Renee Conoulty: November 2015


Monday, 30 November 2015

ABC Open

Hey Everyone!

Social media has yet again linked helped me link in with something awesome. It was a Facebook post that led me to the ABC Open website. I discovered "Real stories made by real people from all around Australia". The stories are told in various combinations of photo, video and the written word. There is a tab to explore the stories submitted by others and a tab with all the open projects, if you would like to submit something yourself.

Submissions are free, and after moderation, will be posted on the ABC Open website. Selected stories will also appear across ABC TV, radio and online. There is also the opportunity to link in with workshops around regional Australia.

You can find my ABC Open profile HERE.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Green Bicycle by Haifaa al Mansour

In the vein of "Year of the Dog" and "The Higher Power of Lucky," thisMiddle Eastern coming-of-age story is told with warmth, spirit, and a mischievous sense of humor 
Spunky eleven-year-old Wadjda lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with her parents. She desperately wants a bicycle so that she can race her friend Abdullah, even though it is considered improper for girls to ride bikes. Wadjda earns money for her dream bike by selling homemade bracelets and mixtapes of banned music to her classmates. But after she's caught, she s forced to turn over a new leaf (sort of), or risk expulsion from school. Still, Wadjda keeps scheming, and with the bicycle so closely in her sights, she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. 
Set against the shifting social attitudes of the Middle East, "The Green Bicycle"explores gender roles, conformity, and the importance of family, all with wit and irresistible heart."

Hey! Heres' my review.

Set in modern day Saudi Arabia, this middle grade fiction book tells the story of Wadjda, a spunky eleven year old girl who is challenging what is expected of her. As I was reading, the scenes sprung to life, as if in a movie. I thought it would be fabulous as a movie and was excited to read in the "About the Author" section at the end, that this is the author's debut novel and was based on her award winning feature film "Wadjda".

This would be a fantastic book for readers of any age to gain insight into everyday life in Saudi Arabia. The writing is simple enough for middle grade readers yet still engaging for older readers.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: NetGalley
  • Format: ebook

Purchase link

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Are online friends real friends?

What does your clock of friends look like?
Hey Everyone!

What is a friend? Do you have to have actually met someone in real life to be able to call them a friend? Are Facebook friends real friends?

I have accepted friend requests from plenty of people who I've never met in person. I definitely wouldn't count them all as my best buddies, but many of them I'm in regular contact with and count them as real friends. Friends aren't just people you have met in person. Friends are people you take the time to listen and respond to, whether while chatting at a coffee shop or on social media. Friends are people you like. Friends are people you trust. 

They say you have friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime. I have moved quite a few times, so my circle of real world friends has changed. Some of those friends I still keep up with online. Some of my best friends, who I used to see in person almost every day, I may only connect with sporadically online now, but they are still my friends. 

I know lots of people who met their spouse online. They became friends online first, then met in person. I don't think you could maintain an online marriage indefinitely though, that's a completely different level of friendship ;)

Friends are people who care about you and support you, whether they do that virtually or in person, they are still friends.

Do you have any friends that you've never met?

Friday, 27 November 2015

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar.

Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.

But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.

Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.

Wishes were not a thing.

They were not.


Wishes were a thing.

Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.

Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!

Were they?

Hey! Here's my review.

I've had a bit of a Fiona Wood binge and read Six Impossible Things and Wildlife just before this one. They are loosely linked with familiar characters crossing over, but can each be read as a stand alone. Cloudwish was written just as well, but had a slightly different almost magical realism feel. Of course, first love always feels like magic.

It was refreshing to have a Vietnamese Australian main character and I loved getting insight into her culture. I liked seeing the comparison drawn between Vân Uoc Phan and Billy Gardiner; of what their parents expected of them. I enjoyed the familiar Aussie setting. 


  • Where: Netgalley
  • Format: ebook

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Quote - Frank Zappa

Quote - Frank Zappa

Hey Everyone!

Yes Frank, Yes!

Is your to be read pile a little out of control like mine?

Monday, 23 November 2015

Annabel's Wedding by Susan Murphy

For Viv's family, nothing ever comes easy. A warm, engaging and charming read from the author of THEY DO, I DON'T, the first in the Confetti Confidential series. For fans of Kathy Lette, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and Helen Fielding.

After the breakdown of her marriage and her life, Viv has finally found happiness with Tom. But, can things really stay so perfect?

