#BookReview #2021reads Beneath Cornish Skies @KateRyder_Books

Firstly I am back after my festive blogging break and I would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy 2021. I have some amazing stuff lined up for my blog this year. Lots of fab books to be reviewed, loads of funny writing tales, some inspiring guest bloggers, and news of my next book 😯 More details to follow so watch this space.

Secondly, I will be posting a writing related post on here tomorrow.

Thirdly I am back with a FABULOUS read for you – ❤️ this book from Kate Ryder. If this isn’t on your 2021 to be read pile – get it on there!

Here’s the blurb:

Beneath Cornish Skies


To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw’s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

Here’s my review:

Wow – what a read!

This book is breathtaking in terms of setting and atmosphere. Kate Ryder does an amazing job in whisking you, the reader, away to the beautiful northern coast of Cornwall and the stunning Sussex Downs. if you are struggling with lockdown and need fictional escapism – read this. I felt like I was there.

I loved this book because it had all the ingredients for a great story, one heroine who needed to reclaim herself, one troubled and mysterious potential love interest a large serving of gorgeous scenery, a spoonful of romance and a sprinkling of Cornish magic.

Cassie is the heroine and her experiences at the hands of her controlling partner, David, tugged at my heartstrings. I loved her journey of self discovery which started after she replied to a magazine ad.

The romance is slow burn but I think that was needed as this story was more about Cassie finding her authentic self again after years of David’s controlling ways.

There are a few twists and turns in the story which kept my interest too.

This was just the sort of inspiring book I wanted to read.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/364FTKy

Author Bio –
Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

Social Media Links –
Author website: http://www.kateryder.me
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateRyder_Books
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kateryder.author
Instagram: @kateryder_author

Don’t miss tomorrow’s writing post – it is a cracker!

Guest Post – Things To Consider When Writing Sex Scenes in Romance Novels by @Lucy_K_Author

I have such a treat for all you romance writers!

Author Lucy Keeling is here to talk to us about writing naughty scenes in romance novels. I have to say I avoided them in my novel, Instructions For Falling In Love Again, because all my saucy scenes had the cringe factor. After writing one I would find myself hiding under my dressing table.

One day I hope to overcome this hurdle so I am going to see what Lucy Keeling has to say…

 
Hi there,

I’m Lucy Keeling and my debut novel Make It Up To You’ has had many lovely reviews, many more than I ever dreamed, but one thing that keeps being discussed is the, ahem, …saucier aspects of the novel.

If the rumours, tweets and texts from friends boyfriends* are to believed, then apparently I can write good sex. (*yes seriously, and no I don’t think I can look at them again)

And so whilst I never thought for one minute that I would be writing a blog post on this topic here I am with the five things I think will help you write good sex.

1. In the mood?

I suppose the seasoned professionals that write sex day in day out can just put pen to paper and go for it. I’m not saying that I need candles, a glass of wine, a quick neck massage and then I’m good to write the steamy stuff. It’s just if I’m trying to get the kids ready for school, if I know I need to deep clean my oven, if my car insurance is due, you know what, suddenly I’m not in the mood. I need a quiet space, a space that’s not likely to be interrupted, and yes, you know what a glass of wine sometimes helps. So think about what’s going to help you write the steamier bits and what’s not, and try to get yourself in the mood… to write.

2. What words can I use?

Ohhh, ok so you’re in the mood to write something a little steamier, but you’re looking at your screen and suddenly it feels like you’re writing a scientific journal of anatomical references. Or maybe, in order to avoid being crude, your work is instead a bit too flowery? Hmmm. For me this is honestly one of the hardest parts, as it were. You’ll have your own words for things that make you cringe, and if that’s the case do not use them. If you’re making yourself cringe you’re going to struggle to continue. It goes back to step one, being in the mood. So, if you don’t like the word Moist don’t use it. I, for one, am not a fan of mounds. To each their own.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you here is to study your contemporaries. Are there words that they don’t use, words that they do. If you know the market your aiming for then write in that tone.

3. It’s all very… textbook

Hmmm ok, assuming that you want your reader to stay with you here, I recommend going back and making sure that you’ve covered all of the senses. ALL OF THEM. What does he smell like… what does she taste like… what does it sound like when he… what does it look like when she… what does it feel like when they… you get it right?

