Baker 5*Review @MaryJayneBaker @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #RomCom #humour #multigenerational #ContemporaryFiction #uplit #BlogTour #BookReview #TheNeverHaveIEverClub

Robyn Bloom thought Ash Barnes was the love of her life – until one day he announced he was leaving her to fly halfway across the world.

 Months later, Robyn is struggling to move on – but then she has a brainwave: The Never Have I Ever Club. Her handsome next-door neighbour Will helps her bring their fellow Yorkshire villagers together for some carpe-diem-inspired fun.

From burlesque dancing to Swedish massages, everyone has plenty of bucket-list activities to try, but it doesn’t take long for Robyn to realise what – or who – her heart truly desires: Will.

There’s just one problem: he’s Ash’s twin brother.

Make that two problems: Ash is moving home… and he wants Robyn back.

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

My Thoughts…

This story is full of charm and humour, which engages you from the first page. Robyn and Will are both likeable protagonists, and you want their attraction to mean something good. Ash is harder to empathise his callous treatment of Robyn is hard to forget. Freya and Eliot are notable characters too.

The story’s multigenerational aspect provides lots of laughs and some poignant moments. It adds authenticity, depth and variety to the story, which is much more than a romance.

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Summer in the City Emma Jackson 4*#Review @ESJackson1 @books_dash @OrionBooks @rararesources #NY #Romance #Mystery #romcom #BookReview #BlogTour #SummerintheCity #RachelsRandomResources

The heartwarming new holiday read from the bestselling author of A Mistletoe Miracle

Sometimes the one thing you’re looking for is right in front of you…

Stephen is on a very personal mission to find his father as per the wishes in their mother’s will. But he has no idea where to start, not that he’s going to tell anyone that… When Noelle, native New Yorker, daughter of a detective and desperate for a distraction from the novel she’s been struggling to write, offers to help, it feels like the perfect solution.

Except the last time she spoke to Stephen he thought they’d be seeing the New Year in together and instead she stood him up and sold him out! Stephen’s big enough and been around the block enough times to understand that all is fair in love and war, isn’t he? But when Stephen accepts her offer and they begin their search across the city, it soon becomes clear that the weather isn’t the only thing that’s heating up.

A heartwarming summer romance

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orion Books – Orion Dash via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story gets you into the New York vibe from the beginning. Noelle, a cosy crime writer, is struggling with her latest book and could do without family interference, even though she loves them. The descriptions of New York and the family dynamic draw you into the story quickly.

Stephen is fulfilling his mother’s last wish and searching for his estranged father without success.

The chemistry between the two unlikely lovers is a slow build. This is a vibrant story full of laughter, poignancy and romance. The well-described New York setting adds an extra level of interest to this Summer novel.

Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE, published in 2019 by Orion Dash, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Her next romantic comedy, SUMMER IN THE CITY, is due for release in June 2020.

Emma also writes historical and speculative romantic fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE will be published by DarkStroke in February 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Novella, Romantic Comedy

A Cornish Summer Holiday Little Duck Pond Cafe Rosie Green 4* #Review @Rosie_Green1988 @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #RomCom #Loss #Cornwall #rural #Friendship #BlogTour #BookReview #ACornishSummerHoliday #LittleDuckPondCafe #novella #FridayMorning #FridayFeeling #FridayMotivation

The Little Duck Pond Cafe girls are looking forward to a well-earned break in the Cornish seaside town of Pengully Sands, where Sylvia’s sister, Aggie, owns a holiday home. With the glorious golden sands, sparkling azure sea and an ice-cream parlour only yards away, it seems like the perfect location to relax and watch the surfers riding the waves (and maybe even have a go themselves). But when they arrive, the girls find it’s not quite the seaside idyll they were expecting. The house is less ‘holiday home’ and more ‘creepy, dilapidated haunted house.’ Gracie, who runs the ice-cream parlour, has problems of her own and the last thing she needs is a bunch of high-spirited girls arriving to disturb the peace and isolation she craves. And when a handsome stranger looks set to destroy her livelihood, it seems like the last straw. Will Gracie get her happy ending – and maybe even make friends with the girls next-door? This wasn’t the relaxing break the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls were expecting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the holiday of a lifetime!

