White Lies by Ellie Holmes

It’s Publication Day for White Lies and what better way to start than with this lovely review!

Linda's Book Bag

white lies

My enormously grateful thanks to the author Ellie Holmes for a copy of White Lies in return for an honest review.

White Lies is published today 27th June 2017 and is available in e-book here.

White Lies

white lies



Sam Davenport is a woman who lives her life by the rules. When her husband Neil breaks those rules too many times, Sam is left wondering not only if he is still the man for her but also if it’s time to break a few rules of her own.

Actions, however, have consequences as Sam soon discovers when what starts out as an innocent white lie threatens to send her world spiralling out of control.

White Lies is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.

My Review of White Lies

A crash between Neil and Sam’s car and…

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Book blogger interviews

Book Bloggers and Reviewers

I am a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I am also a member of their blogging team. At the end of last year I was invited to launch a new monthly blogging series on the RNA blog interviewing book bloggers and reviewers.

The second in the series went live earlier this week and I am attaching a link below so you can take a look, if you wish.


My guest was Julie Boon from Boon’s Bookcase http://boonsbookcase.blogspot.co.uk/

Julie has just celebrated her second blogaversary and her blog continues to adapt and grow.

Book bloggers are a vital part of the world of books and Julie was a fab guest, giving us an interesting insight into the life of a book blogger.


Is it worth it?

I happened to stumble on to a debate recently on whether writing a novel is worth the time, effort and sheer hard work it takes to produce.

Balance scale by Winnifredxoxo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/9LdVCR https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

Everyone will have a different take but I believe asking ‘Is it worth it?’ is actually the wrong question.

I believe the questions you should be asking yourself instead are ‘Why do I want to write a  novel?’ and ‘What do I hope to achieve by writing it?’

It seemed to me, reading the comments people were making in the debate, that far too many of them had launched into writing a novel expecting instant gratification and financial reward when the book was released.  For them it wasn’t worth it, it was never likely to be because they thought there was a quick route to success, a sure fire formula to achieve bestseller status. A strong dose of realism soon put that right.

Money by Tax Credits courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/bH1iX8 https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

If I worked out how many hours I had spent at various keyboards in my life writing novels and then worked out the net sales of my books so far and from that took an hourly rate it would be abysmal. But I haven’t spent half my life at a keyboard because all I  wanted to do was make money. I put those hours in because I have a compunction to write.  It’s a need deep within me. It’s always been there, I hope it always will be.  I have to satisfy that need. I have to have an outlet for my creativity. I need to pour my stories on to the page or the screen and see them come alive.  I could not carry all those stories in my head and not let them out.

I’m madder than you by Mysi courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/5DAWBx https://goo.gl/VAhsB

Sometimes writing is a struggle but it can be a joy too. The thrill of capturing that scene you have been carrying in your mind., creating that tormented character you want to place at the heart of your next book , setting out on their journey, eager to bring them to a better place by the end of the book.

So, ‘Why do I want to write a novel?’

Because I have to.

‘What do I hope to achieve by writing it?’

To entertain myself and hopefully others.

‘Is it worth it?’

For me? Yes, always.

Happy writing!

Book Bloggers and Reviewers

I am a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I am also a member of their blogging team. At the end of last year I was invited to launch a new monthly blogging series on the RNA blog interviewing book bloggers and reviewers. Book bloggers are a vital part of the world of books but their praises often go unsung.

The first in the new series of blogs went live last week and I am attaching a link below.


My first guest was Rosie Amber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

From humble beginnings, Rosie now runs a team of book bloggers and is in the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers.

Rosie was a wonderful first guest, giving us an interesting insight into the life of a book blogger and I would urge you to take a look if you have time.








Happy Christmas!

As you race to tick another present off your list or write another batch of cards take a moment to count your blessings and remember that all we really need is shelter, warmth, food and love – everything else is a bonus.

For those of you who don’t have all of those things I wish you better times ahead.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

flic.kr/p/5GsNBM | Creative Commons Holiday Cheer | by John Morgan licensed by CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

My blog will be back on 5th January 2017 🙂




Don’t be afraid to walk away

As some of you will know who follow my blog I am in the midst of rewriting a novel I wrote some years ago. It needed bringing up to date – smartphones have rather taken over our lives and I needed to address some inherent problems with the plot. I blogged about it here in Easy Option – https://goo.gl/qPP5SO

Now I am deep in the heart of the rewrites and my confidence is sometimes high but mostly low as I grapple with the mess that was once a cohesive novel albeit a troubled one. I am sure you are all familiar with the saying ‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’. Well my desk is covered in broken eggs right now and it is hard to keep the faith.

Breaking Eggs by Rod Waddington courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/k6Hgsx   https://goo.gl/YmlyOJ

One part of the story was giving me more trouble than any other and I spent a couple of days beating myself up at the keyboard wondering why I just couldn’t make it work. Sometimes you can just be too close to a piece of work and all it takes is a little distance to see where you were going wrong.

Exhausted by the process of getting nowhere, my brain aching from turning the same problems over in my mind and not reaching any satisfactory conclusions, I decided to take a complete break from writing for a couple of days.

Resting by Γιάννης Σκουλής courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/7vtHAv    https://goo.gl/YmlyOJ

It was a brave thing to do (some might say foolhardy) given I had a self imposed tight deadline but that in itself was adding to my stress levels. When you can no longer see the wood for the trees your writer’s spidey senses are hardly going to be at their best. So I decided to pull the plug for a while.

I stopped being Ellie Holmes the writer and just enjoyed being me. It took a few hours for the white noise of a busy writer’s brain to calm itself. A dose of reality TV and comfort food helped. And once peace reigned, I lived for a few days like normal people live. You should try it some time. I highly recommend it.

As you can tell from this blog, it didn’t last long. A brief holiday from my writer’s self was all I needed to recharge the batteries and rev up the creative engine. But as with a traditional mini break I came back refreshed, reinvigorated and ready for the challenge.





So here’s the thing, I’m an independent woman who pays all her own bills, both employed and self employed, I’m used to juggling priorities and commitments. I can do things today that my own grandmothers could only have dreamed of but that cuts both ways.

Both my grandmothers were talented seamstresses. In those days lots of women were, you had to be to make ends meet. Make and mend was the way most working class families got by. Women with needlework skills could not only make clothes for their families, provide soft furnishings for the house and repair any damage done, they could also supplement the household income by taking in work for others. It was an essential skill in days gone by.

The Seamstress by Texasbubba courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/6cUzwC  https://goo.gl/OOAQfn

Now here’s my confession – I can’t sew to save my life. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration. If someone had a gun to my head I could probably sew a button on. How long it would remain on is not something I would want to stick around to found out but at a push I could do it. Make my own clothes?! Forget about it. Even if I had the inclination (which I don’t), the skills would be sadly lacking and any item I managed to produce I probably wouldn’t want to be seen dead in.

Seamstress Basics by Anika courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CCO 1.0 Public Domain

https://flic.kr/p/umk5Qx  https://goo.gl/WJLbKh

And that, as Carrie Bradshaw used to say, got me to thinking. Would my grandmothers be disappointed that the skills they once deemed essential had been lost to their granddaughter or would they be pleased that I live and thrive in a world where those skills are no longer deemed necessary? I like to think the latter. How about you?