Blog Tour: Book Review - The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be sharing my review of Tilly Tennant's charming new release The Little Village Bakery as part of the blog tour. I'd like to thank Kim from the brilliant Bookouture for asking me to get involved in this blog tour, and Bookouture for providing me with a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - The Little Village Bakery
Author - Tilly Tennant
Publication Date - June 15th 2016
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 242

Blurb
Meet Millie. Heartbreak has forced her to make a new start and when she arrives at the old bakery in the little village of Honeybourne she is determined that this will be her home sweet home. Her imagination has been captured by the tumbledown bakery but with no running water and dust everywhere, her cosy idea of making cakes in a rural idyll quickly crumbles. 

Luckily the locals are a friendly bunch and step in to help Millie. One in particular, Dylan, a laid-back lothario, soon captures her attention. 

But just as Millie is beginning to settle in, an unexpected visitor from her past suddenly turns up determined to ruin everything for her. It’s time for Millie to face the skeletons in her closet if she’s going to live the dream of running her little village bakery, and her blossoming romance with Dylan.

Review
This is the first book I've had the pleasure of reading by the wonderful Tilly Tennant, and what a pleasure it was! I knew as soon as I saw the gorgeous cover for this book that I'd want to read it. It looked and sounded right up my street and I couldn't wait to begin. With all the talk of delicious cake, an adorable little village, and let's not forget the bakery, it sounded like a sugar-sweet story set in an idyllic location I'd want to visit for myself.

Stepping into Tilly Tennant's world within The Little Village Bakery was an extremely easy thing for me to do. As soon as I began reading, I felt Tennant's charming writing style wash over me and envelope me completely. Thanks to the author's wonderful imagery, the setting of Honeybourne was brought to life beautifully for me. I could picture all of the characters and their homes clearly in my mind, so vividly I could have been strolling down the path right alongside them. It was homely and warm, as if I'd stepped right into a story full of friends and family. Not only this, but the dialogue between the characters was fantastically written. From the heartfelt and the romantic, to the cheeky and a few dollops of banter here and there, there was a whole host of entertaining characters for me to be introduced to, and who I only grew to enjoy more and more as the novel progressed. They made me laugh, they made me smile, but most importantly, each time I put my Kindle down, the characters remained with me, along with their different personalities and unique lifestyles that were so well-developed.

The story itself was one of plenty of surprises. Not only are we introduced to Jasmine and Rich green who are parents to triplets, but to Dylan, Jasmine's brother, and mysterious newcomer Millicent Hopkin too, who is moving into the old bakery hoping to bring some life back into the place as she embarks upon her fresh start. Tennant ensures there a certain air of mystery surrounding Millie pretty much from the moment we meet her, and there are intriguing references to her unknown past peppered throughout the story, which only ever heightened my curiosity in regards to why she'd felt the need to start a new life in the village and, on top of this, what on earth she was so worried/nervous about. Despite having the villagers of Honeybourne introducing themselves to her, Millie remained, in my opinion, as something of a recluse, not really wanting to welcome people into her life, because doing so would bring with it curiosity and questions that she wasn't quite ready to answer. I have to say, I couldn't wait for this secret of Millie's to be revealed and couldn't be sure whether the guesses in my mind as I continued to read were correct or not.

Millie's arrival in Honeybourne isn't only about escaping her past though. Upon arriving in the village, she sets to work, with the help of a few new friends, on getting the bakery up and running as best she can. It was wonderfully uplifting to read about, and I do so love it when a character brings a building back to life with tender love and care. Alongside the bakery and Millie's own personal problems, Tennant also explores marriage and the relationships between husband and wife, as well as sister and brother, in a light-hearted and enjoyable way. Not once did I find myself growing tired of the plot or of where the author led me, and I felt right at home within the picturesque village of Honeybourne as the story unfolded in the prettiest of ways.

All in all, The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant was an uplifting, delicious and comforting read, full of mishaps, mystery and good old village life. I could have happily stepped right into my Kindle while reading and taken a stroll around Honeybourne myself. With such an idyllic setting and such fantastic characters, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and truly believe that Tilly Tennant is an author I'll be keeping a lookout for. I can't wait for Tennant's next release with Bookouture.

