Tuesday 28 December 2010

A New Niece & Too Much Chocolate

Phew, that was a busy Christmas. My son was a little delayed, but arrived on 23rd, the same day my sister in law went into hospital to have her daughter.

Amelie finally arrived just after 1am on Christmas morning, so the family has more to celebrate than usual this Christmas. The weather was gloriously sunny and everyone had a wonderful time. I had some fabulous presents, including a new camera, a Kindle (sooo in love with it), the Les Miserables DVD celebrating the 25th anniversary concert and a CD, a gorgeous poppy mug (favourite flowers), a docking station for my Ipod (am going to try listening to music whilst I write in the shed), and a calendar with pictures of the grumpy one on every month.

We've just come back from The Old Smugglers Inn where we had lunch before my step-son had to go to the airport to return home. My son has helped me move the furniture back to where it should be and am now working my way through loads of washing. (James has finally unpacked his uni bag...)

It's back to work for me tomorrow, but only for two days, then I can look forward to another four days off. Having eaten far too many chocolates, it isn't going to be too hard to think of my New Year Resolutions for 2011.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Snow & Twelve Days of Christmas

I woke up to more snow this morning, but thankfully it's a Sunday and I don't have to go anywhere. My stepson arrived from Manchester yesterday, although he was slightly delayed, and now I'm just hoping that the weather warms up for Thursday when my son is coming home for Christmas.

I have to admit that all this snow has made me feel far more festive than I usually do and apart from one or two presents still to buy, pretty much everything is ready for 25th. I'll have fifteen family members coming for lunch on 25th and my brother and his fiance are expecting their first baby. She's already overdue and I can't wait to be an auntie again

Thankfully, with all this excitement going on, I only have two working days between 24th December and 4th January, so will have plenty of time to catch up with any writing and editing, and intend spending the rest of my time in front of the fire reading Trisha Ashley's best selling book, Twelve Days of Christmas, which is now at #1 in the Island Book Charts. You can read Kira Slaughter's review on Novelicious here.

So, what plans do you have for this Christmas?

Thursday 16 December 2010

Pure Passion 2011 - Romantic Novel of the Year

I told you Christina Jones's latest book, The Way To A Woman's Heart, was good (you can read my interview with the lady herself over at Novelicious) and if you don't believe me, just look at the long list for the 51st Romantic Novel of the Year Award for 2011 which has just been announced.

In alphabetical order by author:

To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick (Little, Brown - Sphere)
The Good, the Bad and the Dumped by Jenny Colgan (Little, Brown - Sphere)
The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean (HarperCollins)
Sons & Daughters by Margaret Dickinson (Pan MacMillan)
Kissing Mr. Wrong by Sarah Duncan (Headline)
A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde (Random House)
The Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall (Little, Brown - Sphere)
Amazir by Tom Gamble (Beautiful Books)
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Queen of New Beginnings by Erica James (Orion)
The Way to a Woman’s Heart by Christina Jones (Little, Brown - Piatkus)
I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk (HarperCollins)
His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm (Little, Brown - Sphere)
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour by Lisa Kleypas (Little, Brown - Piatkus)
The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes (Hodder & Stoughton)
Virgin Widow by Anne O’Brien (Mira)
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn (Little, Brown - Piatkus)
The Search by Nora Roberts (Little, Brown - Piatkus)
The Legacy by Katherine Webb (Orion)
Hope Against Hope by Sally Zigmond (Myrmidon)

The shortlist (six titles) will be announced on 10th February 2011 and the winner will be named on Monday, 7th March 2011 at a champagne reception at The Royal Horseguards, Whitehall Place London.

I've read a few of the books on this list and can see why they were included in the list. To read more please go to the Romantic Novelists Association website here.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

The Way To A Woman's Heart by Christina Jones

I've just finished reading this fabulous book and to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of The Way to a Woman's Heart, please go to Novelicious. You'll need to leave a comment (on the Novelicious site) about the most delicious meal you've ever had. The competition will be open until Sunday 12th December and a winner will be chosen at random. (UK ONLY though I'm afraid).

Also, to find out more about how Christina goes about writing her wonderful books and more about her characters in The Way to a Woman's Heart, please read my interview with her, also over at Novelicious here.

Good luck.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Footprints in the Snow

The shed is out there somewhere...

Well, the schools are closed and buses aren't running and I've got to try and find a way to get into work, as apart from the fact that we (in Jersey) tend to grind to a standstill if we see the mere hint of more than a dozen or so snowflakes, the only way to get into St Helier (where most of us work) from where I live, is down one of a choice of hills. Then there's the fun of getting home again afterwards.

My garden has been white, and I have to say very pretty, since last Friday, which is amazing for over here and it's lovely as long as you don't need to navigate these roads, but at least I can be grateful for having an inside bathroom. Poor Grumps has to go outside to conduct his ablutions and then go through the trauma of having his feet dried when he comes back inside again. Poor Him.

P.S. I didn't make it in to work and have spent the day mostly staying on the inside looking out.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

The Hating Game by Talli Roland

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.

The Hating Game, published by Prospera Publishing will also be coming soon in paperback and to keep up with the latest news you can go to Talli's website at http://www.talliroland.com/, or go to her excellent blog which is updated most days.


When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

You can also follow Talli on:
Twitter: @talliroland, or on Facebook

Saturday 27 November 2010

'Where We Are' - Southgate & Leigh

Recently I came across the new band, Southgate & Leigh and thought I'd have a quick listen to their music, one track lead to another and I enjoyed their album so much I had to buy it. Now, if you knew me, you'd know that I rarely buy CDs.

'Where We Are' is a mixture of soul, pop and ska and is so good. You can find out all about the band on their official website, read the lyrics, listen to the tracks and buy their debut album, 'Where We Are' here. They also have a Christmas single coming out on 12th December called 'Christmas Time Next Year'.

