Posted in Book Review

Jane Wenham- Jones – Mum in the Middle-5*Review

Tess has downsized to a lively new town and is ready for “me” time. But her Zen-like calm is tested by her boomerang offspring, who keep fluttering back to the nest (usually with a full bag of dirty washing) and by her elderly mother’s struggle to hold on to her independence.
Tess is also surprised to discover that there are dark resentments simmering beneath the vintage charm of her new hometown and a spate of vandalism has exposed the rift between the townsfolk and new arrivals like Tess.
Tess enlists the help of gruff newspaper editor Malcolm to get to the bottom of the mystery, but when her ex-husband pays an unexpected visit, and her mother stages a disappearance, Tess starts to feel her new-found freedom wearing just a little thin…

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My Thoughts…

I loved this story. It’s well-written with just the right amount of humour, romance and family drama and I can empathise with the main protagonist.

Tess’s move from London isn’t working out well. She misses her family and friends and wonders whether she’s made a mistake. Very soon, she is inundated with family including a very irritating ex and has more friends and admirers than she can cope with.

This contemporary comment on motherhood when the children are grown up and supposed to have left home is topical; with many young adults remaining in the family home until their late twenties because of financial constraints.

Tess is the hub of family life and her new friends’ dramas, so much so that she struggles to find any ‘me’ time. The resultant chaos is often hilarious and thankfully involves copious amounts of champagne. There is also a lovely sprinkling of mature romance, and every character is complex and adds to the story.

If you’re looking for a book to make you smile, this is the one.

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

Posted in Book Review

The Little Book Cafe – Emma’s Story – 4* Review


When Emma she discovers that Berecombe’s fabulous book café is running a literary course for beginners, she is excited to give it a try. She’s always wanted to study more, and it doesn’t hurt that Joel, the suave and charming new teacher is pretty easy on the eye…

The more she learns, the more she starts to question whether she really wants the life she has built up. Her boyfriend of forever, Ollie, is constantly training with the RNLI, so they hardly get to see each other, and she is pretty sure Joel has a soft spot for her…

Will Joel sweep her off her feet? Or can Ollie make the most important rescue of his life?

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My Thoughts…

Emma uses the Little Book Cafe to escape from her family and a less than exciting relationship with Ollie her long-term boyfriend. She loves her work as an estate agent but a new staff member wants to get ahead at any cost, and she forces Emma to question her life choices and makes the workplace yet another source of stress in Emma’s life. A classic literature evening class gives her a much-needed escape but also endangers everything she loves.

Again this story has a darker side, Joel her attractive tutor has a controlling nature and seems willing to abuse his position of trust. Emma is vulnerable, and the suspense builds as she debates whether to leave Ollie and stability behind. Emma is vibrant and impulsive; she is in a rut by risks losing something worthwhile if she acts hastily. Book club characters provide the help and support Emma needs, and the story has an exciting ending.

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


Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Lisa Hobman – What Becomes of the Broken Hearted- 4* Review- Guest Post

Cassie Montgomery can remember a time where her life seemed pretty perfect. By day she was setting up her own little business in her sleek penthouse apartment, and by night sleeping on gazillion-count Egyptian cotton sheets next to her fiancée, once reputed to be Glasgow’s most eligible bachelor.

And yet one ordinary, fateful day, Cassie uncovers a secret that shatters her heart into tiny pieces and changes her life forever….

Escaping to a rural and idyllic coastal village, Cassie finds a cottage that, from the moment she steps through the rose-surrounded door, feels instantly like home.

And then there’s Mac, the cool surf teacher, who makes her question what really makes her happy – and makes her wonder if maybe, she might already have found the answer….

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Guest Blog Post – Lisa Hobman

What Become of the Broken Hearted – The Inspiration Behind the Book

Since relocating to the Scottish Borders over six years ago my family and I have spent as much time as possible familiarising ourselves with the beautiful area we now call home. After all this time there are still places we have yet to visit, but we’re on a mission!

I had heard of this little seaside cove called Coldingham and was advised by local friends that it was well worth a visit. So off we set, one summer day, not long after we’d moved intent on exploring what all the fuss was about. When we arrived, I remember there was a collective gasp of delight as we wandered down the little hill that led to the sand. The beach was wide and deep with cute, multi-coloured beach huts skirting the edges and some breath-taking homes built into the hillside sloping up and away from the bay. Even though the beach was busy with families enjoying their own visit there was still so much space available to us, so we laid down our picnic blanket and sat, gazing out to sea and taking in the atmosphere and views before us.

