Merry Christmas from Chick Lit Uncovered!

Christmas is almost here, so here's to a very merry holiday season to all readers! The blog will return in the new year for more news, reviews and general bookish goodness.

See you soon!

BOOK NEWS: The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth's novel The Things We Keep, tackles the issue of dementia at an early age. When Anna is diagnosed, she is taken to an assisted living facility, where she unexpectedly meets Luke. The Things We Keep will be published in January.

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind House. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. 

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five More Festive Reads!

With only a matter of weeks until Christmas and plenty of books to read, here’s Chick Lit Uncovered’s second selection of festive reads (check out the first here!), including novels and novellas from Holly Martin, Judy Astley and Jenny Oliver.

For the Love of Christmas by Kate Forster
Rebecca’s so called splendid life isn’t so wonderful. She is fresh out of rehab, her husband and children aren’t home for the holiday, and her Christmas tree has alopecia.

Days from Christmas, Rebecca has to explore her grief about a loss so huge, it tipped her over the edge, and imagine a future that maybe spent alone.

But she learns that, while Christmas for one is possible, it’s just a lot nicer when there’s family to share it with.

Love, loss and forgiveness come together to make a Christmas that Rebecca will never forget, and one that will unwrap a joyous future, even if it’s not at all like what she imagined was waiting for her under the Christmas tree.

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin
Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver
Christmas at the Davenports’ house was always about one thing: food!

But when sisters Ella and Maddy were split up, Ella to live in London with their Dad, and Maddy staying in Greece with their Mum, mince pies lost their magic.

Now, a cheating husband has thrown Ella a curved snowball…and for the first time in years, all she wants is her mum. So she heads back to Greece, where her family’s taverna holds all the promise of home. Meanwhile, waitress Maddy’s dreams of a white Christmas lead her back to London…and her Dad.

But a big fat festive life-swap isn’t as easy as it sounds! And as the sisters trade one kitchen for another, it suddenly seems that among the cinnamon, cranberries and icing sugar, their recipes for a perfect Christmas might be missing a crucial ingredient: each other.

Make a Christmas Wish by Julia Williams
Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.

And she’s not ready to go just yet! She’s furious about the new woman in her husband’s life and she’s worried about her beloved son who doesn’t seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.

This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?

A Merry Mistletoe Wedding by Judy Astley
It is almost a year since Sean and Thea met and it's been a roller-coaster ride: they're getting married on Christmas Day!

Neither Thea or Sean want a big fuss - a simple wedding, with Christmas lights and just a few sprigs of mistletoe for decoration is all they need. But before they know it, things begin to get complicated. Trying to manage a long-distance relationship in the build-up to their Christmas wedding is one thing, but as one challenge after another comes their way, the happy couple begin to wonder if they'll ever make it down the aisle...

BOOK NEWS: The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

The Stylist is the debut novel from Rosie Nixon, joint editor of HELLO! Magazine. Drawing from her glamorous experiences in the celebrity-filled world of magazines, Rosie's first novel follows boutique worker Amber Green, who is mistakenly given the job of a top celebrity stylist. The Stylist will be published in February.

When fashion boutique worker Amber Green is mistakenly offered a job as assistant to infamous, jet-setting 'stylist to the stars' Mona Armstrong, she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood's hottest (and craziest) starlets. When fashion boutique worker Amber Green is mistakenly offered a job as assistant to infamous, jet-setting 'stylist to the stars' Mona Armstrong, she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood's hottest (and craziest) starlets. As awards season spins into action Mona is in hot demand and Amber's life turned upside down. Suddenly she catching the attention of two very different suitors, TV producer Rob and Hollywood bad boy rising star Liam. How will Amber keep her head? And what the hell will everyone wear? The Stylist is a fast-paced, fun-packed rummage through the ultimate dressing up box. 

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five November Releases

A new month means new books, so here’s a selection of November’s just-published (and upcoming) novels…

A Girl's Best Friend by Lindsey Kelk
After the crazy six months she’s had, if there was a ‘clear history’ button for your life, Tess Brookes would be the first in line to press it.

When the opportunity arises to join her best friend, Amy, in New York for Christmas, Tess jumps at the chance. The only slight hitch is that Nick, the man who broke her heart, lives there. And Charlie, the man she turned down, has just started talking to her again. And she has just four days to take a photo for a competition that could save her career.

But aside from that, everything is going to be great: it’ll be the best Christmas ever. Won’t it?

House of Dreams by Fanny Blake
Only a weekend in Spain - what could possibly go wrong?

At their family hilltop villa, Lucy awaits the arrival of her brother and sister for their mother's annual birthday party. Although this time, their mother won't be there.

Struggling at Malaga airport with her fractious four year old, Jo has already lost her case and is dreading arriving without its precious contents.

For Tom, returning to Casa de Sueños stirs up all sorts of memories - then a beautiful face from his past appears...

My Big Fat Christmas Wedding by Samantha Tonge
Things don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…

Former hot shot city girl Pippa Pattinson loves her new life of rustic simplicity, running a quaint teashop on a sleepy Greek island with her hot fiancé, Niko. But it’s been a quick change to slow living – and you can’t blame a girl for wondering, ‘how did I get here?’

As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife?

