Skip to content

Somewhere Beyond The Sea By Miranda Dickinson

Somewhere Beyond The Sea By‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’ is the latest book by Miranda Dickinson.

Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes. Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope. Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it. Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

For those who enjoy Miranda Dickinson, you will be familiar with warm hearted and magical story telling that is riddled with charm and love throughout and ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’ is no different’

Seen from the narrative of Seren and Jack, we meet two strangers who are destined to be together. Seren is struggling with her dad’s business and has become the unlikely lead in the campaign of demolishing a special site that has been there for years. A significant landmark belonging to a female astronomer called Elinor Carne. Meanwhile Jack is trying to make to make ends meet and provide for his little girl even if he it means he becomes the enemy of the town.

Unbeknownst to the pair of them, even though they are enemies in real life, during the late night and early morning they are friends are they both create sea-glass stars, leaving a little bit of magic for each other.

This is truly a charming story that will really tug at the reader’s heartstrings. Both characters are tortured and sweet souls, both wanting to make good for those around them and keep others happy whilst putting their own happiness at stake. Seren is a kind woman with a creative streak but stuck in a rut whilst she tries to save her deceased father’s business. Having never really recovered from his sudden death, she finds herself guilt ridden to save the failing business. Jack is a handsome, single father who’s priority is his little girl, an outspoken little girl who believes in the magic of mermaids.

Sweetly written with heartwarming characters, ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’ is a captivating story that is fillers with magic and enchantment throughout.

You can buy Somewhere Beyond the Sea from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Holding Out For A Hero By Victoria Van Tiem

Holding Out For A Hero‘Holding Out For A Hero’ is the latest book by Victoria Van Tiem.

Libby London fell in love with the eighties, came of age in the nineties, and now the twenty-first century is baffling her. Her New York City style is more, erm, vintage tragedy than retro babe, and her penchant for All Things Eighties might just be what’s holding her back in matters of life and love. At least that’s what her well-meaning friends think. They’ve staged a #80sIntervention in an effort to bring Libby bang up to date. What with her dreaded birthday party, friends’ madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her vintage shop, Libby’s nearing breaking point! Will she ever be able to move on when the one she loves keeps her in the past?

’Holding Out For A Hero’ is a deliciously fun and upbeat story about a woman who is stuck in the 80’s.

Our leading lady, Libby London is in love with everything from the 80’s, from the music, the films and the clothes, she has never moved past that decade, even her shop ‘Pretty in Pink’ named after the film stocks 80’s clothing. And as it’s nearing her birthday, her friends decide that it’s finally time for her to move on with her life and set her up on a series of dates, with characters inspired from 80’s film, ‘The Breakfast Club’. With their #80sintervention, they give Libby a makeover as well as dates with unique characters with interesting results.

The story is off a quite lighthearted element, with Libby going on dates with disastrous consequences, but there is quite a serious side to the story, as Libby might lose her store and as well as that, she is battling issues from her past that has prevented her to move forward.

As the story progresses, it flashes between the present and the 80’s when Libby was at her most happiest with her first boyfriend, Ollie. There is a sense of significant upset in Libby’s life and with her aid of kind psychologist Dr. P, Libby sets out to fix her life, even though it terrifies her.

This story was an interesting one, as our troubled protagonist can’t move forward in life much to her friends despair and is at her most happiest in a ruffled skirt and bangles, she’s strong but also terrified of the future and with her kind heart and sharp tongue, she was more than able to stand up to strong willed pack of friends, who only have her best interests at heart.

As a fan of the 80’s also, I loved the references to the films and music and this book was quite the journey down memory lane. An enjoyable story with tender and poignant moments, ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ was fresh story that helped an afternoon pass by.

You can buy Holding Out for a Hero from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Kirsty Greenwood

Kirsty GreenwoodKirsty Greenwood is the creator and editor in chief of book reviewing website, Novelicious. ‘The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance’ is her second book.

