Blog Tour Extract: What Happened To Us? by Faith Hogan

MaESnndg.jpeg What Happened To Us? by Faith Hogan

Publisher: Aria
Published: 2nd October 2018


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About the Author

Faith was born in Ireland and currently lives there with her husband, four children and two fussy cats. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair- an international competition for emerging writers. When she’s not writing, she’s an enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger.

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Twitter: @gerhogan
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Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego.

Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side.

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable…

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…




The first night of winter and it was wet, very wet, and she knew the rain was pouring in drops down her face, could feel them drip, drip, dripping off the end of her nose. She could feel the tears too, hot and stingy in her eyes. Someone had given her a cigarette, miraculously she’d managed to smoke halfway down, but it was soggy and extinguished now, which was no bad thing. She never smoked, why add to her list of failures at this late stage?

At the far end of the lane, something or someone caught her eye, but she must be mistaken, because who in their right mind would be out on an evening like this? Probably a stray cat, attracted by the heat and aromas that emanated from the fans blowing into the frigid night air.

Her thoughts darted back to the kitchen behind her, Kevin, bloody Kevin. Well, she hadn’t seen that coming had she. She was still reeling, angry, upset and, yes, she could admit it to herself, broken-hearted. And Valentina? Kevin was in love with Valentina, he’d told her, so it must be true.

She raised the dead cigarette to her lips once more, hardly noticed that it tasted disgusting. He’d only met her a few months ago, that was when she came to work in the restaurant. The girl, that’s all she was, in her mid-twenties at most, but she looked no more than seventeen, had hardly a word of English four months ago. Yet, here Valentina and Kevin had become an item. How did that work? Oh, maybe she knew the answer to that already.

Things had cooled off a long time ago between Carrie and Kevin. She never counted the fact that they didn’t have children. No reason, just one of those things, it never happened, she knew that to Kevin it was a relief. They settled onto their path, confident it would lead them to a contented old age. If the road markings she always took for granted were stolen from her, she blocked out her childlessness with the success of the restaurant and a gratitude for the simple things in life. Yet somewhere between moving in together and working sixteen hours a day to get the restaurant up and running, they had lost each other. Funny, but they spent so much time together that they managed to lose their connection. He’d started sleeping in the spare room when her snoring became too loud. He didn’t say it was because she had become overweight and the bottle of wine each evening didn’t help either. She was fast to point out her sinuses were playing up and what could she do about it? She’d been a little relieved, to tell the truth. He had a habit of leaving hair oil all over the pillows, so she felt like she was wearing half a pot of Brylcreem most days.

It was still a shock though.

It was less than forty-eight hours ago.

They had walked into her office; bold as brass, the pair of them, holding hands.

‘There’s something I need to tell you, Carrie.’ He’d had the good grace to look embarrassed.

‘It is only fair, it is only right.’ Valentina was contrite, her dusky Colombian voice, throaty and whispering. Did they want her blessing?

‘Nothing has happened, but…’ Kevin looked down at his hand, joined tight with Valentina’s. Well that was a lie straight off.

‘Really, nothing has happened?’ Carrie looked deep into his eyes, managed to keep the tears from her own. It wasn’t hard, she probably should have been angry or distraught, but somehow, she just felt numb.

‘No, I mean…’ Kevin looked at Valentina, his slack-jawed face was pleading for help.

Carrie knew him long enough to read him like a book. What a pity she hadn’t kept her eyes on the pages, she thought.

‘Kevin, please.’ She wasn’t begging him, but the least he owed her was the truth. ‘This place, Kevin, all the years, all the days and nights of work… at least be honest with me.’

‘We… I didn’t want to hurt you. I couldn’t… I mean, I can’t help it. We’re in love, Carrie, and it’s a while since I felt this way.’

‘I see.’ Funny, but having it confirmed did not make it any better. This place, her office, had suddenly felt like none of it was hers anymore. That was just absurd though. It was hers, every bit of it, the restaurant, the five stars, the whole business from start to finish, she had built it up. Kevin might have been the talent, he might have been the toast of the Dublin foodie scene, but she was the brains behind the operation. Kevin was the technical force, but everything else in this business was down to her. She’d picked the building, the art on the walls, she’d organised launches and managed to get the press to feature them. She’d chosen the tablecloths and ordered the wines and she did the hiring and firing. She’d hired Valentina because she came with good references. Of course, she was a stunner, everything about her was glossy, as if she had been dipped in polish; inky black hair, a wide vermillion smile and impossibly white teeth. She slunk about the restaurant, weaving her curves through the tables and flirting throatily with everyone she met. The customers loved a bit of glamour about the place. She was smart too, and from the moment she set foot in the restaurant, Carrie had a feeling that one day, Valentina could be capable of running somewhere every bit as good as ‘The Sea Pear’, but this was the last thing she had expected.

‘Is that all you can say, “I see”,’ Kevin looked like a five-year-old, waiting for a scolding after walking muddy shoes across the kitchen floor.

‘Well, it’s a shock, obviously.’ Carrie had managed to look him in the eye, but she would not cry, not before them. They’d left with light steps and the soft click of the door behind them.

It took two days. It was unreal of course, those two days; Kevin had not come home. Carrie assumed he was staying with Valentina – where else? Maybe that incongruity had stoppered her rage, because she knew she had every right to be angry with him – with both of them. Instead, by going on as if things were completely normal, showing up for work and still keeping out of each other’s way, it felt as though her fury was in a vacuum. Somehow it seemed irrational to cry and scream and wipe the floor with them as she knew they deserved.

