Blog Tour: Spotlight and Review- Dreaming of Rome by T.A. Williams

Title: Dreaming of Rome

Author Name: T.A. Williams

 

Previous Books (if applicable): Dreaming of Venice, Dreaming of Florence, Dreaming of St Tropez, Dreaing of Christmas and Dreaming of Tuscany

 

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 

Release Date: 6th May 2019

 

Cover Image:

About the Book: 

Rome is where the heart is… The heartwarming read of the summer
Jo has had enough of handsome men. After a painful break-up, she’s decided she doesn’t believe in love.

Then, while on a professional trip to the magical city of Rome, she meets Corrado, a scientist and her brother-in-law to be, who doesn’t believe in love either. To him, it’s just a biochemical reaction. So what’s the problem?

Well, he’s gorgeous for a start, as well as charming, generous, intelligent and attentive, and she feels herself immediately falling for him, despite her new outlook.

The majesty of the Eternal City brings them ever closer together. But is their relationship doomed, or will love conquer all?

Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, Dreaming of Rome is a joyous and uplifting read from T.A. Williams, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver

My Review:

I absolutely love the way T.A.Williams writes. When you have one of his books you are guaranteed sun, amazing locations and total immersion in a different culture, language and customs.

Dreaming of Rome takes us to Rome and the surrounding areas via the adventures of Jo who is invited to her sister’s wedding and also to her gorgeous house.

Jo swears she’s over men after a disasterous breakup and another disasterous date during which I was cheering her on and hoping for the best that she found someone really worthy of her love. So, leaving London for Italy is pretty easy for her. Jo has a passion for butterflies and the butterflies were made so visual in the book, a unique characteristic.

Regarding love: Is Corrado the one for her? Or someone totally different? In true T.A. Williams style, of course there’s romance, lounging by the pool and mouthwaterring food as well as great company as well as not so great company. And there has to be a dog. Daisy was a real character and she stole the show on more than one occasion.

The premise is pretty simple, but T.A. Williams pulls the plot off with ease and takes the reader along to Italy (I could almost literally taste the ice creams and other food!) Food, romance, sun and fun, Dreaming of Rome is a laid-back book that really keeps the reader hooked.

A great addition to the Dreaming of……series which has already taken me to many locations.

It really helps that the author lived in various couuntries and has such a love of languages and culture because I always feel I learn some new vocabulary through the easy way the foreign language is woven into the text. This makes the books more enjoyable for me. I learnt some Italian for a year is but still learnt something new through this novel.

A perfect summer/ beach novel- or one for any time of year. Feelgood, and a wonderful pace.

Thanks to T.A. Williams for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review plus a space on the blog tour fot this title.

5 sun drenched stars

Links to Book:



Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

About the Author:



T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

Twitter: @TAWilliamsBooks

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Blog Tour: This is Me by Shari Low

About the Author: 

 

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In December, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You and her latest release, Another Day In Winter. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. For all the latest news, visit her on Facebook, twitter, or at http://www.sharilow.com

Follow Shari

 

Website: http://www.sharilow.com

Twitter: @ShariLow

Facebook: @sharilowbooks

 

About the Book: 

 

This is… Denise.

Married to Ray, her first and only love, Denise has never for one moment regretted putting the husband she idolised on a pedestal above everyone and everything else. But, after forty years of marriage, he is gone, leaving Denise to discover that their perfect marriage was fatally flawed. Now she faces a future alone, but first she must face the betrayals of the past.
This is… Claire.

The estranged daughter of Denise, the woman who put her husband before her children, Claire took the opposite path and devoted her life to raising her family, sacrificing her marriage along the way. With her teenage sons about to flee the nest, she realises she may have left it too late to find her own happy ever after.
This is the story of two women, both alone, both cautionary tales of one of motherhood’s biggest decisions.
Who is more important, your partner or your children? And what happens if you make the wrong choice?

 

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VoQlEh

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2BV5VjD

iBooks: https://apple.co/2tEtVTw

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2IDfCJj

 

My Review: 

Wow, just wow! I was blown away by This is Me. 
Shari Low’s latest novel focuses on Denise and Claire, a mother and daughter both experiencing the loss of Ray, Denise’s husband and Claire’s father. He was everything to Denise and was often first for her in every situation. 
For Claire, he was much less important and her task was looking after herself and raising her two boys. Now teens, they are going off to uni soon. How will she cope without them? 
Things are fraught to say the least between her and her mum, but when one man provided the link that made you family, who do you turn to? How will each woman cope with the loss of Ray? Will they build bridges? 
This is Me was gripping, sad and fast paced and is an emotional rollercoaster. 
There are secrets, struggles and conflicts in what I think is a must-read/ listen. 5 stars. 
Thanks to Shari Low and Aria for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have reviewed many of Shari Low’s novels now and enjoyed them. I can’t wait for the next one!

