*BLOG TOUR* The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Morgen Bailey’s The Serial Dater’s Shopping List – thanks for joining me!

Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read?  Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper.  Her somewhat intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

So, I was more than happy to read and review The Serial Dater’s Shopping List when it popped up in my emails.  It looked like a fun, easy-read based around internet dating, which is now apparently the only way to date – I haven’t dated in 15 years so I cannot confirm or deny this!

As you can see from the blurb, this is recommended as a ‘perfect summer holiday read’ and I have to say, I would completely agreed with this.  Sadly I had to read it during a wet and blustery weekend, but it would have been ideal to read sat on a hot beach with a cocktail in hand!

Izzy is our central character, a journalist with a technology column in her local newspaper.  When her boss William sets the task of dating thirty-one men, she takes the bull by the horns, sets up her online dating profile and gives it her best shot!  What follows is a number of funny, interesting or non-existent dates, pushing her out of her comfort zone to meet men that she probably would not normally meet.  The project enables her to write her ‘shopping list’ –  a list of do’s and don’t for dating, and it makes her evaluate what she is actually looking for from a man.

I enjoyed following Izzy in her quest to date thirty-one men – she met men that we have all met at one time or another in our lives, making her experiences more than relatable.  I’m not sure she convinced me that online dating is the way forward should I ever find myself in that position, but I enjoyed following her nonetheless!  So if you are looking for a light-hearted, easy-read this could well be the book for you this summer!  Don’t forget that cocktail!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Morgen Bailey and Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side Publicity & Promo for providing me with a copy of this book.  This is my own honest review.

Author Bio

Morgen Bailey is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writer’s Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker and co-founder of Northants Authors.  The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions.  She also runs her own monthly 100-wod competition.  2018 events included talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course.  Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others.  Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

*BLOG TOUR* No Place Like Home by Maxine Morrey

Today it is my pleasure to be a stop on the blog tour for Maxine Morrey’s latest novel, No Place Like Home.

Two hearts. One home?

Eleanor Laing has a very good reason to want to stay single: her last relationship put her in danger.  And she’s worried that while the physical scars will heal, the emotional ones never can. So, travelling to Kansas for her best friend Sandy’s wedding, Eleanor’s in need of some time alone.  And Sandy’s brother Ben’s rural and idyllic ranch seems like the perfect place for it.

Ben comes with his own baggage – a failed marriage in his past, and a big question mark over his future – and he knows the feelings he had for Eleanor belong firmly in the history books.  But, sitting on his porch with her, he’s never felt more at home.

Both of them swore they were better off alone…yet is it possible that two broken hearts could come together to heal?

I could not have been happier to have been asked to take part in this blog tour.  I really love Maxine Morrey’s novels, and in particular the new direction she has taken (I love her light hearted romance novels, but I am really loving her newer, grittier novels – check out my review of Second Chance at the Ranch)

If i’m honest, i’m not sure the blurb really does this novel justice.  There is a darker side to this novel which is not really covered there, but it explores the after effects of domestic abuse and how it can affect someones future.  Ellie Laing is such a strong character, but this novel really highlights how the strongest of people can be broken, even when there are no longer any physical signs of pain.  I loved the character of Ellie.  She is beautiful and resilient, fighting against the things that have happened to her in the hope that she can build herself a normal life.  In order to do so, she works hard whilst surrounding herself with her closest friends, Sandy, Kate and Zak.

Ben is a highly successful musician who also happens to be Sandy’s older brother.  Sandy and Ellie were so close, next door neighbours who were relied on each other and each others families as they grew up together.  Even when Ellie and her family returned to England, their bond remained.  As a result, so did Ben and Ellie’s.  Their easy closeness, like family, pulls them together at such important times in their lives when they really need each other.

The characters in this novel are so well thought out.  Maxine has really brought them to life, particularly by bringing their internal pain to the forefront.  We are often not defined by our happy times, but by how we cope with pain and suffering and I feel that she captures this within her novel perfectly.  Ben and Ellie’s budding romance is beautifully flawed by indecision, lack of confidence and concern about how things will change.  Its realistically imperfect, just how all relationships are.

I loved this novel, and am more than happy to recommend it to you all.  If you haven’t already discovered Maxine Morrey, then this is your chance!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Maxine Morrey and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel.

Author Bio

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten.

As time went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way.  She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a local history book on Brighton.  However, novels are her first love.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her first romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read, sew and listen to podcasts.  Being a fan of tea and cake, she can (should!) also be found doing something vaguely physical at the gym.

Follow Maxine Morrey

Website: http://www.scribblermaxi.co.uk

Twitter: @Scribbler_Maxi

Instagram: @scribbler_maxi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaxineMorreyAuthor