Cover Reveal – Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

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Doesn’t this look so festive and inviting??? Victoria’s first book with her new publishers, Hera Books, is available as an ebook from 25th September 2019.

Pre order Coming Home to Glendale Hall from Amazon here

No matter how far you go, home is where the heart is…

Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.

As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.

Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?

Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale – or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?

Sweet Words Book Club

Back in late 2018, I was in the spa at my local leisure centre and got talking with another woman there about books. She’d seen me reading in the spa, whilst lying on the heated loungers and always asked about the book I was engrossed in. One day she suggested I start up a book club. I wasn’t sure about the idea as I don’t know many local people who are into reading. She said she thought a few of her friends might be interested and I should think about it.

After Christmas, I got in touch with her and said we should do it. I asked a neighbour of mine and another friend I knew that loved books and Sami rounded up a few more people. We set up a group on WhatsApp to arrange our first meeting and decided that we would start our discussion reading One Day in December by Josie Silver. We gave ourselves a few weeks to read it and met in a local dessert cafè to talk about the book. 6 of us turned up and I’d printed off some discussion questions that I’d found online, just in case we weren’t that forthcoming with our chat. I wasn’t sure what to expect as none of us had ever been part of a book club before and most of us were strangers.

I didn’t need to worry, as we all hit it off really well and chatted for almost 2 hours about books and how much we enjoyed reading One Day in December. It was the perfect book to start with. Lots to talk about and, even though one of us hadn’t quite reached the end, she didn’t mind us giving spoilers.

Our second book was The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris. When I was talking about the book club to SJ from Simon and Schuster, she very kindly offered to send me some copies of the book for us all to read. We are all so appreciative of that kind gesture and I’m sure if she ever wanted to trek over to this side of London, we’d keep her in gin for the night!

Due to various reasons, there were only three of us able to make it to the March meet, but we had a lively debate about the book and I know the others were disappointed they couldn’t come and share their opinions on the night too.

It’s so nice to talk about books with others. You get recommendations of books, you might find yourself reading something that you wouldn’t usually pick up, you get to eat cake…! If there’s not already a book club in your area, don’t be afraid to start one yourself. You might find your local library will be happy to let you hold it there.

Spring blogger event 2019

I am so lucky to be invited to the blogger events held by Simon and Schuster. The team there are wonderful and throw the best parties! It’s through attending these that I’ve met so many friends who are huge book lovers and the feeling you get talking about a subject you love with someone who understands your passion is something else.

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Now, the cupcakes are amazing-both in appearance and taste. The goody bags are extremely special. This year we’ve been given copies of the upcoming Paige Toon novel and a very early proof of Catherine Issac’s book, which isn’t coming out until 2010! But, the thing I love most about the parties is the opportunity to meet the authors. It’s such a huge privilege to get to speak to writers you admire and ask them questions about the book, or just to chat about everyday life with them. It’s not a formal setting, where you might feel rushed as there’s a long queue of people waiting to talk to them after you. You can just join in with a conversation, or drag them off to a quieter room to sign books (thanks for that, Anstey and Milly!)

So, a massive thank you to SJ and the Books and the City team for a wonderful evening. You have helped open up a whole new world to me and I’ve made some truly special friends through your events.

Cover Reveal – Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain

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Treat yourself to a glorious novel full of food, sunshine, friendship and love

Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within her reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for…

I LOVE the cover for this book! It’s available to pre order from Amazon now and both the paperback and kindle version are released on 30th May.

Poppy’s Recipe for Life paperback

Poppy’s Recipe for Life ebook

My Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2018 books

Back in November 2017, I entered a competition that I spotted on Twitter. It was to win every book featured on the Simon & Schuster’s Books in the City page in 2018. I never thought I’d have a chance of winning this amazing prize, so I was very shocked when I was sat having lunch in the pub and the tweet came through to say I’d won! 

Starting in January of last year, the brown envelopes started to arrive. Mostly containing one book at a time, but sometimes it was 2. Over the year, I received 21 books – a mix of paperbacks and hardbacks – by authors I already loved and a few that were totally new to me. I haven’t had chance to read them all yet, but they are looking rather wonderful on my bookcase and I’ve even had the opportunity to get a few signed. Many thanks to Heidi, Milly and Penny for that!

Huge thanks to Sara-Jade and the Books and the City team for running this competition and Congratulations to the 2018 winner, Amanda Nason. Hope you have some space on your bookshelves!

