Tag Archives: British Authors

Blog Tour & Author Guest Post with Ali McNamara of From Notting Hill with Love…Actually

“Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean . . “

I know I am not the only lover of British romantic comedies out there and even more so a lover of the books that these films often issue forth from. For instance take one of my absolute favorite films Bridget Jone’s Diary which of course was based upon the novel of the same name written by the fabulously clever Helen Fielding and stars my own personal vision of Mr. Darcy personified: the Colin Firth. It was from Jane Austen herself that Ms. Fielding found her inspiration in the ultimate classic Pride and Prejudice which just may be perhaps the very first and most beloved romantic comedy of all.

As soon as I saw the title to this book I knew I not only wanted to read it and be a part of the blog tour but I also had to know a little bit more about Ms. McNamara’s inspiration. The two films mentioned in the title are two of the most well known and loved contemporary British romantic comedies of modern times in my opinion..but what lay behind the films for this writer personally and ultimately led to the inspiration to put pen to paper? Well, who better to ask than the author herself….so without further ado:

Where did and do  your literary inspirations usually derive from Ms. McNamara?

Guest Post by Author Ali McNamara

“My inspirations come from all over. I got the idea for From Notting Hill with Love…Actually when I was watching one of the music channels on TV one day.  It was a countdown of the Top 50 best movie songs of all time. I just thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could feature as many of those movies as possible in one story, and the idea began to develop from there.

The idea for my second novel Breakfast at Darcy’s came when I was on a touring holiday of Ireland. My husband and myself were parked in our car one day overlooking the island of Great Blasket in County Kerry. We began to talk about how you would go about living on an island such as that, and how easy or difficult it would be. My initial spark of an idea began to turn into a plot for a fully formed novel, when we later went over and visited the island.

 My characters usually come from my own imagination, but my latest book, out in the UK in November, has a couple of characters that are based on real people I met when I was in New York doing research. Luckily they both agreed, and are quite happy about me basing two characters on them, I haven’t had to pretend or try to conceal anything!

 But I’m always thinking and never find myself stuck for inspiration, and even thought I’m currently writing my fourth book at the moment, I currently have ideas for at least 2-3 more books after that!”

~ Ali McNamara

 Thanks so much to the very stylish Ali McNamara for stopping by Stiletto Storytime today and sharing her novel that has just recently hopped over the pond to us lucky Americans. If you enjoy a good romantic comedy…especially one of British origins, then From Notting Hill with Love…Actually is perfect for you. And if we’re lucky soon the sequel From Notting Hill to New York…Actually which releases this November in Britain will also make it’s way over as well. Another of Ali’s books Breakfast at Darcy’s can be gotten through UK means as well if you become hooked…and that’s a very real possibility.

So in the spirit of the celebration of romantic comedies of both the film and literary type…what’s your favorite? Personally I will have to admit to being a “You’ve Got Mail” girl all the way. I watch it all the time and especially when I am feeling under the weather. It’s got everything…a cute, quirky heroine, a bookstore, Jane Austen references and the all important bad guy love interest turned Mr. Right. So which one is your favorite and why? I would love know…more to add to both my reading and viewing list. So enjoy and Happy Reading to All.

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Girly Books, Jane Austen, New Books

Blog Tour: Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

  ” I’m sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There’s Chloe’s parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It’s ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned. You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I’m the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.”

There’s nothing cheerful about the psychologically charged mystery that is Cold Light. In fact there is actually an undeniable coldness to the narrative, a detached almost nonchalant air to the unfolding of events that is at the heart of this novel. The way memory becomes present, past becomes in the moment and it all comes together in pieces to reveal the secrets of one series of events witnessed by many in varying ways. Young teen girls, an older man, an innocent…all pulled into a chain of events that are both chilling and dark.

