A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

‘One Hundred Christmas Proposals’ by Holly Martin


One Hundred Christmas Proposals is out now, here’s the blurb:

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals.

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn’t get any more sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and the.PerfectProposal.com have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times – made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.


I love this story and I’m so excited about you guys reading it too.  I never thought I would write a sequel for any of my novels, but catching up with Harry and Suzie, two of my favourite characters, in London at Christmas was a story that was begging to be told.  What I love about this story is instead of Harry proposing to Suzie, we get to see some of the amazing proposals they organise for their clients and we learn a little about their clients lives too.  One of my favourite proposals in this story is the sightseeing flight over London with the proposal written in flowers on a boat on the Thames.

Now you can win a sightseeing flight over London too and experience some incredible views of our capital.



This experience gives you a unique perspective on the sights of London. After a short pre-flight briefing, you’ll board a Piper Seneca twin-engine plane for a fantastic half hour sightseeing trip.


After taking off in Essex you’ll follow the Thames west into the heart of the city, getting a unique view of the capital. You’ll see the O2 arena, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, the towers at Canary Wharf, The London Eye, The Shard and the Houses of Parliament. Then turn north to fly over Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, before heading back east to land in Essex. You’ll get an amazing perspective on the geography of the city and the beauty of its landmarks, so whether you’re a tourist or a Londoner, you’ll see the capital in a whole new way. And if flying isn’t your thing, this would make the perfect Christmas present for someone in your family.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is copy one of the pre-prepared tweets below, tweet it and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this prize bundle.  The more you tweet, the more times you’ll be entered.

The competition will run until midnight (UK time) on Sunday 14th December so plenty of time for tweeting.  Every time you tweet, you’ll be entered into the draw.

Good Luck



One Hundred Christmas Proposals by @hollymartin00 is out now, a gorgeous, sparkly story to curl up with this winter http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



Join Harry & Suzie as they celebrate Christmas in a snowkissed London,100 Christmas Proposals is 59p @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



Celebrate Christmas in a sparkly,snowkissed London, a beautiful love story to curl up with this winter @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



Christmas lights,overcooked turkey,plenty of cake,glistening snow. 100 Christmas Proposals is only 59p @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



What will Harry give Suzie this Christmas? 100 Christmas Proposals is only 59p, a sparkly,snowy sequel @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



Harry & Suzie are back celebrating their first Christmas in a snowy London,100 Christmas Proposals.59p @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



Fairy lights, candles, snow, flowers and beautiful music, how to create the perfect Christmas proposal @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e



100 Christmas Proposals is only 59p,a gorgeously romantic snowkissed story to curl up with this winter @hollymartin00 http://amzn.to/1vwnL4e

Guest Post by Linda MacDonald


‘The Alone Alternative’ is Linda MacDonald’s latest book in a series of thought-provoking novels about relationships.  Linda has written a very interesting guest post for my blog.


When is stalking, ‘Stalking’?

Do you remember being fourteen and following every move of the most fanciable boy in the school? He was probably a year or two older, supremely cool and confident and with a glamorous girlfriend. He may have had two or three equally desirable friends and they would roam the local park, talking music and girls, posing, preening, aware of the glances, revelling in the attention. They and their girlfriends were ‘key characters’; you watched adoringly, jealously, from the sidelines.

When you were fourteen, you might have been aware of their schedule, accidentally-on-purpose hanging out with your friends in a nearby location so you could swoon in a way that only teenage girls can swoon. Or you ‘arranged’ a meeting on the staircase or in a corridor at school, because you knew his timetable. Yes, you stalked your love-interest, you fantasised and imagined that one day he would notice you.

But this is normal behaviour for a young teenager and doesn’t mean any harm. Ten, twenty or thirty years on, the same thing would be seen as unusual; even weird or desperate. There’s an element of threat when an adult woman or man follows every move of someone who isn’t interested in her or him. This is when stalking becomes Stalking.

Who are the Stalkers?

