#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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#bookreview: Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart (@keefstuart)

Days of Wonder Book CoverFormat: E-book (Kindle)
Publisher: Sphere
Published: 7th June 2018
Pages: 480 Pages
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Illness; humour.

The Blurb
Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.

Hannah’s heart is literally broken – and she can’t bear the idea of her dad’s breaking too. So she resolves to find a partner for Tom, someone else to love, to fill the space beside him.

While all the time Tom plans a final day of magic that might just save them both.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository


THE REVIEW

Father and daughter duo, Tom and Hannah, take you on a hilarious journey of love, laughter and heart troubles. Yes, heart troubles, not just that of the emotional variety. Let’s not sugarcoat the issue here Hannah’s heart is falling and everyone is worried. Other than her tiredness and her ability to lose her breath in 10 seconds, she’s doing fine!

Well, the Days of Wonder is certainly one of my favourites reads of 2018. It’s going to take a lot for me to add another book to this category anytime soon.

There is a natural balance of humour from the Willow Tree Theatre with a seriousness of Hannah’s heart disease. You’d imagine that on some occasions you’d feel sadness or grief, but you would be wrong. It made me laugh, whilst still appreciating the need to listen to the important topics that Keith highlights throughout. I think the main idea behind this approach was to add a hint of normality to an often traumatic time.

Hannah’s character is strong and realistic. She has an adult head on her young shoulders. However, she still likes to hang around with her best friends and boyfriend.

Tom and Hannah’s relationship was something I admired. It’s very rare that you read about a single dad raising their children, especially when they are going through something as dramatic as Tom is experiencing. They never have to worry about being alone as the Willow Tree Theatre company are like their family. The community spirit from Ted, Sally, Magaret, Shaun and James (I’m sure I’ve missed a few characters off this list) radiates from Keith’s words. Each member of the theatre provides you with enough backstory to keep your curiosity at bay. I particularly liked Magaret and her ‘way back when’ stories.


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#bookreview: Bring Me Back by @BAParisAuthor

Format: Paperback
Publisher: HQ Stories
Published: 1st March 2018
Pages: 384 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery Thriller; Crime.

The Blurb
A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository


The Review

Bring Me Back will be the third book that I have read by BA Paris and as always, I was not disappointed. However, it was probably my least favourite of her novels. Paris’s other books include The Breakdown and Behind Closed Doors – all with a thriller/crime feel.

Told in three parts, Bring Me Back is the story of Layla and her disappearance. Finn, her (ex?) boyfriend, is the narrator whereby he talks you through his own ramblings, as well as his relationship with Layla’s sister Ellen (oh er). I’ll have to admit that I felt a little awkward knowing that Finn was planning to marry Layla’s sister Ellen, regardless of how long Layla had been missing for (12 years!). Part of me hopes that he was doing it because he actually did love Ellen, rather than to be with her because she reminded him of Layla.

You also get to read the narrative of an unknown character that is playing with Finn’s head. Is it Layla? his friend Harry, or someone else? The ending will reveal all.

A clever story of mind games, sleep deprivation and what, when, how, why’s? – you may also experience a lack of sleep too because you just have to find out if Layala is back! However, let’s be honest here and say that (to me) it wasn’t as action-packed as I thought it was going to be. I’d say it was more of a calculated and well-thought-out story that left you feeling content with reading for a few hours.

Other book reviews commented on how obvious the ending was – totally don’t understand that. They must be great detectives because I had NO idea that was going to be the outcome. Yes, I did try and think about who took Layla because she wouldn’t have just left on her own accord – that’s not a spoiler! However, I never imagined the ending to be how it was.


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#bookreview: The Fear by CL Taylor (@callytaylor)

The Fear Book Cover

Format: E-book (Kindle)
Publisher: Avon Books
Published: 22nd March 2018
Pages: 400 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller; Crime.

The Blurb
When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

Purchase the book: Amazon UK | Book Depository


The Review

As I write this review, The Fear is jumping to the top of the Sunday Times bestsellers list and it’s totally deserved! I’ve not read many books like this and yes, I may sound like a broken record, but it’s true it’s bloody brilliant. It drew me in, messed with my emotions and then spat me back out. How could you do that to me? Anyway, it was ‘Wow’.

The Fear contains materials that some readers may find distressing. However, Taylor deals with it sensitively and appropriately. The main concept of the novel focuses on child grooming and the parties involved with one man’s actions. You’d expect it to be quite a difficult read yet it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, just angrier that things like this happen to vulnerable people.

During the ordeal, you read the POVs of three women Wendy, Chloe and Louise. They each have a relationship with Mike – whether that is through love or hate – and their stories are how he has affected them through his actions. There’s no denying he is a sex offender but will he ever change his ways? You’ll have to read to find out 😉

Prepare to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster of mind games, violence and infatuation.

The Fear Book Review BannerImage Credit: Avon Books UK


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#bookreview: The Perfect Girlfriend by @KJHAuthor

Format: Paperback
Published: 22nd March 2018
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 368 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Suspense; Psychological Thriller

The Blurb
Juliette loves Nate.
She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing.
Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.
And she’ll make sure no one stops her from
getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Purchase the book: Amazon UK


The Review

Juliette is a psycho – there’s no way you can make it sound any nicer than it is. She is clever (I know, right?), manipulative and cold-hearted. But, do you know what? I actually felt sorry for her. Her troubled upbringing coupled with her traumatic time at boarding school probably had something to do with her psychotic ways. You also learn about the death of her younger brother and mother. There’s no excuse to act like a woman scorned but you can understand why she acts the way she does.

During the story, you see Juliette become an air hostess where she embarks on a jet-setting career across the globe. It’s something new for her and something she’s always wanted to do. Why I hear you ask? Well, that’s to get closer to Nate. He’s a pilot for the airline that she’s recently joined – see where this is going? Here we have a prime example of a ‘Bunny Boiler’ style scenario but with the dial turned up to the extreme. Nate is her ex-boyfriend and she wants to be closer to him.

As much as I did enjoy The Perfect Girlfriend, I felt that the story didn’t pick up until halfway through. It took time for it to accelerate into something that makes you think: ‘wow, you really are mentally unstable’. You don’t need convincing that she’s troubled, you know straight away she’s someone to stay well away from. The first-half was more about Juliette’s calculating mind and then what she wants to achieve. The second-half was her putting the plan into place and causing some destruction in many people’s lives.

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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.