Monday, 25 June 2012

It's Monday - June is on it's way out

It's Monday and June is on it's way out.  It can hold it's head in shame and creep out the back door.  We have had terrible weather for June.

I know here in the UK we can never be sure of our weather, but we started the month on drought measures and we have had so much rain and flooding the drought measures, which were expected to last until well into the winter, have been lifted.

We did have our Jubilee celebrations to remember.  A good time was had by all.

Cupcakes made by my daughter

Now to books......

In My Postbox


New on the Kindle


What I am reading now

I have had this one on my shelf a while.  I picked it up to read earlier in the year but could not get into it.
I put it back on the shelf rather than give up after 50 pages.  I am glad I did as I picked up the flow after about 80 pages.

New on the blog



Check out the 2 giveaways (UK only) in the left hand side bar.  

There is an Int giveaway coming up soon.

What does your reading week look like?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Review - A Different Kind of Forever - Dee Ernst

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 329 KB
  • Print Length: 199 pages

The blurb (from Amazon)

Michael Carlucci, the hot, young musical genius behind the successful rock band, NinetySeven, knows that he’s found the woman for him. Diane Matthews is not just beautiful and smart, she’s got an infectious passion for everything in her life, from her three daughters to her new play. For him, the search is over. He knows they belong together.

For Diane, it’s not as simple. She’s almost twenty years older than Michael. She’s not interested in remarrying – she’s very happy with her life just the way it is, thank you very much. But she can’t deny the growing attraction between them – and it’s not just his touch that she craves. But it’s not until Michael is gone and an old love returns that she realizes just what he meant to her. He said he would love her forever. Can she trust that? Or should she find a safer route to happiness?

A Different Kind of Forever is the story about two complicated people finding – and trying to hold on – to love. 

Diane, divorced, mum of 3, college lecturer and playwright, is not looking for love.  She lost out to love  2 years ago when he refused to leave his wife.

Diane is facing a summer alone as the girls go to stay with their dad for the whole summer, but she has plenty to keep her busy with the garden and writing her play.

Having a quiet lunch in the park she is rudely interrupted by a large dog who steals her sandwich.  A most unlikely magic moment happens when the owner of the dog, Michael, rock star,  invites her to a replacement lunch.

Now this is a little gem.  I was expecting a sweet story about an older woman falling for a rock star that would  be pure fantasy fun rather than a grown up read that I could identify with.

This is an easy read but covers plenty of issues that face women, of a certain age, back on the dating scene.
There are children to consider and the obvious differences in age and lifestyle.
All these are explored in Dee Ersnt's flowing writing style that has me hooked.  It was one of those books I couldn't wait to get back to.

Another great summer read from this author. Do also take a look at Better off Without him.

4.5 out of 5 for me!

Thank you to Dee Ernst for a review copy. This did not influence my review in any way.

Chelsea Wives by Anna-Lou Weatherley - UK Giveaway

The lovely folks at Avon have sent me an extra copy of 


to give away to one UK reader.

Please fill in the form below to be entered into the draw

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Review - The Lady Most Likely - Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway

Now this novel is a little different.  Three historical romance authors have come together to write

The Lady Most Likely by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway

Photo by Heidi Ehalt.

photos courtesy of the publisher

  • Publisher: Piatkus (3 May 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749957766
  • Also available on Kindle

The blurb

Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, needs a wife - so his sister hands him a list of the very best young ladies on the market. And then, because he refuses to tear himself away from the stables where he trains Arabian racehorses, she invites all those ladies to a house party, along with some other bachelors, of course.

So who will Hugh choose? The Botticelli-esque, enchanting Gwendolyn? The outspoken, delightful Katherine? If he doesn't work fast, he'll lose those ladies to his closest friends, and then where will he look for a wife? Perhaps, just perhaps, toward a lady who's not on a market at all, and would require a great deal of persuading . . .

Fabulous!  A story in written in three parts by three well known Historical Romance authors.