Books won:

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

The Truths & Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

A Year at Castle Court by Holly Hepburn

Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of Death by M.B. Vincent

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani

Bridesmaids by Jane Costello

The Last Secret of the Deverills by Santa Montefiore

The Forget-me-not Sonata by Santa Montefiore

Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan

The One That Got Away by Helen Warner

Best Practice by Penny Parkes

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson

The Yorkshire Pudding Club by Milly Johnson

The Mother of All Christmasses by Milly Johnson

Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland by Heidi Swain

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

Make or Break by Catherine Bennetto

Last Letter Home by Rachel Hore

The Survivors by Kate Furnivall

 

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Great gifts for book lovers

Ever get people saying to you that they never know what to buy for your birthday or Christmas?

“I know you love reading, but I don’t know what books you already have” is a sentence I hear A LOT. But there are so many great gifts out there for book lovers. These are some of my favourites. I’m sure there’s something to suit every budget, from stocking fillers to denting the credit card extravagant gifts.

Book Worm Red Pin Badge

This cute little pin is only £5.99 from Waterstones and also comes in green.

Book Worm pin from Waterstones

Large tote bag from Amazon. £6.99 delivered. I treated myself to this bag as it made me smile. It’s roomy and is great for all those books you carry to book signings…just me? No?

Read Lots Of Books bag from Amazon

 

Folding Book Light - Vintage Book Colours

This site sells some fabulous items. The book lamps come in various Harry Potter designs as well as The Hobbit and Jungle Book. Design pictured is £44.95

Book lamp from Klevercase

 

I Read Past My Bedtime Mug

This mug is so me! I’m sure many of you agree. It’s £9.99 and available from The Literary Gift Company. Reading and drinking tea/coffee/hot chocolate go together so perfectly…

Mugs from The Literary Gift Company

 

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Book buddles to keep your paperback and hardback books looking as good as new when out and about. My husband bought me two of these earlier this year and I love them. Jules makes them by hand, so they are unique and a very special gift. Prices vary, depending on size.

Book Buddles from Etsy

 

Book Lover Bookmark Set - Literary Emporium

Book Lover bookmark set from The Literary Emporium

This set of 2 bookmarks is just £3.25 and The Literary Emporium has free P+P over £10, so a great low budget idea. Maybe add a matching pin at £7 to get the free postage?

 

For those of you who have met me in person at a book event this year, there’s a good chance I was wearing my fabulous book dress from Lindybop. I get so many compliments on it every time I wear it and they also sell a skirt version, which is a very similar design. The dress is £42 and comes in sizes 8-22 (unless they restock sizes again!) and the skirt is £30 and comes in sizes 8-24. And…IT HAS POCKETS!

Book dress from Lindybop

Book skirt from Lindybop

 

Book Lover Pencil Set - Literary Emporium

I’ve not yet met a book lover who doesn’t also have a thing for stationary too. These pencils are very nice and you might have to watch who ‘borrows’ them! £6.50 for the set of 5.

Book Lover pencil set from The Literary Emporium

 

I love this! Really interesting talking piece for just £15 plus P+P

Literary Britain map from Not On The High Street

 

This is probably the best purse I’ve ever seen! Showcasing a selection of Christmas books, it would be perfect for a book lover. They also sell non Christmassy ones and cookbook purses, for those Bake Off fans. Matching bags, travel card holders and glasses cases all available on the Yoshi website too. I’ve spent far too long trying to choose a favourite, but there’s too many fabulous things on there.

Bookworm range of purses and bags from Yoshi

 

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Book subscription boxes are really taking off at the moment and I would love one of these. This one is by Kate at Book Spot Box and costs £20 plus P+P (£3.95 for UK addresses). They aim to include at least 5 bookish items, as well as a paperback book.

Book subscription box from Book Spot Box

 

Of course, if you know what kind of books your gift recipient enjoys to read, you can probably find a brilliantly matched gift. Do they love Harry Potter, for instance? There’s tons of merchandise available for Potter fans.

Harry Potter book necklace from Etsy

Solid Oak bookends from Etsy

Amazing box of themed biscuits from Etsy

Or are they a fan of the Classics? Penguin have some wonderful ideas from mugs and notebooks to umbrellas.

Pride and Prejudice mug from Penguin

The Weather umbrella from Penguin

Jane Austen literary tea bags from Book Lover Gifts

Classic book covers scarf from Etsy

Charlotte Bronte stationary set from Book Lover Gifts

Hope this has given you a few ideas, either for yourself or to buy for a friend or family member. Happy Shopping!