Blog Tour: The Development by Jackie Kabler {Excerpt}

Hello, today I have an excerpt for you for the novel The Development by Jackie Kabler.

Blurb…

After a stressful week, TV reporter Cora Baxter is ready for a quiet weekend. But what she hadn’t counted on was witnessing the shocking death of a young woman on her way home. She discovers seventeen-year-old Leanne had been protesting against a new housing development, angering the powerful establishment. Leanne’s death is ruled a suicide, but when puzzling information comes to light, Cora decides to investigate further.

She doesn’t know what an unscrupulous businessman, a suspended police officer and hate-mail sending neighbours have to do with the case – but she knows there is a news story there.

With her eccentric camera crew on hand to help, can Cora tie the strands of Leanne’s case together – or will other forces interfere?

The Development is the third in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series.

Excerpt

At the start of the book, TV reporter Cora Baxter had a run-in with a particularly unpleasant police officer who was subsequently suspended from duty. And now DCI Gordon Gregory seems to have a strange interest in the death of a young woman, even attending her funeral…but why?

It was raining softly as Leanne Brimley’s coffin was lowered slowly into the grave, the light, steady kind of rain which appears innocuous at first but then seems to make you far, far wetter and colder than the pounding, driving kind ever does, seeping into your pores and chilling your very bones. A leaden sky glowered at the few dozen mourners who’d gathered at South Bristol Cemetery, the scattering of school friends – released from lessons early for the occasion on this Thursday afternoon – neighbours and relatives standing now with lowered heads as the vicar said his final prayers in a low monotone. Detective Constable James Jordan and Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Gregory stood at a respectful distance, watching as the committal service came to a close and the dead girl’s mother and brother, so like her with their red hair and pale skin, were led away, the mother sobbing quietly, the boy’s face tight and white despite the thick covering of freckles. As the graveyard emptied, Gregory turned to Jordan.

‘Thanks for coming, mate. I needed to see that. Things are shit at the moment – that little bitch being put in the ground has been the one bright spot in the past couple of weeks. Sorry if that sounds nasty, but it’s true.’

Jordan flinched a little, but nodded. ‘No problem, boss. I’m not on shift today anyway, so it was something to do. Fancy a pint, on the way home?’

Gregory smiled. ‘Definitely. I want to talk to you anyway. Something I need to tell you. Just give me a minute. I’ll meet you by the gate.’

He stood still for a moment as Jordan headed off across the muddy grass, then walked slowly to the graveside, where a cemetery worker was laying the last of the floral tributes on the mound of soil that now covered Leanne Brimley’s coffin. The man touched his forehead deferentially and moved away as Gregory approached, and the DCI gave him a nod, then stood in silence for a full minute, staring at the freshly piled earth. What a relief, he thought. What a bloody great relief. And when he finally turned away and went to join James Jordan, he was smiling.

You can get your copy from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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Blog Tour: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Today I am sharing with you my review for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe which is hosted by Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours

Blurb…

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Review…

After reading Gemma’s first novel Trust Me I was really excited to get a copy of A Mother’s Sacrifice.

Gemma has an amazing way of writing that keeps you guessing, you may have a prediction but that can change multiple times as you read and that’s what draws me to her work.

I found myself drawn to the main character. I not only felt sorry for her but could see things unravelling. I don’t want to give any of the story away but I thought it was very well written.

However, I have to admit the ending did disappoint me. While I understand why it took the path it did I would have liked answers to questions wrapping up first. I felt like for such a build up of every thing it fell a bit flat even if it wasn’t a typical generic ending.

Saying this though I highly recommend it. The problem is more with me and my need to have somethings tightly wrapped in a bow rather than the book itself and as far as it goes this is a very worthy read.

I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Spring At Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Hey Everyone. Today I have a review for you for Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett. I must apologise as this was due to go out at the weekend but I was unwell in hospital but as they say…better late than never.

Blurb…

A season for change…?

Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?

Don’t miss Spring at Lavender Bay, the first book in the enchanting Lavender Bay trilogy! Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

Book 1: Spring at Lavender Bay
Book 2: Summer at Lavender Bay
Book 3: Snowflakes at Lavender Bay

Review…

Ahhh I admit I totally loved this book. I read it really quickly because I enjoyed everything about it.