Hugh has a brush with death that makes him revalue his life and decide it is time he settled down. Not an easy task when he spends most of his time in the stables with his prized racehorses.  

He asks his sister to write a list of eligible ladies, only to find that the season has ended and he has missed the boat or dance as the case may be.

His sister has the answer, a weekend house party inviting all the eligible ladies she has chosen a few men to even out the numbers.

Hugh is brilliant with horses but does not find it so easy to understand the ladies. As the ladies on the list as peeled off one by one but other bachelors at the party, Hugh decides he must find a match.  

He finds love with a lady not on the list and falls completely.  Will it work out?

This novel is brilliant. I was expecting a gentle regency romantic tale, which I do enjoy,  but this one can only be described as a regency rom-com.  It had me giggling away and could rival Bridget Jones any day.  
The weekend fun and frolics kept me entertained right to the very last page.  Such a shame the weekend came to an end.

I particularly enjoyed the surprise that Georgina found  with Hugh.  Naughty but very funny.

I understand there may be a sequel. I do hope so. :)

5 out of 5 for me!

Thank you Piatkus for a review copy.  This did not influence my review in any way

The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparkes with UK Giveaway

I read and reviewed the hardback version of this novel back in 2011.  It is now being released in paperback in the UK on 5th July.

 The lovely folks at Little Brown are offering 5 paperback copies to UK readers.  Please fill in the form at the bottom of this post to be entered into the draw.
Please see giveaway policy. 
 Ends 5th July 2012.

The Blurb

They were teenage sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks ? with a passion that would change their lives for ever. But life would force them apart. Years later, the lines they had drawn between past and present are about to slip ...Called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter when they needed it most, they are faced with each other once again, and forced to confront the paths they chose. 

Can true love ever rewrite the past? 

The new epic love story from the multi-million-copy bestselling author of The Notebook and The Last Song. Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved authors.

Dawson and Amanda shared first love.  A love that was forbidden, not only by her parents, but by their lifestyle.  Years later they are brought back together by the death of the only man who believed in them, Tuck.  

As they reunite to say farewell to Tuck, a will they won't they story unfolds.  Even after all these years, life is not straight forward.  Dawson is looking over his shoulder knowing he is being hunted by his family and Amanda has the family back home to think of. 
Can they rekindle their first love?

My first time with this author and I had high expectations. 

I was rather intrigued to find out what the attraction was for fans of Nicholas Sparks' novels. I now know.  Nicholas Sparks, male author of 16 romance novels knows what a woman wants....and delivers it beautifully in a love story.

The author writes an easy to read storyline but with passion that kept my attention until the end.  I wasn't sure that this was going to be the tear-jerker I was expecting  for the first half of the novel, but then all of a sudden it hit me and didn't stop until the very last page.  It was worth the build up.

Get the tissues ready folks.

4.5 out of 5 for me!

Thank you, Sphere for sending me a review copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I am in the hotseat

I am in the hotseat today over at Peggy Stanton's Blog

And when I say hot I mean HOT!  Peggy doesn't mess around when it comes to asking the questions.

There was Shortbread as compensation.

Do pop over and check out my interview.


W.I.P. Wednesday - 20th June

Today, I welcome back to the blog, the lovely Sheryl Browne.

Photos courtesy of author

Hi, Carol. Thank you so much for inviting me back onto your Work-in-Progress blog to share a little about my three-book contract. Three books! Fabulous, isn’t it, after so many years writing – and as many years submitting, only to suffer the heartbreak of rejection? Most authors will know where I’m coming from, which is why, I think, authors are so supportive of each other. It’s a hard, bumpy road, sometimes, with so many potholes, you wonder if it might not be easier to just stay down there and wave a white flag. You don’t give in, of course. If you are a writer, you take on board feedback, use it as positively as you can – most of the time(!) – and you keep writing.