They’d gone through their usual routines, arrived at work at the normal time, Carrie spoke with staff and customers with her usual charm, like nothing had changed. Kevin stayed in the safety of the kitchen, immersed in the nuts and bolts of keeping orders moving through to his own exacting standards. Then today, the dam had somehow washed through and as she’d walked through the kitchen, she saw them. It was all very casual. He was checking sauces, Valentina was handing him seasoning and she placed her hand on his arm, there was just a glance. It was a fleeting look that said so much more than they managed to convey a couple of days earlier when they told her. It was filled with intimacy, charged with chemistry and Carrie could see it was fuelled by alliance. It suddenly struck her, the thing that she managed to ignore for two whole days. It dawned on her, that it was not just that her relationship of over a decade had died a lingering death until it’s final cruel severing, that was not what tipped her emotions over in the end. Rather it was realising that Kevin and Valentina were a couple and she was trapped here with the two of them.

She’d run to the back door, flung herself through it. She’d needed air, suddenly, she was stifled with heat, misery and a dreadful tightening in her gut that she knew was something close to emotional claustrophobia. One of the cleaners had been sheltering, smoking a rolled-up cigarette. It could have been a joint for all Carrie knew. He’d tapped open a bruised-looking tin box and handed one across to her, lit it silently with his back crouched over it against the bitter night and left her to it. The door had banged heavily in his wake, and here she’d stood, for almost twenty minutes while watery sleet pelted from the heavens.

The evening was beginning to darken, the sky menaced layers of gloomy grey that would not push over until they had blown Dublin inside out. Carrie pushed back her fiery curly hair from her face, the sleet against her cheeks like icy cold slaps that she hoped might snap her out of this nightmare. She tried to imagine that far above the clouds, a blue sky with the sun shining waited to impart some light. She couldn’t come near to mustering up the image.


Blog Tour Extract: Another Day in Winter by Shari Low

D8E6gcXg.jpeg Another Day in Winter by Shari Low

Publisher: Aria
Published: 2nd October 2018


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On a chilly morning in December…

Forever friends Shauna and Lulu touch down at Glasgow Airport on a quest to find answers from the past. George knows his time is nearing the end, but is it too late to come to terms with his twogreatest regrets?

His Grandson Tom uncovers a betrayal that rocks his world as he finally tracks down the one that got away. And single mum Chrissie is ready to force her love-life out of hibernation, but can anyone compare to the man who broke her heart?

After the success of the No1 best seller ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, comes the second unmissable read in Shari Low’s Winter Day trilogy.

About the Author7EAB_h5w

Shari has written seventeen novels under her own name and pseudonyms Ronni Cooper, Millie Conway and Shari King, of which many have been published globally. She writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for the Daily Record. Shari lives with her husband and 2 teenage boys in Glasgow.

Follow Shari

Twitter handle: @sharilow
Facebook: @sharilowbooks



Band Aid were belting out “Do They Know It’s Christmas” on the radio as Chrissie stopped at the kitchen doorway and watched her twelve year old son, Ben, polish off the last of his Cheerios. He was eating while engrossed in a book that was balanced against the plastic semi-skimmed milk carton in the middle of the table. With his dark brown hair and huge hazel eyes, sometimes his resemblance to his father took her breath away and she had to pause, compose herself.

‘Right, my love, come on. We’ve got ten minutes to get out of here.’

He reluctantly closed the book and slipped it into the backpack that was lying at his feet.

‘Have you got your—’

‘Homework, yes, PE kit, yes, packed lunch, yes, three bottles of bubble bath for the Christmas raffle and the Santa cupcakes that you bought but are pretending you baked…’

She smiled. ‘And…’

‘… And yes, I have the second backpack with pyjamas for tonight and clothes for tomorrow, because Josh’s mum is picking me up from school and I’m staying over at their house tonight because you’re deserting me.’

‘Excellent,’ Chrissie replied, laughing at his cheek and not rising to his jibe. Ben was the greatest and most important person in her life, and she adored him beyond measure. He wasn’t the smartest kid in class, the sportiest or the girls’ heart-throb, but he had an irrepressible knack for making people laugh that would get him a long way in life.

‘And did you remember to pick up something to take to his house as a thank you?’ she added.

‘Yup, a bottle of vodka and twenty Benson & Hedges,’ he replied, totally deadpan.

‘Lovely,’ she went along with it before lifting the carrier bag from the kitchen worktop to do her own investigation. She’d only given him a tenner to buy something from the corner shop last night, so she was fairly confident he was kidding. She opened the bag. A box of Quality Street and a yule log for Josh’s mum, Karen, and a six pack of Freddos for the boys. ‘Good work,’ she told him, before enveloping him in a hug, which he succumbed to with a pre-teenage sigh, but little resistance. ‘I’ll miss you,’ she told him. A few years ago, she would have kissed the top of his head, but now that he’d bypassed her 5’8’’, she had to settle for a kiss on the cheek instead. Again, he humoured her by not wiping it off with his sleeve. This was progress. ‘I love you,’ she said.

‘I love you too, Mum.’

When he grinned he looked even more like his dad. Chrissie swallowed hard, banishing that thought and the pang of sadness that came with it. Was she really ready to open herself up to a situation that could end with the same world of pain as last time?

For a fleeting moment she considered cancelling tonight and just going to the cinema with Ben instead. For the purposes of this indulgent moment of weakness, she overlooked the fact that he’d rather be hanging out at his mate’s house, destroying civilisations on the Xbox, than sitting in the multiplex on a Friday night eating popcorn with his mother.

Not that he’d admit that, of course. It had always been just the two of them, so they’d been a team for a long time, one that stuck together and looked out for each other. Ben’s dad had left when she was pregnant and sometimes she felt guilty that she hadn’t made a conscious effort to meet someone and give him a family unit, but she knew he’d had a happy childhood and he’d turned out to be as balanced and grounded as she could ever have hoped. Just as long as the vodka and Benson & Hedges comment was definitely a joke.