But please make sure that what you’re writing is physically possible. I won’t go into too much detail (the original 18+ blog post can be read on my website lucykeeling.com) but look out for clothes magically disappearing, and an excess of arms etc. For brilliant examples of senses and sex scenes you can read pretty much anything by Talia Hibbert, Alisha Rai and Rachael Stewart.

4. Do I need to write sexy times?

No of course not. A heck of a lot of really good romance books are ‘closed door’. But will a sex scene show a personality insight that would otherwise be hard to get at? Will it move the story along? Will it add another layer, an additional conflict, or resolution? Then yes you might want to think about including it, especially if you’re not going to get these aspects in any other part of your story. Gorgeous stories that don’t include and don’t need to include sex can be found by Kiley Dunbar, Maxine Morrey and our very own Lucy Mitchell.

5. Consent & Contraception

If you write sex and it’s non-consensual then guess what? I’m not finishing that book. Sex has to be consented to. Simple as. It can be done simply, it can be done sexily, I honestly don’t care how, but it needs to be explicit consent.

On that note can we also talk contraception. If you fail to include contraception in your story, I’m thinking one thing and one thing only. The one with the uterus is getting pregnant, or a sexually transmitted disease. If you think writing Historical Romance gets you out of writing either consent or contraception think again. And if you need examples please see, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan or Virginia Heath.

So, there you have it, off you go and write all the steaminess your heart desires.

Good luck with the words,

Lucy K x

If you want to check out Lucy Keeling’s novel, Make It Up To You, please click here.

Don’t miss my blog tomorrow as I have a very important book review 🥰📚❤️

10 Lessons I Learned From 6 Years of Blogging #Blogger

This is a strange time to be living in right now. The world feels like it’s in chaos. So, this week I have decided to write about something which gives me strength and makes me positive; my blog.

I am a few weeks away from my 6th year blogging anniversary. Still can’t believe I have been blogging for that long. What started out as something to give me a break from my squabbling children, rugby mad husband and boisterous pets on wet Sunday afternoons has turned into a big part of my life.

Here are 10 lessons from my 6 years of blogging:

1. Blogging is like a fertile creative soil and other things grow from it. This is the thing which has surprised me. My blog has grown and nurtured so many creative projects; my Roxy Collins diary which went super crazy on Wattpad, my Roxy Collins podcast which I recorded whilst locked inside my teenage daughter’s cupboard every Friday after a few gin & tonics, my novel, my book blogging and a LOT of short stories.

2. My happiest times have been when I stopped caring about blog stats. When I wrote The Diary of Roxy Collins as a weekly serial I never gave two hoots about my blog stats. This was one of my best times as a blogger. There’s something in this because when I recorded my podcast deep inside my daughter’s shoe cupboard and put each episode live I didn’t care about stats or numbers. I had so much fun. It lit me upside. Like someone had turned on a light. It was only when I started looking at my blog stats and podcast data that the good times ended.

3. The bad blogging times have been signals in disguise that I need to change direction. Looking back now I can see this more clearly. However, when you are fed up with blogging and can’t face turning up to write a post each week it’s hard to see. All my bad blogging times have been the start of change.

4. Blogging breaks are marvellous things. You don’t have to quit blogging, you just need a break. I am so glad I found blogging breaks and took them. It’s so nice to come back after a few months feeling rejuvenated and created.

5. Blogging is a stress buster. Writing a blog post is for me one of the best ways to relieve stress.

6. Blogs are like trees. They take years of nurture and love to grow. They will chart your creative journey and they will one day bear creative fruits. These fruits might not bring you fame and fortune but they will be of great value to you in other ways. The great thing about life is that you won’t be able to see their value straightaway. One day you will stop and think – ‘wow – that blog post changed my life.’

7. Getting my blog links to work was one of my biggest struggles. Oh my goodness – other bloggers struggle with SEO rankings and branding. Me – well I struggled with copying, pasting and inserting a link into a little box for 2 YEARS! 🙈

8. My blog has been a great teacher. Its taught me about all sorts of things like checking for typos, grammar and resilience.

9. Fictional characters who were born inside my blog posts will never leave me. Roxy Collins – I will do something with you. I promise ❤️

10. I have met some fabulous and life changing people on my blog. They have been a huge part of my journey and without them I wouldn’t be here today.