Jeanna’s voice was barely audible over the noise of a loud sniff from her pal. ‘You definitely need to have sex. Or get your jaws clamped.’

Claire fired the wrapper at her. ‘And get a new friend,’ she retorted, holding her own. They both knew she didn’t mean it. This heady combination of brutal honesty, intolerance and underlying care was a very familiar dynamic. They’d been inseparable since high school, when Jeanna had lured her into the netball team with the promise that the football squad came to all their games and they’d find her irresistible. All Claire got was a new best friend who made her laugh, chafed thighs and a knock-back from the footie team’s star striker.

Over two decades later, their dynamic hadn’t changed much. Claire was the warm ying to Jeanna’s incredibly dry, frequently bitchy yang. Through the years, they’d survived everything that the world had thrown at them. Jeanna’s two divorces, followed by her enthusiastic embrace of the online dating scene. Health issues. Make ups. Break ups. A difference of opinion on almost every subject they’d ever discussed. Several career changes for Jeanna, until she had found her calling as a life coach – someone who lit fires under the buttocks of people who weren’t reaching their personal and career goals. Then there was Claire’s one failed marriage. The traumatic split at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. And her life as a single mother to two teenagers.

They’d weathered every storm together, triumphed over every crisis, right up to the point where one of them was sporting a disappointed duck face (Jeanna had overdone the fillers again) and the other was comfort eating retro, circle shaped chocolate biscuits.

Jeanna was still dwelling on Claire’s comment about getting a new best friend. ‘Good luck finding one as irresistible as me,’ she retorted, her Botoxed eyebrows trying their best to form an indignant arch.

‘You’re right. I’d miss the DEFCON level one bitchiness and judgement.’

Jeanna laughed, the pressure of pushing her cheeks outwards almost, but not quite, causing the abomination of a crow’s foot. ‘And my unlimited, but understated, adoration.’

Claire’s crows’ feet appeared as soon as she chuckled, ‘Yep, I’d be lost without that too.’

Her phone suddenly burst into life.

‘Oh thank G…’ she started, snatching it up, before her words drifted off and she was left open mouthed, just staring at the screen.

Jeanna leaned forward, curious. ‘Aren’t you going to answer it?’

‘No.’

‘Why not? Is this some maternal lesson you’re trying to teach him? Only, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face there.’

‘It’s not Jordy.’ Claire’s words were low and could barely be heard over the repetitive ringtone.

‘Who is it?’

‘It’s my… my mother.’

Her mother. It had been many years since she’d seen that name flashing on the screen and even the thought of that woman made Claire’s throat tighten. It had been Claire’s choice to remove her mum from her life, but there had been no argument from the other side.

Her gaze returned to the phone for a few more seconds. Then Claire pressed the red button and rejected the call.

Follow Aria
 
Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Blog Tour: Getting Hot with the Scot (Sometimes in Love #1) by Melonie Johnson

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

The first in a new series, a journalist focused on her career and a sexy Scottish comedian turn a one night stand into forever.

 

Cassie Crow leaves for vacation with two goals: fill up her empty charm bracelet and have a one night stand. For once, she wants to have fun instead of obsessively checking her work email. And kissing a man in a castle who’s dressed as a Scottish Highlander is the perfect solution.

 

Except when that man turns out to be Logan Reid, the host of a popular sketch show—and Cassie has just been roped into his latest prank. She wants nothing to do with his antics, but that was a really great kiss, and one night together couldn’t hurt.

 

It’s clear that one night isn’t enough and when Logan’s show brings him closer to Cassie, they decide to give dating a try. Can the woman who’s focused solely on her career and the man who refuses to take life seriously make it work?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


 

A Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb, award-winning author Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—is a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist who loves dark coffee, cheap wine, and expensive beer. And margaritas. And mimosas. And mules. Basically any cocktail that starts with the letter m. She met her future husband in that most romantic of places—the mall—when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. They went on to live happily ever after in the suburbs of Chicago with two redhead daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a trio of hermit crabs. After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie taught high school English and Theatre in the northern Chicago suburbs for several years. Now she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin.