‘Nip through and tell Val we’re ready to go then,’ she told him. ‘I’ll meet you at the car.’

Before he got to the back door, it opened and Val, their next door neighbour, poked her head around.

‘Are you ready, love?’ she asked breezily.

Chrissie smiled, delighted as always to see one of her very favourite people. ‘We were just coming to get you.’

Val’s gaze had already moved on to Ben. ‘Morning, sweetheart. Did you get caught in a wind tunnel or have you not done your hair yet, son?’

Ben giggled at the familiar tease and headed to the door. Chrissie knew their relationship with Val and Donald next door was the biggest blessing of moving to this estate. When they’d first come here two and a half years ago, Val and Donald had been straight in to introduce themselves, and they’d looked out for her ever since, taking Ben under their wing, too. That was just Val’s personality and their connection had been instant. Her heart was as big as the platinum blonde bob that was teased and sprayed to within an inch of its life, the perfect dressing for her blue eyeliner and baby pink lipstick. On anyone else, her look would be hopelessly outdated, but on Val it was the perfect reflection of her luminous, bright force of nature, one she managed to maintain despite suffering some real tragedies in her life.

Val’s daughter, Dee, had been killed by a drugged-up driver almost three years before. It had taken Val a long time to come to terms with it and she still hadn’t forgiven the junkie who was now in jail for causing Dee’s death, but she had somehow managed to find a way to deal with the loss. Chrissie and Ben had moved in next door a few months after Dee passed, and despite her sorrow, or perhaps as a way of focusing on the positives, Val cared for people, helped others out. The last two years would have been a real struggle without her. Val and Don had looked after Ben more times than Chrissie could count, and they absolutely loved being his surrogate grandparents. The feeling was mutual. Ben adored them too.

‘Did you hear from Mark?’ Chrissie asked, while she grabbed her coat and bag.

Mark was Val’s son, and he’d just left with his Australian wife Tara and daughter Claudie to spend Christmas with Tara’s parents in Sydney.

‘Landed safely a couple of hours ago. Only been gone a day and I miss them already. Might have to confiscate Ben to keep the house busy until they get back.’

‘That’s a contravention of my human rights,’ Ben said, trying to act serious and suppress a giggle.

‘I’ll share the tin of Quality Street that’s sitting under my tree,’ Val bribed him.

Ben gave in to the giggles as he agreed to the deal. ‘Done.’

Chrissie gave Val an impromptu hug.

‘What was that for?’

‘Just because we think you’re fab,’ Chrissie said, aware that while Val was the most loving, caring individual she’d ever known, she wasn’t one for gushy sentimentality.

Right on cue, Val patted her hair, checking that the steel consistency of her coiffure hadn’t been dented by Chrissie’s embrace. ‘Aye, well thanks, love, but careful you don’t crack ma bob,’ she said, feigning alarm.

A hug didn’t even begin to cover everything Val had done for her. She had found Chrissie her first full-time job since Ben was born. And she was the one who had pushed her into agreeing to go out tonight, on her first date in twelve years.

Chrissie experienced a stomach lurch so violent she had to pause for breath. A date. With a real person. Who wasn’t Channing Tatum and on screen in a movie where he took his top off.

Oh God.


Blog Tour Extract: What a Girl Wants by Angie Coleman

Kybjwj7w.jpeg What A Girl Wants by Angie Coleman

Publisher: Aria
Published: 18th September
ISBN13: 9781788548441

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Facebook: @ariafiction
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Gillian Bennett has always dreamed of opening a luxury hat shop, and when she finds the opportunity of a lifetime in the shape of a rent-free shop she thinks her dreams have come true. Her parents are less than thrilled and she has two years to prove to them that this isn’t just a pipe dream, or she’ll be shipped back home and into an office job. But she wasn’t counting on a distraction in the form of sexy but enigmatic Jared, a completely unreadable man that she soon finds herself falling for. Yet, Jared has a secret, and when she finds it out, it shakes Gil to her core. With everything spiralling out of control around her, will Gil ever realise her dreams?

About The Author

Angie Coleman was born in 1987 in Lanciano, Italy. She graduated from Organization and Social Relations at the University of Chieti. Winner of the 2016 Ilmioesordio prize.


“I see you’re desperate, you really care about opening this shop of yours,” he calmly observes as if we’d known each other all our lives. I have a feeling it doesn’t take a keen observer to see this: who would stare at some bizarre wooden forms as if they were gold, and go as far as to offer to tidy a place that looks like the source of all the chaos in the world, if they didn’t care about it dreadfully?

“It’s a long cherished dream and it’ll start growing mold soon if I don’t find a way to fulfil it,” I explain, fixing my eyes in his deep gaze.

“I understand. It’s a nice dream. Hats are an elegant pastime. Yes, you should really open this shop, Miss…?” he inquires with interest.

“Gillian, Sir, Gillian Bennett,” I hurry to answer. I think I can make out a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m not willing to give up until I reach it. “So, do you intend to accept my offer?”

“Oh, my dear Miss Bennett, I would be mad to accept your offer, but after all it seems that only madness never leads to regret,” he states nonchalantly as he retrieves a block of post-its from under the counter and begins to scribble something in impeccable handwriting. “You begin a week from now, Gillian, two hours a day, from one to three, when I don’t have clients,” he hands me the note on which he has written an address.

“What’s this?”

“It’s the place where you’ll open your hand-made hat shop. Ring the third floor, fourth bell from the bottom, Mrs Jane Marlowe,” he explains in a professional tone.

“But I really can’t afford the rent right now,” I tentatively remind him. If I can’t pay for the set of wooden forms, how could I possibly afford rent? In a city like Fall River to boot.

