Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Literary Humour, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Death and Croissants Ian Moore 4*#Review @MonsieurLeMoore @farragobooks @BGLitAgency @RandomTTours #cozymystery #France #Rural #MurderMystery #humour #mystery #FolletValleyMystery #DeathandCroissants #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an originally styled cosy mystery set in rural France with an unexciting Englishman and a mysterious French woman as the amateur sleuths. The writing is full of sensory imagery, which makes the reading experience enjoyable. It’s easy to imagine the characters and settings. It would translate well to television.

Richard is eccentric and innately humorous. Valerie is glamorous and secretive, and they form an unlikely but mutually beneficial crime-fighting alliance. Whilst the plot is simple, the characters’ dialogue and the vividly described action make this enjoyable.

Ian Moore

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian, known for his sharp, entertaining punditry. A TV/radio regular, he stars in Dave’s satirical TV show Unspun and Channel 5’s topical comedy Big Mouths. He is also the author of two memoirs on life in France. À la Mod and C’est Modnifique. Ian lives in the Loire and commutes back to the UK every week. In his spare time, he makes mean chutneys and jams.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Summer at the French Olive Grove 5*#Review Sophie Claire @HodderBooks @SClaireWriter #Romance #Family #Friendship #Rural #Village #Provence #grief #BookReview #Holiday #France #SummerAtTheFrenchOliveGrove

Filmmaker Lily’s life is all about work and adventure. So when she suffers an accident on her travels and finds herself recuperating in the quiet French seaside village where she spent her childhood, she can’t wait to escape. Not least because Olivier – Lily’s childhood friend and former crush, who she has spent the last thirteen years avoiding – is staying next door . . .

Strong-minded masterbaker Olivier is happily settled in St Pierre, preparing to marry and put down roots. But Lily’s return to the village risks turning his carefully-laid plans upsidedown, and as the pair rediscover their familiar rivalry and fun, sparks fly.

Is Lily really as fearless and independent as she seems on the surface – or is she just running from the past? And what if Olivier is the only one who can teach her what it really means to be brave?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Lily is an intrepid filmmaker with a conscience. Whilst filming at a coffee cooperative run by women in Columbia filming Lily is courageous in protecting the women when they are threatened but doesn’t come out of the incident unscathed. Returning to her grandmother in Provence has bittersweet memories, especially when she is met at the airport by Olivier, her best friend and teenage crush.

The friends to lovers romance between Lily and Olivier is conflicted. It develops realistically with many heartwarming, humorous and heartbreaking moments. Lily’s grandmother is a lovely character who has always positively influenced her life. The story flows well with an absorbing setting and believable cast of supporting characters.

The romantic tension is intense, and the reader realises how important the couple’s friendship is. Lily and Olivier undergo significant character development until they reach a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

Friendship, family romance and self-realisation make this an engaging summer read.

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

High Heels in the Highlands Liz Hurley 4* #Review @hello_hurley @HeraBooks @rararesources #Romance #romcom #Rural #BlogTour #BookReview #ScottishHighlands #MondayBlogs #TheHivertonSisters

Clementine’s swapped a London flat for a Scottish castle – but will she get her fairytale ending?

After discovering they were heirs to an enormous fortune, the lives of the five Hiverton sisters have never been the same.

While oldest sister Ariana settles in Norfolk, Clementine heads up to the remote Scottish Highlands to move into the castle that forms part of their estate. Not bad for a girl brought up scrabbling for money in a tiny house in East London…

However, Clem quickly finds out that Ruacoddy Castle is falling apart, the neighbours – especially grumpy young farmer, Rory – are suspicious of her and the eccentric housekeeper, Ottoline, is still in residence.

But as Clem finds herself growing closer to the village community, even growing closer to Rory and forming an alliance with Ottoline, she realises that life in the Highlands might just be the change she needed.

She just needs to find out if Manolo Blahnik make wellies…

Take a trip to the gorgeous Scottish countryside with this utterly feelgood, romantic and hilarious read.

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

My Thoughts…

I really enjoyed the first book in The Hiverton Sisters series, and this one is just as good. Clem is heading to the Scottish Highlands to check out an inherited property, and when she gets there, she finds some surprises.

This is a series worth reading in order because the family dynamics and backstory are relevant here. There are quirky characters, some animosity and the beginnings of friendship and even romance. The characters are vivid, and the setting described well. With a mystery to solve, and a threat to Clem’s new life, there is conflict too, but ultimately, it’s uplifting.

Heroines with grit, gumption and good old-fashioned gorgeousness!

Liz Hurley writes exciting and heart warming stories that will make you cheer and laugh.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

The Village of Lost and Found Alison Sherlock 5*#Review @AlisonSherlock @BoldwoodBooks #RiversideLane #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Rural #Community #Media #SecondChances #Village #Friendship #Cotswolds #SelfRealisation #TheVillageofLostandFound

Scandal hit party girl Lucy Conway needs to leave London fast, so she packs her bags and escapes to the sleepy village of Cranbridge to take care of her beloved Uncle Frank.