Needless to say, I’m extremely grateful that Kim Sutton at Safkhet Publishing, who saw potential in my writing, took time out to respond personally, and then basically took me on, commissioning me to write Recipes for Disaster, a fab fun cookbook, combining sexilicous rom com. I couldn’t have been more thrilled – except for when Safkhet offered me my three book contract, that is. Ooh, I said it again! Sorry, sorry. Indulge me, though. Those ‘three’ little words excite me as much as three other certain words I’ve been waiting to hear all my life might. No, not those. I already know Snoops loves me.  ‘George Clooney’s here’, those are the ones. About time, too! Honestly, talk about procrastination.

OK, I digress. To the books! Two of the three are either out there, or just about to be:  Somebody to Love (released 1 July) and Warrant for Love (released 1 August).  A little Bit of Madness is the first book in the Safkhet Soul imprint for 2013.

I think you might have gleaned these books have been a long labour of love, so I’ll just get on and tell you a little bit about them. 

Firstly, Somebody to Love.  The cover ~ Ta- dah! ~

which is just sooo gorgeous, I’m sure people won’t mind me showing it off again!
In short, the story, centring around a single father’s search for that special someone, is fictional – but grew from a true-life incident concerning a lost little boy, an autistic little boy who was on a mission, it seemed, to throw his shoes over my garden fence in order to facilitate a meeting with my three-legged dog. When Dad caught up with him, his face was a kaleidoscope of emotion, from fear through shock, and eventually – once he’d realised the three-legged dog’s owner didn’t mind her roses adorned with shoes – amusement. 
His relief was unspoken, yet palpable, when he spotted the rocking horse another time Karl wandered off, an old-fashioned, glorious grey speckled affair on rockers. Similar to the horse depicted in Karl’s Sugar Takes Flight bedtime story, which he insisted on hearing over and over each night.
As mentioned, the story is fictional, based on a little fact, and a good deal of research, particularly in regard to Autism Assistance Dogs. To Karl, to three-legged Sadie, and with huge thanks to Danemere Animal Rescue Centre and Our Dog Publications.

Next: Warrant for Love.

Sorry? Oh, the police hats. Noooo, I absolutely do not have a fetish for men in bite-the-buttons-off blue uniforms. He is a bit gorgeous though, isn’t he?

Ahem. Warrant for Love, described as ‘funny but thoughtful’ by my then agent, looks at complex yet everyday relationships and the trials and tribulations of falling in love – and falling in love, as most of us know, never runs smoothly. I think my publisher’s note sums this book up perfectly: ‘Warrant for Love is not your typical rom-com where only one gal gets the guy — Sheryl Browne brings together three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly’.

So there you have it! As A Little Bit of Madness comes in 2013, I’ll save that for a later date. Thank goodness, say Carol.  I’m running out of space!

Thanks so much again, Carol, for allowing me to share my good news. I’ll be posting updates on my blog along the way.  And thank you to our readers, without whom, we’d be… Well, wishing we’d stayed down the pothole! Please do feel free to browse my website at or find out more about me and my fellow authors at (Showcased Authors and Associate Readers from around the world, everything from chick lit to WWII memoirs & stories).

Monday, 18 June 2012

It's Monday - 18th June

18th June!  Good grief, half way thru the year!

I am not getting to the It's Monday meme every week as I would like to but hoping that by September I can be back with you weekly.

82 days to our wedding - If you would like to keep up with the preparations I have a Little Wedding Blog

Wedding Blog

My review list is quite long at the moment and I am trying to keep up.  It is not leaving me a lot of socialising time for the blogs.  On top of that AJ has been very poorly with a sudden severe asthma attack that resulted in a ride to hospital in an ambulance, 2 visits to hospital, oxygen, 2 courses of oral steriods and lots of ventolin.
He is returning to playschool tomorrow.

Here is what is happening reading wise

In my Postbox




New on the Kindle

 (I am not usually one to follow the crowd and give in to hype about books, but my facebook friends are raving about Mr Grey, some I did nt even realise were readers. I have to find out for myself. )



What I am reading now

I have 3 books on the go (a record for me)




Enjoying each one of these in their very different genres. :)

What does your reading week look like?


