Wild Fires by @SophieJaiWrites @fictionpubteam @SusannaPedan #BookTour

I was sent this fantastic book to read and review. A debut by Sophia Jai, set in Canada with roots in Trinidad. Fascinating reading!

WILD FIRES is an astonishingly assured debut that moves between Trinidad and Toronto in a lyrical portrayal of a family undone by grief, regret and long-buried secrets. On a personal level, I love the vulnerability of Jai’s writing. She captures the relationships between sisters, aunts and daughters, all trapped in the ‘swollen silence’ of the big house on Florence Street, with a startingly vivid and distinctive voice. It’s perfect for fans of Ingrid Persaud.

Wild Fires by Sophie Jai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
This debut novel by Sophie Jai is an interesting insight into the Indo Trini community, and more so about the dynamics within quite a dysfunctional family.
Cassandra heads back to Toronto, Canada where her family settled, after leaving Trinidad, after hearing of her cousin’s death.
But it’s not just a straightforward trip, because she isn’t just there to mourn and attend a funeral. Cassandra knows the family has many secrets, and the women in the family live in ways that are alien to most others. Her own mother is one of five sisters, and they all live under the same roof, apart from one who stayed on in Trinidad with her husband, and another who passed away under tragic circumstances. Also, there are Cassandra’s older and younger sisters.
The story took me a little while to get into, as there is a lot of to-ing and frow-ing from past to the present, with the POV appearing to change, but each trip back adds another layer to the story. There are many secrets hidden within the family, and we still do not learn everything by the end of the story, but Jai’s beautiful prose keeps you hooked.

About the Author

WILD FIRES is Sophie Jai’s debut novel. She was selected as a 2020 Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford for WILD FIRES, and was longlisted for the 2019 Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel. Jai was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She splits her time between Toronto and London.

Instructions For Falling In Love Again by Lucy Mitchell @Blondewritemore #BookReview #IFFILA

Finally, after many years of writing, and imagining, burying ideas in her garden, writing more, digging them up and querying, submitting, battling with writers block and angst, our girl, Lucy Mitchell, has finally gone and done it!

Lucy Mitchell – Author Extrordinaire

She has her debut novel out on Sunday 30th June, and I was honoured to be asked to read an advanced copy of her book, Instructions for Falling In Love Again, ahead of official release day.

Isn’t the cover beautiful?

Now, let me start by handing you the official blurb…

What would you do if your late husband left you a list of instructions on how to fall in love with someone else?
Pippa Browning is faced with this exact dilemma, three years after the death of her husband, Dan.
Buried at the bottom of a drawer are a collection of notebooks full of Dan’s advice on how to live without him.
Pippa’s notebook is red and contains his instructions on how to fall in love again.
But Dan doesn’t just want Pippa to fall in love with anyone – Dan’s
crazy suggestion is that Pippa should date his handsome friend, Mikey Stenton, a known thrill-seeking ladies’ man.
Reluctant to follow Dan’s advice, Pippa enters the world of dating. She embarks on a humorous journey of self-discovery, with the help of her children and two best friends. 
It isn’t long before Pippa is finding it hard to ignore Dan’s instructions and Mikey Stenton.
Is Mikey really the man that everyone thinks him to be? Or was Dan right, and Mikey’s simply been misunderstood?  
An uplifting and heart-warming story about bereavement, friendship and finding love, the second time around.

And here is my review… totally ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!

Instructions for Falling In Love Again
There are days when you really need a good Rom Com to fall into. A book that will make you forget the world around you as you immerse yourself in its fictitious one.
Well, that was me as I fell into Author Lucy Mitchell’s debut novel, Instructions For Falling In Love Again.
I found myself living alongside Pippa Browning, a recently widowed mother of three, who is just starting to get her life into some semblance of normality, after losing her beloved husband to cancer three years previously.
Being a single mother is never easy, and dealing with a teen bunny boiler in practice, and two children who know how to wreak havoc at just the right (or wrong) time, who are all dealing with the grief of losing their father, has her at her nerves end.
Pippa is lucky to have her two best friends, Mel and Emma, by her side, and the support of her sister Helen.
And she also has a book.
A notebook filled with wisdom that was left for her, written by her late husband, giving her clear instructions for how to get on with her life without him, by falling in love again.
With the wrong guy. Mikey Stenton – International playboy and all-round tart!
I was hooked.
I loved the characters of Pippa and her family, including her interfering mother, who wants the best for her daughter, but by her own standards, not her daughter.
I loved feisty Daisy, the teenage crazy girl who knows how to back her crushes into corners.
I loved Libby, the middle child with a talent for football, and a penchant for small furry animals.
I loved Billy, the youngest member of the Browning family, who was a typical little boy, always getting into arguments with his sister, and never brushing his hair.
Pippa’s friends are wonderfully supportive, quirky characters, who only want the best for their dear friend.
And I adored Mikey Stenton, the true tart with a heart – who goes from bed-hopping to school dropping… I shan’t say too much more, because I don’t want to give too much away.
Oh, and Pippa wasn’t the only one left with a notebook…
But seriously, there were some fantastic twists and turns, and I found myself in fits of giggles, in tears and in that “Aaaaawwwww!” moment too.
Do I recommend this book? Absolutely! What a great debut novel.
Lucy, I am waiting for more from you!

Here is a little more about Lucy:

I live in South Wales with my husband, my two teenage daughters, a giant labrador and a gang of unruly cats.
I am the author of the award winning blog, BlondeWriteMore and I was a Featured Romance Author on Wattpad.
When I am not working or writing, I can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with my dog or sat outside my local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine.

Now, you know you want to be reading this beauty, so go and pre-order your copy here!

My interactive peeps!

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