It’s safe to say that Coldingham stole a little piece of my heart on that very first visit and continues to do so every time we go—which is quite frequently thanks to how close it is to home. Sometimes we pack a picnic and go after the school day, and work has ended. We each take whatever books we’re reading and simply spend the early evening relaxing in the picturesque surroundings.

It’s a popular beach for surfers, and it was while watching a talented bunch of people riding the waves that I was inspired to write What Becomes of the Broken Hearted. The story began to unfold in my mind, and it seemed only natural that I should write a book located in the setting that I love dearly—as I have with all of my books. The little café that I mention in the story is the place where we buy our take-out coffees, and it seemed fitting that such an integral part of the beach should be included. So, with some artistic licence, I weaved the place into the fabric of the story.

The cottage in the book isn’t actually based on one particular building in the village; instead, it’s a kind of culmination of several of the stone cottages that dot the streets before you arrive at the sand. I like to imagine who lives in those pretty houses and what their lives are like and I mixed these imaginary people into the tale. The characters in the story, such as shopkeepers, doctor and neighbours are all purely fictional, but I thoroughly enjoyed letting my imagination run as I invented their back-stories. I have to say I’m a little envious of the place they live!

The Scottish Borders is such a beautiful location, rich in history, houses, castles and museums and I wish more people would discover it and fall in love with it too. I know I’m totally biased, but Coldingham is one of the most stunning beaches I have visited. It was a true inspiration for my Scottish seaside romance novel.

My Thoughts…

This is the dark side of romance, Cassie thinks she has everything and is prepared to ignore her lover’s controlling personality. When he lets her down, she runs and tries to rebuild her life in a coastal village on the Scottish borders, but he hasn’t finished with her yet.

Cassie’s lack of self-esteem is symptomatic of someone in an abusive relationship and makes her story believable. Even though she leaves Seth, her life is plagued by his influence making even friendships difficult. Mac’s caring personality, lets Cassie believe in a future again but she still doesn’t believe in herself.

This is a realistic love story, which highlights abuse and how difficult it is to escape from. The community in the coastal village provides a  source of hope and support in this story and finally helps Cassie live her life again.

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

Lisa Hobman is a British author, living in Scotland with her family and two dogs. Her debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RoNA awards. When she’s not writing, Lisa can be found singing in a local band or out enjoying the beautiful Scottish countryside. 



Posted in Book Review

A Path to the Lake – Elizabeth Crocket – Author Interview and 4 *Review

Kate Browning longs to experience a life of her own again after caring for her parents the past two years. However, her sister Heather’s escalating depression threatens to thrust Kate into the role of family caregiver once again.

 Hungry for companionship, Kate begins a relationship with Frank Fetiscina, who was there when she and Heather needed him.
 A part-time writer, she is offered an opportunity writing an inspiration column for the local paper by the editor, Tom Smythe. Kate is instantly attracted to him, and they begin a flirtatious and sexual relationship with no ties between them.
 While Kate is on a date at the bistro with Frank one evening, Tom walks in unexpectedly. Tired of the expectations Frank places on her and the lack of commitment from Tom, Kate tells them she is done and storms out, realizing it’s time to take charge of her own life again.

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Author Interview – Elizabeth Crocket

What are the inspirations behind your story ‘A Path to the Lake?’

Jane, I was sitting on a bench by the lake one day, when a very large man lumbered by walking his dog. We engaged in some small talk that led to an enjoyable conversation. He was kind and lovely, and the character of Frank Fetiscina was born. I already had an idea of who the protagonist, Kate Browning, would be and once Frank entered the picture, the story started to come to life for me.

Do you have a set writing process? If so, can you describe it to us, and say why it works for you?

When I started writing A Path to the Lake, I became consumed with it. I started writing at my kitchen table and went back to it at every opportunity. I have written two more novels since A Path to the Lake, and quickly became consumed each of them, too. I suppose I can say that it worked for me, just because I finished all three. I sometimes wonder if my sense of urgency had anything to do with having had a really challenging cancer journey a few years before. Or maybe it’s just my personality!

How do you create your characters, are they from real life or are they purely a product of your imagination?

One or two of the characters in my books may initially have characteristics of people I have known, but quickly the characters all take on a life of their own. The things some of my characters do, surprise even me. They become people that I can visualize, who are completely separate from me.

What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?

If I am reading a book to relax and enjoy, it’s women’s fiction. I have also read many autobiographies over the years, and of course, a book of Japanese short form poetry or contemporary poetry is always on my coffee table.