“Don’t be pessimistic, Gillian, speak with Mrs Marlowe before saying you can’t afford the rent.”

“Me? Pessimistic?” I would have said I was being realistic, to tell the truth.

“What else would you call someone who keeps finding feeble excuses while a splendid opportunity is knocking on her door?” he asks enigmatically before disappearing back into his dark cave. I’ll have to begin calling it backroom if I don’t want to slip up over the next few days.

I retrieve my umbrella and once again face the pouring rain. I look at the note I am clasping: Pleasant Street, number 1577. It’s not far from here, but I’ll have to take a bus to get there. I stop at the first bus shelter and wait expectantly for the vehicle. I would never have expected such a stroke of luck, I feel like I’m living in a fairytale, a daydream from which I fear I’ll awaken. Once I’m on the bus, I stare out of the window next to me trying to make out the street numbers. I have to get off at the stop closest to number 1577. As soon as I see 1501, I get up from my seat, push the button to request the stop, and like a gust of wind I fly up to the driver, expectant and excited. Outside it’s still raining, but it looks like it’s about to stop and this makes me even happier. Once I’m on the street, I rush, without even opening my umbrella, towards the nearest door, I glance at the street number, and decide which way to go. A few feet further and I find myself beside an extremely elegant red brick building with white hexagonal based faux columns set between two shop windows on the ground floor. The entrance is right on the truncated corner of the building, at the crossroads with Everett Street, and the whitewashed ground floor walls contrast with the red bricks that cover the base and the other floors. On each column there is a black lantern reminiscent of 19th century London, and the shop windows finish in round arches that make them look more like glass walls, giving the whole building an elegant air. The crenellated string course separating the ground from the other floors is a shade of brown only slightly darker than the red of the bricks. It’s magnificent.

I look up at the entrance and take a moment to observe the street number, framed in a shiny ceramic oval that makes it stand out on the inner surface of one of the columns flanking the front door. The intercom is just below. I study the names on the plaques. The two lower ones are blank, the others have four names written in an elegant script that makes me doubt they were printed and is similar to the style of the author of the note I’m holding in my hand. From the top there are: Samwise Drake, followed by Margherita Valery, Jane Marlowe, and Ernest Clancy. The third one down is the one I’m looking for, that is to say the fourth from the bottom. I take a deep breath and ring the bell. The sound doesn’t reach outside; I can hear only the accelerated beating of my heart. I’m so excited I didn’t even take a minute to think. Not that I do very often, but maybe an endeavor like this would have deserved a moment of reflection… on the part of someone who wasn’t me. I stand stock still in front of the door, waiting in trepidation, until a sprightly voice answers over the intercom.

“Who is it?”

“Good morning, Mrs Marlowe, I’m sorry to bother you, my name is Gillian Bennett, I would like to talk to you, I was sent by Mr…” Just a minute… what is the name of the man who sent me here? I should have asked him. Darn! “The man who works at the ‘Same as it Never Was Antiques’ sent me,” I try to wriggle my way out, hoping the lady knows who I’m talking about.

“Oh, Ernest. Of course, dear, I’ll be down in a second,” she replies, not at all surprised. Wow, I’m impressed. Aside from having exquisite handwriting, he also lives here. I should have guessed it: too many coincidences. Well, I’ll take it as a good omen, a fortuitous sign.

I wait, trying to smooth down the beige jacket that got a bit wet in the recent deluge. I would like to make a good impression and I have no idea what my hair looks like right now. I’m fairly certain the pony tail I had when I left Grandma Natalie’s hasn’t held up. It’s probably now a limp mass of untidy dark hair. That’s too bad, I can only hope that Mrs Marlow won’t care much about my looks and will trust me despite my appearance, which I imagine is a bit disheveled for a serious and trustworthy woman.

A handful of seconds later the door opens and a little round woman with a pleasant, good natured air emerges. She is wearing a black wool dress with a silver shawl over her shoulders that nearly matches the color of her hair. Her watery eyes are such a light blue that they would be disturbing if it weren’t for a spark of intelligence lighting them. As soon as she sees me, her thin lips pull back into a smile that makes a myriad of creases appear on her plump face.

“Come in, dear, don’t stand out there in the cold,” she ushers me in gently, taking a step back so I can cross the threshold.

“Thank you. I’m so sorry to barge in on you like this, I hope I’m not bothering you. In fact, this day has taken such an unexpected turn that I didn’t stop to think that my visit might be inappropriate.”



Blog Tour Extract: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted by Lisa Hobman


What Becomes of the Broken Hearted by Lisa Hobman

Publisher: Aria
Published: 18th September
ISBN13: 9781788540223

Goodreads | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon | Google Play

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Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction


Cassie Montgomery can remember a time where her life seemed pretty perfect. By day she was setting up her own little business in her sleek penthouse apartment, and by night sleeping on gazillion-count Egyptian cotton sheets next to her fiancée, once reputed to be Glasgow’s most eligible bachelor.

And yet one ordinary, fateful day, Cassie uncovers a secret that shatters her heart into tiny pieces, and changes her life forever….

Escaping to a rural and idyllic coastal village, Cassie finds a cottage that, from the moment she steps through the rose-surrounded door, feels instantly like home.

And then there’s Mac, the cool surf teacher, who makes her question what really makes her happy – and makes her wonder if maybe, she might already have found the answer….

Blog Tour: Dating Down by Diane Louise

thumbnail_IMG_1749 (1) Dating Down by Diane Louise

Published: 30th August 2018

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US


Suddenly single and unexpectedly poor, it’s definitely safe to say that Alexis Harland is not living the life of her dreams.

Although she’s determined that nothing, not one little thing, will stop her return from poverty. Well, almost nothing. Her pride might get in the way a little. And possibly her family. And maybe the fact that she hasn’t got a clue where to start.

