#Review By Lou of After The Rain By Lucy Dillon @lucy_dillon @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #BookTwitter #ContemporaryFiction #Fiction #BookRecommendation #AfterTheRain #BlogTour

After The Rain
By Lucy Dillon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am excited to reveal my review of After The Rain By Lucy Dillon.
After The Rain is Out Now!
There’s more than meets the eye after the storm and the drama that ensues as it is more than just the weather that can be stormy.

Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in my review and a bit about the author below…

Thanks, firstly  to Random Things Tours and Transworld Books/Penguin for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour.

After The Rain Cover

Blurb

After The Rain Cover 2After the storm it’s time for a fresh start . . .
First, the clouds…
Tara Hunter is a therapist on a mission to restore Longhampton’s community spirit after catastrophic flooding. But with her boyfriend AWOL, her family fragmented, and only a cat for company, Tara’s own life is crumbling.
Then the storm…
On top of everything, Tara’s father – last seen as he walked out on her when she was ten years old – is suddenly back, with a surprising offer that could change everything.
And after the rain…
Dr David Dalloway is Longhampton Wellness Centre’s new star counsellor. He’s charming, caring and has a knack for reading people’s minds – which is the last thing Tara needs right now. Will having David and her dad around make for a bigger storm on the horizon? Or is this Tara’s chance for a fresh start?

Review

After the Rain is insightful and leads readers into a therapist’s office, where readers meet Tara, and later, newcomer – David. The storm had an impact on the residents of Longhampton, but after the rain, there are surprises for them, especially Tara.

NLP and Hypnotherapy are some of the therapies that are what on offer by some of  the therapists. I found this striking as NLP and Hypnotherapy have become more known about over the years, especially with the rise in fame of the likes of Paul McKenna and now seems to be, as is people going to any sort of therapy, within books in a way it perhaps hasn’t before. What makes this one so interesting, is you get to know more about a therapist’s office and the lives of therapists that patients/clients won’t normally be privy to know.

Readers are privy to see therapist’s lives behind the scenes as it were, especially through Tara as she navigates her own career at the Wellness Centre, and her own issues, as despite her job, finds it easier to help her patients, than herself and she is better at giving advice, than following her own or receiving it, in Longhampton. It really shows this can be part of the human condition. 

New counsellor David is easy to be charmed by and it’s interesting to see how he and Tara get along. He is excellent at his work, really cares and is intuitive, even when it comes to colleagues, so he knows all isn’t always well with Tara and he wants her to open up, which she finds infuriatingly annoying, or rather that he can read her so well.
The interactions within the Wellness Centre between staff themselves and between them and their patients brings the book alive.

Keith, Tara’s father returns out of the blue to try to reconnect, after he left Tara and her brother, Toby and to help the town rebuild after the storm. The drama throughout is enthralling, within the family, as well as within the Wellness Centre.

With intertwining threads of family and patient/counsellor relationships intertwining as a community tries to piece itself back together physically and mentally, there is much poignancy as you see whether new starts can begin or not.
There’s care and compassion and a bit of humour and intrigue along the way. 

Ther e are a couple of parts with animals, I wasn’t sure about, but all in all my verdict is:
This is a book I very much recommend!

At the end of my copy is an extract of Unexpected Lesson’s In Love. There’s romance in New York and characters in the prologue you will want to know more about and where there lives go to after an event… Would I want to know more? Yes, absolutely!

About the Author

Lucy-Dillon-c-Tim-Bishop-new (1)Sunday Times bestselling author Lucy Dillon grew up in Cumbria and read English at
Cambridge, then read a lot of magazines as a press assistant in London, then read
other people’s manuscripts as a junior fiction editor. She now lives in a village outside
Hereford with a Border terrier, an otterhound and her husband.
Lucy won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Contemporary
Romantic Novel prize in 2015 for A HUNDRED PIECES OF ME, and
the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2010 for LOST DOGS AND
LONELY HEARTS. You can find her on Twitter (@lucy_dillon) and
Instagram (@lucydillonbooks).

After The Rain Blog Tour poster

 

 

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The Chalet by Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @HarperCollinsUK #Thriller

The Chalet
By Catherine Cooper
Rated: 4 stars ****

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper is delightfully done with an exquisite landscape, but with an underlying darkness full of secrets. I bought this after eyeing it up for quite some time. It was worth taking a chance on and I thought I would write a review on this Sunday TImes Bestseller.

Follow through to find out more below, including my review.

About the Author

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels and skiing, who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian amongst others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier. The Chalet is her debut novel.

The Chalet

Blurb

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestseller

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

An exciting new debut for anyone who loves Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and C.L. Taylor

Review

The Chalet, published late 2020, actually takes place in December 1998, La Madiere, France and has an exquisite cover that is most divine and says so much about the world readers will enter into.