I know you also write poetry. What made you decide to become a writer and what made you write a novel?

I have always written, in one form or another, whether it was writing poetry or journaling at the end of the day. Writing a novel was a personal goal for me.

What’s next for Elizabeth Crocket? Are you writing another novel?

I recently found out my second novel, Full of Grace will be released this fall or next spring. My third novel, The Smell of Roses, is due out sometime in 2019. All three of my books are women’s fiction, and all have a strong romantic element. 

Thank you for this interview, Jane. I am honoured to be a part of your wonderful blog!

My Thoughts…

It’s lovely to read something different, and this story is like a breath of fresh air.

Kate has spent the last few years as a carer for her parents when her mother loses her battle with cancer, the only light on the horizon is the prospect of getting her life back, but her sister’s mental health deteriorates, and she finds herself in the caring role again.

Kate’s story is poignant, heartwarming and complex. She experiences love and friendship and a creative new career as she forges a new life.

The relationships are typical of any small town, but the dialogue is unique to North America and takes a little getting used to but remains authentic and informative.

The story is peppered with short poems and inspirational quotes, which add depth to the story, and insight into Kate’s motivations, personality and thoughts.

An insightful tale of coping with illness, the importance of family and friends and giving something back.

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

Elizabeth’s short-form Japanese poetry has been translated into several languages and published internationally. Her chapbook, “Not Like Fred and Ginger”, published by Red Moon Press, was shortlisted for the prestigious Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. Her chapbook “Extra Candles” was also published by Red Moon Press.

Elizabeth has had short fiction and poetry widely published online and in print. Samples of her work can be found on her website, She has a diploma from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Elizabeth is married, has grown children, and six grandchildren.


Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Finding Felix – Jo Platt – Extract and 4*Review

Singleton Dot Riley’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, is on her deathbed, surrounded by family and distraught at the thought of Dot being all alone in the world.  Desperate to make Flo’s final moments happy ones, Dot invents a boyfriend – plumping in panic for her childhood friend, Felix, a firm favourite of Flo, but whom Dot hasn’t actually seen for 15 years.

But when Flo makes an unexpected recovery a few weeks before a family wedding, Dot is faced with a dilemma.  Should she tell her frail grandmother that she lied and risk causing heartache and a relapse?  Or should she find Felix and take him to the wedding?

Dot opts for finding Felix.  But it’s not long before she discovers that finding him is the easy bit: liking him is the real challenge.  

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‘And here’s Becca in her Hawaiian outfit at the school fete. Do you remember that, Becca?’ My mother passed the photograph to my sister, who was sitting to her left.

Becca laughed. ‘How old am I here? Four?’

‘It was 1989, I think. So you’re five,’ said my mother, leaning towards her to peer again at the photograph. ‘It took me hours to make that crêpe-paper hula skirt and all those flowers for the lei and the headdress.’

‘It did,’ agreed Dad. ‘And then just three minutes for heavy rain to turn everything to mush and leave Becca in nothing but her vest and pants.’ He laughed loudly, and I joined in, reaching for the photo.

It had, against all my shameful expectations, been a lovely evening with my parents and Becca. We had met in the lounge of the Bear in Devizes marketplace for drinks at six thirty, before moving through to the cosy wood-panelled restaurant at seven. Mum told us that she had booked early so that we could all get our beauty sleep, although as I was actually staying at the Bear that night, I knew I could be in bed within fifteen minutes of waving them off.

Mark was spending the night with his best man, and my sister had, quite valiantly I thought in light of my mother’s pre-wedding nerves, insisted that Mum and Dad stay with her. I was invited to stay too, but, as I wasn’t quite as valiant as Becca, I had declined, instead booking myself in for an extra night at The Bear.

I smiled down at the glossy 6×4 picture of my little sister and then up at Dad, feeling grateful for his suggestion that Mum bring along the photographs she hadn’t found room for on the wedding reception storyboard. The snaps had been viewed between courses, prompting memories and anecdotes which had kept the evening firmly focused on Becca, which was just what I had hoped for.

‘You were beautiful from the off,’ I said to Becca, returning the picture to her. ‘And you’ll be at your most beautiful tomorrow.’

She sighed. ‘I just hope I can make it down the aisle without tripping.’

‘It’s me you’ve got to worry about,’ said Dad. He reached out and took her hand. ‘But together we’ll make it,’ he added a little emotionally.

There was a short pause, during which my mother murmured, ‘Oh Don,’ and dabbed at her eyes with her napkin.

