Book and a Brew with Ritu – I Love you Always Forever by @CharlieADean #NewRelease #BookReview #Book&ABrew

We’re on a roll with these Book & A Brew posts!

Today, I am extremely excited to welcome Charlie Dean, another author friend who I connected with on Twitter and the Facebook Chick Lit and Prosecco, to chat about her newest release, I Love You Always Forever.

Charlie is an amazingly talented author with several pen names under her belt. Where Charlie Dean writes stories with a bit of a spice level to them, Florence Keeling writes Women’s Fiction, and Lily Mae Walters is her alter-ego who writes children’s books.

Hello, and welcome to But I Smile Anyway, Charlie! Now, the first thing we do is get the drinks sorted.

We’ve got pretty much anything you’d like, from all manner of coffees (from my trusty Tassimo) to hot chocolate, or tea. And I can brew up a proper masala chai, if you feel brave enough.

I was going to fry up some samosas, if you want to sample, or there are always biscuits, and I am known to make a super shortbread cookie…

It’s always tea and biscuits for me, especially a nice shortbread.

Perfect! That means I don’t need to turn on the oil to deep fry!

I always love to find out more about where a fellow author’s journey started. When did you realise you wanted to write, and how was your journey to becoming a published author?

I always wrote from a young age, poetry, short stories etc…used to write lots involving Take That and New Kids when I was a teenager. Then I left school, started work, got married, had children and it took a back seat. Around 2015/6 a story started to whirl in my head about a WW2 soldier and a magic mirror. In March 2016, my father who had dementia was taken into care and writing became a therapy for me and the book now known as Please Remember Me was born. It was picked up by a small American publisher, and I haven’t looked back.

I have this one on my TBR trolley (🙈 I won it in a giveaway from you, but that is one I still haven’t read. I will do, though!) I know what you mean about life getting in the way, though, as I started my first book in 2000, and after marriage, kids, etc., it didn’t get a look in until around 2016 and I didn’t finish that first draft until 2018!

I like to ask this one, because I’m a nosy so and so, but could you tell me where you like to write? Do you have a writing room/desk, or are you a writer who likes to take their laptop/notepad out and about?

I’m currently on the lookout for one of those old writing bureaus so I can finally make a writing space in the back room. So far all my books have been written sitting on my sofa with my laptop. My phone notes are full of ideas, last lines, first lines etc…

I used to have a writing bureau when I was a teen in my bedroom! It was a mahogany finish (not real antique!) one with a pull-down desk area, lots of nooks and crannies for stationery and a cupboard at the bottom. At the time, I moved out, my parents held on to it, and it was only a couple of years ago that they gave it away. I know it wouldn’t fit the decor of my home, now, but I wish we had found a space for it, here! But many stories were penned, sitting at that desk, as I grew up, dreaming of becoming a writer…

Now, have you ever written a book that you feel will never see the light of day? I know I have a few half-written ideas, but nothing I finished, completely, then set to one side!

Like you, I’ve got many WIPs and half-finished, but all my completed novels have been published either traditionally or self-published. I don’t think I could bear to have a finished story not out in the world.

And, do you have a favourite out of the books you have published so far?

Up until I wrote I Love You, Always, Forever…I would have said Love, Lies and Family Ties, but now it’s I Love You. I enjoyed writing it so much. Going back to my teenage years in the 90s was just an absolute blast.

I loved that, too. Reminiscing about my own teenage years in the 90s…

I’ve read a couple of your books under Florence Keeling, which I loved. Why the change to Charlie Dean?

Because I Love You is written in the first person, plus it’s very different to my usual writing and a little spicier in places, I felt it needed a different name to differentiate from the Florence books.

Now, I invited you over to have a little chat about your latest release under Charlie Dean, I Love You, Aways, Forever. What a gush of nostalgia I felt, reading it, since the main character, Charlie, was in sixth form, around the time I would have been there, listening to the music she was, and being rather shy. Then the parallel storyline of the present, with Charlie as a middle-aged woman. Well, there was plenty there to make me feel seen, too! Tell me more about your inspiration for the book.

It’s a little bit of me and a whole lot of fiction wrapped up in a 90s mix tape. It was written last summer as I came to terms with my mum’s own cancer battle, as does Charlie, and it helped me immensely. Much like Please Remember Me helped me cope with my father’s dementia, this book helped me cope with my mum’s cancer.

Writing can be so therapeutic, I agree. 🤗

What is it about the 90s that brings back such memories?