Be sure to keep up with the rest of the blog tour!










Blog Tour: Guest Post - Letter from Alice Senior to Alice Junior

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming the thoroughly fabulous Alice Ross to the blog for the A Summer of Secrets blog tour. For my stop, I'm very excited to be sharing with you a guest post from the author which touched my heart completely. I hope you enjoy it, readers.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK
The Blurb
A perfect, feel-good summer read about love, life and family.
One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!

Letter from Alice Senior to Alice Junior
By Alice Ross

Dear Alice Junior
Because you’ve missed the boat to be either a ballerina or an astronaut, I hear you are thinking about writing a book. 
Just to let you know that writing a book can be very hard.  Firstly, you have to be very disciplined and try to write every day.  I find that it’s better to spend the entire morning at the computer in your pyjamas because, once you’re up and start faffing about, the time passes very quickly and before you know it, it’s lunchtime, and you haven’t written a single word. 
Before you start your book, I would recommend having a bit of a plot.  I find that if you earwig people’s conversations – obviously without them knowing – you can pick up all sorts of useful material.  But make sure to write it down, or you’ll forget it.  I even keep a pad and paper beside my bed because I have some cracking ideas in the middle of the night, then in the morning, if I haven’t written them down, I can’t for the life of me remember them. 
When you have your plot, you’ll need a few characters.  Now, we all know lots of funny (- in both senses of the word!) people.  So what to do is to pinch some of their characteristics and mix and match them with others, until you have the personality you’re after.  Best not to tell anyone that, though. 
And last, but certainly not least, you’ll need an appropriate setting for the action.  A Summer of Secrets is set in a pretty Yorkshire village – nice for my readers to escape to.  I’ve often escaped there myself when I’ve been writing about it, and it’s so nice that some days I haven’t wanted to come home. 
Writing a book is a lovely thing to do but it can hurt your head sometimes, and you may feel like crying if someone nasty gives you an awful review.  If that does happen, just look at your name on the book cover and remember that you have magiced all those thousands of words from nowhere and should be very proud.
Lots of love
Alice Senior

Author Bio
Alice Ross used to work in the financial services industry where she wrote riveting, enthralling brochures about pensions and ISAs that everyone read avidly and no one ever put straight into the bin. 

One day, when nobody was looking, she managed to escape. Dragging her personal chef (aka her husband) along with her, she headed to Spain, where she began writing witty, sexy, romps designed to amuse slightly more than pension brochures. 

Missing Blighty (including the weather - but don't tell anyone), she returned five years later and now works part-time in the tourism industry. 

When not writing, she can be found scratching out a tune on her violin, walking her dog in wellies two sizes too big (don't ask!), or standing on her head in a yoga pose.

You can find Alice Ross on Twitter | alicerossauthor.co.uk

Be sure to keep up with the rest of the blog tour!



Blog Tour: Guest Post - Nadine Dorries on inspiration behind The Angels of Lovely Lane

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming Nadine Dorries to the blog. Nadine will be telling you all about the inspiration behind her latest novel The Angels of Lovely Lane, which is the first book in a brand new series. It's a gorgeous piece and I really hope you enjoy reading it.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - The Angels of Lovely Lane
Author - Nadine Dorries
Publication Date - June 16th 2016
Publisher - Head of Zeus

Blurb
It is 1953 and five very different girls are arriving at the nurses' home in Lovely Lane, Liverpool, to start their training at St Angelus Hospital.

Dana has escaped from her family farm on the west coast of Ireland. Victoria is running away from a debt-ridden aristocratic background. Beth is an army brat and throws her lot in with bitchy Celia Forsythe. And Pammy has come from quite the wrong side of the tracks in Liverpool.

The world in which they now find themselves is complicated and hierarchical, with rules that must be obeyed. Everyone has their place at St Angelus and woe betide anyone who strays from it.

But when an unknown girl is admitted, after a botched late abortion in a backstreet kitchen, a tragedy begins to unfold which will rock the world of St Angelus to its foundation.