Phil and Phillipa were kind enough to answer some questions for me:

1. I really enjoyed your songs, both the music and the lyrics, and was wondering where you find your inspiration?

Phil: When I sit down at the piano I practice scales or work out how to play something I heard on telly recently or on the radio and as I’m practicing I invariably get distracted and start mucking around (that’s not a very dignified word for it, but it really seems the best way to describe what I do). When I try to compose I’ll often churn out material that’s technically OK but not necessarily very exciting. Then, without warning, and apparently for no reason, I’ll play something and think, “That’s interesting, I like that”. If Phillipa’s around she will know instantly when I’ve had such a moment and she’ll badger me until I record it for her so she can get working on lyrics for it. In that sense Phillipa is my muse because until she came along I wallowed in the satisfaction of composing melodies without taking the much harder step of crafting half-baked ideas into meaningful compositions. In summary then, my “secret” is to work hard at being a serious musician while being hopelessly unable to avoid the distraction of playing for fun.

Phillipa: I love stories so when I write lyrics I often try to tell a story. Inspiration can come from anywhere really. For example one day I got approached in the street by a "modelling agency" which, of course, turned out to be a scam. I told Phil about it and he was like "We have to write a song about that" so we did. It's called "Fashion Photographer" and it's the first track on our album.

2. I have no idea how someone would go about writing songs, so could you tell me if you write the lyrics or the score first, or is each song produced differently?

Phillipa: All the songs have slightly different ways of coming about. I would say though, that most of the time Phil composes the music first then I write the lyrics to fit. Phil writes pretty quickly and I like to finish one song before I start the next so I always have a sense of urgency when I'm writing but I also don't like to rush. If it's not right I won't use it. I will re-write and re-write until I'm happy.

Phil: I tend to compose in bursts. I’ll go for weeks without composing anything at all and then I can’t seem to play without composing.

3. How long have you been writing/performing your music together?

Phillipa: We performed covers together for about five years but we didn't really start writing together until about 18 months ago.

4. Have you both always wanted to be in the music industry, or was it something that evolved for you both?

Phil: I’ve worn many hats but in my heart of hearts I always knew music was what I wanted to do.

Phillipa: I think it evolved for me. Doing this album has definitely built up my confidence. I really respect Phil so the fact that he believes in me helps me to believe in myself.

5. I don't think I'd be able to choose a favourite song from your album and think that different songs would probably appeal to different moods as some are more upbeat or soulful than others. At the moment my favourites are You Make Me Smile and Bluebells. Do you have a favourite song from your debut album, Where We Are', and if so, what is it?

Phil: Well first off, it’s probably a bit egocentric of me, but I do still genuinely enjoy listening to our album even after all the thousands of times hearing it through the whole recording process. I love the raw power of Phillipa’s voice in What Do You Want, the Bowie-esque middle bit in Marie, the sound of the rhythm section in Don’t Wait, the strings in You Make Me Smile… We were so lucky to be able to work with such fantastic session musicians and hearing them play something you’ve written yourself is a huge privilege. Sorry to avoid the question but picking a winner is tricky for me!

Phillipa: Yeah I find it hard to choose too. I'm so glad you like "Bluebells" though because the lyrics are a true memory from my childhood visiting my grandparents. There is a lyric that goes "It's just something I remember, I wonder if you do too" you might like to know that after they heard it they told me that they do.

Thank you Phillipa and Phil for giving me your time and good luck with your new single and this excellent album.

Here are some links for Southgate & Leigh:
Website: Southgate & Leigh
Twitter: @southgateleigh
Facebook: Southgate and Leigh

Thursday 25 November 2010

50,000 Words

I've reached my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, so I've now finished. I still have a way to go before actually finishing the first draft of Twice Shy, but have loved taking part in NaNo again this year and by doing so now am well into this book.

It's been great fun, although I'm now going to spend a couple of days catching up with some reading and will carry on writing, although not at the pace as I've been doing for the past 25 days.

Good luck to all the other NaNo'ers taking part.

Now I think it's time for a little I'm a Sleb on the telly and maybe a cup of tea.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Eleven Days To Go

As you can see from this pic of my NaNoWriMo blog widget I've passed the 35,000 word mark (yesterday) and with only eleven days to go I still have to keep going each day to make sure I make it to the 50,000 words by 30 November.

I know there are differing opinions about whether or not taking part in NaNo is actually a worthwhile writing exercise and some do say that it's not possible to write so many words well in such a short time, and without further editing I'm sure they're right. However, for me it means that a book I've been researching/writing for the past 18 months without finishing, thanks to spending too much time worrying about historical details, can now be written.

With NaNo I've used the opportunity of allowing myself this month to write the next 50,000 words of my book and having this deadline means I'm simply telling the story without procrastinating about details. They can come later when I edit. The book won't be finished by the end of the month, but I can continue putting down rest of the story in December.

I'll feel much better having a dirty draft written - I was going to say filthy, but that may suggest more explicit sex scenes than those already in the book - and at least I can make sure the details, as well as the grammer, story arcs, etc are as they should be when I start editing.

So, what do you think of NaNo? Are you taking part? If so, are you enjoying yourself? I know I am.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday 13 November 2010

Confusion: Tom Builder v Lucas North

It's been a strange week for various reasons, but I was a little taken aback to find that I was more upset at the death of Tom Builder in Pillars of the Earth, played by the gorgeous Rufus Sewell than I was when Lucas North (Richard Armitage) died in Spooks.

What is the world coming to? Has the axis in my romantic world tilted somehow? Or could it just be that I didn't see the Tom Builder murder coming? Sigh. It was a traumatic moment. This week I'm going to miss their (fairly equal) dulcet tones on my tv screen.

At least my NaNo attempt seems to be going well and as of last night I'd passed the 23,000 mark. I can't even say it's been difficult because I love my characters so much that telling their story is very enjoyable and the only reason I haven't been writing more is because my eyes are so tired after finishing work.

It's my wonderful daughter's sixteenth birthday tomorrow. It's hard to believe this little blonde curly-haired cherub is now taller and seemingly far cleverer than her mother. And even though I seem to be a source of unending entertainment for her (though I'm not sure why the things say seem to be quite so funny half the time) she is a delight and great fun to be around. I'm very lucky.

So, Happy Birthday to Sas. x

Thursday 11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

Every year I'm saddened by thoughts of all of the casualties from past and present wars and this year, as I research The Great War for my wip, I find it even harder to imagine the horrors and difficulties the survivors have had to overcome.

