Blog Tour | Jo Thomas - Top 5 Books to Enjoy with Wine

Emmy Bridges has always looked out for others. Now it's time to put down roots of her own.
Working for a wine-maker in France is the opportunity of a lifetime for Emmy. Even if she doesn't know a thing about wine - beyond what's on offer at the local supermarket.
There's plenty to get to grips with in the rustic town of Petit Frère. Emmy's new work friends need more than a little winning over. Then there's her infuriatingly brash tutor, Isaac, and the enigmatic Madame Beaumont, tucked away in her vineyard of secrets.
But Emmy will soon realise that in life - just as in wine-making - the best things happen when you let go and trust your instincts. Particularly when there's romance in the air...

Today I am hosting the blog tour for Jo Thomas' new book Late Summer in the Vineyard which is an absolute hoot to read. I was laughing from the start of this book and absolutely adore the characters!

Anyway, to celebrate the publication I am handing the blog over to Jo who is extremely busy promoting this amazing book but not to busy to stop by and talk about our favourite topic - books! 

Jo is going to share with us her top 5 books to enjoy with wine - which is very in keeping with her latest book. So sit back and see if any of these books peak your interest a little; 

  1. Lucy Diamond’s The Beach Café.

    I dream about waking up in the flat upstairs and can still see the sand on the steps leading up to the front door.
  2. Katie Fforde’s A Summer at Sea.

    Katie’s latest is set on a Puffer boat on the Scottish coast. Just beautiful.
  3. Milly Johnson’s latest, Sunshine of Wildflower Cottage

    A real page turner that will keep you sat in your deckchair, sipping your wine until you’ve finished.
  4. Wendy Holden.For those of you who fancy a festival this summer, read Wendy’s fun Wild and Free first.
  5. After seeing the television series, I have My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell lined up next on my kindle for a taste of Corfu.

  6. Well I know that I love 3 out of 5 of those books, so I just need to taste the other two really to have had the full books & vineyard experience.

    If I had to recommend a book to read with wine it would have to be... Late Summer in the Vineyard by Jo Thomas - ;-) Had to be said really didn't it?
    Buy Your Copy Here

Books | Down on Daffodil Lane

Hello lovely!

I am absolutely grinning with excitement here as I sit to write all about the latest book I've read. It's the third book by the lovely Rebecca Pugh who I know as Becca. When I first began blogging on A Page of Fictional Love and joined Twitter, Becca was one of the first book bloggers to become my friend and shared her enthusiasm for books with me. I always read her reviews on This is Beccas Books with such awe and anticipation as her way with words is intricately beautiful. No wonder she is now working on her fourth book and I'm here to tell you about her latest publication Down on Daffodil Lane.

Title | Down on Daffodil Lane
Author | Rebecca Pugh
Publisher | Carina UK 

Source | Purchase 
Rating | 5/5 

Maria Charm’s world might have recently crumbled, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to let it get her down.
Sure, her ex-husband broke her heart and decimated her trust, and while it would be so tempting to spend forever in her dressing gown, a tub of ice-cream in one hand and a glass of Chardonnay in the other, Maria wants more from her new—single—life!
A make over of her lovely little cottage on Daffodil Lane and a new job at Harriet’s café are just the distractions Maria needs to carve a new life in the country. One distraction she doesn’t need is Mr Tall, Brooding and Handsome from down the lane! 'Maria may only be in town temporarily, but there's nothing temporary about the tingles she feels at gorgeous Brad's touch…
After everything she’s been through, can Maria ever trust a man again? Could risking her heart with Brad lead to a charmed life on Daffodil Lane?

I couldn't wait to read this book by Becca so as soon as it was released I hit buy and it downloaded instantly to my Kindle. I recall that I was in the middle of gardening and I simply sat for "five minutes" to have a break and there I was an hour later, eagerly flipping the pages on my kindle. The reason being is that with each book that Becca has written, her skill of writing has gotten better and better and each sentence was woven intricately like delicate lace, and like the lace I was hooked. 

I actually shed a tear when I began reading Maria Charm's story because I could so deeply identify with her and how much she needed to get away from things. This past year for me whilst has been beautiful, it has certainly had it's moments of enduring pain and sadness. Whilst my personal need to get away was far different to Maria's I found myself nodding along with her wanting to say, "I know exactly how you feel". Maria is a highly lovable character, I would love to have a friend like her! In fact I would love to live on Daffodil Lane near all the characters. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the home decor elements to the story as I am a true home decor addict! I just love talking paint swatches, fabric, rearrangements of furniture, accessories and making a house a home. So thank you Becca for adding that into the story, it was a very welcome element. 

