#Review: Personalised Modern Girl’s Guide to Happy Hour by Ada Adverse @AdaAdverse @MillsandBoon

Description

Have you ever…?

A) Wondered whether the cucumber in your artisan G&T counts towards your five a day?

B) Vowed to spend a wholesome night in, maybe juicing, but surrendered to the inevitable cycle of off-license wine and Facebook stalking almost immediately?

C) Binge-watched an entire box set without even a shred of FOMO?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes!’, the Mills & Boon® Modern Girl’s Guide to Happy Hour is for you: a guide to surviving a 21st century social life – with a feminist twist.

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes!’, the Mills & Boon Modern Girl’s Guide to Happy Hour is for you: a guide to surviving the office – with a feminist twist.

Review

I absolutely adore these books, they are everything you shouldn’t think and say condensed into a 20 minute hilarious read and the best thing is you can share them with others and laugh at the fact you do or have done at least half of the things in the book.

The Modern Guide to Happy Hour is balanced between funny phrases on each page which relate to the images which look to me like stills from old films from the forties and fifties. Some of them had me roaring with laughter and nodding as I realised that despite their sarcasm they were pretty close to the truth.

The bonus with this copy is that Mills & Boon very kindly sent me a personalised copy of this book so almost every page was personalised with my name somehow making it funnier that I was the person making a complete wally of myself!

This may be a small book, and very tongue in cheek but it’s a great laugh. I loved it and found plenty to laugh about. I can’t recommend these highly enough for a bit of shaking off the cobwebs laughter.

A huge thanks to Ada Adverse and Mills & Boon for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleModern Girl’s Guide to Happy Hour
Series: Modern Girl’s Guide #2
Author: Ada Adverse
Genre: Humour | Comedy | Gifts
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Publication Date: 3 November 2016
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 96
BuyAmazon UK

#BlogTour: We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews @QuiteFunnyGuy #Interview

Today I’m joining the delightful The Quiet Knitter to help kick off the blog tour for We Have Lost The Coffee by Paul Mathews courtesy of EDM Editorial & Publicity Services.  I have an interview with Paul about the road to publication, it’s a really interesting read so be sure to stick around to read it.

Description

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret government coffee stockpile promises to save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. Hs name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive, Emma Windsor, on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy adventure set in the Britain of the future …

We Have Lost the Coffee - Tour Banner

Q&A

When did you first decide to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper?

Thanks to a demanding job, there was a gap of more than two years between sketching out the idea for my first novel, We Have Lost The President, in January 2013, and starting to write it. And, even then, what I drafted back in January 2013 didn’t bear much relation to the story as it eventually unfolded. You soon learn that nothing goes to plan in the world of novel writing!

It was only when I took an 18-month career break in April 2015 that work began in earnest. I started plotting the novel in May and writing it in the June. However, I got waylaid by a Twitter project and various other things. It meant I’d only written 36,000 words by the end of the year. It was then I realised I had to be more disciplined and I started writing 1,500 words a day, five days a week (I had only managed about 500 a day at the start, sometimes fewer). I eventually finished the first draft in April 2016.

How long did that first manuscript take to perfect?

It took over a year, as I didn’t publish until late July 2016 – and I was still making last-minute edits. Looking back, I probably should have delayed the launch a couple of weeks. That first novel is 100,000 words long and it took ages to proofread. In the end, I became word blind and my brain was no longer being helpful!

I learnt a lot writing that first novel. I transformed from someone having a break from work, who did a bit of writing now and then, to a professional writer who treats it as a job. That change of mindset really worked. I can churn out 10,000 words a week now and I wrote the first draft of my second novel in less than three months.

How did you get it in front of publishers?

I’ve never attempted to contact a publisher or an agent. I researched self-publishing and quickly came to the conclusion that giving Amazon exclusive rights to the e-book was the way to go. Royalties are 70% for books priced £1.99 / $2.99 or more and that is a great deal. Plus you get paid when people borrow the book via Kindle Unlimited if you sign up for the KDP Select programme. For every two books I sell, I get one borrow, which really boosts my readership.

I was approached by a small publisher after I published, but they were a new start-up and the ‘Books’ section on their website was a blank page – so I didn’t waste any time with them. It would take a serious offer for me to give up my indie status – I am in control of editing, marketing and publicity. It’s like the difference between running your own business or going to work for someone else.