Becca looked at me across the table, offering me an affectionate eye roll.

I cleared my throat. ‘Come on then,’ I said to Mum. ‘Show us the next picture. Dessert will be here soon.’

‘Ooh, yes,’ she said, returning her attention to the pile of photographs sitting next to her on the table. ‘Here you are on top of Cat Bells, in the rain, in the summer of ’91,’ she said, handing one to Becca. ‘And swimming in Derwent Water, in the rain, in ’92. And waiting for the launch at Hawes End, in the rain, in ’93.’ She paused, putting a hand to her mouth and giggling. ‘And oh my goodness, I’d forgotten I’d found this one. Just look at that, Becca!’ She laughed again, but my sister, although smiling, didn’t seem to find the picture quite so funny.

‘What is it?’ I asked, smirking and holding out my hand. ‘It’s not Becca’s Hawaiian costume post-downpour, is it?’

‘No, no, it’s you, darling,’ said Mum. ‘You and Felix in the school play.’ She turned it over. ‘It says Christmas 1994.’

‘Oh.’ I stopped smirking and took the picture from her as she held it out to me.

‘Yes, just look at him. There he is. Such a sturdy boy.’ My mother leaned forward and tapped the picture. ‘Didn’t he make a marvellous Christmas pudding? And there you are, the candle, a good four inches taller than him, right next to him. See? You’ll have to show him that tomorrow.’

‘I will,’ I said quietly, extending the long list of falsehoods told to date, whilst retrieving my handbag from the back of my chair and slipping the picture inside without looking at it.

When I looked up, my mother was still smiling broadly at me, increasing my sense of guilt.

‘I’ve forgotten what I’m having for dessert,’ I said. ‘Did I go for the torte or the cheesecake in the end?

‘That was the only picture of him I came across. But I wasn’t really looking and you’ve probably got lots of him now, haven’t you?’ My mother looked at me expectantly. ‘On your phone,’ she added, nodding her head towards my bag, which was still on my lap.

‘I have a few,’ I said, wondering what number lie that was. I decided that I must have hit the high nineties by now.

‘I think you’re having the torte, Dot,’ said Becca. ‘I’m having the cheesecake.’

‘I’d love to see a picture of what he looks like now,’ said Mum, pointing at my bag.

‘You’ll see him in the flesh tomorrow, Helen,’ said Dad.

‘I know, Don, but I may not recognise him if he’s very changed, and how embarrassing would that be? Apparently he looks quite different now, doesn’t he, Dot? Shorter hair and less sturdy.’

I experienced a sinking feeling. She actually had a valid point. ‘My phone is dead,’ I said desperately, and waited with grim resignation for her to insist that I check.

But she didn’t. Instead, she looked over my shoulder towards the entrance to the restaurant, her eyes narrowing and her lips thinning. It was the kind of look she used to give me as a teenager whenever I mentioned Sean Dowse’s DIY tattoo in front of her sister-in-law, my Auntie Dawn, with whom she was fiercely competitive. I glanced at Becca and together we turned and followed my mother’s gaze.

I saw Alistair just as he saw us.

He smiled in surprise and then waved hesitantly. My father was the only one of us with the wherewithal to respond. ‘Alistair,’ he said, standing up and holding out a hand as my ex-walked uncertainly towards us.

‘Hi, Don,’ he said, shaking Dad’s hand. ‘Helen, Rebecca, Dot,’ he added, smiling at each of us in turn.

‘Hello, Al,’ smiled Becca.

My mother folded her arms. ‘Good evening, Alistair,’ she said coldly.

I frowned at her before turning back towards him. ‘Hi,’ I said, trying to keep my voice light. ‘Are you here for a drink?’ I looked at Becca. ‘Is Mark coming here?’

Alistair answered for her. ‘No, I’m meeting Mark in the Three Crowns at…’ he checked his watch, ‘just about now, actually. But I need to check in first.’ He gestured with his thumb over his shoulder while smiling down at me. I nodded and tried desperately not to miss him.

‘You’re staying here?’ asked my mother unsmilingly. ‘That’s interesting, because so is Dorothy.’

‘Oh?’ Alistair’s eyebrows raised slightly as he nodded his acceptance of the fact.

‘Yes. And so is her boyfriend, Felix,’ continued Mum, repeating an assumption which, for obvious reasons, I hadn’t bothered to contradict. ‘He’s a lovely accountant with his own business and he is completely smitten with her.’

