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Friday, 23 March 2018

Author Q & A with Lucie Wheeler

Meet Nancy…

Single mum Nancy will do anything for her little boy. Jack’s autism makes life difficult at times, but she’s determined to ensure he lives the best life possible. So, when her best friend Harriet suggests a holiday to Ibiza, Nancy is torn: will Jack cope with the change in routine…will she?

And Harriet…

Workaholic mum Harriet convinces Nancy it’s the break they all need. A chance to have some fun with the kids, away from the stresses of normal life. And she’s determined to switch off her laptop, ignore her inbox, and just have fun with her kids for seven whole days…

Cocktails and kids’ club – what could go wrong?

Title:  Mums Just Wanna Have Fun
Author: Lucie Wheeler
Published By: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 18th March 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon   

Author Q & A

We are delighted to welcome the fabulous Lucie Wheeler to the blog today to tell us more about herself and her brand new book.
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I love writing about parenting and mummy friendships. When I wrote my first book, The First Time Mums Club, I absolutely loved the bond I created between the mums and so that was an important element for me with this book. However this time round, I wanted to show a different side to parenting. Being a mum/dad is different for everyone, however there are similarities and I wanted parents to be able to read this book and identify with the characters and their situations and also, I wanted those who aren't parents to read it and have a little insight to what it might be like for some people. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to having children and every single person will have different priorities and I hope this story gives a little snippet of just two women's journey to finding what works for them.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Actually, no I didn't. When I was really small I wanted to be a physiotherapist and then in my teens I wanted to be a dancer! I actually studied performing arts at college and have a diploma in dance! Writing was always just a hobby for me until I had my daughter when I was 20 - that was when it all changed for me.

What other jobs have you had?
My first job was as a waitress in my local dog racing track! I have also worked in Sainsbury's, in an insurance call centre and part time as a receptionist in a shipping company. When I was pregnant I trained as a beauty therapist with the Brentwood School of Beauty and since having my daughter I have worked at a parent and toddler group, a school and then a nursery! I have also worked with special needs children in a special school. And alongside all this, I was building my writing career... so I have had quite a range of jobs!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
I cannot even express adequately the feeling of seeing your own story in print - It is an incredibly emotional and surreal moment.

Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
Well I began writing seriously, with a view to getting published, when my daughter was born in 2006. But it wasn't until 2010 when I signed up to do a writing course with The London School of Journalism, that I actually did anything about it. I completed the course, met some wonderful people and in 2013 I sent in my first piece of writing for a competition (the New Talent Award) and I won! It was at this event that I met my agent, Kate Nash, and we spent a couple of years working together, submitting work to publishers and getting rejected! However in 2016, ten years after I began taking myself seriously and believing I could do it, I got the email from my agent telling me that Harper Impulse's editor wanted to meet me. I met Charlotte Ledger at Harper Collins HQ in London and we went for tea and cake. It was in this café that she told me she would be offering me a two book deal and my life changed there and then.

What other books have you written?
I have written some stories that are not yet published but The First Time Mums Club was my first published book in 2017.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Free writing is my go-to if I ever get stuck with writing. I use it with my university coursework too, not just for creative writing. All you do is set an alarm for 5-10 minutes and just write. No thinking, just words on the page. You try to not stall or pause and just keep putting words on the page. If you get stuck, leave a line and keep going - you can always go back afterwards and insert the word you were stuck on. This will normally kick start my brain into action again and generally out of the page or so that I write, I will keep about 20% of it but it would have taken me that whole page of writing to get the content to keep - if that makes sense?

What motivates you to keep writing?
The feeling when people tell me they have read my work and how it made them feel. Feedback, reviews even just text messages from friends and family - authors LOVE to hear when readers enjoy their work.

Where is your favourite place to write? ( can we please have a picture)
M y favourite place to write is anywhere but my house! When I am at home I have lots of potential distractions (washing, cleaning, the dog...) however because of my circumstances I spend most of my time writing at home. I would love to redecorate my office at home to make it more minimalistic and calm and I hope to do that soon, but here is a picture of my current writing space and can you spot my little work buddy underneath the desk... 😊

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Definitely. If I write a sad scene, I feel it. If I am struggling with my own emotions and it doesn't correlate with what I am writing, I can't do it. I have to change what I am writing and come back to it when I am in the right mind set.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Write - don't think about it and even when you don't feel like it, put words down. Don't worry about whether they are good enough, you can always edit out the bad ones!
Surround yourself with the right people - you need to be around people who lift you up and believe in your dream. You want positivity and encouragement because when you have days where you feel rubbish about it, they will be there to push you!
Believe - dreams really do happen but you have to work hard at them. If you believe you can do it, you're halfway there. This is YOUR dream, so believe in yourself and make it happen.