But the country village isn’t quite as idyllic as she remembers. To make matters worse, her Uncle’s pride and joy, The Cranbridge Times, is close to going out of business.

Editor-at-Large Tom Addison is having a crisis of confidence and needs help if the newspaper is going to survive. 

With time on her hands, can Lucy work some magic and together save the family newspaper?
Over a long, hot summer, friendships are made and hearts begin to heal. And, with the help of a stray dog, perhaps Lucy and Tom can find their very own new beginning…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an engaging setting with realistically flawed characters. The protagonists are at a low point in their life but want to find happiness again. The Riverside Lane series focuses on female protagonists who need positive change in their lives and hope to find it in Cranbridge. The village needs rejuvenation, but there is an intrinsic community spirit that is attractive to newcomers. Lucy is the latest incomer someone who wants a quiet life and is happy to look after her uncle who she loves to find it.

Village life is under threat, and the newspaper is failing. Lucy has the skills to help, but she is low on self-esteem. This is a story of self-realisation, helping others and finding your true life path. The story is gently paced and is character-led. The simple plot satisfyingly showcases character development.

This is a heartwarming and uplifting read with humour, poignancy and romance.

Alison Sherlock

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and the first title will be published in July 2020.

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Extract from The Village of Lost and Found – Alison Sherlock

‘What on earth were you thinking?’ 

Lucy Conway glanced around the hospital ward and was not surprised to see the other male patients staring across at them after the shouting they had just heard. 

She looked back at Uncle Frank, who was sitting up in bed looking extremely agitated. ‘Could you please stop yelling and take it easy,’ she whispered to him. ‘Otherwise you’re going to have another episode or whatever it was.’ 

Frank Conway slumped back against the pillows, his face paling once more as his anger faded. ‘I’m fine,’ he told her with a wave of his hand. ‘And it wasn’t an episode. The tests will confirm that. I just tripped over my own feet and I’ll be back home tomorrow hopefully. So it’s nothing for you to worry about.’ 

‘Great,’ drawled Lucy, rolling her eyes. ‘Maybe we can go out for a ten-mile run later if you’re not too busy.’ 

He gave a grunt of humour in reply before following her gaze to where his heavily swollen foot was resting on top of the covers, covered in bruises. He had fallen badly earlier that day. ‘It’s only a small bone fracture,’ he said. But his sixty-seven-year-old face was etched with pain. 

Lucy glanced at the drip which was attached to his arm and felt a pang of fear. She didn’t know what she’d do if she ever lost Uncle Frank. He was her rock and the only member of the family that seemed to genuinely care about her these days. 

Lucy sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed. ‘I shouldn’t have said anything,’ she said, feeling cross with herself that she had upset him when he was already in hospital. 

Frank looked at her, his hazel eyes softening. ‘You’re my favourite niece. We talk nearly every day. You tell me everything, so why should today be any different?’ 

‘Because you’re in hospital today,’ she said, reaching out to take his hand and hold it tightly in hers. ‘By the way, I’m your only niece.’ 

He smiled at her. ‘You’re still my favourite though.’ 

They were both silent for a moment as Lucy relished the strength she drew from the hand squeezing hers. Her fingers touched the gold band on his third finger. Uncle Frank still wore his wedding ring, five years after losing his beloved wife. The loss of her Aunt Jane still weighed heavily on both of them. What they would have given to have her calming, comforting nature with them that afternoon. Lucy missed her more than ever in that moment. 

‘Jamie Watkins,’ murmured Frank, with a small shake of his head. 

‘Don’t upset yourself,’ said Lucy with a grimace. ‘He’s not worth it.’ 

‘He’s awful,’ said Frank, looking dismayed. ‘What were you even doing going out with someone like that?’ 

Lucy rolled her eyes. ‘Trying and failing to please my parents, as per usual.’ She had spent all of her thirty years attempting to achieve something that might be a kind of accomplishment in her parents’ eyes. Unfortunately being headline news in the tabloids wasn’t quite what they had in mind. 

Uncle Frank squeezed her hand again. ‘I guess they were hoping that your days of being in the news were long over.’ 

‘So was I,’ said Lucy, grabbing the newspaper which had been lying on Uncle Frank’s lap. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace Kate Forster 5*#Review @kateforester @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Romance #Friendship #BlogTour #BookReview #FindingLove #MondayBlogs

Tressa Buckland likes her quiet life in Port Lowdy, with its cobbled streets and colourful terraced houses overlooking the sea. Her job at the local paper allows her to pursue her art in her free time, with no one but her tabby cat Ginger Pickles to mind her in Mermaid Terrace. But then the owner of the paper is called away on an emergency, and it’s up to Tressa to run the paper for six months. Her first task: find a new part-time journalist.