At the heart of the story is Lola or Laura depending upon the time in which she speaks. An young girl from a dysfunctional family, at a young age she yearns for attention, acceptance and ultimately approval. More the anything she yearns for these things from her best friend Chloe. A kind of Queen Bee who attracts girls like Lola and Emma into her web of confidence and control then makes them compete for her attention and favor. However in this case Chloe also has a controller of her very own in the form of an older man, a man using a young girl for sexual favors while filling her head with ideas of boyfriends and girlfriends and something similar to what a young girl might think love would be like but at the same time horribly wrong and far from it. Disaster is the ending…chilling in its truth but the reader knows that from the very beginning….the only question is how the mystery will unfold and what truth will ultimately be revealed.

A skilled writer who excels at the dissection of relationships and their complex internal struggles and attached obligations, Ashworth has a knack for writing within her character’s minds. She fits easily into the mindset of her teen characters making them real and easily understood in their young mindset, needs, wants and reasoning. Lovers of British fiction will find the novel ultimately that in it’s tone and somewhat detached introspection. It is not uplifting, not happy in any way, shape or form but it is addictive. Making readers keep turning pages to fill the need to know what really happened….to know the truth that is so often just in front of them and then teasingly again and again pages away.

You can check out the book trailer for Cold Light here which is a perfectly chilling depiction of what the novel truly is about. You can also connect with author Jenn Ashworth on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to also check out all the other great blogs participating in this great tour.

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, New Books

Review: The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald

Alice has always played it safe. She did everything she was supposed to do….she worked hard to establish a stable if somewhat mundane career, saved diligently for a flat of her own and always made the responsible decision whenever there was a major choice to be made. However nothing could prepare her for the ultimate betrayal when someone close to her decides to methodically steal her identity and essentially become her. What will Alice do now that she is not the only Alice Love? Money, friends and perhaps even boyfriends may be up for grabs when a close friend tries to make the ultimate heist.

The Liberation of Alice Love is a great chick lit adventure with a touch of British flavor added in for extra fun. Think Bridget Jones…a little less overweight…less accident prone…and a bit more sensible – That’s Alice Love. We all have been there or know someone like Alice. They always make the smart responsible decision, don’t take  a gamble with much and live a happy life if a bit repetitive and boring at times. But what if that life were rocked to the point where you no longer could be that person? What would happen if your own identity revealed a person someone totally different than you without  you?

High quality racy lingerie, fun exotic cooking classes, new gym membership or even a new dedicated volunteer opportunity…what if your life was being lived for you- better than you were living it? Romance, travel, adventure & mystery all combine as we follow one woman’s journey  to be liberated from herself all while trying to reclaim her own identity as the real thing.

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Filed under Adult Books, Chick Lit, New Books

Chick Lit Weekend

This last weekend I indulged in some chick lit. Not new chick lit but recently published that I just had not gotten around to reading. It was nice…relaxing and in some cases naughty. My first book was Sheer Abandon by Penny Vincenzi. I came across an old review of this book and read the book jacket. I had to pick it up from there. In this book we meet three very different women who once had a chance encounter when traveling in their earlier years. We also meet a teenager who was left at the London Airport shortly after being brought into this world in a storage closet at the time of this traveling. The question is…who’s baby is it? As chick lit goes it is a little long with nearly 600 pages but I have to say I loved it and the length didn’t bother me! With each chapter I went back and forth on who I though the mother could be and even when I had figured it out…there were more surprises in store. Vincenzi really knows how to create a stage through her writing for her characters to live and interact. You miss them after the story is done. A great read especially if you enjoy British writers as well. In the end definetly worth the time or an extra long weekend!

My second choice was Still Life with Husband by Lauren Fox. I have to admit this one was a cover choice. I loved the cover concept and I really enjoyed the main character Emily Ross as I got into it. She has a great stream of thought voice with lots of amusing side notes. She is basically a middle aged woman who wakes up one day realizing her life has somewhat been living itself. (Something I think we can all realte to on some level despite our age). Suddenly everything has fallen into place…husband…who wants new house…new baby…everything we are supposed to want at that age right? And David is the man of her dreams, great sex, wonderful conversation…only David is not her husband. Kevin is. And so you see the problem. While Emily may not always make the choices I would…you can so see how she gets herself into the situations that she does. Great book definetly worth a read but the ending leaves a lot of guess work and I think the book is wide open for a sequel although so far none has materialized. Maybe in the future?

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