Tag Archive | Avon Books

Leftovers by Stella Newman

A novel about friendship, hope and the power of pasta from the bestselling author of Pear Shaped.

According to a magazine, Susie is a ‘Leftover’ – a post Bridget-Jones 30 something who has neither her dream man, job, nor home. She doesn’t even own six matching dinner plates.

According to her friend Rebecca, Susie needs to get over her ex, Jake, start online dating – or at least stop being so rude to every guy who tries to chat her up.

But Susie’s got a plan. If she can just make it the 307 days till her promotion and bonus, she can finally quit and pursue her dream career in food, then surely everything else will fall into place. If only her love life wasn’t so complicated…

A sharp, witty and refreshing novel about love, friendship and enjoying what’s left on the table.

Left Overs

 

I really enjoyed Stella Newman’s debut Pearshaped when I read it earlier in the year. From the moment I closed it, I’d been waiting for Leftovers. When I got it in the post, I was ¼ of the way through another book, which, although I was really enjoying, I HAD to put down and start reading Leftovers.

I was not disappointed.

Like Pearshaped, the main character in this novel Susie, works with food and loves food. The novel is scattered with food descriptions, recipe ideas  and restaurant stuff. For someone like me that loves romance novels and loves recipe books and food, it is just the best. Who needs either a recipe book, or a novel, when Newman brings you both?

I really liked Susie from the off. If I was single now, in my 30-somethings, I just know I’d be like her. She comes across so real, and vulnerable, still cut up over her ex, but not admitting it, and unwilling to move on. She’s not doing her dream job (join the club), and she’s not doing anything about getting to her dream job.

One of the things I liked the most about the novel, was that it wasn’t really predictable. I totally thought I saw where it was going, and was nicely surprised at the ‘One year later’ last chapter. It made it seem more real. I can’t say anything more than that without giving something away.

What I can say, is that you should read this novel. It’s only just come out, and I’m already waiting for Newman’s next book – I just hope she’s writing one!

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Stalkers by Paul Finch Review

Time’s up. You’re Next.

“All he had to do was name the woman he wanted. It was that easy. They would do all the hard work.”

Detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg is investigating the disappearance of 38 different women. Each one was happy and successful until they vanished without a trace.

Desperate to find her missing sister, Lauren Wraxford seeks out Heck’s help. Together they enter a seedy underworld of gangsters and organised crime.

But when they hear rumours about the so-called ‘Nice Guys Club’ they hit a brick wall. They’re the gang that no one will talk about. Because the Nice Guys can arrange anything you want. Provided you pay the price…

Dark, terrifying and unforgettable.

Stalkers

 

 

If there’s anything I love as much as, or possibly more than a good romance, it’s a good crime/thriller novel. I’d seen this advertised on the tube (I think) and kind of knew from the first time I saw the poster that I was going to read it.

Little did I know how much I was going to love it.

The novel gripped me from page 1, where there was a very, very small look into what was going to happen to someone. Small enough to grab my interest.

In the beginning of the novel we see Heck being a very slightly off white police, not quite doing what his superiors would like him to be doing, but not that far away. Then he gets taken off the case of the disappearance of 38 women, but he can’t let it drop, not when he’s finally got a lead. He goes off on his own to try to solve the case, which is where he runs into Lauren.

She shouldn’t be there, he doesn’t want her there, but through a few twists he has her there, and as a reader that likes the MC, I’m glad she was.

It’s quite a gory novel, but nothing that put me off, I’ve read a lot worse anyway (Craig Robertson’s Random anyone?).

I literally couldn’t put it down, I had to pick it up at every opportunity. Sometimes I found myself disbelieving that something was happening, but I think the bit just before the end is brilliant. I was disappointed in the very very end, it didn’t satisfy my want for a clean ending, but I’m hoping that’s to get the reader interested in his next novel. I didn’t need that hook, his next novel is Sacrifice, out in July, and I for one cannot wait.

Avon Books, New Books, Giving Books, Reviewing Books and BOOKS!

Books, books, books! Oh, how I love books 🙂

I missed the ROW80 Check-in yesterday, but I’m going to skate over that and go on to do this blog about books in all the forms in my life at the moment.