There are those that stalk celebrities with a childlike obsession. Perhaps they have a high insecurity and fear of rejection, so chase unattainable goals. But most stalkers are known to their victims. Often they are reluctant exes, desperate to win back their lost love.  Or they may be a friend or acquaintance who wants a relationship and is the victim of unrequited love. Research has shown stalkers have often suffered disrupted attachment in childhood and a recent rejection of any sort may start stalking behaviour. The stalker may link their own happiness with the attainment of a relationship with a particular person and when they don’t achieve their goal, they become distressed and try even harder. The unattainable person is often idealised, becoming an even more desirable goal. The stalker may adopt extreme chasing behaviour and is likely to misinterpret any signs as encouraging, even negative ones.


Cyber-stalking via social networking sites or email is a relatively recent phenomenon. Twitter is the perfect medium for the potential stalker because it is so easy to read someone else’s tweets or send them messages. But for it to constitute Stalking, there must be a threat of harm such as sending them malicious tweets or posting defamatory tweets about them. The law is beginning to catch up with this new type of behaviour.

In my latest novel, The Alone Alternative, stalking is one of the sub-plots, showing how an acquaintanceship can suddenly turn sinister; how friendliness may inadvertently lead someone into imagining you are interested when you are not. Stalkers see what they want to see; hear what they want to hear and if a person is known to you, it is not always easy to identify when the boundary has been crossed and the behaviour poses a threat. If you are interested in the psychology of stalking, you will find more information in the book.


About Linda MacDonald


Linda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria, England. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught secondary science and biology in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write, paint and make jewellery. In 1990 she was lured back into teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught health and social care and psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’.

The Alone Alternative is the third part of a series of thought-provoking novels about relationships. It also stands alone as an interesting read for both men and women. The first two parts, Meeting Lydia and A Meeting of a DIfferent Kind may also be read independently although many readers have enjoyed following the characters sequentially from the start of their journey.

Health issues in 2011 prompted Linda to retire from teaching in order to concentrate on her writing career. She hopes that with this new focus she can bring her books to the notice of a larger audience.

‘The Alone Alternative’ is available to buy on Amazon:-

Press Release – ‘The Other Place’ by Carol Arnall

The Other Place

Gripping supernatural mystery, which follows the struggles of a young woman to overcome severe childhood trauma, has inspired its readers to face up to – and conquer – their own demons.

Chrissie James is a troubled soul. Her father deserted her before she was born and her stepfather, Alf, is a jealous man who inflicts terrible mental and physical abuse on Chrissie and her sister, Babs. Chrissie feels trapped inside her own head and is wracked with chronic fears, including claustrophobia. As a result, she is a very lonely child, with the sole exception of her imaginary friend, Amy. With Amy for company, Chrissie slowly begins to put her miserable childhood behind her, growing older and leaving school to find work. But still her fears and her nightmares remain and Chrissie even starts to suffer from random panic attacks.

One day, as a young adult, Chrissie notices a sign advertising a hypnotherapist. On their first meeting, Kitty, the hypnotherapist, immediately recognises Chrissie’s distress and suggests that she may have been tormented in a previous existence. By regressing to that past life, Chrissie hopes to find the source of her problems. While hypnotised, she finds herself living the life of a girl named Emily, who also has an abusive stepfather. Chrissie begins to realise that her imaginary friend, Amy, may in fact be more significant that she could ever have imagined, and could hold the key to helping Chrissie face up to the secret history that haunts her.

The Other Place is an engaging and suspenseful supernatural novel, beginning in 1950s Birmingham and charting the life of its damaged heroine Chrissie over the course of several decades, as she battles to isolate and overcome the fears that plague her. The Other Place has built up a terrific fan following, reaching number one in the Amazon Kindle Best Seller list for Supernatural and Reincarnation titles. Many of Chrissie’s challenges and conditions are inspired by the author, Caroll Arnall’s own experiences, having been blighted by claustrophobia, and at times, sleep disruption and panic attacks. In fact the act of writing this book became therapeutic in itself for Carol, who found that her anxieties began to disappear as she worked with her complex characters through their own healing processes. Readers too have praised The Other Place for inspiring them to confront their most profound problems; many women who have suffered domestic abuse have written to Carol to thank her for helping them to finally vanquish their most painful memories.