I sold the audiobook rights to my first three books to Tantor Media. But I didn’t go to them. They came to me…which was a pleasant surprise!

Did you have an agent?

No. Self-publishers are their own agents.

What was the first reaction of people?

My army of test readers really enjoyed the novel, so that was encouraging. And my editor also loved it, which I think is important (or, at least, that’s what she told me!).

Prior to publication, I grew a small Twitter fan base via various comedy Twitter accounts and they bought the novel and all enjoyed it, as did my British friends and family. As a result, the first tranche of reviews were all fantastic. It was only when I advertised very widely did any negative reviews start to come in – but that’s not surprising, as they are all from US readers and my distinctly British sense of humour isn’t going to always travel well across the Atlantic.

Did the publishers want to change a lot? All? Nothing? & Did you agree? Or stick to your guns?

In my case, I had test readers and an editor. I tested the first novel after 14 chapters and the response was positive, so I didn’t really change much, apart from adding some more futuristic elements. My editor helped me improve the ending. She makes lots of suggestions but is always clear that it’s my decision whether to accept them (unless they are grammatical, in which case I do!).

How long did it take from them to get it out to the public?

I think it was test read in the May, edited in June and then tweaked by me in July (with a final editor check). It was such a hectic time, the memories are all a bit blurred!

What input did you have on the cover? Font? Etc. …

I commission my own cover designer. His name is Alex Storer. He mainly does science fiction, but he has produced some great covers for my comedy-thriller novels.

At the start of the process, I have a fairly good idea of the cover and give him a brief with some suggestions as to what bits and bobs might be included. He always gets it spot on, and then I just tweak it until we have a final version.

If you could do it all again, what would you change?

I would get up to speed more with the various marketing options. I decided to rely solely on social media at the start. But that resulted in far fewer sales than I imagined. I only sold 120 copies in the first two months and thought it was going to take years to make any impression. After all, there are only so many times you can tell people you’ve written a book before you start to sound like a broken record! Then I discovered Amazon US ads and, after a lot of tweaking, they now work very well for me. I’ve sold over 10,000 books already, which I still find hard to comprehend!

I would also allow myself a little more time for last-minute tweaks. You need a break between proofreads, so your brain can refresh and forget the specifics of what you’ve written. Otherwise, it suffers novel overload!

About Paul Mathews

Paul Mathews - Author Image

Paul Mathews is a 40-something British guy who’s given up his 9-to-5 job in London to become a full-time comedy novelist. Why did he make this bold step? Well, he’d had enough of crazy managers and uncooperative printers. So one afternoon, after nearly 20 years working at the heart of the British Government, he shut down his computer, deleted all his emails and escaped the office – never to return. (Okay, it wasn’t quite as dramatic as that, but he is a fiction writer, so please cut him a little slack.)

His two decades working as a Government press officer gave him an invaluable insight into all the key elements of modern government: bureaucracy, bungling, buffoonery, buck-passing and other things that don’t begin with the letter ‘b’ – such as politicians with huge egos and very little talent. He’s now putting that knowledge to use by writing about a British Government of the future – where, believe it or not, the politicians are even bigger idiots than the current lot.

Before becoming a PR guy, he was an accountant. But he doesn’t like to talk about that. And going back further, he went to Cambridge University and studied philosophy. Despite thousands of hours of thoughtful contemplation, he still hasn’t worked out how that happened. The highlight of his university years was receiving a £300 travel grant to visit Prague and ‘study philosophy’. It was a trip which ignited his love of Eastern Europe where he spends a lot of time writing and drinking black beer.

Other interests include wearing sunglasses and having his photograph taken. Visit his website for more info on this (allegedly) humorous man: http://www.iamthe.website (less)

Giveaway

Giveaway ButtonOne of two ebooks of We Have Lost The Coffee.

(Tour-Wide Giveaway)

Book & Buy Links

TitleWe Have Lost The Coffee
SeriesWe Have Lost #3
Author: Paul Mathews
Genre: Science Fiction | Comedy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 28 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 325
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: Modern Girl’s Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully by Ada Adverse @AdaAdverse @MillsandBoon

Description

Have you ever:

Treated afternoon tea as an ‘all you can eat’ opportuntity?

Realised you only ever hoover when you are expecting guests?