There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s hoping she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…fingers crossed in time for the wedding…

A Night In With Marilyn Monroe by Lucy Holliday
The hilarious follow-up to A Night in With Audrey Hepburn from you favourite new author. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

After dating the hottest man on the planet, Dillon O’Hara, Libby Lomax has come back down to earth with a bump. Now she’s throwing herself into a new relationship and is determined to be a better friend to best pal, Ollie, as he launches his new restaurant.

Despite good intentions, Libby is hugely distracted when a newly reformed Dillon arrives back on the scene, more irresistible than ever. And when another unwelcome guest turns up on her battered sofa in the form of Marilyn Monroe, Libby would willingly bite her own arm off for a return to normality.

The Winter Wedding by Abby Clements
Hazel never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Ollie's summer ceremony is a runaway success, with guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty venue, word about Hazel's expertise soon spreads.  

But Hazel's clients expect the very best - she's promised lawyers Gemma and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws and wilful brides conspire against her, can Hazel get two very different couples to walk up two very different aisles to say 'I do'? And will she find her own happy ending if she does?

BOOK REVIEW: My Everything by Katie Marsh

What would you do if the husband you're about to leave has a stroke?

In Katie Marsh's new novel, My Everything, Hannah is faced with that very question. The day before Tom suffers from a stroke, Hannah has made her decision to leave him. After five and a half years of marriage; of seeing the worst of Tom, of living in fear of his anger and disappointment on an almost daily basis, Hannah has finally made up her mind to move on with her life. However, one night is about to change it all.

With her husband in hospital, life has dramatically changed for teacher Hannah. The plans she had made now seem unreachable, in return replaced with a future of caring for Tom - who is only thirty-two - a man she has seemingly grown apart from. A fact practically proved by Hannah's recent one night stand with infatuated colleague Raj, a secret that Tom has no idea about.

Now, Hannah can't leave. She can't run away - not when Tom has to face so much rehabilitation and recovery.

Having to be there for her husband makes Hannah consider her options, and of course, the past. What made Tom change from the handsome, fun student she once knew into someone so disconnected? Could she leave him now? Has her life changed forever?

Meanwhile, Tom is also faced with the reality of his future, and the love for his wife that has seemingly become non-existent. Being unable to walk or carry out the simplest of daily tasks, let alone work, is almost unbearable for successful Tom, and he too begins to question just went wrong between them.

My Everything is a wonderful novel. It's thought-provoking, moving, beautifully written and thoroughly addictive, and what's more, this is Katie's debut. This is not only a book that's impossible to put down, but it's also a book that really makes you think about life and the choices you make. Can lost love be salvaged, or is it gone for good? It really made me contemplate what I would have done in Hannah's situation, and it's truly difficult to put oneself in her place.

Throughout the book were chapters focusing on memories from Tom and Hannah's past; tickets and trinkets which slowly told the story of their relationship, which is something I loved about this book.
Katie Marsh is a highly talented writer and I'm already looking forward to her future novels.

Rating: 5/5

FESTIVE READS: Wish Upon a Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn

Darcie Boleyn's new novel, Wish Upon a Christmas Cake, was released earlier this month by UKCarina, and follows Katie, who has an unexpected Christmas visit that could change her life...

The most wonderful time of the year?

Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!

If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl...

But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?

BOOK NEWS: The Assistants by Camille Perri

Finding out about next year's releases is exciting, especially when new books by debut authors are on the list. The Assistants is the first novel of Camille Perri, in which a bored executive assistant is faced with the opportunity to solve her financial problems - even if it does mean stealing from her boss. The Assistants is due to be published in May 2016.

Tina Fontana is the hapless but brazen thirty-year-old executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the all-powerful and commanding CEO of Titan Corp., a multinational media conglomerate. She’s excellent at her job and beloved by her famous boss—but after six years of making his reservations for restaurants she’d never get into on her own and pouring his drinks from bottles that cost more than her rent, she’s bored, broke, and just a bit over it all.

When a technical error with Robert’s travel-and-expenses report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her student loan debt with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she struggles with the decision: She’s always played by the rules. But it’s such a relatively small amount of money for the Titan Corporation—and for her it would be a life-changer...

The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, “How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?”

BOOK REVIEW: The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson

I've been a fan of Lisa Dickenson since reading You Had Me at Merlot. Her summer novel, Catch Me if You Cannes, was an excellent read, so naturally, I was excited to receive a copy of Lisa's Christmas tale, The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

Readers of Lisa Dickenson's books may already be aware that Twelve Dates was previously released as a six-part series, though the complete novel has now been published by Sphere (with a gorgeous cover to boot!) And if you're looking for a feel-good, romantic tale with a festive theme, then here's your book.

When Claudia's long-awaited 'date night' with boyfriend Seth goes horribly wrong, she soon finds herself single and about to face Christmas on her own - not exactly a predicament that thirty-year-old Claudia is particularly keen on.  But after a chance meeting with a hot barista in a coffee shop (whilst trying to get over the Seth fiasco!), Claudia finds herself determined not to let her lost love get to her, and so decides to try dating. A Christmas full of dates - what could go wrong?

In fact, quite a few things can. And granted, some of those dates aren't exactly planned. Claudia's Christmas seems to be filling up with nice surprises, along with interesting date experiences.