I closed my eyes briefly and heard my father murmur, ‘Helen,’ and my sister, ‘Mum,’ simultaneously.

When I opened my eyes, Alistair was still smiling. ‘That’s great, Dot,’ he said, and to my devastation, he sounded like he meant it. ‘I take it he hasn’t arrived yet? Or is he having a drink with Mark?’

‘He doesn’t get here till tomorrow,’ I said quietly.

‘OK, I’ll look forward to meeting him then,’ said Alistair. ‘And now I’ll leave you to your meal, but I’ll see you all at the church tomorrow. Especially you,’ he added, pointing at Becca. ‘Don’t keep the man waiting.’



My Thoughts…

Like all the best romantic comedy, this story starts with a dilemma that forces the well-meaning heroine to do anything to achieve the desired end, regardless of the consequences for herself. Dot wants to make her dying grandmother’s wish come true and so plucks a friend out of her past and turns him into her fantasy boyfriend. Not unsurprisingly her well-intentioned lie comes back to haunt her when her grandmother rallies and wants to see the mystery boyfriend for herself.

Full of misunderstanding, which provides the story’s humour and an undeniable wake-up call for Dot that Felix, in reality, is not how she remembered him. There’s something there though, and despite the opportunity to extricate herself from the lie, she doesn’t. An excellent supporting cast of believable characters adds depth to the story, which like all good romcoms ends happily.

Sophisticated romantic comedy that’s fun to read and guaranteed to make you laugh.

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

Jo Platt was born in Liverpool in 1968 and, via the extremely winding route of rural Wiltshire, London, Seattle and St Albans, she is now happily settled in Bristol with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at King’s College London before going on to work in the City for ten years. In 2000 she escaped into motherhood and part-time employment, first as an assistant teacher in a Seattle pre-school and then was a Bristol-based secretary to her husband.  

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BlogTour: – Fiona Perrin – The Story After Us – Guest Post – 4* Review


If she tries very hard, Ami can remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her…

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become – or why she and her husband can’t even be in the same room anymore.

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off ‘consciously uncoupling’ like a celeb. But she’s starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be….happier?

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Guest Post – Fiona Perrin

‘The Story After Us…’It’s a story for everyone who found out that happy-ever-after had a sequel and for everyone who’s faced irreconcilable differences and survived.

I wanted to write about messy, modern love. I know lots of women whose families don’t look like they belong in a magazine spread but are filled with happiness, humour and hope. I am divorced myself – a long while ago – and good mates and parents with my ex-husband while happily married to my second. I’m a mother and stepmother to four kids and have had a fairly full-on job while they’ve been growing up. Ami’s story isn’t mine, but I hope it’s one that relatable to lots of women – and makes them laugh.

I’ve always written but, in 2012 I signed up for the Curtis Brown Creative writing course with a very rough draft of a novel. I learned loads about great storytelling during the short course and threw away most of my word count. Then, with the help of a spin-off writing group that met every Monday fortnight for years, I wrote it again.

Eventually, I was lucky enough to get the editorial input of my agent, Diana Beaumont, who helped me write it again a few more times. Then Aria wanted to publish it, and everything got really exciting.

The truth is I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, but there was also the day job, the kids and life, like loads of other writers. And I wanted to learn how to get it right, so it took a while. One thing I would say is if you can find a group of supportive writers, sign up, critique their submissions and get all the feedback you can on yours. My group has gone on to have four published writers and with more to come.

 My next book has a mad, modern family with a difficult dilemma at its heart. It’s different the second time – I have a lot more certainty about what I’m doing. This time, I’m writing the first draft without going back to edit as I go, because I’ve learned the value of multiple drafts honed over and over. But it’s also because the story is tumbling out…

My Life as a Writer…

There’s still the day job (sales and marketing), but I’m working as a freelance now, so that makes everything a lot easier. And the kids are older and lovely (not that they weren’t, but you know…) and I’ve got a study by the sea at the end of the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall where we are restoring a decaying Edwardian house near the lighthouse. We call it life on the edge because it is (of England) and so far, it’s pretty great.

I type overlooking the lighthouse, the sea and lots of sheep. When the weather is bad (and it’s our own freak microclimate), there is a foghorn that goes off, in a low, melancholy wail. I’m quite fond of it. We call them foghorn days and, very occasionally, we make that the equivalent of a pyjama day and just laze around reading and watching rom coms.  I’m a big believer in foghorn days.

