Tag Archives: Simon & Fig

Spotlight – Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover


 

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It has often been the case that sometimes….just sometimes I am partial to one or two cocktails….especially at #DrinkYAMidlands!

*presents embarrassing evidence*

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(Lisa @City_Of_YA and me )

So when lovely author Cindy Arora and fab publishers Simon & Fig contacted me about sending me a review copy of a book by debut author Isabelle Andover called Cocktails at Le Carmen…….. I simply could not resist!

I am lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this book so my review will follow very shortly.

Today marks the release day of Cocktails at Le Carmen!  Happy Book Birthday Isabelle!

Cindy and Simon & Fig asked me if I would share some cocktail related things to celebrate publication day so I thought why not share some cocktail related pictures from a recent #DrinkYAMidlands meet up!

For those you not aware #DrinkYAMidlands is run by myself and a branch off the fab #DrinkYA that is run by the wonderful Jim @YAYeahYeah but based in the Midlands / Warwickshire in the UK where everyone is welcome to meet up and have a fab chat about books….and a few cocktails too!  Plenty of laughter is had by all!

There’s also picnics, bowling, coffee shop meet ups….come join us sometime!  Check out the hash tag on twitter 🙂

So before all of that a little about this wonderful book….


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When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

 A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm.

Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.


About Isabelle Andover

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Isabelle Andover is a Paris-based writer of chicklit. Her debut novel, Cocktails at Le Carmen, is published by Simon & Fig.

Originally from England, Isabelle lives with her tabby cat Oscar, who occasionally blogs about apartment-style living in the City of Light.

In addition to fully embracing the culture of her adopted country by way of consuming plenty of French wine and cheese, Isabelle can also be found indulging in the typically British pursuits of shopping at Marks and Spencer on the Champs Elysées and drinking copious cups of Earl Grey.

http://isabelleandover.com/

@IsabelleAndover


So here we go….some cocktail drinking bloggers and cocktails …..

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Mmmmmmm Red Berry Cocktail and a White Russian!

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Cosmo!

IMG_4086Oh dear!  Lisa @City_Of_YA did not like the Mojito!

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The lovely @maiamoorereads trying out some cocktails at #DrinkYAMidlands 

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A few (a lot) cocktails later……..

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The fab Lisa @City_Of_YA enjoyed her White Russian!

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To many cocktails!

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Lisa @City_Of_YA and me…..okay lets stop RIGHT there!


You can buy the brilliant Cocktails at Le Carmen HERE

Or read the first chapter on Wattpad here

Or why not add it to your wish list on Goodreads here

Have you read this book or does it look like a fun read?  Any cocktail related stories you would like to share?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

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Review – Milked by Lisa Doyle


Milked Cover Art

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?


Publisher – Simon & Fig

Date Published – 21st November 2014

Pages – 308 pages

Format – Ebook / Kindle Edition

Category – Adult Fiction / Chick Lit

Source – I was sent a digital copy of this book by the wonderful Kim Nash in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you Kim and thank you to the publisher Simon & Fig.

I would also like to thank Kim for inviting me on this blog tour for Milked – thank you for having me!


** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**


Back in November a few days after this book was released I featured this book in a Debut Author Spotlight post on Tales Of Yesterday and I am honoured to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this wonderful book.

Milked is a modern mommy tale with a twist and centres around the witty character of Amanda Keane.  The story begins around Amanda’s 30th birthday in an Irish bar where she falls for a smouldering Irish accent (who wouldn’t?) in the form of a hot Irish barman.  They soon begin a 3 month fling before his visa runs out and upon his return to Ireland Amanda finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy and to top it all off her career in publishing hits a stumbling block.  A single mother looking for a job and who wants to provide a roof over their heads, security and love for her child her friend Joy suggests the theory of becoming a wet nurse for some elite famous people.  Amanda agrees and this opens up a whole new world of babies, feeding, diapers, day-care, celebrity and a bit of love thrown into the mix too.  Amanda finds that life doesn’t always play fair.

Straight from the off set at the start of this book I loved the narration style and Amanda’s character which was often witty and laugh out loud funny with the narration quite Bridget Jonesy in style with some side talking directly to the reader which for me made Amanda feel such a realistic down to earth character.  The whole romance between Amanda and the gorgeous sounding Irish barman Eamonn, (who stole my heart as a reader by being able to play U2 on demand of his violin (fiddle)), is built up beautifully and did not come across as insta-love but like a whirlwind romance.  There is a fantastic hilarious reference that Amanda uses  – 50 Shade Of Irish – Fantastic!  Amanda’s friends also are a great bunch of characters often bouncing off each other when they are together and then there’s Dan…..*slips off into a dreamy place where there are lots of Dan’s running around*.