Thank you to everyone who reads, comments and shares my posts week in and week out. You are all fabulous. 🌸📚

If you don’t have a blog and want something creative to do during these strange times, I would strongly recommend starting one. Blogs are great stress busters, they make excellent journals and you never know what might come of it 📚

The Essential abilities of the Romantic Hero – Guest Post by @EllaHayesAuthor

Oh my goodness I have such a blog post for you!

Mills and Boon Author Ella Hayes is here to talk about the essential abilities of the romantic hero. I always fall madly in love with Ella Hayes’s male characters and to me she’s the queen of creating sexy male heroes. Her latest character Zach Merrill, from Italian Summer with the Single Dad, made me throw out my new year’s resolution about not getting carried away with fancying fictional hunks and don’t get me started on her character, Cormac from Her Brooding Scottish Heir.

I am a hot mess before this post has even started so let’s quickly hand over to Ella Hayes. 

Hello, here are my essential hero attributes:

Likeability

When it comes to writing romantic heroes, first on my list of essential hero attributes is likeability. I don’t mean that the hero has to be the life and soul of the party or that he can’t be flawed (more on that later), but there has to be an immediate sense that whatever he’s projecting outwardly, he’s nevertheless a “good ‘un”. In the 50,000-word novellas I write for Mills and Boon, early reader engagement is essential. One way of achieving that is through writing both the heroine and the hero’s point of view alternately. It keeps the reader up to speed with what both characters are thinking, and so even if the hero’s demeanour is cool and reserved (as Cormac Buchanan’s is in Her Brooding Scottish Heir) the reader soon understands the reasons for that. I always love writing the hero’s POV, by the way. All that digging around in the male psyche—such fun!

Credibility

Second on my list of hero essentials is credibility. Alexander Pope said: “to err is human [… to forgive is divine”] and so, to be properly relatable a hero needs to have some flaws. But, in a heart-warming romance, the hero’s flaws should never undermine his likeability. He can’t do anything that will alienate the reader and so often, the hero’s perceived “flaws” are actually a reflection of his internal struggle or conflict. In the movie, Love Actually, Andrew Lincoln keeps his best friend’s new bride, Keira Knightly at arms’ length, not because he doesn’t like her, but because he’s in love with her. “It’s a self-preservation thing,” he tells her when she finally cottons on … and then there’s the totally heart-melting scene where he stands silently on the doorstep with his cue cards, “without hope or agenda” declaring his undying love for her as his ghetto blaster plays Silent Night. He only gets a kiss, but his status as a romantic hero is affirmed in those few moments.

Nobility

Nobility is another important hero-attribute, but I’m not talking about high-birth. For me, a true hero has to have a noble nature. He’s spontaneously selfless, sacrificing his own dreams and desires for those he loves, or perhaps he’s been robbed of the chance to “do the right thing” and is consequently burdened with guilt. He may not find his noble decisions and choices easy to live with—he’s only human after all—but in spite of any misgivings, he remains steadfast, loyal and true … the proverbial knight in shining armour. (Fact check: are there actually any proverbs about knights in shining armour?) In my forthcoming release, Unlocking the Tycoon’s Heart, my hero Theo is supremely steadfast … and believe me, it makes him a heavyweight in the hero stakes.

Vulnerability

For me, the other “must have” for any self-respecting romantic hero is vulnerability. Why? Because it’s the chink in his armour (sticking with the shining knight theme) through which the heroine will slip. The hero’s vulnerability is the base camp of his emotional journey, the route to his salvation and his happy ever after. In Italian Summer with the Single Dad, when the hero takes the heroine to the Ravello bar where he plays classical guitar one evening a week, he’s trusting her with a private side of himself, giving her a glimpse of his shelved ambitions. Unsurprisingly, this moment is pivotal to the way things unfold …

F***ability

You will notice that so far, I haven’t mentioned appearance and that’s because the hero’s gorgeousness or f***-ability (sorry, Mum!) is a given, and will almost certainly be the first thing the heroine notices about him. But for the story to truly resonate, the hero must engage all of his heroic “abilities” to procure his own and his heroine’s happy ever after, and to leave the reader sighing blissfully when the curtain falls.

Huge thanks to Ella for this wonderful post.