Both Beth and Sam were relatable and I felt like I really wanted the best for them.

The story wasn’t straight up soft and fluffy and it did touch on some sensitive subjects but it never took it to a dark place.

I will be reading the rest of the books in the series. Sarah has such a lovely writing style that her words flow so naturally on a page.

I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants something that is easy to follow, a bit of fun and a sprinkle of romance.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post for you from the author of The Eden Paradox, Barry Kirwan.

Blurb…

A murder… a new planet mankind desperately needs… a thousand-year old conspiracy… What really awaits us on Eden? In a world beset by political turmoil, environmental collapse, and a predatory new religion, a recently discovered planet, Eden, is our last hope. But two missions have failed to return. Blake Alexander and his crew lead the final attempt to bring back good news. Meanwhile back on Earth, Micah Sanderson evades assassins, and tries to work out who he can trust as he struggles in a race against time to unravel the Eden Paradox.

Extract…

Why I wrote the Eden Paradox

I’ve always loved Science Fiction. When I moved to Paris, I joined a writers group as a way to meet people and make friends. I got caught up in a short story which featured a four-person crew landing on Eden, the first habitable planet we could get to, and managing to upset an indigenous alien species they didn’t even know was there, and promptly getting killed in the process. I took it to a workshop in Paris, run by Michael C Curtis (fiction editor of Atlantic Fiction). Most of the twelve participants hated the story with a vengeance, e.g. this is the worst first line ever written. Michael noted that although they hated the story, they talked about the characters as if they were real people they knew. Keep the characters, he said, and change the story. So that’s what I did.

I read up on Fermi’s paradox – why, if there are logically many habitable planets in the galaxy, haven’t we encountered serious evidence of extra-terrestrial visitors? There are several obvious answers – the galaxy is really vast, so nobody’s found us yet; they found us but we’re not interesting; the galaxy is very old, and civilisations may have come and gone and we might be in a ‘dead patch’; etc. So, to me, there were four questions framing my story:

1. Why haven’t we met alien life yet?
2. When we do, will aliens be friendly or hostile?
3. Will they be smarter than us?
4. Will we survive the experience?

I figured, what if there is civilisation, but it is very far away. What are the chances they are friendly? And if they’re not friendly, could we puny humans do them any damage? Well, yes, I thought, because the laws of physics suggest that nuclear weapons and possibly nanotech invasion would be nasty for most (corporeal) organisms, no matter how far advanced. So, how would they avoid these defences if they wanted to invade? Inside help, I thought, and there I had the makings of a story which has ended up a trilogy in four parts (okay, so it is a tetralogy, or quadrology if you prefer).

As I worked on it, and particularly as I got into the second book, I got more and more interested in alien intelligence, how different and more advanced it could be – not easy to conceptualise, obviously, but worth some effort. Why would it be more advanced? Well, if you think about galactic timescales and travelling distances, and times for any alien society to rise, mature, stagnate and fall, chances are good that there will be species some millions of years ahead of us on the evolutionary scale. So, Star Trek, where humans are pretty much top dog, is a nice idea, but, statistically speaking, unlikely.

The Eden Saga isn’t just about aliens and space ships; far from it. It’s about humanity, and what could happen if we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a far superior civilisation – would we cope? Could we adapt fast enough? To me these are important questions, because the answers reveal things about ourselves, and because one day, as we see further into the galaxy, we’ll find something, or more likely something will find us. Then it won’t be fiction anymore. I believe we should think ahead…

So, the answers to the four questions, according to the series, are:

1. We already have, a long time ago, and they’re due back
2. Mainly hostile or at best utilitarian; altruism is not that common an alien value
3. Mostly, some by a long way
4. Well, for this one, you have to read the series…

In the first book, the Eden Paradox, we find out that aliens visited us a thousand years ago, and are coming back, and that they left one or two behind to mind the store. The fate of humanity rests in the hands of two men, Micah on Earth, and Blake on Eden, the nearest habitable world, but they only have a short time to figure it all out before the aliens arrive.

People have said The Eden Paradox is not like normal science fiction, that it is more like a thriller set in the near future. Personally, I hope it remains fiction for a very long time, and that we can hide under the galactic radar for another few centuries before advanced aliens come a-knocking.