The whole pregnancy and birth stories all rang very true and tell the truth without sugar coating things often being quite to the point.  The same goes for the great descriptions of motherhood and what motherhood can bring both the good and the bad including unconditional love, struggles, worries, fun times, tired times, friendship and doing anything for your child or someone else’s child and includes a great incident at day care where Amanda summed up exactly how she felt about the incident perfectly and having been in that same situation when my son was younger Lisa Doyle writes the perfect thought process in Amanda’s mind and to the reader about this which is portrayed hilariously.

Lisa Doyle has also created a great unique twist on a mommy’s tale introducing the idea of a wet nurse which I was not aware still goes on if I am honest and is how Amanda in the story finds work again.  Is this even legal nowadays?  Does this still happen in todays day and age?  I looked this up on the internet and found this article from the Daily Mail which indicates that it does.

Some of the people that hire Amanda to work as a wet nurse for them in the book are either high profile people, people struggling with their new-borns or wanting that extra help.  I have to say the most annoying character (written that way) for me was Alexandra Lang a workaholic with newborn twins who Amanda has past history with.  Lisa Doyle creates a character who made me keep imagining Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada!

All in all this book is a wonderful debut by Lisa Doyle for the chick lit genre.  I cannot wait to read more from Lisa in the future.

 I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books

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You can buy this book here

For more about this debut author Lisa Doyle, please visit her website.

On why not follow Lisa on twitter – @bylisadoyle  or find her on her Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/bylisadoyle.

Happy Reading

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Review – Petit Four by Various Authors Edited by Lucie Simone


 

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Cake is often a major part of life’s celebrations, both big and small. From birthdays to wedding days, cake, in all its delectable concoctions, marks joyous occasions with a sweetness that can’t be beat. But even better is the love that is shared when two people connect over a sweet confection. Maybe it’s a cute new guy wreaking havoc on a broken heart, or a beautiful woman testing the limits of love, or an old beau stirring up long lost desires. Whatever the circumstances, cake can always be relied upon to save the day when it comes to affairs of the heart. In this collection of short stories, cake is the delicious center around which each tale unfolds and romance blooms.

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance in Cindy Arora’s “Cake Therapy,” she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love. Lucie Simone’s “Aprez Vous” finds success-driven Tara in Paris reminiscing of her long lost love, Jean Marc, and her niece bound and determined to reunite them. In “The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam” by Sue Watson, cake enthusiast, Milly, meets her match in the kitchen, and other places, when new owners take over the tea rooms where she works and her talents and her heart are put to the test. And Scott, mayor of a small seaside community, flirts with political suicide in Joel Zlotnik’s “Her Charms” when he falls for new-in-town Nicole, an entrepreneur with a passion for cupcakes, and whose latest venture proves a little too sexy for the sleepy beach town.

From San Francisco to Paris, from small towns to tea rooms, this anthology tempts readers with humor, style, romance, and the powerful aphrodisiac that is cake. Petit Four is four stories, frosted with love.

 


Publisher – Simon & Fig

Date Published – 5th November 2014

Pages – 278 pages

Format – Ebook / Kindle Edition

Category – Adult Fiction

Source – I was sent a digital copy of this book by the wonderful Kim Nash in exchange for an honest review.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way.  Thank you Kim and thank you Simon & Fig.

I would also like to thank Kim for inviting me on this blog tour for Petit Four – thank you for having me!


** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**


Nom Nom Nom…..I’m writing this review of this delicious book in-between eating mouthfuls of scrummy cake!  Why you ask?  It’s simply because this book is oozing with such delicious temptation of cake that I just could not ignore my grumbly belly and my salivating mouth any longer!  Whilst reading this book I’ve enjoyed many a cupcake, French fancy, flake cake, Krispy Kreme and of course, as its Christmas, a yummy mince pie.  I can officially say that the diet went out of the window this week, but it was worth it for this book and the cake of course!

Cake is there for us through the happy and hopefully not to often sad times.  For the birthdays, the weddings, Christmas time and celebrations.  This wonderful delight of a book is filled with four short love stories that not only make you want to eat cake but also warm your heart like a huge piece of warm hot fudge cake!  All of the stories are centred around how cake brings the characters in the short stories together.  Whilst reading this book I have been taken on a trip of chocolate sprinkled delight to Paris, San Francisco , a Victorian tea room and a wonderful cocktail bar on St Patricks Day and being four short stories I was able to enjoy them and feel thoroughly on a sugar high!

Aprez Vous by Lucie Simone

I found this story so beautiful and touching.  A lovely heart-warming story set on a trip to Paris where Tara has taken her niece Marissa as a special treat following her graduation.  What unfolds is a beautiful story told by Tara to her inquisitive niece when she met a man called Jean Marc, a musician and baker, whilst travelling in Paris many years before.  Could there by a chance he still lives there?  Could this trip lead to love after all of these years?  The descriptions of Paris were beautiful in this book and made me want to revisit there very soon and of course the descriptions of the cakes and the special Petit Four cakes will linger in your mind long after you have finished the story.

