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The Year Of Taking Chances By Lucy Diamond

The Year Of Taking Chances‘The Year Of Taking Chances’ is the latest book by Lucy Diamond.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There’s music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It’s going to be a night to remember.
Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum’s house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who’s keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma’s dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet. But as the following months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home – all the things they’ve taken for granted – are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

It’s been a while since I read a book by Lucy Diamond, so ‘The Year Of Taking Chances’ was a lovely, uplifting return to the author.

The story begins on New Year’s Eve when Gemma, Caitlin and Saffron meet for the first time and over a mutual love for broken resolutions and fortune cookies, they embark on a strong friendship unaware of how much they will rely on each other during the coming year. The story is seen through the perspective of the three ladies, all with their own troubles and worries which does make her quite heartwarming and gripping reading. Gemma’ life is far from perfect, having once dreamt of a life where she would be a famous clothes designer, instead she is housewife, who’s teenage boy is ashamed of her and her once, sweet husband has suffered a terrible accident resulting in him being bed bound and angry. Stressed with no money coming in, Gemma finds herself at her wits end until an unlikely hero comes in the form of Saffron. A busy single PR woman, who has become pregnant a bit later in life. Unsure of what she should do, she travels to Larkmead for some fresh air and hoping to clear her head, unaware that Bunty, one of clients follows her, needy and self centred she feels that the world revolves around her until one day Saffron introduces her to Gemma, who sees one of Gemma’s creations and suddenly everyone wants to be wearing Gemma’s dresses and she is seriously in demand and finally Caitlin has returned to the village to sort out her mum’s house and recover from a messy breakup. She finds solace in Gemma’ s and Saffron’s friendship and finds confidence and creativity with their help and the attention from Harry, the handsome hunk of the village.

One character that I particularly enjoyed was loud and brash Bunty, Saffron’s celebrity client. She added an insection of lightheartedness into the story, as she dealt with cheating exes and regularly came up with crazy ideas to put her back into the spotlight. She was a delight to read!

This story is so sweet and I found it to be the perfect book to curl up with. The three friends are marvellous characters, frivolous, strong and fun, they genuinely made me smile as their friendship developed through the course of the story. As the year goes by, each of the women are faced with their problems and as one person broke down, the other two friends were there to provide comforting words and shoulders to cry on. Faced with trials and tribulations, the three friends pulled together in the face of adversity and in conjunction create a witty and sentimental tale that makes for heartfelt reading.

With a beautifully eye-catching pastel blue cover complemented with a charming narrative and dialogue that flows at a relaxing and intriguing pace, ‘The Year Of Taking Chances’ is a powerful and inspirational story about friendship, following dreams and new beginnings.

You can buy The Year of Taking Chances from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Ali McNamara Reveals New Book – The Little Flower Shop By The Sea

The Little Flower Shop By The SeaAli McNamara is back in 2015 with beautifully illustrated new book, ‘The Little Flower Shop By The Sea’

The story of ‘The Little Flower Shop By The Sea’ is –

Poppy Carmichael, 30, certainly never intended to own a florist. But when she inherits her grandmother’s beloved flower shop on the beautiful Cornish coast, Poppy has no choice but to return to the pretty harbour town of St Felix where she spent much of her childhood.

Returning to St Felix brings back sad memories for Poppy. But when she makes new friends such as local flower grower Jake, a young widowed father of two teenagers, Poppy begins to overcome her fears, and discover for herself what’s so special about this little flower shop by the sea.

I love the sound of this sweet and gentle story.

You can pre-order The Little Flower Shop by the Sea from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 16th July 2015.

Belinda Jones Reveals New Book Covers

'Belinda Jones Book CoversIt’s the new year and with that it’s a new look and that’s exactly what Belinda Jones has done, as she has given her backlist a new look with the help of Serbian designer Jarmila Takač.

Gone are the illustrations and her covers are now replaced with warm and rich photographs of lovely ladies on holiday and to tell you the truth, I love it!

Even three of her books have gotten themselves new names. ‘Summer in Greece’ is ‘Out of the Blue’, ‘Dancing Girls’ is ‘Living La Vida Loca’ and ‘Hollywood Calling’ is now ‘California Dreamers’) but they will have the right names on the ebooks in the UK.

Today, Random House/Arrow and Hodder will be changing over their ebook covers to these by January 21st 2015. To celebrate this, Belinda has kindly offered to give one lucky winner a signed postcard with a California postmark. All you have to do is leave your name in the comment box below and I will reveal the lucky winner on Monday 9th February 2015.

Good luck!

Fiona Gibson Reveals New Book – As Good As It Gets

As Good As It GetsFiona Gibson is returning in 2015 with her book called ‘As Good As It Gets’.

The story of ‘As Good As It Gets’ is –

Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. Their fourteen years of marriage have been rather lovely so far, but things have been a bit odd lately.

With their stunning 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency and Will recently out of a job, Charlotte can’t help but notice that things are changing in their household.

As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on.

So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, Charlotte starts to wonder what might have been…

With one of the prettiest covers of her books to date, ‘As Good As It Gets’ is a book I’m looking forward to having on my bookshelf!

You can pre-order As Good As It Gets? from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 26th February 2015.

Ciara Geraghty Talks About Her New Book – Now That I’ve Found You

Ciara GeraghtyToday, Irish author Ciara Geraghty talks about her fabulous new book ‘Now That I’ve Found You’.

