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Darcie Boleyn

Heartwarming Romance

Christmas at Conwenna Cove #amreading #christmascountdown

Today I am delighted to share the cover and blurb for Christmas at Conwenna Cove. This festive novel is the second book set in Conwenna Cove and can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the series.

Christmas at Conwenna Cove will be released on 9th October 2017 and is available for preorder here.

 

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Christmas at Conwenna Cove: A gorgeous, uplifting seasonal romance set in a beautiful Cornish village

A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.

As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

 

Here’s an early review from Netgalley:

 

This was such a delightful read. It was a treat to return to Conwenna Cove and I was completely romanticised again by the landscape. The fictional coastal village that the author has created sounds so idyllic with its quaint cottages and the little independent shops together with the beachside ambience but what makes this story more heartfelt is the occupants of the village. There is a real sense of community in the village from those that were born in the village to those that have sort solace and have been welcomed with open arms to this wonderful seaside location. I feel like I want to pack my case and have my own Conwenna Cove hug. This story focuses on Grace Phillips who has travelled down to Cornwall from her home in Cardiff to help her parents settle in their new cottage in the Cove. Grace and her parents have suffered such a terrible loss and her parents are hoping that this new start will bring a new perspective to their life, a chance to reflect and a chance to embrace what life throws at them. Grace is an author so staying with her parents for a short while is no hardship to her career as she can work from anywhere. When Grace meets the village vet Oli Davenport she is struck by his handsome features but his aloof persona doesn’t help him win friends too easily. However, given time Grace discovers more about Oli and with his huge commitment to the health and welfare of animals and to his devotion to his children, eleven year old Amy and five year old Tom, Grace appreciates this side to Oli. Oli Davenport loves his children and loves his job but he is still grieving for his wife who sadly passed away two years ago. When he first meets Grace he is struck by her beauty but this sets off a chain reaction of confused emotions in him. His first priority is his children and he also feels like he shouldn’t be having any feelings for any woman since becoming a widower. However, the more Oli and Grace get to know each other the more they understand that they each are holding a heartache and are still grieving. Will the beautiful landscape, the wonderful honesty in children and the sad plight of the animals in need that Oli faces daily help these two people learn to love again? A wonderful, heartfelt, festive read that left me sighing with contentment.

Adele B, Netgalley Reviewer

 

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#spotlight on author Rachel Dove @WriterDove

Rachel Dove.jpgHi Rachel! Welcome to my blog. 🙂

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

 I write romantic fiction and horror, full time now since I left my Post 16 teaching job to focus on my words and my family. I won the Prima and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition in 2015 and I haven’t stopped writing since!

 

Why did you want to become a writer?

I always read a lot as a child, and wrote my own stories. When I was younger, teaching and writing was all I wanted to do, but life gets in the way. It wasn’t till my early 20s that I started to learn more about the craft of writing, and working on my stories with a view to submission. I think it’s a compulsion, if I don’t write or read, I get a little stir crazy!

Tell us a bit about your recent release.

My new book released on 1st August, and is a romantic fiction book set in my lovely fictional village of Westfield. Some previous characters may make a guest appearance! I am really excited for this one to come out, as I have been writing three books since The Chic Boutique on Baker Street and I want to share them with the world!

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary women’s fiction, and I like to make loveable characters that people really fall for, and root for too!

What draws you to this genre?

Everyone loves a happy ending, and I am a hopeless romantic. I really enjoy the journey, the warm fuzzies you get when you know that a pair are destined to be together, and you get a front row seat from your sunlounger or your sofa in your PJs. Bliss.

I also love to see a love rat or a wrong doer get thwarted. Romance novels are a great escape from your troubles, and that constantly amazes me.

Where do the your ideas come from? / What was the inspiration to write your most recent book?

My most recent book came to me slowly, as they all do. Often I write a scene in my head, or think up a character or situation, and the rest percolates from there over time. I keep character profiles and ideas files which are invaluable to me.