My Review:

Cassie Crow is a presenter for a pop culture talk show. She doesn’t have time to take much of a break from her job and definitely doesn’t have time for a relationship. She and her girlfriends have been planning a getaway for years that will take them to different countries. 
When the time for trip comes, they are all excited. Melonie Johnson starts this series off with the mention of Cassie’s charm bracelet. I loved the idea of collecting a charm per country as a souvenir. 
Cassie meets a hot Scot, Logan Reid, after a wrong turn. This part was the only part in the book I found a bit slow, I enjoyed all the whiskey tasting scene and found that Cassie and her friends all have their distinct personalities which were kept alive during the novel. 
Logan works on an Internet joke show and he and Cassie seem like they won’t click at first but feelings are on overdrive and one thing leads to another. Cassie has wanted a lot of things in life but has never found “The One” due to her work commitments. She has a bucket list for the trip and the only thing left is to have a holiday romance. 
As things develop with Logan, one night turns into another and the heat is on. 
A romantic, realistic fast-paced romance that I finished in a day and I have to say I was hooked! The atmosphere was well described and I could really feel the friends’ excitement about the trip. I liked how they all got on and were supportive but also wanted a laugh together. Prepare yourself for some pretty hot scenes between Cassie and Logan. 
Melonie Johnson is a new author for me, and Getting Hot with the Scot is the first in the Someetimes in Love series. I was impressed by this brilliant, fun debut with excellent flow and have the other teo books on my TBR list. 
The way Melonie Johnson writes is an easy lid-back style that keeps you hooked and the romance is hot and sweet. She perfectly represents how. group of friends on a once-in-a- lifetime trip would act and we are lured straight into the book which was a great way to start. I have a feeling I’ll be opening this eARC time and time agin! 

Thanks to Melonie Johnson and St Martin’s Press for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review and my blog tour slot for this title. I highly recommend this and it is more enjoyable than other Scotland- based romances I have reviewed lately. And what an ending! But then you’ll have to read the book to find out more 🙂 I love books about romance and travel and loved accompanying Cassie and her friends as well as Cassie and Logan on their respective journeys. 

5 stars.

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250193094

As a great extra to this post, the publisher has provided me with a preview of the audiobook version of Getting Hot with the Scot!  

Author website: https://meloniejohnson.com/

Author Twitter: @MelonieJohnson

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meloniejohnson/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelonieWrites/

 

SMP Romance Twitter: @SMPRomance or @heroesnhearts

SMP Romance Website: https://heroesandheartbreakers.com/

Excerpt from GETTING HOT WITH THE SCOT by Melonie Johnson

Would you look at that? The man is wearing a kilt.

Note to self: Cassie Crow—be careful what you wish for.

The man groaned again and raised a hand to shield his eyes from the sunlight now cutting across the hidden alcove.

“Are you all right?”

“I will be fine once ye douse that blasted light.” He squinted up at her. “Be ye a new chambermaid?”

Chambermaid? She eyed the wide sleeves and open neck of the old-fashioned piratey shirt he wore. “Not sure what kind of weird-ass stuff you’re into buddy, but I don’t do RPG.”

“Weird . . . ass?” His dark red brows drew together as he shaped his mouth around the letters. “Are pee gee?”

“Role playing games. You know, like cosplay or whatever.” She pointed at him. “Look, you’re the one wearing that get-up and talking like a reject from Macbeth.”

He narrowed his eyes at her finger. “Be ye a witch?” “What did you call me?”

With another groan, he lurched forward. Oh God, what if he was hurt? For all she knew he was a member of some historic castle tour who got lost in a back passageway and hit his head. She leaned down to inspect him for bruises.

He threw a hand out, palm up, warding her off. “Back away, sorceress,” he hissed.

“Seriously?” She slapped his hand out of the way. “Here, let me help you out of there.” Cassie tugged gently on his shoulder. The voluminous shirt was loose, but she could feel—and appreciate—the thick spread of muscle beneath the soft fabric.

Just my luck, I finally run into a hot Highlander, and he’s delusional.

The man waved off her assistance and struggled to his feet, shaking a wild tousle of thick, red hair out of his eyes. Cassie never fancied herself to be a ginger girl, but it worked on him . . . or maybe that was the kilt talking. She eyed the swath of plaid fabric wrapped around his hips and wondered, like any female in her position would, what might or might not be under there. Reluctantly, she raised her gaze and caught him scrutinizing her in return.