I need to go lie down in a darkened room and listen to soothing whale music…

#BookLaunch #BookReview Marriage Unarranged @RituBhathal #Romance #ChickpeaCurryLit

I am ridiculously PROUD to be part of the team for the LAUNCH OF THIS WONDERFUL AUTHOR’s DEBUT ROMANCE NOVEL – Marriage Unarranged.

Oh my goodness what an honour!

I was one of the beta readers for this FAB book and this is such a gorgeous debut.

So proud of you, Ritu!

Congrats from all of us at BlondeWriteMore 😍

Here’s the blurb:

Chickpea Curry’ Lit — Chick Lit with an Indian twist!

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

Here’s my review:

If you are looking for an uplifting romance plot, a great cast of characters, a good sprinkling of humour and a glimpse of true India – this book is for you!

My heart went out to the main character Aashi. Her broken engagement is heartbreaking to read and I wanted to reach inside the book and hug her.

The trip to India with her best mate and her brothers is inspired as its during this trip Aashi starts to find herself. This book is crammed with vivid descriptions of true India and I thought it was a refreshing setting for a romance book.

Ritu has done a fantastic job on bringing the smells and sounds of the markets, the rickshaw journeys and the kaleidoscope of colours to life.

I will say this – the romance in this book will make your heart flutter!

A fabulous read and congrats to Ritu xx

This book is now live and just a click away!

http://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

Ritu Bhathal

Here’s how to connect with Ritu:

Author.to/RituBhathal
myBook.to/PoeticRITUals
http://getbook.at/MarriageUnarranged

Author Bio

  • Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
  • From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
  • As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
  • A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
  • Ritu also writes a blog, http://www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.
  • Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

 

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5 Things Your Female Character Needs To Have – Guest Post by Author @zoe_writes

If you write romcoms or are mulling over a romcom story idea this post is for you.

I am thrilled to have Zoe May on my blog. She’s a romcom queen to me and I can’t believe she’s written me a wonderful guest post.

Photo taken from https://www.zoemayauthor.co.uk

Zoe May is the author of four romantic comedy novels, published by HQ Digital, HarperCollins.

Her debut, Perfect Match, about online dating, was an iBooks bestseller.

Zoe is currently working on her fifth novel, Flying Solo, which she is self-publishing this summer.

So I am going to hand over to Zoe May *squeal*

Hi, here are five things I believe your female character needs to have.

Flaws

I’ve read a few rom coms recently where the main character is practically Mother Theresa and it really annoys me! I strongly believe that characters don’t need to be perfect in order to appeal to readers. Some of my favourite rom com heroines, like Becky Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, are flawed. Becky is completely materialistic, a little shallow, a bit self-involved and pretty misguided, but that’s what makes her interesting and relatable.

None of us are perfect and when I read about an overly nice character in a rom com, it feels like a likeability box ticking exercise by the author. The heroine ends up seeming fake and the execution feels forced. I like writing characters with flaws because I’m flawed and so is everyone. Flawed characters feel more real and as a result, they’re more engaging to write about. Giving your character flaws also gives them an opportunity for growth throughout the book. My debut, Perfect Match, is about a woman who has a very superficial attitude to dating, looking for a rich, handsome, successful man, and the story is about how she changes and grows and realises what’s really important in a partner. Her growth drives the story forward.

Friends
Your heroine has to be relatable and fairly likeable (in spite of her flaws), and relatable and likeable people tend to have friends. Including scenes featuring your main character’s friends will show us more about her as a person and will move the story forward as her friends may encourage her to make certain decisions. For example, in my current novel, Flying Solo, my heroine’s best friend supports her decision to embark on a trip to India to win her boyfriend back after he dumps her to jet off on a self-discovery mission.

Your character’s interactions with her friends can provide good opportunities for humour too. I love writing funny dialogue between best mates.

Not too much baggage
While I think main characters should have flaws, I think there are limits to how much baggage heroines should have. Rom coms offer readers escapism. The world is a messed-up place and when we pick up a book with a bright happy cover and a chirpy blurb, we don’t want to be reading about dark themes like death, abuse, rape, violence, war, terrorism or whatever else. We want to be cheered up, not depressed! I steer clear of anything too dark. My heroines tend to have had pretty decent lives. It may not be totally realistic as terrible things do happen to lovely people in real life, but I think it’s best to keep that kind of thing off the page when it comes to rom com.

