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Sophie Kinsella Returns With Christmas Shopaholic

Christmas ShopaholicWonderful news for fans of Sophie Kinsella, particularly of her ‘Shopaholic’ series, as she has announced a new book in the series called ‘Christmas Shopaholic’.

What the back cover says –

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Definitely a book that will be going to the top of the TBR pile!

You can pre-order ‘Christmas Shopaholic’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 17th October 2019.

Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Living My Best Life‘Living My Best Life’ is Claire Frost’s debut novel.

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong. In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters. It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

I adored this book, it was a lovely story to curl up with. I met Claire at a Books and the City event earlier this year and she was warm and bubbly and her personality really shone through in her characters.

After suddenly finding herself single after the end of a ten year relationship, Bell finds questioning her place in life and signs herself up to a photography class where she meets new friends Laura and Ben and finds herself growing in confidence when she becomes the spokesperson for the local community hall. When she befriends local influencer and single mother Millie, the pair of them become strong friends as they deal with the realities of life.

I really liked the characters in this book and their new friendship was a joy to observe. As well as focusing on new beginning of life, the stress of motherhood, this book also concentrates on the negative impact of social media and how much pressure there is put on society for the perfect post and life.

With fantastic characters, adorable children and riddled with humour, this book is cleverly written that really pulls the reader in.

Deliciously heartwarming and fun, ‘Living My Best Life’ is a fantastic debut from Claire Frost. Filled with humour, warmth and relatable characters, this book shows the powerful portrayal of social media and the challenges of starting over.

You can pre-order ”Living My Best Life’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th September 2019.

Jenny Colgan Reveals New Book – The Bookshop On The Shore

The Bookshop On The Shore‘Jenny Colgan is back on our bookshelves in 2019 with a new book called ‘The Bookshops On The Shore’

What the back cover says –

Zoe, a professional child care worker, and single mother to Hari, 4, who has selective mutism, is sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Then her ex sister-in-law suggests she move to Scotland to help run a bookshop…

There her path crosses that of Ramsay Urquart, a widower and antiquarian bookseller, who has a band of difficult children he can’t manage. Can two very damaged people help heal each other?

With a pretty cover and a delicious synposis, this book certainly sounds like a treat!

You can pre-order ‘The Bookshop On The Shore’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 13th June 2019.

Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght

Sarah Breen and Emer Mclysaght. Photo credit Al Higgins

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen are the fabulous writing duo behind the hilarious, Irish novel called ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling. The Novel’. A book that all women can relate to, at some stage in their lives.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    Sarah: Emer and I met studying media in Dublin. We hit it off immediately – I thought she was hilarious from day one – and we started hanging out whenever we could and eventually moved in together. Emer went on to work in radio journalism and I got into magazines so our professional lives never really overlapped, although we always dreamed of working together one day. In 2016 an Irish publishing company approached us about writing a book together and we decided to go for it.

    Emer: Having both worked in Irish media, writing for Irish women, we felt like we would be able to have a go at writing a novel. It’s the kind of thing you dream about when you’re growing up and your favourite subject in school is English and you’re devouring a few books a week.

  2. What made you come up with the concept for the ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’?
    We came up with the character of Aisling one day during a conversation about mascara – we decided whoever keeps the brown mascara industry going is also the person who hangs up signs in the office kitchen begging people to put their mugs in the dishwasher (always typed in comic sans!). She’s that friend who writes “suits you” under pictures of women holding babies on Facebook and knows the Weight Watchers Points in absolutely everything. Our friends soon got into it so Emer made a Facebook page, called Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling, where we could all share our “Aislingisms”. It gained a cult following and now has more than 50,000 members. The novel is based on what happens when Aisling gets sick of waiting for her boyfriend to pop the question.
  3. How do you find it, writing as an duo?
    Sarah: We couldn’t imagine writing any other way! Because we know Aisling so well, and know how she’d react in any situation, it’s easy for me to continue Emer’s thoughts and vice versa. We usually decide what needs to happen in the next few chapters and just go away and fill in the blanks. I’m always HOOTING at Emer’s work.

    Emer: And I’m always in bits at Sarah’s work. I think we compliment each other in our writing. Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling has a mixture of both very funny and very sad moments, and somehow between us we’ve managed to strike the balance just right. It’s like we were always meant to write this book together!