“What be these strange breeks ye wear?” he asked, moving in a circle around her.

Cassie swore she could feel the weight of each of his eyeballs resting on her denim-clad backside. Fair enough. After a prolonged moment, she glanced over her shoulder. “Get a good look?”

“Aye.” He swallowed. “’Tis most unseemly, lass.” He shook his head, gaze still glued to her ass.

“They’re called jeans.” She pivoted to face him. “Are you for real?”

He met her gaze, his answer falling from his lips in a deep, rich brogue with trilling r’s that curled her toes, “Aye, lass, I’m real.”

Cassie’s heart hiccupped. Of course he’s real. Unless those shots were stronger than I thought. “Were you at the whisky tasting?”

“Whisky?” His green-gold eyes lit with interest. “Do ye have whisky for me, then? I could use a wee dram. Be a good lass and fetch it for me.”

“Ha! I think you’ve had enough, mister. Is that how you ended up stuck in there?” Even as she said this, Cassie doubted it. She didn’t smell a hint of alcohol on him, though she did pick up other pleasant smells. Mint and clove and man and . . . Stop being ridiculous.

His broad shoulders lifted and dropped. “I dinna ken.” “How long were you in there?”

Another shrug.

Cassie dragged her attention away from the wide curve of his shoulders and leaned past him, inspecting the dark, narrow space behind the bookshelf.

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, panic edging his voice. “Nay, lass. Doona be going in there.”

“Why not?” She inched forward and tried to get a better look.

“It canna be safe.” He tugged on her wrist again, his fingers warm and firm.

Tiny butterflies danced along the path where his skin touched hers. She brushed away the tingling sensation and slipped out of his grip, careful not to snag her bracelet. “Well, you were in there, and you appear to have managed.”

“Are ye daft, wench? I was trapped!”

She sniffed, not sure she liked being referred to as a wench, and frowned up at him. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

He closed his eyes and slumped against the shelf. “I canna recall anything afore the moment I woke to find myself crammed within yonder wall.” He blinked and focused intently on her. “The moment I found you, lass.”

Cassie decided she liked being called lass much better than wench, especially when he was looking at her like that. Gazes locked, her other senses sharpened, heightening her awareness of his body and its proximity to hers. She cleared her throat. “Hm. I think it’d be more accurate to say I’m the one who found you.” Telling herself she was only searching for injuries, she reached up and tentatively skimmed her palms along his temples, her fingers trailing his scalp.

“Looking for devil’s horns?” The man cocked one wicked brow at her as he raised his arms to mirror her movements, running his hands over her head and shoulders before brushing his palms down her back. “Ye’ve naught got any fairy wings, so I’d say we’re even. In fact,” he whispered against her hair, standing so close the low burr of his voice became a purr in her own chest, “ye feel perfect to me.”

Like the migrating monarchs her dad studied, the butterflies made a return trip, enveloping her in a fluttery haze. She shivered. Whether it was the Scot or the scotch or both, Cassie didn’t care. He was here and she was here, and damn it all, it was about time she skipped to the good stuff. With a forceful mental click, Cassie turned off her brain, tilted her chin up, and caught his mouth with hers.

He made a low sound in the back of his throat, of protest or surprise, she wasn’t sure. But then his hands settled at her waist, and he returned the kiss. His mouth was somehow soft and hard at the same time, and when he slipped his tongue between her lips, she felt more lightheaded than if she’d downed every shot of whisky that had been on that tasting list.

Cassie rolled her tongue against his, savoring the delicious contact. He met her thrust for thrust, deepening the kiss until she was swept away on a tidal wave of desire. This. This is what I’ve been waiting for. She clung to him, hands gripping his shoulders, swimming in sensation, drowning in it.

 

 

Feature Post: Restorations by Charles Strickler Going from Reader to Writer 

About the Book: 

Released April 20, 2019 by Koehler Books

A fast-paced thriller that puts the pedal to the metal from page one, Restorations starts off with a bank robbery and a car chase, and the action doesn’t slow down there. The car in question is a 1928 Stutz Black Hawk Boattail Roadster and it’s almost 100 years past its prime when it resurfaces. Miles West, an investment banker who has veered off course after the death of his wife and parents, has no idea that the antique car he’s so enamored with may be the thing to give him a destination again.