The Royal British Legion, St Dunstans, and others do such wonderful work and as I was lucky enough to have one of my poppies attached to my coat by a charming Chelsea Pensioner the other day, I couldn't help thinking how much we owe to these incredible men and woman.

Lest We Forget...

Saturday 6 November 2010

And The Winner Is...


Congratulations to Fee and thanks for leaving comments both here and at Bookersatz. Please email your address to me at debs(dot)carr(at)jerseymail(dot)co(dot)uk. Thank you also to Margaret for kindly letting me have a signed copy of her excellent book. This is a beautifully told story and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you to everyone who entered and left comments. In case you were wondering how the winner was chosen, I listed the all the names who entered both by leaving comments at this blog and at Bookersatz and numbered each one. Then I went to Random.org and the number 15 was selected. Fee's name was next to number 15 and it was through her comment at Bookersatz that she won this book.

Tomorrow I'll be posting about another signed copy of a book I'm currently enjoying, however, this will be the last signed copy of a book I'll be able to offer, well, at least until the next time, but that won't be for a while yet.

This week I've been concentrating on my NaNo entry and as of last night I've managed 11,200 words and I don't think they're too terrible, at the moment. We shall see.

Congratulations once again to Fee and many thanks for everyone who entered.

Have a lovely day.x

Monday 1 November 2010

Publication Day, Launch Day & Giveaways

Today is Publication Day for The Silver Locket by Margaret James. I loved this book and to find out more about it, you can read my review over at Bookersatz.

To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy, please leave a comment either here, or at Bookersatz, or if you want to increase your chances of winning, why not leave a 'pick me' comment in both places. You have until Friday, 5th November at 6pm to do so.

Today is also Launch Day for Phillipa Ashley's debut US novel, Dating Mr December, which has already been made into a film there. Dating Mr December is the US version of her fab book, Decent Exposure.

To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of the US edition wherever you live in the world (it's one of Phillipa's author copies) please visit her blog or her Facebook Author page and let her know you'd like to be entered into the draw.

I thoroughly enjoyed both these books and can't recommend them highly enough. Right, I'd better get on with my NaNo book, otherwise I'll never get to 2,000 words, never mind the 50,000 I need to produce.

Sunday 31 October 2010

Limbering Up for NaNoWriMo

I'm raring to get going with my NaNo story. I know some people have concerns about the content with people's NaNo entries, but for me it's a way to keep to a deadline. The camaraderie and daily increase on the word counter keep me writing when I'd otherwise probably find a reason/excuse not to and it's easier to work on a dirty draft than no draft at all. I pretty much know my story and characters and can't wait to get going.

No doubt by Wednesday I'll be wondering why I'm putting myself through this self-imposed torture, but towards the end - going my my experience last year - I'll be obsessed with getting my story down and the feeling of achievement at the end is well worth the month of maniacal typing and angst.

My family simply think that I'm a little crazy, but that's nothing new, and I'll still be reading/reviewing for Novelicious and Bookersatz throughout the month, but as I only work part-time and have one teenager at home, I have more time than most to do any writing.

Good luck with everyone taking part. If you haven't already entered and think that it might be fun to give it a go, there's still time as it doesn't start until 1st November. Here's the link

Monday 25 October 2010

Note to self...

This morning got off to a dramatic start. A driver under the illusion that he's Jensen Button decided to overtake three cars at once, then as he flew by me in a blur, the van in front started to pull out, just noticing the speeding fiend in time to pull in and let him pass. Just as JB wannabe passed the third car I noticed another car coming the opposite way. How he didn't collide with anyone is beyond me.

Sitting at my desk at lunchtime, I decided to have a quiet look at a few blogs on my blogroll. I started with Christina Jones's Bucolic Frolics where she posts about the local Am Dram Society putting on Rebecca in the scout hut. You have to read this, because I can't explain it well enough to do it justice. I began to laugh and just when I was almost hysterical trying to hold back my amusement, if not my tears of laughter, my Manager thankfully made a joke giving me a reason to laugh out loud. I'm sure he and the rest of the team think I'm a little odd - probably always have done so - as his joke wasn't funny enough to induce such amusement.

So! Note to self: If you don't want to get caught out reading blog posts whilst at work, do not read Christina Jones's blog posts. Save them until you can laugh out loud.

I love living in Jersey and am lucky to be able to visit the mainland several times each year, however, I can't go to everything I'd like and here is a picture of some of the Choc Lit writers - Sue Moorcroft, Christina Courtenay, Christine Stovell and Margaret James at their recent Girls Night In held at Waterstones in Bury St Edmonds. Hopefully they'll be doing more and I'll be able to attend one of those.

Thursday 21 October 2010

A Clash of Innocents by Sue Guiney

A Clash of Innocents is Sue Guiney's second book and as part of the blogsplash to celebrate the publication of her book, Sue very kindly answered a few questions for me.

1. Cambodia is an unusual and interesting setting for a novel and a place that I’ve never visited even though it’s history does fascinate me. Can you tell us what inspired you to write, A Clash of Innocents?
My family visited there in 2006 to work for a couple of charities, building houses for the poor and working in an orphanage. It was an opportunity whose time was right and I had always wanted to visit SE Asia. At the time, though, I had no notion of writing a book about Cambodia. I was still completely absorbed by my work on “Tangled Roots.” But the place took hold of me, and before I knew it, there was a story I wanted to tell about it.

2.Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters in the book, especially Deborah Youngman?
Deborah is a feisty, self-sufficient, no-nonsense American woman of about 60 years old who settled in Cambodia 10 years earlier after working as a nurse for various health agencies throughout Asia. She runs “The Khmer Home for Blessed Children” which she took over from a group of missionaries. She is single, has never been married, and has officially adopted one of her first Cambodian charges, a girl called Sam who, at the time of the book, is just eighteen years old. The idea for Deborah is an amalgam of several women I encountered while in Cambodia, and I started to wonder why someone chooses that sort of life, a life that seems on the surface to be all about self- sacrifice. Especially if their motivation is not religious, and Deborah’s definitely is not, why and how does such a life choice arise?