Friday, 15 June 2012

Guest Author - Anne Allen

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Anne Allen, Author of Dangerous Waters

Thank you for joining us today, Anne.

Photos courtesy of author

It’s a lovely treat to be a guest author for Dizzy C! As a lot of author interviews are question and answer occasions it’s a great chance to let my thoughts just flow!

I thought it would be an idea to focus on how I became a writer and the background to my novel ‘Dangerous Waters’. So here goes . . .

I’ve always had an ‘itch’ in the back of my head to write a book and friends had for years told me that I should.  I think this was more to do with the fact that my life could not be described as boring! I did, in fact, start to write my life story but somehow just couldn’t get in to it. I may have another go one day when I no longer have to protect the guilty!  Ironically my first stab at ‘real’ writing was an entry into a national competition run by Prima magazine a few years ago. They wanted a 500 word true-life story describing a life-changing event. My mother ‘pushed’ me into entering, thinking it was a fiction piece they wanted and thought it would encourage me to get on with my novel. Anyway, from being a reluctant entrant I emerged as the winner and collected £500 of M&S vouchers. Not bad for starters, I thought, with my eye on the bigger picture of novel writing. I was encouraged to realise I could write and so began my journey as a novelist.

This happened about six years ago, at a time in my life when I could finally sit down, pen in hand, and write. I was a single mother of three and, together with my ‘day’ job as a psychotherapist, was kept pretty busy. Now, not only had the birds flown the nest but I was about to become a grandmother. Talk about new beginnings! My book’s gestation was six months and my granddaughter was born three months later. However, I didn’t know then that it would take another six years to raise my baby to independence and emergence into the outside world . . .

Dangerous Waters is set on the beautiful island of Guernsey and is described as a romantic mystery. The story covers love, loss and the tragedy that has befallen the central character, Jeanne Le Page. My inspiration came from having just read a book about another small island near France. It had echoes with Guernsey, where I had lived for many happy years and which still occupies a large part of my heart. In fact, I managed to leave a son behind in order to provide a valid reason for frequent returns! I felt comfortable with basing my story there as I knew the island – and some of its history – so well. The Occupation still has a significant impact on modern-day Guernsey and I wanted to make reference to that awful time even though the thrust of the story is set in the present day.

My other major inspiration was basing the story around a house – an old cottage possessing a secret- the renovation of which mirrored the changes taking place in my protagonist Jeanne. She starts off feeling completely lost but grows into a young woman who has learnt to live and love again, letting the island work its magic . . . .

You can find out more about Anne.......

twitter - @AnneAllen21
amazon author page - Amazon

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday - 13th June

Today I welcome back to the blog the lovely Jean Fullerton.  Jean is a true East Ender and writes fabulous historical sagas set in The East End of London.

photos courtesy of the author

Thank you, Jean for sharing your WIP with us today....

Hi there everyone and thank you to Carol for inviting me to share a little bit about my WIP with you. 

At the moment I’m editing my book, Call Nurse Millie, which is due out in February 2013. Millie is a district nurse and midwife in post-war East London. Her story starts on VE day, in May 1945 and runs through until a few months before the introduction of the NHS in 1948.
We follow her, and her fellow nurse, as they experience the euphoria in London at the end of the Second World War along with the challenges faced by the inhabitants as they try to put their lives back together. It is a time of shortage and rationing but also a time of great optimism for the future. It was also a time for romance as Millie finds out when she meets Alex Nolan, a local police sergeant. He has returned from the war and now has a burning ambition to grab the opportunities in this ‘Brave New World’.       
This is a bit of a jump forward in time for me as my last four books were all set in the mid-Victorian era. However, Millie cycles to nurse her patients she does so along the same Wapping and Shadwell streets where my previous character played out their stories. This has allowed me the untold joy of revisiting the area of London I know so well and love so much.
It has also allowed me to draw on two new strands of my own story. My immediate family, sadly now departed, whose lives and experiences I have incorporated into Millie’s story. The other strand was my own profession as a Queen’s nurse.  
Having worked as a District Nurse in East London for almost twenty years I have not only used my nursing experience to bring Millie’s story to life but have been able to delve into my profession history to discover how my predecessors cared for their patient.
Having poured over numerous 1940s nursing and medical books I can now make a mustard poultice, know how long to bake dressing in the oven to sterilize them and the correct way to rig up steam tent in a bedroom for child with whooping cough.  