How much research do you do? / How do you research?

I research by contacting organisations and professionals relating to the field I need, I use the internet, library, read books and visit places. I keep records and take photos as well to document my research.

Plotter or pantser? – Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Bit of both, I have a plot and character profiles, but when writing the characters always surprise me. One character developed a crush and tried to kiss a character he liked out of the blue, and even I was surprised by his actions!

Describe what a typical writing day involves for you. / Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I use the Writeometer app to keep track of my word count and deadlines etc, and I do try for a minimum of 500 words a day. I drop my children off at school, run errands and then write till 3pm. Then if I am on deadline, I write before they get up on a morning and after they have gone to bed too. The house is either a bombsite or really tidy, depending on deadlines and whether or not I am managing to get into the writing groove!

What’s the toughest part of the writing process for you?

The muddy middle part of the book I think, and the sheer amount of work and time it takes to get the book out there can be exhausting, but there is no greater high. I have written 4 books now and am onto my fifth, so I very much feel like I am still learning in many ways. Seeing your book out there is amazing though, there is no greater high.

What’s the most enjoyable part of writing?

Creating people and being able to make a living from writing stories. I get to work from home, around my family, and that is priceless.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I think I evolve and learn with every book, I like to improve and push the boundaries of my writing. The aim is of course to make each book better than the last.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Not really, I can always find some scene to play with if one is proving tricky, and I think half of the battle is carving out writing time and making sure that you do work in that time. Biscuits and social media often win, but I use both in small measures when the writing beckons!

Out of all the wonderful books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I adore the story, the characters and the message within.

If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character, who would you spend it with and what would you do?

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. I think we would go pond dipping!

What can we expect next from you?

My next book, out in September time, is grittier than anything I have done before. It is still a romance, but it is different from my other romantic fiction and I am very proud and nervous about showing a different side to my writing. I hope that the readers will love it as much as I do!

Is there any particular writing advice you wish you’d been given at the start of your writing career?

Keep going, you will get there. Enjoy the ride, and concentrate on the writing.

Have you ever had a book rejected by a publisher / agent? How did you deal with it? How would you advise other authors to deal with rejection?

Loads! Even established authors get rejections, so I expect my file of rejection letters will keep growing over the years. I would say to keep trying, take on board any feedback, and enter as many writing competitions as you can!

What are you reading at the moment?

I have a strong relationship with my Netgalley account as I love to review, so I have a couple of those on the go all the time. I am currently reading Liane Moriarty’s backlist in paperback so I can read with a glass of wine in the bath.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to clean a house in the style of Bewitched/Harry Potter.

What secret talents do you have?

I have a qualification in British Sign Language and Makaton, which I have used in the past working with children, and I like to do cross stitch and latch hook rugs.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I am pretty happy, but I would love to see grandchildren grow up, and go to all the places in the world on my list. Am working through them 🙂

 

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

 

Rachel’s latest release The Flower Shop on Foxley Street is available now!

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#bookreview – You Are Loved – by @JoPlattTweets @canelo_co #amreading

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You Are Loved is a gorgeous read that made me laugh, cry and laugh until I cried. The story is immensely enjoyable and the characters are so lovely that I wish they were real.

Grace Waterhouse is an author whose latest novel isn’t going to hit any bestseller lists. She’s also still grieving for the life she had with her ex-husband – the man who traded her in for a younger, fitter model. It seems she might still have feelings for him and that those feelings might just be mutual, or is it a case of the grass being greener…

Grace is down in the dumps, to say the least, so when the opportunity to help out a friend arises – by taking on her cleaning job while she’s away on holiday – she jumps at the chance. This leads her (and us) to meet a whole new circle of colourful characters, and through this, Jo Platt creates some moments of pure laugh-out-loud comedy.

This novel really is heart-warming, funny and unputdownable, and I thoroughly recommend it as a FIVE STAR READ for autumn 2017.

