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Behind Her Back By Jane Lythell

Behind Her Back‘Behind Her Back’ is the latest book by Jane Lythell.

Liz Lyon is a television producer and busy single mum to a teenage daughter. She works at StoryWorld, the UK’s favourite morning show. As both confidante and team leader, she is the person tasked with controlling the conflicts and tantrums that flare up off-air. Having just started dating again, she’s also having to deal with a few conflicts and tantrums at home. Following a blissfully peaceful two-week holiday in Italy, Liz has returned to find a new colleague has joined the station. Lori Kerwell has been brought in to increase the show’s profitability. But Liz is not sure that’s the only thing on Lori’s agenda. As Lori builds her power base with the bosses, Liz finds herself wondering what’s really going on behind her back.

When I was initially sent a copy of ‘Behind Her Back’ I was quite excited to get stuck into the dramatic thriller set within the buzzing and frenzied location of a busy television studio. Plus, I had watched the successful BBC drama ‘The Replacement’ and thought the book would be similar, but infact they weren’t.

In this book, we meet Liz Lyon, a single mother and television producer. When she returns from her holiday, she meets a new member of staff, a quiet, determined woman called Lori who has been brought on to increase the show’s income. But it seems that the two women can’t get on, regularly at each other’s throats, Liz can’t relax when Lori is about especially when her own job is in jeopardy.

I started reading this book one day and finished it in about three sittings. The story is seen solely through Liz’s narrative, so it is quite easy reading.

Liz doesn’t have an easy life, with her daughter going through the teenage equivalent of the terrible twos and plenty of drama on the daytime sofa, her life is far from plain sailing, but when Lori starts working at the show, Liz’s life gets even complicated.

Not only, does she have to deal with the unpredictability of a new colleague, Liz has to deal with the return of a popular television presenter who is returning from maternity leave, but she is returning with demands as she wants to maintain her role as queen of the sofa.

For a quiet life, Liz tolerates these demands but for others this is seen as favouritism and causes a lot of tension within the company.

For some part of the story, I felt sympathy for Lori instead of Liz. I felt that she wasn’t properly introduced to the team and for the majority of her time in the story, she was alone. Granted, she didn’t seem to be the nicest of a person, but infact neither did Liz. I think they were both quite similar in personalities and this is how they clashed.

I enjoyed this book, there were plenty of twists and drama in Liz’s life to keep the reader engaged. The only negative that I could find in the story, is that Jane had written a previous book with Liz in it and at times, there were references to things that happened before and I didn’t feel there was a proper description to these parts.

As Jane previously worked in television, she gives a clear impression of the stress and pressure of the industry in this fast paced drama. Filled with unlikable characters and secrets, ‘Behind Her Back’ shows the dark and competitive side of daytime television.

You can buy Behind Her Back from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

A Mother’s Story by Amanda Prowse Wins 2015 eBook Of The Year Award

A Mother's StoryCongratulations to bestselling author, Amanda Prowse who was recently revealed as Sainsbury’s ebook of the Year winner with her book, ‘A Mother’s Story’.

‘A Mother’s Story,’ is a gripping and heart-wrenching novel about a young mother struggling to cope with postnatal depression, has taken home Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand’s third eBook of the Year title.

Since mid-November avid readers and eBook lovers across the country have been voting for their favourite eBooks from an original list of 140 of the year’s biggest titles spanning a range of genres; from crime thrillers to biographies, and literary fiction to women’s fiction.

‘A Mother’s Story’, Prowse’s seventh book in a glittering writing career which only began once she turned 40, topped a prestigious list of successful 2015 titles, including ‘The Lie’ by C.L. Taylor, ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins, ‘Paper Town’s by John Green, and ‘The Final Minute’ by Tina Boyd.

The powerful novel tells the story of Jessica, who despite a loving relationship with her husband Matthew and a supportive family network, struggles to come to terms with the birth of her new child Lilly and fails to get in touch with her maternal instincts. The book tackles the traumatic, and often misunderstood, topic of postnatal depression with incredible detail, while delivering a tactful and though-provoking narrative.

On winning the award, Amanda Prowse commented: “I am absolutely over the moon to have won this award. What means the most to me, is that it is voted for by readers and book lovers. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I am delighted that Jessica’s story has resonated with new mums all over the world, and has been chosen among some very worthy competition.”

To celebrate Amanda Prowse’s success, Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand will be offering A Mother’s Story for just 99p. Visit www.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk to find out more.

Three And A Half Heartbeats By Amanda Prowse

Three And A Half Heartbeats’Three And A Half Heartbeats’ is the latest book by Amanda Prowse.

Grace and Tom Penderford are a normal loving married couple, with a comfortable home in Hertfordshire and a beautiful baby girl, Chloe. When Chloe is three years old she has to have her tonsils out. It’s a fairly straight forward operation. When they get her home she’s shivering, she hasn’t peed all day and she’s very quiet. Her parents call the hospital: the nurse suggests they bring her in, if they’re really worried, but her parents don’t want to be melodramatic: it’s probably just a cold. No point wasting hospital time. A few hours later Chloe collapses.

Once again, Amanda has written another book that literally pulls at your heartstrings and leaves the reader an emotional wreck and just like her previous books, Amanda has written about another serious subject and one thing that I was completely unaware of and that is the illness – Sepsis.