One morning, an American woman in her late 20’s arrives at the Home’s door wanting to help. Against Deborah’s better judgment, she allows this woman to stay and become a part of the workings of the Home. But who is she and why is she there? And here’s a fun fact: careful readers of “Tangled Roots” will recognize that this woman is Amanda, the woman whose own wedding begins the novel, whose wedding is seen through the eyes of her favourite uncle, John, the physics professor. (I love doing that sort of thing!)
And I must mention Kyle Mackenzie, the irascible, adorable, larger-than-life Australian minesweeper.

3.Do you plan a book before writing it, and if so how much planning do you do before starting your first draft?
I tried something different with “A Clash of Innocents” in the hope that it would take me less than nine years to write (that’s how long “Tangled Roots” took). I used something called “The Snowflake Method” which leads you to completely outline each chapter in exact detail planning carefully where each conflict will arise and timing it all to a tee. Actually, it drove me crazy and I ended up just using the idea of it. So I did outline the entire structure, planning what would happen in each chapter, so I always knew where I was going. I just didn’t know how I would get there. That bit of inspiration I left up to the little writing magician in my head. I did, though, write out details of each character’s life in advance – who they were, where they came from, early lives etc. I do need to know who a character really is before I throw him/her life into turmoil.

4.Can you tell us something about your road to publication? How long it took and how you went about finding a publisher?
This itself is a long, roller-coaster of a story. It started back in 2005 when on a whim I sent the text of a poetry play, “Dreams of May,” to an indie press whose work I liked called bluechrome. He published the poetry and then after struggling in the States to find a big publisher for “Tangled Roots,” I gave up and gave it also to bluechrome to publish. I was luckier than some. My novel was published in both hard and soft covers and distributed fairly well. Alas, I never got any royalties from it because the publisher subsequently went bankrupt, but I did have the invaluable experience of being a published writer.

Fast forward to 2009. I’m chatting with another former bluechrome author, Adele Ward, at the poetry launch of a mutual friend. Adele knew my work and began to cautiously feel me out on the subject of publishing with a new indie house that she was about to form with Mike Fortune-Wood, formerly of Cinnamon. Several weeks of talks followed and I had to decide whether I wanted to throw myself into the maelstrom which is finding an agent (my previous one had retired at the same time bluechrome tanked – talk about bad timing!) and then trying for a big publisher. It was a difficult decision and forced me to think about my goals and the reality of the present market (especially for new literary fiction). But when I did, I realized that it was a great honour to be asked to be a company’s first publication and to launch my book along with Ward Wood. I also know about and trust the business acumen of the two principals. I felt that by joining Ward Wood I was doing something bold and daring, but also sensible. And I’m absolutely thrilled. I know it was the right decision and I know that my work has now found a home. I guess I’m just an indie girl at heart.

5.You lead a very busy life writing not only fiction, but plays and poetry too, so I imagine that you have to be pretty disciplined to be able to fit everything in. Do you have a specific daily writing routine?
I most certainly do, although it’s had to change over the years. The big step for me was announcing to myself and the world that writing was my job. Okay – not a full-time job, but a job nonetheless. That meant I had to find a time when I sat down to do it, whether I felt like it or not, and for me, that’s mornings. The 3 hours before lunch became the time I would go to a specific place and either write, or apply myself to the business of writing. While I still had kids at home, that meant taking a look at my diary each week and finding the 2 or (if I was lucky) 3 mornings for my writing job. And that’s what I did for years and I was able to accomplish an amazing amount just by setting aside time and sticking to it. Now that I am in my second year of being an “empty-nester,” I find I work all the time. And I mean ALL the time. Whether it’s actually writing, or submitting or blogging or writing articles or networking, I’m always at it. And I fold in my work with my theatre charity, CurvingRoad. You see, with no kids around and a husband who has always worked crazy long hours, I do finally have time. But to be honest, I’m doing too much right now and realize that I need to find some balance and down time. It’s especially difficult to turn on my “writing brain” when my “business brain” is in overdrive.

Thank you to Sue for such interesting answers and good luck with A Clash of Innocents, which you can buy from her publishers, www.wardwoodpublishing.co.uk , Play.com, etc. You can also follow Sue on Twitter @sueguiney and her blog can be found here

Monday 18 October 2010

Racing Hither & Thither

This past week has been hectic to say the least. Last Sunday, Rob and I travelled (plane, train, coach) to see my son who has just started his second year at uni. We met for lunch and he was thrilled to tell us that he'd just been given a job (Sundays), then we went with him to see the house he's sharing with four friends. I shan't comment on their living room (the only spotless thing in there was the new tv they've clubbed together to buy), or the kitchen (um, enough said), but there was a new carpet on the stairs(!) and their rooms are lovely. Then it was time to take a coach and train to Southampton, where R & I stayed the night.

On Monday we donned our finery and were thoroughly spoilt when we attended the celebrations for Cunard's new liner the Queen Elizabeth. We enjoyed tours around the ship, drinks reception, lunch, Naming Ceremony with the Queen. Robert Powell (he of the beautiful voice, Holby & Jesus of Nazareth fame) announced the protocol for all attending; Sir Ben Kingsley gave a speech, then I nearly ran into him as the poor man was making his way to the Gents and I was thundering from the Ladies to find Rob. He's Rob said, "I'll bet you never thought you'd ever be in the same place as the Queen, Gandhi and Jesus all at the same time." Then it was coach, train, plane back to Jersey where we eventually arrived home (having collected the dog) at 9pm.

Tuesday - I was up at 4.50am for the red-eye to Gatwick, a 1.5hr taxi ride and an all day meeting. Then it was taxi, plane and home, again for around 9pm.

Wednesday - I was rather tired and couldn't wait to finish work and go home, but being a bit of a fool, I'd stupidly eaten a chewy sweet at the meeting the day before and managed to pull out a crown, so it was off to the dentist as soon as I'd left work.

However, today, Novelicious is back after the summer hiatus. You'll find interviews, my review of Victoria Connelly's fab book, A Weekend With Mr Darcy and so much more.

Helen at Bookersatz has posted my review of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. This is a timeless book and I can't think why it took me so long to read it, so if you haven't read this yet, please go and read the review.

