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Giveaway – Win Copies Of Paper Hearts And Summer Kisses By Carole Matthews

Paper Hearts And Summer KissesToday on the book tour for Carole Matthews’ new book ‘Paper Hearts And Summer Kisses’, I’ve two copies of this wonderful book to give away to a lucky pair of people.

What the back cover says

Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking. And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down. Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing?

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of this fabulous book, simply answer the following question.

What is the name of Christie’s teenage son?

Leave your answer in the comment box below by Monday 24th April 2017. Good luck!

Want to know my thoughts on ‘Paper Hearts And Summer Kisses’ Click here.

The Secret Of Ivy Garden Book Tour – Extract

The Secrets Of Ivy GardenToday, I’m hosting the book tour for Catherine Ferguson’s new book, ‘The Secrets Of Ivy Garden’ and I’ve an extract from the sweet book. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.

Whenever I think of the Cotswolds, where Ivy lived the last decade of her life, I think of the row of pretty golden stone cottages skirting Appleton village green and the gnarled old oak tree by the cricket pavilion. In my mind, it’s always summer there and the sky is always blue.

But when I step off the train at Stroud – the nearest station to Appleton – I’m faced with a rather different view of the Cotswolds. Storms have been raging all week, causing destruction right across the country, and today appears to be no exception. I peer out of the station entrance at people scurrying for shelter from the steady drizzle and gusty wind.

I can’t afford to hang around. There’s only one bus to Appleton every two hours – and the next one leaves in ten minutes.

Grabbing a firmer hold of my suitcase, I start running for the bus station, dodging passers-by and puddles of rainwater. As long as the bus doesn’t leave early, I should just about make it.

And then it happens.

I round the corner a little too briskly, step to one side to avoid a man with a briefcase, and instead, cannon right into someone else.

Momentarily winded, I register the black habit and white veil the woman is wearing and my heart gives a sickening thud.

Oh God, I just nearly decked a religious person!

But worse is to come.

The nun, who I notice is remarkably tall, stops for a second to regain her balance. But she lists too far to one side and ends up staggering off the pavement into the water-logged gutter.

To say I’m mortified is a vast understatement.

‘I’m so, so sorry!’ I reach out to her, then draw back my hand, just in case she’s taken some kind of vow that forbids any form of physical contact during high winds. ‘God, are you all right?’

Shit, why did I have to say ‘God’?

She’s bending to retrieve her glasses, which mustn’t fit very well because they seem to have gone flying when she over-balanced. Her attempts at picking them up are failing miserably – so, flushed and overcome with guilt, I dive in, swipe them off the ground then rub them clean on my coat before handing them back.

She puts them on, almost stabbing herself in the eye, and that’s when I notice something odd. The glasses are attached to a large, false nose.

She sways and I grab her arm to steady her, wondering what on earth is going on.

‘Seen a bunch of people dressed as monks and nuns?’ she slurs in a voice that’s surprisingly full of gravel and several octaves lower than I was expecting.

‘Disappeared. And it’s my turn to get the beers in.’

Stunned, I shake my head. So not a nun, then. Not female either, come to that.

I glance at my watch.

Bugger!

Thanks to this stag-do buffoon, I’ve now missed the bus to Appleton and there won’t be another one along for at least two hours.

An arm snakes round my waist. ‘Hey, why don’t you come along? Join the pub crawl?’

Actually, how it sounds is Heywhydntcmlongjnpubcrawl? I stare up at his stupid false nose and black-rimmed glasses, the lenses of which are like jam jar bottoms. I’m amazed he can see through them. No wonder he charged right into me.

Like what you read? Then you can buy The Secrets Of Ivy Garden from Amazon

Book News – The Break By Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes

I am absolutely delighted to see that Marian Keyes will be returning to our bookshelves with a new book in September called ‘The Break’.

Not much has been revealed about Marian thirteenth novel, only that it tells the story of a relationship that “everyone thought was forever and which is now in danger of being for never”. The news was announced on The Bookseller website and according to her publisher, Michael Joseph, it is about discovering that you can’t take anyone or anything in life for granted.

“It is Marian Keyes at her hilarious and insightful best,” the publisher said.

Louise Moore, manager director of Michael Joseph, added: “Michael Joseph has the great privilege of publishing Marian’s thirteenth novel, ‘The Break’. It is Marian at her funniest and most insightful; she is a writer who encapsulates perfectly the complications – both painful and wonderful – of love.”

Back in 2016, Marian celebrated 21 years with Penguin Random House since her first novel ‘Watermelon’ was published in 1995.

With no cover to reveal as off yet, ‘The Break’ is most definitely one of the books I will look forward to reading in 2017. Roll on September!

You can pre-order The Break from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September 2017.

The Reunion Book Tour – For The Love Of Cats By Roisin Meaney

Roisin MeaneyToday on the book tour and the publication day for Roisin Meaney’s brand new book, ‘The Reunion’, Roisin talks about her relationship with cats.