Let me brief you on the storyline without any spoilers - I hope! 

Maria needs to get away from her lying cheating rat of an ex husband. Clearly he's not bothered, but she is. Their marriage meant something to her. Their vows meant something to her. So she is utterly heartbroken when she finds out what he's been upto. 

Her mum's friend Geraldine has a cottage on Daffodil Lane that needs a little TLC - just like us all really - and offers Maria the use of the cottage to get away and get a little perspective on things in return for Maria doing the cottage up a bit. I admit I was so jealous at this point. A cottage, A Village, Decorating Potential... what is NOT to love about this  life? I mean story... story not life! *day dreams of cottages and villages and decorating*. 

So Rob (Maria's brother) takes her out of the cottage to the local village tea-shop *Squeals with delight*, I do love a good tea shop, and tries to get her to come out of her shell. It's a tough one, but the tea shop owner Harriet is lovely and welcomes Maria to the village. Harriet needs a little help in the cafe, and Maria needs a fresh start, something else to do apart from decorating, something to build up her confidence. 

In other village news there's a hunk called Brad and then there's Harvey and the hairdresser Millie who has the most adorable little girl Susie and soon there are more sparks flying than a firework display! But Maria does NOT want another man. How can she ever trust a man again? Does she? Doesn't she? 

Well you'll have to read yourself to find out because I fear spilling all the beautiful details if I carry on. The characters are just so lovely, so believable that even I wanted to climb into the pages and live there myself. Seriously I'm sure I could find a cottage on Daffodil Lane, and I could immerse myself in village life. I really could. I promise. :-) 

I can't just leave you hanging there, so I'll tell you this; in addition to what I've already told you about the delicious plot of this sunny story, there is coin flipping, ankle-breaking, a tearjerking wedding, a pregnancy and that awful "bump into your ex" moment. See??? This is exactly why you MUST read this. If you read one book this summer, PLEASE read Down on Daffodil Lane, and then come and talk to me about it. :-) 

Congratulations Becca on another wonderful story that will touch hearts worldwide. 

A beautiful story full of hope, love and the dream of starting again, 
Down on Daffodil Lane must get 5/5 

Books | Release Blitz - Guest Post - All Shook Up

Do you recall the First Look I hosted a week or so ago for All Shook Up? If not you can read it by clicking here. Well today I have a treat for you because author Chelsey Krause is celebrating publication day and has not only agreed to take over A Page of Fictional Love for the day, but... BUT she has 10 top tips for writing a novel!! Yes, TEN tips for you if you're interested in writing a novel! AND.... I have a cheeky excerpt for you as well. I know I am far too good to you but I love you all so much that I just have to spoil you like I do!

I've always fancied my hand at writing something fictional and this only got heightened when I studied creative writing for my degree at University. So, I don't know about you but I'm about to try and become Teacher's Pet by avidly taking notes throughout the take-over today because I wouldn't mind learning a few tips and seeing if I can put those to good use! BTW (I did not just break top tip number 10!) So, shall we all grab a cuppa, and a seat (and a pretty notebook and cute pen!) and let's pay attention and get some amazing tips from Chelsey! 

Advice on Writing a Novel
  1. Every writer needs to know and understand the elements of good story telling before they can write. Learn these elements and build your writer’s “toolkit” by reading these three books: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, How to Write Screenplays that Sell by Michael Hauge, and Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant by Larry Brooks.

  1. After learning the basics, believe in yourself enough to just do it. This really is the most important part: Just write the book. And remember, the first draft doesn’t have to be good. No one ever gets it 100% right the first time.

  1. Find a story idea that excites you. Some authors say that you should just write what you want and forget about your audience. Others say that you should write with massmarket appeal in mind. I tend to think that the answer is somewhere in the middle. As a test, come up with an idea that really excites you, and then tell others about it. You don’t have to say that you’re writing a book. Just throw some “what if” questions out there, and see what happens. Notice what lights their eyes up, what makes them say “Ooh! That sounds good.” Go from there.

  1. Find a time of day that consistently works for you. Some writers say that you MUST write every day. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Realistically speaking, some days it just doesn’t happen. But don’t put your writing off for too long. (If you’re actively working on a project, I say don’t go more than a week, otherwise you risk losing your “flow” and self-doubt starts to set in). That’s why it’s important to find a time that you can consistently come back to. You’re more likely to get it done if you make a daily appointment with yourself.