Dan Byrne is the angriest man in Ireland – or so the readers of his very successful column, ‘Dan takes on the world’, think. But after a story goes south and he loses his job in Dublin, Dan has no choice but to start afresh. When an opportunity comes up in sleepy Cornwall, Dan and his Golden Retriever Ritchie set off for a new adventure.

For Tressa, Dan’s arrival to Port Lowdy changes everything. Tressa tries not to look too deeply at her own life, but Dan sees a story to uncover in absolutely everyone – even her. The two of them couldn’t be more different… yet, if they can find a way to work together, they may just breathe new life and joy into this sleepy seaside village.

Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace is a heartwarming new village romance about the power of love and kindness, from the bestselling author of Starting Over at Acorn Cottage.

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

My Thoughts….

Tressa loves Port Lowdy’s old fashioned community spirit. An illness in her surrogate family upturns her quiet and undemanding life. Responsible for the village newspaper she needs a journalist. Investigative journalist, Dan’s quest for justice forces him out of his job and home, so he’s looking for somewhere to regroup.

Tressa and Dan have to learn to work together and respect the other. This leads to conflict and humorous situations, but they learn to trust and forge a friendship that leads to romance. Within the wider community, relatable characters hide surprising stories, and the antics of the animal characters provide many humorous moments.

Well-paced, heartwarming and uplifting this is the perfect book to escape with.

Kate Forster

Kate Forster lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, two children and dogs and can be found nursing a laptop, surrounded by magazines and talking on the phone, usually all at once. She is an avid follower of fashion, fame and all things pop culture and is also an excellent dinner party guest who always brings gossip and champagne.

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Read my Review of Starting Over at Acorn Cottage

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts Alison Sherlock 5*#Review @AlisonSherlock @BoldwoodBooks #RiversideLane #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #Rural #Community #SecondChances #Village #Friendship #Cotswolds

A feel-good story of new beginnings set in a gorgeous country village


After losing her job in New York, Amber Green isn’t looking forward to visiting her godmother in the sleepy village of Cranbridge. With its empty lanes and rundown shops, it’s hardly a place to mend her lonely heart.

But when Amber discovers that Cranbridge Stores, owned by her godmother Cathy and son Josh, is under threat of financial ruin, she realises that her skills as a window dresser might just be able to help save the struggling shop.

When disaster strikes, Amber and Josh must unite to save both the shop and the village from flooding.

Can Cranbridge Stores become the heart of the village once more?

And as the village begins to come back to life, perhaps Amber will discover a reason to stay…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Jetting in from New York, Amber finds a run-down village, a heartbroken owner and a son at his wit’s end. Amber has her problems too. She’ s without a home and out of work but still feels she can help.

A sense of community pervades this story which deals with loss and learning to let go. There are gentle romance and second chances and plenty of drama too.

This is a character-driven story with relatable characters. Amber is immature in some ways, yet she is courageous and used to working outside her comfort zone. Josh is loyal but also resentful of his situation. Together they find a way forward that helps those they care about, the village and find love too.

This book is a heartwarming and uplifting start to a promising series. I can’t wait for the next one

Alison Sherlock

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and the first title will be published in July 2020.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Memoir, Motivational, Non-Fiction

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 4*#Review @Nickalbertautho #Audiobook #AudiobookReview #BlogTour #RuralLife #Ireland #Memoir #NonFiction #AudibleUK #FreshEggsandDogBeds2 @rararesources

Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?

KindleAmazon UK Paperback Amazon UK Audible UK

Kindle- Amazon Paperback- Amazon Audible US

I received an audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Living the country dream in Ireland was how we left Nick and Lesley at the end of book 1. Book 2 details what life is like and the ups and downs of renovation. The honesty and humour are the unique selling point of this series. It’s not just the good bits it’s the bad bits too. There are many poignant events in this memoir that make the listener empathise.

For anyone who’s ever renovated their home, you’ll be agreeing with Nick’s observations and chuckling at the mistakes and the near disasters. Add in the peculiarities of an unfamiliar country and its a recipe for misunderstandings and subsequent laughter.

The animals are still front and centre in Nick’s life, and there are many anecdotes some hilarious, some sad in this story. What shines through is the sharing of a dream, the courage and the innate sense of humour of the storyteller and his wife.

I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment. The narration is first-class brings the characters to life.

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

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Posted in Biography, Book Review, Memoir, Non-Fiction

If Clouds Were Sheep Sue Andrews 5*#Review @ShepherdessSue @CrumpsBarnStudio #AutoBiography #memoir #sheep #farming #motivational #BookReview #Paperback #IfCloudsWereSheep #Cotswolds #Dreams @MsLornaGray

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If Clouds Were Sheep…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This honest and humorous memoir gives a unique insight into sheep farming in the Cotswolds.