Book links…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13054426-the-eden-paradox?ac=1&from_search=true
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0982369840/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Author links:

Website: http://www.barrykirwan.com
Blog: blog.barrykirwan.com
Twitter: @Eden_paradox
Facebook: https://facebook.com/EdenParadox

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: And A Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills {Excerpt}

Today I have an excerpt for the book And A Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills hosted by Neverland Book Tours. 

Blurb…

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

Daisy, bless her, thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.
Excerpt…

They were supposed to be saving up for a place of their own (owned jointly that is, and not just by Freddie as was the case at the moment), something a little more substantial and not in the middle of hundreds of similar houses. So Freddie kept a close eye on expenditure, though he happily treated himself to the occasional Ralph Lauren sweater, and Daisy never uttered a word. She didn’t feel she could, not when he earned more than double the wage she brought home.

Taking her glass of wine with her, she grabbed the “me” bags and trundled up the stairs, with the intention of stashing her ill-gotten booty in the never-used spare room, and drip-feeding them into the wardrobe, one sneaky item at a time.

But first, she wanted to change into something a little more elasticated. The waistband of her work trousers was digging uncomfortably into her stomach – the result of too many pre-Christmas parties (plus the daily mince pies Joyce brought into work and insisted on everyone eating).

She dropped her parcels on the landing by the door to the spare room, which was always kept firmly closed because there was nothing spare about that room – it was full to bursting with assorted junk, more like the “dump-it-in-and-shut-the-door-quick” room, and went into their bedroom. The state of the bed gave her a brief flash of annoyance and dismay. She’d left earlier than usual this morning, wanting to get as much done as possible before absconding for the rest of the day, leaving Freddie with the duvet pulled up to his chin and his eyes tightly shut. He hadn’t even bothered to straighten the duvet when he’d gotten out of it. And he’d left a couple of glasses on the bedside table, and- 

Hang on…

Daisy picked up one of the glasses, kicking a scatter cushion out of the way, and sniffed at the contents of the glass.

Wine?

Before breakfast?

Was her boyfriend a secret lush?

And what was that smell? The unfamiliar aftershave (if that’s what it was, and not some new cleaning product – Freddie had a habit of buying the latest item on TV guaranteed to make your home smell fresh; he was responsible for the berry and spice plug-in in the living room) mingled with an almost animal aroma. It reminded her of the way their bedroom smelled after a good session in bed. Not that they’d had a good session, or even a not-so-good session, lately. They hadn’t “done it” for a long time, if she was honest. A quick jump in the sack now and again, often over far too quickly, was all she and Freddie had managed in months.

Daisy opened the window to air the room out, then picked up the duvet from the floor and flung it on the bed.

She froze.

Those were not her shoes.

For one thing, they were far too strappy and summery (gold sandals on a wet Wednesday afternoon in Worcester? Really?) for this time of year, and for another, they were huge.

Heart hammering, Daisy placed one of her feet alongside the shoe. Maybe they were hers after all, and Freddie had taken them out of the wardrobe for some reason, though she couldn’t remember having ever bought gold shoes before.

But Daisy was a size five. These had to be a size nine at the very least.

Oh god! Everything fell into place – Freddie’s comprehensive knowledge of the contents of her wardrobe, his insistence on coming with her whenever she went clothes shopping (what man in his right mind wanted to shop for clothes with his wife or girlfriend?) and his “just so” attention to details, like what colour lipstick she had on, or how she wore her hair.

Freddie was a cross dresser. There was no other explanation.

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from Lynsey James author of A Winter’s Wish Come True. 

Blurb…

Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

Guest Post – Sequel Survival Guide

There’s no two ways about it: writing a sequel is hard. You wonder if people will like it as much as your characters’ first story, if the characters are well-liked enough to warrant another part to their journey or if your readers might think it’s overkill.

A Winter’s Wish Come True is a sequel to A Season of Hopes and Dreams and I’ve thought all of the above at least fifty times over. I hope readers are happy to see Cleo and Scott again and that their new adventure is as well-received as the first one was. I learnt a lot doing a direct sequel and decided to put this survival guide together to help other authors who might be in the same boat.

