#QandA with #WildeLikeMe author @LouisePentland + #bookreview!

Welcome to the weekend you lovely bunch! 🙂 We had a lovely May Bank Holiday here in the UK last weekend but I’m glad that the week is finally over. Do you ever have one of those weeks where you think ‘argh, can you just stop now?’ well, I had one of them! However, one positive was the weather, it has been glorious (minus a few showers).

Today, I am trying to contain my excitement because on the blog I have a Q and A with YouTube sensation Sprinkle of Glitter aka Louise Pentland!

Q and A with Louise Pentland

Wilde Like Me is your first step into the fiction world, how does it feel?

Louise: It’s so thrilling to be a published author, I feel really honoured to be moving about in such a prestigious world and I feel really excited to write more and have a few more books under my belt!

I’m sure you’ve been asked this question many times before, but would you say that some of Robin’s characteristics are loosely based on your own experiences?

LP: So Robin Wilde is the hero of the book, and she is a 29-year-old single Mum working as a make-up artist and bringing up her beautiful six-year-old daughter. Where on earth could that inspiration have come from? *cue sarcasm*

For anyone who watches my channel, they’ll instantly know that Robin and I have a lot of similarities, and there are definitely real-life inspirations in this book. When I began writing Robin’s story, I had only been divorced a short time and was getting used to being a single working Mum and I knew firsthand what a struggle it can be!

How have your family and friends reacted to the novel? Do you get nervous when people you know read it?

LP: My friends and family have, on the whole, been really thrilled for it. A couple of my friends have told me they really related to the idea that you can be your own hero and felt inspired to believe in themselves more which really meant a lot to me. My Grandma though maybe isn’t as much as a feminist as Robin Wilde, so wasn’t too thrilled at some of the sexual themes running through the book. God bless her though, she still found a way to compliment it and said, ‘lovely spelling and grammar’. I had to laugh!

When they’re older, will you want Darcy and Pearl to read your books?

LP: Absolutely. I am immensely proud of the books I’ve written and I’d like the girls to see what I’ve spent their childhoods doing!

What can we expect from book number two, Wilde About the Girl, are there any sneak peeks you can give us?

LP: My god I’m so excited for Wilde About The Girl. It’s my best-kept secret this year because I’ve been dying to spill all the details but I won’t spoil it for you (I think my publishing team would scrap me if I did!). I can tell you though that each character progresses on their personal journey, we have life and death (woah), romance where you’d least expect it, a secret snog in a cupboard and a bunch of new characters to love or hate! It. Is. Juicy.

If you could have written any famous book, what would it be and why?

LP: I get asked this a lot, and my answer every time is Bridget Jones Diary. Firstly, because it’s done so amazingly well and made into a movie! What authors don’t want that? But also because I just love all the characters and how it accurately portrayed a modern single woman just living her life and doing her best.

Everyone that visits A Book and Tea gets asked this question, how do you take your tea?

LP: I’m going to say something a little bit shocking now. I don’t like tea. I’m sorry.

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#authorinterview: The Summer of Hopes and Dreams by Lynsey James

Happy Friday everyone. How are we all doing? Hopefully, not too cold I hope! The UK is currently experiencing the #BeastFromTheEast, so there’s lots of snow and we’re all freezing cold(!). One positive is that it’s the perfect weather for staying in and reading. 🙂

Today at A Book and Tea, I’m joined by the lovely Lynsey James, author of The Summer of Hopes and Dreams. You may also be familiar with her other books The Broken Hearts Book Club and Just the Way You Are. If you’re not, get downloading now!

So, let’s get to it…

The Summer of Hopes and Dreams is your latest release, although I’m going to post a fabulous book review later, can you give us a brief synopsis?

Lynsey: Sure! The Summer of Hopes and Dreams is all about Cleo, who’s lost her way a little bit in life. She’s been dealt a bad hand and hasn’t had it easy in life. But finding her teenage bucket list changes everything! She starts embracing life again and even meets a hunky personal trainer named after an iconic Neighbours character.

Cleo Jones has parts of her life and personality that we can all relate to. This is something I love in a character – was this your intention or just something that naturally came about?

Lynsey: A bit of both really – I wanted Cleo to be really relatable as a character, and for people to see elements of themselves in her. At the same time though, her personality was just so strong in my head as I was writing. I knew exactly the kind of person I wanted her to be, and so did she!

There’s a serious topic of weight loss and eating disorders, they were written perfectly within the novel, did you find this difficult to write?