The atmosphere between the characters is that of which picques interest. One who is a visitor and feels entitled and the other who lives there, on the ski resort. This sets the scene for time moving onto January 2020. The Chalet sounds lucious and a place for decadence with champagne flowing and being quaffed. Readers meet Ria, Millie, Hugo and Matt amongst other characters, and it is the perfect wintry read as the Chalet has a roaring fire going. Don’t get too cosy though as there are secrets to be revealed and important newspaper cuttings to be found. The murder and use of interviews and newspaper cuttings cut through the cosyness of this elite group of people quite well.

There are many characters, but they are skillfully handled, so readers won’t get so confused, one a bit later on, is, Louisa, formally, Louise (that’s what her Oxford education has done for her). The pretentiousness within some of the characters, suits the style of the book perfectly.
On one hand it is an exquisite look at how the other half lives and on the other, shows that certain mannerisms go across all “classes” of people. On another it is a twisty murder mystery.
There are many interesting observations within the book, which adds depth and lets readers get under the skin a little and also into their “world” in a chalet to die for!

Things become even more mysterious in part 3 and there is a very good twist at the end.

An event with Multiple Bestselling Author Carole Matthews @carolematthews @KimtheBookworm #RomanceFiction #uplit #ContemporaryFiction #FreeEvent #OnlineEvent

On Tuesday night (31st March), I joined an online chat with bestselling author Carole Matthews, hosted by Kim who has written 2 books and is head of publicity at digital publishing company – Bookouture. You will find a bit about Carole Matthews books, including new books to come, how she became an author and writing tips and more…

Carole Matthews is a multiple Sunday Times Bestseller. She recently won a Romance Novel Award (RNA) for outstanding achievement for her light-hearted fiction.

Some of her Bestsellers are:
Let’s Meet on Platform 8, A Whiff of Scandal, For Better, For Worse, A Minor Indiscretion, With or Without You, The Cake Shop in the Garden, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses, A Cottage by the Sea, The Chocolate Lovers’ Club, The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas, The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding, Million Love Songs, Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights, Happiness for Beginners.

Just a few of the covers to entice you.

 

 

How she became an author –
Carole Matthews was a beauty therapist and decided to write about aromatherapy, but that all changed as she wrote fiction. She gave up the beauty therapy practice around book 5 to concentrate on her writing.


She entered a fictional short story competition and won £1000. She spent on a writing course.

Her writing was good enough to send to an agent and a contract was done just when chic-lit adn light-hearted stories were just beginning to really be on the rise, around 23 years ago and to date she has written just over 30 books. 

New Book –

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is currently due out 25th June. Set on Isle of Wight, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes are boats. Something tragic happens to a woman and she tries to leave London on the Isle of Wight and gets more than she bargains for.  The Isle of Wight (on my bucket list), sounds idyllic and she did go there and researched to create a fictional area of the island. It’s written in the first person and sounds like it could be another absorbing book.

Sounds like she has ideas in the pipeline and some of the inspiration and authenticity sometimes comes from actual events and sometimes right from her imagination, but either way, she really gets to know her characters and sometimes they “write themselves”. She writes out everything about her characters in such an organised way.

Carole Matthews Summer Days and Light Breezes

Writing tips

  • Try and write everyday. Keep writing and you will get your style and write what is in your heart and find the story you really want to write.
  • If you chase the trends, publishers might already be done with that.
  • Take your time and enjoy it.
  • Make the effort to sit (she tied her leg to the desk to keep her there).
  • Try writing some short stories.

She also eludes to the fact that her writing has changed over the years, with the more she has written.

The types of books she likes to read are historical, dark crime, gothic stories and has always been an avid reader.

View on Social Media and Reviews –

The only negative is it is very time-consuming. There’s a lot of social media marketing, but she enjoys doing this and the interactions with her fans/readers and that she can reach more people and can chat to readers across the world.

She says the balance for people reading and taking notice of reviews has shifted more towards book bloggers and disproportionately perhaps to Amazon (could be true as most authors like it if bloggers also post onto Amazon), compared to newspaper reviews for recommendations and about how blogs are more accessible. (a good thing for us who are quite partial to writing blogs).

She talked, which was really lovely, about bloggers and the effort it takes to read and then blog about it. It is true, after all is said and done, we get a book out of it. We also may get a nice chat and a wider community out of it too.

An interesting fact is that she has taught herself to crochet.

Coming Soon:

She is currently writing a sequel to Happiness to Beginners called Christmas for Beginners – published around autumn. Do also look out for Summer Days and Light Breezes around June.