About the author

Carol Arnall was born and raised in the slums of Birmingham, where the early chapters of The Other Place is set. Arnall read tarot cards, the crystal ball and practiced psychometry until 1987 when a road traffic accident left her severely injured. Unable to work away from home she dedicated her time to writing, at first recording the many ghost stories she’d collected over the years as a psychic. After having a series of articles published in local newspapers and magazines, Arnall found the confidence to start writing books.

Her first title, Mysterious Happenings, was a collation of local ghost stories, which was followed by four other non-fiction books. In 2007, Arnall began writing fiction, and has since released five novels. Carol Arnall lives in Staffordshire.


‘The Other Place’ is available now from all major online bookstores, including Amazon.

If you would like a copy of ‘The Other Place’  to read, review or feature, please contact Kris Barnes of Authoramp.  Carol is also available for interview.


‘Milked’ by Lisa Doyle – Book Launch

Book Cover - Milked

‘Milked’ is Lisa Doyle’s debut novel.  Published by Simon and Fig, we are today celebrating it’s release.  Read on to learn more about this book.


Book Blurb

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.


About Lisa Doyle


Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the nonprofit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc, Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010).

Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York.


For more about Lisa, please visit her website.

On twitter she’s @bylisadoyle.

On Facebook she’s at https://www.facebook.com/bylisadoyle.

For buy links, please go to www.simonandfig.com

Blog Tour – ‘Breaking Love’ by MJ Summers

Breaking Love

‘Breaking Love’ by MJ Summers is the second book in the Full Hearts series.  It is being published along with ‘Break in Two’ by Piatkus on the 21st November 2014.  These books can be read as standalone novels.  As part of this blog tour I am reviewing ‘Breaking Love’.

The story is set in several different locations including romantic Paris and Colorado.  Luc Chevalier is 41 years old.  He is rich, successful and can have any woman he wants.  But something is missing from his life and he doesn’t realise it.

Megan Sullivan is 35 years old.  She is happy with her life as a single mum to Elliott and with her photography business and intends to keep things as they are.  However, Megan’s best friend thinks that it is about time that she has a bit of fun in her life and manages to persuade her to go on a short break to Paris.

When Megan arrives in Paris three weeks later she does not expect her feet to be lifted off the ground.  She ends up literally in the arms of the sexy Luc Chevalier and finds that a part of her she has hidden away for such a long time is released.

Luc and Megan don’t believe in fairy tales.  Will they manage to put aside their fears and doubts and live happily ever after?

The first thing I must comment on is the cover.  I love the black background with the gold champagne heart.  It is just so beautiful and makes you think of delicious things.

I really enjoyed reading this book and found it nice and relaxing.  I got on well with the writing style and the way the story was set out.  This is a romance but it has a bit more to it.  Megan devoted her life to her son and was there for his every need.  She was concerned about embarking on a new relationship in case things didn’t work out and Elliott ended up getting hurt.  Luc sounded like every woman’s dream, but somewhere deep inside he was flawed.

I personally don’t recommend reading ‘Breaking Love’ on public transport or at work as it is rather steamy and addictive.  It is I think best enjoyed at home.

I give this book 4 out of 5.



Website – http://www.mjsummersbooks.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/mj.summersbooks

Twitter – @MJSummersBooks

Julie Shackman’s ‘Hero or Zero’ Guest Post


Julie Shackman has recently had her second book published.


Book Blurb 

When single mum Chloe Jones wins a magazine competition to have TV heartthrob Ethan Blake live with her for a month, she thinks her dreams have come true. And the presence of the handsome star in her home and small Scottish town certainly causes a stir. But when Chloe begins to see his true colours, will she find the courage to face him, and admit where her heart truly lies? 


Julie has kindly done a guest post for my blog.  I hope you enjoy reading it.


Chloe’s Holding Out For Her Hero….

By Julie Shackman

Has your heart raced at the thought of meeting your favourite actor/singer/writer?!

Have you ever imagined what your Hero is like in real life? If they would match up to your expectations?

This is exactly what my new romcom “Hero or Zero” is all about.