My Thoughts…

Ami is a fighter, whatever life throws at her she faces it, solves it, and then the next obstacle rears up. I am exhausted after reading this. Lars may be the love of her life, but he is an annoying character and even when he eventually tries to do the right thing I still don’t like him much.

Angst and realism underscore this poignant and often amusing story, which moves between the past, Lars and Ami’s love story and the present, what happens when it implodes. I enjoyed the real-time story best because whatever happens in their past, it’s not going to end well.

Ami has to be everything to their children when Lars decides he prefers his work life to his home life. Okay, their financial struggle is relative, not everyone has the luxury of an au pair even an appalling one, but everything falls on Ami’s shoulders first, and she has to juggle her children’s well being, her fledgeling company and her failing marriage.

‘The Story After Us’, is a woman’s view of family, love, marriage and work, it’s an authentic 21st-century story where happy-ever-after doesn’t exist but happy families can.

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

Fiona Perrin was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us. Fiona grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of The Lizard peninsula.

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Blog Tour: Georgie Capron – The Distance Between Us – Q&A – 4*Review



Happy children, happy husband, happily ever after?

Tasha knows that she should count her blessings: married for eleven years, mother to three healthy children, she should be content with her lot.  However, feelings of frustration have settled over her like a dark cloud.  Despite living under the same roof and sharing the same bed, Tasha has never felt so distant from her husband, Charlie.  She feels worn down by the mental load of motherhood, drowning in the never-ending chores that keep the family and household afloat.  Most of all she worries that her once happy marriage is slipping away from her.

Tasha longs for something to change, but when change comes calling will it really be the answer she was hoping for? And is it possible to fall in love with the same person twice?

A modern-day love story about family, marriage and risking it all to have it all.

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Q&A – Georgie Capron

What inspired you to write ‘The Distance Between Us’?

The French comic Emma’s illustration “You Should Have Asked” which went viral last year about the ‘mental load’ of a woman was a source of inspiration.  I also enjoyed watching TV shows like Motherland and Catastrophe; I love Sharon Horgan’s sense of humour, and I wanted to show some of the distinctly unglamorous reality of family life and long-term relationships.

Family life and women feeling as if they have lost their identity is currently a popular fiction theme, what makes your story different?

There are a couple of unexpected twists in my storyline, which may surprise some readers. (Sorry, no spoilers!)

Do you draw your characters from real life or are they purely a product of your imagination?

A mixture.  Some of them are inspired by people I’ve met, and some of them are imagined.  But as an author, I think we always draw from our own life experiences in some way, either through conversations we have had, books we have read, films or plays we have watched, and so on.

What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?

I enjoy reading a range of different books.  Sometimes I read non-fiction (I am currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harrari) which I normally choose if I am interested in learning more about a topic.  And for fiction, I look for books that make me think ‘what if,’ allowing my imagination to explore a new setting or situation that I have not yet experienced myself. 

What made you decide to become a writer and why does this genre appeal to you?

I have always loved writing, but I sort of fell into becoming an author. I am a primary school teacher too, and I started writing purely for the love of it in my school holidays.  It started as an experiment really, to see whether I had it in me to write a whole book.  And now with three published books, I think I can say that I did!  I love this genre because I enjoy writing about real people and real situations from the daily lives that I see in the world around me.

What’s next for Georgie Capron?

I am currently writing my fourth book, and working on another secret project on the side, more details of which will follow soon!

My Thoughts…

If you’re looking for an escapist read, this isn’t it.

Tasha and Charlie live in London; he works in the city, she stays at home with the children, even though their life looks ideal from the outside. Tasha feels she is losing her identity amongst the dirty laundry; school runs and making sure the home is an oasis of calm when Charlie ‘who’s been working hard all day comes home.’ Tasha, a former GP feels unfulfilled and feels guilty for doing so.

The scenarios created will be familiar to most stay at home mums, as the situations are believable and the actions and reactions of the characters authentic. Charlie doesn’t realise what being a ‘stay at home mum’, involves, and Tasha resents his lack of empathy.

Tasha is an independent character in the first chapters of the book until she makes a mistake that has consequences for both her and her family. This mistake changes her, and she forgets what has driven her to act so out of character and becomes dependant on Charlie’s forgiveness. The story highlights the family secrets, and that people often do something drastic just to be noticed.

Angst, guilt and sadness prevail in the central part of the book, and while this is well-written and realistic, it is sombre reading. Another tragic family event makes Charlie realise what he’s losing, and the ending is hopeful and happy.

An articulate snapshot of family life, with authentic characters and scenarios.