Which authors inspire you?
J K Rowling, Cecelia Ahearn and Roald Dahl  are my biggest literary inspirations BUT I am inspired everyday by authors who choose to create stories. I just love how powerful the written word is.

What are you reading at the moment?
I like to read two at once - Fiction and Non Fiction because each day my brain will need something different. Some days I will need the escapism and others I will need focus, drive and reality. So I am currently reading:
CALM by Fearne Cotton
THE BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
This is an easy one! Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Can you guess why...? 😊

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Oh this is very hard, I am not sure I have a favourite character I loved writing them all! I think someone like Chris Hemsworth would make a good Cameron so I'll choose him.

What is your next book about?
Mums Just Wanna Have Fun is a story about relationships. Romantic relationships, friendships and the bond between a parent and their children. Finding love when it isn't your top priority, learning about yourself and knowing that it is ok to not follow what is perceived as 'normal' are all themes that run through the book . The story also focuses on parenting and some of the trials us parents face such as a utism, post natal depression and adoption.

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today and good luck with the book.
Thank you so much for having me!

Book Angel x

About the Author

Lucie lives in Essex with her husband, daughter and her English Bull Terrier, Dame, who loves to sit under her desk as she writes and keep her feet warm. Never one to sit still, she always has lots going on in her life at any one time. Currently, she is writing her novels alongside studying for a degree. As a graduate of The London School of Journalism and one eighth of the writing group, The Romaniacs, Lucie is passionate about writing and continues to source new opportunities to share her words with the world. In 2013, Lucie won a New Talent Award at The Festival of Romance and is now represented by literary agent , Kate Nash.

You can also find Lucie spending too much time on social media! She loves to connect with her readers though, so do pop by and say hello to her! She can be found on:

Her Website

all under the name Lucie Wheeler.

She loves reading, spending time with friends and eating chocolate – when she gets to do all three, she's a very happy lady!

The First Time Mums' Club:

Mums Just Wanna Have Fun:

Connect on Socials: 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

This Love by Dani Atkins

Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

Title: This Love
Author: Dani Atkins
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:  23rd March 2017
Links: UK:   Amazon    US: Amazon

Our Review

When I was halfway through this book I was so in love with the characters that I almost wanted to stop reading so I could stay cocooned in that lovely warm and cosy feeling forever.

Sophie Winter finds herself in a terrible situation when the flat below hers catches fire. This part of the book is quite traumatic and fast paced as we can almost feel the danger that she's in.
Devastated she meets Ben Stevens who offers her a lifeline until she is able to get to her friend's house.
As their paths begin to cross more frequently Sophie begins to confide in him more and more and both their lives change dramatically as they learn to trust each other.
Dani's writing is so beautiful and subtly manages to move the story along without rushing it. As my daughter would say the characters had slow burn which is even more relevant in this story.
This is just lovely and enchanting and absolutely heartbreaking yet manages to have an uplifting feel to it too and I think the story of Ben and Sophie will stay with me for a very long time.
Just a warning you will need tissues for when you read this book. Another heartbreaker from Dani Atkins.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Dani Atkins was born in London in 1958, and grew up in the suburb of Cockfosters. She moved to rural Hertfordshire in 1985, where she has lived in a small village ever since with her husband, two (now grown-up) children, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.

Dani has been writing for fun all her life, but following the publication of her novels FRACTURED (published as THEN AND ALWAYS in the US) and THE STORY OF US in 2014, now writes for work. Her third novel, OUR SONG, was published in January 2016. PERFECT STRANGERS, a standalone eBook novella is available from December 2016.

Connect with Dani on Facebook at or on twitter @AtkinsDani

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Villa of Secrets by Patricia Wilson

Rebecca Neumanner's marriage is on the brink of collapse, as her desire to be a mother becomes an obsession. Then she receives news from her estranged family in Rhodes.