Right, I'm off to light a fire and start reading Margaret James's, The Silver Locket. Can't wait.

Friday 15 October 2010

The Tapestry of Love by Rosie Thornton

Yesterday was publication day, so I'm afraid this post is a little late, but I'll tell you more about my busy week in my next post. To find out more about Rosie Thornton's, The Tapestry of Love you can read Helen Hunt's wonderful review for Bookersatz here.

Rosie's site tells us the following: "A rural idyll: that's what Catherine Parkstone is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the CĂ©vennes mountains. Divorced and with her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you're no longer just on holiday, and Catherine finds herself with unexpected battles to fight. French bureaucracy, the mountain weather, the reserve of her neighbours - and most unsettling of all, her own fascination with the intriguing Patrick Castagnol.

The Tapestry of Love is the story of how a woman falls in love with a place and its people: a portrait of landscape, a community and a fragile way of life." You can buy the book here.

But that's not all. Inside The Tapestry of Love you'll find some fabulous recipes and if you can't wait until you read the book to discover them, you can leave a comment either including your email address, or contact me through this blog and I'll email the electronic recipe leaflet to you.


Thursday 7 October 2010

And The Winner Is...

The winners for the copies of Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay are as follows:

Livbet wins the signed copy (from the competition at this blog) and Lane has won the unsigned copy from the competition over at Bookersatz.

Thank you to everyone who entered both here and at Bookersatz and if Livbet and Lane could forward their addresses to me at: debs(dot)carr(at)jerseymail(dot)co(dot)uk, I'll get your books in the post. Congratulations, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading this fabulous book, I know I did.

Thursday 30 September 2010

Trade Winds by Christina Courtenay - Competition

Happy Publication Day to Christina Courtenay.

Today is Publication Day for Trade Winds, Christina's fabulous book published by Choc Lit Publishers and to celebrate I have one signed and an unsigned copy to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning the signed copy, please leave a 'Pick Me' comment in the comment box below, and if you want to give yourself an extra chance of winning a copy (unsigned) of this truly wonderful book (and who wouldn't) please go Bookersatz where they've very kindly agreed to post my review today to coincide with the book's publication and leave a 'Pick Me' comment there. You have until Wednesday 6 October at 6pm before two winners will be picked at random.

I have to admit that I've read all the books published by Choc Lit and as with my previous reads, Trade Winds was wonderful.

To read more about Christina Courtenay please go to her website. You can also follow her on Twitter here. If you can't wait until next Wednesday to find out if you've won a copy, then why not order a copy from Play.com.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Greyhounds & the Wip

I recently bought a copy of this beautifully written by Victoria Kingston & Hilary Johnson. I love greyhounds and the woman who clips the Grumpy one looks after rescue greyhounds here in Jersey. It's a book celebrating greyhounds and includes a foreword by the actress Annette Crosbie OBE who is also a Patron of Wimbledon Grehound Welfare Kennels in Hersham where all the profits from this book are being donated. If you want to support this invaluable place and read the collection of inspiring and emotive stories by people who have adopted their own greyhounds and looked after many more, why not buy your own copy here.

I have a quiet household this weekend. Rob is either working or catching up on his sleep; Sas is with her father; James is back at uni; Grumps is acting as my shadow, which means sleeping whilst I'm reading or writing, so therefore he's mostly sleeping. So, it's copious amounts of tea for me as I work on my Wip. I also have a couple of reviews to write up, so will do those too and when I can think of no reason at all to put it off any longer, I'll do some ironing. Groan.

The weather was so glorious earlier this week that I was able to write outside wearing a bikini and sarong, I hasten to add. Now, of course, it's a little more autumnal and with that comes much better tv programmes. I can't wait for Downton Abbey to start on Sunday night, then of course it'll be Spooks again on Monday.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Research, Reading & Richard Armitage

There's one thing guaranteed to consume hours of my time and get me nowhere and that's researching my great-grandfather. Now, I know where he was born, died, served in the 17th Lancers, etc, but what I need is a photo of this man. Unfortunately he died in 1922 and my great-grandmother was so enraged at his dying so young that she burnt every photograph she had of him. My grandmother, an only child, never had one. My father, now in his seventies has always desperately wanted to see a picture of his grandfather, especially as he was always told how he was the image of him. It's all so frustrating. I think the next thing to do is write to a local newspaper to see if anyone in the area - Badbrook, Stroud - knows of anyone related to the family. And on it goes...

This weekend I'm going to spend time lazing in the conservatory, Earl Grey tea at the ready, Grumps snoring on the large cushion on the back rest of the two-seater and read, A Weekend With Mr Darcy. I've been trying not to add too many books to my TBR pile, but obviously lack the book-buying-discipline gene.

Summer is definitely over, but I do enjoy Autumn, not only because the glorious colours throughout the garden and the thought of lighting the fire once again in the sitting room, but also because the tv programmes seem so much better. Spooks is back on Monday and I can't wait, and although Sas and Rob will roll their eyes heavenward and groan at my adoration, they will, at least with this programme, sit quietly and enjoy it too, something they never did when I was absorbed by Robin Hood. Talking of which, I watched Russell Crowe's version last night and I know I'm useless at recognizing accents, but I distinctly heard his irish accent morph into a Liverpudlian one. What was that all about?

Sunday 12 September 2010

Great Week & A Weekend With Mr Darcy

It's been a great week. Two meetings I'd been nervous about went very well (work-related) and my long-suffering postman delivered my copy of Victoria Connelly's latest novel, A Weekend With Mr Darcy. As I always do when I receive a new book, I opened it and read the Acknowledgements, before having a sneaky peak at the first few lines of the story. I had to re-read one part of the Acknowledgements to make sure I was reading the words correctly, and yes, it did include 'Debs Carr' in there. So exciting! Thanks Victoria.

As soon as I've finished reading Christina Courtenay's book, Trade Winds, which I'm loving (perfect hero) and which I'll be reviewing for Bookersatz later this month, I'm going to sit down with my Earl Grey-filled Pride & Prejudice mug and start reading A Weekend With Mr Darcy.