With the planning for Annabel's wedding underway, Genevieve is distracted by family bickering and an unexpected life-altering discovery. With Annabel threatening to cancel her wedding and Julia hiding a dark secret, her life once again descends into the perfect mix of hilarious chaos. Will the sisters be able to sort everything out and get their happy endings?

Annabel's wedding is a tale of sisterhood, relationships and learning to find happiness in spite of the sometimes crazy hand you're dealt.

Hey! Here's my review.

I first met Viv in "They Do, I Don't" and was excited to find out what happens next in her world. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I can't say much, but I loved the plotline. I was emotionally engaged in the story to the point that my daughter caught me crying in the kitchen and asked me what was wrong. I had to explain to a 4 year old that I was reading a book and something really nice happened that made me cry. That didn't make much sense to her, but if you like happy crying, then you might like this one. There is a sad bit, but there were lots of bits that made me giggle too. 

The first person narrative made me feel close to the action and connected with the main character. I really liked Viv, she's the type of person I'd like to hang out with. I enjoyed the family dynamics and the explorations of step parenting issues.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: NetGalley
  • Format: ebook

Purchase link

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Swing Dance: Fashion, music, culture and key moves by Scott Cupit

Jitterbug Lindy Hop Balboa Charleston Shag
With all things vintage enjoying a boom worldwide, swing dancing has well and truly swung back into fashion. From vintage festivals and tea dances to weekend socials and hundreds of weekly classes held around the world, multiple forms of the dance that was created in 1930s Harlem by Frankie Manning are growing ever more popular.

Swing Dance explores the vibrant contemporary swing-dancing scene, looking at the different dance styles and the associated culture, community and fashion. Illustrated with vintage and contemporary photography, as well as specially commissioned step-by-step guides, it provides everything you need to know, whether you fancy kicking up your heels in the Charleston or mastering the Lindy Hop ‘swing out’.

The four major dance styles are covered – Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa and Lindy Hop, including the Strolls, which are guaranteed to fill the dance floor. Each chapter begins with an overview of the fascinating evolution of the dance style. ‘Get the Look’ examines the fashions for guys and girls, including hair and make-up, and a clothing, shoes and accessories checklist, while ‘The Music’ suggests the top ten tunes to practise to. Then follows a breakdown of the basic step patterns upon which the dance is built, and a guide to some of the key moves. There are also insider tips from old-timers and today’s leading swing dancers as well as fun, easy-to-follow page-embedded video demonstrations produced exclusively for the book and accessible via scannable QR codes.

Hey! Here's my review.

This is a beautifully presented hardcover book that will take pride of place on my coffee table. Scott Cupit's passion for swing dancing shines through in the anecdotes he shares. There is something for everyone in this book: history, fashion for men and women, gorgeous vintage and modern photos, dance step instructions and QR codes that link to demonstration videos. 

Swing Dance is the perfect introduction to those new to the culture and gives more depth to those who have caught the "jitterbug" bug already. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. 


  • Where: Review Request
  • Format: Hardback
Purchase links

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Wildwood Sisters by Mandy Magro

The past Renee Wildwood once ran from still haunts her...

Nine years ago, Renee's twin sister Scarlet went missing. In the threatening aftermath, seventeen-year-old Renee was forced out of her home at Wildwood Acres, leaving her family and her boyfriend behind. Although the case has long gone cold, every day Renee hopes the person responsible will be found. She has since made a new life for herself in the city but when fate intervenes, a family emergency forces her to face up to her fears and her painful memories. But can she go back to Wildwood Acres, the one place her heart yearns to be but where her life may be in grave danger?

Dylan Anderson has never quite got over the loss of his first love, Renee Wildwood, who left him without a word. He's now a single father trying to make it on his own after the tragic death of his wife, and his cattle property is struggling financially. Against all odds he's taking steps to get his life back on track, starting with a new job. But how will he feel when he finds Renee, the girl who stole his heart, is back at Wildwood Acres? Will he ever be able to forgive her?

Hey! Here's my review.

To be honest, the main reason I picked up this book was because the main character was called Renee. I've never found a book with the main character called Renee. The only song I know about Renee, tells me to "Just Walk Away". I was so excited to find a contemporary romance where I would have a happy ending - I mean where the fictional Renee character would have a happy ending. I was even more excited (and expressed my excitement by live tweeting Mandy as I was reading) to find my Dad's name, my pet guinea pig's name and my son's and in the book too. But apart from all these self centered reasons, the book is fantastic.