Together with her best friends, ballerina Penny and the lovely Nick, Claudia's twelve dates are proving to be working when it comes to changing her life, even if some of them aren't exactly pleasant! It's going to be a Christmas that Claudia certainly won't forget.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas is full of comedic moments (trying not to spoil anything here, but I loved the underwear chapter!) but also full of heart and Christmas magic. It's a genuinely lovely festive tale of looking for something that you don't quite realise is there all along. My only complaint? It was rather predictable, and I had guessed how the book would end very early on. However, the story itself, along with the comedy and Lisa's charm, far outweigh this, and so if you want a feel-good tale to add some sparkle to a wintry night, The Twelve Dates of Christmas is absolutely perfect.

Rating: 5/5

FESTIVE READS: UKCarina launches Christmas Collection

Digital imprint UKCarina (who publish romance authors such as Samantha Tonge, Lynsey James and Jenny Oliver, are to release a collection of Christmas stories. Christmas Wish Come True will feature three romantic stories from Gina Rochelle, Misty Shaw and Jaimie Admans, and will be released on December 4.

All I Want for Christmas by Gina Rochelle
Ditching her faithless fiancé, schoolteacher  Isabella  plans to spend the holidays alone. But when she unintentionally inspires a young pupil to make an impossible wish, she joins forces with his – totally gorgeous – uncle to put things right! Could two wishes could come true this Christmas?

Dreaming of a White Wedding by Misty Shaw
When  Scarlet  discovered her husband-to-be in bed with her bridesmaid, she called off her Valentine’s wedding and ran away to London. But when her sister asks for her help, she can’t refuse…even if it means coming face-to-face with her ex – the man she never stopped loving!

Christmas Every Day by Jaimie Admans
Emma  loves bumping into Gorgeous Dog Walker, Nick, every evening. But when he ends up in a coma (partly her fault), she ends up taking care of ‘his job’…and his dog! Emma stopped believing in Santa years ago, but this Christmas her world is about to be turned upside-down!

IN THE MAIL: A Merry Mistletoe Christmas by Judy Astley

Now that the nights have started to get darker and colder, the selection of festive reads so far has been rather welcoming! And today a new addition to the Christmas reading pile arrived - A Merry Mistletoe Wedding by Judy Astley. (The cover is beautiful!) In Judy's new novel, Sean and Thea are planning a small Christmas Day wedding, but will things actually go to plan?

It is almost a year since Sean and Thea met and it's been a roller-coaster ride: they're getting married on Christmas Day! Neither Thea or Sean want a big fuss - a simple wedding, with Christmas lights and just a few sprigs of mistletoe for decoration is all they need. But before they know it, things begin to get complicated. Trying to manage a long-distance relationship in the build-up to their Christmas wedding is one thing, but as one challenge after another comes their way, the happy couple begin to wonder if they'll ever make it down the aisle...

BOOK NEWS: The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor

Lulu Taylor, author of The Snow Angel and The Winter Folly, returns with new novel The Winter Children, which is due for release in December.

Behind a selfless act of kindness lies dark intentions...

Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin to enjoy the family life they've always wanted. But there is a secret at the heart of their family, one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds its darkness deep within it...

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland

Having been a fan of Talli Roland since her very first novel, it’s always a treat to read her latest offering. I’ve always enjoyed her books (including Build a Man, Watching Willow Watts and The Hating Game) and novellas. Christmas at Cranberry Cottage is no exception.

When photographer Jess Millward hears of plans for a railway company to tear down her family home, she leaves her busy life in New York behind and rushes back to her quiet village. Despite her loving grandmother seeming fond of the idea to sell up and move into a nearby care home, Jess is intent on her mission to save Cranberry Cottage, the home which she grew up in. With Christmas approaching and only a short time before the new railway is built through the village, Jess sets out in her plight to persuade the railway company – which includes Tom, Jess's handsome childhood crush – to cease its plans.

Despite Christmas at Cranberry Cottage being quite a short read, I enjoyed every page. Talli conveys great characters and setting in such a short time and in turn has created a heartwarming, festive read. Jess was a very likable character and truthfully? I think this story would have also worked well as a full-length novel. As Jess spends her time working to try and put things right, the reality can often be that certain things simply don't need fixing.

This is the perfect story to curl up with on a cold night. And if you've already read and enjoyed Christmas at Cranberry Cottage, check out Talli Roland's other Christmas novellas: Mistletoe in Manhattan, Last Christmas, Married by Midnight and Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts.

Rating: 5/5

NEW RELEASES: Landfalls by Naomi J Williams

Landfalls is the new novel from Naomi J Williams. The story of one epic voyage, Landfalls takes the reader through Tenerife, Chile, Alaska, Russia and Australia. As well as being an exciting new release, Landfalls is also Naomi's debut novel, and is due for release on October 22nd.

An epic voyage, undertaken with the grandest of ambitions. When Laperouse leaves France in the Spring of 1785 with two ships under his command, he knows that he sails with the full backing of the French government. This is to be a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery - but every person on board has their own hopes, ambitions and dreams. As the ships move across vast distances in their journey of nearly four years, the different characters step forward and invite us into their world. From the remote Alaskan bay where a dreadful tragedy unfolds, to the wild journey Barthelemy de Lessups undertakes from the far east of Russia to St Petersburg, the reader sees the emotional, physical and mental toll exacted by such an endeavour. Landfalls marks the launch of a brilliant new writer, who creates an unforgettable world through a web of voices and narratives. 

