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Lisa Jewell Talks About My Independent Bookshop

My Independent Bookshop

On a recent adventure to London, I was fortunate to meet one of my favourite authors, Lisa Jewell and got the opportunity to talk to her about her involvement in the exciting new venture, My Independent Bookshop. Lisa was one of the first authors to be involved with the project and here’s what she had to say about it.

Lisa Jewell ©Jascha“I was having breakfast with my publishers to celebrate our new contract and Najma [Lisa's publicist] mentioned that they were about to launch a new on line bookshop; a virtual translation of that moment in all readers’ lives where someone says they’ve read this amazing book, that you must read it and the handing over of it. I do this with my sister, I turn up with a pile of books and then she gives me a pile of books in return. Obviously you can use Twitter or Facebook to shout about great books, but then you are assuming that somebody has seen it and that they make the effort to check it out. So the concept behind my Independent Bookshop was to find a way of recommending incredible books that went much wider than your sister and your circle of friends and followers on Twitter.

“Najma explained that My Independent Bookshop would be like a virtual street of bookshops and I was so enthusiastic about it, I said; “This sounds absolutely wonderful and exactly what the internet needs” and about two days later she sent me an email saying “Since you were so enthusiastic about the idea, would you like to open one of the first shops?”

“So yes, I had to work very very quickly because there wasn’t much time. I had to choose twelve books that I loved, based around a loose theme of domestic thrillers which is obviously the hot genre of the moment and I wrote a little review for each one and then it launched.

“It’s a beautiful bookshop with a stunning selection of handpicked books, that you want everybody to read and to talk about. As an idea, it’s miraculous, as everyone is always looking for recommendations”

My independent Bookshop is an interesting new website which was created by Penguin Random House in collaboration with Hive. Designed entirely for book lovers, the website gives people the opportunity to share their love of books and to create their own bookshop. Simply pick twelve of your favourite books, upload a photograph with a brief review and then voila! You can pass your recommendation onto all your book loving friends.

Founded in 2011, hive proudly support a network of hundreds of independents from across the UK’s book-selling community. Their mission is to help raise the awareness of high-street bookshops amongst internet shoppers, by attracting those people who want to shop locally in their hometown – but who also enjoy the convenience of shopping online. Hive help to bring these two worlds together. With hive, every time you make a purchase, you’re also supporting a local independent bookshop by continuing to do what you love – buying your books and eBooks, online.

Check out the Facebook site www.facebook.com/myindiebookshop to see a wide selection of books, follow @myindiebookshop to see the news of what well-loved authors have chosen and why not consider setting up your own shop to share your some of your favourite books?

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell is out now (Century Hardback £12.99) @lisajewelluk. Check out my review and if you’re quick there’s a special offer on the ebook where you can buy The Third Wife for just £1.99

Handwritten Girl Takes Part In The Thirteen Weddings Book Tour

I am extremely excited to be part of the book tour for the release of Paige Toon’s brand new book, ‘Thirteen Weddings’ Check out Handwritten Girl on Monday 11th August and enjoy a deleted extract from the book itself.

Thirteen Weddings Book Tour

You Had Me At Merlot By Lisa Dickenson

You Had Me At Merlot‘You Had Me At Merlot’is the latest book by Lisa Dickenson and is available in four parts from Amazon.

Elle and Laurie are the last ones standing: they’re single, they’re not having babies any time soon and their weekends aren’t filled with joyful meetings about mortgages. For Elle, this is fine – she likes her independent life, she loves her job, and she has no desire to walk down the aisle anytime soon. But Laurie wants love and she wants it now.

So when Laurie begs Elle to come with her on a singles holiday to a beautiful vineyard in Tuscany, Elle is reluctant. You Had Me at Merlot Holidays promises crisp sunshine, fun and a chance to stir up some sizzling romance. Elle has no intention of swapping her perfectly lovely life for someone else’s idea of her Mr Perfect, but ten days under the Italian sun with her best friend and lashings of wine? How bad could that be?

‘You Had Me At Merlot’ is the first book that I have read by Lisa Dickenson. Her first book ‘The Twelve Dates Of Christmas’ was the winner of the Novelicious Debut Of The Year Award.