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#bookreview – The Arrangement – by Sonya Lalli @saskinthecity #the arrangement @orionbooks

What a funny, heart-warming, sparkling rollercoaster of a debut novel!

The ArrangementUnknown-2.jpeg is absolutely delightful and it has made me laugh out loud and cry along the way.

The heroine, Raina, has her hands full with her interfering – yet adorable – Nani, her gorgeous (yet absent) ex Dev, her best friend Shay, her unfulfilling job and her close community. Add in a difficult relationship with her biological mother and Raina’s life is turbulent to say the least.

Families, communities and dating are complicated and Ms Lalli doesn’t shy away from this; she shows the ups and downs unflinchingly. What single woman approaching thirty hasn’t been asked about when she’ll settle down and start a family, then been viewed as unusual if she still isn’t quite sure what she wants? This is Raina’s plight as her Nani tries to set her up with a variety of eligible bachelors, while Raina battles her own remaining feelings for her first true love, Dev. Then along comes handsome teacher Asher…

The Arrangement really is a five star read and I look forward to reading more by this talented author.

#bookreview – The Silent Wife – by Kerry Fisher @KerryFSwayne @bookouture

Unknown-1.jpegKerry Fisher’s writing always draws me in from the first page and grips me until the last. I need to clear my schedule before starting one of her books because I know I won’t want to put it down.

The Silent Wife is absolutely fabulous! It’s about families and the complicated webs that exist within them, about how people lie to protect themselves and others. I loved the way that Ms Fisher slowly revealed the family’s secrets and how she created such real and raw emotion along the way. The female characters are strong and individual, yet bound together by the men in their lives and by their children. There is a clear sense of how dynamics shift when another woman enters a family and how the matriarch is not always who you expect.

This novel is gripping, exciting, page turning and addictive and I loved every page.

 

FIVE STARS FROM ME 

 

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#coverreveal – Christmas at the Dancing Duck – by @daisyjamesbooks

Today I am delighted to take part in Daisy James’s cover reveal for Christmas at the Dancing Duck!

Look at the beautiful festive cover…

Christmas at the Dancing Duck

And here’s the blurb:

A wonderfully festive romantic read to curl up with this Christmas.

The most wonderful time of the year!

Kirstie Harrison is finally coming home for the holidays. Ever since tragedy struck a few years ago, Christmas hasn’t felt the same – but she’s determined that this year will be different…

And staying at the family pub, The Dancing Duck, means it’s impossible not to get caught up in the little village of Cranbury’s festive traditions. And it’s equally impossible to avoid her ex, Josh Turner!

Kirstie is torn between making this the best Christmas yet and knowing that she can’t stay forever. Maybe it’s time to make a holiday wish of her own…?

#bookreview – Cocktails and Dreams – by @ALMichael_ @canelo_co

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Cocktails and Dreams has everything you need from a heart-warming, emotional and fulfilling read this summer.

The story is raw, funny and real, and I lurched from laughing out loud to blinking away tears. A.L.Michael writes so beautifully, that Cocktails and Dreams completely won my heart.

Firstly, there is the beautiful story of Savannah, a young woman once abandoned by her rock star mother. Who wouldn’t be hurt and damaged by this? Savvy is so loveable, sweet, funny and strong that I rooted for her all the way through. Savvy goes through a journey in the novel and thanks to the fabulous writing, I was right there with her.

Secondly, there is the gorgeous bartender Milo. He’s honest, funny and perfect for Savvy, but can she allow herself to love him, because, you know, the girl has plans… But OH, the scenes where she realises that he’s a special guy!

Thirdly, the relationships in the novel between Savvy and her aunt, her father and her mother are so realistic and relatable. I devoured the family dynamics and laughed and cried along with them.

Finally, there are the cocktails and the food Savvy cooks… WOW! A.L.Michael’s descriptions of the cocktails are mouth-watering, sensual and evocative. I wanted to try every one!