Chloe Jones is a single parent to her gorgeous little boy Danny. She loves him to bits but there’s another man who makes her heart leap for entirely different reasons – handsome TV actor Ethan Blake.

She has followed his career avidly for four years and when Chloe is given the opportunity to spend time with Ethan, she grabs this once-in-a-lifetime chance with both hands.

But what is it they say? You should never meet your Hero?

Chloe is a romantic at heart; a dedicated Mum and hard-working young woman. In her mind, Ethan is every bit as brave and dashing as he appears on her TV screen….

But is he?

I think all of us have a part of Chloe inside us. A passionate, dreamy side which wants to be swept along by romance.

Is Ethan Blake the man for her? Does he indeed deserve her?

Perhaps the real-life heroes are far closer to home than we think….!



Author Bio

I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine. When I’ve not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greetings card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me – I usually require coffee, music and noise.

My second romcom, “Hero or Zero” has just been released. “Rock My World” was my debut romcom. I’m married, have two sons and live in Scotland.



‘Hero or Zero is available to buy on Amazon:-




Twitter – https://twitter.com/G13Julie

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

Blog – http://julieshackman.wordpress.com/

Publisher: Not So Noble Books – http://t.co/RvLGJMdWkr

‘Petit Four’ – Book Launch


Today ‘Petit Four’ is published by Simon & Fig.  The cover alone is bound to get your mouth watering.


Cake is often a major part of life’s celebrations, both big and small. From birthdays to wedding days, cake, in all its delectable concoctions, marks joyous occasions with a sweetness that can’t be beat. But even better is the love that is shared when two people connect over a sweet confection. Maybe it’s a cute new guy wreaking havoc on a broken heart, or a beautiful woman testing the limits of love, or an old beau stirring up long lost desires. Whatever the circumstances, cake can always be relied upon to save the day when it comes to affairs of the heart. In this collection of short stories, cake is the delicious center around which each tale unfolds and romance blooms.

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance in Cindy Arora’s “Cake Therapy,” she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love. Lucie Simone’s “Aprez Vous” finds success-driven Tara in Paris reminiscing of her long lost love, Jean Marc, and her niece bound and determined to reunite them. In “The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam by Sue Watson, cake enthusiast, Milly, meets her match in the kitchen, and other places, when new owners take over the tea rooms where she works and her talents and her heart are put to the test. And Scott, mayor of a small seaside community, flirts with political suicide in Joel Zlotnik’s “Her Charms” when he falls for new-in-town Nicole, an entrepreneur with a passion for cupcakes, and whose latest venture proves a little too sexy for the sleepy beach town.

From San Francisco to Paris, from small towns to tea rooms, this anthology tempts readers with humor, style, romance, and the powerful aphrodisiac that is cake. Petit Four is four stories, frosted with love.

‘Race to Death’ by Leigh Russell

Book Cover

I recently took part in a blog tour celebrating Leigh Russell’s new book.  You can read my post here:-


There is still a chance to win a copy of ‘Race to Death’. The competition closes on Sunday 9th November 2014.

I enjoyed ‘Fatal Act’ earlier in the year and so was looking forward to reading ‘Race to Death’. I haven’t read the first book in the DI Ian Peterson series yet, but that really does not matter as they can be read as standalone novels.

This story was set in York, a place I have never been to but long to visit.  Ian Peterson has just been promoted and has moved all the way from Kent to York.  He soon gets his first case and is determined to solve it and impress his boss.  A man falls from a balcony at the York Racecourse, but it’s not suicide or an accidental death as first thought.

Soon after two more people are murdered and Ian realises they are dealing with a serial killer. They have to find him or her before anyone else is killed.  Time is running out.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Race to Death’.  I like Leigh Russell’s writing style and the way she sets out her books.  The chapters were really short but I found that that only added to the excitement.  A couple of parts of the book were particularly chilling.  There were a number of twists and turns throughout the story which kept me guessing for quite a while.

I worked out who the killer was eventually so was pleased with myself but I still found myself asking questions and trying to work out the connection between the people killed.  I definitely didn’t expect the end result.

Leigh Russell is fast becoming a top crime writer and will soon be up there with the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: