Monday, 24 April 2017

My Favourite Things by Julie Boon, Blogger



Food Savoury and sweet –
Spaghetti Bolognese and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk


Drink –
Tea (daytime) and red wine (evening!)


Film –
Four Weddings and a Funeral


Book –
The Island by Victoria Hislop


Author –
ooooooh that’s hard!! But if you bend my arm I would say Carole Matthews



Character –
Bridget Jones


Song –
Rule the World, Take That


Holiday destination -
Turkey



Animal –
My Jack Russell Lola


Person –
My husband Andrew has been my soul mate since I was 16


Place to read -
In bed with the electric blanket on!


Season –
Winter as I love Christmas!


Tradition –
We all get an afternoon present on Christmas Day once we have had dinner


Inspirational quote –
What goes around comes around


Thing in the whole world
My family

Bio:
I’m a full time Medical Secretary, studying for a Business & Admin Level 3 apprenticeship as well as running my blog Boon’s Bookcase, looking after my family and going to zumba twice a week! I love reading women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, family and wartime sagas and the odd historical novel.




Link to my blog: http://boonsbookcase.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @JulieBoon

Facebook:
Thank you so much Julie for joining us on My Favourite Things

Sincerely
Book Angel x

Friday, 21 April 2017

Then. Now. Always. by Isabelle Broom



Hannah Hodges can't believe her luck when she's offered a trip to sunny Spain with her best friend and dreamy boss . . . but what's the catch?

'Fresh, fun and full of sexual tension... a perfect spring read' Heat

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it's a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn't be a more perfect setting to fall in love...

If only Tom (Hannah's best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way...

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah's half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For just once in her life, can't Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?


Title: Then Now Always
Author:  Isabelle Broom
Pubished By: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 20th April 2017
Links:  UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

My Review


As with all of Isabelle's books so far the title is intriguing and unique and really makes me want to read it. The title is usually mentioned in the book too and when I got to that part and understood the meaning of it, it sent shivers right through me as it was so emotive.
The second thing about Isabelle's books is that the place where the story is set is described so vividly that it almost becomes a character itself. Mojacar sounds like a magical place and I loved reading about the folklore.

Hannah has had a crush on her boss Theo for years and when he chooses her favourite destination to film a documentary she actually starts to believe there could be something between them. He sounded very handsome and very irresistible and Hannah soon falls under his spell.
She is having a wonderful time in mojacar with the crew, including cameraman Tom who is her best friend. Soon things start to go wrong when Hannah's half sister Nancy turns up and creates havoc, Hannah becomes jealous when it looks like Nancy is flirting with Tom, she has never liked Nancy and is not very nice to her.
Hannah meets a local called Elaine who becomes integral to the documentary they are filming. She had moved there from England many years before and she and Hannah soon become firm friends. Elaine's story is very moving. 

I loved this book so much, I absolutely fell in love with Hannah and her great sense of humour which made me laugh out loud and really felt annoyed for her when Nancy seemed to be out to spoil her fun.
The most important message I picked up from this book was that regardless of what man she eventually chooses Hannah learned so much about those closest to her and eventually managed to blossom and find happiness in herself.

Once again Isabelle Broom delivers a golden ray of sunshine with every page.

Thank you to Michael Joseph and Netgalley for the arc.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author


Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts at the University of West London before starting a career first in local newspapers and then as a junior sub-editor at Heat magazine. She travelled through Europe during her gap year and went to live on the Greek island of Zakynthos for an unforgettable and life-shaping six months after completing her degree. Since then, she has travelled to Canada, Sri Lanka, Sicily, New York, LA, the Canary Islands, Spain and lots more of Greece, but her wanderlust was reined in when she met Max, a fluffy little Bolognese puppy desperate for a home. When she's not writing novels set in far-flung locations, Isabelle spends her time being the Book Reviews Editor at Heat magazine and walking her beloved dog round the parks of north London. Her previous books include. My Map of You and A Year and a Day.