Cake Therapy by Cindy Arora

This was my favourite short story in the book.  I found the writing and humour exactly my slice of cake!  The story is set in San Francisco where at the start of the story Olivia, an eager new newspaper reporter starts a new job with the experienced reporter Tammy who believes cake is the great uniter (I have to agree).  What develops is a beautiful lasting friendship between Olivia and Tammy especially over their weekly cake therapy sessions at the cake shop.  Many years pass and Tammy is leaving her job and brings in new male reporter Henry into to take over and Olivia is juggling work, being a single mom and trying to move on with her life.  Could Henry with all of his dating tips be the man to help her along the way and get off the settee and back out there?  A wonderful story of friendship, love and of course cake all served up with often hilarious consequences, a rock climbing wall experience and a great reference to The Princess Bride!

The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam by Sue Watson

I loved this short story about Milly, a waitress at the Victorian Tea Rooms in her town who’s love for cake knows no bounds!  Milly even has a food blog called Cake Candy which sounds to die for and likes to experiment with different flavours with cake often reflecting Milly’s moods!  The Victorian Tea Rooms is run by, who Milly calls, Scary Mary her awful boss who has two voices – one for customers and one for bossing her staff around horribly and likes traditional cakes only in her tea rooms!  With the Victorian Tea Rooms being sold what will happen to Milly and her friend Kate?  And what about Cupcake the cat?!  This short story had the most cake references in with every cake imaginable being mentioned and hats off to the cake loving stranger who orders every cake off the menu to try!  This is surely a man after my own heart…well only if he shared of course!  A mouth-watering delight of cake, misunderstanding, comeuppance and love and a great reference to Mrs Bridges from Upstairs, Downstairs!

Her Charms by Joel Zlotnik

Finally we are offered a piece of St Patricks Day cupcake charm about widowed Scott who is the mayor of his town where everyone seems to know everything about everyone!  Scott has busied himself since the death of his wife without really realising that is until new neighbour Nicole catches his eye.  Scott must make some big decisions in life and love especially when Nicole announces that, being a business entrepreneur, she is opening up a lingerie shop called Her Charms on the front high street which does not go down too well with the locals.  What develops is a lovely story of love, cupcakes, charms, a cocktail bar that sounds fab and a wonderful story about moving on from the past!

I have to admit I have not read anything by these authors prior to this book but I defiantly will be looking them up for more reads very soon.  I love a good love story and as you can probably tell a good scrumptious cake so for me this book was a perfect mix!  All in all I thoroughly enjoyed it…now back to the diet!

 I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books

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You can buy this book here

If you would like to know any more about any of the authors above, this book or any of the authors other books please click on the links below.

Lucie Simone or on twitter @luciesimone

Cindy Arora or on twitter @cindyarora

Sue Watson or on twitter @suewatsonwriter

Joel Zlotnik or on twitter @mindofjzlotnik

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  Do you simply share mine and the authors love of cake?  If you haven’t read this book has this review persuaded you to read?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the reply button at the top of the page or why not tweet me on twitter – @chelleytoy .  I would love to hear from you!

Happy reading oh and eating lots of cake!

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Spotlight – Milked By Lisa Doyle


 

Milked Cover Art

Friday 21st November 2014 marked the release day of Milked: A Modern Mommy Tale With A Retro Twist by debut author Lisa Doyle published by Simon & Fig. I am very excited to have been sent a copy by the wonderful Kim Nash who is the publicity manager over at Bookouture.  From the synopsis this book sounds absolutely fabulous and I cannot wait to begin reading so I thought I would share a bit about the book with you all.


Synopsis

By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all? 

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.


About The Author

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Lisa Doyle is a communications manager and freelance writer based in the Chicago area of the USA. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois and a graduate of Miami University, she spent several years editing business-to-business publications for the personal care industry before moving to the non-profit sector, and currently works in advocacy for homeless families at Bridge Communities in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has written for major beauty trade publications (Global Cosmetic Industry, Skin Inc., Salon Today, Modern Salon, Renew, Suburban Life) and is a contributor to WOMEN REINVENTED: TRUE STORIES OF EMPOWERMENT AND CHANGE (LaChance Publishing, 2010).

Doyle is represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler of Regal Literary, Inc., a full-service agency based in New York.

For more about this debut author Lisa Doyle, please visit her website.

On why not follow Lisa on twitter – @bylisadoyle  or find her on her Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/bylisadoyle.


 I will be reading this book in the next couple weeks and I am excited to be part of the blog tour for this fantastic debut author on the 20th December 2014 so look out for my review.

I would like to say a big thank you to Kim Nash, Bookouture and Simon & Fig for providing me with a copy of Milked – I cannot wait to read.

Check out my review of Milked here

Why not join me in reading this book by buying it here ?

Happy Reading

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