Going from Reader to Writer by Charles Strickler: 

When I read stories that I really enjoy, I love the feeling of getting pulled into the story to the point I don’t want it to end, it’s sort of magical. Sometimes you read a story and you start to wonder what if … the neat thing about writing is that you get the chance to write those other what-if stories. So, I aspire to write stories that others will enjoy and find just as captivating.  
I have always enjoyed writing for fun, short stories, and thematic newsletters, but taking on a book was a big step. I spent a lot of time working on the book before I was ready to share it with others. I suppose I needed to prove to myself that I could pull together a solid engaging story. At the point I had one that I was comfortable sharing, I asked several people I respected to test read my novel. They labored through the unabridged version of Restorations, which was over 110,000 words in length! I will always be grateful for their assistance and support.
When you spend time writing, you definitely start looking at the things you read a little differently. As a reader, I enjoyed getting immersed in the story and didn’t spend much time thinking about the technical aspects of how it was crafted. However, as a writer I am much more attuned to things, like how the story is paced or the balance of dialogue versus description, as well as the authors voice. Writing a novel has also given me an even greater appreciation for some of my favorite books and authors. As I get the chance, I enjoy re-reading some of my favorite books with an eye for the things that really pulled me into the story. It’s a daunting task to identify some of those illusive elements and incorporate them seamlessly into your own stories. Restorations has undoubtably been influenced by the many books I have read over the years, as well as various life experiences.
About Charles Strickler:


Charles Strickler is a native Virginian. He graduated from Virginia Tech where he also met his future bride Mary. An entrepreneur with work experiences that range from the barnyard to the Board Room, Charles brings a unique perspective to his mysteries. Charles is an advocate for the fight against Polycystic Kidney Disease, a mystery he does not like. PKD is a genetic disease affecting 200,000 people per year. While there is no cure yet, the PKD Foundation continues to fund promising research to discover treatments that can slow the progression and eventually end this disease.

 

Buy Restorations Here:
Connect with Strickler at CharlesStrickler.com, Facebook.com/charlesstricklerauthor and Instagram.com/cstricklerauthor.

Blog Tour: Review- Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen

image.pngI was drawn to this book because I wanted to know more about Audrey Hepburn. Known mostly for the movies she starred in, Dutch Girl takes a look at another, much more personal of Audrey’s life. I was very interested in the Foreword to this book which was written by Audrey’s oldest son. I felt that this automatically gave it a very personal touch and I was moved by the way he talked about his mother.

I thought Dutch Girl would be about Audrey’s roots and rise to stardom, but it is actually quite a humble story. Audrey and her family lived in Holland during World War II and she was a teenager at the time.

I knew nothing about her family, but here we learn that her mother was a great follower of Hitler and met him on more than one occasion. That made me feel uneasy but Audrey went for what she wanted in life and became a UNESCO ambassador and loved to help others. I was fascinated by the fact that she and Anne Frank were around the same age and was gripped by any part of the book mentioning diary entries, be that Audrey’s mother’s or Anne Frank’s.

I have had a special interest in Anne Frank ever since I read The Diary of Anne Frank in my German class at school. It was so interesting seeing how their lives intertwined and overlapped.

The level of detail in this biography is impressive and extensive. I was interested in Audrey and her family but at times I felt distracted and overwhelmed by the pace at which so many different people were introduced so much so that it was hard to keep track of the characters and the plot at times.

Dutch Girl is a book to be cherished and I think it is a very unique biography given it is about Audrey and her family outside of Audrey’s acting career. I would have loved to have discovered more bout that too and perhaps how the aspects of her past looked at in Dutch Girl shaped her decisions to become an actress and her experiences during her acting career.

However, I appreciate that the author wanted to show the world a different side of Audrey. The book is very heavy on historical facts and Nazi history yet is written in an accessible way. Overall, Dutch Girl is a good read for anyone interested in Audrey Hepburn. Having read it makes me want to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s again.

I love the cover of the book which I feel represents Audrey’s true sense of style. And the title is mysterious enough to have made me want to find out more about Audrey. I’m glad I got the chance to review it and post for the blog tour. I am going to recommend this book.

Thanks to Robert Matzen for such a unique biography and to Smith Publicity for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars.

Blog Tour: The  Last Dance by Aimee Brown

 

About the Book: 

 

Can you truly forgive and forget?