A good heart
I’ve mentioned that I think main characters need to have flaws in order to feel human and relatable, but that being said, in the genre of rom com, your main character definitely needs to have a good heart. She may be misguided at times, she may make mistakes and screw things up, but ultimately, she must be a decent person. Rom coms are meant to be uplifting and stories about bitchy girls tend not to be. If you want to write about an antagonist, write a thriller!

Humour
Your main character has to be funny. Her thought processes, the situations she gets herself into, her dialogue with people – she needs to be entertaining. She is the epicentre of the story so if she is not amusing, the whole book will suffer. We read rom coms partly for the “com” element after all, so she has to be humorous!

Check out Zoe’s latest book, Flying Solo, here.

 

Author Interview – Ritu Bhathal @RituBhathal #Books #RomanceReaders #Bookish

Ritu Bhathal’s debut romance novel, Marriage Unarranged, is being launched on 9 February. I am struggling to contain my book excitement as my blog is taking part in the go-live celebrations on Sunday and I was one of the lucky few to beta read this book.

As I think this clever lady is going to be very successful with her books, she’s already created her own genre – Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit With An Indian Twist, I thought it would be nice to interview her over a chai latte.

Also when she’s famous I can say she came on my blog and get some kudos for interviewing a future star *sigh*

So, we’ve both got our chai lattes in fancy cups and Ritu’s made us some home cooked nibbles (she makes amazing cakes!) which I am struggling to stop devouring. We are ready for a natter. Let’s begin.

Ritu, welcome to BlondeWriteMore! Tell us about yourself

Well, as you know, my name is Ritu, and at this moment in time, I am days away from being a published author!

But that’s not the whole of me. I’m a British Indian woman, born in the mid-seventies to Kenyan born Indian parents who moved to Birmingham, in the early seventies. I grew up with a true smorgasbord of cultures around me, having a massive extended family already living here, and enjoying the colourful Indian traditions and culture, interspersed with trips to Kenya, and absorbing the culture there. Of course, being born here, I was also immersed in British life too. A true East/West mix, that’s me!

As a child I was sent to an all girl’s private school from the age of three all the way to the completion of my A-levels, at 17. Having such inspirational people around me, teaching me, made me want to be a teacher, which I did in fact end up becoming.

My mother is an avid reader, so I was always, and still am, found with my nose buried in a book. I do love a good book.

I studied, met my now-Hubby Dearest in my last year of university, and we planned our wedding, but not before I had a taste of a few other jobs, pre-teaching. I worked as an assistant manager in a designer clothing boutique in Kingston-Upon-Thames – an experience that, had it been available in those times, would have made for a fantastic reality show! Seriously, the customers! The stories!

Then I ended up in the bank for around 4 years. Marriage meant I relocated to Kent, and I had nine years in a marketing company, before finding my way back to the job I had actually trained to do, teaching.

In between all this, I dabbled in writing, and started a blog which pushed me to write more.

So, right now, you find me as a wife, mother to a teen and a tween, a feline fur baby, Sonu Singh and two feathered ones, Heer and Ranjha, a teacher, blogger, and writer!

Plenty of fodder for the imagination there!

 

Where did the idea for the book come from?

When I started writing this story, it was the year 2001. The working title was Wedded Stress. I was in the midst of planning my wedding and the urge to write was strong. I was entering into a perfect marriage, but what would happen if someone was all set up for the same, and things go belly up? That was the catalyst, but there was no planning at that stage. I started writing, and just wanted to see what happened. I wasn’t even sure if it would be a book length story, or just something short. (At over 86,000 words, I’m sure you will agree that it is most definitely not short!)

But life happened, and marriage, followed by trying for a family, having kids and raising them, meant that my idea languished on a floppy disk for a long while. I remember finding it, one day a couple of years after starting. I loaded it up, and thought, ‘I can do something with this.’ Hubby Dearest was most supportive, and he even bought me my first laptop so I could carry on making my dream come true. Then, it got shelved, again and when I started my blog, that was when the true writing started. When feedback from the first couple of chapters came in, I was encouraged to start writing properly, but time was a huge issue. I ended up using the month of August in 2017, to really write properly, and even used a plan. By this time, I had realised that pantsing a whole story might not be wise. It wasn’t complete, yet, but it was a real story with a beginning, a middle and I knew what the end would be.

And it got rechristened to Marriage Unarranged.

