This year on National Book Lovers Day, I currently have two books on the go – one fiction, one non. Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton is a crime novel set in Scotland.
The non-fiction is Marketing Matters by Wendy H Jones. Right now, I need all the help I can get in this department.
In addition to reading, I’m also working on Book 3 in my It Happened series set in the village of Percé on the Gaspé Peninsula of the province of Quebec.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve struggled with writing, but my reading has flourished. According to my 2020 Goodreads challenge, I’m nine books ahead of schedule. That should give you an idea of how I’ve been spending much of my spare time.
Some of these books were already on my TBR (to be read) list having languished on my shelves or Kindle for some time. Others were new purchases that I just “had” to get. Still, others were review copies.
What to read?
There are many genres out there to choose from – crime, romance, erotica, YA, memoirs, creative non-fiction, and the list goes on.
All these main genres have a multitude of sub-genres as well, so there is something out there for everyone’s taste in reading.
I write romance, primarily, although YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS has a psychological thriller element included. It’s probably my darkest work yet. I remember when I was having the computer read it back to me, my husband entered my ‘writing cave’, and the particular segment scared him. I guess I nailed the creepy, unnerving bit.
You can check out all my books on the novels page on my website. Perhaps, you’ll find a little something to your liking.
What format do you prefer to read?
Are you a hardcover fan? Paperback (trade size or mass market)? E-book (kindle, kobo, nook, or other)? Or do you read from a combination of all of the above?
Leave a comment staying what your favourite genre and format is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and preferences.
Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:
Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.
Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!
Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.
Carys reached for Esmé’s hand and gently squeezed it.
‘So, what have you done all morning?’
‘Apart from visit cafes, I’ve walked around the city, stared in shop windows and had a meltdown when I found myself in the crime section at Waterstones…’ Esmé coughed as a wave of nausea lifted to her throat. ‘I felt fine until then. How many times has that store saved my skin with his birthday presents or stocking fillers? Not anymore. Those days are gone.’
‘In that case, I have just the thing,’ announced Carys, releasing Esmé’s hand before rummaging in the plastic bag beneath her chair. ‘Don’t laugh, but this actually helped me through the break-up with Myles.’
‘I thought I helped you get through that.’
Carys raised her head mid-rummage, her corkscrew curls bouncing as she disagreed.
‘Nope! You know nothing about break-ups, Esmé. Seriously, your relationship has been so long-term you haven’t a clue. But this…’ Carys lifted a pink boxed object onto the table top. ‘This might help.’
‘What the hell?’ said Esmé, staring at the advent calendar styled object with its tiny perforated doors.
‘It’s 100 per cent tack and it only cost a fiver but—’
‘Hear me out, Esmé… it’s worth a laugh if nothing else.’
‘Yeah, sure,’ said Esmé, lifting the calendar to read the blurb on the reverse.
Want a sassy new way to overcome a break-up? Or simply an opportunity to focus on your life? The Single Girl’s Calendar is made for you! Behind every door is a task that will help you focus on you, and you only! A whole month of pampering, mindfulness activities, caring and sharing ideas which in just four short weeks will have you feeling on top of the world! An insightful way to put a spring back into your step as a strong, independent woman!
Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Anything could happen when you spend summer in San Remo …
Running her busy concierge service usually keeps Cassie Travers fully occupied. But when a new client offers her the strangest commission she’s ever handled she suddenly finds herself on the cusp of an Italian adventure, with a man she thought she would never see again.
Jake McQuire has returned from the States to his family-run detective agency. When old flame Cassie appears in need of help with her mysterious client, who better than Jake to step in?
Events take the pair across Europe to a luxurious villa on the Italian Riviera. There, Cassie finds that the mystery she pursues pales into insignificance, when compared to another discovery made along the way …
Evonne Wareham was born in Barry on the South Wales coast, but spent most of her working life in London. Now home again in Wales she is studying for a PhD in History and writing romance. She was a finalist in two reality writing contests in the United States and had a great time, even if she didn’t win. When not studying or writing, she loves to travel, go to the theatre, walk on the beach and sleep. She has won and been nominated for awards for her romantic suspense novels on both sides of the Atlantic, but Summer in San Remo is something different – a romantic comedy with a light dusting of crime – which is a change of pace from writing the dark scary stuff. She is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means she gets to go to twice as many literary parties.