Guest Post
by Nadine Dorries

Having trained as a nurse in the 1970s, I didn’t so much need to find inspiration for the Lovely Lane series, as let the memories I already had return to me. When I trained, the world of medicine was about to change in a dramatic way. I was on the cusp of the old giving way to the new and, at the time, I simply didn’t know – or realize – that the long, bright sunny wards I worked on, with two bathrooms down at the end, would not exist for very much longer. 

While I was writing the book, it occurred to me that if someone who had trained in the 1950s returned to an NHS hospital for the very first time today, she would be stuck dumb by how much nursing care had changed, to the extent that even the layout of a hospital ward would be beyond recognition. Maybe it was time to recapture that period of now-vanished social history in the form of a novel.

Many of the ward sisters I worked with had trained in the 1930s and ‘40s. They were furiously resisting change and, it has to be said, they were winning. In 1978, I was sent from my own general hospital to a cottage hospital – an outback post – to cover a nurse who was off ill, and I felt as though I had stepped back in time. There were white enamel cabinets, bedpans, trolleys, ornate molded drip stands with filigree patterns on the four legs, and a hospital matron who, when greeting me, looked horrified, as if I had crawled out of her apple. I was wearing make up, and that was simply not allowed in her cottage maternity hospital. Not even the women who came in to give birth were allowed to wear it. She even kept a bottle of acetone in her office should any patient arrive at the hospital wearing a scrap of nail polish.

I was so lucky to have trained in hospitals with the old-style Florence Nightingale wards – memories of the old Warrington Infirmary and The Northern in Liverpool were in my mind as I wrote. It is on these very wards my girls encounter their first dramas as student nurses. Lovely Lane home, where they all live, is based on Bewsey Road nurses’ home in Warrington. Just like every other nurse, I arrived on a Sunday evening with a suitcase, full of fear and trepidation, about to start my PTS training the following morning.

Nursing was a very special vocation in those days. We didn’t have access to televised TV dramas, and there was no internet full of information regarding medical illness. Everyone today is much better informed.  We stepped into the world of medicine completely unaware and unprepared. We could only have known what was about to face us if we had been patients ourselves, or had been unlucky enough to have someone close to us hospitalized. I had had neither.

Maybe that is the reason why everything that happened became so ingrained in my memory. It was all a first, both in knowledge and experience and it was so difficult to explain to others the world I worked in. Your emotions were bombarded on a daily basis. People at home had never spoken of death, or sickness and suddenly it was everywhere. If you were a nurse, everyone was fascinated to talk to you, wanting to ask a hundred questions and tell you all about the time when they were ill. 



  




Author Q&A: Rachel Strong

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be welcoming the lovely Rachel Strong to the blog for an author Q&A.
First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
Hello, thank you for having me, I’m so excited to be on your fabulous blog!
I’m Rachel, I’m married to the lovely Greg, I have three beautiful children and one crazy doggy. I’m a self-published author, my debut novel, Complicated Love, was released last summer and my second book, That Girl, is out on the 9th of June.
I’ve always loved writing, ever since I was a little girl, but it’s not something that I ever thought about pursuing, until a few years ago. I was always very shy about my writing and I NEVER let anyone read anything I wrote, though to be honest, nobody really knew about my hobby, I wrote in secret. Then back in 2012 my hubby found the first draft of Complicated Love and talked me into doing something with it.
I’m quite a shy person and so the thought of sending off my manuscript filled me with horror. I knew if I got one rejection letter I would let it beat me and I would give up, so I went down the path of self-publishing, and the rest is history.

In which genre/genres do you write?
I write chick-lit/women’s fiction, which is the genre I like to read. I love a good complicated love story, the will they/won’t they drama.

Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
My new book, That Girl, is James and Katie’s story. It’s about falling in love with the wrong person and the fight to be together.
James has had a tough time, he’s just been released from prison and he’s desperate to move on with his life and forget about Katie, the girl he’s still in love with - the girl that put him in prison.
Katie can’t forget James, though she knows that seeing him, even for the briefest moment, could send him back to prison, but that doesn’t deter her, because she loves him so much.
The story is set in the past and present, and takes the reader right back to the beginning of their relationship.
That Girl is available on Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Kobo.
I’m currently in the process of publishing both books in paper back and they will hopefully be available from Amazon.

Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
With That Girl, yes. I can’t really say a lot without giving away too much of the story, but the main theme is an issue which has featured quite a bit in the media over the last couple of years. Of course the main theme in all my books is falling in love, I love a good love story, but I like to throw in a few more issues just to mix things up a bit.

How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
I really like to keep readers on their toes, I like to give them a few shocks along the way and keep them gripped and in suspense right until the very end.
With That Girl, I wanted the readers to feel sorry for James and Katie, I wanted them to root for them to have their happy ending, which they really deserve, after everything they have been through, especially James, even though he has been a bit of a bad boy.

If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be?Okay, so to answer this question I asked a few people that have read That Girl, I thought my answers would be too biased. The three most popular words were: Gripping, un-predictable and emotional.
I have to agree with the third description, as when I was writing it I went through a few boxes of tissues.

When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
In my first book, Complicated Love, there are two characters that are vaguely based on people I know, they have traits in them that made it hard not to. Sophie is based on a friend of mine that is a bit of a drama queen, but I took her to the extreme. And then Jenna, based on another good friend, is straight talking and honest and was what my main character, Ella, needed in a best friend.

How do you choose the settings of your books?
Both of my books are set in my home town of Blackburn, Lancashire, though in Complicated Love, the two main characters spend a weekend in London. I chose my home town because I know the area, and so I knew what I was writing about. The street where the story is set, is the street where I spent my teenage years.
I am contemplating setting a book in Puerto Pollensa, in Majorca, it’s just too beautiful not to and it’s my favourite place in the world!

Have you visited any of the areas which you’ve written about?
Well obviously I live in Blackburn, where the main chunk of both books are set, but in Complicated Love the main characters, Ella and Adam, visit London for the weekend where I have visited quite a few times.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
I have lots of favourite authors at the moment, especially since joining Twitter and discovering some pretty talented writers - like yourself.
I love Dorothy Koomson, I love the way she writes and her stories always have me gripped from page one. Paige Toon is another favourite, I love her YA series, Jessie Jefferson. I love Jodi Picoult and I’ve just discovered Dani Atkins, I loved fractured, it was just so un-expected!
There are so many authors I like at the moment that it’s impossible to mention them all!

Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
When I start a new book I always sit down and write out a plan and a time line, but somehow, along the way, I always go off course and yea, I let the characters lead the way. The finished result is always nowhere near what I planned.
The ending to That Girl is so dramatically different to what I had in mind when I wrote out the plan. It all happened in a split second, to the point where I’d finished and thought, wow, where on earth did that come from?

If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
I would LOVE to have lunch with Dorothy Koomson! I just think, from the books she’s written, she must be so interesting. I would love to know where she gets her inspiration from. She’s a fantastic author.

Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
My favourite part of the whole process is the actual writing of the story, getting my ideas down and seeing where we end up. I have so many ideas swimming around my head all the time that I’m surprised my brain hasn’t exploded!
I also love getting feed-back from people, I love their reactions and the mix in opinions on my characters.

When it comes to the cover of a book, how important do you feel they are?
For me, the cover is very important! When I’m looking at books I’m usually drawn in by the cover, it’s the first thing a reader sees of a book, and first impressions count!
I’m in love with the cover of That Girl, it’s so striking and I often find myself gazing at it.

How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I don’t have a set daily word count, but a good writing day would be if I got 5000 words down. With three children it’s sometimes difficult to write every day, especially in the school holidays, and so I write when I can, often at night when the kids are in bed.
In an ideal world I would love to do a chapter a day, and some weeks, when the kids are at school, I can manage it.