 

Ambri and Henry have been best friends forever. They’ve been through the highs and lows of life with each other by their sides. The worst? When Henry’s wife, and Ambri’s sister, died. Together, they can face it all. Until one night destroys everything.
Two years after he stepped out of it Henry walks back into Ambri’s life and she’s more than a little shocked. But as old friends fall into even older habits they need to decide whether they can forget the past and embrace their future.
Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult and Anna Bell.
About the author

 

About the Author:


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. (In the Portlandia spirit, yes, I lived many years in PDX and I do indeed have a bird tattooed on me (2!)) Aimee is very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

Follow Aimee:  

Facebook: @authoraimeebrown

Twitter: @AimeeBWrites

Hi, Katherine! Thank you so much for having me on your site today. I’m so excited to chat at you and your readers. ❤

Where did the idea for the plot come from?

I knew I wanted to write a story with a grief/depression element because it’s such a huge emotion that so many people struggle with. Sadly, I’ve had a few friends who’ve lost their spouses over the last few years and so I really paid attention to their grief cycle over for quite awhile to get the right vibe for that side of the story. My characters seemed to drive the story from that point and somehow everything just kind of clicked towards the end. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer so I only had that overall idea of subplots when I started. Comedy for me is just a part of who I am so that part weaved its way in pretty easily. I’m really happy with how this story turned out and I miss these characters so much now that I’m not spending every day with them.

Who is your favourite character? Why?

Truthfully, my fav is Henry. I just adore everything about him. He’s not perfect, has made mistakes, but is trying desperately to better himself and follow his heart. He’s at the top of my own book boyfriend list for sure!

Who is your least favourite character? Why?

Choosing a least fav is like choosing a least fav kid! LOL But… my least favorite would have to be Jimmy and Trevor. There is always someone in a work environment that you’d rather not deal with on a daily basis and I think these two fit in those roles perfectly.

Which is your favourite scene in the book? Why?

The 80’s night scene for sure! I swoon every time I reread that scene. I just adore what Henry does for Ambri that night. It’s a huge character turning point for both of them and the beginning of their happily ever after.

What do you most like to do when you are not writing?

Lately, binge watch YouTube… my kids have me addicted to watching all kinds of videos. I never really understood the YouTube craze until recently.

I also am a totally crazy plant and cat lady, so I spend a lot of time admiring my green thumb and singing ridiculous made up songs to my cats. As well as cleaning, decorating my house, thrift shopping, reading, and discovering new songs to add to my playlists.

What’s the story behind why and how you became an author?

When I was about twenty-six I sat down one day while my older kids were in school and my youngest was napping and for some reason just starting writing. It turned into something I really enjoyed and got to where I daydreamed about what to write while I was a work. I took some creative writing classes, got some unexpected great feedback from my classmates and instructor and voila! An author was born. Of course, I didn’t actually publish my first book until I was thirty-nine but I knew I wanted to for a long time and spent years writing just for myself and running a book blog. I think writing is just a part of who I am.

What is your favourite movie? Why?

So many! My absolute favorite would have to be Sleepless in Seattle. I saw it in the theatre when it was released and fell in love with romantic comedies within the first ten minutes. I love that even though I’ve seen it a thousand times and know all the lines, I still swoon just like I did the first time I ever saw it.

Do you have a favourite book?

P.S. I love you by Cecelia Ahern. When I read that book, I had no idea a book could hold some much emotion within its pages. I loved that I ugly cried, swooned, and fell in love with the characters and I knew I wanted to be able to write like that.

Can you give me any advice to write romance themes into my own book?

One reason I love the romance genre is because everyone is looking for love. Sometimes we search for it and other times it happens when we least expect it. I say let your characters tell you what they want and if they’ve got chemistry, they’ll make it happen whether you want it to or not.

How about some advice for me to reach my dream of publishing?

Don’t give up! Keep writing, keep reading, and never feel like you’re not good enough. Not a single other soul can write the story the way you can. Your voice deserves to be heard. Be confident in your work and always strive to keep learning from those around you. You’ve got this!

Thanks so much, Aimee.

My Review: 

After having reviewed Aimee’s previous novel The Lucky Dress, which was titled Little Gray Dress in the USA, I jumped at the chance to review The Last Dance.

Ambri and Henry, people who have shared so much. One event shattered their world, the death of Ambri’s sister who was also Henry’s wife. Ambri and Henry tried to move on in life but have never forgotten each other.

