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The Little Bakery On Rosemary Lane Tour – Extract

The Little Bakery On Rosemary LaneToday on the book tour for the second book in Ellen Berry’s Rosemary Lane series, called ‘The Little Bakery On Rosemary Lane’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the story, taken from chapter 9.

So, what’s your line of business?’ Tommy was asking now.

‘I’m a photographer,’ Sean explained.

‘Oh, right. Weddings, portraits, that kind of thing?’

‘Well, I’m more kind of—’

‘Would you do one of our Jessica? She’s a right little character – just turned eighteen months. Me and my girlfriend, we’d love a proper picture of her to have framed for the living room.’

‘Er, that’s not quite my—’

‘You know – looking cute, sitting on one of those sheepskin rugs?’

Roxanne chuckled to herself as she sensed Sean struggling to remain on his new best mate’s good side. ‘Uh, yeah, I know the kind of pictures you mean, but I’m actually more of a—’

‘She’s just adorable,’ Tommy added fondly. ‘D’you have a card or anything, so I can contact you?’

‘Uh, not on me, no . . .’

‘Aw. Well, I’ve got your number.’

‘I called you on my girlfriend’s phone,’ Sean said quickly.

‘Right. So, will you text me yours, so we can arrange to do the pictures?’

‘Yeah, ’course I will . . .’

No, of course he won’t, Roxanne mused as she sanded off the last of the burnt crust with a Brillo pad. He happens to be a top fashion photographer whose latest campaign for a high-street chain is currently gracing enormous billboards all over Britain. Sean O’Carroll does not photograph babies on fluffy rugs.

Drilling and hammering curtailed their conversation, and once Roxanne had finished cleaning the tray, she found Sean lurking in her living room. ‘Why are you hiding in here?’ she teased him.

‘I’m not hiding,’ he murmured defensively. ‘I’m just letting him get on with the job.’

‘Right. It’s just that, a few moments ago, it sounded as if you were about to arrange a holiday together.’

Sean’s eyebrows shot up. ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’

She laughed, just as Tommy called out to say he’d finished.

‘So that’s it secure,’ he remarked as she inspected his work. Sean had failed to reappear from the living room.

‘Brilliant, thanks so much – and, yes, I’d like to go ahead with the replacement door, please. Could you send me an estimate?’

‘Yeah, no problem.’ He seemed disappointed at having to deal with her now.

You can buy The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The One That Got Away By Annabel Kantaria

The One That Got Away‘The One That Got Away’ is the latest book by Annabel Kantaria.

Everyone has one. An ex you still think about. The one who makes you ask ‘what if’? Fifteen years have passed since Stella and George last saw each other. But something makes Stella click ‘yes’ to the invite to her school reunion. There’s still a spark between them, and although their relationship ended badly, they begin an affair. But once someone gets you back, sometimes they’re never going to let you go again…

This is the first book that I’ve read by Annabel and it was a great introduction to the author.

The story is about first love and first heartbreak as Stella never got over George Worsley when he left her at 18. Unknown to her, he always thought of her even though he married and in her eyes moved on. So when the invite arrives for the high school reunion, they both jump at the chance to see each other and immediately there’s an instant attraction and as much as Stella doesn’t want to, she falls for George and they begin a passionate affair which later becomes a marriage. The pair then decide to leave London and start a new life in the countryside with the intention of starting s family, but things don’t go to plan as George begins to suffer from memory loss as well as troubles with his work.

Cleverly, this story is written from both perspectives and gives us a great insight to the different personalities and their approaches to life. George is a cocky character, he’s used to women falling for him and being the centre of attention, but with Stella, he has to clamber for her attention as she plays aloof with him and doesn’t want to be too keen.

Unbeknown to George, Stella is delighted with George’s return and can finally move on with her life plan. But, she keeps it cool with him, not wanting to appear too keen and also aware that she’s having an affair with a married man.

I loved the dual narratives in the story, they gave great insights into the relationship.

But, as well as that, as George becomes unwell and with his memory loss, we see a once confident man become unsure and vulnerable whilst Stella seems to bloom in their new life. As the story progresses, we begin to see a darker side, as George begins to doubt his own sanity and begins to wonder if his new wife, is the person that he was led to believe.

With short and engaging chapters that really keeps the reader on their toes, ‘The One That Got Away’ is an intriguing tale of love and deceit, that shows that the first love is not always the right love.

You can pre-order The One That Got Away from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 21st September 2017.

The Doll House Book Tour

The Doll House‘The Doll House’ is Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel. Today on the book tour, she answers the question, if her book was adapted for screen, who would play the characters.

This is such a tricky one as anyone who knows me will tell you how bad I am at knowing the names of celebrities! Still, I do have some favourites who I would love to see taking on my characters.