Tell us the top three books you’ve read so far in 2016.
This is a tough question because I have read some fantastic books this year!
I’ve just recently discovered Lucy Diamond, how I’ve missed her I’ll never know! So Summer At Shell Cottage is one. The next one would be Paige Toon’s Chasing Daisy, this is my favourite of Paige’s so far. I was ill at the beginning of the year and I read this in a day! And my third would be The Magic Touch by Kelly Florentia, another book I read in a day, it had me in stiches!

When did your love of writing first begin to blossom?
I think it was around the age of fourteen, I was on holiday in Florida and I took a note book with me and I just started writing. I can’t really remember how it came about, or what I wrote about, it just sort of happened.

How did you celebrate your most recent publication day?
I bought a new hoover! So rock and roll!
On That Girl’s release day, hubby is taking me to Manchester for cocktails and we’re going to have a small party on the Saturday.

What are your thoughts on the book-blogging community?
I LOVE book blogs and I blame all book bloggers for the amount of books I buy, I seriously think you’re all going to bankrupt me!
I’ve discovered some amazing books through blogs, and so without out them I’d be so deprived!

Which, if any, other genre would you like to try and write in?
I would love to write a crime thriller, not sure I have the skills to do so, it would be very interesting to see what I came up with though.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your writing career?
People reading my books. When I first published Complicated Love I never thought in a million years that anyone would buy it, let alone people in Australia, Canada and the US.
The feedback I’ve had has been amazing, and people asking me when the next one is coming out has been quite overwhelming and unexpected.

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
At the moment I’m working on the sequel to Complicated Love. I left the story on a bit off a cliff hanger and I hadn’t really planned to do a sequel, but there has been quite a demand for one.
The story picks up two years down the line and follows the story of Adam and Ella again, with a couple of new characters introduced to mix things up a bit. 
I’ve also just planned out my fourth book, so I’m going to be quite busy over the next few months.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
To take criticism with a pinch of salt and use it constructively.

What do you class as a successful writing day?
A successful writing day would be about 5000 words or a completed chapter, which when I set my mind to it, and stay off social media, is quite achievable.

Writing in an apartment in New York City or writing in a cottage in the English countryside?
Another tough question as New York is somewhere I’m dying to go, but the English countryside is so beautiful and peaceful, so I think I would get more writing done there. New York would be too distracting as I’m too nosey!

Writing with a cup of tea or writing with a cup of coffee?
Coffee, though I drink far too much of it, but when I’m having a brain freeze getting up to make a coffee does me some good.

Writing with a sandwich or writing with a cupcake?
Cupcake, though crumbs in the keyboard are never good!

Writing with music or writing in silence?
Depends what I’m writing. Most of the time I write in silence, but if I’m writing something emotional then I’ll have some slushy love songs on in the background to help me get in the right frame of mind. I can’t write a sad scene if I’m feeling happy.

Writing outside in the sunshine or writing inside as the snow falls?
I would love to write in the sunshine, I get my best ideas when I’m on holiday, but I also love cosying up on cold days, under a blanket, with my laptop.

And lastly, if someone told you that they wanted to be a writer, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to go with their instincts and do it!
Being a writer is the best thing in the world, especially when you get such positive feedback, it really does make it all worthwhile.

Author Bio
Rachel Strong is a romance author and lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband, three children and little dog Daisy. Rachel works part time as a Health Care Assistant at her local hospital, but her real passion is writing.
Ever since she can remember, Rachel has been writing stories but didn’t really take it seriously until summer 2012 when her husband discovered one of her stories, read it and convinced her that it was good. She loves writing and creating characters, sometimes a whole day can pass her by, just sat at her laptop, typing away.
When she’s not writing, Rachel loves to read slushy romance novels, chick-lit and a good thriller. When she finds a spare moment she will be found curled up on the sofa with her nose in a book. 
Rachel’s debut novel ‘Complicated Love’ is out now with her second novel ‘That Girl’ due to be released this coming June.

You can find Rachel Strong on Facebook | Twitter | rachel-jayne-strong.co.uk
You can find Rachel's books here.










You've gotta' do what you've gotta' do.


Hello everyone. How're you all keeping?