Although it’s not out for some time and Amazon hasn’t even got the title up yet, you can pre-order Call Nurse Millie at the following link: 

However, if you’d like to immerse yourself in East London before then you can find my previous books No Cure for Love, A Glimpse at Happiness, Perhaps Tomorrow and my latest release, Hold on to Hope, on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.  

Find out more on me, my books and my East End roots on
friend me on Facebook Jean Fullerton 
and follow me on twitter @EastLondonGirly

Thanks for taking the time.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Review - Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me - Caroline James

  • Format: Kindle Edition

The blurb
Jo’s romance with the gypsy began with his first kiss, she never forgot it…

When Jo Edmond’s husband runs off with their nanny and disappears into a Spanish sunset, Jo resolves to make a new life with her baby son. She impulsively purchases Kirkton House a run down guest house and with the help of a colourful cast of characters, establishes a thriving country house hotel. Jo opens the hotel during Fair Week, a famous 300 year old gypsy tradition, hated by the locals and loved by every tinker and traveller in the country. Romance is the last thing on her mind, until the enigmatic John Doherty walks into her life...

Assisted by Hattie, a local woman who becomes a friend, Jo’s business succeeds and a new Jo emerges, attracting the attention of every man who comes within her radar. In Fair Week, Jo’s errant husband turns up and begins a campaign to win her back but Black Monday is looming, the stock market crashes and tourism dries up. With difficult days ahead Jo has to reinvent her business to survive…


Jo is a single mother of a little boy, not of her choosing, after all her weasel husband ran off to Spain with the nanny!

Jo is a strong character who decides to pick herself up and make a life for herself and her son.  
When her friend Robert shows her a run down hotel, Jo jumps at the chance to turn it around and make it a success.

Enter Hattie, who seems to appear just like a fairy godmother and help Jo, not only with the hotel business but also with a change of image for Jo.

The annual Gypsy horse fair is coming to the village.  There are mixed reactions to the event, locals are not too keen.   Meanwhile, Jo does very well from the horse fair when it brings some business at the hotel and a new love interest into her life.   John is handsome, charming and very attentive towards Jo, but she feels this could not go any further, he is a Gypsy and wanderer.

The story takes us through a year in the life of Jo, Hattie and the traditional country hotel.  As to be expected in a busy hotel, there is an array of colourful characters coming and going.

Extra business comes in via a shooting party.

Just as things are looking up, the recession hits the hotel hard and her ex husband turns up looking for a second chance.  Should Jo cut her losses and sell up or stick with it? Should she give Greg a second chance? Will John return to her life and settle?  

I found this story engaging from page one and enjoyed this delightful weekend read  right the last page.  I warmed to all the characters.  John was especially handsome and oozed charm.  I hated the villain of the piece, Greg.

I look forward to more from this author.

5 out of 5 for me!  Loved it!

Review copy - This did not influence my review in any way



Winners are.....


All winners have been notified by email.

thank you.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Guest Author - Camilla MacPherson

Today I have the honour and pleasure of introducing Camilla MacPherson, author of Pictures at an Exhibition

Photos courtesy of the publisher

  • Publisher: Arrow (26 April 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099560449
  • and also available on Kindle

I’m really pleased to be doing a guest author slot for Dizzy C! It is great to have the opportunity to choose the topic, so I am going for one that people often ask about – which is ‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ It’s not a very easy question to answer come to think about it, and everyone’s different, but here goes from my perspective…

My novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, is about love, loss and tragedy, set against a contemporary and historical backdrop.  It also has a strong, central theme, which is the Pictures of the Month scheme that was run by the National Gallery during the Second World War. Whilst most of the National Gallery's collection was put into storage outside London, one masterpiece a month was put on public display so that - despite the risks of invasion - people could still have exposure to something in the way of culture. My book follows the path of two different women through their visits to the National Gallery to see some of these paintings and tells their stories along the way.

