Friday, 3 July 2015

My Summer Reads: A Giveaway

To celebrate the return of My Summer Reads, I'm running a giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win the following prizes
A Beginner's Guide To Salad (ebook)
Everything Changes But You (ebook)
A summer-themed bookmark
A lipgloss
Haribo sweets
There will be one winner who will receive the above prizes, plus two runner up prizes of the ebooks plus a bookmark.
To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. There are options to earn extra entries in the giveaway but these are not mandatory.
The giveaway will end on Wednesday 15th July
Rafflecopter will select the winners at random, who will be notified via email before being announced on the blog
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, you can take part in My Summer Reads here on the blog. Why not share your summer reading list or recommend a favourite summery read? More details here

Thursday, 2 July 2015

#AmWriting The End

So yesterday, I typed the best words a writer can: The End.
Although this is the only the end of the first draft, it was such a relief to actually get there after my recent slump. I'm not sure where the last 50,000 words came from, but they're there and even if they turn out to be rubbish, at least I have something to work with in the second draft!
I've already made a few notes of things I need to be aware of or change in the second draft. I know my characters much more now than I did back in April when I started, so I can apply what I've learned from the beginning. Plus, the timeline has gone a bit wonky so that will definitely need sorting!
But while there is still work to be done, I'm still going to celebrate reaching the book's first 'The End'!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June In Pictures




You can see more photos over on Instagram

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Book of the Month: June

Love Notes For Freddie
by Eva Rice
Marnie FitzPatrick is a reclusive sixth-former from Hertfordshire with a dysfunctional family, a penchant for Pythagoras' Theorem and an addiction to doughnuts and gin. Julie Crewe is a disillusioned maths teacher who lives vicariously through the girls she teaches, yet who once danced barefoot through Central Park with a man called Jo she has never been able to forget.

This is the story of what happened in the summer of 1969, when the sun burned down on the roof of the Shredded Wheat factory, and a boy called Freddie Friday danced to the records he had stolen. This is about first love, and last love, and all the strange stuff in between. This is what happens when three people are bound together by something that can't be calculated or explained by any equation.

This is what happened when they saw the open door.
*     *     *     *     *
Set in the late 1960s, Love Notes For Freddie tells the story of three people brought together through dance. Although the book has a gentle, slow-moving feel, the story is a powerful cocktail of first love, heartbreak and reaching for your dreams.
Packed with character, nostralgia and intrigue, I thought Love Notes For Freddie was a fantastic read. My full review will be on Novelicious soon.
Click here to see all Books of the Month

Monday, 29 June 2015

Greedily Yours: Episode 1 - Taste Test by Emma Hamilton

Food blogger Mia Maxwell is a bit fed up with her relationship with city banker, Paul. They don't spend a great deal of time together and the spice has vanished from their love life. When Mia travels to Cornwall for the weekend to run an annual food festival, she meets Tom, a disgruntled local who isn't at all happy at his town being invaded by Londoners for the weekend.
Greedily Yours is an eight-part series, with Taste Test being the first instalment. I thought the beginning was a little slow, but I suppose this is setting up the series rather than focusing on just this one part. Mia is quite a likable character and I loved her adoration of food. She likes food in most forms and doesn't mind telling everybody about it! I also liked her best friend, Lizzie who runs a cupcake café (who wouldn't like some who runs a cupcake café???) as she was often the voice of reason, particularly when it comes to Mia's relationship with Paul.
The descriptions in this novella are great, especially the ones centred on food. I really want to go to the food festival in Cornwall just for the fish and chips! Greedily Yours is a fun, food-tastic tale that is set out in bite-sized portions. It's a perfect read if you have a free afternoon to gobble it up all in one go. There are also some bonus recipes of some of the food from the novella, so if the descriptions leave your mouth watering, you can have a go at making them yourself!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Coming Soon: My Summer Reads 2015