My main protagonist is Corinne, a thirty-something year old woman who is trying to have a baby with her partner Dominic. She’s quite fragile emotionally, reeling from the death of her father, and struggling to cope with life without the one thing she wants – a child of her own. I think the beautiful Felicity Jones would do a great job of capturing Corinne’s emotions – she’s such a captivating actress who has that delicate look which is how I imagine Corinne. I can just see her floating around the art gallery where Corinne works, thinking about her father and wondering how many more rounds of IVF she can go through.
Ashley is Corinne’s sister, a couple of years older than her and very much the older sibling. She lives with her husband James and their two children, Lucy and Benji. First and foremost she’s a mother, but although she loves family life she’s starting to wonder if there’s more for her out there – and she’s worried about where her husband is when he says he’s working late. I can see somebody like Rachel Weisz stepping into this role brilliantly – she was a perfect young Mum in About A Boy (a classic!)

Dominic is Corinne’s boyfriend, a newspaper journalist in London who is incredibly supportive of her but sometimes craves an easier life. He’d be played by someone with a kind face like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who always manages to capture that unassuming look really nicely and convey how much he loves the girl.

I can’t give away too many spoilers here, but I’d like to see Ms de Bonnier played by someone amazing like Helena Bonham Carter – an older character who completely commands the stage and is incredibly versatile. Erin, meanwhile, would be played in an ideal world by a blonde actress, somebody with a vulnerable side such as Carey Mulligan, who has had some wonderful performances that really blew me away.

I feel we need another attractive man in the midst (it’s my imagination, after all) so I’d give Henry Cavill the part of James, Ashely’s husband who may or may not be hiding something from his family…

Now to find a Hollywood budget!

You can buy The Doll House from Amazon.

Keep You Safe By Melissa Hill

Keep You Safe‘Keep You Safe’ is the latest book by Melissa Hill.

Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe. For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn’t prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision. But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?

For those who know Melissa Hill, they would have enjoyed her romantic and fun stories of love and friendship. But, with her first book with HQ, Melissa has gone a little bit darker with her writing and writes about most parents fears, when their child becomes seriously ill.

The story is seen through the eyes of mothers Kate O’Hara and Madeleine Cooper, who’s daughters become ill with measles. The possible consequences that both girls were never given the MMR Booster, a vaccination against various illnesses including measles. As Madeleine’s daughter recovers from the illness, Kate’s becomes worse and it suddenly becomes a situation where her daughter is fighting for her life.

The two women are complete polar opposites. Kate is a single mother after her husband suddenly died. She’s struggling to make ends meet as a single parent, but her daughter Rosie is her priority. Unfortunately, Rosie wasn’t able to get the MMR vaccination as she was allergic to it, so Kate lives in constant fear that her daughter will become ill. Meanwhile, Madeleine is the ultimate yummy mummy, with her outspoken views and popular blogs, she voices her views on parenting, which others may not always agree with, but that doesn’t bother Madeleine. She’s confident and occasionally unorthodox. Like Kate, her daughter Clara was also not vaccinated, but that was because, Madeleine and her husband Greg were worried about the side effects, as some people believed that the vaccine could cause Autism.

Essentially the story is a battle of morals and ethnics. As Clara becomes better, Rosie gets considerably worse and all fingers of blame point towards outspoken Madeleine as they decided not to get their children vaccinated.

It’s heartbreaking to read both mothers sides of the story as they are both in their own types of hell. Kate is praying that her daughter gets better whilst also reluctantly disliking Madeleine for having a healthy daughter. But she is also tortured, that her daughter may possibly never fully recover and the only way, she can pay for her treatment is to take Madeleine and her husband to court.

Whilst, the tables have turned for Madeleine, she is delighted that Clara is safe and well but she is also guilt ridden at the thought of poor Rosie. As well as that she has become a public hate figure for her outspoken opinions on not vaccinating her daughter.

This story is realistically and cleverly written and really does tug at heartstrings. With having both sides of the story with two hugely different personalities, where Kate shies away, Madeleine embraces the spotlight. The story is so vivid in parts, that you really get a clear understanding of the torture that both mothers are going through and at the end of the day, the both share a common ground of just wanting to keep their children safe.

Riveting from the very start, ‘Keep You Safe’ is a completely different story from Melissa. Tackling issues and dilemmas that all parents face and face, this book was an emotional roller coaster I kept me gripped and will most definitely raise a lot of questions in book clubs.

You can pre-order Keep You Safe from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops 21st September 2017.

Allegra Houston’s Writers Tip

Allegra HustonFor the aspiring authors out there, here’s a writers tip from Allegra Houston, author of ‘Say My Name’.

Writing screenplays teaches you a lot about structure, and about getting meaning into the story that’s not spelled out on the page. I think that’s a very useful discipline for all storytellers. I also love ten-minute writing exercises. They don’t give you enough time to think: it’s improv for writers. And that’s where the sparks, the energy, the originality, come from.