Monday, 17 April 2017

My Favourite Things by Sue Fortin, Author



Film
So hard to choose but I'm going to say The Godfather films. They are so much more than just a gangster film. There's a whole narrative and sub-narrative to the films which spans all three parts. I love it also, that the same cast appeared throughout the films and it really was a family affair, right down to the production team and cast.


Book
Author - I'm a big fan of Chris Kuzneski. I enjoy the adventure, the action and theories in his books. In particular I like his books where Payne and Jones are the lead characters.


Holiday destination
France. We have a cottage in Southern Brittany which we have been renovating over the years. It's such a peaceful and relaxing place to go, we love it there.


Person
I think Karen Brady is a great role model for me when I need my business head on, when I'm working and weighing up how to deal with things and strategies to adopt.

Place to write
In my office or at the kitchen table in France. Both places, I have the space and time to think about writing without any distractions. France especially has no distractions due to the lack of internet.


Season
I love all the seasons but I think my favourite is Autumn. I adore seeing the colour of the leaves change and the fact that the mornings are fresh, yet the sun is shining.

Inspirational quote
Life is on the other side of fear. I often refer to that and try not to let my fear of doing something hold me back as quite often, it's not as scary as I thought.


Bio:
I live in West Sussex with my husband and four children, where I write mystery, suspense and romance.
www.suefortin.com
Sue Fortin Author Page

Click here to buy Sister Sister

Monday, 10 April 2017

My Favourite Things by Carole Matthews, Author


Occasion
Afternoon Tea: praise the day that this glorious British institution came back into fashion. I love the whole thing, the food, the occasion, a chance to wear a tiara. I like that my job gives me plenty of opportunity to sample it in the name of research.

Drink
Prosecco: or any drink that involves bubbles. I like the elegant shape of a champagne flute as much as the contents.

Film
In Bruges: I think if you want to see Colin Farrell at his finest, then In Bruges is the film for you. If you’re going to the beautiful city of Bruges, you have to see this film too. You’ll spend the entire time wandering around in awe and uttering the film’s famous catchphrase.

Book
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory: My favourite book changes on a regular basis, but if I had to read one book over and over for the rest of my life it would be this one. Philippa Gregory is the Queen of Historical Fiction in my eyes. She really brings the Tudor court to life. I’d love to write an historical novel, but I just don’t have the brain for it.

Character
Daryl: I do like a bit of zombie action and Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead is my favourite character at the moment. He barely says anything, hardly moves, but goodness me he dominates every scene he’s in. If the series producers kill off Daryl I think there’ll be rioting in the streets.

Song
The Man Who Can’t be Moved: I listen to music all day while I write, usually Radio 2. One of my favourite songs – and there are many of them is The Man Who Can’t be Moved by The Script. It moves me to tears every time I hear it. Danny O’Donoghue of The Script was a definite inspiration for my hero, Danny Wild, in The Cake Shop in the Garden. I used to love watching him on The Voice, every emotion was written so clearly on his face.

Holiday Destination
Keswick: My partner Lovely Kev and I travelled the world until we found Keswick in the Lake District. Now we go there every year. We rent the same holiday home which we pretend is ours and go out walking in the hills every day. There are also some very fabulous tea shops. We visited Beatrix Potter’s house there last year which was beautiful.

Animal
Pandas: I do love a panda and had the joy of seeing pandas close up and personal in China. They behave like cuddly toys rather than wild animals and will do anything for an apple.

Person
Lovely Kev: I’m very lucky that my favourite person is Lovely Kev. We found each other later in life – after several false starts on my part! We work together all day, but still feel that we don’t see enough of each other. He is particularly lovely.

Place to Write
My office: I live in a three-story house – hence the name Matthews’ Towers – and my office is on the top floor. It’s the world’s tidiest office and I have a lovely view over the park. I’d love to be able to write in coffee shops but I’m too easily distracted. This is a very nice space to work in.

Seasons
Changing seasons: I love all of the seasons of the year. I could never live in a place that was hot and sunny the whole time. I even like wet, rainy weekends – except when I’ve got a barbeque planned. I’m currently enjoying the blossom and spring bulbs and can’t wait until the bluebells come out.