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Book ten of this popular series is my first experience with The Little Duck Pond Cafe series, which reads as a standalone. The girls are on a sabbatical from the cafe. They travel to Cornwall for a luxury coastal holiday, but everything is not as planned.

The dual perspective story contrasts between the girls’ camaraderie and new character’s Gracie’s isolation. There are lots of sad moments interspersed with fun mayhem and romance.

This is a lovely tale of friendship loss and love. Complex characters interact well making you want to read the earlier books in the series.

Rosie Green

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘ A Cornish Summer Holiday Little Duck Pond Cafe’, is out now.

Rosie is currently writing a full-length book, ‘Lucy’s Great Cornish Escape’, which – in a fun twist – will feature favourite characters from the Little Duck Pond Café series.

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Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Release Day Blitz, Romantic Comedy, Travel

JoJo’s French Escape Lorraine Wilson 5*#Review @Romanceminx @0neMoreChapter_ #RomCom #AFrenchEscape @rararesources #France #SocialMedia #RealityTV #PublicationDay #BookReview #RachelsRandomResources

‘She had me at Bonjour! Warm, funny, deliciously French…this lovely story filled my heart with sunshine’ Jane Linfoot

Imagine yourself in beautiful France with the sun warm on your face and a glass of wine in your hand…Jojo’s French Escape is the perfect summer read!

Trapped in paradise…

For twelve months JoJo Grant has been hiding from a secret too shameful to share.  And whilst her sanctuary might be the beautiful French countryside, JoJo has a horrible feeling that her peace is about to be shattered…because bursting into her life is the hottest celebrity chef around – Callum O’Connor.

Callum knows all about JoJo’s past, her time as a reality star, the scandal that has dogged her, but he isn’t sure why she’s still hiding?  After spending time with JoJo, it’s obvious to him that she has nothing to be ashamed of – she just needs to be a little braver…
But as much as JoJo likes Callum, he thrives on the glare of the outside world.  Can JoJo let go of her past…with Callum by her side?

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I received a copy of this book from the author and One More Chapter in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The perfect start to the weekend a lovely escapist summer read set in France. Romance, friendship and lots of dogs make this an uplifting read with red hot romance and a motivational ethos.

JoJo, an ex-reality star, betrayed by her boyfriend, spent the last year in France, under the radar, recovering. A new celebrity chef is visiting. The disgrace and infamy, of her former life, threaten to engulf her.

Callum and JoJo’s unlikely romance is passionate. Both are wary, but their physical attraction soon deepens into an emotional involvement neither expected. There are many love scenes in this story, all well written and part of JoJo’s acceptance of her true self.

This story explores the power of reality tv and social media and its costs. The ending is powerful and uplifting.

Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter – a Harper Collins imprint – and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Guest post, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Sing Me A Secret Julie Houston 5*#Review @JulieHouston2 @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #guestpost #BlogTour #BookReview #SingMeASecret #Westenbury #WednesdayMotivation

The four Sutherland sisters have all had very different paths in life, but one secret and a slighty tense production of Jesus Christ Superstar are about to bring them all back together again…

When the news that pop-superstar Lexia Sutherland is returning to Westenbury, not everyone is thrilled by the news – including Lexia. There are too many memories she doesn’t need to face – or need re-surfacing. Meanwhile, Juno Sutherland just wants a little peace and quiet.

As the local village doctor, she’s got her priorities in order; kids, job, husband, tenacious pony, a role in the village musical… So when the sexy new locum turns up – and steals her office – the last thing she needed was to be hit with rising temperatures and an over-active imagination.