A chance encounter sees them meeting again and there are so many raw feelings, hate hurt love and loss. I was moved by the title and synopsis of this book but even more so by the plot and subplots.
The writing flows so well and is flawless.

Aimee Brown has an amazing way of getting inside characters’ heads and making the most hidden of emotions come to the surface. The book is full of romance, the struggle to figure out what you really feel and is also so laced with sadness.

Aimee Brown has done it again and written a romance with dramatic undertones that had me hooked from the first word to the last.

Thanks to Aimee Brown and Aria for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review and I’m thrilled to have a spot on the blog tour for this title.

5 stars.

 

Where to Buy:

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RwEKAx

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JyVngz

iBooks: https://apple.co/2Jwhrbx

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JwJgR2

 

 

Follow Aria:

 

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Blog Tour: The Girl in the Pink Raincoat by Alrene Hughes

About the Book:

In wartime it takes courage to follow your heart.
Manchester, 1939.

Everyone hated the heat and the deafening noise, but for Gracie the worst thing was the smell of chemicals that turned her stomach every morning when she arrived at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory.

Gracie is a girl on the factory floor. Jacob is the boss’s charismatic nephew. When they fall in love, it seems as if the whole world is against them – especially Charlie Nuttall, who also works at the factory and has always wanted Gracie for himself.

But worse is to come when Jacob disappears and Gracie is devastated, vowing to find him. Can she solve the mystery of his whereabouts? Gracie will need all her strength and courage to find a happy ending.

About the Author:


Alrene Hughes grew up in Belfast and has lived in Manchester for most of her adult life. She worked for British Telecom and the BBC before training as an English teacher. After teaching for twenty years, she retired and now writes full-time.

Follow Alrene:

Facebook: @alrenehugheswriter
Twitter: @alrenehughes

Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HU9E4V
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2HKJRN5
iBooks: https://apple.co/2TEXaQO
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YqUREC
My Review:

Being a fashion addict, it was the eyecatching image of the pink raincoat that had me requesting a copy of this book, as well as the synopsis. I love any book about dramatic circumstances and overcoming the odds.

As soon as I started it, the book tugged at my heartstrings, I felt for Gracie as the description of where she worked unfolded, the harsh conditions of the raincoat factory, her resilience and determination despite the fact she hates her job and the shadow of impending war create an amazing atmosphere that is hard to resist.

The romance aspect is evident early on, and the way Gracie and Jacob are with each other is so lovely to read about. They are about to marry when tragedy strikes. My heart broke for them and I was thrust into a tale of love, loss resilience and what it really means to fight for your first love.

The Girl in the Pink Raincoat is am amazing debut that kept me wanting more and Alrene Hughes writes so pasionately and weaves the main plot with subplots expertly so the reader’s interest is always maintained. I was gripped by varying emotions over the duration of the novel, admiration for Gracie, sadness and worry and was rooting for her and Jacob to thrive despite the troubles and difficult circumstances they encountered.

Amazing attention to detail too.

Thanks to Head of Zeus and Alrene Hughes for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review as well as a slot for the blog tour for this title.

5 stars

Gracie awoke to the sound of crying, and it was a moment before she realised it was coming through the paper-thin walls of the house next door. Then she remembered it was Friday morning and still Doris had not come to terms with her children being evacuated. She lay for a while, watching a shaft of sunlight coming through the gap in the curtains, and when the crying was replaced by the squeals and laughter of excited children, she got up.

By the time the children were ready to walk to school, a crowd had gathered in the street to see them off. Gracie and Sarah stood next to Doris as she held back her tears, hugged her two little girls and told them to be good and to write every week. An older boy, John Harris, took charge and it was clear that the evacuees had been drilled for this moment. At his command they left their mothers and lined up like little soldiers, with their gas masks and belongings, each with a brown luggage label fastened to their coat. Gracie scanned their faces: some were filled with excitement, others apprehensive; and little Gladys Clark, with no mother to see her off, was sobbing her heart out.

John raised his hand and all eyes turned to him. ‘One … two … three!’ he shouted, and what happened next made the hair stand up on the back of Gracie’s neck – the children began to sing.

‘Farewell to Manchester we’re leaving today,

We need a safe place where we can stay,

Away from the bombs that fall on our heads,

Where we’ll sleep soundly and safe in our beds.’
 



Follow Head of Zeus:

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com
Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Facebook: @headofzeus