The cover is gorgeous and sets the scene perfectly. The pacing was great, the suspense keeping me on the edge of my seat. I had my suspicions about "who done it" but started second guessing myself. The romance element blended in well and balanced out the darker side of the tale. Dylan was swoon worthy.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: Netgalley
  • Format: ebook

Purchase links

Friday, 20 November 2015

Boy Brainy by Jenny O'Brien

'A cross between Horrible Histories, David Walliams and Roald Dahl' Freya aged 10 years.
'A gripping read, Caroline - grown-up!

Dai Monday is being bullied, but what does he expect with a name like Die! He doesn't think life can get any worse and then it does. What's hidden in Conwy Castle that has all the crooks in a frenzy and where does the ghost of King Arthur come into it all?

Hey Here's my review.

An entertaining middle grade fiction book that kept me engaged. The informal first person narrative suited the book. I found the main character quirky and likeable. I was curious to see how everything worked out for him. 

The majority of the story was a paranormal mystery, with the bullying issue forming a strong subplot. It would be a good book to read aloud to a younger child to prompt a discussion about bullying.


  • Where: Author Invitation
  • Format: ebook

Purchase links

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Layers of Creation

Hey Everyone!

Late one afternoon, last year, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed (how unusual...) when I noticed that a friend of mine had commented on a post about Layers of Creation. Curious as I am, I had a little sticky beak to see what it was all about. I discovered that it was part of the Darwin Fringe Festival, an event to showcase local authors and photographers.

The theme was "Layers of Creation" and involved three stages: photo, print and page. The first stage had already been completed by the time I found it. People had taken photos to symbolise layers which had been posted onto a website.

The second stage was to choose a photo and use it as a writing prompt. I was feeling a bit inspired (perhaps it was the glass of wine I was sipping) and submitted several poems and a recipe.

The third stage came to fruition last night, when the print version was officially launched. A small group of us met near Nightcliff jetty and celebrated the book launch while the sun set over the water behind us. I was excited to finally meet Jeremy, the "Editor in Chief & General Dogsbody" of the project. I'm looking forward to participating in his project for the next Darwin Fringe Festival.

Have you ever used photos as a writing prompt?


Layers of Creation by Jeremy Garnett

Layers of Creation was birthed in the crucible of the Darwin Fringe Festival. It comprises a project exploring the creative layers of image and imagination, following the process from Photo to Print and Page.
Inside, from a selection of Darwinian photographers, you will discover the marvellous photographs that formed the inspiration for the written words of our writers. This collection will catch fire in your imagination and may then flourish, creating layers in your own mind and beyond.

Purchase link

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl by Matthew Reilly

In this special prequel to Matthew Reilly’s The Tournament, Roger Ascham, the unorthodox tutor of Princess Elizabeth, is charged with tracking down a favourite prostitute of King Henry VIII’s who has gone missing.

Hey! Here's my review.

I’ve seen Matthew Reilly’s book around and recommended them to my hubby, but I’d never actually picked one up for myself until I spotted this short story for free on Audible. I love audiobooks, so snapped this one up straight away, though it has taken me a while to get to it. Once I clicked play, I was transported into the time of King Henry the Eighth and followed a teacher on an adventurous mystery solving journey. I was easily caught up in the story and devoured it all in one go. It was the perfect length to listen to over a lunch break, commute to work, or to hang a load of washing then have a cuppa like I did. I liked the main character, Roger, and enjoyed Matthew’s writing style. The narrator was fantastic, adding to my reading experience.

  • Where: Audible
  • Format: audiobook

Monday, 16 November 2015


When Ozarks native Hatty goes “whole hog” during karaoke, she catches the eye of Prince John. He isn’t what she expects the heir to a small European nation to be: he's affable, witty, and isn’t put off by her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Their flirtation should be short lived, but a force stronger than fate—Hatty’s newspaper editor—assigns her to cover the royals. After spending time together, she and John soon begin dating, and Hatty finds herself making headlines instead of writing them. 

But challenges loom that are even more complicated than figuring out how to mesh Hatty's journalism career with life at Belvoir Palace. Hatty and John soon find themselves embroiled in an unusual sex scandal: they can't produce an heir. Tabloids dub Hatty a “Barren-ess,” and the royals become irate. Hatty politely tells them to shove it. But beneath her confident exterior, she struggles to cope with a heartbreak that invades her most intimate moments with John. Pressured to choose between invasive medical procedures and abandoning John’s claim to the throne, the couple feels trapped until a trip to Ethiopia shows them happy endings sometimes arrive long after saying “I do.”

Hey! Here's my review.

This debut novel from Tegan Wren was easy to read but still had depth. It started out with a chick lit fairytale feel. Ordinary girl meets a prince and falls in love. 

That concept may sound inconceivable, but it reminded me of the true story of an Aussie girl who met the Prince of Denmark in a pub in Sydney and she is now a Royal Princess. This story takes a different turn to that of Princess Mary. Princess Mary now has four children, but what if she'd had trouble conceiving. 

Inconceivable explores this concept in a well thought out manner. This novel made me stop and think about the issues of infertility and of living a life in the public eye. 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: Author Invitation
  • Format: ebook
Purchase links

Hot Stuff: Surfing Love **Cover Reveal**

Hey Everyone!

I'm so excited to share the cover reveal for Hot Stuff: Surfing Love, a collection of sizzling short stories from three of my favourite Aussie authors, plus one new to me author. Look out Maria, I'm coming to cyber stalk you too! 

I've talked about Carla Caruso quite a few times. She absolutely made my day when I found my name in the acknowledgments of one of her books and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person during my last holiday.

Tess Woods and I clicked instantly when we started chatting online after she read my review of her debut novel. She has become one of my closest cyber friends, and I can't wait to meet her in person one day too. 

Alli Sinclair made me swoon with Luna Tango. I love dancing and I'm always on the lookout for books with dancing in them. 

Then there is the mysterious Maria Lewis..... I have it on good authority that she is a pretty cool chick too. **commence cyber stalk** OMG Harry Potter is reading her book!

Ok then, enough chatter. Here's what you've been waiting for. The cover!

Hot sun, warm bodies, tight skin, electricity on the air ... four top romance authors give you their take on summer.
From Carla Caruso - A chance meeting with a pro-surfer on an island getaway ...
From Maria Lewis - The world of women's surfing throws two recent bedmates together ...
From Alli Sinclair - A world-famous performer finds her heart and a way to fight her demons in Rio de Janeiro ...
From Tess Woods - A Cornish beach retreat proves a full reawakening ...

Purchase links

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A Heat Of The Moment Thing by Maggie Le Page

Becky Jordan has had it with relationships. From now on her time and dedication won’t be lavished on her latest Mr. Wrong—or, worse, Mr. Hell-No!—just the dream travel job which has unexpectedly leapt into her lap. Finally, life is looking great.

Unfortunately, not as great as her sizzling-hot, take-charge new boss. Matt Frobisher is everything she doesn't want him to be, but if anyone thinks she'll risk her career on a workplace fling they can think again. No amount of Superman behaviour from him will make her roll over and play Lois.

At least, that's what her head says. Her heart, however, doesn't do logical. In desperation she finds herself a Mr. Distraction, one with no strings and plenty of appeal. But Mr. Distraction also comes with unforeseen complications. Kryptonite complications, like Becky’s sister. And when she shows up there’s only one sure thing: not even Superman can prevent the Disaster Fest that’s about to blow Becky’s life apart.

Hey! Here's my review.

First my heart stopped, then it skipped a beat, then it did little flutters at the end. 

My friend Becky was at the pool the other day, and you'll never guess what happened! Hang on, I don't know anyone called Becky... Oh, that was the book I was reading the other day. I loved Becky. She's another one of my book besties.

The story was light hearted chick lit, but not full of fashionistas. If you like your characters slightly imperfect, your setting contemporary and realistic, and your ending happy, then read The Heat of the Moment Thing.


  • Where; Amazon
  • Format: ebook

Purchase link

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Double Entendre **Guest Post from Celia Kennedy**

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Celia Kennedy, who has popped in for a chat.

Celia Kennedy’s passion for travel, friendship, self-discovery, wine, chocolate, love, and the designed and natural world is the foundation of her books. She was born on a military base in Wurzburg, Germany. Her parents’ penchant for traveling stuck with her, and she’s lived in and traveled through several countries. Celia has authored three fiction novels and published four anthologies. She is currently working on book three in The Passport Series. She lives in Washington state with the loves of her life.

Connect with Celia via

Guest Post

Double Entendre

There are a handful of things in life that I know that I am good at. One of them is the use of the double entendre. Another is doing research. As an author I generally write about the mysteries of life I’ve unraveled and I feel particularly successful if I can weave in a well-placed double entendre. Get it? I put unraveled and weave into the sentence. It’s bad, I know! My poor family – they have to live with me.