After a few months, I managed to finish it, and here we are now, in the year 2020, and I have a completed, and published book!

 

How long have you been writing?

I have always loved to write, from a young age. I was always telling stories, and when people stopped listening, I started writing them down, instead. At that time, I had no aspirations of becoming an author, but I loved the reading and writing process. I won a couple of school writing competitions and that boosted my confidence.

My real writing, I would say started around five years ago, when I became serious about something that started as a flippant comment about having a book with my name on it. I managed that, with my poetry anthology, Poetic RITUals, but it was this story that really wanted to be told that pushed me to learn more about the writing and publishing process, and finally got me to where I am today.

 

Can we expect more books from you?

I hope so, yes!

During the writing of Marriage Unarranged, many characters popped into the story, and began to want to tell their story. I had to control myself a little, but the feedback I received from beta readers hinted at the fact that they would love to read more about certain people they had met in the book.

And so, another two fiction books in the same genre, (coined Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit With An Indian Twist) have been planned, focussing on other people from Marriage Unarranged. Now I just need to make the time to write them!

I have also got ideas and words for three possible children’s picture books. All I need to do is finish the rhymes for the last one, and then I need to look for an illustrator. That’s something I need to research.

Sigh. The life of an author is not just creation, but perpetual education…

Thank you, again, Lucy! I do hope your readers choose to enjoy learning about Aashi and her journey.

Marriage Unarranged.

Here’s the blurb:

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something.

If you want to check this book out here’s the info you need:

Blog Tour Banner

 

In other news, on BlondeWriteMore on Thursday I have such a treat for all writers of romance. One of my FAVOURITE authors – ZOE MAY has written me a gorgeous guest post titled – 5 Things Your Female Character Needs To Have. 

I am honoured to have all these wonderful people like Ritu and Zoe wanting to come on my blog x

#BookReview Make It Up To You @Lucy_K_Author #TuesdayBookBlog #Romance

I think author Lucy Keeling rocks for a number of reasons:

  1. She’s called Lucy.
  2. She writes witty romance.
  3. Her insta stories where she talks to her followers everyday from her car are fab! Check out Lucy’s instagram because this lady always makes me smile on a morning before I shuffle into work.
  4. Her debut novel which I am reviewing below is one of my best Romcom reads from 2019.
  5. She’s part of the UK RomChat team and loves a good tweet.

This book, Make It Up To You, will transport you into the world of make-up artist, Sophie Timney and online make-up tutorials.

I have two teenage daughters who are GLUED to watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and they make me watch them (in an attempt to teach me how to apply makeup. At forty something my makeup skills are sadly lacking and anything other than a quick finger dab in something sparkly is a challenge), so I could relate to this book.

Here’s the blurb:

What do mascara wands and gardening shears have in common?

Absolutely nothing! At least that’s what wannabe beauty influencer Sophie Timney thinks when her friend Polly suggests involving her brother Marcus in Sophie’s make-up tutorials. She needs more views, Marcus needs promotion for his gardening business – in Polly’s mind joining forces will help them both. Sophie isn’t so sure.

Because Marcus Bowman has a habit of getting under her skin in a way that no exfoliating face scrub ever could. But, as the views and comments on her videos begin creeping up, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sophie’s subscribers like Marcus, and what’s even worse is that Sophie might be starting to feel the same way…

Here’s my review:

When the story opens Sophie is having a bad day as she thinks she’s uploaded the wrong makeup advice video and she’s fretting because her followers are not increasing.

I really warmed to Sophie. She’s passionate about her makeup advice tutorials and will do whatever it takes to make it a success.

Her relationship with Marcus is funny. They bicker and argue whilst this gorgeous romance grows between them. Sophie thinks he’s cheeky, wonders what fake tan he’s using and gets frustrated when he makes a tea for himself. He enjoys winding her up, thinks she can be a bit of a diva and can’t stop thinking about a kiss they once shared.

This book gave me lovely warm tingles especially around Marcus ❤️ He is gorgeous and it really was a delightful read.

Lucy Keeling has written a fab novel about what happens when career paths and romantic urges are bound together. She’s thrown in some fab female relationships for good measure and drizzled over a good helping of love.

If you want to find out more check out this book here.

It is perfect with a cup of coffee and a pastry!

#Lucy Mitchell

Important news:

Tomorrow I will be back with a fantastic book cover reveal. 

