- The Wizard of Oz: There are several references to The Wizard of Oz, from the tagline ‘There really is no place like home’ to Oz the cat. In the original version, the cocktails Ally takes a liking to were called Yellow Brick Roads, but I decided to remove the name in later versions.
- 13 Going On 30: In 13 Going On 30, the rival magazine to Jenna’s Poise is called Sparkle, which I named the salon in the book.
- Big: In the book, Ally and Gavin live on MacMillan Road, which was named after MacMillan Toys, the company Josh works for in Big.
- Eve’s Christmas: Ally and Gavin’s neighbours are Eve Simon and her son, Drew. Eve and Drew Simon are characters from Eve’s Christmas.
- Freaky Friday: Ellen Andrews is the mum in Freaky Friday and there is also a character of the same name in the book. I won’t say who she is as it’s a bit spoilerish.
- Liar Liar: Ally works at a coach tour company and its MD has a secretary called Greta, who was named after Fletcher’s secretary in Liar Liar.
- A Christmas Carol: Marley House features in the book, which is an apartment block named after Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley.
- Samantha Who?: Samantha Who? is a TV series where the main character loses her memory and starts to discover she wasn’t a very nice person before her accident. I named the beauty therapists/hairdressers at Sparkle after three of the characters: Samantha, Andrea and Dena.
- Being Erica: Being Erica is another TV series that I loved, in which Erica goes back in time to pivotal periods of her life to rectify mistakes. In the series, she lives on Palmerston Avenue, which is where Marley House is situated in the book.
Be careful what you wish for...
Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic.
Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds.
When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted.
But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home. But can she find her way back - or is she stuck in this new reality forever?