1. Don’t second-guess yourself

This is easier said than done, but if you manage to stop second-guessing yourself, writing your sequel is a lot easier! If you feel that your characters have another part to their story, go ahead and write it. After I finished A Season of Hopes and Dreams, Cleo and Scott just wouldn’t leave me alone and I felt like I had to tell the second part of their journey as a couple. It’s only natural to wonder if people want to have your characters back for another story, but if you really feel passionate about the sequel’s subject, that’ll come over in the writing and transfer to the reader.

2. Have the original story open on your laptop

I learned this the hard way. Keeping a file of the original story open on your laptop is absolutely crucial, even if it’s just for little details! I couldn’t remember the surname I gave a character in A Season of Hopes and Dreams and it drove me crazy until I remembered I had the story on my laptop for reference. From then on, I kept it open and used it to check parts of the first story that I was bringing into this one.

3. Have fun

This is a really important one, and one that can be really easy to forget about. For as hard as sequels can be to do, just have fun with it. You’ve already got a great set of characters that readers love and you get to spend even more time with them! As I said above, it’s really natural to worry about doing the first story justice, but I’m here to tell you you’ve got this. These are your characters and you’re going to tell a great second story with them. So go for it and don’t hold back!

About Lynsey…

 Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can purchase a copy of A Winter’sWish Come True here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: The Lido Girls by Allie Burns {Excerpt}

Today I have a Excerpt from The Lido Girls by Allie Burns.

Blurb…

Escape to the inter-war years in this emotional story where opportunity can be found at the pool-side in your local lido… Perfect for fans of Pam Evans and Gill Paul 

Change is in the air…

London, 1930s: 

Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.

But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?

Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart.

Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!
Excerpt…

They followed the chattering girls through to the Grand Hall. The hairs on her arms stood tall again. The sweeping latticed glass ceiling, way above them in the heavens, was both a hothouse that at once amplified the chatter of two and a half thousand excited women, while also bringing them closer to the serenity of the clouds above on this grey April day.

She threaded an arm through Delphi’s and they smiled at one another, sharing the thrill of the moment, the tingle in the air.

A troop of women brushed past them as they marched up and down behind banners from their home towns or counties; first Portsmouth went by, then Yorkshire was followed by a rowdy group from Yeovil. On either side of the central concourse – the same dimensions as a swimming pool, though broader and longer than anything she’d ever seen – were steep-sided seats for the spectators: the children, sisters, brothers and husbands of the women demonstrating today.

‘I want to be near the front,’ Delphi said, ‘as close to Prunella as possible.’

Natalie held back, noticing the flashbulbs coming from the front. Prunella had been the main topic of many of Delphi’s letters, but they had to be practical and not get too close. They’d both told lies so they could be there today. It would do neither of them any good to find themselves pictured in the press, nor would it help Delphi’s career prospects if she had a sleeping fit right at the foot of the stage.

Delphi gave up on pushing through when an instruction came for them to sit down. They noisily lowered to the cool concrete floor and sat cross-legged. Delphi and Natalie squeezed into a row in the midst of a group of Scots wearing tartan ribbons on their shoulders, about half a dozen lines from the very front. They had an excellent view of the stage and the three-piece jazz band, but were safe from the photographers, and hidden from view should Delphi take a turn.

Natalie lifted her head and looked all the way behind her at the rows and rows of ladies, all in matching white shirts and black shorts. All with their hair set in waves.

For all their uniformity, the women inside the outfits were much more of a mixture than she’d expected. At her college there was a definite sort of girl who thrived there – she’d been one herself – usually wealthy, or as in her case, with a father in a respectable profession.

These ladies weren’t of one sort at all. Some were their age – surplus women as the press liked to label them, women like she and Delphi, in their thirties, still single and not much hope of that ever changing. The loss of so many men in the war had seen to that. Not that she’d ever give up the hope of finding a husband. Others around them wore more lines about the eyes, and had rounder hips. War widows, no doubt.

All of them, whatever their age or circumstance, had come more out of the need for company than exercise and so for that reason she should fit right in, but still she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was wrong to have come.

You can  purchase a copy of The Lido Girls here.

Thanks for reading and thank you to Jenny at Neverland Book Tours for putting together another fab tour.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: The Forgotton Room by Ann Troup


Blurb…

Can the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.

Review…

I was really intrigued by the blurb of this book. I love a good thriller. The story didn’t take long to get into the more ‘thriller’ aspect and you got the vibe there was a lot more going on early on. 