Growing up, we always had a cat about the place. This was because of my mother – not because she was a cat lover, more because she had (and still has) a huge mouse phobia. To this day, she can’t even say the word; she spells it out, and only then if she absolutely has to. Even if an m-o-u-s-e appears on the television screen, she’ll shriek as loudly as if one had materialised on the floor in front of her.

So there was always a cat around the place. Not in the house, mind – she’d grown up in a family where houses were for people, and yards and gardens were for animals, so our cat of the moment would roam the garden, and use the shed for rainy days. Of course, we’d sneak it into the house the minute her back was turned, and shoo it out when she was due home. We all loved cats, me especially.

In due course we grew up and moved out. For the first few years I lived in a series of rented houses with various combinations of pals, so a pet of any kind really wasn’t practical. As soon as I bought my first house, a cat was top of my to-get list – but before I could source one (or more), they came to me.

I glanced out of my kitchen window one morning, just a few days after moving in, and there was a beautiful young tabby sitting on the sill, gazing in at me. I opened the back door and she scampered down and away. Undeterred, I left out a saucer of chopped-up sausage, and half an hour later she was back – and she wasn’t alone. Her companion was slightly smaller, and black and white. They made quick work of the sausage, and promptly vanished again.

It took about a week for the tabby to step inside, nearly a month for the black and white, but eventually they both settled in and made themselves at home. I enquired around – they didn’t look like strays – but nobody seemed to know who owned them. I took them to the vet and discovered that they were two spayed females. I kept asking people in the neighbourhood, but no owner was ever found for either of them, and they seemed happy to relocate from wherever they’d come from to my house.

I never named them – it somehow didn’t seem right, when I was pretty sure somebody somewhere had given them names already – but a little neighbour decided to call the tabby Tigger, and visitors to the house christened the black and white Tux. They were great pals, but I assumed not siblings. I enjoyed having them around – I lived alone, and I loved to see them dozing on the couch or sunning themselves on the window-sill as I wrote – and thankfully they didn’t seem too interested in bothering the bird population of the neighbourhood.

They’d been with me for several years when I went to Spain for a week, leaving a brother and my father doing duty in my absence. I’d done this several times before and it had worked a treat – one or other of the cat-sitters would call by the house a couple of times a day and feed and water the pair – but this time things didn’t go according to plan. Tux was knocked down on the road one morning, and buried by my father before I got home.

Tigger and I mourned and then recovered, and a few years later I chanced going away again. This time Tigger disappeared, about three days after my departure. I didn’t worry unduly – she was put out at my absence, and would return, I was sure, when I did.

The Reunion

But she didn’t. I never saw her again. I reasoned that she was old – I couldn’t be certain, but I thought she was about fifteen – and it was her time. I missed her; the house felt too big without her, too silent with no more purring.

It took a year before I was able for more cats. This time I chose them. With a friend’s help I found two ginger siblings, a boy and a girl. They were about seven weeks old, and so cute that I wanted to cuddle them to death. I brought them home (thankfully I managed to resist the cuddling-to-death urge) and immediately they became the bosses. For the first few weeks I was run ragged: it was like having two baby humans to look after. They demanded food, scratched the furniture, launched themselves at me anytime the opportunity presented itself. I would corral them in the kitchen at night (along with their litter tray) and retire, exhausted, to bed.

They were one year old in November. They’re pals (most of the time) but they couldn’t be more different. Fred is king of the cuddles, happiest when he’s having his head scratched or his belly tickled. Ginger comes for cuddles on her terms. He’s solid with a shaggy coat: she’s petite with much softer fur. He’ll eat anything: she’s picky. For the first few months I kept them mostly indoors; now they come and go during the day and night through a cat flap I had installed in the wall of the utility room.

They’re merciless killers. Birds, mice, anything that moves. My neighbour to the rear doesn’t talk to me since they decimated his wild bird population last spring. I’m constantly finding dead creatures in the garden, and occasionally in the utility room. (And sometimes they’re not quite dead; just as well I didn’t inherit my mother’s phobia.)

But I wouldn’t be without them. They keep life interesting.

Gory, but interesting.

You can buy The Reunion from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Giveaway – Happy People Read And Drink Coffee By Agnes Martin-Lugand

Happy People Read And Drink CoffeeToday on the website, I’ve a copy of Agnes Martin-Lugand’s new book, ‘Happy People Read And Drink Coffee’ to give away to one lucky person.

What the back cover says

Diane, owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a cosy coffee shop turned library in Paris, seems to have the perfect life. But when she suddenly loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, her life is overturned and the world as she knows it disappears. Trapped by her memories, Diane closes her shop and retreats from friends and family.

One year later, she moves from Paris to a small town on the Irish coast, determined to heal by rebuilding her life alone, without anyone’s help or pity – until she meets Edward, a handsome and moody Irish photographer. Along windy shores and cobbled streets, Diane falls into a surprising and tumultuous romance. As she works to overcome her painful memories, Diane and Edward’s once-in-a-lifetime connection inspires her to love herself and the world around her with new-found inner strength and happiness.

But will it last when Diane leaves Ireland, and Edward, for good?

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question.

What is Edward’s occuptation?

Leave your answer in the comment box below by Monday 10th April? Good luck.