This is a story about friendship, families, attraction, personal growth and acceptance. I LOVED every page!

And I can’t finish this review without saying this… wombletoff dickbag is up there with the best insults ever!!!

 

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Bringing Up Bravo – Adopting A Greyhound – by Jon Trew #greyhound #rescuedog

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Strangers often ask how do I tell my two black greyhounds apart.  Renee ( the girl) and Bravo (the boy) are both about the same size and have similar white patches, they are even distant cousins. However almost everything about Bravo’s personality is different to Renee’s. The first lesson we learnt when we adopted our boy was, what worked with Renee didn’t work at all with Bravo. The cuddles and the kisses that Renee loved and the attention from strangers she loved, sent Bravo into a terrified panic.  All our training tips went out the window. It was back to the drawing board.

IMG_2817I think the most important thing to understand about Bravo AKA Mr B and other nervous dogs like him, is the importance of taking your time.  If you force the pace it can have the opposite effect that you want.  Bravo though scared of his own shadow, can be a very stubborn dog, so forcing him can just entrench his fears and reinforce his behaviour. Let your fearful dog come to you. Just go about your normal life and let the animal get used to your routines. Dogs are pack animals, so there is a natural urge for her to bond with you and join your pack. Just let this happen. Be quiet and calm.

At first Bravo liked to stay in the dining room, while we sat in the lounge. He obviously wanted to be with us but found it difficult to let himself trust us.  He really wanted to but his hyper fearfulness kept stopping him. He would walk down the hall and look into the lounge, look at us, then go back to the front room. Encouraging him didn’t help.  We tried food, treats toys and kind words but none worked. Ignoring him was a better strategy.  One day he walked down the hall and popped his head into the lounge seventeen times, until on the eighteenth he struck up enough confidence to come in and lie on the floor with my wife and I. Allow your girl to have somewhere to go where she can hide and let her come to you.  Don’t force her into a corner, we did this by accident one day with Bravo, he wet himself with fear.  It was pitiful.

Treats didn’t work with Bravo. Though he loves his food and will steal anything edible left around, the stress and fear hormones that flood his body turn off his appetite and the ability to eat. So even if I have the most juicy snack, Bravo is physically unable to eat it.  Imagine trying to eat just before an exam, or going on stage.  Having permanent stage fright or exam nerves is what life had been like all the time for Bravo. Paula Evans from the rescue team who has worked with hundreds of rescued greys, described him as the most frightened dog she had ever come across. She told me the first time she saw him, Bravo even got up onto his hind legs in order to press himself more tightly into a corner of his  pen and try to climb up the wall to get away.

Bravo didn’t like loud noises or sudden movements, so we found that being quiet, calm and gentle was the key. Even plumping up the cushions on the sofa would scare him. However we decided that while we would avoid making loud bangs and crashes it was not a good idea to make a fuss over him when he was scared by normal sounds   We wanted him to see from our reactions that there was nothing to fear.  I don’t know if this is scientific but we felt it was best to ignore Bravo’s over reaction to normal noises and act as if there was nothing to be scared of.  Dogs are very sensitive to our body language and emotions and pick up on them easily.  I’ve worked with children with behavioural problems and one of the techniques I’ve used when they are upset or challenging, is to distract and divert.  So if I see a problem coming up such as a group of loud children, or a man with a walking stick (all triggers for panics reactions from Bravo) I will start to talk to him, or break into a jog, or take a different path, or do something where he has to look at me.

Bravo was very keen to go out for walks. He would stand by the front door when I picked up the leads and wag his tail. He willingly jumped into the back of the car but once we got to the park he was often too afraid to get out of the car.  I discovered that if I opened the boot and Renee jumped out Bravo would jump too, however if there was a delay Bravo would lose his nerve and I would have to lift him out. I noticed after a while that he much preferred places that were secluded, particularly woodland paths.  Big open spaces such as the sports fields made him on edge and unable to relax.  He was forever scanning the horizon for new threats.  Even dogs three football fields away could make him nervous.  Bravo’s favourite walk was the Mill Wood.  It was quiet wooded area and the paths through the trees and bushes made sure that strangers could only appear from one direction. This made him far more comfortable.  Unlike Renee who wanted to be off the lead as soon as possible sniffing bushes, Bravo liked to be on the lead. The lead gave him confidence that I was in charge and was protecting him. The Mill wood became our regular haunt and after a week or two Bravo started to jump out of the car when we arrived at the Wood keen for his walk.
dsc1737.jpgHaving super confident Renee has been a big help to Bravo. She is a brilliant role model and her confidence is infectious. Whatever happened, Bravo would immediately follow Renee.  If I opened the door so Renee could have a wee, Bravo would follow her out. Though I had to remember not to stand by the door, otherwise Bravo would not run past me. In the winter this became a bit of a problem as I had to open the door to the garden then walk away, leaving it open so Bravo could go outside and again when he ran back in again.  Sometimes I even had to go out into the garden and get behind Bravo so he would run away from me but back into the house.

Things slowly began to change.  Bravo responded to the stability, repetition and routine we were able to offer him.  Slowly he began to join us in the lounge, then one day he decided at bedtime to run up the stairs and sleep in our bedroom.  Renee has always had a basket in our room and now Bravo decided that it was less scary being with us than it was downstairs on his own. Just being in the same room as us seemed to help.  After a few months we noticed Bravo had decided to sit on the sofa. One day I sat on the other end of the sofa and amazingly Bravo stayed put, then a few weeks after that he even climbed onto the sofa while I was sitting on it. My daughter Isabel unlike the rest of the family is not an animal lover.  She doesn’t dislike them, she simply goes about the house and acts as if they don’t exist.  She doesn’t stroke them, feed them, or talk to them.  It seemed strange to me that she was the first person in our family that Bravo chose to sit next to.  However this has been an important lesson. Don’t push or force your affections on your traumatised dog. Affection should be on their terms, not ours. Bravo does like affection but on his terms. I’ve found that it is best to start stroking Bravo just above his back legs and then slowly move the strokes forward along his back until I’m stroking his head and ears.  This gives him time to relax into it. If I go straight for he head, he flinches and moves away.
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Bravo has always preferred women to men and my wife took the lead with him in the first few weeks.  Perhaps it is her calmer quieter voice, or perhaps it is some bad memories of cruel men from his past.  We will never know.  He is also scared of children, particularly when they yell and scream.  His biggest phobia is small boys with sticks.  However, despite his fear of men, after a few months he began to trust me.  Small steps at first, a wagging tale when I came into the house, a sniff here and there and then some eye contact.  A few weeks later he started to really bond with me and follow me around the house, even into the shower and toilet. Bravo is now firmly my dog and trusts me enough to let me pick him up and carry him across the stepping stones at Ogmore without a single wriggle or panic. He wakes me up in the morning with a nuzzle to my face and wags his tail so vigorously when I come home that once he even damaged it.

Bravo will never be the super confident dog that Renee is.  He will always be timid and cautious but now I can walk with him without a lead in the countryside knowing he loves to be by my side.  And that his life today is a million times better that it was before.

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5* #bookreview – Rosie’s Little Cafe on the Riviera by @jenniewriter #amreading

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Rosie’s Little Cafe on the Riviera by Jennifer Bohnet is a delightful read that transported me to a beautiful destination and involved me in the lives of the characters so deeply that I really cared about what happened to them.

This story has everything you want in a summer read: romance, conflict, family relationships, emotional revelations and uplifting moments. The descriptions of the food and wine are mouthwatering and I would love to visit Rosie’s cafe to enjoy one of the delicious meals on the beach and to sip champagne as the waves lap at the shore.
The story is about love and life, about how people can let you down or lift you up, and about how one summer can change your life.
This was a beautiful read and I highly recommend it!

 

AMAZON UK

 

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