The story is seen through the eyes of career driven mother Grace, for years she has longed for a child and finally her wish was fulfilled when Chloe was born, an outspoken and sweet little girl. Grace became the sole breadwinner of the house with her demanding PR job and her husband Tom stayed at home caring for Chloe. The story leads up to the day that Chloe has an operation to remove her tonsils, a standard procedure that worries both parents but they are reassured that everything will be ok. But then Chloe becomes sick after the operation and tragically dies. The sudden death of their little girl pulls the couple apart and Grace goes away to clear her head after a particularly volatile fight. She goes to a remote place in Wales and there she befriends Huw, a man who like her has also suffered a loss. Together they form a mutual bond and are there for each moment during the low times.

I’ve only read three of Amanda’s books and each one has consumed me with each tale, emotional and factual stories with broken characters that made for gripping reading and ‘Three And A Half Heartbeats’ is certainly that.

This book is filled with grief and torment and is hard reading, not only at the scene where Chloe passes away but the scenes after it as Grace and Tom are at loggerheads, blaming each other and this is particularly hard to read. Grace is an interesting character, she is a strong woman, fuelled by her career and she is heartbroken after Chloe’s death. She regrets that she wasn’t there for her daughter more and I have to be honest, when she initially disappeared to have some space, I did find her actions quite selfish but then as time progressed, you could see her get stronger with each passing day.

Not only is the story an emotional rollercoaster, it is also a very informative tale and really pushes home the impact of Sepsis and how little is known about this illness. For me, I found it terrifying that I never heard of it before and just how many lives it claims each year.

A gripping and poignant story, ‘Three And A Half Heartbeats’ is a beautifully written and powerful story that will definitely have you reaching for the tissues and very kindly of Amanda, all proceeds of the book will go to the UK Sepsis Trust.

You can buy Three And A Half Heartbeats from Amazon.

My Five Favourite Cafes From Around The World By Amanda Prowse

Amanda ProwseToday on the book tour for ‘The Christmas Cafe’ which is the latest book by Amanda Prowse, Amanda talks about her five favourite cafes around the world.

What are your five favourite cafes from around the world?

Thank you so much to you and your lovely readers for inviting me as a guest onto your blog. I really do appreciate it. I wanted to base my next book in a café, those magical places that provide a home from home. On any rainy day or if you are feeling a little lonely, is there anything better than stepping through the doors of a warm, welcoming café and being offered a smile and a cuppa? I think not. Café’s the world over are the offices and meeting dens of writers! I often spot lost souls like myself, sipping a coffee with one hand clenched around a pen, scribbling onto a scrap of paper… or indulging in our other favourite pastime of people watching!
 
My top five favourite cafés are;
 
1. Falko in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield Place, Scotland.  It’s quirky, vintage inspired interior is neat and smart, but the one reason to come here is for the bread! It is quite simply divine. I’m a bread fiend and here they have a selection of dark rye breads, Spelt loaves, you name it. A German bakery where the soup is piping hot and the bread crusty – what’s not to love?
 
2. The Reservoir in Surry Hills, Sydney.  An organic foodie lovers paradise! The best breakfast/brunch on the planet! Muesli slathered with thick yoghurt and drizzled with honey, topped with great big dollops of fresh fruit compote – all washed down with really, really good smooth coffee!  Communal bench tables mean you get to meet to chat to strangers, always a good thing.
 
The Christmas Cafe3. Richard Booth’s Café in Hay-on-Wye.  Bookshop and café. Books and cake. Reading and good grub. How else can I put it? I LOVE this place! Homemade lemon drizzle cake, perfectly poured pots of tea, homemade baked beans on toast and more second hand books than anyone can handle – I know right! Bliss!
 
4. Beachcomber Café Woolacombe. The best part of any seaside holiday – the fry up! This place has a stunning view of the beach and the food is of incredible quality, speedily served and reasonably priced!
 
5. Benugo Café Long Acre, Covent Garden.  My go to place when I’m working. I love their big communal space in the basement where I can be sure to get a good few notes scribbled. They make fabulous stuffed sandwiches, my favourite is brie, salad and onion jam – delish!

‘The Christmas Café’ by Amanda Prowse is published on 22nd October (£7.99, Head of Zeus). Amanda Prowse will be appearing at the Southampton’s Festival of Words on Tuesday 27th October, for more information visit http://www.sotospeakfestival.org/amanda-prowse-2/

Amanda Prowse Reveals New Christmas Book – The Christmas Cafe

bThe Christmas Cafe Amanda Prowse is really spoiling us with books after she revealed her third book this year called ‘The Christmas Cafe’

The story of ‘The Christmas Cafe’ is –

Bea does not believe in second chances. A widow at fifty-three, Bea knows she must accept that she will be alone forever. She buries her grief in hard work, and soon the deli she runs in Surry Hills has a reputation for the best carrot cake in Sydney. But then an email from a cafe-owner in Edinburgh leads her to take a trip to Scotland in the depths of winter. There, transported by the twinkling lights and falling snow of a traditional Christmas, Bea is drawn back to a secret past – and a secret love – that she has long ago tried to forget.

With a beautiful cover and synopsis, ‘The Christmas Cafe’ is another book to look forward to this Christmas.

You can pre-order The Christmas Café (No Greater Love) from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd October 2015.