Thing in the whole world
My favourite thing in the whole world is being curled up on my own sofa with Lovely Kev watching rubbish telly.

Thanks for joining us today Carole and for sharing your favourite things.
Thanks, Annette for having me on your blog to talk about my favourite things!




Bio:
Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including the Top Ten bestsellers A Cottage by the Sea, Calling Mrs Christmas, The Christmas Party and The Cake Shop in the Garden.

In 2013, Summer Daydreams was shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for Fiction about Life and Love. Carole was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Romantic Comedy RoNA in 2012 and inducted into the Reader Hall of Fame by the inaugural Festival of Romance. Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world. She was given an award for Outstanding Achievement by the Romantic Novelists' Association in 2015.

She is published in more than thirty countries and her books have sold to Hollywood.

For all the latest news from Carole, visit www.carolematthews.com, follow Carole on Twitter or join the thousands of readers who have become Carole's friend on Facebook            
    


Friday, 7 April 2017

Author Q & A with Carol Cooper


In a London heatwave, emotions reach boiling point…
Ex-con Dan has it all. The perfect job and a new baby with his dream woman. So why is he still an outsider?
Laure had baby Jack late in life. It’s only natural she’s a little over-protective. Motherhood is terrifying.
After surviving serious illness, Sanjay’s got his life back. Now he wants adventure. Where does that leave girlfriend Harriet?
Karen’s love life is reduced to casual sex with the football coach. As a divorcee with four kids, romance is on her to-do list, just below the laundry.
Doctor Geoff’s relationship with actress Daisy is bound to be a bit dramatic. But why all the mystery?
A slice of contemporary multi-cultural London life to make you laugh, cry, and nod in recognition.

Hampstead Fever is currently on special offer in WH Smith travel shops, and is also available on other bookshops and online.

Title: Hampstead Fever
Author: Carol Cooper
Published By: Hardwick Press
Publication Date: 1st July 2016
Links: UK:  Amazon  US: Amazon

Author Q & A


Hi Carol and welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog.
Thank you very much, Annette, for having me on your blog to talk about my writing and my reading.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The inspiration for Hampstead Fever came from two things. Firstly, I moved to picturesque Hampstead a few years ago, and thought it would make a great setting for a story. Secondly, I wanted to let out some of the characters from my first novel again so they could getting into more trouble with their relationships, their work, and their families.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, once I had grown out of wanting to have a button shop and then to become an astronaut. My mother was a writer and artist, and my father had always wanted to write books, but never did. I didn’t want to have the regrets that he had.

What other jobs have you had?
I’ve worked at supermarket checkouts, done proofreading, and typed manuscripts in Russian. Some of the other jobs I still do, like doctoring and being a medical journalist and broadcaster. I also teach medical students at Imperial College, London. It’s great to have such as diverse working life, and occasionally the flavours of these worlds find their way into my writing.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Scary! I self-published my first novel after a string of traditionally published non-fiction books, and my main worry was whether One Night at the Jacaranda was good enough to hold its head up. In some ways it was, as it was shortlisted for awards, but the original cover didn’t do it justice. I’d used an Amazon template and a photo of my red suede shoes. I thought this said ‘sexy contemporary fiction’, but it really screamed ‘amateur!’ So I commissioned a very talented cover designer, Jessica Bell, to create a new cover.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
My very first book, on staying healthy at work, came out over 20 years ago, and then a succession of other health titles followed for Penguin Random House and other publishers. Most of them were on childcare, including twins. But, as rewarding as those were to write, I still had a hankering to write fiction. All my non-fiction books were commissioned, and my novel wasn’t my agent’s thing, so I self-published.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I’m not sure if I get writer’s block, or if I just get tired from juggling lots of things. Anyway, I usually go for a stroll, listen to music, or have a nap.

What motivates you to keep writing?
It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Creating complex characters, getting inside their heads, and following their fortunes is just fantastic fun. I especially love the challenge of interweaving different people’s stories.