Many years ago, Alexis was swept away from life on a caravan park and introduced to a world of riches and glamour. All thanks to a wealthy man who married her, reinvented her… and then dumped her for a younger model at the first sign of cellulite.

Now Alexis is stranded, struggling to keep her head above water and her history a secret from her highbrow friends.

As if that isn’t enough for a woman to deal with, one night she comes home to find a sexy man has landed, quite literally, on her doorstep. A man hell-bent on testing everything Alexis thinks she knows about true happiness.

Caught between the life she knows and her blossoming love, can Alexis afford to let go of her unwavering pride, kiss her social status goodbye and accept that stepping back to square one is sometimes a huge leap forward?

thumbnail_Dating Down Teaser - Box Wine .jpg

Author Bio

Diane Louise is a dairy farmer’s wife from the UK who doesn’t know a Holstein from a Hereford.

But what she does know is how to write a funny story. Three years ago she tried to write steamy romance and sucked at it. Honestly, her stiff upper lip made her heroes more wet blankets than wet dreams. With a steely determination to avoid milking the cows, she turned her hand to Romantic Comedy and a star was born. Well, in her mind at least.

Fancy getting to know the woman behind the words?

She hangs around Facebook daily, desperately avoiding housework, and loves nothing more than chatting to fellow lovers of Romantic Comedy over at Di’s Romantic Comedy Club. Or, if you don’t do Facebook, that’s cool, because she also sends a monthly email to her readers, making sure they never miss a new release and sharing behind the scene info about her books. You can join The Monthly Club here.

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Social Media Links

Facebook Group – Di’s Romantic Comedy Club –
Goodreads –
Mailerlite Newsletter Sign Up –
Twitter –

My Thoughts

I actually really liked Alexis story. It was simple, it was fairly drama free and it was a great read.

I liked Alexis. We find her at her lowest, well we think it is anyway, and see her go to even lower lows and then on her magnificent high. She was very much a likeable and relatable character. Sympathy came easy for her.

I liked Bob as well. He came across as a true gentleman and also relatable. He would fit very well into today’s world, with his budgeting skills and secret hacks of boxed wine. He was definitely a step up, not down, from Wyatt, Alexis’ ex.

I also like Candy. I read at the end of the book that she will be getting her own story and I’m very excited for it. I think that will be a fab book.

The writing style was very easy to get into and follow. It gripped me within pages and entertained me for the rest of the book.  There were hilarious moments and moments that you do really feel sorry for Alexis. It was very well written to have both those moments with paragraphs from each other.

I enjoyed this story and happily give it a 4 out of 5.

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Blog Tour Extract: Finding Felix by Jo Platt


Finding Felix by Jo Platt

Published: 6th August 2018
Publisher: Canelo


Amazon UK | Kobo UK | Google Books | Apple Books UK


A family wedding. A fake boyfriend. A recipe for disaster! A funny, feel-good romantic comedy from bestseller Jo Platt

Singleton Dot Riley’s grandmother, Nanny Flo, is on her deathbed, surrounded by family and distraught at the thought of Dot being all alone in the world. Desperate to make Flo’s final moments happy ones, Dot invents a boyfriend – plumping in panic for her childhood friend, Felix, a firm favourite of Flo, but whom Dot hasn’t actually seen for 15 years.

But when Flo makes an unexpected recovery a few weeks before a family wedding, Dot is faced with a dilemma. Should she tell her frail grandmother that she lied and risk causing heartache and a relapse? Or should she find Felix and take him to the wedding?

Dot opts for finding Felix. But it’s not long before she discovers that finding him is the easy bit: liking him is the real challenge.

Author Bio

thumbnail_jo platt.jpg

Jo Platt was born in Liverpool in 1968 and, via the extremely winding route of rural Wiltshire, London, Seattle and St Albans, she is now happily settled in Bristol with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at King’s College London before going on to work in the City for ten years. In 2000 she escaped into motherhood and part-time employment, first as an assistant teacher in a Seattle pre-school and then was a Bristol-based secretary to her husband.

Author Social Media Links

Twitter: @JoPlattTweets


I’m super excited to be bringing this extract to you today. This book looks amazing and I cannot wait to get to it. It definitely looks like a book that I will love!!


As we waited for the lift, Kevin Bailey – the man I had so enthusiastically embraced and body-shamed – explained that he had been Felix’s friend for just over six years and his business partner for three. They had, he told me, worked together for several years in a large London accountancy firm, before deciding to go it alone in Cheltenham in early 2014.

I nodded along thoughtfully to this information, wondering, in light of their decision to relocate together, if perhaps Kevin and Felix were more than just friends and professional partners. Felix had claimed to have dated a couple of girls whilst at university, but he had never really talked about them or introduced them to me – or to any of our mutual friends so far as I knew. Nor had he ever produced any photographic evidence of them. So maybe, I mused, my mother had in his case been right. It was a theory which was certainly lent weight by the effusive manner in which Kevin spoke about him. Felix was, he said, the most reliable of friends and the perfect work colleague. I agreed wholeheartedly with the first assertion and was delighted to discover that Kevin’s opinion of him was so in line with my own.

In all his conversation, Kevin reinforced my first impression of him as both good-natured and good-humoured. He was clearly intrigued and amused that I had known Felix at school, and I was grateful for his ability to quickly shake off the awkwardness of our first encounter, and also for his kindly attempts to help me to do the same.

I had the opportunity to assess Kevin, and to form all these opinions, thanks to what felt like an interminable wait for the lift to the second floor. And something else I concluded about him, after twice suggesting that we perhaps take the stairs, was that – just like Felix – he wasn’t a fan of walking when there was the possibility of a ride. It was therefore a good five or ten minutes before we finally stepped out of the lift and he genially ushered me through the doorway of Bailey and Davis.