I’m a 70s baby, 80s kid and 90s teenager. There was just something so wonderful about those eras. The dodgy clothes and haircuts and thankfully no social media to document for the rest of eternity. I was very fortunate to have a loving family and a small close-knit group of friends who I’m still besties with today.

We are of the same ilk, you and me, born in the same era, with similar experiences. (Though mine are peppered with more masala since I have the Indian thing to add, too! 😜)

And, you must tell me, is there more in the pipeline from Charlie Dean? Any little tidbits I can share with my readers?

I’m currently working on a series of Rom-Coms under Charlie Dean, slightly spicy all with some kind of deal or pact going on. Things like jealousy pacts, childhood pacts, fake dating, those kinds of things. There will be one out this September, a lovely autumnal romance and fingers crossed, four next year, one for each season. I’m also hoping to get the third in my children’s fantasy adventure series Josie James and The Trail of Ages out this autumn and the second in my magic academy chapter book.

Harking back to the 90s, I loved Christian Slater, especially in the Heathers film. Hence one of the characters in the book being Christian Sawyer (Veronica Sawyer in the film) and using the surname of Dean as my pen name after the Jason Dean character in the film. I used Charlotte/Charlie as this was what I would have been christened if not my original name.

So much for us to get excited about, Peeps! Watch this space for more mildly spicy rom-com fiction from Charlie!

Thank you so much for inviting me, Ritu xxx

It was a pleasure to have you over. 😊

Peeps, you can read the blurb for I Love You, Always, Forever and my review below!

Purchase links follow.

The Blurb

Life is full of highs and lows, but it’s who helps us through that counts.

Stumbling across her teenage diaries in her childhood home, Charlie is instantly transported to the 1990s.

She relives all the emotions and feelings as memories come flooding back, from first kiss to first love and everything in between.

Back in the present and Charlie discovers that even in the darkest of times, light and laughter can ALWAYS be found.

A heartfelt journey through life, from teenage angst to the trials and tribulations of adulthood. Family, friendship and romance weave throughout but who will love you, always, forever?

BuyI Love You Always Forever HERE!

My Review

I Love You, Always, Forever by Charlie Dean

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a rollercoaster of emotion this book put me through!
Not least because there is sensitive subject matter but because of all the reminiscing I could do, thanks to the book’s timeframe.
The story is set in the now as an adult Charlie, the main character, is coming to terms with life as a middle-aged woman, and dealing with all that comes with it, including dealing with loss and illnesses of loved ones, as well as a dual timeline of the 90s when she is a student in 6th form (like me), shy, exploring different elements of her personality, and experimenting with a very special relationship.
I loved it because I lived with so many of these experiences as a teenager. The nostalgia I felt was unreal. And then the additional relatability of life as a middle-aged woman. It was just wonderfully written!
There is romance, budding and established, friendships, family and the awakening of sexual feelings. A bit steamy in places too, but honestly, I got all the feels, in a good way!

Author Bio

I was born in Coventry but now live in Nuneaton. I married the love of my life over 20 years ago and we have two almost grown-up children. We share our lives with two mad dogs as well.

Writing is a great passion of mine. I love creating stories and characters, they help me escape from the world for a while and I hope readers feel the same.

I am a huge fan of All Creatures Great and Small, Call the Midwife and Bridgerton. I love history and romance.

I also write for children as Lily Mae Walters, and women’s fiction as Florence Keeling

Connect with Charlie on Social Media here:

Twitter as Charlie Dean:

Twitter as Florence Keeling:

Twitter as Lily Mae Walters:


12 Comments (+add yours?)

    May 12, 2023 @ 18:48:03

    Thanks for inviting us all round for the tea and chat, sounds like we can all relate to Charlie’s story in some ways.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: Smorgasbord Blogger Spotlight – May 12th 2023 – #Coronation Janet Gogerty, #Tribute Janet Weight Reed, #Review Ritu Bhathal, #Sofas Silly Old Sod, #Homonyms Harmony Kent, #Review Carla Loves to Read | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine
  3. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    May 11, 2023 @ 10:48:07

    Terrific post Ritu and lovely to meet Charlie and find out about her books. I Love You For Always Forever sounds like a great read. xx

    Liked by 1 person


  4. erin💙
    May 09, 2023 @ 17:23:23

    lovely post

    Liked by 1 person


  5. johnrieber
    May 09, 2023 @ 11:51:00

    A terrific way to shine a spotlight on another Author, Ritu – bravo!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. beth
    May 09, 2023 @ 09:57:23

    thanks for introducing us to Charlie and her books

    Liked by 1 person


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