  1. Can you tell us about your new book ‘Now That I’ve Found You’?
    Oh, can I say that it is a book that is so close to my heart. Its main theme is parenting and I can safely say that I am in the trenches of that treacherous theme as we speak – I have a 16 year old, a 13 year old and a 6 year old. It’s a hard job and I never thought I would be one of those parents to consider it a ‘job’. Or ‘Work.’ Oh, but it is! So, so much!! And I know lots of parents but I don’t know many who think they’re doing a brilliant job. We all just seem to be getting by. Limping along. And I think it’s because, well, it’s lots of things. First of all, we make a SOLEUM OATH not to be the parents our parents were. And that’s not to say that our parents were pants. But, we think – idealistically, when the children are faint blue lines along a stick we have just peed on – we will be better. We will be more patient. We will be more empathetic. And there we are, sixteen years later, saying exactly the same things our parents said to us and we cry WHY? WHY? It was all going to be so different…

    Anyway, it’s about parenthood. But – and you’ll be glad to hear, I’m sure – it’s got ups as well as downs….Here’s a snifter:

    The main character is Vinnie Boland, a single father who is struggling to raise his teenage daughter and his young son on his own – with insistent help from his elderly mother. He is doing the best he can but remains convinced he’s falling short. Vinnie’s wife – his childhood sweetheart – left the family over a year before the story begins and some part of Vinnie wishes she would come back, if only so he won’t be the only one his children can blame when they get older and realise what a mess he’s made of things. Then he meets Ellen, a reclusive woman who used to be a doctor, who used to have a life and a burgeoning family of her own. One day, Vinnie has a panic attack while he’s driving Ellen to one of her weekly physiotherapy sessions in his taxi and she gets into the driver’s seat and takes him to hospital. It’s the first time Ellen has driven a car since she was involved in a horrific car accident over a year before. This simple act, getting behind the wheel again, releases something in Ellen. The panic attack – its causes and its consequences – forces Vinnie to stop and think about his life. The pair embark on a cautious friendship.

    The story is about life and how it throws things at you when you think that it should have stopped that carry on. It’s about second chances, and all the chances after that. It’s about how you should grab them. How you should expect the worst. And hope for the best.

  2. The paperback cover of the book is very striking. Do you have much involvement in the design of it and do find yourself judging books by their covers?
    Of course I judge books by their covers!! I am a human person!! But when I know / love the author I will buy their book regardless of the cover. But when it’s someone I don’t know, it’s the look of the cover that will tempt me to lift the book from the shelf and turn it over and read the blurb, then – if I like the blurb – open it and read the first paragraph and then – based on this paltry information – I will buy the book. So yes, it is very important. The cover. Because we are a fickle, fickle brand of mammal and that’s what makes the design people in a publishing house exceptionally important and talented.

    When I first saw the paperback cover for ‘Now That I’ve Found You’, I loved it. It spoke to me of the story that was to come and I think that is the essence of a good cover.  

  3. Now That I've Found You

  4. If ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ was to be adapted for screen. Who do you imagine would play the roles of Vinnie and Ellen?
    Definitely John Cusack for Vinnie. And Ellen? Could we get Cate Blanchett? And she can do a great Irish accent!! (She played ‘Veronica Guerin’ remember?).
     
  5. Do you have a favourite character from the story?
    Of course!! But it’s like if you had a favourite child – You could never tell!!
     
  6. What was your favourite book from 2014?
    ‘How Many Letters In Goodbye’ by Yvonne Cassidy. Yvonne is a friend of mine but this is in no way related to my choice. Yvonne is someone I met at my first visit to the Writers Week in Listowel, Co. Kerry. I was alone at that festival. I was unpublished and had no writing allies, in my life, or at the festival. Yvonne – and her friends Emma McEvoy and Bernie Furlong – took me in like a stray cat. Made me realise that you don’t have to be published to be a writer. You just have to write. I read Yvonne’s first book, ‘The Other Boy’, as a manuscript, on dogeared, tea-stained A4 pages and knew that I would love anything this writer wrote because she made me feel. She made me bawl. She made me laugh. And ‘How Many Letters In Goodbye’ is no different. It takes you, in careful hands, into a world that you might otherwise have never known (a coming-of-age story of a young Irish lesbian in America) and this is what great fiction does – it brings a world, that you don’t know anything about, to life. This is my favourite book from 2014. It should be everyone’s favourite book.
     
  7. And finally Ciara, do you have any exciting new projects coming up on the horizon?
    Oh yes I do, and I’m very excited about it! I’m working on a new novel. The ‘working title’ is ‘This is Now’ and it centres on the lives of five seemingly unrelated characters. There is [what I hope will be] an ‘explosive’ prologue that involves all the characters (one of them dies!!) and then we go back, to particular incidents in each of the characters’ lives that form them, that make them the people they become. I suppose it’s about how events in your life inform on the person that you eventually become. I’ve always wanted to write a novel like this – different characters, interwoven in some way, to produce some type of a narrative arc. Hopefully, this is it!!

Now That I’ve Found You by Ciara Geraghty, out now published by Hodder, £6.99 © Ciara Geraghty 2014

You can buy Now That I’ve Found You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Read more about Ciara Geraghty online or follow her on Twitter @ciarageraghty