Also this week, Rob and I were emailed to let us know that we're being sent invitations to attend the Naming Ceremony of the latest Cunard liner, the Queen Elizabeth in October. I can't wait. We were lucky enough to go to the Naming Ceremony of the Queen Victoria three years ago and had the most incredible day.

We had the Battle of Britain Air Display this Thursday and although I was working for part of the afternoon, I was lucky enough to see the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane doing part of their display. Later on, I heard them once more and went outside to watch them flying off together back towards the mainland. It always gives me a lump in my throat. "It makes me want to cry," I told Sas. She gave me a poor-old-soul smile and said, "But Mum, everything makes you want to cry." Not true. The only other time I cried is when Brian Dowling won Ultimate Big Brother. A worthy winner and so entertaining.

My WiP is coming along slowly, but surely, and although there are many useful blogs with helpful writing tips and advice, the one I continue to learn so much from is Sarah Duncan's blog. I subscribe via email and receive her latest posts automatically. Not only is Sarah a writer of five novels, she also teaches creative writing for the Universities of Oxford and Bristol, so knows what she's talking about. She certainly helps me.

Have a great week.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Parallel Universe

It was back to work this week and naturally the sun shone every day, although I did make the most of it and have eaten, read and written outside in the sunshine. Bliss. I've even defrosted the fridge-freezer and bathed the dog, but that had more to do with hitting a bit of a wall in my WiP.

My daughter is off to Jersey Live this weekend and so I'm going to make the most of the peace, quiet and sunshine and poddle about writing, sunbathing, reading, etc for the next two days.

This morning the dog woke me at 8.30 wanting to be let out, so I did as asked, then made my usual cup of Earl Grey and sat down to catch up on a couple of programmes that I'd taped this week. Sas came in and over breakfast we waffled to each other. I then pushed my hand into my dressing gown pocket and instead of pulling out a tissue, pulled out a teabag! Unused, I'm grateful to add. She just looked at me and shook her head.

"Mum," she asked between hysterical giggles and trying not to choke on her Multi Cheerios. "When did you put that in there?"

Rob thinks I do these strange things because my mind is always somewhere else and it's especially worse when I'm in the middle of writing something. Thankfully my family are amused by my little foibles and don't have a problem living with someone who:
a) Spends so much free time in a shed;
b) Asks random questions like, "Where is the door on a 1950s Rampart (boat);
c) Talks about imaginary people as if they were real and matter very much;
d) Stops mid conversation to go and make notes about something;
e) Discusses plotlines with a dog (well, it's not like he'll repeat anything I say);
f) Generally lives in a parallel world to the rest of the family.

What's it like in your world this weekend?

Sunday 29 August 2010

End of Summer

This picture was taken by J and his girlfriend and overlooks St Ouens Bay.

Today my son flies out with his girlfriend and together they'll be going back to England where he'll be staying with her family until starting his second year at university. I'm not feeling as cheerful as I look (maybe I'm kidding myself here, I do hope not) and will be taking them to the airport later, after we've been out for a late lunch together.

He's delighted to be going back and can't wait to move into the house he's sharing with four other friends. This year is so much easier than last year in that I know he's having a great time (as well as studying occasionally) and his girlfriend, whose been staying here for the past two weeks, is lovely. Having had him back home again for the summer it's going to take a little getting used to when he leaves again.

However, the positives are that I'm nearly at 30,000 words on a new book - loving it and have a mad crush on my hero - so I'll have more than enough to keep me busy. My daughter isn't at all fazed that her brother is off again, quite thrilled in fact. The dog is on steroids as he has sensitive skin - on his feet, so he's feeling sorry for himself, and the madness of this house will carry on, just with one less, fairly noisy, person in it. *Sighs*

Right, time to put on (another) wash and see if he's forgotten to pack anything.

Monday 23 August 2010

Who Needs Sunshine?

I'm half way through my two weeks holiday and so far I think only two of those have been sunny. To be honest, I've spent most of the first week catching up with my writing To Do List in the shed and now I'm nearly ready to be able to disappear - mentally at least - into a book that I started writing a few months ago, but which I put aside to work on other things.

I was lucky enough to be a winner over at DJ Kirkby's blog and she very kindly sent me these pots of her delicious Hot Hedgerow Chutney and a Blackberry Jam. That woman is so talented, and can not only write a great book, but cooks beautifully too. Thanks DJ.

I've been busy seeing people, mainly in restaurants - hence the tightening waistband - and one of my favourite places for a quick evening meal this summer, has been St Catherine's Cafe. It's right on the waterfront, near an impressive breakwater that my great, great grandfather came over to the island to work on in the 1850s. I tend to walk the dog whilst daughter, son, other members of the family find a table inside and then we all sit down to enjoy our food. It's incredibly tasty and reasonable, and the spareribs are delicious. Even the grumpy one isn't forgotten. Here's a picture of his food, which I hasten to add was fed to him over two days, despite his objections.

My sister had a housewarming last week and as is the case when you have a large family in one room, the conversations change constantly. Sis was saying how much she's enjoying reading a book, but was taken aback to see the 'C' word in it.
"What did you say?" asked Granny.
"The 'C' word," she repeated. "I was horrified to see it in my book."
"What? Cardigan?"

Have a good week and may the flippin' sun start shining on us all.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Summer Holidays

I've got two weeks off work, hurray! Actually, I like my job, so I don't mind being there at all, but it's so good to have two weeks when I can get up and mooch around, doing exactly as I like with no time constraints. Bliss.

The first few days have been a little manic, but we've had a couple of meals out here and here; I've started, and finished (at 3am in the morning) Lesley Pearse's wonderful book, Stolen, and am now reading, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, which I've had for a while and wasn't so sure I'd enjoy until Gerry (my aunt) mentioned how good it was. I'm loving it.

Apart from eating - have also discovered Galaxy Counters - they're far too morish - and reading, and generally lazing about, I want to take in a few sights that I don't usually have time to see. It's always fun going out with my daughter, and also my son, who I want to make the most of seeing before he returns to uni with his lovely girlfriend - she's staying with us at the moment.

I'm going to give myself a couple of days mooching around in the garden, and then it's on with a book I started several months ago, but had to leave to edit a couple of others. Can't wait. I love being in the shed, especially on warm days when I can open both the front doors, lean back in my ancient, pink Lloyd Loom chair and smell the rosemary growing nearby as I gaze out through the trees into the garden. Sigh.

