Viewpoint: Ten memorable moments from the last decade

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First, a confession: this list is a steal – an idea borrowed from my friends John Jackson and Paul Smith, who recently posted similar records of achievement on Facebook.

It seemed such a lovely thing to do – so here, in no particular order, are my top ten moments from 2010-2020:

Meeting my granddaughter Iris for the first time

Sorry, I lied: this is definitely number one on my list.

Iris has enriched my life in ways I could never imagine, and it’s been an unexpected delight to watch my eldest daughter, Megan, blossom as a mum.

Travelling Down Under to visit my youngest daughter, Annie, during her gap year-and-a-half in Australia

Next time, I’ll fly business class and stay for longer than four weeks, but in all other respects, it was a wonderful holiday – although saying goodbye to Annie at the end of the trip was heart-breaking. Continue reading

Review: Julie Butterfield cooks up a heart-warming rom-com with Eve’s Christmas

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It’s the time of year when even the most uncommitted Earth-Mother type begins to feel a bit stressed about making sure everything is nice for Christmas.

But few of us would go to the lengths of Eve Crowther, title character of Julie Butterfield’s seasonal romantic comedy Eve’s Christmas, who’s decided she needs to inject a little sparkle into the family’s usual laid back and slightly shabby holiday.

Of course, it’s no coincidence Eve’s change of heart coincides with a visit from husband Richard’s oldest friend, Abby, who, newly single, has decided to spend ALL twelve days of Christmas with the Crowthers. Continue reading

Review: Lucy Mathers Goes Back to Work is a chuckle-filled page turner

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It’s not often you meet a book character and think: ‘Oh, I’ve walked in your shoes.’

Well, not the sky-high ones favoured by Lucy Mathers, in Julie Butterfield’s delightful romantic comedy Lucy Mathers Goes Back to Work.

But, in all other respects, Lucy – her separation anxiety, her professional insecurities and general just-about-coping-ness – could have been me.

And, probably, every other woman returning to work after children.

Poor old Lucy doesn’t even want to go back to her old job at Simcock & Bright, where she was once the golden girl.

She’s perfectly happy being a stay-at-home mum and doesn’t regret swapping her Louboutins and high profile clients for rabbit slippers and spending her day making crustless sandwiches for her two adorable children.

But, when her when her husband is suddenly made redundant, there’s panic in the Mathers’ household.

With a mortgage the size of the national debt and a credit card balance that’s in danger of toppling, Lucy reluctantly decides she must return to work. Continue reading

News: Happy book birthday to A Forgiven Friend, final novel in our FRIENDS trilogy

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Birthdays are always great fun – and there’s no fun like a book birthday.

It’s publication day for our third novel A Forgiven Friend – the final instalment in our FRIENDS series.

It continues the story of best friends Teri Meyer and Lee Harper as they juggle work, life and love – usually with a glass of wine or a cup of weak Earl Grey tea to hand. Or ‘gnat’s piss’ as Teri usually describes it.

For an exclusive peek at what happens next head over to BookWorms Corner Blog Spot for an exclusive extract.

Purchase links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FORGIVEN-FRIEND-Witty-Attitude-FRIENDS-ebook/dp/B07Z53NX51

US – https://www.amazon.com/FORGIVEN-FRIEND-Witty-Attitude-FRIENDS-ebook/dp/B07Z53NX51

Meet  the author: Outreach author Shelly Berry shares a guilty secret…

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Photo credit: Bianca Kirby.

Find out why author Shelly Berry is grateful she never acted on an office crush and how the experience inspired the plot of her new novel Outreach.

Also learn why her days as a girl guide mean she always likes to ‘Be Prepared’ and why she’s worrying about moving house.

And don’t miss out on a chance (UK entrants only) to win a paperback copy of Outreach. Continue reading

News: Our books – introducing our new title A Forgiven Friend

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The countdown begins…it’s just seven days to publication of A Forgiven Friend, the final book in our FRIENDS trilogy.

Susan and I have now written five books together – three novels and two journalism textbooks – and the thrill, and trepidation, of sending a new book into the world is just as intense whether it’s the first or the fifth.

It’s more than thirteen years since we first started writing together when we were both teaching journalism to higher education students. Me at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity. Continue reading

Review: The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost takes readers on a heart-warming trip

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in Norfolk recently – the new go-to county for authors.

And I’m enjoying my little trips – including the most recent one, courtesy of Kate Frost, and her novel The Honeysuckle Dream, which also includes stop-offs in Bristol, Sheffield, Pembrokeshire and Cephalonia (where the weather was warmer than at all the other destinations).

Did I say enjoying?

Actually, by chapter two I was fizzing with fury on behalf of poor betrayed, pregnant nineteen-year-old Leila, whose mother tells her the much older, Continue reading

Review: Weave of Love, a tale of post-apocalyptic choices and consequences from Rachel J. Bonner

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In a futuristic world, ripped apart by a devastating war, Leonie hovers on the brink of death after harnessing her extra-ordinary mental powers to save the victims of a horrible explosion.

Husband Perry, a former monk, who showed Leonie how to harness those powers, is wracked with guilt.

And, though, he knows she is receiving the best possible care from his former brothers at the monastery of the House of St Peter, he is tortured with thoughts of ‘what if?’

Meanwhile, his mentor, and Leonie’s adopted Continue reading

Read an extract: Birthday blog tour bash for The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by Barbara Quinn

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Confession time: I fell in love with The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by Barbara Quinn when it first came out two years ago.

You can read my thoughts on this stunning tale of love and loss, loyalty and new beginnings and affirmation that there’s more to America and Americans than President Trump here.

In the meantime, as part of a birthday blog tour bash, you’ll find an extract below to whet your appetite for more…

First though a little about the book:

Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. Continue reading

Viewpoint: Celebrities telling stories about their lives? It must be literature festival time and they’ve books to flog.

You can hardly open a newspaper this month without there being articles featuring comments, opinions and stories by, from and about celebrities.

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis on why she’s banned from wearing bright clothes on screen; David Cameron talking about his daughter asking if it’s true he was prime minister; former Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys accusing the BBC of bias…

And many more… But why now?

Easy: it’s literature festival time and these celebrities have been appearing at one or another – because they’ve got books to flog. Continue reading