  1. Plotting vs. pantsing: Do what works for you. Every writer has a different method. I personally like to plan and outline my novels ahead of time, while others prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. Either way works.

  1. Listen to how people ACTUALLY talk. Sit in Starbucks for a while and eavesdrop. Call it “research.” Listen to the slang, the grammatically incorrect structure, the way people don’t completely explain themselves. Be mindful of what real conversations sound like when you write dialogue. Don’t allow your characters to speak too formally (that is, unless they’re British royalty or something). Also, be wary of dialogue that’s there to reveal backstory. Would a person really talk about their background, in that much detail? Think of creative ways to reveal the same information without it sounding like a job interview.

  1. Remember that every scene must advance the plot in some way. This may seem obvious, but pointless scenes that muddy up the plot show up in books all of the time. If it doesn’t advance the plot (i.e. doesn’t get the main character closer to his/her outer motivation), then cut it. Save it for another book.

  1. Write what you FEEL. I recently listened to an interview with novelist Anne Rice, and she said that writing what you know isn’t always good advice. Instead, write what you feel. I love this concept. As writers, we want to elicit an emotional response in our readers. And so, if you write from a place of emotional authenticity, your readers will respond to that.

  1. If you get stuck while writing, go for a walk. Preferably, go out and see something new. It’ll get your creative juices flowing again. If your body is moving, your thoughts will move too.

  1. Don’t tell anyone that you’re writing. Especially if it’s your first book. Now, this is my personal bias, but I liked having my privacy. It’s an incredibly sensitive time for a writer and people can easily crush your ideas, hopes, and dreams when you’re so very new at this. Or, on the flip side, you can get an immense amount of pressure from people asking how your book is coming. This can be particularly discouraging if you haven’t been writing lately and are feeling guilty about it, or are stuck on a particular scene and don’t know how to get around it. So unless you have someone around that you really trust and believe will encourage you, just keep it close to your heart. 

I don't know about you but I could just read more and more of what Chelsey has to say on this topic, I've learnt a few things too! How about you? Fancy a little more from Chelsey? Oh go on then.. here is the cheeky excerpt I promised you earlier. Enjoy! xxx

About All Shook Up:

Title: All Shook Up

Author: Chelsey Krause

Publisher: Tryst Books

Release Date: August 17, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9781988387048

Natalie’s world is shaken to its core when she discovers an old photo of a woman who looks like her. Could this woman be related to her birth mother, who put Natalie up for adoption as a baby? When she tracks down the person who dumped the photo album at her thrift shop, she’s shaken again. Especially when the gorgeous fire-fighting guitarist offers to help her find the owner. They quickly become friends – which is all they’ll be, as far as Natalie’s concerned. Her rebellious youth turned her off cheating men, and the new Natalie is looking for true love and a family of her own – something Casey isn’t willing to provide. But how long can Natalie ignore her undeniable attraction to the man with the Irish accent and the broken-down ’57 Chevy?

In Chelsey Krause’s second novel, friends become lovers over a whirlwind summer of rockabilly rhythms, twirling skirts, and a mystery that takes them hilariously far out of their element.

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

A breeze picks up and a chill settles around me. I pull my knees to my chest and pull the blanket tighter. Casey looks at me from the corner of his eye, and after a beat, he lifts up his arm.
Come here.”
I hesitate for a moment, noticing that my pulse has quickened.
I know you’re cold,” he says. “You have goosebumps.”
Umm, yes,” I say, feeling like my tongue is slow and awkward, stumbling over my words. My body feels jittery and cold, as if all the blood has rushed to my heart, and my flesh prickles with an intoxicating mixture of excitement and nervousness. There’s no way I’m admitting that these goosebumps are from being around him.
He tilts his head to the side, inviting me in once more. A shiver passes through me. Probably half from the cold, half from adrenaline. I’m not sure if this is a good idea, but I’m freezing my ass off. I slide over and let him wrap his arm around my body. He pulls the blanket up higher with his free hand and tucks it around us.
There. Snug as a bug in a rug,” he says.
Casey’s body is incredibly warm. Solid. Reassuring. I catch myself thinking that I wouldn’t mind staying right here for the rest of the night.
So, did you sleep with her?” I ask casually after my raging hormones have calmed down a little.
With who?” he asks, sounding genuinely confused.
Ginormous boobs.”
He laughs. “No, I didn’t. I just walked her back to her trailer and said good night.”
No good-night kiss?”
No. She smelled like cigarettes. Yuck.”
It feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest and I can breathe again. The cool night breeze picks up and I shiver. Casey tightens his hold of me.
Wish I’d brought another blanket,” he mutters.
I’m glad you didn’t,” I say without thinking.
Why?” he guffaws.
My heart throbs a quick, panicked pulse. Crap! He can’t know how I feel about him! How can I fix this?
Oh you know,” I say, my voice sounding high and tinny. “You, uh, wouldn’t want to over pack.”
He grunts, sounding amused. “Okay then…”