Flatly refused to ‘act your age’?

If so, the Mills & Boon Modern Girl’s Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully is for you: a guide to throwing out the rule book, with a feminist twist

Review

I absolutely adore these books, they are everything you shouldn’t think and say condensed into a 20 minute hilarious read and the best thing is you can share them with others and laugh at the fact you do or have done at least half of the things in the book.

The Modern Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully is balanced between funny phrases on each page which relate to the images which look to me like stills from old films from the forties and fifties. Some of them had me roaring with laughter and nodding as I realised that despite their sarcasm they were pretty close to the truth.

As with previous copies from this series I have other women in my family chomping at the bit to get their hands on the book and who am I to disappoint them so I will be sending the book on a journey around the houses to spread the cheer!

This may be a small book, and very tongue in cheek but it’s a great laugh. I loved it and I’m sure the rest of my family will love it as they have before. I can’t recommend these highly enough for a bit of shaking off the cobwebs laughter.

You can buy this on Kindle but I recommend buying the actual book for the full effect.

A huge thanks to Ada Adverse and Mills & Boon for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleModern Girl’s Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully
Series: Modern Girl’s Guide #6
Author: Ada Adverse
Genre: Humour | Comedy | Gifts
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Publication Date: 18 May 2017
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 96
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

#Review: Alice in Brexitland by Leavis Carroll @LucienDYoung @EburyPublishing

Description

Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts…

She meets such characters as the Corbynpillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Humpty Trumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit. Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?

Review

I will be honest, satires aren’t my thing normally, but I was persuaded by the political slant on this and the fact that like a fair few people I’m living in a state of despair at the state of the country right now! Sometimes having a good laugh at the thing that’s causing you the most stress is just what you need the most!

Alice in Brexitland is a lighthearted romp through wonderland but not as we know it, Alice now falls down the rabbit hole and lands in Brexitland, our now familiar characters are reincarnations of the politicians who have played a huge part in our political landscaping in the past couple of years and Alice’s interactions with them is laugh out loud hilarious.

Writing as Leavis Carroll to ensure the authenticity of the satire, Lucien Young has even included the American political story with Trump making an appearance as Trumpty Dumpty, I think his personality was completely nailed and I was in stitches reading this.

I’ve said before that my sense of humour tends to miss the point with comedy. I often don’t laugh when I should and I watch comedy with a confused expression not quite understanding why everyone is laughing. That didn’t happen here. I laughed from cover to cover and the illustrations throughout just added to the hilarity.

This isn’t a big book, it took me an hour to read it, but it’s a great light-hearted read which really kind of puts our political climate into check!

A huge thanks to Lucien Young and Ebury Publishing for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleAlice in Brexitland
Series: N/A
Author: Lucien Young
Genre: Satire | Comedy | Politics | Non-Fiction
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication Date: 1 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 112
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepositorySpeedyHen

#Review: Modern Girl’s Guide to Turning Into Your Mother by Ada Adverse @AdaAdverse @MillsandBoon

Description

Have you ever…?

A) Opened your mouth and heard your mother come out?

B) Wondered whether a bunch of flowers and breakfast in bed once a year really makes up for the 37 hours your mum spent in St Agnes’ Maternity Ward?

C) Voiced a heartfelt opinion on the weather?

If so, the Mills & Boon Modern Girl’s Guide to Turning Into Your Mother is for you: a guide to the joys of motherhood – with a feminist twist.

Review

This plopped on my doormat the day before Mother’s Day and I sat down and read it in one sitting. I haven’t read any of the Mills & Boon Modern Guides before but suffice to say I do love these tongue in cheek books. There really is something to be said for dropping the political correctness for a bit, and just having a good old laugh.

The Modern Guide to Turning into Your Mother is balanced between funny phrases on each page which relate to the images which look to me like stills from old films from the forties and fifties. Some of them had me roaring with laughter and nodding as I realised that despite their sarcasm they were pretty close to the truth.

On giving the book to my Mum for Mother’s Day (of course!) pages were read out loud and my entire family were rolling with laughter and pointing at people with “that’s you” and “you do that” etc.

This may be a small book, and very tongue in cheek but it’s a great laugh. I loved it, my Mum loved it, my family loved it! I will definitely be checking out more books in this series!