Where is your favourite place to write?
Writing is the ultimately portable activity, if you use pencil and paper as I do for first drafts. My favourite place to write is on the sofa, with my cat nearby, and piles of papers and books adding to the general mess.


Do your characters’ moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
My moods certainly affect my characters, but I’m not sure it happens the other way round.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Keep reading. Good books can teach a writer a lot, so I’ve little patience with wannabe writers who say they’re too busy to read.

Keep writing. Writers aren’t born fully formed. They need practice to develop their own writing voice, and improve their skills.

Remember that more doesn’t mean better. That fine paragraph full of beautiful description and fancy words? I suggest cutting it out and starting again. The best writing is spare, with just the right words in the right order.

Which authors inspire you?
There are so many, but these deserve special mention: Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Atkinson, Tony Parsons and Howard Jacobson.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just started Miramar by Neguib Mahfouz.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
People Are Strange, by The Doors. It was released in 1967, well before the era Hampstead Fever is set in, but it’s catchy and the lyrics have more than a hint of alienation and unpredictability.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Julia Sawalha would be ideal as Laure, the new mum who is half British and half Lebanese.

What is your next book about?
I’m working on another book about relationships, featuring some of the same characters from Hampstead Fever, but there’s also another very different story, set in Egypt, itching to get out. I’m not sure which one will make it onto the shelves first.


And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr. Now out of print, it’s a hilarious look at parenting a large family while trying to write at home.

Cry your heart out?
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller, a love story of two people torn apart by fate.

Want to read it again?
Cocktails and Camels, by Jacqueline Carol. This was my mother’s first book. Although she wrote it during the Suez Crisis, it’s a witty upbeat story about growing up in Egypt and I love dipping into it again and again.

Think more?
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Wish it would be made into a film?
The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat is set in Australia in the 1970s and is so atmospheric and suspenseful that it deserves a movie.

Shocked?
None yet, but then I steer away from books that are gratuitously violent or include cruelty to animals.

Scared?
It’s really a short story, The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.

Thanks for joining us today Carol and good luck with the book.

Sincerely
Book Angel x

About the Author

Carol Cooper a doctor, journalist, and author. After a string of parenting books and an award-winning medical textbook, she turned to writing novels. She lives in North London and Cambridge, and has three grown-up sons who haven’t turned out too badly.

Published in July 2016, Hampstead Fever is Carol’s second novel. It follows the intertwined lives of six Londoners as emotions rise to the boil one hot summer.

Blog Pills and Pillow-Talk
Twitter @DrCarolCooper
Facebook page Carol Cooper’s London Novels
Amazon link http://mybook.to/HF

Sunday, 2 April 2017

My Favourite Things by Robert Bryndza, Author



Food Savoury and sweet
Any kind of cheese and chocolate

Drink
Coffee

Film
The Bourne Legacy

Book
Wuthering Heights

Author
Stephen King

Character
It changes all the time. I'm reading Stephen King's 'Full Dark No Stars' and Tess from the novella Big Driver is pretty awesome.

Song
Again, it changes all the time. Until recently I couldn't stop playing Drake's Hotline Bling.

Holiday destination
Rome

Animal
Dogs. I have two dogs, and couldn't imagine life without them.


Person
My husband, Ján.

Place to write
Croatia. A couple of years back I spent a month in Baska, a small seaside town where I wrote the first draft of my romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right. It's such a beautiful place, and the apartment where we stayed was right on the beach.

Season
Spring

Tradition
An odd one, I know, but I love April Fools day. Last year I wrote on Facebook that one of my novels had been translated into Klingon, and it was funny how many people fell for it. I love laughing and making people laugh.

Inspirational quote
“Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” ― Doris Lessing


Thing in the whole world
Books


Bio
Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now pre-order the fourth, Last Breath which will be published on April 12th 2017.