Called back to the beautiful Greek island of her birth, she realises how little she knows of the grandmother she has eluded for over a decade. Bubba has never spoken of the Nazi occupation during her youth, but there have always been whispers. What desperate measures did she take that terrible day in 1944 when her family was ripped apart? Can the rumour she had blood on her own hands really be true? But Bubba intends to take her secrets to the grave.

However, as Rebecca arrives on Rhodes, bringing the promise of new life, this broken family must come together. The time has come to tell the truth about the darkest of days . . .

Title: Villa of Secrets
Author: Patricia Wilson
Published By: Bonnier Zaffre
Publication Date: 22nd February 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon    US: Amazon

Author Q & A with Patricia Wilson

Hi Patricia, thank you for joining us today and welcome to our blog.
Sincere thanks to Sincere Book Angels for inviting me to your blog. I’ll do my best to answer your questions about Villa of Secrets.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
Well, I was thinking to write about female freedom fighters in WW2 in a sort of split time novel: now and 1945ish. I mean, there are thousands of books about men in one war or another, but not a lot about women. You know… it’s good to sort of… even up the balance.

Anyway, I’d written a very successful novel, called Island of Secrets, which was based in Crete. Actually, it was based on the very house I lived in. I dug a machine gun up in the garden, and it led  me to write about the village in wartime.

So, now that I live in Rhodes, it made sense that Rhodes should be the next location.

I just LOVE research! And also listening to people’s stories. So, I set out to find something extraordinary about women of Rhodes in the last war, and marry it with something extraordinary about present day life.

When a story develops, the whole process is thrilling!

While I was surfing stuff about Rhodes, and the war, I came across the story of a fifteen-year-old freedom fighter, a precocious young girl on a Greek island. It sounded like a good start to me; you know… seemed to have potential.
The girl was Jewish, so...
I googled; Jewish, Girl, freedom fighter, Rhodes, and ended up with: a love child, a holocaust Survivor, a freedom fighter, and the secret past a grandmother.

There had to be a story! Then, on one of the Jewish websites, I came across an article about Rhodes. A secret door in the police headquarters… locked for 70 years! A government minister (a woman) and an Italian historian, had tried for a decade to get the door opened. No way! I mean can you believe this was really happening? And so the story developed.

Did I always want to be a writer?
To be a writer?! Ha! My worst nightmare! I’m dyslexic. That’s like asking a person with an acute stammer if they always wanted to be the town crier!
But I love telling a yarn, love an audience, and I love seeing people smile. We don’t smile enough, you know.

What other jobs have I had?
I started life as a 15-year-old trainee Window Dresser in Ellesmere Port. I became quite good at it and worked as a mobile window dresser in Merseyside and Cheshire, and later in the Johannesburg area of South Africa. Then I did some modelling, then I started my own business in the UK. 
I sold up and retired at 45, while I was still young enough to learn new skills.

How did it feel when my first novel, Island of Secrets, was published? 
That was a magical day. It proved to me that a person can do anything if they put their mind to it.

Can I tell you a little about my publishing story? 
Sure. Every New Year, I set myself a challenge and treat it like a part time job. I’ve managed quite a number of things over the years. Greek dancing, building, sailing, guitar, self-sufficiency, photography… after photography I decided to try writing a novel. Learn the craft, as they say.

What other books have you written?
Island of Secrets, of course, now Villa of Secrets; and I have half a dozen first drafts and ideas.

Have you ever had writer's block?
Writer’s block sounds quite drastic. I’ve been stuck on how to describe the situation, from what angle, in what mood, and so on. Then, I just empty my head, read other stuff, play candy crush, do some gardening, you know? Cook a nice meal, anything but write. It’s not long before I want to get back to it.

What motivates me to keep writing?
I don’t know… it’s another world. I can’t say I retreat into a world that I create, because although I plot, the story still leads me into unknown territories, then, more research sort of puts meat on the bones of it.

Where is my favourite place to write?
Here in my office, in the dead of night. If I carry on into the day it’s a bonus.

Do my characters moods ever affect my mood, and vice versa? 
I think my mood – which usually comes from the research, effects my characters. If I’m shocked, or surprised, or saddened, or amused, I hope it come through in my work. And if I’m really upset, then I hope my reader sheds a tear. Likewise, if I’m amused, I hope my reader laughs out loud.