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

Georgie lives in South West London with her husband and daughter. Alongside her writing, she works as a primary school teacher, and she particularly enjoys teaching English. She studied Italian and History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and did a PGCE in primary education at the University of London.


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Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Kitty Wilson – The Cornish Village School – Q&A and 4*Review


Rosy Winter is definitely not looking for love

Following heartbreak, Rosy has rebuilt her life in the beautiful Cornish village of Penmenna. Now, headmistress of the local school, she is living by The Rule: no dating anyone in the village. Easy right? But Rosy Winter has a new neighbour, handsome gardener Matt.

In Penmenna for his new gardening TV show, this guy next door will do everything he can to persuade her to break her rule and win her heart. Meanwhile, Penmenna Village School is threatened with closure, and it’s up to Rosy to rally the local community and #SaveOurSchool. Can she bring her worlds together and accept help from the most unlikely of sources? One thing’s for sure… she won’t be giving up without a fight.

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Q&A with Kitty Wilson – The Cornish Village School Blog Tour

What inspired you to write a story set in a Cornish Village?

They say write what you know and I have lived here for over two decades. Every morning I open my eyes and out of the window there is the sea stretching in front of me just past some fields. I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a network of Cornish villages, and there is nothing like it. It’s hard not to be inspired by my surroundings. The villages are quirky, picturesque and a perfect microcosm of all human behaviour. I love the community feel and the things you learn. People are quick to gossip, but they are even quicker to help. Spending time in these villages, and I do seem to be in the village pub with alarming frequency, helped me shape the book. I knew I wanted to write romance, but I also knew I wanted it to be a story of a community and how it pulls together, how it’s supportive and funny and a character in its own right.

There are lots of stories about Cornish life currently, what makes yours different?

A book takes me about a year to write, so I was a bit panicked as I saw Cornish title after Cornish title hitting the shelves. But the truth is that the setting is so magical, memorable and lends itself beautifully to all types of fiction that I am not surprised that many great stories are set here.

What makes mine different? I hope the fact that I am so deeply immersed in Cornish life and culture makes a difference. I know the people intimately, the everyday customs and practices that make this county are ingrained in me and my children. We do like to go at a slow pace although everything is thrown down for the day if the sun shines, then we race to the beach with our bags and BBQ kit which are permanently packed and kept by the door. We have experienced, over two decades, so much that Cornwall has to offer; beach and moors, hidden forests and ancient monuments. I hope my book is weaved through with the spirit of Cornwall in the same way that Cornwall is woven through me, and that Cornwall jumps out from the pages with real depth, a passion, knowledge that can’t always be captured without having lived it. 

Do you draw your characters from real life or are they purely a product of your imagination?

My characters tend to start with a real person if for no other reason that then I can picture them in my head and go from there. In this instance, Rosy was made of an amalgamation of a few teacher friends and Matt was a young Monty Don. However, it doesn’t take long before they seem to take over themselves and become very much their own person with barely any resemblance to the initial inspiration at all. So, I start with real life, but that barely lasts ten minutes before they, or my imagination, takes over and runs wild.

What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?

I read all sorts of books and always have done. I grew up devouring the classics which has helped shape my love of history, and my comfort reads tend to be historical or romance. I love romantic comedies, and there is nothing that lifts the soul as beautifully on a grey day. I read literary fiction occasionally as well but think that the escapism of a commercial novel is a wonderful thing that should be celebrated a lot more than it is. But the truth is I will read anything and do. Why do I love reading? That is an essay worthy question so I shall say simply because it is something I have always done and cannot imagine a life in which I didn’t. It enriches my heart, mind and soul.

What made you decide to become a writer and why does this genre appeal to you?

I have always wanted to write, ever since I was a small child and used to create story after story. Rather like reading it was just part of me for as long as I can remember. I did let real life get in the way and found little time to write when I was working full-time as a teacher and was a lone parent with two children, but still, I would occasionally try, although I tended to write poetry, time being in short supply. I think writing is an itch and is always there niggling in your mind if you’re not doing it. I had to stop teaching when I became poorly, but on the upside, I suddenly had time on my hands, and I started to write. This genre was a natural fit, and it just seemed to flow, I have loved to read romance ever since (and maybe a little before) it was age appropriate, so that was what I started with. I found that as I was writing, I was writing things that made me cackle and decided to embrace the humour rather than cut it out. My romantic comedy voice was born, and I love writing this genre. It’s warm, it’s comforting, and it provides an escape – what is not to love?