About Chelsey Krause:

Chelsey Krause has a thing for thrift stores and used bookshops. A nurse, wife, Starbucks addict, and mom to two children, she can often be found repurposing other people’s junk or considering whether the library would let her move in. The rest of the time, she’s reviewing for Chicklit Club or writing. All Shook Up is her second novel.

Books | The Selection

Hey there Gorgeous!

I have been expanding my reading genre reading list lately because it was all starting to feel stagnant and I was getting uninspired to read. You know when you hit a reading slump? Yep, that's what I was feeling and I desperately wanted to shake it off. So, I looked around at books that were on my TBR pile and noticed I have quite a few YA books. I've never thought much about reading Young Adult books because I thought that they just wouldn't interest me anymore. But boy was I wrong! I am hooked! So today here is the review of the book that got me addicted to YA in a way I never thought possible.

Title | The Selection

Author | Kiera Cass

Publisher | HarperCollins Children 

Source | Review Copy 

Rating | 5/5 

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…
It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love. Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

At first I struggled to get into the book until about chapter 3 and then I was like an addict and simply could not get enough or read fast enough. I feel that I must say that the only reason I think I struggled to get into it was because that I am so used to reading adult genres that it took my brain a while to adapt. 

Anyway, back to the book which is why you are here. So, it's set in this dystopian world where things really are different to the way we know them. The country that used to be America is now not America after it was invaded by China and the Royal Family of old America has the entire country in a caste system. This caste system has eight tiers to it and America Singer (the girl) is a Seven. Each caste is a number with Eight's being the lowest. 

When the next heir to the throne, in this case Maxon is of age they have a contest where all the eligible girls are whittled down to thirty-five whom then are invited to stay in the palace and compete to win the affections of Prince Maxon.  

So without spoiling the entire story because what I've just mentioned is merely just the beginning, America reluctantly gets selected so off she goes to the palace where she makes quite the first  impression on Maxon much to the annoyance of 'others'. There are quite a few characters that you 'love to hate' such as Celeste who appears as a stuck up snobby so and so. 
Each page is jam packed with exciting drama and action and I devoured the entire book in less than 24 hours! Following on from that I immediately ordered book 2 which swiftly arrived as an e-book on my kindle and I gobbled that up in less than a day! I became so addicted that it got quite scary as I woke up thinking about America and Maxon and the dynamics between them, will they be the couple or is it going to be one of the other girls? I was hungry for more of this dystopian wonderland. So, a few hours into book 2, I ordered the entire collection in paperback which arrived 2 days later  - I don't know how I coped without it!

To say that Kiera Cass has made my summer is an understatement. Kiera has created a world of excitement, romance, thrilling adventure, and an addiction in me for not only dystopian books but YA books in general. I could almost imagine it being like the whole Kate and William scenario in a altered universe. 
I loved the gentlemanly personality of Maxon who was the utter gent to all girls but especially America. The romance was so incredibly sweet and tender. And America's feisty spirit and independence is the stuff Beyonce dreams of! I adore the energy between the characters and the entire story is captivating and..... oh just go buy it, seriously it's amazing. And you get to return to your youth which I swear has taken 10 years off of me ;-) 

Easily awarding this book (and the series of books having read them) 5/5 although I'm tempted to rocket it to a 10 because of how good this book was.


Books | What Am I Reading Right Now?

Hello Gorgeous Ones!

I love my blog so much, it's a huge part of me and my life. It's grown with me and I've grown through it, but it's been lacking a little "something" lately, so I've been coming up with brand new post ideas for you in between reading some amazing books.

So a new feature I'm bringing to you as and when appropriate is the "What Am I Reading Right Now?" feature because I know so many people who are nosey so and so's when it comes to what I'm reading, what I think of the book, and what have I just bought! LOL It's fine, seriously it's like water off a duck's back and I couldn't think of a more appropriate place to share my BOOKISH love with you than here on A Page of Fictional Love. Plus I'd rather have my nose stuck in a book than in someone else's business!