What three pieces of advice would I give to an aspiring writer?
I’ve got four, actually. Keep a notebook and pen at the side of the bed, embrace criticism, use as few words as possible, and last but most important, get a really good editor that you can really trust. My publishers do the editing now, but if it wasn’t for Tony Fyler of Jefferson Franklin Editing, I would never have found my fabulous Agent, and gone on to be published. He picked me up and gave me a verbal slapping in my darkest hour. We all need somebody like that.

Which authors inspire me? 
All authors inspire me. Every writer that reaches the final line: The End, gives me hope that I, and many other writers can accomplish that same feat, again.

What am I reading at the moment?
I’ve just finished, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, very good! I stole from a cruise ship library at Christmas, shame on me! But I was half way through, so I left three novels in it’s place and scarpered with the swag.

If Villa of Secrets was made into a film, you ask what song would I choose for the opening credits?
Definitely, O Mia Bambino Caro, sung by Sarah Brightman. All the way through Villa of Secrets, I imagined her as my protagonist, and if the novel was made into a film, I would love Sarah Brightman to play the lead.

What is my next book about? 
Oooh! I’m very excited about this. I’ve got two on the go. One is about Santorini; love, antiques, smuggling, archaeology, murder, and revenge. The story has a split time line, a modern woman, now, and the eruption of Plato’s Atlantis, Santorini.
The other is about London and Rhodes, and involves some of the characters of Villa of Secrets.

Thank you so much, Book Angels, for allowing me to talk about Villa of Secrets. And also, thanks for your support when Island of Secrets was published last year. Really appreciate it!
Happy scribbling, happy reading, bye from me,
Patricia XX
Thank you so much for joining us Patricia, the book sounds fab and we wish we wish you lots of luck with it.

Book Angel x

About the Author

After running her own business for twenty years, Patricia took early retirement and moved to the Greek island of Crete.
When she dug up a rusted machine gun in her garden, and the inhabitants of her remote mountain village came with local stories of tragedy and triumph, she knew she had to tell their account of what really happened in September 1943, which became ISLAND OF SECRETS.
Patricia now lives on the island of Rhodes where she is researching and writing her second novel.

Author website:
Twitter: pmwilson_author
Facebook: Patricia Wilson

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from the queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

Title: The Perfectly Imperfect Woman
Author: Milly Johnson
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 22nd February 2018
Links:  UK: Amazon     US: Amazon
Also available from the following retailers:

Our Review

Omg what can I say, this was magical, moving, hilarious and explosive. I've always loved all of Milly's books and thought they were amazing but this is like she has smashed away the edges of the box and become a whole new, even more fantastic Milly. This book is her in paper form, I could imagine her sitting in the kitchen with a cuppa (or a Prosecco) and telling me this story. This is a master class in creative writing if ever I saw one and I'm gutted that I've finished it as I loved my time in Wychwell.

Marnie Salt has never felt loved by anybody, apart from an old lady called Mrs Mcmaid who spent time with her as a child. Marnie didn't even receive any affection from her own mother and she throws herself into her career and into the arms of a very undeserving man. But one incident changes all that and she finds she loses both.
Thanks to a lovely old lady called Lillian Dearman she finds a new home and decides to make cheesecakes for a living, Mrs Mcmaid had given her a secret recipe many years before.
Lillian has an unusual request for Marnie which is to help her find an old well which would unearth some secrets from hundreds of years ago and I've got a funny feeling that some of those secrets we are yet to discover as I'm hoping we will be going back to Wychwell some time soon.

There was so much to this story along with such an array of interesting characters, the intrigue about the Manor House and the mystery of the pink lady ghost, Milly cleverly drip fed us the history of the village through the eyes of Lillian in the form of an old history book, and this was intertwined with flashbacks of Marnie's heartbreak. A scenario near the end which was beautiful and I really didn't see coming, a hunky love interest by the name of Herv and someone to hiss and boo at by the name of Titus, not to mention many laugh out loud moments as Milly's humour shone through, provided all round entertainment.

This has quickly become my favourite Milly book of all time and I sincerely hope we can revisit Wychwell in the not too distant future.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

You can find out more about Milly on her website