‘Just take a seat here, Dorothy,’ he said, as we entered a small outer office. ‘Felix should be free at any moment.’ He pointed towards four grey-cushioned chairs positioned along one wall next to a large, rather chaotic-looking pot plant. Immediately opposite the chairs was a desk, on which sat two in-trays, a pot of pens, a telephone, a keyboard and a computer, the screen of which was currently blank. ‘I’m afraid Linda, our secretary, has flu so isn’t with us today,’ he continued sadly. ‘That’s one of the reasons you were kept waiting for such a long time. She’s been off since last Wednesday, and I won’t lie, it’s been a struggle. We had a temp in yesterday and I think we’ll have to get him back tomorrow.’

‘Oh no, so I’m dropping by when you could really do without the bother,’ I said, feeling suddenly guilty.

He shook his head and laughed. ‘A potential new client is never a bother, Dorothy.’

I felt myself redden at this and was just debating whether to break it to Kevin that this particular visit was one hundred per cent social, when one of two white doors adjacent to Linda’s desk opened and a woman and two men emerged. The group were mid conversation and didn’t acknowledge either Kevin or myself.

‘I’ll talk to Nigel Fort in the morning,’ said the woman. She was petite and blonde and was cradling two box files in her arms. I watched as she listed slightly to the right in an apparent attempt to maintain her balance whilst adjusting a laptop bag which was slung over her left shoulder. Neither of the two men seemed to notice, and I frowned at them, disappointed that they didn’t offer to help.

The older man, grey-haired and not much taller than the woman, nodded and said something about assets. The other, who was younger and towered over his two colleagues, lowered his head and made a comment about European liabilities.

Having zero interest in their conversation, I peered inquisitively through the open door of what I assumed to be Felix’s office, wondering whether he was going to come and fetch me or if I was expected to go straight in. I checked my watch. Well over an hour had passed since my train had pulled in to Cheltenham Spa, and despite my nerves, I was now increasingly impatient to see him.

‘Is it OK for me to go in, Kevin?’ I asked quietly, nodding my head towards the office.

He glanced into the corridor at the departing group of three, who were continuing their discussion in a series of murmured exchanges whilst waiting for the lift. He nodded and smiled. ‘Of course. And if I don’t see you before you leave, it was great to meet you. And I hope to see you again soon,’ he added, before opening the other white door and disappearing from view.

I watched as he closed the door behind him, and then, taking a deep breath and experiencing some unexpected last-minute butterflies, I positioned a smile on my face, walked towards Felix’s office, tapped lightly on the door and peered gingerly inside.

I found myself looking into a small but light room. The magnolia walls were bare, save for two certificates, which I was unable to read without my glasses, and an aerial view of what I assumed to be Cheltenham. A desk was positioned facing away from one of the sash windows which fronted the building, and a filing cabinet, a small conference table and three chairs were the only other items in the room. Felix himself was nowhere to be seen.

My smile dropped momentarily, before it occurred to me, somewhat bizarrely, to check behind the door, just in case he was planning to leap out and surprise me. I smiled at the ridiculousness of the idea, but decided to look nevertheless.

I leaned slowly forward, craning my neck and inching my way around the door. ‘Felix?’


I gasped at the sound of my name and turned to discover the younger of the two men I had seen walk to the lift now standing just a few feet from me and looking puzzled. It took me two blinks and a second sharp intake of breath to realise that he was Felix.

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Blog Tour: How (Not) To Marry a Duke by Felicia Kingsley

h6IQ8BNA How Not To Marry a Duke by Felicia Kingsley

Published: 21st August 2018
Publisher: Aria
Format: Ebook
ASIN: B07F2N796K






A hilarious romantic comedy perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jo Watson and Meg Cabot.

One minute, Jemma Pears is a struggling theatrical make-up artist in London. The next, she’s been left a vast fortune by her estranged grandmother. The catch:

she must marry a man with a title to inherit. Jemma thinks this is truly impossible: she’s a romantic, searching for true love, not just a convenient marriage… and besides, where would she even find a titled guy?

Enter Ashford, the new Duke of Burlingham. His legacy: massive debts that he must pay back immediately or risk the bank seizing his assets. Or worse: his mother’s wrath! When their lawyer hears of their situations, a secret match is made despite their mutual hatred of each other: through marrying Ashford, Jemma can inherit and Ashford can pay back his debts immediately. Problem solved. That is, until their marriage is leaked to the press and everyone finds out…

Now they have to play out the charade for at least a year or risk going to jail for fraud! A hilarious pretense ensues and Jemma must battle against a crazy mother in law, a stuffy aristocracy, and finally, and most surprisingly of all, confusing feelings for Ashford…

About the author

Felicia Kingsley was born in 1987. She lives in a small town near Modena and works as an architect. Her debut novel How (Not) to Marry a Duke was the second most read e-book in Italy in 2017.

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Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

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My Thoughts

I liked this story. I liked the idea, the majority of the characters, and the general feel of the book.

I didn’t like Jemma to begin with. I found her irritating, too stereotypical on some levels. Her development though was massive, she was more likable towards the end of the book but every now and again there was a little bit of her I still didn’t like.

I sort of liked Ashford, but then on the other hand I didn’t. He was rude, judgemental, up in his own backside. He did change with the story like Jemma did but he didn’t improve as much as her.

I think my favourite characters though we’re Harring and Cecile. The banter between them kept me smiling when it was needed. I also liked Jemma’s parents. The idea of them is hilarious, I’d love to read a story about their history just based on the limited time we spent with them in this book.