Life isn’t working out quite as Gemma had planned. Her breakthrough job turns out to involve writing clickbait articles about cats. Her boyfriend Jack is off travelling the world with his glamorous BFF and her mum’s social life puts Gemma’s own to shame.
Then, after a late-night online rant, Gemma’s YouTube channel goes viral and everything changes.
Suddenly, she’s living the dream – only it’s not turning out entirely as she imagined.
Gemma realises she’ll have to choose between fame, real love and being true to herself – because she can’t have it all. Or can she?
Sophie Ranald is the youngest of five sisters. She was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa until an acute case of itchy feet brought her to London in her mid-20s. As an editor for a customer publishing agency, Sophie developed her fiction-writing skills describing holidays to places she’d never visited. In 2011, she decided to disregard all the good advice given to aspiring novelists and attempt to write full-time. After one false start, It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?) seemed to write itself. Her second, third and fourth novels followed, and a fifth is due for release in Spring 2017. Sophie also writes for magazines and online about food, fashion and running. She lives in south-east London with her amazing partner Hopi and Purrs, their adorable little cat.
Romantic comedy author, Caroline James has written an entertaining novella with a Christmas feel Set in the Australian jungle, the book has been described as ‘entertaining and funny, a real feel-good read’ and fans of, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me out of Here are sure to enjoy it.
Handsome young chef, Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper his fiancée Poppy Dunlop, has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep into the jungle, with a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model, Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy. Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King? Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away…
“He’s doing what?” Hattie said. She had a mouthful of shortbread and a mug of coffee in her hand and stopped in her tracks as she watched Jo stare at her mobile phone.
“Zach’s going into the jungle. He’s a contestant on Jungle Survival.”
“Oh my.” Hattie smiled and wiped a spray of crumbs off her chest.
“He’s at the airport with Bob; they’re about to board a plane.”
“Well I never.” Hattie put her mug on the desk and stared at her friend. “How do you feel about that?”
“It might do him good.”
“Fancy a bracer?”
Cradling mugs of coffee, laced with a good slug of brandy, Jo and Hattie sat in the conservatory and looked out at the garden beyond.
“It doesn’t seem five minutes since he was a little boy running all over this lawn with his brother,” Jo said as she stared thoughtfully across the neatly manicured grass.
“And now he’s running off to Australia.”
In the distance, a group of guests appeared from the meadow, where a clairvoyance course was being run in an old gypsy caravan. Originally horse-drawn, the caravan had been John’s pride and joy, brightly painted with little wooden steps. It was a perfect setting for an intimate group. Boomerville hosted many courses for residents to enjoy and it was Jo’s hope that a stay at the hotel would inspire middle-aged boomers and set them up with new and inspiring skills to use in their later years.
“Another successful event,” Hattie said as she watched the beatific expressions of the participants as they drifted down the garden, confident that the spirits of their dead granny and Rover, the family pet, were beside them, whispering and woofing encouraging words from beyond.
“I wish I could see into Zach’s future,” Jo replied. “I hope he’s not making a terrible mistake.”
“Well, if he is, he’s picked the right place to make it. That show’s watched by millions. Perhaps we should run something similar here?” Hattie closed her eyes and began to plan out a jungle camp, set in the meadow. “The old ‘uns would love it! Prancing about like Bear Grylls, cooking over an open fire, sleeping under the stars. It has ‘winner’ all over it.”
“It has mass suicide all over it,” Jo replied. “Hyperthermia and food poisoning.”
“Think of the low overheads. We could bring Wonder Boy in to teach them how to skin a rabbit or two, a bit of camp-fire bonhomie and all that stuff.”
“Hattie, will you please be serious. My son is currently on his way to the other side of the world, where he’ll be exposed to any amount of danger; he’s emotionally vulnerable and I’m worried about him.”
Hattie sat up and opened her eyes.