Last year, I ran a My Summer Reads feature throughout July and August, celebrating all things summer reading-related, from summer reading lists to favourite summery covers - and I'm going to be doing the same this year!
Coming Up This Year
My Summer Reads will begin next Friday, with a giveaway here on the blog. Look out for giveaways on Twitter and Facebook over the next few weeks too (you can find me on Twitter here and Facebook here)
I'll also be sharing my summer reading list and will be posting reviews and other summer-reading posts
Join In
Last year I was lucky enough to have some other bookish people joining in and I'm hoping others will this year - I'd love to know what you're planning to read this summer or what your favourite summery covers are (there are some GORGEOUS ones out there).
If you'd like to take part, email me at with your piece. Here are some ideas for you, but feel free to be creative - as long as it's summer reading-themed, I'm happy!
  • Your summer reading list
  • The book you're most looking forward to getting stuck into this summer
  • Your favourite place to read during the warmer months
  • Top 5 (or even 10) summer reads or summery covers
  • What you look for in a summer read
You can also see all previous My Summer Reads posts here
Remember to include any images or links to you and your social media you'd like included in the post
If you're an author with a summery book out, I'd love to hear from you too! Why not tell us your inspiration for the book? O any research you did?
I'm looking forward to getting stuck into my summer reading list this year - and shouting about the books I love!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Blog Tour: Greedily Yours by Emma Hamilton

Today I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour of Greedily Yours with a guest post from the author, Emma Hamilton.

The joy of picking blackberries

Foraging wasn’t a ‘thing’ when I was little but I still loved picking fruit from the hedgerows and farms in Essex during the summer and early autumn and those experiences perhaps helped me with Tom’s enthusiasm for ‘Manna from the hedgerows’. In fact, my memories of fruit picking go hand in hand with memories of my childhood -those hazy summer weekends in June or July or August in the late seventies and early eighties. I’d be dressed in some old clothes, shorts and T-shirt most likely and driven out in a rickety old VW with scratchy wool seats; my brothers by my side. The metal of the seatbelt buckle would have heated up and would be burning through my thin cotton clothes as the engine chugged and we headed out of London towards Essex. I still remember the smell of those plastic baby / small child seats, the ones where your legs would get stuck to the plastic as the temperature increased and tempers frayed. The back of the van would be full of shallow plastic trays and punnets still stained with last year’s raspberries and strawberries. Finally, we’d arrive at the farm and we’d fan out, armed with punnets, trays and baskets to get picking. My favourites were the strawberries and raspberries, it was only when I was older that I could be persuaded to brave the sour thorns of the gooseberries. Blackcurrants and redcurrants were OK but more fiddly and less juicy to eat as you picked. Sitting in the strawberry patches, the straw poking through my sandals, bees buzzing and insects slowly crawling over the humped earth I’d pick and eat, eat and pick; Tell-tale red juice splodges appearing periodically on my T-shirt when I forgot that I was meant to be filling the punnet and instead popped the choicest specimens straight into my mouth. At the end of the day, we’d head for home, a few insects buzzing around the back where the fruit trays were giving off a sweet warm aroma, a taste of the jam, fools, cakes and compotes to come. For days later, my mum would be busy boiling, bubbling and transforming the trays of fruit into delights to last us into autumn.

When I became a student, the joy of finding some unexpected blackberries for free in a hedgerow was even better. Blackberry crumble, blackberry compote, blackberry cupcakes or an autumnal Pavlova would follow as I picked, washed, cooked and hummed, happy at such a bounty from very little effort. As I was writing the first book last summer, the hedgerows in Cornwall where we holidayed were full of blackberries. I went out every evening with some bowls from the cottage and plundered, returning home with salty hair and purple stained fingers and bowl full of blackberries. I added peaches, pears and apples, some flaked almonds, and a crumble of flour, butter and more almonds, or sometimes just ground almond and butter and voila, a delicious blackberry and apple crumble to reheat you after a day spent surfing or walking along the windy clifftops of my favourite county in England.

Foraging like this makes me happy, it conjures up the simplicity of childhood, the happiness of transformation and the comfort of home cooking. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s speeding up, where almost everything can be obtained at the touch of a button, going back to nature, even for a city girl who can’t recognise half of the plants and flowers in the woodland, blackberry picking is easy, delightful, fun and delicious; and what could be better in life than that?

Greedily Yours,

Emma Hamilton