When their friendship leads to love, Sue is happy to share Aubrey’s boyhood dream of farming sheep. Sue shares life experiences, people who influenced their lives and the characterful animals integral to their farming dream.

It’s an engaging and immersive read, sharing life’s ups and downs, of farming sheep. Their dedication and respect for the animals are evident, and the reader soon realises that farming is a way of life rather than a job. Humorous and poignant anecdotes, fill the pages of this memoir. There are lots of interesting facts about sheep farming.

An inspiring and motivational memoir that proves dreams can be chased and won.

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

Clover Cottage Christie Barlow 5*#Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #RuralLife #Relationships #Friendship #Love #Life #Adventure

A page-turning new cosy novel in the bestselling Love Heart Lane series.

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.

When Vet Rory Scott inherits ramshackle Clover Cottage in the quaint village of Heartcross, Allie MacDonald just knows this is their happy ever after. A place to call home with the man she loves – it’s her dream come true!

Until Rory drops a bombshell. He loves Allie but he has dreams of his own to follow – to live and work in Africa. Clover Cottage will have to wait just a little longer…

Allie can’t imagine life without Rory, but she loves him too much to hold him back. And as he embarks on his adventure, Allie begins to rethink her own plans. She loves Rory and knows she wants him in her life, but maybe she can follow her own dreams too?

And always there, nestled in the beautiful village of Heartcross, surrounded by the people she loves, will be the place that will always bring them back to each other. Their forever home, Clover Cottage.

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

My Thoughts…

The third in the Love Heart Lane series, Clover cottage reads well as a standalone. I have read the first book in the series, but not the second. Allie and Rory’s relationship appears to be following its expected path. When Vet Rory’s parents offer him a cottage that needs doing up, Allie sees this as a positive step. Rory sees it as another way his parents are directing his life, possibly not in the way he wants it to go. This is a realistic story of wanting to follow your dreams but not wanting to hurt those you love. The delicacy of Allie and Rory’s relationship is the mainstay, of this, but there is a much wider story too.

Family secrets are explored with some surprisingly poignant revelations. The community is authentic and relatable and they give this story its engaging quality. A new temporary villager brings glamour and a new perspective to the group of friends.

The characters draw you in and you become embroiled in their lives, making this an emotional read. There are many lighthearted moments and a few sad ones, but the ending is heartwarming and uplifting.

This is definitely a village to settle in if you want to escape to the country.

Christie Barlow

 Christie Barlow is the international bestselling author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Foxglove Farm. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Romance

The School of Starting Over Lisa Swift 5* #Review @LisaSwiftAuthor @HeraBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #startingover #School #Teachers #secrets #RuralLife #VillageLife #Family Secrets #Lies #YorkshireMoors #TheSchoolofStartingOver

Nell’s going back to school… but now she’s learning lessons of the heart

Reception class teacher Nell Shackleton has a plan. At least, she had until she arrived at her new home of Humblebee Farm, a dilapidated farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors. But so what if the roof’s full of holes, the back door’s hanging off and there’s a sheep in the front room? Because sometimes a new beginning means starting at the bottom… right?

Xander Scott is one of the youngest headteachers Leyholme Primary School has ever had. But managing over-zealous parents and their semi-feral kids proves a tricky task for shy Xander – as does keeping his mind on the job when his feelings for the new Reception teacher become more than strictly professional…

At 43, Nell’s new friend Stevie Madeleine has given up on love. After losing her wife, Stevie’s decided that her four-year-old daughter Milly and cocker spaniel Red are the only girls she needs in her life. That is, until larger-than-life dog-walker Deb arrives on the scene. But will the secrets of Stevie’s past stop her new romance dead in its tracks?

Meeting Xander and Stevie brings joy back into Nell’s life – but when old secrets start to surface, there may be some hard lessons to learn for them all…

A gorgeously uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy.

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I received a copy of this book from Hera Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Heartwarming, humorous, immersive and poignant. ‘The School of Starting Over’, evokes so many emotions in the reader, as you discover the secrets hiding within the complex and relatable characters.

A new beginning for Nell in a rundown farmhouse, her heart’s battered and she wants a new start. Reading, the first few chapters I was expecting a lighthearted rom-com, with lots of interactive village gossip. Whilst. this is superficially what this story delivers there is so much more as you read on.

Just, when you are relaxing, and enjoying the happy ever afters you expected, the plot twists into an emotional family drama, which resonates. The story’s main protagonists’ happiness is intricately connected. and like a house of cards. it could disappear without a trace.

Vivid characters, heartrending conflict and an authentic Yorkshire village ethos and setting make this addictive reading.

Lisa Swift

Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents. Her first book is due to be published by Hera Books in August 2019.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.

Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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