When writing guest posts I ponder monumental questions, “What would someone like to read about? Local historical landmarks? Epic feats of humankind? Me? My tomes?” (If you weren’t counting there are a bucket load (or a few) double entendre’s splattered about.)

Okay, my tome it is! Prosecco & Paparazzi fizzed out of the depths of my imagination one evening while watching Clint Eastwood on Inside the Actor’s Studio. I decided it would be interesting to write a book about how an average, everyday person, met and developed a friendship with a famous person. The premise is based on my belief that celebrities are somewhat skittish of nonentities, unknowns, nobodies. Perhaps the big cheese wonders if the commoner is fond of them, or their fame. Or perhaps the supposed friend is really a stalker in disguise.

What if there is a conflict? Let’s face it, the superstar has money, influence, and money (yes, I said it twice). So, this poor mortal, if accused of being a stalker, might not have a way to redeem themselves OR must be willing to break a rule (get too close) or two (talk to the celebrity) to get justice. Fortunately, the heroine in Prosecco & Paparazzi, Charlotte, has four can-do friends to bail her out.
Originally, my tome was entitled Charlotte’s Restrained – yup, I worked a double entendre into the title. You should have seen the images for the cover art I received. The majority had a woman in stilettos with a furry handcuff dangling from her wrist. I tried to explain that wasn’t really the look I was going for – the conflicts were legal and emotional. The next round of artwork had the woman on the cover kitted out for bondage. Eventually, I managed to convey the, “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” concept I had in mind.

My vision for my cast of characters had always been more smart and sexy than 50 Shades of Grey. Fortunately, the readers read the words I had strung together instead of paying too much attention to the misconceived book cover that was birthed. In no time at all I had reviews likening my tome to Sex In The City. I found the coupling to be quite intoxicating.

So, how did Charlotte’s Restrained evolve into Prosecco & Paparazzi? Well, much like Charlotte, I had four friends who had my back, and they came in the format of my team at Booktrope Publishing. As much as I love the double entendre of the original title, I was eager to showcase the content of the book.

I loved these women so much that I decided to write a series. In Prosecco & Paparazzi, we delve into Charlotte’s life, where she meets her celeb crush and gets mistaken for a stalker. In Cognac and Couture, which I am currently writing, we dive into Kathleen’s secrets and see how her four BFF’s react. Gin Fizz and Grit is Marian’s story. Marian is a sarcastic but warm-hearted Irishwoman who is absolutely hilarious. I can’t wait to get into the gristle of this book. Lastly, we will delve into Hillary’s world, in Hot Toddies and Tantrums, where many threads from all the books will be woven together – some serious surprises are in store. (If you are keeping count, there are five friends and four books. That is because Tiziana, cannot be contained. She has all the va-va-voom of Sophia Loren. Her story is revealed in each book.)

Reviews can be tough for an author to read. We put our heart, souls, and in some cases, years of our lives, into a book. When I read the review where Prosecco & Paparazzi was compared to Sex In The City “but with a higher I.,” my decade was made. I immediately called up my four closest friends, popped a few bottles of Prosecco and toasted the day.

If you would like to read chapter one of Prosecco & Paparazzi, and decide for yourself, it is available on Wattpad:

Thanks for reading!

Prosecco & Paparazzi (The Passport Book 1) by Celia Kennedy 

When fifteen minutes of fame goes horribly wrong… 

Charlotte Young and her five closest friends ring in the New Year on a ski vacation in the swanky, celebrity-packed French Alps, where her world collides with long-time celeb crush, Des Bannerman—aka “The King of Rom-Com.” Unexpectedly, Charlotte finds herself happily reconciled to an innocent evening of drinking champagne, gambling, and chatting to the celebrity of her dreams. 

Charlotte’s friends join forces to help her realize her lifelong fantasy, yet his girlfriend, the latest Bond Girl, proves an insurmountable obstacle. Lighthearted banter turns into tabloid fodder and leaves Charlotte saddled with a restraining order. 

With the help of her friends, Charlotte finds the answers to life’s biggest questions while trying to deal with the fallout of her fifteen minutes of fame. 

Prosecco &Paparazzi is a contemporary romantic comedy about what happens when the paths of a celebrity god and a mere mortal collide. 

Previously self-published under the title Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker. It has been re-edited.