Maura was likeable enough and I could certainly sympathise with her but I have to admit I didn’t seem to gel with her. I don’t know if it’s because I felt in some ways I was coming into a story that had already started.

I enjoyed the story, there were a lot of twists and turns and I didn’t see the murderer coming at all. However, the pacing really got me. I think it was probably just me but I felt like the story went on forever. So much had happened that I felt it dragged on a bit. I hit 75% and couldn’t believe I still had so much more to go. That been said I would recommend it. Ann definitely has a great flare for this sort of genre. The book was enjoyable and unpredictable. 

I would rate The Forgotton Room 4/5 stars. Despite my pacing issues the book has everything you would want from a great thriller. 

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x 

Book Tour: The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes {Guest Post}

Blurb…

Love happens when you least expect it…

Jodi is panicking. It’s only weeks until her little village in Devon holds its first ever festival and everything is falling apart.

Desperate to avoid disaster, she brings in notorious party planner Christian to save the day. Although she wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous he would be!

Men are off the cards for Jody and surely Christian is the last man she would ever date? But with tensions rising – along with the bunting and home-made scones – she’s about to find out…

Guest Post…

The Power of Procrastination

It’s safe to say before giving birth and changing jobs my whole working life had been deadline driven. My career as a radio copywriter was filled with daily, heck, hourly deadlines. From when a script must be written by, to when it needed to be approved by, to when it needed to be recorded by, to when the audio needed to be approved by the client for it to go to air. And it wasn’t a case of one client a day, we’re talking multiple clients, multiple account managers, multiple demands to have stuff done yesterday. I thrived on it. Procrastination was a dirty word. It meant not getting stuff done. And stuff needed to be done.

Fast forward five years and how times have changed. Since becoming an author I’ve become quite the procrastinator. You see there are deadlines, but they’re not the kind that require you to plan your day out in order to meet them. It’s more… if I write just over one thousand words a day I’ll finish the book with enough time to go through it two more times to ensure the plot holes are tidied up, the grammar probably won’t kill the copy editor and the spelling is checked.

It leaves a lot of time to twiddle my thumbs, but is that twiddling of thumbs actually procrastination? I think not, for it’s during those times of putting off writing when I get my best ideas.

Recently I was standing in the shower longer than usual and it came to me that my hero in Christmas at the Second Chance Chocolate Shop needed a good emotional reason to hate Christmas, and not the amusing one I’d initially considered going with. I walked out of that shower cleaner and with an idea.

When I’m at the absolute end of a deadline my house turns into a tip. Everything is ignored in order to get the words to my editor. But in the initial stages you could eat off my floors. Toys are in the toy box. Dishes done and put away. And when I do sit down at my laptop it’s with a scene planned in my head. A scene that has played earlier in my head as little bits of toys and cat fur are sucked up the Hoover’s tube.

You’ll also find my legs a touch more toned (which means not really toned at all) during this period, as there’s no better way to procrastinate than by telling yourself you need to go for a walk to avoid writer’s bum. Also known as avoiding the daily word count. So you wander round, get your exercise in, and during that time characters accompany me on my walk and chat to me about their needs, desires and what irritates them about the world. Those walks fill out my characters, make them more real to me. Changing them from strangers into friends.

Procrastination. Not such a dirty word after all. Without it I’d be staring at a blank page.

(PS – previous to writing this, I’d convinced myself I really needed to go down to the fruit and veg shop to buy bananas. And that’s where the idea for this post came from.)

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt {Review}

Today I have a review for the book A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt.

Blurb…

 Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test. 

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

Review…

I have read a few of Kate Hewitt’s books before and always enjoyed them. A Vicarage Christmas was no different.

This book has elements of mental illness in it, specifically social anxiety and I found it interesting to read about. How it affects the characters and the decisions that Anna makes because of it. 

Anna is a really easy to like character, I sympathised with her completely and really felt for the situation she was put in and also the guilt she felt.

Simon is a really good guy and it was really good getting to know him, I’d quite like a book from him perspective which delves into his past. 

There are elements of sadness in the book but every moment is well worth reading. I was left feeling warm and cozy when it was over.

Kate has such a smooth writing flow that you can easily get through chapters and not even notice. 

I would rate this 4 stars and highly recommend it for anyone wanting a lovely Christmas read.

You can grab your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x