Robert's books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

Email: robertbryndza@gmail.com
Website: www.robertbryndza.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bryndzarobert
Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertBryndza
Instagram: www.instagram.com/robertbryndza











To pre-order Robert's new book Last Breath please click here

Thank you for joining us today Robert on My Favourite Things

Sincerely
Book Angels x

Monday, 27 March 2017

My Favourite Things by Stella Hervey Birrell, Author & Blogger




Food - Savoury and Sweet
Oh this is always a hard one, of course I want to put avocado and strawberries, and this is (kind of) true. But it is probably more true to say I like Marshmallow Top Hats (pictured) and Salt and Vinegar Crisps – the latter is my tried and tested hangover cure…





Drink
Well, just like my mother, I run on tea. Alcohol-wise, it’s got to be Tia Maria and Diet Coke, the only thing I can drink all night without needing Salt and Vinegar Crisps the next day.


Film
Films like Mystic Pizza, Staying Alive, Peter’s Friends, Parenthood and Some Kind of Wonderful: films we had on video as impressionable teenagers and watched over and over again until we knew them off by heart. I was delighted to find some of these on Netflix the other day! Since I’ve had children, going to the cinema to see anything that isn’t animated is a very rare occasion, so I probably have about eight years of great films to catch up on.


Book
I always say Possession, by A S Byatt (pictured). It had everything: academia – I love a story about academics – a massive love story, and another love story nestled within! But there are so many great books out there: two I’ve read this year and loved are The Woman who Upped and Left, by Fiona Gibson, The Little Shop of Happy Ever After, by Jenny Colgan.



Author
Jane Green. The queen of women’s fiction – I’ve been reading her since I was in my twenties and it feels like we’ve grown up together – she used to write about single gals and finding Mr Right, then it was making babies (pretty much when I was making babies!), and now she writes about female characters with older children.


Character
Bridget Jones. She is the embodiment of all our doubts about ourselves, but more importantly, she’s really, really funny.


Song
Oh my goodness, just one song? Impossible! I would struggle to ever do Desert Island Discs (note to self: never become well known enough that I could be asked), and it would probably change from one day to the next. Today, I like ‘Do your Thing’ by Basement Jaxx, ‘Cover me Up’ by Jason Isbell, and ‘Don’t Worry’ by Karine Polwart.


Holiday destination
Austin, Texas – I am a complete Yankophile, and we spent our honeymoon there.


Animal
Cat! Always, always. Here’s a picture of one of mine, we have two now: as my husband says, I wanted a cat, and he didn’t, so we compromised. And got a cat.




Person
My husband, hands down. With apologies to my children, who are pretty great too.


Place to write
In the non-existent extra room in our house, that has one of those massive writing desks with all the drawers… *sigh*


Season
Autumn. I absolutely love it: the leaves, those first, frosty mornings, and being able to put big jumpers on again.


Inspirational quote
‘She believed she could, so she did.’


Thing in the whole world
I love my kitchen table – I even tried to write a song about it once. It’s where I am now, the Autumn sun is streaming in the window, and the cat is asleep next to me. I’ve just had a bacon and avocado roll, and there are salt and vinegar crisps for later. Once I’ve finished this, I’ll be putting the kettle on…and if you were here I’d be offering you a biscuit too.



Stella Hervey Birrell’s debut novel How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? is available from UK Amazon US Amazon Kobo Nook iBooks







Bio:

Stella Hervey Birrell was born but not bred in a market town in Fife, Scotland, just before the winter of discontent in 1978. Writing success came early when at the age of 13 she won the Class Prize in the National Bible Society of Scotland's Annual Competition with her poem, 'Mary's Donkey.' From memory, the poem itself was fairly dire.

After various distractions such as an Open University degree, marriage, several years working as a Committee Clerk, and children, Stella began writing in earnest in the early hours of the morning and during naptimes. Her first novel, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? was published by Crooked Cat books in 2016.

Stella writes a weekly wordpress blog about her tinylife. Other short pieces have been published, (or are coming soon) in The Guardian, The Ropes Journal, the Lies, Dreaming podcast, and The Dangerous Woman Project.

Stella now lives in an East Lothian rural idyll with her cat, husband, and children. In that order.


She blogs at #atinylife140 tweets at @atinylife140 and can be found on Facebook here.

Thanks so much for joining us today on My Favourite Things Stella.

Sincerely
Book Angel x