Tag Archive | Stella Newman

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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Stuff I Love

Hey there. I bet you weren’t expecting a blog from me today. Neither was I, it has been a while.

I’m going to admit, I’m probably only blogging because I’ve sat down to write, so many may call it procrastination. I actually wouldn’t argue with them. Still, I’m writing a blog, and you know what they say, it’s the first step that’s the hardest, so after this they should come flowing to me and I’ll be blogging all the time!

To break me in gently to this whole blogging thing, I thought instead of a conventional blog about writing (as the title of the blog goes), or a book review (as I’m getting better at doing, but still WAY behind where I should be this year), I’d do a blog on things I’m loving at the moment. Bit random, but isn’t variety the spice of life (I’m trying for as many cliches as possible today!).

This weekend, I was loving:

Left Overs by Stella Newman.

I read it as a ‘favour’ to Laura from Novelkicks as she has so much to read, and she wanted a review on the site for when the novel is released at the beginning of May. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it. I LOVED Newman’s first novel Pear Shaped, and this ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a follow up novel. Yay.

Left Overs

It may be because of Left Overs I didn’t do any writing this weekend. It’s possible, just possible, I stayed in bed for most of the weekend reading it 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I’m loving:

The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran.

TLTISYIt was my turn to choose the book club book this month (well, send out a list of 3-4 books that the group as a whole chooses). This was top of my list, and luckily the group choose it too, woop! I started it last night and am already gripped, and have so many questions. I’m currently FORCING myself NOT to read it. Must get on with other things.

Today, I’m loving:

http://www.somethingliterary.co.uk

Oh. My. God. A website dedicated to gifts for readers and writers. Top of my Want, want, want list are a ‘Go Away I’m Writing’ cotton tote bag, and the tons and tons of post it notes, and the Utility Task Clips. Oh, oh, and the Smart Women Read Between The Lines Book Lover’s Journal. I’m glad it’s my birthday soon! I may cry if I don’t get something from on here. Also, I now need an office at home to house all the things I want to buy!

Today, I’m loving:

The 5:2 Diet/Fasting Diet.

Eat 50 calories a day, twice a week, eat what you want the rest of the week. I did this in January and lost about 5lb, then put them back on when I went on the pig out that was the course I did in Feb (cakes and biscuits at EVERY break, almost 2 main meals a day!) when I stopped doing it. I’ve been back on it 2 weeks and have lost 3lb. Very happy with that. Today is a ‘fast day’, and I’ve only eaten 450 cals, so have another 50 (weight watchers yogurt) to eat when boyfriend has his tea.

I bought my Mum Kate Atkinson’s book about the diet, so hopefully it will convince her to do it too, I hope so, will be fun to do it with someone I know (and can swap food ideas with).

Today, I’m not loving: That I have nothing else I love. Now I need to get on with this writing, reviewing and editing. Sigh.

Pearshaped by @stellanewman Review

A novel about love, heartbreak and dessert.

Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl loses mind.

Sophie Klein walks into a bar one Friday night and her life changes. She meets James Stephens: charismatic, elusive, and with a hosiery model ex who casts a long, thin shadow over their burgeoning relationship. He’s clever, funny and shares her greatest pleasure in life – to eat and drink slightly too much and then have a little lie down. Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is.

An exploration of love, heartbreak, self-image, self-deception and lots of food. Pear-Shaped is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and above all, recognizable to women everywhere.

 Pearshaped

I had this book recommended to me by author Fiona Gibson (look at me name dropping!). We’d been talking about previous novels we liked, and as she loved You Had Me at Hello as much as I did, I thought I could trust her judgement. Then, when Laura decided to have it as Novelkicks’ book club book of the month in February I knew I had to read it.

It really was good, really good. Sophie is written so well, she’s a character I couldn’t help liking. James is an idiot, you can’t help disliking him. I find such vastly different views on two of the main characters brilliant, my emotions being mixed during the novel!

When I was younger I went through a relationship very similar to James and Sophie’s, so I totally ‘got’ it, and I know Sophie grew as a character because of it, just as I did as a person.

Enough of the characters, enough of the story – food! Mmmmm. Sophie is a dessert creator for a supermarket chain, and food lover (and I think Ms Newman must be too). I am too (the lover bit not the creator bit) and some of the pages were so alive with desserts and other foods. They were described so well, and sounded so good, I’m sure I dribbled a few times. I almost feel like put on weight reading it!

My only criticism, is one very similar to one I’ve had before, I think the cover blurb gives too much away, I think it would be so much better as a do they/don’t they novel, but I can’t take that away from Newman at all.

Heat magazine summed this book up brilliantly, ‘If you are a girl with a passion for food, (which I totally am), this modern city heartbreak is the book for you.’ Read it, you won’t regret it. I’m already massively looking forward to her next novel – Leftovers which comes out in the next few weeks.

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!