Welcome to my stop on the A Season of Hopes and Dreams blog tour, I’m super excited for this one as I not only have my review but an interview with Lynsey James as well, yes you are being spoiled today! Also, if that wasn’t enough there is a giveaway at the end of the post that you absolutely don’t want to miss. Huge thanks to Lynsey James and Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for having me.
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 summer 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 summer she never forgets… watch out world, Cleo Jones is finally fighting back!
Hi Lynsey, Thanks for taking joining me on my blog today, I’m so pleased to have you and hope you enjoy answering these questions.
Tell us a bit about A Season of Hopes & Dreams
A Season of Hopes and Dreams is about Cleo, who used to harbour dreams of becoming a professional dancer and taking over the world. That all changed when she was involved in a tragic car accident and for a long time, she stopped dreaming, Then she finds the old bucket list she made when she was younger and things start to happen! Oh, and there’s a hunky personal trainer named after an iconic Neighbours character…
What inspired Cleo and her story?
A bit of it came from my own experience. I’ve been in and out of slimming groups for years as I’ve tried to lose weight myself, and the dynamics just fascinate me. Like Cleo, I’ve also struggled with body dysmorphia and thought it would be good to tell the story of how it can affect your life, but also how you can conquer the demons it can bring.
Who is the main man in your story and is he based on anyone you know?
The main man in my story is the lovely Scott Robinson and I won’t lie, I’m a little bit in love with him! He’s a personal trainer who loves Cleo exactly as she is, and he really helps her on her journey to conquer her demons and achieve her dreams. He’s unfortunately not based on anybody I know (I wish!). If I had the Man Dough from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I’d make a man like Scott.
Which song(s) would be the soundtrack of this novel?
One of them would definitely have to be Especially for You by Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. When the main man’s called Scott Robinson, you can’t not include that song!
Why don’t we chuck Too Many Broken Hearts in there too?
What is your writing process?
Oh gosh, it’s chaotic! I’m continually in awe of those super-authors who plan out their books with brightly-coloured Post Its. I get a rough idea of where I’m going with the story, or even just a jumping off point, and dive right in. Often I’ll decide on plot elements I’d like to incorporate when I’m halfway through the draft. Somehow, I end up with a finished book though!
Why Romance novels? What drew you to the genre?
I’m really interested in relationships – how they come together, how they fall apart and all the bits in between! I honestly love writing about people falling in love or maybe falling out of it. People in general also interest me – I’m one of those people who sits in coffee shops and makes up stories about the people sitting around me.
Who are your inspirations in the genre?
Mhairi McFarlane is the biggest one, without a doubt. She combines humour and romance so effortlessly. I also love Harriet Evans, Miranda Dickinson, Kirsty Greenwood, Lisa Dickenson, A L Michael, Portia Macintosh… There are so many talented authors to mention!
If you were to try another genre what would it be?
I think it’d probably be crime. I’m a huge fan of detective shows and often try to find the culprit before the detectives on the telly. My success rate isn’t very high though…
What book have you most recently read?
Cocktails and Dreams by the lovely A L Michael, who I’m lucky enough to call a friend. It’s warm, witty and downright hilarious. She’s releasing a sequel soon and I just know it’ll be as awesome as this one.
What book do you most wish you had written?
The Story of You by Katy Regan. It absolutely blew me away when I read it and I remember thinking ‘wow, I really wish I’d written this myself’. I didn’t want to put it down.
Thanks so much for spending time on BrizzleLass Books and wishing you all the best with the novel.
Cleo is a character that most of us will be able to relate to, I certainly felt very attuned to her plight as a woman struggling not just with weight issues but a more serious eating disorder. As a teenager Cleo dreamed of being a dancer then an accident which broke her legs destroyed that dream and she’s been left wandering aimlessly ever since and food not only became her comfort but her enemy as she developed a binge eating disorder, as someone who has had one of these I know what a struggle they are to get past.
We follow her on her journey as she attends a local slimming club, why she finds it helpful, and facing all of her insecurities as personal trainer Scott comes into her life. From not being able to believe that a man could like her to letting her guard down enough to let him in. Through to the self-sabotage when she realises he might just like her a bit too much.
I could relate to so much of Cleo’s journey and was willing her to accept herself as much as I was willing her to accept Scott. I know from my own experience there is life after this illness and I wanted her to make those steps and find some happiness.
Lynsey James has written a compassionate but honest account of living with weight issues and an illness which is rarely tackled by anybody with characters which are raw, lovable and heartwarming.
Sending a huge thanks to Lynsey James, HQ Digital and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.
About Lynsey James
Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)
A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…
3x eCopies of the book – 3 winners.
Book & Buy Links
Title: A Season of Hopes and Dreams
Author: Lynsey James
Genre: Romance | Chick Lit | Mental Health
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 11 September 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Buy: Amazon UK | SpeedyHen