Watch this space!

#BookReview The Start of Something Wonderful @JaneLambert22 #TuesdayBookBlog #booklover

For a forty-something blonde woman, who is trying to change the direction of her life, and who in the last few weeks has found herself a new day job (the old one of eight years made her feel sad), has found the courage to self-publish her romcom novel (after many positive rejections), Jane Lambert’s fabulous book has been a godsend.

Continue reading

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘Mr Make Believe’ by @beezymarsh. Includes Unforgettable Movie Star Character ❤️, Motherhood Chaos & Much Hilarity

You find me in what I call, ‘Book Recovery’ mode (lying in state on the sofa, a cold compress over my forehead, a concerned dog sat watching me and an electric fan blowing cool air over me).

I know this is controversial but I believe romance readers have a harder time getting over a good book than readers of other genres. This is where all the crime readers, who read my blog, start shouting about how they have to recover from grizzly murder scenes etc and all the historical fiction readers moan about how they have to adjust to modern-day living after hanging out in another time period for a few weeks, but I don’t agree. With romance novels we have to wait for our emotions to settle down before starting another book, we can feel churned up for weeks and we have to GET OVER our character crushes. I often fall for the male characters of romance novels and it’s not easy forcing myself to stop loving my fictional love interest.

The reason why I am in ‘book recovery mode‘ is due to a male character in Beezy Marsh’s ‘Mr Make Believe’ who is quite simply – divine. For me the sign of a good romance novel is a strong character who draws me to them like a magnet.

This one is called Maddox Wolfe. He’s the main character’s movie star crush and he is over 6ft, lean, hunky and features heavily in her (and my own) fantasies throughout the book.

Moving on swiftly, let’s get on with the review of ‘Mr Make Believe’ by Beezy Marsh.

What did you think of the blurb?

The blurb talked about Marnie, a struggling, stay at home mum, whose life revolved around sock matching, the ironing pile, having fantasies about her movie star crush and wondering why her life had not gone to plan.

In a moment of madness Marnie starts a blog and becomes the voice of imperfect mums everywhere. Not only this but she comes into real life contact with her favourite film actor and things get chaotic.

The blurb was certainly enticing and as a frazzled mummy myself I could relate to Marnie’s situation. My blog is the voice of imperfect writers and after a chance meeting with Brad Pitt my life could also get chaotic.

What did you think of the main female character?

I loved Marnie. She enjoys wearing baggy sweatshirts, furry slipper socks and hasn’t shaved her legs for awhile. There is a clothing mountain, languishing in a wicker basket in the corner of her bedroom, the nearest thing to exercise she does is lifting coffee cups to her lips and she describes her chest as possessing a massive mono-boob.

Marnie is hilarious. At the start of the book she’s deep in the trenches of motherhood, questioning her marriage and reading a saucy novel, ‘Harsh Winter’ based on Maddox Wolfe’s on screen character. The opening chapters are so funny.

Her children are young and demanding which is realistic and they provide some good conflict.

The blog Marnie creates is great and through it she does start to change.

I think Marnie is a great character and by the end of the book I was proud of what she’d achieved.

What did you think of the other characters?

Marnie is a failed food columinst for a newspaper. She starts to do freelance work for the newspaper again as the book progresses and her editor, Barker, is a really funny character. Some of the things he says to Marnie during her moments of chaos are fab.

I didn’t warm to Marnie’s husband, Matt, at the start of the book but I think this was what the author wanted.

Maddox Wolfe is an unforgettable male character. I know I am making him sound like a perfect male character, he isn’t, he has issues in the book which I liked. No one wants a perfect male character. I just loved how the author painted this picture of an older movie star, a bit rough round the edges and combined this with his flirty, almost cheeky dialogue. Sigh…

Were there any naughty bits?

Yes, there were naughty bits and they were written very well. They were not too naughty but saucy enough if you know what I mean. Oh my goodness, Maddox Wolfe, you made me turn on my electric fan to full power at one point!

Overall what did you think?

I really enjoyed this book. You can’t get better romantic escapism than reading about a frazzled stay at mum, who becomes a successful blogger and catches the attention of a famous movie star. It is well worth a read and I will warn you, Maddox Wolfe will leave you feeling churned up.

You can find the book by clicking here.

Take it easy readers.

Have a great day.