Holiday reads: Part 2

Here it is, part two of my holiday recommendations! I will be nearing the end of my holiday now, but these are some more books that you can escape into wherever you are! Happy reading!

What a girl wantsTess Brookes was the girl with a plan.

Now she’s the girl with a choice.

Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick?

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.

You can read my review here and my interview with Lindsey here.

 

 

 

22463759When Evie Stone’s grandparents enlist her help to save their home in Cupid’s Way, Evie is happy to oblige. On the cusp of her thirties, and still disappointingly single, Evie’s so-called dream job with a firm of architects has been driving her crazy for months. What she needs, even more than a new man, is a challenge.

But saving Cupid’s Way won’t be easy. A perfectly preserved Victorian terrace, surrounded by modern estates and retail parks, the street is a proud oasis of quirky characters, cobbled pathways and communal gardens. Unfortunately, it also sits on prime development land worth millions.

Dynamite Construction have the deal in the bag, and soon the residents of Cupid’s Way will be forced to sell up and ship out – CEO Michael Andrews, charismatic and super-successful, has certainly never let sentimentality get in the way of business. At least, he hadn’t until he met Evie Stone.

You can read my review here and my interview with Joanne here.

 

 

 

18280725Last year, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After a night of passion they parted ways, and Bronte returned to Australia. Now working on a picture desk for a magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet her new colleague, who turns out to be all too familiar. Although awkward at first, as Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from when they met, they soon become friends. But as the two get closer, and the wedding day looms, it is clear that Alex and Bronte have unfinished business…

You can read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

21065817The third book in the delightful series set in Carrington’s Department Store.

Georgie Hart and Carrington’s Department Store have got the world at their feet. Since a reality TV series put them both on the map, life has been amazing! Carrington’s profits are in the pink, Georgie has carved herself a place in the nation’s heart and her romance with Tom, the store’s boss, has finally blossomed.

Now summertime has come to Mulberry-on -Sea and Georgie is in great demand. The town is holding a big summer festival and she and her mates from Carrington’s are planning on making sure that Mulberry puts on the show of its life!

But Georgie is about to get the offer of a lifetime – one that is just too good to turn down and something that will test her loyalties to their limits… Will Georgie be able to pull off it off once again, or has her luck finally run out?

You can read my review here.

 

 

18657684Holly has learnt that life isn’t about seizing the moment. She might have harboured dreams about travelling the world as a teenager, but she let go of those – just as she let go of Alex.

But what if the feelings never really went away?

Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It’s a fresh start in a new city, and he knows that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Well, probably.

How do you know if it was meant to be. or never meant to happen at all?

A brilliantly funny, feel-good story of first love, second chances and everything inbetween, perfect for fans of romantic comedies like Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones.

You can read my review here.

Author interview: Joanne Phillips

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Today I’m very pleased to have the very lovely Joanne Phillips, author of Cupid’s Way on Sheli Reads for an interview. You can read my review of Cupid’s Way here.

 

1. Hi Jo, welcome to Sheli Reads. Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your book, Cupid’s Way?

Hi Sheli, thanks for having me. Cupid’s Way is the story of Evie Stone’s fight to save the cute Victorian terrace where her grandparents live. The street – Cupid’s Way – is under threat from developers, and the residents are pinning their hopes on Evie’s efforts.

2. I’ve already read the book and really enjoyed it. Where did you get your inspiration to write about a street which needs saving?

There was a terrace near a place where I used to live that had been saved from demolition 20 years ago when the residents got together and formed a cooperative. That street gave me the inspiration, both for the threat to a piece of our housing history and also for how Cupid’s Way should look. I pictured brightly painted front doors and window boxes, bunting and quirky characters – although Cupid’s Way is of course different to the original street in Milton Keynes in lots of ways.

3. Who was your favourite character to write about?

I think it was Evie’s gran, Mavis. (Could you tell?) Her story was quite difficult to write, actually, because parts were very emotional, but I love her sparky spirit and her funky leisure suits. She’s how I want to be when I’m an old lady.

4. Do you write based on your own life experiences?

You know, I think I do even when I don’t realise it. I’ve led an eventful life so far – and I’m only 44 so hopefully lots more adventures to come! I have lots to draw upon, and one of the comforts for a writer is that no experience, no matter how harrowing, is without purpose. You can always tap into this well of emotions to help bring your characters to life.