Before I dive in (get it.. duck... dive...oh well haha) and share with you what I'm currently reading I just wanted to say how in the past 2 weeks my blog has reverted back to it's original name; A Page of Fictional Love, and has a brand spanking new banner to boot! As you can see it now features YA fiction, because I am just SO in LOVE with Young Adult Fiction right now. Seriously, I've devoured SO many YA books it's unreal! Reviews will follow in due course.

Right *rubs hands together* it's time for me to share my book reading pile with you. Yep. it's time for the goodies!

First up is this amazing book I'm reading that was actually recommended by Reese Witherspoon - she has a whole book club going that you can search for on Instagram #RWBookClub.

Luckiest Girl Alive is not something i'd usually pick off the shelf but when the lady who made Legally Blonde so flippin' amazing (and actually helped me get through my first 2 years training as an accountant - Thank You Reese!) you just have to sit up and listen right?

So it's basically about a woman who is planning her wedding to the rich guy, she has the emerald on her fingers, she has the amazing job in the City, the house, the bank account ... and the past to match! But that's where this book comes into it's own, as it showcases her past that has made her who she is today. She wasn't always the ideal rich girl, far from it, she was the girl at high school that desperately wanting to fit in at any cost and indeed it did cost her in the most horrendous way possible. We get to follow her journey as she reminisces and shares her story with us. There are points in the book that I laugh because her bitchy sarcasm is unreal - we all know that bitchy cow with the snide comments and the sneaky undertones whilst she smiles at you as if she respects you and actually likes you. Well Ani (pronounced Ahhh-Neee) as she's now calling herself is that snidey cow, and I can see why some people reading would love her, or hate her. I guess we either know someone LIKE her or we know that we can be HER at times. (lucky for me I can say I know someone like her in terms of her bitchy personality).

However I adore the gentler more innocent side to her, the real Ani, the one that just wants someone to like her, and support her, believe in her and root for her because so many people didn't have that growing up, sometimes their parents were interested in other things or siblings, like Ani's mother was more interested in her getting her connections rather than a life! There are times during reading that I just want to give her a hug (Ani - not the people I know like Ani) and let her know that she doesn't have to be so tough all the time. She can be gentle and not get hurt. So without spoiling it, if this sounds like something you might be in to, head over to amazon using the link below to get yourself a copy!

Next up on my Currently Reading List (which btw bears no resemblance to my GoodReads account - naughty I know!) is one that belongs to a series of books.

I am HOOKED on The Selection Series, and I've become quite addicted to reading them. I simply can't get enough. The Heir is the follow on from the first 3 that detailed the selection process of Prince Maxon as her FINALLY chose America Singer to be his wife out of 30+ girls. It's a dystopian book, a young adult book, and it's flippin' addictive! I urge you to give them a try! Even my Mum has been giving the pages a turn so they have to be good.

This book fast forwards quite a few years into the future following Maxon and America's wedding, and now it's time for their daughter to make her selection! So exciting!

And lastly, but no means least, I also have my nose stuck in Tell Me Lies (Which does actually happen to be on my GoodReads account - see I can be Good!) Tell Me Lies features a whole host of characters that slice into you in the most captivating way ever! I loved the scene where DC Atherton (I swear I read this every time as DC Arse-er-ton - I know, I'm SO bad!) gets mentioned by the other detectives and they comment about how he always seems to be there like a nodding dog, and please excuse my language but i'm only using what they say in the book - that Atherton (again - I can't spell, speak, read that name without reading the above) is always around the Chief Superintendent ready to lick his Ar** lala. It makes me giggle all the time! From that point I was in love with the book! Again we all know someone who can be like that!

Anyway, there's been a murder (anyone hearing Taggart here? No .. Just me??) and the rich girl is in the firing line because he was her boyfriend/ex boyfriend and she was standing over him drenched in his blood ( OK... this is serious - I'm having Legally Blonde Flashbacks to when Elle Woods is in court talking about "the shower" and the daughter being questioned mentioned seeing the accused "Drenched in his blood") OK Back on Track People!

So it's a case of who dunnit (no there is no Eastenders Duff Duff here... well not unless you put it there... it might be good) and it brings up so many twists and turns, connections with other Detectives and their families/pasts, and it really is just so gripping! If crime/mystery/thriller/suspense is your thing, this book HAS to be a book to read!

So there you have it, 3 books i'm currently reading, which may change by tonight because books shift sooo quickly in my house! One book for each genre really apart from the sweet chick lit/romance (sorry!) I promise I'll try and do one of those in the next update.

If you LIKED this post, give it share, leave a comment below with what you're reading and of course stop by my social media hangouts and connect with me.