Why did I pick this book as my Book of the Month?
When looking for something for April, I wanted to select something that would cheer me up, just like the coming of Spring does to me and I knew without a doubt the latest Carole Matthews would do exactly that. Whilst the paperback is not available until 24th May (Kindle and Hardback are now available!) I don’t want to be that (April) fool and not include this book in this years Books of the Month!
What if you had always dreamed of something more . . . ?
Nell McNamara has a happy life: her boyfriend Olly adores her, their four-year-old daughter Petal is the centre of their world and Nell has a steady job in the local chip shop. When the chippy needs a makeover, Nell jumps at the chance to unleash the creativity fizzing inside her.
Inspired by what she can achieve – and encouraged by the best friends a girl can have – Nell is determined to try something new. Waving goodbye to the chip shop, she starts up a new business making her own line of must-have handbags, which are soon flying off the shelves!
It seems Nell’s dreams are finally coming true, but her success doesn’t come without a price. Before too long, Nell has to ask herself if it’s really possible to have it all . . . Full of fun, love and laughter, soak up the sunshine with Summer Daydreams.
Straight away you are right into the heart of the story. You meet Nell, Olly and their daughter Petal and understand their current circumstances. How they are just going from day-to-day just trying to make ends meet. Is it enough, are they happy?
With gorgeous friends (particular mention to Phil – everyone should have a Phil in their lives I have decided) Nell comes to realise that there is more she is capable to do if she was just take that leap.
It goes without saying this is a very easy book to read which will hook you straight away and beautifully written, everything you’d expect from Carole. This time I felt there was a lot more heartfelt emotions wrapped into the characters and yet again, I am torn as to who I thinks stands out as my favourite lead. Carole has a knack of not only writing wonderful, strong leading Heroines, she also makes the Hero’s so endearing and perfect. Olly is certainly perfect and any girl would be lucky to have a man like him in their life! (yes I know he is fictional … but Nell and Olly seem like people as you read)
I am a huge fan of Carole’s books and yet again she hasn’t disappointed me … fabulous!
I asked Carole the following questions:-
1) Your books always have very strong and engaging leading Ladies but you also write from the male lead, do you find it as easy to write from the male perspective?
I started writing like that with my fifth book, A Minor Indiscretion, and it just felt right. Something simply clicked into place. I like seeing the other side of the coin and feel it helps my books to rattle along at a good pace. It also means that quite a few men read them and I think that I’m quite kind to my male characters. I do write a good bastard, but generally they’re just down to earth, flawed men who are trying to do their best. Not all my books feature the male viewpoint though. The Chocolate Lovers’ Club is told through the eyes of all the four ladies and one or two are entirely the heroine’s story – for instance, Wrapped up in You.
2) You travel to lots of places for research for your books. In wrapped up in you, you went over to Africa. Where would you most like to go and visit in the name of research whether that is a place or a time in history?
I’ve just come back from Swedish Lapland on a research trip for my Christmas book in 2013. It was really the most fantastic and magical place. I learned how to drive a husky team and went snowmobiling. We also stayed a night in the fabulous Ice Hotel and saw a truly spectacular display of the Northern Lights. Actually going to a place and doing things often gives you insights that you wouldn’t know about and it can also throw up plot ideas. I now also know what -35 degrees feels like! Cold – with lots of expletives attached!
If I could go back to a time in history, it would definitely be the Tudor period. I just adore everything Tudory. Among my all-time favourite books is Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. But I don’t have the patience or depth of knowledge required to write historical novels, so I think I’ll stick to romantic comedy!
3) When you wrote Summer Daydreams I know you had a gorgeous handbag made. Do you always keep a reminder for each book? If so, what other things have you got?
My friend, Helen Rochfort, is the brilliant inspiration behind Summer Daydreams and she’s a fabulous handbag designer. She also made a handbag for me featuring The Chocolate Lovers’ Club. But, you know, I’m generally so rubbish at this. I know authors who buy a piece of jewellery for each book and I so wish I’d started to do that when I had my first book published. I’m on book twenty now, my jewellery box would be overflowing! I don’t often take enough time to celebrate milestones in my career, but when Summer Daydreams is out I’m definitely planning to have a book launch. Reaching twenty novels is something to shout about, I think. (Even though I’m still not entirely sure how that happened.)
4) What can we expect from your next book and when will it be available?
Next book is out at the end of October and it’s going to be my second Christmas book. Called With Love at Christmas it’s the story about one family’s chaotic Christmas. While my heroine, Juliet, is busy fighting festive fires, she realises her husband may be straying. It features the same family I wrote about in That Loving Feeling, but it’s not a sequel as such. The story just picks up with them at a moment in time. I’ve never done that before, but it was fun. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker too.
5) What has been your favourite read of the last 12 months?
Definitely One Day by David Nicholls. I just adored the book. Dexter was my ex-husband to a tee, so I really empathised with the story. The only thing that made me cross was that it got all these fantastic plaudits and it was basically chicklit written by a bloke. I’m entirely sure that if a woman had written it, the book would have had a pink cover and the media would have dismissed it as another ‘light read’. Ann Hathaway was utterly terrible in the film and wasn’t Emma at all. Jim Sturgess who played Dexter was very easy on the eye though and I think is a talent to watch.
Thank you so much Carole for allowing me to feature Summer Daydreams as my Book of the Month for April.
You can follow Carole on twitter @CaroleMatthews or via her website http://www.carolematthews.com/
To purchase your copy of Summer Daydreams via Amazon, click below!