“Oh, get a grip,” she said. “Can you imagine what he’s getting paid for this stint? How can he possibly go wrong? They’ll have him stripped down to his six-pack before the opening credits have run. He won’t even need to open his mouth and the phone lines will be pulsating as fast as every female viewer’s heart. Your Zach has made his finest career move yet.” Hattie reached for Jo’s empty mug. “Get that grumpy expression off yer face and let’s send him good luck wishes for his arrival in Aus.” She stood and glanced at the group in the garden. “Perhaps we can get that lot to send him a mystical sign…”
As Jo watched Hattie walk away, she felt cross. She knew that Hattie was probably right but Jo had a niggling feeling that Zach’s trip wasn’t going to run as smoothly or as successfully as everyone expected. A mother had an instinct about her offspring, but in this case, Jo hoped that her instincts would be proved wrong.
Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Meshot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’ Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me, an Amazon best-seller, was a Top Ten Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” Her next novel, Boomerville will be published spring 2017.
Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. As a media agent, Caroline represented many well-known celebrity chefs and her TV script, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity Chef? was runner up at the Winchester Writers Festival 2016.
She has published short stories and is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. She is a founder member of The Cheshirati and is available for inspiring and entertaining talks on anything related to the hospitality and publishing industry.
Laura loves it when Tom takes her for a late night tango around the kitchen after their friends have gone home and they’re avoiding the washing up. She can’t dance but who cares when no one is watching?
All that changes when Tom arrives on the doorstep with Carly, a professional dancer, and announces he’s offered her the spare room to rent while she performs in a show that Tom is directing.
An outraged Laura doesn’t feel like dancing with Tom anymore but Carly does. It only takes two to tango, and given Tom’s history who knows where it could end? Will Laura be the one left watching from the sidelines whilst Carly waltzes off with her husband’s heart?
COUPLES WHO DANCE TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER – OR DO THEY?
Tracy Bloom was born quite a while ago, is average to short in height, buys clothes based on their ability to hide stuff rather than show stuff, has chemically enhanced hair and wishes she had kept her braces in longer as a teenager. But apart from that she is really happy to try and describe herself!
Tracy has always liked to say it how it is in her writing, right from when she began her first novel NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY nearly ten years ago. Her insight and wit has led her to be a number one bestseller, published in over a dozen countries and twice winner of the Love Stories Awards for Best Author Published Romance.
Story synopsis: Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. In her attempts to get un-cursed, she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, reveals one or two unrests in her own past, and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm… that would be a witch doctor, right…?
“Just the right sprinkling of romance and humour.” Brook Cottage Books
“A very enjoyable and clever plot. Different, fresh and enjoyable.” Jenny in Neverland
“I couldn’t help but like Nola even though at times she is a proper diva.” Comet Babe’s Books
“I love all the quirky characters in the story and just the pure madness and fun of it all!” Books4U
“A nice balance of humour, sweet romance, morals and a spooky side!” The Little Reader Library
“A Five Star Read – I really enjoyed the light-hearted tone.” Love Reading Love Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had read this book before when it was three separate novellas written under the author’s own name, Janice Horton. Now it’s back and bigger than better than before with the new title, I Need a Doctor, and her nom de plume, Janey Travis.
I Need a Doctor is a great read with larger than life characters. Even though Nola, whose real name is Nora, is selfish you can’t help but sympathize with her. After all, she believes a voodoo spell has been cast on her.
In an effort to have the spell removed, he takes part in a strange funeral ceremony with the son of the woman, Louis, who allegedly cast the spell on her.
Hilarity ensues when the rest of Louis’s voodoo practising family gets involved.
Voodoo spells, mayhem and mystery are all skilfully woven into the plot which keeps you turning the pages.
I loved it!
ABOUT JANEY TRAVIS
Janey Travis is currently travelling around the world chasing the sun while blogging, tweeting, writing fun-to-read novels and travel magazine features. Look out for her new light-hearted romantic comedy novel I Need a Doctor. You can catch up with her on Twitter: @janey_travis on Facebook: janeytravisbooks.
Janey also writes bestselling romantic adventure fiction as Janice Horton. Find out more at www.janicehorton.co.uk
Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at University, that all changed.
Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she’s heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is.
This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face.
Rosa Temple began writing chick lit and romance novellas out of a love for the old films she watched as a young girl. As a ghost writer, she gained experienced writing romantic novellas both sweet and on the slightly more steamy side. A passion to write self penned novellas in this genre, as opposed to being a ghost writer, gave rise to the completion of Sleeping With Your Best Friend and the soon to be published novel, Natalie’s Getting Married.
Rosa Temple is a Londoner and is married with two sons. She is a reluctant keep fit fanatic and doer of housework and insists that writing keeps her away from such strenuous tasks. Drinking herbal tea and munching biscuits helps her create characters and story lines.
To find out more about Rosa and to catch up on all her musings please join her here on Rosa Temple Writes…
Published by Ramjam Publishing Company
February 12th 2016
Women’s Romantic Fiction
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-9573782-8-5
ISBN Kindle: 978-0-9573782-9-2
A romantic comedy – the sequel to Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me, which shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in the Sun.
Continuing the Coffee, Tea… series, join Jo and Hattie as they romp into their middle years and prove that anything is possible!
Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a top ten finalist at The Write Stuff – London Book Fair 2015. The judge’s comments included, “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.”
Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me, is a a story about friendship and that there is hope in middle years, romance can happen and life really does begin again.
Set in Cumbria, London and beautiful Barbados.
‘The time to be happy is now…’
Jo remembers her late husband’s words but is struggling to face the lonely future that lies ahead. A heartbroken widow, the love of her life, husband Romany John, has died suddenly and Jo finds herself alone with ghostly memories at Kirkton House – a Cumbrian Manor that until recently, she ran as a thriving hotel. Her two sons have moved away; Jimmy to run a bar in Barbados and Zach, to London to pursue a career as a celebrity chef. Middle-age and widowhood loom frighteningly and Jo determines to sell up and start again, despite protestations from colourful friend, Hattie and erstwhile admirer Pete Parks. Hattie convinces Jo to postpone any life-changing decisions by enjoying a Caribbean holiday in Barbados and their holiday sets off a course of events that brings mayhem and madness to Jo and her family.
Confused and anxious for her future, can life really begin again for Jo? Is there hope in middle years and can romance happen?
Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad. Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Meshot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’ The manuscript for Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Top Ten Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” Her next novel, Coffee Tea The Boomers & Me will be published autumn 2016.
Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. As a media agent, Caroline represented many well-known celebrity chefs and is currently writing a TV script and accompanying book about the life of a well-known chef. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA and The Society of Authors. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. When she’s not running her hospitality business and writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.
Katherine Dale lives her life according to her daily horoscope forecast. Having recently hit forty, Katherine is living with her partner, James Kingman, and their delightful little six-month-old daughter, Leyla. James is an up-and-coming name in astrology and that’s how they met. At a party to celebrate the publication of Katherine’s first novel, James was about to propose when Katherine announced the news that she was expecting a baby. ‘Ask me later, when I can fit into my dream dress’ she’d told him.
Wind forward thirteen months and while there is an engagement ring on Katherine’s finger, James still can’t mention the ‘m’ word. Leyla suffers from colic and won’t settle into any semblance of a routine. The lack of sleep is taking its toll on them all. James is at his wits’ end trying to cope with his increasing workload, while handling a hormonal woman who feels like an abject failure. And then there’s his boss, who has designs – on him!
With feline help from No. 4, plus a little timely advice from old postman Tom and neighbour Ed, can James and Katherine’s love for each other survive all of the challenges that life is throwing at them? Will there ever be time to plan that dream wedding?
This sequel can be read as a standalone novel.
ABOUT LINN B HALTON
Bristol-born Linn B. Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her husband and feline with ‘catitude’- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:
“From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that’s love of life, a partner, or the things I’m passionate about.
My stories are about love, life and real relationships – but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there’s a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding in the subject has grown, it is now such a part of my life that it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it’s wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder ‘What if?’
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that’s something rather special and for which I’m very grateful.”
Love, life and beyond… but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!
Linn is published by Choc Lit, HarperImpulse, Endeavour Press and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is also the managing editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.