EVENT: An evening at Orion Books with Cathy Kelly and Fanny Blake

Last week, I was invited to join two fantastic authors – Cathy Kelly and Fanny Blake – at a blogger event in London to celebrate the launch of Cathy's newly-released novel, Between Sisters. With Fanny's latest book, House of Dreams, published on November 5th, it was going to be one exciting evening, so I headed to the capital to join Cathy, Fanny, the lovely ladies from Orion and fellow book bloggers at Orion's fab new offices. (With a gorgeous view!)

After delicious wine and nibbles and gazing at not only the wonderful view but all of the glorious books on show, Cathy and Fanny sat down to talk more about Between Sisters. Granted, not only was it wonderful to meet these ladies - both brilliant authors that I admire - but also, it was intriguing to hear them talk about writing and answer our questions. As a writer too (and let's face it, I'm nosey), it's always interesting to hear how well-known, published authors approach the writing process.

Between Sisters tells the story of two siblings, Cassie and Coco, and their rather different lives. Having found out more about the characters at the event, I'm now extremely excited to read this novel. I was delighted to get a copy of this book (the cover is stunning) along with House of Dreams, and The Christmas We Met by Kate Lord Brown.

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly
Meet the women of Delaney Square ...

Cassie has spent her married life doing everything right - making sure her children have the perfect life, being a devoted wife and a dutiful daughter-in-law. Although it's left her so exhausted that 'wine o'clock' comes a little earlier each afternoon...

Her sister Coco runs a vintage dress shop and has shied away from commitment over the years. Coco believes men complicate things, and she's got enough to contend with. Until a face from her past returns. Watching over them is grandmother Pearl, tucked away in her little house in Delaney Square. 

But something is keeping her awake at night. Was she right to do what she did all those years ago? 
And then there's Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who's battled demons of her own in the past and come out on top. Now Elsa faces one final fight - but it will require more bravery than anything which has come before. 

House of Dreams by Fanny Blake
In the hilltop villa with its spectacular views across rolling countryside to the straits of Gibraltar, Lucy anxiously awaits the arrival of her brother and sister. They're spending the weekend together to say farewell to Casa de Suenos, the house in the mountains of southern Spain where they grew up. 

Her sister, Jo, landing at the airport with her fractious four year old, dreads the prospect of this time with her family, fulfilling their mother's last instructions that they celebrate her birthday party together - only this time their mother won't be there. Tom, their brother, is filled with dread, remembering only the chaos of his bohemian upbringing and wanting nothing more than for their stay to go without a hitch. 

Then a beautiful face from his past appears at the villa...

Over one long, hot week weekend, past secrets will spill out, making the siblings question themselves, the choices they've made and where their future lies in this gorgeous new novel from Fanny Blake. 

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five Festive Reads (part one!)

The holiday season is fast approaching, and there have already been quite a lot of new Christmas-themed releases in chick-lit, so much so that it's been difficult to pick just five! So, here is part one of Uncovered's selection of festive reads.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson
At thirty, Claudia's life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life - and Christmas - alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It's also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing's for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different...

The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas by Carole Matthews
Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers' Club have more to worry about than present shopping ...

Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn't spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated. 

Nadia hasn't let herself get close to a man in a long time, yet she can't help feeling drawn to Jacob. Will he be her last chance for a happy ending? Chantal and her husband, Ted, are besotted with their baby daughter Lana - but she's not sure that's enough to base a marriage on. 

Autumn is dealing with a tragedy that has hit too close to home. But when she doesn't get the support she needs from her fiance, will she look elsewhere for comfort? Can friendship overcome all in The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas?

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland
Home is where the heart is...

With a whirlwind lifestyle travelling the world, the one thing Jess Millward relies on is Christmas with her gran in cosy Cranberry Cottage. When her grandmother reveals the house is directly in the path of a new high-speed railway, Jess is determined to fight.

Can Jess save the cottage from demolition, or will she have no home to come to this Christmas?

Bella's Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson
Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. 

But this year things are going to be different. 

For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. 

Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off… 

After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember… 

One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish…to start over. 

With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad.

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. 
Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? 

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count. 

COMING SOON: Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon (formerly Bloomwood), will be returning later this month for another adventure in Sophie Kinsella's next Shopaholic installment, Shopaholic to the Rescue. This time, Becky heads to Vegas in search of her dad, but this is Becky Bloomwood, so more shenanigans are guaranteed...

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is on a major rescue mission! Hollywood was full of surprises, and now she's on a road trip to Las Vegas to help her friends and family. She's determined to get to the bottom of why her dad has mysteriously disappeared, help her best friend Suze and even bond with long-time enemy Alicia Bitch Long-legs (maybe...). As Becky discovers just how much her friends and family need help, she comes up with her biggest, boldest, most brilliant plan yet! So can she save the day just when they need her most? 

Becky is setting out to make things right in this laugh-out-loud, feel-good conclusion to her American adventure that began with Shopaholic To The Stars. 

Happy October!

Chick Lit Uncovered is happy to be back after a short break (working on a novel and of course,  reading!). Better still, it's also a new season, which means the perfect opportunity to snuggle up with a hot drink and a good book as often as possible. Bring on the cold nights!

There are already plenty of festive novels on the to-be-read list, not to mention some new releases in contemporary women's fiction that will be heading our way in the coming months. So look out for plenty of news and reviews!

