The Sunshine and Biscotti Club

It’s one month today until The Sunshine and Biscotti Club hits the shelves. I thought you’d like to  have a peek at the cover and read the blurb…

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I don’t know if the book an author has just finished is always their favourite, but that’s usually the way it is for me and this is no exception. I loved writing this story and getting to know these characters – I’d book a quick return trip to The Sunshine and Biscotti Club in a heartbeat. I’d love to know what you think if you pick up a copy! Will be available in eBook and in the shops May 19th. (You can preorder now if you like!)

Jenny x

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The ovens are pre-heating, the Prosecco is chilling…and The Sunshine and Biscotti Club is nearly ready to open its doors. But the guests have other things on their minds…

Libby: The Blogger
Life is Instagram-perfect for food blogger Libby…until she catches her husband cheating just weeks before her Italian cooking club’s grand opening.

Evie: The Mum
Eve’s marriage isn’t working, but she’s not dared admit it until now. A trip to Italy to help Libby open The Sunshine and Biscotti Club might be the perfect escape…

Jessica: In Love with her Best Friend
Jessica has thrown herself into her work to shut out the memory of the man who never loved her back. The same man who’s just turned up in Tuscany…

Welcome to Tuscany’s newest baking school – where your biscotti is served with a side of love, laughter and ice-cold limoncello!

#griplit

I’m having a bit of a #griplit moment. Storming through Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train, Maestra by L.S. Hilton, Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner, Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris and Disclaimer by Renee Knight.

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With books like this I can’t seem to pause when reading, I just have to know exactly what happened and who did it. My life gets put on hold as I turn pages faster than any other reading. I stay up way too late then get scared when I do finally go to bed because I’m in the suspense mindset.

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I find myself mistrustful of all my friends and family if I see them too quickly after putting the book down. Then I get so involved that I start skimming (very bad!) and then have to go back because I’ve missed crucial plot points. I am a very impatient #griplit reader!

In contrast I’ve also just finished Jilly Cooper’s The Common Years which I loved so much that I stopped reading it three quarters of the way through because I didn’t want it to end.

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Funny isn’t it? What different genres can do.

Now I need a new book, though, because I read all the psychological suspense so quickly. Any suggestions?

Why I Heart Spring…

1. Daffodils. daffsThey are by far my favourite flower. Great big trumpeting bursts of yellow. I love them. I used to row when I was younger and I remember one day passing all these beautiful daffodils on the river bank and then from a distance watching two people run down and pick them all! When we came back there were none left. It was so sad.
But I think it’s what made me love them so much and appreciate a bunch when I see them in the park – unpicked.

2. Ducklingwatch! I get quite transfixed by the little ducklings round the pond – and really protective. I always do a quick count to check that they’re still OK and no foxes have got them!ducklings

3. The luxury of not having to carry gloves, a hat and a scarf – just an umbrella!

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4. The magnolia tree I can see from my bedroom window. I watch the buds get bigger as winter fades and spring begins.

5. The smell in the air when you step outside in the morning. It’s the scent of bright sunshine meets cool dawn and green leaves. The drawback is that it always makes me feel like I’m going to school.

Let me know what I’ve missed? And what you love…

 

Dreaming of Declutter

For the last few months I’ve been lost in a book bubble. Every spare working hour has been spent writing. And while I love it, when it gets difficult I tend to fantasise about what I’ll do when the book is done and the bubble bursts and I’m freeeeee! This time I’ve been obsessing about decluttering. It started when I read an article about Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising.

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Kondo’s mantra of only keeping things that bring you joy and her technique of folding clothes has lit a little fire of obsession in my brain. So when I was stuck on a particularly tricky part of my book revisions I took a break and refolded everything in my drawers. I was a folding demon! And am now an upright fold and stacker – my clothes are arranged like a filing cabinet. It’s life altering… Why did I not do this earlier? You can see everything (I found tops I’d forgotten I owned), you can fit more in so you don’t have to ram it all down to shut the drawer and nothing really gets creased. I’m a folding Konvert.

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So next up is the rest of the flat. Not the folding but the bringing of joy bit. Room by room everything is going to have to prove its worth. I’m particularly looking forward to the storage cupboard which has become one of those places to shove something with half closed eyes and hope everything else doesn’t collapse on top of you. It most certainly doesn’t bring me joy. I can sense the stuff in there quaking in its boots, praying the book never gets finished.

My clutter shouldn’t worry too much though, I’m pretty sure that as soon as the book is done, and I have the time to do it, decluttering will hold much less appeal!

Pinterest

For every book I write I tend to spend a day or two procrastinating on Pinterest first. If you find yourself at a loose end, pop over and have a look, then let me know if you agree with my choices! https://www.pinterest.com/JennyOliverBks/

What’s funny is how characters develop in my head as I get further into the story and planning. Sometimes I’ll go back to the mood board and think ‘really’ that was who I picked as inspiration! Other times I’m amazed that I got it so bang on. The whole exercise is probably just an excuse to look at lovely pictures of houses, cafes, clothes and gorgeous men instead of taking the leap and writing the first line of the book. Enjoy x

Hurray for Autumn

I love September.

  1. It’s my birthday month and I still have a childish excitement for celebrations, presents and chocolate cake.
  2. I tend to go on holiday in September – catching the tail end of the European summer, resolutely dressed in my shorts and flipflops as the locals don their wooly jumpers and winter boots.
  3. I’ve never been able to shake that new start, back to work feeling that came with going back to school.

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Granted this latter point hasn’t always been a positive. I dreaded the day my mum would take us to WHSmiths to stock up on stationary and a new pencil case, if we were lucky, for the forthcoming term. But nowadays I quite like it. I like the idea that the sun is taking a bit of a rest. I can relax and get down to things without the constant feeling that I’m missing out on the glorious weather, the frolicking get-togethers, the ice creams, the lazy lounging about and the general everyday excitement that goes hand in hand with summertime. I can say – thanks very much Summer, it’s been fun, everyone says you’ve been a bit rubbish this year but I feel like I got my fair share of rays, now let’s hand over to Autumn. I can get my duvet back. I can feel a bit chilly as I get into bed. I can put my boots on, dust off my coat and find my scarf. It’s time for stews and red wine, fires in pubs and dark, cosy evenings. It’s X-Factor and long, bonfire-scented walks, splashing in puddles and falling leaves. Gone is the ‘I should be outside’ guilt, replaced by the ‘hurray I’m indoors’ delight. I can cosy on down to my computer, be hugely productive and let a million and one ideas swirl around in my head.

It’s not January, for me, that the year starts, that everything begins again, but September. Autumn. The summer madness drifts away. The cool air brings with it fresh starts, infinite possibilities and the brilliant excuse to buy a new notebook!