A huge thanks to Ada Adverse and Mills & Boon for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Rating

blb-four-star

Book & Buy Links

TitleModern Girl’s Guide to Turning Into Your Mother
Series: Modern Girl’s Guide #5
Author: Ada Adverse
Genre: Humour | Comedy | Gifts
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Publication Date: 9 March 2017
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 96
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

#WeekendBlitz: Stuck With Me by Cassandra Piat @cassandra_piat @NeverlandBT #Review

Welcome to the weekend blitz for Stuck With Me by Cassandra Piat, today I’m reviewing this feel good rom-com and I highly recommend it as one you pick up for your beach reading.

Description

Can your perspective on life, happiness and love really change in a week?

Molly, known for her unflagging optimism and constant cheeriness, is thrilled to win an all-expenses paid vacation to Mauritius. She packs her camera and a few colourful bikinis and can’t wait to have some fun in the sun. Little does she know there’s a catch.

Adam is a journalist on assignment and his mission is to test Molly’s optimism and see how far she can be pushed before she breaks. Surely it can’t be that hard?

What happens when Molly meets the hilariously cantankerous Adam and finds that she can’t seem to shake him? How will Adam successfully complete his task when faced with Molly’s beautiful smile, quick wit and curvaceous body?

As they bicker their way around the island, Adam and Molly realise that there’s more to each other than meets the eye. An unexpected friendship develops between them which soon turns into much more. But what will happen when Molly learns the truth behind Adam’s trip to Mauritius?

A heartfelt, funny and touching story about life, love, and happiness.

stuck-with-me-tour-banner

Review

Is someone who is always happy and optimistic genuinely happy and optimistic? This is what Adam is set to find out when his editor tasks him with driving Molly to despair during a holiday to Mauritius.

Molly who believes she has won the holiday and is looking forward to relaxing in the sun for a week is less than impressed by the annoying man who seems set on getting in her way and driving her to despair.

This was a novel that was so easy to get into, the story flowed off the page very quickly, with the narrative switching between Adam and Molly. It was very easy to follow and had laugh out loud moments on almost every page.

One thing I was extremely impressed with was Cassandra Piat’s handling of anxiety. I think handling a mental health issue in a lighthearted book of this nature is difficult, it would be easy to brush it off, make light of it, or say thing that are quite inappropriate. Or equally to unbalance the book and make things too serious in a book that has a lighthearted tone. Cassandra found the perfect balance, finding the right level of serious, while keeping the easy nature of the book always bubbling underneath.

Molly and Adam were both likeable characters, their individual stories were interesting and the way they both can’t quite seem to see what is right in front of them is quite brilliantly done.

I adored the settings of this book, Mauritius for the majority of it (I mean who wouldn’t want to be in a setting like this?) and Perth for the rest (again, wow)! This is perfect beach-side reading although I will be honest and say it did a pretty good job of helping me forget the awful weather outside the window right now!

A huge thanks to Cassandra Piat for the eARC so that I could honestly review this novel.

Rating

blb-four-star

 

About Cassandra Piat

cassandra-piat-author-imageI am a part-time English tutor and a full-time disorganised mother and housewife!! I spend my life trying to remember not to forget the 101 things on my things-to-do list – but seem to fail spectacularly most of the time! Whenever I have some free time I am either with my head in a book, or on my computer creating my own books. I live in Mauritius with my husband and three children.

What I aspire to do most of all through my books is to make my readers dream a bit, laugh a lot and just have a really good time with my characters. I also want my readers to learn a little about Mauritius, making them feel like they are actually in an exotic location for a while..

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Book & Buy Links

TitleStuck With Me
Series: N/A
Author: Cassandra Piat
Genre: Romance | Comedy | RomCom | ChickLit
Publisher: IslandGirl Publishing
Publication Date: 24 November 2016
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 305
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US

12 Days of Clink St: Peanuts & Egg Cups by Sara Mendes da Costa @BTSpeakingClock @Authoright

I’m so pleased to be taking part in the 12 Days of Clink St, this is my second post in the christmas event, and this one is for Sara Mendes da Costa’s feel good rom com Peanuts & Egg Cups which I’ve reviewed.

Description:
For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process.

Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable – supposedly ex – fiancée!

Continue reading 12 Days of Clink St: Peanuts & Egg Cups by Sara Mendes da Costa @BTSpeakingClock @Authoright