Today, I'm here to announce that I'm taking a break from Becca's Books and all things book blogging. 2016 so far has really taken it out of me, I won't lie. Sadness. Loss. Illness. Grief. No motivation. It has all, slowly, begun to pile up and I've never felt like taking a step back more. There are some things in life I need to be focusing on right now, myself and my health included, and so that's the way it's going to be. You've gotta' do what you've gotta' do, right? I will of course be reading behind the scenes, and I still have my own books to work on too, both of which are doing a brilliant job of easing my mind and allowing me some peace. Hurray for books, they are the greatest! I just feel like I can't focus on too much right now, and so a break was the option that appealed most. I love book blogging. You know I do. But I think sometimes, you've got to take care of you, and do what you think is for the best, and as of right now, that's something I really need to do.

It hasn't all been doom and gloom. My next book Down on Daffodil Lane arrives August 8th 2016, so that's something incredibly exciting to look forward to! And alongside that, just this weekend gone, Becca's Books won 'best dressed blog' at the second annual Bloggers Bash (you can find out more about that here), which was a huge surprise! I must thank those who voted for Becca's Books again, because you honestly have no idea how thrilled I was to have even been nominated. THANK YOU!

So yes, swings and roundabouts? ;)

I'm not sure how long this break is going to last. Maybe just until everything is okay again, but I don't know when that will be so I'll just have to wait and see. I hope the summer is good to you all and that you make some fabulous new memories to treasure forever, as well as read some wonderful books! I'm hoping for a trip to the zoo soon because I seriously love seeing those animals, especially the elephants. They amaze me! What I really hope to do while I'm away is get back on track with my writing, back on track with myself and hopefully be returned to my cheery, sunny self, who I miss quite a lot you know.

I'll be scheduling tweets etc, and will probably pop in from time to time to see how you're all doing. I won't miss publication day either because you all make it so magical. I can't wait to have another book out there with readers. Just the thought lifts my spirits.

Anyway, I better dash.
Speak soon, lovelies.




Author Q&A: Elle Field

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming the wonderful Elle Field to the blog for an author Q&A.


 First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
Hi, Becca! Thanks for having me. I'm Elle, I'm thirty-one years old, and I'm the author of the Arielle Lockley romcom series and Geli Voyante's Hot or Not. I live in central London with my boyfriend and cat. I'm a bit of a foodie, and I love reading and exploring new places.

In which genre/genres do you write?
I write chick lit/romcom books. It seems that a lot people really dont like the connotations of chick
lit, but I think this rule should be applied: You should never judge a book by its genre!

Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
B-Side is my most recent book, and can be bought on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: http://www.amazon.co.uk/B-Side-Arielle-Lockley-Book-2-5-ebook/dp/B01E8YYFFY

B-Side is a spin-off book in the Arielle Lockley series, and it tells the events of Lost from the perspective of Etta. Etta has an amazing voice and a real passion for jazz, but she hasnt made her musical dream come true... yet. 
When Etta gets the chance to record a demo with a top producer, this coincides with her godmother's health rapidly deteriorating, and she tries to blot out her sadness by turning to drugs... B-Side is definitely grittier than the previous two books in the series and, don't worry, Arielle is in the book, too!

Are there any particular themes which you try to incorporate within your books?
My books are more than just boy meets girl, they fall in love after a bit of drama and live happily ever after. I like to tackle real-life issues as well, and I've explored drug addiction, the hardship of a loved one having Alzheimer's, career struggles, STIs and finding out who you are as a person.

How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
Happy because they are reading a good book, but I also hope they have an entertaining read and that they enjoy the rollercoaster.

If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be?
Gritty. Passionate. Addictive.

When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
I don't intentionally base my characters on people I know, but there might be a trait here and there that I've accidentally borrowed. A few people have remarked on similarities I share with some of my characters... I think it's inevitable that a few of your own experiences/quirks might, accidentally, make their way into your characters/books!

How do you choose the settings of your books?
I choose settings I know well - favourite places, for example, or where my family live - and also settings that I'd love to visit. I'm always careful not to base a book completely in London because books can often be very London-centric. When I lived in Leeds, I hated reading about London all the time! (It's one of the reasons why The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson is one of my favourite books.)