One thing I want to comment on is the translation. It didn’t work. There were too many American terms when it came to certain things. It sort of bugs me when it’s not done properly. In this case, they referred to school as elementary school, middle school and high school. I can give them the high school part, but not elementary or middle.

Also, for me, there were a few things the author should have looked into regarding the getting married part. It’s fiction, yes, but surely the point is too make it more believable?? Just going down, filling out some forms, and the getting married? Nope. We have to wait at least 28 days in the UK after giving notice.

The writing style was easy to follow, but I do think it could have been better. I know that’s probably down to it being translated and they’ve probably have had to modify it slightly. I did find the story to be a bit clumpy in places unfortunately as well. There were things that weren’t really needed to be said, details that weren’t really necessary.

Overall. I enjoyed the story, the character development was for the good, it all worked quite well. For me, it’s just the translation and the information what let it all down for me.



Blog Tour Extract: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas


The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Published: 9th August 2018
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN13: 9781788540100

Goodreads | Amazon UK


1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril…

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was the pioneer that went mad, but they never talk about it. Then they receive a message from the future – a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady…

2018: When Odette discovered the body she went into shock. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is left frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

Kate Mascarenhas is a half-Irish, half-Seychellois midlander. She is a qualified child psychologist, dabbling in doll-making and bookbinding in her free time. She lives with her husband in a small terraced house, which she is slowly filling with Sindy dolls. This is her first novel. Kate is based in the UK.


I’m excited to be bringing you this extract today. I’ve not read the book, but it’s definitely on my TBR. It sounds really intriguing and this extract just makes me want to read it even more!!

The time machines ran on pellets of atroposium, encased in a lead briquette to minimise the handler’s exposure to radiation. Barbara went to the fuel stores, which were in a separate building, to collect a couple of briquettes. She slipped them into her pocket. But then she was distracted. Instead of proceeding to the time machine she was transfixed by the storeroom’s overhead light. How beautiful the glow was! The bulb’s reflection on the concrete floor was astonishing – as if Barbara had broken through to a deeper level of sensory awareness. The transcendental nature of time travel had opened up this new world for her. She knelt on the ground, as if she could lap up the reflection like a dog at the waterside.

The following day she was woken by Margaret. Barbara lifted her head from the floor, disorientated. Her thoughts were racing, and they had taken on an unusual quality: she could hear them. They were as loud and indistinct as a rioting crowd. Margaret’s voice competed for her attention.

‘I’ve been looking for you everywhere,’ Margaret was saying. ‘What are you doing in here?’

‘I don’t remember.’ Barbara’s jaw ached. She must have been grinding her teeth in the night. The inside of her cheek was raw, as if she had been chewing it.

‘Never mind, we haven’t the time. I contacted the BBC this morning, to tell them the good news. They’re sending a crew now.’ ‘That’s good.’

‘Are you sure you’re quite well?’ Margaret said. ‘You seemed feverish yesterday. If you’re coming down with something I can manage the interview with Lucille and Grace. It’s absolutely vital we make a good impression.’

‘I’m fine,’ Barbara said, although there were black arabesques writhing at the edge of her vision. ‘Will we know the questions in advance?’

‘We can rely on them to ask about paradoxes. They’ll almost certainly raise that hoary canard about killing your grandfather before he grows up.’

‘I think I can handle that.’

‘Good. Wash your face and comb your hair, dear, we need to be presentable. Everyone in Britain is going to see your face! Everyone in the world.’

Barbara did as she was told then kept quiet while the others talked and laughed. The BBC crew arrived shortly, which was the cue for everyone to congregate outside the time machine. Barbara didn’t like the influx of the camera and sound men. Over the past months she’d grown used to seeing only faces that she knew. For reassurance she looked again at her friends, and realised for the first time that Margaret was holding Patrick. He didn’t much like to be held. Rabbits generally prefer to have all four feet on the ground. It was only Barbara’s lap he could ever relax on.

‘Why isn’t he in his hutch?’ Barbara asked.

‘Patrick’s our mascot! He should be here, of course.’

‘Can’t I hold him?’ Barbara would benefit as much as Patrick. His warmth might calm her. She could still hear the rioting crowd of voices in her head.

‘You can’t be jealous of me holding your rabbit!’ Margaret said in surprise. ‘Come on, that newsman’s beckoning us.’

They spent a few minutes rehearsing the interview, so that the questions and answers would flow convincingly. The lights were tremendously hot and bright. Barbara kept staring at them, and the newscaster reminded her to look at him. He was a grey-besuited man with a salmon pink pate. Then the real interview was under way. The questions began benignly.

‘So which period of history are you going to visit first?’ the reporter asked. ‘Tudors and Stuarts? The Roman Empire?’

‘Sadly, we won’t be shaking hands with Henry VIII,’ Grace said. ‘Time travel requires a particular infrastructure. You can’t go back to any period before the machine’s invention.’

‘Which is no bad thing!’ Lucille exclaimed. ‘For some of us in particular, history would be a dangerous place.’

‘Are there limits on travelling into the future, too?’ the reporter asked. ‘Can you tell me if I have a pools win on the horizon?’

‘At the moment we’re making trips of a short duration,’ Grace explained. ‘But the distance is getting longer all the time. We’ve already met some of our future selves.’

‘How does that work?’ the reporter asked.

Margaret took the lead. ‘Well, for our first excursion, we activated the time machine at ten a.m. on Christmas Day. It transported us, instantaneously, to eleven o’clock of the same morning. At half past eleven we activated the time machine again, and travelled back to one minute past ten. What that means is between ten and ten-oh-one we didn’t exist in the world at all. But between eleven and eleven thirty, there were twice as many of us – and we were able to meet!’