5. As someone who is from Cardiff and attends a lot of environmental conferences, I have to ask where you got the idea from to include this in the book?

It was from my proofreader, actually. She proofread the first three chapters back in January, and I had mentioned that I wasn’t sure of the locations and the logistics of the train journey that sees Evie come unstuck early on. I had her travelling up to North Wales from Bristol. Jude suggested I set the action in Bristol – lots of lovely Victorian architecture there – and had the conference in Cardiff, and when I looked into this I realised it was absolutely perfect!

6. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I wanted to be a writer, but this wasn’t on the list of careers we were offered in school 😉 So I became a hairdresser, which suited my need to be creative and my fascination with people. I found I was really good at hairdressing, and did this for the next 10 years or so. But I’ve tried many different jobs, always coming back to the fact that I am rubbish at working for other people. I’m just too independent. Now I have my dream job, and I do feel very lucky.

7. Have you got a favourite place to write? Do you like to write in silence, or can you work surrounded by noise?

I have to write in silence – the quieter the better. We live in the middle of nowhere, which you’d think would be fairly quiet, but there are still tractors and noisy cows and sheep, and of course when my daughter is home from school there isn’t much in the way of silence! I have an office in the house where I write, and a summerhouse in the garden which is a lovely place to work.

8. Which writers from your genre do you look up to the most?

I really admire Miranda Dickinson – she’s professional, fun, and a really great writer. She works hard not only at writing but also at being approachable to readers and engaging people in what she’s doing. And she’s a lovely person too. Another writer I look up to is Linda Gillard. Linda writes amazing books, and went indie after being dropped by her publisher for being ‘hard to market’. She’s since demonstrated that there is a huge market for her style of writing, and she provokes an incredibly loyalty in her fans.

Summerhouse completed

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of romantic comedies Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She’s a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Joanne blogs about writing and publishing at www.writersjourney.co.uk

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Website: www.joannephillips.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joannephillipsauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannegphillips

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joanne-Phillips/e/B0083UEG86/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2862086.Joanne_Phillips

 

Cupid’s Way

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When Evie Stone’s grandparents enlist her help to save their home in Cupid’s Way, Evie is happy to oblige. On the cusp of her thirties, and still disappointingly single, Evie’s so-called dream job with a firm of architects has been driving her crazy for months. What she needs, even more than a new man, is a challenge.

But saving Cupid’s Way won’t be easy. A perfectly preserved Victorian terrace, surrounded by modern estates and retail parks, the street is a proud oasis of quirky characters, cobbled pathways and communal gardens. Unfortunately, it also sits on prime development land worth millions.

Dynamite Construction have the deal in the bag, and soon the residents of Cupid’s Way will be forced to sell up and ship out – CEO Michael Andrews, charismatic and super-successful, has certainly never let sentimentality get in the way of business. At least, he hadn’t until he met Evie Stone.

My opinion: When Joanne emailed me to offer me a copy of the book for review, I read the blurb and jumped at the chance. Excuse the pun, but Cupid’s Way sounded just up my street.

The book starts off with a disastrous trip to Cardiff where Evie is due to speak at an environmental conference. Bad weather means that she is unable to make the trip to see her grandparents in Bristol and help them to save their beloved street, Cupid’s Way. A big shot developer is trying to buy the street to make way for a new health centre, and Evie has the shock of her life when she finds out who the CEO of the company is. Evie won’t let go with out a fight though and rallies the residents to try and save Cupid’s Way.

This book grabbed me right from the start. When I started reading it, I was sat in my sunny back garden in Cardiff, the day after speaking at an environmental conference (although mine was in London). You can see why I felt like I connected with the book straight away. Apart from the links to my own life, the characters were colourful and the writing just dragged me straight in to Cupid’s Way. I felt like I knew each and every one of the residents by the end of the book, which I finished really quickly. I just couldn’t put it down as I wanted to know what happened next.

There were a few little twists in the story and although I had an inkling about how it might end, I couldn’t be certain that I would be right. Some parts of the story made me laugh, and others were heartbreakingly sad, but all through are lots of little love stories, helped along by Cupid’s Way.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Joanne in the future. I’d definitely recommend it as a great holiday read – and come back next week when Joanne will be taking part in an author interview!

My rating: A fabulous four stars

I received an advance copy of this book for review from the author in exchange for an honest review