  1. Can you describe what your new book, ‘The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance’ is about.
    I can! It’s about Jessica Beam, a impetuous, modern young woman who moves in with her refined vintage Grandma – a vintage ettiquette writer. There are themes of female friendships and relationships, feminism, fashion and growing up. Also lots of sexy, swoony bits and plenty of funny situations and twists.
  2. To the readers of the website, tell us about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I’ve always been an avid reader, since a young age. I read so much it seemed like a natural progression to write stories of my own. I got into writing seriously after reading romantic comedy novels by authors such as Fiona Walker and Alexandra Potter and thinking that that might be something I could do too!
  3. Who is your favourite literary hero/heroine?
    Ooh, that’s tough! I want to say Lizzy Bennet because, well, she is the best. But I bet everyone says her. She’s just so popular. So I will go for Beatrice from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. What can I say, I like the gobby women.
  4. What’s your favourite book of all time?
    ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. I read it once a year and never get bored. It’s my favourite romantic comedy.
  5. If you weren’t a writer, what do you imagine yourself doing instead? 
    I think something with music. I studied music at college and worked as a singer in the past. I love writing songs and playing the guitar (badly!).
  6. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Authors from Team Novelicious for sure. So Cressida McLaughlin (the first part of her Primrose Terrace series is out on April 30th!), Cesca Major, Debs Carr, Jenni Joyce, Anna Bell and Kay Brooks. I would also ask Novelicious Books authors Rosie Blake, Poppy Dolan and Holly Kingston because they are wonderful and hilarious writers. Ooh, I would ask Lindsey Kelk, Lucy Robinson and Victoria Fox too. They seem like they would be a lot of fun to hang out with.
  7. I find you such an inspiration, as you have created the most successful female fiction website and have now become an established author. What do you think is the secret to your success?
    Thank you! That is really kind of you to say. My secret is that I have a lot of people helping me! My agent and publishers do a lot of work behind the scenes to make what I do so much better. And Novelicious is very much a team effort. Our lovely editor Kerry and the whole team have so much to do with the on-going success of the site. We have very loyal readers and I think they recommend us to their friends and help the site to keep growing, which is always a lovely thing

  8. What piece of advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
    Finish. Finish your first draft. It will suck. That’s okay. But you will get why I’m telling you to finish it when you have finished it. It’s like getting a secret key. It’s magic. Every time someone finishes a first draft an angel gets her wings. Or a child gets a new book. Or something. Just do it. Trust me.
  9. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read. It’s the best training for writing. The second best training for writing is to write. I think studying fiction is also helpful. Read with a critical eye and figure out how the author is taking you on a journey. When you figure that out it helps you to do it too.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which 3 books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    I would bring Olivia Goldsmith’s ‘Wish Upon a Star’ because it is my ultimate comfort read. Is there a novelisation of the Tom Hanks film ‘Cast Away’? Because if there is, I would take that. It would be so meta. I would also bring ‘Les Miserables’ because it is so long and I could build a hut from all of the pages.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A brew. I often find starting to write quite difficult. A good cup of tea or coffee is a nice comfort. It helps warm my brain up and I can gently ease myself into back into the story I’m working on.

Follow Kirsty Greenwood on Twitter Kirsty Greenwood for updates or check out her website at Novelicious

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.

Christmas In The Snow By Karen Swan

Christmas In The Snow‘Christmas In The Snow’ is the latest book by Karen Swan.

In London, the snow is falling and Christmas is just around the corner – but Allegra Fisher barely has time to notice. She’s pitching for the biggest deal of her career and can’t afford to fail. And when she meets attractive stranger, Sam Kemp, on the plane to the meeting, she can’t afford to lose her focus either. She learned to shut off her emotions long ago and only her sister and best friend Isobel knows why. But when Allegra finds herself up against Sam for the bid, their passion quickly turns sour. In Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, a long-lost mountain hut is discovered in the snow after sixty years and the last person expecting to become involved is Allegra – she hasn’t even heard of the woman they found inside. But it soon becomes clear the two women are linked and, as she and Iz travel out to make sense of the mystery, hearts thaw and dark secrets are uncovered, long buried by the snow.

I really enjoy Karen’s books, I always find myself sinking into her large stories of love and intrigue and with ‘Christmas In The Snow’ it was no different.

The story is written in the third person and seen from the perspective of Allegra Fisher, a determined and power driven woman who works in the prominently male populated industry. With just one step away from promotion, she takes her eye of the ball when newcomer Sam Kemp catches her eye and leaves her in boiling water and jobless. Not one to dwell and wallow in self-pity, Allegra seizes the sudden unemployment as an opportunity to visit Zermatt after she receives a strange and unexpected call from the Swiss police wanting her to identify her grandmother. Bemused by this call, Allegra finds herself on a short adventure with her younger sister Isobel, as the two sisters discover that not everything they were lead to believe about their family was entirely true.

This book is one of my favourite Christmas stories of 2014, set against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, it reeked of festivity with hot chocolates, crisp white snow and beautiful handcrafted wooden Advent calendars, it was perfect to curl up with.

I loved the characters in the story, Allegra was an intriguing woman, she has a kind heart and works hard, tending to stay away from relationships. She lives the single life, dressed in designer wear, settling down is the last thing on her mind much to the despair of her younger sister Isobel. A ditzy and fun character who idolises her older sister and wishes she would slow down in life and find a partner. But Allegra is more interested in her career and their mother, who suffers from Alzheimers.

The story is quite glamorous, set in the fast paced business world of London and then off to the Swiss Lap. It takes a new twist with the change of the location, changing the pace of the story as Allegra and Isobel find themselves on this adventure as they find out about their family and Allegra discovers that the man who ruined her career is also in Zermatt and never far from her thoughts.

Similar to fellow British author, Lulu Taylor who’s books are also about empowered glamorous women. Christmas In The Snow’ is an action packed and fast paced story, filled with mystery and handsome men, it’s an an enthralling book about family and love, making it the perfect winter read.

You can buy Christmas in the Snow from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.