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five September Releases

Once again, it's the start of a new month, which means a selection of new books to start autumn with. September's picks include new releases from Miranda Dickinson and Veronica Henry, along with novels from Melissa DeCarlo and Leah Marie Brown...

A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson
Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn't exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . .

When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift - one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her - and her life starts to change.

But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo
Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.

When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

High Tide by Veronica Henry
Pennfleet might be a small town, but there's never a dull moment in its narrow winding streets ... 

Kate has only planned a flying visit to clear out the family home after the death of her mother. When she finds an anonymous letter, she is drawn back into her own past.

Single dad Sam is juggling his deli and two lively teenagers, so romance is the last thing on his mind. Then Cupid fires an unexpected arrow - but what will his children think?

Nathan Fisher is happy with his lot, running picnic cruises up and down the river, but kissing the widow of the richest man in Pennfleet has disastrous consequences.

Vanessa knows what she has done is unseemly for a widow, but it's the most fun she's had for years. Must she always be on her best behaviour?

Finding It by Leah Marie Brown
Falling in love is the ultimate faux pas.

Anything can happen in a year! Unemployed, homeless, and left at the altar, Vivia Perpetua Grant could see her future as a flannel pajama wearing spinster—or worse, a bag lady shuffling around Golden Gate Park. But for a girl obsessed with rock music, Chinese take-out, and the color pink, misfortune is another word for opportunity. Vivia has found her niche as an international travel writer and the long-distance lover of Jean-Luc de Caumont, an über-hot French literature professor and competitive cyclist.

Still, even with so much going right, Vivia can't help but wonder if something isn't missing. The long distance thing is taking its toll on a girl who didn't have that many tokens to begin with. And fate seems to be tempting her at every turn, first with a hunky Scottish helicopter pilot, and then with a British celebrity bad boy...Will Vivia continue to keep it real or will she discover some old habits die hard?

All the Difference by Leah Ferguson
New Year’s Eve. A time for resolutions. A chance to make a change. And for thirty-year-old Molly Sullivan, a night that will transform her life forever…

All it takes is one word—yes or no—to decide Molly’s future. As the clock counts down to midnight and the ball slowly begins to drop, Molly’s picture-perfect boyfriend gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him. She knows she should say yes, especially considering the baby-sized surprise she just discovered she’s carrying. But something in her heart is telling her to say no…

Now, Molly’s future can follow two very different paths: one where she stays with her baby’s father, despite her misgivings and his family’s unreasonable expectations, and one where she ventures out on her own as a single mother, embracing all the hardships that come with it.

And by the time the next New Year is rung in, Molly will know which choice was right—following her head or listening to her heart…


Being a fan of stories set in Cornwall, I was extremely happy to hear about Emma Burstall's book, Tremarnock. In the novel, Liz and her daughter have come to the little seaside village to seek sanctuary, but there's trouble on the way. Emma has joined us for the Q&A session so that we can find out more about her intriguing new novel...

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A shocking turn of events causes havoc in a small Cornish community.

What inspired you to write Tremarnock?
My first three novels are based in and around London and when I started thinking about the next one, and particularly the character of Liz, who was very clear in my mind, I knew that it had to be set somewhere completely different.

Liz isn’t close to her relatives and feels very isolated when her relationship breaks up, leaving her to raise her young daughter, Rosie, alone. She wants to escape her old life and start afresh and where better to go than to a small, tight-knit village community where friends and neighbours soon become the family she lacks?

I’ve always loved Cornwall, so this seemed like the ideal bolt-hole for her. I spent many happy summers there as a child and rediscovered the area in my twenties when I landed my first job as a cub reporter on a Westcountry newspaper, based in Plymouth. From there, it’s only a short ferry ride into South East Cornwall and I enjoyed going on long walks and exploring the colourful fishing villages on which my fictional village is modeled.

Of course, the fact that Tremarnock is so small, warm and welcoming makes it all the more shocking when trouble strikes at the very heart of the community and Liz has to find a way through the secrets, ambitions and lies.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I’m a bit of a nomad, to be honest. At the moment, I’ve taken up residence in our dining room in South West London. I’m afraid I’ve spread my things across the whole table, so that we can’t possibly have friends round to eat because tidying up would be too daunting!

At other times, however, I’ll use my small study upstairs, or even pop to my Mum’s round the corner and work in her lovely, airy room at the back of the house. I get bored of being in the same place and find a change of scenery inspires me.

What is your favourite book?
I love all sorts of fiction but I guess my favourite book of all time has to be Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I’m a huge Dickens fan because of his humour, his unique perception of the human psyche, his unforgettable characters, great plots and unflinching message about poverty and charity. He wrote many amazing novels but for me, Bleak House stands out the most, probably because of Esther, Lady Dedlock and the ghastly Mrs Jellyby and Harold Skimpole.

Which part of Tremarnock did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing about the village itself, because there was something thrilling about bringing to life an imaginary place with its beach and harbour, cobbled streets, painted cottages and quirky characters. I could see everything so clearly in my mind’s eye.

An even more enjoyable part, however, was probably writing the ending. In real life you can’t always make things happen the way you want, but in fiction, you get to play God. I liked resolving things for Liz and the others in the way that I thought most fulfilling. I wrote more two versions of the very last pages, though, because I couldn’t decide which was best. I hope readers approve of the one I eventually chose!