  4. Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling

  5. You have quite a following on your Facebook page, which provides entertainment, solutions and current affairs, how have you found the response to the page?
    We are incredibly proud of the OMGWACA group. It’s crazy to think that what started out as an in-joke about Aisling 10 years ago is now this warm, inclusive community that’s spawned so many real life friendships. It’s really only a matter of time ‘til we have our first OMGWACA wedding!
  6. As pointed out in the book, we all have a bit of an Aisling in ourselves. What defines you as an complete Aisling?
    Sarah: I reckon I’m about 40% Aisling – I religiously collect Boots points, I would never get off the bus without thanking the driver and nothing makes me happier than drying clothes outside on the line (the amount of electricity the dryer uses is shocking!). I think Emer is a bit more Aisling than me – I’ve seen her bring earplugs to a music festival and she will insist on queuing for a flight the minute the gate opens.

    Emer: Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a good night’s sleep at a festival, or an airbed, or a lock for your tent! I would agree that I’m more of an Aisling, maybe 50%. It’s true that I don’t feel at ease until I’m safely in my plane seat and my carry on is safely stowed. I also indicate religiously on roundabouts and would be evangelical about the difference between tea towels and hand towels.

  7. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Sarah: Anything by Marian Keyes – ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ is a favourite of both mine and Emer. The entire works of Adrian Mole – he was SUCH an Aisling. And some kind of survival manual – I’d need to be able to distil my own gin or else I’d just walk into the sea.

    Emer: I hope that Sarah would let me borrow her ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ and her Adrian Mole. I’d also bring the collected tales of ‘Anne of Green Gables’, it was a real childhood favourite. And while we’re at it, a couple of my old Paula Danziger books. I think that reading funny women like her when I was younger really influenced my writing.

  8. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Sarah: Bridget Jones – I love how funny, real and relatable she is. That Aisling has been compared to her is incredibly flattering.

    Emer: Sarah beat me to it with Bridget. I’d also have to mention Adrian Mole again, he’s just the perfect amount of hero with a dash of ridiculousness.

  9. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    Sarah: “The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds.” It’s from ‘Lullaby’ by Leila Slimani. How could you not want to read on?!

    Emer: “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium”, from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I just feel like it’s so loaded. It already gives away so much.

  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    It sounds like a no-brainer, but write the book you’d like to read. If psychological thrillers are your bag, hone your detective skills. Not every book has to be a work of literary genius. Just start writing!
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Sarah: Food. I like to reward myself after every paragraph.

    Emer: I write at a laptop but always have a good old pen and paper beside me for making notes to come back to. It might just be one scribbled word but it will be enough.

  12. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    We are currently writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of Oh My God What a Complete Aisling’, which has been such a joy. We are also putting the finishi’ng touches on the sequel, which is due out in September.

You can follow the ladies on Twitter Sarah Breen and Emer McLysaght for updates. And don’t forget to check out the amazing ‘Oh My God What a Complete Aisling’ Facebook page, which started this whole adventure

You can buy Oh My God What a Complete Aisling from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Million Love Songs Book Tour Playlist

Record Player

On the book tour for Carole Matthews’ delicious new book called ‘Million Love Songs’, I bring you the Spotify playlist that Carole listened to whilst writing the book.

‘Million Love Songs’ is about a young woman called Ruby Brown who finds herself suddenly single for the first time in years. She’s ready to dive into the single world of footloose and fancyfree but it seems that fate has something else in store, as two handsome men catch her eye.

Featuring 21 of the greatest love songs of all time, from the tones of Elvis Presley’s ‘Always On My Mind’ to the quirky ‘Friday I’m In Love’by The Cure, there’s something from everyone to cuddle up to.

Check out the playlist here called Carole Matthews Love Songs

Million Love Songs

When it comes to love songs for me, my top five are:

‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Dire Straits – I always loved the conversational tone of this song and it appears in one of my favourite movies, ‘Empire Records’.
‘She Will Be Loved’ by Mauroon 5 – A sweet song about unattainable love.
‘It Must Have Been Love’ by Roxette – Another great song from the brilliant ‘Pretty Woman’ film about a brief love affair.
‘I Love You Always Forever’ by Donna Lewis – This song was released in 1996 and it’s one song I always turn the radio up to, this song never gets old!
‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepson – A feel good love song that gets everyone up and dancing!

I’m currently reading ‘Million Love Songs’ and I’m already loving joining Ruby Brown on her singleton journey. Stay tuned, my review will be coming soon!

You can buy Million Love Songs from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.