Purchase link

Friday, 13 November 2015

Bequest by Rowena Wiseman

Leonard wants to bequeath his tattooed skin to the National Gallery of Australia. He has been almost completely inked by one of Australia's best contemporary artists, but he is a canvas that nobody wants. Then, strange things start happening to Leonard: Darwin’s moth—a tattoo from his calf—flutters around him one night; he wakes with a Cold War gas mask on his head; Mao Zedong appears in his bed. Tattoos from his skin come alive before him and he becomes more convinced than ever that his skin is truly precious.

Hey! Here's my review.

I devoured this in one sitting. The writing is dark and engaging, prompting me to keep turning pages (well, swiping the screen). It is a short story that combines character study and plot with a surreal twist, leaving me satisfied at the end. I didn't really like Leonard, but I empathised with him. 

I was amazed to find out it was inspired by a true story of a man from Sydney who wanted to donate his heavily tattooed skin to the museum. In real life, the story turn out quite different to this one. 


  • Where: Amazon
  • Format: ebook

Purchase link

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman **Interview, Review & Giveaway**

Hey Everyone!

I'd love to introduce you to Hilary Grossman, who is on tour with her latest novel, Plan Bea.

Hilary Grossman loves to find humor in everyday life. She has an unhealthy addition to denim and high heel shoes. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to keep as many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing, blogging, or shoe shopping she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer. She lives on the beach in Long Island.

Connect with Hilary via


Your first novel, Dangled Carat, was autobiographical. How much of Plan Bea is based on personal experience?

The majority of Plan Bea is completely fictional. My relationship with my mother is the complete opposite of Annabel and Beatrice’s. My mom is my best friend, and I talk to her at least daily. However there is a lot of me, and the people in my life, scattered into the story. For example, there is a scene in the book where Annabel and Cecelia are at a difficult client’s office. It was a boiling hot day and they weren’t offered a glass of water. That actually happened to me.

There was another scene where Annabel was telling her mother about how her husband always wanted to be an architect. She shared that as a little boy he drew a senior citizen home to scale but titled it Senior S-I-T-I-Z-E-N. My husband did that when he was a child.

Did you know how Plan Bea was going to end when you started writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a combination of both. When I started writing the book I knew exactly how the twist ending would play out. However, I didn’t see the sequel coming until the very end when the good judge showed up to officiate the wedding. There were several times when Annabel and Beatrice had heated conversations and completely took over. I remember after I wrote the scene when they were in the diner I gasped. I took my fingers off the keyboard and muttered to my screen, “Annabel I had no idea that happened….” She totally shocked me!

Which character do you relate to most and why?

I relate most to Annabel. I think she and I have a lot of the same personality characteristics. I think that if I were put in the situations that she was I would have handled everything very similarly.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Sometimes, but usually not.

Cats or dogs? Ha ha just kidding, we all know it's cats.

HA! Now it is my turn to laugh because my answer may not be what you think J. Yes, right now I am a huge cat lover. I adore my girl Lucy, who I swear is the feline version of me. But for the majority of my life I was a dog girl all the way! In fact I hated cats. When I met Mr. Commitment-Phobic and I learned he had a cat I was convinced our relationship was doomed. I never imagined I would fall in love with his cat, and cats in general.

Hmmm, how about this one. Summer or winter?

Summer! I love it hot and I love hanging out on the beach. The only thing I like about the winter is making a fire. But I would gladly give that up for warm temperatures every day!

Silver or gold?

I go through phases… Right now I prefer silver.

Camping or luxury?

I am a luxury girl all the way. I have zero desire to go camping. Roughing it doesn’t appeal to me at all. Although, after surviving Hurricane Sandy, where the majority of my house was severely damaged and we didn’t have electricity for over five weeks, I know that I actually would be an amazing camper.

Are you working on anything else at the moment? (Please say the sequel!!!)

Yes, I am working on the sequel to Plan Bea, Plan Cee. I took the summer off, but I am getting back into my writing groove.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I just want to say thank you for welcoming me to your blog!

Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman

How well do you really know the people in your life?

Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life.

Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision.

In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.

Hey! Here's my review.

Plan Bea is a wonderful exploration of a mother and daughter trying to rebuild a broken relationship. There were moments that made me laugh, moments that choked me up and moments I just wanted to slap someone.

The characters were well developed and I found Annabel likeable and relatable, as for her mother Bea..... see the last point in the previous sentence.

This is the second of Hilary's books I've read and I'm really looking forward to the next one (You big tease Hilary! Leave me hanging like that! Now hurry up and publish Plan Cee!) I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: Author Invitation
  • Format: ebook
Purchase link

Yesterday was Hilary's birthday
Here's a giveaway to celebrate!