That said, it would be nice if the weather remembered this is August, A-U-G-U-S-T! I thought it was supposed to be a sunny month. So far, there's been a couple of summery days, but not nearly enough. Is there such thing as a sun dance?

Saturday 14 August 2010

Awards, Anniversary & A Red Face

Thanks to DJ Kirkby, author of Without Alice for this fab award. You can follow DJ's blog tour to celebrate the publication of her book by going to Helen's blog and on Monday to Talli's.

It's my sixth wedding anniversary today, so we thought we'd go and have breakfast down at Bon Viveur in St Aubins bay. "There's a high tide," said Rob, "And we can sit outside in the sun and watch the sea lapping over the top of the seawall next to the boats." Well, naturally it was pouring, so we sat inside instead. The breakfasts were enormous and very tasty and then we popped across to the Parish Hall to see the Vintage Market stalls - all crammed inside due to the rain - and I bought a 1919 Royal Doulton mug celebrating, 'Peace & Victory' and S bought a 1930s fold up camera for £7.50. Good fun.

I'm now back at home, surrounded by red roses, chocolates and a beautiful card, from lovely husband; pretty Deco picture frame and card from the three teens, and a beautiful arrangement of flowers have just arrived from dad & mum, all pinks and very pretty. So, it's been a lovely day.

I have now pretty much recovered from the humiliation of inadvertently walking ahead of a marching band as they started crossing Liberation Square, and then two roads in front of holiday makers on friday. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, I also happened to be carrying a green sponge hand - need a photo of me with it for a competition for work, don't ask - that is bigger than my dog. The hardest part was trying not to walk in step to their banging drums and hoping no-one I knew could see me.

I'm almost finished my editing, so I'd better go and get on with it. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Blog Takeover - by Grumpy

This is me, Grumpy. To be honest *checks to see if D is nearby* that's not my real name. My real name is, a bit of a mouthful, it's Ellisteel Maxmillan. It was supposed to be Maximillian, but the breeder's husband mispelt my name and left out a couple of 'i's' when registering me (apparently).

You can call me what you like though, because I have many nicknames, and I'll answer to anything so long as you understand that bribery, of the chew/sausage/treat variety, goes a long way.

I know I'm grumpy to look at, and I never miss an opportunity to chase the teens up the stairs, or race to their rooms to give them a telling off if I think they're talking a little loudly. My mum gets fed up with me when I do it a lot and insists that they live here too and are allowed to walk around upstairs and talk, or even play music. Personally, I'd ban the singing, and think they should all be taught to sit quietly, especially when I'm trying to have one of my naps.

I also get told off when I chase the postman. He's scared of me and my mum tries to make sure I'm inside whenever he's about to deliver bills to her. I don't get it, surely if she doesn't like the mail he brings her, she'd be better off letting me sit outside and not let him in the garden to bring those envelopes to the door in the first place?

She does tell me how well behaved I am in the shed. When we're out there, I've got no reason to bark at anyone, as it's just the two of us, and she lets me sleep for as long as I want. The only interruption I don't mind is when my dad arrives to take me for a walk, usually to St Ouen's beach. Oh heck, here she comes, better pretend to be sleeping again.

Grumps was taking part in Quiller's Third Blog Takeover Day.

Thursday 5 August 2010

Without Alice by DJ Kirkby

I'm delighted to be part of Denyse Kirkby's blog tour for her debut novel, Without Alice. The blurb for Without Alice starts with these sentences, ‘Have you ever had a secret? One so important that it feels as if it will tear you in two?’ Well that caught me straight away, and there’s one thing for sure, Stephen really does have a secret.

I started reading this book when I’d already done seven hours editing, so my eyes were pretty sore, but I thought I’d have a peak and read the first page or two. I eventually stopped approximately half way through the book, simply because my eyes couldn’t keep going and it was 1am and I had to be up at 6.30am to go to work.

Without Alice begins with a prologue telling us about three different couples in July 1977, who are all at varying stages of parenthood. We then begin with Jennie having just given birth to her son, and almost straight away you realize that her relationship with husband, Stephen, isn’t a harmonious one. As much as he instinctively adores his baby son, he isn’t happy with Jennie. Stephen has a secret. It’s a big secret, and one that causes him heartache, as well as a crushing resentment towards his wife.

Stephen’s verbal cruelty to this new mother is vicious. Jennie has enough to contend with already. She’s exhausted, and trying to get to grips with the strangeness of her post-baby physique, as well as wanting to enjoy her first precious days, weeks, and months with her baby. The last thing she needs is to be made miserable by her husband.

As you read through the first half of the book, it’s hard to find much about Stephen to sympathize with, but as the reality of his secret is learnt you can’t help but want him to be okay. I’m still struck by that startling moment when the reader discovers more about his situation and gets to know Alice. I daren’t say too much about the story from this point, because I feel it would ruin the experience for the reader, but suffice to say, this was a truly memorable story and one that I won’t be able to forget in a hurry. I read the whole book in two sittings and simply couldn’t put it down, well, apart from having to sleep when I reached the half way mark.

It was only as I read this book that I realized how perfect (Like Bees to Honey Author) Caroline Smailes’s description was when she said, “Governed by duty, lost without love. A truly insightful narrative, controlled by a delicate hand.” So true. Congratulations, Denyse, this is an excellent read.

Publication day for Without Alice was 31st July and can be bought from the Punked Books Website. From 4th October Without Alice will be on general release and available from everywhere, but naturally I'm going to link to Play.com. Enjoy.

Friday 30 July 2010

Nell Dixon's Talk on Believable Secondary Characters

Sorry for taking an age to finally post about the second talk I attended at RNA Conference several weeks ago. This is mainly due to so much activity with family visits, school holidays, and editing.

The second talk I attended was given by Nell Dixon. I've read Nell's Little Black Dress books and reviewed a couple of them for Novelicious, and I have to say how much I loved them. So, when I saw she was giving a talk on creating believable secondary characters - she is brilliant at this - I knew I had to go.