‘You Had Me At Merlot’ is an ebook that is being published over four weeks but I was fortunate that I got the full story and was able to enjoy it all at once.

The story is about best friends Elle and Laurie who find themselves of on a singles holiday with a difference at an Italian wine resort sweetly named ‘You Had Me At Merlot’. Elle is purely going along to keep Laurie company, enjoying being single and focusing on her job in PR she has no intention of looking for love but things suddenly change when she catches the attention of Jamie, the owners of the vineyard’s son.

This book is a wonderfully fun story and is the perfect light-hearted tale to accompany you on these warm summer evenings. The story is seen through Elle’s eyes, a driven young woman who is more interested in getting ahead in her busy marketing job than romance, but for the sake of Laurie who is feeling the pressure of everyone around her getting married and having children, she agrees to go to Italy and partake in some wine tasting and fancy food.

The book is filled with fun characters that are all guaranteed to make you giggle, from the slightly lecherous George, who makes a beeline for Elle and decides that he wants to be her sugar daddy much to Elle’s disgust and other guests amusement. The owners of resort are a lovely sweet couple called Sofia and Sebastian, who’s main goal is for all the guests to find love and have full stomaches! Whilst her handsome son Jamie, provides some eye candy for the guests, a quiet character with a fun side that Elle quickly warms to.

‘You Had Me At Merlot’ is a delicious story that had me giggling throughout. Fun from the very beginning, it’s filled with hilarious scenarios, witty one liners and plenty of food and drink for thought! A lovely introduction to a new author for me.

You can buy You Had Me at Merlot: Part 1 from Amazon

What A Girl Wants By Lindsey Kelk

What a Girl Wants‘What A Girl Want’s’ is the latest book by Lindsey Kelk.

Tess Brookes was the girl with a plan. Now she’s the girl with a choice. Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick? For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.

Tess Brooke’s is back with another madcap adventure where life never runs smoothly for the upcoming photographer and chaos seems to follow closely in her path. This time we see Tess off on a whirlwind expedition to Milan with her best friend Amy in tow to work alongside her favourite old man Mr Bennett, who we met in the first book, a free spirited and charismatic man who never fully got over his wife’s Jane’s death and decides to set up a clothing range in her memory and asks for Tess’s help and unknown to Tess, Nick is also coming along on the adventure.

‘What A Girl Wants’ is just as manic as ‘About A Girl’ as Tess continues to find her place in life whilst battling feelings for her best friend who has finally fallen in love with her after she loved him for ten years but now Nick has returned on the scene and Tess is experiencing those lustful feelings that only Nick can cure.

I thought this book was a lot more busier than the first one, that flowed at a more leisurely pace. This one seemed a bit more crazier and I think that was purely down to the constant presence of Tess’s best friend, Amy. A crazy and hyper pixie like character who raced through life and was wonderfully hyper who’s dialogue was a lot more explicit, she never holds back and usually says out loud what everyone else is thinking. Scenes with Tess and Amy were always entertaining reading, as Tess was regularly playing the mother of the pair and trying to control her best friend, I always found these scenes hilarious as the two had a good banter and usually ended up in some delicious situation that you couldn’t help but laugh at.

The book also sees the return of the two beautiful men Charlie and Nick, stuck at a crossroads, Tess doesn’t know what she wants and doesn’t want to see anyone get hurt including herself as she battles her emotions and tries to figure out what she wants in life.

With Lindsey’s unique snappy style of writing, her sharp tongue and gorgeous men, ‘What A Girl Wants’ is a tremendously fun story that will have you giggling throughout, set against the backdrop of the cosmopolitan city of Milan, we join Tess as she continues on her life journey with her friends and her camera where there is never a dull moment and always a handsome man to be found.

You can buy What a Girl Wants from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Jane Green Releases New Book – Saving Grace

Saving GraceAs a fan of Jane Green, I’m delighted to see that she is releasing a new book in September called ‘Saving Grace’

The story of ‘Saving Grace’ is –

Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State.

Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home – and her marriage – by this ambitious younger woman.

Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?

Loving the sound of this book particularly the dark element to it.

You can pre-order Saving Grace from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 25th September 2014.