Will these sisters be able to uncover the past, deal with the future and put on the performance of a lifetime?

Return to Westenbury this spring and find out.

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

My Thoughts…

Relatable characters in an authentic village setting make this story captivating, humorous, poignant and romantic.

The Sutherland sisters grew up in the village and have gradually returned. All except for Lexia the youngest. Their family ripped apart by their parent’s infidelity and mental health issues, has a chance to heal with Lexia’s return. This story explores the sisters’dark secrets, mental health issues, and relationships sensitively.

The balance of laugh out loud and tear-jerking moments are perfect in this realistic story. Character-driven it’s absorbing, you believe in the characters and care what happens to them.

I loved the risque romance, the lovely Tilda and her quirky pets. Lexia’s story is sad and resonates. Thankfully the ending is positive for all the sisters.

Guest Post – Sing Me A Secret – Julia Houston

SING ME A SECRET returns to the village of Westenbury in West Yorkshire where Pandora Boothroyd, the self-appointed First Lady of the village, has put forward an application to The Really Useful Group – an actual organisation that gives permission for local rep. companies and choirs to perform the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The story was somewhat inspired by my own venture into musical theatre.

About fifteen years ago, the choir I’d sung with for several years, was given permission by The Really Useful Group to put on a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar in Leeds Town Hall, the several hundred-strong choir taking the part of the chorus waving palm leaves and belting out the many songs, while Jesus and Judas were drafted in from another part of Yorkshire to strengthen the ranks.

And what a Jesus! I can’t even remember his name now but he was gorgeous, and at every weekly rehearsal we’d be asking, ‘Jesus, just look at Jesus. Is Jesus here yet? When’s Jesus going to do his bit? No Jesus tonight?’ We were all a little bit in love, starstruck even, by this talented young man who, during the day, was possibly a painter and decorator, a postman, a teacher – I really have no idea – but at every Monday rehearsal night was transformed into the son of God.

Similarly, when the characters from SING ME A SECRET are first introduced to their Jesus, there is much wide-eyed oohing and aahing amongst the women:

Everyone…’Pandora trilled, holding out an arm before kissing Jesus as if she were compering the Oscars. ‘Everyone, I want you to give a warm welcome to Brett Bailey. Brett is from Barnsley – he’s just finished a run of Joseph in Sheffield – but has agreed to travel over every week to be with us.’

‘Brett Bailey from Barnsley?’ Ariadne, at Juno’s side, who up until then had said very little throughout the proceedings, gave a loud bark of laughter and then started giggling, unable to stop.

‘Oh, but look at him,’ Izzy sighed. ‘Look at Jesus. Jesus, he can lay his hands on me anytime.’

At our actual rehearsals in Leeds, it appeared that someone was missing: seemingly we didn’t have a Herod. During rehearsals, at the point where Herod should be going for his one big number – historically camped up and wearing an over-the-top costume – our musical director, Gary, would simply pass over Herod’s entrance and go on to the next. It wasn’t until the dress rehearsal, when we’d almost forgotten that Herod even existed in the musical, that he made an appearance, flamboyant in yellow suit and purple wig. To begin with, we couldn’t quite work out who was hiding under the wig until he started to sing and we realised it was Gary, the musical director himself. He was brilliant, really superb, and I’ve recreated this scene in SING ME A SECRET when the village have lost their first Herod and a new manifestation then makes an appearance in yellow suit and purple wig, the rest of the choir at first unable to work out just who it is up camping it up on the stage.

What was so great for me, when writing this story, was losing myself once again in the many fantastic numbers in this musical, almost waving a virtual palm leaf as I wrote, remembering not only our very own gorgeous and brilliant Jesus, but my eight-year-old son constantly singing around the house:

Jesus Christ, Superstar

Six feet tall and he wears a bra.

Julie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Me and Looking for Lucy, a Kindle bestseller top100 general, and a Kindle bestseller Number1. She is married, with the two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

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