The lovely Liz Fenwick introduced Nell, who told us that secondary characters depend on the type of book, ie Mills & Boon, sagas, and many more, regarding the subplots. The Secondary Character has to have their own arc, whereas minor characters don't contribute to the main story, ie think of a minor character like an extra in a film, where they make an appearance, but don't have their own story arc.

Secondary characters mustn't be given too big a role, and can be different in each novel, ie they can be a mentor, the comic relief, or the catalyst for some of the action, ie the best friend, who encourages the heroine to make a decision she doesn't really want to make. They can also be the competition, ie the heroine's competition.

Nell went on to tell us how they don't even have to be human. The Secondary Character could be a pet, a setting, or an inanimate object.

Do make sure the Secondary Characer does what you want them to do and that you need them to forward the plot in some way, but don't forget to make it believable and to have their own storyline that feeds into the main storyline. Make sure they earn their place in the book and that they complete their own story arc. Although remember not to let them take over from main characters, or be stereotypes.

I'm sure there was so much more in the talk, but I've recently had to clear out the shed (needed one of the tables for a party) and so have had to take this from the notes that I've managed to find from the Conference. Naturally, any mistakes are my own, and going by the confusion in my brain right now, mainly thanks to an endless stream of washing - just call me The Launderess - and my irons (yes, there are two) tripping the electrics when I try and use them, I'm slowly, very slowly, catching up with all I should be doing.

All in all, Nell's excellent talk showed me how very important secondary characters are, and also how easy it is to confuse a minor character with a secondary character.

Sunday 18 July 2010

RNA Conference 2010 - Talk by Dee Williams

The talk given by Dee Williams was the first one I attended at the 50th Anniversary RNA Conference, and what an interesting lady she is. Dee told us how her father used to tell her off about her dreadful spelling, and how she tried writing short stories and articles, but didn’t get anywhere with them. She moved to live in Spain and whilst there, decided to give novel writing a go.

Dee sent in her first three chapters to her writers’ group and then on to Headline. She didn’t keep a copy as she only had an old typewriter, however, Headline were interested in her work and wanted to see her. They asked for changes, still typed up on a portable typewriter – can you imagine how time consuming this must have been – and was nurtured by them and was signed up by her agent.

Dee made us laugh by recounting how delighted – and no doubt a little relieved – she was when she bought her Amstrad 9512+ word processor, with spell check. She rewrote her novel three times in one year and on 24.4.90 at 12.45 she ‘got the call’ from her agent. Since then she keeps signing two book contracts, thankfully for us readers who enjoy her books so much.

Dee said she likes to have the idea for her next book half way through the wip. She has a rough idea about what she’s going to write, but doesn’t plot. However, Dee obviously knows her subject well and does detailed research. She told us how much she loves the jackets to her books, and has occasionally pointed out amendments for a few of them, ie with regard to one showing a girl not wearing a wedding ring, when she definitely would have done; another where it showed the girl wearing a pristine apron, and Dee pointed out that if she had owned such a material she would have make knickers out of it and then worn sacking as an apron.

Although Dee doesn’t plot, she does keep notes of the date, the names of the girl, colour of her eyes, build, etc. She was always a voracious reader and when young loved the abridged versions of books bought by her uncle. She was also inspired by Lena Kennedy books.

Dee told us about all the changes she’s seen since being published. The main one that struck me was that now we have the luxury of computers, where any changes can take moments, whereas when Dee first started writing, you were lucky to have a word processor rather than a portable. She told us there seem to be more agents now, although writers can email submissions to some of them, whereas before everything was sent by post. PLR 20 years ago was 1.37p and now it’s 6.29p. Also authors have to do their own publicity far more now than before.

It was an enjoyable and interesting talk and Dee told us never to be afraid to ask when researching, as people are usually more than happy to answer any questions.
Freda Lightfoot, who had introduced Dee to us, then thanked her for us.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these notes, but remember, they are deciphered from my hurried scrawl across a notepad, so any mistakes are no doubt due to my horrendous handwriting.

Friday 16 July 2010

Happiness Is...

I always promised myself that when I'm published I'll mark the event by treating myself to a painting by the extremely talented artist, Tom Tomos.

I am now the proud owner of this painting, The Sea I, however, this has nothing to do with being signed up by a publisher, but the lovely (and also very talented) writer, Chris Stovell, author of the excellent Choc Lit novel, Turning the Tide and wife of Tom Tomos, very kindly gave this painting to me at last weeks Romantic Novelists' Association 50th Anniversary Conference.

To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. Isn't it gorgeous? And when I am published - because I'm going to keep writing until I am - I can then buy my second Tom Tomos painting.

Monday 12 July 2010

Books, Books, & A Brilliant RNA Conference

Above are some of the books - three bought and three from my goodie bag - that I managed to cram into my small weekend case. As well as the obligatory highheels and clothes for my weekend, I also somehow forced in a notepad full of notes that I took whilst at the various talks I attended and I'll blog about these in the next day or so.

Poor Rob just smiled when he saw these books and said, "There's a couple of packages for you in the kitchen too." These were books from Little Black Dress and one written by a wonderful writer friend, but I'll be blogging about that one in early August.

So, my feet might be a little sore, my legs/lungs are still in shock at having to run (literally) to reach the gate in time to be let onto my flight home (not easy in 4 inch heels), and I may have copious amounts of washing to catch up on, but I'm perfectly happy. How can I not be, after such a fantastic weekend and all these books to come home to.

I'll be blogging about my weekend at the RNA Conference in a couple of days, but have to say now that I'm in awe of Jan Jones and her incredible talent for organization. That woman is always so cool and calm and arranges everything so incredibly well. To say I'm impressed, is an understatement.

Monday 5 July 2010

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

A few months ago I read Isabel Wolff's fabulous book, A Vintage Affair. It has now been published in the States and is a Barnes & Noble Recommend Reads Main Selection Title. Now, you can't come much more highly recommended than that, can you?

Don't you just love the two covers? The top one is the US version and the bottom one is the UK version. This is an excellent book and I can't recommend it highly enough.

If you want to know more about Isabel, A Vintage Affair, her writing tips, and much more, please read my interview with her here at Novelicious.