Lynsey: I did because elements of it were quite personal. Like Cleo, I’ve experienced body dysmorphia and have had my own journey with it in the last couple of years. I wanted to make sure I portrayed the themes in the book sensitively without seeming like I was skating over them. There were a couple of scenes that took some time to write because I really wanted to nail the emotional impact. That sometimes meant delving quite deeply into my own experiences, which wasn’t always easy. I’m happy with how they came out though.

Cleo’s dream is to become a dance teacher. What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? Unless you’ve completed some already!

Lynsey: Ooh good question! The main one is to keep writing, which I’m working on right now. I’ve always got about a million ideas in my head anyway! Other than that, I’m trying to be a bit more active and healthier, which is going pretty well so far. I can’t say no to cake though.

What exciting books can we expect from you in the future?

Lynsey: I’m working on an idea right now that I absolutely LOVE. I can’t say too much about it because it’s really early days on it, but it may be my favourite book yet. Watch this space for more news…

And lastly, everyone who visits A Book and Tea gets asked this question, how do you take your tea?

Lynsey: Milk and two sugars, please!

About Lynsey James

Lynsey James Author Photo

Lynsey was born in Fife and is an incurable bookworm. A careers adviser at school once told her writing wasn’t a “good option”, so Lynsey has tried a little bit of everything, including makeup artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. Now, she finally has fulfilled her dream and is writing full-time. When not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Matthew Gray Gubler finally realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day. Follow her on Twitter at @Lynsey1991

About the book

The Summer of Hopes and Dreams cover

Format: E-book
Publisher: HQ Digital
Published: 11th September 2017
Pages: 384 Pages
Genres: Chick Lit, Romance, Disorders

The Blurb

It’s been a difficult year for Cleo Jones. The car accident that crushed her leg didn’t just destroy the village baker’s dreams of becoming a dancer but crushed her confidence too. And recovering from that has been harder than healing from any number of broken bones…

But this season is going to be different. Life is turning around for Cleo! Maybe it’s the invitation from her childhood bully to their high-school reunion that’s shocked her out of a ten-year slump. Or joining Carb Counters and finally starting to shed the weight she’d piled on during her recovery – or maybe it’s catching the eye of her gorgeous personal trainer!

Whatever the answer, this is going to be a feeling she never forgets… watch out world, Cleo Jones is finally fighting back!

Purchase the book: Amazon UK

The Review

Cleo is a girl that we can all relate to. She’s changing her ways and everyone can see her smile fill her face. It’s no secret that she’s having to deal with a few personal issues that seem to rear their ugly head. However, the warm arms of a stranger bring her joy. I loved Cleo, well, who wouldn’t? She’s the type of girl you want to be friends with (she bakes!).

The Summer of Hopes and Dreams is a story about new beginnings and learning to love yourself – let’s spread the word.

#bookreview: Dating You / Hating You by @ChristinaLauren

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Published: 18th January 2018
Pages: 368 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance; Chick Lit.

The Blurb
Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human?

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository

The Review

When I added Dating You / Hating You onto Goodreads, I noticed that Christina Lauren the author was listed as two different people. Given that I’ve just spent quite a lot of time reading the book, not once did I realise that it was written by two authors. I mean they may not have written separately, but either way, I did not notice.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t like the whole ‘hate one minute and love the next’ “thing” they had going on. Surely if you don’t like someone, you wouldn’t contemplate having sexual relations with them? Plus, in the beginning, they were getting on ok whilst dressed as Harry Potter characters!

Anyway, enough of that! Dating You / Hating You was steamy, fun and a book that I would highly recommend if you want to feel hot under the collar.

Evie and Carter have a relationship that we all probably want in our lives: powerful, exciting and a little bit of playing games.

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#bookreview: The Arrangement by Sonya Lalli (@saskinthecity)

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orion Books
Published: 10th August 2017
Pages: 352 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance; Chick Lit.

The Blurb
You can’t choose who you fall for…but it helps if there’s a list

Raina, twenty-nine, is still unmarried much to the dismay of her family who thinks that by now she should have been married in a dream Indian wedding. The pressure to settle down reaches new heights when her grandmother, Nani, decides to play matchmaker in order to find her the perfect man.

Eager not to disappoint her family, Raina goes along with the plan but when the love of her life returns – ex-boyfriend Dev – she’s forced to confront her true feelings and decide what she really wants.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository

The Review

Raina is twenty-nine and “unlucky” in love (or so her grandmother, Nani, suggests). Raina is fine the way she is and is comfortable being a career girl. However, she’s handed a list of potential suitors to date and Raina feels obliged to give it a go for her Nani’s sake.

You’re taken on a (short) journey through Raina’s dating scene with other life situations thrown in there for good measure. Her best friend Shay is getting married, she isn’t sure her job is right for her anymore and she also tells a white lie that might just ruffle a few feathers.