What’s next for Kitty Wilson? Have you written any more books set in this lovely village?

I am currently writing the second in the series set around Penmenna School and have more planned in my head. Each will centre around a different protagonist, but favourite characters (and mine is Marion) will feature heavily in each. In fact, I am giving Marion a longer-running storyline which I hope will carry over a couple of books, so yes, hopefully, lots more Penmenna village. I have so many stories in all sorts of places that I’m desperate to write, jostling around in my head, so I’m hoping I can carry on writing books for a very long time.  

My Thoughts… 

Strong female characters and the author’s knowledge and appreciation of all things Cornish makes this a welcome addition to growing number of fictional tales set in England’s most south-westerly county.

Rosie, the village school headteacher, sees the village as her new start, nothing will spoil it for her as long as she follows her rules. Matt, a celebrity gardener, moves in next door, and their growing physical and emotional attachment threatens Rosy’s rule book.

Aside from the emotional angst, the school is under threat of closure, and the subsequent campaign to #SaveOurSchool draws the community together and gives the Matt and his sister a chance to become part of something real and worthwhile.

The plot is simple and a little predictable, but the characters are believable, quirky and vividly portrayed, so the complete package makes a satisfying read. 

Romance, humour, trust and community are all themes of this village based tale, and I look forward to seeing who comes under the village spotlight next.

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

Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Twitter: @KittyWilson23

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: Sarah Morgan – How to Keep a Secret

When three generations of women are brought together by a crisis, they learn over the course of one hot summer the power of family to support, nourish and surprise

Lauren has a perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant.

Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.

Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?

Then life changes in an instant and Lauren, Mack, Jenna and Nancy are thrown together for a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, these very different women must relearn how to be a family. And while unravelling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, the rewards could be infinite…

Amazon UK 


My Thoughts…

A well-paced, story of family secrets and their consequences for familial relationships.

Set partly in London but mostly in Martha’s Vineyard, it features two sisters, Lauren and Jenna who for sixteen years have lived very different lives. A tragedy brings them together in Martha’s Vineyard, their childhood home and as the secrets unfold, the pressure on family life increases.

A simple but compelling plot explores the lives and loves of three generations of women in the Stewart family. Characters are authentically flawed, but with each new conflict, they demonstrate their emotional strength and the importance of family.

This story has all the components necessary for family fiction; angst, humour, love, misunderstanding and tragedy. Romance is also an essential element of this story, and whether gentle or sensual it’s believable and adds depth to the storyline.

Nancy is an emotionally distant mother, but she has her reasons, and when she is forced to confront her demons, it affords her the opportunity to build bridges with her daughters. Mack is a troubled teenager even before she suffers a terrible loss. Her character development is probably the greatest, and she ends the story closer to adulthood than she started it. Lauren and Jenna have lost who they genuinely are amid other people’s expectations of them. The conflict and challenges they face make them re-evaluate their life choices and how they interact with their immediate family.

A lovely family story, which will take you on an emotional journey full of laughter, love, tears and new beginnings.

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

Posted in Book Review

The Sister Swap – Fiona Collins – 4*Review

Meg simply doesn’t have time for men in her life. Instead, she has a strictly one-date rule, survives on caffeine and runs one of the biggest model agencies from her smart office in London. That is until she collapses one day at work and the doctor orders her to take some R&R in the country…

Sarah is used to being stuck behind tractors and the slow pace of her cosy village life. But now her children are all grown-up (and her ex-husband long forgotten) she’s ready to change things up a bit – starting with taking back her old job in the city!

After a devastating falling out, the sisters haven’t spoken in years. Swapping houses, cars, everything is the only option – surely they’ll be able to avoid bumping into each other?

Amazon UK



My Thoughts…

Meg and Sarah estranged for twenty years. Both sister’s lives changed because of a devastating family tragedy. They led different lives, Meg’s career driven, Sarah’s, forsaking her career for her family. Illness and the prospect of an empty nest make both sisters assess their lives. They make contact and agree to swap their houses but will they become family again?

Both characters are flawed, Sarah on first acquaintance appears to be the most selfless, but as the story progresses it’s clear Meg’s colleagues like and respect her, which Sarah finds surprising. Living in a different setting makes them realise something is missing from their previous life and gives them a new perspective.

There is a mix of comedy, romantic and thought-provoking moments in this story. Your empathy with the characters increases as the story progresses and by the end you want their new lives to succeed.

Just the book for a lighthearted beach read.

I received a copy of this book form HQ Digital via NetGalley in return for an honest review.