‘I see. Isn’t that rather risky?’ asked the reporter. ‘Everyone’s seen Doctor Who. What if your future self accidentally killed you? What would happen then?’ The question was Barbara’s cue to speak. She replied:

‘That’s called a paradox. A paradise, a paradigm, a patrick…’ ‘Say again, Dr Hereford?’

Barbara rubbed her fingers and thumbs in agitation. Her jaw was working up and down again. The crowd roaring in her head had reached a crescendo. ‘Hereford is my name. People have names when they matter. We picked a name for our rabbit because he is pious, I mean a pioneer. I am a pioneer; and I won’t be dissected, not for anyone! Not for you, Mr Salmon Pink Pate, Mr Cat Would Eat You All Up. I won’t be dissected, or neglected, or resurrected!’

Lucille put a hand over the camera. ‘The interview’s over.’ ‘But, Dr Waters!’ The newsreader grasped Lucille’s wrist to loosen her grip on the lens. ‘Our viewers will be very disturbed by this outburst. Don’t you have an explanation?’

‘She must be delirious,’ Lucille said. ‘Have you never seen a person with flu?’

‘She’s clearly unwell,’ Grace said. ‘Margaret, go ring the GP, fast as you can.’

Even in her disarray, Barbara saw Margaret’s lips tighten.

Psychology of Time Travel- Use this banner

Blog Tour: The Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval


The Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval

Publisher: Choc Lit
Published: February 2018
Format: Ebook
Source: I’d actually purchased this before being invited on the blog tour. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources and Marie Laval though for letting me take part in the tour!!

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Kobo


Take a ride with Love Taxis, the cab company with a Heart …
Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.

Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.

On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was somebody playing cupid …


About The Author

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance). She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

Social Media Links –


My Review

I loved this book. It was fun, gripping, entertaining, everything you need in a book. There was suspense and action, along with touching, heart racing loving moments and that glorious touch of mystery. There was also some laugh out loud moments, with myself having to control any random outbursts. I liked the writing style and the switch between Rosalie’s point of view and Marc’s.

I liked Rosalie and Marc. Their chemistry worked really well, and their moments were more than frustrating yet romantic enough for me to want to shout at them to sort it out!! I liked Rosalie’s character in general, she was caring and considerate. She had her funny moments and her sad moments. She the news of Marc’s arrival on the chin and was determined to get to the bottom of it all sensibly. It was nice to see a women do something out of the whole baking thing as well, I loved the fact she was doing something that is generally classed as man’s job. I also love the fact that it’s a pink taxi!!

Marc was a good character as well. He started off as this unemotional man, who didn’t really want anything. A cold hearted man. He turned into this… Emotional, loving, sensual man. He done what was right in the end and that’s what counts really. I would say his development was the biggest, and the best.

With the mystery side of things, I couldn’t decide who I wanted to be behind it all, or if I wanted to hazard a guess. One minute I wanted it to be one person, the next I wasn’t too sure on my choice. It was a different sort of twist and I’m glad it worked out the way that it did.

Overall, I really loved this book. I’m really excited to be given it a fabulous, bright and wonderfully pink 5/5

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Blog Tour: The Lucky Dress by Aimee Brown

39791951 The Lucky Dress by Aimee Brown
note: Previously published as The Little Gray Dress

Publisher: Aria
Published: August 2018
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley and Aria, thank you lovely people for my copy in exchange for my review

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Kobo

Follow Aria

Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction


We all have our lucky dress… an irresistibly hilarious rom-com: perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Jo Watson and Sophie Kinsella.

Emi Harrison hasn’t been feeling particularly lucky lately. Ever since her ex-fiancée, Jack Cabot, successfully shattered her heart into a million pieces. She’s managed to avoid him for a whole year, but all that’s about to change at her brother Evan’s wedding…

She will have to face Jack, Jack’s sister, Jack’s parents, and Jack’s new girlfriend: a mean girl that just won’t quit. What could possibly go wrong?

But with her lucky dress on, she might just find new love, life, and maybe even happiness at last!

My Review

I’m excited to be on the starting day of the blog tour for this fun book.

I liked this story. Emi was a likeable person and I connected with her immediately. I understood perfectly where she was coming from when it came to Jack. Her fears were very relatable. I liked her chemistry with her brother Evan and his fiancée Hannah, although that didn’t feel as forced as what it’s made out to be. The chemistry between Emi and Jack was also questionable but I felt for them more the more I learnt about the important moments in their past relationship.

One character I wasn’t so keen on was Lily. She was extremely judgemental when it came to things Emi done, like the wine scenario at the airport. That was a little OTT and after that she just didn’t sit right with me.

I liked Jack and felt sort of sorry for him. Emi didn’y really even give him the time to try and explain, just leaving without any contact. The twist involving Jack was a little expected but it was still quite shocking. I didn’t really like the character to begin with, and then we learn why Emi didn’t like her either.

I love the fact that we got backstory from Emi and Jack’s relationship. Those moments were what made me root for them even more. They were a sweet couple, and as a character said, their romance was very much a Hollywood romance.

The writing style really flowed well, with hilarious moments involved, including drunken moments. Honestly, I didn’t get the lucky dress thing. I didn’t see any evidence of this so I’m a bit sceptical about it. I don’t think it really made the story or anything. It felt like a very convenient storyline to flow with.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and liked the characters. I’ve given this book 4/5.

About the AuthorV1_62iDQ.jpeg

Aimee Brown is a writer of romantic comedies set in Portland, Oregon, and an avid reader. She spends much of her time writing, raising three teenagers, binge-watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.

Aimee grew up in Oregon, but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She is a lot older than she looks and yes, that is a tattoo across her chest.

Aimee is very active on social media. Stop by and say hello!


Twitter: @AimeeBWrites

Facebook: @AuthorAimeeBrown

Instagram: @authoraimeeb