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Jane Austen’s Emma, and not just because we share a name! She’s stubborn, spoiled, willful and a little vain, but her heart’s in the right place and we can’t help but forgive her when she recognises the error of her ways and tries to put right her wrongs. And I do love Mr Knightley!

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Develop a thick skin, because you’re going to need it. You’ll almost certainly receive rejection letters, perhaps lots of them, it’s par for the course. If you’re lucky enough to find a publisher, you’ll probably think you’ve made it. That’s until the reviews start coming in when people you’ve never met will say that you’re a terrible writer, even if they can hardly string a sentence together themselves.

Accept that you can’t please everyone. Believe in yourself, write something every day and relish every compliment, whether it’s a passing comment from an acquaintance in the street who enjoyed your book, or a fab, five star review in a national newspaper.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes. Tremarnock is the first in a trilogy and I’m in the thick of writing the second book in the series right now. I’m loving re-visiting the characters of Liz, Rosie, Robert et al, and also introducing new people and a whole new plot.

Thanks, Emma!

Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father. 

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner. 

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community. 

GUEST BLOG: Please Retweet by Emily Benet

Emily Benet, author of The Temp, is back with her new novel Please Retweet, about a celebrity social media manager. Today - the publication date of Please Retweet! - Emily joins Uncovered to share her thoughts on how social media can often take over our lives, and especially that of heroine May...

Check it, check it - a novel for all us social media addicts

Do you ever randomly open your front door to check if someone's there? Even though no one's rung the door bell, do you think: let's just have a quick look
And after you've opened it and found no one there, do you go back and open it again a minute later, just on the off chance there's someone there now. Two minutes later, do you open it again?
No. You don't. You only open the door when someone knocks.
As soon we wake up: We check our phone.
At the bus stop: We check our phone.
When we have to do something difficult to do at work: We check our phone.
At lunch: We check our phone.
When we go to the loo.... Ahem. Some people check their phones.
What are we hoping for? Well, I reckon we're hoping for a little high. 'Likes' on our Facebook post gives us a little high, a 'retweet' on Twitter gives us a little high, an email reply from someone gives us a little high, a comment on our blog gives us a little high...
How long does the little high last?
Approximately 1 minute.
Which is why we keep checking our phones! We need the the next high!
The main character in my new book, #PleaseRetweet, is always checking her phone because it's her job. May Sparks is paid to manage the online profiles of several C-list celebrities. They're a bunch of loose cannons who would offend half the planet if they were left to run their own Twitter and Facebook accounts by themselves. May has to be careful to get their voices right and not mix up accounts. As her client number grows it gets increasingly challenging.
Posting as several people means May is always getting notifications on her phone. She's experiencing so many highs and lows in her day it's like being on an electric seesaw that won't stop...
Imagine if your phone was going off every second of the day. And every notification required a clever reply.
Welcome to May's world. Coming out this August.

#PleaseRetweet is out in ebook from today, and paperback on 5th November  

NEW RELEASES: I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

Camilla Isley's new novel, I Wish For You, was released last week. What would you do if you had the power to have all of your wishes granted? Ally is about to find out...

If all your wishes could suddenly come true, what would you do?

A year ago, when the love of her life dumped her for no apparent reason, Ally thought she had hit rock bottom. But now that she has seen him with another woman, and one she knows only too well, her life seems to have reached a whole new level of low.

Yet, when she stumbles across an ancient object infused with magical powers and a stranger with a dark past appears out of nowhere promising to grant all her wishes, she finds herself hoping again.
Suddenly Ally’s life is turned upside down; she has a mystery to solve, a rival to beat, a millenarian curse to break, and well, she wants to have some fun playing with her new “gifts”...

But can she wish her way to happily ever after?

BOOK NEWS: Letting You Go by Anouska Knight

Letting You Go by Anouska Knight is published in September, in which Alex, who blames herself for a past tragedy, is forced to return home to the place from which she previously escaped...

What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past? 

Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn't visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she's plunged back into the past she's been trying to escape.

Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it's soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?

SUMMER READS: Deep Fried and Pickled by Paisley Ray

Paisley Ray's 'Rachel O'Brien' series of novels continues with the latest in the series, Deep Fried and Pickled, which is available now. Taking place in the 80s, the college tales incorporate humour, romance and mystery - stories for those who remember the eighties, as Paisley says, 'as fondly or as cringe-worthy!'

It’s ’86, the era of Pop Rocks, Jelly shoes, and big hair bands. Rachael O'Brien's freshman plan seems simple: Attend a southern college away from her hometown of Canton, Ohio, earn a degree, party, and meet cute guys—hopefully acing the latter two. 

But being threatened by a jealous She-Devil, avoiding the advances of a thirty-something redneck, and discovering an art fraud scheme mess with her “to do” list. Her problems deepen when her compulsion to reveal a fake take her on a dangerous misadventure.
Bad decision-making, law-bending behavior, and surprise romances make freshman year more challenging than expected in Paisley Ray’s DEEP FRIED AND PICKLED, a quick-witted, south-of-the-Mason-Dixon romp.

EVENTS: Festival of Romantic Fiction 2015

Fans of romantic fiction can attend the UK festival dedicated to the genre, which takes place in November.

Started in 2011, the Festival of Romantic Fiction is open to readers and writers of romance, and will take place in the historical town of Stratford-Upon-Avon between 6th-8th November. The festival is supported by a host of publishers including Piatkus Entice, Mills & Boon, Impulse and Choc Lit, with special guest authors Adele Parks and Milly Johnson.