Have you visited any of the areas which you’ve written about?
I live in London, so that's an easy one to explore when it comes to book research, and I know the New Forest area well, which is featured in the Arielle Lockley series - I have family who live there. But, despite half of Geli Voyante's Hot or Not being set in Durban, I've never visited South Africa. With Google you don't necessarily have to go on research trips; if I do have time though, I like to experience an area first-hand before I use it as a setting.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
I love Bill Bryson, Dorothy Koomson, Paige Toon and Meg Cabot - to name a few!

Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
A bit of both! I tend to write a one-line description of the next five or so chapters I'm working on, but then the characters always take over and I have to revise my plan.

If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
I'd have lunch with Sarah J. Maas so I can get the scoop on the next Throne of Glass book!

Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
Editing! Most of the time writing the first draft is so arduous for me (though not always; I wrote the first draft for Geli Voyante's Hot or Not in a ridiculous 20 days), so I much prefer tinkering with my manuscript in the editing process to get it to where it needs to be. I often find writing the first draft to be very painful.

When it comes to the cover of a book, how important do you feel they are?
We're told to never judge a book by a cover, but people still do. I think a cover needs to be eye-catching or quirky to get someone's initial attention if they are randomly browsing - after that, the blurb and reviews are what are important.

How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
In an ideal world I'd love to write a specific amount of words each day, but it never seems to work out if I set a daily goal. I usually start off slow, writing a chapter or two a day; when the end is in sight, my progress increases dramatically and I start writing a lot more.

Tell us the top three books you’ve read so far in 2016.
The Queen's Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Because I've been writing pretty much non-stop all year, I've not had chance to read many books in my genre. (I don't like reading my genre when I'm writing it.)

When did your love of writing first begin to blossom?
Like most authors, it seems, I've scribbled down stories, ever since I was a child. Writing books is what I always wanted to do.

How did you celebrate your most recent publication day?
By toasting the book with a glass - OK, three glasses - of champagne!

What are your thoughts on the book-blogging community?
I love the book blogging community so much. Each time I get ready to release a new book I, rather sillily, get scared that no one will want to reveal the cover or review the book, but book bloggers are the most lovely and supportive people out there. They are the best, and they are so important to the publishing world. Book bloggers are who we all seem to turn to when we want a new book to read.

Which, if any, other genre would you like to try and write in?
I'm actually dabbling with a Young Adult dystopian novel at the moment, and I've also written the first few chapters of a crime thriller set in 1920s New York... With these, and all my chicklit ideas, I need to be cloned to get all these books out there!

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your writing career?
I made it to #1 on Amazon.com with Kept it was amazing to be a #1 best seller, even if it was just for a few days!

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
Im currently editing the final book in the Arielle Lockley series, Found, which will be out in August. It can be pre-ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Found-Arielle-Lockley-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01FG38NKE

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Make the most of every opportunity you get. You might not get another.

What do you class as a successful writing day?
A day when I've actually managed to write some words! I am trying to be better, but I still procrastinate dreadfully at times.

Writing in an apartment in New York City or writing in a cottage in the English countryside? 
Ooh, a cottage in the English countryside. New York City would be far too distracting!

Writing with a cup of tea or writing with a cup of coffee? 
Tea, please! A milky breakfast tea or a lemon and ginger tea works for me.

Writing with a sandwich or writing with a cupcake? 
Cupcake, always! I hate sandwiches, unless they are of the fish finger or bacon variety.

Writing with music or writing in silence? 
Silence, though I like to listen to music when I take a break from writing.

Writing outside in the sunshine or writing inside as the snow falls? 
Inside as the snow falls - the sunshine is too distracting (and I can never see my screen outside anyway).

And lastly, if someone told you that they wanted to be a writer, what would you tell them?
Never give up. It might take you ten months to publish your novel, or it might take  you ten years... if you give up though, you will never see your book published.

Author Bio
Elle Field writes romantic comedies, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante's Hot or Not. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She's a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!

You can find Elle Field on Facebook | Twitter | ellefield.co.uk
You can buy Elle's books here.