The reason I missed the check in yesterday, other than because I didn’t get a free minute at work, was because I was out in the evening at a meet the authors event at Avon Books. As a reviewer for Novelkicks (more about that later), I got invited along with Laura (I think Laura had more to do with it actually, thanks Laura). Check out some photos posted on Novelkicks today here – including a rare one of me (and there’s one below – what’s come over me today?)!

There were lots of Avon authors there – Laura Ziepe, Sophie Hart, Gill Paul, Julia Williams, Fiona Gibson, Claudia Carroll, Paul Finch, and Erin Kaye, and loads of other bloggers. Along with a few glasses of wine, and a cupcake, we had a really nice long talk with Fiona Gibson about books and writing, and chatted to Gill Paul and Julia Williams. Unfortunately the night flew, so we didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the others. It’s so nice talking to authors, and thinking that one day… maybe… I could be one of them…

Massive thanks to everyone at Avon for a great night.

We walked to the underground with Julia, and got talking about the Romantic Novelists’ Association, of which she’s a member. Talking about it with her and Laura’s made me so excited about going to events in the next few months, and of course the Summer Party.

During my long conversation with Fiona, she recommended Pear Shaped by Stella Newman. I started reading it on the loooooooong journey home last night (it always seems longer when you get on, and stay on 1 tube, rather than changing, Hammersmith to Whitechapel seemed so long on just one tube, 35 minutes isn’t really,  but it’s all the way from west to east London, it FEELS it!). I then read it on the way to work today, and home, and then sat and read it during dinner, and after. I’m on about p130. Needless to say, it’s really good. I’m looking forward to her new one (Leftovers) already, although I’ve got a little wait, it’s not out until April.

 

                 Avon Cupcakes…. Mmmmmmm                                             Fiona and Me

During another conversation yesterday, I got talking about Stephen King’s On Writing. Fiona agreed with me, and countless other people I’ve spoken to in the past, it’s the best writing book out there. Talking about it, made me want to read it again. After this one, I’m going to. I really can’t wait. I know it will inspire me to work more on my novel.

My second book review for NovelKicks has been posted today – The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I read it months ago, way before Christmas and loved it. It was really nice reviewing it now because it reminded me how good it was. Lots of people have recommended Last Letter From Your Lover by her, so I’m really looking forward to reading that soon.

And finally, something I’m really excited about. When I’ve read books, unless I really, really love them, I have to get rid of them. Not have to as in I can’t stand having them in the house, but have to as in the flat isn’t big enough to hold all the books I’ve read in my life. I usually give them to charity shops, but at the moment, we don’t live anywhere near a charity shop, and I’ve got too many to be able to carry if I went to find one.

Last week I read something about donating books to libraries. I’d never even thought of doing that. What a fabulous idea. So earlier in the week I emailed my local library to see if they accepted donated books. They do. The library is about 5 minutes walk from my house, so in the next few days I’ll take them over.

I’m so excited that other people will get to enjoy some really good books I’ve read. I do feel a little guilty that a charity is losing out on a little money there, but I’m supporting my local library. There’s something about that which makes me feel warm and fluffy 🙂

Ok, so that wasn’t finally. I’ve got more to say. In our kitchen, we have a shelf above the sink. It’s mostly filled with saucepans, frying pans, and a wok, but right at the end I’ve had a stack recipes. Unfortunately not in a book, but lots of loose papers. Each time I see a recipe online I like, I print it out. Or in a magazine, I cut it out. Or at a friend’s house I copy it down. Or sometimes I make one up, and if it goes well, I write it down. There’s a BIG pile of loose recipe sheets.

Or should I say there WAS. Tonight I put them in a folder. I separated them to Sweet and Savoury, and then alphabeticalised (possibly my made up word, I thought I had a better one, but can’t remember it!) them. So proud of myself.

That’s probably enough book talk for one night. Have I procrastinated enough tonight so it’s now too late to do any editing? I don’t think so. That’s both good and bad.

No, just time for one more thing! You know, just to make sure it IS too late for editing!

I went to Waterstones in Piccadilly today to buy tickets to a couple of author events. Maggie O’Farrell at the end of this month, and Lauren Oliver next. Very excited about both, but LAUREN OLIVER!!! Author of Before I Fall, one of my favourite books of 2012, and top 5 ever; and Delirium, which I read the other weekend, and stopped me doing anything else. Words cannot explain how excited I am about that!