To view the programme and book tickets, head on over to the website, or follow @romancefest on Twitter.

BLOG TOUR: Q&A with Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We, about an American who comes to Oxford and falls in love with the UK’s future king, is ostensibly based on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s love story. How would you pitch the book to Kate Middleton if you were in an elevator with her?

JESSICA: I’d tell her, “Despite what it sounds like, this book isn’t actually about you. But I think you’ll find it a particularly relatable story.” Which is true. Bex, our heroine, finds herself in Kate’s shoes, but definitely isn’t Kate. That said, I think Kate would be pretty sympathetic to Bex’s many romantic (and familial) problems.

HEATHER: I’d say, “Aren’t you even a BIT curious whether two Americans got any of this right?”

How would you pitch the book to Pippa Middleton if you were in an elevator with her?

JESSICA: I’d tell her, “Despite what it sounds like, this book isn’t actually about you, either.” Bex’s twin sister Lacey goes through a lot of ups and downs in the book, because part of what we’re exploring is the idea that Bex’s family becomes collateral damage when she falls in love with Nick, the second in line to the throne. Their lives change because of who he is, and the baggage that comes with him. So she might find it relatable as well. (Maybe not quite as much as Kate.)

HEATHER: Yeah, to Pippa I’d say, “Bring it to Mustique, read it with a cocktail, and know that even if it doesn’t always seem that way, we have a lot of sympathy for you.”

Was it difficult to separate Nick and Bex from Kate and William?

JESSICA: Not at all, once we started writing. Obviously, the book is inspired by them -- or rather, by wondering what it would be like to be a more or less regular person, who was thrust into the spotlight merely because you fell for someone who was born into it. And we definitely used some major points in their actual relationship as signposts for the book -- meeting at university, a lengthy courtship, a break-up. There are moments in there that someone who is a royals watcher will recognize, for sure, both large and small. But as far as characters go, to me, Nick and Bex are just Nick and Bex. (If anything, my fondness for Nick and Bex has extended to Kate and Wills, rather than the other way around.)

HEATHER: There were moments back when we were just outlining when we’d catch ourselves saying things like, “But would Harry DO that?” Because the thing is, we knew we were playing off of public figures for whom much of  the world feels a tremendous amount of affection and protectiveness. So in the early going, we’d catch ourselves getting nervous that a decision we made might lead people to say we were being disrespectful. But once the first word of the first chapter was written, that all fell away. These are fictional people in a situation that happens to sound familiar, and nothing they’re doing has any bearing on what the real-life royals are up to, you know? And so the second we started, it stopped mattering whether Harry or William or Kate would do any of these things, because Freddie and Nick and Bex WOULD, and did.

What’s appealing here for someone who maybe isn’t as big a fan of the royals, or of Kate and William?

JESSICA: We’ve heard from a lot of American readers who’ve said they were surprised they liked the book as much as they did, because they don’t really care about royalty at all. I think, at its heart, the book is really a love story about two people in extraordinary circumstances. There’s a line right at the beginning where Bex says, “I fell in love with a person, not a prince,” and that is, in many ways, the heart of the book. If anything, The Royal We is about how much of your true self you are willing to sacrifice for a great love; being part of the royal family isn’t presented as being as appealing as you might at first suspect.

HEATHER: Yes, it’s a love story about two people, not a love letter to an institution. In many ways it’s an examination of whether anything is worth the sacrifices that life requires of a person like Bex, or yes, Kate. And even if we haven’t all suddenly found ourselves raising future kings in bucolic Norfolk estates, we can all relate to the root emotions in this book. Most people have found themselves in a relationship that might force them to change something about themselves. Or we’ve been in social situations where we act a certain way to fit in, even if it’s not true to who we are, or we’re offered life-changing opportunities that carry us hugely far away from the path we thought we’d take. Even if Bex’s precise circumstance isn’t relatable, the feelings certainly are.

What makes the royal family, from any period of history, such a compelling thing for fiction writers?

JESSICA: I cannot speak for all Americans, but I feel comfortable saying that many of us are fascinated by the British royal family, especially those of us who were at an impressionable age when Diana married Prince Charles, and then watched that entire soap opera unfold in front of us. We learn a great deal of British history in school, but of course we don’t have a royal family of our own, so for us, it’s an intriguing mix of the exotic and the familiar, without being politicised the way it naturally is for the British.

HEATHER: For me, it’s a combination of the power structure, and the fact that it’s inherited and not earned. The royals are who they are by the gift -- or accident, if you will -- of birth. They’re not famous because they begged for it. They’re not the Kardashians, who relentlessly clawed their way up and won’t go back down without a gnarly fight. William and Kate can’t help who they are, nor the fact that they’re so widely watched and exposed, so it’s intriguing to watch how they handle it. Now, if we’re talking Royals of Yore, they’re interesting to me for a different reason. Many of them DID either battle their way into the throne, or fight to keep it -- or start another war, say, over the Church, or the right to run it. That tapestry seems rich in the way any slice of history does, I think. What WAS it like to snap your fingers and be brought the wench or pageboy of your choosing? What WAS it like to be a King of England who traveled via lengthy procession in the countryside because if you didn’t, most of your subjects would never even lay eyes on you? It’s always fascinating to look at the meaning of power, and how it’s morphed over the years, and how technology and media have changed what it means to have it and to wield it.