I can remember exactly where I was when I got the idea that became a whole novel. I was on a walking tour, the theme of which was London during the Second World War, and the tour guide mentioned the National Gallery’s Pictures of the Month scheme just in passing. I’d never heard of it before, and straightaway I knew it would make a brilliant theme for a novel. I don’t think I even stayed till the end of the tour, I was so excited! I was even more excited once I had done some research and found out that the paintings that were displayed during the War were mostly still in the National Gallery today.

This theme gave me something very real – and true - to hang on to, and I built a story around it.  So that was my inspiration! The truth is I have quite a lot of curiosity and I am always on the look-out for little things that many people just pass over, but I store in my head for later reference. Often my inspiration comes from being out and about in London, on the bus, on the streets, observing all those people leading completely different lives. Everyone I come across seems to look like they have a story written in their face. In the past, I have written short stories on the basis of just a second looking into a stranger’s eyes on a train or in a restaurant and thinking I have seen something there. Sometimes I come across something big enough to start a novel – but sometimes it might only be enough to write a sentence.

As for the bigger question of plot, for the most part this just comes out of my head, as do the personalities of the characters and how they think and behave. I know people who say that they have no imagination at all, and I believe them! Many authors say that they create characters that actually speak to them and direct them. It’s a vast spectrum, and in my view there is plenty of space for all sorts of writers in between. My writing life might be easier if my characters did speak to me, but it is certainly true that the more time I spend with them, the more real they become.

You can find out more about Pictures at an Exhibition at
and I tweet at CamillaMacphers.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

hello folks!

Hi folks
The blog is quiet at the moment. Please bear with me. I have some guest authors coming up and reviews. I also have to do the draw for the Jubilee giveaway. I havve been absent as Aj, the youngest had a severe asthma attack on Weds. I thought we were going to docs for medicine and ended up in an ambulance to hospital.

He is home but still on lots of meds and so I am not getting. To the laptop.

hello to all the new followers


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Who am I to judge?

New occasional feature here on the blog.

The saying goes...Don't judge a book by it's cover...but, come on folks, they would all have plain covers if the authors/publisher didn't believe tht the cover has an impact on us.

I am often really surprised when I see a book with a mediocre cover that hides a fantastic read.

Todays offering is.....

Mona's world is turned upside down when her husband, Brian,  announces that he is leaving her straight away, today!  Mona was unaware that there was a problem in their marriage, let alone a third party - 30 years old, French and Blonde known as Dominique.

Up until now Mona, writer of romantic fiction,  has been the model wife, caring for her husband and family, probably a little too well.

Mona is not short of support to help her get through this.  She has a good network of close friends and her PA.   Straight talking Aunt Lily, arrives on the scene and announces she needs to stay a while after selling her house.  Oh, and Ben, the plumber! 

So begins a summer of disastrous, but hilarious dates, and some good ones.  Mona also has to find time to finish her latest novel. 

This was a  very funny read, with some fantastic characters including the men Mona had disastrous dates with. Cringeworthy moments for Mona, that any woman would recognise when getting back out on the dating scene after being in a long term relationship or marriage.  

Mona's friends and family were a great support network to have around.  They reminded me of The Real Housewives or Desperate Housewives.  

Brian and his new flame were always popping up as exes do when there are kids in the picture. Great observations of how complicated families become when mum and dad divorce.

Mona based her romantic heroes on  gorgeous Ben, the plumber and I loved the snippets of writing Mona would think up whenever Ben was around. 

A great read for the summer.

4 and half out of 5 for me!

I received a copy of the novel from the Author for my honest review.  Thank you, Dee.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Book Cover Art - Chick Lit and Chick Lit 40+

Just want to share some of the gorgeous covers from Chick Lit and Chick Lit 40+ plus