Her collection of supportive family and friends definitely made The Arrangement a fun and emotional read. However, I didn’t enjoy the inclusion of the ex-boyfriend, Dev. Her besotted attitude towards him was a little annoying and I often wanted to punch him in the face.

It was refreshing to read about a female character, of a similar age to myself, that is comfortable (well to a degree) with being single and happy. Yes, I know I’m married, but it took me a long time to get here. Women shouldn’t be judged based on their marital status and more so when they’re forced to go on dates just to keep people sweet. It’s fine to want a career and do what you want when you want. Girl Power!

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#bookreview: It Started with a Tweet by @AnnaBell_writes

Are you a slave to your mobile phone? Wait until you see what happens to Daisy in It Started with a Tweet. Join me on the #blogtour!

About the Book

It started with a tweet Format: E-book (Kindle)
Published: 7th December 2017
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Pages: 416 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit, Romance.

The Blurb

Can Daisy Hobson log off for love…?

Could you survive a digital detox? This hilarious new romantic comedy from the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. A marketing manager by day, she tweets her friends, Instagrams every meal and arranges (frankly, appalling) dates on Tinder. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall…

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy’s problems – a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria, that she just happens to need help doing up. Soon, too, Daisy finds herself with two welcome distractions: sexy French exchange-help Alexis, and Jack, the brusque and rugged man-next-door, who keeps accidentally rescuing her.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone?

Purchase the book: Amazon UK

The Review

A story about a city girl that lives in the modern world full of wondrous technology.

As the title says It Started with a Tweet and for Daisy it really did. Daisy has two Twitter accounts: a personal one and one for work. She posts an embarrassing tweet, and can you guess which account she posted it on? Yep, you probably guessed right – her work account. Cue her getting fired from her job and being upset with the disaster that is her life. However, her sister takes her on a device detox in the middle of nowhere. Hell? I’d suggest so, but does everyone else think the same?

Everyone can relate to Daisy and her addictive ways. I do spend a lot of time on my phone, but I wouldn’t say I was addicted. Others may disagree – which is probably not a good thing! We live in a world where technology rules our lives and sometimes taking a break will do us good.

Brilliantly funny and easily relatable. Daisy is a great character with her quick wit, overdramatic ways and her ability to know when she’s wrong. She’s someone I’d love to be friends with because I could be myself and not have to worry. I would tell her to stop using her phone all the time, though!

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#bookreview: Coming Home to the Comfort Food Café by @debbiemjohnson

About the book

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Published: 19th October 2017
Pages: 400 Pages
Series: Comfort Food Cafe #3
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance

The Blurb
Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…

When Zoe’s best friend Kate dies of breast cancer, her whole world is turned upside down. Within hours, she goes from being the wacky neighbour who can barely keep a houseplant alive to a whole new world of responsibility when she realises she’s guardian to Kate’s 16-year-old daughter, Martha.

Moving to the little village of Budbury in the West Country, Zoe hopes the fresh Dorset sea breeze and the gentle pace of life will help them heal.

Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the Comfort Food Cafe provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha’s enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depoistry

The Review

Coming Home to the Comfort Food Café is the third instalment of the series with Cherie and the gang returning to shower their friends and family with love and fun. You don’t necessarily need to have read the first books, but if you fancy learning more, read: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe and Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe.

Zoe’s best friend Kate sadly dies from breast cancer and one of Kate’s last wishes was for Zoe to look after her daughter, Martha. There’s no question that Zoe would be honoured to support Martha, but Martha is a rebellious teenager who is grieving the loss of their parent. Due to Martha’s rebellious ways, Zoe decides that they are going to move to Dorset, away from the city life and start afresh.

Well, what can I say? Coming Home to the Comfort Food Café was delicious and inviting! The story takes you on a journey to Budbury in Dorset where you learn all about the Comfort Food Café and Budbury’s close-knit community. You’ll recognise some familiar faces in Laura, Lizzie and Cherie, plus you’ll learn more about Zoe, Martha and Cal – the new additions to the Comfort Food series.

Although I have placed Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe on the romance shelf, I wouldn’t suggest in any way that it’s your typical love story – actually, it’s far from it. The story is about grief, fresh starts and feeling accepted for who you are. I enjoyed Debbie’s writing whereby she takes a sad situation and compliments it with delicate love and belonging. I admired Zoe for all that she did because she experienced a troubled childhood and is now having to look after another troubled teenager in Martha.

I’m excited to learn that book four is on its way: Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café is due for release on March 8th, 2018.

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