Did any character surprise you?

JESSICA: It seems crazy to say this now, but looking back at it, I think I am actually the most surprised by our prince, Nick. Before we started writing, I was worried it was going to be a challenge to take a character who is a fundamentally really good, solid person and also make him compelling and swoony and complicated.  But I actually really love him. (This might also be good life advice for me: that the good guy isn’t always necessarily boring once you get to know him.)

HEATHER: For me, it was Penelope Six-Names. We tossed her in there in the first section just for fun, and the ways she kept popping up were random decisions that happened on the fly, and make me really happy.

Who was the hardest character to get right?

JESSICA: We had a lot of challenges, I think. Nick, as I said in the answer to the previous question, was one of them. But I think it was also challenging to take members of Nick’s family -- and I can’t say too much or I’ll give it away -- and make them sympathetic enough that they still feel like real people, even when their behavior is less than stellar.

HEATHER: I’ll add that I think there is a temptation in general to add something redemptive to a character arc, even when that might not be true to who that person is. Because at first you think, “No, that person needs a secret soft side,” and it’s very easy to get sucked into that, so we had to make sure there was not too much, or even any, hugging and learning where hugging and learning were not appropriate.  I also think we hit the right balance with one Beatrix Larchmont-Kent-Smythe, who could have been overkill if we hadn’t meted her out correctly. I think we did.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

JESSICA: Honestly, there is nothing you can do for it but sit down and push through. Although, in times of real need, I firmly suggest taking a shower. I get all of my ideas in the shower. I need to figure out some way to keep my laptop in the shower with me!

HEATHER: I break a sweat. It’s pretty trite, but I will go to the gym or go on a swim and just see where my brain takes me. Maybe it’ll help me find the answer, or maybe I’ll spend that hour on Britney Spears songs and thinking about what to make for dinner. Regardless, it’s time where the pressure is not on my brain to do ANYTHING it doesn’t want to do, and that’s as effective a palate cleanser as any. Get up. Walk away. Engage the mental muscles in something else. And trust that when you sit back down, you’ll find your way again.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.
Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

DEBUT NOVELS: Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Tremarnock is the new novel from journalist Emma Burstall, set around an idyllic Cornish village. Released in eBook format in June, and hardback in October, Tremarnock is Emma's first novel and has been described as an engaging debut.

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father. 

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner. 

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community. 

NEW RELEASES: Little Sacrifices by Michele Gorman, writing as Jamie Scott

Michele Gorman is the author of many romantic comedies including Single in the City, Bella Summer Takes a Chance, and Weightless. Now her new novel, Little Sacrifices, will be released (under pen name Jamie Scott). Little Sacrifices is an atmospheric coming-of-age women's fiction novel set in the 1940s segregated American South.

How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When Duncan and Sarah Powell move with their daughter, May, to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they’ll be welcomed. But they’re Yankees and worse, they’re civil rights advocates almost a decade too early.

At first May can pretend they’re the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it’s worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they wake to find that they’re the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between what’s easy and what’s right.

Little Sacrifices includes a link to download Michele's rom-com Single in the City for free.

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five travel-themed chick-lit novels

Seeing as summer is upon us, it has been fun to take a look at some of the holiday-themed chcik-lit releases that are available. From a dancing holiday in Spain, to a family cruise, the celebrity-filled Cannes and idyllic Greek villages, here are five summer books that would be perfect to transport you to a sun-filled, faraway location!

Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams by Sue Watson
Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you'll never get hurt... 

Laura Watkin's heart isn't broken, she's just forgotten how to use it.   After years on her own, the highlight of single mum Laura's week is watching Strictly Come Dancing with a glass of Pinot Grigio and a large helping of imagination.  With her daughter Sophie going travelling, Laura knows the time is right to do something for herself for a change.  One disastrous Zumba class later and Laura ends up at the feet (literally) of gorgeous dance instructor Tony Hernandez.

A natural dancer and inspiring teacher, Tony rekindles in Laura a passion she inherited from her ballroom dancer father - and with it comes a dream... to make him proud. But when Tony enters them to perform at the National Dance Festival, can Laura's new-found confidence survive the test?  And with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn Flamenco in Spain, could Laura truly learn to dance like nobody's watching... and love like she'll never get hurt?  

A laugh-out-loud, uplifting comedy about finding the courage to be yourself, the importance of dreams, and learning to grab life by the glitter balls.  

A Proper Family Adventure by Chrissie Manby
Could you spend two weeks at sea with your family?

Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise. With stop-offs in Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles, plus constant entertainment onboard, it's a dream come true...Or is it? Last time Chelsea Benson went on holiday with this lot she nearly went crazy.

Her mum and sister are convinced Chelsea's boyfriend Adam will propose on the ship. Chelsea's sure he won't, but she can't help feeling butterflies as they set sail. Is Adam going to pop the question, or will the only thing to pop be Chelsea's ego?

Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.

Catch Me if You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson
Jess has decided it's time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of glitz, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they're staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony's expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It's just this once. No harm done...right?

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot
Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a whole lot more complicated...  
Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross.  Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn't and everything fell apart...  Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey's big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart.  But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.   

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis - Yan - Ellen finds him difficult to resist.  But Ellen isn't looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo...or is she?  

A Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge
Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones – with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niklaus by her side… 

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niklaus and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project: The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…